Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family Food Faves

If you're looking for a super-tasty, festive-looking, last minute appetizer for your Christmas celebrations, this is a family favorite (thank you Gina!)

Mediterranean Cheese Ball

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (8 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup finely chopped ripe black olives

3 tablespoons red bell pepper, diced

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup pine nuts, toasted

Toasted pita wedges or crackers

Beat cream cheese and feta cheese at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in olives and next 4 ingredients. Shape cheese mixture into a ball; cover and chill at least 3 hours. Roll in toasted pine nuts just before serving. Serve with toasted pita chips or crackers.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Card ~ 2009

To our friends and family that we may not have addresses for..."Merry CHRISTmas from the Richardson Clan!"

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Update on Drew's Surgery

Thank you to ALL that have called, text messaged, emailed and left messages on facebook and my blog...we have certainly felt the love & concern y'all have shown our precious little Drew. It means so much to know that our family is loved by so many dear friends & family.

It has been a difficult and tiring day but God has been so faithful to give us peace. Our doctors, nurses & other staff were awesome and very professional.

The surgeon's concern with Drew's surgery is that his cyst was very large and that he could potentially damage the ear bones during removal. If that happened he would remove the damaged bones and put in an ear prosthesis.

Thankfully, he was able to access the cyst and remove it all in one piece WITHOUT damaging the bones...NO prosthesis necessary and NO hearing loss! Praise the Lord!!!

Drew did well in surgery but had a difficult time in recovery. He was very combative and uncomfortable for quite awhile. He did not like the protective cup covering his ear and he kept trying to pull it off. Once he was able to keep some juice down his nurse gave him some pain meds and he calmed right down.

Drew was an absolute trooper today. I am so proud of how he handled all of this. He did much better than I ever would!

We are currently in our hotel and planning to drive the 3 hours back home. Hopefully, Drew will just sleep!

Thanks again everyone for you prayers, love & concern...we greatly appreciae y'all

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Drew's Surgery

Thank you ALL...your prayers, phone calls, and warm thoughts have truly encouraged us. It's so awesome to know so many of you are thinking of our precious Drew and his upcoming surgery.

We are at our hotel in Little Rock and have an early 5:30am show tomorrow. Drew's surgery is scheduled for 7:30am and will take about 2 hours. Thankfully, he is the surgeon's first patient of the day so he won't have to go long without food & drink!

If I have computer access I will try to update from the hospital tomorrow.

Thanks again for the love you've shown us...all over the country!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Please Pray for Drew

Would you please pray for my sweet little Drew? He will be having surgery Wednesday at Children's Hospital in Little Rock to remove a cyst in his ear. The cholesteatoma is a serious condition that can damage the delicate ear bones and cause hearing loss, facial paralysis and even meningitis. Thankfully, our Ear, Nose, Throat specialist caught it before any of this occured. The surgeon will have to cut the entire length of his ear to access it so it will be a large incision. Drew won't be able to get his ear wet for 3 weeks so for my boy that likes to swim in the bathtub every night, this could be a problem!

Children's Hospital doesn't allow siblings in the waiting room due to lack of space and the influenza risk so thankfully, Papa Jim flew down from Seattle to help out. He can hang out in the hotel with Bryce so Jimmy and I can both be with Drew.

I will post some updates and thank you in advance for praying for our Drew.

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Friday, November 6, 2009


My days have been so busy lately, it has been difficult to find the time to blog.

I just have to take a minute though and blog about some of the funny conversations we've had lately!

Prayer time before bed last night...
Drew: "Dear God, thank you for lollipops, candy & m&m's"
Bryce" "God, we are not thankful. Those are not healfy for us!"
Drew: "God, I still love them anyway!"

Yesterday, the boys were talking about having a baby sister.
Drew: "Mommy, I want to have a baby sister. I will share my toys with her."
Bryce: "Mommy, I want to have a baby sister, too. But I DO NOT want to share my toys with her."
Drew: "Bryce, you will too share...we need to love our baby sister!"

Just for the record, there is no baby sister or brother in our plans! Life is VERY busy and tiring with these 2!
They sure are cute little boogers though!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer Vacation - 09

We are just returning from an awesome 3 week vacation in The Pacific Northwest...and are exhausted! I'll be back in a few days with some new posts!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family Food Faves

My 14 yr. old niece Teal is visiting us from Seattle this week. One of our traditions is to spend time in the kitchen together trying out new recipes. We both love to cook and love to eat! Today we made this new yummy recipe I came across on this awesome blog Live.Love.Eat

Greek Pasta & Chicken Salad
1 Carved Chicken Breast, Original Roasted
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 6oz jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded & cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained & halved
1/3 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
Freshly ground pepper for garnish

For the pasta:
6 ounces (2 cups) penne pasta

For the dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the chicken, tomatoes, artichokes, cucumber, olives, onion & feta cheese. When the pasta is done, drain well. Rinse with cool water; drain again. Add to the salad mixture & toss. Taste & adjust the seasoning.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Family!

