Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I got a haircut back in September and took pictures on my phone....only to end up doing a master reset and losing the pictures (but not my texts?!). I am loving this haircut and just got a trim today. (And I love Esther's apple-filled mouth in this picture.)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I love my crockpot.
Monday, October 25, 2010
This semester, Thursdays are my busiest days. We do school, drive to two music lessons, drive home just in time to eat dinner (I'm loving the crockpot on days like this), and then hurry to Heidi's soccer practice.
Thanks for the comments on how you keep your kids' room's clean! It sounds like we do things pretty similarly. We've had a new system in place this past week and I'm watching and reevaluating to make sure it works and wondered what works for you...
Friday, October 22, 2010
I'm trying to write while singing bedtime songs to the girls. I wonder if I'll mix things up and type song lyrics here and sing what I'm trying to blog. I wonder if the girls would even notice.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Autumn & Heidi have been begging to take out their instruments and do a "concert" since Autumn brought home her cello Saturday (and they did play for a little that day). Tonight when we had finally completed all the other "necessaries", I told them they could play with Esther when she played Pop Goes the Weasel. She hadn't practiced yet today and I wanted to get in at least a few minutes!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I just got interrupted by Autumn who informed me that the bathroom door is locked and smells like nail polish remover. And here I thought even the younger two were happily (and safely) occupied before I sat down to write a letter .
I walked into the bathroom and found Esther with minimal amounts of nail polish on her skin and clothes. Becca, on the other hand,
was standing stark naked in the tub. Covered in pink nail polish. Cheeks, forehead, shoulders, chest, bellybutton, turn around, butt cheeks, and yes, even a little between the legs.
I did not keep my cool.
And the aftermath?
It's too much to ask of a 17 month old to sit still for the kind of scrubbing it takes to get that stuff off. And from the few spots we did work on, I'm thinking it would also take over 5 bottles to clean it up. And the 4-year old? Well, she doesn't have much on her anyway, and I'm inclined to just leave her alone because I still can't speak civilly to her. I find myself wishing she'd be embarrassed to be seen in public, as some sort of punishment, but who am I kidding? She's four. She doesn't care! All the same, I'm in no rush to clean her up. And it's not hurting her, so the girls will be walking around looking "pretty in pink" until it decides to peel off.
And we're taking Autumn to soccer tonight. Lovely.
And this next bit will sound like a tangent, but it's not. Heidi has moved into a new stage this last month. She is as feisty as ever, but more helpful and obedient.
Are you laughing?
I would be too if I weren't too busy having a pity party for one.
Guess it would be just too good to be true for all of the kids to be in manageable stages at the same time.
Excuse me while I go shower...yep, haven't done that yet today either!
And oh, I left out the best part...Esther cut her hair on Monday.
First day with the scissors out for an extended period of time. Somehow she Houdini's a pair. And that oh, so cute haircut Amanda gave her last week, yes, the last of the corrections, and the beginnings of hey, this looks like an actual style! are now gone. And it's the bangs. Again. Those bangs that make it so impossible to hide the fact that yes, my child has cut her own hair.
Please know, that if you ask me why don't you keep the scissors somewhere she can't get them or how did she get those away from you and you didn't notice or why did you leave her alone long enough for that to happen, be forewarned -- if you were right in front of me, I would LAUGH in your face. And then I would refer you to one of my many friends with many kids who is in a better mood than I am at the moment.
Come back tomorrow though.
I promise I'll have positive things to say.
Just not about this.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
For our tenth anniversary this year, we spent a whole day at Disneyland without the kids. (We have awesome friends who love to watch our girls!)
And we finally bought yearly passes! We've wanted to do that since we moved here in August. In the past month and a half, we've already been to Disneyland FOUR times.
A sign on the way to Disneyland. Can anyone enlighten me? What are wet burritos?
So we paid to take our kids to Disneyland, and what do they want to ride? The oldest ride in the book -- the carousel.
I completely understand.
There is something timeless and magical about carousels. They make me feel like a kid all over again.
We only rode double once. Oops!
They're sure loved sitting together though...
Yep, this was a good decision. We are going to love learning all the ins and outs of Disneyland. Autumn already spotted our first Hidden Mickey.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
...I'm going to give you a peek into my cupboards.
