New Mom Haircut

Before and After

I thought I should blog my new haircut to keep with the trend since both Al, Cathy, and Mary blogged theirs.

I know the before picture is really weird, but it is the only picture I could find of me where my hair was not pulled back.

It feels good to get rid of a lot of hair - it is a little shorter than I hoped, but my hair grows fast.  The kids hardly recognized me when I picked them up.


Crazy Wind Storm

Last night, we were all outside as I was trying to finish planting the veggie garden.  It started getting winding and we felt a few rain drops, so Andrew went to get his umbrella.  A few minutes later, I was still planting and a huge gust of wind came.  A large piece of siding blew through the air, just above my head, then I looked over and noticed this huge tree was down on the lawn.  Poor little Andrew, who was still trying to hold on to his umbrella was really freaked out because his umbrella caught a huge gust of wind, which flipped the umbrella backwards (like on Mary Poppins) and broke it.  Meanwhile, Abby and Anthony were getting blasted in the face with dirt and debris.  I picked up Andrew, and Paul got the other two and we ran inside with everyone upset.  (Andrew is still a little nervous to go back outside).

I am still shocked and sad that this big, nice tree fell.  We will have to call a tree service to come and chop it up and then plant a small one in its place.  We will miss its nice shade this summer.


Lots of Junk!

I decided to blog my yard sale purchases since Al and Emily both did.  I am still not very good at being selective at yard sales and I end up buying junky stuff.  Andrew really liked it when I set up all of the stuff on the porch.

Abigail went with me since the boys were at the Father/Son Camp-out -  I realized that you buy more junk if your kids go with you because they will want to buy random things that you never would.

Here is what I got (favorites 1st):

New with tag - size large black board shorts - for my post-pregnancy summer - .25
Conair hot sticks - these made the best curls for Abby's dance recital - 1.00
Race car ramp - I thought this was junky, but it has been entertaining the boys for 3 days now - .50
Bucket of dublo legos - $3
Barefoot dreams blankie for Lilly - $0.25
Cloth diapers for Al - $4
Newborn sunhat - .50
yellow rain boots for Anthony - .75
picnic basket - .25 (this was Abby's purchase)
Wired flowers - .25 (Abigail picked these, too)
Polly pocket clock - .25
lizards and snakes - .50 (she picked these out for the boys)
books - about $2 - some are not pictured
red umbrella - .25
hot chocolate maker - .50 (I already have one, but maybe I can leave it in the trailer)
baby backpak - $1 - why did I buy this? - I allready have a nice one - maybe Cathy wants it
Not pictured - some really old, junky barbies that Abigail picked out - .50


BBQ Pork

The last few times that I have made BBQ pork, I have not been happy with the results, using recipes that are basically a piece of meat slow-cooked in BBQ sauce.  These recipes are easy, but do not have very much depth of flavor.  They were also a little too sweet for me. Here is what I did: first I read a few recipes in cookbooks and online.

BBQ Pulled Pork
4-5 lb pork roast (I used a shoulder with bone-in) - remove as much fat as you can before    cooking 
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and place in crock-pot.
1 chopped onion
about 1 T Worcestershire sauce
a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 - 1 cup BBQ sauce
Then fill with water to just about the top of the meat.

Cook on low 10-12 hours.

After it is cooked, take meat out - remove bones and fat and shred.

Dump out most of water - reserving the onions to mix with meat if desired.  Leave a little liquid to keep shredded meat moist.

Return shredded meat to crock pot.

At this point you can simply season with salt and pepper and let each person add his or her own BBQ sauce. Or you can add BBQ sauce to the crock-pot, mix with meat before serving.

Hamburger Buns

Last week I made pulled pork sandwiches w/ BBQ sauce for dinner.  Paul thought it was funny because I said I didn't feel like going to the grocery store (with all the kids) to buy buns, so I just made some instead.  He said usually it is the opposite - people buy things at the store because they don't feel like making them.
I looked up a bunch of recipes online and combined them a little and adjusted the recipe to be made with the food processor.  I think they turned out pretty good.  They are not as soft and airy as the $.98 8-pack of buns you can buy - but these were bigger and had much better flavor, and they held up good with the pork and BBQ sauce - they would be great with a burger, too.

Here is the recipe:

Hamburger Buns

650 g. All-purpose flour
13 g. salt
30 g. sugar
1 ½ tsp instant yeast
200 ml milk
2-3 Tbsp butter or 30 g.
230-240 ml water

1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp water

In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter. Heat over low heat just until butter melts – before milk bubbles. (This is a similar method as the Cinnamon rolls and Lion House Rolls – the reason to heat the milk is to break down the milk enzymes that can inhibit yeast production – you can also increase the water in this recipe and add powdered milk). Let milk mixture cool.

Put flour, salt, sugar and yeast in food processor and pulse a few times. Add cooled milk mixture with machine running. Then add enough of the water so the mixture comes together into a ball. Process for about 45 seconds to knead the dough. The dough is soft and feels similar to roll dough.

Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise about 2 hours until double. Divide risen dough into 12 pieces. Form into 12 balls and flatten slightly on the pan. I baked these on a jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper. Let proof about 45 minutes. Before baking, brush with egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with seeds if desired.

Bake at 400 degrees in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice and serve.


St George and Zions

We had a fun time last week in St. George.  We went down to celebrate Grandpa Hatch's 60th birthday.   It felt great to escape the spring snow storms and enjoy the warm sunny weather of Southern Utah.

We were glad to have Pete, Cathy, and their 2 cute kids with us.  The kids loved being able to swim so much.  We also had a fun hiking adventure at Zion National Park.  See Cathy's blog for a funny video of Phillip hiking.


Happy Birthday Andrew!

Andrew is now 4 years old!

We had such a fun time on his birthday.  For his Star Wars party, Daddy and Andrew both dressed up as Darth Vader (which made some of the kids nervous).

Here is my first attempt at adding a video to my blog: