Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lasagna, Liver, and Rice

Victor's birthday is March 29 (same as mine!) but we took advantage of spring break last weekend when the college boys were home and celebrated early with the family. At our house, the birthday kid gets to pick out the food for the special birthday meal. Victor chose lasagna, liver and onions, and apple crisp. Victor, the parents and the grandparents enjoyed the liver. Dennis, William, James, and Christina enjoyed the lasagna. We all enjoyed the apple crisp and our family's traditional angel food cake!! Victor was adamant that my birthday not be overlooked, insisting that I also have a special plate, help with the blowing out of the candles, and take turns with him in the gift opening ritual. Gotta love that boy, liver or not.

And now a story about Dennis. He is pictured above holding a partial bag of raw rice. I've been trying for 7 months to cook rice the way he likes it. I've asked for help from my Puerto Rican friend, looked up recipes on the Internet, and tried adding a little oil. I've tried long grain, short grain, white, brown- you name it. (Ok, ok, I've been pushing the brown rice but hey- I've never served them minute rice in any form!) We are experimenting with recipes for an IRIS (Iowa Resource for International Service) event on April 11 where we are to take Nigerian and Tanzanian dishes. So I found an oriental kind of white rice and decided to give it one more try, since both of the dishes we want to make for April 11 include rice in the recipe. Joy of Joys!!!! After the meal, Dennis said, "That was good rice!" I happily replied "Hallelujah!!" His response--"AMEN!" Gotta love him too!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break!

Eagerly anticipated by all, spring break signifies the beginning of spring, right?? A break from school, the beginning of the downhill slope towards the end of the school year. At the Nichols house in SW Iowa, there were a couple of interesting dynamics that made spring break a little strange this year. First of all, Mom's school did not get a spring break. Hmm. How do the boys get to do exciting things when Mom and Dad have work as usual? Answer: College sons have spring break at the same time! Yeah! Secondly, IT SNOWED AGAIN! What??? Answer: Find something new to do inside!!!

So Victor and Dennis spent the first day of their spring break working to prepare a local Bible camp for the summer season, (assisting brother William), and the second day horseback riding thanks to brother James (see pictures). All activities occurred either before or after soccer practice, of course. First game is April 1, UNLESS IT SNOWS!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Well, the snow is finally melting. Not gone, but definitely melting. Each day the landscape changes as the warming temperature sculpts the snow drifts into ever-shrinking shapes and turns our driveway into a muddy mess. (Picture is not at our house. Ours is definitely worse and you can't buy gravel with gold!)

At the Nichols home, Victor and Dennis have learned a couple of lessons about Iowa after a snowy winter:
1) It's not a good idea to wear those new shoes outside during the BIG MELT. (Lesson: Wear old shoes. Carry new ones.)
2) Shoes worn outside during the BIG MELT leave little chunks of dried mud on the kitchen floor the next day. (Lesson: Put shoes on just before exiting house or be prepared to sweep.)
3) When we have exhausted all of our ways to complain about snow, we just change the focus of our grumbling to.........MUD! (Lesson: Iowans love to complain about the weather!)
4) Even if the calendar tells us that the first soccer game is April 1, the soccer field is also subject to the BIG MELT and is waiting for some BIG SUN! (Lesson: Indoor soccer stinks.)

Welcome Spring!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It seemed fitting that we have a family picture taken against a background of snow this year, since there has been so much of it to enjoy (?) and to show off to our new family members. We are thankful for Victor and Dennis who have added so much to our family, for the precious time we have with them and with our children scattered across the land, and for Michelle, who took this great picture and many more!