Monday, January 31, 2011

Ice Skating in Afghanistan

Strap on your skates, Thomas. I'm throwing away the shorts. You know, the red one's you hate.

For those of you not in the know (which should be all of you sans my husband of course) these shorts have been a bullet point in Thomas's Pick On Kari File for quite a while now. I get it, they're old. They're stained. But so is his soccer shirt from 8th grade that he still has [and wears]. Ah the shorts. So many memories. I bought them from an Old Navy clearance section in 2003 [before I met Thomas] for use while sleeping. They became one of my favorite pairs because of their comfort. I've seriously worn them out.

It does seem a little odd that I'm blogging about a pair of shorts, but I went to throw them away today and my inner Christine came out. Don't get me wrong, they're going in the trash, but I thought I'd at least give them their dues by a send off digital-era style.

Good bye, shorts. You will probably only be thought of again when only Thomas makes a crack about you, but you had your day and he can't take that away from you.

Glitter from one of the first stamping projects I made.

Paint from painting Glenn's room

What's my inner Christine? Christine is my sister and she is very sentimental. It's a running joke between us that she's on the verge of being a hoarder. Check out her blog- it's on the right titled, "My Boys and Life at Home".

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Ugh. The weekend. To me (the stay at home mom who has a deployed husband) weekends are dreaded. They mean no morning radio show (The Mikey Show on FM 94.9), no GMA, and crowds where ever we may want to go. Weekends are spent going to church, and any activity that I think won't be crowded.

Today we went to church, then Henry's Market and then home for the rest of the day. The kids have been a bit cranky and it started raining about a half-hour ago, but it just stopped, so we're going out to splash in puddles. What's that you say? Parent's aren't supposed to encourage splashing in puddles? Especially when the child doesn't have rain boots on? Well I disagree. I think that this type of activity is good in a controlled environment.

After splashing in puddles for 20 minutes, we came in for some hot chocolate. A frozen vegetarian pizza and a mini watermelon waiting to be cut up. Then playing until 6:45pm and we get ready for bed. Genny first, then Glenn, then I clean up the house and go to bed myself. Ah... The life of me. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Today We...

~Went to the YMCA and worked out [me]
~Took an old car seat in to Babies R Us for 25% off a new one
~Had a meltdown over the fact that it's Baby Glenn's car seat and not mine [Genny]
~Continued having explosive diarrhea and not eating [Glenn]
~ Had a great time playing with said car seat's box [the kids]
~Took a picture of the fence that Gus is chewing his way through

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Favorite: The San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (they just changed their name from the Wild Animal Park) is a great place to take kids. It started in 1969 as an animal breeding facility and started taking patrons in May of 1972. As a non-profit park, every dollar spent goes towards the 1800 acre park and it's inhabitants. They have a breeding program that has made records as well as helped endangered species start to slowly climb back up in numbers. They have one White Rhino, of which six are in existence. As Jim, our tram tour guide said, "It's a sad fact that they will become extinct in our lifetime. :(

On to something less sad...

I have toyed with the idea of getting a membership to the Park for a few years now, and this year I think it's time. Genny is old enough to enjoy the experiences, and it's a good day's worth of fun a half hour away. Today was our first trip with our membership and there will be plenty more to come. We'll see how many times I blog about it before Thomas comes home... :)

Enjoy the pics and if you're in the area, check it out!

Lorikeet Landing: You buy a cup of nectar and the birds land on you to eat it.

Genny had one on her head! She didn't freak out the second time it happened and actually laughed!

They are doing a new thing with the elephant exhibit: They hide the food for the elephants and at 11:30am they let them out to go and find it. It was great to see all the elephants finding the food; there were four babies to see!

We were excited about the tram tour!

Glenn was tired and ended up falling asleep while we were on the tram tour.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Today We...

~Went to the doctor (so far the labs say I just have carpel tunnel and tennis elbow, I'll find out next week if I have RA, it's very doubtful though)
~Cleaned up dhiareah and throw up (Glenn)
~Bought more blue berries (because that's the only thing little man is eating)
~Made chocolate chip cookies for the sole purpose of licking the beaters
~Started the book P.S. I Love You (while at the doctor's office, I got all of one page read!)

