Monday, May 24, 2010

Fast Forward Weekend Wrap Up

Hello dear readers! Here I am on Monday night, just hours away from our big road trip/vacation! Wow, that week I had to get ready sure did fly by. We're all really excited for our first big family vacation, but before that I'm going to give you the fast forward version of the weekend wrap up. I'll try to hit the highlights (which were a lot) as quickly as I can because I've got to get to bed soon because tomorrow is going to be a long day!

On Friday Greg and I had tickets to go see Conan O'Brien. When I bought the tickets a few weeks back I really debated if we should go because I knew this past weekend was a busy weekend! Finally I decided, screw it we're going. We deserve a night out and a break from everything. I must say I'm so glad we went. What a great great show. Funny stuff and well worth the time and money! There was a downpour when we arrived at the Breslin Center, so we were a little wet by the time we got inside, but the show made us forget about our partially wet clothes and shoes. There was an opening act by a guy by the name of Reggie Watts. Hilarious! Then Conan came out and was very entertaining and funny. We laughed the whole show, and I can tell you I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time. Sorry to all you Michigan fans, but I have to say that the UofM jokes that Conan told were freakin' hilarious! Good stuff, good stuff! Later in the show Conan brought out some "old friends" and boy were we ever surprised at the "extra" entertainers during the show. We got to see Andy Richter and then Kid Rock came out and performed a song. When he said Kid Rock, I think my jaw dropped to the floor. I instantly updated my status on Facebook and said, (excuse my language) "Holy Shit, Kid Rock is on stage at Conan!" Believe it or not, my little Evan is a fan of a couple Kid Rock songs. I know Kid Rock doesn't have the best language in his songs, but thankfully Evan doesn't know what he's saying in those parts of the songs. It was an awesome night date night with the hubby and we really enjoyed it!

Saturday brought about the East Lansing Art Festival. I headed out early to the craft show and then later on we all went back for the rest of it. The kids had a blast at the children's activities and got to do some mini art projects. My camera is charging so I can't take a picture right now of their artwork. Maybe at a future time. It was hot hot hot there though. I swear, only in Michigan we go from turning our heat off to turning the a/c on. I'm not complaining, I'm loving this weather, but really there is no in between. We go from one extreme to the other with the weather. After the art fair Greg washed my car for me so it's all nice and clean for our trip. Then I vacuumed and cleaned out the inside really good, only for it to get trashed this week I'm sure.

Sunday I had some last minute errands to run before vacation so while I did that Greg and the kids went with his mom to see Shrek Forever After. I really wanted to see it, but I didn't have time Sunday. I figured they might as well go and I could get stuff done faster alone. Plus we're all big Shrek fans so I'm sure the kids won't mind seeing it again if I decide to go. They had a good time and really enjoyed the movie. Then Sunday night was bunco night. My friend Ahna was hostessing and the theme was "May flowers." I wasn't a big winner, but did come home with a couple baby bunco prizes. It was a smaller group of us this time so it went pretty fast. Which was actually good because I still had packing to do. Next month is my month to hostess so looking forward to that. Thanks to Ahna for hostessing!

Now to today and it's been last minute packing, laundry, and getting the car loaded. I think we're pretty much ready to go in the a.m. except for packing those last minute items and the cooler. Wish us luck on this road trip with two kids. I hope I can stay sane and the kids do good! We're really looking forward to seeing family in Arizona. If you don't remember, my aunt and uncle live in Tucson and my cousin is getting married on June 3rd. Greg is photographing the wedding and it's sure to be a good time! I'm not sure when I'll be on to blog again, but when I have the opportunity to I most definitely will update you about our trip. Arizona, here we come!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday Wrap Up & Then Some

Well, I said I'd be back Thursday and here it is Thursday so it's time to get blogging. Yesterday was a busy day as expected, and I felt like I never stopped until about 10:30pm last night. The kids and I hit the road at 9am and headed for Grand Rapids. I pretty much saw a bunch of orange on my trip there. The construction was everywhere. That of course slowed us down, but we made it in time for me to drop the kids at my mom's and I hoped right back in the car to get to my hair appointment at my friend Rochelle's. I got a cut and color and boy did it make a big difference. I felt like a new woman! It's crazy how a simple thing like a haircut can lift your spirits and make you feel good. I'm now a blonde so I guess it's time to have more fun, right? I got blonde highlights and I always have Rochelle do them a little heavy to last a little longer. It's always a shock at first, but soon I'll forget I even have them.

