Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Offline, modem down

This is Jackie's sis, Stacie. She wanted me to tell you that her modem died. Hoping to be get back online by this weekend.

If you need to contact her, please call!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RB Floats at Mad Mary's

Last Friday we went to adorable town of Joseph to visit Michael and attend a barbecue for the range department . You can't go to Joseph without getting some enormous treat from Mad Mary's. They're motto is "Everything Fun and Fattening". Boy, is that true! Look at the size of these rootbeer floats! I had no idea how big they were going to be, so I ordered two. BIG Mistake - one would have been enough for the four of us. The glass must have been 10 inches tall.

"Wheee! I don't get refined sugar very often, so I'm on a major sugar high!"

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Dutch Baby - A Healthy Breakfast Recipe

Oh, boy! I made this recipe this morning out of my new MOPS cookbook (altering it to make it healthier) and oh my gosh, my son (who never asks for seconds) asked for thirds! Super easy, healthy, cheap and tasty - just they way I like my breakfasts. I just had to share my healthy version of this recipe with all of you.

Dutch Baby Ingredient List:
2 chopped apples or pears (skins on or off)
2 to 4 T butter
sucanat or honey
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 eggs
pinch salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Chop apples or pears, saute in butter in 10 1/2 inch oven-proof skillet (could use a smaller or bigger pan or dutch oven, just depends on how thick you want it to be) on medium high heat until fairly tender. If you want them to get done faster, put a lid on to steam.
2. Sprinkle some sucanat or honey and cinnamon to taste over sauteed fruit.
3. Meanwhile in medium bowl, whisk together milk, flour, eggs and salt. Pour over fruit when it is done being sauteed.
4. Put in oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes. When it is done, it will look like the picture below. Golden brown and puffed up.

5. When you take it out of the oven to cool, the middle will sink down. I sprinkled a little bit of sucanat on the top, sliced it up as you would a pie and served. You could also serve this with honey, whipped cream or homemade maple syrup that I make from sucanat (see Lables-->Recipes-->Condiments on my sidebar). Enjoy!

BTW, this recipe can easily be doubled, just use a larger or two pans and increase cooking time.
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sweet Sympathy

I got this beautiful hand-stamped card from a good friend whose name is Bev (actually she was my babysitter when I was a kid). When she read on the blog that our beloved family dog, Oscar, had died, she sent me this card. It was so cute and sweet and I just had to share it with you all. This picture is the front of the card.

This was the precious note inside. As with most of her cards, this one will make it into my scrapbook. Thanks again, Bev! I'm doing a lot better now. Time really does heal, but people like you make the healing process easier. God bless all of you who helped carry me through this loss.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

WWII Birthday Party, Part 4

What's a party without a pinata? We found this patriotic star. Don't you just love Hailey's pink camo skirt?

The kids all got a turn wacking the pinata and let me tell you there wasn't much left after the kids got done with it. We really got our money's worth out of that pinata!

We sent MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) home with all the kids. Our kids wanted to eat them for dinner. Michael helped them heat them up and they had a great MRE picnic "in the field".

Marcus is working up the courage to eat an imitation barbecue pork sandwich. Well, that's the highlights. Hope you've enjoyed the party vicariously! Stacie will be posting her pictures on her blog soon.
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WWII Birthday Party, Part 3

How cool is this cake? Stacie's boys had some miniature WWII toys, so we simply ordered a "battle field" cake and let the boys decorate it with their toys. Didn't they do a great job? Oh, and check out the plates I got on Ebay. They actually had Sherman tanks (a popular American WWII tank) on them. The boys noticed, too!

Here are the birthday warriors. Josh (11), Marcus (9) and Josiah (6). Notice the camo net in the background for added ambiance.

Can you see Josiah? He got Camo everything for his birthday. He got a backpack, jacket, Boonie hat, comforter and sheets for his birthday. He loves it all!

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WWII Birthday Party, Part 2

So we started off the party by giving everyone treat bags. In the treat bags, there was a squirt gun, a water soaker grenade and dog tags. We even threw in a Hershey's bar and a stick of gum just like what WWII soldiers were given on the front. We kicked off the party with a squirt gun/water soaker grenade fight. Praise God the rain held off for the party. It was just warm enough for water fights.

Then we moved on to an all out assault using water balloon grenades.

