Monday, March 31, 2008

Making a Momma Proud

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There are some days that I wish I hadn't let the girls (McKenna specifically) watch this little clip. McKenna possesses such talents that make a mom proud (sniff, sniff) - or not. And now she thinks it's hysterical.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Sucker for a GOOD Movie

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Lately I've been on a Jane Austen kick. Books. Movies. Sadly, even the soundtracks. It isn't helping any that PBS has been running Austen flicks on Sunday nights as a part of their "Masterpiece Theatre."

It has not been good. I already owned the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (and by far the best version, mind you), and before buying any other movies based on her novels, I decided to read the books that were associated with the movies again. Just to get a better feel for the ones that followed the books most closely. Here are my top four picks (at the moment).

I forced myself (truthfully, Rick was gone so I didn't quite force myself) to watch the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice - and while I loved the scenery and music (the soundtrack is one of many in my Amazon cart), I will have to pass on that movie version. Sadly, Colin Firth is forever in my heart as Mr. Darcy (deep sigh).

Next on the list: Persuasion. If you haven't read this book, it is so lovely. My movie choice to accompany this book is the A&E version once again.

I rushed back to the library (and why I don't own all of Jane Austen's books is beyond me) and borrowed Emma. I already own the version with Gwenyth Paltrow and while I love some of the filming in that version, I also borrowed the A&E version and LOVED it! Yes, the characters aren't as "handsome" and big-names, but it stayed so much truer to the book and the characters themselves (in my opinion that is). And now, I have two versions (my husband can roll his eyes here).

Today I finished reading Sense and Sensibility. Just in time to see BBC's newest version begin on PBS - and so far, I am loving it. Of course, I am going to have to find some time this week to watch the version with Kate Winslet again so I can compare, but I have already pre-purchased the new version by BBC through Amazon. Sad, but true. Another two copy movie.

I'm a sucker for a good movie. I admit it. And to prove it, I'm probably going to go broke. I'm only comforting myself in that my children can someday watch these movies (safely) and I am sure my girls will love them as much as I do.

And many books and movies left to read and watch?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Family Favorite

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I'm sitting at the breakfast table with the kids this morning and enjoying some wonderful banana bread. And I figured while I'm enjoying it, I might let you in on it too. Would you like a slice?

The kids keep asking for more, so I'm pretty sure that it's tasty (especially since I just had my third slice too). Heated a little bit. Soft butter spread on top. YUM!! Would you like my recipe? Ok, I'll share! But you can also check it out Our Favorite Family Recipes and print it off.

Banana Bread
makes 2 loaves

Blend until creamy:
⅔ C shortening
⅓ C honey
⅔ C sucanat
1½ tsp grated lemon rind

Beat in:
3 - 4 eggs
4 or 5 ripe bananas

Sift in:
1 tsp salt
5 tsp baking powder
3½ C whole wheat pastry flour

Stir in:
6 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Add sifted ingredients to sugar mixture. Beat until smooth.

Stir in:
6 oz. (1/2 bag) of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional - but oh, so lovely)

Spread into 2 greased bread pans and bake 45-55 minutes or until done. Cool before slicing.

***You can use 1 1/3 cups total of white sugar and eliminate both the honey and sucanat. Also, white flour works instead of the whole wheat pastry flour.

This reminded me of something that I was going to tell you all about (thanks to Crystal for the heads up on this site!). It's a recipe book you can make for yourself with your own favorite recipes, and right now you can get $10 off if you follow this link (or use the coupon code COOKTEN). The website is called and you can upload 100 of your favorite recipes with (or without) pictures - or you can pick and choose recipes from their huge stash from Epicurious, etc...

You don't have to do all 100 at the same time. You can start with 20 and then they will credit your account for the other 80 which you can add later (or you can do 5, and have 95 later, etc...). Since the cookbook is a binder you can add and remove recipes as you like. I've been working on mine (ok, I have 2 recipes uploaded) and I'm really beginning to like this idea! We have certain recipes that we really enjoy as a family and it would be nice to have them all in one place. You know, those meatballs that Rick's mom makes, the brownie recipe my friend Alison gave me years ago....

