Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Dinner

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year, therefore we had to think up something spooktacular to make for meals all week! Here we have Ghostly Shepherds Pie - Yumm.


Tonight we will be having Eye Ball Souffle - I will post pics when we get it done!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!




Colorful Images As Promised




Just in time for Halloween - here are those carrot pictures I promised! Doesn't that look Yummy!? Makes you want to go right out and strain some carrots, doesn't it? Hey, don't knock 'em 'til you try 'em.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Autumn Has Arrived

A couple of weeks ago Sarah, Aiden and I made our annual treck to our local Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard. I always look forward to this trip, it makes me feel as if fall has finally arrived. Not that the 40 degree weather, whipping winds, and misty mornings had anything to do with the impending Autumn.
The orchard was picturesque in its beauty, wonderfully clad in glowing reds and oranges of changing leaves. Smelling of fresh apples, and newly plucked pumpkin. I am in heaven there. That is until I hear the sounds of thousands of wild children screaming from the play area with no parental supervision...But that is neither here, nor there.


Aiden spent the time enjoying the views from the comfort of his stroller. Probably the safest place for him with the horde of children begging to touch the baby!
Each year I take Sarah's picture by this wall of one of the buildings, and each year I am amazed at how much she grows. Time flies so quickly....


And each year Sarah insists on riding the pony. Because, of course, we do not have three of them in our backyard that she could ride at any time. Noooo - we would much rather pay money to ride for ten minutes in a circle! She is pretty cute up there though, and I probably would not be able to take her picture were I leading Izzy around the yard.

And each year we pick up a souvenir. This year it was a stuffed dear, which she has appropriately named "Deary".



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yumm!




We have officially started the rice cereal game. A very messy endeavor, which requires a full bath afterward. Aiden took to it immediately, as he does with anything you put in his mouth. We will be moving onto carrots this week. I figure the orange coated baby will make for festive Halloween photo ops!

Play Date

On Friday of last week, Sarah had the opportunity to have a friend from school over for a "Play Date". This is something I really do not do enough of, especially when we live so far out in the country and another child is hard to come by. Sarah is usually left to play by herself (something she is quite good at) while her mother compulsively cleans or bakes.
Anyway! We had a friend over. This little girl was even able to get off the school bus with Sarah. The sight of which sent my biological clock into overdrive! Something about watching two giggling girls of the same age come running toward my house...I could have litters of them!
The girls had a great time that day. First we donned our princess dresses, complete with jewels and tiaras. Not sure why, but somehow the bunny ears were a suitable tiara substitute.
Then, as a fun activity, we all decorated cupcakes with chocolate frosting and, of course, plenty of sprinkles and candy! We did have to cover up the princess dresses for this endeavor.
Please do not tell this child's mother that I let them clean up the frosting...I have never seen such clean frosting containers.
These were the results of our efforts. These beautiful, carefully decorated, heavily candied, tasty cupcakes. Hummm, it looks like we are missing a couple here. I would have NEVER given the girls cupcakes after all that chocolate frosting.
OK - So maybe I gave them one...



Monday, October 27, 2008

WHOA!

Kinda speaks for itself, doesn't it?

making progress...

Ok- Kind of a scary picture here...Maybe it is his Halloween face?
Hey look at me! I can do this crawling stuff...Just give me a bit to get there...

