Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quotes R Us

Before we left for our road trip up to Grammy's, I grabbed some things to occupy Scarlet in the car. One thing I brought is our ladybug land. It happened to be full of ladybugs and she totally sat quietly watched them for a while. Anyways, that was that and later on into the drive the older 3 kids fell asleep on the back row. Then Charlie woke up abruptly and grouchy and starts barking, "It smells like ladybugs in here." 

He was so mad about that. Scarlet actually just needed a diaper change-a-rama but he thought it was the ladybugs :0)

So TImmy and I are laughing and he barks, "What's so funny? They smell like squished. it smells so gross that I could die."

We keep laughing, only harder.

Charlie continues, "What the man, what are you guys laughing about. Where's our reward? Well???"

We did not know what he was talking about.

Today when Timmy got home from work he called out to Charlie to say Hi and ask what he was doing.
Charlie said, "I'm just feeding this poor little rabbit."

I don't know why he called it a poor little rabbit?? He has a big treehouse all to himself and gets maybe too much playtime with the kids.

K. Last one. In the car today Jacob asked me what's for dinner? I told him we are having soup and biscuits and he replied, "We're going to eat the kids for dinner!!!"
I didn't get it at first, but when I realized that around here we have to differentiate between food biscuits and kid biscuits...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wordsworth wrote this beautiful poem. The sentiment is so C.S. Lewis-ish.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.

Happy Birthday Picasso

So most of us don't know what to do with those sheets of colored foam. I saw somewhere that you can cut them up and make shapes and write words on them with sharpies so kids can make sentences on the bathtub wall. Genius. What did I find this morning you ask? Jacob had created this very Pablo P. work of art. The interesting part is that yesterday was Picasso's birthday so I like to think it was Jacob's way of thanking him for Cubism...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Turkeys are Chubby

We celebrated a birthday with our latin friends- The Sotello's, and it inspired me to make piniatas with the kids. I was actually so inspired that we started right when we got home at around 8pm. Little did I realize, that piniata making is quite an ordeal and once you get started you sort of have to finish. Needless to say, we were up late, covered in sticky stuff, talking the night away. But when we finished, we had 2 large turkeys to stuff with treasures and bust open on Thanksgiving.
This is my parents mantle, can you see which item doesn't belong? The colorful feathers and red gaggle give it away...
I added this picture because the boys discovered they could blow up the piniata balloons and stuff them in their shirts for muscles and it was so cute.

Here's the close up of our Turkey (yes, his head popped, leaving only a beak and gaggle and body).
This is the picture of the drive up to Gramma and Baba's house for Thanksgiving weekend. If you'll look closely you'll see the three of them asleep on the back row, and a little bunny cuddled up in there.
Here is some of the Thanksgiving madness. Mark wants everyone to see his muscles lately (he's been drinking a lot of muscle milk :0)
Charlie and I picked all these apples from Grammy's apple tree. These apples make hot pink applesauce.

The weather was wonderful- it was actually hammock weather!

Mom made a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner. All my favorite things were there and why does it taste so much better when mom makes it!??

Check out her classy table settings. Our napkins had a fall leaf around them.

Albert and Christa stopped by and it is always a treat to see their family. We feel so blessed to have sweet friends that make an effort to visit us.

We saved the turkey piniata for Zach and he took care of business, as you can see here.

It was full of random house hold items like buttons, and paperclips and some things from the toybox etc. It was funny how the kids were excited about it even though it was mostly their own stuff inside :0)

The Voravongs, our forever friends.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quotes are Boats

Jane talking to Charlie:
"Prepare your bears and dragons for war."

Timmy after visiting Janelle's laundry room:
"I felt like I was in a movie, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

While Charlie and I were picking apples in my moms backyard,
Charlie says, "Did Baba plant all these trees?"
I answered, "yes, most of them."
Charlie, "So he planted all these trees, built the shed and he's a good cooker?"
Me, "yup."
Charlie, "Is he better than Jesus?"

