Thursday, July 29, 2010

It’s almost over…

Gymnastics camp that is.  I can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of gymnastics camp and poor Maisie is just heartbroken.  The entire school year she talked about and looked forward to camp and given the opportunity, she would be there everyday, year round but now the thought of having to wait until next summer just makes her so very sad. 

Tonight after camp she was doing some gymnastics at home and had us watch what she called “Kaity’s move.”  Why Kaity’s move?  Because she’s seen her friend Kaity practice this sitting to handstand move and decided that it’s her move and that’s what it should be called.  I can’t believe the strength she has to muscle herself up but she amazes me all the time.

Our garden continues to grow with the big producers now being melons, early gala, passport and watermelon.  Check out the watermelon tomato gazpacho and vanilla scented melon soup recipes that I’ve made with our homegrown melons and are on my Cook Lisa Cook blog.  Jalapeno peppers…oh my gosh we need to make some batches of poppers with those, we have so many.  We also have baskets and baskets of tomatoes of various varieties and they’re all delicious.  Our butternut squash are sweetening on the vine and we’ll be harvesting, curing and storing those in the near future.  Also our pumpkins are just about ready to pick, cure and store for the fall.  The cucumbers have run their course but Steve planted some of the seeds and we should see a second crop before the growing season ends.  Our eggplants are coming along nicely and we should be eating some of those in the next week or two and we’re continuously harvesting zucchini which has been nice.  Oh yeah long beans, we’ve been enjoying those too and they’ll keep producing for quite sometime.  I have been harvesting and freezing batch after batch of spinach and basil so those will be nice to pull from the freezer and enjoy come winter.   Steve’s fig tree is bursting with figs so I’m contemplating making jam which will be a first for me.  I love fig jam and if I make it myself I can make it sugar free which would be great.

Both Steve’s family and ours as well as many of our neighbors and friends have been enjoying all the fruits and vegetables but us humans are not the only ones, check out one of our little tomato thieves enjoying a treat!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

All for one

IMG_1994 And one for all.  IMG_1997 Maisie, K & A have spent the entire weekend together and if they weren’t playing restaurant or school they were Musketeers.  All three love the Barbie and the Three Musketeers movie as well as the corresponding Nintendo DS game

This past week was long and stress-filled and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who sent emails and called to check in on me and an extra special thank you to Anne & Steve who took care of Maisie all day Saturday and kept all of us well fed for the past three days.  Today I’m feeling better but I know that the stress of the week caught up with me as all I wanted was comfort food of soup…yes soup on a day when the heat index was over 100F, so I cooked soup!  I made chicken soup, oxtail soup as well as a refreshing and summer appropriate cold watermelon tomato gazpacho with everything but the garlic and onion pulled from our garden. 

This coming week is Maisie’s last week of gymnastics camp and then we have two weeks off before school starts on August 16th.  I can’t believe that summer is almost over, it passed way to quickly and I’m not sure that I’m ready for the school year to begin again.  Maisie has grown so much over the summer so I need to have her try on her uniforms and see what I need to purchase for the school year, that along with a much needed hair cut once the public school kids return to school on August 5th and purchasing her school supplies, we should be all set. 

Thank you to everyone who entered my MaIsie Eats Bento Yum-Yum Bento Box book giveaway and a big congratulation to the winner, Maryellen.  I hope that you enjoy the book and that your children love the bentos that you’ll make.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Utah wrap-up

Sunday morning it was time for our little bloggy weekend to come to an end.  M3, Ro & Ree as well as Donna & Lauren headed to the airport to fly home, Catherine & Hannah went to Tawni’s house for a few days, Lisa headed to her house and Maisie and I went home with Tiffany to spend a few more days.  It was sad to say good bye to all our friends but we look forward to the next time we all get together and hopefully Julie & Tess will be able to join us as we missed them so very much this year. 

After Maisie’s rough night she was just wiped out and slept the entire drive to Tiffany’s and then was unusually quiet, happy to spend time just sitting around playing her DSi with Eliza.  Eliza was just in l.o.v.e. with Maisie’s game and thankfully Maisie is a great sharer, as is Eliza, so over the four days we spent at Tiffany’s there was little arguing over taking turns and playing with Maisie’s game and Eliza’s Leapster.

P7110131Maisie and Eliza spent many hours huddled together playing electronic games but were really good, with no arguing when we told them that time was up and electronics needed to be put away.

P7120168There was also a lot of time spent coloring, drawing and wearing Princess garb.

P7130175High heels were worn, discarded and exchanged and there were long discussions between the girls about how shoes should or shouldn’t  match their outfits.   Maisie wasn’t always cooperative when it came to taking pictures but I love her just the same.

Sunday night, the stomach bug which had hit many at the condo over the weekend descended upon me.  Thankfully I wasn’t as sick as Donna or Maisie had been but every time I tried to lift my head from the pillow, I came close to losing the contents of my stomach.  I had a rough night but I really didn’t want to miss out on the plans we had for Monday which was to meet up with Catherine & Hannah as well as Tawni and her children at the Hatch Family Chocolate Factory followed by lunch at my favorite place, Cafe Rio.  Well, I made it to the Chocolate place but that was really more than I was up for so Maisie and I ended up heading back to Tiffany’s house for some meds and a nap while everyone else enjoyed lunch.

