Friday, May 29, 2009

friday's market bounty

Today's market bounty: (for the bargain deal of $10.18)
- 6 apricots
- 6 nectarines
- 1.5 pounds of white seedless grapes
- zuchinni
- pint of red raspberries
- bag of baby carrots (not sure how this works, but they had bags of baby carrots there today!)
- box of anjou pears
- red bell pepper
- green bell pepper

I feel like a produce pirate when I go there. Forage, pilage, plunder...but then I realize, hey - others are there too, getting fresh produce for a steal of a deal, so I guess it isn't too illegal. Ok, not illegal at all, but I pretend I have a little adventure in my life outside my house. Well, adventure in addition to taking both kids and my husband to the market. ;o)

Now for the plans - I had pretty much in my mind what was going to be on our menu for the coming week - and I have a drawer full of veggies that need to be cooked up and enjoyed. Plus, mom keeps bringing us the delightful garden variety treats from her neighbor who is enjoying some early harvest (we've got asparagus overflow). I almost indulged in a fresh pineapple - YUM - because I had already planned on Sweet and Sour Pineapple Shrimp with peppers sometime this coming week, but knew if I got it, it wouldn't make it to that dinner anyway - it'd end up in all four of our tummies - we love pineapple!

Have some fresh broccoli that needs to be used; I'm contemplating doing a nice premixed up and bake the next morning quiche. ANY SUGGESTIONS? I need something to do with the broccoli - I know one of you has some recipe. Anyone care to share? I anxiously await! :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

day 6 - retro Disney

MGM Studios today. This day should be subtitled: Hudson heaven and paparazzi.

Hudson loved, I repeat, loved Tower of Terror. No, we aren't abusive. Although to some people it seems like it. Hugs is a thrill seeker. A serious thrill seeker. He lives up to his name that means "charasmatic adventurer." He scares me. I can only pray (which I do) that maybe God will use his love of crazy things and his love of airplanes for something like a missionary pilot or something. Back to the post -

We hit Playhouse Disney show first - we wanted to make sure we saw the show when the kids were rested and it wasn't full. They loved it. What 1.5 year old and 4 year old wouldn't be stoked to see a live show with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters, Little Einstein, Handy Manny characters and My Friends Tigger & Pooh characters?

We rode it the first time and he was nervous about the whole beginning, and then laughed his socks off while the tower elevator dropped and shot back up and dropped again. We stepped off, and his first and immediate question was, "When can I go again?" Once again....thrill seeker.
After the gang saw the Muppet show, Hudson was delighted to enter the Pixar part of the park and nearly fainted with joy at meeting Lightning McQueen and Mater.We were walking to the other side of the park and looked up to find this in the sky, being written by a sky-writer plane....can you see that it is the beginning of the statement "PRAISE JESUS"!?!?!?! And the other faded one in the background is "HE LIVES"...rockin. Ok, that was cool.So we went back, had some naps (and pool time) and then returned to the park for the remainder of the day. I call this our paparazzi shot. It reminds me of a picture in a People magazine of a star with her kids just out for a stroll at the ranch. Which we were. We were looking at the horses in the corral while waiting for the bus. But I just find this picture funny. Love the pink soothie in Anna's mouth.We made it back to the park for our dinner reservation at an italian restaraunt called Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano (that's restaraunt speak for - YUM!). They made a big deal about Hudson's birthday and made him a lovely hat. He was excited. Can you tell?

