Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Little Sisters

Nina's Fortune #2

Nina gets the BEST fortunes.  We had such a good laugh over this one!  Clay and I went to Pei Wei last Friday for a quick bite to eat while my awesome in-laws came to sit with the kids.  Ruth (my mom-in-law) even cleaned my microwave while we were gone...so nice!  I'm kind of embarrassed though because there had been a major lasagna explosion in there.  Anyway, I brought home a fortune cookie for each of the kids, and they were watching The Gods Must Be Crazy with Gramma Ruthie and Papa Steve when we got home.  I had forgotten how stinkin' funny that movie is!  So we all stayed up and watched it until the end...then Clayton fell asleep on the floor. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Attention All Pippi Fans

I love Pippi Longstocking so much that I convinced Hannah to be her for Halloween last year. And as you can see, my copy of Pippi (illustrated by Lauren Child) has been well loved.

Do you love Pippi Longstocking too? If so, I have happy news!

Astrid Lindgren (Pippi's author) wrote lots of other books, and they all have been translated from the original Swedish. She is one of my favorite writers, she has such a unique sense of humor.

I gave The Children of Noisy Village and Christmas In Noisy Village to Hannah for Christmas. She loved reading them, and so did I! I loved the humor and all the Swedish details, especially in the Christmas book, since I've had Norwegian Christmases all my life.

We recently picked up I Want a Brother or Sister, Lotta's Bike, and I Want to Go to School Too at the library and read them over and over. The art is charming in these books as well, I think. Check these out for your kids (or yourself) for some quick and fun little reads.

P.S. These Pippi movies are super fun too! Check out this and this.

Chillin' In The Bumbo

Olivia would like to thank her cousin Bria for letting her borrow this amazing seat.  She would also like you to know that she is taking over a large percentage of this blog, if you don't mind.

I'm An Aunt (again)!

This is my brand new niece, Imogen Keira Slaughter.  She looks just like her mom (my sister Cami), and I am so excited to have this cutie in our family.  She was born on March 20th and weighed 8 lbs. 9 0z. (the exact weight of Ben when he was born...they must be related.)  Welcome baby, we love you and can't wait to meet you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Snowy First Week of Spring

Oh well, at least Olivia can wear her cute winter clothes a couple more times!

Inch By Inch...

Row by row...how on earth do you make a garden grow?

I want to start a veggie garden this year, something I've never done in my life.  I've been reading this great book by Jamie Oliver, and it seems to be full of helpful hints (and good recipes).  I'm open for all the gardening tips I can get, so please, send them my way!  Thanks!

Nina, What's Your Favorite Color?

"A rainbow."

(Smart girl!)

On A Cold And Frosty Morning

We woke up to ANOTHER snowstorm, the third or fourth this week.  Isn't it spring yet?  The birds are back, big fat robins today.  One sat on a chair at the table in our front yard this morning.  "He's waiting for someone to come have a tea party with him!" Hannah said as we watched him through her bedroom window.  He flew off with his friends before I could get a photo.  

I made Swedish Pancakes for breakfast, which makes the weather feel more cozy than miserable, I think.  (I made the batter last night before I went to bed, otherwise it NEVER would have happened...no matter how hard I try to be, I'm just not a morning person!)  After breakfast, we sent Ben and Hannah running to the bus, and Nina warmed up by sitting on a heat vent.  Clayton headed out to a meeting for work, and I climbed back into bed and cuddled with baby Olivia.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The day you clean the bathtub...

...somebody will poop in it.

"But it was already there," Nina said.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I just picked up a lovely mixture of Barbies, Sweet Streets, Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop, Disney Fairies, AND all of their accessories off the family room floor.  I'm sure they will all magically reappear by morning, especially with all these sparkly wands lying around.  (I wonder, if one day when the kids are all grown, I will miss all these messes?  Is that possible?)  

A few days ago a Polly Pocket (or a "Pick-a-Pocket" as Nina says) left her shoes next to mine.  I gave them back to her since they didn't fit me very well.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Made Bread!

Something I've never done before!  I was so excited watching the dough rise, it was like a miracle.  I've been wanting to try this for a while now, and since Clayton was gone tonight at a LAN party (a.k.a. stay up all night playing computer games party) I decided to give it a go.  Something to do, you know?  And it even tastes pretty good too.  Yay!

Olivia's First Ride in the Jogger

This was last week when I decided to start up running again (after who knows how long?).  Olivia couldn't really move in that little snowsuit, but she was cozy so she just fell right to sleep and didn't wake up until we came back home.  Nina was surprisingly not whiny, maybe that's because I gave her a bag of snacks for the ride.  She wanted carrots and sugar snap peas, funny, huh?  She does like vegetables, but she also loves sugar...I guess it must balance out somehow.  The whole time we were gone, Nina kept asking if she could play with her friends when she got home.  She's like a teenager lately, always wanting to be with her friends.

