Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holiday Joy....

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We had fun at our house, even though my 6 year old said she didn't get anything she wanted. We got to go visit my hubby's sister and go 4-wheeling in the snow on Christmas Day. And yesterday I got to go to my parent's house for a big family party. We had a ton of fun until our ride home. My oldest daughter gagged right before we left my parent's house, so my mom gave us a ziploc bag for the ride home. Boy were we glad we had that bag!!! She threw up several times on the way home and then every 20 minutes or so for the next 4 hours. Then our 3 year old started throwing up and two hours after that our baby started too. And this morning my hubby wasn't feeling good either. So between all that and washing all the bedding in the middle of the night I am exhausted....and hoping that I don't get sick too. I hope everyone else's Holiday is going better than ours....oh the holiday joy!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Candy Recipes...

Well, by popular demand, here are my candy recipes. I still have not gotten the recipe from my neighbor. :( Hopefully I will soon, and then I will post that too. Happy candy making!

Orange and Raspberry Sticks

5 small pkgs. raspberry jell-o (or orange for orange sticks)
1 1/2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar

Melt cranberry sauce in a saucepan. Add jell-o and sugar. Cook until sugars are dissolved, stirring constantly. Let cool and pour onto a well greased (I just use pam) 15 x whatever jelly roll pan. Allow to set for a day or two to set up. Cut into thin strips and dip in chocolate. You can also put this into a 9x13 pan, and then cut into small cubes and roll in sugar for gumdrops.

English Toffee
1 pound butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup chopped almonds or pecans
16 oz. milk chocolate chips

Melt butter, sugar, water and corn syrup in saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil. Boil until it reaches a temperature of 290 without stirring. Pour onto a greased jelly roll pan. When cool spread top with melted chocolate chips and sprinkle with nuts. Press nuts lightly into chocolate so they stick better. Cool. When completely cool break into small pieces.

Peanut butter cups
1/3 lb. graham crackers crumbs (I usually use 1 package and put it in my blender)
1/2 lb. butter or margarine at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1 pound powdered sugar
chocolate for dipping

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, peanut butter, and sugar until well mixed. Refridgerate for a couple of hours. Roll into small balls. Dip in chocolate. Place in small candy cups.

Oreo fudge
16 oreo cookies broken into small chunks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tblsp. butter or margarine
2 2/3 cups vanilla chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Line a 8 x 8 pan with wax paper coated with non-stick spray. Place 1/2 of broken cookie pieces on bottom of pan. Combine milk, butter, and vanilla chips in a sauce pan. Heat until chips are melted and well combined. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over cookie pieces in pan. Top with remaining cookie pieces. Refridgerate until set. Cut into cubes.

Microwave Peanut brittle
Stir together 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup corn syrup in an 8 cup glass measuring cup. Cook in the microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 minutes or until light brown. Add 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 more minutes more. Add 1 tsp. baking soda and gently stir until light and foamy. Pour mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Let cool and break into pieces.

Cream Cheese Mints and Cinnamon mints
3 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
1 tsp. mint extract
green food coloring
3 cups powdered sugar (plus or minus to make them the consistancy you want)
2 crushed mint candy canes

Mix cream cheese, mint extract, and food coloring. Add powdered sugar and crushed candy canes. Roll into long snakes, and cut into small pieces.

For Cinnamon mints:
Use mint recipe, but replace green food coloring with red, and cinnamon candy canes for the mint candy canes. Add 4 drops cinnamon oil with the mint extract. Mix and roll out the same as above.

I hope these make your sweet tooth happy! Enjoy!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Something missing....

The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
The presents are wrapped and hiding downstairs,

The cards have all been made, labeled, and sent
To the Ward Christmas party we all have went,

but something is missing,what can it be....
Christmas goodies, for you and for me!

I am usually all over making Christmas and raspberry sticks (yes, homemade!), cream cheese mints and cinnamon mints, fudge, english toffee, peanut brittle, peanut butter cups, cinnamon hard candy, oreo fudge, and candied nuts are all usually made by now. However, for some reason this year I am not excited about making any of it. Maybe it is because my daughter is off track and I am trying to keep all the kids entertained and happy, maybe it is because of those pesky 13 pounds I put on since this same time last year, or maybe I am just tired of making the same old things. I think it is probably the last one on the list. My neighbors always give us a goody platter every year of homemade candy....homemade caramel, fudge, and these fabulous little chocolate balls. They have a white soft middle and are coated in chocolate, and then rolled in chopped almonds. They are so good. I have been craving them since last year. They are the only candy I want this year. My hubby asked them for the recipe yesterday for me. They said they would sent it with our platter of goodies. I am so excited!!!! I can't wait....I hope they don't forget. Please, please, please don't forget! I just have to have them! (Can you tell I am totally addicted to sugar!)

What goodies are a must at your house during the holidays? I would love to find out what other people make. Maybe it will get me excited to make some goodies afterall.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Favorite Christmas Decorations Part 1...

