Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days - Finding moments

The Nester has put together a massive freewrite experience for bloggers everywhere.  I'm taking part.   It's called 31 Days (  This is an online October writing challenge where bloggers pick a topic and - just like it sounds - write about it every day.

I'm finding moments this month.

Finding moments to do what I've been putting off.

Finding moments to connect with those I love.

Finding moments to live in the present, enjoying the person right by my side.

Finding moments to plan and prepare, thus bringing peace of mind.

Finding moments to pause and look right into the eyes of my kids, and give them my undivided attention.

Finding moments to return to some hobbies I love and have missed. get the idea.

This is Day 1.  Won't you join me?  All month I'll be sharing my journey.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Spot the spot


Can you spot the area where kids make pb& j?  

Of course it's the kids' mess, as I only use Jif.  But for real.  It looks like this every. single. day. 

It's our normal.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grape jam

I made the most beautiful grape jam this week.  I followed a different recipe than last year, and I think this is a real winner.

The recipe I followed was at Chef in You found here: Grape Jam 

During mid September I send my kids out every few days to bring me a big bowl of grapes.  When I have 2 hours and The Office on Netflix, I make up a batch of jam.

Next, rinse, stem, and peel the grapes. It's not as bad as it sounds. Concord grapes are slipskin, meaning with a little squeeze they come right out of their jackets.  But save the skins - you'll need them.

Bring the skinned grapes to a boil in a deep pan, and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 min till they break down and the seeds start to separate from the pulp. Strain out the seeds and return the juice and pulp to the pan. Bring up to med-high heat.

Add the skins in to the boiling grapes. I have done the skins in two ways.  I have left them intact and I have pulsed them in the food processor first.  I prefer pulsing them first but you can do it either way.

Cook for about 5 min and then add 3 cups of sugar. Cook and stir constantly till the jam thickens.  It takes me about 20 min to get to the right stage. I use the spoon test and fridge test. From the Chef in You site, here's how to test for doneness:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

One Week, Two Temples

"I should not like to contemplate an existence, especially one that is going to 
continue forever, if I could not enjoy that existence with those whom I love. 
And so we build temples in the name of the Lord."
—Hugh B. Brown

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, temples are our crowning jewel.  We are very blessed to live where we do. I have 5 temples within one hour of my home.  Isn't that extraordinary?!

The newly renovated Ogden Temple is open for tours right now.  We have gone twice as a family and we've enjoyed the spectacular beauty of this sacred place.  Once it is dedicated for use by LDS members, only those in good standing with the Church (aged 12 and older) can attend.  Till then, all are welcome!  

My kids were in awe of the pretty rooms inside.

And the water feature outside.

My future missionaries

Oh how I love this group.  These kids are my biggest joy and some days are my greatest heartache.  But nearly everything I do in my life is directly or indirectly for them.  My energies, my prayers, my thoughts, my money, my time. I want them to develop into just the kind of person their Heavenly Father knows they can become.  With my sweet husband by my side, we will do our very best to help them along.

President Boyd K. Packer stated, 

“The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to 

unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, 

that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, 

linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the 

presence of our Heavenly Father.” 

Yesterday our family had an errand to run in Logan, UT.  I told the boys to dress up so they could attend the temple while we were there.  As the girls are too young, I would hang out with them on the temple grounds while the boys did their temple service.

I had driven past it before but had never been on the grounds.  How beautiful!

Love my precious girls

(5 yr old Rosebud took this one)

 I've never seen hydrangeas successfully grown in Utah!

 I loved the look of the limestone exterior

And the window arches

Princess took this pic of the valley below.

Just. So.  PRETTY.

President Howard W. Hunter stated, 
“In the ordinances of the temple, 
the foundations of the eternal family are sealed in place.” 

I am thankful for temples!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Garden 2014

The growing season is in full swing in my little corner of the world. We're happy with our garden this year.

Here is a random Mother's Day flower from church that I planted at the corner of the garden plot.  I don't even know what it is, but it's doing well and blooms prolifically.

Peppers and tomatoes are doing fairly well.

Sunflowers behind the corn.  The very, very short corn.

First attempt at beans.  I planted a TON and figured we'd have too many to use and I could can a lot of them.  Not so many, though.

Gorgeous sunflowers before the rainstorms pelted them this week.  Now they look a little sad, but they were glorious last weekend.

Post - rainstorm.

Zucchini makes us happy.  We bake a ton during August!  We also got our first yellow squash today.  Time for a bbq.  :)  We like to make chicken kabobs with our summer squash.

My concord grapes are just starting to color.

 Peaches are beginning to blush.  In just three weeks my forearms will be sticky with their juice.  Best fruit ever.

Nectarines getting ripe, too.

Baby pumpkin.

Corn with silks.

My favorite thing about August is that the Rose of Sharon hedges are exploding with color.
We have a variety of shades.  The blooms last only about a day, then they drop and litter the lawn with fallen petals.  The rabbits gobble them up like candy!

They form the backdrop of my favorite corner of the yard.  It gets a little jungle-y with the vines and such, but it's so lush and I love it.

The biggest one is at the corner of the patio.

Happy yard.  It's been a great summer!