Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween

This is Adam, Halloween 2009, as Commander Weber
This is Andrew, this year, as Commander Weber!

Commander Andrew

Adam as Optimus Prime this year

Adam's jack-0-lantern


We took the boys to "Boo at the Zoo" which the Akron Zoo does - it is trick or treating the zoo. It was a lot of (and actually really good candy!) and the boys had a blast. We are also taking the boys tomorrow in Kent. Today we handed out candy at our house. Ohio, crazy people, schedule Halloween...drives me bonkers!


Anyway, Adam "got" it and had fun. Andrew wasn't so sure and was in the stroller most of the time, but he certainly "got" the candy - he had a death grip on his bag once he realized he was accumulating candy! That was HIS!!


The zoo has a cool train that the boys like.

Adam

Adam's scarecrow from speech therapy
Adam reading


A country long gone....

Andrew actually found this stuck in one my books...an old map of the USSR! Amused me to see the boys checking it out! They ended up ripping it (as expected), but honestly it belonged in the trash anyway!

Friday, October 28, 2011

RIP McDuff

McDuff, my parents' cat, died today. He was really old (as in we got him as a kitten when I was in high school) and had a good life. He's probably up in heaven now, chasing after Barney, our old dog. Even with the 2 AM meowing, we'll miss you.

Boy Fun!

At preschool, each child chooses a symbol - Adam chose a horn (a trumpet specifically if you ask him) and when he first chose it, he wanted a trumpet...we forgot...it came up again and this time we found one (it wasn't easy!), but there was just one...which of course is a problem as since Adam loves it, so does Andrew! Adam is very good about sharing though!
Leaf fun!
And more

Helping Daddy haul them to the curb for pick up


Adam has discovered how to slide down our stairs!

Recent Pictures

Andrew "reading"
In their "fort" - Andrew's crib works as you can put a quilt over it and it is their own little world!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Inator

You see a pile of kitchen utensils...Adam sees an inator about to blow up!

How many goldfish can we go through?

I laughed at huge tin of animal crackers Ray bought awhile back, but look how we buy goldfish crackers now! And the boys are still young.....

Pumpkin Cornbread

I'm not really sure what I think of this recipe...it is good and is really similar to a sweet quick bread, but the consistency with the cornmeal is odd (like a cornbread). I'm just not sure if the marriage here of quick bread and cornbread works for me. I'll keep the recipe around and might pull it out some fall in the future, but I'm not completely sold on it at the moment. Doesn't mean I won't eat it though!

Pumpkin Cornbread
Modified from Tasty Kitchen Blog

1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (they used 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg...Ray doesn't like cinnamon)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil (I think you could use any oil...I actually didn't have quite enough so "made it up" with vegetable oil)
1 tbsp molasses

Preheat to 400. Grease an 8 by 8 baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar and cornmeal. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then stir in the pumpkin, oil, and molasses. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients justuntil combined, and then pour the batter into the pan, smoothing out the top as much as possible.

Bake 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Parents' Night

Last Thursday was our first parents' night at preschool.

Adam's portfolio
Playing

We had to make a cover for his portfolio

So it is supposed to be a portrait of him...artists we are not!

Recent Pictures

Adam wanted to have a picnic in the living room! Mickey had one....
So I got both boys some snacks....Adam ate a few, then deserted his bowl....Andrew ate all his and then proceeded to eat his brother's!



When we get packages with the air thingies in them, I give them to Adam to pop with a play screwdriver. Why not, right? So I got this one while Adam was at preschool so I set it on the table for later. Andrew found it, got it, then went and FOUND a screwdriver on his own (no help or prompting from me!) and tried to pop it! He definitely watches big brother!


We can thank Mickey for this as well...Adam is really into bowties! So I took one of Ray's and made one for him....he had me wearing one as well....


It is a new exercise routine - Adam-cizing!


Oh, and Ray has gotten Adam into Mythbusters - he loves things to blow up and is really into the Newton's Cradle!

Cooking Help

Working on drinking out of a cup, too!
Helping brotherss

Andrew in the water!

Lemon Softies

I made these last week - so yummy!
Lemon Softies
Modified Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook

1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup lemon pie filling (okay, so she used Comstock, 15.5 oz, and says it is exactly right...I could only find 21 oz at my store and it was about 2 cups, but this WILL freeze or you can do a quadruple (4) batch and it will be even).
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice (I just did one lemon...the lemon above!)
3 1/4 cups flour
crushed corn flakes (okay, this says 2 cups to make 1 cup and that is what you need...I needed more....)
red maraschino cherries or pecan/walnut halves (they used them, I did not)

Place sugar in the mixing bowl and put softened butter on top. Turn on low and mix for one minute. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer to the highest setting, scraping down as necessary and beat at the highest for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Continue to mix on low while you add the salt and baking soda. Mix until they are thoroughly incorporated.

Add in pie filling, mixing on low speed. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and mix that in.

Mix in flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Shut off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then give the mixture a final stir by hand. This will be fluffy and fairly sticky.

I just used my regular non-stick cooking spray, but she recommends parchment paper, grease well or Pam.

Crush cornflakes (or have your kids do it...that's what I did! They aren't always so good at it, but they are cute!) and place in shallow bowl.

