Thursday, July 30, 2009

Due Dates vs. Real Life

This week I am 32 weeks pregnant!
Ty just got his vacation schedule for school. It looks like he has a break the week of September 21-25. My due date is the 28th, so we are hoping the baby decides to cooperate with our schedule and show up during Ty's break. Here's hoping! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time and Lifelong Learning

I was reading the August visiting teaching message in the Ensign, and I was really impressed by this quote;

"We cannot waste time entertaining ourselves when we have the chance to read or to listen to whatever will help us learn what is true and useful."
-Pres. Henry B. Eyring

Life can be a balancing act and those free moments that come along can be quite the temptation. This morning I decided to use my time before the kids got up to do some serious Book of Mormon study. I was able to read 5 chapters, which for me is Huge! I read out of Alma the story of Amalickiah conspiring to be king and Captain Moroni defending the liberty of the Nephites. I was able to get some great insights and thoughts that had not come to me before.
I am so glad for the opportunity that we have to learn and study truth. I am glad that I can stay at home with my children and continue my own education in so many different ways. I am going to try harder to use my time more wisely and focus on learning more than just entertainment.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Little Christmas in July


Gingerbread Cupcakes With Caramel Glaze

I love gingerbread! It makes me all nostalgic. When I first started baking I used my grandma's old Betty Crocker cookbook. One of the first recipes I really got good at were these really delicious, big soft ginger cookies. They started my devotion to gingerbread. I found this recipe for gingerbread cupcakes and had to give them a test run in plenty of time before the real holidays roll around. They are really moist and delicious and I made a bunch of them, so if anyone else likes gingerbread....you can stop by and have a few! :)

For the Cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 stick butter
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups molasses

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees.
2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.
3. Melt the butter in the boiling water and add to the dry ingredients.
4. Blend in the molasses and the eggs.
5. Pour into cupcake liners and bake for 17-18 minutes (these cooked up pretty quick for me) or you can pour all of the batter into an 8x8 inch pan and bake for 35 minutes.

For the Glaze:
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. In a saucepan melt the butter with the sugars and the salt. Cook for about 2 minutes until thick.
2. Add the cream and boil 8 minutes.
3. Pour hot glaze over cool cakes and dig in!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday and the Weekend Wrap Up

(Mia's hair in french braids!)
It is Sunday evening again! It is the very last week in July! It has been a great month and we have had a wonderful weekend. I am usually a very early riser. I like to get up before Ty and the kids to do my scripture study, prayers, exercise, etc... Saturday morning, however, I decided to sleep in. It was so much fun! The kids slept in late and we all woke up feeling so good. We had breakfast together, and then Ty went to play raquetball with some friends. The kids and I took a trip down to Whole Foods in Green Hills. It was a very fun place to visit and we ended up eating large amounts of the best cookies ever.
Saturday night we had a ward activity in honor of pioneer day. It was so much fun! The food was delicious and there were lots of fun games to play and watch. I think the highlight of the evening was the tug-of-war between the husbands and the wives (The wives won :) no thanks to me and my very pregnant self!)
Sunday came and we went to church. The speakers were amazing and the lessons were fab! I am recharged for the week and hoping for a good one!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Almost the weekend!

We began our Thursday with a trip to Monkey Joe's! It is such a great place for little people to get their wiggles out and even better when it is free! (Which it was for us today!)
The place was crowded today with different summer camps from the area, but Max and Mia didn't seem to mind.
After Monkey Joe's we headed to Books-A-Million, because I was in desperate need of a calendar. I know, it's July, but believe it or not our current calendar only went through July of this year and I like having a calendar around! I found a calendar and Mia shopped for horses to ride. After shopping we took our free kid's meal coupons to Chick-Fil-A. It is a very happy place to be. We left full, the kids had some playground time, and we now have 2 more toy cows that we did not have before!
It is Thursday and Ty's last day of classes for the week. Tomorrow morning he has to take the SEE exam (whatever that is) but as soon as he is done he is free for the weekend!
This afternoon we are ,making chocolate chip cookies to celebrate!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Tuesday!


hope everyone is having a great morning. I found this article titled,
"Two Minutes to Happiness"
Just some quick tips to boost those happy endorphins!

  • Look through old photographs. According to researchers, this could boost your mood more than eating chocolate. (Which is saying alot) Bust out that photo book!
  • Inhale a calming scent such as lavender or orange.
    I love a good smelling house. This morning I woke up to the smell of pulled pork in the slow cooker for tonight's dinner. It was pretty yummy, but I was ready to put it in the fridge and turn on my scentsy!
  • Take a walk around the block. If you’re feeling down, even a low-key walk can lift your mood.
  • Clear the clutter. Piles of paper and clutter on your desk indicate that something isn’t getting done. Even if you can’t clear everything away, straighten into neat piles – your stress level will likely lessen.
  • Talk to a cheerful person. You are the company you keep!
I personally find great joy in a new magazine or a good book.
What makes you smile?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pudding Pops!

