Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Recipe...

I've been on a new recipe kick lately and have been pleased with the results.

The first was a cookie we whipped up for St. Patrick's Day which came from one of the many Betty Crocker emails that flood my email box. I typically delete without reading but this minty delight caught my attention and I filed it away for the  perfect time. What better day than "green day" to make mint cookies!

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract (could substitute peppermint)
6-8 drops of green food color
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips (Andes mint chips next to the choco chips)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.

Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature. 

The only hard part about the cookie is deciding when it's done without overcooking it. It's difficult with the green food coloring to see if the cookie is browning properly! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring break...

Hallie had spring break not too long ago which at our stage in life isn't a big deal. Nearly every week is spring break - but we did manage to do a couple of fun things.  We spent the afternoon at a pizza place with cousins which is never ending fun, played with friends, worked on a few projects and ended the week with a trip to a friends heated pool.

The kids were in heaven!
It couldn't be more obvious that we came from out of state as all of the three years olds were swimming around like little fish and my 5 1/2 year old is standing in the shallow end!
We're working on getting her into some swim lessons ASAP. As for Hunter, he had a few scares in which his face went under water and that was enough for him to spend the rest of the time on the sidelines. He too, is in desperate need of some lessons.
But we had a good time and it made me excited for the upcoming warm weather!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

35 Weeks...

We're coming to an end! 5 more weeks (if he decides to show up on time and not early!) until we are back to sleepless nights and crazy schedules!

So far this pregnancy has been much like the others, but I'm a tad more uncomfortable than I experienced in the past. I am by far larger with this child than any others and it's taken it's toll on me!

Fortunately, I'm still able to sleep through the night! I'm counting my lucky stars.

It hurts to sit for any long amounts of time and my lower back is experiencing a lot of pain. I still try to take a walk with the kids a couple days a week which has been great, but never failing 5 minutes into the walk I already have to go the bathroom!

I'm having a hard time breathing and it takes a lot of work to get a good deep breath. Steve makes fun of me because he says when I'm sleeping I breathe really loud. 

He's a mover and shaker and Hallie loves to sit on the couch next to me and watch him perform his acrobats. She enjoys feeling him move around, but still classifies it as a weird. She's overly concerned with what he's wearing right now...and how does he change his diaper right now. When I explained he doesn't have clothes and he's not wearing a diaper she was more than concerned.

Hunter still has very little idea as to what's going on. It's just been within the last two weeks that he's pointed to my belly and said baby. He'll be more than surprised when he's no longer our little "baby".

Steve and I have yet to go to the hospital where we will deliver. It always gets put on the to-do list, but always gets cut for more important things. We know where it's at...we just don't know where we go once we get inside the hospital. And we've got to get a car seat as well. And of course I'm realizing a lot more baby things went to storage than I originally planned, dang.

But he's coming - relatively soon. Whether we're ready or not!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Funny Comment...

As I take a morning walk with the kids, Hallie is a little chatter bug. She asks all sorts of questions. For some reason the other morning she said, "Do you remember when your dad, my grandpa, shot that deer?" (Clearly having been there when my dad came home with a deer during hunting season had a big impact on her.) Of course I remembered. She then proceeded:

Hallie: And then he ate it, that's disgusting.
Kara: Why is that disgusting?
Hallie: Because he ate an animal, yuck?
Kara: Honey, we eat animals all the time. When you eat hamburgers, that is from a cow. Chicken is from chicken.
Hallie: (Looking a little worried, even though I know we've had this conversation before!) Then why aren't hamburgers black and white?
Kara: (Laughing) Because they cut off the black and white before they make the hamburger.
Hallie: Mom...then where do french fries come from?

Friday, March 18, 2011

VisionWalk 2011

We have a sweet little niece who has a very rare disease and as a result has the potential to lose her eyesight.

Because of this, we chose to participate with some family and friends in VisionWalk 2011. We are so glad we did.
We started early in the week with a family home evening where we talked about people being different. Hallie understood this pretty well. We then went on the explain some of the difficulties her cousin Lucy had especially with her eyesight. This was a little harder for her to grasp, but she related it to the story of Jesus and touching the eyes of the man so he could see.

Each day following that night Hallie talked about people that were blind. She wanted to know more details. Why couldn't they see? When would they be able to see? How do they walk around? She took great interest in it. We then told her that we were going to go do a walk to help those that had troubles seeing. Once again- a little difficult to explain to a young child how walking around a park a couple times helps people with their eyesight! But all we had to tell her was that we were there to support Lucy and her family and that was a good enough answer.
We joined up with Steve's brother and his family, his cousin and family, as well as some family friends in support of Lucy. It felt good. There's obviously not a whole lot we can do about the situation so the love and support that we can give is very important. And after spending the morning at this event, Steve and I both agreed this was something we wanted to do on an annual basis. We want to rally more family and friends, make banners and shirts for future walks.

