Thursday, January 31, 2008

a baby on the way

Not really. I guess I just looked that way. This evening Colby and I went out to dinner. We went to Sakura, an amazing restaurant that I have already blogged about. It is kinda expensive and we have decided that we can only go there on special occasions. Tonight was a special occasion: Colby was gone for nine days hunting in old Mexico and I survived! Anyway, tonight was the first chance we had to get away sans the kids. Well, I totally overindulged myself. I was so full but couldn't stop eating until I finally asked my waiter to take my plate so I would stop picking. When we came home, as if I needed any confirmation; Reed, while rubbing my tummy, says, "Hey, you look like you're growing a baby in there!" Ya, dinner was THAT good!

101 things to do with oats

On Tuesday night I held a class at my house on food storage, more specifically on oats. Before I was asked to do this the only thing I ever made with oats was "poop slops", or commonly known as no bake cookies. This past week I tried so many different recipes that called for oats. My boys have never been so regular! Alas, there are a few keepers that I am going to share with you.

7 c. oats (half quick, half old-fashioned)
2 c. coconut
1 ½ to 2 c. nuts (optional)
1 c. wheat germ or whole wheat flour

In saucepan or microwavable bowl, mix:
1 c. canola oil or 2 sticks of butter
1/3 to ½ c. honey (1/2 if you like a sweeter granola)
1 ¼ c. brown sugar
1/3 c. milk
½ tsp. salt
¼ c. real maple syrup

Heat mixture till smooth and warmed through. Pour liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and wet.
Bake in 2 9x13 pans or one large cookie sheet, ungreased at 225 degrees for ½ hour. Stir halfway through. Turn off oven and let sit in oven for another 15 minutes (this is for a chewy granola, if you like your granola crunchy let it cook for another 15 minutes).

Oh Harry Bars (similar to No bake cookies, but better)
½ c. melted margarine
½ c. corn syrup
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ c. peanut butter
4 c. oats
1 c. chocolate chips
Mix together the first 5 ingredients. Heat until dissolved. Stir in oats and chips. Press into 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 deg. for 15 minutes. Don’t overbake. Cut in bars.
Oh harry bars are a new family favorite. You can make these without the chocolate and they are still to die for!

Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie
1 c. margarine 2 eggs
¾ c. brown sugar 1 ½ c. flour
½ c. sugar ½ tsp salt
1 T molasses 1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla 1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ c. quick oats

Cream Filling
2 tsp very hot water
¼ tsp salt
1 7 oz jar marshmallow cream
½ c. shortening

In large bowl, cream margarine, sugars, molasses, vanilla, and eggs. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to the creamed mixture; mix in the oats. Drop dough on ungreased sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges. They will look moist; don’t overcook. While the cookies bake prepare the filling. In small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water. Allow this to cool. Combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in bowl; mix on hi until fluffy. Add the cooled salt water and mix well. Spread filling on flat side of one cookie, press 2nd cookie on top.
Who doesn't love a Little Debbie snack every once in awhile?!

Monday, January 28, 2008

heidi ho

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEIDI! I know it is Heidi's birthday, but hey it's my blog and I can post whatever picture I want. I thought picture was indicative of Heidi's maturity level :). There we were, trying to take some pictures of a tender moment between a mother and her son (me and Beau) and Heidi is running back and forth trying to get into the picture. I never would have thought that Heidi and I would be such good friends for we fought constantly when we were kids. In fact, we had an unspoken weekly kicking match in our room every Sunday after dinner. I know I made her a better person when I would wake her up in the middle of the night to walk across the hall so I could go the bathroom. At the time she couldn't see that I was only trying to make her a better person not because I was afraid. When I finally got to high school Heidi was a senior. By then we were finally friends. And we've only grown closer since then. My boys are intrigued by Heidi and the things she teaches them (ie. who is their prettiest aunt and sports- teaching them what balls are...if you catch my drift:) Heidi, just remember who called you first this morning to leave a lovely song on your answering machine!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

love this age

Beau is infatuated with hats. He loves to put on any hat he can find. He can't get it quite right; it is either down over is eyes or just sits lightly on the top of his head. Either way, I think he looks downright adorable! The second hat is an "old school" hat from the eighties that has a flat brim and a large top. But it is a favorite among all of my boys because it was Colby's when he was a kid, it even has his name embroidered on the back.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

first real loose/lost tooth

Reed has had his first loose tooth since the beginning of the school year in August. Two weeks ago it finally fell out! You may be thinking that his toothless grin is missing more than one tooth, although in this picture you cannot tell. This is true for when he was four years old he had to have three of his top teeth (including his two front) pulled due to falling off the couch at Chea's house and hitting his mouth on their coffee table, oh and he might have had a couple of cavities rotting away also. The same night of this momentous occasion, the tooth fairy's appendix ruptured- which would explain why it took me so long to post about it. Climbing the stairs to the boys bedroom quite possibly could have caused her appendix too much strain and caused it to burst. I wonder if she could get workman's comp for that?

