Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Name that bug

Meet Ben and his new friend "Joe". While dad was catching a great pop fly and making a fabulous run for home base, Ben was doing what he does best at sporting events, playing with bugs.
Rewind 6 years, little Ben was in the middle of a flag football game when something caught his attention. Was it the football or another team mate, no it was a dragonfly. The game was a million miles away, all little Ben was concerned with was how cool that dragonfly looked.

Fast forward, Jack found this amazingly large and creepy looking bug at Duane's Tuesday night softball game. Although he found it fascinating Ben was the only crazy one willing to pick up Joe and become friends. So what kind of bug is Joe I wonder. Anyone? Anyone? Really I would like to know. If there are any entomologist out there willing to help this mom look cool in her 12 year old son's eyes, just drop me a line.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Muffin tin Monday & a few sappy thoughts

Oh I'm just drooling looking at this weeks picture of our Muffin tin. In our house sandwiches as a staple for lunch so we played around with the muffin tin idea and made muffin tin sandwich sides. Fresh cherries, white peaches(so sweet!), avocado's, carrots and pretzels, yum and yum and yum and yum!!! Next muffin tin Monday needs to have a breakfast theme, cereal is just so not cutting it anymore.
This past week I did a lot of thinking. I know you smell smoke, anyway I decided that sometimes life just sucks, cancer sucks, but mostly life is full of these moments, sweet moments between a dad and two of his girls. I love this picture of Hannah, Duane and Grace, sweet and precious just doesn't do it justice. This says it all about my beloved Husband who is living his life today! Not waiting until tomorrow to cuddle with his kids, or play softball, or be that seminary teacher that he always dreamed of being. My friends you need to read the first presidency message by President Monson in the August Ensign. At first I really didn't take it the way I should, but the more I thought an thought this week(yes smoke did appear) I grew to love the message from our prophet. Joni this was for us, kiss our kids, love our kids, be like Duane and cuddle all you can! Love you guys lots!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Birthday my Rubies, now let's get a haircut

Today are my Rubies 3rd and 6th Birthday, yep, born on the same day. I was just following in the path of my Grandma, her two oldest share the same birthday, cool huh? So to make the day special Hannah and Grace got their hair cut.
Notice the blonde hair at the end? Grace was such a toehead when she was a toddler. For the past year or two I have wanted to cut her hair, but could not part with the baby blondes. She was so excited, I was so hesitant. Oh that first cut put me into a slight panic, zanax please.
I'm not sure Hannah new exactly what she was getting herself into, she never cracked a smile. She was just following her big sis, her "bef friend".
Well here we go, all the baby hair cut off. Do you like? I love it! Amazing how one haircut can change how you look. Now only if I could be so bold, or look so cute.
Happy Birthday my two Rubies!

Friday, July 25, 2008

C.A. Meeting- Double Fudge Brownies




This is my skinny little sister Meg. She makes the most amazingly rich double fudge brownies, EVER!

She makes 'em, I eats 'em, it's a great partnership, yum yum yum!!!

This week I'll share with you the yummy chocolaty goodness that is:


Meg's Double Fudge Brownies

1 c butter

1/2 c Ghiradelli cocoa

1/2 c Hershey's cocoa

2 c sugar

4 eggs

2 1/2 t vanilla

1 1/2 c flour

1 c walnuts

1 bag chocolate chunk chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the 2 types of cocoa(this is what Meg uses, 2 different types, your choice, I usually only have 1 type on hand). Remove from heat and add sugar and eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Add vanilla and flour and mix until combined. Last but not least the nuts and chocolate chunk chips, hence the "Double" part of our recipe. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

Now if you want an extreme Chocolate Overload frost the brownies with this recipe from Nestles for the best chocolate icing ever.

Now promise me before you indulge in these beyond this planet brownies, you call a loved one, set up a safety net just in case you fall into a chocolate coma. Enjoy!




Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I go potty a la toilet-Potty Training of a French Ballerina






This is Hannah, whom we call Helga. Ever see Hey Arnold? "Move it Football Head!". Anyway, we believe Hannah is a combination of Helga Pataki and a French ballerina. This week our 2-year old Brutus potty trained and now goes potty "a la toilet". As a mom of 7, having potty trained 5 previous children this should have been a no brainer. Yeah, OK, so not the case. The stubbornness of Helga would not let the process "flow" easily. Now enter the French Ballerina side of Hannah. With a little help from Ms. Farry telling Hannah that ballerinas don't wear diapers, she now goes a la toilet. We love ballet, this being the #1 reason at the moment! And for your enjoyment a little Hannah-Helga-French Ballerina clip from her first ballet class.


video

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recipe Box Swap-Asparagus and black bean salad


I love food! When I found this site I was game. Here is the recipe for a wonderful summer salad, thanks Julie!

Asparagus and Black Bean Salad

1 lb asparagus, cut into tidbits, cooked until tender crisp and bright green
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 T onion


Cilantro dressing

3 T olive oil
1 T cilantro
2 T vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cumin
dash pepper
1 clove garlic, minced


Shake well the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Marinate for atleast a few hours.

