Headshot Project 2017: November

A headshot and update of each of our boys, each month of the year 2107.

This kid is growing up so fast!  Within the last month his language skillz have exploded and he COULDNOTBEANYFRIGGINCUTER.  It’s seriously exhausting how cute this dude is.  At night he insists on me giving him a blanky and one night he said, “Mom! This blanky is so cute!!”  He also will shoot me big thumbs up occasionally for no reason.  One time at the park he looked over at me and exclaimed, “Looking good, Mom!” and shot me a big old thumbs up.  He also loves to talk about how much he loves dad.  He’s still so little and squishy, but getting so big and independent. This is the best stage everrrrr!!

Mister Charlie boy.  He’s as dreamy and delicious as ever.  He’s getting even more comments about his “Kevin McCallister”-esqueness this time of year, with everyone watch “Home Alone” around the holidays.   He’s so fun.  We were on a little road trip up to Sacramento one weekend and were listening to the School of Rock soundtrack.  The song “Touch Me” by the Doors came on and James asked what the name of the song was.  In the highest, most innocent little Charlie voice, he said, “Um, I think it’s called Touch Me Babe?”  It cracked me up so hard!  This is the best stage everrrrrrrrr!

James is a dream boy, just like his bros.  He’s doing great at school.  His best buddies are Alan and Ali.  They play different things at recess together and James dresses to play the part each day.  He’s really into what he wears, more because he’s always imagining in his head and not so much because he loves fashion.  Except one morning he said to me, “Mom, where is a pom pom hat? I want to look like I’m going tobogganing today.”  So he found a hat and put a scarf and wool sweater on (remember we live in California) and looked in the mirror and said, “Oh, wow. I wasn’t sure the scarf would look good, but I look amazing.”  He was totally serious.  And I am totally and seriously head over heels for this dude. This is the best stage everrrrrrr!

Rainy adventures

Rain simply fills my soul.  When it starts coming down, I rally to get out into it as soon as I can.  I know most people hate it but it is my favorite type of weather.  So the other day when I woke up to our first big Autumn rain, I dropped James off at school and took my other babies up to the mountains to enjoy the rain at it’s very best.  It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had as a mom.  We got wet, we got muddy, we played tag in the meadow, we threw rocks into the lake, we searched for rolly polies. We enjoyed the amazing rain!!  Together!  It was just incredible!  Auggie especially loved it.  It was so much fun to go adventuring together.

This entry was posted in fall.

Monthly Headshot Project 2017: October

A head shot and update of each of our boys, each month of 2017

Don’t be fooled by this angelic face–Auggie is officially a bully!  But the sweetest, cutest, most wonderful little bully that ever bullied.  And it’s mainly just because of Darwinism as the youngest of three boys.  He is pretty sassy, though, and we try not to bust up at it.  He loves his crib and getting all cozy in a big blanky.  He’s still completely dedicated to the bottle.  He loves t.v., too.  Basically I’m an awesome mom.  But when his tiny little two year old baby voice sings along to specific theme songs perfectly, you let him watch shows.  He’s getting closer and closer with his brothers and gets sad when they aren’t around.  We went to Disneyland in October and he was pretty nervous about most of the kiddie rides but it was just amazing to see the three boys all together in that magical place.  Also, HALLOWEEN!!!  He was definitely old enough for the fun but not old enough to read too much into the scary costumes, so it was perfect.  Watching him get bigger and bigger is such a joy.

Charlie was an absolute DREAM at Disneyland!!!  My favorite Charlie story every happened at the hotel.  I usually dress in private now that the boys are getting older, but as we were all in the same hotel room I was a little more lax about it.  One time we were getting dressed in our swimsuits for the pool and I was trying to go as fast as I could.  I saw Charlie staring at me, though, but didn’t want to make it a big deal, so I just kept dressing.  Then, out of nowhere, in his precious little high voice he sweetly states, “Mom, you got some cute drinkers.”  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!!!!!. I love this kid so much!!!!!!!  As we were driving home from Disneyland we asked all the boys what there favorite part was.  Charlie replied, “Oh, just loving people!”  He really is such a little lover!  And of course Halloween was amazing.

James is a total ham and a crack up.  He’s such a good boy who tries so hard to do the right thing.  And he has such amazing faith.  His first instinct is always to pray, especially when he loses a toy, and he always has complete faith that he will find his toy.  And he does!  He’s an amazing oldest brother but of course still gets annoyed at Charlie sometimes.  Charlie always asks James to give him his toys and it drives James bonkers. But they are best friends and are in snuggling on the couch as I’m writing this.  A funny thing James said this month: He was gassy one night (obviously) and ripped a big old toot.  He started laughing so hard and then bust out one of his favorite Hamilton lines,”Mom! My body has chosen which way the wind will blow—NORTH!”  It was just so random and funny, we all busted up.  He’s doing great at school and loves it.  I’m very proud of this little dude.

