Ride the Ducks Seattle {2014}

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This week our family was once again blessed by the Starlight Foundation for Kids. We had a fun-filled day which included: Ride the Ducks Seattle, Seattle Children’s Museum and ice cream from Sweet Wheelsride the ducks, ride the ducks seattle, starlight, starlight foundation for kids

Our day also included: way too many bathroom stops, one grumpy sullen child, a ton of food consumed by my children, dancing, music and less arguing and fighting than one might imagine.

ride the ducks, ride the ducks seattle, starlight, starlight foundation for kids

Ride the Ducks is such an awesome way to tour Seattle. First you get an on-land tour of Seattle, then you drive right down into Lake Union as your “duck” transforms into a boat. The kids and I went on Ride the Ducks with Starlight last year and absolutely loved it.ride the ducks, ride the ducks seattle, starlight, starlight foundation for kids

The drivers are excellent tour guides, hilariously funny and out to make sure everyone has a good time. Once on the open waters, a dance party commences with music blaring.ride the ducks, ride the ducks seattle, starlight, starlight foundation for kids

After our tour we were able to head to the Seattle Children’s Museum for an afternoon of even more fun.ride the ducks, ride the ducks seattle, starlight, starlight foundation for kids

Judah and Tilly insisted I take their picture next to this Dalek poster. Dr Who, anyone?ride the ducks, ride the ducks seattle, starlight, starlight foundation for kids

I love, love, love this picture of Mordecai. Look how proud and happy he is!ride the ducks, ride the ducks seattle, starlight, starlight foundation for kids

Thank you so much Starlight, for everything you’ve done for our family. Having the chance to do so many great activities really helps take the focus off of Apollo’s health and onto fun family times.

 

Cheesy Chicken Jalapeno Sandwiches

‘This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You Magazine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #lifeforless http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.”

Be sure to scroll to the end of the post for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Safeway!
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The other day our trip to Lynden City Park and Edaleen Dairy included a stop at Safeway to buy a copy of All You magazine. As you all know, meal planning and cooking are a not my favorite activities. I often feel like I lack in creativity and inspiration. I know, meal planning shouldn’t be  that hard, I do it every week after all, but for me this is something that has never come naturally.

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I’m not a fan of cookbooks and certainly don’t want to spend time watching cooking shows (even if we had a TV…which we don’t), but do you know what I do enjoy? Looking through magazines for new recipe ideas. I am inspired by the beautiful photos and I enjoy how the recipes are always geared toward the current and upcoming season. Flipping through a magazine, looking for recipe ideas with a little chocolate and coffee to sweeten the deal? Now that’s my kind of meal planning.

{You can buy your own copy of All You magazine and use the $1 off coupon from coupons.com while supplies last! All you is available in retail stores nationwide.}

My kids were begging me to make one of the many dessert recipes from this magaizne, but I was immediately drawn to the Cheesy Chicken Jalapeno Sandwiches. I loved that the recipe was simple, fast, and a little different; I haven’t cooked with jalapenos before. A good sandwich also happens to be one of my all-time favorite foods.

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 Avi was happy to help in the kitchen as usual.

This recipe was so easy to put together and assemble and is tasted so good. I was a bit worried about it being too spicy (since we don’t usually eat jalapeno peppers) so I went a bit light on the jalapeno juice. I also  wasn’t sure if the jar of jalapenos I bought was the same as the “pickled jalapenos” that the recipe called for, because I’ve never purchased them before.

This turned out so good. My kids loved it, it wasn’t too spicy (the cream cheese offset a lot of spice) and it was easy to make. We loved this so much, we have made it  twice already. The second time we made sliders on mini hamburger buns, which the kids loved even more.

20140407_9445 blogAnd Now I get to share the recipe with you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 24-inch loaf French bread
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon liquid from a can of pickled jalapeños
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced pickled jalapeños, plus extra for garnish, optional
  • 3 cups shredded skinless cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Slice bread in half lengthwise and cut into quarters to make 4 6-inch pieces. Place slices, cut side up, on baking sheet.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, garlic salt, jalapeño liquid and jalapeños, if using. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat mixture until creamy, about 2 minutes. Spread 2 Tbsp. of mixture onto top half of each sandwich. Place additional jalapeños on top, if desired.
  3. 3. Divide chicken among bottom halves of bread. Sprinkle with Cheddar. Bake sandwich halves until Cheddar and cream cheese melt, about 7 minutes. Pair up cream cheese halves and chicken halves. Serve immediately.

Enter to win a $50 Safeway Gift Card!

Wedding Plans 2014

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People keep asking me how wedding plans are going and usually I’m thinking…”Shoot, I’m supposed to be planning something?!” BEN! and Adalia seem to have things under control, and since they are choosing a fairly untraditional wedding, I probably wouldn’t be much help anyway.

Apollo, though? He’s got plans. We’ve been trying to prep him on his “important job” as ring bearer. We’ve been telling him how he’s going to get to wear cowboy boots and a cowboy shirt and carry the rings…and that’s all fine and dandy, except somewhere along the way he decided he was actually going to “pass out beer” to the guests, not carry the rings.