So click on and check it out. I'm working on it slowly but steadily and hope to pull something together before the $10 off special runs out. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Missing Shoes, Itchy Dresses...and Attempts at Pictures

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At 7am Easter morning, we heard cries of distress from our girls room. We only had ONE PAIR of white shoes to wear for Easter. Which is obviously a problem when you have two girls. Laurianna graciously let McKenna take the one pair of shoes and we buckled everyone in the van and headed to Target for some shoes. And they were closed. So we headed off to Kmart. And they weren't open yet. So we sat in the van and waited. And waited. And we found one pair of shoes in the size we needed (Thank you, Lord) - because had there been no shoes, it wouldn't have been good. And as an added blessing, the box of shoes came with a lovely butterfly necklace, making for one happy little girl.

Trying to take pictures of four children can truly be exasperating. There is a one in a million chance that I might (and I use that term loosely) be able to get a picture with all four of the children looking at the camera and smiling. This was not that one in a million day.

Laurianna, of course was more than happy to smile. But she couldn't seem to put Kaleb down.

Zachary was...well, Zachary. Since we took pictures in the front yard, he felt compelled to take time to see if the car doors were unlocked, run around the car to get away from Rick who was chasing him to get him to sit down to take a picture. He finally did succumb to taking a picture...

...but only because he was promised that he could take a picture of Rick and me (and that is our neighbor's oddly mishapen and hacked up version of tree over my shoulder).

McKenna - she almost smiled for the pictures, but the dress was itchy, she was cold, the sun was bright, (insert a complaint here)...

And trying to get Kaleb to LOOK in my general direction. Just not really going to happen - especially while smiling. The grass was too green. Leaves to fun to play with.

But even with all the craziness and sixty some-odd pictures later...there are plenty of picture to smile about. The ones that make your heart happy.

Showing two sisters who DO love each other.

One crazy little boy who has a zest for life.

And one sweet little girl that truly loves on her siblings.

A Boy with BIG Toys.

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We visited some friends of ours that are in the process of building their house (their land connects to the land we recently bought to build on).

Zachary has had so much fun watching the building behind our current house, and Saturday he was able to climb aboard and fiddle around with all the fun stuff. He was THRILLED when one of the men working on their house came over, started it up, and let him help drive it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Own Kids Can't Read It

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When people call our house, we can tell if they know me or not - if they can pronounce my name.

How does it sound in your head (assuming you don't know me)?


Over the years, I've been called such a variety of things...some comically funny. Today, McKenna went and got the mail and I had her practice reading the address labels to see who each piece was for.

Rick (check).
Ernest (my dad who is living with us - check).
Jolanthe.....umm...Mom? What does this say?

She knows my name, but forgot that the way she usually spells it is M-O-M.

For the record, my name is "technically" said Yo-lon-ta (I'd put one of those smiley face circles above the "o" in my name, but can't figure out how to do it).

Can you say it?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt

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The kids were more than thrilled to hunt for candy on Saturday. The rain let up finally, so they searched around the back yard for their eggs. They get so excited when their Easter baskets come out and they know that somewhere in the backyard is candy!!

Kaleb loved it too - once he figured out what to do (and that the eggs made a fun noise when you shook them!)

Not lots of candy - but enough. Enough to keep them busy and have a little fun.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's Utterly Sad When...

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...the first color in your garden for the year is a WEED!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where does she get it from?

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This is Laurianna. Doing what she loves to do.

Where, oh where does she get it from, I wonder?

So Proud of Himself

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Kaleb finally figured it out yesterday. He can climb.

And he is ever so proud of himself. Do you see that happy-with-himself grin on that little face? Thinking he's a big boy.

I'm fine with the chairs. But did he have to figure out that he can climb on the table too? And how is it, that being a mom of three who have willingly gone before - I can't quite remember how we handled this?

The Battle of the Brocolli

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Have I mentioned that I'm stubborn? Strong-willed?

