Sunday, November 30, 2008

Homemade Donuts pt 3

Donut update

Travis made donuts while we were in Ohio for Thanksgiving, but this time we tried Crisco...

...and they were definitely the best batch yet!

For our recipe, read our last donut post HERE.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Last Thanksgiving in the Midwest

For Thanksgiving we went to Ohio again to be with my Uncle Del and his family. We've had such a great time visiting them over our years out here in the Midwest and I'm definitely going to miss that when we go back to Oregon. Christopher, Cameron, Jenna, you're VERY welcome to come our place next year if you can make it out of Utah!

When we got to Ohio Wednesday night, Avery was already asking to take a bath in Del and Darla's bit spa tub. He had to wait a day, but he got his wish...
Thanksgiving this year was actually down in Cincinnati where Darla's family is from. Thanks to JD and Debbie for hosting us!
I don't have a clue where the clown wig came from...
The boys loved these stacking slide things. I remember playing with those things when I was a kid! Of course, I'm including Travis when I say boys...
Avery discovers the whoopee cushion...
Julia with Emmett, Sarah and MaKenna:
MaKenna and Avery (the tryptophan must have kicked in):
Emmett and Jenna enjoying a joke?
Sleeping babies are just so sweet!
The day after Thanksgiving Avery and Carson watched Darla do some Christmas wrapping and each of them got smacked with a bow:
Carson figures he needs an airplane on his head too.Time to go home... Carson was having non of it...
Carson, Julia, Jenna, Avery, Sarah, MaKenna, Emmett and Ivy (the dog)

Carson had some excellent sleep hair after one of his naps in the car on the way home...

Thanks Del and Darla for another great Thanksgiving! Thanks girls for all your time with the boys, especially Sarah and MaKenna! Thanks Jenna for the use of your room again and for being awesome enough to know Twilight is where it's at! Thanks Julia for one of my favorite parts - getting to puzzle with you and do the crosswords!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Snow Play

Today Avery got to play in the snow for the first time this winter.
Of course, for him that mostly means shoveling. If he could whistle I bet he'd whistle while he worked at this job! As soon as he saw the snow he was asking for his shovel.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

While I was in Twilight

While I was away watching Twilight last night, Travis caught Carson trying to be helpful...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight the movie

Well, I saw it tonight with some girlfriends! (I will not spoil anything here...)
When reading the book, in the privacy of my own head I can enjoy the romantic aspects, although an outside part of me recognizes in the light of day some parts especially could easily turn cheesy. That being said, I was prepared to find the movie a bit cheesy. What I didn't count on was the impact of a theater full of teenagers and pre-teens! Lets just say we were laughing frequently, but at the responses from the swooning kids!
SO I think I would have enjoyed the movie more the first time through watching it alone in my own home. (It would still be cheesy watching it with Travis knowing what he must be thinking)
Overall, I think it was an alright adaptation. There were definitely some moments I really enjoyed. I can live with some plot changes as long as they don't affect a later book or the series as a whole or who the characters really are. I didn't particularly like 2 lines at the end of the movie that I thought were out of character.
As changes go, the BIGGEST disappointment for me was actually Edward's Volvo. IT WAS THE WRONG VOLVO. I guess the C30 is supposed to be sportier, but you know what I think? Who wants to see a stupid hatchback looking Volvo? It took all the sexiness out of any car scene. It looked feminine to me. I much prefer the intended S60R. VERY annoying change for me...
Anyway, thanks for the fun night, ladies!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Emmett's 2 month appt... finally

Because Emmett's medical insurance has been messed up, he didn't have his 2 month appointment until today, 10 days after he turned 2 months. Normally I'm a little obsessive about wanting the appointments right on time.

Anyway, he's a healthy, happy baby.
He's 90% for height and
between 75 and 90% for weight.

Here's a picture I took of Emmett a few days ago.

And here's my 3 boys each at 2 months old:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Business cards CAN be exciting!

In light of the boards post, I thought I'd share this too.
We were sent these cards a few weeks ago and they're definitely exciting. This card is obviously exciting for Travis because of how close he now is to earning those 3 little letters after his name!
But there is another reason it's exciting. With Travis joining his Dad's practice, they've been working on some changes. One change included the desire to rework the old logo.
So they could visualize their ideas, I threw together a logo for them.
And now the added fun bit for me is seeing my refined logo design through to the finished product! The new letterhead looks great too. The header looks just like the business card and fly I designed on the fisherman's line is used as bullets between contact info in the footer.

