Monday, December 14, 2009


Yesterday I made tortillas. I had Nick watch the kids while I made them, but he wasnt feeling well.... Elias ended up licking up flour off the kitchen floor. But- the tortillas got made.

Julian took this picture of the dough. After cutting the shortening into the flour and salt, then adding in the rest of the flour and the water the dough gets kneaded and I roll it into balls.
Then I cheat and use a heated tortilla press to press the balls into uncooked tortillas. Oh and the counters are not dirty, theyre covered in flour and pieces of tortilla that have broken apart.
These are the uncooked tortillas. Good tortillas bubble up. Really good tortillas balloon up!
And while I was making tortillas Elias slipped on the kitchen floor and split his upper lip on the tile. No, he didnt get knocked out, I just couldnt get a picture of it until he fell asleep. But the tortillas taste great! He found out today when he started eating a half eaten one Isaiah had left on the living room floor....
Sorry I cannot publish my recipe, its a family secret but if I know you (and trust you wont start your own torilla business! heehee hee!) I'll send you the recipe to your facebook inbox if youre interested.


and now..... at seven months and four days Elias learns to climb stairs. And he climbs and climbs and climbs!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

birthday boy.

My baby is 7 months old today! And his birthday milestone today was...............
he climbed up to the toilet and we caught him right before he was about to put his hands in the water! Nope, no pictures, we were too busy washing his hands.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


My sister Amanda (child #4/8) just got her mission call and opened it just now and she is going to Guatemala. Guatemala City Central Mission, Spanish speaking. I am so excited for her! I had no idea I would cry so much! I am so happy but I will miss my sister :D LOVE YOU AMANDA! SO PROUD OF YOU!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Orange Chicken and Lettuce Wraps

Im not the greatest cook, if I were, I'd be winning thousands on those Food Network Challenges, but I do enjoy tasty food. Bland food is my enemy. With my own experimenting these are the recipes I came up with for Orange Chicken and Lettuce Wraps. Sure there are many other variations and such but I did them with ingredients that are easy to find and recipes that take only about 15 minutes to make.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BUY: Mr. Yoshida's Sauce and Panda Express Orange Sauce. Everything else you probably already have.
Orange Chicken:
2 cans chunk chicken (from costco)
1 cup flour (salted and peppered)
2-3 cups of oil
1 cup Orange Sauce
Put the flour in a tupperware type container. Drain the chicken and dump into the flour. Put the lid on and shake shake shake. Open the lid just a crack and shake out the excess flour. Dump the chicken into the heated oil (medium-med high) and fry, turning when browned. Drain the oil. Turn down heat to low and pour sauce over chicken, stirring until well covered. Remove from heat. Let it sit until it cools a little, stirring once or twice.
Lettuce Wraps:
1 Head Iceberg Lettuce, cut in half
1 can chunk chicken or 1 cup of finely chopped chicken (we used our thanksgiving turkey)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 package of ramen noodles, dry, finely crushed
3/4 cup Mr. Yoshida's Sauce
(I also like to add about a tsp of vinegar and 1/4 tsp of crushed pepper flakes for a zestier flavor)

In a small nonstick pan on medium heat stir together the chicken, pecans and noodles then stir in the sauce. Let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and remove from heat to cool, still stirring occasionally. Spoon into lettuce leaves. Now what I dont have is a dipping sauce, that takes ingredients I dont have in my fridge.
Serve over rice.

cracker barrel

Nick's parents came for Thanksgiving. On Saturday after Thanksgiving we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then to the movies to see Planet 51 and then we did some shopping. These are pictures from Cracker Barrel. Isaiah and Nick's mom Patsy. Elias and Grandpa Avila.
Nick's parents with all their grandkids.


Tempe Festival of Lights Parade

The day after thanksgiving Nick's mom suggested we take the kids to the zoo to see the Zoo Lights. Realizing that it would cost quite a bit for all of us I looked up events for the day and found the Tempe Festival of Lights Parade. So we went to Tempe and watched the parade. When I moved to Arizona in 2001 my first job was at the Harkins Centerpoint/Valley Art movie theatres on Mill Ave in Tempe. It has changed a bit since I worked there but I still really like the area.
Sherriff JOE! :D

Two story bus.

Waiting for the parade to begin.
I know, my pictures are going backward.
Elias discovered that he can escape the buckles on the stroller.

While we were waiting for the parade we got donuts at Dunkin Donuts. Candy was thrown at the parade and I helped the kids make their way to the street so we did get candy enough for them all to share.