Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Veggie Table

So we have a vegetarian night this evening. Sure there were some shrimp on the table but everything else was vegetarian. I had requested veggies and dip when asked for a dinner suggestion. The wife teased me with the offer of sour cream in the dip but she forgot to buy it while at the store. I like the thickness it adds to our yogurt dip. The dip was still enjoyable and I put away my fair share of cucumber and broccoli. The wife thought that tempura fried veggies would be a nice compliment so she deep fried some breaded zucchini, sweet potato, and carrots. These were offset with a ketchup/mayonaisse dipping sauce. Finally we had a big pot of soup that had been on the stove most of the day. It was made with cabbage, onion, carrots, celery, turkey soup stock and various seasonings. The balance between the richness of the dipping sauces and the keeness of the soup contrasted nicely.

Other than that it was a perfect day here. We skated on our rink beneath a beautiful blue sky this afternoon. It was actually warm enough to skate around in shirt sleeves. I might even put down another layer this evening. Good times.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Movie and Meal

Well we spent all day working on the latest ginger bread movie. You can find it at youtube. Just search for Gingerbread and adventure. It is a good one I think.

As for dinner we had a quickie french fries and pasta and sauce dinner. The son wanted french fries and the daughter wanted spaghetti. So that was what I made. In the end the kids weren't that hungry so there is some good leftover action for tomorrow's lunch. I have to admit I was so focussed on the movie making I burnt the sauce to the bottom of the pot. Well thats life I guess. Almost 2009, come on next year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow + Shovel + Sled

Well there was some snow shovelling to be done today and the piles by the side of the driveway are growing. Which gave me an idea. Originally this was going to be an igloo but the son wanted two doors so I chopped another one out of the back for him. I was a little bit worried about collapse and envisioned myself frantically digging out both of my children but an adventurous spirit got the better of me and I went ahead with it anyways.
Then later the daughter wanted to be able to sled into the hole so I went ahead and made it a bit bigger. It took about 10 attempts interspersed with a lot of pouting before they managed to make it into the hole. Of course the first time they were sitting up and the daughter got a face full of roof. So then it was onto the bellies and le voila. A little bit of magic.

It kind of reminds me of a miniature bobsled run. And that is me laughing like an idiot. It just struck me as funny at the time.

We had pizza toast for dinner well the kids did. I am still working on left over turkey and stuffing. I finished the gravy this evening. That is a major loss. However, the cranberry sauce is still holding strong and there is a little bread sauce left. We did have a green salad with dinner and that was a nice change. My teeth were starting to feel a little wiggly so I had some mandarin oranges as well.

Cousin Dance

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eating with the Queen.

Well the leftovers are slowly being finished or packaged and put in the freezer. We had noodles and fried rice for lunch which was a nice change. The son and I even had cereal with yogurt and milk for breakfast. I still managed to get a couple of servings of turkey with stuffing today and my chocolate content still has me registering in the almost diabetic range but the holiday excess is slowly moving away.
For a change we ate out, or at least I went out for dinner stuff. The Queen of Dairy fashioned most of our dinner this evening. The daughter did have pancakes (leftovers) and I still was eating left overs but the son had a burger and fries and the wife had a sundae (she claimed to have already eaten). We ate in the living room and watched the Incredibles for the umpteenth time. The son is definitely hooked. It is possible we may actually cook and sit down to eat dinner tomorrow. But I ain't making any promises.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back to basics.

Well the reli's are all gone home now so it is back to things as normal. If you can call eating protein at every meal and drinking beer and eating chocolate in tandem normal. We had a wonderful two days and I am sure there are other blogs out there with sledding videos and other such things that I did not manage to capture images of, but here is what we have.

Everyone arrived on Christmas Eve day in the afternoon. We broke into the stocked bar fridge right away and had a nice evening.
Mom broke out some tortiere [sic] and the wife laid on a salad and some fried shrimp and veggies. Mmmm good. There were some chocolates out and one of my sisters made these little things called hedge hogs. Now when I picture hedge hogs I picture the little chocolates by Purdys. However, the hedge hogs we, or more likely I, spent the last three days scarfing down were marshmallows dipped in caramel and then rolled in rice crispies. A delightful addition to the sweets table, a tradition that I hope endures for the rest of my Christmases.

