My exciting life with a house full of boys

Friday, February 26, 2010

Is Fast Food Really Fast?

Again, I hate to cook. It takes to much time to fix, it's not that great, and then there's a mess to clean up. So unrewarding. I admit I got myself and my family in a teribble habit of eating out or bringing in. I'm sure this is one reason for our bellies spilling over our waist bands. However, we have been doing much much better over the past year abought eating at home.

With so many capable people in our household we have divided up the "make dinner chore". Bret has Sunday, Monday - Ashley, Tuesday - Cindy, Wednesday - grabits (basically leftovers - you better grabit before it's gone), Thursday - Boys, Friday - Whoever feels like it, Saturday - you better take me out.

Last Thursday, TJ didn't feel like cooking so he ordered pizza. He did save himself the delivery charge and the cost of the tip by picking it up himself. When he returned home he said, "It took me three hours to make dinner tonight!" I thought he was being sarcastic since it took him no more than five minutes to pick up what he had phone in. Then he explained that he had to work three hours just to pay for the pizza and wings.

I guess that a fast dinner isn't really fast after all. I hadn't thought of it that way before. Maybe I'm slow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National Pancake Day

Who knew that I would have my third child on such a fabulous holiday?

Happy Birthday SPENGER!
(no, that is not a typo)

I thought I would share my favorite pancake recipe. For those of you that know me you know that I hate to cook and I am not very good at it. The last is most likely the reason for the first. But Captain Dirt found a recipe that I love and I can actually make. It's not as easy as the "just add water" but if I can do it.....

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, seperated
2 T. vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
(make your own using 1 T. vinegar and enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes)
1 T. + 1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch cream of tartar
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of the dry inredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix together until flour is just incorporated.

In a small bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter just until incorporated. Let sit for 15 minutes, then gently fold in the blueberries.

Scoop out 1/3 cup of the batter onto pan or preheated griddle. Cook as usuall. Makes about 9 pancakes

My favorite gadgets for this recipe: A cuisinart hand mixer and a $5 zester

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Don't Believe In Coincidences

Each morning and night when I say my personal prayers, I ask the Lord that I might be able to be of service for him that day. Some may see events as simply circumstances. I see them as answers, tender mercies if you will.
I decided to take my twins and their cousins to play in the snow. My teenagers and their friends were going as well but they left 2 hours before I was ready. Those that know me know that I never meet my time goal. We figured we would try to meet up but there was no planned destination, just looking for a good hill and a safe place to pull over. As I was driving the mountain road, I noticed my suburban parked tight against the side of the road. Go figure, I found my boys. There was also a car parked on the opposite side. Hmm. Must be a good spot. I found a place where I could U-turn and drove back. This is when I noticed the driver of the parked car. He had been tucked behind it digging but as he stood I saw that it was my neighbor from 5 houses down. I pulled over and got out. With a big smile, he said, "Hi Cindy". He was dreadfully stuck in the snow bank and digging out with his bare hands as his kids were patiently waiting to play. He too had been looking for a fun place to play with his kids and recognized my parked car and pulled over. He was unaware that my 3 big boys were off over the hill playing. I offered him a shovel and yelled for my boys. They came and with lots of umph and help from another group, we were able to dig, push, pull and lift him out. Had I arrived earlier on time with my big boys, my neighbor wouldn't have know that we were right there over the hill in easy yelling distance. Strong bodies able to help. He wouldn't have known that I had shovels in the back of my truck.

It ended up being a fun afternoon and I was grateful that I was able to help someone who, I wouldn't be surprised, was throwing out a few prayers as well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mine Cut Their Own

Maybe I was lucky. Maybe normal. But out of my six boys I only had two cut their own hair. Danny decided to do it when he was 6. Six. I figured at that age he new better but apparently he didn't want bangs. A buzz later and he looked fine. Taylor was a little more age appropriate at two and a half. Another short boys cut from the barber and viola all better.

Yesterday we found a disaster in the bathroom . A container of "eyebrow" wax had flipped over and spilled all over the bottom of the cabinet. This is not an easy mess to clean up. But after a lot of heating, scraping and wiping up the sticky goo, it was clean. This gave me the much needed opportunity to sort out this particular cabinet. I had already been using small baskets to organize so I asked Taylor to print out a couple of labels to make it more manageable. (Like that will really work - Not - but it looks nice). I needed to cut down one of the labels so rather than get up from my awkward position I yelled down the hall for someone to bring me the scissors.

Ellie walked slowly down the hallway to bring them to me. I was in the middle of rearranging so I didn't look up from my "face in the cabinet" position. Then I heard it. That dreadful snip. She had cut something. And then it happened. Hair fell down into my crisscrossed legs. My hair. Not her hair. Mine. I let out a slight squeal. Danny and Ashley quickly came down. "Oh no! Did she cut her hair?!" Still to afraid to look in the mirror, I screeched, " No! She cut mine!" "Oh, okay. We thought she cut hers. It's okay Mom, you can't tell. Come on Ellie, let's leave Nana alone." I got up and looked in the mirror, ran my fingers through my hair that I have been trying to grow out for a year and gathered up all the strays lying about. Fortunately I couldn't find the snip. I did get my hair trimmed the next day. My hairdressers response - "Oh yeah. (giggle giggle) I see it. Don't worry. I can blend it."

Whew. This could have been bad.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Our Family Cake Boss

The twins turned 8 this week. Wow! Where does the time go? They are huge fans are many of the Food Network cooking shows - primarily ones that show the extreme cakes. Several weeks ago Dallin presented his dad with a drawing. "This is what we want our cake to be".

Bret pondered on this for a while. The night before their party, the baking began. He's not an organized, neat cook. But he is a good cook. And he likes to challenge himself and try new things. This is his second cake. (His first one, believe it or not, was a three tiered red velvet fondant wedding cake for DAsh.) I think he did a pretty good job. Everything but the cars and flags were edible and we've been snacking on the grand stands now for three days.

Unfortunately the pictures don't do it justice. It was much larger than it appears. A side note - After the party the twins were having a great time eating the "dirt"(graham crackers and oreo's). Their Uncle Geoff came over later in the afternoon and scooped up a bit of the "dirt" to eat. Just as I was saying "NO DON'T EAT THAT!" It was to late and he dropped it in his mouth. You see, the boys way of eating it was to stick out their tongue and drag it through the dirt. You know, like a wet sticky finger in a sugar bowl. Sorry Geoff.