Monday, February 28, 2011

It hurts when you have a sore throat and you’re trying not to cry…

I’m emotional today. My mother-in-law died suddenly and unexpectedly last night. I want to write about it, about the raw, honest emotions my amazing father-in-law is expressing, about the help we’re receiving, both from angels in our town and those in the spirit world, about my feelings about my mother-in-law, but I don’t want to be intrusive to those who are grieving. Perhaps when I’ve gathered my thoughts and things aren’t so raw, I’ll be able to write about this.
And I know that we’re supposed to let all of our emotions out, that crying expels hormones that make you sad, but when you are trying to hold everyone together, it’s hard to just break down and let it all out. That will come later, after the funeral.

So here’s the biggest battle I’ve had with my tears and my throat today…

You know that lump you get when you’re trying to hold back the tears. I know you do. Well, when your throat is sore because you’re coming down with the same virus your three littlest boys have, that lump makes your neck feel like it’s in a vice, and like you are going to gag. It physically hurts.

At the end of a difficult day the 14-year-old boy had offered to give Baby Hippo a bath in exchange for me doing his dishes. I gladly agreed to this, knowing that I could get it done in half the time he would. When I was finished, I went into the bathroom to see Baby Hippo happily splashing to the tunes of George Strait. Just for your information, the 14-year-old boy has recently become a cowboy, which means that he doesn’t actually work with cattle, unless a rare opportunity presents itself, but that he wears western shirts, Wranglers, and a cowboy hat. This also entails listening to country music, namely George Strait, 24/7. He has even asked why I haven’t blogged about his “cowboy-ness” yet. Cuteness!

Anyway, back to the bathroom. I sat down and told him that I was done with his dishes and that he could be on his way. He said, “Okay, Mom, but have you heard this song? It’s a really cool song”. I listened to the hit that was playing and I said no. Just as I answered, though, the chorus rang out, and I realized I did know the song, and I began belting it out...

“Let me tell ya a secret
‘Bout a father’s love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
He said daddies don't just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen”

He said, “Mom, I thought you said you didn’t know this song.”

“Well, I do. I didn’t realize it until the chorus came on.”

And this is when the lump in my throat, that had been threatening to emerge all day, reared its head and put my neck in a vice. I couldn’t talk, or even look at him, because my eyes were welling up with tears. I don’t know if it was the fact that he was touched by a song about fathers, and that he missed his father who committed suicide six years ago or if he was thinking of his step-father, John, and what he has meant in his life or if he was just imagining that this is the kind of father he wants to be, but whatever the motivation for his interest in this song, it affected me deeply.

I sat on the edge of the bathtub and listened quietly along with him, trying to keep from bursting into tears as Baby Hippo splashed and played. Then we got to the end of the second verse.

“Okay, Mom,” he said, “Now this is the best part. Listen to this.”

As the third verse started, he repeated, “Okay. Listen to this part.”

This is what it said…

“Last night I dreamed I’d died and stood outside those pearly gates
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake
If they know half the stuff I done they’ll never let me in
Then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again

And they said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
You see daddies don’t just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen, it’s a love without end, amen”

Okay, right now, as I’m writing this, the lump is back, and it hurts.

As I listened to this verse, a little quiet sob was released from my throat, but I don’t think he heard it because of the splashing. I thought of what profound thing I could say when the song was over and how I could say it without letting on that I was about to start sobbing like a little tiny baby.

When the music stopped, I said in a loud voice, so as to disguise my lump, “Yeah, that’s a good song.”

Profound, I know. And I know many of you are sitting there wondering why I didn’t just let it all out in front of my boy. I guess the answer is because I don’t want him to be all “freaked out” that I would burst into tears when he’s trying to share a thing that means something to him. I’m sure my therapist would have said that I should’ve let him see me cry, but I just couldn’t.

As he picked up his IPOD player and began to walk out of the bathroom, he turned to me and said, “So, Mom, I guess this tells us that George Strait believes in Jesus.”

I smiled at him and nodded and said, “Yeah, I guess it does.” Again, very profound.

I LOVE that boy. Here's the song...



P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Homemaker Monday

This post is in progress....



P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

They're just trying to help...

I have to keep reminding myself of this when it comes to the twins..... like when Twin B helps me make oatmeal cookies, and neatly places the balls of dough on the cookie sheet....

