Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 weekly menu: week 05

shrimp dumplings shaped like rabbits
this week the menu planning was easy.  things i didn't make last week + things that inspired me from a weekend of eating in san francisco = done.

in need of getting back to healthier eating.  but it's tough when you are surrounded by such amazing food.  it should settle down and now that i'm running i can eat whatever i want, right?

weekend eats:
saturday: fish and chips
sunday: torta adobada and chicken soup

making this week:
monday: orange mustard glazed pork chops, roasted potatoes, broccolini
tuesday: turkey pot pie
wednesday: crab and jalapeƱo burgers with grilled mango salsa
thursday: ricotta gnocchi with red tomato sauce
friday: homemade chinese food - i am going to try to recreate the string beans from dim sum

have a beautiful week.

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 weekly menu: week 04

the cutest mini donuts for the kids.
enjoying the day off with the kids and bobby.  working around the house and playing just dance 4.  so fun.

not thinking about menu planning today but it's got to get done, right?  busy, but exciting week here, so getting this off my mind helps.

weekend eats:
saturday: chinese take out
sunday: mexican take out

making this week:
monday: tomato soup and grilled cheese
tuesday: crunchy ahi tuna salad
wednesday: chicken pot pie
thursday: orange mustard glazed pork chops, roasted potatoes, broccolini
friday: eat out

hope you are enjoying this gorgeous day.

Friday, January 17, 2014

fiesta bowl parade

the day after christmas jordan and i boarded the tour buses at notre dame for the long ride to phoenix, arizona. i signed up at the beginning of the year to chaperone this trip thinking it would give me a good insight into the program and how trips are done.  but getting up early to get to school the day after christmas was not the brightest idea.

the buses were comfy but the ride was long.  we stopped a few times along the way bombarding the carl's jr in blythe with 120 orders of cheeseburgers and fries.  we made it safely to az and got to the hotel by 4 that afternoon.

we stayed at a hotel where all of the rooms faced the center courtyard.  that made it easy to keep an eye on students from anywhere.  in other words, it was tough to sneak out of your room after curfew without being seen.

this was the common area for eating, playing cards and gathering before heading out for the day. 

we had dinner at the hotel and let the kids settle in to their rooms for the night.  it's hard to get them to settle at all but eventually they did.

the staff and the band booster president did an amazing job planning this trip.  there was something to do every day but also time to chill at the hotel.  it wasn't always go, go, go.  and we got to see some cool stuff.

we visited the musical instrument museum in phoenix where we saw and learned about instruments from all over the world.

we had headphones that would activate as you stood by an exhibit so we could listen to the instruments being played by the people of the region.  i was in awe of the time, art, and creativity it takes to make some of these unique instruments and finding out the differences and similarities in music from all over the world.

it was a cultural trip around the world.

here's an exhibit i would have passed up before this year.  now i have an appreciation and understanding for this genre.

some cool memorabilia.

after the museum the kids went to a local high school to practice and march.  the weather was perfect, a nice change from the cold in california.

a few of the kids came down with a stomach bug that was either the flu or a reaction to the eggs from breakfast.  we took those kids back to the hotel to rest.  we were all concerned that it would spread to others and we would end up with half the band in bed for the parade.  luckily it passed quickly and did not spread.

when the kids returned to the hotel they got their parade uniforms ready for the next day.  we did some steaming, adjusted hems and checked shoes.  i love the pride that the band puts into looking good.  every detail is important and that's what makes them impressive.

for dinner they took us to a restaurant that overlooked the city.  it was a barbecue place with so much good food.  we never went hungry on this trip and we were treated very well.

i tried to give jordan his space during the trip.  he had his own chaperone and didn't have to report to me.  but every once in a while i would stop him to say hello and snap a picture of him with his band mates.  he's made some good friendships in this group.

the next morning was all about parade.  this was the biggest event that jordan or i had participated in.  seeing all of the other bands in the staging area was overwhelming and exciting.

his last time wearing this uniform as a freshman.  and he looks great. (they have a parade uniform, a football uniform and an away game warm up suit, as well as various band t-shirts.)

the michigan cheerleaders and band were right behind us in the staging area.

