Monday, August 31, 2009

No Computer...

Mr. Man fixed both computers today... So no post until Tuesday...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dissolved But Not Forgotten

I used to belong to our church boundary called the "...3rd Ward", but tonight it was dissolved back mostly into the 2nd Ward while a few families, including us, now belong to the 1st Ward.
I saw so many in tears; and rightly so... For six years, many families formed such great and strong bonds of friendship that 6 years was a painful jolt that in one night, the same families would have one less day, the most important day, to associate. You see, we now have separate buildings to meet on completely opposite sides of the area.

As for me and my family, it was a mixed blessing... We only have to get up earlier and have new leaders to guide us. We still have the same great families that make us happy to go to church on Sundays and bless our lives with their kindness and friendships. Some of those other beloved families now belong to the other ward and we now have to find extra time and work harder to keep our friendships which in reality are not really that hard to do.

I will mostly miss my courageous Cutie Crew. I say courageous because every Sunday that I'm there, they brave being with someone who not only look different than they do in most aspects, but also, someone they collectively chose to trust and love back during those wonderful singing and play times. They are amazing toddlers... They played well together, they knew each other and that unconditional love that only innocence can maintain was always so strong in that room that you can't deny that there is a loving and perfect God who watches out for us...

So long "... 3rd Ward". I will miss you, but I will never forget you...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Ends, Sabbath Begins

Not much today... Just cleaned up for the Sabbath. Too distracted with the notion of my hubs coming home tomorrow.

We didn't go anywhere today and just feasted on grilled cheese using the homemade bread I just recently made. If you want the recipe, here's the link from EHow dot com. I made it last Thursday and the last half loaf is still quite soft today. And it has a slight sweet taste that the the kids love. Yay!

Read more of the Children of the Lamp book 1 to the kiddos, we're now on Chapter 16. We could've been done earlier, but "life" says "not yet". LOL


Friday, August 28, 2009

Why Is It...

That when school starts... My normally happy, go lucky smart children fall prey to these hair- pulling "grrr" questions? Why do they let...
  • Drama happen in all situations?
  • Laziness reign over homework?
  • Texting or little TV bring about the zombies in them?
  • TV privileges become a battleground?
  • Mommy doing homework or housework, NOT be seen as a quiet zone?
  • Forgetfulness as a viable defense?
  • Bedtime a painful chore?
  • Their big brains turn to mush over chores?
Don't get me wrong, it all gets sorted out after a few weeks, but until then no matter how organized we are in getting ready for school, they go through so much whacked out personal routine that I literally lock myself in the bathroom and scream!

It's not helping that between the two opposing schedules of Mr. Man's work shift and school, I am back to being a literal insomniac again. I caught maybe an hour the last 5 days, of zzzz's... Yes, people, I am cranky!

If you've never gone through these, congratulations! As for me, it is an annual ritual. *sigh*

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Going Gourmet...

Hosted by Designs by Gollum

You know those pricey bottles of "flavored" oils?

Well, the last rain and sunny days we had made my own basil bloom like a community potluck depended on it, and I still have a lot of Pure Olive Oil from Costco last September. So, with that in mind, I decided to finally use the $2.99 bottle I got from IKEA last month and make my own!
I know, I'm not creating a trend, but I'm more gloating over the fact that I was finally able to do it!
See that good looking bunch, that's only a few stems. Yummy!
And here it is! I purposely bruised most of the leaves to start the infusion. After only a few hours, the olive oil smelled incredible!
  1. Make sure the bottle you use is sanitized (washed in hot, rinsed well and dried)
  2. Harvest the herbs you will use.
  3. Rinse herbs lightly on all sides and pat dry lightly. Let dry on a paper towel for a few hours or overnight. Or lightly blanch in a boiling water. Again, let dry completely.
  4. Slowly insert herbs in the bottle, lightly bruising some of the leaves.
  5. Pour oil slowly with a small funnel.
  6. Leave a gap from the mouth to the top of the oil level to aerate.
  7. Make sure the lid is secure to keep from spoiling.
What's the first thing you should drizzle it on? Some great steak of course, I made some steak, basil and tomato salad, eat with steamed rice and you'll have an amazing explosion in your mouth!

Ok, I'm off to bake some sandwich bread for tomorrow!

Thanks for hosting Michael Lee and thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A "Date" to Remember...

