DPP 2008: 16

I bought a TUBE of sugar cookie dough and let the kids go to town.

Pete said that it was the best day of his life.

My job just got a whole lot easier!

December Photo Project '08

DPP 2008: 14

The Christmas Program went off without a hitch.

Thanks to everyone who helped me. Couldn’t have done it without you!

Pete loved being on stage. He did a great job. You know that kid that stands in the front row and sings obnoxiously loud? That was Pete. He knew those songs and he wanted everyone else to know it, too!

December Photo Project '08

DPP 2008: 13

Mike’s mom took us, his brothers, his brother’s wife, and the older two to a fancy dinner in Omaha and then to the Air Force Band concert at the Holland Center.

Dinner was so delicious (The Cheesecake Factory), and the concert was incredible. We had an excellent babysitter. I didn’t worry about Tess in the slightest. All in all, a great evening!

When Santa came in during “Zat You, Santa Claus”, he walked right by us and patted Elsie on the head. So, with a spotlight and all eyes on her, she scrunched up her nose and cocked her head to the side. Her eyes then got wide and her mouth gaped open at all of us. She was a riot.

Mrs. Claus invited all the children up on stage to listen to a story, and Elsie ran up there, found an elf, stole the elf’s candy cane and sat on her lap. Then Pete went up once his sister had blazed a trail. They sat on Santa’s lap afterwards and told him that they would be in Dallas for Christmas. He said that he knew where that was so he would be happy to drop off their presents there. Pete asked for Hot Wheels and Elsie for baby dolls – in case you have some last minute shopping to do! :o )

December Photo Project '08

DPP 2008: 7

Happy 5th Birthday to my sweet boy, Pete.

December Photo Project '08

Get out(to) Dodge

Two weekends ago we visited Mike’s Uncle Doug and Aunt Scherry in “the country”. We left bright and early in the morning and didn’t come home until late at night. We picked fruit off of fruit trees and vegetables out of the garden. We rode on of their 24 horses, visited a farm house that they purchased in foreclosure a few years back. I’m in love with that property, by the way. It’s 14 acres of the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen. It’s got 4 or 5 out buildings/barns, a large garden, a place where a Summer Kitchen once stood, a 2 stall garage, a creek, a miniature forest, it’s all fenced in and it has a 5 bedroom two story farm house to boot. I’m in LOVE, I tell you!

Here’s some pictures from our adventure. Enjoy!

Elsie was the first to ride. Nobody’s surprised, I’m sure.

Elsie like being up there but didn’t like that Daddy and Uncle Doug had to be there, too.

Pete was way less scared than I thought that he would be. He really liked being on the horse.

This is Pete asking Uncle Doug if Chester knew how to go fast. You can see a video of Chester going fast here.

Elsie was taking pictures just like Mommy.

Mike did a great job riding Chester.

Like Father, like Son…Mike had to go “fast”, too.

I look a bit like a Narnian warrior. I have on a Moby Wrap which Tess was in until I got on the horse. I decided it wasn’t best to ride a horse while having a baby strapped to you. I should get an award.

Pete at the end of the day.

And Elsie at the end of the day.

Let the Games Begin

It’s official…we are a home schooling family. This past Monday we started a very loose preschool program with Pete.

I have some workbooks that build on each other, 6 in all, that we got at the home school curriculum fair back in August. The first book is learning how to follow directions and take your time, then we’ll move on to cutting and pasting, left and right, opposites, big bigger biggest, etc. Pete had nothing but good things to say about it to Mike that evening at dinner.

We have school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons while the girls are sleeping. It works for our schedule. It take about 30 minutes or so, which is just right.

Mike hung our chalkboard and did a fantastic job.

Here are some pictures from our first day. Enjoy!

Photo Friday, July 25 edition

Here’s another round of Photo Friday!

The infamous Mine Piper.

My sweet Tess in the bathtub, the surefire way to calm her down. She splashes and “swims” all over the tub. Prepare to be soaked!

Tess is standing in her crib all the time now. I love the way she has her leg pointed out like a dancer. Follow this link to see a video of her standing in her crib.

Tess’s look is starting to be more of a toddler than a baby these days. She’s getting a bit of chubby on her, which means she’s getting ready to grow tall again. She’s saying, “Let me get this straight…” here. She is also signing “all done” and “bye-bye”. She waved to me, while standing in her crib, when I laid her down for her afternoon nap.

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We’ve been doing chores this week. I made up a chart for Peter and Elsie that has pictures down the left hand side and the days of the week across the top. Each chore that is completed gets a sticker, and each day with all chores completed gets a piece of candy – hershey’s kiss, licorice, etc.

Here’s a picture of what Elsie’s bed looks like after she’s made it. I think it’s a woman thing. She can make her bed so well!

I promise that I didn’t help her at all with it! She’s just good!

This Saturday evening, if Pete does the rest of his chores (teeth brushed, toys picked up, help set table for dinner) for the rest of the day and all of his chores tomorrow, then he gets $2. He is stoked. I’m not sure if we will give Elsie an allowance or not. Maybe 50 cents or so. She doesn’t have a concept of money yet.

It sure has been easier on me this week with them doing a lot of their own picking up. It’s also made me clean up better after myself. Pete asked me why there was stuff in the bottom of my closet…OUCH!

Elsie has been way less of a monster since Tuesday. No more bologna, thank goodness. I told her to show me her sweet smile.

