Manuka's Place

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What's for dinner?


With the busyness of our household dinner time can be a bit interesting.  With my schedule keeping me away from home a few nights every week, it is hard to sit down with a nice meal.  The crock pot has been my friend the past few months and I have learned to make some yummy meals in it (kahula pork, BBQ beef, stew, soup, just to name a few).  But finding time to make something is a bit of a challenge.  A few weeks back my wife went to Dream Dinners.  At this wonderful place, you get everything you need to create a great meal in a short amount of time.  All of the measuring has been done and the directions are easy.  Tonight we had the following dinner:

Grilled Sirloin with caramelized onions and gorgonzola cheese: Tender, aged sirloin steaks are grilled to perfection, nestled in a bed of caramelized onions, garlic and rosemary and finished with a melting layer of gorgonzola cheese.

It was easy, and delicious.  If you have a busy schedule (check) and like to eat (check) give them a try.  

Enough with the commercial for Dream Dinners; at said dinner tonight I sliced up some nice sirloin cooked a perfect medium and put it on my oldest's plate and about two minutes later I hear her say, "Uh-Oh daddy, this chicken has a boo-boo."  First of all, in our house all meat is chicken, even after we say its beef, and secondly, since the meat was a bit pink it had a "boo-boo".  Jill and I laughed and laughed at that one.  She wanted me to fix it which I promptly did and she at all her "chicken" and was part of the "clean plate club".

Not to keep my youngest out of it, while she was sitting on the potty tonight mommy had said that her back was hurting and she then says, "I will ask Jesus to make your back better, O.K. mommy?"  It was the best.  Just now as I was typing this I called to Jill to ask exactly what she said and after I got it my youngest calls out from bed, "You're welcome mom!"  I LOVE my life!!  Until next week...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Teachers Conference 2007

This past weekend marked the regular trip to teacher’s conference. Each week before Thanksgiving, Lutheran educators from the southwest mass together for fellowship, food, fun, and even to learn a thing or two. These events have been a highlight for me for years. It is always great to catch up with old friends and see all the new kiddos running about. This year was the first year with said kiddos for us. For the past few years Jill has served on the program committee for the conference so she is super busy. We did ourselves a favor this year and brought along our own babysitter. That was a stroke of genius in and of itself and it freed me up to do some catching up with old friends. I did do my daddy time in the pool with the girls and we took a few walks and looked at the ducks and flamingos too. Since I am not a classroom teacher now, the only thing I really do at the conference is host a happy hour in our suite (thanks LEC) and go to the banquet. This years theme was “Champions in Christ” and had a sports theme. This year instead of a dressed up affair it was jerseys and team shirts for all. This made for a rather rambunctious crowd. We all had rally towels did chants and cheers, and even chanted “Rachel…Rachel!!!” for the director of schools. Things started getting a bit wild when Jill announced to the banquet that in the centerpieces were temporary tattoos, along with big league chew, peanuts, and cracker-jacks. Pretty soon many people were tatted up. At one point I found myself applying a tattoo to Dr. Jack Preuss’ cheek (the president of Concordia Irvine). It was all over then, the party really started. It was by far the best banquet at a teacher’s conference.

The speaker for the night was a guy named Ben Glenn. It is really hard to explain what he does but he is called the chalk guy. He tells his story in a very humorous way about how he has overcome ADD and Dyslexia. The last part of his presentation he draws an amazing picture with chalk. I can’t even explain it, but in about 5 minutes there is this amazing piece of art where there was once just a blank wall. Check out the following videos to catch a glimpse of what he does:






One the way back home we stopped to see the dinosaurs on the side of Interstate 10. You know, the ones from Pee Wee’s big adventure? Anyway, we are sitting in Burger King having lunch and in walks a few guys that obviously are part of a road crew or something; orange vests, work boots, bandannas on their heads, long hair, dirty, you know. My oldest takes one look at them and says, “Ohhh, look daddy, pirates!” I am laughing just typing this again. Then she says to me, “I don’t like pirates, they are scaaaaary.” It was so funny!!!!! The “pirates” are soon joined by some more of their crew and my oldest says, “Uh-Oh daddy, more pirates, better watch out.” I just looked at our baby sitter and we just could not stop laughing. But it gets better. As I got up to get a refill, I was followed by one of the “pirates” who walks by our table and winks and smiles at the girls and guess what? Yep, a couple of gold teeth!! You just can’t make this stuff up. We about lost it and had to leave Burger King. With both girls now saying, “We don’t like those guys.” I don’t think they were scared, but they both thought that there were pirates having lunch at Burger King. I will say this; my life is never boring. Thanks for reading. See you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

At the Movies...