Well after eating we watched some movies and then the kids headed off for bed. Actually the movie theme this year was Harry Potter. We watched all five movies over the last week and 3, 4 and 5 were seen by our guests. Kind of a nice nightly ritual.

Anyways Christmas morning I and the wife were woken at 2:30, 5:00 and then for the last time at 6:52. We said we would wait for 7:00 but this was close enough. The daughter wanted me to point out that it was only her that did the waking up. The son slept through. Anyways, Santa had arrived during the night and the little ones were pretty much over the moon about having stockings and gifts.
They were not great about waiting to open the rest of their presents. We are cruel and wait for everyone to wake up and then open in rounds so that each present gets its due time. Lots of books and some toys, it was fabulous. I am dreading as they get older. A cashier I was talking to said her teenage kids were next to impossible to shop for. Santa will have his work cut out for him over the next 15-20 years. Should never have had that third child, well its too late now and I am sure the upside will be huge. Its not like I am going to be able to retire before I am sixty anyways. Might as well eh.

So on with the holiday. The monster, I mean turkey, went in the oven just after 10 and was done by about 6:00. 28 and a half pounds plus a couple more pounds of stuffing. The turkey was excellent even if I do say so myself. I really think brining the bird gives it a juiciness and richness of flavour that can't be beat. I am also thinking that if I never had a bird bigger then 20 pounds again it will be fine with me. 8 hours, give me a break. Fortunately, the wife laid on a pancake and sausage breakfast with fruit salad and even managed to come up with some leftovers for lunch. The kids had a bit of a skate in the afternoon and everyone else got out of the house for a bit, be it a walk or a drive everyone shook off some cobwebs and then we got right back to feasting. Standard family Christmas fare: turkey, sausage stuffing, roast potatoes, mashed turnip, brussel sprouts, gravy, bread sauce, and cranberry sauce. The wife also made a nice green salad. As usual my son was really interested in the drum stick. It was a little out of his league but he seemed to enjoy gnawing on the bone. After the feast we sat down to the gift exchange and another movie. With only six involved in the gift exchange there wasn't much stealing and in the end I believe everyone ended up with the gift they opened. There were some tradesies afterwards but all in all I believe everyone walked away happy.

Boxing day saw us get up, fill up on turkey leftovers and head out for some sledding. We joined up with some other friends of ours who were up from Victoria and had a great time even if it was a little cold. We returned home for some more leftovers, chocolate, beer and a nap before heading to a party at the sledding friend's parent's house. You guessed it, more great food, more beers some lively conversation and by five o'clock we were pooped. We came back home and to my surprise no one had dinner. So we sat down for HP 5 and ate some more chocolates and drank some more beer. That night the sisters had some late night leftovers and then boom. It was 7:30 this morning and the relatives were out the door. It was a whirlwind of eating and drinking and catching up. The sisters who couldn't make it with the spouses were all dearly missed. But that is life I guess. A friend who I was talking to while our kids were sledding before everyone arrived commented on how this was happening with his family. He really hit the nail on the head when he said that we have to start creating the new traditions for our families. We cannot look to our parents anymore. Their our kids so it is our time to step up.

Oh yeah we got a DVD player from some really important people to us and watched a video on it last night. The viewing experience was excellent and we wanted to say a big thank you to them. Love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My blog runneth over.

Well it was a busy day here on the 23rd of December. Things are in full swing holiday wise and here is a quick recap. We started the day with mom heading off for the christmas sweet sale day at the bakery. We were meant to arrive there around 11:00 but got a telephone call just before leaving to say that we should arrive after lunch. So it was outside for a skate and then back in for a lunch of cup ramen, leftover pasta and sauce, re heated cold hot chocolate and jello. After lunch we bundled up and headed off for the bakery. Mom was there in full regalia doing her baking thing. In this picture you can actually see her making the An-pan. It is good. We could be living in Japan right now for all I know. Anyways the kids got to make some bread and decorate and eat a cupcake with the other little tykes. It was a good time and after we left the bakery we walked back home and didn't quite make it inside. I chopped some wood to get us ready for the next couple of days and the kids played on the home made tobogan run. It is just the pile of snow that we make every year with our neighbours while clearing our respective driveways. But it always seems to shoot nicely down into our driveway.

