Friday, January 31, 2014

Random, Happy Thoughts.

As we reach the end of the week and ready for the weekend I thought I'd take a quick moment to write a few thoughts.  Random, happy things.

The School Science Fair.
Last night was the girls science fair.  They worked so hard, every day on their project and proudly showed off their work during the fair.  Well...Ava proudly showed it off.  I do believe Layla was more interested in everyone else's science projects and she clammed up as soon as the judge showed up.  Ava handled it like a pro, telling the judge all about their project.  When it was done, she told me..."I'm glad that part is done, I was really nervous".  Couldn't tell baby girl...well done.  
Layla got another chance because her teacher was having the students bring their projects to the classroom.  It sounds like in the comfort of the familiar classroom she was able to do the presentation she had practiced so hard on.  It's funny to see my wild spirited, outgoing girl turn so quiet in different situations.  She always reminds me so much of Matt, but apparently there's a dose of me in there as well, especially when it comes to public speaking.  

Distinctly Montana.
I have another article posted by Distinctly Montana Magazine.  

It has been such an awesome opportunity to write for them.  You can check out the article here.  The publisher told me he found it heartfelt and authentic.  This makes me very happy indeed.  

Valentines.
This Hallmark holiday is right around the corner and as cheesy as it is, I dig it.  It's about love, what's not to like?  It's all pink hearts and chocolate and roses.  It takes me back to making purple and red mailboxes at school, waiting to be filled with Valentines from my classmates.  Last year I was all about PInterest for Valentines.  I gently urged the girls to make the ones I found on there and although they had fun making them, I felt like it wasn't their idea.  And, it seemed a lot of work for something that was probably tossed.  This year, I thought it was time to introduce the girls to store bought Valentines.  You know the kind...they come in sheets to tear apart with your favorite characters on them. All you have to do is fill in the To and From.  Layla was completely on board and quickly decided on puppy and kitty ones over the Frozen ones.  Ava, however, was a different story. I think I have successfully drilled the "homemade" idea in her head and she was not to be fooled by the wide array of colorful Disney Valentines to choose from.  Instead of a box of Valentine's she came home with some foam hearts and stickers and quickly set to work making her own.

She won't get to experience the old school Valentines we used to do, but it also wasn't something I pinned and encouraged her to do.  They are pure Ava.

New Recipe Success.
Speaking of Pinterest, last week  I tried a recipe I had found.  Tortellini Soup with Artichokes...
I have had some PInterest disasters before, but this was fantastic.  It was so easy to make and quickly became a family favorite.  It has a nice creamy base, cheesy tortellini and full of spinach and garbanzo beans.  Throw in some crusty bread and you've got a meal.  It was inspired by a recipe I found here.  But I changed it up a bit...
In a large pot boil 5-6 cups of veggie broth.  Toss in some tortellini and cook around 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat.  Add a can of garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained), 1-2 cups artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup half and half, around 1/2 cup some sort of tomatoes...fresh diced, slow oven roasted (we had some left from our garden!) or sun dried, a pinch of red pepper flakes, s&p and some fresh basil, torn into pieces.  Cook for a few more minutes and then add a couple cups of fresh spinach and cook until it wilts.  Top with parmesean cheese.  So, so good.  

And that wraps up January.  At the beginning of this month I mentioned how much I enjoy it for its calmness after the holiday chaos, and it delivered.  It was filled with cold, cozy family days and a few wonderfully warm and sunny days to keep my spirits high.  It was filled with quiet schedules except for the usual routines.  I'm hoping February brings the same.  With a bit of birthday of Valentine celebration tossed in.

Happy Friday.  


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