Friday, May 30, 2008

the month of May

What a month! Got knee-deep into my sewing craze, had my brother up for a week, went to Lacey to visit a shrine, planted flowers in the garden, went to Vancouver for a week, hikes were taken, trips to the city pool, Steve graduated from Firefighter Academy, and tonight our priest is coming to celebrate Mass in our home and to consecrate our family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Happy Feast Day!) So without further ado, the specs:

Steve's graduation ceremony: It was pretty nice! I learned that Island County co-leads the state (along with Bates College) with firefighting accreditations they offer. We are very lucky that not only did he receive his Firefighter I status from the state, he got paid to do so! He wants to go on and get his EMT certification this winter (here on the island also) and set himself up for a full-time career some day. Steve was singled out that evening to receive a plaque and "Chief's Choice" award for most outstanding recruit of the whole north battalion! That's the man I married... puts his heart and ethic into all his work. "If something's worth doing, it's worth doing right!"

These are the recruits for the city of Oak Harbor (they has had South Island and North Island county recruits), and who's that handsome one there on the left??? (Click on the photos for a bigger image)

... receiving his certificate from Senator Haugen who was the key speaker for the ceremony.

... all squared away with his new badge!

*Giggle* Steve stands a little bit straighter when he wears that uniform... I'm so proud of him.

And here we have now the mandatory playground pics of the kiddos...

I just love this next picture of the three boys:

playing in the bubbles with Uncle Nate. and cousin Delion:

And now we have the Hazel Dell Parade. Boy do the Pecks know how to do parades! Check out their sweet setup for the 95 degree heat, complete with a cooler for cold drinks and something like a 50 pound bag of sunflower seeds! My father-in-law gets out there hours before the parade starts to set up in the choicest spot along the street, and they meet up with some family friends and just have a great time! I think I can officially say that this is my favorite tradition on Steve's side of the family and I'm thankful to be a part of it. (We just need to live closer to family so we can do this every year!)

Ha, ha! Writing this out in front of our "post" got most of the bands to march a little crisper and play a tune! School-aged kids will believe anything... :o)

Dominic has a ball and a lap... what else could he possibly want?!

The boys got loads of candy!

Aunt Mandy put beads on Nico and is about to teach him Blackjack... ha-ha!!

Here's the water fountain at Esther Short Park in Vancouver. Dominic took a bit to warm up to the idea:

And if this isn't the sweetest photo of the brothers I've seen in a LONG time!

... the boys looking through photo albums.

... my attempts to turn my thumb green. The kids had fun in the dirt at least!

... and finally, the sweet signs of summer around the corner!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

turkey meatloaf?

I'm just posting this because I heard rave reviews about it and then went to the Food Network site to get it only to find a statement saying it would only be available for a limited time. So... UNTIL I have time to try it out... here it is being saved:

Ina Garten's Meatloaf

3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
5 pounds ground turkey breast
1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.