Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lemon-drenched lemon cake

I have discovered some great foodie blogs lately and have been salivating over all the great food that others make. Today I came across a post about lemon cake and it made me crave it. I'm a sucker for anything lemon. Since I already have a great recipe handed down from my mom that needed no improving upon I went straight to the kitchen and whipped one up. After one slice of this perfect, absolutely perfect cake, it became clear that when I next bake this cake (very soon) I will have to double the recipe. Tag, Hudson (at home with a cold) and I have already managed to devour alomost half of it. The very best part of it is the top crust which becomes sweet, lemony and crunchy after you pour the lemon juice and sugar all over it while it's still hot. Are you drooling yet?

Here's the recipe in case anybody feels so inclined:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
zest from one lemon
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, milk and lemon zest. Add flour and baking powder. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 325* for about an hour. Combine juice from one lemon and 1/4 cup sugar and, after poking holes all over the top of the cake, pour it slowly all over the top letting it soak in. Let cool and enjoy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

His party

We finally had Hudson's birthday party this weekend. We didn't want to do it during Spring Break so it had to wait until now. He managed to make his birthday last almost all month.
We rented out a big room for them, which came with two party organizers, a bouncy castle, hockey sticks and nets, lots of tumbling mats and equipment and these great plasma cars. Add some pizza and birthday cake and you've got yourself a party. Afterwards his two best buddies came over for a sleepover. They ate candy, watched a movie and stayed up way too late. By the time Sunday night rolled around Hudson looked almost as if he was sleeping standing up. But just like on his actual birthday he did great. Tony and I expected a meltdown or two but they never came. He is growing up and it really showed this year. So happy for him that he had such a great weekend. He deserves it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Start 'em young

Why do you think I had four kids? Won't be long now and I'll be able to just sit on the couch eating bon bons.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday...to me

It arrived in my mailbox today and I am wearing it proudly. A lovely reminder of my role as a mama.
ordered from bellabutton designs

Thursday, March 26, 2009


1. He turned nine two weeks ago tomorrow.
2. He has started giving Cooper some competition at the dinner table for who eats the most.
3. He has always been, and always will be, my boy of big emotions. Big highs and big lows.
4. He is really, really good in school and his teacher can't say enough good things about him, but he hates, I mean hates, homework.
5. He is capable of so much more than he thinks he is and when he finally starts to realize it Cooper better watch out.
6. He loves Taggart so much and would do anything for him. It's only too bad that Taggart is not always very good at accepting the love.
7. He really, really hates being in trouble and is always quick to apologize.
8. He loves a peanut butter and banana sandwich, just like me.
9. He would always choose white milk over chocolate milk or juice and takes it in his lunch every day.
10. He is really good at being (sort of) the middle child. He transitions so well from playing with the littles and then holds his own with Cooper and his buddies.
11. He is a perfect little part of our family.
Part one in a series of four.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's up!

And they are thrilled. Happy Birthday boys!
Spring Break is over and we are all back to where we should be. Cooper and I just realized that this is his last term in elementary school. So crazy. zoom - time goes so fast.
Actually, Tag still has one more week of Spring Break so he and I are hanging out this week. Trying hard to keep the TV off as much as possible during the day, he was starting to get into a bit of a lazy habit of wanting to do nothing but. His imagination really is so good and it starts to disappear when he stares at that screen. Lately he has taken on the role of family pet. Walking around on all fours, barking, wanting to be called Bolt and even drinking out of a doggy dish. It's actually quite funny. Since the kids had been asking for a puppy lately I figured this is even better. He's toilet-trained.
Have gotten into a de-cluttering, spring cleaning, organizing kind of mode this week. I started yesterday with my bedroom closet. Big, BIG, job. I've been at it for two days now and I'm still not done. Almost though. With a trip to MCC tomorrow to get rid of the 3+ garbage bags of stuff I hauled out of there, I should be just about ready to move on to the next task. I think it will be Tag's dresser. I can hardly close the drawers. Too many hand-me-downs from big brothers and too much too-small stuff stuffed at the bottom. It's always amazing how good it feels to open a freshly organized closet or cupboard door. Refreshing. A cluttered house really is a cluttered mind. My mind had been feeling awfully cluttered lately. Time to dust away the cobwebs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daddy to the rescue

