Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Silly Three-Year-Old

Alexa:  "I sneezed.  Can I have some handitizer?"

Me:  "Alexa, I love that you and Parker are having so much fun together and laughing.  It makes me really happy."
Alexa: "Momma you should put it on Facebook."

Me: "Alexa look at the big plane in the sky (it was a military plane of some sort)."
Alexa: "Mommy that plane is big because it ate all of it's food."

Me:  "Alexa, Mommy is tired this morning so please don't push my buttons."
Alexa:  "Momma, where are your buttons?"

Daddy:  *big sigh*
Alexa: "Daddy, do I drive you crazy?"

Paul and Alexa were walking out of a store when Alexa saw a woman with an eye patch on and yelled, "Look, Daddy!  It's a pirate!"

Alexa saw a man who was balding and shouted in utter amazement, "Look, Momma!  That man doesn't have any hair.  Where did it go?"

Alexa:  "When I get bigger I'm going to get married."
Me:  "Who are you going to marry?"
Alexa:  "Daddy."

Alexa:  "I talk a lot Daddy."
Daddy:  "Yes you do, honey!!"

Alexa:  "Where are we going Daddy?"
Daddy:  "We are going to gymnastics."
Alexa:  "This isn't the way to gymnastics.  This is the way to Grandma's."  (Paul took a different route than I did the week before and she was correct, it was the street we take to go to Grandma's).

At prayer time, I asked Alexa to tell God what she was thankful for.  Alexa says, "Thank you Lord for flowers, butterflies, houses, people, and bears."  I really have no idea where the bears part came from.

Alexa:  "Momma, I love you.  You are the most best."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband



And Grandpa Gene

We are very grateful to have you all in our lives!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Taking a Break in Arizona

I love being a Mom but I won't lie...sometimes I need a break!  It truly is a 24/7 job and this Momma needed to get away for a bit.  So...I called up my friend, Jill, who lives near Prescott, Arizona and asked if I could come visit for a few days.  Lucky for me she said yes and Paul agreed to take off of work to stay home with the kiddos.  So, last week I was on my way.  I got very motion sick on the itty-bitty plane that I flew out to Arizona in but luckily the rest of the trip went more smoothly - until I had to fly back and they put me on an even smaller plane...

I'm a girl who gets more rejuvinated from a day outside in a beautiful, relaxing setting than I would at a spa so this was perfect.  We took a little hike at a lake where all the rocks looked "bubbly".

We also drove to Sedona to go to Slide Rock State Park.  When Paul and I lived in Arizona, we visited Sedona several times to get away from the scorching summer heat in Phoenix.  On a few different trips up North, we had visited Slide Rock and I loved it.  Jill had never been so I wanted to show her this little treasure.  

It's a beautiful area in Oak Creek Canyon where the rocks underneath the water are slippery and smooth and they form a natural slide.  The water is extremely COLD but if you're brave enough to get in, it's quite fun to slide down the rocks.
Jill bravely went first
Jill even was brave enough to jump off a little cliff into the water below.  I taped the whole thing on my camera but FYI if you tape something with your camera, don't hold the camera up and down because otherwise your footage will be sideways....oops.

The best part of Slide Rock if you ask me is when you get away from the crowds by hiking up the Canyon a ways.  The creek is not very deep so you can actually walk in the water and climb around all the rocks.  Luckily, Jill had perfect shoes for the occasion which made it less likely to slip on the rocks.

It was a wonderful day!

I saw quite a bit of wildlife during my trip including lots and lots of lizards,

One of which had a blue belly,

A quail,

And his quail babies,

Beautiful butterflies,

And even a snake while we were hiking in the water at Slide Rock.  Sorry no picture of that though - I was busy running as far as I could away from the thing.

We went to two movies while I was there, did a little shopping, and Jill inspired me with her craftiness.  We made beaded lanyards to hold our work name tags and she showed me how to navigate Pinterest so I can start making all sorts of fun stuff - I'm sure Paul is going to be thrilled.

It really was a great trip!  I had a chance to relax and catch my breath which was very needed.  So, I'm now back to the daily grind but refreshed and ready to go.  Bring it on!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Growing Strawberries and Yummy Strawberry Pie

Three years ago, I started a strawberry bed in our backyard.  I don't have a lot of sunny open spots in my yard so I had Paul rip out some old rose bushes that were against the house and not doing too well.  He then made a small raised bed for me and we filled it with dirt.  I started with five plants and have added a few since then.  The last two years I didn't get too many berries but this year I got LOTS! 
We got at least a bowl full of strawberries every day for a couple of weeks
I think it also helped that Paul surrounded the bed with chicken wire so the birds and critters couldn't steal the berries - this definitely helped a lot!
It may not look pretty, but it's effective!
I wanted to keep my bed organic so I just used a little Blood Meal as fertilizer and I think it did the trick.  Although, I think the vibrant green leaves were a bit tempting to some silly little insects that would try and eat the leaves.  But all in all it did well considering I didn't use anything to control the little pests.

We had plenty of strawberries to eat every night and sometimes we had more than we could eat so I froze them.  I experimented with new recipes like strawberry shortcake, strawberry crepes, strawberries and ice cream, etc.  They were all good but none matched the new strawberry pie recipe I tried.  

Click HERE for the recipe for "IceBox Strawberry Pie" if you're interested.  I got the recipe from Cook's Country after watching them make it on our PBS station one Saturday afternoon. I didn't use their pie crust recipe though - I used my favorite one that I've been using for years.  I got it from an old cookbook that belonged to a family I worked for in college.  

My Favorite Pie Crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2/3 cup + 2 T. shortening
  • 4-5 T. cold water (I use ice water to make sure it's really cold) 
Mix flour and salt.  Cut in shortening a little at a time until crumbly.  Sprinkle in water 1 T. at a time until pie dough forms.  Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a floured surface.  Place in pie plate and bake at 350 degrees until light golden brown (it took around 30 minutes).  This recipe is supposed to make enough for a 2 crust pie and you only need one crust for this recipe but I make the whole thing anyway.  You can freeze the other crust, eat it, or bake it with cinnamon and sugar for a yummy snack!

I LOVE strawberry season and I'm curious to see what my strawberry patch will do next year and what yummy creations I get to try.