These Fingers

You know what's so cool about these 4th grade fingers?
They auditioned for a 5th/6th grade jazz band with only a moments notice (1 hour of practicing through all the pieces).

What became of it?

Check out the boy in the bottom left corner at the piano:

Proud parent moment.

Way to go Sascha!!!

***disclaimer: one of his best buddies (also in the 4th grade) also made it, making them the only two 4th graders in a class of about 50 students. They are alternating playing the piano and bass (which is actually a keyboard with the bass sound).
Stay tuned for performance updates.

Apollo's Three!

Three years ago today history was made.
I gave birth to a toddler!
Bragging rights are always in order for me in this department. 
My double Whopper (no single here) weighed in at 12 pounds.
I'm sure you've heard it all before, but read the previous sentence.
Yeah, braggin' rights... 8-)

So... I don't want to make anybody jealous, but this is what I looked like the day before I went into labor (taken by my momma just after I hopped out of the shower). 
Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful...
What's that you say? I looked like I was having twins?
Yes, I know... braggin' rights.
Please pay no attention to the sloppily doctored photo though.
I was only wearing a tank top and it was showing m'G's. Geez!
End result: Very healthy baby boy:
The picture below was my first meeting with my sweet little guy.
It was a whole day later before I got to meet him because I was so sick from being in labor for about 18 hours and then having a c-section and then him being so big and all the drugs they pumped through me, etc...
Sarah was so excited to meet her new brother:
This is what happens when you have tons of fluids pumped through you.
I know, you're jealous again:
The nurse below requested to carry Apollo out.
She wanted that special privilege of escorting "The toddler" out to the car.
He was a big hit in the maternity ward.
Notice how they made me walk myself out.
At least they gave me a wheel chair to hold onto.
After we got home Sascha very carefully gave him a try...
Happy Birthday Apollo!
We love you so much and couldn't be more pleased with who you are and the sweet spirit you bring into our home.
Thanks for keeping us laughing and in awe at all that you do. 
Here's to many more happy and healthy birthdays!!!
To view an awesome post of Duncan and Kaitlyn spoiling Apollo for his birthday, click here.

Spring Has Sprung!

In case you can't tell from my new blog header, Spring has sprung! I'm in heaven with seeing all the blossoms and flowers and foliage.
This is my favorite season (along with Summer and here in the Northwest for the sheer fact that after a long, gray winter my days are now being painted full of color and sunshine.
No complaints here.
This is actually very unusual that we've sprung so early. Must be El NiƱo (a climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every five years, but over a period which varies from three to seven years, and is therefore, widely and significantly, known as "quasi-periodic).

So along with the photos that are in my new header for March, I took all of these pictures in my yard today (minus the one of Apollo and his chalk & unless otherwise specified).

Special surprise for me today. My camelia is in bloom!!! These have always reminded me of painting the roses red in Alice in Wonderland.

Camelia close-up:

Not sure what this is called, but they're beautiful:

Our native fern. Green year-round, but thought it was pretty:

Grape hyacinth from a Gnomes viewpoint:

Sarah's favorite flower when she was a wee young lassie. These things pop up year round unfortunately. At least they're a nice cheery color:

Yay! My rhododendron! One of my favorites:

Cute Apollo standing in front of our big azaela bush we transplanted a few years ago. It's doing quite nicely don't you think? This particular pic was taken with my cell phone. I ended up texting it to some of my peeps:

That same azaela bush up close:

I wish I knew the name of this, but I don't. It's highly fragrant though and in a good way:

These are not in our yard, but a few houses down. Popcorn popping!

Our tulips are on their way. Don't mind the weeds. Somehow I missed these when I weeded a couple of weeks ago:

These daffodils aren't ours, but pretty darn close to our property line:

Gaeng Masaman (Curry Masaman)

My younger brother Dallin, who went on his mission to Thailand, gave me this recipe for Thai Curry. He made it for us once when he came up for a visit and I fell in love instantly. He noticed the affection I had for it and sent a little care package to us for Christmas with all the ingredients (minus the perishables). I will add pictures of some of the ingredients in case you're wondering exactly what to look for when you head out tomorrow (or later today) to go buy them. 

