Thursday, March 26, 2015

Simplifying Breakfast

The girls and I do green smoothies most days of the week. Arielle likes mixed fruit and she doesn't like berries. I have developed what makes ONE SERVING for me....with blueberries (antioxidant), spinach, and lots of protein..... But it makes a mess every morning.....Brittney mentioned on Sunday that she puts all but the liquid ingredients in the I tried it.....

In the morning I add my liquid (almond milk), dump in one of the freezer bags and blend.  This way the spinach doesn't go bad before it's used either. LOL
This gives me a cup of spinach, a cup of berries, at least 25 g of protein and my omegas for the day in one quick breakfast. I find I don't get my fruits in if I don't drink a smoothie.  I miss my morning oatmeal - but this gives me much more protein. Thanks, Brittney - you've simplified my life - and I enjoyed setting up Potluck with you too. LOL
My Smoothie
1 C spinach
1 C blueberries
.75 ml DHA/EPA oil (vegan fish oil)
1 T flax seeds
1 scoop protein powder (a compromise)
1 splash vanilla
1 T almond butter
1 C Almond Milk
I've noticed I need a bit more liquid with all the ingredients frozen....but it's working well.  And I don't have to swallow the DHA/EPA. LOL
The girls like one with bananas, mixed fruit, spinach, protein, and either almond milk or orange juice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Weather Mix-ups

Great discomfort happens when one reads the wrong weather forecast and dresses accordingly..... Yes, I did this recently. Somehow I saw the hourly Misawa forecast.....
I thought, "Wow, that's a huge temperature switch," and piled on the layers..... only to realize that the forecast for CA was much different.  
I was thankful for layers which could be shed....and the rest of the week I'm careful to note which city is showing up when I click weather....

And yes....I could have checked outside but it was 5:30 a.m. here and it FELT cold....just not that cold. LOL

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bok Kai Temple

After lunch we took advantage of the holiday to tour the Bok Kai temple. It turns out there are lot of Chinese Americans who come to worship after the parade.

This is when the celebration began to resemble a Japanese festival. Fireworks, incense and wind chimes were being sold. Whole roasted pigs and fruit carried in and out of the temple, and lots of families eating on the grass outside of the temple.

We lined up - and it was a long line. Eventually, a gal came by and asked us if we were worshippers. She had us go in a different door and stand by the far wall to get the line moving for those who had come to worship. It was a good plan but ended up in letting us non-worshippers cut to the front of the line. I'm not sure that was the plan.

This building was dedicated in Dec 1880. I loved getting in to see it.

The worship reminded us of the worship we observed in Shinto temples. Rattles, incense, gifts for the gods....
This food seemed to be offered here and then ate outside

Scrolls were purchased and then thrown into the fire.....I wondered if they were like the prayers we'd seen burned at the Shinto temple.
Lots of fireworks

We have enjoyed a lazy afternoon. We slept. Arielle went out to babysit for a few hours. We had leftovers for dinner. I discovered I'm out of key ingredients for my planned potluck offerings tomorrow. Michael is reading Magician's Nephew to the kids.  I'm caught up with the blog. A new week can begin.

Bok Kai Parade

The Bok Kai parade began back in the 1850's. It is always held on the weekend closest to the second day of the second month of the Lunar calendar. It is the longest continually held parade in California. The parade honors Bok Eye, the Chinese Water God, who is said to protect Marysville from flooding.  This is our last year to be here this time of year and so we went.  It was quite apparent most do not know or understand the religious background of the parade.

D Street in Marysville, CA

Waiting....Zander, Stacia, Nolan and Arielle

Playing Tic Tac Toe with the nuts

Finally - the start!

It wasn't a bad parade - but it wasn't a Japanese festival either.  Here are a few overheard comments:

"In Japan there is music during parades."

"This parade is mostly pick up trucks with signs."

"Lots of marching bands and Tae Kwon Do...."

That would about sum it up - lots of old cars and prunes. Yes, PRUNES. Poor Stacia. Each treat she retrieved turned out to be plums/prunes in some form.  This is Sunsweet country. LOL

We did love the old cars....

One of the marching bands

One of the Tae Kwon Do schools
 One other observation - dysfunctional families may be funny on television but they aren't funny at all in real life. I felt sorry for the kids sitting next to us.  And then the finale! Team Beale operates the Bok Kai dragon.

