Phil made this recipe from Food Network magazine last week - Posole Rojo. I can’t speak to its details specifically because he made it during the day when I wasn’t around. But sufficed to say that even though it was a labor-intensive recipe, it turned out amazing. (And note that when I say “labor-intensive” I mean that the recipe has several steps to follow but for the most part the recipe is pretty straightforward according to Phil). Tender pork in homemade chili sauce with hominy and onions. All good things! Great job, Phil!
I turned 42 yesterday, and each year just keeps getting better and better. I took the day off to hang out with Phil and Solomon, and we had a wonderful day. What made it wonderful was that it was simple. Here are my favorite things about the day:
I got to take the kids to school in my pajamas and slippers.
I got to sit and have a cup of coffee and talk to Phil with no “kid interruptions.”
I got to have a long nap on my couch with my favorite fluffy blanket (plus it was a gray cloudy day, making a nap on the couch even more perfect!).
Loretta called and sang Happy Birthday to me off key. She does every year. And I love that. I realized that having her sing off key to me is better than any symphony or on-key musical number anyone could ever do.
The kids gave me coupons. I love that, too. It just carries so much more sincerity than any material gift they could give me. (Get a load of their creativity below).
The wrapping paper that Phil wrapped my presents in - a reused paper bag and kitchen twine. Perfect!
Chicken tacos for dinner.
And creme brulee for dessert.
Oh, and Solomon doing his very best to chime in when Phil and the kids sang Happy Birthday to me. It sort of came out “ham mirnay to mah-mah” but it was beautiful!
Because we go out to eat or go to a movie sparingly in our family (mainly for budget reasons), our kids consider these things a special treat. And because our kids have limited computer (or iPod Touch) time each day, being able to play it for longer than normal is also a special treat. So, to help teach our kids that Christmas is not all about material gifts, last year, we started a tradition for our kids for Christmas. Coupons. We decided to give our kids coupons for things like “Lunch out with Mama” or “All day computer time.” A friend at Sally’s work did some very cool, hand-painted coupons for us and thus started an annual tradition!
So this year, I asked my friend, Mary, at work to create this years’ coupons, and Oh. My. Gosh. They are so amazing, I had to share! Thank you, Mary, for your creativity and passion. So impressive! And the kids loved them!
Our first Christmas at Sweetlove Farm (written by Phil)
After 18 years of marriage and 16 years of raising kids, Sal and I just spent our first Christmas at home with just our little nuclear family. It was beautiful, delightful, peaceful, and full of magic for our little ones, especially Finley, who, at the ripe age of 6 is in the full swell of the Christmas mystery. Indeed she turned out to be at the center of a fun Christmas story. On Christmas Eve afternoon she lost her very first tooth, so there was some jostling that night as the Tooth Fairy and Santa elbowed each other to get their jobs done. Now Finley is pretty much the most excited person in the world about anything, and she was so keyed up about those two visits that she “woke” up (read: bleary-eyed, REM stupor) while the Tooth Fairy was in mid job, and so said Fairy had to temporarily abandon the mission. An hour or so later, at literally the very second Santa was finishing his job, up the stairs (from the basement bedroom) comes an only slightly less bleary-eyed Finley to report in panic that her tooth, in its little plastic, tooth-shaped case from the dentist, was no longer under her pillow and that there was nothing from the tooth-fairy left there. (Keep in mind that all this magic stuff is VERY real to her still.) In the middle of this report to an equally bleary-eyed-and-ready-to-hit-the-hay-for-a-long-winter’s-nap set of parents, she noticed that Santa had made his deliveries. She suddenly was no longer bleary-eyed, but awake in wide-eyed wonder. And needless to say she was NOT going to go back to sleep, but instead insisted she get her siblings up out of bed! This was at 12:45am. So much for the long winter’s nap. I think we all managed to tumble into bed at about 2:30am. Cattle, sheep, and chickens still need to be fed in the mornings, despite Santa visits. It was a very short night, but a delightful time was had by all. As we were all nodding off to sleep, Burke said it was the best Christmas of his whole life. Compensation, indeed.
After a FANTASTIC holiday break, we’re slowly getting back in the swing of real life, which means posting all the happenings out at Sweetlove Farm again. Let’s start with these photos of Phil’s new chicken coop. He got it finished just in time for the baby chickens to enjoy a lovely condominium setting for their Christmas. They LOVE it, as you can see.
More posts to come about our holiday break…stay tuned!