Sunday, September 28, 2008

still kickin

Hey, ya'll. I just wanted to say that I'm currently in Utah, enjoying some fall and spending time with family. I'll be back to posting some time after next Monday. See you then-

Monday, September 22, 2008


I just wanted to say that I think the "grapevine" was invented by a very talented 3 year old at some point in history. Because my three year old was just dancing and started to do the grapevine and said, "Look at this one, Mommy!" And I'm pretty sure he didn't learn it from me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

chocolate cake bliss

Nothing like chocolate cake after a long and emotional day. Tonight we all go to bed more peaceful than we'd previously thought possible. Hope your day ends with chocolate cake bliss as ours did.

Friday, September 19, 2008

rest hymn

The children LOVE to get into the drawers in this house. This has resulted in the top drawer of the file cabinet being locked for a week until Ben finally took it all apart yesterday. It also results in "crazy mommy" when I'm trying to cook and I can't find anything I need. But yesterday it was cute and endearing and it made me glad I'm not completely anal about my things.

While I was putting away the laundry Banks started to pull things out of Ben's nightstand. He was mostly making a mess but I figured I've gotta get the laundry put away so at least he's not crying at me (see the vicious cycle here?). Well he finds a hymn book in there and starts to thumb through it (as he as the other books in there) but then looks at me and kind of hides it. Then he sneakily walks to the corner of the bed, pulls down my pillow and sits comfortably in the corner. And then, and THEN, he opened the hymn book and sang! It was so awesome! He's turning the pages and going, "aaaaaaahhhhhh," and I tried to get a picture but by the time he was back I was done. But trust me, it was so dang cute.

Monday, September 15, 2008

thoughts about kindness

Today I get a gold star and so do my children. We made it through 45 minutes of post office line horror with happy faces and few stares. Pure love for you, Amber, is what got us through.

But while in line, there was a woman in front of me, and one in front of her with twins. Twin two-year olds, people. This woman spoke spanish so I have no idea what she was saying to them, but she was continuously trying to get them to stay by her and behave. At one point, one of the children starts running and trips and starts crying rather loudly. The mother runs to pick up the child and console her and the woman in front of me (who looks to be 50ish) turns to me and says, "Well it serves that woman right. She isn't even watching those kids. What a terrible mother." And, through my horror and embarrassment for the mom of the twins I manage, "Well, it's pretty hard," and the woman says, "Well when I take my grandkids out they never misbehave because I just pinch them." And with a smug look she turns around, thankfully. Because I seriously wanted to pinch her.

Now I first of all want to say that I was SO EVERLOVING GRATEFUL that my kids were being good at that moment. Never, ever have I been so happy to have my kids behaving decently. Shortly after this exchange Benson got wild amounts of praise and promise of otter pops when we get home. Love that kid. Normally we can be found wrestling each other with threats of notreatsfortherestofyourlifesohelpme at Walmart but hey, at least when stinky people were watching I got the prize for having good kids.

Secondly, HOW RUDE! I was absolutely astounded by this woman's rudeness but I am grateful at the same time because it made me remember how incredibly important it is to be kind to one another. I'm not one for scriptures on my blog but I was preparing a fhe lesson a few days ago and came across this one that I think is just so important to not share. Ephesians 4: 32 (Bible, King James Version):

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

I especially love the part about being tenderhearted, because I really think it encapsulates all those Christ-like attributes I am striving to have on a daily basis.
Anyway, end of thoughts here but I really wish that everyone could be a little kinder to each other. What a better place our world would be. Oh and yes, I re-read my post and realized wanting to pinch the woman in front of me is the opposite of what I'm talking about here but I'm still a work in progress. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

remembering, again

This overcast morning I sit here and read blogs, but seven years ago today, right around this time of morning, I was just entering 3rd period ap english when I heard about it. I thought it was a joke at first, then nicole screamed and ran out of the room and reality and panic set in. Dad's meeting there, hours of wondering because there was no cell service, then finally relief when my mom said he was still on the freeway, not in the bottom of the world trade center like he normally was on that tuesday of the month. We all felt so much worry and panic... high schoolers just left school, walked right out and no one even cared or noticed. Chels and I ended up at her house, where we cried, watched the news, and panicked until we fell asleep, to wake up to the smell of brownies in the oven (Chels said her mom bakes when she is worried or stressed--- a trait I hope to adopt as a mother) and feel instantly comforted. It was all so long ago, it's hard for me to believe that the feelings are still so fresh.

Today I'm sad for those who lost someone they love, and proud of my husband for serving his country. I wonder what we are {still} doing over there, but I'm proud that my husband is taking his turn, even though it is hard for him and requires him to sacrifice his time more than he'd like. I love you, darling, and thank you for not only this sacrifice on behalf of all of us, but for the daily sacrifices that are just for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a post about food

Firstly, homemade angel food cake is so very scrumptious. If your chickens are laying faster than you can eat them like ours are then you should try it (it requires a full dozen whites). Oh and mom, you were so right. It fell to an inch thick last time because it was undercooked.

Secondly, oatmeal is not good. I've tried so many times to like it, because I've always wanted to be the sort of person who liked oatmeal for breakfast. However today I think I've made a discovery that will change all that (not the wanting, but the lack of liking).

Steel-cut oatmeal.

You can probably find it at wherever you shop but I got mine at Whole Foods because I could buy just a little bit from their bulk bins. And man is it tasty, slightly chewy, and it's got a whole lot more omph than regular oats. And surprisingly it's not too expensive.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Spiced Apple Topping

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/8 tsp salt

Bring water and milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the oats and toast, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant with a butterscotch-like aroma, 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. (I kinda think the toasting is optional so if you don't want to do it, just omit the butter and skip to the next step) stir the toasted oats into the simmering liquid, reduce heat to medium low, and gently simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in the salt and continue to simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and oatmeal is creamy (or it looks like something you'd want to eat).

