Friday, May 29, 2009

We're Outta Here!

We are hitting the road today, right after breakfast, on a little journey to eastern Idaho. Our destination? The Museum of Idaho, in Idaho Falls. You see, we found out a couple of weeks ago (thanks, Rex!) that the Titanic Exhibit was there, and we have a very sweet, very smart little guy who adores all things Titanic. We broke the news to Camden last night about why we are going to Idaho Falls, and the poor boy almost burst. Between that, and the fact that we are staying in a hotel, I'm not sure how he will be able to contain himself for the long car trip.
I'm looking forward to getting out of town, seeing some more of Idaho, and and spending some much-needed down time with my three favorite boys. Now, I'm off to the doggy sitter to deliver Riley. Will be back on Monday with lots of pictures and stories. Happy weekend!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grilled Pizza. Serious Yum.

I have been wanted to make pizza on the grill for a long time now...not sure why it has taken me this long to finally get around to it. I bit the bullet earlier this week, and I loved the results! It couldn't be simpler, really, and I didn't have to heat up my kitchen by running the oven, so I think I may just be grilling pizza through the summer.

The first thing I did was make a batch of my favorite pizza dough in my bread machine. Once the cycle was complete, I removed the dough and divided it into 4 pieces. Next, I took two cookie sheets and brushed them with oil. I rolled each piece of dough into a rough oval shape, and placed two ovals on each sheet. Then, I brushed the top of each oval with oil. Next, I heated the grill to medium. When that was ready, I placed all of the dough on the grill and closed the lid. Let them grill for 3-4 minutes, until the bottoms are set and you have some nice grill lines. Remove from the grill with a spatula or tongs, and place, grilled side up, back on the cookie sheets. Take them back into the house (leave the grill on!) and add your toppings. For our pizzas, I did the standard sauce and cheese for the little guys, and used ricotta, sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, and scallions for Steve and myself (before I grilled the dough, I tossed the asparagus, scallions, and sun dried tomatoes with a tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper, and sauteed them in a pan for a few minutes). Once your toppings are in place, head back out to the grill and carefully place each pizza back on the grill, close the lid, and cook for about 5 minutes until done.

The result? Delicious little pizzas with a fresh, summer-y flavor....and a nice, cool kitchen to boot!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?

...I have no idea, really. It must be a horticultural miracle. There is really no other explanation. Steve's known me long enough now that I'm quite certain he rolls his eyes, whenever I bring a new plant home. This is because he knows it will be dead within a month, most likely because I will forget to water the poor thing.

As for gardening - - I love the "idea" of it, but have never attempted it, due to the reason mentioned above. For the past couple of years I've attempted herbs and tomato plants, but have yet to eat a tomato from said tomato plants (the victims of "cyclical watering", causing every tomato on the plant to split open), and my herbs have usually shriveled up and died.

Anyway...I asked Steve to build me a raised bed this year, and after it was completed, I fretted for a couple of weeks, wondering what I'd gotten myself into. Soon, I found myself buying seed packets, as well as some seedlings, and got down to business. I really had no clue what I was doing, but as luck would have it, I have two avid gardeners in my life (hi Terri! hi Kasey!) and they have answered a slew of novice gardening questions for me. The result? My garden is actually growing. Fabulously. I just can't believe it. For some reason, my little garden brings me lots of satisfaction, relaxation, and serenity. I look forward to getting out there each day to weed, water, and check the progress of all of those little plants. If all goes well, maybe I'll have a second raised bed next year.

What am I growing, you ask? Basil, rosemary, radishes, carrots, jalapeno peppers, onions, cucumbers, some assorted flowers, tomatoes, and lettuce. I seriously cannot wait to eat something from my the looks of things at the moment, it will most likely be a radish. I have a little tomato experiment cooking, and I'll share that with you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dusting Off the Blog

Well, shoot. I can't believe two weeks have blown by so quickly. I've had plenty to write about, but not much free time to be able to get to it. Right now, I'm sitting down in the family room with the boys while they have some Quiet Time - - it is nice and cool down here and H-O-T outside. Summer is here, and we've been enjoying some beautiful desert weather. Steve's parents left this morning. We had a wonderful visit with them, and look forward to seeing them again in September.

