Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Update and baby update

These boys of mine are always impressing me with all they can do.  Whenever we don't feel like cooking, they don't just wait around.  They get to it!  Here they are making breakfast burritos with cheese, ham, salsa, and eggs for the four of them. 
And Evan set the table all fancy! 
Dallas even made awesome chocolate chip cookies entirely on his own for Family Night.  And I mean awesome!

Laundry.  Remove stickers first.
"I did it!  All by myself!"  What Daisy said when she got her own coat down from the coat hanger.  She also got every other coat down, and the coat hanger.  (LN is now Daisy- it just happened- no one knows why).
Playing 'socks off' for family night.  You have to stay on your hands and knees and try to get everyone else's socks off before they get yours off.  The boys prepare by putting on the tallest soccer socks they have.  They immediately go for Dad, and Dad immediately goes for me, so we're out in 10 seconds.  Then they battle for 5 minutes laughing hysterically, and Daisy wins.
Evan picked this dessert of pudding and graham crackers.  Sister is not complaining.

And I'm not the only one having a baby around here.  Daisy walks around with her baby under her shirt.  Babies having babies!
Update from my appointment today.  I still have to poke myself 4x a day, even though my numbers have been great.  I went in determined to tell them I'm done with the pokes because I know how to eat now and my numbers are always great, but baby is still being worrisome.  Baby's abdomen is still too large even though my numbers have been great.  They say it's bigger than his head, so there's the chance that the head could come out and then he'd be stuck and I'd have to go for a c-section.  I am 35 weeks and he is measuring 37 weeks and is already more than 7lbs according to whatever they do to measure.  (His head is bigger too, but not as big as abdomen.)  I don't know what to do.  I've already only gained 16lbs for this whole pregnancy, and don't see what else I can do.  I'm sure it will all be least I hope!  And I don't know if I just forgot, but I feel like no baby has ever kicked me so hard and been so active EVER!  He can manage to kick in a million places at once and it's so hard that I have to breathe through it and hold onto my bladder!  At least he's doing well in that respect!  I have a date for induction, so I just have to make it a bit longer! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

What a wonderful

husband, and father we have! (The following has been approved by my husband, fyi.)

Baby steps, right?  So Pat has been working on the budget with me for all of January, trying to fix problems and come up with a better way to manage what we have.  This unfortunately has involved me losing my temper a lot, because he is good at buying things without telling me.  Big things, small things, and everything in between.  He doesn't try to hide it, but I always find out after the fact, as we do the budget together.  It's very frustrating. 

Then we have a Dr. Seuss argument, since our brains work so differently, and he says, But I did tell you!, and I say, After the fact!, and he says, Bim brings bims brooms!, and I say, "Who sews Sue's clothes? She sews Sue's clothes!", and that goes on for about 1 hour.  I literally thought I was having an aneurism last week.

Hence a month spent on figuring things out and making a plan and cutting up credit cards and him apologizing and me feeling awful for yelling because that's just what Satan wants. 

Long story short, it's worked out now and we just have to stay in our budget, which I'm actually scared of with a baby, and formula, diapers, etc.  But we have seen the light (rice and beans) and he's excited and I'm excited, and we're working together weekly, and though it will take YEARS, and lots of saying NO, at least one day we can say yes.  There is a light at the end of a very long tunnel.  I'd say that's pretty good, and a lot of it we owe to finding that guy Dave Ramsey on the radio.  He's inspired us.

Pat looks at me seriously and says, "Karisa, you're very critical, and you don't love me for who I am, and you want me to be someone I'm not", and then breaking into a grin he says, "but those things are small compared to the fact that you don't love baseball."  And then I'm in love with him again.  It's just how we are. 

And what's not to love?  He works hard, he makes our daily bread (literally), dances with his daughter, does a great job in teaching the young men and working with the scouts (he just went snow camping with them on the Klondike!), supports me with all my calling stuff, makes pinewood derby cars, does the dishes each night, corrects the kids school work, fixes the plumbing, shovels the snow, admits when he's wrong, helps with family night, helps with everything around the house, doesn't talk bad about people, I could go on and on, and lets not forget that the crazy fool LOVES me.  He reminds me all the time how lucky I am too.  It's much easier to accept that he's not perfect yet, when I look at the whole picture :)  (I know I just posted this picture, but we both love it, and you can't even tell I'm 6 months pregnant.)

