Monday, December 31, 2007

As Requested...

My mom used to dress my sisters and me up every year and we would all go to the Holland Festival at Redlands Christian School. My sister JoAnna still takes her kids there every May to this day (they also attend school there just like all my sisters). Anyways, the best treat there was the Olibolen, a few small Dutch donuts put in a brown paper sack with powdered sugar--we would shake the bag until they were covered in the sugar and eat them warm...I have so many fond memories of those festivals and this is just one of them.
It turns out that Jon's mom Louise has made these for many years as well (they grew up calling them "Rolnas", a nickname given to them by Jerry, Jon's dad). About three years ago Louise and I tested each other's recipes for Olibolen. Here is the winner:
Proof yeast by combining a packet of yeast and 1/2 C water with 1 tsp sugar. Let foam up in a warm spot for about 5-10 minutes to make sure the yeast is active. Then...
Put all these ingredients in a bowl:
2 C milk
2 eggs
1/4 C butter
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp salt
Add the yeast combo
Add 4-5 C flour (add until barely sticky)
Can split dough into parts at this point and add different things such as chocolate chips, raisins and apple chunks, nuts, cinnamon, whatever you want. Traditionally with raisins and grated apple.
Cover and let rise for a while (like an hour and half or so) until doubles in size.
Heat up vegetable oil in a pot until 350 degrees (or can use a deep fryer--heehee-now you know why we make them only once a year!).
Drop the dough by spoonfuls into the hot oil--do not overcrowd the pot and drop the temp.
Fry until brown on all sides.
Cover with warm glaze (recipe follows) or can dust with powdered sugar. YUM!

1/2 C butter
1 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/2 C milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Dump all ingredients into a small saucepan and let boil for 5-10 minutes.
Keep simmering
Dip hot the Olibolen into the glaze with a large spoon and let drain on a cookie rack or tray. Will be hot!! Let cool a few minutes before you completely scorch your mouth...I hope you enjoy them as much as Jonah does!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A few moments with Ava

Coloring Shrinky Dinks (a Christmas present) at the table...
Mom: What color do you want me to color this flower for you, Ava?
Ava: All my favorite colors. You know: pink, purple, blue.
Mom: What about orange?
Ava: Oh yes, orange can be such a comfort.
Mom (laughing HARD): A comfort, huh? What else can be a comfort?
Ava: Cats. Cats can be such a comfort.

A few weeks ago Tonya and I were driving through the Winter Wonderland (basically a bunch of lights and light-up toys on display at PIR) with our girls, and Ava kept seeing the lights reflected in the windows of the car:
Ava: Look, Jolie, it's the Light of the Lord!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Play and Olibolen!

Jonah was the Innkeeper for our first ever children's play at Eden Bible Church. He did so well at remembering to tell Joseph and Mary to go use the stables.

Ava was an angel and she is right in the middle of this picture (behind Joseph and to the left a bit). The kids were super cute and sang "Away in a Manger" complete with hand motions.

After the Christmas play Poppop and Nana came over for presents and some lunch (thanks for the ham and cabbage rolls, Nana!)

The Food Network's gonna be knocking at the door for these cute chefs any day now...

Jon and I started an Olibolen tradition (just about the best Dutch donut you ever had) the second year we were married. Louise and I did a throwdown (taste test) for the guys this year and made one batch with granny smith apples and raisins and one batch with chocolate chips. The winner by far was the apple & raisin one!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

BooBoo Loves to Jump!

A friend lent us this Johnny Jump-Up and Brynne goes to town in it when we tell her "Brynney, Jump-Jump!"
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sweat my Sweater 2007

Every year our church has a Christmas party called Sweat my Sweater (as in "you know you love my sweater!") Here's just a few pics of our crazy outfits. Sorry, Mom, for mocking the iron-on, puffy paint, Mary Englebright sweatshirt Jon is wearing (I think you had that one once upon a time..) And my friend Jessica and I showed up with a matching set... (Click to enlarge photos, oh and check out my green eyeshadow. While I was putting it on thick Ava kept declaring sweetly "You look soooooooo beautiful, Mommy!"
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 07, 2007

One more

Here's one of Jonah opening a present and Momma being soo excited! haha

Jonah Turns 7!!!

