Monday, January 17, 2011

a little longer than anticipated

Not quite sure where to begin but perhaps a little recap would be good. We've been back on the Central Coast now for almost 2 years.... it's great to be back, oddly in many ways it almost seems like we never left.

We're living in SLO for the first time since before we had Owen and are actually quite happy being centrally located, though our hearts ache for walks by the back bay in Los Osos and for quick surf sessions out in Montana de Oro.

Owen started kindergarten in August at Pacheco, a dual immersion school, and is so far loving it. He'll be 6 in March and is, shall we say, a very "spirited" child, very different from the people pleasing personality of Elias our middle son who is four. The two of them fight over almost everything and turn nearly everything into some kind of a competition, nevertheless there is a fierce love and protectiveness that they show toward one another, especially Owen toward Elias. I love this about them, the love and protectiveness part, and remind them often that they are going to be brothers and buddies for their whole lives and that they are going to have to take care of one another. Elias is in pre-school 2 days a week and loves anything related to the Cars movie. This infatuation started before he turned 2 and has not let up in the least, I keep waiting for the next phase but so far Lightning, Mater and Doc Hudson take the cake.

Miles will be two in March. He is our only brown eyed boy, which we think is fitting since he's our little Mexican. He is full of smiles and like any third boy of three.... running full throttle to keep up with his big brothers. He's talking up a storm and has been for quite some time. I always joke about how Owen and Elias are always battling for air time in the car and it seems Miles is now a player in that game. He amazes me with his vocabulary and ability to articulate his needs/wants in full on sentences.

Jeremiah has very recently been hired by a company called Diversified Capital Advisers and they will be training him as a financial adviser. This is a HUGE answer to prayer and I am sooo thankful for the Lord's amazing provision.

I'm working about 10 - 15 hours a week writing research papers with the biological oceanography lab at Cal Poly where I used to work and Jeremiah's mom and dad are a HUGE help with our boys, watching them when I'm working and frequently in the evenings so that Jeremiah and I can go on dates.

In many ways the last three years have been very difficult ones on a variety of levels... I'll try and delve into that more in subsequent blogs. But with every challenge I'm continually reminded that we're not here for a life of ease... and that it really is in the times of greatest need that we are able to find the greatest joy in the Lord.

I'm not sure who out there is reading this but am so thankful for the amazing love and incredible support we've been shown by all of our family and friends. Thank You!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Time for a new family photo...

We haven't been updating this blog... but I'm feeling inspired and am going to try and start updating more frequently. I thought that a good start would at least be a new photo of our family which included Miles, who is now almost 2 years old (his birthday is in March). I'm supposed to be working right now and am a bit side tracked so I'm going to sign off for now but stay tuned I'm going to try and post something more lengthy before the end of the week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Owen Surfing May 30 2010

A long time since our last post... well this video just has to be shared.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Lag

We are back here in the Central Coast... here is some info that should not suprise anyone. We lag big time at updating our family blog.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Miles Weston Thomas Blackwell

Heading home... definitely a different experience here in Mexico, car seats are optional and there is virtually no paperwork. However, the overwhelming joy and love at bringing home a happy healthy beautiful boy knows no boundaries and must feel the same in any country. Here's one proud Papa!

When Miles is awake he is incredibly alert, it's a good thing too because he's got two big brothers to keep his eyes on.

Owen giving his new little brother some loving. He has been such a sweetheart throughout my entire pregnancy loving his little bro even before he was born.

More brotherly love... Eias is still getting used to whole idea of a little brother and how to be gentle. He's gotten really good at holding his own with his BIG brother so this is requiring a bit of an adjustment.

Miles Weston Thomas Blackwell - March 5th 2009, 11:15 pm, 6lbs 10 oz. 19 inches. 
Absolutely Perfect.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas in Cabo

Things have been kind of crazy in the Blackwell Household these past few months so I apologize for not sending out Christmas Cards. We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Season and a Very Happy New Year! 

