Oct 3, 2011

Silence

My oldest J is now in 1st grade. My daughter M is in afternoon preschool 3 days a week. My baby K is taking a nap. I have about 15 more minutes of silence to enjoy. The only noise I can hear is our dog snoring.
I could have been productive, but I decided not to be. I just sat in front of my laptop and did absolutely nothing productive. It was my 2 hour vacation.
I like it.

Sep 19, 2011

Eating good

Summer is over, school has started, and I have a little bit of breathing time on Monday afternoon. So I decided to post something....then I realized how many photos of food I have taken this past month or so....Well, I love food. What can I say?

My dear husband found a treasure over this summer. We call it "Natalie's place". She sells beautiful fruits and vegetables from her garden or nearby Amish farm. No pesticides. She is not "certified" organic farmer, but she grows them pretty much organically. And they taste like, well, what fruits and vegetable should taste, that you know they grew up with sunshine, not some fertilizer. You know they are picked by her hands with much care, not by...okay, I won't say anything more than that.

Anyway, we have been eating good, I mean GOOD, local food.

Here is very meaty "Stripe Roma Tomatoes" waiting to be canned.
Yes, they are from Natalie's place. Just gorgeous. And they are yummy!

Here is our dinner one night.
Menu:
- Japanese style hamburger steak (made with grass fed beef from my co-worker's farm) with Teriyaki sauce,
- Sauteed zucchini with bacon
- Steamed corn
- Steamed potatoes (blue, red, and white!) with home grown parsley and chives

Locally famous "Buttermilk Pie" with melons from Natalie's place as dessert.

Okay, this was random. But they are cute, aren't they?
This, nothing local. Just yellow cake cupcake (though I did made it from scratch only because I didn't have boxed cake mix) with baby face on top. They are just vanilla wafers decorated with royal icing. Specially made for my friend.

Army of canned peaches ready for winter,
and they remind me of this poster.
{Photo source here}

I really think I can eat this kid.

Mmmm!

Aug 3, 2011

Blueberry picking with cousins


Growing up in rural Japan, I had not heard of such thing as blueberries. Then one day, I saw some "made with blueberry" stuff at a supermarket in a rather big city when I was in high school. They grew only in Hokkaido, the northern island in Japan, and were very much exotic fruit to me.

Then, I moved to Michigan over a decade ago. Here we are living in berry heaven. Blueberry picking became one of our summer ritual. Pick them, eat them, freeze them, and even dream about them.

This year, we went with my sisters-in-law and their kids to a berry patch that was new to me. Kids in boots and with little buckets, off we went. Weather was perfect. I came home with 23 lb. of blueberries. The amount in kids' tummies will be a forever mystery. They really should weigh kids before and after. M, as a picky eater as she can be, did not eat them at all, but she did pick. She enjoyed picking so much that she by herself picked a half pound in very short period time (as she finally decided to start picking when I was ready to leave).

J's wish list with these blueberries - smoothie, jam, pie, blueberry muffins, etc.
We did make smoothie after we came home. The rest, well, I need to get some rest first, then I'll think about it.

Aug 1, 2011

Sleepover

I'm a scout-camp widow again. My husband is up in camping with boy scouts for a few nights. Because of that and my kidney stone situation, my sister-in-law felt sorry for me and offered me to take a couple of kids from me. Well, J was the only one took the proposal. M wanted to be with Mommy. And there was almost no hope for K to go.

So, off he went to cousins' last night. It was his first real sleepover all by himself, no Mom and Dad or even his siblings. Just J. He was excited about this special occasion, according to my sister-in-law, which is good and made me feel better.

Now the top bunk being empty, M didn't want to sleep in her bed last night. Oh, great. I sighed.
Then, I came up with an idea!

Why not having our version of sleepover!? Just us girls. (Sorry, K, you need to sleep in your crib.)

