Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Belated Easter and Haven's Church Giraffes

Here are some snippets from our Easter weekend! You've got to love th semi-sunny day on Saturday and the pouring rain on Sunday. Regardless, I still love Western Washington!

The Fowler's 7th Annual Neighborhood Egg Hunt

Bishop/Grandpa giving cutie Dallin a hard time... hard to believe, I know

The chocolate monster

A little visit from the Easter Bunny

After church

I feel like this picture of Asher, with a mouth full of peeps and drool down his tie, is pretty telling of our Easter Sunday. We had a rough start, but made it to church and really enjoyed the spirit of Easter.

Bundle up for the egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa Soptich's

Pardon me for "clumping" posts, but it's either now or not for another week at least. Anyway, Haven's favorite sacrament meeting pastime these days is drawing giraffes. I get a real kick out of these masterpieces. It takes her a good 10 minutes to draw all the spots. I also love the little tiny legs. It's really all I can do to get rid of any of the thousands of drawings my children do daily. It's impossible not to smile when admiring a little person's artistic abilities.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Pioneer Woman

I happened upon an awesome blog (thanks Jill) that I just have to share! It's The Pioneer Woman Cooks and her personal blog, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. I have spent way too much time during the past couple days on these blogs, drooling over the recipes and secretly wishing I could runaway to her ranch and cook/bake in her amazing kitchen, eating everything I make without gaining a pound and watching the hunky cowboys in my spare time! Checkout the blog and picture me in the kitchen and Mike as my Marlboro Man (minus the Marlboros of course), with Haven and Asher out rustling cattle (Halle would be with me in the kitchen). I would totally bring all of you a pan of the cinnamon rolls!

So the second part of this post, is a question...Why in the heck do I waste time living vicariously through The Pioneer Woman, neglecting my own "duties" in the process? I swear, I'm looking at my house that needs a serious overhaul, and my children who need a bath and wondering what is wrong with me. It's like I can't make myself do what needs to be done. Mike is seriously considering hiring "help!" Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyway, checkout The Pioneer Woman and let me know what you think. If you knew about her and had not shared, I think you owe me an explanation (j/k). Enjoy!

P.S. I feel like I've been caught in the act...Mike just walked in the door (he doesn't usually come home for lunch on Thursdays), and I'm just finishing my post at 11 AM in my pj's. He promises he loves me anyway!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

So I stumbled on this recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray a couple weeks ago, and I think I've made them three times since! We love pancakes at our house for breakfast and dinner, or a snack on the run. So give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

1 cup old fashioned oats (I blended them in the food processor)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ounces, 1/4 cup, chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sour cream (or applesauce)
3/4 cup whole milk (we use nonfat)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 really ripe bananas, mashed up
3/4 cup raisins (or chocolate chips or neither)
1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup, melted, plus additional for buttering skillet

Maple syrup or honey, for drizzling
Here's a great tip: if you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft for mashing.

Mix dry ingredients, the first 7, in a bowl. In a another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, the next 4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the mashed up bananas and the raisins. Stir in the melted butter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with additional melted butter. Cook pancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on the top, then turn. Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side. Keep pancakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep them hot. Serve with drizzled honey or maple syrup over the top.

Just a little tidbit... In my quest to eat healthier, I visit a great website called You can look up any food, and input recipes and this site will give you complete nutrition facts. According to three of these pancakes have 6 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. I think they make a filling, healthy AND most importantly, tasty, meal!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Alive and Kicking

So don't have a heart attack, but I've finally gotten around to some back blogging. I'm not sure where the time goes. I think there is a correlation between when I started walking at 6 AM and going to bed around 11 PM (so that I could walk at 6) and my lack of posts. The exercise comes at the expense of my productive hours between 11 PM and 2 AM. Enough excuses, pretty please just don't give up on me.

A Build-A-Bear Birthday

Halle's birthday wish was to go to Build-A-Bear with Bailee and Gracie! I thought this was a great alternative to a party with 15 kindergarteners. So we met up at the Alderwood store where the fun began. After about 30 minutes of deliberation over what items to choose to get the most with their Build-A-Bear allowance, the girls had picked their pet and accessories. Then it was time to stuff, make a wish for the birthday girl, give their pets a bath, and dress them up in their new duds. The girls had a blast and it was painless for the grownups!

Birthday wishes from the girls that were tucked away in Halle's bear, "Emilee"

Scrub a dub dub, a bear, a puppy, a poodle and a husky in the tub

Haven and "Sarah", Bailee and "Rose-spot", Halle and "Emilee", and Gracie and her fairy pup!

Getting all official

They walked around like they owned the place!

"Happy birthday to you, cha cha cha" at Cold Stone

Tanner, Braden, Asher, Gracie, Halle, Paige, Haven and Bailee

Thanks Jen and Em for making the trek to Lyndwood for our little gathering. Three cheers for Build-A-Bear!

Happy Birthday Mike and Halle

We kicked off Mike and Halle's birthday week with a family party on Sunday. That meant 20 loved ones at our home for BBQ pork chops with the works. All I can say is, thank goodness for a backyard AND an evening without rain so the kids could go out and play! We celebrated Grandma Barrett's 75th birthday as well, since hers is just 2 days before Mike and Halle's. Grandma and Mike shared a cake this time and Mike blew out the candles before Grandma got a chance (I think she was hesitant, because she was worried she would spit out her teeth as she blew). We love you grandma Barrett!

Jenna (one of my rock star laurels) left Mike and Halle a special chalk message the morning of their birthday, and...

a special poster and gift!

I love this picture because it is a perfect representation of how the girls felt at each other's birthday. When will they be able to let the other have their special day without feeling gypped?

The aftermath of the time it takes to light 29 + 6 candles! Don't worry, Mike's key lime cheesecake was not affected by all the wax...yummy.

Halle and Her Beanstalk

At the beginning of February, Halle came home with a few beans for her school's "Great Bean Growing Contest," which would commence at the science fair on March 6th. After a few days, worried that we would be behind, Mike helped her plant her beans and the experiment began. It seemed as if the bean plant was dealing with winter blues due to the lack of sunlight so Mike put the cup directly under our desk lamp. And in the words of Junie B. Jones, wowie wow wow, our bean plant grew inches before our eyes! Needless to say, it made for a great FHE, and brought life the the Jack and the Beanstalk story.

Last week, was the science fair and all of us were excited to see all the bean plants and how Halle's plant faired. We must have been given magical beans like Jack, because very few of the plants even compared. If it weren't for the fact that everyone is a winner in elementary school, I think Halle's plant would have placed in the top two!

The proud, and nervous, bean grower

Halle's plant is the one with the tag. I think the one on the white pole was our only real competition.

The Boy and His Boots

Mike mentioned in his post that Asher loves his boots. It's the truth, he wears them all day, everyday, unless I insist otherwise. I got a kick out of this moment the other day when Asher was trying to get his boots on. He hasn't figured out how to put his boots on while sitting down. He always has to step into them. In this case, he had placed the boots a little too far from the couch and couldn't reach them without letting go of the couch.

Asher is growing so fast. He seems like such a big boy these days. His vocabulary is growing daily, consisting of "es please (yes please), ok, paci, blankly, outside, bampa (grandpa), ay plane (air plane), shoes and the latest, train." All "s" and "pl" words sound like you might be spit upon when he says it. Before last week, Asher always called Mike mama. For some reason, he has started calling him "Ga." I think Mike is just grateful to be called something other than mama. He is Mr. Destructo and the first to dump any bin or basket he can reach. If he wasn't so cute, he'd be in big trouble!