HouseofYoung.com

It’s the Little Things October 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — houseofyoung @ 4:22 am
Taran had a particularly fun day.  He went on his first ever school field trip to Elachee Nature Science Center.  I know he really enjoyed seeing all the different animals on site.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from that, as I didn’t accompany the class.  I’ll be sure to post some if his teachers give the parents any pics.
After class, Taran attended his school’s Fall Festival .  He ate fun fair food, bounced on moonwalks, jumped on a bungee-trampoline, and even rode a pony.

Some of Ari’s students were manning the booths and rides.  A couple of them kept asking him, “How old is your Daddy??”  Taran did not know – I’m surprised he didn’t say “99”, his default age.  Apparently Ari’s age is a major mystery among his students!
Me-Ma (Ari’s mom) took the kids to the festival.  That left me a couple of hours to myself at home.  What a treat!  I kept the TV and radio off, relishing the quiet.  It wasn’t too hard to decide what to do with my free time – cook!  I derive immense satisfaction from making my family wholesome meals, but I rarely have enough time to devote to cooking.  Usually, dinner consists of quick items – turkey meatballs (from the freezer), grilled cheese sandwiches, pieces of chicken breast, fish sticks, any frozen veggie (for the girls), applesauce (enjoyed by all), etc.  I’ve quickly learned not to say the words “eat,” “food,” or “dinner” before everything is prepared, unless I want the girls to alternate between pawing at the fridge and grabbing my legs as I hurriedly cook.  In any case, I had been wanting to make this recipe for mac and cheese with carrots and cauliflower hidden in the sauce.  (I was inspired by my friend Susanna after she made a similar dish a few days ago!)  I am forever trying to get vegetables into my kids’ diet – the girls will actually eat pretty much anything – Taran is the real issue.
I was amazed at how simple the recipe was.  Steam carrots and cauliflower till extra soft…

Once steamed, puree the veggies in blender.  Add buttermilk and shredded cheese. (The recipe called for cheddar as well as Bleu cheese and Parmesan, but I opted for sharp cheddar and mix of six white cheeses.)

Puree until the mixture looks something like this…

YUM
Add the sauce to cooked macaroni noodles, top with breadcrumbs, and pop it in the oven till brown and bubbly.

The result:

The mac and cheese was quite tasty.  You would never have known that there were veggies in the sauce!  The girls gobbled it down (as did I).  Taran, however, struggled to eat.  He had trouble matching this “real mac and cheese” to the Kraft variety, creamy and smooth.  In the future, I won’t bake the dish as long, so that the cheese sauce retains more creaminess.  If anyone else has tips on hiding veggies, I would love to hear!
I also caught a few photos of the girls today, as they were dressed extra cute.  You’ve seen how most of my photos show them in mismatched outfits.  Me-Ma, however, dresses to the nine (she even wears silk PJs!), and she loves to make sure her grandchildren are just as stylish. 

I LOVE their shoes!
I also got a sweet photo of them hugging:

All in all, aside from Taran’s finicky eating patterns, it was a very pleasant evening at the Young house.

If you ever wonder where Ari is in all this mix…the man is working hard!  Twice a week (including this evening), he teaches at North Georgia College in Dahlonega.  When he gets home, he plays with the kids, graciously helps me with household duties, and then confines himself to the “man cave” (yes, that’s really what we call it) to develop lesson plans, make quizzes, or grade essays.  Teachers may *seem* to have it easy, but unlike many professions, their duties do not end when they get home!  Kudos to all the teachers out there, including my awesome husband, who take the time to really invest in the lives of their students.  (And manage to remain wonderful spouses and parents as well!)

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Firsts October 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — houseofyoung @ 4:26 am
Clare and Laurel are still at the age when every new item must first be taste tested.  Nevertheless, I thought they should have a go at playing with crayons.  They are almost 18 months old and should probably be skilled scribblers by now.  I’ve waited so long for crayons for fear that our house (which already looks like a daycare) would bear the mark of their artistic endeavors.  However, they were in their highchairs, so it didn’t seem like they could do too much harm.

After I showed Clare how to use her crayon, she immediately took to the task.

She was quite pleased with the finished product and held it up for closer inspection.


Laurel was a little more puzzled.  She had just finished eating her favorite finger foods…was this curious object also something to consume??


Not long after, they each eventually took a taste of the crayons.  When they started to chomp off sizable chunks, the crayons had to be taken away.  (Actually, Taran, aghast at their misuse of his crayons, snatched them away before I could.)  They looked pretty funny with their toothy, colorful smiles, but they swallowed before I could snap photos.

