Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our Best Bites

So, I've posted about this fabulous food site before and now I'm doing it again. Our Best Bites is a way fun cooking website (check out the button under my favorite links)! As a serious good food connoisseur and eventual dessert specialist, I have to say, "Not too bad!" I've tried several of their recipes, but my favorite so far is their Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. YUM!!! Not only is the flavor delish, but the texture is unexpected (it has graham cracker crust in it), and the consistency is wonderful - it doesn't get ice crystals after freezing completely!! I LOVE this website and highly recommend it to anyone!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Progress on the House!

I was looking over my blog today and noticed that the last thing I've published on the construction of our new house was when our hole was dug. Well, we've had a lot go on since then. About two weeks after our hole had been dug, our concrete people finally showed up to get started on our footings (Just a note: We've been making treats for the people who come and work on our house. These concrete guys did not get any since they were two weeks late and worked on other peoples' houses before ours even though ours was scheduled first. Grrr!)Later that day, a pumper truck came to pour cement into the footing forms. Now this truck was so cool! It has a huge, long arm that extends way out to reach the far forms while the truck itself holds still. Can you see that the guy in the orange shirt is wearing something on his shoulders and back? Those are the remote controls that control every movement of the arm. How cool is that?!
When the cement truck came, it poured cement into the pumper truck, which then pumped the cement all the way up through the arm and it poured right into all of the footing forms. It was pretty neat to watch!
Once the footings have fully dried, the concrete guys come back to pour the walls. Well, while we were waiting, Brett watered the pasture by flood irrigating. As a result of that, we ended up with quite a bit of water from the sub coming up in the lowest trench. The concrete guys couldn't pour cement with all that water. So Brett got a couple of pumps to pump out the water and to help things go a little faster, I went out to try to keep the water moving to pump it out faster. Then Brett told me to dry off the footings as soon as the water was below them. When the water wasn't going down fast enough, I even used a bucket to bring the water down.
Eventually, after I took a 10 minute break and came back to find that the water had risen over the footings again, defeating the purpose of any work I had done over the previous hour, Brett came home from work to help me, and we (he) finally got it taken care of and the wall forms were able to be put up.
This was the last that I saw before I went down to Utah. While I was gone, the walls were poured, Brett painted most of that tar stuff on it and has been working on backfilling the dirt and getting it level for our concrete floors to be poured on Thursday. But today, our plumber came and has been working on the plumbing.
So this is where we are now. Whew, that was a lot to cover! I'll post more as more is done!!

Baby Brynn

About a week and a half ago, when Brynnlee woke up in the morning, I went to go get her and found her on her back (she sleeps on her stomach). The next day, after one of her naps, I again found her on her back. I was so sad that I had missed seeing her roll over for the first and second time. So the following morning, I got her out of bed, dressed her, and laid her on the floor on her tummy and sat and waited with my camera in hand. This is what I caught...

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Yay for Brynnlee!!! I was so excited that I was able to catch her first public rollover on camera. My little girl just keeps on growing!

Trip To Utah

Last week, I headed down to Utah for a family reunion. Not everyone in my family was able to make it, but we still had a good time. My little sister, Diana, has been in the hospital for the last several weeks. So the highlight of my trip was to visit with her everyday that I was there. Her daughter, Samara, had her 4th birthday party there at the hospital so that we could all be there. It was so much fun and especially nice for Deenie (Diana) to get out of her hospital room and be outside.We also spent some time at the Rec Center in Lehi playing in the water. They have these way fun play areas with slides, tunnels, a big bucket that dumps water on everyone, a lazy river, and water spraying in just about every direction. And the whole park is in about 8 inches of water in some areas and up to about four feet in others. Since the kids were in life jackets, they were able to go anywhere they wanted. That was tons of fun!
Then the last day that we were there, I took Austin and Aubree to meet up with Troy (Diana's husband) and her two kids and we went to a way cool fun center in Salt Lake. There they had those huge blow up bouncy things the kids could run, jump, slide, and climb on. There was also a "jungle" that the kids could climb in, an arcade where Austin won 53 tickets (which he turned in to get two little beach balls - one for him and one for Aubree), there was a roller skating rink, and waterslides outside. We did everything but the waterslides and roller skating. That was my kids' favorite activity.
I was going to say that the fun center was my kids' favorite thing, but actually their favorite part of the trip was playing with cousins and sleeping in the basement with all of them. Austin came home to tell Brett that he wants his room to be in the basement when we get our house built because his counsin's basement was so awesome! We had such a great trip and I was so glad to see Deenie. I miss her already!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vote Please!

