cheese and quackers (without the cheese)

Two Fridays ago, Ben got off work early.  (At noon.)  I asked him before he left for work that morning if he would please make sure to bring home a loaf of bread so that the kids could have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  Well, at 2:30 he finally pulled into the driveway.  I could not, for the life of me, figure out what had taken him sooooooo long.  I asked him and he responded with, “Just get the camera and come outside.”  My first thought was: Someone hit the van.  So, there we all were running outside to see what possible could have held him up for so long.  He threw open the back hatch for me to see some bedding (supposedly for Carmel Addison)  and a mysterious bag of “Chick Starter.”

Did you bring home chickens?  No. Uh…what’s that then? You’ll see. 

And he disappeared around to the front of the van where he reached into the passenger seat to retrieve a small box.  Yeah, I have it on video.  Yeah, I tried to post it.  Yeah, I’m technologically dysfunctional.  Anywho, let’s just say “squeals of delight” would be almost sufficient.  Yup.  He brought home two baby ducklings.  The kids named them, I take no responsibility for THAT.  I wanted to go with Drake-O and HENrietta.  Buddy named the “boy” duck: Fuzzy.  Yep, he’s going to outgrow that name faster than bamboo once he starts to feather out.  Puddi named the “girl” duck: Thankful.  So there ya’ have it folks, Fuzzy and Thankful.   (We actually don’t know their genders, but the kids claimed one as a boy and one as a girl.  We’ll see if they were right.) 

On the second day we had them, I put them in the bathtub.  Fuzzy took to it “like a duck to water.”  Go figure.  Thankful wasn’t nearly as adventurous.  However, by the end of the week, she had stopped throwing a tantrum every time we stuck her in the water.

Note: baby ducks do NOT quack.  They “BEEP.”  Especially when they are not content with life.

Ducks grow at an alarming rate.  They more than doubled in size during the first week!  At the end of two weeks, they seem HUGE compared to the little fluff-balls that Ben brought out of that tiny box.   Ducks are also reallymessy.  I had no idea that two animals so little could make such a BIG mess.  After almost two weeks of indoor poultry, they have been moved to the great outdoors.  (And there was much rejoicing in the streets…. or at least in the kitchen.)

Buddy had a great idea to make the ducks a pond out of a sled.  So that’s what we did.  They seem to like it.  I like that they are OUTdoors.  And…..I’m currently looking for good recipes.  If anyone has any good Duck recipes?  The kids are actually excited about eating their new “pets.”  Puddi suggested that we “eat Carmel too!  And…. maybe get a cat and eat that, …..and a dog.”  Strange girl.

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Friday again already!!!

I can’t believe it’s Friday again!  This week has just FLOWN by.  Perhaps it’s because the weather has been sooooo absolutely wonderful, and it’s been Ben’s spring break from seminary.  (That cut down on a lot of stress.)  Pair those two together and it’s been a FINE week indeed.

Here are some pictures I snapped this week while the warm of Spring was blanketing our home.

a Sticky Situation.

To those of you who may have a special diet:

This is most likely not for you.  It’s not: low-cal, low-fat, low-carb, or low……-anything.  The only thing it might be low on is will-power.

Sooo, I’m doing another food post today.

There is this recipe out there for the world’s most amazing cinnamon rolls.  You may have heard of them, they’re by Pioneer Woman.  But the recipe makes an extraordinary amount of them.  I decided to 1/4 the recipe so it would only make a dozen (a 9×13″ pan).

Scald milk, oil, and sugar.

Scald?….scald?…..What in the world does scald mean in cooking?  I know if you put a kid in the tub with the water too hot, he will be scalded.  So, I ran to the sink turned the water on as HOT as I coud and threw the pan in.  BIG MESS.  I don’t think that what I was going for.  Google it.  heat until just before boiling.  got it! (author’s note:  I didn’t really throw the pan in the sink.  The sink bit was just to funny of a thought to leave out.  I just googled it.  And then looked it up in a cook book.)  Cook book says “stirring constantly.”  Whoops!  Didn’t notice that until it was all said and done.  Let’s hope it’s still ok.  That would stink to ruin the whole batch just because I didn’t stir constantly.  By the way, after scalding, it should be frothy like in the picture.

Then set a timer and let it sit there.  and cool.  to lukewarm.   (about 1/2 hour to an hour).  I did a load of dishes.  Add yeast.  let it foam.  Then add some flour cover and let it sit again.  One full hour.  This is soooo time-consuming.  Not labor intensive, just time-consuming.  It’s a waiting game.  I wrote a blog post and got a spot cleared off for rolling these out!  Oh yeah, and I cooked a pound of bacon, but you’ll hear more about that in a minute.

Then add more flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Roll out on work-surface into a rectangle.  Here’s where I started to diverge.

Rub a half stick of butter on the dough. Pour sugar on top. Add cinnamon (more than you wouldthink necessary)

Now for the AMAZING part:

You remember that pound of bacon I mentioned earlier?  Yup!  cut it up and distribute evenly over the whole thing.  Then roll it up.  Slice with dental floss.

