Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Master of Deceit

OK, I admit it. Over the course of this summer I have become a master at deceiving my children. However, before you cast judgment upon me, please hear me out.

!. Lydia despises vegetables. I mean she refuses to eat them (unless it's corn). She will scream and holler like a banshee as we shove the spoon in her mouth to make her eat them, and then she will hold the food in her mouth for hours on end (I mean literally, she has gotten down from the table and two - three hours later we will notice she has something in her mouth and when we look there is a cucumber) without chewing.

2. My garden has produced an unending supply of squash. I didn't even plant the crazy things, and yet on any given day I can go out and pick three - four huge squash. My garden has also blessed us with plenty of cucumbers and a few tomatoes.

Combine the two and you have an abundance of veggies and only two people who will eat them (and by the way, at the beginning of this summer I did not like squash).

+ =

Because of this fact, I have been forced to become a master at sneaking veggies into our menu without my children noticing it. This has been great, and if you have a child who does not like to eat his/her veggies, I hope you enjoy these.

1. Mashed Potatoes -- how about doing mashed cauliflower and mashing a couple of cooked squash in with them.

2. Macaroni & Cheese -- Make as prescribed and add a can of peas and a can of tuna (even my tuna hating husband will eat this meal).

3. Like egg casseroles? -- in your food processor, dice up some squash (like hash browns) and cover the bottom of a 10 x 13 pan whisk the eggs and milk pour of the squash and cover with grated cheese -- they didn't even realize it was squash!!!

4. Creamed Cucumber -- slice your cucumbers and let them bask in this creamy dressing (1 cup mayo, 2 tbsp vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar)-- it sweetens them so they actually ate it.

5. Hide it in the casserole -- slice squash and line the bottom of a pan Add frozen peas, carrots, or whatever veggies you have on hand. Add a can of corn (or frozen). Mix up some cream of chicken soup with some sour cream (use any kind you want, but I like it with cream of chicken or mushroom the best) and add to veggies. throw in the oven and cook. While cooking, whip up some cornbread. Pull veggies out of the oven and spread the cornbread mixture on top. Return to oven and cook for the length of time prescribed for the cornbread. Makes a yummy veggie casserole.

6. Won't eat a veggie casserole, throw their portion into a blender, add a little bit of milk or water to make it a bit creamier, and blend). Pour into a bowl, add crackers and top with a bit of cheese. They think you made them a completely knew dinner.

I hope you try some of these recipes on your picky toddlers. Let me know if you do and how successful they are.

Vacation Bible School

Sorry this has taken such a long time to post. Josh and Rebekah Jones and their three children came to our church for a week of Vacation Bible School. The theme was an African Prayer Safari. We had a wonderful time. Most everyone from church was involved, and the kids we had seemed to really enjoy it.

Here is a video of the kids singing during the closing program.

I was going to create a slideshow, but alas it has taken me four weeks just to get this post started, so I really do not have the time to create a slide show, so to see the pictures I have uploaded to Facebook click

Vacation Bible School Album 1

Vacation Bible School Album 2

You can click on the first picture of each album to see a larger version of the picture and then click next.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Visit with Uncle Sam and Aunt Mandy

The weekend before VBS, Aunt Amanda and Uncle Sam came out to visit. I was greatly anticipating this visit since it had been almost two years since I had seen my little brother. And while we weren't very close growing up, we were really good friends in high school and even treated each other to special "dates" where we would go eat at Fazoli's in Fond du Lac and the go play games at the arcade.

Aunt Mandy and Kara cuddle up for a picture.

Sorry Sam, I couldn't resist posting this great picture of you.
Sam and Amanda gave Lydia this My Little Pony baby
"Pinkie Pie" for her birthday, and the only person she would
trust to hold it was Uncle Sam.

Aunt Mandy and Andy

Hey Uncle Sam, I'm not used to being this high up!

Aunt Mandy and the girls before church on Sunday

My little brother and me.

This happened during lunch before Sam and Amanda left. Andy is my third child, but he is the first of my children to fall asleep at the table. I can't blame him, he had been awake all morning because of VBS.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lydia's Birthday Party

The day after Lydia's birthday we had a few friends over to help celebrate Lydia's Birthday.
Because Lydia loves jewelry, shoes, hats, purses, etc. . . we chose to have the theme "Totally Girl"
The cake while not very attractive was very yummy. I decorated the cake with a cute pair of flip flops, a bunch of necklaces and bracelets. Lydia absolutely loved it.

Blowing out her two candles

And of course what is a birthday without balloons :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm Back

Well, the last three weeks have been quite the whirlwind of activity so you will probably see several new posts over the next several days as I try to catch up. I'm only going to let myself do one post a day, so this is going to take a while to catch up.

First thing.

I was able to celebrate getting another year older! I have a fantastic and amazing husband. He gave me a brand new camera for my birthday -- I'm so excited about the new camera b/c my old one was taking for-ever to take a single picture. This new camera even does video, so beware -- my blog is about to advance to the next level of blogging w/ video.

My Very Yummy Cake

JA also surprised me with a party at church after the Wed. evening service. The cake was wonderful -- one of the ladies in our church made it (I think I need to take lessons from her). It was wonderful to be able to sit down and fellowship with our friends at church before the craziness of VBS started.

Willa and Vicki and Paul and CE

Andy playing w/ a cup Jordan and Sam

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Lydia

Two years ago Lydia Ruth was born.

Lydia means Strong, and Ruth means Friend. We named her such because we wanted her to be a strong friend for Kara who often jumps into things without thinking. The name has held very true.

Lydia is a very strong and independent child. If she doesn't want to do something she is very firm in letting you know. Yet, she has proven to be a wonderful friend to her sister. She enjoys playing with Kara and is often found following Kara around the house (and often joins her sister in trouble).

Yet Lydia has been such a blessing and a joy. She is also very active.
She loves to run around the house, and the only time you can find her sitting still is if she is eating or reading a book.

Below is a picture of Lydia's first birthday party in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Lydia is totally a girly girl. She loves to put on necklaces, bracelets, rings. She is always wrapping a scarf around her neck or putting on shawls. She is often dragging around purses and putting on shoes.

Another thing Lydia loves to do is swing. If you are outside with her she constantly will ask you to push her on the swing.

Yet Lydia has always been a Daddy's girl. She loves her daddy
and certainly prefers him over me. She does love me, but there is no
one like Daddy to her.

Lydia Ruth you are a wonderful
ray of sunshine in our lives.

Happy 2nd Birthday!!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Whole Wheat Bread

Here is a yummy recipe for some Homemade Wheat Bread.

3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1/2 cup of wheat germ)
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter/margarine/shortening
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour

In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the all-purpose flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir water, brown sugar, butter, and salt just until warm (or butter melts). Add water mixture to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whole wheat flour and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 - 8 minutes total) Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 - 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down. Divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile lightly grease two 8x4x2 inch loaf pans.

Shape each dough half into a loaf by patting or rolling.

Place shaped dough halves in prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30-45 minutes).

Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over browning). Immediately remove bread from pans. Cool on wire racks.

** When I make my bread, I use my Kitchen Aid (Thank you honey I love it!). If you have a dough hook and a kitchen aid you can use it and will not have to knead your bread since the dough hook gets the air pockets out.