Monday, September 24, 2012

Catapults and Cookies

...have been what little boys are made of around here this last week :)

Don't these just shout fun?! They were so simple and easy to make- I had pinned this awhile ago and only had to look at the picture to be able to whip these out myself :) Small rubber bands and popsicle sticks- thats it! All four of the boys enjoyed these through the weekend... and FYI... Skittles make much better ammo than marbles do :/


Also whipped up these pumpkin cookies this weekend...

I've seen these around quite a bit, but I originally got the recipe from my sister, Lundyn, several years ago. Seriously the most simple thing ever:

Two Spice cake mixes
One Large can of Pumpkin
One bag chocolate chips

Mix and spoon onto a cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

So easy, huh? They maybe aren't the prettiest cookie, but they don't last long enough to care! And we LOVE these- Ryder could eat them all day long. I actually don't sweat these as much as other cookies. At least they are somewhat healthy!

I like to make whoopie pies with these using THIS awesome cream cheese frosting recipe :) I once left out the chocolate chips and rolled the side in finely chopped pecans once the pies were put together- that was a big hit too :) Enjoy!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Everyday Momentousness

  Yes, that's a word ;)
I've missed getting the pics we've taken with Stephen's phone lately onto the blog,
so thought I'd share...

Stephen recently got to confer the priesthood onto his next eldest son- these are awesome moments that he worries greatly about making special. He did great and Keaton had some great support for his special day :)

Remember I mentioned that Fall means Stephen's loses his head for the birds? Well, this is just what I mean- that sage grouse up there (indeed, the one that's been decapitated) is what is swirling around in his brain a fair chunk of the time these days. This was a particularly successful morning, clearly... Coop thought so too :)

I recently buckled down and cleared the clutter out of all of the bedrooms in the house- I love how it feels!  Sadly, it's true, I was unpacking boxes from when we moved in here a year ago- jeez!  Now I'm hoping to do some fun decorating in the boys' rooms... Anyhow, the boys enjoyed playing in a huge pile of blankies and pillows between our bed and the wall while I worked. Piles and boys just go together :)

Last weekend we traveled with my Mom and Dad down to Bringham City for the Temple Open House. Cooper was so excited about getting to go in the Temple- he's still telling anyone who will listen about it :) We were told that the Open House expected to see 26,000 people that day and, indeed, it felt like about half of them were packed into the parking garage maze with us, but it was a good experience nonetheless. My parents treated us all to Maddox- yum!- and sent us home with some awesome Utah peaches too- double yum! :)

The next day after church, Cooper became the delighted new owner of this four-year old turtle :) His Dad is always keeping an eye out on craigslist for the next best thing for his animal-lovin' mini me. It pays off too... just today Coop was alone with me and he says, "Hey, Mom, ya know who's just my favorite?... (very brief pause)... Dad!" Yes, son, yes, I know... :) 

And for a parting shot, have you tried this recipe I shared last year yet?? You should... there are lots of reasons I'll forever be indebted to my cousin Laci... and these breadsticks are one of them:)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

I've Missed This

... reading that is.
Confession: Until about a month ago, I hadn't read a book since Cooper was born-
more than five years! This is saying something considering that
up until that time, I read like it was going out of style.

When I was growing up, going to bed merely meant staying up to read until my Mom came over the intercom to make me go to sleep. I loved the "Spring Forward" time change because I could justify reading another hour. In college, there were lots of real books in-between all the textbooks and when I lived in my own cozy little house, if I wasn't scrapbooking, I was reading.

I loved reading- it was a truly big part of who I was...

And now I think I can say that in the present tense again... it's a big part of who I AM.

I took Stephanie Nielsen's book along on our trip to Island Park and ate it up sitting in the shade of our camp. For the first time, my boys were able to be playing around with cousins, rather than needing to be so close to me. And then, as soon as we rented The Hunger Games, I knew I'd be reading the next two books. I sat on the couch with the boys tucked in bed and read until I knew I just couldn't manage to stay up any later. It felt SO good,  for the most part...

The big difference between my reading self then and now- well... just about everything. I wasn't neglecting anything when I read during lunch hours or on the bus ride home. There wasn't anyone needing a peanut butter sandwhich or handing me an action figure and wanting me to play along when I was curled up with a book in my own little house.

But now, I would be and there is.

Reading nowadays really just means I'm putting off something else, or at least feel like I am. Laundry, dishes, my children's childhood- none of that was battling for my attention back in the day. 

So why does it actually feel good, then? I honestly- really and truly- enjoy playing with my boys. And getting the dishes or laundry done, while not my idea of fun whatsoever, does have a definite degree of accomplishment and satisfaction. But, I also really and truly believe that all of those things, and everything else that is involved with the selfless job of being a wife and Mom, take on more satisfaction and joy when they are mingled with time for Self too. That's why a lot of us blog, right? Because when we have something that is ours, we can better see all the selflessness as a blessing rather than a burden. 

And so, with the whole story of Katniss Everdeen wrapped up,
I'm searching for my next good read. :) Any suggestions??

September Stuff and Things

Could they get any stinkin' cuter?!? 

Indeed, puppies are around again at the Buffats. For a few more short weeks, these little devils are keeping the boys entertained by playing around the grass most evenings :) Even I can tolerate them at this cute, curious stage! I love these pics: 

Fall time means my husband starts to lose his head for the birds again... So, we decided last weekend to turn his flight in the desert into a final camping trip and spent a fun night at Birch Creek, not too far from Mud Lake. Some new falconry friends of Stephen's came along and brought some fun campfire entertainment:

They had a strip of copper pipe, maybe 8" or so, just round enough for an equal piece of cut garden hose to slide into. The pipe had several small holes drilled through it. Then they hammered one end of the pipe closed, slid the hose piece inside and put the hole thing into the campfire. It produced some pretty cool looking flames as the hose started to melt! Now... I Googled it so I could add some other picture to this post and discovered in a hurry that this is actually really quite bad for you- like hugely TOXIC! Our friends knew to wait for everyone to be done roasting marshmallows before putting the pipe in, but if I'd thought very well, I sure would've moved my chair back so I made sure I wasn't breathing the fumes either! At any rate- if you try it, don't breath it in! It does look cool though! There's more information here :)

The next day we bashed around the desert looking for sage grouse to fly on and Cooper was beyond thrilled when he found his newest pet:

A horny toad! Or "thorny devil" as he likes to call them thanks to Wild Kratts. :) Kinda unique, eh? I couldn't convince him to let it go "free and in the wild" though. :/

At this point, I'm thinkin' it's ok that camping is behind us for another year. Our inflatable pool has been flattened and will also wait another year to be used again, along with the slip n' slide and bike mister. We can't sit outside while the last bit of light fades away without having a hoodie on. We need socks and slippers on in the mornings. (Speaking of which I got these adorable crocheted ones below by swapping here.)

And we've been eating this for breakfast and snacks:

Zucchini bread- or bikini bread as Ryder calls it ;)- yum! I use this recipe :) 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

About the best place ever

The Saturday before school started, we went and visited Tautphaus Park Zoo-
we'd wanted to go all summer and ended up squeezing it in at the last minute!
I daresay the zoo is about the best place ever for my animal nut five year old
and zookeeper-wanna-be husband :)

Cooper looks unsure here, but really he wasn't at all!
If that huge snake could be his own pet he'd be thrilled... Needless to say, I would not be!
This snake display made me think of Harry Potter :)

Fun little thing to have gotten in before it was too late!
Bring on the pumpkin patches and corn mazes I suppose...


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