Sunday, April 29, 2012


The best days sometimes don't go according to plan! Wonder Daddy and I had big plans for all the chores we'd get to. I woke up to the sound of Ernie making breakfast- dry toast for everyone, and big glasses of milk! I think I need to get more butter out of the freezer :). I added homemade yogurt and a jar of last summer's peaches. I spent the rest of the morning at the local store, getting groceries and trying on clothes. After trying on (seriously) thirty of the same item, I finally found one that fit. It buckled. It didn't gap weird. Aargh. Haha, glad the kids weren't with me!!

We all went for a surprise visit to my husband's grandparents- we like to help with their yard work, but they rarely ask for help. We arrived just in time to grab the mower from Grandpa, he'd made one pass around the lawn perimeter. I stole Grandma's gardening gloves and the girls and I pulled some weeds. It was a nice visit. We came home for our own yard work time, and Wonder Daddy and the girls ran to town to pick up Five Guys for dinner. The Best :)

We finished the day by watching The Muppets movie. It was cute! So, good day.....and we didn't accomplish NEARLY what we thought we would!


Sunday Evening

A quiet Sunday. We don't have these often- we gather to eat with my family most Sundays. I love seeing everyone, and cooking for a crowd (and cooking grown up food), and having help with the kitchen afterward. It was nice to get home from church today and just BE. Daddy and Mimi read stories, Ernie played on the computer, Cocoa toodled around, and I made dessert. We all tidied the kitchen together. It was nice.

We baked frozen battered fish fillets (a family favorite), pan roasted asparagus (great texture, and too much lemon juice for everyone's tastes but mine), and made a big pot of cous cous (new dish for us, big hit with everyone!). Easy dinner, and yummy. Dessert was a waffle trifle with vanilla pudding and strawberries. The girls loved it, but it was just as bad as it sounds, haha. I made whole wheat waffles this morning for breakfast- dry and tough and greasy. Fresh ground hard red winter wheat does not mesh with my signature waffles- they should be light and fluffy and lemony. Ha! The trifle sure was pretty though :). I sprinkled the top with dried coconut from the bulk section- it's not sweetened, and it's crunchy. (Recipe idea came from the May issue of Everyday Food- I'm sure with freshly made vanilla custard and fluffy Belgian waffles it's divine.)


Thursday, April 26, 2012


Daddy was home late tonight, so we had the day to ourselves!  School in the morning, and then I worked in the green house a bit while Cocoa slept.  I made a wimpy lunch for the girls (I buckled and made Top Ramen.  It didn't meet the demands of this afternoon!)  Cocoa thought it was the best thing EVER, but then...he just discovered food.  Pretty  much all food is the best thing ever.  Nap time, and then out to play with the cousins.  After nearly a solid hour of at least one of the four children crying or yelling at any given point, I threw in the towel and brought my kids home to feed them large quantities of vaguely  nutritious dinner!  I chopped up the rest of our (getting sadder) pears, and threw them in a bowl with a bunch of stuff I thought might bake into a cake.  (1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk.  1 tsp each baking powder and vanilla and cinnamon.  3 eggs.  Maybe a 1/3 cup oil?)  Ernie loved it, Mimi despised it, and Cocoa thought it was great to munch on, and then throw.  Hey, it was a tasty cake :)  Kind of custardy....

Sometimes, you have the best of intentions.  Tonight's meal was totally going to be roasted asparagus, baked (breaded) fish, and a roasted sweet potato salsa.

Sometimes, it's time to pull out everything you can find in the freezer!


(peas, chicken nuggets, mandarin orange slices, and cinnamon sugar apple slices.)