I make the stairs up the neighbours side so that the run doesn't get ruined. The kids pretty much massacre the stairs anyways and the neighbours always fill it up with the new snow fall. It is a round about procedure which keeps everyone in shape. Post sliding we came back inside and sat down for some more movie watching. While the daughter rewatched the first Harry Potter, the son and I whipped up some Pizza dough. However, just before this mom came home and then went out shopping for all the christmas fixings. I believe she even got some roast beast. Anyways, two hours later and we were almost ready to sit down to eat. Then this happened.

Spontaneous christmas music dance party. I think it had to do with the fact that I had actually done some house work and the place looked really good when mom got home but I can't be sure. In any event the dancing was followed by some good old pizza eating.Apparently my pizza is so good it makes you want to stand up. How else do you explain his inability to sit down and eat it.Dinner was followed by Harry Potter number 2. A little scary but everyone is asleep now so it couldn't have been that bad. Should a three year old really be allowed to watch this stuff. Someone should talk to his parents. hee hee hee.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Family Bed

So in our preparations to have guests come for christmas we have all moved into our room. Whether the guests arrive or not we cannot control. The daughter asked if we would move everything back if no one came. Or course not we said. Its christmas. So we are sleeping four abreast on a single and a queen size set side by side. Its kind of nice. Reminds me of the old futon days back in Niigata where we pulled the two futons up beside each other and made one big bed. I am wondering if it will fit five across. Time will tell.

In other news we went tobogganing today. If I ever needed one, today was a clear indication of how much the kids have grown. The daughter was willing to go all day and never asked for sled carrying or a lift up the hill. She was content to ride partners with other kids who were there or to go solo. She managed to try everyone elses tobogan as well. The son actually walked up most trips and didn't freak out too bad when I gave him a major face shot by putting down my boot to early. He also slid by himself, almost unthinkable last year. The best part had to be improving the jump another parent and her daughters had made. Everyone was getting air time by the time we left but with the lovely natural transition it was a perfect landing. I was in charge of dinner but with the kids filling the shopping basket it was really dads choice. We had corn on the cob, outrageously expensive at $4 for for weakass cobs. Then the daughter chose the pasta shells that look like little sea shells. After that is was cocktail sausages grilled and an onion, mushroom and tomato sauce made with the luxury of fresh garlic as I didn't have the foresight to buy any, even though I had commented the day that I was using up the last of the garlic. A wife would have caught that one. No dinner pictures as it was eaten in waves and by the time I got to sit down I was too hungry to remember to take a pic. The daughter has us at three days to christmas today. In the last two days we have been as low as one day to go. I keep telling her it is a fence post problem but even my grade 9's don't get those. Have a good one, tomorrow looks like its gonna be great.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Movie Day

Well we watched a tonne of movies today. We just finished Ray and it was great. We also watched the original Toy Story, the Incredibles and part of the Simpson's Movie. Then this morning there was Kaze no Tani no Nausica in Japanese. Holy camoley. We snacked on left overs and pop corn and a couple of gingerbread cookies for good measure. We also shovelled some snow. It was a great day and we got nothing done. Ahhhhhh... the good life.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Arctic Housing

It was pretty darn cold this morning, -26 without taking any windchill into account. The power went out around 7:30 am and I imagined us all huddled around the stove down stairs in the dark for the next four days while people worked furiously trying to get power restored. However, at 9:00am the lights came on and everything seemed a little better. Even with the stove going the furnace still kicks in regularly. Without the furnace the rest of the house is pretty cold. Anything less than -10 and the wood burning stove can't get the job done on its own.

