Malachi Turns 1


That’s 11/28/11… the day my son was born!

My husband says I’m autistic cause I’m always thinking crazy number stuff… whatever! 😉

Yes, today is Malachi’s actual birthday.  Unfortunately, this post will not be filled with cute pictures of a smiley boy.  Instead, it will feature a sleepy, sick little man with a 101 temp and an ear infection. Good thing I think his tired little face is as sweet as his smiley one!

Our birthdays always start out the same… opening the present under your bed!

Dude had lots of little helpers to show him how to play with his new truck from Grandma and Grandpa!

Next came his chocolate chip “1” pancake; but even that didn’t seem to cheer him up!

I’m not going to lie to ya; it wasn’t a fun morning.  School was tough.  I’m feeling the stress and exhaustion of a messy house, sick kids, and lots of schoolwork to be done.  Then a friend called, who also has sick kiddos.  And, I promised to pray for her… and that is exactly what I needed!  To get my silly eyes off of myself!  Perspective is always a good thing.  So is prayer and time alone with God.  So is sleep.  I could use a good dose of all of those things right now!

Since our sweet sickie birthday boy couldn’t sleep, we decided to get out of the house.  We headed down the street to our Bass Pro Shop to ride the carousel.

I just love Bass Pro’s Winter Wonderland!

Malachi wasn’t too thrilled with his first carousel ride.  What kind of boy doesn’t like riding a moose?

This shot is not posed; I captured them as they were… love it!

We ordered pizza for dinner, and I can’t tell you how happy that made me tonight!  Unfortunately, I promised the girls we could FINALLY bust open the cupcake maker one of them got as a birthday present, so there would still be dishes to be done and messes to clean.  They were quite thrilled, and it reminded me of the Easy Bake oven I always wanted as a kid, but never got.  It’s probably a good thing now that I know how silly these things are!  Let me tell ya…

This big box comes with 3 – yes, 3 small cupcake mixes for 3 tiny cupcakes.  You add water, mix, and microwave for 30 seconds; no joke!  And, it comes with 3 small frosting mixes you add water to then put in that large contraption.  We followed the instructions perfectly, but the frosting wasn’t quite thick enough to make nice neat swirls.  Truly you could not pay me to eat one of those cupcakes, but oh, how much fun the kiddos had with it.  Originally, I was going to warn you not to buy this product; however, I think with real cupcakes and homemade frosting, it might just prove to be quite fun!  (Or it may become a play dough toy!)

You’re probably wondering where the birthday boy was in all this?  I had to put him down by 5:00pm.  He was wiped.  Now I’d better get to bed because who knows what time he’ll wake up to start the first day of his second year!

Happy birthday, my sweet boy!

Cyber Monday

It’s Monday.  And, not just any Monday… cyber Monday!  Is it bad that I’ve been counting down the minutes until my kids go to bed since 6am so I can browse all the deals on my computer?  All day long my computer has been dinging — another e-mail.  “Just a few hours left!”  I know, I know… ** sigh **

I decided to start a new tradition this year.  Before decorating for Christmas, I had the girls read the Christmas story, and then we put up the nativity scene.  To be honest, I am really struggling with putting Jesus first.  Sure, I say that’s what Christmas is all about.  But, am I walking the walk?  Tough question.  I’m working on it!

And, speaking of the season with packages and bows, look what arrived while I was up North for Thanksgiving?  An early Christmas present to myself!  Since my house is pretty much Ikea furnished, I was thrilled to discover — a site that makes slipcovers for Ikea furniture!  Brilliant, really!


Yes, I am a total sucker for the ever-so-popular chevron pattern.

And, on a completely unrelated note, we woke-up to thick fog this morning; the pea soup kind!  It was chilly willy!  This afternoon the sun shone brilliant and the temp climbed to 75.  Windows were open all day.  Kids spent the afternoon lost somewhere in the backyard.  Glorious!  Meanwhile, I can’t decide if a hay bale makes a good Christmas decoration or not.  I can’t seem to part with it.  I finally threw-out my pumpkins and gourds, though that was difficult as well.  Does anyone else have trouble throwing away a perfectly beautiful Cinderella pumpkin?  I am thrilled to see how a Christmas leaf will look on a chartreuse door, though.  I’m quite certain I’ll love it.


Spontaneous Surprises.  They’re the best!

