Sunday, October 31, 2010

Apple Butter!

Well, we did it again! We made our family apple butter last Saturday. This year we decided to scale down though and we only made 3 dozen instead of 6 dozen jars. :) It felt fairly manageable but it was still a crazy day trying to juggle Addy and apple butter.
Luckily part of the time we were making the apple butter, it was lunch time so Addy was confined to her high-chair and she could see all the activity in the kitchen. She seemed to like the front row seat.
Really, Brad does most of the work in the process. :) I get it ready, make sure all the parts are moving smoothly and he cooks, purees, stirs and fills jars. I just do the boiling water bath and peel all the apples ahead of time. This year it was great to only do 16lbs of apples.

Addy takes after her Daddy so all day long she wanted to go outside. She has really gotten into walks and just sitting on the sidewalk playing with leaves and sticks. Seriously, she can do this for a LONG time! During apple butter making, Addy pounded on the storm door, pointed to outside and played with her ball. She was a good sport and we made up for it by trick-or-treating with her Saturday night (more on that later).

Here's the end of our first batch. I actually forgot to take a picture of the finished project because Addy was napping and we ended up crashing on the couch as soon as the kitchen was clean!

Then it was time for the big Halloween event (after Brad got a wild hair to make chicken and dumplings from a cook's illustrated recipe. . . ).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where did fall go?

We've had lots of rainy/gray days lately and it's actually been pretty cold (Brad will wear flip flops at any temperature so his attire is not a good gauge!). Addy has gotten some good practice getting bundled and going for walks in the cold and rain. She likes her new boots and her coat is pretty snazzy too. The gloves are pretty worthless though. . .
This morning we woke up to a few inches of snow covering our yard and luckily not on our driveway or sidewalk. :) No shoveling yet. Addy and I decided to venture outside to play. It was Addy's first time to play in the snow and I think she liked it. She didn't seem to mind the funny snow suit either! Again, the gloves. . . worthless!

Sand toys worked great in the snow!

What a mug! She loves the cold!
This was Addy's first shot at eating snow. She watched me do it and then. .
Hmm. I don't think she liked it! What a fun little change in the weather. I prefer snow over rain any day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Moab!

Last week Brad took the entire week off from work and we took our first Utah roadtrip adventure to Moab. True to form, we did all kinds of research about where to stay in Moab and then 1 hour before we left (when I was not home!) Brad changed our reservation so we could stay at a super cool lodge on the Colorado River. I have to say it beat staying right off the highway hands down! We were 14 miles outside of Moab in a quiet canyon and the lodge had horses, a winery and great brownie sundaes. :) We did get one each night we were there as a treat for having to be 'lights out' at 7pm for Addy to go to sleep.

We arrived in Moab Wednesday night and headed out after breakfast Thursday for Arches National Park. We 'hiked' to several arches from the famous Delicate arch to the more obscure ones that I can't remember the names of already. Addy got to do her first hike to Landscape arch and we got more oohs and aahs out of people than you've ever heard on a hike! I'm pretty sure she's the youngest hiker I've ever seen! She loved it and did really well!

Friday we headed out for Canyonlands National Park only to discover that it was raining and socked in with fog. We couldn't see anything but we drove all over the park looking for any break in the fog we could find. There was maybe one spot but Brad didn't' see it because he stayed in the car while Addy slept. :) Oh well. We did stop by Dead Horse Point State Park (only a few miles from Canyonlands) and there was a break in the fog there so we got to see the Colorado River below. Addy thought the rain was fun and she didn't mind getting a little wet. She wasn't too happy about falling into a red mud puddle right outside our hotel door though. :)

We packed up Saturday morning and decided to try Canyonlands one more time. Saturday morning was beautiful! We did get to see the canyon, the river and all the neat vistas. It was a pretty quick visit though because we knew we'd be on the road for 4 hours home.

What a great vacation!




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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zoo & Walking

This week, Addy and I got to visit the SLC Hogle Zoo. We were able to meet some other young moms with kids just a little older than Addy to see the animals and spend time together. Addy was pretty excited to go to the zoo for the first time (am I a bad mom that she's 1+ and she's never been to the zoo?!). We looked at her animal book before going and talked about the animals she might see. She was jazzed as you can see.
This picture is near the end of our adventure with some kind of cat in the background. After the elephants Addy seemed to lose focus and just get really tired. Boy am I glad we got in free! Her stamina was short-lived! She seemed to like watching the monkeys, rhinos, elephants and gorillas though.

Can you believe how much she is changing? She hardly looks like a baby anymore! sniff, sniff!

Addy is 13 months old now and has about 1 1/2 months of walking practice. While she falls down a lot (she big time chipped her front tooth this week falling face first onto the concrete sidewalk!!!), she is getting better. She plays by herself in the living room like this video shows all the time. Her 88 cent ball is the best toy she has. This video is right after I put a ponytail in her hair and it was so funny to see her playing with it while sucking her thumb. It was like there was a magnet drawing her hand to her hair. :) This video shows her current walking skills. Enjoy!

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Addy's Baby Dedication

Addy is 13 months old now and finally were able to dedicate her to the Lord at church last Sunday. Thanks to Grandpa Hulsbos (my grandpa), Addy had a beautiful dress to wear for the service! She looked like a princess if you ask me. And although her tights only lasted until the car ride home before they got a huge hole in the foot, she did tolerate them very well. I was impressed. Maybe it was because they were a bit baggy on her skinny little legs. :)
Here's us before church.
During the dedication Addy spent most of the time sucking her thumb and playing with her hair. She was very good though!


