Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Goodies

Today my friend, a mommy of a 15 month old, who is pregnant with twins, dropped off a pack of those 'break-n-bake' cookies with a card attached that read, "Christmas is Jolly, Christmas is sweet. I'm stressed out, make your own dang treat!" A few years ago my neighbor gave us the same pre-made packaged cookie dough. I thought it was a very cute idea.
It has been a while since we've gotten any plates of goodies and now pondering what we'd like to pass around to our friends and neighbors, I need some ideas.
What are your favorite goodies to make at Christmas? What are your favorite to receive?
my dear friend Cindy made us some wonderful (and addicting) chocolate covered shortbread. Last year my neighbor made these heavenly chocolate/oats/caramel bars.
I'd like to get some ideas from you.

Honey, I'm Home!

It has been so fun to have Abram home so much. I mean he is still gone a lot, out 'campaigning', applying for jobs, trying to round up some more clients, etc. But he has been home more than usual which has been great! We've had some car trouble and have been down to one car again, but I don't think I've ventured out yet since it became december. ( I abhor Holiday traffic) so it has been just fine. I have been much less effective on getting my own 'chores' accomplished with him around, so the house is a disaster mostly, but I just have this general feeling of happiness and well-being.
I'm going to try to get the christmas present making over with. I have a baby doll quilt/pillow to do, a few monkeys, a skirt to finish, a baby doll sling, a cape/mask to finish, a stuffed something to make and I have no ideas yet what to make for my mom/mother-in-law. Thankfully Abram is taking care of the men. He has made 4 knives so far.
What are you making this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

cute

I keep thinking Aisling is past the age of cute quotations, but she keeps surprising me.
The other day we were telling her all about the scary movie Jurassic Park. Today she came and asked me when she would be old enough to watch 'gymnastic park'.
then this weekend I cooked Tater-Tots instead of hash browns for breakfast. She came in and looked exclaiming, "I LOVE teeter-toters!"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

$$-Free Christmas

I talked to some friends this week and heard a few things they were doing to save money, or not spend so much money this Christmas. One bought most of her 3 year old's toys from Goodwill, another had limited her spending to $50 per kid. I know some crazy women who will get up at the crack of dawn to battle the rage infested Black Friday Shoppers to get great deals. I've read people's blogs about how they are already done with their Christmas shopping and others who are dreading going out. What about you? Are you going all out this year? Or are you settling in for a simpler Christmas?
We never have gone hog wild for Christmas or for anything actually. I sometimes wonder if I was loaded financially if I would feel the same way. I just feel like we and our kids do not need the latest and greatest, in fact I do my best so thay they won't even know what the latest and greatest is. My daughters found out about "Anna Ontana" at a birthday party (Hannah Montana) but we explained to them that she is a teenager and little kids don't need to play with teenager stuff. Are we mean, or what? We usually stick to a 3 gift per child Christmas. It used to be a book, a toy, and pjs. It has broadened a bit, but I don't think they need many gifts. They get some from grandparents and cousins. I don't think Abram or I need any gifts. He usually finds a way to get things that he really wants throughout the year, and I am expert at going without. ( I realized this morning I only have 3 pair of pants that fit. That may have something to do with the fact that I'm not quite back into my regular size yet)
This year for Christmas I'm going to try not to buy anything. I have been busy making presents and might have to buy a few notions for the projects, but I am really scrounging around my house to find resources. So far, so good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Carolling

Tonight we drove around a bit while Abram was checking out a Black Hawk Helicoptor with the Young Men. The kids and I checked out some Christmas lights and sang a few Christmas songs. The girls don't know many yet, and it was funny to hear some of the words they sang. For instance, "Frosting the Snowman!"
And "then how the reindeer loved him, and they shouted out with fleas! Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you'll go down in mysteries!"
We saw a house with a big blow-up Santa riding a motorcycle. Aisling said, "that must be a dude's house." Clearly, only "Dude's" have santas on harleys.

My friend Nicole helped me (she actually did it for me) make a superhero cape for my nephew. It is a very smooth, shiny red fabric that is just awesome for a superhero. Now it just needs a shield shape and a giant S sewn on. Aisling decided Sam (the nephew) will probably like it, even though it is a girl color. Funny coming from the girl whose favorite color is blue.

We finally got to see Prince Caspian and I think that actor is quite cute. He or Peter would've made a better Edward (Twilight) in my opinion. But what can I say? I still haven't seen the movie. Personally I don't like the appearance of Anna Popplewell who plays Susan, and I don't care for her character either. I really didn't like the eyeliner job they did on her for the film. That's me, the new film critic. I thought it was pretty good, not too scary or overly violent. The kids liked it.

I have been reading a biography about John Adams and have loved it. I'm more than half way through, around 500 pages so far. I hadn't done any studying on our founding fathers until this year. I did a bit of study on George Washington and everyone loves and respects him. Did you know he didn't take any pay while he was general or president? I have also gained the most profound respect for John Adams. He was incorruptible. How would you like to see one like that nowadays? After this I want to find out more about Thomas Jefferson. The biographer paints him in a not too kindly light and I'd like to see if I can get another perspective. In this book, really the only good contribution he gave us was wording the Declaration. In my mind that isn't enough to earn him the fame and honor he has received. John Adams really was a singular man and should be more loudly lauded and held as an example to ourselves and our children of the kind of people we would want to aspire to be. I have had a quote of his on my wall for the last 3 years. It says, "Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty." This was a standard he held for his own children, and for himself. Jefferson is quoted as having said many wonderful, true and inspiring things. Unfortunately, according to this source, he wasn't able to muster the self-discipline to live his beliefs. I'm not judging the man personally, just that we as a nation honor someone who might not be so worthy of it. I'll look into it and get back to you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dog Free


We are finally dogless.
The girls were pretty sad at first, but they're handling it rather well. Poochie has been gone more than a month now, and Chance finally got the boot this weekend. I think they have both gone to really great homes and will be happy in their new lives.

Finally!

I just got an email this morning. Snapfish has completed my photo book order. It says "ordered 11/14, shipped 12/7. I must have ordered some fancy book! Why on earth would it take so long?
It says it should be here in 3-5 business days. Well, I am relieved, and looking forward to getting my book. Mine is pictures of our trip to Hawaii in 2007. What did you make yours about?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Aisling Jae




My big girl has turned 6. <"at last", is how she feels> After all, all of her friends are 6 already.
She was lucky enough to have her actual birthday on Thanksgiving this year. We were able to have a 'cousins' birthday party for her the day before.
My wonderful sister really helped me out (like usual) with the party and activities. I think it was fun, but a bit much.
We did all of the girls hair, make-up and nails (10 girls) which took a long time, but they were all very patient and happy. We should have called it good with that, but we also made this craft which was VERY cute and fun, but not very age appropriate. My niece who is 8 made 3 or 4, but the rest of them needed help and all the adults got burned on the hot glue gun at least once.
We ran out of time, didn't even sing happy birthday, just basically threw a cupcake at each kid and let chaos rule. I think things were under control until all the grandparents started showing up. The party should've been over by then, but it wasn't. Then 5 adults come in, all wanting to talk and visit and all the kids were wanting their letters wrapped and it was just crazy! I love them all and I think everyone had fun.
My sis brought colored hair spray stuff and the girls got a kick out of colored hair. They felt very cool.
Aisling liked her party and loved having her cousins here. She was happy to get blue (her favorite color) frosting on her cupcakes and felt like she was cheating to get fingernail polish. ( we don't allow it in the house)
Aisling is becoming quite a good helper ( at last! says momma) and loves to pretend she is "Pupcake" the wonderful minding, helper dog. (Which I love too!) If ever I need her help, I can count on Pupcake's happy, panting help complete with ruff-ruffs.
Aisling is still very boisterous and moody, but she is usually easy to coax a smile from. She loves to play tricks and tease.
Her favorite food is probably chili (from a can, how easy is that?) and definitely no-bake cookies.
But she is getting better about being willing to try the food I make for dinner. I am seeing a light at the end of the "that's disgusting!" tunnel.
Her daddy is her buddy and they get to do all kinds of fun things together (sometimes I'm jealous, but usually just grateful) and she thrives on having his undivided attention.
She loves animals and asks us all the time when will we live on a farm? And that she wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up. She was very sad that we just got rid of both our dogs since moving back to the suburbs. She has decided we should let her get a little dog, or a cat, or a hamster, guinea pig or rat. I don't think so.
She is the most grateful of the kids so far. SHe really appreciates when I do things for her, or make things for her and will thank you for it for years to come.
Aisling is a very determined little thing and is hard to dissuade when she decides something.
All of her siblings consider her their favorite, which is a wonderful quality for the oldest child to possess. She can always get the other kids to smile and they all want to play with her.
She loves to play video games with her grandpa, her uncle Tay, or her dad. I guess anyone who will let her play with them. I don't know, but it seems to me she is pretty good for a 5 yr old who doesn't own a gaming system. (now she is 6, I know)
She REALLY wants to see Prince Caspian, I've been hearing about it ALL year. Anyone know if it's ok for kids?
We love and enjoy our energetic, personality-plus girl and look forward to seeing her grow and develop her attributes. Thank You, Aisling! You were first in our hearts and your strong will shall be a blessing to you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Photo Books

