Curly Crafty Mom: July 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Probably the last Little Gym pictures...

The summer Little Gym session is almost over... so, of course... My Mom took these at Autumn's class a couple of weeks ago. Autumn loves gymnastics!

Last week, she saw Grandma and Nathan leave the Little Gym, and I was in the actual gym part with her. Well, she tried to run after Grandma, but it is all glass walls and she didn't realize she was running right to the wall. And, bonk! Yes, she hit her poor little forehead. Luckily, the Little Gym ladies brought her an icepack and that made her feel all better! Poor thing!


Autumn on the beam. She does really well with this, and on the lower one she gets mad if I hold her hand. :o)-



Autumn can climb up on anything. ANYTHING, I tell you! Not sure if I like that... ;o)



Happy little gymnast :)

We are planning on putting Nathan into soccer this fall. We have done the soccer classes in the past at Vetta... However, this year he seems mature enough to follow directions/stay with the group enough that I am considering an actual soccer team through the Lutheran schools. We will see. I probably won't enroll Autumn in anything, just because we will be pretty busy with Nathan with a soccer team. Might as well keep it simple while I still can ;o)-

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nathan's monster truck has a friend!

Even though my Saturday was already a little crazy, I decided to take Nathan to the Build and Grow workshop at Lowes so he could construct a UFO complete with flashing light!



Of course, I forgot my camera! I took this with the camera on my phone, but its not all so great. But, Nathan sure does look proud of his UFO creation.



The UFO is really great, I thought I would take a picture of it at home to show off its greatness. Nathan even did a fantastic job with the stickers.



Nathan told me that his monster truck now has a friend, the UFO. He told me that he likes the UFO better than the monster truck, but only because it has a flashing light. Too cute!



Of course, the whole Lowes experience wore Miss Autumn out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nathan is really enjoying his Sports Skills class. More pictures!

Every two weeks, the class focuses on a different sport. They started with soccer, then did golf and started football last week. Nathan is really doing well with every sport that they introduce.



Autumn is so jealous when she sees big bro inside the gym! She has her own class on Monday, but I think she forgets ;o)-



Nathan throwing the football



Running with ball



Touchdown! Ok, well, not really :o)-



Bananas seem to preoccupy at least 20 minutes of Autumn's time. A happy Autumn equals a happy Mommy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chocolate Souffle

So, a long time ago I promised to share my Chocolate Souffle recipe that is to DIE for... well, finally here it is :)


Ingredients. Be sure to get good chocolate, don't go cheap. :) You should have enough chocolate to make the souffle again at a later time.



First, spray the ramekins with cooking spray and then dust with some sugar. This recipe makes about 5-6 ramekins. I only had 4 ramekins so I used one coffee cup. I really need to buy another set. :) But, hey... coffee cups work quite well for souffles!



Combine 2/3 cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of water, and boil. Mix until sugar dissolves.



Remove from heat, and stir in chocolates



Combine 1/2 cup cocoa, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Add cocoa mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Whisk in 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla.



Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.



Gently stir one-fourth egg white mixture into chocolate mixture, fold in remaining egg white mixture.



Spoon chocolate mixture into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a large baking dish, add hot water to dish to a depth of 3/4 inch. (Line the dish with a towel to keep ramekins in place.)

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until puffy and slightly cracked. Remove ramekins from dish.



Chocolate Souffle = a taste of heaven! These are so good! Do not even compare it to chocolate cake, it is more dense and the flavor is rich and delightful. What you don't eat, keep refrigerated and you can warm it up in the microwave (30 seconds). I usually top them with a cream anglaise sauce, or dust them with powdered sugar and top with a strawberry. However, they are good alone, too!

The full recipe is below:


Chocolate Souffle

Cooking spray
8 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 once unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons sugar


Heat oven to 350.

To prepare souffle cakes, lightly coat 5-6 4-oz ramekins with cooking spray. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolates, stirring with a whisk until chocolates melt.

Combine 1/2 cup cocoa, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Add cocoa mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Whisk in 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth egg white mixture into chocolate mixture, fold in remaining egg white mixture.

Spoon chocolate mixture into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a large baking dish, add hot water to dish to a depth of 3/4 inch. (Line the dish with a towel to keep ramekins in place.)

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until puffy and slightly cracked. Remove ramekins from dish.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Watermelon Strawberry Slushy

This last weekend I decided to have Nathan help me make the most recent Highlight's recipe... although, we made an alteration to the original recipe. Basically, we used strawberries instead of raspberries. (Thanks, Mel for the idea!)



The ingredients are simple: seedless watermelon, frozen sliced strawberries and lemon (we ended up using the lemon juice that comes in the plastic lemon, it was easier).



You need 2 cups of watermelon (I added a little more...)