I'm Embarrassing

Ben:  "Mom, don't put chips and salsa in my lunch ever again."

Mom:  "Okay?  Why?"  He loves chips and salsa at home, so I thought he'd like it in his lunch at school.

Ben:  "Because it's embarrassing.  You can put chips, but don't put salsa because everyone kept asking me, 'What is that?' 

Mom:  "So just say, 'Haven't you ever seen salsa before?'"

Ben: "No, just don't put it in my lunch, okay?"

Okay, got it.  I'm assuming this is just the beginning of many years to embarrass my kids!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I woke up this morning to bedhead Nina, an inch from my face, saying, "Mom, they brought us tocolate toins (chocolate coins) and they even turned our milk GREEN!"  Her eyes were popping and her mouth opened into a big surprised kind of smile.  The leprechauns came!  As always, they brought a big box of Lucky Charms too.  The only thing missing was our green hats, because they are buried somewhere in the garage this year.  (We are working on finishing the basement, so everything that was downstairs is now in the garage and impossible to locate.) 

It was such a busy day.  I was scheduled to help out in Hannah's class at school today and it was so funny seeing ALL the little kids in green.  It's such a fun, no-stress holiday, I love it.  Plus, Clayton and I both have Irish ancestry, so it makes it that much more fun.  

We had our weekly Scout den meeting at our house tonight.  Clayton was working so I was on my own, but it was okay, at least I had something planned!  I put together a St. Patrick's Day treasure hunt for the boys...they were so crazy hyper, they would start running around trying to find the next clue before they even read the clue they had just found!  I put together little bags filled with chocolate coins and Skittles (the rainbow of fruit flavors, see the connection?) for them to find in the mailbox at the end.  They were so excited I was laughing the whole time watching them.  I put some clues up high on our street lamp and stop sign, so they took off their shoes and socks so they could climb the poles to reach!  Ha ha!  It didn't last as long as I thought it would, so they played Capture the Flag for 20 minutes in my backyard afterward.

For dinner we always have "Rainbow Fruit" and green veggies (peppers sliced cross-wise to look like shamrocks), and an old Irish potato dish called Colcannon.  I saw it a few years ago on Tyler's Ultimate on Food Network...it's really good.  Basically, mashed potatoes with ham, cooked cabbage and green onions mixed in.  I know, it doesn't sound amazing, but it is!  Hannah had three bowls full.

We listened to our "St. Patrick's Mix" while I cooked, and watched The Secret of Roan Inish while we ate.  Clayton and I kept laughing at the little Irish sayings throughout the movie, like, "He was makin' honey in his heart,"  "I'll be cur-fill," and "Don't stop stirring that pot or it will become stiffer than an old man on a cold night..."  Clay added (in an Irish accent of course), "...an old man on a cold night in the middle of a snow storm in freezing October trying to sleep in a snowcave..." He said, "If Tadd were here, we'd be going on for a while with that one!"  It's true!  Funny boys.

During the movie, Nina asked me, "Mom, why did you always marry my daddy?"  She's so funny, the things she says these days!  "Because I love him!" I told her and she scrunched up her little nose and giggled.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nina The Fairy

Ready For The Royal Ball

Finally did a photo shoot of Nina for her 4th birthday!  Better a little late than never.  She looks the same as she did in January anyway, right?  She was being pretty stubborn while I was trying to get her pictures (imagine that), but we ended up with a bunch of new favorites, which surprised me!  I really love this one in particular for some reason.

Raise Your Hand If You've Ever Felt Like This

Yes, that's why I should be in bed sleeping right now.  I think every mother can relate.  Short bedtime story before I call it a night:

This is a photo I took of a color copy from a book...what great quality, huh?  I'm kidding.   I love this painting though.  During college I found it in a big heavy art book, called "Northern Light, Scandinavian Art at the Turn of the Century" by Kirk Varnedoe.  Since I love all things Scandinavian, I of course had to check it out.  And I loved this painting so much I made a copy of it at the little copy center on campus.  I've kept it all these years, and it means even more to me now that I've had little ones.  It's titled, "Sovende Mor" (Sleeping Mother) by Christian Krohg, a Norwegian artist, 1883.  The book is out of print, and it's ridiculously expensive when I have found it online.  Also, I've tried to find a real print of this painting online for years with no success. :(  Sadness!  It's okay, I'll just keep my little color copy for now.  Goodnight!

