Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Auspicious beyond measure

When I was younger my dad would always say that our birthdays were "auspicious occasions." It is a cool word - auspicious.

Yesterday, Miss Eden turned two.

When Phil helps me figure out our crazy photo manager, I'll post some pictures.

We had a great day. It began with breakfast burritos and then presents. While opening her gifts Eden proclaimed, "I love presents."

After breakfast we went on a short bike ride.

Next we all (Phil's parents included) headed to the pet store and Eden picked out two fish. She has an orange goldfish and a silver goldfish. She has creatively named them "Orange" and "other one." Then grandpa took us to lunch.

Turning two is exhausting and so Eden took a 3 1/2 hour nap. While she did that I made lasagna for her dinner (she LOVES lasagna) and I made a kitty cake and kitten cupcakes. Phil did the decorating though.

She woke up and it was time for Family Home Evening. Then we had her dinner which included the lasagna, broccoli (another favorite), and cheese toast. After dinner, her friends Trey, Bayley, and Kendal came over to eat the cupcakes with us.

The perfect ending for a great day was swinging with daddy.

Today was the doctor. She is 34 inches tall and 24.5 pounds light. She is tapering off on her height but still very much a lightweight. She HATES (it is really beyond hatred) the doctor visit. She absolutely feels violated every time she has a check up. Today she screamed loudly, "it's my body, it's my body!" I'd say she is just really modest except that she'd just come from the waiting room in which she kept flashing her belly at all the other kids. It was sad. She took a long time to get over it. I had to go immediately from that appointment down one floor to join Phil in meeting with his oncologist (see other blog for a report on that). She had to stay in the hall with Grandpa. She wasn't too happy about that at first but calmed down quickly. What a day!

At two, Eden is such a chatterbox. She speaks in full sentences (her latest being: "stop it!") and she can count to 8. She is such a good girl. We sure love her!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Food Friday - Caribbean Salsa

This is so amazingly beautiful and yummy! It is also quick (about 15 minutes).

1 C (8 oz) of crushed pineapple (retain some of the juice whether using canned or crushing fresh)
1/3 C chopped red (or orange) bell pepper
1/2 C cubed mango (you can also use peaches, apricots, papaya, kiwi, or whatever fruit you want - just think "tropical")
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro*

Combine all the ingredients, pour off unwanted juices (although you don't want it dry), and serve.

Serving suggestions:

  • We had this on top of a deliciously grilled chicken breast over a bed of rice. It was seriously so beautiful and so good and really healthy! The whole meal came together in 30 minutes.
  • Phil said, "this would be great with chips too!"
  • I think it would be good along with any kind of Mexican dish like tacos or especially on top of a taco salad.
So, let me know what fruits you've added to this great recipe and also let me know of the yummy ways you've served this.

*Cilantro is hard to deal with. I usually use scissors to cut it into little pieces but it all sticks to the scissors and to me. I've actually begun just using it whole-leaf and that works for me because I really like it. Still, it sticks to my fingers as I pluck it from the stem. Any great suggestions about how to prepare cilantro? Don't be scared off though because it has such a unique, fresh, wonderful taste, it is so worth the little bit of annoyance it gives me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This I Believe*

I believe in imperfection. I believe that sometimes doing something poorly is better than not doing it at all. I even believe that sometimes doing something "well enough" is actually better than doing it perfectly. For instance, I could spend hours and hours cleaning my house to perfection and miss out on spending time with my daughter. Or, I could clean my house "well enough" and then go for a walk and watch my two year old discover butterflies and birdies and blossoms.

I believe that I can wait to take a family vacation until I can afford the perfect vacation or I can take a day here and a day there to build memories and connections with the ones closest to me. Life has a way of passing us by if we wait for perfect moments.

