Friday, October 28, 2011

She's Broke

The tooth fairy that is.

The teeth in this boy's mouth are dropping like flies.

And the tooth fairy is getting lazy.

Let me rephrase that, the male half of the tooth fairy is getting lazy. The other morning Micah woke up to realize that he was given the same little ziploc bag of coins that he had received just a few nights before. For a different tooth.

Yeah, you can't pull too many fast ones on this 6-year-old.

In other news, this is how we found Silas last night when he was supposed to be sleeping.

I'm thinking it might be time for a big boy bed...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Starbucks in the Oven

'Tis the season of all things pumpkin flavoured and I certainly haven't held back from trying out all sorts of fall pumpkin goodies. The first recipe on my pumpkin to-do list was the Starbucks-inspired Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes:

My finished product may not look as good as the picture above, but they definitely passed the taste test. (I opted to skip the caramel drizzle).

And since I ended up buying a whole tin of espresso powder in order to have 3 tbsp's worth for this recipe, I could make them a few times over yet.

They were delicious! Now, if only they fell into the healthy recipes category...

On another note, I recently learned that mini cupcakes/muffins actually fit perfectly in an empty egg carton. A great idea for gifts.

You could even decorate the outside of your egg carton and tie it up with some pretty twine if you're so inclined...

(image found here)

The second recipe I wanted to try was the Starbucks Pumpkin Scones:

Mine turned out pretty well, except for the icing part. There is a white glaze and a brown spiced icing which was supposed to be a bit thicker for drizzling, but mine were both pretty runny and, once again, not at all like the impressive picture above. But, it really does come down to taste, and they were pretty good!

Also on my pumpkin baking list was pumpkin cheesecake bars (they were so-so) and pumpkin muffins (a big hit with the kids - made these twice so far).

I have to admit, I'm getting a little bit pumpkin'd out.

But, there is one last recipe I'm interested to try. It's called pumpkin pie dip and it promises to not only be addictive but actually kind of healthy too since it's made with greek yogurt. (A tad healthier than the apple dip I've been making with cream cheese and loads of sugar... )

But first I think I'll take a little break from pumpkin. If it's true that "you are what you eat", I won't be surprised if our whole family is round and tinted orange by the time it's Halloween...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Potty Humour

Potty training has begun. The candidate is prime, but the trainer (yeah, that's me) is having a hard time being 100% devoted to this process. We've had a few successes, but Silas has great bladder control which makes for fewer teachable moments throughout the day. And life still needs to go on for me and for the rest of our family so I can't always be "on" Silas at every moment. The afternoons kind of go downhill after he naps (in a diaper) and then we pick up the kids (also in his diaper) and then I just kind of let it slide since the older kids and dinner prep and all those other things are keeping me too occupied.

But the kid cracks me up. The first time he went successfully in the potty he thought it was hilarious...

Monday, October 17, 2011


My most favourite thing so far about living on an acreage is having evening bonfires. The fire ban was lifted at the beginning of the month, so for the last few weeks we've been having fires at every opportunity.

Let's just say there've been an awful lot of hot dogs and marshmallows consumed this month so far...

We've been enjoying a string of clear sunny days that are finished off with crisp, clear fall evenings. And if we've learned anything from living in the lower mainland, it's that we'd better enjoy them now because we all know the rains are coming.

Our life has become a fine line between country and city living. Our fireside was accompanied by the honking of Canada geese, the howling of coyotes and, of course, a few low-flying airplanes and a helicopter (all equally entertaining for this bunch).

I think Keziah still had some supper on her face...

And the only way to end off a fall fireside?

S'mores of course.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What I Did Last Weekend (Point Form)

1. I had a birthday.

I turned 32 on Friday. In this stage of life, birthdays pass by in a blur, a busy day among every other busy day... But it was good - and special "luve" notes like this one from Micah made it extra special :)

2. I painted. A lot.

The kitchen project isn't quite finished yet. But it's getting close!
And on a side note, I totally sucked Erik into the painting vortex (just as I predicted!).

More pictures will come, but here's a glimpse of how it's been going:

After painting the backsplash in the blue-green colour I had chosen, I didn't like it at all and thought it looked pretty tacky. So, I painted over it with an ivory to match the cabinets. I'm still planning to paint the other walls in the blue-green but haven't felt totally happy with the colour choice. Anyway... I'll have to devote a whole separate post to that once it's all complete!

3. I pulled out the potty.

Let's just say a certain little boy is getting over his fear of the potty and a certain mommy is getting over her chronic procrastination... There has been no success yet, but there also hasn't been much time devoted to this. Hopefully soon I can put my energy towards this next endeavour...

Maybe when the painting is done.

