Friday, April 9, 2010

Remember St. Patrick's Day?

The night before St. Patrick's Day, we sat down to make our Leprechaun trap. We bought Lucky Charms to bait it with, which brought out the Irish appetite in all the Mannions.

Can I Lucky Charm you?
Oh, yes I can!
The girls got down to serious work.
And Daddy helped, too.
They set up the trap in a new spot.
And in the morning, there were green footprints!
And this little stinker. Why am I even trying to catch another leprechaun?
They followed the path . . .
all the way to the trap.
Rats! He got away again! But he did leave gold and movies and Irish potatoes.

Chloe didn't take the loss of the leprechaun lying down. Next year, leprechaun, next year.

Easter Eggstravaganza

The night before Easter, while Bracken was at Priesthood Session, we dyed our Easter eggs. I asked the girls to pose for a picture. Addie, as always when given directions, went deaf. And Chloe gave me, "Really? I am so beyond this?" And I was like, "Really, you are 4. Four! Smile for the camera!"
At least Maggie gave me a wonderful smile.
Oh, her dirty, runny nosed smile. With one ear that sticks out. Dang, she's cute.
As I was mixing up the colors, I discovered one of the tablets was brown. Seriously, brown. Who wants brown Easter eggs? Well, Addie for one. I couldn't keep her eggs out of the brown dye. And when I told Bracken about it, he shared with me that she'd told him earlier in the day that she wanted to dye her eggs brown. And the point goes to the egg dye kit manufacturers.
And Chloe condescended to give me a hint of a smile.
The next morning, she was definitely excited, though. And look how cute the back of Addie's head is. And her little slippered feet.
Maggie was excited with her haul, too. We got her some fruit squeezers from Trader Joe's--they are the bomb. Totally saved our bacon at Disneyland.
And as the girls sorted through their goods, Chloe was most excited about--the grass?
We watched General Conference that morning while snacking on candy. Bracken also took the girls to see his mom in the hospital--she spent the holiday being treated for a variety of problems, but is generally doing much better. That afternoon, the rest of Bracken's family, and our friends the Morris' came over for dinner and our annual egg hunt. Here are all the kids waiting while the eggs are hidden.
"So, Will, do you think we hid enough eggs?" "I don't know, Bracken. I can hardly see any."

And here are our happy hunters, getting last minute instructions from Bracken. Notice the use of the hand.
They are so excited.
And they're off. Look at that cute Gigi. Oh, I could squeeze her.

Chloe got right down to business.

Addie needed a little help.
Me and my cute husband. Sure love him and all he does for us.
Autumn and Syrus
Is that a pink one, Mom? I only want pink ones.
Grandpa Jack, Gigi and Eden.
Daddy helping Addie
Chloe, Isaac and Autumn, and my lovely green garden.
And then they went inside and dug in. Addie ate herself into a stupor, then left half a Cadbury Creme egg, sticky side down, in the carpet.
Bracken helped Chloe empty all her eggs.
Isaac and Autumn, with Addie and Gigi passed out in the background.
And let's not forget this sweet little grinner. She was napping during the official hunt, but has been constantly on the prowl for stray treats ever since.

Pasta with Ham and Peas

This recipe is a fast favorite. It's great if you have leftover ham or leftover pasta.

8 oz. uncooked pasta--we like bowties, or "butterflies" if you ask Addie
2 T butter, give or take
1 T olive oil, or so
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (and by minced, I mean use a garlic press on it. Who really wants to mince garlic, besides the Pioneer Woman?)
8 oz. ham cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
8 oz. frozen peas, and/or french cut green beans
2-3 T lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 T fresh basil or parsley, minced

Bring med pot of water to boil, season with salt and add pasta. While pasta is cooking, melt butter and olive oil in large saute pan over med. high heat. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant but not brown. Add ham and cook and stir until heated through and slightly browned. Stir in frozen vegetables and cook until thawed. The pasta should be about done by this point. Drain cooked pasta and add to pan with ham and veggies (or add your leftover cooked pasta and heat through). Add basil, lemon zest and juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can either stir in the Parmesan, or sprinkle it over individual servings. Very simple, very fast and very tasty.