Friday, December 2, 2011

Way to set the bar.....

After almost an entire year of anticipation, watching his friends wiggle their teeth and come into classes with holes in their mouth, Ollie finally lost his first tooth!

What a rite of passage, especially for this little man who wanted so badly to loose a tooth.

So of course I went above and beyond, making a path of glitter and magic appear in a trail from the window, writing out notes on burnt glittered parchment, even including a new toothbrush and glittered note for Max, you know in the anticipation of his teeth falling out...

The joy and excitement of finding a little glittered note and new tooth brush was so exciting for the boys, Ollie barely took a second look at the two dollars he was left....

So, than what happens when you loose your second tooth. I was planning on writing a little note and slipping a quarter into the tooth fairy bag my Mom had made Ollie (he lost it at her house, so cute) but I fell asleep, forgot about the duties of Tooth Fairy... So B picked up the slack and at 6 in the morning slipped another two dollars under his pillow (we need to re-think the cost of a tooth) but in the process of the exchange of money we lost the actual tooth! When I woke Ollie up, the first thing he did was lift up his pillow, and look for a note! A note that was not there, Oh the disappointment! Than Max woke up, and max too, flipped up his pillow looking for the tooth fairy, glitter, her magic, her inclusion of him on his big brothers shirt tails.... Tooth Fairy Fail!

Than guess what happens three days later, The boys find the tooth in their bedroom, Now they are convinced the Tooth Fairy had dropped the tooth, and was probably wherever tooth fairies live getting in trouble for losing a tooth... So Oliver puts the tooth under his pillow again. Guess what, the Tooth Fairy forgot about that dang frickin tooth! Again, the eager wake up grab under the pillow happened, this time to find the same thing he put under his pillow when he went to bed... Oh Tooth Fairy you are freakin killing me here!

So before anything else could be done this morning... Oliver had to write the Tooth Fairy a note.

Tonight gosh darnit, that Tooth Fairy better get her freakin act together, and next time maybe not overdo it out of the gate... 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Master Chef

I love cooking with the boys. I have always had them in the kitchen with me, even as babies, strapped in a front pack, these boys have cooking in the blood. Which has made my boys awesome eaters, they will (almost) always eat anything I put in front of them.

Last night we had some fresh caught Kokanee gifted to us from Grandpa lee, (he stocked our freezer up, making room for 45 pounds of salmon caught). We stuffed them with Rosemary (from the garden) and lemon, than topped them with olive oil, lemon, leeks (from the garden) and potatoes. Wrapped them up tight in foil on cooked them up. Seriously soooo good. I am huge fan of rosemary, and mix that with the butteryness of the kokanee, and lemon... you should totally make this!

We made...

Today I helped out in Max's preschool class, I hate preschool. That is all I have to say about that. The teacher did have the kids do some leaf rubbings in class, which Max and I brought the idea home and made way cooler.
Love them.

Monday, August 22, 2011

keep calm, and carry on.

This weekend as I was digging out a huge sliver from a squirming, crying, bleeding, 4 year old foot, I was paid the nicest compliment.

"You should be a nurse, you handled that so calmly"

Words laid on me by my friend Terra.

Than a day later, after a lovely weekend at sunriver with friends, the opportunity to keep calm and carry on presented itself again.

We stopped on the way home at my absolute favorite place on earth, Big Lake. We planned on making a quick stop, waving Hi to the mountain, maybe hiking to where my dads ashes are laid, and to take a quick swim in the lake, this was to be a quick little detour, slightly out of our way home, but a must for me. B and Max went to the car to grab some things, while me and Ollie stripped down to our suits and started blowing up an air mattress. As I sat on the rocks, admiring the gorgeous view, my feet being cooled by the water, and the calm coming over me, B came marching down the hill, carrying a crying Max, and not looking happy. B had handed the car keys to Max to hold while he got the stuff out of the car. Than he locked all the doors, than he shut the back of the car. Than he asked Max for the keys. Max had put the keys in the car.... oops...

Can you blame a 4 year old. Not really.

B was pissed, and not calm at all.

I sat on the rock, took a deep breath and kept filling up the air mattress.

What do you do, at 3:30 pm, on a Sunday, 15 miles from the nearest town, and locked out of your car. No food, No suitable clothing, and No spare key.

Keep Calm and Carry on.

B is not the best person when it comes to keeping calm. While he had his mild breakdown, I took over called our insurance company and had a locksmith on the way, to be there hopefully within the hour.

