Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 28, Way 28

We slept on the trampoline last night.  It was so fun to sleep under the stars and I think it was the first time Brynlee realized how many stars actually fill the nighttime sky.  She asked question after question about the earth and the sun and the moon and the planets and she watched intently for a shooting star.  We never saw one, but she wasn’t defeated.  Next time.  We had glow sticks and a late night snack of fruit loops and string cheese.  Then Jace talked a million miles an hour without a breath.  When he finally paused for half a second {maybe less} he drifted to dreamland.  Middle of a conversation, even.  The kids slept the night in its entirety and by morning time we were all one heaping mess of sleeping bags and knotted bodies piled in the middle of trampoline.  Summertime at its finest if you ask me.      

Day 27, Way 27

today we: ate scones for breakfast. went to swimming lessons.  brooke joined us.  went to the park for lunch.  made crafts.  colored princesses.  went to storytime at the library.  made a pirate spy glass.  watched a movie in the theater.  snuck in suckers and m&m’s for a snack.  jami & zeb switched vehicles, for good.  {welcome to the club you guys} ate popsicles.  sprinklers under the tramp and the tiny swimming pool.  swings and a gross sandbox.  debated going to the swimming pool.  decided against it.  debated going to revive at five.  decided against it.  grilled pizza instead.  four pizza’s actually.  labeled ourselves dang good cooks.  the lil’ girls climbed trees.  with a helmet, knee pads, long pants and winter mittens.  because you can never be too safe.  allowed a few minutes to trash the toy room then tucked into bed four tuckered kiddos.  they were exhausted and went to bed without complaint.  spence + jake + zeb watched batman.  kim + jami flipped through old pictures and solved the world’s problems.  while laying in bed, naturally.  i love when family comes to visit.  always makes for a great day.
Brynlee & Brooke climbing trees - in full tree climbing gear

Day 26, Way 26

If I were to give my little Celebrating Summer series a new name it would be Holy Crap We Eat Loads of Ice-Cream.  Because, holy crap we eat loads of ice-cream.  Photo proof for the unbelievers...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 25, Way 25

We are still celebrating summer at my house.  We’ve been filling our days with swimming lessons, park playing, sprinklers, popsicles and sun.  Add in a 24th of July day parade, a day at Lava Hot Springs with the Francis’ and a last minute cousin sleep-over and it explains my delay in posting my Celebrating Summer pictures.  But I’ve been snapping pictures still the same.  Jami is our town bound and will be staying for the next few days.  The kids can’t contain their excitement and Brynlee and Brooke have already talked on the phone a few times planning activities for when she finally arrives.  It’s bring a friend day at Brynlee’s gymnastics so Brooke will be joining her and I think I am going to attempt Dutch Oven again tonight to feed the masses.  I’m hoping after the quick phone review Sarah and I had my potatoes turn out more like her potatoes and less like my first crack at Dutch oven potatoes.  They weren’t horrible, but they weren’t Brett and Sarah’s potatoes either.  Plus, Jami will be here for back-up and like I’ve mentioned before this sorta cooking is right up her alley.  A few other little things, real quick:
·         Brynlee has been a rockstar at swimming lessons this year.  No tears.  In fact she’s asking to do it again next session, we shall see.  Today she did the breaststroke halfway across the short length of the pool.  Makes her non-swimming mom so proud.
·         Three years ago the Francis family and my crazy gang started our annual summer trip to Lava Hot Springs.  It’s one of our summer highlights.  I’m so glad Sarah is my sister in law.  She takes me like I am, and even laughs at my jokes.  Bless her heart.
·         Breah and I met up and picnicked at the park yesterday.  I think Breah and I will always be BFF’s.  I hope so anyway.  Some things should just never end.  Our lunch dates when she comes to town have sure changed though.  What used to be a quiet lunch at Red Lobster has turned into child chasing adventure at the nearest park.  We spent her entire two hour drive back home on the phone because we didn’t get to actually talk when we saw each other.  Dang our kids.  But honestly, it’s just how we want it.
·         Jace has mastered the little red trike and is in desperate need of a bike in a boy color – although he does look absolutely precious peddling Brynlee’s pink bike around.  He’s such a character.
·         I’m in charge of a little family party for my side of the family this year.  We are hoping for October {after farming season} and also hoping to not have to travel far.  I’m picturing a cabin in the mountains.  Any suggestions?
Until next time, XOXO and summer fun.

Day 24, Way 24

Day 23, Way 23

*most pictures taken by my sister-in-law SFoto

Day 22, Way 22

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 21, Way 21

Brynlee lost her second tooth last night.  The bottom right one.  It’s been barely hanging on for a good while now and when I was helping her brush her teeth for bedtime I mentioned that if daddy gave it a little pull it would probably pop right out.  Sure enough.  I never would have suggested such a thing if I had a clue how queasy the said daddy giving it a little pull would make me.  I squirmed, turned my head and closed my eyes, then finally ran to the bathroom to hover the toilet.  Brynlee, though, was unaffected and seconds later ran into the bathroom to inform me that she almost swallowed her tooth when daddy knocked it out.  Awesome.  Anyway we are making an emergency trip into town to spend the tooth fairy money.  Childhood is so magical.  And a little bit disgusting obviously.

