Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pay back sooner than expected

I was not a darling teenager. In fact, I was quite often a B*R*A*T. It is true. I know those of you who only know me as an adult are having a hard time to believe this since I'm such a darling now, but it is true.

I routinely told my mom she was "stoo-pid" "dumb" "lame" and that I didn't like her. I even told her that I hated her a couple of times. There was even one time that a really unkind, rude word escaped my lips. It happened at the dinner table and although all my siblings were shocked, no one was more shocked than I. The fact that I am alive to be telling you this can only be attributed to stake presidency meetings. If those meetings hadn't been held that night, my dad would have been at the dinner table and I would have been toast! My mother didn't say a word. She bit her lip (literally and figuratively) and a single tear ran down her cheek. I think that was a turning point for me. That was punishment indeed.

I've figured that I will have times with Eden when I am punished again. Now that I know a mother's love and sacrifice, I know that I will remember with hightened pain how cruel I was at times. I have been anticipating that pain (the pain of a obstinate daughter and the pain brought on by new awareness of how cruel I really had been to my own loving mother) to arrive in about ten years.

However, the payback has come a little sooner than anticipated. For the past several nights Eden has refused to give me a kiss good night (she finally did last night when Phil asked her to, but not when I asked). Then today as I changed her diaper the following conversation took place:

Eden: "Sister Hollie" (her nursery leader)
Mommy: "Does Sister Hollie love you?"
Eden: "Yes."
Mommy: "Does mommy love you?"
Eden: "No, Sister Hollie."
Mommy: "Yes, Sister Hollie does love you. Does mommy love you too.."
Eden: "No. Sister Hollie, friend."
Mommy: "Sister Hollie is a good friend who loves you. Mommy loves you too."
Eden: "No ... love you mommy."

She's totally messing with me. She's got my number and she knows it. Think how well she'll have this mastered in the next ten years!

Agony, I tell ya!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A couple of firsts for Eden

She got her first bandaid today. I know, she is almost two and hasn't ever needed a bandaid. I told you she was cautious. She scraped her knee yesterday and today it started to bleed so we put a bandaid on it after bath.

She went #2 in the toilet! True story. She flushed it and said, "bye-bye poop, see ya later." I'm not holding my breath for a repeat performance any time soon.

Food and World Peace

Do you have a recipe that just makes you happy?

Is there a food that makes your whole family smile and hum (just a little) while they eat it?

Do you believe that some recipes are so good that they might, just maybe, help bring about world peace?

Are you willing to share?

If you would like to share a recipe with the Food Friday crowd, please send the recipe and instructions (and a photo if you'd like) to frugalkeslers at gmail dot com.

Depending on how many people respond, I'll post the recipes for the next few Fridays.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food Friday - Spanish Rice

This is a recipe that Phil has wanted me to try. He got it from his mom who got it from our SIL. It was easy and delicious! You could use it for a side dish in a big Mexican meal or you could (as we did) just use it as a main dish.

6 Slices of Bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1 med. Onion (chopped)
1 sm. Green Pepper (chopped)
2-8 oz. Cans of Stewed Tomatoes (diced) (I only had 14.5 oz. cans so I just used one of those)
1 C Water
3/4 C Rice (uncooked)
1 T Brown Sugar
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 t Chili Powder
1/8 t Black Pepper
1/2 C Grated Cheddar Cheese (don't add until the end)

  • Cook the bacon in a large frying pan.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan but save 2 T of the drippings in the pan.
  • Saute the onions and green peppers in the bacon grease until they are tender.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients (include the juices from the tomatoes).
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Top with crumbled bacon bits and grated cheddar cheese.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I am sitting in Phil's office.

He is molding young minds.
He's also in the middle (well, the beginning of the middle) of a treatment so he is on drugs.
He can't be trusted to drive.
But he can be trusted to mold young minds?
I'm the chauffeur.
His class is three hours long.
We live a half hour away and so I am waiting.
I'm supposed to be working on my YW lesson.
I'm blogging.
Shame, shame.