In Hobby Lobby last Monday, we also found, or I should say, Mr. Man found his son his first model car to build. He was as excited about finding it than I-Dude was in learning how to put it together! Here he is with all the pieces out of the box... (Mr. Man took his pictures)
After several minutes of concentration and hardwork, I-Dude manages to complete it all on his own! Look at that grin of accomplishment! ;-)
Tonight, we also decided to make good on our date to try out Joe's Crab Shack that we've set when we first saw the sign by the freeway, TWO YEARS AGO! Mr. Man took me to Marshall's so I can spend my giftcard in finding another top to use for our date but I couldn't concentrate and none of the styles called to me. *exasperated*

How do l look? Am I ready for our date? I know, a momentary lapse of cowardice to bring you a photo of moi! (yes, my hair is naturally wavy and the hubs love my long hair, so no cutting it this year!) I don't wear make-up normally but I do wear them from time to time. You just can't tell half the time because of my skin tone.

Anyway, we left Marshall's empty-handed, but I hinted that I wanted to wear heels to our date (for the obvious height gap; let's just say that even with heels and my hair pulled straight up from my scalp, I'd still be a few inches shorter than my darling hubs.)

Look at what he got me! We went to Payless and I found this uber cute pair of dark purple, 3-in heel, ruffled, peep-toes! I love them!
This is what it looks like from Payless dot com... Isn't it gorgeous? Mr. Man thought they were S-E-X-Y! Sold and cha-ching! My second "NOT ON SALE" pair my whole married life. My first one, my wedding pumps...
I can't tell you how good it feels to have a baby-sitter at a moment's notice!

Well as you can tell from any establishment with a "Shack" at the end
, it is no Four Seasons. We walk in and each table, mostly booths, were occupied with families, FAMILIES! Awkward phase 1- check!

Since Mr. Man is a mechanic, any blingage is a no-no, so often, his wedding ring sits in my jewelry box. Tonight, it sat in the box, but I had on mine, so at Joe's, I looked like a cheating married tramp in hot looking getup of purple overblouse tank, straight cut figure-fitting jeans, high heels, dangling earrings, luscious curls down my back and red lipstick to boot! Oh the looks I attracted... Awkward phase 2-check!

We had to wear bibs to protect ourselves from the embarrassing accidental explosion of cracked crab shells. Did I mention my hair is naturally thick and wavy? Well, putting on that bib took a little longer than I thought only to find later that I DIDN'T manage to tie it at all! It fell down to my *ahem* front, stopped by *ahem* my "twins". So... I had to look for a wet wipe on our table, quickly get the "crab guts" and smell out of every nail and whole hands, quickly grab UP, then RETIE my bib! I was so relieved I didn't have any "accidents", but... but... I was more concerned about my new shoes! So I kept looking down while Mr. Man was staring at me, letting me know that he approves of my "purty" look. He had to eventually ask me if I dropped anything or if I got anything on my legs. TRAMPY PERSONA COMING OUT? lol Awkward phase 3-check!

Overall, I realized that the date was a true success. We kept people guessing if we were married-to each other; Mr. Man had all eyes on me and I looked and felt H-O-T, as in I looked good! (Haven't felt that in a while and it felt amazing!) I told the hubs that it felt like we were on an "early dating" sort of date- and we didn't talk much about the kids! We enjoyed the shellfish, each other and the fact that we just strengthened our marriage...

Hope you, too, had a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

FHE: First Day of School Fun!!!

It's our turn to sound the trumpet of joy! It's the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!

Of course, the following smiles were made possible by a great breakfast of Toaster Strudle (flavor, your choice), bacon, melon bites and milk. Of course, you can't forget the multivitamin! Gotta keep up that enthusiasm you know! For lunch, a sandwich, chips, juice and extra snacks. We dropped them off this morning since their backpacks are loaded with supplies.

Here's I-Dude, the first one out the door...
Then it's J-Pony with a tight pony tail and a semi wavy hair from last night's braids.

Last but not least, L-Infinity, starting her senior year as Ac/Dec Co-Captain, Laurel President and very fashion forward with her classic ensemble.

Yesterday, Mr. Man noticed that our van's battery was faltering, so we waited until after midnight, then hit Walmart for a new battery! Here he is, undoing the old one after the kiddos were off to school... He's so darn cute when he's being all self-sufficient. *sigh*
And this is the close-up of our almost dead *spluttering* battery.

After 8 hours, here are the two smallish kiddos, fresh from the bus stop! As for L-Infinity, she had too much to report to take a picture. LOL
We still had more than a handful of school supplies, mainly art related, to still buy so for FHE, we treated them to dinner at a new nearby bbq place called Cobb Switch! It is so good there! You have to try their Potato Casserole- to die for!