A friend of mine has a poster in her kitchen, it says something like this, "anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well." I believe in that too. When I was in elementary school I quit taking piano lessons because I just wasn't very good at it. How I wish that I had been willing to do it "well enough" until I got better. How many things did I quit or never start because I was unwilling to accept imperfection? Now I play the piano and it doesn't really matter that I hit the wrong notes fairly often. These days I'm okay with imperfection.

Perfection is still a goal for a few areas of my life. I strive to be a perfect disciple of Christ. I want to perfectly follow His teachings. I would like to be perfect in my relationships, especially with my family. I fail, of course, but I'm learning to not give up the things that matter most just because I'm not perfect at them. And the things that matter less? I'm learning to do them imperfectly and to be perfectly happy with that.

*There is a series of essays produced for public radio entitled "This I Believe." Basically, essayists (from all walks of life, all ages, all political and religious persuasions, and all races) submit writings about a core belief and how that informs their life. I'm not ready to submit this for radio but I thought I'd share it with you.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's a Miracle!

Eden loves her nursery class. She loves her teacher, Sister Hollie. She learns things at church. It is awesome.

Tonight while brushing her teeth (and in between a marathon of temper tantrums that can only signal her second birthday is a week away) she erupted with the following:

"It's a miracle! I'm alive, Jesus. I'm alive, Jesus. He is risen!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Food Friday - Simple Whole Wheat Bread

I found this on allrecipes.com. It was submitted by Nita Crabb. It really is fairly simple (bread always takes time but this one isn't complicated) and the texture is amazing and the taste is fabulous! Oh, and you can freeze one of the loaves for later.

3 C warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 C honey
5 C bread flour (I just used all purpose)
3 T melted butter
1/3 C honey (yes, more honey)
1 T salt
4-6 C whole wheat flour
2 T melted butter (yes, more butter)


  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 C honey. Add 5 C white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 T melted butter, 1/3 C honey, and salt. Stir in 2 C whole what flour. Knead, adding more wheat flour until it pulls away from the counter but is still sticky to the touch. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough (this helps keep your dough moist). Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9x5" loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 T melted butter to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.
I seriously want you all to try this at least once! It very well may turn you into a homemade bread loving creature. Alisha was here the first day I made this so I expect her to post a comment telling you all how delicious it is! The rest of you can leave a comment after you've tried it. I'm serious here. I don't often make requests of you but this is a recipe you really need to try and then leave me a comment about your experience. What else are you going to do with the next three hours of your life?

Besides, bread takes 3 hours but it doesn't require your attention for most of that time so you can mix it up and while it rises the first time you can watch American Idol or Biggest Loser (or whatever is sitting unwatched in your DVR) and then you can make it into loaves and while that rises you can take a nap. Then you can get up and bake the bread and everyone (especially your husband) will be so impressed that you made bread today! It won't matter if the beds aren't made because you made bread! It won't matter if the laundry isn't folded because you made bread! Oh, and you can give one of the loaves away thereby adding blessings to your tally - and we all need those. So there you have it, you are so making bread today!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No shrinking violet here

On Monday we (Eden and I - Phil had to work) took my nephews to Atlanta. We all went to the world's largest aquarium and loved it (again). Then while the boys went to the Coke Museum, Eden and I explored Olympic Park. We loved it. There are some awesome play things.

Eden's favorite was a slide that was made out of a bunch of rolling drums (think assembly line). She would climb all the steps and then wait patiently for her turn. There were some older kids (mostly boys) who would run up the side of the "slide" and then stand at the top and "spin their wheels" - running in place for countless minutes. I wondered how Eden would handle this. I was a little concerned that she'd try to just go (she isn't big on patience you know).

I was delighted to see that she waited quietly for a minute or two and then she would politely but firmly say, "hey guys, it's my turn." Time after time this scenario played itself out. So cute!


That is the number of pancakes Eden ate this morning for breakfast!