After dinner, we hit a few more rides, including the new Toy Story ride that is interactive - it requires 4D glasses and is like an arcade. I should say, you are in the arcade while riding and participating. It's pretty incredible. The kids both loved it. Anna actually had a blast shooting with her arcade gun at the different games - by the end she understood what she was doing and was giggling. Then we stopped in to see Buzz and Woody. Anna wouldn't go near them, Hudson wanted to stay all day.Hudson and Daddy went to ride Tower of Terror one more time for the day and Mommy and Anna hung out on the Main Street until the met us. Anna got her prized Tink purse and necklace and Daddy and Hugs met us by this awesome fountain. Mommy finished out her requisite Disney Treat Expedition with a frozen chocolate covered banana (Daddy knows what yummy treats I like!) - and the little people managed to have a few bites as well.And we leave you with this beautiful face, enjoying the sunshine at sunset - what a great trip we had!

day 5 - retro disney

Animal Kingdom day. My day was complete within the first 10 minutes of arriving at the park. We entered the gates and headed back to the area to fast pass the safari ride. We got there and there was a Disney employee handing out fast passes for that very moment. Once through the fast pass line, we boarded our safari jeep to adventure into the African Wildlife Reserve - and marvelled at the beauty of God's creation. Wow - I love African animals. They are gorgeous. 3/4 of the way through our safari, we were tasked to help rescue a baby elephant from poachers.
We were successful! Yippee! But what I mean by the fact that my day was complete was that was all I wanted. I wanted to see and go on the Safari and I was happy! I spent some of the day with Anna playing and shopping while the others ventured into shows that would've scared her more than the fuzzy characters at the breakfast. Btu I was totally content with that! Hudson even tried the Dinosaur ride - he tried it. He didn't like it much (he thought it was going to be really fun to see Dinos, and we tried to explain it wasn't like the EPCOT Dino ride) - but he survived with Mommy holding his hands and promising it would soon be over.

After experiencing what we could with small children at AK (it's more an adult geared park), we headed back for late naps and then swam at the pool for the rest of the day...and we were ALL happy to do that.

After bedtime, the big kids tried to hit EPCOT so I could experience some of the missed rides, but unfortunately, we were denied entrance due to miscreant behavior. (Do you believe that? How well do you know us?) We ended up riding the monorail and resort hopping, ending up at the Grand Floridian to breathe in some of the expensive air that the well-to-do's can afford to borrow for a week. We sat on the lagoon beach in hammocks and enjoyed the beauty of central Florida, and dined on some yummy treats from the snack shack. Almost better than EPCOT. Almost. Because I missed out on Soarin' this time, right?

day 4 - retro disney

buh-bye. buh-bye. (a little more emphatically...) BUH-BYE!!!!

That's Anna on Day 4. Well, at least with the character breakfast at the Crystal Palace. We picked the Crystal Palace for its' amazing smorgasboard of delightful culinary treats, as well as the fact that it was the site that had Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. We thought Anna would like the characters there because she loves Pooh and Piglet. We were wrong. Well, sorta. She liked them from a distance. She liked watching them with Hudson, but should they dare make a miniscule movement to approach her, her response was (can you guess?) - "Buh-bye!" and a wave.
Hudson on the other hand loved the attention from the big lovey characters. He even had a full on conversation with Tigger - as much as a conversation you can have with a non-speaking, head-nodding furry charcter of abnormal size. (Come to think of it, why am I not scared of these things?) He asked Tigger about his favorite breakfast foods and what he likes to eat. He asked some other things too, but Uncle B was holding him, so I was only privy to part of the conversation.
We enjoyed the rest of the day in Magic Kingdom (see above for Anna's approval of the breakfast foods!) and rode a lot of rides. Hudson really enjoyed Buzz Lightyear's Space Adventure - shooting Zurg guys with a space laser and getting points. Anna even got into that one!

Aladdin's Carpet Ride

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

blown away by coldplay

We saw Coldplay LIVE - outside - on a gorgeous evening recently. Holy cow - what a treat!
As a post-Mother's Day and pre-Father's Day date, Chris and I ventured with Kim and Marion to the concert. I appreciate Coldplay's music. I know a lot of songs - maybe more than your average person, as we have been listening to them for longer than Viva la Vida (you know, the Coke commercial, or Grey's Anatomy, etc....) Their pure talent and musical prowess is amazing - for they don't lay their musicianship at the feet of making a hit. We also love the fact that many of their songs are piano/keyboard driven - who said a hit had to be lead on acoustic guitar?

