Friday, October 28, 2011

A Baby Bump & Family Pictures

In January this family picture of ours will be obsolete and incomplete. Boy or girl, this soon to be new family member will bring a whole different and exciting element to our family. This little person will once again change not just our family pictures, but our family dynamics forever.

Dear Baby, 

We promise to love you with all of our hearts little one and can't wait to meet you in January!
Right now you are keeping me up at night by kicking constantly and I'm pretty certain your doing summersaults. I'm not sure your brothers moved this much, or maybe I just forget with each pregnancy? Maybe your telling me to lay back on the coffee? It seems that as soon as I relax and get sleepy at night, you let me know that you are definitely not tired. Your growing rapidly and about 15 inches long and just 2.5 lbs, but to me you feel much bigger already! We hope you can stay put for at least 9 more weeks, then we will be ready to meet you after the New Year!

I'm very lucky to have these 4 in my life!

So... four pregnancies later, I've always wanted to do some sort of maternity-type pictures. Glad I got that out of my system and didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for it! I think I disliked 90% of the belly pics. And I now know that I should be putting tape over my bellybutton so it doesn't look like it's going to bust right through my shirt, eww!

The all so familiar, traditional and not very unique heart with hands on belly shot :)

Linking up with Happiness is... 

Super Granola Bars

Super Granola Bars - homemade 

I've been slowly trying to make and buy organic of the "staple" foods that the kids eat the most of. At the top of the most eaten list is in our house is... granola bars! 

I'm happy to report that the kids love the new homemade ones!! 
I was shocked because they're picky about their granola bars. These ones are almost gone and it's only been 4 days. We'll be making more and adding new nuts, seeds, dried fruit and any other healthy things I can hide in them. 

I took a couple recipes from online and tweaked them and came up with this: 

Most of the ingredients are organic from the bulk section at Whole Foods Market

  • 2 c. rolled oats 
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. wheat germ
  • 1/2 c. regular flour (I'm slowly easing into using more wheat flour, very slowly :)
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour 
  • 1/3 c. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp. almond extract (not necessary)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (more or less to the liking)
  • 1/4 c. of each, olive oil and vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. local honey (I try to use raw honey as well, it needs to be softened in the microwave)
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar (not necessary)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 1/2 c. sweet carob chips
  • 1/2 c. dark organic choc. chips

You can pick and choose whatever healthy items you'd like your family to eat. Here's what we went with for the first time. 

  • sesame seeds (couple table spoons)
  • flax seeds (couple table spoons - you don't want to be able to taste them)
  • multigrain cereal from the bulk section (couple tbsps) it had a bunch of diff. grains and oats so I thought it would be healthy to add
  • 1/2 c. coconut shavings
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts

    Mixing It

    • Mix all the dry ingredients first, then work in the other ingredients (using your hand works well, but messy) and add more of the "glue" ingredients (honey, peanut butter, etc.) IF you think it's not sticking together enough. It will pack in the pan and cook together more tightly than you might suspect. 
    ***Make sure to add the chocolate chips LAST and slowly fold into the mixture right before you transfer to the pan.

    Baking It
    • Pack down into a greased 9x13
    • Cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 min. until they start to get golden just a little bit. 
    • Let cool for 10 or 15 minutes then cut into squares, don't let them cool too long or they will be too hard to cut. Let cool completely after cutting (maybe an hour or two) then transfer your squares to a sealed container. 

    They are a tiny bit more loose than the store bought ones, but not falling apart too much, if yours are falling apart a ton then you probably need to add more glue ingredients and tweak it a bit. 

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Angry Bird Pumpkins

    The kids and John really wanted to paint Angry Bird pumpkins for our porch. Our pumpkin masterpieces have gotten many compliments from the 8-12 age group of boys in our hood :) We have the "cool" pumpkins. Let's hope we can keep up the cool factor for when our boys are older! It was so cute when one of the neighbor boys told John that his dad would love our pumpkins... a proud John moment. HA

    Have I mentioned yet how many kids live in our town... a ton!! I bet kids easily out number adults. And we've found that the child labor is cheap. A couple neighborhood boys offered to rake our leaves this weekend for $4, that's all, that's cheap 2 kids for $4 (I tipped them more of course). Our front yard is small, only about the size of a small driveway, but it was sweet and nice to see kids want to earn some money the old fashion way and not just ask their parents for it.

    Hard at work. I can't lie, it was quite the mess painting with acrylics with Preston and Kellen. At one point Preston had a white tongue, yes bad boy, I know!!

    We took lots of family pictures this past weekend at the foothills. I hope to post them soon! :)

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Gettin Crafty for Fall

    What mom doesn't love "Michael's" the arts and crafts store? 
    Nana Lu picked up some fun from there the other day. Finding creative things to keep the boys busy last week during Fall break. But it's back to school today! And a YEAH for that :)

    Kellen doing arts and crafts with a turkey bastor aka his microphone and some crayons.

    And the final product is now a center piece above the fireplace. Very Purdy!!!

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Pirates and Chill Spaces

    Dressing up is the new favorite past time. I even headed to the local thrift store this weekend to pick up some more play costumes for the boys. On Friday they dressed up as Pirate/Sailors and stood in their green ship while we enjoyed some "Jake and the Neverland Pirates". 

    Preston is the most random dresser, I can't wait to watch him pick out his own clothes for school in a couple years, should be very interesting . 

    We couldn't possibly smile at the same time for mom.

    We have this cubby area in the wall of our dinning room and we've come to the conclusion it makes the perfect chill place for the boys. They love their new space!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Fall Break

    The kids are on Fall break for 2 weeks. Last week we spent coughing with the croup and this week we've been trying to get out and about and entertain the kids with some Denver attractions. We hit up the Denver Children's Museum yesterday. 

    A big, big hit!!

    These two could have spent half the day in the fire truck.

    The Veterinarian Clinic, another favorite!

    The little boys in the background scheduling vet appointments :)

    Adrian was so sweet. I told him that his job was to protect Preston from the bigger kids that were running around like maniacs and he did an amazing job!

    A little boys dream! A Handymanny station with real saws that actually cut wood, a whowah! 
    Saws, nails, and screwdrivers... oh my!

    Puppet Show

    Bubble Factory

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    A Pirate's 5th Birthday

    Happy Birthday to our sweet Adrian!!

    We celebrated Adrian's 5th Birthday with a Pirate Party and our new friends Melissa, Adam and their adorable boys, Blake and Karson. (Denver transplants from Ohio as well! :)

    It was such a fun filled day... 80 degree weather, lot's of sunshine, talking, eating and 5 little boys just playing about having a good old time!

    Hanging out with Melissa and Adam.

    Everyone enjoyed having a present to open.

    Adrian's showing intrest in golf and he's pretty good at it.

    We've been waiting to give Adrian his personalized story book for 6 months.
    (and yes another fab Groupon deal :)
    He was so happy and surprised to see his face all over his new book, it was great!!

    "FlattenMe" was where the book came from. Love this idea!

    The pinata was a hit! Look at the little scavengers below. A couple kids were doubled up on the suckers in their mouths and definitely got their sugar fill for the day... and then some. 

    We took a little break and walked a couple of the boys down to the park in the back while admiring the mountains and the colorful fall trees.

    K & K (Karson and Kellen) such cute little buddies!!

    And thanks to Melissa and Adam for the giant cookie cake. Of course we ended up breaking into it last night... the kids were already sugar wasted, so I figured... why not? right? they were begging and the pregnant mom that's craving sugar all the time was sympathetic, so I said sure... and it was very delicious!
    Then the kids proceded to have at least 3 tantrums each and were whooped and asleep by 7.