Monday, October 27, 2008

Agenda

1. Muffin Tin Monday: Heart-shaped quesadillas, trail mix (Kashi Crunch, Cheerios, raisins, and a few chocolate chips to keep peace in the family), cottage cheese, carrots & dip, and apple slices (to see more muffin tins, go here).

2. Taking care of our nephew, Banzer, for the day. My, are these boys busy!

3. Enjoying a homemade mocha in my fancy-pants Bodum Pavina Thermo Glass. I found a never-opened box of two of these at the thrift store for $1.00....major steal.

4. Washing a never-ending pile of dirty dishes.

5. Still processing this new article about Stephanie Nielsen (photo from Nienie Dialogues)

6. Planning for Christmas ... it is only 9 weeks from now, you know.

7. Reflecting on a lovely weekend with my boys.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This, That, and The Other

The warm weather of last week was short-lived, and we are back to chilly mornings, sweaters, and shorter days. Life feels quite busy in these parts, and it has given me the itch to organize the house and purge it of unnecessary clutter. I've spent most of the week cleaning out one of our storage sheds. There were bags and bags of maternity clothes buried in there, and they are now gone. I've also been digging through bins of clothing. All of the outgrown stuff is ready to be handed off to moms with new babies, and the stuff that Griffin has yet to grow into is neatly organized. Gosh, does that make me feel better! I'm also still working on the family room, and it is coming along really well. The walls are all painted, and now I am just working on the decorating. The biggest things will be getting a slipcover for the sofa, and getting a new piece of carpeting for the t.v. area. I'm a few weeks out on that, but I'm hoping by December, it will be finished.

The boys have been enjoying the outdoors - - especially jumping in the leaves. Camden especially loves to be outside, and spent over 4 hours straight, digging in the dirt after school the other day.
I didn't forget about Muffin Tin Monday this week, but when I posted the Halloween-themed tin last week, I was actually a week early for the challenge, so I'll be back on track for next week. This weeks' was rather lack-luster, and now that I look at it, not super-balanced (acorn-shaped cheddar cheese, Goldfish, Halloween animal crackers, applesauce, broccoli, and Ranch dip). No matter, though, both of the boys cleaned their plates. By the way, Muffin Tin Monday has moved to a new blog, for any of you who might be interested in participating. There won't be any challenges for the next two Mondays, so it is anything goes!


Our annual "neighborhood social" was held this past Sunday, and Camden had the thrill of meeting a neighbor of ours who drives a race car. He took Camden to his house and let him sit in the driver's seat, which just about sent Camden over the edge, as you can imagine.


Camden perfected his Whoopie Pie eating technique, which is, take the pie apart, eat the top cake, eat the filling with finger, then eat the bottom cake. I told him that his Nana really makes the best Whoopie Pies, and he said, "Mummy, you always say Nana makes the best everything!" It's true, though!

Tomorrow is Grandparents & Honored Guest day at Camden's school, and since he doesn't have grandparents nearby, he is taking his Dad to school. He is very excited about this, and every day when I've picked him up from school this week, he's asked me how many more sleeps until Daddy goes to school. One more sleep, sweet boy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Tasty Treat


Griffin and I found ourselves at the Saturn dealership this morning (time for an oil change!) so while we were waiting, we hoofed it across the street to Starbucks. We both needed a snack and something warm to drink (34 degrees this morning!). I decided to try the new Portabella Mushroom Piadini, along with a Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate (I know...salted caramel? I thought it sounded weird, too....so weird, in fact, that I just had to try it). The verdict? The piadini was really delicious. Light, flaky crust, filled with mushrooms,
spinach, feta, ricotta, and egg. Yum. The hot chocolate? To die for. It was so good that I could lay down and cry about it. Unfortunately, I made the grave mistake of looking up the nutritional content. It has so many calories and such an incredible amount of fat in it, that the only conclusion I can come to is that there must be a scoop of pure lard added to it. Still, I'm glad I tried it because it was decadent. I'll save the hot chocolate for a once-in-a-great-while-treat, and stick to my standard decaf nonfat mocha in the future.

As for Griffin...he is a creature of habit, so he had his usual pumpkin scone and vanilla milk, followed by some bouncing on the cushy chairs.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pardon Me...


