Monday, August 18, 2008

The bestest song

I had this song come up on Pandora today and I had never heard it before. Wow! I love it.

Edited to add: Rick just listened to it and doesn't see the big deal. Wow - he needs to get in touch with his inner Erika. Man this song makes me melt and want to listen to it on repeat for multitudinous minutes. Mmmm - yummy. He needs to lose the nose piercing though - not yummy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Something on the wall!

I bought this vinyl back in November when I made the turkey Gobble blocks for Thanksgiving. It has taken us until now to get it up on the wall. Pretty sad. We haven't put any decorations up in our house for the most part - I'm just not good at it and I haven't found any great ideas to copy... Until this one. I saw it on Ebay and changed the quote a little then had a vinyl gal print it up for me. So up it goes and now we have something on our blank walls! Slowly but surely we'll get this place looking nice. Probably just in time to move, huh! That would be ironic. Anyway - we are here for now and I hope I can get some inspiration for the rest of the house. Oh, in case you can't read it the vinyl says, "Together We make a family". Cute, huh? And that pic of Lauren is just one we printed out on the computer. I still haven't taken any pictures that look all that professional and "wall worthy" of her. But we do have lots of candids! No fear family, your yearly pics are due soon and I'll have to get out and take some shots of the kids for you. I'll probably head back out to the same area as last year (the one where all of the pics except Lauren were shot) since it was so beautiful.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

For Doug

Hear me crunch

Yup - I'm crunchy! Well, not really. I just pretended for the day. I went shopping at a local health nut store. They almost didn't let me in because I didn't carry in a reusable grocery bag. Well, again, not really. But I felt very guilty! And the sign by the checkout register said that to help them keep their costs down I should use my debit rather than my credit card. Suddenly I felt very self-serving for trying to rack up rewards by using my card as often as possible. Those tree-huggers sure know how to tug at your conscience!
I went to check out their bulk section where you can, I had heard, find great deals on spices and such. I was trying to make up some mixes from the the Hillbilly Housewife's website and it called for freeze dried veggies. Now you can buy these online but it was definitely preferable to be able to buy smaller amounts locally and not pay S&H. I was also out of TVP so off I went! I came back with the ingredients to make all kinds of awesome mixes: ricearoni type, pilaf, burritos, granola bars, etc. Very fun! Plus I picked up tumeric and lemon and orange peel - because I absolutely never have lemons and oranges at my house. I am tired of shying away from all of the recipes that call for them so now I am prepared! And for cheap!
OK, back to my fave Hillbilly. I printed off a lot of her recipes and am very excited to try them out! I made the veggie rice with currywurst tonight and it was really good! And if you haven't tried out her Magic Milkshakes please do! They are seriously just like Wendy's frosties - I kid you not. And you can use 1/2 tsp. lecithin if you have it instead of the cooking spray (as an emulsifier - your shake will not turn out if you don't use it!). And be sure not to measure the lecithin in a measuring spoon and expect it to come off. Nope. Not even in the Pots and Pans cycle on your dishwasher. Not gonna happen. You're gonna have to wash that puppy by hand. Or better yet just approximate it and pour it from the bottle. :)

First Grader!

Here are all the kiddos on the first day of school (for Ashlyn anyway). I can't believe we start so early here! We've already finished up our first week! So far our first year going to school all day has had some interesting moments. I've found myself having some rather adult conversations about friends and choices. She's already had her "all people are nice and are my friends" bubble burst. She's had people who won't let her play Frisbee with them, people who tease and bully the ugly/backwards kids, people who cut in the water fountain line, and it has been so hard for her. She just doesn't understand why people treat others that way. It has just broken her little heart - and as a consequence, mine too. We'll get through it though! I told her one of the keys to being happy is to surround herself with good friends and be true to what she knows to be right. Then she will overcome!
We've also had some fun with lunchtime. If you've had the pleasure of eating with us you know my kids are in the running for Slowest Eaters of All Time. Well, Ashlyn gets 40 minutes for lunch and recess and when everyone is dismissed to play she goes too. And of course she hasn't even come close to finishing her lunch. Day 1's lunch was a half a dozen cherries and Day 2 she managed to eat a handful of blueberries. For the rest of the week we made her promise to eat her sandwich first and THEN move on the "good stuff". And of course, being the true and honest girl who was bothered by the deviant behavior of her peers earlier in the week, she did exactly what we asked without thought of trickery. :) Good girl. And the last 2 days she has eaten her sandwich. So far I don't like school. But I think Ashlyn does!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yay - the streak continues!

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service
Denver CO 3:36 PM MDT Tue Aug 05 2008

At 2:43 this afternoon the temperature at Denver International Airport reached 91 degrees. This extends our consecutive 90 degree day streak to 24. So far in 2008 41 ninety degree days have been tallied. 2008 is just 9 days away from the 10th top seasonal total.