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...or when Twin A serves Baby Hippo the entire bulk-sized bag of craisins...

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Three years old is fun. Thanks for listening.


P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Because of Knowing You... IV

...Elder Stevens, I learned that closing the shower curtain after showering helps it to dry quicker, thus thwarting a mold and mildew build-up.

...Lauretta Farnsworth, I can bottle beans without cooking them first.

...Christy Whetten, I love BBC Classics. I miss those nights of watching movies with you, or borrowing them when I was expecting the twins.

...Alessandra, I cut kiwis in half and eat them with a spoon!

...Bill Boushka, I know what "ebenezer" means. We sang that word in a stake choir performance of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and you totally cracked me up when you started questioning its meaning under your breath so the choir director couldn't hear you. So I looked it up and it's the stone raised by Samuel to commemorate a victory over the Philistines at Mizpeh...


...Michael Ontiveros, I know that many back problems can be cured with chiropractic care before resorting to surgery. Mine were, because of you.

...Dr Chris Stuart, I learned why I had been having sinus infections for 13 years, and now they're gone, and I'm off my sinus inflammation meds. THANK YOU!

...Laurice Romney, I was convinced that I would enjoy blogging and started this blog almost 3 years ago! That little encouragement, Laurice, has totally changed my life, bringing me immense joy over the years, and as a bonus, a way to pay for the 19-year-old boy's mission. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

...BJ Hatch, I learned that even if you're 6 feet tall, it's okay to wear 5-inch heels!

...Jeni Romney, I've learned that it's invigorating to take time together as a couple. Now, to wean Baby Hippo at some point so John and I can get away for a weekend! We're bringing the kids over to your house, okay!

...Michelle Call, I've learned to love 99 chorus students, even the ones who drive us nuts.

...Madison Spilsbury, I learned that all you have to do to share the Book of Mormon in Barnes and Noble is to find common ground with the person sitting next to you.... such as the fact that you both like Spiderman.

...Kortny Spilsbury, I learned that kids can have a really great time watching the Super Bowl at midnight on Monday morning at your house, thus keeping the Sabbath more holy.

...Melinda, Uncle Rico's girl friend, I learned to make chile rellenos.

...Kaleb Valdez, I learned that there's this really cool piano piece out there where you play one part with your elbows. I still haven't learned it, but I will one day, when I have less to do.

...Elder Baker, I was inspired to read The Book of Mormon, and it changed me to the core. I can't imagine where my life would be without having read it because of your challenge.

...sweet Elder that came to lunch at our house last month, who shared a scripture about patience and faith, I'm again happy about the prospect of having more children. That was a change of recent thinking for me. I'll probably explain more later.

"42. And because of your adiligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the bfruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
 43. Then, my brethren, ye shall areap the brewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth cfruit unto you."

...Jerri, I make chocolate truffles ALL the time, for every conceivable occasion. In fact, I made them today for a friend's birthday!

...Andrea Perez, I learned, on my birthday, that I wasn't just one year older, but one year sexier, too! :)

...Kara Whetten, Pompei is my favorite restaurant in the Big Town. Oh, and I copykatted their fish tacos, and they are amazing... all because of you.



P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vitamix for $359!

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Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that Vitamix is offering factory reconditioned machines with a 5-year warranty for only $359 for a limited time. The regular price is $565. This is a great deal from a company I really trust. To get one, go HERE, and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Have a great day!

P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Sick and Well

Sick...

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Well...

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Get better soon, Twin A, and Baby Hippo, stay just the way you are!


P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh, how I'm loving myjobchart.com!

Most of you know I'm obsessed with making my kids work. I've blogged post after post of chore charts, ideas to get kids to help, and I even go so far as to refuse getting a full-time maid, even though I could, for $7 a day here in Mexico, just so my kids can get the full work-at-home experience.

Enter C. Jane Kendrick, one of my favorite bloggers ever. I like to copy emulate some aspects of her blog/writing style, so I often click on over to see what she's up to. As I was scrolling through her posts yesterday, I was introduced to something that made today, and probably many days in my future, totally awesome. It's an online job chart, complete with icons for each kid and job, a point system, and an amazon.com reward store!

I could attempt to fully explain the concept, but instead, I've included the video below. Let me just say that a couple of amazing things happened today because of C. Jane's introduction to myjobchart.com....

