November 29, 2009

It wasn't my fault! Honest it wasn't!

No blog posts for a week. I couldn't stop it from happening.I totally got sucked in! Suddenly half the books I requested from the library came available and I told myself I would read just a little bit.

(cough) Well... er, due to my extreme lack of self-control, I'm afraid that's all I did on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday. Well, that and clean. My parents, a brother, and newly-wed sis and her hubby were coming to spend Thanksgiving here with us. When I wasn't reading, I was cleaning. When I wasn't cleaning, I was reading.

Fabelhaven by Brandon Mull, and The O'Malley Series by Dee Hendersen, if you must know. They rank up there on my four out of five stars list. But don't come after me if you don't like them!

So there you have it. I slacked, I caved, I scraped the bottom of the excuse pile. And now, as a peace offering, I will share with you Savannah's prize winning, top secret... even though its in print, Pumpkin Pie recipe.

Now, I haven't actually tried it yet but uh, let me know how it works out for you!


In the meantime, while I sort out and swim through the sea of Thanksgiving photos, just know that there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary going on around here.



Nothing at all.

November 21, 2009

Showing off... just a little.

Not too long ago, I was asked if I wanted to do a 2010 Young Women's theme poster for Latter-Day Village. I was really quite excited about it! The theme is: "Be Strong and of a Good Courage". I had this cute girl from my ward, also the only teenager I've ever paid to watch my kids, come over and model for me. She was awesome.

But that's when I started getting nervous. What if it looks awful? What if she hates it? What if it doesn't look like her? I see this family every week you know!

I prayed so hard that it would turn out well.

And truth be told, I'm actually quite pleased with it. It looks just like her too! I used pieces from three different photos to get the right look. Although, I don't think this photo of the drawing looks half as nice as the original. Lame camera and all.

Here it is after the 2010 mutual theme was added.


You can order them here: 2010 Mutual Theme Poster
I also think there will be more products available using this image later.

Well, that's one down, fifteen more drawings to try and get done before the end of the year.

What do you suppose my chances are at getting them all done in time?

On second thought, don't answer that. Just send me lots of chocolate.

November 20, 2009

Dreamless Nights

"Mom! Dad!"

I slowly peel my eyes open just enough that I can look into the dark through little slits.

Was I imagining things? I roll over and bury my face into my pillow. The problem is, I never imagine that I hear one of my kids in the middle of the night.

I wait, secretly hoping whoever it was had gone back to sleep.

"Mom! Dad!"

It was very, very faint but figured I had better go check on its source.

I roll out of bed with the grace of a bull in a china cabinet and trudge over to the kids rooms, hoping there wasn't a toy laying in wait somewhere to attack my poor, unsuspecting feet. I stand outside the doors. Everything is dead quiet.

I almost turn around to go back to bed but knowing from experience that as soon as my head hits my pillow, I'll probably hear it again. I decide to check on her.

I slowly open the door to Savannah's room. There she is, sitting up in her bed.

"Mom, I had a dream."

I was awake enough to be capable of a little surprise. Whenever she has a bad dream she usually just crawls into bed with us.

I collapse next to her bed and she begins her tale.

"Mom, I dreamed that we made a mess and daddy got mad..." she began, then stopped.

I guess she decided to start over and be more clear.

"I dreamed that the boys and me were downstairs and we had soap and we made a big mess and daddy got mad... (At this point I have no recollection of what else happened in her dream. I wasn't THAT awake)...."

As soon as she was done telling her tale, she promptly laid back down, snuggled under her covers and said, "well, good night mom. I love you."

I stumbled back to bed. That was it? I managed to get a glimpse of the clock, 4:35am. Considering I had gone to bed only four and a half hours ago, I said a little prayer that the rest of Savannah's night would be completely dreamless.

November 19, 2009

Mom, it's all your fault

Its true, the dentist said so.

And quite frankly, I don't think its fair that I am the one who has the mouth full of cavities while my husband walks away torture free.

