Showing posts with label Samwise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Samwise. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Samwise and Benjamin


Samwise and Benjamin remind me a lot of Calvin and Hobbes, or at least they did.  Unfortunately, Sam's exuberance has gotten Ben a little bit spun up over the last few weeks...and we've been a little stumped about what to do about it.

First they were all this:


Such total love and devotion to one another.
Then Sam grew and grew and grew...


and his sweet, sweet heart grew too.  He absolutely adores Ben.  The problem is, he isn't one to hold back on his emotions.  He shows you how he feels by wanting to hug you, crawl in your lap, kiss you constantly and all round overwhelm Ben with an exuberance that knows no bounds...while he leaps and bounds, Ugh!

Think:

every single time Ben gets home from school!

Sam is completely lost and does not understand why his boy leaves all day...and to Sam it is an eternity so he paces, watches, waits and then pounces.  We started keeping him in the back yard when Ben gets home...we've tried easing Sam into the fact that Ben is home...but there is no toning down Sam's reaction.  He is freaking overjoyed...and freaking out.  So Ben is freaking out...only Ben is not overjoyed.  It is a problem.

So Samwise has a little appointment at the Doctor this week, and we are hopeful that a certain procedure, that has my boys cross their legs every time I mention it, will tone things down a bit.  I pray it will tone things down again.  We do not want Ben scared of Samwise.  We want a return to this:





*all art is the work of Bill Waterson Calvin & Hobbes*

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Crock Pot Beef Stew


I can't believe I've never shared my Beef Stew recipe - we love it.  It might be that the large amounts of red wine lulls my children into believing their eating heaven, but since the alcohol cooks out I don't think I can claim that so it must be that it is good - and it is.

It also smells good, Samwise thinks we should dismiss the naughty dog getting up on the counter to get a little bit closer to the aroma of beef cooked in a savory gravy and just let him have a little, but no we are keeping him on his kibble, sorry Sam.   Your whole house will smell amazing when you cook this, trust me.

I meant to share the recipe first thing this morning...but,  first thing this morning I was heading to the Dr. to get Linus all checked out.  A lingering cough and fever meant time to go visit our favorite pediatrician.  (our family alone might be supporting a new wing with our current status of being there constantly).  After saying hi to everyone there because we all feel like family now, we settled in to find out we needed antibiotics, cough syrup and ear drops.  The trifecta of illness, poor guy.  We also have a sympathy cougher who is in it for the cough drops. So if you come around us you might worry we've got some plague going on between the real coughing and "I want cough drops" coughing. 
 We are not contagious.

When we headed to our pharmacy Ben announced to a random stranger that "Linus has pneumonia, and I have Autism" thank you very much.  

Did I mention that through out this whole day I've received texts and phone calls from my high school Freshman.  The school nurse even called, we are on a first name basis with her thanks to previous high schooler being a frequent flyer in the nurses office.  This high schooler would very much like me to bring him some cold medicine because his nose is running.

 I let her know I was doing my best.  

The rain began pouring in earnest, Linus is sick.  The journey from the parking lot into the school (when raining, windy and cold feels like a 100 mile journey) has to be done with 3 bundled up children and one who has a hard time staying with me, I've already used up 2 passes today getting to and from the Dr. then pharmacy...and lunch, we got lunch.  So, I finally texted to my runny nose boy that he would have to wait on the medicine and we can discuss once he is home just how horrible I am.  No reply to the text.  Did I mention there is a winter storm warning.

So, without further adieu here is the recipe:

Crock Pot Beef Stew:
 You must begin by cooking a Bottom Round Roast 80's style.  Drop it in the crock pot, set on low and add 1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix and 1 can cream of celery soup.  Cook all day, make sure it is a really large roast so that you have leftovers.  The gravy that cooks from this is what you want for the stew.  So once the family has enjoyed a good dinner of roast, put all the leftover roast back in the gravy in the crock pot so that you can start over the next day making stew.

If there isn't much left, add braised stew meat another can of cream of celery and another package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix  - this isn't an exact science.

Now.....
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 Tbs. Worcestershire
1/2 Tbs Lawry's Seasoning
Fresh Chives - however much you like, we add about a cups worth
4 large cloves garlic crushed
1 cup red wine (or more when nobody's watching)
1 small bag frozen chopped veggies
4  potatoes chopped up

Cook on high for about 4 hours, then turn to low.  If it seems too dried out, add more wine.  Do Not Add Water!

Absolutely delicious!



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Puppy School Graduation


We went for six weeks to puppy training classes and learned a wealth of information.
We didn't all go every week. Tobias went and the 3 youngest took turns.  The older boys came for graduation, all but Isaac who needed some study time. 
(17 college hours and working part -time doesn't leave a lot of room for study, but he is still holding his own)


It was fun to watch each of the puppies in class grow and change as the weeks passed.  
I love how he is listening to Donna, our trainer, in this photo.

