Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins...

Besides being a great band in the 90's.   Smashing pumpkins was a big hit in our house.  We had several USLO (unidentified squash like objects) in our garden this year.  Lots of cross pollination in our compost mostly.  So with every smash we were eager to see what was really inside that half white pumpkin/acorn squash mix or zucchini/something or other mix.   It made a hug mess in our driveway, but the girls had lots of fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Christmas list

Abby was very kind in helping Olivia put together her Christmas list this year for Santa.   You can see she put Olivia's name at the top to make sure there was no mistaking who was to receive the following items in our household from Santa.
1. A Chicken  (I don't know what happened to the kitten)
2. A doll house
3.  Blue Cheese
4. A juice maker
5. * some dolls
While these are all obtainable items, I am not really sure why she wants a chicken and does she want blue cheese (as in the moldy cheese) or actual blue colored cheese???

Friday, November 18, 2011

First Christmas list of the year is in.......

1.  Books
2.  Dolls
3.  Camera
4. Angel
5. Stuffed animals
6. Wings that can really fly
7. music box
8. clock

There are so many things I love about Abby's list this year. 
 1. She wrote it all by herself in her notebook she keeps tucked with a pencil near her bed. (Can you tell this was composed in the dark after she was suppose to be asleep!) 
2.  She did not ask me to spell one thing and came up with the words, some more creative than others, all by herself 
 3.  She offered to help her sister write out her Christmas list-which is still a work in process.  I think the only thing written so far is a kitten. 
4.   The fact that "wings that can really fly" goes right along in her mind with all the other tangible objects.    It shall be interesting to see what Santa comes up for that one! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Streusel-Topped Blueberry Muffins


Now that Abby has started school full time, Olivia and I have lots of time to spend together and she loves to bake.   This week I hosted a Daisy Scout meeting at my home and wanted to have a few things for the leaders to snack on.  I had frozen blueberries from picking this summer in the freezer and Streusel Topped Blueberry Muffins seemed like a yummy solution. 

  They look a lot different over at Our Best Bites where I got the recipe.  But they did taste really good!

Streusel-Topped Blueberry Muffins
Recipe from Our Best Bites

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. grated orange or lemon peel
1 large egg
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. canola oil
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. sugar

Streusel Topping1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spoon the flour into measuring cups and level with with a knife and combine it in a large bowl with the baking powder, salt, sugar, and citrus peel. Make a well in the center of the mixture. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and oil. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining flour and sugar and then toss the blueberries in this mixture until they are well-coated. Gently fold the blueberry mixture into the batter. Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.
To make the streusel topping, combine the 1/4 c. sugar, 2 1/2 Tbsp. flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two butter knives until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter and bake for 18 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 12 muffins

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tooth Fairy strikes again!

No words needed.   She was very excited about losing another tooth and a visit from the tooth fairy!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 A busy Halloween weekend!  First up was carving the pumpkins.  That "thing" hanging down from the light is a creepy spider created by Abby and hung with pipe cleaners. 

Abby's creation

Livy's creation

For the Halloween dinner party.  Mummy dogs and Ghost pizzas! 

And  Ghost cupcakes for dessert!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back by popular demand!

I know it has been a long................. time since I have blogged.  It's been crazy I guess.  Whose life isn't crazy right.  So rather then try to catch you up on everything -I'll just pick up like I never left!

It's cold, it's rainy.  And the fire is already going.  Plumpy is pretty much in the same spot as last year.  Took him about 3 seconds to remember the best seat in the house (and to claim it!)

It got pretty warm in here so both the dog and Livy passed out on the couch.  No, Hershey is not suppose to be on the couch.  Yes, that is a new couch, well not new, new used of course.  We never buy anything new-it just gets ruined.  That is why you see bed sheets on the couch to help prolong it's life.  The old couch pretty much disintegrated into thin air.    Don't worry he will jump down off the couch when Daddy gets home.  He knows what he can get away with and with whom. 

We decorated a Halloween Gingerbread house.  The girls did a really good job.  However, every time I look at the house displayed in the middle of the dining room table there appears to be a lot less candy on it?  hmmmmm

We also attended a Carmel apple decorating party at a friends house.  The girls had a blast decorating and of course eating.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Daddy is turning 40!  I know this scares him-it scares me too.  It means I am not far behind.  We are having a more formal celebration with family this coming holiday weekend, but the girls and I got our craft on and did up dinner for Daddy one night this week to celebrate.

Yes, we made him wear the hat. 
But no, he would not let me get a picture.

A little b-day puzzle action!

Happy Birthday to one good Dad!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Bingo!

My sister in law sent me this great link for a game called:  Summer Bingo.  She got the idea from:   From the Fence Post blog.   Each child gets one card per week with a variety of activities, chores etc. listed on the sheet.   When they complete the task they get to put a sticker in the square.  When they get 5 in a row they receive a ticket.   When they get a certain number of tickets they get to choose something fun to do, like get an ice cream at our local ice cream stand, have a family movie night, go the beach etc.   (You will see from the blog-From the fence post she did a prize bucket.  I skipped that in the name of "we don't need anymore junk around here"!)