I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas decorations. Blogger doesn't seem to like me to post more than three pictures at a time, so I had to make two posts, so make sure you check out my previous post too.

This is a Santa that we made in R.S. one year. I love that it is big. Most of my decorations are smaller table top decorations, so it is fun to have something bigger to set on the floor.

I purchased these gingerbread men at the craft store I use to work at. I love them because they are so cute and they have glitter all over them. I usually have them on my stove top bent around a scented candle. They look like they are out having a bonfire.

This is one of the first Christmas decorations that I made. The santa is holding a chalk board that we leave various messages on or count down the days until Christmas on.
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My favorite Christmas Decorations Part 2...

My good friend Becky gave me this one year for Christmas because she knows I love frogs. It says, "Kisses under the Mistletoad".

I was fortunate to work with a super creative and crafty woman in young women's a long time ago. She made this (and several other adorable decorations I have around my house). She was so talented, and I learned so much about making crafties from her.

I found this little treasure at Deseret Industries for $1.00. I don't know why anyone let this cute thing go.
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Thanks for stopping by to check out a few of my decorations.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The sweetest thing....

On Saturday I took each of my girls shopping to buy Christmas presents for their sisters. This was the first time they have ever bought gifts for each other. They have been collecting spare change from doing their chores for months. They each had enough to buy each of their sisters a $1.00 gift. They loaded up their money into their play purses and took turns going shopping. They both went skipping and dancing into the store with their little purses swinging on their arms. It was the sweetest thing! They were absolutely adorable trying to figure out the very BEST present for each of their sisters. I didn't think that the decision would take so long, but they certainly had fun shopping. They were so excited to pay the saleperson, and put the receipt in their purse. They were even more excited to get to wrap their presents with dad and put them under the tree. They were actually nice to each other the rest of the day! I think giving their sisters presents might be the most special part of Christmas for them this year. This is definately a tradition that we will do again!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Holiday Home Tour

Nettie is having a Christmas open house. Here are a few pictures of my holiday decor. Blogger isn't liking me too much, so I was only able to post these 4 pics. I might have to put up another post with a few of my favorite holiday items that are not shown here, but that will have to wait for another day. Thanks for stopping by!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care....At least they are really hanging this year. The first year I made them I forgot to attach loops to hang them from! I still need to embroider our names on them in gold of these days I will get around to it.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches. We love our tree. It is so pretty and sparkly when the lights are all on at night. Note the Moroni on top!

Here is our nativity scene. We purchased it in Guatemala after haggling a guy for it. It came with an elephant, but I thought that was strange, so we talked the guy into exchanging it for an extra camel. It also came with a HUGE baby Jesus. We had him give us a smaller one that went to another set, but it was still about as big as the donkey...luckily it got broken on the way home. I found the new baby Jesus, the manger, and the sheep at a local ceramics shop.

This is our entry way table decked out in holiday decor. My husband made the table last year for me for Christmas.
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Friday, December 1, 2006

Christmas Meme...

UTMOMMY and SUZANNE recently did this meme on their blogs. I thought it looked like a fun one so I decided to try it to. Here goes:
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I love them both. They are two of my favorite beverages. I just saw an ad in a magazine that had a picture of egg nog in a can...can you really buy the stuff in a can? I need to start a year's supply if they do.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? It depends on if they are easily wrapped. Mostly he wraps them, this year the toys are not getting wrapped, but everything else is.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Definately hubby loves the colored though, so maybe we will have to do that sometime.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes. It is in the archway to my living room, and on the wall by it is a little quilt sampler that says, "Kisses under the Mistletoad" with a frog on it. (Rather fitting don't you think?)

5. When do you put your decorations up? We took all the fall decorations down the day after Thanksgiving and cleaned the entire house and then decorated for Christmas that night. We were going to waith until Saturday, but the kids were too excited. I will be sick of them before Christmas is over though. And for some reason, I wasn't all that excited to put them up this year. I didn't even put out a lot of things I usually do.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I LOVE finger foods....crackers and cheese, artichoke dip, cheeseballs, little smokies, sliced meat, olives, cut up fruit with creamy fruit dip, etc. Yum Yum Yum!! Maybe I will have to serve that for dinner tonight!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: I remember one Christmas (I don't remember how old I was) and we came out Christmas morning to open presents and there was a row of stuffed animals (one for each of the kids) lined up by the tree. I remember a Christmas when I was a teenager when my Dad surprised me with a pair of Girbaud shorts. I jumped up and down screaming I was so excited. (I would do the same thing today if I could fit back into them!)

8. How and When did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember how old I was, but I learned it from my neighbor Angie. I don't remember being sad about it. I just thought, "Oh."

