Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
I remember very vividly making Stone Soup at school when I was in 3rd grade. We first read the book in class and then we brought ingredients from home and threw them in the pot to make our tasty soup. I remember how wonderful I thought it tasted. I was convinced that the stone (which I think might have just been a giant potato) we put in the pot made the soup taste more delicious than any other soup I had ever or would ever taste.
Well, the other night we made Stone Soup at our house. And, yes, we put an actual stone inside. I know, kinda yucky. I did try my best though to clean it beforehand and made sure the soup boiled for a while after adding it. But, I think next time we will just use a potato because it did kind of gross me out to think of that stone sitting in our soup! :) Anyway, it was really fun and the girls got a kick out of the whole process. Fun memories!
Hope you all have a great Easter weekend!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Again, I wanted to share some of the things I've been reminded of recently. As you know, Nate broke his leg last Saturday. He's been reliant on us to move him from the couch to his bed etc. He hasn't really left the house much and is very limited in what he can do. It has been so nice to see the outpouring of kindness from others. I haven't really felt like we've "needed" help...there are many others with bigger issues they are dealing with. But, that said, I have really appreciated the little things that people have done. His preschool class made a big card for him, several different friends have brought by treats or things to occupy his time and they also wanted to see how he was, the neighbor kids brought by a big card and some candy for him, and one of my sisters sent a fun toy in the mail. All of these things have made his day and have made this first week more bareable. I also had a friend come and spend a couple of hours with him yesterday so that I could leave for a bit. She read to him and played games with him, he loved it. I have so appreciated these small acts of kindness and have realized that even a small five minute service can make someones day. It has reminded me that it doesn't need to be a big event to let someone know you are thinking of them. Everyone needs to be remembered and thought of, even if it's just during a small bump in their road and not a major catastrophe.
Once again, I've realized an area I need to work on and I appreciate the examples of those around me that have reminded me of this. Just wanted to share my thoughts.
Enjoy your day...I hope you have sunshine like we do. Spring is in the air and I love it!!
Friday, March 2, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
It. Is. Fabulous.
It's an engaging read, and I found myself nodding my head like an eager bobble head as I read it. We've instituted the 1-2-3 method, and I noticed a HUGE difference around our house in 24 hours. I kid you not. I'm sure not everyone would have such dramatic results, but not everyone is struggling like I was.
I have discovered that I am a mother who talks WAY too much. And even though I knew it aggravated the heck out of my kids, I didn't really know of a better option. In one part of the book it says that some kids would rather cut off their left leg than lose a good battle of words. We have one who carries a bone saw around with him at all times, so this book has been a lifesaver.
This book has turned a huge light bulb on around here, and although you all probably aren't stumbling around in the dark like us, you might still like a little more illumination anyway.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
As many of you already know, Dave and I are big fans of The Killers. Well, despite the temperatures outside, our love does not wax cold during the Christmas season.
May I present to you reason #77 we love The Killers:
Oh, yes. You read that correctly. Annual Christmas singles. Beginning in 2006, The Killers began releasing a Christmas single each December. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the singles are then donated to charity, specifically Product Red. The songs touch upon several aspects of the holiday season that we love, from the nostalgia of childhood memories, to the faith of the man who would serve as Jesus Christ's earthly father, to the redemptive power of the Atonement.
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
Our boys' current favorite is "Don't Shoot Me, Santa!"
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I have a variety of bread pans. Some are SUPER old and some are somewhat newer. However, I was so displeased with them all, that I went in search of better pans.
Enter the Norpro 10-inch non-stick bread pan. I LOVE THESE PANS. Your bread slides out effortless, no need to grease your pans! They bake perfectly without burning. And I love the size…long and narrow. The size and shape is more similar to a grocery store loaf…no more giant slices.
I love them. Truly. Do yourselves a favor, let Santa know that these are on your list this year.
So, I’ve been busy putting my new Bosch mixer to the test. I’ve tried Dayna’s favorite bread recipe (which is delish and I hope she’ll share it here with everyone!) and a few others in search of a good standby recipe.
I came across this recipe and made a few changes. It is really, really good. The bread is light and soft…great texture and not too dense.
1/2 c warm water
3 pkgs or 1.5 T active dry yeast
1/4 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 T white sugar
4.5 c warm water
1 c old-fashioned oats
1 c wheat bran
1/2 c flax
2 c whole wheat flour
1.5 T salt
2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c melted butter, cooled
1/2 c vital wheat gluten
9.5 c unbleached all-purpose flour
In the bowl of your mixer, add together first four ingredients. Mix on lowest setting until combined. Let sit 5 minutes to allow yeast to grow. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together oats and flax seed until very coarsely ground.
