Monday, March 28, 2011

For Adriane

Thank you for creating such beautiful and fun bibs for us.  We use them ALL the time.  We miss you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Biking, Blessing, and Family

We went to Mapleton this past weekend for Kate's baby blessing and a biking trip for the boys.  Jared asked for a biking trip for his birthday and Geoff asked for one for Valentines day.  Soo, Leah and I played with the four kiddo's for two days while the boys biked in Moab.  The four of us did some major preparation for the blessing, played some serious domino's, and enjoyed some great time with our family at the blessing.
I snagged this shot while we were waiting for things to get going.  I love this picture of my grandparents, Lizzie, and Isla.  Lizzie Jane and Isla were absolutely adorable together.  They sat on the floor for almost an hour "trading" toys, grabbing hands, hair, and anything else they found interesting about each other.  It was so fun to see them interact.   Made me miss living close to them even more.
 The bell of the ball.
 All the boys at the blessing.
 All the family that could make it but for some reason Jared and Geoff (also present) aren't in this picture.
 It was so fun to spend some time with Leah again.  We even did each other's hair for old times sake.
 One morning after a nice hot bath Leah snapped shots of Lucy, Isla, and I playing on the bed.
While spending a significant amount of time in the kitchen we peaked into the family room to find these little legs peaking out from behind the foot rest.  She is getting more and more mobile these days.

We also ended up staying a few days later because our long search for a larger car came to an exciting end when we found this!

Welcome to the family Honda Pilot.  We are excited about your roomy leather interior, dvd player, lots of storage space, and extra third row.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Toilet Training

Since, Christmas I started putting Isla on the toilet for the messier numbers.  My motivation?  Cloth diapers.  We decided to cloth diaper and for the most part, it is okay; but I really don't like cleaning out poopy cloth diapers.  So far I have only cleaned three, maybe four poopy diapers and the rest have made it in the toilet.  I think she has really gotten the hang of it.  I am hoping that this will help her not only want to use the toilet sooner and forgo diapers all together, but also resolve any potential toilet fears I have seen in some of my nieces and nephews.  Mostly, I just don't want to clean poopy diapers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jared's 28th

Isla must have been to excited for Jared's birthday which we had been excitedly preparing for together for weeks now.  So she was up by 3:15 am but we pretended to keep sleeping till about 5am when she was finally allowed out of her bed and down to our room to smother Jared in birthday love.  We wiped the sleep out of our eyes and opened presents much earlier this morning than I care to admit.  After putting Isla back to bed at 7am we ate up some german pancakes (I grew up calling them dutch baby) with orange concentrate on top and joined Isla in some napping till 9am.  After lots of gardening I set out to make dinner and dessert.

Upon request we celebrated Jared's birthday with a full Irish meal; corned beef, red potatoes, steamed cabbage, soft Irish Soda Bread, and ginger beer.  We finished just in time for the LDS missionaries to show up at our door and share our birthday carrot cake together.  I think this is the first time I have ever made a cake alone and thanks to Anita's good recipes, I turned out three layers of deliciousness covered in whipped coconut cream cheese frosting.  I'll share the recipe with some of my minor adjustments.

Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake

3 eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups white sugar (I use less when doubling for a 3-layer cake)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup salt
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (this time I pureed some fresh pineapple)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 9x13 inch pan. In a medium bowl stir together all the dry ingredients. Set aside. In mixer combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix well. In a medium bowl combine shredded carrots, coconut, pecans, and pineapple. Fold this mixture into the batter and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Check with toothpick. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. ***To make three 9 inch layers 1½ times the recipe using 5 eggs and only 1 can of pineapple. Spray three 9 inch pans with cooking spray the line them with parchment paper circles then spray with cooking spray again. Pour batter into pans and shake a little to level the batter out. Bake for 35-38 minutes. Cool, then frost with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

1½ cups whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese
1¾ cup powdered sugar ( I haved this and it was the perfect sweetness)
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
more shredded or flaked coconut (maybe 1/2 cup?)

Beat cream until stiff. Set aside. In another bowl blend softened cream cheese, sugar, salt,and vanilla. Beat this until smooth then beat in coconut.  Fold in whipped cream. So good on Carrot Cake. ***1½ times this for the 3 layered birthday cake.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Fever

We have had some really nice weekends here and we have largely spent them working on the garden and yard.  Since this big old garden did not get a "wintering over" job we have been avidly working to get it in shape to plant this spring.  It has been SO much fun to be out in nice weather together just working away.  Something about yard and garden work is just so satisfying.  Maybe it is the instant gratification of seeing direct results, maybe it is the nice change up of using your hands (let's face it whole body really) to work and create, maybe it is just the exhilaration felt in the warm sun after months of cold winter, or maybe it is all three.  We thought we would show you a few "before shots" as we begin our work so that the full effect of the spring, summer, and fall shots will be as gratifying to you as it will be to us. 
 Isla passes the time basking in the sun on the picnic blanket with toys
 The right half of the garden
 Can you see the faint stack of tomato wire stands that we pulled out of the garden and cleaned off?
 Piles of leaves that we raked out from just the lining of the yard alone.  We chopped them up and they are starting a good compost pile for us.
 To the left you can see where we pulled the wire tomato stands out of.  In the back are the overgrown sage and cilantro among and astounding assortment of other random plants.  This picture is taken even after we have already pulled a lot out of the beds.
 Our near football sized carrots that we found in the ground.  I realize now this picture does not do justice to their size.  I'll see if I can find something to provide a comparison shot.  
Isla's head is smaller than these puppies.
One of two wheel barrows full of parsnips that we pulled out.