Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Elite Player Development 2013

This year, Lucas was invited to tryout for the Elite Player Development program with Washington Youth Soccer. What is it? It is essentially a state team for Washington put together from clubs across the state. You can't just show up for tryouts, you have to be identified by a certified coach in the state and then invited to try out. The boys get to wear the Sounders uniform and eventually move into the Sounders Academy if they keep making the team.

We had no idea this type of program existed until we got the email that Lucas had been recommended and then invited. So we packed him up down to Starfire (where the Sounders practice) and in 26 degree weather he had his first tryout.

We watched as he put in everything he had out there on the field. Yes, there were kids that had way more skill and footwork. But what Lucas had was hard word and determination! I am convinced it will take him so far.

He's now down to the final 35 before the next and last cut. It will be a long wait and a lot of nerves. But he has come so far already. They know his name and his face and his playing style now. He has made us so proud and he is having a blast. His club's coaching director is thrilled with his progress and he is representing our club amazingly!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Important Things

My Mum made the very best shortbread in the world. She usually only made it once a year around Christmas and I looked forward to it every year. Wherever I was...home, Hawaii, Japan, I always got a tin of her shortbread. She'd decorate the cookies with red and green sprinkles and those little silver edible balls.

Last year, she could not make them as her hands were really sore from carpal tunnel issues. So I asked her about that and why you needed your hands so much for making shortbread. She told me a story.

When she was little and her Mum was making shortbread, her Mum would put a stool at the counter, set my Mum up there and ask her to knead the butter and flour and sugar mixture. So Mum would knead away. And she'd declare she was done, but then her Mum would declare "you're not done". Mum told me she stood there kneading for what seemed like an eternity. She told me it was the secret to making the shortbread melt in your mouth.

After she passed away and we loaded all of her cherished things into our van, I remember wondering about the shortbread recipe. Why had I not asked to see it? Or asked her where it was? I felt such a huge lump in my throat thinking about not knowing where it was. I had located all her cookie cutters, the ones she had used for my cookies all these years. The familiar shapes that I'd known for so long. I found her stash of silver balls and sprinkles. But the recipe was not easily found.

I went through every cookbook and finally came upon the recipe in my Grandmother's cookbook. There was a little sticky note next to it so I knew Mum had marked it and that this was the one.

I think I am going to be spending a long time kneading today, on her birthday! Or maybe I should put Ellie on a little stool :)
Make sure you ask about these things. They seem so small but will be so important one day.

Monday, November 18, 2013


A beautiful woman was laid to rest on Oct 18th. I have a hard time thinking about blogging about this but I also want people to see how simple and beautiful her interment was. 

It was just my brother and I on a crisp and foggy morning in Vancouver. It was really odd to walk up and see my dad's plot look any different than it had looked in 39 years. But it was such a comfort to know they could be placed together and I am so grateful for that. 

We had a small posy of red roses that I had put with the kids there the day after she passed away and a gorgeous arrangement from Dama's parents.

It was so simple and peaceful, just as she would have wanted. There was no big fuss which aligned with her wishes. Half of her ashes were placed here and the other half will go to Scotland next year.

I love you Mum. You were the greatest. I miss you so much.

Thank you friends for all the beautiful cards (my mantle in covered!!), the meals, the flowers, the love, the warm blankets, the hugs, the phone calls....and for showing me that though she is gone I am never alone in this world!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What's Cooking?

Since I've been so busy going back and forth to Canada, home cooked meals have suffered. But I am back to cooking meals for the family and I have a couple of great recipes to share.

The first one I like is a roast chicken that is really simple and incredibly tasty. You can use this recipe for a whole chicken or chicken pieces. It's delicious both ways. Friends have asked me before how to roast a whole chicken. It is really one of the simplest meals you can make and it's healthy and has leftovers!

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Parsley

I am always on the look out for easy and fast recipes that taste great, especially for soccer nights. Something I can prep beforehand and then finish when the kids get home. One of the recipes I go to many times is a korean flavored ground beef recipe. Its simple and delicious and once you get the hang of this dish, I can make it with my eyes closed.

Korean Beef

Just a tip: I buy fresh ginger, peel it and cut it into portion sizes and then freeze.
Let me know if you try these 2 recipes!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013: iPod and Nerd

Halloween was a lot of fun this year. It seems like this may be one of the last ones where we do our own neighborhood, just that small loop with all the kids, just that small bag of candy.

This year, there were a lot of requests from the kids' friends to join in their trick or treating fun. We ended up having one friend each come by our hood and then we went to visit other friends throughout the evening. Elise ended up with 9 1/2 pounds of candy from a trunk or treat on the 30th and Halloween combined. Sheer teeth rotting craziness!!

Lucas asked to be an iPod 2 days before Halloween. Thanks, buddy. This is not something you can order online or find in a store so I set off to make it. It actually was not too difficult to do.

Here's what I used:

-black display board with the wings cut off
-white cord
-2 cardboard tubes (I used the tubes that glowsticks come in)
-styrofoam ball
-silver spray paint
-glue gun

I printed the icons from the internet. I found a zip file online with some of them but the results were better with these steps:

  1. I google imaged "angry birds app icon" (and whatever other icons I wanted)and saved the highest def one I could find
  2. Opened it in Picasa
  3. Set my print settings to 8x10 paper size, shrink to fit, and shrink to 65%
  4. Print on white cardstock!
The ear buds were the fun part. I cut a foam ball in 2, hot glued the tubes onto the ball halves, then glued the cord with LOTS of hot glue into the tubes. I attached the cord onto the back of the board with a stronger glue that needed to dry overnight.

Ellie was the cutest nerd ever. Her costume was easy and was a combination of Goodwill, costume store and what we had on hand. Her friend came as a nerd too. These girls had a bast together!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Girlfriend Cruise 2013

In September, I set sail with 11 of my girlfriends on a one night cruise. It was a really fun and relaxing weekend, which I really needed at the time.

We boarded the boat, the Star Princess, at around noon and sat right down to a buffet lunch. There was a huge variety of food to choose from! Then we hit the pool! Thankfully it was a beautiful September day, still warm and the sun was shining! Hot tub time with the ladies, we took over one of the hot tubs on the lido deck. A couple of drinks and before we knew it it was time for dinner.

Dinner was really good! You can order as many things from the menu as you'd like! 3 appetizers? No problem! 2 entrees? Sure! That kind of blew my mind. I'm not big on wasting food so I just ordered one from each section and everything was tasty.

After dinner, we took in a comedy show and then hit the night club. There was a lot of fun and dancing til about 230am...I was one of the first ones to tap out and go to bed! So much fun to just let loose and be around my dear friends.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Hello friends.

I am getting the itch to start blogging again! I miss keeping track of all the fun, the good times, the adventure and the not-so-good too. I miss reflecting every week on the goings on with my kids and family and documenting things. I miss crafting to put it on my blog. I miss reading your comments and feedback.

So I am going to start blogging again! I came to this page and saw how cute it is, how many moments I blogged about that I had forgotten about! Thank goodness I had those moments written down.

So I hope you will follow me again. My interests have changed but it's still me in my evolution as a mom, wife and human being. Thank you for coming back :)
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