Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Summer.

First of all, I have to begin by saying THANK YOU for all the amazing support my family has gotten since I posted my sister's story.  I received so many messages and phone calls from people who were touched by the story and wanted to check in to see how we were doing and to see how they could help donate to her fund.  And, just the people who passed the story on, so maybe someone else could hear it and help out.  The kindness from friends has been amazing and I feel truly blessed to have you all in my life.  My sister and her family are so appreciative of all the help and support as well and she gets so emotional about it every time I tell her about another person who has donated or sent their best wishes for a speedy recovery.  So, a very heartfelt thank you.  I am going to keep her story on the side of the blog so people can continue to read it as it gets passed along and help out. 

Now onto other things, such as the first day of summer.  Which, in my book might as well be a national holiday.  

Yesterday was this blessed day and we did it up right.  It was a perfect summer day…no clouds, 80-degrees…the type of day that makes you so happy to live here.  (If it could just last longer than the three short months we get it)  We took full advantage of this longest day of the year.  First up…we gathered the cousins and headed to a park for a picnic.  The other day the girls and I made a list of all the parks in our town.  We posted it in our refrigerator and our goal is to visit every park this summer.  

I think the girls like coming home and crossing off the park on our list almost as much as the actual going.  Anyways…back to the picnic at the park.  It was lovely…Ava, Layla, Kim & Greg running around and little Jacob trying to keep up with the big kids.  They all love on him so much and want him to choose to go with them on the slide or the bouncy horse.  He's kinda like a movie star when he comes to town.  After playing we threw down a big blanket and everyone chowed.  And, we had cherries…so yummy.  Cherries are what I consider "summer" food.  Those along with watermelon, corn on the cob and ice cream (actually ice cream is a year round treat in my opinion!)  I don't buy these foods until summer hits and as soon as they start showing up at the grocery store, I get so excited.  After the park we headed back up to my sisters for everyone to chill out a bit before we did another very summer thing…sprinklers, slip & slides and pools.  

The weather continued to cooperate and the sun beat down making the cool water from the sprinklers very welcome.  The kids took a popsicle break...

And then back in the water they went.  To end this lovely day we had a very summer like dinner of lemon salmon, pomegranate quinoa and fresh and delicious.  

Then of course ice cream.  
I think having ice cream on the first day of summer ought to be some sort of rule for everyone.  It just makes you happy.  Speaking of making me happy…earlier this week Ava was going through her sock drawer and found a bunch of socks without mates.  What's a girl to in this situation?  Why, make puppets that's what!  She spent the next hour making a background and taping little eyes and mouths on her socks to create a puppet show for when her sister got up.  Let me tell you, it was quite a show.  Complete with a monster sock and running through a scary forest.  Of course, Layla found it fascinating as well and had to do her own right after.  Ava's show was very good and she worked so hard on creating it.  However, Layla is a lot like Matt and her show was hilarious.  She basically copied Ava's exact show but with a lot more drama.  After the shows were complete they had to leave everything out so they could do an encore performance for Daddy when he got home.  I totally love my girls creative spirits.  

Today was another glorious summer day and my little sister and I wanted to take all the kids on a hike.  With my Kori being stuck inside because of the nasty sickness, we wanted to help by getting her kids out of the house so she could rest and the kids could run off some energy.  Of course, getting 5 kiddos ready and out the door isn't that easy, so we ended up just going to a local trail instead of up to the mountains for a real hike.  They didn't even notice the difference.  It's a trail we have all done before and ends with a climbing rock that they all scurried right up.  It's funny how much they've changed from just last year when they all needed a lot of help getting up and down.  They still needed help, but this time it was more assistance then trying to heave them up to the top.  

It was a lovely day and great to visit with my little sister.  She has been staying with Kori, so I have missed out on our late night chats, but I know that Kori needs her more right now so I guess I'll share.  Next time she visits, I may not be so generous!  After another full day I came home to spend the evening with Matt & the girls and soak it up cuz tomorrow the girls will be headed to Grandma's for a sleepover and Matt and I are going out of town for his birthday celebration.  
Happy Summer!

Lemon Salmon
-Butter & olive oil
-Juice from 1-2 lemons
-1 cup veggie broth
-1 tbls flour
First season the salmon (remove the skin) with garlic, salt and pepper
Melt around 1 tbls butter and 1 tbls oil in a pan until sizzling.  Add the salmon and cook a minute or two on each side.  Remove from the pan.  Whisk in flour & broth.  Add lemon juice bring to slight boil, reduce to simmer and put salmon back in the pan and cook until done.  Serve the lemon gravy over top of the salmon.  

Pomegranate Quinoa
Prepare quinoa as I did in this recipe
Mix 1 cup dried pomegranate, fresh chopped basil, 1 to 2 chopped tomatoes, 1/2 chopped yellow pepper and 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese together.  Add the prepared quinoa.  For the dressing mix 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbls honey, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 garlic clove, s&p, 2 tbls poppy seeds.  Add dressing to the salad and toss well.

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