Monday, September 29, 2008

Roll Up Pancakes

Roll Up Pancakes
4 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. flour

Blend in blender. Pour on buttered hot pan. Flip over when golden brown and cook other side.
Put rasberry jam, fruit, syrup etc. and roll up. Enjoy! (This is a cross between pancakes and crepes. I double the recipe for my family.)

P.S. This is short and sweet because my computer is on the frizz and won't be back for a while.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Your Good Enough, Smart Enough, and Dog Gonit, people like you!

Women's Conference
Tonight I went and listened to a conference directed toward the women of our church. I love this conference because it always makes me feel so good as a wife and mother. I especially needed it today as I have not felt adequate as a wife and mother recently. You know I measure myself against my best which is not really fair because no one can be their best all the time but none the less that's what I do. So, in those eyes I'm usually not measuring up and today I was just down right not happy at my calling in life. My kids were driving me crazy (a phrase I use way too much because Amelia now says people are driving her crazy), BJ was driving me crazy because he gave me news today that he was going out of town tomorrow until Thursday night. I hate it with a capital H when he leaves on Sunday. So, I was definitely down in the dumps (not happy and not acting happy--to anyone!)
I wasn't going to go to the conference because Cardon had a football game at 6pm and the conference started at 7 but the game got over at 7:15 and so BJ insisted I go (he knows me too well!)
I listened to the last 2 speakers (the last being an apostle of the Lord) and felt so much love from my Heavenly Father that I could have cried in front of all those women. He talked about how we as women never feel "good enough" about what we do. We don't feel creative enough, or smart enough, or good enough at house cleaning or food making, etc. We never measure up! He reminded us all that we are daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who loves us and created us in His image. He reminded us of our self worth and admonished us to see it in ourselves. As a wife and mother I sometimes (sometimes a lot) feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and sometimes it just seems too heavy to carry and I want to just walk away from it all (not that I would but the thought enters my mind--is that a terrible thing to say?)
I needed this talk desperately tonight and I know that there are others saying the same thing but in my mind--that talk was for me. I feel so blessed and loved right now to have a Heavenly Father that knows my needs and knows the very minute that I need them. What a blessing to be a member of this church and have the fullness of the gospel--to know where I came from, why I am here on this earth and where I am going is priceless in these moments of sheer frustration and inadequacy.
After listening to this talk I thought about one of my most favorite quotes of all time. I needed a reminder of this today.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us
We ask ourselves,
who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking
so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
----Nelson Mandela---

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Believe it or not-2 blogs in 1 day!!!

Hair Advice Please!!!
This Friday I am going to have my hair colored and cut by yet another hair stylist (my 5th). I just haven't had good luck here finding someone who is great at color and not super D duper expensive. So people this is important. In the middle part of October I want to have a new family picture taken. Our last one was when Cardon was 4 and Brinly 2. I need to have cute hair in this picture. I am sticking with red with some highlights because I can't go wrong with red in the fall (it just wouldn't be natural--ha! ha!) but how do you all feel about the length? I don't want to do anything too crazy or trendy (like the "flip from friends") to date me--but what? Let me know girls-I only have a few more days to decide!

Too busy for Friday Favorite---Makeup!

Thursday Golfing is my Friday Favorite!!!!

So for 2 whole seasons I have been golfing in a women's league that meets every Thursday afternoon. My good friend and neighbor (Kim) invited me to join with her when I first moved here. I had been given golf clubs from BJ on my 30th birthday with the idea that I would take some lessons and BAMB, I was pregnant again. So, golfing lessons had to wait. This move wasn't especially easy on me with a 9 week old baby and so when she invited me to do this with her I thought "I need to do this for my sanity!!!" I had only played a couple of times and I was terrible. Everyone in my family plays--EVERYONE-except me and I figured it was time to see what all the fuss was about. I think that I had secretly always had issues with golf because it has been and will always be my dads best friend. He plays all the time (seriously-when it was too cold and snowy in the winter he would fly down to California to play there). So when he wasn't playing golf he was watching it which I think is probably the most boring thing you could watch on t.v. Hence, you get my drift. Golf bugged me! So then my 3 sisters and mom started playing and it got bad when they started asking me to watch their kids so they could go and play together. That's where I had to draw the line! I had always sort of been against it but in the last few years I felt a pull toward those long metal poles and a desire to hit something really hard. So I took that "pull" to the golf course and started playing every week. During the course of that season I did end up taking some lessons so that I could learn to hold the club correctly and get some basics on swinging it but otherwise I just practiced once a week with the league (9 holes to be exact).

