Thursday, December 27, 2007

{Birthday Girl} and a Christmas Miracle

Happy Birthday to my Brown-Eyed Girl!

She's 10 years old today, but not until 4:11 p.m., so she says she is still 9. She's always so very precise! She has already celebrated by going to the movies last night with Aunt Tara and Sierra, but I Am Legend gave her nightmares. Guess it was a little scary! Tonight is chicken enchiladas and cake and ice cream at Grammy's.

Now, a Christmas Miracle!

Olivia Billings is a sweet little four-year old girl in our Pre-school class here at Green Ridge. Watch this clip and you will find out about her and her parents. She is having a hard time with a new heart she received from a donor on Sunday. Her mom, Lena Billings, is a teacher at Green Ridge School, and both Brian and Natalia were in her class.

They are sweet and humble, and are always so positive and upbeat! I don't know that I could do the same if I were in their situation.

Please keep Olivia in your prayers. We want to see her back to school as soon as possible!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wedding Bells!

Outside the doors of the Nauvoo Temple in Nauvoo, Illinois on December 22, 2007.

Mom and Dad, Tara, Emily with Sierra and Carmen, Mellisa and baby Santana, and our family of 6 all travelled to Nauvoo for Monie and Kyle's nuptials; Mom, Dad and Tara on Thursday, and the rest of us Friday morning. Grandma and Grandpa decided to stay home after they each had a fall in totally separate incidents. They're both OK, though Grandma dislocated her hip and had to have it put back into place {which was very painful!} and Grandpa was black and blue and sore all over after slipping on the ice during the Ice Age.

We took over our wing of the Hotel, the kids spending time in the indoor pool, and we had the doors to our rooms propped open. Kyle works at the hotel, and Monie lives in an apartment in the basement.

The reception was in the restaurant, decorated in silver and blue for a winter wonderland look. Mom did all of the food, which was so yummy!
Saturday was cold and windy, and just starting to rain when they were doing pictures. Notice the big blue ring pop on Monie's finger? Yep, she wore it in the pictures. And the girls handed out ring pops at the reception. Wasn't that a cute idea?

Daddy's a little veclempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

Here, I'll give you a topic: Breadfruit - Neither a bread, nor a fruit. Discuss!

Congratulations, Newlyweds!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas To You From Us!

And this is from a wonderful Christmas devotional given by President Howard W. Hunter:

"We are all aware of the significance that a name or title can have in describing an important office. In foretelling the birth of Christ more than 700 years before it occurred, the prophet Isaiah used titles expressing great admiration: “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6). Isaiah also used the titles Savior and Redeemer, expressing great faith in Christ and His mission (see Isa. 45:15; Isa. 47:4; Isa. 49:26; Isa. 60:16; Isa. 63:16).

One of these titles that is of particular interest in our present world is “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,” Isaiah declared (Isa. 9:7). What a thrilling hope for a war-weary, sin-laden world!

A Prophecy Fulfilled

The Lamanite prophet Samuel foretold the birth of the Savior five years before it happened. The people would not let Samuel into Zarahemla to preach, so he stood on a city wall and proclaimed:

“Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.
“And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day. …
“And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you” (Hel. 14:2–3, 5).
Luke recorded the fulfillment of this prophecy:
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. …
“And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
“To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:1–14).

Such is the beautiful account of our Savior’s advent. In the words of Cecil Frances Alexander:
He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all, And his shelter was a stable And his cradle was a stall. (Hymns, no. 205)

In this humble way His life of selfless service began.

Giving As He Gave

The Savior dedicated His life to blessing other people. As expressed by His chief Apostle, Peter, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).

Never did the Savior give in expectation of receiving. He gave freely and lovingly, and His gifts were of inestimable value. He gave eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame; cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless. His gifts were opportunity to the downtrodden, freedom to the oppressed, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing, and light in the darkness. He gave us His love, His service, and His life. And most important, He gave us and all mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life.

We should strive to give as He gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift. We give as a remembrance of all the Savior has given.

