Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Popcorn balls

Every year around Halloween I get a craving for popcorn balls. My great-aunt Millie made the best popcorn balls and gave them out each year at Halloween. I haven't had one in years, but I can still remember exactly how they looked and tasted. They were delicious and probably my favorite Halloween treat! I've been so desperate for some in years past, that I've considered driving all the way to Flanagan on Halloween for one, or calling and asking to have some mailed. I'm sure she would probably save some for me or even send some my way if she knew.

This year I decided we'd try and make some. Andy told the kids they could help. They succeeded in getting popcorn all over our kitchen and dining room, but didn't help with much else. I found some 'old fashioned' recipes on the internet, trying to guess which one might taste similar to my aunts. The recipe needs a candy thermometer, and for some reason we just can't keep ours around without breaking it. So I would try it without, testing the sugar mixture in cold water to determine its temperature. It turned out well, with the kids and Andy devouring them quickly and wanting more. They didn't look anything like my aunts used to - it is a bit harder than it looks to make them pretty. Maybe with some more practice mine will someday be as good as hers!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday News

We made a little more progress on our garage today. Andy finished sanding the front side and I went out and painted this afternoon. We decided to take turns taking care of the kids/working on the garage. It seemed to work a little better this way. The kids just can't seem to stay out of trouble otherwise! I started painting the trim, then Andy came out and informed me it wasnt yet ready to paint. Oops! Well, at least we have a better idea of what it will look like. It is a remarkable improvement over the red colored trim.

We still have a lot to do, but it is looking much better already!

The kids were playing nice all day. Drew pulled out Faye's bed this morning and I found them laying under Drew's bed reading books and playing cars and pony's. They hid when I tried taking their picture. We were going to get 4 year old photos of them, but since Drew thinks he should hide from the camera every time, I think we'll wait a bit.

We started feeding Alex cereal and bananas this week. He loves the cereal and usually wants more. He's not so sure about the banana.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Grandpa's Birthday

We took the kids to Bloomington yesterday for Grandpa's birthday. We met at Noodles and had lunch. Then we were off to the Miller Park Zoo. The kids were having so much fun just playing at the park, we never made it to the zoo. Drew once again would not let us take his picture. He would not turn around - we may have a lot of pictures of his backside from now on!

I think Grandpa and Andy had fun too!

Alex was just hanging out in his horse costume with Aunt Sarah and Grandma. It was a little cool and windy, so it kept him nice and warm!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


We took the kids to the pumpkin patch today to pick out some pumpkins to carve. Instead of going to Curtis Orchard, which we normally go to, we tried a small family farm - Neganguard I think. Their prices were much much more reasonable, it wasn't as crowded, and they had a great selection. Curtis Orchard is great, but is so crowded this time of year. They do have pony rides, hay rack rides, inflatables, apple cider slushes, etc. but we really just wanted pumpkins.

First they checked out the huge pumpkins. We decided against taking one of those home. Then we got a wagon and started loading it up. Of course the kids fought over who pulled the wagon, so we took turns.

Finally they decided that Drew would pull and Faye would push, and that worked out well. The wagon was getting really heavy! We ended up with a whole wagon full plus, for $8.00. It was a great deal!! Alex slept the whole time, so he missed everything. Maybe next year!

I was trying so hard to get a good picture of them at the pumpkin patch, but they just would not cooperate and sit or stand still! It must have been too exciting for them. When we finished paying, I saw they had some huge pumpkins and some bales of hay sitting there, so I tried getting them to sit and get their picture. Drew would not sit - you can actually see him hiding behind the hay so I couldn't take his picture.

The kids had a good time helping carve the pumpkins. They didn't want to touch the ooey stuff inside, so we used spoons. Andy did all of the actually carving, but the kids instructed him what shapes and where.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Alex Sitting!

Drew woke up early from his nap today, so we were out in the playroom playing. Alex was awake of course too. Drew wanted to get the 'baby piano' out for Alex. This was Drew and Faye's toy when they were babies. Alex just loves sitting and looking at this. Usually I hold him, but today I let go and he managed to sit there for about 10 minutes looking and listening to his piano. He's a little tipped over, but I think that will improve in the next few weeks!

Here's another photo I took of him today. I think these are about the only two times today I was able to put him down and not have him scream. He must be going through an attachment to mommy phase. Or maybe he is not feeling well - I've been sick all week and he has been a little snotty.

Here he is with his Pooh toy. He loves holding Pooh and biting on him. Everything now goes straight to the mouth. We'll have to start picking up Drew and Faye's little toys soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

I made the first(many more to come I'm sure) pumpkin pie this fall last night. Yes, you can make a vegan pumpkin pie! Usually Andy starts asking about it, as I think it is one of his favorites, but this year as soon as the kids saw pumpkins at the store, they started asking, "Aren't we going to have any pumpkin pie?" The pie wasn't out of the oven until almost 10pm last night, so it was too late to have any. The kids were so disappointed, as they love pumpkin pie. I don't even like it really, but I enjoy making it. The kids woke up this morning asking about it, so I promised a small piece after lunch. They were excited to try some as you can see! The picture is not great, but you can get the idea.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Alex waking up from his nap

Alex fell asleep in his car seat yesterday while we were out doing some errands. So I brought the car seat inside and let him continue sleeping. I was sitting on the couch with the seat nearby when he started to wake up. This is how he almost always wakes up - big smile on his face! Luckily I had the camera nearby and was able to snap a photo of him. He is such a happy baby all the time. We are so very lucky!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Painting the garage

So we finally decided to paint the garage. I've been wanting to do something with it since we moved in here two years ago. It is a mess, really. It should be torn down, but we really want to do minimal work on this house. And it does serve its purpose. The garage doors open and we can park our van inside, and put all of our tools, etc. inside. What else do we really need in a garage? I'm hoping to move in the next few years, so why bother making it really nice? I convinced Andy Friday night that we were going to get started on the garage. It usually takes some convincing to get him to start on a project, as he would rather spend his time on the computer. But he was finally convinced- it needed to be done. So Saturday morning I sent him with Drew and Faye to the store to buy the paint and supplies needed. I don't know what made us think we could actually get work done with 3 kids - one of them a baby, but we thought we could do it. The kids were really good helpers at first. They were excited about scraping off the old paint.

That lasted about 20 minutes and they were ready to paint. Well, the garage is old and in very bad shape, so we were no where close to being ready to paint after 20 minutes. So the kids ran around the yard, chasing the dog, asking us "are we ready yet" every 5 minutes, playing with the paint rollers, etc. Alex calmly sat in his stroller and watched all of us. He was the only one that remained calm throughout this process I think. The kids were so eager to paint, so we let them have our trim paint and start on our door.

They had about a pint of paint smeared in one little spot on the door, but it kept them occupied long enough for us to finish half of one side of the garage. Woohoo. We made some progress. But we have brown trim paint pretty much everywhere you can imagine. Next time - we'll wait till they're at Grandma and Grandpa's before we work on the garage again. At least we'll finally be rid of the red!