Sunday, 17 June 2012

Long time no post

Isabel goes and goes, and I mean she's crazy.  Seriously. And then she collapses, like so.  And then once she wakes up, she's all crazy again.  I love it, she's the happiest, funniest, most easy-going kid.  Well, she does the habit of throwing punches when she's mad, but she gets over being mad so quickly too, it's nice. Today in church, the kids sang for Father's Day, and she ran (yes, literally) up to the front, meanwhile, we were trying to convince Elena to go up.  She insisted she was an ugly singer, and she couldn't go, and on and on--I'm really getting tired of her constant negativity lately.  Anyway, when we looked up, Leo and I were both trying to see where Isabel was, but she wasn't with the group of kids.  We finally spotted her (why it took us that long is a mystery) jumping up and down frenetically in a corner by the table where the sacrament is prepared, waving jubilantly to everyone in the audience.  Umm, yeah.  Meanwhile, Elena continued being melodramatic and woeful until the very last second before the song actually started, then bounded up there and sang with a big smile on her face the whole time, loud enough we could hear her in the overflow.  When she came down, she was all tears and had to have hugs from Leo because "she just sang so awful, it was terrible."  Isabel never really sang at all, because she was too busy waving to us the entire time.  Could we please just mix Isabel and Elena up in a bag a little bit? 
On Friday (I LOVE that Leo has every other Friday off!) we went blackberry picking.  The kids were enthusiastic for all of 10 mins. 
Do you notice that Isabel is no where to be seen?
Ana invited her friend Alyssa to come.  Ana definitely had more fun with Alyssa there, and Alyssa's mom said she had fun too, so that's good. Ana went to Alyssa's house after we got back and swam with her for a couple hours.  I'm so glad Alyssa lives so close.
My spoiled, spoiled boy.  Maybe he wouldn't be so spoiled, if he wasn't so cuddly and always willing to give kisses and hugs, and he always says, "thank you, you're welcome"  (together just like that), and he says sorry even when it's his sisters getting into trouble and not him.  He really is very sweet.  Although, he has got into the habit lately of getting after Isabel.  He even will count on his fingers, "One, two, seven--stop, Isabel!"  (I count to three a lot, especially with Isabel because it takes a while for her to focus.) And he reminds me a lot of Elena in that he's very precise and detail-oriented.  He was sick this weekend and threw up on Friday in the evening and again today.  Just FYI.  Well, actually, because this is my journal of sorts.
We chose this place to pick from, even though the berries were $.25 more a pound than another place, because it had a playground.  So after the first 10 minutes of helpful kids picking berries, when the whining, "It's hot...." began, we sent them back with Ana and Alyssa to the playground.  When we came back an hour and a half later, they were camped out in the shade on the haystack. 
We ate a picnic lunch there and Leo had the brilliant idea to stop for a sno-cone on the way home.  Good times. 
12 lbs of blackberries.  Delicious.  This is my bowl I use to raise bread in, to give you an idea of the amount.
And the finished results.  Seven batches of  blackberry jam.  We had jam sandwiches for lunch today, and trust me, they were good.

Just some random pictures of Sebas. 
Ah, sweet.  Elena, despite my complaining about her constant negativity, can be really sweet. She's the only child of mine who tries to clean up for me as a surprise, and she likes to give presents, and tries hard to make the other kids happy, and recognizes when I'm NOT happy and tries to be good.  Not all the time, but it's still nice to have one child like that at least some of the time.
In other news, Elena has practically learned to ride her bike without training wheels.  She's still a little unsteady, but she's mostly there. 
The weekend before this, we did a bunch of yardwork.  I borrowed our neighbor's electric pruner and trust me, I was skilled with that thing.  However, I think a lizard lost part of his tail to the pruner.  You know how lizards lose their tail at the base when they've been caught or grabbed by the tail, yeah well, this lizard just had the tail sliced off in the middle.  We also caught a little frog in the grass, and I was bitten FIVE times by mosquitos on my face, and of course, the next day I had to give a talk in church.  Did I mention that I found a snake skin while weeding in our front yard, and then the other day there was a tiny little dead snake on our driveway?  I really hate snakes.  Ugh.  We also bought a new van--pictures to come, I promise!  Ana went to girl's camp.  The theme was "Cowgirl Up!"  She had a fabulous time and loved it. 
And since I hardly ever post pictures of me and Leo, I decided to take pictures the other night before we left on a date. Leo's standing on his tip toes to be taller than me, so that's why he looks kind of funny (in his stance).
See, because I was wearing my new boots.  They are sah-weet!!!!  I love them. 

