Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Beamish Boy

My son is Seven! "O Frabjous day! Callooh, Callay!" Seven years ago, a delightful soul was introduced into our family. We have been blessed by him ever since. Eli is uncommonly charismatic, invariably curious, surprisingly gregarious, shockingly adventerous, accutely sensitive, admirably energetic, unconditionally forgiving, supremely confident, wincingly courageous, intensely intelligent, and laugh-out-loud funny. He makes people smile around him, wherever he is.

Have I ever told you what his first word was? It was "Hi!"
Did you know that at 7 months old he decided he was going to start standing and he practiced and practiced until by the end of the evening, he stood up steadily? Then a month or so later, he took off running, with no thought of fear. That is how Eli is.

A Seven-Year-Old! When I look at him, I just want to say, "Come to my arms, my beamish boy!"

So, to celebrate, Eli decided he wanted a "Games Galore Attack" birthday party. We played a LOT of games: twister, apples to apples, charades, pin the nose on the clown, and had an airplane flying contest.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Too Hot to Cook

For the last week, the weather has been over 107 degrees every day, except for last Tuesday...ah, Tuesday! Yes, it was a nice chilly 104 that day...

Anyway, the past 3 and the next 6 days are forecasted to be over 110 degrees. It's just plain Too Hot to Cook.

I rebelled last week and refused to turn the oven on to cook dinner. Here's what I did:

Main Course: Hot Day Salad. (I named it that.) Recipe from my Aunt Jan.
3/4 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup light mayo
3 Tbs. Honey
2 Tbs. lemon or lime juice
This dressing makes a lot, so for a family of 5, I would halve the recipe for dressing. Unless you have to go to a party this month and bring a salad. Then it's perfect.

Then, all you do is add:
Chicken, Diced. Hello, Costco canned chicken! Nice to see you on this warm day!
Pineapple (I used canned.)
You can serve this plain, or spoon it into wheat pita pockets, which is what we did. So cool and delicious!

Next, A Side Dish: Green Pepper Tomato Salad

I found this recipe a couple weeks ago when I was browsing for ideas of what to do with all our green peppers growing in our garden. This one is a winner. A winner, winner, cold chicken dinner.

3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (um, what's wrong with the seeds? I kept 'em in. Waste of time taking them out!)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 celery rib, thinly sliced (I used that the first time I made it, the next time I used cucumber, because we also have an overabundance of those in the garden too.)
1/2 cup chopped red onion (we are growing green onions, so that's what I used. It was GOOD.)
Here's the dressing:
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
I felt my internal temperature drop just by eating that fresh salad. Yummy.

Dessert: No Bake Cookies. Recipe from Sunny Doller

I'd never made them before! Can you believe it? They're so delicious and easy. And all that oatmeal takes a twinge of the guilt away.

Put these ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil for one minute. One minute, I swear, that's all the heat you'll have to endure!

2 cups Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup milk
Pinch Salt

Then add:
3 cups Quick Oats
1/2 cup Peanut Butter and
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix Well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool.

There was no way our cookies were going to get cool enough without sticking them in the fridge or freezer. So that's what we did. Cold, Cold, Cold!

And if you're really, really hot, and you simply can't bear to turn the stove on either, you can make this dessert: (This was Eli's birthday cake this year.)

Ice Cream Cake. Recipe from Tasha Busby.

24 Ice Cream Sandwiches. Yes, I'm serious. 24. You'll need them all. Go get them.
2 Caramel ice cream syrup bottles. 2.
1 (8-oz.) ctn whipped topping, thawed.
6 Heath candy bars, crushed. 6, Adam, not 3. I saw you trying to skimp on the Heath bars last Saturday! Saving some for later??
Okay, now comes the hard part. Unwrap all the ice cream sandwiches. Luckily, I had Ivy with me to help on this, and she is an expert. You might need to borrow a three-year-old for this if you don't already have one at home.

Then, layer the sandwiches in a 9 x 13 pan. This should be about 12 sandwiches. If there's a half sandwich left over, I won't tell anyone if you give it to the three-year-old.

Next, pour the entire bottle of caramel over the ice cream sandwiches. Scoop out every drop, you'll be glad you did later.

Then, the next 12 ice cream sandwiches come in this layer. Then, the 2nd bottle of Caramel.

Next layer, cool whip. Spread it on.

Finally, after you've made sure your husband has crushed ALL SIX of the Heath Bars, you can spread that on the top.

Finally, cover with foil and freeze!

(We added the Kit-Kats for convenience at the party)

Did you see anywhere where a stove, microwave, or (perish the thought) an OVEN was mentioned? Yeah, me neither.

I share because I love.
Go forth and feed your families.

Eli's Lucky Number 7

Some people are luckier than others. Take Eli for example. He's just lucky. So, when you get a naturally lucky kid on his Seventh Birthday, (which incidently, is 7-11,) watch out. The planets have aligned, and there's just no stopping him!

We woke up early on Saturday for Lizzie and Eli's first ever Swim Meet. They've been holding meets all summer, but this is the first one we've been able to come to.

For whatever reason, Eli's heat was just him and one other boy. Lucky. He was either going to get 1st or 2nd place! (Eli's the one in the far lane.)

A blue ribbon his first race! Lucky!
Exhibit B: Breaststroke. He's against only 2 other boys. Lucky again!

He was a winner! 2 Blue Ribbons, 2 more races to go!
No pictures of the Butterfly - but guess what? He won 1st place again! Here he is setting up for the last race - Freestyle. Now, he's in a heat with 7 other boys his age! I was very worried he would be disappointed... ...especially after this "graceful" dive into the water - Yikes!
Check out the second lane in. That's Eli. Yep, he won again!
The lucky swimmer went away from his first meet with 4 Blue Ribbons! We couldn't believe it! What a great way to celebrate your Seventh Birthday!

Lizzie did really great, too. As you can imagine, it wasn't super fun for her to have her little brother keep getting so lucky, but she was a really good sport. She got two 3rd places, a 4th place and a 7th place! Great swimming!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Need a magical pet? wand? robe? broomstick?

These are Lizzie's own creations: The Sightseer 1000 lets you "see what is going on with Aliens' brains from slo-mo to fast-forward;" the Future Frail glasses "let you see the future...not bad before Christmas!" and "Quen" sells quills and ink.Magical pets for sale: cats, bats, owls, spiders, and the gerbil
Never knew my old broom could look so snazzy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Couple things I forgot. This one probably because I blocked it out of my memory:


Driving in Edinburgh's rainy weather.

On the Left Side of the Road.

With a Stick Shift!!!!!

TERRIFYING!!! Believe me, the first day, it really was.

Here's a day's harvest from our garden! There is something amazingly satisfying about planting, growing and eating your own food. We felt very self-sufficient that day. Yum.

Oh, and Ivy had a Princess Musical Theater Summer Camp this month. The performance was last Tuesday. She was in Princess HEAVEN.

Eli, two weeks away from his Seventh Birthday, FINALLY lost his first tooth. This picture was taken almost two months ago. He's had two rows of teeth for quite a while now. The dentist said to start saving our money for his braces, too. Yeesh. We really wanted him to get it out while we were in Scotland. But then it prompted a whole discussion on the Tooth Fairy's currency exchange rates, so it was probably for the best that he lost it in the USA.