Now, prepare to be blown away with utter heaven-in-your-mouth yumminess ...

Gaeng Masaman (Curry Masaman)


  • 1- 19 oz. can coconut milk (see pic below)

  • 1/2 can water

  • 1/4 cup Masman paste (add more if you like it more spicy)

  • 1/2 cup peanuts (I tried it with dry-roasted too and it was yum)

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (see pic below)

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon of Knorr chicken broth powder mix (I used McCormick chicken base from Costco instead since it was already open in my fridge)(see pic below)

  • 4-5 potatoes (cubed into about 1" pieces)

  • 1 yellow onion (I used white, since that's what I prefer) (cut into about 1" squares or however you prefer)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chunks of soft beef)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I didn't add any and it was perfect!)

  1. Pour coconut milk and water into a pot and bring to a slight boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

  2. Mix in curry paste. ***tip: you can take some of the coconut milk mixture and mix it into the Masman paste to ensure it is all dissolved.

  3. Add the peanuts to soften them up a bit.

  4. Add fish sauce, sugar and chicken broth powder to mixture.

  5. At this point, taste the curry and if it's too milky, put a little more water in it. Add more sugar to soften the taste a bit if needed (you'll know what I mean), but not too much (you don't want it to taste like candy now!). If you need it more salty, add a little more fish sauce to taste. If it's not spicy enough, add more Masman paste.

  6. Once you have the taste how you like it, add the potatoes and onions to the mix (I added carrots too)

  7. Bring the heat up to medium/high.

  8. Slice the chicken into about 1/4" thick slices and about 1 1/2" long. Add to mixture and let simmer on medium/high until the chicken pieces are cooked through (I think it took about 10 minutes).

  9. Turn heat to medium/low and keep cooking until your vegetables are to your desired tenderness.
Gin Hai Dee-Dee! (bon appetite!)

Do I have "FOOL" written on my forehead?

I just came across this e mail a few minutes ago.
I HAD to post it.
Does this person honestly think that someone would fall for such a bogus business proposal?!?
Okay, maybe the VERY naive.
I guess they have an ounce of hope for swindling money.
But seriously...

Business Proposal,

My name is Sgt.David Brock I am an American soldier with Swiss background, serving in the military with the army's 3rd infantry division based in Iraq/Baghdad. With a very desperate need for assistance, I have summed up courage to contact you. I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am seeking your kind assistance to move the sum of($ 25 Million U.S. Dollars ) Twenty Five Million United State Dollars to you, as far as I can be assured that my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here, this is no stolen money, and there are no danger involved.

Source Of Money: Some money in various currencies was discovered in barrels at a farmhouse near one of Saddam's old palaces in Ticket-Iraq during a rescue operation, and it was agreed by staff Sgt Kenneth buff and I that some part of this money be shared among both of us before informing anybody about it since both of us saw the money first. No Compensation can make up for the risk we have taken with our lives in this hell hole. Of which my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here, this is no stolen money, and there are no danger involved. Kindly indicate your interest in assisting me as well as

Providing the following information to facilitate the smooth conclusion of the consignment fund delivery to your door step.

1) Your Full Name:
2) Your Address:
3) Your Age And Occupation:
4) Your Mobile Telephone Number:
5) Your Direct Email Address:
6) Your Fax Number:
7) The Name of the Closest Airport to your City of Residence:
8) Your country and your present location:

One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this misinformation to facilitate the smooth conclusion of the consignment fund delivery to your door step. One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with anybody, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please destroy this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for us soldier? here in Iraq. I do not know how long we will remain here, and I have been shot, wounded and survived two suicide bomb attacks by the special grace of God, this and other reasons I will mention later has prompted me to reach out for help, I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately, please contact me as soon as possible my only way of communication email.I Also want you to tell me how much you will take from this money for the assistance you will give to me. God Bless You As You Help Out In This Transaction.

Sgt.David Brock.