Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Snow Ice Cream

We didn't get the blizzard they predicted, but we did get more snow. My call came late last night and early morning for Tyler that we were in for Snow Day #4. I was surprised...for the first time in nearly a week, I had gotten my and Tyler's bags ready.
It's been nearly a solid week of sweats, pjs, and outdoor gear... :) I've had my stir-crazy moments, and times I'm ready to get back into routine. But, overall, I've really appreciated this time with my family.
Today, there was more snow play, and we tried making snow ice cream. Thanks, Paula Deen for the recipe inspiration.
We just took a bowl of snow, drizzled some sweetened condensed milk, added vanilla and homemade strawberry jam.


Aubrey just ate snow and refused to try it. But Tyler and I thought it was yummy.

I wanna go to sleep

Aubrey said she wanted to take a nap with me today...I knew it was probably too good to be true. Instead of laying down, she was begging for my phone, doing somersaults, bouncing, jumping on me, etc... I wanted to capture her on video, so I pulled out my phone and this is what she said...

Of course, as soon as she was done with the video, she went right back to what she was doing before.

Laser Gazer

Monday, February 25, 2013


Yesterday, we took advantage of still having snow on the ground, with sunny warmer temps and we went sledding with the Jaberg's.
Tyler and Ollie

Wayne carrying Aubrey up the hill.

Wayne taking Aubrey and Eli down.

Aubrey and Eli stuck together most of the time.

They enjoyed scooting down the hill on their behinds over and over...

They also gave each other lots of these hugs.

That's Wayne's cackle in the background. :)

Suddenly, Aubrey decided to go down the hill on her own. She loved it and came back, ready to go again. This is her second run. Don't mind my exclaiming on this one.

Afterwards, Tyler had a friend's birthday party at The Alley across town. They bowled, played arcade games, did a laser maze and rode Go Karts. I enjoyed shopping leisurely while waiting to pick him up. It was nice to be out of the house again. :)

Aubrey is quite the busy lady. She started with finger painting. I was cleaning up dinner dishes and looked over to see that on her 3rd picture, she decided to pick up her painting and use it as a dishcloth to smear the paint everywhere.

We go the word close to bedtime last night that Tyler and I would have another snow day today.
This morning, it looked like the predicted blizzard may not make its entrance. Finally around 11:30 it started coming down. So far it just looks beautiful and makes me happy to be warm and cozy inside.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Caramel Corn

I've been making this caramel corn since college, thanks to my friend, Lisa. It's always a hit.

Tyler helped me make a batch today.  First, we popped our popcorn...

 Meanwhile, mix your caramel ingredients together, let them boil for 5 minutes, then add vanilla and baking soda. It'll foam up a bit when you add the baking soda.

Mix in a paper bag (so you can throw that away afterward instead of washing another dish), and spread on a couple of jelly roll pans sprayed with cooking oil.

Bake for an hour and voila!

Caramel Corn
Slightly adapted from Lisa Jaberg's recipe
1 1/4 cups uncooked popcorn (or around 7 quarts of popped popcorn)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter (the original recipe calls for margarine, but butter is so much better)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Spray 2 lined baking sheets with cooking spray.
Pop popcorn. Meanwhile, bring sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Boil for 5 minutes. (No need to stir at that point).
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over popcorn (in a paper bag). Mix well and turn into baking sheets.
Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes, and rotating baking racks each time.
Let cool and separate kernels.



Snow Days

We've been in a drought around here. I've heard that we are nearing dust-bowl levels of drought. So, it's been awhile since we've gotten much precipitation. A winter storm was predicted to be headed our way, early in the week, but we're in Kansas. Things can change quickly, so we believe it when we see it.
Wednesday morning, around 9, I left my base school to visit another school. The snow had started to fall before then, but the roads were still fine. By about an hour later, the roads were slick and it was still coming down steadily. Evening parent-teacher conferences were canceled, so I got to come home at my normal time. The roads were decent by the end of the work day, and we enjoyed the snow. A novelty around here.

That evening, they canceled school for both Tyler and I for Thursday. We were excited and looked forward to burrowing in for an unplanned day at home. I woke up to lightning and thunder during the night and heard on the news the next day it's actually called thunder snow. I think that sounds funny.   And it kept snowing most of the day.

Around here, they don't have the kind of snow removal equipment we had growing up in Northern Indiana. Side streets are not plowed. We had shoveled the driveway on Wednesday night, but you never would have known that yesterday. As I struggled and huffed and puffed on the driveway yesterday, and the snow stuck to each scoop of the shovel, I stopped when I was a little over halfway done. It was heavy, thick, and I figured that even if I could get out of our driveway in the morning, I'd be immediately stuck in the thick snow still on the street. We ended up with 14.2 inches of snow. So, we weren't surprised when they canceled school for today too.

