Friday, August 29, 2008

Odds and Ends

I finally have my computer back! Thank you hubby! It's amazing how dependent we become on the internet and our computers, I was seconds away from crawling into the fetal position and sucking my thumb, but then Darren fixed my computer! So sweet. I knew him being a computer geek would come in handy once in a while! :) love you honey! Any way, here are some "odds and ends" of us lately, nothing important, just us!

So here is Ethan "helping" dad mow our Humongous back yard! Can you believe how huge this property is to mow? Hey, we're thankful for what we got! It's a yard right? Moving from an apartment to any patch of lawn we can call ours is great! :) ha ha.





Here's Ethan my 7 year old who is growing way too fast!


Here is my silly red headed cutie Ashton! He is hilarious and a joy to have around!


And here is Lily my little girl who I treasure!


And all three of our little crew.


Here is our dog Yoda. Guess what he's gonna be for halloween? :)


And here's our 11 year old cat Truffle. She loves trying to catch squirrels in the back yard.
Ta Ta for now! Hope everyone enjoys their weekend! ;)
p.s. I'm almost through my first trimester and I'm finally starting to feel better. I tell ya, the first trimester is enough to kill anyone! Phew!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spicy Orange Chicken Lo-Mein

Hey All, I haven't posted in a while cause the computer I use is down. (Hopefully Darren will be able to fix it tonight). But any way, I cooked this the other day and it was really yummy. Even the kids ate it up, despite it being a little spicy. Enjoy!
Spicy Orange Chicken Lo-Mein

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 cup frozen orance juice concentrate, thawed, plus 1/4 cup, thawed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger
8 ounces lo mein noodles (or thin spaghetti will do)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup prepared oyster sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 pound snowpeas, cleaned
4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced

*In a bowl or baking dish, toss chicken with 1 cup orange juice concentrate, cornstarch, chili garlic sauce, and ginger. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and hold in a bowl of cold water.
Remove chicken from refrigerator and drain into a colander; discard marinade.
In a large skillet, combine chicken stock, remaining 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, and oyster sauce. Cook sauce over medium-high heat until liquids reduce and sauce is thick, about 5 to 10 minutes.
While sauce is reducing, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add red pepper, peas, mushrooms, and green onions. Saute until tender yet still crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat a non-stick wok or large skillet over high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and heat. Carefully drop 1/3 of the chicken into the wok and stir-fry so that all sides of the chicken get crispy. When the first 1/3 is fully cooked through, remove from pan and repeat with the remaining 2 portions.
Add all of the cooked chicken and sauteed vegetables to the skillet with the sauce and toss to combine.
Drain noodles and then add to pan with sauce. Stir to coat noodles with sauce. Transfer to a large serving platter.
~If your kids don't like spicy, just leave the chili garlic sauce out, but it is really yummy in there!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Video of Kids

While peaking out my window, I saw the kiddos playing on the van. I figured they couldn't damage it any more than it already was! ;) I took a quick video of them. This is mainly for our family who hasn't seen the kids in "real time" for a while.


p.s. turn off my music so you can hear the kids. Ciao!


video video



Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cat Hair and Carrots

A few days ago, I'm on the phone taking care of our "car problems" and I can hear Lily saying.... "Here's a snack! hold still". Now when I'm hearing this, I'm not thinking much of it cause for one, I'm on the phone with the car repair people and I can't check on her right then. Later that day I happen to be walking through the dining room and I see this un-sightly mess under the piano and when observing more closer I see piles of cat hair and carrots, thus taking me back to what I heard earlier. Apparently Lily thought our 10 year old cat Truffle needed a hair cut and gave her baby carrots to snack on while enjoying her salon experience. Too funny. I will spare you pics of my poor cat. She looks less than glamorous! :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oops!

You know you're pregnant when: changing your 2 year olds diaper makes you puke, coughing too hard makes you puke, laughing too hard makes you puke, crying after telling hubby good-bye makes you puke, brushing teeth makes you puke, cooking dinner makes you puke, eating dinner makes you puke. etc.... Okay, so maybe a little dramatic, but I am getting more sick than I have been. I was thinking I was lucky this time around, but it's slowly creeping up on me and it's getting worse. I'll keep pushing through.


Enough with that. Darren left Sunday for a month, (not too long, just the usual), but being pregnant gets my emotions running high and I was really sad when he left. I'm better now, I know time will go by fast. But the hard part is, is that he can't call me at all while he's gone!!! That makes it VERY HARD!!! It's one thing to not be able to talk with hubby while he was in boot-camp and we had no kids, but now that we have kids, it makes it really really hard. They don't understand why they can't talk with their Dad. He did leave a video message of himself to me and the kids, so that will help, but it's still hard.