Harper and Buelah were taking their turns showing off their skills.  Harper is a beautiful Golden lab, and is full to the brim with spunk, we have so enjoyed being in a class with her family.  Beulah is hands down the class favorite.  She is a Boxer and very obedient, very sweet and has also got the sweetest family.  We all loved our class together so much we agreed last night to take the next level together as well.  Who knew when we signed up that PetSmart was not only teaching us how to train Samwise, but also opening a door to our new furry family.

Samwise does really well with sit, lay down, and come.  'Stay' is his weakest area and no wonder with how many kiddos we have bouncing around all the time.  'Come' is his best, even if he doesn't want to he will still 'come' when I give the command.  'Drop it' and 'leave it' he is also really good at.

We let Donna know in advance of the class about Benjamin and made sure it was okay for him to come.  She encouraged his participation and we really appreciated that she let him ask his questions which sometimes rambled into a 'stream of consciousness' or it would sound that way - but, there was always a point and she gave him space to find it.  Love that about her!

Poor boy, every single class would end up with Samwise exhausted.  He has just about had it at this point.

He graduated!  So fun, and we enjoyed participating as a family.  You know us, Go Big or Go Home and any excuse to celebrate something is a good excuse!  We really did enjoy pulling together as a family to help Sam achieve these skills and I loved that it didn't take much persuading to get the big boys to come celebrate with us.

Friday, January 30, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in every day life~
~Every Thursday, at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

{Pretty}
My 1980's crafting is coming right along, and I love, love, love it.  I cannot wait to see this as a stocking.  
Moving the sewing room  or rather, losing the sewing room, seems to have been the way to go.  I'm already getting much more done.  I finished Faith's curtains and am just working on the tie backs, if the light in her room was decent I'd share some photos but for now this will have to do.

{Happy}


While we are not going to be caught complaining about gorgeous 70 degree weather, we have been a little sad to not see snow this year.  When we heard all about the Blizzard Juno, we decided to make our own fun with some homemade play dough and watching Frozen.  So of course I was out of blue food coloring and the snow had to be green, we added sparkles though so it still glittered like snow.  They had fun and it made them very happy.
Faith is also happy because we've come to a compromise about 'hair'.  She wants to start fixing it herself, which seems to translate to not fixing it at all *sigh*.  Every other day, I still get to fix it. 
 This was a 'she' fix it day.
*Play Dough Recipe at bottom of post*

{Funny}


I love these vintage ecards.


Samwise will probably fill the funny forever with all the material he provides.  Yesterday Benjamin needed to take a shower.  Samwise was determined to go INTO the shower with Ben.  Once I finally convinced him Ben would be fine, he stood outside the door of the shower and cried, I mean really cried.  Such a funny guy.

{Real}



Jessica always has great inspiration for celebrating the Liturgical Year.  I got the idea for baking star cookies for the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (January 28th) from her and the kids were thrilled.  This recipe was shared by my good friend Laura (who has a birthday soon and I hope she lets me bake her a cake again this year)

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe:
*I double this*
1/2 cup butter, softened (make sure to use real butter)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar 
or
*do not use the baking soda, cream of tartar but instead use 3 teaspoons baking powder*
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar.  Beat it for a long time - you want it to be really, really light.  Add the eggs one at a time and incorporate well after each add.  Add the vanilla.  Mix together the flour soda, tartar (or baking powder).  Then add to butter mixture slowly.  Don't mix too much after all the flour is blended in.

Roll dough out on a well-floured surface.  Keep it thick about 1/2 inch.  

Bake at 425 for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Immediately move to a cooling rack.

Play Dough:
4 cups flour
4 cups water
2 cups salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
glitter
food coloring of your choice

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly.  It takes a while and is hard to stir but it will form a ball.  Once ball is formed, knead it until it is smooth play dough.  My kids especially like to play with it while still warm.




Friday, January 23, 2015

More Samwise (sorry, not sorry)

Of course we would find the one dog with more personality than our children combined 
(and if you know us, you know that's a LOT of personality)

Each morning when the older boys leave on the bus...as soon as he hears the door open he starts crying, seriously.
I couldn't get a shot of his paws over his nose but he does that and we really do have to stifle our laughter because he is just torn up...every.single.time.they.leave.

BUT....
When they come home, he turns into Buddy the Elf

 
and starts crying all over again...he can't stand it and wiggles, jumps, and shakes until they all give him some love.  He is hysterical.
If he hears my keys rattle it is all...


and then he races to the door, if he makes it all the way to the van
he gives you this sad eye look (ignore dirty van)
You are not leaving with out me??? right???

and no we usually take him with us because we are all a bit smitten by this wonderful gift of a dog



Thursday, January 22, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in every day life~

~Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

{Pretty}
Sunday was such a pretty day, balmy and not cold at all.  We decided it was the perfect day to take one of our long hikes at Hagerman.  

