Receitas Internacionais

As most of you know, Bryan is gone every weeknight at school until 10:45ish. This makes me lonely and run down after wrestling with two active babies at different stages. I get exhausted just writing about it! So, what has been my latest escape? International cooking! So I started with what I knew best:

Brasilian Cuisine = YUMMY

I decided to make Brazil's national dish; feijoada (Fay-djo-WAda). Yummmmm! It is SO delicious, on the healthy side (protein galore), and oh so easy. Time consuming, but way easy.

Feijoada is pretty much a black bean stew with cuts of meat added into it. Add chopped onions and garlic, and you have the best black bean stew ever. It is traditionally served with white rice, chopped greens, and maybe some fruit on the side, and did I mention that this stuff is SO good!

Since Bryan was gone {:(}, I invited my dad to have dinner with me and the boys (mom was working at the temple that night). He knows how good this stuff is, because when they came to visit Brasil after my very long 18 months of service, a member family served it to them. My dad was hooked! That was one of two words he could pronounce in portuguese, and it's the only one he remembers! Needless to say, he came with boots on. Here's a great step-by-step (follow link) on how this deliciousness is made:

No, it is not Witches brew, I promise!

Cooking down, simmering together...
And here you have it! I know it doesn't look like much, but it really is so good. You have to try it to believe it. I ended up inviting over my dad, and my bro/SIL (Nate/Lisa/kids), and even her picky eater toddler LOVED IT! Lincoln couldn't get enough, either. I'm surprised I had enough for everyone!
And, since no Latin dish is complete without rice, here is the Brasi way to prepare rice.
Bryan was a little sad that he couldn't have his feijoada hot and fresh, so I told him I'd do it again when he was home (weekends). So... who wants to be fed? Andrews'? Bakers? Gimme a call and let's coordinate!


Fighting Eagles, Class of '98

My Ten year High School Reunion was on the 18th. What to say about it? It was held at The House of Blues, so I was wanted to go as I have never been there. We were in the Delta Room, which I think secretly doubles as the room where the San Diego Mafia performs their business affairs, like serious poker games and other organized crime stuff (minus the interrogation part). We were kid-you-not at sewer level (there was an ominous elevator that dumped us out there), in a huge open floor planned room with way too many clashing patterns/colors/themes. The music way WAY too loud (or maybe I'm just getting too old) for the room's lack of acoustics, and the venue was just too wrong for reacquainting one's self with former classmates!

Well, not a whole lot of people showed up. People I hung out with in HS, anyway. Oh but the whole football team was there! :) Bryan was bored to tears, the poor guy. My BFF didn't show, after she said she would and even went as far as coming to visit that weekend from the bay Area. The nerve of some people :)

It was interesting to see where people were in their lives. There were some who had done absolutely NOTHING with themselves but party, and it truly showed how shallow their lives were. Okay, make that about 90% of everyone who showed up. There were a few people that came whom I was excited to see again! The food was not that good. Mmmmmm, cold ribs, and a too-spicy, crazy jambalaya-type chicken dish. First of all, how do you mess up chicken? And in the second place, I take major issue with RIBS at a venue with no tables (or knives, for that matter). So I was holding out for dessert; maybe it would be better? {{drum roll, please...}}
A square of cheesecake.
Oh, PLEASE. I could whip up something much more gourmet-ish in 20 minutes, and all they could come up with was store-bought cheesecake? I was sorely disappointed!
Oh yeah: we parked at Horton Plaza because at $8 for 4 hours, it was the cheapest. I didn't foresee having to walk 4.5 blocks on uneven pavement in "look at my pretty feet" uncomfortable dress shoes (that's 4.5 blocks one way. In the snow. LOL). So I had blisters for a week to prove my attendance.
Maybe I should have graduated a year early. Or flunked a grade so I would graduate a year late. I never felt connected with my graduating class very much, and my blisters were a painful reminder of this. Neither of the two options are options any more, so I shall grace you with a few pictures.

Ten years ago...

