Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Learning to talk

I love that Boo is learning to communicate with us. She learns about two signs a week. She learned 'thank you' this week (yay, just in time for trick or treating). She will sign eat, more, milk, shoes, dog, please, thank you. She will say 'water', 'socks', 'night night', 'daddy'.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

We started with a kid party at Heather's house this morning. There were a lot of toddlers about Boo's age, and a lot of treats. I got a plate of snacks for Boo and sat down let her pick a few off the plate and suddenly I was surrounded by toddlers. I got the food, and then I got the friends. :) There were a few plates of snacks down low around the room - a plate of goldfish, a plate of cheerios. Gabe and Boo loved to go around the room, dump snack onto the floor and then eat it off the floor. Cute little heathens.

Tired out from the party

Boo has carried her trick or treat bag around all week. I let her carry her treats from the trunk or treat around in it for awhile...until she figured out how to get into the chocolate. That was a little too messy, so they had to go. But that was ok, she found plenty of other things to put in there instead.

This evening we went trick or treating. Boo loved getting treats in her bag. We started with our neighbors across the street - they were so sweet and each gave her several treats for her bag. She was so tickled...and spoiled. After that one treat per house wasn't enough, she expected more!

We drove to our other trick or treat houses - the Holts, Julie's (J's coworker), and Garysons. Garyson's were our last stop. They had great decorations - a cemetary, ghosts, spiders and webs. And even better treats - homemade root beer and homemade donuts.

We all had a great Halloween, and already looking forward to next year.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A new stake in Indy

Today in church we had an announcement that they will be creating a new stake in Indianapolis at our Stake Conference in a couple of weeks (a stake is basically a collection of congregations of our church that meets and works together in church things). Our ward (the congregation we go to church with each Sunday) has been shifted up to the north stake, which won't really affect our week to week activities, but will change the people that we meet with when we gather as a stake for activities a few times a year. This will be a big change for some people. Not so much for us, since we have not been here long. But it has started me thinking about change, and how it is hard to see things in life change. My dad says the only thing constant in life is change. For me it's really hard to believe that a change will be for the better, but it almost always is. Even if I don't see it immediately. I am very much a creature of habit, and even little changes can make me a little nuts. I am lucky to be married to J who is much better at taking things in stride and seeing things with a clear and broad perspective.

The potty monster

Well, we have created a potty monster. Let me tell you the whole story, lest you think we are overeager first time parents (stop laughing). One day a month or so ago we were getting Boo ready for her bath and sat her on the potty. She thought she was big stuff, and surprise of all surprises, actually went potty in the potty. Since she seemed so interested, we got her a potty seat. No harm in some pre-potty training, right? My plan was to teach her a sign for potty, let her sit on it occasionally, so when she was ready to potty train it would be that much easier. It turns out that Boo LOVES to sit on the potty. She learned the sign for potty in about two days, so whenever she is tired of what she is doing and wants to have some fun, she signs potty and grunts a little bit, and off we go to the potty. So in a way it is good that she continues to be interested in and like the potty, however she is kind of missing the point. Oh well, at least we are all having fun.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trunk or Treat

We went to a bonfire and trunk or treat this evening. I was a little hesitant about going - we went last year and it was so cold. But tonight was perfect - there was a fall chill in the air, but not bad at all. The bonfire was great, there was face painting and a few games for the kids. Boo liked sitting at the face painting table, although she wasn't as keen on actually getting her face painted. She also had a great time toddling around in her ladybug costume. She adopted someone's trick or treat pumpkin and wandered around the meadow collecting leaves to put in her bucket.

And she loved the trick or treat part. Jer took her around, and it only took her about two tries to figure out that if she holds out her bag, she gets a treat dropped in. By the end she was so tickled with her bag full of treats. She held on to it all the way home, while she brushed her teeth, while we put her pj's on, and oh what a sad day it was when we took it away for bedtime.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad/Grandpa! We took this picture at the Anderson Mounds las October when Dad was here visiting. That's Boo (2 months) he's got in the baby bjorn. He loved to tote her around in that carrier.

