Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I just finished reading this and wanted to share it with you.  This was my summer read this year and I loved it!  I was a little nervous to pick it up because it wasn't recommended to me and I had just finished reading a book I didn't love.  I just wanted a good read!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is by Jamie Ford and is set in Seattle during the 1940's and 1980's- it's flash back/flash forward style.  It's about a Chinese boy living during the time in WWII when Japanese were considered a threat to America and Japanese-Americans were being sent to camps for "safety".  This book follows him through young love, family issues and more.

The hotel referred to in the title is the Panama Hotel, which is a real place in Seattle and is still there.  It's a National Landmark and has re-opened its Tea House. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fruit Sushi

 Blake made fruit sushi from a recipe he found in the June 2011 Friend Magazine.  We wrapped a banana with a fruit roll-up, cut it into slices (a serated knife worked best) and then put sprinkles on top.

Happy Avery.

Sad Avery (really she had a sprinkle stuck to her face and it made all of us laugh).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stamp Collection

For a summer craft, we made stamp collections.  This was something I did with my Cub Scout group, since one of the Bear electives is to start a stamp collection and display it. 

My inspiration was Ms. Martha Stewart's collecting idea.  Which by the way, she just turned 70 this week!?

Supplies: cardstock cut in half lengthwise, glue and stamps.  Getting the stamps was actually very easy.  I just searched ebay for a "stamps lot" and it only cost me about $5 for 200 stamps from all over the world!

We accordian folded the paper and then glued the two pieces together to make one long "book".
 The fun part was deciding what stamps they wanted from each country and sometimes figuring out where a country was and some interesting facts:  "Where exactly is New Caldonia?  Did you know Hungarians are also called Magyars?"

 Avery self selected her own stamps- I wish you could see them up close.  She wanted a pink one, a purple one, a girl and another pink one.  

Blake's well "traveled" passport.  He was adding to his original scout collection.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blake's Half Birthday

Blake's birthday is December 21st- right in the middle of Christmas celebrations.  So we have his birthday party on his half birthday, June 21st.  On his real birthday, it's a fun day for him where he gets to pick what we eat and we often have cake...but no presents and a party.  Every year I tell him we can do it on his real birthday, but I think he likes having two special days. 

This year we took a couple of his friends and went to K1 Speed for some indoor Go Karting.  

The race crew: Colin, Emma, Blake & Zack

And one cute little sis.

Emma was a little nervous, but she did great.

Getting instructions from the Pit Boss.

Blake's ready to race!
OK, I had to include this one because Eleece is the only one looking normal.  Chad was getting ready to race...and I'm not sure what Tate has going on with that beard. 

You can see the course behind the kids.  They did two races, each one about 15 minutes.
They were all 1st place winners!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Casserole

This is one of my favorite summer casseroles, it's made for a summer garden.  Fresh tomatoes, zucchini, green onions...yum!  The sour cream sauce melts down into the rice and the jack cheese makes a nice crust.  It's so good!  It's from Susan Branch's cookbook Heart of the Home (I wasn't able to find a copy online and so I had to scan it).   If you haven't checked out her cookbooks before, they're a real treat.  It's just fun to look at her illustrations and read her stories about the food.

I've been trying to do one meal a week with no meat.  I feel like we eat so heavy sometimes and it's nice once a week to have a meatless meal.  Good for our bodies and our budgets!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Help

OK, I'm back from summer vacation to Oklahoma and I've got lots of great pics to post.  But it's going to take me a little bit to get them up.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share one of my favorite books this year.  I'm sure most of you have read it because I'm sort of behind the times on this one.  But the movie is coming out soon (August 10th!)- so you still have time to read it before then. 

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kids Bowl Free

I've been such a slacker with blogging lately.  My camera was lost and has yet to be replaced.  I've been taking lots of pics on my iphone, but can't figure out how to upload them  Aagh!  Anyway, I just posted over at Kidculture about free bowling for your kids this summer.  Check it out!