Mommy Reality Challenge: Broken

March 31, 2015

Leapfrog and Lipgloss
  This round of the Mommy reality challenge is to share something that's broken at my house.  There's so many things to choose from, how could I ever pick just one?!  Should I write about the knob on the back door, the paper towel holder, or the diaper pail? 

Just Right Cheese Soup

March 29, 2015

  It was Sunday night at dinner time and I had no idea what to make.  I didn't want to make a pizza from the freezer and the store was closed so I would have to use what was in the fridge.  It also needed to be kid-friendly since D had accidently made the jalapeno burgers for lunch (an honest mistake, since all burgers look the same when they're frozen).  Our troopers had eaten most of their lunches with the help of some milk and French fries but I thought they deserved something easy and just plain yummy for dinner.
  I began pulling things out of the fridge and freezer and gradually put together our dinner: cheese soup with broccoli and sausage.  I had no idea how it would really turn out since I cobbled the recipe together from several others but it was amazing!  Most cheese soups taste overwhelmingly cheesy to me, more like eating dip than soup, or the cheese separates from the sauce and it becomes grainy. This one had just the right cheese flavor and a perfect, smooth consistency.  D named it "Just Right Cheese Soup" and made me write down the recipe so that we can have it again.    I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did

High Five for Friday #5

March 26, 2015

  High five for Friday!  Another week is behind us and I can't believe how fast it's gone by.  This one was another good one, which we appreciate so much more after the hard ones we've had recently.  Here's some highlights from our week:


Auntie is visiting!  The reason for her visit, to finalize Uncle's paperwork with the company and collect his life insurance, isn't a happy one but we're so glad that she's here.  I can't believe how much I've missed her.  She has such an amazing sense of humor and we find ways to laugh about the hard things.  I'm so lucky to have this woman in my life.

The $4 Tooth

March 25, 2015

Look who lost her first tooth last night!  It's been loose for a while and she pulled just after bedtime last night.  She was so proud to show us her little tooth and her bloody smile.  For her, loosing this tooth makes her a big, big girl, something she's waited a long time for.  Sky has heard of the tooth fairy from her friends and asked us when she was going to come.  We told her the same thing we said about Santa- that D and I had told her that we would take care of it for our kids so that she could focus on the ones that needed her more.  D then offered to buy her tooth from her and asked how much she would sell it for.  She looked at her tooth, thought for a minute, and said, "Five dollars".  We did a little bargaining and in the end, that big girl got four dollars for her little, tiny tooth.  What's D going to do when she looses her molars?!

Why Am I Brown?

March 24, 2015

   The subject of skin color came up again this weekend.  Sky has noticed before that Mama and Daddy look different than she and her brothers and we've always been open and honest about why: they all grew in other lady's tummy's and not Mama's tummy.  We've always told her that we think her skin is beautiful, that God made her perfectly just as she is, and that we think it would be pretty boring if everyone looked the same. 

Sky's Ballet Recital

March 23, 2015

Sky's first ballet recital was this weekend.  After two years of "Mommy and Me" classes and summer ballet intensive, Sky was invited to join the K-2nd ballet class and was very proud of "getting to dance with the big girls".  Her teacher, Ms Michelle, is the best teacher we could wish for and Sky learned so much from her this year.  

 Her first time getting her hair done

Bagels and Ballet

March 22, 2015

  Our weekend was full of bagels and ballet.  D got me a kitchen scale for my birthday this year and at the time, I didn't think much of it (seriously, it's like getting the proverbial vacuum for your birthday!).  But then I used it to make some light wheat sandwich bread from my professional baker's cookbook that lists the ingredient by weight.  Up till now, I'd been converting the weight to traditional measurements but this time I used the scale and made the best loaf of sandwich bread I'd ever made.  I've been making my own bread for 10 years and the difference was amazing.  I was so excited about it that I decided to make baguettes and bagels this weekend also using the scale.  Just like the bread, they came out perfect and we've been devouring them ever since.  If you're looking to take your home baking to the next level, I would encourage you to buy a kitchen scale and check out these cookbooks: On Baking by Sarah Labensky and Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart.

