29 January 2017

26 January 2017

Man of the House

Kate has dubbed this Henry's 'Cool Man' look.
It's obvious that Henry is excited to be a man of the house. He's the first to offer to push or pull or lift something heavy.
 He wanders the property, just like Jack, checking the bees or tapping the maples for syrup.
It's that time of the year again!
He loves taking care of the animals. Although, sometimes he mixes up whether the food goes in the food bowl or the water bowl...
He chose wrong. Again.
 If he hears the sound of a power tool, he'll come a-runnin'!
 He loves learning how to cook from Jack, which surely will come in handy as he grows up, whether to keep himself nourished or to woo his wife (like Jack does for me!).
And even though he's a man of the house, he's going to learn to clean and do laundry and scrub toilets. Because, let's be honest, he's the one making 90% of the messes in the first place.
Uhh...close enough use of the duster.
But, sometimes being a man of the house is too stressful and he has a full-on meltdown where he seems to wish he was still the baby. Which is okay. He is only one.
Poor guy. It's kind of hard not to laugh at a meltdown of that magnitude.
 So, we fix it with a hug and a couple minutes playing.
Problem solved. Manchild happy.

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25 January 2017

When Jack's Not Here

Bye, Jack! See you soon!
Jack had a quick work trip and my mom asked what we do when Jack's not here. Well, let me tell you, it's never fun when he's gone but I do my best to make it seem like we're all having fun.
We have donuts for breakfast. Why? Because Jack hates donuts so I don't feel bad about giving them to the kids since he's not here to object.
We get in a little extra reading time together. One of my fondest childhood memories!
I should probably teach Claire to be a bit more discreet with her cards...
Card games galore!
We have a spa and hair evening.

The girls are now booking appointments, if anyone's interested.
I let Henry raid the pantry so he can line them up on the table. I dunno. It makes him happy, so he gets to do it if daddy's gone.
And, if all else fails, we burn something. The girls literally asked if they could roast marshmallows on the grass. Uh, no. Go have another donut instead.
The most fun though is when Jack returns. He's better than donuts and card games and bonfires any day.

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19 January 2017

Rural Community

You know you live in a rural community when...
...chickens show up in the local grocery store parking lot.

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13 January 2017

No Way You Could Know

 "There is no way that you could know while you're dating, and there's no way that you can know in that first year of marriage. There's no way in the first decade of marriage to know how you're gonna feel--the way we feel after a half century of marriage. Love is what you go through together."

Jeffrey R. Holland, LDS Face to Face
Yeah, we really had no idea what wedded bliss we were in for!
We're on our way to a decade late honeymoon on our 10th anniversary! We'll share more about our trip when we're back but for now, suffice it to say we're looking forward to making it to our half century wedding anniversary...and beyond!

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12 January 2017

Killjoy

Sorry Henry, but no, you can't ride in the
manure-filled wheelbarrow.

I know. Mommy's such a killjoy.

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11 January 2017

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

After Jack made some more cheese, we had a brimming full gallon of whey left over and since I hate wasting things, I decided to find some recipes that would help use it up. What better start than with pizza night?! It was fun letting the kids all make their own pizzas and though it takes longer than our other favorite pizza dough recipe, I really like that it's whole wheat. Nobody seemed to mind and it was gobbled up!
Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/3 cup cold water or whey (if you're making the dough an hour or so before dinner, use warm water)
1 Tablespoon olive oil

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Then, mix in the water or whey and olive oil. Knead until the dough is not too sticky or stiff and form into a ball. Drizzle and cover with olive oil. If you're going to let it rest overnight/all day, cover the dough and place in the fridge. A few hours before baking, remove from the fridge, turn it out onto the counter and let warm up. If you're making the dough just before baking, be sure to use warm water and make an hour or two before baking so the dough can rest. Once the dough is made, preheat the oven to 500F and grease a pizza pan with olive oil. Roll out the dough, put on the pizza pan and let rise for about half an hour. If you like a crispier crust, bake pizza dough for about 10 to 15 minutes or until desired crunchiness before putting your toppings on. Remove from the oven, put on toppings and return to oven for another five to ten minutes. If you like a chewier crust, put toppings on, then bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until desired doneness. Cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
Enjoy!
Thanks to Bless This Mess Please  for the recipe inspiration!

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09 January 2017

If Not The Farm...

During our Christmas break trip back to Nebraska, we enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather at the Henry Doorley Zoo (Maybe, deep down--subconsciously even--that's why we named our son Henry...). If there's one thing I love, it's animals and if I get the chance to be up close with some that I don't see every day, I'm going to make everyone else suffer enjoy it with me.
Ahhh, humidity!
By far one of my favorite exhibits is the Lied jungle--a huge, indoor rainforest that hosts dozens of creatures from around the world. We all took off our coats (thank goodness I was pushing a stroller so I could push around the coats instead of, I don't know, children) the second we walked into the steamy, humid building and walked out onto the upper platform where we could overlook the lower levels and be at tree level with some of the animals.
"Hi, Jack and Evelyn!"
Evelyn immediately said, "Nope," and walked back to the entrance and refused to go any further. Why? She hates being up high with only glass between her and falling. She inherited that fear of heights from me. You're welcome, Evelyn!
One of the best parts of the Lied Jungle is how interactive it is. There are waterfalls to walk under...
...vines to climb and duck under...
...creaky, swinging bridges to traverse...
...tree roots to circle...
...animals to closely observe...
I dare you to touch that iguana, Henry!
...sometimes, really closely.

I think we should build our own jungle here. I mean, Jack would love the plants and I'd enjoy the animals. It'd be a win-win!
After the rainforest, we headed over to the aquarium that boasts an incredible tunnel, so visitors can truly appreciate being submersed in with the sea creatures.
It wouldn't be a real trip to the zoo without seeing some elephants, either. I'd read about the zoo rescuing a group of elephants who'd been living on a wildlife reserve in Africa. The area was suffering a drought and the elephant population was putting a strain on the rhino population, which is much more endangered than elephants. It was an ideal solution to the potential problem and the elephants seem to be content in their new home.
It'd be so neat to have peacocks!
By the time we were done, we were all tired and had seen so many animals we were about to be crosseyed. I figure if not the farm, a zoo will do when it comes to satiating my neverending curiosity when it comes to animals.
Henry would climb on the back of a polar bear if he had the chance.
It was a fun day, spent with cousins and surrounded by all kinds of beautiful critters. Looking forward to a return trip someday and if you're ever in Omaha, make sure you visit!
I want a statue like that in my yard!

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