Has anyone gotten their photo books from snapfish? My sister got hers about a week ago, and she ordered hers after I did. I still haven't received mine. Should I be worried? Also hers had some blurry looking pages, anyone else have this problem?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight

Okay, I hope I don't offend anyone, because I know almost all of my friends and some of my family are fanatics about this book, and thus the movie. I haven't read them, and I haven't seen the movie. What I have seen are movie posters and previews. My question is Why on earth did they pick those two to play the parts of Bella and Edward? I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands of beautiful/hot actors in Hollywood they could have picked. When I'm watching a love story, I really want the love interests to be attractive. I don't think either of them look good in this movie. I have neighbors that are better looking. My main complaint about it is poor Edward. He is the one who is so heart breakingingly beautiful that he sparkles, right? Then why did they make him look like night of the walking zombies? YUK! They could have paid their make up department a bit more so they could get someone who can do a good job making that vampire look sexy! What a shame.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pre Thanksgiving

For the past 3 years we have met together with some good friends from our neighborhood and had a 'pre-thanksgiving' dinner. We have tried out new recipes and enjoyed delicious food. We have played fun(ny) games and it seems that our group gets really excited about getting together for this. We got together last saturday and tried out some new recipes (sorry guys, mine weren't that great) and enjoyed some old favorites (thanks tamara). We have taken turns learning how to cook a turkey and I think just had a great time visiting! We had a wonderful, even spiritual evening together. Jeff had a great idea for everone to share some things that have happened to each of us during the past year, sort of a looking back on the year, and that usually helps you look into your future. It seems as if God has been leading all of us, in different ways, to draw closer to Him. It always makes me feel so special and so loved to know He is aware of me, but also realize how insignificant things of this life are. Like Moses, I realize I am no more than the dust, and yet He knows me by name! Thank you, to all of my friends, who have taught me more about faith and love. Most of the lessons best learned are taught by example, not a lecture.

Things have been very busy for us, probably because we aren't used to having to do anything! Nothing exciting is hgappening, but there is so much to do and not enough time to do it! (Especially when you sleep til 8) Lachlan has finally started sleeping through the night, so I really have no good excuse, but I have been getting to bed past midnight the last 3 or 4 nights and I'm tired! Rowan has been sick with some weird stomach bug thing. My neighbor said her little girl (1 week older than Rowan) has had a similar thing. Little Peanut says "tummy hurts, mommy" all day, will hardly eat anything, and has thrown up 2x and had many yukky diapers. Does anyone know what this is? It has been going on since Halloween. Poor little girl.

I am finally getting around to making my dining room curtains. I bought the fabric about 2 years ago, I guess. Then we moved and I never made them. Now we are back and I am excited to make and put up the roman shades. I actually special ordered this fabric from Joann's ( I had a 50% off coupon) I've never done that before. It was VERY exciting!@ The fabric looks really retro, but modern. I LOVE it! I even have enough to redo the shade on the glass back door. I can probably make some seat cushions or pillows too. I will post pictures too. Maybe do a tutorial, would anyone like that? :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Contest

Abram & I came across an interesting contest. You write an essay, submit a $100 entry fee and you get a chance to win a home! Pretty interesting idea. People are getting desperate in these times. I myself have come up with a few 'schemes' in case our house doesn't sell quickly, but I wasn't that creative!
Anyone going to try their luck? Abram is encouraging me to send one in. He says he'll be glad to move to NM if he won a house for $100.00. What do you think?

Friday, November 14, 2008

especially cool

My friend sent me this link for a free photo book. It really was begging to be posted here because it has the same title as my blog.
http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20081029_tows_messyhouse/7
Pretty cool, eh?
I actually made my book last night and it was very quick and easy, but mostly because I already have an account with snapfish and my pics were already uploaded and ready to go.
The book is totally custom, 20 pages, hard bound 8 1/2 x 11. It is a $30 book - for free! You pay $6.99 s/h.
Thank you, Oprah!
Now go scrapbooking.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Get your Guns

So with the new president-elect, there is a good chance something similar to the Brady Bill (or worse) will be put into effect next year. It is pretty unbelievable to me that people in this country think it is a good idea to take away your 2nd amendment rights. I guess it really just shows that they are uneducated about it. If you do any research you will discover that the more citizens that carry guns, the less crime there is. Any time you limit the civilians from carrying weapons, the crime rate sky-rockets. Anyway, Abram has owned guns since before I met him, but I think mostly for hunting. However during the years we've been married he has acquired a few hand guns and a concealed weapons permit. The more I research it, the more I feel like I should follow suit. Yesterday Abram took me to the shooting range and he taught me how to load and shoot some of our guns. I had never shot any before and even though Abram bought a pistol for me, I had no idea how to use it.
I was very scared at first to use the guns, but he started me on a very smooth .22 rifle and moved me up to bigger guns that had more and more kick until I was pretty comfortable shooting a 9 mm in a quickshot fashion. I even had pretty good groupings on my target for a 1st time shooter. I feel much more comfortable now and could probably protect myself and kids if I had to, heaven forbid.
You ladies might think this is crazy but for awhile now I have wanted to start some kind of a gun awareness/self protection class for women. If I do, you'll all be invited. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Optimistic Realist

A few of you wondered what was going on with the houses.
We are going to try to sell the big house. The market is miserable right now. There are a few homes with the same square footage and acreage right down the street from ours that are listed about 200K less than we owe on ours. The only things we have going for us is those are right next to the freeway and they are in a less favorable town. (I know that is a matter of opinion, but for some reason it affects the prices here just because they are in a different county) But for a smart person who didn't have to worry about the school district, you'd think they'd get the cheaper home. There are so many short sales going on that no one wants to pay a real price for a home. Who can blame them. I certainly wouldn't do it. So we are praying for a miracle and expecting the worst.
We had some wonderful help getting moved and are mostly all out of the big house. We started sleeping at our old house last Thursday night. I think my body had to acclimate to the warmth because I sweated like crazy the first two nights with the thermostat set at 70F. And having automatic hot water is like a miracle! I am astonished every time I turn the faucet to hot and it actually gets HOT! We really take our blessings for granted.
It could be easy to wish we had never bought the big house, or to say we could have avoided a lot of problems and hard-times if we hadn't. But I am so grateful for the wonderful friends I made in our big house and the incredible lessons I learned about service and love. If those were the reasons we needed to go through some of the uncomfortable times we went through, then I gladly accept. What more important lesson can we learn then to be more christ-like and charitable? So even if we end up having to give the house back to the bank and ruining our excellent credit scores (780) I feel at peace that we are doing our best and trying to live within our means. I know things will work out. I don't want people to feel sorry for us and I'm not blaming anyone else. Obviously we can't see the future, so we couldn't foresee this happening with the economy, but with all things there are inherent risk. We took a chance. I am grateful my husband is still healthy and able to provide for us. I know there are people in much worse situations than we are in and I am very thankful for our many blessings.
In the house we are back in I had put vinyl letters up in the dining room a few years ago that say " Count Your Blessings" and I always felt it was true enough to remind yourself of it daily. But I feel it resonates even more true to me now that I have been in this precarious situation.
We had not planned on moving back, but now find it a blessing that we have a home to move back to. We hope this will put us in a much more secure position.
I hope all of you are healthy, happy and prepared for whatever lies ahead. For if you are prepared you shall not fear. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Excitement at the Big House

