Friday, February 29, 2008

Proud moments

Ok. This has to be the best track I've ever built! I'm pretty proud
of myself. We have a landing pad for Harold the Helicopter, water for
Bulstrode the boat, Cranky the Crane for unloading, the round house,
and even a road for the bus, Bertie! Look how many different places
the railroad connects with itself and branches off. Tell me you're
not impressed!

Whoot! Whoot! All aboard!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

all alone in the world...

I don't do "alone." I just don't. Some of you probably knew me when David did a lot of touring for the band, Smithfield. And you know, it wasn't good. I can't bring myself to do anything or go anywhere. I just cry.

Pathetic? I know! But, in my defense, I come from a family of six kids and you cannot be alone in a family of eight if you wanted to! So, to move all the way across the country and not have any family, is tough. And I think I'm just not the sort of person who can do it!

Well, all of that to say this--David is gone for 2 days! I cried today when he asked me about it, but I'm not crying now. No, now I am just staying up really really late so I will be tired enough to fall asleep and hopefully not listen to all of the scary noises that you hear when it is quiet. There is nothing for me to do while I stay up really really late since the soundboard on my computer died when elliott dropped it on the ground (or was that me?). I can't watch anything, I don't have tv, so I am complaining to you.

What is that verse? Oh yeah, Phillipians 4:11, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content."

That's what I need to be... Pray for me!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Before and After



Have all of you seen Elliott's new do? It was hard to let go of those locks, but it was time. We don't want the poor guy to look back on old photos and wonder why we let him run around unkempt. We love his new cut.

I've had a really hard time with changing anything about my "little baby." He is still so pale, because I cringe whenever he is in the sun and I slather him with sunblock and cover him up as much as possible. His little delicate skin! And his hair! It is so hard to cut it. I can literally count all of the haircuts he has had in his three years of existence! 4...maybe 5. Wow, once you put that on paper, its pretty... amazing.

Candace Hubbard over at Vogue Salon in Newport Beach did a FANTASTIC job like always. If you're in the market for a good cut, you need to pay a visit to Candace. She really is amazing at what she does. She won't just give you the cut you saw in a magazine, she will first ask you what you like about it and be honest about what would be good for you in particular. She is really very skilled. She does not just cut hair, she is a professional, a craftsman/woman if you will. I am sorry for the rant, but I really feel very strongly about it! She is awesome!

So... What do you think? (Of the cut, that is.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Verse of the day

Psalm 16:8
"I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand
I shall not be moved."

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Victory at long last! Its taken me since my birthday, on the 15th, to
get my kitchen clean. (nevermind the noodle in the sink) There has
been a perpetual state of confusion, to say the least, in most parts
of the house. Yes, its 2 am, but we did it! We did all the dishes--
not just some... Congratulations!

(details on birthday loot to come later)

Monday, February 18, 2008

I ♥ Cookies...

  Photo by David Escalante

Shortbread?... good.  Espresso?... good.  Chocolate?... GOOD.  What's not to like?

Needlessly to say, we LOVED these chocolate dipped, heart-shaped, espresso shortbread cookies.  I stumbled upon this recipe over at the Cream Puffs In Venice blog while perusing my RSS feeds one glorious day shortly before Valentine's Day.  I tried out the recipe which she got at Fine Cooking, and they turned out fabulously.  We ended up packing them up in clear cellophane bags and attaching Elliott's finger-painted Valentine's and giving them to our friends.

I made a few changes to the original recipe...  I tempered my chocolate and I used sea salt instead of regular because I like that extra saltiness you get in shortbread when you use a bigger grain of salt.  I chose to use Peet's Italian Espresso roast (which was amazing) and Guittard semisweet chocolate.  Go Guittard!  

Oh!  And David stepped up and saved the day, because after the dough was ready to be cut and it was midnight or something and the kids were in bed and we couldn't go out, I realized that I didn't have a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  I was determined to have my cookies heart-shaped and was about to whip out my paring knife and carve the hearts out by hand, when David suggested that I look in Elliott's playdough accessories...  Thanks be to Sue, who bought him like a JILLION little shapes, (whom I previously had secretly cursed for giving him all of those dang shapes that I have to pick up every time) for lo and behold, there was a heart-shaped
cutter.  I washed it of course...  and gave Dave a big kiss (well, actually, I'm not sure that I did, but I should have).

Seriously, though, if you get in the baking mood soon, you need to make these...

