Friday, February 25, 2011

Bitz's Jump Rope For Heart

Today was the Sixth Annual Jump Rope for Heart at Bitz.  This is a fun event for the kids and encourages community service.  They learn jump rope skills while raising money to fund lifesaving research and educational programs sponsored by the American Heart Association.  

I went up to the school for a little while to watch all the kids jump rope and of course take pictures of Grace.  It was held in the gym and they had the music blaring and the kids were having a blast!  Each child jumped for one minute and then they rotated so that they each got to jump 9 times.  It was great watching so many kids participating in such a worth while event!  Way to go Grace!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Chicks!

Each year many of the classes at JPS get  chick eggs and they learn all about the eggs and the life cycle and they watch them hatch and take care of the chicks for a little while before sending them to a farm.  This was Zachary's first time to be in a class that had chick eggs and he was so excited!  But then something happened.  The day came that they eggs were supposed to hatch and....nothing.  The next day came and still....nothing.  We thought "oh no!".  A few of the teachers had received new incubators and there was one night that the power went out at school so we aren't sure if those things were the cause of the eggs not hatching or not.  The strange thing was that the power didn't affect other eggs from hatching  except there were 3 classes, all on the Dolphin team, whose eggs did not hatch.  Mrs. Thompson and all the kids were so disappointed.  But on the afternoon after the eggs were supposed to hatch, Mrs. Thompson arranged for one of the other teachers to bring her chicks down so that the kids could see and play with them.  We spread newspaper out all over the floor and just set the chicks down and let them run around.  The kids loved it!  I'm not so sure if the chicks loved it or not but it definitely was something for the kids to enjoy.  Thank you Mrs. Thompson for going that extra step to do something to make it up to your class since their eggs didn't hatch!

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day 21 Gun Salute

We took the kids to W.P.T. Hill Field today for a 21 Gun Salute in honor of President's Day.  The Marines with Battery S, 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, utilized the 105 mm howitzers in the 21 Gun Salute.  The M-101A1, 105 mm howitzer, formerly known as the M-2A1, was developed in 1941 and used as the standard light artillery field weapon during World War II by American forces in both European and Pacific fronts.  Its efficiency on the battlefield ensured its use later in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well, but it is now retired by the U.S. military. Today, it serves as an educational and ceremonial tool for various occasions.

We've decided that as Dave's retirement from the military looms closer, we need to take advantage of things like this and share them with Grace and Zachary.  Watching these marines, hearing the booms of the cannons and the flapping of the American Flag behind us, made me proud to be an American and proud to be married to a marine.   

To see and hear what we did, scroll down to the bottom of my page and pause the music player and then watch this video.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chocolat Gourmet Club

Well, today was the day.  Gourmet Club.  Remember I told you that I'm cooking this month for Gourmet Club and I was responsible for making a Wild Arugula Salad with Chocolat Stout dressing for 20 people and a Mole Dipping Sauce for 2 houses which is about 40 people.  I was in the kitchen pretty much half the day yesterday making the mole sauce.  In retrospect I made way too much but we just weren't sure.  Better to have too much than not enough right?  I started with 4 onions, 12 cloves garlic and 24 chili peppers.  It takes a long time to chop and roast 4 onions and 12 cloves of garlic and to rehydrate, stem, seed, pat dry and chop 24 chili peppers.  My number one mistake?  Not wearing gloves while working with the chili peppers.  When I made this on Monday, I was only working with 6 chili peppers and it wasn't too bad but by the time I was finished yesterday my fingers were orange and burning.  I got into bed last night and the tips of every one of my fingers were on fire.  Not to mention the one time I rubbed my eye.  Whew!  You talking about burning?  That baby burned!  And my  kitchen?  Complete disaster. I had mole sauce EVERYWHERE!  But it was all good.  I got everything made up to the point of adding the cream and the bittersweet chocolate to the mole sauce and I did that at the hosts house.

The cooks all arrived to our hosts house about 10 a.m. this morning and got to work.  Stephanie, our host, had decorated her home beautifully.  The table arrangements were gorgeous!  Luckily for me, the hardest part of my job was done.  I just had to compete the mole sauce and prepare the salads.  Our complete menu was:
Chocolate Martinis
Chocolate Sea Salt Crostini
Chicken Satay Skewers with Savory Chocolate BBQ Sauce and Mole Sauce
Roasted Parsnip and Vanilla Chocolate Soup (which was the best soup I think I have ever tasted!)
Wild Arugula Salad with Chocolate Stout Dressing
Herb Crusted Veal Roulade with Creamy Leek Sauce & Savory Chocolate Gravy
Better Than Sex Cake
Chocolate Truffles Rolled in Coconut

Doesn't everything sound and look gorgeous?

Everything went very well and we received tons of compliments on all of the food especially the soup.  It really was some of the best soup that I have ever had.  And all I can say is thank goodness it's over.  Well, at least till next month when I will be cooking again for My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

And The Winner Is......

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who became followers of my blog and entered My First Giveaway!  Hopefully, I will be able to have more giveaways in the future.  Now, what you've all been waiting for......the winner is.......Emily from Day in the Life of a USMC Girlfriend.  Emily, please contact me so that I can give you the code to your $35 gift card!  Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last Chance to Enter!

This is your last chance to enter my giveaway.  Contest ends tonight at midnight so go here to read all about it.  Don't miss out!  Who doesn't like to win free stuff?  It could be your name that is chosen!  So, go read all about it and follow me and leave me a comment letting me know.  

Good luck!

Another Field Trip to Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium

I have been to the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium so many times that I think I could give guided tours of the place but today, I went, once again.  Grace's 3rd grade class went there on yet another field trip and of course, I chaperoned.  Gotta get these pictures you know!  I was in charge of a group of 4 girls, including Grace.  We started the field trip off with a presentation about alligators and crocodiles and they got to meet and pet a baby alligator (just like last year).  We saw turtles, alligators, snakes, all kinds of fish, baby seahorses, seahorses, lobsters, eels, rays, otters, jellyfish and a shark!  I think the favorite spot was the touch tank where they got to pet rays.  

Even though Grace has been there so many times, she still had fun with all her classmates.  So, until next time and I know there will definitely be a next time....