Monday, March 25, 2013

Debbie's Photos

 Thanks Debbie for taking all these great photos that I stole from your blog.  I like stealing photos that other people take because they always look better.
 We had a great time with the Rigbys hunting for eggs and holding snakes.
 Rosy was trying to get as much photo time with Derek so that when he becomes a famous artist she will have proof that she was one of his early fans.  She's a hipster and always wants to be ahead of the curve.
She also had to get some time with her Tia Aynna before they move.
 Daisy found the special egg with only a little bit of help from her grandpa.
 The three amigos were kickin' it on the floor and catching up on all their newest tricks.
We played a couple of games, laughed a bunch and ate delicious food.  Since we don't usually get to be there for the family dinners we really enjoy them while we can.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Here Comes the Sun

 Since the weather has been so nice around here I have been reminded how much fun we have hanging out with our neighbors.  Michelle caught these moments on one sunny afternoon.  If there is anything close to heaven on earth it is a sunny day in Eugene.  Of course the nice photos were taken by Michelle.
Bonus Story:
Rocky is constantly surprising me by all the things she remembers.  The other day she mentioned that worms have 5 hearts and I commented on how she has her dad's brain because he is good at remembering facts.  She was really puzzled by the idea and wondered how her daddy got by with just half a brain.  This opened up a whole can of worms about heredity.  She had no problem understanding how babies take after their moms but she didn't know how the dads were involved.  I told her that it takes a mom and dad to make a baby.  I wasn't sure how far into it I should go because they always tell you to teach your kids about sex when they are young, but to not give them more than they are ready to understand.  I'm also just a little hesitant with the details because not only does she remember things we tell her, she blabs them to all the kids around the neighborhood.  I'm not sure that all the parents at Spencer View are ready to have their children educated on the birds and the bees by my daughter.
While I was calculating the best way to go about this conversation Rocky said frankly, "I know how to make a baby."  I waited because I wasn't sure what was coming.  "Out of gingerbread, with lots of cinnamon."
Sounds good for now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Culinary Experiment

 Okay, so did you know that you can make chocolate cookies that are healthy?  I read all about it on Pinterest.  They are "healthy enough to eat for breakfast."  At first I thought about the cereal aisle and figured that pretty much anything that is made of edible material is considered breakfast worthy but by then my interest was piqued so I had to delve a little further into this mystery.  The secret ingredient was black beans. Holy Smoke, I thought to myself, this could be the answer to all of my problems. 
My resolution this year was to eat more healthy foods.  I was hoping that somehow if I filled up on beans, lentils, vegetables and other good-for-you foods that I wouldn't miss the treats.  My plan has worked perfectly...except for the part about not caring about dessert.
Enter: Black Bean Cookies.  I was stoked and busted out those cookies the next day.  I watched them bake in the oven and my hopes were high.  When I tasted them they were okay.  I mean, I liked them, and the girls really liked them, but they just weren't...I'm not even sure what they weren't, but they weren't.
When it was breakfast time I didn't even want them.  Then for a minute it seemed like they might be the solution after all because there were a bunch of chocolate cookies and I wasn't even interested.  Maybe the cookies would blast my cravings to smithereens.
The next day the missionaries were coming to dinner and I just didn't feel right about giving the Lord's servants bean cookies.  Since Brandon is on a year-long cookie fast (for no particular reason except that it will help him to build self-discipline...which is another way in which the two of us differ) he suggested that I make brownies. 
In that case I figured that if I was making brownies I might as well make the triple chocolate recipe that I had also found on Pinterest.
They were.  Whatever it was that the cookies weren't these brownies totally WERE.  They've been gone for days and I'm still dreaming about the chocolate deliciousness they brought to my life.  They were definitely not healthy enough for breakfast, but they were the ONLY thing I wanted to eat the next morning.  I had to hide them behind the microwave and still they were calling my name. 
I looked a little bit more into this and found that the bean cookies have about 126 calories each.  They are also loaded with protein and fiber.  The brownies have about 334 calories each and no fiber.  But, they did have walnuts and walnuts, as you all know, are a super food.  So basically they are healthy...right? 

Being skinny just isn't ever going to be one of my skills.
To help myself out I work with a buddy system.  I try to make sure that my less healthy hobbies have a healthier buddy.  For example, I love to sit in a hot bath which is horrible for the environment and is just about the laziest thing you can do.  I pair it up with reading.  This lets me believe that while my muscles are being neglected I am working my brain out.  This would probably be true if I weren't reading The Selection, but that is another post in and of itself.
The second example is that I love to eat.  This is balanced out because I also love to run.  The problem is that it takes around a mile of running to burn about 100 calories.  (These numbers are completely accurate.) 
Basically it takes a little over 3 miles to burn off the brownie and let me tell you, IT IS WORTH IT!

This philosophy works out okay until you try to do the whole weight loss thing.  Then you've got to burn more than you eat. 

