Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Recap....2012

We survived.  No, not a zombie apocalypse…..we survived Halloween!
We estimate about 1000 trick-or-treaters came to our front porch.  Good thing Super Chicken was there with his bowl of candy to save the day!
The girls came in with LOADS of candy and had TONS of fun.  Allie was a princess with her best friend Kaylie.  Those two are inseparable.  The only way they could have matched even more is if Kaylie broke her arm and got a pink cast like Allie's blue one!
Amber was Red Riding Hood….vampire style! 
Abbey was off with her friends right after school and for the first year ever, I don’t have any Halloween pics of her.  Sigh.  I stole this from her Facebook page though.  This is totally what I do......
Hope you all had fun this Halloween!  We love you!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Three Girlies Take on the Triathlon!

Yesterday, the Three Girlies added bikes and running shoes to their awesome swimming talents, and did a triathlon!
They all wore their new team warm-ups so the Yokota Stingrays could represent!
Unfortunately, Allie (the middle girlie) attempted parkour over our living room couch the night before and sprained her wrist….so she became the official “transition assistant” for Amber.
My pictures of this event are lacking.  I watched the girls at the pool and then shot them out to Brian at the bikes.  He rode with Abbey and I ran with Amber.  Kinda hard to catch those photos with all the excitement!  Here’s Abbey before her 300 meter swim…..
During the swim…..
Amber about to start her 100 meter swim…..
Amber getting started on her bike….
Needless to say, it was once again amazing to be able to watch the girls achieve their goals.  Amber swam 100 meters, biked 3 miles, and then ran a mile with me!
Abbey swam 300 meters, and then was supposed to bike 10 miles….but by accident, did the course twice.  Ooops!  We think she biked 15 to 20 miles.  It didn’t matter though, because once she received her finisher’s medal, she was all smiles!
Great job to all three of my Girlies….daddy and I are so proud of the strong and healthy young women you are becoming! 
We love you!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake

This blog post is going to be about a dessert….one of my favs, in fact.  But first I have to mention something about hair….my hair, in fact.  ( Am I allowed to use “in fact” like that in a sentence?) 

I have fairly curly hair.  Back in the day when I was a cosmetologist, people used to want a perm just like mine….but mine wasn’t a perm.  It was totally cool in the 90’s to have big curly hair like mine.  But now it’s just a mess.  Here’s a picture of me and my hair in Hawaii.
Sometimes I try and straighten my hair.  It’s pretty cool when I do that, but it takes me about an hour and that makes me crazy.

Mostly I just throw it up in a messy pony.  Like this morning, when my husband and I took the dog for a walk and I was thinking it looked pretty good…..ponytail with loose curly tendrils gently blowing in the breeze.  My husband even commented, “Nice hair.”  Evidently, I missed the sarcasm in his voice because when I looked in the mirror when I got home, this is what I witnessed……

Looks like I need a cup of coffee and some of the Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake that I made last night, for breakfast.

Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake
TGFPD (That’s Thank Goodness for PaulaDeen)


1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix 
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 
3 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cake, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  Pat the mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan. 

Prepare filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.  
Making a bad hair day blog post at a time.  Enjoy!

Linking up with:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Autumn Risotto with Chicken and Cranberries

The air is beginning to get a little bit cooler here in Japan……less humid.  I can’t wait to take the girlies down to the Tama River and get another great photo like this one…..

Or this one....

What is wrong with my family?

This weekend though, we have a swim meet (GO STINGRAYS!) and another typhoon headed straight towards us.  So, no autumn walks along the river for us.  I think I am just going to have to hunker down and bake….or cook…..or bake.

This recipe is simply perfect for fall.  Savory with a hint of sweet… and creamy with a nutty crunch. 

Autumn Risotto with Chicken and Cranberries
(via my friend Anna and Pampered Chef)

For this recipe you may very well need a Pampered Chef Deep Covered baker.  You can order one HERE.  It is made entirely within the Baker in the microwave.  I suppose you could finagle a way to do it in the oven, but why?  Just get one!  You will love it, I promise!

