Friday, September 26, 2014

Quick 5

It's fall!  At least, that's what they tell me.  You wouldn't know it by the 88 degree days we've been having this week.  It's really putting the skids on my All Soup All The Time plan.

1.  Last Friday we had a rare family lunch date.  Alaina didn't have school, and Lee was working from home.  And Lee had secured some free meals from Freddy's by way of a raffle win and a trade.  So we took the girls out for lunch.  It was delicious.  Although girls who eat slow at home eat even slower at a restaurant where there are many many more things to look at.

2.  Last Saturday was our final church family hike of the season.  We hiked Mount Falcon, which is a really great hike near Denver.  In fact, at the ruins you have a nice view of Denver.  It was a beautiful day and the mountain smelled so good.  My parents came with us, which was a huge help in keeping track of girls.  I didn't get the best pictures, but the good Children's Ministry leaders did, so it all worked out.

 3.  Alaina had another eye check up this week.  She's doing great.  Her bad eye is right on the cusp of being 20/20, so the doctor wants us to patch for a couple of months to see if we can push it over the edge.  She wears the patch at home for two hours, and needs to do things like dot to dot pages and color by number and hidden pictures to really train that eye to focus.  Our patches consist of baby socks that slide over her glasses.  It was a great idea, since I was just about to throw away a bunch of baby socks that were missing partners and that Bria is too big for anyway.  Alaina complains most of the time.
4.  Speaking of patches, Alaina and Joya wanted you to see them with the patches they've earned so far in Awana:
She hasn't earned any patches yet.
 5.  This last thing falls under If It's Funny Later, It's Funny Now.  But it isn't funny now.  It's actually a real problem that has us at a loss.  I'm sure you remember Joya eating cookies in the night.  That was cute, I suppose.  Then the other day she came out of room time smacking her lips.  I asked her what she was eating and of course she said nothing.  But very quickly she confessed to sneaking a sucker in at room time.  She had hidden the stick under her bed.  She was disciplined, and after the discipline confessed that she had gotten up in the night and eaten a sucker.  I had heard her come out of her room at about 2:30 in the morning.  But I thought I had put all the food away.  Then last night she didn't eat all her dinner, and therefore didn't earn dessert, which was a cake pop made by one of Lee's coworkers.  But at bedtime, as I was gathering the girls to go brush teeth, I went into the kitchen only to see a huge mess of crumbs and one missing cake pop.  I know it'll be funny later, but the blatant sneaking of food and lying initially about it is baffling us.  It's no longer cute.  Obviously we'll be much more diligent about putting food and snacks out of her reach at all times.  And she's had some stiff restrictions placed on her.  But that's all I know to do.  And of course, I feel like I'm getting a glimpse of how God feels about us, when He's given us instructions on how to live and we blatantly do the opposite.  It's a yucky feeling.

But here are some cute faces to see you out:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Quick 5

Isn't September glorious?

1.  Last week, for the first time in my whole life, I made homemade jambalaya complete with a roux.  I had never made a roux before, mostly because I was scared to.  But I did it, and I only did it because I had Lee's help.  I stirred for the first 20 minutes, then he stirred for another 15 while I did the rest of the prep, then I stirred for the final 10.  There is no way on earth I could make a roux if I were home alone with the girls cooking.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  But I did it, and it turned out beautifully.  And the jambalaya would have been perfect if the rice hadn't been crunchy.  Why on earth was the rice crunchy?  I followed the directions to the letter.  I did not open the pot at all to stir.  I believe I had the liquid to rice ratio correct.  My only theories are that a.) I didn't get the liquid to a rolling enough boil before adding the rice, so the simmering temp was off or b.) the cast iron dutch oven I was using didn't have a tight enough seal on the lid.  The crunchy rice bummed me out, but the flavor was pretty awesome.

2.  So this happens quite often at our house now:
Bria will be playing nicely, then she'll go behind the couch and come out sans pants.  As if stripping off her socks wasn't enough.

