Monday, April 30, 2007

Farewell to our new friends!

It was a mild day in February when I decided to take the kids to the park. Once we were there Izabella started to run after a cute little boy, and then Foti started to play with him . Izabella started to share her animal crackers with this little boy and his father was telling him not to take any from Izabella when I intervened and said that is was ok, that Izabella loves to share. As the kids were playing we kept talking when the father asked me how old Alexandra was. When I told him her birthdate he looked surprised and smiled. You see, his daughter was born on the same day as our little Alexandra and his son is the same age as Foti. From that moment on we became friends...

so "Adios" to Moises, Cris, Yago and Carla, the beautiful family from Spain! We are so happy to have met you! Our friends and family are all happy to have met you also! We are glad that you were able to join our celebrations and we are so happy to have been included in yours!

We will meet again whether it be in Barcelona or Greece!! Foti will miss Yago immensely until the next time that we see each other!!

Carla and Alexandra will be able to talk to each other by then!

Foti and Yago can monopolize more playgrounds together! And of course, we hope that Izabella and Yago will stop fighting!

We hope that you enjoyed your stay in our city and also hope that you enjoyed your time with us!

Adios, Good-bye and Yasas!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Murphy's Law

Funny things are happening since we want to sell the house. I am not sure but I assume that it is Murphy's Law. First, our garage door opener exploded last week. It is always Foti's job to press the button for the garage door to close. As he pressed the button we heard a loud "pop" and the garage door stop closing 3/4 of the way down. I got on my knees to look under the door and saw the motor of the door opener smoking. There was so much smoke that I was almost ready to call 911. Well, in my panic I called Kosta at work and he told me to run to the basement and cut the circuits to the garage. I couldn't just unplug the opener since it was plugged in ABOVE me... (yeah, whoever did that was a genius). When Kosta inspected the situation that evening he noticed that the coil had also snapped. We are out a coil and a motor. We called a 24 hour garage door service and 2 smart ass guys showed up and found everything wrong, naturally. They wanted over $1000.00 to fix it. As Kosta is an engineer he kindly thanked them for coming by and sent them on their way. He will fix it himself. What a man!

This past Wednesday our furnace stopped working. It was really cold in here up until this afternoon. A cheery old man came out to fix it today and we are warm once again. The cool thing about having the furnace out on these balmy days is that we all slept really well, nice and cozy.

These things usually happen in sets of three. What could possibly be next?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Mp3

Kosta bought me an Mp3 player for Christmas and I had only one song on it for months. Finally, he asked my how I liked it and I told him that I love listening to the same song over and over. You see, he downloaded the song for me and I have never made the time to download anything on my own. Oh, the only song that I had recorded was You're Beautiful by James Blunt.
It's not that I don't want to spend the time, it is that I just don't have the time to spend . Also, I really don't have time to use the player because I need to hear what's going on around the house.
Last week he took a stack of my old Cd's and recorded them onto the player. Since then I have had a few opportunities to listen to what I have on that little Mp3 and I am having a blast! The first Cd he recorded was Erasure's Pop! : The first 20 Hits. That was a lot of fun to listen to. It brought me back to late nights and lots of laughing...and dancing. I had a smile on my face for about an hour straight. That's about as much as I got to listen to. I know that Ricky Martin is there somewhere. I can't wait to find out what else is waiting for my listening pleasure!

Pictures are worth 1000 words!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lemon Chicken

1 whole chicken cut into pieces
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic-minced or chopped...whatever you feel like doing!
1 tbsp fresh parsley (Italian flat leaf)-chopped
1 tsp fresh dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4-5 baking potatoes
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F
Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting pan. Cut the potatoes into wedges and place between and around the chicken. Pour the lemon juice evenly over the chicken and potatoes. Add the garlic, parsley, oregano, dill, salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
After the chicken has been in the oven for an hour, remove the cover bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes in order to make the potatoes a little more firm. Once the chicken and potatoes are golden, your dinner is ready to serve.
I usually serve the chicken with a Greek salad and pita bread.

The last few weeks have been insanely busy! We had Foti's 3rd birthday party last week and he had a blast. As you can see from the pictures, even some adults got into the fun! So as we had the party, the painters were outside painting. They were here all week and the house is finally painted. We changed the colors slightly, slightly enough that it is hardly noticeable. It looks great.

We had dentist appointments and doctor appointments -shots included. The shots were quickly forgotten with lunch that consisted of ice cream and nachos. I know, not healthy but extremely fun and it worked!
Wednesday I was trapped at home because Kosta accidentally took both his keys and mine to work with him. I discovered that as I was rushing out the door to pick up Izabella from school. I called Kosta quickly just to make sure that he had the keys, and well, of course he did. My next move was to call our neighbor that I knew was probably home as she has a newly adopted baby. I called and "YAHOO!", she was home! What's better is that she has one of my house keys AND she let me use her car to pick up Izabella while Foti and Alexandra stayed with her. On my way to pick up Izabella, I had to call my friend that I had a lunch date with and let her know that we wouldn't be able to meet within the hour that we had planned because I didn't have any car keys. No problem. She brought lunch over here and all was swell. As she and her daughter were leaving, the doorbell rang. It was our neighbor, the one that saved me in the morning. It turns out that her house key wasn't working for some reason! I have a key of theirs and she tried that one as well and it didn't work. So she and her two daughters hung out with us until her husband got home. What are the chances of both of us needed our spare keys on the same day? Slim I say- but it happened. Thank God for great neighbors! I know, why am I moving to Greece when I have the best neighbors in the world?( I am including neighbors on both sides! :) I just hope that I can live near a decent family when we get there.