They made it a very fun atmosphere with bounce houses, games and food galore and the kids were so happy. 
(Thank you Shawni for some of the photos!!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Cleaning...

I'm pregnant and I'm in nesting mode.

But with no home, and without our things still there's not a whole lot of nesting going on.

So instead I switch to spring cleaning mode.

Once again - not a whole lot to do when you don't have cupboards and closets you want to clean out. We only have the necessities right now. I'm not getting rid of stuff.

But with nesting and spring cleaning I had to do I turned my attention to the computer and the thousands of pictures that need to be backed up. I had a scare just two months ago where my external hard drive (housing all my work projects and photos) decided to fail. It was sent off to California and with a fatty bill, the files were recovered.

So I decided it was time to start sorting and sifting through my "virtual closets".

With 45,000+ photos, it's a somewhat daunting task. So I started small. I started working on 2008. That's it. After hours and hours of "cleaning", I took over 8,000 photos and whittled it down to 1,000! Yes, I like to take a lot of photos. And at the time it was hard for me to delete any of them because they were of my kids, and they were cute and I wanted to remember that exact face forever. Now, three years later, it's much easier to hit the delete button!

Once I had the 1,000 photos, I could easily export them all as one calendar year and archive them on yet another hard drive, as well as DVDs. It felt good. Really Good. But it made me realize how much more time I'm going to have to spend to get the rest of our 7 years of marriage archived. Baby steps.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hunter the builder...

Hunter is a builder...he loves blocks, legos and anything that stacks. He then uses the little people as accessories.

I found this set of blocks "Wee Build" at a yard sale for a dollar when Hallie was just a year old. We have got our money's worth out of these things. Hallie loved them and still plays with them. Hunter is no different.

Last summer I found another set at a yard sale for $4 and I snatched them up as well. We had half of them delivered when they packed up our house and it was like Christmas morning. Hunter spent the majority of the morning - over two hours - entranced in play. It was fun to watch him act out different scenarios.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Funny Comment...

I was getting the kids ready for the day and I reached for my phone to play some music from Pandora.

Hallie: You're a music girl, huh mom?
Kara: What do you mean?
Hallie: You're a music girl, you really like to listen to music.
Kara: Yep, I sure do. I'm a music girl.
Hallie: (pausing for just a second) I'm a cottage cheese girl.

She does love her cottage cheese!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Once there was a snowman...

Hallie has been learning about seasons at school. During one unit they taught her about snow. For most the kids in her class, this was a new concept. Crazy, I know. They taught her where snow comes from, and how it falls from the sky. They taught her that it's white and fluffy and that you can make snowmen from it. So of course the art project for the day was to make a snowman.

Hallie was so excited to show me her project but she made me wait until we got home so she could pull it out of her bag. I sat at the kitchen table, with Steve's mom across from me. And Hallie pulled out her snowman...
I took one look at it and just started laughing. It was the most well endowed snowman I had ever seen. I had Hallie show it to Steve's mom, who quickly joined in my laughter. It just struck me as funny. Pretty soon there were tears rolling down my cheeks.

Hallie was confused. She didn't see the humor.

I explained that it was silly that her teachers would have her make a snowman because they don't exist in Arizona. There is no snow. That was an acceptable answer for her and she started to laugh with us.

Of course, Steve got a kick out of it when he got home from work. He started asking her questions about it and she explained that they were his buttons. Nothing more, nothing less. A child's innocence!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday...

Dr. Seuss!!
Hallie has a love for reading Dr. Seuss. Her favorite is Green Eggs and Ham but she's also a fan of Fox in Socks. (Not one of my favorites!) And surprisingly despite it's tongue twister story line - she reads it quite well. We had a collection of Seuss books in Wisconsin which have since been boxed up and moved to storage. I pulled out just three books to bring with me so she could have them. I should've grabbed a couple more. Although she can read them multiple times a day, they're getting a little long for me! I need some more Seuss variety.
My first recollection of Seuss was when my little brother got a book for Christmas, "The Butter Battle Book." I remember thinking at the time that the illustrations weren't great, but the story was fun. I've since grown to admire those quarky and odd illustrations and admire the witty poetry.

I know the core Seuss collection really well - but he has many books I've never even heard of. I'd never heard of Horton Hears of Who until it became a movie. Sad I know. I've now made an effort to read more his books. Some are better than others. There's a reason why I know his core books!
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