Summer vacation made me fall behind in editing our videos every month, but I’m determined to catch up! Last Sunday we sat down as a family and watched last year’s two second video and I fell in love with the project all over again.
We said our goodbyes in Idaho and started our week long trek back to Arizona. We had plans to make a couple stops along the way, including a family reunion, and we made an unexpected stop as well – which turned out to be amazing.
Our friends recently bought property in Utah and we had planned to stop by for a visit as we made our way south. A couple days before, we made plans to stay the night and I’m pretty sure my kids thought they found heaven. At least a slice of it.
Their home sits on a private lake (which is shockingly very shallow at 5 feet deep!) and my kids couldn’t get enough of the water. Swimming, floating, jumping, boating. They were out there until dark and first thing in the morning the swimsuits were back on and they were in the water.
Steve wasn’t able to join us during this little layover but we made sure to facetime him so he could experience some of the beauty. We tried not to rub it in all the fun we were having.
I wish there was a picture to document Leslie and I sitting at the table as it grew later and later into the night and morning. We had just spent time with them in Powell, but there’s very little one-on-one time there. So this was our time to really catch up. To talk about the ups and downs of life – the wins and the losses, what we’re excited for and the worry on our minds.
We managed to cover a lot of ground at that table. Grateful our “stop by for a visit” turned into a sleepover.
I remember the days when we had a plentiful garden in our backyard and I never had to buy a zuchinni/squash. Gone are those days and now I’m always angry as I’m paying $$ for a veggie that people with gardens can’t seem to get rid of!
My brother-in-law introduced us to this recipe. What I love is its versatility as a recipe. We love zuchinni – but if your family doesn’t love zuchinini – throw in different veggies. Increase the cabbage, decrease the mushrooms, add more chicken. We’ve played with this recipe for a while now and we finally have it in a spot where we love it. If you have a stir fry sauce you love, then skip making it. Tweak as needed!
VEGGIE & CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts – cut into small pieces
1/2 cup water chestnuts (1 small can)
1 cup mushrooms
2 yellow squash
1 red pepper
1/2 cup onion
1/3 head of cabbage
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Stir Fry Sauce
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 or 2 teaspoons Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce – more or less to your spice liking
1. Combine ingredients for dipping sauce and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl combine ingredients for stir fry sauce.
3. Bring oil to high heat in a large pan, saute chicken with garlic for 4-5 minutes until cooked.
4. Remove chicken from pan and cook all the vegetables for 4-5 minutes (have them cut into small bite sized pieces.) Veggies will cook down and you can add the chicken and stir fry sauce. Cook until the liquid cooks out.
Serve on top of lettuce, with some rice and top with dipping sauce.
A few more pictures from our Idaho adventures – where the summer days seem longer than usual!
Our road trip during the summer gives us focused time as a family that is hard recreate anywhere else. Our time on the road forces us to throw schedules and routines out the window in search of adventure and time with family and friends.
If you know me even a little bit, you know that I thrive on schedules and routines but for a few weeks every summer we beat to a different drum and I love it. (I love it even more now that my kids are getting older and it’s easier to throw some schedules out – harder when I had babies).
We jumped around for a couple stops before landing at my parents house. I think the only major adjustment was having the sun stay up so late into the evening. I explained to Briggs that the sun in Idaho is different than the sun in Arizona – they play by different rules. The first day we were there I was trying to put him to bed at 9 – an hour past his bedtime and through his tears he was pointing outside telling me that the sun was still up and not bed time. We adjusted quickly. The sun was out until 10 o’clock at night – which means many nights bed time was after that.
We played in parks multiple times a week – the weather was mid 80’s and by night time it cooled off nicely. This was my view for nights on end.
We picked fruit and ate more than we harvested.
We sought adventure by hiking the hills in search of treasures.
The boys went fishing (Hallie willingly opted out of this activity) and my dad patiently taught my boys how to cast.
We played make believe – over and over again.
We floated the river with cousins – a beautiful afternoon.
We played with cousins…again and again and again. And just when I thought my kids would be tired of them, the last night we were there my brother’s family came and kidnapped them for just a little more time. Everyone has a buddy.
I always leave Idaho with a hard drive full of pictures – I want to capture everything! More pictures to come…