While I was getting my hair done my mom took the kids to lunch. She already had plans to meet some retiree friends so since I needed her to watch the kids, they went along. They loved lunch with grandma since she let them get chocolate milk AND macaroni & cheese. The two things I don't let them get often when we're out to eat. All the retirees loved the kids and they kept telling my mom how well mannered my kids were so that was really nice to hear. I had plans to meet my friend Missy for lunch at On The Border (my favorite place when we're in Grandville). It was so nice to catch up with her and I finally got to meet her little boy Ryan. He's 21 months and I had never met him. That's how long it's been since we've seen each other. Missy used to live by us, but moved to Grand Haven a couple years ago. This was the perfect "in the middle" spot to meet. We're going to try real hard to get together again this summer and make a trip to Grand Haven with the kids. Her daughter Sarah couldn't come to lunch because she was in school so Evan was bummed he didn't get to see her.

Before we headed back home we made a quick trip to the mall. Evan wanted an animal pillow like Emme has to take on the trip. He had asked grandma to take him when we came to visit so she did. He originally wanted a doggy pillow, but ended up changing his mind and got a moose pillow. He absolutely loves it so thank you grandma, from Evan. Since Emmaline already has a ladybug pillow she gets to pick something at a later time, maybe while we're in Arizona. The kids also got goody bags from grandma of things to do in the car and while we're out in Arizona. They love all their stuff so thanks again grandma from Evan and Em.

After I got back from GR I was soon right back in the car and headed out to Holt for my UL Road Show Party. My friend Jenny who is the UL demonstrator that I signed up under was hostessing it. It was a great evening and it was so nice to actually meet someone from the UL headquarters. Unfortunately there was a terrible accident on I-96 yesterday and Ben from UL got caught in backed up traffic. The highway was closed in both directions and traffic got rerouted. So he ended up getting there an hour late so it was a little bit longer evening that I had planned. By the time I got out of there it was 10pm and didn't get home until almost 10:30pm. I was glad I went though and we even got to go home with some freebies. There were also some giveaways, but I wasn't lucky enough to get my name drawn. Bummer.

That brings us to today and I've been doing laundry and packing. Late this afternoon I took Evan to get his haircut finally and I walked out of there so mad. They did a shitty job and cut it way too short. It was a big waste of my $10. I could have done it better this time. Usually they do a good job, but this time, NOT. The gal asked me if I wanted her to use the same number on the shaver as last time and I said yes. She started cutting and I was thinking it was looking shorter than normal. I asked her if she was sure she had the right number and she said yes. By that time she had cut so fast that it was too late. The rest needed to be the same. Come to find out she's like "Well I have an older shaver so mine cuts a little shorter than others." Nice time to tell me. I was so ticked. So now when were' going on vacation and have a wedding and want pictures, my poor Evan has a haircut that he doesn't like either. I felt so bad for him. He's like, "Mom, I don't like it." I was about in tears. I know it's just hair and it grows, but of all times, ugh! It still looks fine, but he just doesn't look like "my Ev." There are some uneven parts and Greg wasn't happy either so I called to talk to a manager when I got home, but she's not in until Saturday. I swear! Usually Ev's hair grows fast so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it does by two weeks. Of course this will probably be the time with my luck that it doesn't.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One Week