High Five for Friday #4

March 19, 2015

  High Five for Friday!!  This has been a great week for us and it feels so good to have another one under our belts and to be looking forward to the weekend.  Our week was full of fun, friends, and finished up with some great news. 

I organized a Pi Run for 3-14-15.  I  About 20 of us crazy running Kwajis met at the big pavilion and ran 3.14 miles starting at 9:26 at night.  Of course, after the run, we ate all the Pi pies we'd made! I brought Sky along as a special treat and she loved staying up late and getting to do something that her brothers didn't get to do.

The Kwaj Pi runners, post run

Mommy Reality #31: A Room With a View

March 17, 2015

JENerally Informed

The challenge for this round of Mommy Reality is "A Room with a View" and I'm not trying to brag but I think I might have this one:

 This is the view out my front door at sunset: a beautiful sky, palm trees, a soft breeze.  There are a lot of things that we don't have here at the end of the world but we do have this.

What's the view out your front door or window?  Is it still snowy or are you welcoming spring?
Share your view at: Mommy Reality #31


Purpose and Without Mercy #5

March 15, 2015

Water is the fifth baby to wear the onesie that D and I bought in Japan.  We found it in Tokyo one day shortly after my nephew, the first grandchild in the family, was born.  D loves that kind of bad translation and it seemed like the perfect gift.   

There it is, on the left just above the whale shark, waiting to be mailed to my nephew

R, the first purposeful but merciless baby in the family

Sky borrowed it for a photo shoot
(oh my gosh, wasn't she tiny!)

My second nephew I displays the perfect attitude for wearing the onesie

Fire barely fit into it
(he was big and I was slow to get it from my SIL)

And now there's this one...

I love this family tradition!  What are your family traditions, kid related or otherwise?  Do you do anything that's unique to your family?

See where I'm linking up here

High Five for Friday #3

March 12, 2015

  This is the first Friday in several weeks that I've felt like high-fiving.  Things felt so challenging here that even the fact that the week was ending wasn't a relief.  The weekends at home just meant more time together for more situations to come up that needed to be dealt with.  Happily, it seems like that Sky's perfect storm of emotional growing pains, a terrible case of bronchitis, and the end of the new baby honeymoon is over.  Between antibiotics, a positive behavior modification reward system, and plain old time, we're feeling back on track.  So high five, Friday!  I'm happy to see you!


We dyed Easter eggs for the first time this week.  Designs included a butterfly for her and a car and airplane for him.  

Sky is taking ballet right now and had dance pictures taken recently:
Wearing makeup for the first time (and anxious for Mama to stop taking pictures so she can play with her friends!)

This is what dance pictures for seven K-2nd graders actually looks like

Sky and her friend G

Cowgirl boots!  Sky has been waiting years to be able to wear these and they finally fit
(and again, she's done with me taking pictures!)

#4 and 5
We're still sticking to our meat fast and for the most part, it hasn't changed how we eat.  We have used meat substitutes with some success (and some not), and we have fudged a few times like when we had steak for my birthday.  Eggplant Parmagiana, home-made buffalo mac with broccoli, seitan wraps, red beans with cheese and tomatoes have been the most successful meals in the past few weeks.  The biggest surprise for me has been how low our grocery bill has been.  I've been spending less than $100, and usually less than $80, per week for all our food.  That's much lower than our usual weekly food expense. 

See where I'm linking up here


March 9, 2015

  We are working through some hard times here and friends, I just haven't had the energy to filter or distill what's been going on into something that can be shared.  We've all been sick, D and I are having a hard time dealing with the financial implications from Water's adoption and Sky and Fire's citizenship happening so quickly, and Sky...  she is working through something right now  that's very hard for all of us to deal with.  We're having trouble finding the right tools to help her but we're doing our best.  Please be patient with us while we work on getting back to our old selves or defining what our new ones look like. 
Our Charmed Life. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.