Tag Archives: family

Home again, home again

We are back from Disneyland, and have the blisters to prove it. With one adult and a teenager plus a little determination, it turns out you can go on a lot of rides. Whoa. And I am happy to report that the healthy vegetarian food options have improved significantly. The vegetarian gumbo lived up to the hype, and I also fell in love with the tofu rice bowls in the California Adventure park. I only took my little point & shoot and had limited battery time for pictures on my phone, and I decided not to focus too much on photography. But I didn’t come back totally empty-handed.


I <3 Jet Blue.


gumbo in a breadbowl


One of our first rides: The Haunted Mansion!


It’s a Small World after all


This random, tiny praying mantis that landed on me was just a bonus, I think.


We made sure to watch Captain EO twice.


Sadly the Matterhorn was closed for repairs.


The tea cups were one of our absolute favorites.

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Filed under family, travel

I’m going to Disneyland!

Levi & I are starting to prepare for what I have dubbed “Mommy & Me Spring Break 2012.” We have traveled a bit, but we have never done a trip, just the two of us. Jess isn’t a big fan of roller coasters or Disney, so she is sitting this one out. I am so excited, we are going to Disneyland!

Our last visit was 10 years ago, and a lot has changed. I hear they have apps to check the waits for different rides. We need your help! What else has changed? We will be there for 3 solid days with a pass for both parks and already have airfare and a hotel adjacent to the park. So tell us… what cannot be missed? What should we take? How can we keep our cell phones from getting soaked? Where can we get decent vegetarian food? I’m hoping healthy food options have improved a little since our last visit.

Comment with lots of advice, please!

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Filed under family, travel

2012 Homies

We’ve missed you, faithful readers! Sorry for the unannounced blog hiatus. A few people were worried by our silence and I feel bad about that. I have been out of town for work and while I was gone Jess and Levi were under the weather. We are still here!

We are super excited to have our little blog nominated for Apartment Therapy’s 2012 Homies in the Healthy Cooking Blog category. We don’t expect to win, but if you enjoy our blog please head over there, we’d love to have your vote! Even if you don’t go to vote, the Homies are a great chance to find wonderful blogs you might not have on your list yet. You do need an account to vote, but I can’t think of a better site for it.

And for those of you who were missing the chicken updates, I have a special moment between Levi & Lenora for you.

xo Krista

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the ice storm

As I stepped outside Thursday the 19th I remember thinking it was like I had walked through a teleportation device and landed in Alaska or Antarctica. I had already been waking at 3:15am for a couple days to get up in time to walk to work in the snow. If it weren’t for the inhumane hour, I would always walk to work. So long as I have my trusty snow boots, I quite enjoy walking in the snow. There is something serene about the undisturbed snowscape before the rest of the world has gotten up and trampled all over it. This particular morning the giant mounds of snow looked different than I’d ever seen before, almost glacier-like. There had been a bit of rain that created a slick layer of ice atop everything.


our bird bath

As I reached about 1/4 the way to work, I started hearing loud cracks from the tree tops. The trees were weighed down with snow that had turned to ice. Branches were falling around me. I remember thinking, “This is not good.” And then as I got just over half-way to work, I realized my face was bare. I had forgotten my glasses on the worst possible day. Within an hour of arriving at the 911 center, things were chaotic. Power lines and trees were falling all over our little county, and we had to switch to full-on emergency mode, with fire departments staffing emergency centers and all of us at dispatch working in overdrive to keep up with the calls for help.


This tree fell in our parking lot while I was at work.

I survived the rough day at work without my glasses, though the walk home was tough. At 4am I can walk in the street, but by 3pm I had some rough terrain over plow snow on the main road with traffic next to me. I’m happy to report I only fell once in thigh-deep snow. Levi and Jess were getting a little cabin fever and decided to meet up with me and we would all go get an early dinner. We had $3 in cash, so we planned to walk downtown and bus back up the hill. Throughout our fun trip downtown, I told them stories of my day and warned Levi that our power would very likely go out. Being hooked on his new Skyrim game, he was not hearing it despite all the downed power lines and dark traffic lights he had seen downtown. It turned to night as we were walking home from the bus stop, and much of the east side was in the dark. Miraculously, our power was still on when we turned the corner to our street. Levi fired up his X-Box and Jess and I turned on the TV and thanked our lucky stars for about 45 minutes before our power finally went out and stayed out for five very long days.


Jess snapped this with her phone as they quickly adapted their route to meet me


A damp Levi as we order dinner

We always talk about preparing for such emergencies, but we have accomplished very little in putting together that emergency kit. Some ways we were prepared:

  • lots of clean, warm clothes to layer on
  • plenty of blankets to keep us all warm at night (the house dropped to the 40’s, so we’re talking a lot of blankets)
  • boots, water proof hooded jackets, scarves, gloves, umbrellas, and hats
  • a functional flashlight for each of us that we were able to get to in the dark
  • lots and lots of card and board games

Ways we failed:

  • not having propane for our camp stove (though I didn’t want to create dishes anyway since we are on septic with an electric pump)
  • not being able to locate our shoe box full of candles
  • never buying those fancy hand-crank lanterns or LED lights we talked about
  • not having a stash of cash, although thankfully we didn’t need it
  • not realizing we could use the snow to refrigerate our dairy in time, although thinking of it in time to save the beer