Things have been really exciting around here. We are moving out of the big house and back into our subdivision house. Hooray for our 'old' friends, and we are grateful for the new friends we've made. I have been so thankful for all of the sunshine we've had because we ran out of propane about two months ago (thus no hot water and no heat) and the weekend it was freezing and it snowed, we were bitterly reminded of the miserable winter we spent here last year. But when the sun is shining and there isn't a lot of wind, the house warms up quite nicely. I am so grateful for the gorgeous weather we've been having!!
Abram finally sold the hummer and now we are enjoying being a one-car family. We've actually been selling lots of our stuff on craigslist. It is liberating to be free of stuff in lieu of cash :)
On Sunday I was trying out a peanut butter cup recipe and unbeknownst to me, Aisling gave Lachlan a spoonful of peanut butter. You know how babies rub their food all over their face, well Within a few minutes he had broken out in these hive-like things and his eye began to really swell. He was still breathing ok, but his eye was getting worse and worse. His eyeball itself was actually swellin up in this gelatinous goo-like stuff. We were going to run to the store and buy Benadryl ( you know, our ox was in the mire!) but Abram was so freaked out he ran him straight to our optometric physician (who just happenes to live across the street :)) and he luckily had on hand some awesome eye drops that saved the day. So Hooray for Lachlan being ok, but bummer for the allergic reaction. I LOVE peanut butter and it will be so hard to keep it away from him. I hope he outgrows it or something because I'm selfish enough to want to keep it around. Obviously not if it is life-threatening, but a little hives never hurt anyone, right? j/k
I have to admit is is all my fault for him having the allergy. Whenever I judge others for having something with their kids, I always get it in my own kids. I should learn by now just to have a heart full of non-judgmental thought and then I won't be humbled so often. :) Honestly, not a week before this I was murmuring at co-op about how we can't have peanut butter at the school because 1 child is allergic. Little did I know.... :)
I am determined to find a cure for him somehow. Anyone know a good voodoo doctor?
Oh and while we were at the neighbor's house observing lachlan's eye, the dogs got into the house, ate the whole pan of peanut butter cups, got into the chicken I was cooking and made an overall mess of the house and chewed a few shoes. We had left the house in such a hurry, we left the garbage open and the door didn't get shut tightly. Thankfully my bro and sister-in-law invited us for dinner. Abram said he hadn't enjoyed a steak like that in a really lomg time, and I loved the homemade mashed potatoes. Having them on thanksgiving just isn't enough. The pumpkin bars cake was so luscious and we always enjoy visiting them, we always over stay our welcome. :0

Hope you're all enjoying the economy and having fun this fall.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ride 'em cowboy

Halloween lights
Dracula in training
The girls got invited to visit one of our neighbor's farms. He got his goat out to pet and let the kids have rides on his horse. Aisling was older than all the other cuties and got to help lead the horse around. Then he even let her ride the horse 'alone' with bridle. She had a wonderful time feeling like a real horsewoman. It is a continuing dream of hers to have horses and horse riding lessons.
It was REALLY cold, but the kids had a terrific time.
Last night as Aisling was heading up to bed she said, "I don't want to go to sleep, I want to go to Halloween."
After Abram had chased the girls around in a dracula cape, Aisling said, "you scared my guts out!"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

here they are (pictures)





sorry the lighting is not good

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monumental Milestone


Today Lachlan pushed a toy car across the floor. He played with it for about 10 minutes. (which is a long time for him) Now he is on the road to becoming ' ( In the words of Pinocchio) 'a real boy'. It was very fun for us just to watch him be a 'boy'.
He has been really sick and feeling quite miserable with a bad cold. Combined with the fever, the runny/stuffy nose and a cough, the poor guy has been very unhappy. I'm pretty sure he has a sore throat too. In fact, he may even have strep. Pobrecito! (anyone speak spanish?)
here are some pics for Amberlie of the seat. And here are two of the "plush peanuts" I made.

For some reason blogger is not allowing me to post any more pictures. I'll try again

Disney vs. Families

Just kidding, i'm not trying to villainize Disney, but have you ever noticed how many of their animated movies have hero/heroines with only one (or less) parents?
This is not a complete list, but just what comes to mind.
Snow White: orphan
Cinderella: orphan
Aurora: raised like an orphan (Prince Philip missing mother)
Ariel: mother gone
Toy Story's Andy: father gone
Nemo: mom dead
Bambi: mom, then dad die
Brother Bear: Koda's mom dies, do the three boys have any parents?
Lion King: dad dies
jasmine: motherless
Meet the Robinson's
Fox and The Hound
Cars (just kidding)
Peter pan
Enchanted (ok, that's not fully animated, but both Edward and the little girl are missing parents)
Pete's Dragon
Belle
Let's throw Pirates of the Caribbean in there for fun. Elizabeth's mom is gone and Orlando is an orphan.
i'm sure there are more, but since we don't actually own any Disney animated movies, it is hard to remember them all.
I know most of these stories are probably fairy tales or other stories that disney studios didn't actually write, but still, it's kind of a strange recurring theme.

Anomolies:
Mulan
Robots (is that Disney?)

Which ones did I miss?

Friday, October 3, 2008

3 Little Pigs


My silly girls.
Lachlan has been a slug. He has a fever and is just laying around feeling crummy. Poor guy. I guess maybe he's getting a tooth? It keeps me from getting a lot done, but I feel bad for the little fellow.
I made those homemade marshmallows. The girs loved them. Not that they are gourmands, but I think they were a hit. Kinda fun to try something new anyway.
I reupholstered a little seat. I think it looks pretty. it is my first try at that kind of thing and something I've wanted to learn how to do. Pretty basic but it is a start. Now I can move on to chairs and couches. Ha ha!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Field Trips

soccer girl
kisses
whatchu lookin' at?
i can't hear you!
Brenna's pencil roll

We got invited to participate in some field trips this morning. We went to Krispy Kreme to see how Donuts were made, and then to the fire station for a little tour.
My kids have never been to K.K. before, so they were a bit fascinated there was a whole store just for donuts! Our tour guide was a little out of touch for kids this age, but he was sweet and the kids liked the hats and manhandling the dough.
The firestation was very cool. One of the firemen put on his full suit and the breathing mask. Some of the kids were scared of him. With all their gear and suit and tank they carry about an extra 100 lbs. The kids got to get in the fire engine and got a plastic fire hat. Very cool. Aisling decided to wear her dalmation coat so she could be the firehouse dog.
We also got invited to go to the paramedic station his afternoon, but I don't think we'll go.
Thanks for those of you who put this together for the rest of us.
Lachlan is climbing all the way up the stairs. There are 16 of them and even a slight curve. He is obssesses by it. I can't put a gate in front of it, and there are many sharp edges and a tile floor below, so I'm constantly pulling him off and trying to distract him. I left my exersaucer and porta crib at my grams' house this week. We are trying to clean it out (her house), so I have no way to contain him. I'm considering putting a leash on him. :) I usually just taech my kids how to go downthe stairs properly, but he is still too small to reach the stairs with his knees and arms, He shouldn't be climbing stairs so young!
I think I broke or at least badly injured my toe yesterday. It is still really painful, hurts constantly and hard to walk. It is only a little swollen and it isn't majorly bruised, so it doesn't seem like it should be broken, but it sure does hurt. I guess I'm just getting old! I dropped a full glass bottle of balsamic vinegar right on the knuckle and it broke on my toe. Ouch! My garage smells great now.
We got our school room set up in the bonus room upstairs and we are excited not to be stuck making messes on the dining room table.
Abram found the USB cable so when I get time this weekend I'll post some pics. He's gone bow-hunting for the weekend. Hooray for him. Hope he has a great time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