Simple and Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips!

If you know me well, you know that hosting Thanksgiving is one of my all time favorite things to do ever.  I have done it a few times and have a Thanksgiving guide for the intermediate cook and ambitious host HERE.  I love all the recipes so much but have realized that only a handful of them are THANKSGIVING to ME. So I thought I’d share a simplified guide here, including only the most critical recipes from my Thanksgiving guide, and then giving you tips for the rest of the recipes.  If you are super picky about a certain side dish that I suggest to purchase instead, definitely check out my original Thanksgiving guide for divine homemade recipes for every aspect of the feast!

First, let’s talk about the essential elements to a Thanksgiving feast.  Here is a list of everything I require at our table:

Turkey

Gravy

Cranberry Sauce

Mashed Potatoes

Stuffing

Sweet Potatoes

Rolls

Veggie side dishes (at least 2)

Salad 

Beverage

Pumpkin Dessert

 

Am I missing anything? You may not need some of these things on your table for it to feel official, but these dishes are usually included in a typical Thanksgiving Feast.  Now, let me tell you which dishes are sentimental to me and are required to be prepared a certain way in order for them to count:

Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Soufflee

Creamed Corn (one of the veggie sides)

Rolls

Did you notice I did not mention turkey?  Yeah, I don’t really care about turkey!  Or super fancy stuffing.  Or even Pumpkin Pie!!  But you might care about all those things, and maybe not so much the things I care about.  In which case, go check out my original Thanksgiving guide for recipes and inspiration!  If you are hosting and want to keep it as simple as possible but still delicious, here are my suggestions:

Turkey

Either purchase, have someone else be in charge of it, or do a Butterball from Costco in the crockpot!  Slice it up before serving and garnish with some sage/rosemary sprigs to fancify it and no one will care there’s not a huge bird on the table.

Gravy

Gravy is pretty simple to make, but even simpler to buy!  Make it your own by adding cream of mushroom soup or thinning it out with some chicken broth (or drippings from the turkey, if you have them).

Cranberry Sauce

Just buy the can!  But don’t keep the can shape once you put it in the serving dish.  Use a fork to stir it up and make it look more like a jelly/jam.

Mashed Potatoes

Okay, this one matters to me.  Use THIS recipe and never be the same!

Stuffing

Would you stone me if I said just use the boxed variety?  It’s dang good, people! Definitely does the job for our family.

Sweet Potatoes

Another essential for our table, but only if they are made like THIS.  Don’t be intimidated by the word “soufflee.”  It’s really just a simple casserole!

Rolls

This one is also important to me, but you can buy amazing rolls and be just as satisfied.  I don’t mind making homemade rolls and I have the most delicious yet SIMPLE roll recipe in the world right HERE.

Veggie side dishes (at least 2)

Okay, not everyone loves creamed corn the way I do.  I HAVE to have it for Thanksgiving.  It’s so decadent that I don’t let myself have it any other time of year, so if no one else cares about it I still bring it to share.  THIS recipe.  I know people associate green bean casserole with Thanksgiving, but I really don’t care about that.  I do, however, LOVE Brussels sprouts and could eat them like popcorn and have been known to on more than one occasion.  If you, too, love Brussles, HERE is the recipe I prefer.

Salad 

You could easily get away with no salad, or a bagged salad from Costco.  But if you are interested in a delicious Fall salad that isn’t hard at all to throw together, I love THIS recipe.  We also use the balsamic dressing on pizza!

Beverage

Of course water is totally adequate.  I like to at least offer some type of fizzy beverage, too.  But nothing complicated, obviously.

Pumpkin Dessert

Okay, I know I said I don’t care about pumpkin pie, but I do care about a pumpkin dessert.  But I also care about not killing myself over it.  If you want to purchase a pumpkin pie, that’s obviously going to be the least amount of stress.  But here are my three favorite pumpkin recipes that are so easy and that taste SO MUCH BETTER than pumpkin pie to me! Pumpkin Crumble Brownies || Pumpkin Croissant Pudding || Pumpkin Doughnut Holes . Another tip: all these desserts are amazing with Mexican Hot Chocolate!

And there you have it!  A simple but delicious Thanksgiving Feast for you and your family.  Just remember, if you are interested in more homemade recipes, check out that original Thanksgiving Guide that I mentioned.  No matter which guide you choose, I hope I’ve been able to offer ideas and inspiration to help bring joy and satisfaction into your home on that wonderful day!