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? My family never did growing up, but my husband's family always got new pajamas, so we have started doing that with out kids, except for this year (since they didn't need pajamas) we bought them all snow pants instead.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? We have 2 trees. One is an artificial full-size tree with white lights, gold, burgundy, and ivory decorations. We have a small artificial "kid" tree with colored lights that has my kid's ornaments and the ornaments I got when I was a child on it.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I seem to dread it more and more the older I get. I am perfectly happy inside watching it snow, but I would rather not have to be in it. Sledding with the family is pretty fun though.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes...I can even go backwards. Don't ask me to do any jumping though.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Mine would have to be a Barbie that my husband gave me in 1999. His sisters had been going through all their Barbie stuff and it had made me sad. I had given away (stupid, stupid, stupid!) all of my Barbie things when I thought I was too "old" for them, and I have regretted it ever since. My hubby's sisters even had a Barbie that I had when I was little. It made me miss them even more, so that Christmas my hubby bought a Barbie for me because he knew I was sad about mine (we didn't even have any kids at the time). It was very sweet.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Remembering the birth of my Savior, and spending time with family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? My homemade orange and raspberry sticks, which I am not going to make this year. I will miss them.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I have two.
One is from when I was little. My mom made a little nativity scene with stuffed people. There was a wooden manger under baby Jesus, and everytime we did a good deed we got to put a piece of straw under baby Jesus. It is something I would like to start doing with my own kids. My other favorite is from my husband's family. When him and his 5 brothers and sisters got to be a little older and were waking up too early in the morning to find out what "Santa" brought his parents came up with a little plan to keep them in their rooms longer. His parents set up booby traps all down the hall to try to keep the kids in bed...we are talking major traps here! They would tie yarn all around their bedrooms with bells on it so they couldn't even get out of their beds without making a lot of noise. They taped wrapping paper over the end of the hall, rigged up marbles so when a door was opened they would fall into a metal bowl. They did all kinds of things. They said they would stay up laughing their heads off trying to think of new booby traps. I think most of the kids enjoyed trying to get out of their rooms as much as they did the Christmas presents. The kids would even gather up supplies the night before....scissors for cutting string, a flashlight, candy (in case they were hungry), a cup (in case they couldn't get out to go to the bathroom). It is so funny to hear my hubby tell all the stories. I would like to try that with our kids, the only problem is that our bedroom is at the end of the hallway.

17. What tops your tree? A gold statue of Moroni...what better topper is there than that!

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I actually prefer receiving (I know I am just a big kid!). I do love giving things to people that I have made though.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Silent Night, and I can't think of the names of any others (I never know the names of songs!).

20. What is your favorite Christmas story? The story of the birth of Christ of course, but I have always loved the story of the Match Girl. I remember listening to it on a record when I was a kid. I wonder if my parents still have it.

Well there are some of my Christmas memories. I would love to read yours, so let me know if you decide to do this meme as well.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Book Review: Snow Flower and The Secret Fan

Our book club book for the month was Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See. I LOVED this book! The story is set in China and is the story of two friends who are sworn to be friends for life. They are sworn to each other at the age of 6 or 7. And the story tells about the events of their lives....foot binding (VERY interesting!), getting married, having families, etc. What I loved most about the book was the depictions of the customs and traditions of the Chinese people. It was so interesting to read just for that alone, but the story is wonderful to. The story is about deep friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. It is a wonderful read....I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What Works For You: Facial Cleansers

I love learning about other people and how they do things. I always assume that what I do is "normal" until I found out how others do things. "Oh, you do that! I never thought to do it that way!" So I am going to start doing a few posts to learn more about you. What do you do? What do you like? I am curious to know.

This week I am curious about facial cleansers. This is a big issue for me right now. I am having horrible acne problems. As you can see I have used a few (and a few more not pictured here) products to try to clear up my skin. So far nothing is working.
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I think most of my problems come from those pesky hormones...maybe that is why I am having worse acne then I did when I was going through puberty. So I am curious to find out what works for you. What makes your skin nice and clear? I would love to find out so hopefully I will find something that works for me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Baby Mom....

I have decided that I am a baby mom. I love babies! This last weekend we went to my sister-in-law's house for a family party. She has a 3 month old baby. He is adorable. He has those adorable little baby rolls and tons of dark hair. He is happy and smiley, and just plain cute. I called baby dibs and hogged him to myself the whole party...I was so selfish, but he was just adorable! I rocked him to sleep and quieted him when he was fussy. It made me realize how much I love babies. I guess Heavenly Father knew babies would go over much better than teenagers, and that is why he sent them when they were so tiny and helpless. I know moms who are wonderful toddler moms and elementary school age kid moms, I know a few who are miraculously wonderful teenager moms (I should start taking notes for that one!), but I prefer babies. Once my kids get to be 2 they just aren't as much fun...sure they are adorable and I love them, but they don't want to be held and cuddled like a baby does. They start having a little too much opinion and attitude. I had some neighbors a few years ago that had 10 children. They always said that they couldn't get enough babies. I don't know if I love babies enough to have 10, but I certainly adore them. I love their smells...nothing like a baby straight from the tub wearing fuzzy feet pajamas! I love baby noises...those adorable little gurgles and grunts always make me smile. I love the way babies soft and cuddly. I love to hold a baby's fuzzy head next to my temples. Nothing is sweeter than a baby. Can you tell I am a little baby hungry? What kind of mom are you?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fully Rely On God

