We recently had a "Putting Away the Potty with Pumpkin Pie Party". Jessi's been potty trained for a little while now (you may remember that was my summer project) but I had never put the potty away and sometimes she'd still go in this little potty rather than using the big potty and frankly I just got tired of cleaning this thing out so we had a putting away the potty party with cake and everything! She requested pumpkin pie after having some as a snack at her preschool the day after Halloween. So we made pie crust and the filling and wouldn't you know it... I HATE pumpkin pie. I always suspected this but wanted to try my own recipe just to make sure. Yuck! But Jessi ate it and it gave great alliteration to the potty party.

Jessi thinks it's a good idea to put the potty in Ryan's closet for "when he is a big boy and goes pee-pee in the potty".

And away it goes on the shelf for a few years.

What's cooking? This looks like just a plain old bread machine. But no, it's hard at work making a challah inside (from More Bread Machine Magic).

Thanks Donna for wondering how we all are doing. We are hanging in there. The kids are keeping me busy and I'm not very productive in the knitting department. I did start a hat for my uncle and a scarf for my aunt. When they came in for a visit she taught me to crochet and while I won't be crocheting anything major for a while I love it! So I'm knitting her a scarf to say thank you (and her birthday is in coming up too). Now one would think that I should crochet her a scarf to show her what a great teacher she is and my appreciation for the lesson but she thinks that knitting is waaay harder and has a hard time doing it so I'm making her a garter scarf in some purple-y yarn that she picked out since I know she won't knit one for herself. She also picked out the yarn for my uncle's hat.

Purple Cotton Candy Scarf for Aunt Candy.

I just love King Arthur Flours and their baking catalog. Here's my order that just arrived this week. I love them!! I am going to place another order soon (because a gift certificate to their catalog is on my holiday wish list). In this order: Dough Relaxer, cinnamon chips (I just love these so much that I bought 2 of them), bread bags for when I want to give the gift of bread to neighbors and loved ones, a dough whisk, a cool angled measuring cup for small liquid measurements, and an Italian Baker, which helps make crispy bread on the outside and nice and chewy bread on the inside. I realized that I needed to ask for a g.c. for the holidays because after browsing the catalog again I realized that I would LOVE the capuccino baking chips, the cherry mini baking chips, some different bread base flavorings (olive, garlic and herb, provence), and other things - YUM! Don't these make you want to go get some flour and yeast and start baking!!

I got a craving for cinnamon streusel coffee cake while going through their catalog so opened up my trusty Baker's Companion Cookbook and Jessi and I made a to-die-for coffee cake. She had a great time squishing all of the streusel topping together with her hands and then crumbling it onto the cake. She's a most excellent squisher. I would show you pictures of the cake but I gave some to our cousins and we ate the rest (well there is some that I stashed away in the freezer in case of emergency). You never know when a coffeecake emergency will arise.

Recently I had a Discovery Toys party at my house because I'm a sucker for educational toys. And boy was it fun seeing all the stuff that they have. I just placed my order last night and am so excited for the stuff to arrive. I'm saving most of them for the holidays or "just-in-case" presents. We opened up one of the 'games' this past week when my husband had to go out of town on business for the night - Playful Patterns. It's like preschool in a box. There are all sorts of colorful shapes and you match them to shapes and pictures on the laminated cards or use them for sorting and guessing games (like which color is missing). I love catalog shopping too because it seems that every time I go out to the store to get something (whether it be a toy or sheets for Jessi or towels for the kid's bathroom) I can never find the item for which I'm looking. It's rather annoying since I don't have tons of time to be gallavanting around town with little milk-guzzler in tow (and sometimes my preschooler too). Anyone with small kids knows that a trip that should take 20 minutes will inevitably take over an hour and include at least one meltdown in a public place. Online shopping and catalogs are this girl's dream mall!