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My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday!

Scott and the kids had some wonderful presents for me in the morning and (my favorite gifts of all!) homemade cards! Mom and Dad surprised me with a cross-body type of purse–perfect for the activity of the day: going to the zoo with Dylan.IMG_1084

Mothers-of-multiples let me say this: it is SO MUCH EASIER taking one child to the zoo than two or more! Dylan didn’t even have a stroller as we walked around with me li


fting him up every so often to get a better view of an animal. We had lunch in the zoo restaurant and then meandered back to the car. I remember with the other kids having two double strollers and lifting children in and out of the stroller to see an animal. It was a lot of work!

Dylan’s constant question about an animal was, “Is it real or pretend?” He also wanted to know how the animal got into the cage.

Later in the evening we went out to dinner where Scott snapped a couple of photos. (I’m trying to get into photos a little more–I’m usually taking the pictures and find that I’m not in very many.)

These are my favorites photos because they absolutely capture a moment in time: a woman just past her mid forties with a crazy family situation that she wouldn’t change for the world.

Do you have any special birthday memories?



Beef Green Chili Stew–the 12 minute meal!

SONY DSCThis post should be titled YOU NEED AN ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER–because anyone who is stressed during dinner time needs one.  And, if you are pregnant (or getting married), please, please, please register for an electric pressure cooker–you can thank me later!

Here’s how this meal started. On Monday mornings our local grocery store discounts the better cuts of meat that didn’t sell over the weekend. The meat is nearing it’s “sell-by” date–but still good. So, I’ve been buying 1/2 price grass fed beef and free range (ok, I’m not going to quibble about what that term really means) chicken. You never know what exactly is going to be on sale, but for a couple of weeks, the beef stew meat was–and I bought all of it from the meat case. (Yes, I’m slightly embarrassed when I go to the checkout and ALL of my meat has the 1/2 price bright orange sticker!)

My family, though, isn’t really crazy about the traditional beef stew and a couple of days ago I was feeling like I wanted something that had a different flavor–a Mexican Green Chili sort of taste.

On Allrecipes.com I found this gem. Just my kind of recipe–very few ingredients but potentially awesome flavor. Previously I’ve only made green chili with pork and I had no idea that you could make a darn good green chili stew from beef!


The only thing I changed in this recipe is that I used a 7 oz can of plain green chili’s rather than the kind with tomatoes and added a can of diced tomatoes separately. I also thought some white rice would be nice, but didn’t have any so I made a quick (and very plain) risotto. Corn tortillas would have been even better.
So, what’s with the 12 minutes? First I browned the stew meat in the pressure cooker. Added all the ingredients and set the timer for 12 minutes. Went and helped with a couple of math homework problems. . .and it was ready to serve! (You can also make this in a crock pot.)
And, you know me–I HATE to brag–but it was AWESOME goodness. I put a spoon-drop of plain yogurt on the top and a little salsa and couldn’t stop smiling. Oh, yeah, my family was smiling, too!