Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  We had a fun time celebrating!

We spent the week listening to Irish music and having some fun lunches - shamrock sandwiches and a fun backyard picnic, and ...

... tri-colored buttered noodles and shamrock cheese.  (Too bad it wasn't real Irish butter and cheese!)

Then on Saturday we went all out!  For breakfast we had green bagels and green smoothies.  (I decided not to attempt a full Irish breakfast - neither black or white pudding being readily available around here.)

Molly didn't have a St. Patrick's Day shirt this year, but it's OK - she had green bows and shamrock socks. =)

For lunch we had fish & chips!

and a fruit rainbow

We enjoyed telling the kids about Ireland and looking at books and pictures and listening to lots of Irish music.

For dinner we had Guinness beef stew (no picture, sorry!) and Irish car bomb cupcakes (and an alcohol-free version for the kids).  What a fun day! =)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Piggies and ponies and such

Molly has reached a new milestone - her hair is getting long & thick enough to start doing braids and other fun things! 

She is so excited!

Low braids are excellent for wearing under your sun hat or bike helmet.
Braids at the top keep it all neat and out of her eyes, so she can have a single piggy now!

pretty girl - no matter what we do with her hair!

Molly's special flower - she planted it in her class at Bible study
Two braids with looped ends

Headband braid (yes, she is a goon - that's my girl!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Daddy's been travelling

Patrick was away for a conference in Phoenix for a week. He travels for work periodically, but most of the trips are short ones.  He is only gone this long once or twice a year.  This time, we tried to plan ahead some ways to make things easier.

Molly got to go have a sleepover/girls' weekend with Rylee and Brynn at Aunt Diane and Uncle Bill's house.  While she was gone, Elijah and Finn and I had a Mama and the boys weekend.  I think both Elijah and Molly had lots of fun!

Molly's girls' weekend started with a trip to the nail salon for a mani/pedi - she picked out a bright orange color and got little flowers on a couple of toes.  Wow - what a treat!  She had a great time doing lots of "girly" things with her cousins, and playing together, especially with their bitty babies.  On Saturday, they went to Build-a-Bear so that Molly and Brynn could make a friend.  (Rylee, Elijah and Evan made theirs last year.)  Molly just LOVES her new bear, Kate.

Of course, Kate is very pink and frilly. =)

 Elijah got to have a play date with Evan, and we got to stay for a fun dinner.  Elijah and I also went to Target to exchange a Lego set that he received two of - and he picked out this new fire truck/rescue set.  On Saturday, Elijah built his new Legos and we played a couple of games of Sorry! during Finn's nap.  Elijah loves to play games, and Sorry! is one of several that he can play, but is too old for Molly.  It was fun to get to do those "big kid" things for a day! 

He's getting so grown up - his favorite Transformers t-shirt, Legos, and Sorry!

We also went to the park and the library, and went on a special lunch date.  After dinner, we made ice cream sundaes and watched Cars 2, again.  Does life get any better than that?

On Sunday, we went to Bobbi & Papa's house to meet Aunt Diane and get Molly.  We stayed for naps and then went out to the Olive Garden for dinner.  Wow, what a fun treat!  We were all glad to see Bobbi, who just got home from a long trip to Florida.

On Monday, Elijah had a day off of school, and Bobbi and Papa came and spent the afternoon and evening with us.  I got to go out for a little while by myself during nap time, and had lots of help with all the bedtime chaos.  Plus, we just had a lot of fun!

Jumping, and talking to Papa

Building car towers with Papa

So much fun!

We are so glad to have Daddy home again, and I am so thankful for the extra help to get through this week, and even make some special memories!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Little bits of life

Elijah got to celebrate his birthday at school last week.  Since his birthday is over the summer, and his half birthday is over the New Year break, we just picked a day that would work.  He was so excited to take in a treat to share!  We made little dirt cakes - he helped make all of it, but particularly enjoyed adding the gummy worms. =)

Finn wearing the pumpkin hat that Bobbi made - Molly was a little older when she wore it!


I made a very special (*interesting*) dinner for Patrick - he found a recipe for a casserole called Flying Jacob in a magazine, and really wanted to try it.  He loved it!  The kids said that they liked it, but didn't end up eating very much, so I'm not sure what to make of that.  I'm not sure we'll make it very often, since it involves bacon, which is banned from this house.  My sister-in-law, Lorrie, very kindly cooked the bacon for me at her house and gave it back to me cold, and mostly un-stinky, so I could make the casserole.

Handsome little man

Love those baby smiles!  Finn is half-weaned from his swaddle now, but having that one arm in still seems to make a big difference, so these great (big!) swaddling blankets are still a necessity around here.

Some days, Molly's style is still pretty quirky. =)

Love those silly boys!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What we ate

I spend a lot of my time planning, making, eating, cleaning up and shopping for food.  A LOT.  I make three meals a day nearly every day of the year, and we are now re-entering the stage of baby food, so ... yeah.  Lots of food.

(Random aside - Patrick found an article somewhere that talked about the differences between cooks and bakers, and I found that I am neither, apparently, just a person who spends tons of time making food for other people to eat.)

I often find myself feeling uninspired and burned out when I sit down to plan our meals for the week, and sometimes we get into ruts of eating the same meals (especially at lunch!) over and over.  Lately, I've been glad for Pinterest and new recipes to try out and add to my giant recipe binder.  Some of the recipes have been great (we LOVE these chicken taquitos), and many have been pretty good, once we've tweaked them to suit us.  Once in a while we have a total bomb, but you'll have that with new recipes.  I hate it when dinner fails, but I guess the risk of trying new things is worth a few fails.

Anyway, last night we had a Pinterest dinner.  I made Rotisserie-style chicken in the crock-pot, and this broccoli.  The chicken was really good, and it was an easy way to make a whole chicken.  Now that I know that it makes good juices, I will make it with rice and use the juices to make gravy.   We have plenty of leftover meat and I am making stock today - I love making whole chickens because it provides so much good food!  The broccoli ... was not the best broccoli of my life.   I like broccoli - it is one of my favorite vegetables - but this was way too lemony and sour.  The kids and I really struggled to eat it.  {Three of us were eating with our faces all twisted up in a super-sour squinty-face, and Patrick just calmly ate the whole pan.}  We'll try it once more with half the lemon juice and see if it is any better.  It seems like it might be great just straight out of the oven without the additions afterward.  We'll see.  Now I've gotta go start on tonight's dinner.  Anyone have any new recipes that they love?