Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spare Me

So, for those of you who haven't already heard, I recently joined a Bowling League....(well, I thought I was just subbing and trying it out, but it turns out I'm committed through June, which is turning out fine) I am really enjoying it so far.

The league meets up Wednesday mornings and bowls 3 games. I warned them that sometimes, my kids have bowled better then me. I am a member of the "I suck at bowling, and I'm OK with that" page on Facebook for heaven's sake. And I pretty much do. I bowled 2 games my first week....both 59. Sad, right? I did bowl a 126 game, my best so far....but I'm averaging about 76. So, there is definitely room for improvement. But I'm getting more consistent and I'm excited that next time we bowl as a family I won't be the laughing stock.

There is childcare included for the young 'uns. Sydney did OK the first couple of weeks, but I think she's not liking I let her watch us bowl this week and she was a lot happier.

I'm now wondering, is it worth it to pay $2 a week to rent crappy used shoes, or should I take the plunge and buy some of my own? I hear they have really great deals at a local pro-shop where you can buy your own shoes/ball/bag combo for about $100. Or I could just buy the shoes for around $25-30. Hmmmm. I would totally buy a combo if I KNEW for sure I would be bowling league next year too.....but I'm not positive. It's really fun and I AM getting incrementally better. Maybe I should just take the plunge. Or just get the shoes....? Here are some I like..

I'm confused. Will someone just TELL ME what I should do?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No, MY do!

Little Miss Independent is at it again! She has figured out how to put on her own shirt, and she's just about got the pants figured out, except she can't quite pull the back up over the diapee. Once she's potty trained that won't be an issue anymore. (please let that happen this summer!)

As always, with independence, comes frustration. On both our parts.. She wants to do it all herself. She wants to undo her own diaper, take off her own shoes and socks, zip her own coat, put on her own shoes, etc. Usually I am fine with this, but when we are on a schedule it makes it a bit hard to get out the door on time....especially when I didn't plan for 5 minutes while she does what she needs to do. So much easier if she would just let me slip her shoes on! :p Silly Mommy, I know!

The other problem? I think she might be a notch higher on the OCD scale than "your average bear". For example; If she spills ANYTHING on her shirt while eating, even a drop of water, it MUST be changed at that moment. There's no talking logically to her about finishing the meal and then changing, it has to be right then. She puts up her arms and demands "OFF", then goes upstairs to get a clean shirt....which she usually puts on backwards...once in a while she does get it right though. When this all started I was smart enough to pick up a pack of white camis, that can be spilled on and bleached repeatedly. The next week I picked up another. Sometimes we go through 3 in a single meal, so now that we own 8, I can get through a whole day or 2 before I'm out and need to get them washed. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Here she is, so happy Mom took off her spilled-on cami, like she wanted.
Perusing her options.... So grown up!
Sydney's Top 10 OCD list:

  • Close all doors to bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Close all blinds
  • Notice that Mom has opened all doors and blinds, close all again
  • Flush all toilets
  • Take all throw pillows off of couch and stack them on floor by fireplace
  • Change shirt that water dripped on
  • Put shoes on wrong feet, when Mom tries to help, scream "NO, my do!" and switch them to correct feet
  • Change shirt again, just to keep 'em guessing
  • Push dining room chair to counter top, climb up and rearrange all Mom's magnets on side of the fridge
  • Notice Mom has opened all doors and blinds, close all again

For this one, STRONG-WILLED is an understatement... Heaven help us when she hits 13!

Monday, February 23, 2009


While my big kids, who are playing "school" in the next room are talking back and forth, Savi runs into the kitchen for who knows what...

S- "Gunnnnnnnnnnarrrrrr, come HERE!"


Can you feel the love?

I sPy WiTh My LiTtLe EyE...

Proof Positive that SPRING is on it's way!!

