Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day (in March)

Since moving to Texas, our family has developed our own special Valentine's Day tradition. The boys wake up early in the morning to a red balloon-filled living room and we eat a special breakfast on red glitter heart shaped plates. Then we load up in the van with our bikes in tow and all of the picnic essentials and off we drive to Austin for a day of bike riding around Lady Bird Lake.

This year I decided to try the Puffy Apple Oven Pancake from my favorite cookbook that I got for Mother's Day last year called Family Meals, Creating Traditions in the Kitchen by Maria Helm Sinskey. It was absolutely DELISH!!! I thought I would share it with you.

2 Fuji apples (or other baking apples)
2/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinammon
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 c. whole milk (I used 1%)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. unsalted butter melted and cooled, plus 4 Tbs.
confectioner's sugar for dusting

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, core, and slice apples. Saute apples in 3 Tbs. butter over med-high heat in an overproof skillet (cast iron rocks!). Brown apples slightly, turning as needed.

2) In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and salt.

3) In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and 2 Tbs. melted butter and process just until smooth. Add the flour mixture and blend until smooth.

4) Pour batter into hot pan over apples and immediately transfer to oven (***Make sure your kids see it at this stage!!)

5) Bake until puffed and golden, 15-20 minutes. (***Make sure your kids see this as it comes out of the oven. It's a huge, puffy, souffle!)

6) Dust with sugar! And enjoy!

Fast forward to the middle of the day and here we are at a park in Austin, starting our picnic lunch. For those of you from Humboldt, you'll appreciate this! This one day in Austin is a little bit like "coming home" in that Austin and Humboldt have a lot of similarities. The bike trails are filled with avid exercisers, moms pushing baby strollers, young men throwing frisbees for their dogs. And there is a youthful, laissez-faire attitude about the place that makes us feel at home a little bit. And the real treat for the day is a bike ride up to Whole Foods' Headquarters/ Flagship store where we stock up on co-op style, yummy "weird" foods you just can't find in good 'ol boy territory; San Antonio.

Abram is about to devour this parmesan-goat cheese cibatta roll. And he loved the terriyaki-marinated-grilled sweet potato spears.

Turns out that Austin was hosting a huge "Kite Festival" on the same day. The roads were blocked with policemen for pedestrians and bike riders and the whole place was PACKED with people on the ground and every kind of kite in the air. I didn't take many photos of the magnificent sights because capturing it all on camera and doing it justice is beyond my expertise at this point.

Crossing a bridge, stopping for a photo op.

Baby Abram stayed asleep for most of the day on Papa's back in the Ergo. Otherwise, he was happy as a clam on his bike taking in the new sights. (Tom was a hit too! He got many comments that I overheard like..."Oh look, how sweet! Theres a baby on that man's back. What a dad!")

Water turtles in the lake

Here's the THREE of us...Riley, Mama, and baby #3 (5 months gestation) in there.

Water turtles sunning on the log

This pretty much sums it up. It was a great day had by all. And as soon as we got home, Riley asked, "When is Valentine's Day going to be again?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Springtime in Texas

It's Springtime in Texas and we're enjoying what Texas is famous for this time of year...

They're everywhere right now and it is truly breathtaking.

Everyday Riley comes back from his adventuring with a huge handful of these beauties...saying when he comes in the door..."Close your eyes Mama, I've got something for you behind my back."

And then he piles them high in my hands and we go to work making beautiful bouquets for around the house.

Monday, March 22, 2010

When you live on a farm...

this is one of the things we do for fun.

we go out to the pond and either fish or throw sticks for Naya, our yellow lab

and Abram is always happy to be along for the ride.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baby #3 Ultrasound Pictures

DUE AUGUST 15th, 2010!

Just got back from a trip to San Antonio where we did a fetal anatomy scan of our newest baby. The Doctor was excellent and had nothing but a great and perfect report of our little one. At this stage in the pregnancy he said that he can see just about everything there is to see which might cause a concern and we are thankful that he saw nothing negative.

Amazing fact: at this point...19 weeks...the baby is only about 6" long. Keep that in mind when you see the pictures as the baby already looks fully formed and ready for the world.

The Doctor printed out two of these photos and gave them to both said "Riley's baby" and the other said "Abram's baby."

Here he/she is waving...

Look at that beautiful spine!

Looks like we'll have another thumb sucker (which we love!!!)

We chose NOT to find out the gender of this little one, as we've done for the others. The DR kept asking us to look away at key moments saying the baby was not shy!

I CANNOT wait another 20 weeks until I can hug and kiss this sweet bundle.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Time with Nana

Here's a keeper of my mom and Abram. Abram loved every bit of Nana, especially all of her hugs and kisses.

Abram grabbed Riley's Davey Crockett hat and placed it nicely on his head. And proceeded to laugh...

And then he quickly wanted it OFF...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Knit Vest

I haven't been sewing much lately because I've been knitting. And I've noticed that the two don't go together in my world. It's typically one or the other. The winter months seem to have me knitting whereas I can't stop sewing in the summertime. Either way, I want to be creating something year round...and it is always motivating if there's an adorable baby to make things for!

On our long drive to Colorado a month ago, I knit Abram this vest. It's 100% washable wool and I don't know what's cuter...Abram or the vest? How about Abram IN the vest? Now THAT is simply adorable.

This is pretty much what it looks like from the back.

Here's three good lookers: my mom, my husband, and my babe at my step-dad's memorial in Colorado.

And what baby doesn't love a steering wheel? Here he is in his 100% mama-made knit vest and sewed britches. Oh my, he's so cuddly and happy...what's not to love?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunset in our Backyard

Big Brother & The Wagon

One of our favorite things to do on the farm is take long walks in the hay field.

Riley has assumed the responsibility of pulling Abram along in the 4 wheel drive wagon.

They both love it...Riley loves to work and take charge and Abram enjoys the view as he gets carted around for miles every day.

Brothers are the best.

(Riley 4, Abram 10 months)

Friday, March 5, 2010

You Named It!

...Romanesco Broccoli

Thank you Leslie for naming our yummy mystery vegetable that we grew in our garden. And thank you Cato for knowing it surely was some type of broccoli! After Leslie told us the name we looked it up online more extensively and found some great recipes for it. We have three enormous heads of it, well, after a dinner a few nights ago, two heads, and now we feel we're eating like king's and queen's with this heirloom, hard-to-find-or-buy variety of lime green goodness.

I highly recommending growing it for any of you with gardens in your backyard. It was so simple to grow, in fact, just sun and water is all it needed. Meaning, I didn't have to worry about bugs on it or anything all winter long.

Even if we have to order seeds through a seed catalog, we'll definitely be growing this again.

You Named it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Name That Vegetable!

Can anyone tell me what is growing in my garden?

(I know what you're thinking...why wouldn't I know, right? After all, I'm the one who plants everything. However, we were given three starts of what I was told was broccoli and I can tell's NOT broccoli. We ate it for dinner last night and it was yummy!!)

Laundry Boy

Abram at 9 months

I'm back! I do apologize for the long delay in my blogging. I was getting so good at regular updates too =) Two major events have happened in recent months that kept me from the computer. One, my step-dad, Gene passed away and I stayed with my mom for a couple of weeks to help her out. And two, we're expecting baby #3 and I was sick as a dog for those first three months and never wanted to even look at the computer. But, I'm feeling better now and I've got a lot of catching up to do....