Wordless Wednesday: Baby Blessing Pictures

Ryleigh will have a memorable day for her baby blessing: Easter, 2013!  We didn't intend it to be that way, but Easter was early and (since the date-choosing story is a bit long) that's when it happened.

We believe that babies do not need to be baptized to be saved. (Baptism comes later.)  However, they often do get a special blessing that is more like a gift of love and blessings from their Heavenly Father.  This usually happens during their first few months.  Ryleigh happened to be just over two months old.  

There is no rule or requirement that the baby wear a white dress, but it is pretty traditional.  However, (due to another very long story, lol!), Easter morning dawned and I realized we hadn't bought her dress.  We still have Kaia's, but it's preemie-sized.  Ryleigh is no preemie!  We talked about it, looked at our sewing and craft drawers, and decided to make one.  This was two and half hours before we needed to leave for church!  Luckily, Jon's mom was here and she was able to make sure the project didn't flop...and Ryleigh has a fun dress story to go with all her other stories!

And, as you know, I could take a million snapshots of my kids...even when they're just laying on the floor smiling!  I couldn't help getting Kaia and Harry in on the action too...and even though I didn't get one picture of all three of them smiling, the set of pictures makes me smile every time!  

After all those pictures she was pretty tired...

I suppose I should have warned you at the beginning that there would be words...and a ton of pictures.  Or, maybe you'll just start to expect that!

Happy Birthday, Kaia!!

One of my all-time favorite people ever turned six a week ago, and we spent more than a week partying.  It all began with a trip to Toys-R-Us.  They have a program where the birthday kid gets a balloon, a gift card, and a little in-store party to celebrate.

Then, we had our family party at Chuck E Cheese.  I have no idea how this tradition began, but our kids expect pizza and toys every year.  This year we took a ladybug cake with us too.  Kaia wanted her party theme to be ladybugs, so we decided to start that right away!  Kaia had a great time decorating the cake with me!

I did not realize they remembered much about Chuck E. Cheese besides the toys and pizza (it had been like a year since they'd come!), but Kaia actually had a booth in mind that she wanted us to sit at!  As we situated everything, Harry climbed up to the table and poured salt onto the cake!  Yes, that would be my two-year old...slightly obsessed with pouring spices onto foods! 

I scraped off the affected frosting (about 1/3 the cake).  Later, Kaia actually cut her own cake...first time ever!

Then, the kids spent a couple hours playing on toys and games.  When they used up their tokens, they played on the indoor climbing/jungle gym thing, and loved that.  Ryleigh spent a lot of time with Grandma.

A week later we had Kaia's party with her friends.  She wanted to invite the three friends we watch and everyone in her class at church.  We ended up with about ten kids.  Kaia has always been very adamant about having a party with friends and the sorts of things that should happen at these parties.  This year, her theme was ladybugs.  We started out modeling a prehistoric landscape and playing with dinosaurs.  Ladybugs lived over 65 million years ago, so I thought this was appropriate.

And, of course, we had to blow up the dinosaurs since they are extinct now.  A few volcano eruptions (vinegar and baking soda) took care of that.

Kaia invented and requested a game of Pin the Spots on the Ladybug--she also colored the board herself. 

Harry needed to help in the board-coloring process.

Next came the ladybug pinata.  This is another birthday tradition with mysterious origins, but we all love it!

Finally, we ended with the cake.  Kaia wanted it shaped like a number six with flowers and ladybugs.


Kaia had a great time, at all her celebrations!  She has loved ladybugs for months now, so it was no surprise that that was the theme she chose.  She is such a loving, smart, strong, helpful, and creative girl!!  We are so glad that she is in our family and that we get to celebrate things like birthdays and climbing and flowers and friends and ladybugs and butterflies with her!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers!!

Yes, you read that right: Black Bean Quinoa Burgers!  I'm not trying to replace a good ole' hamburger, but I do like beans and quinoa and new food, and I saw this post for Red Bean Veggie Burgers, and I wanted one.  I didn't have the right ingredients for her recipe, so I made a few changes...and loved it.  We had them for lunch...I loved them and the kids ate them without complaining, so I decided it was worth saving the recipe.  Here it is:

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

* 1 15 ounce can black beans 
* 2/3 cup uncooked Quinoa + 2 1/2 cup water
* 3 eggs  (I actually used powdered eggs...something about Easter and me losing track of how many un-cooked eggs were in the fridge...)
* 3/4 cup bread crumbs
* 2-3 tablespoons minced dried onions
* 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
* 1-3 teaspoons cumin
* dash of salt, pepper, and seasoned salt

1- Cook the quinoa by placing it in a big pot with the water and boiling the water.  When the water is boiling, place a lid on the pot and turn it to low.

2- While the quinoa finishes cooking, dump the beans into a big bowl and mash them.  I had lots of 2-year old help for this part.  We practiced counting to five and passing the bowl to the next child to mash!

3- Add the eggs, onions, and other spices. 

4- Check on your quinoa.  If the water is all gone, the quinoa is done (about 20 minutes total).  Stir it in to your bean goop. Make sure everything is mixed well.  Use your hands if necessary. (yuck!)

5- Warm a frying pan to medium heat, spray with cooking oil, and cook up some patties!  I used a measuring cup to scoop out some goop and smear it into a patty shape--I felt like I was cooking very thick pancakes.  It took about two minutes on each side.

6- I served on whole wheat bread with mayo, ketchup, cheese, tomatoes, and a cabbage leaf.  The cabbage instead of lettuce is another story.  None of the kids wanted it today, but I did.  

To help my kiddos eat such a funny looking burger, I made the sandwiches for them (they usually get to help assemble sandwiches), and no one complained.  I really liked the flavor, so it will probably happen again!  I called them Quinoa Burgers because one of our little friends thinks he doesn't like beans, but he doesn't know what quinoa is.  Anyways, he liked these, so I was happy about that!