Friday, June 17, 2011

Whole-Wheat Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

So generally, I'm not a fan of whole-wheat cookies but this recipe is delicious!  Oh my!  I love whole wheat bread, rolls, etc., etc., but the only times I have ever tried whole wheat flour in cookies, they turned out tough and crumbly.  These are yummy!

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar*
3/4 cup sugar*
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
 (* I used granulated honey crystals.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together first six ingredients.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and oats.  Add and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Roll into 1-1 1/2 inch balls.  Place on cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

SuperFun Summer

I have to say, we've been having a blast this summer!  Between the swimming lessons and the karate practice and the library's awesome summer reading program, we've been oddly busy but in a good way.  I'm very much an advocate of not doing too much and being home more, but it has been such a nice break from the norm.  We're still tackling reading lessons...gently...very gently, but that's it. 

And we're doing a lot of reading aloud which has been wonderful.  All four children hang around our living room or the picnic table outside listening to whatever book I'm reading out loud.  Right now, we're reading Ginger Pye, which is a really cute story.  We're also reading the Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station books.  We started the first one yesterday, and they begged me to finish it.  Literally, begged!

We're swimming in our little pool a lot and eating snacks outside and building obscure clubs and forts.  We're hunting fireflies at night and eating ice cream for dessert.  The kids found the weirdest looking, gigantic bug.  I'll probably have to take a picture at some point. 

I've been purging our house of excess stuff and trying to deep clean the house.  It needed it.  I found a place to donate books, clothes, toys, and small items where I don't have to haul all the children inside.  I'll be cleaning out my chest freezer and putting up fruit over the next week.  Peaches are coming in to our local farmer's market, and I just got a ton of strawberries on sale.  Corn and peas aren't in yet, but I don't know how well they did this year. So we'll see. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Water Babies

Swimming lessons are over, and I wish we could have a second run this with them this summer.  The kids had a wonderful, and I mean wonderful, time.  The boys are becoming confident swimmers, and I'm looking for a larger pool near here for them to practice.  We have a shallow pool at home for summer fun, but the big three can stand up in it.  Grace can't and has come a long, long way swimming with a floater practice suit and swimmies. 
The last few days, they haven't wanted to swim as much because Daniel can't get in.  He has swimmer's ear and is hurting.  I took him to urgent care Sunday after church.  He fell asleep during church.  Then, he didn't want to eat anything for lunch...not even a donut.  He asked me to eat my lunch with him in the church, and he fell asleep there too.  He was not all. That's when we packed up and went home.  (Thanks to my bro and sis-in-law for bringing our leftover food by the house.) Deron stayed home with the other chillens while we went to the urgent care in Snellville. Poor thing was in tears by the time the doc finished looking in his ear.

We're three days into the medicine, and if today doesn't show more improvement, we're going to our pediatrician.  He slept well last night, so that's good news.  He's woken up every four hours since Saturday night.  I'm not used to all this waking up business.  I started having flashbacks to when I was nursing babies and had to wake up constantly...

Today,we're going to the library for the summer reading program.  A storyteller is coming today, and all the kids love her.  She "dresses" the story.   In February, she came as a snowflake. I can't wait to see what summery thing she's dressed as today! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The essence of summer

I love summer!  We've been going to swimming lessons for the past week, and the kids have made impressive strides.  The boys were backstroking across the deep end yesterday, and the girls are jumping in the deep end. (Well...Grace is jumping in over her head!)  Grace needs help to get to the side, but Hannah has decided she wants to be a mermaid when she grows up! 

The first day, they were nervous.  And the boys still get nervous about going in the deep end, but they can do it.  Now, they are starting to "dive" off the board.

Hannah is so cute.  When it comes time for them to jump in off the side of the pool and her instructor asks who wants to go next, she stands in line with her hand up.  She'll take her turn, return to the line, and shoot her arm in the air until he lets her go again.  She doesn't just put her arm up in the air.  She holds it as high as she can and wiggles her fingers in anticipation.  She grins and gives her instructor the biggest hugs.   

It's been two weeks of wonderful progress.  I am so proud of each of them.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

She's so me!

The exchange between Hannah and her swimming instructor yesterday:

"Hannah, stay on the steps."

Smiles...creeps sllllowwwly back toward the wall.

"Hannah, stay on the steps."

Smiles...creeps sllllowwwwly back toward the wall.


"My name's not Hannah." Pause.  "It's Rapunzel."

Granted, she's not the only one creeping out a little too far, but it was the first time her instructor had to say it more than once to her.  All the little kiddies in her class are getting braver and braver every day.  And if all the kids were tall enough, it wouldn't be a problem, but just because she can touch the bottom, doesn't mean they all can.  It better not happen today...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spring 2011- March

What a wonderful spring it has been!  Technically, it's not summer yet.  I know the temperatures can be deceiving, but alas, we have two weeks of spring left.  My mother informed me that facebook had killed my blog.  She's right.  She told me I needed to write stuff down or else I'll forget.  She's right about that too. 

I want to try and revive my thought process here and recap our spring...

This past March was a whirlwind of activity with play practices filling up our weeks.  All four of the children participated in our homeschooling co-op's spring play.  Well, Grace wouldn't do anything during the actual performance, but Hannah, Daniel, and Ethan did a wonderful job in their roles!  Robin Hood was a success, and the children's acting debut was a hit.  Opening night was March 31st, and we had a second performance April 1st.  I was very thankful for the older children who helped my younger guys.  They were very nervous and having some of the older young men and young ladies encourage them helped immensely. 

I'll tell ya though...It was fun, but we were tired by the end.  Everyone was tired! 

March also brought about yard work.  A lot of yard work. All the snow and rain we got last year killed our grass and turned parts of our backyard into mud.  Even when it was "dry," it wasn't.  Drainage was a problem, and erosion had become a problem on the hill. Like we could see tree roots kind of problem. So we put out a rock patio, mulch, and three terrace levels on the hill.  We've planted creeping plants, flowers, and transplanted bulbs to help with erosion.  It looks beautiful, too. 

We also had to have new gutters installed and a small roof repair job done, but since then, we haven't had one leak!!  Our fridge died, too.  Like seriously died, and we had to get a new one. {tear} 

The boys tested into their next belts at karate.  Ethan advanced to brown, and Daniel advanced to blue.  It was difficult, but they didn't quit.  They tried and tried again which I'm more proud about than the actual advancement of their rank.  Hannah and Grace made friends with a couple of other little sisters at karate, and they look forward to karate more than the boys...seriously...

We traveled to South Georgia to spend time with family and participate in field day with friends and family from that area.  It was so nice to visit.  Then, we had my sister and brother-in-law and their little boy come spend some time with us before they had to head off to Colorado (which we are SO going to visit before their time there is over).

That about wraps it up for March.