Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mama and Papa, my birthday and other happenings.

Mama and Papa Have Come for a Visit!!!

It's been a while since I've posted anything. You might be wondering where I've been? Well, my parents came for a visit from Utah and we've been so busy playing, cooking and going out on the town that I haven't had the time to sit down and load pictures and write anything. We've had a great couple of weeks and have made a lot of memories. I've posted some of the pictures we took, but I wish I would've taken more. Umph!
Here's a few of the highlights...

The first Saturday my parents were here, Stuart and Connor had a three on three tournament here in town. I really think they liked having Mama and Papa here to cheer them on. Papa said they were good players, calling them "little scrappers". Stuart had some great games, scoring half of the teams total points. He also did a great job playing defense.
This was Connor's first experience playing basketball in a competitive way and we were all really impressed. Papa said he set a pick like nothing else!

I like these pictures of the kids with Mama and Papa. They all have a great relationship with their Mama and Papa. Oliver and Papa are two peas in a pod; teasing each other all day long!

That night we took my parents to a nice restaurant in Sturgeon Bay for my birthday called Inn at Cedar Crossing. We all enjoyed our meals, as everything is always so delicious! After dinner for dessert we went to Culver's and had some custard, Mama's favorite! We actually made several trips there during the visit!
Mama didn't want her picture taken this night at the Inn because she had some kind of allergic reaction earlier that day, and her eye and surrounding area all swelled up. I promise she was there!

On Sunday the 22nd, it was my birthday. We went to church and then enjoyed a great meal made by Mama. She made pot roast, mashed potatoes, bread and salad with homemade Thousand Island dressing. Yum!!

Then they sang me Happy Birthday and we had cake and Culver's custard, of course!

One of the great traditions my dad does with the kids is to "Call the Magic" into the treasure box. (I've posted an essay my nephew wrote a couple of months ago about this tradition.)
The kids LOVE it and beg him to do it every day!!

Poppy even got in the action and took a sucker from the treasure box! She thought if she hid on the other side of the couch we night not notice! No, NO, NO, POPPY!!

Mama in all her glory...in the kitchen. My kids have told me that I'm a good cook, but only second best! They all think Mama is the best cook ever! I'm OK with this because really, she is the best!

This is poor Mama after spending the whole day in the kitchen last Sunday, making a delicious meal of Feijoada, molho, Mama bread, and Danish Dessert. She was pooped!
(all that I can add is this picture was taken right before "Poo-lates" #2...that's all I'll give away, Mom! :)

Us girls, getting ready to hit the town. It was so fun to take off for the day and go shopping! We went to a garage sell, a jewelery store to get Pandora bracelets and then to TJ Maxx. Fun times!

For my birthday, Dave got me (but I went to pick it out with my mom) a Pandora bracelet. They are like a charm bracelet but instead of jangly, loud charms, they are silver (or gold) beads. My mom and I both fell in love with these! She got one too and bought her a couple of charms for her birthday coming up and for Mothers Day (I guess I won't have to worry about shipping anything out to her, as I stink at this and she always gets her presents too late!) We spent many an hour drooling over the catalog deciding what charms we wanted next. It was funny because one morning I woke up and told her that I had dreamed about Pandora. She started laughing and said she did the same thing!

Another funny thing that happened were these shoes that my mom bought for Chloe at the Garage sell. As many of you know, Chloe has had a fixation of the wizard of Oz and has taken on the identity of Dorthy. My mom saw these shoes and knew that Chloe had to have them. Even though they are 10 sizes too big, it hasn't deterred her from wearing them all over town. She clomped all over Green Bay wearing these things. It brought many a smile to other shoppers faces! Chloe even sleeps in these things. Oliver told her the other day..."Chloe, I have news for you. Those shoes are too big for you!". "NO THEY'RE NOT!!!", she replied!

Going to church wearing the ruby slippers, of course!

On Friday, Dave took the boys to La Crosse so that Stuart could play in another tournament. That left me and Chloe home with my parents. We decided to go out for a bite to eat since we didn't need to cook for the whole gang. I took them to one of my favorite places to eat, Victoria's in Green Bay. It is an Italian Restaurant that puts Olive Garden to shame! I always get the same meal every time I go there, Fucilli Milli Gusti, but my parents order Chicken Parmigiana over a bed of fettuccine. One thing Victoria's is famous for are their portions! When my dad first saw his plate, he said loudly for every one around to hear, "GOOD GOLLY!!" He told the waitress that he'd eaten in restaurants all over the world and he'd never seen portions of that size! They had a huge plate of pasta covered with two enormous breaded chicken breasts.
I've never gone to that restaurant without taking a box home. In fact we all took some home. We ate our dishes for dinner that night, lunch the next day and dinner as well! I'd say we got our money's worth!

