Friday, November 30, 2007


I feel like I'm on a home decorating show. I feel like I'm in someone else's house, actually. We've just changed a few things, but I have fallen in love with my home again, and it's very exciting.

We sold the couches on Tuesday and my BIL brought the new one to us late last night, so it was a couple days of a bare living room, which was weird. It felt like we were moving or something.

Obviously the kitchen was a big deal for us. But this week it was the living room's turn. We sold the worn, fraying, too-big couches in the living room and bought a sleek used sofa bed from the classifieds. It will help us minimize the overall look and has the added bonus of allowing the occasional house guest.

Old ones:

Sold: $40

New look:

Cost: $100 plus a borrowed truck from a nice brother-in-law :)

Every glance into the living room: Priceless

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Drumroll, please

Ok, folks. Two months. Two packs of sandpaper. Two colors of paint. $180. Lots of effort. I am absolutely in love with my new kitchen. My DH put in so many hours. And he didn't swear, even when he felt like it. Haha. The doors and drawers were covered with this nasty pebbley texture, almost like a popcorn ceiling. The sanding was endless but I'm so glad we took that texture off. The surface is now smooth and more wood-like.

Here is a slide show so you can get a feel for it. It starts with 3 "before" pics and then shows several finished ones. Boy, I love it, from the color of the backsplash to the detail on the cabinet knobs. My dear friend Sonja gave me the little candle lantern (see in pic # 7) on top of the cupboards. See, I told you that it would look great in there!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ok, sorry for the break. Again.

Saturday was awesome! It was ds2's birthday, but because we celebrated Friday and Sunday, I was able to go to the Holy War (i.e. BYU vs. Utah) in Provo. Oh my heck, what a good game. We knew the defenses were evenly matched and we were right. We pulled out a 17-10 win with just seconds remaining. This picture above shows the fans after they stormed the field.

Sunday was the very special baptism day.

He was positively rotten the whole day on Sunday, till about 15 min before we left. Boy, does Satan work hard! But the baptism was lovely with so many people, I couldn't believe it. DH set up 64 chairs to start with, and they still added two more rows in the back. I was so humbled by the support for my little guy. The Bishop had him bear his testimony at the end and it was very sweet, bringing me to tears. What a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanks and giving

Our whirlwind week has ended. We have been so uplifted and had so much fun over the last four days.

Thursday was a nice laid-back Thanksgiving with FIL's side of the family. We went to a clubhouse on the shore of Utah Lake and had a great meal. DH's aunt is a great cook. Kids played with cousins and uncles and built a marble roller coaster. We stopped for a short visit on the way home to see my family and had a nice time with them.

Friday was my DS2's special "friend birthday party". My kids have it rough...we have tons of family, but they don't get a REAL party with friends till they are eight. SO it is looked forward to with MUCH anticipation and we usually make it a really big deal. The bad part is that it had to be holiday weekend, so a few of his buddies were out of town and unable to make it. Those that were there had a great time and they swam and climbed the rock wall and had yummy pizza, among other things. I was so nervous watching all those kids in the water and I was glad DH and my sister were there to help.

I'm trying to put my house back together from the weekend, so I'll blog later on the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I LOVE making muffins. Pretty much my new baking obsession. Every time I buy bananas I only intend for half of them to be eaten normally. I need the extras for muffins! The kids are off today for the long weekend (hubby's not tho) and the temp is 35 degrees colder than the first part of the week. So we are just having a cozy, snuggly, muffin-eating, scarf-finishing day as we get ready for tomorrow.

And yes, that's my mostly-done kitchen you see in the background. I can't wait to post the after pics next week.


It's finished! Here is my very first handmade scarf, modeled by the 9 year old. Cool, eh? I would have made it a tad longer, but that was the end of the yarn! I really love it though. Should be good to wear at the holy war in Provo on Sat :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

I was just reading over my last post and it sounded so down. I was sad to miss T at our activities all week, but I don't want that to overshadow the great mother-daughter night. It really was great! The girls got to take turns sharing what we had done since May in our activities. It was impressive! Even I didn't realize how much we had accomplished.

And the Primary Program was indeed yesterday. DS1 and DS2 each had two parts, and DS3 had one. DS2 had a long talk on baptism for his one part and did a great job talking about his upcoming eighth birthday and what that means to him. Even I got to take part, helping conduct the music for two songs that are sung in parts. I loved it and it reminded me of when I was Primary Chorister soon after moving into this ward. Seems so long ago.

Yesterday was my brother's birthday. If he's 27, I MUST be old. Strangely out of character for him, he offered to take DS1 to the Jazz game tonight which of course he is thrilled about. I'm happy for him and I hope they have a good time.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

No Show

The dinner was lots of fun. The girls and moms that came had a fun time and full bellies. Sadly, the one I mentioned in my last post did not come, and I only was able to leave messages on her phone. I hope she knows how much she was missed.

I also called her before church to tell her I'd pick her up a few minutes earlier than normal (Primary Program today), and she told me she was sick. I was very choked up as I told her to get better and said good-bye.

I know people have their agency. I also know that a nine year old is not in much control of her own actions yet and I don't know what is going on in her family. I just know that after two missionary discussions and a month and a half of church she has seemed so happy, eager and bright. My heart is heavy today for her sake, and I plan on contacting the sister missionaries to see what I can do to help them/her.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


The girls learned their manners. The food has been bought. I've changed my menu twice. I think we're good.

Our Mother/Daughter dinner for Activity Days is tonight. Twice a year they are supposed to recognize their accomplishments, so here we go! I'm very excited. Thanks to Ash for getting them excited about manners and courtesy and thanks Rach for helping with the food.

I'm SO nervous but hope the food is good and the turnout is even better! I have one girl in particular, an investigator, that I'm hoping with all my heart comes tonight with her mom. Please say a tiny prayer with me that she will have the desire to attend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Card Swap

Got together this morning with some great, talented friends to get some Christmas cards done. Here are the cards from our swap. The close-up is my creation.

We had lots of fun. When I got home I couldn't believe 2 hours had passed! The time flew by. I also realized that most of them read this blog, so HI girls! You could leave me a comment sometime so I know you've been here :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Well, it's been a long time, but on Friday I went to one of the Parent Workshops at the elementary school. They offer several classes each month and they teach different crafts, cooking, book reviews, etc. This time it was "Crochenit", a combination of crochet and knitting. I learned a little knitting from my grammy when I was little, and I'm horrible at crochet, so I thought the result might be interesting. It uses two colors of yarn (mine is blue and charcoal) and just one needle like crochet. But the stiches stay on the needle through most of it, like knitting. The teacher for our class says she prefers this method over either of them.

It was VERY frustrating to begin with, but after about an hour I was feeling a bit more confident. I wondered how I'd do at home with it.

It turns out I remembered pretty much everything I needed to. Phew. So here's my scarf, on days 1, 3 and 5...




SO, I'm not a prefessional, ok? But it is now well over a foot long! If I keep it up I might be able to use it before the spring bulbs are up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dinner Rolls

Yesterday we had an early Thanksgiving dinner with hubby's side. I made the rolls to free up MIL's time a bit. They worked really well and I wanted to share the recipe...

Fairy Rolls

1 cup margarine
2 cups hot water
2 Tbls. yeast (or 2 packets)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar (use a little less if you don't like sweet rolls)
1 tsp. salt
6 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Pour hot water over margarine in extra large bowl. Let cool before adding yeast; blend in eggs. Add sugar and salt, then flour and baking powder. Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Form into rolls and let rise again for about an hour. Bake 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 3 1/2 - 4 dozen rolls.

Shaping dough:
Roll dough into a large circle and then cut triangles with a pizza cutter. Then roll the triangles into crescent roll shapes.

Notes: I used half butter half margarine. I also mixed up a huge double batch Saturday and stuck it in the fridge. Sunday after church I rolled, cut and set them out to rise for an hour. It took me about and hour and a half to get all 7 dozen rolls done. You will love these!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chopping block

Before and after pics. I needed a change and mom was nice enough to watch the kids a bit yesterday so I could get my haircut and go to the store.

Expect short posts from me for a while as I move into a VERY busy time, with many Primary Activity Day events, Primary Program, enrichment, and ward stuff taking over my life for the next week. That will be followed by Thanksgiving, ds2 birthday and baptism. Happy November!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mouth of Babes

Some DD quotes from this week...

1. We were naming everyone's pumpkins outside. She pointed to them and I would say who each belonged to. When we had named them all she said "Good counting mom!"

2. Her nails were long this morning and I said "We need to clip your nails! They're getting scratchy" She said "yeah, we want to scratch like a lion"

3. A question to me yesterday..."Do you have any parents?"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

kitchen transforming

Ok, I was asked by a friend what was up with the kitchen. SO here's where we're at so far. The insides of the cupboards are painted a creamy buttery yellow and the beadboard backsplash is the same color. We have the first piece cut and painted, and it's behind the range so you can see it, but it's not actually installed yet. Cool, eh? The beadboard will all be covered with a polyurethane finish because it's in the kitchen. And we got the kind that is rated for moisture and is mildew resistant. I am so excited.

And what do you I think I paid for the paint? zilch. It was free from the recycled paint shed at the landfill. Pretty much the neatest perk ever. If you go, take a screwdriver to open paint cans and a handful of stirrer sticks if you can. It will make your life easier. So far we've spent $120 on supplies, including a really good white enamel that will go on the cupboard doors and two huge sheets of beadboard. I'm hoping to keep it to $150 max. Hoping.

Monday, November 5, 2007

In the swing of things

Monday: Chili w/ cheese and tortilla chips

Tuesday: Crockpot Ranch Chicken w/ corn

In the slow cooker:
6 chicken breasts
5-6 potatoes cubed

Mix these ingredients together and pour over potatoes and chicken:
2 cans cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1/4 C milk
8 oz. (1 brick) cream cheese
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix

Cook in the slow cooker on high for 6 hours.

Wednesday: BBQ Pork Roast w/ rice and green beans

Thursday: Roasted Chicken and mashed potatoes

Friday: Date Night
(been saving up Red Lobster gift cards! Yay!) and maybe hot dog for the kids or something

Saturday: Maybe Beef Stroganoff, not sure

Sunday: Dinner at Madsen's

I need to really get things going again in the household. Laundry has slacked off. My one-load-a-day goal seems so far in the past... Kitchen is slowly being worked on and I just feel disjointed while tools and things are still lying around. I'm trying to have patience, though, as DH isn't superman and can't hardly carve out the time for such projects. I figure, DS2 gets baptized in three weeks, so that's my ABSOLUTE cutoff. MUST get done!

Took dd in for pics this morning. With coupons at JCPenney I got 5 sheets for $11 with no sitting fee! Happy Dance

I've been without a cell phone for 3 1/2 weeks now and it's bugged me, but since I'm just a free ride on mom's family plan it's not like I could complain, right? My SIM card turned out to be the problem, so I took a few minutes on the way back from the mall at T-Mobile to get another one. $25 (blah) but they gave me a case with it. Not too bad, especially when my mom just handed me a cute new phone yesterday at Sunday dinner. Thanks, mamma!

Last night was a riot with my fam. My baby bro wanted to play "Mafia" (like Gadianton Robbers). It's certainly not my favorite type of game, but I joined in this time. It got CRAZY with my dad and others screaming and scheming. I have SUCH a hard time lying or tricking anybody, so I'm not all that good. But it was worth it to be with everybody and have such a good time.

Friday, November 2, 2007

string on my finger

Why am I so forgetful lately? It's really not like me. I went to the store for TWO things, and didn't take a list because I only needed TWO things. Came home with NEITHER.

And every meal I planned for our weekly menu required thawing meat or putting something in the crockpot to cook all day. Yet every day this week I've thought of supper no earlier than 4pm, leaving me no time to thaw OR slow cook.

AND...I made a big dinner last night. We have been doing the kitchen renovation and yesterday was the first day that the table had been cleared off in a week. I wanted to give the kids something yummy (not candy) to fill up on and DH was coming home late following basketball practice. Perfect time for a good meal, right? I had the roast beef, homemade macaroni and cheese, pierogis and veggies all ready when DH walked in the door. We sat down and prayed at 6:15.

Then DH looks at the calendar (I get points for writing it down, right?) and says, "Oh, I thought there was something going on tonight". I looked too, and saw that I had totally spaced my Primary Board meeting...a dinner. Beginning in less than 15 minutes. Spouses invited. Huge meal on the table. SIGH

Leftovers anyone?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Haunting

We had a nice, laid-back halloween. DH was off classes but had to go into work to do grades for the end of the term. Since the boys are off-track I suggested that ds1 go spend the day with him. They had a ball! They ate lunch together and he read while Daddy was doing other things. He even finished Harry Potter #6 while he was there. They grabbed a round of miniature golf before heading home.

So we decided to go to the mall store trick-or-treat which started at 5, and then we went to the ward TRUNK or treat activity. DS1 had signed up to be in charge of a game booth at 6, so we hurried back from the mall to be there on time. I forced all the kids to eat a few bites of soup before gathering candy so they might have SOMETHING in their bellies to start with.

We stopped home quickly at 7, just long enough to grab toothbrushes (knowing they would be asleep in the car when all was said and done; I was right) and headed up to the grandparents' to show off Harry Potter, the Cop, Jack Sparrow and Cinderella...