I should also mention that he's SOOO handsome.  Just like his reward posters!

Yesterday I read the clock wrong and was in tears thinking something had happened to him on the way home.  I didn't grow up with an intact family and am not very good at expressing love, and tend to focus on the bad rather than the good, but don't know what I would ever do without him, and love him so very, very, much.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Homemade Hard Tack like the soldiers ate long ago for their rations.  Pretty easy, and the kids really liked it!  It would be great for food storage.  Only problem is it really is as hard as a brick.  They had to suck on it to eat it.  It would break your teeth if you succeeded in biting it.
I have really been enjoying studying the Revolutionary War and all that lead up to it, with D and S.  Evan is studying the same thing in school so it's worked out really well.  We learn the 13 colonies, and then he comes home and knows the 13 colonies!  Awesome.  We love, love, love George Washington.  Such amazing people were raised up to be a part of this particular time and place in history, that I cannot doubt God's hand in it.

The thing that is impacting me the most is that freedom was worth fighting for and at some point they said enough is enough and were willing to die.  Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death!"

We have had discussions and written papers about whether or not freedom is worth fighting for.  And discussions about how in America people began to believe they could govern themselves and didn't need a King, Emperor, or Monarch to rule over them.  A republic!  Can man govern himself?  We talked about that too. 

Then I've realized how closely it resembles the war in heaven and our reason for living here on earth.  A non-mormon took the time to figure that out too and I was impressed: 

Smart Mormons by Mike Jensen

(Thanks to my friend Becky for bringing this article to my attention).

We just learned about some of the battles George Washington and his troops were in.  How they crossed the Delaware secretly in the middle of the night with huge chunks of ice floating in the river, even carrying their 3000lb cannons down to the boats and back off on the other side, and then marching 9 miles in the freezing snow, and many were without shoes and just wrapped rags on their feet.

Well, we got a good snow, sooo....... of course I made us do it.  Don't worry, their homeschool mom had to do it too.  Thanks to their dad, they didn't have to do it in the dark.  Pat wouldn't let me wake them at 5am to do it in the dark like I wanted to.

So here's E wrapping rags on his feet.

Dallas went barefoot.  For the first 10 seconds it wasn't so bad.  We walked.

Then we panicked and began to run!  We had to go all the way down to the end of the driveway and back up!

And then to the backyard to get the cannons (wheelbarrow and lawn mower) across the Delaware.
We all died.  Only Sam could move the cannons.  My rags fell off one foot and it was awful.  Sam snuck socks on under his rags though, so I guess it was fitting that he move the cannons across.

I hope we all remember the sacrifices made by so many soldiers throughout history to make and keep our country free.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Well, I have gotten A LOT of pictures from Pat's mom and my sister from our trip to California.  But there are so many, we're just going to print them out in our 2012 book rather than take the time to load and blog them all.  So I leave you with just this one of us in the beautiful redwoods. We don't normally get many pictures of the two of us!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Family and Taco Salad

This morning, Leia got upset at me and ran into my room and slammed the door.  It always makes me laugh because I can still get in, but she can't open doors yet.

She also tells me about bad things the boys do in a really forceful and serious voice.  Like this last weekend each of them had a friend over and about a gallon of mud got tracked through the house, and she told me exactly who did it and who I should spank.  "Oh no, no, no, no, no....", she said.

This morning she went with me to read to Evan's class.  I love reading stories, and wish I could do that everyday for his class.  We read Strega Nona and the pasta pot.  Evan only has like 10 kids in his class, and they are so cute!  I get to come back everyday this week to open their class with a story!  I'm doing some more of my favorites: Coconut Flan, Kapiti Plain, Little Babaji and the Tigers, and Ferdinand.  (Those probably aren't their exact names).