Both girls cleaned their plates, which NEVER happens!  Hungry much? They ate their peas with their fingers, one at a time, rapid-fire.  I reminded Ernie that it would be easier with a spoon "But Mooom....then it would take a long time to chew them!"  Alright.  I ate a big bowl of peas, a mango, and a ham sandwich....I am so hungry this week.  So, so, so, SO hungry.  I ate for hours at my sister's house yesterday, and was full for the first time in a while! (I was hungry again a few hours later though.)  I totally embarrassed myself, too!  I had about a cup of falafel, a roasted squash or two (sliced thin a roasted, delicious!), 4 glasses of water, 2 bowls of pureed veggie soup...I decided today that next time I leave the house, I'm going to pack a sandwich in my purse.  I never like eating at other people's houses, is that weird?  I feel guilty for eating their food, and it shuts off my "oh yeah, I think I'm full" reflex.  I could eat everything on the table, but normally end up eating half as much as anyone else for fear of emptying a dish that someone else wanted.  My family is right now shaking their heads in disbelief, since I kind of regularly arm-wrestle my brother-in-law for the last bit of the salad.  And my father has the happy ability of purchasing food at Costco and cooking the entire package in one blow, because he hates dabs in the cupboard.  Ha, you never go hungry at his table!  But OTHER PEOPLE'S houses.  Ugh.  I'd rather go home hungry than load up my plate.  

Good thing I'm not weird about food, right?  :)  

(So, quick story.  My first date with my husband, I had decided I was just kind of angry at ALL men, and darn it I didn't care what he thought!  I didn't order a salad, or a tiny little plate of pasta.  I ordered a mushroom burger, the kind where buttery mushrooms just start to leap out as soon as you pick it up.  And I ate it all.  And I ate fries, the thick kind that come in a basket to share.  I felt so rebellious.  He never noticed, he was just, you know...eating a dinner.  But, he laughed at a joke I told that night....and NO ONE ever laughs at my jokes.  They normally don't recognize that I'm even telling a joke, they think I'm serious, and then I get super weird looks.  I think I might have started falling in love with him right there in Red Robins.)  



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Gray Day

A gray, warm, day. (Our cloud cover acts like a cuddly blanket.). A good day for sharing cookies! Ernie lifted Cocoa up by herself so she could share the last Anzac biscuit with him, I thought that was sweet, awwww. He's teething right now, and a little extra fussy and want-y. Poor guy. At least everyone slept well last night... A few nights ago I woke up to Mimi screaming her head off. She said she saw a bee. At 2:30 am, in a dark bedroom. Yeah. I had a hard time falling back asleep after that scare! I thought at least she'd gotten her head stuck under the bed (again.)

Ernie has a new gap in her smile, did you notice? That poor tooth was dead dead dead. Turning brown dead. It simply wouldn't come out though! A kind dentist dabbed her with anaesthetic while she watched Mickey Mouse, and tapped her on the shoulder to say "Look what I've got!". Then that poor girl lost it at at home. She was heart broken, but I assured her the tooth fairy would understand. (She found a quarter in her tooth box the next morning.)


Monday, April 23, 2012

Fainting, A Taco Truck, and Lots of Fried Chicken

The weekend in review:

  • Friday morning, Wonder Daddy called me: "I passed out on the bus.  Could you come pick me up at work?"  Oh YES I can- sheesh!  He scared the fellow passengers to death- one woman offered to walk him from the bus stop to work, just to make sure he didn't hit the ground again.  We're voting overheating- he rode his bike to the bus stop on this end.  Good news is he was still wearing his helmet on the bus...but that's probably why he overheated, along with his gloves, jacket, etc....all on a muggy bus, on a rainy morning.  Ugh.
  • Friday evening, Wonder Daddy and I hit the road for our date night.  BEST DATE NIGHT EVER.  Seriously.  We hit the largest Goodwill store I've ever seen in my life.  I found a kitschy hanging fruit basket- you know those three-tiered mesh ones?  It was on my wishlist, and BOOM there it was.  We found a smaller bike for our bike-phobic daughter (who now is a bike riding fiend.)  And.  And.  There was a taco truck in the parking lot, and I had the best torta ever.  So good.  So, so, soo good.  (I promised my brothers, and I'll promise you: I am not pregnant.  The sandwich was just that good!)  
  • Saturday, the girls spent 11 hours outside.  WOAH.  I got a bunch of weeding done, and some seedling transplanting done.  (Local folks, let me know if you want to get on the e-mail list for these- I'm selling seedlings fifty cents each this year, to cover costs, so I can share them with MORE folks!)  
  • My brother came to town for the weekend- I swear he grew about half a foot since I last saw him.  We brought buckets of fried chicken, biscuits, and all the trimmings (thank you KFC) to the local park and watched the kids run themselves ragged.  I played frisbee with my little sister.  It was a good, good night!
  • Sunday was normal church.  We all attended (a rarity in the cold and flu seasons, I don't like taking sniffly kids to the Primary).  My folks, and a sister and brother came over for dinner- we bought so much chicken on Saturday, we're still eating leftovers.  Yum!  
Family dinner while Richard is in town

Will you just LOOK at Mimi in that picture?  She was just not going to smile.  Nothing doing.  Each progressive photo got a bigger and bigger glower.

