Saturday, July 30

Summer salsa

Here is Claire, sitting in Daddy's lap and drooling all over his arm.

Ryan has been asking me to make him some salsa all week, and today I determined that I would make him some if it killed me.

At Mom's last week, I had picked about ten tomatoes, large and small, to make into salsa. So i sliced those up, chucked them on the jelly roll pan that I don't care about, and cooked them at 475 for about 30 minutes, until they started to get black. I turned them halfway through, and chucked on a sliced jalapeno, too, to get that roasted. Turns out it wasn't a very hot jalapeno, and I should have used more. Alas. Anyway, here's the recipe:

Modeled after Baja Fresh's salsa:

7 tomatoes, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons diced onion
juice from 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Roast the tomatoes on a grill (or in the oven) until black, turning halfway through. At the halfway point, add the jalapeno.

Do not roast the onion or garlic. When the jalapeno and tomatoes are blackened, combine all ingredients in blender and puree until the desired consistency. (I ran it about 4 seconds on low.) Chop 1 last raw tomato and stir into salsa. (I forgot to leave a tomato. Oops.)

It was HEAVEN on a CHIP. I forgot how good fresh roasted tomatoes are. It's just a bright, sparkling flavor. It's like in the cartoon Ratatouille, when he eats the food and the fireworks go off. I'd show you a picture, but my picture just looks like red sauce. Not very appetizing.

Friday, July 29

Active Claire

Claire officially rolled over this week. She then props herself up as high as she can to look around.

She's a very happy baby. Actually, I don't think I've ever had an unhappy baby. All my pictures show them all grinning fit to beat the band. Anyway, she's starting to get interested in toys. I have to constantly give her different toys to hold her interest, so it's a good thing she has two older siblings who have accumulated a ton of them. :-)

Wednesday, July 27

Grandma's Strawberry Pie

It's strawberry season, and no summer is complete without a strawberry pie.

It doesn't look as appetizing with half of it missing, but it was delicious.

Here's the recipe:

Grandma Joyce's Strawberry Pie

3 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 drops red food coloring
1 tsp strawberry extract
baked pie crust of your choice

Bake pie crust, set aside. Pour 2 cups chopped strawberries into crust. Mash remaining 1 cup, set aside.

In medium saucepan, bring water, sugar and cornstarch to a boil. Add food coloring, extract and mashed strawberries. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate several hours.

I don't have any strawberry extract on hand, and it still tasted wonderful. I also put a layer of cream cheese on the bottom of my pie crust, before I added the chopped strawberries. Heaven on a plate!

Tuesday, July 26

Hot weather fun

On Friday my sister in law and I met up at my mom's and let the kids play.

There was much playing with water, and water toys. The slip and slide was set up, but I somehow didn't get any pictures of them using it.

The boys decided that the jump rope was great for tug of war.

Claire tried out the baby walker, and absolutely loved it. She's inching up on four months now, and she really wants to be independent.

I did the bird test on her, and she can officially see my cockatiel now. She locked onto him and started kicking her feet, all excited. He, of course, was not thrilled, and told her so.

Monday, July 25


You know, I've been trying to update this blog for three days. Have I done it? No. I just haven't had the free hands when I sit down at the compy.

So, uh, we're all here and nothing much has been going on. :-p

Thursday, July 21

Pretty happy funny real

Morning adventures!


An opening hollyhock:

A yellow crab spider, backdropped by Holly's shirt:


Munchkins drawing pictures:

Baby inspecting the toy barn:


Located: one grasshopper

Poking said grasshopper:

Captive grasshopper:


The baby, awake on the bed, happily kicking her legs, while the grasshopper caper was going on:

round button chicken

Saturday, July 16


A while ago, I started sniffing around the internet for a bunch of early-90s games that I enjoyed growing up. There's this lovely thing called Abandonware. If there's an old game that never gets re-released on another platform, or bundled with other software, or otherwise recycled, it just fades into the ether. It's been abandoned, and as such, becomes free on the internets.

So I collected a few classic DOS titles and played them for a bit. Alex latched onto them, and I taught him to play them.

Fortunately, I was always attracted to Sim titles, and things that were stealth-educational.

There's Sim Tower:

And Sim Ant (which I didn't actually play, but my siblings enjoyed, so I'm learning it alongside Alex)

Sim City 2000, which I utterly adored and played for hours and hours:

The Oregon Trail original version. I have died of dysentery/snakebite/broken legs/etc. etc. etc. But I reached Oregon. Alex hasn't yet managed to do this because the text menus stymie him.

And finally there's Rollercoaster Tycoon, which I actually had on disk and didn't need to download. Much, much love has gone into this game.

Wednesday, July 13

Mystery bug

I was outside with the kids this evening, and noticed these little butterfly things all over my blooming mint.

They were tiny, and when they were at rest, their antennae never stood still. They didn't have the little balls on the ends of their antennae that show that they're butterflies, and they didn't seem to have the feathery bits that show that they're a moth. But they were so tiny, it was hard to be sure.

I think these are the things that left tiny little caterpillars all over my mint. I don't mind--I mean, it's only mint--but I wish I knew what they were.

Sunday, July 10

A large heart

I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. - Ps 119: 32

One thing I always wondered about, before I had kids, was how you could love them all. People said snide things like that to my mom all the time. I knew that she loved us all equally, but I wondered if I'd ever be able to do it.

So I was nursing the baby and thinking about this. And really, I think each new baby makes you love the rest of them that much more. It's like God 'enlarges my heart' with each new child so I'm capable of loving them even better.

It's a strange process, where the more you die to yourself, the happier you are. Seems so alien to the human nature, you know?

Wednesday, July 6

July 4th fun

We went to grandma's and grandpa's for the 4th of July, and had a rip-roaring waterfight on and off for most of the afternoon.

Here is Alex, learning how to squirt water from a water cannon. That tub is their pool, so they can "swim" without getting near the big pool. I looked outside at one point, and the entire pool area was full of flying water from water cannons. Alex and Holly ran around the outside of the pool fence, retrieving different types of ammunition (these squishy balls full of water). Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera at that point.

And here is Claire talking to her aunt.

It was extremely cute.

We only did a few fireworks, because by the time it was dark, the munchkins were very tired. But I think the watertechnics more than made up for it. :-)

Monday, July 4

Happy Independence Day!

It's gonna be a scorcher!

Edit: And I can't spell worth beans!

Sunday, July 3


Holly 'painting' by dipping a stick in the water, then making patterns on the sidewalk.

Another hot pink hollyhock.

Claire enjoying being outside.

One of those little tiny yellow butterflies. I as amazed at how close I had managed to get.

You know, I sit down to write a blog post, and people swarm into my lap, or the baby starts fussing, and nothing much gets written. Just pictures.

I've finally pinned down exactly what breastfeeding mommy-brain is and what causes it. When the baby nurses, there's this stuff called Prolactin that gets released in my body to make more milk, and make my milk let down and all that stuff. Well, a side-effect of prolactin is that it makes me sleepy.

I was talking to my husband last night, and we were carrying on an intelligent conversation. Then I picked up the baby to let her nurse, and by the time she finished, all of my nouns and verbs had vanished from my brain. I had gone from, "David Tennant in Doctor Who" to "That one guy in the movie we like who was before the current guy." If I could even form a thought that intelligent.

And after a while the prolactin wears off and my brain comes back. Here I just thought I was turning into an idiot.

Friday, July 1

Little drummer boy

Alex bangs on the couch, pa rum pum pum pum ...

Claire thinks, "What the heck?" Pa rum pum pum pum ...

Holly does a facepalm. Pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum ...


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