Projects Update

Bathroom: same status as last post. The OTHER bathroom is in severe need of attention. It is getting all the use and none of the attention. I should really clean it tonight.

Dress: everything is done except the zipper and hem. She looks beautiful in it. Yesterday we went shopping and she got new shoes, a necklace/earrings set, and an uplifting undergarment. Clinton Kelly would be so proud. I hate zippers though. Guess what I'll be doing at midnight while Phil can't sleep?

72 Hour Kits: I bought a new backpack with wheels. It doesn't all fit into it. I have sorted the stuff into boxes: Phil, Heidi, Eden. I need another backpack with wheels. Maybe two. Is it cruel to expect Eden to haul her own survival gear?

Laundry: Resumed its position of prominence but although washed, it hasn't been folded. Guess what I'll be doing before midnight? I can't stand to have laundry unfolded over night (Phil, on the other hand, can't stand to have unfolded laundry for more than five minutes. He's a good man to put up with me and my laundry wrinkles.)

Roof: done by 3:00 that day! Yeah, those guys are finishers! I should learn from them. It looks great.

Other upcoming events:
Saturday morning: the Laurels and a few of their prom friends are coming for a waffle party. Phil is a nice, supportive guy to let me invite (actually they invited themselves) a bunch of teens into the house on the last day of his treatment.

Saturday afternoon: unhook Phil from his poison and pull out the needle. I'm such a good nurse.

Saturday evening: drive to B'ham for YW training followed by a stake YW activity followed by the YW General Broadcast. Of course the laurels will all be at prom but those beehives better get their little skinny bods there!

Sunday: teach a lesson about patriarchal blessings. This isn't in the manual but we decided to reserve fifth Sunday lessons for topics that we feel impressed our girls need. I'm not sure what the beehives are going to be learning about but the laurels are going to be learning about planning for the future now, including the importance of patriarchal blessings.

It is such a good thing that our lives are fairly busy. If I had time, I bet I'd be throwing myself pity parties. Phil's CEA was up again. We seem to be having a steady (slow) climb here. CT scan in a couple of weeks. That should give us some more info with which to work. Yeah, too busy for pity parties. That is a blessing and truly one of the tender mercies I count.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Missing You ... see you soon

I've been on a bit of a blogging vacay lately.

Stuff to do. Busy, busy, busy.

I'm a good starter, need to be a finisher.

Master (term used loosely) bathroom: patched, mudded, sanded, mudded, sanded, ceiling painted, walls are up next.

Prom dress: mock up done and it fit well (relief), skirt sewn together, bodice and sleeves are in progress (prom THIS Saturday ... oh dear, panic).

72 hour kits: everything has been pulled out, evaluated, rotated, added to and is residing on my laundry table.

Laundry: waiting for the 72 hour kit mess to vacate so that the laundry can resume its normal prominence in the room that bears its name.

Roof (yeah, we get a new roof because of the hail damage): shingles delivered at 7:am this morning (woke Eden up, ok, it woke me up too) I guess we will spend the day listening to the melodic sound of nail guns. That should harmonize well with the hum of the sewing machine.

So now you know why I haven't been checking your blogs much. I'll see you soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I love Winn Dixie and Eden is busy

We went shopping today. We had a $25 gift card because we filled a prescription at the WD pharmacy. We had a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase. We took advantage of lots of B1G1 (buy 1 get 1) and other deals. We bought over $100 of groceries for $30. Love it!

At the pharmacy the cashier looked at Eden and said, "you must be about two."
Me: "yup, next month, you are good."
Cashier: "I have a two year old."
Me: "Isn't it a fun age? They are so fun and busy and determined and opinionated."
Eden: "yeah, Eden, busy!"

Food Friday: Creamy French Potato Salad

Tired of the traditional mustard-based potato salad?
Here is a treat for you!

