Monday, April 26, 2010

Fine dining at its funnest

We headed over to the "West Side" this weekend for a fun-filled weekend of garden art, cousins, quilts, carnivals, tie-dye, trampolines, grandparents, and birthday celebrating.

It was totally a hit or miss weekend.

Missing the tulip part of the Tulip Festival - obvious MISS :(

Cousins, quilts, carnival, tie-dye, trampoline - HIT!

Garden art show - MISS :(

Grandparents and celebrating Papa Chuck's birthday - HIT!

$44 lunch (for two) at a snooty burger joint - MISS :(

Dinner at Sakura on our way home - HIT OUT OF THE BALLPARK!

Things we loved about Sakura:

  1. Chance and Colton both found out they like Japanese soup

  2. I think mostly because they found the acceptable custom of slurping the funnest thing ever.

  3. The sushi was yummy

  4. We had our own personal chef

  5. He was talented - magic tricks, egg tossing, utensil spinning, and really good food

  6. There was a bit of an incident with a cracked egg on top of his chef's hat, but he handled it so gracefully!

  7. He was especially adept at running the 'Japanese Fire Hydrant'

  8. Chance and Colton both liked the fried rice.

  9. The teriyaki chicken was a hit - but not immediately . . .

  10. Colt could have cried when he watched the chef put teriyaki sauce on every one's chicken - he isn't a sauce kind of kid - no ketchup, mustard, bbq, etc. - he is a hot dog on a dry bun kind of kid

  11. Once he tried it, he ate a whole plate of it

  12. Everyone ate some vegetables

  13. We all left STUFFED, with enough leftovers to feed us today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm about to get kicked out of Christmas

Hello. My name is Heather.

I do not like Grandmother Hull's Sour Cream cookies that Matt thinks are the same thing as a Snickerdoodle.

They're not.

And that's probably why I don't like them.

But tonight, during one of our frequent "dinner in the car" nights on the way to baseball, that suddenly didn't matter.

Because Chance likes my Snickerdoodles. A lot.

Take a listen:

Chance (after wolfing down a taco) - I'm ready for some Snickerdoodles! Brad, you gotta try these cookies. They are SO GOOD. They're like the best.

Brad - My mom has her own Snickerdoodle recipe.

Chance - Yeah, but this one has been handed down in my dad's family clear from like his grandmother or something.

Side Note - I'm cracking up at this point - more later

Chance - Here, try it.

Brad - I have taco in my mouth. Hang on. Ohhhhhh. Those ARE good.

A couple minutes pass in blissful, full-mouthed silence.

Chance - Mom, Brad finished his taco, but he's too shy to ask for the Snickerdoodles, but he really likes them, so could you pass some back here, please?

Here's the deal. I made those Snickerdoodles from a cake mix. Not from a recipe handed down several generations. I've tried that. Not from the recipe that came from the flirtatious 50-year old at Matt's old job. I've tried that one too. This one was an easy cake mix, CREAM OF TARTAR, butter, egg thing. It's all I have the time, inclination, or effort to accomplish anymore. I admit, they're better than refrigerated, tastier than mediocre, but not spectacular by any means.

Matt must also admit that fact as well, or he wouldn't have eaten part of Colton's share at last night's baseball dinner. But, I digress.

So, this has been a point of contention for our entire relationship. Even back when I had time for a real recipe and a desire to impress, I remember my cookies being compared to the "Famous Grandmother Hull Snickerdoodles".

In fact, at one point, I did try to make the real things, but figured I must have done something wrong. They just didn't taste right. And, maybe that's not the right wording - they tasted nothing like I expected a Snickerdoodle to taste.

It has been only recently that I realized he wasn't comparing apples to apples.

Fairly recently, he requested them for the Christmas cookie plate at his mom's house. He was thrilled. He LOVED them. "That's what I'm talking about!" he exclaimed. After 13 years of marriage, he is finally again served the cookie he adores so much. I sampled one for myself.

That bland puffy cookie without enough cinnamon in the cinnamon/sugar mixture could be compared to a snickerdoodle, but it would be like cooking up 100 different flavors of cheez-its when he was really thinking of a plain pretzel.

In my opinion (this is my blog, I can do that), the Snickerdoodle should be chewy, tart (cream of tartar tart), and coated so much in the cinnamon mixture that it's crackled after baked.

That's a Snickerdoodle.

I'm sure the Sour Cream cookie has a rightful place in society. Its place just isn't in my kitchen. I'll leave that up to his mom at Christmas-time.

