Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jack O Lanters

Last night, we had our neighborhood friends over to carve out Jack O Lanterns. We had dinner first, then got to it. The Martins had to leave for a Trunk or Treat, so it left us to carve with Larry and Trish and their family. We had LOTS of fun! Trish carved out Sponge Bob, while I took on Steven's Boba Fet Star Wars guy. George, using his trammel power tool, did Amanda Lily's Belle. We got big laughs out of my husband with his power tools, but I have to say his ended up being my favorite. Amanda Lily of course is so happy with it, too. The kids were so funny cleaning out the inside of the pumpkins. Steven and Ben would have no part of sticking his hands in and pulling out the pumpkin "guts". Amanda Lily and Josh did it, but were both totally grossed out doing it. Ha!

On a sad note, we got a call from Greece this morning saying that our beloved Yia Yia had past away. She lived a long life, but it was sudden, and no one was prepared. George is very devastated by the loss of his Grandmother, but thank goodness we have our faith to know we will all see her again. Going to Greece this summer will not be the same. Steven and Amanda Lily both know she is in heaven, but I don't think they grasp the concept of her not being here anymore. Please keep our family and extended family in your prayers.

Here is a photo of her with Steven, Amanda Lily, and a couple other cousins last summer. She was a wonderful lady who will be truely missed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

October Stuff

Here are a couple of photos from this month. We went over to Sea World for the Spooktakular, and honestly, it wasn't much. The past couple of years we have been so happy with the experience, but this time around, not so much. Not that we had a bad time, it just wasn't anything spectacular as far as Halloween is concerned. In years past, they have given out GREAT candy and treats. This year, we got tootsie rolls and twizlers and they only had a few candy stations. No sea animal treats were given, either. Sea World in general is a great park, but I don't recommend making a special trip for Halloween. It's not much different than any other day at Sea World with the exception of LOTS of people and LONGER lines.

Tomorrow night, we are having friends over to carve out our Jack O Lanterns, so I took the kids over to the Pumpkin Patch at church to pick our pumpkins. I got a few cute shots of them. I love this time of year.....just wish the weather were cooler. I'll post photos of the Jack O Lanterns next time. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


scroll to bottom of post for Greek lentil soup recipe
Here's a tip I've been wanting to share with all of you. It is just one of my favorite pieces of trickery I use to get my kids to try something new on the food front. I've been waiting to try "Fakeas" aka Lentil Soup on them until they were a bit older, and pulled out all the stops to get them to give it a good try. Because the weather was nice and cool last week, I decided to plan a Picnic dinner out in front of our house. All I did really was have Amanda Lily spread out a blanket and set the "table" while Steven and I poured the Lentil soup and milk. Amanda Lily brought along some friends in the way of my little ponies, while Steven brought his Star Wars figures, and we had ourselves a picnic dinner. Now by looking at the photos, you will see why I went to such lengths to get the kids to try it. The recipe I have is packed with proteins and vitamins, but it's nothing to look at. Most kids (and adults for that matter) eat with their eyes, and the look of this soup is admittedly not appealing, but it really does taste great! Steven ate the entire bowl, and Amanda Lily ate half of hers. She said she was full, and in our house that means you stop eating, so with that, she was done. Both kids said it was good, and didn't give me any trouble eating leftovers two days later for lunch. I know for a fact that Amanda Lily would have NEVER given it a try had we not had the picnic, so it was worth a little extra effort. So, if you are thinking of trying something new on your kids, give the "picnic" a try. If you are feeling really brave, here is my families Greek Lentil soup recipe.

Greek Lentil Soup
1 lb bag lentils
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 bay leaves (this ingredient is key)
3 tomatoes, grated, skins cut into bits
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Soak lentils overnight or for several hours. Drain. Cover with twice as much water as lentils. Add onion, carrots, bay leaves, and tomatoes. Cook until lentils are tender and mushy. This will take 1 1/2 hours, plus. Stir in olive oil. Cook an additional 1/2 hour.
*Serve with crumbled feta cheese and warm rolls.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cool Picture/ Update

George got me this underwater camera that takes really neat photos. This is a shot he took of Steven the other day underwater in our pool. Cool, huh?

We are all doing great. The school year is in full swing now, along with Ballet, Tennis, and Awana. I am volunteering in Stevens class on Wednesdays, and Amanda Lily's on Mondays. I am having a great time being involved in their education.

The restaurant is starting to pick up again...Thank Goodness. We are happy to see some of our "snow bird" patrons returning, that we haven't seen since Spring. They bring in their pictures from their Summer adventures. It is cool to talk with them and catch up.

We are getting as much out of the pool as possible. I am loving the cooler weather, but it won't be long until the kids can't just cannon ball into the water. However, I am looking forward to a crisp night in the heated jacuzzi. (;
This is just an update post to let everyone know how things are going. Hope all is well in your little worlds!!!!!