Basic Food Prep Skills

Yesterday we had to have a fire during our history lesson because the weather dropped down into the 60s!!!

Lately I’ve been trying to make more of an effort of teaching my children basic food preparation skills.  The girls are very motivated and excited to learn, Luke not so much.  I need to get that boy a little bit independent so that we can kick him out of the house when he turns eighteen.  (When I told Luke to curl his fingers of the hand holding the lemon he said, “Don’t worry, I play the piano.”  I guess meaning, Don’t worry I know the drill of having to curl my fingers.)

Here is Sylvia squeezing some lemons on the turkey.

Quite a few years ago a friend gave me this turkey brine recipe and I’ve used it ever since.

1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of rosemary

Put turkey in 2 kitchen garbage bags in 5 gallon bucket.  Add ingredients and enough water to cover the turkey.  Let soak for 4 to 24 hours in refrigerator.  Rinse well after taking out.

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Girl Mom

Before I had children I never thought I would make a good mom for girls.  I don’t know how to do hair, buy clothes, or whatever else girl moms are supposed to know how to do.  I was shocked when I found out that Hazel was a girl…THREE girls?!  When they fight with each other it’s in a big way.

Poor Isabel is the oldest and can’t reason with the her two crazy sisters that have NO respect for her organizational skills.

Poor Sylvia is stuck being the little sister (getting bossed around) and being the big sister (having to share with a toddler.)

Poor Hazel has Isabel who, although good intentioned, OVERLY loves and fusses over her and Sylvia who steals her toys.

At this time in my life, what makes me happiest in life is seeing my girls play peacefully together.  This breakfast tea party game is one that they have no problem playing (so long as Isabel is the hostess in charge.)

Being the mother of girls, I found that the most difficult things aren’t things like doing their hair (I have taught myself to french braid by the way).  It’s knowing that I am their biggest female role model.  I love my girls, they teach me so much, and not just about dolls, clothes and princesses.

How to Draw a Profile…(or how NOT to)

How to draw someones profile…

1.  pin up sheet of paper.
2.  set up light.
3.  position person.
4.  trace.

Easy in theory, but…

…not so when you are using the wiggliest person in the world as your model.

I love how Luke is trying to hold Sylvia’s face still while trace at the same time.

Luke then fired Sylvia and hired Isabel instead.  That wasn’t much better since the wiggly model rebelled by covering the light.

In the end, Luke had me trace his profile so that he could draw a face on it.

Kid’s Center

Yesterday afternoon for one of Luke’s Boy Scout requirements he picked out a place to go, found it on the map, gave me directions on how to get there and then at the end calculated how much the fuel cost for the trip…$1.25 by the way.  He picked a toy store called Kid’s Center.  This particular toy store is as educational as Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s is artful.

Hazel pushing her baby monkey.

This store has books, collectibles, puzzles, science kits, dress ups, thinking games, you name it.

We found an M.C. Escher puzzle grandpa Oldham would love to help us with.

On the way home we happened to go through a Taco Bell drive through.  While waiting for our food, Sylvia looked at the sixteen year old Taco Bell employee and said, “He’s cute.  I want to marry him if he doesn’t already have a wife.”  Do you think I should be a little worried?

Sylvia’s Bag Shirt and Hazel’s Cloth Cupcakes

I had the kids pack for our trip to California.  When Sylvia brought me her backpack it was stuffed full so I just asked her if she had underwear, pajamas, shirts, pants, etc.  Once we got there I discovered she certainly thought to pack her pillow and stuffed unicorn but forgot to pack shirts.  She ended up making her own shirt.  Clever girl.

Don’t worry, these are “nice guy cross eyes.”

Holding to two babies, Hazel and Jack.

Natalie with the babes.

Some funny pictures by Hazel.

Isabel is cute but I don’t know what’s going on in the background.

Natalie made Hazel some cloth cupcakes with magnets sewed into the bottom.  As you can see, the bottoms of the tin are painted to make a matching cupcake game.

After placing the cupcakes in the color matching tin, Hazel claps and shouts, “Hurray!”

Hazel turns Two

Yesterday Hazel turned two!  It seems like only yesterday

I love my sweet baby girl.  I have such mixed feelings about her not being a baby anymore, but it is so much fun to see her personality emerging the more she grows.

Sometimes when it’s late at night and all of our children are sleeping, Joey will steal Hazel out of her crib and put her in our bed for a while to cuddle with her.  I know that he is enjoying his sweet little baby because she is our last.

Making this cake reminded my of why I usually BUY the cake.  Hazel was so good at blowing out the candle.

Happy Birthday

I love how bored and depressed we all seem in the background.  For the last month I’ve been teaching Hazel to say, “I’m TWO!”

I’m Twoooooo!