Pete sometimes just looks at me like this, and it sort of freaks me out. It usually takes me a moment or two, but I finally realized the other day that this is him showing me that he has a happy heart, as evidenced through his smile. He’s such a good boy!

Violet and Pete

Pete loves his “babies”, his stuffed animals. He has this one kangaroo called Violet. (He names his animals things like Anna, Alice, Meredith, Tiny, Yadier, Fro, Louis, Albert…I don’t know where he gets it!)

This afternoon, Pete and Violet were bouncing around the house and he stopped and told me, “Mom, I love Violet. She never flips you off…

[takes drink for a good 10 seconds]

…of her back.”

Didn’t know where he was going with that one.

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Also, Pete and his friend, Nolan, made up a game this morning.

Mommy: What is all that noise?

Pete: We’re playing Mine Piper.

Mommy: What’s that?

Pete: It’s like a video game, only this is just pretend.

Mommy: [Thinks to self: Mine Piper? Like this?] Mine Piper, huh? Well, don’t hurt anyone. And, Pete?

Pete: Yeah, Mom?

Mommy: Video games are pretend. Playing with your friends in your living room is for real.

Pete: Hi-yah! Hi-yah [crash, bang, splat]. Did you see that Mom?

Mommy: Yeah, Dude.

Various Cooking Adventures

First, I got a cucumber from our garden this morning. It tasted gross, for the record, so I put it in some vinegar with salt and pepper. Maybe Mike will like them. Maybe they’ll get better as the summer progresses.


El Pepino Solitario

Second, I made pizza last night. I’ve been making my own dough for a while now, but I was reading over at Lindsey’s blog how to perfect the pizza dough and she had some excellent tips. So keeping in line with cleaning out the freezer and pantries, we had hamburger and mushroom pizza. I had a jar of Wal-Mart pizza sauce that I had bought a while back for about $1 or less, we always get our cheese from Sam’s and I break it up into 2 cup baggies and freeze them, I always have flour and yeast and such, so I thought, PIZZA!

Long story short, the pizza was probably the best I’ve ever eaten, and that’s saying something. I love me some pizza. The trick was letting my yeast and water sit for a few minutes and the cornmeal.

CORNMEAL, PEOPLE!! ON THE BOTTOM! ON MY PAN! ON THE CRUST!

Oh. My. Goodness. I will be making pizza again very soon, with pictures! And directions! Yea! Yahoo for pizza!

I might like pizza.

And lastly, we’ve got some friends involved in City on a Hill this week. I’m making a dessert for their dinner tonight, so I thought I’d use it as blog fodder.

Behold, the dessert:

Fruit Cobbler

  • 5 c fruit, large fruit sliced
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 7 T butter, cut up
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 T honey

Butter bottom of a 9 x 13 dish and fill with the 5 cups of fruit of your choice. Stir together flour, sugar salt, and baking powder. Add the 7 T butter, mix (using hand mixer) until it resembles coarse meal. Add the cream all at once, stirring it with a spoon to form a dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 to 20 seconds. Pick up pieces of the dough about the size of olives and sprinkle them over the fruit. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the 1/2 c butter and combine with brown sugar and honey. Pour the melted mixture over the cobbler after it has baked for 30 minutes. Increase heat to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until a delicious caramel crust has formed.

You should click on the video links below. They are worth it.

This is what you’ll need:

It’s helpful to have your butter cut up before you start, to keep things moving. The more you have prepared before you start (i.e. cutting butter, measuring out dry ingredients, etc.) the quicker and more efficient things run.

Berries on the bottom. I personally used 3 cups of Sam’s triple berry frozen blend and 2 cups of fresh strawberries. There weren’t any complaints at dinner!

Here’s how to put on the cobbler topping:

Cobbler Topping

This is what it should look like right before you put it in the oven:

The delicious, bubbling cobbler:

Bubbling Cobbler

In hindsight, I should have turned off the Cars soundtrack.

Enjoy!

Sweet Retreat

I love this time of day. About 1:30 in the afternoon.

I grab some reheated something, or maybe if I’m feeling feisty some Pizza Rolls and a Mountain Dew.

And I sit. I give myself the time that it takes me to eat my lunch to just sit.

I can blog (you know, now that I’m so cool and I have a blog)

I can read blogs

I read people.com (a guilty pleasure)

Really, I can do anything I want as long as it’s not work – like paying bills, researching a recipe.

I enjoy this time. Elsie is down. She’s been putting herself to bed for her nap recently. I have the kids wait until everybody is done eating before they get down from the table, so Elsie has taken the option of just going to bed several times. She heads to the potty, washes her hands and crawls into bed. Two hours later she comes bounding down the stairs saying something like, “Good morning, Mommy. Peez have gummies? Where Peeyer [Peter]?”

Tess goes down at the same time. Although she doesn’t put herself down quite yet, she really isn’t any trouble. The way we do things for Tess around here is when she first wakes up (morning, naps) she gets nursed. Then she plays around until the next meal is ready. She eats with the family, plays for a bit more and then goes down. I don’t rock her to sleep, though I do rock her and sing a sweet song and give her her blankie. Done. Off to Sleepy Town.

I let Pete watch a movie and drink a little bit of something sweet – juice, tea, Sprite – which is a real treat. He’s pretty easy going. He just doesn’t need a nap and it’s more trouble than it’s worth to make him lay down.

Then I sit. For a good 30 minutes. Then it’s back to the field.