Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rainy day in the kitchen

And here's the rest of the story:

After chilling the dough, roll it into balls and flatten them with a glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Next, eat deliciously.

The whole recipe can be found here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Janny's first easter

You may have noticed the blogging hiatus last week. The problem isn't a lack of cute photos or amusing moments but that raising two kids is really tough. Prior to Janny's birth, I always had about an hour after sending Clara to bed during which I could rest, blog, or do dishes. Now, I have time and energy to do dishes.

Two positive developments transpired on that front this week. First, we hired help. A high school girl from church is coming for 2 hours per week to help Jill with housework, chasing Clara, or whatever else is needed. Second, I learned a little about Jill's experience. Previously, I had wondered why less than all the household management was getting done while I was at work. As of yesterday, I now wonder how Jill gets ANYTHING done during the day. This perspective has improved our marriage.
Our indoor/outdoor lifestyle is coming together. We have a functional grill and a set of patio furniture and we're using them.
The girls dressed in lovely dresses for Easter.
Clara was happy to show off the dress at church today.

Janny eats more than Clara did and is bigger than Clara was. This might become important in the near future. Yesterday, Clara bopped Janny on head (as she does with less frequent recurrence). Generally, Janny would wince slightly and continue staring blankly. This time, she turned her head towards Clara immediately and gave her the stink eye.

For our part, we continue to preach 'gentle with the baby' to Clara.

Clara's new favorite word is "yeah." She doesn't say "no" yet. It's useful and amusing that she will respond positively to any question.

"Clara, do you want to take a nap?"
"Clara, do you want to help mommy clean the floor?"
"Clara, is Daddy incredibly handsome?"

Monday, April 11, 2011

the cruelest month

Glorious spring weekend. We wore shorts all weekend and spent much time playing outside. Some flowers are blooming. New grill fired up for the first time (pork chops).
My 3 girls enjoying the great outdoors.
Our group of adopt-a-students is growing faster than our family. We had all these guys and gals come over for dinner on Fri night. We met a friend of one of these guys at church on Sunday, so maybe we'll have even more soon.
I'll conclude with a few vignettes from this crazy life.

First, we were badly late to church a week ago. We're usually a few minutes (okay 5-10) late. That week we made a special breakfast, strawberry crepes, that took some extra time. Just as we were finishing up and hoping to leave, Janny started to cry. So we gave her a bottle. She threw up on her outfit. After changing the outfit, Clara needed a new diaper. Voila, 40 minutes late!

Second, on our way home on Saturday, we decided to ride past our old neighborhood. We used to stop and chat with a sweet older couple that sat on their porch everyday when the weather was nice. Like most people, they loved to see Clara. We moved (in a near hurry) just as the cold got started, so we didn't get a chance to let them know. The lady was on the porch with her daughter-in-law. She was so happy to see Clara again and meet the new baby. We loved showing off the girls. As we talked it became pretty clear (not 100% and we didn't ask) that the husband passed away over the winter. We'll miss him.

Another young person we knew in NM also passed away last week. That makes 3 for us, all under 40. Causes were avalanche, heart, and heart. We're praying for you, Steele family.

Monday, April 4, 2011

3 weeks

After Grandma and Gpa S took off for home, the grandparents K took their turn cooing over Janny. With much love and help, the first two weeks with the new baby were not unbearable.
Janny is much like Clara was as a newborn. She sleeps in blocks of 3-4 hours at night and has one or two wakeful periods during the day. She cries if hungry or trying to do some business, but otherwise is very quiet and observant.

Janny's eyes are mysterious. They are very dark with shades that sometimes look gray, green, blue, or brown.
The first thing Clara says every morning after waking up is 'baby'. We walk over to say good morning to her little sister.
Finally, I have started rinsing dishes with cold water before placing them in the dishwasher. I might save a few gallons of hot water per day. Woo-hoo! I probably won't continue this next winter because the water is quite cold on my dainty hands.