Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday Night Slurpees

....aren't a tradition, but they should be!

Or then again, maybe not. Cole had pina colada, Reese had coca cola, and Reuben had mountain dew...

and I'm pretty sure that not one of them fell asleep before 10!

We've been talking at our planning meetings recently about ways that we can cut down on our trips in the car. Being a homeschooling mother of four, I hardly leave the house anyway; the weekends are the only times we ever really use the car, and that is only to do the obligatory errands of buying groceries and going to the bank. But still, we've been brainstorming what some of our other options might be.

So this week, Justin built this bad boy:

which is an extra bike that Nils gave us that Justin outfitted with two side-saddle bags and two milk crates. Our Big Idea was to begin using this for groceries instead of the car (though I doubt I can do Costco on it...what do you think?) We tried it out on a quick Daddy Run to the corner 7-11 after dinner before Justin took it on its true maiden voyage, later last night, to the Fred Meyer store 2 miles away. Our list wasn't incredibly long, but he did easily make it there and back with all the groceries intact (including two dozen eggs).

It's nice to know that at least for the summer months--we have this option now. If the list is longer on any given day, we can hitch up the bike trailer and double the carrying capacity.

Quote of the Day:
"I ran over Superman with the lawnmower today. He wasn't very super" --Daddy Justin

Monday, June 16, 2008


Ever since June hit a few weeks ago, the boys have spent the better part of every afternoon out scouring the yard for caterpillars. I'm not sure what started this trend, but they've become quite proficient at the hunt. Even determined little Reuben--who used to rely on his older brothers to satisfy his bug-lust--set off entirely on his own a few days ago and stumbled out of the brush some time later with a beaming smile on a face and a wriggly little caterpillar dangling from his fingers.

Needless to say, we now have all sorts of jars and tin cans littering the front porch. They are filled with snails, caterpillars, potato bugs, you name it...and topped with the timeless waxed-paper-poked-with-a-fork-and-held-down-with-rubber-bands ensemble.

This past Sunday morning, Justin and I were on the couch reading the paper, occasionally glancing out the front window at the boys (some still jammy-clad) playing out in the grass, when Cole burst through the door with this:

which is, of course, a perfect little cocoon he discovered in the glass Ball jar that was suddenly and inexplicably missing its caterpillar resident...

I might have been even more excited than he was. I'm pretty sure I've never seen a real cocoon before (other than one on display at the zoo, perhaps)...we are anxiously awaiting the next stage of life to appear!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Camera Love

justin bought a card reader for the computer this week

here is my buddy on the new swing

playing pirate man

"mama, please, i hold him baby sean?"

(this one's a little blurry, but oh, the joy on his face)

...and to top it off, a father's day photo shoot at auntie sam's

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Alphabet And The Sea

Quote of the Day:

"MOM! MOM! I JUST DISCOVERED SOMETHING! A "U" is an upside-down octopus head, and an octopus head is an upside-down "U"!" --Reese, age 4, Lover of All Things Of The Sea

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bored With Breakfast?

Try this!

Here's a Cooking Light recipe I've been wanting to try for a while; I finally made the couscous this morning and we all devoured it. I made a double batch and scrambled a dozen eggs and a few of the boys were still hungry...guess I'll have to make even more next time. But it still worked out to be an inexpensive breakfast, and oh so good! We splurged and bought the craisins, and walnuts are a staple in my freezer, but I'm sure you could just use what you have and omit what you don't. This basically tastes like a fancy oatmeal.

***Oh, and here's the coolest part--if you substitute 1/2 cup dry milk for the regular milk, and increase the water to 1 1/4 cups--it's a CAMPING BREAKFAST! Just boil the water alone, then stir in the dry milk before adding everything else. How's that for wonderful? I am definitely making this on our next camping trip...

Breakfast Couscous
1/4 cup water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2T brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
Toss together couscous, cranberries, raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl; set aside. Bring water and milk to a boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Once mixture boils, take it off the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then stir, and serve!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Four Pizza Night

Yesterday, bored with meal plans, I asked the kids to each come up with a dinner idea to put on the list. Reuben chose "rice". Reese chose "pizza with pineapple on the side". Cole chose "Nothing-Since-I-Wanted-To-Pick-Pizza-But-Reese-Already-Picked-It-And-You-Won't-Let-Us-Have-Pizza-Twice-In-One-Week"! Oh well. Two outta three's not bad.

Since the fridge was pretty empty and pizza toppings can be purchased at the last minute, I got busy making the dough so it could get to rising. My dough recipe makes two pizzas. Realizing I had an excess of flour, yeast, etc I decided to make two batches, so that we could have some dough in the freezer for a quick weekend lunch in the future. A couple of hours later, as I was rolling out the dough, Justin made a quick trip to the store for toppings and beer, and in no time, we were tossing pizzas into the oven....

Okay. Do you know how many pizzas we went through last night? Four. All four. Well, three and a half. Which still leaves no dough for the freezer. And which also means that at the ages of 6, 4 and 2, my boys can already put away close to 3 pizzas between the three of them....

I was laughing as I was putting the fourth pie into the oven and the boys were all still sitting at the table waiting for more--thinking of what life will be like a few years down the road--when they are all FOUR at the table--and bringing home their friends, to boot! Good thing this mama likes to cook!

In other news: today we six hopped the bus that stops right out in front of our house, rode downtown to wander the Farmer's Market, filled our bags with local veggies, a new long-sleeved tee for Mama, and cookies from Mount Bakery, and then stopped into Pita Pit for a special lunch before riding the bus back home. All in all, a bang-up day!

Quote of the Day:
"This is the first time my Golden Tooth has ever eaten pizza!" --Cole, age 6

Monday, June 2, 2008

Meatballs Revisited

Last week I took the boys to the outdoor market and we LOADED UP on every type of fruit and veggie (see previous post for reference to my recent produce addiction). Out of everything we bought, the one thing that we couldn't WAIT to dive into was a perfect little half-pint of perfectly tart blackberries. (Don't your cheeks hurt just thinking about them?) I could hardly get us all buckled into the Volvo before cracking open that little plastic box. Trying desperately to save some for Daddy, who was at home working on the computer, I carefully rationed out 6 berries per hungry mouth and we were on our way. Soon, I hear Cole:

"I'm saving two."

Reese: "I'm saving three."

Cole, frantic: "I'm saving four..."

I peek in the rearview and see the two boys looking at the little berries in their hands, at each other, and back at their berries. Finally Cole, in an act of desperation, blurts out, "Oh, Reese, we can't play Midnight Meatball anymore, remember? Let's just eat them, okay? I'm going to eat mine, are you going to eat yours? Let's just eat them."

Reese: "Okay."

Wowza. Can you just imagine what those little berries would have looked like hidden under the pillows?