Sunday, March 30, 2008

Juicy Fruit

D and I were talking about this 1984 commercial over lunch this afternoon. Remember it?

Friday, March 28, 2008


It won't accumulate much, it's melting just about as fast as it's falling. But it's a nice change outside the window.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Falling in Loaf

I have fallen in love with my bread machine (I have an earlier model). It's sat dormant in it's box for years in our garage but after a little prodding, I carried it upstairs to her rightful place in the kitchen. I put her to work every week now with new recipes (whole wheat, cinnamon raisin, french, and today the infamous WHO bread). The lovely thing hums and jiggles for a few hours and when our warm bread is ready to be turned out onto the cooling rack she gives be a little 'beep-beep.'
I love her.
There is something so wonderful about piling simple and fresh ingredients into her bucket and without any more work on my end, out pops a nice loaf for us to use all week. For years I had the misleading assumption that bread machine bread is less healthy than something I would mix and knead myself, I thought they required a store bought mix for some reason. But now all the preconceived notions have dissipated and she and I are of one mind: Warm bread is good any time (especially when you use the 'delay' button for a piping hot slice in the morning).

* note: I've found that it only takes 2tsp. of yest to make the WHO bread recipe in our region/altitude, otherwise the extra 1/4 tsp creates an air bubble under the top crust...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Weekend

We started Saturday off like usual; at ZuKafe for some coffee and pecan cinnamon rolls. Then we were off to our local egg hunt. The playground was not unlike an anthill, covered with little ones scrambling for chocolate eggs and their parents juggling cameras and camcorders! Of course the Easter Bunny made an appearance just like last year, and E surprised me again with total confidence and a huge smile (I guess a furry bunny is way less daunting than a old man in a red suit).

Since it was such a beautiful day (but deceptively chilly) we made our way down to Green Lake for E's first bike ride around the lake. We packed a simple lunch of cold homemade cheese pizza, apple slices and water and happily visited with the ducks while we ate. She had a great time, taking time of course to smell the flowers...

E received and early present from the Easter Bunny, new jammies!


This morning was dark, wet, and windy. We all eventually rolled out of bed for Ella's egg hunt and scavenger hunt that we prepared the night before. She had a ball trapsing all over the house with clues on where to find all of the wonderful treasures (thanks Grandma & Grandpa Bazan and Great Grandma & Grandpa Davis). We then tripped off to the breakfast table for some yogurt and granola, then scrambled to get ready for church. I was glad the service had been pushed back 15 minutes from it's normal start time, I dunno where the time goes on mornings like this.

We had a nice afternoon with a mellow lunch at our house, a few naps were taken, and then it was full gear in preparation for the dinner my entire family was coming for! This is actually surprisingly rare considering all 3 kids and their families live within a 20 mile radius. It's just that all 3 of us married people with unconventional work hours (touring musician, fire fighter, and a pediatric nurse) and very often there's at least one spouse missing. So, today was pretty special. Dinner was great: ham, mashed potatoes with smoked cheddar and mustard seeds, green beans with pine nuts, fruit salad (Yummy, Yummy! - Wiggles, we're still humming the tunes), rosemary biscuits, deviled eggs, cabbage salad, with peach & blueberry cobbler for dessert.

After our meal we played a few rounds of UNO so E could show off her newly acquired game playing skills, and we could let our food digest...

Nice weekend.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The WIGGLES - Live

What an amazing time!

(dancing her heart out)

(the man himself)

(oh-so happy)

(outside the stadium)

* I took 426 shots this evening, but I'll be sensitive to the non-fans...


A Little WIGGLE Room

E's been enamored with THE WIGGLES for a very long time. I can say that I've had a touch-and-go relationship with them. I love that the group formed out of a school project for 3 of it's members, that the majority of it's band are married with children who've performed with them, and their songs really aren't too annoying. My trepidations came about a year ago when all E could talk about was Captain Feathersword ("Taptin"), the groups bumbling friendly pirate friend. He turned into her imaginary friend for a while, and she would squeal with delight whenever he made an appearance on the one DVD we owned. Shortly after her 2nd birthday party she decided that she would like to have a pirate birthday party for her 3rd, and the skull and crossbones symbol has never been daunting for her, in fact she drawn to it. She loves pirates.

Her love affair with the Aussie group paled a bit when we solemnly informed her that the lead singer Greg (The charming yellow shirt wearing Wiggle) had become ill, and would be leaving the group. I must admit, the news was disheartening for me as well. When I brought home the newest DVD from the library a few months back (with Sam, the new yellow shirt wearer), E was horrified just looking at the cover. It sat on our shelf for the entire 3 weeks. Every now and then she'd hold it up to me and forcefully repeat "I'm not watching this."

