Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Bucket Lists

I like to make lists.  Things to do, stuff I need, or maybe something like 101 goals I have.  I guess it makes me feel good to accomplish something and then check it off the list.  “Look what I did world!”, I can say….and then everyone thinks I’m awesome….or so I want to believe.

Lists work for me.  I accomplish things with them, and I feel good when I get things done.  It goes without saying then, that I think my three girlies should make lists too.  You know, have some goals…..get them done…..feel good about themselves.  So, we tried……

This is how you do it:

-Buy some nice, big, white, poster board.  A plain old piece of paper won’t do.  These bucket lists are a BIG DEAL.  Remember, this will be a, “Look what I did world!” moment for them.  It needs to be written on something nice and big.

-Buy the kids some new markers or crayons.  There is something about a new palette of markers that makes kids want to do their best.  What kid wants scummy old peely crayons that they have been using all year at school, when they can open a brand new box of shiny new markers?  It’s inspiring!

-Give them a lecture.  Tell your kids WHAT a bucket list is, WHY people want to make them, and HOW you are going to help them accomplish what they want to do this summer.  Help them make their goals reachable.  For example, you son may have one of his goals as, “I want to go to the moon this summer.”  Okay…..probably not going to happen.  But, you can visit a planetarium, stick glow in the dark planet stickers on his bedroom ceiling, go camping with a telescope…..ANYTHING.

-When their posters are finished stick them up in a visible area so you can look at them all the time.  A list doesn’t help much when you don’t look at it and remember, these are a BIG DEAL.  The kiddos will be happy to know that you think of their goals as important!

-Lastly, make a list for yourself.  Stay-at-home-mom……working mom…….whatever.  Can you come up with 10 things to accomplish by the time school starts?  I bet you can.

Here’s a little re-cap of our summer bucket list adventure!  I am so excited these turned out as well as they did.

Abbey is my artist and set her goals pretty high.  My favorites include, learning how to play a song on the guitar, making a fabulous new dessert (YUM), and taking a new picture every day and making a collage.

Allie’s goals were full of energy.  A few of them were things like, do 50 sit-ups a day, watch every single episode of MLP (My Little Pony), and pull an all-nighter. (Not sure what I think about that.)

Amber wrote hers all in cursive very carefully.  She wants to draw a cool picture and make a robot.  But my two favorite goals of hers were to be nice and have fun!

I hope my girlies really do have fun trying to check off goals from their summer bucket lists.  I think they just might!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grilled Garlic Butter Salmon

Really…..this is soooooo easy.  Hello summer grilling.

Line a grill basket with some foil, and lay some lemon slices inside the foil.
Lay about 12 to 16 ounces of salmon on top of the lemons.
Schmear the salmon with a mixture of butter and crushed garlic. 
I used about 1/3 cup butter and 3 or 4 garlic cloves.  Go ahead.  Butter it up good.  You will be glad you did because most of it’s slides off while grilling.

Lightly salt and pepper if desired.  Add sprigs of fresh rosemary or other seasonings.

Grill for about 7 to 9 minutes over low heat, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. 
Super easy and delish!

First Week of Summer....A Photo Re-cap

First full week of summer break for the girlies and I.  We are bachelorettes because Daddy is golfing in Guam and drinking gourmet espressos every morning.  Lucky duck.

We have been keeping busy though.  Android FINALLY has the Instagram app., so you can say I have went a little phone picture crazy.

Allie and I have golfed almost every day this week.  She pared a hole and it was a special moment.

Amber and Abbey are in dance camp.  Leave it to Amber to get a little crazy while practicing.

I was in charge of making centerpieces for a women’s conference at church.  I turned these……

Into these.  (Pretty crafty eh?)

On Wednesday, typhoon Guchol hit Japan.  We were ready.

The storm left us with cool skies…..

And some nasty bunkers at the golf course.

Now it’s time to sit on the porch and relax with my favorite glass of something…….

While listening to C-130’s take off and land.

What have you been doing this week?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We Have The Bestest Daddy!

It is typhoon season here in Japan.  Know what that means?  Rain.  Rain.  And more rain.  Oddly though, it is only enough rain to keep my kids inside all day, but not enough rain to keep my husband from golfing.  What’s up with that???

