Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Ryan's pretty big on superheroes: Superman, Spiderman, Batman, even Buzz Lightyear, are current make-believe roles he chooses. One night he came out of his room sporting 2 pairs of sunglasses and started running around looking for "bad guys".
I fashioned a cape out of a cloth napkin and pin, and we spent the better part of an hour running around saying "Ssssssccccchhhhooooooooe!" (this is our flying noise).

We fought bad guys (any shadows we found) and chased Nika (who did not like her cape very much).

 Ryan had to show Daddy, who was scooping snow, his cape through the window.

It was a great way to get some exercise (NFL Play 60 would be proud) and I'm already dreaming up better versions of his cape!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Substate Basketball

Ryan made it to parts of 3 different sub-state basketball games this year! On Saturday, we made a trip to Sioux City for a little shopping, a quick trip to "Old McDonalds" and then the 1A Substate game of Boyden-Hull vs. Kingsley Pierson and 2A Substate game of Sioux Center vs. Hull Western Christian. We met Abbie, Wade, Saylor and my parents there. Ryan did not like sitting to watch the game and had a "pullup FAIL" which made a trip out to the car for new pants necessary. His favorite part was dancing to the music in between games!

On Monday, we traveled to Buena Vista University to watch the MOC-Floyd Valley vs. Storm Lake Substate game. It was a fun game since the Dutch dominated, but Ryan was coughing more and more and ended up looking pretty miserable by the end of the game.

On to State!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Our fun activity tonight was making homemade fingerpaint. I used this recipe from About.com.

Ryan had fun mixing all the colors, but we found they barely showed up on the paper unless applied in large handfuls...

...which Ryan was only too happy to do.

He had fun mixing everything around...

...but I couldn't help but think we were only a few seconds away from...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tape Track

Using an idea I found on Pinterest, we took some old painter's tape that was getting a little wrinkly on the edges and created a fun track for Ryan's race cars that ran through the kitchen and the living room.
 He lined up all his cars on the track to get them ready for the big race.

Dad helped build a lego tower to use as the starting gate.

Follow the track...wherever it goes!

Making noises as the car races through the wooden block path.

Underneath the "Golden Gate" bridge made of a magazine rack.

This was a really fun family activity that allowed Ryan to play with many of his toys in a new way. We made some ramps out of cookie sheets and boxes, made the car go up and over blankets and boards and he got to experiment with curves vs. straight track vs. corners and hard floor vs. carpet. He learned how to be careful not to knock down the bridges and how he could go fast down the ramp since the fence was there to  guide the cars. Even though there was a lot to pick up afterwards, it was a lot of fun!  And next time, we can make a whole new track with all new obstacles!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ryan & Saylor

Milo's Worst Nightmare

Wade decided to let Ryan help him give Milo a bath in my mom's old dog-grooming shop.

 Ryan enjoyed this slightly more than Milo.

The dryer was not much better.
The truth is that when Ryan comes over to my parents when Milo is there, Milo hides. She has been found in my old bedroom in the basement, hiding behind the couch, even cowering behind people's legs. One time they opened the door and she high-tailed it down the driveway.  I don't really blame her, do you?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet (and Sour) Valentine's Supper

We hadn't planned to go out for supper on Valentine's Day but we were really hungry and the leftovers in the fridge just seemed like we would almost be trying TOO hard to be anti-Valentine's-expensive-supper, so our meet-in-the-middle was getting Chinese takeout. This is the first restaurant-Chinese food Ryan has ever had and he did well with the broccoli chicken and rice.  I then asked him if he wanted to try a crab rangoon and he said, "No, Mommy, I don't like crabby Boones." Neither do we, babe, neither do we. :)

I also have to document that when I poured some sweet and sour sauce into a bowl for him to use for dipping, this is what happened:
Yes, he drank it.

At the end of the meal, he got to try a fortune cookie but he called it his "crown" and wore it instead.
It was actually pretty good food and I'm thinking it was a better choice than the "Steak and Lobster" meal they were serving at Quizno's.

