WW: Proud of My Gals!

2013_scarecrow

at the Farm standing with their school scarecrow.

We had Parent Teacher Conferences last night and I am so SUPER DUPER PROUD of our Beans and Razz.  All glowing praises from their respective teachers!  Razz is pretty much done with the Kinder curriculum (after the first quarter) and her teacher now has to challenge her for the rest of the year.  Beans is excelling all around as well.  It was SO hard for me to contain my smile.

I wonder though, is it wrong to gloat?  That paragraph up there was going to be my FB status.  Then, I thought, is that ok?  Is that frowned upon?  Is it too show-offy?

My FB friends are people I know in real life with the exception of 2 bloggers, but I’ve “known” them via blogs since I was pregnant with Beans (who will be 8 on Sunday!!!!).   Now, we are FB posters, I  mean, my hubby and I post a lot – photos and status updates.  Mostly because our family is on there and our immediate family is in NJ and TX and cousins all around the US and in the Philippines.  It’s a way for us to all keep up with each other without having to do mass emails all the time like before.  Now, we also have friends from grammar school and high school that we may not have kept in touch with if it weren’t for FB.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we all found each other and reconnected, but you know, there are some that we’re just not tight with that are we are friends with.  Who knows, they’re probably sick of us and hid us from their timelines, but anyway, I digress.

Is it in bad taste for me  / us to post how proud we are of our children?  I was wondering, maybe someone’s child is having a hard time and they may take our post in a negative way.

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for more Wordful Wednesday Entries, check out Angie’s site: http://sevenclowncircus.com/2013/10/wordful-wednesday-jdm.html and linky-linky!


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WW: Thanksgiving 2012

I know, I know…everyone’s on full on Christmas/Holiday mode we are too.  However, I cannot let this Thanksgiving go unnoticed (I’ll probably also do catch up entries on birthdays and Jamaica).

This was our 1st Thanksgiving in our new house.  The rest of our family is in NJ and so it was just us 5 celebrating together this year.  I decided to try to make it “formal” and that way our girls could learn and get familiar with table settings and the proper ways to do things with grace, elegance and proper manners.  Besides, they’re always playing Princess Dress-Up, might as well learn etiquette too.  – side note – I wish they had some type of etiquette / manners courses in schools…how to set the table properly and know which fork does what, etc.  I know we, as parents can teach them, but sometimes it’s received differently when taught by a school teacher.

In any case, pDaddy and I agreed upon what we wanted to eat and so off I went doing groceries (almost everyday for a week, it seemed).  Everything was homemade with the exception of Shrimp Cocktail and Dessert.  I guess I could have  made desserts too, but that’s ok.  Turkey was marinated overnight and everything was ready and prepped for the next day.

I woke up early on Thanksgiving – I think I was just really excited to cook for my family.  I haven’t cooked a Thanksgiving Dinner since ’08 / ’09 and I remember being half-assed about it.  I woke up too early so I decided, to add to the formality of the luncheon, to make some menus.  I found a template on line I liked and I cut and glued and punched away.  I had to cut the papers by hand because my paper cutter was missing it’s blades (I hid them from the baby and I guess I hid them well b/c I still can’t find them).   I wanted to make place cards as well, but I decided not to…no place card holders and I didn’t feel like cutting by hand anymore (spoiled, I know).

So, after that, I got breakfast going and got to cooking our luncheon.  Here’s our Thanksgiving Day feast (no, we don’t do stuffing…I just never had it growing up).   I hope you all had a great one :)

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for more wordful wednesday entries and to join in on the fun, linky linky on angie’s (http://sevenclowncircus.com/) and/ amanda’s blog – http://parentingbydummies.com/


                                            parenting BY dummies

WW: Spicy Shrimp and Brussel Sprouts Stir Fry

Thank you Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food for this recipe…got my Everyday Food in the mail and also an email w/a link to a video :)  I pinned it on Pinterst and went off to the grocery to pick up some ingredients.  Got it all prepped and cooked and ba-zing!  Dinner :)  Quick and Healthy at that…think you don’t like brussel sprouts? Think again!

The most time consuming was shredding brussel sprouts, but you can use a food processor if you’d like – just like they say on the video and recipe.

Recipe from http://www.marthastewart.com/945719/spicy-shrimp-and-brussels-sprout-stir-fry?xsc=eml_edfsc_2012_10_23&om_rid=NsqEIZ&om_mid=_BQhpTmB8urPRKz#

Everyday Food, November 2012

  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Total Time 20 minutes
  • Yield Serves 4
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green chile, such as Thai, thinly sliced *
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (41 to 50), peeled and deveined (tails left on)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high. In 2 batches, saute brussels sprouts until tender, 5 minutes total; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter. Add bean sprouts to pan and cook until heated through, 1 minute; add to platter.
  2. Wipe out pan, add remaining tablespoon vegetable oil, and return to heat. Add garlic, chile, and scallion whites and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and saute until opaque throughout, about 4 minutes. Add to platter, drizzle with sesame oil, top with scallion greens, and toss. Serve with lime wedges.