...I've been away for a few days. Watching t.v..

We had cable installed last week, which, my dear friend Terri quickly reminded me, is now called "satellite" t.v.. Before Steve married me, he didn't have a television. After we got married, and I brought the evil box into his home, we've only ever had the local channels, which really turned out to be just one very fuzzy station (NBC, thank goodness) - - two on a good day (if I could get the rabbit ears positioned just right).

After throwing a particularly melodramatic hissy fit while my father was visiting recently (because I couldn't get Dancing With The Stars to come in, and darn it! I wanted to watch Dancing With The Stars!) I decided enough was enough. So, last Wednesday, a couple of strapping young men from Dish Network arrived at my house, threw a couple of satellite dishes up on the roof, and the rest is history. I have watched countless episodes of What Not to Wear, Designed to Sell, John & Kate Plus Eight, oodles of cooking shows on the Food Network, and tonight, I watched Dancing With The Stars without a spec of static. It was glorious, I tell you.

The only really good thing about not having our t.v. come in was that we rarely watched television. Camden has only ever really watched videos or DVD's. Griffin doesn't care about television at all, unless Elmo is involved. I was a little concerned about having a bazillion channels, and a bunch of cartoons that I didn't want the boys watching. Luckily, on a hint from the lovely Terri, I'm keeping Camden's t.v. viewing confined to PBS or Noggin, and only during "quiet time" each day. As of tonight I'm putting an end to my nearly week-long t.v. binge, and am going to try to get back to normal, tomorrow. Just knowing that I can watch HGTV whenever I want makes me a happy girl.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Something New: Upholstery

Last night, I took a class to learn how to upholster furniture. It is something I've wanted to know how to do for a long time, and I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to learn. After having been to the class, I just cannot believe how easy it actually seems! Really, it is all about tucking and stapling. There isn't much sewing involved at all. There is a fabulous store in Boise that has a gigantic selection of upholstery fabric for as little at $3.00 per yard, so I am excited to get started. I first need to procure an electric stapler, and those aren't exactly cheap, so I'm not sure when I will be able to get started...hopefully soon.

My first victim? Our crazy gold velour ottoman that resides in our family room. It came with the house, and is a heavily-used piece of furniture - - the boys love it. But...it is soooo ugly. I'm hoping to find some new fabric that will go with the new colors (I've been busy painting all of the wood paneling in the family room for the past week...what a difference!). If the ottoman goes well, I think I will move on to the chair in the guest bedroom.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Pickin'

Over the weekend, we paid a visit to The Berry Ranch in Nampa, Idaho. Our mission: a hayride to the pumpkin patch.

We arrived right before the gates opened, so we didn't have to wait at all

Griffin was less than thrilled with the hay ride. He thought the big green tractor was scary.
There were fields and fields of pumpkins!

Griffin managed to pull himself together, once we arrived at the pumpkin patch. He found his perfect pumpkin as soon as his feet hit the ground.

Camden (wearing his dad's jacket) found just the right pumpkin, too

A chilly ride back to the farm

Griffin makes friends with the chickens


The end!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday

I'm trying something new here - - something I saw over at Sycamore Stirrings...Muffin Tin Monday. What is Muffin Tin Monday, you ask? Well, it is lunch served in a muffin tin - - sort of like a bento lunch. There are about a bazillion bento groups on Flickr, and they sure are fun to look at! I thought the boys and I would give MTM a try, just to shake lunch time up a bit, and so that I could keep putting new foods in front of my kids. Griffin will eat anything, but Camden is super finicky, so I need to keep exposing him to new things in the hopes that one day I will break him and he'll eat like the rest of us!

Each week, a new challenge is issued for MTM. This week's was "Halloween", so here is what I came up with:

Cheddar cheese cut into leaf shapes, mini pumpkin muffin, "Halloween trail mix" - Kix, raisins, and candy corn, carrot sticks and orange bell pepper strips with Ranch dip, pumpkin-shaped peanut butter & honey on whole wheat, and orange yogurt, complete with a plastic eyeball.