Christmas is a time for giving. Someone once said he couldn’t think of what to give for Christmas. The next day in the mail he received an anonymous list which read:

Give to your enemy forgiveness, To your opponent tolerance, To your friend your heart, To all men charity, for the hands that help are holier than lips that pray, To every child a good example, and to yourself—respect.

All of us need to follow the example of the Savior in giving these kinds of gifts. From Christina Rossetti we read:

What can I give Him, Poor as I am? If I were a shepherd I would give Him a lamb, If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part,— But what I can I give Him, Give my heart.

This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.

Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning—with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most."

How can I add to that?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Coming Attractions:

Sorry it's been so long since my last post! I'll have some wedding pictures and updates tomorrow and in the next few days. Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mom, It's an ICE AGE! And glasses.

Joe can see now! Why does a pair of glasses make people look so much smarter?

Mom, It's an ICE AGE!

That's what Monkey told me yesterday when he looked outside. Of course, he was watching Ice Age at the time, so I'm sure that's what made him think of it. Aren't these cool pictures? Especially since I took them. {Remember, my photography skills are seriously lacking.} These pictures were taken at my parent's house. Our ice storm this weekend wasn't as bad as in other areas, like in Oklahoma where Tom and Vicki are. {Hi Tom and Vicki!}

The Weather Doctor calls it "Hazardous Beauty", and it truly is. The roads ice over like a skating rink, and you can't get your footing. Cars slip and slide even in four-wheel drive. We saw a truck that had slid through the ditch and into a telephone pole. The people in it were fine, but the pole wasn't; it was tipped at an angle over the top of them.

Andy slid through a ditch and had to drive over someone's yard to get out of it, taking out the stop sign on the corner. He doesn't read the blog so he won't know that I told you that. {hee hee}

I slipped and fell in the Pre-school parking lot, and Monkey said, "You're supposed to be holding my hand, Mom!" Wasn't that sweet of him to think he can hold me up!

I love the contrast of the autumn leaves with the ice on the trees in the picture above.

See the ribbons of ice that slid down the roof and curled around the gutter?

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Baby Pictures! It's like baby central around here!

Aren't they sweet?
That's Abrahm on the left, Matteo on the right, and Santana Rose in the middle, of course.

And here they are with the proud papa. Santana slept through it all.

It's a snow day! I'm home, the kids are home, Andy's home, and we're all getting on each other's nerves. Ice storms on and off for the rest of the week.
I think I might survive, maybe with a steady supply of cocoa and cookies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Welcome, new baby girl!

After a hard labor, and 3 attempts at an epidural, new baby girl Santana Rose has graced us with her presence. While her mommy was doing all of the work of bringing her into this world, I was running herd on her two older brothers. Boy, is it going to be chaos at their home for a while.

Monkey and Natalia were not going to be left behind, so they made the trek to the hospital with me. Joe waved as we pulled away from the house and called, "Take a picture of her for me!" Ah, he's so sentimental. {Have you ever noticed that word has "Mental" in it? Hmm, something to ponder.}

I know I'm rambling, but I'm a little bit over-tired since the twins woke up three times last night.


Matteo kept me awake by torturing me with baby slaps to the face and grabbing my nose while leaning in to share his slobber and spit. Maybe he thought I was non-responsive and needed mouth-to-mouth? I guess we'll never know.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Santa's Workshop is in full swing around here.

The sewing machine is revved up, and last night it produced a lovely Christmas stocking, this sweet and simple blanket for Mellisa and Adam's new baby girl {she is due to arrive fresh from heaven any time now!} And a card for my cousin's new baby. Now I'm off to continue, while Andy watches the Mizzou vs. Sooners game. Tiger fever is in full force around here!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How we decorate for Christmas in the Middle of MO

After a yummy dinner of lasagna, polenta, salad, and garlic bread, the cousins headed out to decorate Grandpa's golf cart for the Christmas season. As the adults sat at the table contemplating dessert, the little elf cousins were busy stringing lights, garland, and hanging decorations. They even had Christmas music playing in the background. Monkey can multitask; he can chew on a piece of garlic bread while decorating. That's my boy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

EDITED: Millerjk, I need your e-mail address. If you scroll down and look to the right, click on "View my complete profile", then click on e-mail on the left, you can send me an e-mail. If you are not millerjk, but still want a scripture list, please do the same. Thanks!