One week from today we leave for our big trip. Actually by this time we'll probably have completed our first day on the road and be at a hotel somewhere in Missouri. I can't believe how close it's getting. I finally started packing some clothes today. Remember I was supposed to be in GR today for my UL Show? Well it actually got canceled and rescheduled for the summer so that's why I was able to get some things done around here. I was supposed to get my hair done today too while in GR, but since the UL party got canceled I switched my hair appointment until tomorrow. I've got plans to meet my friend Missy for lunch tomorrow so I didn't want to cancel that so now I get to have my hair appointment and meet her. So back to the packing. This afternoon I worked on some of my stuff and pretty much got Evan's stuff all together except for a few things that are in the laundry. Guess that means time to get the washer going again. Ugh. Then I started on some of Em's stuff. I'm a little bummed about her summer clothes though. Since it really hasn't been that hot for her to wear some of her tank tops, I was all excited to take them with us on our trip. This is the stuff that I bought at the end of last summer and guess what? It's too small. A couple things just fit so she can probably wear a few times, but a few of the other things just aren't going to cut it. So bummed, because they're so cute. On Sunday Greg's mom had taken the kids to Children's Place and they got a bunch of new summer outfits. I thought Evan needed more tanks than Em so he ended up getting a few more things than her, but I guess I was wrong since the stuff I thought I had for her doesn't fit. Looks like I'll have to run in there before we leave and grab her a couple more tank tops. Good thing I got my reward certificate from there in the mail today!

You probably won't be hearing from me tomorrow since I've be in GR most of the day. Then it's back here to drop the kids off and I'm off again to the UL Road Show party. A busy day, but should be a fun day. That means I should probably get off here and get to bed so I can get up and get going in the morning. Getting two kids up early and out the door on time is a little bit of a challenge. Especially when my little Emmaline has been sleeping late these days. Wish me luck! Hopefully you'll hear from me Thursday if I'm not too busy and I'll catch you up on all the happenings from my busy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another Busy Weekend

It's been another busy weekend and it's not slowing down anytime soon! We'll start with Friday and go from there. Greg took the afternoon off since he had worked so much the weekend before. He met up with our friend Rich at lunch time and took a long bike ride home. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon dropping of some forms to a couple schools for "Schools of Choice" for Evan and running errands. As you know Evan will be starting kindergarten in the fall and while we live in East Lansing, we're actually Lansing schools. That is not our first choice of schools for Evan which was one reason we moved almost four years ago. However when we built, we were told that more than likely when Evan was to start school we would probably be East Lansing schools by then. Well, that's not the case and while we knew that might happen we were hoping it wouldn't. The good part of it is that our taxes our cheaper since we're not East Lansing schools, but now we have to do schools of choice. We're keeping our fingers crossed that he gets into East Lansing which is our first choice, but it's a possibility that it won't so we're exploring our options. Public schools have a window of time by the state that they can announce and have an application period for schools of choice. Usually it's the end of May, beginning of June. I started looking on Thursday and to my surprise all the schools had just announced this past week the number of openings. East Lansing has 35 kindergarten openings, which is somewhat good, but last year they had 55 (quite unusual), but due to the Dec. 1 cut-off for birthday requirement Evan wasn't eligible. Some of the schools have started the application period so we dropped forms off at DeWitt and Haslett. East Lansing applications don't start until June 1st. We're keeping our fingers crossed for East Lansing so please do the same for us! We then ran some errands, and had dinner at Noodles & Co. for an early birthday celebration for Greg. He had a free birthday coupon, plus I had a buy one get one free so it was a cheap dinner for us.

Saturday was Greg's birthday and he turned 34. Now he can't say he's two years younger like he does for those two months between my birthday and his. Since it was his birthday he got to do what he wanted so he and Rich went for a mountain bike ride in Pinckney. That took up all the morning and early afternoon. The kids and I met my friend Marie on the other side of town in the morning to swap clothes for the kids and Marie bought Evan's old bike for her son Connor. It's nice to finally have that gone, and I'm glad it went to a good owner. It's was a really nice bike and I know Connor will get good use out of it. When Greg got back we went for a drink at Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe with our friend Brenda. Her birthday is Monday so we celebrated with a drink for both their birthdays. Then we had Greg's birthday dinner at Bravo with his mom and his aunt. After dinner we walked around Eastwood a little and then headed home. It was a nice day and I think Greg had a good birthday since he got to go bike riding.

Today we took Molly over to Greg's mom's to play with her two dogs. Greg's mom is watching Molly for us when we go to Arizona. We were going to put her in a kennel, but when we discovered the price which was going to be between $350-$400 we were shocked. We asked his mom and she said she would take Molly so we are so thankful. We really really appreciate it and are relieved to be saving $400. The dogs have played when Molly was a puppy, but really haven't been around each other for awhile. Greg took Molly last weekend to get reacquainted and we thought we should a few more times before we leave. Then we ended up going to lunch and the kids got taken to Children's Place afterward and ended up coming home with a bag full of clothes from their YaYa that will be perfect for our trip. Evan had to try all his stuff on the minute we got home. They both love everything and of course look adorable in them. So thanks YaYa from Evan and Em!

