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2007 November » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

Our favourite food

12th November 2007

Our favourite food

Several years ago, when I was having a hard time making up a menu of meals for the week, I asked Handsome to write down a list of the favourite meals that I made. He quickly jotted down the following meals. Since then he will occasionally tell me after eating a particularly good meal that we must add it to the list! So I do. It makes meal planning so much easier. And these dishes have become staples in our home.

blueberry muffins

caramel popcorn

brownies

grilled veg sandwiches

beefy mac

lasagna

spinach salad

chinese chicken salad

pizza

chicken enchiladas

pork chops

cous cous salad

bean and feta salad

chicken satay

lamb burgers

quesadillas

baileys chocolate cheesecake

chicken and galangal soup

garlic pork

chicken and cashew stir fry

meatloaf

taco rice

sloppy joes

roast chicken

french toast

pancakes

tuna casserole

pumpkin and roasted garlic risotto

smoked chicken and avocado pasta

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

12th November 2007

Growing by leaps and bounds

It would appear that the children in my family have the audacity to grow! Sheesh.

Over the last few weeks I have been in the process of sorting out their clothes, determining what actually fits, what doesn’t fit but is worth saving for a smaller sibling, and what isn’t going to be worn again by anyone in our family and therefore needs to be disposed of in one way or another.

The crazy thing is that I did this just before we moved to America, just three months ago. Of course I expect the baby to grow, since that’s what babies do. He’s basically in 12 months size clothes now. And the two year old I would expect to some degree, but it would appear that both the two year old and the four year old have both grown considerably in just a matter of weeks. Our girls are still on the short side of the bell curve, but they are getting taller.

And their feet!! I looked down at the feet of my four year old who has been wearing the same size socks for a year and I realised that they don’t actually fit her anymore, she just keeps wearing them because that’s all she has. And I recently had to get new sneakers for both of the girls (at great cost, I might add, because of a wide-foot issue). It seems like every time I turn around they’re outgrowing something.

I know that children tend to do this (grow, that is). It’s how God designed them. But it’s coming as a bit of a shock to have so much growing happening at one time. We are so blessed to have hand-me-downs waiting so when we need something, like shirts, jackets, pants, dresses, we just go into the appropriate box and find what we need. I’m so grateful for God’s provision this way. Just this morning a new friend brought us a bag of beautiful girl clothes that her daughter had outgrown. And instead of trying to sell our used clothes, I like to pass them on to someone else that can use them.

Another side effect of all this growing is all the eating! I’ve noticed that the same amount of food that I’ve always cooked just isn’t going as far anymore. And now that Little Boy is starting to eat some table food, it’s stretching even less. I’ll be interested to see if my grocery spending goes up.

And that’s the end of this blog post.

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

7th November 2007

Disneyland will have one extra princess tomorrow

My oldest daughter, newly-turned four year old, is going to have the surprise of her life tomorrow.

Tomorrow, she is going to Disneyland with her Grandma and Grandpa. We, of course, haven’t told her because we wanted her to sleep well tonight.

Ever since we went last year while on a visit to the States she has been asking us when we will go again. When we told her we were moving to America she asked us when we were going to Disneyland. And on average she asks about once a week. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland you understand that you have to either sell a lot of internal organs or put a second mortgage on your house in order to afford a trip for a family of five.  It is definitely expensive. But, oh man, the memories.

We still watch the video Handsome made of our two days at the land of the Big Mouse. The kids love it. We love it. I can’t wait to take them again.

But until then I’ll live vicariously through my four year old, who come this time tomorrow night will probably be bouncing off the walls of the hotel room because Grandpa couldn’t resist and bought her cotton candy.

Sweet dreams, Mom and Dad ;)

posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

7th November 2007

Motivated Moms

I’ve written this post a few different times, doing lots of editing, but I can’t seem to write it without sounding greedy. So I’ll just give some hints and see if anyone figures it out.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…

Away in the manger, no room for a bed…

Check out motivatedmoms.com. They have a fulldayperpage planner that is GREAT!

Hint, hint.

And if my husband is reading, it’s well within our set budget. You know, just in case you know someone that might like it ;)

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

7th November 2007

Wacky weather

I just checked the current weather here in sunny California and, at 1:45 pm, it was 76 degrees. 76 degrees!! What is that in Celsius… ummm…that’s 24C. That’s practically a New Zealand summer!

This seems to be unusually warm for this time of year but maybe it’s just that I’m used to chillier weather at this point in the autumn season. A friend in Michigan emailed yesterday to say that they had snow!

I jokingly say that we don’t really have an autumn here. The leaves just get tired and fall off the trees.

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

7th November 2007

need Thanksgiving ideas!

Okay, American readers, I need some help.

Thanksgiving is two weeks from tomorrow and I want to start some Thanksgiving traditions in the time leading up to the day.

Any ideas? What does your family do? Any websites for me to visit?

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

5th November 2007

home cookin’

We had time change over the weekend, so it gets dark at around 5 pm. These kind of days require some home cookin’. And seeing as I’ve been homesick for New Zealand, I made a pot of pumpkin soup and homemade bread rolls. It definitely hit the spot.

(BLH: I used whole wheat flour, so I’m okay ;) )

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

3rd November 2007

so that’s how you get comments

By the way, it appears that the best way to get readers to comment is to tell sob stories about my children’s antics. My post about sitting on my little girl got the most comments I think for any post I’ve ever written! :)

posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

3rd November 2007

Pouring buckets, part II

So after we got the shoes, I told my Mom to take the baby and I’d take the girls to the candy shop for a treat. After all, it’s already been two days since Halloween. Surely they need some more candy.

