Friday, August 31, 2012

Orzo & Rice Mediterranean Salad

Had some friends over for dinner last night, and I concocted this salad loosely based on a couple different recipes.  It was quite tasty if I do say so myself, and just wanted to document it so I can remember how I made it when my hubby asks for it in the future :)

1 box Uncle Ben's long grain & wild rice, prepared according to package directions
1 pkg orzo, cooked and drained (this is pasta that's shaped like big pieces of rice - I did 16 oz because I wanted a big bowl)
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 c green pepper, chopped
1/4 c onion, chopped
2 Tb capers
2 Tb slivered almonds
10-12 oz of marinated artichoke hearts with oil
3 oz goat cheese (this was the last thing I added - it was still tasty, but the goat cheese added a perfect note of creaminess)
black pepper
Olive oil and/or vinegar if desired

Dump it all together and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.  I happened to have a jar of marinated veggies that included not only artichokes, but also roasted red peppers, hearts of palm, & baby corn.  It would also be really good with mushrooms or olives, but I didn't happen to have either on hand.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012


Son had surgery this week. We went in for for the pre-op blood draw on Monday and he didn't exactly enjoy the procedure, so I was a bit concerned about how he'd handle surgery on Wednesday.  Prayed a lot for him, as well as for MY state of mind so that I could be supportive rather than making it worse.   Everything went very well.  He had tubes inserted in his ears (the type that are designed to stay in 2-3 years) plus had his adenoids removed at about 8:30 am.  We were home before 11:00, and he laid on the couch watching Top Gear.  This picture was taken at 2:25 pm after he chowed down on a bowl of cherries.  Yes, he's doing just fine :)  Still waiting to see if getting all that fluid out will help with the hearing issue, and if not, we'll most likely be getting him some sort of amplification device.

Took the kids to meet their teachers this morning and drop off school supplies - so happy to have those piles outta here!  I'm happy with the teachers the kids have, although both of them are disappointed to not have many friends in their particular classes.  AWANA starts back up next week as well, and both kids are also interested in doing karate, but I think we're going to hold off on that for a few more months.

In other big news from the D house: we have become pet owners.  The kids have been wanting something forEVER, and D had recently taken to catching lizards (the rule is that he can capture 1 in the morning, then release it before bedtime).  A likes the idea of animals, but is still quite fearful of most of them, which is yet another reason that I'd like to have something around.  Really wanted to move up to something fuzzy, but not quite ready to commit to a dog or cat.  One trip to PetSmart later, and we now own 2 gerbils.  The one you see here is Spike, and there's also a black one named Rocky (who's definitely quieter - amazing how I'm already noticing the rodent's personalities!)  The biggest challenge thus far is letting the poor little guys have quiet time away from their overly loving owners...

I still have a ton of other pics from the summer - kids activity camp, 1 day VBS program & trip to San Antonio.  Perhaps next week when I turn my little darlings back over to the school district for several hours each day!

And a final bit of silliness on this fine Friday: it's kind of tough to tell your kids not to play with their food when Daddy is building a snowman out of the mashed potatoes and brisket!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer drawing to a close...

The kids will be headed back to school in 9 days - :) and :(

We just got home from a mini-vaca, but before I share pics from that guess I should update stuff from June and July.

driving to AZ Devil's Canyon, AZ little boy paradise! Lego Store posing fun at the mall Escalator! Look, I'm actually in *front* of the camera cousins Mom & Kids Birthday New rocket Father Son moment Fashion Statement sprinkler issues jump jump Sleepover  nerf gun + motorcycle balloon dolphin that's our TX girl loading the clip is hard work
  • When we drove to Arizona in June, there was a small fire on a hill in the distance, and our son was convinced that it was an active volcano
  • Drove through Devil's Canyon on the way to Mesa, and our daughter was excitedly telling us that she learned about this place in school.  "Um, honey, I'm pretty sure that was the GRAND Canyon."  Yeah, that might be right...
  • Took a little trip to the mall to visit the Lego Store, ogle the Hello Kitty merchandise, and ride the escalator.
  • One of the kids managed to snap a picture of me :)
  • Cousins, plus MIL and her kids
  • Celebrated nephew's birthday, including covering him with silly string and giving him a model rocket that was slightly above his previous experience
  • Kids had friends over, so lots of swimming, watching movies, nerf war, etc.
  • When cleaning her room, A decided she'd rather just wear everything rather than put it away
  • Issues with our sprinkler meant a flooded backyard.  Also had to replace one element from our pool pump.  Sometimes home ownership stinks.
  • out to lunch, and the restaurant had a really good balloon artist who presented our kids with a motorcycle and a dolphin
  • Off to the shooting range, too (Hi, Grandpa!  Wish you could've joined us!)