Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baby Sewing Projects

Can I just start by saying it is so much fun planning for a baby girl? I'm a little giddy at the moment. Here's my list of things to sew:

*Mei Tai pronounced may-tie. The last one I made was gender neutral but it would be nice to have something that screams "GIRL!" I want to add a hood, pocket and have it rounded at the top since my last one didn't have those features. Here's the one I have now that was a lifesaver (and a workout) when we hiked last summer: (half the time he fell asleep) *Quilt & burps. I found some cute pink "bubble" fabric that's so soft and cuddly.

*Carseat cover (basically a blanket that attaches to the handle part) Below is the tutorial but I'll add flowers where it attaches to the handles and jumbo rick-rack around the hem. You use a whole yard for each side. http://awednesdayafternoon.blogspot.com/2009/04/summertime-car-seat-cover.html

*Slipcover for the actual carseat. I found a used one for $30 yesterday - see below. (They are still selling it at Walmart for $150 - score!) The dark brown matches the fabric perfectly so I'm just changing the pattern part. Took me awhile to cut (no pattern) and pin (we had canned soup that night for dinner... at 8pm) but I'll hopefully get it sewn in today. Here are before and after shots: *Nursing cover with boning - done! I made it reversible and did ties instead of D-rings. I'm not that well endowed so I adjusted the boning to 12 inches that way it's not gaping open for EVERYONE to see but I can peek & baby can still breathe. http://www.shannonmakesstuff.blogspot.com/2009/04/nursing-cover-tutorial.html

*Coordinating diaper bag. I like the tie on the nursing cover to I'll add that to the bag handle. I have a secret bag-craving. If I wasn't married, half my closet would be full of different bags.

*Might make a reversible wrap carrier. These truly are the most comfortable and versatile but it's tricky getting it wrapped on w/o getting the tails dirty. I just need to find some brown jersey knit for a decent price (use a w/ a coupon) and it won't take me more than 15 minutes to "decorate" it. Check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/loveyduds She has beautiful designs in case you don't want to make one yourself.

*Last but not least, I need to make a white blessing dress and crochet a blessing afghan. I'm thinking lavender would be pretty.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Product Recommendation


I never do this but... this is so cool! This Jeep stroller is the new Wrangler Unlimited g-edition. The g stands for green - the fabric is made from 40 recycled 16 oz. water bottles... How cool is THAT? It's good for up to 50 pounds, has 2 side pockets, 1 back pocket and undercarriage storage area for mom and 2 little side pockets by the kid so they can keep a few small toys nearby. N is a little tall for his age (3) and yet there's still room for him to use it another year or two. He's been falling asleep in the car lately and it's really hard to carry a sleeping toddler when you're pregnant so I needed something like this. It's great for taller people so you're not hunched over and it's an umbrella style so it will fit in any car. It came with a travel carrying case but it also has a tough fabric handle on it so you can easily carry it comfortably with one hand when it's folded up. Did I mention it's only 16 pounds? N has been sitting in this for the past hour watching a Christmas show on TV. It's obviously comfortable and it also reclines. "OK, ok, where can I get it?" you ask? I ordered mine yesterday, got free shipping and it came within 24 hours. LOVE IT!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year

I love the way fresh fallen snow sparkles in the morning light - truly mesmerizing.

I love watching my kids rush to play out in the snow for 10 minutes then come inside begging for hot cocoa only to go back out again just so they can come back in another 10 minutes for MORE hot cocoa.

I love going to Festival of Trees and know I'm supporting a good cause. I was exhausted near the end but the kids seemed to have fun. N went in the bubble machine 6 times!

video

I love finding the perfect Christmas gift for someone and imagining their faces as they open it Christmas morning.

I love seeing my neighbors and visiting with them as we deliver neighbor gifts - we never did that in Arizona. Is that just a Utah thing? If so, I'm not leaving.

