Monday, September 28, 2009

Gone granola

In case you are all wondering what you are getting for Christmas in a pretty jar with a ribbon on it. There is also the possibility of granola bars in a cute tin. Accepting orders for preference of nuts and dried fruits. Per Alex all granola bars must be topped with dark chocolate chunks.
This batch has almonds, dried cranberries and dried apples.
Despite my best intentions I doubt the likelihood I will be actually making vats of this for Christmas gifts so here is the recipe as my Fall gift to you! Enjoy!

Healthy Homemade Granola

Dry Ingredients:
6 cups rolled oats (you can also use a combination of rolled grains)
2 cups of raw almonds and/or walnuts (or other nuts)
½ cup ground flax seed
½ cup wheat germ
Optional: ½ cup unsweetened coconut,
½ cup dried fruit (add after cooked) –date pieces, cranberries, cherries, apricots, mango

Wet Ingredients & seasonings:
2 individual cup unsweetened applesauce (about 1 cup total)
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
½ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together, and then stir into dry ingredients. Stir well to mix thoroughly.

Spread the mixture into two baking dishes. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until evenly golden brown. Stir every 10 – 15 minutes to ensure even browning. If you use fruit, stir once it is cooled. Store in airtight container.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!

Lily and I have been participating in a children's development class since this summer. It involves music, rhymes, dance, instruments, and movement. She really likes it and gets excited when we drive into the community center parking lot each week. This Wed. we missed class to take Alex to his citizenship interview. We went to the Saturday class to make up our missed class and Alex got to see what all the fun was about.
This is the waltz dance portion where you waltz to music with them in your arms and point out different objects in the room.Nobody puts baby in the corner. Aw... Patrick Swayze!!
This is Lily's favorite part. The teacher pours musical instruments out in a circle and everyone goes for it. She usually squeals when they are brought out. For the beginning you all sit in a circle and play different instruments to music. Then everyone picks an instrument and you get up and march around the circle. When the music stops you freeze and are quiet, then the music starts again and you continue.

This week she decided to collect all the tamborines that have a string attached and put them on her wrists and run away!
Her purse fetish is out of control! Well anything with handles or a string will do.
Then comes the obstacle course. We sing a song while the teacher sets it up and explains it. Then begins the free for all. They go from one section to the next doing different tasks that help develop their motor skills. Here we crawl on the squishy stones. Not an easy task really. Lily is quite gifted. Ha ha!
To wind down at the end we pull them around the room on a sheet and a sweet, calm song plays. Usually they play "I've got peace like a river..." an oldie but a fave. She enjoys this part but often crawls off the sheet to run around. I am going to teach her to pull me on a sheet next because by then end of class I am usually worn out and could use a break.
I fondly refer to class as our hippie granola dance class. I am not sure really how to describe it otherwise. We have noticed a lot of changes in Lily's development since starting class this summer. Recently when we talk about Winston she started panting like a dog. We couldn't figure out why she started to relate him to panting because we always talk about a dog saying woof. Then in class I realized one of the rhymes we do each week talks about a dog and you do panting sounds. Guess from now on if I want to teach her something I have to make up a song, rhyme, or dance for it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Proud to be an American...almost

Today Alex had his citizenship interview and exam. After waiting 2 hours PAST his appointment time he got his turn. He had to answer 6 questions about US history, write a sentence in english, and generally promise he wasn't a criminal. He PASSED! That only took the entire morning. When he got home from work he was surprised with an all American meal! I stocked up on decor after 4th of July (that was one of his exam questions by the way.)
We all got into the fun!
Now we are all Americans! Well, after the swearing in ceremony we will be.
Winsty is 99% American and 1% Churchill.
Jessie was so thoughtful and made a special order at Trophy just for Alex. She told them to make the most obnoxious American cupcakes ever! They were really pretty, and yummy too! We served hot dogs, coleslaw, and potato salad for dinner!
His swearing in ceremony is Oct 5th. Then he can get a passport. We are so grateful to be able to put this process behind us. It has been over four years and who knows how many thousands of dollars later. Soon enough he can wear the old red, white and blue & stars and stripes and sing at the top of his lungs, "I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free."

