Sunday, 14 September 2014

It feels like Autumn.....

1. The weather has been so nice and cool the last couple of days, it actually feels like autumn!!!  LOVE it!!!!!!  This is a complete oddity for where I live, and I'm enjoying every second because I know it will end as soon as that cold front passes on.  Sorry about the snow Calgary, but I love the 70 degree weather here in Houston!!!

2.  I haven't met my goal for this week of finishing the boys' Halloween costumes, mostly because I decided to hand appliqué them instead of machine, and hem them by hand too.  Ruff.  Hopefully it's worth the work.  I think it will be as Sebastian asks me every day if his is finished.

3.  I have pictures, and lots of them!!!  For starters, what happens when Sebastian plays in our craft box:

4. This week has been a little rough.  I cried thoughout the entire movie of Wall-E, if that gives you an idea of what I mean.  Also, I should just hand over every credit card, check, Paypal password, nickel, dime, and penny etc, to Leo when I start to feel this way.  At least I could be responsible in knowing that I am not in control when emotional and take action that way. I'm excited for my new hats anyway.  And books.  And picture.  Yep.  You see the problem, right?

5.  I wanted to upload a video of Ana singing Lollipop but I can't, at least not in the first thing I tried, because the video wasn't public.  You'll have to get on Facebook to see it.  Trust me, it's worth it.

6.  I love Nicolas's big brown eyes.  And the fact that he's always happy.  Except for right now.  Right now, he's screaming and kicking his door because he doesn't want to take a nap.  By the way, he had to wear a BYU jersey because BYU beat the University of Houston AND the University of Texas this  past week.  Sweet!

7. Leo got a haircut and we had fun styling his hair beforehand.  It was ridiculously long. 

 This was his Wolverine look.

 And this is where Lando got his curls.
8.  I took selfies today too.  (Well, Leo doesn't take selfies, I took his photo.) My hair had a 70's vibe going--well, it had already lost some it by the time I took these photos.  I looked all nice today, but then stayed home with my three boys because Sebastian is sick--he slept till 12:30 PM.  And Nicolas is acting sick too.  Joy.  I hate having sick kids.  It's almost better to be sick myself.  

9.  We went to our ward's sock hop last night.  It was so fun to dance with Leo.  The little girls were dancing all night.  So adorable.  

10.  And now what you've all been waiting for--pictures of Jubal:

11. I got my first commission to make a costume for someone.  I'm excited! I mean, I've made costumes for people before, but I've never been paid before.  Nice.

12.  Leo took the kids on a 3 mile walk yesterday along the bayou.  It was the perfect weather for it.  I was helping decorate for the sock hop.

13.  That's all.  I'll try to take more pictures of Jubal.  Ta ta.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

So sad

1.  I wanted to post pictures of adorable Jubal, but I can't find my camera.  I had it last night at a friend's house and I was taking pictures of Jubal while the kids were swimming.  But I can't find it for the life of me.  I called my friend, but she hasn't seen it.  Leo and Ana both said they saw it last night after swimming on the counter, but it's disappeared.  Sigh.

2.  As proof of just how cute Jubal is, FOUR people came up to me at the emergency preparedness fair I was at and asked to take pictures of him, because he was just so cute!!!  (I actually thought that was a little weird, but whatever.)

3. I was at an emergency fair at the ward in Waller, Texas because they called me on Monday, desperate to have someone man a booth about hurricane preparedness.  I told them I know nothing about hurricanes, and that I've never experienced any (well,  Hurricane Wilma in Florida, but that was a slight breeze by the time it hit us). But they begged and pleaded till I said okay.  The person who was supposed to do it but had something else come up and he gave them my name.  Anyway, I asked him for his presentation (he's a weatherman for Fox news) that he had just given in our 5th Sunday lesson, and just used some of the slides for the booth.   It went okay, although I felt dumb because most the people  I talked to had lived here a long time and had experienced lots of hurricanes.

4. Waller is quite a ways from Houston, and there was a lot cowboy boots, wranglers, and belt buckles in the crowd.  I actually felt like I live in Texas.

5. Isabel came home the other day from school and exclaimed, "School is ruining my life!!!!" When I asked her what was wrong with school, she said they made her sit "criss-cross applesauce" (cross-legged) and her legs were going to be stuck there forever and she couldn't stand it!

6.  I finally started sewing the kids' Halloween costumes.  I'm so excited. And I finished 8 blocks of my scrap quilt.

7.  I really wish I knew where my camera is.

8. Leo might go to Saudi Arabia for 2-3 weeks sometime before Christmas.  Nothing definite yet.

9.  Is it weird that I stress-shop on Craigslist?  In a way it's better than Amazon because you have to wait for the people to reply and you can try to barter down the price, and then find a time to go pick up the stuff.  It's gives a lot of time to come to my senses and decide not to buy whatever random thing it was that happened to catch my attention (art, this time).  Oh here, I'll post a picture of the piece I was going to buy, since I have no other pictures to post.

I thought it was cool anyway.  It's by  Charles B. Gruel, a white Canadian, who first made Northwest Native American fine art popular way back in the early 1930s and 40s.  But his prints have fallen out of favor because he's not Native American, and thus his artwork is considered not "authentic."  I think that's stupid, because why should his ethnicity be considered at all in relation to artwork he's producing?

10.  I was stressing/procrastinating about that silly emergency preparedness fair, just fyi.

11.  Elena, Ana and Isabel started piano lessons on Thursday.  It feels like life is back to the grind of school now for real.