The verdict: The boys loved it. Camden has asked multiple times since I made these (we actually had these last week) when we get to have "the special lunch" again. As for the food - - Camden immediately turned his nose up at the bell pepper strips, but I made him take a bite of one anyway. He also wouldn't eat the yogurt, even though he use to eat orange yogurt by the gallon. Griffin did NOT like the plastic eye ball. He made me remove it immediately, and all through lunch he kept saying, "I don't like the eyeball!!" All in all, the muffin tin lunch was a huge success, and I can't wait to try another this week!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ramblings in the Dark

It has been a long week. Griffin has worked me over 5 ways to next Tuesday, and Mama's tired. He's not been sleeping well at all, and, I'm just going to say it - - he's about as Terrible as a Two-Year-Old can get. I am very, very excited for this phase to pass. Please, let it pass soon! I can't remember how many times he woke in the night, but he decided he would get up for the day, a little before 5 a.m. today. We were sitting here snuggling on the sofa when he nodded off just a bit ago, so here I am. I would really like some more sleep, but alas, I am too "awake" now for that. Thank goodness it is Friday!

Autumn is officially here. We had a frost two nights ago, and yesterday was definitely sweater weather. The boys and I finally started our nature table, and I can tell we are going to have a lot of fun with it (more on that, later). I'm starting to think about Christmas, and I'm hoping to have most of my shopping done before Thanksgiving. I'm pretty fond of Etsy these days, and have found so many perfect gifts there already. It seems as though this entire year has just been one big blur. I seriously cannot believe that Christmas is less than 12 weeks away.

On deck for the weekend...one day of projects/housework/catching up, a day of family fun (a trip to the pumpkin patch?), and hopefully some soup or stew in the crock pot. What are your weekend plans?
*photo by Ralph Maughn - Autumn on the East Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

Monday, October 06, 2008

Presenting....

Griffin Peter, and his mad counting skillz....

video

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Scenes From a Weekend

Waiting by the door, for Daddy to arrive home from work on Thursday evening

A lovely tofu stir-fry

This is what your bathroom sink looks like when you have little boys

Griffin falls asleep on the floor next to his bedroom door...again (he's still working on staying in his big boy bed)

Piles of laundry (I can't believe I got it all washed & folded, for a change)

Two days of rain, and a freakish hail storm (how do you like my non-lawn?)

Being stuck in side calls for Play-Doh...

...And costumes

Sick boy. High fever, runny nose, goopy eye...the kid can't catch a break.

Peanut Butter Kiss cookies

Homemade pizza with organic fresh chopped spinach, caramelized onions, Italian sausage (from my pig...more on that later), and fresh mozzarella...my favorite pizza ever

The Captain comes home in the middle of drill weekend to see his boys (who were bouncing off the walls, I'll have you know), even though he was exhausted. I bet right now he's wishing he'd stayed in his fancy hotel room!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Some Things Just Don't Go Well Together

For example:


Toilet, with the heat register right next to it

Add to that.....

5-year-old male child with inconsistent aim

Not good. Not good at all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Cure For Cabin Fever...

...or "captain fever", as Camden calls it:
  1. Boycott all housework, & head out of town for the day.

  2. Stop at our favorite cupcake store. Buy a Super Chocolate cupcake (Camden), a Black & White Mini cupcake (Griffin), a Red Hot Velvet Mini cupcake (Mummy), and a Peanut Butter Delight cupcake (a surprise for Daddy).

  3. Go to Target to look at Buzz Lightyear action figures (Camden), skate boards (Griffin), and assorted housewares (Mummy).

  4. Stop off at Starbucks on Eagle Road (mocha frappuccino...sweet nectar of the gods).

  5. Head to Gowen Field to have a visit and share lunch with Daddy.

  6. Stop at Home Depot on the way home, to purchase some bright, cheerful paint for the family room, in anticipation of the winter blahs.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Think Pink!

It's October 1st, the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Did you happen to watch the Today Show this morning? Dr. Susan Love appeared to announce a new initiative with Avon, called Army of Women. Please check out the website and think seriously about joining the cause. I've already signed up, and I really, really hope I get called upon to participate in research.

Be on the lookout for the many, many pink products in your local stores...they are everywhere. If nothing else, buy yourself a bag of pink M&M's!

Have you ever participated in a Race for the Cure? Check out the Susan G. Komen website for information about a race near you. As always, please don't forget to do your monthly self-exam!
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