Sunday, October 19, 2008

What could be better than the integration of science and baking??

I'm pretty sure Alton Brown would agree w/ me when I say NOTHING!!! Well, maybe a few things, but not many.
Jillian piping frosting. James and his red ant.
This has been a month of projects for me, but before I get to that, here are some fun pictures from the other day. In the spirit of Halloween the kids and I made some creepy cupcakes (chocolate zucchini btw....yet another fantastic zuc. recipe). I figured this would be a great opportunity to educate my children on the anatomical differences between insects and spiders. A little science, a little art and a lot of tasty treats...that makes for a success in my book. I think the kids enjoyed it too. ;-) They had the frosting smudged faces and shirts to prove it. I let them each decorate 5 cupcakes. Overkill? Maybe. These pictures were taken before they destroyed my kitchen through their creative endeavors.

As I said before...we've been working on a lot of projects lately. I was hoping to post pictures of the completed play structure on here. Unfortunately it's been too wet outside to finish painting (the railing), so I'm posting pics of the mostly finished play area.
I kind of have a love/hate relationship w/ the sandbox built under it. Hours of fun, but gallons of sand tracked into the house almost daily. The kids are getting better at brushing sand off, emptying pockets, removing shoes....but I haven't figured out a good solution to the occasional potty emergency.

Also, I FINALLY finished restoring the piano!!!! This project has been in the works for a very long time. My mom started it long ago. After many days spent stripping it and 4 coats of varnish applied...this is how it looks.

I left it in pieces last night to dry. We'll reassemble it Monday. Here are some pics of before and after. The wood underneath all the crud is beautiful mahogany...I'm very pleased w/ the way it's turned out.

Other than that, not much to report. Life is great here. Yesterday I also finished landscaping a flowerbed w/ some bushes, mums and a bunch of bulbs. It's amazing how much I can accomplish on a Sat. afternoon when Donald takes the kids to the park. I love it!
Had an incredible ward conference today...although I wish the kids had been less rowdy the first hour, so I could have listened more, but I take what I can get...and the last 2 hrs. of church were great. Hope you're all well.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Mexi-Carol Tagged me on this, so I thought I should oblige...Let her know that I do read and enjoy her blog. Besides, it wouldn't hurt (well, maybe just a little) to exercise my brain today.

8 Things I am Passionate About:
1-My family
3-Competitive sports
4-The Gospel of Jesus Christ
5-The prevention of rapid deterioration of the family and moral values in society.
7-Music, listening to it, playing it, singing.
8-Healthy living

8 Words or Phrases I say WAAAY Too Often:
3-It's so stinkin' cold here! (yes, it was 38 degrees here last night!)
6-Close the back door please.
7-Time to clean up.
8-I couldn't come up w/ an 8th. I'm sure there are others my husband or kids could point out.
Donald said I needed to put "Holy Moly!" since he caught me saying it 5 times last night.

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
1-SCUBA dive Great Barrier Reef
2-Attend the temple w/ all my children
3-See SYTYCD on tour.
4-Go to a BYU bowl game.
5-See U2 in concert
6-Serve a mission

8 Things I Have Learned From My Past:
1-Look forward, don't revisit past mistakes once you've repented.
2-It is ok to ask for help.
3-Our talents are given to us so we may serve others. That's why they change throughout our lives.
4-Prayer works
5-A sincere apology is one of the most precious things in the world.
6-If there are helicopters w/ searchlights circling the area, it's probably not a safe place to hang out.
7-It is important to take time to be still and listen.
8-We can learn and grow so much from those around us and their experiences.

8 Places I Would Love To See:
1-Galapagos Islands
4-Scottish Highlands
7-Machu Picchu
8-Niagara Falls

8 Things I Currently Need or Want:
1-A waffle iron (Ours broke last week)
2-Someone to do the laundry
3-Warm fuzzy slippers
4-In 'n Out burger animal style (I'm w/ you on this Carol only I'm 100s of miles from the nearest one.)
5-Obedient children
6-Our house to be payed off
7-3 more months of summer so my tomatoes will ripen.
8-To be wiser.

8 People I Tag:
House of chaos
Self-baked pizza
Maseda Mayhem
Jen E.
Deb L.
Wendy P.
Catherine H.
and anyone else who'd like to play.

Friday, October 3, 2008

No daddy, it's a squirrel.

Another exciting story from our place. Yesterday afternoon we were all outside in the yard. The kids were "helping" me pick blackberries for a cobbler...I think only about a dozen of the 100's they picked actually made it into the bucket. Donald and I were picking blackberries, and pruning back the encroaching brambles. For those of you who have never visited the northwest, blackberry bushes grow wild here, they're along every road, and along the edges of most forested areas, and they grow insanely fast. Their prickles are also extremely vicious. Jeans offer little protection from these suckers. Anyway, the kids have all learned to be extremely careful and prick themselves much less often than I do, thanks to their tiny bodies and dexterous fingers..but I'm getting away from the story, so it's family berry picking time. Claire and Hannah are about 20 yds away, picking and eating more swiftly than I can keep up. I hear the girls squeeling and giggling...which they do quite often, thus it didn't warrant a glance from me. Next Claire is behind me tugging on my clothes, "Mommy, we found a squirrel!" Donald and I turn to see her proudly holding a dead mouse by the tail. This was one of those times when I turned and looked at Donald with my "this situation's all yours" look. I didn't know whether to freak out in total horror and disgust thinking of every possible disease that thing could have or laugh. He handled it well. Told them it was a dead mouse, and that they needed to bury it. They gave it a nice little burial, disinfected Claire and had a talk about not picking up wild animals, dead or alive. Claire still says it's a squirrel. Ahh, gotta love country living.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nothing like a good book

Jillian 12 months

As the weather is cooling and the daylight is decreasing (rather rapidly, I might add) I am finding myself inside much more. The biggest thing I look forward to in the cooler seasons is curling up w/ a blanket and a good book in front of our toasty wood burning stove. I know I've had conversations w/ many of you about books I have to read, of course I can't remember half the books mentioned because I didn't write them down. So now is your chance to leave your mark and recommend a few books for me. In case you're wondering, I like a variety of books. I usually read one work of fiction and one self help/parenting/gospel related/inspiring book at the same time. So usually one light and one deeper book. Right now I'm reading "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science" (thanks Cyndi!) and the 5 love languages of children.

And yes, I read the Twilight series....liked the story, but thought the books were a little too whiny, teen angst ridden (maybe b/c I'm not the target audience)...I'm also not a huge fan of her writing style. Having said that, I did read all 4 books in a month. Shameless, I know.