It was nice because even the little ones could enjoy these water fights. The big kids did very well not getting too rough with the little ones. I love our big backyard. It works great for "wars".
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WWII Birthday Party, Part 1

Since Josiah and two of his cousins have birthdays right next to each other, we've started combining their parties into one big themed birthday party. This year's theme was WWII. All the boys are really into WWII as you will see by the following pictures. We kicked off the party with a family lunch at Primo's Pizza where the kids enjoyed playing at the arcade first. We had 18 people there, just with the immediate family who were able to show up for this part.

We went back to the house and the kids "practiced" while we finished getting the party together. Michael and I got Josiah a real "steel pot" helmet and Swiss army bag. He loved it!

We roped the grandparents into filling up water balloon grenades.

Stacie and I dressed as war brides. I got both these vintage 40's dresses for super good deals. The one I'm wearing, I got for $5, and the one Stacie is wearing, I got for $15. I'm taller than Stacie, but it really looks like it in this picture because she's wearing flats and I'm wearing heels. We turned on some swing music during the party, which really added to the atmosphere.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday, Josiah!


Dear Josiah,
Happy 6th birthday, my dear son! You are a delight to my heart. I think the thing I love about you most is your enthusiasm for life. I love that, like me, you get excited about things. You have an adventuresome spirit that makes me want to show you the world.

You are so much fun to homeschool because you love to learn new things. I feel privileged that God has called me to be your teacher. You teach me so much every day. The questions you ask absolutely amaze me. You always go to the heart of any subject and keep me “asking Jeeves” questions often. I love that you are in the middle of first grade and already learning to read when technically you should be just starting kindergarten. I can’t wait to see how you will continue to excel in your studies and where your passions and interests will lead you.

You are a wonderful big brother to Hailey. You are learning to love and protect her. It warms my heart when I see you comfort her when she gets hurt. She loves you and looks to your example everyday. I know you take your role as the big brother seriously. Thank you for helping me to protect her.

I also saw a hero’s side of you this summer. When you and Grandma Kricket got into the dirt bike wreck and you stayed calm and lifted the bike off her leg and then took care of her until we were able to get to you guys, it was the proudest moment of my life. Through that incident, I knew you are destined to make a difference in this world. You’re six years old and it is already happening. I love your hero’s heart!

Your heart and understanding of the Lord are so strong. There aren’t many kids your age that understand spiritual warfare the way you do. You know you have the power through the Holy Spirit to do good and not evil. You know you can’t do it on your own and that God is the one who can help you not be afraid. Understanding these spiritual concepts will serve you well throughout your time on this earth. I praise God that you already “get” these things.

As I prepare another grand themed birthday party for you and your cousins (WWII this time), I do it with such love in my heart. You boys truly have a warriors’ heart. My most significant prayer for you is that your warrior’s heart will always fight for the souls of the lost people in this world. That you will fight for the kingdom of God.

I love you, son. You are a joy and delight to my life. Even though we get frustrated with each other sometimes, I love that we can always talk things through and come to a better understanding of each other. I praise God for giving me the privilege of raising a warrior for Christ.

Love You Forever,
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baked Garlic, Brie with Bacon on Whole Wheat Toast Recipe

This is our family's traditional Sunday morning breakfast. Ironically, I actually got this recipe from a Jewish friend of mine before she started observing some of the food laws. There is something about this combination of baked brie and garlic spread on homemade whole wheat toast, topped with bacon that tantalizes our taste buds. These foods go so well with each other. You could even leave off the bacon and this recipe would still be good. Oh and did I mention it is super simple to make? We even get the kids involved with this recipe.

Ingredients List (for a family of 4):
2 small wheels of brie cheese or 1 larger wheel
1 1/2 heads of garlic
1/2 loaf of homemade 100% whole wheat bread
1/2 lb of bacon

Here is the order in which I cook everything so that it is all done at the same time so we can eat it while it is still warm.

1. I soak my garlic baker lid in some water while I preheat the oven to 350. During this time, I also cut the tops of the garlic heads off and put a little pat of butter on top of each (if you really want to get fancy you can sprinkle a little bit of Italian seasoning on top of the butter).
2. After oven is preheated, put lid on garlic baker and put in oven. Set timer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, put brie wheels or wedges in a pan that has sides (it can get greasy as you can see by the picture above).
3. After timer goes off, add brie to oven (place next to garlic baker) and set timer for 15 more minutes.
4. While brie and garlic are cooking, start cooking the bacon and getting the bread sliced and toasted.
5. When timer goes off again, take everything out of oven and start building your breakfast. You want to spread the brie while it is hot or it doesn't go on very well. On a slice of toast, spread with baked brie, top with baked garlic cloves and bacon. Do this for all slices of toast. Michael and I eat 2 a piece, while the kids eat one each.

