Valentine’s Day has been a tradition for Jamie and me ever since our first year of dating. We usually try to make a day of it, doing at least one special activity together and a special dinner. This year I had only planned on dinner, mainly because my brother had generously offered to babysit but only for the evening (I did not expect more). So after doing some online research for good restaurants with V-Day specials I made reservations for The Melting Pot, which I will describe a bit later.
The week before Valentine’s Day our plans changed when my brother got even more generous, offering to take the kids anytime after church ended! We were so psyched, since we could now do something besides go to dinner! We decided to see Avatar 3D that afternoon.
After church we took the kids to McDonald’s for lunch, then dropped them off at my brother’s and headed to the theater. Now I am not going to go through a complete review of Avatar, as there have been enough of those. The bottom line is that it has a very liberal, unrealistic and incorrect view of humanity tacked on to what is otherwise a beautiful sci-fi action film.
After the movie we got back in the car to head for dinner. Since I still did not want to spoil the surprise for Jamie I put the restaurant address in the GPS (she prefers taking direction from the woman on the GPS anyway). Once we got to the plaza we had a bit of a problem finding the place as we had never really been in that plaza before, but we found it after a few minutes.
After waiting a few minutes in the lobby we were seated at a booth in the bar. I was not happy with being sat in the bar but it is not a huge deal. Our waiter came and explained our options for the special V Day menu, then left to get our appetizer course.
Now if you have not been to The Melting Pot, let me explain how it works. The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant, serving different kinds of fondue with each course except for the salad. There is a hot plate in the middle of the table with a double boiler pot sitting on top. The fondue is served along with pre-cut food for dipping. For our first course, we had a choice of Chipotle Cheddar or Fig and Goat Cheese fondue. I was not sure I would like the goat cheese but since Jamie does not like things that are spicy I decided to try it, and was pleasantly surprised. We were brought pieces of bread, granny smith apple slices, and some veggies to dip in. We had a great time dipping in the warm concoction.
Our second course we both chose the Southwest Caesar Salad. Now I have difficulty getting too excited about salad, but it was good. The greens were fresh and crispy, and the dressing was yummy.
For our entree’ we had several choices for fondue. We chose the red wine infused fondue, which was an excellent choice. Our fondue was brought along with lobster tail, filet-mignon, ginger chicken, sea scallops, shrimp, pork veggies and red skin potatoes, all of which was uncooked and pre-sliced so as to be ready for dipping. We were instructed to skewer the food and leave it in the fondue for about two minutes to let it fully cook. We were also brought sauces for dipping: a mustard, ginger teriyaki, plumb sauce, potato everything sauce (all the stuff you might put on a baked potato in one sauce) butter and lemon for the lobster. This experience was amazing! Simply dip your food in, get it cooked and infused with yummy fondue, and enjoy. It was delicious and fun all at the same time.
Finally, we come to dessert. Our selections for the evening were white chocolate key lime pie or thin mint chocolate. We chose the latter and were VERY happy with it. Our fondue was brought out along with an amazing assortment of dippers including strawberries, bananas, rice krispy treats, marshmallows, brownies, pound cake and cheesecake. I am probably forgetting something but you get the idea. The fondue got even better once it was warm, as we dipped each item in the gooey goodness until it was all gone and we were completely full.
We had a great night, with a good movie, an excellent dinner, and best of all time spent with just me and my sweetie, just getting to be a couple for a while.
This past weekend was really fun. My brother Will’s best friend threw him a surprise party for his upcoming 30th birthday. Both my parents came in, along with our cousin Taylor from Oregon. We had a really nice time talking, eating, even doing a little bit of dancing.
The kids were great. Wayde and Chayce did some dancing, and Anca was absolutely precious. Sully really was not interested and was playing around in the hallway. It is pretty funny to watch his mind whir as he plays with something as simple as bouncy balls.
Perhaps the funniest moment of the weekend happened at home. I do not remember which night it was, but Anca was walking through the Living Room with Jamie’s bra strap around her neck, cups hanging down in front of her. As she walked, she had a big smile on her face as she said: “I’m a Mamma!” It was absolutely adorable!
Well, it’s official: all four kids have Strep Throat. Anca was the last one to start coming down with it. All of them are on antibiotics and seem to be doing well. Wayde, who was diagnosed first, gets to go back to school tomorrow. Chayce and Sully will have to wait until Thursday.
