Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Life Skills

I am back to the endless chore of shifting clothing.
Girls clothes into storage bins & back out again.
It is exciting for Gillian to see the baby clothes that she used to wear, 
coming back out, for baby Kendall.
She is having a very hard time watching her old favorites go to Moira.
She is broken hearted again, that she has outgrown the old favorites.
And she is jealous to see her sister happy in them.
It has been really hard on her.
So much so, the thought crossed my mind,
"maybe we should get rid of these entirely, 
so she is not reminded of the old, dearly loved clothes all that time."
And then I stopped.  
Was I really trying to shield my child from disappointment?
This is what life skills are made of.
I do NOT want to be a mother who hides reality from her kids 
& never allows them to experience consequences.
I shocked myself by entertaining such over-protecting thoughts.
Parents want to give good to children.
They don't want harm for them.
But, I am doing greater harm, 
when I don't teach skills basic coping skills for real life.

Speaking of skills, we lack handy skills in this house.
As in, handyman (or woman) skills.
My kids broke my vacuum on/off button this morning,
while I was in the bathroom for a few minutes.
Oh great.
Such a bummer.
We have no idea how to fix it.
How could they have busted it to badly?
They were trying to clean up a breakfast mess,
& didn't know it needed to be plugged in.
They pounded the life out of the button.
My house turns into a garbage heap after a day of no vacuuming.
But the vacuum repair guy & I don't get along.
He lacks many social skills & I lack the "let it go" skills.
(e.g. not having a machine done when he says it will be, then when it is finished,
calling me & chewing me out for leaving my machine at his shop "rent free"
& threatening to sell it if I didn't come in right away.  And there's more.)

Here's a new skill I learned this week.
I've been using it for a full week.
I am fairly well pleased with it.
It is non-toxic.  
Which, come to think of it, is a good thing for dishes.
I won't give you the directions here, cuz you need to go to Jami's blog to read.
She blogs like no one else.  
So go to read her detergent post.  Plus, read the rest of her blog.
The one thing I would say - 
I wasn't prepared for my mixture to bubble over as violently as it did.  Be ready.
Oh, & one more thing.  My mixture isn't very pourable.  I put the vinegar & lemon in.
But, it is more like a moist mixture.  It is not a liquid.
Next time I will put it in a bowl & spoon it in.  
I have it in a bottle & it is tough to get it out.

Peyton couldn't be happier about a friend who has good sharing skills.
He gets to borrow a Spider Man toy this week.
He's been dreaming about the day when he could play with a Spider Man toy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Title

I got my hair cut last week.  
I'm happy with it.
Gillian told me the day after, 
"Your hair doesn't look as nice as it did yesterday.
But, it still looks OK."

Kendall is growing up.  
She is trying to get the chubbiest Adams' baby award.
We'll see.  Gillian still holds the top spot.
But Kendall seems to be getting close.
She rolls over now.  
And, she's just a dear doll.  We love her.

We got a new chair for our living room.
Gillian saw a photo online, prior to it arriving & assured me that it would be fine.
"it was fancy enough."
Once it got here & we set it up, she said, "it was good because it wasn't too fancy."

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

This has been a strange week for us.
Every morning I have to be out of the house with all the kids ready before 8am.
I've never done this before - being out every morning.
It's weird.
But, we are handling it okay.
Gillian & Peyton have been attending Vacation Bible School & they love it.
Moira & Kendall & went shopping downtown yesterday
while the big kids were in class.
Everyone kept declaring to me, "wow!  you have your hands full!!"
I just smiled.
I shopped at Twist.  I love that store.
Best consignment store ever.

Date night tonight.
We're having Halibut with Grapefruit & Avocado.
And Coconut Gelato.  Not homemade.
Easy, but special.
And not kid friendly.
They'll eat some Annie's mac & cheese.

In the adoption department - we finally got our completed home study
& have sent in our application to USCIS.
Our docs are almost all together for our dossier.

And, the thing that is starting to stress me out a bit, but excite me, too -
Our carnival is only a couple weeks away!!

by Dimpleprints

I need to get to typing up the to do list for that.
And rally together more folks.
I'd better go.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Candles in Sweaters

So, this table setting?
I was inspired by Dottie Angel

This project could not have been easier.
I used old sweaters.
It took me one hour 
(mom time - that means constant interruptions, right?)
to make 9 jar sweaters.

I literally cut the cuffs off of sweaters, & slipped them over jars.
I know not everyone has white sweaters, 
or lace sleeved sweaters that they have been saving in the closet for 
10 years for a time such as this.  (Maybe not quite that long - 8-6 years...)
You could look at the thrift store.  Or not.