I kid you not. The boy is convinced his important job is to “pass out beer“. Never mind no one is planning on having beer at an eleven am wedding where both the bride and groom are too young to actually consume alcohol.

He’s also a bit confused about his new relationship to BEN! We’ve been telling him once Adalia and BEN! get married (and lets not even get into the kissing bit- he was not happy to learn that was going to happen) BEN! will be his new big brother. He’s a smart kid though, and he keeps insisting BEN! will be his new dad.

“If Adalia and BEN! get married, then Adalia will be the mama and BEN! will be the daddy so he will be my new daddy!

And as I’ve said before, never argue with a three year old.

 

Scouts, Shrinks and School

I knew this week was going to be tough, appointment-wise, but didn’t anticipate it being quite this bad. First off, I wasn’t planning on a trip to the ER on Saturday afternoon, which would usher in a cascade of other events making my week all the more difficult.

20140407_9404 blogMonday started out with me driving Tilly to her weekly babysitting job in the morning, then taking Tucker to Cub Scouts in the afternoon. That was all cool, except while we were at a local ice cream shop, getting a tour for Scouts, Avi’s school called to tell me I needed to pick her up because they thought her face was infected and she needed to see a doctor. I asked  the school nurse if she could give her an ibuprofen for the swelling. I had sent Avi to school with a  note that morning, explaining what happened and saying that we were treating it with ice, popsicles and ibuprofen. I was told “I’m not allowed give her ibuprofen; we don’t even have any here” which seemed a bit ridiculous, since she had parental permission and part of the school nurse’s job is to, you know, administer medicine. Well, I was half an hour from her school and Tucker was deep in the bowels (bowls?) of the ice cream shop…so I had to wait until he re-emerged with his Scout buddies.

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I took Apollo with me hoping he would be enticed to eat some ice cream (high fat!) instead he nibbled on the sides of his cone and called it good.

So we had our ice cream (Tucker’s Scout leader informed me he ordered espresso…apparently the only Scout to pick that particular flavor) and missed the rest of the meeting. We headed straight to the school and picked up Avi, who looked better, in fact, then when I had sent her to school that morning.

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This was taken as soon as I got her home…You can see the swelling and slight redness.

A dose of ibuprofen and she played happily the rest of the afternoon. I felt obligated to call the doctor since the school was so worried. I spoke to the nurse who assured me that there were no signs of infection: she had no fever, no puss, very little redness, which was not warm to the touch. In other words, she had a swollen, scraped face from being hit in the face with a stick. Who knew?

Yesterday was Mom Spot, our church’s moms group. Staying home wasn’t an option, since my daughters all help out with childcare. But yesterday, I had to leave Hezekiah and Apollo home with Enoch because they both had fevers. After Mom Spot, I came home, fixed lunch and then took four (count ‘em four) kids to the doctor for various appointments (two well-child, two to discuss chronic issues). Halfway through the appointment the doctor made eye contact and asked how I was doing. “Me?” I asked. “Fine”.

“Really?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“I don’t know how you do it.” he said, and continued with the appointment.

I pondered his statement after the appointment, and I suppose my life seems much (worse?) more hectic from the outside than it feels. These are my kids. My family. Taking care of them is what I do. I guess it isn’t every day, however, that our doctor sees four kids from the same family to discuss/treat: failure to thrive, stitches, fever and cough, well-child exam, bed-wetting, and a referral to a psychiatrist (not for me, though the doc was probably willing to refer me too at that point). Not to mention, Adalia has been in on her own several times lately getting everything in order for her immigration to New Zealand, and of course, the call about Avi’s “infected” face. In the end we were in the office for over two hours. By some strange coincidence, Apollo had a fever and cough, so the doc looked him over and listened to his lungs, even though we were there for his weight issues.

Then it was a mad dash home where Judah and Tilly were baking pre-made pizzas so the boys could rush off to Scouts as soon as Chuck got home.

This morning Mordecai had a two-hour appointment beginning at 9 am. I dropped Judah and Tilly off at work, took Mordecai to his appointment, then headed to Lowe’s for paint and then home…for less than an hour before I picked Judah and Tilly up,  took Judah to school, stopped at Costco then took Tilly in to the doctor for a travel-related vaccine. And now I’m home.

Did I mention I’m on-call for a birth? Thankfully, I don’t have to leave home tomorrow until after dinner for Adalia’s bridal shower. And, best of all, BEN!’s fabulous sister, Claire, arrives to spend nearly a month with our family.

So, things are kind of busy around here, only to get more so as the wedding draws near. Did I mention we are in the middle of painting our living room and dining room? Not because now seemed like a good time, but because a little something forced my hand. I won’t go into the details because you’ll probably think of something much more interesting and creative than the real reason. Suffice it to say our living room and dining room are torn apart and look like a construction zone.

Picnic for dinner, anyone?

I am hoping to keep up on blogging, but bear with me. If things are slow on the blog, that probably means things are not slow around here.