"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

hand shadow bird puppets

tonight, over a riveting meal 
of sloppy joe stackers,
brennan taught his siblings the art of hand shadow bird puppets, 
just as the sun was setting to the west.
everyone was very VERY impressed.
there's nothing i love more than dinner time at the table with my crew.
sometimes it lasts 2 minutes. sometimes it lasts 10 minutes.
sometimes chase cries through the entire meal,
sometimes max will have to go pee three times,
and each time she gets down, chase follows her 
{which means that by the time we coax chase back to the table, 
she is usually getting down again to go for the next time, 
and chase is getting back down to follow.
BUT regardless of all of that,
they are my very favorite minutes of my entire day.
and it's worth all of the work to get us all there,
just to be there together,
talking and eating at the table.
and i'm going to fight my hardest to keep doing this as my family gets older,
because there's just nothing else i'd rather be doing on a wednesday night than this:).
{missing: daddy. it must be wednesday night.}

i will go and do the things which the raspberry jam hath commanded. {pectin free canning recipe!}

once upon a time i tried a jam recipe that didn't call for pectin 
because i liked the picture on the pinterest pin for that recipe the best.
i am a marketers dream come true i tell you.
they had me a "free labels" basically.
also, despite having two freezers, 
the thought of making room 
or dedicating room to jam in plastic jam jars 
which might i add, i do NOT own, 
just overwhelms me.
anything to not have to leave my house folks.
this is why the freezer jam was nixed.
and so i sweat out the anxiety of not knowing 
if i was wasting 10 cups of fresh raspberries from costco 
on my stove this afternoon. 
i bottled them up,
processed them,
found their wrath on my shirt and in my hair, as every good canner does,
and then i waited.
and guys,
raspberry jam recipe
{pectin free & for canning}

10 cups ripe raspberries
5 cups sugar 
{let's throw on a bonus cup of sugar here, 
and make it 6 cups of sugar or 7. whichever. 
just for those of us that are daring with our sweet teeth. 
yes, yes we should. But you go ahead and decide. 
i won't judge either way.}

{get your jars, rings, and water bath warming}
{click HERE for a canning "how to"}

1. 10 cups raspberries into pot, smash with potato masher.
2. add 5 cups sugar. mix well.
3. heat on high heat for 5 minutes. then heat on medium heat for another 30 minutes, 
stirring constantly.
put a netflix show on your phone, call your mom or your grandma,
but see here,
don't stop stirring that pot for more than a minute or two 
or it will burn and cake the bottom.
4. fill your jars, wipe your lids, put your lids and rings on, and process in a water bath for 15 minutes at sea level, 
and 25 minutes for those of us who like our air 
a little bit more thin out here in utah.

so basically tomorrow i'm going to drive to my friend's house to pick all of her raspberries,
as clearly i will go broke buying them from costco at this 10 cups for 3 pints rate.
i will go and do the things which the raspberry jam hath commanded!
also, learn to spell rasberry raspberry.
{click here for the original pinterest recipe and "free labels" that had me at hello.}

Monday, August 25, 2014

letters to BETH, letters to Emily, and letters back to BETH {carseats, jet lag, OREOS, german speaking, and carpool ghost town}

dear beth,
are you home safe and sound? i have THE BEST letter to write you. can't wait. it will make you soooo happy!!! i almost died when it happened. like i wanted to PINCH myself because i couldn't believe that i actually got to be in the presence of it. you will laugh and feel so proud. also, i forgot about the car seats. 
love em

Dearest Emiline,
the carseats are at the taylor's. i told them you would probably pick them up this week. i wasn't sure. anyway, how are you? i love being back. i cleaned all my cupboards out in my kitchen and reorganized them. it was a blast. we got some gelato and ate some felafel...ummmmmm no better food on earth, and have been organizing and cleaning since we got home. i want to face plant into my keyboard and snooze away right now, but i'm not going to!!! i will stay strong and FIGHT jet lag if it's the last thing i do! ha ha. anyway, love you and miss you.

