Thursday, April 28, 2011

wannabe runaway

{click on collage to see full size}

This is Olivia's attempt to leave to who-knows-where in Nina's boots and not much else. Unfortunately for her, the door was bolted shut, so that was the end of that, and I'm happy to report that she still lives with us.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

better than laundry

As tempting as this looked....

I was soon distracted by babbling and a chubby yummy knee around the corner.

A little pre-bedtime fun.
{click on the images to see them full-size...I love Olivia's expression in this one}

Way better than laundry.

Do you like the pom-poms I made to hang over William's crib?
Here is Olivia saying, "Bye! I'm going to Grandma's!"
And Will's fat little head down in the corner.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

unusual pet show

The kindergarten had an "Unusual Pet Show" recently where each of the kids had to make a pet. Nina said this was her alien pet. Good job Nina!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Took advantage of the kids being off track on a rare sunny day and met my sister Erika at the park. We packed the little cousins together in the swings and they loved it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

your local pal

Just to set the record straight, I have never poked fun at the PTA President, nor anyone wearing a turtleneck, or any pizza guy. In fact, Clayton delivered pizzas in the early days of our marriage, so I hold pizza guys in the highest respect.


Hannah has quite the sense of humor...she left these drawings on mine and Clayton's pillows. We've had some good laughs with these! My brother Trevor busted up when he saw them on our fridge, "He has a good life AND he works at Little Caesar's!!?"

Resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

P.S. The news reporter never was finished, but I thought he was hilarious like that. Like a fish from Spongebob.

Friday, April 15, 2011

the graduate

This lovely little lady just happens to be my sister-in-law. Isn't she pretty? Inside as well as out. This month she is graduating from college and she wanted some fun pictures to mail out with her announcements. Since she is going to be a high school health teacher, we played up the whole teacher theme for a bunch of the shots.

Thanks again for asking me McCall, is was super fun.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

chocolate milk

This is what happens when your kids leave stuff out on the kitchen counter and the 2-year-old helps herself to her favorite thing in the world. She poured the all the milk that was left in the gallon INTO the Nesquik container. Ben scooped out all the wet mushy blobs that he could, then woke me up with the great news. It was a lovely start to the day.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

homemade tomato soup

I love the tomato soup they have at Zupa's, and I've been trying to figure out how to make it at home. Not sure if it's exact, but it's pretty darn good if I do say so myself! If you like tomato soup, this will make you never want it from the can again...even my kids love it! I took two tomato soup recipes and sort of meshed them, leaving things out and adding things in as I went. Anyway, here it is. I hope you like it!

Homemade Tomato Soup

1/4 c. butter
1 onion, chopped
4 {14 oz} cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 {6 oz} can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 can chicken broth
1 c. cream

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and saute until they are soft. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cream. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 10-15 minutes just to get the flavors going, then blend the soup with either an immersion blender or by doing batches in a regular blender. When it is all pureed, stir in the cream. Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese and homemade croutons.

Homemade Croutons

one nice French baguette
olive oil
pinch of oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
sea salt

Roughly chop the bread into bite-sized pieces. Toss the pieces into a saucepan over medium-high heat, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano, red pepper flakes and salt. Stir occasionally until the bread is nice and toasty all around.

{I could eat the whole pan myself...}

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

how to put away groceries

Livi wanted to help me put away the groceries, and she showed me a much more efficient way to get the job done. Why waste time taking things out of the bag?

conference sunday

One of my favorite weekends of the year. We refused to keep paying for satellite three years ago, so this is how we watch LDS General Conference at our house. The laptop takes center stage as Conference streams online, and it works out pretty well!
Thanks to nice people out there with websites like Sugardoodle and such, I printed up some Conference activity packets. My kids were surprisingly excited to work on kept them quiet and occupied throughout the entire morning session. Even Olivia had a nursery age packet for coloring! I am definitely printing these again in October. It made such a difference.

Breakfast for lunch...yum! After the morning session, we cooked up some bacon, and I made this favorite I found in a Jamie Oliver cookbook a few years ago.

Banana & Blueberry French Toast
{or in this case, Banana & Strawberry French Toast}

To quote Jamie Oliver:
"This is the kind of sandwich that can be eaten for breakfast or even dessert. Feel free to vary the fruit that you use~strawberries and bananas, or banana with blackberries and blueberries.

All you do is get 2 slices of nice medium-cut white bread and butter them thinly on both sides. Toss your fruit combination in a little honey or sugar just to sweeten it a bit. A little mashed banana holds it all together quite nicely."

From there, I beat a couple of eggs with about a cup of milk, then I add some orange zest and maybe a dash of cinnamon. Spread your fruit mixture onto your bread slices and stick together. Using your hands, dip the sandwich carefully into the egg mixture, coating the entire outside. I like to use the waffle iron to cook them because it presses the french toast and helps keep it together. {It also makes it look really good.} Dust with powdered sugar and serve with additional fruit or maple syrup.

Yes, of course it snowed again. It's April, but that doesn't seem to make any difference. After filling up on bacon and french toast, the kids made a huge mess pulling out their snow clothes. They played for a couple hours out there with some neighbor friends, built this fort, and fully loaded it with snowball ammunition. The fort lasted a day or two after all the other snow in the neighborhood melted away. As it melted smaller and smaller, Ben transformed it into a snow couch, and then into a snow toilet. Brrr!

Now it is a mere snowball hiding in the depths of my freezer, waiting to be thrown at someone on a sunny day.