Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Day of School...

Naomi is starting Kindergarten

Taryn is starting 6th. Top of the elementary!

Hannah is going into the 10th grade.

On the playground reserved for Kinders only! =)

Naomi found her place right away!

Then she had to locate her cubby. That was easy.

Everybody was asked to work quietly while the teacher greeted each new student.

Mrs. Saucedo seems like a firm, but kind teacher. Perfect for Naomi.

Naomi loved that everything was provided for her, including a new pack of Crayola Crayons that were the perfect size for her!

Here's Taryn waiting in line to enter her classroom.

Mrs. M&M...another firm teacher. The kids really like her already!

And here is MY student. Little Marco just turned three and we've got some fun and educational days planned. I look forward to being with my sweet boy as much as possible. I am so thankful for an excellent school system for my girls. I know there will be some challenges, but I am also trusting the peace that God has put in our hearts about this.
Looking forward to a great school year!!

R.I.P. Rolly Polly

I've been calling him Curious George lately. He wants to know about everything and I love it. My hubby was walking him inside yesterday. It was still very early in the day. Marco saw this rolly polly. He decided that it was his best friend and that they were going to spend the day together.

I gave him a little dish for his "pet". Of course, he wanted to feed him. I told him that the little guy would be fine. He insisted that the rolly polly would want cereal like him.

"He's eating it mama!"

"Now he's in a ball!"
He had his rolly polly do all kinds of activities with him. They played some computer games together. He sat the dish on the lap top so that his rolly polly could "see" the screen. Then they watched a cartoon. It was too hot to go outside for anything... He decided that he wanted his rolly polly to drived the race car....
"Mommy, my best friend is playing cars with me!"

I would have taken pictures of them racing cars...if only I had known. Sadly, there was a tragic accident. Rolly polly was involved in a three car pile up. It wasn't pretty.
Poor Marco. Poor Rolly Polly. You will not be forgotten; you were a good friend. R.I.P.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Move Over Zucchini Boats...It's the Tomato Boat...

Isn't this a beautiful picture?? My cousin, Sherri, sent me this recipe and I can't wait to try it. I just wanted to go ahead and post this in case some of you were looking for something new to try this weekend. You know that pictures are sure to follow... =)
I believe that a strict Paleo diet would skip the dairy items...however, I will not be skipping them! =)
Stuffed Tomatoes
•8 firm ripe tomatoes
•6 slices bacon
•1/2 cup chopped onion
•1 pound fresh spinach, stems snipped
•1 cup sour cream
•1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
•salt to taste
•1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
This recipe's Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 4 servings.
1.Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.
2.Cut tops from tomatoes; remove seeds and membranes. Place tomato shells upside down on paper towels to drain until filling.
3.Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate, reserve drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. Return 2 tablespoons of drippings to skillet.
4.Cook onion in the bacon drippings until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, reserved crumbled bacon, and hot pepper sauce.
5.Sprinkle tomato shells with salt; fill evenly with bacon and spinach mixture. Place tomatoes in prepared baking dish.
6.Bake in preheated oven until hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove, and top evenly with the shredded cheese. Return to the oven; bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Friday Fill-Ins August 13th!!

This is my special little guy that I get to spend my days with when the girls go to school!
1. Music is something that is important to me. Like many of you, my life has many theme songs. I must have music that speaks to me in some way. It may be through the lyrics or it may be through the melody, harmony and rythm. If none of those speak to me in a particular song - then I skip it. I have to have some kind of music every day.

2. A cup of good coffee, my quiet time, and workout is what I like first thing in the morning.

3. The first thing I said this morning was: "What time is it?!" I thought I over-slept. I didn't have to be anywhere, I just don't like to sleep late.

4. Chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mushrooms; it's what's for dinner tonight.

5. It's all been so crazy since the end of last school year! We had the end of the school year dealings, we moved to a new house, we went on a two week trip to see Jaime get married and visit with family and friends, we came back and unpacked, started on all of the many summer activities, camps, etc and now we are gearing up for a brand-new experience at new schools with me staying home with my little guy. Phew! That's a lot!

