Friday, January 24, 2014

Random Ramblings on a Friday

Friday is finally here, whoohoo!

Actually, it's been an amazing week. Really, it has. Each day has been so peaceful and it's been a week with good productivity too. Some weeks are way too busy.....but this one has been really nice. I had a fun afternoon with my older daughter on Tuesday, some good family time at home with our kids here, the weather has been beautiful and mild, I got some grandkiddo time, and this morning I met up for coffee with a friend who recently adopted a cute little girl from China. It was so good to see her and her boys again and to meet her new little one. Today has been such a good day and especially because the girls have been busy deep cleaning and doing laundry.....yeah, it happens sometimes without directives from their Mom (grin). The best part of today is that Natalie is busy making some of her delicious gluten free donuts in the kitchen, HA!

One of the biggest reasons this week has been such a good one is that I have had more time at home to keep things in order. I have to remember not to overload my calendar. Why is that so hard to remember? (Bangs head against the wall). Weeks like this remind me of how important it is to maintain a balance between outside activities and the home.

So....with the time spent at home this week, I have been re-grouping and taking a fresh new look at various details that have been calling my attention for a while, consequently the laundry has been under control, the kids have stayed on task better with chores and school work and most time. Have I mentioned how much I love seeing our kids outside running and playing and having Nerf gun wars after school is over?

This week one of the new ideas Rich and I decided would be fun to implement, is "Fun Food Night" as a family, where we have something unique and new once a week. This week's choice actually has cheese in it....something we don't eat very often due to dairy issues in a couple of our family members. The cheese in and of itself makes it "fun" for our family. It's a rare treat.

Our family has a love affair with Mexican food, so last night I made a Mexican Chicken Dinner. It was fun. The family enjoyed it and we had a great evening together, preparing and eating on our fun food night. I kinda winged this one because I really didn't plan out a recipe. I just grabbed what I had in the house that would work with Mexican spices and started throwing things together.

My Mexican Chicken Experiment

Seven frozen chicken breasts, added to coconut oil, sautéed onion and fresh minced garlic, in a large soup pot. Once the chicken was cooked most of the way, I added chili powder, paprika, red pepper, Himalayan salt, about a teaspoon of natural honey and mild organic salsa. I didn't measure....just added to taste. I put the lid back on the chicken and let it finish cooking and then shredded it.


While the chicken was cooking, I made some brown rice with (grass fed) butter and Himalayan salt.


I lined the bottom of an 11x14 baking dish with refried beans (usually I make them home made, but last night I used canned) and popped that in the oven to heat through.



While the beans and rice were cooking, I chopped up a couple of cans of olives and added them to the chicken mixture, mixing thoroughly.


I added the rice to the chicken and put the mixture in the pan and combined it all together with the beans.


I grated some Kerrygold, sharp cheddar cheese in my food processer for the top.



I put the whole thing back in the oven and let the cheese melt on top, while I cleaned up the kitchen with a little help from Team Taft.


Fun Food? I think, yes....and the best part is that it stretched the dollar. We ate this last night and for lunch today.


Add a little cabbage and grape tomatoes and dinner is served!


The boys set the table and sat at the table....waiting....with tummies growling....for the family....who took forever to finally get there. At least that was their perspective.


The after dinner clean up crew, coming up with a plan and getting into position.



They did a great job.


It was a chilly 32 degrees out this morning.

When I got up, our two youngest guys were already up, enjoying breakfast with Daddy.

They got started on school at 7:30 a.m. today....their choice. I love the freedom they have to study in whatever ways work best for them. Levi's math class was in the dvd player and he was laying across the heater, doing his class work and watching the class at the same time. These are some of my favorite moments with my their pajamas on the heater vent. I have fond memories of my jammies and the warmth of the heat as I sort of robbed the rest of the family of it when I was a kid. :/

DSC07985            DSC07986


Noah had his classes going in the dvd player in the workout room/dog kennel room/Wii room/playroom.  I love his ergonomic seating and his school uniform.


The other day while visiting my daughter, son-in-law and grandkiddos, the kids were all sitting on the couch together, and they are all so adorable, that the crazy camera lady in me came out and took these.

Grandkiddos, Grenier

Grenier kids

My youngest grandson and me. He has the craziest, most adorable eye-brows!

Nama and Cooper

My favorite time of day is evening, when Rich is home from work and we are all hanging out as a family. The boys love to bring their Bibles to him in the evening and the four of them read passages together and talk theology and doctrine. He does this with the girls too, but lately the evenings have been a "guy" time in our living room. Last night they had their Bible time together and they had a little game time too.

Rich and the  Boys

He's such a good Dad. <3

This ends this crazy, mixed  up, no theme to it, whatever comes to my mind post.

Have a great week-end!


  1. It was DELICIOUS! I could eat it all again right now. I am SO glad you got too meet Kya, I hope I can sometime. Also, I love all the crazy but fun pics. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks, Chrissie!
    I am glad you liked it. Yes, it was really fun meeting Kya. I hope you can meet her soon too.
    Love you much!