As seen in my front! 50 degrees and beautifully sunny. (Note barefoot child) And they had snow in the forecast for today and tomorrow. A winter storm warning, even, from Midnight until 9pm tonight....nada so far.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On the Menu

Beefy Italian Tortellini Soup

  • 2 (14 oz.) cans Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 4 (14 oz.) cans water
  • 4 carrots (sliced)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 pkg. three cheese tortellini (not dehydrated, the kind in the refrigerated section...I got mine from Costco)
  • 1 T. Chopped fresh rosemary (dried are fine)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped basil (again with the dried)

Put stewed tomatoes in a stock pot to cook, fill the used cans with water and add to soup. (I mushed the tomatoes up with a potato masher first because my kids don't like big chunks of tomato)

Add sliced carrots, chopped celery, bay leaf, basil, and beef bouillon. Bring to a boil and let the vegetables cook. (about 20-30 min) While soup is cooking, in a separate frying pan, brown the ground beef (make sure the beef is browned in small, fine clumps). Add the rosemary in while browning meat. Set aside. When all the vegetables in the stew are cooked, add tortellini to soup pot. Stir in and let boil on low heat 10 minutes. Add meat and simmer 5 minutes.

We had garlic bread sticks and a green salad with ours.

And for Dessert:

Non-fried, Fried Ice Cream All dished up and ready to enjoy...
In the pan, just so you have a general idea.

This recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma ('cept I threw in the cinnamon), back in the day I worked at a Mexican place called El Pollo Asado where I made this dessert in big baseball sized portions... That is a fun way to eat it. You basically ball the ice cream up and roll it in the cornflake mixture, wrap in Saran, then freeze. Perfect for your next FiEsTa!

  • 4 C crushed corn flakes (put in a lg Ziploc bag and roll a soup can over them)
  • 1 C coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1/2 C melted butter
  • 1/2 gal. softened vanilla ice cream
  • hot fudge and/or caramel topping
  • 1 can of whip cream and maraschino cherries (for the top!)

Mix first 5 ingredients together. Press half of the mixture into a 9 x 13 pan. Add softened ice cream on top of mixture (in dollops...if you spread too harshly the bottom gets disturbed). Spoon the rest of the mixture on top, evenly. Cover and freeze. When ready to serve, cut into squares and top with fudge, caramel, whipped topping and cherries...add your favorite toppings if not listed here...

In the Lab

Chris recently discovered an old book on our shelf called, The Book of Knowledge, 1974. It covers all kinds of random info from the previous year, which happens to be the year he was born. I think his Dad gave it to him with that in mind. He has really been enjoying the randomness of it and will quote different entries to me while I'm doing dishes, making dinner, hauling laundry up and down the stairs or one of the hundred other things that encompass my job. It's been enjoyable to laugh about what was en vogue all those years ago, what was commonly done and going on in the world.

Yesterday, he was reading and jumped up from the couch while calling the kids. He had an idea for a "science project". I was in the middle of making a dessert as he was asking where he could find a tube, a pail, a glass jar...etc. He finally gathered all of the items to build a SPIROMETER.

He had the kids breathe into it and measure their breath at a normal resting heartrate. Then he had them run up and down ALL the stairs 2 or 3 times and try again. The second time their breaths were MUCH bigger. THUS, we learn that when our heartrates have increased, our lungs have much greater capacity. TA DA!

The kids LOVED the experiment, and they learned something. I'm so glad they have a Daddy as curious about things as they are, what fun!

Savi was ALL ABOUT this little laboratory experiment! See how excited she is?

Syd wasn't so sure. We WERE a little worried she'd suck on it instead of exhaling...and it wasn't exactly clean water...

She finally decided she's give it a go after watching that her sis and buddy didn't get bamboozled.

Gunnar waiting patiently for his turn. What a good sport!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cue Adrenaline

Last night our Enrichment Board put on the first, of what I understand will be several, Fireside Chats. If you happen to be an old fogey you may remember a certain US President hosting this in a National Style gathered around an old radio. I, being not so fogey, yet, do not recall these. But it sounded like a nice night.

I did attend and was in the process of being uplifted and even enriched, which was the whole idea after all, when my cell phone rings LOUDLY. I forgot to put it on vibrate. (and during a very sentimental story by the speaker, of all times) I gathered my stuff and ran into the hall to answer. This is what I hear once I yank it out of my pocket and ask, hello?

"Syd won't stop bleeding. And I think she needs stitches. Please come home IMMEDIATELY."

All the while Sydney is screaming in the background. Needless to say, I morph into Momma-Bear Mode and run for the car. I think I sped all the way home...only 3 blocks....but I don't remember the drive. I DO remember wondering WHAT PART my baby girl was bleeding from.