Cook’s Note

A food processor makes fast work of shredding sprouts. Or, do it by hand with a sharp knife.

* didn’t have this on hand so I used a Filipino hot sauce “Mama Sita’s Hot Pepper Sauce – Labuyo”…worked well for us :)

WORDFUL WEDNESAYS – linky linky:


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parenting BY dummies

WW: WYSIWYG – not…

First of all, how many out there even know what WYSIWYG means or is that something common now? hmmm…how many of you REMEMBER when that term first came about? Am I totally dating myself here?

Judging from these pictures, these look to be 2 lil girls having fun on a bike. Truth of the matter is, we just let them take the bike up and down the driveway to enjoy a beautiful, sunny, warm Fall day. Razz is actually walking around with walking pneumonia while the other has similar symptoms, but wasn’t diagnosed w/the same. Both are nebulizing every 4 hours…yes, even through the night. Both are on a 5 day antibiotic regimen. Razz is also on an oral steroid (she has the walking pneumonia and has a history of being hospitalized for asthma) and will need to take a maintenance med (singulair’s finally got a generic brand-woot-woooooo!) after she’s done w/her 5 day doses. So, no, What You See Is Not What You Get in this instance…this is just them, enjoying a beautiful day sans coughing fit…when in reality, they’re doing this every 4 hours… #beingsicksux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more WW (wordful wednesday) entries, check out angie’s blog and parentingfordummies….and woot-wooooo, my post from last week was one of their recommended posts…gotta be shrimpie’s best pic ever… ;)

WW: {red velvet} Cake Poppers – Take 2…3 years later

cupcakepops - 2008 It’s been over 3 years since my first and last attempt at making cake pops/cupcake pops and the likes (pic on left). I made them for Razz’ 2nd Birthday party…Well, 3 years and 2 moves later – out of state nonetheless – I tried again!  So, the moves made it inevitable that I would lose one of my molds (or maybe it’s still packed in some box somewhere)…the one that actually makes the cupcake bottom and the only ones I can find are too big, but we didn’t roll our balls out big enough this time around (wait, that sounded weird).  Anyway, so we didn’t make cupcake pops this time and just made a few cakepops (the ones on a stick) and the rest as cakepoppers / cake pop bites or whatever you want to call them.  Recipe used was by none other than Miss Bakerella.

They turned out quite yum, but weren’t as solid and I know that’s probably because I only used 3/4 of the cream cheese frosting. I held off using the whole thing b/c I recall them being really sweet the last time I did this. I think now, it was probably the chocolate I used the last time. I used the Wilton Candy Wafers (pretty thick and hard to handle, if you ask me) last time and this time I used a grocery store brand like Bakerella and stuck to the chocolate and white chocolate colors. Wilton is cool though b/c they already come in such great colors. I tried using it again last night – orange – still too thick. I guess I could figure out a way to thin it out, but I had 3 very eager girls ready to sprinkle and decorate away! Maybe I’ll just go ahead and add food coloring to the white store brand chocloate or figure out a way to thin out the Wilton ones…I heard you can use shortening or something.

Anyway, I figured I’d used WordPress’ cool gallery feature to show our pics of our cake-popping adventure :) You can hover over the pictures to see the captions or you can click and it will bring you to the gallery itself.

 

 

babycakes I also bought this puppy, but ended up not using it because I felt like it was cheating and the instruction manual had a lot of typos. I don’t know why that bothered me so much b/c it’s not like I’m perfect. I guess it’s because it’s a mass produced product and things like that should be looked upon more closely…especially for those who actually need to follow the instructions!

 

I just feel it necessary to post this pic on it’s own…it cracks me up each time I see it! Beans showing that she’s helping roll the cakeballs and Shrimpie realizing it was CAAAAAAAAAAAAKE and I wasn’t letting her have any…

BEST Shrimpie pic ever…b/c I wouldn’t let her have a cakeball

 
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for more wordful wednesdays, head over to angie’s blog!

WW: 4th of July Weekend 2012

4th of July this year was HOT and on a Wednesday and HOT. I had a love/hate relationship with it. I loved it because WHOO-HOO! Got a break in the middle of the week. Hated it b/c OH NO! 2 Mondays! And it was HOT! Did I mention that already? It was in 100s ALL week and didn’t “cool” off to the upper 80s until Saturday afternoon.