Playing in the snow today...

(Okay, most of Aubrey's snow play consists of eating snow).

Tunnels...in Kansas?!


Love it. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quiet Book

So, I had all this felt that I had started accumulating because of little projects I was seeing on the web.
And I thought, "Hey! I could try that!" I figured, it didn't need to be done that well. I mean, Aubrey's not gonna judge me, right? ;) So I set out to do this one page.
So I cut out some pieces, and started hand stitching them...and as I slowly plodded along, I figured it'd be much more efficient if I used a sewing machine. Only, I don't own a sewing machine. Also, I hadn't used a sewing machine since middle school. When I made an apron, a pillow, and sweatshirt...with lots of supervision and trepidation. Trepidation because I will never forget the teacher telling us horror stories about people accidentally piercing their fingers, through the finger nail (at least that's the way I remember it) with sewing needles. Those anxious ones of us don't need help thinking of the worst case scenarios, thank you very much. Also, our teaching aide had really awful breath. But, I digress.
I called my friend, Lisa, and asked to borrow her sewing machine. In the past, oh, 15 years or so that I've asked to borrow Lisa's sewing machine, she always ends up just doing the sewing for me. Yeah, I'm that competent. 

This time, she was tied up with a sick child. Lucky for me, she had the machine already threaded, so I could get started. I was definitely not making it perfect, but that was not my goal. I had that Ikea effect thing going on. I was just happy that it was coming together.

After one page (well two actually - the potato and the pocket to hold the pieces), I decided to try another...The barn with finger puppets. I mean, it's so cute!

But forget the horse. That horse-face looked too involved. :P
At this point, I was less intimidated.
Lisa had to come back to re-thread the machine a couple of times for me since I borrowed the machine. Finally, now that I'm done with it, I can finally thread the bobbin and machine.  Yesterday, there was a needle lost to the zipper...but that was easily replaced.

(See that nice red strip above the ladybug? Yeah, the professional here accidentally sewed the ladybug to a piece of felt I must have cut a piece off of. I didn't realize it was shorter than the rest until today when I was sewing the pages together...I added the red strip made it long enough. Much easier than taking off the ladybug and reattaching it). :P

My favorite piece? The owl I added to the apple tree page. There was no template, I just cut out some felt and stitched it together. Because, that apple tree needed something cute. :)

Today, my day off of work (Happy President's Day!) was spent finishing the sewing. I just have to get the rings to put them all together and it'll be done.

What took the longest, or so it seemed, was the title page. It was an after thought and I didn't want to go to the store for anything. I just ended up printing off what I wanted and cutting out the letters, then hand stitching them.

Which felt like it took forever.
I found this picture on the iPad that Aubrey apparently took with Photobooth while I was stitching.

Now we'll have to see whether she actually plays with it. :)
And now, I want a sewing machine...

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Last night, we attended Tyler's conferences. He's still doing well. He is quite the avid reader, and we make frequent trips to the library to keep him stocked. We have to keep an eye on him, or he will stay up late reading. Right now he's really into Big Nate, Bad Kitty, (Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, but he has read them all), the Time Warp Trio, and the Lemony Snicket series...

And, a little update on our Little Lady...

So tonight we decided to straighten Aubrey's hair, just for fun...to see what she looked like. Whoa. Who is that girl? She thinks she looks like her cousin, Jillian.

A couple of nights ago, I was telling her that I was brushing the sugar bugs off of her teeth. (The pediatric dentist's terminology). She seemed very intrigued. After she had brushed, she asked for milk. I said that she needed to stick with water so that the sugar bugs can't hurt her teeth. Apparently, that stuck because tonight she was scared to drink milk tonight until all 3 of us reassured her that she'd be fine.

A few days after her birthday, we started potty training. She is doing great. Thanks, chocolate, for your magical powers!! She will ask to go, even if she is already in bed (and has a diaper on) or if she wakes in the middle of the night.

Tonight, I did a little "interview" with her to remember her perspective at this age...

What is your name?  "Aubwey"
How old are you? "Fwee" (3)
What is your mom's name? "Metally"
What does your mom do during the day? "You phone"
What is your dad's name? "Wayne"
What does your dad do during the day? "Eating"
What is your favorite color? "Blue" (She's been consistent with this for a loooooooong time)
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Rice" (She did not touch her rice at dinner tonight)
What is something you don't like to eat? "Salami" (She devours salami and begged for it while waiting on dinner tonight)
Who are your friends? "I don't know" (What!?! She is always talking about her friends)
What is your favorite song? "Rockabye Baby"
Can you sing it for me? "No, Tyler's singing it!"
What is your brother's name? "Tyler."
What does Tyler do during the day? "Watching Daddy. He's just really family. He's Grandpa."

And that concludes our interview.