Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Decade Already?

Right about now, ten years ago, I was trying to get some sleep...so excited {and so scared} to finally have my first baby in the morning. What an amazing ten years it has been with Ben in my life. He has brought so much happiness along with him! He was such a cute little kid, and now he's a handsome devil, if you ask me, and such a sweetheart too. Looking at these old pictures makes me wish I could go back in time, at least for a few minutes, just so I could squeeze him and kiss his pudgy cheeks. It all flies by too quickly. Oh boy, now I am crying! I am such a baby. Anyway, I am so lucky to be his mom, and I wish I could have another boy just like him. Happy Birthday tomorrow, Ben! I sure love you.

I can't believe you are ten.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You're Only 80 Once

Yesterday was my Grandpa's 80th birthday we celebrate with a big surprise party. The best part of it was that my dad's cousin Hanne and her 11-year-old son Aleksander flew in from Norway to be there as part of the surprise. Hanne is my Grandpa's neice and they are really close. "When Hanne called me this morning I thought she was in Oslo!" Grandpa said.

It was standing room only, about 100 people. Lots of family and friends I've seen since I was a little kid, and even though I don't know all their names I loved being surrounded by all the familiar faces. My aunts put together a scrapbook of family pictures and a list of "80 Things We Love About You," such as, "We like how you are always singing a little song...how you taught us to always give 100%...your twinkling blue eyes...your stories of childhood during the war...that you never have a bad hair day (it's true!)...."

My aunt Heidi had a couple of her friends show up in Viking costumes as entertainment, since my grandpa is Norwegian. They tried faking Norwegian accents, "Ver is de birsday boy?"and they gave him a special present of sardines, which he actually loves, believe it or not. Haha! I wish I had it on video, maybe I can get it from Anika...

It was a fun night catching up with Hanne and just being with family. Oh, and eating marzipan cake, of course!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Same shirt, same expression, different kid. I love it.
This is Olivia in San Diego this past week,
and Hannah at the same age in Park City 7 years ago.

A Little Glam

My crazy Hannah girl.

{Those are my Catwoman glasses from when I was five!}

Friday, September 11, 2009

10 Months

This little lady is growing up too fast. Here, we see her just moments before ripping every book off the shelf and carelessly dropping a picture frame onto the kitchen tile. Cute, yes, but also very destructive these days. She eats Ben's Pokemon cards while he runs in slo-mo to stop her, "Nooooooo!" We call her The Destroyer.

She has been such a happy baby lately, constantly kicking her legs and hyperventilating because she's so excited about everything around her. She's cruising around the furniture and has two little teeth. Also, she's crying less in the car, which is nice because now I can actually hear what Sean Hannity is saying on the radio. Thanks Olivia!

She loves to feed herself, and she's not too picky, as long as she gets to manhandle the food before she sticks it in her mouth. She eats everything...taco soup, tuna, cheese, avocados, cut up peaches and bananas, bread, pasta, beans, yogurt, etc. I've been adding cream, butter and olive oil to almost all of her food...doctor's orders since she is only in the 8th percentile for her weight!

We love you baby!

Dear Raspberries, I Love You. From, Heather

Just trying to squeeze in a few more summer treats before all the good berries go into hibernation until next year. I stayed up way too late last night making Raspberry Peach freezer jam (the recipe is inside the SureJell pectin box, you gotta try it). But while I was licking the bowl clean after pouring it into jars, I was thinking, "Who needs sleep? This is GOOD." Worth every minute of lost sleep.

This raspberry tart is one of my summer favorites not only because it tastes so darn good with vanilla ice cream, but also because it is super easy and looks deceivingly fancy.

Fresh Raspberry Crostata

1/2 batch crostata dough (recipe follows)

All-purpose flour, for dusting

2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. sugar

2 c. fresh raspberries

Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

1. Heat oven to 450. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 11-inch free-form circle. Transfer to a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper if you have it), and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar.

2. Cover dough with raspberries, stem ends down, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges of the circle. Most of the berries will fit on the dough in one layer; mound any extra berries in the center. Sprinkle berries with remaining 5 tsp. sugar.

3. Lift border up and over berries to form the sides of tart, letting dough drape gently over fruit. Crease or fold the border every 4 or 5 inches to enclose the fruit, being careful not to mash the berries.

4. Bake crostata until the fruit has given off some of its juice and dough is golden, 20-25 min.

5. Cool on rack for about 10 min. Dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve. Vanilla ice cream is so good with this!

Crostata Dough:

2 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 sticks very cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter using a pastry blender or in a food processor until the butter is the size of small peas. Gradually add 1/4 c. ice water and combine gently. Turn out on to plastic wrap, pressing dough to form a 7 inch disc. Wrap dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour. May be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 large crostata tarts, or 4 small.