12.  I made this absolutely delicious dinner a little while ago.  Everyone loved it and it was so easy.  Here's the recipe:

Pasta Carbonara Casarecce (from this link)

1 lb. Casarecce pasta 
(Casarecce is part of the Garofalo Pasta variety pack sold at Costco—or you can use a small shell-type pasta. The shape of the pasta collects the sauce inside.)
1 lb. Bacon
1 Medium onion diced
5 cloves of garlic (mince)
4 eggs
½ cup cream
1 c grated Romano cheese (or substitute Parmesan)
½ tsp cracked pepper
1/2 c chopped parsley
2 TBLS chopped Basil

Cut bacon in 1 inch pieces and cook till brown. Remove from pan and drain bacon grease and then cook garlic and onions together in the pan till soft and the remove from heat and add to bacon.  
Meanwhile cook casarecce pasta per instructions.  In the bowl you plan to serve the meal in, whisk together the eggs, cream, pepper. herbs and cheese.  Add the pasta as soon as it is finished cooking and drained. Stir together.  The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs.  Then add the bacon, onions and garlic and stir some more.
Serve immediately.

13. And to go with it, I made this cake for dessert. It's the perfect fall cake.  I had a picture, but it's on my missing camera. ....I just googled it and found a picture and the recipe on Better Homes and Gardens (it's in a magazine I have of Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Desserts).  My cake didn't look quite as pretty but it tasted excellent anyway.  I loved that it was a really rich chocolate flavor but spicy as well.  Try it!  Oh, and I didn't add the caramel sauce although I did use the fruit, I might have to make it again this week, just to test it, you know I would hate to recommend it without trying it out first......

Chocolately Harvest Fruit-topped Cake

2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 c water
1 8 oz carton sour cream
⅔ c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
¾ c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp black pepper
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅔ c caramel ice cream topping

1 c whipping cream
8 oz semisweet chocolate (I, of course, used dark chocolate)

1 pear
1 apple
2 c apple juice
1 cup sugar
⅓ c craisans

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9 x 1-1/2-inch round baking pans.
In an extra-large bowl combine sour cream, water, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a large wire whisk, whisk until well combined. Add flour, cocoa powder, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves; whisk vigorously until smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
Finely chop chocolate. In saucepan over medium-high heat bring whipping cream to boiling. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth. Cool to room temperature; chill until a spreadable, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare Harvest Fruit.
To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with 1/2 of chocolate cream mixture. Top with the second layer. Arrange fruit in a single layer on top of cake. Pour caramel over top of fruit. Serve immediately. (Cake does not store well after fruit is added.) Makes 12 servings.
Harvest Fruit
Thinly slice pear lengthwise and apple horizontally. In medium saucepan combine apple juice and sugar; bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Add sliced fruit and dried cranberries; return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes. Strain and discard liquid. Cool to room temperature.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

My Little Artist

Since Sebastian has more time alone without his sisters since school started, he has been spending most afternoons drawing, which is pretty much his favorite thing to do.  I love all his details.  This one is an owl in a tree. 

 This one is a pirate.  Not quite finished.
And a snake.
A lizard.
A cowboy on a very happy horse.
And a monster.
Maybe I'm a bit biased because I'm his mother, but I think he's quite good for four years old! Or maybe I'm just happy one of my kids likes to draw and paint as much as I do. Love it!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Shoes and Other Things

I never thought I was a shoe person.  I really don't care that much about shoes, at all.  But that was before I saw Miz Mooz shoes.  Seriously, I would buy them all!!!!!!!!  Well maybe not all.  But close.  
 I mean just look at this perfection of a shoe.  Seriously I love it.
 I love it in blue too.
 And this is the perfect color of green.  Kelly green.  The only color of green that I wear.  Beautiful.

 And this, well this is delectable.  And really is the start of this whole rant of a blog post.  My friend Dorothy had a pair of these shoes and every time I saw her at church and she was wearing these shoes, I told her how cute they were.  And then Dorothy moved this week, and she left me a pile of shoes outside my door.  Including these ones.  Isn't that the nicest thing ever?  I was a bit shocked actually.  Anyway, they're a touch small, but I plan on wearing them anyway.  And just for your viewing pleasure, a few more adorable Miss Mooz shoes.

 I would wear these everywhere.  I love the color and the style.
 I don't think I'd actually wear these, two inch heels are my limit.  But if they had a tad shorter heel, I definitely would wear them.  Love, love, love them.

My Miss Mooz shoe obsession began with these boots by the way.  Aren't they perfection?  Another friend of mine has a pair.  

In other news, I exercised today, took Jubal to the Dr. for a well child check (he weighs 11 lbs) and I read a book.  It's hard to exercise with kids.  Nicolas was sitting on my head while I did child's pose.  They should make a exercise video with the reality of exercising with children someday.  Trying to do push ups while kids sit on your back wanting pony rides.  Trying to do the exercises on the ground but your kids are laying right next to you, so you can't move your arms.  Worrying about kicking a child while doing leg raises, etc.  It would be amusing at least.  

Also, I've added the Orkney Islands to my bucket list (well, I would, if I had a bucket list) but I really would like to visit someday.  I read National Geographic's article about this Neolithic site there and it was fascinating, so then I looked it up to find out more and found this great documentary (the narrator has a cool accent, makes it even more fun to listen too.) Really you all should watch it.  
And for another fun documentary, there's this one about the Battle of Agincourt.  It's really hard to find good documentaries you know.  Basically the Discovery Channel and History Channel are mostly junky, stupid reality shows, and good documentaries are few and far between.  Blah.

And Kayli took pictures of her kids and it's appalling how old they've gotten.  Craziness.  But here's a few shots, because I made the vest for her.

And that's all.  Chao.