There's just something so satisfying about arranging and organizing things so that life works a little smoother.
There just is.
And if you don't think so, you're missing out.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
A few years ago we checked out the DVD of CATS from the library.
And then we checked it out again. And again. And again.
Over at least a year's time period, we watched that movie so many times!
We even checked out Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.
And then finally, we bought it as a gift for Heidi (although Autumn loved it equally, she received something else that year...).
Last week we were headed up to Utah for our family reunion. Rae called me a few days before and said something like, "Phill can get tickets to CATS at the Tuacahn...want to take the kids?"
So we got the babes in bed for the night, left them with the hubbies, and took our big kids to the show. They were ecstatic about staying up past their bedtime, being with their cousins, and getting to see the show.
It was so much fun. I haven't been to a live musical since my freshman year of college...Phantom of the Opera at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake.
It was priceless watching Autumn, Heidi, Reed, and Jaxon as they watched the show. As the show began, I looked over and saw Heidi sitting on the edge of her seat in anticipation, wearing a gigantic smile on her face. Every time I looked at Autumn she was focused on the stage, even when whispering excitedly to Reed.
At one point, a cat did an aerobatic stunt, and Reed said in a hushed and excited whisper, "Awesome! I can do that!"
The show ended with fireworks, a perk of outdoor theatre! And true to any boy's nature, when we asked Jaxon what he liked about it, he said, "the fireworks". And on the car-ride home I overheard he kept talking about the fireworks and how he could "blow up the whole universe!" Yep, that'd be my nephew.
And then to top it all off, we ran into one of the actresses during intermission and she posed for a picture!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Sometime during the last month, we finally took Esther to Eric's cousin to even out Esther's "hair job". It's so great to know and trust people who can do the things I can't. And it's even better when they're in the family. We all get great haircuts from Amanda and love knowing we can trust her with our hair. :)
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
We've made a lot of changes in our diet lately. Between reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, watching FOOD, Inc., reading Anti Cancer, Righteous Porkchop, and wanting to lose extra weight and be more healthy -- wow! If you're interested and want to know more about these books or have already read them and want to share tips/tricks/or stories, email me!
One of the bigger changes has been to make as much as we can on our own. To that end, granola bars are such a great snack to have on hand and I'm loving being the one in control of what goes into them. They're also really easy to make.
I've tried 3 different recipes now (Kitchen Stewardship, Sisters Cafe, and my wonderful friend Heidi's).
This morning I decided to compare all three and see if I couldn't figure out the "science" behind what is required to make a granola bar. Here's what I came up with. Armed with these things, I think I'll be able to make any number of granola bar recipes, changing it up however I feel.
GRANOLA BAR SCIENCE
(for a regular size batch)
- 2 cups of oats. Maybe a 1/2 cup more in a doubled batch. Quick vs. rolled is really a matter of preference. I have yet to decide my preference...
- 1 C flour, whole wheat or all-purpose. No flour? Use an extra 1/2 C oats and 1/2 C rice krispies. Not as healthy, but really yummy. Using all-purpose but still wanting to be healthy? Add 1/2 C wheat germ. My double batch recipe calls for 1 cup flour, but another regular batch recipe I have ALSO calls for 1 cup flour...today I'm doing a regular batch and will use 1/2 cup flour unless it looks like it needs more.
- 1/2 tsp baking soda. Two of the recipes actually leave this out, but I think it helps the bars stay together better and be softer and chewier. Scientifically, I know that cream of tartar makes cookies softer and chewier and is an ingredient in baking powder. So maybe this is similar? As for why it helps them stay together better? Maybe something to do with the poofing/rising while they bake and then when they cool and fall they stick together better? Ideas anyone?
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 - 1/2 C Butter or oil, interchangeable in this recipe. That's not always the case with baking.
- 3/4 to 1 C sweetener, to taste.
1/2 C brown sugar + 1/4 - 1/2 C honey
1/2 C honey (as a general rule, if you want to use all honey and no sugar in a recipe that calls for only sugar, use half the amount called for. So 1 Cup sugar = 1/2 C honey)
- 1/2 tsp of extract of choice, or even a mixture of two. If you like almonds, try 1/4 tsp almond extract and 1/4 tsp vanilla. You can add up to 2 tsp extract in a batch if you feel like the flavor's not strong enough.
