photo Friday {two week edition}

Well I’ve been completely housebound this week with a sick Miles. Most photos would have been of tissue boxes, baby Tylenol & coffee {for me}. We did, however, discover that the backyardigans can keep an almost 1 year old entertained for a few minutes, long enough to make more coffee.
The week before was a bit more exciting, here are some photos…

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Last Saturday Livi got her turn going to a Husky game with Mike. If course she was SO excited.

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One my dear friends came up for a few days with her adorable little guy. Graham and Miles are going to be best friends. I love the progression of the photos above, they got along pretty well, I promise.  It was such a treat to have them here!

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The cousins got a puppy, we love her!!

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I may have busted out the Christmas music this week, desperate times…

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Triple shot after a mostly sleepless night with baby? Yes please.

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Doesn’t he look so sick? Poor guy, & it’s his birthday soon & everything.

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Thankfully he perked up a bit this morning.

Happy Friday!

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{pumpkin} whoopie pies

Delicious. That’s all you need to know about these whoopie pies.

Make them, today, you won’t regret it!

Bite size pumpkin cake, with cream cheese frosting. Pure amazingness.

Here’s what you’ll need…

* butter
* sugar {not pictured}
* canned pumpkin
* eggs
* vanilla
* flour {not pictured}
* baking soda & baking powder
* cinnamon, ginger & salt

Do you have all of those ingredients? Great, mix them up {I followed a recipe on tastykitchen.com but it’s no longer there!} I used my mini ice-cream scoop to scoop batter onto the cookie sheet. Bake and let cool.

Once they’ve cooled, and you’ve *tested* one of two….whip together the frosting ingredients.

* powdered sugar
* cream cheese
* butter
* vanilla

Place about a teaspoon of the icing on the flat side of one pie, sandwich with a  second pie, and enjoy!

*mini pumpkin whoopie pies*

2 c flour
1 tsp each baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger, salt
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto lined baking sheet. Bake @ 350degrees, for 9-11 minutes. Cool completely.
Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter & vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until fluffy.
Spread a heaping tsp of filling onto flat side of cookie, top with another cookie to sandwich.

{ ENJOY }

stoney ridge

This past Friday I had the chance to go to the pumpkin patch with Stella and her kindergarten class. It’s the first time any of my kids have been to a pumpkin patch.

It was such a beautiful day and the farm was everything you think a pumpkin patch should be. There was a wagon to take us out to the patch. Mini pumpkins for the school children to take home. A corn maze and apple trees. Animals and a playground and amazing apple cider donuts! We even got a lesson on the most important worker on the farm. Can you guess who that is? The bees of course!

kindergarten friends

Stella had a great time, and so did I. Stoney Ridge Farm is a local farm that is a perfect place for a family day out. You can pick your own pumpkin, or choose one from their stand. There are also gourds and squash and apples to purchase. Later on in the year they also have a Christmas tree farm, where you can choose your tree {and chop it down yourself!}.

Just a few more pics, because I could go on and on about how great it was…

we even saw a cousin out there!

{I’m thinking next year I should just write my 31 days about pumpkins… that seems to be all I want to talk about anyways.}

I hope you get the chance to enjoy a pumpkin patch this year!

photo friday

Fall has *finally* arrived here in the northwest. Part of me is sad, I’ll sure miss eating lunch on the porch in the sun. But another part of me says bring on autumn, and all she has to offer. I’m ready to be cold enough to enjoy a nice cup of coffee & wear a wool cardi.

Here are some photos from this past week…

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We spent last weekend in Portland, and while we were there I got to sneak away & have breakfast with one of my besties. We went to this lovely bistro downtown, I had an amazing eggs Benedict!

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Turns out my nephew is my twin.

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We feasted in honour of Canadian Thanksgiving.

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Miles took care of some yarn for me, he’s always so helpful.

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Waiting for the big kids at their bus stop, on the last warm sunny day of our extended summer.

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Miles {& Olivia} enjoying his early birthday present.

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First field trip! Loved the pumpkin patch at Stoney Ridge Farm.

