"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Think I Must Be Crazy

I didn't feel very well today. I think I have a head cold, or maybe just allergies. Definitely sleep deprivation. Averie had a ton of energy this morning, (you know, after getting up twelve times last night). Naturally I decided to go to the grocery store (because the missionaries were coming for dinner), and bottle strawberry/blueberry jam AND the tomatillos that have been sitting on my counter for three days. Makes sense, right? I'm so exhausted, and yet I can't stop doing projects! I think it's this "nesting" thing that goes along with the pregnancy. I don't know how to stop.

(That, and Averie won't let me have a nap. I think she has given them up. I'm not too pleased. I can talk her into napping maybe twice a week now. Not good.)

Anyway, I found some recipes online for the jam and the tomatillos. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, though the jam is a little thinner than I would have liked. I had both the strawberries and the blueberries in my freezer from when they were on sale a little while ago. I'm not exactly sure what possessed me to use them today, but there you have it:
We have a bumper crop of tomatillos this year. I love it!


p.s.
This is what Averie did with the new shampoo while I was putting away the groceries.
At least it was just shampoo. I love how it's dripping down her face.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not-So-Hot Bread.



Once in a while my bread doesn't turn out. Today was one of those days. I had all these great intentions of taking a lovely loaf of bread to the ladies I visit teach. I kept getting distracted this morning, and I got started a little late. I had to grind wheat because I was out of wheat flour, which made it even later. So time to go visiting teaching arrives and the bread dough is just sitting on the counter, with no intention of rising.


So I get home, it seems to sort of have risen, and in the oven it goes. Totally went flat. I've never had that happen before but I'm assuming it was because I just ground the flour and it was really "fluffy", so the bread didn't get enough flour. Pretty sure that's what happened. But man, they are some UGLY loaves. The pictures really don't do them justice. Also, I forgot to grease the pans and had to scrape up the sides when attempting to remove the loaves.

So I guess my ladies won't be getting bread today. It's just been that kind of a week. I thought I would post this so those of you that are getting into the bread making could see what happens to your bread when you don't get enough flour, and/or when you grind the wheat and don't add any extra flour to account for the "fluffiness". I'm just learning. I'll bet it still tastes pretty good. Oh well...

Mantis Season

Yes, it's officially here: Preying Mantis season. Oh joy.

(Shouldn't she have some natural fear of huge predator insects with big pinchy arms??? I guess not.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Farm Outing

Brandon's co-worker invited us over to see a newborn foal, along with the chickens, llamas and other horses. The kids were in farm heaven. The mare and foal were extremely docile. The kids all got to brush them and give them lots of love. The chickens were also great fun.




(LOVE THIS SMILE!)




Brushing the mare and foal was their favorite part.



Averie really wanted to pet a chicken, but they just weren't cooperating.

The llamas wanted nothing to do with us, not that I can blame them.
It makes me want to have a little farm of our own someday. We love it!

Me and My Girl



Averie and I have spent a lot of one-on-one time the last few days. We started potty training. (Which thus far has been a complete and utter failure.) She is really turning into a big girl though and keeps me on my toes. She found Brandon's stash of hats and gloves yesterday and came out to show me her discovery:
Pardon the nakedness. We are potty training after all.

She has such a fun personality and sense of humor. Unfortunately, today she has a little bout of the stomach flu, so potty training has come to an abrupt halt. Poor little stinker.

(And poor Mommy, if I may say so. I just hate cleaning up throw-up. *SIGH* At least we get a little break from potty training...)

Super Batteries


Not my typical post, but I thought I'd add a little plug for a great new discovery. I grabbed these batteries in a grocery store before I left for Hawaii in June. They have been in my camera for three months, literally thousands of pictures, not to mention several videos. They cost around five bucks and lasted many times longer than the rechargeable batteries I usually use. Amazing! I'm always annoyed at the fresh batteries that last a very short time, so I just thought I'd share...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Day

The school year has officially begun!

It was freezing this morning.

The bus was late.

I didn't even cry.

The house is awfully quiet.

I might get a nap today.

Or get the house clean.

Or both.