Well, we have all waited patiently...Wondering if this day would ever come...And finally, FINALLY, Aiden has become mobile! Not in the traditional way, but mobile nonetheless. Now, you should all know, Aiden did start rolling over about a month and a half ago, shortly after his very active cousin, Ben was here to show him the way. But, it did not last long. After ending up on his tummy repeatedly, he quickly decided that rolling over was no fun and quit all together.
Well, now we are back on track and progressing rapidly once again! He is rolling over faster then you can bat an eyelash and is even bringing those adorable chubby legs up under his tummy at an attempt to get some traction! However, this is not Aiden's main means of travel. He has become quite versed at scooching along the floor on his back. Let me be the first to tell you, he is a quick little bugger too! Especially when he needs a diaper change and does not want to be picked up.
As I type he is making his way into the kitchen...I think I had better go and get him now...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Baked Goods

A relentless baker, I am. Suddenly I find I may even have a problem. Seldom does a day go by around here when I do not feel the compulsion to bake, much to the delight of my husband and eldest child.
So, here we are again...baking...Aiden and I... He, of course, shoved into the Bumbo on the counter, watching my every move. I am sure that by the time he is three years of age he will be able to recite the ingredients for several recipes by heart. Mainly my chocolate chip cookies and rum cake.

This is my favorite part - the chocolate chip batter. It is amazing that cookie ever come of this, I would just assume eat the batter instead.


Ready to go.

mmmm....Those look pretty good Mom...If I could only get my hands on them!


An into the freezer they go, along with the thousand other baked goods hiding out in there waiting to be devoured. I think I am running out of room.

Now What!?

OK - so now you have all this wonderful pumpkin puree in your freezer, right? Because I know all of you out there went right out and began whipping up your kids pumpkins faster then they could say "Happy Halloween!" Well, this EASY recipe was a breeze and boy was it yummy!

First you need a really good helper! Aiden always pre-moistens my measuring spoons for me!
Then you mix together 2 1/2 C of four, 1 t. baking soda, 1t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt, 2 t. pumpkin pie spice, and 1t. Cinnamon.

Mash two ripe bananas and mix together with 2 eggs, 1 1/3 cup PUMPKIN PUREE, 1/2 c. honey, 1/3 c. oil and 1/2 c. sugar.

Combine dry and wet ingredients just until moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 45 min. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. ENJOY!



Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Dance

The corsages....hummmm...Did they ever actually make it on to the girls or did they just get toted around all night?
This could be how it went all night - the boys on one side and the girls on the other...
The men have a strong bond...Avoiding conversation with the girls, I'm sure.

So, David had his first Homecoming Dance this month...Well, technically, it was not his first, but it was his first with a date! He looked quite dashing too, seeing as he would have rather gone to the dance in khaki shorts and a t-shirt. He complemented his date perfectly by wearing all black and a tie that matched his girl's fuchsia dress. It is amazing how good they look when you get them dressed up!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Punkin Season





Earlier this month I had the opportunity to host our monthly book club meeting for which I purchased some festive pumpkins for table decorations. Well, rather then letting them go to waste, the kids and I decided to make pumpkin puree and pumpkin butter from these orange jewels!

I was surprised at how easy it all was and with very little effort we had about seven cups of puree from three moderately sized pumpkins. We simply cut the pumpkins into quarters and Sarah scooped the "guts" out of each slice - which she loved! Something about squealing each time she touched the slimy insides just made her day. Aiden supervised, of course. He let her know whenever she missed a seed.
After slicing and cleaning the quarters we laid them out on a cookie sheet and roasted them for about 45 minutes. When we pulled them from the oven we removed the skins while the slices were still warm, which made it extremely easy to do.
Then we just threw the slices into the food processor, another one of Sarah's favorite things to do, and froze the puree in one-cup bags. Now we have fresh pumpkin to make bars, pie, or cake. Not to mention pumpkin butter! YUM!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Changing Times




Monday, October 13, 2008

Off and Running

Well, it is official. Harvest is in full swing around these parts. Of course I aways know this day is coming. It is like a ticking time bomb from the time that the Farmer finishes planting and spraying to the time the crops are ready to be brought in. In this case, they did not finish spraying until late July (and maybe a little into August even) and already it is time to say goodbye to him once more. I know, I know - they are starting about two weeks later than usual years, but it still seems to have gone by way too fast.
So here I sit, abandoned for a new girl. A five-ton green beauty that will now take all my husband's doting. They call us the Farming Widows. I have to remember - it is always better than having a husband who sits in a bar all night or hangs out with the guys non-stop. I think I can live with this for a couple months....