P7120142Before I had to leave we got a couple of pictures, here’s Maisie and I with owner Katie Masterson. 

P7120164It’s been three years since I last saw Tawni so it was great to see her again, even for the limited time I could remain upright.  Her boys have grown so much and little A, what a little spitfire she is and just beautiful!  I wish that I had been able to stay longer and visit but hopefully it won’t be three years until we meet again.

P7140179Maisie and Eliza are so stinking cute together and though they only see each other one week per year, they look forward to seeing each other, talk about each other and when they get together it’s as if they’ve never been apart.   They really are two peas in a pod and whatever one would do, the other would do too. 

P7140180In addition to Princess wear and high heels, there was lots of primping, silliness and giggles.

P7140178Just so you don’t think that I spent all my time at Tiffany’s laying around being sick, I’m telling you that it didn’t happen as the girl put me to work!  Tiffany bought 1/4 of a local grass-fed, organic fancy-schmancy butchered cow and asked me to do something with it.  Well really, she had asked if I would help her make some new and different freezer meals for when she starts back to work teaching next month, so that’s what we did.  In two days we made Marinara sauce, Bolognese sauce (with 5.5 pounds of meat!), Lasagna Soup, CioppinoMoussaka, Curried Shepherd’s Pie, Hearty Beef Curry, Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry Bars and Brownies with walnuts …from scratch of course.  I was so happy to be able to help Tiffany stock her freezer because she really loved everything that we made and will think of us all winter long each time she pulls a meal from her freezer.

P7130171Solli was also a fan of what we made, here he is giving the Moussaka a taste test.

Thankfully Wednesday night all of us were over the plague and Laurel was kind enough to host a second mini bloggy bash so that Maisie and I could see her family and the Brown family.  We spent the evening eating, chatting, playing and enjoying time together in Laurel’s beautiful yard. 

IMG_1895Maisie, Eliza, Maylin & Kai playing in the stream.

IMG_1906The big girls playing games together, Pearl, Hills, Maddy & Kens.

IMG_1908Solli really wanted water straight from the tap!

IMG_1910There was ice cream and Solli really enjoyed it!

P1100377Solli hanging with the girls, Hills, Maddy & Kens.

P1100380Kim, Laurel, me, Tiffany & Solli.

I nicked the two following collages from Laurel’s blog:chinese party23Kim sacrificed herself and so that nothing went to waste she finished not only her ice cream but Kai’s as well!.

chinese party21Ice cream and playing in the stream were both big hits with the wee ones.

IMG_1951The children didn’t want the night to end even when they reached the point of exhaustion and tears but they posed for one final picture.  Eliza, Grace, Maisie & Maylin.

IMG_1937Laurel has chickens and the children had fun seeing and feeding them.  Of course with all these chickens there are plenty of fresh eggs.

IMG_1938Laurel’s freshly gathered eggs.  For my final meal in Utah I enjoyed some of these wonderfully fresh eggs, delish!!

Maisie and I had a great trip and thankfully easy flights home.  Though we miss our friends and can’t wait to see them again, it’s great to be home!

Don't forget, only two days left to enter my Bento book giveaway over on Maisie Eats Bento.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The best laid plans of mice and men

IMG_1889Unfortunately instead of partying it up with our local bloggy pals, this is how we spent our evening.

This morning I awoke to find out that Donna had been sick all night long and poor little Ree wasn’t feeling all that great either.  By mid-morning Maisie started complaining off and on that her stomach was hurting her but I didn’t know if it was sympathy pains or if she really wasn’t feeling well as she ate her breakfast and seemed okay, just a bit tired.  By mid-morning Ree said she was feeling better and Maisie said she was okay so everyone but Donna loaded into the cars and we headed over to the outlet stores.  Our time there was brief, well at least for Maisie & I and M3 & her girls as both Ree and Maisie complained that they didn’t feel well and wanted to go home.  Through out the afternoon both girls were dragging, in bed and both napped.  Come time to get ready to head to the BBQ, poor little Ree just wasn’t up for it but Maisie said she wanted to go…until the contents of her stomach came up.  Poor little girl was sick six times but once her stomach emptied she started feeling better and hopefully tomorrow will wake feeling 100%  Ree never did get sick and hopefully won’t as they are scheduled to fly home tomorrow.  A few of the other Moms also aren’t feeling quite right so in the end, from our group of 14, only Catherine & Hannah and Lisa & Tate made it to the BBQ.  I’m so bummed that we missed it but I hope to meet up with some of the local gals during the next few days before we head home.

P7100129Solli, Maisie and Eliza watching a video together this afternoon.