Okay, enough with that. So remember the "crazy women driver's" posting? Well, I've done it again. A few days ago, I thought I'd take the kids on a picnic. I drive onto this "scenic path" and start into deep woods. It's starting to look like it's been abandoned for quite some time. It's dark and bumpy, with lots of sticks, and stuff. I'm starting to get that "not so good feeling". I try and find a place to turn around, but the road is really narrow and on both sides of the road is thick forest. Then we get to a dead end and we are stuck! I try and back up and I'm hearing scratching and all kinds of bad noises, then BOOM!!! To which Ethan yells "Are we dead?" I say no and can't help but laugh in my moment of misery. I get out and I hit a big tree, which I swear wasn't in my rear view mirror. So long story short I finally get out of that mess and I scratched the van up pretty bad, busted the passenger side mirror. Our van looks like I use it for Off-Roading. And during all this time it still has the spare tire on it. But I was bound and determined that my kids were gonna get a picnic! So, I found this R.V. park close that had picnic tables and I pulled in liked I owned the place and we sat down, ate, played on the play ground and left! But oh man, I was nervous to tell Darren about the van, but he was sympathetic with my pregnancy hormones! :) The next day he comes home from work and says, "so you didn't go any where today?" I then reply "what do you mean?" he says, "Well the van isn't destroyed any further." okay so I deserved that. I have been a crazy driver lately, like I'm right out of driver's ed! All the while my poor kids are in tow and my oldest thinks I'm an alcoholic! Any way, that's our wonderful drama as of lately. But it's all fun and we're alive! Here's some pics of the picnic and the wonderful scratch down the side of my van. Sorry for the long post!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chatting with my Brother!

Last night we used Skype to chat online with my brother Stewart and his family, mainly so Ethan could tell him thank you for his birthday present. Then I think we all got a little tired and silly. I happened to have my camera with me, so I started taking pics of them off my screen, and it was hilarious! Stewart and Shannon are probably going to kill me when I post this, but it was too funny not too! I love you guys and I love when we get silly together! I wish we were closer! Love you!



Monday, August 4, 2008

Ethan turns 7!

My first born son is 7! Where in the world has time gone? It still feels like yesterday that I brought that screaming little bundle home from the hospital! Now he is this tall, long, boy with long arms and legs that I can't quite cuddle all in with me on the couch. Now instead of asking me about something, he is telling me everything because he is "smarted than his parents." Time flys by so quickly. We had a good quiet family birthday today for him. His actual birthday is the 14th, but Darren will be deployed then so we did it now so Daddy could be here. I asked Ethan what kind of cake he wanted and his reply was: "I want a strawberry cake, with strawberry icing, with real strawberries on it, and strawberry ice cream. Oh and I want the writing to be blue so it doesn't look girly." So.... can you tell my son likes strawberries? Maybe just a little. :)



Then we opened his presents, his favorite was the 12' Indiana Jones toy my brother, his uncle Stewart got him. As you can see by his expression he was thrilled. It was hard trying to convince Lily that it wasn't her birthday this time. She thought it was her's all over again! :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Crazy Women Drivers!"

So Today we decide to run some errands and get out for a while. First we drop off library books, then drop Darren's car off for an oil change and check-up, then we decide to go see this old Coast Guard Museum. So I'm driving us to the museum (since Darren dropped off his car, he just hopped in the passenger side of the van, if any of you know Darren well, you'll know he doesn't like to ride with me when I'm driving). Okay, so I'm driving to this museum in an "uncharted" place of Virginia Beach that we haven't came across yet, and I maybe almost made us crash, but I still claim it wasn't my fault, but it just adds fuel to Darren's already very high burning fire that "women can't drive". So, after that drama we enjoy our afternoon, eat lunch and head back to pick up Darren's car and then go home. I drop him off and there is a drive through car wash right next to where we were, so I think, "hey this will be fun, the car is dirty and the kids love it". So we pull in and the green light says "go", as I'm pulling in foam is hitting my window, so I can hardly see, but I still can see that the light says go, so I keep going and going, till now I'm at the end of the stupid car wash, and I'm thinking, "that can't be all of it!" So I put the van (bus) in reverse and start going backwards, well then there are some bumps, scrapes, and screeches, and I realize I'm right up against the right side of the car wash and I'm running into all the pipes and stuff and the "terrain" doesn't feel too smooth either. So I drive forward again, and then straighten out and back up successfully and the light finally says "stop", so we get our thrilling car wash and head out. When I get out on the road, something doesn't feel right and it's getting worse and worse and now I'm feeling and hearing "thump thump thump". CRAP!!! I think I have a flat. I call Darren, I pull into this 7-11 that is close and I get out to look, I completely slashed the back right tire. and I mean slashed the poor thing and it is as flat as flat can be. So, then we have to find where the spare is. Why can't it be in a normal place???? We have to push up the front passenger seat, push back the middle seat, and use this tool to unscrew something on the floor which lowers the spare onto the ground from under the van. Who in the world invented this??? Do you actually think a "mom" driving a minivan would be able to work this contraption? If Darren wasn't here we'd still be at 7-11. Very long story short, we were hot, sweating, and couldn't get the last "nut" off the dumb tire. Finally I put the stupid crow bar thing on and jumped on it and it finally budged. I felt so proud! :) Any way, I'm grateful for having my hubby there to help and I officially admitted to him that women can't drive (or at least I can't)!
Women: Learn to change your tire, And,,,,, Locate your spare if you have a weird minivan like me! :) Night all!
oh, p.s. When Darren picked up his car, we found out it needs a new clutch! Just great! We only need several hundred to fix that! Love it!