Sunday, December 9, 2012

"We're going to have a baby..."

Another boy it is!!! We are so excited that Jet will get to be a big brother to a sister and a brother and are happy that Roxy will be well protected on both sides by brothers. We can't wait to meet the little man, due date is set for April 3rd but because we make such big babies, the midwives will probably do whatever they can naturally to encourage my body to go into labor a bit earlier, so he could be here at the end of March which isn't too far away - wow!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Way Overdue

I know, I know, it's been months and months since I last touched this thing and I probably wouldn't be posting on it now if it wasn't for some of my friends through Instagram asking me to post the recipes of some Chinese food pics I had posted on there. Being a Mom to two little ones, it is much more convenient for me to post quick, visual updates on Instagram than it is for me to blog so that's why it's been a little quiet on here.

First of all, for those of you don't know, we are expecting Baby #3!!! We are due on April 3rd and will find out next week if it's a boy or girl. We are so excited for this little one to join our family and we love that our kids will all be close in age. Yes, it gets crazy at times and yes, I am tired, A LOT, but we wouldn't trade these little ones and this special time for anything.

Here is Baby's first picture from our first ultrasound:

Second of all, Jet and Roxy are growing so fast! Jet talks up a storm and is constantly making us laugh with his funny personality and shocks us with his crazy memory and recall. He is full of energy and is all boy. Roxy is running around and is starting to talk more and more each day. She is adorable and sweet but is also fiesty and sassy. They're typical siblings who fight over toys and whatnot but they love each other and always want to be around each other. If one of them doesn't see the other one, they'll ask where they are. It's so sweet to see their relationship develop and I am so thankful for what it is so far.

Here are some recent pics of the munchkins:

He LOVES garbage trucks and could watch videos of garbage trucks all day on Youtube

Looking stylin' thanks to Uncle Adam and Auntie Ive who are always hooking him up with the latest fashions

Little Roxy-Rox in the morning

Loves the bath and bubbles


Never too young to start brushing

Her kissy lips kill me

Is very concerned about personal hygiene

First jack-o-lantern

Sick Jet being comforted by his sister

My little Monkeys

Matt is doing awesome and has been blessed in his real estate business. We are so thankful for how God is constantly providing clients for him and we don't take any of it for granted. Matt works hard for our family and is faithful in our church; he is a fun and goofy Dad who also knows how to lay down the hammer when needed. I love him more and more each year.

As for me, I am getting and feeling bigger and bigger. I am just a little over 19 weeks and have been feeling the Baby move around a lot more lately, which is my most favorite part of being pregnant. I still feel a little nauseated, mostly in the evenings and some days I feel exhausted but in general, I am doing well with the pregnancy. Taking care of our family and home keeps me busy, including ministry opportunities at our church and I am so thankful for everything in my life and feel so blessed. And I cannot wait to find out if we're having another boy or girl, I considered doing a surprise delivery for about uh, 1 second, but we just can't wait to know.

So needless to say, life is good here in Canada. We have our times of struggle and we have our times of victory but the Lord remains in control and good through it all and we rejoice in that fact.

So now onto the recipes!
The first is for sweet and sour chicken or as they call it here in Canada: chicken balls. Here's the link to the one I like to use:

The chicken

The sauce

Now here's a major warning for the recipe for the stir-fry/chow mein and fried rice, it may be a little tricky and probably won't be too helpful since I don't use a recipe for them, I just kind of toss it all together but here are the ingredients that go into each one (use your best chef instincts and play around with the amount to suit your preference):

Fried rice:
- cooked rice (we use brown rice)
- frozen peas and carrots mix (or whatever veggies you want to use)
- scrambled eggs
- chopped onions
- dark superior soy sauce
- garlic powder
- salt 
- freshly ground pepper
- vegetable or olive oil

Now the main key ingredient in this fried rice and in the stir fry recipe to follow is the dark superior soy sauce. This is different than the regular soy sauce and you may have to visit the Asian section or actually go to an Asian store to find it but it will be one of your secret weapons in Asian cooking. It has a stronger more complex flavor than regular soy sauce and the coloring it adds to your dishes is beautiful. I prefer the one from Pearl River.