Last night we had Family Night like we always try to do, but sometimes forget.  We need to not forget though as recently I was filling out a page about each of them for Primary to "Spotlight" them in the near future, and for the question 'What's your favorite thing to do with your family?', each one of them answered, "Family Night".  Not swim lessons, soccer, playing in the yard, walks or runs, movies, etc., but Family Night.  They love having turns to do the lesson, pick songs, pick an activity, make a dessert and so forth.  Last night Leia was in charge of dessert for example, and I gave her some ideas of things she could do, and she liked it when I said worms, so she made Dirt.  Pat helped her to make chocolate pudding and put it in cups and then throw some gummy worms on top, and then sprinkle crushed chocolate cookies on top for the dirt.  She felt pretty special as she carried each cup out to her brothers!

I am turning 37 this week and I realized that means that IF this baby boy serves a mission when he's 18, I will be 55 by the time I am an empty nester.  Not too bad.  That's when I'm going to join my neighbors motorcycle gang, and take up competitive napping.

Now a recipe.  (I post recipes randomly).
I have never made Taco Salad before, because it's basically everything you'd put on a taco, but it looks like a big mess, and I've never tasted one that made me want to eat it again.

But, without chips, it's got protein and a lot of veggies, so I thought I'd give it a try yesterday.

Looking up recipes, I was surprised to learn that you're supposed to put Catalina dressing on taco salad!  So I made some that was delicious, BUT since it has ketchup and sugar in it I had to use just a tiny bit.  You could probably use ranch for the dressing too which would be less carbs- I'll have to try that next time.  Here's the terrific Catalina recipe though:
Catalina Dressing
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. onion
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
Salt, Pepper to taste
Blend in blender and while it's going add in 1/2 c. preferred oil.
Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

Then for the salad, everything is optional:
Taco Salad
Cook 1/2 lb. ground beef with onions, chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt, drain and add 1 can pinto beans and some salsa and keep warm (or you could just use taco seasoning)
canned corn
shredded cheese
sliced olives
chopped avocado
green onions
1 head of romaine lettuce chopped finely

Fold all of these ingredients together in a large bowl WITH the Catalina dressing.  I only used about 1/3 cup of the dressing, but you can use it all if you like!  The meat should be warm, but not so hot that it cooks the lettuce and melts all the cheese.  But I think this salad tastes best slightly warm.  Serve big helpings with chips to scoop, or leave out the chips and eat with a fork.

You could keep all the ingredients separate and let everyone make their own but if I did that I'd have to find at least 6-8 bowls and pass them around and my kids would take just the cheese and chips and call it salad. Oh and one of them would spill ALL the dressing on their plate.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mac n' Cheese and Hamburger Salad

I am sharing a couple of my favorite recipes that are new to me.  I hope you enjoy them!
The first is macaroni and cheese that I saw in a magazine somewhere.  It has lots of cauliflower in it which I really love since you are getting a vegetable and you almost can't tell there's cauliflower in it, and it is soo easy!  Whether you use the cauliflower or not, the sauce is super easy.  We used to make a white sauce and cook the noodles separately, and then stir them together, but I think this tastes better and is so much easier!

1 pound macaroni
small head of cauliflower chopped small like the macaroni
12oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
1 c. sour cream
pepper, salt, garlic powder

Bring water to boil, salt well.  Add noodles and cauliflower, and cook until noodles are done.  Drain all but about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Stir in the sharp cheddar, sour cream, and seasonings and serve!  Serves at least 6 hungry people.

This next one comes from Rachel Ray and we had it last night although we made turkey burgers.  The link for the recipe is below. It's basically mini hamburgers without buns, made into a salad with the things you'd normally have: pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, with a mustard dressing.   My kids still wanted ranch dressing for the salad, and ketchup for the burgers, but it was terrific, and we all loved it.  If carbs are no problem, you can have bread on the side!

p.s. I didn't exactly follow this recipe, and kinda made my own mustard dressing with what I had.

Wintertime-depressing post!

I got woken up a bit early today by Pat's carpool, our neighbor Mike, knocking on the door wondering if Pat was ever going to come out.  This happens once every few months where Pat forgets to set his alarm.  I heard the knocking first since I was sleeping in the living room in a hopeless quest to find a comfortable position.  So I hurried and woke Pat and he went to the door to tell Mike to just leave, but Mike said he'd wait.