Add to mixing bowl: water, oat/flax mixture, bran, wheat flour, salt, brown sugar, olive oil, butter and gluten. Mix on low speed 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of flour at a time until dough pulls away from side of bowl. Amount of flour will depend upon humidity. Dough may be sticky.
Place dough in oiled bowl and turn to coat surface. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm spot or on an oven mitt in a 150-degree oven. Allow to rise until the dough doubles in size or about an hour.
Divide the dough into 6 small sections (8“ pans) or 4 large sections (9” pans). Slap each section on the table to remove air pockets and form into loaves.
Place the loaves in greased bread pans and allow to rise another hour or until the dough is about an inch above the rim of the pans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn loaves out of pans onto rack until cooled.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think! Happy baking!
Monday, December 5, 2011
Have any of you ever heard about the art projects that the Home Depot does for kids on the first Saturday of the month? I'm pretty sure that it is every Home Depot that does this. So fun! It is free and the kids get to take home an apron and what they make. Alex took the girls for the first time in November and has decided to do it every month. They really have a blast. They went this past Saturday and brought home these cute snowman napkin holders.
Obviously, Eliza needed a little thumb sucking break. :) Hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
This trip the boys had a fantastic time dressing up in Grandma Gadd's dress-up clothes. They are mostly all "girl clothes," but the boys still thought it was hilarious. By the by, Jeff made it very clear you had better not call him a girl, or he'll take you out.
The babes got plenty of attention from cousins, and they ate it up. They were perfect babies on this trip, sleeping in until 9:00 a.m. on some occasions. Heavenly. They loved every second with all their loving and kind cousins.
On Sunday, before heading home we took the opportunity to take in the Christmas lights on Temple Square in Salt Lake. They were gorgeous as usual, and I particularly loved the different nativities on the south side of the church office building. So fun! It was the perfect night for it with a manageable crowd and mild weather. After, we had warm cookies and hot chocolate at the Bretzings. What a perfect way to kick off the holidays! Thanks to all our family for making it a great trip.
Unfortunately, Jeff has come down with the flu, something we didn't discover until he threw up in class at school Tuesday morning. Arg. Here's to hoping we don't all get it. So far so good!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Between my ongoing frustrations with blogger and our spotty internet connection, I’ve wanted to pull my hair out!
We had a wonderful Halloween and two fabulously fun birthdays. We are now the parents of a 3-year-old and 4-year-old. The time goes by crazy fast when you have kids. I can’t believe they are so big already!
Anyway, I’m a believer that as soon as they are able, kids should be able to choose what they want to be for Halloween, as long as it’s appropriate of course. So, about a month before Halloween, the boys and I started to discuss their costumes. After a few hiccups, they finally settled on D being a chimney sweep and Eric being a pirate.
We also had a lot of fun this fall playing in the leaves in our yard. I do love the fall. The crisp, cool air is exhilarating.
Then came the birthdays. For whatever reason, my boys are not into shaped cakes that look like anything other than a cake. We made Eric a monster cake one year and D a bus cake, but they weren’t too into it. They like to choose a flavor and then look at pictures until they find THE ONE. This year, Eric chose a massive caramel cake from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living that I was looking at during lunch one day. The recipe is here. It took me quite awhile to make, but it was insanely good and Eric was delighted.
Seriously. Yum. We gave about a quarter of the cake away, and I put half of it in the freezer. Slowly over the next few days, I let the boys finish off the rest. That cake was a monster. It was so heavy I had to do some stretching in preparation for carrying it from the kitchen to the dining room. The cake probably weighed more than Eric does.
For D’s birthday, a scant 6 days later, we again indulged in cake. D requested something chocolate and mint. We looked at numerous photos and had many discussions before he decided upon this cake, again from Martha Stewart. After the ordeal of making Eric’s cake, this cake was a single-layer breeze. And it was equally delicious and extremely rich.
SUPER. DELISH. We also indulged in an ice cream cake with Grandma and Grandpa when they joined us to celebrate both birthdays. We. Are. Caked. Out.
I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is already next week. This year has FLOWN BY. We are tasked with bringing an hors d'oeuvre and bread or rolls. I cannot wait to throw my new Bosch mixer into high-productivity mode. It’s just so pretty.
So, that’s what’s new with us. And now that I think I’ve got this blogger thing under control, I should be posting more regularly. Fingers crossed.
What’s your favorite small kitchen appliance?
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Well, the other day, the door to the pantry was left ajar, and the babies made a serious mess. But they were so enjoying themselves, I had to take a video. Notice Peter eating the cereal right off the ground...baby heaven. It's so fun watching them interact and play together. We are truly blessed by these two special boys...and their three older brothers as well.