Thursday, December 30, 2010

Everybody Loves Pasta

I can tell I'm having Christmas break...I finally have time to blog.

We love pasta. The kiddos love pasta.

Just wanted to share a couple of recipes that we've enjoyed. I got this Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe from a fellow twin mommy. And the other one is from Allrecipes. I normally have to make a lot of substitutions to my recipes...because things aren't available here...or are just really expensive. But we still really love these recipes. Hope you try them!

Cajun Chicken Pasta
3/4 pound rotini, cooked according to package (I normally use penne b/c I like it better & I use the full pound...cuz really what are you going to do with the other part of the package.)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (I use 1/2 to 1 pound.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) (I cut this way back b/c Asia isn't a fan of spice.)
8 oz. heavy cream (I use all purpose cream in a tetra pack b/c we don't have heavy cream here.)
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned (I use a couple of a local type of green pepper.)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered (I use canned mushrooms b/c we can't normally get fresh.)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (I normally just use the Kraft kind.)

Cook rotini according to package directions. Drain; set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook, stirring frequently, until brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, onions, cajun or creole seasoning and ground black and red peppers. Add bell peppers and mushrooms; stir to combine. Cover & cook 5 minutes. Uncover; stir in cream and let simmer another 2 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese. Remove sauce from heat, stir in cooked pasta and serve immediately.

Penne with Chicken & Pesto
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Penne-with-Chicken-and-Pesto/Detail.aspx
We actually, don't get to eat this much...because pesto is sooo expensive here & the spinach is really weird...so, you can't really make your own. But it is soo delish!
I think this calls for way too much butter and olive oil...since pesto tends to be quite oily. I just just a tiny bit of olive oil.
I also use the tetra packs of all purpose cream for this.

Anyway...I'm always on the look out for good recipes. So, if you have any good ones please share!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas Eviction


As many of you have heard by now...our landlord has decided that we need to move out. The story is really too long for me to post here...and frankly...I just don't have the time. It's not the kind of news that you want to receive 2 days before Christmas...but we did.
While we are not sure why God allowed this to happen... We do believe that God is good and is very much in control. Since God only allows what is best for us in order that we will be conformed to the image of Christ...we need to learn all that we can from our situation.
And truly...it's completely about perspective. In the last couple of weeks, two good friends have been having major health issues...one with melanoma and the other might possibly have MS. We have fellow missionaries who have kids with major health problems...one with a brain tumor and another with a bladder problem that she was born with. This is just to name a few.
On top of that...almost everyday we see multiple people that don't have a homes at all. They are just sleeping on the side of the road or under bridges, etc. This often includes little children... They don't have a house, bed, bathroom, or even food to eat.
We realize how easy we do have it...we will have a place to stay (even though we don't know where that is quite yet). And right now...our kids health is great!
So, we are trying to maintain a good perspective of this! And praying that we learn all that the Lord wants to teach us through all of this.
Please be praying that the Lord will show us where to live for the next six months and the move will go as smoothly as possible. It's not something that we look forward to with 4 kids 3 and under.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We Are Still Alive


We are still alive...I haven't blogged since Skye was 2 days old. I almost feel bad... :)
I lost my helper about a week and a half after we brought our new little bundle of joy home. Brian went back to language study when Skye was 3 weeks old...and I went back when she was 4 weeks old. Brian studies 40+ hours a week and I do 30. On top of that, living here just takes sooo much longer. All our cooking needs to be done from scratch, etc. Oh, and did I mention that we have 3 preschoolers. :) Asia is 3 1/2 and the boys are 2. Skye is 4 months old tomorrow. They sure are fun...but they don't ever stop.
So, honestly...we are just trying to survive over here!
We get a break starting December 17th for a month. We are really looking forward to it...as we really need one. But, also, hopefully, we'll get our thank yous done...and a newsletter sent out...and be able to check some other things off our mile long "to do" list!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Skye Avalon

