Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More food.

I really should weigh 500 pounds. Thank goodness for the ability to say "no" and that crazy running I do.

I tried out the french toast loaf from the Magic Kingdom bakery. Remind me next time to put it in a larger loaf pan! I ended up having to run a cleaning cycle on the oven that day.

Yes, it was yummy. :) However, my vote is still for the french toast from the Crystal Palace. Of course, that one was nearly deep fried and probably had 2x's the calories in it.

Then I tried the baked corn dogs from The Food Network. They were good, too! They were more like a bread-dough wrapped dog than a corn dog, but you could definitely taste the cornmeal in it.

Hannah decided that they had to have honey-mustard dipping sauce for these. Since I didn't have any, she grabbed her cookbook, (yes, she has her own) found a recipe for it, and made it. I like that. She decided that "hey, I don't have any, so I'll make it myself." That's my girl!

Then I looked at my nifty calendar that I laminated for my fridge, and decided that it needed a grocery list next to it.

So I found this. It works great for jotting down those things you run out of and forget about by the time you get out the big grocery list. I'm now a laminating fool! Watch out girls, mama might laminate you, too!

I cannot wait until we finally get some cooler weather down here. (Oh wait, that will be somewhere around December or January!) Running in the summer is UGLY! I was out this morning at 5:30 and it was nearly 80 already. I'm still running, though just not as far as I want to be right now. Come on, fall!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Food & Education - all in a day's work.

I decided that I needed to play with some new recipes, so here's a new one for you!  Tonight I made this recipe  for dinner.  Oh my.  I will definitely add that to my "make it again" pile!  Alex isn't a huge fan of chicken salad to begin with, but he said it was pretty good.  Hannah thought it rocked; Kali was with daddy.  I served it with grapes and plums and then Alex grabbed the loaf of bread that just came out of the oven and smacked some butter on it.  I thought we could have done without the bread, but he thought otherwise.  :) 

The picture doesn't do it justice.  Of course, this was before I realized I forgot to add the paprika!  Not to worry, it got in there before we sat down to eat.  :)

We went to the new Target today.  It's a cross between a Super Target and a not so Super Target!  They have everything a Super Target has, but just a little less of it, and no bakery or deli.  Works for me!  We were in the school supply section and I eyeballed this dry erase monthly calendar.  It was really cute and I thought it would work great on the fridge for my menu planning (before the menu finally gets on the chalkboard!).  However, I was not going to spend $7 on it.  Then I came home and did this:

Nothing that some self-adhesive laminating sheets couldn't do for me!  Thanks, again, Grandma.  ♥  Now I need to find some really fine point dry erase markers.  Someone will have them on sale shortly!

And speaking of laminating sheets, I was working on yet another school project recently.  I started using workboxes for the girls (if you homeschool, go Google it - I'm totally hooked!) and needed to re-do the schedule strips I had for them.  Basically, what I do is sit down every night and put together their work for the next day.  In each folder is something else that needs to get done that day.  Once they're at the end of the folders, they're done for the day.  Keeps them from asking me how much more then need to do, and helps them to work a bit more independantly. 

Here's what I was working on:

I found the schedule strip file on a workbox forum that I'm on.  It was too cute not to print!


Then I take the number off the strip......

And put it on the folder.

Once Hannah (or Kali) is done with what's in the folder, she'll put the number back on the strip. 

This is what is in Hannah's first folder for tomorrow.  She'll watch the lesson on the DVD (it helps to have someone else explain it to her, too) and then do the first page of the lesson.  Some days she'll do more than one page if she wants to, but she only needs to do one page a day. 

If they can't do it by themselves, then they'll see this on there - "work with Mom."  Keeps them from constantly saying "hey, can you help me?!" 

All done and waiting for the morning.

We start at 9:30, break for lunch around 11 - 11:30, and come back at 12:30.  Normally we'll finish up for the day around 1:30 or 2, depending on what we're up to.  Some days are longer, some days are shorter.  And some days we're playing in Downtown Disney!  As soon as all the public schools start back up, we'll have to head over to Busch Gardens.  Right now it's wayyyyy too hot, and wayyyyy too crowded! 

And just for an FYI - tomorrow I'm making baked corn dogs and sweet potatoe fries.  Alexia has some spicy sweet potato fries that we love; makes for a nice, easy cooking night for me!  All I have to do is make corndog dough, wrap 'em up, and stick 'em in the oven.  Yeah!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Conversation with Hannah

This was so sweet, I had to share.  I was working on some school stuff last night, and Hannah came in and sat down with me.  This is pretty much what happened next:

Hannah - Um, mom, you do this every night?