Rather than hurry to dress, brush teeth, etc., the first thing Pat does is start a fire.  Bless him!  He could have dissed us and made me do it, but he knows we would all freeze to death by the time I got the fire going! I hate it when he's out of town in the winter, because I have to do it, and it takes about an hour to get the house warm.  I'm pretty good at making fires, but being down on my knees arranging wood and trying to coax a fire to life is not my favorite morning pastime.  I already have to get down on my knees all day long, adding more wood and keeping it alive, so it's nice for Pat to start it so we're warm when we wake up. Then he can be off to the city where his office is nice and warm, and forget about us backward country folks. 

Not our stove FYI.
That's just one example of living with a wood burning stove.  But since we are on propane (natural gas doesn't come here) and it used to cost us $100 a week to heat the house, we chose the wood burning stove and it is so nice to come in from the cold and go stand in front of it!  Still the things I know now, that I didn't know then...
1) They are extremely messy.  My living room looks like kindling and dust exploded everywhere all winter long since we have to constantly bring in wood.
2) The farther you get away from the fire the colder it is, so we all practically camp in the living room all winter.  If you have to go to the bathroom, you come running back afterwards to stand in front of the fireplace.
3) Pat has to get up on the roof 3-4 times a year to clean out the chimney.  It is very high and very steep.  It is also FREEZING, and scary when the roof is covered in snow and ice.  He comes in looking like the chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins, so that's one bright spot. Anyway, if he doesn't clean out the chimney, our house starts to fill with smoke every time we open the stove.  Bad.
4)Babysitting Woes.  If we employ a babysitter, the babysitter is either going to burn herself trying to keep the fire going, or freeze to death.  Don't mock me.  It's happened before where we've come home late at night and the fire has burned out, and the babysitter is sitting on the couch (poor thing!) in her coat and scarf shaking all over.

The alternative is leaving these instructions for a teenage girl:
When the fire gets low, open the flu first, then slowly the door, stir up the coals with the poker, then arrange the wood just right (demonstration required), then close the door ALMOST all the way to get it going, and once it bursts into flames, close it tightly and a couple minutes later close the flu.  If it gets too hot pull out the damper, and never, never, never let your skin touch anything!

It has been very cold here for a while now, and for 3 days the pipes in my bathroom have been frozen, reminding me yet again that I can't just go on a 2 month vacation at this time of year to forget where I live! (I don't know how many times I've told Pat that I just need to go back to Chile for January and February each year).  Pat was blow drying the pipes with my hair dryer for hours, and we have this small heater for when the baby comes, that lately has been sitting in the bathroom to warm the pipes. Of course the builders of our house were bright enough to put all the water pipes along that coldest outside wall, so we've already had broken pipes and have a big hole in the wall with water leaking out of it when we shower that we have no idea what to do with.  We've never fixed the broken pipes, we just stop using them, because I'm sure I would die at the cost.  Soon the kids are going to wonder why we are all using their bathroom!

Aaahh, wintertime.  Wintertime for Californians who didn't grow up like this!  This is my depressing time of year, when I remember that in California, you can still do everything normal, even in the wintertime, and it's even somewhat exciting and romantic having a chill in the air because you are not suffering from frostbite.   

Evan is getting depressed too.  He has to wake up early and go out into the cold to and from school.  He really didn't want to go to school today, and cried last night, and after talking to him, I'm convinced nothing is really wrong, it's just that it's so cold, and not very fun right now.  Dallas said, "That's exactly how I felt Evan.  School was exciting at first, but then it's not."

Evan even got a near perfect report card yesterday, (5 A's and 1 B) and he's the only one in his class who never gets his card punched or gets in trouble, and it didn't even mean much to him.  He didn't even smile. Last week, he told me he wanted to do 2nd grade at his school, but yesterday, he told me he'd finish this year and do homeschool next year.  I told him we'll see what happens.  His school is great, and his teacher is great, just I think right now he's feeling that staying home with us is where he'd rather be and that he misses out on a lot when he's gone all day.  And he does!  I feel like I hardly ever see him!  I wish I could just take him out for these coldest months and then he'd probably be fine going back when the weather gets happier.  I sure love him, and worry about him.  He used to be so happy, and the longer school goes on, the more I don't seem to know him anymore and that happiness is leaving.  He smiles less and less and he won't even hug me.  That can't be right.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Anniversary in Germany

Saturday was our 12 year anniversary!  Nothing amazing happened, just the hope that we would get to go out on a date at some point!  When you don't get to date much (I blame my sister for not moving here to watch my kids for free whenever I want), you don't think about elaborate anniversary plans (not that that wouldn't be nice if we had the time or budget), you just want a simple date!  We knew the date probably wouldn't happen until Leia was napping, since we feel better leaving the kids for a couple hours then.

