Dear Monsoon...

okay, let's just be up front and say...i LOVE you. love the rain. i do. i {heart} rain. i'm from washington state people. i like the way it smells, i like the clouds that accompany it. i like how a rain-washed world feels after the fact. i even like getting to use my windshield wipers. but, mr. monsoon, when you come on down with your big bad self and rain on my TABLE, BENCH and CHAIRS...then i have a problem with you. seriously. lay off a minute so i can get the darn things done and inside. kay? then we can continue our love relationship instead of our love/hate we got going on right now...okay? kisses...

the woman with paint all over herself

(i actually had someone ask me last night at cub scouts..."sister w**, what are you painting?" just from seeing the back of my arm. apparently i've been not only painting the furniture, but my arm as well!)


stay tuned...

we are out in the heat trying to transform these....stay tuned!


baby food...

i make my kids' baby food. i like to do things myself, and so i figured, when ethan was small, that i could do a good job making baby food and he turned (so far) out all right (nutritionally speaking:))and so i went on with avery and blake and here we are. there are lots of different ways to go about this, so this is just the way i like to do it...you do whatever works for you. buy it, make it, whatever, just be sure the kids get fed right?:)

step one: decide what food to do. today is corn.

step two: steam vegetable/fruit. this is to soften it up so it blends/mashes easier. i use frozen vegetables (not as much sodium and other preservatives as canned and i think frozen veggies retain more of their natural vitamins/minerals etc.) but i typically use canned fruits because they are cheaper than frozen fruits...whatever works for you...remember!

so i steam them in the microwave with just a bit of water, with a plate over the bowl (to actually steam them).

step three: put into blender (you can use a food processor, an immersion blender, even a hand mixer or a potato masher depending on what food you are doing and how large you want the chunks). blend until desired consistency is reached. you can add water or juice from the vegetable/fruit if you have it, to thin it and make it smooth.

step four: put into ice cube trays. (get three for a dollar at the dollar store...) one cube typically equals one ounce.

step five: freeze. sometimes i wrap them with plastic wrap but i don't think it makes a huge difference. i let them freeze overnight and in the morning, i take them out of the trays (run water over the bottom of the tray if they won't come out readily). i put them in zip lock bags,(i can usually get 12 cubes in one small zip lock bag). label them if you want with the date and contents (sweet potatoes and carrots can look a lot the same:)).

when you are ready to use them, put cubes in a small bowl and i microwave them to thaw them for 30 seconds or so. it is so nice to have this food already done. tonight i did the corn...32 oz bag and i filled three ice cube trays. i have done a lot of different foods this way...sweet potatoes, carrots, regular potatoes, peas, corn, peaches, pears, the possibilities are endless and it's fun! and the best part is...it doesn't take much time at all. probably about 10 minutes start to finish...

(blake's food stash)


blake's new trick...

he's really good at it too! avery and i have been working on teaching him this...i don't know why but i think it's funny to teach my kids to stick out their tongues...at least at this age. when ethan does it, it's not funny...how about a double standard mom!


last night we were in the car and avery was hitting her head with her hand (do your kids do this too? why? i don't know...) anyway, she was hitting herself in the head and i said, "avery don't hit your head! you'll hurt your brains" and ethan (quick as a whip) said, "avery has two brains????"

funny kid.


i {heart} minwax...

so you remember the table and chairs? well, in my pregnant "i am so freaking hot and can't stand it anymore" haste last summer when i painted that set of furniture...i didn't seal it. it will be fine..i thought. it wasn't. the kids got marker on it, paint on it that wouldn't come off (it was orange..which usually i love but you know), food on it that wouldn't wipe...gouges in the paint, paint chipping off...it was sad for me because i spent so much time on it and it wasn't holding up well.

so i finally took it outside one week fixed all the dings and scrapes and started sealing it with minwax polycrylic...it looks so much better! awesome! (you can see it all shiny in the pictures of ethan's birthday...below) also, i rediscovered my love of plasticized tablecloths...i went to Big Lots (love that store) and they had them in all sizes and shapes for only $3.50. it was awesome. i got a "food" one and an "art" one for the round table. and it has saved so much grief for me! love it!

(p.s. after about three days of "having a picnic" on the floor of the kitchen where the round table used to be, every meal ethan said..."when is the table coming back in???" i guess even the novelty of a picnic can wear off...who knew?:))


MAD science!

LONG POST...but lots of pictures!
ethan's party was a lot of fun! we had 12 kids running around...not all of them wanted to wear their lab coats (ordered from here...they have lots of sizes, they are disposable and not expensive...it's the shipping that'll get ya!)but i think all of them had a good time.

we started off by having the boys (all boys but avery) build with marshmallows and straws until everyone arrived.

then we split into two groups (coordinated with different colored stars on their name tags) and kendall did the egg in a bottle experiment/trick and made english muffin pizzas and i took a group and made bubbles and they colored playdough that i had already mixed up.

(eggs in the bottle afterward...)
(mixing up bubbles...and the kids took home their own bubbles and playdough)

then we switched groups. after that they opened presents while the pizzas cooked...then we ate. then we did soda geysers in the back yard (didn't get pics because i was helping with it...)

then we came back in and had brain cake (the boys loved it!) this was very easy to make and i am pleased with how it turned out! i baked it in a pyrex 2 1/2 qt. bowl. very fun!

(they all wanted their own gummy worms...)

i created some "specimen" jars for the decorations...thought it might be good to have some creepy critters floating in "chemicals" ...just colored water:) but they were fun!

(we also had various caution signs up around the rooms where we were...i just googled those)

and lastly the boys all went home with a little something from us...they took home their playdough and bubbles along with some candy and fruit roll ups...

our happy scientist...

avery with her snake from the jar...

all in all a fun time had by everyone! exhausting but really fun:)


family birthday party...

or "breakfast for dinner" and "dinner for dessert"

that's what i called it anyway:) we had a family get together today for ethan to celebrate his birthday! {thank you family for coming to par-tay with us!}

we had breakfast for dinner...waffles, fruit, breakfast casserole, juice...YUM! and then for dessert we had dinner: Spaghetti and Meatballs!

{from the book Hello Cupcake, I own it, it's so cute and they have a new one out now as well, i saw on their website}

these were a lot of fun to make and they went together really fast!

we had LOTS of fun blowing up balloons and playing with grandparents and aunt and uncle that were there (Katie we missed you!!!!!!!!!).

and i think the birthday boy was really pleased...mission accomplished.

stay tuned for a Mad Science birthday party...taking place on saturday! whew!


f i v e

he's five. it's amazing.

on friday he turned the big 5. the time is flying by with him. with all of them. i love him so much. he is so considerate, so loving. he saves treats for avery, smiles and talks to blake so sweetly and wants to give me a hug or kiss about 18 million times a day. he is sweet. except when he's jumping up and down and having a tantrum but hopefully those will get fewer and far between:) ethan we love you so much! thank you for being a great son and brother!

the camera situation has been fixed! yahoo! meet...penny...pan...lenny...lumière...i can't decide what it's name is:) suggestions are being taken! it's a panasonic lumix...i got it at costco and i am just so happy about it. i think i will love it!

here are the other cuties..just for good measure:) blake turned 8 MONTHS OLD this week...also amazing. man...fast forward i'm telling you! he's super cute..and getting more opinions...imagine that:)