Wednesday, December 31, 2008

um, thanks?

Last week Nate and I took advantage of my parents and left them with the children. We went to the temple and then out to lunch. Our lunching was tasty (though the service was less than adequate and everything was a bit more pricey than it should have been, hence I am not leaving a recommendation), and as we were leaving we decided to pay the bill up front in the bakery (lest we wait forever more for our waitress). I must digress at this point and tell you we were dressed up - Nate in a jacket and tie and I wearing one of my favorite dresses (this one being a cool magenta/purple color with black trim, an empire waist, and what some may call cool "kimono-style" arms) okay back to the story...

Just as we approach the counter, a very stylish Frenchman (it was a French bakery/cafe) emerges from the back (with a huge diamond stud earring btw) and takes the bill from Nate. He smiles in my direction and I realize he is looking at my boobs.

He then says (in a very French accent): Con-gra-tu-la-ciones (congratulations)
I say: "um, thanks" (because it has just dawned on me he wasn't looking at my cleavage)
He says: "When are you due?"
I say: (realizing what is going on, and Nate of course is not quite sure what to say or do)
"Um, June?"
He says: "Iz theez your furst be-bea?" (is this your first baby, for those of you who don't read French Accent Translation)
I say: "Well, no actually it would be my third."
He says: something to the effect that I certainly do not look like someone who would be expecting their third child
I want to say: Well, there's a reason for that. But I don't. And we smile and say good-bye.
Outside, Nate still hasn't recovered from the conversation he witnessed.
He says: "You usually are a bad liar, but you did really good in there."
I say: "Thanks, I just didn't want him to feel bad. He was really excited for me."

ps. for those of you not sure - NO we are not expecting - YES that really did happen - NO for some reason my feelings were not hurt - YES I did make reference to it the rest of the day telling Nate I had to put my feet up, etc - YES it is funny so go ahead and laugh

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

trouble (times two)

You know that part of the song where it says, "Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again"? I'm there.
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we love these guys

My parents came to celebrate Christmas with us last week. Aren't they pretty cute?

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Monday, December 29, 2008

hope it was merry

We have recovered from our array of illnesses. In fact no one was sick on Christmas! What a gift. My parents came to town to visit and we had such a fun time. There are so many silly traditions we do, and maybe one day I'll tell you about them. But just know a good time was had by all.

Grace was thrilled when the Christmas Elves arrived (they come every year on Christmas Eve - we never get to see them, but they always ring the door bell and leave presents containing pjs. Its pretty awesome). Jimmy really didn't care to open any presents, but loved playing with his new toys once they were opened. One of his gifts came from Captain Underpants (as you may guess, the gift was a variety of manly underpants). Today he insisted on wearing all three pairs of Thomas the Train. This is a new chapter we're entering - I hope its short and we can bid our boxes of diapers good-bye quickly!

Merry Monday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

in spite of it all

Yes there was more sickness today. But I think we're past it all. Surprisingly, despite it all I feel kind of Christmasy. Do you?

Jimmy has been saying some cute stuff. I think I'll have to start a column just for him, any ideas what I should call it? Anyways, here they are:

Me: Jimmy you are Big Trouble.
Jimmy: I not-a Big Trouble. I-a Small Trouble.

I should note he often speaks with an Italian accent.

Me: Oooo Gracie, you have some big muscles. You are so strong!
Jimmy: Gracie not strong. Gracie smart.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

good intentions

I intended to go to church today, but didn't. Grace was sick - AGAIN - yesterday (yes, that equates more laundry). And though she was bouncing off the walls today we thought it best she not go to Primary. Jimmy hasn't really been sick, but he's got a leaky green nose - kind of gross, but true - so we thought it best to keep him away from all the other Nursery goers. Nate and I were going to tag-team church, but as it turns out he had to play the organ (hour number one) and teach a lesson (hour number three). So I was stuck at home. It wasn't too bad, but I feel like we've been stuck at home for days (and mind you the first day of Winter Break is tomorrow!)

In other news, I finally sent out my Christmas cards. Sadly there were a few addresses to double-check and then our computer decided to not function properly (we're talking Geek Squad, then Nate telling the Geek Squad (very politely) to save their Geekness unto themselves, then the U-Verse ATT people (one hour tech support on Friday, two hours last night (during the sad BYU bowl and by the way our tech was in the Philippines) and then an actual repair/tech support guy came to our house - TODAY which of course did not make it feel very Christmasy or Sundayish) so some of those cards have still not gotten out yet. And then for the ones that did get out, it was brought to our attention that at least one envelope arrived - EMPTY! So if you are in that boat, I am sorry. If you want a replacement, let me know.

