Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just What We Needed

We had a great Saturday of rest and fun around the house. We took the kids on a long wagon ride around the neighborhood, which they liked. But they LOVED when Brandon took them up the "hill" (small slope) of our yard and back down in the wagon. Buckled in, of course! It was a little chilly, but still felt good to just be outside. So, we used our firepit while Brandon grilled out for dinner. You can't have a firepit without s'mores!
I wasn't willing to give up two perfectly good metal hangers, so we just did two marshmallows on one hanger.

Brandon likes to set them on fire, but I think it just chars them and doesn't make them squishy enough for me. If it wasn't so hot, I would eat it right off of the hanger.


We didn't have graham crackers, so we just used saltines-which were really good. A good twist of sweet and salty. See the char? This one was Brandon's.
While we played with fire, we just zipped the kids in the trampoline. Every few minutes, Kate would demand a bite, and I think she was showing me her bite in this picture. They love being outside, and we are going to be so glad when it gets warmer and we can wear ourselves out.
See the marshmallow smeared on her face? I think she is a fan of s'mores. I wish we didn't all smell like bonfire now!

And here is my static-haired boy. He had a blast, and he screamed when we came back in. He got one more marshmallow and forgot all about why he was crying.
Then, Kate wanted to be a princess while we cleaned up the kitchen after dinner.
After all of the fun we had today, Kate wrapped it up with a little dancing in the kitchen with her daddy. I feel like I should tell you they were dancing to Kanye West... maybe not getting the Parents of the Year award, but she had so much fun. Brandon will probably LOVE this picture of the clenched-fist-jog-slowly-in-place dance move. :) Hope your weekend was restful and fun.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mmmmm

We had homemade chocolate croissants a few weeks ago at Bible study, and I have been dying for them ever since! I found a recipe and decided to try and make them. These are the ingredients- butter, butter, butter, milk, flour, oil, eggs, sugar (in the canister), yeast and water.
Make a ball of dough, set it out to rise. And rise, and rise!

Roll it out into a huge rectangle, and place a big rectangle of butter in the middle. At the very beginning, you shape softened butter into the rectangle and chill on a cookie sheet.


You fold up the dough around it and pinch the edges tight. You roll that out and then fold it into thirds, chill, roll, fold, chill, etc.



Finally, you have a smaller rectangle and wrap it and chill it for 8 hours. I just let it chill and rise overnight, and it busted through the foil!


You split the final dough into 4 equal parts, roll it out to flat circles, cut into 6 wedges.







You roll the wedges wide side towards small point and bend into crescent shape.



If you want to add a special twist, you put chocolate in the wide end before you roll it up.











Let them rise once again, and then bake. Luckily they only bake for 8 minutes, because once you smell it, you won't be able to wait!



They are a huge bite of buttery goodness! Especially great when they are warm. This recipe makes 2 dozen, so I made 1 dozen regular and 1 dozen chocolate filled. Brandon doesn't care for the chocolate ones, so we have some of each. I highly recommend this recipe, if you have time to let bread rise and rise and rise!







Who could resist a bite into chocolate filled buttery croissant?!


The full recipe is here, it is from Southern Living.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Don't Judge

That is not Kate in the pink furry-hooded jacket, that is my sweet boy! Poor Blake didn't have a jacket that would keep him from getting wet in the snow, so he had to wear one of Kate's old ones- don't judge. Brandon was not very excited to see Blake in a pink jacket! But- he agreed that it is not worth buying Blake a waterproof jacket when we get snow maybe twice a year here. I still hesitated to post pictures, for blackmail purposes, but they were just so cute playing in the snow!


Kate had a blast making snowballs and learning how to make snow angels. Derek and Stacy came over to play, which was nice because I don't enjoy the freezing, wet melting snow all over my clothes and boots!
Uncle D kept Blake from getting wet by a shoulder ride. He has one little girl who LOVES him. He even brings her puffy stickers, so she is hooked on him!







Sweet Blake, please don't hate me for the pink jacket. You screamed so loud to go outside, I had to do something so you could enjoy the snow. Forgive me for the evidence!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No Soliciting

We moved into this house last April, and we quickly learned that people try to solicit just about anything at your front door. We have had countless young people who have said that they are trying to get off the street, so they are selling their mystery cleaning liquid, or they need you to pledge money to "earn points" towards their goal, etc. We constantly have men trying to sell us the paper, kids trying to raise money for their basketball teams, vacuum salesmen, etc. I am a sucker for all these things, but I am married to a "NO" man. It is good and bad, I would probably say yes to too many, and be taken advantage of, but I can always hear his voice in my head saying "ABSOLUTELY NOT." We had a bad experience last fall of a vacuum salesman staying past his welcome on a call night of Brandon's and it made me (and Brandon) very uncomfortable. Shortly after this, Brandon made a handmade sign for our front door that said "no soliciting." I wanted to rip it down because it was tacky and I felt so rude, but he said that he refused to take it down since I am here with 2 kids by myself so much. This weekend, I hosted a baby shower at my house, and I thought it may be rude to have the sign up, so I took it down and forgot about it. Until yesterday...
I was vacuuming in our bedroom when Kate came and told me that there was a man standing in the door. That will make your heart speed up a little. I turned off the vacuum and ran to the front door and sure enough, there was a man on our front porch. (I just wish Kate knew the difference in "in the door" and "at the door".) I opened it and kept both kids behind me and he said that he wanted to do some yardwork for me. This is not a huge surprise because Brandon had to leave 86 piles of leaves in the yard to pack into bags later. He told me he could do it "real cheap" and when I told him no, he rode away on his bike with the rake tied to the back. :( I really thought, for $20, that may be nice for Brandon to not have to worry about it on his day off. But the Brandon in my head told me that $20 needs to go towards bills!
A few hours later, both kids were napping and I was on the couch working on some sewing designs. Our doorbell doesn't ring, it just vibrates, so I looked at the reflection of the clock and saw another man standing there. I decided to ignore it until he started pounding on the front door. I went and opened it and he told me he didn't want to scare me, but that he needed some help. He and his wife live a few streets over and they had a baby 8 days ago. He said he had recently lost his job and that his power got shut off yesterday. He said he would do any yardwork I needed and clean all the branches off the roof, he just needed to earn $49 to get his power back on. It physically hurt me to tell him no, but I knew that there was a chance it was a made up story, and we don't have $49. I told him that I was sorry and that I would pray for him and his family. I shut the door and started crying. I pray that he made that $49 and his power got turned back on (if that was true). It just made me realize that I complain about so much that I want, I need, or that I wish I had- but I have 2 healthy kids in a warm house.
While it was a touching story, I am still putting our sign back up today. Brandon is right, I am too big of a sucker to handle these guys!
Another note- Kate decided Sunday that sleep is ok... so we have been napping and sleeping all night since then. I would love to know what goes through that head!