Monday, July 30, 2007

Taking a Walk

For those that have visited our home and gone for a walk in our canyon, you well know just how steep the road is going down/up. Hence, it has been a very long time since I have made the jaunt. My Baby is about 28 pounds now, too heavy to carry, and I haven't been confident in his hiking ability and endurance level. But on Saturday, I decided it was time to test his ability. So, we headed down to where his Daddy was busy splitting firewood (with the help of his Dad's gas powered splitter!).

True to his outdoor-loving nature, he had a ball. And the best part? He walked out of the canyon completely on his own power! This house-bound Mama is looking forward to many more hikes in the canyon before summer's end!

Putting on "Daddy eyes"

Wild Huckleberries

Friday, July 27, 2007

Has Anyone Seen My Brain???

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't tell on myself, but I did something so ridiculous yesterday that I was nearly in tears laughing at myself.

First my disclaimer: it has already been properly noted that I become increasingly more absent minded and forgetful as my pregnancies progress. Okay, on with the story.

Jack was down for his nap, and I was craving a baked potato. So, I microwaved some red potatoes, cut them up, topped them with lots of melty cheddar cheese then some creamy ranch dressing- YUM! I then sat down at my computer desk to do some browsing while I munched my lunch. Realizing that my print job was stalled because I was out of paper, I stood up, set my plate full of potato down and re-filled the printer.

It was almost instantly after I sat down that I realized my placenta brain-induced blunder, as I felt moist warmth seep through the seat of my pants. Yeah. I SAT ON MY POTATOES.

My reflex was to immediatly jump back up and put my hand to my rear- it came back covered with ranch and melty cheese. OY. I was laughing so hard, it was all I could do to stay on my feet.

Fortunately, my potatoes didn't suffer too much, they just got a little flattened. My jeans were deposited in the wash machine and were clean and dry shortly after Jack woke up from his nap.

And there you have it. I have officially lost my brain. Or at least misplaced it for the next 6 months. Don't ask me to do anything important or you just might regret it.

Two Weeks of Growth

Two weeks later, our garden has grown so much that I couldn't properly photograph it from the ground. Seriously, if you are even slightly inclined to share some excess produce with us, let us know!

What's For Breakfast

This is a super easy and very yummy granola recipe that I adapted to suite my taste (I omitted sunflower seeds and raisins, and decreased the amount of syrup) from a recipe posted in the Costco Connection:

Earthbound Farm's Famous Maple Almond Granola

4 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups slivered or coarsely chopped raw almonds
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup dried cranberries

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325.

Combine first 3 ingredients. Add maple syrup and oil, and stir together until all the dry ingredients are moistened.

Spread the granola on a 12 x 17 rimmed baking sheet. Bake the granola until it begins to brown, about 25 minutes, then stir it with a spatula. Let the granola continue to bake until it is light golden brown, dry and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir the granola at least once more as it bakes, and watch it carefully during the final minutes becaue it can burn quickly.

Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack, add the cranberries, and stir to combine. Let the granola cool completely. Transfer the granola to an airtight container. Makes about 8 cups.

Mystery... Solved!

Recently, I was working in the kitchen when I heard a suspicious thump.....thump.....thump. A sound somewhat consistent with a Kid climbing the stairs- something that is NOT allowed without a Daddy or Mommy present. So I hurried over to the stairway prepared to scold the little truant. But he wasn't there. I ran up the stairs, thinking he had already made it to the top. Still no Boy. As I re-entered the kitchen, puzzled by the lack of said toddler, and wondering where in the world in our somewhat small house he could be, I saw him slowly round the corner from the front room into the dining room... wearing one enormous Daddy sized shoe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Matt recently had to re-build the waterfall into our goldfish pond due to a leak. As part of his new ingenious reconfiguration, he used some of his Twist creativity to make a new shelf on the main rock face using pieces of metal and rock in a way that makes little sense until you see it. Anyway, a wonderful bonus to this addition is that the hummingbirds love it and think he made it just for them. A few nights ago, he told me to grab my camera and join him by the pond, for he had something he wanted me to see...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Buzz Cut

I got tired of looking at the uneven haircut that I gave the Kid a few weeks ago, so, on a whim, I strapped him down with the intention of just fixing the cut. By the time I was done, he had his very first summer buzz cut. It looks crazy cute on him, but his Daddy's first words? "What happened to you? You look like you're 18!" And he really does look older with his hair so short, but he is still my baby.