As I have read over this post it to sound very un-Christmasy and very un-Sundayish. It is only 6:37, but I am considering going to bed in the next two hours, that way tomorrow I can make a more positive post (that is if I can get this computer to work again!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

just wait your turn

The last 8 days have not been the best in our house. Grace got sick. Then Jimmy got sick. Then Grace got sick again. Then (you probably guessed it) Jimmy got sick again. Then he stayed sick. Then he got mostly better - then I got sick. It has been awful and we should probably take out stock (if one does that anymore these days) in our laundry detergent company. Thankfully Nate was home early yesterday and took good care of the kidlets and one sick mama. I should point out that the kids are totally fine now, I'm doing much better, and Nate is hanging in there. Pray he doesn't get it too, would you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

brown, the new christmas color

I feel like I am personally helping UPS stay afloat during these turbulant times. Red and green are the beautiful colors of Christmas, but I think brown - cardboard brown - really signifies the holidays have arrived (on your doorstep or someone else's).

Monday, December 15, 2008

and the winner is...

Kirsti! The contestants were assigned a number (1-4). The numbers were placed in a hat (Jimmy's hat to be exact). My lovely assistant (Grace, who happens to be home sick today) picked a number from the hat; and well, you can guess the rest.

But you are all winners in my book. To prove that to you, try this sometime this week and know that I'm thinking of you:

Kris’ Karmel Korn
do you like my sad sick over-use of alliteration?

Yummy and sticky, could be every dentist’s nightmare! I couldn't eat this while I had my braces on. Now I'm trying not to eat it too much!

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 can sweetend condensed milk
1 stick butter

Combine all ingredients and cook to soft-ball stage. Pour over 2-3 batches of popped popcorn, stirring to coat evenly.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


My bon appetit subscription is up and because I have delayed renewing it I am reaping the rewards. Not only will my renewal rate be an incredible deal, I get to give a gift subscription to anyone of my choice. Now, who shall I pick? If you want it, tell me about it in the comments and leave your email address (or at least some way that I can contact you). The winner will be randomly selected. You may be the lucky one! Yeah your right - everyone is a winner - just one person will be more winning-ly than the others this time!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

my cookie crumbled

Tonight I began my Cookie Baking Marathon. Let's just say I didn't get off to a good start. Its amazing how wrong something can be, even if it is composed of butter and sugar. Here's to hoping the rest of my cookie baking adventures go much better!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

time flies in the county

I can't believe its already Thursday. I'm not sure where the time has gone. Some of the time was spent on a dash to West County (in STL they refer to the suburbs as "The County" and then they like to get specific about which part of the county) to see Gracie's eye doctor. Its a good thing we did, because we caught a little vision slip-up and things are now back on track. The crazy thing to me is that the doctor (well we see two of them, but the one in question - Dr. R) is based out of Children's Hospital (a mere 4 mile drive from our house), yet he has decided to see the majority of his patients in West County (a 28ish minute drive from our house). So I could either get Grace in to see him in WC on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. which would provide me an opportunity to delve into what some would call rush hour or we could see him at Children's in August!

The fortunate thing is that the WC office is located across the street from Pastries of Denmark. The unfortunate thing is that PofD decided to jump on the trendy bandwagon and implement a Cupcake Bar. The cupcakes are beautiful, but decidedly not good! I personally feel they should stick to their specialties, say Danish pastries?!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Mmmmm, they were good!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

easy as pie

Well, last night's pie attempt was not as successful as yesterday afternoon's pie adventure. We did pumpkin and coconut cream (well really a coconut custard). Something went a bit haywire with our crusts and it made for a not-as-delicious situation. But never fear, we've since recovered and have one tasty (but not beautiful) pumpkin pie. The coconut one (which Nate is pretty sure he would be the only major fan of) is good enough for him. However, I am not happy with it so I will not post the recipe (why waste the time of my dear reader(s)?) Our pumpkin recipe is very similar to the Libby's recipe, except we used fresh pumpkin. The pie that still holds some promise though is the Apple and Tart Cherry pie. We decided to just make the filling and refrigerate it. We have the pastry dough already made and chilling in the fridge. We'll bring both components to my mom's house and assemble and bake tomorrow. I'll keep you posted!