The two little ones just couldn't pass up a photo-op when they saw this sign. Of course, didn't have the real cam, so the cell had to do.
As we were entering, we noticed the bricks, in the shape of Texas! Cool beans! ;-) (whoops, my toes sneaked in)
Here are the kiddos, enjoying their meal. See the size of that glass? Wowie, it's like sipping a Route 44!
After dinner (yes there were leftovers even though we only shared 1 1/4 lb. brisket and a few sides), we managed to hunt down the art supplies in Hobby Lobby, then we headed towards the sunset to the mall and use up a great coupon in Pac Sun for L-Infinity. We also found great pair of pants and a belt for I-Dude!

Got back well after 9PM and scrambled to get everyone bathed, calmed and ready for prayer, but we did it!

Hope your Monday was as tiring as ours... ;-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Amazing Sabbath

Played with my amazing Cutie Crew in Nursery. We were loud but definitely had a great time. And Mr. Man got home in time for us to renew our recommends and had a relaxing time at home...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Some neighbors, you just wanna...

I don't expect anyone to agree with me on this, but since this is my blog and all...

It's officially less than 36 hours before a whole school year starts up again and everywhere around here kids are being put on some kind of routine again. Well, apparently our "back" neighbor didn't get the memo!

At 9:45PM, said neighbor starts blasting their music with bass loud enough to freak out my two smallish kiddos. People were talking in their patio, no... make that screaming since they were so loud and cars were parked on the obvious, NO PARKING ZONES of the RED LINE and the MANICURED LAWN. HELLO!!!

Didn't these people read their contracts about the 10PM Noise and Loitering curfew, or the NO PARTYING OUTSIDE YOUR UNIT (including the patio after 9PM) or... at least have enough common sense to realize that each and everyone of the units in the building have SMALL CHILDREN THAT HAVE TO GO TO BED EARLY?

My next door neighbors, tired from shopping for last minute BTS supplies, also had to complain about them because of the cars interfering with their ease to get out. My friend's husband waited with me and since his job is on call 24/7, he had to make sure he'll have an easy way to get out and leave PRONTO! So we both call the "Courtesy Officer" who WALKS instead of DRIVE to the area and took him a good 20 minutes to arrive.

The worst thing about this LATE party, they had little kids suffering from the BLASTING BASS! On top of that, I think they were friends with the newly "off duty" PAPA JOHN'S driver because we saw a delivery car do REVERSE at about 40 mph! It was zipping by anywhere backwards! Can you say, NUTS?!

C'mon! Of course, this morning, they had to wake me up from fighting in their MASTER bedroom! Closet doors were slamming, screaming and what sounded like another friend "mediating". Well, bud, it didn't work!!! You just added to the noise!

Aaaaahhhh!!! If these neighbors don't quit it, I have no choice but to complain about them to the management on Monday. I'm surprised that their "next door" neighbor whom I also know (nice lady, btw), doesn't complain and just accepts all the excuses this lady gives her!

Other than that, we had a typical day... I've discovered that I really am not impressed with Facebook, but I am into the Farm games!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tax Free BTS Weekend

Today until Sunday, it will be "Back to School Tax Free Shopping Days" here in our area. To take advantage of that, the kiddos and I walked to Kohl's this morning. See, the kiddos didn't mind carrying all the bags. Yes, I helped of course. We started out with the clouds threatening to "cry" again but after (as proof in above photo) the sun was also happy with our haul!

We were able to get everything we needed: (clearance 60-80% off) sneakers, placemats, shorts, undershirts; and two lunch boxes for well under my budget! It helped that Kohl's sent out those $10 giftcards in the mail and that they were doing their "$10 for every $50 spent" deal. Mr. Man will like that!

Great shopping, exercise and being together. Can't beat that great feeling!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Still getting ready!

From Annie's Eats blog

We cleaned some more, got school supplies together and planned more meals. And I finally baked some focaccia bread! It was so fun having to bake with olive oil!

I know some of the friends I know from AZ are already back in school, but for us, we still have a few days to get ready... First it's the "Meet the Teacher Night".

The kids enjoyed visiting their new teachers and classrooms last night as well as popcorn. For J-Pony and I-Dude, I had to meet a total of three teachers, their respective grade teachers and the LEAP instructor who teaches every grade.