Being the parent of two preschoolers has taken time away from one of my favorite activities...going to the movies. There was a time in our lives when Jill and I went to the movies every Friday night. It was grand; a nice dinner a good flick and quality time with the wife. These days we are lucky to keep up with our TiVo watching while "encouraging" our girls to go to sleep. How I long for the good old days. Lately, Jill and I have been seeing movies by ourselves. Jill goes out on a Saturday afternoon during nap time and I get to go on some Tuesdays. It is odd going to the movies by yourself. Back in my bachelor days I used to go to see a movie by myself and it took a while to get used to it. Well, Seth...what is your point? I went to see Bee Movie today. Here is the synopsis from Yahoo Movies:

Barry B. Benson is a graduate bee fresh out of college who is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a rare trip outside the hive, Barry's life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans are mass consumers of honey and decides to sue the human race for stealing bees' honey.

If you have not seen any of the promotion of this movie then you must live under a rock. Everywhere you turn there is Jerry Seinfield as a bee. Every commercial break and every bus sign seems to have something about this movie. With all the hype and my love of the Seinfield TV show I was expecting a lot and in the end I was left a bit disappointed. It was not a bad movie, but not a good one either. A predictable story and jokes that could "bee" seen a mile away. I am sure it was not worth the $9 I tossed on the credit card but my day was not ruined by it. I think if you have elementary age kids they will like it.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Treasures


So my new plan of blogging on Tuesdays was almost derailed before it began. Here is the scoop. I had to do a "take home" test today for my Systematic Theology class. So I spent the morning (and into the afternoon) in my office at church finishing it. Therefore my brain thought it was Wednesday. To top it off I have not been feeling very good so I have been on some cold medicine. With that one..two punch my plan was almost thwarted. But alas, here I am typing away on a new post.

My girls have treasure boxes. What is a treasure box you ask? Well for my girls it is a box they put things in that they think are valuable. My wife got my oldest a box a few months back and she has just rediscovered it. In currently contains: superhero cards from a kids meal toy, a key chain flashlight, a princess makeup compact, a plastic wallet, and a few pennies. Last night my youngest wanted her own treasure box so being the creative one that I am got her some tupperware. She thought it was great and now she has a few treasures in it. Last time I looked there was a monkey (from the barrel of monkeys game), and some super hero cards her sister gave her. She also wanted to have some money like her sister. As she was settling down for the night she misplaced her penny and we heard the following words from the back of the house, "Oh man, I need help!! I lost my money for Jesus!!" Ahhhh the joys of youth. She had her treasure and was ready to give it away for her chapel offering (sounds like a sermon illustration to me). She took it to school today (along with the quarter I gave here) and she put it in the offering for chapel. She was just so cute keeping it in her pocket while we went to school and she kept checking to see if it was still there. I was so proud of her as she walked up to her teacher, dug into her jeans and pulled out money and said, "This is for Jesus, OK!" I was beaming, and so was Jesus. Until next week...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I'm not dead....


I know it has been forever since I have posted but let me just say I have been super busy, even more so than usual the past month. I don't really have time for a full post here but let me give you some highlights:

School is going well. I have finished one class and have two more to complete this semester. I have just two more to finish in the fall and my course work will be done. I also have to pass my theological examination which is sorta like defending your thesis. I have to travel to Concordia Seminary St. Louis and sit in a room with three professors and they get to ask me anything they want. Pretty daunting and intimidating but I hope to do well.

No new news with the girls adoption. We are still waiting to hear from the court regarding the appeal. Halloween was fun. The girls both had great costumes. My oldest dressed up like her favorite TV character, Dora the Explorer. She had the whole outfit with a backpack and a map. My youngest was a ladybug with wings and antenna. They were a but unsure as we left the house about trick-or-treating. We practiced for a few days about what to do and about four houses in, the had it down. They were so cute. Before we went out we carved some pumpkins and had dinner. I made pizza thinking this would be a great treat but the girls both rejected it totally. The chose to eat green beens, cottage cheese and V-8 juice. What kids choose this as their dinner? My girls have the strangest taste in food. The usual breakfast these days is bran flakes and raisins. Are you kidding me??? How many preschoolers choose bran flakes and raisins? Not to mention they both LOVE V-8. I don't understand and I really can't complain. Jill is gone this week so thanks to some great friends the night was a success (Thanks Ing and Josh!!!!!). This morning my youngest wanted candy for breakfast...thanks a lot Great Pumpkin!

The girls are loving preschool and making friends. My youngest figured out the potty thing pretty fast. The first few weeks of school were dicey but after that she has been great. The girls just took school pictures and they are the cutest.

I have told myself that I will try to post once a week on Tuesdays (my day off) for the rest of the year. We shall see how that goes. Until Tuesday....