Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Busy Day

It seems like life ramps up at times.

The days get fuller, busier, more hectic, something...

Today was unusually full. A good day, as it turned out, but full.

The Scoutmaster is gearing up to help lead a training weekend for Scout Leaders. He had a few things for me to do for him today.

  • Find his campaign hat
  • Pack his back pack for the weekend
  • Decorate his "hero" sign
  • Make police badges for a skit
  • Tie Turks Head Knot Woggles
  • Find the backpacking stove

Just small things, fun things, easy things.
I'm happy to help!

The trick is that I also have six hungry people here with me all day, making messes, needing direction, requiring the shaping of their character, needing to be educated, and loved, and protected, and trained, and bathed, and dressed, and changed, and redirected, and encouraged, and watched, and listened to. Rewind, repeat, rewind, repeat,
rewind, repeat.

You know, the usual.

Then, we had baseball practice and had to go directly from there to Awana. Groceries were desperately needed and there was a one-day sale too good to miss, so we ran to the store while D practiced baseball. Then drove through McDonald's
on the way to Awana.

And now,

We're home.

And the house is almost quiet.

A Wee Sprout needs to be snuggled and a mama needs to decompress.

God is kind and all is well.

Sunshine just came from her room to tell me that she is going to Shark Island. I have no idea what that means, but I sent her back to bed with a kiss and a smile. Surely, Shark Island can wait until tomorrow,
along with the laundry and the dishes and the sticky kitchen floor.

Edited to add: Okay, maybe not the laundry. I just started a load and I have to put the clean sheets back on my bed. But the sticky floor can SURELY wait!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


The response I got from the granola post was so encouraging that I'm going to toss another favorite, frequently used recipe out there.


Southern Oregon Pancake and Waffle Mix

8 C. Whole Wheat Flour
5 T Baking Powder
1 T Salt
2 C. Dry Milk Powder

I store this mix in an airtight container in the cupboard.

To make pancakes, combine:

1 C. Mix
1 C. Water
1 Egg
1 T. Oil

(Sometimes, I use a little less water or a little more mix to get a thicker batter, but this proportion is easy to remember and brain cells are a limited resource.)

To make waffles, combine:

1 C. Mix
1 C. Water
2 Eggs
2 T. Oil

In my crusty, old, heavily used, lopsided waffle baker, the surface of the waffle comes out looking a little mottled.
But the flip-side looks nice and golden brown, so I serve them with the pretty side up.

I double the batch to feed myself and the Ducklings. I also double the recipe when making the mix.

We eat waffles or pancakes at least twice a week, so we can go through a lot of mix.

This is cheap and easy.

That makes me very happy!

If you decide to give it a try, I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I'm working on a couple of cooking posts.

Here's a sweet shot of my favorite photo subject while you're waiting!

How cute is that outfit that his Generous Grandmother gave him for his birthday?!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sun-Kissed Baby

The Sprout was so happy to be outside much of the day!

He took a great nap this afternoon and now he's toddling around,
all sun-kissed and extra sweet.



If you're popping over from Owlhaven's Frugal Cooking Carnival,


It's great to have you. Make yourself at home!

Great Day

We had a fantastic day!

This morning we attended the first of D's baseball games. It was a practice tournament. Our team ended up playing two games, instead of the expected three, which was perfect.

The weather was absolutely amazing! It was the perfect temperature and sunny and
the wind did not blow.
That may not mean much to some of you, but if you've ever attended a baseball game in our town, you know that is a one in a million day.

Thank you, Lord!

We were there for about 3 1/2 hours and it flew by. The Ducklings played with their friends, old and new. D played brilliant baseball. He got on base every time he batted and hit a couple of triples! His play at first base was excellent, too. His team is shaping up to be quite good this season.

The best part for me was having a chance to catch up with a dear friend who has been out of town for a few weeks. She and I were able to chat and share snacks (granola, peanuts, gummy worms) and watch our boys play, while enjoying the sunshine.

All in all, it was an excellent day to be on the Southern Oregon Coast. We are all tired and happy and sun-kissed.

