Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jack and his buddies

I really have done nothing at all this year for Halloween. No decorating really. Just wasn't feelin' it I guess. Doesn't help that Reg's not really a fan of Halloween. My mind's already on Christmas I guess. :)

We did carve pumpkins. Had to do that at least! For Monday night's FHE we did this.

Mine and Lucy's: Jack

Dad's (its the transformer logo if you can't tell)

Alden's: (he drew on whatever he wanted and I cut it out for him)

And now Alden is sick (he slept 15 hours straight last night) with the flu (hopefully everyone else doesn't get it) and Reg is out of town til Saturday night. So we are just hunkering down. And watching movies and reading books and playing the game boy and playing games. And vegging.

And I'm editing lots of pictures. There are lots of new sessions on my photo blog for you to peruse. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Outside pllllllleeeeeeeaaaaassssseeeeeee

This little man LOVES being outside.
If he's whining, which he happens to do a lot of (pretty much either causing trouble, laughing or whining) if you take him outside and just let him wander, his mood will instantly get better. (most of the time)
(I see this exact face with exact arms stretched out fairly often during the day!)

Sunday evening walk. It was fffffreezing out. But look at him. He's lovin' it!!

Dad making him laugh by throwing leaves on top of him....

He's totally trouble and a lot of work.
But he's MY trouble.

And in case you are wondering, I folded (and will put away in a minute or two) 6 loads of laundry. Yes that would in fact mean we had nothing to wear. Any of us. My arch nemesis laundry.

Monday, October 26, 2009

In the Kitchen: Cafe Rio Salad

I have had quite a few people ask for this recipe. And I've never gotten around to posting it. (Sorry it took me so long Brett!) This really is one of my very favorite meals! I made it this past week on Thursday for a group of ladies I had over for lunch. And it was marvelous! :) I don't have a picture of it.... but here is the recipe

Cafe Rio Salad:

Put in your crockpot:
3-4 pound Pork Roast
1 cup Pace Picante Sauce
1 cup Brown Sugar
Cook it until you can shred it with a fork.
(For a frozen roast about 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high)
Cook some rice with zest from 1 lime.
Blend and chill:
1 1/3 cup light sour cream (I use 500ml of sour cream)
3/4 cup mayo
1 bunch of cilantro
1 package Ranch Dressing (you know that powdered stuff)
4 Tbsp Safeway Salsa Verde
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp Tabasco (I always leave this out so my kids will eat it)
Juice of 1 lime
Add milk if too thick
Guacamole: Use your favorite recipe or
2 mashed avocados
2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 diced tomato
add to taste: hot sauce, garlic powder & cayenne pepper

To eat it pile it in this like a taco on your plate:
Black Beans
Shredded Pork
Romaine Lettuce
Diced Tomatoes
Corn Chips (Optional)
**Eat it like a salad, breaking off tortilla as you go or wrap the whole thing like a burrito (that's what we do)**

and here is a random photo from last weekend!
Some people think that this time of year is ugly around here. I completely disagree! I LOVE the yellowness of this season!! Love the hay bails in the fields. Love the crisp blue sky. I think it's beautiful!!!

MSBH Challenge 23 (Herb Baking Powder Biscuits), 24 (Fudgy Chocolate Brownies)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photo Talk: 3x Photography

Three Photo shoot ideas I think would be super fun:
1. One Year Anniversary: A year after a couple has been married, getting dressed up in different outfits. The wedding dress if it still fit, a skirt and shirt or dress, pants and a cute top. Different outfits, different locations. After a year (or more) you are more relaxed with your spouse. It's easier to show affection in front of someone else. And still hopelessly in love.

2. A Day in the Life: Following someone or a family around for a day or a while. A family doing something they love. Or just being together at home. Doing their regular playing and cooking, reading or cuddling.

