Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I know...

I complain A LOT about the weather.  But it's my blog.

I woke up to SNOW again this morning.  Seriously.

It's almost MAY.  I was (am?) planning to plant my garden outside in about 2.5 weeks.  My little seedlings are looking kind of weak and anemic.  We need sunshine! 

But in the interest of keeping things positive around here, last weekend I planted some cold weather stuff outside (plants courtesy of my dad, time to plant courtesy of my in-laws who had the boys overnight!)...kale, spinach, lettuce, cabbage.  And I noticed that some of the other seeds that I previously planted directly outside have sprouted (finally!): carrots, radishes, spinach, onions.  I have some sort of hefty goals for my little garden this year, so I'm really hoping the weather cooperates!

The boys are getting anxious for warmer weather too.  Today we read a book about the seasons and Preston was wanting to just read the section about summer over and over.  (I didn't sway his opinion, I promise!)  Then, tonight we went shopping for a baby gift, and on the way home I overheard Preston praying:
"Dear God, PLEASE help the rain to stop.  PleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASE help the rain to stop.  Or just have it rain at night so we can still play outside during the day."  (Really, I try to encourage outdoor play even in the rain - and they do spend a lot of time in their rain boots outside - but it's just not as fun as the sunshine.)

Monday, April 25, 2011


Archer's favorite part of his Easter basket: chocolate bunny from Grandma & Grandpa!
Squirt guns that they actually got to use OUTSIDE!  After the devastating snow + frigid temps on my birthday, we had weather in the 60's the next 2 days!  That's N. Idaho for ya.
The "grabber" being put to good use by B.
My handsome boys all ready for church.  (And they managed to stay mostly clean despite the fact that Archer spilled bubble solution all over his leg, B was playing in the sandbox, and Preston was practically rolling around in the dirt.) 
Family picture!
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Goodbye 20's

It's official.  I've moved on from the 20's.

My 20's were filled with EVENTS.  Getting married.  Graduating from college.  Having babies.  Touring and skydiving in New Zealand.  Road trips.  Disneyland.  Moving many, many times.  I wish that we had more time to travel, but maybe that is still to come as our kids get older.

I can only hope that my 30's will be as exciting as my 20's!

I mean, with a birthday present like this, life is bound to be exciting right? 
Dyson Digital Slim!
Seriously though, I've blogged before about my love for functional presents and I'm pretty excited to replace my old, mediocre but functional, cordless vac with a pretty (also cordless but hopefully better than mediocre) Dyson!  I was constantly clogging up my other one with dog hair and I'm pretty sure this will solve the problem.  Plus, now I'll be able to move the old cordless vac upstairs which is exciting in itself!

Snowball Fight!

I'm TRYING to remain optimistic, but really, if I was to ask for unusual/extreme weather for a birthday gift, it would NOT BE snow - it would be 90 degrees and sunny.  This is (unfortunately) the 2nd time we've had snow on my birthday in the past 3 years.  Not my idea of a good time.  It is supposed to be SPRING!

The boys love it though, and John took them outside to play in the snow while I sat and enjoyed a quiet cup of tea (that lasted all of 3 minutes until Archer was cold and came inside...then threw a huge temper tantrum because he wanted to be outside with his brothers and Daddy).

A few pictures of our LAST SNOW (please, please let that be true!):
Preston getting ready to go out in the snow.  He was determined to wear the goggles!

B!  He wanted to make snow angels, but we talked him out of it thankfully.
Archie, before he got cold.
P&B had a crazy snowball fight with Daddy.
Preston was completely RUTHLESS.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Egg Time

We conquered the Easter eggs this morning.  Another ordeal, but what isn't with 3 little boys and only 1 of me?!  Plus, it's snowing like crazy AGAIN so what better time to dye Easter eggs...as if I can maybe fool myself into thinking that it really truly is SPRING?!  But anyway...

