Wednesday, June 22, 2016

family pizza night--a recipe + video

****Edited to note that when I make our pizzas, the crust is not as thick as the kids made theirs! We do love thick crust--just not THAT thick ;) The kids even stated they prefer the thickness that I make it. Just had to note that in case you looked at the crust and thought it was way too much!

Like a lot of families, one food we love and eat frequently around here is pizza! I've been asked quite a few times for the recipe I use for our pizza dough. My dear friend, Molli, passed a recipe on to me a couple of years ago and it's been our favorite ever since.

I am horrible at writing out recipes, so bear with me, but I thought I would pass it along to anyone who is looking to try a new recipe. If you like thick crust, you'll probably love this! And the added bonus is that it's so super easy to make and memorize! I never have to pull out a recipe card! 
We had a little family pizza night last week. The kids helped me make the dough and then they made their own pizzas. They absolutely loved getting the chance to make their own dinner. It's one of those things that I need to work on--letting them help out more. Most of the time I'm just wanting to get dinner on the table, not wanting the extra work of 4 little helpers. But it is so worth the extra time and mess! They were so proud that they made dinner that night. We made a video of our family pizza night and it seriously makes me (and them) so happy! Check it out at the end of this post!

Our favorite pizza crust recipe:
1 c warm water
1 tbsp yeast*
1 tbsp sugar
Whisk together and let it rest for a few minutes until the yeast starts to foam. 
Then add in:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c flour**
Knead with the dough hook attachment with your stand mixer (if you don't have one, you can knead with your hands--it just takes a little extra time!) until the dough pulls clean away from the sides of the bowl. Then knead for an additional 5-6 more minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but should not completely stick to your hands when you touch it. 

Coat a bowl with oil or cooking spray. (Put a little on your hands as well to avoid a mess!) Form the dough into a ball and place into the bowl, flipping once. Then cover with a towel and let it rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
After the dough has risen, uncover and gently punch it down. Then form the crust. 

This recipe allows me to make one (pretty large) thick crust pizza. We usually double the recipe and get 3 medium pizzas. Top with sauce, cheese, and whatever other toppings you would like and bake for about 10 minutes at 500 degrees, or to your preferred done-ness ;) (Is that even a word?)

*I use the big bags from Sam's so I'm not positive how many packets you would use if you go that route
**With all dough recipes, it's always smart to start with a little less flour than what is called for. Differences in humidity, altitude, etc. can affect how much flour you may need. So you could end up using a little more or little less. But it usually ends up being about 2 1/2 cups for me.

I don't often write out recipes for anyone so I apologize if there is any confusion anywhere. But if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
And as promised, our pizza making vlog!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

ask the kids--fathers day + video

Happy Father's Day! A couple of years ago, I did a little "interview" with a couple of the boys, asking them questions about me. I had planned to do it for Father's Day that year but then life happened and I forgot! 

The other day, while remembering that I had never done that, I decided that would be our little surprise "gift" to Don for Father's Day. But to make it more fun, I turned it into a video interview!

In the future, we will use a microphone for these types of interviews because sometimes it is hard to hear their answers! And Don typically does all the captioning for our videos so we don't have any captioning this time! But if you happen to even watch the video and you're curious about what they said, feel free to ask! 

The kids and I love the video and we're so excited to show it to Don (he will have seen it by the time this is posted!) 
Because we love it so much, I think we will do some more "ask the kids" videos--but not as lengthy! If you have any questions you want to hear them answer, leave them in the comments!

Thanks for watching and have a happy Father's Day, filled with the cheesiest dad jokes! We are so blessed with such a great daddy for the kids!

and a little bonus video if you haven't seen it yet! This is a little video we made for a Father's Day dance contest on Instagram (which we did not win but we still had fun making it!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

May iphone photos and kids say

I typically like to post these at the beginning of each month. But we have been so busy lately. If I'm not working on a different blog post, a video, spending time with the family, or getting a million other things done, I'm trying to push myself to get off the couch because I'm so tired. Desmond has been waking up extra early lately so my exhaustion levels have been off the charts. We were up at 5:30(?!?!?) this morning and I'm already shaking from exhaustion. Still wouldn't trade it for the world. But that's where I'm at in life--exhausted!

