Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recipe - Oatmeal Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes

We love these pancakes. They are more nutritious than regular pancakes and very, very filling. This recipe was a wedding gift (along with a griddle) to Greg and I from our dear friends Rex and Debbie Bailey. I made these for dinner one evening this month during a particularly nasty blizzard since they were a quick fix and we weren't certain how long we would have our electricity.

Oatmeal Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. milk
1/4 c. melted butter
1 T. honey
2 eggs
1 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. finely chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk, eggs, butter and honey and beat until smooth. Stir in oats and nuts. Cook on a hot griddle until golden brown. Serve with butter and syrup.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

We had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. This year was our turn to spend the dinner with my side of the family. London set a gorgeous table with cute pumpkin crafted turkeys for each person and we all cooked and brought part of the meal. I made pies (caramel pecan, pumpkin, chocolate cream and apple) with homemade whipped cream and Greg made the mashed potatoes. Everything was delicious! After dinner we went to visit Greg's dad, Kelly, who was in town for the holiday.

After a few hours of sleep I awoke at 2:15 AM to accompany my sisters and a couple friends to Kohls, where we began our morning shopping spree. From there we went to Walmart, then RC Willey (where I stood outside in the cold for two hours, and where my sister and our friend Susan stood outside for four hours!), then to Kmart and then our group finished up at Maceys. I went home around noon and had a half hour nap, and some lunch and then went out again with Greg and the kids to Old Navy and Roberts. I was really feeling the results of standing out in the cold at RC Willey by this point, so we picked up a pizza on the way home and then proceeded to crash on the couch until the boys and I went to bed early. The deals were definitely worth the discomfort though. I was able to purchase most of the items I went for, am just about done shopping for everyone and saved almost as much as I spent. And there's always the fun of being out and about with my fellow crazy bargain hunters. It was definitely a successful Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hope from Time Out for Women

I had the opportunity to attend Salt Lake City's Time Out for Women last weekend, November 19 and 20. It was absolutely wonderful, even better than last year. My sister Sariah came with me and likewise loved every moment of it. This year's theme was infinite hope, and it surely was an event full of hope. I gained so much that hope, inspiration and wisdom, and left with a desire to be better person and to bring hope to others as well. I took pages of notes that I will treasure in days to come, but for the sake of space in this post I'm going to post one powerful thought from each presenter.

Friday night:

Virginia Hinckely Pearce: Virginia was lovely, so down to earth and real. The comment she said that most stood out to me is, "Comparison is the fast track to misery."

Dallyn Vail Bayles: There were a few times my jaw actually dropped when listening to his unbelievable voice. He spoke of how much courage it takes to take a step into the darkness, but if we do, Heavenly Father will bless us. He then sang, "You Know Better than I."

Hiedi Swinton: President Monson puts people first. His life is made up of helping individuals. I also loved his comment to Heidi when asking her to write his biography, "I know you're on a mission, but you're not that busy are you?"

Saturday day:

Linda Eyre and Shawni Eyre Pothier: These women are a mother and daughter team who discussed secrets of motherhood. Two ideas they mentioned that I want to implement into my family are to have a family mission statement and to have a designated place in the house where to children sit where they, not you, can work out an argument.

Brad Wilcox: He spoke about the principle of grace, and how we are saved after all we can do. He pointed out that the emphasis in this statement is in the word "we." And that "we" represents ourselves and Jesus Christ. There is no set ratio in what we do and what He does; it is about the sum of that relationship.

Mariama Kallon: This woman was amazing! She is a convert to the church from Siera Leone. The horrors she has endured are unfathomable to me. And despite all that, she was absolutely charming and has a strong testimony, tremendous faith and a great sense of humor. She referred to the scriptures as her therapist.

Hillary Weeks: I just love Hillary Weeks. She spoke about making a commitment to not gossip, something I have attempted to do often. She said once she stopped participating in gossip, she began to love other more and herself more.

Amanda Dickson: I must say I think Amanda Dickson is the most energetic and optimistic person I have ever heard from. You could not help but have a huge, goofy smile of your face when listening to her. From her talk I took the idea to get your hopes up, and even if the worst thing happens, who knows, you might like the worst thing.

