Saturday, October 24, 2015

apples and chocolate and caramel

Dan's parents have a couple apple trees, so the last couple years we have made a day of picking, cleaning and juicing apples. And although this year's crop was only half of last year's, we still had many, many apples. 

Here, the kitchen is overflowing with apples...and this isn't even half.

The process of picking, washing and juicing the apples takes the day, but everyone seems to have fun... especially these two cousins who had a fun time "helping" put the apples in the juicer.

During our process of cleaning the apples, we always save the really nice-looking ones for fresh eating. This provides us all with an abundant amount of apples for eating. And while they are delicious to eat on their own, I wanted to switch it up a bit and make a tasty treat with some. For a special treat during a family movie night this weekend we made caramel and chocolate-covered apple slices and I must say, they were quite the treat.

We sliced up a couple apples and laid them on a plate. Then I melted some chocolate chips and warmed up some caramel. We put the caramel in a plastic baggie and cut a tiny hole in the corner and squeezed the caramel onto the apples to get a "drizzle" effect. (I have attempted this before by just spooning it on, and it comes out in globs and doesn't work out as well that way). I did the same with the melted chocolate as well. The covered slices were then placed in the refrigerator for about a half hour to allow the chocolate to cool and harden a bit. (On our first attempt we ate the apple slices while the chocolate was still warm and it didn't taste as good as when it's cooled and hardened.)

There was some chocolate left over and as not to let it go to waste, we covered some Oreos with it

And drizzled it straight into the mouths of a couple little kiddos.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

back yard progress | painting the shed

So, we have been working on our backyard since April. Seems like a lot longer than that. This has been a long process. Seven months people and we're still not done. But, we're getting there and this weather is pushing us to get it done sooner than later. For one, we needed to get it painted before it got too cold that we couldn't paint due to it not drying correctly in cold weather and second, as I've mentioned before, Dan would like to park in the garage again before winter.

Case in point:

This is how our garage has looked all Spring and Summer. As maybe you can see in the picture, we even started parking the van over stuff lying on the floor.

The utility shed is now built and we spent all day Saturday painting the siding. I realize I have never painted so much area with just a brush (rather than a roller). Seriously you guys, I was sore from painting! Anyway, we got the siding painted and need to just finish up painting the trim and doors.

rear view of the shed...and me

back side of the shed

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

backyard progress | shingles on the shed

We finally had a chance to work on the utility shed again last weekend after a busy few weekends on other endeavors. Our goal is to get the shed done before it gets cold. Mostly so Dan can park his truck in the garage and we can shove everything that's in the garage into the shed. Dan's truck doesn't have working heat so by the time the frost hits it would be nice to be able to park in the garage. 

Last weekend we put the soffit on; put most of the facia on and shingled the roof. 

Dan had some help from this little dude:

Kaiden handed dad shingles and dad nailed them onto the roof with the nail gun.

I know few people know this about Dan, but he will actually blink his eyes EVERY TIME he hears a hammer or knocking sound. Which is kind of funny considering he is a carpenter and hears hammers and nail guns and staple guns and pounding quite often on the job. Anyway, he passed this trait onto Kaiden who also, if he hears a hammering or hitting sound, will blink his eyes over and over every time he hears the sound. They just can't help but blink.

So instead of blinking over and over and dealing with the anticipation of hearing the nail gun, Kaiden just decided to close his eyes and wait it out.

 So this is Kaiden waiting oh so patiently for Dan to finish with the nailing gun so he can open his eyes. It looks like he's in pain, doesn't it? Nope, no pain. Just the agony of the anticipation of the sound of that next nail popping out of the nail gun.

And then this happened:

I looked out the window to see my six-year-old on the roof! I quickly ran outside to assess the situation (and take some pictures of Kaiden's first experience on a roof). I'm pretty sure it freaked out our neighbor lady who was watching from her porch. I think she wanted to run over and catch him before he fell. I kind of felt the same way about my little 6-year-old on the roof, but then I had to tell myself things like: 
"Let him be a boy."
"He's gotta learn sometime."
"The roof isn't that high."
"This is probably the safest he'll ever be on a roof."
"His dad's not going to let him get hurt."
"This is giving Kaiden a little confidence - making him feel like he's a 'big dog', helping dad...on a roof." 
"At least Dan's there with him...teaching him how to safely climb a roof."

Here is Dan shingling the steep side of the roof. Kaiden was not allowed on that side of the roof.

Just finishing the ridge of the roof... and done with shingling!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

a conversation with Jada on her 3rd birthday

My favorite food: Donuts and cookies.
Mom’s input: She pretty much  likes anything sweet and full of sugar. She also really likes cheese and milk.

What I like to do for fun: Play in the toy room with phones.
Mom’s input: She typically doesn’t play in the toy room much, especially by herself. She just happened to be in the toy room playing with phones when I asked her what she likes to do for fun. She loves to swing and take care of her “meow” (her cat). She also likes to paint her fingernails; play do-a-dots; play with her baby dolls and play matching game. She is into anything girly, anything with sparkles, pink, purple or princessy.

The show I like best on television: Frozen and Hello Kitty and Doc McStuffins.
Mom’s input: she has never seen Hello Kitty on TV. She likes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and will watch whatever Kaiden is watching.

I think the coolest person in the world is: Mommy.

My favorite thing to learn: I don’t know.
mom’s input: She has learned her letters and can pretty much count to 20. She likes watching Letter Factory and learning what sounds the letters make. She quickly picks up on and learns songs.

Something I’m really good at: I don’t know.
Mom’s input: She really good at being a girly-girl.

If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d go to: Grandma’s.

My favorite color: Purple and pink.

When I grow up, I’m going to be: Elsa or a butterfly. A purple butterfly.
mom’s input: Just to clarify, Elsa from Frozen.

My favorite song: Frozen.
mom’s input: ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. If you haven’t noticed by now, she has a thing for Frozen.

Book I like best: I don’t know.
Mom’s input: Paulette, the Pinkest Puppy in the World.

Some words that describe me: I don’t know.
Mom’s input: Goofy, sweet, stubborn, girly.

My best friend: Meow.
mom’s input: Meow is what she calls her stuffed cat.

My best memory: going to Grandma’s.

What I would like for my birthday: Elsa dress.
Mom’s input: Elsa dress-up dress, My Little Pony, barking puppy dog toy and fingernail polish.