Monday, January 31, 2011

Days 4,5,6,7

Realistically, I know I won't be touching my computer between Tuesday through Saturday morning.  There just isn't any time.  So I'm going to post the rest of the week so I don't forget later.

day 4. a photo of the last place you went on vacation
 Pompano Beach, FL - this year, we have played in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.  Awesome ;)
day 5. a photo of you - this is the most recent from last week.

 day 6. a photo that makes you laugh - What can I say? We're studs

 day 7. a photo of someone you love - I had a very hard time choosing, so I cheated.  I love all these guys so much! I also like that I'm the only one not looking at the camera. ...always messing up pictures.... lol

Day 3

day 3. a photo that makes you happy

 my precious little squishy, I love her so!  (Elisabeth is helping me right now, and she keeps hollering out, "BABY!!")

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 2

Day 2: A picture of me from a year ago.  This is close as it's going to get since it's from 1.31.10  I'm shocked at how much Ellie has grown! WOW!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I know every mother/father/aunt/uncle/grandparent/etc. are smitten with their little ones.  I'm no exception.  I think she's just the bees knees.  Look at how cute she is:

 What's with my child wearing a hat you ask?? Cause normally hats+Ellie=bad news for everyone.  Well, she realized it had "poop" on it, so she had to have winnie the poop with her. :)

 Our future attorney (not shown- she's wearing papa's shoes)

 Look at my little mama!!! She put her little frog named "Rrrrrriiiiiiiii" aka ribbit, and her bunny aka unnnnyy! to bed, lied down next to them and held froggy's hand!!! I was in love!

 Giving froggy another kiss goodnight.  She'd kiss them both, lay them down, pat them gently and say, "Night, night." - go off for a bit, lay down next to them and then repeat. 

Admiring her love of frog! <3 Hy heart is full :)

Day 1

day 1. your facebook profile photo

me and my lovey - can't deny, we're pretty cool.  We were at Seussville (Universal Studios - Orlando) in this picture.  I need some more of that sunshine right about now.


I've seen this a couple of times, and thought it would be fun to do.  I know I probably won't get to post every day, but I'll try to keep up and post a couple pictures on the days I don't get on here.

day 1. your facebook profile photo
day 2. a photo of yourself a year ago
day 3. a photo that makes you happy
day 4. a photo of the last place you went on vacation
day 5. a photo of you
day 6. a photo that makes you laugh
day 7. a photo of someone you love
day 8. a photo of your favorite band/musician
day 9. a photo of your family
day 10. a photo of you as a baby
day 11. a photo of your favorite film(s)
day 12. a photo of you
day 13. a photo of your best friend(s)
day 14. a photo of one of your favorite family members
day 15. a photo of you and someone you love
day 16. a photo of you at the last party you went to
day 17. a drunk photo of you
day 18. a photo of one of your classes
day 19. a photo of you on a school trip
day 20. a photo of something you enjoy doing
day 21. a photo of you standing up
day 22. a photo of your town
day 23. a photo of your friend as a baby
day 24. a photo of you that your hair looks nice in
day 25. a photo of a night you loved
day 26. a photo of your favorite weekend
day 27. a photo of last summer
day 28. a photo of what you ate today
day 29. a photo of someone you find attractive
day 30. a photo of you when you were happy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

OK, NOW for the pictures

 Look at them!!!!!! It only took 19 months, but it was worth it!

 Bubbles! She screamed when I peeled her away. Next time, we'll be bringing a change of clothes, and going to this room LAST

 Open, shut them, open, shut them!

 Running around in the safari room

 Slides! We even went down the giant slide that's taller than a house!

 She LOVES seeing planes and birds in the air, and we always get her OOOO face from it!

 Loving the swings!

 She's a good chess player.

 Choo Choo!!

Our treat on the way home: Burgerville Chocolate milkshake...but really, it's a smoothie cause that has no fat, and 45% fewer calories. ...that means it's healthy :)

Gilbert House

We went to the Gilbert House on Saturday (A.C. Gilbert invented the erector set). I didn't think Elisabeth was old enough to appreciate anything until about now, and even now, she still has several years to grow into some of the exhibits there.  I won't lie, I was really excited to go not just for her, but for myself too.  I love playing with the bubbles, and light room, the slides, everything!  I've only been there once before when I was in Grad school.  Our professors took us there to give us an idea of a place to take kids on field trips.  I'm glad they did because I had never heard of it til then.  We had a really good time, and I'm sure Elisabeth would have stayed longer if they weren't closing.  I think we're going to buy an annual pass so we can go during the summer.  It also includes OMSI as well as a few other museums.  I could go to OMSI  (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) and Gilbert House every week if I wanted!!! Hot diggity!!