(This was the old logo taken from the old letterhead)


Today is a good day for two reasons!
First, Travis took his last set of written boards today which means that was his last written exam ever - no more studying - ever! (He feels really good about all his written boards, so we're assuming he's passed them all and won't have to retake.)
Second, Travis got his results back today from Manikin Boards, which he took back in October, and he passed with outstanding scores. Yea! Great job, Travis!
Only the mock Patient Boards for the school in January and the real Patient Boards in March remain!

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Sticky Snow

This afternoon was our first snow of the season that really stuck. It hasn't melted yet. Avery had to run and get me to show me.
"MOM! The snow is flying!"
"You mean it's snowing out?"
"No, the snow is flying!"
Um, I think he says that due to it falling fairly horizontally...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Paint Bath

Thankfully, yes, the color came out of the Hunsaker's nice new carpet
Last Christmas Avery received some cool paints for the bath tub from his cousin Chloe. Unfortunately, after he climbed a bookshelf to get them, opened them, and proceeded to make a mess, they got put away, and he didn't get them back when we flew home either. (As sometimes happens when things get put away, they got forgotten. A few weeks ago we finally pulled them back out for him and he's loving them. He now asks for a "paint bath" when he wants to play with them.

And when it's time to get out of the bath, of course the last of the paint has to be put to use in a quick "smashing" way!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Avery Feeds Carson

Yesterday, while I was feeding Emmett, Avery decided to take care of Carson. He got the tray out of the way to let Carson climb up, bibbed him and put the tray back on. He then proceeded to feed Carson a yogurt. Considering Carson only wants to feed himself, Avery doing the feeding is a feat on it's own. He even had to get the spoon out of Carson's hand first!
Early in the feeding when there was more yogurt per bite, Avery made sure to "clean" the spoon after each of Carson's bites left a little on the spoon, as seen again at the end of the clip.
Once I got the chance, I took a few pictures, but then started filming at the tail end, just in time to hear the one and only airplane spoon delivery!
Some other things to note:
Carson imitates the plane sound, apparently looking for Avery to do more of that.
Carson says "no" to the spoon, not the offered motorcycle ride, although Avery mistakes that.

Avery's "motorcycle" used to be orange, but he recently painted it black. He also has a yellow skateboard because he says his red one was old. He also has a friend who is a black lion named Cory (I think his full name is Cory the Monster Eater, which name Avery must have really liked and thought needed to be used since we didn't give Emmett that name. read HERE). All of these imaginary things see frequent use and play time. After Avery finished feeding Carson and I cleaned him up, Avery "rode up" to Carson on his motorcycle and tried to get him to climb on for a ride.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blog Books - Dilemas & "Answers" offers a utility to turn your blog into a book. Very cool. Unfortunately some of the different blog formats, blogger included, keep changing their code and a few months ago made Blurb's utility unable to import those blogs.

Blurb discusses the issue on their forum HERE.

If you really want to use Blurb, it looks like the most effective workaround is a utility that converts your blogger blog into a LiveJournal blog which is still supported by Blurb. Apparently this does take a little work, but it's much faster than copy/paste. You can download the blog2blog utility HERE.

Otherwise, here are other sites I've found that print blogs. I know Blurb makes an excellent product, but I don't know anything about these so I can't vouch for them.

Hope that helps.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day, Daddy!

My Dad (on the right) when he was a very young stud in 1957:
In 1969 or '70:
And in 1998 the traveling Vietnam Veteran's Wall came to town. Every name on the wall was read and they asked former service men to read them. My Dad was one of them. (That's right, my Dad can still fit in his uniform!)
You served a lot of years in the Air Force, including some not so great ones in Vietnam, so today I hope you
have a great Veteran's Day, Daddy!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gunshots in the Night

Last night Emmett had just quieted down at 4:45am and 5 minutes later I heard gunshots.
Boom. Bam-Bam-Bam.
Travis is a heavy sleeper, but it was loud enough to wake him up.
I called 9-1-1.

We then watched from our bedroom window as a succession of police cars, a firetruck, ambulances and later two unmarked cars rolled down the street behind our garage. From the volume of the shots and then seeing the vehicles slowing down, we could figure about where they were stopped. NOT very far.

So of course we were incredibly curious to watch the news this morning. Sure enough, the shots happened right where we thought they did. Turns out a police officer who lives in our neighborhood saw a man trying to jack his personal car from his driveway (lucky choice for that criminal...). The off-duty police officer called for back-up, grabbed his pepper spray and gun and ran after the guy. The cop chased the man through backyards in the neighborhood, a good distance actually. A witness whose backyard was run through heard the cop tell the guy many times that he was a cop and to put his weapon down. The cop used his pepper spray, the guy stabbed the cop in the shoulder with a screwdriver, and the cop shot him. The criminal is stable in the hospital, the cop was treated for minor wounds on the scene.