I walk in the door and things sound considerably calmer, but my girl is happy to see me, and I can tell her Dad is too. We cuddle and love and I clean her up a little. Soon she is calm enough that I can ask what the heck happened to my girl's lip.

As is the custom of Dad's bedtime routine, they were preparing to play a computer game together. Sydney, being her independent little self was trying to get the best seat available and slipped, smacking her lip against the edge of the desk. She had blood coming from the inside and outside of her lower lip. She BLED like crazy. Dad was afraid she would need to puke it up, she swallowed THAT much....and I found papertowels on the counter like the one pictured just below...

Because of all the blood it was hard to tell if we were dealing with 2 seperate wounds, or one big hole that went through her lip. I called our on-call Doc and left a message with as much info as I could....stating I didn't think stiches could be done INSIDE the lip and that there is a TIMEFRAME after injury that they need to be done, and should I take her to the ER for the outer lip, as it's only 1/2 inch and I couldn't tell how deep at that was about 9pm and Instacare was closing.

Can you believe that I have never made a visit to the ER with any of my children? Me neither. Knock-knock....that's me knocking on wood...

When the Doc called back we spoke and decided that based on the size of the wound and the fact that it wasn't gaping we would be alright just leaving it be. She may have a small scar though. He said I seemed to know alot, and was I a nurse? No, I answered, but I do have 3 kids! I took that as a compliment! (and left out the fact that I sometimes dream of doing just that when I "grow my kids up" and want another job).

This is about an hour after the injury....before it had time to swell so much, like it did today, but after bleeding had all but stopped..

Here is the outside of the lip. You can tell at this point that this laceration was made from the upper teeth, and not the same teeth that cut the inside. Poor baby is pretty swollen today, but we're keeping the frozen go-gurts coming.
Here's to NO ER visits!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blah Remedy

Sheena of Sheenanigans is one of my new fav bloggy-bloggers! She has such a fun writing style, and cute kids to ohhh and ahhh over.

Today she is talking about those winter blahs that like to set in and what you can do to beat them. Especially when the snow starts to melt a little and you can SEE those crocus greens popping up. You KNOW it's coming, but not fast enough.....I know, it was just last week I was wishing for more snow storms for all our sledding adventures....but those darned blahs can sneak up on you.

Anyway, my plan is to put the kids in fun bright colors, like the ones pictured below. The dress is SO LAST SPRING, but pair it with an orange l/s tee and those cute stripey knee high socks (Target, people!) and you've got a cute frost-proof outfit. She wore it with pink snowboots that day.

What are you doing to beat back the blahskis?

Sick Day for Savi

First thing in the door from school yesterday....I don't feel good.
She assumed the position in front of the TV with pillow and blanket until dinner time. When she came down she drew the above "sad cucumber" picture. That white board is her twitter. If you want to know how she's feeling or what she's thinking about, that's your best bet... She felt so yucky she didn't even want to have a pic taken of her....see blanket over head. Poor kid. She's still running a fever, but is currently working on a book report...? "It's only WRITING, Mom..." Alrighty then.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


free from guile; sincere; honest; straightforward; frank
As a mother, I am used to somewhat straightforward, frank remarks from my children. Most of them, not so flattering. Let's face it, children do not have "filters". They say what they think and they think what they say.
In the past my children have commented on the size of various body parts, for instance, "You have the biggest bottom in the WHOLE family", that I am a mean Mommy today (although I generally take that as a compliment), and lots of comments/complaints about the evening's menu which would cause a weaker person to give up and feed them corndogs and fruitsnacks every night. I'm used to it, and I take it with a grain of salt.
Tonight as I was just finishing up serving the children their dinner plates, I went to grab mine and sit at the table to join them.
Savannah says, "Mom, I really hope I'm as pretty as you when I grow up."
I say, "Oh, aren't you sweet?! Thanks, that was nice of you to say."
Then I think for a second and ask, "Did someone tell you that would be a nice thing to say to your Mom? Is there something you're going to ask me and wanted to make sure I was really happy first?"
She replies, "No, I just do." (With a pure innocent look on her face.)
"Well," I say, "that is just about the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me." (sniff, sniff)
I really like the flip-side of that no-filter thing..