I'm not too sure who Tony was trying to save this afternoon. Me from the kids or the kids from me. I guess that all this togetherness we've been experiencing heading into our second week of the 'official' lousiest weather ever Spring Break was wearing on us a little. And Tony noticed. So today he came home early to surprise us all, only the problem was we weren't here. I needed out...badly...so I took the kids to Chapters in Langley for a leisurely browse and the possibility of coming home with a few books. Which we did. We browsed, and browsed,....and browsed...some (hudson) have a much (hudson) harder time choosing (hudson) than others.
When we got home around 4:30, Tony had had a chance to relax a little (I think) and he whipped us up what we like to call a 'snacky' dinner. A little of this and a little of that. And he was even up for a couple more episodes of Little House on the Prairie. Thank you Mary for the entertainment you have provided to us this week. We all watch and enjoy, even though a couple of us wouldn't ever admit it.
He also picked up the camera to capture this moment between Reagan and me sharing some laughs, some chocolate and some love. Love it when he picks up the camera. Realizing this week again what a blessing this dear girl is to our family. I have said from the earliest days with her that she is often a saving grace in this house and she continues to be that for me. A whole blog post really needs to be devoted to this - more soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend project

We got Cooper and Hudson a basketball hoop for their birthdays and this weekend the project of getting it up got started. Friday afternoon, Tony got home early and the weather was still good so the digging began.
A 2 feet-deep hole takes quite a bit of time to dig, especially considering the ground around our place tends to be more rocks than soil. But there were a lot of shovels in that whole, so many in fact that at times Tony took to being just supervisor. Looks a bit to me like child labour, I'm just saying...
Notice her tongue is out again.
Finally, it's deep enough....for Taggart.
Hudson is MIA in all these photos because he was feeling very under the weather. He hung with my in my perch of the back of the truck with back door wide open and the music on. Joshua Radin is making me very happy right now and I have been playing him over and over again. Waiting for the kids to kindly tell me to turn it off in the very near future.
Saturday was concrete pouring day but it poured with rain most of the day, much to Cooper's disamy. He is more than anxious to get this thing up. Sunday the day started promising so Tony and Coop went out to mix the concrete. Unfortunately the rain didn't hold off but now the job had been started so it had to be finished. You can't see it in the photos really, but there is actually snow mixed into that rain. It was cccccooooolllld out there. But the boys were not deterred and the pole was set. Not sure how long it's going to take to dry in this wet weather but we are on our way.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A winter picnic

I wished for sun this week and so far I've got it. Monday and Tuesday though, the wind was so icy cold that being outside for more than a minute sent me running for the door. Yesterday the wind went away and we actually felt the warmth of the sun on our skin. Enough so, that we had a picnic lunch and didn't head in again until dinner time. Some might have said that we were crazy to have a picnic on the grass in 7 or 8 degree weather but 'outside-crazy' is better than 'inside-crazy' any day.

And for the first time this year I saw this familiar scene out my kitchen window as I did the dinner dishes. Kids playing, Dad's chatting and the house is quiet. Welcome spring, I've been waiting for you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Budding artists

All the kids have always been happy to do arts and crafts with me. Cooper and Hudson, when they were little, could keep busy with crayons and a coloring book. Reagan has spent more time with crayons or a paintbrush in her hands than I could care to count. Then came Taggart...
He thinks he likes coloring but it never captures his attention for more than a minute or two. Coloring in the lines is highly over-rated in his opinion. So you can imagine my joy today as he gathered his paper and crayons at the kitchen table and proceeded to draw something. Actually draw something - not just a series of scribbles in his one and only color of choice. He started it and finished it and was very happy with the end result. Yipee! There's hope for this one yet. Crafting and coloring with the kids is my favorite together thing to do so it helps if we all want to be involved.
Limited edition; 1 of 1; Titled: The Monster
The challenge with this one on the other hand is trying to pry her away from her artwork. She really wants an art table for her birthday so I am trying to figure out how and where. She should definitely have one - she deserves a little art getaway haven from all the boys around here.

I love how she stickes her little tongue out when she's concentrating. Something her Oma always used to do.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

FPOTM - February

Oops, I forgot about Favorite Photo of the Month for February.
I don't know why this one's my favorite but it just is. It think it's those eyes.

