Sunday, November 30, 2008

Leaves, leaves everywhere

This is what we (meaning mostly my diligent, hard-working husband) did the day before Thanksgiving. We have SERIOUS leaves!




video

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh What a Day!

Thursday night Eden just couldn't settle down. We'd spent the afternoon having Thanksgiving dinner with our friends the Dewsnups. Eden loves these people (as do I). Seriously, Eden often prefers Corrie (and she says her name so well and cute) rather than mommy. She likes to watch football with Brian (the dad) and plays with all of the kids. It is so fun for her to have such good friends. Anyway, she was quite excited and when we got home she just didn't want to settle down. Finally around 9 I convinced her she had to try. For the next hour we heard content-but-not-tired noises coming from her room. They sounded like this:

"Corrie, Corrie, Corrie"
"all done, all done, all done, all done"
"kitty, doggy, kitty, doggy, kitty, doggy"
"night-night"
etc.

until 10:30!

You'd think she would sleep in but that is where you'd be wrong. At 7:am she was up and ready to go! She took a pretty good nap in the morning (a rare thing these days) but didn't take an afternoon nap. By evening she was irrational, cranky, and trying the patience of her parents.

At dinner she wanted a "cookie, cookie, cookie" and didn't want to eat good food. She dropped her bowl of chowder on the rug. She poured her water all over the table. She attempted to dump her yogurt all over but I had put it in a container with a lid and straw (sometimes I'm smart). Finally she ate some yogurt, about 8 raisins, sucked the juice out of a tangerine, and had a pumpkin cookie (does that count as a vegetable?).

Next it was off to the bath. I made the comment to Phil that it was brave of me to bathe her right after she had raisins. Yeah, I'm dumb sometimes. Sure enough just as I was getting the towel she relieved herself in the tub.

Poor Phil, he got to clean up all the messes (the chowder, water, and poo).

It was good to say goodnight to her.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Food Friday - Thanksgiving Edition

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. We stayed here in 'bama and enjoyed a nice meal with our good friends.

I took four pans of these rolls
(Phil rolled them for me, aren't they beautiful?)

I also took some cranapple salad

This cranberry cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake - In your mixer combine 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1 can of sweet and condensed milk, 2 T lemon juice, and 1 egg. Pour into a graham cracker crust. In a separate bowl mix 8 oz whole berry cranberry sauce, 1 T brown sugar, and 3 T cornstarch and then drop globs into the cheese mixture. In another bowl mix 1/3 C flour, 3/4 C walnuts (optional), 2 T brown sugar, and 1/2 cube of softened (not melted) butter and crumble on the top. Bake at 375 f for 40-45 minutes (makes two small pies).

This french silk chocolate pie
French Silk Chocolate Pie - In a small saucepan, melt 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate and then cool. Cream 1 C butter and 1 C sugar in your mixer. Add the cooled chocolate and 1 t vanilla. Add 2 eggs and beat (or whip) on high speed for 5 minutes. Add 2 more eggs and beat for 5 more minutes. Pour into a baked pie shell. Refrigerate. Top with whipped cream.

And my first ever cherry pie
(Phil's favorite - I think I passed the make-it-close-to-as-good-as-my-mom's test)
Cherry Pie - I bought two cans of Oregon Tart Cherries and used the recipe on the label (which was the same as the one my MIL sent me)

How was your day? What food did you make and how did it all turn out? Don't you just love the smells of baking? Ummy, ummy!

Don't forget to leave a message and thereby enter yourself in the Christmas Lottery!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tradition and Limited-time Offer

Many years ago, Charlotte started a tradition. She crocheted hats, wrapped them, and then held a Christmas Lottery to determine the recipients. When people visited her college apartment they got to draw a number and possibly win a hat. What fun!

Then we became roommates and I wanted in on the fun. I made hats too. More people got hats. Pretty soon EVERYONE got hats. We started to have Christmas Lottery parties. Fun, fun.

As a flashback to those silly days, I have been making hats (besides, it is a great way to use up the dregs of yarn from the year's projects).

Do YOU want in on the fun? Ok! Here is the deal: while supplies last I will be giving a hat a way a day. Each day I will randomly select a number and then I will determine the corresponding comment from the day before and that person gets the hat!