So, The Wiggles, it seemed had their run. I thought maybe they'd just fade into the background of E's first few years. But then D happened to drive past the scrolling read-a-board outside the Tacoma Dome: Wiggles! I'd always vowed that if they came within the 3 State radius we'd go, but their travels always seemed to be on the East Coast. We were able to secure tickets, and my excitement was bubbling! We decided to wait a bit to tell her, and internally I was a little concerned about how she'd react, knowing how determined she was about maintaining her memory of the original group. I decided to re-rent the video from the library again, and see how she felt. It sat on our shelf again collecting dust for a week, and then I decided enough was enough. After bath a few nights ago, as she was stepping into her PJ's I informed her that I wanted to watch the new Wiggles video, and she could join me if she wanted. She stalled in her room, then hesitantly poked her head into the hall and called, "Did you start it yet?"
"Nope, I'm waiting for you." I casually responded. She slinked down the hall and I pushed PLAY. D and I sat on the couch in front of the TV and she slowly entered the room, and then she stopped. She stood off to the side of the TV for the fist 3 or 4 songs just listening! Afraid that they could somehow see her! She'd peek every now and then, and finally the dancing bug bit and she was hooked. Whew! Every now and then she'd catch my eye, maybe expecting to see that "I told you so," look, so I worked hard to keep my grin wide; bopping to the new songs with her. Afterward she agreed that it was really nice of Sam to help out Greg because he was too sick to sing anymore.

We've now had a few days to learn the new songs, and the show is tonight. We thought we'd just surprise her with the news, and just show up at the concert but last night we sprung it on her at dinner. She didn't freak out, just smiled and said "Sounds good." So we'll see. She's dressed in a nautical shirt for her beloved Captain, and she asked to watch the DVD one more time this morning before we drive to Tacoma so she can remember the words. I think she's gonna have the best time, I hope they allow camera's I really want to grab a shot of her face as those guys enter the stage! It's going to knock her socks off!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hippity Hoppity

E's been working on these bunny ears for the last couple days, they got so heavy with the cotton balls I had to reinforce them with drinking straws!

Here are Mabel's chubby little legs with her bunny booties (I had to take 36 shots before I got one that wasn't blurry with all of her happy kicking).

Who Me?

We went to see Horton Hears a Who last night. We all liked it. I have a picture of E in front of the poster...(however, I can't figure out how to get pictures off my phone and onto the computer. Rachel?)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Time for Cookies

I grew up with this cookie jar on my paternal grandmother's counter. It often contained stale generic sandwich cookies or wafer creams but was still something special to reach in and grab a treat. This portly little gal seems very happy after her sudsy warm bath, now sitting up on my cookbook shelf.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hood Canal

My parents own a cabin that sits right on the beach of Hood Canal on the Olympic Peninsula. Today was Spring Cleaning. E just lounged around most of the afternoon napping and watching videos while the rest of us scrubbed, vacuumed, laundered, and cleared cobwebs. We did though, get a chance to explore the low tide down on the beach for a while before taking the ferry home again.

Among the things we encountered were: spider crabs, sea stars, baby eels, barnacles, geoducks, oysters, a bald eagle, sand dollars, seaweed, moon snails, sea anemone and octopus eggs!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Air in Our Lungs

E came down with some bug. It all started out as a slight sore throat, turned into a croupy cough, moved onto stomach aches, and now we're at diarrhea.


Because she and I were up half the night working through her difficult breathing and deep barky coughs I needed to get out this morning, and the zoo was just the place. Any sane thinking mom would have taken one look outside and declined such an invitation; it was really damp, and cold out. But that combination is just what little E's lungs needed so we bundled in raincoats and boots, and made a quick stop at Lighthouse for some caffeine before the leisurely walk.

There was a special penguin feeding today; live fish. Quite a crowd gathered for the event, it was really fantastic to see them hunting down their prey. One of the birds was especially excited about it's lunch and was in non-stop honking mode. Everyone, including E thought it was pretty amusing, and began mimicking him.

Here are some other sights:

Plant Life:


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dropper Art

Yes, I still have a bit of preschool teacher in my blood. I find it impossible to throw things away that could just possibly be used in an art project or learning experience down the road. I stock up on supplies at places like Jo-Ann's and Discount School Supply. It drives D nuts, and that's understandable because we really don't have a lot of extra storage space around the house.

I inherited this idea from my previous job and the droppers from my sister (works in the medical field). The nice thing about this project is it works with any theme (you cut the paper towel or coffee filter into whichever shape you like - we did eggs today) and a verity of ages love to watch the liquid water color drop and spread. I used a cookie sheet under E's project as to minimize paint splatters on the table.