Sunday, May 31, 2009

Potato chip cookies & Steven's Idaho state project

Friday Steven finally finished up his Idaho project. He had to design a float using a wagon to be wheeled around and shown to all the grades. In addition, we baked 260 bite-size potato chip cookies for him to pass out as "souvenirs" to the students in other grades. Mostly except for a few kids, they got rave reviews about them. You can taste very little of the potato chips. It mostly tastes like a chocolate chip cookie.
Amazingly, I got this recipe from a cookbook my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made about 15 years ago. I treasure this cookbook because it has many of Peter's favorite recipes in it. My mother-in-law contributed this recipe. I have no idea where it originated otherwise, but it is a good recipe and a great way to use up those potato chips that are all broken up lurking in the bottom of the bag. Of course I would not use Doritos or Cheetos, you use plain old potato chips, either the ones with ridges or not.

Potato Chip Cookies
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla ( I used more like 1 tsp.)
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. finely crushed potato chips
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients well. Bake on cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 10 min.

Well, that's all for my weird cookie contributions. I generally stick to my basic cookies like oatmeal chocolate chip or sugar cookies.
The next recipe I want to try is one that is similar to Granny B's soft sugar cookies. When we lived in Utah and attended BYU we would buy them as a treat. They are about the size of a CD, frosted with pink icing and they are very moist and downright delicious! I'll let you know about the results.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I think I've lost my mind. Have you seen it?

I feel like I am losing my mind. Ethan is having one of his days.
We are short on funds and in desperate need of pull-ups and can't go to the store until Monday. He refuses to have a bowel movement in the toilet and he needs to. I could see it. He kept grabbing at his rear end and saying, "I need a diaper change." So I whisked him right hoff to the bathroom and sat him on the toilet only to have him scream and refuse. I don't know what's going through his head. So, right now it's on and off with the diaper. I just don't have $30 for a case of pull-ups. I've been trying to get him to stretch out the diaper buying to just once a month!
Madison is screaming. She is unconsolable. She is tired, won't take a bottle, she wanders around the house getting into all my cupboards or goes into the bathroom and plays with our toilet paper. But, thank heavens her diaper is clean!
Aeron is feeling rather violent today. He is in a hitting mood. He has been tackling and pummeling Ethan, which sets him off. I'm trying to give him gentle touches to change his habits. But it is hard. He alternates between giving me kisses and slapping me. Do we already have a love/hate relationship? I hope not!
Last night I did get a break for a couple hours. I went to this party at my friend Elizabeth's house. It is a Cabi party. It's like a clothing trunk show. It featured beautiful clothes much pricier than I could afford. When a t-shirt is $54 it is way out of my price range. Cabi clothing was gorgeous. But it isn't practical for me at this time of my life. A lot of it was business/dressy attire. Who am I going to wear expensive clothing for? Certainly not my little people, who regularly anoint me with all sorts of bodily fluids.
I've rambled again. My point was that I did get a break last night and it just doesn't seem enough. I feel like I could use a whole day. But that's not going to happen in my universe.
Everyday I'm still so tired. I drag myself out of bed and get ready for the day.
Oh, and the past 2 days, I have helped my son and his 2 classmates bake 260 bite size cookies and made a popsicle stick bridge. I'm SO done with school right now. All these big projects are just more requirements of my time.
Tuesday I had 11 children including my own at my house. I had the 2 children I watch and mine, and my neighbor's 2 kids and Steven's 2 classmates. It was barely controlled chaos.
What I would truly enjoy is a quiet day at the spa. But, that takes money and I don't see much extra in the coming weeks. Oh well. I think these struggles build character. My character must be well built by now. Either that or I keep tearing it down in my sleep!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Playing chicken

Playing chicken
Originally uploaded by bonniemomof5
Yesterday Jonathon was having a few moments with one of our newest chicks. This one is particularly friendly; she is a barred rock chicken. The kids have named her "Blacky." For me, her coloring and spots remind me of a penguin. Jonathon was letting her crawl all over his head, his neck, arms. It was very cute. The kids are fond of the chickens and I am surprised at what social creatures they are. When I get stressed out, I'll take a moment and sit by the chicken coop and check up on them. Most of the time, a couple will come right up to the cage and visit with me. This has probably been the weirdest project I've taken on. But, I am enjoying learning all the in's and out's!

Boys are pigs!

Boys are pigs!
Originally uploaded by bonniemomof5
On Sunday afternoon, my son decided to take the hose and create a mud pit under our trampoline. He played and splashed and hooted and hollered. He is so proud of himself, here. I was grateful to capture this moment. Someday, I think this photo will come in handy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flower of summer

Originally uploaded by bonniemomof5
I love hibiscus flowers. There is no other flower that inspires the feelings of summer than hibiscus. So far I have 2 hibiscus plants. A pink tree and this beautiful yellow hibiscus plant I bought from Trader Joes that I've been babying along. I'm so glad it has survived!

Crispy Lemon Cookies

Crispy Lemon Cookies
Originally uploaded by bonniemomof5
Here is one of the latest recipes I've been cooking up. My neighbor Neil willingly shares the bounty of his lemon tree. I love lemons. They are beautiful, tangy, and cheerful looking. It's like a little ray of sunshine encompassed in a piece of fruit.
Here's the recipe:

Crispy Lemon Cookies
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbs. lemon zest
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar for rolling the balls in.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl on high speed until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients except flour until well blended.
On low speed, beat in flour just until blended.
Form into small balls and roll into the 1/2 c. reserved sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges are just lightly browned.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Greetings from the funny farm!