two and thirty

It is our king's two and thirty birthday. He didn't get a black-bird pie, but we had cheesecake and chocolate cake and a fun home-made pizza party with his family. His little sister's birthday is one day prior to his, so we usually have a double party for them. This was the first time everyone has come over here for their party. It seems like we usually meet at a local park.
Abram has been having fun this year designing and making knives and handles. He is really good at actually trying out things he finds interesting. He likes to read and learn about a subject and then do it. I come from a family of readers so I didn't realize it is unusual for men to read for recreation. He also reads to the kids most nights, which we all love. He used to be a really good snowboarder, and taught lessons at our local ski hill. He is going to take Aisling up this winter and try to teach her snowboarding. He also used to white water raft in the summers and also lead the trail rides on horseback. He loves to climb mountains and we've done two mountains together and will do more when the kids are older. He is going bow-hunting this week and is hoping to get an elk. He likes to do scavenging type activities; look for antlers, search for gold and gems, pick berries, search for arrowheads. He has a built- in map and compass in his head. He is amazing that way. He is strong and he is fast and he is interested in health and fitness and eating well and natural health. He would like to build a yurt or straw-bale home or some other type of self-sustaining building. He was into 'green' before it became the thing to do. :) He loves to shop, if he has a dollar, he's scheming about how he can get the most out of it. He's really good at backing up trailers, tying good knots and doing other manly things. If I was stranded on a desert island, I would be okay as long as Abram was there. He is very good at survival skills and being prepared. He is also very handy but he's also good at baking breads and cooking. He is a true patriot and wants us to retain all of our freedoms. He is very supportive of me and a wonderful, romantic husband and a hard worker. He is lots of fun for our kids too. We are so lucky to have him as the king of our kingdom! Happy Birthday, Abey-baby.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lockey-Locke

Today Lachlan has reached his 7 month mark. I can't even put up any cute pictures of my fuzzy-headed li'l guy. He has officially figured out how to crawl correctly. He's been 'crawling' for a month now, but it was more like a scooch. He is also crawling up (and down) small stairs. He'll stand up to anything, not just coffeetables and chairs, but walls, doors etc. Which is scary cuz how will he get back down? He wants to eat people food, and we give him some when we can but he still doesn't have a single tooth. He seems voracious when we all start eating. He slept through the night last night, the first time since he was born. (or maybe I just managed to sleep through him crying?)He is a ittle sweetie pie, even if he isn't really a cuddle bug. He's too busy to stop and snuggle. He loves music too. He likes to beat the rhythm out. we're glad he's part of our gang.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Arachnids

this week we have been reading about arachnids. Did you know that daddylonglegs is not a spider? It is an arachnid, but it does not spin webs and it does not have two body parts (cephelothorax & abdomen) that other spiders have. There are over 7,000 species of daddylonglegs! Who took the time to count? :) Also, I did not know that was their official name. I thought it was a name kids called them. Like Roly Poly. Arachnids are quite interesting . The jumping spider is a really fun one. If you get the chance, check out some books about them.
Aisling has been gone this week on a trip with her grandma & grandpa. She would be happy as a clam if Abram & I keeled over dead so she could live with them permanently. (At least til she got older and came to her senses) She thinks life is All about Having Fun! When I tried to explain to her that life isn't all about having fun, she said, "well, having fun is the BEST part of life!" It has been much quieter and calmer here without her, but I do miss her. The other girls just werent' as excited about the projects like she always is. We made masks to have a Wild Rumpus (see Where The Wild Things Are) and they just did not get into it like she would.
Rowan came & got in bed with me sometime around 5 am I think. Then started gagging around 6. She dry heaved a bunch over the sink, but nothing came. I remembered she hadn't eaten much of her dinner. It sems that Brenna has done that a few times, where she got sick because she had an empty stomach. Have your kids ever done that? She ate a big bowl of cereal and has been fine ever since. That is one of the worst feelings, when you're sleeping soundly in your bed and a child next to you starts to throw up, you know the next minute you're going to be covered in you- know- what! You panic, scrambling to get them out of the bed, but you don't want them to throw up on the carpet, and still half asleep... you'll probably hit your head on the door, trip over the doll she dropped there when she crawled in bed with you, slip on the wet floor from your husband showering and not wiping his feet on the rug and end up laying in barf anyway. I should write one of those Laura Numeroff books, like If You give A Mouse A Cookie, only it would be a little bit different!
We are going to have an empty house after this weekend. No, not the one we live in, but our Boise house. So now we have two houses to clean up and get ready to put on the market. Obviously we'd rather sell this big expensive one first, but whatever. If either of them sells, it will just reduce our stress. We recently looked in on a house we had really liked a couple years ago, but at the time it was a brand new house and listed at $500,000. Well, it never sold and it is now listed at $369,000. that is exciting, but it is also discouraging. It is a really beautiful home with wonderful craftmanship, but it is still a lot of money, and what does that mean for us trying to sell our two homes? We can only wait and see.
Abram signed us up for a one-disc-at-a-time netflix membership which I'm still not very happy about. I feel like watching movies is kind of a waste of time when we already have too many things to do with our time. Anyway, this has enabled us to watch all sorts of movies that we probably would never have seen. None that I really feel like I am SO glad! I got to see that. Most of them were more like, I could've lived my life without having seen that. One we watched that we did enjoy was Lars and The Real Girl. Now, we are not the normal movie types. We like unique films that make you think, not the ones you sit back and laugh at the mindless, crude humor. So the disclaimer is that most people might not like this film. It has some very uncomfortable scenes.. very awkward I should say. I guess it is worse for guys to watch then girls. If you have seen it, tell me what you thought!
What is your favorite movie, and the one you thought was incredibly a waste of time?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Projects

Well, I still haven't found the cable to the camera so am unable to download any pictures. It is hard for me to feel like I have a proper post without any visual aid. Anyway, here are a few of the things I've been doing. (copying other clever, crafty people)
Made 4 of these cuties. I made a dog, a cat, a bunny and a monkey. They are so cuddly.
I made some of these magnets with my kids, my sister, and her kids. It is fun and easy!
I tried out this pattern with my friend Tara and got hooked. I made one with a cowboy/indian theme. I am ready to make a bunch more of those.
I made this pillowcase dress a while ago. It was a tiny bit more work than I was anticipating. So I only made one.
I found a wonderful cookbook at the library. It is the Barefoot Contessa. I usually check out a few cookbooks every time I go to the library, but I usually flip through them unimpressed and unmotivated. This one is chock full of motivating recipes and gorgeous pictures. It really has got me drooling and ready to get in the kitchen and make food from scratch. They even have a recipe for home made marshmallows I'm dying to try and a to-die-for-looking cheesecake.
I'll let you know how they turn out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Schooling

I've had a few people ask me what we are doing for school. Here is a little summary of what we have been doing this week.
Brenna has been working on her letters. She's got A & B down and has been working on C & D. She did her numbers 1-10 already. We are working on her cutting skills. This week we are focusing on different kinds of feet. (paws, claws, talons, diggers, sticky feet etc)
Aisling has been working on reading. Yesterday we did the sh combo. She read Hop on Pop and Put Me in the Zoo with help. She knows her vowels and we are practicing the short and long sounds of each. She learned about the earth's core, mantle and crust. This week we are focusing on mammals. We will be taking a trip to the zoo tomorrow to look at mammals and different animals' feet.
Rowan can count pretty well. She is in the teens. We are focusing on colors and shapes which she's almost got down. She also gets to learn about mammals and feet and go to the zoo with us. :)
We are having lots of fun!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Losing My Touch