Memories:

  • standing in a line out the door at the coffee shop when the power went out and everyone moaned, followed by it turning right back on and everyone cheering
  • getting sick of take-out and packaged food by day two
  • lounging in the furniture section at Fred Meyer, enjoying the free WI-FI and keeping an eye on our cell phones as they charged in the lamp aisle
  • writing thank you letters in our heads to the inventor of baby wipes
  • stocking up on those LED lights and clicking them on and off as we went from room to room
  • walking to Big Tom’s for veggie burgers and tater tots and celebrating with the owner as he told us they had already broken their all time sales record since 1969
  • craving a warm breakfast and toasting Pop-Tarts with the creme brulee torch
  • working as a family to dig my car out of the snow as well as a car width path in our long driveway (followed by two days of Jello arms)
  • a slumber party with some of our favorite friends when the first of our three houses had power restored
  • warming up and killing time at the movies (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
  • lots and lots of cuddling


the famous Artesian well continues to flow


Levi entertains a little girl while we all wait for the bus


the most fun card game award goes to Back to the Future


An almost 6 foot 2 inch Levi is tiny next to that monkey puzzle tree


everything is covered in icicles


seriously, everything


Capitol City

We are truly lucky that all we had were big inconveniences. I’m so glad we took care of all our pressing tree work last year. We still managed to have trees from both of our neighbor’s yards fall into ours. Thankfully they narrowly missed our house and cars. One tree landed less than an inch from my car, no exaggeration. None of our electronics were fried, and some people were without power twice as long as us. Now we just need to take this as motivation to prepare for a true disaster and actually put together that emergency kit.

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Filed under family, winter

breakfast in a jar: eggnog oatmeal custards

Time for another baked oatmeal.

This one is a little more decadent and sweet, perfect for a holiday. These small servings work well as one component of a large brunch.

eggnog oatmeal custards
Makes 12 small servings

⅔ cup sugar
half a vanilla bean, split
6 egg yolks
4 cups lowfat eggnog
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons bourbon
3 cups oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Whisk or beat the scrapings of the vanilla bean and sugar together until the vanilla is no longer in clumps. Add egg yolks and beat lightly. Add eggnog, nutmeg, bourbon, and oatmeal. Stir until combined. The oatmeal will soak and absorb some liquid while you prepare the mason jars.

Bring a kettle of water to boil. Lightly butter 12 wide mouth half-pint mason jars. Place the jars in two large baking dishes. If you don’t have the right jars available, you can use ramekins.

Using a canning funnel, divide the oatmeal mixture evenly between the jars (about 1/2 cup in each). Then pour the boiling water into the baking dish until water comes halfway up the sides of the jars.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until set. The center should not jiggle.

You can eat them warm after cooling slightly. If you prefer more of a chilled custard dish, cool completely and put the lids on the jars and refrigerate.

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DIY holiday gift round-up

It’s that time of year. Time to bust out some of those precious canned goods for holiday gifts, or better yet, make some homemade goods especially for gift giving. As we prepare for a food swap next week and plan for the holidays, I have DIY gifts on the mind. Here are some of the links I’ve been looking at:

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Filed under holidays, traditions

eggnog popcorn balls & a Hitchcock double feature

We run around in search of family fun an awful lot. Recently I’ve been thinking about the concept of cheap family dates. Last weekend we ran to Seattle for an exhibit on Horror Film at EMP. We had a ton of fun, but when you’re spending $15 a pop, buying gas, and eating out, suddenly family fun is really expensive.


Rear Window

The three of us have developed a sudden obsession with Alfred Hitchcock. Jess and I got to see Rear Window on the big screen in Portland. It was thrilling to applaud the Hitchcock cameo with a crowd. Randomly, the next week our local theater was showing Dial M for Murder in 3D, complete with a vintage piece of equipment to synchronize two projectors. We let Levi stay up late on a school night and didn’t regret it. Hitchcock films are so suspenseful and clever, and his artful shots at times take your breath away.

I realized we practically have a library of Hitchcock available on Netflix streaming, and even more titles for rent from Amazon. I decided a stay-at-home family date was in order. If we were going to have a proper double feature, we would need popcorn. The stars were aligning perfectly because I’ve been waiting since last year to try this recipe for eggnog popcorn balls.

These do not contain actual eggnog, or even eggs. They do contain a lot of nutmeg and taste delightfully like holiday nog. I made a double batch, and luckily Levi wandered into the kitchen in that way he does once in a blue moon, asking, “What ya making?” followed by, “Can I help?” We had to butter our hands every other time we formed a popcorn ball. It was a sticky mess, but so worth it.

These things are killer. You should make them. And you could even pop your popcorn in the microwave in a brown paper bag like I did yesterday. Despite the sugary mess, the recipe was pretty easy.

So, which Hitchcock films did we pick?

North by Northwest. Perhaps Cary Grant will be our next obsession. And we have always wanted to see Mount Rushmore.

The second was a no-brainer. Psycho, of course.

What have you been doing lately for family fun? Bonus points if you are successfully entertaining teenagers.

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