Wednesday, July 22, 2009

out of a magazine

On our way to the farm for a week, we were able to stop and have lunch with our BFFs Sean and Holly. I just had to snap a few pics while we were there, and this is why: Holly is amazingly talented at finding used treasures and making them look fabulous. Their house looks like it came straight out of a magazine.

back at the ranch

^ Abby gets a riding lesson from Nanna

^ Papa's pretty pinto pony (say that 5 times fast!)

yucca surprise

We have had this yucca plant for 3 or 4 years, and this is the first time I've noticed it bloom. Wow! I didn't expect a tree to grow from it! Does anyone know how often it will do this?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4th of July

We spent our 4th of July weekend on the west coast, stopping for work in Portland, and then making our way up the coast to see Tom's brother Tim and family in Blaine, WA.
(Warning: I've posted a lot of pictures, so don't curse at me if this post loads slowly. I could have posted even more, but I thought I'd be nice and post them here instead.)

^ We took the scenic route up to Washington . . .

^ . . . and managed to see the bumpers of lots of cars.

^ Oregon wild flowers

^ A quick stop at the beach

^ An old shipwreck

^ Crossing the bridge over Astoria

^ We pulled into Blaine later than planned, but were greeted with a beautiful sunset.

^ Tim and Petra's beautiful home

^ Enjoying the local parade and car show (The Ford pictures are for you, Dad.)

^ Sweet Sofia Marie

^ Playing in Elijas' room

^ Walking down the hill to the beach for dinner

^ Images of Blaine

^ Down by the bay . . .

^ More beautiful sunset pictures

^ Fireworks over the bay

Thanks, Tim and Petra, for the great hospitality! We had so much fun.

On our way home we enjoyed a visit with cousin Lori in Seattle. Unfortunately, I forgot to get my camera out. Good to see you Lori and Greg!

We covered a lot of miles for one weekend, and we are glad to be home again.

island park

A great way to spend a summer weekend: camping and 4-wheeling in Island Park. See more pictures here.

^ Cousins in the creek: Tristin and Hannah

^Like father, like son: Lee and Tristin

^ Dashing Dawson

^ Sarah peeking out of the trailer

^ Order up a marshmallow and I'll cook one for you that's perfectly golden brown. Yum.

^ A moose sighting

^ Tawnya daring to get dirty.

^ Lee and Dawson: not so daring!

^ Cousins in the camper. (Don't ask me what Tristin is doing.)

^ Sneaking off with the treats (Sarah and Maddy)

^ Yummy spaghetti! (Maddy)

^ Irresistable Ilona

^ Covered in mud

^ Covered in mosquito bites

sweet pork

I have another recipe to share. I found this one on the blog Favorite Family Recipes, while looking for a way to duplicate the sweet pork at Cafe Rio. (For you non-Utahns, Cafe Rio is a local favorite fresh Mex restaurant that can't be beat.)

{ sweet pork }

2 pounds pork
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can RED enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

If you click on the blog link above, you can get the rest of the recipes needed to make Cafe Rio's sweet pork salad. However, we used the pork in tacos as a variation on our other favorite pork taco recipe. This one is more sweet, the other more savory.


catching up

I've noticed several blog posts lately with the title of "catching up", a sign that we aren't the only ones filling our summer up (with things other than sitting in front of a computer). We've filled our summer with so much fun that in the midst of it I sometimes forget it is supposed to be fun. Does anyone else have that problem? This weekend is our first weekend home in over a month. That leaves my to-do list a mile long: yard work, laundry, washing car, errands (leaving updating the blog at the bottom of the list.)

So with that, I will work at filling in the blanks this week. These first sweet pictures are of Dane and Sarah at convention. Such great playmates! (Thanks, Amanda, for the photos!)

Notice the rain boots? They are courtesy of the odd amounts of rain we got in the month of June. We've enjoyed how green it has made everything. July looks to be much more hot and dry, however . . .