Preschool Rocks!

I have to face the harsh reality that Nina is no longer my baby...she started preschool this week! She's been so excited to "go to school like Ben and Hannah." The morning she was starting preschool, she flew out of her bedroom with her arms up high and a crazy smile plastered across her face. She couldn't wait!

Her only concern was, "But I will be shy..." I told her she wouldn't be shy since her friends Teesa and Lincoln are in her class with her. I was so worried that she would cling on to me and hide behind my legs when I dropped her off, but she walked right in and barely said goodbye to me. I think it really has helped to be there with her friends.

Later, when I picked her up she waved and grinned. "I talked all the day!" she said, which is her way of saying that she didn't act shy. Phew! I'm so proud of you Nina!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We Are Family...I Got All My Sistahs With Me!

Here's a glimpse into the week my two sisters came to visit this
summer. Cami lives in North Carolina, and Erika lives in Hawaii,
so it's rare to be all together. We roasted marshmallows in Mom
and Dad's back yard, met new baby nieces, went to the carnival,
played with Muppets (yeah, only my family would think that is fun!),
went swimming and hiking, took the kids to Wheeler Farm,
tried to get some family pictures, played in the rain,
visited grandparents,

I can't wait to be all together again one day, whenever that may be.
I love you all.

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What Happens in Vegas...

Okay, so I'm a little behind...this trip was back in June with Spencer (Clayton's brother) and Emily and their three cute kids. We met up with them in St. George and went boating at Sand Hollow for a day.
Think of a mini Lake Powell, and that is Sand Hollow. The kids had a blast on the tube, and the babies had a good nap with all the rocking on the boat.

In Vegas, we spent most of the time outside splashing in the pools and just enjoying doing nothing! One night we thought it was a good idea to take the kids to Caesar's Palace to see some show where the statues come to life...which turned out to be traffic, whiny kids, and "close your eyes and don't look at the billboards," not to mention a really lame show. Haha! Live and learn, right? We just had to laugh. At least we got to see the fountains at the Bellagio!

We love spending time with Spence and Emily, and all the little cousins just play and play. Thanks again, Spence and Em, for inviting us along! We had such a good time and plenty of laughs.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School Stories

Since it is September and "back to school," I'm thinking I'd like to start sharing my favorite children's books here a little more often. You know, sort of my own way of being scholarly? A certain "Charlie and Lola" book popped into my head this week as I took Nina to meet her preschool teacher that I wanted to show you. So here we go!

Just so you know, I LOVE "Charlie and Lola." Love Love Love! Have I mentioned I love "Charlie and Lola"? I even had some "Charlie and Lola" books before they became an animated series, and we've had two "Charlie and Lola" themed birthday parties at our house, not to mention all the DVDs and some dolls. They are just too cute, I can't get enough.

If you have a little one entering kindergarten or preschool, I Am Too Absolutely Small For School is perfect. As many kids experience first day of school jitters, so does Lola. Who will sit by her at lunch? How she will learn to read and count? Her sweet big brother Charlie helps calm her nerves, and in the end Lola finds that school is nothing to be afraid of.

Another sort of back-to-school-themed "Charlie and Lola" I love is But Excuse Me That Is My Book, where Lola is devastated when her favorite book at the library is "completely not there!" Like all "Charlie and Lola" books, this one is filled with the most creative collage illustrations. There are too many in this series to mention, but these two should get you started!

Also by Lauren Child, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble is a hilarious chapter book, with great little pictures scattered throughout. My 4th and 2nd graders laugh out loud while they are in their rooms reading it. Clarice Bean runs into things at school that she'd rather not, such as being a nun in the school play, Mrs. Wilberton, and a stupid spelling bee. A super fun way to meet those "20 minutes a night" requirements.

Last but not least, check out this edition of the classic Pippi Longstocking, newly illustrated by Lauren Child. I know, I know, I showed this to you once before, but I love it so much. Not exactly "back to school" except for the fact that Pippi refuses to go to school just like my son ...but these new illustrations bring Pippi to life with plenty of color and charm. A much loved book at my house, as you can see from my torn and taped cover!

Happy reading!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Soft Gingersnaps

Try not to eat them all like I did.

Soft Gingersnaps:

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. canola oil

1 egg

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. molasses

2 c. plus 2 T. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

sugar for coating

Beat the butter and oil together until combined. Mix in the egg, sugar and molasses.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, soda, spices and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar to coat. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min. or until puffed and cracked. Makes 4 dozen.

P.S. These are perfect for making ice cream sandwiches.


...made of glasses?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Daisy Girls

I had to post these before the summer is too far gone!
These are about a month old...but better late than never, right?