I didn't get beets (was too lazy to go to the store just to get beets, and obviously I didn't plan ahead as well as I could have!), but decided to go for it this morning with stuff we already had around the house.  Last year we had okay success with spinach, blueberries/raspberries, and turmeric, but the colors weren't very vivid (except the turmeric).  The boys didn't mind because #1: they got to play around in pretty colored water, and #2: they got to eat the eggs afterward, but I was hoping for more vivid colors this year (a la Paas egg dye kits!).  Yeah, that didn't happen, but we had SLIGHTLY more success this year.  The boys had fun, and Archer threw a couple of eggs around and cracked them so we'll be eating those for lunch!  Overall, success.  Here's what we did:

1.  Boiled the eggs.
2.  Got out 3 different pots and put the following in them, along with water: pureed spinach/green tea, blueberries/raspberries/chili powder, and turmeric. 
3.  Boiled the various concoctions for around 15 minutes or so.  I just checked the water periodically to see if it was bright enough.  The spinach looked SO good...until it cooled!  Then it was kinda blah, but the other 2 turned out really nicely.
4.  Let them cool off a little (while the eggs were cooling), and added some vinegar to them.  I also strained the berry pot but didn't strain the spinach and probably should have.  I thought since it was pureed it would be okay, but we ended up with polka-dot eggs (the boys actually liked this, but I thought it looked kinda gross!).
5.  Plunk the eggs in and let them sit!  I am pretty sure that they would have been brighter if we had let them sit a little longer, but I could only convince the boys to wait for 15 minutes.  And even that was a stretch for them! 
B adding an egg to the berry dye

The berry dye was their favorite, as you will see when we get to the finished product!
Archer was kind of a disaster, truthfully.  He kept throwing the eggs and he made P&B pretty upset a few times when he grabbed their eggs and threw them.  Oops.  Maybe this should have been a 2 adult task!  He did have fun though, and he successfully dyed a couple of eggs by himself.
Arch checkin' out the turmeric dye
The finished eggs!  Front row: turmeric, 2-3 rows: berries/chili powder, 4th row: spinach.  The last 2 rows are undyed, so don't mind those!
P&B with their favorite eggs.  They ended up liking the turmeric dyed eggs the best, and I think they were a little disappointed that they dyed so many with the berries!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Candy

I've been in a bit of a blog slump lately.  Not exactly sure why...could have something to do with the snow we got the other day, or the child who has decided that I can't be out of his sight EVER.  It's been all I can do to throw dinner in the crockpot (and dinner lately has just been soup because I can't seem to do anything other than dump all the ingredients in) and attempt to keep the dog hair to a minimum.  

But last week I almost had time to do something "extra."  I say almost because I started it while I thought the younger 2 boys were sleeping, and Preston was helping me.  We started making Cadbury Creme Eggs (which is - disgustingly, I know - one of my favorites!) and peanut butter cups.  Within about 5 minutes of starting, all 3 boys were "helping" me and it kind of went downhill from there.  I will say that this is not exactly a kid-friendly project if you have 3 boys, ages 5 and under, who are very hands-on.  Unless you want them to end up looking like mine did.  

They still tasted good though!

I didn't have an egg mold for the creme eggs, which probably would've made it a little easier.  Instead I dipped them into the chocolate (while attempting to fend off little boys...which didn't work!).

DIY Easter candy: Peanut Butter Cups & Cadbury Creme Eggs
I'm planning to make another batch of each of these for the boys' Easter baskets!  I think I'm going to make the creme eggs into "pops" next time though, and maybe I'll come up with something else to make too.  We're also planning attempt #2 of dying Easter eggs with natural dyes...last year we tried spinach, blueberries, turmeric, and raspberries.  This year I think I'll try beets for sure, but I haven't decided on anything else yet.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Seriously?! I'm soooo ready for SPRING!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On the Road Again

Last post on our Oregon trip, I promise!  

It is times like these that I am thankful for a minivan.  I am NOT a minivan person.  I really, really don't like them.  But sometimes function trumps style, and that is the case with our minivan.  It's a love/hate relationship for sure, but on the way home, I was definitely feeling the love.  I was able to cram an insane amount of plants into our van, plus still have plenty of room for US.  My dad supplied us with some veggie plants that I didn't already have (kale, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, among others!), plus some more black raspberry starts.  We got 10 black raspberry starts from him last year, but Jasper ate them, thorns and all.  We now have a Jasper-proof bed for them so we're giving it another shot!  I also bought a couple of dwarf blueberries and a pink lemonade blueberry from a nursery down there.  I just couldn't resist!

The down-side to the minivan?  Apparently it's a black hole.  I bought an adorable pair of shoes for Archer at the outlet mall and they are now nowhere to be found!  Not only are (were?) they adorable, so I'm sad that they are missing, BUT they were a little on the spendy side.  I almost didn't buy them because of the price, but they were so cute (and he was out-growing his shoes anyway!) I decided to go for it.  Now he may never get to wear them anyway!  The last place they were seen was in the van.  Hmmmm.  Black hole!