As far as making ahead of time, etc., there are many opinions out there. From my research it seems a pie such as pecan and Hershey could be made a couple of days in advance. You always run the risk of a soggy crust, but it is a slight risk and when you are running out of time you do what you've got to do. Let the pies come to room temp and then wrap them and hope the edges of the crusts don't crumble on your 300 mile journey North. If crumbles do occur, its okay. You can either cover it up with whipped cream or realize no one will care because you made them a homemade pie and they are just overwhelmed with joy and will not notice such a blunder.

The baked custard pies should also be fine for a couple of days. We figured by making them last night they would be consumed in less than two days. These pies also should come to room temp (so they sat out unattended last night until Nate got up before the crack of dawn this morning) and then wrapped loosely in foil (because they might get a bit dewy if they can't breathe so much) and stored in the fridge. Then let them come to room temp before you serve them.

With fruit-filled, double-crust pies (like the soon-to-be apple-cherry pie) you can actually assemble the pie and then freeze it (unbaked). You'd put the pie uncovered in your freezer until it is rock hard, then you would double-wrap it with plastic and then a layer of foil for good measure. (Make sure your pie is in a Pyrex pie plate because it can handle extreme so-very-cold-to-so-very-hot temp changes). It will keep in the freezer for at least 2 weeks, but some argue it will last even longer without ill effects. When you are ready to cook it, preheat your oven, then remove the pie from the freezer and toss the plastic and foil wraps. Cook it at the same temp and for the same amount of time as if it weren't frozen. At the end of the cook time (mind you I haven't tried this, I've only read a lot about it), reduce your oven temp significantly, cover the top with foil, and bake about 20-25 more minutes. This will ensure the crust does not burn, the inside is cooked through, and all your pie eaters will be very, very happy you chose to make a pie 2 weeks ago.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I'll post the pie outcome later. Oh, and did I mention Nate is doing a Rocky Road ice cream pie as well? That makes for 6 (which is the exact same number of pie plates we own...)

Gobble Gobble!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

pies, pies, everywere pies - first entry

Today begins the quest for pie. This afternoon (with a little 'help') I made pies I and II (Pecan pie and Hotel Hershey pie).

First, have your husband make his favorite flaky pie crust (he found a recipe he liked in Cooking Light, doubled the fat content and it is perfect - I'll post that later). Mix up your ingredients and pour into your prepared pie plate. Mmmm, it is so good and gooey.

It looks nice, but wait until you cook it!

See how lovely, its enough to make a young boy smile!

Pie number II is quite similar in preparation and results.

Sadly I'll have to wait until Thursday to tuck in, at least I've got this guy to keep me company!

Nancy's Lethal Pecan Pie Hangover Cure
taken from "Pie Everyday" by Pat Willard, I'm not sure who Nancy is and how this would cure a hangover, but it is so tasty nonetheless...

1 1/4 cups corn syrup (she specifies dark, I prefer light for some reason)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I'm the opposite here, I love dark)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (throw in a few extra if you like)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Put the corn syrup and sugar in med saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture boil softly for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they're light lemon in color (she says to use an electric mixer, but whisking fast by hand works well). Continue beating while adding the sugar syrup. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Place in a prepared 9-inch crust (unbaked). Place the pie on a baking sheet and put on center rack in oven. Bake about 50 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, just until the filling is set.

Hotel Hershey Pie
This first made its appearance on the holiday menu sometime in my childhood. Its origins are unknown and while staying at the Hotel Hershey (Hershey, PA), my dad asked for a slice of the "famous" pie (at least famous to my family!) and the hotel had no clue what pie he was talking about. Its too bad for them, because this is so yummy....

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
(I use unsalted and then add 1/4 tsp salt)
6 oz choc chips (I like to use the minis)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Beat the eggs in a medium size bowl. Add sugar and cornstarch. Whisk to blend. Add butter, vanilla, chocolate chips, and pecans. Pour mixture into a prepared 9-inch (unbaked) pie shell. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Cool pie an serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

For the record, there was a family wrestling match/hiding game/telling on daddy thing going on while I typed this. If this post doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll clarify if necessary.

