Saturday, November 22, 2014

Old Man Winter

Winter has arrived in Colorado!
One morning before school, I ventured out to take a few pictures of our house while the kids still slept snugly in their beds.
Hollin's first snowfall!

In the night, my wreath had fallen off the front door due to the frigid temperatures and our Fall pumpkins were a stark reminder that only days before, we felt as though it would be Fall forever.

But, of course, one season gives way to the next. 
And it is just best to learn to welcome them joyfully, I suppose.

I did a quick photo shoot of Hollin to celebrate the snow, 
the cold, and the anticipation of the many holidays headed our way.

And in case you ever wonder what happens behind the scenes,
I have a "prop" boy who carefully tends to every small detail.
He helps with wardrobe changes, too.
Handy little guy!
: )

And as Hollin snoozed away in front of the windows overlooking a field sprinkled white,
 I definitely felt myself take a few deep breaths.
Like the calm before the storm, November until the end of January are crazy times.

Truly crazy, people.
Harbor's birthday is in November, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, and Henry's birthday in January. 

So, these slow easy moments of morning naps in front of frosted window panes are so peaceful.
And so necessary.

Harbor insisted on a few pictures in the front yard before heading to school.
I loaded the younger ones in the mini van while Harbor proceded to hug trees and strut his stuff.

It was freezing. 
As in a real feel of about -15 that day.
Negative Fifteen.

He sure is a wonderful boy.

I love him so much.
He may have made me a mother, but he also made me a better person.
Kids are really good at doing that, aren't they?
: )

We've been baking lots of bread from scratch.

I try to keep my kids in the kitchen with me.
Even though it can make a small task a huge messy drawn-out ordeal,
I love seeing their faces when dinner is served, knowing their very hands helped feed our family.

And really,
is there anything more satisfying than punching down freshly risen yeast dough and rolling out twelve perfect balls?

I don't think there is much else that can compare.

Except maybe baby puppies and baby humans.
: )

A few birthday presents have trickled in from Arkansas.

I still can't believe his Lego party is over.
I sure do love a good party! He is already all about turning seven.
He wants a monster party. 
I'm sure he will only change his mind 212 times before next year, but I'm so glad he enjoyed it!

Little Henry is growing and seeming like more of a big kid than a little kid these days.

I love to see him in Harbor's hand-me-downs.
Generally because it makes memories flood my busy head, but mostly because it makes me parent more intentionally.

I just can't believe he is already so tall and talkative.
I just want to do right by these children.
I want to feel at the end of all this- all their childhoods- that I did all I could.

More dinner rolls and a creamy and delicious bacon broccoli soup

This is just a random picture I took last week during one of Hollin's sink baths.
She is still packing a pretty head of dark hair.

I posted this on Facebook because I really love this picture.
Both of my "bigs" on phones, not speaking, feeling very safe and secure at home.
{Harbor was on mine- he doesn't have his own}
Sometimes we all need a little time to zone out, right?!
: )

With the onset of Old Man Winter, I've unpacked the hats, scarves, ear muffs, and gloves.
The boys find great pleasure in dumping them out every chance they get and burying one another.

More birthday presents from our Southern family
Thank you, thank you!

And behold!
{cue the angels singing!}
The 2014 Christmas card creations are well underway.

David brought home my favorites- truffles- and I've been working away late into the night.
My newsletter is officially finished.
For those of you who know me in real life, you will notice my newsletter is really different this year.
I decided to try something new.
Not sure if I love the change yet, but it has been a fun card thus far.

Just for my memory sake, I had taken Henry upstairs {all of our bedrooms are on the third level} and had left Hollin in her high chair in the dining room.
I heard her cry out while upstairs changing HE's diaper, but didn't think too much of it.
Until I came back down.
Harbor had drug her through the dining room, across the carpet, and into the front living room with him.
Too funny!
These are the times I'm so thankful to have a camera always charged.
Without this picture, I'm sure in time, this memory would fade away.

Henry has inherited Harbor's Thomas the Train sets and they all needed new batteries.
It was a job for Daddy,  I tell ya.
Little screws and little tools and little trains.
I'll just man the camera.
: )

Another funny picture.
And in case you are wondering why poor Harbor is always in collard shirts and khakis,
he attends a uniform required school.
Anyway, he was wearing a bib during dinner 
{only to be silly because Henry does}
and was practicing his karate moves while playing a card game.
And eating coca puffs.
Silly boy.

And just look at this girl!
Such big happy smiles!
Love these gummy grins.

And on the 21st of November, Hollin turned three months old.
We celebrated with rainbow sherbet before school and took turns telling our favorite memories of her so far.
Henry didn't have much to say other than repeating the word baby and "ba-ba" which is Henry speak for paci. But Harbor and I both had plenty to say.
I love that Harbor is old enough now to hopefully have a few memories of a young Hollin.

{Mommy was being really really silly to get big smiles from these two!}

What a wonderful and FAST three months these have been.
With David's new position as Plant Supervisor, three littles to care for, and a kindergartner,
I am busy.  
Busy but blessed and not wishing a single day away.
: )

Has winter arrived at your house?

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Five Potato Fries

At our house, we make what we call, "Five Potato Fries."
This is because, other than the potatoes themselves, you only need five ingredients.

And this is also one of those recipes that is so easy and simple that it isn't really even a recipe.

But, just in case you're not eating fries as a side dish because it never crosses your mind,
 or you're baking frozen fries out of habit, let me share a quick way to feed a lot of people on the cheap.
: )

Other than a few good baking potatoes, you need only five things:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Onion Powder
Chili Powder

We like to leave the skins on for a good, crisp bite on the underside.
Wash them up and slice them thick.

Chunk them up into wedges. 

Spray a baking sheet with non stick and preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Lay them skin side down and drizzle EVOO on the tops.

Like so.

I don't measure the spices, but I would imagine a good 2-3 tablespoons of each.
I just hold my spice jar upside down and shake down the row.

and shake and shake and shake...

Until all the spices have been added.
Then I add some more EVOO across the tops.
Lather them up.
Don't be shy. 
: )

And because I'm lazy and try to dirty as few bowls as possible, 
I use a spatula and mix them all up right there on the baking sheet.

And then I straighten them back out so the skins are down again.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 45 minutes or so.
I keep mine on the lowest rack and check them often.
We like ours softer as opposed to crunchier, but whatever floats your boat.

And in the next 45 minutes, you could fry yourself up some chopped steak, like I did.

No ketchup needed! They're that good!

{I'll add this recipe to our recipe tab at the top!}
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