Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swim Lessons

Noah and Kaitlyn began a 2 week course of swim lessons this week. We were fortunate enough to come across a girl in our ward who teaches them right in her backyard for a very reasonable price. Yesterday was day 2, and Noah is already beginning to swim without assistance. Kaitlyn is very brave and tries to keep up with her brother. She dunks freely and is very close to swimming on her own. As for Jacob, I opted not to sign him up because he can already go off the diving board and is swimming quite well on his own; I think all he needs is time in the water to improve his skills. It amazes me how quickly kids pick up swimming once they gain water confidence and the strength to kick and paddle. I suppose it's a little like riding a bike- one day they just take off.

She Cooks!

Last night our sweet Ashlee treated the family to dinner... and gave Mom the night off. A friend of mine was hosting an Usborne Books at Home party (they are great books and come highly recommended) and one of the books I ordered for our library was the Healthy Cookbook for kids. Ashlee shares my love of food, and I knew she would be eager to try out the recipes. Last night she prepared barley beef stew and potato cabbage mustard mash. Let me just say, yum! Seriously, yum! This was a very sophisticated meal and not what you would expect from your run-of-the-mill kids' cookbook. We were so proud of her and she was positively giddy at how delicious the food turned out. At the end of the meal she was eagerly volunteering to cook dinner for the family more often. Did I object? Hmmm, would you?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

5 Months

On Tuesday Rachel turned 5 months, and I am more in love with her than ever. I love the way she loves me. I love to watch her little ankles circle around and her feet rub together when she nurses. I love how she giggles when I zip up her jammies. I love how she squints at the loudness of her own delightful squeals. I love holding her in my lap and feeding her an entire mug of rice cereal with applesauce, one tiny spoonful at a time. I love having her crib in our bedroom (even if it does mean getting up sometimes several times a night to sleepily cross the room and retrieve a lost pacifier.) I love how, when I lay her down, her little arms flap and flail until I give her the pacifier, then her eyes roll back and she caresses her blanket until she falls asleep. I am definitely finding more enjoyment with each baby, and the time seems to pass more quickly (which is sad in some regard but also a blessing.) I could definitely do a lifetime of this.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Haagen Dazs Bananas Foster

Ever since I was a kid I have had a love for all things banana- banana smoothies, banana candy, banana popsicles, banana pudding, banana bread- if banana is a choice, I pick it. Well, the other night I sent Forrest into the store to pick out some ice-cream, and he came back with this:
Let me just say, this ice-cream is the epitome of all things banana. If you are a banana lover like myself, I recommend you give it a try. It is so good it'll make you want to hide in the backyard from your kids and eat a bowl... I am just saying.

(Don't pretend like you've never done that.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Thought

"When we stop judging others, we are free to be ourselves."

~Author unknown

Checking In

So apparently my summer break from blogging has caused undue concern for some. Suddenly I'm "laying low," "flying under the radar, "... a little quiet." Hmmm, let me think for a minute. Nope! Still here, living life to it's fullest, just not from behind the screen. I do, however, regret not having the camera on our day trip to SF, or last weekend on the beach in Tahoe. Nevertheless, those memories are imprinted in my mind, which is perhaps a better place for them anyways. Here goes...

I let Kaitlyn "borrow" the camera one afternoon so she could snap some shots of the kitty. All I could hear as she followed him around the house was a repeated "click-flash, click-flash." Later in the day I reviewed the memory card, and this is what I found. I was surprised at how entertained I was to get a glimpse of daily life from Kaitlyn's POV (she even caught me nursing Rachel.) I especially love the shots that captured her little foot.
Speaking of kitties, we have 3 left, 2 of which still need homes. Any takers? I am seriously trying to avoid taking them to a grocery store in a cardboard box and sending them off into the unknown. We were fortunate enough to adopt the first two out to good, loving homes of well-known friends, and are wishing the same for these last two. It is hard to see them go at all. Lily is such a good mama and it just feels unnatural to separate them from her, being that they are still nursing and all. At the same time, Forrest is running out of patience for them.
A milestone this week: Rachel started rice cereal. She just hasn't been satisfied after nursing, and my instincts told me she needed more. Boy was I right. She laps it off the spoon without making a face or gagging like babies usually do. She not only accepted it, she had been waiting for it and loves it.
And, with the end of summer rapidly approaching, we are gearing up for another homeschooling year. My latest task was labeling all of the bins that hold our school supplies. This way, the kids have no excuse not to be organized.
Looks like a real classroom, doesn't it?

Friday, July 23, 2010


A bumper sticker on the back of a station wagon I passed yesterday read:

"In the final days, God said there would be an Obama-nation. Well, GUESS WHAT..."

I had to give the old lady a thumbs up.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Foods

I realize I have cut way back on the blogging, which is a good thing because I'd rather live my life than blog it... BUT, I thought I'd take a moment to check in.

We are very happy that the Farmer's Market is up and running, and made our first trip last Thursday. All I could think of as I was driving home munching on cherry tomatoes right out of the basket was, "Holy cow, this is how produce is supposed to taste." And, because I couldn't fathom such a thing as drenching my fresh salad in store-bought dressing, I came up with a homemade buttermilk ranch that is oh-so-delicious... nothin' but a little mayo, some buttermilk, and fresh herbs and spices. Here, I'll share:

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch
1/2 c. real mayonnaise
1 clove minced fresh garlic
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
1-2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
Buttermilk (enough to thin to desired consistency)
dash of paprika
salt and pepper to taste
The other thing we love about summer is... Homemade ice-cream! Our first batch was butter pecan.
Toasting pecans in butter gives off a wonderful aroma.
The kids love to help with this.
A drizzle of chocolate syrup makes it just right.
Next up, chocolate. This is a classic and is always my personal favorite.
And, in between eating ice-cream and hangin' out pool side, Ashlee and I are training for this:
It's a 5K run on September 18th.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Folsom Firecracker

Last weekend Ashlee and I completed the Folsom Firecracker 5k run. This was our first mother-daughter run, and Ashlee did amazing! She would start to fall back, then moments later I would hear a, "Hi Mom," and she'd be right at my side again. We ended up crossing the finish line within 30 seconds of each other! I am so proud of her.
I shaved 3 minutes off my last 5k time and ran all but about 10 seconds of it. We lucked out with it being such a cool day in July! The trail was very nice- shady and not too hilly.
"Good job Ash!"
They were giving out FREE Jamba Juice afterwards... mmm!
Me and my crew. I am so thankful that I am able to keep up my passion with all these kids in tow, and now be sharing it with my daughter.

Caesar Salad Supreme

Caesar salad has always been one of our favorite salads, but I've never been able to find a dressing that I've been crazy about. So, this past week I went out on a limb and tried my hand at a Caesar salad from scratch... it turned out soooo delicious that I don't think I'll ever do store-bought again! I was a little nervous about the kids coming in the kitchen and seeing the anchovies out on the counter (you know they are a classic ingredient in authentic Caesar dressing, no?) but no one seemed to mind. I must say, they gave the dressing great flavor. This salad could stand alone as a meal.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Message to the Mothers

Take 3 1/2 minutes to be reminded of why we are here.