Life is A Journey...Come Follow Our's

Monday, May 28, 2012

What's Cookin'

Lots in the Meatless Pope house.   Yes, we are still enjoying being meatless for more than 3 months now.  Food just tastes so much's amazing.

Here's what's been cooking up around here lately:

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

I just made these yesterday and while they were quite time consuming, they were really tasty.  Gnocchi are pretty much Italian potato dumplings.  How perfect that you can substitute in sweet potatoes for the regular white potatoes!  I followed the recipe to a t - however, found that I needed much more flour than the original recipe called for in order to have the right texture (you don't want your dough to be sticky).  Also, I made my own sauce with what I had on  hand...butter, onions, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and some of the cooking water.  DELISH...though it will be awhile before I make gnocchi again!!!

Quinoa Spanikopita

This dish was pretty tasty though it had WAY too much salt in it!  Maybe that was because I used table salt instead of kosher salt.  I will make it again, but I'll be sure to not add more than half the salt this time!

Summer Squash and White Bean Sautee

YUM!  So simple, so fresh, so delish!  This is a go to meal from now on!!

Summer Vegetable Tian

Thanks to this dish, I now know what a tian is.  Defined by google dictionary, a tian is a dish of finely chopped vegetables cooked in olive oil than baked au gratin style.  Au Gratin?  Enough said...We'll try it!    So so good...fresh, a great side dish for sure!

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

Haven't quite made this one yet, but it's on the list for this week!  I'll let you know how it goes...looks good, eh?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Play Date at the Splash Park

The best part about me working this past year was that Quinn got to spend his days with Miss Christy and a fabulous group of boys who are all best buds.  Quinn's favorite friend is Carson whom he calls "Do-Dah."  Carson happens to be one of my friends Lindsay's son so it works out perfectly.  

Carson and Quinn are almost exactly 2 months apart.  They have developed their own language, look out for each other, and just LOVE being together.  I really enjoy seeing this and watching how their little personalities are developing as they become toddlers.

Today, Lindsay and I decided to get the boys together and go to the Bentonville Splash Park.  The Splash Park was one of our favorite outings last year, but Quinn wasn't so sure about it this year.  He just stood around not wanting to take his shirt off... 


Do-Dah arrived!!!!

Here's a video of them playing.  It makes me smile inside and out.  I think the world of these two little boys.  ENJOY!

Fun Times with Gigi

Quinn LOVES everyone...he really does, but he really LOVES his Gigi.  If I were to ask Quinn about Gigi, it would probably go something like this:

                        M:  Quinn, why do you love Gigi so much?
                        Q:  Bow wow wow (as he attacks me with his stuffed
                        M:  Is Gigi a puppy?
                        Q:  Nooooo
                        M:  So why do you love Gigi so much?
                        Q:  RAWR....
                        M:  Does Gigi scare you and play dinosaur with you?
                        Q:  Yes ... Gigi, whey owr u? (Gigi where are you?)

After Anna's graduation, Mom made the drive down to spend a few days in Northwest Arkansas with us.  Wednesday morning was my first day of summer vacation so Mom, Quinn, Martha (my PE friend from school), and I headed off to Fisher's Blueberry Patch in Gravette, Arkansas.  It was WONDERFUL!  They had so many blueberries and they all tasted amazing!  Quinn did a good job picking and an even better job eating.

Quinn all ready to start picking

I found a BIG BIG one!

Helping Gigi pick blueberries

I don't have time to stop for a picture Mom, there's so much work to be done!

What we didn't know about the blueberry patch was that even though picking blueberries was fun, the BEST attraction was...

...The BIG pile of DUST!!!

If you've ever seen the old Charlie Brown episodes with Pig Pen, that was Quinn.  He was covered from head to foot with dust and did not care one bit.  It was a super windy day and every time the wind would blow, a cloud of dust would emerge from Quinn (not even from the dust pile).  At one point, we flipped him upside down and just let the wind and gravity do their things in hopes of getting him home a little cleaner so we could wash him...and the car.

Kansas City Here We Come

My niece Anna graduated from high school this year so Quinn and I headed up to Kansas City to join in on the festivities. It happened to be Quinn's birthday weekend so I made sure to do a few things that he would love on top of playing with his cousins, Auntie Lisa, Uncle Anthony, Aunt Chrissy and Uncle Mark, Gigi, and Grandpa.  We swam in the hotel pool, rode the elevators up and down, played outside, and went to Deanna Rose an AMAZING Farmstead in Overland Park, Kansas that is run by the park district.  Admission is $2/person and it is loaded with goats (some of which you can feed bottles to), chickens, calves, horses, and even a buffalo.  It is beautiful inside and so well maintained.  It's the closest thing you can find to a farm without having to worry about stepping in anything too nasty :)

Chrissy and Mark's fountain will never be the same

Quinn and Me at Deanna Rose - AWESOME Farmstead in Overland Park

Quinn checking out the goats

Grandpa Cotton even came with us

Our Party of 3

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

School's Out For The Summer...

This is my theme song for this blog.  HURRAY...School's Out For The Summer!!!!  Really, let the fun begin!

This past year was a challenge for me working full time, keeping up my workout schedule, teaching aerobics and a 3-credit on-line class for the local community college, being a good Mom, making healthy food for my family, trying to keep house, and keep a good attitude.  I managed to do all of it except the good attitude at times.  I'll be the first to admit, my schedule this past year really got to me.  Lucky for me, this was a one year thing and I will be working part time next year still teaching elementary PE but at a different school.  I am very very excited.

Now that summer's here, I figure I can start to update you all on life in the Pope House.  We just celebrated Quinn's 2nd birthday on May 18th.  After last year's pig roast, we decided to keep things really low key this year.  Brad, Quinn, and I had a little birthday party together on Thursday night and based on Quinn's excitement, I knew it was enough.  He LOVED his presents from Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie Val, and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD Mommy and Daddy gave him.  Check out the cupcakes (puppies are his other favorite thing right now) I created for him...I'm so proud (for those of you who know me, you know I have the smallest amount of creative juices in my blood ever!)

I know I am biased, but he really is an amazing little boy.  He LOVES to count (all the time), can do 6 piece puzzles (not the ones where you have to match up the pieces to the puzzle, but REAL puzzles), is talking constantly though I only understand enough to kind of have a clue what he's talking about, and is putting together 3-5 word sentences ("Mommy, Read Pete The Cat").  Here is a video of him from his birthday weekend.  ENJOY!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers' Day!

The Lord has blessed me with two amazing men in my life one of whom is the reason I get to celebrate Mothers Day myself.

Last weekend was our opening weekend on the lake.  We celebrated Cinco de Mayo with great friends and had our first swims and pontoon boat ride.  Life is truly wonderful!  Come visit!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Farmers' Market...a true sign that summer is upon us

Today was the first Saturday that Quinn and I were able to get to the Farmers' Market.  Last summer, it was our routine to jog with Sara the 6 miles round trip to enjoy the morning and this summer will be no different.  Well...not much different at least.  This year we have a new addition to our trio...Baby Lily...Sara and Chris's now 2 month old.

Quinn didn't so much love the vegetables today (mostly greens, potatoes, radishes, turnips, and aliums) but he did love that he was able to get his own hat and sunglasses on!

Here's how we roll at the Farmers' Market...