Jacob out of no where while sitting in the back seat of the van,
"Mom, why did those boys want to live with Peter Pan?"
Me, "Because they didn't want to grow up."
Jacob, "I don't want to grow up."
Me, "Why not?"
Jacob, "Because you don't want me to."

Charlie wrote Matthew in his scripture notebook, "Mathyoo"

We love Asia

So we finally had the long awaited "Asian Party". We got library books about Asia and studied them for a month, then planned our party. We learned a lot of Origami which I particularly enjoyed. The marigold hanging in the picture above was made with 8 pieces of paper. Pretty fancy.

Her is our table setting. Asian colors. Fortune cookies and paper peacocks from the asian supermarket.

Streamers, balloons...
The kids each made a menu. They practiced writing their names in Japanese characters on the front of it. Above is Jane's menu, and below is Charlie's. The menu had 3 types of rice, fish, tofu, and all kind of vegetables for stir fry, soy sauce, ginger, chocolate milk and Jane's lavender ice cream. When the meal was over the kids paid with their Monopoly money that we wrote "Yen" on.

The nifty paper decorations were a hit. Especially this dragon.

My parents brought these chopsticks home from Japan for us. So we had the real deal to practice with. We watched a few YouTube tutorials on using chopsticks and for some reason Charlie was exceptionally adept with them.
Even Scarlet had a place setting complete with a teeny pink origami butterfly.

We played a chopsticks game where you race using chopsticks to carry marshmallows.

After the chopsticks race we played an Asian game called "Happy Laugh"
You are blindfolded and have to try and put a face together- sort of like pin the tail on the donkey on its pin the eyes, nose and mouth on the face...

Our evening didn't  have the same ambiance as this picture...but there was many a paper crane hanging from the ceiling and the chinese classical music helped :0) It was a magical evening.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Recipes

My mom introduced me to Larabars. I instantly loved the fact that they only have 2 to 5 ingredients (dates being the main ingredient and it just so happens we have dates at our house at all times. For dessert, for our rice, for salads, bread, muffins, granola etc.) and they are so tasty. But, they are kind of pricey. So my solution... make millions of them at home in my new food processor that I 
bought with my airmiles.
Does this look grody? Food pictures are tricky. But I promise these were 
tasty basty (as Charlie would say).

Few ingredients = healthy. Craisins and Dates and Peanuts. Thats all. Here is the link for the recipe.

Roll. Wrap. Done. Easy. Tasty. Healthy.

I made mine in mini sizes for the kids.

We also made one with dates, dried cherries and coconut. Woah good. 

P.S. My mom took my little Jacob to DQ yesterday and here's what Jared told me about Jacob's reaction to fast food, "He seriously picked up the chicken, licked it, dropped it and said, I want yogurt." 
Thats my boy :0)
He's not the only one either. I made cabbage soup today with quinoa (by the way it was sooo good. recipe below) and my kids were begging me for raw cabbage. Its a treat to them. That is not normal, I know. Here's the recipe though:

Quinoa Vegetable Soup
         1 tablespoon vegetable oil ( I used grape seed oil)
         2/3 cup quinoa (I used 1 cup)
         1 carrot, diced (I used a few)
         1 stalk celery, diced (I used sauteed zucchini with fresh ginger instead)
         1/2 onion, finely chopped (1 onion)
         1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used red)
         2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used one)
         2 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
         3 1/2 cups water
         2 large tomatoes, finely chopped (no tomatoes in mine)
         1/4 head cabbage, chopped (half a cabbage)
         salt and pepper to taste
(I added basil, rosemary and fennel)
         1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa, carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
Pour in the chicken broth, water, tomatoes, and cabbage. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the quinoa and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley before servings.