After that near miss we played it safe and ate cheesy noodles and cheesy eggs for lunch. Then after mom came home we went out shopping for our gingerbread decorations. Smarties and Jelly Bellys, that is about as much diversity as I need. Trying to put to put the house together nearly gave me an aneurysm. The wife had to mention that this was a fun activity as I was snapping at the kids every time they bumped me or reached across the roof for more smarties. Once I got a handle on myself we had a great time decorating and sampling. We hope there will be some left by the time our guests arrive but we aren't making any promises. For dinner I massacred a few can's of tomatoes with some veggies and beef. It was a blood bath, or at least that's how it looks in the pictures. I added some of that curry paste in a jar to my first bowl and it was nice. My second bowl I had as is and it wasn't bad. I wouldn't share the recipe but it was food and now we are fed. Hope to get out for some skating tomorrow. It really was too cold to get in any turns today. Probably because the warmest part of the day was spent lunching and then shopping. They say it might be only minus five by Christmas Day. Perfect tobogganing temperature. It's gonna be great.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vacation: Day 1

Well, it is official. I am on vacation. It feels very nice. We managed to even get a couple of things done today which is always a good feeling. Between errand running and what not we did not get onto the ice until about 1:00. But we were lunched and had all been to the bathroom. Asides from me not having all the sleds and such on hand it was great. I only had to put on my skates three times which in the big picture aint bad. The boy even managed to get up on his own a couple of times and his gliding is much improved. I pulled him around while he held onto the end of my hockey stick. I am dieing for him to be self sufficient on the ice but it will take time. They both have helmets now so I am feeling a lot more comfortable about them being out on the ice and taking spills.

Post skating we came back in and watched a video. Both the son and I fell asleep. Great. When I woke up the daughter pointed out that we were supposed to make gingerbread, so we did. The parts for the house are all baked and we have done two separate sets of cookies. Icing and decorating is planned for tomorrow so stay tuned. The daughter also has some prequel ideas for the original gingerbread escapes movie. Should be real good.
As for dinner we were treated to some mom made burgers and some dad made fries. The burgers were served on pumpernickel as the bakery was out of both buns and sour dough by the time the wife went back to shop. Still a nice evening meal with no threat of going in to work after it. Life is grand. Now if this video would just finish up loading life would be great.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Still standing

With one day remaining before I begin my christmas vacation I am still alive and blogging. As the snow gently falls I have shovelled, swept and put down six more layers of spray on our ice rink. I have been in to work and prepared for tomorrow. I have even watched a bit of the christmas concert, not a packed house but a good crowd and a great show. One of our grade nine students has the potential to be a superstar. She had a solo number where she sang and played the piano. Holy cow. Talent.

As for today's gustatory delights I first bring you lunch.
Mine is on the left and was wicked awesome. An assortment of leftovers along with a egg stirfy/omelete on the bottom and some onigiri covered in furikake and some chopped up muffin above. With a piece of fruit and a yogurt it makes for a lovely lunch. It also brings a smile to my face. The daughter had noodles, with some pork and cheese. She didn't finish it as she was having a bit of a fussy day. I on the other hand practically licked mine clean. Imagine having that lunch and then coming home to this dinner.
The miso soup was bracing on this cold day and as usual hit the spot. The salad had some hard boiled egg chopped and crumbled over the top for a little added flavour and protein. What you see on the right is filo pastry stuffed with a tomato based vegetarian sauce/stew mixture. I loved mine. I actually ate three and I was even eyeing up the daughter's. She as was previously mentioned was having a fussy day so I cut a deal to eat her carrots. I was sure she would turn her nose up at the turnip but when she was reminded of its japanese name, daikon, which she loves pickled, she dug right in and even finished before her brother. Who was also having a fussy day.

Managed to keep the rudder firm and flew straight through today. Hopefully we can keep our head down for one more day and sail in to the vacation. Stress be gone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Six Layers and Yoga.