3.  Last weekend I took the girls to the park.  Alaina was thrilled because she "doesn't ever get to go anymore!"  Never mind that she gets THREE recesses on a playground each day.  But it was a beautiful day.  I thought it would be nice to get some pictures of the girls.  Bria had other ideas.
Tasting the wood chips to compare them to the other wood chips at other parks.
So much for a nice Sisters picture
 4. Alaina had Thursday and Friday off of school this week due to parent teacher conferences, so she was able to join me at my Thursday morning kid watching gig.  The kids are all three and under, so Alaina was the oldest one in there.  She played all morning.  But to hear her talk about it, she spent all morning watching kids.  Granted she was a big help when it came to clean up, and she did read the kids a story.  I believe I'm still the one that shouldered most of the burden (and there's a trash can with two poopy diapers to prove it.)  I do love watching her grow up and become so much more of a help.

5.  This also happens at our house quite often:
What kind of kid would she be if she didn't empty the toy basket and use it to sit in?

Need a fun thing to do this weekend?  Join our church for our last family hike of the season!  We're meeting at the West Mount Falcon Trailhead at 9:00am.  There will be a BBQ at the end of the hike, so bring a side dish or dessert to share and stay for lunch.  It will be a beautiful day and we DO live in Colorado.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Quick 5

Today I am thankful that we never got around to taking the electric blanket off our bed in the spring.

1.  On Monday I left the little girls home with Lee and went to pick Alaina up after school.  I had gotten there about 10 minutes early, so I parked in line, turned off the car, but turned back on the power to listen to the radio and read a book.  Then the cars started moving, so I went to start my engine and POW everything shut off.  I didn't even have power locks. Of course there were cars lined up behind me and I couldn't even turn on my hazards, so I popped the hood and jumped out to let the other cars know they had to go around.  Thankfully almost immediately three people came running over to see if I needed help. I did. I needed jumper cables and a car to give me a jump.  In fairly short order the car was jumped and we all began to creep through the line.  I got about seven more car lengths along in line when, as I was driving forward, everything just shut off again. I had to do the same routine.  This time the gentleman that gave the jump helped me push the van into a parking spot, where we tried again to jump the car.  This time it wouldn't even do that.  I ran over to the kids and picked up Alaina then went back to the van to figure out what to do.  I thanked everyone who was helping me and said I was going to need to call my husband and a friend, because someone was going to need to come get us, since I had the carseats and Lee didn't.  But the guy and his wife insisted on bringing us home.  They had a van, so they loaded up all our car seats, his wife sat on the floor in the back and they took us home.  In my stressed out state of mind I only caught that her name was Maureen; I don't even remember his name.  But I was so grateful it died in the parking lot and not while I was driving down Kipling or something, because clearly that was a possibility.  Also, as embarrassing as it was, I was thankful it happened during the busiest time of after-school pick up because there were so many people around to help.  I got help instantly, without even really having to ask around.  There are some good families at Alaina's school.

2.  It truly was just the battery on the car.  It was so lame we had to get it towed for that reason, but at least that was an easy fix.  The van needed a few more things so it turned out to be pricey, as car things always tend to do, but the shop had it ready for us by Tuesday afternoon.  And we've never done anything to that van but change the oil for the past two years that we've had it, so we're trying to be grateful for that too.

3.  Alaina got a fun package in the mail this week: a tub of letter cookies from Gramma Kimble!  It's our first taste of anything from Trader Joe's and I'm pleased.  Of course we had to find the letters in their names:
I gave Alaina's to her in her school lunch, but since she ate them at snack she didn't take the time to spell out her name.  And now we have no more As.

