Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Halloween for us is just a family fun night. We always dress up and have dinner at my sister's, then head out to work it for some sugar. It's tradition and we love it. This year was another successful night of candy gathering for our children. My sister and I made costumes, and they were pretty funny, if we do say so ourselves.

When we went to the American Girl Place last March, Riley and Taryn put the boxes from their new dolls on their heads.

We laughed for an unusually long amount of time over this and the girls decided that they wanted to be life-size American Girl Dolls in boxes for Halloween. They never changed their minds, so we granted them their wish. Kind of like the fairy godmothers of Halloween.

Garrett, Tyler and Tristan wished to be pizza.


You're welcome.

Which was kind of funny, because last year they were all bananas.
Oh the fun you can have with felt and hot glue, people.

................................last year

And Cole was Funky Kong from Mario Kart Wii. Even though he kept getting called "Pirate" and "Rapper," and "Cool Dude," he knew in his heart who he was.

Here's our big cousin group before we took off. Including Noah, a BFF's kid. Who is basically a cousin because it was only about a year ago that we discovered our kids actually thought his mom was our sister because, well, it just seems like she is.
Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't forget...

To roast your pumpkin seeds!

We just had some for lunch. It's another great kid cooking activity that is so easy and muy deliciouso!

Cut off the top...

scoop out the goop...

throw it in a bowl...

rinse and let dry overnight on a cookie sheet...

Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes. Stir them every 5 or 10 minutes.

Yum! Next time we are going to try some with cajun seasoning and some with cinnamon and sugar.

And with the leftover pumpkin...

Have fun!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cookin' with the kiddos

I've decided to start posting some recipes for kids every once in a while. I'm a huge fan of getting the kids in the kitchen. It is such a great experience for them for so many reasons. I love what can be accomplished in one sitting.

Great math, science, and nutrition lessons naturally occur when cooking together, and the bonding is a great perk, too. I treasure the time I spend with my kids, listening to music and working on a recipe together. The conversation starts flowing and it is always rewarding. I love watching them get creative as they get more experience under their belts, wanting to change things in recipes, or develop something completely on their own.

We make all kinds of things together, but I am going to be posting some recipes that are pretty foolproof. Some that young, beginning chefs can make basically on their own, giving them a great feeling of success and helping them want to do more. And trust me, when eventually they can whip out just about any recipe on their own, it makes all of that time and mess worth it! Plus, those kitchen memories will last forever. And the future spouses of these children? They shall rise and call us blessed.

Cole's Stuffed Pizza Sticks
2 cans crescent rolls
8oz shredded mozzarella
1 package pepperoni
Place one can of crescents on a cookie sheet and press all seams together to seal.

Roll with a rolling pin to flatten it out just a bit

Sprinkle with cheese. Be sure that you have every hairband you have ever found on your wrist.
layer pepperoni over cheese
And top with the second can of crescents. Make sure seams are sealed and pinch closed all around the edges so your cheese won't ooze out. Bake at 375 degrees for...I don't know how long. I was going to time it so I could tell you but I forgot. Just till it's golden brown.Cut into strips and enjoy!

You can't mess it up. You can use whatever pizza "toppings" you want, and you could add sauce if you like. It's a great cooking confidence builder!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sometimes simple is the most fun

David recently trimmed our trees and when he finished we had several huge piles of limbs that needed to be burned. Finally last weekend, conditions were perfect for bonfire night.

And what is more fun than watching someone burn brush? That's right. Nothin'.

So we bought some hot dogs and made some chili and called the family.

They came a runnin'.

And we had a time.

Take it easy there, David's Blaze.

We really could have used some of that fire-proof gel used by stuntmen to roast hot dogs on this fire. Or a 20 foot roasting stick.

But the perfectly roasted dogs and marshmallows were worth the 2nd to 3rd degree face burns. And I feel certain David's eyebrows will be back before we know it, you know how fast hair grows.

There was some flashlight fun

And the ever-popular scary walk through the wooded trails. You know the one. With the uncle waiting in there to scare you?