Here is the link from From the Fence Post where you can download the templates and change them to fit your kids. 

Today was our first day.  Abby took to it right away.   I had to remind her that the whole card could not be completed in one day.  Olivia is working at her own speed and I made sure some of her "tasks" were simple and her level.  For instance for Olivia I had:  Give Plumpy (the cat) a treat and a hug or Use the potty by yourself.   For Abby I had harder things like:  Practice your diving in the pool or help Mommy put away the laundry

Here they are working on the task of writing Nana a letter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Garden update- the ground hog

For weeks we have been watching as our newly sprouting garden is mowed down again and again.  The other day my husband took the dog out and was able to obtain photographic evidence of what appears to be a ground hog, our prime suspect. 

Okay, so it is weak photographic evidence. 
Heck this could be a Big foot sighting.

What is clear is the damage this little rodent has done.  Notice the bean plants on the right.  Big and leafy.  Notice- not one leaf remains in sight on the left.  Funny how it did not touch the other row of beans??

To the left of flower mountain (that mass of green on the right planted by the girls) you would have seen big watermelon plants growing at one time.  Now completely missing! 

Same for my herb section this year. 
The one in the front-just a twig remains. 

Besides beefing up our fence, which we have done, there is not much we can do.  We have discussed trapping and re-homing if anyone would like a pet ground hog??  Another suggestion from a neighbor was to let Hershey out after him. However, I fear Hershey would lose that battle.  He is a bit of a wimp and is afraid of bumble bees.  (Is it a coincidence we did not have this problem last summer when our 88 pound Rottweiler was around?)   My favorite suggest thus far came from an avid gardener that shall remain nameless.  In their exact words " When my friend so and so (another avid/professional gardener by my standards) sees them in her driveway they run them over with their car!".   While that does sound like a permanent solution to our problem, I am not exactly sure if that would be such a good idea to maliciously run down ground hogs in my mini van with the kids in the car......

Monday, June 20, 2011

Too good not to share. White Bean Enchiladas-kid approved!

Recipe below.  These are a few tips that have helped me along the way:

1.  The enchilada sauce is normally in a can and located near the salsa in the grocery store.
2.  If you were to accidentally buy one can of white beans and one can of garbanzo beans (traditionally used to make hummus) like I did.  It still tastes just fine!  Don't ask me how I did that.
3.  I make the bean mixture for the middle ahead of time and then just assemble at the end of the day.
4.  As you can see in the pic I used a 9 x 13 pan and used 4 large wraps for a family of four and had left overs.

White Bean Enchiladas

tbsp. sour cream

2 16-ounce cans white beans (I used Great Northern), rinsed and drained

1- 1 1/2 cups shredded blend of cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese, divided

4-ounce can chopped green chilies (I use mild)

4 tbsp. fresh, chopped cilantro, divided, optional

2 tbsp. sliced green onions, optional

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 15-ounce jar/can of EITHER (but NOT BOTH) enchilada sauce or green salsa


10 8-inch flour tortillas

Combine the sour cream and white beans in a food processor until smooth. Stir in half of the cheese, all of the chilies, onions, half of the cilantro and all of the cumin. Set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, combine 2/3 cup of enchilada sauce (or green salsa) with about 1/3 a cup of water. Heat until warm. One at a time, drop a tortilla into the sauce mixture and coat it on both sides. Lay it on a plate and fill it with 1/4-1/3 cup of the bean filling and lay it seam side down in a 9x13 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat, making more sauce/water mixture as needed, but trying to reserve about 1/3 of the full strength sauce. Top the enchiladas with the remaining (full strength) sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro, if using.

Recipe from http://thyhandhathprovided.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Crazy Hair Day at School!

Yes, Abby has graduated Kindergarten, but because of the number of snow days we experienced over the winter she still has another week of school.   They are calling it Spirit Week and the first day of Spirit week was Crazy Hair Day!
We braided pipe cleaners into her braids and sprayed with some colored hair spray.

and yes, it all washed off in the tubby that night!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Class of 2023!

Kindergarten graduation was last week.  Lots of songs, diplomas, talk of the class of 2023! 

Gosh, this picture to me makes her look like a teenager.  yikes!

 First grade here she comes. 
Quick, somebody grab me the tissues.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Worth $55 all day long......

Recently friends of ours decided to put a pool in their yard and pass along their older swing set.  I had my doubts at first.  I did not want an old heap of wood in our yard that was going to be an eyesore or be unsafe.  But my husband assured me for just a little money "he could make her what she ain't" or some saying like that they use in the boat business along with putty and glue. 

So with a little time and effort from Daddy and $55 spent at the hardware store lo and behold we have a really nice swing set/jungle gym!

and two very happy kids!  and you can't beat a bargin like that!!