Day 20, Way 20

Day 19, Way 19

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blog Hop: Summer Salad Recipes

Regarding cooking, I have very few Martha Stewart moments.  I mean, I’m a cook of sorts.  It’s an activity I do daily, even doing it willingly and triumphantly 94% of the time.  But I cook with one purpose: to eat.  Period.  End of story.  No further discussion needed. 
Moving on. 
Therefore, taking photos of my food and posting them on this silly little blog of mine is not a practice that I regularly engage in.  For the exact same reason that I don’t post pictures of my abs. . .it just doesn’t paint me in the best light.
Honestly though, I used to think I was a pretty good cook.  Then my eyes were opened to the world of gourmet food bloggers and I realized that I was mediocre, at best.  But I try not to let it bother me.  And luckily my family is easy please - we get a kick out of Costco samples – so it doesn’t take a Pioneer Women to keep them feed. 
{P.S.  My husband is mostly clueless to the world of food blogs + their cookbook worthy photos of tonight’s gourmet dinner so he is still under the assumption that he married a good cook.  Please don’t inform him otherwise. Thankyouverymuch.}
Anyway, this blog post is not supposed to be an All-About-Kim’s-Cooking post, this post is labeled Blog Hop: Summer Salad Recipes.  So I guess I should ‘hop’ to it {sorry, I couldn’t resist}.

Miranda does a monthly Blog Hop on her blog and has asked me to take part this month.  The topic: Favorite Summer Salads.  To me summer salads mean family parties so I decided to post a salad that reminded me of each of my sisters.  Because I’m cool like that.  Err. . . something.  
Jessica//Strawberry Spinach Salad
Tidbit: Jessica makes this Strawberry Spinach Salad for a lot of our family get-togethers.  Well, this salad and about 100 other salads.  Jessica’s the oldest child, therefore always and forever the most responsible.  Plus, she’s a pleaser.  If I were hosting a family party at my house and asked Jessica to bring the entire meal, she would.  Without hesitation.  If ever there is a family party where we are all asked to bring a salad, Jeccica shows up with three.  Because she’s the big sister.  Plus, she’s a Home EC teacher.  So, duh.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp. paprika
1 tbs. sesame seeds
1/2 tbs. Poppy seeds  

1 bunch spinach
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup almonds

Directions: In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, strawberries and almonds. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Jami//Grandma Marilyn’s Baked Beans
Tidbit:  Jami’s a country cook, and a dang good one at that.  Comfort foods are her specialty.  And I think Paula Deen is her cooking idol. { Chime in, Jami.  Is that right?}  She lives by the cooking motto if it ain’t tasting right add more butter.  This baked bean recipe is my Grandma Marilyn’s and I can honestly say I don’t remember a summer family party where Grandma’s beans weren’t served.  Jami has become the unofficial baked bean maker in our immediate family.  And honestly, she’s a pro; they taste just like Grandma Marilyn’s.
photo via
Grandma Marilyn’s Baked Beans
4 cans pork and beans
1 can of tomato soup
2 lbs ground beef
1 diced onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 tbs. vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
Garlic salt to taste

Directions: Brown hamburger, celery, onion and garlic salt.  Add pork and beans and tomato soup.  Mix in vinegar and brown sugar, to taste.  Pour into a crock pot and simmer on low for several hours.  Serve.

Katie//Italian Pasta Salad
Tidbit:  Last December my sisters and I were in charge of Katie’s after wedding luncheon.  We decided on serving soups, salads and sandwich and when we ran the idea by Kate she had only one request: that I make this Italian Pasta Salad.  A bridezilla she was not.  I’d made the salad several years ago for a family party and had forgotten about it.  But since her request it has become my go to summer potluck salad.  It’s quick, travels well, and doesn’t wilt in the sun.  It’s easy to fancy up with some halved cherry tomatoes, red or green peppers or artichoke hearts, but since I was making this salad in honor of Kate I left it as minimal as possible.  She’s the kind of girl what orders her Subway sandwich with meat, cheese and a tiny bit of mayo.

Italian Pasta Salad

1 pound tri-color rotini pasta, cooked and drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1 cup pepperoni, cubed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup black olives, cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
Italian style salad dressing
Optional: red or green pepper, artichoke hearts, green onions

Directions:  In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, pepperoni, cheese, olives, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over pasta mixture to coat and toss.  Store, covered, in refrigerator.

Tidbit:  Marie’s my baby sister.  She’s nine.  Summer salads don’t really appeal to her.  I think fresh fruits and veggies are by far the best summer side dish and trump salads at any summer potluck.  Plus, it’s a way to make sure the pint size guests get fed.  Marie’s summer favorite is watermelon.  But really, whose isn’t?

Also blog hopping:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Does this toilet bowl make my bicep look huge?

For you, my dear readers, five clues that you’ve taken a wrong turn on the interstate and ended up in podunk Idaho.

One.  You get lost and take a random exit {no services, of course} and end up getting stuck behind two traffic jams.  The first is caused by ten cars waiting to pass a tractor and the second is due to three 4x4’s stopped in the middle of the road to discuss water rights and crop stats.

