Archive for June, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

I’ve been so used to the Angels being first in their division year after year that it’s strange to go to a game and not expect them to win. So far, they have not been playing well, and it showed. They lost 4-2. But it did not take away from the experience of being in Angel Stadium! What a fun time!

It was Trinny’s first baseball game. She slept through the yelling, cheering, and loud talking. During the game, I still got to play with her (when she was awake).

Trinny's First Angel Game

Algee scored some great seats right next to the Diamond Club just behind the first base line. It definitely felt like being part of the executive crowd. We took lots of pictures.

great seats!

Since it was a Friday night, there was a fireworks show after the game. I’ve seen lots of fireworks when I was in China, but there’s just something special about the choreography being set to Beach Boys music! So much fun!

Big Bang Friday

We stopped by the Team Store to pick up new Angel caps. I lost my cap in Oklahoma and Alvin lost his in Nicaragua. Good time to get new ones! I really like my old-school “A” a lot.

new Angel caps

I just can’t get enough of this little girl. She was so good the whole time, the perfect age for holding, cuddling, and playing in-between innings. She also has the cutest dimpled smile!

another one with Trinny!

Hawaiian Bread

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

How cool is it to never buy bread from the store again? Instead, we could just make our own bread and try different kinds every week, even every day. This seems to be where things are headed as we continue to experiment on more recipes. Yesterday, we baked pumpernickel bread, and though it probably needed a bit more sweetener, it was something a little nutella couldn’t solve. Today, I went to the store and got some pineapple juice so we can try baking Hawaiian bread. I think we are on a roll because it was another winner! It was soft and fluffy, and the house smelled of freshly baked bread!

fresh off the oven

I just have to post another adorable picture of these two little ones. While we were waiting for the bread to bake, the kids were watching Winnie the Pooh. This was Allister’s first time on a booster chair. He was very happy and seems to like it a lot better than the bouncer. We noticed that he doesn’t like to recline and prefers to sit up, especially in the car!

Avery and Allister

Popsicles

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

As a quick dessert treat, we made some popsicles using the blender. It was a very simple recipe but it turned out to be good substitute for ice cream! Basically, we blended frozen fruit or cocoa powder, milk, heavy cream, and a little bit of sugar. We put them into the popsicle molds overnight. What came out the next morning were perfectly-shaped and moderately-portioned popsicles. Both kids and adults liked it! I have a feeling we have our healthy substitute for store-bought ice cream.

chocolate and berry flavors

In the background is Wensley making waffle batter for breakfast the next morning. Yes, this is fast becoming a homemade gourmet-eating family!

Making Croissant

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We continue to venture into baking. This time, we dared to make croissants. It was a complicated procedure but we took it on, staying up late in the evening!

There were some kneading, whacking, molding, and rolling involved. Then, we chilled the dough in the fridge overnight.

folding the butter

The next morning, there was more rolling. It was delicate because of the layers of butter in-between the dough. There were supposed to be 81 layers but we settled for a lot fewer than that.

rolling the dough

Then, it was ready for the oven. This is what it looked like before it went in … cute little pastries!

baking the pastry

I don’t have a picture of the “after” shot, but it was really delicious! It was not as flaky as the ones in the store but it was certainly good enough. When we make it again, maybe we’ll actually do the 81 layers to flake it up even more.

Chik-Fil-A

Monday, June 6th, 2011

This is one of those eating places where we make a big deal about going there. I suppose it makes it more exciting. What is special about Chik-Fil-A? We decided that it was their special sauces. There are at least 8 different kinds to choose from. Though we agreed that their chicken is delicious but nothing spectacular, dipping them in the sauce turns them into something else! We probably won’t be going there regularly, but it was certainly a good place to go for a special treat.

For the kids, there was a play place where they ran around for a little bit. This is a picture of them in front of the entrance of the play area. Next to them is the cow mascot. Little Avery got a bump on his head after he tripped over some shoes. He cried it out and went right back to climbing!

Eat Mor Chikin'!

Overnight Stay

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

This weekend, I spent the night at Marilen’s house. Since she lives about an hour away, it made sense for me to just stay overnight, especially since we wanted to catch up on life. She had promised to take me to her favorite cafe that serves the best chocolate croissant. She did not disappoint! It was one of the best croissants I’ve ever had! There’s me holding it for the camera. It was also the perfect day for walking around and chatting while we pushed the stroller and went window shopping. Mateo is such a good kid; he takes after his mom, for sure. She is one of those friends where no matter how long it’s been, we just pick up where we left off … I can’t believe we’ve been friends for over 20 years! What a meaningful friendship! That day, we were both wearing jean jackets … kind of telling which generation we belonged.

matching jean jackets -- so 80s!

Happy Birthday, Aldridge!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Today was a very busy day from morning to evening. It was Aldridge’s birthday and he knew it. He was greeted by his Manila grandparents first thing in the morning. Then, we headed out to Chuck E. Cheese for his birthday lunch. In the evening, we had a special cake made by his mom as we sang him his special song. His brothers were the most enthusiastic. He was so delighted!

This is a shot of the family after he blew out the candle.

homemade birthday cake

Also in attendance at the party were Tralgee. They came in time for the cake. It was a nice little reunion. It was also great to see little Trinity again. In just a couple of weeks, she has filled up — and grown a lot cuter, if that were possible!!!

birthday party!

There is a nursery rhyme that goes well with the activities of the day. I think of my nephews and niece as the little piggies.

This little piggie was drowsy …

wake up, Trinny!

This little piggie rode a helicopter …

flying high

This little piggie got interviewed in school …

ready for kindergarten

This little piggie had a birthday …

that's four fingers!

And this little piggie cried “wee, wee, wee” all the way home …

I want to sit up!

Binoculars

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The box that I sent to myself from China finally arrived! It took about a month and a half. Among the things that were in the box were toys that I got for my nephews. I got them night scope binoculars.

As soon as they got them, they immediately started playing. I had to teach them how to look through the lens and to press the buttons to activate the lights. It was so much fun to see their reaction!

how do I use this?

We went to the backyard to see if we can catch a few birds in flight. I also encouraged them to look at the trees and neighbor’s houses. They tried to use it to look at flowers like a microscope. It didn’t work as well.

I see a bird!

So many possibilities! But they probably won’t see much looking up the big blue sky.

what's up there?

Homemade Meals

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

It all started with some bread recipes that were tried and true when I was still in China. Now, it has evolved into experimenting with what we want to actually eat. We’re also mindful of what the kids are willing to eat so we try to be realistic, too.

This one was a hit. Instead of plain banana bread, we added chocolate in it and put them into a muffin mold. It was easy to pick up and eat at any time.

banana chocolate muffins

Now, this has become a family favorite! Instead of going out and paying over $7 for crepe, we now make our own crepe skin and add our own toppings. Everyone LOVES this dessert. I learned that the utensil one uses to flatten the skin is called a “trowel.” We ordered one online and waiting for it to arrive. At that time, we’ll have a bigger crepe skin to make all our toppings fit!

nutella, strawberry, banana with whipped cream and ice cream crepe

This was our most ambitious recipe yet: Pizza! I must say that it tasted really yummy. It also helped to know that the ingredients were all fresh (homemade dough with fresh mushrooms, onions, green bell peppers). Goodbye Little Caesars. Just thinking about the grease and oil makes me sick. Even after several days, the pizza was still good; in fact, it actually tasted better. It must be the sauce that soaked through into the bread. We’ll definitely make this again.

vegetarian pizza