This is a very hearty breakfast that will get you and your kids through church and to your next meal.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last Minute Fun; Desert Vacation: Part 9

When we got back from the hot springs soak, Michael worked on repairing the deck. Hailey was his little helper. She'd hand him tools and help wherever she could. It was so cute. He is unbelievable patient with her. Good shot of the Pueblo Mts. behind them.

Just before the sun went down we finally had a chance to fly the kite that Josiah got in his stocking last Christmas. It is a bald eagle and it really looks just like one when it is flying in the air. You can see a good shot of the edge of the dry lake bed in this picture.

Hailey got to fly her first kite. Hers was a hawk. The wind picked up here, so we didn't get to fly kites for very long. The wind is so strong, it'll destroy a cheap kite really quickly if you aren't careful. Michael and Josiah got to do a little target practicing as you can see by the targets set up. Great place for it!

Here is a picture of the trailer. The rats and mice had a one too many a good time in this place when it is locked up for the winter, so my mom and step-dad have had to basically gut it, take out all the carpet, bedding and furniture and lay linoleum which is easy to clean. You have to set traps every night inside the trailer and on the deck to keep them out of there even while you are sleeping in the trailer. They've got steel-wool stuffed everywhere to try to keep them out, but they are wily little devils. We caught 1 huge rat and one mouse while we were there. Mom and Larry caught a whole family of rats before we even got there. I'm so grateful that they have figured out a way to use the trailer despite the rat problem. It gets so windy around there that tent camping is impossible. You really need some place to get out of the wind. Anyway, here is a picture of the trailer, all buttoned up for the winter, overlooking Alvord Lake Bed. It is a gorgeous view from here. I took this picture just before we left for home. Thanks to all of you who hung in there for nine whole posts of our trip. I just really wanted to show you the beauty that can be found in the desert. Just like what God sees in us. Good-by, Alvord. God-willing, we'll get to visit you next year.
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Old Homestead; Desert Vacation Part 8

When we went for a ride with the kids, Serrano Springs is where we were headed. There is an old homestead right next to the springs. There was a no trespassing sign, which we normally would have heeded, however, we had forgotten to bring water. Michael thought I had it, and I thought he had it. Once again, lack of communication. You'd think we'd learn after our earlier experiences that weekend, wouldn't you? Anyway, we decided to got ahead and trespass just long enough to show the kids the broken down cabin with sod walls (as you can see in this picture) and to get a drink from the head of the spring.

I was a little nervous about drinking out of this spring, but we were really thirsty by this point. Michael found the source where the water was coming out of the ground and it looked really clear. So we decided to take a chance.

See how clear and clean the water is. Incidentally, none of us got sick. We drank and got off the property quickly to eat our lunch.

What a beautiful little oasis. I remember visiting this place a long time ago and there were some huge great horned owls in the trees you see behind Hailey. The were fascinating. I was hoping to show Josiah, but they were gone.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

4-Wheelin' Fun; Desert Vacation, Part 7

Late Sunday morning, we all took a trip, with me and the kids on my boss' 4-wheeler, to a spring nearby. Hailey was in a snit because she we made her wear a helmet. She screamed half way down the driveway and I almost turned back. I finally got her distracted with the lizards, butterflies and birds crossing the road in front of us and after that she was fine. We actually rode quite a ways and through some pretty thick dust ruts. I just went slow and easy and the kids did great. I felt a lot safer with the kids on the 4-wheeler. This first picture is of Josiah sitting on the 4-Wheeler just before we headed out. This is the part of the panoramic view from the deck. You can see the Pueblo Mountains in the distance. See that tiny clump of trees in the distance? That was our destination.

We packed a lunch and ate when we got there. We forgot the water, so we drank from the pristine spring. I'll post pictures of Serrano Springs later.

Michael took a picture of us at Serrano Springs, overlooking the desert (Sheep's Head Mountains in the distance), just before we took off to go home the long way. Hailey was so tired that by the end of the trip she was laying on the gas tank, trying to nap. Wish I could have gotten a picture of that!

We got back up to the trailer and Michael loaded the kids up in the truck and then followed me down (so I could ride the bike) to Alvord Hot Springs for a good soak. I finally got to ride my dad's 1970 racing dirt bike, the Suzuki 200. Loved it! This picture was taken right after we got back from our hot springs ride.
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