Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Parade Floats

The biggest parade in Utah is happening in less than two hours from the time I am writing this--The Days of '47 Parade.  Today is Pioneer Day, a state holiday where we celebrate the arrival of the Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley. 

Last week, you could go see all the floats up close and personal that are going to be in the parade today.  We went with grandma and the cousins, and all the kids had a blast.

There was also balloons, face painting, and lots of activities.  Almost each float also had a table set up with stuff for the kids to do.  

We are looking forward to watching the parade and picking out our favorite floats.

Visit from Family

Dan's sister Jenny and her family were in Colorado for a family reunion.  We convinced them to tack on a few extra days to their trip and head our way.  We were so excited to see them.  They are fun and helpful and we hadn't seen them for a year.  Their kids are 16, 14, 11, and 8, so their youngest is the age of our oldest, but that doesn't stop the fun.  Tyler and Emily are great friends, and the bigger kids are great at playing with the twins or scooping up Jackson.  Ethan, 11, spent hours playing ball with the twins, and Allie and Cameron watched the kids several times and let the adults have some adult time.

One night we packed a picnic dinner and went up the canyon.  Every time we go, I wonder why we don't go more often--it's so nice up there.  Enjoy all the pictures from our evening.

We miss you already guys!  I hope it's not another year before we see you again.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

4th of July

We had an absolutely fabulous holiday.  Spending the holiday with my family was great, and something that we had only done once in the last 6 years. 

Each year my parents put together a breakfast up the canyon.  My dad will make breakfast in the dutch oven, while my mom has crafts and games for the kids.  We had to change our plans though this year and move the party to my parent's yard due to the fire on the mountain closing the canyon.  It was still fun.

My dad made breakfast burritos (so yummy!) and we also had fruit and juice.  And you'll notice our pinterest projects throughout this whole post.

My mom had lots for the kids to do.  The bigger girls all painted their toenails.  The smaller kids made tops out of an old cd and marble, fireworks out of life saver rolls, and decorated pens with electrical tape.
Even Brady and Carter loved the crafts, and yes, that is Carter wanting to use the glue stick as chap stick.

After breakfast we went home, had a nap (don't know the last time that happened) and got ready for a barbecue at our house.

We even tried the layered, drinks, but didn't have such great results.  I think I needed to chill my drinks really well first before mixing, but who knows if we will try this again.  They don't really taste that good.

After lots of good eating, visiting, and playing, we headed to the front of the house to do fireworks in the street.  Brady and Carter were awesome.  They would ooh and aah, and when it was over, turn to me and say, "Do again, mom, do again!"

I love this picture of Brady.  We took the basket of licorice out for everyone to munch on during fireworks, and he stole the whole thing for himself.

We had such a fun day.  I love spending time with my family, good food, and especially stopping to remember what a wonderful nation we live in.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

6 months old

Somebody turned 6 months old!

I just reread what I wrote when he turned 5 months old, and not much has changed.  He is still a great baby.  He is happy and smiles so easily.  He loves to laugh, and will always giggle when I put him on his changing table.  He still loves to chew on his fingers, and I think he is about ready for a lovey.  Look what a smiley baby he is:

He did get two teeth in the last month.  The first one popped through June 6, and the next one about a week later.  We have added some fruits and veggies to his diet.  He's not loving them much, but after offering them a few times, he seems to be getting used to them.  He rolls from back to tummy all the time, but still hasn't done tummy to back.  In fact, he doesn't like his tummy and gets mad when he rolls over.  He does sleep on his tummy often now though.

He is getting bigger and bigger all the time.  We made it to the doctor's last week, and he is creeping up the charts.

Height: 26 1/4 inches (34th percentile)
Weight: 17 pounds 14 ounces (50th percentile)
Head: 45 3/4 centimeters (91st percentile)

I actually thought the percentile would be higher, but apparently his height to weight ratio just makes him look pudgy.  Not to mention his giant head. :)

I am so grateful he is part of our family.  We love him!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

For the first time in my life, I have a vegetable garden.  I don't really know what I am doing, but things seem to be taking care of themselves as long as I make sure everything is watered. 

Well, we have our first harvest!

Even though I haven't gardened before, I do know that by the end of summer, people often have more zucchini than recipes, so I am going to be on the look out for good ones.

We did know exactly what we were going to make with our first zucchini though:  chocolate zucchini cake.

Easy and sooooo yummy!

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and grated zucchini
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cocoa

Beat eggs until foamy.  Add oil, sugar, zucchini, buttermilk and vanilla; mix well.  Blend in flour powder, soda, salt, and cocoa.

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

(Note: my sister says she makes this and substitutes half the oil for applesauce and it turns out great.)

Now my recipe didn't include frosting, but I put on a half recipe of Pioneer Woman's Texas Sheet Cake frosting, minus the nuts.

There you go, another way to use up all your zucchini, and according to Tyler, the only way to eat it.