Heat oil in pan, saute the onions. Throw in the cooked rice. Sprinkle with ground pepper, garlic powder, and a little bit of salt. Then add the soy sauce and stir. Then add in the frozen veggies and scrambled eggs and stir until the frozen veggies are warmed through. And there you go, you've got yourself easy and tasty fried rice. Top with chopped green onions if desired.

(In this picture, I didn't mix the noodles into the stir-fry but pan-fried them to give it some crunch and I had added chicken to the rice to make chicken fried rice. The great thing about these dishes is that they're so versatile and can be altered in whichever way to suit your liking).

The chow mein/stir-fry:

- chow mein noodles (the kind you have to boil not the ones that are ready to eat)
- chopped onion
- minced garlic
- your choice of veggies
- salt and pepper
- dark superior soy sauce
- rice cooking wine (I use Shao Xing rice wine)
- brown sugar
- chicken broth
- cornstarch
- vegetable oil or olive oil

Boil and cook the chow mein noodles according to directions, set aside.

Heat oil in pan and saute onion till translucent. Add minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add in veggies (you can add in the veggies in stages, according to the firmness of the vegetable. For example, I'll throw in the carrots and celery first, then halfway through will throw in broccoli and zucchini, and if you're doing something leafy like bok choy, you'll want to put that in very last since the veggies will cook at different rates and you definitely do not want them soggy - not appetizing), season with pepper and a little bit of salt, then add in a few splashes of soy sauce and a couple splashes of the rice wine and a couple cups or so of chicken broth and a couple teaspoons of brown sugar. Cook until veggies are just cooked through (don't overcook!). On the side mix the cornstarch with some water and add in and mix till sauce has slightly thickened. Then add in noodles and stir altogether and that's it!

Now I know I am not giving measurements so in regards to adding the soy sauce, add a little bit then stir and then if you think it needs more, add more. This is a really potent soy sauce so a little goes a long way so just be sure to not pour in a ton or it will ruin the dish.

Sorry that I can't give you a more precise recipe but I trust that you guys will rock it anyway!

Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

Don't know when I'll post next, but all the best until then...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Latest Happenings

We are in the thick of summer and are enjoying our days filled with many blessings from the Lord. Here's a snapshot of what's been going on lately:

Haircut time for Jet
(scroll down for a video of the actual haircut)

July 1st is Canada Day here (like the US's version of the 4th of July) and we were able to spend the day at an older couple's home from our church celebrating and saying good-bye to a sweet couple from our church who are heading out to California to attend Master's Seminary this fall.

Roxy enjoying Daddy time

The Manks have an amazingly beautiful backyard and their house is right on the lake


Possible romance? Joshua Hales is so sweet with Roxy; he'll see her, smile, come up and say, "Hi Roxy" and caress her face. It's adorable. But we're apparently not letting her date until she's 30 so you will have to wait buddy.

Fireworks right on the lake to top off the day

The Lord has been so kind to bless Matt with work - here he is standing in front of a house he recently sold.

We've been enjoying eating outside in our little garden oasis. 
Roxy enjoyed her banana.

Italian night

Roxy rockin' her first bathing suit of the summer. Our friends from church invited us over to have a BBQ and to use their pool.

Isn't sure about this...

 Although she normally likes being in the bathtub, she did not like being in this big pool.

Jet eventually warmed up to it.

Future pianist?

See, I think something's going on between these two

Our first salad from our garden

We've been enjoying lots of park time with PoPo

Walking with PoPo

Sweet dreaming Roxy

Partying with the Rox-star

My girly tomboy

Jet and his beloved Mr. Bear

Snuggle time with Daddy

Self-portrait. I typically find a lot of these on my iPhone.

And last but not least, our nephew, Kingston Leonard Vincent Sylvester was born earlier this week! We've been waiting and waiting for him to arrive so we are so excited that he's finally here! Looking forward to seeing these cousins grow up together.

And here's some random video footage of our day to day life if you want to see the kiddos in action:

Roxy will dance every time she hears music. Jet will jump on his Dad every time he's laying on the couch.

Jet did SUCH a good job sitting still while getting his haircut, so proud of my little guy.

And I'll just let this video speak for itself. And no, he did not witness Tara giving birth.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Berries, Birthday, Beach

It has been a busy last two weeks and we are so thankful for all the blessings we've experienced during that time. First, we celebrated Roxy's 1st birthday and kicked off the summer by visiting Watson's Farms in Bowmanville for some strawberry picking. Strawberries are my most favorite fruit and we picked a ton and were able to enjoy their yumminess in a variety of ways.