The Silk Road

My mom somehow knows where all the coolest shop are, even ones not even in Edmonton. Why is she so hip?!?!? I am waiting for her to act her age but there's no sign of it yet :0) The problem is most of us grumble a little- its like, "where are you dragging us to now mom?" that kind of attitude. When will we learn that its always so fun. I met my parents in Calgary a few weeks ago and my mom took us to The Silk Road. Its a spice shop and its the coolest place ever. Can't you tell by the "abandoned building look" they have going on the outside. The inside is LOVELY. The spices were so fresh and the fragrance just poured out when you opened the lids. Not to mention the classy thrift shop in the basement. I highly recommend it. 

I got caraway seed (my favorite), Vietnamese cinnamon (apparently is the most cinnamony), whole nutmeg (it lasts way longer in whole form and it makes you feel professional), cloves (for our fall and Christmas pomandering), dried limes (perisan cooking always calls for dried lime), then I got sasparilla root, licorice root, and birch bark, to make homemade, healthy rootbeer (recipe below). 

Jane found all kinds of treasures too. I let pick out a few for homeschool. She chose lavender sugar (which we used for homemade lavender ice cream. See recipe below), organic rose petals (for tea and for the bath), lavender (to make sachets. She's been into that lately, we all have a few in our drawers now :0)   
and she got this blend called mulling spices (you put a Tbs in a muslin bag and put it in boiling apple juice. It smells delicious).

I made this bread with my Caraway. Here is the recipe:
Whole Wheat Bread with Caraway and Anise

  • 2  tablespoons  honey
  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1  teaspoon  water
  • 1  large egg
  • 2 1/3  cups  all-purpose flour, divided (about 10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1  cup  whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  kosher salt
  • 1  teaspoon  caraway seeds, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  aniseed
  • Cooking spray
Dissolve honey and yeast in 1 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg, stirring well with a whisk. Place 1 tablespoon egg mixture in a small bowl. Cover and chill. Add remaining egg mixture to yeast mixture.
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, and aniseed to yeast mixture; stir to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide dough in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll each portion into a 12-inch rope on a lightly floured surface. Twist ropes together, and pinch ends to seal. Place dough in an 8-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Uncover dough. Brush reserved egg mixture over loaf, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until loaf is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

 Here is Jane making her famous Lavender Ice Cream. We had it for dessert at our Asian party (more to come on that).

 Homemade Root Beer
Complex and delicious, old-fashioned, home-brewed root beer has deep, intermingling notes of roots, bark, and spices, set against a background of molasses. Our formula is based on 19th-century recipes culled from The Saturday Evening Post, Scientific American, and Prairie Farmer, with guidance from Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop by Stephen Cresswell (Storey, 1998).
  • 1⁄4 oz. dried sassafras root bark
  • 1⁄4 oz. dried birch bark
  • 1⁄4 oz. dried sarsaparilla root
  • 1⁄8 oz. dried licorice root
  • 1  1" piece fresh ginger, unpeeled 
  •    and thinly sliced
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
    2 cups molasses
    1⁄8 tsp. active dry yeast
1. Put sassafras root bark, birch bark, sarsaparilla root, licorice root, ginger, 1 vanilla bean, and 2 qts. water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 2 hours.
2. Strain root-infused liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a plastic container that has been washed well with hot, soapy water. (Discard solids.) Add 2 qts. filtered water, stir well, and let cool to 75°.
3. Meanwhile, wash four 1-liter plastic soda bottles with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and air-dry. Stir molasses and dry yeast into the root-infused liquid; cover and set aside to let ferment for 15 minutes. Using a funnel, pour into bottles, filling to within 2" of top but no higher. Screw lids on tightly; set aside at room temperature to let ferment for 12 hours.
4. Chill for 2–5 days. The root beer's character will slowly change: after 2 days, it will taste strongly of molasses; at the end of 5 days the yeast will have eaten up more of the sugary molasses, creating a milder and slightly alcoholic beverage. When it's ready to drink, open bottles very slowly, easing the caps open little by little, to let any excess gas escape gradually. (Yeast produces a high level of natural carbonation that makes for a very fizzy drink.) Serve over ice.