Friday, September 25, 2015

Our New Chapter Book, Brother Sister Detectives, CAT

This is a small part of the book we are writing. I'm doing the writing. Nine year old Khloe is making the illustrations and Eleven year old Kyle is putting all the things together. For us, it takes an entire family to write a chapter book.



If you saw Khloe, you would think she had the prettiest curly brown hair you ever saw on a nine year old little girl. Khloe is Asian American, with soft dark eyes, that curly hair and a smile to die for. She has an eleven year old brother Kyle and they argue all the time. Kyle is the quiet one, unless Khloe is around. The two of them together are always getting into it about something. It usually has to do with iPads or some sort of video game.

If you asked Khloe, she would say Kyle started all the trouble. The problem was Khloe had a sense of humor since the day she could talk and she just could not help herself. Kyle was two years older than his sister, but she was catching up with him as far as height and weight is concerned. Unlike Khloe, Kyle has straight dark brown hair and the same dark eyes as his sister. He wears glasses because he can't see the chalk board at school without them. Kyle is an easy going boy, except don't ask him to hug his sister because she is always trying to get on his nerves. Just thinking about it makes him grumpy.

Why did the two of them decide to start a detective agency anyways?  That is the beginning of our story.

Chapter I

Khloe saw the sign on their way to school on Tuesday morning. The sign read; MISSING PERSIAN CAT, $50.00 REWARD. Now, both Khloe and Kyle were allergic to cats. If they were left in a room with a cat, Kyle would begin sneezing and Khloe would get a cough that could last for days. Khloe had an idea. They could start a detective business and their first case would be to find this missing cat. The $50.00 reward would do wonders for their new business. She told her brother who told her she was completely crazy. "Khloe, are you kidding me?" " We are both allergic to cats." Khloe thought about it for a minute or two. Sure they were allergic to cats, but this cat was likely outside and it would not affect either of them in ths same way. She would bring up her idea again when they were eating dinner together as a family tonight.

School was uneventful. All Khloe could think about was the cat and her detective agency. She loved cats and would do anything to have one as a pet. She believed the owner of this cat felt the same way as she did. By the time she realized it, Khloe had daydreamed through her first two classes. She would have continued is Mrs. Stanley didn't call on her in 4th grade math. "Khloe, could you answer my question please?" Khloe was flabbergasted. How was she suppossed to answer a question she didn't even hear? "Mrs. Stanly." Khloe began. "What was your question?" Mrs. Stanly smiled at her student. Khloe was usually the one student she could count on to pay attention all of the time. Today, there had to be something on her mind. "My question is what is your daydream about?" One of the little boys in class snickered. It was likely Joseph because he always found a way to find everything funny. Joseph was a boy who was the opposite of Khloe. He listened when he wanted to and that was a rare moment indeed.

"I was thinking about a cat." Khloe answered. "I am allergic to cats, but I really love cats and there is a cat missing down the street from where I live." The same little boy snickered once again. This time Mrs. Stanly caught Joseph and showed him how to zipper his lip. He zippered it with a great big smile on his face. "That's understandable." Mrs. Stanley said. "But Khloe please pay attention in class and save your thoughts for your own time. Khloe nodded her head and she decided she would wait until after school to think about the missing cat. Joseph nearly snickered again, until he realized his lips were zippered and layed his head in his hands.

In art class, Khloe drew a picture of a cat. This was no ordinary cat, but the cat Khloe believed was lost. She had to find this kitten and bring it back to its owner. There was probably a little girl (just like her) who lost her pet and was crying about it at this very moment. Khloe decided she would tell her brother about her plan and she hoped he would help her find the missing cat. She looked at the clock and noticed the time was dragging. Why did time seem to take forever to move when you had something important to do?

Chapter 2  The Plan

The car line was busy as usual. The Florida heat hit Khloe's forehead and instantly a bead of sweat ran down her face. When it reached her little mouth, Khloe noticed that it tasted like salt. Khloe waited for her brother Kyle. He seemed to take forever to walk out of the gate. He was carrying his backpack and was talking to his (best friend) Brandon. "Kyle" Khloe yelled a little louder than she hoped. Her brother turned around and looked at his sister. A slight touch of annoyance was growing in his brow. "What do you want?" Her brother answered. Khloe motioned for Kyle to go with her to the large maple tree that gave shade to the side of the school. This tree was all there was to help the children deal with the September heat in Florida.

Kyle was a bit frustrated, but he remembered what his father told him. "Make sure you take care of your little sister because you are the only big brother she has." Kyle followed Khloe to the base of the tree and looked at her questioningly. "Remember the sign?" Khloe asked. Kyle shook his head. He had no idea what his sister was talking about. "The sign about the missing cat." Khloe said excitedly.  Finally, Kyle understood what his sister was talking about. His sister must have been thinking about this cat the entire school day. Kyle thought about the cat a little bit, but when he got into having fun with his friends, he forgot. "What are you planning with this missing cat?" Kyle asked. Finally Khloe smiled because her brother understood what she was talking about. "I want us to find this cat." She said. "I know we are allergic to cats, but this is important."

Kyle nodded his head and he thought about it for a second. Finally, he realized that his sister had a good idea. In fact, they could start their own club where they found things that other people lost. Kyle always wanted to be a detective and now was his chance. Besides, he also loved kittens and to find one another kid lost would make him feel good inside. The two siblings agreed they would find a way to find this missing cat.


