I almost forgot to post what my new calling is. When I found out that I was being released from Primary I told Michael that I hoped I would be asked to do something soon. I was worried that they would wait until after the baby was born. I told him I didn't really care what it was so long as it wasn't scouting or ward music director. I know better than to say things like that, it always bites me later. A couple of hours after being released I was asked to be the ward music director. I don't have to lead the music during Sacrament Meeting but I do pick the songs. This is the part that I'm looking forward to. The part I'm not looking forward to is conducting the ward choir. I am not my mother; this is not my forte. Of course I said yes, but screamed in my head, "NOOOOOO" (imagine the echoing scream you hear in horror movies). I feel very inadequate; we'll see how it goes. Wish me luck. At least it isn't scouting!
I was given a baby shower on Saturday. It was so nice! Normally there is a group of us that do showers together, but the lady who did mine would not accept any help. She did a luncheon and made everything from scratch. She served taco soup and made her own chips (I need that recipe; best I've ever had), she made two different kinds of pastries, homemade rolls with ham, a fruit tray and a veggie tray - neither one from Costco - and a blackberry, chocolate cheesecake for a prize. I ended up with the cheesecake too and it was better than any I've ever had. I'm sure I've left something off. Her husband was there and took pictures of all the guests so she could make these little cards with their faces on them and advice they had given me. Then she sent me home with most of the leftover food. She even brought the rolls to church today because they didn't make it in the food box she sent me home with! She also bought a shower gift besides. She is truly a saint. She is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. She is always doing things for other people and never asks for anything in return. Her husband works with Michael and he is the perfect match to her. The whole point of this post is that I would like to do something for her. A thank you card isn't going to cut it. I need some ideas, please. She has three kids at home 10-17 and one in college. She used to be a massage therapist but had to quit because it was too hard on her body. I honestly don't know a lot about her because she never draws attention to herself - always behind the scenes. I would like to do something spectacular for her. Any ideas?
Here's what we had for dinner tonight. I took pictures, but I wouldn't judge the taste on how it looks, or even the ingredient list. This is a different recipe but so tasty.
Picadillo 1 lb ground beef 1 sm onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained 1/4 c golden raisins 1 tbs chili powder 1 tbs cider vinegar 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1 tsp salt 1/4 c slivered almonds (optional)
1. Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until beef is no longer pink; drain. Place mixture into slow cooker.
2. Add tomatoes, raisins, chili powder, vinegar, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and pepper flakes to slow cooker. Cover; cook on low 6-7 hours. Stir in salt. Garnish with almonds, if desired.
*Notes* The recipe doesn't give ideas on how to serve this; we like it in corn tortillas with cheese and sour cream. If you make this and have other ideas, let me know. I'm sure it would be good over rice too. I have occasionally added the salt by accident before letting it cook. I haven't noticed a difference either way. I haven't ever used the almonds. I think the raisins are nearly the best part. They plump up during cooking and add just a little sweet to cut the spice, not that it's terribly spicy though. I have used regular raisins instead of golden and they were fine. I prefer the golden raisins though.
Sorry to leave you hanging Stacey. Here's the changes with more to come for me. I have been the Primary President for a year and a half and in the presidency for three and a half years. Michael has been in the Elder's Quorum presidency for almost 3 years. He was called to be the Elder's Quorum president, so that meant that I had to be released. It's been a little tricky trying to keep each others schedules from overlapping. I was over cub scouting as well which takes an insane amount of time and requires a ridiculous amount of meetings. We made a rule that if you got to the calendar first, your meeting took priority.
Sunday was my last day in Primary which made me really sad. I have loved being around the kids. Every week was different, you truly had to fly by the seat of your pants. I loved seeing the kids around town and having them recognize me, giving me hugs, and telling me what they were doing. The upside is that I don't have meetings anymore, but Michael's have increased.
I met with the new president tonight to give her my binder, give details about the kids, and show her around the closet. It was a little bittersweet, but now the weight is gone. I'll post after Sunday and let you know what my new adventure will be. I feel woefully inadequate for my next calling, we'll see how it goes!
I had a checkup today and scheduled an induction date. On March 20, we'll have our boy here! Cross your fingers that it isn't a busy day at the hospital, or they will postpone it. When I had Emma, every room was filled. If I hadn't gone into labor myself, they would have turned me away. Hopefully they won't be that busy again. I'll have to post again later with more updates, there's been a few changes at our house recently, but I promised the girls we would go to the library.
7 things I can do: 1. Cook 2. Sing 3. Read a book while ignoring everything else that's important 4. Be patient with children (most of the time) 5. Procrastinate 6. Be on time - there was a time when this was impossible 7. Change diapers - I used to have 3 kids here in diapers 5 days a week (only 1 was mine).
