Friday, April 30, 2010

Great Salt Plains

This picture isn't of snow or water but SALT covering the earth!

"Great Salt Plains State Park is your gateway to one of Oklahoma's most fascinating natural wonders. The Salt Plains are literally a sea of salt. They offer selenite crystal digging in season and outstanding bird watching all year long. Great Salt Plains Lake is located at the park and covers 8,690 surface acres with 41 miles of shoreline and is a shallow, salty lake -- about 1/3 to 1/2 as salty as the ocean -- with fishing opportunities for catfish, saugeye, sandbass and hybrid striper." 

Pretty cool, huh?  That's where my family, father, sisters and family all went a couple of weeks ago for a weekend getaway.  How have I lived in OK for most of my life and never heard of this place?!  It was so much fun getting dirty and digging for crystals!  We found a TON and can't wait to make some jewelry out of  my little treasures. 

Here are a few pics from the weekend.  I left my camera at home (boo!) but my sister got some good shots. 

Our little gang of hoodlums.  As you can see in the background the salt plains was more like the great muddy plains when we went.  It rained the entire day before and all through the night.  It made for easy digging!

My nephew Jace burring Gavin in's vacation right?  Why not. 

All the guys went fishing.  Zander was the only one to catch anything!  He was sooo proud!

While the guys went fishing we put the 3 babies down for a nap...they were exhausted from all the beautiful sisters and I had some bonding time.  We explored around the cabin and enjoyed nature. 

Played a little jenga and had cocktails (and I won, of course)!

And climbed trees.  Yes, we were sore the next day! 

Hannah with BoBo (aka Samuel)

It was a great place for a family vacation.  The cabins were small but very nice.  They had full kitchens with dishes and cookware, grill and fire pit outside, and heating and air conditioning.  They also provided lots of towels and extra sheets, pillows and blankets.  Only $60-75 a night!  2 thumbs up! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Goodbye my baby boy...

Zander  "I'm going to start calling you Mom"

Me  "OK.  What did you call me before?"

Zander  "I called you Momma and I called Dad, Daddy.  I'm growing up Mom.  Now I will call you Mom and Dad."

**sniff, sniff**

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I love cereal.
That sentence doesn't even begin to describe my passion for a cold crunchy bowl of wholesome goodness first thing in the morning.

I am NOT a morning person. I love the convenience of cereal. Virtually no thinking involved. If I had it my way I would serve my children cereal every morning. Or, better yet, have my 5 yr old serve himself AND his siblings. I'm not talking about the giant sugary bags of corn puffs ladies. Lord knows the last thing my kids need in the morning is a sugar high.

That's where I run into a dilemma. When the boys were younger I bought the healthy- organic- whole grain- kid- attractive cereals with an animal or character on the cover. They loved it. And so did my hubby and I. A $5-6 box would last maybe two days. So there I was, spending $25 a week on boxed cereal. Ridiculous.

After taking a Dave Ramsey class and really buckling down on our finances this was an area that we could improve on. I was forced to wake up and actually turn on the stove in the morning. Instead of high priced cereal we would eat oatmeal, eggs and toast, homemade muffins, fruit and yogurt. oh poor me. ;)

I have tried my hand at granola several times in the past 2 years. It always turned out just OK. But never lived up to my high expectations.

Well ladies, I have found a fill for the cereal void in my life.

It's from the book Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson


4 cups of old fashioned or quick cooking rolled oats

3/4 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds

1 cup walnuts or macadamia nuts, chopped in quarters

1 1/2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups of assorted "unsulfured" dried fruit (not sure exactly what that means, but I used dried cranberries from the bulk section of Whole foods...hopefully unsulfured? Next time I think I'm going to try dried papaya)

Grated zest of 2 oranges (I didn't have this on hand and left it out. Still tasted great! But I will add this in my next batch.)

3/4 cup of raw mild- flavored honey

1/4 cup of coconut oil

Preheat oven to 300. Set aside 2 rimmed baking sheets.

Combine oats, seeds, nuts, coconut, dried fruit, and zest in large bowl. Heat the honey and coconut oil in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk to thoroughly combine, then pour over oat mixture and stir until everything is well coated.

Divide the mixture between the 2 baking sheets and spread into a thin layer. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, for about 40 minutes, until toasty brown. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temp.

You have GOT to try this recipe. Amazing. I'm not a big coconut fan and passed over this recipe several times thinking I would not like it. But I have LOVED everything I've tried in the book so far and decided to give it a go....a new fav indeed. Just wanted to spread the love. Hope you enjoy! And if you don't get to making it....well, you can be sure this will be my Christmas gifts this may get lucky!

P.S. Yes, I know the pics have nothing to do with granola...but they were the most recent food related pics I could find.  Camille and Maya eating another obsession of mine.  Uncle Vinny's Pizza.  Mmmmmm...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Letting Go

Yesterday I took the girls to the doctor, without an appointment, with Gavin in tow, during nap time, by myself. Yeah. Not my brightest mommy moment, but wanted them seen.....pronto.