6. Getting a pedicure is what I feel like doing right now since I haven't had one since before July 4th. All of the summer activities and dryness have taken a toll on my tootsies!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to visiting one of our newer families at church, tomorrow my plans include maybe some early morning junking and then a reunion my hubby needs to attend and Sunday, I want to relax and enjoy my day after a full morning at church!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

12 of 12 for August...

Well, hope you all had a great 12 of 12! I was up for about an hour or two before I realised that it was the 12th! I had a super busy day and managed to take a few pictures to at least give you a peek into my let's start here:

I don't mean to start off on a negative tone, but this did NOT make me happy. Of course, nobody knows who left the cup on top of the album, but there it was - and yes, it left a ring! =(

I had to head out to the school to pack up my classroom. I was planning on returning to teach for the 2010 - 2011 school year, but circumstances changed and I have decided that I will be staying home with my little Marco. It was bitter-sweet. Sad that I will miss my students and glad that I get this special time with my boy. I know I made the right choice and I can't wait to see what is in store for us!

My awesome hubby (who helped me pack) decided he would give this place a second chance. He wasn't thrilled with it the first time he had it for some reason, but was very pleased with the house fried rice (had chicken, beef and shrimp). Oh, yeah! Not paleo at all, but so good.

Our fortunes...interesting. haha!

My good friend Vicki came to my house to do our hair. All the girls got a cut or clean up. Somehow I missed Taryn's cut...she was in the chair and out. Just a trim for her. Hannah is here just getting layers put back in...but guess what?? Wait until you see Naomi!

Here she is with Marco and Vicki's granddaughter, Lexi-lou! They had a blast together...

I got my hair colored and hi-lited...Yes, I am hiding. I wanted the moment recorded, but obviously was not feeling very photogenic. My son laughs and laughs when my hair is all papered up like this.

My little Naomi will be starting Kindergarten this year. It will be an all day class and she is excited! New school, new year...

New do!!! I could not believe she agreed to have her hair cut! I love it and think it makes her Korean side just POP! =)

Marco did not have time to sit around while we all got our hair done. It was hot outside and he was going to do something about it!

And now, he's hungry and doing something about it....or maybe he's tired....

Yup. He was tired, and as you can see - he's doing something about this too! haha. Funny thing, he woke up about 30 minutes later and before his eyes were even open, he took a bite of his pizza. Ewww...just picked up where he left off, I guess!
Well, Hannah ended up going home with Christina for the evening, so that left me to clean up by myself and then zone out a bit before bed. What a day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins for August 6

My sweet daughter Taryn at the water park. Summer's wrapping up so quickly! =(

1. Life is going to be very different this year. The kids will be going to public school for the first time ever! I am looking forward to all of the options and programs they will have access to, however I am nervous at the same time.

2. Even if there are stumbling blocks, you've got to keep going, you never know what's just around the bend!

3. My last text message (or IM) ended in these three words: "my last one" It was a text to my cousin (long-distance personal trainer) telling her that I did better this time. =)

4. Fresh lobster is what I'm thinking about for dinner sometime soon. I've never cooked it before and would love to try it for something special.

5. On the 1st day of August I felt panicky because I still need to do school shopping (clothes and supplies) and the summer is ending quickly!

6. The crossfit workouts and Paleo eating really help me to feel lively and energetic.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to family game night at a friend's house, tomorrow my plans include a family day retreat at the beach with our church and Sunday, I want to relax and enjoy the Lord's day with family and friends!


Marco just turned THREE years old. One of his favorite gifts was this home-made play dough.

He and his sister can play all morning with this stuff. Sure, he received all sorts of toys and he loves them's just that he keeps going back to this...and I'm glad.

