~ Ahhh, summer! ~
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Food thoughts. . .
Tonight we tried a new (to us) veggie- Jicama (pronounced "hick-ama"). For those of you who haven't tasted it, it's kind of like eating a raw turnip, only juicier, and slightly sweet and nutty. I tried it in a Rachel Ray recipe called "Black Bean and Jicama Salad". The boys bravely took bites of it, Benji calling it "sick-ama". They're real troopers about trying new foods, but unfortunately Alec usually doesn't like anything! I enjoyed the taste of it, but probably would have preferred it in another dish. The salad had red onions in it, which I like, but they don't like me! We'd like to try it again; anyone have any good ideas?
For lunch yesterday, I had a brilliant idea. . .Benji loves veggie sandwiches (red pepper, cuke, lettuce, mayo, etc.), but they're really hard for him to eat 'cause they fall apart. I was making his lunch and glanced over at my food processor. I threw the veggies in with the grating attachment, blotted the excess "juice" off (the peppers and cukes get really watery), and then put them along with some mayo and grated cabbage on one of his spelt tortillas. He loved it, and it was really easy to eat. I love my food processor!!


~ they really DO love each other! ~

~ bye-bye, Ava! ~

Grandma Ginny, hope you see this, this one's for you (he loves the pj's!)

~ digging for buried treasure ~
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I just realized that my blog has been a bit heavy on the Benji pics lately. . .I'll work on more candids of Ava and Alec. Alec's not exactly photogenic, but he is old enough to at least sit still when I get out the camera. We'll see what we come up with. . .

Cake number two. . .equally as delish!

Harrison, Alec and Noah making sure Benji opens his gifts the right way (or wishing they were the ones opening presents!)

Daddy and "Boo"

Benji's birthday party was fun, he got tons of Batman, Spidey, and Power Rangers stuff to feed his obsession with all things super-hero related. We do low-key parties, mainly just let all the friends come over and play for a while. You know, if childhood birthdays are so spectacular, ponies and clowns, where do you go from there? Most of life would just be a big letdown after that! Thanks to everyone who came, brought gifts and tried my onion-y hummus! You guys rock!
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I don't usually take pics of my food, but I couldn't help this one- doesn't this lunch look yummy!?
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boys enjoying cake. . .

and girl enjoying cake!
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Here's the cake. . .chocolate with chocolate icing, vegan, and incredibly delicious! Decorated with love by Mommy and Alec. . .

Finishing up his "Birthday Soup"

Dig in!

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Question for the day: when you close the cabinet door, do sippy cups procreate?
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Celebrating Benji's fourth birthday today. . .it's really tomorrow, but there is work for hubby and school for Alec, so we wanted to give Benji a full day of birthday fun. Not sure what we'll do, husband and boys out right now doing returns at Home Depot, Ava sleeping, mommy supposed to be baking a birthday cake (gluten free and vegan!) instead of blogging. . .
I'll post pics later.


"This is Robin calling Batman. . ." (no, he's really calling Papa)
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Hey you! I know you're reading my blog. . .
Please leave a comment; I'd love to know who you are!


I didn't know the blue Power Ranger and Robin were such good friends!

Fun in the kitchen with bread dough. . .

Big brother lends a helping hand with the rolling pin. . .

"Hmmmm, I wonder if I can make this into a. . .?"

What superheroes do when they're not rescuing someone!
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I am sooooo tired today! For some reason Ava has decided the past several days that she's just really not into napping right now. I LIVE for nap time, so needless to say, I"m a bit annoyed right now.
To heap trouble on trouble, I don't have a car either. The transmission went out on Marvin's (old-ish) Explorer, and it's too old and too costly to fix, so we're being forced to car shop. Marvin's been taking the van to work every day, and mommy is stuck at home with a non-napping 13 month old.
I keep telling myself that this in a character-building excercise, but I'm definately not enjoying it!!

One of Ava's guilty pleasures!
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A little bathtime fun for Miss Ava last night
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Today I would like to publicly thank my two good friends, Sarah and Brittany, for so kindly assisting me in the logistics of being a mommy to three without a car. Here's to you, girls! Maybe I'll get you back with a gas gift card. . .


