Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cafe Rio Recipes

Since several of you asked, here are the recipes for the Cafe Rio stuff I made for Taber's birthday. I served it with romaine lettuce, tortilla chips, black beans, fresh salsa, limes, cilantro, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese and guacamole. Best salad ever.

I also included the recipe for the cake since a couple of you asked for that as well. Happy cooking!

Zesty Chicken
5lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast,
1 medium bottle of zesty Italian dressing
1 Tbsp Chili powder
1 Tbsp Cumin
3 cloves minced garlic

Put chicken in crock pot.(I used frozen chicken and just stuck it in there still frozen) Mix together dressing and other ingredients, pour on top of chicken. Cook on high 5-7 hours. Remove Chicken and shred with fork. Return shredded chicken to juice in the crock pot. Keep warm.

Cilantro Lime Rice
in a saucepan saute:
2 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion chopped
4 garlic cloves minced

in a large pot bring to boil the following:
6 2/3 cups water
8 tsp chicken bullion
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 small can diced green chilies
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt

add onion and garlic to boiling water. Add 3 cups long grain white rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Tomatillo Dressing:
1 pkg hidden valley ranch dressing mix (regular or buttermillk)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayo
1 to 2 tomatillos
1/2 to 1 clove garlic minced
1/2 to 1/3 bunch cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 to 1 small jalapeno ( I didn't add the jalapeno because I have kids, and thought it would be too spicy. The dressing still tasted amazing without it)

Blend ingredients together in a blender. Add additional mayo if dressing is too thin. Keep refrigerated.

Strawberry whip cream Cake
The cake is just a white cake mix. Cook it in two 8 inch round cake pans according to the box instructions. Cool completely on wire racks.
While cooling, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 boxes of strawberry jello, stirring until dissolved. Chill for 30 minutes (no longer)
Once cake is completely cooled, return it to the cake pans and poke it (with a fork, wooden spoon, knife..whatever) Spoon jello over it, and return it to the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Dip bottom of cake pans in warm water for 10 seconds. Invert 1st cake onto a serving plater. Top with sliced strawberries, and cool whip. Place second layer of cake on top and cover with cool whip. Decorate with extra strawberries however you think it looks the best. Taber loves this cake because it tastes so light and fluffy and doesn't give you sugar shock like some other cakes can. : ) Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cooking, Cake, and Keeping secrets: Taber's b-day 2011

I do not love to cook. I will do it, but I don't love it. Most of the time I stick with 30 minute meals because investing more time than that to make something that will be gone in 15 minutes and leave me another hour's worth of mess to clean just isn't my thing.

And that is why Taber knew that I really really loved him when he came home from work last Friday to see that I had spent over 4 hours cooking his birthday dinner. (it probably would've taken a normal person a lot less time than that but I'm a little "challenged" when it comes to cooking) The things I'll do for love : )

My friend gave me the recipe for the Cafe Rio zesty chicken, cilantro lime rice, and tomatillo dressing. Since we don't have Cafe Rio out here, I brought Cafe Rio to my man. He was thoroughly impressed. We had a few friends over and the food was a huge hit. Guess that kind of made it worth it.

I also made him his favorite strawberry cake which he said he will be requesting again for every birthday here on after.

Since we had friends over we were actually able to get a picture with our whole family in it. First thought when I saw this picture, "Holy cow I have 3 kids!" It's still sinking in. I like Cam's face, he looks a little confused and suspicious of that cake.

We sang happy birthday and the kids helped him blow out the candles. After dinner Taber and the boys hooked the X-box up to the projector and played a giant game of halo on the wall till after midnight. I guess boys are never too old for their video games.

