Monday, February 9, 2015

I'm 33! A Birthday to Remember!

For my 33rd birthday, Steve took off a couple days from work and took our family down to the Wasatch Front to celebrate.  It was phenomenal to be able to be with so many loved ones, and each one of them wanted their turn to celebrate my birthday with me.  It truly was special.  
We stayed with Steve's parents.  When I woke up on my birthday day, Amara told me not to go upstairs until they were ready for me.  Then I started to smell what was cooking, so we went up together.  I sat down to a lovely home-cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit with my own special place setting complete with a handmade birthday card and bow.
It was the best way to start my day.

God blessed us with gorgeous weather.  We spent some time outside taking in the fresh air and Steve furthered his photography experience while we were at it.
For a late lunch, Steve's parents treated me to a meal at my choice of restaurant.  I chose Texas Roadhouse because I've been wanting to take Steve there sometime and I remembered that I liked the food.  I think everyone was expecting me to choose something Asian-inspired, but not this time.   I even ordered something I never order anywhere, but since the waitress highly recommended it, I ordered the ribs with mashed potatoes and a salad.
Then I misunderstood the waitress as she asked me if I wanted her to bring out the "sow."  I was confused but I said, "Sure." After she left, I asked the others at the table what she was talking about and Steve's mom said that she would be bringing out a "saddle!"

So, being the lucky birthday girl, I got to sit on this saddle seat as the waitress called for the attention of every patron in the restaurant to please give me a loud, "YEE HAW!"  I sat and smiled, but I definitely could've done without that.  On the plus side, they did bring me some ice cream, which I took my one indulgent bite of, and handed it off to be devoured by the rest of my family.
Then, I offered my saddle seat to the girls for a picture, which they totally jumped at the chance!

It was a very enjoyable meal, and since we went in the afternoon, we didn't have to fight a full parking lot or wait to be seated.  Good times!
I knew I'd be too full to go out to eat for dinner with my other siblings, and they wanted to do something with me on my birthday, so I suggested we go to U-Swirl later that evening for dessert.  I like that place because even though I can't eat a lot of sweets, I can have my "bite," and I can make it myself.  I got a lid and squirted whip cream in the bottom (that's mostly air, so that doesn't count, right?) and then I got bits of the good stuff.  It was yummy, but the cheesecake bits are overrated.
Micah's family, April's family, and Steve's mom all joined in the celebration.  We took up the entire big-U seating area.

The day after my birthday, my dad and Deb agreed to make me a birthday dinner.  I got to choose the menu and I picked Kalbi, rice, wonton salad, shrimp coctail, and another veggie.  I got all I asked for an more!  What's more, they are still in the middle of renovating their kitchen.  I was luck it was done enough for them to put this together for me.
Me and dad photobombing the food picture.

Debby made this gorgeous and delicious pineapple upside down cake.
I got to help fry up the wontons for the salad.  That salad dressing was made with fresh sweet lemons from my Aunty Cheryl's tree (all the way from California.  My dad brought them back with him when he and Deb came home from taking care of his parents for a week).

Apparently there was a sale on Crab-stuffed Clams, so lucky me, we got another taste of seafood for the meal.
The shrimp cocktail was the bomb!  My dad boiled it himself and he seasoned the water which really infused a punch of flavor into each little crustacean.  Those were the best shrimp I've ever had.  And we got more of Aunty Cheryl's lemons to enjoy with it!
Joe manned the crazy hot grill that kept setting off the basement fire alarm.  You see, he was grilling in the front of the house and the smoke kept pouring into the garage and setting off the alarm.  We had grilled Kalbi beef AND Kalbi chicken.  I love Kalbi.  I mean I really, really L.O.V.E. IT!
We had a very nice medley of steamed veggies that I helped cut up- broccoli, cauliflower, yellow squash, carrots, and zucchini.
And to my absolute delight, my dad made brown rice instead of white.  I love that because it does so much better for my body.  I was lucky because he and Deb have been on a diet with April and Spencer, and brown rice was allowed.
Wonton salad doesn't keep well because everything gets sogged, and that's why you have to eat it that night.  I think I went back for thirds on salad.
Here's my over-indulgent plate of birthday goodness.  I'm so spoiled.  And I'm truly blessed with such loving family that makes me feel special.
Joe did the honors of lighting my birthday candles.
There were a lot of candles, and I have the lungs of a hummingbird.
I tried to get them all in one shot without broadcasting my breath on the cake.
And, I didn't get them all in one blow.  Which has been the case since I was about 12 years old.  I really do have a small lung capacity, they tested it in 5th grade, and I had the #1 lowest lung capacity in my grade.  Oh well.  I can still play the flute, so HA!
Earlier in the week, Steve and the girls took me to Vernal to buy me a gift at TJ Max.  I actually found a dress that I liked and fit well, so Happy Birthday to me!  I wore the dress to church, and it's the kind that doesn't wrinkle so I can travel with it easily.
I had so much fun with everyone for my birthday, but the fun and celebrations didn't stop there.  When I came home, Mom and Tom took my family out to dinner at Don Pedros in Vernal the very next weekend.  We went early enough that there was no one really there.  It was nice to have the entire restaurant basically to ourselves. 
Thanks to mom, I got to wear the heavy pink sombrero while the waiting staff sang to me.  AND I got a mountain of fried ice cream.  Again, I had my bite (or two) and handed it over to my salivating hubby and kids.
Mom and Tom also bought me a new dress.  Tom asked, "Is it too loud?"  I just laughed.  I loved the color and I was excited to wear it to church the next day.
And guess what?  I got loads of compliments on that dress when I wore it. I even had a sister from our ward call me the next day to get my visiting teaching report and tell me that she loved the dress I wore. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Homeschool Plays Produced Fully By Kids

Amara put on a play about insects today after reading about them in her textbook. She pretended to be an ant, she taped an extra set of legs onto her middle, and she proceeded to tell the audience all about insects. You should have been there.

Some of the facts she shared were these- Did you know caterpillars only use the first three sets of legs? Their back legs are only used to stick on stuff like trees and bushes.  Did you know that ants use their spit to help make their homes? Ants have three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen.

Then Amara invited Lily up and they saying a version of head, shoulders,  knees and toes, except they substituted the words "head, thorax, abdomen."

Homeschooling plays make me smile. Last week, Amara's play was about the water cycle. She made masks and she and Lily played the parts of water girl, ice girl, and water vapor! She brought me on a short adventure through a day in the life of water girl.  It was fun and I couldn't wipe the smile of my face.