I made a bed for M next my bed (to maintain quality of my sleep, I proposed her to have "a special bed just for M"). We stayed up and read books and talked. She told me that now her pink bunny has a name and that is Joey, but this little bear here doesn't have a name yet and she would tell me in the morning. And she did. The little bear's name is Boo-Boo.

After she fell sleep tonight, I quietly snuck out of the room for a little bed-time snack. Now my tummy is happy, I think I can sleep good tonight.

Jul 30, 2011

Summer check list

Just a few of items here....

Going to a family camping trip to a lake - check
Fishing at a lake (well, pretend fishing for kids to be exact) - check
Chilling by camp fire - check
Taking a nap at a beach - check
Going to a ball game - check
Bonus: M got to give a hug to the team mascot and J caught a ball!

Loving every bit of summer here - check

Jul 20, 2011

Daily dose of summer goodness

We've been harvesting raspberries from our garden. The picture above is today's crop. As our raspberry bush has grown so much this year, I was hoping that, maybe, possibly, I could make some jam out of our own raspberries, but the chances are very slim. Every time I come in with bowl full of raspberries, they disappear. Our super picky eater M loves them. Yup. That good.

Jul 6, 2011

My little artists

My house is getting filled with kids' drawings, a lot of it. I love to see their progress - evolution of scribbles to circles, then the faces...eventually legs start coming out of head...
But, I didn't want those nice drawings to be just taped up on my newly painted wall. So, here is the solution: frames and fabric covered cork board. I tried to keep both kids happy with fairness. Showcase! I really like M's family portraits. Well, actually, I really like all of them.
M's latest favorite princess movie "Tangled" inspired drawing. She was very clear, although she also has really really long hair (never had haircut in her life of almost 5 years), that Rapunzel has "yellow hair" and M has "black hair", and Rapunzel's hair is really really long and M's hair is just long.

MeNU FOR MAMA

I had breakfast room service yesterday by J - in living room, on the couch.
He even had menu for me.
"Today's Menu is..." said J,
FOOD
MY MAGiC
(store brand rice crispy with Nesquick powder - we call it "mama's magic")
SEREOL [Cereal]

JREINK [DRINK]
hcOKLiT MelK [Chocolate Milk]
POP (yes, he did offered me soda pop for breakfast!)
JOUC [Juice]
Very nice.

Jul 2, 2011

Beach!

We went to a beach the first time this summer today. It was just a perfect day for a beach day - not too hot but hot enough in upper 80s (I think), light breeze, overcast but mostly sunny... This makes all worth it to live in Michigan. Love it. Yay to summer!Here is a picture of K really, really, NOT wanting to touch the sand!

Jun 29, 2011

A date with J

J was invited to a birthday party this morning. To get a gift, J and I went to a store last night. But J thought it was a date - when he gets out of house only with Mommy, that's a date. Why not? We made it a date. We went to pick up a toy for his friend, ran a couple of errands, then we head out for donuts (it was a bit windy and cool to eat ice cream outside, otherwise we would have headed to our favorite local ice cream stand).

source: timhortons.com
We made a couple of more stops after donuts to library and a nearby school playground. He just kept extending the date! (Hmmm, maybe that came from his dad...)
So, it was a good date.

Jun 22, 2011

Thank you, teachers!

It's been officially over a week now since J finished kindergarten, but this is what we made for his teachers as thank-you gifts. The notes read, "ThNK [Thank] YOU FOR TETEN [teaching] Me MRS ..." The teachers were so proud of J being a confident writer (i.e. not being scared of making mistakes). J told teachers that he designed the earrings and his mommy made them according to his design (not really, but I thought that was cute).

Jun 18, 2011

Strawberries!!

We harvested a bowl full of strawberries from our garden. Because of this year's (relatively speaking) cool weather, they were so sweet and delicious. Out of this heaping bowl, I got to eat only a few. J and K ate the rest. I don't think Daddy get to eat at all. Well, maybe the next batch.

