August 15, 2012

And we have a reader...

Hey there, Mr. Too-Big-for-Your-Britches,

Who told you that you could get so big?...Or start reading for that matter?  We are not supposed to start Kindergarten for another TWO weeks and teaching you to read just happened to be one of my goals for this year.

Last Sunday afternoon you came up to me and said, "Hey, Momma, I can spell 'hat'." Then, you spelled it as you sounded it out. I quizzed you on about 12 more three letter words and you got them all right. And,  then it occurred to me...if you could visualize these words in your head, then surely you could read them on paper! So, I pulled out the first of the five sets of BOB books that I'd snatched up at a garage sale at the beginning of the summer, and you read through the first set of 12 books in two days! I was in total shock.

And, then the Mommy-guilt started to creep in.  How long had you been able to do this? I know you're often overlooked these days because of the babies...but could you have been reading all summer, had we just tried? I know it's not a race. I just never imagined that reading would come so easy for you.  (Now, I'm feeling pretty foolish for all the time I'd spent agonizing over selecting the perfect reading curriculum. Sheesh!)

You've been showing off your reading and spelling skills ever since. You are so proud of yourself. Realizing you could read was a bittersweet moment for proud of and excited for you, yet slightly (okay, maybe a little more than slightly) annoyed that you didn't "need" me to help teach you...or maybe irritated that you couldn't just hold off a couple weeks and let me think that you did, indeed, need me? I did make you promise that you would still allow me to hold your big five year old self in my lap, every now and then, to read to you. You sweetly obliged to my request.

I give all the credit to Letter Factory for teaching you your letter sounds in combination with the brilliant mind that God has given you...that mind that can't stop trying in invent, create, and figure things out on your own. May the Lord use that brilliant mind for His glory one day, smart boy. I have a feeling I'm going to continue to be shocked a bunch in my life, as I discover all the things that you can do.

All My Love to you, Smartie Pants,

Your Super Proud Momma

August 9, 2012

Your Daddy...

This picture pretty much sums up how I feel most days, these days:

...until about 5:10 p.m. when Daddy walks through the door and each of you break out in screams of excitement and giggles as you race to the front door. You kids almost communicate the relief and gratitude I feel when I see that handsome man walk in.

At 5:11 p.m. Daddy jumps in, holding at least a baby on one hip for the next two hours until bedtime.

I love when we're able to spend our evenings after dinner like this. I usually feel too exhausted to join, but I love taking you all in. It's in these moments that my realization of how precious you all are is renewed. I am so thankful to get to be your Mommy But, I am even more thankful to be married to your Daddy.

That Daddy. After a long day at work he pours out his entire heart and soul, chasing, tickling, building block towers, wrestling, impersonating, playing, reading books, bathing naked hineys--all with careful love you four with a rich and elaborate kind of love.

No one else makes each of you laugh as hard as your Daddy--not even close. Each of you love that Daddy with all that you are...but not as much as I do--not even close.

August 8, 2012

Double Take...

  You two share everything. 

Toys...most of the time.

Food...especially when one of you doesn't like what's on your tray. 

Sippy cups..which sometimes later leads to sharing a runny nose.
Yep. Crocs, too.  (Oliver doesn't seem to mind the subtle, light pink.)

And, have I mentioned that you two share the same habits?

When one of you learns a new trick, you're eager to pass it on to the other.

Yet your little personalities are oh, so different. One of you is a bit cautious, the other  a bit adventurous.

August 7, 2012

Crispy Chicken, "Faux"tatoes and Roasted Zucchini

(Crispy chicken, "faux"tatoes, and roasted zucchini)

This is what my kids like to call Crispy Chicken.

I altered this recipe a little bit. If you're using a whole chicken, you can follow the basics of PW's recipe by stuffing the chicken, but it's cheaper for us to buy the chicken hindquarters from here rather than a whole bird. (And, up until recently, one package of hindquarters was enough to feed our family. Now that the two babies are eating what we eat, I make two packages and we have leftover for lunch or for chicken salad.)

Alright, here's what you need:

Crispy Chicken

chicken hindquarters, rinsed (get pasture-raised if you can)
1 teaspoon of Basil
1 teaspoon of Oregano
1 teaspoon of Parsley
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 Tablespoon of salt
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

In a small bowl, mix together all the spices and seasonings and add the olive oil until combined well.

Coat your entire hindquarters with the marinade...front, back, every nook and cranny.  Place them on a large piece of tinfoil-covered baking sheet and roast at 425 for about 40 minutes. We like our skin really brown and crispy, crunchy. Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes before tearing into it, so all the juices aren't immediately released and so your chicken tastes juicy, not dry.

That's it...wasn't that so easy?



1 giant head of organic cauliflower or a bag of frozen, steamed until soft
1/2 stick of butter
1 tsp garlic powder, or fresh garlic, to taste
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Keep scraping the sides and everything willl mix together and turn into what looks like mashed potatoes. Taste to see if you need to add anything else...more butter? Salt? Those are usually what I start with...


Roasted Zucchini

3-4 zuchinni, sliced (long, thin slices using a mandoline)
olive oil
sea salt & pepper

Lay out all the zucchini slices on a baking sheet. Use a basting brush to coat the slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put these in the oven for about the last 15 minutes of the chicken being roasted...check them after about 5 minutes...I usually end up turning the heat from 425 to 400 at this point. (Your chicken will continue to roast just fine on this temp.) And roast until light, golden brown.