After school, Kyle and Khloe did their homework and their chores. Then they asked their father if he would take a walk with them around the neighborhood. They knew he would not let them walk around by themselves because the world was not a safe place. Their father was happy to take them for a walk. He was always trying to find a way to get his children to exercise and this was a real treat for him.

The kids walked their dad to the missing cat sign. Khloe took out a pad of paper and wrote down the phone number with a pen. She asked her father if she could borrow his phone and called the number. A lady answered the phone. Her name was Leila and she lived two blocks down the road. Kyle and Khloe really wanted to meet her and pleaded with their father.

Roy was a middle-aged father. He kept his graying hair short and he had a normal build. Roy stood nearly six feet tall and weighed just over two hundred pounds. Roy had been a working stay at home father since his children were born. He was an over protective father because he knew there was a lot of evil in the world. He looked at the sign, his kids and decided this was worth a shot. They would meet the lady and see about her cat together.


An pudgy elderly old lady answered the door moments after Kyle hit the buzzer. She smiled when she saw the children and put her hand out to shake Roy's. Leile welcomed the family into her home and pushed them into comfortable chairs in her small living room. She offered them coffee, milk and cookies. The children accepted happily and Roy thankfully accepted the offer of coffee.

While Leila put together the goodies, Kyle and Khloe looked over the decorated walls of the living room. There were old photos of a man who was in military uniform. To Kyle, the pictures looked like they were taken during World War II. There were also numerous pictures of children with their families. Khloe also noticed a few photos of Leila smiling and spending time with these families. They must be her children and grandchildren. The room was busy with organization. Filled up with magazines, stuffed animals and all sorts of cute decorations. Khloe took note of all the kitten and cat toys and pictures. She could tell this lady really loved her family and her missing pet. Khloe knew (at that moment) she really needed to find the cat for this kind woman.

"Here's your coffee, milk and cookies." Leila said happily as she moved into the room. Kyle and Khloe munched down their milk and cookies in an instant. They forgot about the cat for a second and enjoyed the taste of home cooked goodies. Khloe finally wiped the milk from face and looked directly at Leila. What Khloe saw was a little glimmer of sadness in the kind old lady's eyes.
"Ms. Leila." Khloe began. "Could you please tell us about your cat."  Leila smiled and looked back at the pretty little girl. "Oh My" she said. Leila rubbed her face and a little worried wrinkle formed on her brow. "Samson is the most important thing to me since my husband died five years ago." She paused and wiped a few forming tears from her face. "One day last week, he left and never came back." " I don't know what I will do if my Samson is gone forever." Khloe jumped off her chair and moved over to where Leila sat. She smiled at the woman and gave her a great big hug. "Don't you worry." She said. "Kyle and I will surely find Samson."

Leila wiped her eyes again and then she smiled. She found a picture of Samson, thanked the children and their father for coming and led them to the door. As Leila opened the door, she handed each child a small paper bag. The children looked back at the kind old lady and thanked her. "I wanted you to have something to eat while you searched for Samson." She said with a new found glow in her eyes. "There are half a dozen more homemade cookies for each of you." The children waved, Leila waved and felt a little hope as she closed the door. This house really was lonely without Samson. She thought to herself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Banana Bread By BlendTec


ripe bananas, approximately 1 cup mashed
2   large 
12   cup 
low-fat vanilla yogurt
34   cup 
granulated or turbinado sugar
14   cup 
coconut oil
112   tsp 
vanilla extract
112   cups 
all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1   tsp 
baking soda
1   tsp 
kosher salt
12   cup 
walnuts, optional
12   cup 
chocolate chips, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add first 6 ingredients to WildSide+ or FourSide jar and secure lid. Select "Batters" or blend on a Medium to Medium-Low speed for 30 seconds
  3. Add remaining ingredients and secure lid. Press "Pulse" 3–5 times or until dry ingredients are incorporated; do not overblend.
  4. If adding walnuts or chocolate chips, add to mixture and press "Pulse" 2-3 times to incorporate.
  5. Pour batter into greased 9" x 5" loaf plan. Bake for 50–60 minutes. Cool completely, and then slice into 12 pieces.


  • Servings 12.0
  • Sodium 320 mg
  • Serving Size 1 slice
  • Carbohydrates 30 g
  • Calories 180
  • Fiber 1 g
  • Fat 6 g
  • Sugar 16 g
  • Saturated Fat 4 g
  • Protein 4 g
  • Cholesterol 30 mg

Monday, September 21, 2015

Will The Panda Express Food Truck Tour Hit Your Neighborhood?

Last week we went to Panda Express to try their Orange Chicken. We have been to this particular Panda Express a couple of times and I have visited them on the road. We would have liked to check out their Panda Express food truck Tour, but it didn't quite reach our neighborhood.

We decided to make a family meal out of Panda Express. My wife and kids love the food and have their own favorites. Orange Chicken is my favorite because I am the particular one in the bunch. We decided to order two meals with three meats and a side. My son picked the noodles and I picked the rice for the side. 

I like Panda Express because their food is good, reasonable and they let you know how many calories you are eating. The people are friendly and they help you find everything you need. My kids and I loved the orange chicken. I remember trying it the first time when I was on a business. I was looking for something to eat for lunch and there was Panda Express. I tried the food and fell in love. The price was just right and there was plenty of good food to eat.

We loved our dinner at Panda Express and I think you will love it too. Check out the Panda Express Food Truck Tour to see if it will stop in your area.