Monday, February 28, 2011

Cuteness Abounds

Kirk has discovered the key to filming Trip- his iPhone 4. It has a camera in the front that allows you to film yourself and see yourself on the screen at the same time. Trip was so excited to see himself that he talked on and on and made lots of funny faces.

More proof that he loves the word "no"...

And one of his favorite pastimes, animal sounds...

Saturday, February 26, 2011


"No" has definitely become one of Trip's favorite words. He has a book called "Where Is Spot?" that has helped him learn that word. The mother dog is looking all over the house for her puppy. Each time she opens a closet, the piano, a box, etc. another animal is inside and says "No!" Spot is not here. I have been trying to capture Trip reading this book for some time now, and was finally able to get footage of Kelly reading it to him. Sorry that it's so dark, but if Trip sees me filming him, it's all over.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sick and Snow

We spent the beginning of last week like this...

Trip was sick and spent several days with a fever. After being quite sick three times since the new year and acting like he had an ear infection this time, we finally had to take him to the doctor and get him some antibiotics. He is so much better now and is finally back to his old happy self.

We also spent last week getting about a foot of snow. This is the view I enjoyed Wednesday from the Spanish classroom at the high school.

With all of this snow, some amazing icicles have formed all over town. We got some impressive ones outside of Trip's window.

The weather has stayed very cold this week and the snow is still around, but the roads are now clear, which we definitely appreciate.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meal Planning

I think that meal planning is a challenge that most families face. With seven to eight people to feed on a daily basis and several people doing the shopping, I have really had to improve my meal planning skills. For a long time, Kirk and I would mean to make a plan for what we would eat each week, but didn't usually get it done. Now that we've had three to four housemates and I do most of the cooking, I have to have a plan.

I've been making myself a one-page calendar of three to four weeks at a time that I can keep on the fridge. It allows me to look forward at what's coming up and remember what I've made recently. I usually only plan a week or less at a time, but try to have something in mind at least a day or two in advance. Being on a budget, I also try to take into account what is on sale at Safeway each week.

To help myself in the inspiration department (which I think is one of the biggest challenges in planning ahead), I have a list of meals that we enjoy and a list of recipes I want to try. The last couple of days I have also been going through my cookbooks. Like many people, I have a couple of binders of recipes that I've cut out of magazines, found online, been given by friends, or just jotted down. Unfortunately I haven't done such a great job recently (okay, in the last couple years, really) of actually getting the clippings, scraps of paper, and recipe cards IN the binders. I decided it was time to look through what I already had and get rid of anything that I've had forever and have never made, or probably won't ever make. Next, I re-organized everything and added the many recipes that had accumulated outside the binders.

Much better!

I also decided to make a couple of quick-reference pages with the recipes that I make the most often and post them on the inside of some kitchen cabinets. That way, when I want to make waffles, cookies, brownies, pizza dough, Aunt Lois' cheese crackers, or Grandma Joy's chocolate-cherry cake, all I have to do is open up the cabinet. With very little counter space, it helps not to have to open a cookbook every time.

I still have a lot to learn, but this has been a good journey for me. As Trip gets older, life is only going to get more hectic, and family meals will be even more important, so meal planning is a good habit to develop now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Family Fun Weekend

A couple of weekends ago, we had some very special visitors. My cousin David, his wife Andrea, and their four kids drove from Portland to spend a couple of days with us. Trip loved having cousins to play with and we were blessed with cool but sunny weather.

On Friday, we went for a walk, watched a movie, played with Trip's toys inside, and let the kids rest.

Joshua, James, and Trip enjoyed playing outside and had lots of fun with the broken-down mower in our side yard.

On Saturday, Kirk took our guests coyote hunting while Trip took a nap and I got ready for dinner. We had pizza that evening. The boys each got a section of crust to fill with the toppings of their choice. They thought it was really fun to make their own pizza and ate almost all of it.

They were very proud of their creations!

They really liked Erik too and found a good perch to watch some hunting.

Trip enjoyed Anna as well as the boys. He brought her toys several times and like to watch her.

Trip and Michael had fun together. Michael gave Trip lots of hugs. (Sorry for the poor picture quality- these two were on the move non-stop!)

Michael wanted me to take a picture of him by himself. :)

Thanks, Culvers for making the long drive to see us. We loved having you here and look forward to our next visit!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sitting Tall

Trip has decided that he should sit in the dining room chairs. He can climb up on them, which is sort of scary. A couple of days ago he didn't want to sit in his seat to eat lunch, but rather in a big chair. He was quite proud of himself.

At the same time, we have also had the Bumbo out lately when other little ones are here, and Trip sits in it quite often.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tunnel Fun

Trip's friend Cayden spent the day with us on Tuesday. The boys had fun together and it was a good opportunity for Trip to work on sharing his toys. We got the tunnel out, played peekaboo, and Trip enjoyed crawling through it.

Action shot! I love the expression on Cayden's face. It's so typical of him.

Dancing Boy

A few nights ago, we were watching some westerns. True Grit had just finished and El Dorado was starting. Trip was very taken with the intro music and started to dance. He then put two fingers up and was giving us the peace sign. It was hilarious and as you will see from the video, I was laughing too hard to get a steady shot. Of course, we missed filming the best dancing, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Bowl!

I was very excited about the Super Bowl this year since the Packers were playing. Last time they made it to the championship, we were still in Belgium and had to get up in the middle of the night to watch it (which adds some extra excitement as well). We had a small crowd this year, which was a change for us. It was nice for me though, because I actually got to sit down and watch the game.

Trip enjoyed playing with my Cheesehead. He kept saying "Cheese!"

He had fun playing peekaboo with it.

Trip enjoyed the food as well. We had jalapeno popper dip, cheesy corn bites, spinach dip and veggies, chicken strips and wings, fries, Rice Krispie treats, and cookies.

Best of all, the Packers won!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Is Trip Supposed to Have That?

I make pizza almost every Sunday after church. Trip usually has some when he gets up from his nap, but last Sunday he didn't want any. A little while later, I was working on something and heard, "Is Trip supposed to have that?" I looked into the living room to find that Trip had somehow reached a whole piece of pizza from the table and walked into the living room to eat it. He was quite pleased with himself and got right to devouring it. He even made it through about three quarters of it before sharing with the very eager dogs. His face, hands, and fleece were a mess, but he managed to keep the carpet clean.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Staying Warm

The dogs have been doing their best to stay warm this winter. They love to snuggle with anything soft and especially love that the heater is next to their pillow. The green pillow used to be Habe's, but since the heater has been next to it, Jale has claimed it as well.