When the girls were younger, I played with them all the time. We did activities...or "activilees" as Hannah called it when she was little.
I feel like I've been missing that with my son and even a little with Naomi. We started the church almost 4 years ago, I home-schooled for a while and then went into full-time teaching. He just got shuffled to the back...Not much time for simple fun... Special time from mommy.
My cousin, Erin, who has been SUCH a help as far as my fitness and weight-loss journey once told me, ‎"Most things worth doing are simple, but not easy...". WOW!! That really resonated with me. Sometimes the solution to something is SO SIMPLE, yet it's not easy to do. How hard is it to give my time to my family? How hard is it to say "No" to unhealthy foods? How hard is it to do what I need to do for my family, my ministry, or myself? It's not's simple...but not easy. Are you confused yet? I'm not. It's kind of like "not seeing the forest for the trees"...or is it the "not seeing the trees for the forest"? haha
Simplicity. Yes. I want it back.

Look at those little dimples in her hands...

My special kids. This is why I am staying home this year. At least until this little guy gets into school. He needs me...or better yet, I need him. Simple.

And speaking of simple. Here is the adorable tag, ribbon and hand-made pinwheel that accompanied the gift of Play Dough. Thank you Lena!! Would you like the Simple recipe?
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
3 Tbs. cooking oil
1 unsweetened package of Kool-Aid
Add: 1 cup of boiling water and knead.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Oh, man. Let's give it up for bacon!!

Before I get into the recipe or pictures, can I just say that for the last 2 weeks or so, I've stuck with the work outs AND I have been eating as PRIMAL as I know how and I got on the scale to find that I've lost 10 pounds. Yup! Couldn't believe it. I have been reading a lot about the Paleo and Primal way of eating and I realised that it really is the healthiest and best choice for me. I am still new to it and learning every day, but the things that I have cut out of my diet entirely are grains of any kind, processed foods, sugar, and any legume. I have been enjoying dairy in moderation. Usually it is in the form of cheese and of course butter!
I feel stronger and feel a little bit of room in my clothes, but we'll see. I know that at first, the pounds may come off quickly and then taper off. That's okay. I want it to be realistic and lasting.
So, here we go...this is what I made for my family of 6 hearty eaters plus 1 happy visitor.

I made Seasoned Shrimp wrapped in Bacon and Stuffed Zucchini Boats. There are various recipes on line for the zucchini, but I changed mine up a bit to my taste and of course did not include bread crumbs like most of the recipes called for.

Shrimp wrapped with bacon....
1 lb. fresh, cleaned raw shrimp (large to jumbo work best)
1 package of uncured bacon (Trader Joe's or Whole Foods have good options)
Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic, Mrs. Dash...really it's whatever you like best! This is what I had on hand. =)
1.) In a bowl, mix your shrimp and seasonings (I left tails on, by the way).
2.) Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to let the seasonings marinade the shrimp.
3.) Cut your bacon in half and then again lengthwise.
4.) Take your shrimp and wrap each one with a piece of bacon. Just spiral it around the shrimp.
5.) Grill on skillet until bacon is cooked on each side. The shrimp will be a bright pink and no longer gray in color.
6.) Enjoy!

Zucchini Boats
4 zucchini squash (approx. 7 inches long)
1 lb. ground meat of your choice (turkey, beef, pork...)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp of italian seasoning mix (of course you can use fresh or dried mix of oregano/basil)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce ( I used a spicey brand called El Pato)
1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese
Salt to taste (I didn't really add any)

1.) Cut squash in half lengthwise.
2.) Scoop out the middle. You can use a melon baller or small spoon to do this.
3.) Brown meat, onion and garlic in a frying pan until fully cooked.
4.) Drain and add your seasonings and Worcestershire sauce. Make sure you get it evenly blended.
5. ) Fill up boats with meat mixture and arrange in glass baking dish.
6.) Cover evenly with tomato sauce and top with cheese.
7.) Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. You can even take it out 5 minutes early, top it with a little more cheese and then pop it under the boiler for about 2 minutes to get a nice brown crisp to the cheese. =) Yum.
If I get an Italiany craving, I am going to make it again. Well, to be honest, I am going to make it again after I buy more zucchini at the Farmers' Market. =) I may add diced mushrooms to the meat mixture. The kids loved it. Hubby loved it...even Kristian, our impromptu visitor, loved it!