Granted we each had to sell a kidney in our early years of marriage to be able to pay for the dental work his teeth needed, but that was years ago. I'm the one who brushes regularly! Then the dentist had to ask the question. How good at you are flossing?

Well, pish, you know... good... it depends... on your opinion of what good is. I may not floss every night, but I floss!

Still, the five cavities and three potentials were hiding in between my
teeth, hoping to escape notice. Never mind that my plaque was impressively minimal and my gums were the epitome of health. Nope. That tiny piece of mint flavored string ruined it all.

Then I had to argue that Luke never flosses! (okay, I'm exaggerating)

That's when I found out that it's all my moms fault. Evil bacteria is genetic. Poor Joseph has two cavities. One that will probably require numbing. Poor kid. Apparently he had some defects in those teeth. Deep groves or something.

In a nut shell, I have a high maintenance mouth. I would say that Luke has a low one but his gold tooth says otherwise. Perhaps we could pull it out and sell it! What do you say Luke?

If you are completely grossed out by now, well I can only say its your own fault. You're the one who kept reading.

(sigh) I was then feeling a deep need for chocolate. A very deep need. But the dentist bill was enough to forgo spending a dollar on my deep, never ending need to creamy milk yumminess. So I came home and promptly started scouring my cupboards for anything. All I could find was cocoa powder. So I hopped on the Internet. Pretty soon, I found a Chocolate Shortbread Cookie recipe. I happen to like shortbread and I happen to like chocolate, just in case you didn't notice.

I made up the recipe and tasted the dough. Have you ever poured out a dry chocolate cake or brownie mix and then picked up a clump and popped it into your mouth? (if you haven't I would have to wonder if all your metal facilities are in working order) Well, it tasted kind of like that, only soft and moist. I liked it! So I kept eating it.

Now that I've had my fill, I have no desire to try and cook it. I think I'd rather just eat the dough. Still, I'll post the recipe in case you want to try it.

Oh and uh, try to get past the toothpaste and toothbrush that are staring accusingly at you from behind the cookie dough. Don't let it get to you! Just be sure to brush and floss tonight before you go to bed.

Now young moms, please try not to associate it with any diapers you've changed recently. If you are now truly grossed out, well I can only say its your own fault for reading.

And my mom's, for passing on evil cavity creators.

And when my kids have to deal with their owns kid's dentist bills, I'll just point my finger grandma and tell them to pounce.

In the meantime, eat chocolate.


Holiday Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Cocoa powder
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) White chocolate Chips




Directions

1. Heat oven to 300°F. Beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add cocoa; blend well. Gradually add flour, stirring until smooth.

2. Roll or pat dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured surface or between 2 pieces of wax paper; with cookie cutters, cut in holiday shapes. Reroll dough scraps, cutting cookies until dough is used. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or just until firm. Immediately place white chips, flat side down, in decorative design on warm cookies. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Store in airtight container. About 4-1/2 dozen (2-inch diameter) cookies.

November 18, 2009

Apparently Not

Just when I thought we were FINALLY making some progress on getting the boys to stop coloring all over Alayna's body.

It would appear they have found a way to cheat the system. After all, its not her skin.


I guess I should count my blessing that I have kept the permanent markers carefully hidden.

Well, except that one time. But the wall and the bench suffered only minor damage.

Unlike the time my baby brother found one that I had left out when I was a kid. My poor bedspread... and bed... and doors... and walls... and hallway wall... and bathroom door....

You know what? Let's not talk about that.

November 17, 2009

I feel the need to state...

...that none of my posts are meant in any way to be a form of complaining about my kids. I post mearly to record my life in its day to day in such a way that is fun for me to remember them.

I just was getting a feeling that some people were taking my posts the wrong way.

And now, I must go chase down some naked children before something bad happens.

A word from my kids to me

Dear mom,

The problem with this blog is that you always write things from your perspective. But you don't understand what its like to be our age! I don't think you were ever a kid. So we're going to try and help you understand a few things from our point of view.

First, thanks for getting down that huge pile of blankets from way up high on that shelf that you have such a hard time reaching and that you dislike so much because after you take all that time to fold the blankets and try to get them back up onto that high shelf they fall down on your head and so you have to refold them all, several times. Your words of course.

