Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blueberries

Maren and I went blueberry picking a few weeks ago. We spent the morning with friends wandering through the Laclede Blueberry Farm. It was surprisingly easy. Maren was a good little picker and, between us, we came home with 14 lbs. of blueberries.
Plenty of blueberries were consumed fresh. Paige is the biggest blueberry fan and begged for her own container in the fridge. Everyone enjoyed them. In fact, I had to start limiting Isabelle because her diapers were looking too mysterious. I froze most of the berries, but couldn't resist making blueberry buckle. If you have blueberries (fresh and frozen work equally well) try this great recipe from http://www.simplerecipes.com/ ...

Blueberry Buckle Ingredients Cake ingredients: 2 cups and 1-2 Tbsp of sifted, all purpose flour separated 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar 1 large egg 1/2 cup milk 1 pint blueberries Topping ingredients: 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup sifted all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Method 1 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch spring form pan. Set aside. 2 Sift together the 2 cups of flour, the baking powder and the salt. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk. Toss the berries with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour (to separate and scatter evenly throughout the batter) and fold in. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside. 3 Combine ingredients for topping with a fork to make crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this over the batter. 4 Bake for 45 - 50 min., then test for doneness by gently inserting a fork. If it does not come out clean, give the cake another 5 to 10 minutes to bake. 5 When the cake has cooled, run a knife around the edges and lift the cake out o the pan. Serve with whipped cream.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Maren and I went blueberry picking at a local farm this week. It reminded me of this beautiful children's book by Neil Gaiman. I love this video with the author reading the story. All of my girls are blueberry girls.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer on the Lake

We have a wonderful neighborhood beach on Lake Pend'Orielle. It is perfect for an evening swim or an afternoon of playing in the water and sand. This summer we have been teaching the kids to water ski. Our good friends, the Corbridges, have a great ski boat and we have our little Livingston boat. Between the two, the kids have had plenty of time on skis, the tube and knee board. They are all doing great. I hope they look back and have great summer memories with their friends and sisters.
Ally, Paige, Kiley, Gabi & Hannah
A view of our beach from the picnic area. Sometimes I look at the lake and realize what a beautiful place this is.

Beach House
L-R back row: Ben Corbridge, Lauren Elliot, Gabi Campbell, Hannah, Andrew Webster
L-R front row: Ally Corbridge, Kiley Webster, Maren, Ashlee Webster, Paige
Hannah and Gabi
Hot dogs for dinner. Yummy!
Hannah skiing out from shore.

video

Maren swimming in after her first successful ski.
Paige skiing behind the big boat.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Huckleberry Heaven

We have lived in North Idaho for 6+ years now and this is the first summer we have had a true Huckleberry picking expedition. Don't get me wrong, we have eaten our share of huckleberries found along a mountain trail or on a summer ride up the Schweitzer chairlift. But we have never gone into the mountains with the intention of picking huckleberries to bring home.
Last week we loaded the kids in the car and followed the caravan of our friends to a not-so-secret huckleberry picking spot Kirk and Jason found while riding their motorcycles off-road last year. There were plenty of kids (and Mom's) with purple hands and purple lips. The girls were all great sports and great pickers. All we had to do with Izzy was park her in front of a bush and she kept herself occupied.

Huckleberries are hard to pick because they are small and not all that close together. It takes a lot of picking to get a few berries. But it's worth it. Now I realize why there are people parked in town selling them for $35 - 40 per gallon.

We came home with enough berries to make a delicious pie and even a few more to freeze. Paige kept her own stash in the fridge just for snacking on. Who knows, maybe next year we will get enough to make Jam!

p.s. Thanks Cassi for some of the photos. Our camera showed up for picking day with a low battery!

Toothless

Paige finally lost her Jack-O-Lantern look when Izzy hit her mouth and knocked her remaining front tooth out. Now she is all gums. Isn't it adorable?

Like Mother, like Daughter?? Paige is pretty cute, but she doesn't have the groovy outfit, hairdo and glasses that I did at this age.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer Checklist

We spent most of July on vacation in Utah and Idaho. We did all of our favorite things (plus a few more). Here are some of the things from our Summer Checklist...
FAMILY - check

We spent plenty of time playing with Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

TEMPLES - check

Molly and Mike were the only ones that actually got a family photo at the Logan temple. It was closed for cleaning and landscaping by the time we made it there. The girls loved driving by it each time we drove through Logan. During our stay we saw the Logan, Salt Lake, Bountiful, Oquirrh Mountain, Draper, Rexburg & Idaho Falls temples.

SAND DUNES - check

We rode quads and motorcycles at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes with Keith & Jenny, Grandma & Grandpa Davidson, Dave & Heather Paxman. Luckily, there was still water in Egin lake so we could cool off while waiting for rides during the hot weather.

AGGIE ICE CREAM- double check

Our favorites... Aggie Blue Mint, Bubble Gum, Lemon Custard, Chocolate Almond

LOGAN TABERNACLE - check

We took a tour through the Logan Tabernacle. The girls loved the balcony seating and all of the gold organ pipes. If I remember right, that's where I had my high school seminary graduation. Did you know that the Tabernacle was started in 1864, but not dedicated until 1891? Almost 27 years later. The building of the Logan temple (beginning in 1877 & ending in 1884) took priority and resources.
HORSE CAMP - check

The highlight for Hannah and Paige was attending 4 days of horse camp at the Platt farm. See my other post for more fun details.

SWIMMING - Check

We swam in Grandma's hot tub, at the Logan Aquatic center, at the seasonal lake on the Sand Dunes and at Saratoga Hot Springs during the Byington Family Reunion. Hannah started diving and ventured out into the deep end. She is getting to be a great swimmer. PETTING ZOO - Check

My parent's long-term neighbor, Sherry Schiess, loves little animals. Whenever we visit she always has some new animal or baby goats for us to pet and feed. This time it was baby ducks. They were so cute following around behind their mother.

Miles

I have been running a lot lately. More than I probably would ever dream of running because my good friend, Cassi, is training for her 2nd marathon this year. She is amazing... a former non-runner and non-athlete, who started walking with me (and some other friends) after we had Maren and Nora back in 2005. Walking progressed into fast walking, which progressed into a walk/run combo. Finally we gave in and began running. I completed my first 10k race just before getting pregnant with Isabelle. During my pregnancy and baby days of Isabelle, Cassi kept running. Now she is preparing to run her 2nd MARATHON. She is amazing! She puts in lots of miles each week. I have been joining her for some of those miles and it has been a great way to get me back into shape after baby.
Yesterday I ran my longest distance yet - 11 miles! Not a lot for some, but plenty for me. It was hot and I was a bit tired, but I did it. Eleven miles from Sandpoint to Sagle and back. It has been a good challenge for me and a great way to stay active. My goal is to do the Chelan half marathon in September.