Monday, November 24, 2008

the bird

I sometimes think I'm a mean mom because I trick my kids into doing stuff they wouldn't normally choose to do. Last year I asked Grace how to make a Thanksgiving turkey because Salsie (her name for my mom) was looking at different recipes. You can click here if you are curious to see what she said. This year I told her Kara needed a new recipe. So Kara, here it is -


3 cup oil

100 pieces turkey

1 pan

2 scoops salt\pepper


Put 3 cups oil in a bowl. Then put in 100 pieces turkey in the bowl. Put them in a pan. Last put 2 scoops salt\pepper in the pan.

Cook temp:


Cook time:

80 minnets

Daddy's Girl

Nate and Grace have had a few bonding moments over the last few weeks. On the last day of the Green rotation (remember, the most dreaded one of the year), Nate came home to find a package on the front porch - his 'loops' (fancy lingo for fancy surgeon glasses).

As you can see 1. He was pretty excited about it,

2. He looks hilarious in them,

3. Grace thinks her daddy is awesome.

They've also been working and planning to create at least 5 pies for Thursday. I came home one afternoon to find a pumpkin mess in the kitchen:

So next time you see these two - know that though they may be cute, they most definitely are up to trouble!

The same goes for these guys as well!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

links to action

Today's post consists of a few unrelated links:

1. We had some "minor" excitement in our neighborhood. I'd like to point out that we really do not live in what some would deem "the 'hood," contrary to what some readers may infer. Please click here to read more. Its a link to my friend Kara's blog who once again writes about a snippet of my life. What she failed to mention at the end of her post is 1. The other exciting thing we saw out the window - a charming man carrying flowers home for his wife who just had her braces removed and 2. When eluding police one should not wear a red jacket (it is just too bright and a dead-giveaway) and one's baggy pants should be cinched up at the waist otherwise it would slow-down your "running away from the cops thing."

2. In honor of my braces being removed, I thought I'd post our favorite way to make popcorn. (Really we stole the idea from Giada deLaurentis). Take a pretty big (like 14 inches in diameter)and deep (maybe 3-4 inches) sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. Put the pan over medium heat, pour in 1/2 cup of Orville Redenbacher kernels (really don't use the store brand, it just isn't as good) and a 1/4 cup of olive oil (yes, olive oil). Put the lid on and wait until you hear some popping. Then every once in awhile carefully shimmy the pan over the heat. When the popping slows down turn off the heat. Carefully open the lid and pour the delicious contents into a very large bowl. Sprinkle with Kosher salt (I don't know why we choose that in particular except we always have it on hand and we like it). Enjoy!

3. In regards to the lasagna hunt from September, here are my final thoughts on the matter. All of the recipes that were sent were great. But in the end I went with a Martha Stewart one (crazy, yes but sometimes the truth seems crazy) that I tweaked to meet my needs. Click here for her recipe and then see below for my changes.
  • I did NOT use fresh lasagna noodles. I'm sure they would have been great, but I did not have the time, patience, nor the counter space to devote to such an endeavour. Instead I used the Barilla no-cook lasagna noodles and they were fabulous.
  • Fresh Mozzarella is good, but the regular kind works wonders. I prefer to have a ball of the regular stuff and then grate it. It has a better taste and consistency than the pre-shredded packaged stuff.
  • I added about 1/2 cup of cottage cheese to the Ricotta. It breaks up the Ricotta some, has a slightly different taste, and makes it all a bit more cheesy (which is a good thing when it comes to lasagna).
  • This is my curve ball - before beginning to make the marinara sauce, I sauteed some finely chopped onion and Chicago-style Italian sausage (sorry to be so geographic about it, but the Chicago-style Italian sausage is incredibly delish and I haven't found anything to substitute for it. I live five hours away from the source as it is; life will sure be tough when we move over 2,000 miles away from it!). The sausage should be removed from its casings and then cooked through. When its about halfway to its goal, add in the garlic. Your house will smell so tasty. Towards the end of your cook time, add enough oregano and basil to make yourself happy and throw in a pinch of rosemary and a teaspoon or two of sugar for good measure. This will help your taste buds rejoice.

