St. Nicholas Day 2013

Just a quick post of pictures of the kids with their stockings this morning. They were up around 5:30 and begging to open them–yikes! We have a fun and busy day planned so I hope they make it through! Happy St. Nicholas Day!

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Halloween 2013

Halloween 2013
We had a wet night of Trunk or Treat yesterday, but it was great fun to see friends from school!

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It was so wet that we didn’t take pictures together! We had a great night in the neighborhood tonight with our cousins. The kids picked out their costumes weeks ago…Catwoman (third year as some kind of cat), Pikachu (which he had planned since last year), and Doc McStuffins (but she was also wishing to be a Mermaid!)

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Feel Good Pumpkin Pie

I have been trying really hard to make “no sugar” more of a consistent healthy habit. A lifestyle change maybe. Still, it is fall and I sure do enjoy desert! So I was wondering one day if I could sweeten pumpkin pie with only bananas and a quick google search brought up this fantastic recipe. I have made pumpkin pie without crust many times so I wouldn’t have even thought to make an oatmeal crust! Of course, I tend to tweak things so I did change a few things.

1. I pulsed the oats in a food processor just a bit.
2. Didn’t use peanut butter in the crust, just olive oil butter spread. Maybe natural peanut butter next time though because I am curious how it would taste.
3. I didn’t have coconut milk on hand so I just did skim milk. You could substitute whatever type of milk you drink. I am sure the coconut milk would be tasty though.
4. I used egg whites only for the crust and the pie.
5. I omitted the salt. This is just my personal war against so much salt in so many foods.
6. Definitely two bananas (!) and I puréed everything with my immersion blender instead of mashing the bananas.

It was delicious! Not like a full-cup-of-sugar-pumpkin pie, but still cold and creamy and with a crunchy crust. The pumpkin pie spices were also quite tasty. A dessert to feel good about and a recipe worth sharing. I think I will make it for Thanksgiving!

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WARNING/TIP: Don’t try this unless you have been off of all types of sugary foods (including honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners etc.) for awhile. Your perspective and taste buds change a bit :).

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A Taste of Fall

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We went for our annual cider donuts at Dunn’s Cider Mill this morning. It was fun and Liam had a lot of fun with the apple face cut-outs. We are seeing some leaves turning red at out house, time for fun fall traditions!

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Blackjack

We are currently watching Cars for Movie Night (Liam’s turn to pick, obviously). I walked into the family room to find Ginger punching out a deck of cards from a “Kit Just for Fun” American Girl activity book that I got for $.50 at a church garage sale yesterday. She said, “Look, Mommy! Blackjack cards!”.

In case you are wondering, the kids have been learning how to play, I am pretty sure they have had three lengthy lessons from Bill so far. The first night it was counted as math homework :). Fun times at our house! I checked the book to see if it had blackjack instructions, but no, the directions were for a game called Stinky Inky.

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First Day of School 2013

Ginger had her first day of 2nd Grade yesterday and Liam went I his first day of Kindergarten today!
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And we are off to Back To School Night tonight!

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Grandpa’s 91st Birthday

My grandpa (Grandpa Leo to my kids so as to not confuse him with Bill’s dad aka Grandpa) just celebrated his 91st birthday. His actual birthdate is today but we had a very wonderful family reunion and birthday party on Saturday and Sunday. He had great-grandchildren as helpers with the candles. I think they loved that he shared that with them 🙂

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So many candles…you can warm your hands :). The cake is angel food with chocolate peanut butter frosting because that is the kind Grandma used to make for birthdays.

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Happy Birthday!

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On Saturday afternoon the boys enjoyed some mini hockey in the garage. The older cousins were so helpful in teaching the younger ones how to play. Liam liked being goalie.

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More mini hockey…

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Caught a bunch of the older cousins holding still as Saturday evening wound down.

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Genevieve is 3!

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Genevieve had a great 3rd Birthday. We went to the nice little zoo in Racine and North Beach. In the evening we went to dinner (Bill’s choice) because it was his birthday, too! Genevieve got a Doc McStuffins doctor kit which she uses quite often to check out people and animals. In case you couldn’t tell, her cake is Princess Leia. She kept asking for that and thankfully Mary saw an idea for this one that is just a head and super easy. We also had a chance to get a family photo while we were at dinner!

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Beach Adventure – 2013

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We have been having a wonderful vacation in Wisconsin. I thought I would share the beach photos because it was a ton of fun and beautiful (Kohler-Andrae State Park)! The kids played hard, digging, building, writing in the sand, jumping waves, and exploring dunes. 20130703-151414.jpg20130703-151449.jpg20130703-151503.jpg

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Blueberries & Fireworks

This morning we left for blueberry picking as early as we possibly could. Arriving to the patch very excited at 8am with cousins. Ginger worked very hard, she kept checking my bucket because she was trying to keep up (or pass me).

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Genevieve was melting down. It was quite hot even as early as it was. She wasn’t happy that I told her not to pick pink blueberries. Since she likes to think she is in charge, my constant reminders to only pick blue had her put out from the start. This is why I have no photos. Too bad I didn’t take one of her cute sweaty, grumpy little face.
Anyway, I rembered to take a photo at the end. Liam had to continue the tradition he started as a toddler…biting a blueberry right of the bush. This year he added a tweak, took it out of his mouth to be sure it didn’t have a bug on it and then polish it off.

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On the way to the blueberry patch we noticed a number of fireworks tents. I couldn’t resist stopping on the way back home. Years with Grandma and Grandpa Davis have turned me into one of those people who my family always laughed about, lighting their money on fire. This time of year as a children and teenagers we were probably a week into our stay with Grandma and Grandpa selling fireworks. Anyway, we just had to pick up a Hen, Frog, Friendship Pagoda, Dancing Butterflies, snappers, sparklers, smoke balls, and a few random things the man gave to us for free.

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Ginger spotted a ladybug and wondered what it did. The kind gentleman helping us said he wasn’t sure so he would try it out. Good thing! He lit it and at first it spun on the ground, but suddenly flew way up into the air (higher than the huge oaks in our yard). Yeah, glad we didn’t buy that one. If you take anything away from this post, remember, never buy a firework unless you know what it does 🙂

And lastly, I had to throw in a couple of photos from way back.

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I was sitting on fireworks as a baby. No wonder I couldn’t help but light my money on fire today! 🙂

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