Thursday we spent time with the same neighbors again as we had them over for dinner. She has been going to Dinner by Design and brought over some delicious pork chops. I made the sides that consisted of rice, salad, corn and fruit salad. It was delicious and the kids had fun playing together as usual.

Friday I was stuck in the house again because the painters had to paint the front porch. My keys don't work in the back door and I couldn't leave the house unlocked. Well I guess I gave a rundown of my week without intending to do so, but there it is. Oh, and lots of sorting, tossing and packing still happening too.

We are trying to get the house on the market by Monday. I think that we are pushing it but we don't have a choice. We have to sell this mama before we move. I hope that it goes quickly!

The rental property for the summer in Greece has been decided and hopefully locked in place. We will know for sure if we have it for the summer or not by tomorrow. The house that we are TRYING to buy is another thing. It is so difficult. We still don't know if we can get financing. We are waiting for an aquaintance of ours to get back to us. He doesn't use email, but a woman that works for him does and he waits for her to give him our email and then we wait for him to have her send us one in response. Is this nuts or what? Where am I going? Back to the dark ages I think. I will remain positive. I must keep thinking about the great weather and the great food...and that Paris, Rome and Spain are short jaunts on a plane!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A fun website for kids.....

The kids and I were looking for "animal sounds" on the web the other day and we found this web page. Both Izabella and Foti were in stitches.

Snow in April

Though it is rare, sometimes it snows in April. The snow was suppose to begin at around midnight but it didn't. Here it started to snow at about 10:30 am. Since then it has been coming down non-stop. I think it is beautiful but at the same time I am just anxious for spring to start. If you look closely at the photo on the left you can see that the green buds on the tree are covered in snow. All of the tulips and daffodils that have already bloomed are covered in snow. Let's just hope that it doesn't take too long for this snow to melt! We have got to get the house painted!

Speaking of painting the house, the painters started last Monday. That would be April 2ND. They washed and scraped the house. As it has been so cold they haven't been back, except for yesterday. I was surprised when they showed up because it wasn't much warmer than it has been for a week. Anyway, they started to paint the top front of the house. What's funny is that the green that I picked for the trim looks ridiculous. The swatch and the actual paint don't match at all. So, if any of my neighbors got scared, don't worry. I will choose a different color. The cedar siding will be "latte" and the aluminum siding will remain yellow. I may just choose a dark green for the trim , again. If anyone has any input or ideas, please let me know. I have a few days to choose a new color for the trim. I was thinking burgundy, eggplant purple or chocolate brown for the trim.

(My mom just called. She left here at around 2:30pm and she just arrived at her home, it is 4:00pm. The drive from here to Kenosha is normally 40 minutes. )

I need to log off for now as I have to start dinner. Tonight I am making lemon-chicken. It is another one of my favorite Greek staples. The kids like it too. After I make it I will share the recipe. As I rarely cook by using exact measurements I will estimate the measurements while I cook today.

Monday, April 9, 2007

A little more Easter

Well, we spent Easter Sunday with the Redds. We had a great time as usual. "Taz" is the new dog of the house and Izabella couldn't stop playing with him. She really, really wants a dog. She keeps asking when our cat, Amalia, is going to die so that we can get a dog...poor Amalia. By the end of the afternoon the stuffed giraffe that Taz was playing with was unstuffed. The kids had so much fun with that little dog!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! In the days leading up to today we have been busy with lots of Easter activities. On Friday we went to an Easter Egg hunt and had a lot of fun. We were all FREEZING but we survived.

At brunch I was holding Alexandra while fixing plates for Izabella and Foti when all of the sudden she picked up a jelly-filled doughnut hole and indulged! She loved it! (No kidding, right?)

Izabella's Easter bucket couldn't hold all of the eggs that she found, so she decided to let Foti have the overflow. What a great sister!

At first Foti didn't want to pick any eggs up. I am not sure if it was because he was so cold or he wanted me to do it. :) Once he found out that there were treats inside the eggs he changed his mind and had a blast.

Friday night we dyed our Easter eggs. Our egg dying kit came with these funny little plastic cylinders. This is something that could have been going on forever but I completely missed out on, but I still think that they were weird.

Foti waited patiently between each batch of eggs. Next year I will just use regular bowls to color the eggs and then maybe it won't take so long!

Finally, we gathered for dinner at my sister's house yesterday afternoon. This picture features a handful of cousins.

Happy Easter!!! Kali Anastasi!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

What's New

There are 2 new things in this picture, can you guess what they are?

Yes! Alexandra's first tooth appeared on 3/21/07, the official first day of spring. Her second tooth cut through yesterday! Also, she got her ears pierced on Tuesday. She is growing so quickly.

I can't believe that I haven't updated my post since March. I have been extremely busy. Let's see, what else is new. Oh, our neighbors brought their 2nd daughter home from China last week. I am so happy that she is finally here! Congratulations guys!

Kosta had to translate our tax returns from the last 2 years and then we brought them to the Greek Consulate in Chicago to have them approved. Yeah, Kosta had fun with that. While we were in Chicago we went to the Field Museum. We used to go there a lot pre-children. The kids really liked the animal exhibits but were more interested in where the gift shop was located. I think that they will enjoy it more when they are older.

The painters started on the house this past Monday but haven't been back since. It is too cold! I can't believe the weather this week. It is going to be a cold Easter Egg Hunt for the kids tomorrow!

Photos from the last few weeks.....

Just something that the kids get a kick out of each time we see it...

Me & Alexandra

Foti playing at the Racine Zoo.

Kosta and the kids at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Iza making monkey faces at the Racine Zoo.

Iza playing with some friends at a party!