A few days after my mom flew home, my cousin Marcy and 3 of her 4 kiddos came to visit us! We were so surprised & excited that they would make the drive all the way to our house.

The first 2 years we lived here, she and her family only lived 4 hours away in the Kansas City area. After living thousands of miles away most of our adult lives we were shocked that our husbands' jobs would bring us within 4 hours of one another! We were so blessed to be able to see them several times during those 2 years. It was great spending time with The Turners - getting to know their children, meeting their 4th child Dane and introducing them to Bryce & Drew. When Steve's job recently relocated him to the Chicago area we were so sad. They now live about 11 hours away! So, since her oldest son Trey had a baseball tournament in Kansas City she figured she would make the trek to see us since they were so close.

We met up that afternoon at the waterpark in Branson. It was the perfect way to chill out on a scorching hot & humid day!

Ellie soakin' up the rays! Something Marcy and I did a lot of at her age!

The boys playing in the water



Reading a Curious George book to the 4 extremely tired little boys!

Cy & Dane playing in our pool

Ellie driving the boys' truck

The boys watching Curious George together on my bed

Marcy, Ellie, Cy & Dane,
Thank you so much for making the huge sacrifice to come visit us. I know it was a lot of driving in a short amount of time. We had so much fun playing with you and making fun memories even though we only had 24 hours with you! Bryce and Drew were SO sad when you left. They kept saying, "I miss my cousins. Why do dey live so fa away? Come back to our house!" We sure wish you still lived in KC. We miss spending time with y'all. We love you all so much and can't wait until we can be together again. We are so glad you are our family!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Moving Into June!

A few days after Jim & Denise left, my Mom flew in! Five of the six parents/grandparents visited in May! Mike was unable to come on this trip due to some prior commitments.
Bryce and Drew are always excited to go to the airport, especially when it involves picking up a grandparent. This day was no exception!
They waited patiently for Grandma behind the security check point
and immediately started YELLING her name as soon as they saw her!
They were so happy to have someone else to love on them and to play with!We had beautiful weather while Mom was here. We spent a couple of days at the river...

We played with some other children that had little fishing nets...the boys had so much fun catching little minnows!

Grandma bought the boys inflatable turtles and buckets for the next trip...they were a hit!

The boys being silly with my sun hat!

Mom was very happy that she got to see the boys' last 2 swim lessons and of course, they were thrilled to show Grandma all of their moves!

Mom was here for 2 weeks so Jimmy and I got to get away a few times (we just don't do that enough!) and leave the munchkins with Grandma! They had lots of silly fun together!

WE love you Mom & Grandma and had so much fun with you. Thank you for all of your love and help. WE look forward to spending time with you and Mike later this summer creating lots of fun memories!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Family Food Faves

I came across this oatmeal-raisin type cookie on one of my favorite shows on The Food Network..."Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger"

Even though they have more of a muffin-like texture than an actual cookie texture my boys love them and I feel better about offering this as a snack than a sugar/fat-filled cookie. And, they love to make them with me! The only thing they don't add is the pureed carrots - I just don't want them to know that there is a vegetable in there!

Breakfast Cookies

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole-wheat flour)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (1 small jar) strained carrot baby food
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup bran cereal flakes (I use Kashi 7 Whole Grain Cereal)
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a dry skillet for 2 minutes, until fragrant and chopped
Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine butter, oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Add egg, carrot puree and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add oats, flakes, raisins and walnuts and mix over low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky and less cohesive than traditional cookie dough. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using between 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter, form a ball and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are fragrant but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

More From May

Soon after Dad and Shari left, Jim and Denise came for their visit. Jimmy and the boys picked them up from the airport and enjoyed one of their favorite places...Red Robin!

We had a very relaxing time while they were here. We rented a condo in Branson for 5 days and had beautiful weather. We spent a lot of time just hanging out by the pool.

We went to a fun show at our condo - 10+ entertainers came to preview their shows. It was lots of fun!

We had fun miniature golfing...

And had lots of sweet lovin' for Nana and Papa!

My silly boys thought it was funny to play with Papa's CPAP machine!

Nana and Papa bought the boys a new bike with training wheels and all of the protective gear. Bryce and Drew love their bikes and do very well on them. Thankfully, they take after their Daddy when it comes to athletics and not me!

Thanks Nana and Papa!

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