 Top row is Ernie, my mom, me, and my little sister (Aunt Bert) and Mimi.
Bottom row is Wonder Daddy, my dad, Cocoa, and my brother Uncle Rich.
(We're just missing Lolo's family and my little brother (Uncle Bear)

(Very good if you noticed we have a Bert AND an Ernie.  Ba dum DUM!)

just the girls



Friday, April 20, 2012

Return of the Smoothie

At one point, one of my children developed a neuroses about my smoothies so strong, she bald faced lied to me for months, out of fear i'd make her drink one.

Strawberry milkshakes though, are back on the radar! Yogurt, frozen strawberries, and some milk (cow or soy.) Isn't that what I was making before? Yes, but then I added chunky things like nuts and oats. I added produce, like beets and spinach and apples and carrots. Not this time!!! Welcome back, you totally smooth, pink, drink.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19th

Some things that are making me happy-

We had a bit of sunshine yesterday, and I found enough seedlings big enough to fill a small army of cups.  A little militia, if you will.  One particular kind of tomato is really shining so far- the Stupice, a slicing-type.  I potted up a fair number of tomatillo, and a few other random tomatoes.  Slow starts this year, but we still have time!

It's Spring, which means a few of my favorite pieces come out of storage!

flower garland

Bobbi's darling garland.  First time it's lived on the chandelier- it makes me happy!

piano top vignette

 I love this little vignette that happened on top of the piano.  The silk lilacs were a gift from a neighbor, the doily was my grandmothers, and the little Willow Tree girl was a gift when I ended my time as president of the women's organization (Relief Society) in a ward, and the picture of the temple was a graduation gift from my youth leaders.  My parents, my sister, and myself were all sealed in that temple.

Daddy put Cocoa to sleep for me

My husband is a saint.  Cocoa has been so incredibly fussy at night (he has a monster cold coming on.)  Last night Cocoa was up about every hour and a half between 9:30 and 5:00.  The night before, between the 3 kids I was awake...12 to 4?  I forget.  Cocoa also needs to figure out how to eat more- he woke up this morning and had an enormous breakfast, I think he was just hungry last night.  To say that he eats mostly me is not an exaggeration- he just started putting food in his mouth a few months ago.  After 14 months of his life, my body is finally leaving the survival mode of having a newborn.  My goodness.  You know it's been since....April 2010?  I can't HANDLE the hormones!  (And he needs to learn to handle my rapidly decreasing milk supply.)

Someone was asking what Ernie is studying in school right now, so here's a run down of what our first grader is studying this week:

  • Spelling: words ending in -y (why, my, fly, multiply) and -ed (snacked)
  • Handwriting- we've finished block printing, and gotten through almost all the cursive letters now and are joining them into words and sentences.  This is hands down her least favorite subject!
  • Writing: She writes something in her school journal every day, either a note to a "friend" or something relating to what we're learning.
  • Computer Skills- Her last lesson was on mousing over, windows, desktop, etc.  
  • Social Studies- civil liberties like segregation and suffrage.  Historical figures that go along with those, like Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr.  We've worked from the revolution up to the civil rights movement, and major players along the way.
  • Science- we're studying matter.  We've looked at solids, liquids, and gases, and their properties.  We're working on changing matter right now- a salad can be taken apart, but Kool-Aid can't.  You can't fix burnt bread (but she says you can make another batch :)
  • Reading- I kind of ignore the phonics reading, but she's burning her way through the American Girls series.  6 of those books take her about 2 days.  We started with Addy, when we studied the underground railroad.
  • Math- she's learning how to add money.
  • Grammar- how to use "is" and "are."  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Getting Ready For the Garage Sale

I'm halfway through a whole-house purge. Man, it feels good. Man, I have a lot of glass vases! These are waiting to go downstairs to join the others in our holding pen/spare room. If it's not beautiful or useful, it's gone!