3. Trash the Dress: oh I can not explain how much I wanna do that! Where girls get all fancied up and we go to grungy places and take fashion-ista pics. I have three locations in mind in Lethbridge that I think would be A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Three Things I wish all photo clients would remember:
1. You are beautiful. There are beautiful things about everyone.
2. Relax. I'd rather have a serious face than a cheesy grin.
3. DON'T threaten your kids for pictures. EVER. Seriously EVER.

Three Things to make an especially good shoot:
1. Good light. (Right when the sun is going down is so the best. Beautiful golden light)
2. Relaxed parents who just let me interact with their kids naturally.
3. People who come knowing how to look and act in front of the camera

Three things you are likely to hear me say at a photo shoot...
1. You'd better have a little kiss now
2. Do you want to see my little trick?
3. Yoooooooooouuuuuuu-wwwhhhhhhhhooooooooo

Three Things I want to improve upon:
1. My technical knowledge of shooting. I have more to learn. Lots more.
2. Better work flow, faster work flow.
3. My Shooting in low light situations.

Three of my Biggest Photography Inspirations are:
1. Tara Whitney
2. Brooke Snow
3. Rebecca Westover

Three things I'd love to purchse:
1. Nikon D700
2. A fancier blog or site
3. A soft box

Three of my favorite latest shots I've taken:

I'd love to see other photog's try my little quiz.
Or anyone really!
So have at 'er and link me up so I can read your answers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Inventor/ Mad Scientist Party

Some pictures from the party.
Alden invited 5 other boys. (Which funny enough felt like 2x the amount whereas the girls party two weeks ago was more girls and easier to manage! Lucy came upstairs and said to me "Mom, girls just talk a lot but boys are loud and make trouble!")
I had wanted to get the kids some lab coats. I was going to borrow some from my mom (She has enough for her entire grade 1/2/3 split class) but she couldn't find them and it was too late to head out to the thrift store to buy men's shirts - but that would totally work!)
So instead we just had funny mustaches. :) Kinda random. But totally funny!
We did some science experiments and a little building. Each boy got the same amount of toothpicks, marshmallows and cheesies. The boys really got into it!!
Then we made homemade silly putty or goo or whatever you wanna call it. Most of the boys loved it. One of them (Carter) said he was gonna throw up cause it was so gross. :) (Notice him escaping from the table quickly behind Ben)
Then we went outside to do some baking soda and vinegar exploding. Which they loved! :)

The cake. I let Alden pick whatever cake he wanted (from my Martha Book!) and he picked a cake called Martha's Birthday Cake. And only Alden liked it. The other kids told me it wasn't so good. hahahaha. I didn't really care. As long as Alden was happy, I was happy! :)

It was a good birthday party I think! Alden loved it!


MSBH Challenge 20 (Martha's Birthday Cake), 21 (Almond Meringue), 22 (Almond Buttercream)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alden turns 7