Then she asked for a waffle
(we did not have any waffles and the batter was gone so we couldn't make any ... poor Eden

P.S. You can look forward to a bunch of posts coming up. Many projects are done, the awesome visitors have gone home, and Phil got IPhoto working again. Hooray! Posts, posts, and posts! (after I get my laundry done and house cleaned and YW stuff prepared ... maybe tomorrow).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Help! I need YOUR wisdom and experience!

I have some ideas to make some learning things for Eden but I want to laminate them. Do any of you own a laminator and if so, do you like yours, and if so, what is it? Or, do you suggest just using clear contact paper?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Food Friday - Cooking for World Peace (2)

Spicy Lamb Stew

(a mix of Better Homes & Gardens, 365 Low Fat Meals, and Charlotte’s creativity)

1 pound lamb, marinated with Mediterranean marinade (see below)

1 package Western Family Stew Vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes, celery)

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp thyme

6 cups beef broth

Cut meat into cubes, grill until brown on outside. In crockpot, stir together vegetables, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir in meat and the beef broth.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10-12 hours or (not as good) on high-heat setting for 5-6 hours

Serves 4-5

Friday, April 3, 2009

Food Friday - Cooking for World Peace*

The following was submitted by Dr. Nick** who blogs with his wife here.

So I do like to cook, and I really enjoy making my chili recipe, but if the following counts as a recipe, then I submit it, because it makes me happy, and I only get it a couple of times a year.

Take 1 large bowl.
Add Peanut Butter Captain Crunch
Add milk and spoon,
The world is righted.

*thank you Charlotte for the title for this series.

**Dr. Nick is a fabulous man. I had the privilege of "teaching" him the gospel while I was a missionary. The fact is, he didn't really need a teacher. He went from self-proclaimed atheist to lover of The Book of Mormon and His Savior in two weeks. It was an awesome experience to watch. He is an esteemed doctor of psychology and all around fun guy who is going to come visit me some day so that he can go to the Talladaga Speedway (Nascar).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Internet Romance

I found a new site that I think I may want to start dating. I don't think I'm ready for an exclusive relationship with it, but we will definitely be hanging out!

Check it out here!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Eden at YW

Tonight the YW were at our house. We made some Mexican Party Dip and then had a planning meeting for this quarter (actually we ended up planning the rest of the year). At the beginning, Eden was sitting on my lap. I asked (the girls) what we should sing.

Eden: "Snowman"

All the girls proceeded to sing "Once there was a Snowman" complete with actions. Then we had a prayer. Eden was being a bit disruptive after the prayer so I said, "Eden we are having a meeting."

Eden: "Ohhh Kaaayyyy! I go get flag!"

Projects' Status or is that Stati?

Dress: got it done Friday and she had a great time at the prom. She's that kind of girl. Makes her life fun and is generally happy. I don't have any pictures but she promised me one when she gets hers back. I'll post then. She wore it to church. So did the other two prom-goers. Next to their fancy beaded get ups hers looked simply lovely (with perhaps too much emphasis on the simply). Hers was the most modest though! (The other girls did wear cover ups on their bare shoulders. They better have kept those on throughout prom night!) So glad to have it done and that she was happy with it.

Bathroom: all painted (except behind the toilet because I needed Phil to help me turn off the water and move the toilet). We just put the hugigantic mirror in place - we aren't vain, we are just using the same mirror that was already there. Phil is putting in the new light right now. Trim. It tortures me. So much trim in this house. Why did we ever decide to paint it all? Trim will wait for another day. month? year? it will wait.

Laundry: I got it done last week right? Well, would you believe that it needs to be done again? What is up with that? Phil was getting Eden ready for bed tonight and I walked in and he said, "I don't know if these PJs are warm enough..." Then I completed his unspoken sentence, "it is just that my wife hasn't done laundry for a week and all of her REAL jammies are dirty and I didn't know what other options I had." Eden is sleeping in a long-sleeved onesie and some too-small stretch pants. Laundry is definitely on the list for tomorrow.

72-hour kits: no change in status.