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Dusted off the wellies & raincoat today.

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Olivia was trying to teach Miles to walk. Please, don’t rush!!!

Happy Friday!

stella-isms

Stella is #3 in our line-up.

You might be concerned that as the second girl, and one of our ‘middle children’, she might get a bit lost in the mix. That she might be overshadowed by her very sociable, lovable older sister, or a bit deprived of attention because of the focus being on her sweet and sensitive older brother.

FEAR NOT.

There is nothing overshadowing Stella in our house. In fact, if she had it her way, she’d be running the show. We’d probably all have a uniform of fluffy skirts, eat chocolate chips for every meal, and follow her every whim….

Stella is a girl of extremes. She is my most loving child and my most defiant child. She is a complex little girl, and I am working very hard to understand her.

I recently checked out a copy of “The Strong Willed Child” from our local library. I thought I would skim through it first, before I purchase it. I’m only on chapter two, and already I think it’s going to be a good thing. Now that Miles is a bit older {and sleeping through the night, amen}, I’ve been able to turn more of my focus to little miss fireball. In my season of simply surviving day to day, she developed some habits, habits that need some shall we say attention. I was out of ideas and had a conversation with a friend about her strong-willed sweetie {what is it about those third children??}, and she recommended the book. I’m hoping {and need to do more praying!} that having a tool will get me out of my rut with said fireball, and move forward with her. Helping her to ‘use her powers for good”!

Since she has such a big personality, Stella has come up with some pretty hilarious observations and comments on life. I thought I’d share a few of the more recent gems.

“I wish I had a pocket {like a kangaroo}, then I could put my toys in it”

{said while running out to ride her bike} “I’d better put my helmet on, so I don’t lose my brain like mommy”

“That’s hideous” {said about anything she doesn’t like}

{while on our way home from her getting stitches, and a few weeks after my Dad had a heart attack} “… good thing it wasn’t a heart attack” {said slightly hysterically}

“This dinner is lame.”

{upon seeing that we were having pasta for dinner, this did not go over well}

“I’m going to rip it up in a million tiny pieces!!”

{in reference to a pink piece of paper she was trying to write a note on when she was told she had to go home}

She keeps me on my toes that’s for sure. Unfortunately some of the most funny things she says, are said when she’s really mad, and I have to try really hard not to laugh.

A few months ago I wrote about my struggle to adapt to Stella being gone at school. It seems like such a normal thing now, and she loves it.  We’ve only had one day where she really didn’t want to go to school…. which may have involved some help from the bus driver and a call from the Principal once she got to school. Overall school has been such a good thing. I keep expecting to get a phone call from her teacher, Stella’s very vocal about her opinions and I keep waiting for it to get her into trouble! Apparently she saves all of that for me, *sigh*.

In a lot of ways Stella is my favourite {gasp, I know we’re not supposed to have favourites!!}, maybe it’s because she’s my most challenging, and I love a challenge. {I wonder where she gets it from…} But seriously, each of my children are in some way my favourite. Each one is such an individual, such a unique GIFT. I only hope I’m not screwing them up too badly. I want Stella to express all of that emotion she feels, not keep it bottled up inside, it’s part of what makes her such an incredible little person. But man, it’s such a challenge to teach her to do that AND be respectful and a joy to be around.

I love you Stella, my strong & beautiful & sweet fireball.

pumpkin love

I took a trip to Target today, and apart from picking up this fabulous robe (i love it!!!),

 

I came across some amazing pumpkin products. It’s my first fall back in the US, and I’m still surprised by what I find on the shelves….

 

Only a few of these came home with me, but I may have to go back for the harvest snack mix,I mean corn chips, pretzels & candy corn, how can that not be fabulous? I did,however, pick up the pumpkin cream cheese. It’s a-mazing. I’m trying to think of more things to put it on…

What pumpkin products are you loving this fall?

easy pumpkin muffins

I’m usually a stickler for homemade, from scratch, baking.

Maybe it’s from years of living in Scotland where many of the mixes and shortcuts I was used to weren’t available. If it was something I missed from home, I pretty much had to make it from scratch!

