Monday, April 14, 2014

Plant a tree, or 5.

We are still busy prepping the berm in our front yard for removal in the next couple weeks. Today we dug up the 5 baby pine trees that were growing on it. I am guessing a few squirrels buried nuts and forgot to come back and eat them LOL. I hate cutting down trees, I really do...so we thought we would take the munchkins on a little afternoon excursion into the woods and re-plant them.

Gangster came along too, the kids we a little nervous with him being off leash...they thought he would run away. They tried to keep up with him...he was nice enough to not run too far.

It was beautiful up there...a touch windy, but not too horrible.

It was not a sheer drop, but I still didn't like the kids getting too close to the edge.

Jericho wanted to fly LOL.

Jason made a makeshift bench out of stumps and a log, then we had a little lunch.

Gangster you don't even like fruit, get out of there.

And quit begging.


My super speedy eater entertained himself with bubbles while the rest of us finished our lunch.

Then the boys needed to pee...I think this might have been their fave part of the afternoon LOL.

After lunch, and a potty break...it was tree planting time.

Xander was in charge of watering the baby trees.

Jericho and Lily watered Gangster LOL.

Jason did the digging, but the kids were helping to pick out the spots for the trees.

They had him walking all over the place.



Nice job taking a couple pictures Haddie.


After all the trees were planted we went on a little hike. Rain is supposed to make an appearance again soon...glad we are taking advantage of the nice days while we can.

Came home to dinner ready in the crock pot, and it smelled amazing! Crock pot Smoky pulled pork nachos.















You need:
4-5 lb pork shoulder.
salt, pepper
1 large sweet onion
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 2 tablespoons of sauce
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
20 oz Dr. Pepper
Tostitos baked scoops (would be great in taco shells too)

Directions:
Cut onion into quarters then separate layers into the bottom of a 5 quart (minimum size) crock pot. Trim pork butt of excess fat then cut into 4-6 large pieces and season well with salt & pepper. Lay seasoned pork on top of onions then add chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and Dr. Pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until pork is tender enough to easily shred with a fork.

Remove pork pieces from the crock pot and shred, then place into a bowl and set aside. Strain juices through a double layer of cheesecloth and add back to shredded pork.

It was excellent...may have to have a small taco along with a few nachos next time :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tulip farm time!

We love this tulip farm, the kids have a blast every year. This year we met some other friends at the farm and spent a good 3 hours having a fabulous time. I love that we have things that are becoming tradition...it is so cool to look back over the photos of our previous trips there and see how much our kids and family have changed over the years. The first time we went, Jericho was just a baby.  Last year was super fun too...but I think this year was the best so far :) We went with a great group of friends...Nick, Lisa, Miss Kenzie and of course baby Red Feather, Barry, Michelle and Mallory, Tom, Emily and Mr. Levi. It was a beautiful day and the flowers were amazing. I must plant some bulbs for next year...I have a new love of Tulips!

I also got a pep talk and some instruction from my girl Wendy, and tried for the first time to take my camera out of Auto mode. Whoa, check me out! The photo's weren't perfect, but I still think for a total newb I got a few great shots!

The kids had a lot of fun playing on all the different fun things.

The good old water duck races.

Tire swing fun!

Little stud muffin...3 year old training for a future in extreme sports, I think he is going to give his Momma a heart attack one day.

Xan gotta get cray cray on the swing.


Jericho and waiting in lines do not mesh...he is not tired, this is him side eyeing having to wait in line LOL. I feel you little dude, I hate it too...especially when I am with YOU Hahaha!

Finally their turn...time for a little aerial trampoline action! Lily, Xander and Jericho were majorly excited!

Brave Bug...ready to do this thing!

Haddie was not so excited, she actually tried to change her mind at the last minute...Jason and I had to nudge her ever so slightly out of her own way. We asked her to just try it, jump as small as she wanted but at least give it a chance. She did and while she would NEVER admit it to us, she was glad she did it too.

Yeah, Xan loved it!

Jericho was totally in his element...he ate it up.

Jason kept pulling him down and launching him up...Jericho would scream with delight, and tell him to do it again LOL. Yeah that is my baby flying up above Jason's head.
Lily got some good air too! Go Bug!!


A quick lunch...yum, peanut butter and jelly and chocolate chip granola bars are like Jericho's meals of choice these days.