Just a quick update...so you know that she arrived... Hopefully, more pictures & stories to come...as I have time...but don't count on it. haha
Skye Avalon arrived on Sunday, August 8th @ 1:27 PM. She weighed 6 pounds 14 ounces and measured 20 inches long. We got to come home after 24 hours...so that has been really nice.
Here she is at 1 day old.
Brian caught on camera the moment that Asia realized that there were now 4 of them.
I know the boys outfits are outrageous...they had just gotten up from nap and this was their first time seeing their sister. Anyway...that's the only way that we've figured out how to keep them from taking their diapers off and poop from flying everywhere during nap time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

37 Weeks

I was 37 weeks on Friday...so here is a picture. Those boys sure stretched out my belly for me...but at least it isn't even 1/3 of the weight of last time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Little Men

My little men are almost 21 months old... They keep us busy...and are really sooo much fun!





I love you forever!
I'll like you for always!
As long as I'm living my babies...you'll be!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Little Chef

I've been wanting to do some more cooking with Asia...since she loves it...and always wants to stir, etc. I found mini pizza crusts here...so we decided to make individual pizzas. Asia was thrilled.
We made ham & pineapple pizza.
This is what the boys did the whole time we were getting the pizza ready! They were not impressed with being left out. I just am not brave enough yet to get all three of them going in the kitchen with me. Soon, little men! Soon!
Very happy with herself!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Saturdays

We try to keep Saturdays as our family day...finding fun things to do...and just spending time with the kiddos. Typically, that means making a big yummy breakfast that we don't normally have time to do during the week. Going for a swim in the AM. Lunch together...either leftovers or sometimes for extra special...we order pizza. Then, the kiddos have a nap... Asia has ballet class in the afternoon...normally, I (Brooke) just take her...because the boys are still sleeping. Brian hangs with the boys after they wake up...and normally that means taking them outside for them to run some energy off. Asia & I get home and it's time for supper. Then, baths and bedtime. Anyway...that's a regular Saturday for us.
On this particular Saturday...the boys were all in need of haircuts...
They hate to wear the cape....so they get hair all over them. Gross!
Then, we went for a swim!
On this Saturday...we decided that we'd all go to Asia's ballet class...since Daddy doesn't normally get to see her in class. So, we left home early and ate out.
Have to say this was one VERY proud moment for Brian & I... She's been "using" chopsticks for a long time...but finally really got the hang of it!
We've been able to just buy one meal for all three of the kids to share...but those days are apparently over for us...those boys sure do eat!
Yummy noodles that we all love!
Asia is really improving in her ballet class! By the way...they rock back & forth on their bellies...while holding their legs like that!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Milk...it Does the Body Good

It's kind of funny the things that you realize later you had taken forgranted. Like..."Honey, can you pick up a gallon of milk on the way home?" Like having 5 gallons in my fridge at any given time... Like even having real milk!
Having 3 little ones...and one pregnant mama...we go through a TON of milk. So, I thought I would show you what that looks like here in the Philippines.
First, we order a 25 kilo sack of powdered milk! Or about 55 pounds. Actually, we just started doing this because we figured out that it is much cheaper than buying it at the grocery store. This is imported from Australia...and is full fat. Not like the non-fat powdered milk in the USA. We have to find a way to store it...in such a way that is waterproof...because it is extremely humid here...and in a way that ants, cockroaches, mice, etc...can't get in.
We go through at least two of these pitchers everday! Which means that every night before we go to bed...we need to make sure we have it made up. Because we have figured out that powdered milk really isn't that bad...especially if cold...
Brian & I grew up on powdered milk...so it doesn't really bother us... It's not our favorite...and we don't crave it...but it's not horrible. And thankfully, our kids are sooo young...that they don't know any different.
Real milk is available here in the Philippines...but is very expensive! They also have imported milk...in boxes...which doesn't have to be put in the fridge until it is opened...but I don't like the taste of it...I swear I can taste the box that it comes in.
Anyway...so, that's just a peek into our life... Our new normal! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

30 Weeks

Here we are at 30 weeks! Getting to the end!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Wiggly Party

Well, Asia's 3rd birthday is coming up on Wednesday...and since we both have classes, etc...that day...we planned her party for Saturday. There are 16 students in language study at the same time as us...so we invited all of them and their kids, our director and our teachers. Somewhere between 40 to 50 people. It was crazy but fun. You may be wondering why I am starting this post with a picture of an unfinished cake...you will soon see. Please take note of how nice and straight this cake is...
A finished cake...and with only slight leaning.

