Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy turkey day!

Here are a few of our projects this week. Enjoy your turkey today!

Friday, November 21, 2008

the dreadmill

As big fans of the summer series "Wipeout" we were very excited to get Nanny and Da's hand-me-down treadmill. It was immediately renamed "the dreadmill" and the kids have been sending cars and toys flying off the back of it ever since. Of course, Darren and I do use it for the intended purpose, but a few obstacles make workouts much more interesting. Someday Jason will pour a huge bucket of tennis balls on it as we're running, I'm sure! (FYI, Cameron walks at 1 mph. She is very happy with the newfound definition in her glutes...)

ornament swap!

Yes, we are getting ready for the holidays! Our number one stop for holiday crafting is The Crafty Crow (check out the link in the sidebar). We are super excited to participate in their kid's ornament exchange. Jason made 8 of these lovely penguins on ice scenes and we'll be sending them out to 7 different families across the country. In return, we'll get 7 ornaments made by other kids. Fun! We love getting mail, and we especially love packages!

Monday, November 17, 2008

sometimes you get a dud

Two weeks ago I read a little blurb in the paper about a replica of Christopher Columbus' ship The Nina, and how it would be docked in Morro Bay for two weeks for tours. Well, what kind of self-respecting homeschooler would I be if I didn't take advantage of this opportunity? So we packed up the kids and took off on Veteran's Day (1 of 2) to see this marvel. I blame the Walt Disney Company. The whole Pirates of the Caribbean franchise had me psyched to see a real live ship! It was an actual, small let-down. The ship was smaller than anticipated, they had the cool parts of it blocked off (you couldn't go down below or up on the higher deck), and the "tours" were led by scary looking girls with purple hair. So we paid our $13 admission only to walk maybe 30 feet from one end of the ship to the other. We read the plaques and looked at the pictures of the replica-making process. After 10 minutes we decided to make the most of Morro Bay and go to Foster's Freeze. We also went to the beach down by the rock because the kids like to chase the seagulls and then we headed over to a playground for a while. Oh well. There will be other field trips to wipe this one out of our memories! I think we'll try the monarch butterfly grove this Friday...

Friday, November 7, 2008

"... our pets' heads are falling off!"

Anybody know where this quote comes from? That's the way things are going around the Rusco house. After the move we experienced the collapse of three appliances. First to go was the vacuum. I did my best to revive the old girl with a new belt and bag but she just groans, shrieks and stinks whenever we dare to turn her on. Next was the VCR. We could see this one coming for a while. We trained the kids in the tricky routine of coaxing a tape out of the machine after they watched it (it was a complicated matter of timing and precise button pushing). However, the final straw came when the old fella would no longer respond to the command "play". You can't get very far without that one! And finally, our TV is saying farewell by impulsively going to black with a horizontal blue line across the middle. The kids know that if you give it just the right whack a la the Fonz it can be revived, but the frequency of these incidents are increasing. So far everything else is holding up (although Big Mac just lost his G key-- that thing flew off in a typing rage but was quickly found). Don't worry about us, we're a resourceful bunch: the vacuum will be replaced, we found a loner VCR at church that needed a home, and we have another TV in our bedroom (we ARE Americans, after all!). We just won't be able to drift off to sleep listening to the soothing sounds of Suzanne Whang and House Hunters International...

chocolate chip pumpkin bread

As per Melinda's request I'm posting my recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin bread. I'd like to thank the lovely Kristen Farlow for introducing this yummy bread to our Bible study group at Multnomah. Also, big thanks to Kristy Parker for introducing us all to Cafe de Vita mochas (find the big can at Costco). Thanks to you ladies my workouts double whenever I enjoy this choctacular duo!

3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
bag of chocolate chips

Combine the wet ingredients, then add in the dry. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. You may want to put foil over the top during the last 1/2 hour. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Monday, November 3, 2008


It's finally baking weather here in California! Last week the clouds rolled in, we had rain for a few nights and our days have been cloudy and overcast! I can turn on my oven and not be overwhelmed by the extreme heat, but be encouraged by the cozy warmth of baking. Here are afew pictures of the kids helping me make cookies last week. Jason is an expert recipe reader and Cameron can dump ingredients into the bowl. And yeah, they're both taste-testers!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Or, in our case, Harvest Festival... Here are a few pictures of the kids in their costumes and our fabulous jack-o-lantern. Jason was Indiana Jones and Cameron was a "Baker Girl", NOT a chef! Just as I was attempting to get her dressed up she got upset because she wanted to be a pig. I know, random, out of the blue, "I want to be a pig!" That's our girl! The kids had a fun time at church. Jason's favorite was the fishing booth, followed closely by using a slingshot to hit Goliath, the cardboard giant. Cameron warmed up to the cookie walk and the fishing booth as well. And the bounce house... let me say no more!