September 28, 2008

Let's Get Some Apples

On Friday, my friend (Sharon) was going to go to an apple orchard near Peoria to pick up apples. She asked around to see who wanted her to pick-up some for them. It ended up that a few of us made a day out of it & took the kids. Syndy & Sharon and Amy & I rode together. We had a good trip. The kids were occupied watching a DVD on the way up, but were definitely ready to get out when we arrived.The kids found this cool, weird-looking, fuzzy caterpillar. We had to keep telling the kids not to step on it & I had to pick up Allison. I don't know about the others, but my girls see a bug & they have to squish it.Ah...Allison & her pirate smile. Arrr!I think we all let the kids pick a pumpkin. It's funny...I ask Mia to show me her punkin' & she holds it over her head. If you look behind her, C has his pumpkin on his head. Amy's getting ready or just finished taking a picture. Too funny.Again, Adelaide is showing me an acorn squash she found. - Over her head. The kids (and I) loved seeing all the veggies, especially all the varieties of squash. I picked up some cheap, good-looking acorn squash & buttercup squash to try.Adelaide likes the punkin' she chose.He's a cutie, don't ya think. Sharon's son, A, is one of the boys that are in prechool with the girls.I bought 2 Bushels of apples, hoping that I would have enough to make applesauce & apple chips. I think I underestimated how many apples it would be. The apples were bagged by 1/2 bushel, so I had 4 bags. Just to get an idea, a bushel of apples is about 42 lb. and would fill (or more) a small round laundry basket. I have a lot of apples. I think it will be a good thing though. I'm almost through the first 1/2 bushel. I want to start the dehydrator tomorrow. I think I want to do that the most. Mmmm...Apple Chips, Yummy!

Homemade Applesauce

Since I have LOTS of apples to use now....Last night, I made some applesauce. My first batch was unsweetened. I used 10 big macintosh apples & ended up with about 6 cups of applesauce.
I also made some strawberry applesauce. (I had to make a run to the store & strawberries were on sale & RIPE.) Mmmmm....everyone had a little (hot) strawberry applesauce before bed. It was yummy.
I'm not experienced at canning, nor do I have the necessary tools, pot, jars or PATIENCE. I decided to freeze my applesauce. Besides, I like my applesauce ice-cold with a slice of hot, buttered toast. Delicious!

My YW Handouts

I had to teach the combined YW lesson today. It went pretty good. I was really excited about my little handouts. I put a scripture on the back...Moroni 7:16–17

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do aevil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

September 25, 2008

Anyone Recognize This Vest?


Isn't she just adorable in this little outfit? I love it! She's SO cute. I'm pretty sure I got this vest from my sister-in-law. Her 12 year old son wore it when he was 3 yrs old...at my wedding reception! I just think it's cool that she can wear it now.
I told Mia that I wanted to take her picture before she took off the vest...This is what I got. Uh-Oh, I think I might have trouble with this little one.

How Old Do You Feel?

What makes you feel young?

Sometimes, I get to feeling like I am getting too old really fast. Oh well. I know I'm a geak, but I confess that I feel great when I crank up the volume & roll the windows down on the car. What a difference a short, little drive can make. I feel energized & revived. Wow! "I Wanna Be Sedated..."

Rock On!

September 24, 2008

Burrito Beauties

What do we do Sunday morning, while church is later at 1pm? Well, this week, we had a fun little incident. I came in the family room to discover the girls rolled up in a blanket. They unrolled, but convinced Daddy to re-roll them. Aren't they hysterical? So cute! I wish you could've heard all the giggles. Too funny!They thought it was a riot that Daddy picked them up, and they were stuck, unable to escape.The entire time, Allison tried unsuccessfully to get in on the action. Daddy tried wrapping her up. She was NOT happy! I guess sometimes we want what we don't have & then don't want it when we get our way.

September 21, 2008

New Soccer Season

We should've had a game last week, but it was VERY rainy. So, yesterday ended up being the first of the season. He really likes playing, but I don't thin he's as experienced or competetive as some of the other boys. I've discovered, that I actually (kind of) like watching soccer. It's a pretty action-packed game and keeps moving. Adam got to play several positions during his 3 (out of 4) quarters of play. He got to play midfield (what he usually plays), where he basically runs after the ball, no matter where it goes. He played defender and stayed near our goal mostly, but went no further than midfield. He even got to play forward for a little while during the 4th quarter. He's just not as aggressive. Adam's finally getting to where he can watch (& guess) where the ball is going, so he can run to meet it.Adam really likes soccer & has a great team & coach. I guess it's worth the time & effort on my part, for the fun he has.The girls and I even came up with a cheer (that they are NOT ALLOWED) to yell at games. A! D! A! M! Go, Adam! Go!