And for Taber's big surprise, He finally got his iPad. He's been drooling over them ever since they came out, so when they announced the iPad2 right before his b-day I decided it was time. Even though they were back ordered 5 weeks, I had the good fortune of going to the store one day before it opened and there was a huge line of people waiting outside for a fresh shipment of them. I got in line and snagged the the 3rd to last one. (this was about 4 weeks before his birthday)

I brought it home and tucked it safely away in the back of our closet. Knowing it was in the house was torture. The secret was eating me alive and I didn't know how long I could hold it in. Turns out it was only one day. Yep, apparently I can only keep a secret from Taber for 24 hours before the excitement becomes unbearable and I spill my guts. I think the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey did you know the iPad 2 is back-ordered 5 weeks?
Taber: 5 weeks! That's lame.
Me: Yeah, it would've been cool to get one for your birthday but guess that's not gonna happen. (hehe)
Taber: What?! You were going to get me one for my birthday!? Oh man! Now that's really lame that they're back ordered! Dang.
Me: (in my mind: try to hold it in, don't tell the secret, don't tell him, ah I can't take it anymore!!) out loud: What if I told you there's an iPad in the house RIGHT NOW!
Taber: (total look of shook and confusion) Wait, what? are you serious? What?!!

Then I proceeded to tell him the story of how I got one at a hundred miles per hour and asked him if he was mad that I spilled the beans before his birthday and he said, "heck no!" and that he wanted to see it right then. So that is the story of how Taber got his birthday present a month early. Shame on me, the bad secret keeper, but seriously, cool present a month early? I don't think he minded at all. : )

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boston Marathon 2011

The Boston Marathon, with it's elusive qualifying times, is probably out of my reach to ever be able to run in. The closest I'll ever come is watching it, and that's exactly what we did last Monday.

Taber took the day off work, we got sitters for the girls, and headed down to West Newton to catch the runners around mile 18.

It was such a festive atmosphere. A popular radio station had one of their vans set up blasting music and giving updates on the runners. There were venders selling colorful toys and a giant hot pretzels. There was a concession table set up in front of the fire station grilling hotdogs. Everyone was just happy and excited.

We got there around 10 and expected the elite runners to be coming through around 11:15 or so. I was super excited and nervous and just pumped to see the elites, especially Kara Goucher who is my running idol and who just had a baby less than 7 months ago!!

Finally the police motorcycles and and the lead timing truck came through meaning the runners were right behind them.

When the runners came into view everyone started screaming and going nuts. The elite women were first and they were HAULING BOOTY! I mean, here they are at mile 18 still clocking around a 5:30 minute per mile pace! It was awe inspiring watching these superhuman runners go by. That's Kara Goucher in the back, she is just as buff and fit in person as she is the the running magazines. She ended up taking 5th for the women, amazing!

The men came by next, they had started about half an hour after the women but they were closing the gap pretty quickly. They were running at a blistering 4:40 mile pace!

Not far behind the elites we saw Taber's friend from Alaska, Jerry Ross, who finished 39th out of 27,000 in 2:24:32, a 5:31 pace! Taber and Jerry ran cross country together in high school so it was really cool to see him killing it at Boston.

Soon the street turned into a river of bodies as the runners started coming through in droves. Everyone looked so strong and amazing. I saw a woman with "mother of 4" written on her back. It made me tear up a little to see her doing such an incredible thing after having 4 children!

After a couple hours of watching the runners we decided to try to get downtown to see the finish line and meet up with Taber's friend Jerry. On our way to the T station we passed a water stop, kind of crazy to see all those cups.

Getting into town was a little more intense then we expected. Between patriots day, the marathon, first day of spring break in Mass, and the Red Sox game, the public transportation was jam packed. The T was very slow moving and it took us an hour to go 8 miles. During that hour Cam conveniently decided to have a massive blow out on the train and was screaming his little head off demanding to be changed. Couldn't exactly change him in that crowd so he just provided some jarring background noise for all the lucky passengers. When it was our turn to get off people were seriously shouting, "LET THEM OFF! BABY COMING THROUGH, LET THEM OFF!" I think they were trying to be nice, but also happy to get the crying baby off the train : )

It was worth our brave foray into town though to meet up with Jerry and catch up with him and chat about his amazing race.