Over the weekend we had the chance to try some great popsicle recipes that were posted on ourbestbites.com. It is a really great recipe site. Max and Mia are huge popsicle fans and they really loved these flavors.

Mint-Chocolate Cookie Pudding Pops

1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 3/4 C half and half
10 Oreo cookies, crushed (about 1 heaping cup)
1/4 t peppermint extract

Blend pudding mix, extract, and half and half in a blender until smooth. Stir in crushed cookies by hand. Place in molds and freeze.



PB Banana Pudding Pops
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 C milk
1 ripe banana*
1/4 C Peanut Butter

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Place in molds and freeze.



Friday, July 17, 2009

At The Races!

We just got back from the annual rubber duck races at Moss Wright Park. It was so much fun! It helped that today just happens to be an absolutely gorgeous, sunny, cool, and breezy day!
It was kind of like a big slip and slide for rubber ducks. The water was propelled by a fire hose! Before the races each child got to pick out their own duck and give them names. Max named his duck, Spiderman, and Mia called hers, Duckie.
Although we did not win the race it was fun anyway.
Max with his duck, Spiderman, just after the races.
On another happy note: It's Friday!
I love the weekend. I am planning a trip to the downtown farmer's market tomorrow. Does anyone have any great plans or ideas for their weekend?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Baby Boy needs a name :)

I am 30 weeks pregnant! We are yet to buy this little boy any socks and we are still undecided on his name!
I am open to a little input. These are our top 3 names. Let me know what you think!


Sawyer
Mason
Myles

Pecan Pie?

I love pecan pie! I make several different versions around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I never get around to it the rest of the year. I found this recipe at www.browneyedbaker.com. It is a really fab foodie blog! We made them today and they are totally easy and delicious!

Chunky Pecan Pie Bars

For the Crust:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
¼ cup packed brown sugar

Filling:
3 large eggs
¾ cup corn syrup
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chunks in a bag!)
1½ cups chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

2. For the crust, mix together the flour, butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Press into the baking pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown.

3. For the filling, beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla extract with a wire whisk. Stir in the chunks and pecans. Pour evenly over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until set.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hiding Places and Phones

I found Max and Mia hiding in Max's closet. They were in his toy chest covered with stuffed animals. They think they are hilarious! :) We have been having a pretty quiet day. I was waiting around for a phone call and finally decided to check the phone only to discover that it was completely dead and I have no idea why :(. I am hoping Ty can figure it out when he comes home, he is pretty amazing about stuff like that. Until then, I am beginning to wish I had a cell phone!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Morning Nectarines

We have been loving the fresh fruit this summer. Mia especially enjoys nectarines. She even recognizes them at the store when we shop now. It makes for a very juicy little Mia.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Wild Saturday Night


Well, not really...Ty is off at a guy's night. He should get his fill of testosterone and hamburgers. So the kids and I are having an ice cream party! We have Blue Bell Rocky Road ice cream. Rocky road is my favorite and I do think Blue Bell is the best. It is one of the great things about living in the south. I hope everyone is having a fabulous evening!

Babies!

(Mia)
Ty and I were looking through old pictures today. I cannot believe how grown up Max and Mia are. It is hard to believe they were once such sleepy little babies!
(Max)




Friday, July 10, 2009

Families are Forever!

We have had such an awesome Friday! This morning we drove down to Franklin and to the temple! It is stake temple day and as an added bonus the stake had organized child care at the stake center next to the temple. We were so excited to have someone to watch our kids while we did a sealing session. It was wonderful to be at the temple with Ty. It was such a happy experience. We are so glad we had the chance to participate! After the temple we picked up the kids and had a delicious lunch at Baja Fresh. I am happy to say they have some of the best fish tacos I have tried! After lunch we picked up our latest family pictures. I think Max and Mia are adorable, and Ty is pretty cute too. I am hoping that the next family picture will include a thinner, less humidified me. :) We are enjoying our air conditioning and I am making granola. I love Fridays!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Poolside Summer

Wow! It is already July 8th. We are having a wonderful summer. Today we had playgroup at the pool. Max and Mia are getting much more independent in the water. It makes the time so enjoyable!
After swimming there must be snacks. I always pack a ton. Today we had some of the leftover burritos from dinner last night.

