Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

I put a link to the Bon Jovi/Jennifer Nettles song, because it sums up so much of what I'm feeling! "Who says you can't go home? There's only one place they call me one of their own!" Kevin had to work late on Friday and early on Monday, so the kids and I made a solo trip to my parents' house last weekend. Both of my sisters were around, and 3 of my 4 nephews (well, 4 on that side). I always love being home!

It felt so much like old times! We made homemade ice cream, which we haven't done in many, many years. We used to do it every Sunday in the summer at my grandparents' house. Back then, all they had was an old crank ice cream maker. They would have us little kids take turns sitting on top of the ice cream maker bucket (on top of a million towels to protect our tushies) while the men took turns cranking the ice cream. Then, for our "hard work", they'd let us have the first taste of the ice cream, by scraping off the ribs (the beaters inside). Ahh, memories!
Times have changed a bit, and we now have electric ice cream makers. The intent was still there, though, and it was fabulous! My nephew, Tyler (who is 16) doesn't remember ever having homemade ice cream before, and that made me sad! I think he's a convert, though! We made chocolate, and my cousins, John and Kelli, brought over Big Red ice cream (tastes just like a Big Red float in a bowl)! We decided to make the impromptu gathering feel just like a day from many years ago at my grandparents' house, and also made my grandma's ground meat sandwiches. I even got out the old pickle plate that means so much to me and the table was complete!In keeping with the nostalgia of the weekend, my mom got out a bunch of my old cheerleading uniforms for me to bring home. I don't know what she needs the extra storage space for (seriously, 2 people in a 4 bedroom house, should have at least a little space for the things that I DON'T have space for!) but I brought them home anyway. My best friend, Cathy, was there with her girls, and they all decided to use the uniforms to play dress up. Talk about a blast from the past! I already had 2 uniforms at my house, but now come 4 more! They looked so cute, making up cheers for the Cougars, that we couldn't resist a few pictures!All in all, it was a great trip down memory lane, and it makes me so glad that even though we don't live super close, we're close enough that I can give my kids these kinds of memories that I cherish so much!

This weekend was so much fun! Whoever originally said that "you could never go home again" was mistaken, or they weren't from a place with as much love as I am.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Yes, yes. I know that it's Tuesday. We've been busy this week with Vacation Bible School (for the girls) and house cleaning catch-up for me.

Monday: Garlic-Rosemary-Balsamic Chicken, Rice, Green Beans with Ham

Tuesday: Homemade Pizzas, Salad - I have the dough rising as we speak! Yum!

Wednesday: Stuffed Shells, Corn, Sauteed Zuchini

Thursday: Tuscan Lemon Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Cheesy Broccoli - My cousin, Sara, gave me this recipe several months ago, and I still haven't made it. Sounds yummy, though, and as along as the rain finally stops, I'm all about using the grill!

Friday: Barbecue Ribs, Corn on the Cob, Potato Salad - I have been so hungry for ribs! My father-in-law makes the BEST ribs and gave me his recipe. I'm looking forward to trying them out (I've never made them before). I do have a plea, though. Does anyone have a really good barbecue sauce recipe? I don't really care for the bottled sauces, but can't find a recipe that I really like, either. I'd love some ideas!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Menu Recap

I have been a slacker and haven't posted a "Meal Plan Monday" in several weeks. Rest assured, that doesn't mean that we aren't eating. We are. Most definitely (I could show you my scale, but no one here wants to see that). Since I didn't plan out the week, I thought I'd post an end-week recap as to what we had all week. Nothing too exciting or new (aside from tonight) but yummy all the same.

Monday: Breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs, bacon, garlic toast, fresh fruit

Tuesday: Orange-Sesame Pork with Teriyaki Noodles. I added edamame and broccoli to the noodles, to serve as a catch-all side dish.

Wednesday: Crispy Ranch Chicken, Rice-A-Roni, creamed corn

Thursday: I wasn't feeling well, so Kevin was awesome and took the kids to Mickey D's - all by himself. God bless him!

Friday: The Pioneer Woman's Comfort Meatballs, buttered egg noodles, roasted broccoli. The recipe doesn't take you to her site directly, but to someone else who posted her recipe. I haven't had them yet (they're in the oven) but my mom and sister said they were awesome! My mom has mentioned them several times, so I knew I had to try them myself!

The definition of relaxation = Vacation without kids!

As I mentioned once or twice, we just went on a fabulous vacation to the Royal in Playa del Carmen for our 10th anniversary. Our sweet friends, Jarred & Angela, have been there for the past 3 years and invited us to go with them. I couldn't understand why someone would want to go to the same old place every summer, but now I do! This place was amazing! The pools, the beach, the food - amazing! I'm already looking forward to going back! The food was excellent in every way! There are regular (nice) restaurants with awesome steaks and giant shrimp (and the grilled lobster, OMG!), and there is a super fancy, gourmet restaurant, with experimental dishes and interesting concepts. Aren't the plates pretty? Don't believe that the food was incredible? Just look at Kevin eating every last bit of his soup!
There were shows (how can you be in Mexico without seeing a Mariachi band?):
Shopping (we all cracked up at the Day of the Dead dolls - this one is Michael Jackson!): Lazy days by the pool:
Lizards to chase (Kevin and a group of boys who just graduated from high school were the only ones who joined in this "fun" - figures!):
Lots of drinks (we came up with a game to try and have a cocktail or shot from every letter of the alphabet - some were much easier than others - Kevin doesn't look too thrilled with his El Jimador shot, but E's were hard to come by):
Poolside card games (You know how we love our Phase 10! When the cards started to blow away, we decided to play dominoes. Then, it started raining, we went inside the coffee shop and played cards again!):
Golf and scuba for the boys, while the girls enjoyed a spa day:
And lots of fun times with our friends!
This was an awesome, much needed break, and I came back as a happier mommy! A week away from the kids was a long time, and by the end of it, I was so ready to be home, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! Kevin and I got some much needed down-time, the kids got some much needed Nana time, and we were all better for it!