But the bigger thing I wanted to report on was their school progress. We went to the school open house last week and had a great time listening to the teachers gush over all three kids. Sully’s teacher said he has calmed down in class but takes a long time to get his work done because he is so meticulous. He has been yellow and green on the behavior scale for at least a week.
Chayce’s teacher had great things to say about her, but I was even more pleased with her progress report. Not only did she get all ‘A’s, her reading scores put her at a 4th-6th grade reading level and in the 95th percentile! Very impressive.
Wayde’s teachers were also fun to talk to. Especially her 6th grade reading teacher. Oh, did I mention that she is in the 5th grade? Yeah. After the first two weeks of school they let her and another girl go to one of the sixth grade classes for reading. The teacher said she would like to move her into 7th and 8th grade books during the year.
We are so blessed to have such intelligent kids. What a great night to enjoy our kids.
The other night Anca was in the bathroom, singing, dancing and smiling in the mirror, cute as could be. Check it out:
The big three are packing fir a sleepover tonight at Uncle Will’s house. I’ll have to write later on how it went. Currently their itinerary calls for barbecueing, make your own sundaes, and movies. I want to go!
Anca just brought Jamie a diaper and said: “Mama I’m stinky can you change me?
Anca has several board books by Sandra Burton, but her favorite is the Belly Button Book. This book is about hippos loving their belly buttons, and one little guy in particular who calls them bee-bos. The best part is that she thinks the hippos are the bee-bos! It is very cute to read the book to her and watch her reactions.
The other day Anca picked up a folded coupon, unfolds it, held it to her head, and said “what’s up?” it has begun.
Wayde just told me that the librarian at her school had to buy more books because Wayse has read almost all of them! Do you think she likes to read?
Specifically, she has read the first three Harry Potter books, and is now reading a series of scary books by Lois Duncan.
I haven’t written much here in a very long time, which is a shave since I wanted to use this blog to capture important family events and milestones. I really need to get back on track.
Recently, one milestone really brought me out of retirement (you would think something like Christmas would do it but nooooooooo). A few weeks ago Wayde joined the International Order of Job;’s Daughters!
The day started out with us getting up that Saturday morning, packing up the car and heading out. It was a VERY cold weekend, despite the fact that we had some sunshine (this winter is one of the coldest on record).
Jamie and I decided that since my Dad and Miss Sandy were coming in to see the event, and since we wanted them to be able to spend time with all the grandkids, we would get a room at their hotel for Saturday night. So we went straight to the hotel and found them first. Once we got there, even the hallways were cold, as I do not think the hotel boiler was able to keep up with the extreme temperatures.
Once in Dad’s room we greeted them and let them look over the kids and talk to them, which was a great time. Dad and I then went and checked us into our room so we would have it later. It was a good thing, we did. Dad told me that when they arrived the night before the heater in the room was not turned on, so the room was freezing! We went down to my room and found the same situation, so I immediately turned the heater on.
We then got everybody dressed and headed for the Grand Lodge. The ceremony was held in the museum building in the lodge room on the second floor, and was a state class put on by the state officers, who did an excellent job. There were eight candidates total, lined up “alphabetical according to height.” This put Wayde right at the front of the line. After the opening and introductions the ceremony began. As I said before it was done beautifully, but the one striking thing about it was Wayde being in the front of the line, led around the room by a girl who was about six feet tall!
Afterwords we went downstairs for refreshments and a dance. We did not stay long, as all of us were very hungry after not having lunch. But it was neat to watch Chayce watch the state officers dance and seem to want to participate, but was too embarrassed to really give it a try, despite being encouraged by some of the girls.
We then drove back to Max & Erma’s restaraunt next to our hotel, where we had a wonderful meal and presented Wayde with her gifts: from Mom, her slip for under her robe, slippers, and a bag to carry everything in. From Dad and Sandy, a Job’s Daughters necklace. And from Melissa and Mom Bollock, a charm bracelet with her first Job’s charm (a JD with a ladder). Dad also bought her the state officer’s charm for this year. After dinner we went back to the hotel for some hanging out and catching up, which was great in and of it self.
It was a very proud day for all of us. Wayde because she is beginning a fabulous journey that will teach her so many things and help her make so many more friends. Dad because he gets to see one of his grandchildren in a major event and the others in general. And me because I get to start living out one of my dreams. Ever since I was in DeMolay I have been waiting for the time when I could start giving back to the Masonic community, especially the youth community, and I am so glad to have my chance.