Monday, December 21, 2009

Recipe Request #2

Easy home-made macaroni and cheese ( I double this recipe)
2 cups uncooked macaroni
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp butter

1. Cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain and return to pot on stove on low heat. Stir in remaining ingredients.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is desired consistency.

Recipe Requests

Guiness Chocolate Cake (thanks Erica!)
2 cups Guiness
2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch process preferred)
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream

2 cups whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips

for cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees
butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch high sides. line with parchment paper. butter paper.
bring Guiness and butter to simmer in heavy large sauce pan over medium heat.
add cocoa ppowder and whisk until mixture is smooth. cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl to blend.
Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
Add Guiness-chocolate mix to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
Add flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed.
Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack, cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For icing:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.

Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing on top. Top with second layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing on top. Top with third layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sided of cake.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Conversations with Anna: (Repayment for having to wake up 3 times last night to soothe her)

Anna: I think you're wonderful.
Mom: What?
Mom: Thanks, sweetheart.
Anna: You're welcome, sweetheart.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A beautiful Fall day

Daddy is getting some serious yard work done. Anna is napping. Ernie helped collect leaves and now is creating a waterfall* in the back yard. I just finished dipping said leaves in wax. I am hoping to use them for craft projects with Ernie and if they last, as decorations for the Thanksgiving table.

*waterfall= the hose + the newly exposed rockery uncovered when Dad cut back the foliage in the back yard

Monday, October 5, 2009

We love Fall because . . .

We spend lots of time doing pumpkin art projects.

We visit the Pacific Science Center when the weather turns cold.

We head to warmer climates to visit with special friends!

We get to wear our fuzzy warm footie pjs.

We jump fully clothed into the sudsy pool we've been using to clean up our summer toys.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Anna's Anatomy Lesson

Starting to fugure out the differences between boys and girls...

According to Anna:
Daddy have a peanut
Ernie have a peanut
Anna have a bubeyena
Mommy have...a privacy

Kids are hilarious.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Conversations with Anna: Identity Clarification

Just in case you were wondering who's who in the Frick family . . . this brief exchange occurred at the dinner table one night.

Ernie: I'm me.

Anna: No, I'M me. You're you, you're you, you're you and I'm me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ethiopian new year and more hair pics

On Saturday we celebrated Ethiopian New Year with the local Ethiopian community. For the first time, Anna really loved the Ethiopian food dishes. Both kids love injera.

I think Anna is smiling in this picture, but it's hard to tell.

Anna's first cornrows braided by Mom. You can't beat YouTube for how-to videos!

I am pretty happy with my first try at cornrows. Nine braids took about 45 minutes, 1 dvd, 2 television shows, a lollipop and one binky.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Most of July, August and a little September

Mama loves summertime! It makes me wish we lived somewhere the sun shines all year long. I love the extra space of the backyard and the kids are so happy playing in the dirt and sandbox.

A new obsession for the five year old (and Dad). Pirate legos!

* I just had to take a break from writing this post to emergency clean Anna's room. This is the second time she has taken off her diaper after pooping and trying to put it in the diaper genie. The first time she did it right before we were leaving to take the kids to Grandma's so we could fly to Vegas. Yes, Vegas was awesome.

Yep. My kids are brilliant. That's them sitting in the wagon next to the sprinkler.

Blowing out candles at their shared birthday party

A new hairstyle

We vacationed at Sunriver and loved every minute of it! This pic is at the entrance to the lava cave. Anna's assesment of the "laba cabe": "It's dark in here. I don't wanna go down there. Look, Mommy, a big rock!"

Three precious boys enjoying the spoils of the vegetable garden

Grandpa is a favorite around here. He is nice and calm and Anna always enjoys a quiet minute with him. Of course I think she has conned him into singing to her. Not really something to remark upon, except that she had him going for about 15 minutes straight.

A visit to Kokeb restaurant with other families with Ethiopian kiddos

Ernie's first day of kindergarten was Wednesday.

This picture does not do justice to how unbelievable LOUD it was in our house at this moment. Brian is playing guitar, Ernie is wailing on the saxophone, but Anna has not quite figured out the flute.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Early July

We had friends over to play in the water one hot afternoon.

Haeli and Ernie had a blast on the water slide.

Early on the morning of the 4th, we hiked up to Denny Creek Slippery Slabs. Check it out. It is the perfect hike and picnic/playspot if you've got little ones. We had so much fun!

Ernie braves the chilly, chilly water. It was so cold it hurt!

It is almost impossible to get a pic of these two where they are both smiling!

Ernie loves to climb. He was so excited on our trip up to the slabs. He kept telling us how much fun he was having.

I got them both to smile in this picture. Dessert helps.

We had a great time decorating Ernie's birthday cupcakes together. Dinosaurs . . . surprise, surprise.

Ernie turns five. Oh my goodness! I love five. He is so self sufficient. He's fun to talk to. We have a great time together.

