2016 Headshot Project: October

Auggie is at the best stage!  Mainly because he’s finally sleeping through the night, but for lots of other reasons, too.  He copies words, sais, “Hi, Dad” when JW walks in the door from work, climbs like a mountain goat and knows how to safely dismount the couch, has the most wonderous little bucky teethies and is getting more.  He still shows no interest in walking, let alone standing, and we don’t care one little bit.  He’s our little forever babe and we just love The Gugs more than liiiiiiiife.

Charlie is just precious when he is precious.  His threenager-ness isn’t horrible and he will melt you with his juicy kisses.  He fell off the couch during an epic bouncing sesh and his head landed on the metal track of the sliding door and had to get a staple in his head.  He was pretty proud of that staple and the idea of having a Frankenstein head just in time for Halloween.  The ER doc mentioned how he’d never met a kid Charlie’s age who was so brave and composed when getting staples in their head.  I told him, “He’s brave, alright.  That’s why we are here right now!”  He’s quite the curious little monkey these days and ponders upon the deep questions of existence, like “Why does eating a lot of cookies make you sick” and “Do spiders poop?”

James is a sweet talker if ever there was one.  One night he really liked the dinner I made and exclaimed, “Mom!  You are like an angel who has fallen from heaven!”  He has quite the obsessive personality and goes through phases of things he’s fixated on.  This month’s flavor: werewolves.  And I will be happy if I never heard the phrase,  “I actually can’t because I’m a real werewolf” again.  He’s also been obsessed with drawing and has created some real masterpieces.  This is special to me because art was my best subject in preschool, too (as opposed to recess, which was the only other subject).  And there was a short-lived phase of being obsessed with General Conference and having what he called “General Conference Parties” every night.  I’m pretty sure they were just a way he could manipulate us into staying up later.  If we resisted them at all he would look at us with welled-up eyes and a quivery lip and quietly ask, “but if we don’t have a general conference party tonight, how will I learn about Jesus?”  A few Jamesisms that are worth recording from October: 1) John had been gone on a week-long biz trip and had promised to bring the boys a souvenir when he got back.  The night before he got home James said to me, “Mom, I know what my souvenir will be!”  I replied, “Honey, we don’t get to pick our souvenirs, Dad just brings us a surprise.”  Then he clarified, “No, Mom, DAD will be my souvenir!” 2) We were meeting with the Bishop of our new ward as a family in a sort of get-to-know-us-in-15-min type meeting.  Each member of the fam intorduced themselves and said something they’d want the Bishop to know about them.  When it was James’ turn he talked about how much he loved werewolves, legos and drawing.  Then the Bishop asked, “Is there anything else you’d like me to know about you?”  James thought for a moment and then responded, “Well, I really like Jesus.”

Halloweening at it’s best, 2016

To say the boyz love Halloween just doesn’t do enough describing.  I think part of the obsession stems from being scared of everything so trying to own Halloween by embodying every scary creature you’ve ever thought of so that you are above the fear.  Or so that scary things will then be scared of you.  Not sure what the child psychology is but my babes are obsessed with Halloween.  I love it and all but I’m not a fan of the decor.  But it is full of family fun, so I really do love it.  Above is a picture of the babies trick or treating in Downtown Los Altos earlier in the day.  They got a ton of candy and it took a lot of pressure off that evening since they already had a huge stash.  Not that it matters because the Switch Witch comes on Halloween night anyway and switches out their candy for a new toy.  But still, the thrill of it all is quintessential little boy.

This costume has gotten a lot of mileage.  We wore it when James was a tiny, too!  You can see Auggie loved it.

It’s like he’s touching me to see if I’m real ^.

And, of course, we went a little deeper with the face paint for the actual Halloween Night festivities.  James has had an obsession with werewolves ever since he met his new buddy at school named Wolfie.  We were trying to save money this year and go with costumes in our stash instead of buying new ones, but  knew James would be over the full moon if we figured out a way to get him a werewolf costume.  I ended up finding some fur fabric on major sale and made his costume out of a Batman pattern and adding a few extra things and James’ gratitude put me over the full moon too.  He was so proud to be dressed up as a real werewolf.

It’s not Halloween in our house unless Batman makes some sort of cameo.  But Charlie has been obsessed with cheetahs lately, so he was so excited to get a genuine cheetah costume for his birthday from Grammy and Gramps!  He also felt like putting on the costume turned him into the real thing, which makes it a good thing that the costume came with little paw gloves to cover up his scratching fingernails.  Charlie had a great time with James.  He kept calling trick or treating “Halloweening,” as in “Mom, let’s go out Halloweening now!” So of course that’s our favorite verb now.

And now for a lot of pictures that look completely the same to anyone other than a mother, but that, to me, show little glimpses of different layers of my babies’ personalities that I want to remember forever so I couldn’t pick just one.

This ^ was from that one time Auggie and I starred in that silent picture.

AAAAAAaaaaaaaaaand we may already be rocking out to Christmas music… #Thanksgivingwhat

Recipe: Lion House Twice Baked Potatoes

twice-baked

You know those super easy recipes that look complicated and wow guests and trick them into thinking you know a thing or two about entertaining?  These fall in that camp.  They are just gorgeous and add so much aesthetically to a plate, and they taste great too.

Lion House Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 6
A beautiful and flavorful side dish that will add the wow factor to your meal.
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Total Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 6 large baking potatoes
  2. 3 slices bacon
  3. 1/2 cup sour cream
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/8 tsp pepper
  7. 4 chopped tgreen onions plus extra for garnish
  8. 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
  9. oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash potatoes and rub skins with oil. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are done.
  3. While the potatoes are baking, cook bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble/chop; set aside.
  4. When potatoes are done, reduce oven to 350. Cut a slice from the tope of each potato and scoop out the pulp, leaving a little along the lining of the skin so it isn't flimsy. Mash pulp with sour cream, milk, salt, pepper, and green onions.
  5. Fill potato shells with mixture and sprinkle with cheese, bacon and green onions.
  6. Bake at 350 for ten minutes.
Adapted from Lion House Cookbook
Adapted from Lion House Cookbook
Hopes and Dreams http://cherishinghopesanddreams.com/

Recipe: Pumpkin Cream Cake

It’s not Autumn until you indulge in something pumpkin, am I right?  This one will definitely do the trick.  Charlie helped me make this one this morning and approved of the batter.

Pumplin Cream Cake
Serves 8
Beautifully light pumpkin flavor with the richness of cream cheese.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups white sugar
  2. 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 2 cups canned pumpkin
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 3 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  11. {frosting}
  12. 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  13. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  14. 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  15. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease and flour 2 round pans.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine sugar and oil. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Spread batter into prepared pans.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely.
  9. Combine all frosting ingredients and frost as desired, stacking the cakes with frosting in between layers. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary for show.
Adapted from Sue Case
Adapted from Sue Case
Hopes and Dreams http://cherishinghopesanddreams.com/