We love counting down to Christmas day, and what better way to do that countdown than with an advent calendar? My sister-in-law gave us this beautiful calendar several years ago that I fill with scriptures to tell the Christmas story. {If you are interested in a copy of them, comment or send an e-mail to me and I will get them to you. They are a Microsoft works word processor document, but I can copy them to wordpad, also. I don’t know how to convert them to an adobe document.}

The scriptures begin with Samuel’s prophecy in the Book of Mormon, Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Christ, and their flight into Egypt to escape King Herod. I always add this part. When I was young we would listen to a cassette tape of the Christmas story, and it always ended with Joseph and Mary escaping to Egypt with the Christ child, so that is how the story should go. At least to me. But you could just use mine as a springboard to create your own scriptures for your advent calendar. I roll each strip of paper with the scripture printed on it, then tie it with a ribbon and put them in the pockets.

I would also like to add some Christmas songs this year, such as “Samuel tells of Baby Jesus”, “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem”, “Away in a Manger”, etc., and “He Sent His Son” as the last song. It’s so beautiful I want to cry every time I hear it!

Here are some other ideas for advent calendars if you don’t have one already.

Christmas Countdown and some Christmas Coupons from the Friend Magazine.

And these beautiful houses from the Rouge de Garance blog could be used year after year. I'd make them, but I can't read French. Come to think of it, I can't speak French either!

Look below the scarecrows to see the adorable advent tree that Nini made for Green Parents magazine. What a great idea!

This easy advent calendar uses plastic wrap and ribbon.

Here is a fun homemade calendar from Family Fun.

And for 25 days of ideas check out this page from Each day has recipes, crafts, games, etc.
Find more great ideas at Scribbet's Winter Bazaar.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


We’ve spent this past week in a blur of activity, getting ready for Nonni and Bradley to arrive, school parties and preparations, cooking and cleaning, and seeing every last leaf fall from the huge oak tree in our yard.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Hands down. Forty {or so} of us gathered at my parents home for Thanksgiving dinner, eating ourselves into a mild food coma, enjoying one another’s company. One of our traditions is writing down what we are thankful for on a card, and then my sister Monie reads them all {keeping them anonymous, although it’s usually pretty obvious whose they really are.} The adults’ are sometimes funny or introspective or sentimental, but the kids’ are so cute! Some of the younger ones draw little pictures on them, too. Tara e-mailed hers from BYU, where she was spending Thanksgiving with friends.

Last year I put them all in this 6x6 scrapbook, along with some of the recipes we used. Guess I better get crackin’ on 2007’s.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Halloween highlights

Halloween is just a faint, candy-tinged memory, and Thanksgiving is looming just over the horizon, but I realized I did not post any pictures! I did not get great pictures, as usual, since Batman and Spiderman were going in completely different directions at all times, but we did have some fun.

Trunk-or-Treat at church on Friday the 26th, Recreation Center Party on Saturday, class parties on the 31st, and Trick-or Treating around the neighborhood {which pretty much consists of the whole town} that night.

This is my daughter, Sacajawea, who travelled with Lewis and Clark across the country with a baby strapped to her back. She also won best costume prize. Talk about multi-tasking!

And how about this sleepy spidey?

Oh, and have you met my neice, Wendy? She serves up awesome chocolate frosties at her fast-food restaurant, which are perfect for dipping the fries in.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Winter Bizarre

If September = Apples and October = Pumpkins
Then November = Cranberries!

That’s my kind of equation!

I Love Cranberries! And here are a few reasons why.

1. Andy’s friend Jeff has a cranberry farm in Banden, Oregon, and we’ve gotta support the farmers! Plus I love the Ocean Spray commercials. Go here to see their funny Thanksgiving video, and download their free recipe e-book, too. The farmers totally remind me of Jeff! Andy was up there for the harvest a few years ago and his whole body was sore from wading through the bogs. I really would like to see the farm someday, before Jeff goes on to something new.

