Monday, November 25, 2013

Finally FIVE!

Waiting is not easy when you are four.   And yet it seems there is always something you have to wait for - wait your turn, wait for your little brothers, wait for mommy to finish, wait for your big brothers and daddy to come home.  Probably the hardest is that you have to wait until your birthday so you can become the magical age of FIVE!
Evan and his "cake"

Evan has been waiting a really long time for the day to finally arrive.  Sometime during the night of November 23, while his eyes were closed, that magic happened.  In the morning when he opened his eyes and said good morning to mommy he was no longer a little boy of four, but was instead a big boy of FIVE.  He giggled with giddiness when I said "Happy Birthday" to him and kissed his sweet cheek.

To make it even better, we made it "the weekend of Evan".

Birthday Fun!
Saturday was the birthday party day when he invited four of his little friends and Nicholas to celebrate with him.  Of course, when you have four brothers all of them are part of the fun.  However, Evan was very specific that Nicholas was an invited guest.

Cupcakes and Christmas ornaments

 All of my boys love making stuff so I wasn't surprised when Evan asked to decorate cupcakes at his party.  I think all of them enjoyed the glittery-gluey mess of decorating the ornaments too.  It took the promise of snacks to stop the running, but once they started it was also fun making a lovely birthday party mess.

November 24

Sunday, November 24, was his actual birthday.  We followed our family tradition of having the birthday boys' choice of supper (Evan chose pizza) and giving him our gifts.  After the big party the day before, we spent the cold, wintry day watching movies, playing in the snow and eating popcorn.

Although the ground was covered with a thick layer of snow the day he was born, I told him that not every year will have enough snow for sledding on his birthday.  I clearly remember bundling up in snow pants that barely fit and pulling not-quite-2-year-old James and Morgan in their sled during the days before Evan was born.

Five years can bring so many wonderful things.  Evan has brought joy, laughter and sweetness to our lives.  He is my little buddy and I am so blessed that he is my son.  You made it Evan!  You are Finally FIVE!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lazy Eggs

Just in the dining room there is a lovely selection of recipe books handy for me to peruse anytime I feel compelled to try something different.  Some of these books tell a story of familiarity as they fall open to pages marked with splatters and notations that transform a recipe from just a dish to a delectable dish.  There are others though that have only scribbles of disappointment.

I love cooking.  I love recipes.  I especially enjoy trying new recipes.  There is gratification in presenting a mixture of ordinary ingredients made wonderfully different than how we've had it before.  But I have noticed that I am leaning more toward recipes and food choices that allow me to simplify.  I am truly appreciating easy preparation, fewer steps and basic ingredients.  In this transition from complexity to relative ease, I am surprised to find our meals are generally better as they are less stressful to get on the table.

Recently Sunday's pizza night could not be when Luke had a workshop to attend that evening.  Instead, I tried this recipe and it has become a favorite in our home.  We call them Lazy Egg since I saw a similar one on Pinterest named that.  It's easy and fairly quick using whatever ingredients are on hand.  The ingredients are layered in a sprayed muffin tin and baked in the oven so that the eggs are all done at the same time.

Ready for the oven.

Lazy Eggs Or Muffin Tin Ham & Eggs

Ham - 2 slices per muffin cup pushed down to make a well
choice of chopped veggie: spinach, mushrooms, tomato, peppers, onion, or whatever else you have on hand
optional: grated cheese or bacon bits
egg - 1 egg per muffin cup cracked and poured in the center of the well
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
Place ingredients in each muffin cup in the order listed above. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes until done to your taste. 
Pop them out of the muffin tin and serve with toast.

I made as many as I had slices of ham here.  This left a few that weren't consumed so I stored them in the fridge and they warmed up nicely the next day.

Ready to eat.
Sunny-side up eggs for a family of seven are not the most timely egg choice since I am only able to cook a few at a time.  I have yet to succeed in getting enough to the table for everyone while they are all still warm and the yolks soft.  Yet we all enjoy a dipping egg and eating together.  With this recipe, my timing issues are of no concern since every egg comes out of the oven cooked perfectly at the same time. I take them out of the oven when the whites are set but still slightly soft so they are perfect by the time they get to everyone's plate.

I believe the boys all agree this recipe is a keeper.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Sleeping Baby

His face is transformed from mischievous cutie to that of an angel.  His cheeks are soft pillows for his long, blonde eyelashes to rest on.  His even breaths in and out are rhythmic.  His hands are pliable in their relaxation; fingers gently curled.  His warmth seeps through his sleeper into my skin.  There is tranquility in holding my sleeping baby. 

From the moment I hear him awake in his crib until I finally place him there again at night, his motion is constant.  He is 15 months of energy and life and love and kisses.  He has four big brothers to keep up with.  He has so much world to explore.  He has conquered the climbing-of-the-chair, so he stands on them triumphantly.  He touches EVERYTHING his little arms can stretch to grab; if he can't reach it, he simply climbs up to get it.  He thinks what he does is ever-so-funny, so he does it again, and again.  He sits in the middle of anything his brothers are doing; literally in the middle.  He empties the recycling bin onto the floor repeatedly.  He helps.  Oh my, but he loves to help.

And then finally, at the end of the day when he has tired from touching and climbing and laughing and doing, he lies still on my lap for a moment.  Sometimes he is still long enough to fall asleep.  In that moment I don't care that the dishwasher still has to be filled and put on, or that the floor still needs to be swept, or that lunches still have to be finished, or that a load of folded laundry still needs to be put away.  I just sit.  I watch him sleep.  I absorb his baby warmth.  And every challenge of the day is forgotten because I am holding my sleeping baby.  I am content.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Halloween night finally arrived!  Morgan and James had been counting down for weeks as October 31 approached.  Four boys were excited to go trick-or-treating so they could bring home candy and refill their treat boxes.

Like many parent's in southwestern Ontario, we had been watching the weather and cringing at the forecast of strong winds and rain.  And they were right.  The strong winds didn't start until later, but the rain came early enough to make it a wet, albeit warm, Halloween.  But we added a plastic-bag-fashioned-into-a-shirt layer under the costumes and they all dressed up and were ready to go.   

A Power Ranger, a tiger, a ninja and a black Spider man.

Earlier in the month when I asked the boys what they wanted to dress up as for Halloween, it was quite a relief to me that they all picked something from our dress-up box.

A little monkey.  Yes, the picture is blurry. He would not stay still.
                                                                Our little monkey was quite well suited in his monkey costume.  Oh my, the way this boy climbs EVERYTHING!  It seems to me I am continually lifting him down off something.  Even taking this picture was quite an ordeal as I followed him around, tried to get his attention or had to put his monkey head back on.  I never did get a good picture.  At least he wasn't crying here like he was when we tried to take a picture of all five boys together.
Halloween Tradition

Pumpkin carving!
The final result.
Morgan and James
Nicholas and Evan
The dress up part of the Halloween experience didn't seem to be nearly as exciting for them as I expected it to be this year.  Maybe that's because these boys dress up all the time!  It's not unusual to have a bunch of super heroes or ninjas running through the house.  My personal favorites are when they appear in some mishmash of costumes including some that might even be too small or short.  But the beauty of the odd looking outfits is that they are bringing their imaginary world into being by putting on the persona of what they have created in their minds.  In the summer they often take the roleplay outside and run through the bush.  It's such a creative and fun part of their development. 

I'm really not sure what they were here.
But I'm pretty sure they were some type of tree-people here.

 It is definitely their imagination gone wild!