Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Snow Days

While we were at Mimi and Pops' house, it snowed, and boy were the kiddos excited!  When it finally warmed up a bit, we outfitted them in over-sized snow boots and sent them on their way.  Five minutes into their outdoor adventure, I looked outside to see two bare bottoms standing on the patio chairs and t-t-ing into the snow.  Boys.

I love that despite all of the arguments and spats, they are best buddies.  It's really easy to see at times.

At another point in the weekend, Carter needed to get out of the house, so he ran to the grocery store with Jeremy.  I told him he could pick out a treat there (thinking he'd return with some gummies).  He came back with a turkey baster and played with it (sucking up water from one bowl and squeezing it into another) for hours.  The funniest part of it all, however, was when Carter asked me, "Mom, do you like my baster (rhymes with master)?"  Keeping a straight face, I told him how to say it, but it didn't stick.  So, we've got a kid telling the world of his favorite new baster!"

It didn't help things when Peter walked in the door to my parents' home to see their new dining room table and benches saying, "Oh, I love da bich!"  We'll have to work on pronunciation around here in the new year.

And here he is again, watching the fun from the warmth of the home.  He'll be there soon!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Last Few Weeks

Most of the winter, this little guy has looked like this:

On slightly warmer days I feel okay sending his brothers outside, but I can't really get myself to send him, so he stands at the door and watches.  But, he seems to enjoy it.

Right before Christmas, we went for a very early ultrasound, just to take an extra peek.  Carter loved watching.  The other two didn't have much to do with anything, but it was fun having everyone there.  The lady who did the sonogram is saying 95% girl but said she might not buy any new clothes until the 20 week scan.  I've had a hard time following that, but if this little girl is actually a little boy, we'll be just as happy, and I'll just keep my receipts!
I don't think anyone had the reaction that Mimi did!  She had two boys and has five grandsons, so she's been waiting a long time on a girl!

She will be my parents first granddaughter, too.  So, it's been really fun seeing everyone's reactions.  Again, I guess we shouldn't get too wrapped up in it just yet, but it's hard not to!

Then we had Christmas with Mimi and Pops and got a grainy family pic...

Peter got a hot new ride.
John Paul did, too!

And, Carter got a mini piano!

The best part always is being with family...

...and listening to the Christmas story.

It looks as if Jeremy will be starting a new hobby this year, too!

It's been a whirlwind December but the best kind!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: 16 Weeks

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday...

top // old, old, old
leggings // zella
tank // blanqi
grainy photos // I'll write a book

16 weeks along and not many problems lately (just the silly old headaches sticking around).  I feel like I've felt movement with this one a time or two, and since finding out it's a girl, I've had a hard time not going overboard with girl specific clothing :)  But hey, I have to buy a few things - it's our first girl!  

Have a blessed Sunday and head on over to Fine Linen and Purple to see other outfits!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Guess Whaaat!?!?!

The morning went from this (15 weeks)...

...to this!

I hope we're ready for a little pink!

On that, we'll see you after the New Year!  Have a blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Easy, Fun Treat

A couple of nights ago, we decided to do something more than watch another Christmas cartoon (that has been happening a lot)!  I thought it would be fun/easy to dip marshmallows in chocolate and then in some "decorations." 

I also thought while I had the chocolate out I'd dip a few of these as well...
 The boys did enjoy it!
 But, Carter wasn't too fond of the taste.  He much prefers a plain one.
It wasn't as messy as it could have been, and I thought they'd be a fun treat for hot chocolate some afternoon...especially the ones dipped in peppermint!

I just used straws to dip them because it's all I had, but they worked great!

While this activity worked out pretty well, I find myself forgetting that my kids are as young as they are, especially this time of year.  I want to do so many things with them.  I want to develop Christmas traditions. I think sometimes I even want to just know that I can "handle" it all.  Frankly, sometimes those fun activities aren't so fun when I am so set on making them that way.  I have a hard time really focusing on what Christmas is about.   I find myself on the edge and losing patience quickly.  It's difficult for me to rest and prepare for Jesus' birth during advent as we're supposed to.   I want my boys' childhood to be so full that I often make it just the opposite - filling it with things and activities when in reality they probably just want more of me.  And, while I can recognize all of this, changing me is what's hard.  

Maybe we should just take those marshmallows, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and be more intent about our focus.  We'll see :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Calves and Quotes

This weekend, we got to go with Jeremy to check and feed the cattle.  We have a batch of first-year heifers that will calve early this year, and it's imperative to keep a close eye on them in case they need help delivering their calves.  Sunday morning, we found this...
...the season's first baby.
There aren't many animal babies I find cuter than baby calves.  And, this first-time-mom did a great job, with no help at all!
Then we finished the feeding circuit and chopped a little ice so the cattle could drink.

Along the way, we were dropping cake for the cows.  Carter screamed, "Dad, stop!!  You're losing money!"  Ha!  I guess one time Carter was in the truck and pushed the button for the feed to release from the bin for no reason, and he must have heard a similar response.

When we'd finished the last pasture, Carter exclaimed, "We're done with our mission!"

A few more quotes from the last week or so:

We were getting our Christmas decorations out and I was explaining to Carter what Advent was and asked him if he remembered whose birthday we were anticipating...
"Jesus' birthday!  But mom, I don't think he'll be at his birthday party.  I think he would like to just stay in Heaben."

Running in from the other room, Carter says...
"Momma!  Would you like to play Wing awound da Rosies, Popacorna Posies?"

Peter has found a way to really frustrate Carter lately.  For everything Carter says, Peter will disagree in a really low voice.
Carter: Look Mom, a fire engine!
Peter: You did not see a fire engine, Tartar!

Carter: Dobee dobee dobee (just enjoying life).
Peter: Don't say doboo dobee dobee, Tartar!

The worst from Peter...
"Hello, my name Tartar!"
Carter: No, my name is Carter.
Peter (with a smirk): NO! My name Tartar!

On our way to Church on Saturday (we hadn't been in weeks because of the sicknesses we had)...
Carter: We haven't been to Church in forever.  I am so excited!

When Jeremy shared some noodles with Carter...
"Oh Daddy, that is SO nice of you to share.  Jesus loves it when you share.  Tank you, Daddy!"

When John Paul was in the hospital, after Mass Carter when up to the priest...
"Fader Joel, will you please pway for my brudder, John Paul?  Oh, and pway for me, too!"

The boys love the Spitz Buban cookies...
Pete: I wanna spit muffin!
Carter: No, Peter, it's a Spitz boogie!

Never a dull moment!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Last year around Christmas I saw a recipe in a magazine for homemade vanilla extract.  I clipped it and hoped to remember to do it the following year.  Surprisingly, I did.  On October 1st, I bought a few bottles of vodka, a lot of vanilla beans, and began the process.  

I cannot find that clipping now, but this recipe is similar.  

I stored the vanilla infused vodka in a dark closet for about two and a half months, shaking it weekly.

Before I poured it into individual bottles, it looked like this.  I was hoping for it to be a bit darker by now, but oh well.
The leftover beans from one bottle...
 An individual 8 oz bottle...
 I decided to add part of a vanilla bean to the individual bottles...
 All of the bottles (three are 16 oz and I still have about half of a vodka bottle left over)...

 Finally ready!

It was a really fun gift to make, and it was super easy.  Let's just hope it tastes good!