Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Costumes

We celebrated Halloween last night. We had our ward Halloween party and trunk or treat. We picked out costumes earlier in the week and everyone was excited to get dressed up. Max became Optimus Prime.
Mia was a rather overstuffed tiger.
She kept telling people that she was a lion.
I know it looks like a scene out of Wild Kingdom, but it's really just Zackary in a monkey costume.
Cute little monkey tail :)

Big sister tiger and little brother monkey. Our group was a little hod-podge, but everyone was happy with their costumes. At the end of the night Max and Mia had filled their candy bags and the holiday was a success.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bright and Early!

This morning all 3 of the little ones were up before 6! It was really chilly this morning. I mean like 36 degrees! I let everyone watch a Halloween show while I got dressed and then we got everyone bundled and went to Ihop. This morning they were giving away "scary" face pancakes to little trick-or-treaters. We ordered 3 :)
Everyone waited patiently.
They brought out the pancakes covered with whipped cream faces, strawberry noses, and little cups of candy for decorating.
The pancakes were huge! Zac still managed to eat half of his pancake. After breakfast we dropped Max off at school, full and happy. It was a great kick-off to our Halloween weekend even if it did begin earlier than planned!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gingerbread bites

I love these cookie cutters!
I found them on the PW website. They are hilarious!
http://www.worldwidefred.com/abc.htm
My kids would love them too. I think they are a must have :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Small and Simple Things

I set simple goals for myself today. I wanted to make really good blondies and I wanted to eat them.
Mission accomplished!
I used a recipe from the amazing Brown Eyed Baker (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/08/18/chewy-chunky-blondies/)

I will for sure be making these for relief society next month :)

Chewy, Chunky Blondies

Yield: 36 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 40 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (or 6 ounces chocolate, chopped)
1 cup butterscotch chips

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. With a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best as you can. Bake for about 30 minutes until set in the middle and a knife comes out of the center with just a few moist crumbs.

Like a ton.....

....of bricks.

We moved to Tennessee 2 1/2 years ago so that Ty could study anesthesia. I feel like since the very start we have been racing full speed towards graduation. Now I have it staring me in the face like a wall of bricks and we haven't slowed down! Ty graduates on December 2nd of this year and we will be moving on the 3rd. This is where things get slightly complicated. We have a graduation date and a move date, just not a job or a destination. For now I am gathering moving boxes and planning for our somewhat obscure journey. Ty is working hard to secure a position. We are moving forward and trying to trust in the Lord. I am just hoping that brick wall is soft and cushy when we hit it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Cowboy Prayer for Sunday




May your horse never stumble,

Your spurs never rust,
Your guts never grumble,
And your cinch never bust.

May your boots never pinch,
Your crops never fail,
May you eat lots of beans,
And stay out of jail.

–Author Unknown


Thanks PW!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Up with me

Ty has been working A LOT! Every day this week was a 12 hour day. Max was home on Fall break so I had lots of time with the kids. It went surprisingly well. We had fun activities and little outings every day. My trip to the craft store last week paid off big time. My kiddos love projects! I tried out some new recipes and cooking techniques. We all ate very well :)
I am thrilled the weekend has arrived! I made it to the gym this morning. I just love cardio. I am looking forward to a little spiritual recharge tomorrow at church. School starts again for Max on Monday and he is really excited and ready to go back. He loves to be busy. I think this next week I will finally pay off my fine at the library, because I need some new reading material desperately! I am doing well and looking forward to the next few months. Happy Saturday!

Gingerbread

I love all things gingerbread. I adore the spicy sweet combination of the molasses, cinnamon, and ginger. Every Christmas I decorate our tree in a gingerbread theme. It drives Ty crazy, but I love it!
In just over a week we will welcome a new month. I love November, because it means that Panera will begin serving their gingerbread bagels! I love these bagels so much. They are perfect toasted with just a little butter and maybe some hot chocolate on the side. I am planning on eating as many as I can before they go away again at the end of December.

We got em!

Pumpkins!
I wanted to end Max's week off with pumpkins. Max and Mia have been wanting to get pumpkins since they first showed up at the grocery store. We picked out little pumpkins that they could carry on their own and then we made pumpkin faces, Mr. Potato Head style. I cut out face pieces from black cardstock and the kids stuck them on with double sided tape. Later we made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to end the pumpkin day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

happy meals for happy kids

Max has been begging for a Mcdonalds Happy Meal for weeks. They are giving out Halloween buckets with the meal in place of a toy for Halloween. Max has been asking me daily when we might be going to Mcdonalds for such a treat. Today I gave in and bought a happy meal for all 3 kids to share. Max got to keep the bucket, Mia got to play on the playground, and Zac got to eat french fries so everyone was a winner :)

Rachel Sumner

I took the kids to see Rachel Sumner perform at the Madison branch library. She was great. The kids got really into everything. They danced and sang right along with her. She even had Zackary's attention!
She did a song about marching in a parade. All of the kids got to march behind her and pretend to play instruments in the band.
Little Zack, looking like a stud muffin. He very much enjoyed the show. After the event we read some Halloween books and enjoyed the library.

