Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Carnival

It wouldn't be a Hufford Halloween without my pre-Halloween costume photos, now would it? 

I will forever maintain that if I were to wait until the actual day of Trick or Treating to try to get these pictures, many people wouldl end up in tears....and most of the photos would involve dirty costumes and suckers stuck in hair. 

Ain't nobody got time for that.

But we DO have time for a 13 year old pirate. I cannot tell you how happy in makes me that he still wants to dress up and that even though we showed up to the ward carnival and he was the only teenager that wore a costume, he didn't skulk off to the bathroom and stash his pirate dreads. 

Way to hold your head up high, buddy. 

Don't ever let anybody make you feel embarrassed for wearing your little sister's pirate pants from her 4th grade musical. 

Ethan and his good buddy, Christopher.

Mathew went as a Royals player. I KNEW I was smart to hang on to those baseball pants even though we have never needed them for actual baseball! A little part of me (my inner hoarder) just grew a few sizes larger.

Mathew has no problem posing for the camera.

No problem at all.

Megan decided to (finally!) go as a gypsy. This was a costume we worked on two years ago and then it got bumped at the last minute for something else....probably a black cat.

I think she's a beauty.

I will now start brainstorming ways to ugly her up before she turns 16.

Laney settled on being a "China Girl".

Now, I'm fairly certain that being a "China Girl" isn't very PC....we are possibly offending somebody out there....but, hey....

She's doin ya proud, huh?

Anna decided on the pumpkin suit. We have two and although they are identical in every way, she was adamant that this is the one she wanted. I want to eat her up!

Everly is a little pirate girl....without the hat. She wanted to wear the hat for approximately 4 seconds and tossed it. 5 years ago, I would have done everything in my power (and I did) to get a photo with her (Laney) in that hat.

Now I just don't have the energy to fight that particular fight.  Instead we are going with Pirate Pigtails.

And it's possible she thinks it's prayer time.

Which, just like actual prayer time, only lasts a few seconds and then she's on to more interesting things.

After 2 solid hours of running the fishing booth and allowing our children to enjoy the games and trick or treat completely unsupervised by a responsible adult, we sat down for the chili cookoff.

I don't know who won because a)We didn't enter b) I wasn't listening c) Let's just eat it.

Fred and Dylan Clarke are the only other adults that dressed up....I was sporting my Where's Waldo costume from yesteryear.

That officially makes us the 3 most righteous people in the ward.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time for curls

Usually morning is a busy time for us. 

We are cereal people. We aint got time for pancakes!

But here and there we find a minute. And here and there, my tom-boyish daughter will give in and let me style her hair.  And, not to brag, but isn't that the cutest?

Anna's cute short do has a little jazzy twenties feel to it.

And I even manage to get some perky piggies into Everly's hair as I keep her from burning herself on the curling iron.

Is it still morning?

Personal best

Back in December, on my first day of Crossfit, Brian put a 16 inch box in front of me and ask me to jump on top of it. I won't lie. I was scared and visions of my shins scraping down the top edge of it flashed before my eyes. 

So you can imagine how excited I was to hit this personal best on the box jump. 

24 inches!!


My new deadlift!

135 as of October 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Hufford Halloween

Carving some pumpkins!

A selfie...of course.

Various carving party poses: I took the liberty of naming them...mostly in honor of Mark.


"Gang Signs"

"The Majestic Point"

"The Pirate"

"Smellin the Pits"

From left to right: Mom, Dad, Megan

Mat, Ethan, Anna, Laney's school project (Waldo), and Laney.

And just to be perfectly clear....Mathew's says..."ALL YOU CAN EAT CHURROS"

A little house decorating!

Contact paper on the mirrors make great ghosts...

Ethan talked me into this impulse buy....and I must say he matches our Manti Temple perfectly.

Chicken leg salad tongs.

Dollar store skull candle holders...lovely with red dripping wax.

The cutest letters made for me by my equally adorable younger sister, Kaira.

Halloween is the best!

Let's go get some CANDY!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pigging out in a Royal way

I love watching Royals play and we are living it up here in Kansas as they try to win the World Series.

Everyone is wearing blue every day.

And we are all pigging out. I have a weakness for buffet food. I just can't stop putting food into my mouth. 

I am thinking if we go all 7 games, that will translate to just over 7 lbs right on my hiney. 

Now pass the pretzel bites.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recipe: Zuppa Toscona (Low-fat version)

I first had this at Carolyn Stouts house and it was meant as a first course...just a nice appetizer.

