"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Monday, February 28, 2011

6 Year Old Logic

So, I forgot to mention that the evening after the race, our six year old was having a cramp in his right leg. He gets these all the time in both legs, and always asks for "cramping leg medicine" - aka, Tylenol. So, the other night, he wanted to know if I could give him cramping leg medicine for his right leg. I jokingly told him it would have to be for both legs. The dose he gets is two chewable pills. His question: "Will it work for one leg if I just take one?" :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Real Picture of our Skier!

Great picture! Thanks so much S. McLoughlin! See how focused he was? This is up close to the starting gate.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

First Ski Race of the Season

I always look forward to weekends. After a long week with the early morning arrival of daycare kids, it's nice to have a day to sleep in. My own kids usually sleep until 8 or 8:30, sometimes later, and we enjoy a nice, slow morning.

Well, that only happens when the six year old isn't anticipating an exciting day. This morning we were awakened at 7:20 am, with a blood-curdling scream. Unable to imagine what the problem was, we were jumping out of our skin, until he yelled, "Spider!!!" UGH. We still had some hope of going back to sleep until we heard the two year old, whom the six year old had awakened and removed from his crib. As the six year old came running to our room, for a cure to the spider issue, I told him to kill it. "But I don't have shoes on!" So I told him to get one from the front entry and hit the spider. Much banging and clanging occurred, followed by, "AAA - It's coming after me!" Then we heard the two year old repeat, "Spider, coming... spider!" Eventually the six year old jubilantly cried, "I got it!" which was followed by the two year old celebrating, "I got it! I got it!" At this point we were laughing so hard we couldn't possibly go back to sleep.

Once we got up the six year old wanted to head to the ski hill immediately. His race started at 1 pm and he didn't want to be late :) After he kept pestering us to go, we finally told him to look at the clock. It wasn't even 8 am yet.

Finally we made it up to the ski hill. He really was much more excited than this picture shows. I have ordered a new camera, but it didn't make it in time for the race, so you're stuck with my crummy pictures taken with my phone.

The kids listed 13-18 were his competition. He greatly improved his time over last year, but didn't finish as high as he hoped. When we were getting him all ready to go race, I asked him if he wanted me to clip his goggles and lift ticket (which is on a lanyard) into the snap on his helmet like we usually do. He told me I should definitely do that because he was going to be going so fast that they might blow off. He was really focused on staying tucked down the whole way down, and did a great job at it. He told me he thought he must have finished in first because he stayed tucked the whole way. So he was pretty disappointed in fourth place. But he had a great attitude about it, and said he had done his best and had a good time, which is what we had told him to focus on before hand.

My sorry phone did a horrible job capturing photos. Another parent said she took pictures of each of the kids and offered to email us copies of ours, so hopefully I'll be able to add that to the blog when I get it. In this picture, he's clear up at the top of the course, toward the upper left side of the photo.

He's closer here - coming around a gate. He's hard to see because he was lined up with the blue gate in this one, but that's the closest picture I have. Unfortunately I forgot how long the phone takes to save photos. These pictures are from the two runs he took.

Again, at the top of the course.

This was the award ceremony. We were up on a balcony at the time. He is standing under the first American flag on the left, receiving his award - a large red cowbell. Everyone got the same thing, and all the kids get called up to the front, which is nice. I'm not one of those parents who think kids should be shielded from disappointment, and that sports events should not have losers. I think there is a lot to be learned about how to handle disappointment. We encouraged him to do his best and didn't put any emphasis on winning. He had a good time and is looking forward to practicing for the other race of the year, which will be on March 12.

Now off to bed. And here's hoping there are no more spiders in the house :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Me, Addicted to Books

Wikipedia defines a Bibliophile as, "one who loves to read, admire and collect books, often amassing a large and specialized collection."