But mom, all those blankets and Grandma's couch that we get to have in our house for a couple weeks makes the perfect throne. At least, until I decide its a magic bed.

Of course, we boys have to have our fun too! And I know you've put the couch back together twice today already, but you got to admit, the cushions make the perfect stables!

Because Jacob is a horse and I'm Batman. He's my horse, cause Batman needs a horse, everyone knows that.

We will now break for a brief commercial. This building stuff is quite exhausting. (elevator music plays in the background)


Mom, I hope you are starting to see things they way we do. Now, I know you didn't care to have that whole bucket of fake food strewn all over the stairs, but come on. Daddy doesn't let us eat on the carpet so this is our way of acting out! We're seeing what it might be like to have a picnic on the stairs. You adults are just SOOO worried about stains. Come on, we're big kids now and we won't make a mess!

(screaming from the back room) Don't worry mom, we weren't fighting. I was just having a baby! The boys were helping me. Why are you looking at me like that?

Should we take another commercial break? Okay... you grown-ups can be so weird sometimes. Like we're growing up too fast or something. But I'm here to tell you, that we're not growing up fast enough! You have no idea what its like to be so young. You just don't understand. Humph!

(elevator music starts up)


Now mom, don't get mad. We know you spent all weekend cleaning but, being a super hero is messy business!

I mean, you have NO IDEA what its like to have people depend on you for everything! Especially when you're an Indian superhero!

Well, we have to make wonderful pictures of all our great and marvelous accomplishments. Don't worry about the crayons and pencils thrown all over the kitchen. It adds color and flair to the room! Don't you think? Oh... Let's take a commercial break.

(roll elevator music)


Sorry about the water mess in the bathroom. We were just trying to make magic potions. I didn't think we would spill so much water every where. And sorry that Alayna found the plunger. I know how much that grosses you out.

See mom? You don't have it so bad. Just remember that we are Queens and Kings and you are the servant. And you have to do everything we say.

I mean, come on, its not everyday you get to have a tiger over for dinner! How bad could it be to be a mom?


Love,
Your adorbale, and prefectly brilliant children.

P.S. We're hungry. Can we have some ice cream?

November 16, 2009

Accomplishments

The truth of the matter is, I have nothing terribly interesting to write about today. We didn't go anywhere or do anything super special over the weekend.

I tried to talk Luke into going to a craft fair with me, but apparently men aren't as into that sort of thing as women are. Shocking, I know.

So we just hung out, watched the new Pixar movie "Up", which I thought was really cute but Luke didn't think was all that great. Hey, don't shoot the messenger now! I'm just stating his opinion.

We cleaned our unfinished basement, talked about what we would do with the basement once we had money growing on trees. We read books, and I baked... a lot!

The banana bread was gone the same day, the two loaves of zucchini bread lasted two days and were eaten on the floor, cause its cool to do that.

I made rolls from my mother-in-law's recipe (the kind that have to rise all day). Whenever I make those, it seems to put Luke in such a great mood. There is something about freshly baked bread, and especially these rolls that just make him happy.

And I made crackers, again. My friend Emily sent me a link to a cheese cracker recipe (click here to see it) and my kids ate it up in 10 minutes! They are SO super easy its ridiculous and they really are very, very good! The original recipe calls for wheat flour but I'm fresh out so I used white.


After the kids were in bed last night, Luke and I stayed up late, staring at the newly hung pictures of the kids, talking about boring married stuff. (sorry, you are not privey to such a conversation)

I also finished the Primary Posters for LDV for this year. Okay, so I didn't actually finish them this weekend, but it was recently. One of these years I'll actually finish all 12 BEFORE the New Year.



I have been itching to do some pencil drawings so the other day I found all my drawing pencils and brought them upstairs. I haven't actually started anything yet, but I want to. I'm just trying to think of something I really want to do.

I've also been eyeing all my bookbinding things. Who knows? Maybe I'll actually find it in me to pull a couple of late nighters to work on some projects and have fun things to show off.

