Saturday, January 31, 2009

What's better than a funhouse mirror?

A polished trashcan, of course... Oliver entertained himself for a long time looking into this trashcan.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Homemade chopsticks, Baked Beans and Variations on Tostadas

Kennedy is showing off her new chopsticks, a gift made by a classmate's mother. She loves them.

We tried out a new baked bean recipe this week and used black beans. Slow-cooked beans are the way to go we think whether you are cooking them on the stovetop or in the oven. For these beans we looked them, rinsed them and then put them in an oven safe pan adding sea salt, garlic salt, a bay leaf and a palm full of cumin. Water was boiled and then added to the beans covering them by about 2 1/2 inches. Then they went in the oven, with a lid covering them, for 4 1/2 hours at 250 degrees. Cooking time will vary based on freshness and style of beans but 4 1/2 hours is probably the longest you will have to cook them. When they were done we drained the water and prepared our tostada variations.

As for the tostadas. We simply plate things differently in this house based on personal taste and dietary differences. Recently we found these tiny Don Pancho brand corn tortillas at a grocery store and they are just the right size for Kennedy. She is very fond of toasted tortillas with cheese so, she got her spanish rice and beans and sour cream on the side. She doesn't care for avocadoes, and finally she prefers her corn on the cob.

Sheryl had a bed of corn chips with the beans and corn and everything (no dairy) on top.

Susan likes dairy, so her plate is slightly different.

Oliver, well, he doesn't get the tortillas or corn chips yet. He starts out with a bowl and spoon which invariably end up on the floor with the food dumped onto his tray. He's perfectly happy eating using his fingers.


Thursday, January 29, 2009


Kennedy and Oliver donned clothes from their Grandparents (Oliver's from Granny Kay and Kennedy's from the Grandparents Anderson) to a Chinese New Year celebration recently. Here they are playing in a lobby area. What started out very innocently

turned into tickling fun

and ended in this smackdown!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Here's more camera play with 4 year old flair to it.

and you're on [Kennedy]...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I know I'm not 1, but I'm ready for school...

Oliver Del on his tow-mater (this is how he rolls), looking sharp in his school boy sweater.

Ready, set, hut, hut, hut...


Monday, January 26, 2009

Omnivore? Herbivore? Wuh-ti-vore?

Since the new year, we've made some alterations in food purchasing, preparation and eating. Late last year I (Sheryl) read The China Study, a book by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell II and it was sort of a tipping point moment for me. I had read quite a bit to get to that point (The Omnivore's Dilemma, etc. ) and experimented with various cleanses, nutritional adjustments, etc. The China Study just put it all into perspective for me. Thanks to my nephew Jason and niece-in-law Darlys for guiding me to this book. Having a dad who died from heart disease just over a year ago helped my reception of such ideas.

The "alterations" have come in varying forms. I am at the moment eliminating all animal protein which essentially equates to a vegan diet. Susan and the kiddos are minimizing meat but as yet not eliminating other forms of animal protein (milk, butter, eggs, cheese, yogurt...).

I've decided to occasionally post some pics of our weekly meal selections. Here are some examples from this past week. Vegan examples include red bell peppers stuffed with brown rice mixed with various veggies and tomatoes,

and this plate of mixed greens (atop brown rice) and pinto beans (a staple in this house with a pot cooked at least once a week).

A minimal meat option example includes shepherd's pie in small ramekins.

A veggie option example includes this version of huevos rancheros.

Right now we are heavily stocked with dry goods that are not as healthy (cereal, mac and cheese boxes, etc) that we will work our way through and try to minimize in the future. Oatmeal is being worked into the routine on a regular basis as is fresh fruit. Rice and soy milk are also merging themselves into our routine. All said the transition is happening slowly but it feels good to be moving in this direction.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Blue Chair

Kennedy and Oliver love to play on this blue chair, their favorite chair in the house. Kennedy makes forts out of it and jumps up and down much to our chagrin. Elle the cat also loves this chair and curls up in it every chance she gets. In this photo she is sitting on the stool watching Kennedy and Oliver play.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Dress

Aunt Shelly bought this dress for Kennedy as a Christmas gift. It has a jacket too but Kennedy still prefers what she terms "no sleeves". That's a little hard to accomodate this time of the year.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Kennedy Photos

Kennedy has picked up the camera quite a bit this last week. She's starting to add a little humor into her self portraits:

Here's a good shot of Oliver's nose contents...

