Thursday, March 31, 2011

After a wonderful breakfast with Hannah and Maxine, I had a leisurely day of chick flick watching and doing the necessary home things - then Maxine brought her family over for dinner - fish and bok choy en papillon, red potatoes with gruyere, spring salad, and THIS:

I made the dinner, she made the cake.

Then they taught us how to play Dominion, which was really fun. We had a very long and involved discussion on the beauties and ills of various card and board games last night. Lately we've been playing a lot of them with the big boys, and we all have a really good time with it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

They say it's your birthday....

Well, okay, today is MY birthday, but last week was my baby's birthday. He is a sucker for stars, and doesn't really love cake, so we made sugar cookies for him.

also, I just discovered the Instagram app on the iPhone and I'm having a lot of fun with it!

Inside an old train at the train museum at Griffith park. Trains + Stars = Happy 2 year old!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It is raining here. The winds are so strong and there is so much water pouring down - it is as if all the tears from Japan have finally made it across the ocean. Like they are telling their story, giving us their sorrows. I want to stretch my arms over the sea and wrap the suffering people in a warm and comforting hug. I want to wipe the tears from a dirty and downtrodden face and make everything better.

There are many, many ways to give. And it costs nothing to pray.

I logged on this afternoon to blog a funny story about one of my kids. The rain has just gotten to me today. It feels deeper than a "normal" rain. Melancholy and cleansing and just, soaking in. Soaking deep.

There have been so many catastrophes in recent years. Katrina, Haiti, now Japan. Troubles in Australia and China. Not to mention the war. And we haven't had enough time to heal one wound before another one is gaping open. I am so grateful for the people who have altered their lives to go to those places and make a difference at ground zero; to work with and among the people in need. My heart and my love go out to them. They are doing the Lord's work, and I know they are being blessed for it. I hope our prayers for them can lend them the strength and the help that they need to carry on. I hope that the money that is given for these causes is used to its full effect. If many people do a little bit to help, all together we can make a great change in the world.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week in Review:

1. Just got back from a 4 mile run. Normally we (Hannah and I) go in the early morning but today we hit mid-day and it was slightly brutal. By mile 3 I was wishing running had never been invented. I had to push the jogger because Craig had to be at work and my hands got all sticky when I had some juice get the picture.

Not helping was the knowledge that in just over two months' time, I plan on running 9 miles longer than I ran today; and some part of my brain is still trying to convince me that I'm going to enjoy the experience.

While I didn't have any particular aches or pains, I was walking like a newly born zombie when I got home so I made the decision to take an ice bath and make sure my legs got the TLC they needed.

Let me tell you, lowering myself into that frigid water was very nearly the hardest thing I have ever done! It is not unlike natural childbirth! I KID YOU NOT. Of course, the gasping horrifying pain only lasts a few minutes until you get used to it - where childbirth lasts considerably longer than that - but it is an eye-bugging few minutes.

2. A new thrift store opened up very near to my house recently and while the inside is largely uninspiring, there is a rack outside that says 99 cents on it and I've been itching to go through that rack and see if I can find anything to upcycle.

So I did. And, I did!

For myself, I found a great brown knit skirt that will be perfect for the warmer weather until I shed these pounds (damn the scale! I've gained back all 5 pounds I lost, PLUS TWO MORE!). And for the boys, I picked up 7 different tops and sweaters in various adult sizes, that I will take apart and make into two hoodies. Behold:

The orange and cream ones on top are the ones that will be the base - I've got them cut and pinned for re-sizing and then I'll be adding stripes and skulls and hoods with the fabric from the shirts along the bottom.

3. Maxine recently got a "cease and desist" order from me; referring to the twenty pounds I have gained since she moved back to the States. She, being a foodie, is really the perfect scapegoat. While I wash dishes, I daydream about lovely dresses and gothy designs and adventure/love stories. While she washes dishes, she daydreams about menus and food and shopping for food or kitchen utensils and parties (namely, the food that would be served at said party).

To be fair (I am always fair) I have always eaten a lot of sweets. But my propensity for having sweets in the house already, combined with her desire to bake things, has equaled a dirty bomb of jiggly proportions to my physique. The self control must be got!

However, on the flip side of this coin is the fact that she is also an amazing cook and very savvy with her food budget. So, I have gotten fat, but I have also learned to make some really yummy foods for dinner.

Like last weeks Bolognese. *eyes roll back into head*

And this weeks' homemade gnocchi! :

cooked and crumbled potatoes, flour, salt, egg (that's my photo - I was v proud of my potato mountain).
kneaded 4 minutes, makes a dough (my fingers had like an inch layer of goo on them), separate that into 8 sections, roll them, cut them, and make the fork shapey things:

Boil 2 minutes! voila! I used a recipe from Everyday Food - bacon and roasted tomatoes and garlic! parsley and fresh parmesan!

my family was all in heaven.

So, thanks Maxine! Thanks for daydreaming about food and food shopping and food things. A little bit of the good stuff is rubbing off on me!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

as a side note - while I have not been blogging a ton it is mostly because I have been spending hours, hours people, gazing at the crafty awesomeness that has been popping up for this year's "Celebrate the Boy".

here are some links:

I don't often share recipes but this one, I could not not share.

(image via Taste of Home)

Maxine was talking for DAYS about this great bolognese sauce recipe and how wonderful it was and then she brought over some leftovers for lunch and I almost died, it was that good. Emeril uses cinnamon and nutmeg in his recipe and it's like eating Christmas Bolognese and it is so, so good.

You can find his recipe for it HERE. It takes some time, and has a lot of ingredients, but I tell you it is worth it! My oldest son raved (he is our resident spaghetti lover) and I was daydreaming about it for days afterward.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Some of you might know these people:

they came to visit us the week after Christmas (late posting? guilty.) just before their Epic Disneyland Vacation. Our boys and their girls hadn't seen each other for three years, and they were so excited to reunite.

We took them to the train museum when it was discovered that the zoo was a mad house.

And, we discovered what happens when Craig tries to be the Fun Person for 6 children...

He was on the ground for at least 5 minutes, trying to "win", before we had mercy on him and called off the hounds.