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend.


How was yours?

November 13, 2009

Homemade Crackers... really?

Oh the things we do to save a few bucks.

I cook and bake just fine but I wouldn't say its one of my passions. Perhaps because of the cleaning aftermath. But as I was preparing my grocery list last week I was looking to see where I could cut corners and what I could get away with not buying.

Kids are big snackers, at least mine are. Which is probably my fault. I'm a big snacker. Anyway, we only go grocery shopping every two weeks so I had to be careful with what I decided to do without. Eventually I decided to skip buying any crackers for the kids, and I usually get three boxes.

It occurred to me that I could just make my own at home!

Hence, the reason I bought my first ever rolling pin, as mentioned earlier.

I did my google research and pulled up the first ten recipes that were listed. Of those I chose the easiest two.

My kids were anxious to help... or rather, anxious to get to use the cool rolling pin.

I should have known something was funky about the first recipe when it called for 1 tbsp of salt in only 1 1/4 of flour. But I had never made crackers before so, I did as instructed.

After I made the dough, which looked nasty and was a very strange texture, I gave it a taste.

EEWW! It was like licking up straight salt! Wow, it was nasty! But then I told myself that maybe there's something about making crackers that required this much salt. So we pushed forward.

And all the kids got a turn.


The dough was SO stiff I told them they could cut out little shapes. But it was rather difficult because of how hard the dough was.

Still undeterred, I put them in the oven. Once they were done, I pulled them out for a taste.

NOPE! Cooking did nothing to approve the saltiness of the dough. They weren't even crunchy! Just very, vary hard.

In the end, the kids just drew faces on them with crayons before I finally threw them away. Either the person who posted that recipe made a typing mistake, or has some really messed up taste buds.

I was nervous to try the other recipe but seeing that it only called for 1/2 tsp. of salt, I decided to give it a try.

The dough consistency was SO much better and the dough tasted okay too! It rolled out pretty well and I cut and cooked them.


The kids didn't make disgusted faces when trying them and they are almost gone today so, I would count this as a winner!

Not bad for my very first time!


But I will say that it is quite the upper body workout to get the dough rolled out thin enough! Whew! Give me a couple weeks making crackers and I'd take down any one of those weeny bodybuilders in an arm wrestling match any day. (I would have inserted a picture of my bicep here but didn't want to embarrass any of the guys out there reading this.)

Anyhow, here's the recipe if you're interested. It calls for sesame seeds and has a pretty strong sesame taste. I bet you could skip then and they would taste more like a wheat thin. I think I'm going to try that next time, maybe Luke would like them better.

Thin Wheat Crackers

1 cup (4.25 ounces) unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup (5 ounces) whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) sesame seeds
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
scant 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) milk
Coarse salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, sesame seeds, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter (use a pastry blender or two knives), then stir in the milk, adding just enough milk to form a workable dough.
Divide the dough into three pieces and roll it out ultra-thin, one piece at a time- 1/16 inch, if you can manage it, the thinner the better.
Sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt, if desired, and use the rolling pin to press the salt into the dough.
Cut the dough into 1 x 2-inch rectangles. Transfer the crackers to baking sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until they begin to brown. Cool on a rack.
Yield: About 8 Dozen Crackers
I went ahead and cooked mine on greased aluminum foil so they wouldn't stick to the pan. And be careful not to cook them too long. The last batch I cooked was a deep brown color and tasted a bit burnt.

I'll let you know if I decide to ever try any of the more complex cracker recipes... but don't count on it.

I'm thinking graham crackers next. Except, I have to buy graham flour. Honestly, I didn't even know there was such a thing.

November 12, 2009

What is it about Walmart anyway?

Dear young couple with no kids that I passed in Walmart,

I would just like to inform that you really need to work on your stealth skills. Don't you know that when you stare at someone as you walk by, especially if you're not smiling at all, that the person being stared at will glance back at you to see if you are still staring?