Half cup of frozen strawberries (Once again, I added a little more... :) )



Lemon juice (add the equivalent of the juice of one lemon)



Mix



Then blend it, 3 sections at a time so it blends down evenly. Pour into a 8" square Pyrex baking dish.



Nathan was cute, he covered his ears because the blender was so loud



This is how it will look before you stick it in the freezer. You need to freeze it for a total of 1 1/2 to 2 hours.



Every half hour, pull out the dish and mix it with a fork to loosen any ice crystals. Nathan loved this part!



This is what ours looked like after 2 hours! Yummy!!



Nathan enjoying his watermelon strawberry slushy! He is already asking me if we can make it again next weekend. I tried it, of course, and it was really good! A natural sweetness, since it doesn't have high fructose syrup like a snow cone would have! Very healthy and yummy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center


I decided to take off work the day after the big Cardinal's ballgame to spend some time with the kids. After I took the kids for their pictures, we went to breakfast at Mimi's and then did a little outing to the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center. My Mom has been wanting to see it, so since it wasn't too hot of a day we decided to explore it.



Powder Valley has three paved woodland trails in a hickory and oak forest on 112 acres. There is also an indoor Nature Center that includes a 3,000 gallon freshwater aquarium, a 2 story tree house and even a wildlife viewing area.



This is what Nathan noticed when we first walked in, and he asked why these birdhouse train cars did not have an engine to pull them. Smart boy, thinking outside the box! ;o)-



A friendly turtle



Outside viewing area... we saw a deer, lots of birds such as Cardinals and Blue Jays



Nathan and Autumn having fun



Both kids made etches of different leaves



Autumn looking out the window



We decided to head outside, and we selected the Tanglevine Trail.



Starting out on the trail



Nathan found a lot of sticks, he loves to collect them... boys!



This bridge is above the road you drive under when you first arrive at Powder Valley



Lookout tower

It was a nice and relaxing day! I would love to come back and explore the other trails in the fall when the leaves are turning color. It is so quiet and peaceful on the trails, you definitely feel like you are in God's country.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Second 5K Joker's Wild Run in Westport


Today I ran the Joker's Wild run which started at Westport and we ran around the Maryland Heights area. Let me tell you, it was hot and I was sweating from the humidity before I even started the race. However, I was a lot more confident since this was my second 5K and I also had 2 more months of running under my belt from when I did my first 5K in May. My first 5K was in Forest Park and the view was breathtaking, however this run was a little boring... what did I see? Well, I ran mostly on Dorsett Road and Page, so all I saw was A LOT of office buildings! The most exciting building I saw was maybe the Coca Cola Bottling building... but, they did have more water stations with this run and we even got these little sponges soaked in cold water at one of the mile points.

I actually ran past the 3.1 miles, and ran to 4.73 miles, in 53 minutes and 32 seconds with a pace of 11'19" a mile. I am so proud of myself that I ran that far, but... that was it. I wanted to try to go to 5 miles but couldn't. So, I have a lot of work until my next race which will be a 10K on October 18th.

They had a pancake and sausage breakfast after the race, and the guy gave me 8 pancakes! And, no, I did not eat all of them! LOL! I guess they think some of us work up quite an appetite when we run. I also tried this Honey Milk drink with my breakfast, it was ok... I think I will stick to water, though! ;o)-

BTW, Jeremi took that picture of me before I left the house. :o)- I am wondering what I am going to do with all of these running shirts I am acquiring... they aren't really shirts I would wear out in public. LOL! :o)- The shirt for the 10K I am running in October is going to be long sleeved and black, are you kidding me? Running in long sleeves? Maybe it will be cool outside by then. ;o)-

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nathan's 4 Year Old Pictures

I decided to take Nathan to Portrait Innovations for his 4 year pictures on my day off from work. He is such a ham infront of the camera, smiling and easygoing for the cameraman! Autumn was another story... she cried big crocodile tears as soon as the focus was on her. Hopefully she outgrows this soon! She did this for our Easter pictures, too! :o(



Here is my favorite pose! He has changed SO much in just one year! Such a big boy now!



With the number 4. Nathan is already wanting to be 5! I keep telling him, hey, slow down... you've only been 4 for two months! Sigh....



I love the white backgrounds that they take at Portrait Innovations. Here is a closeup of Nathan and his big brown eyes.



Full body pose. Notice how he has his google-eye shirt on? I've been saving this outfit just for his 4 year old pictures! And, no, it isn't from Gymboree... but, close. :) Crazy 8!



The ONLY good photo I got with Autumn... sigh. At least she isn't crying in this one! I have a cute matching rain coat and yellow boots to go with her dress, and they would have made darling pictures. OH well! But, I was really pleased with Nathan's photos.
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