Than I went swimming. I enjoyed my afternoon, I swam with my kids, I stressed a little as the sun started to set, and we still were not back into our car.

B calmed down, and as a lesson to both of us, we discussed what anger does in a stressful situation. It does nothing, it accomplishes nothing. It helps no one.

We talked about it, we apologized to each other... we got calm and carried on.

On our, later than we intended, drive home, we talked about rafting. B told me he had only gone rafting once, and all he remembered from the experience was that he accidentally hit is dad with the oar while rowing, his dad got angry with him, and the rest of the trip all he wanted was for it to be done. Out of the whole trip, that is what B remembered.
Anger, accomplishes nothing, helps no one.

We stopped at 9pm for a late night dinner in Salem. B took Max to the restroom, they took forever, he came back and told me how he and max had talked about how mad daddy had gotten about the keys, how it was not maxes fault, and daddy had not been mad at him, how he was sorry he had lost his temper.

The sign of a great man is one that keeps learning from himself, and can admit when he is in the wrong, even if he thinks he has it all figured out. B is an amazing dad, and I am so glad he is my husband.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Today I am having a ridiculous problem with being content. Today I want a different life, one filled with vacations... travelling to exotic, relaxing places, one working at a job that does not include serving two pint sized demanding monsters, one not being me.

Do you have those days?

The days you just want to be or do something else. Today my kids bugged me, my husband bugged me... My house bugged me... the cupboard that becomes a catchall for random and all pieces of tupperware or plastic especially bugged me (how do the lids always seem to disappear... it is so freakin annoying!) So I cleared the whole cupboard out, but have no plan on how to put it back so that it makes more sense, so here I sit at 9pm with a pile of crap on my kitchen floor... blah.


Last week, I hauled the boys out to Damascus to go Strawberry picking with the Manlupig fam. It was hot but fun, and I spent the next day easing my back (strawberry picking is not for the faint of heart) and making freezer jam. I like strawberry freezer jam way better than the cooked variety, it is like summer in a little frozen container, which we need here since summer has already come and gone. blah.

Today I was tired of waiting for the weather to get better, so I loaded up the boys and we headed out to Sauvie Island to get our raspberries and blueberries... It rained on us. It was okay though, the vines were full and we made a great haul with minimal effort. I am much more of a raspberry or blueberry picker... everything is at eye level pretty much.

First batch of raspberry jam is done... I really need to invest in some canning equipment.. but my old pots seem to work just fine for now...

if Ollie only chose to wear a black and white striped shirt for the rest of his life... i would totally be okay with that... haaa

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

created....perfectly buttered popcorn..

I love air popped popcorn. I like some butter on it sometimes, but what I hate, is how the heck do you get the butter dispersed evenly. There is nothing worse to me than butter soaked kernels, mixed with completely unseasoned kernels, drives me nuts.

This is adapted from how I dress my salad, again I hate unevenly dispersed or over dressed salad, drives me nuts.

Spread some softened butter around the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pop your air popped popcorn directly into the bowl and toss around with a spatula as it comes out. this will evenly distribute the butter without over buttering some of the kernels, and leaving others dry.

add some Kosher salt, and some minced Rosemary and you are good to go!


There is nothing better than some choclately not to sweet scratch brownies.

There is nothing better than a really good scratch brownie recipe....

Perfect Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Notes on this recipe and the ingredients:
1. Use a dark cocoa powder, the best you can get. Pale, light-colored cocoa just doesn’t have enough depth.
2. It is important to make sure your eggs are room temperature.
3. Do not overbeat the eggs into the batter because it will add too much air.
3. Check your brownies often while they are baking to make sure you don’t overbake them or you will not have the fudge-like consistency.

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely (I used Lindt 70%)
8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal 9x13x2 pan. You can make a kind of ‘sling’ of aluminum foil or parchment paper by lining the pan in both directions with a folded piece of each and leaving the overhang out of the sides of the pan. You will need to butter the bottom and sides of that in the pan as well. You can use this later to remove the brownies in one large piece to be place on a board and cut.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
Fill a large saucepan about 1/4 – of the way with water and bring to a simmer. Place a large heat proof bowl over the simmering water (the bottom should not be touching the water) to make a large double boiler. Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined – you don’t want fast boiling water or the water touching because this can burn the chocolate and butter instead of melting it nicely. Once they are melting, the heat from the chocolate and butter that is already melting will help to melt the rest of the unmelted butter and chocolate in the bowl. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. If you stirred often when the chocolate and butter was melting then your mixture should already be at room temperature. If the mixture is still too hot, let it cool before adding the eggs so that you don’t scramble and cook them into your batter.