And here he is smiling at his sister.

In this photo he's not liking the camera so much. He was tired and hungry and didn't want to have anything to do with a camera in his face.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mimi and Oliver

You're so funny Mimi!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

but Whose Birthday is it?

The H.E.B. megastores in Texas are crazy big and amazingly exciting. We were wide-eyed shoppers with so much visual stimuli including a person handmaking flour tortillas and a large selection of pinatas. Kennedy really wanted a pinata so we thought Why not, let's get a pinata for New Year's day. She picked out a llama. When we got to the register the woman checking the pinata through asked Whose birthday is it? We explained that we just got it for New Year's blah blah blah and she nodded her head and said So, whose birthday is it? And so the conversation went for the duration of the check out. She just couldn't understand that anyone would buy a pinata without there being a birthday involved.

On New Year's day Uncle David hung the llama pinata in the garage and put chairs out for everyone to watch Kennedy swing away.

Stacey gave her a few swinging tips.

After that, Kennedy was good to go.

The legs were knocked off...

Some candy started to fall out...

More candy dropping...

And Kennedy decides to hand out candy as it falls out thereby slowing the progress. She was very sweet and deliberate in her candy divvying process. Aunt Gayle got all of the lollipops; Mommy Sheryl got all of the hard candy; Stacey got all of the kit kats...

Eventually the llama pinata was conquered and all of the candy spilled to the floor. Good fun.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change is Here

We watched the inaugural ceremonies this morning in our various places. At home early this morning, Kennedy and Oliver spontaneously went to the piano when the military band played. They hear music, and that thrills us. This family feels the change that is here and we have so much hope and faith in our leader, our President Barack Obama.


Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 Celebration

We brought in the new year at Gayle and David's home near Houston. Kennedy enjoyed the sparklers this year.

This is the first year she held them on her own and she was very good at twirling around with a lit sparkler.

Here's Oliver with the traditional new year's black-eyed-peas. He liked them!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Walking the Field

Mimi and Kennedy walked the fence line with a horse treat to give a horse.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Uncle Jim and Aunt Sharon

While in Kansas we made a quick trip to Oklahoma to eat lunch with Uncle Jim, Aunt Sharon and one of our three Binkley cousins, Heather. After lunch Uncle Jim let us ride with him to take hay to his cattle. The kids loved that.

Kennedy had Uncle Jim drive around to find all of his numbered cows. "What about #4" she would say, and Uncle Jim would drive around the herd until he found #4 for her, and so on and so forth...

One the way out of Oklahoma we stopped at Papa Sanford's grave and took this photo of the new Maple tree planted by Uncle Pat and Aunt Louise. The bonus here is the beautiful rainbow that showed up.


Friday, January 16, 2009


Kennedy was Mimi's assistant in undecorating the Clark house after Christmas.

It was a fun job for Kennedy as she returned each item to its appropriate slot. Here's a photo of Mimi handing Kennedy some ornaments.


Tractor Driver

Papa Clark makes sure to get the battery all charged up in the little John Deere whenever Kennedy comes to visit. Kennedy had some steering issues (fair disclosure: she would disagree with that statement!) but had no trouble putting the pedal to the floor.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Test Mobile Post

If you can see this then mobile blogging is working for me! Fabulous...
Sent on the Now Network´┐Ż from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Cousin Jonas

We spent some time with Mimi and Papa Clark in Kansas over the holidays. Kennedy always looks forward to seeing her cousin Jonas. Here they are in a tripped out picture of the Clark Christmas tree.

