Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I am grateful for so many things.  But mainly I am grateful for my family and my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for days Helen doesn't have potty accidents.  I am grateful for my children and Jakes unconditional love. I am grateful for a roof over my head and food to eat.  I am grateful I can read.  I am grateful for turkey stuffing (can't wait ;) ).  I am grateful Jake took care of the girls all night and I got the best sleep I have since he got back from Chicago.  I am grateful that Jake has a passion for something (RC helicopters) - everyone needs something to get incredibly passionate about.

What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thrifty Decor Chick Giveaway

Thirfty Decor Chick is having a giveaway of a  Silhouette Craft Cutter .  How cool is that?  Thanks for the heads up, Kelsey!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Honeybun!

As he does every year, my husband tacked on another year on Halloween.  He doesn't like Halloween.  He doesn't like candy...unless it is good chocolate, nothing chewy, nothing straight sugar (taffy, smarties, licorice), nothing that will get stuck in your teeth, etc.  Only chocolate is his way to go.  I could go that way too if you added caramel, but really I'll take almost any candy.  Back to the subject on hand.  I love Halloween more since I married him.  Oh, well, we create balance, eh!?

More than Halloween, I love Jake.  He is my everything.  I can't say more.

Happy Belated Birthday on the blog, Honeybun.

He was playing dress-ups with the girls while helping his mom do dishes - what a man!

Only once in our married life have I made him a Halloween cake.  I try my hardest to give him a little birthday that doesn't revolve around pumpkins and general Halloween stuff.
2004 (dating) -  Army cake - wish I had pictures - it was before the dawn of digital cameras for me.
2005 - don't remember
2006 - Pumpkin cake with friends and cupcakes the day of.
2007 - Coolest cake ever
2008 - deployed, didn't make him cake, although I think I sent him a microwavable one.
2009 - His mom bought a cake, I think she was trying to help since I had a newborn.

2010 - This year I made the coolest cake ever, well second to 2007...but really what is ever going to trump that cake? I hope I don't sound too prideful, because I am the first to know that my cakes aren't perfect, but I really really enjoy when an idea works out.

This year's cake was a combination of the Chocolate Strawberry Celebration Cake and the Chocolate Fruit Basket Cake. Basically it was a two layer chocolate cake (my recipe) with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting, topped with ganache, then berries brushed with apricot preserves, chocolate curls (harder to make than I thought), and then lined with Kit Kat bars. It was divine. Jake said something like, "You've out done yourself."  And I said back, "I know. What am I going to do next year?"

Forgive the picture.  Our good camera was being fixed & the lighting was yucky florescent lights. Try to envision it's glory.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

 I finally was able to get most of the pictures sorted off all the memory cards, so here is my Halloween post, a little late.

This year Norah was a black cat. I decided this almost a year ago because when she first started cooing it sounded like a cat.

Helen was a ghost, a princess ghost to be exact.

We did all the Trick-or-Treating and the Trunk-or-Treat on Saturday. The girls came home with a haul. The fourth to the last house Norah finally got the idea. A little to well, as she was taking 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths at each house.

On Sunday we had a Halloween dinner at Jake's parents' house.  We had lots of creepy/fun food.

Flesh Sandwiches straight from the skull


Goblin Eyes

Monster Hands

Pumpkin Veggie Tray

Jack-o-Lantern Fruit Cups

Eyeball Punch

Carmel Apples

It was also Jake's birthday so I'll share the rest of the AMAZING dessert on the next post.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Working Mom

Today I re-enter the work force.  Shortly after Helen was born I worked one day as a temp job.  It was the worst job of my life.  I now pity those people who have to try and sell stuff in the aisles at Wal-mart.

This job should be much better.  I am assisting in kids cooking class and precepting dietetic students.  It is one or two days a month and on Saturdays when Jake can watch the kids (except today when he has drill so the kids are going to Nana's).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Punctual Pumpkins

Amazingly we got to the pumpkin thing before the night before Halloween. And we carved our pumpkins before they started to rot. I know - I'm on a roll.We went to a farmer's stand on the highway this year to pick out pumpkins. Jake was gone to Chicago, so Kelsey went with us. Norah was thrilled and I wish I could have gotten a picture of her pointing to each pumpkin hunched over like she was going to start a belly laugh any minute.
I don't know what this pose of Helen's was. I said "Say cheese." and quickly snapped a picture in hopes of getting a cute one of the girls, and that second Helen looked away and struck this pose. Strange things come out of people around Halloween I guess.Helen was so excited to pick her own pumpkin this year. I told her she could get a big one and I would carry it for her, but she was insistent that she wanted a small one so she could carry it.
Jake got done carving the third pumpkin and Helen sat down, drew where she wanted to cut, and carved out a nose, eye brows, and something between the eyes all by herself. We didn't even realize she was doing it until the nose (1st thing) was popped out. She is a good little carver, and thankfully she didn't cut herself with the knife.