Not too much going on today.
But I know Thomas loves the pics, so here they are!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yes, Yes I Do.

Yesterday I had several friends over for a brunch. I make a big breakfast one day of the weekend every weekend, but since Thomas has been gone I can't validate all that food for just Genny and I. I invited everyone I usually invite, but at the last minute I let everyone with small kids know that Genny was sick, so if they didn't feel up to getting some germs, they may want to stay home. Everyone with small kids opted out, so there were less people than I had anticipated, but that's OK. In the end it was a great day with great food. I made home made waffles, home made scones, and a home made quiche.

Scones are something that I want to like. As odd as it sounds, there are certain foods that I just have this... desire to like. Example: When I was growing up I didn't like shrimp. It didn't taste good. But something in me wanted to like shrimp. Every opportunity I got, I would eat shrimp. One here, one there. Eventually I started liking shrimp. Scones are on my list of food items I want to like. I love the ones from Starbucks, all lemony and sugary, but as it turns out, not all are sugary. So sometimes when I eat a scone I don't necessarily like it. In the hopes that I would like one that I made, I decided that instead of making pancakes for the brunch I'd make scones. I found a recipe in The Martha Stewart Cookbook and decided to make those. I thought, "What's better than a blueberry scone?"

I made them. I detoured from the recipe (those of you who know me know that I will never in my life follow a recipe or crafting instructions to a T). It called for buttermilk. But I had a sick daughter and didn't want to go out, so I found a substitute online (one tbs of white vinegar and then add milk until it's 1 cup). I also didn't have a three inch round pastry cutter. But I did have a large star cookie cutter my sister gave me one year for Christmas... I made the scones. I ate the scones. I wasn't quite sure if I liked the scones.

I've made up my mind. I like them. The recipe calls for zero sugar, so I think next time I'll sprinkle sugar on top before I cook them. I'm not sure why it took me a day to realize that I liked them, but every time I had one, I would think, is this what they are supposed to taste like? I think I was being too critical and not letting them work their own magic on me.

P.S. The plate is a Christmas gift from my wonderful sister. My mother, sister and I have a love of Carl Spork's pottery and we can not get enough of it. (I tried to put a link in for his website, but alas, he does not have one. So if you want to check out some of his pottery, his business is called The Brisling
Pottery and you can google it and find images.)

Taco Pie

Starting from a very young age, I enjoyed Taco Pie for dinner made by my mother. It was a regular in our meal planning, allowing us the rarity of drinking pop for dinner and having Doritos as a side dish. As a picky eater back then, I would scrape away the tomatoes, forgo the sour cream in favor of the meat, cheese and Doritos topping. I have since gotten over my picky nature (for the most part) and now eat the entire thing, although I don't put tomatoes on mine. Taco Pie also seems to bring back memories for some of my friends, I've had exclamations from friends in the Navy who's family had taco pie growing up. Here is the recipe for it so you can enjoy it too!

1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 lg. tub sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package crescent rolls
1 bag Doritos
1 tomato
1 cup shredded lettuce or baby spinach
Pie plate

Heat oven to 375.
cook ground beef on the stove and add taco seasoning when done per package instructions. Shred cheese, dice tomatoes and shred lettuce if they aren't already shredded and diced.
Spray the pie plate with PAM. Using the crescent rolls, cover the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
Crush a handful of chips and sprinkle in the bottom of the dish.
Layer in order: Ground beef, sour cream, crushed chips.
Place in oven for 25 minutes. When done, add lettuce and tomatoes. Serve hot with Doritos's and a side dish.

Home made guacamole always goes well with this dish. My friend Jasmin first explained how to make guacamole to me when I was living in Japan. Since then, I've tweaked it to my liking. Here is my recipe that I change each time I make it. The ingredients stay the same (usually) but quantities differ as to how many people I'm serving and what I have on hand. The following recipe is for two avocados and 2-4 people.