You may recall that I was a little under the weather the last time I wrote - - I declare that I am officially done being sick, after feeling like complete crud for nearly three weeks. I've never had a sinus infection quite like that - - I think I was close to removing my own sinuses with a skewer. It is very hard to mother when you just want to be in the fetal position all day, so I am happy to be back to normal.

I'll fill you in on our last two weeks with some quick and easy bullet points:
  • As mentioned before, Steve's folks, Bev and Dev, were here May 14-26th. They'll be heading back out this way in September with their camper, and will be here until mid-November, so we are looking forward to that.
  • Rex turned 40 (the reason for Bev & Dev's visit!).
Yes, that is a boobie cake. No, the children weren't psychologically scarred by seeing it. And, yes, I made the cake. I'd never been asked to make a cake such as this, so I turned to my large sheet cake pan, and a couple of Pyrex bowls, and voila! A Boobie Cake. This was also my first attempt at decorating with fondant, and all I have to say is that I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it. Fondant is really versatile and easy to work with, and gives a very finished look. Can't wait to use it again in a couple of weeks when I make Camden's birthday cake!

  • Banzer turned 3! We had a great time celebrating at Rod & Candy's house, and the weather was perfect. I don't know that I have ever seen a little boy as excited about his birthday before.

  • I planned and executed a picnic for three kindergarten classes at Camden's school, and it went off without a hitch. Luckily, I had two great moms helping me pull it all together. The kids played games and then enjoyed lunch with their families.

(that's Camden, on top of the parachute)

Camden made sure to take time out of his hectic picnic schedule, to charm the ladies. I promptly told this Little Miss to get her mitts off my Sweet Baby Boy. Okay, not really. But I wanted to.
  • The boys got tons of mileage out of the Lone Ranger masks they got at their cousin's birthday party.

The Super Ranger Brothers

  • At long last, the Titanic arrived with Grampa. My father-in-law has been making a beautiful wooden model of the Titanic for Camden for months, and I can't begin to tell you the anticipation that built for Camden. I do believe the poor boy broke down in tears they day before they arrived, because he didn't think he could "wait one more hour" for it to get here. Thankfully, he survived the wait, and Titanic hasn't been out of his sight since.

Camden even got special permission to take his Grampa and Titanic to school for Show & Tell. Both were a big hit.

Today we eased back into our regular routine, and I've been getting caught up on some of the chores I've let slide over the past few days. Only two days left of school, and then I get my big boy for the summer! We have a special surprise planned for Camden this weekend, so stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Apple Soup for Lunch

I've been under the weather (again!) for the past couple of weeks, and by yesterday afternoon I was really feeling badly. That is what it took for me to finally give in and decide to visit a very slow doctor's office with two small boys in tow. Come to find out, I've had a raging sinus infection, so I am happy to have antibiotics pumping through my body, as I type. Anyway, when I dropped Camden off at school yesterday, he seemed particularly concerned about me - - I'm not sure why exactly, because we've been going about our business as usual all along. He asked if he could make me lunch when he got home, and I told him of course he could!
Before school, he spent quite a bit of time working on his recipe for lunch:

That says, "Camden's famous apple soup" (so says Camden), followed by a scary-looking serrated knife, an apple, apple slices, a chicken drumstick, pieces of chicken, a measuring cup and some unknown liquid, and then some bread.

I supervised the slicing, but he was pretty insistent that I let him do all of this himself. When I was certain he wasn't going to cut one of his fingers off, I went to my room and got in bed, per Camden's orders.

He promptly delivered to me a bowl of apple slices and chicken, floating in water, accompanied by a very stale heel of bread. He was so proud of himself, and I ate all of my lunch (with a little help from Riley, when Camden wasn't looking!). To top it all off, my sweet boy told me, "Mummy, you take care of me when I'm sick, so I can take care of you when you are sick." Gosh, I love that little boy.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


The other day, somewhere in Idaho....

Camden: "Mummy, did you go to school?"

Me: "When?" (not exactly sure what Camden was referring to)

Camden: "Like....EVER?"

Me: "Of course I did, Camden....why do you ask?"

Camden: " just seems like I know about a lot more stuff than you do."