Yes. I've gone ahead and done it. I purchased some baby chicks. 6 total to be exact. We've had some casualties at Ethan's hands. He dropped the chick and our dog Bella got to her. Bella either thinks of these small yellow puffballs as little yellow snacks or as little yellow toys, I'm not sure. They just about drive her out our her mind. She paws at the cage, she whines, she paces, she watches. I don't know what to do with her except to keep her away from them at all costs. Ttoday we had another casualty. It was my fault. I put a spare piece of timber up in the corner as a perch until the rest of the chicken coop is finished and it fell on a chick thanks to a good shove from Ethan. He was ramming up against the coop because he wanted to get into it. And the moral is: all wooden objects must be secured to the coop.
I decided to do this because I thought it would be an interesting experience for me and the kids and also because we would have organic all-natural eggs without the hormones. So much of our foods now have hormones, it is insane! And, if I can do one more thing nutritionally for my kids, maybe that one more thing will make a difference.
It is amazing how much the chicks have grown in the week we have had them. They are little characters too. I have had them upstairs in the bathroom in a large clear plastic bin. They very easily scale the side and perch on the side of the bin or wander around on top of the bathroom counter or get stranded way down below on the floor. When I hear the shrill chirp chirping, I know one of them is in trouble and come to the rescue.
On the down side, these buggers are messy! They poop everywhere. They spill their food everywhere. They get their food in their water and mess it up too. But, it's been fun watching them grow and watching the kids watch and interact with them.
Ethan is very funny with the chicks. He exclaims, "Mom, they are so boo-tiful!" He repeats this over and over again. He wants to be hands on with them. I have to watch him to make sure he is gentle. He always has to be supervised when he is around them, we don't want any more casualties. When they get bigger they will be able to fight him off much better.
The other kids, Bekkah, Steven, and Jonathon watch over them. They clean out the water, rescue them when they get out, give them more food. Bekkah is willing to clean their cage. Steven wants no part of it. He is afraid of getting his hands dirty. I think I see some plastic disposable gloves coming his way in the very near future. This is a whole family project.
I am especially looking forward to them laying eggs for us. In about 4 months plus or minus they will start producing and then we will start gathering. I have never had fresh eggs before, but I have heard that the flavor is amazing. We will see.
So, there you go. That's my project. That's why I have been busy as of late.
Besides the chickens, I have been working on some raised planter beds in the back yard for a garden. I figure if we can't keep grass alive, maybe we can raise some vegetables instead. Ethan really enjoys the watering aspect. Somehow he needs to learn how to be "soft" with the plants because we have lost 2 tops to 2 of the plants. I'm hoping they will continue to grow despite this setback. Time will tell.
Well, that's all. I'm busy now watering and chick tending. I'm sure there are some of you that think I'm off my rocker. That's ok. I like to keep life interesting. And, my little farm will certainly keep it interesting for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A good day

Yesterday was a memorable day. It was my 35th birthday. It was a quiet day where I went about my usual routines. It's not like I can command the week to pause just for me, life waits for no man or woman. I had my normal childcare duties. The boys had scouts. Peter had his Cisco class.
The highlight of my day was my friend Karen coming up to visit and take me out to lunch. We went to Panera. It was nice. We laughed as Aeron and Madison stole food from each other and tried to steal drinks. We enjoyed the casual atmosphere and the delicious food. It was a wonderful treat for the middle of the day. The best present I got is that when I took a test picture of Aeron, he actually smiled for me and smiled for Karen when she took our photo. What a wonderful birthday present. Thank you Karen and Aeron. What a memorable lunch.
Then after scouts, the kids and I went and claimed our free chicken meal from KFC and went to Bass Pro Shops because I promised Ethan he could see the fish there. He is fascinated with the fish and could spend several hours yelling, pounding and staring at the fish.
His birthday is on Monday, the 11th. He saw the birthday cake I made and thought it was his. You know, when you're turning 4, it's all about you! I explained to him that we will celebrate his birthday next week.
We are planning a party just for him. It will be a simple affair at the park. We'll have hot dogs, chips, drinks, and cupcakes. The kids can run around at the park and play in the sand and then we'll go home. I'm looking forward to doing this for him because it is the first time he'll be able to understand that it is his birthday. He loves the birthday song and candles. I wonder how many times we'll have to relight the candles? He is very excited for this event. I am glad for him.

Winner winner, chicken dinner - free!

Yes, you read it right. You can get a free 2 piece KFC grilled chicken meal. And you get 2 sides of your choosing and a biscuit. Click on the link here to be directed to the coupon.
Yesterday the kids and I went and enjoyed our free chicken dinner. Bekkah especially enjoyed the grilled chicken. I did too. The lines may be a bit long. But, hey, a free meal is a free meal. Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Summer haircuts and unintended consequences

Friday afternoon I gave all 4 boys haircuts. Earlier that morning I asked Jonathon if he wanted a summer haircut. He's been getting so sweaty with his long hair and when he gets sweaty, he wipes his hands across his face generally leaving black dirty streaks in the wake of his hands. So Jon got his haircut and then he commented that he didn't want it that short! I asked him, what he thought a summer cut was?
To complicate the story, Friday night before Jonathon went to bed, he took a detour through our bathroom and played with Peter's beard trimmer. I guess he wanted to give himself his own haircut. What he ended up with to my dismay was a reverse mohawk that went halfway back on his head. I discovered this Saturday morning as I was getting him ready for his soccer game at 9:30.
What had previously been a nice haircut that was a clipper size 6 on top now became a shave with a clipper size 1. He's almost bald now.
To rub in this fact, I photographed him in all his glory. He didn't seem to mind all that much, unfortunately. And at the soccer game, when I cheered for him, I cheered, "Go, Baldy go!" He didn't seem to appreciate my cheers very much. But then again, I didn't appreciate having to give him a whole new haircut.
Hopefully, Jonathon won't make that mistake again!