(I don't know if i've ever photographed from this angle. Look at all the colors! Now add the sky blue school room, and you have the main section of our house. Love :). How lucky am I that my husband agreed with the vision of a home so full of color? And he picked the final hues?)


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Embossed Garden Marker

I'm supposed to be cleaning, but I got sidetracked when I found the metal duct tape my husband picked up for me last year. A little metal tape, a plastic knife, and some fancy script work ( I wrote radish, backwards, on the opposite side) and I have a little garden marker. Sweet. Maybe if I finish this room, I can make more!! Maybe I'll use chopsticks for the rest?

(If I can find the original source for this project, I'll post it. I might have seen it on The Kitchn last year?? Anyone know?)

Check out http://doityourselfmama.wordpress.comto see why I'm cleaning today.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter

Easter Morning

Ernie, Wonder Daddy, Cocoa, Mimi, and Myrnie

Easter Morning

Mimi and Ernie

Easter Morning

Cocoa, flanked by his sisters (his dad has *just* ducked down behind the couch while I clicked the shot!)  He is SO done with this photo shoot!

What a weekend!!!  You should know the conclusion: 30 chocolate eggs, a dozen peeps, 1/2 pound of See's chocolate, 1 lb. of jelly beans, 4 packages of cookies, and two cakes are sitting in my kitchen.  Right now.  Plus a few handfuls of assorted candies.  Something is going to have to happen soon, because turns out that Wonder Daddy and I have the willpower of jellyfish, and "Mom can I have a _____" is just about every other sentence out of my kids' mouths.  Wonder Daddy is all for letting the kids have a free-for-all on the goodies, so they burn out in a day or two, and we can quietly get rid of it.

Friday, my sister and I took our younger kids to an easter egg hunt- seems like a common rule around here is that you can collect 12 eggs, and you're done.  I like that no babies get trampled, and everyone gets something.

Easter egg hunt at Grandview Park

Saturday, we surprised my dad with some birthday goodies in the morning.  He's a business genius.  Seriously, it's just this innate talent he has to pick and run successful businesses.  He also has a very strong personality.  He used to work for a company whose company logo looks suspiciously like the Death Star (from Star Wars fame).  (Go look at AT&T's big blue ball of a logo, and tell me it's not the Death Star!!)  So, obviously, the man needed one of these.

Mr. Potato Head - Darth Tater

Meet Darth Tater.  Dad's newest desk toy.  I'm sure he was thrilled ;)  (Photo from here)

Wonder Daddy took Ernie out for an adventure around town, while the young kids and I chilled at home.  That evening was the big Easter concert we've been rehearsing for the last two months.  Man, was that fun!  Full orchestra, nice big 'ol choir, and I got to play piano for it all.  Lucky duck!  I hope they invite me back again some time, just too much fun!  My beautiful sister and her husband had a wonderful duet bit together, and my husband was in the choir.  A HUGE HUGE HUGE thanks to my parents for watching the kids all those rehearsal nights, and to my siblings and parents for tending to the kids during the show!!!

easter music

Easter Sunday, the kids found a new balance bike and a light bright waiting for them (and a photo album ready to be filled).  They found all the chocolate eggs the bunny hid around the house, and we got ready for church.  The sacrament meeting was beautiful- lots of music!  Wonder Daddy took the two little (who are snotsy right now) home so as to not infect more of the Primary kids, I taught my little 7-and-8-year-olds.  I spent the afternoon tidying and cooking, and the whole family came for dinner- 21 folks for dinner is no laughing matter, but I love that we always do potlucks!  I also love that I cooked 3 grocery sacks of kale from the garden, with a few cloves of elephant garlic harvested last summer.  They were funny to harvest- they'd grown into TREES.  Seriously, the trunks were almost 2 inches across.  Crazy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Aroma Therapy Dough

Just what we needed- squishy, still-warm play dough, in cinnamon, ginger, and lavender scents.