Tonight we are having friends over for dinner. I still have boxes that need to be unpacked but at the moment I’m a bit overwhelmed trying to decide where to put things. There’s band camp. Kids are STILL home for the summer. Yes I love it but they are getting on each other’s nerves and that gets on my nerves. It’s raining which means I can’t make them stay outside. Sigh…Hey, it’s Thursday AKA Throwback Thursday so I decided to pull out an old menu that was a go to from when Arleigh and Hanan were little. I’ll make roaster vegetables (potatoes, onions and peppers0 with Italian sausage, Caesar salad, caprese salad and grilled bread with GLOP. Glop is the recipe I’m going to share with you today.
So we’re gonna start here. It’s a small block of Asiago cheese chunked up with a small block of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Yes, I had to copy and paste that to make sure I spelled it correctly.
  Basically you can do this with parmesan or any other harder salty cheese. I got this recipe and adapted it slightly from Michael Chiarello when we lived in Iceland. I was on a Soprano kick and somehow Michael’s show was on AFRTS. His Italian cooking and watching the Sopranos as often as we could get our hands on a copy… well, let’s just say I taught myself to make lots of Italian dishes. Anyway, glop is packed with flavor and it can be used on lots of different things if you have any left over. In this house that can be a big IF. Michael’s recipe with a more elegant name can be found here. Around these parts we call it glop. 

Anyway, cheese is chunked up in my food processor. I grab 3 cloves (big ones) of garlic and peel them. 


Then I throw in a little crushed red pepper flakes. I say a little because tonight I’ll be feeding 6 kiddos. If it’s an adult party, I throw in ALOT. It’s all too taste.

IMG_9496.JPGAfter that, I put the lid on my food processor but the top is still open so I can pour in some really good olive oil.


Thanks Mom! She picked this up on one of our Trader Joe’s outings. I turn on the food processor. The cheese is hard so make sure you have one hand on it or your food processor might decide to go for a walk. Mine regularly contemplates suicide via leaping off the counter. Pour the oil in while it spins. When it looks like this…


STOP! It has the consistency of wet Waikiki sand. It’s sort of grainy, sort of pebbly. You get the idea. 

At this point I chunk up some green onion.


Tops and all y’all! They all get thrown into the processor for one more spin. (Not the ugly roots. Those get thrown in the trash.) Let it spin again with a little more oil. 


This is what you have… Good old glop. I pour a little more oil over the top. I’ll cover it and let it sit. 

How do you serve glop? Well, I thought you’d never ask. We grill our french bread and use glop as a spread. We’ve used it as a topping on baked potatoes and hot dogs and burgers. I’ve also been known to boil just enough pasta for me and throw the leftovers on top of it for my lunch. It’s very, very garlicky. Is that a word? Spell check seems to think so. Anyway, the garlic begs you to use at your own discretion. Your family will too. 

This menu is super easy. The kids like to help with the chopping and mixing. Guests typically love it… at least that’s what they say. I’ll try to post Mom’s caprese another day. It makes a regular appearance around here and is a favorite with everyone I’ve made it for.

What are you having for supper tonight?

Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. Small block of asiago cheese
  2. Small block of parmagiano reggiano (or any other hard salty cheese)
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  4. Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  5. Good quality olive oil to cover
  6. 4-6 green onions chunked.
  1. Chuck up your cheese and place in a food processor. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Process adding oil until the mixture has the consistency of very course sand. Add green onions and process again adding oil until onions are mixed into glop. Remove from food processor. Top with oil. Cover and let it set for a couple of hours. Serve room temp as spread or relish.
Adapted from Salsa di Parmigiano
Okkar Lif
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My Headless Horseman

In the midst of the chaos that was unpacking and no stuff and late arrivals and and and… I messed up. I missed Hanan’s registration appointment. I’m awesome like that. We finally had our big day TODAY. 

This is how it goes. Sit in an uncomfortable office with three kids. The fourth and normal babysitter happens to be at band camp. Wait for your name to be called. Produce 1,000 documents proving you are who you are, your child’s health and promising to be best little school spirited ohana ever. I’m not sure but at some point I think I signed a paper donating my arm and leg plus they asked me to open a vein in a weird looking …never mind. 

After they checked and double checked my paperwork we were asked to wait while every other transferring family two other families did the same. Then we were whisked into a classroom.

