Monday, August 13, 2007

Hurricane Hobbs

What do you get when you put a Geo Metro underneath a giant tree during a violent windstorm? are worth a thousand words, so I'll just let you admire the handiwork of the conspiracy between our tree and the weather. Poor Marcus. Sorry Mom!!

Oh, and last picture is of our new handrails. I still don't think they are necessary, and I don't really like them...but oh well, what can you do?

Can-Fest 2007

Here is a picture of the "couple of buckets" of apples and pears that my dad sent me.
Isn't this squirrel cute? He's eating an apple.....wait a second! Those are MY APPLES!! Theiving squirrels...
My super-trooper canning slave...I mean, assistant, Marcus.
Apples and Pears and canning lids...oh my!
Our first batch of was so fun, we were so naive...Marcus is starting to feel the effects of all canning, no sleeping.
Believe it or not, this is after we had cleaned up a little....this mess, by the way, was courtesy of Brian and his not stirring fast enough.

Part of our spoils....

More of our spoils...

More apples????!!!

Marcus came up to visit us this week and brought up a "couple of buckets" of apples and pears for me to can from my dad. We spent two solid days boiling applesauce and pear sauce, thinking that this was the easiest way to get rid of all of them. Then we spent three hours using the rest of the stock to make sliced canned pears and apple pie filling. Ugh. If we'd known how easy those were....there would have been no applesauce or pearsauce to begin with! Marcus and Brian and I have many burns and wounds to show for our work, but it sure doesn't seem like we got enough canned goods to balance them out. We did, however, make several varieties of apple and pearsauce, all sugar free to be used as baby food for little Benjamin...and some for Garrett and Wyatt and Madison, too. We made pear flavor, apple flavor, apple-pear, pear-raspberry, apple-blueberry, and apple-cinnamon. Mmmm....except I don't think I'll be sampling any of it any time soon!

First Rice Cereal

Oh dear, now he is definately growing up! He had his first rice cereal just the other day, and of course he looooved it. I took him to his four month appointment, and the doctor told me that he was probably ready to try solids. I thought that this was ridiculous, but when I told Brian about it he was really excited and went right out to buy some solids for him to try. Now he begs for food every time we are at the table...and of course, Daddy gives him little tastes. He'll be eating some of the massive amounts of applesauce and pearsauce I canned in no time!

Four Months Old...And My First Tattoo

Four months. I can't believe it! It seems like it has only been a few weeks since we brought him home from the hospital! Well, he is getting so big, and really cute...more so each day. He is just a perfectly angelic little baby, and we can't imagine our family without him. He is cooing and "talking" all the time now, loves his Jumperoo, and sleeps very, very well.

The last two pictures document the first time Madison has graffitied her brother. I'm sure it won't be the last. We were riding in the car and she was being very quiet...we should have known. Well...needless to say, markers are no longer allowed in the car, or anywhere near the baby brother. When I asked her what she had done to Benjamin, she told me matter of factly, "I wanted to give him a tattoo," and then didn't seem to understand that this might, in fact, be wrong. Oh well...hopefully she'll get better at it so next time it can be something really cool. The good news is that it was totally washable...and that she adores her brother. I hope this continues...the adoration, not the tattooing.

Highlights Of The Allen Family Reunion

This is Madison at her best...she looooooooves to sing! Did I mention that she LOVES TO SING?! She probably spent an hour by herself on the kareoke machine...belting out whatever was playing in her own words, with her own unique vocal styling. She was so cute and hilarious! I have a clip...but I have no clue how to put it on here. Maybe someone could tell me how. Anyway, she really got the kareoke going for everyone else, and soon after her final number......everyone was singing! I kind of felt like I was in Taiwan again. Hmmm...lots of crazy people singing really loud elevator music. Hehe...but it was really fun. The best part was when the blue team (Los Azules....We Will Win When Pigs Fly!) took to the "stage" and performed a rousing rendition of Stop in the Name of Love. Wow...even Grandma Allen joined in!
Here is my (non)award-winning dutch-oven meatballs. They didn't win, but I still felt like a winner...there wasn't a crumb left! I actually made meatball subs out of these, quite a brilliant and unique move, if I do say so myself. Aaaa...the victory will have to wait. There's always next year! I'm going to have to start developing recipes now if I want to win...the competition is stiff!
This is my favorite picture of the Dad and Grandma Allen having a mean game of Go Fish. Very cute. It was lots of fun! The planners outdid themselves this year! We had the Allen Family Olympics with events such as Frisby Golf, PVC Pipe bowling, Horseshoes, Go Fish, and of course, Kareoke. Brian totally missed out this year! We can't wait for next year!

Home On The Range

Grandpa took Wyatt and Madison for a little ride on Curly. I can't believe how quickly and easily these two took to riding that ginormous horse. I am personally afraid to get on him...probably has something to do with his intentional stumbling the last time I did...but Madi and Wyatt have been on him since they were tiny little ones. I think the initiation age my dad has set is around 6 months...terrifying for mothers, but makes sense to grandpas! Wyatt loves to play in the horse trough...mainly because of the floating plastic goose that is in it...and also because of the fishies that live in there. Madison just loves to do whatever it is that her Grandpa is doing. Aren't they precious?


Holding hands...they love each other already...
Garrett taught Ben to do this while we were there.
Babies of the family!
Madison, Benjamin and I went to Pocatello for a little visiting and to go to the family reunion. It ended up being quite the trip...Nanci got really sick (more kidney stones) so my Mom and I spent the week playing with babies while she recovered. While we were there Garrett taught Benjamin how to grab his toes, and that if you fuss at your mommy, she will hold you...this also works on Uncles, apparently.