I love frogs. I collected frogs when I was younger, and my babies room is decorated in frogs now. I have a good friend that told me once that FROG stands for Fully Rely On God. I thought it was such a cute idea that I am trying to come up with an activity for my activity days girls based on this subject. I have cute wooden frogs that we are going to paint and write Fully Rely On God on the bottom of them as a reminder for them to put in their rooms. I have several articles and scriptures to talk about that bring this point to light, but I am at a loss for a good object lesson or activity of sorts to do along with this activity. So I am seeking advice from all of you brilliant women. Can you think of any ideas?

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Fun and Games

With the temperatures dropping we have been trying to come up with new fun activities to do with our kids indoors. Here are a few of our favorites.
Riding our family horsie. :)

Since we don't have boys we don't have one of those "official" rugs that has streets and buildings all over it, so we kind of make our own. I take painter's tape and lay out roads and buildings on our kitchen floor, then the girls take the cars and drive around on the roads. They usually pretend that the buildings are can tell we stop at quite a few while we are traveling in the car can't you !?!

This is a funny game that some how started at our home. It is called Beans N' Rice. One of my girls will tell their dad to catch their Beans N' Rice and then take off running. When my hubby catches them he wraps them up in a "tortilla" which is actually a blanket (Aren't these blankets adorable? My mom made one for each of her grandkids to play with...ours get lots of use.) After the Beans N' Rice are wrapped in a tortilla my hubby puts them in the "fridge" which is actually the couch. Somehow the Beans N' Rice always wiggle free and take off running to start the whole game over again. This sounds quite odd, but my girls love it.
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We also play lots of board and card games, hide and seek, tag, play dough, read stories, watch movies, and do all kinds of art projects to keep us busy when it is cold outside. What about you? What fun things do you to with your kids to keep them entertained when the weather is cold?

Monday, November 6, 2006

Dry Skin Season....

It is definately dry skin season. My family seems to be prone to dryness. My hubby has problems all year long, but the rest of us start having dry itchy skin about this time each year. I noticed a dry patch on my daughters face today. Here is my favorite remedy for dry skin:
This stuff does the trick every time (especially on those sandal scaley feet during the summer!). It is pretty greasy, so I recommend only putting it on at night before going to bed or you won't be able to open doors with those greasy hands. If I put it on my feet at night I cover them up with socks. In the morning they are wonderfully soft. I have also put socks over my hands too, but that tends to drive me a little batty, so I usually don't. Wishing you all soft skin this winter. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 30, 2006

Healthy Dog...

This is our dog, Josie. She is a 5 year old Dachshund.
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I loved her the first time I saw her. She has adorable puppy dog eyes that just plead with you for some attention. She use to be my husband's Grandma's dog, but she could not take care of her, so we kind of "inherited" her. She had been so neglected that she needed to be house broken again. We got her during one of the worst winters on record in Logan. I remember taking her out at 4:00a.m. to go to the bathroom in several feet of snow. Boy were we glad when she was finally house broken! She has been part of our family for just over 4 years now. She is sometimes a nuisance with her loud bark (you wouldn't think that such a little dog could bark so loud!), her leaky bladder problems, and her tendancy to vomit when she eats something she shouldn't, but despite it all, we really enjoy having her. This last week Josie developed a little tick. She would walk around and shake her head funny. I checked her out and found that she had puss all over inside her ear. It was disgusting. We got her into the vet and they had to knock her out to clean out her ears, and then started her on antibiotics. Today is her last day of antibiotics. I am so excited! It is worse giving your dog medicine than it is giving it to your child. Josie usually will wolf down anything, but for some reason she didn't want anything to do with those little red pills. So we have been coating them with a little peanut butter, and then she doesn't even notice. It is nice to have our dog acting like herself again. Even though my DH thinks it wasn't worth the $133 vet visit, it is still nice to have our little dog around.

Friday, October 27, 2006

In Search...

We just picked a new schedule for our book club for next year. I had a book planned that I was going to do because it was the 100th year since its publication...well I found out right before book club that the anniversary is actually in 2008, so I will have to wait another year to choose that book. I am supposed to do book club at my house in February, and I thought it would be fun to do a classic romance...something along the lines of Pride and Prejudice, but I have no ideas. So I am asking for help. Do you know of any good "classic" romances?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Four Word Meme

I just realized that my last post was a meme too, hope you aren't tired of them yet. Lei at My Many Colored Days tagged me to do a four word meme. These are the words she gave me: Classic, Forge, Home, and Charity.