2. My FavorITEST EverEVER EVERRRRR sandwich was the “Plymouth Rock” made by the lovely deli employees at my local Safeway grocery store. Every other week I would do my grocery run and stop by the deli to order my Plymouth Rock, and only a Plymouth Rock would do. The #10 sandwich on the board. Only made on the Multigrain roll. With the real, thickly sliced roasted turkey breast, mayo, jellied cranberry sauce, some thick slices of Havarti cheese {until then I didn’t even know that I liked Havarti} and green leaf lettuce. Heaven in a sandwich. Fast forward a few years where I now live in the middle of nowhere Missouri with no Safeway within a few states of here. You and I can {more like have to} make a reasonable facsimile of this sandwich, just use your favorite roll, and pile it up nice and thick with the rest of the ingredients. If you like cranberry sauce, I promise you won’t be sorry.

3. They’re RED! What more can I say?

4. Cranberry cookies. {They’re really bars, but who cares?} This recipe is from my mom, and made it into our family cookbook. I bake these every year at Christmas time and always get requests for the recipes. We moved to Missouri in November, and when the girls in Andy’s office found out we were moving, they mourned the loss of him bringing in plates full of these babies. Yum!

Cranberry Cookies
¾ cup shortening
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup butterscotch chips
½ cup chopped nuts
Cream shortening, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder and blend. Fold in cranberries {just toss them in whole} and nuts. Spread evenly on a jelly-roll style cookie sheet. Sprinkle butterscotch chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Go see what all the other Winter Bizarre-ies are doing at Scribbet's blog!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Are you prepared?

With so many natural disasters and other emergencies around the world, especially the fires in California, it makes us more aware of how fragile life can be. How prepared are you if a natural disaster came your way?

When it's time to "Fall Back" or "Spring Forward" an hour, it's also time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors, check that your fire extinguishers are still charged, and we do one more thing; we update our 72 hour Emergency Kits.

Last night for Family Home Evening we did just that. Since we have a small house, we've been keeping our kits in our unheated, un-insulated, very unsavory garage. I'm hoping to carve out a little space in the house so we don't have to beat off the spiders if we need to grab them and go.

We (by we I mean Joe and Monkey who did this without asking permission) unloaded everything and then we (by this I mean Andy and I) went through it all and decided what needed replacing, adding, or cleaning, and Natalia made a list of what we need from the store.

The backpacks were thrown in the washer, then all of the clothing. Today new clothes will be replacing the old, outgrown clothes. This is hard to keep up on, since growing is something kids do constantly. I find it helps to pack clothes and shoes that allow a little growing room.

Here is a great checklist from Rachel Woods at to help you get started, or update your existing kit.

I hope we'll never have to use these, but as my Grandma Hall used to say, "Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Treat bags for hungry little monsters

This post is for The Winter Bazaar on Scribbet's blog.

An easy treat bag or Halloween card can be made by using digital scrap booking elements that you size and print out on your own printer.

I started with a lovely round pumpkin, designed by the talented Rhonna Farrer, printed on white cardstock and sized just right to punch out with a circle punch.

Then I printed out the word BOO onto cardstock, also, spaced so I could cut them apart with scalloped scissors, fold, staple to the top of a snack sized zippy bag, topped with the punched pumpkin, and before you can say "Spooky", there you have it. Cheap and easy, but still with a homemade touch.

I guess I could have put the candy in the bag the right way, but at midnight, who cares!

And here are my two favorite pumpkins, my twin nephews. These are for you, Tara!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In the News...

Alison Maki and I have know each other since 5th grade, when I moved into the Owen-Withee school district, and were friends until she moved out of the school district in 6th grade. I really missed her. We were the only two girls in our 4-person reading group in Mr. Waite's class, so that left me with the 2 Mikes. I was not a happy camper.

Well, Ali and I have stayed in touch through the years, and at one point even lived a mere 2 hours away from each other in California.

