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Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken and Brownie Camp



I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am

John Newton

It is always weird to me. 

My friends now… 

They know me, but they know me as Kristin Maier. 

They don't know Kristin Castle. 

I was 29 when I got pregnant. I remember calling my parents and my Mom almost bursting into tears saying, "I never thought you would ever have children!"

Kids, to me, was a bad 4 letter word. Ninja and I were barely responsible for ourselves LOL I had no problem dropping $400 on shoes. I had no trouble getting my truffle oil shipped in from Italy and my sheets had to have 4 digits in the thread count. 

Children?

We rarely ate dinner before 8 PM and going out was around 10-11. Sundays were spent recovering. Laying in bed watching the final round of a golf tournament or movies on TBS. You know the ones you have seen over and over and over again Tin Cup, True Lies, Last Holiday, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing... all of those 90's chick flicks LOL.

Children?

I reflect on this thought on Friday. It is a rainy day. Rainy days always make me reflective. 



My internal clock woke me up at 7:28. 8 years ago I would have been hitting the snooze button at least 2 more times. Now, my body just knows… 7:30am get up!

My body even knew that this was going to be a full Friday and woke me up a few minutes early. By 8:15am we had HBear's PreSchoolBesty and her SparksBesty racing around the house. I was like the Pied Piper playing my Mom flute and all the children following me to the minivan. OMG if my friends and teachers from high school, my friends from work throughout my 20's or my Mom 
could see me now LOL!!!

So, after I got the 3 munchkins off to school, I had to fly to the library. Not on my broom but in my trusty Grand Caravan ;) 


The other day, SBean was going through her plastic shopping baskets under her bed when she screamed "Mommy! The Easter train book!" 

This past Easter we went on an Easter train ride with the girls, JQ and SweetPea. I took out books from the library to reflect our adventures. Everybody loved the Thomas the Train Easter book. When everybody left and the library books needed to be returned, I realized that we were missing that one. I, of course explained to the library but being our library, they refused to let me pay for it. I explained that it must've gotten packed in one of the suitcases and taken home to either Alberta or Manitoba but they still wouldn't let me pay for it. They insisted that I renew it for the 8 times allowed. However, after 3 times you must physically bring it in to be renewed. So, last time I told them, I cannot physically bring in because I do not have it and that I would like to pay for it. But they again said that's not the way it's done and I began incurring late charges!

I can't find enough pleasant words to describe how I feel about our library.

SBean pulled it out of a toy that apparently hasn't been played with since Easter :) also in the shopping basket was SweetPea's stuffy and her snack container! 


Thank goodness there was no food in it! Actually, I probably would've found it faster if I smelled something funky under her bed!

When I texted a picture to my Sister she showed it to SweetPea and she said, "Yes! I hid them in the box beside Sydney's bed!" Well, why didn't I just ask her in the first place?

So, my morning pretty much consisted of children. Children that I drove, children that I dressed, and children that I returned things for. LOL

Right now, Kristin Castle is laughing her ass off at Kristin Maier!

I went home and vacuumed up all the mess my children have made in the past few days. Then I made SBean her lunch, packed her up and headed out for hot lunch to serve lunch to 120 kids :) 


There is only 3 hot lunches left this year! The countdown is on! I am hoping that someone will take over next year… But my expectations are not very high. I did meet a lady this week that was interested in helping out next year! I met her on Wednesday when I was at the board meeting for the preschool SBean will be attending in the fall. I don't know how it happened but I left with this,


I am such a sucker LOL

Next year, I will be stepping down from the PAC. I have been involved for the last 3 years and hope to be involved later on for SBean as well. I love the DPAC meetings. They are the district meetings that give me information about the whole picture. It's less personal and a whole lot more informative. I will definitely stay on DPAC next year. I also had a DPAC meeting on Wednesday where I made a comment about menu planning. When I mentioned that I had food blog a few people started asking me the name! My cheeks were flaming red and I said, "well I can't tell you that because I write about you guys!" The Superintendent had a good chuckle at that LOL! I, of course, don't but I'm not used to talking about my blog to anyone. I almost never talk about it... to anyone. It caught me off guard. 

I am going to have to get better at it though because something pretty great happened! I got asked to be the Feature Chef for a pretty awesome website! They informed me that I had been chosen and that they would need a picture and a small write up. 

Ummmmm, picture? 

I have about 4 pictures from the past 5 years where I don't have a child on my hip, my hair is combed and sunglasses aren't taking up half my face! :( Brutal. I asked my Sis for a picture and she told me to buck up, put on some makeup, get dressed and take a good selfie! So in between activities, I put on some mascara, got changed out of yoga pants and snapped a picture in the backyard.


Stay tuned for more info on my guest spot, I should be featured sometime in June!

After hot lunch I finished getting HBear packed. She had Brownie camp this weekend. I got all of her stuff together and she had to pack it up. 