I watched a power point presentation on how great the school is. It’s pretty darn great! All Bria heard was that Band and Orchestra go to a competition at Hershey park. She’s once again plotting her place as a percussionist. 

When the presentation was finished we had to wait for our turn with the counselor with all the other families IN ONE ROOM. Our turn it basically meant that we needed to prove Hanan could hang in a honors class that Hawaii’s teachers are actually okay and surely a leading role in a play meant that she could join Intermediate Theater. All this was happening under the watchful eye of every other family. The same thing was happening with their kids. You could read the parents’ faces thinking there has to be a better way. It was awkward at best. 

Once my sweet quiet scared to death child was put through the ringer, they offered to place her in her requested honors courses but not in her requested electives. We’ll have to wait until orientation day to pick up her new schedule. 

On the bright side they gave Hanan a new shirt. She is thrilled to be on a huge campus. She loved that like in Hawaii when it’s warm she could hangout on the quad. All in all it was a good day and I am SO HAPPY to have registration behind us. 

Here’s a picture of the newest Headless Horseman. 

  That’s right. I said Headless Horseman. That’s the mascot of our new school. Boy howdy! This should be an interesting year.

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This One Time At Band Camp

We are on day 3. Can I get off this band roller coaster yet? She likes it. She hates it. She’s quitting. She’s suffering through. She’s proud. It’s the WORST THING EVER. We are supportive parents. We are the WORST PARENTS EVER. I go from knowing my stuff to the dumbest mom on the planet in less than 2.5 seconds. Sigh.

Arleigh is at band camp today. Heaven help me. I got her there. On Friday, boys in her section were literally in the fetal position crying on the pavement. Arleigh was praised for being the toughest in her section. She’s the only girl. All Arleigh will say is that she’s worried it’s not her “thing.” An upperclassman’s encouragement got her there this morning. Heaven knows it wasn’t her mother. 

This is for you Arleigh Grace…


And then there’s this…


Thought you’d like this one too. 

Okay. I’ll stop now. This is one roller coaster that I’m ready to get off of. We have three more weeks. I promise this blog won’t be all things band. Right now, it just feels like our whole little ohana revolves around it. 

If you’re a band parent, please tell me it gets better. PLEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEE!



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Aloha Friday???

It has been months since we’ve had an Aloha Friday. I was hoping to report that Arleigh had friends and things were awesome and she’s found her groove. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. My strong girl manned up and went back this morning even though she really, really didn’t want to. 

This is hard. It has to be Arleigh’s choice. She is super intimidated by the music and marching. I know she can do it but she is so unsure of herself right now. It’s not normal for her to not immediately excel at something. I’m not sure how hard to push or even if we should push. I don’t want her to quit and regret it later either. Sigh. 

So, no funny pictures today. I’m taking the rest of my tribe to finish off school physicals at appointments that range from 10-2:30. All day in a hospital isn’t my idea of Aloha Friday any more than it’s Arleigh’s. We are just going to have to fake it ’til we make it. So I’m going to pick my bag with snacks and toy and books and we’ll be off for the day pretending we’re back on our little island. 

Happy Aloha Friday y’all!


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So This Is Band Camp

IMG_8264Back in March I started communicating with Arleigh’s new high school to let them know she would be coming and to please save a spot for her in band. We’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster since. Arleigh wasn’t sure that band was what she wanted. Then she was sure. Then she wasn’t. When we arrived, she was ready. I went into the school to pay the hefty fees for her participation and was told there might not be a spot. Sigh. Moving with kids is not a cakewalk. We scheduled a meeting with the program director. Good news! There is a spot. I filled out the paperwork. Paid the fees and we proceeded to try and prepare for band camp.

Band camp prep included procuring an alto saxophone. This is one more time I want to praise the Hawaii public school system. Arleigh was loaned FREE OF CHARGE an intermediate level alto sax. That is not the case here in Virginia. The school recommended that we purchase or rent one from a local store. The only thing the store would rent was a student level saxophone at the low low price of $70 per month. Arleigh tried soaking her reeds. This morning she was still frustrated because it wasn’t playing the way she is used to. I ordered a new lunch bag from Amazon because she didn’t like the options I found on short notice. Amazon was cheaper anyway. I thought it was fine because all my paperwork said that she would finish up at noon today. WRONG. Today and tomorrow she stays until 5. I’ve also been given multiple notes that we should consider private lessons on top of what she’ll be doing at school for the low low price of $35 per week. I need a job just to pay for band!