Birthday, birthday, and more birthday

Just finished up a busy, delightful, full four-day(sort of) weekend. Thursday was my birthday and Friday was Hudson's so Tony took both days off. The easiest way, like always, is to give an overview with photos. So here it goes:
We all walked the kids to school in the morning and then Tony encouraged me to take off for a while. For someone who doesn't usually just take off on a whim with no real purpose for the trip I wasn't sure what to do. But the thought of having a few hours to do whatever I wanted was very appealing so I set off. I spent a few hours in Fort Langley, browsing the antique shops and the book store and then since the day was still young I headed into downtown Langley and went to Old Navy and did some shopping for the kids. I got home just around the same time that the kids got home from school feeling very relaxed and ready for my afternoon and evening. They spoiled me with handmade cards, flowers and gifts... and lots of hugs and kisses. :)

Here's my loot. A new camera bag, tulips (my fave), a bunch of gourmet treats from Urban Fare, a bottle of wine and a gift card from Lululemon. Like I said, I was spoiled.Then we headed to Milestones for dinner. We haven't gone out for my birthday dinner for a long time. With the kids being little it was always easier to stay home and we would usually get take out. But this year we decided to go out and it was very successful. Everyone enjoyed their meal and it was a great time. And I got a birthday bellini. :)

The day ended with dessert at home. Chocolate cheesecake. What more could a girl ask for?FRIDAY:

Hudson started his day with breakfast at IHOP with Tony. Then he stopped off at home for a quick video game and to pick up his cupcakes to take to class and only ended up being about 45 min. late for school. After school he was greeted by his gifts set out on the table. Taggart stayed close by his side the whole time asking him at every gift if he could please help him open it. Hudson was very obliging.

His birthday dinner of choice was an easy one - homemade waffles with vanilla pudding and strawberry sauce. (He would eat this every day if given the choice.) And banana splits for dessert. A great day for Hudson. He said it was his best birthday ever and I would have to agree. Hudson has tended to get overwhelmed on his birthday in the past - too much excitement. But not this year - that smile was on his face just about all day long. SATURDAY:

Mary and kids (minus Olivia - we missed you) came for the afternoon and evening to celebrate with Hudson. He loves the new Olympics shirt - he wore it again all day today. And he also announced the time to us on many more than one occasion. The new watch is a big hit - thankyou.

And this photo is for Aunty Mary. Thought you would be proud of Taggart that he was very happy to share his new coloring things with Reagan today. (The face doesn't show happy but he was...really).

And as promised - an 'after' photo of the map of BC. Not that I wasn't happy to see it but you would think for all that work making that playdough they could have at least displayed them at school for a while. Nope, they came home the next day.

Now on to Spring Break - two whole weeks. Yikes. We are hoping for bright sunny weather because the park is calling our name. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random today stuff

A preschool skating fieldtrip. I tried to skip this one but Tag would have nothing of that. I am not a skater and was not sure how I would keep him and myself up at the same time. But it turns out they have these nifty things that go over your shoes so that you can walk on the ice. So I pushed him around for an hour or so with his little feet slipping and sliding all over the place but he had a smile on his face the whole time. He kept saying he wanted to start skating now. I guess he thought if we ditched this big red plastic thing he would just be able to skate around like a pro. So funny. He had fun and honestly I thought he would be a lot more wimpy with all the falling down but we had not one tear. Goodtimes.
Hudson told me at 4:00 today that he needs green, brown, and blue playdough for a project at school . . . . . tomorrow. So I put him to work.
This is the 'before' shot of a map of BC. I'll try and post an 'after' shot if I get to see it.
And just a little light reading before bed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"She didn't come."

These are the words I sadly heard from Reagan's mouth on Saturday morning.
"Who didn't come?" I asked.
"The Tooth Fairy!" (snif, snif)
Okay, now this requires some very quick thinking on my part. I did my best to come up with a few reasons why the Tooth Fairy so horribly missed my little girl's tooth. And she did her best to wipe away her tears and believe me when I said that I was sure she would come the next night.
Luckily the Tooth Fairy did come the next night and thankfully she left a note exlaining the delay. All is right in her world again.
The letter reads:
Dear Reagan

I am so very sorry that I did not make it to your house last night to pick up your bright shiny tooth. You will never believe what happened.
There I was ready to come pick up your tooth, when bam! My wing fell out! Just like a tooth falls out, my wing just dropped right off. Well, as you can imagine I can’t fly with just one wing, so I had to wait a whole day for my new wing to grow in. Now I am as good as new. My new wing is working great and I can fly even faster now! So I hope that you were not too sad and that you didn’t think I had forgotten you.

Sincerely yours, The Tooth Fairy