This weekend I made brownies to take to a function. But I didn't have 2 eggs like the recipe calls for on the box. So I tried that substitution of 2 TBS oil and 1 TBS water for 2 eggs. I guess it doesn't work for mixes. The water mixed in to the powder, but when I pulled the pan out after baking, the oil had separated and there was about 1 inch puddle of oil sitting on top of this gooey mess. So weird! I also made a huckleberry pie with the remaining huckleberries we picked. I used a fake crust (ok, not a fake one, but a frozen pre-made one) and made a crumb topping. It seemed underbaked. It was like huckleberry soup. Maybe we needed to let it cool first. It feels so strange to me to have my desserts not turn out. I'm not a pro, but I usually have good success with my sweets. I did make no bake cookies on Tuesday, and they turned out just fine. Maybe there is hope.
Does anyone else feel tied to the house because of nap schedules? Afternoons are out of the question, and mornings really should be off limits too. But when can a mother of a 2 yr old and a baby run errands and go to the park and do all the fun things mothers with young children are supposed to do? Wish I could afford a nanny to stay home with the sleeping one(s) sometimes.
Whch reminds me. What do you pay your babysitter? I've never gotten a sitter because I don't know what to pay one. (oh and the fact that we don't go out hardly ever)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sleep Training

Last night was worse. Lachlan woke up around 12 like usual and cried and cried and cried. I went in to feed him at 4:30. I don't know if he slept at all in between. I think he might have. He would stop crying for a few minutes and then start again. Poor guy. Then he slept til 8. That part was great! It's only 8:40 and he is starting to sound tired. I hope he wont' cry so much tonight. I don't know how my husband has always been able to sleep through that stuff. Lucky guy.
So I have a bunch of pictures I've been wanting to upload to my blog, but I can't find the USB cable to download them from the camera to the computer. I've been looking for it for about 5 days. So strange, it disappeared and a different, unidentified USB cable showed up. Hmmmm. Mysterious.
Yesterday was a really bad day for Aisling. She was so wild and disobedient and attitude-y. She is in need of constant attention I guess. Why can't she just 'be'? Does anyone else have a wild child? What do you do to help them behave?
UPDATE: Lachlan cried and cried when I put him down for his nap. He has been going down like an angel for the last week or so. No tears or fussing at all. He just lays there and goes to sleep. Not today. He's already traumatized from last night. He eventually went to sleep, but I hope that isn't the trade off. Sleeping more at night so he can cry more in the day. We'll see how long that lasts. :(

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day - The Day we refrain from Labor

We had a wonderful time at the cabin. We went and picked huckleberries and the weather was perfect! The berry bushes were loaded and we got much more than last time in half the time. Rowan did a great job, she would sit by a bush and pick and eat.
The next day we went to Warm Lake. This day was cold and rainy. We decided to hit some hot springs. Of course everyone else had the same thought so each hot spring we stopped at had people in it already. ( I'm talking about spots on the side of the river, not a pay pool) So we luckily made it to this fabulous beach on the lake and it was rainy when we got there, but just stopped and the sun came out. It was remarkable. There weren't any people there! We unloaded the canoe and paddled around with the girls and had a picnic lunch. It even warmed up enough that the girls got in the water. Of course then they were cold every time the sun went behind the clouds and they got their clothes all wet. Just when we were leaving the hordes showed up. It couldn't have been more perfect!
Then we stopped in at a hot spring and enjoyed the scummy soak. It was a huge 'pool' and the girls all enjoyed splashing around and collecting rocks and there was enough room for them to do so. Rowan has become a little fish, even without the swimming lessons the other two got. (Why don't they let two year olds take swim lessons?It seems with my kids, they increased their fear of getting their face wet with age) She puts her whole face under, eyes wide open and doggy paddles through the water. It is amazing to me to see her.
We came back in time to actually work around here all day Monday. Call me crazy, but I just love getting things accomplished. I think I let it take precedence over fun a lot of the time. So this weekend satisfied Abram & me. We relaxed, played, and worked. We ate a lot of great food and spent time with family. Thanks Jeni, for inviting us to the cabin! Our girls loved playing with your girls. :)
So I decided the only way to get Lachlan to stop waking up so much was to go cold turkey on him and let him do the cry it out thing. I was so stressed about it! Last night when I went to bed I was in a cold sweat and felt near to tears with the prospect of a long night of sobbing baby. I then decided on the first night I'd get up about half way through (2 am) and feed him and then again about 6. But Crazy thing- he slept all the way til 1:45. And then again until 5:45. So he really didn't learn anything because the only times he woke up he still got fed. Crazy! The kid wakes up consistently every two hours on the dot for months, then suddenly he catches my vibe or something and decides to sleep til almost the exact timeframe I had laid out for him in my mind.
So the night went rather well, but I'm afraid it accomplished nothing other than we both got a little more sleep. Which really is the point, isn't it?
My friend, Melonie loaned me a book that I had tried a few times unsuccessfully to get from the library. It teaches that most kids are overtired and that is why they cry when it's bed time and fuss and act horribly. So I've been trying to put him down sooner and it has worked for him. He had gotten (me) into the habit of needing to lay by him and stroking him til he went to sleep. He has gone back to his old ways of laying down calmly and going to sleep on his own. Now if I could get it to work for the girls.... :) If only getting them to sleep more would truly resolve their behavior problems. We tried to put them down an hour earlier to test this theory. But they were just more of a problem. They didn't go to sleep. They fought and played and came down 10 times and we really weren't done dealing with them until the time after we would have normally put them to bed without a fuss. Ah well, life can't go perfectly all the time :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Blog Giveaway

So First of all, I'd like to pose a question: When you leave a comment on my comments spot, do you have to do that annoying word verification thing? What is the purpose of that? It drives me crazy.
Next here is a cute gift shop who is offering a giveaway if you leave a comment on her blog under the item you like best.
i'll have to do one of those giveaways so I can get more comments on my blog :)
What is every one doing for their labor day weekend?
Have a fun and safe time!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Extra Produce

I finally made a crayon roll for Brenna. It turned out ok for a first try. The next attempt will be a pencil roll for Aisling. Hopefully these will help them not lose any crayons/colored pencils at school.

We will be going to Abram's sister's cabin 1 1/2 hours north of here for the weekend. We are really excited, we only get to go up there every couple years or so. It should be really fun. There are loads of huckleberries to pick and the weather is supposed to be more cool and enjoyable. I'm going to bring this FABULOUS cake for all of us to eat. It sounds gross, but it is so delicious!!! If you have green tomatoes in your garden this time of year, you must try this cake.

Green Tomato Cake

3 c. Flour

2c. Sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1t. cloves

3 eggs

2 t. vanilla

2 t. soda

1 t. salt

3 c. grated green tomatoes

1 ½ c. vegetable oil

Mix sugar, oil and eggs together in a bowl; mix together remaining dry ingredients and add to egg
mixture. Add vanilla and fold in tomatoes. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 300 F for one hour, cool and frost. ( or pour frosting over while still warm!)