  Photo by David Escalante

P.S.  We forgot to take photos of the finished product after they were baked and dipped halfway in chocolate, so you'll either have to imagine them or make them yourself!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Post office... we come. Here's a look at our finished project.

Enjoying another day of sunshine...

We're loving the nice weather we've been having, lately. Although, I
fear it is just teasing us and will soon be cold again.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Look out! A little love, coming your way!

I love Valentine's Day!  I know, I know... "Just another day for the retailers to exploit us." "You don't need a special day to love someone or be loved."  or the worst, "I just broke up with somebody."

Well, put all of that aside and celebrate...  Here is why I have always loved Valentine's Day.

1.  I was born a few hours after Valentine's Day and my parents always made me feel like this was my special day and told me that I was their Valentine's Day gift.

2.  For me, it has always been about my family.  I love a day to make them heart shaped cards and notes and tell them I love them.

3.  I love celebrating stuff!

To be honest with you, Valentine's Day, the normal way, makes me feel sick!  Ugh!  I can't stand the mushy-gushy way to celebrate, where it is all ultra-romantic and red roses and weird boxes of chocolate...  Its too forced and awkward and there's just too much hype and weirdness. Please, none of that for me, thank you!  I would rather just express a normal love for my friends and family in a normal, rational manner.

V-Day should be fun and happy and pleasant and inclusive of everyone.  It should not be celebrated alone by separate couples.  I look forward to having a happy day with my kids and husband.  I will give my hubby a note and some chocolate (because he likes chocolate) and I will give Elliott a balloon and maybe some candy.  I will not exclude my kids, it is about them, too.   We will also include our friends...

Here's a look at what Elliott and I have been working on for those we love...
What you'll need:
1) an artist (like Elliott)
2) some card stock or other such thick paper
3) some finger paints
4) a marker
5) scissors
6) a lot of soap and water for clean up

Cut out hearts. (or when Elliott was little, I would let him paint a whole page and then cut out the hearts from the already painted page)

Fingerpaint hearts.

Inscribe hearts with the saying of your choice.

Address the backs.

Attach to a cellophane bag with pink and white m&m's or individually wrapped Ghirardelli squares.  (or fruit snacks, depending on the age)  Or just leave separate.

Get up, Get out.

It is a beautiful day today in Santa Rosa!  

I sent Elliott outside into the backyard all bundled up and ready to go.  A few minutes later when I looked out of the glass doors into the backyard, what did I find?  I found my three-year-old boy romping around the backyard in his bare feet, sloshing a bucket full of dirty, filthy rain water--collected from his little pool--back and forth from the deck to the yard.  "Elliott!  What did you do with your rain boots?"  I cried.  (Since it has been raining non-stop for the past week and everything has been muddy and wet and cold.)

"I got hot!" he replied.

"Hot?"  I repeated dumbly.  But when I stepped outside, to my amazement, it was indeed very warm.  Praise the Lord and glory be!  It was beautiful!  So, out we all went and played outside and rode bikes and basked in this sunny gift...  And so should you--get going!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Quick Carrot Nut Bread

Hey everyone, I thought I would leave you with this awesome recipe I adapted from the 1975 version of The Joy of Cooking.   I love making this bread for Elliott and me to snack on throughout the week or to have for dessert after dinner with coffee.  Yummy, a bit sweet, and still pretty darn healthy...  Oh, and I love the texture you get from the shredded carrots and ground nuts.  And the applesauce makes it kind of springy and moist.

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together: (dump in bowl and wisk)
1 cup white whole wheat flour*
1/2 cup white flour (could probably just use whole wheat here, too)
1  1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon 

3/4 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend in with a few swift strokes:
1  1/2 cups grated carrots** (about 2 or 3 carrots)
1 1/2 cups ground pecans**  (not chopped, you want them pretty small)

Bake in a greased pan about 1 hr. (I think this is for a bread pan)  I use a smaller baking dish type thing (8 by 9 maybe) and it takes about 20-40 min. I think.  Just keep your eye on it.  Cool in the pan 10 min., then turn out onto a rack for further cooling.

*I love King Arthur's white whole wheat flour, its not too "wheat texture-y."
**The shredder attachment for the kitchenaid mixer is excellent for this.  

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Verse of The Day

Psalm 73:22-26

"So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.  Nevertheless I am continually with thee:  thou hast holden me by my right hand.  Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.  Whom have I in heaven but thee?  and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.  My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."