I’ve been pretty faithfully making these muffins already this fall, {and they are delicious!} but I’ve seen a shortcut talked about around the web, and thought I’d give it a shot. It only requires three ingredients, how easy is that?

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It’s very thick batter, and fills 12 muffins cups nicely.

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They are moist, and delicious! I added a bit of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top for a little extra sweet crunch. I used a plain yellow cake mix, but may try a spice cake mix next time for extra spice.

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious pumpkin muffin, give this a try!

happy {canadian} thanksgiving!

This past weekend we went down to Portland to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving.

My brother and his family live there, and my parents drove down from Alberta so we could all be together. We feasted Saturday; turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie — if it’s associated with Thanksgiving we ate it! It was a quick trip, but so great to be together.

Since today is the actual day of Thanksgiving, I’ve got a ‘thanksgiving’ list for you.

10 things i’m thankful for today…. 

{in no particular order}

* pumpkin pie lattes in the fall *

* giggling children *

* yogurt & granola *

* the memory of the scent of my newborn babies *

{why else would I have 4??}

* a husband who is my best friend *

* popcorn and movie night with my kids *

* texting old friends *

* garden fresh tomatoes *

* making a hand-made gift *

* reading in the sun *

{I did that TODAY! This fall has been a-mazing}

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

J


photo friday

We’re off to Portland for the weekend to celebrate Canadian thanksgiving with my family, I’m so excited!! One of the perks of our marriage — 2 thanksgivings!
Here’s a glimpse into the past two weeks…

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Miles got a chance to try out the swings for the first time. The park was such a big part of my kids’ lives in Glasgow and here It’s a rarity, still feels a little strange.

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My current favorite stop to get fruits & veg us this local grocer, ‘The Green Barn’. It has a great selection of local produce & currently has fantastic pumpkins! (a favourite of mine)

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I picked up this beauty last week, love the green.

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Pumpkin Pie lattes from Woods coffee are my current indulgence. Delicious, and they taste just like fall to me.

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Noah’s pumpkin plant got REALLY long, but unfortunately didn’t produce any pumpkins, maybe next year we’ll have better luck!

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Oh Miles, could you be any more adorable??

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Half-marathon day! I trained for a few months for it & was so excited to finish! Definitely one of the more challenging this I’ve ever done.

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This was the sign my family was holding for me at the finish line, it was SO great to see them cheering me on to the finish!

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If the dishwasher is open, Miles makes a beeline for it. His favourite perch!

Happy Friday!

old friends

Don’t you just love an old friend?

Someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway? Someone who knows the why behind your weird quirks? Someone who knows that the first thing you’ll do after running a half-marathon is go get donuts?

I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve moved a lot in the past 15  17 (I always seem to forget how old I am) years since High School, but I have those kinds of friends scattered all over the world. Every time I’ve had to say the big good-bye to one of them my heart has broken a little. I’ve felt a bit lost without them, and wondered if I’ll ever feel known like that by someone again. Is 34 too old to make a friend that knows me and loves me like the ‘old’ ones? I’ve long since given up the childish dream that me and my besties will all live on the same street, next door to each other, raising our babies together. But a part of me still wishes that could be true. Instead I e-mail, skype, text and facebook those lovely friends. Giving and getting glimpses into each others lives.

I think I’m feeling a bit sentimental today since in 2 days I get to see one of my dearest friends! She now lives only a 5 hour drive away, and I don’t see her nearly enough. I think I’m also keenly aware of these friendships because they are hard to come by after a move. I find myself in a closely knit community. Which is great, for a lot of reasons. But it’s also a tough place to ‘break into’. Especially if you’ve got (self-diagnosed) social anxiety!

Instead of bemoaning the fact that I have very few friends here who I’m not related to, I’m choosing to be thankful. For the friends who are scattered all over the world, who have made my life richer and contributed to the person I am today. I’m also going to move forward, and anticipate that good friendships will come.

I’ve made friends before, I should be able to do it again right???

Jx