Thursday, October 29, 2009

Post Family Farm 2009

We had a beautiful fall day on Wednesday and decided to take advantage of the sunshine and head to the Post Family Farm. Rachel, Jenna and JJ came along with us for a fun filled afternoon. Some children did not leave their crabbiness at home.

Exhibit A:Guess who wanted to be holding the kitty.

Her joy was short lived as the mother cat appeared and I made her put the kitty down before she was attacked by the not so happy mama.

We saw some tractors getting ready to head out to the pumpkin patch and decided it was time for a hayride. At this point, both children were happy (or they look happy next to JJ's pirate/constipated expression).

Then they took turns being not so happy. See Exhibits B and C below.
Could they not have acted a bit happier to be taking a picture with their MOM, who usually misses out on all opportunities to be photographed with her children?

At least they had fun checking out the pumpkins in the field.

Then it was time to ride the pumpkin train. Getting 4 children to look at the camera and smile became an impossible task.
Even getting my own two children to smile was no walk in the park. I did manage to get Tyson to lift his head up off the steering wheel, so I could that as a victory.

Here is my best group shot. Even the threat of missing out on pumpkin donuts was ignored as one certain child in particular still could not be persuaded to look at my camera.
Tyson came through for me and did a special pose for his daddy. "Huh?" We really did have a fun day. It was just a long day for my two kids who have been getting up before 6 and not realizing it is their best interest to go back to bed for another hour!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Turkey Trot 2009

Yesterday Tyson participated in his first Turkey Trot. What is a Turkey Trot, well I still don't really know for sure. One day Tyson came home with a sign up form, I sent it back along with my $6 for an official Turkey Trot t-shirt and then we waited for the big day to come.

We arrived at the track around 4:30. In addition to kids from all the elementary schools in the district, there was a giant turkey and volunteers with fake cooked turkeys on their heads. Nice.

Tyson and Kyhana headed out on the field to line up with the other kindergartners. They were so excited to be there, although after I told Tyson he'd be running around the track he said "and then what???" Sorry kid, that is all you will be doing : )
Here are the kindergarten boys all lined up. They were so cute, hitting each other, taking a break to stretch, then poking and giving noogies to each other.
Each class raced alone. First the boys, then the girls. Here the boys are heading off to the starting line. Here is the end of the race. Enjoy my excellent videography skills and narration!

And here is my very own turkey trotter. His sneaky sissy stealthily snuck into the shot, which is why her eyes are looking a little shifty. Tyson Alan, we are so proud of you for running hard and being such a good sport even though you didn't come home with a turkey, pumpkin or jug of apple cider. We love you so.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Good Eats

Here are some yummy things that I have either made or tasted in the past week.

1. No-Knead Bread (The Amy version)
This recipe is from a college friend. I have made three loaves this week. The first loaf was just for practice and thank goodness I tried it out before bringing to dinner with friends on Friday because loaf #1 was nothing to write home about. If I can make this bread, ANYONE can make this bread. 2 quick things before I post the recipe. First, this bread is not baked in a loaf pan. You need a HEAVY pan with a LID that can go in the oven (cast iron, pyrex, enamel, etc) Amy uses a 2 quart cast iron pot. I used my white pyrex oblong dish that says 2.8 liters on the bottom. Second, after my first loaf didn't turn out, I went online to a site called Bread101 and tried to figure out what went wrong, and this is what I found: "if the inner crumb (the not crust part) is gummy and tasteless, your oven temperature may have been too high". So for loaves #2 and #3, I set my oven to 400* instead of 425*.

What you need:
3 cups BREAD flour
1/4 tsp RAPID RISE yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt

The night before you want to eat the bread:
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix them around a little. Add 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Blend (by hand). Dough will be sticky (not wet, just sticky) Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm spot in your kitchen for 12-18 hours.

The next day:
The dough should have bubbles all over the surface. LIGHTLY spray a large mixing bowl with pam. Pour the dough into the large bowl. Fold the dough over a couple times and cover the bowl with a towel. Let it rise for 2 hours.

Baking the bread:
20 minutes before the bread is ready, preheat the oven to 425* with the empty heavy pot in the oven while it is pre-heating. Keep the lid out of the oven. After pre-heating, remove the pot from the oven. LIGHTLY spray with pam and carefully pour the dough into the hot pot and shake the pot to smooth the dough out. Cover the pot with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure the bread doesn't get too dark on top. Carefully dump the bread out of the pot too cool. ENJOY!!

2. Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have had this recipe for about 4 years and have never made it until today. Why? Because I have never had cream of tartar in the house until yesterday when I bought it to make playdough for the kids. This recipe is from someone at our old church. I pigged out on them at every retreat and bought a plate of them at a youth auction. They are more delicate than regular chocolate chip cookies and have a slightly different taste. LIMIT YOUR BAKING TIME to the 12 minutes. I thought the first 2 batches didn't look quite done and left them in for another 2 minutes. They are still good, but the 12 minute batches are perfect. Just leave them on the baking sheet to firm up for about 5 minutes.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 cups flour
2 sticks (1 cup) oleo/butter
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 cup oil (veg or canola)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Cream sugars and butter. Add everything else but the chocolate chips. Mix well. Add chips. Bake 12 minutes at 350*

3. Cheesy Augratin Soup
This recipe is from my friend Monica. We had it last night at her house and it was delish!

1 lb ground hamburger browned
1 package Cheesy Augratin Potatoes
1 can whole Kernael corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
2 cups water
2 cups milk
8 oz of processed cheese, velveeta-cubed

In a 3-4 qt sauce pan add water, cheese mixture from potato package and mix until blended well. Add potatoes, corn, tomatoes/chilies and hamburger. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 min until potatoes are done. Add milk and cheese cubes. Stir until cheese is melted, do not boil. Garnish with Parsley. serves:6-8

4. Clam Chowder
Another Monica recipe that we had last night. I love clam chowder, but no one else in my family appreciates it : (

4 T butter
1 medium onion diced about 1/2 cup
1 Qt 1/2 and 1/2
6-8oz baby mince clams and the juice
1 t salt
3/4 t white pepper
1 medium potato cubed or chopped
1 cup of potato buds

Saute onion in butter for 5 minutes or less, depends on size of onions. Combine remaining ingredients except potato buds and cook over medium heat 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add potato buds and simmer 10 min longer. DO NOT BOIL!!! may be frozen

5. Pumpkin Pecan Cake
Monica made this last night. She got the recipe from a friend who recently took 2nd place in a baking contest.

1 30 oz can of pumpkin pie filling
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
3 Eggs
Pour mixture into an ungreased 9x13
2 sticks of softened butter
1 pkg of yellow cake mix
2/3 cup of chopped pecans
cover pumpkin mixture

Bake @ 350 for 60-65 min. Serve with Whip Topping and refr. leftovers

A few things that I (Monica, not me) would do/did differently, I would put the 9x 13 in the oven for 15 min before I put the topping on. I also chopped more pecans and kept about 1/4 cup out and sprinkled that on top of the topping so you actually saw them...


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gram's visit

We had a wonderful week with Grandma Willie. Last Tuesday, the kids and I went to get her at the airport. They didn't know for sure why we were there (although somebody who lives in this house had mentioned that grandma was coming...) so when she finally came off the plane, they seemed more shocked than excited. Jori saw her and just stared for a couple seconds before giving a little wave and that was it. Tyson finally ran and gave Gram a tight hug and that seemed to break the zombie like spell that they were under.

On Thursday and Friday, my friend Katie came over and the three of us made applesauce, apple bread and apple crisp from 2 1/2 bushels of apples. I didn't realize what a lot of work it would be. I am glad I waited til my mom was here to undertake such a big project : ) On Saturday, we went to downtown Grand Rapids to catch the last day of ArtPrize, which was a big art contest that was put on right here in good old Michigan. I am SO glad we went. We got there at just the right time, because by the time we had seen all we wanted to see, it was c-c-c-cold out.

We didn't take a lot of pictures, but here are some of the things we saw:

Tyson and Jori had such a fun time with Grandma Willie. Tyson was so excited that she could meet him at his bus stop and walk him there on his school days. Jori loved hanging out with the ladies and going to a "girl" lunch. The night before my mom left, Jori woke up at 1 in the morning just crying because grandma was leaving. So sad! We brought my mom to the airport on Tuesday night and as soon as the van door shut, both kids started talking about how much they missed her!
We love you Gram! Thanks for coming to play with us and for loving us so much.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Follow-up appointment

I had my follow-up appointment this afternoon and found some answers, but there are still a lot of questions too. I didn't have any cysts or polyps, but there was an irregularity-some extra tissue lining--which the doctor took out and had tested. Thankfully it came back negative for cancer or anything else. So, this "irregularity" could be what has been causing all of my problems. Or not. I'll have to wait a couple months to see if anything has changed.

The doctor I am seeing did sit and talk with me for a half hour! We talked about what I can do if things aren't any better and I do feel like I have quite a few options. One thing I might try is switching to a pill that has a higher hormone level. I had told the doctor that I never feel better than when I am pregnant, and pregnancy=high hormone levels. I've been having MORE problems with mood swings since being on the Yaz, and that's a pill that has a low hormone level. So, a change could be good, or it could just cause more problems.

Thank you for all the prayers and concern.