Classic. This word always reminds me of Stephanie from For Better or For Worse. It was a word that her and her husband use to use a lot when they were first married. I don't know if they still do, but it still reminds me of them. There was also a place that I went roller skating when I was a kid called Classic Rollerskating. I think the only time I really went their was for parties for school or friends birthdays. I remember once there was a father daughter party there. My friend, Angie's, dad couldn't go so my dad took her and I. We had a great time skating around with my dad.

Forge. The first thing I thought of when I heard this word was Valley Forge...I don't know why. Then I thought of the word as an action, something that I do in my own life....I am constantly forging ahead. It means to move forward steadily, and that is what I am always trying to do. And then (I hate to admit this)I thought of a few times when I was in elementary school and needed a progress report or something signed, and my parents had already gone to work, so I forged their signatures by using a receipt they had gotten from purchasing gas....oh the shame...can you forgive me mom and dad?

Home. I love my home more and more all the time. When we first moved here I didn't plan on it being my resting spot, but it has become least for a long time. My husband and I have been remodeling things around our house, and every new project just makes it seem more and more like my home. I have fond memories of my home when I was a child, and I often think about the memories that my kids will take of their home when they leave it someday. Will they remember the holiday traditions and decorations, the colors of the flowers in our yard, the smells from our kitchen, the way it felt to walk in the door after school was out. I hope I am making a happy home for my kids, and that they will have happy memories of it when they get older.

Charity. The pure love of Christ. I am not sure I have much charity. I often grumble when asked to do something. This is something that I am forging ahead on. My neighbor is a great example of charity for me. She is always doing something for someone else (including me). I always think of her when I hear the word charity.

Well those are my thoughts. Now it is time to make some lunch for my kids....I am tired of lunch. What do you feed your family for lunch everyday? I am tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese, and macaroni and cheese.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Halloween Meme

My dear sweet sister tagged me to do this fun meme for halloween, so here goes:

1.What's the scariest movie you've ever seen? I really am not a fan of scary movies, so the scariest one I have ever seen was probably the Sixth Sense. I screamed out loud when that little girl pops up throwing up. I can't even think of another scary movie I have seen. I went to a birthday party when I was younger and they were watching Poltergeist (sp?), and I didn't want to watch it so I spent the whole evening upstairs playing Barbies by myself.

2. What was your favorite Halloween Costume from childhood, and adulthood? The only one I can remember from when I was a kid was a Raggedy Ann costume. It was made of plastic and had one of those plastic masks with the elastic string that goes around your head, and it had a matted bright red wig. I dressed up like one of the 12 dancing princesses when I was in college...that was fun. Last year I dressed up as a witch, but I usually don't dress up on Halloween.

3. If you had an unlimited budget, what would your Fantasy Costume be for this Halloween? Some sort of a fancy queen/princess outfit from the victorian era I guess.

4.When was the last time you went Trick Or Treating? I took the girls out last year....this year I am making DH go instead.

5.What is your favorite Halloween treat? I love candy corn and those little pumkins that come in the holiday mix. My favorite trick-or-treating type candy would have to be the little yellow boxes of Dots. I love DH even scored me a box at his work today and brought them home for me.

6. Tell us about a scary nightmare you had. When I was about five I had a dream that I was on a giant waterbed (you couldn't see the edges). There was a baby deer on the waterbed, and our mean neighbor girl was chasing it with a big butcher knife trying to kill it, and I was trying to save it. The neighbor girl kept falling and stabbing holes into the water bed and water would start squirting everywhere. I woke up screaming and my mom came in and comforted me and gave me a glass of water and a piece of sliced cheese...the weird things you remember huh?

7. What is your Supernatural Fear? My husband and I recently watched some show about ghosts and about this possessed spooked me!

8. What is your Creepy-Crawlie Fear? I hate spiders! They give me the creeps even if I see them coming first. I hate killing them because I am always afraid they will get away and land on me.

9. Tell us about a time when you saw a ghost, or heard something go Bump in the night. I've never seen a ghost. I did feel something go bump in the night once. I woke one night for some reason, and rolled over, and a big heavy hand landed right on my face. I about flew out of my bed! Then I realized it was my own hand! I had fallen asleep with my arms somehow above my head, and they had fallen asleep, so I couldn't even feel that it was mine!

10. Would you ever stay in a real Haunted House overnight?
It depends on if their were large sums of money at stake. I might in that case, but I don't think I would sleep all night!

11. Are you a traditionalist (just a face) Jack O'Lantern Carver, or do you get really creative with your pumpkins? I tend to be a Traditionalist, but I have always wanted to try something different and new. I might spell B O O on some this year since we have a bunch of little ones.

12. How much do you decorate your home for Halloween? I decorate more for Fall than for Halloween. I have pumpkins and leaves in one form or another over most of my house, and I love gourds. I don't like all the spooky stuff for Halloween, so most of my Halloween stuff consists of jack-o-lanterns and scarecrows.