The other great thing this weekend?? Elliecakes's hair was long enough to put in piggy tails! She screamed while I put them in, but they stayed!!!! :D  I'm pretty excited for getting to do her hair more often!

......Pictures are going to have to wait. I'm apparently out of space...again.... this is lame. I just deleted a years worth of scrapbook pages, shouldn't have have been enough? :(

Friday, January 14, 2011

Where have I been?!

Where have I been you guys?! I realized I hadn't posted in almost 2 weeks.  That's not like me at all.  I've become obsessed with Frontierville.  To the point that I need to stop making it a priority, which is hard for me to do.  I don't let go of things easily....especially games I like playing.  When Elisabeth was born, I seriously had a sad few days when I realized that The Sims just wasn't a realistic game I could play anymore (I feel you have to play for a couple straight hours for it to be any good).

So what else? I've decided I need to do a better job of spending more time at the gym.  Since I broke down and rejoined after Thanksgiving, I needed to make sure I used it, so I've been doing M-F for 1-1.5 hours a night.  This pretty much takes up my night.  We put Elisabeth to bed, I go to the gym, shower, check my email (I don't even delete anything until Saturday, so it's ridiculous), play a little frontierville, read a few pages and pass out.  I'm pooped.

I also realized that my amount of pictures has significantly decreased.  It's just too dark and rainy outside for us to play, and I feel like our life is so set in a routine, it's boring for the pictures to pretty much be the same. Oh well. :)

I also learned that our school district is going to be short 2-4 million dollars this next year.  If they're short 4 million dollars, there's no way they can really even open the doors...You can't run a school district on 44 teachers. It just won't work.  So what does this mean?  The 2 things they've been discussing is mass layoffs and/or going to a 4 day week.  This means that I'm either going to (maybe) lose my job, or get a 20% cut in pay.  If it's a pay cut, fine. I can handle that.  I will be upset if I get the boot though...especially if I'm jerked around like the last time I got "the slip".  So needless to say, this week has been a bit crummy.  I'm glad it's over.  I'm glad for a 3 day weekend.

How's work?  Work is hard.  Some days I don't know why I'm even working.  The kids this year are rivaling my first year teaching, and I even have more tricks up my in a sense, they might be worse!  It's a good thing the few and far between kids make it worth it.  The good years make it worth it...I'm at 50% right now. hahaha I'm excited for June. :)

Drew is still kickin it.  He's working hard, and figuring out how to get his firm to go paperless.  He cleans the kitchen and opens drapes so that when I get home it isn't dark and dreary.

Elisabeth is working on toilet training.  She's very interested in using her cute little potty chair, and gets the concept well.  She likes going and feels very proud of herself when she's successful.  She just has a difficult time remembering that's what she wants to do!  We aren't forcing it on her, but rather letting her lead the way.  She's also getting down several words daily.  She's been putting 2 word sentences together the last week too.  It's amazing how quickly she's growing up.  Pretty soon I'll be telling her to be quiet and go to her room! lol

Monday, January 3, 2011

Butterbeer Attempt #3

I have a little bit of an OCD problem.  As long as it's obtainable, I don't seem to let down on something until I've mastered it. i.e. Masters in Teaching (haha), I go the job I wanted, I didn't have a kid til our meticulous plan was laid out (got lucky and she was born exactly when I wanted ;) ), knitting, pottery, etc., etc.  I set out to be a good runner, but my ITBS has kept my hopes of that down in the dirt.  I do persevere through it though in hopes that someday I'll be able to run for more than 20 minutes without severely upsetting my leggins.

So anyway, back to OCD.  The butterbeer we had in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was phenomenal. It was sweet, it was salty, it was everything Harry Potter.  We tried it cold, and we tried it frozen.  I liked the frozen more, but I can't replicate those tiny little ice pellets throughout like they did, so I have been on a quest to at least make the cold kind (the frozen is exactly the same, just more like a Slurpee).

I scoured the internet for some ideas, and today I may have hit upon what may be the closest to it.

Now in doing this, I almost feel like the true flavor is vanishing quickly out of memory, and so I'm afraid the longer I take to figure this out, I'm just going to lose it completely and have no idea what flavor I'm trying to get anymore....I have 2 other options to try, but I really do think this is the closest it's going to get.

OK- what I did was I combined recipes, and added my own little twist at the end.

The first recipe, I got from Chica and Jo.  They are amazing.  They created their very own butterbeer mugs!  Incredible!!!  They also stressed the importance of having Vanilla Butter and Nut flavoring to get the core flavoring correct. 