While we were in the candy shop, I was talking with the shopkeeper and she said “Oh look, someone threw up.” I was like, huh? I looked down and saw that Cutie had spewed. It wasn’t too bad really. I got a towel and cleaned up the floor as well as Cutie. We picked out our candy and walked over to where my mom was waiting. I remembered that Cutie sometimes throws up when she’s really tired. It’s happened a few times. We continue our shopping for a few minutes. I was inside the Gap, while my mom waited outside with the kids, when I heard Precious yelling my name “Mummy! Mummy!” She was running through the large store trying to find me. I asked her what was happening and she said “Cutie threw up! Grandma says to come quick.”

Friends, that was the end of any hope for a good trip. She spewed twice all over herself and the double stroller. Then she spewed in the carseat as we went back to the hotel and she proceeded to puke all night long. Couldn’t keep a thing down. She tossed and turned all night long, waking to cry and not wanting me to go farther than two inches from her. I think she finally konked out about 3 or 4am.

When morning came we made the decision to skip the planned birthday party and just head home. Although I don’t think she had the flu or any other virus, just in case I didn’t want to give it to a room full of toddlers. We let the kids sleep as long as possible so we finally got around and out the door about 9:30. At some point in the trip, Cutie got the hiccups and you guessed it, she puked again. Her stomach is obviously very sensitive.

So we got home and she was happy as Larry, although she didn’t eat much for dinner even though I made scrambled eggs which are one of her favourites.

Oh, one thing I’m very grateful is that my mom thinks of every possible contingency and had packed clothes for the kids, in addition to what I had packed. I always bring one more outfit than necessary for the kids and we used every single shirt that we had for Cutie and Precious.

I’m a bit slap happy at the moment, so i can’t think of a clever ending, so I’m just going to stop writing now.

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

3rd November 2007

When it rains…

… it absolutely buckets down. I feel like I’m a cartoon character walking around with a rain cloud over my head. Who was that? Was it someone in Charlie Brown? Anyway, I must tell you about what has happened in the last 36 hours.

For several weeks I have been planning to take the three kids and travel with my mom to a place north of San Francisco, quite a distance from where we live. (I’m trying to be vague enough that some weirdo can’t figure out where I live by random bits of information I might post.) A long time friend of mine has a little girl that turned four and we were invited to the party, which was today. Mom and I decided to go on Friday and do some shopping at an outlet mall somewhat nearby. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for the trip and how to occupy the three kids and keep them happy during shopping as well.

The trip itself was a lot longer than we would have liked, what with potty stops and everything. But we arrived at the hotel where my mom was wise enough to have reserved two connecting rooms so we would have more room. And thanks to the hospitality of the Marriott hotels we enjoyed our rooms. Of course we had no idea we’d be spending quite so much time inside the rooms as we did.

The girls did not have naps, although I desperately tried to get them to sleep. After I realised that they weren’t going to sleep, I decided we’d go ahead and do some shopping, have an early dinner and get them to bed. We first went to Osh Kosh and despite the 50% off sale and my additional coupon stuff was still too expensive for my taste. Then we went to Carter’s where I find quite a few things for Little Boy and so that was successful. I wanted to get a super cute pink dress for Precious, but my mom reminded me that I already said she didn’t need anything, including dresses. So I passed.

Next stop was Stride Rite. Now, I’m not normally one to buy expensive shoes for small people who grow at the rate of weeds. What’s the point? But it turns out that my second daughter has very wide feet. I have tried to find sneakers for her and gum boots and all kinds of shoes but with no luck. Because of her wide foot she didn’t start wearing shoes until the autumn after she started walking, which was just earlier this year (in New Zealand, where autumn begins in March). We had a pair of sandals that were handed down to us with barely any wear and Precious wore them just a few times and I saved them for Cutie.  Knowing that we were moving to America, I just kept her sandals and eventually she wore them with socks when it started getting cold.

When we arrived here in America I took her to Target to try to find some sneakers and couldn’t find anything that fit. We tried Payless Shoes and that didn’t work either. Everyone kept saying that her feet were really wide. So I sucked it up and decided to go to Stride Rite.

So, we’re in Stride Rite and Precious is showing me all the pink sparkly shoes that she likes, none of which are on sale, and Cutie is running around the store, singing and carrying on, rejoicing in the no-sleep day. Little Boy is starting to get worked up because he’s tired, too. Finally I looked at my mom and told her to forget it, I’ll have to try to take the kids one at a time to get shoes when we’re at home. When that would happen I have no idea, but I just didn’t have the emotional energy to take it. I realise it sounds like I’m a wimp, but after the few days I’d had (read previous post) and the long trip, I just couldn’t take it. Mom told me to take Little Boy outside and she’d take care of it.

I escaped as quickly as I could and went looking at some other shops. When I came back, Mom was paying for the shoes and the girls were happily playing, new shoes in place on their feet. And they were only $20 a pair! I realise that’s a lot of money. I know. But they’re regularly nearly $40 and that’s kind of what I was expecting to pay.

Let’s pray that the new sneakers last until spring. If I should only be so lucky.

***I was just about to finish this post and publish it when I realised that I didn’t tell the rest of the story! Buying shoes wasn’t the horrible thing that I was going to write about. I got carried away. I’ll write another post.

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