Here are the rest of the pics from the soccer game. (Choose slide show at the top to see them all.)

September 19, 2008

Mohawk Madness!

Say Cheese!Today was Crazy Hair Day at school today. So, Adam wanted me to spike his hair up in a mohawk. I guess it turned out OK. He was shocked at how much gel I was putting in his hair (A LOT more than when I spike it). He was really happy with it, though. It even stayed...It was still sticking straight up this afternoon when he got home.

September 17, 2008

Preschool...Yippee!!

Preschool has started...Yippee! Amelia & Adelaide started yesterday. They LOVE it! They have been SO excited & asking me for months when they get to go to preschool. Here's a too-cute pic of the girls. - Dang! Looks can be deceiving. They almost look like they could get-along.The girls are very excited with their backpacks. Just imagine...Adam got a new backpack & I had to get one for everyone. (Amelia = Disney Princesses / Adelaide = Barbie)
The girls have a cubby that they share - a place to hang their sweaters & backpacks. And, it's just their size. Three cheers for independence!!Andrea is one of their "Big Kid Buddies" at preschool. It's at a local high school 3 days a week. It's only for an hour & a half, but it's free...It gives me a break.
Lauren is their other "Big Kid Buddy". Preschool overlaps 2 class periods. The girls are having a great time so far & don't seem homesick at all - just excited. Awesome!

September 12, 2008

New Blog

I am such a Copy Cat. - That's why I decided to start another blog called Copy Cat Keech - I am going to start putting my recipes there. It's just a great idea...and too good NOT to copy.

September 10, 2008

"Why Can't You Make Anything Good!?!" (Adam)

I should start out by saying that I get periodic emails with recipes. Some merit a glance, most of them are deleted without a second thought. Today, I was sent this recipe for a Cheesy Apple-Bacon bake. I thought it sounded yummy & quickly realized I had ALL of the ingredients on-hand (Which is a miracle & almost never happens). I was also blog-hopping earlier & found some yummy choco-peanut butter recipes. One was for the no-bake cookies below. Mmmm...SO yummy!

Cheesy Apple-Bacon Brunch
1 lb sliced bacon
1 medium apple (such as Braeburn, Gala or Honeycrisp), peeled, chopped (1 cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups Original
Bisquick® mix
1 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over low heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside.
2. In small bowl, mix apple and sugar; spread in baking dish. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and eggs until blended; pour over apple. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
3. Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
This bake was yummy, but my kids drive me crazy! Allison was eating just fine to begin with. Adelaide (who never eats anything good) refused to eat & went up to bed (@ 6pm). Amelia started out eating well also. Adam, on the other hand, threw a royal FIT! He got himself all worked up & crying that he couldn't eat it. "His taste buds wouldn't let him." I had even made these yummy No-Bake Cookies & they were sitting there cooling on the counter in front of them. I hoped that would be enough motivation to get them to eat quickly. Well, with all of Adam's DRAMA, Amelia decided that she didn't really like it. She did eventually finish, because she really wanted a cookie. Allison happily ate until she realized that those things on the counter were cookies & she wanted one. (Even before anyone had eaten one.) Aaah! I give up!

We had a rather quiet evening afterall. Adam & Adelaide went bed early (eat or go to bed). I gave Allison & Amelia a bath, then put them to bed too. Some day, maybe my kids will like the food that I make. Maybe. I won't hold my breath. - I'll turn blue & pass out.

No Bake Choco-Peanut-Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup milk
2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wipe 1" wide band of butter around the rim of a 3 quart pan to prevent boil-over. Combine milk, sugar, cocoa, butter and peanut butter. Stir and bring to boil over medium heat. Let boil for 1 1/2 minutes, do not stir. Remove from heat. Stir in oats and vanilla. Stir until oats evenly distributed. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper. Cool. Makes 4 to 5 dozen.

Mmmmm...uber-yummy. Chocolate & peanut butter, it reminds me of Dad's peanut butter fudge.

September 7, 2008

Bad Luck? Good Luck?

We were late to church today. You'd think that with church at 1pm, I'd have enough time to get myself ready & do 3 little girls' hair. Yeah...you'd think so. Anyway, we were already leaving later than I had planned (& were going to be late anyway). I backed out of the garage & something felt "weird". I put the van in park & looked @ my hubby. "I think we have a flat." I hopped out & sure enough, my front driver's tire was as flat as it could possibly be. The steel belts were showing through. So, this is my bad luck. (Glad my hubby can change a tire...)