Bloom

Ty is graduating on December 2nd. We are currently in the middle of job searching. We can't wait to find out where we will be going. It is hard to think that we will be starting over again, but I am determined to be happy no matter where we end up.

More Thanksgiving

I know we haven't had Halloween yet, but I am already getting excited for Thanksgiving. I am gathering ideas for decorations and activities. My kids are still young and we are still developing traditions of our own."The Ox Cart Man" would be a great Thanksgiving read at our house.

Gratitude Garland

I love this decoration idea for Thanksgiving. The kids would love to be involved in cutting out the leaves!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Pied Piper Creamery

The Pied Piper Creamery won the best ice cream award in Nashville. It has been on my list of places to visit for quite a while. I meant to take the kids during the hot days of summer, but somehow never made it. The creamery is in East Nashville. It is a very up and coming neighborhood. The shops and restaurants are very trendy and full of lunching businessmen. I felt a bit out of place in my yellow SUV full of children. Needless to say the ice cream was Grand! Far and away better than Maggie Moo's or Coldstone. I ordered the "some like it hot". It was chocolate with cayenne and cinnamon. So awesome and right up my alley. The ice cream was creamy and almost fudgelike :)
Max had the plain chocolate in a cake cone. The server was very nice and granted Max's request for one green gummy bear on top of his ice cream!
Mia got the "trailer trash". It was vanilla ice cream with about every candy you can think of mixed in. She dug all of the candy out of the bowl and was left with plain melted vanilla, but she was happy!
As usual Zackary found something to push and got busy. The ice cream shop is teamed up with an art gallery and studio so after our treat we took a little tour. Everyone had fun and I am glad we made the trip.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

video
I made some delicious cornbread to go with our Sunday dinner. Zackary was my willing taste tester :)

Pancakes!

My family loves pancakes! It is the breakfast of choice at our house. We have plain pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, gingerbread pancakes, and pumpkin pancakes. I was happy to find that the pioneer woman has created a special pancake section on her tasty kitchen blog.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/categories/breakfastbrunch/pancakeswaffles/?page=1
Since Max is home this week we will be testing some of these pancake recipes and see if we can find some favorites.
You should too. You know you want to :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's all about me.....

Actually it's never all about me, but if it were and I could buy whatever I wanted this is what I would buy myself.
A pair of fabulous new jogging shoes.
a starbucks gift card, because nothing makes me feel more sophisticated than going to the drive through at Starbucks and getting my hot chocolate in one of those cute little to go cups.
Thomas Keller's, "Ad Hoc" cookbook. I hear his restaurant, the French Laundry, is amazing.
A Le Creuset dutch oven in "flame" orange.
And....lipsmacker Dr. Pepper chapstick :)

Monsters!

Yesterday was Max's last day of school until the 25th. As of today he is on Fall break! I am super excited to have him home and to enjoy some relaxing mornings. Yesterday I made a trip to Michael's for some project ideas to keep us busy. I found these great monster masks for $1 :)
Max and Mia love to paint. They spent a lot of time working on their own masks. Here are the "scary" results:
Max's orange monster face with long pink tongue.
Mia's multi-colored frankenstein mask. Her little doe eyes show through and give her all away!

Monogrammed Pumpkins

I found another great carve free pumpkin decoration idea at brown paper packages : http://brownpaper--packages.blogspot.com/2010/10/monogrammed-pumpkins.html

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bear Walk!

Today was the big "Bear Walk" event at Old Center Elementary School.
Max has been looking forward to this for quite a while. I was glad to be a part of the fun.
All of the students had Bear Walk shirts. Max and Mia held hands as they walked along the little walking trail behind the school. Before too long Mia was tired and we had to stop and break for some teddy grahams. Soon we were sharing with Max and all of his kindergarten buddies.
Mrs. Harris' kindergarten class 2010-2011 :)
After the walk everyone came inside for snacks and drinks. Everyone did great! Happy bear walk day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Night

I have been trying to decide what to do on Halloween night. The actual holiday falls on a Sunday this year. The night before we will have our ward trunk-or-treat and party. I still wanted to do something fun on the night of and I think I found the perfect thing! Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a Twilight fan( FYI: I am on team Edward, go vampires!) Thus I give you: the Vampire Dinner Party!
I love this table setting. I love all of the silver and the dim lighting.
The menu includes a blood orange salad and "steak" through the heart.
The bleeding candle may be a little much, I am more of a scentsy girl, but I like the deathly bites! I would totally get a kick out of this. I don't know if the kids would appreciate it though :)

Dream on

I have a folder that I keep to hold pictures of fashions I would love to wear, places I would like to go, great ideas for parties and fun, and all sorts of design ideas for a house and a yard.
I had put this folder away and hadn't looked at it in a long time. Yesterday I got it out and had a look. It made me happy to look at the dreams and ideas that I had put away. I don't know if I will ever have the ideal house or wear those beautiful clothes, but I can always find joy in the dream.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blonde Baby Cakes

My little blondies are busy little people. They work hard and they play hard.
But they do it in style....
We had some leftover blondie batter, so I used my mini muffin tins to make these little blonde baby cakes for my busy little blondies.