Now I can really keep tabs on her since she has a monthly column in the Chico Enterprise Record. Yeah, Alison! And another cheer for her hubby, Chris, who has been at the fires in Southern CA making maps.

The LDS church has had a new ad campaign, and our area has been one of the testing grounds. We've seen billboards and tv commercials, and new pass-along cards. The ads are wonderful, and are unscripted; just each person's testimony. Check them out here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An angel when he's smilin' and a devil when he ain't

This is how our morning went:

"Joseph, please get up and get dressed."

"JO-seph, get dressed, your going to be late to school!"

"JOSEPH! You have to get dressed!"


Then I pulled out the big guns and bribed him with food. {I was desperate!}

"Greta made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. If you don't get ready for school you're going to miss them."
He had already gotten out of bed and out of his jammies by this point, then got back into bed. Because he didn't like his pants. Or his shirt. And could only find one shoe. Humph.

Then I pulled out the camera, which he thought was funny at first. I didn't. I wanted to remember how ridiculous this really was, the power struggle we go through every morning.
This is what we call "Flailing". It's really just flopping around while throwing a fit. And he wasn't smiling here, he was crying. Nice.

After dropping the older kids off at school, I came back home to load up a crying kindergartner, drove back to the school to unload a crying kindergartner, walked him into the school and tried to get him to go into the cafeteria. Or the gym. Or anywhere. At that point I didn't care where he went!

The principal, Mrs. Brock saw our little drama and took pity on me, steering Joe to where he needed to be, and I took off to leave him in her capable hands.

Thank goodness they're off of school tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Large Fire Incidents Page

Large Fire Incidents Page

Southern California is on fire, with 1 million people displaced. 1. million. people. I can not imagine the terror of not knowing if your family is safe, if your home will still be there. Please keep them in your prayers. You can find more information at the CDF website.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This and That

It's been a while since my last post. Busy week! Spent Friday and Saturday with my sister Emily and 3 friends at CKC in KC. We had a lot of fun, and got to know each other a little bit better. Found some great scrapbooking stuff that I hope to play with soon, too.

Stake conference today at church {where we meet with all of the other wards, or congregations, in our area} and we had some great speakers: Mission president, St. Louis temple president, President Phillips and his counselors.

I have some news:

Tomorrow I will be getting up and going to my NEW JOB! I'm the new aid at Monkey's pre-school, just three full days a week. I'm getting nervous! Not because I don't think I can do it, because it will be fun with great kids and teachers, but because I already can't get everything done that I want in a week without working! Time to get organized and streamline the process.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Candy Corn

Some Candy Corn Facts you never knew you wanted to know:

*October 30th is National Candy Corn Day
*One serving of candy corn contains only about 140 calories
*Candy corn has 3.57 calories per kernel
*More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9billion pieces -- enough to circle the moon nearly four times if laid end-to-end.
*Halloween accounts for 75% of the annual candy corn production
*A cup of candy corn has fewer calories than a cup of raisins.
*Candy Corn was invented by George Renninger and produced by the Wunderlee Candy Company in the 1880's. In 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company, now Jelly Belly Candy Company, started mass producing  candy corn, but, due to the lack of machinery, it was only made available seasonally from March to November. Its recipe is unchanged from the original.
*Candy corn isn't just for Halloween there is also:
Reindeer corn for Christmas (red, green, and white)
Indian corn (it's chocolate and vanilla flavored)
Cupid corn for Valentine's Day (red, pink, and white)
Bunny corn for Easter (pastel-colored)

Have some fun with your kids: try to stick them onto your teeth to look like a vampire, jack-o-lantern, or hillbilly! Who cares about cavities!!

Here is another HUGE recipe, but it can be cut in half to be more manageable. This is great for a Halloween party or to give away to friends and neighbors! Just decorate paper lunch sacks with some Halloween stickers, fold top of bag over, punch two holes through the top and lace a festive ribbon and tie with a bow.

