Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dad's in charge....

Last night when saying prayers with the kids, they were excited to have dad off of work and home with them on Wednesday. When I asked what they were most excited about, they all said it was going to be a great day...filled with fun! Lil Tony's exact words were, "you know we won't be bored." 

Off to work I go and Dad is home in charge....
 During the day I received a phone call stating they were headed to the store
to buy a new baseball bat for Lil' Tony.
They got the baseball bat....

and a paddle boat....
sits four people...
cup holders...
roof...

Never a dull moment with dad....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bring on Summer....

I know for many of you summer started a few weeks ago but I needed this class to be over for me to officially call it summer. Yesterday, I submitted my paper and officially finished with class....wine anyone? Being back in school affects the whole family and we decided I will take the summer off and start back in the fall....when we are all in school it is much better!
So friends...bring on summer...

We've been watching our little friends grow...

 We have seen this little guy hanging out on the tree branch in the pond....he is adorable.



Every time we visit the pond we discover something new...
(I keep our discoveries up to date on facebook)


Our very very favorite part about summer is spending time with friends.
This is one special family, who we love dearly.
We know God placed them in our lives...
The only difference between them and us...
is we are 2 girls and 1 boy
and they are 2 boys and 1 girl.
Our stories mirror each other in many ways..
and who knew how lucky we would both be...
we are truly blessed.
We plan to bake...
Sarah is becoming my little cake decorator..
which is perfect since Lil Tony loves to bake...
and Sarah can decorate!
(sorry it is blurry..taken with my phone)

The "to do" list is extra long at the Pond House...
we are trying to figure out what is the priority!
I have to admit sometimes the priority is not
very exciting.

I am making my project list today!
I can't wait to get started on some of the
projects I have put off!

This laundry room space is first on my list!

What are your plans for the summer?


P.S.(Thank you to everyone who helped me fix the
blogger comment frustration! Seems like the
key is to not stay signed in!)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Frustrated....

On Monday I will finish another class! I am taking the rest of the summer off and starting back in the fall. Since I need a break from reading my paper (for the millionth time), I decided to read some of my favorite blogs.

I have missed you girls! It was wonderful reading what you have been up to and seeing your pictures. Then the frustrating part happened.....I can't comment on some blogs....it wants to comment as anonymous and keeps kicking me out...ugh!!

Is anyone else having this problem? Do you know how to fix it?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cup-fake

There are sometimes when you just have to fake it...

When I am short on time..
this recipe is my go to recipe!

Step 1: Drive to nearest grocery story and look for Betty

Step 2: Drive home

Step 3: Follow the direction on box mix

Step 4: Arrange on a pretty cake plate


Step 5: Smile and say a little thank-you to Betty Crocker!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An experiment....

As many of you know, our fish died this winter. At least 100 or more fish did not survive the long winter and frozen pond. We have learned there were too many fish for our pond and the ice trapped the nitrogen and caused a lack of oxygen, which caused the sad demise of our fish. It did provide a unique opportunity to pull out the big guns and treat the pond for algae. Algae is slowly becoming my nemesis...along with skunk cabbage.

This leads me to my story...we went with my mom to the garden shop and the kids spotted gold fish. I wasn't going to buy any fish, but the nice elderly gentleman told the kids he thought goldfish would live in the pond. Yes, you heard me right....gold fish. Thank you, Mr. Salesman. At $6.00 a fish, we brought 3 home...one for each child. Mr. Salesman told me he was thinking one fish, but he thought it was nice for me to buy 3. Apparently he doesn't realize one fish and three children is not good mathematics!

Here are our little guys (and girls)...the kids are hoping for babies....

My Miss Sarah had the privilege of adding the fish to the pond...



There you go...your are free...

See those two orange dots?
Maybe if you squint...
there you go...
see them now?

Wonder what the neighbors will think?

Hoping this guy doesn't enjoy them for a snack....


That would be Miss Sarah with the net in search of a baby turtle she saw yesterday...
and maybe a goldfish or two...
No turtle today, buy she did find some tadpoles....



Sarah started to worry our friendly (ha ha) snake is going to danger her babies...
she pulled out the big guns....DAD!
No luck...snake gone...fish gone...turtles gone....
You know what this means don't you?
We are going to have to take the canoe out
to get a closer look...
and that is mom's job!

We'll keep you updated!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chocolate Fudge Cookies...

May is a busy birthday month for us! This year Maddie decided she didn't want a cake, but wanted cookies. I love different and we had fun scanning the recipe books trying to find a new recipe to bake. This recipe is adapted from A passion for Baking. We doubled the recipe and she took them to school to share! I love how in 7th grade it is still cool to take a birthday treat to school!


Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
6 tablespoons shortening (or butter flavored shortening)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
21/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup white chocolate chunks

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2:
Cream butter and shortening in a mixer bowl. After creamed together, add both sugars. Cream butter and sugars  together until well blended. Stir in eggs and vanilla. If mixture seems curdled, stir in 1/4 cup of flour to bind dough.

Step 3:
In a medium bowl, stir together remaining flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to batter on low speed of mixer, scrap down the sides as needed. When almost blended, stir in half-and-half. Stir in chocolate chunks and white chocolate chips. Chill dough for 10 minutes.

Step 4:
Scoop 1/4 cup of chilled dough onto baking sheet. Space dough 2 inches apart. Bake until almost set (the middle will seem moist), about 14-17 minutes.

Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then allow to cool on a wire rack.



Tony's Tips:
Did you ever bake a cookie to only have it go flat? That is because the fat (butter) was warm and when you put it in the oven it melted! If you chill your dough before baking, the butter will not melt as fast and you will avoid those flat cookies!

After watching Tony bake cookies, I noticed he always takes them out when the center is still a little moist. They look like they are almost done. This will help retain a soft texture, instead of the hard as a rock cookies I use to bake! (You know those cookies that could be used as a hockey puck the next day)!

These cookies stayed soft even on day two and three! They are super chocolaty and melt in your mouth!

Enjoy!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Into the blue sky...

I wonder what my kids will be when they grow up. Tony has a love for science and how things work. For his birthday my parents got him a rocket kit. He followed the directions and built the rocket, now it is time to fly it into the blue sky. This part requires the assistance of a parent (and maybe one Lily)...

 If you notice the directions are close by....

 Not sure if the directions are being used....

 After, lets say a good 15 minutes, I have decided to go take a seat...

 I am thinking this might take awhile...

 Hurray...they have realized those directions are a useful tool....

 Lets get a closer to see what they are trying to figure out...


 Getting the parachute and engine in the rocket is a little bit more difficult then they thought....

 Looks like they are ready...

 Setting up the remote control launcher....
 And we are off...

 Into the blue sky....

Now they are trying to figure out what they can launch with the rocket...
(Sarah...you better hide your stuffed animals)

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