4. I just want to let you know that I ate a piece of licorice with Grace yesterday and it was a joyful experience.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

brace yourself

Toffee, ooey and gooey caramel popcorn, Starburst candy, Heath bars, Skor bars, cashews, peanuts, pecan pie. Mmmmmm. All of these treats are legal now. Its only been 14 months longer than originally planned, but I am brace-free and I am loving it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tag, I'm It

I've been tagged, twice I think. So I guess its time to give in and do it. 8 is the magic number.

8 TV Shows I love to watch:
Whose Wedding is it Anyway?
Samantha Who?
30 Rock
Design on a Dime
Throwdown with Bobby Flay (love him)
The Fourth Quarter of a BYU game when they are winning
The Rose Bowl Parade

8 Restaurants I love:
Really there are so many this will be a very limited list and not provide much insight-
Aya Sofia
Ted Drewes (totally not a restaurant, but tasty nonetheless)
The Chocolate Bar
Pueblo Solis
Lorenzo's Trattoria
Foundry Grill
Jack Stack
Lou Malnatis

8 Things that Happened Yesterday:
Acquired a Brownie Scout uniform for Grace
Made some delicious Brussels sprouts (not kidding, they were so good)
Enjoyed some Heavenly Hash (marshmallows and almonds smothered in chocolate)
Did "Beads" with Grace (and Nate too)
Watched the CMAs (love that Brad Paisley)
Folded a lot of laundry
Hung out with my friend Kara
Realized there are only 2 days (including today) left of Nate's terrible rotation

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To
Maybe getting my braces off on Tuesday (Please keep your fingers crossed for me)
Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!
Moving to San Diego (well, sometimes I'm looking forward to it)
Nate having more of a normal schedule (like we'll get to see him on a regular basis)
The four of us attending church together, every week (not just meeting up together in the pew)
Living near family
Getting my braces off (did I mention that?)
Oh, and Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!!!!

8 Things on My Wish List
Having a back yard (one that is fenced, preferably)
A couch that is not supported by cardboard and held up by cinder blocks
Nate being around more
Grace and Jimmy living in a neighborhood with lots of fun kids their age
Living in a house where cute Trick-or-Treaters come every year
New make-up brushes
An amazing trip to Hawaii
Okay, I'd like to go to Greece too

8 People I'm Tagging
If you'd like to be tagged, consider yourself tagged. If you'd rather not play, go on and watch from the sidelines.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

new perspective

For weeks and weeks I've been trying to convince Nate we should move the furniture around. For weeks and weeks he's been hoping I'll forget all about it. However, persistence has won this time and Saturday was the day. I love the outcome! I've been feeling like our house and belongings are taking me over and I've been feeling overwhelmed with our decorating style, "Student Special," but a new spin on things makes everything so much better! Sometimes looking at what you've got from a different angle makes you appreciate it a bit more.

Wishing you a Happy Tuesday,
Sarah the Content

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

in the 'hood

It is a beautiful sunny day, in th mid-70s wtih a light breeze. Jimmy and I stroll through the nearby park on our way to the polling place. Our path crosses with two fellow voters from the neighborhood. They greet us with one of them saying:
You goin' to git yo vote on?

Man, I'm going to miss St. Louis.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

tricks and treats

Grace was a Treat in her "Grace the Glitter Fairy" get-up. Jimmy decided it would be more fun to play a Trick and refuse to wear his costume. At least I conned him into wearing an orange t-shirt with "Frankie-stein" on it.

On Saturday we finally carved our pumpkin. Grace oversaw the design. Jimmy tried really hard to get ahold of the knife to carve it himself. I tried to be as carefree as possible, but found it difficult to do so. Wonder if the 2 year old holding the knife had anything to do with it?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dr. NoBeard

I've been searching for Nate and his face.
Have you seen him?

Maybe he's hiding behind something.

Perhaps he got hung up somewhere.

There he is, I found him!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

too many tomatoes

At 4:00 on Sunday afternoon Nate sits at the computer and apparently checks the weather. At 4:01 Sunday afternoon he leaps out of his chair and yells, "It is time to harvest!!!!" What?! Apparently he learned it was going to come too close to freezing that night and would certainly freeze the next night. So for about two hours we harvest our tomatoes (remember when I told you Nate planted 12 plants?) We manage to get most of our crop in before dark (and before we are just tired of harvesting - Grace has now decided it would not be fun to be a farmer anymore, she's leaning more towards being a mathematician these days). So what do you do with lots of tomatoes?