I still hadn't discovered eyebrow pencil! :) That guy is my HS Sweetheart, Marc Walker. Awwwww! He now lives in (I think) the Bay Area. He is a HS Band Teacher (those of you who knew him would not be surprised in the least), and married a few years ago. Yeah, we were totaly Music Department geeks. But I guess that holds better clout than say, awkward computer geeks? Your guess is as good as mine!

As for whatever this drunken stupor should be called, here you go. I would not have willingly gone to a party like this ten ears ago, so why...? I guess let's let bygones be bygones!

I can't elaborate enough on how frustrated the photographer was because NO ONE would take direction from her! She was trying to get everyone to move to one side (this is where the too-loud music plays in) so she could get everyone in the shot. Either people were too inebriated to care, or they couldn't hear or SEE her trying to corral them into one place! It was a rough night for her.

This one turned out the best out of 10 pictures that Bryan took. Notice that half aren't even looking, and the other half aren't looking in the right direction. Geeze, Lincoln can take better direction!

I have much more to complain about, but needless to say, complaining gives me wrinkles! :) So Bryan and I just ended up getting In-N-Out after leaving early. The GOOD things that happened that night:

1.Bryan and I FINALLY got to go on a real live date! They are few and far in-between these days.
2.I got to dress up a bit and feel girly (sans dirty diapers, spit-up, and food messes).
3.There were a choice few people that I did get to reconnect with, and we had a good time catching up.
4.The overstuffed sofas in the Mafia room were absolutely divine.
5.We caught a snippet of a local Blues Band performance on the upper level, and they were pretty darn good! Who knew that a middle aged Asian man would have such a GREAT Blues voice? :)
6.Bryan and I went to Sweet Factory to validate or parking ticket, and it felt like we were dating all over again. No kids, no responsibility, no bills... :)
7.I knew that my kids were in great hands. Thanks, Sam!
8.Our In-N-Out was especially delicious.

Way to go, San Pasqual Eagles Alumni, class of 98! You are 10 years older. Woo hoo!


Happy Birthday Lincoln!

Two years ago today I was biding my time until you would come to greet us. It took about 45 hours of labor for you to make up your mind, but that no longer matters. Today you are TWO!!! I honestly can not believe that you are two already. People didn't lie when they say it goes by fast.

You were born at 5:45pm, and very upset that you left your nice warm abode! Within half an hour after you were born, you were completely bright eyed and curious about everything; staring straight into your family's eyes, looking around as much as possible. And you have not stopped wondering about EVERYTHING since!
You were such an easy going easy to love baby. You still are! As soon as you could physically do it, you smiled cute little grins and flirted with the ladies. Your funny faces are something to see, even as a newborn!
About a week after you were born, Your daddy and mommy hosted a Halloween party (we had no idea how crazy that really was to do that, considering there was no recovery time and planning parties are always stressful for me; we didn't know any better!). We went as Han Solo, Princess Leia, and you were the ever so wise Yoda. You were swimming in your newborn costume, you were still so tiny! But you didn't care much, as you slept the entire time.
You are so fun and frustrating to have around, because you are just so dang smart! It is infuriating but really awesome at the same time; I don't worry so much about you because I show you how to do something once (twice on a cranky day), and you know how to do it. Our Apartment has to be locked up like Fort Knox or you would escape through the front door or through the windows (like you have several times before). And you are fast and quiet, a triple threat!

You are adventurous; you already love sports and balls of all kinds. And your guns! Your uncle Nate and Governor Sarah Palin are so proud...
You don't mind when I dress you up. In fact, you actually love it. You love having your hair spiked (you ask for it every morning), and you love all of mom's girly shoes. Ok, you like dad's shoes, too. But it's so dang funny when you are running around with my heels on. You can run in heels better than any woman I know!

I love that you love books; you can't get enough reading time.

I love that you are helpful.

I love that you are brave.

I love that you are kind (most of the time) to your brother, and you always want to kiss him goodnight.
I love that you are so smart and communicative with your words.
(I don't have a picture for his communicativeness.)
I love that you sing along with me and with Sesame Street.
(Don't have a picture for that one, either!)

I love that you idolize your daddy and want to be just like him.

