Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Funk

I just can't seem to motivate myself to blog.  I don't know why.  A Fall Funk, I guess.  I have a billion things to do, and yet I don't get anything accomplished.  So, anyway, to get me started again, here are pictures of some of the beautiful artwork my boys have been bringing home from school:
Preston's fireman hat
Bryton's apple (finger painted)...notice him in the background?  He refused to hold it for me to take a picture.  Little stinker.
Preston: Boys vs. Girls...hmmm...looks like Mommy is pretty outnumbered!
Family picture by Preston.  Daddy is to the left with the long legs, Mommy is next, then Preston on the top right.  Archer is the bottom left, and Bryton is the bottom right.  I LOVE drawings at this age.  It is just so cute!
This week B is learning about the letter "D" and one of the things they learned about is DINOSAURS.  B LOVES dinos, and I'm pretty sure this week was his favorite so far.  This is his dinosaur hat...he was so excited that they got to go into Preston's classroom and ROAR at the class.  And he even cooperated by reenacting a ROAR for me!
Dino egg!

Friday, September 23, 2011

This is what happens...

...when you wake up at 4:30 am two days in a row.  I was REALLY hoping he could make it to nap time but obviously that didn't happen.  Instead, he took a 30 minute catnap and probably thinks he is done napping for the day.  I'm sooooo hoping that is NOT the case, since I've been up since 4:30 as well (both days).

Zonked (and he still sleeps with his little behind in the air!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I was lamenting the fact that my tomatoes are taking their own sweet time ripening.  My garden has TONS of tomatoes, but they are in varying stages of ripeness, and the ripe ones start to get overripe before I have enough to can.  Anyway, I dried some a little while ago (in slices), but yesterday I decided to do a little bit of experimenting.  First, I sliced the tomatoes thinly and dehydrated them at 135 degrees until they were crispy (it took about 15 hours for most of them).  Next I stuck them in my vitamix on low speed until they were all chopped up.  Since I use my crockpot so often, my plan is to just throw them in with a little extra water in place of diced tomatoes.  The little tiny jar on the left was quite a few tomatoes...I'm guessing about 10 big dehydrator trays full!  I love that it takes up so little space in my already crowded pantry.  The jar on the right is actually tomato sauce that I made "tomato leather" out of, dried it until it was crispy, and chopped it in the vitamix.  It started out as about 2 cups of sauce, and is now probably only 1/2 cup or so!
So, even though I've been complaining about the lack of tomatoes to can, I'm actually not sure that I'll be canning them anyway!  I may have found my new tomato preservation method.  MUCH easier than canning, less time consuming (well, as far as active time), and less storage space.  What's not to love?! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blast from the Past

I stumbled upon an old Polaroid picture this weekend as I was clearing out some clutter.  This was taken almost exactly 12 years ago at a '70's dance in college.  (Wait, now that I think about it, it might not have been called a "dance" given that we went to a Quaker school...'70's party maybe?  Or was it a rebellious "dance"?)  Anyway, I thought this guy was pretty good must have been the outfit.
1999 - YIKES!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Archie's First Urgent Care Trip

Is that worthy of a blog post?  Such a monumental milestone.

I was making lunch and John was upstairs when we noticed that Archer was missing.  He thinks it's really funny to hide from us, but we were calling him and still no Archie.  John finally found him on top of my sewing table, with a pin in his mouth.  (Side note: usually we have this door shut with a child lock on it so he can't get in, but apparently it was either left open or he figured out how to open the child lock.  He must have thought he hit the jackpot.)  Archer claimed he had swallowed another pin and it was in his tummy.  We were both pretty skeptical of this, but he was CHEWING on the other pin so you never know...and it's not really something we wanted to take a chance on, obviously. 