We're starting potty training.

Averie has asked me forty times already, "Where's my Ellorie???"







Back to School Night



We loaded up the kids and the mountain of newly acquired school supplies to go to "Back to School Night". The kids got to meet their teachers and turn in all the supplies. I think they are both going to have a very fun year.

They both insisted on wearing their new school shoes:



I think Ellorie was REALLY nervous. Look at this cute little nervous smile.

Her teacher seems very nice and very well organized. Ellorie is going to love kindergarden.
All this stuff is just old hat for Mason. He is really excited to be a second grader, and that he has one of his neighborhood friends in his class. Such a cutie!

Summer went by so quickly! I can't believe it's here already!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stuck

I looked out the back window and noticed Rocket appeared to be high centered. I figured he would get out of it on his own and continued watching. Nope. Mason and Ellorie rescued him shortly.


Silly puppy, swings are for kids...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Too Cute To Be Terrible...

I think Averie just might be going through what is commonly referred to as "The Terrible Twos". She has had multiple incidents of naughtiness for no apparent reason other that to satiate her curiosity. Most of them I don't get on film, and are pretty easy to clean up, but a few this week have tried my patience. Just a little.

She is obsessed with pouring water from one container to another, so that produces a lot of messes, but they are easy to clean up, so no problem. Diaper messes are abundant as she loves to remove her diaper when it is dirty. She usually doesn't make too terrible a mess though. (It's probably time to potty train however.) Mud messes outside are also common, but not too hard to clean up.

Tuesday she got into the somewhat new bottle of kids toothpaste, poured the entire bottle into her hands and wiped it all over herself like "lotion". Then continued to rub it into her HAIR like shampoo. So sticky. And wasteful. (Those kids toothpastes are expensive!) It cleaned up pretty well though. There were a lot of sticky places around the house I found throughout the day though. (The greenish tinge to her skin is the toothpaste. It's a little hard to see the magnitude of the mess:)

Today she was turning on the terrible twos with a vengeance. Refusing to take a nap, CHECK. Removing messy diapers and touching the contents, CHECK. Throwing tantrums, CHECK. Coloring all over the kitchen table with a 1/2 inch permanent marker that the kids left out, CHECK. That one was a doozy: ("It's beautiful, Mom!")

Magic eraser usually takes out permanent marker, but it didn't really do so hot. It's a good thing it's not a very nice table.
This is as clean as it's going to get: (*sigh*)

Then this afternoon Brandon was washing the car. Averie was helping. He walked around to the other side of the car and after a few seconds Averie announced, "All done Daddy!" She had poured the ENTIRE bottle of soap in the now muddy water. There wasn't much that could be done at that point, so she got to play in the suds for a little while. It's hard to get mad at her when she's so stinkin' cute.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dad's Helper


Averie is a huge fan of her daddy. Every time he mows the lawn she cries and screams until she gets to ride with him. She even wears the earplugs. She'll sit there until we drag her in, usually kicking and screaming.
This past week or so Brandon has been tinkering with the growing number of dirt bikes in the garage for the upcoming annual bike trip/male bonding week. (Only one of them is actually his.) The event is in October, but he's just getting things ready. Anyway, tonight Averie was "helping" him as he was working on one. She kept getting into the toolbox. I told her to leave Dad's tools alone and she said, "MOM! I'n fixin' the moto-psycho!!" She was also a big fan of the flashlight.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mason and Ellorie's Hard and Fast Rules for Imaginative Role Play

If you are around our house much you will notice that our children love to pretend. But they don't just casually pretend to be a dog or a unicorn, there are some absolute rules that must be followed if you wish to play pretend around here:


1. Before game play begins, rules and characters must be announced. All players must agree to rules and characters. All super powers must also be announced at this time. All things must be FAIR. This debate may continue for hours on end, and may also be considered part of gameplay.

2. If gameplay is interrupted for any reason, one or more players must announce "PAUSE!"

3. No copies. For example, if Ellorie chooses to be a sparkly pink kitten with a diamond on her forehead, other players may choose to be sparkly kittens, but under no circumstances will they be pink or have a diamond on his or her forehead. That would be copying. This rule also applies to super powers.

