Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So thankful

This Thanksgiving we have extra reason to be thankful because five years ago today we were married! Of course we weren't married on Thanksgiving, but it's fun every few years to share our anniversary with such a fitting holiday. Here we are exiting the Manti Temple and first presenting ourselves to the world as Mr. and Mrs. Orton. So young, happy and full of optimism for our life ahead.

Today we're not quite as young, still happy and even more optimistic of what is to come. We've both added some meat on our bones (me moreso than Matt) but have gained so much more than that, namely some unforgettable experiences and our own little 25-pound "turkey". :-) Five years doesn't seem like that long because it's gone by so quickly, but we've got our pockets full of fun and life-changing moments to keep adding to.

Being the sweet husband he is, Matt had a dozen of assorted long stem roses waiting for me when I walked in the door from work yesterday. We celebrated by having Thanksgiving dinner with Matt's aunt and uncle in Issaquah followed by pie and games with Jen's sis Gerilyn and family in Bothell.

Oh, and I couldn't end without another photo of our little turkey himself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's all fun and games until...

...Seth gets a fat lip. Our little Dare Devil has figured out how to climb up the stairs. Problem is getting down. Someone gave us a stair gate, but it doesn't work with the kind of railing we have, so until we get one that does, we are keeping an eye on the miniature Evel Knievel. This morning Matt was playing with him on the stairs, making sure he didn't do a nose dive and somehow he bonked himself and I think bit his upper lip because it was bleeding. He was understandably upset but was ready to play again after a little cuddle time with Mom. And it hasn't deterred him from returning to the scene of the accident...he still loves those stairs! You can see the battle wound only slightly here, and by the end of the day it just looked like a Botox injection.

Seth is a good shopper! We went to our neighborhood produce market today to get some fresh goodies for Thanksgiving dinner. We love having all the local fresh produce within walking distance of home.

Seth's daycare has an annual silent auction in December, and the parents donate items to raise money. I made this Christmas table runner that I hope will brighten someone's table and help make some money for new programs and equipment for the kids.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happiness is...a full pantry

This weekend I finished the last of the season's food preservation. There are few things as rewarding as hearing the *plink* of a bottle top sealing, and then looking no further than our pantry shelves for good things in shiny bottles to eat!

Here's our bounty of bottles from this year: tomatoes, pears, orange-spiced pear butter, cherry almond glaze, and most recently I tried a new applesauce recipe that is super yummy so I'm sharing the recipe. You roast it in the oven, so there's no peeling, stirring or hovering over the pot to prevent it from sticking and burning. I usually buy unsweetened applesauce, but this recipe calls for a little brown sugar. I followed the recipe amounts except for the apples. I used a lasagne pan, which is larger than the 9x13 in the recipe, and I loaded it up to the top, so I figure I tripled the amount of apples so the sweetness is very minimal. I also used Golden Delicious apples since I had a 25-pound box. They are sweeter than the varieties the recipe calls for so they need less sugar anyway. Next time I might throw in a few Jonagolds to give it a nice rosy color. I love using my hand-crank food mill, which I don't get to do often. Anyway, here's the recipe:

Roasted Applesauce

1/4 c. water
6 TB packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of coarse salt
2 TB unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 pounds small assorted apples, such as Gala, McIntosh or Fuji
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine water, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a 9x13 baking dish. Scatter butter pieces over mixture and tope with apples. Cover with foil and roast until apples are very soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Working in batches, pass apple mixture through the medium disk of a food mill and into a bowl.

If you're stopping here, add cinnamon and other desired spices and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Applesauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I hot packed the applesauce into quart jars and processed them for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Happy Harvest everyone!

Friday, November 2, 2007

There's a new sheriff in town (aka Halloween 2007)

Another festive and fun Halloween has come and gone. Even though it is technically Seth's 2nd Halloween, it's more like his first since last year he was 5 weeks old on Halloween, his costume was an orange pumpkin t-shirt and he slept through the whole thing. This year he was a cowboy, complete with a vest, chaps (both made by his mama) and a fancy deputy sheriff badge. We had a hat for him, but 1) he doesn't like things on his head and 2) it was too big anyway. We went to a fun party last Friday hosted by some friends where this photo was taken by Jason.

Cortney, Carrie, Jenni and Rachel thought of everything and really put on a spread, as you can seen in this photo.

We couldn't come up with a trusty steed for Seth to ride, so we put him on his school bus and called it good. It was all the same to him!

Here's our friendly skeleton I fashioned out of milk jugs. Next time we'll liven him up with a red beating heart or a glow stick in his hand.

We didn't take Seth out trick-or-treating this year, but I took him into work in the afternoon where he got lots of "awwww"s and some candy. He thought it was great fun that the doorbell kept ringing every 5 minutes to reveal all manner of cute, scary, creepy and funny costumes. We kept a tally and had 117 trick-or-treaters this year...give or take 5 or 10 - we were ambushed a couple of times and lost count in all the mayhem. We ran out of candy and started giving out whatever we could find...granola bars, bags of chips, etc. We thought about breaking into the food storage, but we didn't think a bag of dry pinto beans would go over too well with the kids!

Next year will likely be the one for Seth to venture out with Dad to wrangle up some goodies for himself, but for this year, we had our Halloween fill. We hope all of you did as well!