Jon, Shon, and Ian took Jonah, Tim, and Aidan to Ground Kontrol again this year to play video games until they were ready to throw up

Most of the kids sitting and eating Round 2 Thanksgiving dinner

Pre-Pie in the Face, post-dinner. Hopefully we'll have Pie in the Face pictures (from that normal camera) coming soon!!!!! Leave a birthday comment for Jonah to read and he'll be stoked.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just a Lil' Update

Don't worry folks who live far away, we've not been washed downstream by the torrential rain which hit the Northwest this past week. We did, however, have a family vacation planned to the Oregon coast which may have to be canceled again (i'm going to give up trying to plan family vacations pretty soon!) due to the impact the storm had on the cities on the Coast. Evidently they don't have power or telephone service, which means that we have no clue how to get in contact with the hotel we had reservations at to see if they are operating or what. I guess it'll work out--it always does! I do feel bad for those people and businesses at the coast, tho, that can't be good for business or life.
Jonah's b-day was a couple weeks ago and everyone's probably wondering why the heck i haven't posted pictures...that's cuz my digital camera is broken. and i took pictures with a regular camera (you know, the kind with film that has to be developed--remember those??) and i am a slacker and keep forgetting to turn the film in...but Ian said he took a bunch, so I'll try to post some soon. I think they may even be on this disc here. Oh yes. Hey, I blame "Mommy-brain". I'll post 'em tomorrow. I promise.
So Jonah is SEVEN and has now declared that his bike is too small and baby-ish (his word, not mine), and that he now hates Barbie movies, and that he is done with all his matchbox cars, and that he is going to be a chef when he grows up. That last one I find awesome. He frequently now comes into the kitchen and asks to help me cook and I try to let him (i'm a control-freak and don't like messes--bad combo for a mom). The other day he made everyone a sandwich after church while i was feeding Brynne. Mine was two pieces of bread with a piece of cheese, a squirt of mustard, and a sprig of cilantro. I asked him if he knew what that green stuff was and he said he thought it was "like a lettucey-thing, you know." I took a bite and it was surprisingly good in a simplistic, cilantro sort of way. I love that he did that for me "to help Momma out and give her a break" he said. He is a silly, thoughtful, kind, and sensitive boy who is smart and quick and confident and I am just so thankful to have him.
(So don't read into my lack of posts about his b-day--it's my dumb broken camera and the dumb film that i have to drop off and then pick up! You'd think I could kill an hour at Target!)
I love Christmas traditions and the little quirks that makes each family unique. Our tree is up and on it I have an ornament that Grandma Grace (GG) made me that is a little santa face, and it has a piece of paper glued to it that reads "Squeeze my cheeks, and I'll give you a kiss". Ava LOVES that ornament. Everyday she wants me to hide it and she looks for it so she can get the Hershey's Kiss that's inside of his mouth (That's what happens when you squeeze the cheeks...get it?!). Except she calls them HORSEY Kisses. I think GG would have laughed when she heard that. When I was little my mom had another Christmas decoration that GG made which she hung on the knob of her china cabinet. The thing said NOEL, but every time my sister JoAnna walked by she would flip it upside down so it would say LEON. So silly, but everytime I see NOEL written anywhere this time of year I think of Jo and it makes me happy. I think maybe I should get one for my china cabinet. And wrapping paper--I need some of that, too. :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa No More

Well, it was a long thoughtful process in which I finally decided to tell my kids that Santa is just for fun (yeah, right, anyone who knows me knows that I sprung it on 'em as quickly as the thought entered my head). Yesterday I spur of the moment decided to read them the book "Mommy, Was Santa Claus Born on Christmas, Too?" that my sister April had left at our house for us to enjoy. Halfway through the book (which tells the story of St. Nicholas) I realized that they were going to figure out that the "Santa" they knew of never existed (and this right after Jonah wrote his Christmas list!). We talked for a while about what the true meaning of Christmas was, and Jonah was very quiet and thoughtful. Then he piped up with, "Oh, I get it! I think that the Santa we saw in the mall was just a guy dressed up like Santa!" (Yay! he got it!) Then he followed it with, "Maybe it was the Tooth Fairy dressed up like Santa!"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We're Addicted

Nearly everyday Jon and I look at each other and say, "You know what I'm craving?"
That's right, Bubble (aka Boba) Tea. Yum--I want one right now.

This post is dedicated to April--Original w/ Tapioca Pearls...??
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Picture this: June 2006

Jillian Griffin turns five years old, and her mom asks her which friends she wants to invite to come over for a little party.
Her response? "Ava."
"Just Ava?" her mom says.
"Oh, yes. Ava is like many friends."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Harken back to 1985...

What the Durias' showed us the other night. I can't get the song out of my head...Get past the first few seconds of Johnny (yes, that's Johnny) rollerblading in his chonies, and it gets really funny!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

You could just see her brain working

"I see a baby! And she's darn cute!"
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A beautiful morning

The view from our front porch the other morning. Beautiful!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 09, 2007

This Girl...