When I picked them up after school I had her and her PSBesty. They have been in Brownies together for years and have done all their camping together as well :) When we pulled up into my driveway I noticed that she was missing her rain jacket. I was like, "where is your rain jacket? Your Mom told you that you had to bring it after school." And she was like "I don't know. You tell me."

Well I can't because I wasn't with you all day. LOL

So, we went back to the school and I parked right in front of the doors and said "girls run in and look in your locker and lost 'n' found."

10 minutes later they came back empty-handed. We then thought we should retrace steps. So I sent them back in to go out the door that they left and up the back hill to where I was waiting for them after school. While they went through the school, SBean and I drove around to the exact same spot that we were almost 30 minutes prior. They got back up to the van... Empty handed. Seriously? I was about to lose my shit.

She then said, "maybe it's in my bag?"

The same bag I asked you to check twice before we left it at the house and you said it wasn't there?

I looked around for either something to beat them with or an answer and lo and behold I saw a black speck by their door. "Is that your jacket?" "Maybe." "Didn't you guys say you were going to retrace your steps? Why didn't you come out the same door you guys came out earlier?" And HBear says proudly, "we thought it would be faster if we went through the grade 5 doors."

OMFG

PSBesty ran down, back to the doors to retrieve her jacket. During this time the PAC Chair pulled up behind me to chat about the End of the Year Party!!! When I finally got back in the van the girl's said, "what took you so long?"

ARGH!!!!

We got home at 3:30. The bell rang at 2:45. BAHAHA Seriously I can't make this shit up!

Because we had to leave so early for camp I took the girls to McDonald's for dinner. 


And then we drove out to Camp Boyle. It's about a 30-40 minute drive away.



When I got there I found out that the girls were sleeping in tents. 





The weather this weekend sucked. It was in the teens and was off and on rainy and windy all weekend. The girls still had a great time though! It was Blast from the Past! 


They made ice-cream!



Did archery,



and chores (which when asked was HBear's favourite part!!) LOL



They also made candles, 


spun wool, and had hot chocolate by the campfire. HBear's Leader told me all about HBear's talent up on stage! Apparently she was up there the whole time dancing and singing! She told me that even when HBear didn't know the words she still tried and her face was pure joy! Awwww

When we picked her up she had a tank top, t-shirt, zip-up, hoody and another hoodie on! LOL She was a bit chilled. :(



SBean can't wait for her turn at camp!




While HBear was away... SBean had us all to herself and she was quiet and happy lol. We went to the market,



and then we went on a nice bike ride and had a picnic.





The past few weeks have been pretty crazy :)

HBear's class went on a field trip. We went to the channel on the Penticton Indian Band's land and released 300 000 salmon fry into the channel at the mouth of Skaha Lake. The kids don't know it but this first release is called the sacrificial release. Most of the 300 000 get eaten by the big fish waiting in anticipation at the mouth of the channel. They do another release farther up the mountain later :)

It was a pretty amazing experience! The drums, singing and the great way the Natives let every child have a turn! However, HBear's teacher was sick and the Sub was completely lost. It was very disorganized :( The kids had a blast though!

video

HBear made lists of what she saw LOL!










We also had HBear's open house at her Gifted School! She took our fingerprints and we examined our hair under microscopes. The theme this year was Operation Identification. She did her end of the year project on Teeny Tiney Spiders :) 7 years old and she did a Power Point Presentation! So proud of her! She was most excited about her GIF! BAHAHAHA




HBear also had Crazy Hair Day at school. Of course she didn't tell me and my MBesty texted me about it 30 minutes before school!!! I went on Pinterest and this is what we came up with.



HBear also had Tuesday off after the Long Weekend. She and Ninja took my In-Laws to the airport as they are on a European Cruise right now! They are going to miss her recital so they brought her a beautiful rose before they left! :)



When we were at the Eye Dr last week, HBear got a new prescription. So on her day off we went and tried on glasses. This is the pair I was pushing for but she chose a different pair. Of course she did! LOL Well it's her face and she has to like them so it was her choice. Stay tuned for a picture of her new Specs when they come in.



We went to the Marina too. We rented a pontoon boat for Father's Day! We are going to have lunch and do some fishing! It is going to be great :)



We of course stopped at the park too.



After we got home from picking up HBear from camp, we got her right into the hot tub for some warming!


Everything was right again in my world once they were both home and having lunch/picnic in the living room.

Right now, Kristin Maier is laughing her ass off at Kristin Castle. :)


It was a full and fabulous week! The weather was all around crappy though :( It was definitely a crockpot kind of week. I made this dish and we loved it! Super easy and super tasty! 

Enjoy :)


Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken
Adapted from The Recipe Critic

4 chicken breasts, cut into one inch cubes
¼ cups cornstarch
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup water
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup carrots, chopped

In a large ziplock bag add cubed chicken and cornstarch.

Shake to coat.

Add oil, garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and carrots to the slow cooker. Stir ingredients. Add chicken and stir in sauce until coated.

Cook for high 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours until cooked throughout and tender.



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