No Harm Done

Monday, July 30, 2007

John Piper is Bad!

This made me laugh!

I promise I'll blog more soon. Last week I spent most of my time unable to walk and schooling from the couch. By Friday, I could bend my knees enough to walk up and down stairs, so now I'm playing catch-up on house-cleaning.

Grandma, you'll have to wait until Tuesday for more photos. Sorry!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Swing Vote

Another unintended benefit: The odds of a presidential sex scandal involving Mr. Kucinich are probably pretty small.

Good Grief!

It's only the second day of school, and I'm already getting excuse letters!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oooooooh! Crispy!

I am a dork.

Completely, undeniably dorkish.

Today is Sunday, and I am not at church. Yet, I am not sick. None of the children are sick. In fact they are all at church without me. And do you know why?

Because of baseball.

Braden's team played in a tournament this weekend. They played 5 games in two days. Yesterday was spent watching 4 games played nearly back to back. M. and I took turns watching the littles play at the playground and watching Braden's game.

The day was sunny, but also kind of overcast and breezy, so I didn't think about sunscreen until it was too late. You'd think I would have known better, having grown up in Idaho's desert. Sunshine=sunscreen.

Just before the last game, M. said, "You're looking sort of pink. Go watch the littles at the park. You can still see the game from under that tree, but get into the shade!" I thought he was overreacting then, but I shudder to think what I would be feeling like had I watched that last game from the stands.

I am terribly, horribly sunburned.
My cheeks and nose are just a light pink. My forearms and elbows are red, but it's my legs that are the worst. They radiate heat. When I stood up this morning, I could actually *feel* the blood rushing down into them! OW! I've been hobbling around the house this morning, from bed to couch. From couch to chair. From chair to bottles of Tylenol and Solarcaine. OW!

I'm going to hobble back to bed now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pool Party!

A family in our summer Bible Study hosted a pool party at their home. The boys were excited all week, and worried it would either rain or be cold and windy. But their fears were unfounded. It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny evening.

They spent the entire evening in the pool, leaving only to eat some ice cream and then hop right back in.

Here's Braden jumping off the diving board. He's all style and grace, that one!

At some point, someone threw the bucket that held the pool toys into the pool. The kids quickly found out that if you put the bucket over someone's head, and then had 2-3 boys push down on the bucket, air was trapped in the bucket and you could breathe while underwater. This really excited them, and they spent a good 20 minutes holding their bucket-headed friends under water.

I caught Brogan examining his pruny fingers.

Then he caught me catching him examining his pruny fingers, and he got all embarrassed.

Colson is a babe magnet.

Seriously. The girls flock to him. Every time I saw him during VBS week some girl or another was carrying him, or having him sit on her lap, or hugging him. Once he asked a high school girl to call him that evening, and she did!

Look at him. What is he doing? He can be as goofy as he likes, apparently, and they won't get tired of him.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm Giving Up Trying to Understand the Weather.

We've had a couple of wierd weather experiences here this summer. Things like it raining in the backyard, but not the front, or waking up in the morning to discover everything on the deck blown over to one side except the chairs and the grill. Things like that.

Last night we were at a church activity, and as it was ending we started hearing the rumblings of a storm. There were scary storm cloud directly overhead, and lightning flashes to the north. The lightning was so close, that you couldn't really count between the flash and the thunderclap.

It was rather spectacular, because it was almost as if the sky was split in half over the church. The northern and eastern half was a wall of scary clouds. The western and southern half was sunny blue sky.

Our church parking lot was full of people standing around gawking at the lightning, pointing here and there at spectacular flashes or a particularly threatening cloud. Our family, however, was racing toward our cars and out of the parking lot. M. brought our grill to church, and driving through a thunderstorm with a tank of propane strapped to the back of his truck is NOT where he wanted to be. We high-tailed it out of there.

(We've learned that the way to tell natives here from transplants is to see what they do during storms. Transplants listen to the weather radios and hide indoors and in the basement. When the weathermen say to go indoors, we go. Natives, however, head out to the porch, the deck, or the driveway and stand around. )

When we finally arrived home, the view was just as surreal. This is the view from our front door. (I apologize for the exposure. The sun was setting and backlit all the houses.)

This was the view from the back window. That is not a blue sky. That is a scary wall of clouds full of lightning and hail.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Best Pumpkin Muffins. Ever.

After several attmpts at making pumpkin muffins that actually taste pumpkin-y, we finally have a winner!

These are delicious, easy to whip up, and will disappear from your counters almost as quickly as you can make them. (Ask me how I know.)

Here is the original recipe:

Pumpkin Muffins
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups (one can) pumpkin
3/4 cup melted butter

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and melted butter together. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to batter. Add chopped nuts if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

The first time I make a recipe, I like to follow the directions exactly. After I've tasted it, then I feel comfortable tweaking the recipe. So here's what I did when I made the second batch:

**When I first saw the amount of sugar in this recipe, my eyes popped. So with the second batch I only added 1.5 cups of sugar. I could maybe add less if I used turbinado sugar or substituted a bit of honey.

**I used one cup of all-purpose flour and one cup of whole wheat flour. The muffins weren't quite as light and fluffy, but they felt more substantial and definitely filled us up faster.

** I added about 2 T. of wheat germ for extra fiber.

I usually make a bunch of muffins and then freeze some. Sometimes, though, I'll use foil muffin cups and freeze muffin dough in them. When I want muffins, I'll pull the frozen dough-cups from the freezer, pop them in muffin tins, and bake. Hot, fresh muffins on demand!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Children's Photography 101

At some point during the year I always try to get a picture of Grandma H. with all of the grandkids. For Christmas she'll get a copy of the photo as a present.

We haven't all been together very often, so opportunities for pictures are few. Also, it's tough to get 6 children to face the camera, close their mouths, open their eyes, and smile (no-not a cheesy smile - a real smile) at the same time.

So far, this is the contender for the Christmas photo. Yes, Brogan's well on his way to sticking out his tongue, and yes, Braden's eyes are dark, shiny caverns of..... well.... darkness. (Who out there knows how to take photos of people with glasses?) STILL, despite all that, this isn't half bad.

I took about 20 shots. Most look like this:

I've found that if I take enough pictures of them being goofy, they're more willing to sit still for a good grandma-worthy shot or two.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

We'd been hearing about a BMX bike track at a park in town, but had never been there. Recently, on one of our beautiful early summer nights, we packed up the bikes and drove the the park.

Braden took off immediately. I need to learn more about the settings on my camera. In most of my photos Braden is a blur.

Brogan doesn't ride his bike well enough to ride the track yet, so he took off on foot.

He also climbed fences, rock piles, and lampposts. Monkey Boy.

M. and Colson mostly rode on the walking path around the park, but Colson wanted so badly to ride the BMX track!

So M. decided he'd try it. They made it 3 times around the loop before M.'s calves gave out.