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

Friday, July 09, 2010

Six Moms, eight children and one house still standing

We are having an awesome time with our super bloggy pals up in Park City, Utah. We had a long trip out here, flying through Houston and a poor man had a medical emergency on our first flight but meeting up with everyone has been great fun. It didn't take long for all the little girls to warm up to one another and in no time they were running through the house, jumping on beds and running around playing together like best friends. How fun it is to have all of us back together but this time with ALL of our children.IMG_5326 The first night electronics were a big hit.  Here's Lauren playing with Ro & Ree's IPad.

IMG_5328 Maisie, Lauren, Ro, Ree & Eliza gathered around the IPad and ready to watch a movie.

IMG_1874 Coming home from Barcelona back in April, Maisie's Leapster died and she was really at the point of outgrowing it so instead of buying her another one, I surprised her on the flight out to Utah with a Nintendo DSi and she and Eliza just couldn't get enough of it.

IMG_5349 This morning Lauren & Maisie were cute together at breakfast.

IMG_2181LR Such little cuties!!  Maisie, Ro, Tate, Ree, Solli and just behind the sofa, little Liza Lu (Eliza).

P7090063 Our Utah 2010 red couch picture.  Left to right, youngest to oldest:  Hannah, Solli, Tate, Lauren, Eliza, Maisie, Ree & Ro.  They've all grown so much since our last one in September 2007.

IMG_2189LR Such cutie-patootie little kids so of course there was paparazzi, Donna, me & Catherine.

IMG_2200LR Our We tried to re-create the Mama's-to-be photo from the first time we met but little ones kept sneaking in but that's just the way things are now.  Donna, Lisa, Catherine (where Julie was in the original), me, Tiffany & M3.

IMG_2203LR Finally, all the Mamas with their children.  Donna & Lauren, Lisa & Tate, Catherine & Hannah, Me with Maisie, Tiffany with Eliza & Solomon and M3 with Ro & Ree.

P7090049 Maisie decided that she wanted to take some pictures so there were many of the ceiling, odd objects, fuzzy who-knows-what, she did get some good ones like this one of Tiffany

P7090077 As well as one of me and M3.

P7090078 And this cute one of Tate, Solli & Lauren...where are their Mother's letting these little ones climb on tables?!?!?

P7090051 And finally this one of M3 and I just chillin on the sofa.

P7090044 We finally got our selves off the sofa and out the door to a fun park with climbing structures and climbing  rocks.  Maisie and Lauren were buddies climbing to the top of one of the big rocks together.

IMG_2205 Later in the afternoon we headed over to Park City Mountain Resort.  I love all the hand-holding that happened.  This is Maisie and Eliza holding hands and Solli in the stroller.

IMG_2207 Ree and Maisie.

P7090093 Ree, Maisie, Ro & M3.

IMG_2213 Maisie and I riding the lift up to the top of the Alpine Slide.  I have to say that I don't like heights especially being suspended on a wire so the trip up had me in a bit of a panic but thankfully I wasn't alone in that as M3 was no calmer than I.  The little girls though, they were up for the adventure and being on the lift was just good fun!

IMG_2210 Ro & M3 on the lift.

IMG_2216 Maisie and I ready to slide!  The slide down the hill was awesome and we all had so much fun.

My camera didn't want to turn on right away so here's just part of our run down the Alpine Slide. M3 and Ro are on the track to our right.

IMG_2220 Because only two people could be on a sled and because of age requirements we had to go in shifts, here's Donna & Lauren, Catherine & Ree and Tiffany & Eliza ready to board the lift.

IMG_2224 Second shift going up in the lift.

P7090097 While the second shift was taking their turn on the slide, Maisie and Ro entertained them selves playing with rocks.  Who needs toys when rocks are so fun!

P7090098 Hannah passed the time while her Mama was on the slide by taking a nap.

IMG_2231 Catherine and Ro at the end of their run.

IMG_2233 Donna & Lauren, looks like they had a good time!

IMG_2237 Tiff and Eliza loved it too.

IMG_2239 Tate was too young to do the slide but that didn't stop her from a photo-op in one of the sleds.

IMG_2243 After everyone who wanted to had their turn on the Alpine slide, a few of us brave Mamas and little ones headed over to the Alpine Coaster for a go at that.  Catherine rode with Ro

IMG_2244 M3 took Ree with her.

IMG_2241 And here's Maisie and I ready to go.

I recorded our entire ride and it was great fun.  As soon as we got off both Maisie and I were ready to go again.  We were told that if I pushed the handles forward all the way (pull back for braking) that we would get up to about 30mph and going around the bends we would feel about 3Gs so just to see, I pushed the handles forward the entire trip down because why bother breaking when we could just go for it and have so much fun!!  Awesome fun and Maisie and I want to go back again!!

P7090103 After all the fun of the day and dinner out we returned to the house where we played and of course computers came out...had to up load all the pictures!!  Here again Maisie had the camera.

P7090125 All the little girls had fun playing cooking games for a while but then it was time for some surgery.  First Lisa subjected herself to multiple surgeries and here's M3 having a C-section...yeah I don't get it either but everyone had great fun.

Tomorrow we are getting together with many of the local bloggy gals for a bbq and we can't wait!!  Time to sleep though, eight children can totally wear out all us Mamas!!

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

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