Seven years ago at this time I was a brand new mom.
8 hours of labor total from start to finish.
A 10 pound 6 ounce baby boy.
Size that surprised every single person there.
Regan, My mom, Dr. Gallagher, the nurse named Ruth, and the student nurse.
Both Regan and I thought we would have a boy.
We did.
A blue eyed, only peach hair, insanely large perfect boy.
I became a mom.
Seven Years old
At 7 years old Alden:
• still quiet and thoughtful
• loves to snuggle with me especially when I am wearing my housecoat. (He sees it as a sign to snuggle)
• on the cusp of learning to read
• loves lego a LOT
• loves to swim and ride his bike and play on the playground at school
• is really tall for his age and insanely skinny
• has recently outgrown his pants again (only for length)
• is working on projecting his voice (he has never been able to yell and is still working on talking loudly - we're on a wait list to see a speech pathologist that specializes in voice)
• has stunning blue eyes and dirty blond hair
• is currently missing 3 teeth (with two more wiggly and one growing back in)
• can be a great help with Eli (if he wants to be) by playing with him, lifting him down when he gets into trouble
• loves to sit and listen to stories, books and also makeup stories from his dad
• has notebooks and notebooks filled with inventions that he has drawn out
• loves to learn about how things work and what makes things go
• favorite foods are spaghetti (we had tonight), pancakes (for his party tomorrow), cheeseburgers, and nutella sandwiches
• switches between his bunk beds - currently its the top bunk
• loves to fill his bed with stuffed animals (he calls them stuffies)
• is a very obedient student at school and church
• loves the Wii at grandpa's house and wants one desperately at our house (no we will NOT be getting one!)
• has a growing testimony of the Gospel and is getting really good at bearing his testimony all one his own
• absolutely loved getting the attention on his birthday this year
• told his class today for show and tell that he recently invented a new game called Zombies
• still has no idea what he wants to be for Halloween
• is obsessed with the Sears Gift Book
• loves to play the computer
• thinks Family Home Evening is the coolest thing and loves it
• is very polite and respectful to adults
• is GOOD at drawing. Adds a lot of details and layers
• is really into building things with anything he can get his hands one
• whenever I empty a box or a toliet paper roll is done he annouces "I know we can make a craft with that!)
• loves all things Pokemon (including the very boring books!)
• is a very easy going child and such a joy to have in our home!

Update on MSBH Challenge:
Aldens' cake tonight and cupcakes for school today was Chocoalte Cake. (I added whipped cream and chocoalte ganache to the cake for us and regular cream cheese icing for the cupcakes for his class)

Over thanksgiving I made:
Coconut Cream Pie
Key Lime Pie
Individual Gingerbread cakes with Chocoalte Ganache
chocgingerbreadcakes (all the kids loved these!)

Plus i made two different kinds of cookies out of the book for my Photography Class I held at my house last night. (no pics of those....)
MSBH Challenge 13 (Coconut Cream Pie) 14 (Key Lime Pie) 15 (Individual Gingerbread cakes) 16 (Chocoalte Ganache) 17 (One Bowl Chocolate Cake 18 (Chocolate Wafers) & 19 (Coconut Pecan Wafers)

And thanks for all the lovely words about the scrapbooking. :) makes me feel all warm a smooshy inside :) smooches

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the Craft Room: Scrappy Share (and some other goodies)

One night when Reg was on call a few weeks ago he read over my past blog posts. Like looked back to the beginning. And he told me he noticed a few things.

1. I write down less of what the kids say that I used too. Which I've been trying to correct since then and will continue to do!

2. I share way less scrapbooking that I used too. I still do it a lot. Just do it for myself. But thought I would try and rectify that too. Some pages as of late.

And a cute photo I just had to share from the shoot I am currently editing. Are they not the CUTEST little girls?? I just love taking their pictures and playing with them!!

And Sean took this of of my special skills..... (let's see if this works...)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

10 on Tuesday (on Wednesday) & In the Kitchen

1. Today Eli dumped a bag of cake and pastry flour all over the floor and then tracked it all over the kitchen while walking around, tried to climb up a small dresser in Lucy's room and tipped it over completely on himself, climbed up onto the computer so that he could get the phone, climbed onto the kitchen table to get his milk, and emptied out the drawers of my bedside table. This kid keeps me on my toes.
(picture from a day in the summer at the lake)

2. One of my all time favorite foods is BBQ chicken pizza. I love it made from scratch at home. It's best with regular BBQ sauce, mozzarella cheese and purple onions. But I didn't have all of that :) It was still good!
I used the MSBH Challenge to try out a new pizza dough recipe. I know a couple people have emailed me and asked for a recipe for pizza dough - so here is the Martha one.

Martha Stewart's Pizza Dough
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for bowl

In a small bowl, sprinkle sugar and yeast into warm water; stir with fork until sugar and yeast dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse flour and salt to combine. Add yeast mixture and oil; pulse until mixture comes together but is still tacky. Dough should pull away cleanly from your fingers after it's squeezed. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead four or five times until a smooth ball forms.