I decide that we won't be able to eat them fast enough so it is time to "put them up" or to "can" them.

You start by cleaning the tomatoes. In this case I cleaned somewhere between 12 and 15 pounds. We had about 5 different varieties - some big, some small, some yellow, some red, some purplish, some teeny, some ginormous, you get the idea.

Then after a quick knife action (you slice a little "X" on their bottoms), they are off for a dip in boiling water.
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After that, let them land in some cold, chilly water. You'll notice their skins start falling off.
Take them from the water and slip the rest of the skin right off. Now its time for a big decision: stop and can the tomatoes or make tomato sauce and then can that. I decided to go for the sauce. This meant I had to seed the tomatoes and then go ahead and actually make the sauce. I must tell you, this took a long time.

Next it is time to "can." This was actually done in a jar, not sure why they call it canning, but they do. I used a funnel designed especially for this purpose. After the jars are as full as they should be, you put on the lid, and then the ring. The ring holds the lid in place while they are "processed."

What? Processed? Yes, that is the fancy way of saying you are going to seal the jars of whatever deliciousness you put in them. This is done in a large pot, sometimes called a canner.

The canner is fitted with a kind of rack that sits on the bottom. This holds the jars in place so they don't rattle around while processing. Processing is really just boiling the jars in a lot of water for a long (and usually specific time).

After the specified time has elapsed, use your special canning tongs and remove the jars from the water.

The jars need to sit at room temp for about 24 hours. During this time you may hear a popping sound, but don't worry as this is exactly what you want to hear. It is the jar's way of letting you know it is sealed tight and whatever you spent all your time making and then canning will be fresh and ready for you.

At this point you ponder if it was all worth it. All I'll say is that the sauce so tasty, I certainly haven't found one to compete with it at the grocery store.

Monday, October 27, 2008

sneaky mom

First off - Sorry I've been a non-blogging-entity. Life here can be defined as "catching up." What or who are we catching up with? Not sure, but I'll let you know if/when I ever figure it out.

In the meantime here are two very tricky things I've done. 1. I sneak in a lot of flax seeds when the children aren't looking. Nate puts them in waffles and it makes a sort of polka-dot effect. I prefer to sneak them into chocolate chip cookies. It ups the fiber and has lots of those great omega fatty acids (I still don't quite understand what they are, but I'm sure Dr. NoBeard will be more than happy to fill me in on that, again). 2. I like to sneak in butternut squash into macaroni and cheese. I prefer to make homemade mac'n cheese (vs. blue box), and I can't tell you how delightfully tricky I feel "hiding" what some in the house (y'know G and J) would consider unwanted vegetables into the dish. Anyway, thought I'd share with you. Do you do tricky things like that?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

we're back

We spent the better part of a week in Tennessee. It is a beautiful state! The majority of our time was in and around the Smokie Mountains. It was rumored we'd run into Lions (mountain variety) and Bears (sadly no tigers). The cabin we stayed in was even called "Bearadise." We think the children were even a little too wild for the bears, because we didn't see any! (well except for the few in the Bear Habitat, by that time we figured it was the closest we'd come to seeing any bears and it turns out we were right). It was a nice time to be together as a family. One day I might even post pictures and tell tales, but for now you know we're back and starting back to reality with work and school tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

a quick note

I am taking a blog-hiatus for roughly 7ish days. While I'm away from the blog-world please know that I am having fun, taking lots of pictures of Nate and his beard, herding the children from one place to another, not cooking as much as usual, and hopefully getting some shopping done somewhere in there as well. Hope you will be having fun too!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

breathing a sigh of relief

Today I did something I knew I'd have to do eventually (because really it seems at some point or another you do) but I didn't think it would happen so soon. Grace came home on Monday with a very unsettling story/situation. I was livid (not at her). The next day a note was sent to the principal requesting a meeting with her and the teacher. Another note was sent to the teacher notifying her of the request. The meeting was set for today. I must say I was a cool customer. The teacher was pleasant enough, but she is now aware that things done and said in the classroom are coming home and I am not afraid to call her on it.
The principal said several times that the things discussed (real incidents that have occured in the classroom) were very inappropriate. She took notes, and assured me that she would take care of it. I have no doubt that she will, because (unbeknownst to her) I think she is one tough cookie.

