Friday, November 29, 2013

A Day With Jon

Being the middle child, Jon tends to get left out a lot. I'd say this is a post entirely dedicated to him, but it's not. Just mostly. See, middle child...

Jon is our funny guy. He's always coming up with random things to try to make us laugh - like making Chebe mustaches.


He's just starting to get good at numbers. His fine motor skills are awesome (he put all the clips on here).


He doesn't follow instructions the way Isaac did, but he solves problems well. (When he does mazes, he just draws a line around the outside to get to the goal.)


He wants to be like his big brother, who happens to be fabulous at writing. Turns out, so is Jon (his "A" is the one on the right).


Unfortunately, he also likes to erase his work with his feet...


And wipe his nose with his shirt...


But he's so enthusiastic about the things he loves (like matching these shadows here).


His computer skills are pretty good now, and he has been teaching me how to do more things on my phone.


He still naps most days, which is good, because when he's overtired, he's a bear!


He's named the penny horse at the grocery store "Sable", since he learned that "sable" refers to a certain animal whose fur is brown like the horse.


Departing from Jon for a minute, just for two pictures of Kai:



And the big boys making a mess (which is what they do best):


Isaac's picture - a purple-people eater, Frosty, and the red gingerbread man from Candyland, among others.


Isaac's latest story...


Back to Jon:


With brownie mix on his face...


Back to Kai, watching for Mommy Squirrel:



Now, off to clean up Jon's latest art project...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

We're Thankful...

For lots of things - family, friends, home, a good job, our new van, etc.
("Stinky Turkey" by Isaac)


But today, we're especially thankful for gluten-free food that actually tastes good! I've been gluten-free for a long time, Isaac is on-and-off, and we recently discovered that Kai needs to be as well. So, we've decided to let the gluten-eaters use up all the bad stuff we currently have in our pantry, and then we'll just all be gluten-free together - it's just easier. For Thanksgiving though, we all needed good stuff to eat without making multiple meals. So we did lots of research, and here's what we ended up with (this'll be boring to those of you who don't need to know about GF foods, so you can skip this post):

Turkey Breast - we cooked ours in the crock pot, simmered in apple cider with chopped onion and butter. Simple, decently tasty. Not my favorite recipe, but turkey isn't really our thing anyway.

French Fried Onions - for Green Bean Casserole. I used Better Batter to coat the onions, then fried them in our cast iron skillet. I was a little nervous about overcooking them, so they didn't get as crunchy as they should've, but they didn't burn either! (Isaac LOVED them.)
No picture, but I also made the Cream of Mushroom Soup from scratch - Baby Bella mushrooms, and a roux from butter and Better Batter, with some chicken stock. Yum.


We've been experimenting with the pumpkin pie for a while. We were attempting to perfect the Chebe Cinnamon Roll crust. Then, we found this: (yes, it's sideways...)


Turns out, that stuff is AWESOME! It actually tastes like it's supposed to. AND, it makes a great pie crust.


The pie filling was made from one of our garden pumpkins. We still have a bunch... 


The boys cooperated (mostly) with our cooking adventures.


Mommy Squirrel joined our Thanksgiving feast.


We rounded out our meal with Rudi's stuffing (which was pretty good - I don't like stuffing in general, but this one seems to taste similar to not GF stuffing) and Chebe.


We didn't go fancy, since it was just us this year, but we thoroughly enjoyed our food!


Especially that pie. Yum!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Big Behind...

Jon informed me that my backside was big today... *Sigh* I hate it when he's right, but I can't stop laughing about his totally inappropriate comment. Also, I'm majorly behind on posting, so I figured it was a decent title for today.
Yes, these are all older pictures (how is November halfway over already?!), so I'll have to start taking some new ones soon!

Isaac was running errands and liked this spot, so he requested that Daddy take his picture there.


My parents came up for Malachi's blessing, and they joined us for a trip to the Nick's fall festival. The highlight for our boys is definitely riding the train.


Even if it is slightly loud.


Poor Jon wasn't as excited about hugging as Isaac was.


I totally understand why.


The disappointment this year was that the corn "sandbox" was replaced with a hay one. Not as cool, but they still enjoyed it.


Isaac LOVES Plants vs. Zombies, and when his screen time was up, he decided to make his own Plants vs. Zombies Duplo playset. I wish I'd been able to get close ups before Jon destroyed it, but there's a sunflower (on the left), a peashooter (in the middle), and multiple zombies. Unfortunately, it was too long ago for me to remember what other plants are there, but, just trust me, it was pretty cool.


We finally got Kai to smile for the camera! And now he's laughing - sort of. I mean, he's capable, but he isn't excited about much right now. He's drooling like a Saint Bernard and he's super grumpy. I guess I know which stage we're entering now...


Not smiling, but I like this one anyway.


We documented most of our activities for Halloween. Including our pumpkin grilled cheese sandwiches.


Jon was excited about the matchiness.


Isaac was just excited to be Captain America all day.


Jon decided to get artistic with the bowl of candy from Trunk or Treat. (I'm mean - I make my boys combine all their candy from Halloween and then I keep it on top of the fridge until they eat all the good stuff, at which point I chuck the rest.)


We played last year's Halloween Google Doodle, because it's our favorite.


Kai fell asleep in my lap, which he doesn't really do anymore.


We threw the beach ball around. (Yes, I let my kids throw balls in the house. I even participate.)


Jon decided to change his costume at the last minute. He decided he HAD to be a zombie.


Our pumpkin tower from last year was brought out and improved upon this year - we found a cardboard tube that made a perfect dowel for holding it together, and we made a base out of a cashew container and a bunch of peanuts. (Real peanuts, which Jon has been feeding to our "pet" squirrel, "Mommy Squirrel") 


Kai didn't dress up. He just hung out in the bouncer and the Moby all night.


The other two made quite the pair out trick or treating though.


Isaac was pretty stoked about his costume, which made me happy, since I had been lazy and just made it out of duct tape and a frisbee this year...


I think Jon looked more zombie-like when he got home.


Either that or he really wanted to join Kiss.


I just like these pictures of Kai. I'm not sure when I took them, but it was sometime shortly after Halloween.



Isaac lost his first tooth! That thing was stubborn! The new tooth had grown in far behind it, so we had to pull it out... Isaac was pretty proud.


My boys just being goofy.


The Home Depot kids workshop this month was building boats. (Jon enjoyed it, even though he doesn't look that excited.)



Whenever I see this picture, it occurs to me just how much Jon is like his Uncle S-boy...


Now we're all up to date on pictures! Woot! (Actually, I have the ones Ashley took of Malachi as a newborn, but I'm waiting on those. She also did our family photos last weekend, so I figure I'll post a bunch all at once!)