Jun 14, 2011

A gift from a friend

A beautiful bouquet of Peony from her garden (She had 3 huge ones in her living room and they were just gorgeous!). It fills wonderful aroma in my house. Thanks, V!

Jun 11, 2011

Take me out to the ball game!

My hubby and J are out watching Fireworks tonight at a park right now (too late for the younger kids). Just Daddy and J.
Last week, they went to a ball game, again just Daddy and J. They are like best friends. Love it.
I wish he could take me out to the ball game....it's one of my wish items for this summer - watching a ball game with family. That would be fun.

Jun 10, 2011

Bad idea

Q. Whose idea was to give a 18 months-old a graham cracker with chocolate frosting on top?
A. Me, supposedly a responsible adult in this household and a registered dietitian, or something like that. Instead of wiping the face, I grabbed my camera. Oh, it was messy. It went to his forehead and to his hair to down the neck. I like this motion picture the best though. He was moving his head so fast to lick the chocolate.

Jun 3, 2011

One of the many benefits of decluttering

I paid only 34 cents for 2 ink cartridges.

I needed to get new ink cartridges for our printer. so I dropped a box full of empty cartridges at our little neighborhood ink store O-ink to "recycle (i.e. getting some money back)". About an hour later, I went back to the store to pick up my newly filled cartridges.

The store guy: "I have a good news and a bad news for you."
Me: "Uh-oh."
The store guy: "Well, the bad news is your color cartridge is dead. That's why it didn't work."
"But the good news is....because of all the empty cartridges you turned in, after all the money back, for 2 cartridges you have to pay....let's see....yep, 34 cents."
Me: "THIRTY-FOUR CENTS???"
The store guy: "Yep, 34 cents."
Me: "Reallly? Only 34 cents?"
The store guy: "Yep."
Me: "Oh, I love you. You made my day."
"But, why 34 cents?"
The store guy: "Well, that's Michigan tax for ya."

So I handed a thing of Quarter and a thing of Dime, and told him to keep the Penny. I am so easy to please.

May 31, 2011

One silly monkey jumping on the bed (a.k.a. crib)

I read one of those "Eight silly monkeys jumping on the bed" books the other night to baby K. He liked it so much that he requested for more with sign. Then, he decided to try on his own. I heard him holding onto the rail and jumping in his crib. At 3:39 am!! He was laughing, giggling, bouncing and just having a blast! This silly monkey, however, didn't fall off or bump his head, so mama didn't have to call the doctor. And it was cute to hear him having fun. But please, baby, not in the middle of the night. So, I did what a good mom would do - put ear plugs in and went back to sleep.

K at his favorite spot in the house
His favorite past time is to line up all the cars on the window sill, looking out the window, and to play with his big brother's cars on the coffee table there.
From there, he has fallen off multiple times AND bumped his head multiple times including one occasion when he got a bruise on his cheek. But he just keeps going back there...I don't think the line "No more monkey jumping on the..." means anything to this little silly monkey.

May 26, 2011

No cavity!

I had a dentist appointment today, not because of supposed-to-be-every-6-months cleaning, but because of a hurting tooth. It turns out that root of the tooth may have an infection (which is not a good news, but it can be treated with antibiotics. No drilling! Yay!!). After at least 4 years of not going to dentist, I had no cavity! Yahoo!!

May 24, 2011

Sprout!

I did it! The first time!! Alfalfa sprouts!!! They are growing in my kitchen. I've always wanted to try. Then a few days ago, I decided to give a try. It was easier than I thought. Sprout People website has very clear instruction and that's what I followed. Only 2 Tbsp of seeds became this beautiful quart jar full of sprouts! We haven't tasted yet, but I think we will have some tonight.

