December 22, 2010

Peace & Love

Jake's Aunt Cheri is an amazing photographer and anytime I need anything photo-related, I can count on her to make me something I'll love. She did our Christmas cards this year and it seems fortuitous that she used "Peace & Love" as the greeting. I had another miscarriage a few weeks ago, my 4th in a row, and it has been hard, very hard get over. We have had such an outpouring of love that it has brought me peace that I didn't think I would find so quickly. I'm still grieving, but I'm doing so with the love and support of so many, and with the peace that they and the Savior have given me. The other night I was struggling and turned to my scriptures. I opened them at random to John and read chapter 14. Verses 18-27 says, "I will not leave you comfortless...Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." These words make me happy and I know they are true. So Peace and Love to your families from ours this Christmas season!

Thanksgiving 2010

We had an amazing Thanksgiving this year! Jake had to work on Thanksgiving day, so we celebrated the next day and since this is the first year we're back in So. Cal., we decided to have a big Camp/McCammon feast.
It was so much fun to have 23 members of both Camp and McCammon families on one long table! I love having a houseful of family.
Jake's Grandparent's from Arizona were also able to join us, Grandma Van always spoils the kids with treats! It was neat to have 4 generations of family together.
My parents came up a couple of days before Thanksgiving to help me out. My Mom and I spent two days cooking and you know what, it was so much fun! We chopped, cooked, chatted, tasted and then sat down on the couch and immediately fell asleep each day.
The menu, I wish I took pictures because the food is my favorite part next to family time!
-Brined/Roasted Turkey (I use a variation of my Mom's recipe, it never fails me!)
-Green Bean Casserole
-Yams w/Marshmallows
-Yams w/Crumble Topping
-15lbs Garlic Parm Mashed Potatoes
-Chestnut Sausage Stuffing
-Apple Sausage Stuffing
-2 Raspberry Pretzel Salads
-Cranberry Sauce
-Turkey Gravy
That is just what I made, thanks to my wonderful family that brought all the other food, including another delicious turkey.

Ahoy Mates! Let's Celebrate!

The night before Eli turned 4, I was laying in bed with him, begging him to stay 3. He said, "I'm sorry Mom, I don't know how, but I just keep growing." Like him, I'm amazed at how this year just flew by, but I loved every minute of my 3 year old and will love every minute of his 4th year. He wanted a pirate party this year (is that like a rite of passage for this age? Seems like they all want pirate parties). These are some of our mateys that joined us, I had to invite some ladies for Brynn but I thought it was funny how they split up, even at this age!
Per tradition, I let the birthday boy pick the menu. It doesn't vary much each year...this year it was wrapped lil smokies, veggie straws, grapes and oranges.
We had a treasure hunt for the goody bags (a few pirate necessities tied up in a paper bag)
We walked the plank
This is the cake I made this year, thanks to for the how to. It was by far the easiest cake I've made for a birthday. Definitely going the easy cake route from now on. It's always the biggest stress and you know what? The kids never care!
Singing happy birthday to Eli. I love the little look he is sharing with his cousin Lily, too cute!
Blowing out the candles, which turned out to be trick candles! Whoops! Pretty entertaining and then frustrating for a bunch of 4 year olds.
yum, yum cake. Here's an Eli fact: He prefers vanilla over chocolate. But if chocolate is offered and there isn't a vanilla choice, he'll still take it.
The kids always love a pinata and the best part for me: I used all our leftover Halloween candy (sshhh don't tell my kids) to stuff it!
Eli's present from me, Jake and Brynn came in the mail after the party...what could it be??
A Playmobil pirate ship! That sucker took Jake and I an hour and a half to put together. But it is sooo awesome. I see why people love Playmobil.
Happy Birthday my sweet son! My life would not be the wonderful adventure it is without you. I love playing cars, airplanes and of course pirates with you. I love all our endless conversations, putting puzzles together, going on walks, teaching you how to cook and color and count. Every single thing about you is precious to me, even the tantrums and the "5 more minutes Mom!," because I know it's all fleeting and I'll take every moment I can get. Love you Eli!

November 5, 2010

My Mom has beautiful curly hair, my sister has beautiful wavy hair. Seems like everyone has beautiful beachy waves but me. I have super straight hair and I always, always wanted curly hair. Then I had this cutie pie that was nearly bald until she was a year old. When her hair did start to come in, it came as corkscrews. It's bouncy and beautiful and is so completely Brynn.
So if I can't have those curls, I'm perfectly happy with my daughter having them instead.
And I know we all want what we don't have, so Brynn will probably straighten her hair when she's a teenager, but I think it's just adorable right now!
This pile of books is some of the required reading for my upcoming fall term. That's right friends, I'm going back to school. Earlier this year I transferred to the State University of New York, which has an awesome program that will allow me to finish my BA via distance learning and independent study. I'm double majoring in Literature (already finished) and Anthropology. Classes start on Monday and I'm equally excited and nervous.
It's been a long time since my college days and now I have the added demands of motherhood and running a household, but I found this print that is inspiring me.
I feel like finishing my degree will inspire myself and my children to reach their full potential. And that makes me happy!

