Monday, March 22, 2010

Recipe Exchange

Tiffany had a great idea to start a blog recipe exchange. I'm not really sure how it is supposed to work, but I am always in the market for new recipes. (So all you millions of followers should also post your favorite recipes on your own blogs!) I love to cook, but detest going to the grocery store and trying to come up with menus, and I also love food, especially good, healthy food! Tiff's only rule was that it has to be something anyone can make, and this definitely fits the bill - it's super easy. Anyway, this is my latest new trial food, and I am pretty sure it is my favorite salad ever!! mmmm...

Artichoke Tomato Salad

5 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 jar (7 1/2 oz.) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced

Arrange tomato wedges on a large serving platter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over tomatoes. Refrigerate leftovers.

Growing UP!

I cannot believe how big my baby is getting! She amazes me with the things she is able to do! I have to call my mom and announce her every discovery and milestone; I'm sure Mom is thinking "yes, that's what kids her age do," but instead of saying that she laughs and oohs and ahhs over everything I tell her.
I also am freshly amazed each day by how hard it is to be a mom. There are days I really miss working, both because I loved my teaching job and because I loved the people I worked with! On one of those days when I was really struggling with just being a mom and I was playing with Reghan in her room, I came across a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley. It hit me very forcefully that this is what I need to be doing right now - childhood is so very short, and I can't imagine ever looking back on this time I get to spend with my little Reghan and thinking "I sure wish I would have worked through her childhood." On the other hand, I've talked to so many mothers who did work when their children were young, and they invariably said the same thing: "I wish I would've stayed home with my kids. It goes by so fast." Anyway, here's the quote (which, by the way, is now hanging on my wall as a constant reminder):
"Love your children. Cherish them. They are so precious. They are so very, very important. They are the future. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them. You need the help of the Lord. Pray for that help, and follow the inspiration which you receive." -President Gordon B. Hinckley

Here are some photos of the fun things we get to do at home all day ;0). Reghan is into everything! She is super active and seems to be very much a tom-boy, but at the same time already changes clothes several times a day, makes anything with a strap into a purse, and anything with buttons a cell phone, so she may be pure girly-girl.
Every day she pulls her shirt drawer completely out of her dresser, then empties all the shirts out of it. She then proceeds to put several around her neck, and at least one on each leg, then find a pair of my shoes and wander around the house in this get-up. She also loves beanie hats, and has three or four that she pulls on and off all day, every day. Needless to say, her hair never looks combed for more than a few minutes.
Once the drawer is empty, she usually puts her dolls or stuffed animals to sleep in it and tucks them in with her blankets. So sweet!!

What a nut!!

This is my favorite picture because it just sums Reghan up - she's such a multi-tasker and always doing several different things at once! The shirt she's wearing was her Christmas present from Devri - which she made me promise to let Reghan wear before we opened it. Reghan wears it around the house a lot, because she's not allowed outside in it!

This is her "come ON spring!!" outfit. It was about 55 degrees a few weeks ago for two or three days straight, so we had to dress up in springy outfits to welcome spring, and encourage it to stick around. Needless to say, it snowed the next day.

She loves to draw, but refuses to use crayons. She will draw with pens and pencils or not at all! Usually she does great, and only draws on paper...or so I thought. The other day I found a large "picture" on the wall in the hallway. Thank goodness for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers - no trace of her masterpiece today!
While we were on vacation at Targhee, Reghan and I spent a lot of time in and around the motel, since she is not a skier yet. I was getting ready to make sandwiches for lunch and turned around to find her up at the table with the jar of peanut butter open, her hand inside. Just having a little snack!

I waited all winter to get some snow and go sledding, but we haven't had more than a few inches since mid-September. So the other day I finally gave in and we went sledding on the grass. By the look on Reghan's face, I guess she liked it. She never stopped smiling, and even decided to try riding backward.
This is another comical picture to me! I am not a big fan (or maybe just not a fan, period) of gameboys and stuff like that, but Nate has one and it is always on the floor somewhere. Reghan has adopted it as her own, and it doubles as a cell phone, computer, and game boy, without ever being turned on! Gotta love these multi-functional toys!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ski Vacation at Grand Targhee

For spring break it is a Pope family tradition that we ski at Targhee at least a few days of the week. It is a tradition I loved growing up, so it is one that I have kept with my own family. All four of the kids got to come, and everyone had a good time. Ryann and Carlie haven't skied much, but they did great! Ryann can parallel now, and Carlie is starting to make lots of turns instead of just heading down the mountain kamikaze style! She also got to use "the poles" this year, and was very excited for that. We didn't get very good snow because the weather was so warm the first few days it all melted, then turned icy overnight, but that didn't curtail the fun!
Reghan didn't ski, but she spent a lot of time in the pool and hot tub. She LOVED it! Any time she could escape the motel room, she ran straight out the front doors, across the entire ski area to the pool. Swimming after a fun day skiing served two purposes for me - a good way to entertain kids, and it put Reghan right to sleep (yeah!). And the hot tub felt amazing, so I guess it has three purposes. Reghan cracks me up. She would get in the pool, then see the snow out on the pool deck, so she would say "out! out!" She had to get out of the pool and get a few fistfuls of snow to eat or play with, then jump back in. What a girl!

There is also a fun little tubing hill that the older kids and Ralph took advantage of one night. They loaded up and strung tubes together to get enough weight so they could hit the fence at the top of the hill. Everyone touched the fence, and no one crashed through it, so I guess you could say it was a successful venture!
Friday and Saturday my family all came up to ski with us. It was good to all ski and spend some time together - thanks guys!

The low point of the trip for me (and apparently the high point for everyone else) was a massive crash down Chief Joseph Bowl. I ejected out of both skis and left one about 70 yards above me on the hill, and chased the other several hundred yards downhill. I remember cartwheeling over and landing on my feet just long enough to see my ski sliding away, as I thought "Noooo..come back...", then rolling head over heels again. It must have looked pretty comical, because as I hiked up to retrieve my ski, I overheard another skier say "I really want to laugh, but I'm not sure she's okay!" I wanted to laugh too, but I wasn't sure how many broken body parts I might have, so I held back. As it turns out, none. Just some minor bruising and very sore muscles; not even any pictures or video - pretty lame for a crash of that magnitude ;-).
On a more serious note, I am very grateful that I wore my helmet that morning. I wasn't going to because it was super cold, and I wanted a hat for the extra warmth, but as I was walking out the door, I just had a feeling it was a good helmet day, so I swapped out my warm hat - and am very thankful that I did!