Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why do I love to look at old pictures so much?  I think because it is a visual representation of how much these kids grow...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm so grateful today that my kids have this guy for a father to celebrate today with.  Our journey into surprise (!) parenthood started out a little rocky but along the way I've been able to see Mike become a Dad that is patient (always when I am not), loving, silly (oh the endless wrestling!), a teacher (he knows much more stuff than I do) and a wonderful provider for our family.  I am so fortunate to have him by my side.  From the beginning we said it was a partnership and he has shown me that we are indeed in this together.  When I can't do something or need help, Mike steps in, and vice versa.  It's a pretty awesome feeling to know he's "got my back".  There are always bumps along the way, and many things we don't see eye to eye on, but through it all we do it together.  As a family should be.

Happy Father's Day!!!

PS-do you see what Mike is holding in this hand?  It's a pot of succulent plants for his desk at work, requested by him and chosen and planted by the kids.  He already got a brand new bike but  he loves plants.  I love that guy. Here's a close-up ...aren't they pretty?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We have been busy bees the last two weeks.  Last fall Taylor moved into the guest room. When we originally picked out the floorplan for this home, it had an "office", with no closet.  I don't know what I was thinking-note to self-every room must have a closet.  So Mike being the handyman he is, built him one.  Yeah!!

And this is an hour after moving back in-the room looks like a hurricane went through it.  According to Taylor, that is just how he likes it.  I have to just close the door.

I finished Hannah's desk finally.  This has been a long project. I had looked for one to buy that was a good size for her room and couldn't find anything until we were in Nevada at an auction when we were there for spring break. It was yellow/brown speckled. Gross.   After I sanded, cleaned, painted, put on new hardware, added new drawer liners, and put some very cute fabric behind the bookcase portion, it's almost done.  All we need is some containers to keep her art stuff in and a very cute chair.  I'm thinking I'd like to find a used chair that I can re-upholster with the matching fabric.  That would look pretty adorable.
I am so happy with how it turned out.  Home projects are always such a pain, but the finished result is very satisfying.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Taylor had his cooking lesson on Sunday.  I knew that boy was related to me when he picked, from all the choices and cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa's Tuscan Lemon Chicken.  I also knew he was related to me when he would not touch that raw chicken, yuck.  It's just gross, I sympathize.  We learned a lot, mainly that our grill sucks and burnt the chicken leaving it raw outside, and when Barefoot contessa tells us to "press" the chicken by placing a dish on it while cooking, that's just a bad idea.  But after it was cooked, delicious!  And Taylor learned lots of things-measuring, zesting and juicing lemons and grilling.

Very careful measuring

Lots of zesting

and juicing

Not willing to touch that chicken at all.
Taylor found the grill a little daunting. It's high heat only, no low.

Look at that proud cook. The chicken was very good actually, underneath the black, and the grilled lemons added a nice touch.
Tree dining-doesn't get better than that!

I stole these flowers from my Mom's yard since I don't have my own.

Still working on that closet, Mike is doing a fabulous job!
Lots of reading going on at our house.

these two and their love affair

Saturday, June 4, 2011

When the weather is icky, what does our family like to do?  Cook and eat of course!  The kids have been pretty excited to do our summer cooking lessons, so we started this week.  But first here are some yummy items I've been cooking up.

Chocolate malts
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Rhubarb is in season and it's so yummy!
4 1/2 c. diced rhubarb
2 cups strawberries
3 TBL. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar

Mix together and place in an 8x8 dish.
1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. oats
 cube of butter
dash cinnamon
Crumble over the top and bake at 375 for at least 35 minutes.  Must serve warm with ice cream.

These lasagna rolls from Giada were pretty good.  I would sub out the proscuiotto for Italian sausage though. 

Here is the link to devil dogs, she loved the frosting, I thought it was weird. I'd use a traditional buttercream. Yum.  I do love the Pioneer Woman!

Hannah loves giving me "pedicures", and serving snacks, and making the snacks look pretty.  Here was my fruit plate.  Is that so cute or what?

Cooking Lessons-Take one
The first of our cooking lessons commenced yesterday.  We looked through cookbooks and Hannah decided she wanted to make chocolate chip cookies all by herself.  I kind of wished she had selected something different but I am trying to do a little less talking and a lot more listening like good mothers do.  Ha. I remember wanting to make cookies when I was 8.  My very patient mother let me go for it and the cookies had double the amount of sugar and were gritty.  I never made that mistake again! 

We will share Taylor's cooking experience later.  I love what he selected.

So here are the pics of Hannah making cookies.  I directed from a chair as she measured (very efficiently using a knife to level everything), learned how to use the KitchenAid (she remembered every step), cleaned at every step (a little bit type-A on that ), and found out it was so much work she was never making them again.  That one made me laugh.  A lot.  Pictures via the lovely Hipstamatic app on my iPhone.

Gotta read that recipe.
She liked standing on a chair.  Adding the flour took some coordination.
Adding the chocolate!
Her favorite part-licking the beaters!
I was very impressed by her careful lining up of the batter.
You cook in Mama's kitchen, you clean up your mess. I hear my mother's words echoing in my head..
Waiting not so patiently.
Success! With a neckerchief too!
They were really delicious.