I must say---I look forward to Thursday, well, every Thursday! I'm not very good at all but I love it. I love the scenery, the sound of birds chirping, butterflies flying, squirrels running up the trees (all those things that I don't fully appreciate with 4 kids running around). I also love the competition that is played by me and only me. I don't feel any pressure to be good or shoot a certain score because my only competition is me! This past week was our last week of the season and it was a beautiful, crisp fall day---gorgeous! It felt so good to be outdoors, in nature, doing something active and every so often I hit the ball so good that it keeps me coming back for more! I love it! So don't be afraid to try something new--you just might end up finding something you love!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday's Menu!!!

4 c. oats
1 c. raw wheat germ
1 c. sliced almonds
1 c. raw, non-salted, sunflower seeds
1 c. raisins
1 c. shredded, unsweetened coconut (optional)
1 c. instant powdered milk
1 c. craisons (optional)
1 c. bran flakes
mix all in a large bowl
1 c. honey
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
Heat in sauce pan until dissolved but not boiling.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix until completely coated.
Spread on a large cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake @ 325 for 12-20 min. depending on if you like chewy or more crunchy (I usually turn it over about half way through baking).
Take out and loosen with a spatula and cool. Store in a airtight container.

This is the best breakfast cereal ever. It is so healthy and everyone in my family loves it and eats it everyday when it's around. I find most of the ingredients that aren't as familiar at Whole Foods. In Utah I could get the raw, non-salted sunflower seeds at Dicks and at the reg. grocery store in Arizona (wow! I can't remember the name--it's the one closer to Ray off of Val Vista--someone help me!) All of the nuts, wheat germ and bran flakes I keep in the freezer when storing. Once you have the stuff it's easy to make and sooooo delicious!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brinly Bee Learns to Ride a Bike!!!!

Quite a few of Brinly's friends have learned to ride their bikes without training wheels. So we decided it was time to teach her how. Brinly is always nervous doing new things and so BJ had already taken her out several times over the last few months to practice but she was quite nervous and there were definitely tears. So today she felt "strong" enough to try and we ventured outside. It was a beautiful evening and BJ pushed Brinly on her bike up and down the sidewalk. Within 15-20 minutes we had ourselves a little "Bike Rider"! She was so excited and after about 45 minutes of riding with a huge smile on her face she came over to me and said "Can I take a shower now---I'm all sweaty!" It was a great evening. Congrats Brinly Bee!!!!

We knew you could do it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Simplify Your Life---Challenge!!!!!

Organize Something---Anything!

I like to look on the Internet at houses that are for sale in my area. I have always done this--I don't know why because we aren't moving but I like to see what's out there, how they've decorated and how much they're asking. So, a week or so ago I saw my dream home ---wrap around porch, dormers on the front, 1 acre, culdesac lot, totally renovated with beautiful taste. I had to go and see it like that day, right now! I called the realtor and our whole family went to go and see this house. It was stunning--beautiful kitchen, dark hard wood floors, amazing laundry room with tons of space for coats, boots, etc. This house was full of charm. Not one bathroom looked the same. Each with different beautiful cabinets, counter tops--all with a different vision. Nothing was matchy, matchy. It was incredible. It was 1000 square ft. smaller than what I have right now but every space had a purpose--I loved it. I took a friend back a few days later because she had to see this magnificent house and she too was struck by it's beauty. I wanted to live in this space. Well, we of course I'm not moving but as I thought about this house I realized something. Our country always wants bigger, better, best. We want all the stuff and then what happens is we just have a house full of "stuff". I have a house full of stuff that I'm holding onto "just in case" and it makes me crazy. I decided as I realized this that what I want is to simplify. I want to get all the "stuff" out of my house and out of my head and live in a space where every room has a purpose. Sooooooo, I have been cleaning out every nook and cranny and am being a little bit ruthless. If I haven't used it for a long time and don't have a strong reason to keep it---It's Gone! I am having a garage sale on Saturday and can't wait to have it all out of my house. I must say that it has honestly been very freeing. So, I took a few before and after pictures of my spaces and am quite pleased at the head way I'm making.

I want to see a space that you have cleaned out, gotten rid of and organized and then let me know when it has been completed (with before and after shots) so that I can check it out on your blog. Any space will do--cabinet, drawer, fridge or even a storage room (that's a biggy). I can't wait to see it---Don't let me down people--Be free and live simple!!
BeforeAfter! So pretty!This is my craft/guest room. Not very functional at this point!Yea!!!! Much more functional. I just need to get a permanent Day bed, paint the walls and Voila- a truly functional space!I got the idea to do this blog after I had cleaned out this space. So, I took the after picture but if you could imagine--we could hardly shut the cabinet drawers because kids craft stuff was pouring out of it. As a matter a fact, we didn't even use anything other than the crayon box because that was all we could easily find. Amelia spent the entire afternoon "crafting" after I completed this little project. So fun!