once we were on the route it was like any other parade, except with a lot more spectators.  the kids marched for almost 3 miles.  tiring for everyone involved but especially the drumline that never stopped.  by the end they were sweaty and exhausted - but they sounded amazing.

this group followed us along the route and you can imagine the cheers and jeers they got along the way.

the parade took longer than anticipated and we had reservations for lunch right after.  the kids rushed back to the hotel to change and jump on the bus to mesa.  we had lunch at organ stop pizza.  it's a pizza place with a large organ that one guy plays.  he can also play the drums, strings and give a light show from where he sits.  the kids loved it.

after lunch it was back to the hotel for a little rest and then we got ready for the football game.

our school was invited to the buffalo wild wings bowl that was held at arizona state university.  the game was between michigan and kansas state.

i had never been to a live football game, so this was exciting for me.  we sat next to the k-state band and a very enthusiastic (and inebriated) group of college students.  there was some confusion when they saw the notre dame logo on our shirts.  we did some explaining that we were not the university and that calmed their temper.

it was a learning experience for the kids as well, especially the seniors who will be heading to college next year.  at first they were intimidated by the cheering and chanting but by the end of the night the kids were joining in; doing the dances and yelling out just like everyone else.  and the k-state victory made it more memorable.

the next morning we got to sleep in and then had breakfast at the hotel. our field trip this day was to the kiwanis club for some fun.

 the facility had a gym, basketball courts, outdoor volleyball courts and a wave pool.

not sure how exciting that is for a group of teenagers from california but they went with it and had a good time.

that evening they held the parade awards ceremony at rawhide ranch, an old west town.
 the 10 participating bands gathered here for dinner and announcements.

it was a party with kids from all over the country with bbq and line dancing.  as they called the names of participating high schools we knew the competition would be tough. they call them in the order of their point totals so when we were not one of the schools called we knew we'd placed in the top three.

and the kids took home a second place plaque.  what a way to end the trip.

at the end of the day the kids were happy but ready to go home.

and so were the chaperones.

we travelled back to california the next day with some cool memories to share.

here's a clip from the local telecast of the parade.  skip ahead to 1:13 to see them.

add this to the list of memorable band experiences.  i'm sure there's a lot more to come.

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 weekly menu: week 02

new kitchen towels make me happy.
is it friday yet?

we had a great weekend but we are all so tired.  getting up this morning after spending the day at disneyland yesterday was not a pretty sight. (it didn't help that i got home at 10 and then started watching the golden globes). but we had a great time, so it was worth it.

short week for the younger ones, nice weather, everyone's healthy (knock on wood).  keeping things relatively calm this week.  we'll see how long that lasts.

weekend eats:
saturday: pizza and salad
sunday: dinner at disneyland

making this week:
monday:  turkey lettuce wraps, brown rice
tuesday: minestrone soup, french bread
wednesday: shrimp with zucchini and tomatoes, whole wheat pasta
thursday: couscous with chicken and vegetables
friday: pizza? or something

hoping to make it through the day without falling asleep.  better keep myself busy.

Friday, January 10, 2014

a christmas recap

if you look back at my december blog posts it's pretty pathetic.  was it because there wasn't anything to share?  heck no.  it was because there was no time to share it.  and in a way, that's ok with me.  i was busy living life, and yes, trying to survive the craziness.  but it was about being in the moment and living it.

one thing i have come to realize, especially with the recent loss of computers and pictures, is that this blog helps me remember and document our story.  i often find myself looking through this blog to answer questions like, what did we do last christmas? or how old was andrew when...? or what did i make for dinner last month?  it's our life on paper (or computer screen.)

and it's great that i get to share it with those of you that come by to read. so thanks.

i am once again recommitting to posting here regularly, and by regularly i mean 3 times a week. if i can do more i will but i am also aware that quality beats out quantity and that's what i'm aiming for, meaningful posts.

we did have a busy december and i wanted to recap in pictures and short description what our december 2013 looked like.

now if you are saying to yourself, christmas was so last year, you're right.  but we still have our (artificial) christmas tree up so it's still the season at our house.  at least until tomorrow.