And so far, three of our children are exhibiting this to varying degrees?

Unfortunately, this has been rearing it's ugly head at dinner time with Zachary over the last week. Monday night he refused to finish his mashed potatoes and corn. Can you guess what was sitting on his plate for breakfast? and snack? and lunch? and snack - until he finally managed to eat it right before dinner last night.

Last night dinner seemed to be going fairly well. Until the brocolli just sat there. Staring at him. Despite the cries of his waiting chocolate pudding.

And my draw-the-line-you-will-eat-this attitude means that this was breakfast this morning.

And this was the face of a 3-year-old who was THRILLED to see it gracing the table.

Perhaps I seem a little harsh, but we have compromised on some issues. Since cooked carrots literally make him gag, we are now offering raw carrots with dip instead, since that doesn't cause an issue (go figure). Raw brocolli may also be in the future for us. We have a boy that at times can be very texture oriented. His excuse to not eat it this morning is: "My tummy is asking for cereal. It doesn't want brocolli." I'm sure it is. :)

So. much. fun. And I'm so glad that I can show this to him years down the road. When his kids are screaming and crying about their food.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Not to burst your bubble...

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...but I am not always organized and tend to be scattered in some areas, mainly because I am too lazy at times to do something I should.

Here is an excellent example. I have lots of books. And I like to let others borrow them. Most times though, I don't bother to write down who has what, so...books wander off, I forget who I lent them to (although at the time it seems perfectly easy to remember that I handed them off too ______), until someone hands them off to someone else, and then my mind just goes a little crazy.

Although we aren't finished with this year's homeschooling, I've bought much of my curriculum for next year already (it was on sale and I was a little overanxious to get my hands on it). I had it, and I vaguely remember a conversation in which I let someone borrow the main curriculum book to look at. Because we wouldn't need it yet.

Do you think I could remember who I let borrow the book?

Not on your life.

If it's you - and you are reading my blog, could you let me know? Pretty please?

And I vow to keep better track of all those books I let others borrow. Eventually.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Paleontologists in the Making

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Today has been absolutely amazing weather-wise. Enough to get that bug of spring in you - and then make you sigh in disappointment when you realize it isn't here for real. Yet.

The kids are loving it and have been outside in full force. Forget that we have a great playgym. Or toys to play with. There is dirt. Lots of dirt to dig in.

Zachary has dirt in or on practically every orifice of his little body. We have a large unfinished corner in our yard that needs some plants and mulch. But not today. Today is for digging, exploring and believing that there are dinosaur bones buried somewhere in our yard. Hearing the squeals of excitement as they unearthed gold (some lovely large rocks) and dinosaur bones (a nice large tree root) has been rather comical. And they really believe they are dinsoaur bones too. It's all too cute.

And I would take pictures of it, but my husband has our camera.


Without me.

Where it is a lovely 85 degrees. And there is a pool. With waterfalls. And about this time he can start sipping pina coladas. And tour the old town of San Juan.

While I have leftovers.

I'm not JEALOUS or anything.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Very Good...and Not Very Good

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VERY good!

not very good

A Tour of My Kitchen

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My camera was hijacked. Again. In my defense, I do keep it up HIGH, but a certain husband of mine left it on the a certain 3-year-old took it on a little expedition around our kitchen. I downloaded all the lovely pictures to see what he'd been up too.

Would you like to see what my kitchen looks like - through the eyes of a little someone?

Oh - the lens cap needs to come OFF!!

Nice dog bed.

I know there is a way to get up that high - how do you focus this thing?

Hey, the rug is clean today. I should spill something on it.

Look! My puppy!!

I'm figuring out this picture thing.

There's that dog bed again.

Mom has some nice towels hanging on the stove.

Nice drawer handle. Have I been in that drawer lately?

A yellow bag. All alone on the counter. Perhaps I should open that.

Oh, hi Charlie!!

There's that cup! I am a little thirsty.

(enter Mommy). And so ends the tour of our humble abode. Don't you feel you know me better?

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