Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary - 7 Years of Wedded Bliss

Apache Blessing
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the
journey ahead and through all the years,
May happiness be your companion and
your days together be good and long upon the earth...

Happily married and so very grateful for my dear hubby.
I love you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Lorax - A Drama Camp Production

Aidan has been having a fabulous time at summer camp. This past two weeks was drama camp that ended with a Variety Show and a play, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, performed for family and friends.

Aidan has always been a shy soul so I thought drama camp might be just the bit of medicine he needs to help bring him out of his shell. I was a little worried that this line of thought might actually backfire and work against us but, boy did he pleasantly surprise us.

He was part of the fashion show, where he strutted his stuff in baseball attire without any timid reservation. Following the Variety Show was their performance of The Lorax (a great story with an environmental message that's so fitting for the times, if you're not familiar with it you might want to give it a read). Aidan was part of the factory and once again enjoyed being in the spotlight without any signs of stage fright. Quite the opposite he was animated and obviously happy.

We had so much fun watching Aidan perform with all his summer camp friends. After several days of foggy cold weather, the skies cleared giving us a gift of gorgeous weather for the special day. Yay, to drama camp and a successful event!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Artful Thursday: Dinner Time Survival Guide

It's the "Dinner Time Survival Guide" once again. I've made these before for my mom's group and now I've made one for a girlfriend I share recipes with often.

This is a simple altered composition book that's embellished with scrapbook paper, stickers and stamps.

Inside I just used double tape to adhere a little message and one of my favorite go to recipes. All pretty simple but you could make this as elaborate as you want. Really you could make it what ever you want, summer camp survival guide, workout survival guide etc...whatever kind of journal you want would be perfect. It being summer time with all those back to school sales starting, what's best about this project is that the composition books are on sale at Target, right now for .25 cents. Yes! that's right, I said .25 cents. Pretty unbelievable since there's not much else you can buy for a quarter right now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What We Like Wednesdays: UNO

Aidan loves games of all kinds, board games, card games, made up games, you name it...he loves it. He's got a very competitive spirit that we're working on teaching him how to be a good winner and a good loser. This is still work in progress.

His most recent favorite right now is UNO. It's a fun card game, simple enough that he learned how to play quickly (he still needs some work on strategy). Although his brothers aren't old enough to play this yet, I can see how this game is going to be a real family hit in the near future. The game says it's for 7+ years but I think it's simple enough for a 5 yr old. What's best about this game is it's so portable, take it camping, play indoors, outdoors, etc.. you can play this just about anywhere.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rules of the Wrap

I know I've said it many times but I really enjoy wrapping presents...there's just so many possibilities that makes it so much fun. But there's a few rules I like to follow when I wrap a kids gift. Especially, when you're wrapping a toddlers to let's say 4 yrs old, young kids just love bright colors. So, I try to wrap with fun brightly colored patterns and if there's more than one item I wrap them separately in coordinating wrap. Why wrap it all up in one box when visually you can make it feel so much more grand for them. If you're thinking for green reasons, there's so many possibilities that are still earth friendly. Repurposed papers such as Sunday comics, old maps and children's art work, gift wrap made from recycled paper or even fabrics that can be reused/repurposed. Be creative, if their birthday is in the summer you could use a bright colored beach get the idea. Same goes for the ribbon. Some of my favorites are raffia (comes in so many colors), grosgrain and satin ribbon that can always be reused for something else. I try to stay away form the plastics, curling ribbons and bows that end up in our land fills and harming birds. Why just slap a bow on it when you can embellish it with so many other fun items whether it's pretty ribbon, or another fun little toy.

This age is also around the time when kids start to recognize their name in print and get so excited when they see it. For this reason, I love to make sure I tag the gift with their name in large print. What's more exciting for a little kid than receiving a fun colored package that has there name on it? Well I guess maybe opening it! Yippee! I usually just use a shipping tag that I embellish with stickers, stamps, or markers. When you make your own tags, it's so much more personal, made for that specific individual, you can't get more personal than that.

So those are just a few of the things I keep in mind when wrapping a gift. Most importantly, have fun with it, you can't wrong when it's your own creation.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

HK Reunion For Max

Goodness time has passed me as we've been recooping here from a cold. Can't seem to shake it and it's really hard to accept the fact that we're down and illin' in the middle of July?? Thankfully I'm at the tail end now and I managed to pull it together for a dinner party we hosted. Max's friend is visiting from Hong Kong with his family so we had them over for dinner with a couple of other old HK friends and their families. We sure had a nice time, lots of good food and good company. The true marker of a successful event is when the kids have a good time too with no major meltdowns, yay!

Did I mention we had good food!? We started with appetizers,

Tuna Tare Tare on Wonton Squares and Shrimp Cocktail then moved on to

Tandoori Style Shrimp with Mint Chutney,

Yummy Ribs and a Prime Rib Roast,

Summer Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing

and not photographed but still yummy was the Roasted Asparagus n' Peppers, and Wisconsin Mac and Cheese for the kids.....and as if that wasn't enough, for dessert Cheesecake and Strawberries in a Brandy Chocolate Sauce. It's true there's a few foodies in the friendship circle so of course there must be a feast.

