Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cheaters Never Prosper....Sorta

Maysen and I played Age of Mythology for Time with Dad tonight. It is one of her favorite computer games. A while ago we looked up a bunch of cheat codes for the game. Here are some videos of us picking on the computer players with our ill-begotten units. Namely, flying purple hippos and laser bears - something you don't see every day. Those greeks never knew what hit 'em!

Maysen loves these cheat units. The flying purple hippos (which she calls FPH's) attack with love -they throw red hearts at the enemy and leave a shimmering rainbow wherever they go. Laser bears wear a Canadian flag and shoot lasers out of their eyes.

Maysen also started her science project today. I am proud of her for thinking of her project all by herself and doing all the work. She is growing different groups of bean seeds, "watering" them with 4 different liquids: water, milk, orange juice, and coke. It will be interesting to see which groups fares the best.

Perhaps plants in the South enjoy the cool refreshing taste of Coke better? Or the fizz will make them grow huge? We'll report back when she's done with her research.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's almost Derby season...

At Stockton's pack meeting tonight they announced that Pinewood Derby season is almost upon us once more. I'm excited because Maysen, Stockton and Jorja all wanted cars. Hmmm...let's see....I have no job and have a basement full of power tools. What could be better?

The last time I made a derby car for myself was for a no-rules adult derby a couple years back. I made a rocket powered car that was pretty sweet. You can check it out here.

The kids want to go with the Mario Kart theme this year. Here are some pictures that might give us some inspiration. I like the look of Mario's car below...

Stockton might go for the cheap-cheap chaser....

And I believe Jorja wants to make a Super Blooper...

In related news, Jorja and I played Mario Kart Wii again for Time With Dad today. That's Jorja on the top half of the screen playing as Yoshi in a Super Blooper. I'm Luigi on the bottom screen. I am trying to learn how to use the manual drift/turbo controls rather than the automatic, because learning them may be my one and only chance at beating Stockton. As a result, I played worse than ever, but Jorja was especially proud of this race.

WARNING: If you play this video, turn the sound down because it recorded VERY LOUDLY.

Nice job Porge!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Toast to Great Art

Stephanie found a recipe online for painted toast and Jorja was happy to give it a try.

Basically, you mix about 1 TBSP of milk with a few drops of few coloring and then you can paint a piece of bread with a clean paintbrush or some Q-Tips. When you're done, pop them in the toaster and out pops some edible art. Jorja made these pieces of Mario and Luigi toast.

With this project we finally found a good use for Stephanie's few remaining shot glasses. We threw most of her collection out a few months ago, and now I wish we had kept a few more.

Pretty soon Stockton and Maysen decided to give it a try...

...and eventually everybody was getting into the act.

Stockton was quite pleased with his creation.

Maysen gave a thumbs up after eating her tasty Yoshi toast.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mario Kart

Stockton got Mario Kart Wii for his birthday last week. Needless to say, it's been popular around our house lately.

Both he and Maysen wanted to play it during their time with dad this past week. I can't blame them - it is fun. Although I prefer to do something more hands-on or creative with the kids, I basically believe in doing whatever it is they want to do, and I'm just happy they let me hang around for the ride. Plus, Mario Kart rocks.
Today Stockton and I played online against other Mario Kart players. I don't understand how I can suck so bad at it while he beats everyone. Apparently he drives that well at least 5 languages. I try to watch and learn, but I pretty much just eat his dust.
We had tons of fun though. I just love spending time with my kids.

Baking Bread

Getting our kids to eat anything is a trial. They've started getting a little better, but it still amazes me how someone can throw that big of a fit over such a small portion of vegetables.

So it is bizzarre to me that all four of our kids are crazy about the wheat bread we've been making. Shannon Doan shared her recipe with us. It is good stuff.

Here's a picture of the girls and me making a couple of loaves.

They did a really good job mixing everything, and they loved kneading it. They even stuck with it for the whole 15 minutes of kneading time.

Our big mixer is on the fritz - I think we stripped its gears out making 4 loaves at once, so we've been doing it by hand.

Here's the recipe we use. It makes 4 loaves, so we half it sometimes.


4 1/2 C hot water
2 T active dry yeast
2 T sugar
1/2 C bulgar wheat
1 T wheat germ
1 T ground flax seed
1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C honey
1 C powdered milk
1/3 C wheat gluten
3 T dough enhancer
1 T salt
4 C bread flour
8 C whole wheat flour


Place a pan of water in the oven and set it to warm. This makes a nice, cozy place for the dough to rise just before baking.

Mix the water, yeast, and sugar together and let sit for 3-5 minutes. The yeast should get foamy.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, mixing everything together well between each addition.

Knead the dough for 12-15 minutes

Divide the dough into equal parts and form it into loaves. Place each loaf in a glass bread pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn off the oven that has been set to warm. Wet a towel with hot water and wring it out well. Place it on top of the loaf pans and place the loaf pans in the warm oven.

Let rise for 30 minutes and then remove the damp towel. Let rise for another 30 minutes.

After letting the bread rise, set the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.