13. What do you want on your Tombstone? I would like to be cremated, and buried with my hubby, so we would probably end up sharing the same Tombstone, so I guess I would have something on their about our life together.

Well I am not sure who has not done this one yet, so If you are feeling up to it, take the challenge, and consider yourself tagged.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Pecan Topping

This is my all time favorite Autumn breakfast. I have made it twice in the last couple of weeks! I thought I would share the recipe:

Pumpkin Pancakes
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
2 Tblsp. Oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tblsp. sugar

Mix all dry ingredients together, set aside. Mix all wet ingredients together, then add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour batter onto hot griddle and cook.

Apple Pecan Topping
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tblsp. Orange juice
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until apples are tender. Stir frequently. Serve over top of pumpkin pancakes.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On the day that M was born...

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Yesterday was my oldest daughters birthday. I have seen several blogs with the birth story of their child on their birthday, so I thought I would do that too. So here is the story of how M came to be:

My husband and I had been married for a year when we decided it was time to start adding to our family. Little did we know, that it would take us a year and a half, lots of prayers, fasting, tears, and some fertility meds to finally get pregnant. We were so excited when I finally got pregnant (and stayed pregnant, after we had already had one miscarriage). I was extremely tired my first trimester because I was working full-time, but I wasn't very sick. I don't get that terribly sick when I am least not throwing up sick, just tired, nauseous, and gaggy. We ended up moving when I was 5 months pregnant. It wasn't a bad move since I wasn't that big yet. We moved into an apartment that had no air conditioning, so it was a very long, hot, and uncomfortable summer. We moved again when I was 8 months pregnant, but just across town. I was having some serious Braxton-Hicks contractions, but everything was okay. I went in for my regularly scheduled doctor's appointment 3 days before my due date. I had been having problems the last couple of weeks with my blood pressure being too high. My blood pressure had gone up again, so the doctor and I decided it was time to get the baby out. He told me to come back to the hospital that night to induce me. I walked home crying. I was excited, scared, nervous, happy, terrified all at the same time. I tried to rest that day, but of course I was to emotional to get any rest. That night my husband and I went to the hospital. The doctor used cervidil to induce me since I was already starting to dialate on my own. My husband and I spent a lot of time wandering the halls and watching the little monitors they had me attached to. In the early hours of the next morning my water broke and things started happening. I don't really have painful contractions until my water breaks, so this felt like the beginning of my labor for me. I spent the next several hours trying to breathe through contractions (luckily I had a wonderful nurse who really helped me focus). Those birthing books make it seem so easy to relax, but that is SO not the case. I spent a lot of time holding on to the bed screaming. Finally I got to the point where I could start pushing. I was so excited because I had heard that pushing is the best part of labor where you can really take an active role in your delivery. I HATED PUSHING!!! It was horrible. My nurse kept counting and telling me to push, and I just couldn't catch my breath inbetween. I spent two hours pushing, with not a whole lot happening. My babies heart beat started dropping, and the doctor said we needed to get her out. So out came the forcepts...this was an absolutely horrifying sight since I was doing this all naturally. The doctor pulled, and I pushed, and my baby was born. I was so relieved! After 14 hours of labor my baby was finally here. I hear a lot of people talk about how their birthing experience was so spiritual. Mine really wasn't. I think if I had not been so tired and worn out it might have been. It was amazing though!
So that is the quick version of M's birth (minus all the gross details). I cannot believe I have been a mother for 6 years now. It has been an amazing journey. I never knew being a mother could be so hard and so wonderful all at the same time. I never realized how much your children are a part of you. M is truly my daughter. She loves the same things I do, she thinks the same way I do. If she is sad, I just KNOW why. I understand her, I get her. It is so fun to be her mother.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Flower Fairy Birthday Party

This last weekend we had a flower fairy birthday party for my soon to be 6 year old daughter. It was a lot of fun.

Here is the invitation:

We played two games at the party. One was pin the fairy on the flower, and the other was musical flowers (where I put large paper flowers on the floor that the girls had to hurry and stand on when the music stopped). We also watched some stories and songs off of a fairy movie I got from the library.

I made all of the little girls that attended little fairy costumes that they got to take home with them. I made little green tu-tus, magic flower wands, and flower crowns.

We served cup cakes with paper flower toothpicks in them and punch for dessert. The party was going really well until a girl spilt half a pitcher full of punch all over my dining room. My daughter got lots of fun new things, and everyone seemed to have a fabulous time.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Red fire buckets...

Okay, this is the picture of the buckets that should be in the post below. Picasa and blogger are not liking me today.
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A few new projects....

I haven't been whipping out projects lately like I normally do, but here are a few things I have done lately.

These are some buckets I made for my nephew's room. I originally made one, but his parent's requested 3 more. They have decorated his room with fire trucks. They hung the buckets on a ladder attached to the wall to put his toys in.

