Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Love!

My front porch decked out with mums and my favorite pumpkin fellows from
"Christmas Tree Shop!" Love those colors!!

I looked out my front window today and could not help but revel in this, my favorite season: Fall, Glorious Fall! How I wish this time of year could last.

The leaves are beautiful, the sky is blue, the air is crisp and I'm craving soups and cinnamon and all things pumpkin!

And speaking of pumpkin, I made some "Pumpkin Crunch" last night for dessert. This is a great recipe because of how easy it is, and with some vanilla ice-cream and a dollop of whip cream it's always impressive and a nice change from pumpkin pie. ( although if you are counting calories this is not the recipe for you. But, remember we all need to splurge now and then.....)
Pumpkin Crunch
1 package yellow cake mix
1 can (16 oz.)solid pack pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
3 TBSP brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease bottom of 9x13
3. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl
4. Pour into pan
5. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture
6. Top with pecans
7. sprinkle with brown sugar
8. drizzle with melted butter
9. bake for approx. 55 minutes
10. Cool Completely

-Serve with whipped cream and/or ice cream
-Refrigerate leftovers

Enjoy! Happy Fall!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kimball Rides a Bike!

Pardon the fuzzy video quality but this had to be blogged for family history reasons.

Many of you may think that having your 6 yr. old ride a bike is no big deal, but for us it is major! Kimball has been trying to learn for about 3 years now and, for whatever reason, the skill has alluded him. All our attempts have ended in frustration and the older he gets, (and the more of his friends that ride their bikes), the sadder it is.

We happened to be at dinner at our friends' home last week (thanks again Daniels!) when the subject came up and they mentioned a program called "PedalMagic." that teaches a few simple tips that might be of help. So I went home and read up and watched a few online videos to learn more for myself. (If you want the whole program you have to pay for it. I just took the few free tips I could glean from the presses and decided to try those first.)

Anyways, this past Colombus Day we had some extra time and drove to our church parking lot (which is large and flat) to try, yet again, to teach Kimball to ride.

He did it! He actually did it! A few more practices to get the confidence he needs- but we are on our way!

Thanks for the tip Denise and thanks to Pedal Magic!

Almost Done!

The counter tops were installed.
The plumbing was connected.
I have a dishwasher again!!

Life's simple joys!!
Things are getting close to finished. We are functional again. Woo Hoo! Yippee!

We still have a lot cosmetic work to be done such as moldings (crown, base, door and window) Also, the back splash still needs to be installed (pending that I ever make a decision on tile) as well as the under cabinet lighting ( again- having a hard time deciding on it) and then we should be about there. Oh- and bar stools. We'll need a place to sit.

Even unfinished, this new space is so much better than the old. It's more organized, more functional, has much better traffic flow and is all together more pleasant to be in.

I know it's silly, and probably some sort of mental placebo, but I think I've become a better, more compassionate, more patient and benevolent mother now that my primary domain is a nice place to be. (My old nasty tile and falling-off-the-walls kitchen was sucking out my personal joy!- Seriously!)

Thank you to all of you who had us over for dinner, dropped food off, took my kids, chiseled away at tile, or otherwise helped me during this process. You are the best friends ever!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Stick with Barton's!

Tuesday we took our annual trip to pick apples at the orchard. We had a great time, but it could have been much more enjoyable if I had gone to the farm that I like. Instead, we tried out a place called "Silverman's" in Easton CT.

If you live around here, let me make a suggestion for you: DON'T go to this farm. The owners are crabby, they force you to buy a certain number of bags based on your party size (even if half of those party members are under the age of 4!), they limit you to picking one type of apple only, they charge extra to see their farm animals and they are located right on a busy street which you have to cross with all your kids and produce in hand. I will never make the mistake of going there again.

If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly, good-old-country picking farm to go to- go to Barton Orchards. I love that place! It is a huge friendly farm where you can buy the number of picking bags you want regardless of how many children you gave birth to. You can pick a variety of apples, pumpkins and gourds, as well as raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, peaches, and a myriad of other yummies. They have a fun playground for the kids and animals you can look at- for NO additional cost. They usually have a corn-field maze and all sorts of other attractions for the holidays and it's out in big open space where there is room to breath and the kids can truly have an experience that they always will remember. My kids love to go there and every year we leave exhilarated by the experience.

Writing this makes me want to go there this very week, even though I already have more apples (forced upon me at Silvermans because I have more than one child) than I know what to do with.

Live and learn. Live and learn.

At least I got a couple cute pictures:

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Cabinets are Here!!

The tile floor was finished this week. I love it so much. The grout came out lighter than it was supposed to but I will plan to seal it a whole bunch and then never allow red Kool-Aid in my house again.

The walls were painted yesterday. I had big plans for doing some fabulous color and although I tested a number of them on the walls, in the end, I chickened out and went with "Palace White." It's safe. I'm good with safe!

The cabinets were delivered this morning and I got a little teary. I can't wait to start getting them all in place next week!


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