Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bowling and food

Saturday night we met up with Lisa, Doug & Briana for a fun night of dinner, bowling and ice cream. We had two lanes, one with bumpers and one without. We started with Eammon & Doug on the bumper-less lane and Lisa, Briana, Maisie and I on the lane with bumpers and trust me, more than anyone else I needed those bumpers! Eammon and Doug finished their game in the time it took the four of us girls to bowl four frames so then they took over with the little girls and Lisa & I played our one string on the bumper-free lane and for the record, Lisa rocked, finishing with almost double my pitiful score. The adults then switched back so that Lisa and I finished the first string with the little girls and the guys started another game. After that Lisa and I were done so we sat back and watched the girls & the guys bowl another string. I haven't been bowling in years and this was Maisie's first go at it and we all had fun...but of course Eammon managed to hurt his back and has had to run off today to get a massage, but if you know him...what else is new!

Cell phone pictures again.
Two little cutie-patooties ready to bowl.

Imagine the embarrassment when we all showed up wearing the same designer shoes!!

Briana in position and ready to bowl.

Maisie's ready too.

Look at that follow-through.

Hoping to make the split.

Maisie and Briana liked working together and raced to get the ball for each other.

After bowling we headed across the street to Dairy Queen where we all enjoyed some ice cream and then the girls were like little teenagers, deciding to sit at their own table, iPhones in hand, heads together and having a blast together. Doug with his fancy new iPhone captured this video. It took the employees switching off the lights for the evening to get us out of the place. It was a good night, the girls were great together and we all had fun.

Yesterday Maisie was fooling around trying to do splits on the beam.

Harvested from the garden, basil, zucchini and spinach. Zucchini, spinach lasagna is on the menu for tonight!

Today's harvest of cucumbers. Maisie decided to sell them to the neighbors for 10 cents each. We also begged sent asked those same neighbors to go into the garden and pick some spinach!!

Our neighbors were quite generous and Maisie walked away with $7.

The finished zucchini, spinach lasagna. Oh my gosh is it delicious and the spinach seems to have disappeared and the zucchini is so tender and has absorbed so much of the sauce that you can't really tell that it's there either. Maisie declared "Mama this lasagna is even better than Tiffany's!" Trust me, that is super high praise because the last time we were in SLC, my girl couldn't get enough of Tiffany's lasagna and has remembered it ever since.

Don't forget to enter my Bento book giveaway over on Maisie Eats Bento.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where did the week go?

How is it Friday already and where has this week gone?

Monday morning I awoke to find an email from Kathy asking if we were free to meet for lunch. As it happened we had a couple of free hours between our morning plans and Maisie's gymnastics practice so we met up at a sushi/Chinese place. Maisie was full of I-don't-know-what, I think some teenager and their sassy attitude invaded her body so it wasn't fun at the beginning but once the girls ate and then sat next to one another things were much better as they were happy and played so in the end it was a nice little lunch and fun to catch up with Kathy as it's been ages since we were last together. Just cell phone piccies but look at these two little cutie-patooties!

Maisie of course has had a week filled with gymnastics, two days of practice and two days of camp. Poor little girl has spent so much time on the bars and rings that she has not only callouses on her tiny hands but a big blood blister in the center of her palm. Thankfully she's not complaining about it and she says it doesn't hurt but I can't even look at it without getting queasy. Also making me queasy this week is I've been gathering estimates from roofers to have our roof, gutters and seven skylights replaced, oh my gosh!!

Next week is going to be a super busy and I am already beyond stressed just thinking about it, so much so that by the time I get Maisie into bed, I'm emotionally and physically done for the day and have been crawling in there at the same time. Maisie has her usual activities but in addition I have two days at the hospital for some pretty intense and invasive tests. I am so ready to just get away from doctors, hospitals and test and am counting the days (13) until Maisie and I fly off to Salt Lake City where I can forget about all that is going on and just enjoy spending time with friends.

