Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eight


Happy Birthday Hannah! Now let's see...Hannah was born on my Dad's 50th birthday, so that officially makes Dad an old geezer! Just kidding Dad! You can still climb a mountain faster than any 20 year old.

This morning I miraculously got up in time to make Swedish pancakes for Hannah's breakfast, and she opened her presents. Nail polish, earrings, flower hair clips, shoes, and a nice sketchbook (her favorite). We bought her some scriptures too, but Clayton wants to write inside the cover before we give them to her. I checked her out of school for about an hour at noon so I could take her out to lunch. Hannah is a hoot to hang out with...rubbing cream all over her nose from her dessert and being such a goof. We laughed and laughed. Plus, that girl is a bottomless pit. I think she ate more than I did!

Tonight we had a couple of her friends over for tacos (Hannah's request). Her friend Laura Ashley gave her some fun gifts, including a box of Coco Puffs! She knows that I never buy them and that Hannah is always begging me for them. A birthday wish come true, haha! Then we all went swimming up at Mormor and Poppy Per's house. It was just 4 friends, so it was pretty simple (and nice!). We came back for banana splits before taking the girls home.

I can't believe she's eight, and I'm so lucky to have such a funny and thoughtful little girl. :) We love you Hannah!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Two Awards in One Night





Well, kind of. Ben did actually win a trophy for coming in 2nd place at the Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta last night. Yay, Ben!! His little American Pirates boat was awesome.

And I earned the Neglectful Mother of the Year award last night for leaving my third-born behind and locked out of the house. It wasn't until my neighbor Krystal showed up with her the church that I realized she was missing (and completely traumatized).

WHAT KIND OF MOTHER DOES THAT??

Me.

In my defense though, I thought Clayton had brought her with him (we drove separately), and there were about 30 kids at the event, and I was sidetracked taking pictures. I also learned that I'm not alone...this opened the door for confession among the other Cub moms. But still...who does that? That's why I say I earned an award last night too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a Cute Dad!

Tubby Time




This little munchkin gets so excited when I run the bath water...mouth wide open in the biggest smile ever, both legs pumping up and down, and arms like she's gonna fly away.

This Girl Loves Crunchy Lettuce


It's true, Nina likes lettuce. And celery and cucumbers. But she loves it all so much more when she's in this old bunny suit (which I wore for Halloween as a kid, haha!). She pretends she is my pet, and I have to call her "Casey the Bunny" in a high pitched voice, and feed her lettuce and carrots.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Potato Gun Fun

video
Clayton made marshmallow guns for the trip, and Spencer made a potato gun. We took turns blowing taters out and watching them explode on the red cliffs. A little white trashy, I know, but so funny! Plus I'm chewing on Red Vines, which makes it even more classy.

Nina The Sad Water Skiier

video
At Lake Powell this week, Nina decided she wanted to try the kid ski. After watching Ben, Hannah, and all her cousins waterski on it, she felt brave. Honestly, I was so surprised she asked to do it. I told my brother-in-law Spencer as he was driving the boat, "This will probably end up in a huge meltdown!" I called that one, didn't I? Haha!

But a half hour later she was smiling and telling everyone, "I liked it."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How Do You Feed 30 People Singlehandedly?

Double this recipe, then double it again. I'm taking this to Lake Powell this week for when it's my night to serve dinner...phew! Big families are the best though, especially Clayton's. Should be fun...I have a feeling some funny memories are about to be made! As always.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 Tbsp. oil

1 large can pineapple chunks with juice, undrained

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

3 Tbsp. vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

2 T. flour or 1 T. cornstarch

1/4 c. water

1/4 bag of frozen meatballs (from Costco-about 30 or 35)

2 green peppers, diced

In a large saucepan, mix oil and pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple). Cook over low heat for a few minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. In small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth, then add to the pan. Cook over low heat until mixture is thick and smooth. Add meatballs, canned pineapple, and green peppers, and simmer until heated through. Serve hot over rice.

(This freezes really well!)

Thanks Carrie for this recipe!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Me and Em



Every summer and Christmas I am so excited to see my hilarious and amazingly talented friend Emily. We've been friends for 15 years (since the first year of college, where we survived the art program together!). She lives far away now, so we really try to pack in the fun when she's in town. I think this year's highlight was probably Lagoon, running around like a couple of 9th graders, eating churros and squealing on the "Musik Express"! Doesn't get any funnier than that!

We also saw the new movie, "Julie and Julia" (loved it), ate at some great restaurants (Kimi's Mountainside Bistro, and Bella Citta), and hit a free concert downtown where we saw a lot of interesting people...