6 C Cubed Baking Potato
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/3 C Mayonnaise
1/4 C French Dressing
1/2 t Salt
1/8 t Black Pepper
1/8 t Celery Seeds
1 C Chopped Celery
1 C Diced Onion
1/4 C Diced Red Bell Pepper
2 Chopped Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Boil the potato pieces until tender. Drain.
  • In a large bowl combine potatoes, celery, onion, bell pepper, and eggs.
  • In a small bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise, dressing, salt, pepper, and celery seeds.
  • Pour dressing mixture over potato mixture.
  • Chill at least one hour.
  • Serves 6.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What do we need to do?

Each day after Eden wakes up from her nap, we go outside and get the mail. Today Phil got her up from her nap and so I thought it would be interesting to see if she remembered our routine.

Me: "Now that you are done with your nap, what do we need to do?"
Eden: "toot."

And then she did.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why LDS Temples?

Ever wonder why Mormons have temples? Here is a very good explanation.

For me, attending the temple is a way to feel some solemnity. It is a way to reconnect with spiritual things such as peace, patience, brotherly kindness, and an eternal perspective. At the temple, I am reminded how much each of us is a son or daughter of God and that He loves us. I am reminded that I have a personal Savior in Jesus Christ. It is a happy experience. It is a deeply personal experience. I am thankful for temples.

Food Friday: Asparagus with Garlic and Onions

I found this on allrecipes.com and it is really simple and oh so good. Phil loved it!

1/2 C water
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed*
1 C diced white onion
1/4 C butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and black pepper to taste

*to trim asparagus, snap the lower segment off (kind of like snapping beans)

  1. Pour into a skillet. Place asparagus and ionion in the skillet.
  2. Bring water to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Cover skillet and steam asparagus and onion 2-5 minutes, just until slightly tender. (Add a few tablespoons of extra water, if needed, to maintain steam.)
  4. When water has steamed off, immediately place butter in skillet. Continue cooking until onions and asparagus are lightly browned.
  5. Mix in garlic and continue cooking at 30 seconds.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just That Cute

SNOW! (in Alabama?)

Eden loves the snow and was so excited to play in it.

See how happy she is?

Bath time - good time!

Yummy, banana

Driving Trey's car

A passenger in Kendal's Jeep

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

72 Hour Kits

With some of our tax return money, we are determined to update our 72 hour kits. Phil has one, I have one, and then we have a "bucket" of stuff that Phil's parents gave us. We are going to go through it all, reorganize, add stuff for Eden, and rotate out the food. As I've been researching 72 hour kits I'm learning that there are different reasons for having them.

I think I always thought of having one in case of disaster. I pictured us stuck in our home without contact with the outside world. Very War of the Worlds-ish. I hadn't really thought of having one in case we get evacuated (due to pending disaster). Of course, we want to be obedient to the prophet too and that is a pretty good reason to have one.

What are your reasons for having (or wanting to have) your 72 hour kit?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Food Friday - One Hour Rolls (the best yet!)

I have been on a quest. Not a quest for treasure or fame. Nay, what would I do with those things? My quest has been for a roll recipe that works well here (my mom's awesome recipe has been ok here but not the quality I was used to while living out West). I have failed to modify her recipe in order to make it work here. Is it the humidity? Is it the altitude? I know not and I have been very sad about it. During my quest to find a good dinner roll recipe (one that could compete with mom's) I have had another quest. I don't know about you but quite often I don't have three hours to make rolls. I REALLY wanted to find a good, yet quick, roll recipe.

Little did I know that my two (seemingly separate) quests would converge and be won simultaneously!

Behold, the fabulous one-hour roll that actually tastes better than my mom's recipe does here (it isn't quite as good as my mom's recipe at home).

5 t Yeast
1/4 C warm water
1 1/2 C buttermilk (I think this is the real key)
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C oil
1 t salt
4 1/2 C flour (I did 2 1/2 of wheat and 2 C white)
1/2 t baking soda

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, sugar, oil, and salt, then mix.
  3. Add the yeast mixture once it has become frothy, then mix well.
  4. Add flour and baking soda.
  5. Knead (with machine or by hand) until the dough is smooth (2-5 minutes).
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut into triangles and roll from wide side to thin (forming a crescent).
  9. Place on cookie sheet (with nonstick spray on it).
  10. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  11. Bake in preheated 425f oven for 10 minutes.
These have a fabulous texture. This week I used honey instead of sugar and that worked great. I also reduced the oil slightly.