Avocados (one per person unless there are more side dishes, then start with two and add one per two people after)
Lime juice (I use the bottled variety so that I don't have to remember limes each time I go shopping)
Fresh garlic
Onion or onion powder
Salt and pepper (I prefer coarse fresh-ground pepper)
Sour cream
Fresh cilantro

Into a medium mixing bowl, add as follows (in any order you like):

Halve the avocados and scoop out meat into mixing bowl.
Crush or chop garlic (I use a garlic press from Pampered Chef)
Dice 1/4 onion to desired chunks or 1 tbs onion powder
Add several shakes of salt and several rounds of pepper
1 tb lime juice
2 dollops of sour cream
about 1 tbs diced cilantro

Mix with a fork until everything is blended. You will probably have some avocado chunks, but that's a tasty treat for whomever gets them.

Use corn chips and expect lots of compliments!

Tip: Ever wonder why your guacamole browns? It's the oxidation. Use saran wrap or foil to cover the guacamole allowing no air. The next day you should have green guacamole. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seriously!? I'm only 29!

Apparently I should be retired and drinking Ensure. Maybe I should eat dinner at 4pm and say things like, "In my day..."

I've been having joint pain. In my hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Today I went to the doctor and even though he took some blood, he diagnosed me with not only carpel tunnel, but tennis elbow as well. Which means that I'll apparently have to take a break from my hobbies of stenography and tennis.

I got a groovy wrist brace and elbow brace. The former I'll wear all day and the latter will only be worn at night. The kids both were enthralled with it, Glenn staring, smiling and looking at it the same way he looks at my head when I have a towel wrapped around it.

I have to go now, I'm going to play some shuffle board, then catch a Murder She Wrote marathon.

Merry Christmas Thomas

Well babe, here's one Christmas gift that you get to see before you come home.

Our first year here in San Diego brought about several purchases that we had gotten away without for our first two years of our marriage. One was the house, another was our furniture in our house (we used just a mattress in Iwakuni and found several pieces of furniture that made due until we were able to afford something nicer). Another purchase was a grill. For his first Father's Day, Thomas got a Weber grill, We didn't know anything about grills, and had a limited space to put one in, so after finding out that Weber seemed to be the lead grill in the business, we said, "HA! Like we can afford that!" But there was an exception... The Wever Q 120 grill is a smaller grill that fit us at that time (and still does). It was perfect for the space we had (on our townhome's back deck) and we figured that when we upgraded to a bigger grill, we could use it for day trips to the beach or camping.

There was a cart, a sort of table that you could set it on as well as use to tow it when moving the grill. We didn't want to pay the money for it since we had a plastic patio table that we could use for the time-being until we wanted to spend the money to get the stand. Well that day has come! I just bought it today and now all I have to do is clean the grill so it can be as sparkling as the new cart.

Glenn helping out with the hub caps

Genny and her 'little lamb' helping

He serenaded me with ear-piercing shreeks while I scrubbed the patio table

The grill on it's new stand

The patio table half-way scrubbed

Genny's Hat

Since it's so warm here, we've been playing outside several times a day. Yesterday afternoon I told Genny to get her hat so we could go outside (I have a rule that she must wear her hat when she's outside). I was putting clothes on Baby Glenn, and saw out of the corner of my eye that she was looking for her hat. I told her it was by the door.

To be fair, I didn't tell her which hat, as in, the green one. She was pretty adamant that she wear this hat out, and I thought it was funny, so I let her. It had cooled down a bit from the 79 degrees it was earlier in the day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January in San Diego

Today's temperature was amazingly warm for January in San Diego. I was inspired by the warmth to wear my favorite summer dress, and we played outside before lunch. The only problem was finding sun screen... Having worked in the Dermatology field for so long I know that the sun is the worst around lunch as well as down here in sunny San Diego as opposed to, say, Michigan. I ended up finding a chemical sun screen, but that was it. It looks like I need to add sun block to my list for my commissary trip this time around. As summer gets closer I'll post a blog on the differences between sun blocks and why I prefer a block instead of a screen.