To end on a more positive note, our garden is growing like nobodies business and we're easily pulling 6-12 cukes a day, we have hundreds of tomatoes starting, the zucchini and spinach is coming fast and furious and this weekend I'll be making hopefully, a nice lasagna using both of them. I can't get over how big our pumpkins are already and though we probably already have 150 good sized butternut squash on the vines, more baby ones are starting. I've counted at least a dozen melons already and I bet that within the next two weeks we'll be eating our first. Our string beans have started really vining up their bamboo so it won't be long now until those come in and the eggplant and pepper plants have flowers so we should be seeing some of those soon too. Tim just dropped off a grape vine, some blackberry and I think raspberry or huckleberry bushes so those will be in the ground this week. Our watermelon seems slow but I've now spotted a couple of tiny thumb-sized fruits and can't wait for those babies to come in. Thank you to everyone who sent along zucchini recipes and links for recipes, some look really awesome and I know with all the plants and how they're producing, I'm sure to try out a few of them.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and don't forget to enter my Bento book giveaway over on Maisie Eats Bento.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bento book GIVEAWAY!!!!

I was recently contacted by the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for Quirk Books and she asked if I would be interested in receiving a review copy of Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches, by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa. I quickly wrote back and let her know that I would love to receive the book BUT that I wanted to offer that book to one of my readers as I had already purchased a copy, loved it and wanted to share the love.  I have been a long time follower of Crystal's blog and a more recent follower of Maki's blog and as I can't get enough of their bento ideas and instruction on how to make super cute, fun and nutritious bentos, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book.

I was thrilled when my book arrived (the one that I ordered and actually paid for!) as it is filled with over fifty photos of completed bento boxes, each with an ingredients list, step-by-step directions and even recipes.  The pictures teach the reader how to simply craft their food into an array of fun shapes from chicks, octopi, caterpillars, walruses, cars, and frogs to flowers, princesses, angels, bumblebees, kitty cats, ladybugs and even Little Red Riding Hood and bears.  There's a wonderful section on the boxes, tools and accessories needed and used to make the bentos as well as a shopping guide.  One of my favorite little things in the book is a two page spread on the ingredients for happy faces. Basically it's pictures and descriptions of ingredients, shapes and what to use to create the heads, eyes, noses, mouths, cheeks, ears, hair and even accessories for all the adorable food people and animals anyone might want to add to their bento.

Crystal and Maki put together a great book for anyone who likes playing with their food, wants to learn how to make adorable lunches for both children and adults and even those who just need some new ideas and inspiration.  I think one of the best features of the book is that it's simple, well laid out, with plenty of step-by-step photos and you don't need to be a cook or an artist to re-create the bentos.

Would you like to win a copy of  Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches? If so, it's easy peasy, just go to this post for all the details.

Good luck!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Super spectacular wonderful fabulous days

That's how Maisie has described her days this week and it makes my heart just overflow with joy to have my girl loving her days and being so happy. It was busy and fun week for her and me too. Really we've been running and busy since last Thursday with Elite camp and that went through to Sunday. Then Monday was a 3 hour gymnastics practice followed by a couple of hours at the pool, Tuesday was full day gymnastics camp with friends K & A and of course more time at the pool in the afternoon, Wednesday was practice & pool again and Thursday was a repeat of Tuesday with camp and pool. Thursday evening the kids were starting to slow down from their busy week and actually sat together quietly for an entire movie! Friday was a quiet day day as Maisie only had a swimming lesson but then in the afternoon we attended a pool party followed by dinner at K & A's with some of K's classmates.

We have been enjoying spectacular sunny, hot weather and even though we've had almost daily pop-up torrential showers, they have mostly held off until late afternoon to early evening so they haven't really interfered with our activities.

Maisie, K & A Thursday night watching a movie together.

Our spinach is out of this world and growing like crazy.  This is after four people harvested leaves yesterday!

We are cucumber crazy.  Steve and I have been picking half a dozen or more cukes per day and we still have fully mature fruit on the vine.

I'd have to say that right now it looks like our largest crop is going to be butternut squash as we must have at least 150 growing between the two beds where they're planted.

In this post I had a picture of Steve's finger pointing at our first pumpkin and now, here I am just two weeks later pointing at it, look how big its gotten already!!  We have a few pumpkins started and hopefully we'll see more fruit before it's all over.

Two weeks ago I said that the zucchini was coming and I wasn't kidding as we've been harvesting squash after squash, day after day.  I swear that one day the zucchini will be the size of my pointer finger and two days later it's the size of my forearm!!  So far we've enjoyed zucchini fritters, zucchini chocolate chunk walnut bread and today I whipped up a batch of zucchini lemon cookies!!  Next on the menu, zucchini lasagna.

We ran out of garden space so Tim my gardener put some of the zucchini plants down near the lake and obviously someone thinks they look tasty!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gymnastics camp with K & A

Today was a very happy day for Maisie as it was her first day of gymnastics camp, woohoo!! Even better is that K & A are attending camp this week too, the three little amigos.