4. Combination gameplay is allowed, for example: Super spy puffles, Space Pokemon, Ratatouille penguins, Ninja kittens, or Super Hero something or others are common occurrences. All players must agree to terms, including combined super powers. This may take hours as well.

5. All dialogue and action moves must be narrated by a player. You may narrate your own character, or have another player narrate for you. If another player narrates for you, you must follow their narration unless you have a better idea. An example of game play narration:
Ellorie: I'm a pink sparkly ninja kitten in the pet shop, but no one else knows I have super powers.

Mason: But what are your powers?

Ellorie: I have super strength, fire-proof, laser beams, and invisible.

Mason: No Ellorie, you can't have invisible, or I can't see you! Instead you are super fast.

Ellorie: Yeah, and you are super fast too, but you have all the other super powers.

Mason: Yeah, and then the store owner sees you doing special moves one day and decides not to sell you. And I'm a ninja trainer that comes to adopt you from the store.

Ellorie: Yeah, but the store owner sells me to you anyway, and you teach me more special moves. And then we go out to find some bad guys.

Mason: No, Ellorie, we DON'T go out to find bad guys. We have to be sneaky.

Ellorie: Okay, so then we build a sneaky spy fort. (All couch cushions are removed from the couches at this point.)

etc., etc., etc...

6. Outlandish claims such as "I am king of everything," or "I have every super power and you don't have any," will always be refuted, and usually revoked. I mean, that's just not FAIR. See Rule#1 for more details.

7. Gameplay may continue out of the house and on outings such as in the car, at the park, at church, in the grocery store, and on other errands. Mommy's rules for behavior in public places may be enforced, and will occasionally inhibit gameplay. At this point "PAUSE" must be called until gameplay may ensue.

8. No adult or figure of authority may question any rule or action of gameplay. If this occurs, gameplay will be moved immediately to another location. "PAUSE," may also be called.

9. All neighbors, guests, and people who may happen to stop by are welcome to play, providing they follow these rules and do not immediately appear as a figure of authority. Childish adults are sometimes allowed to join in, providing they adhere strictly to gameplay protocol. Younger children who are unable to follow rules may also be included in gameplay, but will most likely be cast as inanimate characters, pets, villains, or living flora/fauna. All narration will be provided for them.

You have now been informed.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Zucchini Recipe

We still had a few zucchini from my mom's garden. I found a recipe that sounded good, but this one was only based on the one I found. It's pretty much my own creation. We loved it! Even Averie ate quite a bit. The pictures aren't really too appetizing, but trust me, it's delicious!
Zucchini Pasta Bake:

2 cups macaroni or other noodles, cooked and drained. Pour into a 9 X 12 pan and set aside. (Use whole wheat noodles for a healthier option.)

Pour into large pan:
1 pound extra lean ground beef cooked and drained.
1 bottle spaghetti sauce of your choice (or make your own if you're up to it...)
1 can cooked, chopped mushrooms
1 can tomato sauce
garlic salt, minced onion, and basil to taste
Put the pan on the stove and bring just to a boil, stirring regularly.

Peel and dice some zucchini, about 5 cups worth. Cook them just barely, either on the stove- bring just to a boil, or microwave 3-4 minutes. Then pour them into the sauce, stir it all together. Pour the sauce over your waiting noodles, and cover with grated mozzarella cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly and serve!

From start to finish this takes about a half hour, so it's a perfect quick dinner. We'll definitely be making it again sometime.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Trees!

I love that our neighborhood is starting to have more trees! We found a good deal on some beautiful maple trees today, and purchased two. They are pretty tall, about 12'. The kids had a great time helping plant them. Ellorie's is a sugar maple she named "Sugary Shady Allen", and Mason's is an "Autumn Blaze" maple which he creatively named "Blaze Red Allen". Touching. It's so nice to have a few more trees in the yard. And more to come soon!
The garden is coming along nicely as well. We try to eat something out of the garden at every meal when possible. I'm so excited for the tomatoes and beans to be ready. We're not quite there yet, but soon...