This concert was amazing - did I say that? Besides the fact that it rained almost an inch in the hour before the outdoor concert (yes, an inch in an hour) and their were drunk, wet fools that tailgated dancing in the newly created rivers, the concert was amazing. The sun came out, the rains subsided and the show began. After the preshow, the much anticipated main event came on stage and didn't stop playing for 2 hours. Their showmanship and their talent was evident in all aspects of the show.

For an acoustic 'break', they actually walked into the stands and stood on a small 4x5 platform that had been built into the arena seats and was a section to our left...they were so close and it was cool! (although, i'd venture to say there was hardly a bad seat in the whole stadium.) At this point we were really disappointed our camera batteries had died before we even got to take one picture. Oh well!

Many thanks to our double date for the night and to Coldplay for an incredible experience - viva la vida!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Retro Disney - day 3

This day we just relaxed. If you go to Disney, build in days where you just chill. It's nice for everybody - every body - to take a break. And if you can, build in more than just one. It's nice to be able to do Disney at a relaxed pace - not to feel like you have to ride every ride and see every takes the stress off. Plus, seeing Disney through a child's eyes, is worth the slower pace. After swimming and sliding (a million times if you were Hudson!), and sleeping for a while in the afternoon, we ate dinner at the cabin and took the bus to Downtown Disney for dessert and shopping. The notable dessert was ice cream from Ghiradelli's Sundae Shop. That alone may have been worth the flight to Florida! :)

Hudson helping his lil' sis with her shoes to go to the pool

Retro Disney - Day 2

EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow - if you didn't know!) was Day 2. Anna and Mommy took a break on this morning and Daddy and Hudson hit EPCOT. The real story is that Anna and Mommy were going to join in, but Anna was so exhausted from already one day at Disney that she needed a morning nap, and after that, she still needed some down time. (We swam and hung out at the cabin - it was fun being just mama and banana.)

You can see a trend in the first couple of shots - Daddy likes treats and Hudson likes to be the recipient. Hudson and Daddy really liked the "Cool Club" by Coca-Cola where you sample Coke from all around the world. After naps, everyone joined in on the fun and we were able to see Alice and Donald Duck. We liked the kids play areas, rode rides, and watched the trains for a long time. We finished up our evening with Mexican (pre cinco de mayo celebration) and a nice boat ride!

Retro Disney - Day 1

Like I said, it's taken a while to figure out where to keep these pictures (look - Chris decided - I can post! :) so I am now able to take you on a photo-venture of our wondrous and exciting trip to Disney World over Hudson's fourth birthday. I already posted about the actual day, so here are some visual highlights.

Kickin' it birthday style with the ears

Chip and Dale wish Hudson a Happy Birthday.

Back on Main Street for the Electro Magic Parade and Wishes Fireworks - after the kiddies were in bed and with Grandmom of course!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

the age-old face off

And the winner is.....Ahh, you'll have to read on. The face-off. The battle of the peanut butter brands. Yup, that's what this is about. Peanut butter. That's cause if you know me, you know that a day doesn't pass that peanut butter and I don't have some kind of interaction. And blessedly, I am married to a man that loves a spoonful of peanut butter as much as I do.
You can imagine my delight in discovering natural peanut butter that wasn't gritty, oily and needed overly stirred upon every use. About 2 years ago, we discovered Skippy Natural. And natural it is. It has four ingredients. Four, really. Roasted Peanuts, Palm Oil, Sugar and salt. No hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. And it is ah-mazing. Peanut lover heaven. Some health freaks get all fired up about the fact that it isn't really "natural" as it isn't just peanuts. But if you ask this highly refined pb lover taster, it's worth every penny.

