Sunday, March 11, 2018

What Do You Feed All Those Kids? Honey Garlic Salmon

A new recipe my kids LOVE! 

Honey Garlic Salmon

4 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 Cloves garlic
Salmon fillet

Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Whisk sauce ingredients.  Put some olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the skin side of the salmon first for about 7 minutes, then turn over and cook about 4 minutes.  Pour sauce over salmon and cook for another 2 minutes or until done (salmon should still be darker pink inside--don't cook too much).  Remove skin, place onto serving plate, cover with sauce, add sesame seeds and chopped chives if desired.  Eat and enjoy!  

My kids scarfed this down so quick this was the only picture I could get!  

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Extraordinary Effort To See Relatives Is Worth It!

One lesson I've learned in my life is that even a short trip to visit relatives is worth the money and time.  

I was recently at a training in California and had one free night to go see my sister.  It looked so close on the map!  And truthfully, if there wasn't traffic it would have only been 90 minutes.  I'm a girl from the sticks, so a long drive is no big deal.

However when I realized that through traffic it would take over THREE hours I questioned my sanity.  But we were all really looking forward to seeing each other, so I hopped in the rental car and made my way through horrible traffic.  

I was greeted at the door with whoops and hollers.  My sister held dinner for me (delicious tacos!) and my sweet niece had my Girl Scout cookies!  YUM!  We only had a few hours to visit and my sister and I stayed up way too late talking.  I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to make my way BACK through 3 1/2 hours of morning rush hour traffic and make it to the next day of training.  

But you know what?  It was WORTH it!  And as a bonus, my sister set me up with a bunch of new podcasts for the drive!

I did see my nephew too, but he is at that cool teenager stage and didn't want his photo taken.  I get it. And of course I always forget photos of the big people!  Trisha and All, I LOVE YOU and LOVED spending time with you!!!

Friday, March 9, 2018

You Are Never Too Old!

This year I turned 50-something.  Sometimes I can't even keep track of my age, because I truly don't feel that "old."  We celebrated at my sister's cabin in full fiesta style, and it felt right this year to celebrate, because I know Joe would have wanted joy to continue.  

My sister does everything BIG and FUN and my birthday was no exception.  It even included a margarita machine!  Nothing like teaching teenagers how to fix alcoholic drinks!  But hey, our tiny piece of Spanish heritage from my grandmother needs to come out somehow!

Some people, probably even most people, think that by the time you are 50 your career path is set.  NOT TRUE!  Maybe because I didn't even get my bachelor's degree until I was in my 40s, and especially because of all the "older adults" I saw pursuing advanced degrees, I believe there is added benefit in reaching for dreams at any age.  Never give up on your dreams.

I thought I was in a career that would take me to retirement.  I love my current job working with foster and adoptive families.  But last summer, during our time in Seattle, it really hit me that I'm not fully utilizing all my therapeutic skills in helping children who have experienced trauma.  And so I'm not changing careers, but moving in a direction with a different focus.  It feels exciting.  It feels challenging.

It feels right.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Speaking of Breaking a Leg . . .

Patrick really DID break his leg.

It happened during basketball practice.  We had multiple coaches calling multiple numbers to tell us Patrick had injured himself, and of course that was the night neither parent was paying attention to their cell phone!

Once we got him home we decided yes, he needed a trip to the emergency room.

But it wasn't broken.  Just a bad sprain.

Except that a week later it was still really hurting and Patrick still wanted his crutches.  We may or may not have told Patrick he needed to quit babying it.  Finally, Dr. CrazyForKids decided the diagnosis of a sprain was wrong, and that in fact it was probably broken.  After a trip to our beloved pediatrician, Dr. R. agreed.  And because she thought it was a break on the growth plate, Patrick went to see a specialist.

Yes, it was a break which had been hard to see on the x-ray.  Luckily, Patrick's growth plate had already closed.  But sadly, it meant he missed most of basketball season.

Note to Patrick: If you are going to break you leg, do it at the end of basketball season.  No wait, that would mean it would be broken during track.  Okay, so do it at the end of track.  Except that might cut into marching band.

How about if you just don't break your leg anymore, okay?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Break A Leg Mei Mei!

Mei Mei loves basketball and she's developed into a solid player, but basketball is only a few weeks in the winter.  

We've been looking for another extra-curricular activity for Mei Mei and found it!  She performed in the musical Peter Pan, playing a lost boy and pirate.  It was a joy watching her laugh and perform, she learned all the songs and dances, and she even had a speaking part.  

I LOVE that the directors gave her a speaking part, even though she has significant articulation challenges.  They were very clever in having Mei Mei's character say something to another pirate, and then he would say, "Seriously???  You're telling me ___ ?!" going on to repeat what Mei Mei had just said.  

To adoptive parents everywhere, if your child arrives home with significant delays, don't let the prediction of professionals mar your belief in what your child is capable of.  I've been guilty of it myself, and yet Mei Mei continues to grow and develop beyond anyone's expectations.  She makes friends easily and simply loves being part of the group and our family.  She works hard in school, has great organization and executive function skills, and is my right-hand when it comes to technology.  She's great with kids and has a heart of gold.  

We love you Mei Mei, and can't wait to see you blossom in your newfound love of drama.  Break a leg!   

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Happy 21st!

Happy 21st to our wonderful Kim!  For her birthday we went out to dinner and then had Oreo Cookie dessert.  I babysat KJ overnight so Kim and K. could celebrate a true 21st in style!  And then the next weekend James, our family sommelier, took us on a behind-the-scenes wine tour.  What a fun day!  What an awesome life with our sweet and spicy, loving, funny, and beautiful Kim!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy New Year!

We've been celebrating all weekend!  First, with a trip to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, then the next night Chinese.  Now we just need to hit the Korean restaurant. 

There are advantages to having children from various cultures!  Less cooking and more celebration!

And then we braved a very cold day to visit the Chinese Gardens. 

Happy New Year!!!!