Monday, October 7, 2013


We had a fun birthday party for Lucas at our neighborhood pool. It's always so nice to get together with a lot friends and just hang out and have fun!

We dined on Costco pizzas, fruit, veggies and salad. And instead of cake Lucas wanted Rice Krispie treats (point, Lucas!). I made PB/Butterscotch ones as well as marshmallow. And let me tell you, I've been making them wrong all these years! I used this Pioneer Woman recipe, and they were super-marshmallowy delicious.

One of the best things about the party was that Lucas's teacher, Ms. Tiffany, from K and 1st grade came! We love, love, love her! And it felt like having here there was better than any princess, knight, clown, or magician could have ever been! She got married the weekend after school got out last year, and moved to a new school. So she's had a name change, a school change and even has a little teeny-tiny on the way!
After Ms. Tiffany left, Ben provided the entertainment by catapulting kids into the air one after the other. They love that stuff AND it's good for Ben's back ;). There was one kid (the one on the bottom left) who was a little too big, but how can you tell him no? Especially after he took pics of your kid's party for you. Thanks for the pics, Marco!
So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lucas! We love you so so so so so much! Thanks to everyone who came to help us celebrate. We should rent the pool for parties more often!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Harry Potter Feast

Last night I had a Harry Potter dinner for three little HP fanatics. Look at how cute they are! Seriously cute, right? I have been wanting to do it for a while, and figured I should make it part of Lucas's birthday weekend.
I decorated with some potions: dream fluid, gillyweed, truth serum, dried beetles, blind cat eyes, and bat eyes.
For dinner they had meat pies (chicken pot pie), served with Herbology fruit, and Herbology broccoli, with pumpkin juice to drink. For dessert I made a treacle tart (Harry's favorite) as well as butter beer, of course.

 The kids had lots of fun and started the sorting hat at the beginning. We had to use Lucas's party hat from his birthday yesterday :). They went through as many names as they could remember, taking turns sitting in the chair, putting them into the appropriate houses.

 They ate their dinner, then played in their "dormitories" and came down for dessert. 

They had lots of fun and tried all the food (and some potions). Lucas ate quite a few dried beetles...hopefully today will be ok, because dried beetles are basically like prunes. The pumpkin juice was probably the fan favorite. 
My butterbeer didn't turn out great. I made homemade butterscotch sauce and it didn't turn out right because my candy thermometer broke, and I don't think I cooked it long enough, and my mom would have washed down the sides of the pan... Anyhow, it sugared and didn't dissolve in the cream soda. Next time I'll just buy butterscotch sauce. And I always imagined butterbeer to be warm, so I'm gonna try again in January. 
The treacle tart was beautiful. The sweetness of the golden syrup was a bit extreme for my liking (basically treacle tart is golden syrup (cooked sugar), bread crumbs, lemon juice and ginger). It was a fun experiment, though. And it's amazing how much better kids eat Harry Potter food. I might have HP food every night!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lucky 7! Happy Birthday Lucas!!

Yesterday Lucas turned 7. SEVEN! He's getting so BIG and growing into such a sweet young man. We love him so much!
Last year Lucas woke up at 5:30 on his birthday. But this time it was Evan! And it was 5:00... and I went to bed at 1:00. Needless to say, I was not happy. And I was worried I wouldn't make it through the day. Anyhow, Lucas got up at 6:30. He got dressed and closed his eyes as we came down the stairs because he wanted to be surprised by the streamers and balloons (which he requested weeks ago), and he was pleased with the results. For breakfast I made blueberry pancakes and then Lucas opened a few gifts.
We headed to school in our newly pimped out car. I had a lot of fun drawing on the car with window crayons. I think it was my favorite of all the birthday prep.
Evan and I delivered donuts to Lucas's class at 2:45. It was the first time I've been in his new classroom during the school day, so that was fun. The kids were pretty excited and hyper for some reason...

After school I had an audition for a great job and I wanted to take Lucas because they needed kids, too. Lucas wasn't sure if he wanted to go, but finally he got in the car and off we went. I was nervous because he wasn't on board when we left the house; however, he did a wonderful job in the audition and totally surprised me! He did such a great job showing excitement and improvising while we sat in our imaginary truck, pulling our imaginary boat on our way home from our imaginary weekend at the lake. And Lucas loved the experience, too. Hopefully we'll get a callback!

We came home and had a yummy dinner and opened the rest of his gifts. (I love how excited he got over the blue blazer, dress pants, sweater vest, and belt I got him. He also wants a three piece suit and a tux...) After gifts we enjoyed a Harry Potter inspired cake (chocolate with strawberries and whipped cream). I had a lot of fun putting this cake together, and tried my best to channel my inner Rubeus Hagrid whilst decorating.

Look at my boy dressed up in his new Harry gear. He told me he thinks he should dye his hair darker. He's so silly. Maybe temporarily some day....