He is a huge Celtics fan and Taber had tickets to the game the next day so Jerry actually changed his plane ticket and stayed an extra night to go to the game. True fan right there!

Cam was a champ during our marathon day of marathon watching. Besides his little blow out on the train he just hung out in the back pack and took little naps here and there. I'm glad we had a chance to go down there and be part of the electric atmosphere on marathon day. Living near Boston rocks! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Alaska Boy

Sometimes thoughtful words are the best gift you can give, so if you know Taber please take a minute to leave a birthday comment with a favorite memory or something you admire about him. I'll start!

Favorite Memory: There are way too many to pick just one, so here are 5.

1) When you busted out your guitar and sang LaBamba in front of our entire Spanish conversation class in Mexico. I knew there was no resisting you after that : )

2) Laying on the sand, reading Harry Potter and Into Thin Air on Waikiki beach on Christmas day on our honeymoon.

3)When we directed the Road Show together in Moorpark. It was awesome watching you shine as a great leader to the youth.

3) When we got to go back and visit your mission together in San Diego and you got SO excited about eating at the BBQ pit. That was when I first started to understand your passion/obsession for BBQ : )

4) When you were chosen for the Haws scholar at the end of business school. I was beaming and so proud of you.

5) Finding out we were pregnant with each of our kids. And the moment each of them was born. Best memories ever : )

Something I admire about you:

Well I've done several posts before about the things I admire about you, but I will add that lately I admire the way you make such an effort to put spending time with the family at the top of your priority list. I know it's hard with everything else you have going on but I know that the kids and I appreciate how you put off other things to put us first. I love you babe and hope you have the best birthday ever!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I saved us over $50 a month on diapers.

Yep, I finally bit the bullet and potty trained Brinley. I had been making excuses forever why I couldn't do it. I was pregnant and tired, I had a new baby and couldn't deal with it, we were going to to Utah and I wanted to wait till we got back, blah blah blah...excuses.

Then 3 weeks ago, she woke up one morning with a dry pull up. I sat her on the potty and she went. That's when I knew it was time and I couldn't put it off any longer. Teya potty trained in less than a week (She poop trained herself before we even started so we really only had to teach her to do #1) So yeah, I was a little bummed when a week went by and Brinley was still having accidents. Guess I got a little spoiled with Teya. I kept at it though, my philosophy is, once you've put underwear on them there's no going back. So no matter how many accidents she had I never put her back in her pull ups. Even when we went out in public, we just brought extra pairs of pants and underwear.

She finally started catching on and by week two she had gone the whole week without any number 1 accidents, including at night, but she refused to do # 2 in the pot. She would hold it in for 2 days straight and then make a massive "deposit" in her underwear (sorry, TMI but it is a potty training post after all.) It was the most frustrating thing ever. Finally I turned to my Facebook friends for advice. (What would we do without Facebook?) And I got a lot of great suggestions such as have her go commando, offer her a bigger reward for #2, and watch for the poop face and when she starts making it, run her into the bathroom. I did all three and it worked!! She has finally started doing her 2's in the potty. She even told Taber when we were out somewhere and did it in a public restroom. HUGE breakthrough!

I still try and remind her go potty every 2 hours, and I still watch for the poop face because I don't trust her on that one quite yet, but she's doing great. 10 straight days with no #1 accidents and 5 for #2. Her potty chart is full of stickers, she earned her pony toy, and best of all, no more buying expensive pull-ups. I think I'll take that extra $50 a month we're saving and call it my potty training bonus. Pretty sure I earned it!

Teya's creation station

I don't know if it's a first child thing or what, but Teya has never been very good at entertaining herself. Brinley will go and play with toys and flip through books and just do her own thing but Teya always wants me to do that stuff with her. I try to play with my kids quite a bit but it gets to a point where you need to get other things done and sometimes I need them to play on their own. Other than the TV, I have struggled to find something that will hold Teya's attention without my help, but recently we've had a little break through.