Cream Cheese Frosting


8 oz. cream cheese

1 butter cube

4-5 c. powdered sugar

Vanilla to taste

Here is a neat little tidbit for you: if you don't have any eggs and are right in the middle of baking something, you can substitute 2 TBS oil & 1 TBS water for two eggs. Pretty cool, eh?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

'Fair Days'

All the other kids are 'Baa'-ck to school.
We are enjoying a visit from our spanish friend, Mari Carmen.
It was about 100F yesterday, but today it is in the 70s. How wonderful!
We don't have any plans for Labor Day weekend, like usual, but I have been trying to book a trip through bonus time with my parents' trendwest membership. We thought about going to Daytona Beach, but the weather there is poo-poo because of Hurricane Faye. So my main efforts have been to try to get to San Diego. ( Sorry Jessica, we looked into flights to Dallas and they were about $550 each.) They actually had 4 nights in a row for next weekend the 5,6,7,8, but we didn't act fast enough and they got booked. I am totally bummed. Abram has never been to California, so he isn't excited to go there. But I wouldn't care where it was, What we really want is some warm place we can sit on the beach and play in the sand and water with the kids. Whenever we go to the Oregon Coast, it is always too cold to enjoy it. But San Diego is supposed to have lovely weather year round as I understand it. Some people are actually lucky enough to have family that live in places like that. They can go visit whenever they want.
Anyway, maybe I'll implement "the Secret' and see if it works. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Secret

Have any of you watched The Secret or read the book? It is the same principle that's outlined in Napolean Hill's book Think and Grow Rich. Abram and I watched it a year and a half or two years ago. We thought it was interesting and I was willing to give it a try. But like usual, I didn't know what I wanted, so I couldn't send any vibes out to the universe! Then we started talking about going to Hawaii. So I very vaguely thought about that and on a whim put a surfboard sticker on my billfold so I would inadvertently think about it whenever I saw it. It was pretty amazing how it all came together in the end. Things seemed to work out perfectly and from the day we looked into booking a room to the day we left was less than a week. We were able to go for 10 days and spent about $2k- it even worked out perfectly for Abram to take the time off work. I have suspicions that it was The Secret at work!
I never did anything with The Secret after that, but we just watched it again last week. Abram has been talking about going to South America to climb Aconcogua. He expects it will cost at least $3500 plus about two weeks away from work. I told him he could go if he came up with the 'extra' money somehow. I tried to convince Abram he should give The Secret a try. I myself hardly gave it another thought other than, "I'm married to Bruce Wayne and we are really rich" ( Can you tell we just watched Dark Knight?) ha ha ha!! Anyway, since then I've received two random, unexpected checks in the mail. One was only $25 but the other was $250. Not Bruce Wayne, but not bad!
Today Abram called and said he got a check in the mail for $1000.
If any of you have seen the movie, they talk about getting checks in the mail. So weird!
So what do you think? Coincidence, or The Secret?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hook up the I.V.

Maybe this is strange, but I don't really know what I want. The times I have sat down to make a list of what I want out of life, the list has come back mostly empty with a few generics. I think some of this is partly because of the stage of life I'm in right now has me pretty limited. I have a nursing baby and three other relatively small kids. So I guess I keep thinking I can do things with my life later.
I recently heard an ad on the radio about some I.V. thing that stood for Intentional Vision. It really struck me when I heard that. I have just been letting life happen. I haven't really taken charge of it. I want to have a life with intention, because I know when I set my mind to something I can accomplish it.
It makes me feel bad about the time wasted, but excited to start this new path.

I talked to some moms over the weekend. It seems the consensus is that I need to use the cry-it-out method. I feel really bad about using that with babies. I don't mind as much when they are older and I know for sure they are Okay. But maybe it is better to do it when they are younger and not so set in their ways. I feel like they'll think they have been abandoned and it will hurt their little psyche and make them feel like the world is unsafe and they can't trust people. But maybe it will just help them learn to mind. Someone said that it taught babies to respect you. ( Do babies need to learn that?) The only one I really did that with was Brenna and we all know how unstable she is. I mean she rips her hair out for heaven's sake! I must've mentally disturbed her. :) please tell me what you have done with success with your own kids.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Busy Last Days of Summer Break


Today was the last day of swimming lessons. The girls did a great job. I was a bit disappointed in Brenna's class. I felt Brenna was ready for more than what they did. But maybe the rest of the kids weren't ready. Brenna got to go off the slide into the water and she went twice and wanted to go more. Only one other kid went off it and he had to be coaxed for about 10 minutes before he actually slipped and went down the slide. Brenna had a great time.
Aisling really amazed me today. She went off the HIGH dive! She told me on Wed. that she was going to do it. I guess I should feel bad to say I didn't believe her. I honestly thought she would get up there, stand up there for about 10 minutes and then turn around. There is no disgrace in that. But I really thought she would be too scared. This is my girl who just recently started playing on fast food playgrounds. She was always too scared! She gets scared walking on uneven ground, reflective floors or anything with gaps. I was amazed she made it up the ladder! She just walked very carefully to the edge, looked down and jumped! No hesitating! Incredible! I thought she was awesome. I don't think I jumped off any diving board 'til I was in my late teens. :)
Last night we had our annual "august birthday party", something we've been doing forever. We originally had 4 august birthdays and then when we started having kids of our own, the number grew to 9. We had a terrific time thanks to my sister for putting together the T. Family Water olympics, complete with opening and closing ceremonies, medals and lots of water. She is already scheming for next year's celebration.
We had delicious mexican food, a T. family favorite. I was given a wonderful sweet pork recipe with a refreshing and tasty tomatillo dressing recipe. I made that last night for the party and I think it was well received. Just email me for the recipe.

I also received instruction and supplies to make these fabulous hair flower clips. Wow!


Today the kids got to attend their monthly service project party. It is a wonderful group hosted by a sweet lady in our ward, Amity H. She comes up with the neatest ideas. This month we made edible flower arrangements. Aisling gave hers away at the party, but Brenna's recipient wasn't home when we stopped by. They were very easy and a delightful gift to give or receive.

My adorable little boy is exhausting me. I need some ideas. He is up a LOT during the night, and seems to be hungry! He doesn't just suckle and go back to sleep. He wants the full meal. I am feeding him almost every two hours and it is wearing me down. What did you all do with your babies? He'll be 6 months old next week. He is starting to crawl around and starting to eat a little bit of rice cereal. He is just the cutest guy who loves his family so much. He just lights up when someone walks into the room, and that of course makes him all the more endearing to us!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Getting Ready for School

We are preparing for school. Aisling will be staying home for school again and we are excited about all the fun learning we get to do. Brenna will be starting preschool learning this fall as well, so I no longer have to feel guilty about not teaching her earlier. (Aisling could write her name at 3, oops!)
We are also going to be involved in a local home-school co-op. They meet every fFriday with an assembly, pledge of allegiance, etc. Then the kids have 3 classes and a lunch. The parents take turns each semester teaching and helping out. Aisling gets to take Art, Fairy Tales and Folk- Lore, and Geology. Brenna will get to take ABC's and 123's, Play Time, and Music N Movement. I am really excited about it.
We went to go get school supplies for the girls and I was looking at the lame-o pencil boxes they had for sale ( I'm ashamed to say we went to China-Mart)and junky backpacks. Very disappointing. So I got online knowing I could find something beautiful and long-lasting and handmade. If any of you haven't heard of ETSY.com, check it out. It is a treasure trove of artisans at your fingertips. Just look at these! I think they are a bit expensive but they will probably last a long time and they are just lovely. Now I gotta find something to sell so I can justify spending that kind of money.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Party in The Park

We actually did something fun for once. Unfortunately we have no pictures to document the fact.
On Friday we went to Settler's Park. Those of you who live around here know it is a really awesome place and just gets better and better as they add on to it. They now have a musical area and a rock climbing area. We went to play in the water area and cool off and they were having a huge 'benefit' party so there were jump houses and barbecues and Princess Belle walking around and a ton of people. They were also setting up for their Friday night movie where everyone sits/lays all over the lawn and watch a family movie on a giant projector screen. The kids were very sad we weren't staying to watch BEE movie. But it didn't start til after 9:30. We had a great time playing in the water, climbing the 'mountains', running around on the playground and making songs on the giant gongs, chimes and so forth. The town we live in isn't as bad as I thought. ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grammy J!

Today is my grandma Joan's Birthday. Unhappily she passed away in June. But I have been thinking of her all day, how we would love to go visit her, share our pie with her, have a big august birthday party like we used to. I miss her so much! She was the most fun grandma!
I try not to feel sad about her being gone, knowing how happy she is reunited with her husband and other loved ones. I wanted to share this sentiment my cousin shared with me, with you.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

Blackberries


Last night we went across the street and picked blackberries. There was a huge bush growing across the canal which couldn't be accessed really. We did treacherously get a few off that bush, and a few more off another. We thought, well, maybe we'll have enough to bake a pie. So we brought them home and dumped them into the colander and measured about 10 cups! :) We made blackberry milkshakes last night and I'll be baking some pies today. Who has any vanilla ice cream?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Crazy Good Luck, or more?

