Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parties, pigs, & proposals

I've never really enjoyed cooking--why? An investment of $10 and two hours, fifteen minutes later, translates only into dirty dishes. Despite this, I will inevitably be a cook for the rest of my life. Therefore, since our move to Utah, I've resolved to put more effort into building a quality culinary repertoire. I may not love to cook, but I do love to eat, after all. and Mish have been superb resources for my recipe box. I've even thought about starting a cooking blog. But I've thought of starting a lot of things, so don't count on it. Anyway, a sale on cherries at Sunflower Market facilitated the making of this flavor-packed chicken dish and, unlike most of my dinners, it actually looked decently tasty. I hope my family enjoyed it because it's highly unlikely that I'll spend an evening halving and de-seeding that many fresh cherries ever again.

Laurisa and I knew we'd be bosom friends upon discovering our shared taste in children's birthday party themes. When I met her, I was in the midst of planning a Little Einsteins birthday party for Erik, the very theme she'd chosen for her two-year-old's b-day party (I ended up changing to underwater theme later because I thought it would be cheaper-hahaha, joke's on me). And then she mentioned that Carter's last b-day party was Curious George themed, and which animal had graced every corner of Ellie's last b-day party? None other than the monkey, some of you may recall. Coincidence? We thought not. And we went on to discover that we share a great part of our thoughts and preferences, like Smiths' cheapest brand ice cream and birthing sans drugs. At first we had so much in common that we seemed like the same person, but over time we've seen that our personalities are actually quite different (and we proved it taking the color code test with our hubbies until 3am one night, and boy was the test hilarious at that hour). Still, we relate to each other as well as any two bosom friends could hope for, and all that remained was to ensure that our children are equally fond of each other. I think we have done remarkably well. Here are some shots from Carter's birthday party last month.

"Dibble dipple dop," a play off of "duck duck goose" was simply an excuse for the older boys (aka the grown men) to pour cups of cold water on each other with a vengeance.

Everyone seemed afraid to "dop" Ellie, as a three-year-old girl's reaction to a cold splash is a bit less predictable than that of a five-year-old boys'. She was the very last to get splashed, but actually loved it and ran a large loop around the park before triumphantly returning to the circle.

Mish and I may be the queens of cupcakes (more on that later), but Laurisa's Wall-E cake showed us up big time in the solid caking department. Most of it is even edible.

And apparently it was even delicious.

This is just one accumulation of confiscated toys, mostly the result of the kids resisting bedtime. Our tactics must be working, right?....

We have provided chore opportunities for the kids to earn back their toys, but the size of the pile indicates we're not giving them enough chores. Either that or two months living with Grandma has bolstered their toy supply to the extent that they don't even notice half of them are missing.

Happy birthday to Kjerstin (last month)! I attempted an ice cream cake and I think the part of the cake that didn't melt off all over my freezer tasted quite good.

To make room for the ice cream cake, I had to empty most of my freezer, and kinda forgot to put most of that stuff back in until later that night. A few frozen bread loaves took that as a cue to get all raised and puffy, so the kids helped me whip up some monkey bread the next morning. This is probably the best treat in the world to let your kids help you make because no matter how enthusiastically they "help," it cannot be ruined. The taste, at least.

Ellie has been a superb babysitter for me when I need to do something hands-free for a minute (relying on a three-year-old to babysit? Scary, I know). This is what she would look like all day if I had had twins.

Overnight Rowan went from being the littlest baby in my life to being Gigantor-- an adorable gigantor, of course. We hope that in a few months, when Charlie has caught up to him in size, they'll more realistically pass as identical twins.

Already fighting like siblings--

But quick to make up with affectionate foot-holding

Carter showed up to walk Ellie over to his house and on the way decided to pop the question. Yes, the big question! Casually and matter-of-factly, he'd told his mom earlier that Ellie was his best girl friend, so he should marry her. He asked her if she wanted to, she naturally consented, and he said, "good, because I want to marry you, too!" We've been teasing him about it in terms he doesn't understand ever since (like, "Hey Carter, when are you going to buy a ring?"). With the sweet chivalry of a five-year-old, he shared his towel with her between glee-filled runs on the slip-and-slide.

Erik and Holden like each other, too. Or at least they both DON'T like getting water in their faces so were content to hog up the mini-pool at the end of the slip-and-slide.

This made them giggle so much that...

... we had to pile all seven kids on each other bellies and soak in their warm, fuzzy-toweled delight.

Another day another friend introduced us to a local free farm, and all I need to know about anything is that it's free and I am there!

The pictorial evidence on this blog may indicate that I only promote crafts I like making, but I really enjoy doing crafts with the kids, too. And I really, really like it when they craft outside so I don't have to scrub the table, chairs, and floor when they're done. Please stay forever, summer weather.

Our four little artists:

And here's the closest our camera has captured to a smile from Charlie, at least pre-Zantac. Since he's been on acid reflux medicine the past week we've seen a whole new array of pleasantries, including abundant smiles and coos that were virtually non-existent before. We're soooo relieved he's feeling better and are loving this little guy more and more all the time.

P.S. These pictures were taken at least a month ago. More recent updates coming soon...


sara said...

I love the pictures! And that cherry chicken masterpiece looks amazing! I may or may not have licked my computer screen.

Joe and Christie said...

More Charlie pics, please!
Love the little guy.

nimbus said...

Kids are great, aren't they?

Larry said...

I knew I was friends with you for a reason. As long as we keep hanging out this much, I get free journaling of all the major events in my life. YEAY!!
I'm going to print your whole last post and put it in our family diary.
love you to death