These are cute hats, by the way!
Behold a few of my hats on the cutest (if not always cooperative) model ever:

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love this time of year.

Cool, crisp air.
Crunchy leaves.
Good food and smells and friends.
Nostalgia.

Putting up Christmas decorations.
Christmas music.
Excitement and anticipation.

Think: simplify, it doesn't have to be crazy.
Give thoughtfully, not spendily.
Find the joy and happiness.
Reflect. Rejoice. Repent.

Be grateful.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If I Ran the Zoo...

Eden and I made this building with her MegaBlocks (we like MegaBlocks!) and when we were done she decided to put her animals in it. Voila, a zoo! She was pretty proud of it and instead of instantly demolishing it (her normal way) she left it up all evening.



Friday, November 21, 2008

more...

I am writing this from the infusion clinic. Yup, we are back at it. This time one of the five drugs will be different (bigger chance of hair loss - how fun?). We remain extremely hopeful and place our trust in the blessings of the Lord.


Prayers accepted and appreciated.

Food Friday - Cranapple Salad

In honor of Thanksgiving, here is a favorite salad for the holidays.


2 C chopped Cranberries (the easiest way to chop them is to put them in a food processor while they are still frozen)
2 C shredded Granny Smith Apples (peel, core, and then shred)
1/3 C Sugar
2 C Mini Marshamallows

Combine these ingredients and chill for about an hour.

Prepare 1 C of Heavy Whipping Cream (don't add sugar) then fold it into the fruit mixture.

Serve chilled.

Optional: add walnut pieces, you can also leave the marshmallows out.

This makes a really pretty pink salad that is just so festive in flavor and presentation!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Musing about Mysteries

When I first started this blog it was titled: "Musings and Mysteries" but then it became much more about my life as a wife and mommy and much less of musings or mysteries. However, today I must muse about some mysteries found in the scriptures.

  1. I have often been amused at the thought of Abinadi taking the trouble to disguise himself and then going before wicked Kind Noah only to say, "the Lord commanded me, saying--Abinadi..." doh! I can't believe I just told you who I was! Lesson learned from Mosiah 12 is clearly that if you are going to disguise yourself don't blow it by telling them who you are.
  2. The servant of King Lamoni, Abish, had been converted "on account of a remarkable vision of her father" so does that mean that her father had a remarkable vision or that she had a remarkable vision in which her father appeared to her? I don't know, it is a mystery to me! Lesson learned from Alma 19:16 is that English is a vague language.
  3. At the end of the book of Ether there is a great battle and the two nations have essentially destroyed one another. Only two men remain: Shiz and Coriantumr. After Coriantumr "leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz." Then we are told that Shiz fell "and after that he had struggled for breath, he died." How is struggling for breath done without a head? Ok, I know this is gross, but seriously, what does that mean? Lesson learned from Ether 15 is war driven by the pride of men is never a good idea and I should have taken anatomy, then maybe I'd know how one struggles for breath without a head.
I'll quit with these three, but there are many other (frivolous) mysteries in the scriptures.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I know Layne and I'm no Layne...

Layne: married to the most funny VM guy

Me: married to the most not funny VM guy*



Layne: degree in Technical Writing and therefore a bona fide Grammar Nazi

Me: minor in English and therefore a self-proclaimed Grammar Nag



Layne: keeps up with four adorable, energetic offspring

Me: barely keeps up with one fairly calm offspring



Layne: shops at Whole Foods and NEVER at Walmart

Me: shops mostly at Winn Dixie and once in a while at Walmart



Layne: grows much of her own food (including meat, produce, eggs, etc.) on her home farm

Me: grew this
(and only this)
in my "garden" this year:


pathetic,
I know.
It is about two inches long.


Sad....


but Layne still loves me.


*During the summer Phil and I got married, Layne's oldest son informed me that "my dad is the funniest guy up there [on stage] and your dad [I assume he thinks Phil is my dad] is the most not funny."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Eleven Years Without It - sorry Philo

Approximately eleven years ago I decided that cable was an expense that I could live without. I was just done with my masters and hadn't started making the big bucks yet and had student loans to repay so why not get rid of television? Besides, it gave me an excellent excuse to visit the boys two doors down when NBA playoffs came around*. I haven't paid for television since. No cable. No satellite. Not even rabbit ears.