That is what happened this evening but first lets hear about dinner. I arrived home at 4:45 to my family already at the table. A little early I thought but hey, when you're hungry. The wife had created a fabulous pork and squash stew. I infused mine with a little hot sauce and the hot and sweet thing was great. After dinner we headed out back to the rink. I managed to score a puck from friend at school so we played some "real" hockey. The boy and I were in boots and the daughter had her skates on and was whizzing around the rink. When we first got outside I spent about 20 minutes putting up christmas lights along the back fence. How festive it looks now. I will try and get a pic tomorrow. Oh yeah, the son played a great game and buried the puck... somewhere. I guess we will find it in the spring. Once the youngin's went inside for a bath I put down another six layers of water. It is really smoothing up nicely. I figure in about 3 more days even I will be able to skate backwards on it. Post icing I went in to school for some evening work and then came home and did yoga. I really wanted to put another couple of layers on the ice but with two days to go my stress level is peaking. I had to get some of it out and I am feeling, if not blissful, at least half released right now. Time for bed. Or maybe I could squeeze in a little ice making. Night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The return of Monday

So I know things have been a little suspect as of late. Weak dinners with no thematic substance. Whole days missing off the calendar. But it was back to things as usual today. My son was playing with the camera so I ended up with a short video clip of dinner. Then the batteries died so I couldn't actually take a picture. However, things were back to normal in more ways than one. Dinner was a feast for all of the senses. From the heat of the miso soup wafting up over my face, to the succulent taste and smell of the salmon cooked with dill it was awesome. The squash omellete/quiche was exquisitely sweet, the wife actually said, "taste this its amazing," as I walked in the door. When you have a chance to leave a squash out in the cold I find it really brings out the sugars. The green salad was served with our old standby vinegar and onion dressing and the sharp sweet flavour offset the more muted tones of the rest of the meal wonderfully. We had frozen raspberries for dessert.

Interesting story related to me by my wife today. The Mrs. is starting to feel like she is seven months pregnant and has taken to having little naps downstairs by the fireplace. My son, with his new more highly refined reasoning skills, has taken to foraging for food up stairs when he figures she is trying to catch forty winks. His favourite targets are the frozen fruit in the freezer (right at easy grabbing level), apples in the fruit drawer (he is now tall enough to reach one of his hooks over the drawer) or candy from the cupboard (you know the chair as a ladder then standing on the counter routine), usually some of those mints the daughter bought a week or two back of some dentyne chewing gum. Between this new found resourcefulness and his increasing capacity to act like a marauding transformer from another galaxy he is a handfull, as the boarder puts it, "he sure is a boy."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice is Nice

Barely having the will to live it is a miracle this blog is being written. The four toughest most grindingest days of the school year begin tomorrow. I have a stack of marking that would choke a horse waiting for me at the dinner table. And I am here, feeding the muse. Or is she feeding me. I never quite knew how that one went.
Anyways we started the day going to the annual Santa movie, co-sponsored by my local union and the guy from the north pole. This years movie was Madagascar II and I have to say, for a kids movie I loved it. Lots of great adult humour not so buried in the story. Great use of scenes and concepts from other movies also kept me chortling in my seat. Can't for the life of me think of the correct turn of phrase to describe that scene stealing like they had in Shrek 2, but I know it is out there. Moving on to the actual topic this blog purports to be about we had dinner this evening. For dinner we had Ni-mono. The wife threw this together and we all enjoyed it. However, there were no accompaniements. Neither of the adults in this house had any motivation to get creative or even get something out of the freezer. The end of year blues is getting us down
So we just had ni-mono, and bowls of mint chocolate chip ice cream. The next set of photos is of us out and about on our backyard ice rink. It is down in the minus 7 to 15 range these days so the rink is starting to shape up. I have put on three layers today. I have also made some classic blunders.
Slow and steady is really the only choice in a situation like this. As my good buddy with the lovely back yard rink put it so succintly "1/8th of an inch". That is all you can do at any one time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trees up.