On our way home, we stopped to visit some friends (who also have 3 boys, including a newbie who we hadn't met before!) and one of the local fire departments was having a pancake breakfast, which means fire trucks!  It was good to catch up with them (our friends, not the fire trucks!), even though I forgot the gigantic boxes of boy clothes that I was planning to pass along.  Ugh!

The Aquarium

I think I have mentioned it before, but Preston and Bryton love all-things-aquatic.  Well, more like all things animal & nature, but aquatic seems to be the favorite.  I was pretty excited to hear that Groupon had a spectacular deal on Oregon Coast Aquarium tickets right before our trip, so of course we had to fit it in to our trip.

The touch tank - P&B loved the anemone's the most!

Gigantic squid made from beach litter.  They had tons of art made from garbage at the beach...so sad that there is that much trash that people dump!
Preston would have stayed in this little room forever.  Magnifying glass + science book = Preston's idea of perfection.
He was SO excited to pet the snake, but B didn't want anything to do with the real snake...
...however, he was/is pretty infatuated with his "pet" snake.
Archie, all buckled up and ready to head out!  He slept through a lot of the aquarium, and was on my back the whole time.  He woke up to see most of the outside exhibits, and he loved the otters!

The Beach

One thing I REALLY miss about Oregon is the beach.  Having lived within easy driving distance of the beach for the first 26 years of my life, it has been kind of sad for me.  I know some (my husband included) would argue that we have plenty of beaches, but LAKE beaches just aren't the same as OCEAN beaches. 

We usually make a day trip out to the coast when we are down in Oregon, but this time we spent a couple of nights at a house there with my parents and my grandmother's.  The weather wasn't spectacular, but we had one really nice day + a day of perfect kite-flying weather, plus there were plenty of people to keep the boys entertained at the house.

Get ready for pic overload!

B throwing rocks - a favorite activity of course.
B & his pinwheel
This must have been on the "perfect kite-flying" day.  He's going for the wind-blown look!
I'm pretty sure this was the first time Archer was really old enough to enjoy the beach.  He LOVED the waves!
Kite Flying!

Hot tub in the rain.  P&B LOVED it...Arch...not so much.
P & Poppa playing Jenga
Serious concentration
Game time!  (So glad there was an abundance of adults there since I really don't like games.)
Archer & Momma (my mom)
Cute little boy


Conversation of the day, actually:
Me: Boys, you need to clean up your playroom.
B: But we want you to heeeelp us.  (let me add, this was VERY whiny!)
Me: I didn't make this mess, so why would I clean it up?  You boys need to take responsibility for your actions.  Do you know what that means?
P: No...
Me: It means that when you do something, you need to take care of it.  So when you make a mess in the playroom, you need to clean it up. 
P: But when Daddy makes a mess, you just go right after him and clean it up.  Why is that?  Why do you clean up Daddy's messes but not ours?

And right then, I had to turn away and do a little silent laugh.  Oh these boys crack me up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

20.5 months

And he pooped on the toilet!

I know, who gets excited about these things except mom's, right? 

He's young, but Bryton showed interest at about that age as well...I discouraged him due to my gigantic pregnancy belly and lack of energy, and he ended up potty-training himself when I finally "allowed" him to.  I decided that I would not discourage any attempts by Archer to use the toilet, and it's resulted in quite a few potty successes (with this being the first poop success).

HOWEVER, bragging on my little boy isn't really the point of this post.  The point of it is to warn on the dangers of the "little potty."  Archer was pretty proud of his success and stood up.  I picked him up to get him cleaned up and left the bathroom for about 10 seconds.  I came back to clean up the little potty...and the poop was mostly gone.  Jasper slunk guiltily away from the bathroom.  And now she is banished outside.

Was that TMI?  When I say she'll eat anything, I mean it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Farm

We just got back late last night from a trip down to Oregon.  It seemed like we were going to have a nice long time to spend down there since we were there for just over a week, but it went by SO FAST and of course we didn't get to do everything that we had hoped.  Oh well.  We had fun anyway, and the boys enjoyed spending time with their grandparents, great-grandma's, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  Preston has now decided that he wants chickens and cows.  I'm not exactly sure where he is planning to put a cow on our little lot, but he seems pretty determined!

*These pictures are courtesy of my sister-in-law, Erin, who followed the kids around outside and took lots of pictures!  I was inside, keeping warm and dry with my little Archie boy who was a sick, teething mess most of the week.

Trekking through the woods at the farm
B hitching a ride with Poppa, as usual
The boys had so much fun mucking around outside.  I was glad we decided to throw in their boots at the last minute!

Hunting the eggs
Found one!

Cute Mr. B.