Friday, December 30, 2011

Easy, Lentil Coconut Curry


I made this recipe up one day out of the contents of my cupboard. It's extremely tasty plus seems to fill my void for delicious Indian curry! It's also received rave reviews from family and friends so I end up making it a lot! Serve over brown or jasmine rice and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups liquid, as in water or stock
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 large potatoes, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of frozen peas
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
1 cup dried green lentils

2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons flavored bouillon, as in chicken or veggie
2 heaping tablespoons Yellow Curry seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil

*If you have a strong, flavorful stock then omit the bouillon (depending on how you feel about msg)

DIRECTIONS:
In a large pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
Throw everything else in and stir til blended.
Bring to a rolling boil then let simmer for 45-60 minutes, until lentils and potaters are soft. Serve over brown or jasmine rice.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Cocos and the Nonos


Zadok, our very creative and inquisitive 5 year old, keeps asking us lately,"How can I make some money around here?" He is learning the value of earning money and saving it for something special. He's not sure what he would like to buy with his money, but his desire to make some extra money and stash it away is very strong. He is hoping to sell tomatoes at the Farmers Market next season. He also says he will wash anyone's car that comes over. His latest idea was to write stories and sell them on the computer.

He says you can have one of his stories, complete with 3 pages of illustrations for just 2 dollars or 1 dollar.
Comment me your email and I will send you our mailing address. In return you will get this original Zadok story in the mail, yours to keep forever.

The story is called:
THE COCOS and the NONOS fight over a COCONUT.
First, two guys were fighting over one coconut. So they built a wall that went all around the world that each side could not get past. One side was the Coco people and the other side was the Nonos.
But then the Cocos and the Nonos decided to go back and share the coconuts because they realized there was a bunch of trees anyways. Then everyone got their hammers out. All the Cocos and all the Nonos started to bam the wall down with their hammers. Then there was peace again in the land and the two guys that were fighting over the one coconut each shared one half. THE END

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka!

Our family attempted to send out Christmas cards and family updates this holiday season, and half-succeeded! Which means I was disappointed to realize halfway through the month, that our cards turned out dark and hard to read, that we lost most of our families addresses, and that someone-I-won't-mention-(baby Jonah) didn't give me enough time to write personalized messages inside them. So, if you didn't get a card, or hated the one we sent, don't feel bad because this blog is reaching out to you and giving you a BIG, Mele Kalikimaka (((virtual))) hug! Merry Christmas! We love you!
The Jackson 5 in the jungle:

The Star Wars Episode:
Beach=happy kids:
Hope your Christmas is merry and bright! Can't wait to browse around and look at everyone else's family pictures!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Surf Mama

Last week Tuesday my husband convinced me to drop what I was doing and go do something just.for.me.
He could see the tired rings around my eyes, the drooping face, and that look that says, "If I don't get some time to myself right now I might fly to China or join the circus, or both."(Chinese circus performers are pretty amazing, actually)
So I got in the car and headed towards the surf.
Afterall, I am a surfer.

Well, I used to be a surfer.

I was nervous driving to the beach. I've only surfed twice since we moved here, and both times the waves were gentle and small, just a friendly frolic in the sea.
Driving to the beach today, I knew the waves would be much bigger. I tried to convince myself (for a second) that I should take this time to go shopping instead, but I knew I needed to get in the water. I knew I needed to recharge in the ocean and I could feel it deep down in my soul.

So I gave myself a pep-talk on the way to the beach to help ease my nerves, which went something like this:

"You can do this! You may have been living in the desert for a while, but surfing is in your veins. You KNOW what to do. You know how to paddle,and duck dive, and drop in, and ride. You know how to surf, and you can!"

When I pulled up to the surf spot it was crowded with lines of cars and spectators, all checking the waves below. I found a parking spot overlooking the surf, where I could sit and decide if I really wanted to paddle out or not.

It was bigger than I thought it would be, with waves rolling thru at two separate spots. The waves were "overhead", meaning the top of the wave was higher than the top of my head, about 6-8 feet overall. I looked towards the shoreline to see a group of young kids riding the "white wash", which is what's leftover from the larger waves once they've crashed and decreased in size and energy.
I learned how to surf in the whitewash when I was a young kid, but as an adult and more experienced surfer, I scoffed at the whitewash. "Ha!" I thought, "You won't catch ME riding the white wash, I can surf better waves than that!"

My pep-talk in the car must've really worked because I decided, with confidence, that I was ready to paddle out into the bigger surf!
So I grabbed my longboard, put my leash around my ankle, and glided onto my belly, straight out towards the crashing waves. That old familiar feeling came over me, of anticipation and excitement of what was ahead. I was pumped and ready to take on these waves; to show the world this Mama was back! This mama was surfing!(Okay so this is an old picture but I needed something here!)

Well, the waves were strong, and my muscles were weak! The crashing surf was pushing me across the beach and onto shore faster than I could paddle. I also forgot I couldn't duck dive very easily with a nine foot longboard! Wave after wave was crashing over me, beating me down to the bottom, and twirling me in circles. By the time I paddled into position to catch one wave, my muscles were burning so bad that I just sat there, breathing heavily, until the wave passed over me. Every direction I turned there were giant sea turtles, floating effortlessly with the surf. I think they were catching more waves than me!
I let the white wash toss me and turn me as I paddled constantly against the rushing current. I finally got into position where I could paddle for a wave, and actually caught it! I was exhausted from all the paddling, but I paddled hard, dropped in, and that was it! The wave of the day! I rode this baby all the way across the shoreline, feeling the rush in my stomach and the freedom in my soul! I let out a big
"Woooooo-hooo!" My smile felt as big as my nine foot longboard. I was having so much fun!