Good Luck! I can't even wait to see the transformations!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Baddddd Morning!!!!!!

Me Not Happy----Ain't No One Happy!!!!
I love to post all the happy, nice, wonderful things that go on in our family but it just wouldn't be real if I didn't share some of the crazy, not so happy times.
I got up this morning not in such a great mood. I had a lousy night last night and then didn't sleep well because of it.
So, when I got up and got myself ready for the day and came down to find my little first grader sitting on the couch--n0t ready, watching t.v. I put a little fire under her to hussle up. She ate her breakfast and then I sent her upstairs to get her teeth brushed, shoes and glasses on. After almost 10 minutes of being upstairs and 2 minutes before they needed to leave to get to school on time I yelled upstairs for the kiddos to get down and get their stuff. Brinly had not only not done any of the things asked but was sitting in Cardon's closet playing with his toys. Oh, the fire came shooting out of my eyeballs.
"I can't find my toothbrush--I've looked and looked and I can't find it anywhere.," is the excuse I'm given as we walk into her bathroom to find it sitting on her counter. More frustration!!! So, teeth are brushed, hair is combed, backpacks are on and I am yelling at the kids to hussle. They are going to run the whole way there and Brinly is going to do an extra job when she gets home for making Cardon late and No Friends For the Rest of the WEEK--for good measure.
As I am running with them to the corner Brinly is crying and as we get there I give her a hug and say I'm sorry and she glares at me and runs off!
Good Times!!!!
My little girl is off to school totally upset because (she did make bad choices-- I won't pretend that away) but I handled it poorly!
Sometimes this whole Motherhood thing ain't so easy!
Anyone have any good recommendations to turn this bad morning around besides eat a lot of chocolate and Diet Coke !

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday's Menu!!!

It feels like fall in my world over here. It's time to bring out the pumpkin recipes!!! Enjoy!! These are from my sister Amy and are sooo delicious!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar (that's right, sometimes you just gotta do it!!)
3 Tbs. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups oil
chocolate chips
Put all the wet ingredients in mixer. Then put in all the dry. Add the chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 mins at 350 degrees until the tops bounce back when pressed. Do not overbake.

Number of servings: 24 muffins

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Favorites!!!!

Brinly Bee
Brinly is my Friday Favorite for today. It was so fun for me to have her. I actually had a normal delivery and was able to take her home on time, unlike Cardon. She was a great baby and so much fun. She had chronic ear infections and after being on antibiotics all the time the doctor put tubes in her ears at around 14 months. Soon after that we found out that she had been having urinary tract infections caused by short ureters and 3 kidneys. Who knew? The ultrasound tech hadn't seen it when she was in utero but sure enough this little Brinly Bee had 3 kidneys. So, at 18 months old she had to have surgery to fix the ureter problem. She never had a problem with that again. Interestingly enough this past year we found out that Brinly doesn't have cranial nerve #6 which controls movement of her left eye. It is related to Kidney malformations. Crazy!!! So, she wears cute little pink glasses and that helps her eye. Brinly is the little "mother" of the family. Once when she was 4 I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said "a mom so I can wear pretty skirts like you". It brings me joy when I hear her talk to her siblings (usually) because she gets the mom voice and will say in a sweet tone "oh, no, no Jace, let me help you do it." She loves taking care of people and will usually say "sure" when I ask her to help me with something. I love that. Brinly loves gymnastics and swimming and is very good at both. She also takes ballet/tap and enjoys that as well. She is in 1st grade this year and is working hard in school but still says that recess is her favorite. Brinly loves to be with her friends and asks me almost every day if she can invite someone over. She loves High School Musical and Hanna Montana and sings and dances around the house intermingled with gymnastics moves. She loves her brothers and sister and is full of fun, giggles and smiles. You can't help but love this little Brinly Bee.
Brinly loved Ariel for probably 3 years. Before she was even 3 she could sing the entire song so when we took the kids to Disney Land for the first time she had to wait in line so that she could sing the song to Ariel. It was soooo cute!Brinly loves babies. This is the first time that she held Amelia.She used to ask me all the time if she could feed Amelia but I nursed her and so every once in a while I would pump a bottle just so that she could feed her. She loved being able to do that.It wasn't too long before she could feed Amelia baby food. She was good at it.Brinly and I jumped on our tramp in Arizona until our hair stood on end.Of course Brinly always wanted to hold Jace--and still does.This was Brinly's tap dance recital. She did a great job. Grand Caymen this past summer.