Norah was forced against her will happy to watch. Chocolate chips kept her content and muffled the screaming. We were able to get a smile from her for a picture.

Helen & I at work. Norah is in the background wondering if we have more chocolate.

Here is what the designs looked like in the daylight.

The true test was once night came.
We think they look great.

ABC's & 123's

Last week Helen started pre-school.  I know it is a weird time to start, but we were having potty issues.  We still are. But I found a teacher who still had open enrollment and would work with us with the potty problems.  Helen is fine about going potty at pre-school and anytime we are out and about, but at only home, she is so-so.

Picking a pre-school was traumatic for Helen.  I thought it would be fun for her to go see.  Turns out she was traumatized because we had to leave each one.  Poor girl really wants the socialization and to learn.

She loves it.

When we got to the pre-school the first day she tapped me on my shoulder as I was finding my purse in the car.  She had undone her seat belt as soon as the car had stopped.  I asked her "What, sweetie?"  She replied, "I just need to give you a hug because I am going to preschool."  When I got out of the car she said "Bye."  I told her I had to go in and pay her teacher.  Once inside she sat right down and started working.  Too bad it was on someone else's paper at first.  She had no problems about me leaving once it was time.

It is fun for me to see her at the end of class two times a week and to see all the stuff she is doing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

African Beef Curry

Awhile back we made this curry dish and loved it. I'll definitely make this one again on a night we want curry. It is different and I wasn't too sure about all the different toppings, but being who I am, I wanted to try it. Jake & Helen enjoyed it too (for her the highlight was mainly putting toppings on).  You'll have to forgive me.  The day we had this is when I first got a new lens for our camera.  I took some cool shots of the toppings, but never got a picture of the finished dish with the rice and toppings all together.

1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small onion, chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small sweet green pepper, chopped
1 to 2 Tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Hot cooked rice

In a large saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer fro 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Serve with rice. Garnish with toppings listed below, all of which are optional according to your likes. We like everything. Yield 4 servings.


  • Raisins
  • Salted peanuts, chopped
  • Coconut
  • Cucumbers, chopped
  • Banana, sliced
  • Onion, diced
  • Pineapple Tidbits
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Red & Green Sweet Peppers, chopped & mixed
  • Tomato, diced

I got this recipe from Taste of Home Feb & March 2008; it was contributed by Heather E.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

End of Sabbatical & Our Summer

So it is nearly October. Wow - I definitely took a longer sabbatical from blogging than I intended.  There are no excuses. No reasons, other than I was in a blogging rut and the thought of trying to post all the posts I wanted to do scared me. Simple really.

So here is a recap of our Summer (part of it, anyway.)

To start off our summer, Jake went to China (you can find his posts about this here.) While he was gone the girls and I spent time in Idaho visiting both my parents and Jake's.

We went to Mesa Falls with my parents one Sunday.

 Don't mind my dad - this is how he smiles.

Then the girls and I went to Jake's parents cabin for awhile. It was cold and springtime there still.  But we had fun.  You can read more of our time there on this post.

 The girls also did swimming lessons. Punkin #1 did 3 sessions and Cupcake did 2. Next year we are not going to do so many. I was exhausted of swimming lessons by the time summer was over.

Helen did so well and progressed so much this year in lessons.

This bike ride was after Jake got home. I spent the whole bike ride bringing up the rear.  My job was to push my bike, take pictures, and push Helen's trike with my foot. Norah wasn't too thrilled with her first ride in the trailer either. The last part of it, Helen's trike was hanging on my bike and she was walking. I was very glad to get home after this ride.

 And Cupcake did eventually fall asleep.
 On Independence Day we went swimming (Jake and I burnt to a crisp and paid for it for a long time).

 At this moment we don't know how painful our lives are going to be for the next 2 weeks.  Happy Family :)
 Nana went with us.
 We went home and made homemade root beer with Kelsey.

Then we went back to the cabin for a Jake's extended family reunion.  Canoeing was a highlight.

 So was getting ice cream.
 Then we went back to another session of swimming lessons so Cupcake could try it out.  She loved it.

And that is where my photos end.  Let me restate that. That is where my ready-to-post photos end. To keep me organized, I only let myself post photos I have labeled and filed correctly. I need to do this, and also  fix a memory card problem in our house. Things are a little mixed up right now, and I have pictures here, there and everywhere.

I promise I won't be away for so long this next time. I also have a slew of  food/recipe posts to do.  So check back.  These are good.

Mission Organize Apartment