So I tried their recipe out, and while it was good- I know for a fact that something is missing.  The butterbeer at the WWHP was thicker, there was more consistency to it than just cream soda with some butternut flavoring.  The whipped topping also had flavor to it more so than just sugar.  There was also a slight saltiness to the drink that was missing completely.

The second recipe I found was strangely from Fox News.  I felt they were way wack because they suggested adding in apple cider vinegar to the mixture.  Crazy, right?  Well, not really I found out.  It gave the drink a certain "kick" that definitely added to the seems vital now.  The problem with their mixture was that they used rum extract.  I guess maybe I'm not a rum person to begin with cause opening up the container made me ill a little.  I wanted to be exact in what I did though because that vinegar really did help, so maybe this rum extract was the magic key.

It wasn't.  The consistency, and everything else seemed to be right on, but that extract was messing it up.  I tried making a trial with just the base without the rum extract, and it too, was missing.

So that leads me to trial number 3, and 3.1.  I decided that the consistency of fox news, and the flavoring of chica and jo needed to fuse.

I made the Fox recipe, but with the Vanilla Butter and Nut flavoring.  Drew has been a wonderful sport and taste tester.  He told me today, "I like when you get in these funky cooking/baking moods, cause then I get to taste everything."  So cute. :)  So anyway, he was saying that it was still missing something, like it needed more butter flavoring to it.

Not a problem! Me being that crazy person that wants to be good at everything HAD butter extract! (I did have to go up into the attic to get out my cake decorating stuff to grab the bottle.... :) ) - so I drop in a few drops into a new cup, swirl it around with the other stuff and presto!  I think it did the trick!

So here is the new and improved (thanks to contributors mentioned above!) Butterbeer Recipe!

(I split everything in half cause there was no way I needed this much, but this is the typical recipe that serves 4)

1 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp water
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 heavy cream (1/4c for the mixture, 1/2c for whipped cream)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Butter and Nut extract
1/2tsp butter extract
4 - 12oz bottles of cream soda

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring continuously.  Keep stirring until a candy thermometer reads 240F.

Once done, stir in butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4c cream.  Set it aside to cool at room temperature. (and if you're me, this means put it in the freezer for 5 minutes :) ) - but don't forget about it, cause you know what butter does when it's cold!

Once it's cooled, stir in the extract.

While that is cooling, beat your cream til it's almost whipped, but not completely.  Take 2Tbsp of the brown sugar mixture and mix it in...this took me about 2 minutes.

To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses - about 1/4c each glass.  Add 1/4 cup of the cream soda to each glass and stir to combine. (this makes a funky frothy stuff, but if I just push it down with the spoon, it'll calm down a bit---it reminds me of the freaky froth you get when you make root beer floats).  Fill each glass nearly to the top with the rest of the cream soda, then spoon the whipped cream over each of them.

*As I was finishing this up and making myself ill tasting it all, I feel as though *maybe* they don't use straight cream soda.  OR maybe I'm just not liking cream soda as much as I thought I's almost like I need to have rootbeer infused with vanilla ice cream as my base, but I can't do that, cause it needs the bubbles.

So I was playing with the idea that maybe it would do better as half cream soda, half seltzer water? I'm just not sure.  Drew thinks it's perfect and seems to finish off his drink every time (2 times. lol)- but I can't get more than maybe 1/4 cup down before it's just too much.

My next step(s)? - I think I would like to try the absurd idea of just putting butterscotch syrup in cream soda.  I don't think it'll work, but it's easy and worth a try.  Other's have suggested using melted butterscotch chips with a few other things...I'll try that too, though I don't think it'll work..there's no way those people could have a vat of butterscotch chips in their liquid without having a huge hunk of fat at the bottom.  But it's worth a try.  I may also try to lessen the amount of cream soda and replace with just carbonated water to see if that helps the sweetness factor.  

 I know this is the same pic I had a few days ago, but the ones I made today were a bit messy since I was going fast. These at least, aren't AS messy :)  They looked the same in color, too.

 And since I can't end any posts without personal stuff, here's more! This was a really pretty sunrise a few days ago.  The sky was lighter than that, but that's what cameras do sometimes.  One thing I like about where we live is that we can see the sunrise every morning.
 We had a pudding paint day.  I colored vanilla pudding blue so Ellie could paint with it.  You can see where it went instead.
 See those marks on the paper? They're from me.  She barely did anything with the paper....little miss, I color on everything wanted nothing to do with coloring.  I didn't even tell her it was edible.  And every single time that paint brush went in her mouth, she'd say, "Mmmmmm!" (guess that's what happens when you come back from vacation and all candies have been put away, and are replaced with fruit!)