It all started last week.  Daniel and I went for a jog at a nearby park while the older girls had their piano lesson.  “Thanksgiving is next week!  What should we do?”  “Want to go up north?”  “Yeah!  Let’s go and surprise everybody!”

So, that was that.  We didn’t tell the kids we were going to see Grandma and Grandpa.  We didn’t tell Grandma and Grandpa we were coming.  We only let my brother and his girlfriend in on the secret since Thanksgiving would be celebrated with them.

It was a short, but fun trip.  Best of all, we were with family!

It was suppose to be cold and rainy.  Instead, it was beautiful!  Who says California doesn’t have a fall season?

There was a badminton court.  Yes, my favorite sport!  I was a high school badminton coach once upon a time… fun days!

Leave it to Allison to want to do a “science experiment.”  She wanted to see if birdies float.

They do!

They also kept themselves entertained by going on a “nature walk” in this beautiful backyard and collecting “goodies.”

In fact, we spent most of the afternoon outside.  It was fabulous!

I’m SO thankful for the wonderful family God has blessed me with!!  Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pinterest Tries

I decided I really can’t go on Pinterest too late at night, or else I’ll tear the house apart looking for a sweet treat that may resemble something I see there… anyone, anyone?  Oh, so much to see, so much to try!  Last week we attempted two Pinterest finds; one a flop, and one a mega-hit, (so we did it twice.)  First, the flop:

Homemade tortillas = no bueno

I’m not too disappointed, since the kids still ate them up with butter and jam; but they really were a flop.  Really dry, and not so soft.  The good news is, they were super easy.  I definitely will try them again, only next time with a different recipe.

Up next… Mini German pancakes!

Yup… that smile is for real!  These were so good we made them twice for breakfast.  In Allison’s analysis, they are the perfect mix between a crepe and dutch baby.  Really, they all use the same stuff in different proportions; egg, milk, flour, and salt.  Oh, and let’s not forget the butter!  We used our favorite jams; apricot, black raspberry, and yuzu marmalade, as well as a pumpkin pie one.  I just had to squeeze in pumpkin one last time before moving on to Christmas flavors!

Here is the recipe, (slightly edited by me):

Mini German Pancakes

1 1/3 cups milk
8 eggs
1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 tsp. salt
1 1/3 tsp. vanilla
1  tsp. orange zest (optional)
1/3 cup butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Blend first six ingredients (milk thru orange zest) in a blender.  Be careful to see that any flour clumps get well-blended.
  2. Blend in butter a little at a time in order to temper the eggs.
  3. Grease muffin tins well and distribute batter evenly between 24 tins Bake for 12 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.

Served with your favorite toppings.


Malachi and Sierra’s Birthdays

The Owl Party happened!  Hooray for no sickies. 🙂  Isn’t this pinecone owl my mom made awesome?  She is so clever!  I think it was my favorite decoration.

I wanted to do a puppet show with this owl puppet I found at Ikea.  Sadly, I searched and searched online and found nothing but weird or depressing stories.  Seriously.  Try googling owl stories sometime!  Well, at least it was a fun toy for the kiddos!

Everything came together much smoother this time.  It’ amazing how much easier it is to plan for a party when you don’t have the flu – ha!

I found this tree stump cake mold at Williams Sonoma after Christmas on clearance last year, and have been looking for an opportunity to use it ever since.  I just thought it was so cool; a tree stump!  I used a box of white cake mix with some Williams Sonoma hot chocolate flakes, chocolate chips, and cinnamon.  My mom gave me the glass owl sticks, which were a perfect replacement for candles since Sierra requested “No fire.”

And my owl cookies… all 26 of them… a labor of love!

Crafts were kept very simple since these were mostly 2 – 4 year olds.  Some coloring and some peel-and-sick foamies.  I intended to do these tp owls as well, but we ran out of time.

As for these two sweeties, it was fun to see them feeling so “old and mature.”  You know, because 7-year-olds are so much bigger than 3-year-olds!

My “Hootie” owl provided the entertainment — a basket toss…

… and a round of “hot potato.”

At Sierra’s request, we did not sing happy birthday to her.  The poor thing was a bit overwhelmed.  But, little buddy was more than happy to get all the attention.  And, he was thrilled to have his first cupcake.  He ate it all, and I believe he would have had a second if it were offered to him.  People say he looks just like his daddy, but at least his sweet tooth shows people he’s my boy!I had so many smiley face pictures, using the wrong setting.  Doh!  I like this picture too, though… content.

I asked Sierra if she wanted to open presents, and was thinking she would say no.  But, to my delight she sat in the birthday chair, opened presents, and politely said thank you and hugged each friend. I was so proud — and shocked!

You can see it in her eyes; she was beat!  But, she was so, so happy!  Three is such a tricky age for parties for my kids.  They’re finally aware that there is a celebration going on for them, which is SO exciting, yet SO overwhelming.  Precious.  Happy 3rd birthday to my girl and happy 1st birthday to my boy… (almost!)

Pie in a Jar

For our thankful Thursday treat today, we went back to a treat we made almost exactly a year ago at our Keepers of the Home meeting: fresh apple pies in a jar.  I just love applying the things we learn!  These are just SO simple, and totally delicious; not-to-mention they make your house smell so yummy and feel so cozy.  If I had it my way, we would make these every week!  🙂  You can find the original post here.






I had an appointment, so my hubby stepped in to teach.  When I told the kids they were going to hae a substitute teacher, they exclaimed, “It’s Papa – YAY!  I wonder what we’re going to dissect this time!”  Sorry kiddos — no pigs heart for snack; just some apple pie!

Founder’s Day Parade

The weather for Southern California in November is simply unpredictable, and ranges greatly.  It is not surprising to have a day in the 90’s and a day in the 50’s within the same week.  And, that is exactly what happened last week… but it made me so happy to put on scarves and hats for a chilly but beautiful parade day!

The kids were so excited to go to the parade, but they couldn’t exactly tell you why; except for Sierra.  She was excited to see clowns and flamingos — neither of which we saw.  She had fun anyway, but did continue to comment throughout the day, “Where were the flamingos?”  Ha! I don’t know, Sierra!

We sat by our dear friends, and Allison got to be by her little bestie.  They’re pretty sweet!

The babies were troopers.  Malachi slept through most of it!

Parades are the best!

A Memorable Science Lesson

Friday morning.  I walked into the house after a beautiful jog to the park with my two little ones, and the house smelled so good.  It was a chilly, but beautiful morning, and I thought perhaps my husband had finished up his school lesson and had decided to cook some soup with the girls for lunch.  I walked into the kitchen…

Their lesson was indeed over.  The girls were so excited to share all they had learned!  Allison ran over to the whiteboard and gave me a presentation:

Um, wow… super job!  So, the science lesson was on the heart.  Turns out, Daniel bought more than just the vegetables I sent him to the Asian market to buy.  Apparently, he saw a pig’s heart and could not resist!

The girls learned about the heart on paper.  Then they got to dissect the pigs heart and see first hand what it looked like — up close and personal!

Wow.  My girls are brave!  Really, this was quite fun and exciting for them.  They comforted me and told me I was the best teacher at most things… but Papa was best when it came to science!  🙂

So, what was I smelling?  I guess you can’t waste a good pig’s heart!  Once they were done dissecting, they actually cooked it up and tried it — and liked it!  I told you they were brave.  Did I mention it was morning time?

Despite the wonderful smell as I walked nto the house, I just couldn’t bring myself to try it.  Mid-morning to me is coffee and pastry time; not time for a pig’s heart; (especially after a run!)  So, I wimped out and Daniel maintains the award for best science teacher in our family.

Thankful Thursday

Just as I didn’t originally intend to make treats every Thursday for Thankful Thursday, I also didn’t originally intend for Thankful Thursday to be a weekly post… but it just works so nicely!  Today we didn’t, in fact, make our own treats.  We were all ready to, when the phone call came; Daniel was at my favorite bakery and wondering if I wanted my iced sea salt coffee.  (Duh! 🙂 ) And so we anxiously waited for him to get home!

The fall weather did come as forecasted… it was SOOOO cozy!  Before we were allowed to sit in front of the fire, the girls made me take them for a walk; a long walk; in the rain!  I do love the rain, and I do love my girls — so I went.  I can honestly say, I was feeling such joy and thankfulness; thankful that my kids are still little and love to hold hands while walking with their mom.  I’ve had too many days wishing they were bigger.  It was a gift to truly feel glad they are small.  And then…

We finally got to sit in front of the fire!