1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups hot water
1 med. Onion
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 ¾ cups chicken stock
¾ cups dry white wine
½ tsp each salt and pepper
½ cup blanched slivered almonds
2 stalks celery
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey breasts (I use a pre-cooked deli chicken)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Combine cranberries and hot water in a small bowl; set aside.  Coarsely chop onion and combine with rice and oil in the Deep Covered Baker.  Microwave uncovered on HIGH for 2 to 4 minutes or until onion is translucent.  Add stock, wine, salt and black pepper; microwave covered, on HIGH for 13 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Meanwhile, toast almonds in a pan, stirring frequently until golden brown.  Slice celery into small crescents.  Cut cream cheese into cubes.  Drain cranberries in a strainer.  Carefully remove baker from microwave and add chicken and celery; stir.  Microwave covered on high for 3 to 8 minutes or until rice is and risotto appears creamy.

Carefully remove baker from microwave.  Add cream cheese and almonds; stir until cheese is fully incorporated.  Fold in cranberries.  Garnish with parsley if desired.

Monday, September 3, 2012

How'd I Do That????

So I was riding in the van with the hubs and I saw a VERY cool cloud.  And sometimes you see people take super awesome cloud pics, right?  So, while we were moving I attempted the shot, right through the window.  This is what I got…..

A Wizard of Oz type shot with the cloud, the side of the road, and the reflection of a building, a car driving by, and the clouds, on the OTHER side of the street.

I know.  I am pretty awesome.

Except then we went to the bowling alley and I bowled a 69.
How does a person even do that?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School 2012

The girls just headed off to the first day of school this morning.  Curly hair, the perfect outfits, and heavy backpacks.

My baby Amber isn’t really this old…is she?

Since when did my sweet Allie girls start caring about what her hair looks like?

Is Abbey wearing my black tank top?

Usually I am ready for school to start, but this year the summer went too fast.  Or could it be that my girls are just growing up Waaay too quickly?

As I MADE them turn around for one last picture I couldn’t help but think, I can’t wait till they come home.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dead Crabs and What Not

It’s a busy busy life at our house these days.  We have been babysitting a guinea pig, eating donuts, and cooking with wine.

And don’t forget the golfing, complete with new golf shoes and a new golf skirt for myself. 

Golfing is all about fashion.  Just ask my husband and his Gorton’s fisherman hat.

Abbey got her braces this week.

Allie is growing out her hair.

Amber made a dinosaur out of clay, tape, and tinfoil.

Actually, Amber had a rough week.  Moo Moo the hermit crab passed out of this world and she had a little funeral.

As for me, I had a girls night out with my culture club and took pictures of sake, beer, and the sink in the bathroom.  Don’t ask me why.

In just two days it is off to America I fly without the kiddos and the husband.  It’s been two years since I have stepped into a Target.  I am peeing my pants with excitement!

What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July and Cooler Stuff

I am love, love, LOVIN’,  my camera phone.  Just having it with me all the time and being able to take pictures of whatever is soooo fun!  My girls tell me, “Mom, that’s so random.”  It doesn’t matter.  I totally fascinate myself.  For instance, I found a butt chair at a thrift shop.  Who could resist a picture like this?

Then I found some aliens outside of a gift shop.  I think they have been married for a long time.  Aren’t they sweet?

Seriously though, I am just having fun documenting our family during day to day life.  Abbey and Amber finished two weeks of dance camp.  I think my baby Amber looks so grown up in this picture it makes me want to hyperventilate.

All three girls finished their golf clinic with Kyoko…..the most fabulous coach!

We had great 4th of July…..complete with patriotic crackle nails.

Amber and Allie each entered a contest that had them building boats out of cardboard and racing across the pool.  Amber and her friend Audrey, made it safely across!

Allie’s team…. didn't fare quiet as well!

Brian and I took Abbey to the golf course for some Goofy golf…

You could only use two clubs and had to tee off with only a putter.   I think we all know who was the goofiest.

We ended the day with a fun barbeque with friends and fireworks.  We love that we can celebrate America even though we are so far away!  Amber said it best and wrote it on her cardboard boat….. “God bless America the beautiful!”