They didn't ask him my favorite test question either, "who were the colonist seeking refuge from?" ...The British of course!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Flamenco!!

Grandma and Grampy England spent several months this summer in Portugal and Spain. They came across this fabulous number in Spain and couldn't resist. It is probably the right size for next year but we couldn't help but try it on early!
She actually enjoyed wearing it...I think.
Prudence (her owl blabla doll) was really excited about being her dance partner.Does this dress make my butt look big?

New Look

Time For Change by David Reece.

I know I just changed our blog layout but, like shoes and purses you can never have too many right?

I thought I would change it up again since we just went to the beach and are going again soon. Maybe after that I will accept that Fall is here and change it to something Autumnal. Is that a real word Alex?

Hope you like it. I stole it from a link on my friend Jill's blog. They are free so I am gonna change it up all the time now!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pool party at Grandma's

After our week in Santa Barbara we stayed at Grandma and Grandpa Peterson's in Simi for a night before flying home. It was warm and sunny so we all went for a swim. Lily LOVES the pool. She is not afraid at all and just turns and flops in. She also likes to dip her fingers in and suck the water off. YUCK! Robbin and Carsen came over for a visit! He is such a big boy and so sweet!! We all took turns passing him around and eating his delicious rolls.
All the ladies chilling in the shade with the wee ones. Jenn came over as well to visit us and get some Carsen love.
He promised us he would slow down because he is growing up too fast and before you know it he will be running around with Lily.
Grandma England sure does love her Lily! They were walking laps around the pool.
No sand here people, just blue water. Good thing we are going to be spending a lot of time with Grandpa and Grandma England in Carpinteria Lily. You will love the sand in no time.

The good life

We just returned from spending a week long vacation in Santa Barbara with Alex's parents. They hadn't seen Lily since Feb so it was so much fun hanging out and letting them play with her and marvel and how much she has grown.

We rented a two bedroom condo in Santa Barbara just a few blocks from State Street. We could walk to all the shops and restaurants. Here is Alex relaxing in the living area. We did a lot of relaxing. We got to go out on a few date nights as well which we loved!
The condo from the outside. The weather was perfect! Warm and sunny every day and not too hot.
Lily had a great time walking along the beach with her Grampy! He gives great rides.
Lily is growing so fast and walking along really well. She wants to walk all the time now so it was great to have so many adults to take her hands.
She hasn't been to the beach since she was tiny. This was the first time she really got to enjoy the water and waves and sand. The first time she just loved the beach and water. It was the sand she was not too fond of. She did not want to put her feet down on the warm powdery sand. If it was near the water and hard packed she didn't mind too much. We need to work on that as we are going to Hawaii next month!
I think the grown ups had as much fun enjoying her at the beach as she did!

This is her "I want to try a pringle now that I have a tooth" face. She gummed it and agreed they are very moreish as we English say!

Finally, a tooth for Lily

I gotta toof...I gotta toof!!
I know for some kids this is just a regular milestone like all the others. For Lily it is especially sweet because she waited until 14 months to get her first tooth. Tell that to her cousin Luke who probably has more teeth than that already at 9 months! At her 12 month well child doctors visit they said that if she didn't have any teeth by her 15 month visit she would have to go see a pediatric dentist for xrays. I think she heard that loud and clear so she got busy making this tooth appear. Now she has a second one coming next to it even though the first isn't even all the way out yet. She hasn't been too crabby about it so we are lucky there. If anything she is sleeping more due to a growth spurt and teething. Hooray for that! She is still taking 2 naps a day most days, unless something more fun bumps it to one. This is the best shot I could get of her tooth. Don't pay attention to the wild strawberry blond "haystack" hair as we call it. The beach air in Carpinteria does all kinds of things to a girls hair, even makes it curl!