These are the first pictures we've had together in about 10 years. Didn't our photographers do an awesome job? Thanks Hannah and Nina! See you at Christmas, Em!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

9 Months Already


The little cutie is all over the place! Crawling, destroying stuff, pulling herself up to standing, and getting goose eggs and fat lips. All in a days work for this 9 month old. Oh yeah, and a little tooth on the bottom and one more about to break through any second. Still hates riding in the car (but getting a little better) and super wiggly when she's tired. Loves to feed herself and tries to hold the cup for drinks. Loves baths...kicks her legs and gets really hyper when I turn on the bath water! We love you Olivia!

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're Off To Blueberry Land





I love summer. The warmth on my face, the cool grass on my toes, the sunlight in the evening, and most of all...the amazing fruit. I really make an effort to put it to use since I only have a couple months to enjoy it while it is in season. Blueberries were on sale a couple weeks ago, so you could say I went a little crazy and tried to make as many blueberry things as possible. Here are some favorite blueberry recipes for you, in case you get your hands on some of those perfect little beauties.

P.S. Blueberries are really good for you by the way, so I don't see the harm in considering these as healthy recipes...right?


Blueberry Tart (I made this with just blueberries the first time, then I used strawberries and blueberries the next time around...try it, you won't believe how easy it is.)

Lemonade Layer Cake

Cake:

1 1/3 c. granulated sugar

6 T. butter, softened

1 T. grated lemon rind

3 T. thawed lemonade concentrate

2 tsp. Vanilla

2 large eggs

2 large egg whites

2 cups flour

1 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1 c. fat-free buttermilk

(or you can substitute with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice mixed with enough milk to

measure up to 1 cup, and let it sit for 5 minutes)

Frosting:

2 T. butter, softened

2 tsp. Grated lemon rind

2 tsp. Thawed lemonade concentrate

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350.

  1. To prepare cake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with mixer at

medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

  1. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda with a whisk.
  2. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition.
  3. Pour batter into 2 (9 inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Tap pans once on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from pans. Cool cakes completely on wire rack. (If baking the cake as cupcakes, bake them for about 20 minutes.)
  4. To prepare frosting, place 2 T. butter and the next 4 ingredients (through cream cheese) in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended. Chill 1 hour.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on a plate, spread with 1/2 c. frosting. You can add berry jam on top of this layer if you want, or lemon curd (it’s next to the jam in the grocery store). Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator (a large bowl works well, that way you won’t smudge the frosting). You can sprinkle the top of the cake with fresh berries before serving and it looks so pretty!

Serves 8-12, or 24 cupcakes.


Blueberry French Toast (sorry, I forgot to take a photo!)

1 loaf rustic French bread
4 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/4 t. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 c. fresh or partially thawed frozen blueberries
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon

Slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. Whisk the eggs, milk, baking powder and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the bread, turning to coat completely. Chill, covered, up to 8 hours or overnight. (I've skipped the chilling part before and it works just fine too.)

Combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Spread evenly over the bread slices. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with powdered sugar.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What Is In Your Mouth?

My babies have put some pretty disgusting things into their mouths before...Ben chewed on a dried up worm once. But I think what Olivia found and stuck in her mouth today tops the list. A used press-on TOENAIL. Not mine. A mystery toenail, at church. At church? Where did that thing come from and why didn't it get picked up by the owner? Ugh!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Princess Nina










Clayton is always telling Nina that she is his little princess. And she believes it. She says that I am the queen, Dad is the king, she and Hannah and Olivia are the princesses, and Ben is the prince. I'm just wondering where our castle is?

Like a every good princess, Nina loves anything pink and sparkly, and shoes that "click" when she walks. She sings "Ariel," "Giselle," and "Sleeping Beauty" all day long (well, whenever she isn't whining, that is!). She sings princessy songs to Olivia and makes up the words: "Olivia, you are a princess, you are just a little princess." It's pretty fancy singing, let me tell you.

I had to get some pictures before she grows out of this stage like Hannah did. They grow up too fast! At least I have one more princess coming up right behind Nina, so we can keep the dress ups around for a while longer. For some reason that makes me really happy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A. Family Sneak Peek








Have a peek at some favorites from a recent shoot with the A. family. These kids were so much fun, can't you tell? And that baby's eyes? Sheesh! So cute. Plus, their mom nailed it on the clothes, they looked so great and colorful.

I need to post a bunch more pictures from this summer's shoots, all the ones who didn't get a sneak peek...I'm sorry! This summer has been SO crazy, I'm constantly feeling behind in everything. My kids are back in school now, which is not fun for them, but hopefully it will help me get on top of things around here!