Emily Freeman: She said, "Hope is what sustains our soul in circumstances that would otherwise destroy us." And later added that, "Christ gives us that hope."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Elves and Women at Santa's Workshop

Our ward's Super Saturday Santa's Workshop has come and gone. It was a hit, if I do say so myself. I was a bit anxious going into the event. We had General Conference and Stake Conference during our advertising and craft sign-ups, so a lot of women didn't get their orders in on time. I extended the deadline a bit and called everyone who had signed up and not paid and in two days, doubled our orders. After we had all the flyers up with the date, the church announced that World Wide Training would be held at the same time. Then two days before the event we found out our building was booked for a funeral, and we had to schedule another building and notify all the women of the change. I had two classes set up, and one teacher ended up having surgery and had her daughter-in-law fill in on short notice, and our other teacher had something come up and would barely be able to make it to teach her class on time. Then when I went to set up the morning of, there was a full out basketball game going on in the cultural hall. I just stood there watching the men play for about a minute thinking, "Seriously!?" Then the type A personality planner in me took over and I kindly but firmly told them they needed to leave. Regardless of all these last minute stresses and changes, thankfully everything did come together.

I opened the activity with this poem I wrote about elves and women.

Welcome to Santa’s Workshop
We think you’ll feel at home
Here amongst the elves
In common company you do roam

For women and elves are similar
Just bear with me and see
How much in common us two do have
I believe you will agree

Elves operate from dusk till dawn
Indeed they are master workmen
Women also have a great work to do
To which we attend over and over again

Santa’s little helpers are very familiar
With putting in a great deal of time
And as with women, often the efforts
Will not earn them one single dime

When the reindeer need tending
The elves are there in a swoop
Likewise us women with our young
wash, feed and clean up poop

The elves are always cheerful and glad
Their happy caroling is surely an art
Women too seek to be kind and friendly
And carry a song in their heart

Elves like to make a statement
With big hats, shiny bells and rouge
Women have even adapted their style
With our fashionably chic pointy toed shoes

Yet in all seriousness, elves and women
Are most importantly alike in our living
A charitable life, founded in service of others
For our greatest gift is in our giving

So today - please visit and enjoy
Feast, craft, learn and be sure to create
Today’s activity is to help prepare for
a holiday, you elves, are sure to make great!

We had a pretty good show of people. I even had several friends come to support me who were not in the ward, so very sweet of them. We had crafts for the sisters to do: a muffin tin countdown, a Santa's cookie plate, a set of four felt ornaments and a humanitarian project (tying baby quilts). Our two mini classes (holiday cooking taught by Mary Underhill and creative gift wrapping taught by my sister London) were great! We served breakfast and lunch, and had a very full nursery. All in all it was a good time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bath Buddies

Now that Brody is stable enough to be without his constraining bathseat and now that Palmer has a buddy to play with, these two are all about bathtime. Whenever the boys hear the water start, they both get huge smiles, start to giggle and rush to the edge of the bathtub. There they wait eagerly leaning over the bathtub rim, reaching their hands in trying to get a touch of the warm water.

Two and a Half Years Old

Palmer is SO a two year old, curious, energetic, stubborn, emotional. Often we joke with him saying, "You act like your two!" This picture was taken while jumping on his bed, because it was the only time in the past week (I've been trying that long to do a photo shoot with him) that I could get him to stay in one spot. He is growing like a weed and learning at an incredible rate. He is always on the move, and with that likes to climb, run, jump, and dance. He enjoys helping me with cooking and cleaning, and likes to help Dad fix things around the house and play keyboard, drum and video games. Everything else he wants to do by himself and in his own way. He has a signature way that exits our van, and a wants his blankets laid in a certain order at night. He is just starting to show interest in potty training. Most of the time he is a wonderful brother. He is a social little guy and makes friends wherever he goes. We love the little boy he is becoming. This is what is up with Palmer at two and a half years old.

Stats: 39 1/2 inches tall (99%), 31 pounds (64%) and his head circumference is in the 26%

He has learned: all shapes, to count to 20, the ABC song (as well as Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and several other simple children's songs), a few colors (he struggles with colors for some reason), to scale our kitchen cabinets and get whatever food item he wants, to speak longer sentences, and so many other things I can't even keep track.

He likes:
Mickey Mouse, Curious George, juice, string cheese, fruit snacks, CANDY, fruit and vegetables (hooray!), farm animals, blankets, playing children's games on the Internet with Mom/Dad, play places, parks, his cousin Davis, playing at the fitness center daycare, reading books, saving coins in his piggy bank, walks, family home evening, Chic-fil-A and Walmart.

He dislikes:
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, being strapped in a cart at the store, getting his socks and shoes on, getting his diaper changed, being alone, being at home all day, and going to sleep.

