Archive for January, 2010

National Junior Honor Society

Jan 22nd, 2010 Posted in Joyful Moments, Sherwood Schools | no comment »

Ben was inducted into the Laurel Ridge National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) last night. It was a very impressive group of 7th and 8th graders and a very well-done ceremony. To be eligible, Ben had to have a 3.65 GPA or higher (he has a 4.0 right now!), get 4 recommendations from teachers at Laurel Ridge and commit to performing 5 hours of community service/leadership every trimester (he already serves on the Sherwood K-12 District Math Committee).  Needless to say, I am so proud of Ben. And, I love that he is being acknowledged for his academics and service.  It’s also such a great thing to have the kids truly own their success now. They are striving to achieve the good grades for themselves, because it means something to them, not just to their parents.

The ceremony was done really well. I liked that both current NJHS members and our Sherwood NHS vice president all had chances to speak and congratulate the new members. And, of course, our principal Steve Emmert gave the ceremony that emotional touch that he’s so good at.

I’m hoping to see great things from these kids. Congrats to them all!

Updated Thai Noodle Salad

Jan 22nd, 2010 Posted in eHow Articles, Good Eats - Recipe | no comment »

I’ve made this yummy salad my own with a few improvements and tweaks. Go check it out at How to Make Angie’s Amazing Thai Noodle Salad |  Let me know if it’s a winner for your dinner 🙂

How to Make Angie’s Amazing Thai Wraps |

Jan 20th, 2010 Posted in Good Eats - Recipe | no comment »

via How to Make Angie’s Amazing Thai Wraps | Hope you like ’em 🙂

Art by Brian

Jan 15th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Sports | no comment »

For Christmas my mom gifts a calendar to each person in my family. Last year, Brian received a calendar of vintage University of Oregon Game Day art. Very cool.

January rolled around and the calendar was done.  We knew we had to use the prints somehow. Brian’s mad skills led to this awesome window-pane collage in our basement. I love my handy husband!

Amazing Clam Chowder

Jan 14th, 2010 Posted in Good Eats - Recipe | no comment »

I’ve finally ended my search for a great clam chowder recipe. This is seriously the best I’ve had.  I made a few tweaks to the original recipe to make it my own, and it was a hit with the family. Give it a try.

  • 1/2 lb. bacon (I tore up one sheet of Costco’s pre-cooked bacon and sauted for a few minutes)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 Yukon gold potato, diced w/ skin on
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 cans cream of potato soup
  • 3 cans of Snow’s diced clams. Do not drain
  • 1 sprig’s worth of fresh Rosemary leaves (I used the kitchen shears to chop it up a little)
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 pints 1% milk

Saute the bacon pieces until crisp. Remove the bacon from pan and put in crock pot. Saute onion, garlic, celery and potato in bacon grease until soft. Add to the crock pot. Add potato soup, milk, clams w/ juices and seasonings into crockpot and stir to combine. Set crock pot on low and cook at least 4 hours (I let mine go all day and the smell is soooo awesome). Spoon it into bowls and you are set.  A nice crusty bread or even some crackers are a nice touch, but not necessary. Brian, of course, had to add more black pepper 🙂

Strict Joy by The Swell Season

Jan 14th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Music Review | no comment »

Sam asked me recently,”What’s your most favorite thing to do?” Without even really thinking it over I responded, “Sing…in the car.” Yes, I’m one of those people you see at intersections belting out songs. That, of course, looks hysterical ’cause you can see the mouth moving, but you can’t hear the music! Oh the humiliation 🙂

Anyways, my latest pick for driving sing-a-longs is the Strict Joy CDs from The Swell Season. Who, you say? Have you seen the movie, Once? Did you hear Kris Allen sing “Falling Slowly” on American Idol last year? Hopefully, one of those is helping you out. The two leads for The Swell Season are Glen Hansard (also front man for the Irish band The Frames), and Marketa Irglova, (a classically trained Czech pianist and vocalist).  They came out with the AWESOME  musical movie, Once, a couple of years ago and got on so well, that they just keep writing songs together.

The songs blend great acoustic guitar, great piano, great harmonies and can be both folky, rocking and just really pretty. I have the 2 CD collection that includes the new material and a great live-performance set with the “Falling Slowly” song backed up by an 8th grade choir. Very fun. The collection also came with the live-performance DVD (Glen really does play that guitar he wore a hole in). Brian and I both enjoyed watching it. The DVD includes some interviews and some footage of them working on new material.

So, watch the movie, listen to the CD, and sing, sing, sing!

Photography Class

Jan 10th, 2010 Posted in Random Thoughts | no comment »

So excited! I’ve signed up for an online photography class through PCC. I’m hoping to learn some new techniques and get some feedback on my work.

My photography “hobby” is really turning into a great opportunity. I’ve got 3 different basketball team photo shoots coming up and my business plan is taking shape.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Jan 4th, 2010 Posted in Book Review | no comment »

My family loves to give and receive books for Christmas. Brian added a real gem to my book collection this year: William Kamkwamba’s memoir, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

Kamkwamba tells magical stories of his childhood, his family and his life in Malawi.  For a young man he paints vivid and insightful pictures of the politics, cultural superstitions and extreme poverty and famine that engulfed his people.

While I enjoyed the education of this book, what it really delivers is inspiration and hope. William dreams of bringing a better a life to his family and he makes it happen. He takes his natural gifts of curiousity and science exploration and turns them into something literally electrifying. William’s story is a great one. I feel fortunate that it was discovered and shared.

I’m encouraging Ben, who is 12, to read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.  It’s message is so relevant for him. We should all take our “crazy” ideas and just give ’em a try. Trust in ourselves and each other and great things can happen.

Nice pick, Brian!

I Still Love My Ducks

Jan 1st, 2010 Posted in Sports | no comment »

Oh, Ducks! What happened? That was far from the Ducks’ best effort, but, hey, we still gotta celebrate making it to the Rose Bowl. Maybe we all need to shed a quick tear and watch the video one more time ’cause I really do still “Love My Ducks.

At least the game gave me an excuse to postpone the New Year’s diet for a day. The wings, fondue and tacos probably set me back pretty good!