Monday, February 27, 2012


So... I just want to remember that this last 2 weeks Pat has had to speak twice in church (our ward and Spanish ward), while he has been sick and dealt with the rest of us sickos, and he has spent every free minute helping me with things.  Mostly computer things for New Beginnings coming up this week, but also some shopping trips.  And today he installed the new dishwasher, which ended up being very difficult, with two trips to the store for parts.  But new dishwasher!

He was up until past midnight working on my calling with me, and will be again tonight.  And last night, even with all that going on, he went to the store in the dark and cold to get me some, ahem, supplies.  When he walked out of the house he was wearing my purple jacket, and I said, "Don't wear that, you look gay", to which he replied, "I'm going to the store to get lady supplies, so..." , and walked out while I laughed and laughed.

Yesterday he was teasing Evan in the car about how he was going to give him a knuckle sandwich so Evan's loose tooth would come out faster.  Evan said, "Don't do that!  Then you'll knock my tooth into my brain....and... then.... I... will... not.... be able to stop thinking about tooths!"

I laughed so hard, and was pleased he was able to follow a joke that far.  Funny kid.

I just gave all the boys haircuts and they all look like they just got a home haircut.  I did a pretty bad job this time, and they look pretty retarded, but pulling out the clippers, and making another big mess doesn't sound fun, so....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reality Check

I just feel the need to give everyone a reality check.  I enjoy blogging, because I try to do mostly positive stuff as I journal about life.  Here in blogging world everything is just how I like it.  But in real life, Pat and I fight, the dishwasher breaks and you have to replace it when you can't afford to, the kids fight, I have way too little patience, I am constantly stressed about the visiting teaching that I never do, the missionary work that never works, I have way too much to do with my Young Women's calling and Girls Camp food, and despite my trying to eat well and exercise, my stomach is trying to separate itself from me, at least it's getting far out from the rest of my body, and I have way too little patience, have tons of anxiety, get jealous of other people, want to cuss, have tons of bad habits, I get disappointed in my family, I gossip about other people to Pat, I let my Heavenly Father down, I can be harsh, self-centered, wrong, and sometimes I feel really friendless, unneeded, ugly and stupid.  I'm not clever, not funny, and not beautiful.

My friend Julie told me this quote:  Be clever if you can, Be beautiful if you are, But no matter what, be cheerful even if it kills you. (Or something like that.)

I know I am very special, very needed, a daughter of a King, and I am of infinite worth, and my talents are different from yours, and on my own I am nothing, in fact I really suck.  But with God all things are possible.  I will try to be cheerful even if it kills me, and sometimes I believe it will.

Pat had to take his car in for a minor wiring issue, and found out (nearly $1000 dollars later) that he should have been dead his car was so bad.  I am so thankful he has been being watched over and that minor wiring issue I'm sure didn't happen by chance.

And I'm thankful he's helping me so much with the computer aspects of my calling.  I wouldn't be able to do much without him.  

Now I'm going to leave my perfect blogging world and go and do dishes until way past my bedtime, because, that, my lovely readers, is my reality check.  Godspeed the dishwasher.

Journal entry

Throwing all my healthy posts out the window because one day last week we had absolutely NOTHING in the house to eat, and so I resorted to making cookies so we'd have something.   So at least it was a fun and delicious project as well.  But do not be fooled.  It was born out of starvation.

A little cookie with your sugar Leia?

Later that night, Evan invented a new sandwich since we still had nothing to eat.  That is unless you're a fan of pickle-jam bread.

Some school days are just great.  There's a new charter school opening up here- a pretty cool one.  One of only 3 in the nation, and I put the kids names in the drawing for enrollment, but even if we are admitted, I don't know if we'll go. Nothing's perfect.  So we'll see.

I would really miss the funny notes the kids leave me.  These are both ones Sam wrote on his grammar tests.

I finally learned how to make spring rolls!  However they should be much darker- the oil was too hot so it started burning them and we had to take them out early.  But they tasted perfect, so next time they'll be great!

I just love cooking!  Pat made a great spaghetti meat sauce and since we had so much leftover, I made a lasagna a few days later.  It's a lot of work, but  much easier when you already have the sauce in the fridge.   The important thing about lasagna is to have a pretty thick sauce, unless you don't mind sloppy slidy lasagna.  Then just layer: meat sauce, noodles, cottage cheese blend(1 large container cottage cheese, 2 eggs, parm cheese, pepper, parsley and salt), and other cheeses however you like.  I like three layers of noodles, but some do fine with two.  Usually end with meat sauce on top and cheese.
Below is the Pioneer Woman's recipe for restaurant style salsa.  It's my sis's and my favorite new find!
So good!
And you might have seen the Cookie Monster cupcakes circling around right now.  I thought since they were blue, they'd go good for our Blue and Gold Banquet for scouts tonight.  They are a bit of work but really cute.  Unfortunately I can't say they were born out of starvation.
Blue frosting-whip for about 10 minutes- 1 c. butter, 4 c. powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla together, adding milk or cream to make it light enough to spread easily.

