Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sabrina: Prayers

Last night Sabrina picked up a picture of Jesus.  She pointed at His face and then folded her arms to say prayers.  It was precious.  This is how she folds her arms for prayer:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Alaska: Sue's visit Day 1

The first day Tom's mom was here, we drove down to a wildlife refuge.  We saw some ice climbers along the way, met some cute animals, went in the back door of the gift shop (with the snowy antler chandelier) and were not able to use the bathrooms (as pictured).  Sunset on the mountains on the way home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Alaska: Hoar Frost

Hoar frost is one of my favorite things about winter here.  When the fog rolls in and it's cold, everything becomes magical and frosty.  Tom took these pictures with his phone on the walk from work to the bus stop.

And here are the girls watching the digger take away our two-story snow mountain.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alaska: It Snows Here

We've had a crazy abnormal winter.  So far, Anchorage has gotten 88 inches of snow.  I'm totally loving it because it feels more like what I thought I was signing up for when moving to Alaska.  It's gorgeous.  We had a two-story snow pile in our parking lot, but yesterday morning a loader came and filled up 5 dump trucks and 2 lawn maintenance trucks.  It was an eventful morning out our window.  But here are some pictures of what 88" looks like (while I took the girls on a walk with the sled, Tom took some pictures).  

Though I am loving all the snow, I could do without the abnormal negative temperatures.  But I guess we're grateful we're not Cordova, who, Since November 1, has gotten 176 inches of snow and 44 inches of rain.  Yikes!  (Photo: Reader submission

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sabrina: Silly Faces and Stats

A day in the life...

Sabrina went to the doctor today and here are her stats:
Weight: 22lb 1 oz - 60th percentile
Height: 31.25 inches - 75th percentile

She doesn't talk.  She HAS said "mama" "dada" "no" "yeah" "bye" and "hi" - but not consistently.  Her comprehension is good though.  She communicates well through grunts, nods, and pointing and understands everything we say.

And no matter where we put Celia's M&Ms she gets for sitting on the potty, we ALWAYS catch Sabrina in  a precarious position with her hand in the bowl.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Celia: The Artist

Celia draws just like anyone else her age. But I want to post the pictures here so extended family can see them and so that *when* (not if) Sabrina destroys the originals, none of us are devastated.

This is Celia with Sabrina and Sabrina has "cute little hair."

Today in preschool, I taught the kids about Europe and we drew coats of arms of what's important to us.  This is what Celia drew and her explanation: "Celia.  Tom.  Marel.  Sabrina.  And we're dancing."  (She also pointed out that she's wearing a crown.)

"That's me ice skating!"

"The Grinch and Cindy [Lou Who] and her mom and dad."  This is the scene where the Grinch is lifting up the sled on the top of the mountain (which is apparently a line) and Cindy is on top of the sled (with her pointy hair).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Recipes We Use

Because I wish everyone would post a list of their most commonly used recipe links (and because I've been doing a lot of transferring of "favorites" as we juggle computers that work), here is mine (so I can look at this at the beginning of every month and have a MUCH easier time planning the month's meals).  If you choose to follow suit, please leave a comment with a link to yours.  That would be fun!

Pasta Primavera (Pioneer Woman)
Creamy One-pot Pasta (PJ's Recipe Box)
Veggies and Noodles with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce (Our Best Bites)
Thai Peanut Noodles **Double the entire recipe except the chile sauce - half that** (Our Best Bites)
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas (Whole Foods)
Mexican Enchilada Sauce (
Sweet Potato Pasta (this very blog)
Black Bean Torta (Vegetarian Slow Cooker)
Parsnip Coconut Curry (Vegetarian Slow Cooker) - a double batch FILLS the crockpot.
Broccoli Pesto (Vegetarian Cooking)
Ratatoille Pasta (One Dish Heart Healthy Meals) - use full package of spaghetti and add 4Tbs butter to noodles.
African Sweet Potato Stew (Cooking Light Slow Cooker) - make sure you use cooked beans and roasted peanuts