Then...... I admitted to myself that I had never really left the whitewash and all the little kids were staring at me with smirks on their faces.

But, I'm so glad I got in the ocean that day. Yes, I used to be a surfer, and I am slowly working my way back there again. But, the difference between the young surfer Sally and the mama surfer Sally, is that I am just as happy being tossed around in the sea as I am catching perfect surf.
Recharging my soul, and feeling the energy of the waves all around me, is all I really need right now.

Friday, December 9, 2011

When I was a little girl


When I was a little girl I had so many dreams for myself, and I kept them all locked up in my diary.
I loved writing lists, and making goals, and keeping pages of ideas just for me.

I had visions and fantasies about who I would become someday.

As a little girl I would try to imagine myself as a grown-up person doing all my cool, grown-up things.

What would I look like? How would the little girl face of my childhood change over the years into a big, grown up face? Would I have the same smile, and the same laugh, and the same dreams? How would I make all my dreams and goals and ideas even happen?

It was all such a fascinating mystery to me!

When I was a little girl I couldn't wait to grow up!
I kept on writing down my dreams and ideas, enthusiastically learning more and more about how to fulfill them as I grew.
**I dreamed of getting married someday to a wonderful, handsome man, I dreamed of having the most wonderful children in the world, I dreamed of going to the Temple! I dreamed of traveling to far off places and doing lots of interesting things, and having tons of good friends! I dreamed of being the happiest person in the world!

These were the dreams of my childhood. The dreams I looked forward to every day.

When I was a young adult I didn't care anymore.

I stopped writing down my dreams and started living for the moment.

Life was full of disappointments and challenges that were too much to think about and too hard for me to handle.
So I decided "to hell with it".
Naturally, I made bad choices, destructive for my body and spirit. I made friends with people who didn't care about me and dated guys that were no good for me. I focused on making money, chasing waves, and finding thrills in the day-to-day things I was involved with.
I did everything I wanted to do, but still, I wasn't very happy.

One day I woke up and realized that I wasn't a little girl anymore.
I was shocked to realize that the time for my dreams was passing.

This was heartbreaking.

So I fought back.

I mean, I really fought hard. It took several years, and took the love and help of my God; a loving God who never forgot who I was and what my dreams were.

Together we fought for my dreams, and fought battles that were so dreary and exhausting that I couldn't possibly have done it alone.

We fought against temptations and desires that would hurt me. We fought against addictions that would destroy my body and spirit. We fought against people that only wanted my misery. We fought against ideas and goals that were meaningless and unproductive. We fought against the whole world and all it's pointless, immoral philosophies!

We fought so hard for so long until....... one day I realized I was me again!
Except now I am the grown up face that I had imagined and wondered about in my childhood!
And I am actually living my dreams and fantasies.
Living a life that I love.
And I am so happy.

I am so, so, so, so, so, so happy because when I was a little girl, this was the life that I dreamed.

Are you still fighting for your dreams?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Girl Cousin

My sister Leilani came to visit with her 2 1/2 year old daughter, Waimea. Here is a picture of the cousins together.
It was really fun having a little girl in the house for the week!
Although she fit right in with my rowdy and reckless boys, she was still wearing pink, and had her hair in pig tails, which is something we don't see around here! My sister said I can't keep her, but I'd definitely like to borrow her more often in the future.
She's too cute. and a great mommy's helper! She always offered to push the stroller even when it was a large child named Odin that is too big for a stroller.
We're so happy they made the trek out here to Puna! Mahalo for coming girls!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas simple

I try to keep the Christmas traditions simple and fun. I don't go crazy making crafts or spending money on decorations, and I stay away from websites and blogs that are overloaded with holiday glitz. It's too overwhelming and detracts from the purpose, in my opinion. I mostly just want our boys to get ready for Christmas by being reminded of what it means and how we celebrate it. Here's a few things we are doing:

I really like the advent calendar, which can be used in so many ways as a Christmas-countdown. Last year we pasted an ornament on a paper Christmas tree every day til Christmas! The boys took turns with the glue,, which I think was their favorite part. This year I toned it up a bit by making an advent calendar out of toilet paper rolls. (Odin painted every single one of these, by the way!)
We are stringing them up in our doorway and taking one tp roll down everyday til Christmas, starting on Monday the 5th...because I'm a little behind, hehe. (could that be a pun?)

Inside each tp roll is a scripture, and a thought or action for the day that will remind them of what Christmas is all about. I got the scriptures from here, originally from the LDS Friend magazine.

Another thing we are doing is a "Giving Jar". We put coins into a jar to keep in the car. It is to be used to give away to anyone we see who might be in need. The other day we spent 4 dollars buying ice for a family that was living out of their car and didn't have enough money to keep their groceries cold. They were very grateful and the boys are learning what it means to give.

I also made a giant "Nice tree" out of green construction paper, with a picture of Jesus on the star. Every time someone does something nice for someone else we write it down on a paper ornament and glue it onto the tree. I think it will be fun to read them all on Christmas day and see all the nice things we did this month for each other.

For Christmas decorations we are making construction paper decor, snowflakes to hang, and printing coloring pages of the story of Christs birth. On Christmas Eve we will use our pictures to tell the story of Jesus' birth. We did this last year at Grandma Sandy's house and it was really fun for the kids to be involved.

We have other traditions and are constantly adding more.I hope you are having fun and feeling the spirit of Christmas as you're getting ready for the big day! If you're like me and you like to stay stress-free over the holidays, I bet simple and fun is happening at your house, too. Enjoy!