Blue coconut-sorry it's blurry.  Get fine coconut and shake in a bag with blue food coloring until it's all blue.

Purchase some tiny chocolate chip cookes, and cut in half.  Frost the cupcakes with LOTS of frosting, and then dip in the coconut and then cram an half cookie in.
Then you can make eyes in lots of ways.  I took small chocolate chips and melted them to make the dots that I applied with a toothpick.  I worked OKAY-not great.  Better is to just hold a mini chocolate chip over the burner bottom down (not touching) for just a sec until it starts to melt and then stick it on the white candy melt.  Other people use black fondant, marshmallows, raisins, whatever.  Just make sure the eyes look crazy!  Mine turned out okay. 
I'm looking at this picture noticing that one of these guys is missing an eye.

See this bowl of eggs?  The boys cleaned off the back porch and found all these!  Crazy!  The chickens broke out of their pen somehow, and we haven't fixed it so they hang out on our porch since it's warmer there, and since I kind of feel sorry for them, I let them.  But I always thought they went back and laid in their house since we do find eggs there everyday.  I guess not always!  Most of the eggs were in Bella's dog house which since it's wintertime and very cold here, is full of blankets and hay.  Perfect nest!  And Bella sleeps in the house and hardly uses her outside house, so none were broken.  I don't know how long they've been there though.  We'll eat these with caution.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Downton Abbey

Feeling a bit disappointed with this season of Downton Abbey.  Lots of crazy things happened that I found unbelievable.  But hey, they lived here, and today I'm going to imagine that I do too.  We had another snowstorm last night and I am quite ill.  Bad cold.  So we are not doing school today.  There is still plenty to do, but as I do it I'll try to pretend I live here.
Highclere Castle Hampshire England

The Gardens

Friday, February 17, 2012

Silly kids

Had fun last night at our friends house, and Sam is getting really good at the Michael Jackson dances.  Leia's not so bad either for a two year old. 

During history yesterday, we ended up talking about why we do school, why I want them to work hard and be able to choose whatever job they'd like.  Dallas said, "Awwww.  Can't I just be a barbarian?"

Leia's taken to wearing all her shirts with one arm sticking out.  She really is a barbarian.

and from Evan:

"It's a present with a tongue inside."
This was Evan's answer when I asked him what the gift of tongues is.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Girls Weekend- H.A.G.

Went on a Cupid's Chase 5k down Mesilla with Julie, Andrea and Chantelle and Julie's sister-in-law Jenae(in shorts) who lives there in Las Cruces.  We had so much fun and laughed so hard.  I fell in love with Mesilla and Las Cruces.  I seriously cannot begin to say what a fun weekend we had.  It was perfect weather.  A nice change since we've had two snowstorms in the last few days.  Last night we got 4-5 inches!

This race was sooo hard for me- way harder than at Thanksgiving.  It took all my strength to make it through mile 2, and then I still had mile 3!  Chantelle is the crazy one behind me.  She didn't even care about her race time.  She just kept hiding and jumping out to scare me,  or going back and forth between me and Julie running circles around us.

Hot chicks, hot car.  Mesilla.

Loved this picture.

I just love the style of New Mexico!

A nice old man was watching us take this picture, and we wondered if he was mad.  But it was his house, and he was perfectly okay with us taking pictures in front of it.

On the way home we stopped at some hot springs that Julie's sis-in-law Jenae paid for.  It was right on the Rio Grande, and the water was very hot!  I'd never been to hot springs before.  It was neat.

And like the dorks that we are, we wore our numbers to church the next day!

Food lately

Beef stew I made for the scout fundraiser.  It was soooooo good!

New favorite cracker.  They taste kind of burnt which I love.  Great with cheese.

Taught the Young Women at church how to make chocolates for Valentines day.  They made beautiful boxes of chocolates, but I didn't get any pictures of those, darnit!  The caramel ones were the best thanks to Daddy Pat's caramels.

Sometimes I just love a good fish sandwich.  It takes only a couple minutes to fry up some Tilapia!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I found this site  after seeing some family talk about it on Facebook.

I've learned a lot, and she makes things easy to understand.   Heathy eating, real food.

