Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making Chocolate Letters

I was looking for a simple way to include the baby's name on some cheesecakes for a baby shower recently.  I didn't want to have to make fancy icing and get out all the tools for that so I tried something that worked pretty well.  Using chocolate chips, wax paper, letter cookie cutters, and cooking spray I made chocolate initials of the little guy we were celebrating.  One plus of using chocolate is that if you mess up, you can always melt it again and start over. 

Melt about 1/2(?) cup chocolate chips in a bowl.  Lay a piece of greased wax paper on a plate and spread the chocolate onto the wax paper, making sure it's thick enough for your letters.  Place your letters in the chocolate and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so.  (I didn't time this but kept checking it.)  Remove from fridge when chocolate has hardened a little bit, enough so that you can remove the letters and stencils from the chocolate and remove from the wax paper.  Let the letters, with the slightly hardened chocolate, cool even longer in the fridge still in the cookie cutters.  When chocolate is nearly hard, gently remove the chocolate letters from the stencils.  If one breaks, you can do it again or cover the break with a tiny bow like I did! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey Fun

Grandpa Stacy and Grandma Carol have a tradition of coming to our house before our camp auction each year.  Grandma Carol always brings a food project for the children to put together and add to the tables of auction items.  This year it was these adorable turkeys made from oreos, whoppers, reeses, chocolate frosting, and candy corn.  The picture I have is without the eyes that they added later, using a dab of red icing and a chocolate sprinkle.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ready for snow

 Last weekend we woke up to a beautiful snowy morning.  My boys were utterly thrilled.  Before breakfast, Kade came to me like this...all ready to go play outside.  Got to love their enthusiasm.
 Here's the first snowman of the year.
Waiting and watching.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cody's three and a half months

Our Cody is smiling ever so much, and we're finding that he's very social.  He loves watching the action of those around him and can hardly keep from wriggling with smiles when someone talks to him. 

He weighs 15 lbs. 8 oz. and wears 3-6 month clothing...but not much longer!

He likes taking baths, lying under his hanging toys, sleeping with mommy, waking up late in the morning, classical music in the van (at least he gets quiet when it's playing), laughing at DJ's antics, and taking long naps in the car seat.

He's loving his new bumbo seat.  The other boys didn't have one, but when our bouncy seat broke, I decided to try this out.  I'd heard so many good things about them, but they're very expensive.  I found one at Once Upon A Child and so far, it has been wonderful!  He watched the boys getting their baths the other night with not a single complaint.  He watches me cook while sitting up on the counter (the warning on the seat says not to place on elevated surfaces so I am always nearby and will have to be cautious as he gets bigger and moves around more).  It's portable and just what we needed!

Making Granola

I made granola this weekend and decided it'd be fun to share pictures.   When I
first married, I bought granola and found that it was rather expensive.  Often I was disappointed with the ingredients.  Finally, I started making it, and usually we have some on hand.  Kent really likes putting it on our oatmeal and ice cream.  The boys like it with plain yogurt and some fruit.  I like it with a few chocolate chips mixed in (but that's when no one's looking!)

 I always put nuts in ours, usually chopped almonds or walnuts.

I like to use a mixture of oats, triticale, and barley that I order in large quantites from a co-op.

So here's the basic recipe...but it's very flexible!

10 cups rolled oats or any other rolled grain
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups choppd nuts
1 cup dried fruit

Pour oats in a large bowl.  Stir honey and and oil together.  Add mixture to the oats and stir well.  Chop nuts and add to oat mixture.  Grease large glass pan and pour mixture into the pan.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 35-40 minutes (the total time I'm uncertain about!).  Check every 10-15 minutes and stir.  Remove from oven when oats are lightly browned.  Cool and add dried fruit.

You can vary the amount of oil, honey, nuts and fruit to your liking.  I've found that it works out pretty well no matter what!  Just don't forget about it.  I've burnt a large pan of granola to a blackened mess.  That's what I get for relying on my memory instead of a timer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Striped Deals

I don't really go shopping much.  To clarify, I don't go clothes shopping much.  I figure that there will be plenty of time for that later.  Right now, I'm busy raising my babies and trying to keep up with teenagers growing up, and as much as I like wearing something nice, I just don't lately.  At least when I'm home during the day.  Usually, it's comfy exercise pants and a sweatshirt.  That way I don't mind when greasy hands get wiped on me, the baby spits up, or dinner splatters on my clothes.  But I do love hunting down a deal when I get a chance.  My favorite thing is the thrift store.  You can find such nice quality items at times, but it takes a lot of looking.  I do like that when I have time.  The other day, Kent took the boys geocaching.  My girls were at a youth retreat.  So Cody and I had fun at the thrift store (he slept and I had fun).  I found these two good-looking shirts for Kent.  At least I liked them...and he didn't say they looked like tablecloths (he has said that before). :)

Geocaching with dad

 This Sunday afternoon we went on a bike ride with a purpose.  Kent found the coordinates of nearby geocaches and we took off on a "treasure hunt." 
 Here Kent records our find in the log book of this cache.
 DJ exchanges a little treasure of his own for one in the cache.
 This was one of the only places I saw pretty leaves.  For the most part, they're gone, but we're having beautiful warmer weather the past couple days.  Love it!

Some of the family, along with a neighbor boy, looking for the hidden cache.
 Our line-up of bikes and trailers.  Cody is fast asleep in the last trailer.
 Our Malia.  Growing up so fast!

A close-up of one of the caches and Kent's GPS. 

I quit a little early because I thought Cody would wake up and be ready to eat, so I biked home alone along paths through the woods.  What a beautiful quiet time.  I really enjoyed it and thought I was so far ahead of the rest of them.  I barely made it in the house and I heard voices in the garage.  I guess I wasn't as fast as I thought. 

Geocaching is such a fun activity, especially when coupled with biking or hiking.  Once you have a GPS, it's practically a free sport.  The initial cost of a GPS is a lot, but I think they're getting cheaper and you don't have to have the most expensive one to do the job!  Kent has found over 600 caches, most of them within a 7 mile radius of our house. 

Geocaching has other benefits as well.  Once it got me out of a speeding ticket that I deserved (although I wasn't meaning to speed)!  The officer that stopped me told me that my husband's name was so familiar.  He kept insisting that he knew my Kent's name.  I assured him that my husband hadn't been in trouble lately. :)  He laughed and after he checked things out, asked me if my husband geocached.  He then told me to tell Kent that "bald eagle" said hello.  I guess that was his geo name.  He went on to tell about his outings with his son.  I had to say a big "thank you" to him...and to Kent when I got home! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm a poet

It worked for a day or two and then we were back to the same old mess. :)  Oh well.  I thought I'd share and hopefully find a solution for our shoes somewhere.  Don't you think I should write more quality poetry!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Around our house this month...

Busy days of laundry, school work, and play

Reading books...even upside down

Smiling baby Cody

Silly brothers "sleeping" on the stairs

DJ holding Cody, showing him the "magic window" as DJ calls it

It almost seems magic.  Cody loves this spot!

Sporting some old glasses and feeling quite grown-up!

Little frogs that go everywhere with Kade...from the doctor to the highchair, to church and up to camp

Bike rides with daddy

In the bike trailer getting ready to find a geo-cache

Levi's pinecone people we made recently

Our candlelight dinner tonight...all very spontaneous and instigated by my candle fire-loving boys.

We're Hiding