jet lag is the worst. i depise it. i spent my entire childhood in it, which i'm sure is the best time of life to experience it, as you don't require as much sleep as an adult to feel normal AND you don't have any real life things to attend to. people just let you nap, catch up, and drink cokes with pillows in the bathtub and stuff like that. have i ever told you about that story? that's what my mom would let me do when i was jet lagged in a foreign country. i wasn't allowed to stay up in the bedroom part of the hotel room and keep her up, but i was allowed to take over the bathroom, so one time i just brought the bedroom into the bathtub with me, and topped it off with a good old fashioned coca-cola just for kicks. ya know, since i wasn't going to be sleeping at normal hours anyway. of course this was before cell phones, dvd players, ipods, and other such material and my ADD brain just wasn't in love with reading back then, but i did have my gameboy. OH MY GAMEBOY:) super mario brothers, tetris, and then sonic on the sega genisis. the good old days. so if you find yourself awake at the wrong time of the night, and you don't want to wake bryce up in bed, bring your pillow and blankets into the bathroom and haul up in the tub with them all and a good book. heaven. i swear to you. at least it was at age 10:). 

ok, now here is my most happy thing ever that i get to share with you. crazy CRAZY crazy, like i couldn't even believe my eyes when i saw it. are you ready? get ready. 
wait for it.....

waaaaaaaiiiiittttt fooooorrrrr iiiiiitttt......

makenzie maxine....

my milk loving offspring....

whom i have trained in the ways most honorable of OREO
i swear to you, i was thrilled that she has this in common with you, and dumbfounded at how on earth another human being could find this as an acceptable way to eat an oreo.
but nevertheless my friend, you have someone else in the world like you.
who dips their oreos in water.
i can't even believe it.
you are kindred.
that i CAN believe.
you are YA-YA's.
and i just LOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!
i don't understand it, but i love it!
can you believe it?!
i know, thrilling:)

love you,

brennan is LOVING german!!!! i have prayed and prayed AND PRAYED that he would love it, and click into it and low and behold HE HAS!!! every day he comes home telling me about 10 new words he has learned today. like today, he said "mom, raise your hand," and then he will say, "now i will say it in german." and then he will say the phrase in german. it as amazing. eyes, shoulders, head, knees, seven, eight, nine, no, yes, up, down, and so on and so forth. he tells me all of the tricks his teacher is teaching them about how to remember the new german word. i have never heard anything so darling in my entire life. he will be speaking circles around the natives in no time, i just know it. he told me that his favorite thing about school is his german teacher "frau weser" {did i spell frau right??}, and how she only speaks german to him in german class. i could cry i'm so elated. prayers answered from heaven my friend. ANSWERED FROM HEAVEN! never have i ever felt so strongly that we were led to this specific school, this specific class, and the specific program and teacher than i have right now. this is changing his life, and i feel so blessed to be able to watch it. oh how i have missed our letters, but oh how i miss being able to have you in my kitchen in front of me! i truly TREASURE you my friend. xoxo, E.
{brennan on the first day of 1st grade}
{the socks beth. i can't stop laughing about THE SOCKS.}

the first day of school it took an HOUR AND A HALF of waiting in line to pick up brennan and our carpool from school, which i was not bothered about because i just can't tell you how much i love this school, BUT to avoid maybe not liking it on day 2, i made the educated decision to come 30 minutes after school got out and head off the crowd, so that i would only have to wait for maybe half an hour instead of an hour and a half. Welp, to my surprise, when i showed up 30 minutes after school got out, the place was EMPTY. we are talking a BONE-KNEE-FIED GHOST TOWN beth. GHOST TOWN!!! not a car in sight on the road to the school. not a car in the 4 lane pick up zone when i entered campus. i was a tid bid panicked i will admit. it was friday wasn't it? yes it was. i knew it was. and friday was early out. friday was INDEED early out. after checking my clock 4 times, i determined that yes i was there on the right day and at the right half an hour late time i had determined to go, but where were all of the 700 cars that were here at this same time yesterday? this is what i was asking myself. well, when i finally came around the corner i found a cluster of about 25 kids left on the front lawn, at which point my mouth dropped open, which i covered with my hand, as all ladies do, and rolled down my windows spewing apologies, as one should do when they are half an hour late to pick up the carpool. the lovely woman in charge was SO SO SO LOVELY because she replied with, "no, you are not late. you are JUST fine. this always happens on the second day. we plan for it, and we expect it. you are RIGHT on time." not annoyance in her voice, no condescension, to agitation. just a big smile on her face. it was amazing. then the kids got in and told me how long they had been waiting on the lawn, and how late i was, and again this LOVELY woman repeated in the most LOVELY voice {i just want you to know i am not being sarcastic, she was just so wonderful!!! i loved her!}, "no kids, she is not late, she is right on time." Nodding her head and giving me smiles of approval. never have i EVER imagined something so amazing. And this beth, is yet another reason why i just love brennan's new school:). they are organized, and LOVELY. the end.