Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Very Hungry Caterpillars


Last week on a nice, sunny day the kids all had a snack of some crackers in the back yard. They found two caterpillars on the deck. They tried for a long time to feed them the crackers. They talked to the bugs in baby-talk voices and persuaded and persuaded, but the caterpillars were not interested. I explained that caterpillars don't like people food, they like caterpillar food. Leaves. So Emma ran to a tree and brought back a couple of green, juicy ones. I was still skeptical, but the very hungry caterpillars gobbled those leaves right up. So gather the kids around and behold the wonders of nature in our very own backyard.
video

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shockers Softball

Sports are in full swing around here. Ben is playing soccer. Emma is playing softball. Scott is coaching both of them and playing in two adult softball leagues. Lydia and I are engaged in wrestling matches during the aforementioned sporting events. She's winning.

Here's Emma before her last game in her brand new purple jersey. Scott has a matching one too. Gender-stereotypes are in full swing around here also, when Josh saw Scott come downstairs in his jersey he busted out laughing and said, "Ha! Purple!" They named their team the Shockers.
She really wanted me to take a photo of her in a batting stance.
I really wanted one of her smiling.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I forgot to mention the dry ice

Part of storing the wheat in those nice big buckets involves dry ice (you have to put it in the bottom of the bucket, then put the wheat on top, then let it all dissipate--there's a correct term for that, I can't remember it--then seal the buckets). We ended up with a lot of left over dry ice. So we put a few pieces in some glasses and called the kids to the kitchen for a nice glass of smoking lemonade. (It looked much better in real life than in the photo.) Emma and Ben thought it was cool, they remembered that a family in our ward does that every year at the trunk-or-treat. Josh was moved almost immediately to tears when we showed him his glass. With despair in his voice he entreated, "I don't want that! Can I please have some lemonade with no smoke?"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Swheat!

We're on a food storage kick. I hope it lasts. At least until we get our 3-month supply in order, anyway. I think it will.

With the cost of wheat rising, we decided to start off with a year supply of that grained goodness so we could get it while it's cheap. We are now the proud owners of 1000 lbs. of wheat. Wow. Wheaty-mc-wheat.
If you have any really great wheat-based recipes send them my way. I got a good one from Pam D. in my ward. Here's her recipe:

"Great Noodles"

Bulghur Wheat*
Dried Tomatoes
Dehydrated onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms
Olive oil
Italian spices
Tomato paste or sauce
Pasta of choice

Soak dehydrated vegetables for 1 hour. Fry in oil. Add spices to taste. Mix together with tomato paste/sauce and wheat. Add dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and basil. Prepare pasta and combine with everything else. Great noodles, Mom!

*Bulghur wheat: 1 cup of wheat with 2 cups of water in a crock pot about 8 hours (until water is gone). Wheat will crack and be tender. Use as a meat substitute, will keep refrigerated about 7 days.

I don't have any of the dehydrated veggies, so I just used fresh diced green and red peppers and onion powder. I used two 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce and one fresh diced tomato. And whole wheat rotini pasta. And I don't know if I'd call bulghur wheat a meat "substitute", more of an "alternative".

The point is...we ate this last night and it was yummy. Scott and I thought so anyway. The kids all gave it a thumb sideways. They didn't love it, but they didn't need any extreme prompting to eat it. (I'll take it!) It was just so wholesome and filling. And I've tasted Pam's, with all the dehydrated stuff and it was just as good. 100% food storage deliciousness.

Monday, April 21, 2008

If you really like fancy cupcakes (and a challenge)...


Then check out the Cupcake Bake Shop.
Sweet Corn, Maple, and Bacon Cupcakes. Cantaloupe and Honeydew Cupcakes topped with White Chocolate-Cardamom Butter Cream and Chiffonade of Mint. Chocolate cupcakes stuffed with ginger caramel, frosted with mango ganache, and topped with a mango-Ginger won ton. Why not?
Lots of great tips, pretty pictures and detailed instructions. Plenty of more mainstream cupcakes too.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Too cute ever




Ben sleeps on the top bunk. Josh sleeps on the bottom bunk. Usually. I love these two boys sharing a room. Most nights I can hear them whispering to each other, or having their various stuffed animals talk to each other, or inventing some sort of game that can be played between bunks. Every once in awhile one of them will want to sleep together. Most often it's Ben, who is prone to scary dreams when he's seen something that was too intense for him (like the end of "Heloise at Christmas"--when Heloise is grabbed by the bad guy and locked in a closet in the basement. Granted, Ben was only 4 or 5 at the time, but he burst into tears and begged to take the DVD back to the Langfords immediately. He was scared by Maya and Miguel once, and by some Disney show he's never seen before or since. Anyway, Ben's a sensitive kid. And he is dying for us to let him watch the Lord of the Rings. Yeah right). But this night it was our Josh who just wanted some company on the bottom bunk. When Scott and I went to check in on them before we went to bed this is how they were laying. I love it.

Dance Dance



Thanks, Troy and Dan! Everyone feels a little more at home gettin' down with their bad selves.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Telling it like it is...

Another birthday gift shirred top, this time with matching mini-tote

Happy birthday, Anna!
I've got to make Emma one this week. I think I'll use this fabric since her new favorite colors are green and yellow. For many years she loved pink best. Then just a month or so ago she made a comment that maybe pink was a little bit babyish. Suddenly she's too grown up for pink. Well, she hasn't disbanded it all together...it's just "okay" now. She has been very deliberate in choosing green and yellow things whenever possible, but I can tell she still has a slight longing for pink things...perhaps mourning her separation from the color that took her through so many years. I don't know yet if it will stick. I think so though, Emma is a decided girl.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What should we do today?

Set things up...

...and knock them down!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I just don't know what to put on these bottom shelves...

It has to be only things that cannot be broken or used as a weapon by any little hands. Perhaps they will work best as sleeping cubbies.



Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It must be Cally day...buy her stuff!




Our very own Cally is finally and officially launching her on-blog store, Shop Calico. It is amazing. Really beautiful, high-quality stuff. Go check it out. And buy something. You won't be sorry.

It shir is fun


Cally coached me (she does that a lot) in making this cute shirred top for a girl's birthday party which Ben went to last Saturday. I like shirring. It is easy and fun and the only downside is it takes forever to sew around and around over and over. Every little girl I know will be getting one of these tops sometime in the next year.
Cally learned how here and demonstrated it here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Boxes, boxes everywhere and not a spot to think

We moved this past weekend. Unpacking was really fun the entire first day. The next day it had lost its lustre but still seemed a worthy use of time. Now it is a thorn in my side. Everything essential is in its place but at least three rooms still have STACKS of boxes in them and we regularly can't find something. I keep getting too busy with normal day-to-day stuff (dishes, keeping the floor clear of toys and books, laundry--ugh! I need a whole new system here, as soon as I have time to figure that out I will) to finally finish unpacking. Then I get busy with unpacking and fall behind with the regular stuff. Did I mention the monkey underfoot all day? Then there's the growing list of things this new house needs...like toilet paper holders and blinds. All the while I've got other things, not day-to-day, but not related to the move, that keep popping up in my mind and making me frantic when I try to figure out when I can devote some time to sitting down and thinking about them (like Girls' Camp, tick tock, it's almost June and we haven't even started planning the food!). Then there's the parade of workers who've been in and out all day fixing little things that weren't quite right. All of this adds up to make me nearly crazy. I have got to figure out a way to eat a sprinkled Krispy Kreme donut without anyone seeing me and asking for one.