Sunday, March 27, 2011

House hunting trip

These past couple of days Jon and I were able to go to Texas for a house hunting trip. It was nice to be able to get away for a couple days, relax, scope out the area we will be living at, and find a place to stay.

Well Texas is hot and sticky. Jon and I were sweating as we stepped off the plane at 9 pm. Kia Ora got a little sunburn on her arms simply by walking from the car to the apartment office doors/ apartment showings. Hopefully we will get use to the climate sooner than later.
The first 2 days was strictly business. Our sole objective was finding a place to live. Believe it or not the renting market is not very big. We ended up having to sign with a place called the Gateway. It is only a 2 bedroom since they did not have 3 bedrooms available. Besides we are hoping to save up a little money to get a house within the next year.
The apartment complex is pretty nice: pool, basketball court, volleyball court, playground, and a fairly nice grassy area with a gazebo.

 The final day some of our friends took us to the beach, which turns out to be just 15 minutes away from our front door. The water was so nice, you could hardly tell where the sand ended and water begun. Jon actually went swimming, and Kiki had her first encounter with the ocean.

Below is a picture of one of the plants where Jon will be working at. He is very eager to get started with Dow.

We are all very exciting for a new beginning in Lake Jackson, Texas, and think it will be a great fit for our family.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Julien's Book Talk

Julien had a big project due yesterday. It took us about a month to prepare for it. He had to draw an original front and back book cover, make a comic book page of his favorite scene, draw pictures of the leading characters in action along with their description, a news paper review of the book, bring a prop that relates to the book somehow, and do a presentation. This project seemed a little hefty for a 4th grader. But after many weekends, and late nights, we managed to get it done. And I think he did an amazing job.

Happy St Patrick's Day


Today I wanted to do something fun for the kids for St Patrick's day. The cook at work gave me some great meal ideas. So on my way home I stopped by the store to pick up some key ingredients and then started my delicious St. Partick's day dinner. Below are the recipes. The kids enjoyed it very much (except for Logan who would not eat the "green" in the potato pancakes, that kid is so picky!)

St. Paddy's Green Potato Pancakes with Pale Green Horseradish Drizzle

1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or boiling potatoes, cut into large (about 2-inch) pieces
2 teaspoons salt for boiling
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Bring a large pot of water (about 4 quarts) to a boil. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes cook, thaw the spinach in a microwave. Place the spinach in a sieve over a bowl and press out as much water as possible. Reserve the spinach water for the Pale Green Horseradish Drizzle.
Heat the butter and cream gently until melted. (A heatproof measuring cup in a microwave on low setting works well for this. Check every minute or so until butter is melted.)

Mash the potatoes together with the spinach, butter mixture, flour, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the mixture into 1/2-inch thick cakes, about 3-1/2 inches across. Mixture makes about 12 cakes. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high until hot. Brown the cakes on both sides, and 3 minutes per side, making sure they don't burn.

Drain the cooked cakes on the paper towel-lined baking sheet, and keep warm in the oven until all cakes are made.

Serve hot, with the Pale Green Horseradish Drizzle.

Pale Green Horseradish Drizzle

4 teaspoons spinach water, reserved from pancake recipe
2 teaspoons reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Mix together the spinach water (4 teaspoons only) with the sour cream and horseradish until smooth. Mixture will be thin. Drizzle it over the pancakes right before serving, or to nap an appetizer plate, drizzle a small amount on the plate and set 2 pancakes on top.
Makes about twelve (3 to 3-1/2 inch) pancakes

Lime steak 

kosher salt
lime juice
lime, sliced

Marinate the steak in kosher salt, and lime. Cook steak with kosher salt, pepper, and shallots. Top with lime slices when ready to serve.

Shamrock Shake

4 TBS chocolate syrup
8 mint creme oreo cookies, crushed
1 cup of milk
2 cups of mint chocolate chip ice cream

Pour 1 TBS of chocolate syrup in 4 cups. In a mixer blend together the ice cream and the milk. Pour the milk shake mixture evenly in each up. Top shake with mint oreo cookies.

makes 4, 1 cup serving

Minty St Partick's day drink

mint leaves
3 kiwis, without skins, cut in slices
8 green skittles

Pour sprite in cups, put in 1 or 2 mint leaves, 2-3 kiwi slices, and 2 skittles. 

Makes 4 cups

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fresh Food Feeder

Okay so a fresh food feeder is a very lame word, but it is a very cool product. I found it at Walmart the other day, and thought I would share. It is a mesh bag which seals. You can put all  different kinds of fruits, veggies, cookies in it. The baby will chew on it without any risk of chocking on food. Kia Ora really likes it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kia Ora loves her big brothers

Kia Ora loves her big brothers. She laughs and get very excited when ever she sees them. She also loves to kiss them.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Audrey and Joey's Wedding

Audrey finally got her wedding pictures. They turned out beautiful! I thought I'd share a couple (few compared to the thousand the photographer sent.) Audrey and Joey got married the 30th of December 2010.

Getting ready.


Audrey and Joey

Audrey and Joey's first look.

Our beautiful bride Audrey.


The handsome groom.



Family pictures.





The boys, our cute little ushers

The ceremony.


The party.

And here I am tearing up the dance floor. LOL

Family photos.


Audrey and Joey were so sweet in sharing their special day with us by getting us our very own cake. That very day, Jon and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. It was by far the best anniversary celebration.

Calculating my move...

...and the kill!


Of to the honeymoon.

Here are a few details of the room and Audrey's accessories. Everything was so beautifully done.

 I made this pillow for Audrey and Joey's rings.  It is made out of my mom's wedding dress. I thought it turned out pretty good.