Next time, try not to turn to each other and whisper while pointing at me until I am able to push my cart containing my four kids out of the line of sight.

Know that I don't mind the staring, I've grown accustomed to that. But I find the whispering and pointing somewhat unnerving because I have no idea what you're saying.

Signed sincerely,
Just thought I should let you know

Could you be any more random?

I would like to announce that after a week of having no hot water in the house, Luke finally got it fixed! First thing I did was take a shower so hot and so long I came out looking like a lobster. It was great. I probably could have swam through the steam that filled the bathroom. (sigh with great contentment)

Oh, and then I did about 30 loads of laundry. (sigh with not so great contentment)

~~~~~~

If you don't actually READ my posts, you'll probably have no idea what I'm talking about. But I found some red heels that I love! The best part is that they're only $20!

Oh well, I don't know why I bother looking. We just paid off the last of Alayna's medical bills from her surgery and, well, let's just say that silly red shoes aren't in the order of tight budget necessities right now.


But I can still dream and drool, right? But I'm not sure which ones I like better. What do you think? Bow, or no bow? That is the question.
I'm kind of leaning towards no bow cause its not as flashy. I think I like the one with the bow better in black.



~~~~~~


Welcome to a typical evening in my home. Luke's gone doing scouting stuff and the kids are having a sugar rush from eating the last of their Halloween candy.

Oh and uh, forgive my weird voice and heavy breathing. That tends to happen when you are the one holding the camera.

