Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Buddy

 Bella loves to clean. Hallelujah!
Vacuuming seems to be her favorite though.
 Mommy's the horsie.

 Goofy faces are our specialty.

 I love this little buddy of mine!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Love is spelled T.I.M.E.

 I melt when they play together. This time, daddy was a "horsie".

 I had two colors to make a painted craft using an old picture frame. 
 Trying to be more intentional about how we spend our time together. She's my fun little buddy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

this is how she rolls

she slept for an hour while out grocery shopping.

then another hour in my arms once we got home. 

best nap ever.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


So maybe I'm having a bit of the "proud parent syndrome".

 This is Bella's fish, drawn with a bath pen:

And her doggie. Seriously. I didn't help her on either of these, nor did I guess what they were. She told me, and with my mind blown, I grabbed the camera.
Maybe cuz I'm the mom, I'm the only one who actually sees the doggie and the fishie.

Friday, February 17, 2012

K'nex and Curlers

Ty lets out his inner child and shows Bella his sacred K'Nex.

   Then we went back to the curler days just for fun.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our Bounty

I'm in love...

I've been hearing about it for a year, and finally tried it out. Dude, it's awesome! 

I paid $15 for all of that food! Plus when you volunteer (show up an hour before, unload and organize food), you leave with even more.

Go here to sign up (mostly only done in the western states). Do it, try it, love it.

One "basket" is $15. It's affordable, and not to mention fresh. Each week the baskets of fruits and veggies feature something different, depending on the best prices available, which actually makes it a fun surprise - "It's like Christmas", as I say at 7:30am volunteering. You'll see.

Recently, I got two eggplants - never, ever, would I touch those things in the produce section. But now I'm going to try making eggplant parmesan! So excited!

Typically what I don't eat gets chopped up and frozen for soups. It really is a bountiful basket. Love it MUCH! Now go try it.
My other love: Bread making.

These are just some action shots of the bread I was loving on.

Double batches are my friend. They make gargantuan blobs which are so fun to play with. Bella loves to dive in and play, too.
Gooey goodness. This is once it's risen the first time and ready for whatever your heart desires. This time they became rolls. But the dough is great for pizza crust (add some italian spices and parmesan!), bread sticks, cinnamon rolls, or anything else you can think of! 
Already posted this recipe here, but this time added the directions for any first-time bread makers out there. For me, the first few times were a major fail, but I feel like I've finally mastered this recipe. Each time using different flours and sugars, this recipe produces a consistent deliciously textured dough.

Grandma Collett’s Dough
from Camille Henrie’s mother and used by Emily Henrie for EVERYTHING

2 ½ c warm water
1 ½ tbsp yeast
1 tbsp salt
½ c oil/shortening
½ c sugar (any kind)
5-6 c flour (any kind)

1. MIX the first 5 ingredients in bowl and let sit while yeast works (Between 5-15 minutes). Once it’s bubbly and looks foamy. Add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between each cup, until you have mixed in 4-5 cups flour.

2. KNEAD. (This part is what takes practice. It’s hard to explain!) With remaining flour, sprinkle counter and hands with flour (to avoid sticking), dump dough out on counter and start kneading. I basically fold the dough in half, and use the palms of my hands to press it together. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until it passes the finger-poke test*. It goes from being soft and squishy to feeling more tough and springy, like gum that’s been chewed too long, except it’s springier. Okay, gross visual, but you get the idea.

3. LET RISE. Next, leave on counter and cover, OR put back in the bowl, covered (a hot dish cloth or saran wrap does the job!). Let sit until it roughly doubles in size (45 minutes-ish, depending on impatience).

4. FORM DOUGH. Transfer from bowl to counter, and knead to get air out of dough. You may need a little bit of flour so you can work with it. Knead for only 1 or 2 minutes, and it’s ready for whatever you need it for! If making rolls, cut into golf-ball size, and form balls with hands. If making bread, fill the pans half-full with dough. If making cinnamon rolls, sprinkle counter with flour and roll the dough with a rolling pin, followed by melted butter, and a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up, slice and place in sprayed pan.

5. LET RISE AGAIN. Once ready, cover the dough with saran wrap and let rise for at least 60 minutes. I usually let it rise closer to 90 minutes, which will give you magic fluffy rolls. I’ve tried it with all different times and flours/sugars, and it’s all in the rising time. That gives you maximum fluffy rolls! To speed things up, I turn my oven to warm, crack it open, and put the rolls near edge to encourage rising! Or put in microwave, with a paper towel wedge in the door to keep the light on. Heat, moisture, lots of rising!

6. Bake at 350, cool and devour!! For the giant rolls I make, I bake for 24 minutes, until tops are nice and brown. If it’s a loaf, go at least 45 minutes. Doughy middles are no-bueno!

Note: *Finger-poke test is exactly what it sounds like. You poke the dough and you watch to see how quickly it fills in your ‘poke’. When it springs back quickly and mostly fills in, it has passed the test. If it doubt, keep kneading.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Haircut and a Hike

This is how we distract.
Miraculously she's still!
 Long luscious locks meet Mr. Trim. 
I don't cut hair. I cut paper. With a straight edge slicer. Man, someone invent one for children's hair. One quick slice and you're done. I took way longer than necessary just guessing my way through hair cutting. Glad it's done. See you again in 3 months.

Oh. And meet the cat I have named Ninja for his notorious ninja-like moves. About once every 2 weeks, he sneaks in our house, undetected. And it will be hours sometimes before we notice him. Sometimes he appears out of nowhere - Bella always spots him first. And other times he's lounging on our WHITE bed with his BLACK hairy self. Yeah laugh it up.

And, the hike. 
This is why it's nice to have a hubby who works from home. We just decided to take advantage of the nice day, and Bella embraced her inner mountain man.

Bella learned about physics today, more specifically the parabolic arc. Ty was so proud. Rocks are the best toys, really.
 This is Ty's game in a nutshell - the childhood exhilaration/fascination of throwing things. 
 Daddy showing Bella how it's done.

 Great day. Funny faces. The end.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Conversations with the nearly 3-year-old

Bella, with sadness - "My zebra's gone" (referring to her prune hands earned after a lengthy bath)


Out of nowhere - "WHAAAA-CHOO!" (awaits my reaction)


Oh, she's sitting in the laundry basket.

Bella - "Dragons eat the girl?"
Me - "No, Bella. Dragons are nice. They don't eat girls"
Bella with a hopeful tone - "Dragons eat the food?"
Me, ready for bed - "Yes, Bella. Dragons eat food."