K, Maisie and A were up early and anxious to get to the gym.  They all had an awesome day and Maisie was actually tuckered out and fell asleep during the drive home.  Of course that nap only lasted 10 minutes but that she fell asleep at all, meant that she was tired.  After camp we all headed to the pool as we are in the midst of a heat wave so the only place to be out doors is in the water.  We got a couple of hours of swimming in before the thunder and then the pop-up torrential rain started but it was fun.

Here's Maisie, K & A last year heading into the gym on their first day of gymnastics camp.

And here's my wee little Maisie back in July 2008, the very first morning she attended gymnastics camp.  I can't believe that this is her third summer attending gymnastics camp, how time flies!!  I'm glad though that she still loves camp as much today as she always has and that each day she looks forward to going, participating and being with her friends.

Friday, June 11, 2010

2010 Elite Team Camp

This Thursday through Sunday Maisie is attending her gym's elite team camp. This camp is different from the gymnastics camp she'll attend starting next week as this is an intensive four day training camp only for those children who are on competitive teams.  Thursday was a short three hour day with all the gymnasts gathering just after lunch at the gym where they received their t-shirts, met the guest coaches, did their warm-up exercises and started their practice then after a short break there was a fun kick-off pool party.  Friday through Sunday are full 7-hour days filled with strength and conditioning training as well as learning and practicing new skills.  Maisie and her teammates should be good and tired at the end of each day. 
IMG_1562  a Taylor & Maisie
IMG_1567  b Taylor, Maisie, Mara, Aspen & Savannah
IMG_1571  cSilly girls!!  It is really wonderful how Maisie and her teammates really love each other and being together.
IMG_1579  d USA Level 2 teammates:  Maisie, Taylor, Aspen, Savannah, Caroline & Mara all sporting their NMGC 2010 Elite Team Camp t-shirts.
IMG_1587  e Guest Coaches with the USA Level 2 teammates:  Tia, Maisie, Aspen, Taylor, Mara, Savannah & Caroline.  (Gracie is missing)

IMG_1602  f Helen & Megan fitting Maisie for her team practice and competition leotards.

IMG_1608  g Maisie doing some warm-up stretches next to her friend Anna.

IMG_1613 h Doing splits with the big girls.

IMG_1630  i Bridges are just so easy peasy so lift one leg and point those toes.

IMG_1632  j Lunges across the mat.

IMG_1650  k Push-up, not a problem when you're only 32 pounds and extremely strong.

IMG_1653  L Maisie still hanging with her friend Anna and working her abs of steel.

IMG_1675  m Maisie, Savannah & Mara (face down) at the pool party.

pool party picture (1) Gymnasts at the pool party.  Maisie is not in the picture as we had already left by this point as it had been a long day and was well past Maisie's bedtime...and mine!

M at pool4 6-7-10 nAfter 7 hours at the gym today Maisie only wanted to go to the pool where little Miss Energizer Bunny managed to swim around for over two hours before finally slowing down a bit and just taking time to float around and play with her water squirter.

M at pool5 6-7-10 o Little Miss, finally relaxing in her tube.

IMG_1686  p And now she sleeps!! 

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Gracie came to play!

Today, gymnastics teammate Gracie came over to swim and play with Maisie. What a fun-filled day and the girls never wanted it to end. Our day started with Gracie's Mom and I taking Gracie, Maisie, K & A to the pool where they all had a blast playing in the water, eating pizza and scarfing down cookies. After three hours at the pool K & A had to leave for their piano lessons and feeling that we had all had enough sun, Gracie, Maisie, Dawn and I headed back to the house where the girls had fun playing on the gymnastics bar, the beam, playing pretend school and of course wearing a little Princess wear. It was a great day filled with so much fun and we hope that Gracie will come to play again. Of course Maisie never gets enough of her friends and as soon as Gracie left she was out playing with K & A again. Our day finally started to wind down as I prepared a late dinner and Maisie, K & A had fun playing a final game of Twister.

Gracie at the pool.

Maisie has become a little fish in the water.

K always strikes a pose for the camera.

A and Maisie always seem to be side-by-side.

Gracie & Maisie, two silly girls on the bar.

The girls love gymnastics.

Such a sense of Princess fashion!

Maisie & K twisting to A's directions.

Tomorrow starts a busy weekend for Maisie of Elite gymnastics camp so it was fun having all these days "off" to just have fun and play with friends.
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