Brett and I have been considering putting granite countertops in our new kitchen. There is a place in Salt Lake called Contempo where I can pick out what I want, if we do decide to go in that direction. But there are so many options that I like and Brett doesn't care, so I'm turning to anyone that reads my blog to get your opinions! Which of these are your favorite? Either leave a comment or email me at hannah_robinsonranch@msn.com. Click HERE, then click on Granite Slabs. These are my favorites:

Amarello Pearl
Armegeddon
Gold & Silver
Golden Beaches
Golden Persa
Juparana Atoba
Juparana River Satin
Juparana Cocacabana
Juparana Carajas
Santa Cecilia
Tropic Brown

Now, I reserve the right to choose whatever I want (as long as it's within the right price range and would look good with my cabinets and paint colors) regardless of how the vote turns out. But I'm curious to see what others like. So, please let me know which is your (and anyone else you know or is in the house) favorite!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Hard Day's Work

Brett needed some help tonight hauling hay. He wanted me to drive the pickup (since our truck threw a rod into the engine - it's done) while he put the bales on the trailer behind it. Well at the time he needed me, Brynnlee was awake, so I couldn't go out and help him. So he and Austin and Aubree went out to do it themselves. Shortly, I got a call from Brett saying I need to hurry and come out with the camera. Guess what I found when I got out there...





















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Watch this.

Let me remind you, Ausin is five years old. Crazy, huh?! Brett says he started driving a tractor on the farm when he was five, so he figured it's time for Austin to start helping out. Might as well! He did great; he didn't even hit one bale (like I've done once or twice) and he absolutely LOVED it! So, Austin, welcome to the world of work!! Enjoy the pics...

Here's Austin driving old Calico!



What hard workers we have!

Austin and Aubree cruisin' in the pickup!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Videos

I have had this little video of Aubree since this last winter and I just took this one of Brynnlee. So since this blog is like my journal, I'm adding these cute little videos of my kids. Enjoy!
video video

Moving Ahead!

I picked up our building permit yesterday, so now we are officially ready to start building. Our concrete people should be here Wednesday or Thursday. The plumber will be coming this weekend-ish. And Brett should be able to start framing by the beginning of next week. YAY!!! So that's where we stand right now. I'll post pictures when the concrete is started!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunflower Cake



I have had several requests on how to make the sunflower cake I made for Aubree's birthday this year. So I decided to post the instructions in case anyone wanted to make it as well! This cake is SOOOOOOOOO easy to make! All you need is one 9-inch round cake (I used chocolate since that's our favorite, but you can use whatever flavor you like), 16 twinkies, a bag or Hersey Kisses, and about three cans of frosting colored yellow. One thing I've learned is to use that fluffy white whipped frosting. You can color it any color you need and this frosting is WAY easier to use as opposed to buttercream frosting. If you absolutely must use buttercream frosting, freeze your cake first. That will make it easier to frost with buttercream.


Anyhow, back to the instructions...put your round cake on the center of a circular platter of some sort. I used my pizza stone since that was the biggest round thing I had. Frost with yellow frosting. Put 16 twinkies around the cake then frost (it's ok if they overhang a little bit). Top round cake with Kisses. You may have to put a dab of fresh frosting on the bottom of each Kiss to help it stick better. And that's it! You're done and you have a super fun cake!! If anyone makes this cake, let me know how it turned out for you. And I would love to see pictures!


I certainly don't come up with my cake decorating ideas myself! I'm not that creative. I turn to either the internet (do an image search on Google for kids cakes or whatever you need) or I have a couple books from FamilyFun Magazine on children's cake decorating and parties. So those are my secrets. Feel free to use them and make some fun cakes!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Country Girl

Brett grew up on a farm and so anything farming is just second nature to him. I, on the other hand, a city girl from California, have known nothing about it - until the last couple of years. Since we have been living on our acreage, Brett has been teaching me the ropes of farming. Just last night, Brett and I went out and baled some hay. How it actually ended up working was Brett was walking next to and behind the baler while I was baling the hay. Can you imagine? Me, driving a tractor, baling hay?! It's true!! And Brett was very impressed. Last year I baled hay once but didn't do very well. I couldn't seem to keep the tractor going straight while looking behind me to make sure I was picking up the cut hay. But this year, I was much more steady. I think my in-laws (who farm for a living) would be very proud!

I often think when I'm driving our old blue truck with a hay elevator hooked onto it, swinging around scooping up bales, "If only my mom could see me now!" I don't think that this is a lifestyle that anyone I know/knew growing up could ever have pictured me in. But I LOVE it! It's so different from anything I've known growing up. Country living was only something I saw on tv or in the movies and now I'm living it! And to be perfectly honest, I used to dream of living in wide open spaces and being out in the country. And here I am. How lucky am I?

4th of July

Our fourth of July was a pretty low-key day. We started out at the Salem breakfast (which is one of my favorite parts of this holiday - I don't have to cook or clean and I get really yummy food!). We got to eat and hang out with friends and neighbors for a while. Then everyone took off to the parade. We, however, opted not to go watch for several hours, in the heat, with a four month old baby (yes, Brynn's four months old; can you believe it?!). So instead, we headed home, got a few things situated, and went to Idaho Falls to get some things for building our house. By the time we got home and ate supper, I was ready for a late nap. So I took one with Brynnlee. We had been planning on going to the rodeo that evening then staying to watch the firework show. But we had slept too long and decided to just go to see the fireworks later. Well, by the time it was time to go, Aubree had fallen asleep. So instead, Austin and I watched the fireworks from our living room window. Not too bad of a day; very relaxed and easy. Maybe next year we'll be a little more adventurous when Brynnlee is a little bit older.