video video


~~~~~~

And last on my list of random, I bought my first rolling pin ever! Walmart special of course.

What!? I think this is a huge step for me! I'm going to be attempting a baking expedition that I am sure will go a whole lot better if I use a rolling pin instead of a cup. I'll let you know how it goes and if it comes out eatable.

I've got you all curious now don't I! Oh, I don't? Oh... well, okay. But I'll still post about it tomorrow. Assuming I don't burn the house down first of course.

November 10, 2009

plans, plans, plans

When I was 14 years old, I had my whole life planned out.

I knew where I was going to go for college, what my major would be, and when I would graduate. I planned to have a large family with my kids close together because I knew pregnancy would be so easy for me. I loved growing up in my big family where we were all so close in age so it only made sense. I even had a guy in mind. I would be the best mom ever because I would have boundless energy and would play with them all the time and we would cook, clean, and make crafts together. I would always be patient and never get mad. I also knew I would be the perfect wife. The kind of wife that would wow her husband everyday for the rest of eternity. I would maintain my clean house and cook yummy meals for my family every day, all with my hair and make-up perfectly done.

But a lot can happen in 12 years.

I did indeed go the college I wanted but did not major in my originally planned occupation, nor did I finish anywhere near when I had planned. I met my husband after I had sworn off men for all eternity. After nine solid months of pure torture, misery, and nausea, I couldn't understand why girls talked about pregnancy like it was a good thing. I was pretty sure I would never have another one. I have since forgotten what having boundless energy means. Cook, clean, and make crafts together? Hahahaha... ha... ha. Too often I opt for the easy road and do it all myself instead of taking the time to let my kids join in, because its easier. I'm lucky my husband hasn't left me by now as my mood tends to change depending on the weather or how long I got to stay in my hot shower. (of course, I blame it all on the pregnancies) Cleaning gets so very, very old and I can't keep up with it all anyway. I do try to cook but sometimes pancakes for all three meals of the day are in order. I confess I do do my hair and make-up most days but that is simply done for my own sanity's sake and not with the intention of impressing anyone because half the time I don't even leave the house.

I still plan. I plan how my life will be tomorrow, and the next month, and the next year. But my plans never, ever seem to work out the way I planned them too. I can't even seem to make it through the first hour of my planned morning because someone will have decided to wake up earlier than usual, cranky of course, and mess it all up.

Everyday I plan to be better with my kids, with my house, with my art, with my husband. But I still have to lock myself in my bedroom once in a while to get a grip on myself before braving the four screaming voices that come seeping through the door. The Cheerios still crunch under my feet as I walk through the kitchen, and sometimes the clean laundry sits in a pile on the floor. I still have half-done drawings and half completed books. And I still struggle to understand how my husband managed to get here from Mars or why I get all miffed if he looks at me the wrong way after I've had a bad day.

Everyone knows life never goes according to plan. Yet, I tend to think that I will be the exception. It hasn't proven true yet but I'll keep planning. I gives me focus, goals and direction.

Even if the cracker crumbs on the floor are relentless.

Even if my bed only gets made three times a week.

Even if I read a book instead of clean my house.

Because my family still says "I love you" every night before we go to bed. So the laundry can wait... till tomorrow.


November 9, 2009

A Few of my Favorite Things

Well after all, Savannah is a girl too!


A made bed seems to encourage creativity.


Savannah is of the firm belief that putting glow sticks in the freezer will make them last forever.

Well? Whoever said a pantry was just for food?

The perfect day. What is a perfect day? A perfect day is when ALL the kids play together for hours without fighting.

Even at the expense of a mattress' life span.



Even when the kids dress themselves. (gotta love Joseph's camouflage shorts with his red stripe shirt)

And, well... what can I say? The floor is just so much more fun to eat on then the table. My broom is well used.


I would also like to add HOT WATER to my list of favorite things. Especially since we have been out of it for a week now and probably won't get it fixed for another day or two. We're waiting on parts.

I feel like a pioneer. Boiling water on the stove so we can take warm baths everyday and so I can pour it into my washing machine so I can wash our clothes. Luckily, the dishwasher seems to heat the water on its own.

So yes, hot water is most definitely on my favorite things list.

November 5, 2009

Imagine me doing a Miss America wave

About two months ago, while we were down at Primary Children's for Alayna's surgery, my friend Heidi over at Austin Knows Best, awarded me this Zombie Chicken blog award.

I was so terribly flattered! Truly I was and I meant to blog about it right away but with all the craziness surrounding the surgery and just the every day to day, I just... didn't. I still thought about it, but I found myself having a hard time deciding which 5 blogs to choose.

The REALLY funny thing is, I had FINALLY picked my five blogs when, one of the blogs I was going to award, awarded me another blog award! (sorry for using the word "award" a lot but I'm sure you'll all be rewarded for putting up with all these awards). I switched some of the blogs around and decided to spotlight some of the ladies from my "Mom-based businesses" section throughout these two blog awards so, here you go.

Okay okay, first things first. Heidi, I hope you forgive me for taking to long to post this.

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken-- excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."

The five bloggers I'm awarding this award to are:

Valerie over at Valerie's attempts at Pondering.
If she's not posting great recipes (reading her blog ALWAYS makes me hungry), she's posting great insights!

Holly (who happens to be married to my brother) over at the Smith Brigade.
You think you've got it tough? Read a few of her stories and suddenly you'll feel SO much better! (Have YOU tried raising five young kids, with twins in there, without your husband who is in Iraq for a year and has no family around?)

Michelle at Red Roof Designs
An amazing Graphic designer, her announcements are truly incredible. I check out her designs for inspiration although I certainly lack her awesome talent.

Lauren at SuperMom Central
She regularly has interesting tidbits, great craft ideas for kids, and cool giveaways.

Kandis at My Creative Treasury
Professional scrapbooker and cardmaker, this girl has the talent. She blog is fun and her stuff is amazing. She's in several magazines and has a work room I drool over. Oh, and she's my neighbor.


Okay, moving on to the next one! By the way, doing the Miss America wave while typing about these awards? Very tricky... just so you know.

Valerie at Valerie's Attempts at Pondering, gave me this next blog award the other day. I feel so special! I was really surprised when she chose me, considering all the other blogs she had to choose from. Thanks Valerie!



The rules of accepting and sharing this award are:

*Thank the person who gave the award and link to their blog.
*Share "10 Honest Things" about yourself.
*Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find encouraging, inspiring, or brilliant.
*Contact the bloggers and inform them they've been given this award.

Lili over at Liliblogs
A friend and a bookbinding Goddess, I had a chance to work with her for a while years ago at BYU. She's so fun and so is her blog. Be sure you check out her bookbinding blog too!

Special K and Minnie over at I Learned That In College
I can guarantee you one thing, you WILL laugh.

Nicole at QuickSnail
Fun recipes and awesome crafts! Definitely a site worth checking. I confess her blog makes me a little jealous. I miss being able to make things all the time.

My Mom over at Sisters of Zion
If you enjoy having gospel discussions with other women, this is the site for you. My mom set this up with the intent that women could go and strengthen each other through the gospel.

Kira at Holladay Home and Heart
A fellow mom of four young kids, she writes about her wonderful family. But she is also honest about the challenges of raising young kids.

She writes about her day to day life and all that it entails.

Okay! If you are still with me and still awake, perhaps you'll be able to make it through these 10 honest things about me.

1. Oh dear, here we go. I... I... I HAVE to color and size coordinate the dishes when I put them into the dishwasher or I go CRAZY! Its true. The plates makes their way down from one side to the other starting with the largest down to the smallest. The blue plates are together, the red plates are together, etc. Same with the cups, same with the bowls. It all has to be done a certain way. I have even rearranged the dishwasher if someone put the dishes in the dishwasher wrong.
(At this rate, I'm not going to have any secrets left!)

2. Its a flaw, a weakness of mine that I am working hard to correct. But, it annoys something fierce when that mom of one or that mom of two who has their kids spaced 10 years apart looks at me and says "Oh, I know EXACTLY what you mean!"
I know kids can be challenging and a mom is a mom. But please, oh mom of one, please don't look at me and sympathize with the messy disaster of my house, or the long sleepless nights because I'm up with three different kids by telling me that you know "exactly how I feel."

3. I LONG to own a pair of delicious cherry red 5 inch heels. I want them, badly. The problem? I'm not sure I would ever have the courage to actually wear them if I did own them!

4. I've never been a particularly huge music buff. I mean, I enjoy music very much! I enjoy listening and singing along. A good song is a good song! But I'm not one to follow up on the latest music artists or latest awesome song. I don't think to just turn on music when I'm cleaning or cooking. Ironically, I tend to sing (not in a nice sweet voice, but in a loud and crazy voice) when my kids are around and I have a sudden burst of energy.
Then my kids tell me to stop singing because I'm driving them crazy.

5. Good looking people intimidate me. Smart people intimidate me. Funny people intimidate me. Although I have too much pride in me to ever let any of them ever know it.

6. My favorite flowers are daisies. One of my favorite movies ever is "The Slipper and the Rose". I have a mild case of road rage. I LOVE to swim, but I hate wearing swim suits. My favorite sandwich is cheese and cucumber with mustard.

7. After 8 years of living in a place with snow, I have yet to buy any snow boots. Last year, Luke bought me my first real winter coat. I just have such a hard time plunking down so much money for a single item of clothing. No matter how worth it it may be.

8. While I was pregnant with Jacob (my third baby, my surprise baby) I received so many negative remarks and responses that I became embarrassed to go out in public. I dreaded the grocery store, eating out, the park, or any other place that required speaking with anyone directly. Because that meant I would have to hear whatever derogatory remark they had in store for me. I know I shouldn't have cared, but I did. I blame it on the pregnancy hormones.

9. After seeing the new show "Vampire Diaries", I wish they had used those actors in Twilight instead of who they actually cast. (Um, sorry, can't think of any of their names off the top of my head) Oh, and uh, I didn't like the last Twilight book that much.

10. I would take a good ole' fashioned board game over Nintendo Wii any day.

There you have it. 10 VERY honest things. Try think to think less of me or I'll send the Zombie Chicken after you.

November 4, 2009

Say What?

I was watching my neighbor's kids the other day.

While changing their little girl's diaper, Savannah suddenly leaps out of her chair and frantically yells to Alayna, "Don't look at the poopy Layna! Or you'll have bad dreams about it!"