The tulips were amazing this year...I must have some in my yard next year, must.

So many photos, I couldn't help myself LOL. It was just so beautiful!


I will have this up on my wall...LOVE!



Jason took over on photo duty for a few minutes.

You aren't supposed to pick the flowers, though lots end up on the ground as people and kids walk through them. As we were walking through the flowers I was letting the kids pick up any unattached, downed flowers that they wanted to. Despite some looks and grumbles that Jason told me was going on by other people watching us...guess they thought I was letting the kids pick the flowers, Jason set them straight. The trio had a great time...and I love that they think broken flowers are still beautiful and bouquet worthy.


This lady got that we were only picking up broken flowers, she found one and gave it to Xander to add to his bunch.

A walk with my girls. I would love to come out here one day when it is not so busy...if that ever happens LOL.

Jericho liked the flowers...but I think he loved running away from us more, turd.


Miss Haddie, you look lovely :)



I thought this one was pretty cool, they diagonally lined themselves up in birth order right down to Jericho (on Dad's shoulders) funny.



Another one I really like.

I always thought tulips were so boring...I don't anymore, they are breathtaking, especially in huge fields like this.



These two of Lily are a couple more faves, at least one...if not both, of them will end up on my canvas wall! My photography is not pro yo...but I was impressed and love these anyway.


My son, my sweet, sweet son Xander. You make us beam. After spending a good 10-15 minutes walking through the flowers the trio each had a large bouquet of broken, but still beautiful, flowers. We were waiting in line to catch a hay ride back in from the fields when out of the blue Xander walks up to a lady, taps her on the shoulder and gave her a flower. He came back over to me and said "That was so nice of me Mom, I gave her a flower." I told him he is a very nice boy, the next thing I know he walks over to a different girl and gives her a flower too. Then to another lady, they each smiled and thanked him. Then a friend of the first girl to get a flower pulled out her phone and started recording Xander as he continued to hand out flowers to random females of all ages.

I decided I better snap a couple photos of this too...it was too cute. I got this one...
Xander went up to this little girl who we did not know, got down on one knee and offered up a flower. It that not the sweetest thing ever?!?! I wish I had been at a better angle and got a better pic...but it will do :)

Such a ladies man!

He was on a roll, he passed out a good 7 flowers. We he got to the last one he looked at me and said "Here Mom, the last ones for you." I could cry...he has such a big heart.

The hay ride back.



The pieces to my heart right here!



After the tulip spot everyone headed back to our house for a little BBQ...and a few drinks. Now that is the perfect ending to a perfect day :)

I got flack from Jason because I wanted to buy tulip plates for the BBQ...I thought they were so pretty, and I know at least the ladies liked them LOL. Jericho, ready for food...this kid is ALWAYS hungry.

We couldn't have asked for a better day...the kids spent the entire day outside burning off energy, it was awesome! I'm betting they sleep in, at least a little tomorrow.


Come to a BBQ, go home with a little homemade piece of history LOL. Jason gave Barry an old bench he made out of snowboards...enjoy! Sorry Michelle...hope he keeps it in the garage like he said he would LOL.

Dessert...Pineapple upside down cake. Pretty yummy!















Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 14 oz. can pineapple slices, drained
1 14 oz can of crushed pineapple
1 bag of pecan halves
2 boxes of yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups of water

 Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F. Divide 1/4 cup butter between two 9" round cake pans, place in oven and allow butter to melt. Remove pans from and divide and sprinkle brown sugar evenly between pans over melted butter. Slice pineapple rings in half to fit around edge of pan as shown in picture on top of brown sugar mixture. Place remaining whole pineapple slices in middle of pan. Place pecan halves in center of each pineapple slice.

In medium bowl, beat the cake mix, eggs, water, coconut oil, water and crushed pineapple with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter between cake pans and pour batter over pineapple and pecans.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Loosen edges of cake in second pan by running a knife carefully along edge. With the aid of an offset spatula (or any wide long handled spatula) quickly but gently flip second cake over bracing with spatula and place on top of first cake. Make sure second layer is centered before removing spatula. Allow cake pan to rest for a minute or two on top of cake so that the brown sugar mixture can drizzle onto cake. Let cool, slice and enjoy!