If ever there were a definition that fit me, this would be it. I joked with my sweet husband that instead of candy or flowers for Valentine's Day, he could just let me order the $300+ of books I have in my Amazon wish list. Literally, there are 76 of them at the moment... give me another day or two and that number will increase :)

My oldest son commented that he thinks the term "biblioholic" would be more accurate. Perhaps. I am very discriminate about which books I collect though, so I haven't reached the "disorder" stage yet :) I was trying to figure out if I have enough books to fill the wall of bookshelves I have planned for the new house. I want to have some extra shelf space, seeing that I am never finished buying books, and am constantly adding to my collection. But I didn't want my collection to appear embarrassingly small in comparison to the wall of shelves. (Those who have seen my collection would never think of using the word "small" to describe it.) I haven't ever taken the time (and effort) to count all my books. It would be next to impossible anyway, since we literally have books everywhere, including in boxes in the garage. I was curious about how many books I really have, so I thought I would count just the books in our bedroom. Simple, right? I figured I maybe had 30 or so books in there. That sounds like a lot doesn't it? WRONG. There were literally 97 books in our bedroom. WOW. They are on shelves, dressers, in bags, drawers, end tables, and in my Grandmother's old secretary. I was shocked. My husband, on the other hand, was not. I asked him to guess the number and he very accurately guessed "about 100." And they are not all mine - probably a third of them are his :P So then I figured I would count how many we have on our hall bookshelf, and came up with more than 200. And these don't even put a dent in our total collection. I think it's safe to say we have thousands of books. I can't wait to get them all in one place where I can catalog them and count them! At least it will be an accurate count for a day or so... until my next shipment arrives ;) HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends and family! We enjoyed a semi-quiet night at home. Our teenage daughter is out of town for the week, so we did our dinner out Sunday night, just the two of us. So on Valentine's Day, I served leftovers (romantic, eh?). It was actually better than it sounds. I mixed the crock pot minestrone soup with the leftover crock pot "fried chicken." It was just what the soup needed. The soup was excellent by itself, but we are a bunch of meat eaters here, so the missing meat was really missed. I also made crescent rolls and a cheesecake.

This is my cheesecake attempt. It was supposed to be a crock pot recipe, but to do that you had to have a baking dish that will fit inside your crock pot, and it turns out I don't... which I didn't know until I was ready to cook it :( So I put it in a pie pan and baked it. Problem is, with a crock pot, you just put it in and let it cook forever. I didn't have any idea how long it should cook in the oven. Also, I have no positive experiences with cheesecake. I didn't realize it would puff up and seem wiggly even when it was done, so I overcooked it. Imagine my shock when I went back to it and it had fallen and seemed much more brown around the edges than I wanted. Oh well. Cherry pie filling covers a multitude of flaws. And, my sweet husband said it was still really good. I'm gonna have to find a pan that will fit in the crock pot, because I think this would be really good done that way.

I told you I would get back to you with how the "fried chicken" recipe came out. It was pretty good, surprisingly it was a little crisp, too. For the most part we loved this, but decided we are definitely NOT drumstick lovers. We don't care for the flavor, and the amount of grease it put off was staggering. Next time I will use breast and thigh pieces instead (with the skin removed) and it should be great. I also think it could use more salt, but then I over-salt everything, so maybe that was just me. I had a bad cold the day I made this and that afternoon the spice smell was so intense that it kept tickling my throat and making me cough. In fact it smelled incredible within 30 minutes of putting it in to cook. Yummy. We just need to tweak it a bit.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Haircuts and a House Update

Again, sorry for the poor picture quality, but I'm still limited to taking pictures with just my phone. (Oh, and the stick is a Valentine sucker, which he had in his mouth while reading this book to his brother. He's almost as addicted to reading as his older brother, and is definitely as addicted to sweets as his older sister.)

This weekend the boys all got haircuts. The 6 year old wanted to look like his older brother, so the sides of his head are practically shaved, with just very short hair on top. I left a little longer hair on the two year old. He looks so different even with it just clipped normally. I really think he looks better with longer hair, but as much as he hates to have it cut, I figured I better make it shorter. He is still terrified of the clippers. We bought a quieter set hoping that would help, and I think it did once we got into it. The old ones were very loud. But the minute he saw me holding clippers, even before I turned them on, he went into hysterics. Maybe next time will be better. But who knows. The next day I was trimming a few of the long hairs we missed, just using scissors, and he scowled at me and said, "Not nice!"

We have good news on the home-front. Friday our well driller called to tell me he was finished drilling. The well only needed to be 110 feet (we were expecting as much as 140, so this is great news.) He also told me that we have enough water to do whatever we want with it. It is odorless and tasteless too, so yeah! good clean water!!

