Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekly Capture XIII

The long weekend threw me off as did (finally!) having David back and enjoying some lovely family/us time. So, this week is a little late. But better late than never, right?

Warm weather has brought about some busy days for us. Busy, but great! It included a trip to the zoo, including the new lion exhibit along with a peek into an African village (which included a few goats and a bus - Dom's favorite); a visit to our favorite Museum of Play; two trips to the canal - one to dine with the in-laws and feed some geese, and the second to eat some summer-must creamery made ice cream; and finally, a fun photo session for mama (to shoot, of course).

As it's Memorial Day, I hope you are all enjoyed some time to relax, step away from the busy-ness of everyday life, and cherish the moments with your family. Thank you to all who have given their lives to let our country remain free. Thank you also to the families have sacrificed their husbands, wives, sons + daughters, and parents to give my family the freedoms we enjoy.

This is one of my favorite photographs ever of a grieving soldier's wife. Taken by Todd Heisler for The Rocky Mountain News from his piece 'The Final Salute':

We spent the evening with some food and water fun with friends who live close by. Husband grilled up some tasty goodness. The weather is ridiculously hot (mind you, I live close to Canada) - 80something degrees is waaaaay too hot for me, especially this time of year, so sprinkler time it is!

Here's a quick recap on our week to catch you up!

Quotes from my boy
"Oh no! This one doesn't have a m-m-mama!" in reference to an M-less M+M

"Sometimes the Muffets (Muppets) are on Mama's YouTube."

This super cute photo of my boys, if I do say so myself. =)
Ear Infection Escapades :: Modern Alternative Mama - a useful guide to have on hand
4 Simple Ways to Make Your Kids the Best of Friends :: Family Your Way - my parents definitely did number 4, and it worked!
How to Miss a Childhood :: Hands Free Mama
Ice Cream in a Food Processor How To :: The Kitchn - I love, love, LOVE ice cream (did I mention I love ice cream?), and as out budget doesn't allow for a ice cream maker at the moment, this shall be added to our summer to try list.

"There will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home to come to this. He will have the gift of freedom which I have enjoyed for so long myself, and if my life brings the safety of a child who will one day change the world, then I know that it was all worth it."  USMC Sgt. William Stacey, 2/4, killed in action 01/31/12, in a letter to be read by his family in the event of his death.

Listening To

slightly obsessed with this song right now, and Darren Criss' version from Glee, especially.

Looking Forward To
An awesome Wednesday day trip planned with friends - photos next capture (hopefully!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Counting Fun

Long time, no see. I know. It's been long while since I've had spare time to devote towards blogging. Technically right now I could be doing a million other things, but both boys are happy/sleeping, and I can sit down and jot (metaphorically speaking), and thus, I am.

In our plans for homeschooling our children (I was homeschooled all the way through preschool - high school, and David was in private + public schools growing up), we have begun to make a point of integrating learning into our everyday life. For me, my hopes of homeschooling include instilling a love and passion to learn in each of my children. A yearning, if you will, to want to know more.

After lunch today, the boy requested some M + Ms (you might as well know this is Jesus' favorite food - see this blog post) for a treat. I usually aim to do dessert type treats after lunch rather than dinner, so I obliged. As I went to grab the bag (please note - we don't actually keep this kind of treat on constant demand, but every once in awhile corn syrup-ed yumminess is enjoyed in this household), my inner self smacked itself on the forehead... "Oooh," it said, "this is the *perfect* learning tool!" Dom was super patient about waiting to eat his treat as we used it to:

Count - simple enough.

Group - by colour

ReCount - each group

The picture is post-counting. Once I gave the ok, he gobbled up our learning tools.

Hooray for fun learning though maybe in the future I'll cut some circles out of cardstock and draw Ms on them... one more reason to buy a circle cutter that I've had my eye on.

Any other ideas for colour/counting objects that are easy enough to come by?

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This post Counting Fun first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 24 May 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekly Capture XII

Quotes from my boy
"Mama, can you fix my pants? They don't cover my ankles."


“Being a loving parent is work that guarantees the transformation of the ego for in the work of rearing children the limits of your selfishness, need and smallness are continually challenged. Somehow you find within your heart a love that is willing to stretch further and further. In this sense, the work of parenting is profoundly blessed work. Some people pray in words; in the work of raising children, parents pray every day with every fibre of their being.”
John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, page 164

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." 
              G. K. Chesterton

Listening To
My lovely Irish friend, Íde Nic Mhathúna:

Spring Bucket List :: Passionate Homemaking   - More fun Springtime ideas!
8 Simple Ways to Live More Toxin Free :: Simple Homemade

Looking Forward To
David finally being done with this Grad class (next Wednesday!)