I'll have to, cause like I said, I think I just got kicked out.

I'll be home with Chance, eating cake-mix Snickerdoodles. YUMMY!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Then & Now

Chance & Hunter - 2005
Chance & Hunter tonight
Chance & Brad - 2005
Brad tonight
Chance tonight

Apparently, time flies.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dinner Question

Laughter is the best medicine. Tell us about something that recently made you laugh . . .

Colton - We were playing kickball for PE, and Travis was running to 1st base, and I thought he was going to slide, but instead he did a belly flop on the base. It just cracked me up.

Mama - Last night, when Colton tied the beanbag around his waist, and wanted to know what it was like to walk around with "junk in the trunk".

Chance - We played baseball at Ross's birthday party, and I was the pitcher, and James swung, and it bounced off the bat and hit him right on the forehead. It was just a tennis ball, so it didn't hurt him, it just made us all laugh.

Matt - Chance's college comment in the car the other day. We were driving home, and Chance was trying to trick us with a riddle - Pete and Re-pete were sitting on a wall. Pete fell off. Who was left? - As you say "Re-Pete", he repeats the riddle. Ha ha. So, we started saying - "Pete's friend", "the other guy", "not Pete", etc. Chance, exasperated, says "Come on, you guys! This isn't that hard! (pointing at me) You've got a college education! (now to Matt) And you kind of do!" He isn't quite buying the Pottery and Astronomy track . . .

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Recap

It's been a great weekend. We've accomplished both a lot and a little. Some areas needed a big push - other areas needed significant rest.

Chance went to a birthday party.

I got the present to him in the nick of time at school on Friday afternoon.

He stayed up until 2:30 watching movies and gabbing - I thought only girls did that?

Colt and I coupon shopped.

3 stores.

Over $100 saved.

More than $100 spent, but I'm blaming that primarily on toothbrush heads for the Sonicare. I'm pretty sure they are both diamond-encrusted and gold-plated.

Colton clothes change-out. New size. Summer stuff. Outgrown shoes. Worn out shoes that served as a scooter break one too many times. Overflowing dresser.

Now, organized dresser. Drawers close. Everything fits. Not everything has been worn by Chance (a rarity in this kid's life), and 3 pairs of shoes that fit right now. Bonus.

Forced reduction of Chance t-shirts.

A concerted effort not to re-sort because he didn't pick the ones I would have.

3 bags of clothes labelled and downstairs to wait for Colt to grow.

2 bags of giveaways. We are definitely to the point where our giveaways might as well be the costume trunk for a troupe of vagabond kids - by the time they get through these two boys, they are WELL used.

A trip to Spokane for bees, lunch, and some Gonzaga baseball.

Re-do the business web-site and Paypal site.

Movie night.

Sleep in - late church.

Church in the gym again - sanctuary being remodeled.

Fantastic message - this series has been a blessing each and every week.

Visit to the ballpark to test out a pitching machine on loan from some friends.

Late lunch at home and a lazy afternoon.

Batteries officially recharged and ready for another busy week.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Open House

We had open house at the boys' school last night. It was tons of fun to wander through the classrooms, see the kid's projects and art, and hear all the good things going on in the school.

I'm so glad we are able to put our kids in this school. It doesn't come without sacrifice - both time and $$ - but I see the benefits of it almost daily.

Colton's "fossil".
He fossilized toy soldiers. Jane, I'm gonna need the number to the Air Force Academy.
Blogger thinks it's smarter than me regarding the orientation of this picture. I know it's upside down. I can't fix it. The point is, I raced Chance in division tables, and he beat me by 2 seconds. He'd also like to point out that he reduced his fractions and I did not, so really he beat me by a lot more than that. Bragger.

Poster highlighting the Potato Gleaning that the kids did for the food bank. There's a really cute kid on the bottom left . . .

Our award winning choir sang. I LOVE hearing them perform - it's a blessing every time.

At the door leaving Chance's classroom.

Chance immediately showed us which circle was his (these are made of embroidery thread) because of the knot that was in it where he made a small mistake. I don't know where his perfectionist tendencies come from??

Chance and Ross created this masterpiece after their study of Candyland and Willy Wonka.

An overview of what's been happening in the 5th grade classroom.

A unique approach to homework, assignments, and rewards.

