Monday, March 18, 2019

French Fried Fish

Isn't she just delicious?

Friday night we met our friends The Bartletts at the catholic church down the street for our annual fish fry meet up. Cora, who screams, "FRENCH FRIED FISH" every time we drive by the church (daily) was very excited, even though she didn't quite remember what fried fish tasted like. Ina, who was appalled when a quick poll of her kindergarten class revealed that no one else had a yearly "fish tradition" was pumped to eat as many hush puppies as she could. She also recited a short story on the way there about inventing fish-french fries and the tragedies that would later ensue. Dan brought his own hot sauce and his own spice seasonings. Mira and I were just happy to be there and tried not to spill too much food.

We met up at our house after for some more talking (the adults) and dancing/music making (the kids).

Saturday I worked, then ran the long way to Granny's house to meet Dan and the girls and go grocery shopping. This was my first run longer than a mile in quite some time. I am so happy with the shift I have made in my workouts, from strict cardio to weights, interval training, and functional fitness, but I would like to add in some occasional endorphin-spiked runs.

After a quick lunch at home Ina and I headed to her friend Alex's birthday party at a trampoline park.

I think she had a good time.

Thanks to Alex's mom, who kept an eye on Ina while I went shopping. By myself. Without a (strict) time limit.  I went to Old Navy and bought a few things I needed (a jacket and two camisoles) and a few things I didn't (olive skinny jeans).

We came home just in time to take out the car seats and met my mom (who graciously watched the girls) and the Champs who rode with us to meet the Dews at Top Golf.

Unlike my golf game, the company was fantastic. I nursed my bruised ego with nann, saag, and Chai tea at Korma Sutra.

Dan likes to play a game with the waiters at Indian restaurants. He orders the food "as hot as you can make it." Inevitably, after a few bites the waiter runs by and asks how it tastes, and Dan indicates that it could be hotter. Up for a challenge, the waiter brings out more pepper paste. Dan eats the paste straight with a spoon like it is no big deal, then the waiter runs back to the kitchen to add more peppers. Eventually the rest of the wait staff and some of the kitchen staff get involved.These poor people bring out bowl after bowl of paste, and even though Dan is glistening with sweat, he keeps going. I sit there, happily drink my mango lassi, taking it all in.

Sunday we had church, where Gunner was baptized! (or bath-tised, as Ina puts it) We were all so proud of his decision. I felt the love of our church family as everyone in our small group and beyond cheered him on.

After church Dan had was gone volunteering for a church class, Ina went to a friend's house down the street, Mira napped, and Cora watched a movie. The food for dinner was already cooked (Dan started the smoker at 7 am), our house was as picked up as I was going to get it, and trash day is Monday.  I took the rare opportunity to throw lots of stuff in the trash without anyone telling me not to. Our cabinets are much happier.

Soon people started trickling in for small group, where we studied 1 Corrinthians and then had a St. Patrick's Day feast with smoked corned beef and lots of fun sides/desserts.

Such a great way to end the week. <3

A few links to share:

This week's book listen: Little Fires Everywhere - I am about half way done and it is good enough to make me want to listen more.

Very interesting read: Death of the Calorie

Have you tried YNAB yet? Do it.

Pork and peanut dragon noodles: I added cabbage, bell pepper, and carrots in with the pork and used a little maple syrup instead of brown sugar. Brown rice ramen. Coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Fresh cilantro on top. So delicious! Dan called it "ultimate ramen" and I will make it again soon.

Sesame chicken with sesame kale and brown rice - like take out but way healthier/faster/cheaper

Cubed steak with green beans, mushrooms, onions, and roasted sweet potatoes- Dan and I really like this. The girls aren't huge fans, but they still ate it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Happy DST!

Happy DST!

I generally loathe time change and all the interference it has with children sleeping, car-clock adjusting, and pharmacokinetic sample timing. BUT, yesterday when I drove the girls to and from dance and to and from the grocery store with the sun shining in my face, my mood soared and I felt like anything was possible.

Anything, like convincing a 3 year old red head that she cannot wear her sparkly rainbow dance recital costume with sequins and tulle 24/7, 3 months before the recital. I must admit, she did look awfully cute in it.

(Two different people sent this to me within a few hours of each other.)

Anything, like writing a report that never ends, with infinite comparisons and constantly changing results.

Anything, like waking up at what would normally be 3:40 AM for the gym.

Who knew that sunlight could impact my mood so much? (Everyone knew.)

Since we last talked, things are going so smoothly at our house. We had multiple guests stay the night, went out to eat twice with family twice, and watched my niece and nephew play basketball.

My sister is the coach of my niece's team, and I may have been just as proud of my sister and her amazing patience as I was of my niece and her cutest little dribbling skills.

My nephew also played great and scored multiple baskets-. Both teams won, so we had a lot to cheer for.  In true Kendrick family fashion, the girls were as follows:

  • Ina - going back and forth between disrupting the game and completely ignoring it.
  • Cora - taking another kid's toys
  • Mira - kicking her feet back and forth, so happy to be sitting in the stands and have a reason to clap.

My dad took all the kids (except Mira) to see the new How to Train Your Dragon movie. We have recently watched the first two and they are so stinking cute. I was slightly jealous I didn't go with them.