We don't live in a neighborhood where gangs are shooting each other. We live in a neighborhood with a cop. But apparently no neighborhood is safe from nut jobs who want to take the relatively minor offense of jacking a car and elevate their problems to include some serious assault - on a cop no less!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


And he's still there as I blog this.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Squirrel Playground

Yesterday Avery was playing outside (it was super nice!) and he came in a told me he was building a squirrel playground. I love this kids imagination. He's gotten great at telling long stories lately too. Anyway, here's his squirrel playground:
And this next one is just because I have this cute picture of my boys from the day before. When I prop Emmett up Carson loves to come sit by him and of course Avery has to then too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Thoughts

Well, it was an interesting, and certainly historical, presidential race this year. My candidate, John McCain, did not win today and I worry about what that will mean for our bottom line, and what I will pay for goods and services as businesses pass along their new tax burden to the consumer... etc. etc...

However, I am so grateful for my right to vote and that I live in a country with the freedoms we have. I may not agree with Barack Obama's politics, but I am proud of my country and the advances we have made to bring us a black president. And if it hadn't been him, we could have had a woman vice president, or going further back a woman presidential candidate and possible president. This year was the turning point for bringing us diversity in our candidates. I can only image that 2012 will bring us no less exciting a race.
What a great nation we live in.

Travis is much crankier than that with today's results...

Buyer Beware!

We came home from the hospital with Emmett and a Nestle Good Start diaper bag. One of the samples in the bag was a pack of 2 Playskool Plushies Diapers.

When Emmett wore the second of the 2 diapers he took a long nap. When he woke up he was crying so much for hunger that I thought I'd do half a feeding to settle him before changing him even though I could feel the diaper was squishy wet. Unfortunately, as I was finishing up with that half feeding, he leaked on my lap. Great, nice diaper, and it turns out the back of the diaper hadn't even been saturated yet. But that wasn't the real problem. When I went to change him I found that the front of the diaper had disintegrated and split open! SO GROSS! Clearly, a diaper should be able to withstand being wet for more than a couple hours! Last night was the second night Emmett has slept through the night. Thank goodness those Playskool diapers were never used overnight! I can't imagine the mess!
On this election day, my vote most certainly does NOT go to Playskool Plushies diapers.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Homemade Donuts pt 2

Travis made donuts again on Sunday. Last time he used peanut oil and, while they were delicious, the oil made the buttermilk recipe and the Krispy Kreme copycat recipe taste the same. Plus, using a fat that's liquid at room temp made them end up a little soggy by the following day. This time we knew we we had to use a fat that's solid at room temp to avoid that, plus we wanted to get a taste not dominated by the oil. You'll know what we used when you see the picture...

Pause here for a little lipid lesson... You know all those yummy treats out there that have "partially hydrogenated" something or another in the ingredient list? That's telling you they're using a fat that's solid at room temp. Hydrogenation adds hydrogen atoms to the lipid molecules that make up fat which adds rigidity to the molecular structure. Enough rigidity and the fat can be solid at room temp. "Trans" fats are a type of hydrogenated lipid, the "trans" refers to the orientation the hydrogen atoms are attached.
So, don't turn up your nose when you see what we used. It's just as bad as what makes all those other fatty and/or fried foods so yummy.
Another side note - Travis served a Spanish speaking mission in Fresno, CA and he said you can find 5 gallon buckets of the stuff anywhere you shop because that's what Mexicans use to make their tortillas - a task Travis has tried before but even with a recipe they just don't turn out the way the women he met on his mission could make them without measuring.

A ghost on the rise:
Getting the skillet ready (next time we're going to try Crisco):
Into the hot tub!
Perfectly browned:
These were really great. They were actually better once they cooled, and they were still great the next day - no sogginess.

The recipe Travis has used for the Krispy Kreme copycat he found on The changes we've made have obviously been to the oil used, but also Travis made 50% more of the creamy glaze this time than last time which was a good change. Not realizing there was supposed to be a chocolate glaze to go on top the creamy glaze, I suggested the first time that we add lemon. The lemon glaze is very yummy and we haven't tried the chocolate one.