1. The 4-year-old boy did more chores in a 20-minute period than ever before in his life, just so he could click the check box.

2. All 5 of the older kids brushed their teeth, morning and night, said their prayers and did their personal scripture study. This may seem like something that should happen on any given day, but it doesn't, not with all 5 in one day.

3. I accidentally added the "Practice Piano" job for "all", instead of just for those taking piano lessons, and the 10-year-old boy, who hasn't taken piano for about a year, because of band and guitar, went in and got out music I hadn't heard in months and pounded away for 15 minutes.

Yes, C. Jane has changed my life, and by sharing this video about myjobchart.com, I hope to do the same for you.




P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

How you get asked to prom in Mexico....

Chivalry isn't dead.

On Thursday, a family friend, who happens to be a 17-year-old boy, came over to the house to ask my permission to invite the 15-year-old girl to the prom. He later apologized to John for not asking him, but because John was out of town, he didn't know what else to do. John forgave him.

Days earlier, through a complicated web of questioning among various friend channels, it was discovered that the 15-year-old girl would not refuse our family friend's offer, so it didn't bother our friend that the 15-year-old girl was in the room while he asked my permission. As he was leaving, he turned to her and said, "You didn't hear this, okay?"

This clandestine statement made me realize that he had yet to ask her officially, and that he would probably make a big deal of it. She waited. I waited. And finally I got the call. He and his friend would come over while the 15-year-old girl was in the temple and decorate her room to pose the big question. I giddily agreed to let them come over and awaited their arrival.

The first thing the family friend did upon entering our abode was to hand me a note and begin to explain their plan. The letter was addressed to the 15-year-old girl, and said that since she already knew he was going to ask her to prom, that he wasn't going to make a big deal out of it like everyone else had. He ended it by officially posing the question, "Will you go to prom with me?"

After reading this letter, and kind of ignoring what he was saying, I was honestly let down, but begrudgingly said I would give it to her when she came home. I began to open the door to let them out, but realizing I hadn't understood their plan, they quickly repeated it. They were going to give her the  letter as a way of catching her off guard, so that she wouldn't be expecting anything, but then she would go into her room and discover the treasure trove waiting for her there.

"OH!" I cried, finally understanding their cleverness. I smiled and laughed and led them to her room, which I had already checked for stray bras and panties, and let them do their thing. When they were finished, they insisted that I come see.

Here's what they did....

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Following the trail of candy, I became more and more amazed and excited as each candy bar became bigger and better, until the culmination of the 30-pack Ferrero Rocher on her pillow! When they pointed that out, as it was not part of the trail to the puppy on the piano, I let out a little cry of delight, and asked how he knew she loved Ferrero Rochers. He responded that he had seen her get really mad that the twins had taken the Ferrero Rochers she had left on the island the previous week, so he figured she liked them. Good detective work, I say.

When she arrived home, I quickly handed her the letter before she had a chance to go to her room. I watched her read it, and she kind of chuckled, and I told her I thought it was kind of lame that he didn't do anything to ask her out, like the other boys at school. She agreed.

She then headed towards her room, and I followed closely behind with my camera, telling her that I needed to check and see if her sister had any clothes that needed to be washed. I circled the room many, many times, pretending to look for dirty clothes, until the 15-year-old girl finally saw the beginning of the trail of candy at the bottom of the stairs leading to her loft. She said things like "Oh!" and "Man" and "What the..." and "They're getting bigger" and "This is a really cute puppy!"...

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....and when she saw the Ferrero Rochers "OH MAN!"

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After tolerating my photography, she said that that was enough and that I could leave and that she had been wondering why I was looking so hard for dirty clothes.

Thanks, family friend, for making prom so fun and for setting a great example to my boys of how a young man should act. You're the best!





P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Homemaker Monday: Marie Callendar's Copykat Cornbread Mix

Welcome to the 121st weekly edition of...


Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.

YOURS: This week's "YOURS" goes to Christ at Grey Umbrella! She posts a recipe for lemon cake cookies, and she says "This one of the best cookies I've ever made!" My husband loves lemon cookies, so I know I'll be trying this later on in the week. Look how yummy....