Muffin Tin Monday

Pretty huh? Colorful huh? Healthy huh? Thanks to Sycamore Stirrings for putting out the RAINBOW challenge and introducing me to Muffin Tin Meals. Click here to join the club. Give it a try my friends, your kids will love the chance to eat with their fingers and not get in trouble! When I saw this cool blog I knew we had to give it a whirl, mainly because we have frequented Sonic, McDonalds, and Subway way too often this summer! Can I just say I love finger food. Once we had an all finger food meal with my bud Jessie and fam. And New Years Eve is dedicated solely to every yummy appetizer finger food we know. So have fun and enjoy healthy finger food on Muffin Tin Monday.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday night meeting of Chocoholics Anonymous





Just in time for Sunday dinners, I've decided to dedicate Friday nights to my chocoholics anonymous meeting. But unlike other addict meetings mine is to help maintain a healthy addiction of the first food group, chocolate. These recipes are tried and true Sunday dinner approved.



The first recipe comes from my best friend Jessie and recalled into memory by one of my own little chocoholics in training, who left a sure sign of early addiction on the breakfast table. I've never thought to drink the syrup straight from the bottle, brilliant just brilliant! I hope you enjoy our first recipe, it's just so yummy, moist, and the right amount of chocolate richness.

Hershey's Chocolate Syrup Cake

Cake:
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
4 eggs
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 16-oz can Hershey's chocolate syrup

Frosting:
1/2 c butter
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c sugar
1/3 c evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl. Add to creamed mixture, continuing to beat. Add vanilla and chocolate syrup to batter and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Just before cake is done, prepare frosting. Put butter, chocolate chips, sugar, and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stirring ingredients together, boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour over warm cake. Delicious!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reason #108 why I won't homeschool

Click to experience a little Weird Al.

Yes I am blaming Weird Al. I spent the entire morning educating Ben on the importance of enjoying a good Weird Al video while mocking my once fav '80's star Michael Jackson. My children would never learn Shakespear or Bronte, it would be Yankovic and Jackson. Now you know why Ben is so warped, it's all ME! Oh, by the way those are book covers on Captain Retardo.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cheap Thrills (for a 2 year old)


Sometimes I forget about the simple things, the free things that make a two year old squeal with delight. "Make Melmo fly" as Hannah puts it, is now a daily occurance at the Summers home. A sheet becomes the launcher for the sweet and cuddley projectile object. Sometimes he's a weapon, as Molly and her left eye discovered and sometimes he ends up in the funniest of places(atleast for a two year old). I love two year olds! Batteries are not required for the simple joys of life, a sheet and a little red monster named Elmo.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Phantom, 12 years later


Duane and I recently enjoyed for the second time "Phantom of the Opera" which we had seen 12 years ago, the first time it came to town. And as we were discussing how awesome it truely was the conversation skewed to what life was like 12 years ago for our then little family.

So here you go, 12 things that have changed for the Summers Family since Phantom was last in town:

1. We went from 1 lonely child to 7 monkeys
2. Duane lost 1/2 his hair
3. I've gained 1/2 my weight
4. Duane finished his masters degree and got his CPA
5. I have more than several gray hairs, thanks mom!
6. We own our 2nd home, the one we'll stay in
7. I drive! (a little embarrassing, got liscences at 21)
8. Instead of Little Bear on Nick JR. 24/7 it's now Hannah Montana on Disney chanel 24/7
9. Jonas Brothers replaced Hanson
10. Ballet is the choice "playtime"
11. Cancer is now a part of our life
12. Laundry, dishes and trash volumes

And since some things never change, here are 12 things that havn't changed since Phantom was last in town:

1. Molly still thinks she rules the roost
2.Duane and I are still madly in love
3. Jessie is still my bestest bud
4. peanut butter and chocolate is still a reason to live
5. Duane can't sit still
6. my hair is still long, straight and boring
7. I hate laundry, dishes and trash
8. Phantom of the Opera is still my favorite play/musical
9. Little Bear can still be seen
10. Some size of a child still sleeps in our bed each night
11. Poopy diapers
12. My incredible love for my family

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Birthday Baby

Happy 1st Birthday Emma! Our lucky number seven. Our family had been blessed you chose to join us. Now let the festivities begin, let her eat cake!

Chocolate overload, chocolate overload! It's ok Emma, just trust momma.



There ya go, it's a yummy chcolate birthday cake, but what's up with the spoon?



There's my good little chocoholic in training, dig in baby girl the more the merrier! Again, what's up with the spoon?


She's so clean, she's puckered!(sorry had to use the line again, it fit!)




Look at those cheeks, she was saving nuts for the winter! One year goes so fast, blink, and your baby turns one. I love you sweet baby!










Monday, July 7, 2008

What's another one?

"I Hannah-nanna, I a ballerina" Hannah had her first ballet class today! She was so excited to be a ballerina like "Lolly", "Keedy", and "Reesie" as she calls her big sisters Molly, Katie and Gracie. We don't have our own baseball team, we have our own ballet production. STCB Nutcracker "mouse on cheese" here we come!

Each day to live....

Finding the little things in the day that make me smile.



Duane's last Dance

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