Still looking pretty...and straight.
And then...after about an hour...this began to happen. I believe this was caused by a combination of things...I used a deliciously moist but softer type cake... That in addition to the heat & humidity here...equals...DISASTER. Since I was preparing for the party long into the night...I considered waking Asia up at this point...so she could see her cake...cuz I wasn't sure it would make it until morning.
Brian tried telling me that we were having a Wiggly Party...so, it was ok to have a Wiggly Cake too...but at 1 AM...and about 10 to 12 hours of cake making...it wasn't very funny.
Asia dressed like Captain Feathersword & her wiggly cake.
Here we are, first thing in the AM...it made it through the rest of the night...just needed to go about 5 more hours.
The little Princess at the party...a friend gave her goggles for her birthday...and she was beyond thrilled!
Playing in the kiddie pool.
Swimming in the big pool.
A TON of pizza...thankfully here...they have these wonderful Buy1, Get1 cards...we had TONS of pizza leftover...but I knew I needed to give some to the guards and janitors here where we live, etc... So, some how...we only ended up with one pizza left for ourselves. We also served fresh veggies...and OF COURSE, fruit salad...YUMMY! YUMMY!
Sorry for the bad light...but there is the little Miss...chowing on her pizza...Yes, we were able to coax them out of the pool for a moment!
The little Miss with her birthday cake...it made it downstairs without falling...but we didn't know how long it would make it! :)
Some of the kiddos waiting to see if the cake was going to fall. haha It was looking pretty bad by this point!
Daddy and the Princess...with the disaster of a cake!
And believe it or not...it actually, NEVER fell completely over...just leaned horribly bad. :)
Asia had to have the purple layer. :)
Anyway...so there it is...I learned my lesson about trying to make a giant cake here in the tropics...but overall...I think everyone had a great time...
I know Asia did...and she was the one the party was for.
As always...there are loads more pictures on Facebook...so head over there...to see them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

1st Ballet Class

We decided to enroll Asia in a ballet class for 3 to 5 year olds. She is just 2 1/2 weeks away from turning 3. Today was her very first day of class. I wasn't sure how she would do...she's never been involved in something like that. Or been to school...we've only ever put her in Sunday School a couple of times(because we're teaching her to sit in church...which by the way...she can do for 2+ hours).
She was very excited with the prospect of going...but when she got into the class...she was pretty overwhelmed. It took her about 40 minutes to warm up to the idea...then, she really got into it...and seemed to enjoy herself.
Before going to class...I showed her some videos on youtube to give her an idea of what she would be doing. Let me just say that I think that classes in the US for this age group greatly differ from here. All the videos we saw were of fun stuff...little girls prancing around, etc. Here...they were already teaching the positions. :) Well, maybe parents only posted the cute little prancing!
All ready for class...and very excited!
Princess Cheeseball Ballerina


Little Miss is by far the youngest and smallest. :) You could tell the vast majority of the girls had been in ballet before... Hopefully, she'll catch on quickly...and learn to follow the teacher's movements! The teacher was very nice...and told me not to worry...that she would catch on very quickly. She was already telling Asia about the recital in December!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lately, Easter Break, Potty Training

Nothing too exciting to report...
Asia asked me to write: A is for Asia. So there it is. Lil Princess loves to color.
Chilling with my girl at an Indian restuarant that we like...even though it gives me horrible heartburn right now.
Silly boys playing in sisters room!
Swimming.
So, we had a great Easter...but we didn't take any pictures of the kids...I know we're horrible parents... But it could have something to do with potty training. Started potty training Asia last Thursday...and I have to say...It's going great. The first 2 days were brutal...but since then...it's been going awesome. So, hopefully, she won't regress once this baby is born. Anyway...The potty training made our Easter break...not like a break at all...but I know in the end...it will pay off...Literally, so we don't have 4 kids in diapers. haha
Anyway...trying to write this with Asia perched on my lap...so it probably doesn't make any sense.