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Can't wait! Thank you so much, Christi, for linking up to Homemaker Monday and please feel free to grab the "I Was Featured" button from my left sidebar. We'll look forward to hearing more from you in the future! For an enlarged version Christi's recipe, go HERE.

MINE: So for YEARS I've been trying to make a good batch of corn bread, but have always turned out a dry, crumby pan full. One day John brought home a bag of Marie Calendar's corn bread mix, to which one only had to add water to make a recipe. I tried it, and it turns out that it was the best corn bread I've ever had in my life. It was sweet, and moist and one piece was never enough.

However, you all know how much I loathe using mixes in my meal preparation. They are usually loaded with unhealthy ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, MSG and preservatives. So about a week ago I googled "Marie Calendar's corn bread recipe" and found THIS! It seems simple enough, and not too special, but can I just tell you that it was to die for? The only negative experience I had with this recipe was that by the time I got to the bread, there was only one piece left, which was not sufficient for my needs.

And since I've been loving to create convenient baking mixes, I've come up with a corn bread mix using this recipe. It makes whipping up a batchway too easy. I don't have a photo of the finished product today, but it looks like any other corn bread. It just tastes way better. Here it is.....

For the Mix:

Ingredients:
5 cups flour
3 cups cornmeal
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups powdered milk

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until uniformally mixed.
2. Divide into 4 jars or Ziploc bags.

For the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 bag of Corn Bread mix
1/4 cup of butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/4 cups water

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients until just mixed.
2. Pour into a greased 8x8-inch pan.
3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

OURS: Okay, now it's your turn! I can't wait to read all of your homemaking tips, recipes, how-tos, and even disasters! We can learn from those, too! Thanks so much for your visits and links and have a wonderful Homemaker Monday!




P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Because of Knowing You... III

...Kelli Kirwan (oh, I could say so much), I learned that carbonation is bad for your bones. I didn't believe you at first, so I researched it, then begrudgingly had to admit you were right. That was during my first visit to your house. Remember?

...Bonnie Culpepper, I like to say "Ya THINK?". I love it when you say that.

...Tracie Hardy, I learned that although you don't know the man in the grocery store from Adam, it's perfectly acceptable to have a warm, loving conversation with him about any number of topics.

...Amie Trujillo, I learned to observe people carefully, and learn what's in their hearts.

...Suzanne Singer, I learned that even though you have two small children at home, your home can be PERFECTLY clean and organized. Oh, how I've always admired that about you!

...Terri Leichti, I learned, when I had only one baby, and you had seven, that it's doable to have a large family. I remember sitting in your living room, asking you how you do it, and you told me that while your older kids are making breakfast, you might be nursing your baby while reading a book to your 5-year-old. I also remember that your boys had built a HUGE fort out of blocks right in your entry way, and you were okay with that. My boys are are doing the same right this moment!

...Greg Hardy, I learned that it's so much more rewarding to give an inexpensive, well thought out gift, rather than an expensive, run-of-the mill present. I'm talking about the time I gave you landscaping rocks. You were super-appreciative, and I still remember that.

...Joy Cadd, I learned that you can teach an 8-year-old to clean a bathroom. Thanks for that tidbit!

...Jane Snyder, I've been introduced to some really good medical practitioners, including Dr. Mike, chiropractor, and Dr. Powers, obstetrician extraordinaire!

...Jackie Henderson, I realized that I could do direct sales, and could enjoy and be good at it. I even earned a trip to Paradise Island, in the Bahamas, because of what you showed me I could do.

...Grandpa Tito, I learned that if you boil sugar in water, then add it to Kool-aid, it is somehow so much better.

...Grandpa Percy, I say "I'm going to founder" after I eat a huge meal. And I know what founder means.

...Grandma Mittie, I've learned that you can lose your mind, but not your wit.

...Adina Ooley, I learned that kids can keep their rooms neat and tidy, with the encouragement of their moms.

...Grandma Cox, I learned that Rice Krispy treats are one of the best treats on the planet.

...First husband, I learned how to chop wood really well, among so, so many other things.

...Mrs. Prager, I realized that God gave me the gift of music, and that if I squandered it, I would be doing wrong.

...Nikki Hulen, I learned to keep my wrists aligned while playing Rachmaninoff, thus avoiding carpel tunnel's syndrome.

...nice lady in the lobby at church in Germany, I learned that we come to church with young babies to make a habit of it, and because they can feel The Spirit there, even if we're walking the halls with them.

