Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Family Photos- Takes 3 & 4

I've resumed trying to get a decent family photo before church on Sundays... these last two tries have produced decent results, but I think I may keep trying.

I wish I knew what Hazel knows...
 The Frog kept making silly faces this day, so I thought maybe if I let us have a silly-face photo shoot first, we could get it out of our system.
 It definitely helped!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kid Conversation

The Frog and Peach love taking showers with me...

The Frog: "Mom, are you going to take a shower today?"
me: "Yes, but I think I'm going to weed first."
Peach: [in an exceedingly whiney tone..] "moooOOooom!  Just take a shower, [pause] and be on your way."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sun Oven Chronicles- Sweet Simmered Pork Chops w/ Rice Pilaf

Here's the regular recipe for Sweet Simmered Pork Chops (originally from "How to Cook Everything")
The Summary
Cooked them both an hour.

Rice was WEIRD (used jasmine and topped it off with basmati) 1 c rice and 2 c chicken broth (bouillon cube, though crushed, didn't dissolve...) it was mooshy and not quite all the water was absorbed after an hour.  some of it seemed uncooked.  weird.  

meat was fine.  had to reduce the sauce over the stove after.  cooked broccoli in microwave- forgot to add it to the pork.  maybe better to cook the pork uncovered to naturally thicken?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sun Oven Chronicles- Chinese Beef & Broccoli w/ Rice

I make an easy and tasty Chinese Beef and Broccoli dish fairly often.  Last month, I was planning to make it for dinner one night and thought, I wonder what would happen if I cooked it in the SunOven?

This was quite a "wild" idea, (look at me.... I'm sooo wild and crazy!) since this is normally a quick meal, and everything is sautéed, but curiosity got the better of me and here's how it went down: 

I cooked the beef 1 hour and added the broccoli for a 2nd hour.
Cooked rice 1 hour- added it's pot on top when I added the broccoli. (cooked them stacked)

Th beef was great! really tender.  After looking at it when I added the broccoli, I'm sure it was done after the first hour, but it didn't burn or taste overdone or anything after a second!  (as the "SunOven people" tout...)  The broccoli was fine, but a bit softer than I typically like- maybe try only 30 minutes next time?
The sticky rice was mostly fine, but I dished mine out last and I got an occasional crunch- Jay didn't though.  Not sure why...
All in all, I'd make it in the SunOven again!  I think the meat was definitely more tender this way...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Massachusetts Trip: A Beach in Maine

We left the lake, one last time on Sunday night.  I wish I had taken more pictures (really? more?) of the kids playing at home...  They spent lots of time especially with gampie's legos and driving power wheels around the yard.  The Frog is getting really good at it!

The only thing we still needed to check off our list was to go get lobster in Maine!
Jay's parents have a particular beach they like to go to, and we spent quite a bit of time climbing on the rocks around the coast.
It was an overcast day- felt very picturesque and "Mainey" to me :)

It looked like there must have been a sailing class going on while we were there.  Aren't those little boats adorable?
The Frog's Findings

After climbing the rocks out of sight for awhile, we climbed up back to "civilization" by a hotel that had an adorable little pond.  I had to take a picture of the waterlily.
Hazel's first encounter with the ocean was apparently astonishing :)

 I thought the water was freezing, but I should have known my hose-playing kids would disagree:

After working up an appetite, we went to THE lobster place Pam found with her "lobster radar".  She always knows how to pick a great joint.  (bonus: they had a playground!!)
This is one delicacy I will never attempt to make at home- steamers **shudder**  The boys love 'em.  Seriously though, even their fries were amazing.  (and I'm really picky about my fries...)  We will never go anywhere else, because it just won't be worth the price.
lobster roll + clam roll + fries = Jay's in heaven :)
And this concludes our amazing trip!  We are so grateful Jay's family lets us keep coming back!  Can't wait 'til next summer :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Massachusetts Trip- Back at the Lake

On Wednesday, all the kids and the men went back to the lake, while Pam and Hazel and I stayed home to do some quilting.  I'm waiting to unveil the final results after I finish the binding.  (hopefully this week?)  Pam and I also got to watch a "girl movie", since they usually get voted-out for our nightly movie when we're with the boys.  (and we also like watching action, so we don't mind too much...)
Something kind of funny that happened on the trip- I only packed 5 outfits for everyone, knowing we'd have enough laundry after that amount of time to just wash all our clothes.  So I did our laundry once we got back to the house.  However, I always hang-dry my shirts and I stupidly forgot to repack all of them when we went back to the lake!!  All I had was the shirt I was wearing and a pajama shirt...  Luckily, we spent a lot of time in our swimsuits, and K was kind enough to loan me one of hers :)
The Frog tried to use the flippers, but his feet wouldn't stay in them.  

He did, however, figure out how to really use the goggles and snorkel, which I was surprised by!
hahaha. i love this picture!
Peach often offers to feed Hazel lately.  Before this picture was taken, she was heard saying, "Awight.  Open youw mouth, baby!"
As you can see, staying up late every night eventually caught up to The Frog as well...
Jay hasn't been playing video games much lately- being gone with tours and having a lot of deadlines lately, so he relished pulling out some of his old favorites during down-time at the lake.
I think I spent more time actually swimming than I ever have, and it was really fun!  I may get used to "freezing" lake water yet!  (haha, Jay will tell you it's really, really, warm.)
Peach and The Frog liked to let Nanie throw diving toys in the shallow end so they could go and retrieve them... (I wonder if this would work with tennis balls at home...)
Jay's torpedo dive.  (btw, isn't the scenery just so beautiful?)
This weekend was MUCH hotter than the previous week...
You know it must be if Pam is willing to get wet ;)
On Friday, Jay's sister, Kama, and family came out and spent a night.  They are all so sweet with our kids, and it was so fun to spend a snippet of time with them.
Behold!  Pam and I figured out a way to bake rolls on the grill so we wouldn't have to heat up the house!  We are awesome :)
We never could get Peach to nap at the lake house on purpose... Guess Auntie Pat is all we needed :)
Hazel liked cousin O

More hair play

Thankfully, Kama sent me some of her pictures to share- with all the pictures I took, I didn't get any shots of the cousins all together!

 We went for another walk around the lake (I didn't bring my camera because I knew I'd be carrying kids the whole time...) and Auntie Kama taught everyone how to tell wild blueberries from other berries.  They were always excited to find something to forage.

 Sporting their daisy bracelets.
We can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Massachusetts Trip: Back at the Homestead...

We went back to their home on Sunday night or Monday morning (I forget...) and spent some time there.
Hazel really enjoyed exploring all the new toys they had for her to play with.  She did really really well, sleeping there, and was her jolly ol' self the whole time :)  #bestbabyever
Going to Parlee Farms has become a bit of a tradition, it seems.  Usually we pick blueberries, but as I mentioned earlier, we went out earlier than we usually do, and it was still strawberry picking season this time!  I'm glad, because I think strawberry-rhubarb pie is one of my most favorite kinds of pie.

As always, we had to feed the goats, chickens, and sheep.
And the bunnies were out this time!!! (they were gone last year for some reason)
Look how stinkin' cute they are, huddled around the little feed tube!
The Frog sporting mom's sunglasses...
I liked this picture because you get a good look at that cute little heart necklace Peach found somewhere in the attic and pretty much wore it every day for the rest of the trip.