San Francisco

I love this stage of life we are in right now. In fact if I could freeze time for a while I would. Life feels full and busy as we strive to raise these 3 kids and keep them learning and growing in the grace of God but it is so rewarding too! Just seeing the world through their eyes and then hearing about it too! It is great having that relationship with our kids and it helps us understand our relationship with Christ even more so!

Note: I don't dread the teenage years necessarily but I really want to enjoy this stage just in case! :)

A couple weeks ago we woke up and decided we wanted to take a day trip and so we settled on San Francisco. Everyone got dressed, we packed a light lunch, threw in our sweatshirts and we were off.

Lunch at a small beach close to the Golden Gate Bridge

On the beach - even though the sun was shining beautifully it was quite windy. We were enjoying our sweatshirts right then!

Watching the sail boats go gliding by

Climbing on the rocks

We left the beach and headed to Pier 39. We walked the pier up the backside and came back up the middle. The seals are on the backside and draw a big crowd. With their barking and an argument between one or two it can be a fun time! There are quite a few of these docks full of seals lounging in the sun.

We rode the carousel, got icecream on homeade waffle cones, watched the daily talent show, checked a few more things out and then decided it was time to head on out. The kids remembered getting their picture taken with this seal before and so we stopped here a little while to let them play and Doug and I just people watched (San Francisco - where you never run out of people or people to watch :)

Beautiful spring flowers in the planter behind us

On the way out of the city we drove down Lombard Street (aka the crookedest street) just to say we did it again. Doug was trying to go fast between each turn and the kids were loving it but he had to keep stopping every little bit since there was a cautious driver in front of us - braking at each turn and waiting - we soon realized he was waiting for the driver in front of him to completely clear the next downhill stretch. :p Maybe his brakes were bad, maybe his wife was making him be cautious, some things we will never know. I think next time we need to walk down it and let Doug pick us up at the bottom, maybe then they will realize exactly what Lombard Street is.

There is so much to do in this city and all around it. You can't do it all in one day. There is the Golden Gate Bridge, Exploritorium, Planeterium, SF Zoo, Alcatraz, Bike Ride around Angel Island, Coit Tower, Fishermens Wharf, Cable Cars, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Shopping, just to name a few things I have on our list. Things I have done and want them to experience. One thing for sure - I am just glad I don't have to live there every day in all the traffic and tight spaces.

Turkey Picadillo Tacos

I enjoy trying new recipes and the blogs I read are mainly to do with easy meals made from scratch and meals on a budget. My folder of "to try" recipes keeps growing and there is not enough time to try them all. But I love having that folder as a resource. This particular recipe came out of the magazine Family Circle.

Turkey Picadillo Tacos

1 T. vegetable oil
1 med. onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. gr. Cinnamon
1/4 t. gr. cumin
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. pepper
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
18 hard shell tacos (we use small corn tortillas)
1 can (11 oz.) Mexicorn or plain corn, drained (I use frozen corn)
Garnish: shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, & shredded lettuce

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees to heat hard shells or to cook your corn tortillas. You can cook them while doing your ground turkey and place in tin foil to keep warm until ready to eat or start them in step 3. It always depends on how much time I have till dinner needs to be on the table.

2. The original recipe says to Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat to cook your ground turkey in. I don't cook my ground turkey in oil. Ever. So eliminating the oil is easy for me and I go right to cooking the ground turkey with dried onion flakes. Whatever suits your fancy. So...Add onion and ground turkey; cook for 7-8 minutes until onion is tender and and turkey is no longer pink. Stir in garlic salt, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, pepper and tomato sauce. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Heat taco shells or corn tortillas. To do corn tortillas; place tin foil sheets down on middle rack. Lay corn tortillas out individually (I usually get 12 in my oven). Flip them every 3-4 minutes as this will help cook each side evenly. You kind of have to guess when they look and feel done. Too soon and they will not taste good, too long and they will get hard and not fold in half for your taco shape. (These are also delicious with a little butter & salt right out of the oven or off the grill which is what Doug likes to snack on while out grilling.)

4.Add corn to ground turkey mixture and heat about 2 minutes. Frozen corn may take a little bit longer.

5. To serve, spoon 1/3 c. mixture in shell and garnish with lettuce, sour cream, cilantro and cheese. Doug and I skip the lettuce (our kids don't like it) and pile high the cilantro! They say you either really like or really dislike cilantro...we really LIKE it around here.

You might think the ingredients sound strange but we can't get enough of them. Be sure to let me know what you think!

Off to the Races

Awana Groups usually do a derby car race at some point during the year. This is our first year in Awanas thus our first year to do a derby car race! You can design the block of wood into the design of your choice, thrown on some paint, attach the wheels, add stickers, etc. and your good to go as long as you keep it under a certain weight specification. That is the approach we took. After signing in, weighing in and then heading over to the table to place the cars Doug and I soon realized alot more time and thought had been put into some of the cars. Creativity and competition go a long way in this race and it was fun to see what all the cars looked like!

Ryans needed drilling out to get the weight down to limit. See the "Handy Manny" Toolbox car sitting on the tail gate? I told you there was creativity going on here! He was drilling out the entire inside and I am not sure if he ever got it down in weight enough to race but I think it won a ribbon for "show".

I thought the "raceway" was pretty cool!

And in the end if you didn't win a trophy you still got to go get cookies and I am thinking a cookie is better than a trophy any day! Ryan didn't really agree with me since he BADLY wanted a trophy - "sigh" he has lots to learn in the world of what is fair and square!