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SnO Much Fun

We were supposed to get 6 inches, it was more like 2...the trees look as though they've been coated in powdered sugar from a very large sifter. It was enough to play in, added to the quickly melting stash from the last storm that blew on through.
Perfect amount for snow shoveling, and tossing at each other. And for something else, too...

Sledding, anyone?
Ready to rip it up!
Snow Angel! Check out the cute cousins!
She spent more time eating snow than anything, but we got about 8 runs in together....the most ever in one trip. I think the "sport" is growing on her!
Look at that face! Sheer joy!
May there be many more snow storms to play in this season!

Australia Movie Review

I was prepared to just enjoy the girl time since the reviews were so bad, but I really did like it. Hugh Jackman was H-O-T, especially when he shaved for a ball during the movie. Oh MY! And it was an interesting, if a bit predictable story line. Adventure, love story (really great kissing shots, very romantic!), historical (Pearl Harbor, Aboriginal issues/racism), mystical, all wrapped in one. I'd recommend it.

There were six of us this week, including my cute SIL Jenn, who's in town. Added bonus, the kids and their cousins had their favorite sitter come over, since Dad is in NYC this week.

Too bad the dollar theater we went to had a really bad speaker, or something. We went out to complain about the staticky sound and they claimed it was the sound bar on the movie that was damaged and there was nothing they could do about it. At that point, do you demand your $1.50 back? Especially when you've already gotten a sitter and it's this or nuttin'? SO yeah, we dealt with it, and after a few minutes I didn't notice it so much. I think possibly, we got used to seeing flicks at the full price theater! SpOiLeD rOtTeN, I tell ya!


...four girls in the tub.
What's the best thing about having cousins come to stay? Why, tub tea parties, of course! (I'm still surprised they all fit in there!!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our New Temple

While we had family in town for the baptism, we thought it would be a good opportunity to make a memory! So on the eve of Savannah's Baptism, we visited the Draper Temple, located in Corner Canyon....a short 10 minute drive directly south of our home.
We knew that the timing would be perfect when they announced that the Open Houses would start in mid-January and run through mid-March. We reserved our 20 tickets online as soon as we could to make sure we didn't miss out.
We talked about it with the kids, who grew more excited as the weeks passed. Gunnar especially was very curious as to what he might see inside those holy and sacred walls. We explained that this is where we covenant with God and it is a place like no other. We talked about how tremendous this opportunity is for them. That they will not see some of these rooms again until they decide to serve a mission, or marry their sweetheart for eternity. They were excited to learn that at the age of 12, if they are following God's commandments, they will be worthy to serve in the temple by performing baptisms for the dead.
On the night we arrived, we were ushered by missionaries into a classroom in the meetinghouse and shown a video. Gunnar was riveted, I don't know if I've ever seen him so attentive. We were bussed to the temple site and walked through large white tents that formed a wide corridor straight into the temple. We were instructed that it was a silent tour and we should whisper to each other if we needed to speak. It was certainly a different experience for me, to see such a number of people in the temple, looking about in wonder, ushers standing to the sides as sentinels, serving in this assignment, as our ward has been asked to do for a couple of dates. Sydney bellowing loud "Mooooooooos" at the sight of the baptismal font atop the backs of oxen. Me trying to shoosh her...she would NOT be shooshed. The children were most impressed by the glittering chandelier and sconces in the Celestial Room. "Look at ALL the diamonds, Mom!" I also pointed out the gold leafing on the ceilings and walls. I loved all the engraven Sego Lily designs on the ceilings and mouldings, and etched into the glass. I made sure to point out the circles and infinity symbols on furniture and accents and talk about the significance of those symbols in the temple.
This is the first Temple Open House I've been able to attend, and I was so glad that we were able to be there at this time. What an incredible memory it will be for Savannah, especially...that the night before she first covenanted with God, she was able to enter His Holy House.
I am so grateful for His gospel and the fullness it brings into my life and the lives of my children. It is truly an awesome plan of Happiness.
If you are local, make sure you visit while you still can (until March 14th)! Visit,10751,1619-1-501,00.html Reservations are free.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Heart Hair