We always love when Mama and Papa come! We get them all to ourselves to spoil and love! We are looking forward to the next time we see them this summer in Utah and are looking forward when they can come back to our house when Oliver's gets baptized in November. But until then we'll miss them lots!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


This morning for breakfast I made the kids some GREEN steel cut oats for breakfast. They seemed slightly concerned when they looked in their bowls!

Oliver asked this morning if I knew where an orange marker was. I asked him why he need one and he said so he could draw an orange beard on his face. I guess he wanted to be a leprechaun. I told him that I thought a green shirt would be fine to wear to school and maybe we'd have to look into making a beard with yarn after school.

Last night for dinner I made corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots, and Irish soda bread rolls for dinner. I made the Irish dinner last night instead of tonight because Dave and Stuart weren't going to home tonight. I thought it was so tasty! The kids liked it too, even the cabbage! They normally devour carrots but they all said they didn't like them too well. Maybe the carrots tasted funny to them because I cooked them in the crock pot with the meat and potatoes. Who knows!!
My sister, Emily, gave me the recipe for the Irish soda bread. It was the first time that I had ever tried making it and I thought it was pretty good. They are a heavy, quick bread with a crusty crust. They are quick and easy and that's what I liked about them! Here's the recipe if you want to try them out.

Irish Soda Bread Rolls

2 1/2 c. + flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose)
1 c. oats
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. currents or raisins (I used currents to add some sweetness)
1 1/2 c. buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients and add buttermilk to make a manageable dough. (You may have to add a little more flour so that the dough isn't too sticky.) Stir to just combine. Overmixing produces a tough dough. Form into rolls and roll in some flour. This recipe made 8 rolls for me. Place on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Cut crosses on the top of the roll and bake for 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Best fresh out of the oven!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Oliver's Busy Week


Oliver had the opportunity to be involved with a program called Destination Imagination. I wasn't familiar with this before I moved to Wisconsin, but it is a neat thing for kids to get involved with after school. It's a world wide program that kids get to compete in, first on a regional level, then state, then nationals, then world. (In fact, the school the kids used to go to before we moved to our current city, took 1st in world level for several years.)
What the kids do is meet together for several months after school with a "coach". The kids are given a challenge that they have to overcome as shown in a play/skit. They have to come up with the idea and solution all on their own, create their set, write the play and come up with ideas for costumes. It's a great way for them to let their creative juices flow!
Oliver has had a couple of opportunities in the last few weeks to let his artistic side show through the stage. He told me a few days ago that he thought that maybe his "destiny" was to be an actor! We'll see!!


Another big thing on the list to do this week was to help Oliver build a Pinewood Derby Car. Can I just say, the more I do this event with my boys, the more I hate it!? To me, all it is is a place for the dad's who know what they're doing to make their kids car the best and the fastest thing to hit the track! It is so hard to compete at these races if you don't know what the heck you are doing! Let just say, based on Dave's look in the following picture, that he doesn't get into it too much. He wants our boys to make the car themselves as much as possible, which is the right thing to do. But on the other hand, I know they can't preform next to these "daddy pros" who build their boys car. What to do?? Well, Oliver's car didn't do that well...30th out of 31! I felt bad for him, looking at the disappointment on his face when his car lost every round. I heard several other boys who didn't preform very well go up to their dad's and say, "You stink at building cars!!!". Sad.
I do know that Oliver had fun making the car and he especially had fun after the race, zooming his car around the gym with his brothers and buddies.
I know there are other Pack's out there that have a "daddy race" for the dads to compete in. I wish ours would do that and leave the kids to do their own with just a little bit of help in the carving of the car. But until then, this mommy feels too much pressure!
(* Note: After re-reading this post on the derby with Dave, I realize that it sounds a little harsh and bitter. I'm not really that upset about it, but these are the things I feel about it.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daybook, March 9th