I love seeing the lights at Temple Square and listening to amateur singers perform beautiful songs that touch my heart and remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. (My brother Scott came with us.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thanksgiving

I think we should have bought our own plane when we first moved to Utah. We go down to Arizona at least twice a year and the drive down is OK but going back is brutal. My favorite part driving south is coming thru this canyon area and then it suddenly opens up completely to a view of the Grand Canyon. My favorite part coming home is driving around point of the mountain and seeing the Jordan River and Oquirhh temples amidst the see of sparkling city lights. Draper seems to be hiding the best because you have to wait and look to the other side.

This Thanksgiving we drove straight to Safford to spend time with the Young Family. This was our first year without Grandpa and my nephew is on his mission as well so we didn't even try to ask Grandma if we could do a group picture. The food was great as always, too much pie (as always) and we tied and finished a quilt to give away. The cousins had a blast playing together. Sadly, this is the only picture I took that day. I ended up making the shirt & skirt the day before we left... crafting sounded so much funner than cleaning the bathrooms.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Things I am thankful for today

I'm thankful my pregnancy fears are starting to dissipate as I am now able to feel the baby move throughout the day. Creating life is truly a miracle and I feel so blessed to be a co-creator with my Heavenly Father. I don't feel worthy or prepared to take on the responsibility of raising another child but I also remember I wasn't prepared for the first one and how that would change my life. Motherhood is a constant learning process. I'm thankful that I have dirty floors to clean, that I have loads of laundry to do almost everyday, and that I have mouths to feed - I can't imagine life without my children. They make me grow in ways I never imagined. (And I never thought I would use algebra again but it's true - you'll later have to teach your children how to do it)

I'm thankful to have my new 72 hour kits ready to go and it's been nice that my kids have had an array of "free snacks" to munch on whenever they're hungry. It's such a peace of mind knowing that we are prepared should any emergency arise.

Saving the best for last... I am so grateful for our Savior's eternal plan of happiness. I have so much more to learn about the gospel but I try everyday to become just a little more like Him. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I move forward, but I'm always trying my best. I'm thankful that families can be sealed together forever in His holy house because otherwise this earthly life would be for naught. Sometimes it seems easy - pray, read your scriptures, go to church, keep the commandments. Sometimes I get caught in the "thick of thin things" and forget what's really important. This life is test and the time is passing quickly. I ask myself, "What have I done with the time the Lord has given me today?" and challenge you to ask yourself that same question and then... do something about it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

School and Birthday Pictures

My baby boy turned 3 recently. We had Mickey Mouse waffles, went to our favorite children's museum, Discovery Gateway, then bought fun stuff at Build-a-Bear. He fell asleep on the way home. I think his pictures turned out so cute though I may be a bit biased. The next day the kids brought home their school pictures and thankfully we won't need to do any retakes. E's teeth are all falling out at this age so I begged her to PLEASE remember to do a sweet, closed-mouth smile. Gotta love that age! Our last trip to the dentist resulted in 3 repeat visits for cavity fillings and sealants. The one kid who didn't get cavities this time? "He'll need to get braces next time." Thanks for the warning.

N now likes to put his food that is on his plate into his drinking cup. Then he'll tell me, "Mom, look! Mmmm, Licious!" Umm, yeah, that looks real delicious sweetheart. :} The other day I was tending 5 year old twins and we were talking about their preschool. The boy said, "I get to ride the bus to the Helementary school". I couldn't help but laugh - I've never heard anyone make that mistake. I tried to correct him by saying, "You mean eLLLLementary school?" He couldn't pronounce it right so I gave up. Kids say the darndest things don't they?






Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Don't you hate it when you almost finish a post and then make one slight edit on the Html and your post gets cut to 1 paragraph and your pictures are gone? Yeah, me too... Blogger needs an "undo" button, seriously. I also need to get a lock on my camera case since my almost-three-year-old can now pull it out and take pictures and change the settings to low resolution. Not good... I'm too tired to re-write so feel free to use your imagination. Happy Halloween! (I need some chocolate now)

Picking pumpkins at Farnsworth Farms Festival

Witch, Pumpkin, Z the werewolf and J as Darth Vader

Waldo & Wenda (I even had striped tights.) Wow, we look like dorks
Z's
Hubby's
J's N's
E's
Mommy's

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mom's Whole Wheat Bread

I made a few small adjustments to this but there's no real taste difference - I'll explain later. I remember my mom would make this only a few times a year. However, she would get out her heavy duty wheat grinder and grind her hard red winter wheat from the LDS Cannery. Then she'd mix up batch after batch of this recipe until all the countertops were full of loaves of bread. She'd slice them with her electric bread slicer (yep, I have one too) and bag them and put them in the extra freezer for later enjoyment. The house smelled wonderful when we came home from school. Don't you love how memories can flood your mind when you enjoy food? Now when I make this, the first loaf gets eaten within 5 minutes. I try to give one or two away and the last loaf is to save for the next day's sandwiches or eggs & toast breakfast.

Mom’s Whole Wheat Bread
Karen’s version of Joyce McCown’s recipe

In medium bowl combine:
5 tsp. yeast, ½ cup warm water, and 1 Tbs. honey. Set aside. I know this is just to proof the yeast and that I could probably just add it later but I like to stick with tradition.

In Bosch mixer, with dough hook, combine:
5 cups Whole Wheat flour (I use hard red winter wheat), 3 cups white flour, 5 cups hot water, and 1/3 cup Vital Wheat Gluten (my optional add-in)
Mix for 10 minutes to make gluten work and to allow yeast to rise.

In another medium bowl combine:
2 beaten eggs (those poor eggs), ½ cup canola oil, 1/3 cup honey (if you buy some from your area it will actually help relieve your allergies - cool, huh?), 1 Tbs. salt, and 2 Tbs. lemon juice (I found that this is a natural dough enhancer that helps the wheat rise). Mix and combine with wheat/water mixture in Bosch. Add yeast mixture. Scrape down sides. Gradually add 2 ½ cups wheat flour and 2 ½ cups white flour. Mix for 5 minutes to knead. Take out of Bosch and put into a large, greased bowl. Cover with warm, damp towel and let rise till double (1 hour where I'm at). After 1 hour, turn oven on to warm setting. With greased hands, punch down dough and form into 4 loaves, brush tops with PAM as well and let rise in pans till double (30 minutes in warm oven). Leave the pans in the oven and turn it from warm to 350 degrees for 30 minutes more. Remove from oven after cooking time then brush tops with butter and wrap in towels for softer crust.

It may look difficult at first but once you get used to making it, it's a breeze. I don't even need to look at the recipe anymore. Besides, what's better than to walk in your home and smell bread baking?

My daddy likes his with honey. My oldest son likes his with strawberry or raspberry jam, no butter. My Nana liked hers with sliced sharp cheddar on top and toasted. My grandma would put a thin layer of peanut butter on hers. The rest of them like it with butter. I'm good with any of the above because it reminds of those people I love. What do you like to put on your homemade bread?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Living Christ Craft

Here is the "craft" I did for our last Enrichment Craft Night. I got the frame at Walmart for about $15. The rest of it cost $8 since I had 50% off coupons for Robert's craft store for the 11x14 matting. I love that place. I got the green matting that has the burgundy inside. I had to take all my kids in to 2 different Robert's stores but it was worth it. I got Greg Olsen's "Beautiful Savior" 3x4 prints at Deseret Book. I cut them out then we just placed them on the matting with double-stick tape. The Living Christ paper was free at the Distribution Center. This would make a great Christmas gift.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My kids aren't very good at keeping secrets

One of my children accidentally spilled the beans. However, the kids are very excited to meet their new sibling on (but preferably a little before) April 30th. I went in today and saw the heartbeat and got a tiny little picture on the ultrasound but I thought this picture above looked more visible. My parents are supposed to get back from their mission to Chile the first week of May. I wonder if they'll be able to come back a little earlier than planned?

Here we go again... :) Where's my pillow? I need a nap.