This evening, the girls had their first lollipops.  Taran LOVES lollipops, and I found this great brand that I don’t feel as guilty about.  YummyEarth Organic Lollipops are all-natural and come in delicious, exotic flavors that even I enjoy.  Taran earned one for good behavior today, so I thought I’d let the girls try as well.

They were so darn cute, I took about a dozen photos.  Some were pretty funny…here’s one of my favorites.

Ravenous little monsters!
At first I was disappointed that Clare’s outfit wasn’t as cute as it could be…she’s wearing a too-big onesie that belonged to Taran.  But this is the real stuff life with kids is made of…our professional photos may have coordinated outfits and clean faces, but this is what the Young babies truly look while hanging out at home – often in mismatched clothes with drool running down their chests.  (Note that though Laurel’s shirt appears clean and white, it was soaked with drool by the end of my photo shoot.)

All three of our kids have such fun and unique personalities.  Please don’t think I’ve ignored my beloved son in this post.  He was nearby, but after a long day at school, not in the mood for a photo op.  He is a whole different, complex little guy that I will devote exclusive time to on another day.

Happy weekend, everyone!
 

Re-Connecting October 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — houseofyoung @ 4:51 am

This past weekend, Ari and I had a long weekend getaway to St. Simons Island, Georgia.  It was so refreshing to escape for a couple of days and enjoy each other’s company.  We stayed at the beautiful King and Prince Resort and were unexpectedly upgraded to an oceanfront suite.  (I was a very happy camper.)

King and Prince Resort, St. Simons Island

View from our balcony – beautiful Coastal Georgia sunrise

The weather was perfect for walking along the beach.  We acted like kids, though I couldn’t get Ari to leap or skip for the camera.

It was wonderful to share a meal together and converse freely, unimpeded by constant interruptions of “I’m still thirsty!” (Taran, who can chug three glasses of milk in one sitting, but takes an hour to pick at his food.)…Or general dinnertime baby talk…which is awfully cute, but can quickly draw meaningful conversation to a close.


We ate the cutest places in town; all were unique and had delicious food (thanks, Lauren Robb, for the recommendations!).

Sal’s, an authentic pizza joint on the island
We also visited nearby Jekyll Island and learned of its rich (literally) history of the beautiful homes and wealthy families that once called the island home.  A coastal Fall greeted us with warmth and crisp breezes, beautiful weather for a horse and carriage tour of the historic area.

It is sometimes hard to connect during the week, between careers, caring for three little people, and domestic duties.  But it makes getaways like these all the more special!  Until next time…
 

Taking Over! October 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — houseofyoung @ 3:49 am

So I’ve decided to take over our family blog. We originally created it to update friends and family on the birth of our first son, Taran. Sadly, it hasn’t been updated since the girls’ birth, to announce that they were finally here.


To be fair, our lives have been in a minor state of chaos since the twins were born. We are just now getting to the point (I think) where we have managed some semblance of normalcy. I used to be an avid journaler, and I miss doing that. Writing used to be a major outlet for me to communicate with God and understand myself better. I’m much more articulate on paper than in person.

At the same time, I can be very personal about my true feelings and value my privacy. So we’ll see what this blogs turns into. Hopefully it will become a place where I can share more about our family, record memories that I will cherish forever, and grow and learn as a wife, mother, and follower of Christ.

On that note, I will post a few entries below that I began on another blog earlier this year. I would appreciate any comments…even if just to confirm that someone else out there is reading this. 🙂 Enjoy!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2010

One of privileges as mommy of babies are those sweet moments when they lie on my chest to sleep. Even though they are nearing 20 pounds, somehow they are not too heavy for my petite frame. I love inhaling their freshly-shampooed hair and holding their smooth, chubby little legs. Precious moments that I also shared with Taran, and ones that I will never forget.

I also get the craziest thoughts while drifting into blissful sleep with them. My latest is that my kids are like a cookie-brownie bar, with two layers of a cream – one in the middle, and one on top. The cream is delicate and fluffy, and very light in texture. These layers represent the babies – delicate and sweet, but not very durable and with many needs. Taran is the cookie foundation of the bar. He is the most durable, dependable, and independent of the three, and is indeed my little helper. As the bottom of the bar, however, he is the most handled and prone to the most ‘damage’ – between scraping him from the pan with the spatula to sitting him on the plate. I forget sometimes that he is only 4, and has unique needs, especially now as an older brother to two babies.

My prayer is that I’d be able to meet the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of all my children, and find a balance and harmony among all of us. God does not give us more than we can handle, and if he thinks I can maintain my precious cookie-brownie bar and give it all the love and attention it needs, then, by God’s grace and through His strength, I can do it 🙂