let's be kind to one another

When I was growing up whenever any of us siblings would fight my mom would start singing the song "Let's be kind to one another..." I think it is a primary song, at least a really old primary song. Anyway, not only would she sing this song but the two siblings that were fighting would then have to hug each other for a specified amount of time. If I was one of the one's having to hug, I can't tell you how much angrier this made me! But now that I have children of my own, when I am at a loss for a punishment to fit the crime I, too, will have my boys hug each other. I do believe that they share the same sentiments as me for this type of consequence.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

up and running

So I have been without a home phone and the Internet for almost two weeks! This would explain my lack of posts amongst other reasons. But today they finally fixed all the glitches and I am happy to say that I am up and running! The phone I could live without for a little while longer but I have come to the conclusion that I am addicted. Addicted to the Internet. I am not one to sit and watch tv but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will spend countless hours surfing, for no particular reason. I am mostly excited about having something else to do other than unpack. I'll save the unpacking for my friend Amber. Yes, she claims to "love" unpacking (well, I exaggerate when I say that) and I have to say she did a magnificent job on my canned goods. Thanks Amber!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

starting the new year with a bang

Well, more like a burst or rupture is another good word to use. Last Friday night I was in extreme pain, something comparable to labor (and I am not kidding). Turns out my appendix ruptured and I needed immediate surgery. Here is a list of the smart and not so smart of the event:
Not so smart: Using a heating pad all night long (apparently this is what caused my appendix to burst, but it was also the only tiny relief I could find).
Smart: As much as I didn't want to, I went to the doctor. Actually, I did better than that I went to the Emergency Room.
Not so smart: Driving myself to the Emergency Room. I am my mother's daughter when I said, "I'm fine, and I'm sure they will just send my home telling my it is just a stomach ache".
Smart: Colby called his mom and asked her to come up to help out. This was by far the best thing because she stayed the entire week, not only helping while I recovered but also helped out with the move, yes, we finally moved into our new house. yea! Thank you so much Debbie!
Not so smart: Chea driving up on Sunday in her Prius without checking the weather. Yes, she brought along Heidi and my mom and they all ended up having to stay until Tuesday because there was no way her electric car was going to make it through the snow storm. On a side note, Heidi actually stayed until Thursday. I am hoping she will post about this...hint, hint!

I have to say that the first couple of days were pretty bad, in fact, I told Colby that if I had any desire right now to have another baby (which I did not, thankfully) this little surgery nipped it in the bud,nothing like cutting through your stomach muscle to bring back memories of a c-section...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

new year baby

Happy Belated Birthday Colby! I know I did not do a post on his birthday (Jan 1st) but I was out of town and he was hunting so he wouldn't have even seen it anyway. There are three phrases that sum him up.
Number one: "Don't sweat the small stuff". Colby is the calm and rational one in our relationship. I don't know how he does it but he always seems to have everything under control and doesn't let little things get to him. He is always telling me "don't sweat the small stuff".
Number two: "That's who I am, that's the way I roll..." This is another phrase he uses often. Colby is very comfortable being who he is and feels no need to impress anyone which is very admirable but at times I wish he would just listen to me when I ask him, "You're wearing that?"
Number three: "Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad". Colby is a great dad. My boys attack him when he comes home from work and won't leave his side for the rest of the evening. Even though I know that he has a stressful job, he never complains about having to wrestle or watch a kid appropriate show with them when he comes home.
I couldn't ask for a better husband and dad. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

the rest of the story

It all started when Chea came up for a visit and we were shopping at Salvation Army. We spotted this great piano and discussed the pros and cons of purchasing such a piece of furniture:
Pros: already painted black, great patina, the perfect prop for a photo shoot, and best of all it was only $20!
Cons: over 100 years old meaning the sucker was heavy!, having to ask Colby to pick it up and then transport it down to Queen Creek.
It was obvious the pros outweighed the cons so without REALLY thinking it through, I bought it. Now came the hard part...convincing Colby that it was a good idea. After three guys loaded it into the trailer I wasn't so sure myself that it was a good idea. But since it was already in the trailer I didn't say another word until Colby asked what I was gonna do with such a heavy piano. I meekly replied, "I was hoping we(you) could gut it so it wouldn't be so heavy." Without any VERBAL argument (trust me there was plenty of body language that said otherwise) Colby proceeded to gut the piano. Luckily, gutting is his area of expertise- although usually it is an animal going under the knife. I wanted so bad to take a picture of this process but did not. I didn't want to distract Colby from the task at hand. The gutting took an entire afternoon, and a few hours in the wee morning, along with a saw-zall and many choice words (so I am told. Like I said, I tried to stay out of the way). I have to say that I was shocked when Colby showed up in Queen Creek with the piano in his trailer. Shocked but ecstatic! I would have my photo shoot after all.
Next was Wayne's turn. After the piano was dropped off, Wayne was in charge (I shouldn't say "in charge"- that was Chea) he was responsible for moving the piano so we had the "perfect lighting". He was also responsible for making my boys laugh and smile during the photo shoot. I say thanks to him because there is no way my boys would smile the way they did if it was me trying to do the entertaining. After we were done taking pictures Wayne had the opportunity to remove the piano from the site without damaging it. Let's just say he was not pleased and probably felt like he got "suckered" into it. We were able to get a picture of him though...

With such an "inexpensive" prop, well at least monetarily inexpensive, the pictures turned out stunning! And that is the rest of the story.

pictures from christmas card photo shoot

I am so glad that Reed is getting older. He was so cooperative and all smiles.

How can you resist Blue's little dimple?

Beau was not so cooperative but I know I shouldn't expect anything less from an 18 month old. Nonetheless, he is still a cutie!