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Most Magical Place on Earth

So. We are off to Disney World in September! It all happened rather quickly...we weren't planning this trip, but the opportunity arose, we were able to make it happen, so we jumped at the chance. I am so excited! The best part is, we will be meeting my parents, along with my brother, his wife Rachel, and our niece, Violet. We'll be there to celebrate both Kevin's and Griffin's birthday, which will make it even more special. The last time I went to Disney World, I was 13, so many, many things have changed since then. I can't wait to see Camden, Violet, and Griffin together, and I can't wait to see the boys experience Disney World for the first time. I do fear that poor little Camden's head may explode, however. He loves Lego's, Star Wars, Buzz Lightyear, Nemo, Pirates (as does his little brother), and I can't even begin to imagine his reaction when he has all of these things at his fingertips.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tales From the Potty: Part Two

Last week, when I shared the fact that I was trying to potty train Griffin, I thought I'd probably jinxed myself. After a few days of things going well, Griff and I had a couple of really awful days. I even had to call my mother a couple of times so she could help me get a grip, I was so frustrated (thanks, Mum!). I think we spent an entire day where Griffin kicked and screamed and threw gigantic fits if I even suggested using the potty, followed by a day of feeling like we were holed up in the bathroom, All. Day. Long, reading books. I really, really wanted to give up, but thank goodness I didn't, because the very next day, Griffin woke up and acted as though he'd been potty-trained forever. He is now 100% self-sufficient in the bathroom, and I seriously cannot believe it! No accidents in 6 days. Dry when he wakes up in the morning for the past 7 days. Goes to the bathroom when he needs to, by himself, and doesn't even ask for any help. I seriously cannot believe more diapers! EVER! The best part is, he is so proud of himself. I would be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that struggles with letting him become a big boy, but in the end it is even better seeing him learn new things and become self-confident.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Rainy Day Suitcase

We've been getting lots of rain here lately, but I'm certainly not going to complain, because in a few weeks it will be in the triple digits every day, and the wild fires will be burning. For now, I'm just happy that I don't have to water the lawn. Rainy days and active little boys aren't always a good mix, but I have a little trick up my sleeve that helps get us through these soggy stretches. I don't remember where I originally saw this idea, but I have seen it on a handful of blogs, and thought it was brilliant, so of course, I had to copy it. Behold, The Rainy Day Suitcase:

This suitcase lives in my cleaning closet, and the boys know that whenever it rains, they can get it out. In fact, when Griffin woke up at the crack of dawn yesterday and heard the rain coming down, the first thing out of his mouth was, "I'm getting the Rainy Day Suitcase!" The suitcase was purchased at a yard sale for $1.00. I gave it a good cleaning, and then got out my paint pens and jazzed it up a bit.
The inside is filled with mostly things that I've found at thrift stores - dominoes, lacing cards, coloring books, VHS movies (yes, that is a Mary Kate & Ashley movie that you see in there...we don't discriminate in this household!). Oddly enough, the most popular item seems to be the zip lock bag full of pipe cleaners. Who knew. From start to finish, this project probably cost all of $10.00 to pull together. I switch items out from time to time to keep things interesting. What I can tell you is, this little suitcase is worth its weight in gold -- the boys love it, and it keeps us from getting nutty when we find ourselves trapped indoors for days on end.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Favorites

One of my favorite things about our home, when we were buying it, was the fact that it came with a ginormous lilac bush. I know -- not a exactly a selling point when you're looking to purchase a house, but I was secretly very happy about it. I have always loved lilacs, and I love nothing more than having huge, fragrant blooms at my disposal, to place throughout my home. In fact, when I opened my eyes this morning, the first thing on my mind was the sweet smell of the lilacs that were sitting on top of my dresser.

I will have to keep my eyes out at the thrift store, so I can make one of these repurposed cake stands, from Craftynest.

I think these drop cloth drapes are great, and am wondering if they are the solution to my living room/dining room drape woes, from The Lettered Cottage.

I made these homemade hamburger buns in my bread machine, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to buy another package of hamburger buns at the store again. I used half white flour, half whole wheat, and they came out great. I'm never let down, when I try one of Amy's recipes, from The Motherload.

I don't often bake white bread, but I tried this recipe yesterday, and it produced a lovely loaf of bread with perfect texture. I'm pretty sure I'll be adding it to my regular rotation of breads. I saw the recipe on The Motherload, but it originally comes from Dine & Dish.

Happy Weekend!!!
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