Well, it has been a little bit of a slow day today, but Peter O. has had an exciting week in Switzerland. Here is a quote from the email I received from him Wednesday morning:

"The most exciting story of the week however occured or rather began as we were sleeping. We got robbed! It was probably the coolest thing ever. Except for the whole losing stuff thing."

He goes on to explain that when he woke up he noticed the bathroom window open, but didn't think much of it til he couldn't find his watch...or his wallet. His companion's entire bag was missing as well. So they started off for the police station. On foot because all their money and transportation passes were stolen. The temperature had dropped to 0 degrees C, so it was a long cold walk. But the next morning took a turn for the better - all of their things were turned in except for a watch and a camera.

Boo has kicked it up a notch and now runs everywhere she goes. Except for when she really wants to run away from me (like when she has my cell phone) she does a couple of run in place things before she can get going.

For fans of The Office, there is a big Office party in Scranton, PA this weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these for our Halloween party last night and they were super easy to make and turned out well. The original recipe called for a 10 minute cooking time, but 11 minutes was better for me. If you want to be healthy, you can substitute applesauce for the oil and add a TB or 2 of flaxseed meal.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c canned pumpkin

1 c white sugar

½ c vegetable oil

1 egg

2 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp milk

1 TB vanilla extract

2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 11 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

First Halloween Party

The Scott's had a great Halloween party this evening. The babies were so cute in their costumes. Hannah was great for the camera, she even blew me kisses. :) About the only time I didn't have my camera, Boo, Hannah and Noah climbed up on the low table and sat there in a line smiling. I'm downloading the pictures from my camera right now, so hopefully there are some cute ones.

Elizabeth knows how to do a party! She had great activities for the older kids (older being older than 2) and Halloween theme food: "mummies" - hot dogs wrapped in strips of crescent rolls; "graveyard" - dirt pudding; "spiders" - crackers, cheese, raisins, pretzels; "jack-o-lanterns" - hollowed out oranges filled with fruit; "witches hats" - upside down fudge stripes with Hershey's kisses on top. We had a great time!






Colts 6-0

Great Monday night football game between the Colts and the Jaguars - the Colts ran away with it, giving them a 6-0 season so far. A few games back we thought we saw our season going down the drain as three starters were injured in one game. Unfortunately Rob Morris (he played for BYU while Jer and I were there) is out for the season. But two games later we are still undefeated. Last year when the Colts were in the playoffs we got Boo a Peyton Manning jersey, so here is a picture of her from last January (5 months old).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A new table

In all the excitement of the pumpkin patch, I forgot to mention our new arrival. We got a glass table for our big front room from craigslist. The worst part about buying from craigslist is finding a truck and people to help you move it. But we got a great deal and a nice table. As it is, the table can seat about six, and then there are two leaves that can be added to comfortably seat eight. Now we can start having those fancy dinner parties.

We moved the piano to the living room and shifted the bookcases, tv and couches. I really like our tv area now. It has left the table half of the room a little empty, but we will get a nice big print for that wall and some chairs and even things out a bit. Oh, and curtains.

Boo's poncho

We have had a lot of comments on Boo's poncho that she has been wearing the last couple of days so I thought I would make a post about it. The poncho is just darling and was made by our good friend from Bloomington, Pam Todd. She makes beautiful hand made crocheted and knitted items, including these ponchos for babies, toddlers, kids and adults in a variety of colors and sizes. On my sidebar is a link to her website "Bags By Pam". If you are interested in one for your child (or you), you can order right from her website. If you would like a special order, I'm sure Pam would be accommodating. She does beautiful work.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boo plus 4

Saturday evening we watched our friends' triplets (four years old) and their little boy who is Boo's age. We had so much fun...mac & cheese for dinner, a walk, and Sleeping Beauty. Dinner was a little hairy with 2 babies. Cannon won the toss up for the high chair and Boo didn't understand why HE was in HER chair, kept pulling on his legs and bib (trying to pull him out?). But then she was happy to sit on my lap and eat off 'my' plate. The girls are great eaters, they ate their green beans without complaint! We could see Jer mowing the lawn out the patio door as we ate, so he was our dinner entertainment.