I made these with my activity day girls a couple of weeks ago. The large PRAY lettering glows in the dark. This is one I made for my girl's room.

I just finished this one yesterday. It is going to go on my entry way table as soon as I remove the holiday decor.
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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Book Review: An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Our Book Club book for the month was An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This wasn't my favorite book, but it was definately interesting. The book compiles random thoughts and stories from the author's life into encyclopedia form. It totally reminded me of blogging. Blogs just don't happen to be in alphabetical order. She is a humorous writer, and some of her entries were very amusing. Some of my favorites were Busy, Humbling, Nothing, and Distraction. I think it would be fun to write a book in this style...starting at the letter A and writing about anything that catches my fancy all the way through Z. So if you are interested in a lightly humorous random book that reminds you of blogging this would be the book for you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fall Open House

Nettie from Singing a Verse of My Song is hosting a fall open house. I thought it would be fun to participate, so here are a few shots of my home decorated for fall. If you want to see more fall decor click on Nettie's link on my side bar to visit her blog.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Yellowstone: Good & Bad

We just spent last week in West Yellowstone for my husbands work conference. I thought I would share a little good and bad from our trip.
Work Conference
Good: Because we went for my husband's work conference his work paid for family vacation! They also give him so much money for food and travel that we always end up with leftover $$$.
Bad: Since it is a work related conference we go with my husband's fellow employees which means there is a certain level of expectation of having to hang out with them (or their wives). This isn't too bad, but it is annoying if you just want to do your own thing.

Good: My husband's work always puts us in nice hotels, and the very best thing is that I don't have to clean it or do the laundry after we leave!
Bad: Sleeping in the same room with our 3 kids. They would not go to sleep unless it was dark and quiet, so I spent a lot of time reading in the bathroom, and sewing in the hallway while they went to sleep.

Sight Seeing
Good: Yellowstone National Park is amazing. I love all the geothermal attractions...the geysers, the hot pots, the boiling mud. It is fantastic!!

Bad: Our kids were often more impressed by the non-attractions. Like this leftover stump on an old statue that they insisted on having their picture taken on.

Good: I must admit that I kind of like that rotten-egg sulfur smell of Yellowstone (I know, call me weird!).
Bad: There was so much chlorine in our hotel pool that it burnt our mucous membranes.

Wild Animals
Good: We got to see a lot of wild animals like bears, wolves, elk, and buffalo. They kids loved watching them.
Bad: The most ferocious animals I saw were the 8 year old boys fighting with each other at the park.

Eating Out
Good: I love eating out. To save some money we only eat out once a day when we are on a trip, but I always look forward to it.
Bad: Unknown restaurants. Eating out is fun if you know that food is good at a place. We went to a Chinese Food restaurant that was down-right disgusting, dirty, sticky, and just plain filthy. I will not make you gag by telling the whole story.

Long Drive
Good: Getting to see all the scenery along the l-o-n-g drive there was fun. The fall leaves were beautiful.
Bad: Tired, cranky children with way too much energy strapped into hard carseats for 6 hours....use your imagination on that one.

Good: I love little tourist town shops. They always have fun interesting things.
Bad: The prices of those little tourist town shops. Luckily we had a lot of time to go shopping and compare prices. We found a hooded Yellowstone sweatshirt in one store for $17.95. We found the exact same sweatshirt in another shop for $30.00. I guess you can figure out which one we bought.

So there is a quick recap of our good and bad vacation. I would do it all again! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekend of Exes

Those of you who read my last post know that I ran into one of my ex-boyfriends a couple days ago. It was fun to get to see him and catch up on what he has been doing for the last 13 years. It was also a little strange. After the initial conversation about what you have been doing, where you work, what your family life is like now, and if you see any of your old friends from high school, what is left to talk about? It was strange that I ran into my ex-boyfriend the same weekend that my husband ran into one of his. Actually, he didn't really run into her. She had seen my husband on t.v. and knew he would be at his work on Saturday, so she took her husband and family to see him. (Do you think that is a little odd?)She was the one that gave my husband the "Dear John" letter on his mission, and he hadn't seen her for about 14 years. It was really weird for him to see her. So it was a little bit of a weird weekend for both of us reliving old memories and thinking about how lucky we are that we married each other. My husband was so cute about the whole thing, he came home after seeing his ex and told me that he was so grateful he was married to me. I had the same feeling after seeing my ex. I would much rather be where I am than being married to someone still going to college and working at Wal-Mart. So even though it was stange to see our exes we are even more grateful for the life we have together.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Home Again....

