Saturday, May 21, 2016

Wish You Were Here!

We're looking forward to a little road trip getaway.
Stay tuned for pictures in a week!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wrapping Up Piano

In the last almost 2 years that we've lived in Fallon, 
I've had the pleasure of teaching 6 different piano students of varying levels.

This last week we wrapped up lessons for the year -
and for me, for the foreseeable future.

From Finding Neverland to Taylor Swift to Sleeping Beauty, to Yankee Doodle
I've heard it all and loved watching sweet students develop a love for music.

Scheduling two kiddos for quiet time and nap time around lessons was manageable, 
but I have no desire to try to juggle three little ones around lessons.

 We celebrated our first piano-less day with a picnic lunch in the backyard.

These boys are always up for an adventure.

Don't look too closely at our 'grass.'
We live in the desert, after all!

After lunch Ryder 'made' a big pot of 'Mac & Roni' to share with all of his friends.

And eventually I'll have to tackle this big mountain of clean laundry and get it folded if we're going to have anything to wear on vacation next week!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pie Time

On Saturday I was at Costco and in a hurry.
Never a good combination!

Anyway, when I got home and put all of my groceries away, I found that the 2lbs of strawberries I picked up were a little more ripe than overripe.

Enter - 
My most recent Food Network Magazine and it's strawberry recipes.

First the crust.

I substituted cold butter for the vegetable shortening.

 The crust recipe was nice and generous, so I didn't have the usual struggle of trying to stretch just a little bit more out of the pastry dough.

Then the crumble topping.

All together.

And baked!
The biggest struggle was waiting the prescribed 4 hours for it to cool completely.

But it paid off, because the strawberry juice didn't run all over the place.
I had an eager first taste tester.

And then after he was in bed, we warmed it up again with vanilla ice cream.

It's a good thing too, 
because I needed a little pick me up after my littlest monkey decided to pull my 
KitchenAid mixer down and break my beautiful glass mixing bowl.

But that's everyday life. 
It's not all tasty pies. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Finishing Up Home Projects

It's 81degrees outside and I'm sitting in the backyard soaking up this beautiful Nevada sunshine. 
The boys are both napping after an active morning at the gym and I'm taking advantage of the peacefulness to catch up on a few things. 

On my to do list:

Keeping up with you, friends and family - through this post
Writing a love note to my man - he works so hard!
Researching a new vacuum 
(Yes! The budget says we're ready to go ahead and pull the trigger)
And, if I get to them, 
A Better Homes and Gardens & Martha Stewart Living magazines. 

Catching up on magazines is truly a sign that I have too much time on my hands. 
Well, except for my Food Network Magazine. That's my current favourite and I classify browsing it's pages of scrumptious recipes as 'work' since I'm always looking for dishes to feed my family. :)

But first, 
let me catch you up on a few small projects around the house that we've finally finished. 

1. The Stool

Braden picked up the wood for it about a few months ago and then during some time off recently, designed and made it. 

Not only is it beautiful, it has changed our lives.

Now Ryder can reach all of his drawers and dress himself in the morning. 
He can take care of going potty and washing his hands on his own. 
And, I don't have to lift him all the way up onto the counter when he helps me in the kitchen daily. 
I'm sure I'll appreciate this even more as Baby #3 continues to grow!

Ryder affectionately calls it his 'stood'.
Here he is playing in the oatmeal (making toad in the hole) while I prepare dinner.

2. The Measuring Ruler

The vision for this project dates back a little further. 
We used Christmas money from grandparents to get this wood and it truly was a labour of love. 

Braden made the ruler to replicate a real ruler as accurately as possible and even burned in the numbers in the right font by hand. 

Next we just need to decide how to record the boys' height.

3. The Book Wagon

Being married to a woodworker is awesome. 
Being married to an unemployed woodworker would be awesome too.
Too many projects and not enough time is always the quandary.  

The problem is that we all love books. 
As our family grows and our children develop, we just collect more and more awesome books.
But, you can't buy bookshelves when you're married to a woodworker. 

So, in an effort to organize the books our boys have in their room, I turned to Pinterest.
And, thanks to some birthday money for the boys 
and a local antique store, we were able to solve the problem. 

They love their book wagon!

And that's what's new here.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day

Just for fun, 
I took a little walk down memory lane this morning and 
browsed through some old photos that are special Mama moments. 

From finding out that Ryder would be joining our family...

to bringing him home from the hospital.

Our first hike together up Chuckanut 

and our first trip to the top of the Space Needle.

 Being a Mama kept me busy during a long 9 month deployment

and this little fella helped me welcome Daddy home at the end of it all.

 A new house and a new state later, 
Lynden became the second sweetie to make me a Mama.

 Big brother met Lynden for the first time when 
we picked him up on our way home from the hospital.

From Lake Tahoe... 

 to Sacramento...

to our very own backyard - these boys give me my favourite job title:
Mama <3

Friday, May 6, 2016

Play Dates and Playing Host

If you know us very well at all, 
you know that Braden loves to have friends over and I love to be in the kitchen. 
It works out pretty well here because our rental is super open and conducive to large gatherings.

It generally works out pretty well because my 
recipes and experiments are more than we can consume!

This last week I had some local ladies from MOPS and their kiddos over for a playdate. 

There were 13 kiddos and over 20 of us all together. 
The chickens are always a big attraction.

And so, I pulled out a few new recipes I'd been anxious to try.
Since I haven't shared recipes here on my blog for a few weeks, 
I'll include a few photos and links.

It was fun and colourful.
I ended up making a second batch to take to our Bible Study group in the evening.

Also on the menu:

This isn't my picture, my morning got busy and I forgot to take one, but this is one of my favourite baking bloggers and I always love her recipes on Pinterest.

Of course we had coffee, and I had planned to make a big pitcher of basil lemonade before the friends arrived, but mothering a toddler took priority and so I was only able to make up the basil infused simple syrup before everyone arrived. 

Finally today, I juiced some fresh lemons and mixed up the lemonade to have with our lunch. 
My basil has survived on the windowsill for a whole month now - a new record!

Using this recipe
I just made up some simple syrup and then added fresh minced basil 
to steep in it as it chilled for a few hours.

Then came the lemon juice.

Cold water and ice. 

The boys had a ton of fun playing with their friends.
I enjoyed some adult conversation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

These Are The Days

These are the days we love.
Sunshine, watermelon, and playtime in the backyard.

Do you see that shiner?
Ryder took a tumble from the van to the gravel parking lot at church last weekend.

He is one tough cookie!
These are the days with the boys we love.

Birthday balloons

 and birthday money to put in the piggy bank.
All from Oma. 

We can't wait to see Oma again soon!

These are the days we cherish.

Ryder running with Dixie:
Keens on the wrong feet
A tumble and scraped knees didn't phase him.

Helping Daddy with yard work.

And these days won't last long.

Lynden is pulling himself up to his feet finally.
He will be walking before long...

These are the boys we love so much. 
We are so thankful for the privilege of parenting!