- Add an egg or two if it seems too dry. You're only likely to need this if you use all oil instead of butter.
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon is a really yummy addition.
- You can add 1/4 - 1/3 C powdered milk for added calcium.
- add by the 1/2 C
- if using peanut butter, cut the oil/butter to 1/4 - 1/3 C
- There are so many possibilities for add-ins. Try any of these: coconut, mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries (practically any dried fruit), nuts, or sunflower seeds.
- You can adjust the add-ins to taste if you really like a particular flavor, but be careful you don't add so much that it interferes with the oats and the "chewiness" factor.
Use your hands and jam it all into the pan. This keeps your bars from falling apart.
Use a lightly greased 9 x 13" pan. If you double the recipe, you can use the same size pan. Just two tips with a doubled batch:
- adjust your baking time, more on the 20 minute side
- cut them thinner and the top (looking into the pan) becomes the side of each granola bar. Make sense?
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, checking at 12 minutes. You want it to be a little golden.
Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Cool COMPLETELY in pan before removing and storing or serving.
They freeze well if wrapped individually.
Today I'm going to try two batches:
- peanut butter chocolate chip (an old favorite)
- and almond coconut with 1/4 tsp almond extract and 1/4 tsp vanilla (I think almond extract is pretty strong and add a little at a time tasting as I go. You may prefer to go all the way up to the 2 tsps with almond and vanilla. Last time I did that, I tasted a "tinglyness" in the bars directly from the almond extract. Weird huh?)
I'm also going to use oil instead of butter. Much cheaper. I've tried both and can't really tell a difference.
So today my recipes will look like this:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 - 1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C honey
1/3 - 1/2 C oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 C coconut
1/2 C sliced almonds
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another. Combine. Spread in greased pan. Bake at 350 for 12-20 minutes. Cut. Cool completely. Remove from pan and store.
And then in the 2nd batch I'll do all vanilla extract, 1/2 C peanut butter (adjusting the oil as needed), and 1/2 C mini chocolate chips.
If you find a combination you love, let me know!
Monday, June 28, 2010
People talk about how wonderful it is to have a girl first because they're like second mommas, so helpful with the other kids. Well, having never had a boy first...obviously...and having never had a boy PERIOD...I can only go by what I see in other families and from my childhood. It's very true. I'm sure it's not always true, but it's probably more often true than not.
Autumn is such a good helper with her sisters and around the house. And she loves them to pieces. She is tender hearted. Quick to feel the smallest slight from her sisters (whom she loves dearly), but also so quick to forgive with a smile and a hug.
She loves life. She is excited about everything that comes her way. She loves to dance. She loves to tell people how much she's looking forward to playing the cello this fall.
She loves school and lately, she loves to write stories! This has been a joy for me to watch. Earlier in the school year we worked on creative writing for a time, but it was a bust. She just wasn't ready for it at the time. And I learned after the fact, just how important it is to FILL a kid's mind with stories and information and give them TIME before expecting them to be ready to CREATE their own stories. So...we left the creative writing alone. And she went back to it on her own, when she was ready!
Right now she's working on a story called "The Enchanted Garden". She has informed me that it will be fourteen chapters long, just like Harry Potter. Every page has green ivy drawn around it too. Oh how I love this girl.
Autumn and Heidi made a store in the playroom. You can probably read the prices if you click on the picture to expand it. But each price tag has a price (imagine that) and a description of the item!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Heidi lost another tooth! That brings the count up to FOUR. And it's one of the top ones, which really surprised me. Autumn didn't lose those till just this year. If I didn't know better, I'd say Heidi was trying to catch up with her. :)
Heidi's reading and writing skills (and interest in them!) just TOOK OFF during the last month of school. Since then, I find sheets of her writing everywhere and am enjoying her enthusiasm over these newest skills. And once again, I'm reminded of just what a funny language English is. Kids are so smart and realize just how they say things as they're in the early writing stages. And when I read my kindergartner's handwriting, I have to laugh at just how right they are. She currently spells "tree" as "chree". Try to say tree without thinking about it and you'll see what I mean. Or listen to someone else say it without any prompting. Like I said, English is a funny language.