Candy Corn Popcorn
24 cups popped popcorn
2 cups walnut halves
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Apple pie spice {or cinnamon}
½ tsp. Baking soda
2 packages candy corn {12.5 oz each} The chocolate candy corn is good, too

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine popcorn and walnuts in a lightly greased large roasting pan. In a heavy large saucepan, melt butter over med-high heat. Stir in brown sugar, molasses, and salt. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil. Boil 5 minutes without stirring.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, apple pie spice, and baking soda. {Mixture will foam} Pour syrup over popcorn mixture; stir until well coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on lightly greased foil to cool. Sprinkle candy corn over popcorn mixture. Store in airtight container.

Yield: about 30 cups popcorn mix

Linking here:
Nothing But Country

Check out the rest of the great holiday ideas here!

Cast Party Wednesday

Talk About Tuesday

I’m joining up with The Lazy Organizer’s Talk About Tuesday, where you can talk about accomplishments, good news, anything positive that you want, and link to her blog.
It’s important to think about the things we DO accomplish, and not just dwell on the things we DIDN’T get done. Or is that just me.

I have a couple of things to talk about this Tuesday, but no pictures because Blogger is having issues.

1. I finished our paperwork and got our taxes done! Sounds like a small accomplishment, especially since it was due, say, 6 months ago, but I am procrastinator extraordinaire. I’ve taken procrastinating to the next level. I DID remember to get an extension, though, so don’t worry. The feds won’t be taking me away anytime soon.

2. I decided to pull out an old project to work on while watching conference this past weekend. This is embarrassing to admit, but I began this little cross-stitching project oooooooohhhhhhh 11 years or so ago. The magazine is dated 1994. You know how it goes, out of sight, out of mind. I may not get it done for this Halloween but there’s always hope for next year. And I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Here she is, the little mischief maven herself, my little sister Monie. Oh, yeah, and that's Kyle, her "intended". This picture is one from their engagement shoot. She's planning the wedding, but really doesn't care too much about the details. You know, like wearing actual shoes, not flip flops.

Tara is in Utah trying on wedding dresses for her. Hard to find a nice, not too price-y, modest wedding dress in the middle of nowhere Nauvoo, and Middle of noWHheRe MO. I asked her {Tara} if she told the guy she's dating that she's looking for a wedding dress, and she said "Of course not!" Even though she's planning on wearing the same dress as Monie. Cuz we're nothing if not thrifty Mormon girls in this family!

Don't they look like they have fun together?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wife, Mother, Singer, Songwriter

No, I'm not talking about myself. In my dreams! If I were describing myself, it would be more like; Drill sergeant, TV police, complainer, procrastinator.

I'm talking about Lori McKenna. Mother of 5, and amazing songwriter. Her voice is a little Stevie Nicks, with a touch of Suzy Boggus.

Read an interview with her at 5 Minutes for Mom and comment to be entered in their contest to win a 4-song CD and DVD. Or then again, don't enter. My chances will be a little bit better.

You can see her in action here. How can you not like her?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Pumpkin Love

Every year about this time we’d head on out to pick some pumpkins, then go home to spread newspaper over the table and make a huge, goopy mess. We loved to use patterns from the Pumpkinmasters books, though I have to say we kept them pretty simple. Their website has 3 free patterns to print out, and they also have a variety of pumpkin recipes. The Better Homes and Gardens site also has a Pumpkin Stencil Maker, but you have to register {quick and easy} to use it.

We can’t seem to get enough pumpkin around here. I experimented with our usual Krusteaz pancake mix and some pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla and made some quick, yummy pumpkin pancakes. This is what they look like after my little piggies dive into them, and here’s how they were done:

Quick Pumpkin Pancakes

4 ½ cups Krusteaz Pancake Mix
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups water
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ small can pumpkin (about 1 cup)
Stir dry mix and cinnamon together, then add other ingredients. Try not to over mix or the cakes might be a little tough. This makes a very large batch, about 2 dozen very dense pancakes. We usually have some leftovers that I freeze for quick breakfasts.

We ate these with some of this:
Cider Syrup
1 c. sugar
2 T. corn starch
½ tsp. Pumpkin pie spice, or ¼ tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg, and a dash of cloves
2 c. apple juice
2 T lemon juice
¼ c. butter

Mix sugar, corn starch and spices in a sauce pan. Add juices and butter. Heat and boil for 1 minute.
That’s it!