I finally got the grass cut late this afternoon and Greg did the trimming. It's been raining so much that it got so long again. The backyard was worse than I thought it was again! I definitely have to make sure it gets cut next weekend before we leave for vacation. Since we finally had a beautiful weekend weather wise we all went for a walk tonight. It was so nice to get out again. I asked Emmaline if she wanted to try riding her bike tonight on our walk and she was super excited and said yes. She told me she was going to pedal hard! So she and Evan rode bikes while we walked. She's only been trying to ride her bike a couple times and well, she too takes after her daddy. I think she's got the hang of it. Click on this video and check it out!

I am so extremely proud of how well she did on her first bike ride. She was trying so hard to keep up with her big brother and she was cruising right along. Evan of course was trying to get her to go over big bumps. If you listened carefully at the beginning of the video she says, "C'mon guys" referring to Greg and I walking because we were behind. Then she says, "Let's go this way" when we get to the corner and turns all by herself and keeps cruising. I'm just amazed at 2 1/2 how well she's doing! Way to go Emmaline! We are so proud of you on your bike. Awesome job!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Am I Coming Or Going?

Here we are almost to the middle of May and in less than two weeks we'll be on the road. I've got a million things to do on my "to-do" list before we leave and now it seems to be crunch time. I know you're probably thinking, "Isn't two weeks enough time to get ready for a three week trip?" Well, it should be, but when next week is almost completely booked, I feel like I really don't have two weeks. Remember, I told you last month I booked a UL party in Grandville for May. Well that date is fast approaching and is next Tuesday. (I'm starting to regret it a little, but no turning back now. I'm getting my hair done while I'm there so that is an added bonus!) So I'll be in GR next Tuesday and part of Wed. Then when I get back Wednesday I've got another UL party to go to with other demonstrators. It's called the UL Road Show and someone from Uppercase Living is actually coming to the Lansing area to do a show. I'll have to tell you more about it next week. Then Molly has to go to the vet on Thursday. Rounding it all out, next weekend is basically shot with the Conan O'Brien show we got tickets for, the East Lansing Art Festival, and finishing up with bunco Sunday night. I know priorities right, but a girl has to have fun!

I've got a list of errands I need to run, and did get some of those done today. However, I left the house two times today forgetting stuff so that wasted time going back home one of the times to get something I needed to return. I've been shopping for wedding clothes for well over two months off and on and just when I thought I was done last week, I wasn't. The boys seem harder to shop for than the girls in the family. Who knew when you go to get a size 5 pant and it's a little tight for Evan that when you go to exchange it for a 6 and get home, it's even tighter? Seriously, that's my luck. I figured I was safe not having him try the 6 on because if the size 5 fit tight, a size 6 should be perfect. I swear the pants are marked wrong because Evan can't even button the size 6. So back to the store I go this week sometime. I seriously don't know if I'm coming or going half the time and I'm all mixed up on my days. Last Thursday I thought it was Friday, and today I thought it was Tuesday. Yes, it's actually Wednesday in case any of you were wondering.

I'm also trying to get the house all cleaned, laundry done, and sometime yard work done if this weather would ever cooperate. Our lawn seriously needs to be cut. I hate coming home to a messy house so I'd like to have things in order and bathrooms cleaned, house dusted and vacuumed, and toys picked up before we leave. I also need to have clean clothes to pack so that means getting all the laundry baskets emptied and clothes put away (which I'm keeping on top of pretty well). I will try to keep up with the blogging best I can, but if you don't hear from me everyday you know why. One thing before I go tonight. I'm bummed that my busy May won't be filled with "Be A Tourist In Your Town." Remember last year we took a tour of the Breslin Center, visited the bug house, etc.? Well "Be A Tourist" this year is happening a little bit later and is the first week of June. We'll be in Arizona so we'll be missing it. That's o.k. though because we'll be having a good time I'm sure.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a long extended weekend for me in a way, and after being gone for 3 days it feels good to be home. On Thursday, the kids and I headed for my sisters for a long weekend. Greg had to work late Thursday and Friday night, as well as work today for a bit so I figured we might as well do something. With our vacation quickly approaching, I didn't know when we'd get a chance to get that way to visit so this was the best weekend to go. The weather unfortunately took a turn for the worse and it was absolutely freezing! I thought it was going to be in the upper 50's low 60's, but nope that didn't happen. It ended up only being in the 40's most of the time. I definitely didn't pack the right clothes and we had to make do with what we had.