Things he does that makes us laugh: funny things he says everyday (examples here and here), gets so hyper that he literally bounces off walls, gives kisses to everyone and everything, how excited (huge smile, eyes light up, and lets out a gasp) he gets over small things, his cute dance moves, and his contagious giggles and laughs.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Operation November

In our home, November has officially become Operation Clean House.

I had trouble deciding if I wanted to do NaBloPoMo this year. It was a very positive experience for me last year. It gave me the chance to practice my writing skills that seem to have been left behind in my college years, and also to add more depth to our family blog, not just a recap of outings and holidays. I try not to only focus on these particular events, but sometime in the rush of life, I don't get around to blogging about much else. Although I'm glad I did it last year, it did take an incredible amout of time and I've been feeling quite crazed as it is.

I've been telling Greg that I am going to cut back on my hours at work for a couple months now. However, when the schedules came around to fill in, I never followed through and found myself signing up for my regular hours as well as some extras that needed to be filled. I didn't want to let my boss down and the extra money is always nice when payday comes along. I did this with November as well, and was kicking myself as I later looked at our busy calendar. Just before the November work schedule came out, my boss called me and said she was having trouble giving me my preferred shifts and was worried about shorting me hours. I quickly assured her that I was happy with less hours.

So there is was, the gift of time. I now felt I had no excuse not to participate in NaBloPoMo and devote hours and hours during the month of November to our family blog. As you can see this simply did not happen. It is now November 8th and this is only my third post.

Here is the reason. A couple days before the start of November, as I was thinking up fun craft projects to make and offer as giveaways during NaBloPoMo I noticed that Brody was rubbing a hairball/dustball between his fingers. I let out an exclamation of disgust and quickly snatched it and put it rightfully in the garbage. Just a minute later I noticed him with another dustball in his hand, only this time it was heading straight into his open mouth. I yelped again and quickly ceased the unwanted, unclean ball of filth. I then looked around my house, the baseboards, the blinds, the walls and windows and realized it desperately needed some extra attention.

I usually keep a tidy house. Dishes are done, toys and clothes are put away. But it seems that I don't get to the deep cleaning nitty gritty details often enough, and it is beginning to show. I decided for the safety of my always-eating-of-the-floor crawling baby, as well as my housekeeping pride, it was time to clean house. So sadly, as you stop by our blog this month you may not be met with a new post. However, if you stop by the house this month, I can assure that you will be met with the smell of Pine-Sol.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick Or Treaters

Palmer and Brody were loving Halloween this year, especially the trick or treating and it's related candy haul. They were able to dress up a few times during the season: a friend's party, the fitness center's Safety Fair, our ward's trunk or treat and actual door to door trick or treating on Saturday night.

Palmer was a turtle this year. The costume was loaned to us by a friend. We had wanted to get him a Mickey Mouse costume this year, but they were in short supply and very pricey. When I brought the turtle costume home to try out, he was overjoyed with it! He immediate had to try it on and could not stop giggling as he pranced around the house that evening. When we found a decent priced Mickey Mouse costume a week later, he was not nearly as excited when he tried it on. So we decided to use the turtle for this year. He was so happy to wear it each and every time he put it on.

Brody was a puppy this year. Aunt Sariah gave Brody a gift card to Toys R Us for his birthday. It was there that Greg picked out the puppy costume. Brody instantly loved it! When he saw it he reached for it and let out a squeal. It then quickly went into his mouth. After he had slobbered on it and chewed off some of the fur, we knew we had to buy it. I loved this costume on him. He crawls around, pants and begs just like a puppy; it was a perfect fit! He enjoyed wearing it as well, and liked pulling on the ears and picking at the fur. I liked being able to grab his tail to hold onto him when he was crawling away.

My favorite part of Halloween this year was the trick or treating. For some reason, nothing beats going door to door. We were only out for about 20 minute this year, but the boys received a lot of candy, a.k.a. bribery to finish dinner and go on the potty.

E-I-E-I-O

The Thursday before Halloween we went to Wheeler Farm with my best friend Jenn and her girls Sammy and Maddie. Palmer sings "Old McDonald Had a Farm" at least ten times a day, loves animals, being outside and playing with friends, so such an outing was absolute heaven for him. Brody also loves animals and being outside, so he was likewise very happy. And I, myself, was overyjoyed to be able to hang out with Jenn. It was definitely a great time for all! We pet the goats and horses, fed the ducks, desperately tried to get our little ones to eat lunch, watched the kids play, went on a "spooky" wagon ride, and enjoyed some good girl talk.