Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Silent Bear.

Bear is my biggest talker. I know that statement shocks anyone who knows her - but it's true. She talks all the time. At home.

It's a whole 'nother story when we get around other people. She won't say a word. Many times, even good friends that we spend a lot of time with will stop everything because they just heard her voice for the first time. They freeze. And just listen.

This video is pretty long, but I am putting it out there as evidence. She does speak. She keeps us laughing constantly.

How Entertaining!

Tate had his piano recital the other night and all of the kids did a marvelous job. I was very impressed that all of the kids did so well. Obviously they had been working very hard on their pieces.

Here is a clip of Tate entertaining us:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Aw, Shucks!

Now I know how to get twelve ears of corn shucked in record time. I gave these kids the corn and next thing I knew they were inside asking for more. And, they did a great job getting all the silk off. What can taste better than fresh corn from the farmers' market that you didn't have to shuck yourself?

I tried something new when we cooked the corn. I spread some mayonaise on it and then sprinkled it with parmesan cheese, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. (Sounds pretty gross, so far). Then I wrapped it in nonstick Reynold's wrap and grilled it on medium high for about 10 minutes. Okay, Tony grilled them. I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it was a hit!

We had a great dinner with my parents and Tony's mom. It ended with Gwen's famous chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, and blackberry cobbler. Yes, we all ate too much! But, I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day.

Where Was I?!?

I am just wondering where I was when my 10 year old's feet got as big as mine. I'm not sure when it happened. I went and found his old pair of shoes and they fit me too. I guess we don't all try on our kids' shoes regularly - I was being lazy and slipped his on to run outside really quick. I couldn't believe they actually fit! I thought there would be this big moment when I realized Tate was getting bigger. And older. It's happening so gradually that these moments sneak up on me. I want to appreciate every moment as my kids grow up because it really does slip by if we let it. Raising these sweet kids is my life and I am proud of that. It seems like forever when they are little, but it's not. This time will be gone quickly and I will have lots of time later to pursue my hobbies and keep my house spotless. Right now I have the job of raising warriors for the Kingdom of God. How can I take that lightly?

I am proud of the young man Tate is becoming. He makes good decisions and has a true heart for God. He has already seen that God works in his life and He is very real. I am looking forward to watching him continue in his growth. I look forward to the teenage years that most people dread. I think it's because we put so much effort into teaching them about character and right and wrong, but those years are when they really start getting put to the test. Are they going to actually do what I think they will do? I know, not always. And we will be there to help them dust off when they fall. But - I am excited to see them make the right choices. When they stand up against what everyone else is doing to do what is right. When they are pleasing their Heavenly Father. That's what I am excited to see.

I am looking forward to watching all of my kids grow up. That's a parents' job, afterall. To raise our kids to become Godly adults. But, I am going to slow down a little so I make sure not to miss any moments while they are still little kids.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Crazy Cake.

That's what people are going to call me when I ask them to eat this. Especially people in my small group who already ask me for an ingredient list before they want to eat my food. Especially people whose name starts with "D"! ~wink Julie~

So this cake is new for me. My dear friend at herbanhomestead posted this recipe and I couldn't resist. Beets in cake. Beets!?! I had to try it. And yes, my kids did help me make it. How can they learn to make healthy food choices if I hide all the healthy food and they don't even know they are eating it? I told them we can call it "Aggie Cake" since it is maroon after mixing in the cocoa. They weren't impressed. They couldn't get past the stink part of the batter. It does start smelling good as it bakes, but I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the smell as well.

I boiled the beets until they were nice and soft - after peeling them, of course.

Then, they get pureed with applesauce until nice and smooth. I think a chunk of beet in your cake might ruin it.

Into the mixer it goes with the rest of the "normal" cake ingredients.

I thought my food processor, mixer, spatula, and the rest of my kitchen would be permanently hot pink after making this cake. I'm pleased to report that all of it washed up brilliantly. I'm sure if I had gotten it on my clothes it would have been a different story. (i.e. wear an apron.)

My family ate it up and asked for seconds. No, all of that icing wasn't part of the healthy recipe. I figured if the cake was good for you, we could indulge a little. Actually, I was really nervous no one would eat it and I would have to throw it away. I hoped the frosting would save it, but it turns out they liked the cake anyway. Tony had a hard time getting over the mental part. He really does not like beets. He said he took each bite just waiting for the bad taste to come - but it never did. Who knew?

I guess it's not too crazy. We eat carrot cake, corn bread, pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread... Maybe beet cake will become popular one day as well. This could get really wild - okra muffins, eggplant turnovers, turnip cake - endless possibilities.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hard Habit to Break.

Habits are tough. I take that back - habits are tough to break. I take that back again - Bad habits are tough to break. Good habits are actually hard to get started and really easy to break. What's up with that?

I posted a while back when Bear broke her arm and was wondering if three weeks in a cast would be long enough to break her thumb-sucking habit. She had no motivation to do it on her own so I was not holding my breath.

Here is the first picture I have of her sucking her thumb:

She was still trying to get used to it. Not a natural here, yet:

This is just too cute not to throw in:

Now we add a bear into the mix:

You'll see the bear becomes part of the habit. We are not sure what her whole face looked like for a while because it was usually partially hidden:

Bear (and bear) and brother - I guess you have figured out where she gets her nickname now.

She used to think Bear was her last name. I think she is still a little confused about the whole thing.

Her sweet cousin told her she could even be in her wedding with her bear.

Well, the cast worked in more way than one! It fixed her arm and broke her habit. She still holds bear in the same position, but keeps her thumb out of her mouth.


All the other kids were pacifier babies. That is soooo much easier to stop. Not one of them had to break a bone to do it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Farmer Wannabe.

Look how cute these baby chickens are! Are we farmers now? We have a tractor and now we have chickens. Not very many chickens. Okay, four chickens. Maybe we're mini-farmers.

These things are so cute. I can't wait to see them when they get bigger. They are Silkies and Sizzles with the poofy, fluffy hair. I'm hoping they are not all roosters. What are the odds of that happening?

I feel bad for the Silkies. They are 4 weeks old and losing their little chick fuzz. They kind of look like they have a bad haircut. They don't seem to be too embarrassed about it though. The little black ones are the Sizzles. They are supposed to get fluffy too, but with curls.

I can't remember what started the whole thing, but Bear and Car decided they wanted chickens. I thought chickens would be fun to have also, but I couldn't get Martha Stewart out of my head whenever I thought about actually getting some. (like she actually got in there and fed and took care of them like she made it look.) But, here we are starting this new adventure. Hopefully, the dog won't get them. She just stands outside their cage drooling. That's probably a bad sign.

I have to admit. We don't have a purposeful reason to raise them. They could never supply our egg needs, and we will never eat them (although the dog may). I guess they are just for fun, and that's okay. We will enjoy watching them grow, lay eggs, scratch around, and whatever else chickens do (we'll soon find out, won't we?).

Does this mean I have to relinquish my farmer (or mini-farmer) title?

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