To make myself feel better I pinned this idea knowing that I would never get that crazy.
 In case you were wondering, the Peanut Butter Oreo Brownie Cupcake has 432 calories and 24 grams of fat.  Now the triple chocolate is suddenly looking "Lite".  In full disclosure, I myself would never make those Oreo monstrosities, but I'm pretty sure that if I was offered one I wouldn't turn it down.

I found another healthy treat which was for banana cookies.  The recipe consists of a couple of smashed bananas, a cup of oatmeal and a handful of chocolate chips.  The tag said that they were "amazing".  In pursuit of domestic peace in our home I had the idea that instead of our usual routine - me yelling at Rocky to pick up her toys while I make the cookies, we would switch jobs.  She made the cookies and I picked up all the toys.  I was surprised at how happy we both felt with the change.
 She did a great job and it was funny how seriously she took everything.  I was pretty impressed with my little pastry chef.  She narrated every step like the host of a cooking show.
 Daisy took care of the cleanup.

The cookies...well, they tasted like a pile of smashed bananas with chocolate chips.  It was fun to try, but not a recipe I'll be repeating soon.
The moral of this story, for me, is that I will eat my black beans in stews and my brownies in moderation.  In the meantime if anyone has a craving for a delicious chocolate breakfast cookie come on over, I think we've still got a few somewhere in the back of the fridge.

Walk the Plank

 We checked out this gym in Eugene and it was like a kid's dream.  I mean what could be cooler than walking the plank into a foamy sea?  Why didn't I know this place existed?  Maybe it is because it is called the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics.  If I had heard about it I would have figured it was some kind of ribbon dancing deal, not Peter Pan's paradise.
For the first time ever Rocky, or Tigger, as they call her at school, jumped herself out of energy.  

Daisy, on the other hand, spent most of the time hanging out in the waiting area checking out the toys.  At first I felt bad that we had paid to get her in when all she wanted to do was sit around but then I figured that the goal was that they were having fun, and she was.  Different strokes for different folks I guess.
 Rosy was pretty content just to hang out with Jody.
 In the end Daisy did venture out to try the rope swing and once she got it down we couldn't get her off.
 These guys look like they are about ready for the Olympics. 
 You have no idea how tricky it was to get this photo.  I've watched those girls on TV do their flips and spins on the beam but I've never actually seen one in real life.  They are high and they are skinny.  It took a balancing miracle for everyone to be standing on it at once. 
They said that they sometimes schedule times that adults can come and play instead of kids.  Now I know where I am having my birthday party.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Three Years and Going Strong

Daisy turned 3 and was the cutest little birthday girl.  She wanted a princess cake but after a few days of the two of us perusing Pinterest we decided that a princess rainbow cake was more to our style.  Hers because it had the added bonus of Skittles and marshmallows and mine because decorating the thing took the skill level of a 4th grader.  That being said I need to take this moment to confess that when the time came to actually form the rainbow I begged Brandon to do it.  He did a great job.  This cake was also kind of a big thing for me because it was the first one I ever made from scratch.  Unfortunately it tasted like it was a first attempt.  Luckily since it was made with a whole lot of butter and sugar we didn't have any trouble eating it, imperfect though it was.  The other day Daisy was cooking in her little kitchen and she said she was making her birthday cake.  When I asked her what she put in it she said that there was some hot chocolate, orange juice, applesauce and...a little bit of mustard.  Mine wasn't that bad at least.

The birthday was fun and gave us a chance to really focus on our little Daisy girl.  She was spoiled with presents from grandparents and played all afternoon with Playdough, and her new Fashionista Barbie Doll.  She also had a great time with those crazy little hamster toys that chirp and roll around.  I don't really get them...they seem sort of creepy but both Rocky and Daisy are obsessed with them.
Early in the day we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some ice cream and she begged and pleaded for some "pink milk."  She was entranced with the mini jug of Tampico that looked like a tiny version of the gallon bottles.  I gave in on this one because I too am a sucker for mini things and I thought that although the punch would be short-lived I could see that mini milk jug living in the play kitchen for years to come.
 It may have been her favorite part of the day, especially because they got to drink out of the mini mugs that Opa gave them.
 Her other request was for spaghetti and meatballs, which, after a small setback, turned out great.

 She was so excited about the cake that she could hardly even breathe.
 We had our Spencer View buddies come to help us celebrate and I know it meant a lot to her to be the center of attention.
She begged and begged for me to straighten her hair and it made her look like a teenager.  She is a kid who loves girly things.  She plays dress up for hours and always wants to play with my make-up. 

 She especially likes the lipstick.   
 She is a great sister and an incredibly loving daughter.  She is a favorite of everyone who knows her and has a tender way of making the people around her feel special.  She is also extremely stubborn and has some pretty intense opinions.  If you don't believe me just try cutting her sandwich without asking if she wants triangles or squares.  It changes with her mood and I've learned it is better to just ask, every time.
She is super funny because she likes to dance and say that say, "Shake your booties."  
I can hardly believe that she is already three years old and I feel so blessed to be her mom.