Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Holidays

We arrived home late Sunday night from a fun week down in Utah with a lot of you. The time flew by even though we were down there for about five days. That's a longer trip than we've taken in a long while, but it went quickly as it always does.


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

Too Long…

Dear Sisters,

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Love, Kate

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Zombie Babies

As I've mentioned before, the babes are crawling all over the place now. They seem to have an innate sense of where they are not supposed to be, and those are the places they are most interested in playing. The fridge, the pantry, out the front door. The moment one of those doors is opened, or heaven forbid left ajar, they can seriously hustle. It's funny seeing any baby do this, but there's something hilarious about seeing both babies turn immediately and move practically in sync and just as fast as they can with the same unspoken goal in mind. Dave calls them zombie babies because of the way they move together with undivided focus and the fact that they often crawl lopsided (Ben especially), dragging their bodies along.

Braaaaiiiins.

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.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mothers Who Know

I know I just posted something similar to this, but I looked up the talk Mothers Who Know this morning. It had been a while since I read this talk, and I think it's one of the great talks that I need to read regularly. It was a good reminder to me and has given me the shot in the arm I need this morning. Maybe it'll do that for you, too.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mormon Channel

Have you guys checked out the Mormon Channel? I love to listen to it while I'm doing the dishes or canning, or whatever it is that seems to keep me in the kitchen all day long. I have especially loved their program Conversations. I recently listened to the conversation with Virginia Hinckley Pearce, and it was fabulous. I have loved so many of them, so you simply MUST check them out. Others that I've especially liked are Heidi Swinton, Elder Holland, Sister Elaine Dalton, Elder and Sister Oaks, and many others. Go there. Now. I was listening to the Mormon Channel live the other day, and there was a speaker whose name I can't recall who said that if we are constantly filling our mind with things of the gospel, the adversary will not be able to tempt us. That really struck me, and I'm going to try to make more of an effort to fill my mind and our home with the gospel so that the holy ghost will always be welcome, and the tempter will not.

Also on my mind this evening is exercise of a more physical nature. When do you guys exercise? What's the best time of day for you? I've been jogging mostly at night after the kids are in bed and sometimes when Dave is home for lunch. But with the weather getting colder, I'm struggling. It's harder to get out when it's cold, don't you agree? Help! Share what works best for you.