We headed to find festival food for lunch....there weren't a ton of options. We should have brought lunch. We were happy to find a touch of shade. I had garlic fries, Arielle had shaved ice and the rest enjoyed chicken and strips.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Short Week

Spring Break ended; we put our nose to the grindstone, and didn't look up until today. ::snort::

Tuesday - We hit the books HARD! Four day weeks are always a challenge and even more so when they're sandwiched by a few busy weeks.  I did loads of laundry. Michael had the house and laundry done when we came home - such a blessing.  Tuesday night we finished Daniel with the evening Bible study.

Wednesday - PWOC  Bible study. I finished Daniel with the day time study. I did have a great sense of accomplishment at having finished....I continue to read books on the subject....still studying.

Wednesday I had the joy of being the greeter and prayer partner for the women coming to interview for next year's PWOC Executive board.  Another gal came over and chatted for a bit in the afternoon, I did a bit of organizing and cleaning at Far West and then we had youth group and Family Bible study.  We ended up calling Bible study early due to lack of participants and came on home. It is nice that Arielle can drive the older kids home.

Michael had a "day" - he saw the orthopedic surgeon.  It seems the arthritis which was diagnosed about a year ago has progressed very rapidly. He now has bone on bone in both hips. Running was NOT a good idea and he's been forbidden from doing any more. The surgeon thought about hip replacement, but Michael is far too young for that at this point.  Both of us will have lots of medical junk to do before retirement.....He'll see this doc for another test in the near future and they'll discuss what he should be doing or could be doing to be more comfortable.  It wasn't real cheery news. OK, frankly, I was ticked the AF didn't put him on profile or lighten the running load when he was diagnosed...guess he should have complained more?????

Thursday - lots more school. I began reading Passing Strangers for PWOC Page Turners.

Friday - Michael is home. He still has a nagging cough and coughs up stuff. Yuck. So glad I haven't caught this.  I went to Page Turners. This is always a fun time to relax and visit as we try out different shops. Today we went to Cupcake Magic. They do have vegan cupcakes - but they certainly aren't sugar free. I had scones...and neither were they.  I almost finished  the book selection. LOL 

After Page Turners I ran to Sam's for produce and Papa Murphy's for pizza.

Michael suggested we see Cinderella. It was a better movie than I was expecting. We spent the night relaxing. We were supposed to have the Great Disney Debate - but it didn't happen.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sunday and Monday - Spring Break Ends

The kids and I attended the 0830 service at Calvary Temple. It is always fun to be "home" and this week was no exception.  My parents attend the 0830 service and we went out to breakfast with them and family friends - Jim and Jaimie- after service.

The kids and I went back to Mom and Dad's and visited while we waited for the girls to be done at their various churches - both serve as Children's Pastors.  Krista met us at Mom and Dad's and we headed for Valley River Mall to meet BreZaak. We spent the afternoon window shopping and talking as we walked. We had dinner together. We parted ways after dinner.

The kids and I went back to the hotel to pack up. Krista came with us. We may have begun a new addiction to the Food Channel. Alas, we don't have cable or television and I can't find the season to see which cook ends up winning at All Star Academy. ::snort::

We went back to Mom and Dads, but they were gone. We visited with Lori and waited for them to come home so we could say good bye.

We left the hotel on Monday at 0530 to head back to CA. I drove to Yreka and Arielle drove the second half of the trip home. I got the passes in the dark, rain and fog. She got the two lane "hwy" with semis and tractors. We laughed heartily at Samantha (Michael's GPS) which continued to tell us to watch for steep declines and sharp curves as we drove through the rather flat and predictable farmland of Northern California.

The  highlight of our trip was stopping for breakfast in Yreka at Black Bear's Dinner. Again.

An incident which broke my heart - I thought Arielle and I were sharing a moment of connection over deep worship - only to realize SHE was singing made up words about the song which was driving her crazy. So much for KLove. We will miss her when she moves out in June. Stacia continues to voice her determination not to leave home as soon as SHE turns 18 - she plans to live with us "forever." ::wink::

We were surprised Michael was home when we arrived. He was on quarters for much of last week and was home sick.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Dad - Spring Break

