Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gwen is Nine

It is hard to believe that Gwen is nine! We moved here two and a half months before she was born and look at her now :) By the way, Summer fixed Gwen's hair for her birthday.

For her birthday dinner, she wanted New England clam chowder, bread sticks and bittersweet chocolate pecan pie. After agonizing for half an hour in the aisle that held both the canned clams and the canned chowder, I decided a canned clam chowder taste test would be fun and here are the results.

Progresso - on sale for $1.99 for a large non-condensed can
I've always thought this kind was yucky but got a can anyway to make the study more comprehensive. It has a strange, unnatural consistency, probably from too much xantham gum or hydrogenated crude oil. I still thought it was yucky (obviously) but some of the kids liked it.

Snow's - $2.19 for a small condensed can
I had high hopes for this one, but it tasted really weird, not at all like clams.

Wolfgang Puck - on sale for $1.50 for a small non-condensed can
Despite the drawback of having a large face on the can, this was one I might buy again. It had good clam flavor, with the addition of celery which I like in chowder, but it also had a kind of smoky flavor that I thought was distracting. Not yucky, just unnecessary.

Bar Harbor - $3.99 for for a small condensed can
At almost twice the price of the others, I probably wouldn't have bought this one if it wasn't a birthday dinner and a scientific inquiry to boot, but I am so glad I did! Now I know what to buy at the grocery store when I want to splurge and treat myself. This was really good. It had straight forward, simple ingredients, nice big clams with good flavor and there were even a few grains of sand. Definitely authentic and mostly delectable.

After dinner, Stan took the five oldest ice skating while I stayed home with the two youngest and made Gwen her pie. We ate it with whipped cream while Gwen opened her presents - clothes, candy, a book, a Polly Pocket and a crossbow. Yep, that's our Gwen, a well rounded girl.

Happy Birthday Gwen!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Busy Day

Friday night, we decided to go to the beach, so Stan and the kids packed the car and I made muffins. We left just after eight Saturday morning and had our breakfast on the beach.

Michael had fun playing with seaweed.

Kelly has been dropping teeth like leaves in the fall...

Here are Gwen and Heather, looking as happy as we all felt to be at one of our family's favorite places.

Rachel took some time enjoying her new hobby, playing with her new camera (which she earned the money for and bought herself). She now has her own blog to showcase her work.

Pictures by RM

That night, Summer went to a multi stake dance. I had fun curling her ponytail.

If you click on this picture, you can check out the full size version and you will be able to see that her eyeliner matches her shirt...go Summer!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Who needs...

...a teddy bear when you have a pink glittery baton and a piece of wood to fall asleep with?

Summer and Rachel are at camp this week.

Despite agonizing all the way up to camp about not having her cell phone, Summer appears to be having fun anyway.

Thanks Mike for the picture!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


This is post # 200 for us!

To celebrate, we thought we'd give you something REALLY cute.

Here is Naomi practicing saying her name...sort of.