This is a picture of D in his uniform last year. I did not take one picture today! I can't believe how much he's grown. I'll have to post a picture taken in the same uniform in the same spot this year, for comparison.

We are so blessed!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lazy Days

Sorry I've been a lazy blogger the last few days.
I'm battling this obnoxious cold that just keeps hanging on.
It makes me feel like curling up and taking a nap...
all. day. long.

Which, of course, is not an option.
So, I shift into low gear.
And feel rather uninspired.

Tonight is the first Boy Scout Overnighter
at the Scout Cabin.

Tomorrow is the first baseball game of the season.

And The Scoutmaster is helping with a community track meet.

And The Boy Scout has an end-of-year Awana party.

It promises to be a fun day.

And blog-worthy!

For now,

A GSP (Gratuitous Sprout Photo)

That's all I've got.

Oh! Did anybody see Survivor last night?
Will these people ever learn?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Easily Amused 2 - Updated

This is the kind of important work I do on days like this.

Wanna race?

65 words



My Sweet Friend, Dancing, smoked us all!

219 words

Speed test

I had no idea that kind of speed was even possible! You are amazing!!

Guess I'll stick to the Bubble Wrap Game...

Hat Tip to Watch the Sky

Easily Amused

This is oddly satisfying.

I especially like "manic mode."


Hat Tip to Connie at Smockity Frocks

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blast From the Past

This sweet photo was taken almost exactly a year ago.

The Wee Sprout was three days old.

Sunshine was four.

What a difference a year makes!

Too Cute!

Periodically, I discover that The Wee Sprout
has crawled under the table to play.

He takes great delight in small spaces -
under my desk,
in the kitchen cupboard,
inside the TV cabinet.

Under the table,
the table cloth provides a great hiding place.
When I ask, "Where's the baby?"
He peeks out with glee to hear me say "Peek a boo!"
Hysterical laughter rewards my scant effort.
He ducks behind the cloth again
and we repeat the cycle over and over.

Oh, to find delight in
all the simple joys of the day.
To capture all the moments
that make this season so special.
THIS is the day the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunshine's First Tooth

On Thursday, Sunshine lost her first tooth.

It was a momentous occasion and followed
the pattern of many lost teeth gone before.

Early in the day, the wee tooth was found to be wiggly.

Throughout the day, the tooth was wiggled
and bothered
and checked
and discussed
and worried over.

Having a strong suspicion,
based on experience,
of what lay ahead,
I sent Sunshine to bed 45 minutes early.

On her way to bed,
whether or not to pull the tooth was considered.

It really wasn't that loose and would take some effort to remove.

Right on schedule, about an hour after going to bed, Sunshine emerged from her room to report that she couldn't go to sleep with a wiggly tooth.

I made a modest attempt to pull the offending wiggler.

Sunshine was referred to The Scoutmaster and his exceptional tooth removing skills.

The Scoutmaster gave the necessary warning of some mild pain and bleeding.

Sunshine bravely pleaded to get the tooth OUT.

A few moments and some huge eyes later,
this tiny tooth was liberated!

I think it is the smallest tooth I have ever seen.

It will be fun to see what grows in to fill the space.

Sunshine surely is growing up.


Track Meet 4

This meet was much the same as the others.

The Boy Scout was very brave

The weather was awful.

This time, it actually snowed during the track meet.


It was so cold and wet!
One more meet for the 2008 season.

Girlfriend is Seven

It was a full weekend of preparations and celebrations.

Girlfriend created her own cake recipe
(cookie dough ice cream, strawberry jam, chocolate cake, white frosting, Skittles and Lemon Heads.)

We ate at the Chinese buffet.

We swam with lots of friends at the pool.


A good time was had by all.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Track Meet Newsflash

It's snowing in North Bend.
On the morning of a track meet.
The odds of this happening are astronomical.

That is all.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Couch Potato in Training

This is what happens when
a big sister finds a baby brother
sitting in his bouncy seat,
watching TV,
with a toy clicker in his hands.