The kids and I made plans to travel to Oregon to surprise Dad on his birthday back in early February. It worked out well for us that College Preview was the same weekend in the same town. LOL  Tonight, we headed to Roaring Rapids Pizza to meet up with Will (Brother) and Sherri, their son Drew, and their granddaughter Harmony. Bre was back in town and it was fun to see her and Izaak as well. Krista, our four at home kids, myself, and Nate (Brother) and Heather's two children - Mikhail and Nadia joined us too.  My parents and Lorri (cousin) came a bit later in the evening so we could "surprise" Dad. 
Stacia and Harmony on the Old Carousel

Zander prefers Pac Man

Dad and Sherri

Me, Dad and Will (brother)

Dad, Harmony and Will - 3 Generations
Dad and our present Kids - Stacia, Zander, Arielle, Nolan, Krista and Bre
 This is a fun shot! Dad with nine of his fourteen grandkids 
Nadia and Mikhael on left - Drew behind Krista

Mom and Dad

Arielle and Lorri
 We hadn't seen Bre all weekend - she was away at a Pastor's and Ministry Wives retreat.  The kids and I headed over to BreZaaks apartment to play Scene It.  It was a fun time to chill as a family.

Get Air - Spring Break - Day 7

Saturday morning Harmony was at Will and Sherri's so we organized some cousin time. What do you do when it's wet and gray in Oregon? You go to Get Air. Get Air is an indoor trampoline park. It was fantastic. The floors are covered with recessed trampolines, the walls are covered with trampolines and you can bounce to your heart's content for an hour - or more.  They even give a military discount. I forgot my real camera and had to settle for the phone camera - which didn't do a great job. We'll go back on another trip.
Sherri, Harmony, the kids, Krista, Mom and I made this trip.....if I lived here I'd be tempted to make this part of a workout regimen.
Out of focus - but gives you a sense of the room
Walking a tight rope over a trampoline
One of the favorites was a platform one stood on and jumped off of into a pit of foam squares. Nolan reported he couldn't touch the bottom. It was fun to watch them jump in and struggle back to the side of the pit. 
Trampoline basketball
This is a dodge ball room 

 Sherri took Zander and Stacia with her when our time was up so they could have more fun with Harmony.

The rest of us toured one of the duplex styles that Arielle and Krista may be moving into, and then headed back to hotel and home to rest up a bit and get ready for the evening.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Break - College Preview - Day 6

We are very tired! Arielle spent the night fussing about Stacia stealing her pillows. Take a close look. If she'd put her head at the TOP of the bed she'd find her pillows. ::snort::
We dropped Arielle off at New Hope this morning for College Preview.  We're still processing. She has several ideas. I took the other three to Target (no sales tax here) for new jeans and shoes. SCORE.  We knew were back in Duck country.... 

We stopped so I could have a nice visit with Sherri (sister in law) and then we dropped by Mom and Dad's for a quick visit.  Our next appointment was back across town to pick up Arielle.

Arielle went to meet a potential roommate. Lori, my cousin, and I went to pick up Chinese food. We brought it to Mom and Dad's, the girls arrived, Izaak arrived, Nadia showed up and we had  dinner!

The kids played a round of Disney Scene It and now we're back at the motel settling in....too late to get cookies....

Thursday, March 12, 2015


We left California bright and early. I drove six of the hours. Arielle drove the final two hours. It took us nine hours.  The roads were great - other than the two semis that zipped in front of me without signaling...yes, I did honk. 
Note I left the seat in Michael's laid back position
 We stopped at a couple of rest areas but didn't really STOP until Yreka -  the halfway mark. The kids wanted breakfast at Black Bear Diners. We've noted we like the one in Yreka better than the one in Redding.

No photos - but we checked into our hotel. So happy to have one room free.  We went over and surprised Grandpa.

When Krista got off work she joined us. She was scheduled to work at a health fair at her place of employment, one of the local middle schools.  The school just happens to be the same public school where I went to 7-9th grade. Lots more bars but all else looks the same.  Stacia dutifully went from station to station getting her passport stamped. Here we learn that the food industry uses yellow, red and orange in their advertising because these colors make you hungry. LOL

Krista was assigned with safety and crowd control for the fire dancing. Believe it or not, we were informed this is good for your health. ::snort:: We got the sense they are used to preforming in much less clothing.
This man burned his arm and singed his hair...
This man caught his pants on fire -!  The photos of his pants on fire had to be deleted - unfortunately he is into gangsta style and it showed much of his body I don't want to remember!
This performer is one of the science teachers at the school
We were totally wiped out and came home to sleep after the health and wellness fair.