Still stitching away at Benjamin's stocking.  I'm going backward through the family, Ben up to Pete.  I've always wanted to make these but never felt I had the time and realized if I had just started on them, many would be done by now.  The kids each picked out their stocking (except Noah, he is getting a Noah's Ark stocking) and I'm loving this project.  It's the 80's teen in me I'm sure.  I spent many a night sitting on the couch with my Mom watching Dallas, Fantasy Island, or on Saturday SNL, and Night Tracks (pre-MTV days) cross stitching while my Dad worked late nights as a Deputy Sheriff (so we always had the scanner going too).  Those are good memories and working on this project takes me back there.

{Happy}
We decided over the Holiday's to quit sitting on the fence about 'do we have time to add one more thing' etc...etc...  This guy really needed something that was his.  He is uniquely sandwiched between the only girl in the family and the baby. We wanted him to have something special, and have been thinking and praying about this for a while.  When talking to a dear friend and the mother of one of his good friends the idea of giving Scouts a try formed.  Pete and I discussed it, contacted the troop that his friend is a part of and they had an opening.  So voila, our guys is a Bear Cub now.

Just in time for the Pinewood Derby

He is beyond excited about this and already enjoying the activity of creating his derby car.  
I think we've made a good decision here, Scouts is already making him very happy.

{Funny}
We are having a fun time finding these meme's and signs on the web.

We didn't get Samwise to be an alarm system, but we are loving the German Shepherd Community..

and how protective this breed is.  Meanwhile....

does this look very 'alarm system` worthy'?
 Nope, and we like that just fine. 
 He did about bust out our window yesterday because a stranger was walking through our yard...the stranger was 2 and had gotten away from her mother.  I was like "Really, Sam - a 2 year old??" and he just kept giving me this confused puppy look of  "wait, that was wrong?"  and he continues to be scared of poodles at the park while Linus is saying "he doesn't realize he is a German Shepherd does he"...we love this dog and all the comic relief he brings to our every day.
Sam, Ben and the garbage debate...every. single. day...they could sit there for ever waiting to see if Sam will go for it or not - while Ben keeps telling him "nope, no, don't do it' and then laughs his head off when Samwise goes for it....ugh!

{Real}

The brouhaha over the remarks made by Pope Francis this week caused quite a stir.  I want to clarify that the Pope did not depart from church teaching and the whole idea of having a large family has actually been supported and praised by the Pope.
I receive far more sweet and kind comments about my family nowadays, and oh my goodness do I love that. 
 I was the target of some pretty nasty comments back when I had lots of little, little boys and seemed to be consistently pregnant.  When hormones are at their worst and children are having a bad day, that is when some mean spirited person would swoop in and zing me - and the 'be like rabbits' media spin 'breed like rabbits' comment took me right back there. 
 You see, I understand all the nuances and deeper layers of church teaching and the context to which the Pope was speaking...but the person who wants to use those words to justify their saying something about my family size or 'responsible procreation (if they even know that word)' is going to now feel like they can, because they are not going to investigate all the context and nuances - they are just going to stand on their soapbox and now quote my own Pope to do so - and that is what I have a problem with.   I would NEVER pretend to think I had a right to tell someone else how many children to have or how to live their life but because I have a large family or 'a litter' (yes, that one has been used to describe my family. 'or breed like a rabbit' (yes, that one too) now their is an assumed justification by the ignorant in not holding back and zinging that poor pregnant Mama while she shuffles along her little ones...and that is what pains me about the whole thing. 
 Do not use the Pope's words to inflict pain on a Mama.  
It is ignorance that hurts the most about the whole thing, because the ignorant will be the ones to use such commentary to hurt.
~Love one another~
Besides, having lots of children....many never get to experience this and I realize how blessed I am to have been given this gift.


Who else but older brothers would help all the younger ones when a hike becomes too long...

and you just want to be held for a while.
A brother can carry you and does not feel burdened by your weakness.
We need to do that for one another~


Please join Leila for today's PHFR.





Saturday, January 17, 2015

Backyard Picnic with Samwise







Madeline (our cat) was trying to get into their tent.

Sam says "Thanks for the distraction Madeline"








The weather has been wonderful the past few days.  The camp out wasn't enough outside time for the kids, they've been living outdoors soaking up the sunshine and warmth.  We ate lunch picnic style and I loved snapping these photos of them enjoying their time, specifically watching Sam enjoy them enjoying their time.  This is absolutely the best dog, why did it take me so long to know how great German Shepherds are?  
P.S. Benjamin and Samwise have this constant blanket game they play regardless if Ben wants to or not.  There are days that I watch as Ben walks through the house wrapped up in his blanket and Samwise is literally being pulled behind as he sits on the blanket.  He is almost too heavy to get his ride, but Samwise hasn't quite caught on to that.  When Ben fusses at him, he is smiling the whole time - those two are becoming best friends.
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