With great joy, she builds him a cozy nest with pillows and a blanket.

When he looks up from the intriguing program, we can see that this arrangement makes him very happy.

Left alone, the combination of comfort and children's programming ultimately has the same effect on him that it does on me.

It's good to be one.

(for those concerned: he was watching educational television)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amy Made Me Do It

From the comments on my Kitchen Tour:

"One thing about your kitchen, though, is that it always smells great . . . cookies, granola, dinner, breakfast!! what a kitchen!!!!"

While the above is so not completely true,

Days, in fact, go by when nothing happens in my kitchen beyond peanut butter sandwiches and pasta with butter.

it did remind me that I have come up with a granola recipe that I really like!

Must. Make. Granola.

There, see that! I did it! So Yummy!

Ack! It makes the house smell so good that the Ducklings have discovered it!

Oh, well, of course I made it for them... right? Ahem.

So, for your enjoyment, the easiest, tastiest granola recipe I could come up with:

Granola on the Southern Oregon Coast

Preheat oven to 325*
Grease a cookie sheet
3 C. Oats
1 C. Whole Wheat Flour

In a microwave safe dish,
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
2 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Nutmeg
1/4 t. Ginger
2 T Butter
1 T Vanilla
1/4 C. Honey

Warm these ingredients until the butter has melted and you can stir it all together.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.

Spread on the greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325* for about 20 minutes.

Granola will become crunchy as it cools.

Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 1 Quart.

Beware marauding Ducklings!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keepin' It Real House Tour - Kitchen

One of the things that pushed The Scoutmaster and me over the edge when deciding to purchase the House of Coast was the enormous kitchen.

I love having a breakfast bar that's large enough for all the Ducklings.

The counter space is fantastic for the times when we are all in the kitchen together.

(You can click on the pictures for a closer look at the chaos.
I know I'm always curious about other people's chaos [smile].)

And, as a bonus, even when there is a huge pile of dirty pots and pans by the sink, there's still room to prepare meals!

The downside to that, of course, being that I am less motivated by necessity to keep the kitchen clean. In the Geico House, where we lived previously, it was impossible to work with more than two dirty forks piled on the kitchen counter.

I also love that the kitchen windows come down almost to the counter tops. It gives me a great, open view of the backyard.

Currently, I am dreaming of painting the kitchen a warm, rich color. A girl can dream, right? The great thing about painting in the kitchen is that all the paintable surfaces are up above counter height. It just might be the perfect room to paint with littles underfoot!

Hopefully, I can post a picture later of what it looks like when it's clean...

After swiming and baseball and Awana.

Then again, maybe not.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Do you remember catching caterpillars?

Since we live in the city where I grew up,
every Spring The Ducklings catch the same kind of caterpillars I caught as a little girl.

They are precious, fuzzy pets, if only for an afternoon.

This one is called Coconut.

She is a beloved friend.

No. She may not come in the house and live in your room.

"If you love something, set it free" - and all that.

I'm sure there will be many more Coconuts in our backyard this year!

And we will love each and every one.

It's great to be a kid!

Paradox. Or is it Pair-o-ducks?

How can The Sprout be so big?

And look so grown up in his Sunday Best?

And, at the same time,

be so small?

And, clearly, still a baby next to his brother?

And how can my first baby, The Boy Scout, look so big?

And be so grown up?

When he's still my little boy?

Lord, teach me to number my days aright.

The years are flying by, even if the days (and nights) seem endless sometimes.

I don't want to miss a moment.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Boy Scout is Helpful!

For Valentines Day, my Beloved Scoutmaster bought me this backyard fire pit.

I heart The Scoutmaster!

Yesterday, when we wanted to try it out for the first time, The SM was out golfing with a friend and D. So, I asked the Boy Scout if he would like to put his skills to use. He was very, very, happy to help.

I walked away and let him do it all himself, which was hard for me.

When I came back, he had done this:

I was skeptical, but I handed him the long matches and let him light it, biting my tongue the whole time.

I really, really wanted to make some helpful suggestions...