We have stopped buying milk for about a month now (the kids are drinking almond milk for now)

and we haven't bought any lunchmeats for about 2 months, and we all eat Ezekiel bread or homemade bread.

We still love our carbs and sweets, but I don't make so much like I used to.  This has been hard for me since I love to make awesome cinnamon rolls, and all sorts of pastries, cakes, cookies, breads, etc, and I want my kids to have a fun home where good food abounds, but all that stuff adds up, and I feel better teaching them about good food. 

We've also been eating very little meat.  I'm not against a little healthy meat, but it's been good to try more vegetable dishes, even if they don't all work out.  It's an education.

Has it been easy?  Nope.  But it's getting easier, as we adjust and learn what to eat in place of the processed, incredibly altered non-foods.  And Pat is on board for the most part, and I didn't even have to do the convincing.  He's been reading up on it too.  And my kids beg me to go get fresh fruits and vegetables now.  You should see them go to town on broccoli, purple cabbage, carrots, sprouts, etc.

This site helps explain why I am trying to change our eating habits, and has been helpful with new recipes.

All I can say is that I'm on a journey.  I don't know for sure what is right for my body, because I've been having digestive issues and weight gain issues, but I do know that for my health and the health of my family we are cutting out the stuff that I know is bad, and I don't see how I can go wrong slowly changing out the bad for good.  My friend's husband just overcame a major illness by changing his diet.

What's something big you've done to change your diet?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday-She's two!

I don't even know who's playing in the Super Bowl, but our special girl was born on Super Bowl Sunday two years ago!  Happy Birthday Leia Nora!  We love you soooooooooo much!
Leia loves to sit on her butt with her knees bent and feet out on the sides.  She is our slowest talker, but is starting to say more and more words, and when we ask her how old she is, she timidly says, "Two!" trying to hold up two fingers.   She has learned how to make the craziest faces, and smiles really hard so that we can't help busting up.  She is loca.

She LOVES baths, and when I tell her it's time to get out, she grunts at me and rolls away onto her stomach trying to get out of reach.  She is very brave in the water.  Her brothers have been pouring water over her head in the bath for at least a year, and she just deals with it, even though I tell them to stop, and get really mad.  But then I do it when I wash her hair.  She is scared of the shower though, but it might have something to do with me throwing her in there when we're late and she has a last minute code brown that is beyond wipes.

Leia LOVES girly things.  She loves picking a dress for Sunday, and when she's all cute I tell her to go look in her mirror at her cute clothes.  I hope this doesn't make her a stuck up girl too obsessed with looks.  I must admit, I'm just having too much fun having a girl!  Our neighbor gave her a Disney princess mirror that used to be her daughter's, and at the bottom on a scroll was written Who's the Fairest One of All or something ridiculous like that.  So I painted over it, Daughter of God.  I love seeing that mirror now and reading it.

Leia LOVES books and someone to read her books.  She also knows our family cheer and does it after every family prayer.  She likes music too, and is starting to learn how to dance.  She has also discovered (when we had a warm day or two) that she LOVES going outside!  If anyone is leaving the house, she wants to go too!  And she loves going to her nursery class at church each Sunday. She immediately runs over to hug Brother Woodard and finds all the 15 or so babies in the nursery and keeps them for her own.  Pat showed her how to share with her friend Sasha, since normally she wants them all to herself.

Leia still gets called by many names.  I still call her Nora about 20% of the time, Eleanora about 20% of the time, Lei-lei about 20% of the time and Leia about 39% of the time.  1% of the time I throw in Rio since I wanted that to be part of her name.  Here are some pictures of her birthday!
At the aquarium!

Her silly smile.

Donut eating contest!

Tangled!  She got a book, plate, cup and bowl.

An example of her girly-ness.  She wanted two bows.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Watching the YW play dodgeball.  I tried to show our girls not to hang out safely at the back of the court, to work the line and launch their balls from up close.  Then I demonstrated it for them, promptly getting nailed right in the eye.  I was so embarrassed.  Luckily it didn't hurt.  The balls are pretty soft.

Thanks to her cousin Elle, she has cute clothes! My cousin Jennifer used to pass me her stuff too and all I can say is thank heavens for hand-me-downs!  Thanks J and K and Elle!

Evan read a story that had a farmer making raisin bread.  So he decided he really wanted raisin bread.  Honestly that sounded pretty disgusting to me, and I didn't feel like looking up a raisin bread recipe.  So last night as I was making pizza (with my french bread recipe) I took a big piece of dough, rolled it out into a rectangle, sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar and raisins, rolled it up, and baked it for Evan.  He would never know that it wasn't real raisin bread!  But it turned out so good!  I know what your thinking Steph...