Waffles

Breakfast rarely makes an appearance on the blog here anymore because I think I have blogged most of my favorite recipes.  Over the last few years, when it came to waffles I always made my banana oatmeal waffles. (And we do love these!)  But, when it came to the light and fluffy waffles, they came from my husband.  He even goes so far as to whip the egg whites, first.  This intimidated me, so that I never ventured to do “regular waffles” myself… until now!

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Fresh apricots from our tree, along with blueberries and strawberries always make things more fun.  Natalie did a peace sign waffle, and Daniel made the Thailand flag!

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My dear friend, (knowing our affinity for breakfast), recently got me a circus animal waffle maker!

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Anyway, I have found a recipe, (and altered it slightly), for waffles that turn out light, fluffy, and even somewhat healthy!  Here it is:

Waffles:

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another.  Combine.  Enjoy!

Chalkboard Wall

I have an old notebook that’s been around for years.  When I feel I have important projects or ideas, I usually jot them down in there first.  In fact, it still contains several homeschool ideas and goals from before Allison started Kindergarten!  Anyway, each summer I fill it with summer goals, and usually half of them are items I didn’t cross off from the previous summer.  Such was the case with my scripture wall.  Such was also the case with my chalkboard wall, though if I had really painted it 2 summers ago as I had planned, it would have been black and white stripes.  It has since evolved into a chalkboard wall, and I am finally finished!

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My little man was all about helping me remove the magnet strips, playing with my tape, and using my roller as a weapon.

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Nervously, I let them each have a few turns at rolling the first coat.  Thankfully, that was all it took and then they were content to let me finish.  (Side note:  It really is ridiculous that I didn’t get this project done sooner.  I had everything on hand, including not one, but 2 quarts of chalkboard paint!)

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Once all the coats were dry, I let the paint sit for about 3 days, and then I “seasoned” the chalkboard by rubbing chalk all over it.  Apparently, that is what you’re suppose to do?!?!?

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Once I told the kids it was “ready,” there was no stopping them.  They had a lot of fun breaking it in.

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For a final touch, I took an old metal tray I wasn’t using and glued 6 magnets onto it.  It now serves as our chalk holder.

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I was telling my family, this has been in my head for so long now that I almost can’t picture it any other way — even though we just did it!  I am so excited to have a full chalkboard in my kitchen — woohoo!

Summer Snapshots

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Beautiful Sunsets. 
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Going out at dusk to carry each of the 6 chicks into the coop so that a bobcat doesn’t get them.  Then lingering in the garden, (which is a whole other subject for another post… and it’s not good news!)

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Salsa making.  Often.

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Lemonade making.  I’m always thankful in the summer that we took the time to squeeze all our lemons in the winter and to freeze the juice.  Mmmm….

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Drying off after an early morning swim.  Here’s a close-up:

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These are some of the more “fun” snapshots as of recently.  I do have some fun project snapshots to share soon, but lots more unfun organizational snapshots are taking place.  (Ok, so I am happy to be getting organized.  But, it’s not pretty yet!)  Have I mentioned lately how thankful I am for sumer?

Father’s Day 2015

I’m a little surprised at myself… waiting 4 days to post about Father’s Day, for no real reason except I’m “out of the zone.”  I love blogging.  I don’t know that I’ll ever give it up.  But, I have never needed a summer of rest like this summer.  I hope to post more soon, but for now here is some Father’s Day!

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I was fresh out of the shower and needing to get ready for church, but witnessing my oldest read to my youngest while my husband played worship music just made my heart swelter.  I had to grab my camera and capture the moment!

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Has there ever been a cuter selfie?  My men melt my heart.

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After church, Daniel and Allison had to stay for a few hours for their Thailand fundraiser.  But, Allison had this idea to make a Father’s Day game.  So, she left the rules with Natalie, who carried out the making of the game.  I was seriously impressed!  So much so, that I would love to market it.

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We had a blast swimming with dear friends, and then we played the Father’s Day game.  It is definitely going to be a new tradition.

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Homemade cards… a few snacks… some new flip flops… and a picture with the kiddos.

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Happy Father’s Day to my awesome husband, who also happens to be an awesome dad!

First Lost Tooth

There is something so exciting and special about a first lost tooth.  You can check out Allison’s first lost tooth here.  And here‘s Natalie’s first lost tooth.  Drumroll, please…

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Tada!  Little Seesers lost her first tooth, as well.  She designed her tooth fairy pillow all by herself… from deciding on shapes to picking out the fabric.  Now all 3 girls have a different tooth fairy pillow.