All photos were courtesy of Oscar, thank you Oscar.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What We Like Wednesdays: Summer Reading, Big Green Monster

We've always done a great deal of reading but now with summer here and longer days, we find ourselves reading quite a bit more. To add more fun to the reading, we joined our public library's summer reading program. The boys are having lots of fun with this, after every 15 minutes of reading they get a sticker in a reading log, when they collect 4 hours worth of stickers they get to go to the library and collect a prize, and after 8 hours worth of stickers they get a free book of choice plus a bundle of coupons including some free ice cream cone about incentives. The boys are excited about this. After joining this reading program, Aidan has really gotten into his chapter book reading which amazes us all as to how much his reading has progressed since we made the change from children's picture/story books. As for the twins, they aren't quite reading on their own, so they collect their stickers after being read to for the assigned amount of time.

Miles favorite book right now "Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberley has been a favorite since this past Halloween. All the boys really love this fun read but Miles by far enjoys it the most. Every time we go to the library he searches the shelves for this one and is so pleased if he finds it. Since it's been a favorite for awhile now I just might have to get our own copy.

So if you're looking for some more summer time activity, drop by your local library and see what fun summer programs they might have going on. You can never go wrong with reading.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The New World of Sleep Overs

A sign that my baby ( I know he's going to be 6) is growing up... he has entered the world of sleep overs. He's only just begun since school has let out in late June, but since then he has slept over 3 different friends houses and his uncle's house. Yes, we have yet to have someone sleep over here but I'm sure that is in the near future.

He's become the well seasoned sleep over guest. He knows the drill now...pack lovey (yes he still has a lovey a flannel baby quilt I made for him which, I fear will fall apart anytime soon), toothbrush, pj's, and a change of clothes in his personalized rolling suitcase and he's set to go. Although I admire his independence, it also makes me little sad, the realization that he'll be needing less and less of me as time goes on.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Banana Split Boys

The boys had a fun-filled day today visiting Uncle Jimmy and Auntie Conny. The amusement started with some poolside play, then a yummy Korean dinner, and ended with a banana split. Uncle Jimmy can really turn on the silly in them.

As for the banana split that sure was a super special treat. Boys are already asking when we're going to visit again. I just love that the boys have delightful adults (besides their mommy and daddy 'wink') in their lives that play such positive roles, couldn't ask for better friends.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Food: Pushing That Comfort Zone

After a long week, and the monotony of the easy go to meals that I can almost prepare with my eyes closed, I thought it would be nice to end the week with something different. With that thought in mind, I decided on scallops something I haven't cooked in a while. I'll have to admit, it always stresses me out to cook them because there is such a small window of time between cooked just right and overcooked. If you miss it, you end up with rubber which is always disappointing. Messing up a meal is one of those things that leaves me feeling pretty bummed out. Today I was feeling adventurous and decided to take the risk. I made coriander crusted seared scallops and a Thai spiced new york strip steak served with a salad. I kept a watchful eye on those scallops and the steak for that matter because we sure do love a medium rare steak. It was all perfect, making for a very satisfying Friday night dinner.

So if you're in that cooking rut, try something new. Be adventurous and push your comfort zone a bit. You just might surprise yourself with how much fun you have doing it and the sense of contentment that comes with seeing your family enjoy a new meal you prepared is always a big plus too.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Artful Thursday: With Gratitude

It's with gratitude that I made thank you cards today. I had several dear friends give me birthday gifts. Inturn, I wanted to let them know how much I appreciate them. So, this Artful Thursday was all about saying "thank you".

I gathered my supplies which included, a vintage world atlas, blank ivory cards, patterned paper, rubber stamps, pearl embellishments, a 2" scalloped circle punch , wool twine and my favorite item of the bunch, these sweet mini doilies by Martha Stewart.

With a little tearing, inking, stamping, gluing I managed to finish my cards. This calls for a trip to the post office tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What We Like Wednesdays: In Full Bloom

Everything is in full bloom here. This precious gift from mother nature brings a smile to my face.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Freedom To Have Fun

It was a nice long holiday weekend, with lots of fun to be had. We had a BBQ with good friends to celebrate 4th of July and a belated birthday celebration for myself.

Lots of yummy food and drinks, Max sure was the drink master that day, with fresh watermelon agua fresca, watermelon-cucumber-gin coolers and the yummiest margaritas of which I may have had one too many (smirk). Everyone seemed to have a good time even the 13 kids that were there. Yes, 13 kids ages 7 and under. They were great, running around playing together with only a few small mishaps and tears which is to be expected when you have that many kids in one place.

Max was very sweet to bring out the desserts with candles for me and everyone sang "happy birthday" And even though it was well passed my actual birthday, I hadn't had a chance to celebrate with friends so this truly was a sweet moment. Something I really did not expect but really enjoyed. I feel so fortunate to have such nice friends, family, and neighbors. It's moments like these that remind me how blessed we are to have the freedom we do. The freedom to consume what we want, wear what we want, have as many kids as we want, the freedom to have as much fun as we want!

I do hope you all enjoyed Independence Day as much as I did.

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