Anyway, as I've mentioned before, If you follow me on Instagram, most of these photos are repeats. But besides the fact that not everybody has Instagram, I also like to have these pictures on my blog as well. So here is a little (big?) recap of the month of May.

We celebrated 3 years with our little princess! 

I love that she loves color as much as I do!

I was kindly sent a bouquet this month from FTD Flowers. Fresh flowers definitely cheer up a space!

1) sink baths with our favorite baby products, Tubby Todd. 2) 22 weeks in my favorite new dress from PinkBlush Maternity. 3) and 4) a couple shots from our (red, white, and blue) Memorial Day weekend.

I'm so excited to meet Maggi's new baby girl next month!

Rachel and I went out for ice cream and pictures. I already posted the ones she took HERE but, not to brag, but I got quite a few cute pictures of her twirling and effortlessly looking beautiful. (I also went to Ices a second time in a week to celebrate 12 years of remission!)

1) A snap of Evangeline's very pink room. 2) Have I mentioned we have no clue what we're doing when it comes to gardening? But Liam is really excited about it so we're trying to learn! 3)We got a little surprise visit from Elsa and Anna. The kids loved it! 4) I will take as many group shots as I can while they're young and can be bribed with candy.

So that was our month of May in pictures. But now for the part that people scroll past the pictures to read.

Kids Say--

Kingston--"Dear God, thank you that Jesus made chocolate. Amen."

We were going to my Grandma Hunn's house to see her new baby chicks. So I googled "baby chicks" to show the kids what they would look like. I told the kids that I think my grandma said they were black and not yellow like most of the pictures. Liam told me to search "black chicks." I had to laugh because he had no idea what he was asking and I kind of assumed what would show up when googling that--side note: don't google "black chicks."

When referring to her 3 older brothers at the same time, Evangeline calls them "the brothers."
Example: "What are the brothers doing?"

Kingston--"Daddy, did you get this boo boo on your knee from work?"
Kingston--"Maybe you should stop going to work."

Me--"Ow, Kai! You cannot dig your hand into my stomach!"
Kai--"Oh, I thought that was a pillow."
**kids, forever building up self-esteem.

Me--"Miss, who should I make a quesadilla for first, Kai or Kingston?"
Evangeline--"Kai....because he's the better-est!"

Me--"I feel blah today! How do you feel?"
Liam--"Better...than you."

Kai--"What's your worst favorite song?"

As Desmond was trying to reach down to scratch his butt during a diaper change...
Me--"Eww! Des! Don't do that."
Evangeline--"No no, baby!! If you do that, you will get stinky and die!"

Friday, June 10, 2016

23 week bumpdate

I realized I have never done any pregnancy update this time around (but really, does anyone care?) But then I noticed I never shared these fun pictures that Rachel of Apricot Studio took of me last month so I thought now would be a good time to throw the pictures up on a post and give a little update.
I'm 23 weeks with baby girl. She still does not have a name--though we have a couple of names that we are debating. I have a feeling that we'll be going back and forth until she's here. Four out of five of our children have a LOST reference in their names (character/actor names) so I'll give you a hint that part of her name will likely include at least some sort of LOST reference ;)
So how am I feeling, you ask? Okay, you didn't ask. But I'll tell you anyway. Up to this point, this has been my easiest pregnancy. The only side effect I even have is extreme exhaustion. But let's be honest, that would come with our without the human my body is sustaining! I'm enjoying the fact that I feel so well because I know that based on my history I will soon enter the stage where I can barely move because of hip and back pain.

I've been feeling this baby girl move since right before 16 weeks and I felt her move from the outside a few weeks later. A couple of the boys and Don all felt her kick a couple of weeks ago. But she's not a very strong or active baby at this point (similar to my pregnancies with Liam and Evangeline.) So while I'm not feeling pregnant and not feeling much movement, it often makes me nervous. But all was well at the ultrasound we just had!
The kids are all really excited to meet their baby sister. It's been sweet to watch Liam's excitement as he randomly will smile and rub my belly or give me hugs. He's always wanting to feel her move so he will just sit by me with his hand on my belly, waiting for a little kick. Kai gives her two kisses every night before bed (he always gives us a kiss on the lips and a kiss on the nose and says "Night, night. I love you. Sweet dreams. I'll see you tomorrow!") So he's continuing the tradition with his new sister.

