Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday Excursion

We used to go on Saturday excursions with Grandad almost every weekend since shortly after the little boy was born.  After Grandad passed away, our excursions have been far and few between.  A couple of weekends ago, though, we decided to pack ourselves up and take a drive over to Lueders.

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We made a stop at The Big Country Baptist Assembly encampment and hey, they had playground equipment!

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and then we took a walk along the river ( where I kept obsessing about the presence/absence of chiggers ),

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where the hubs showed the little boy some rock skipping tips.

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We got back to Abilene in time for Azmari's birthday, but that's for the next post!

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Hint of Home

We try to stop by the Filipino Store over on Mockingbird once a week and see what "familiar" foodstuff I can find there.  Sometimes it is a snack that I had as a child and other times it's a certain type of noodle or sauce.

A couple of weeks ago, it was some Winged Bean or Four Angled Bean.

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It was something I had eaten quite a bit when I was back in Malaysia, but I have a deeper connection with this particular veg.  I spent a year studying it in a laboratory back when I was in my final year of my Biotechnology degree.  Every week I would get a bunch from the local "night market", and work on those beans day in day out, barely ever seeing the light of day for the most part of those 2 final semesters. 

Anyway, I tried to emulate as best as I could, the way the dish was prepared, as I remembered it.

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The resulting dish wasn't bad, and satisfied some of that home-food cravings for a bit, alongside some other asian-y dishes :)

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Change of Scene

Ever since Grandad passed away, and Stephanie had her twins, we had been having less and less people come to Taco Tuesday.  We ourselves have actually stopped going for a while now, opting either to stay home and cook, or go somewhere else.

One of the places that we've started going to for a few weeks now, is The World Famous Bean at ACU.

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We've been there a few times on Sundays after church ( where it is very quiet and we almost have the whole place to ourselves ), and a few more times during the week for dinner ( where it is a little busier with all the students, but nothing we can't hack, I guess ) and then there was the one time we were there for lunch with Cindy and it was absolutely bananas in there. LOL!

Every time we've been there, the menu has been different, which is wonderfully refreshing.  After a bunch of years of tacos on a weekly basis, I'm more than ready for "different". :)

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It's very affordable, and the boys love it there too, so it all works out. :)

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AND the little boy is on first name basis with the ice cream/dessert guy, of course. :)

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

2 ingredient cookies

Saw this at The Burlap Bag,

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KNEW I had to try it :)

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Not quite your regular cookie texture, but good nevertheless.

Easter 2013

This year, the family didn't have a Easter get-together, and so we got a few things together at home to have an Easter celebration at home.

First, we boiled some eggs and got out all the egg coloring kits collected over the years.

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Then we laid newspapers on the kitchen table and got to work :)

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It was good that we had 3 different kits to work with to keep him interested.

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Sure, we broke a few of the egg shells, but luckily they were minor cracks and could easily be hidden :)

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I was surprised to see that we even had a dinosaur kit!

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Then, while the little boy was busy being distracted by various things, I put together some goodie eggs and snuck out to hide them around the yard.

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The little boy was so excited about the hunt and ran about in earnest, looking high and low for eggs and goodies.

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He even got to use the Angry Birds basket that he had received at his birthday party the day before.

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At some point, he exclaimed, "This is the best Easter Egg Hunt yet!"

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Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Birthday Post

The Birthday Part I

We had a mini celebration about a week before the actual birthday.  For one thing, I don't bake usually bake cakes but two or three times a year - yup, at birthdays - and so I had to "ease back" into the "baking groove".  For another, the little boy had been asking for an Angry Birds birthday, and even though I know not the first thing about fondant and what not, google search came up with sooo many cute cakes and ideas, and I knew I had to at least try out some of them.

I knew I wanted to start with a simple cake, so I baked a round cake, iced it with store icing, and then used what we had on hand to decorate it.  I arranged sliced strawberries, some blueberries, some mandarin orange slices, a couple of M & Ms and a couple of Kit Kats, and VOILA!

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The little boy absolutely loved it! He was delighted to no end, and of course, went straight for the chocolate bits :)  He asked for some after dinner, several nights in a row :)

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The Birthday Part II

We celebrated the little boy's birthday with the bible class ladies last year, and thought we'd do so again this year.  Cindy was going away to camp and so would not be able to make it to "The Birthday Part III", and so we tried to make this one extra special as well.

Even thought the ladies knew about it, I hadn't hyped it up with him any, since he was busy counting down the days to "The Birthday Part III", and hadn't really been told about this one.

After class, we got him and Xia Yu from the playroom, and gave him a surprise party!  I know he loved it when everyone shouted, "SURPRISE!!!!:.

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Of course, he ran past the cake I had spent a whole day making,

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straight to the presents :).

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I don't blame him.  They were super cute, if I might say so myself :)

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It was really sweet of the ladies to help celebrate the little boy's birthday.  They've known him since Day 1, and I guess, even BEFORE that :)

The Birthday Part III

A couple of weeks before the birthday party, I had gone online to several different websites to try and get some Angry Birds party stuff, since they weren't in the local Walmart and like that.  ( The little boy kept telling everyone who would listen that he was going to have an Angry Birds Birthday )  The store that I finally went with was "Birthday in a Box".

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In my search,  I had come across several mothers/bloggers who had used them and were more than happy with their service.  There were some others out there that offered slightly better prices, but didn't turn out to be very trustworthy, after a slightly more detailed search.  I know, I can be quite persnickity when it comes to purchasing things online.

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As a bonus, they even offered free personalized items/presents when you buy a certain amount from them! ( Which I took full advantage of )

I had to supplement with a few things from trusty ol' Walmart, but after that, we were ready.

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We had it at Judith's house again this year. She has been so gracious year after year in asking us if we would like to have the little boy's birthday party in her back yard.

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The bulk of the family was there to help celebrate,

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along with Ji Wei & Gao Fei & their 2 kids, Xia Yu & Bruce, as well as George ( A Taste of Asia & AM Donuts ) and his daughter, Karina, whom Jaxon had known since they were both babies.

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I left it up to Walmart's Bakery department this time for the cake and cupcakes. The little boy was quite thrilled :)

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Then came time for presents. Everyone was really sweet and generous, and Max came over to help Jaxon with his loot. LOL.

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A pair of Space Angry Birds sandals saw action right away :)

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As one would expect, there were a lot of Angry Birds related gifts.  There was even one from the little boy's aunt in Malaysia. :)

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Thank you everyone, for helping make the little boy's birthday such a sweet one.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Spring has Sprung

As usual, I have a bunch of photos/events that need to be posted, but which has been pushed off till later...

At least these ones aren't THAT late, seeing how spring has er, just gotten here. :) Some of the weeds do actually have pretty flowers, and along with flowers, come all manner of insects..

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Of course, inquisitive little boys who have recently received a Dollar Tree magnifying glass, love to explore just these very things :)

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As the weather grows warmer ( it seems like "warmer before its time" is more like it ), it is more pleasant to go on our evening walks, and the little boy is getting more and more comfortable with handling the dogs.  Henry, who is not well, is the most docile of the lot, and makes good handling practice :)  In fact, the little boy insists on walking the dogs each time, and he is getting better at this responsibility :)

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