Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shiny New Mazda

Do you remember THREE WEEKS and ONE DAY ago when Matt had is little "DOH" moment?

Well, it's been a long THREE WEEKS while his car has been in the shop.

They were kind enough to send him a picture of his broken car.
(I love the pine cone in the drip tray.)

While his car has been out of commission we've had to "make things work" with one car for the whole family.
For work, he's either bummed a ride with a neighbor who also works downtown or I've been driving him to the Marta station (25 miles away) to catch the train.  
(25 miles there + 25 miles home) and repeat again after work = A LOT OF MILES PUT ON MY gas-guzzling SUV!

So, today, THREE WEEKS and ONE DAY after the DOH! moment,
I'm ecstatic to announce we have finally been reunited with the Mazda!!
Doesn't it look so shiny and new?
(He made sure to engage the emergency brake.)

The Big Dance

(Look what I found, a draft post I never got around to finishing.  Enjoy this April 6, 2013 post.)

A friend of ours won tickets to the 2013 NCAA Basketball Championship game!
Unfortunately, he was out of town on vacation and couldn't go.  Instead of just giving us the tickets (like a good friend would) he wanted to see how much he could make reselling them.  He asked us to drop them off at StubHub in downtown Atlanta for a percentage of the sale price.

We decided to make it a family day trip and off we went to experience the Big Dance festivities in Atlanta via Marta (the Atlanta subway.)

I had fun pretending they were my tickets so I updated my facebook status with a photo like this.  
And a caption that said "Look what I have."  
hee hee

After dropping the tickets off at StubHub we made our way to the Big Dance festivities at Centennial Olympic Park and headed straight for the Ferris Wheel. 

That's a lot of people for 10 in the morning.

Other than the Ferris Wheel and some lunch there just wasn't much to entertain a 7 and 9 year old for very long.  (The good music and entertainment started later in the afternoon.)

So as the crowd poured in we fought upstream to get out.
We made our way two blocks to Woodruff Park.

Sometimes (just sometimes) I think it would be neat to live right downtown and have immediate access to all the fun stuff Atlanta offers.  But then the minute passes and I'm still glad I live in the Atlanta suburbs.

Soon it was time to make our way back to Suburbia.
We took the long escalator down under the ground...
 and posed with fake and forced smiles...

while waiting for our train to arrive.

MARTA take us home.

(P.S.  Our friend ended up selling his two tickets for around $500 each.  I don't do math anymore since I have children to do it for me but I suspect 15% of the sale price is worth the fun trip downtown.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Babies, Birds, and Bees

On our way to pick up Tyler from Art Club, Lauren and I somehow got to talking about Barney (the purple dinosaur) and Thomas (the tank engine) and how she and her brother used to love them.
But Now They Don't! (her words)

I told her I missed having little babies in the house who liked Thomas and Barney.
(Why did I say that?!)

She immediately pounced and said, 
"You should have one!  And make sure the baby is a Girl!."
"So how do you have a baby anyway?"

She caught me off guard and it was hard to come up with a decent answer while driving.  I'm sure my thought process I had going on was as dangerous as texting and driving.

I answered her with the standard in shock answer:
"When a Mommy and Daddy love each other they have a baby."

Since she's not TWO she had a follow up:
"But how does it happen?"

I then chose to get (an awkward sort of) real and see if it would appease:
"Well the Mommy has the egg and the Daddy fertilizes it and that makes the baby."

She said:
"Oh Okay...
(long pause and I thought I was in the clear)
...but I still don't get it."

I quickly answered,:
"Don't forget you have an orthodontist appointment tomorrow."
(this is her first appointment and I knew it would stop her in her tracks...
I just needed a break and time to think.)

She let it go and fretted about her ortho appointment.

She's nine-years-old and I believe she's old enough to understand a frank explanation.
Something along the lines of: 
"God designed a Mommy's body and a Daddy's body to make a baby because...(I'll let you imagine the rest of the details")

I think she'll understand
I just want her to stay my little girl a little longer.

The next time she asks I will give her the basic birds and bees lecture.
I'm sure both of us will be mortified.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekly Menu 4-21-2013

Sunday:  Margarita Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Sauce  YUMM!
Monday:  Spicy Kimchi Soup & left-overs
Tuesday:  French Dip "Cupcakes" & Corn, Potato, and Leek Chowder
Wednesday:  Skinny Vegetarian Enchiladas & rice
Thursday:  left-over or pantry meal (Boy Scouts tonight)
Friday:  Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken & Cauliflower Steaks with Creamy Siracha Aoili
Saturday:  Yogi Bear Camping!!
Sunday:  Cheeseburgers & oven fries

Can you tell I love to cook my family dinner?  Yes I do, but I also enjoy the occasional restaurant meal.  In fact, once a week for lunch, I meet up with a group of girlfriends who are all determined to try every new restaurant in town.  We've had some great and some not-so-great experiences.  Maybe I should include some of these reviews on the blog as well.

BackYard Fun

I have a new Weekly Menu to post which includes the Margarita Fish Tacos we had tonight (Oh my Heaven!) but I see I haven't posted since my last Weekly Menu.  So, I'm going to re-post something I put on Facebook yesterday.  It's a cool memory for the children that deserves a place on our private? family blog diary.  =)

BackYard Fun!