Jet loved it

So great how they let you sample as much as you want

Birthday Girl checking it...

And it's good! 

So fun! Love that there are farms like this around for us to enjoy

Then we had a little birthday party for Roxy Girl:

I am loving burlap banners right now and they are so easy to make

The Menu:

My Dad's famous Asian ribs - they are sooooooo good, I could honestly eat a huge bucket of these.

An almost panzanella salad without the bread. I love making this during the summer, so light, healthy, and tasty.

Fresh fruit of course

Grilled corn on the cob

I love making pico de gallo and guacamole with chips for parties

Potato salad

I can't believe how fast they're growing!

My sweet Snugglebug

One of the ways we used the fresh-picked strawberries, it was SO good!

a.k.a. Jackie Chan

Representin' the Asian heritage!

So close to walking

Hanging with Pop Pop

The traditional "What they choose indicates what they might become" game

She touched the book first (scholar) but then pulled back when we all made a ruckus

Then she touched the money bag (rich). So it looks like our daughter will be an intelligent millionaire?:)

So thankful for our friend Lui who took our camera and snapped some pictures for us.

Love this pic of our sweet girl

Brother is here to help...

And blows out all the candles. 
Roxy: "Thanks a lot pal."

Can you tell that our family likes this cake?

Love her!

Aaaand someone sticks his foot in the cake

This pic cracks me up

with Uncle Adam

She ate her birthday cake very delicately. No cake face here.

Pure lady

Vintage-looking bathing suit courtesy of Uncle Adam and Auntie Ive

The day right after Roxy's birthday party, Matt and I took off for Turks and Caicos! We had been wanting to go away for awhile so we were so thankful for my parents who watched the kids for us and we were blessed to find some very affordable flights and lodging.

*A little tip if you're flying Air Canada, if you can't find the tickets you're looking for on Air Canada, go to Air Canada Vacations and do a search there. We found available, cheaper tickets on that website that we couldn't get on the regular Air Canada site. Apparently they reserve half their tickets for their vacation division.

Ready to go

Starting out strong.
Love that it's only a 3 1/2 hour non-stop flight from Toronto.

Is it breathtaking or what?! 
This has been rated the #1 beach in the entire world and I believe it!

Looking at this, made me think of this:

God is amazing

It's everything the pictures make it out to be

Since we were located further away from the major resorts, it was as if we had our own private beach; we were almost always alone, it was awesome!

Happy Feet

The water was the clearest and warmest I've ever been in

This was on our way to dinner one night. It ended up pouring like crazy while we were still at the restaurant and our server ended up giving us a ride home.

To make this incredible getaway as budget-friendly as possible we stayed at a place that was a beach rental that had it's own kitchen. Aquamarine Beach Houses was rated #1 on TripAdvisor for it's accommodations and prices and we are thankful that it worked out well for us. We stayed in the bottom unit to the far left.

To save some money, we would eat breakfast and lunch in and then go out for dinner at night. 
A typical breakfast of eggs and toast.

A typical lunch of grilled meat, veggies, and brown rice.

Another lunch: grilled jerk chicken and Mediterranean cous cous

This is how we spent most of our days

Gettin' my tan on

Was able to read this book, it was good and I learned a lot of new things about historical figures I wasn't familiar with before. David McCullough is one of my most favorite authors.

Beachfront dining at Mango Reef - everything was SO good!

This was all over the island - yeeessss!

Had a great lunch here.
Conch (pronounced "konk," is huge here since it's locally caught (along with red snapper and grouper).
It's similar to squid.

I got the conch combo and it was really good.

My hot conch date

Our view at Da Conch Shack

Found some J Mac at the local bookstore!

We had a great time and are thankful for the opportunity to have gotten away, spend time together as a couple, and reconnect and recharge. I highly recommend going to Turks and Caicos!!

Then we came home to this crazy, bursting garden! I cannot believe how much everything grew in just one week!

Here's the only video we took in T&C at Da Conch Shack after Matt saw a lady videotaping, he said we should too so here's the result (and yes, we're goofballs, I know):