Leo picked the place we went out to eat to; he had been there before when he came to interview.  It was called the Jasmine Asian Cuisine, something something, that I forgot.  Too long of a name.  But it was a Vietnamese place in Houston's Chinatown.  And yes, I didn't know this either, but Houston does have a Chinatown.  In fact, the street signs are in Chinese as well as English.  And yes, we were definitely in the minority at the Jasmine Restaurant, in fact I was a minority of 1.
It was really good food.  I've never had Vietnamese before, but I definitely would recommend it.  The menu was forever long, and they had all sorts of interesting dishes--whole duck, whole grilled fish (a big fish, not the little individual-serving-sized trout--think more a family-sized fish), and a drink that was a mixture of soda, egg yolks and condensed milk.  No joking. And seven course meals of beef or fish. Also lots of squid and other random seafood.   The place was packed too.  And they had live music, the lady was one of those lounge singers in slinky dress like you see in the movies, only every other song was in Vietnamese, and the songs in English, like "Fools Rush In" were sung with a very strong Asian accent. She did sing one song in French, as well.

Leo ended up getting sweet and sour chicken and it was delicious. I know because I ate half of it.  And I was going to order this grilled fish and shrimp dish, but the waiter explained that it was very stinky and I should choose something else because you had to grill it at the table.  To be honest, I think that was his way of saying, "This lady obviously has no idea what she's doing." I think he was trying to steer me away from that dish, because they brought a little grill to your table and you grilled the shrimp and fish yourself.  It wasn't the waiter cooking the food for you, for a little show by your table at all.  I watched several other tables, and they really were cooking the food themselves.  Anyway, he recommended a different shrimp dish, which I ordered, not really reading through the menu item at all, (yes, I did complain about Ana doing that once).  And so the waiter brought out some grilled shrimp on a platter of noodles, and then a bowl of hot water, two little bowls of sauces, a plate of vegetables, a plate of rice paper, and a plate of lettuce and herbs.  And when I asked what exactly I was supposed to do with all this, he disappeared and a waitress reappeared and then she was kind of enough to give a demonstration on how you make Vietnamese spring rolls.  The ones you see pictured above.  This included tips about how adding this one herb is good for your stomach, even though the taste is a little bitter, etc.  They were really good, and the shrimp had excellent seasoning.  But I'm glad we had our combined items--my dish was light and fresh which was nice with Leo's heavier dish, but Leo's chicken satisfied my meat craving.

If anyone wants to come visit me in Houston, we'll gladly take you out to try it!  Then we went to Ritter's Frozen Custard for dessert.  We were so full, we could  barely manage it, but we shared a dessert and it was perfect.  Anyway, I'm sure that's way more than anyone ever wants to know about what we ate, but it was just fun to try something new.

Today for Father's Day, Leo received the proverbial tie as a present--actually two ties and two dress shirts--he still needed some for work, since he has to be in business attire everyday.  And we had homemade pizza and German Chocolate Cake.  Yum.  It was a great day.  Although I do wish the kids would stop bugging each other so much.  When do they grow out of that?  Anyone?


Andrea said...

You just never look very pregnant. Awesome jam. Where did you get those containers?

Kayli said...

You look so cute!! And what a perfect outfit! I love the skirt, shirt, boots and necklace.

And you should post more often, because I liked this post.

Kami said...

Where else, Walmart. They are nice, I like them because they stack so nicely, but it's a screw-top lid, so once you've been using the jam for a while, and the jam is all over the rim, they get to be very hard to unscrew. I decided to invest in them because I just used old cottage cheese containers and the like last time I made lots of jam, and eventually they all went really weird, like crystallized or something, and I thought part of the problem may have been that they weren't air tight. Andrea, I definitely look pregnant.

The Haws Family said...

KAMI! YOU POSTED! I loved it. Your outfit was amazing. It makes me want to find a skirt that I can wear my boots with. Ana's friend looks nice, thats fun that she has someone.

Andrea said...

I must come and eat there. Sounds heavenly.

Kristi said...

Cory used to have every other Friday off (well, he has one more left then no more- since they got bought out and now work for a new company) he is sad. and I am sad. it is a very nice thing!