Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Halloween! Happy Thanksgiving! Heck, Happy Holidays!

Hello one and all. I'm here to finally post an update of Halloween and other Lowe family happenings in Texas. I'll roll it all out chronologically for your reading pleasure. In September, the library had a special fire truck day. Jonah was able to climb in and out of the fire truck and ambulance.

He was a little hesitant at first, but warmed up right away. I think he walked through the ambulance 5 times by the time it was time to go. He loved it.

Here he is trying to figure out the buckles on the stretcher. And he did, smart boy.

We celebrated Mike's birthday with tempura veggies, miso soup, cake, ice cream, and a treasure hunt for presents. Jonah enjoyed decorating himself with all of the bows.

We went camping that weekend with our friends the Martineau's. Their little girl Julia is one of Jonah's little buddies. They really enjoy being around each other. I think they each like how much the other one likes them. Julia: "It's Jonah! It's Jonah!" Jonah: "It's Julia!" "It's Julia!"

We attempted fishing, roasted hot dogs, stuffed ourselves with s'mores, searched for the advertised "alligators" in the lake, (kind of scary, especially since they had some camping spots right by the lake. Crazy!) and generally had a good time...except for the sleeping part.
Jonah and some of our friends from church went to a local pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins.

We found some we liked, and carved them up...Jonah had a sad face pumpkin,

Mommy had a happy pumpkin, and Daddy had a silly face pumpkin (all Jonah's idea)

Halloween was fun. We had a ward party and trunk-or-treat the same week. Jonah got some good practice in opening his bag, saying "trick-or-treat" and "thank you". Here he is in all of his Nemo Glory. He's the cutest clown fish I've ever seen.

Here he is on Halloween ready to go get more candy.

And, here he is looking very pleased with his loot.

We had some special visitors in early November. Mike's parents came out for a visit. We visited Brenham, Texas home of Blue Belle ice cream, a nunnery that raises miniature horses (whaaat?), and some fun antique stores. We really enjoyed having them here. They always spoil us, which I can't complain too much about.
We are going to Utah and California for the holidays and would love to see all of our family and friends while we're in our respective hometowns. Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I had a few people ask me for the recipe for the zucchini cake we made for Jonah's birthday. So, here it is:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. white sugar
3/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil (I did half applesauce to cut down on the fat)
3 C. grated zucchini
3/4 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9X13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with sour cream chocolate frosting or your favorite frosting.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
4 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 3/4 C. confectioners' sugar

Melt chocolate and the butter together. Let cool and blend in the sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar until the frosting is of spreading consistency, beat well.

Thank You All Recipes! :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Blog guilt is horrible. I'm finally getting around to posting a few pictures and an update on the Lowe family in Texas. Here's a short list of some of my thoughts/experiences here so far:
1. People weren't joking when they said it's H-O-T here. The OCD in me wants to take three showers a day.

2. Splash Parks and running through the sprinklers are a great thing.

3. Having our very own fenced in backyard is great. Mowing our very own backyard (and frontyard) is not so great. Looking at it after it's mowed and feeling proud of your sweaty labors, is the greatest.
4. I was worried my drive around town would be boring without all of the liberal bumper stickers I found in Bloomington to read. I've found that extreme conservatives are also very entertaining. Among my favorite bumper stickers thus far are: "I AM the NRA." and "Comrade Obama". Not conservative, but definitely Texan: "Howdy! Damn It" (Note: I was told by a very credible source that "Hell" and "Damn" are not swear words in Cache Valley, Utah, so forgive me for taking liberties all the way out here in Texas.)

5. People are very friendly. Our neighbor Greg brought us a Thanksgiving size aluminum foil pan full of smoked/barbecued hot links and chicken one of the first weekends we were here. They were incredible.
6. We have a garage! With these oh-so-fancy garage door openers. My life feels more complete every time I hit that little button when I drive away from the house.
7. Paint colors and more paint colors!
8. Having visitors makes me feel like we're living closer to home. Kelli and her "significant other" Steve, came to visit for a day.

It was so cute to see Jonah snuggle right up to Kelli after his nap.

We went out to eat at a great Mexican place that serves gigantic stuffed and deep-fried avocados. You know that now, you too, want to come and visit right?

Here are some pictures of our house. We still haven't painted, but I've got paint colors picked out and we'll hopefully tackle that project this weekend, so I'll be sure to post before and after pictures of our living room and master bedroom/bathroom.

Front of the house


Backyard with a cringing (smiling...?) Jonah


Living room


Jonah's room

Third Bedroom (Pardon the boxes; those need to be taken to the attic.)

My recently completed project...a craft cabinet.

We really are liking it here in Texas. I think there's always a period of mourning (sorry if that sounds too dramatic) when you move. I feel like we're still in transition stage, but we're feeling more at home by the week. Mike is feeling like he can tackle his course work this semester and Jonah and I are finding some great friends in the ward. We miss Mike during the day, but he is so good about spending time with us from dinner to bedtime. I think that about wraps up life here in Texas for now. Until next time...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"HAPPY DOO!" Jonah Turns 2!!

Jonah celebrated his second birthday yesterday. It was a day of laughter, tears, rain, sunshine, tantrums, and hugs and kisses. What more could you want for your second birthday?
We started the day by making banana-chocolate-chip-pancakes.

Jonah did a great job of sampling the chocolate chips and smooshing the bananas.

After breakfast, Jonah opened presents from Grandma Jo and Grandpa Black, who tuned-in via Skype. Jonah wasn't as excited about his cute new outfit from GAP as I was.

He did get pretty excited about the dress-up doll book my mom made him (It's very manly I assure you; firemen, baseball players, tennis players, army guy outfit...). And, he got even more excited when he opened the biggest toy fire truck I have ever seen. There's even a "fire guy" to stick on the ladder.

Jonah got a cute card and big birthday money from Grandpa David and Grandma 'Nita. That means more choo choos and maybe a pool for our new backyard.
Mom and Dad's big gift was a tricycle. A tricycle with streamers and a bell. I had one just like this when I was little.

Jonah hasn't quite figured out the pedals yet. He kind of just scoots around and gets frustrated with himself. It will be a bike he will grow into love with... we hope.

Mike and I wanted to make Jonah a cake covered in M&M's, Jonah's favorite candy. I made a chocolate zucchini cake with a sour cream chocolate frosting. So yummy! If anyone wants the recipe, let me know. Then, we spent nap time covering it with M&M's and eating a few as we worked. One for for the cake. We bought a 3 pound bag of M&M's from Sam's Club for decorating. We still have over half of it left. Any takers?

Mike and I were pretty proud of how it turned out.
We invited friends to Bryan Park to eat cake and ice cream.

I didn't get to take any pictures of Jonah eating his cake at the party, so I took some today when he ate some of the leftovers.

We sure love Jonah, and we feel so blessed everyday to have him in our family.