I've tested leaving the kids at home while I do quick stuff around town, and they've been doing a terrific job.  They don't fight (they would tattle on each other if they did), they just look forward to it, because it's the only time I let them play video games.  They take terrific care of Leia too, though I usually don't plan to leave until she is napping.  It  just seems better to know that she'll be asleep for all or most of the time, and consequently, the boys, not wanting to wake her, will quietly play video games or watch movies, and be safe.   They are really responsible, and I trust them.

So for the first half of the day, we rearranged our whole house trying to get ready for the baby.  Moving beds, crib, couches, etc.  I gave Dallas my desk since I knew it would mean a lot to him, and he was ecstatic!  He and Sam are sharing it, and they have worked it out so nicely.  Since I've got a crib in my room now,  I didn't have room for the desk anyway.  Evan and Leia moved in together since they both need to go to bed earlier, and both of the rooms look so nice now!  Everyone is really excited about the changes.  My treadmill ended up in E and L's room, and hopefully that will work out.  Thanks to Pat and Dallas for doing all the heavy lifting!

Then finally around 3pm, Leia was napping.  We wanted to go see Les Mis, Lincoln, and The Hobbit, but all of these movies were so long, it wouldn't work with our short allotment of time, or the potty schedule.  Did you know that pregnant people have to go practically every 10 minutes?!  At least it feels like that.

So we went to the mall to look at make-up, books, See's Candy, and then to dinner at a German restaurant.  It was a really neat restaurant- very small, and very authentic, not fancy, and a cute old man waiter who was quick with everything.  It felt like we were in Germany.  And as much as I wanted to, I refrained from breaking out into song.  But it was hard!  Especially looking at the menu and seeing so many different kinds of schnitzel and 60 different kinds of strudel on display!!!  Also authentic bread and German potato salad (which is hot and sour!), sauerkraut, etc.  Let me just say, that the Germans KNOW breads and pastries.  I was impressed and it takes a lot to impress me in the breads and pastries category.  My blood sugar was too high for the first time when I tested it afterward.  But it was worth it just this once, and I'm so glad we didn't go to a trendy, chain-type restaurant.

This is me and Pat in Germany.  We've changed our look a bit.
So then we pretty much went home and to bed, because we are party animals.  You know you're jealous.  But as far as I'm concerned we went to Germany for our 12 year anniversary.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!  I now speak German to my kids (Guten Morgan, Tag, and Nacht is all I know) and the rest I make up.

p.s. Each of my kids has a song that I've sung to them for their whole life.  Sam's is Edelweiss.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Big Mess

Me:  You guys are no longer allowed to do your own powdered sugar for breakfast.
Sam:  Why?

This and That

Finishing off the "sick" popsicles.  Evan always wants his shirt tucked in.  Even in pj's.  And button up shirts have to be buttoned all the way up.  Sam, on the other hand always wears his shirt inside out AND backwards, on purpose.  Aagghh!!

Dad asked them to bring in wood.  They accomplished the mission.  They are so awesome!

I loved this dinner.  Collard greens and bacon (chop up bacon, cook, drain- then wipe out pan and cook greens), and a baked yam with sour cream.  The rest of the family had baked potatoes instead of yams.

I love lentils.  This is thanks to a mission in Chile.  Lentils with brown rice, and Pat's leftover curry from when he went out to lunch with co-workers.  So spicy!!!!  The sausage is there because I'm supposed to eat more protein with the gestational diabetes, but I hated it. 

I love, love, love my daughter. She got to go to her first ever birthday party for her friend Bailey!

Yes, beat the princess Rapunzel.

Bailey and Leia
It was a super fun party!!!  (Leia is just wondering what to do in this picture.  And probably why the cake is so far away.)