Half of the jars just have a piece of stretch lace sewn around them.
That you can do, even if you didn't save a sweater to sew on your jars.
You could also use doilies.
Or cool old lace tablecloths.
Just cut the strip to fit the jar, 
a lot like you would cut a piece of wrapping paper. - 
a bit of extra on all sides.
When you sew up the side to join the lace around the glass,
make broad stitches to take in a good amount of lace.
With a loose, open lace, you'll need a good amount of it in 
each stitch, so you don't pull on one spot too much.
(I don't know if that made any sense.  
But, I don't take good enough photos to do a photo tutorial.)

Linking up with Heather's Life Made Lovely Monday.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dinner at Eight -Take Two

Second week of date night at home.

Red Velvet Cupcake wine
Filet Mignon with herbed truffle butter*
Spinach & Beet Greens sauteed
Baked Potatoes with sour cream & chives
Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Status of Children 
wakeful & loud the whole time.
Moira full of mischief, running around her room, passing out toys & books.
Peyton, angry that Mo may get him in trouble,
gives her a hit as she makes a toy drop off at his bed.
Gillian, giddy over date night
- every time we come to the room to deal with trouble, she says to us, "Happy Date Night!!"
Kendall - at the date table with us

Table Setting

I'll tell you how in a few days.
Quick project, highly satisfying.

Dinner was simple & uncomplicated.
We usually like blue cheese on filet mignon,
but, I forgot to buy some.
My mom in law had given me a bottle of truffle oil
as a gift a while ago.  
It was super thoughtful, as she knows how much I love to cook.
But, it was forgotten in the cupboard for a long time. 
As I thought about what to do with the steaks 
- truffle oil - it was a beautiful gift all over again.

*{herbed truffle butter}
Soften your butter.
Chop fresh herbs - I used Chives & Parsley.
Mince a close of garlic.
Mash the herbs & garlic into your butter.
Season with salt & pepper.
Stir in truffle oil.
Lay a small piece of plastic wrap on your counter & scrape the butter onto it.
Roll it into a log & wrap it up.
Refrigerate, so you can cut it into nice rounds to top your steak with.

The Mom & The Dad
So darn tired. 
But happy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Laundry Our Way

Gillian wanted to fold my laundry for me this afternoon.
I was happy to allow for this.

I am not bothered by the rugged fold.
It is pretty much the way I do it, too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Sorts of Friends

When I was a kid, I had a great little group of best friends.
(Maybe we were considered a clique by others.  But we weren't!  We were just friends.)

They were the best sort of childhood friends.
We were a chatty crew.  We could talk & talk & talk about something or nothing.
We were creative & imaginative.
The only toys we usually played with were our dolls.
We even had a doll club, in which we discussed the life of our dolls (?).
We would put on figure skating competitions on our bedroom floor, dancing in our socks.
We wrote letters to each other.
Sometimes as fictional people.  We were writing dramatic novels in letter form.
The favorite names of the group were Laura (Ingalls) & Anne (Shirley).
The girl quickest to announce her name was likely to choose Laura Anne.
We would bike & bake & laugh & make friendship bracelets.
And we fought.  (Oh girlie, did we fight.)

But the thing is, they are still my friends.
23 years (give or take) later.
And that is a very good sort of friend.

We had a little last minute friend reunion last week.

Krista (little sis), Stef, Me, Cola, Julie

Stef & Cola both happened to be on vacation in Cali.
And they both happened to be coming to the coast on the same day.
So, Julie drove to the coast, too.
And Krista & I lucked out by already living here!

It is a very good sort of friend,
when you have the mutual understanding
that life goes on
& free time is now more limited
than it was 15 years ago.
There are no hurt feelings about it.

But, when I do get to see one of these old friends,
it is just like it has always been.
They really know me.
And conversation is still great.
(Even though, it seems in my adulthood I have lost some of my chit chat skills.
I don't feel like a very good conversationalist much of the time.
You know, awkward silence?  Yep, me too.)

Our kids all got to play together.
That was a lot of little ones!
(& an amazing low amount of fights.)

Friends who may be far, but still are close.
I am grateful


Friday, June 10, 2011

Ten on Ten

8 o'clock hour
Morning play on the floor
Kendall learning how to manuevar

9 o'clock hour
I get the oatmeal made & on the table - 
with milk, blueberries & brown sugar.

10 o'clock hour
Kendall down for nap.  
The rest of us finally get dressed & start to tackle the house work.

11 o'clock hour
Unexpected bath time after a potty training incident - 
when the toilet newbie tries to wipe her own bottom & empty her seat.

12 o'clock hour
Daddy home for lunch
We eat breakfast sandwiches.
(this sausage, only made with turkey, not chicken.)

1 o'clock hour
all the other kids are in their room for nap.
Kendall coos & smiles on my lap while a read a few blog posts,
such as this one & that one.

2 o'clock hour
Gillian conquers her quiet time activity.

3 o'clock hour
Gillian & Mommy time, before the littler ones wake.