I am sitting paralyzed in front of my computer. . .very tired, I"ve been gone from the house with Benji and Ava since 9:00 this morning, and just got home around 3:30 to a mess and a dirty sink (Ha! That's what I get for not shining it last night!) I'm not sure why I'm even blogging right now, I need to be downstairs tidying up and helping Alec with his homework.
I've spent the last 15 min. or so hopping around on various blogs, and have come to the conclusion that mine totally sucks because I have no computer skills whatsoever! Now, if this was a head of hair, or someone's undressed window, it would look out of this world. Fortunately, those of you who know me, know that I'm not as un-cool as my blog appears, and those of you who don't know me, well, maybe that's why you're not looking at my blog!
(I took this picture to check and see just how tired I was, plus I wanted to see if I could really aim the camera right to take a picture of myself in the mirror- Tada! Guess I can!)


Nightmare on Liberty Street

We just got back from a Cub Scouts Pack meeting at school. It was their annual cake auction; all the scouts are to make and decorate a cake and then they are judged for prizes and auctioned off to raise money for the pack. Well, to give you some idea of what kinds of cakes there are, the one that Alec bid on and won was called "Poop Pie" and was housed in a (hopefully new) kitty litter pan, complete with a litter scoop.
I must say, although I enjoy the idea of Cub Scouts and it is a really great activity for Marvin and Alec to do together, I did not enjoy this meeting. Something about the noise of 20 or so elementary students in a gym and the lighting (you know, those giant overhead flourescents that make everyone look like death warmed over), well, I felt angry and jumpy the whole time. It couldn't end soon enough. Having to ride home with the "Poop Pie" on my lap, complete with Tootsie Roll terds hanging over the edge of the litter pan, did nothing to further my good mood.
I am now going straight to bed with a glass of ice water, and not even thinking about shining my sink. (All you Flybabies out there will know what I'm talking about) goodnight.


Here's the vaccum cleaner-frightening mess that's left on the floor after we take our dried up Christmas tree out to the street. I love real trees, picking one out, how they never quite look perfect, the smell when we come in the front door, etc. This year, however, I'm starting to reconsider my feelings. I doubt my husband will ever agree with me, though. Anyone have any comments on real trees vs. artificial ones?
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Ava today, (in my favorite outfit) enjoying apple chips in the kitchen while I cleaned up from lunch. That's one of her many funny faces that she graces us with on a daily basis.
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We shared our first annual "gingerbread house" making party with Grayson, Vance, Gavin, Avery, and Micah the day after school let out for Christmas break. We used graham crackers for the walls and ceilings and then just icing from a tube to glue it all together. The tube icing is a great idea for cutting down the mess (as opposed to Royal Icing), but doesn't dry hard enough. When the boys went to decorate the houses, they all collapsed! It was fun, though, maybe next year we'll try the R.I. instead.
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Each year at the local railroad station, there are model trains set up and a vintage train car to take rides in. This was our second year to go, Daddy had to work, so Mommy schlepped the three kiddos and the camera down there. The boys really enjoyed the train ride (despite the long line), as you can tell from their grinning faces.
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Merry Christmas from the Wachtmans!

Christmas 2007 was very exciting for all of us. Even though it was Ava's second Christmas, it was really like her first, because now she was very aware of what was happening. Much to our suprise, she pretty much left the Christmas tree and ornaments alone, but she did continue to eat the dirt out of our tall "house tree" by the front door!

The boys were really excited, talking constantly about which toys they wanted to get (we're going to work on taking the focus off of that next year. . .), and really enjoying the weekly Advent candle lighting and Bible stories. The baby Jesus story is finally sinking in with Alec this year, along with many suspicious questions about Santa! Benji is just happy with everything, and pretty much goes along with what ever big brother is saying.

I really enjoyed the nearly two weeks off from school that Alec had and the very long week between Christmas and New Years that Marvin had. We had a really nice time and enjoyed each other's company. We saw a movie, an art exhibit, went to the Ohio Historical Socitey Museum, and several other fun activities.

We've got all of Christmas put away now except the tree; I've been a bit pokey on that this year. It will happen this weekend if not this evening! Any of you who live close can drive by tonight and see if there is a giant tree by the curb!

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