Anyway, thankfully the urgent care trip was uneventful & the x-ray was all clear.  And Archer got to experience the excitement of a glove balloon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Catch-up Post

Why is it that I have less time with 2 kids in school?  I'm completely baffled.  And still REALLY not liking the fact that we all have to get out of here in the morning.  Then I drop the big boys off and either (1) rush home to try to get a little frantic cleaning and/or cooking done or (2) tackle the grocery store with only one kid.  (Okay, okay, we've fit a few little play-dates for Archer in there too...the kid is feeling deprived!) 
The other day I made up 10 crock-pot vegetarian freezer meals, which was a HUGE accomplishment for me to get done in 3 hrs, with Archer around.  He was not thrilled with the whole process, and by the time I had to leave to pick up the big boys I was COMPLETELY exhausted.  By 11:30 am. 
And speaking of Archer...we've had complete potty-training regression.  Not that he had progressed that far in the first place, but towards the beginning & middle of August he was showing a lot of interest and taking the initiative to use the toilet.  Now he's gone back to diapers 100%. 
Preston has his first field trip today, to the fire station.  Last night I completely panicked when I realized that I was either going to have to (1) entrust someone else to install his car seat in their vehicle or (2) buy him a big kid high back booster seat.  I think this is something I blogged about on my past blog, but I am kind of "particular" about car seats.  Preston is still in a 5-point harness and will be for the foreseeable future.  Normally, I had planned to drive on field trips, but Bryton & Archer have been sick this week so I decided it probably wasn't a good idea.  (Which is good because now I think I'm coming down with it!)  ANYWAY...we went with the booster, since I decided it was probably the safer option than having an improperly installed car seat.  I'm nervous about it, but Preston is a bit of a safety nut so I think it will be okay.  He took his test ride in it pretty seriously, so hopefully that continues today!  (And yes, I totally obsess about these things!  I was driving John crazy last night.)
Bryton is still loving school.  He did have to miss a day of school this week, but he's going back today.  His teacher always has such good things to say about him..."he's such a helper" "he's so sweet" "I just love him!" etc.  I'm glad that his personality is really coming out at school.  He tends to get pretty shy when he gets overwhelmed, but he's really starting to get over that and has even stopped being clingy when I drop him off.  It is so nice that he only has 10 kids in his class.  It makes me so much more comfortable leaving him somewhere that I know he won't get lost in the shuffle.
And my other baby, the garden.  :)  The weather is starting to get a little cooler here, and I still have gobs of green tomatoes on my plants!  Yikes.  We are still getting a few green beans but they are definitely dying down.  I really, REALLY need the tomatoes to ripen up so I have enough to can some tomato sauce!  Just a little more warm weather...PLEASE!  We also have some apples on our trees and 1 lonely Asian Pear.  My pomegranate is still flowering like crazy, but they aren't turning into fruit.  Sad, but it's young so I didn't really expect any fruit yet.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Birthday Pictures!

Birthday Celebration while camping...we forgot the candles so the kids held up their fingers for B to blow out.  Kids are so inventive! (B had his face painted as a "blue lion" in case you were wondering.)
He had a couple more presents to open on his real birthday, but none compared to his guitar.
Reading Clifford...
...while Archer took advantage of the time to play with the new legos!

Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday, B!

We were camping on B's actual birthday, but we still got a little celebration in.  And since we were camping with our church this weekend, the bouncy houses/face painting/crafts/movie night made for a pretty exciting birthday.

Still can't believe he's 4.  FOUR!  Here is last year's birthday post where I couldn't believe he was 3.  Apparently I am continually shocked that my children keep having birthdays while I don't age at all!

So, here are a few of the 4-year-old's favorite things:
  • Worms.  Bugs.  Any kind of insect or animal that can be found outside.
  • Drawing/painting/play-doh.  The kind of stuff that I don't like to let them do at home (because I really don't like to clean it up!) but he gets to do plenty of it in preschool.
  • Helping.  B is a big-time helper.  He wants to help with ANY task that there is to be done, and he sticks with it until it is finished.
  • The color blue.
  • Riding his balance bike.
  • Camping and fishing.
  • Reading.
  • And, his most favorite thing of all since he got it at his early birthday celebration: his guitar.
Birthday pictures to come!

    Jam Session with Daddy

    Posted by Picasa

    Friday, September 2, 2011


    "When I was a baby I cried" by Bryton (Baby picture from B's "About Me" book)
    Now that the boys have started school, I'll probably be adding some pictures of their artwork to the blog.  I can't stand paper clutter, so this way I can still recycle their papers without feeling guilty.
    Posted by Picasa