When we went to Carlsbad, it was the first time we left this guy overnight. In fact it was the first time he had formula. Just before we were leaving I started to get a little nervous. I knew he was in the best hands with our niece and her husband which put me at ease, but it was still a little hard driving away. And wouldn’t you know it – he got along just fine without me. He had his fun adventures with his cousins including football and volleyball games and lots of snuggles. I got videos of him smiling and cooing and it was just what my heart needed to see. He was in good hands.
You only turn 8 years old once in your life and Hunter has been counting down the days. In fact yesterday, he was counting down the hours. We’re all excited that his birthday has officially arrived.
We celebrated with lunch at school (which Bennett and Hallie also benefited from) and “sugar snap cookies” for his class. Hunter told me he wanted doughnuts or sugar snap cookies as a treat for his class. You mean snickerdoodles? Yes, the ones with the frosting? You mean sugar cookies? Oh, that’s what I meant
His very own scriptures with his name on them. They were in a case when he opened up the gift and he said excitedly, “A new lunchbox – this is a really heavy lunchbox!”
Tonight we had a service project over at Steve’s parents house, helping them prepare for some painting and remodeling. Hunter wasn’t too keen on the idea of spending his birthday doing this – but once he found out his cousins would be there, he was all in. Once all the work was done all the cousins were outside playing soccer and we ended the night with a cake to celebrate.
Hunter’s request was sprinkles in and on half of the cake. Not the whole cake – just half of the cake. Funny kid. His church teacher dropped off a milkshake when we got home. It was a good day to turn 8!
Check out our family birthday tradition – the birthday bucket.
Often when I’m scrolling through Facebook, I save food recipe videos to view later. Most of the time I never go back and look at them, but I saved a salsa chicken recipe and several weeks later, I scrolled through my saved videos to find it. It looked like a simple, one pan dinner and I’m always looking for recipes for busy weeknight meals.
The first time I made it, we devoured it, although our kids complained it was pretty spicy. We cut back the spice just a bit and I taught Hallie how to make it. She’s the only one who makes it so naturally we renamed it Hallie Chicken. She’s made it for our family, family up in Utah, my parents in Idaho and we’ve delivered it to friends in our neighborhood. Hallie’s willing to make it for anyone!
SALSA CHICKEN RECIPE
- 1 cup rinsed uncooked basmati rice
- 15 oz can drained and rinsed black beans
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 16 oz jar salsa
- 1 cup chicken broth (or water and chicken bouillon)
- 3 chicken breasts ~1-1/2 lbs – each breast cut in half
- salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients except chicken in a 9×13 pan and stir. Depending on how spicy your salsa is, you’ll want to cut back the cayenne pepper. Place chicken breasts on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 for 60 minutes. If desired, shred chicken and place back on top of rice, sprinkle with cheese. Eat with tortilla chips or in a tortilla.
This has lit a fire within Hallie and she’s ready to learn a new meal. She’s ready and willing to take on more dinner responsibilities and I’m happy to hand that over to her!
Here is his weekly photo from last week – as happy and smiley as a baby can be. His hair is growing in enough that his siblings are enjoying styling it. Here is the Bennett mohawk. He’s started the backward scoot which just lands him smashed up against furniture around the room. And he’s pushed forward a couple times when trying to get something just out of reach.
He’s enjoying his oatmeal cereal with fruit mix-ins – although he spits out rice cereal. Just look at him – I love his smile, I love his snuggles and history tells me he’s just going to grow up!
Shortly after we returned from our Idaho summer – my brother and his family were in town for a family reunion and they extended their stay a few days to spend some time with us. Broken record: We love visitors!
The only bad thing about summer visitors is being limited to water activities – and even then there’s serious melting taking place! Our pool was used non-stop: morning swimming, after lunch swimming, before dinner swimming and movies in the pool.
We made it to a local waterpark one afternoon with no photographic proof.
And because there is never enough time in the water – we made it to the lake with Steve’s brother. You can imagine our disappointment when we woke all the kids up to make it to my brother-in-laws by 7am, only to have raindrops fall on our windshield as we drove away from his house. Rain wasn’t in the forecast, but it started coming down hard. But rain doesn’t typically stick around in this area so we figured by the time we got to the lake it would blow over. Wrong again. It rained and rained. We sat in the cars for over a half hour waiting for the clouds to part. We were ready to call it a day.
My brother-in-law said he was willing to take us out in the rain – we were going to get wet anyway right?! We loaded in the boat and started our adventure. The rain stuck around for a while, but we stuck it out even longer and enjoyed a beautiful morning on the lake, with no one else in sight!
And because I want my kids to see me in the water having fun and participating – I got on the tube at the mercy of my brother-in-law. We had a great time and my arms were sore the next day. My last time on this boat, with my brother visiting resulted in 8 stitches after my wake surfing lesson went bad! As you can imagine, I was a little nervous to get back in that water!
And thanks to our beautiful monsoon weather we enjoyed sunset after beautiful sunset.
Hallie and her cousin happen to have matching pajama pants which is perfect for their cousin sleepover. And I obliged to take a picture of their matchy-ness.
What I don’t have pictures to document is all the visits we made to the Soda Shop for soda and cookies, late night games night after night, frozen yogurt runs and the cleaning and organizing my sister-in-law helped me accomplish. She is a machine and she is good at what she does. My goal was to have her help me with the laundry room while she was visiting. But before that could be done, the guest closet needed purging and organizing, and then the laundry room, which led to the bathroom, hall closet, Cannon’s closet and other cabinets and drawers. Do you really need this? Why isn’t this with that? Do you need this many? Where do you actually use this? Do you have a bin this can go in? Let’s run to Target. I’m ready for another visit from the organizing fairy – now that its cooler, I’m ready to tackle the garage!
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