This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 9 and 3 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Rochester Science Museum and Strasenburgh Planetarium

Today Bradley and I went on a fun (and FREE) excursion to Rochester! Our community offers many outings during the year, and this was one of them. They provided transportation and admission to the Rochester Science Museum and Strasenburgh Planetarium. We were allowed 3 hours to explore the museum and have lunch, then we enjoyed a 45 minute show in the newly renovated planetarium.

The Science Museum was very informative with 3 floors of exhibits both informational and interactive! Brad had a great time exploring. We ate our packed lunch then met the group for the show.

This was both of ours first time to a planetarium, and I thought it was amazing! We reclined back and the narrator informed us on the current night sky stars and constellations, as well as planet positions. The bulk of the show was with new modern projectors, but at the end they brought out the original 50 year old star projector to show us what it could do!

This was a great precursor to tonight's activity....Due to a large solar flare earlier this week we are predicted to have a good chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis here tonight! I am meeting some girlfriends on a beach of Lake Ontario for a viewing so wish us luck!!


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Michael Bublé in Buffalo

There 2 singers I will ALWAYS buy tickets to see if they are within a few hrs driving distance of me---Bryan Adams is one, and Michael Bublé is the other! Well last night I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Bublé for my 3rd time in concert and it was as magical as always. He was in downtown Buffalo and my favorite friend Brigid went with me.

With wonderfully bad timing we also got about 6 inches of snow so the drive to Buffalo was awful and took me 2hrs, but thankfully I did not wreck or get stuck so success! Brigid's fiance has an SUV so he most kindly dropped us off and picked us up.

We grabbed a bite and cocktails at a bar then walked to the event center and enjoyed the show!! His voice is like silk and he's easy on the eyes--I can't complain.

I won't lie--I was mighty jealous of the front row people who got to touch him and get autographs. One day I will loosen the purse strings and splurge on the bougie tickets!


Friday, February 22, 2019

Family Bowling

This week the kids have been out of school for early spring break, so yesterday we all tried out the bowling alley in our town! We had an afternoon of fun. I won the first game, but Jacob swooped in after and won the second game.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Oklahoma Visit

Last week I was able to take a quick trip to Oklahoma to visit my family and friends! I went by myself and managed to *almost* finish a 870 page book on the flight! I flew in on Sunday evening and enjoyed a casual dinner at my mom's house with my brothers as well. Braums is my favorite burger place and I didn't get a chance to eat there last visit, so this made up for it!

I stayed at a nice hotel (that I got a sweet deal on thanks to connections) so I would have a home base to decompress, and to not be a burden on anyone! The hot tub helped too.

The first day I was there the weather was sunny and around 70...but I guess a cold front came through because every day after was foggy, wet, and COLD. When I left on Thursday it was 20 and snowing there! HA.

I got to see an old coworker for lunch, and I got to visit another friend who just had a baby. I didn't take many pictures this trip!

I had a couple breakfasts with my dad and brother, and also with my dad we ate at the BEST Greek place called Athena's. I've been eating there for probably over 20 years and thankfully nothing has changed! So good

It was great to see my family again, and I even got to squeeze in an unexpected extra day! I was supposed to fly out on Wednesday but in Buffalo there was an ice storm all day. Between flights getting delayed/canceled and the awful roads, I decided to reschedule the flight for the next day. I had to tie up several loose ends for it to work, but everything came through in the end and it all worked out! Nick and the boys were happy to have me home.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Homemade Pork Tamales

I grew up in the Southwest where you can find great Mexican food on every corner. Unfortunately that's not the case in Buffalo, NY and especially not in my little town of Albion! Being the adventurous home cook that I am, my goal was to teach myself how to make tamales from scratch. Today I achieved that goal!!

I watched many different videos and saw many different techniques. What I learned is that everyone does them differently, and no one measures, ha! I just gleaned what I liked from the videos and did my own thing.

I saw several varieties of chilis being used, so I looked up their spiciness and chose the most mild one. For the meat I used a 6lb pork shoulder butt. You also need corn husks and masa!

I started my pork in a large pot with a chopped onion, half a head of peeled garlic, a bay leaf, some oregano, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, and enough water to cover  the meat. I put a lid on and let it simmer for about 3hr.

At the same time, I started my corn husks soaking in hot water in a large bowl with a heavy dish on top to keep them submerged.

After my meat was cooked and very tender, I turned off the heat and let it start to cool. Then I started on the chili sauce. I stemmed and seeded all the dried chilis and started them in a pan of simmering water with a chopped onion, and a peeled half head of garlic. I added a bit more water while cooking to keep the chilis submerged until they were tender, then I let the liquid start reducing.

As the chilis were cooking I started on the meat. I strained the broth and reserved it. I threw out the boiled veggies and the fat on the meat, then shredded the pork.

Once the chilis were soft and most liquid evaporated, I used my immersion blender to puree the sauce. I saved half a cup of sauce and added the rest to my shredded pork, as well as about 3tbs cumin and 1tbs paprika.

Then I enlisted the help of my son for the masa! Purely estimating, I used about 4 cups masa and a tablespoon of baking powder. I added my reserved chili sauce and some salt, as well as about 3/4 cup oil (I chose not to use lard). Then as he mixed by hand, I added the reserved broth until the masa reached a pasty consistency.

Finally it is time for assembly! Line up all of your prepped ingredients and start filling the wraps. As for technique, you really just have to watch it a few times on a video to see how to do it. You smear a layer of masa onto the bottom half of the husk, then a couple tablespoons of the meat filling.

Then you fold the sides over and fold the top down, leaving one side open.

As you make a huge stack of these, you get your large steamer pot ready to go and start lining up the tamales!

Put a lid on and steam for one hour. Yum!!!

I was very happy with the flavor of these, and my family loved them as well. Some of mine didn't unwrap very cleanly, so I'll have to tweak some techniques to figure out why. I may need to use a thicker layer of masa, or add more oil to the batter.

Good luck in your adventures!!


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

Let me start off by saying that we had a white Christmas!! We didn't think it would happen because this December has been very mild, and no snow has been on the ground for a couple weeks. It was 50 last Friday! We got about an inch on Christmas Eve, then ended up getting about another inch overnight into Christmas. We were very happy ❤

We love our funny little family traditions, and they start on Christmas Eve. Every year Nick's grandparents would get a bunch of Arby's roast beef sandwiches, so we continued that with our family after they passed. But once we moved here to Albion there are no Arby's close by, so we make our own! We tried a new Amish market for the beef this time, and it was DELISH. Even had onion buns and curly fries.

Christmas morning was good, and we started off with the traditional biscuits and sausage gravy breakfast after opening presents! I was delighted to see that Nick got me the complete set of Golden Girls on DVD!! He also built me a Super Nintendo and got my favorite Mario game (plus others).

Growing up my mom got us pickled okra for our stockings (I love it!), so Nick hunted some down and gave it to me.

The boys were very excited with their presents and played with them all day. We all stayed in our PJs!

This was our 3rd year of having a Mexican feast for Christmas! I made a new recipe for chicken enchiladas, as well as black bean chipotle dip, white queso, Spanish rice, and tacos. YUM

I browsed through our local paper today, and saw that Brad's letter to Santa was published in it! I'll have to save it ❤

I hope everyone had a great holiday, and a safe New Year! I get to spend 2 more weeks off on disability, then it's back to work for me!

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