so read on friends.

december starts here with bobby's birthday.  i love that we get to celebrate a birthday at the beginning of the month and we get to end the month with another birthday at our house.  cake, tacos, rice, the usual.  gifts, love and happiness made it special.

the notre dame band marched in the granada hills parade.  what made this extra special is that this is our neighborhood.  we walk to this parade every year and see the floats and people go by.  it was so much fun to walk the parade route with the band and see many familiar faces along the way.

for sofia's class my mom and i made tamales to show a tradition that we celebrate during the holidays.  i love that it's become a tradition for my mom and i to make these for school.  my mom does most of the work but i love this time shared with her that i know i will share with sofia someday.

the kids holiday performance was great.  the songs are always so fun and festive and it gets better every year thanks to our amazing music director.

i tried hard to keep up with my mile a day this year but it was not meant to be.  i think i made it to day 17 or 18 and then i got sick and busy and the weather was not perfect!  i start training later this month so i better get up to speed fast or i'm in trouble.

bobby and i got away to palm springs for the weekend.  not always the best time to go away but it was so relaxing and kind of perfect.  bobby is a guest lecturer for a screenwriting masters program and they invite him back every year.  i tag along and go shopping or hang out in the room and then we get to go to dinner or the movies or a party at night.

we ate at a pizza place one night and had these buttery gnocchis that i'm still thinking about.

brockett annual cookie bake was a blast.  the adults bake and the kids decorate and then everyone eats.  always new recipes, always lots of people, and one of the best things we do in december.

the pto held its annual holiday boutique where the kids get to go shopping for gifts for their families.  it's a crazy two days but it's so much fun to see the kids picking out gifts for their parents, siblings and pets.  especially the little ones who really just want to buy something for themselves.  this is a great event.

my friend jennifer and i took a class at chez cherie again.  this time it was all about holiday appetizers.  these were simple, pretty and really good.

here's jen with her potato leek shooter.  lots of great ideas at this class.  looking forward to the next one.

we had a pot luck at our december pto meeting and someone brought in these gorgeous candies.  did i mention i gained a few pounds over the holiday?  

christmas cards were ordered at the beginning of the month and did not go in the mail until mid month.  it takes a lot of time to stuff, address and seal each one.  my dream is to handwrite each of the addresses with fancy lettering. i should start doing that now, right?  i think this was one of my favorite cards ever.

school holiday parties before the break.  it was nice to only have 2 to go to this year.  not as much running around for me.  loved the creative parties and seeing the kids hanging out with their friends.  

we are lucky that bobby also gets time off during the holidays.  we get to have breakfast at ihop and hang out together for two weeks.  

we went to a christmas party with friends.  we got to sing carols, sit by the fire and visit with people we haven't seen in a while. lovely.

the brockett christmas gathering is always a lot of fun.  hanging out with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids (and soon to be new little cousin) is a highlight for sure.  

we do elf on a shelf, sort of.  the first year sam came to our house, the kids freaked and didn't want him around.  last year they got used to him.  and this year we kind of forgot about him.  but every once in a while he would show up doing some silly things.

christmas eve meant a visit from santa at the grandparents' house, a tradition that we are restarting now that there are more little ones around.  it was fun to see them sitting on his lap and answering his questions.  looking forward to the tradition continuing.

then it was home for our christmas eve tradition; watching "love actually", enjoying a cocktail and waiting for santa to drop off the gifts.

christmas morning we were spoiled.  no grinch can ever take away our christmas spirit.

mimosas and chocolate croissants for breakfast at our house...

tamales, rice and salad for dinner at my parents' house.

we love giving gifts in unique packaging.  he really thought he was getting cereal from us.  (we put a t-shirt and movie in the box).

christmas selfie.

the very next day jordan and i were off to arizona for the fiesta bowl parade, a story for another post.

new year's eve was spent at my parents' house playing cards.  

then we went across the street to my brother's house for karaoke.  i love that everyone participated, some consuming more drinks than others.

and some really getting into it.  he has a history with karaoke and celine dion.  

and that bring us back to 2014 with so many new memories to make and write about.  thanks again for reading and sharing our story.