Here is the original donut recipe, WITHOUT our changes.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Raised Doughnuts

2 pkg. Regular or Rapid rises yeast
1/4 cup Warm water (105 to 115)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scaled then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp., salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all purpose flour
Vegetable oil

Creamy Glaze or Chocolate Glaze

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2-quart bowl.
2. Add milk, salt, eggs, Shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed,
scraping bowl Constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed scraping bowl
Occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until smooth.
3. Cover and let rise in warm place, until double, 50 to 60 minutes. (Dough Is
ready when indentation remains when touched.)
4. Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with Flour.
Gently roll dough 1/2 inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured
doughnut cutter. Cover and let rise until double, 30 to 40 minutes
5. Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees. Slide doughnuts into hot
oil with wide spatula. Turn doughnuts as they rise to the Surface. Fry until
golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove carefully from oil (do not
prick surface); drain.
6. Dip the Doughnuts into creamy glaze set on rack then when slightly cooled
spread chocolate glaze on top.

Creamy Glaze

1/3 cup butter
2 cups powered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 to 6 Tbsp. hot water
Heat butter until melted; Remove from heat. Stir in powered sugar and Vanilla
until smooth. Stir in water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until desired Consistency.

Chocolate Glaze

1/3 cup butter
2 cups powered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 to 6 Tbsp. hot water
4 oz milk chocolate chips or semi- sweet chips
Heat butter and Chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted; remove from
heat. Stir in powered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 tbsp. at
a time, until desired consistency.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch for playgroup last week. I was waiting to post about it until we carved the big pumpkin we brought home. It actually would have been our first time carving one, how pathetic is that! Unfortunately, with Travis studying every night when he came home, it just never happened. :( So we're still pathetic.

The day we went to the pumpkin patch was deceptively beautiful - it was cold! It was my first time out on my own with all three boys, and I definitely had my hands full. I had Emmett in the carrier and I thought he would sleep the whole time. No such luck. So I didn't get many pictures, or the kinds I wanted. I didn't get any of the group of kids sitting together, so thanks to those who shared with me.

Okay, this picture looks a lot more violent than I think it was. I'm sure he was just trying to stand on it...
They were a happier bunch than last year's pictures showed...
Hailey and Carter ventured off into another patch and there was this very picturesque, bright orange tree behind them. I took a couple pictures and then it looked very strange when a cloud covered the tree but hadn't reached the ones behind it:
And here's Emmett, all bundled in his bunting and still in the carrier when I strapped him into his car seat, finally asleep since he didn't cooperate at the patch. He was really cute as this little ball of bunting. I liked Carolyn's words for him "a precious little nugget."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat!

The boys had a lot of Trick or Treating fun during a couple occasions.

But first I'll share a 3-way picture of my 3 cowboys (I'm sure Emmett will take his turn when the time comes!)
The first Trick or Treating experience was of course the ward Halloween party the Friday before Halloween. Here's Batman about ready to go Trick or Treating:
Carson checking out his loot:
And our little Harley rider with Travis. Travis did sport some fangs for a little while and I dressed up for the first time in years as a witch.
Heading for the car. Avery wanted this picture included so everyone could see his cape:
Our second round was our 4th and final trip through the Medical Collage of Wisconsin on Thursday the day before Halloween. The best location was a large room of cubicles decked out like Candyland! They even had all of the different locations you find in the game! I had my hands too full with managing Carson and trying to keep Emmett happy to take any pictures, but RaQuelle got this picture of Batman and Dash:
She also took pictures of the kids afterwards: Carson the Cowboy, Nora the Lion, Sienna as Dash, Kieley the Greenbay Cheerleader, Avery as Batman, Dawson the Packer, Hailey the Peacock.
I tried a few shots with Emmett in there, but that didn't work out so well.
On Halloween night when our neighborhood did Trick or Treating (Milwaukee is funny, they schedule Trick or Treating for the Sunday before Halloween, but neighborhoods can schedule their own) the boys got to pass out candy. I would probably have taken Avery out for a bit but didn't because unfortunately after we got home from the Medical Collage the boys developed raspy voices and by Halloween morning they had some nasty coughs, so we just took it easy.
Avery was super excited about handing it out, and the boys had their noses pressed to the door most of the evening waiting for people to come (good thing it wasn't too cold). When Avery kept giving candy away, Carson couldn't understand why Avery kept taking it away from him and telling him "no." Why did everyone else get candy and not him!?! Carson was NOT okay with the whole system!
The scariest part of Halloween day may actually have been something Carson said.
A political ad was running on the tv and Carson looked up to watch. The candidates name had not yet been said, but when he finally appeared on the ad Carson said, in that way you know your child is identifying something, "Brrrock!" After telling Travis the story he said "Uh oh, he's hugging trees (see Fall Fun), we're having trouble getting him to eat meat, and now he's identifying Barack!" Hilarious, I love seeing Travis squirm.

And finally, for Halloween day Emmett was no longer a Harley enthusiast, but a skeleton. Travis called him Skeletor all day. Isn't he so cute:

Happy Halloween!