What I really want to say is the teacher and principal were "schooled." And to think I did it with a smile on my face. VICTORY!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

fall is here

I know that Fall is here because one isn't compelled to wear shorts today. I also know this because we had one of our favorite Fall dinners last night - butternut squash soup with wild rice and sausage. I would like to point out for the record that I used to not enjoy butternut squash in the least - in fact that would be true for all squashes (there are some now that I really quite like but that's for another day I suppose). One year Nate insisted on planting several butternut squash plants along our driveway. By the time Fall came around, they were actually overtaking our driveway. I suggested that if he did not redirect them, I would happily run them over. And I did - but only two! So it just goes to show a woman can change her mind and this recipe has helped me do just that. Its a bit involved, but makes a huge amount. And we love it. Hope you do too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

if you don't have anything nice to say...

It's been much too long since my last blog post. The reason for my blogging absence - just like your mom used to say "if you dn't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Last week was the pits - full of anxiety, stress, with a touch of insomnia (something I had not experience before and thankful I don't have it on a regular basis!). I am happy to report that the stress has for the most part passed, the anxiety has left, and I am sleeping again at night. This makes everyone in my house pleased.

In other news, yesterday was the Primary program. Grace was one of 7 kids in the program, and if you were unable to see it you missed a great show. She not only belted out each song, she did hand motions and directed the younger kids on how to sing properly (mind you the song-leader was there doing just the same thing). The best was during one song that contains the word "grace." She kind of rolled her eyes up in some sort of weird serious face and pointed right at herself. Really hilarious. When it was her turn to give her lines, she just skipped right up to the pulpit. Then it was time for her to give a talk. Yes, the 6 year old gave a 2-3 minute talk discussing the prophets' propheices of Jesus' birth. Here are a few exceprts:

In the Book of Mormon Samuel the Lamanite said
"Yea Christ will come to the Earth and he will be our Savior."
And it came to pass the people that didn't like his teachings shot bows and arrows at him and rocks.
He told them:
"When Jesus will be born there will be a new star and there will be a day and a night and a night and a day and a night and a day and another night it won't get dark."

And another:
And Jesus came to the Earth and He taught the women and children to share and be happy and be nice to each other. Oh and the men to take care of their children and wives. And he taught them how to be reverent and about the Sacrament. And he blessed all the children.
And all these things came to pass.

Another highlight was Jimmy. He of course was not in the program, but squirmmed around in the pew between Nate and I and my parents. But he'd stop for every song and everyone of Gracie's lines and her talk. After each one he'd say, "Yeah, Gracie!!!"

So yes, I'm a gushing mom. But I loved it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008



I made this pie for my Grandma, one of the staunchiest Cubs fans you'll ever meet.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

stay right where you are

For those of you just dying to know why on earth I still have my braces on (because in your mind you were thinking they should have been off a year ago), I have news for you. Today was the day my ortho said I can be rubber band free for the next three weeks! Whoooo hoooo! There is of course a condition placed on this great news - my teeth cannot move. He took measurements and pictures, that way of course we can compare and contrast (how exciting, huh?) at my next visit. Then if all is well "we will discuss taking the braces off."

So to my teeth - Stay Right Where You Are!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

pitcher a wacie


We pass this billboard everyday on the way to Gracie's school. Think you recognize anyone in it?
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"free" time


Yesterday I convinced Kara to ignore her impending ironing and I chose to post-pone my laund-ra-fying for yet another day. Why would we chose to do such things? Well, its because the first breezes of Fall were blowing into the area (after incredible rainfall the day before thanks to the remnants of Ike) and we thought what better way to celebrate than by making some serious homemade apple pie.

Sadly the pastry chef of the house was needed more in the O.R.; however, I managed to get his flaky pie crust recipe out of him in between cases. Using his recipe (which up until that moment could "only be found in [his]head") Kara and I each made an apple pie. We made the crusts by hand (not even a food processor in sight), we peeled the apples by hand, we contemplated the best way to spice the pies, we filled the pies, and then baked them letting the apple-pie-ness fill the house. They weren't perfect looking, but they were a lot of fun to make and certainly much more fulfilling than laundry ever is. Even the Pie Doctor was impressed when he stumbled home late last night. He perked up long enough to have a significant piece and then almost immediately fell asleep on the couch (see picture in the post below).
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