On Friday my sister had to work, but she told me to bring the kids in for a visit if we wanted. We didn't have much planned and the kids were going a little stir crazy in the house so we ended up going to visit so we could see where she works. The kids had fun and got to color at Aunt Jen's desk and make her some pictures to hang up. Here's the kids at Aunt Jen's desk.

My niece Kaite was supposed to have a softball game Friday night, but due to rainy weather and storms it got canceled. The kids were disappointed, but there was another game on Saturday. Although the weather wasn't much better on Saturday, it wasn't raining come game time so we headed to the ball park. It was freezing cold though so we ended up spending most of the game time watching from the car. Sitting in the freezing cold in May for some reason just wasn't sounding good to me. We did get out for a short time finally to go get a closer look at the game. Since I only had spring coats for the kids and they really needed winter coats, they had to borrow Kaite's sweatshirts to put over their clothes. Here's my poor little freezing peanuts.

Unfortunately a couple minutes after we had gotten out of the car it began to rain. I wasn't into sitting in the rain either so we headed back to the car and I didn't even have time to get a close up picture of Kaite playing in her game. So this is the best I got from the car.

She's on third base and soon after I snapped the picture, she took off for home and scored a run. She had a few hits, got walked due to being hit by the ball, and scored two runs. Unfortunately her team lost by one point. She did a great job though and the kids were happy they got to see Kaite play.

The kids got a surprise from Aunt Jen and Kaite. They got some goody bags filled with stuff for our road trip. Here they are waiting to get their surprise. Evan covered his eyes and Em quickly followed.

They got books, games, coloring books & crayons, snacks, etc. to keep them busy on our trip. It was a nice surprise and the kids loved everything. Thanks Aunt Jen & Kaite for everything.

Saturday evening my Mom came down to stay the night and we celebrated Mother's Day with her. She picked up pizzas at one of our favorite places in good ol' Niles where we grew up, Pete's Patio. I know many of you have never heard of the place, but believe me it's the best pizza ever. It's a place we as kids went to often and have always loved the pizza there. We rarely get it now, but it sounded good to all of us so we got it for dinner Saturday. It really hit the spot and was so delicious! Thanks Mom for picking up the pizzas!

Now here we are to Sunday and it's Mother's Day. Being a mother is one of the most rewarding, thankless, frustrating, emotional, satisfying, and blessed jobs a mom could ever have!!!! I am so blessed to have the two wonderful children in my life that made me become a mom. I'll always remember the first time I heard them call me mom. Such an awesome time. I love it when they call me mom, mommy, momma, they all sound great to me. This year I was able to celebrate Mother's Day with all the Mom's in my life. This morning with my Mom at my sister's house since she had stayed the night. Much better than a year ago which if you recall, my mom fell off a ladder when we were at her house and ended up in the ER with a broken wrist and ankle. Then after that at my Dad & Step-Mom's before we headed home. Then when we got home I was surprised by the kids and Greg with a beautiful plant for outside (which hopefully it will warm up so I can plant), and and iTunes gift card. And for dinner we went to Champps with Greg's mom. All mom's ate free this weekend for Mother's Day and all mom's also got a re-loadable gift card to use once a month from June until next April worth $165 ($15 a month). How awesome is that? Such a great deal. Tonight, Evan, Emmaline, Greg, & I all snuggled in bed for awhile before Em's bedtime which was a perfect ending to a nice day. My munchkins are getting big to fast and I just love being able to snuggle up with them. So Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there! Thanks to my Evan and Emmaline for the Mother's Day wishes, I'm proud to be your Mom!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's B-rito Day!