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, smooth side up. Cover with plastic wrap; let sit in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.

Punch down dough. Fold dough back onto itself four or five times. Divide into two pieces. Knead each piece four or five times, then turn smooth side up. Replace
plastic wrap; let dough rise again in a warm place until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.

**It doesn't make much dough. Two twice inch pizzas. One we delivered to another friend who just had a baby (I seem to know a lot of people like that....) and then ate one ourselves for supper. If my kids ate pizza like normal kids then we wouldn't of had enough. So I'd totally double the recipe next time!

3. I put up another shoot on my photo blog of a sweet newborn. I loved doing it. and it made me want to shoot some more newborns. Luckily I have a friend who just had a new little girl. (And on the downlow I know 4 other people having babies - but I won't tell you who!) I put lots on the other blog but this one is my favorite of the day (I think)

4. I made a little button you can see on the side of my blog if you want to add it to yours as a link.

5. I am a creature of habit. I use the same recipes for cookies.
If I am making chocolate chip cookies I ALWAYS use the same recipe. It's my favorite. But I tried a new one for the MSBH Challenge to go along with the BBQ pizza for my friend for dinner.
And I always use the same bread recipe. But tried a new one of this too! Honey Whole Wheat Bread.

6. I am starting to plan Alden's birthday. His is the 15th. He wants an inventor party. So my mind is pondering that. Any ideas? I've got a few...

MSBH Challenge 10 (Pizza Dough) 11 (Chocolate Chunk Cookies) & 12 (Honey WW Bread)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Lucy at 4

A look back in photos and a list of things about Lucy right now
* talks from the time she gets up until the time she goes to bed
* says whatever it is she is thinking (as in there is NO filter AT ALL)
* loves all things pink, girlie and princess-ey
* wears size 5 pants (for the length) tightened as much as they will
* loves to read books
* her favorite foods are chicken nuggets & fries, hash browns, hot dogs, fruit, cranberries, and raisin toast
* she recently decided that she always wants water to drink (which is a big change from the usual always milk choice
* came upstairs last week and announced that we would be getting a baby sister since she told Heavenly Father we needed one
* loves to help out with Eli, getting him toys, getting diapers
* loves to play with play food & dishes and polly pocket
* she loves her dad's make up stories about Darryl the inventor and Ella the princess
* loves getting out of the house with somewhere to go or someone to see
* always wants a friend over to play - but ONLY girls
* uses the word never in almost every sentence lately, as in i never get to play with anyone, you never cook chicken nuggets, etc
* loves to play computer games and watch movies (princess ones)
* tells me every day when we get in the car seat that she can't wait to be big enough to not have to go in a car seat like Alden
* loves to listen to kid music especially the bear hunt song
* can go from a full out screaming cry to laughing in 0.3 seconds
* can still throw a mean fist throwing snot flying screaming fit
* hates having her hair washed
* loves to go swimming
* loves to dress up in costumes
* loves her primary class
* is really comfortable bearing her testimony
* can read between the lines very easily, making it especially important to say what you mean with her
* can read her name and Alden's
* wants to go to school all day already
* has a very contagious belly laugh
* makes a lot of funny faces
* loves to do crafts, bake and read with me
* came upstairs today and announced that she now wanted to be a sandwich for Halloween
* is completely full of spice and is going to tell you how it is!
* brings a lot of sunshine into you home while completely giving us a run for our money sometimes!
* is turning into a tall slim beautiful girl!
We are so glad Lucy is part of our family!!

Up for Tomorrow: All about all the baking from today and some recipes
Answers for the questions: It wasn't a floating cake, my friend Pitima was holding it just right so I could take a photo without her in it (not that I don't think she's cute, cause she is ;) ) And I have a white backdrop. I've had it for a while but haven't had a chance to use it til the birthday party.