We have a pretty decent-sized lot for the metro Atlanta area.
Our property consists of just under 2 acres but our house and manicured lawn only take up 1/2 of an acre.  That means we have a huge unkempt forest in our backyard that the kids have just recently started to explore.

They ask to go "play in the woods" daily.
Sometimes I say NO because when they come back they are always caked in mud BUT sometimes I say YES because they have so much FUN.
Besides, if you happen to have an exciting forest in your backyard shouldn't you be able to have some BackYard Fun?!!

Tyler and Lauren in their backyard boots.
(judging by their outfits can you tell the outside temperature?
...yeah, me neither)

Why walk on dry ground when you can walk in the creek?

Tera joined us on the latest BackYard Fun adventure. 
Somehow with Tera in the mix things get even muddier.

♥Best Friends♥

I tell ya...that girl is crazy!
But that's why we Love her.

(please note:  all children in the above pictures were completely de-ticked and de-leeched and de-whatevered after exploring this wooded area in the deep South.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekly Menu 4-13-2013

Sunday:  Hearty Black Bean and Sausage Soup & fruit  (Yumm!)
Monday:  Sausage Peppers and Onions served over penne pasta (or in my case, in a thin pita wrap) YUMM!
Tuesday:  Chicken Yakitori & fruit
Wednesday:  Honey-Glazed Salmon with Wasabi & veggies
Thursday:  Roasted Vegetable Panini  (I'll substitute the fennel for yellow squash)
Friday:  Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & fruit & veggies
Saturday:  left-overs or pantry meal

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Two Randoms and a Rockin'

Random:  Spring
Spring is Here!
I can tell by the warmer temperatures, the thick clouds of yellow pollen EVERYWHERE
and also L and T's Spring Picture Proofs.

Lauren looks so pretty and grown-up.

 Handsome Tyler.
I love that he's showing his teeth in this smile.  He's been choosing a closed lip smile for awhile now.

Random:  Bacon Wrapped Apples

I wanted to bring a bacon dish to Bunco this week so I tested Bacon Wrapped Apples on the family.
(Core and slice an apple, wrap it in bacon, secure with a toothpick, and bake 10 minutes or so at 425F.)

They smelled delish in the oven however, the apples were a bit soft for the family's liking.
"It's too mushy."
Despite its mushy-ness, the family ate all of my test subjects and declared the soft apples to have had no effect on the tastiness of the bacon.
(I ultimately decided to make baked beans with bacon for Bunco.
They were a hit.)

Rockin':  Our Baby-Sitter!

This is what I came home to after Bunco.
(Matt and I both had plans so we hired a sitter.)
Lauren has a school room set up in the office and our Rockin' sitter left them each a special message.
We love you too Danielle!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break on the Gulf

Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael treated us to an AWESOME Spring Break vacation in Destin, Florida.
It was a ton of fun and I'll let the pictures speak (most of) my 1000 words.

How could it not be fun with these two goofy hat wearing grandparents?
Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael

(aka Granny Jr. and Mr. Granny Jr.)

We stayed at the Majestic Sun at Seascape 
(you can see our condo because we were right inside the ARCH)

**Our Condo**
front door looking in

1st door on the right
Matt and I took this room.
(I bring my green pillow everywhere I go because I'm getting old and my neck likes my green pillow.)

Our bedroom bathroom and closed closet door.

2nd door down
The kids' bedroom.
(Yes, they can still share a bedroom without massive sibling fights breaking out.)

The kids and I watched Karate Kid 2 one night in their room.
(I had to add this picture because Tyler looks so cute and cozy.)

The laundry room.


Kitchen and Living Room
(we were inside the ARCH so we had side windows!)

Dining table and Living Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom looking toward the en suite bathroom and closet.

Relaxing in the Living Room

the extensive Balcony

the other side

AHHH The View!!

I Love the Gulf Coast!!!!

We spent a warm sunny day at the beach.

Love this pic!  Where's (most of) Lauren?

The water was a bit chilly but that didn't stop Daddy and Tyler from hitting some waves.

One day we headed down to the Destin Boardwalk.

We took a Pirate Ship Cruise...

...and then did some Bubble Swimming...

...along with a little high jumping.

We also watched a local fisherman clean his fish and throw the left-overs to the birds.

Tyler wanted in on the action so he pretended to throw fish to the birds.
They went crazy anyway.

One day it rained.  ALL DAY.
(The above picture is for my Dad's side of the family from Menominee, MI - 
the license plate is Michigan and the window sticker is U.P. (Upper Peninsula))

We hopped in the car (as did everyone in town) and fought traffic to get to Panama City Beach to visit Matt's college friend who owns a restaurant there.
(The food was great so check it out if you're ever in town!)

While in PCB we visited WonderWorks.
(the upside down mansion you see in select cities)
It was neat but it was crowded.  I'm not sure we'll go back but we did enjoy ourselves.

Where did their bodies go?!!

Some fun with bubbles.

We had many beautiful days in Destin and only 1 rainy day.
All together it was a fantastic vacation.
A huge thanks to Granny Jr. and Mr. Granny Jr.