My view of the field across the road from home.
Hey- wait a minute - that is not the Farmer up there - It is the Mini-Farmer! Boy can she run a combine!
This is my job. I get to pull these massive bean platforms around and follow the Farmer wherever he goes...I think I do that last part anyway. What can I say - you get a great view as a follower!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

KOA Fun

So, recently we have been camping at the KOA, as you are well aware. Well, last weekend was the Halloween celebration during which the kiddos could participate in Trick-or-Treating, a Costume Contest, Hay ride, and many other fun activities. It was during the Trick-or-Treating that I overheard my dear friend, Kelly, mummer the words I hope I will never hear from her again...."Come here, Son, let me fasten your bra."
OK - so maybe Jade was a Belly Dancer for Halloween - but those were scary words non the less! He did make a beautiful woman though. But, by the way, Sarah did whoop him in the costume contest - she came away with "Best Costume Overall".


Kelly and Jade stuffing his bra.
Little Lady Bug - Sarah in her costume. Check out those crafty antennae!

The Hay Ride after the festivities. I think I know where they could find some horses to pull this...Or at least the RIGHT color tractor!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Family Portraits


Every once in a while I get to pursue something I really love doing. It is rare these days that I have the time to do something by myself, let alone something that entails some prep work, but it is worth the trouble to feel that sense of self that I get. My passion is photography. I am not picky either! Be it shooting black and white still life or family portraits, I feel fulfilled when I pick up the camera.

Once upon a time, a day would not go by that I was not out shooting something. Horses, fence posts, children, fruit, tractors - you name it. That was back when I had the money to spend thousands of dollars on lab fees and film...Yeah, it was probably thousands... Now in the digital age, I have a nice-enough point and shoot camera that I use relentlessly on my children, but I hardly give it the thought that I used to give the shots I once took.

When I dug out that Nikon camera that was once permanently attached to my hand, and began to look through the view finder, something changed inside me. I feel whole and purposeful (not that raising kids doesn't give me that satisfaction too, but this is a purely selfish contentment).

So, with that said, I would like to thank the Flip Flopping Momma for allowing me the pleasure of shooting her family portraits this past week. Of course, now I will be looking at the world in a different light. One of negative space and contrast, of aperture and depth of field. Every once in a while, this other personality wakes inside me and, for a brief time, I can remember my former life...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Psst Club


Recently I joined the "Psst Club" through Pilbury online. They send me new products and coupons that I then can share with friends and family. Well, this is one I LOVE! They are chocolate covered twists. Sarah loves them, well, she loves anything chocolate... And they are a snap to make. If anyone out there wants a coupon for them let me know - you should really give them a try!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Birthday Party

First I had to try it out - to make sure it was safe, of course.
The Birthday Crew.

Wait a minute - those aren't all kids up there...
Ma and Pa tending to the crying chitlin's.




Well, with the camper parked at the local KOA, we thought, what a better place to have a birthday party for Sarah and some of her friends. The KOA has this wonderful Jumping Pillow which is like a really big trampoline. We thought we would try it out. I am not sure who had more fun, the kids or the adults?


We did have a couple of minor injuries on the Jumping Pillow, one of which was Sarah stubbing her toe. Oh wait - all the minor injuries were Sarah...Rough day.


Anyway, after jumping for about 45 minutes we went back to the campsite for cake and ice cream and to open gifts. I think by the time the party was over, we successfully sent each child home completely wiped out!


Meanwhile, we hung out at the campground for the evening with friends and roasted some hotdogs and smores over the fire. (Boy, we really ate a lot of smores this summer) Sarah proclaimed that this was the best Birthday she has ever had (in all her five years of experience) and she thanked us repeatedly throughout the evening. What a sweet kid.