I love my little stinker so much. And I hope all his dreams comes true.
Happy Birthday, Lucas!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

First Day of Second Grade!

Today is the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! Can you believe my first baby is starting 2nd Grade? Lucas had the same teacher and class for K and 1st grade, so this year he starts with a new teacher and new class. It's a tough adjustment since we just LOVED his old teacher, but his new teacher seems really great. All young and energetic :). He's sad that none of the boys from his old class are in his new class, but he's got a few good girl buddies in there.
As always, its hard to let go as he heads off to school. He takes a little piece of me with him when he's away and I can't wait to get him back at the end of the day. And every day I pray that he's safe and sound... and that he doesn't do too much to embarrass me :).
It's a little too quiet around here, but, look - I'm blogging! Hopefully Evan and I can be productive while we wait for 3:00 to roll around. 

And here's a cute pic of Lucas from soccer that I meant to post in June. Isn't he so cute? Yes, yes, he is. I love him so much.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Artcrank and Ben's Birthday

Ben's birthday fell on the same day as the Artcrank Poster show this year. (Remember his poster from last year? It was beautifully letter pressed and ended up winning an award from a paper company.) This year Ben was so incredibly busy, but still wanted to enter a design, so he worked nonstop to the last minute to get a poster together. It's an abstract wheel, it says, "Bike to Work, Work to Eat, Eat to Live, Live to Bike" going around the wheel. On his artist's description next to his poster he made a note that he would be happy email a PDF to anyone's tattoo artist if they wished to have it tattooed on their back or face. It was pretty funny. (And he actually wanted them to say tattooer, not tattoo artist).

Anyhow, after Ben played two basketball games, we headed out the door at 9:00 to the poster show. I'm so not cool enough to hang at these poster shows with all the cool hipsters drinking their beer and smoking their cigarettes, but I did enjoy seeing all the cool posters. We were out of there by 10:00 and headed to dinner. Dinner at Gordough's, which used to be just a donut trailer, but is now a full blown bar and restaurant. We shared a sandwich and a donut. Ben's contact fell out while he was looking at the menu and we looked like dorks trying to find it with our cell phone lights. BUT Ben finally found it in his water glass!

Sunday night we continued the birthday celebrations at the Pete's house. It was Adam's birthday, too, so we had a combined party for the boys. I made this yummy chocolate cake with strawberries, whipped ganache and whipped cream filling. It was pretty delish. Although, I don't think the whipped ganache is necessary. Next time I'll use plain old ganache.

Speaking of cakes, I mentioned a post or two ago about how I made cakes for my friend's birthday. I made one chocolate one like the one above, but without the weird chocolate on the side. And this was the other one. Raspberry curd filling. Yummy chantilly cream frosting.  And yes, I know I should take the time to clear the table before I take pictures... oops.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Evan Schmevin

OK. Yes, I've been slacking lately. I'm sorry. Cute things are still happening around here, though. As a matter of fact, every day someone does something cute. Sometimes, two people are cute even. This post focuses on Evan's cuteness.

Last month I made a couple cakes for my sweet friend's birthday. Evan was very happy because cake baking means beater licking. In these pics he's enjoying some of the best frosting ever.

I've decided I need to teach my boys to be helpful in the house. When Lucas was 2 or 3 I didn't really want him to clean the toilet because it's gross. And now guess who thinks is gross to clean the toilet? Yes, Lucas. That's not gonna happen with Evan. He's my toilet helper now! Look how manly he is.
These two love to mess up my bedroom. They thought it was great fun to get under the covers and make a parachute.
Evan likes to be helpful in the shower. He always wants to use the squeegee... even on Lucas's face.

Funny things he's said:
Lucas made a fantastic Rock Rattlesnake diorama last week. He made the clay out of snake and I put it in the oven to dry faster. When I opened the oven door Evan saw it and shrieked.
I explained that it wasn't real, and he said, "oh how cute!" Then a minute later hesitantly asked, "Do I have to eat it?" So cute.

On Thursday we went to see the dioramas on display. I took Evan with me and he was so sad to leave and gave Lucas kiss after kiss. Each time he'd start to walk away he'd cry again and go back for another kiss. So sweet. 

My friend, Helda, and I started the Insanity workout a few weeks ago. Sometimes Evan gets on the floor and does stuff with us. I'm sure he looks so much cuter than either one of us. The other day he was even yelling "Dig Deeper!" at us, just like the guy on the video.

Evan is still crazy for airplanes, trains, and things that go. Last month we got to go to the little Georgetown Airport for a study trip with Lucas's class. Evan was in heaven. He sat with the rest of the kids and listened to the guy, who was a little boring, talk the whole time. Probably because they got to sit under an old B-25 Bomber the whole time. BUT, ever since then Evan has wanted to go to the BIG AIRPORT. And he asks multiple times every day to go to the stinkin' airport. EVERY DAY. Poor kid. 