Moments later, we had this!

Which soon grew into this:

Sure enough, he knew what he was doing and it worked perfectly! I was so proud and so pleased to be reminded that more and more he is a real help to me. God has gifted him with a helpful heart and he is very proud when he is able to accomplish something like this. A great time was had by all, as we sat around the fire and toasted our marshmallows.

Thanks, Boy Scout! You are a gift.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Beautiful Day Here!

It was an absolutely beautiful day here on the Southern Oregon Coast!

We started the day with The Boy Scout's third track meet. It was much like the others, except it was in a neighboring town and...

The Sun Was Shining!

I like this action shot of the long jump, even if it is a little blurry. (I took it from very. far. away.)

See how much happier we all feel in the sunshine? Ahhhhhhh....

After lunch, we stopped by a favorite beach on the way home.

It turned out to be one of those rare days when the beach is warm enough to really enjoy!

We flew a kite. The Bambino, especially, LOVED this!

A good time was had by all.

Before long, it became clear that a bridge needed to be built across the creek.

The Scoutmaster and the Scout and the Generous Grandmother and the Sprout took a nice, long walk down the beach.

The Bambino flew the kite some more.

Soon the Sprout returned from his first beach walk, and took his first beach walk - on his own two feet!

He had high hopes of catching the kite.

Soon, Bridge Building became a group project.

Of course, the Bambino made several successful trips across the bridge before he took the inevitable head-first plunge into the creek. He was very brave and by the time he made it to shore, he was smiling... and dripping...
Five Happy Ducklings on a Bridge. It was a beautiful day.

This evening, we took our backyard fire pit for a test drive. It was great fun! Marshmallows were roasted. Songs were sung.

Everyone is tucked in bed, exhausted from a glorious day in the sun. We know these days are such a gift, especially this time of year. So, we enjoyed every minute of it.

Thank you, Lord, for sunny days in April!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Laundry Fun?

Uh-oh, here we are again...
Mom, I don't have any clean pants in my drawer!

You know I'm just kidding, right?

Sister, you are hilarious!

Eight minutes later...

Why, oh, why do I let it pile up like that when it's so quick and easy to sort it out so that it can be put away? I do well for days at a time, and then...


And, suddenly, there is clean laundry taking over my world!

The good news is that I gave up folding my kids' clothes long ago. Once they were old enough to put their own clothes away, saving me thousands of trips back and forth, I discovered that by the time they had stuffed them into their drawers and then subsequently, dug through the drawers to find what they wanted to wear, the original folding had been completely undone.

So... I stopped. And I cannot tell one speck of difference in their appearance.

(They do hang up their Sunday clothes, which are susceptible to wrinkling.)

This streamlining has saved me THOUSANDS of hours of folding and greatly increases the chances that the clean laundry will be put away on any given day, because it is not so overwhelmingly tedious.

I still have to put away my laundry... and The Scoutmaster's... and The Bambino's... and The Sprout's...

And then there are the towels... and the sheets... and the rags... and the napkins...

Now I remember why I gave up on cloth diapers!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ah, So True

"Good morning, Boy Scout, did you sleep well?"

"Yeah, except right at the end there, I woke up."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fun with Family

Last night, we were treated to dinner at Generous Grandmother's house. My cousin, who is a police officer, was in town with his canine partner for a training conference.

My mom prepared a yummy feast and we had fun meeting the beautiful police dog and catching up with my sweet cousin. He always has great stories and a twinkle in his eye when he tells them. It's fun to be around someone who loves what he does so much.

He also had cute stories about his adorable daughter. She's clearly as much of a character as her parents and sounds like lots of fun. I only wish they lived closer so that we could see them more often.

I'm off to get my day going. I just got a call from a friend. It was just the boost I needed to get my day started...
that and the two Excedrin I took about an hour ago. =)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Sprout is One

One year ago your sweet face swept into our world. None of us will ever be the same.

We love you so much!

(PS Please please stop climbing on top of the piano. We want to enjoy you for many more years to come!)