Monday, November 30, 2009

thanksgiving was full of thanks, as usual


Well this is pretty much the worst photo ever, but we were too excited to dig in to worry about picture quality! Aaaaand this is the only photo we have. Awesome. Anyway, Thanksgiving was lovely. We had our local missionaries over to attempt to stand in for their own mothers and families. I'm sure it wasn't the same (well and one of them is from Canada so it would be pretty hard to compare), but we had a lovely day just the same. No tragedies or even funny stories from the day to share... just a nice, simple Thanksgiving. I sure missed being with family though.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Photo 5

Knives sharpened, new flatware arrived(!), whole nutmeg ready to be grated into delicious oblivion...

Ready, Set, Cook!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

very very first


Moments ago, Benson grabbed a pen from the pen holder, tore off the lid, and proceeded to sound out and spell his first word. I'm so shocked and amazed and proud and excited! I was quietly folding laundry on the couch, listening to his sounding out, and wondering if he was actually going to do it. And the cute part? He was adding "family" to our big family list of things we are thankful for. It's already on there 3 times, but I guess we are really thankful for each other.

Friday, November 20, 2009


f16 (1 of 9)

f16 (2 of 9)

f16 (3 of 9)

f16 (4 of 9)

f16 (5 of 9)

f16 (6 of 9)

f16 (7 of 9)

f16 (8 of 9)

f16 (9 of 9)

That little clip was Ben doing a barrel roll in an F16. Uh, wow. Ben was rewarded a flight for being Airman of the Year at his guard unit. What a crazy cool experience for all of us! We got to stand right on the runway when he took off, and even narrowly escaped the jet wash blow over. So so so cool. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Oh and we are really proud of Ben for not puking or passing out, even while doing loop-de-loops, barrel rolls, and drop offs at 8.5 G's (that's a lot).

Monday, November 16, 2009

if you can't say somefin nice,

Macro-Bunny, originally uploaded by Danz in Tokyo.

then don't say nuffin at all.

Which is the reason for the extreme lack of posting right now. I'm having a hard time learning some important lessons about charity, but I'll come back when I learn to be less like Lamen and Lemuel, and more like Nephi.

Monday, November 9, 2009

potty time


Banks has found a new potty. Everyone should have boys.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

preschool farewell


It has been the best of times, and the worst of times. I love time alone with Banks, and Benson loves to play with the legos at school. But I hate how there are really really mean kids at Benson's school who punch him and steal his toys. And most recently, I hate how he's taken these habits and brought them into our formerly peaceful home, kicking his brother (and the dog!) and calling everyone names. Yesterday we preformed an experiment to see if we could find my sweet and loving Benson again, and lo and behold, one day out of school and he's back. And so, without further ado, Benson's preschool experience is coming to an end. Today I am making caramels to put in monogramed mugs to say thanks and farewell to his teachers and tomorrow we will deliver them with the bad news.

And I feel so much better. What I've learned from this experience: trust my instincts. Mother's hearts just know.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


One of my internet friends put together a food/recipe blog a few months ago and asked me to contribute. I was so excited! And then I never posted anything because I'm a rat. But I really enjoyed reading all of the yummy recipes that others contributed. Anway, I finally posted something over there so I thought I'd post a link here so you can check out THE BEST FOOD I'VE EVER EATEN. It's true. If you need something to wow your amazing chef mother-in-law or your boss, this is the recipe for you. Check it out here, and while you are there definitely browse the other recipes and get some inspiration for cooking this week. (added below for book printing- ct)

Chicken with Morels by Ina Garten
1 - ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1/4 cup clarified butter
1/3 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 cup Madeira wine 1 cup
(8 ounces) creme fraiche
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lift the morels carefully from the hot water in order to leave any grit behind in the liquid. Rinse a few times to be sure all the grittiness is gone. Discard the liquid and dry the morels lightly with paper towels. Set aside. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the clarified butter in a large saute pan and cook the chicken in 2 batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole. Add the rest of the clarified butter to the pan along with the shallots, drained morels, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring constantly. Pour the Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half over high heat, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and reheat slowly on top of the stove.

Monday, November 2, 2009



Halloween was great fun. The kiddies had a great time trick or treating, and they've already forgotten about their candy! Score.

We didn't get a good shot of Benson's turtle shell (he is a Ninja Turtle, also known as a "minja turtle" around these parts) but trust me, it was awesome. And we tried to convince Banks to be another turtle but he wanted no part in it. We ended up having to wrestle him into the Superman costume, because he is very extremely two some days.

Best part of the night: Some of the teenage boys at our church made a little "haunted stage" at our church. Benson went through it not once, but twice, and screamed and cried both times. It wasn't funny the first time, but the fact that he freaked out the second time after insisting he wanted to go through again did make us chuckle a bit.

Hope all of your Halloweens were as fun as ours!