November 2, 2010

Slumber Party

My brother and sister in law went to San Fransisco for a couple of days and we were so excited to have a sleepover with the cousins! We took the kids to the San Diego Zoo one afternoon. They've redone much of the zoo since I was last here 4 years ago. It has some great play areas for the kids now, including this elephant that kept them climbing for 30 minutes.
ahhh the life of a Daddy
We took them to a neat pumpkin patch the next day. It's up in the mountains in Escondido at Bate's Nut Farm. Jake and I got some yummy almonds and the kids picked out their pumpkins here.
Being silly with Uncle Jake/Daddy. There were some really big pumpkins!
They're best buddies! It's so fun to finally live close to some of their cousins and at least be within a days' drive of the Camp cousins in Idaho.
Lily, Eli, Lexi & Dane
Patiently waiting while I got the apples ready to dip into caramel. Well, Lily was patient, Eli couldn't wait to eat one.
yum! Nothing is better than caramel apples in the fall.
Painting the pumpkins that they picked out that afternoon. See how they're all laughing? They had the best time together!
Bremen and Andrea brought us back this yummy jack-o-lantern sourdough disc AND some honey caramel to dip it in.
It was so tasty!

This is a giant avocado
We found it in the local farmer's market at our commissary (military grocery store). I LOVE our commissary, not only is it huge and cheap, but it has a farmer's market section!!
Can't wait to crack this baby open for fajitas this week
That is, if Brynn will let me. She rather likes the giant avocado.

I don't think I ever posted a pic of our new house! We moved in back in June, but it already feels like we've been here for a long time. I'm still not a fan of the two story, but it's impossible to find a single story in San Diego. But it is an awesome neighborhood and a quiet cul-de-sac within walking distance of the elementary school so we love it!
The backyard is itty bitty, but enough room for us right now.
And thank goodness for the long stretch of sidewalk so the kids can still ride their trikes (or bikes or motorcycles or race cars or princess carriage...depending on the mood of the day).

October 26, 2010

Coronado Island

Coronado Island has some of our favorite beaches in San Diego. It's one of the furthest from where we live now, but it has such good memories, we're always drawn back. When we lived in San Diego 5 years ago, we were only a few minutes from Coronado, and spent a lot of time there. Check out my BYU boys lounging on the beach.
We noticed a slow moving, shadowy shape moving across the horizon and realized it was our brother-in-law Bremen's sub coming back in from a trip. Bremen's a dive doctor for the Navy, meaning he treats submariners and thus has to spend a certain number of days on a sub per month. Pretty neat, huh?!
A favorite of the Coronado beaches is the DOG BEACH! This fine specimen is our dog Layla, the "first child" who has fallen so far in rank it must be disheartening to her, but we do what we can to make it up to her.
She's 6 years old now but she still has her jumping legs and loves to chase tennis balls and great big dogs.
I just love this age with Eli (3 weeks till he's 4..waahhh!) He's really into making deals, bargaining and talking with his hands.

October 5, 2010

JUNKED (verb): To take into the mouth (food) and chew or swallow for nourishment, enjoyment or disobedience.
EXAMPLE: "Eli, what did you do with your gum?" "I junked it!"
I just love it when they make up new words. Especially ones that I can use around the house!

October 3, 2010

Note to self:
Do not leave the tray of poffertjes on the coffee table all morning or else your 2 year old will feel free to take one bite out of each one.

Ebelskiver, Popovers, Aebelskivers, Paniyaram, Gai daan Jai, Poffertjes..

Most countries have a version of poffertjes by a different name, but we hail from the dutch, so we call them poffertjes. Since it's conference weekend, I busted out my perfectly seasoned aebleskiver pan to make our family's traditional conference poffertjes. If you also have an aebelskiver pan, this is my favorite recipe (I got it from Arne's Solvang Restaurant in Solvang, CA one of my favorite places in CA to visit!): 2C flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1/2tsp salt, 1T sugar, 4 eggs (separated), 2C milk, 4T melted butter. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk egg yolks, milk and melted butter together in a smaller bowl, once combined whisk into dry ingredients (should be lumpy like pancake mix). Beat eggs whites in a mixer until stiff but without peaks, fold into batter. Pour the batter into each well up to the rim. They cook fast, so if you want to fill them be quick! Last year I filled them with chocolate and cinnamon chips. This year I did bananas and sauteed apples. I use a crochet hook to flip the poffertjes over (that's the tricky part).
They take about 3 minutes to cook through and should be golden brown
Looks like a lot for 3 people? It was! But I know that they keep well in the fridge for days and my kids will love them for breakfast this week. As per tradition, we dust them with powdered sugar before serving.
They couldn't wait a second longer to eat them!
I like to eat mine with strawberry or raspberry jam, but the kids like dipping them in MORE powdered sugar or syrup instead.
Happy Conference weekend everyone!

A Day Off

Jake's schedule has been crazy thus far in residency, he doesn't get many days off and is working most weekends BUT I do when his days off fall on weekdays. We get to go fun places like Disneyland when it's not as crowded.
The Carousel is a must for my kids
Jake & I like it too
They love Dumbo too
Eli & I
Brynn & I cooling off while the boys ride a big kid ride
After Disneyland we headed over to Bremen & Andrea's house for some ice cream cookie sandwiches (yummmm) and rock band.
What can I say? It's a hard life but someone's gotta live it! :)