Imagine my consternation as I entered the pb aisle at Target and found the Skippy Natural to be sold out. Jif has apparently picked up on the success of 'natural', and has added it's own to the mix. So, we threw it in the cart to try it out. (by the way, also threw in some archer farms blue corn tortilla chips with flaxseed - YUM!) It has five ingredients - the same ones as SN, but an added fifth of molasses. I am pleased with the pb, but it is runny and it does actually need to be stirred to get everything all blended. It's tasty, but a little sweeter and not as 'nutty'. It's worth it, if you can't get the Skippy.

So, my winner is.....Skippy :o)

Stay tuned

I know you've missed me. My clever musings and thoughts on our life. Because you care just that much.

It's ok. You don't need to tell me that you really don't care that much, but this is cathartic to me. I've wanted to post some over the past 2 weeks, but my husband is trying to figure out where to upload our pictures. To the laptop which is faster, or the older computer that has all of our other pictures. It's apparently a really tough decision for him. Because it's kept me from posting.

Mainly because I've wanted to post on our amazing vacation at Disney. But I guess I'll have to do some retro-bloggin when he makes his decision. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

happy disney birthday, hudson!

What a lucky little man - Hudson celebrated his fourth birthday today in the Magic Kingdom!

We started off the day at a nice leisurely pace, made our way to Main Street, USA via a ferry boat and entered a world full of smiles. It was amazing to see how many people wished Hudson a Happy Birthday (as he had been given a special pin upon our arrival on Saturday night). I would venture to say over a 100 cast members and guests gave him special wishes and if they didn't, he made sure to let them know that it was his birthday! The pin also came with some unexpected surprises at various shops along the way - he got treats, but they also noticed a little sister, and she got treats too!

We made sure to stop in the Main Street Confectionery to order our birthday celebration cupcakes for dinner and then we hit the rides. (Not many, mind you, remember - leisurely!) The lines weren't long at all - 10 minutes at most - except for Dumbo. We rode Snow White first and there was a thumbs up from Hudson, snuggling and hiding for Anna. After that we rode the carousel and Dumbo. We picked up lunch at sat at a great table that allowed us to watch the parade at the same time (Mickey, Buzz, Woody and Jessie all in the same parade? Hudson was in heaven! He kept calling out, "Hi Buzz! Hi Woody!")

After naps, the kids and I ventured back to meet Uncle Bryan and Grandmom at the gate where Hudson was greeted by Chip and Dale! They wished him a happy birthday and were elated that they could hold up 4 fingers like Hudson (they only have four, check it!). Bubba got to blast away Evil Emperor Zurg and laugh at Mike Sullivan in the Laugh Floor.

Back on the boat to the cabin for a special birthday dinner (Hudson's fave - Pasta and Salad) with Daddy arriving just in time off his flight to top off the evening with a round of Happy Birthday (twice, cause he likes it so much), complete with Mickey Balloons and special icing-laden cupcakes with four candles. (just enough icing to send him into hyperdrive before bed...i convinced him that if he split his cupcake in half, we could save the other half and sing happy birthday with candles again another night - it worked! :)

He's blissfully sleeping and most likely dreaming of what will come next - EPCOT to see Crush, Nemo and Dory....maybe they'll sing Happy Birthday too!

Happy Fourth Birthday Beautiful Boy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

the dairy

We're country folk now (as opposed to desert dwelling folks) so we are officially in the loop as we have visited the premiere local spot for preschool and early childhood age diary field trips. This past Tuesday the kids and I ventured with Hudson's preschool class to visit the dairy. He was so excited to feed the baby calves bottles, try to feed the mamas some hay and learn about how milk is made then bottled. That's right, at this farm, you can drink pasteurized, homogenized fresh milk literally a few hours after the cow comes in from pasture to be milked. It's pretty cool. As you can see (from the lack of Anna in the pictures), Banana was none to thrilled to get close to any farm animals, even the little hen that was a pet. We had fun and are surely going back there to get milk when we are in the area!