Here he is enjoying his Morning Glory Muffin (see next post for the yummy recipe):

Friday, July 13, 2007

What's For Breakfast...

Oh me, oh my! I have found the most delightful muffin recipe ever! If you, like me, love the flavors of whole grains and are trying to increase your fiber intake, YOU MUST TRY THIS RECIPE.

Morning Glory Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oats (not the instant kind)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon wheat bran
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1 large egg
1 cup chopped pitted dates
3/4 cup chipped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried pineappple
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Preheat oven to 350. Place 18 muffin cup liners in muffin tin; coat liners with cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine yogurt, banana, and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in dried fruits and nuts.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with flaxseed.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.

Oh, my goodness! These are SO good. I don't care for dates, and didn't have them or the pineapple in my pantry, so I substituted dried apricots and cranberries. And in place of the walnuts I used almonds. I imagine the fruit/nut combinations could be without limit, so have fun and use your imagination. Enjoy!

Fun with CDs

Like most households today, we have accumulated a stack of used CD-Rs that we no longer need. Several months ago, I decided that they could be a fun toy for our Boy, who loves to stack things. He hadn't played with them for quite a while, so when I recently pulled them out for him, he was very excited. But a few minutes later, he was back asking for more, and all of the dozens of CDs had disappeared. Where on earth had he put them? I started with the kitchen cupboards and drawers, moved on to the couch cushions and toy basket. And where did I finally find them? In the all-too-logical place:

Yup. He "put them away", cramming them in between our DVD collection! That brought quite a laugh from me then, and later from his Daddy. Oh, the mind of a toddler!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

So Grows Our Garden

For those of you interested, here is a photo of our quickly growing garden. This year, we have beans, carrots, red potatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, yellow and green onions, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, acorn squash, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, corn, peas, sunflowers, and several volunteer mystery plants that resemble squash or zucchini and tomato plants. We are currently eating lots of fresh lettuce, baby carrots, potatoes and green onions, and there are several tiny baby zucchinis that will be edible in a day or two. If you are in the area, feel free to stop in to help us eat it all up!

Trying to Stay Cool

Now that I am almost out of the first trimester (I am 12 weeks today, and technically, each trimester is like 13 1/2 weeks), I am feeling noticeably better. Not nearly so exhausted, and for the most part, almost feeling normal. Now if only the temperatures would cool down so that I could see my ankles again, all would be well. Anyway, I think I will be able to start blogging more again now that I can go for most of the day without falling asleep!

Here are some photos of our Boy enjoying his very first popsicle (made from the juice of last years' grapes!)

Doing the Popsicle Dance- note the juice running down his leg!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Independance Day

The holiday afternoon was spent at Jack's Grandpa and Grandma Twists's house. Somehow, none of the adults ended up being photographed, but there were lots of photos of two sweet cousins!

A Few Recent Photos

Eating huckleberries right off of the bush- YUM!
A visit from Auntie Jo.

Trying out his new cowboy bib, made by Grandma Whittaker, and practicing his spoon-wielding skills!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Twist baby #2, due to arrive January 23, 2008...

A New Family Member

Everyone, meet Donald James Earl Shire, born to Kim and Andy Shire on June 29th at 8:10 pm. He measured 7 pounds 1 ounce and 19 inches long. For those keeping track, that is boy #3 for the Whittaker clan!

My Love Affair With Coffee

As the morning light streamed in through the window, I couldn't help being inspired by my favorite coffee (Boyds' Espresso Grande) as it sat beside my eager hands. Duly captured on (digital) film.