And s'mores. Extra proof of God's love for us.

I felt a little bad because I spent an awful lot of the evening fretting over the sparks that were flying into the trees that connect to other trees that touch my roof. All the while with my sweet lying sisters trying to pretend that they thought it was all good. I didn't want to be whiny, I just have a lot going on this week and didn't really schedule time for filing insurance and shopping for a new house and belongings and whatnot.

We ended our evening with a late night deck showing of Hip-Hop With Riley and Taryn

And of course, their supportive brothers didn't want them to have too much of the spotlight...

Whoa, getting out of hand. Cover your eyes.

And finally, Cole realized as everyone was leaving that he was they only one who had not performed, so he quickly threw together an oldie but goodie, The Amazing Webkins Juggling Act.

The night was simple, it was basically unplanned, and it was a ton of fun.

And one of the best parts? I still have my house.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy 38th birthday, David!

38 Things in No Particular Order That I Love About My Husband

1. He loves me
2. He goes out of his way to make me happy
3. He is a hard worker
4. He never whines
5. He is always on my side
6. He returns things for me
7. He always compliments my meals
8. He thinks I am pretty
9. He is an amazing father
10. He is always up for fun
11. He is always looking for ways to make things better
12. He thinks he is 18
13. He is smokin’ hot
14. He is always willing to pick up dinner if I want him to
15. He is a great spiritual leader
16. He coaches all of our kids' sports teams
17. He balances work and home
18. He is brilliant with finances
19. He is humble
20. He can juggle
21. He treats Riley like royalty
22. He cleans toilets
23. He washes dishes
24. He is always looking for God’s will
25. He is athletic
26. He sends me love texts
27. He encourages me to hang out with my friends
28. He loves The Office
29. He blows the hairdryer on my feet when I am cold in bed
30. He is a huge giver
31. He is always willing to learn something
32. He reads my blog
33. He tries to love our cat
34. He is unselfish
35. He is tough
36. He dances like no one is watching, while everyone is watching. Yeah, seriously, he does. It’s frightening. But entertaining.
37. Oooo… and he sings like no one is listening. Same as above.
38. He is all mine

I love you, Babe. Happy birthday. You are so much more than I deserve.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Soup

My kids have always loved cooking. And kitchen time together can make such great memories.

One fall when Garrett was about ten, he and I made up a pumpkin soup recipe. We tried different things and worked on it until we had it just how we wanted it. We've made it every year since. I love this card that he wrote it all down on. I'll keep it in my recipe book forever.

This is a dessert soup. Please do not fix it for dinner. Well, unless you want to be really happy. But don't fix it for dinner expecting hearty and savory. This is sweet and rich. Oh baby.

Pumpkin Pie Soup

1 can pumpkin puree
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups milk
1/2 small box vanilla instant pudding

Mix together and heat in saucepan until blended and smooth. Cool and refrigerate. When ready to serve, place in individual bowls and sprinkle with graham cracker topping (below).

Graham Cracker Topping

1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix together in a large ziploc bag.


Monday, October 13, 2008

The tight ship

The past couple of weeks I seem to be having a bit of a..uhhh..horizontal surface issue.

I’m not looking for advice. Don’t feel like you need to link me to fly lady dot com or send me your cleaning checklist or your housekeeper’s phone number. It’s not about that. I know how to keep things under control. Apparently I’ve just chosen not to. And I felt like showing you in the name of all things honest and transparent.

First I present to you the coffee table. I am so glad I have those decorative potted artichoke thingies there. You can hardly notice the clutter because of them.

My bathroom floor. All of it is mine, David puts his dirty clothes ...get this... in the laundry chute. Whatever. Please take note of my red make-up bag that has been sitting there since we walked in the door from vacation approximately 2.5 weeks ago.

The dining room table. At least it doesn't currently need dusting.

And the kitchen table.

Yes, I feel better now. Thanks for asking.

And, on second thought, go ahead and send that housekeeper’s number.