And here are Kennedy and Jonas in a rare moment where they are both quiet and still long enough for a picture to be taken!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Movie Goers

Kennedy and C.K. went to see Madagascar 2 this past weekend and had a great time. Here's a pre-movie photo.

We've been busy since returning from our holiday travels and we still have a lot of pictures to post from the trip. Here are some random things Kennedy said today:

"I think I'm ready to try avocados again. I may not like them, but I'll try."

"I'm not scared of the dogs [Toby and Lucky] anymore. They're just trying to lick me. You don't have to carry me to the door now."

"In karate class I didn't win at rock paper scissors so I had to sit on the side."


Monday, January 12, 2009

Family Christmas and Art

Kennedy had fun helping pull the Santa Clause gifts from Oliver's stocking.

Here are Stacey, Kennedy and Oliver playing with some of the christmas gifts.

For gifts for her family members, Kennedy carefully selected some of her art work. In this photo, Darlys is holding a piece up for Jason to see.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oliver One Tooth

Here's a good shot of Oliver's lone front tooth. He is working on a companion, but it has yet to break through the surface.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Papa Del and Oliver Del

Well, we had our first Sanford family Christmas without Papa (Del) this year. He sure did love Christmas and he would have loved meeting Oliver. He knew about Oliver but passed away before he was born. I found this picture of a young Papa.

And here's a picture of our little Oliver with drumsticks.


Friday, January 09, 2009

Japanese Grill

Usually, we seek out all of the Tex-Mex we can while visiting Texas, but one evening we opted for a Japanese grill. Oliver is a big steam riced fan so this was a good choice for him.

Here is a photo of Mema and Ryan.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Child of the popCorn

Kennedy and Uncle C. K. have become movie buddies. He took her to see Bolt before our holiday vacation and they had a blast. They are plotting to go to another movie soon.

Apparently, according to Uncle C. K., Kennedy can really put away the popcorn. A true Sanford family trait.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Houston Ballet's The Nutcracker

We took Kennedy to the Houston Ballet's Nutcracker presentation. Here's Kennedy in her dress (thanks Granny Kay!) along with Shelly and Sheryl.

We had great seats this year. The Nutcracker arrangement was one of the best we've seen and the ballerina who played Clara was spectacular. Here's a photo of Aunt Shelly and Kennedy.

Here's a photo of Sheryl and Susan.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Houston Zoo

The wildlife carousel is a big hit with us so we took advantage of a good weather day in Houston and hurried to the zoo with Aunt Gayle. Oliver has ridden in a seat on a carousel before (Oaks Park, Portland) but this time he rode a moving animal!

Aunt Gayle stood with Kennedy (in the back by the mirror).

Aunt Gayle and Kennedy were looking at giraffes in this photo.

Kennedy associates snow cones with zoos. A worker on a bike passed by so we asked him if any snow cone stands were open. He called and had one opened up just for Kennedy!

Oliver had his first snow cone too.

Here we all are at the zoo entrance.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Charlie Brown and Oliver Del

Hey, does this guy look like me?


Cockrell Butterfly Center

During our holiday vacation, we visited one of our favorite places, the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Cockrell Butterfly Center . It was Oliver's first visit and as sleepy as he was he was fascinated by everything.

Kennedy carried the butterfly map and spotted quite a few butterflies.

On the exit path there was a big screen that had butterfly shadows. The museum was not busy the day we visited (bonus) so Kennedy had the screen all to herself. Here she is playing Where is Thumbkin with her shadow.

In these next two photos she can be seen hamming it up.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Holiday Wedding

The weekend before Christmas, the family traveled to San Antonio for our nephew's wedding. The day was lovely - I think it was in the high 60s - and we had a good time watching Shawn and Daphne get married. Here's Oliver and Sheryl outside of the chapel. Oliver looks particularly dapper in his finery from Granny Kay:

Kennedy hanging out with Alex:

After an adequate amount of sugar (candy, cookies, wedding cake, etc) Kennedy found a young friend to play chase with. Here we are attempting to catch her as she zoomed past:

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