Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Carvin'

the back of sydney & jen's pumpkin "SKOUSEN"

jackson's pumpkin...he insisted on carving all by himself

the front of sydney & jen's pumpkin

jake's death star

jackson and braden workin hard on their green pumpkins

Chili Cook-Off and Trunk or Treating

I finally figured out what I was doing wrong every year for the chili cook-off. You see, in the past I have made the chili and we have never been successful. This year, Jake was in charge of the chili and guess what...he won!! He made "Green Pork Chili" and it was really different and yummy. Here's the recipe

2 red onions, chopped
1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and halved
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the onions, tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast until soft and starting to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring twice during roasting.
Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat. Brown the pork, in batches, until well-browned. When browned, add all of the pork back to the pan and cover with chicken stock. Add the roasted vegetables, cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook until the pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (We didn't have a Dutch oven so we just simmered on the stove for 1 1/2-2 hours and it still tasted great.)
While pork is cooking, place the cilantro in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of water and puree. Remove the pork from the oven and stir in the cilantro puree. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve with warm flour tortillas.

After finding the ruby red shoes at Target, I decided I wanted the kids to dress as characters from the Wizard of Oz. I really wanted Jackson to be the Tin Man or Scarecrow so Kate could be a lion but I'm so glad he was stubborn about being the lion. Her scarecrow costume turned out SO CUTE and I thought he made a great lion. The kids are horrible at posing for pictures, but their costumes were amazing thanks to a lot of help from my mom. Hopefully we'll get some more cute shots of them when we go Trick or Treating on Friday. I'm glad they're going to get a few uses from these costumes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Huntin'

Saturday we had tons of fun going to Papa John's Pumpkin Patch with Connie, Aryn & Braden. The kids each picked a pumpkin and we got to see some ducklings, turkeys, cows, horses and a sheep. Jackson chose a green pumpkin hoping to carve the Incredible Hulk. (You'll see that didn't really happen.) It was so fun to "get a pumpkin from a farm, not just from a store" as Jackson had requested.

This kid LIVES to be outside!

Just Kate's size.

Sydney's find.

The chosen one.

Jackson tries the squatting method to claim his pumpkin

Aryn and Sydney choosing pumpkins

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The three amigos

I'm so glad our kids love to be together...even in the tight quarters of Kate's port-a-crib!

They look so cute and innocent don't they? They fool me sometimes too.

Kate enjoys a hot shower with daddy. Admit it, you wanna bite those cheeks! (Kate's, not Jake's)

Flag Football

We took advantage of all the opportunities here and got Jackson into flag football and soccer. Can you think of a better way to wear him out?! He had a lot of fun once he got over his fear of the ball hitting his face. They never actually played a game but just ran simulations so that each kid got to practice throwing the ball, catching it and running with it. Jackson really loved playing defense and ripping the flags off the other kids but didn't like carrying the ball himself. When I asked him why he said that the kids were going to push him down and rip his flags off and he just wanted to do that to other kids. (Yes...the coaches had to continually remind them NOT to tackle!)

The cheer leaders.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why not me??

Our sweet little Kate has had some weird stomach thing for the past week. We haven't nailed down the reason, but we think it might be our attempt to introduce solid foods. Both days I gave her cereal and she threw up shortly after. It would trigger something and then she would continue to throw up over and over. We ended up taking her to the emergency room to make sure there was nothing seriously wrong. They ran some tests on her and they gave her an IV of fluid to rehydrate her. The tests they ran didn't find anything and she seemed to come around after eating. We're keeping an eye on her.

It's so hard to watch such a tiny little baby go through all this. She was such a sweetheart through it all though. I love that little girl.


That's right. Thanks to Jackson's recent interest in the sport, I've been playing the roll of a Soccer mom. I think it's a little early on to compare me to a pit bull, but it was fun to watch Jackson get a fun introduction to the game. He actually never got to play a real game. The coach just took them through a bunch of drills to get them comfortable kicking the ball while running and stopping, which I thought was very appropriate for 3 and 4 year olds. The coach was a former college and high school soccer coach who happened to be the father of a 3 year old. He was really good with the kids and they loved kicking the ball at him (their favorite drill). The last time we went, I hadn't checked my messages and his practice had been cancelled so we all just got out and kicked the ball around. Sydney had brought her own "soccer ball" which was actually a styrofoam bean bag/pillow thing. Needless to say it didn't go very far when she kicked it. But Jackson got to show Jake all his moves since this was the first time Jake got to see him in action. We'll have to get out a few more times before it gets to cold. I think this could be a sport for Jackson.

Jackson makes a good stop on the ball.

Seeing Jackson's pose, Sydney wanted a picture with her ball too.

Pose #2

The whole fam gets involved.

Kate enjoying the game and smiling to prove she's feeling good again.

Jackson shows us how to take the ball down the field after stealing the ball from Jake.

Btw...this soccer club and t-shirt set us back a whopping $10! Hooray for Moberly, Missouri! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oklahoma Trip To Visit Tristan and Tricia

We drove from Moberly, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to visit Tristan and Tricia. Tristan is attending dental school and together they are fixing up a house they bought. We now hold the honorable distinction of being the first family members, on either side, to visit them at their home since they moved there, almost 18 months ago.
Jen drove a good portion of the way because Jacob falls asleep at the wheel unless he's speeding and flashing signs of road-rage at other drivers.



Tristan and Tricia's home

The memorial at the site of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing.

Another view of the memorial. The reflecting pool is located where the street was. The bomb that destroyed the building was located in a truck on that street.

Jen is practicing drilling out cavities on a mannequin.

Tristan is setting up the mannequin.

Kate was happy to sit on Jen's back while we toured Tristan's dental school.

Some examples of Jen's handy work on those cavities.

We moulded one of Sydney's hands while we toured the school. Looks like the frozen Han Solo doesn't it?
We made a visit to the zoo. This is a mountain lion (a.k.a cougar or puma).


Jackson giving us his Dances With Wolves impression.

Jake trying to convince Tristan he looks good pushing a stroller.

Everyone parked out in the living room.