I call it "Teya's creation station." It's really just our craft table that's been where it's always been, but for some reason Teya has finally figured out that she can do projects on her own without any help. She knows where all the stuff is and now she just goes and gets it and starts creating away. It's so cute to see her go in there after breakfast and start stamping, painting, coloring and molding.

These are some of her latest masterpieces. She spent a long time rolling out the playdough, cutting out each of the turtles, and then using her markers to decorate them. (There were probably 8 more but she put them in a special bag up in her room) She also made that snow man but it kept falling apart so she asked me if I would hot glue it together. I was happy to oblige. I know these probably look like scrappy little knick knacks but to me they are so sweet because they came from Teya's little hands and she saw the project through from beginning to end without my help.

It can be a little messy, especially when she starts cutting things out our playing with moon sand, (which is the devil, but my kids love it) but she's learning to clean it up and it's definitely worth the mess to see her doing her own thing in her happy creating place.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fan of the Game

Last night we took Cam to his first Celtics game. Walking through the stadium it felt like we were with a celebrity. Everyone would stop and point and "ooo and aaaah" like they'd never seen a baby before.

When we sat down in our seats everyone's attention turned from the game to the little Celtics baby. A guy sitting near us asked if we wanted him to take our picture. We said, great!

Cam was actually pretty tired since the game started at 8, so not much of his usual smiling but he was super mellow and chill the whole time, loud noise and everything.

His 15 seconds of fame came during one of the time outs when the camera saw him and couldn't take it's lens off him. He was seriously on the Jumbo Tron FOREVER! People were cheering and going nuts and then a screen popped up that said he was one of 3 fans nomintated for the Fan of the game!

If we thought he was a celebrity before the Jumbo Tron, you should've seen him after! I took him out in the concourse area and I'm not kidding you, dozens of people kept stopping me and saying things like, "Oh my gosh!! It's the baby from the Jumbo tron!" "You guys are the people from t.v.!" Or "Hey look, it's the fan of the game!" Another person asked if we wanted them to take our picture again. Sure! (Cam had a nice drool patch going under his double chins at this point, I think he was drooling over Taber's popcorn)

Of course being famous can be pretty exhausting and before the 3rd quarter was finished our little guy was passed out. Loud cheering, blasting music, crazy fans, nothing could faze him, he was out cold. He had done his job and put a smile on thousands of peoples faces, and now it was time for some well earned sleep : )

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thumbsucker: Blessing or a curse?

After 2 big time binky babies I am a little shocked and somewhat fearful to have a major thumbsucker on my hands. Right now it's kind of adorable but I'm scared for what it means come "weaning time." I thought it was mortifying that Teya sucked a binky till she was over 3 years old, but thumbsuckers go longer than that! A certain unnamed thumbsucker I know who may or may not be myself, sucked her thumb till she was in 4th grade! Much more mortifying than a 3 year old with a binky. Also expensive when the thumb sucking led to buck teeth that could only be tamed by braces. What are we going to do?!

On the other hand it's so sweet that the little guy can self soothe at night. He's been sleeping through the night (8-9 hours) for the last few weeks and I credit that to the fact that when he wakes up he pops that cute little thumb in his mouth and sucks himself back to sleep. (The binky babies didn't sleep though the night till 6 and 9 months)

Is it worth the convenience of self soothing right now to battle breaking the habit later on? Or should we cover those little hands and force the binky on him?

It's going to be hard to stop him, just look at that face, he's looking at me all guarded like, "Don't even think about it mom, this is what takes me to my happy place!" I guess for now I'll enjoy the blessing of self soothing before we tackle the curse of making him stop.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Camden's baby blessing

We blessed our sweet Camden Taber Kekoa Rigg in Utah, where many of our family and close friends could be a part of his special day. It was amazing to see my first born son encircled by his father, uncles, grandfathers, cousins and closest family friends, all righteous priesthood holders and all men who love him and I hope he will look up to and strive to be like as he grows older. There was such a beautiful feeling in the room as Taber blessed our little boy. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to have the gospel in my life, to be married to such a good man, to be surrounded by loving friends and family, and to have 3 beautiful and healthy children.