Unfortunately, it was so delicious, I just wanted to skip the rest of the meal and have bowl after bowl after bowl.

It is so good, my kids are willing to deal with KALE in order to have it.

Zuppa Toscana

1 pint half & half (we use 2% milk)
1 roll hot sausage
1 roll Italian sausage (we now use 2 rolls of Turkey sausage)
9 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped kale
4 medium potatoes, washed well, sliced and halved...leave skins on!
crushed red pepper or Cajun seasoning to taste

Brown the sausage then add broth and potatoes. When potatoes are almost tender, add kale and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add half & half and season to taste. Let soup heat up again and serve with crusty bread.


Our sphinx moth finally hatched.

And he (she!!) is fabulously furry.

And her wings are a bit crumpled...which is very sad and we are afraid she will be bird food soon.

We love her and wish we could keep her and feed her with a bah-bah.

But alas.

But on a brighter note, one of our swallowtails hatched and is doing very well. We're hoping that the other four will come out soon and I won't have to throw out any unhatched chrysaliseseses.

I am not looking to be the decider of anybody's fate today.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sick day

I'm actually not positive that Megan was sick today. 

I've never been a very good judge of germiness or contagiousness in my kids. This would explain the 40 dollar strep test I paid for on the word of a "sick" Mathew recently. 

So when Meg told me that she was feeling sick, I figured...oh what the heck, let's just take the day off. 

Let's make soup and grilled cheese. We'll sit on the table.

Clothes are optional. Diapers are not.

We'll practice curling our hair.

Even the little sis will get in on the action.

Everybody will be feeling better tomorrow, I'm sure.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Recipe: Carin's Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Super good.

Super fast.

Super healthy.

Carin's Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

8 cups chicken broth
1-2 c diced cooked chicken
1 c milk
1 c sliced carrots
1 c sliced celery
1/2 c diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper

6 oz noodles (pre cook to al dente)

1. Combine all ingredients over medium heat until veggies are tender.
2. Add noodles.
3. Whisk together 1/2 c milk and 1/4 c flour (or shake it up in a mason jar) and mix into soup
4. Boil gently for 3 minutes
5. STir in 2 Tbsp butter (optional, but delicious)

Serve with hot rolls....mmmm.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Family recipes: BBQ Meatballs

We don't make these very often, but when we do, we always ask ourselves, "Why don't we make these more often?"

They are really delicious and go well with herb potatoes.

Kaira's BBQ Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup crushed cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 c finely chopped onion (1/4 c minced dry onion)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp chili powder

This mixture will be pretty wet, but just let it sit for about 5 minutes and let the oats soak in some of the moisture.  Then form meatballs and place them side by side in a greased 9x13.

Mix up the sauce:

2 cups ketchup
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c finely chopped onion (1/8 cup dry)

**I halve this sauce and find it is plenty for us.

Pour the sauce over the uncooked meatballs and back uncovered at 350 for 45-60 minutes.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nurturing curiosity or letting things get out of hand?

Remember the fatty?

For several days he ate copious amounts of tomato leaves and started to turn brown. One morning we looked in on him and he appeared to be sick...or possibly dead. We don't know anything about the metamorphic process of the tomato hornworm, so we decided to do some research and see if he was dying or coming close to a chrysalis stage. 

We discovered that hornworms need dirt in order to move into the chrysalis stage!

We promptly added dirt to the bottom of the jar and in a few seconds he had dug down in and was happily moving on with his life.

About a week later, we noticed that he had wiggled his way up and is sticking halfway out of the dirt. We're hoping that we'll see a sphinx moth soon!

While we are waiting to meet The Sphinx, we have enjoying watching this monarch caterpillar go through his life cycle.

Ethan found him on some milkweed on the way home from school.

He shed his skin, just like the Swallowtails, but attached himself to the papertowel we were using for a lid.

He was kind of hard to see way up there and definitely difficult to photograph. Luckily, Everly ripped off the papertowel lid while I wasn't watching and I was able to get a quick photo before replacing it and moving the jar to an Everly-free zone.

I am amazed by the beauty of the chrysalis. The gold trim!

Megan happened to be watching when he emerged from his chrysalis. It happens fast, so we were lucky to see it.

He was a beauty.

Now we wait for the rest of the swallowtails to emerge and we will consider ourselves finished with our caterpillar observations for the year. 

I kinda want my jars and countertops back!