Chance and Ross's camo creation

Colton's class displaying different forms of art

Colt's "almost butterfly"
My favorite part of this display are the "extra" caterpillars stashed behind, so as to ensure no emotionally precarious 1st grader comes in one morning to find his butterfly experiment dead and gone. That's one smart teacher, right there :)

Colton's springtime story

Thanks, MLCA teachers and staff. What a fantastic evening. You are doing such a great job with my boys!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The One

Two posts made me cry already this morning.

This one, about The One who needs an advocate.

And this one, about The One whom we follow, and trust to ultimately advocate for all who cannot advocate for themselves.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:20-21.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Season Opener

First hit, a double! So much for first-game jitters.

Between the two boys, 25 Games in the next 7 weeks.

Here we go . . .

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Few, The Proud . . .

I think my kids have the best Sunday School teachers ever.
The sword of truth, like you've never seen it before!

Friday, April 9, 2010

For what I do is not the good I want to do

I want to go hear an author that is in town to promote her book and give a lecture . . .

. . .I brave the wind of baseball practice instead.

I want to attend a book club of a friend who has offered "girl, books, & wine" time . . .

. . .I attend a basketball game instead.

I want to plan a summer full of fun, camping adventures for our family . . .

. . .I gaze desperately at the quick-filling schedule of art shows and other commitments and hope to squeeze in a few

I want to do one of those "girl's shopping weekends", with money I don't have, with no worry of consequences later . . .

. . .I open the budget spreadsheet and remind myself to "live like no one else now"

I want to spend a weekend full of only lattes, slippers, snuggies, and books . . .

. . .I walk past the heaps of laundry and dishes and know they must be dealt with

I want to exercise everyday at lunch - knowing that when I walk it has so many benefits beyond just the exercise . . .

. . .I watch the 50 m.p.h. wind outside and know another small window of opportunity has passed

I want to read a chapter of a fun, fun book each night to my kids . . .

. . .I look at the clock at 9:30, after school, work, practice, and dinner, and know the time has passed once again

I want to cook fantastic, nutritious, and somehow still really good meals for dinner . . .

. . .I throw another 30-minute casserole in the oven

I want to complete my bible study and spend time in the Word every day . . .

. . .I hit snooze one to many times and have to rush through only a portion

Full days turn into full weeks that turn into full months, and pretty soon, I'm staring down another year of just like before, hoping I've made some memories and an impact along the way.

It won't always be like this.

I know that.

I know that I know that I KNOW that. I cuddled my nephew last weekend and longed again for a time I wished away too quickly.

I know I'll miss this.

I know "It won't be like this for long". (Thanks, Darius)

But, in spite of that, I want more. Or maybe less. Not a fast forward. But, maybe a slow motion.

Some time to write my blog. Or maybe a book. Or not, but know that I could have.

Time in the day to do my job, and do it well, and not feel guilty about taking a break, or a lunch, or even a walk.

Somehow, to not view the windy practice as a burden. To not wish it away. To not MISS it because I'm throwing a fit.

There will be a time, and it will come all too soon, that it's ALL about me. And I will wish it wasn't.

So, how do I do the good that I want to do? And not do the evil that I do not want to do? And still do the mundane that I have to do? And somehow find the good in the mundane?

I need all you Titus Women, who are usually lurkers, to come out of hiding and give this young woman some guidance. Let's hear your wisdom . . .

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Step 1 of 4

AKA - The Spring Break Project

We've been toying with the idea of remodeling the upstairs for quite some time. Recently, we had some success with re-doing the living room, but still by the end of it vowed never to paint again - EVER.

Then, spring break came upon us. The boys went to Grandma's, and Matt & I enjoyed a week of remembering what adult conversation was like. We ate adult food - nary a chicken nugget to be found. We watched adult TV shows - no Disney Channel allowed. We went out to dinner - and it wasn't a drive through.

Then, Wednesday night came.

Matt got called out.

And, I was home all by myself, by 5:15 (unheard of), with NOTHING to do.

I'm not very good at having nothing to do.

So, forgetting our painting vow, I begin work on the boys' bedroom.

By the end of the week, it looks something like this:

Step two will be a re-do of the den - turning it into a big combo room that will include the scraproom, guest room, and Matt's reloading station. This will include a large yard-sale/eBay effort - there is lots and Lots and LOTS of junk accumulated in there!

Step three - turn the scrap room into Colton's room - the above bedroom will be Chance's.

Step four - update the small bathroom into one that the boys can use exclusively.

We intend to keep up the momentum and keep moving along - feel free to ask if you don't see a post on Step 2 in the next couple months :) Maybe the pressure will keep me honest.