Walking into the room and seeing faces we haven't seen in a long time was an amazing feeling. Every person in the room was someone dear to me and it was hard not to get choked up seeing their faces again. It made me feel grateful for the knowledge that families can be together forever. As I looked around with a full heart, I thought this must be how we'll feel after we pass on to the other side. I'm sure we'll see many faces of people we love and the reunion will be very sweet.

Following the blessing we had a luncheon with an delicious spread of Hawaiian food, all made by my mother. She is amazing. We also had homemade Texas sheet cake for dessert, thanks to my awesome sister Rachel (who somehow managed to escape all the pictures).
Thank you so much to everyone who came and made this experience so special! We love you all so much!
Some pictures with the Fairbanks Family, Matagi Family and Taber and Brett

Our good friends the Draschils and their sweet little girls.

Ioane's, Beardsley's and Tresners.

Peter, Angela, Eric and Ashley, Justin, Taber and Tau.

Riggs, Murdocks, and Udas.

And just for fun here are some pictures of me and Taber with each of our children on their blessing day. Looking at them makes me think of when my dad used to look at all us kids and say, "I am a rich, rich man." Now I know what he was talking about. : )

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Living Legends Reunion

One of the highlights of our college years was performing with the Living Legends at BYU. Taber did it for 2 years and I did it with him my senior year. When we found out they were having a huge 40 year reunion we knew we had to find a way to get out there and revisit our glory days.

And speaking of the Glory days, here's a little sampling of us back when we were young, skinny and tan. (I have to say, looking at these old pictures REALLY motivated me to start burning off the baby weight. Nothing like pictures to give you that extra motivation ; )

So yes, we decided to bless Cam out in Utah so we felt a little more justified about flying our whole family out for the reunion. It worked out beautifully and even though it was an extremely packed trip, I'm glad we made it out there to be part of the Living Legends reunion.

One of the events we attended was the current Living Legends group performing at the DeJong Concert hall. My brother is in the group for his 4th and final year so I'm really glad I got to see him perform one last time. After the show they had a reception for all the alumni who came to the show.

One of Taber's old dancing pics totally made it on a poster. Look at the intensity on his face, he still gots his mojo ; )

And Cam looks pretty interested in following in his Daddy's footsteps.

It was awesome running into so many old friends who we spent many many hours practicing, traveling, and performing with.

And it's always awesome to see Janielle, the Living Legends director and Ed who coordinates all the tours and travel.

Later in the week we ran into Dusty and Chauma at the Wilk during the pow wow. Chauma and Taber were head man and woman at the 2003 Pow wow so it was fun to meet up there again 8 years later!

One of the best parts of the whole reunion was the Alumni showcase performance. They had alumni doing numbers from all 40 years of Living Legends and Taber got to dance in the native segment showcasing 2000-2005. (Someone took this picture of him practicing, pretty cool!)

The show was the same morning as Camden's blessing so it was a little stressful trying to get all the kids bathed and ready and down to provo to watch Taber dance. I was on the verge of a breakdown and at one point seriously thought we were going to miss it. Thankfully miracles do happen and we made it just as the 2000-2005 section was getting on stage. (which meant I also got to see my sister and her husband dance and they were awesome!)

Taber's dad made it down for the show too which is amazing considering everything that was going on that day. He's always been supportive like that and when we were in the group he would even fly in from Alaska to see our shows.

Taber did a great job and it was the perfect way to cap off a wonderful reunion. Here's a little video I took of him dancing with my phone. He's the really hot guy on the far left wearing white. ; ) (oh and at about 57 seconds in you can hear Teya say, "He's even wearing a dress!" kids: )