Thursday, July 31, 2014

Poolside


Last night I enjoyed a lovely dinner by the pool with my good friend Lucy, her sister, her children, and my children.  The food was amazing.  I tried out a new pasta recipe and boy was it fantastic. I also made roasted chicken with French herbs and a triple berry lemonade. The children had so much fun playing and swimming together.  One more week and school starts!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scout Camp 2014



I love that my boys have the opportunity to participate in the Boy Scout program because they get to have so many wonderful opportunities to do fun things that they would otherwise get to experience.  I also like that it is not just about camping, but that they work on developing the child as a whole individual. Last week Harris and Winston had the opportunity to attend Boy Scout Camp.  They had a blast!  They went to the capitol and met with leaders from our state and local governments, the went to the federal reserve, they went to Georgia Tech were they did a morning workshop on building robots, then traveled north where they slept out in tents and learned how to build bridges and cook.  The first night was ruff as it rained all night and they were soaking wet.  They even saw a baby black bear!  Then it was to Lake Lanier where they went water skiing and Kayaking.  I am so grateful for all the dads who give up a week of their vacation to make this happen.  Boy Scouts Rocks!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dreaming of Spain



So did I tell you that we are going to Spain? Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, didn't she write it was going to be a while before they were going to be able to travel overseas????  I did write that and what I meant is with all the children.  If you have been following me for a while, than you know we go over to Europe to live for the summer every couple of years.  Prior to going to Williamsburg, Frank and I had been talking about going to Munich next summer with all the children.  Roman hasn't had an opportunity to go to school in Europe and his German is pretty much non-existent.  The girls also don't speak except for a few words.  That idea is on hold.  Anyway, Frank has a business trip in Spain in September. Avery and I are going to tag along. I would love to leave Avery at home, but it is still to early to leave her behind.  Anyway, we are so excited to go!  I have wanted to go to Spain for ages, but it just has never worked out.  We were suppose to go the year Roman was born, but we had to cancel the trip due to Roman's heart surgery.

Food is a big element of a trip.  Today I thought I would give the children a taste of Spain in their own backyard.  The Spanish Tortilla can  be found throughout Spain.It is mainly found in two variations of either potato and egg or potato,egg, and onion. You can find even less common variations of Tortilla that include sausage, or peppers.  I made a Tortilla made with red pepper and caramelized onion.  5 out of 7 people in the family liked.  I consider that a hit.

To make a Tortilla you need 10 eggs whisked with a dash of cream, a red pepper,1 onion, salt and pepper, olive oil an four potatoes.  First peel your potatoes and slice them thin.  Then slice your onion and in a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of sugar cook onions until light brown.  Remove them from the pan and add the potatoes with another couple tablespoons of oil. and cook for about 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.  Add the onion back to the pan and add one sliced red pepper, salt and pepper to taste and add the egg. Cook until the eggs begin to pull away from the side and are light brown on the bottom. Cooking on medium to low heat.  Then flip tortilla and cook on the other side until the eggs are cooked all the way through.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Learning from the Best






Harris has been interested in computers and engineering type activities since he was very little.  He didn't really like to play with toys except for maybe Legos or games, but he would gravitate towards pulling things apart and examining things.  He also learned how to operate the computer at a much younger age than the other children. Last week he had the opportunity to attend a camp at Georgia Tech on how do make Apps. Just like Winston this camp was pretty hard to get into and you had to have letters of recommendations from your teachers at school.  He had a blast!!!!!

Moving onto the World Cup, Frank was so thrilled last week when Germany won! He was over the moon and wore his shirt to work one day.  Just to gloat a little he sent out this picture to all his colleagues.

The last picture was taken of Frank on a recent scuba diving trip. It has been a busy but yet slow kind of summer.  Not such a bad thing.  Roman's arm has really slowed us down from exploring and going swimming.  Today he and his friends are going to see the Disney movie Firetrucks and Planes.  He is so excited.  Afterwards, we are going to purchase our school supplies.  School starts in two weeks. The bigger boys are at Scout Camp this week, and my dad arrived from Arizona on Friday.  He is moving here permanently. We are busy looking for an apartment for him.  How about you?  How has your summer been? Do you have any big plans for the last few weeks of summer?  Well, I am off to the gym.  Have a great day!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Round 2 Broken Arm


As promised, here is a photo of Roman with his broken arm.  This makes the 2nd broken arm.  He broke his arm three years ago when he was 4 wrestling with his older brother Harris.  This time he was wrestling with Winston.  When is he going to learn that he is no match for his older brothers. It is OK Roman because I broke my arm 2 times too!  I was 5 when I broke my arm.  The first was when I was running over to the neighbors house and I tripped over their flower pot.  The second was just a week after I got my cast off and was in the same neighbors yard. I was trying to roller skate. I fell on the driveway and broke it again. Roman broke both bones closer up by his elbow this time.  The first time was closer to his wrist.  He has to wear the cast for at least three more weeks.  When we went to the doctor on Friday, the bones in his arm has shifted by 16 degrees and they had to reset his arm.  Poor kid!  He is so sad.  He can't really play and he can't go swimming.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Corner View "Inner Child"






I love children.  They live so in the moment.  No worries, carefree where simple things matter the most.  Take my daughters begin just about every day with the request to paint.  It starts off on paper than moves to the table and then all over them.  They don't care how they look.  Who needs a fancy meal when you can make pizza.  Tuna with potato chips brings out the inner child in me.  Crazy combination!  Not sure who in my family invented it, but I love it.  No tomato for me just add the chips pretty please.  Blowing bubbles, swinging on the swing, squishing your feet in mud these all bring back happy moments for me and so every once in a while I will jump on the swing and pump my legs back and forth until I get so high I feel like I can fly touching the sky.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade


Does anything say summer better than lemonade and even better strawberry lemonade?  Over the years I have been working on the perfecting of this recipe.  It is so simple!  2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of frozen strawberries pureed  and cold water.  While it would be easier to use unfrozen strawberries, I like to use frozen because you won't have to add ice cubes to the mixture and therefore you won't dilute your lemonade.  When you puree your strawberries just use water that you would otherwise add to your pitcher.  Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!  So perfect for a hot summer day.  Perfect when you want to serve something a little fancy without alcohol.  You could also use sparkling water instead of tap water.  So refreshing!  Happy Summer!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Williamsburg, Virginia "Corner View- Replace"







I may have told this story before I am not sure, but a few years ago I went up north to visit a friend I hadn't seen since my collage days.  Anyways, a few days before I was to travel I was confirming up details of the trip with this friend and was met with a little resistance to our visit.  When I pressed further it came out that she was nervous to meet me because she was afraid that I would judge her home and her life because when she compared it to mine she felt they did not match up.  See, she was basing her idea of my life from what she had seen on my blog.  Blogs are kind of funny things along with social media in that the person releasing the information controls the image they want to portray.  They may or may not post a picture of themselves that is less than flattering or the true reality of what is going on in their life.  Some people do replace their true lives all together by sending out a life that is not truly theirs. In the end, I reassured my friend that it is not all rainbows and unicorns all the time and that we like many families are not eating steak every night for dinner. My children are not always cooperative, and while they are pretty good children they are far from perfect.  We have a teen in the house and one soon to be teen, so I am sure you can fill in the rest. Having come from humble beginnings, I could certainly understand a couple struggling through paying back collage loans and starting a life together.  Infact, I worry about this for my own children in that the way they are growing up is completely different from the way I grew up.  Will they appreciate what they have as much as I do? They have not had to struggle like my husband and I did growing up!  So in keeping my blog real, I am telling you this past week in Williamsburg kind of stunk. You may not see it in the photos, but it was a hard week for us!  I made an error when booking our accommodations. I booked too small of a condo unit for our family.  It was the first time we had all traveled together as a family of 7!  The little girls wouldn't go to bed because it was noisy and the two of them fed off of each other. There was a huge learning curve this week in that I learned having children of three different age groups leads to children with different needs that just could not all be met.  I will not go into all the details of the trip, but needless to say we are going to have to put traveling back to Europe with the children on the back burner until the girls are a bit older.  On a positive note, the bigger boys did have a good time going to Busch Gardens and even got me to go on a couple of rollercoasters with them.  Avery went to the beach for the first time and while she wasn't thrilled with the experience it is under her belt.  Her papa taught her how to jump off the side of the pool. She can now go in the water without crying and can kick her way across the pool using her floaty.  We did get to spend the week together as a family which is rare and the children were able to learn about American history by participating in the tours of Colonial Williamsburg-such a fun place to go for all ages.

Sadly, 5 minutes after just getting home Roman broke his arm in a double break (pictures soon to come.)  Also, I learned my grandfather had a small heart attack last night.  He is OK now, but we are still waiting for test to come back with more information on what is going on.  I want a summer re-do please.  I want to replace the bad and praying that the last few weeks of summer will bring nothing but good our way.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Growth "Corner View"


 Avery's first few minutes with us so sad and scared.

 4 days later getting ready for her first plane ride to Guangzhou

 day 11 getting ready to say good bye to China

 Hello Hong Kong!
 Getting to know Oma

 Growing more and more each day!

 First Easter

 Forever in our Arms in the sight of God!

 Surgery to correct her Eyes

A blessing and a name

This week Avery will have been with our family 6 months.  It is so hard to believe that 6 months ago we met this sweet little girl who was sad and scared in China!  Do you even recognize her?  She has changed so much over the past 6 months. She has not only grown a couple inches taller, but has gained 6 pounds!  While we may have missed the first time she smiled, got her first tooth, crawled., or even walked  we now have the opportunity to experience many first in her life.  She is blooming. She went from barely walking when we got her to now running and jumping in place. She tasted her first ice cream, went to church, and is about to go on her third road trip.  She is adored by all family members and puts a smile on just about every persons face she meets.  She became a citizen, is about to get her social security card, and will soon have an American passport to fill with stamps from around he world.  She went from not liking us to loving us and from barely talking to now speaking in sentences. She loves music and is getting braver and braver each day in the pool. She is smart as can be and can hold her own now in this crazy house of 7. She lights up our lives and we are so happy to have her in our family.
Thank you Avery for coming to our family!
We love you so much!
6 months Yahoo!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Three














Three means you are no longer an toddler, but a big girl and that is what Addy is becoming.  She is on the verge leaving all things baby behind.  She is almost completely potty trained , but needs to make the leap of staying dry through the night.  Bottles are another big hurtle as she is super attached to them.  I have tried just about every sippy cup on the planet and she is not buying them.  She is kind of a terrorist when it comes to what she wants.  She is so stronged will!  I probably need to hire a therapist or something in learning how to deal with her because if I don't we are in big trouble down the road.  I did stand my ground with her today and after 10 minutes of repeating myself she finally did what I asked her to do.  Anyway, I am digressing as this was post was meant to celebrate her birthday.  Addy turned three last week, but because of Avery's surgery we had to postpone her party until this week when Avery could get back in the pool again.  The kids had so much fun swimming.  It was a perfect party!  Happy Birthday Baby Girl! Papa and Mommy love you so much!  Your on your way to becoming a big girl!  Love you!