Enjoy making really good rolls in an hour!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Nature's Sense of Humor Strikes Again

For those of you with firstborn younger than my Eden, you may want to listen up. For those of you who have already traveled the path I'm on, laugh it up!

Let's be honest, after the labor-intensive infant stage I was really excited to get to the point when Eden would be willing to entertain herself for brief periods. How excited it would be to have her in her bedroom playing while I did things in the family room (you know, important things like blogging). That day came about a month ago. She was willing to be in another room long before that but only about a month ago would she actually spend some time in that other room without requiring "mommy, mommy" to come help, look, be near. Now she is quite comfortable playing without me.

Of course, just when that occurs, she is also quite interested in getting into messes. So now, she doesn't really need/want me around but I don't dare let her be alone. This week she got a brand new box of Cheezits off the counter (how is she that tall???) and took them into the (carpeted) family room then dumped them. In her attempts to clean up her mess, she walked all over them. Yeah, no more turning my back on this kid. :-)

Her punishment? She had to help me clean it up, including vacuuming. She HATES the vacuum. It still terrifies her. I don't think she'll be making those kinds of messes for a while...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Prayer at our house

Tonight after family prayer and after Eden and I had said her prayer she said, "mommy, more prayer." Usually this means she has something she wants to thank Heavenly Father for and so I said, "Thank you for..."
Eden: "sheep."
Me: "and thank you for..."
Eden: "soft"
(clearly she was talking about her sheep blanket that she was cuddling up to)
Me: "and thank you for..."
Eden: "movies, I like movies, I like to move it move it."

Yeah we just got Madagascar II from Netflix. I think she liked it.


If your cheese of choice looks like this:

move along, this post is not for you.

If your cheese drawer looks like this:

... don't waste your time with this post.

if you buy pre-grated cheese (Mozzarella or cheddar) you might be interested in this little helpful hint.

Sam's Club has 5 pound bags (approximately 20 cups) of grated cheese for less than $9. This is a good deal folks. But I can hear you saying, "what am I going to do with all that grated cheese, it will go moldy before I can possibly use that much!"

My answer is this:
Buy qt. size freezer bags and then measure approximately 2 C into each bag (label and date the bag) and then throw it into your freezer/deep freeze. Then you just take out 2C each time you need it. It is a great way to add cheese to your rotating food supply. It is very economical.

Layne, if you kept reading, please don't think less of me now that you know I'm a cheese-meh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Day of Rest - really!

With busy callings and a busy toddler, Sundays aren't usually a day of rest - as in, sit around and do not much. We love our branch and it is awesome to be involved in something that is growing and progressing, even when that requires some work. But, it is NOT restful.

Today, Phil got up at 5:00 and left around 6:30 for his meetings which begin at 7:00. I woke up when he left and did some things for my calling. Eden awoke at 7:45. So far, it was a very normal Sunday. Eden and I planned to leave for church at 10:30 so we'd be there when Sacrament began at 11:00.

But then...

It began to snow...
and snow...
and snow.

Now, my friends in Michigan or New Hampshire or Utah or Idaho will laugh at this next part but keep in mind that we don't have snow removal equipment in 'bama. Most drivers don't have much experience driving in it. Also, it had rained all night and then frozen so there was slush and ice underneath the snow. Also remember that most people drive from 30 to 60 minutes to get to church.


Phil called about 8:30 and informed me that church was being canceled. He stayed and met more with the branch presidency and then got home about 10:30.

Phil and Eden each had a nap.
I worked on Personal Progress.
We read scriptures.
I fasted. They ate (Phil can't fast because of his health stuff).
Phil wrote in his journal.
I wrote in my other blog and in my Personal Progress journal.
We watched a movie as a family.
We read stories and played.
We took pictures of the snow before it melted at 4:00.
I crocheted.
I phoned my mom.
Phil's mom phoned him.

What a lovely, lovely day of REST!