8 Things I'm Thankful For
  • breeze
  • perfect picnic days 
  • trips to see my family
  • adorable travel buddies (one of whom pointed out and named every truck along the route)
  • mini adventures
  • a wiggly little man climbing all over me as I type
  • crock pot cooking
  • no more mice in the kitchen

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunk Cookies {Recipe}

So, I realize the warmer weather does not really beckon one to the hot kitchen, but as I was posting this over at Comestibilis, my joint recipe sharing project blog, I figured I might as well share with you as well. Even in the summer, these cookies are still delicious.

They are one of my favorite cookies EVER. I found the recipe in a cookbook that was a Christmas present a few years back (The Great American Cookie CookBook), and it quickly became a cookie added to the list of "To Make Often." I have switched up my recipe a little, so the amounts do vary from the cookbook. A friend asked for the recipe, and I realized I've yet to share it online, so without further ado:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teas. vanilla
1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or large chocolate chips
3/4 dried cranberries or dried tart cherries
Additional granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and alt in small bowl; set aside. Beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks and cranberries.

3. Drop dough by level 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Flatten dough with bottom of glass that has been dipped in additional granulated sugar. 

4. Bake 11-12 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool cookies 2 minutes on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely. 

Makes about 1 dozen (4-inch) cookies.

Note: I never make them as big as the recipe calls for, and they cook about 10-12 minutes still.

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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
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This post Recipe:: Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 15 May 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Weekly Capture XI

picnics on the porch.

Quotes from my boy
"Hey babe! Can I call you babe?"

Overheard, Dom talking to his toys:
"Here are options. You need to make a choice. Be patient. Be PATIENT!"

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict when we look the other way." 
              Martin Luther King Jr. 

Harry Potter + the Sorcerer's Stone - I finally managed to obtain a copy from the library. I was getting desperate enough I was going to rent it on Amazon Instant Watch, and they didn't even have it there. I think it's definitely a film I am half thrilled/half disappointed in. I love seeing the books come to life in some aspects, but in many (probably more) others, I am sad at how it doesn't measure up at all to my imaginings. 

Started the first book of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation - still plodding away

Listening To
Some 80s Goodness - any favorites I should add to my playlist?

Ugh - nothing special. The mice that have invaded our house have completely killed any and all urges to be creative in the kitchen. 
Managing Your Wardrobe: Pregnancy, Post-Partum and All Those Sizes In Between :: Simple Mom
Lessons for Our Boys :: Not Just Cute

Looking Forward To

Some beautiful weather! And scratching more off the bucket list!

8 Things I'm Thankful For
  • my mama + littlest sister coming to visit
  • picnics in warm sunniness
  • frugal shopping at the consignment sale last week
  • tea time with friends
  • asparagus being in season
  • chocolatey cookies
  • a surprise bottle of wine
  • coffee this morning (do I mention how thankful I am for coffee enough???)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The down days.

Sometimes we have bad days. Down days. Days that seem to be one wrong thing after another.
And sometimes the insanity must be escaped.

Yesterday (all before 12 noon, mind you)
I discovered we were out of coffee.
Mice got into our pantry. Again.
Dom decorated the floors and several toys with brown crayon.
Blaise puked on me. Twice.
Blaise then poop exploded all over himself.
Meaning... several outfit changes.
Dom banged his head.
And tripped over toys.

It was just one of those mornings of craziness nonstop. I caught myself taking my frustration out on random items and my boys. So, I decided to walk out on the crazy.

We put on some hoodies + shoes, left the breakfast dishes (still sitting on the table), and we left. Grabbed some super unhealthy food out (I couldn't bring myself to go into our pantry again), and we headed to the nearby Canal. Sadly, there were no ducks, but it was wonderful to be outside, breathing fresh air and exploring with the boys. Dom was in heaven as he ran up and down the sidewalks. 

It was perfect. It gave me exactly the energy I needed to come back and take care of basketfuls of laundry, sinkloads of dishes, and toys every which way. 

Some days are down days. Thankfully, there are always ups to be found.  Here are a few things I've found encouraging during this crazy week:

The Definition of Motherhood :: Motherhood Your Way

Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post The down days. first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 2 May 2012

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