Thursday, October 23, 2008

My favorite fall cookies

I'm stealing images from online now since we are still camera-less. : (


  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Yellow and orange paste food coloring


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Divide dough in half. Tint one portion yellow. Divide remaining dough into two-thirds and one-third portions. Color the larger portion orange; leave smaller portion white.
Shape each portion of dough into two 8-in. logs. Flatten top and push sides in at a slight angle. Place orange logs on yellow logs; push the sides in at a slight angle. Top with white logs; form a rounded top. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or until firm.
Unwrap and cut into 1/2-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

LDS Cannery in Aurora

OK - I have never understood how this place works and I'm so excited to finally know! Now maybe I'll take advantage of it! At church when I ask people they never seem to have a clue what to do with it either. So hopefully this will be educational for all of us.

It is at 3233 Fraser St in Aurora. It's between 10th and 8th streets west of Champers road. Their # is 303-371-7650.

You can go buy things without going to help with canning. The gal I spoke with on the phone mentioned Potato Pearls (you must buy a case), pancake mix, and 6-packs of pinto beans, rice or red wheat as items that were available to buy. (White wheat will most likely be available at the beginning of the year).

If you want to go and buy things like wheat, sugar or other "dry pack" (meaning they are canned w/o liquid and are dry materials) then you just need to show up Mon-Th from 9-3:30pm and buy what you want and then you pkg it yourself. The price list for dry items is found on under the Family Home Storage section. Here's a link to the form .

If you want "wet pack" items (like applesauce, meat) then they offer those on a set schedule throughout the year. They email out schedules for the next 2 months so just give them your info to sign up to receive the emails. These sessions are 4-5 hours and by appt. only - they almost always offer one evening session at 6pm for these.

It is a church-run cannery, but you don't have to be LDS (Latter-Day Saint) to go. If you want to organize your own group to come you probably do need to get in touch with your local LDS congregation - you need at least 2 people with you who have been certified to run the canning equipment.
And you can find one near you by checking out

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Whatcha doin' Skyler?"

Howdy folks! A lot has been going on - and then again it's nothing new. :) I am really hating life with no camera. It's seriously peeing on my blogging groove I'm telling ya. (nice visual, eh?) But really! I keep wanting to take pictures and I can't! But you are here to catch up with TheOnesInColorado so I will do my part!

1. I'm envious if you just bought a house this year. People are snatching up homes 2 and 3 times the size of mine for less than our max price (or what I think would be our max price if we were looking) and 30K or more less than the asking price. I know that's not much of an update but I've been stewing about it. Do I just seem really whiny lately? What do you mean not just lately! ;P I just keep taking deep breaths and visualizing my house DONE. Will that ever really happen? Do we have any rich relatives close to release from this mortal veil who have no greater wish than to make us their sole heirs? Nah - I didn't think so. But who has a mortgage well under 200K - no one I know so that should be what I focus on. In a similar vein, countertops and sinks are 20% off at Home Depot until tomorrow. We are pondering finishing up the laundry room. And I think we are going with a concrete patio (less work than our brick plan) in back. That means I REALLY need a way to get into the backyard besides through my garage, don't ya think? Will a door fit in my tiny kitchen/living/dining room?

2. Can anyone here in the midst of our economic funtimes tell me it's OK for me to stop my E-fund at 4 months' worth and start saving for our next car? Six months' expenses is a LOT! I know, I talk about money a lot. It's to make up for all the people who are too scared/embarassed/cool to do so and perpetuate this culture of not having a clue how to save our money and live within our means. And losing many, many percentiles in our 401K is really just buying low, right?

3. Sorry for all the negative posts/conversations lately. That's just how I'm feeling. There's nothing to show you just how little you can control your life like a kid with a problem you can't seem to fix. Sorry for crying when you ask about Lauren. It'll stop when she's about one or so and we can hook her up to an Oreo filling IV (cuz she'll be old enough for DAIRY!!! Is there dairy in there?). I'll be back to my chipper self when my house is done and I can put away all of our junk treasured possessions.