Use a teaspoon and drop a rounded teaspoon of cooking dough into the crushed corn flakes and use your fingers to lightly coat it (it is STICKY!) and place on baking sheet. You can top with the cherries or pecan/walnut halves (I didn't). I actually also didn't cover half of them in cornflakes and really liked it better that way! I probably won't use cornflakes next time at all.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. Take them out of the oven....if you didn't use parchment paper, you'll need to let it sit before moving them.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies (which I actually got!).

Pot Roast in Cider

I made this on Friday - it is SO good!

Pot Roast in Cider
Modified from Better Homes and Gardens
1 (1 1/2 - 2 lbs) pork roast
2 tbsp oil
1 1/4 cups apple cider
2 tsp beef bouillon granules (I used the cubes and just crushed them)
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 large carrots, chopped into chunks
2 medium cooking apples, cored and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup flour
Trim fat from meat. Brown meat on all sides in hot oil.
Place potatoes, carrots and onion into the bottom of a 3 1/2 to 4 quart crock pot. Put meat on top of it.
Stir together apple cider, bouillon, dry mustard and pepper. Pour over meat and vegetables.
Cover and cook on low heat for 9 to 11 hours or until tender. Increase to high and add apples. Cook, covered for 30-45 minutes more.
Transfer meat and veggies to serving platter and then use cooking juices to make gravy.
Skim fat from cooking juices. If necessary add water to make 1 1/2 cups of cooking liquid. Stir together cold water and flour and add into cooking liquids. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Serve with meat and veggies.
Makes 6 servings.

Moose Meatballs

Okay, so my father wanted moose meatballs

Meatballs

Modified from Better Homes and Gardens

3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
6 tbsp finely chopped green pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 pkg moose hamburger (they make bacon burger, as a note and this is about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 pkg moose Italian sausage (about 1 1/2 lbs)

Start by finely chopping the green peppers and onions - I use my mincer as below because since you are putting this into the meatballs and need it to be small and even. Make sure to do this!

Put all the ingredients into bowl.
Mix it all up. Notice how the small chop helped to make it all disappear into the mix!
Make into meatballs. They make them all small and get about double of me, but these are mine. I'm okay with larger.:) So put them on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until done. Drain, if necessary (you won't with moose meat).
According to them, you should get like 6 dozen, but I only got about 3 dozen....I put mine into a crockpot to keep warm.
Covered them in spaghetti sauce (jarred with a little sugar)
And kept it on low and served on hoagies as meatball subs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do Nothing Day

With preschool now, so I have to go get Adam and whatnot and then just regular errands and stuff we haven't really been able to stay home and I was trying to keep the boys "home" at least a couple days a week. So today I skipped grocery shopping in the morning (what I do normally) and Ray let me go tonight (alone...what a treat!) and we stayed home. I let the boys just veg and I think it was good for them. It was dreary, then rainy, so we just stayed inside and hung out. We did make cookies (lemon softies, recipe to come) and barley chili with rolls for dinner, but that was about it. Hopefully it helps them, though as I think they needed some "nothing" time!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What a Day....

So Adam has definitely been have a few issues with preschool - nothing we didn't expect, but still can be stressful at times. One of the reasons we wanted him to go to preschool was to help him work through these things, including better social skills (being a stay at home kid is great and I'm glad he is, but he also doesn't have the regular interaction day care kids do and b/c none of our friends have kids the right age (we do, of course, take them to kid-friendly, age appropriate places!), we've never had the opportunity for regular playgroups). Right now, it is heavy separation anxiety. It actually only started last Thursday, but he just BAWLS about going and being left there. It isn't that he doesn't have fun once we leave....just that he doesn't want to be without us. I expected this was coming, but still no fun!

So this morning started out with that, then I cleaned the house with Andrew (he's been super whiny lately so you can imagine this was so much fun) and then Bron came over for help with statistics (he's leaving to go see Mo, his fiance, otherwise, we don't normally do times when I'm alone with the kids). Andrew I finish cleaning and then go to get Adam. I drop off Andrew with Daddy so I can take Adam to speech therapy.

Adam did okay at school today (no major problems, yah!) and I picked him up for speech therapy. He's obviously excited to leave school, but overall okay. Speech therapy was fine, we got his updated test results, which show he still has to keep working on sentence structure (which we knew), but he has the receptive skills, he's completely normal there, so it is just continuing to improve his sentence and articulation.

Now I had got the mail and guess what - jury duty! With Ray's schedule right now, this is a huge deal as he'll have to either cancel class or get a replacement if I do get called so hope I don't actually get called! We don't have back up child care, so this is a major hardship, but I have a feeling they won't see it like that....ugh!

So then I put the boys in the car, hoping they'd sleep...nope! I had to take a call from work (scheduled, we have a big change to grading, per university requirement, coming up...ugh....) and then took the boys to a playground (which was good as it started raining after that). Got home, boys were obviously tired, but too late to nap....

They are in bed and hopefully Andrew will SLEEP!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Projects

These are from my October scrapbooking class





Hayride Fun!

I took the boys up to do hayrides in one of the Cleveland Metroparks last weekend. My friend, Michelle, went with us. We had GORGEOUS weather and just a blast!




Balloon swords


Painting a pumpkin


Work of art!

And in the place of honor now!



The boys after the hayride

Covered in hay!

Hayrides are fun!


But a lot of work....the after collapse!

Recent Pictures

Daddy, where are you?
Yummy popcorn!

Fun - Halloween books!

Should you be here?

Now if I could just get him to take it out instead of pull it around the house!


Adam jumping on the bed - such a great new skill!



Andrew cooking - you can see he's even saying "cook!"