However, I do think that it could have been much worse. Bry had gone to Blockbuster earlier in the morning to return some videos. I think that short drive might have been enough to separate the tire such that all of the air leaked out. I AM thankful, because the tire might have blown-out without this trip & the extra weight from the rest of the family.

Now, this is the part that I do consider Good Luck: That tire made the trip all the way to Nauvoo & back home yesterday. Things could have been SO much worse. We went to Nauvoo for youth baptisms & our ward temple day. I truly believe we were blessed. We had an excellent experience & came home safely.

I also wanted to give a "shout out" to Syndy & Chris. Thanks SO much for watching the kids for us. We love you guys & appreciate all you do for us. Thanks again!

September 5, 2008

Playgroup & MY Play-Doh Problem

If you've never heard me mention it, I Hate Play-Doh. It drives me crazy! It gets on the floor, ground into the carpet & leaves that filmy feeling on everything. My life would be just fine without play-doh. However, then I start to think that I'm a bad mom depriving her kids of the experience. So, I have to weigh what I perceive as cons (everything about play-doh) against the pros - like I know it is another medium for them to show creativity, and it's really good for kinesthenic development. It just drives me crazy.

Well, today we hosted playgroup at our house. I guess I was feeling, uh, generous? brave? patient? Anyway, I decided to get the play-doh bucket down from out of MY closet. My girls were SO excited. It worked really well. The kids that came played for almost an hour before we cleaned up to have our snacks.

BTW, how young is TOO young for play-doh? I know that most products have that "Not for kids under 3" disclaimer on them. Well, I try to gauge my kids & see what milestones they hit or how I think they like certain toys. I mean, duh. I won't give a kid something with little pieces if I know it's going straight in her mouth. But anyway, when I worked in the nursery (long ago), occasionally we would let them play play-doh (mind you, these are 18mo. - 3yr kids). I didn't really think twice about giving Allison a little-kid-fist sized ball of play-doh. She was THRILLED! She grabbed that thing & took a great big BITE! Aaah...No, Allison! And here we have Allison, looking forlorn & left out as she insists on sitting at the table by the kids.
Poor baby...Maybe when you're a little bigger.

September 3, 2008

Park Day

Yesterday, the girls & I walked Adam to his bus stop, then continued & walked to our neighborhood park. I decided that I could use the exercise, and the girls wanted to play. I took lots of pictures. All of the girls LOVE the slide. There are several at this park.
Allison on the slide.Adelaide on the slide.Mia on the slide.As you can see, Allison is very confident & sometimes a little too daring & independent. - She has to do stuff just like her big sisters.

Even with all of her daring & independence, these are the steps she ended up falling off of. Poor baby...She even had wood chips in her mouth. Blech!

Mia is SO the big sister. She wants to follow Allison around or MAKE her play with her. She also HAS to be in as many pictures as she can. Are you afraid we'll forget you?

Adelaide and Allison usually play pretty well together. That is, when Allison doesn't bite or pull hair. What can I do??

Labor Day Picnic

Every year, our ward has a Labor Day Picnic at a local park. It is great fun. The Elders Quorum provides the meat, buns & drinks. Every family was supposed to bring something to share. It was a little tricky getting food for the 3 girls at once. Then, Bry had to wait in line. I'm glad Adam is old enough to get his own food. It was crazy, but everything was good. Smile Allison!
I guess it's MY fault for trying to take the picture while he was eating.
Isn't this a cute picture? The girls had a blast playing with their friends.

Allison had to climb quite a bit to get up to the slide she wanted. Bry stayed @ the bottom while I looked down from above. Hey Honey!
I think the High Priests group was in charge of the BINGO game. The kids (and several adults) had a great time playing.
In addition to the food, playground & BINGO, there were other activities. Several of the youth played basketball. A few of them played tag on the playground. And, there was a water balloon fight.

Before I go into that, I have to explain that one of the YM leaders walked away from the little kids' water balloon fight carrying 2-3 full balloons. He was walking toward the playground, and I assumed that he was going to throw them @ some of the YW (he's very competitive & just has that personality). Well, 2 boys came by & each of them had full balloons also. - I sent them after their leader & told them to "get him". Of course, they thought it was hysterical & dashed off. BTW, they got him. Well, this leader & I ended up being 2 of 3 adults that participated with the youth in their water balloon fight. It was so much fun, but I got hit several times by many various people. I didn't really mind though as it was 90 degrees or so.

We had a really good time, but we were grateful to come home & put the kids down for a NAP. How exhausting!