Me - Yes, dear.

H - Every night?  You mean you come in here and put all our stuff together every night?

M - Yes, dear.

H - Then you get up at 5 to run?

M - Yes, dear.  (I'm so chalk full of words, aren't I?)

H - Then you come home, shower, make your coffee, and turn on the Today Show?

M - Yep.

H - Then you make us breakfast?  (Though sometimes daddy does)

M - Yep. 

H - Then you help get us ready and then we start school?

M - Yep.

H - Then you teach us, and then you make us lunch, and then we do more school work?

M - Yep. 

H - Then you make dinner?

M - Yep.

H - Then you put our school stuff together again and then start all over the next day?

M - Uh huh.

H - Gee, mom, you do a lot.

OMG - Someone noticed!!!!!!!  ;)  Okay, so Alex realizes it (at least I hope he does!), but it's really nice to know that one of my children notices part of what I do around here.  She's so sweet - most of the time.  And then when I told her there was a history test today, she got out her history book and went to study.  STUDY!  A child of mine voluntarily studied.  Amazing.  It's not like those tests are anything major; it's really more for me than for her.  Wow.  A child of mine voluntarily studied, noticed what the heck I do around here, and even cleans stuff without me asking her.  Either I'm being punked or the planets are in alignment at the moment.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If you can't be at Disney all the time, just bring some of it to you!

Okay, I fully admit it....I would live in Disney if they'd let me.  I don't even need to live in the castle, just stick me over in a corner somewhere in a tent.  I'd be happy. 

But if I can't be there all the time, at least I can eat like I'm there!  I have a bunch of Disney recipes, so this week is Disney week.

Sunday Breakfast was Puffed French Toast from The Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom:

And yes, it was very, very good.  We ended up having leftovers and ate it for breakfast this morning.

Dinner was General Tso's Chicken from Epcot:

And yes, that, too, was very, very, very good.  We had leftovers for lunch today.

Tonight's dinner brought us over to Shutter's at Caribbean Beach:

Once again, this stuff rocked.  OMG.  I'm going to have to roll out the door to run in the morning.  I need to run about 20 miles to work off all this food!  But it was all very, very good.  We have enough left over for dinner tomorrow night - yay!

This morning the mailman brought me a box.  At first I thought I knew what it was, but then I realized I was wrong.  When I opened it, this is what was inside:

A beautiful garlic pot.  OMG.  I cried.  I knew instantly that my friend Jenine sent it to me.  :)  She rocks.  I cannot wait to use it.  Someday I'm going to show up at her door; hopefully someday won't take 10,000 years, either.  Once again, thank you Jenine.  You totally made my day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

40? Seriously?! Really?

I cannot be 40.  There's no way that 40 years have gone by in a blur (though I don't remember the first 4, and some others were quite a blur, too.)  I'm still 20-something, but my driver's license says otherwise.

I had an entire birthday weekend.  I celebrated with Hannah and Kali on Saturday since Alex and I would not be home all day on Sunday.  My morning started out with Alex making my famous cinnamon rolls

The glaze was cooling off in the saucepan. 

Hannah and Kali said I had to eat breakfast in bed.  They decorated the room for me.

Please ignore my "I just ran a few miles and then got out of the shower" look.  It's even scaring me!
Oh lord, what happened to me?!  I think this is where Hannah was telling me "40 is the new 70."  She's such a snot. 

We hung out all day.  Alex took the girls to Lowe's after breakfast for their Build & Grow clinic while I stayed home and blasted the music. 

For dinner, my poor allergic-to-dairy husband made me chicken parmesan.  That was always his favorite before he realized it was slowly killing him!  Then I had some yummy, yummy cake.

My sister-in-law, Michele, got there around 8:30.  The girls were super-excited to see her; so was I!  I cannot tell you the last time Alex and I had an entire day alone together.  Hmmm......nope, not, nope, that was just year is it?!  Yep, it's been years.  

