Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rest and Relaxation part 3

On May 18, 1980, a five you old Collin stepped outside to what he thought was falling snow. However, it wasn't. It was ash. Ash that was ejected from the earth as Mount St. Helen's erupted over 100 miles away.

In the weeks leading up to our trip, the boys and I learned much about volcanoes. It was pretty cool to be able to end our studies with a visit to the Mount St. Helen's National Volcanic Monument.

This is the new lava dome that is building.

This is one of Collin's and mine favorite hikes. It's amazingly beautiful.

A herd of elk.

Collin and the boys 2010

Collin, Magnus, and Me 2002

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rest and Relaxation part 2

If you missed the pictures from the Oregon Coast part of our trip, you can see them here. The next part of our trip took us further north to WA. I love WA. I love the greeness of it. I love the greyness of it. I love the Taco Timeness of it. I also happen to love some of the people that live there.

We went on a ferry ride with some of those people. I love ferry rides.

Isn't Mt. Rainier just majestic? This was the only time it came out while we were there. I never tire looking at it. I love it.

And, of course, we turned Collin's parent's living room into a battlefield...

Hey, Grandma! You're over the line!

My boys love Nerf guns battles. I'm learning to love Nerf gun battles.

Next up...the side trip we took on the way back home.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rest and Relaxation

After Collin's summer job (finally) ended, we took a much needed family trip. We needed some time together. We headed north to go camping at William Tugman State Park. It's situated on Eel Lake, just a few miles from the Ocean and dunes, on the central coast of Oregon. It was beautiful!

Seeing as the Oregon coast's weather is unpredictable this time of year and pretty chilly over night, we opted to stay in a Yurt instead of pitching our tent. Let me just say that I may never tent camp again. Collin put it best by saying, "This is nicer than some hotels we have stayed in". He was right. It had a bunk bed and a couch that pulled out into a double bed, a table and chairs, a locking door, electricity, and HEAT! Home sweet home.

We hiked around Eel lake...

Played in the sand at the ocean...

...and the sand dunes...

We also hiked a portion of the Oregon Coast Trail and found this great beach...

...and climbed on the rocks...

...explored tide pools (my favorite thing to do)...

...and watched the sun set...

We also found loads of these guys...

...and caught a glimpse of this guy...

It was a GREAT camping trip. Next up...our visit with family in Washington.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cooking with Boys...Chocolate Peanut Squares

I am so glad I committed to cooking with my boys more. They are becoming ever present fixtures in the kitchen. I've been teaching them different cooking techniques, we've been learning about fractions, but most of all, we've been enjoying each others company.

This week we made Chocolate Peanut Squares. I found the recipe here but you can click here to get an easy-to-read printable version. Of course, I'll be providing it for you too. There is no baking required so it is the perfect treat to make when you don't want to heat up your kitchen during these hot summer months.

2 c confectioner's sugar
3/4 c creamy peanut butter
2/3 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c butter; melted

2/3 c semisweet chocolate chips
4 1/2 t creamy peanut butter
1/2 t butter


Begin by lining a 9 in, square pan with foil and butter the foil; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed under "foundation".

Magnus did a great job crushing the graham crackers.

Thane measured and dumped the graham crackers into the bowl.

Magnus measured the peanut butter and added it to the bowl.

Thane stirred all the "foundation" ingredients together.

Magnus had the messy job of packing the "foundation" into the prepared 9-in, square pan.

Next, we made the "topping".
Combine all of the ingredients under "topping" in a microwave safe bowl; heat until melted. Spread it over the peanut butter layer.

Thane measured the chocolate chips and ate the ones that somehow "fell" out.

After all of the "topping" ingredients were in the bowl, the boys were in charge of melting and mixing them all together. They took this job very seriously.

Thane spread the "topping" on top of the "foundation" and placed it in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes.

Once it was cooled, we lifted the foil out of the pan, cut it into little squares, and filled our tummys!

The boys agree that when we make them again, we should double the "topping" part. We really like chocolate!