Kingston is just Kingston...and 4 years old. So while he is really excited to have another sister, he's really just not as into it as the others. But when he sees his brothers feeling the baby kick, he will eagerly run over to put his hand on my belly and wait patiently for a chance to feel her move (even though I don't think he has yet!) Evangeline likes to call the baby "baby Elsa" (no, we're not naming her that, sorry Miss!) Every time I get something new for the baby, she asks "Is that for my baby sister?" in the sweetest voice. I can't wait to watch their relationship. She needs another girl in this house who will choose princess shows over superhero shows on those days that I need a little extra rest and the TV comes on.

Four months can seem like a really long time to wait to meet her. I see newborns or all the tiny baby items that I've gotten for her and it makes me so eager to meet her. But with this being my 6th baby, I know how quickly (too quickly) time goes. I know that I will look back at pregnancy pictures and miss this time where it's just me and her and my ever-growing belly. So I'm not trying to wish the time away this time (remind me to read this again at the end of September!!) Pregnancy is such a gift and I'm so thankful that I have been given the opportunity time and time again to experience this miracle!
Anyway--I've said it once and I'll say it again! If you need a photographer in the St. Louis area, check out Rachel's website and get in touch with her! 
And I'll leave you off with a more recent picture from last week (at 22 weeks) that Don took in front of our house.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Gardening and Ice Cream

We have a new video!! The other day we did some gardening which resulted in us realizing we had no clue what we're doing! 
Afterwards, we celebrated with ice cream cones for National Cancer Survivors Day. If you know me, you know that I will never turn down an excuse to go out for ice cream.

We have a few ideas (that get us out of our front yard, haha) for some more videos. But does anyone else have any suggestions to throw out there?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Memorial Day

So first thing's first. I had the honor and privilege of sharing a little of my story over on Babble with an interview titled "This is Why You Should Never Judge That Mom in the Grocery Store with Five Kids." Ultimately I pray that when people read my story, God gets all the glory for what He has done in my life. Nothing that I have done is even worth boasting about. He gets all the credit. And I also want to say thank you to all the many people who shared, liked, commented, etc. on the article. I really couldn't believe that so many people even read the article!

And now on to Memorial Day...

A few days ago, I shared our first family vlog. It was the video version of our Memorial Day. But you know when I have the DSLR out, I have to take some photos of this cute little clan of mine. (Ignore the weeds behind him--we've been working on those! In other news, does someone want to come do my gardening for me? Nothing harder than working with these rock beds when you're a newbie and have no idea what you're doing!)

After spending the early afternoon playing out in the yard for a bit, and having a picnic (that was not so peaceful, especially when a giant spider arrived!) We drove up to the Citygarden for the evening. You may already know of my obsession with this downtown splash pad from our visits HERE and HERE.

I didn't spend as much time taking pictures as I normally would because we were working on the vlog. But I couldn't resist getting a few (or 250 haha) because this is just a happy place for us all. 

One of the best things? When we go here, no one fights over anything. They love to play together and come up with fun games and races. It makes my heart so happy!

Our camera battery was just about dead by the time it got dark so we were reserving that for videos. But the nighttime fountains are what make the evening trips worth it! We like to go after 7 to get free parking and a little bit of daylight hours to play and take pictures. But our favorite part is seeing the fountains light up in all the different colors.

I'm a little behind with posting because life is SO BUSY right now. But I hope you have a good week!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Our Family's Memorial Day Vlog

Our Memorial Day this year involved a picnic, a lot of playing, and a fun evening at Citygarden. You may already know that I love making videos of our family. This time I did something a little bit different and made a vlog. It has a mixture of the videos I typically like to make along with some real life "home video" types of clips. We worked hard on this video and I hope other people love to watch it as much as we do. It's a good glimpse into our lives as a big family with a lot of young children!

I also have quite a few pictures from the day that I'll share with another post in the next few days!  We have a few ideas for more vlogs in the near future as well so I hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoy making them!

Enjoy! Thanks for watching!

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