Cannon also won the toss up for the stroller on the walk. But it turns out that Boo likes to push the stroller more than ride in it, so everyone was happy. After the walk we had second dinner (everyone was hungry again), the babies went to bed, and Sleeping Beauty was a hit with the girls. I only have Sleeping Beauty on a VHS tape and it had to rewind before we could watch it. The girls (no VCR at their place) couldn't understand "it has to rewind". They thought I was pretty slow and kept saying, "Andrea. Just push play."


Gabe, Boo, Alexandra, Vincent

Boo & Alexandra

Pumpkin Patch

Saturday morning we took Boo to the Waterman's Pumpkin Patch. Wouldn't you know that this is the first day this fall that it was actually cold?! We had a great time. We went with our neighbors, their little girl is 18 months older than Boo. Abbie-Grace LOVES Boo . If she sees us come out of the house, she hollers across the street "Hey Brookie wookie!".

We didn't quite know what we were getting into - we thought it was like a farmer's market with a pumpkin patch where you pick pumpkins. But it was a lot more than that - first thing you see when you walk in are these two oxen, standing there eating hay. One thought Boo was a big piece of hay and tried to lick her up.

Next we went on the hayride - we were there so early that we got the hayride to ourselves. Waterman's is a big farm and they take you around the farm and show you all the crops. It stops at a pumpkin patch and you can pick a pumpkin. We thought we would just get out, let Boo walk around and not get a pumpkin. She patted one big pumpkin, then saw a smaller one and spent the rest of the time trying to pick it up. She is determined thing. It was just heavy enough that when she got her little arms around it and lifted, it would pull her over onto her face. She finally got it into her arms and laid her head on it and gave it a hug. Of course then we had to take it with us. Put pumpkins on Boo's favorite things list.

We saw a few more things before we got too cold. We saw a rooster, little goats, and some enormous rabbits. The ox didn't bother Boo, even when it tried to eat her, but she did not like those rabbits. There was a big dinosaur that ate pumpkins, but it wasn't going yet. All told, we had a great time.

Chicken Nuggets

I made these for Boo's dinner last night and I thought they tasted great! This recipe is tweaked a little, but I got the original recipe from The Baby Bistro Cookbook. I got the broccoli idea from the 2 minutes of Jessica Seinfeld I saw on the Today Show. You might be able to put more broccoli and get away with it, but I haven't tried.

Chicken Nuggets

½ c Italian bread crumbs

1/8-1/4 tsp salt

1 lb ground chicken

2 TB vegetable oil

2 TB pureed broccoli

Mix bread crumbs and salt in a shallow bowl. Mix the broccoli into the ground chicken. With your hands, shape the chicken/broccoli mixture into 2”-3” nuggets. Toss the nuggets in the bread-crumb mixture until evenly coated.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the nuggets in batches for 3 minutes per side, until golden, crispy and thoroughly cooked. Keep cooked nuggets warm in a 200 degree oven until finished.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Boo has become a collector. Around the house she loves to carry around a bag and put things in it. On our walks, anything, leaves, sticks, Spike. She puts it carefully in her stroller (since she doesn't use the stroller anymore). Lucky for me she doesn't notice (yet) when I throw them out at the end of our walk. I have no one to blame but myself...I am a terrible collector. I've got hundreds of baseball cards under my bed. And Jer hasn't yet found my wooden pencil collection or my bookmark collection. I have a love/hate relationship with books that come in series - I love series, but I can't rest til I have all the books in the series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Zoo

What a trip we had to the zoo today. It was a beautiful morning, so I decided last minute that we should go to the zoo. The weather is supposed to turn bad tomorrow, so we took advantage of the good weather today. Boo loves the shark tank, so we stopped there first. Then we went to the tigers...they are rarely there, but today there was a tiger right up against the fence that separates them from the public. We were the only ones around, I was so excited for Boo to see one up close...until the tiger vomited all over. Fortunately not on us. Tiger vomit stinks, so we left. Later on we saw the kangaroos, just like National Geographic specials. We came across a class of kindergartners and Boo let out a happy squeal and ran over to the group of kids and was so happy to mingle with the big kids.

Boo walked nearly the entire time we were there. She was happy to push the stroller, angry when she had to get in it. They have a great group of elephants here, including 2 babies. They were ALL out today, how fun...except Boo was much more interested in the pumpkins lining the walkway. She patted each one as we walked by. Elephants, shmelephants.