I am a mom with daughters. Therefore, I am a fan of hair blogs. I found this cute style last week on She Does Hair (see my blog list) and knew I HAD to try it. It wasn't actually THAT complicated, and the results were seriously so cute! I did Savi's and then both of my nieces hair the same way on Friday ( I didn't get pics of one of them..) and we got comments all day while we were out and about. Savi's teacher even got out her camera and took a pic, she loved it so much.
If you have a little girl who will sit still for a couple of minutes, try it. It's the week for hearts! I think I may recreate the look for Friday's Valentine Parties.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Savannah's Baptism

Dear Savannah,

Congratulations on taking one of the most important steps in Returning to Your Father in Heaven. Now that you are baptized, you are a true disciple of Christ. We hope you always remember how you feel today! We are so proud of you.

Love, Mom & Dad

Savannah shared her baptism day with 2 other cute 8 year olds. The little boy's Dad put together a wonderful photo dvd of all the kids that played for the group while the others waited for "their turn". Savannah was last, can you tell? Her hair is still wet. The other little girl's Mom is my dear friend and also the Primary President, she put together the program and arranged to have the children sing a song together during the program, called, "If The Savior Stood Beside Me". I'll admit, I teared up a bit. It was beautiful!

The girls with their sweet 1st grade teacher from last year. They visit Mrs. B almost everyday on their way out of school to give her a hug, they LOVE her. They invited her to come on their own. Sweet, no?

Grandma C. gave a talk on Baptism and did a fabulous job, Grandpa C. and Grandpa H. were witnesses, to make sure she was FULLY immersed! :) Dad did a great job, no retakes required!
We also had Chris' Great-Uncle and Aunt (locals), his parents, Brother and Sister-in-law, and his Sister and her girls here from California. It is so wonderful for Savannah to have all this support and feel how much she is loved on this very special day.

Blind Frog Eye Salad? I never knew!

Yummy creamy goodness

The long-missing special ingredient! Frog Eyes, go figure.

A week ago I was working on the menu for the post-baptism gathering. My sister KC happened to be here (painting, remember?) and suggested I serve Frog Eye Salad.
She has been bringing this dish to potluck gatherings lately and has received rave reviews. I asked for her recipe, and it turned out to be quite different from the one I had prepared in the past. I don't think I've ever cooked up a sauce to put over the pasta before, but it made a big difference. Definitely the BEST version I've done, or had.
As I was mixing all the fruit in my Mom asked where the grapes were. What grapes??, I asked. Ummmmm, the grapes that ARE the frog eyes, she replied. WHAT?
I did have grapes in the house, green even....but I had never heard of anyone putting them in a Frog Eye Salad, I'd always thought the acini de pepe pasta (which is small and round) were what was being called the "frog eye". I balked, Mom said, "Tomorrow when you're mixing the fruit in after it sets, taste some, then get another spoonful and put a grape on top. You'll see." I did. And this afternoon, Mom had the pleasure of hearing me say ONCE AGAIN, "Oh, MOM, you were RIGHT!" She's still reveling in that little phrase as it rings in her ears at this very moment, I'm sure!
But she was, RIGHT. If you're a fan of this FRUITY, CREAMY, PASTA salad, but have never had it with grapes..I highly suggest you try THIS recipe, below! The grapes add another dimension of texture. AND they really do look like frog-eyes when you cut them right across the middle! It makes a HUGE batch perfect for a crowd. If you're just feeding a standard family, try halving it.

And to think that all the times I've made this before I left out the title ingredient! Sheesh.


Egg mixture:
2 beaten eggs
1 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. pineapple juice (strained from cans of crushed pineapple)
2 tbsp. flour
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp lemon juice
16 oz. box acini de pepe pasta
1 tsp oil
3 Quarts water
1 C. flake coconut
2 C. mini marshmallows
2 lg or 3 sm cans mandarin oranges
2 cans crushed pineapple
2 C. halved grapes (across the middle)
2 small tubs Cool Whip (I use Lite)

In a sauce pan, combine sugar, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pineapple juice and eggs. Stir and cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and cool to room temperature.
Bring water to a boil, add oil, remaining salt and cook pasta until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, egg mixture, mandarin oranges, pineapple and whipped topping. Mix well and refrigerate overnight or until chilled. Before serving add grapes, marshmallows and coconut. Toss and serve.