Today is Cinco de Mayo as we all know, but according to Greg it's b-rito (spelled that way on purpose) day! This has to be one of Greg's favorite day's of the year. He loves Mexican food and when Cinco de Mayo rolls around he especially has to have a burrito. I always have said he was born 10 days to late. His birthday is on the 15th, but had he been born on May 5th, it would have fit him perfectly! I was going to make chicken fajitas or tacos for dinner, but then we ended up going out to dinner with Greg's mom. I guess we'll be having the fajitas or tacos next week. We went to El Azteco in E. Lansing. Can you say, chips & salsa, fajitas, & a margarita? That's what I had. It was yummy, and was the perfect Cinco de Mayo dinner. I couldn't eat it all though so I'll be enjoying my Cinco de Mayo celebration tomorrow for lunch as well!

In other news, if you haven't noticed on the right side of the page, I've posted my vacation countdown. While I'm so ready for a vacation, it's a little scary that I've only got 20 days to get all of us ready to go on top of a million other things going on this month. Ahhhhhhhh! I can't believe how booked and how fast this month is already going. I forgot to tell you about my exciting date night we've got planned for this month that came about last week. You may have heard or may not have, but Conan O'Brien is coming to the MSU Breslin Center later this month and I got Greg & I tickets. We're really looking forward to it. We rarely do stuff like this and it's Greg's birthday present so it should be a fun time. It's going to be our night alone without kids to help us prepare for being in a car for four days with two little munchkins! That's about all I have tonight. I've got a few things to finish up before bed so I should go do that now before I fall asleep in the chair. My tolerance level for alcohol is ridiculously low these days and my margarita has made me sleepy all evening.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Blogging Anniversary

Today is May 4th, and while this day has never been significant for me, now it is! Today is my one year blogging anniversary! Happy Anniversary to me! Can you believe it? For one year now and 270 posts, I've rambled on about the day to day happenings in our nest, shared recipes, and tons of pictures of my wonderful, amazing children.

When I first decided to give this blogging thing a go, I wasn't sure how long it would last? Would I have readers? Would I enjoy it? What would I write about? Would I stick with it? Sure enough as time went on, I had followers, I enjoyed blogging immensely, I had plenty to write about, and yes I've stuck with it. While I don't blog everyday, I still think I'm doing pretty good. At times blogging can be time consuming, and while I do enjoy it, I've also got other things to do in my life. Blogging is a great outlet though for me since I'm home all day with little one's. It's my way to connect to family and friends, and to have an "adult conversation" without actually "talking." I've come to see blogging as my hobby. While I've never been one to write in a journal, I've found typing on the computer to share my families day-to-day activities to be quite relaxing and enjoyable. Maybe it's because in journaling I'm only writing to myself, and with blogging I'm writing to numerous people. I'm able to share my thoughts and joys in my life with others. So thanks to all of you who are reading. Without my readers, I'd feel like I might be wasting my time!

I've come to surprise myself with how computer savvy I am with using Blogger. I have to admit I had a lot of tips from my friend Ann who also blogs (thanks Ann!) when I got started, but I've managed to figure out some things on my own as well. It's been a learning journey for me, and one that I'm happy I got involved in. I'm glad that I've been able to share so many exciting things that have happened in our "nest," as well as provide you with a meal idea when you've been in a rut with your cooking. This blog has also been a great way for me personally to reflect on things that have happened in our lives as a family, as well as see how my two wonderful children have grown. Looking back through the posts, it's hard to believe how much my children have grown over the year. They're getting bigger way to fast!

So here's to a year of blogging under my belt, and I'm excited to begin my second year and share with you whatever life brings. I'm sure I'll have much to tell about my children and husband, as I'm blessed to have a wonderful family to write about. I hope to have some new recipes to share with you as well. One part of my blogging I really enjoy is your comments. Lately they've been a little scarce so I'm hoping you'll start leaving me comments again. I really truly do read them and enjoy hearing what you have to say. It's my way of knowing I've connected with all you readers. I hope you all have enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed blogging. Hopefully you've come to know my family and me a little better. Thanks to my family who have been supportive of my blogging, and to my children for letting me take so many pictures of them. Without them, I wouldn't be blogging! If there are any suggestions for my blog I gladly welcome them! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oriental Salad

It's been awhile since I've posted a recipe on here so as promised, here's the recipe for the Oriental Salad I made for the teacher luncheon last week. I've had different versions of this salad several times, but have never actually made it. This recipe my friend Liana made a couple months ago for bunco. For my first time making it, I have to say it turned out quite tasty and it was a hit at the teacher luncheon!