Then yesterday I got an email from our house mover saying he thinks he can get it out here mid-March. I wrote back to him to let him know the sooner the better, because once this snow starts melting, the bottom will go out of the lot. Right now, with everything frozen solid, I think we could place it fairly easily. Even our pothole filled road is fairly level from the snow right now. But once it starts getting wet, we will have a mucky mess. Not that I really expect it to be that warm in March, but he did reply that he is going to try to get it out here this month instead of waiting until March. He says they have the axles and wheels under it, and have all the brick removed, so hopefully we can get this done. But like I've said before, I'll believe it when I see the house. Anyway, it gives us cause to be hopeful :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Slow Cookin' Up A Storm

I have been going crazy with my slow cooker these past few days (fourth day in a row with a slow cooker dinner tonight) since I came across a site called "A Year of Slow Cooking."

This is tonight's "fried chicken" dinner, just getting started. It's so easy - dredged in a seasoning blend, then drizzled with 1/4 cup of melted butter, then just let it do it's thing. I wasn't sure how well it would work in a crock pot, and I'll have to let you know after tonight. But I can say it looks delicious ... not something I normally say about raw chicken legs. In fact I don't usually eat dark meat, but the legs were less than $5/bag, and they are HUGE. Must be mutant chickens or something. (Sadly, probably just an over-abundance of growth hormones.)

Anyway, last night we had a roast made with a jar of pepperoncini peppers - not something I normally eat, but the roast was good. We shredded the meat and put it on a bun with mozzarella cheese. The six year old complained about the heat, and the two year old cried ... a lot. I gave them their sandwiches before tasting the meat. OOPS. Won't do that again. But the rest of us liked it. The night before that we had loose meat sandwiches. This is something I remember from growing up in rural Nebraska. The flavor of this recipe wasn't quite what I remember though, so if any of my Nebraska friends can give me the "real" recipe, I would be eternally grateful. This was good, just not what I remember. The night before that, we had what she called "Lazy Chicken" - which amounts to pouring a jar of spaghetti sauce over a few chicken breasts, then serving over spaghetti. Very good, and a no-brainer. Took a whole 45 seconds to prepare. Gotta love that.

So, now I'm going to see how many days in a row I can make crock pot meals. There really is no effort involved. And with my "chief cook and bottle washer" (ie. 18 year old daughter) gone for practically the whole month, this will be right up my alley. The bonus is that there are also less pots and pans to wash :)

I love these recipes, and can't recommend that site highly enough. I'm saving up for her two cookbooks, because everything we've tried so far we have loved. I'm looking forward to trying the cheesecake recipe for Valentines day, and the minestrone recipe for Saturday (which is always soup night following a hard day of skiing for most of the troop. I always try to do that in a crock pot anyway, so it's ready when they get here. They always walk in starving to death.) What can I say, I'm hooked.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Much To Be Thankful For

Today we had our 20 week ultrasound for baby #5. I'll share some photos with you. They are hard to see, and scanning them didn't help the quality of the pictures, but when we saw them on the ultrasound machine, they were all great quality. It was such a blessing to see that our latest little one is seems to be healthy and developing normally ;)

Here's a little foot. The pictures were clear enough on the machine that we could count fingers and toes. All there :)

This is a profile picture. The left cheek is facing us, and the spine sort of goes up the picture. So the forehead is to the far right, with the nose and lips and chin sticking up toward the top ... if that makes sense.

Here is a picture of the face with the arms up next to it, and the belly to the right. It's a great view of the nose and lips.

And this is a little bit skeletal looking, but is a good view of the face straight on. The blob in the center showed up when I scanned it. There isn't a growth on the chest ;)

This was such a better scan than we had with the last one, which was fuzzy and hard to make anything out. The doctor spent a lot more time with us this time, and explained everything. She must have been in a big hurry last time. She told us last time around that we were having a girl ... which turned out to be a boy. But this was a much better experience. Also, we weren't planning on finding out if it's a boy or girl, but it was easy to see in the scan, so we know. And, we aren't telling :P At least not yet. Not even our own kids.