3 Cheers for Brinly!!!!

We Won't Forget Sept. 11th!!!!

Each year on September 11th I talk to the kids about what happened on this day 7 years ago. I had just come home from a run, showered and turned on the t.v. to watch The Today Show. There was a fire on one of the floors of a Twin Tower but the news reporters weren't sure what was going on and then we saw a plane hit the other building! As it all unravelled I remember just being dumbfounded, upset, scared, and soooo very sad. After the trauma of that day settled a bit I swore to my little family that this day would NEVER BE FORGOTTEN! So, each year I show pictures to the kids of that day and we talk about the brave men and women that risked their lives and died trying to save the people in those buildings. I talk to them about the brave soldiers who are now doing the same to keep us safe here. We bake a treat and write love notes to the Fire Fighters and take them to a station.
The girls helped me make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (my sister Amy's recipe which is so yummy!)
Amelia's eyeing those delectable little muffins. We all had one and then wrote our love notes.

The kids took the treats and cards in and gave them to the firefighters. This is the biggest fire station in Overland Park. No one had stopped in that day. They were happy to see the kids.

They gave the kids a tour and let them sit in all of the fire trucks. They loved it!

They gave each of the kids a firefighters helmet, sticker badges and trading cards. The kids loved them.

Thank you Fire Fighters!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday's Menu!!!

Well, tonight it's going to get into the 40's so in my estimation, I need to give out one of my most favorite loved soups. So, here goes.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
5 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
(8 tsp. or cubes of bullion with 8 cups of water)
1 lg. onion diced
4-5 stalks of celery diced
2 carrots diced
Cook vegetables in chicken broth until tender. In separate pot cook the noodles until tender. (I like to use the Homeade Style Country Noodles).
In a large pot melt 1 square of butter. Add 3/4c. of flour and combine into a paste. You might need to add a little of the chicken broth to your flour mixture so it's not to thick. You want a nice paste. Boil for 1 minute to remove the flour taste. Add 4c. bullion water (from chicken) and blend well with a wire whisk. Add 3 to 4 cans of caned milk depending on how thick you like it. Remember it continues to thicken as it cooks, so I add more milk than I think. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add your chicken, vegetables, and noodles. Add more or less chicken broth or milk to taste and thickness. Add peas frozen to the soup so they don't go mushy. Simmer on low heat.
CHANGES I HAVE MADE TO THIS RECIPE: I don't cook my vegetables and chicken separately. I make my broth and throw in the vegetables (minus the peas) and frozen chicken breasts all together. I did it the way the recipe calls for the first few times and then realized that I was using a million and 1 pans and it was taking me forever. So now I can do it in half the time and no one has ever gotten sick by cooking them together--but do it how you feel.
This is an everybody--kids, adults, pets, etc. soup. I haven' t met anyone who didn't love this. It's a fun alternate to chicken noodle soup because it's creamy and it's not totally fattening because you aren't using cream--just milk. P.S. Don't be surprised if the next day when it's been in your fridge if it hasn't turned thick like a casserole. It's perfect--a new meal for the next day and I didn't have to do anything to create it.
P.S. This goes great with the dinner rolls I gave out on a previous post! Enjoy!!!!!

Cardon's 1st Football game of the Season!

Cardon had his first football game of the season on Saturday. It was an 8am game which kills me to get up that early but then we had the rest of the day to do other things.

Cardon is #31 and he got to run the ball for the last play of the game. He was totally excited. He played both offense and defense but loved being a running back (just like his dad).

Here he is blocking.
They have cheerleaders for all the games--it makes me laugh. It's cute.

Here's BJ given Cardon some tackling instructions at the end of the game.
Jace had fun watching his big brother play (bootball) in his words.The girls spent most of the time jumping off of the bleachers and then after the game we were off to ............
The Nelson Atkins Art Museum. That's right--we're just cultured like that! Actually Cardon has been asking me to go since last year when they learned about some art that was here and the teacher told them they should go and see it in person. I kept telling him that we would go all year and into this summer and it never happened. The GUILT eventually built so great that I was forced to visit the museum. We all actually enjoyed it. BJ and I were kind of annoyed as every guard in every room watched the kids like hawks but, whatever.This guard totally freaked the kids out! Believe it or not, he isn't real. It was unbelievable. We kept daring the kids to go and stand by him but they wouldn't--so I was brave.They have a park outside full of sculptures. If you can' t guess this one--it is a "badminton birdie".It was a fun day had by all.