Happy Birthday Linky-dink!
Hugs and Kisses
from mama & daddy! MWAH!


My list is 53% complete...

I saw this and HAD to do it! After posting and reading stuff that's really serious, I thought I'd inject something a little silly. Consider it a tag if you want!

I've done all the things in bold, and I particularly want to do all the things in red.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (you can't do this anymore as of 9/11/01, so I guess it should be crossed off this list?)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (once upon a time...)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day


And the war begins...

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones..."
Matthew 18:10

Please share this video with your family and friends, and have them pass it along, too. The fundamentals of our society is at stake. If Prop 8 fails to pass, this very well will happen in our state.


Cheap Thrills

Last week, Bryan and I took the kids to ride the sprinter. It was an adventure! The weather had just started turning cold at night, so we had to bundle up our babies quite well! We left around 6:30pm, thinking that a quick walk would take us to the nearest train station (CSUSM). Ummm, not so! We ended up going through the campus, but got turned around and ended up in a dorm area, so we had to turn back, re-set our course, and 45 minutes later, we made it!
The sprinter was pretty cool; Lincoln was just so giddy with excitement that he was actually going to ride the TRAIN! And Orion, well, he couldn't have cared less. :)
When we ended up on the sprinter, it was quite dusk and getting darker by the minute! Lincoln had fun looking out the huge windows and pointing out the cars, people, lights, etc. I was really impressed by the smoothness of the ride, and how quiet everything was! Definitely NOT like South American trains - ugh! Now that's a post all in itself... haha. Bryan liked that we were able to actually do something different together as a family and he was able to come (besides being in school away from us). Orion just liked all the attention from other train-goers. Oh, and he got lots, let me tell you!
Things I would do differently next time:
1. Go earlier in the day
2. Take a car to the station!

All in all, it was quite fun and I recommend it for a fun cheap thrill! For all you guys and gals out there with young kids; your babes under 6 are free! (4$ per adult for an all day pass)


I need a refrigerator lock!

Lincoln has always had this amazing capability to figure out child safety locks. Just this morning I found him in the nick of time, right before he was going to swallow one of my prescription antibiotics that he figured out how to open! Anyway, I have a constant battle with him and the refrigerator; I haven't found a lock that he hasn't bested. This is what I found him with recently...

At first, I couldn't figure out what he had, he'd opened the fridge so stealthily (he's really good at those covert operations)...
Then, I just couldn't believe it. CHEESE!!! First of all, he loves cheese. He asks for it every time he eats. But it is not easy to get to in our fridge for an almost 2 year old (or so I thought).
Needless to say, he wasn't regular for a few days... look at the size of the block of cheese!
My Lincoln is so crazy! When Bry is out of school, we are taking a long vacation without kids!!!

Bryan finally got his way...

We mounted our TV to the wall!

It. Looks. AWESOME! I was resistent to the whole idea, thinking that it would look too antiseptic, like the 'model home, no one lives here' look. Not to mention the cords (I can't stand them!) But, I ate my words so fast after it was put up and we put the shelf up underneath it. It looks great! I honestly don't even notice the cords very much. And now -get this- I am totally motivated to keep things cleaner because it looks so dang good! Well, with Hurricane Lincoln, I can't really keep things super spic and span 24/7, but now I have a better motivation to try harder. The best part... it's too high for Lincoln to mess with anything, AND there is nothing for him to climb on! My living room isn't totally how I want it to look yet, but as far as the TV/XBox/Cable Box, I am so happy with the results.

(Above the TV is a cow Bryan made for me out of a toilet paper roll. You know, eight cow wife... Sentimental value... you should ask him about it!)

Now on to painting...



Okay, this is pretty much non-consequential, but annoying nonetheless! Does anyone out there understand HTML coding enough to know how to have my 'sidebar-wrapper' (that's where your history/links/pictures are) extend all the way down with my 'main-wrapper' (the part you write on)??? It is truly annoying; the part of my brain that feed off of symmetry is going a little bezerk! If anyone knows what part of my HTML I need to change, please... clue me in. As you can see in the posted time, it's keeping me up at night. :) THANKS!