Still, it was a great weekend. I was off Wednesday and Friday and our awesome friends from NJ came by to visit us! We toured them around our new neck of the woods (though it’s all cornfields once you go beyond a 5 mile radius). We also snuck in a trip to Chicago…perfect timing too as we celebrated our 5th Anniversary :)

Buddy’s 1st trip to the city…I couldn’t stop singing “hot times, buddy(summer) in the city” (you know you’re singing it now too).
Hot Times...Buddy in   the City

Our hotel was kid AND pet friendly – giving them all goodie bags and treats. They even had a kiddie hour where they had popcorn and lemonade set up for the kids along with board games and a Wii station too!

seeeesters
Untitled

And we had the “Palace Theater” lights as our view…
Palace Theater lights...view from our room
Palace Theater

Saturday, we ate a Filipino Restaurant. OH MY YUMNESS! How I’ve missed Filipino(unhealthy) food! We missed it so much, we had brunch there again on Sunday! I was so excited to eat I forgot the “before” pic. Here’s the after…I wish I had more room in my belly!
Untitled

There happened to be a street fest going on so we got to go check it out and the girls even got to go on a pony ride! Excuse me as I am ripping Shrimpie’s top…This must have been one of the times she let go and I had to quickly hold her up / tighter:
Shrimpie Pony Ride

Razz Pony Ride

Beans Pony Ride

Thankfully, it cooled off on Saturday and we got to celebrate our 5th Anniversary without sweating every second of just standing outdoors.

Razz & Beans at the Navy Pier w/Pirates and in front of the Ferris Wheel entrance (holy long line batman):
Ahoy Mateys!  ARGGGHHHHH!

Razz and Beans at the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Here we are in our room before heading out again:
07.07.07  - 5 year anniversary

Grabbing our grub w/Chaprille who drove out from NJ :)
Chaprille came from NJ and spent 4th of July / celebrated our anniversary w/us :)

Dessert – chocolate crepe w/ice cream:
Anniversary Dessert

Walking along Michigan Ave, we spotted our “anniversary” building:
Seven Seven Seven Michigan Ave... 07.07.07 Our Anniversary :)

So, of course, we had to pose in front of it.  Don’t mind my windblown bangs in the windy city…And no, we didn’t mean to match.  I only brought 1 tee b/c I thought it would be crazy hot like the previous days.  He only had this tee to match his sneakers (which he wore this night b/c of all the walking we were planning on doing.  Otherwise, he would just wear his sandals).

777 Michigan Ave - our anni :)

We didn’t take too many “touristy” type photos since we did a lot of that back in February when we went. We didn’t make it to they Skydeck like we had planned. The line was too long and we were supposed to come back, but dinner was so yum and filling that we wanted to walk a bit and then watched fireworks from the sidewalk as the Navy Pier was putting on a show. Sorry, no good fireworks pics here. We were on the sidewalk and had a sign in our view at times.

fireworks from Navy Pier - view from the sidwalk

It really cooled off at night and the Windy City proved why it is called that:
Razz & Beans "windy" city it is

Felt like our stay was too short, as always. Really starting to like Chi-town (though I’m not sure I like saying “Chi-town”…lol).

Join us for Wordful Wednesday by posting a link to your entry over at Angie’s:

WW: Mother’s Day Part 3 – To Jump or Not to Jump…

Um, well, my post has nothing to do with the 4th of July, but Happy Independence Day, anyway! Be safe as you celebrate ;)

Ok, so 1st part of this series is all about how I was on an adventure w/no knowledge of my destination. Part 2 was Training. Sorry it’s taken so long to finish this series…work’s been busy and we had guests and activities and etc…Anyway, here’s the finale…

Training finally concluded.  pDaddy and the girls were there and I was scheduled to be on the 3rd load.  There were 13 students that day and they only take up 2 or 3 at a time.  It was after 12pm.  All I had was coffee, Gatorade and a couple of Doritos that were in my truck.  pDaddy brought me a granola bar to help me from passing out.  I didn’t want to eat-eat until after I was done.

suiting up                                     thumbsup_papap_mobile

IMG_5137

It was almost, probably, over 90 degrees at this point.  It was my turn to suit up and to say I was sweating bullets is an under statement. Sure, the jumpsuit didn’t help, but I was already sweating before that.  Put my goggles and helmet on and my sweat was dripping into my goggles!  Don’t let that smile fool you.

Finally, it was our turn and I was told I would jump first since it was starting to get windy and they wanted the smaller ones done first so we don’t get blown too far off, just in case…and by “small”, it was relative.  Basically, they wanted the “shorties” to go first.  lol.  Anyway, I was a nervous wreck.

plane

Thoughts flooded my head…

What if I can’t hang on long enough onto that strut and fall off before  my Jump Master gives me the GO?  (I was told that was ok and just prepare to arch my back so I don’t swirl and twirl too much).

