Thursday, July 21, 2011

Art Class at Uncorked Canvas

We redeemed another Groupon today.  Hayley and Jillian took an art class in Gig Harbor at Uncorked Canvas.  They had a blast!  I dropped them off and came back two hours later when they were just finishing up.  The project was step-by-step and fairly simple, but the girls really enjoyed the process.  They even asked if they could take a couple more classes next week.  I would definitely recommend this place!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Glass Blowing

It's going to be a GROUPON summer for us.  I planned ahead and purchased a few of them for an assortment of fun activities ranging from paddle boarding to ice skating to painting classes.  We cashed in our first one last Friday at Uptown Glassworks for a session in glass blowing.  We had a great time and can't wait to pick up our finished products!  I would highly recommend it especially with the use of the Groupon.  It was a neat to experience this art form up close and the kids loved being able to choose their design and colors.  Keep in mind that you do have to return a few days later to pick up your finished and cooled off (!) product.
Jill chose to make a surprise gift for her mom's upcoming birthday.
Luke chose to make an egg shape figurine in orange colors.
All the projects that are being fired look orange.  When this cools it will be yellow and green. 
The temperatures reach over 2000 degrees as they're being fired!
Hayley chose to make a bowl and her colors were in the blues.

Luke and Karin's finished products.  Pretty, huh?!

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Afternoon at Alki

We headed to Alki Beach in West Seattle for an afternoon of sunshine.  It was a beautiful three hours that flew by!  I got a little reading in while Hayley, Luke and Jillian collected sea glass, dug holes, took walks, and buried themselves in sand!  After the beach Hayley and Luke really wanted Jill to see the Fremont Troll and then since we were so close..... we had dinner at another Seattle Landmark... Dick's Drive-In.  :)  Very nice day and did I mention that we didn't run into an ounce of traffic?
Luke burying the girls.
The kids and I found some beautiful shells, stones, and sea glass.
Luke worked on this hole for well over an hour.
It was kind of a deep hole...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Licorice Fern Hike

Today we went on a hike with the Montry's on Cougar Mountain.  The Trail was called Licorice Fern and I was told that it was rated 'Easy'.... uhhhhhh, I think NOT!  It was a beautiful hike though and I would highly recommend it!  We split off from the Montry's at about the two mile mark because Luke had to go to the bathroom!  On the way back he proceeded to tell me of four possible options for poopin' in the wild!  When I asked him where he learned all of this valuable information, he casually told me it was from a book that I had gotten him!  Who knew?! 

Jill & Hayley walking the doggies.  Teddy and Poppy had a blast!

Hayley, Jill, Luke and Lucas

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Fun

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fourth Fun 2011

We had another great Fourth of July celebration at the Bates' house on Angle Lake!  It was, once again, like our own private fireworks show! 
Uncle Mike and Luke on the paddle boats.
Hayley, Zach, Paisley, and Luke playing Duck-Duck-Goose.

Wes & Ed chillin'.
Crazy Kids

Luke and Zach watching fireworks from the dock.
Enjoying the fireworks show from the boat.

Our annual 4th of July family photo!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth o' July Treats

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.  I love red, white, and blue everything, so I wanted to try some new and different goodies for this year's celebration.

These Berry Raspberry Icebox Cookies were delicious!  I found the recipe on 'The Cooking Photographer' blog.

The kids love to make fun little chocolate shapes using Wilton candy molds.

I was super excited about making this Red, White, & Blue Jello dessert.  It was very time consuming to make, but very pretty!
Found these yummies (rice candy) at Tacoma Boys.  Too, too cute!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Watermelon Granita

I love Granita!  In case you don't know what that is, it's an Italian frozen dessert that's similar to a sorbet.  I've always wanted to try to make my own and, with some inspiration from my Bon Apetit magazine, today seemed like the perfect day.


4 cups (1 3/4 lb.) cubed seedless watermelon
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. 
Pour into a 9x9x2 metal baking pan. 
Freeze mixture for one hour.
Stir, mashing any frozen parts wit hthe back of a fork.
Cover and freeze mixture until firm, about 2 hours.
Using a fork, scrape granita vigorously to form icy flakes. 

Can be made 3 days ahead.
Cover tightly with foil and keep frozen.
Give it a quick scrape before serving.

From everything I've read about making Granita, it's all about the timing.  As soon as you put your base in the freezer, set a timer for 60 minutes.  If you don't do this, you will forget, resulting in a solid block that's tough to scrape.  After the first hour, the liquid will become slushy; mash down any big chunks.  Two hours later, scrape the entire surface until it's as flaky as shaved ice.  If you forgot to set your timer this time, all is not lost.  Start scraping, and scraping... and scraping...

Watermelon Granita!  Can't wait to try my next fruity flavor!

Out With The Old and In With The New

Well, its time has come... our existing trampoline has been hanging on by a thread (well, maybe not literally), but it's definitely had a little help from some rope, zip ties, and duct tape for the past year or so (see the photos below).  We finally broke down and bought a new and much safer Springfree Trampoline.  It's just about twice as big as the old one and much prettier to look at!  I'm still choking about the cost, but hopefully we'll never, ever have to purchase a bouncing machine again in our entire lives!!