Now, don’t get me wrong, these are yummy with just plain old maple syrup. But if you really want a taste of Autumn, and you have a few minutes while the pancakes are cooking, cook up some Cider Syrup. This is another recipe from my Aunt Ramona. I remember visiting when I was a youngster and her kids would beg for pumpkin pancakes and cider syrup. Well, I cheated on the “homemade” pancakes, but the syrup is the original.

This post is part of the Winter Bazaar.
{Yeah, around here Winter is usually Bizarre}

To see more participants, go see Scribbet.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Get your life organized with these amazing Organizing Bags!

Edited: Contest is now closed. Thanks to those of you who entered! Click here to see who won.

If you're anything like me, you're constantly trying to get organized. You think about it, make lists about it, start organizing, but things just don't end up the way you planned. Oops, did I give away a little too much information about myself?

Enter The Lazy Organizer's Organizing Bags. Lara Gallagher is an overwhelmed, trying to get organized mom who came up with a great solution. She got tired of using disposable zip bags, but still wanted something see-thru. So, she made some!

These bags are perfect for kids games, scrapbooking, crafts, first aid kits, airplane travel, SCRAPBOOKING, you name it! They also make a great gift for struggling, wannabe organizers like me.

The Lazy Organizer is having a contest for a set of 5 bags, one of each size, but only til tomorrow. Just leave a comment here on my post, and click here to leave one on her blog. I am now an "affiliate" and can take orders for these awesome bags! I'll add a button to my sidebar as soon as I figure out how! lol For now, you can check them out or order by clicking on this link:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October = Pumpkins

Scribbet is hosting a Winter Bazaar on her blog, so I thought I'd hop on the bandwagon.

October has always been the Pumpkin month for me. When we were still in California I would get the kids from school and head to the pumpkin patch in Sebastopol, then Davis when we moved to Winters. I have many fond memories of choosing pumkins, including the year I sprained my ankle; 7 months pregnant and holding a 2 year-old I took a tumble while heading to see the three little pigs in the petting zoo. Ah, those were the days.

So, here's some pumpkin love for you. This scrapbook page was made last night while watching Boston Legal with Andy. I have to do something when I watch TV, otherwise I'll just end up snoring.

Page is a 12x12 sheet of cardstock, and with some orange and white felt, floss, and buttons, I had my page in minutes. The title is obviously just hand cut, as well as the pumpkin. The pumpkin is 2 pieces, the pumpkin-y shaped bottom piece, and an oval over the top to give it a 3D look. I blanket stitched around the outside edges of both pieces, added a button and piece of ribbon, and voila. I'm channeling my inner Elsie, just not as funky, more homespun.

And what should you eat while making a pumpkin page in October? Why, Pumpkin Cookies, of course! This is my Aunt Ramona's recipe, and they're yummy.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 c. sugar

2 c. flour

1 c. shortening

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. canned pumpkin

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients, drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Double this recipe (why wouldn't you?) and use 1 small can of pumpkin and 1 bag of chocolate chips. And yes, that's a lot of shortening. You could probably cut it down a little.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Just a little down-home fun

at the Green Ridge Harvest Fun Fest. At least I think that's what they called it.
We call it Park Day. It's the day that residents of our town,
population 4 hundred and something,
get together to have a little fun.
Just about anyone can participate in the parade and craft fair for no charge.
This is the view from the Pre-School float.
Carmen, Natalia, Jerica and Monkey are tossing out candy to innocent by-standers and parade-goers who hopefully are paying attention so they don't get a Tootsie Roll upside the head.

What do you do with the empty candy bucket?

Why, use it as a hat of course.

Pre-teen boys need something to do. Why not get a little creative?

Yes, that's Brian in the wagon.

His friend Joe is driving. See the sign? "Lawn Mower Posse".

And the wagon up ahead is the "Paddy Wagon".

This is what a three-year-old looks like after cleaning out the bake sale.

Can you say tummy ache?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...