Oriental Salad

Brown and set aside
1 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup butter

Mix together and chill:

1 bunch Bok Choy - chopped
1 sm. head of cabbage - chopped
5 green onions - chopped
2 pkgs. oriental Ramen noodles - crushed

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 T. soy sauce
2 pkgs. seasoning from Ramen noodles
1 cup canola oil
Stir until dissolved.

1 hour prior to serving, add toasted almond mixture and dressing to salad mixture. Can also add chicken or shrimp to salad if desired.

* I actually used those Almond Accents found in the produce section and they tasted really good. I added a little more green onions too. Note: Do not make too far in advance as the dressing will make the ramen noodles less crunchy. (I don't mind it like that as leftovers, but if serving for the first time I recommend waiting to add the dressing.)

Serves: Tons!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

End Of The School Year & Bike Racing

Here we are at Sunday night again and I've fallen behind on my blogging. Thursday was a busy day and my little guy finished the school year. Emmaline and I went in to school to wrap up the library cart and then we stayed for the afternoon in Evan's class. It was pajama & movie day on the last day of school. The kids got to come to school in their pj's and watch a movie and eat popcorn! Evan was so excited to wear pj's to school. He got up in the morning and changed out of one pair of pj's into another. Since Emmaline and I were going to stay for movie day, she wanted to wear her pj's to school too. Here's Evan and Em in their pj's when we got to school.

It's movie time! The kids got to watch Toy Story.
A little bit after the movie got started, it was popcorn time. Emmaline was right there with the rest of them watching the movie and sharing in some popcorn!
Here's Evan with his teacher Ms. Schulze. We're going to miss her and the MSU Child Development Lab. It's been a great two years there and Evan's really grown a lot!
Here is Evan with Ms. Thelen, his student teacher this semester.

On Friday I helped out with the teacher luncheon the parent council puts on for all the teachers at the end of the school year. They ask for donations of food, as well as help from parents for the luncheon. I made an Oriental salad and offered my help to set up and clean up at the luncheon. It was a nice time for all the teachers and all those who help get to enjoy the luncheon and good food as well. My salad was a hit. I'll have to post the recipe tomorrow. There was lots of tasty food and the parent council got all the teachers a beautiful floral arrangement to take home. They were very unique arrangements and a huge hit with the teachers. Absolutely beautiful! Here's a picture of the arrangements, I think you'll agree!

Greg had the day off on Friday so he took the kids to the park while I was at the luncheon. It was an absolutely beautiful day. It got up to 80 here! I was so loving it. When I got home from the luncheon I found Greg replacing our screen on the patio door. It's so nice to have a screen door again. It got ripped at the bottom from a Miss Emmaline last summer. We figured there was no use in replacing it before winter. Then when we had some warm days here and there in March & April I was wishing it was fixed so I could open the patio door. We finally got the replacement screen a few weeks ago, and now finally got it fixed. Thanks honey for getting it done!

Yesterday we did a little shopping for wedding clothes for our trip out west. I think I finally found Emmaline a dress. Evan was having fun trying on dress clothes and while we had an outfit for him I got awhile back, I think we decided to go a different route and found him something today. He wanted something that looked like what Greg was going to wear. Yesterday also brought about a day Greg and I, among others have been waiting for years- Smoke free in restaurants and bars! Yipeee! I'm so excited that I will no longer have to sit in "second hand" smoking when we are at a restaurant. It seems like more times than not, when we're out to eat we always get the seat right on the edge of smoking/non-smoking. I hate it, but no more will we have to deal with it!

Today Greg had his first bike race of the season. It was at Ft. Custer near Battle Creek. We had all planned to go and Evan was going to do the kid's race, but then when we heard the forecast called for rain our plans changed. I wasn't into sitting in the rain with two kids while Greg raced so the kids and I ended up staying home. We missed watching Greg race and Evan racing, but I'm sure he'll do a couple more this summer. It might have been a good thing we didn't go though because Greg did a little better than last year and he got 10th place. Nice job honey! So that's our long weekend! Now we're into the month of May can you believe it! Happy May!