Valentine Flowers

On Tuesday I was surprised with this beautiful bouquet of flowers! Tulips are kind of my thing (not b/c I live in a town that spends 4 days/year celebrating them) but because we had them at our wedding. I love this arrangement from "My Guys." Thanks!

Valentines: Then and Now



Happy Valentine's Day!

Just wanted to say...

...just wanted to say...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ryan's favorite thing to eat for breakfast is mini chocolate chip muffins. I usually buy the Betty Crocker packets for 88 cents, add water, and call it good, but thought I should try to look for something with a small amount of nutritional value if I'm really going to use these as a breakfast food and not a snack.

After scouring the 'net (that's what I hear the kids are calling it these days) for a decent chocolate chip muffin recipe, I ended up veering in another direction, starting with this Banana Oat Muffin recipe from allrecipes.com, using the top commenter's suggestion for the applesauce substitute, and threw in the chocolate chips because I'm sorry...have we met? The result tastes nothing like my cheap packet mix, but my two-year-old loved them and they worked well for little hands (homemade muffins tend to crumble in little fingers but these were dense enough to hold up to the abuse).

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (have heard you can substitute 2 egg whites, but did not try)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (less if you want, but your loss)


  1. Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. 
  3. Fill muffin tins 1/2 to 2/3 full. This recipe makes 12 regular-sized muffins (use paper liners) AND 24 mini muffins (spray well).
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes (large muffins) or 10 minutes (mini muffins).
  5. Cool in tins for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the mini muffin cups (I use an offset rounded-tip spreader) and cool muffins completely on wire rack.
I'd like to see how these hold up in the freezer so I can make a large batch and just pull some out the night before to thaw for breakfast, otherwise these are about 15x the work of the Betty Crocket packet and definitely more expensive, but have slightly higher breakfast-credentials.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Superman Sings

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I'm not sure what to think of Ryan's imitation of Adam and my singing. For a few months, we practiced a duet of, "Love of My Life," by Michael W. Smith to sing in Adam's cousin's wedding, including the chorus, "My angel in the night..."

Ryan HATED every minute of us practicing and even at rehearsal when he heard us from the annex, he still started yelling and crying when he heard us sing. If we sounded like this, I think I'd have done the same. Also, we did not wear Spiderman underwear during the wedding...that you know of.

Friday, February 10, 2012


On Friday night, Ryan and I had fun at home while Adam watched the Dutch win their last conference games. Both boys and girls were undefeated in the conference this year. Way to go, Dutch!

Ryan was into pretending, so we enjoyed a trip to Pumpkin Land (the music room), and hauled home a pumpkin (soccer ball) on a wagon (canvas bag).  He built a picnic for us using pillows and a blanket. We also had ice cream cones ( a microphone and salt & pepper shakers) and then he decided we should roast marshmallows on a stick. We fashioned some out of rolled-up paper on pencils and roasted them over an orange pillow.  All the pretending made me hungry, so we made real s'mores...in the microwave!

Ryan loved watching the marshmallows grow in the microwave and enjoyed his (messy!) snack with milk!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fort Ryan

Ryan loves playing in the fort he built with Adam last week. It's a pretty elaborate structure involving the loveseat, bookshelves, a card table and folding chairs along with 2 comforters and a sleeping bag. We can fit our whole family, including Nika, inside along with bean bag chairs and lots of books! Adam strategically built it on the top level of our theater room, so it's completely out of the way and can be left up with no interference in everyday life!

Ryan likes to read inside and also loves to provoke Nika, then run inside, close the curtains, and hide from the "scary dog".

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl

With both of us having been sick, we decided to stay low-key for the Super Bowl and stayed home. Here Ryan is standing with his hand on his heart for the national Anthem.
 Don't be fooled by this picture. We are not Tom Brady fans.
We are fans of popcorn, Velveeta/Rotel dip, wings, and other sorry excuses for a supper.

For the record, the Giants beat the Patriots, Madonna's Cleopatra/Marching Band mashup was Ryan's favorite part of the broadcast, and my favorite commercial was the dog offering Doritos as "hush money" to keep quiet about the Missing Cat.