It was seriously one of the best decisions (and easiest to live with) I've ever made. I can't imagine how I ever found the time for "must see TV" every Thursday night. I'm able to watch LDS General Conference online. I'm even able to watch a few other shows online these days (Monk and Psych are a couple of favorites). I've saved lots of money.

I was a pretty faithful follower of a few shows when I discontinued my television watching. I tried to have high standards and not watch trash. Then I saw some of those same shows and I realized that I had become very desensitized to them when I was watching every week. With a little distance between me and my beloved plots and characters I realized they were feeding me a large dose of yuck. I don't need any more yuck in my life.

Phil and I have discussed what to do about TV as our family grows. We don't want it to be the forbidden wonder that resides in the homes of friends and therefore gets partaken of in excess when accessible. For now, we'll stick to our decision to keep it out of our home. We'll probably be those weirdos who don't have TV for the rest of our lives.



*I ended up marrying one of those boys even though he never watched the playoffs with us.

Food Friday - 1 hour Rolls

I found this online and made them. I love that they are one hour rolls (instead of 2 or 3!). I thought they had a great texture, they were plump and brown and looked great. They tasted pretty good except next time I'm going to add a little salt. When I asked Eden if they were "yummy" she replied without missing a beat, "no." Funny kid.

    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 31/2 cups all-purpose flour

Combine milk, water and butter, and bring to baby-bottle warm. To start the yeast fast, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the milk mixture. Add the flour a little at a time until you get your desired consistency.

Knead, place in oiled covered container, and let rise in a warm place 15 minutes.

Punch down, and shape into about 24 small rolls in a shallow greased baking pan. Sides should just touch--don't pack. You have to work quickly, because this dough rises fast!

Let the shaped rolls rise 15 minutes. Bake in a preheated 450 oven 12 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sister Wife Job Description Continued...

In addition to doing the housework, I want my sister wife to watch Eden so I can take a long luxurious steaming hot shower without interruption. Yesterday's shower consisted of a persistent game of Pick-a-boo as Eden pulled back the shower curtain (thereby letting in the cool air to mix with my steamy hot stuff). One of us had fun.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Food Friday - Food Tip

If you are like me, you love those flash-frozen chicken tenders and breasts. They are just so convenient. Apparently, they are so popular that the supply-demand has determined they should cost more than fresh chicken tenders and breasts.

I want convenience and good prices!

What is a frugal-yet-lazy girl to do?

Well, last Saturday I found a good deal on some fresh chicken tenders (a HUGEGIGANTIC package) so I bought them. I didn't want to store them in freezer bags because they would all just glob together and defeat the purpose of buying nice-sized tenders.

Then I had a brilliant (at least I hoped it was brilliant) idea. I put a piece of wax paper down on a cookie sheet. Then I arranged the tenders (not touching) on the paper. Next, I put another piece of wax paper on top of the chicken. Then I put the cookie sheet (actually I ended up with two) in the freezer. I have a deep freeze so there was plenty of room, but you could do it on a small sheet for your regular freezer.

I left them in over night.

They froze.

Individually.

Without globbing.

I took them out and tore off the wax paper and put the "flash frozen" tenders in freezer bags where they will remain as individual entities waiting for that future day when I will take one or two out and make dinner.

It was brilliant after all! Yippee!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wanted: A Sister-Wife

Ok, my husband would actually be off limits so the job description would probably read a lot more like a MAID.

But here is the deal: I'll do your cooking if you do my cleaning.

Any takers?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby!

Eden is hitting that age when she just loves babies! She still calls herself a baby but she clearly has an affection for babies smaller and younger than she.

The trip to Utah was HEAVEN for her.

On Thursday (the day we got there) she got to see her cousin Arabella who is about a month old. She is so cute and Eden was perfectly willing to let me hold her. Eden had a cough so we had to keep her at a distance but she sure loved looking at all the baby stuff from the car seat to the infant swing to the blankets.