What if my parachute doesn’t meet the “Is it there?  Is it square?  Does it flare?” perfect scenario?  Will I remember all the things I’m supposed to do to handle the malfunction(s)?

What if I land wrong?  What if I lose radio signal w/the Jump Master on the ground that would help us check our chute’s mobility in the air and bring us in for landing?

So.Many.Thoughts.Rushing through my head.  I guess my Jump Master sensed it so he kept trying to talk to me about other stuff and would slip in a “You’ll be fine” every now and then…

That ascent to 3500 feet was the LONGEST ever.  I felt like we were never going to make it up there.  The more time that passed, the more I was ready to back out.

Finally, we reached altitude and the Jump Master yelled “DOOR” to which we had to respond “DOOR” – acknowledging that he was going to open it.

And there it was…

Open fields right underneath us.  How beautiful it all looked!

I said a quick prayer b/c I knew that any second, my JM (jump master) would give me the commands.  That he did…and what I feared was making me feel like I couldn’t do it

the next few paragraphs are commands and such, but I promise, more fun pics after :).

Command A – GET YOUR FEET OUT

I was given the command, but I couldn’t get my arm on the strut (you’re supposed to hold onto the strut as you get your feet out).  I couldn’t fight the wind.  I realized that I wasn’t pushing hard enough so on the 3rd try, I did it.  I pushed hard and got my hand on the strut and feet on the step.  End of Command A.

Command B – GET YOUR WHOLE BODY OUT  (aka the one that feels like FOREVER)

OMG

This meant I had to get both arms on the strut which also meant I had to turn my body (and feet) from rear facing to front facing and start making my way out onto the strut.

So much was going through my mind that I can’t even remember parts of it.  I just know that I did have a bit of a hard time making my way there.  I was holding onto for dear life – literally.  I was making my way over and almost started grabbing the strut wrong – just like they told us not to do (by wrapping wrist around it).  I don’t know how long it took me to make my way over and I know I didn’t fully make it all the way, but I did end up under the mark for where my head was supposed to be (basically, you need to look up at the wing and make sure you are under an orange dot…picture of the plane and where orange dots are in previous post on this).  I don’t know how long my feet were off the step before I turned to look for my JM to give me the next command.

COMMAND C – DOT (aka GO aka thumbs up).

All I know is I finally looked and he gave me the GO.  I looked up at the mark above my head, took a few deep breaths, let go and arched my back as best as I could.

I almost forgot to count 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 – which is when I was supposed to check for my parachute to be deployed and check for malfunctions.

I finally got back to the moment and checked my chute and put my hands in the toggles (handles) so I could steer and do my mobility checks.  Just then, the JM on the radio came in…

Ok Stephanie.  Let’s do some checks.  Right 360.  Left 360. Flare.

And I did it.

Once that was done he stayed quiet except when he would need to bring me on course so I didn’t drift too far off.

I looked down and just marveled at how beautiful it was.  Granted, it was all farmland and most of the crops were still not in sprout mode so a lot of the land was still brown, but it was still beautiful  none the less.  Simply, AMAZING.

plane and me

AIRBORNE

22

I had mixed feelings b/c I wanted to stay up and float around a lot longer up there, but the straps around my legs were starting to dig in and hurt…then there was a point where I thought I was starting to feel nauseous…probably from nerves or not eating or both.  Next thing I know, he was bringing me in for landing…time for my descent.
descent

and my landing…
Flare Flare Flare
LANDING

5

Pictures prove that I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.  I landed softly with a little roll like we were taught to do.  I looked up and saw my class, instructors and pDaddy and my girls.  I heard the cheers from everyone, but none sounded sweeter than my girls.

GO MOMMY!
MOooooooooooooooM!
YEAH MOMMY!

done
WHOOOO!

My Cheerleaders:
CHEERLEADERS
2 Saturdays in a row where my girls cheered me on (the previous weekend, I ran 5k).  How magnificent is that?

One of the instructors helped me w/my Chute and I walked back, still smiling, giving the thumbs up signs and just in awe of everything that just happened.  What a rush!

Holy crap.  I did it!  And I landed safely!  And OMG!!! I JUMPED OFF A PLANE!!!  WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Now, will I jump again?

If you asked me that day, I would have given an emphatic YES!

That Sunday, YES.

As days go on, hmmmm….I really do hate that walking and moving up the strut part and fighting the winds and umm…hmmm…so my answer, MAYBE, MAYBE NOT.  BUT, I’ve done this once in my life and I’m happy about that.

Cross this off my Bucket List!

(now do I add free fall solo on there?  hmmmmmmm  that does mean I would need to do this about 7-8 more times so hmmmm)

 

~~~~~~~~to see other WW entries, checkout Angie’s blog and link up!~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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