Recipe: Easy Guacamole

Most of my life, I thought I didn’t like avocados. I grew up in a home where my mom didn’t use them, and they always looked kind of weird, so I never bothered to try them, assuming that I wouldn’t like them. About three years ago, we were at our friends’ house, and they made tacos – with guacamole as an optional topping. I decided to give it a shot, just out of curiosity, and wow! Now avocados and guacamole are one of my favorite things to eat. I’ve tried guacamole from lots of different restaurants, and some of them are okay (Red Robin, any local Mexican place) and some are not (Chipotle, Fuddruckers). The thing the “bad” ones have in common is an overpowering fresh onion flavor – I’m not a fan of raw onion (and that’s not a blind distaste – I actually don’t like it). So I thought I’d share my favorite recipe for making guacamole at home, which is the best I’ve ever had, in a restaurant or otherwise.

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Easy Guacamole

1-2 avocados, depending on how much guac you need/want
Approximately 1/4 cup salsa (your favorite)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash it lightly with a fork.

Add the salsa and spices and continue to mash and mix until everything is well combined. Taste. If it’s amazing, you’re done. If it’s only almost amazing, adjust the seasonings (salt is the one I always need to add more of) and try again until it’s exactly the way you like it.

Blessings,

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Nutcracker Marionette

In the midst of Nutcracker season, my boys were also really into making puppets (they still are). Munchkin combined these two interests and made this Nutcracker Marionette. It’s made from mostly all refurbished materials – toilet paper tubes, straws, cereal boxes, and string. I love his creativity here!

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Blessings,

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Picture of the Week: Growing Up

We took the boys to one of the local malls on New Year’s Eve, just to get out of the house for a little while. The big kids had some Christmas money (neither ended up getting anything that day), and the little kids just like to be in exciting places.

We didn’t end up spending a lot of money that day (those are the best trips to the mall, yes?), but we did get the little kids each a ride on the indoor Ferris wheel. There were only three kids riding at that time (my two boys plus one little girl), so the boys had to be split up into separate carriages. I was a little nervous letting Dragonfly ride essentially all by himself, but he did great. He was super excited about being up there, and he behaved perfectly. I needn’t have been worried.

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Blessings,

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His First Chapter Book

Small Fry is 5 years old now (5 1/2, actually). He’s still learning to read, but he’s definitely getting stronger at it each time we practice. To help encourage his continued maturing in this skill, I decided to take the plunge with him into reading a chapter book instead of just a picture book at bedtime (nothing wrong with picture books, but for my own sanity, we needed something a bit longer and less repetitive). I chose James and the Giant Peach, knowing that would be a great choice for a little boy, and I was right. He absolutely loved it! He had no problems remembering what had happened from session to session, and ever since we finished, he’s been begging for another chapter book.

Will assigned him a little drawing assignment when we’d finished the book, and Small Fry really liked that, too. He had so much fun drawing James, his buggy friends, and the giant peach being carried overseas by a flock of seagulls. 🙂

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Our next one will be Charlotte’s Web. I’m super excited to read it to him after the success of James.

Blessings,

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Quick Update

So sorry I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Late last week, Will got quite sick. I ended up driving him to the hospital (30 minutes away),  it he talked to the nurse advice line while we were driving who recommended he not go in after all, but instead had the on call doctor send in a prescription for flu medicine to Walgreens. They insisted that we go to the one that was an hour from where we were (half an hour back to the house, then another half hour to the pharmacy) because she was “positive” it was open 24 hours. So we hustled to the Walgreens, arriving at 10:05 p.m. only to discover that they’d closed at 10. Quite the opposite of being open 24 hours, and especially ironic since we’d passed two other Walgreens on the way there that were also open until 10 and could have filled the prescription that night. This all happened on Friday evening.

On Saturday morning, I had his prescription transferred to the Walgreens near us and got it picked up. He stayed in bed all day, and Seahawk babysat while I went to a baby shower for my sister in law that afternoon. By Saturday night, I was feeling a little wheezy, but not bad otherwise, so I didn’t worry.

Sunday morning, I still felt decent and Will felt better but we decided to stay back from church just to be safe. It was a good thing we did! By 3pm, my temperature had spiked to over 99. I know this isn’t super high, but I tend to run low normally, so we took it pretty seriously (Will’s had peaked at 102.9) and went to Urgent Care. By the time we got there, my temp was up to 101 – while at the height of fever reducing medicine. The PA diagnosed me with Bronchitis and gave me some prescriptions. We were able to pick them up that night (at the actual 24-hour Walgreens), and now, after almost 2 days in bed an one more taking it very easy, I’m running at about 85-90% today.

All that to say, I’ll be spending some time this weekend getting some posts prepared for the blog, and it should hopefully be a little more active again. 🙂

Blessings,

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Pictures of the Week: Christmas Sweaters

I was so excited to give my parents the sweaters that I’d hand knit for them for them for Christmas. I was not disappointed in their reactions! It was so rewarding to hear them gush about how much they  loved them and had been thinking about getting new outerwear anyway since theirs was wearing out. And when they both put them on immediately, and both sweaters fit, my heart swelled.

Here are my mom and Dragonfly in their matching sweaters. (The pattern is the same, but the colors are different, obviously.)

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And here’s my stepdad in his.

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He was happier about the sweater than he looks in this picture, I promise 🙂

Blessings,

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Book Club: Waiting for Rachel

Book Club with Lori

Lori and I read a fun, easy book for December called Waiting for Rachel. It’s book one in the “Those Karlsson Boys” series by Kimberly Rae Jordan, and one I’ve had sitting on my Kindle for a long time. When circumstances pushed me to read instead of watching YouTube videos (lol) back in November, this is the one I picked. It was a delightful read!

66D90916-4A8B-494E-B97C-0FACC5F8545APastor Damian Karlsson is ready to start a family, and he’s been interested in Rachel Perkins for months. The only problem is that she, while interested in Damian too, is unwilling to start a relationship with him because of demons from her past. She’s convinced herself that she can never be the woman Damian really wants, no matter what he says. Will Rachel ever be able to make peace with her past? Can she tell Damian the truth about why she can’t be in a relationship with him? Will that truth change his mind, or will Damian and Rachel find a way to be together after all?

As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed this book. It was the first time in a long time that I found myself reading during the daytime instead of just in bed before falling asleep. I enjoyed the banter between Rachel and Damian, and I was definitely surprised by part of Rachel’s secret (though not all of it – the main part was obvious without needing to be said, but the cause behind it was unexpected). The final catalyst that pushed Rachel to finally share her secret was heartbreaking, and never fully resolved in this book. I definitely plan to get the two sequels to this novel in the coming weeks.

I will admit that Rachel’s stubbornness in not offering the truth sooner was a bit annoying, but not enough to keep me from reading the book, and I did enjoy it despite that.

Make sure to head over to Lori’s blog and read her thoughts on this book. And if you want to get your very own copy (which I highly recommend doing), it’s available as a free Kindle book on Amazon.

Blessings,

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The Nutcracker

This was the second year my older boys have participated in a local production of The Nutcracker. Seahawk had a solo as the Toy Soldier during the party scene, and both boys were part of the Russian dance pack during the Kingdom of Sweets in the second act. Here are some pictures of the highlights, including videos of the Seahawk’s dance. (For some reason, the computer isn’t finding the pictures from the second act to allow me to upload them. They still show up on my phone, but aren’t in the folder on when I open it on the computer, so I only have the earlier pictures.)

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Dragonfly was enthralled!