We have been trying to get into swim lessons. Well, let me rephrase that. We *tried* to sign up at the local pool, but we were too early, they hadn't opened yet the two times we swung by. They also didn't take reservations over the phone. I had gotten so busy or preoccupied that I forgot about it. This morning it was on my mind, and I felt like, 'let's get in the car right now and go down there'. I even had the girls grab their swim suits . So, unbelievably, today was the first day of the very last session, and they had one opening each in the two classes I needed and on top of that, they were the only ones of those classes that were at the same time and they were starting right that minute! The girls jumped out of the car and got in their suits and had their first lesson right then. It couldn't have been more perfect! I spent the time trying to comfort Rowan that she couldn't get in and then the rest of the time trying to keep her out of the pool and the men's changing room.
A cool side note, Lynette A. had two of her kids in at the same time. So I got to visit with her and maybe we'll arrange a little carpooling. :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

I am very excited about the new recipe I've been using to make our bread. Our old recipe was great, but it was half wheat/half white. This new recipe is so quick and easy. No need to wait around for it to rise or anything. It used to take half the day or more to bake my bread, but this morning I got it all done before church at 10:20. To tell the truth, the thing I am most excited about is this brilliant idea to bake your bread in juice cans. The reason I really love this is because my kids won't eat crust, so they end up throwing 1/3 of the sandwich away and thus have to eat about 3 sandwiches before they're full. The juice can bread has only a crust on the top on a minor one on the bottom. And the bread is all round so it is easy and fun for kids to eat. Here is the link. Please check it out, it is SO COOL! http://creativehomemakers.blogspot.com/
2008/06/to-die-for-whole-wheat-bread.html
Ok, so I don't know how to do a link yet, but there is the address instead. :)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Avoidance & Indulgence





Okay, so we hadn't done much of anything fun this summer yet. And we got a special pass to a pool for the week. Therefore, I was determined to go everyday this week with the kids and hope Abram could come at least once or twice. Well, so far so good! But the house is being neglected and we have a lot of things to do, but tomorrow is the last day! Then I promise I'll be good. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brenna!


"I'm four now, but I'm still gonna have little hair." -Brenna Eve
Today is our number 2 girl's birthday! Hooray!
Brenna is our little darling Brown haired girl. She is very good at sharing and is the peace maker.
She can spell her name and count to 20. She is the brave girl too. She likes to hang out with Aisling and her friends and has a wild imagination. Brenna loves to tell us about all of her friends with crazy made-up names that always do things they aren't supposed to do, or her teachers who teach her to do naughty things. She is incredibly loving and will kiss and hug you enough to drive you crazy. I think sometimes she borders on manic! :) She enjoys playing with Lachlan, too much, if you know what I mean. She and Rowan are starting to get along better and play together. She loves to wear dresses and skirts and can't wait for her hair to be long enough to put in braids and pig tails.
She is our night owl, but she is great at staying bed and twisting her hair. :)
We love you, Brenna!

Friday, July 25, 2008

On the way to One


Lachlan is starting to move towards the road out of babyhood. He is starting to sit up alone and getting ready to learn to crawl. You can set him down in one part of the room and minutes later he'll be somewhere else. He is ready to start eating food too.
We got the bill from the E.R. They want $530. woopee!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Running for your Mind

Tonight I went running.
It has been a long time since I've gone running. ( More like a slow jog :)) More than a year. but it has been even longer than that since I've done my old route that I used to run in my pre-married days when I lived here with my parents. Every way you go from our house there is a hill of substantial size, so when you're out of shape it's quite a daunting prospect to consider. But just down a tiny bit of hill is the large canal that runs parallel to the main road, in a meandering sort of way. This is the way I used to run, down along the canal for about 1/2 mile or so, then up a steep hill and backtrack a bit to follow a branch of the canal through some farmer's fields for another 1/2 mile or more out onto a main road and then back about a mile or more. It is such a beautiful jog, along a lush canal lined with trees and shrubs and ducks and sometimes snakes. The sun was just about to go down, so the sky was beautiful, the air had cooled a bit from the 100F it had been earlier. It was so refreshing to be out alone, to let my mind free. I wanted to keep running forever.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

E.R.Visit


I guess I spoke too soon. Or maybe I jinxed myself. I should have knocked on wood! I took Lachlan to the E.R. last night. He is just fine, so don't be alarmed. He had a high fever for 2 days and his fontanel (soft spot) was bulging. I thought that was a bit strange, so I googled it online and everything I read said meningitis or encephalitis. There was no other reason (besides shaken baby syndrome) for a swollen fontanel. So I got a little concerned and still thought, I'm sure he's fine. He doesn't have any other symptoms. But I called a nice man in our ward who is a GP and he advised me to take him to the E.R. right away. That got me a little alarmed. but he was behaving so normal, smiling and playing and eating great. I thought there can't possibly be anything wrong with him. I called a few nurses and my mom and they all said take him in! So I did. The ER doc came in and said, this guy looks like a million bucks! Why is he in here? So we did a CBC and they said he looked great, everything was normal and just to keep an eye on him. I was quite relieved that they didnt' do a lumbar puncture ( spinal tap) because I've heard those are very unpleasant and risky too. The blood draw was bad enough on the poor little guy. I'm thankful he is ok, and that I only had to pay $100 for the ER visit and then whatever the lab work costs, but as much as I would like to think, sheesh, I didnt' need to go do that, you really don't want to take any chances with meningitis. All the staff were very wonderful at the Meridian St. Lukes E.R. night shift. We got home about 12:30 am and Lachlan's fever seems to have diminished and you hardly notice his "bump" at all. Thanks for all the prayers!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kids say...

Aisling:
" look at Lachlan's face, he's white as a sheep!"
Brenna:
"good Night! Sweet Germs, mom"
"that boy isn't nice. He's a bad word."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Welcome to ChildHood


As a person who has made it through 30 years of life with no stitches or broken bones or visits to the ER for any reason, I am quite ignorant when it comes to what we may label "emergencies". My fear has been that something bad will happen and I won't recognize it as serious and then Abram will come home and I'll be in major trouble for not taking our child to the ER as they are bleeding to death on the couch. (that's a little sarcasm) Just this week I've had two of the typical childhood scares that could have ( but didn't ) end up in the ER.
First Rowan fell of her bar stool somehow and I think she must've hit her chin on it, because she split her chin open. It was a small gash, only about 1/2 inch long, but it was kind of split pretty good. So I wasn't sure what I should do. My tendency is to downplay everything, so I thought maybe I should up-play it. I did end up taking her into our Pediatrician because we have a copay. I let them assess and they said if she was older they would probably stitch it but at this age it would be more traumatizing and the location on her chin enabled them to just pull it back together as best as they could and bandage it without worrying so much about the scarring.
Tonight Brenna was sticking her fingers up her nose and told me she had really big boogers. Then suddenly she burst into hysterical crying and screaming saying it hurt and she couldn't get them out. They hysterical crying and screaming is normal occurrence for her, so I annoyedly told her to calm down and just go get a kleenex. I certainly didn't want her wiping big boogers on the carpet or couch. She walked around the kitchen still screaming, with her fingers up her nose saying she couldn't find the kleenex. I told her they were on the counter. She countinued bawling and wandering around the kitchen saying she couldn't find the counter. At this point I was less annoyed and more amused. She came in and said she wanted me to stick my fingers up there and get them out because they really hurt. I tried not to laugh as I explained my finger would not fit up her nose. I got up and helped her find the counter and the kleenex and showed her how to blow really hard to blow those big boogers out. She tried once or twice and went on crying that she couldn't get them out and they hurt! Finally she got me to understand that she had put two beads up her nose, one up each nostril and they were stuck up there. ARGH! I kinda started feeling freaked out, thinking how on earth will I get them out? Will I have to take her to the ER? What will they do there? Can I use some tweezer-type tools? I asked her to stop pushing her fingers up her nose because I was certain she was just shoving them in farther and farther and I called Abram. When he was a little boy he put a roley poley up his nose. So I wanted to find out how he got it out. As I was on the phone with him telling him I needed him to help me, Brenna came in much relieved because she had blown really hard and the beads came out. Thank Goodness! She did carry those beads around in her hand for the rest of the night. And hopefully the girls learned a valuable lesson. Unfortunately It all went over Lachlan's head so he may have to repeat the fiasco when he gets a little older.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Too cute