May 11, 2011

Just me and my baby

(Photo taken by Kristin this past winter)

My daughter M is in preschool now for 4 weeks before school year ends. First time in my motherhood life, I am home just with my baby. Just me and baby K. We made smoothie for breakfast. He loved it so much that he had half of mine. How can I say no to his cute smiley demand for more? "Mmmm!" he says. No fighting over attentions. He calls me "Ma-Ma". He brings his shoes to me when we are ready to leave house. Just precious. No TV. I'm listening to Harry Connick Jr. on Pandora. Spring is (finally!) here. It's sunny and beautiful outside.
I love it.
Life is good.

May 8, 2011

Best Mother's Day Ever

It was more like a Mother's Day weekend. Yesterday, my dear husband made a wonderful breakfast, took care of kids for me most of the day, AND worked cleaning up our backyard. Last night, my daughter was up many times, and poor Daddy passed out on the couch.

When I came downstairs, he was still sleeping on the couch (poor thing...he had a plan, but didn't happen because of our sweet innocent little girl who somehow can't stay in the bed at night sometimes), J was drawing up an over-sized greeting card, which I was told that it was secret.

So I quickly went to kitchen to hide. I was told to stay in the kitchen for a few minutes, because there was possibly something special was going on in the living room and Mommy was not supposed to see it.

A few minutes later, J and M came in the kitchen and told me to close my eyes. They took my hands (Oh my gosh, this was SO cute! I almost cried!! Two little hands and their giggles over the excitement of surprise for their mom!!) and lead me to the living room.

There I found, 2 flower planters (they built at Home Depot yesterday), a bird feeder and a bag of bird food, a necklace, and this beautiful corsage.
(It was really tricky to take this picture without capturing my double chin)

My husband didn't just grabbed this out of refrigerator section of flower shop. He had it made just for me. I got so many comments about it at church today. And yes, he loves me. My family loves me. It was the best Mother's Day Ever.

May 7, 2011

MOM DO NOT ENTER

This is what I see in my fridge right now.... It's fun to see my kindergartner's writing everywhere in my house. He told me that there is a surprise inside so I can't open it till tomorrow...
Happy Mother's Day!

May 4, 2011

Crossing fingers for a good auction sale

I am just having fun with beads and wires! This set below was just created last night at craft night with my artist friend. I made the necklace, and she made the other. (Well, actually she provided the wire, beads, and made the hooks and ear wires.) The gold color of brass and the almost aqua blue color of beads are such a good compliment to each other. I hope a good auction price for this set.
And here are more pictures of other jewelry going for the auction...

Simple drop earrings
Bracelets with crocheted wire
Green cluster earrings
Like the shoe box backdrop? ;)

May 2, 2011

More good excuses for me to play with beads

My friend asked me to make some jewelry for a fundraiser event (silent auction). When she came by to drop off some of her beads, my face just lit up. She said, "Oh, I can see your tail wiggling!" Yes, I felt like a little puppy excited to play with a new toy!
So, here is the set going for the auction. (not a good photo)
For this bracelet, I used a new technique called wire that I learned today via internet. What a convenient world we live in.... Can you see my tail wiggling? :)Oh, by the way, my sisters-in-law and I may open our own Etsy shop soon. More excuses for me to play with beads! Yippee!!

Apr 26, 2011

More Easter eggs...

Yes, I did decorate more eggs, now with my family. And this year, I decided to skip all the vinegar/dye thing and stick with just markers. It was less mess with kids and took longer time for kids to decorate one or two eggs! M was very concerned when she dropped her egg and got cracked (the very front left one in the pic below), she said "It'll hatch! Hurry!" She thought a chick would come out of the egg! In her mind (as a very picky eater, she never eats boiled eggs or in any visible form of eggs), there is only thing inside the egg shell - chicks! I guess I need to have her help in the kitchen more often....
My hubby did the camo one, of course, for J. I added my lace covered ones from Eggstravaganza for this photo.

This is not a good one, but here is the pic of sugar cookies I made for the family Easter dinner. See the difference from the top left to the top right. As the day progress, the details faded.... Somehow we had 1 piece of cookie left, so lucky J took it with his lunch the next day. I think I'm done decorating sugar cookies in the while...