The funny thing is, they go to school, I get their first homework! What's up with that?! I needed to bring home the Emergency and the Lunch Program forms.

Oh well... I guess I better start on it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We found room!

Once again, Mr. Man is off to Chicago to work and while on his way to the airport, we worked on "fitting" the bookcase and the plant somewhere in our dinky unit. J-Pony and I-Dude cleared the living room for the bookcase while L-Infinity and I cleaned out the dining area for the plant. (I can't help it; Fall nears and I want our home to be cozy, cozy, cozy!)

Since HGTV's Design Star designer judges constantly tout the mantra of "big items in small spaces make more impact", I decided to do just that.

So... our cockatiel Dexter had to say goodbye to hubby's poster print of Mt. Bachelor and Cece's cat tree NEXT to the couch.
Look at how still he was in making sure L-Infinity got his good side. LOL
After we cleaned up the dining area and the low bookcase/buffet/dinnerware depot, I spiffed up the shelves as well...
See the plant, it is now by the window and the platter is now red, no longer the green Bordallo Pineapple platter. It's on the top shelf now (on the picture above).
As for Mr. Man's framed print? I put it on top of the simplified mantle. I took down the gold framed mirror because for some reason, the actual mirror just doesn't get cleaned anymore. (sorry about the big glare, it was our overhead light.)
And between the mantle and the couch, I placed the tall bookshelf! The top shelf is sparse because that's Mr. Man's shelf to fill when he gets back. I placed the three main things he loves: Our Savior, his family and the aviation industry.
The other shelves, I filled with our chosen HARD COVER collected series, from Rowling to the abridged classics. And we're not done with most of them. I can't wait to finish out each series in hard cover so they can last longer. At the top, I placed our iron candelabra and fall candles from last November. I placed family pictures that used to be on the mantle, in front of the books to create interest.

So what do you think? Would HGTV designers approve or would they balk at it? You know what, SO WHAT? It's my space and I know it looks good. And cleaner too!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Enjoyed the Day...

Sometimes, all you can do is just enjoy being together, but we did manage to get a lot done (Fed Ex, watching Coraline and yes, more bread. Specifically, my honey butter french bread! Also, I had my dental appointment and got another great news that my efforts to keep my mouth healthy is paying off! Yay!)

We also enjoyed some good news. My friend Heather called and said that the townhome complex management is giving away the furniture that her friend, recently vacated. Heather's friend opted to leave all of her furniture behind. So, I inherited a mirror, a faux plant and a great dark chocolate stained bookcase! *woot woot*

I was left rather hot and bothered seeing my "Mahal" (beloved) haul the bookshelf out of the unit and into our van, as if it's a piece of toothpick! *fanning self*

I love the rustic details on this 23" x 43" mirror and it's very heavy! I can't wait to use it! (I promised Mr. Man I won't change anything around on the walls...) (Ooopps... you caught me in my Big Dog PJ's!)
Here's the plant. I think it's supposed to be a mango tree or something. It's in a nice tall pot, but I want it by the window so I'll be moving it there soon.
And here's the awesome bookshelf! It's 6' x 1' x 28". Did I mention it's stained in Espresso or Dark Chocolate? It's so goes with my other furniture! Yes!
It has one permanent middle shelf and three removable/adjustable shelves.
A nice front molding...
And a handsome overall appearance!
Since the bookshelf and the plant have to be placed somewhere the kiddos don't hurt themselves, I guess I'll have to bend the rules a little in interpreting my promise to Mr. Man... *fingers crossed*

I'm so so glad that we've been having these great opportunities to add to our "want list" for furniture; and for FREE, even better! Thanks, Heather and townhome management!

Monday, August 17, 2009

FHE: Readers and Writers

So we're really doing great in having Family Home Evening every Monday night, though I noticed that I don't necessarily post about them EVERY Monday.

But before we talk about what we did for tonight's FHE, let me tell you how the rest of the day went.

I've been feeling off all day today despite all the errands
(Library returns & BN Summer Reading Program Redemption) we had to do plus my rather pointless PTA Audit Report presentation that I went to. (It's a "grrrr" story for another day) We decided to also get Coraline and 17 Again to watch while Mr. Man is home. Mr. Man and I-Dude also got their haircuts today while the girls and I hung out at Ross, gleaning ideas for Fall. (Nothing jumped out at me; I want to use what I have-buried in the storage!) L-Infinity didn't find anything special either. Just our luck...