Ernie is getting more creative playing with his sister. She's becoming useful. I had to snap this picture when I saw that Anna was actually pushing him around the yard.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

May/June update

*Is talking like crazy. She sounds so funny repeating phrases that Ernie has said. "My tummy hurts really bad." "No thank you." "Oh please. Oh please. Oh please." "I don't like this part." "I don't like it anymore."
* Knows all the words to and will sing over and over "Bingle Fells"
* Knows all the words to various dinosaur songs
* Is starting to propel herself around in the pool while wearing her floaty swimsuit
* Sang the words "green anaconda" over and over again in the locker room at the pool today, to the great amusement of everyone present
* We've tried a few new hair styles. I like the one that pulls her hair back from her face in braids.

* Likes smores almost as much as her brother


* Finished pre-school last week. Sigh.

* Is reading more than ever. He is not enthusiastic about sitting down to read a book, but likes to read signs etc. He did sit down and read "Hop on Pop" to Anna, who listened very patiently.

* Is swimming on his own without a life jacket this summer.

* Displays a smore-induced stupor

* Is not giving up dinosaurs anytime soon. This is him "acting out dinosaurs."

*Is participating in his first organized sports team. He has joined the swim team and here is a pic of his climb up the blocks for his first race ever. There is nothing cuter than this little boy in his team jammers.


* Made a beautiful cedar potting bench for the back patio.

* Constructed his own kegerator to cool and dispense his home brew. Yes, you can now have hand-crafted beer on tap at the Frick household. This month's choices: Red Hook ESB clone from the Frickin' Brewery or Wild Cat IPA from Snoqualmie Taproom and Brewery.

* Plays co-ed softball Friday nights. He really enjoyed the kids' cheering at the last game. Anna: "Hi Dada. Hi Dada. Hi Dada. Hi Dada." Ernie: "Go Daddy go!"

* Is very excited that fishing season has started.


* Has started the season selling pottery at the farmer's market. I have 5 Saturdays left this summer.

* Is counting the days until the Rock 'n Roll half marathon. I'm ready. I ran 12 miles yesterday.

* Talked Brian into watching "Twilight" with her last night. Loved it! I've read the first two books, and am planning on saving the next one for our trip to Las Vegas.

* Is thinking "This was a really long update. How long until I write the next one?"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sweet Clara

Ernie and Clara enjoying the festivities at the Spring Performance

Running off into the sunset together

Preface to Ernie's converation with Dad tonight: Ernie has a baby doll that sleeps with him everynight. He named her Baby Karen years ago.

Ernie: Dad, I gave Baby Karen a new name.
Dad: What's that?
Ernie: Baby Clara.
Dad: When did you re-name her Baby Clara?
Ernie: Well, when that beautiful girl walked into my class.

Sweet Ernie.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Unsolicited Parenting Tip

Got monsters? Got Febreeze? Or should I say "monster spray"? Many a night has found me frantically drenching Ernie's bed, closet, underneath the furniture, in the hallway and in the dresser drawers with Febreeze, all in the name of warding off monsters at bedtime. The biggest benefit? Ernie's room no longer smells like Little Boy. Wait, I mean, the biggest benefit is that Ernie is no longer whining about going to sleep. Wait. Let me try this again. The biggest benefit is that Ernie is no longer scared of monsters. Right?
Disclaimer: I did not come up with this idea myself. I blame it on my sister-in-law, Jen, from whom I am reasonably uncertain I got this tip.
One of these days (months) I will write a real update on the Frick family.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another brilliant hiding spot

Yes, we are a little hide-and-seek obsessed. Can you spot both kids hiding in this picture?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another use for that old mattress

Prop it up against the couch. Play hide and seek. If I can't see you, you can't see me.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's Happening

Here's the update for you fans of the Frick clan.
* Anna is really talking these days. She has several phrases she repeats throughout the day. Sometimes even at appropriate times. Today the litany went something like this:
"let's see, let's see,
excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,
singing, singing, singing (said anytime there is NOT music playing, aka a gentle request to Turn On The Music),
oh man, oh man, oh man (new today),
I did it!
walk around, walk around, walk around"

* Brian went to Ernie's preschool parent/teacher conference. The teachers just love Ernie and had only great things to say about him. We've decided to send Ernie to a private, half day kindergarten. We just loved the classroom, teacher, and the fact that he'll be attending with his good friend Patrick, with whom he's been friends since they were babies.

* Every night at dinner everyone answers the questions: What was the best part of your day? What was the worst part? Anna said her favorite part was "hie an see, papa," which translates, "playing hide and seek with Grandpa."

*Ernie has a crush on his friend Clara at school. According to his teachers, the feeling is mutual. One day I asked Ernie what he did in the gym at school. He said he ran around. I asked who he was running with. He sheepishly relied that he was running around AFTER Clara. I asked him if she knew he was following her. As an answer I didn't get any words, but I did get eye-rolling and a devilish little grin.

* Anna is starting to ask "why?" What I want to know is: Why is this happening already?!?

* Dinosaurs are quickly eclipsing trains in our house.

* Anna is starting to sing her ABCs. She actually is pronouncing some of the letters and it's very clear what she is singing.

* Here are the latest pictures:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What to do with an old mattress

Put it on the floor for jumping practice. Don't forget to put the keyboard's demo music on full blast for maximum jumping enhancement.

Of course we don't need any fancy music making machines. We can make noise just with our hands!

And totally unrelated to mattresses or noise . . . Ernie is practicing his picture taking prowess. He's just old enough not to completely break the camera when he touches it.