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You may notice this pose in quite a few pictures these days.  It’s Buddy’s new “thing.”  At first I didn’t want him to photo bomb every picture, but then I realized this is just the stage he’s at and how fun it is to capture it!  Still, here is a picture of just Seesers and her pillow:

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I loved her sleeping position when the Tooth fairy came to deliver some goodies.  Cozy wozy.

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So, it only took me a week to blog little Sierra’s lost tooth.  I was trying to think why it’s been so tough to blog, lately… it is summer, right?  Summer break?!?!  Perhaps it should be called summer change, instead.  Sure we have a break from school and scheduled activities, (and I am loving it!)  But, we have had so many other things going on like reading a book and writing our last paper for School of Ministry, potty training, (which is totally done and successful!), friends over to swim, (always), birthday parties galore, renting out our other house, preparing Allison and Daniel for Thailand, facilitating a weekly sumer Bible study, and… well, things never do slow down as much as I’d like.  I really am enjoying summer break, though, and I pray you are too!

CONGRATULATIONS, Sierra!

Garden Update

Even my husband pointed it out the other day… he said, “Did you notice how we did nothing to the fruit trees this year, and they turned out great while we worked so hard on the vegetable garden and everything is going wrong?”

Yes, Honey.  Yes.  I definitely noticed that.  So… here is a little update.  (There is some positive; I think!)

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Our peppers have flowers.  Hooray!  The leaves don’t look great, so I am worried that the leaf hoppers have been feasting on our peppers, too.  They have certainly almost destroyed our tomatoes and peas.  But for now, I am hopeful about the peppers.

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Our watermelon plant is huge.  And, it has some flowers starting!  Some flowers are withering, though… what does it all mean???

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We picked our first zucchini and I made these breakfast cookies.  I think by now we should have so many more zucchinis, but… the leaf hoppers have definitely had an effect here.  This is the plant that I actually see them hopping all over, and it is so huge it is difficult to spray all the leaves top and bottom.

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LOTS of yummy apricots; my favorite summer fruit.  And, the birds have stayed away.  Good news!!

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Finally, we have had a few ants; not many that I know about.  I heard you mix 1 part Borax with 3 parts powdered sugar, and they carry it back to their nest and it wipes them out.  We’ll see!  I put these down a few days ago, and I haven’t seen any ants.

Anybody have any good tips for getting rid of leaf hoppers?  I am hesitant to tear down my tomatoes and start over before I can get rid of them, because I am afraid they will just come back.

Also, since my last update I spent several hours removing our bark mulch from the garden.  Apparently it is bad for the soil, and never good for vegetable gardens.  Who knew?

More updates to come…

Allison Turns 10

It’s true…. my first born has hit double-digits!  It feels like not so long ago we were riding our scooters over to the tea house for her 5th birthday.  While our special tradition for the 5th birthday is a special mommy tea party, the special tradition for the tenth birthday is a mission trip with mom or dad.  I can hardly believe in less than a month, my baby will be on a plane to Thailand with her daddy for two weeks.  Anyway, since the mission trip replaces the birthday party, it was very strange for me not to plan a party this year.  Here is all the fun we had, despite not having an official party:

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This year’s under-the-bed-present was both wrapped and purchased by her sister.  Special times!

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Waffle breakfast per Allison’s request.  Note the grumpy naked girl… she had a serious case of the birthday jealousies.

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After breakfast was church, and then a special trip to the cupcakery for birthday cupcakes.  The girls’ favorite show right now is Cupcake Wars, so we just had to visit our local cupcake place, which is a two-time Cupcake War winning place.  (We even met the ladies who won the show a few years back… check it out here.)

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Then, of course, we had to watch the episode that won the cupcakes we were eating… naturally!

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Presents!

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For dinner Allison requested barbecued ribs, mashed potatoes with bacon, sour cream and chives, and steamed broccoli with butter.  For dessert, Grandma made us a special boysenberry pie with fresh boysenberries from her house.  What a treat!

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Her last request of the day:  ping pong.  We recently moved our table from our garage, (where it was hardly used, to the side yard, (where it is used all the time, but is more prone to weather damage.)  I think it was a great move.  We are having a blast with it.  Allison is tons of fun to play with, and often comes down with the giggles!

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The day after Allison’s birthday, we had our annual beach trip.  Allison brought her 2 best friends, and they played and played in the water.  I almost cried when I realized I had forgotten my camera!  That night we started another new tradition, which is going out to dinner with just mom and dad for your 10th birthday.  Since Allison is our steak lover, we went to Flemings.

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Allison even shared her box of truffles which she received from Flemings as a birthday gift.  Ooh, they were yummy!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!  I am so blessed to be your mama!