Sunday, June 21, 2009

Camping at Echo

We went camping this weekend at Echo with Chad's side. Friday was just beautiful; good enough to take the kids swimming and get some sun. Colin and I got to practice our newfound skills at locating a few constellations and stars at nighttime. (May I highly recommend the 'Stikky' books for beginning learning constellations--and other topics. We borrowed it from our library and I am thouroughly impressed!) We all slept well, with Chad and myself on an air matress in the tent with the older 3, and Mira in the trailer alongside Grandma.

The above photo is of Grandpa gutting the fish that Micah so cheerfully caught. He fell in love with it and wanted (begged) to keep the fish head. Um, that's a no-go, bud! I had the pleasure of chopping off the head and tail and deboning it today. I know, sad story. But I didn't grow up catching fish and eating it. So this is a new world for me. But I put on a brave face and cooked it up. The kids just loved it (Micah still begging for the head, or the eyes at least!) and I must admit it was yummy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

No Treats for You!

Tonight Chad had a cute little family home evening all planned. Each person was going to perform/use a CD to share 2 of his favorite songs. I don't know what went wrong, but after muddling through the song portion, all the kids got sent to bed without a treat. And if you've ever had any experience with 'family home evening' (spending 1 evening a week as a family to teach gospel principles, have fun, share talents, etc.), it is truly not a FHE without a treat. Poor kids. And I'd made these absolutely delicious treats, too. I guess they're going to have to wait until tomorrow.

I got this recipe from a friend-of-a-friend's blog. (I get nosy when I have time on my hands.) The picture is hers, as well as the recipe. And it's sinfully divine!

The cookies pictured above were actually a double batch. I made them in a big silver cookie sheet instead of the 9x13 pan. It took 2 cake mixes, a whole 12 oz bag of mini marshmellows, and a few extra peanuts. It is a very forgiving recipe so do as you please. I think the cake crust is too thick if it is in a 9x13 pan, but that is just my preference.
Salted Nut Roll Cookies
1 yellow cake mix
1/3 c. softened butter
1 egg
mini marshmallows
Combine ingredients, except the marshmallows, and press into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350' F for 10-12 mins. Top the crust with a layer of marshmellows (about 3-4 c.) and bake another 3 mins. Remove from the oven and cool. When it is cool top with peanut mixture and refrigerate. When set cut into squares and serve. They keep best in the fridge.
Peanut Topping
1 pkg. peanut butter chips
2/3 c. corn syrup
1/4 c. butter
2 t. vanilla
2 c. salted peanuts
In a microwave bowl combine chips, corn syrup and butter and microwave for 3 mins. Stir until chips and butter are melted. Add vanilla and peanuts. Mix well. Pour over cooled cookie. I haven't tried this variation, but I think the 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. peanut butter, and 1 c. corn syrup melted on the stove would work just as well. Give it a try.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Going Green

...our yard, that is. It has been raining nearly-steadily for the past 4 days, it seems. The upside to that is I don't have to worry about those spots in my yard the sprinkler misses and begin to turn brown. I also have an excuse not to mow. The downside is, of course, that we're all stuck indoors. The combination of kids indoors all day and not having slept enough is never good.

I don't know what gets into me sometimes. I am quite aware that I've never been a night person. But once in a while, after the kids are in bed, I get my second wind and think I can handle staying up to around midnight. Of course I pay for it the next day. And I'm never up that late doing worthwhile things like family history, sewing, or studying. No, it's searching random topics on Wikipedia or Youtube. Yes, frivolous and wasteful. And it comes back to bite me. Go ahead and tell me to learn my lesson already.

Chad was recently informed that pictures from his 1/2 marathon are available to view online. If you go to: you can see the 7 photos of Chad's effort (he's in the blue). Even though he's pretty wiped out by the time he comes in, he so appreciates having family there to support him. The kids are so proud of their dad. Colin asked how old one has to be to run in one because he'd like to someday. Awesome example, Daddy!!

We just had our carpet stretched and cleaned. They needed it so badly! It had been probably 2 years since they'd been done. And the high traffic areas are quite noticeable. It now looks so much better. (New rule: no shoes, food, or drink on the carpet!!) We had a showing today and I'm confident the look of the carpets made a difference. I wish we would've done it as soon as we put it up. Funny, I ask the guy how long it will take to dry, thinking, "Don't tell me a few hours because I know it won't!". "Oh, a couple of hours and it should be dry." Right. 24 hours later and it's still damp.

I'd better get going on those grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. I know, I go all out, don't I?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I don't think I'll ever have this figured out--how to upload images in the correct order. So we're going progressively back in time.

Ella just had her preschool 'graduation' from the Terrace School of Music and Dance. She had a wonderful teacher, Ms. Clark who made preschool feel like home away from home. She was sweet and patient with each child. Here is Ella (perhaps a bit less than enthusiastic) marching with her class, drumming to, "The Ants Go Marching". She seems to shy away from being in the spotlight. I don't know if I'm right about this. Maybe we just need to find her niche. Or maybe she's just reserved. But I made a similar comment to her primary teacher and she thought Ella was quite outgoing. I guess I have more to discover about my little girl.
Here is Ella saying her part with her teacher helping her.
Squirmy Mira Catherine temporarily hushed on Daddy's shoulders. I'm telling you this is a girl who just can't sit still or be quite for more than 2 seconds! She is constantly on the go. I dare anyone to keep her hushed in church.
Cutie-pie in her mortarboard. The hat only made it for about 1 minute, but she looked pretty cute!
Colin and Micah the evening of Micah's recital. Colin had his last week. And this totally captures Micah's personality. Colin's more aware of what publicly acceptable and wouldn't do a thing (or so he thinks) to embarrass himself in public!

Micah and his piano teacher, Ms. Clark (a different Ms. Clark). She was perfect for him. Strict and fast-paced. Just what our man needs. He can give adults in charge a run for their money if they're not prepared!
Chad, being the Cubmaster in our area, is conducting the pinewood derby. He, Colin, and Grandpa Barnett built the car together. Colin chose the design and painted it. He was so excited about the race.
A little toothy grin from our Mira mid-race.
Colin and others looking on. He ended up not placing. The kid who won had quite the aerodynamic little thing. His father's a pilot and apparently knew just how to form the car for it to have maximum speed. We just have to send out regular reminders to Colin that the Cub Scout motto is, "Do your best." It's not about winning; it's about learning and growing.
Micah with his Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Arnow at Kindergarten graduation. I don't know why he looks so stoic here, but he loved Kindergarten and has learned soooo much. Amazing to think next year he'll be going to school all day long! My babies are growing older! I didn't realize it would happen so quickly.