Wednesday, June 20, 2007


This is the kids' newest summer game. Ben is King Kandy, Emma is Queen Frostine, I am Gramma Nut, Lydia is Princess Lolly and Josh insists that he is the servant (they've even tried to talk him out of it). Basically Emma and Ben lounge around on their "throne" (the chair and a half) and tell Josh what to go get them. "Servant, go ask Princess Lolly for the biggest lollipop in all the land!" To which Josh very enthusiastically will do as he's told, "Lolly, can King Kandy and Queen Frostine have the biggest lollipop I ever saw?.....(pause).....She said okay!" They'll keep going like this forever, never breaking character. It's really cute. Maybe sometime I can get some footage of them without them noticing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

8 and 11/12ths

July 3rd is our nine year anniversary. This a picture taken back on Mother's Day (by Emma), we both like it a lot. We talk often lately about how it was ten years ago that we were just starting to fall in love. Ten years seems like an awful long time and for goodness sakes a lot has happened since then. Yet those courting days don't seem so far distant. Wasn't it just yesterday that we were in Memphis at the U2 concert, playing California Speed while listening to James and leaving our leftovers on top of the car next to us at Aubrey's?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lydia = Smarty Pants

Our little Lydi is such a smarty pants. She's already picked up the signs for "more" and "all done" and uses them consistently at meal and snack times. Is that cute or what?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls and Smoothies Saturday!

One of our favorite traditions is (you guessed it) having cinnamon rolls and smoothies for breakfast on Saturday. The kids are alway careful to make sure we're giving them enough icing on their cin.rolls and they always ask if they can have four (instead of the usual three). It's scrumptious.


Nothing is quite so delicious as fresh baked bread. Nor is anything quite so beautiful. An enrichment night several weeks ago changed the Cruze's sandwiches forever. Erin T. showed the West Hills gals a super-healthy, quite easy bread recipe that she makes, and Lori was converted. We still buy bread at the store, but only use it every 3 or 4 when the homemade stuff runs out and it's just not a good day to bake more. Thank you, Mom, for lending me your wheat grinder. I am so domestic...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Oil Free America

A google search turned up this helpful little article on substitutions for oil and butter in baking. Cally told me about a cousin of hers who pureed and froze zucchini to use as an veg. oil substitute...that sounded great to me since we have four monster zucchinis out back that I don't imagine we'll be able to use or give away all that they'll yield. This link was the most thorough and helpful in 6-7 results pages. Thank you, University of Wyoming.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Oak Island

We just got home from a great trip to Oak Island, NC. We went with the Sextons (to David's parents' beach house) and stayed just shy of a week. The first day we hit the beach, the kids were fully engrossed in their sandy new environment. They are usually always starving ("Can I have a snack? Is it lunch time yet? I'm just so huuuungry!"), but with the whole new coastal wonderland to explore they didn't even ask for lunch until 1:30 or so. Emma and Ben went straight for the ocean, laughing and splashing and jumping over and into the waves. Josh was not interested in getting wet at first, but after some gentle persuasion he gave it a try and ended up loving it as much as the big kids. They dug for clams a lot, played some soccer, and buried each other and their cousins. Emma loved boogie boarding as well. The last day she spent hours catching tiny little fish with a net and collecting them in a bucket filled with water. Ben spent a lot of time in the huge sand pits that were dug each day. Some of the older cousins (Trey, Allie and Trey's friend Tyler) would bring down regular, big shovels and dig huge holes 3-5 feet deep for everyone to play around in. Josh bounced from one activity to the next for awhile before getting settled on one thing, like filling a bucket and dumping it out over and over. Lydia did great in the sand. She didn't mind crawling around in it and got a few handfuls in her mouth in the meantime. She took a nap or two on the beach most days and got passed around to aunts and uncles plenty.

I think the beach is the best place for kids. The grownups quite liked it too.