~~~~~

"Mom!" Savannah marches into my room.

"Mom, you're only suppose to color one!" She holds up her Book-It reading chart for November.

Being the end of the day and feeling a bit exasperated I stiffly replied, "Savannah, I know exactly what I'm doing. Each one of those means you read for 15 minutes. And you've read lots of minutes."

After a pause to think about that, Savannah finally replied, "Fine! I'm NOT beautiful!"

Then she spun on her heel and marched back out of the room.

~~~~~

Now, I think its time to hit the chocolate chips.

I just thought I ought to let my hips know in advance.

November 3, 2009

What we were REALLY doing last week - Part 2

I had envisioned the sense of accomplishment and happiness that making homemade bottled salsa would bring. Surely this was a milestone on the journey up the corporate ladder to becoming a top homemaker!

But by the end of the fourth hour on the first afternoon, I was ready to to hand in my two-weeks notice.

Four hours of JUST working on tomatoes?? Granted, I did double the recipe but still. Hang it all! I was going nuts. But not willing to let 5 quarts of tomatoes and four hours of gruelingly boring work go to waste, by the next afternoon, it was time to finish the job.

I pulled out my four pounds of chile peppers and started the long and arduous task of coring, seeding and dicing. After about an hour and a half, my hands weren't feeling so good. They were getting itchy and red. Rather raw looking.

Then I suddenly remembered! How could I have been so completely dense?! Everyone knows you're suppose to wear gloves when working with hot peppers as the juices are quite irritating to the skin.

But it was too late, the damage had been done. Have you ever had a pretty bad burn? Well, imagine that feeling completely encompassing your hands. It was awful! They felt like they were on fire!! And if I my hands touched any warm water it felt like I had just stuck them into a flame. The only relief was by plunging them into cold water. I scrubbed and scrubbed until I was sure I could see my bones but it wasn't helping.

So I finished chopping the peppers, onions and everything else the recipe called for, intermittently submersing my hands into cold water for relief, and got the salsa into the jars and started boiling them.

I just couldn't take the burning any more so I did what any sane person would do and consulted the one genius who would know how to help me, Google.

Turns out, milk did the trick. Yes, I ever so gracefully sat on the couch, watching a John Wayne flick while dipping my hands in milk.

You know, its rather sticky when it dries.

So this picture of my nine jars of homemade salsa does not bring a sense of satisfaction. No, it brings on a desire swear of homemaking for the rest of my life!


Moving on to "sweeter" topics, Halloween! (I know, geez, enough with the dumb puns already. Who writes this stuff anyway?)

The kids were pretty excited to head over to the trunk-or-treat that evening. They all picked out their costumes while I enlisted Savannah to help me find a costume.


Although you can't really see, I'm wearing Savannah's fairy wings and have the girl's flower hair clips clipped all over my clothes.

Not exactly sure what I was but when the Bishop asked if I was an astronaut, I said of course I was. So whenever anyone asked, I just told them I was an astronaut... with a straight face.

The only bummer was that Luke wasn't there to go with us. He and his brother had taken my brother out on the sand dunes to do some four-wheeling and didn't make it back until the trunk-or-treat was already over.

When we got there, I couldn't hand out candy and take the already incredibly antsy kids around so I instructed Savannah to hold the boys hands and they could go ahead. She did such a good job being all responsible as I did my best to keep an eye on them as they walked hand-in-hand from trunk to trunk. I SO wish I had a picture. Luckily most of the people there were in our ward and a few others offered to keep an eye on them while they walked around so it worked out okay.

When the guys finally got back from four-wheeling they were hungry and since there was no ready food, (pish, like I was going to cook them anything after they bailed on trick-or-treating) my brother treated us out to dinner. He brought along his camera and snapped these cute shots.

Thanks for visiting Abe, it was so fun! You know, I've never really noticed before, but I think we kiind of look a like. Oh and uh, sorry about my funny eyes. I still had on a ton of glitter from my costume.

Well, now Halloween is over, my kids are cranky from sugar overload, and all their chocolate is gone. (cough) Not that I would know ANYTHING about that! I wouldn't steal candy from a baby! Now a toddler is a completely different story.
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