Monday, February 27, 2012

What's cooking? (Emily's Enchiladas)

A few weeks ago I e-mailed my friends and family a fun recipe for some crockpot chicken. I got such a great response from that one email that I decided that I should put some of my recipes on my blog.

Here is one of my favorites:

Emily's Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 1/2 c salsa
1 t cumin
1/2 t salt
4 oz cream cheese (low fat works great)
4 oz shredded cheese
1/4 c chopped onions (optional, the Raney's eat onions in just about everything!)
Tortillas (I use the small ones, but medium would also work)

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown ground beef. Once beef is done, add 1 cup salsa, onions, cumin, salt and cream cheese until melted. Spoon meat mixture into tortillas. Place seam side down in lightly greased cake pan. top with remaining 1/2 cup salsa and cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This is an excellent meal to double and freeze half of it, because it reheats really well.






I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but they were very tasty! I served this dish with a side of fruit salad. Cohen ate everything I put on his plate! That boy loves to eat!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can you believe he can ride a bike?

Cohen and I have been going on walks almost everyday this week. We went with some friends on Thursday, and he decided that he needed to try some tricks on his bike.

See, a few months ago, Jace and I took the training wheels and pedals off Cohen's bike. We read that this is a great way to teach your child how to balance on his bike. So Cohen would basically run the bike around the neighborhood.

This is a video from October 2011, shortly after we took the training wheels and pedals off the bike...



Well, Thursday, he started to pick up his feet and put them on the fork at the front of the bike. He could balance and ride like that for a few yards. I figured if he could balance himself well enough to put his feet up on his bike, then he could pedal.

Yesterday when Jace got home, Cohen met him in the yard and begged him to put the pedals back on his bike.

And this is what happened....



I am one proud mama! I cannot believe he actually did it! At the end of the video, you can hear him yell out "Look at me!" He was so proud of himself too!

The thing that makes this so sweet is that he spent the first 20 months of his life in an institution. That basically means he was confined to a bed or very small space. Everyone told us to expect delays with his motor skills because of this. I'm in tears right now just writing this out, because he's not delayed! My boy can ride a bike without training wheels!!

This is a great example of how wonderful and powerful our God is! Even when everyone said he would be behind his peers developmentally, God showed us that anything is possible! I can't wait to see what God has in store for this little boy. I know He's got a great big plan for my little Cohen.



Friday, February 24, 2012

Would you like to hear about the Raney vacation? (Part 5)


On our final day of our vacation, we made sure to take pictures by the state signs. I’m eventually going to put together some sort of book or something for Cohen so he can remember what states he has visited.

It was early, so the sun was in our eyes.

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When we got home, this is what we found in our living room. Whew, what a mess!! The disaster only broke a few ornaments. We are not sure how this happened, but we sure are glad it was a small tree and not real (water from the stand would have leaked all over the floor).

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Would you like to hear about the Raney Vacation? (Part 4)


On the forth day of our vacation we finally made it to Biltmore Estate.

We took pictures in front of the house.

Cohen took our picture…he did a good job getting the house in the shot and us in the center.

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These boys are so silly!!

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We came to Biltmore a few years ago and took pictures in this exact spot. This time, we made sure Cohen made it in the pictures. As mentioned in an earlier post, he’s afraid of heights, so he wouldn’t let us hold him up to get a shot of the mountains in the background.

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Cohen took our picture…I love this angle, no mountains at all. Oh well. At least he didn’t cut our heads off or something like that.

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You are not allowed to take pictures inside the house, but as always, it was beautiful. They had it decorated for Christmas. Cohen did great in the house. We got him a set of headphones with the story of Biltmore and he rode Jace’s shoulders and listened to the recording.

We did the wine tour, because we love science and there is lots of science that goes into making wine. Jesus really did perform quite a miracle when he turned water into wine.

Cohen was the only person who got to taste anything after the tour. He had some sparkling grape juice and LOVED IT!
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And one of my favorite pictures of the house.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Would you like to hear about the Raney vacation? (Part 3)

On December 28, the third day of our vacation, we were supposed to go to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. When we got there, they were totally sold out!

That didn't stop us from having loads of fun. We got on our iPhones and found a really neat museum called the Health Adventure. What an amazing find! This museum was designed for little boys.

We started at the tools and gears table.


This exhibit teaches you how a car has to actually go farther when it is closer to the outside of the track. It had buttons and made noise, so Cohen loved it!


