Thursday, June 26, 2008


I love this picture of some of the boys on their rafting day, it looks intense! You should enlarge the picture so you can see the looks on their faces. That is my oldest son there on the left in the front. He was home yesterday and is now off to youth conference for the next few days. Never a dull moment around here!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hikers Survived and Recipes

Everyone will be happy to know that the older boys survived their scout adventure. Apparently the third time was the charm for actually making it to the top of Mount Washington. They had tried two times before and weather was a problem and they didn't make the summit. I believe this is the highest peak in New England. They also had a great day of river rafting and also paintballing. They came back tan and all in one piece, which is all a mother can really ask for so I feel very lucky.
To switch gears completely, here are a couple of recipes that people have asked me for lately:

Weight Watchers Muffins (aka Hidden Health Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins)

1 chocolate cake mix
1 can pumpkin
2/3 cup water

Mix these well and then add chocolate chips, about a cup or so. Bake at 350 in muffin tin sprayed with Pam for about 20 minutes.
A great way to trick your kids into eating lots of fiber and vitamin A, though to them it tastes like a treat!

Two Egg Cake

2 Cups flour
1 & 1/3 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 C shortening
2/3 C milk
1 t vanilla
2 eggs, unbeaten
1/4 C milk*

Mix above with mixer for a couple of minutes. Spread in 9x13 or two 9" rounds that have been greased and floured 25-30 minutes at 350.
I'm sure this cake would be good many ways, but we make it into the best strawberry shortcake ever by splitting it in half and filling with smashed sweetened strawberries, then topping with (real) whipped cream. It is sooo yummy, everyone always wants the recipe.
*I do not know why there are two separate measurements of milk, but I just follow the recipe as it is printed in Grandma's cookbook and it works! It is kind of funny though. Also, if you need to double this, I recommend doing two separate cakes, not one big one in an oversize pan. That just hasn't worked well for me.

Noone asked for this, but I've made it twice in the last couple of weeks and thought it was really yummy. I got the recipe from my friend who brought it to our ward Cinqo de Mayo party.

Cinqo de Mayo Salad

Finely chopped iceburg lettuce (about 1/2-1 head, depending on how big you want the salad to be)
Finely chopped red onion (about 1/2 of a large one)
2 avocados chopped small
two or three tomatoes with seeds removed and chopped small
1 can of white corn, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
cooked, chopped chicken breast (about 2-3 cups, I guess, which I made by baking with just salt and pepper, then chopping up)
shredded cheddar cheese (about a cup)
ranch dressing with a little bit of bbq sauce to coat, but not smother in dressing
serve with tortilla chips

You could vary the amounts to make it however big or small you want. Chop everything small so it's more like a salsa with lettuce than a salad It's really good but only for about two days after which it will get soggy, so just make as much as you will eat in two days or less!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Uh Oh!

This little girl is into everything! She has learned how to open cabinet doors and other day I walked into the kitchen to find her helping herself to a snack!
She says "uh oh" all the time and is taking a dozen steps at a time. My sister says she looks like Frankenstein when she walks because she kind of staggers side to side. She loves to climb up stairs- of course she doesn't know how to come down them. When she does crawl it is really speedy and she's hard to catch. And she won't hold still for even one second. Diaper changes have become truly impossible! Last week she broke our cell phone with her drool! She really is a handful- good thing she is so cute with her silly smile!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Last Day

A couple of weeks ago my youngest boy had his last day of preschool. This was a great year for him at school. He learned so much, like all about the rainforest and it's different levels, snow, flowers and dinosaurs. Mostly though, he just had a great time playing, especially in the dramatic play area,hearing stories, doing puzzles and making cool art projects.I can't believe he is going to be five soon and go off to kindergarten in September! He had some really fun teachers like Miss Kelly, who told me on the last day- "don't tell anyone I said so but he is my favorite and I will miss him most of all!"

Birthday Boy

Last week #2 boy turned 12! At church the week before he stood up and talked about how he was excited about this birthday especially because he would be ordained to the priesthood. He said that he has been looking at the guys passing the sacrament on Sundays, and the missionaries and thinking to himself- that will be me soon. I'm really proud of him and the way he is growing up. We are waiting for his ordination for a Sunday when my Dad will be in town but hopefully it will be soon. Now that he is 12 he is officially in the Young Men's program at church and in two days gets to go on his first scout adventure! They are going hiking up Mt Washington in NH and then river rafting in Maine. Although these trips always make me the mom just a little nervous, I'm still excited that they get to go do something fun.
The night of his bday was low-key- chicken pot pie for dinner and some friends and my parents came by for cake and ice cream. He is suddenly into skating so he was pretty excited about his new Tony Hawk skateboard! Here he is practicing his moves right after he opened it. He also got a sleeping bag and swiss army knife for scouting. He is a great kid and a lot of fun to be around. I love hearing the stories of middle school life and his funny take on it all. Happy Bday!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden... that's what we'll do!

Vintage Chair

One morning last month my walking buddy and I passed by a big yard sale. This little chair caught my eye so I bought it for $10 and came back later to pick it up. At first I thought I would repaint it white or something, but the color has grown on me and I like the hand painted black detailing on it. I'd love to know when this was made, I would guess the 40's or so, but I really don't know. I rarely make great yard sale finds, mostly when I go there's nothing but junk, but I was pretty happy about this one. I think it will go in the baby's room, when she has a room that is!

For the Birds

About a month ago a robin built her nest in the rafters of our porch. About a week ago some baby birds emerged! They have probably actually been there for a while, just been too small for us to see. They were pretty quiet too. By the time they showed themselves to us, it was only a few more days until they were ready to fly. One day last week when I got up early to go walking, I saw one of the babies standing on the porch, then it flew over to the huge oak tree in our backyard. It didn't quite make it to the top of the trunk, so it was kind of clinging to the bark of the tree. After that day they all flew off and haven't really been back since. It was fun to have a little nature in our backyard last week!

Cute Dress

My husband has been building us a new computer for the last few weeks. After a few setbacks it is finally working! So, of course I have a lot of blog catching up to do. It is going to be a lot more fun to blog with this new lightning-fast computer!