We got up and left the house a little after 7am on Sunday and rolled in to Animal Kingdom right before they opened at 9.  The last time I was there was back in January, but after the 5K was done, we couldn't stay!  Well, not unless I wanted to pay for the tickets, and I didn't.  I told Alex we had to run over to Expedition Everest first so we could get on before the line got too long.  I hadn't been on it yet and was dying to get on it.  I'm not sure Alex felt the same way as I did.  :) 

I can't believe how many times he used the camera that day.  I normally keep him and the camera separated since he has this bad habit of dropping them.  Oy.  Thankfully, no one got hurt that day.  ;) 

I will say that this is now my most favorite Disney coaster ride.  We ended up riding it 3 times that day, and I would have gone more times but I wanted to do other stuff!  I must go back there again soon.

Then we went over to the Dinosaur ride.

Watch out for this guy!  Or girl!  As much as Kali loves dinosaurs, this ride would have left her in therapy for the rest of her life.  Poor Alex nearly jumped in my lap when a huge T-Rex roared right in his face.  That was pretty funny.  We ended up on this one twice. 

We went and saw Nemo, the Musical.  It was pretty good!  It's interesting to watch shows without having the girls with us.  Hopefully we'll get another day like that within the next 10 years!

We went over to The Tree of Life to see It's Tough to Be a Bug.  Alex hated the crawling bugs under his butt at the end! 

We stopped and got a quick lunch and sat outside.  Despite the heat, it was nice under here! 

I loved listening to the African drummers.

We got in line for the Kilimanjaro Safari ride.  I think Alex liked that one the best.  It's times like this that I soooo wish I had a dSLR camera; the animals were fantastic and the pictures could have been better.

On the safari.

Awwwww....check out the baby elephant!

Heading back over to Expedition Everest.  I could not get enough of that ride!

I think we were both slightly melted at this point.

MICKEY!!!  Excuse the blurry photo.  My cameraman wasn't on his game!

The afternoon parade.  Thankfully we had found a bench in the shade while we waited for it!

Here's a little trivia for you..... Between Chip and Dale, who has the black nose?  

CHIP!  You know, like a chocolate chip!  Dale has the brown nose.  He's such a brown noser.  lol

Minnie.  :)

Goofy, off to his fishing trip!


We headed back to the Dinosaur ride after the parade.  It started raining a bit by then, so it was nice to get inside somewhere for a while.  Thankfully, it didn't rain long; just enough to cool us off for a while!

We ended up going to dinner a bit earlier than we had originally planned, which was fine. 

Hey, at least we got to sit by the waterfall.  However, we soon realized that the area around the waterfall was COLD!  Then, we realized that the whole dang place was cold.  :)  Good thing I ordered some spicy food; it kept me warm.  Dinner was yummy, as was the massive chocolate cake we had for desert.  I had to roll myself out of there.

It was so cold in there that my camera was still fogged up when I took this right after we left!

We drove over to the Polynesian after dinner.  Ahhhhhhh.....I'd really love to stay here for a few days. 

And this is what I saw when we got down to the beach. Holy hell.  I was ready to move in.

The Contemporary is right there, as is the Grand Floridian (it's on the other side).

Remember the rain I mentioned earlier?  All the chairs were wet, so my awesome husband dried them off for us.


I swear my day could not have gotten any better.

We were such bums.  I loved it.  When can I go back?!

Yes, I sat in the lounge chair and stared at Cinderella's Castle.  Jealous, are you?!  ;) 

The sunset was spectacular!  By the time it got really dark, the mosquitoes decided to feast upon us!  Itchy, itchy!

The Grand Floridian. 

Anyone?  Someone?  Who has a dSLR they want to send down to me?!  I promise to take millions of beautiful pictures with it.  :)

Sorry.  It's my blog and I'll put up 10,000 pictures of this if I want to!

Time for the water parade!

At this point we went inside for a little bit so the bugs would quit feasting on us.  OMG.  I was chewed up! I had sucked down an entire Mai Tai and was feeling pretty darn good.

However, I wasn't looking as good as I felt!  Hey, it was a long day.  :)

I tried, in vain, to get a Tiki Glass.  They were sold out of them at the gift shop, and even through all of my perky begging and pleading with different people around the resort, no one would hook me up with one from the bar upstairs.  Disney - for shame!  I'll get that Tiki glass eventually.

We went back outside for the fireworks show after my begging failed me.

And that was the end of my most perfect birthday.

We got home around 12:30, talked to Michele for a bit, and I thanked her profusely.  I am forever in her debt.  I had so much fun!!!!  It was great to have the entire day with Alex and spend it at my favorite place in the world. 

Hope y'all enjoyed the pictures.  If that's not enough for you, I think I have 550 more.  Really.  ;)  And forget what Hannah said; I think 40 is the new 30.