Evan can be a little grouchy sometimes. His signature catchphrase is, "It's not funny!" whenever he is slightly offended. Whether or not someone is laughing doesn't matter. Also, "Its not crazy!" is another one. You can also tell he spends a lot of time in the car with me. As we drive around he'll say, "Seriously, car? Come on!" and nice stuff like that. We've all got to watch our mouths. Evan is so silly, sweet and funny. We sure are glad to have him.

Hoop Dreams - Knights Never Give Up!

Seriously Adorable
Lucas played on his very first basketball team this winter. It was a really fun. We managed to get a bunch of kids from his class on the team, so they were all friends. Ben coached, with Fiona's dad, Stephan, stepping up as Assistant Coach. It was quite a great crew.
Since the kids were all such good friends they had a tendency to goof around a lot at practice, but they had so much fun and it was totally worth it. I remember one night Ben just gave up and allowed the kids a minute to roll on the ground like maniacs. I think that's the same night everyone on the team ended up in tears except for two kids.

Lucas and Griffin celebrating a basket.

Lucas's dribbling improved a lot over the weeks.

Watching little kid basketball is probably the best entertainment you can get. It's also really stressful for some of us crazy parents who spend the majority of the time yelling, "Where's your guy?" or "Guard your wristband!" or "SHOOT!"
It was so fun, though, and we look forward to another season starting in June!
Soccer starts in just a few weeks. Ben won't be coaching that team... he doesn't do soccer.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Well... Thank You, BUT We Didn't Really Ask for Bikes.

Ok. It's been a while. I'm sorry. So, there was Christmas. Then there was Albuquerque. Then there was tile, then there was Evan's birthday. And throughout all of this was croup, a stomach bug, another gross bug, a throat thing, the flu, and then a sinus infection. SO LAME. But, I'd like to enlighten you as to what a magical and joyous holiday we had. Please enjoy...

So, for Christmas Ben and I really wanted to get the boys bikes. Ben agreed that it was a worth while investment and went to 5 bazillion stores a few days before Christmas to find bikes. Then a few more stores after the bike we bought for Lucas was broken.
Christmas morning, Lucas woke up really early. We held him off upstairs for an hour and finally agreed to wake Evan up and come downstairs. The boys saw the room with the little tiny tree and presents and new bikes. And you know what? They could have cared less about the bikes.

But they were excited about the presents. And that Santa ate the cookies. And we should have let Evan sleep in. He was tired and just wanted to lie on his pillow. Poor kid. Lesson learned.
 Everyone had fun with scissors opening their presents. Evan LOVES scissors.
Lucas got a new Lego Star Wars book, and they both got cool Indiana Jones hats that I bought for my mom to give them if she was desperate while we were on our cruise. She didn't need them!
Lucas made that cute plane for Evan at one of the Lowes workshops. He loved it. 
After a simple breakfast of grits, eggs, and bacon/sausage we finished opening presents and got ready to head to the airport! I wanted to make it to ABQ in time for Christmas dinner. The boys were great on the airplane. Evan was an angel and sat/slept the whole time. Lucas took a nap, too.

In Albuquerque (where they grow bigger trees) we had lots of fun. It was FREEZING for us whimpy Austinites. And dry - our skin got dry and flaky, and our lips got chapped, and then there's all this stuff that happens to your nose.  I was sick the whole time and had horrible sinus headaches, so I didn't get to see any friends. But we still had a lot of fun playing games, hanging out, and cooking fun food. Lucas and Evan enjoyed many adventures to the zoo, aquarium, museum, and lots of other places. And there was BAHAMA BUCKS. Just a couple miles from the house. Dreamy. 

Carrie had her birthday while we were there. She got a cool $20 paper airplane from Evan. Rad, right? 
And bath time in ABQ is always loads of fun. And annoying, honestly, with the whining and fighting over toys. So we started bathing them separately. 
And as you can see from Evan's face, IT WAS SO FUN!

 One of the greatest things about ABQ is the view from my parents' house. We have little bison friends occasionally, beautiful sunsets, great lighting, and mountains.

 And SNOW!
We were so happy to get to spend time with our family. Lucas and Evan had lots of fun with their ABQ cousins, aunts, uncle, and grandparents. And of course the fun sleepovers and adventures were super-awesome.
We were extremely happy to see my dad on Christmas Day! A couple weeks before Christmas he had some internal bleeding from an esophageal ulcer (that he didn't know about). He ended up in the hospital with a dangerously low blood count. He stayed several days and received 10 units of blood. It was scary and he was a lucky man. Thank you blood donors! And thank you, friends, for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you, Dad, for staying strong!

Here we are on our flight home. Evan loves the safety instruction manual. Loves it. The boys were well behaved. We got home in 4 pieces and I don't remember any horrible feuds. But my minds a little foggy... I've been sealing tile with cool chemicals for a couple weeks, but that's a story for a later time. 
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!