livin' (the good) life

this is what our lives have been made of this week:

lunch date (first ever!) for my reedo and i.

pumpkin patch date (just me and ella).


a mouse turns to rupunzel at the last minute.

pumpkin carving.

trick or treating.

i am of the belief that in order to enjoy halloween at all, i do not became crazy photo mom.
trying so desperately to get pictures that will undoubtedly be really really bad.
instead i am deliberate about taking photos RIGHT when the costumes are complete.
preferably a few days before in some nice light.
this year it was with my trusty iphone and i love the few shots i got of my ninjas!
and then i of course snapped one or two of the action (red eye and all) the night of.
in my opinion that is perfect!

dancing on daddy's feet.

(the good life, indeed)



tiny pumpkins.

remember this from the day before yesterday?

yah, well, one of the MOST annoying things happening at my house right now is the "need" for everything to be fair.
i realize that the reason it is so annoying is that i feel like a failure at teaching the children to be grateful for what they do have instead of looking at each other and being jealous.
but, beside that, it's just super duper ANNOYING.
so when the boys saw that ella had these, OF COURSE they had to have some too.
and each person should have the same amount .
well, i did have enough to make them all five each.
(no wonder they feel entitled, right)
so i did.
and then we named them.
and that was super funny.

good names.
and everyone is happy because it's fair.
hope i don't get hungry and each one.
cause then i'd have to eat three.



unsung hero

you wanta know who the unsung hero of apple day was?
nothin' hotter than a man in sunglasses eatin' a tiny granny smith, right?

this guy came through in a big way on sunday.
overcoming obstacles left and right.
my camera's SD card was only holding 20 photos?
no prob.
lets go get a new one in town.
an apple orchard (they said they were the last one open) would only let us pick four apples off the trees and then the rest had to be out of the already picked barrels?
jake's crying.
i'm keepin' my chin up.
no, no, lets go into town and have some lunch (at an amazing BBQ place he found) and then, sure enough, he finds another one open.
it's pricey.
but he bit his tongue, went to the ATM, and then marched everyone in.
and as i went crazy taking photos (better get our money's worth!)
he took over with whichever kids weren't cooperating with me and did the majority of the apple picking.
THEN, stopped on the way out for me to get a tall cold apple cider.

all in all, this has never been his favorite activity.
but honestly, you never would've guessed if you'd seen our family that day!
what a sweet gift he gave me.
his happy heart doing an activity that isn't even his favorite.

...and maybe, after three years, he's starting to like it?
(ah, who am i kidding, he's just a kind husband)
thank you,  reedo.



my girl dressed herself well.
and asked me 783 questions before 7 am.

my girl and i went to target.
i got a salted carmel frappaccino with half the coffee.
yep, a glorified milkshake, i'm not ashamed.
(well, maybe a little)
and she got a vanilla milk and we grocery shopped and browsed.

i bought 16 key lime pie yogurts.
they will be gone in a few days.
this may the most unflattering photo of myself that i have ever posted...or ever will again. so point and laugh it up...go ahead.
i made ella clementine-o-lanterns.
with cuties and a sharpie.
she LOVED um!
she lined um up and made a pumpkin patch.

my girl and i baked pumpkin muffins.
then i filled a tin pail up with them and brought them with us to school pick up so the boys could have them while they were still warm and right when they got in the car.
it was a "good mother moment".
please remind me of this when i have a "bad mother moment" because it's coming, i'm sure.
you'll know it when  you see it.
i promise.

i took off my boots and lay back on my couch(maybe i could shut my eyes for 10 minutes?) and sure enough the phone rang and the timer went off and then we were into homework mode.
who was i kidding, anyway?

i made up a recipe for chicken tortilla soup in a crock pot.
the goal was that i could assemble it in between activities and it be ready at 5:30pm.
i started at 8:30am.
(oh yah, and i didn't have all the ingredients when i started either)

it was seriously perfect!!!
i'm amazed at my own big self right now!

i call it.....

carpool mom's chicken tortilla soup.
this is what you do:

at 8:30 ( you know this time is pretty flexible, right?)

i sautéed and chopped up onion in a small pad of butter until soft.
(it's never too early for this smell, i'm telling you).

i filled the crock pot with two large boxes of chicken broth, 3/4 of a bag of fire roasted frozen corn from traders, a half drained can of pinto beans, and the onions.
i threw in (about) a teaspoon of chili power, a few shakes of dry oregano, and a pinch or two of cumin(the last of it)and some black pepper.
i turned it onto low and colored with ella, pinned a few things, read some blogs and then left for target.

at target i bought a large jar of green tomatillo sauce and corn tortillas.

then i drove through el pollo loco and bought 3 bone in chicken breasts that came with 3 large salsas (see photo).
and also a diet coke for the car.

at 11:00ish

i came home and dumped the tomatillo stuff into the pot as well as two of those salsas.
and added some salt (maybe half a teaspoon? up to your taste!)

then i made the tortilla strips(cut, spray with spray olive oil and sprinkle with salt and broil on a cookie sheet, 3 min. each side).
i made um, because i had time (freakish!)
but tortilla chips would be FINE!

then i took the chicken off the bone and chopped it up and put it in a baggie in the fridge(not in the soup yet!)

i turned the soup up to high for a while.
i made muffins and then went to pick up the boys.

we came home for playtime, naptime and homework.
i stirred and turned the soup to low again.
then left for karate.

we got home at 5:15.
the crock pot had switched to warm.
i dumped the chicken in the pot.
and served it up.
ladling the soup over broken up tortilla strips,
and sprinkling with cheese, avacado, a scoop of the EPL salsa and some sour cream.

seriously good.
and it only look you 20 minutes to read this post.
this is just how do things.
messy and inconvenient and confusing.
you know you still love me.