Anyway, I wanted to eat some authentic Filipino comfort food that gets me feeling great in no time. You know, a dish that I can honestly say I don't make often. That would be "Sinigang na Baboy, Gabi at Kang-kong" (Water Spinach, Taro Root and Pork in Sour Broth- reverse order translation)
It was quite a treat to see these water spinach at our local Asian market this evening. They grow like water lilies. Often, the Filipinos grow them in the same waters that mudfish live in during the rainy season.

Even the rice is freshly bought as we ran out just two days before. We also had a great watermelon we found for only $2.99!

This authentic dish is so good as well as economical. I cooked all that I bought for it, but because we had leftovers, we only ate half of what I cooked! And including 3/4 of the watermelon we ate, each plate only cost us, $1.26! (Can't complain about that for"somethin' special from home...")

Then, J-Pony spearheaded our FHE. We were "readers and writers" like those in the time of King Benjamin and learned the simple meanings of certain scriptures in the Book of Mormon. It was fun reading, writing and guessing if we "matched" the original scroll. Between Primary and AD, she comes home full of great FHE ideas! (Oh, you see my boys, aren't they handsome in their new do's?)
Our treat, more of that mouth-watering watermelon!

Hope you all had a great Family Home Evening!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Annual BTS Fashion Show

It's that time again! Another school year's a-startin' and the stores' are a'buzzin!

Well our household is not any different, but to make things more chic and unique, our theme this year is aptly labeled,

"Hand Me Down Haute"

Since every summer we sort their clothes, we found out this year that most survived the "modesty" and "wear" check. So... We mixed our still great lookin' fashion from last year and the hand me downs and a few new ones we got and these are how our "super" models looked liked! Can you say, "When is school starting? I can't wait!"

Let's start with I-Dude, shall we? He's ready for 2nd grade!
Here he is, happily sporting last year's tan cargo pants from Target, with a slight rip at the knee accompanied by last Spring's clearance find; a dark gray "TEXAS" and helicopter shirt from Kohl's.

With the same pants, he preppied it up a bit with a brown & red striped collared shirt from Ross and white socks from Walmart in a camo/brown pair of last year's sneakers from Payless.

Switching to another new pair of dark denim from Ross and gray velcro sneakers from Kohl's earlier this Spring, he's "rockin' out" with this new red with black trim tee from Ross.

Pairing another HMD with his OP baby blue with camo strip shirt from our next door neighbor with his dark denim from Ross, gives his look a casual and ready for a fun day at school!

Next up is our very own, J-Pony who just turned 10 this year and is ramping up her own style!
Let's check out this "school/rider/all weather" look in a purple/plaid collared tee combo from Ross this month. Her tall black boots were from Kohl's from last winter's clearance and last year's stonewashed slim jeans from the Children's Place.

How about this "school is on" casual look in the same jeans, brown sneakers from Ross last year, white socks and a HMD black tee with music notes graphic from her big sis, L-Infinity. She is looking mighty ready to tackle that Choir audition in this ensemble.

She is loving those jeans, with another great looking HMD white tee with an adorable penguin print from L-Infinity's school stash last year. With her hair down, school will be a breeze!
Of course, her signature color is still red, so she's looking chic and so much a 10-yr old with this red and plaid overtop layered tee from Ross this month and another stonewashed denim from last year. Math, Science, English, bring it on!

And finally, we have our "senior this year" trendsetter with a retro twist, L-Infinity! She loves to scope out Hot Topic and Pac Sun for that "just right" look for school.
The trend this year is to be bold and outstanding! And with that "highlighter" yellow with a pocket tee over a dark gray tank (Pac Sun & Forever 21 this month) and skinny denims from September 2007, the look is nothing short of awesome!

Fall, come now for she is ready for ya! With another pair of jeans from two years ago, paired with a new burgundy tee, a chic scarf down the front, a pair of sunglasses on top of her head and black flats, she will have a "smooth" transition into the next season!

Just call her Converse Girl as these purple ones are her latest acquisition for her collection, from Journeys this month. She turned a regular black bead necklace into a fashionable multi-bracelet! And with that black and purple Depeche Mode over a great dark denim tee from American Eagle, also this year, her "new" look is complete!

Winter's bitter cold? That's no problem for this ensemble of new black short coat, white scarf from Forever 21 and last year's black boots from Kohl's! Nice and toasty!

Another successful BTS Fashion Show! I can't wait to see all three actually sporting these looks come August 24th!

Happy "Back to School" everyone!