Friday, October 30, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Uncultured Persons

Check This Out! My amazing family has a whole 'nother venture to brag about! And their amazingly comfortable too!

Texas: Big Family Country!

Sophia & Cousin Hannah! Linda & I took the girls to a local tea room for a 'real' tea party! What a treat! They've been inseparable. I'm not sure they're going to handle being apart!?!

Joseph with Baby Joshua!

Sophia & Uncle Nodji (the first of LOTZ of family greetings Sassy got a little overwhelmed)
The happy couple. Our Chadian cousin & his "African Queen"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Day in the Life . . .

Of the Ndjerareou family:
Nate discovered he only needed 150 miles to qualify for four free tickets (on two separate airlines). We'd been hoping to get to Dallas for a Chadian wedding.

Late Tuesday, Nate called from San Francisco--all Friday flights are booked but if we're willing we can leave Thursday morning from Cedar Rapids? Graciously, my husband offered to take Sophia on his flight and let me come later by myself. The fourth ticket would go to Banga!

Here's the hitch. . . Nate would leave San Fran Wednesday night spend the night in the air or airport (hopefully) landing in Cedar Rapids around 8:55am Thursday morning. Sophia and I met him at the airport with extra clean clothes, suit and blackberry charger.

After tonz of prayer and a little anxiety on my part (plane travel is like dating--you have to expect disappointment!)Miracle of miracle it worked! I got to spend about 10 minutes with him before kissing both Sophia and Nate and they were off again!

It's a funny thing traveling sans bebe! Suddenly, I'm getting nice comments about my shoes instead of Sophia's! The guy behind the counter was overly helpful informing me that my flight wouldn't be delayed because a pair of eyeballs were traveling with us. (Yeah it took me a minute too. I don't mean to be disrespectful that what he called it!! ) Turns out my flight is a med-flight and that nothing much would be delaying us!

Exhilarating information! Granted I'm just going to a wedding but you're catching the spirit of matter right! So without baby, well-coiffed (I actually had an hour by myself to get ready) and pumped up about the med-flight mission!

The guy at the metal detector seemed overly concerned about my new metalic necklace. Without thinking I winked and said: "You gotta live dangerously right???"

What can I say?? My flirting skills are REALLY rusty! This probably wasn't the BEST thing to say to our certifiably jumpy TSA crew!! I'm not sure that I pack my brain but I did make it through security.

I'm really looking forward to spending much needed time with family. And if our crazy plan works (I'm writing from the airport.) We'll be in time for the marathon African cooking day! I don't know what I'm more excited about? Eating the food or participating in the cooking? Hopefully I'll learn a new recipe or two!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Daddy Day at Gymnastics!

Sophia showing off her stamps!

Cold weather sets mid-west mom's scrambling for inside play that gets the wiggles out.
Our family favorite is gymnastics. Sophia has no fear and so dropping into a pit of foam blocks is right up her alley. So is hanging, jumping, flipping, (pretty typical for three) and gymnastics uses all of their powers for good!
I was also thrilled to hear about Lunch Bunch a supervised open gym available everyday so parents can run errands while toddlers work on their back handspring!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Everyday Exotic: Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

It's soup season! My favorite times in the kitchen involve a big pot with lotz of vegetables and spices simmering. Mixing a squash (a fall favorite) and curry (a family favorite) was something I had to try! We loved it. Hope you do too!

Granted pealing a squash is a pain staking (emphasis on pain) procedure that proves this is a Martha Stewart recipe. I've made it with two squash butternut and otherwise. I've also added meat. Browned immediately then saute your onions and add spices directly to the meat-onion mix to give this a hearty stew quality. Serve over rice and you have an entire meal in one bowl

Butternut Squash Curry

Martha Stewart Living

A tasty, low-calorie, high fiber vegetarian meal with a little bit of spice!


2 Medium butternut squashes

Peeled, halved, and seeded

1 Large onion

Cut into large chunks

4 Garlic cloves

3 cups + 1Tsp. Water

1tsp. Veg. oil

1tsp. Mustard seeds

1tsp. Fennel seeds

1/4tsp. Ground coriander

1 - 2 In. piece Ginger

Peeled and finely grated

(about 2 tsp. )

2tsp. Tomato paste

2tsp. Coarse salt

1/4tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups Brown rice (cooked)

Fresh cilantro

Lime wedges


1. Cut solid sections of sqaushes into large chunks and seed pod sections into 3/4in. thick wedges. Puree onion, garlic, and 1Tsp. water in blender until smooth.

2. Heat oil in 4qt. pot over med. heat. Add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and coriander, cook until frangrant (1 to 2 min.) Stir in onion paste and ginger, cook, stirring often until caramelized ( 6 to 8 min. )

3. Add tomato paste, scraping bottom of pot if needed. Stir in remaining 3 cups water, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add squash and cover partially, bring to a boil, reduce heat ans simmer gently until squash is tender ( 12 to 15 min. ) Serve over brown rice with cilantro and lime wedges

Thursday, October 08, 2009

It's a Small, Small, World

News of Typhoon Melor, reached us from a surprising source yesterday. While pushing kids on the swings in Bever Park, Allie, explained that work had been canceled in Japan shortly after her husband Nick arrived in order to prepare for an impending typhoon. This is Nick's first trip abroad, he's certainly going to have some stories to share upon his return. Keeping him & the people of Japan in our prayers.

Fall Fun

The clouds were amazing, the sun was warm and Sophia was in a mood to play. I couldn't help but take my camera and capture some of the last vestiges of summer light.


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