Swim Team Fun

The kids seem to have never ending energy so I always jump on events that can give them an outlet. The kids spent four hours over the weekend swimming, jumping and sliding on the giant inflatables the swim team coaches setup over the weekend.

It was a great team building event as the kids got to know each other better in a fun environment.

Even after all the playing I still had to coax them out of the pool when the event was over. They slept well that night!

BreakerSpace Electronics

CPU, graphics card, motherboard, power supply...just a few terms the kids learned as they took apart a computer, saw the parts, and then reassembled it.

They even got a first hand lesson on electrical shock and its effect on the heart. A classmate brushed the power supply of an old record player and there was still some electricity stored in the capacitor. He received quite a jolt and it was a good lesson about how to handle electronics.

Some of the best lessons are free and the kids sure enjoyed the library’s BreakerSpace Electronics class.

learning from the instructor
learning the parts

Duck Birthday Dunks

EJ's swim team has a unique way of celebrating birthdays and EJ made sure she didn't miss it when her birthday came up.

 The coach told a long story about her that involved lots of "ducks" and dunks and splashing.

being dunked
 Then EJ had to sing "Happy Birthday" to herself while her teammates were lined up along the edge of the pool ready to dive in and try to catch her when she finished the song.

singing to herself
the race is on
caught by the seniors

Birthday Breakfast

Birthday breakfast in bed has become an accidental tradition. We have done it a couple times in past years and as their birthdays now approach the kids remind us of how much they look forward to serving/receiving the breakfast to/from their siblings. I guess it's now expected:)
happy big 10
This year Pat was home for EJ's birthday so he did the pancake making with the boys. One nice thing about having a 10 year old is she sleeps in which makes it much easier to wake her up with a tray of birthday cheer.

Home Depot Kids Workshop

We're back in the land of Home Depot and DaddyO is back to spending his weekends around its aisles. The store is smart and connect with its future young customers through free workshops. The kids got their orange apron and first pin for making a tabletop hockey table. They nailed, measured and painted to finish their project. Did I mention this is free!

Such a fun way to spend some time with DaddyO on a Saturday morning. They can't wait to collect some more pins. Here is the registration link!

Our Osechi Ryori Tradition Begins

It took a bit of shopping (two Vietnamese grocery stores) and a while to cook (about four hours) but the excitement on the kids faces as they watched DaddyO open our Osechi Ryori box made it worth all the effort.
waiting to open the box
I went with five Japanese dishes (plus an Irish stew) and, like most intentional dishes, the majority of the ingredients were fresh and the directions easy to follow.
  new years tree at our favorite vietnamese grocery store
Many Japanese friends recommended their favorite dishes. This website was a fabulous resource for easy to understand recipes. I had a long list of ingredients when EJ and I set out to shop.
the ingredients

Traditionally in Japan these dishes are made a day or two in advance so the family can relax and simply eat on New Year's Day. Unfortunately I'm not that organized and spent most of the afternoon preparing the dishes.
datemaki (egg omelet) ingredients...
EJ watched a YouTube video which helped her make the majority of the roll herself
could not find dashi (fish stock) anywhere
but fortunately it’s easy to make with these two ingredients
japanese sweet potatoes and chestnuts. such a simple yet delicious combination.
oh, and the vietnamese grocery store has the special potatoes for under $2/lb!
Our first layer included Kuri Kinton and Datemaki.

Our second layer had Kuromame and Namasu.
In the third layer there was Simmered Ebi and Irish Stew.
The kids eyes lit up as they saw all the Japanese food and dug right in with their hashi.

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