4. This has been the first week of CAR POOL!!! I'm so glad that I've finally found someone willing to do this. This has been fantastical (all two days of it). I do the mornings this week and then I don't have to mess with our delicate nap schedule in the PM. I'm all for co-op preschool, trading babysitting nights, carpooling, etc. but you can't do it alone! No one has ever taken us up on the offer to share the load before. I think people must just like to spend a lot of money here? Or else my kidlets are staggered at the wrong ages? Or we smell funny?

5. I have started really being diligent about prayer and scriptures - making sure it's done and with some good intent. I used to be much better but I've done some sliding. We usually rock FHE so I think I'm doing my part to lock the Lord in to some blessings. :) JK. I just figure every little tally mark on my board helps!

6. I have been really uplifted by reconnecting to some WSU (Anne and Lanita) blogs lately - and by clicking on some random blog links from those pages. It's amazing how much strangers can do for you. I love those "tender mercies". Cuz really - how could life with the BEST husband, THREE amazing and beautiful children, a roof over our heads, a yard (even if the green lawn is mowed weeds) to play in, a trampoline to bounce on, tons of food to eat, a stable job and enough money to live and play on be that terrible? We are alive and we have the most love I have EVER seen in a family. We are healthy (I'm counting Lauren, doctors are dorks) and have all we need. IN ABUNDANCE. I need to just put up a fence so I quit looking at the grass on the other side. Total character flaw of mine. But you know this by now.

7. $250 for a new camera or $90 plus maybe more for our camera to be fixed?

8. I made more mixes! We now have our own Bisquick and Buckwheat pancakes. I'm hoping that the latter will be like I remember my grandma making us when we visited. Love the Hillbilly Housewife!

9. Nathan must be the most forgiving, easy-going kid ever. After a full afternoon of cranky mommy getting on his case for not listening, a bum swat, time outs, sitting in the garage for a bit, sitting on the steps, fighting over naps and putting him back to bed at least 4 times... I asked him after his bath, "Nathan, are you mad at mommy for being upset with you today?" He smiled and said ,
I'm happy!
Well, I'm a little sad cuz Daddy spanked my bum
But I'm a little happy too.
So I guess I'm a little sad (cock head to left) and a little happy (cock head to right).
I love you."
All this with the most endearing smile as he's cuddling into my chest. Man, you just can't stay mad at him. He's just full of love.

10. We had Ashlyn's parent teacher conferences. She's doing great and is in the highest reading and math groups. Yay! She spaces out and doesn't listen to directions but her smarts are getting her by anyway. Hope she does better with that than I did. Question: When we get her week's schoolwork back how do I go over her mistakes with her without seeming to be disappointed in her and critical? Should I not do it? Maybe I should make up similar problems and not even bring her attention to any mistakes?

Signing off!

New Coverwear sale

Hop on over to the Coverwear Blog for details!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shelf Reliance at Costco

This is at the SW Littleton location - started yesterday and goes through next week and ends Sunday. The Harvest is cheaper than when they came here two years ago - $269 now. They also have the Cansolidator and 40-can Candensor (sp?) for 20 and 24ish. Just going from memory on the prices, but I'm in the ballpark. They also have a 1/2 size one that's like the Harvest but around $150. Anyway - if you have some money in the budget for food storage this is a great deal! Costco negotiates with SR and the result is a better deal for Costco shoppers than SR employees get.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

First day of preschool!

Nathan's a big boy now! He has been asking when he would start preschool all year long! He is so excited to go and be with Miss Patti and his new friends! He enjoys playing with the cars, singing, going outside on the swings and slide, and playing with his buddies (even a few girls made the list!)

Camping with Dad

This is the camping trip that I chickened out of. I'm not sure I'm up to taking Lauren camping! And that may be the last trip for a while. Somewhere on this trip a metal rod crucial to the popping-up of our pop-up disappeared...
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What's a blog without pics?