LOVES animals! Someone brought a bunny to our PE co-op and Ava couldn't wait to hold it. I am content with not caring for any pets currently, but with Ava around, I know that it is in our future at some point!!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Click to see "The Astronaut Farmer" (photo courtesy of Ian Durias)

It's Official

She's the Boo-Boo!!
And she's got a belly full o' jelly

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"What" is going on here!

This blog is "awesome". And so is This one. I think that second one is much needed--why the heck do churches have those signs? And if they MUST have the sign, can't they just post actual scriptures??
Two long standing pet peeves of mine...

Coins and Cakes

This morning I was getting ready in the bathroom while Jonah and Ava were playing "Coin Adventures" in Jonah's bedroom. I am not sure of the rules of this particular form of make-believe, but I know that they pretend the coins (pennies, dimes, nickels) are little people and make little houses for them, etc. This is what I overheard:
Ava: Jonah, pretend that it's this guys married day and they were going to have a party to celebrate.
Jonah: No, Ava, it's a party to celebrate that he killed the dragon and rescued the princess.
Ava: But, Jonah! I want it to be his married day! He needs to get married!
Jonah: Why do you always want to make it into such girl-ish stuff?
(then a few minutes later). . .
Ava: So it's his married day and they are going to kill the dragon, right?
So funny.
Then, in Arizona, we celebrated Jon's 33rd birthday. At dinner I said to the kids "Let's tell Daddy what we like the best about him." Ava said, "I like his cake!"

Arizona 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Back to the Rain

Well, it sure makes for beautiful scenery...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Arizona, here we are!

Our little family has been enjoying some R & R with Jon's folks in the warm Phoenix area.
Yesterday Ava told me that the tiny linen closet is Poppop's closet because he's smaller than God. And every morning she wakes up at 7am and says "I think it's light enough to watch cartoons!" Jonah's the little fishy and is jumping off the ledge from the hot tub into the pool and shouting "Geronimo!" with a hard "G". So cute! He's definitely our phonics boy.
Jon's been swimming laps at the clubhouse pool and is on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans (and for the perfect price!).
Jon and Jerry watched the kids today while Louise and I went to a movie, Costco, and I had to get a pedicure, of course!
Nope, I don't miss the rain one teeny, tiny little bit.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Elisabeth's rational and irrational fears...part one

I have a fear of lice. Yes, that is a picture of a human head louse. If I ever had that on my body I think I would throw up. And go buy about 10 bottles of lice shampoo and then do enough laundry to cleanse a third-world country. I took a bunch (well, 6) of kids to a movie today and was reminded once again of this fear (you'll never put your head back against that seat without thinking of it now, either). None of my kids have ever had lice, but let me tell you, this is one of my main reasons for homeschooling...well, sort of kidding.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Our Little Blueberry Tart

She looks cute enough to eat!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Look at that tongue

Does it GET any cuter?!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 04, 2007

OOooooooh Yeeeaaah...

You may have seen this before...Randy "Macho Man" Savage has long been Jon's fav wrestler (not that he watches it anymore)...but Jon put this pic as himself on Facebook. What? You've never heard of Facebook, you say? Weeeeelll, let me invite you to be my friend...

Posted by Picasa

Kahneeta Sept 2007

Here'a a few more pics of Kahneeta (I actually can't remember if I ever posted any, and I am too lazy to go look so here's four in case I never did)...This boy was so cute on his bike in his jammies...

You gotta have at least a BITE of Indian Fry Bread...

"You got enough to share with a pal?"

Ava was so funny...Every morning Louise would take her and Shadow on a walk thru the campground and thru the teepees (in the background of last picture). Ava would not go NEAR the teepees at first "just in case the Indians were at home"...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Little Time...

With Gammie and Papa Mel. Bedtime stories...

Lots of hugs and kisses...

A sweet pic of Papa and his only brown-eyed granddaughter.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Thrill is Gone...

Our last night with Bepo...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ava's Sleeping Criteria

--"Momma, when I go to Nana's house can Poppop sleep at William and Heather's? Acuz (because) He tries to take me off the top bunk and I always wanted to sleep on the top bunk."
--"Momma, can you not sleep with me for the whole night? Acuz if you sleep with me for the whole night you might have bad breath."
--"Momma, that baby is crying and it's keeping me awake!"
--"Momma, (two minutes after she has a little drink) I'm getting pretty thirsty."

Monday, September 24, 2007

She's Dedicated!

Last Sunday (one week ago) we had Brynne dedicated at Eden Bible Church. She says she feels a little different now...
Posted by Picasa