Last night I got a phone call. I seriously nearly cried. They asked if they could chalk our driveway so that Arleigh would wake up, see it this morning and be excited about camp. Seriously…watery eyes. I knew that was just what she needed. This morning I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning ready to make Arleigh look out her window. Good thing I checked first. There was no beautiful kid writing welcoming her to band. Sigh. What if she is the only freshman without it?

By the time we got in the car I could tell her nerves were getting the best of her. Before we got out of the ‘hood she was in tears. New is hard. I told her new is always hard and almost always scary but the hardest scariest things that I’ve done have always been worth it. I told her that I was excited that she was going to totally know where she was going on her first day of school. I told her I couldn’t wait to hear all about her new friends. I told her I was sorry about her being uncomfortable with the new sax but I would email the director and together we would figure it out, better now than in the middle of a competition. 

My girl straightened her shoulders and took the news that she would be there all day in stride. I think she knew it was coming. She found her way to the auditorium. I had to walk away. 

The truth is, when you move to a new place, home school starts to look pretty good. I would love to wrap my arms around all four of them and protect their little hearts from mean kids and feeling out of place. I would love to be with them all day with my delusion of grandeur literature studies and history lessons. Then I remember. Math is…well, not my strong suit. Science makes my head hurt most of the time. I am not what is best for them. I am a better Mom when they get home from school. New is hard for me too. When I got home I cried. 

I cried for the friends that they desperately miss. I cried for the teachers that loved them so so much. I cried for the slow island pace. I cried because I know my kids are way the heck out of their comfort zone and there isn’t much I can do to help them navigate. Then I sucked it up. We have a great house, a great school and Arleigh got her spot. I fully expect that today will be great and she’s going to come home telling me about her new friends. I will worry and pray all day though. 

The next few weeks are going to be chock full of new new new for all four. If you think about it, please say a prayer of peace for my little military brats. They are strong. They are friendly. They are kind and compassionate. They can do big great things. They also ache a bit for what they know of as home. 

I had every intention of writing about our lovely summer detour through Kentucky and Illinois today. That will have to wait for a bit. We have bigger fish to fry and other instruments to tune. I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled programming soon. Thanks for the indulgence. 

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Best Mom Ever

Lots of people think they have the best Mom ever. The truth is, you can’t get better than mine. Forget island withdrawals and post concert depression… we are in full blown Grandmaisgoneitis. 

When our stuff didn’t come Mom was all, “Well, why aren’t you here?” Jet lagged, missing island life and all of our stuff. We I was probably not the most pleasant person in the world. Somehow Mom makes it all better. The kids soaked up being able to be outside. We saw as much of western Kentucky as we could, especially Kentucky lake and she helped us reconnect with family. After two plus weeks of us when all she probably wanted to do was nap, she got in a car for a long road trip with four kids to arrive at an unpacked house. Before she could turn around she was drowning in paper. 

Years ago, I started called her little den/study the pouting room because that’s where she went to be by herself. She’s repaid me in spades by dubbing our basement the servant’s quarters. Over the course of two weeks she worked as my decorator, maid, chef, lawn maintenance, unpacker, mover and babysitter. I so hope she’ll still come back to visit again.

It wasn’t all work. We had a couple of fun moments. She saw D.C.


We made it to a couple of museums with many, many more on our list.

There was one trampoline incident activity.

The cardboard fumes must have gotten to her. 

All in all we were with Grandma for over a month. She saw all six of us at our best and even at our worst. Dirty hair, stinky breath, jet lag and GRUMPY. Bless her. She just keeps coming back for more. Just when I would think I couldn’t stand to open one more box, she would have it empty and everything put away before I could turn around. We washed dishes and sheets. It’s not her stuff and not once did I hear her whine. Maybe she did and I just couldn’t hear it over the whiny kids. 

Anyway, more about our vacation back home later. I wanted to reserve today to brag on my Mom and thank for her for all that she does for us all the time. She is ALWAYS there when I need her. Love you Mom! Thank you for always being there. 

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