Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Favorite childhood reads

I wanted to share my favorite childhood book, which also happens to be a Halloween book. It's called POPCORN and it's by Frank Asch, published by Parent's Magazine in 1979.

My kids love it too, which makes me smile. As I read it to them, in my mind I can hear my dad's voice inflection as he read it to me. Long live traditions!



Some other books I loved as a kid:

The Jolly Barnyard (it was my dad's dad that read me this one)
“Baa-aa, we’ll give him wool,” said the sheep. “For our fleece is soft and warm and deep.”

Surprise Party by Sharon Gordon (I actually read this to my younger siblings)
"Don't be late! Suprise party at 8:00"!

Tie my Shoe - a Rand McNally Junior Elf book
"I know how to tie my shoe

I take the loop and push it through.

It's very hard to make it stay,

Because my thumb gets in the way"!

Sesame Street: Don't Forget the Oatmeal (my dad was hilarious at the end when Bert realizes they've forgotten what they went to the store for)
"Why do you have that string tied around your finger, Bert"? "To help me remember the oatmeal"!

There's a Monster at the End of this Book (I was always just a little scared at the last page)
"Do you know that you are very strong?"


And as I got older, it was Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Ramona, Bunnicula (basically everything by Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary), then series like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden.  I think I'm dating myself now LOL.  What were your faves?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween is near

Time for decorations!

There may or may not be a giant spider climbing on our dining room light fixture

my favorite little costume dude from Tai Pan Trading last year

love this shelf - is it wrong to have all that under the temple?  oh well

this is a Relief Society craft from a zillion years ago, but I love it still

we grew corn this year so I get to decorate with my own cornstalks!

and be still my heart - the best DI find ever.  $2 for this breathtaking beauty.  I have a thing for wreaths (ask Strider) and this one knocked my socks off!  It's huge, and would have been pretty pricey in a store, I think.  I also love it because it's fall, and not just for halloween.  So this baby is stayin' on the door WAY past trick-or treating. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Dumb camera! I've been trying to upload my memory card for a week and it's driving me bonkers.

Over UEA we got out of the house and visited a few places downtown. The kids had never been to the State Capitol so we started there. What a gorgeous building.

is my baby really picking her nose??

We did a fun little scavenger hunt that has you search for various sights and parts of the architecture.

Next we took a little hike down to Memory Grove.

We had lunch and saw pretty trees...

and a huge (I mean huge) roach thing.  He should thank us.  We rescued him from drowning.

No pictures were allowed at our next stop, but we went to the Pioneer Memorial Museum which houses thousands of very cool artifacts and antiques.  Some of them brought tears to my eyes as I thought about their significance.

It was a fun little outing and we are grateful for these days when both the kids and daddy are off school!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh, I will miss them

I've known it was coming for many weeks now, but it didn't make it any easier to be released from my calling.  I move from serving the women in my stake, to serving the children in our ward.  Always new adventures!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu plan

I think I only post about food anymore.  Hmm.

Here is our week, starting with yesterday.

Sunday:  Bean and cheese burritos with salad
Monday:  Spaghetti and garlic breadsticks, making sauce from our own roma tomatoes!
Tuesday: Roast pork, carrots, red potatoes from our garden
Wednesday:  Hot dogs, homemade mac and cheese, jello
Thursday:  Taco soup
Friday:  Chicken pot pie

Have a good week!  We are picking out our pumpkins tonight :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recipes to try

Never, never, read food blogs before breakfast.

Hmm, I think for breakfast I'd like apple crisp with pumpkin cream cheese bars with a side of brownies, please. Note to self: next time, start with Chex.

Oh, and my little sis asked me to start posting some of my menu plans again.

This week:

Monday - waffles
Tuesday - pulled pork sliders, ramen noodles, caesar salad
Wednesday - Taco Bake from Kraft recipes
Thursday - loaded baked potatoes (cheese, sour cream, broccoli, bacon)
Friday (do I have to cook on Friday?) - family picnic, so sandwiches and the like

I'm linking up some recipes I want to be able to find later. If they help you too, then bonus.

chewy chocolate brownies

garlic breadsticks

chocolate peanut butter pie

So many recipes HERE I don't even know where to start!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Even Utes feel blue sometimes

So, yeah, BYU has had a rough season so far. But that didn't stop my dad from taking us back to his Alma Mater for homecoming on Saturday.

We had a blast! (Even my Ute-loving siblings)

We all played some little games at the Alumni tailgate party.  Jess and Tyler were very lucky and got their wish - free BYU t-shirts!

Here are the three in the fam that attended BYU

We were missing a sister but still loved being together.

I had to be sneaky to get a blurry shot of Strider cheering for the Cougs (wearing ahem, BLUE, I might add).  I knew he could still be swayed.

Feels so good in blue together!  It was a great win.

Ignore the dork making the U sign.  I love her, but Go BYU!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

On my mind today

What a fabulous morning! Well, except for my 10 year old who left in a huff without kissing me goodbye because I would not give him and his heavy saxophone a ride. Boo hoo. Other than that it's cool, overcast and delightful outside. The zucchini bread is in the oven, the bedding is in the washer, the chili will be in the crockpot soon.

We are getting to the end of the soccer-football season around here. I won't miss the juggling and splitting of the family (most of the games are at the same time at two different parks). I won't miss wondering when in the world we're going to have a real meal if we have games from 5:30-7:30. But I really really enjoy watching my boys work hard at something and have fun while learning something new.

I am the props manager for the junior high school musical. It's a lot of pressure but I'm enjoying the creative process of stretching a tiny budget and having to make items that we cannot buy. I won't miss the running all over the place and comparing prices till my eyeballs hurt, but I will miss the interaction with the director. I love having a reason to be at the school. It's not like elementary where you could show up and volunteer to help any one of your kids' teachers, so I am thankful for the chance to hang around and observe Potter.

Speaking of Potter, Strider and I had a discussion about him the other day. His personality is very different from ours and it hasn't always been easy to relate to him. He is off in dreamland way too often (in our opinion) and reads a bit too much (in our opinion) and focuses on housework and schoolwork FAR too little (okay, that's just a fact). But he is now into this whole drama thing and is completely, wholly, in his element.  It doesn't matter that he's not like us and can make a fool of himself in front of others and not care. This is what he was meant to be.

A little while ago, just after rehearsals began, he was sitting on the couch next to me and he was laughing and telling his dad and me all about various scenes and some of the things he got to learn. I got really choked up all of a sudden. It's hard to explain but in a quick moment I was seeing him as more than my goofy oldest child who loves to joke and drive me crazy. I saw him exactly as God sees him - talents and abilities wrapped up in a lively package. I was filled with perfect love. It was a lovely snapshot in time and I'm writing this so I don't forget it.

I get so much satisfaction out of sharing these events that matter in the lives of my kids. I will SO miss them when they are over.  I hope that I can show them individually by my actions how much they mean to me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I was reading one of the blogs I follow, 320 Sycamore, and she wrote about the analogy of the flight attendant.  We know we should put our oxygen mask on before attempting to do so for our children.  We must take care of us because, really, who else will?  They depend on us, so we must be available and alert emotionally.  We need oxygen.

I think I'm getting much better about that as I get older.  I don't feel guilty for putting boundaries on my mommy availability time nearly as much as I used to. 

What gives you the oxygen you need to breathe clearly? I'd love it if you'd blog about it too.

Here is what helps me.

If I'm tired I try to nap.  Sounds simple, huh?  But I used to not do that and try to plow through life like the baby's naptime could only be filled with my chores.  Baloney. 

I absolutely need regular crafting time.  I can totally feel when it's been too long since I've created.  (Like now).

Go for a tiny indulgence.  I like to grocery shop late at night when I can add and keep track of coupons without wiggly toddlers.  And then while I'm out I might grab a drink somewhere for a $1.  Or a junior bacon cheeseburger for $1.  Or stop at the library and browse till they close.  There no money for fancy pedicures or lunch at a cafe, but a tiny splurge is usually just enough to make me feel "paid" for the hard work I do.

I cherish my evenings when the kids are asleep.  I don't really have time for tv, but at night I might jump on Netflix and catch a couple episodes of a show I like.  I occasionally watch a movie with Strider.

I read when I can.  I always make sure my scriptures are read first and then I like to have a novel in my purse for whenever I have a few moments of quiet.

I have started asking for more help.  *GASP*.  If I'm tired and it's getting late and I still have to load the dishwasher, switch the laundry, fix a button on someone's pants for school, and find a soccer jersey - I ask Strider to pitch in on one or more.  If I'm specific with what I need (the key to man's brains) he is the hugest help ever.  While he was finishing his degree I got in the habit of assuming he was too busy and tried to do it all myself.  Now that he's more available I am retraining myself to ask and I'm a LOT more satisfied.

All these things help me stay motivated (most of the time) and sane.  Not GUILTY, which is the important goal.  I love my kids so much more when I get to do fun things too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Calling for local help

Since my days are empty and nothing in my life takes up any time (HA!) I agreed to help Potter's junior high by being the props manager for the musical next month.

I have about half the required items we need but I'm still stuck on some. With only a tiny budget we are trying to borrow rather than buy.

If you live near me, please take a moment to see if you have any of these items that we could use for a month.

Many thanks!

long stemmed fake roses
small fake goldfish
antique-looking hand mirror and brush set
broom handle
straw (maybe hay?)
deer antlers