We have quite a social weekend up ahead, with lots of things in spring to look forward to. Anticipation is one of the best joys in life.

Recipes to Share:

Spaghetti squash bake - everyone except Cora loved this one. Dan said it tasted like lasagna!

Chorizo pinto beans - this will become a staple in our house. We used regular chorizo, soaked the pinto beans before hand, and cooked for 30 minutes twice to get everything nice and smooshed together. Served with rice, salsa, and avocados.

Asparagus hard boiled egg salad: this salad is so, so, so delicious. Make it now for breakfast, lunch, or a side before asparagus is no longer on sale.

Lemony lemon brownie bites: I made these on the day it snowed many extra inches to show mother nature I am ready for spring. FYI: they will taste great even if you do let them bake too long because you have to get three girls ready for church by yourself.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Sliding into Branson

Good Saturday morning! My eyes popped wide open at 4:39 this morning, which is one minute before my Monday through Friday alarm buzzes. Would someone tell my brain that I can sleep in on Saturday? Until then I am taking advantage of this extra down time to update the ol' blog.

I always have an excuse as to why I haven't written - sick kids, busy at work, etc. Are you ready for this one?


Have you used this app yet? If yes, please disregard my lateness to the party. If not, download it now and update with your library card information. This app streamlines the process of reserving, borrowing, and reading audio and digital books. I have been using all of my free time reading or listening to books. So far I have read The Handmaid's Tale (disturbing), Before We Were Yours (such a good story), Tell me More (I laughed and cried so much), You are a Badass (general "self help"), Anne of Green Gables (with the girls before bed), and am currently listening to To All the Boys I  Loved Before. I find listening better for my productivity than reading, because when I am reading a book I don't want to do anything else (laundry, dishes, interacting with my children...) and when I listen I can always have something else going on.

Other than always have a phone battery at 5%, things have been great around here. Well, great with a lot of winter weather in the mix. Ina has had nine snow days this year and I don't think we are done.

The girls pooled their Christmas money together (after some parental encouragement and display of online photos) and we booked a trip to Branson over President's Day weekend at Grande Country Inn, a "resort" with an indoor water park,

great shows,

black light mini-golf,

go karts,

an arcade, and a buffet with unlimited watermelon slices.

We met our friends the Nybergs there and had a great time swimming, eating, and playing our hearts out.

I had low expectations for the shows, but they were such a pleasant surprise. The first was a "jubilee" with a quartet, comedian, and full band. Cora and Mira fell asleep a few songs in, but Ina, Dan, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire thing. The second was a pet show and since then Ina and Cora have been putting on their own "pet show." Ina is always the trainer and Cora is always the dog and they both seem pretty happy with that set up.

The water slides and splashing toys were fun, but crowded, and after an hour or so in the main water park, we went to the average hotel pool and hot tub, where we would hang out the rest of the day. There is little Cora loves more in this world than a hot tub.

A little trip away was exactly what I needed to get out of the winter funk.

Cora had her preschool screening a few days ago. She was so excited to finally go to "her school," but when she was asked to go to a different room with the teachers she quickly changed her mind. She eventually did go, after a lot of encouragement, but I don't think she participated very much, because the results were not consistent with what I have seen her do. For example, she told them she couldn't stand on one leg, which she does every week in dance class. When the teacher asked me how Cora holds her pencil, I realized I had never once had her hold a pencil. She is always perfectly content playing in the toy room, so we don't do much coloring or writing. This is a strong contrast to how I parented Ina, who has been doing worksheets since she could sit up because toys don't really entertain her.

I am going to slowly work on more writing with Cora, but I also don't want to force it and I love that she loves to play. On a positive note, Cora did let Miss Kim cut her hair!

With those baby hairs mostly gone, her little red curls are extra bouncy. Ina also had her hair trimmed, and they both look so beautiful I am questioning why I am always putting those tasks off.

Other highlights of the past two weeks:

  • My cousin Alexis stayed the night before we went to Branson.
  • Ina had a playdate with a friend from school and watching them play was so cute.
  • I had lunch with my dear friend Hannah and we decided to make it a monthly get together
  • I sold a lot of used clothes and toys at a consignment sale...and then spent the money I made on all the swim suits and shorts and dresses they had.
  • My uncle and aunt stayed the night and brought pizza and fun. 

I have lots of great recipes to share, so get your shopping list ready!

Greek chicken bowls: I doubled the recipe and had lunches the whole week. I also took two servings to Branson, which decreased my pizza intake.
Egg roll bowls: such a fast and delicious recipe.
Honey Mustard Chicken: I wanted to drink that pan sauce.
Pressure cooker beef stew: delicious and comforting. Dan asked for it on repeat.
Cauliflower and Walnut Taco "meat" : mysteriously delicious. I have been adding it to my eggs in the morning.
One pan cube steak dinner (we used frozen green beans, mushrooms, and onions) served with roasted sweet potatoes. Everyone in the family loved it.
Asian turkey meatballs with zoodles, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and brown rice
Red curry noodles - delicious and I used two bags of frozen stir fry vegetables, which sped up the entire cooking and cleaning process.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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