4. I ate turkey.

We hosted the Toews family Thanksgiving dinner at the farm on Sunday night where we all squeezed into our sunroom-slash-dining-room for turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie. And then we ended off with a bonfire to enjoy the rest of a warm fall evening. The perfect kind of evening where the grown-ups visit around the fire while the kids run around the yard, chasing cats in the barn and trampoline-jumping under the stars, and claiming they're not tired enough to go to bed even when 9 pm rolls around... Which makes us all thankful for holiday Monday to recover :)

Hope the rest of you enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Fine Art of Dawdling

I'm trying to figure out how to make the school mornings less chaotic at our house. It doesn't matter how early we all wake up, it seems to take the e-n-t-i-r-e time to eat breakfast, get dressed and get out the door. There are 100 excuses in the book to keep these kids distracted from just doing what I'm asking them to do...

Micah is still having a tough time with school. Some mornings seem to go OK while others are filled with whining, excuses, tummy aches and teacher-peeling-him-off-of-my-body kind of good-byes at his classroom. Today was one of those mornings and I drove home feeling frustrated and discouraged.

Yet, every afternoon when I pick them up, Micah is in good spirits and eager to share about his day. So, I'm learning not to let the morning frustrations get to me. Instead I'm trying to enjoy my 6 hours with just ONE child.

And he's a handsome one.

I needed an updated photo of Silas for his child dedication coming up at the end of the month, so we headed out to the "backyard" for a few poses. I had a "he's-really-growing-up!" moment as I snapped some pictures.

One of my favourite thrift store finds ever has got to be this blazer/sport jacket combo. Thankfully Silas loves wearing it too :)

(And, come to think of it, these Gap jeans and Converse shoes were also from the thrift store!)

What are you doing on the ground Mommy?

With all the school drama I've nearly forgotten my next big challenge:
Potty-training this little elf...

I've learned a few things about dawdling myself.
In grown-up words, we call it procrastination.

I'll start potty-training...


Saturday, October 01, 2011

It's Time for a House Project

It's uncharacteristic for me to post 2 days in a row. Maybe I'm making up for lost time. Or maybe I've got a lot of ideas in my brain. I think spending time browsing Pinterest is bringing something out in me - all these home decorating projects, great ideas, and new recipes to try...

So, the project on my brain these days?
Here's a hint:

I think I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna paint the kitchen.

I debated just leaving it be - because who really knows how permanent all of this is, right? But the motivation struck me last week and I decided I'd better go with it.

I'm just anxious to see what this kitchen could look like with this brick all painted out one colour. Anyone who's seen Young House Love's dark-and-dingy den to bright-and-airy living room transformation should know what I'm talking about.

(Does anyone else feel like they're being stared down by 2 black eye holes a jagged-toothed mouth?)

Up close you can see the black, white and salmon-speckled loveliness.

And don't forget the other wall of my kitchen:

I've decided I'm just not a paint-one-wall-bright-red kinda girl. It gives me a kind of unseasonal "Christmas" vibe that is really only suitable for a couple of months a year.
So, yes. I'm ready to see it go.

This part of the house also tends to be the drop-off area for shoes and backpacks and purses and sweaters since we usually come in the house through the sun room (which is just through a doorway to the left of the window you see above) and there is currently no place for all that paraphernalia to live. But Erik - who has, by the way, washed his hands of this entire painting-the-kitchen idea (though I'm secretly hoping he'll be sucked into the painting vortex once I get started) - is on jacket-and-backpack-hook-creating duty. So, we'll have some places to hang everything once it's all painted nice and pretty.

So, back to those paint swatches...
The colours probably won't look true in this picture, but maybe you can envision the colour family I'm kind of going with:

I had it narrowed down to 4 possibilities (which I highlighted above). I left the swatches on the counter for about a day and gazed at them every time I walked by. After several walk-bys, I eliminated 2 more and now I'm down to 2 options - Oriental Ivory and Shadow Dream (from ICI Paints).

If I were basing this decision on paint colour name alone, it would be Shadow Dream all the way. Really, doesn't it just sound so lovely? Oriental Ivory, on the other hand, is really throwing me off. It makes me think of some fancy-pants carpet. And it gives me a red-orangey kinda feeling. But, if I can get over the name, I really think Oriental Ivory is the one. It's got a bit more green in it while Shadow Dream has a bit more grey-blue.

Erik is trying to keep me real by continually telling me how much work I'm getting myself into (besides continually reminding me that he will be taking no part in all of this). So I'm trying to be realistic about how long this is going to take me (anything done in a house of young kids has to be done in stages - I've learned that much over the years).

So with that said, it's about time I get my butt in gear.