...First mother- and father-in-law, I learned that your son deeply loved his family because of how you raised him. Thank you.



P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Because of Knowing You... II

...Seth Gonzalez, I learned that if you bend over a lot of times, your "gloots" will get firmer. That's why I always keep my laundry basket on the floor instead of on the laundry counter. Every little bit helps.

...Michelle in Louisiana, I learned how to make yeast products, including 100% whole wheat bread. I think of you EVERY SINGLE TIME I test the water for hotness, just the way you taught me.

...Nicole Soh, I learned that if you're mad at your kids, and they need a good talking to, if you do it a mock growling voice, they think it's funny and that you're not that mean, but you still get your point across.

...Ruth Vitek, I learned that if you need to reprimand someone, like when my first husband borrowed your car and didn't replace the gas, it can be done in just the right way so that it comes out sounding like a joke. You smile, and laugh, and tease, and the message comes through loud and clear, but there are no hard feelings. What an amazing talent to share!

...Jerry's wife in Germany, I call my sons "Son". I heard you do it with your boy before I had one, and I thought that I would do the same if I ever had a boy. There's something about it that I just like.

...Bishop McClellan, I came to really know what the atonement of Christ meant in my life, and I changed it, and repented, and became a new person, "born again" so to speak.

...Jill Pratt, I know that it is easier to keep the sabbath day holy if one dresses appropriately throughout the day, not just for church.

...Rick Lambrect, my high school band director, I learned that 120 kids can be controlled effectively, but still respect you at the end of marching season.

...Dr. David Steiner, I can play Massanet's Meditation from Thais, because you asked me to accompany you as you played the violin at church. It's one of my all-time favorite works.

...Mark Mangum, I sometimes try to be the last person to let go in a hug.

...21-year-old daughter, who was perturbed that I only mentioned that I learned something about a toilet from you, I read John Robbin's "Diet For A New America", and it changed my life, and my health.

...Trini, the maid John had when I first met him, I learned to neatly fold a t-shirt.

...John, I learned that folding toddler's pants with the seams touching makes a nice crease down the front. I knew that worked for older peoples' pants, but somehow I never used that technique for the twins and 4-year-old boy until I saw you do it when you were helping out with the laundry.

...Single Mormon Chick, I learned that the lovely blurry background/foreground effect is called "Bokeh", you know, this kind of thing...

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...Luvmy9, I learned what latter-day prophets have to say about family size, and yes, that has changed my life.

...weird home schooling neighbor in Louisiana, I learned that home schooling was an option, and later came to realize that it was an option for me, and I became the weird home schooling neighbor for 13 years.

...Gayle Whetten, I learned that when my baby has a cough, firmly patting his back with a cupped hand, so as not to hurt him, helps to loosen it, and a visit to the doctor is less likely.

...Carol, I learned to make homemade fire starters and have passed the knowledge on to several people, who now also use them.

...Christine Jones, I learned that a baby has a teething fever if only his head is warm, not the rest of his body. It's a sick fever if his entire body is warm.

...Shauna Jones, I learned that putting your camera close to your focal point will give you a blurrier background, like this....

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Thanks for listening!


P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

And the winner of the $100 CSNStores.com gift certificate is.....

.....Gini, commentator #22 HERE. Thanks so much, EVERYONE, for entering and good luck next time!


P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Because of Knowing you.....

...Mother, I have a testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

...Dad, I learned to have a strong opinion on every conceivable issue, large and small.

...John, I've learned what it REALLY means to serve and be selfless.

...Sister Robyn, I've learned that life needs to have fun in it, too, not just work.

...Sister Kristin, I've learned what it means to "leave [your] father and [your] mother, and ...cleave unto [your spouse] and be of one flesh".

...Brother Erik, I have come to understand that hydrogenated oil is something we should never consume.

...Sister Kim, I have a greater respect for the environment.

...21-year-old daughter, I learned to wipe off the toilet with a dry cloth before cleaning it, thus wiping up lint, or hair, or other dry material that would otherwise only get wiped around by cleaning it with a wet rag. You said I taught you this, but I didn't remember it when you reintroduced me to the idea, so thank you.

...18-year-old son, I learned to trust again, after being lied to and hurt by others.

...15-year-old daughter, I've learned that teenagers can be a joy to have around.

