Wednesday, May 30, 2012

up to the roof

The workers came back Tuesday morning after a long weekend, and got up to this point in two days.  

This is the view from the window of Asha's room.  Her room is very dark now.    

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Framing goes fast!

The framing for the first floor and floor boards for the second floor went up today.  We had no idea how fast these things can go up.      

Asha got four teeth extracted to make room for the rest to be straight.  She wanted me to take a picture of her "Nentist Nan" state.  She is trying to smile, but her lips are not moving.    


And, Asha got her brackets on.  Then she had four teeth extracted today.  She was so brave.  She stayed home until the Novacane wore off, and then went right back to school.  Wires next week.    

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ready for framing

This big truck came from JJ Building Supply Company today...

...and dropped all this off.  

We are ready to start framing.  This is what it looks like now, after gravel and back fill.   

The robin eggs hatched!  They are two days old in this picture.   

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crawl Space

This is the progress they made today.  Now that the wall of the crawl space is there, it is so much easier to picture the added space. 

Asha had some cousin time with Rosalie and Sarah.  We were going to dip chocolate together, but my lack of experience totally spoiled it.  The kids ate all the mess and then went out and played basketball instead.  

This is the third time we had Robin eggs under the front deck.  Asha took a stool out and took this picture.  Aren't they so pretty? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Guess what was waiting for us when we got back from the orthodontist.  I got to hear another squeal from Quinn.   

And this is what they got done today. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The much anticipated excavation finally happened on Monday, after several days of sunshine that dried the ground.  Quinn has been glued to the window and reports Curt's every move.  The only time Quinn left his post was when the dump truck got full of soil and had to be driven away to empty.  I even got a live report of Curt's every bite he had for lunch which consisted of soda, beef jerky, and Cheetos.  Quinn shrieked with delight when Curt lifted the concrete piece high up in the air and then dropped it to break it into pieces.    

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Kai asked if I could bring Cake pops to his class for his birthday.  I had no idea how to make them, so was delighted to see I could just buy this iron on Amazon and pop them out.  Well, when I posted about it on Facebook, my friends told me it was NOT how you make real cake pops.  You are supposed to make a sheet cake, shred it into little bits, mix frosting into it, roll balls, and then dip into chocolate.  Thank goodness they straightened me out because if I was going into trouble to make anything at all, I wanted Kai to be happy about it. 

I had other plans for this cake pops iron, so we went straight to one of them.  Aebleskivers.  We mixed up a batch of our favorite pancake batter.  A large cookie scoop helped keep the process clean.  And it was the easiest thing to do that produced beautiful balls of yumminess.     


Now we can't wait to try other things.  Home made Takoyaki would be really great.  I wonder if the kids agree.   

Here is the recipe for the pancakes.  It really is the best.

Cooks Illustrated Best Buttermilk Pancakes   

To create a buttermilk pancake recipe with a tangy flavor and fluffy texture, we added sour cream for flavor and cut back on leaveners to keep the pancakes from rising too high and then collapsing. The result was a pancake recipe for light, fluffy pancakes with the trademark buttermilk tang.

Makes sixteen 4-inch pancakes; Serves 4 to 6

The pancakes can be cooked on an electric griddle. Set the griddle temperature to 350 degrees and cook as directed. The test kitchen prefers a lower-protein all-purpose flour like Gold Medal or Pillsbury. If you use an all-purpose flour with a higher protein content, like King Arthur, you will need to add an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces) (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons vegetable oil


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Spray wire rack set inside baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; place in oven. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients; gently stir until just combined (batter should remain lumpy with few streaks of flour). Do not overmix. Allow batter to sit 10 minutes before cooking.
  2. 2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out oil, leaving thin film of oil on bottom and sides of pan. Using ¼ cup measure, portion batter into pan in 4 places. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve pancakes immediately, or transfer to wire rack in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as necessary.


Ensuring Tender Texture

Too much gluten development in pancake batter is the enemy of tender texture. Here’s how to keep it in check.
    Mixing encourages gluten to form. For best results, whisk the batter briefly and don’t smooth out the lumps. Then, let the batter rest for 10 minutes—this allows the gluten to relax, yielding more tender pancakes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celebrity moment

While I was on my way to review and update my wish list on (and one should keep that list current if she has a husband that thinks Amazon Prime is the best thing since Costco), I came across some new quilting books that made me smile.  Not just because I felt inspired to quilt or their interesting color combination, usage of texture, or quilting technique.  But also because they were written by two mom bloggers that I have had interactions with.  How fun to see them publish a book!  And now I get to feel special for having their comments on my blog.           

progress report

We found our floor!  After all the sample ordering and warehouse hopping, we saw one that may have a possibility at Costco.  It is a darker shade bamboo.  We had seen their lighter color bamboo but it was our first time seeing this shade.  We brought a box home to see it in our kitchen.  The stain looked great with our cabinet color and we have already liked the unique pattern of bamboo.  The only concern was the finish.  It was a little more shiny than we had expected.  We had been looking at matte finishes for so long that it took a while to get used to the idea.  But after a few nights of sleep and more days of walking on it, we decided it was right for us.  We went back the following weekend to buy most of the crate.  It filled up the pickup of Scott's father's exactly up to the top.  Scott got more than a few comments from fellow Costco shoppers.  "How did you plan it so well?" was our favorite.  Of course we didn't.  It didn't even cross our minds that one should check the size of the truck bed.  None the less, it all worked out, and it is nice to have another decision made.  

Now our living room looks like this.  The garage is full of cabinet projects and the basement is too far to carry the heavy boxes to and from.          

Here is a new set of drawers Scott made last weekend.  This time he used drawer pieces from IKEA and put them together with the frame and drawer fronts he made.  Once all the cabinets are made and secured in place, Scott will set the face frames in place.  Until then this is how they look.          

That doesn't stop us from filling them up.  I love IKES's drawer dividers.  

This is what we did to the space above the ovens.   

Here are some samples of Quarts that we have been looking at every day.  We started taking votes for fun.  As much as I really love the look of Calacatta marble, it was not meant for a family like ours.  The more people we talked to, the clearer that became.  We want to keep the kitchen a happy place where we gather and enjoy each other.  Stressing out about keeping a porous stone clean that stains, etches, chips, and is expensive just didn't fit.  No matter how amazingly pretty it is.  There, nice to get that out.  Now I can move on.        

From left to right: Silestone Lyra, Cambria Torquay, Zodiaq Bianco Carrara

You are welcome to cast your vote if you like.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Baby Quilt for Will

We had a baby shower for Tamsin, Scott's older sister.  She recently became a mother of precious twins, Myra and Will.  They were in the NICU for two months and then at home for another two, so it was nice for many to finally get to meet them. 

Tamsin has been a wonderful sister to all her siblings, including Scott.  She set an example of love and support in the family, which we try to follow.  Our children has been growing up considering her as a second mother and a person they go to when they need extra love.  We are so thankful for her and are excited beyond words for the arrival of her own children.    

Sister Kersten, far left in the picture above, decorated the room in Tamsin's favorite color, green.  Isn't it so cute?  She is such an artist.  She is also a published author.  Check out her Friend article in May Friend, page 4.        

I made a quilt for Myra and Will.  Here is Wills.  I used this pattern.  I actually didn't have time to order the pattern as the inspiration didn't come until the last minute.  I looked at the picture and drew up my own pattern.        

Myra's quilt is still in the works.  I will post it as soon as it is finished.