Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Osaka Restaurant

Growing up, birthdays were celebrated at a restaurant of the birthday person's choice.  As a young kid, my favorite place to go for birthdays was Showbiz (now Chuck E. Cheese) Pizza, but not because of the pizza.  In fact, my family maybe only purchased pizza there once or maybe twice after seeing how much more expensive it was there.  Nah, we just went to play the games, and got cheaper food elsewhere.  When the arcade games and dinky prizes at were no longer a draw for me, I would choose to go to a restaurant for the tasty food.  My favorite food became Japanese food by the time I was 10 or so, and my favorite place to eat it was this little place on Center Street in downtown Provo called Osaka.
photo by: ratetheplateutah.com
It looks exactly the same as it did when I was a kid- from the red walls and black benches, to the hanging ball lanterns and Japanese charaters on the wall.  The menu is exactly the same as when I was a kid.  I'm not sure if the prices have changed, since I didn't pay attention to the prices as a kid.

The salad is this yummy creamy sesame-ginger dressing served on iceberg lettuce.
photo by: ratetheplateutah.com
Their miso soup has always been a comfort food for me.
photo by: ratetheplateutah.com
I brought my family to Osaka this past time we visited Utah Valley.  It hasn't changed.  It was yummy food, and the service was slow (it always has been), and it was like going back to my childhood.  This time, I ordered something I've never ordered before- the Steak Teriyaki entree with tempura vegetables and rice.  The steak was really, really good.  In fact, I'd like some about now.  
Osaka Teriyaki Steak & Tempura
photo by: ratetheplateutah.com
My kids both ordered the kids meal "boats."  Those are the best!  They haven't changed from when I was a kid either.  The rice comes with a little paper umbrella stuck into it, there is an orange carved to look like what I thought was a snail as a kid, but found out later it's supposed to be the trunk and tusks of an elephant.  What ever the kids couldn't eat, I happily finished for them.
Lily loved it.  She said that it tasted good.  She liked the boats and the fancy lit lamps.  Once we got out of the restaurant, we saw a guy singing on the street with this weird instrument that looked like a half piano and half violin, and another guy dancing.  She remembers looking at the fish in the aquarium by the cash register and that they had fancy toothpicks there.  Lily liked to hear the stories I told about Osaka.  I told her how I remembered the stairs that led to the basement where a bathroom was located before they built the one on to the back of the building.  As kids we used to play on those stairs and slide down them, because the steps were so shallow it was almost like a ramp anyway.
Amara liked the umbrellas.  She also liked the oranges that looked like an elephant with tusks.

Friday, October 17, 2014

July Outtakes

Look!  Shamu!
 July was a super-fun, super-FULL month for us!  We visited everyone and went everywhere.  You'll see as I get around to blogging about each event.  But for now, here are some outtakes from July to wet your appetite.
Brotherly love.

Preggers April looking chic!

Yay for free desserts!

This is our staged Sasquatch picture.  Look in the woods behind us.

Splash Mountain

Sun hats for the hot California sun!

Peeling sunburned feet

Camping near the beach


One energetic animal

Raspberries between our teeth

Toasty Mallows!

Mallows + Raspberries between teeth :)

Art Inspired by General Conference

While watching General Conference, Lily created this beautiful artwork. It is of our family.  She took a lot of time staring at our faces and concentrating on our individual characteristics.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Moments from June

I love this.  Amara set up a nice little blogging spot in our garden to update our Wild West Gardeners blog.  Don't you love the shade umbrella?  She is quite the lover of gardening and nature.

Just a random pic of Lily.  You must excuse my foot for photobombing.

Grandpa Christensen made bows and arrows for Lily, Amara, and Jaxon out of some sticks laying around.

He crafted them quite nicely.

And he taught them how to use it properly.

Then they were off and having a great time shooting their sticks and chasing them around the yard.

Sometimes the arrow wouldn't do what it was supposed to.  :)

"We love staying at Aunty Aprils house because we can have dessert for breakfast and watch tons of kids shows!" 

April and Spencer went on a date, and we watched Devon.  We didn't expect to take this little trip to the splash pad, and we were completely unprepared for it, but since it was the end of the day, I figured we'd let the kids have their fun.

Devon was having fun.  He said he was cold, and I asked if he wanted to go home, but he said, "No!" and ran off to play in the water some more.

Lily has discovered one of the glorious gifts from heaven in this life.  Clouds of cream in her mouth.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Filipino Way

This is my friend, Leandro.  I met him through my mom.
He barely speaks English.  He's at an age where retirement is knocking at the door, yet he works 2 full-time jobs and gets only about 4 hours of sleep per night.  All that so that he can send money and packages to his family in the Philippines.  His wife also works full-time so they can take care of their family "back home" and be able to take trips there to visit their family.  They don't live extravagantly, they are frugal.  They are a very hardworking, selfless couple.  If you are Filipino, which I am (1/4 to be exact), you are immediately their friends and they treat you as family.

Leandro's wife was having a birthday and he wanted to throw her a secret party.  So, he invited my mom and I to come.  A couple days later, his wife, saw my mom, and whispered to her, "Hey!  Will you and your daughter come to my secret birthday party on Friday?"  So, we were doubly invited to a not-so-secret surprise party.

It was a picnic dinner- buffet style.  They stayed up all night cooking all the food because they had to be to work the next day.  I tell you, it was nothing short of an amazing Filipino feast!  There were more choices there than Golden Corral or Chuck-a-Rama.  I only got a few pictures of the food- because as soon as something got eaten, they would take that away and replace it with a completely new item.  There were 3 long picnic tables of food, and another folding table of food, and there was no room for plates, so those were on a little set of plastic drawers that they wheeled outside.
 I wasn't familiar with probably half the food being served, but I must say that everything I tried was great.

This chicken had tons of flavor!  There is lemon-grass in there.

This is definitely dessert. It has super soft potato and tapioca, and fruit coctail and sweetened condensed milk, and cream.  It sounds really strange, but it is so good.  I took some home for Steve to try, but he wouldn't even touch it.

 There were lots of people there too, maybe 50?  They must've invited everyone they knew.  I got to meet a lot of other Filipinos.  Who knew there were that many living out here in rural-ville.  Some of my mom's friends from work were there.
 And you probably can't tell, but there was karaoke, and so many people worked that microphone!  I so often see reserved crowds, but not here.  It was a great, fun night!
The hosts spent so much time and energy and probably money so we could have a good time.  There was food to feed a crowd for a week.  Everyone greets eachother with hugs and warm fellowship.  Everyone takes part in the fun.  All this, plus recognizing the importance of family, and inviting all to come join you...   I've never been to the Philippines, but I'm proud to be Filipino, as I see this is what I know as the Filipino way.  

Say Cheesecake!

Margaret, the Marvelous Mom
Steve was getting to know his new camera better while I took the girls with me to my reunion with the seminary council girls (back in June).  He was hanging out with his family and they got to be his models.  Don't they look lovely?
Beverli the Beautiful

Matt the Magnanimous
Steve's mom knows him well, and she's always doing things to make others feel special, so guess what they had for lunch that day?  Lots of veggies, fruit, and CHEESECAKE (You know, the perfect ones from Costco?)!  mmmm!  Steve's kind of lunch ;)
Eat the rainbow.  Then eat the fluffy white cloud of cheesecake!
After lunch, more photography of fabulous family!
Beverli the Bright

Art the Artist :)