Friday, March 30

Kid art

This is one of those odd pictures my children took. I was straightening out her hair, while she screamed at her brother, "Don't flash my eyes!" See the camera flash? He did it anyway.

Lately the munchkins have discovered watercolors. We've had to do at least one watercolor painting a day. I've been teaching them how a brush is different from a pencil, and in general my inner art teacher is rejoicing.

Since the weather has warmed up and the time changed, I've been able to pitch them outside for hours. We scored some sidewalk chalk, and I sensed lots and lots of outside time.

Then I walked outside and discovered that they had covered the entire 30 feet of sidewalk with chalk scribbles.

 So we took a bucket of water and some brooms and scrubbed off most of it. It was actually a nice excuse to get out in the warm sun and mess around with water. The baby thought the water bucket was her plaything and was soaked by the time we finished.

So that's been our last couple of days. Never boring!

Thursday, March 29

Thankful Thursday

I kind of feel like this today. Deer in the headlights. With feet.

So I thought it'd be nice to list off all the things I'm thankful for. Nothing like giving thanks to change your mood, right?

I'm thankful that it's finally spring.

I'm thankful that the kids can finally play outside.

I'm thankful that I've not had to miss buying groceries one single week.

I'm thankful for the internet and its millions of recipes.

I'm thankful that we haven't had a serious illness in months. Like the flu.

I'm thankful we live in California. No killer tornadoes. Mild weather. Early fruits and veggies.

I'm thankful that I'm married to my sweetheart.

I'm thankful for my kitchen appliances that make my job so much easier.

I'm thankful that little things, like play a game with my hubby, or helping him paint his models, strikes him as incredibly romantic.

I'm thankful that the kids are so happy with simple things, like sidewalk chalk and books and playdough.

I'm thankful I have children, because seeing them grow and learn to do things (like read) is so incredibly gratifying.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, March 27

On chocolate and books

Patrice had good questions this week, so I thought I'd take a crack at Farmhouse Chats.
What was your favorite book as a child?

I had varying degrees of being a child, so I had varying favorites. For instance, when I was little, my favorites were The Bike Lesson and Go, Dog, Go. Then as I learned to read on my own, I had all kinds of favorites. I remember being absolutely in love with Kavik the Wolf Dog, by Walt Morey. I just loved going with Kavik on his 2000 mile journey because it fascinated me so much.

 Later on there were the Melendy books by Elizabeth Enright. Hands down the best kids stories ever, even better than Beverley Cleary (although I do have a soft spot in my heart for Henry Huggins).  

Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, or White Chocolate?

 I prefer milk chocolate, the cheaper, the better. White chocolate is okay, for instance, white chocolate chips in a big old chocolate cookie. Yum yum. Dark chocolate is too bitter for me, except in chocolate chip cookies with dark chips. Then it's absolutely divine.  

What's your biggest "pet peeve" when it comes to your kitchen?

 That it's dark. It gets depressing cooking away in the darkest room in the apartment. Also it gets really hot in there. We got a little graph from our electric company about our average daily electrical uses, and there's a big spike at breakfast and dinner, when I run my stove. Well gee, you think?  

Do you use any type of water filter in your home? (Whole house, faucet mount, or pitcher)

 Just a pitcher with a filter that's long past dead, because filters are so freaking expensive. But it still improves the taste of the water.  

What's the herb you use the most in cooking?

Chili powder and cumin. I cook a lot of Mexican dishes, and I'm always running out of those. Also onions, garlic, and oregano. Maybe oregano is the most used, because it goes into the Italian dishes as well as the Mexican ones.

 Thanks for the chat this week, Patrice!

Sunday, March 18


Our lovely storm flooded the sidewalk yesterday. The munchkins went out and played in it for a while.

This was only minutes before they started running up and down the sidewalk in the water. I didn't take pictures of that, though.

Here's the baby wishing and wishing she could go outside, too.

It's been a nice storm. I feel bad about it, though, because it'll cause horrendous tornadoes across the rest of the country. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not responsible for the weather.

Friday, March 16

Busy day

It was a gorgeous day today. We have a big storm coming in, so the morning and early afternoon were deliciously warm.

A neighbor gave us a tricycle, so we took it to Grandma's where there's lots of room to ride it.

We're still working on the idea of pedals.

Here's little missy, attempting to stick a leaf to her foot or something. This was her "bike" while big brother rode the trike.

While the baby ate dirt, chased the dog, and watched mama and grandma chop weeds.

Chopping weeds is therapeutic, somehow. I don't know if I'll be able to move tomorrow, but it was worth it.

Tuesday, March 13

Breakfast cookies

Today was baking day. I wanted to make a cookie that would offer a bit more energy than just a sugar rush. I had some extra bacon that I needed to use up, and I remembered Breakfast Cookies. Fortunately Taste of Home had a recipe. Here's theirs:

Breakfast cookies:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup raisins


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in bacon, cornflakes and raisins.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

I didn't have any cornflakes, and the comments on the recipe complained that they made it too crunchy anyway. So I used 2 cups of oatmeal. Essentially these are oatmeal raisin cookies with crumbled bacon.

It makes for sweet cookies with curiously tasty and crunchy salty bits. The bacon flavor is a bit weird at first bite, but then it tastes really good. I don't think I'd dispense them as breakfast, but as an afternoon snack, they can't be beat.

Monday, March 12

Springtime sun

It's been in the 70's out here in southern Cali. (Disappointing, really ... we've had like zero winter and this is looking to be a dry, hot year.)

The upshot is, the kids can play outside. Mommy owes her continued sanity to the outdoors.

This is the munchkins dipping the brooms in a puddle and "painting" the sidewalk. The baby stuck her hands in it until the jibblies overcame me, and I dragged her inside to wash her hands.

Munchkin #2 is undergoing potty training. She's almost got it after only three or four days. I just have to harp on her all the time about if she needs to go, because she forgets. I'm sure after a month, she'll be good. That's how long it took munchkin #1.

Sunday, March 11

Alex turns 5

Alex turned 5 yesterday. Since his cousins' birthday is two days after his, and his aunt just had a baby, we decided to combine birthday parties. Alas, I forgot to take my camera. But there were bubbles. And nerf guns. And cupcakes.

It was very pleasant, and the munchkins had a good time. Hopefully we didn't exhaust poor new mamma too badly. I got to see my new nephew and he's a sweetie.


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