Monday, March 31, 2014

Parking by Number

I've been doing a lot of pinning lately, and not a lot of doing. But then I saw a really simple little game for Colter, and actually got around to make it in less than 24 hours.

It's a little numbered parking lot, made out of a box lid. First I cut a little driveway in the end. Then simply draw lines for parking spots and number them with a Sharpie, and number the cars. I put the numbers on painters' tape and stuck them to the cars for easy removal. Then drive and park and practice numbers!

Colter was pretty pleased with it, and I found him going back to it himself throughout the day, so that's a real win.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Digging with Daddy

After a few summers of pulling weeds and grass out around the sandbox, Keith decided it was time to dig out the area again and put some weed barrier down. The sandbox also needed to be refilled since, despite many, many reminders, the sand does not all stay in the sandbox during play. So, after a trip to the hardware store for more sand, the boys got down to digging.

Now the turtle is nice and snug and full, just waiting on some warmer weather for more playing!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Not much of note has been happening around here lately, except that these boys keep growing right before my eyes.

Watching a little Curious George together (Elliott doesn't actually get to watch tv but sometimes Colter likes to sit together for a couple minutes)...

Reading with Daddy...

Bath time! Why Colter was so intent on Elliott licking the spoon, I don't know.

Weekly photo. Guess who can't stand to not be the star?

Elliott has a new toy? Big brother must do thorough inspection and rigorous durability testing first.

One evening Elliott would not eat for Keith or I. Colter said, "I can feed him." And he did. Elliott ate every last bite too.

Ah, the concentration tongue. Warms my heart to see it.

I'd like to say he was pretending to be Simba on Pride Rock. Really, he's just being goofy.

These two boys – it's hard to imagine what shenanigans they'll be up to in another year.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


File this under "stop putting off projects that really won't take that long." A month or so ago, we decided to put up the blinds in the laundry room. We bought them before Elliott was born but never mind that point. So we got started, only to discover that we didn't like the hanging hardware that came with the blinds. Actually, we might have resigned ourselves to so-so hardware if one of the hooks hadn't broken off when we went to install the second of the five blinds.

So, with a broken hook in hand, we left the one blind up and put the rest back in the box until we could get more hooks. Eventually, Keith made a run to the hardware store and picked up a couple packs of small white cup hooks, which look a lot better and blend into the trim nicely instead of the long, brassy hooks that came with the blinds. Then it only took us a couple more weeks to get back to hanging the blinds, a job which took all of about half an hour and we should not have procrastinated on.

The photos aren't great, but we are really happy with how they look. They work nicely with the red walls and add a ton of texture, without darkening up the room much at all. Though we will probably leave them in the middle position like they are in the photos most of the time, it's nice to be able to put them down if the sun is really beating on the room back there, which it does in the summer. The last thing we need to do is add some cord hangers to wrap the cords around so they are out of reach of little hands. Right now, they are just tucked up in-between the slats. The blinds came with that hardware but again, it is really brassy so we might spray paint them white before putting them up. You know, in another six months or so...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wee Lil Green Man

Just by dumb luck (or early morning autopilot) Colter was dressed in green today, so Happy St. Patrick's Day!

As for the wee littlest man, he's napping and not dressed in green, so I guess he missed his chance for a blog appearance.

But how about a St. Patty's flashback while we're at it?

Seriously, where has the time gone?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

For the Birds

Sometimes I have ideas for projects that I think Colter will be really into working on with me. I get very excited, and pull out everything we need to create something, only to get a lukewarm reaction from the little man. Pinecone bird feeders were something I thought he would love, but his attention span was pretty short. And, in typical two-year-old fashion, he had no interest in following my instructions and insisted on doing it his way.

It's a pretty simple process to make these little bird feeders. First, tie a piece of string or yarn to the pinecone with a loop for hanging. Then spread with peanut butter, and simply roll in peanut butter.

Colter insisted on grabbing handfuls of birdseed and dumping them over the pinecones, which was less effective but possibly more fun.

Also, we had to have a little chat about not licking the peanut butter of his fingers after it was on the pinecones and in the birdseed.

At any rate, they made a nice little hands-on gift for his great-grammy's birthday and I'm told the birds loved them.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Supper Splurge

Before my mom came to visit a few weeks ago, I was flipping through my recipe box, trying to plan some meals for while she was here. I came across a recipe I had cut out more than a year ago and decided to try it the evening Keith had his class. It was a hit and since I had the ingredients on hand, I made it again a couple of nights later for Keith and I.

Prosciutto and Cheese Tartine
from Cooking Light, April 2012 (with a couple little changes)

1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. or 1 package dry yeast
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
5/8 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cooking spray
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion
2 cups arugula
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 slices (about 2 oz.) very thinly sliced prosciutto
1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded

1. Preheat oven to 450˚.

2. Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a medium bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes or until bubbly. Stir 4 teaspoons olive oil into yeast mixture. Add flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (dough will be soft and tacky).

3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

4. Drizzle 2 teaspoons  oil into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Press dough into dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place, 30 minutes or until puffy; sprinkle dough with 1/4 teaspoon salt, nuts, and onion. Bake at 450˚ for 18 minutes or until golden.

5. Place arugula in a bowl; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice. Toss. Turn bread out on to a work surface. Slice bread into 4 rectangles (7 x 2 3/4"); top with prosciutto, 1/2 cup arugula mixture; sprinkle with salt and top with cheese.

The first night, my mom and I each ate half for supper. When I made it for Keith, we had some soup and each had one piece of the bread, saving the rest for the next day. On its own, it makes for a nice, light meal but works really well with soup too. I might even make just the bread more often to accompany some of our favorite soups. 

The prosciutto can get a little pricey, but I found it prepackaged and on sale. I opted to use Parmesan rather than the Parmigiano-Reggiano the original recipe called for since it was $4 a wedge versus $8. As I was buying the arugula, cheese and prosciutto, I thought it seemed expensive but since we got two rounds out of everything, it wasn't so bad.  We used the rest of the arugula in place of lettuce in sandwiches and taco salads, and have been enjoying fresh Parmesan on pasta. Not much has a chance to go to waste around here!
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