Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pretty N' Pink

My preschooler was sick today and had to miss "Pink Day" at preschool. They were learning about pink stuff and the author/illustrator Bill Peet. We made the September recipe of the month pink cookies and watched Cinderella (Bill Peet animated Cinderella's mice). It was a pretty fun homeschool day, if I don't say so myself. The cookies were beautiful, my son loved the fact that they smelled like Yogos fruit snacks. I'd make the changes noted below to please kid taste buds better, but overall a really fun recipe to make with kids even as is.

Pretty N’ Pink Cookies

1 (18.25 oz) strawberry cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I'd cut it back to 1/3 cup oil and add 1/4 cup of flour)
2 eggs
1 cup white chocolate baking chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; mix well. Stir in baking chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 12 minutes. Cool 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack. Allow cookies to cool completely. Makes 3 dozen.

A Color Wonderful Birthday

We decided to do a rainbow-art party with friends. The highlight was our edible art project: decorating rainbow cupcakes and ice cream cups. We had rainbow sprinkles, rainbow licorice, rainbow kissables, mini m&m's, and licorice ropes. Of course our birthday girl made a little masterpiece. I think we chose the right theme for her special day. We also had fun with a Kitchen Magic show where we did science tricks with food coloring and birthday balloons.

First Day of School

He was soooo excited to start school he couldn't sleep and woke up very early, he hated waiting the extra half hour after dropping big sister off to go. Sister has already had a year of school, so it wasn't quite as big of a milestone, but for him this day was huge. His hair was pretty crazy, its too long to wear spikey now, but for this one day we let him do it anyway.

Okay, she was excited too. The big excitement of the first day was RECESS! She has spent every recess since school started on the monkey bars. When we ask about school that's usually what she mentions. Today was my first day of school, I got to volunteer in the class for half the day, I really loved it.

I helped the kids with writing and drawing. I noticed that all the girls are wayyyyy ahead of all the boys.

This picture made me laugh. I thought I was taking the baby's picture, but as it turns out I got "Samurai Jaxson" instead.

Tomato Season

My 13 month old baby loves the garden produce. She sneaks a bite or two out of veggies left on the counter whenever she gets a chance. Her favorite is tomato, she'll eat the whole thing if she can, but she seems to like cucumber and pepper too.

We came home from Dallas to 40lbs of tomatoes!
Tomato, Pepper, Cucumber season menu:
Pasta Salad
Stuffed pepppers
Homemade spaghetti sauce
Homemade tomato sauce
Tomato soup
Cucumber & Tomato salad
Sandwiches with tomatoes

Family Reunion Pictures

Grandparents, Great Grandpa, and most of the grandkids

The baby girls!

All my siblings!

Pictures from Dallas

This was my last picture before the camera broke, all the pictures since then are "shots in the dark"

The kids sure enjoyed polishing their shoes with grandpa

Monday, September 1, 2008

Engagement Announcement

My brother is getting married! A few days after his thirtieth birthday, ha,ha.
His fiance is from Wyoming. They met while attending the University of Wyoming, but never dated during college. She looked him up while working as a junior high school teacher in Price, UT and then moved to Okalahoma where he is currently living and well... the rest is history.

This Old House

The Brown Hotel, built 1902, restoration begun in 2004
This house is full of memories for me. My grandparents lived here when I was little, but it was abandoned for nearly 20 years, home only to birds and stray cats. Now Cindy and Blake Angell are restoring it!!!!
The house in its new location, I miss the trees!

The living room, beautiful!

The Brown Hotel, built 1902, restoration begun in 2004 by Cindy and Blake Angell!!!!
They are keeping a history of the home and have asked for any special memories or spiritual experiences, etc that you may be willing to share in connection with the home.
The back porch serves as a beautiful dining room!

there is a gate at the top of the stairs that kind of matches the rails and makes the stairs more toddler proof, I thought it was clever.

The old shelves of canned fruits are replaced by an upstairs bathroom

The Brown Hotel/Hale Home
The Brown-Hale house was moved from its original location in Fairview about 3 years ago to Auburn, Wyoming. When it was moved the foundation was raised several feet so that the ceiling height of the basement would be 10 ft like the rest of the home. Currently the basement serves as a garage which you enter from behind, but the family hopes to convert it into living space in the future. The rear entry which used to contain a freezer has been converted into a dining room and the upstairs fruit storage room has been converted into a bathroom. The floors are all original hardwood. The only carpeted room is the loft which makes a beautiful family room just as we always imagined! The fireplaces where removed to make room for electrical and plumbing conduits. I enjoyed touring my grandparents restored historical home with Matt & Lanita Rodabough because Matt is a carpenter and could really appreciate the orignal carpentry detail.

Pilgrimage to Star Valley

In August I had the sweet experience of making a trip back to the scene of all of my happiest childhood memories. The Hale farm in Star Valley Wyoming. Spending time in the valley lifted my spirits magically just as it has always done. I visited this place every other weekend when I was young. As we drove up the dusty lane, there was always an eager row of cousins to great us as if we were the most important people in the world. Then we fished, swam in crow creek, ran through corn and alafalfa fields, played trampoline dodge ball, fed the lambs and calves from bottles, saddled up the horses for rides, climbed through the hay bails, dug potatoes, collected eggs, teased the pigs, milked the cows, played the most exciting games of hide and seek ever, and finished the day with my favorite childhood game "no bears are out tonight". I loved Grandma and Grandpa Hale's home. Whenever I couldn't sleep at night, I would always imagine renovating the beautiful old home. When I grew older I discovered that my sister had also spent many nights imagining how she would redecorate this old home too. The last time I visited, nine years ago, the old home was abandoned, I ventured through it. The furnishings were rotting and rusted, but left where I remembered them. The roof had caved in and the upstairs was home to birds and animals. As I approached the farm this time I was saddened to see that the home had disappeared entirely. I was overjoyed to discover however that it had actually been moved to a new location and completely restored. The new owners proudly gave me a tour. I was also delighted to see yet another generation of Hales were living on the farm and that it was all still in the family. My children had a wonderful visit and we are in hopes of going again next summer.