We are enjoying our hot summer days and our lazy evenings. We have learned that before we play outside we spray any exposed arms and legs with insect repellent. The bugs in the south are many and huge! You can feel yourself being eaten alive! The days are flying by. Tomorrow I will be 29 weeks pregnant. I am getting really excited for our little guy.
I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Delish

I made these awesome burritos for dinner tonight. They were perfect for a hot summer evening. Mia thought they were great. I found this yummy recipe on foodbuzz.com. It is a new favorite site!

Montecito Burrito


Ingredients:
1 large firm head of iceberg lettuce or 2 small
I pkg. Cream cheese at room temp.
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 cup black olives pitted & chopped
1/4 cup chopped chives
(I also added some sun-dried tomatoes)
3-4 tomatoes seeded and sliced thin
1/4 cup Cilantro leaves (no stems)
S & P to taste
4 large flour tortillas


Method:
Slice lettuce heads in half and slice thin.
In a bowl combine the cream cheese, grated orange, chopped black olives, and chopped chives. Blend well. Now take the tortillas one at a time and place on a large piece of waxed or parchment paper. Spread the cream cheese mixture over all. Make a row of sliced tomatoes and a row of cilantro leaves. Now add a healthy amount of sliced lettuce (the secret to this dish is to really pack in the lettuce). Roll the filled tortilla firmly to create a big, fat ,crunchy lettuce filled Burrito. Now roll firmly in the paper and place in the refrigerator for an hour or more.
( I made these early in the day. It made dinner time super easy!)


Homeade Salsa Dip


1 medium yellow onion chopped
1 large clove of garlic chopped
4 or 5 tomatillos chopped
1 jalapeƱo seeded & chopped
1 or 2 dried chipotle peppers or dried 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
1 teaspoon smokey paprika

S & P to taste

1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with liquid.

1 14 oz. can cannilni beans

1 teaspoon orange juice

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Put all ingredients except orange juice & cilantro into a large deep skillet and cook covered
on medium low heat for 45 minutes. Stir often to avoid sticking.
Cool down. Place in blender in batches, adding the orange juice and cilantro. check for salt & pepper.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

All American Slip and Slide

We spent the afternoon at a fabulous 4th of July party put on by our friends, Asher and Amy. They have a big hill in their backyard. Asher had set up a huge piece of plastic and used a hose to create a gigantic slip and slide. Max was hesitant to try at first, but after his first ride he couldn't get enough!
It was so much fun to watch him slide down.
and then to run back up again! I think he ran up the hill about 30 times! It must have worn him out because it is 7:30 now and he is sound asleep.
Mia had very little interest in the slip and slide and instead preferred to swing. She is such a little girl! (And we love her that way!) After all the slipping and sliding we went inside for a great meal! Asher made some delicious pulled pork for sandwiches and everyone else had brought sides and dessert. It was quite the event! When we got home we let the kids do some party poppers and sparklers. It was a wonderful 4th of July.

A Blackberry Morning

We are having some beautiful weather for our fourth of July! This morning we drove out to "The Orchard" in Cross Plains. We filled baskets full of great big, juicy blackberries!
As usual Mia was a great helper. Ty says that children make the best berry pickers because their little fingers don't squish the berries.
It was nice and breezy while we were there. It was a perfect outside kind of morning.
I ended up buying some fresh peaches from the farm as well. Now we are thoroughly stocked and I can make pies and smoothies, and toppings for waffles! Before leaving Cross Plains we stopped at a fireworks outlet store and bought some sparklers and little things for the kids. We are looking forward to sundown!

Brisket

Last night our friends, Rob and Lisa, hosted a fabulous barbecue. Rob made some of the best brisket I have ever eaten. Ty and I have become huge BBQ fans. We ate out on the deck and after it got dark the yard was filled with fireflies. It was the perfect kickoff to the holiday weekend!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Soccer!

I just finished signing Max up for the fall soccer season! I am so excited! I hope he is just as excited! Practice starts on August 24th. We will see if we have a little Beckham or if we don't :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July!

Can you believe it is the 1st of July! What a festive month. I am so looking forward to the 4th. I think it is going to be such fun to introduce the kids to fireworks. Our Family Home Evening this week was all about our country and our freedoms. I don't know if much soaked in, but Max now recognizes the American flag when he sees one! Today was a great kick off to the month. The humidity has gone away for a few days and we are so happy! Ty was home today so we all went together to the free movie at Indian Lakes. After the movie we made a quick stop at the fountains and then headed home to play in the pool. After some swimming I got out of the pool to sit in the sun on a lounge chair. Max and Mia soon joined me on lounge chairs of their own. It was so cute.
When Ty left for school this afternoon the kids went outside to play while I did some cleaning inside. After a few minutes I heard them shouting and turned around to see their little faces smashed up against the window. This evening Ty is off playing raquetball and the little people are playing with play-doh. I finished off the meatloaf by making a delicious meatloaf sandwich. It was a great day!