Yippee Skippee.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Two versions of the backfloat

We started swimming lessons this week!

Ashlyn is actually doing "Chicken, Bird, Soldier" here (you're looking at "Bird" - remember this?), but you get the idea. Nathan wants no part of putting his head in the water!

Go to the thrift shop, find a .50 pillowcase...

And make yourself a pillowcase dress! I found a few tutorials online for this too (Google it and you will as well) but I did my own thing here. I cut off the unopen end of the pillowcase - probably 4 inches of it. I cut that in half to make 2 pieces that would become my sleeves. Then back to the original pillowcase. Keep the open end intact and go back to the end that you just chopped off. Cut 2 armholes - about 6 inches deep by 2 inches wide. Try to make it curved like a J-shape. Attach your 2 "sleeves" by folding in half the long way and sewing one end to the dress front and one to the dress back. I then put bias tap around the arm holes, sewed a casing for the elastic and put the elastic in. Here's the tutorial I based mine from (since you need pics if you're like me). I started at post #3 since I had an actual pillowcase and she was making one. Well, then I needed to make some matching bows of course!

Somebody needs a Hooter Hider

We drove by our usual haunt when we are on the lookout for local wildlife and Ashlyn pointed out this momma and baby. Sorry for the demented momma - there's no fix for "white eye" on Picasa. But that's just a cute lead-in for THIS...

The REAL Hooter Hider! Sorry, no similar picture of me and my little one grabbing a bite. I made this on a Friday using a nifty tutorial online, along with some "burpies" and "bummies" from the same site. I made an extra set of burpies and a bummie for a friend who just had a baby. (5 weeks early poor thing!) Been a while since you had a baby? Confused on the terms? Just for you...
Hooter Hider - nursing cover for the blanket-impaired. It has boning in the top seam so it stays bent outward so you can look at your baby and get them in the right spot to avoid embarrassing hickies. :) Plus it's not so stifling hot and the baby is happy to be able to wave at you while it eats!
Burpies - burp cloths/spit rags Bummies - changing pad
If you're into sewing there is also a super cute tutorial here for burp cloths using prefold diapers. I've made these for gifts and they are adorable!

Oh yeah...

And here is the letter that the Tooth Fairy wrote to Ashlyn with her cash... She already has written BACK to the Tooth Fairy thanking her for her Thank You. :) That's my girl!


Fun times with more cousins! This is Lauren, Gavin, Ashlyn, Tayler, Nathan and Kelton.
We drove to Denise's first then left for Linda's, then back to Denise's and then home. The kids still miss having so much family to play with!


Linda's was so fun - but too short! The kids loved their cousins and the unique chance to see real farm animals!

Twin Falls

Well, as some of you may know we have been out of town quite a bit this summer. Our latest trip was to visit 2 of Rick's sisters, Denise and Linda who live in UT and ID, respectively. We were excited to find that there was a new temple near Linda and since my kids are in LOVE with the temple we wanted to go as a family and visit it during the Open House (when it's open to the public before it's dedicated). They were so excited to see everything - the baptismal font, the sealing rooms (just like where Mommy and Daddy were married), etc. and we are glad we were able to go!

Tooth Fairy!

Before and after. Wiggly, then gone. And yes, that's blood. We give you nothing but the best! As it happens!


Yup - homemade French bread. I have always wished I had a recipe for this! Well, now we do. And it's GOOD!

Grandma’s French Bread
from The Sister's Cafe

2 ¼ c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too stick - but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9x13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

We made this for French Dips in the crock pot and they were fantastic!

French Dip Sandwiches
adapted from Dinner's Ready

1 pot roast, anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
mozzarella slices
1 McCormick Au Jus sauce packet (found in the gravy mix aisle)
Rolls /buns

In crockpot, dissolve Au jus packet in 3 cups of cold water then add the roast (my roast was still partly frozen). Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours (I cooked mine about 8 hours on low before adding the peppers and onion for another hour). One hour before you plan to eat, shred the beef then slice the peppers and onions and add to crockpot. When it is finished, remove meat and veggies with a slotted spoon. Place mozzarella slices on buns and put under low broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Fill the rolls with the meat and veggies, then divide the Au Jus sauce into smaller bowls for dipping.

Catching up!

I have absolutely terrible lately about keeping up to date. I'm going to try and post these in backwards order but the last time I tried that it didn't work so we'll see! Currently it's past bedtime and still in the 90s. We are hoping to go down into the 80s next week but I suppose only time will tell. :) We we're working on lengthening the record in Denver for consecutive days in the 90s or above (oh yeah, we've gone triple digits as well). A day where my swamp cooler can keep the house under 80
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