Mom: "Rowan, you need to say sorry for throwing your bowl on the floor. That is not okay."
Rowan: "'k"
Mom: "say Sorry"
Rowan: "Sorry, Bowl."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend


Here are some of the fun things we saw/did.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Taco Salad"

I made the quickest, cleanest, easiest, relatively healthy, and very yummy dinner last night. I am so excited about it, I told Abram we should start having it every night.
I took the remnants from a bag of tortilla chips, crunched them up into bite-sized peices, threw the rest of a bag of salad on top, dumped a drained can of corn, a rinsed/drained can of black beans on that, shredded some cheese and poured some ranch dressing and salsa over all. If you had sliced olives or cooked meat ready, you could add it too. Even the kids liked it. I loved how I didn't have to cook, get my kitchen all hot. I didn't have to make a mess with all sorts of different pans and bowls and stuff to wipe up and it was ready in about two minutes. Sweet!
Lachlan rolled over twice this morning. He just turned 3 months old yesterday. What a sweetie pie he is.
I took some pics of my messy house to show, but I thought it'd be better just to ask : what do you do to keep your house clean? Do you have a rotating schedule, or just clean it all every day? What have you found works best for you?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Musings from Pleasant View School House

This is a copy/paste from one of my favorite blogs : pleasantviewschoohouse.blogpost.com.

maybe I'm weird, but I dig this stuff. :

Friday, May 02, 2008

Lessons from Vintage Fiction

Vintage fiction has been my treasure trove for figuring out how to put together a homemaking life. Old housekeeping manuals will give you out-dated specifics about how to iron or polish the silver the way it was done in the thirties or forties, but it's the mentioned-in-passing daily routine that fascinates me so deeply.

Here's what I have learned about a domestic life, courtesy of Grace Livingston Hill, L.M. Montgomery, and their ilk:

Homemakers have work to do. They get up early and make breakfast, since someone in the family needs sustenance before catching the trolley for a long day at the office. Homemakers have a plan for each day's special tasks. There's really no time to sit around; running a home is a demanding undertaking.

Homemakers dress the part. Need to make beds and clean? Try slipping a little cotton gown right over your nice morning dress to keep it clean. Going out to shop? A smart knitted dress is just right. Staying in for a family dinner? A crimson housegown is just the thing.

Homemakers make things beautiful. A room isn't finished until it reflects the homemaker's love of beauty. A pot of primroses on the dinner table, an embroidered bureau cover on the bedroom chest of drawers, a clean dresser scarf on the buffet in the dining room--creating a home takes attention to detail.

Homemakers think hard about meals. The planning and cooking of meals is an endeavor worthy of time and energy. Meals should be prepared with each day's needs in mind. Are the boys working hard on building a porch? Chocolate cornstarch pudding for dessert, as it can be eaten quickly, and people can get back to their project. No matter what else is going on, careful and appropriate attention must be paid to feeding the family.

Homemakers find out what they need to know. New to the neighborhood and don't know where to shop? Just follow the neighbor lady carrying the basket over her arm. Raised in splendor but married now to a working man? Take a cooking course. One of the privileged elite but ready to do your part for the war? Take that night course in practical nursing.

Homemakers can weather hard times. When money gets tight, they suck it up and move to the unelectrified shack in that rundown part of town and set out daffodils. When the bank fails they get the kerosene lamps and the oil stove out of the attic, and start cooking plain but delicious food. When the apartment's going to be demolished, they cheerfully move into a spacious stone barn for the summer.

Homemakers are indispensable. If mother can't do it, someone else must be found. There's no such thing as a family that runs itself, with every member gone to work or school every day. Without a guiding presence in the house, things go down deep and fast.

Kathryn Albertson Park


We went to K. Albertson park this morning, just the girls and I. We saw 4 turtles, actually got to "pet" one, tons of geese and ducks and red winged blackbirds. That park also has the 'world's largest ponderosa' on display. It is a beautiful natural wildlife habitat with walking paths and foot bridges. Abram thinks of it as a giant bird poop park, but I love it regardless of the goose poop. I thought there would be a lot more babies, we only saw one goose family with 7 goslings. The girls had a great time. We also saw a heron. Once again I should have taken the camera.

Then we went to cash 'n carry, a store that is for restaurants and other types of businesses. They carry bulk foods and all sorts of cooking/serving utensils. I stocked up on my flavored syrups (only $3.78/bottle) so we could make italian sodas. Yummy! We also got some button pork or cushion pork or something that you cook for hours in the crock pot til it falls apart in shreds so we could make sweet pork like the kind at Costa Vida. If you haven't eaten there, try the sweet pork burrito smothered in their tropical ranch salsa. oh YUM! I guess it is the same as Cafe Rio if you have one of those nearby. Thank you forever to Amberlie for introducing me.
Then we finally made it over to the Bear Creek park for the girls to play for a little while. My visiting teaching companion had us over for lunch. The girls had a fabulous time jumping on the tramp, watching Barney and eating burritos and italian sodas. What an excellent day!
My mom got me some more strawberries to finish making more jam. I only got 6 jars out of the last batch because I ran out of pectin.
So I'm already tired out and ready for a nap and haven't done any laundry or cleaning up from the weekend. Maybe some water will help rejuvenate me.
Hope your day is super fun too!
What are you planting in your 'garden' this year?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Eclair Bars

I just took a pan of these to a bridal shower and nearly everyone there asked me for the recipe. I thought I'd better share it with all of you. After all, the more eclair bars there are in the world, the better place it will be. I actually got this recipe from my sis-in-law, Megan. She brought them to a family get-together once and has been "stuck" making them ever since for almost every holiday. I even make them for her when she can't make it. :)

Eclair Bars

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 cube butter
Bring water and butter to boil. Remove from heat.
mix in flour til smooth. Beat in
4 eggs ONE AT A TIME.
Spread into a greased cookie sheet ( good luck with this part)
Bake 400F for 20 min. Cool.

Mix
2 small instant pudding pkgs. ( chocolate or vanilla)
3 cups milk
8 oz cream cheese softened
beat well
spread on cooled pastry
spread 8-12 oz cool whip on top.
drizzle with Chocolate syrup
chill or enjoy immediately!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Green & Orange Minestrone

Just to relieve all of your tension, the propane truck did come this afternoon. Phew! I've got the dishwasher running and am scheduled for family bath time tonight.
I know you're all going to be disappointed that I'll try not to focus all my posts on scrumptious desserts from now on. Here is a healthy dinner recipe for you. This is one I've been making for a few years now and my family and friends have all approved it. This is the recipe straight from the book, but modify it as you like. If your family doesn't love spinach, maybe use one package of spinach instead of two and up the amount of carrots. This is great for antioxidant power and per serving you get: calories:245, fat:5.5g, sat. fat: .8g, chol: 1.3 mg, sodium: 739 mg, dietary fiber: 7.8 g, beta carotene: 11 mg, vitamin C: 51 mg, calcium: 258 mg, iron: 5.8 mg. Enjoy

Green & Orange Minestrone
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced carrots
two 10 oz pkgs chopped, frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chicken broth diluted with 1 cup water
1/2 cup very small pasta shapes
1 cup canned chick-peas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 TB plus 1 tsp grated parmesan cheese

heat oil over med-hi heat, add garlic & onion, cook 1 min.. stir in carrot cook 2 min.. add spinach, sugar, basil, oregano, salt. and stir to coat. stir in broth, bring to boil. stir in pasta cook til tender. Add the chick-peas, and tomatoes, cook just til heated through. Stir in fresh basil and sprinkle with parmesan.