Since she loved the pumpkins at the zoo so much, I took her out to Anderson Orchard today. I got a bag of apples, and then we walked around and patted all the pumpkins. I found the perfect Dinner in a Pumpkin pumpkin.

90 Minute Bread & Cinnamon Swirl Bread

90 Minute Bread

2 cups warm water

2 TB active dry yeast

2 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

2 TB oil

4 ½ cups flour (white or wheat or combination of both)

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Add 1 more cup of water, honey, oil, salt and 3 ½ cups flour. Mix ingredients together, adding more flour as needed to make a soft, but not sticky dough.

When dough is soft and pulls away from the side of the bowl, divide into 2 pieces. Let stand 15 minutes in a warm place, covered with a towel.

Pound each piece of dough with a rolling pin for 1 minute on floured board. Form dough into 2 loaves and put in greased loaf pans.

Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes (60+ minutes if using wheat flour), or until doubled in bulk.

Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

90 Minute Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Same ingredients as above, plus butter, ½ cup brown sugar and 2 TB cinnamon.

Follow recipe as above. After you pound with a rolling pin, roll out in a rectangle.

Spread butter over dough and sprinkle with mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into a loaf and continue with recipe as above.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"You came to a concert and didn't bring anything?"

Boo is in bed (bless her) and J is in Pittsboro tonight, so I'm settling in for a night of blogging, NCIS and The Biggest Loser.

I finished watching "Music and Lyrics" today and really enjoyed it. I loved Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility. Ah, the awkward silences and uncomfortable situations. I saw "About A Boy" a couple of years ago and loved him in that as well.

And now for Boo. But now it is time. We got her a potty seat last of those that sits on the real toilet. I have no desire to have a mini-potty to clean out. The first time she sat on it, she was so pleased to be up there and so darn cute I had to take a picture. I will not embarrass you or her by posting them here, but I will have to at least send them to grandparents. She has four swollen spots on her gums where her molars are coming in, poor kid. She was only mildly affected when her other teeth came in, but this has been a trial for her. She's not eating well, and not sleeping well at naps, although fortunately (for her and me) she sleeps great at night.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's a mattow witto monsto?

Jeremy says that my pictures have to match my blog...I can't just put random pictures of
Boo between all my paragraphs. So I will try to do it right this post.

I just got the cutest Halloween e-card from a friend - to see it click here and then click on the 'knock knock boo hoo' card.

We have had a nice weekend of beautiful fall weather. We drove down to Bloomington for a quick visit and I remembered how much I love that drive between Martinsville and Bloomington, so beautiful. We had lunch with Bryan & Jenny and saw their cute little Lily.

I have a great HG Hall moment of finding relatives in random places for my Hall family members that may be reading this. I happened to glance at Bryan & Jenny's bookshelves and noticed a family history book of Bryan's with the name Jane Treharne Ashton on the cover. I seemed to remember seeing the name "Treharne Ashton" somewhere in my family history, so I picked up the book and flipped through it to see if I could find a link. And sure enough, Emily Treharne Ashton was the daughter of Jane, Emily was the mother of Ralph Ashton Richards, my great-grandfather. There were some pictures of Oakley, of Ralph and Naoma, and Grandma Hall's name on a pedigree chart. So Bryan and I are fourth cousins. I borrowed the book so I can try to contact the people that published it - it's a beautifully bound book.

On Friday, Jeremy and I went shopping for winter coats and stopped by Borders on the way home. I had seen commercials for Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah promoting her new book "Deceptively Delicious", so I thought I would take a look and see if it was as cool as everyone is saying. I couldn't find it from just looking around, so I talked to an employee who told me they had sold out of the book before Oprah was even over. I shouldn't have been surprised...when I tried to reserve copy at the library I was number 162 on the waiting list. So if anyone has gotten a copy of the book, let me know what you think. I picked up Jenny McCarthy's new book about her son's 'recovery' from autism, but didn't get too far into it. Has anyone read that? I know she has been making the talk show rounds as well.

Jeremy and I are working on some videos to post here, so hopefully we will have some for you to see soon.