Add three eggs to the chocolate and butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey instead of fudgy.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula (not a whisk!) to fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Fold the ingredients together until there is just some of the flour mixture visible so that you don’t overwork the batter.

Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula (which will end up mixing in the remaining flour mixture at this point, which is why you don’t want to overmix before). Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotating the pan half-way through baking) and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.


This recipe is my go-to brownie recipe from here. The only change I made is only use 1.5 cups of sugar. The 1 cup of white sugar, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Otherwise I found the brownies to be too sweet for my taste. I am gonna mess with the recipe and see about adding puree, like pumpkin puree for half the butter or something.... I will let you know how that works when I do it.


11 days....

Really I slacked for 11 days...... I have follow through issues.

So in my 11 days of slacking, Oliver graduated from kindergarten, I think it hit me harder than I thought it would. I try not to be too emotional, but having my little man graduate kind of put me on a teary edge. I am not ready for a first grader, I am not ready for the school year to be over, I want to shrink my boys and keep them little forever.

I think it is funny how tall Surin is next to Oliver, it seems like all the girls shot up in the class, and all the boys are short.

So please excuse my slacky-ness. I am dealing with Mama issues.

Friday, June 10, 2011

. ..The lost Baby T-Rex.. .

My book: is called.
The Lost Baby T-Rex
By: Oliver Raetz
Title: Book

Once upon a time there was a baby T-Rex
(notice the little T-Rex and the big trees...)

The baby T-Rex was lost. Until the T-Rex grew.
(the trees are getting smaller, and the T-Rex is getting bigger...)

The T-Rex grew, and grew, and grew. And then the T-Rex grew huge.

Humongous. Huge, Huge.
(little trees, huge T-Rex..... I love it)

Huge, huge, huge. Huge, huge, huge, huge.
(tiny trees....)

Huge and humongous. Back to small.
(the orange circles are the T-Rex's dream bubbles...)

The T-Rex had a dream. The end!

I love this book.

Ollie loves to write stories... I have a huge stack of journals from his school, some of his stories are so funny and detailed, most involve one or more of the following.... dinosaurs (T-Rex's), a night fury (from how to train your dragon.... Mrs. Mash thought he was writing and drawing pictures of a night fairy.... which I think is kind of funny) monster trucks, skateboards, gorillas, his brother, his mom and dad, Mrs. Mash, and his friends... most of the stories have him riding something.

I have spent the last couple of nights pouring over his books. I think I am going to compile them in one big book. I just can't get over how awesome they are. I will post some of my favorites!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


We do not have regular television in our house. When we were cutting back our expenses, Cable was of course, the first thing to go. Instead we stream Netflix through the Wii, and watch shows via Hulu, or from the network sites. This actually works quite well for us, there is no unintentional couch potato-ing. You have to really work at finding something to watch.

So one of the things about Netflix, it has kind of weird shows that the boys get sucked into. Like Voltron defender of the universe (from when B and I were kids). The boys favorite..... BeyBlade metal fusion.
The other day at Target, B and I were looking at Helmets, and the boys were allowed to go over to the toy aisles. They came back so excited pulling us over and exclaiming, "You will never believe this, it is what we have been dreaming and wishing for." Guess who carries BeyBlade toys, of course Target. With the boys piggy bank money, each got a Bey, and they got a battle arena. Pure Heaven for these two little men.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

day 8... created clean...

So Obviously I am using the term Create loosely. I don't mind. Today I created a clean kitchen.

Just in time to go to the garden and bring this mess in.

We washed and dried all our greens than put them in containers to toss in the fridge. So awesome having a fridge full of greens me and the boys grew with our own two hands. 7... Garden...

I love being part of a community garden. I love that is only a block from my house. I love digging in the dirt, and I love being able to make dinner from our Garden.

I wish the stupid weather would cooperate so that we can have veggies coming out of our ears this year, last year I made a lot of stuff with green tomatoes.

I am so stoked on our Community Garden, this year we have put in a watering system, apple trees, blueberry bushes and a seating area. We also got two flats of Tomatoes donated, so we have tomatoes all over the place.

I love our Community!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday... already behind...

Today I kept my kids alive.

I am going with that, somedays as a stay at home mom, my biggest accomplishment may be just keeping my kids alive, well and I had an extra, so today not only did I keep My created ones alive, I was entrusted with keeping someone elses kid alive too!

Yay for me!