4.  At 4:00 this morning I heard Joya wandering around.  I keep all our doors mostly closed; you know, partially cracked.  Well, I heard our door close and it freaked me out.  So I got out of bed and saw that the girl's door was normal.  I looked down the hall and saw Joya in the living room.  I asked her what she was doing and she said she didn't know.  So I sent her to bed.  Fast forward to this morning while she was coloring before room time.  I can't even remember exactly what she said, but she was singing a little song about cookies in the night.  So I said, "Joya, did you get up in the night and eat the letter cookies?"  She got that stricken I've Been Caught look on her face and finally nodded.  It now answers the question of what she was doing so far away from her bedroom at 4:00 in the morning.  She's never done anything like that before.  I always pray that the girls' sin will find them out, and it looks like this is a classic case.

5.  Oh Bria.  Her new thing is to play Dead Man when I put her to bed at night.  We brush her teeth and go into her room and she becomes like a dead man in my arms. She just becomes dead weight and it's very hard to get her settled in bed that way.  She giggles and then squirms and wiggles and generally doesn't cooperate.  She's not fussing, just playing a game.  A game I loathe.
Don't be fooled by that face
Enjoy the snowflakes today!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Quick 5

I'm glad that cooler weather is here, because I've been ready for a good bowl of soup for a long time now.

1.  Perhaps one of my larger failures in marriage has been the failure to adequately supply my husband with dessert.  (At least I think it's one of my larger failures.  Obviously you'll have to ask him.)  I don't know why.  It probably stems from my self-centered behavior of preferring salty to sweet, so I just don't think about it.  But we were desperate, so I busted out some made from scratch brownies.  They'll do because we don't have anything else, but they definitely leave much to be desired.  However, thanks to the power of social media, I am now armed with several homemade brownie recipes that I'm excited to try.  When I remember to make dessert next time.

2.  Alaina has made a new friend at school: a second grader named Alayna (who is actually the daughter of a gal I went to church with a long time ago.)  Alaina loves that there is another girl named Alayna there.  This morning she told me that Alayna promised to wear her sneakers to school today so she could help chase the boys.  "Not to kiss them, Mom!" Alaina assured me.  "Just for fun!"  Oh to be in first grade again.

3.  Here are my Cubbie and Sparkie:
They were all decked out for Crazy Hair Night.  I found it most impressive that Alaina was willing to be that crazy.  It's taken her four years to get into the spirit of things.  Then Joya absolutely chickened out.  I didn't see that coming, but I should have, based on how Alaina reacted the first few times she went to Crazy Hair Night.  Joya thought she looked "ridiculous" and that everyone would make fun of her.  No amount of talking about how everyone would be crazy could convince her.  So she did not go looking like that.  Maybe next year.

4.  Our week of having Lee work from the office while we have to do the school drop-off/pick-up thing went very smoothly.  It was almost a non-issue.  Last year the girls were very good about waiting in the car for Alaina to come out.  This year Joya's patience is quite short.  She's good, but she spend the time saying things like "Why aren't you going  Mom?"  "Just go!"  "This is taking forever!"  I think the difference is last year there were only about 10 of us moms who picked up the kids, so we were able to park right next to the playground.  This year every parent has to pick up their kid, so we're probably 20th or so in line, which means we are out in the big parking lot, and not next to the playground.  Bria has been a gem; Joya has turned into quite the backseat driver.  Hopefully she'll catch on soon that I can't very well drive forward if there is another car directly in front of me.  Needless to say, her dad will be teaching her how to drive.

5.  I am very much enjoying the zucchini that comes out of our garden.  We only get one or two at a time, which actually isn't quite enough.  Next year I'm going to plant two plants (which apparently I should have done this year anyway.)  Mostly we grill it, but last night I roasted it in the oven with some garlic.  I about gorged myself.  While I'm not getting enough zucchinis, I'm getting more than enough tomatoes.  Confession: I don't know what to do with them all.  They're little guys, but they are plentiful.  Confession #2: I grow tomatoes so I can have BLTs.  That's it, really.  But I'm getting too many for even that.  And no, I'm not really interested in canning, although maybe I should be.  But I don't really have the moola for the expense that it would take to get that going.  So I have an abundance of small tomatoes.  Anyone want any?

Welcome September!  I've always liked you.