4 o'clock hour
outside chores & play
here we all shell fava beans

5 o'clock hour
daddy & baby snuggle while mommy makes tacos 
& the other kids watch netflix streaming.

ten on ten button small

This was my first time participating in Ten on Ten with a Bit of Sunshine.
What fun!  I am totally going to do this more.
A fun way to look at our day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Of Lemongrass & Pirates & Love

The daddy & I had our Dinner at Eight date night last night.
Gillian was my little helper.  
While I was preparing in the kitchen & the other kids napped, 
she was my "remembering chef".
That pretty much means, she was pointing to a recipe 
& telling me what to do.
She also acted as the helping chef, though.
She put chopped veggies into the salad bowl 
& into the soup pot, too.

She was also the table decorator.  
She loved that job.
She picked bouquets of mint & thyme.  Her own idea.  
They looked smashing.
This morning she asked me why we couldn't just leave it like this forever.

Truth be told, I forgot about our plan for date night, until late the night before.
Scott had been bringing home tons of very ripe raspberries, 
so I had thought I would try my hand at making jam on Wednesday.
Instead I made raspberry sauce for our dessert.
I had planned on just making Asian Beef Salad for dinner.
But, when I remembered about the date, 
I pumped up the excitement with some Coconut Chicken Soup.

(I'm an awful food stylist/photographer.  
So, I chose the yellowed photo editing look, to make it look even worse, I guess.)

The soup was a little gift of love to my husband.
One reason - it has mushrooms.  
I hate mushrooms & he loves them.
He also loves Thai soups & brothy soups in general, 
I am generally steer away.
And, his latest plant love is his new lemongrass.
He has been babying her along & he's really proud of little lemongrass.
I harvested from the plant to make the soup.
He said it was a dream come true.
(I'm not kidding.  He really did say that.)

They tasted good. 
But, Scott thought they looked a bit like buns of poop in the photo.
Which reminds me, when we were outside working this last weekend,
Gillian invited us to eat at her restaurant, where all they serve is poop.
And they use hand trowels for spoons, so you can eat a lot .

All this time, during our date meal, the kids were talking & making a ruckus in their room.
Not total peace & quiet.  But, partial is better than nothing.
They were asleep around when dinner was over.

But, our date wasn't over!
Scott had brought home a date night activity.
Back in the days before we had kids, 
and we spent loads of time just lazing about,
we used to play this Pirate video game together.  
We also used to play the Star Wars lego game together.
So, this new game was like the good ole days.

(Note to my childhood pals who wondered what I learned "for" my husband.  Video games.  
But, I don't speak the gaming language all that well.  I just make an effort.  
Scott is very affirming of my "skills".  
And, I have even come to enjoy listening to these gaming videos he watches.  
True.  It's true.  Gootecks has a great laugh.  
I don't watch them.  I haven't gone that far.  I just hear it, while I go about my own thing.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the stuff of late

My internet connection has been poor for a whole week.
My blogging has been poor, too.

I've been doing cool stuff, though.
I like playhouse painting.
I like painting.
And the small scale of the playhouse makes it especially fun.
I'll show you an update soon.

We are also starting on the Dinner at Eight program here.
I'll report on that soon.

I just got to spend some time with my little group of
childhood bestie friends.
I was without my camera.
But when someone (hint, hint) forwards me some photos,
maybe I'll have something to share.

And I totally need to get organized on the World Orphans Carnival.
If you are local, be expecting an email soon.
It is a month away!
We need to get our plan for the day all in place.
Here's my pin board for carnival inspiration.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Evening Post with Elizabeth Esther

Join in the link up at Elizabeth Esther's.
The first Saturday of each month, she hosts the Saturday Evening Post.
You choose you favorite post from the past month & share it with the other linking bloggers.
Give it a go!
I chose Footprints on my Heart-  Gaby's birthday post.

Obligatory Ice Cream

A flat of fresh strawberries.
A costco sized cart of whipping cream.
A "little" brother here for dinner.
A playhouse finally being erected.
All of these seem a good reason for making ice cream.

As if that were not enough, my older sister
was just telling my son that she could guarantee to him,
that his mom had ice cream in her freezer at home.
Well, the fact of the matter was, his mom did not.
Shocking yes.  But true.
No ice cream in the freezer of Erin Adams.
I want my kids' Auntie to be trustworthy & reliable.
So, if I could help matters, then I surely would.

Thinking on all of these issues, I realized I was obligated to make ice cream.
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream.
(Which is nothing like the strawberry ice cream that you find
in a carton of cheap Neapolitan ice cream.  There are no similarities.)

Since I have a jar of pink peppercorns, I thought I'd try a variation on the standard,
as I once tasted at my local shop, The Penny Ice Creamery.

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream

4 cups -Fresh Strawberries, sliced, then mashed
2 cups -Sugar
1/4 teaspoon -Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon -Pink Peppercorns, pounded
2 cups -Whole Milk
2 cups -Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped

Stir the mashed berries with the sugar, extract, peppercorns  & milk.
Fold in whipped cream.  
Prepare in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.