You know how it is when you start googling symptoms. In my defense, it was a big deal. Camille developed a staph infection from an ongoing battle with a "diaper rash." Not going to go into all the gory details, but she had a single hard bump under her skin where the elastic around the leg was with a few surrounding pimple like bumps. She would scream in pain when I touched poor baby. She was also running a low grade fever.

I rushed her to the doctor. There I waited. And waited. And waited. For 2 hours.

It was zero fun. But I did learn a little something about myself. I am becoming stronger. I felt myself beginning to stress out. The twins refused to sit in their strollers. Gavin was unhappy with the snacks and coloring books I brought for him and was bratty very unpleasant. Maya was on some sort of "lack of sleep high" and running around like a little banshee. And poor little Camille was screaming the majority of the time. Top it off with judgmental onlookers and the outspoken annoyed receptionists. The situation was enough to rattle Buddha himself. At one point I felt myself getting emotional and feeling sucked into all the bad energy around me. But I noticed it and brought myself back to the present. I can't control I stopped trying. I just let it all go and took a breath.

I hugged my crying baby, singing her favorite song (You Are My Sunshine) and started to pace the halls encouraging Maya to sing along. Eventually, Gavin joined us and decided to lead our singing parade. We ignored the huffs of the grumpy old man trying to read his newspaper,the teenager trying sleep and his angry mother. I then jokingly asked the receptionist if she preferred my singing to the crying baby. After that things calmed down. Camille started to fall asleep in my arms and the other two children started coloring. Then surprise, my sister walked in! She just happened to be getting her stitches out that day! I have never been so happy to see her!

Slowly I am learning to give up my expectations of how I think things should be. And I am beginning to not care how others view me.  Not to mention my need to control every situation. Letting go of all that. It really does make life easier.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Silly Sisters

I've said it a thousand times on here....and I'll probably say it a thousand more....I LOVE having twins! There is something so special between them. It's a joy to watch them everyday.

Sure, it was tough when they were younger, and we still have our days, BUT it's so nice that they always have each other to play (and fight) with.

Camille sunbathing in daddy's chair....but what is so funny?

Sissy's got her toes!

Saturday with the fam

Yesterday was a beautiful day spent with the family.

We went to Cherry St. Farmers Market. If you didn't get a chance to go yesterday be sure to check it out next week. It was wonderful! They blocked off traffic on 15th for 3 blocks. Tulsa really does have a great community. I bought some maitake mushrooms. I had never heard of them before. They were beautiful...looked like a flower. Last night I sauteed them in butter and a little garlic sea salt....OMG! They were sooo wonderful.

look at this beautiful fungus!

Afterwards we headed to Philbrook museum for FREE family day. The plan was to take some family photos....the kids had a different plan. None of them would hold still and they were all extra was close to lunch time and the girls were ready for their nap.

But moody still makes for cute pics. Look at that sas.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Feeding the ducks

Camille Rose...I love this picture. Dirty face and all.

So happy spring is finally here and we can spend most of the day outdoors! It makes being a mother of 4 small children soooo much easier. My only complaint is we are in the middle of several home improvements right floors throughout home, total back yard make over including: tearing up deck in backyard to redo, building raised garden beds, compost pile, building a "contraption" to catch rain water from roof, and new landscaping in front yard...whew. (I know, I know, major run-on sentence.) I am so thankful we finally have our tax return in so we have a little extra dough to make all this happen BUT our yard is far from baby proof right now!

Instead we take a field trip to the park nearly every day. Here we are feeding the ducks at Hunter Park.

Pretty Camille

I can't express to you how happy I was that no child fell in the pond that day. Gavin actually said, "Mom, I'm gonna touch that duck right there."

Please don't.

Thankfully, Camille & Maya were more interested in eating the stale bread butts than throwing them in the water.

I love my job........most days.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

We had a fabulous Easter Sunday! Hope you did too!

We went to the Tam Bao Buddhist Temple for was the English Sanga's turn to cook for the monks and congregation so I made couscous burritos with all the trimmings. Yummy!
I made the girls dresses this year. (Thank you Aunt Tami for teaching me how to read a patern!) They were pretty easy...and they only cost me $1 in fabric (walmart clearance rack!) and $1 for 4 pink buttons plus cost of thread. Soooo...less than $3 for TWO EASTER DRESSES!! Their flower bows I made as well...fake flowers hot glued on alligator clips! Considering this is one of my 1st completed duo outfits, I think it's pretty cute.

After the egg hunt we went home and put the babies down for a nap.  The boys and I planted their flower seeds they got in their easter buckets.  They are now impatiently waiting on their impatiens to grow. 

When the girls woke up we headed to the my wonderful Aunt Peggy's house for burgers, kite flying and another egg hunt with the family!  What a great day.  Hope yours was too.