They had about 10 of these little things you could drop a ball into and watch it roll out. If you look close, you can see the one in the background that sent the ball over hills.


We learned how to brush our teeth.


And how to floss.


Then we spent about an hour at this table. It had a hose hooked up to it with air coming out, so you could balance a ball on the top of it, or turn it sideways and shoot the ball at other people.


While we were there, they did an exhibit on liquid nitrogen. This was really neat and very educational!


And we couldn't leave North Carolina without planking while we were there...right?


If you are ever near Asheville, NC, I would highly recommend this museum.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Would you like to hear about the Raney vacation? (Part 2)

On the next day of our vacation, we drove down to Greenville, SC. Our first stop was a local museum that had a REAL Faberge egg on display. For those that don't know, READ HERE for more info on Faberge Eggs, or go here to see our attempt at making a Faberge Egg. These are really special eggs, that were made in Russia many years ago. 

This is a picture of the egg we were able to see in person (you are not allowed to take pictures of the egg, so this is just a picture found on the internet somewhere).


Here is Cohen about to go into the museum. For more information about this wonderful museum CLICK HERE. We actually sort of stumbled across this museum. On our drive into Greenville, I saw a billboard for a Russian exhibit at one of the local museums. We decided if it was reasonably priced, we'd go. I'm so glad I saw that billboard. This museum was a really special stop for us since Cohen spent the first 20 months of his life living in Russia.


After looking at the beautiful egg and all the other really old Russian artwork, we headed upstairs to the childrens section of the museum which taught us all sorts of wonderful things about Russian culture and art.

Here, Cohen is posing with two Russian children. Notice, in the bubble, they are also speaking Russian.


Here is the Russian Alphabet.


They had masks and a stage/castle. We played for a long time here. At the top of the castle was a bookshelf with books about Russia and some old Russian folk tales. FUN!



In this scene, they are acting out the Billy Goats Gruff. Cohen is the mean troll, and Jace is the biggest Billy Goat.




In addition to all of this that you see, there was a place you could watch a video about Russia, make filagree bowls, and learn lots, lots more.

After all that fun at the museum, we headed over to the library (right next door) and changed clothes in their bathroom. We had a friend getting married that day in Greenville, SC, so after changing clothes, we rushed over to the wedding. We made it just in time...whew.

After the wedding, we changed back into our play clothes, and headed over to Falls Park to walk across the Liberty Bridge, a unique suspension bridge.



Our son, Cohen, is afraid of heights. I don't know that I have ever met a child that is this terrified of heights. It just seems strange to me, because I don't have this fear at all. Here I am holding him on the Liberty Bridge. Look how scared he is!


Here's a picture of the actual falls. Of course, they are much more beautiful in person, but this picture will have to do for now.


After walking across the bridge a few times, Cohen got over some of his height issues.







We also walked through the park. It was a perfect day for going for a walk!


 We ate dinner at this very yummy place called Smoke on the Water, then headed home. It was a long and very fun day.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Would you like to hear about the Raney vacation? (Part 1)

I am WAY BEHIND on posting about the Raney vacation. I was working on my Christmas Shutterfly book and noticed that none of our vacation was on the blog. Oops. Well here ya go.

We left on December 26, 2011 and headed up to Hendersonville, NC. It was a long drive, but Cohen does really well in the car, so no problems there.

When we were about halfway there, we pulled out the DVD player. Not for Cohen's entertainment, but for Jace and I to have a small break from the constant chatter. He watched The Grinch (the one with Jim Carey). It's probably too scary for kids his age, but oh well. I have to brag on my Cohen for just a minute. We drove for about 12-13 hours, and he watched 1 movie and slept for maybe an hour. The rest of the time he was talking to himself, Hugsy, Jace or me. Like I said earlier, he does great in the car.


A little later on the trip, we got really bored and Cohen decided to eat his foot. Yum.



We stayed at this cute little cabin in Hendersonville. It was newly renovated, so it still smelled of new paint and wood. It really worked well for what we needed.




After all that riding and driving, Cohen, Hugsy and Jace were ready to sit and watch some football.


May I brag on my child again? Ok, thanks. Not only does he do great in the car, he went to bed with no problems. I always wonder how he will do in a strange house, strange bed, strange town, but he always does so great! We put him in the room across the hall from ours, and he was really excited about sleeping in the new bed. Within minutes, he was OUT!


The first day of our little vacation was lots of fun!