Family Picture

Family Picture

Friday, February 21, 2014

Baking Bread

Aunt Darcey came down yesterday to teach us how to bake bread.  Real bread.  As in first grind the wheat in a mill kind of bread.  Fresh, wholesome, whole wheat, delicious bread.  She taught us how to mix part ezekiel bread flour combinations to get extra protein in the bread. We made four loaves of bread. The girls liked watching the dough double in size.  For lunch we made pizzas out of part of the dough. Then we baked a batch of delicious (not so bad for you) chocolate chip cookies from the fresh milled flour. They are all gone as of this evening.
Thank you Aunt Darcey for bringing supplies and equipment, for teaching us, and making it fun!
We had a great, delicious day and are ready to get started baking in a healthier way.
The girls had fun making their own pizza.  

Pizza is one of Amy's favorite foods

  My house smelled like a bakery

These even have ground flax seed in them.  Delicious

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Day Happiness

The girls loved their Valentines, we took the day off from school and went out to lunch.  Wesley and Will liked their chocolate stash with no frills and a sensible,  not too mushy Valentine card. But my goodness, for the girls I bought these fun stuffed animals, the only two they had,  from Walmart on the infamous Tuesday it snowed and shut our state down. I received email on my phone to immediately get Anna from her homeschool program, but I just had to go through the checkout and pay for all my stuff! They had a deadline time to get there and I would well beat that time so I made the decision to pay and not leave my necessities in the buggy, that would not be nice to Walmart.  Plus I had these massive stuffed animals looking at me with sweet faces and I loved them already.   I will never forget running through the parking lot with them and my other supplies in the buggy as fast as I could so the magical unicorn and pegasus would not get too wet.  I had tried to bag them, head stuffed into one bag and bottom end stuffed into another, but their middles were exposed. Have you ever noticed Walmart only has one size bags?  Had to hurry, hurry hurry.  Put my grocery bags under them and on them so they might stay covered, the snow really coming down,  then ran, ran, ran.....well worth the effort of keeping them safe and dry for the wonderful surprise on Valentine's morning.
Amy's pegasus, heart necklace, candy, Valentine socks, and bag for library books. Amy was a blur with excitement so no pics turned out of her first expression seeing all this.  Scott and I will remember though...priceless!

Anna got the same,  loved everything and was super excited over her unicorn but held still for a pose

Amy still happy excited 

Later in the day, socks and necklaces on..... holding their newest friends 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We are ready for Valentine's Day

In fact we have more "Valentines" than we know what to do with. We have been crafting the Valentine theme with glitter and sparkles, plus pink and red hearts galore. With all the ice and snow this week the girls' bags of Valentines for their school friends will sit and wait until next week, to be delivered after Valentine's Day.  That's ok.  Will be fun no matter it is after the fact.
Wesley and Will have never been crazy about this particular holiday aside from receiving a nice stash of chocolates. The girls are a different story....we love this holiday.  Us girls have been doing things up right this year, even decorating our dining room tree with some Valentines.  It is fun teaching Amy all about each holiday that rolls through the calendar.
Book marks

Our Valentine Tree Covered in hearts we glittered and painted
Made a garland with these

Below, Wood crafts painted by the girls

Will decorating our Valentine Cookie Cake

Everyone being home due to snow, we ate this already.  Will have to make another dessert for tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

If She Had A Hammer

She'd HAMMER in the mornin, she'd HAMMER in the evenin, all over this land!
Because we are crafting a lot at home and I sometimes would like to craft somewhere else, we have  added Saturday morning Home Depot and Lowe's build and grow clinics to our calendar.  The girls love to build, glue, hammer and paint. I love the fact that it is free and mess free for my home,
 Amy absolutely loves to ......HAMMER.  She loves to run to the bin and pick out a nice shiny hammer if there are none already on the table.  She can hardly contain herself as we unpack the kit, waiting with hammer in hand! Many of her crafts have quite a few extra hammer marks because she often keeps HAMMERING even after the nails are in as far as they can possibly go. She has also been known to HAMMER the table for the sheer enjoyment of the power she holds in her hand.  As for all of the other lucky participants sitting at our table.....Amy loves to watch all of the nails and parts....... bounce and scatter all over the table after she has HAMMERED it. She seems to love the sound the HAMMER makes when it hits something solid.
 Scott has to help Amy while I help Anna.  I need my fingers/hands to cook dinner.... take care of the housework and all.
The funny thing is, Amy still talks WHILE she's a HAMMERING!  Talks, HAMMERS, Talks,  HAMMERS!
Anna is a little lady hammerer.  Very calculated.  Very careful.  Not too hard, no extra dents.
A fun Saturday morning either way you hammer.
 So nice they do this for parents and kids!  We always buy stuff we need while we are there so figuring this is good for business.
The girls love their aprons as they add patches and pins when they complete each activity.

As a side note, Amy also loves plumbing. Flushed toilets and ran water like crazy when she was newly home from China.  Even now she loves to check out pipes. Will often look under cabinets to see "where" the pipes are going and "what" they look like. Runs her finger down the winding pipes as though she is trailing the water. Listens for it in the house when someone upstairs flushes a toilet or takes a shower.  Water coming into and leaving our house.....well, she finds this fascinating.  Oh, and drains...tub drains, shower do they work and where does all the water go!?  We had to go on the computer to show her how pipes work and "where" all the water drains out after it leaves your house etc.  Scott may just have him a little girlie helper/general contractor someday.
Don't mind me Dad, I'll just hammer the table while you get that wheel ready for me.

So nice this is free!  Race cars.  We will paint them at home.

She is ready.  Get the nails lined up, Dad.

Watch out Scott!  She is talking, HAMMERING and looking at YOU, not the nails!

She's quick

Anna has a calculated way of doing hers.  She gets the nails all ready first

Nice and careful
Valentine boxes we will paint at home. They came with chalk so you can write on them .

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chinese New Year

We celebrated Chinese New Year this past weekend. We had a nice dinner with our family, my mom and dad, and Wesley's friend Brooke  joining us also.  The girls loved the decorations and getting dressed up in their mandarin outfits.  The Chinese food was delicious and we had a really nice evening.  Ended it with red envelopes, sparkling grape juice and a few sparklers and firecrackers.  Anna and Amy thanked me several times for everything.

We have CNY decorations on the lighted tree

My Oriental Cherry Blossom light up tree on the left

When Amy first saw me in my Mandarin blouse, she got so excited and said:  "Momma you look Chinese!"

Anna's favorite color is purple

Amy's favorite color is red

Amy happy to have money in her red envelope.  Five ones and she thinks she is rich!

Vanilla Cake with homemade fudge icing, the girls' choice.  Chinese desserts are not the best.

The young people all got a red envelope, a CNY tradition.  Amy said she never got one on China; this was her first.  She wants to buy each person at the table something with her money.  She said,  " I have plenty of money!"