Put ’em in a greased pan and stick it in the fridge.  (Because who really wants to make cinnamon rolls at midnight?  and who really wants to eat cold cinnamon rolls in the morning?  NOT me.)

Next morning:  Pull the pan out of the fridge as soon as you wake up.  Do whatever you have to do to wait out the next 30-45 minutes including preheating the oven to 450.  Rolls MUST rise, or they won’t be wonderful.

FINALLY, you can put them in the oven for 18-20 minutes.  That’s all the longer you have to wait for your decadent breakfast.

BUT first, you must make the icing.

-2 c. powdered sugar

-enough instant coffee for a large mug mixed into 1/8 c. hot coffee (wow! that’s some strong beverage!! I used Starbuck’s Via because it is micro-ground and dissolves better.)

-2 t. maple flavoring

-1/8 c. milk

-1/3 stick melted butter

-1/8 t salt (or more, depending if you’re in the mood for salty-sweet)

Mix all that together.  Ding!  They’re done…..But Not quite.  See those are naked cinnamon rolls.

 Now smear the icing on top and enjoy warmmmmm……  yumm. It looks like a LOT of frosting, but really it’s just right.

Personally, I could just eat the icing alone.  It was more wonderful than anything I’ve ever put in my mouth.  Ben liked it too!  In photo 3 he’s trying to catch the icing dripping off his lips.

Hopefully this one goes over well what with all the “bacon-hype” lately.  (yeah, I saw the bacon bouquet on Valentine’s Day!)

First Haircut

So, for this week’s PhotoOp, I decided to let you all in on one of our “first haircuts.  Here’s the leftovers.

That’s a lot of hair to lose, right? 

See this face?  Yeah, I don’t think he had that much hair to lose, but I couldn’t resist posting that sad little face….  Usually he’s quite happy, but I think he was wanting to play and the photographer (a.k.a. Auntie) was taking pictures instead of playing.  It’s ok.  She picked him up and he smiled IMMEDIATELY.Of course, Belle was blamed initially.  Then Puddi told me that she cut her hair because she wanted to be “like a boy” because “they can fight each other.”  OOF!  That girl.  She cut up toward the back on BOTH sides of her hair.  I  cut off part of the back so it wouldn’t be so ‘mullet-like.’  Then I attempted to make it into layers.  We’ll just have to wait and see on this one.

After seeing herself in the mirror, she became very sobered.  It hit her: “Boys aren’t PRETTY!!!!”    I assured her that she was still a girl and therefore could still be pretty.  I think she learned a lesson.  Let’s just hope it sticks.

Family Photo

Since I have a new camera and because we haven’t taken a family picture since Belle was about 4 or 5 months old (meaning Tyker isn’t in it and he’s 8 months old!!!) we decided to take a nice family photo.  I borrowed a tripod and set the whole thing up with the timer and this cool function that will snap 10 consecutive pictures so you can choose the best.  That’s what we did.  Only…..the kids didn’t exactly cooperate.  After 5 times of photo fun, we gave up and had to choose the best out of 50.  You’d think that with 50 shots there would be at least one with everyone smiling, no hitting, no crying, no goofy faces, etc.  But alas, this is it: 

 And as a bonus, Belle decided to paint her toenails with permanent blue marker (and the carpet too!).

Pretty much missed her nails, but it was a good effort.  yah?

Birthday week

I look forward to this week every year.  It starts off with my birthday (!) and then there is another birthday 3 days later and wraps up with yet another birthday on the 7th day.  Whew! Check out the math on that! 

3 birthdays * 1 week = HUGE sugar intake!!

Yup, I make a separate cake for each child.  [Mostly because I felt short-changed about having a birthday only 2 days apart from my brother and having to share parties and cakes.]  This year I even decided to forego my own cake (gasp* unheard of, I know, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  If it makes you feel any better, we DID have ice cream.)  So, we are currently trying to bring the kids down off of their sugar highs and hide the remainder of the cake so that they don’t dive into it for breakfast. (like last year)  Anyway, enough about that…..here’s what you’re here for:

PhotoOp Friday.

the clock strikes once more

Yesterday was my birthday.  Today is PhotoOp Friday, so I figured I would photoOp my birthday.  Here it is.Homemade crusty bread….still warm.Olive Garden’s “Zuppa Toscana” soup…..homemade, AND right on!

We had ice cream for dessert (Ben & Jerry’s as a special treat!)  The kids really liked it!!  Except for Tyker, he didn’t have any.  He had the bread and LOVED it. 

The moonrise was especially pretty.  Happy Birthday to me!And my birthday present from last year, Christmas, and this year was a new camera!!  Check out the close up of the moon!  YAY! 

And this one I took a couple of days ago.  It was going to be PhotoOp Friday anyway, but I added the rest.  So now, it is a bonus!  So pretty.

Have a blessed day!