Raise Your Hand If You Love The Library

I'm raising my hand! I love picking up books and movies at the library because I get that feeling of satisfaction that comes with buying really cool stuff at a shop, but without ever swiping my debit card (except when I'm late on returns, of course). Here are some recent finds that the kids and I have been getting into:
The Twits by Roald Dahl (a book my mom checked out for me as a kid)

I like requesting items online, then I can just pick them up from the library when they come in for me. It's so handy! And I'm such a nerd. I have my library card number memorized.

(P.S. One reason I love having kids is because it gives me an excuse to check out the little kid stuff I like at the library without having to look like such a fool.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Day Of Faith" at Harvard

This girl deserves a high five!  She really explains the LDS faith with knowledge and confidence.  Check it out, I'm so impressed.

Something Uplifting

This is advice from Elder F. Enzio Busche of the Quorum of the Seventy.  It's beautiful and will lift your spirit!  I also highly recommend his book, Yearning For The Living God.  

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Smells Chocolatey, eh?"

(That's one of our family's favorite quotes from Matilda, by the way.) Okay, if you love chocolate, you HAVE to try this little gem of a recipe.  "Instant Chocolate Mousse," from Nigella Lawson.  It may not be great for your body, but let me tell you, it's good for your soul!


  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 9 ounces best quality semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup hot water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.

Put the saucepan on the stove, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile whip the cream with the vanilla until thick and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.

Pour or scrape into 4 or 6 glasses or small dishes and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!

Here is the link to this recipe, if you are interested.

Nothing Like a Little Plant to Brighten Up the Day

I picked up this little $5 shamrock plant at the grocery store...I'm just craving spring, so this might help tide me over!  Plus, how cool  to have some shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day?  I knew the kids would love it too.  It's funny, the little things they get so excited about!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Sweet Hannah Girl

Crazytown Puppet

My brother (who is 27, ha ha) loves weird puppets so I decided to try and make one for him this past Christmas.  I got the idea for this one from this book, but in the book it wasn't designed as a puppet.  It's a soft doll named "Patricia" (hilarious).  It took me days to just mentally figure out how to convert it into a puppet, and every drop of brain power while I was sewing it all together.  Really, I had to close my eyes sometimes and think HARD!  But it worked.  Good thing you can't see the details in the stitching because they are pretty bad in spots.  But hey, it was so much fun to watch my brother open it on Christmas...he just laughed and laughed.

Happy Girls

These little girls are cousins.  I made the one with the blue kerchief for my one year old niece, and the other one for my Nina.  They are far from perfect, and obviously armless and legless, but they were fun to stitch up for gifts this past Christmas.  They each have matching tiny quilts with the girls' names embroidered on the back.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The proud owner of a new orange belt.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kung Fu Family Night

We thought it would be fun to take the kids out to Pei Wei for dinner, followed by "Kung Fu Panda" at home.  So that's what we did tonight.  Pulling into the parking lot, Clayton said, "Who's ready for Pee Wee?  Pee Wee's big adventure?"  The kids don't even know what that means, but they laughed anyway, especially when I asked Olivia, "Are you ready for Pee Wee, you little Pee Wee?"  Hannah, of course, had second helpings at dinner, Nina ate a couple noodles (with very awkward chopsticks), and Ben ate about 35 fortune cookies.  He also took home an empty Chinese take out box because those things are AWES!  I'm sure it will be full of treasures within the next few days.  Kung Fu Panda was cute, by the way.  I loved the animation.

My fortune:  "You love playing to a crowd."  What kind of stupid fortune is that?  Plus it's a lie.

Hannah's fortune:  "You are often entertaining and delightful."  True, so true.

Ben's fortune, (or one of the 35):  "Wise men learn from fools, and foolish men never learn from the wise."  ("HUH?  What does that mean, Mom?")

Nina's fortune:  "Your principles will lead you on your road to success."  Really? 

Clayton's fortune:  "New financial opportunities and success are in your path."  Sweet!  He always gets one like that. 

Clayton said, "What if you really believed in this stuff?"  Seriously.

Swedish Pancakes

Just wanted to share this little gem.  

I like mine best just sprinkled with a little sugar and rolled up, or with strawberry freezer jam. The traditional way of serving them with sour cream and lingonberry preserves is pretty good too, but I'm the only one in this house that will even try that.  My husband likes them best with maple syrup.  And of course, the kids like them best with sugar, jam, AND maple syrup. 

4 eggs
4 cups milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl, and add the milk, flour, sugar and salt while gently stirring until blended.  Stir in the melted butter.  Cover the batter and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.

Heat a skillet and lightly coat it with oil.  Pour in a small amount of batter, then swirl the pan to create a very thin pancake.  Cook for about 20-30 seconds per side.

Serve immediately.