Smoked Salmon Alfredo (
Grilled Salmon with Sweet Corn and Avocado Salad (Whole Foods)
Almond Crusted Salmon with Caramelized Onion and Basil (Whole Foods)

Grilled Halibut with Mango Pico de Gallo (Whole Foods)

Chicken Enchilada Soup (PJ's Recipe Box)
Chicken a la King (PJ's Recipe Box) - Funny thing about this is that I'm embarrassed I like it.  I don't like biscuits and gravy, but since this is the meal they served me in the hospital right after I had Sabrina (naturally, remember??), I thought it was the greatest food ever made.  I've liked it ever since.
Kai Kang Dang *Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk* (

Not online:
(At some point, maybe I'll write all these down here... but right now, I'm listing our main "go-to" meals for myself so when I plan our month's meals, I don't have to flip back through the calendar to remind me what we like)
Spaghetti Carbonara
HUB Cafe Chicken Tacos (use cooked beans for half of the chicken)
Tillamook Grilled Chicken Breast (pg. 137 in Tillamook cookbook)
Foccacia Bread Pizza (using Tyler Florence's dough recipe)
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Emily's Spaghetti (thanks Emily!)
Khmer Grilled Pork with Pickled Veggies
Chicken Satay and Cucumber Salad
Khmer Curry
Sweet Aromatic Chicken

Chet K'tis *Khmer Banana and Tapioca Dessert* (khmer krom recipes)
Mango Lassi (Simply Recipes)

What does all this say about us?  We go through a lot of Coconut Milk.  We have a hard time getting out of the "Mexican and Thai" rut because those are our favorites.  And we eat a lot of delicious salmon.  Also, if you come to visit, this is the menu.  Let us know what you would prefer.  :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meet Dorothy

Part of cousin Taylor's present to my daughter was a trip to the "Clifford Store" (Petco) which she had been wanting to go to for a long time.  Included was a fish, a bowl, a fish plant, rocks, and a fish ornament.  She picked them all out herself.  She still talks about it.  And Dorothy joined our family on Saturday.  (Elmo's fish is named Dorothy, so after mentioning several name possibilities - including the usual Hockadoh and Hashihan - Dorothy was the winner because if Elmo's fish is named Dorothy, all fish must be named Dorothy.)  I took these pictures last night right after cleaning the bowl... you know, in case he (yes, it's a boy and Celia correctly uses "he" but still named it Dorothy) died.  I was happy to see him still alive and swimming this morning.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Celia: Some funnies

 - Last week sometime, Celia went outside and smelled.  Then she stated: "You know what snow smells like?  Meat and sugar."  We just thought it was a random thing she likes to say.  But then a few days later, she went outside and ate some.  Then she said:  "Snow tastes like meat and sugar!"

- Today, after nap, Celia went to sit on the potty.  After a minute, she declared: "My wet is dreaming about muscles.  But my bones are trying to wake up my wet and poopies.  But they're still sleeping.  So I can get off the potty."

Celia's life is a constant narrative, so I could write a lengthy monologue daily that would be hilarious.  But nowadays, I only think to capture the funny if it's book-ended by quiet moments or if she says it more than once.  She wakes up every morning, comes upstairs to put on her crown and dancing skirt, and then starts the day.  Below is her at Costco in 4 degree weather.  Always the diva.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's

We have a benefit in Alaska of being 4 hours earlier than NYC.  This means we can have an early New Year's party with children, watch the ball drop at 8, and still get the kids in bed before it stops being fun for them.  So, we had some friends over around 5, ate some crepes, did some Just Dance, and said "Happy New Year."  Then we remembered we had a camera.  And took all these pictures just after the ball dropped and before everyone left.  At least it's documented.  The McGinty's brought their super newborn cutie.  The Dahle's brought Eva, who loved the new kitchen (hence they adopted Sabrina for the family picture.)  And Tom and the girls enjoyed some Martinelli's.  

Then Tom and I watched Doctor Who: The End of Time, cleaned up the kitchen, and watched the ball drop with Dick Clark at midnight.  I started 2012 with a clean house... we'll see how long I can keep that up.  Happy New Year!

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