Outside my window: Well, beside the new snow from last nights' snowstorm- 6 1/2 inches (old news, same old-same old), I see the Utility Company trimming my trees out in the front yard. I love these big trees as they provide such nice shade in the summer and beautiful color in the fall.
I am thinking: I am glad Chloe seems to be feeling better today. Last night she had a fever of about 103. She has a bad cough too. Sometimes my kids seem to feel better in the day and then get sick again at night.
I am thankful: That my parents and my brother, Andrew are coming for a visit in the next couple of weeks for my birthday. Can't wait!!!
From the kitchen: Last night I made cinnamon rolls for the family and the neighbors (enjoyed one for breakfast this morning!). Tonight I'm going to make chicken pizza and salad. My kids really like this flavor of pizza using Ranch as the sauce, chicken pieces cooked with garlic pepper, pineapple tidbits and lots of mozzarella cheese. I know it sounds really weird, but it's so good!
I am creating: A clean home. With my mom coming, spring cleaning has bumped up on my priority list! When I ask the kids to clean and I want a really good, through job, I say "Clean 'LaVaunimuska' style." (My mom's name is LaVaun) They get the message and know what standard I want! This is the standard that I'm trying to clean too! :)
I am going: Nowhere! Dave's car is out of commission, so I'm left without a car...not like I was going anywhere anyways!
I am hoping: That our tax return gets here quick! Then Dave can get a new car and I can pay off some bills! How fun for me.
I am reading: Another spy thriller. My favorite!
I am hearing: I am listening to Chloe play and watch "Reading Rainbow".
Around the house: I just mopped my floors. This is something I don't do enough because the same day I do it, someone walks in with their shoes on and the floors get all muddy again. Then I'm always on the kids to be careful not to get the floors dirty. Not really worth I guess. But after they're clean I realize how much I love it and how it's not really that hard to clean them.
One of my favorite things: Girl Scout Cookies. My neighbor girls brought over our order last night and I'm trying really hard to ignore them in the kitchen! My favorites are Samoas and
Thin Mints.
I am wearing: Sweats and a sweatshirt. I wanted to get my cleaning done and then get ready for the day, but it's taking me too long. I don't think getting ready is going to happen for me today.
Plans for the week: Clean, clean, clean!!! Also a few haircuts. Dave has Friday off, so we may have to go out to lunch at Inn at Cedar Crossing. It has yummy food! Dave is also taking the boys to Motor-Cross at the Resch Center on Saturday. He's not really looking forward to it, but the boys are. Bring some earplugs, Dave!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

For a few hours I felt like I was in India...

Last night Dave and I went on a double date with some friends of ours, the St. John's. We drove to Green Bay to go to a restaurant called Taste of India. I had never had Indian food before so this was exciting for me.
Just a little back ground on my ethnic food history... Before I had married Dave, I hadn't had a lot of ethnic foods. I had lived in Portugal and had tried some interesting things from the cooking there, but as far as loving and craving really different foods, that came with Dave subjecting me to all kinds of different things. And I'm glad he has...
Last night we had lots of yummy things. We started out with some thin crispy bread called puris that was served with different chutneys to dip in. These were some very good and unique flavors I've never had before. We also had a serving of the tradional Indian bread called Naan (similar to a puffy tortilla).
Following that we had an appetizer called Samosa. They were a type of fried pastry filled with potatoes and peas. Yum! It was kind of funny because on the plate that the Samosa's were served on, there was a bed of greens with a spice sprinkled on the dish. We all took a lick of the spice to figure out was it was. I had never had this taste before and couldn't figure out what it was. We all decided that it tasted like a hard cooked egg. Very interesting!
After that we had some main dishes that we all shared so we could try different flavors. We ordered Palak Paneer (spinach curry with cheese, was my favorite!), Lamb Curry (Dave's favorite), Matar Paneer (Green peas and mushroom curry), and a dish called Tandoori which was a bunch of different types of meats and veggies grilled in a clay oven.
I also had a drink (which was more like a dessert) called a Mango Lassie. This was a yogurt drink flavored with mango and rose water. So, so good! After the meal they served sweetened fennel seeds which apparently you suck on, then spit out. Dave didn't know this and he had chewed and swallowed his. He said that wasn't so good! :(
After feeling cooped up in my house for so long it was so good to get away, even if it was for a few hours. Dave and I joked that we felt like we were some where far away as the waiter staff could hardly speak English either!
So, I highly recommend Indian food to you if you haven't tried it. Very different then any thing I've had, but so good. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal and am going to try my hand at cooking some of these dishes for my family in our rotation of meals!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Funniest blog post ever!

I was linked to this blog through a friend of mine, Sean. You just have to read this funny post. Maybe you saw this on the national media circuit this week, but it is worth reading from her perspective. I had tears streaming down my cheeks! Hilarious!!

Krazy Kaitlin
Feb. 25 post "I'm Engaged!"