So yesterday, with the three girlies trapped inside and my husband out on the course, we got a bit crafty with paper, tape, markers, and stickers.

I HIGHLY recommend heading down to your local craft store and letting the kiddos pick out a pack of stickers….the nice 3D kind like Jolee’s Boutique, with a cute theme……and letting them create little masterpieces for Daddy.  Yes, it is probably more expensive than a Hallmark card, but it will be so unique and special.

Amber picked out a ‘farm themed set’.

“A treasure you find in the farm?”, she wrote.  “Unscramble this….aFhtre.”

Allie went with a tropical theme.  (I know.  We have brown carpet.  Gag.)

I LOVE the end of her poem…..And even though you’re obsessed with golf, And are on the course all the time, I still respect and love you, And golf isn’t a crime.  Bahahahaha.

Abbey did her card up fancy with a classy ‘theater’ themed card, telling daddy that she looks up to him and that he makes her proud.  I think he got a little choked up with this one.

Finally, not to be outdone by my girls, I actually made a golf bag with tape, a paper plate, and a poster board.  Yeah I did.

Complete with bubble gum golf clubs and a chocolate play book.

My husband’s wife is so awesome!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Crispy Bars

I am a firm believer in ‘Everything happens for a reason.’  Like that one time when I dated a guy for a year, then was engaged for a year, then called the wedding off six weeks before the knot was tied.  All that happened so I could get my almost-mother-in-law’s Banana Crème Pie recipe.  I’ll share that recipe with you all one day, but you should know that the drama and heartache of that relationship has been well well worth an occasional slice of that pie.

Today though, I want to tell you about another time.  The time we moved to Minnesota.
We left our Air Force life, eager for my husband to go into private practice. (He was a young strappy dentist.)  In a cute little small town, we bought our first house, and with our three incredibly young children, decided that this was the place that we were going to raise our young family.

I’ll just some up our experience in few words.  Mosquito bites, mortgage, Life Flight, mid-life crises, poop, snow shovels, small town gossip, and 100 proof Southern Comfort.  All this in temperatures well below freezing.

But there are always diamonds in the middle of the coal, right?  (Like I didn’t marry the one guy, but I got a much better one. Yay me!)  So despite our lack of enthusiasm for the weather and mosquitos, we met some great neighbors who wanted to drink all of our Southern Comfort be our friends.   They would set up huge neighborhood block parties to watch the Packers and Vikings play football.  There were hot dishes (Minnesotan for casserole) galore, and don’t cha know…..Crispy Bars.  Yes.  The very reason we lost our life’s savings and almost our minds, was for these. 

Crispy Bars
My friend Dorie told me, “Oh this is soooo easy.  Just remember cuppa, cuppa, cuppa,", and she was right.  This recipe has stayed in my head for years.  You will need 1 cup of Karo Syrup, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of peanut butter…..cuppa, cuppa, cuppa.  Melt these three ingredients in a saucepan on medium low heat until smooth.
  Pour this mixture over 6 cups of corn flakes and press into a buttered jelly roll pan.
Next, melt together one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and one bag of butterscotch chips in the microwave, stirring together until smooth.  Now pour this over the corn flake mixture and spread around until it is covered. 
Cut into small squares and serve when chocolate is set.
  (I usually end up putting mine in the fridge for about 30 minutes.)  Serves 24-36 depending on how small you cut them.

I’ll leave you with one more recipe.  A cuppa love, a cuppa detours in your path, and a cuppa God’s plan and not your own.  Mix together and you will get a sweet sweet journey.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Can't Get Enough of Those Stingrays!

We had our final swim meet of the year this past weekend.  All three girls and the Yokota Stingrays Swim Team did a fantastic job!  I love to watch my girlies work hard and reach their goals.

After a hard day of swimming I mixed up a batch of these yummy drinks for the family, and then we relaxed on the back porch.

Strawberry Limeade Slushies

It’s simple. Take one can frozen limeade, 1 can of Sprite, and 1 bag of frozen strawberries.  Blend it up.  Pour into sugar rimmed glasses.....wrote a post on that HERE!

Add a shot of rum if you are over 21.  Rum is yum!  Makes about 4 medium sized drinks.

And just in case you are interested……Abbey and Allie swim the 100 meter breaststroke and Abbey wins!

Then Amber does her 50 meter backstroke!

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