Monday, April 28, 2008

Another Fantastic Foreign-Food-Friday!

We had the opportunity to share our foreign food night tradition with our world-traveling family last Friday. The cuisine of the evening was Turkish food. AMAZING! Not spicy like Thai food but full of lots of different spices and flavors, it was so delicious. Here is what we ate:

Appetizers were hummus with Pide (pita) bread, olives, goat cheese and Turkish Cacik which is a yogurt/garlic/cucumber/mint type dip that was a huge hit with everyone.

The main meal was Turkish chicken (which was marinated in a minty-yogurty-spice laden marinade), Pilav (which is a simple white and brown rice pilaf) and a Turkish salad full of tomato, bell pepper, cucumber and fresh parsley.

For dessert I made 2 different recipes of the famous Turkish Delight which were such a hit that they were nearly instantly devoured. There were only a few lingering ones left for the next day.
Here we are enjoying all of it:

The food was fantastic and we happily ate all the leftovers the rest of the weekend!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

On Your Mark...

Mr. Meticulous had a very fun time building his first ever Pinewood Derby car with Big Daddy. After a few weeks of planning and sanding and shaping, he got to paint it and put the finishing touches on it in preparation for the big Derby day. He called his car the Predator and I think he did an excellent job!

Race day was very exciting since none of us had ever been to a Pinewood Derby before. We had a BBQ before the event and afterward, all the cars had to "weigh-in". They could not be more than 5 ounces. The Predator weighed in at a whopping 4.9 ounces! After a few practice runs down the track, Mr. Meticulous took his place on the side lines to await his turn. Finally, the time came for the Predator to hurdle itself down the track for all its worth....

...despite starting very strong out of the gate, it didn't quite have the umph to stay ahead of the lightning fast car in the other lane. It was oh so close coming in a hundredth of a second behind for second place! Well done!

We were extremely proud of his efforts and his good sportsmanship. The Predator has since been retired since this was the last year Mr. Meticulous could participate in the Pinewood Derby as he is about to cross over from cubscout to boyscout in May. He has been working really hard on all of his requirements and putting in lots of EXTRA effort toward earning the Arrow of Light award which is something not all scouts do. What a fine young man he is turning out to be.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chicky-babe's Broadway Recital

Oh boy, here it is finally. Thanks for all your patience. (I misplaced the cords I needed to transfer the video to the computer, so I haven't been able to post her wonderful work, but after scouring the entire house, giving up and resigning myself to going out and buying replacement cords I stumbled across them at the bottom of a bin in the garage while hunting for something else!) I apologize for the shakiness of the video. I am not the best videographer in the family and I was having trouble with the new tripod we bought, so hopefully these will be OK.

Well, let's see...this recital's theme was music from Broadway and there were several wonderful performances with songs from The Music Man, Les Miserables, Cinderella, The Sound of Music and more. Each person had a solo and a couple group songs and everyone was dressed to fit their part. Chicky-babe's solo was "In My Own Little Corner" from Cinderella. Check it out, she was a crowd favorite:

Here are the words in case you have a hard time hearing them:

I'm as mild and as meek as a mouse
when I hear a command, I obey
but I know of a spot in my house
where no one can stand in my way
In my own little corner, in my own little chair
I can be whatever I want to be
On the wing of my fancy I can fly anywhere
and the world will open its arms to me

I'm a young Norwegian Princess or a milk maid
I'm the greatest Primadonna in Milan
I'm an heiress who has always had her silk made
by her own flock of silkworms in Japan
I'm a girl men go mad for, love's a game I can play
with a cool and confident kind of air
just as long as I stay in my own little corner
all alone in my own little chair.

For the rest of her songs, she played Leisle from The Sound of Music. They performed

Do Re Mi

So Long Farewell

and Edelweiss.

She was an old pro up there on the stage. I made her Leisle outfit myself and she got many compliments on it. We are so proud of her.

Next Recital is Student's Choice, so we have been looking at tons of songs to pick from. She isn't sure exactly what she wants to sing, but thinks it will probably be in Italian. She actually wanted to sing an old Michael Card song called My Help, but it was acapella and her voice coach asked her to pick something with music for the accompanist. She might do an acapella recital sometime down the road. Well whatever she chooses will be brilliant I'm sure!

Old Betsy Retires

Hip Hip Hooray! Today's the day! We're going to buy a new van!...

Yup, it is time. We took our van to a mechanic we knew (and trusted) to have it inspected. We thought we might see if we could do some repairs to it and make it last a few more years, but it wasn't to be. Dan, the mechanic, gave us a call and said he stopped counting repair costs at $2800.00 because the van just isn't worth that much.

Venturing out into the world of used cars and used car salesmen can be intimidating for those of you who are like us ... not really mechanically inclined. Oh we can do the basic things like change spark plugs, oil and oil filters, check fluid know. Thanks to ol' Betsy, we can now change a mean serpentine belt when we need to. She gave us about 5 or 6 opportunities to practice that one and I must say we've gotten pretty good at it. Skills that are useful and helpful in everyday operation and upkeep of the vehicle, but when it comes to that particular skill of being able to detect whether or not a car is or is not a lemon.....we are sorely lacking. Needless to say, we were in desperate need of a new vehicle. Betsy was fading fast.

Thankfully, Adam has lots of connections with all these car guys, what with him being their "friendly neighborhood wheel guy" and all. We spent a few weeks looking at rig after rig, talking to all these sales guys while trying to listen to Holy Spirit and gauge how honest and upfront they were being with us and researching just about every single type of minivan there has ever been night after night. (I thought my eyes were going to fall out!)

After lots of searching, we got a call from one of the car lot managers who happens to go to our church. He found a 2004 Honda Odyssey he wanted us to look at that had just come off the truck. It was fully loaded and in great shape. It was fantastic and he made us a great deal on it so here is our new Betsy (thanks Brian!) :

leather interior :D

(heated front seats...a wonderful feature when it's only 30 degrees outside!)

stow-and-go for the rear bench...

and most surprising of all...the navigation system....totally cool!

Well, there she is folks. We were blessed abundantly again so we can say again that God is a GOOD GOD!!!!! We feel totally spoiled. He gives good gifts to his children.