Watching The Little Mermaid together. Becca loves her sisters and I love to watch them playing with her. Heidi is especially patient with Becca and loves sitting with her and playing with her.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I'm not -- and I just have to say...
Today was my first time driving the LA freeways since we moved here in August!
And I'm alive still and so is everyone else that went with me. And I drove in the day, and the night. And it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. But I should probably get a massage to loosen up some knots. And I should do this more often to avoid the knots.
It's so weird too that I managed to live 20 miles from LA for 10 months and not need to go on the freeway as the driver. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a "nervous Nellie" but going from 3, possibly 4-lane freeway driving to SEVEN lane freeways...I wasn't feeling antsy to go anywhere via freeway right away. I'm a go-getter and when I move to a new place I'm all over figuring out the best ways to get around and what's where. So...this is really outside of the norm for me. But GO ME! I'm still happy about it and looking forward to becoming more familiar with the freeways around here. (Just not during rush hour...anything but that...please?!)
Sunday, June 13, 2010
After a few LOST conversations with friends I decided maybe I'd pass on the whole LOST post by Eric. It seems like there are five different versions of what happened and each group is happy with their own version. So...on to other things...
Tonight I'm on a baking craze. Granola and banana bread in the oven. A whole chicken boiling on the stove. Granola bars waiting on the counter. Parts of an icebox cheesecake chilling in the fridge. Wow! It seems like it's been forever since I've wanted to do that much all at once. It's fun that it sounds like so much, typed out. But in reality, I'm watching TV and getting up every once in awhile to stir the granola. That's it. So cool!
And that's it for tonight.
Gradually I'll get back into a blogging groove.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Last night I dreamed that I had triplet girls. Hahaha!
That's just funny.
It was such a funny dream though, looking back on it. I didn't know I was having triplets and here they came, one - two - three. And then I put them in a stroller - SITTING UP. And it was perfectly normal, as tends to happen in dreams. They were still newborns, but somehow this worked. And then I looked at them and thought, "I don't think I'm going to have enough milk for 3 babies! Certainly not enough ARMS!" and realized they were definitely going to need formula supplements.
And I also thought to myself, "Well, I guess Heavenly Father knew I was only willing to be pregnant one more time (where did that come from??). Guess he had to find a way to get the rest of our family to us..."
This morning I laughed as I thought about the dream because I remembered a time, a LONG time ago when my sisters and I were making cookies in the kitchen and Rae started into this goofy story about how I was going to have triplet girls...
I think that should be a sign that I should NEVER get pregnant again. :D
Friday, May 28, 2010
No new posts yet...but SOON.
Stay tuned though. Eric is going to guest post and explain LOST. I was still confused after the season finale until he connected the dots for me. And I keep seeing people on Facebook a little unsure of what it all meant. So...if you watch LOST, you won't want to miss this. Seriously.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
We love them oodles and they are SO good to our girls.
Look how patient they are!
Cuddling in Becca's chair.
No, they didn't get in there themselves.
But as you can see, they didn't try to leave either...
Izzy found this perch on her own.
I guess she needed a hiding spot and figured this was a good one.
Esther put Izzy in the dolly stroller.
It looks like she might be really mad but she isn't.
This always makes me laugh.
Sometimes Izzy slips under a blanket on her own
and then Autumn arranges a pillow for her.
Other times Autumn puts her there.
She just loves to be comfy.
It has begun!
Any girl who grew up with kitties knows
that you have to dress them
in doll clothes at least once or twice.
Autumn claims that Izzy likes it. :)
A new "do" for Heidi to keep her growing bangs out of her face.
Not only does it keep her bangs out of her face,
but when she's tempted to play with her hair
she plays with the ponytail
instead of twirling the top of her hair into KNOTS.
Works for me!
Ummm...yeah. She's done it again. And this time she only did half and then asked Autumn to help her. So did Autumn say, "No Esther. Let's go show Mom. You know you're not supposed to do that."? Of course not! That's right. Being the loving sister she is, she tried to FIX Esther's hair because it looked funny.
I'm so glad hair grows back.
She fell asleep at the table!
A cutie in Sunday dress. I mourn the latest hair loss looking at this picture.
I love this baby of mine. And I can't get enough of her in this outfit!