The Winter Wonder

So the rest of the family has summer birthdays. We play outside, have a waterslide, drink beer in the sunshine. That is how a summer birthday is celebrated. However, the mom in our family has a winter birthday. Short days, cold nights, snow on the ground, this is the time of year she flips over a new page on her life's calendar. Today was the day and we decided to make her a cake and dinner. Well actually the wife made the cake yesterday. She wanted to try making a sponge cake, apparently it is just flour, eggs and sugar. I thought it turned out very well. The kids and I were tasked with decorations but we could do anything we want. Anything that is as long as we put cream and the frozen fruit that was put out to thaw, in a middle layer. And we weren't supposed to ice it. All the instructions didn't matter as we had a great time covering it with whipped cream and trying out the different icing nozzles with the blue coloured whipped cream. It was really quite delicious but it wasn't so sweet that one was limited to having two slices. The rest of dinner was veggies and dip with some home made french fries. Slow day.

In other news I had a filling taken out and replaced this morning. My mouth is still a little sore. I have no love for the dentist at this moment but overall we are really happy with the service we get here. The kids played outside in the six or seven inches of snow that fell today. Between getting dressed to go outside and getting undressed upon coming back in we must have had over ten clothing changes today. It was a good day. Right now I have to get on rearranging the furniture so we can put up the tree. It is beginning to look a lot like christmas.

This is my son's fighter pose. He had been doing a lot of punching lately and I really feel like I need to go a few rounds with him to teach him a lesson. He better watch his back.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Well it was a busy evening. To start with we had a lovely stew that was cooked on the wood burning stove this morning. Big chunks of meat and potatoes, real stick to your ribs goodness. The accompaniment was some of our home made bread slathered with garlic butter (crushed garlic in butter) and then baked in the oven. It wasn't huge but the kids were too excited do to the approaching commotion so they didn't eat much anyways. The son has come down with a bit of a cold but that didn't stop us. It was concert night.

When the son and I finally made our way into the stands we were fortunate enough to find the wife with some seats saved for us. Right in the middle of the stands 3/4 of the way up perfect. Except that the daughter was situated right behind the glitter ball. No line of sight when she was standing up singing. C'est la vie. She had her moment on the floor which is caught here for eternity.

The son enjoyed being crashed out on between mom and dad and even took this wicked shot of the sprinkler directly overhead. I am telling you he may be a genius.

Sorry this didn't get up last night. The video and pics just wouldn't upload.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gettin' Sloppy

So I did the, pick up after school and brought the daughter back to my workplace to hang out while I battled on, thing today. After I packed it in, we had a great walk home in the dark talking about how kids become cool when they get to be over ten and some never come out of that stage. This was all prompted by the discussion about why there is no more milk sales at their school after wednesday this week. They tried to start a milk program but not enough kids signed up for milk so it died. The daughter was loving getting a chocolate milk on Wednesdays but alas it is no more. So from there we got into kids not wanting to do stuff if they thought it wasn't, "cool." Even though maybe they really wanted to. It was quite the in depth exploration of the teenage transition. Walking home is actually way better than walking to school. There are good conversations on both ends but my mind is some much more free to soak in what she is saying and really respond after work. I am always a little pre occupied in the morning. Anyways good day and we even got her homework done. But this came after dinner. So I am getting ahead of myselfWhich is kind of what happened at dinner. We arrived home and after getting some logs on the fire we came up and sat down to eat. The wife had whipped up some om-rice with two types of salad. The kids weren't so into the omellete part but I enjoyed mine thoroughly. The rice has some assorted greens in it and they were more on the flavour enhancing side. One salad was a cucumber, lettuce number with olives tossed in. The other was a pickled carrot and daikon number. Melded they were like the wonder twins and I wolfed down a big bowl of it. Of course I realised we needed to take a picture of dinner when my plate was pretty much licked clean so this is what was left over on the daughter's plate. This was not a big eating night for the kids. The son has a bit of a cold so his "yeah" strength was way down. Not so far down that he couldn't rail against the injustice of having to turn off Barney to eat dinner. Just not a big appetite night. The daughter was just being a bit picky but she probably ate about what she usually does.

After dinner we did some homework, I had a 20 minute nap while they had their bath, we got the fire up and roaring and then it was back to work. 7 days of school till winter break. Gotta keep my eyes on the road and a smile on my face. I know I can do it.