Tuesday, October 25

book club

i love book club.
i love halloween.
and when the two coincide, 
life couldn't be any better.

we just finished reading "the hound of the baskervilles" and i highly recommend it. it was a fast, very entertaining, little thriller perfect for this haunting season and larissa and i couldn't help but dress up for our book club meeting tonight.
she's the escaped convict and i am, well, look at me. i'm sherlock holmes of course.... without the pipe.... or the hat... or the detective brains....
im so glad she's willing to have fun like that because it sure makes things more exciting!

fall festival FHE

remember this from last year?
we had so  much fun we decided to make it an annual event!
we had dinner, the kids visited a fish pond for prizes, a witch came and we found out that ellie and everett are a witch and wizard with magical powers, and my mom measured some of us for coffins and received a wet surprise, and then we all dipped caramel apples! 
we had a grand time!
thanks steve and donna for coming up for a 
Fall Festival FamilyHomeEvening!!!

in case you want to find out if you have any witches or wizards at your house, set up a few clear cups with water in them and one or two with vinegar. then put baking soda on some spoons, i even added glitter and food coloring to ours. its good to have all this set up ahead of time so no one knows the secret :) pass out a spoon and a cup to each person and then everyone stirs at the same time. those cups with the vinegar will foam up and thats how you know they are magic!

most of my pictures were blurry, but here are a few that turned out

rikki took some pictures of jack blowing out his birthday candles that were so cute, i had to post them :)

this cake is awesome! and the best part is, its SO super easy to make.
in fact, its just the recipe on the back of the Hershey's dutch process cocoa container.
i get requests for this cake regularly. you should try it sometime, i know you'll get requests for it too!

Sunday, October 23

maddest scientist of all

i can't believe it. our little jack isn't so little anymore.
this morning jack ran into the bathroom and studied his face in the mirror for a few seconds and then shouted, "i think i grew last night! i must be five already!"

i knew things might get a little crazy, so i asked my trusty personal photographer to take some pictures at jack's party. and she did a fabulous job! thank you trusty personal photographer, you are the best :)
these pictures are evidence that jack and his buddies had a blast at the mad scientist party.
i couldn't have asked for a better bunch of boys to do this with. they got along great and were so eager to try things out. 
thanks ethan and nathan, you guys are the coolest!

taking "samples" with their test tubes and catching tadpoles before the party started

first project of the day,
experimenting with dry ice.
first they touched the ice with coins and felt it bubble and whiz, they thought that was awesome.
then, we added the water and you should have heard their shrieks of delight!

next up,
blowing up balloons with baking soda and vinegar

then we made

and our last official experiment for the day,
soda fountains

the boys loved this, but truth be told, it didn't turn out like i hoped.
i'm not sure what went wrong, but it certainly didn't shoot up in the air like i've seen on you tube!
i guess i have some experiments of my own in the future.

and a party isn't much of a party without a little
silly string

this morning we watched a few videos of a brand spankin' new jack from october 23, 2006. (he loves to watch movies of himself, which would be creepy if he was older, but for now its fun.)
then after church we went to grandma and grandpa browne's for jack's dinner of choice: breakfast burritos and chocolate cake. 

jack is entering a fun "boy" stage and received awesome gifts like nerf guns, legos, rc cars, a trip to the toy store from grandma and grandpa brower, a mini golf trip coupon from grandpa browne and a new blanket from  grandma linda!
whew, what a lucky 5 year old! thanks everyone for celebrating with jack and letting him know how special he is. we sure love our jack man!

grandma spent a TON of time on this blanket and jack watched the process. he didn't know it was for him though. when he asked who she was making it for, she told him it was for someone very special and when he opened it he said, "i was the special one!"
he hasn't taken it off his lap since he opened it. he loves to cuddle with a blanket and had ellie and i climb under it tonight before bed by saying, in a sing-song voice, "there's room for MoRe!"

Saturday, October 22

7 facts you didn't know

7 silly facts you may not know about chris:

1- he wears flip flops around the house and doesn't take them off.... ever. (except for bed)
2- he puts A1 steak sauce on his cottage cheese.
3- he cuts his own hair.
4- he scribbles numbers on the inside of his wrist at work.
5- his feet are very ticklish
6- he enjoys soup. i don't know too many males that love soup.
7- he's a rockstar in the kitchen. but I've said that before :)

seven might be a random number 
but it is the number of years we have been married today. 
i love you chris. you make me happy.