On Friday she got to meet another new cousin, Emma (3 weeks old). This was great fun for her because they were both spending the night at Grandma's house (I mean "Monkey's" house). Emma's big sister, Brinley did a good job of helping Eden appropriately love on Emma. Eden was intrigued by how Emma got her food. Yeah, Eden that is how MOST babies do it! (Eden refused to nurse and so I pumped and she drank from a bottle for the first 11 months of her life!)

On Saturday she got to meet one of her newest Voice Male cousins, Jack (also about a month old). She admired him from afar but sure enjoyed talking about the baby (and she flashed him that belly button - along with everyone else in the room).

On Tuesday (I know, she had to go two whole days without a new baby!) she got to spend time with her Eternal BFF, Heather (six weeks old). She even learned to say "Heather." She was pretty cute about it. Charlotte (Heather's mom) and I took our little girls on a walk to the park. It was so fun to share stories and enjoy the time with our girls. Heather slept and Eden yacked. Thursday morning as we were getting ready to leave I was singing some song with the lyric, "baby, baby" and Eden said, "Heather." Well, I thought she was saying my sister, Heather so I replied, "what about Heather?" and she explained, "baby, baby!" She loves her EBFF and all the babies she got to see while we were in Utah. We are so glad we got to take a trip so early in all their little lives.

Baby Words and a little TMI

Eden has begun putting words together. She'll say, "silly hair" when she sees her hair in the morning (for so little hair she gets some serious bedhead sometimes!) or she'll say, "I happy" or "pretty shirt" or whatever. She's actually been doing this for a month or so but usually she has repeated a combination that she's heard us say.

Yesterday she came up with her own descriptive phrase and I must say it is quite impressive. Someone tooted (ok, it was me ... oh come on, you do it too!) and she exclaimed,
"poo-burp!"

Indeed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Utah Pictures

While in Utah, Eden and I convinced my mom (it wasn't hard) to go to the park with us. It was a beautiful fall day. While we were driving we saw my sister, Heather, and her family headed home from the doctor (they all got their flu shots) so we invited them to join us and they did! We had such a nice time! Here are some pictures:

This is my nephew Binh. He kept running around and saying,
"Heidi, Heidi, take my picture!" I am really impressed by how well this one turned out!


Four of Heather's five kids: Binh, Lydia, Caleb, and Sam (Natalie had a friend at the park so she ignored us):

Lydia and Eden. Lydia is always so patient and kind to Eden. She is an excellent older cousin and spent endless time taking Eden to see the neighbors' dogs and cats and doing Eden's bidding.

Lydia looking very grown up for an 8 year old

Sam, Eden, and Binh taking a break from throwing rocks into the stream

Eden and my mom. I've mentioned how everyone in my family calls my dad Punka, well one day Eden pointed to a picture of our family and said, "Punky and Monkey" and I think it is a pretty cute nick name for my cute mom

Eden was a trooper during our crazy trip. She was either totally abandoned by her parents (but in the safe and loving care of both sets of grandparents) or being hauled from one event to another. By the time things started to settle down I could tell she just needed some normal time with mom. I had thought I would try to see more friends and go see my former co-workers on campus but the mom in me decided to just spend some time with my girl. So we did. She really liked the MegaBlocks and we had a great time stacking them. We also played with my mom's play kitchen set (shhh... don't tell Eden, but that is what she is getting for Christmas). Eden made us soup and served me a banana, an apple, and an orange. We had a good time!

MegaBlocks are cool!

Eden with two of her VM cousins. I love all three expressions!

Pumpkin Walk

North Logan, Utah is a great community. It is where Phil and I met (we were neighbors). I love it. One of the things that I love most about it is the sense of history and community. An example of this is the annual Pumpkin Walk. The community gets together to create a fun, imaginative play land out of pumpkins.

Here are a few pictures from this year's event:

one of the political scenes (there was also one of Obama in a crib and a sign that read, "too young")

Pecos Bill and lots of cute kids (Eden and some of her cousins)

Moses parting the Red Sea

Brent, a local hero around Cache Valley - he rides his bike around and honks and waves to everyone

Michael Phelps winning another gold

An ER room (notice the woman in the orange - she is vomiting - funny!)

The nursery section of the hospital

Noah and his ark and animals

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Kitty