...14-year-old son, I've learned some pretty great George Strait songs.

...10-year-old son, I know what it looks like to see a water balloon hit a man's face in slow motion.

...8-year-old daughter, I've learned that if you gently push up on the toaster handle, you can more easily get out toast that is too short for the toaster.

...5-year-old son, I've learned that 5-year-old boys can be in love with women, but they way they express it is by saying they wish the woman they are in love with was their mom. (No, it doesn't bother me. I think it's cute and I'm glad that he has strong emotions and knows how to express them.)

...Twin A, I know how it feels to be kissed on my hand over and over by a cute little mouth.

...Twin B, I'm inspired to try things without fear.

...Baby Hippo, I now know that I can have a nearly pain-free, unmedicated child birth.

...Father-in-law, I wave at everybody I pass in our town, because you said it was one of the easiest ways to be friendly.

...Mother-in-law, I'm inspired to strive daily to be better organized.

...Mary Kreitel, I've learned that if my toddler won't let me put ice on his owie, he might let me put a cold soda can on it.

...Amy Whetten, I've learned that taking the cover off a book you borrow helps to keep it looking new.

This is just a short collection of ways my life has improved by knowing who I do. I'm working on a continuation of this list to be posted later on in the week and it's been so fun to look back on my life and see why I am who I am and who to thank for it!

Thanks for listening.



P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Twins A and B!

Yesterday, on Valentine's Day, you guys turned three! I can't believe this day is finally here. I've fantasized about it for so long, you reaching one of my favorite ages, and we've made it! Among the many fun things you did on your birthday, you got to lick sweet and sour powder off the sugar sticks Aunt Jeni gave you. I can't remember if they were for your birthday or for Valentine's Day, though. Even so, you sure did enjoy them!

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(I said sugar sticks. I meant your finger, Twin B.)

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I love you guys and can't wait to see what the next three years bring!

P.S. I'm sorry you had a black eye on your birthday, Twin A. Next time you'll get the better of those bleachers.

P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Homemaker Monday

My post will be coming up soon, and thanks so much for yours!



P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!

See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

100% Whole Wheat Blender Pancake Mix

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This is an adaptation of my all-time favorite pancake recipe, made of whole grain wheat without using a wheat grinder!

Note: This recipe is for large or industrial-type blenders, such as a Vita-mix. If you are using a regular-sized blender, the recipe should be halved.

For the Mix

Directions:

In 8 quart-size jars, pour the following ingredients...

2 cups whole grain wheat, 16 cups altogether (the whole grain, not the flour)
1/2 cup oatmeal, 4 cups altogether
1 teaspoon baking soda, 8 teaspoons altogether
1 teaspoon salt, 8 teaspoons altogether
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 cup plus 8 teaspoons altogether
1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups altogether

Screw on lids and store in a dry place.

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For the pancakes

Ingredients:
1 jar Blender Pancake Mix
2 eggs
3 cups milk
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender for about 5 minutes, or about 2 minutes in a Vita-mix blender. If the blender begins to make a high-pitched sound, stop it immediately.

2. Pour into rounds on a hot griddle until bubbles form, then flip and cook until golden brown.

Try serving them with homemade blueberry syrup!

One bottle of mix makes THIS many pancakes....

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....just enough to feed a few members of the opposing basketball team we're housing during the annual tournament in town!...

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Enjoy!

P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

This mix is adapted from my all-time favorite cookie recipe. Enjoy!

For the mix:

Ingredients:
18 cups flour
8 teaspoons salt
8 teaspoons baking soda
6 cups white sugar
6 cups brown sugar
8 cups butter, softened

Directions:

1. Whisk all dry ingredients together for about 5 minutes, until completely blended.

2. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.

3. Divide into 8 Ziploc bags and store for up to 1 month in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.

For the cookies:

Ingredients:
1 bag Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix at room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Combine Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, eggs and vanilla and stir by hand until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips

2. Drop rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Notes:

1. It's important that the cookie mix be at room temperature before mixing together with the wet ingredients or it will not mix properly.

2. The 10-year-old boy, while mixing a batch a cookies, commented that 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla did not seem to be enough liquid to give the dough the right consistency. I told him that if he just kept stirring, he would see that the dough comes out perfect. Don't worry!

P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)