Saturday, May 30, 2009

happy Memorial Day! :)

These pictures are from a big barbecue we went to on Memorial Day. We had a great time!

There were special lobster plates that tell you how to eat the lobster. Jack thought these were pretty interesting.
The best way to explore a lobster-eating plate is to whack it with your flag. :)
There were a bunch of people to see, which was kind of intimidating. We spent a lot of time more in the corner of the yard than really in the action.
Jack was pretty concerned when I set him down in the grass....
but then we were practicing flag waving....
Pretty fun, when you get right down to it! :)
Jack spent a good amount of time flirting with Courtney, who he doesn't get to see too much. He loved chewing on her necklace!

He also spent some time playing with Auntie Amy. He wanted to find out about her teeth (and by "find out about" I mean "pull out of her mouth"....)
Here's a really cute picture of Ashley jumping on the trampoline:
Normally I just delete the blurred photos, but I really liked this one. We were playing with the shrubs on the edge of the yard.
It was a really fun day!

Quilting continued....

The whole center piece is now sewn together!! Here's what it looks like.I am actually really proud of how I did sewing the squares together and making them align. Here's my worst one, misaligned by about 1 1/2 millimeters:
But most of them look like this!
Next step is putting the outside border on. Then sewing the top together with the filling and back!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quilting continued

I haven't actually sewed these together yet. I just wanted to see what it would look like. :)
(There's going to be a border around the edge, so it doesn't give you a totally accurate preview, but it's pretty good!)


One morning, Jack decided our DVD shelf needed some help:He checked each one carefully to see if it was good enough to stay on the shelf....
Only one DVD was REALLY good. That one got filed in his toy basket. :)
(The rest of the re-filed DVDs are on the other side of Jack's bum, stealthily filed away.)
"Mom, look what I did for you!" :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

more Greek presents :)

We actually got these presents much earlier than the Greek bear I just posted about. They came in the mail from what I'm beginning to think of as "our Greek family". :) There is a traditional hat and a shirt with the Greek alphabet on it. The shirt just BARELY fit when we got it, so we're saving it for any future Bowlings who might come along. Jack loves playing with the hat, tossing it around by the tassel!

I took a bunch of pictures and then they got lost on the memory card, so I'm just getting them posted right now. The series speaks for itself, especially at the end where you can see Jack sharing his hat with Sparky. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Almost three years ago I promised that I would make a quilt for Chris' new baby. I went out and got the fabrics and a nice-but-simple pattern.

Well, I had never actually quilted, and my sewing machine was busted, and I was really busy... etc., etc. Daphne is now two years old, and no blanket! Well, Chris is pregnant again and due at the end of July! I am determined that this time, there really will be a quilt for Chris' new baby. :) Actually, I need to get it done by June 3, which is when I go out to visit her.

I am having to do the project in bits and pieces each night after Jack goes to bed (along with my tidying and all that stuff). Here is the result of my first step, completed in two nights:

The next job is to cut these long strips into blocks and turn half of them perpendicular, and then sew them together kind of like a chess board. I will hopefully get that done tomorrow night and get another progress report posted! :)

Greek Bear

Alex's parents have friends who live in Greece -- a whole family of folks they go over and visit every so often. It all started with one of the family daughters (Athina) being Markita and Michael's student. Anyway, Athina got this awesome bear for Jack. She has two babies, so she knows what they like. :) It has a string in the back that you pull to get a music-box lullaby playing.
He thought the pull-string was really interesting.

"Did you see this awesome bear??"

Even the bear's gift bag was a fun toy. :)
This is his face when he's saying "B-b-b-bb-bb-b-b-b," which means "Gosh, I am just so interested and happy right now -- mostly very interested!"

What a great present!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

how embarrassing!

I just made sourdough bread, and forgot to add the salt. Seriously. I can't believe it! Especially since it was a HUGE batch. But I didn't read the recipe as carefully as I should have....

I started with 6 cups of liquid, which should have been a tip-off. The brown bowl (already 1/2 full!) holds the "sponge," which is the liquid with a mere 2 cups of flour added.
Then I added more flour. And more, and more, and more. The recipe called for "at least" 10 cups of flour to be added to the sponge. This would have been a warning, had I been reading my recipe carefully at all! As it is, I ended up emptying my white flour bin, and going over to wheat flour to finish the job. Not really a big deal, but I try to follow bread recipes exactly the first time I do them.
You have to take a moment to appreciate the fact that Jack has his own whisk and spoon for helping me cook. These aren't even baby toys -- they're legitimate kitchen items that were in my collection long before he arrived!
Chris, if you're reading this you will note I'm wearing the shirt you left at my house two Christmases ago. :) Also don't be mad about me using white flour. That's not my usual. Honest! :P
So here is the unrisen behemoth bread lump. I had to put it into THREE bowls to rise, because it would have overflowed any other way. (Doubly so, with the salt missing, so I'm glad I was cautious!) My wedding/engagement rings are on there to show you the scale. The dang thing was big enough to swallow a cat!

So anyway, I'm trying out a bunch of new recipes, and this one is from a restaurant cookbook. I thought I had cut it down to size, but obviously not! I was so dazzled by having to add 10-12 cups of flour that I completely forgot to add the 2 Tbsp of salt during that step.

So now I have five very fat, happily risen, tasty-looking and completely saltless loaves.

At least they're still basically tasty, as we discovered when we dug into the first one. They definitely need something to accompany them, though. Come to think of it, they may become French toast for the next three months or so. :)

Also, there was some quiche.... :)

I didn't get to try the quiche because I was pretty well overdoing it on dairy while we were there, but one can only assume it was delicious. (It looked really yummy and it all disappeared!)

More from Mizzou!

Uncle Eric has my sweet tooth, so we banded together and made a delicious Nutella cake.

Jack ended up with a spoon of his own, at some point. You can't see it, but he was having a great time whacking things and biting the spoon. (AKA "cooking".) :)
I'm not sure where Jack got to.... probably off with Granny or Grampa
...and then it was down to Eric to finish the cake. :) I'm pretty sure I was in and out still, but the cake took a while and Jack didn't really have the attention span for it.