Sending You all our Love this New Year, 
The Blackwell's

Playing in the sand after opening presents and having brunch on the beach on Christmas morning.

Brunch on the beach at Zippers.

Owen and Elias in their new Christmas Jammies from Pops and Grandma, showing off their Lightning and Doc Hudson Pez that Daddy brought home from San Luis Obispo's new sweet shop.
Elias helping to decorate the Christmas Tree

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So Where do you find Fortune Cookies in Mexico?

OK, only in Mexico... or maybe it's just me.

So Shelley and I are going through a book called 101 Romantic Evenings. Yes, I need all the help I can get. My first "romantic" evening was awesome as it could possibly be. My task was to get fortune cookies and swap out the fortunes for my own creative, romantic sayings (thankfully the page for this night had lots of examples), and coordinate with my favorite local Chinese restaurant to serve the cookies I brought over earlier that day. What a nice surprise. How easy! How?

Challenge #1: One Chinese restaurant that is not worth going to.
Challenge #2: no fortune cookies to swap out the fortunes.
Challenge #3: language barrier to set up the plan.

So having been here for almost three years, I think I can overcome all these challenges. Since I like baking and cooking, I figure I can just make my own fortune cookies and well, that was the only thing that I really got right - the cookies & fortunes.

The evening started out with a stop off at an ATM machine to get some cash. As I try to be a gentleman to open Shelley's door for her. I have to unlock mine first because the lock on her side doesn't work. Well, I locked the keys in the car. Fortunately our neighbor could quickly bring us our other set of keys that were at home. Whew, I was saved from total disaster.

Dinner at Hangman's (we're on a tight budget, and we just like it)
Desert at the Club 96 restaurant in Palmilla.

So I figure at Club 96 where they cater to some of the most well-to-do who live or visit Cabo could handle the surprise delivery of the cookies. When I brought my home made cookies to them in a Tupperware and told them to serve us these cookies just before we get the check, their clear confirmation and accommodation seemed like they could do just that... serve us the cookies.

Things were going perfect. The chef had brought out two other sample treats that we didn't order... it would seem just perfectly normal to have them bring out another one. As Shelley was in the restroom, I confirmed with our server that he had everything ready. The moment of truth: Out comes the server proudly bringing on a beautiful plate... my Tupperware with the cookies inside.

There went the surprise, total flop.

Fortunately, Shelley is just awesome about rolling with things down here; and we got a good laugh.

For those of you who want to give this a try, here is the fortune cookie recipe I used:

Confucius Crunch

2 tablespoons butter (no substitution)
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
14 strips paper (3 by 1/2" each) with fortunes

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 2 small cookie sheets. [I used our toaster oven, because you only want to do two at a time, max... I ended up doing one at a time. TIP: Put wax paper on the tray that comes with the toaster oven, and a drop of vegetable oil to ensure easy removal.]

2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat butter over low heat until melted. Remove saucepan from heat. With wire whisk, beat in confectioners sugar, egg white, vanilla, and salt until blended. Beat in batter until batter is smooth.

3. Drop 1 heaping teaspoon batter on to cookie sheet. Repeat with another teaspoon batter, at least 4 inches away from first. With small metal spatula or back of spoon, spread batter evenly to form two 3-inch rounds.

4. Bake about 4 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden. [TIP: wait until the edge is golden brown about a half inch around the cookie] Loosen both cookies with metal spatula. [If you use the wax paper getting them off is just as easy as picking off the wax paper and turning them upside down] Working with 1 cookie at a time, place a fortune across center of hot cooke. Fold hot cookie in half, forming a semi-circle, and press edges together(a). Quickly fold semicircle over edge of small bowl to create fortune-cookie shape(b). Repeat with other cookie. Let shaped cookies cool completely on wire rack.

5. Repeat with remaining batter and strips of fortune paper to make 14 cookies in all [Yea right, makes 7 to 8 cookies], cooling cookie sheets in between batches, and regreasing sheets as necessary. Store cookies in container up to 2 weeks. Makes about 14 cookies.