Here's Addy Paddy in her beautiful dress!
After church we headed over to some friends house who moved to SLC about the same time as us from Texas. They are a great family and we had a wonderful lunch with them. Addy got to play with their 4 year old, Morgan, and she loved that!
While Addy and McKinley (their little girl who was dedicated as well) were napping, we enjoyed their dedication cake for them. :)
While the Dads watched the Cowboys game, the girls played very well together and even cuddled on the pillows together. How cute!

Here's Addy and Morgan checking out the fall pumpkins.

What a great day with friends and a great opportunity to hand Addy over to the Lord in front of our church community who also committed to pouring into our little one. Community is a blessing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words!

Nope, that's not Addy. :) Meet Baby Slease #2. We are almost 12 weeks along and we just went to the midwife today for the first check-up. (Good grief has having Addy changed my organization and level of productivity?!) Baby Slease was showing off little fingers and giving us all sorts of angles to see. My midwife said it must be a boy because the little one was showing off! :)

I had a hard time choosing a practitioner to see, being new to SLC, but I finally decided, last week, on a midwife that delivers at the hospital our insurance covers. She is really nice and I think I will have a good experience delivering with her. She will act as a labor coach the whole time I'm at the hospital and I'll aim to do it naturally again, and she has a great bed-side manner.

Anyway, we're due around April 26. . . we'd appreciate your prayers as many of you know what it's like to have a little one and be carrying a little one. Ever since my stomach bug, I've felt a lot better (I was feeling nauseous and not liking food very much before that) and my energy is starting to come back.

Also, we'd appreciate your prayers about us adopting as well. Our thought is that we can begin the process of paperwork, etc, while pregnant, and then get on a waiting list while #2 is really little. We thought that might be a good timeline for us. Please pray that we'll be motivated and excited to figure out adopting in Utah and that we can find a Christian adoption community to get to know.

Thanks!
Just for starters. . . Bill, this is for you. These fat little guys have been pooping under our patio furniture for weeks. Ok, I rest my case. :)
It's been a few weeks of busyness again. Should I be surprised? It all started with a visit from Audrey (who I've been friends with since we were 6!) for a weekend (I'm pretty sure she was coming to see Addy!). We enjoyed mostly laying low, catching up and heading off for a day with just the two of us to explore the Temple Square and enjoy a yummy lunch. We had a great time.
When I took Audrey to the airport, I took Brad as well. Brad went to CA for 6 days for manager training school. As it turned out, the night he left, I spent throwing up all night. I figured it was food poisoning and that I'd never be able to have our yummy Minestrone soup recipe again. Not sure how I was going to take care of Addy, I called our neighbor, Sandy, to see if she could help. She had a busy day preparing for her a birthday party for her twin granddaughters, but she agreed to help as much as she could. As it turned out, her daughter's family had had the chucks earlier in the week (hmm. . . starting to think it wasn't food poisoning) and so she knew how awful I felt. She got me some gatorade and took Addy to her house between each of her naps and entertained her while baking cupcakes and making food for the granddaughters. It was amazing! I got to stay in bed only having to get up to put Addy down for naps. Sandy was a lifesaver! By the end of the day, my friend, Melissa had brought me soup, jello and more gatorade and I was starting to be able to stand up straight.
Right after I called Sandy, I called Brad to let him know what happened and as it turned out, he spent his first day of training school (in a suit!) running to the bathroom to throw up all day! (Pretty sure it wasn't food poisoning!) He had a rough week because he couldn't recover from it and he only got about 5 hours of sleep each night. Who knew I would end up with the better deal.
The bummer was that the day after Sandy watched Addy for me, she got the bug! She really made the sacrifice for me! Thank you Sandy! You know what's weird? Addy never got the bug. . . how strange is that!

Anyway, enough with that. . . the rest of the week with Brad gone was slow for me and crazy for him. He really enjoyed networking and picking the brains of Farmers' leadership. He was really glad to come home though so he could rest!
Before Brad got home, his mom, Lynn came to visit. We had a great time with her and Addy loved spending time with Grandma Lynn. She got a pretty pink pony from Lynn for her birthday and she loves the songs it plays. She's still trying to figure out how to ride it though.

While Lynn was here, she treated us to a southern feast of sweet potatoes, onion rings, collard greens, chicken friend steak and banana cream pudding. Brad loves to cook new things so Lynn passed on a lot of her secrets to him.
These were seriously the best onion rings ever!
I had never had any of these dishes so I enjoyed the new flavors. Addy also enjoyed the sweet potatoes and banana pudding! She pegged Lynn as the giver of sweets! :)


During the week when Brad was at work, we spent time at the park. Addy is learning how to play on the playground and is really funny to watch.

She loves the swings!

Since Lynn's visit, we've started some exciting things at church. I started MOPS and a women's Bible study. Brad started a men's group and we are going to do a short married class. We'll see how this schedule holds up. Addy seems to come down with a cold each time I take her to the kids club at 24 hour fitness so it's hard to stick to a routine. Grr.
We're enjoying SLC and now that we're getting into fall, we should enjoy some pretty fall colors in our neighborhood and much cooler temperatures!
Happy fall!