Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I have no exciting plans for ringing in the New Year.  Frankly, I think I'm getting old, because I honestly just want to go to bed.  But I do wish everyone a very happy and blessed 2011. 

Later I will post some goals I have for the upcoming year; maybe if I post them publicly I'll be more likely to do something about them!  Nothing like accountability.  :)  Also a friend of mine picked our her ten favorite blog posts for 2010 to do her own "Top 10" countdown.  I may look back over my 2010 blogs and try to choose ten favorites for you.  :)  It sounds fun, anyway. 

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

stain removal 101

I don't have to tell anyone here that children are messy.  Clothing will stain, and you will have to deal with it.  Such is life. 

However, this handy recipe will get a LOT of stains out of clothing.  I have used it successfully on all sorts of stains.  It hails from The Complete Tightwad Gazette, which I confess is one of my all-time favorite books.  (I know, surprise, surprise.  I can't help it; it's full of great tips and recipes and inspiration.  Some naysayers complain that it is outdated, and I do confess that it's amusing to read discussions of records vs. CDs or whether or not one should buy a home computer.  However, the principles are timeless even if the examples are not.) 

The official recipe is 1 cup Clorox II + 1 cup Cascade powder + 5 gallons of the hottest water you can get from your faucet.  Soak several garments overnight, then launder as usual.  It is not recommended for delicate fabrics or items that are not colorfast. 

I personally use Oxi Clean (or the Sun or Dollar Tree equivalent) and store brand dishwasher powder for this recipe.  I also use less of the powders and less water.  Still, it works--particularly on food stains. 

I used it quite successfully last week on this:

Dawn dish soap (or equivalent) also makes a goo pre-treater for stains, particularly greasy ones.  Apply directly to the stain.  Launder as usual.

Friday, December 17, 2010

soft serve

My friend TJ gave me this recipe, thinking it would be a good way for my lactose-intolerant daughter to have an ice cream equivalent as an occasional treat.  The bonus was that 1) it's healthy and 2) we ALL liked it!  The ingredients are things we have on hand pretty much all the time, so it's convenient to boot!

You will need:

2 frozen bananas
almond butter
a blender

Unfortunately, there are no real amounts for this recipe; you have to go more by feel.  I added a couple of pretty hefty spoonfuls of the almond butter, so I'm to guess about 1/4 cup, and a drizzle of honey that might have been around a teaspoon.  Your mileage may vary.  You could certainly add more honey if you like it sweeter or less if you need to save calories/reduce sugar.  Blend.  The consistency is definitely soft serve, not true ice cream, but the flavor is superb--mild and nutty.  Natalie licked the bowl.  Thanks, TJ! 

This recipe is linked to Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap and Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Richie Petrie lives...

Okay, so no one but my dad is going to get that reference.  So I'll explain. 

My all-time favorite TV show is The Dick Van Dyke Show.  No matter how many times I watch it, it's still funny.  And the actors were so extraordinarily talented.  Anyway, the son on the show, Richie (played by Larry Mathews), frequently hid in one of the kitchen cabinets.  Rob or Laura would open the door to find him eating a snack or just hanging out.

I keep Tupperware and other plastics in the bottom cabinet in the kitchen (having plastic kept low means nothing will get broken; fragile items are stored up high).  Over the last few days Sarah and Natalie have decided that they really like playing in this bottom cabinet.  Sarah clears out the salad spinner and few other items, and they both climb in.  I guess this is the advantage to their small size; they both fit! 

So far, neither has tried to eat a snack in there (although Natalie has been known to take her almond milk), but I'll be on the lookout.  (As long as they don't start being as whiny as Richie was.  That's really my only complaint about the show; Richie was really an unlikable character at times.) 

In other news, I've been giving the girls a dose of elderberry syrup every morning.  Apparently the stuff must taste pretty good.  I was still sitting at the table sipping coffee this morning and said out loud, as a reminder to myself as much as anything, "Next I'll give you each your elderberry."  I hadn't moved yet to even open the refrigerator, but Natalie immediately opened her mouth, ready for the spoon! 

A few more pictures...

A few more pictures from September's California trip...if anyone likes pictures.  ;) 

In the hotel room...we were tired from flying all day, so she really wasn't in a "photo op" mood.

Natalie looks a little happier.  She slept some on the plane.

Sarah had a great time with both her cousin Connor and her cousin-once-removed Chelsea! 

This picture just cracks me up!  What an expression!

Two of the Butterworth men...

This photo is a treasure...the cousins with the great-grandparents.

Everyone all together...4 generations.

And the younger two generations...
Can I just say that the updates Blogger has done make it SO much easier to upload and post pictures? 

Monday, December 6, 2010

a few random photos

I love this dress...especially with the hat.  Natalie won't actually keep the hat on for very long, hence the need to preserve the moment via photograph.

See?  She's already looking somewhat put out.  I think the hat came off about 2.2 seconds after this picture got snapped.

Natalie loves to look at books.  She doesn't actually like to be read to much; she sees Sarah reading independently and thinks she should be able to do the same!

Here, both girls are curled up for some reading time. 

Hard at work. 

better late than never? I got our California pictures off of the camera!  Considering that we visited California in September, this is probably enough after the event that no one actually cares about the pictures anymore.  At least that would be the case if it weren't for the fact that most of my readers are family.  Grandparents and aunts don't care that the photos are several months old.  And some of the pictures are pretty good, I must say.  Some of them even show Natalie smiling! 

Natalie enjoying her yogurt breakfast as we get ready for our trip.

I love this picture of Sarah and Grandpa and the huge stuffed dog!  

A good profile shot of Natalie.

I realize that most of these are of Natalie.  The pictures I have of Sarah tended to be of her with other people...most especially my nephew Connor.  She really enjoyed hanging out with him.  However, I will try to post those to Facebook instead of here, because I know Tara and Nick are protective of Connor's pictures. 

Next I'm going to post some miscellaneous pictures that I found hanging out on the camera! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

got yo?

Nelson LOVES ice cream.  We don't have it in the freezer often, but when we do he eats it frequently and in quantity. 

Natalie would love ice cream but of course can't have it.  But in the interest of fairness, we try to get frozen yogurt if we get ice cream so that she isn't left out.  She does love the frozen yogurt (and rice cream as well). 

Nelson got himself a bowl of ice cream tonight.  Natalie followed him into the kitchen begging, "Yo?  Want yo?  Yo?" 

It just cracked me up, first her pronunciation (too cute!) and second that she already knows she that she gets yogurt rather than ice cream. 

In other news, Sarah was disappointed that we were unable to get on the web cam with Grandma and Grandpa tonight.  She started to cry.  Natalie immediately went over to hug her big sister comfortingly.  Aw...(even cuter is the fact that Natalie always says, "Hug" when she is hugging someone).