Two.  You ask one of the men in the stopped 4x4 {he’s wearing overalls} for directions and he answers: turn by Bank’s house, go 2 blocks east to Anderson's, turn left at Nelson’s Old Barn. . .  
Three.  You gag – gasp for clean air – and disgustingly mutter “it smells like cow poop”.  A local sitting next to you leans back, rests his hands on his 87 pound belt buckle and answers, “ahhh shucks, smells like money to me”.
Three.  At a community wide picnic {fried chicken, potluck salads, and all the Shasta soda you can handle} you count 87 flies in a 15 minute time period; including 12 stuck in the ice cooler, 10 on Ardell Hanson’s famous potato salad, a few on the rim of your Shasta Cola and 5 {seriously five, you’ve been keeping tally} stuck in the mayor’s wife’s hair.    
Four.  You drive by the local high school parking lot and wonder who drove the grain truck to school.
Five.  Your status isn’t determined by how much money you make, how much your car cost {most the men in town own a quarter-million dollar combine that gets used two weeks a year; it’s hard to beat that} or your best golf score, but rather how far you can throw a used toilet bowl at the annual 4th of July celebration!

One of my favorite things about the 4th of July is celebrating at my parent’s town’s small-town-tacular.  It truly is fun and the activities never disappoint.  Toilet bowl toss.  Greased pig catch.  Horse walker swing.  Free 4th of July loot.  Cake walk.  Fireworks.  And as usual all the free popcorn, pop, snow cones & cotton candy you could possibly eat.  Podunt Idaho is charming indeed.

Day 18, Way 18

Day 17, Way 17

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 16, Way 16

Another day, another list.  Because. . . well, why not?!
·    Yesterday before dinner Brynlee begged to get her craft on.  On a whim I suggested turning a pair of her flip-flops into water balloon shoes.  Success, she loved them.  Today the little neighborhood crew {Lauren + Lauren + Ryan} showed up on my doorstep begging for me to show them how to make water balloon shoes.  I hope their moms weren’t upset that they tied a bunch of water balloons to their flip-flops.  Truthfully though, how could they be?  It’s like a party for your feet.
·    I stained the deck this morning.  Finished the deck, stood back and admired it for a good half hour {my ritual every time I finish a project} looked away for 2 seconds, turned back around and. . . a bird had pooped all over my freshly stained deck!  White bird poop EVERYWHERE!  Go figure.
·    But for the good news, I stained the entire deck with only one set of little feet getting painted the same color as the deck.  Not bad.
·    Jace has been craving some one on one daddy time lately.  If Spencer leaves for work without giving him fives + knuckles + noggins + kisses + hugs + more fives + more knuckles + more noggins + more kisses - Jace cries.  And if he sleeps in and Spencer leaves for work before he wakes up it’s like the end of the world.  Only worse.  Anyway, Jace needed a Saturday.  I don’t think he left Spencer’s side all day long.  Daddy is his favorite superhero.
·    While I crossed a few things off on my never-ending list of stupid things that needs done around the house, and Spencer and his two-year-old job shadow did their thing, Brynlee went swimming over at the Country Club with the little neighborhood crew {Lauren + Lauren + Ryan}.  She had a ball and came back a lovely shade of holy sunburnt!  I hate when my kids get sunburns.  It makes me feel so guilty.
·    Scrubs stuff:  I think Ted and his band are rad!  Seriously, I tap my foot every.single.time they sing.
·    The End.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 15, Way 15

·    Brynlee’s best friend from preschool, Tyson, spent the afternoon at our house.  She was so excited to have him over and they had such a great time.  They have the sweetest little friendship.
·    Jace {lil' stinker} tossed a rock yesterday and it hit Brynlee.  Either he has really bad aim and it was an accident or he has really good aim and it was just what he was hoping for, who knows.  But nonetheless, it hit Brynlee.  Before I even had a chance to reprehend he ran up to me and said me probably needs a time out.  Little skunk.  Time outs don’t faze him in the least.  I think he secretly enjoys them, actually.
·    So very opposite of Brynlee.  I mention the idea of a timeout and good crap, waterworks.  She apologizes, begs for mercy and makes promises of never doing it again.  It’s funny the little things that make siblings different.
·    After yesterday’s plans of spending the day at the reservoir fell through, the kids and I spent the entire afternoon at the skating rink.  It was a fun day and Brynlee is so proud of her skating ability.  She looks adorably ridiculous {which is different than ridiculously adorable} when she skates.  Made me smile.  I recorded her in action just so I could show Spencer how cute {read: goofy} she was.  Made him smile too.   
·    We start swimming lessons on Monday.  I’m praying for a swimming lesson session {swimming lesson session, say that five times fast} with no tears.  Fingers crossed.
·    Jace is getting so big.  I love that kid, he has us constantly laughing.  His new favorite phrase . . . That. Was. Awesome.
·    I can’t believe it is already Friday.  And I can’t believe it is already July 15!  And I can’t believe 2011 is more than half over!
·    Happy weekend!
·    P.S. I’m halfway through my little “Celebrating Summer” series. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

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