(august 2004)

Wednesday, October 19


I'm going to be tooting my horn for just a second, so if you aren't a fan of someone reveling in their own awesomeness, then you may want to skip this first part...

as a lot of you know, i am in charge of the children's program that we have at our church called Primary. towards the end of every year the children in primary, ages 3-11, get to put on a little presentation to show all of the parents what they have learned through out the year. they each get to say a part that they wrote and sing a bunch of songs they've learned. we just had the presentation this past sunday and the kids did fantastic! i was so pleased with how it went. 
anyways, the whole point of this is that i was given a card that had been signed by all the kids on it and across the bottom in big letters one of the seven year old boys wrote,
you wer supost to be borne for this!
it made my day! i think it made me so happy because it reminded me that the kids don't notice how often i mess up or drop the ball, which is oh so frequently.
anyways, thank you seven year old boy!!!

ok, on to something a little more tasty...

i had the itch to make caramel apples. 
and since i just bragged about myself, i think i better pop that balloon and share one of those "i can't believe it took me this long to figure that out" situations that i had while making these. i learned a great lesson which i can't believe i didn't know before. it makes so much sense. rather than dipping the carmel-covered apple into the toppings and then into the chocolate (only to lose about 3/4 of your tasty toppings and making the rest of your chocolate lumpy and unappetizing), dip the caramel apple in the chocolate first and then the toppings. DUH. it made things SO much easier. sometimes i amaze myself at my stupidity!

Monday, October 10

mad scientists

jack is turning 5 in thirteen days.
i can't believe it. 

he has three friends that he wants to invite over for a 
mad scientist party.
it is going to be SO much fun!
i thought i would share a little bit because this would be such a great theme for anyone having a party around halloween!

i am copying a lot of it from One Charming Party
but toning it down quite a bit.
here are the invites:

we rolled them up and stuffed them in test tubes.
delayna found these martha stewart test tubes at joann's and they are perfect!

here are the experiments we will be doing,
it's going to be  blast!

blowing up a balloon using baking soda and vinegar

playing with dry ice

making slime... of course!

and diet coke/mentos fountains

get your craft on

we are sick.
charlie and ellie had runny noses and a cough last week.
i picked it up this weekend and 
charlie's has intensified. 
he was up with a fever through the night and
managed to throw up all the meds we gave him.

so, we are stayin' home today.
jack had the day off for columbus day and we decided to make
a halloween treat for our friends.
the only supplies i had on hand were for tissue paper ghosts and mummies
...wrapped around suckers.
we did this every year growing up, as I'm sure everyone else did too.

and because we are stuck inside, i have decided to take some time to update a little.

when i taught school a couple weeks ago we were learning about 'sh' and shells.
the kids painted pet shells, then glued on googlie eyes, and named them.

ev's pet was named "gopher".

 bryce's pet was "brownie".
(my personal favorite)

 and ellie's pet was named "scoobie-doobie-doo-da".

delayna took some time to teach larissa and i the art of wheat bread.
i still haven't perfected it, 
but thats partly because mine will never be as beautiful as hers.
but its sure tasty!

here is the recipe from delayna if you want to give it a go:

1 ½ tsp Salt
¼ Cup Sugar or Honey (I use honey)
1 Packet Dry Active Yeast
3 Cups Warm Water
6–7 Cups Wheat Flour (I use less to make bread soft & moist)

Mix all ingredients except the wheat flour, into one bowl, allowing the yeast to dissolve. 
Stir in 4 Cups wheat flour.  Then slowly add in more flour until dough doesn’t stick to bowl.  (It will be sticky to handle, to minimize butter or oil hands) 
Knead dough for 5-8 minutes.  Grease 2 regular sized bread pans.  Split dough in two.  Make 2 pretty little loaves then put them into the pans, cover loaves with a greased sheet of plastic wrap (use Pam). 
Raise dough to double in size (30-40 minutes). 
Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Top of bread does not need to be brown.