Not much! Our camera is busted - it won't turn on. So I'm going to send it in. As soon as I work up the courage to. It's just a crazy amount to have them look at it with no guarantee of a fix! It is cheaper than a new camera though, so I think that's where we're headed. Until then you'll just get to read with no visuals. I still have some older pics I could post so I may do that too.

Anyway - time for an update?
Rick - in Alabama again, as you probably know. But coming home today! Has done a fabulous job with the front yard and is working through some projects around the house as usual. We now havea peach and pear tree!
Erika - started running again. I'm starting with shorter running/longer walking intervals and alternating upper and lower body weights/resistance after a run. I just need to feel like I am actively working out again. This time I'm going in with no expectations of change in physique (so I won't be disappointed and quit), just expectations for myself. I hope to get on that treadmill 6 days a week through October. So now that I've told you I'm accountable!
Ashlyn - doing better in 1st grade. She's easily distracted by her peers so we've moved her seats around in class to help her out. She loves recess best and told me she was glad she had early release today because she doesn't have math. Ahem. We'll have to work on that. She's not a fan of the teacher she transfers to for math. She finished all her Articles of Faith this summer and is the youngest I know of to have done so. You might remember that she is the reason there are so many younger kids working on them. When she was 3 (in the youngest class - Sunbeams) she started to work on them without any prompting - they just seemed fun to her. The chart where they keep track of the kids didn't even have slots for kids that age! Now LOTS of Sunbeams are working on them and she is an inspiration to us all!
Nathan - loving Miss Patti's. Did a great job at his mini-performance yesterday for Cowboy Day. Pictures are coming soon thanks to Shelly's generousity! He doesn't mind writing and drawing now since it's not me doing the encouraging and he is just so smart! He blows my mind. And he is definitely the KINDEST three year-old I know. I feel like he totally stands out among his peers. He's on his 4th Article of Faith. He loves his sisters fiercely and is so quick to forgive everyone. He's such a happy kid - even if you're in the middle of a reprimand. He makes it easy and I'm so proud to be his mom.
Lauren - still trying to decide if she likes me or not. :) We give her a bit of formula - probably equivalent to one bottle a day - after she nurses since she just won't eat enough from me. Supply is up (thanks to Fenugreek - I smell like pancakes) but she still doesn't care. I will keep it up though and hope that if I have more milk that she will get more of the good stuff in her quick feeds than if I quit. She is not sitting up - doesn't really care to - but is a pro at squirming around on her tummy and back. Her smile just melts my heart and she is so cute when she's laughing! She'll be 7 months old next week!

Free Music - and a great reminder for me

I don't think I've shared this with you so here you go! I was listening to a CD I burned last night that I made originally to give out to my YW on their birthdays. Since I put music on there that I liked I kept one for me! Instead of a "mixed tape" burned from my library (technically illegal) I found some great resources online and wanted to share.
I especially loved "Day of Tears" by Hilary Weeks.,17631,6611-1,00.html
The seminary songs! "The Olive Tree" is beautiful.

I also checked the websites of artists I liked and downloaded some there. These kind of downloads are usually promos and only available for a short time. For example I love "Healing Waters" by Michelle Tumes, an Aussie Christian artist. I was able to get "Lovely Day", a new track from her album, for free last year. It's no longer available, but just an example of something to look for.

And speaking of "Healing Waters" - here's a link to a YouTube of the DVD where I first heard this song. Our local missionaries presented this at a fireside for the youth and I bawled like a baby! I remembered all the feelings I had felt during my similar journey and I was very touched. Thanks to the San Jose, CA mission for putting that out! The Elders gave me a copy of my own and I (and my kids) love to watch it. It's a nice FHE that you could flesh out for older kids with some discussion and maybe a BoM placement challenge. For the fireside all the missionaries talked about how they did (or didn't) share their faith with others and why we might find excuses to be afraid to do so. Then we watched the video. Anyway - an awesome night and I was grateful to be a part of it! The people in the flick are the actual people involved.

And if you're interested in the actual DVD ask your Elders/Sisters if they have it. I went to tell a friend about it and it turns out she had seen it a while back when her ward's missionaries showed it.
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