Spiced Apple Topping

1/2 tablespoon butter
1-2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped medium
1/2-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
dash ginger
dash cinnamon
dash salt

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, sugar, spices and salt. Cooked until apples have softened slightly 2-5 minutes, depending on how soft you like your apples. Spoon over individual bowls of oatmeal.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

oh boy

Megan, you were right. I loved you before but I looooove you now. If you wanna find out what I mean go here. And have fun. But watch that clock cuz this could be addicting.

Dear Grandma Morris,

I just want to say thank you for the blanket you gave us for Christmas. My mom took me to the botanic gardens for a picnic today and your yellow blanket was perfect for us to sit upon. Banksy and I also enjoyed making animal sounds while pointing to animals on the blanket so I think you picked a good fabric. You are super great grandma. I miss you.


Monday, September 8, 2008

today is the first day of the rest of my life

Benson made his own breakfast this morning. I have been waiting for this day for 3 years 6months and 6 days. Well maybe not quite that long but it has been on my mind for quite a while. You see, I'm not a huge fan of waking up at the whim of another person and although I still do it, and will continue to do it, I'm really not a fan. Today started out the same as any other.

Benson: Mommy! Time to wake up! It's light outside!

Me: Benson it's not 7 yet. You can either get in bed with me and snuggle or you can go play downstairs by yourself until 7.

Benson: Fiiiiiiine. Daaaaaaddy!

Me: He's at school, buddy.

Benson: Mmmmm (walks downstairs. I hear toilet flushing and then I hear new sounds. Fridge opens, bowls being shuffled, silverware clinking....mmmmm what is this?)

Me: (making bed quickly so as to run downstairs to avert the disaster that is eminent. Now quietly shuffling downstairs, hoping to catch a glimpse of the action before it happens. I sneak a peak over the edge and he's pouring just the right amount of yogurt into his bowl, then replaces the lid on the yogurt and begins to eat! Eureka! This is great!)

(still Me): Benson! Good job, buddy! You got your own breakfast!

Benson: (absolutely BEAMING with joy) Yeah mom! I was hungry so I got some yogurt all by myself!

And then the boy wanted to go outside so he went upstairs and picked out his own clothes, for the first time ever. And now he's dressed and it's only 7: 30. And his clothes even match.

Wow. Today is going to be a great day, I can just feel it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

prima ballerina

I just wanted to write this post to encourage everyone to do something they love. I am an old woman with children now but I love to dance and last night I started taking ballet lessons again. I'm constantly doing things I love (ie being a wife and mom) but taking time to do something that brings the pre-wife/mom me back really makes me a different person. I love feeling like I still have my own interests and passions and dance is one of those things that brings out that side in me. I'm not a great dancer by any means, but I truly love it and I think that's what matters. So whatever brings out the sparkle in you, my challenge today is remember that thing and do it.

owl backpack (and the reasons this can't be an etsy shop)

You can buy eli for just $150 here

or you can learn how to make one courtesy of martha

and here is the one I made for around $15

So things I learned from this, if you are going to follow the martha instructions:

1. her directions are for knitting the whole thing and then felting it. I know you folks think a lot of me but even I didn't want to knit the whole thing. So I just bought wool felt at JoAnn (it will be part poly, part wool so just get the highest wool percentage you can find--- I think 40% wool was the best I could get) and then washed it on the hottest setting with some jeans or old towels (that don't give off lint) and let it air dry. If it's not thick enough for you when it comes out of the washer, put it in the dryer and it will felt even more. Um don't be stupid like me.... white cannot go in with any other colors so do it separately. I have not only yellowed white felt now but some seriously yellow, ahem, white underclothings. Oh and you'll need a 3/4 of a yard of the white and brown and about, I don't remember, maybe 1/4 or less of the orange.

2. Now you have your felted pieces and can cut them out of the pattern, but add 1/4 " to the edge of the pieces that will be sewn in (this is your seam allowance since they cut the pieces after they were sewn). And the final product is 12 x 12 so cut one 12x12 piece out of brown and one of white. And don't forget you have to cut out the straps, so don't start cutting right out of the center of your brown. My straps are 1 1/2 x 14 and 1 1/2 by 10 finished.

3. Lay all the pieces on top of the brown square, with the edges of the pieces flush with the edges of the brown square. Does this make any sense? I should have taken pictures. So you are sewing this thing around the edges, inside out, and will flip it when you are done. If you need more help you'll have to email me.

4. The trickiest part was the zipper, which I couldn't put on the proper way and ended up having to sew up one side, unzip it, and then sew up the other. Not to mention I was sewing over 3 layers of felt. But it doesn't look that bad and in the end, I figured Benson won't care and the zipper does work, so who cares?!

I'm sure this didn't help but seriously if you need to make more sense of the martha instructions, just email me and I'll draw some pictures of something. I doubt anyone will ever do it but if you do I wanna see pictures!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

first day of school

just ignore my shadow. i'm still a novice photographer, but i promised my mom a photo of the backpack i made.

Benson is going to joy school this year and he is so excited. He wants to go to school 'just like daddy' and he started to do just that on Tuesday. He still has 2 years until Kindergarten but I already feel it creeping up on me. Anyway he loved his first day and I think he is going to learn so much. I have to admit it is kinda freaking me out that there are 2 1/2 hours of his day that I have no idea what he did/thought/said. I'll get used to it though, right?