I just returned home from a scrapbooking trip to my mom's house. It is always fun to go and get some scrapbooking done, but it is the most fun to get to visit with my mom. I also got to see Stephanie from For Better or For Worse, and (oddly enough) my very first boyfriend from 13 years ago. I managed to get 15 pages and 12 cards made this trip (despite taking care of all my girls). It is a good thing that I go to my mom's house to do some scrapbooking, because I never seem to get any done at home. Here are a few of my favorite layouts I did this trip. These are pictures of my family sledding last winter:

These are pictures of my girls at a local dinosaur museum:
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Monday, September 11, 2006

Mostly Happy Campers...

We just got back from our camping trip. I had been sick the night before we left, so I was worried that this wouldn't be a fun trip, but it turned out to be really nice. We found a beautiful spot up Hobble Creek canyon. The creek was only yards away from our campsite, and there was a bridge that went over it that the girls had tons of fun on (and luckily none of them fell off of it...actually, Dad was the only one who fell in the river the whole trip!) It was so nice and quiet there (especially for the first night since we were the only campers in the whole camp ground). Shortly after setting up our tent we got rained on, so we sat in the tent with the girls and played card games and read stories. It was fun just to spend time together doing quiet activities while we listened to the rain on the tent. The rain let up long enough for us to roast some hot dogs and some marshmellows before we all went to bed at 8:00p.m. I don't remember the last time I went to bed that early. It was so nice! The next morning we woke up and started cooking up some pancakes on the camp chef. We had just finished cooking when it started raining again, so we hurried and hauled our breakfast into the tent and had a picnic on our sleeping bags. It rained for a couple hours, but then the rain let up and it was beautiful outside. We decided to go for a little hike. This was not a highlight of the trip. The trail was narrow and bordered by lots of shrubbery. Since it had just finished raining all the shrubbery was wet, and we got soaked. My 3 year old (who should have gotten the award for the grouchiest camper) was throwing fits, so my DH ended up carrying her on his shoulders. This normally wouldn't have phased him, but he was also carrying our 1 year old in a backpack. So he was hiking with half of our family on his back (luckily it was the lighter half!). I tried to help carry the girls, but I still was not feeling very well. We traveled up the mountain for awhile, but decided to turn back before we reached the trails destination. I think the dog had a good time hiking, and my 5 year old was having a good time, but they were the only ones! My 5 year old kept saying that we were going "bush whacking" because the bushes would hit us as we walked by them. After our descent down the mountain (much more enjoyable than the ascent I assure you) we had some lunch and awaited the arrival of my husband's family. His sister and brother and their families joined us for that night, and also his parents decided to come up. We had fun cooking up dinner, making smores, and staying up late around the campfire. It was a lot of fun to get together with them. Sometime in the early hours of the next morning I got hit by the flu bug and was horribly sick....campsite bathrooms are not the best place to be ill!! Just the smell in there makes you feel worse. We managed to get packed up (thanks to my husband who did all the work while I sat and looked green) and home safely. I am feeling a little bit better today, but still not myself. They baby was also sick while we were camping. We also picked up some colds along the way. It was still a fun camping trip, even if we are all sick now. I forgot to take the digital camera with us, or I would have shared a few pictures.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Bloggy Thoughts...

Something hates me!!! I don't know if it is my turtle speed computer, my dial-up connection, blogger, or picasa. I have been trying to post all day, but it hasn't been working, so here is the picture-less version of what I really wanted to post.

Since I started blogging my way of thinking has changed. I now see everything as a blog to be posted. I often think things like..."This would make a great post!"..."That recipe would be good to blog about."..."I wonder if I should post that question and see what everyone else thinks." I will also take lots of pictures of weird things that I think would be good to put on my blog (I was going to post a few of those pictures here, but alas, something hates me). I seem to always have this blogalog (kind of like dialog for the blogger) going through my head. I have even had weird dreams about blogging. Do you experience this too?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rippin' Fun...

It has always surprised me when my kids pick up a new phrase because they always pick it up so quickly. It surprises me even more when they come up with a phrase that neither myself nor my husband have ever said. Today I was in for a bit of a shocker when my 5 year old and my 3 year old were playing. They had lined up all the dining room chairs (because I was mopping the floor) along the side of the couch and were jumping from the chairs to the couch. As they jumped, they kept exclaiming, "That's rippin' fun!" Now where they got this I have no idea. It sounds pretty funny coming from a 3 year old flying through the air though.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Feels like Fall..

It feels like fall at our house. Our pumpkins are orange, and our grapes are purple...

We have been busy this weekend bottling peaches, and drying pears. I still have more peaches to bottle, but not before I snag a few for a pie for Family Night tonight. Yum!!! It looks like the plums will be the next on the list of things to harvest, and then the grapes. Our sunflowers are now all gone. :(

I love fall. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons. I love the cool crisp air in fall, being able to finally use blankets when I sleep at night, getting out all of my sweaters, cuddling with my honey because it isn't too hot anymore, and finally feeling like cooking again. I love the colors of fall, especially when it comes to crafting. I love harvesting all the pumpkins and gourds and decorating our house with them. Oh yes....I love fall!!! Posted by Picasa