7 things I can't do: 1. Say no 2. Dance 3. Scrapbook 4. Anything artistic 5. Go a day without my back aching 6. Reach things on the top shelf of the cupboard 7. Go without my toenails painted - it's one of the few things I still have control over when I'm pregnant
7 things I say often: 1. I love you 2. Go put it away 3. Emma stop! 4. You've got to be kidding me 5. Eat! 6. You're cute 7. Jeez oh Pete - the girls even say it now
7 things I love about Michael: 1. He treats me like a queen 2. He always gives the kids baths 3. He loves to cook with me 4. He works hard at two jobs and into the wee hours, even though he isn't a night owl 5. He always supports me, especially when I take on too much 6. When he stays home with the kids, he doesn't call it babysitting 7. I love to watch him work, I'm not creative and it amazes me that ideas keep coming to him, it's fun for me to watch
7 favorite foods: 1. Anything with garlic, tomatoes, and basil 2. Bacon 3. Peaches 4. Strawberries 5. Green Beans 6. Breakfast foods 7. Chips and Salsa
7 people I tag: 1. Kristin Mayes 2. Stacey 3. Lauren 4. Michael 5. Anyone who wants to, I'm out of ideas
Here's what we had for dinner tonight. This is a new one for us. It is from the Joy of Cooking.
Filled French Toast
filling 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/4 c packed brown sugar 1/4 c honey or pure maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla grated zest of 1 small orange pinch of ground cinnamon pinch of salt 1/4 c finely chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, etc), toasted, or shredded sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut (optional)
1 lb loaf white bread, preferably egg bread, trimmed of crusts
egg wash 1 c milk 3 large eggs 1/4 c ap flour 3 tbs sugar 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs unsalted butter 1tbs vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, zest, cinnamon, salt, and nuts together. Cut the loaf into 1-inch-thick slices; you probably will get 8 slices. Carefully work the knife into one side of each slice of break to create a pocket that you can open with your fingers. Spoon an equal amount of filling into each pocket. Whisk the milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla and salt in a shallow bowl. Soak the bread in the egg mixture until thoroughly saturated but not falling apart. Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium-low. Add as many slices of bread to the skillet as will fit without crowding and cook until the the underside is just lightly golden. Turn the bread and cook until the second side is lightly golden. As each slice is cooked, transfer it to the baking sheet. Continue cooking the French toast, adding more butter and oil as needed. Bake the sauteed slices until puffed and beautifully golden, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately with powdered sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
*Notes* We used honey, I'm too cheap to pay for maple syrup. I used an egg bread which worked well. I wouldn't use French bread or anything that doesn't have a firmer structure. I'm not sure if it could withstand the stuffing. After the bread is stuffed, it looked like the stuffing would ooze out during cooking. It did a little, but not much. You could refrigerate the bread after it is stuffed, maybe 30 minutes. Because I used an electric griddle to brown the toast, I didn't use the butter or oil. It was a little time consuming because I was making it by myself with the girls wanting to "help," the phone ringing, diaper changing, etc. I would make it again though. It's pretty rich, the girls split a piece and one should fill you up, especially with side dishes. The recipe also suggests putting apple butter or a thick fruit preserve in with the filling, would be worth a try. We also thought about lemon zest instead of orange, but the orange is really good. I hope you enjoy.
I know my dad reads my blog. When I found this picture, I knew he would want to see it. It is from a 4th of July trip to West Yellowstone. It was a really great trip and the girls loved riding with Grandpa. Honestly, I don't think he minded much either. Thanks for the hats grandma, the kids still play with them. The butterfly only has wings now, no body. There is a little boy who comes over and tries to wear the bear as a mask. He growls and walks into quite a few objects before giving up. I'm still trying to convince him it's a hat and not a mask.
I had a doctor's appointment this morning. Everything looks good. I'm measuring about a week and a half bigger, which coincidentally would put me due at one of my earlier due dates (I've had four). The best news for me today though was that he isn't breach. Emma was breach up until a couple of weeks before delivery. I had no desire to have a c-section, so I was given some exercises to do to encourage Emma to turn. These "exercises" were really the beginning poses for a contortionist. They would have been hard to get into if I weren't nine months pregnant and nearly impossible in that state. I almost wish I had videoed doing these exercises, surely I would have won some funny video prize - or at least been the most viewed on YouTube. Thankfully she did turn, and her delivery was much easier than Christine's.
When trying to turn Emma, we were given insight into one of her character traits. If it isn't her idea, it takes quite a while to encourage her to change her mind. The fact that I did those exercises daily for two weeks shows that we both have a healthy dose of willpower, determination, tenacity, or whatever phrase you want to use. She truly has a mind of her own and regularly exercises her agency. However, she is very quiet and reserved when she isn't at home or around unfamiliar people, so no one believes us when we tell her stories. Incidentally, I finally figured out this morning why one set of brackets keeps breaking on one of our bookshelves when I caught her mid-climb. Michael, we really should screw those shelves into the wall. She definitely keeps us on our toes and is really fun to be around. Love you Emma!