*Update: It looks like my parents are going to try to come back mid-April. That will give them some time to go home, see my SIL's new baby, then hopefully come up here to watch our kids while I deliver. Hooray!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Day of School & Belated Birthday

My 3 oldest had their first day of school which was on Wednesday. They're holding up their fingers to show which grade they're going into. They're all laughing at me because right at that moment, our sprinklers sprayed cold water all over the back of legs. At least it got some good, geniune smiles out of them, right? Nathan was sad for 5 minutes but I felt like I was on vacation - it was so quiet and I got SO MUCH done. I cleaned, read a book (uninterrupted) and took a cat nap.

I finally got my daughter's birthday pictures taken, a week late. Oh well. We were too busy having fun at Lagoon and I was too tired when we got home. She lost ANOTHER tooth so she looks a little goofy. What a fun age!





Finished rag quilt

Here's the first quilt I've finished since being inspired from the quilt show I went to a few weeks ago. For those of you who scrapbook, do you recognize the print? It's from My Mind's Eye and I have the matching paper. *Heaven* I was going to do a gathered hem but after a couple HOURS both threads broke from the strain so I did pleats and it was done in no time. I've only washed it once so it still has some fuzzies on it. I have enough leftover of the pink polka dot to make a matching nightgown for winter. My daughter's so excited.

Now I'm starting my son's scrap quilt. We had some "discussions" about fabric choices yesterday at JoAnn's: I really don't think he should be sleeping with pictures of skeletons/skulls/all black. He's only 9 for crying out loud - isn't that supposed to happen when he's 17? Anyway, here are the pictures of the front and back. Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

CTR blocks

These are come cute little wood blocks we're making for a craft night at my house next weekend. I'm posting pictures here to share since I'm always looking for cute LDS Super Saturday ideas. I love vinyl lettering!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quilt Inspiration

Museums are a great way to stay cool in the summer! Yesterday we drove to Springville and after 30 minutes of driving around numerous contruction zones we found the Art Musuem where they are doing a Quilt Show. I forgot how much I LOVE quilts! Here are a few that have inspired me. I now hope to finish at least one quilt a year. (Most of these look they need to be done by hand) Feel free to click on them to see them a little closer.

This was based on Gordon B. Hinckley's 6 B's. I saw one just like this at Raspberry Days in Bear Lake and couldn't help but walk right up and start touching it. So fun!

Eric Carle quilt - E's favorite

Twilight Quilt - hilarious that they did this. They're gifting it to Stephenie Meyer! (No, I'm not doing this. I just thought it was interesting. Some of the pieces look like origami)
Flower Garden aka Honeycomb. Paper piecing by hand sounds so time-consuming but I thought it would be a great way to use scraps on our long car-trips to Arizona. The artist made it with her mother using 40 different patterns of fabric, 777 hexagon pieces (thank goodness it wasn't 666 - you were thinking it too...) and it was all pieced, quilted and bound by HAND in 3 months. It was a large crib-size quilt. I also like how she double-bordered it.
This one stood out to me because the artist used shimmery gold thread - see it? There was a small wall-hanging, peacock-colored quilt with irridescent beads. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of it.
Whole Quilting - this would be awesome done with double wedding ring design stitched on it, don't you think? Talk about a lot of work though...
I was telling my boys the different designs, themes, fabrics and techniques used when some ladies commented that they were happy to see my older boys so interested in the quilts. I love art - It can be symbolic, it can change your mood, and I always wonder what the artist was thinking at the time... what caused them to want to create that particular piece.
On another similar note - if you live in Utah - you have to go see the traveling exhibit at BYU Museum of Art. Steinhilber has some really fun ways to make art out of everyday items. http://moa.byu.edu/fileadmin/moa/steinhilber/steinhilbersplash.html It ends on 8/22 and is an excellent way to get your kids interested in art. We especially enjoyed the "circular balloon wall art" and "blowing styro-peanut corner." Every piece is untitled so those are just the names I use to describe them. The "heat lamp" and "stacked chairs" I could've done without but there are always a few pieces in modern art that I just don't get. (Like at NYC's MOA they have a lamp in the corner of a room. It's just a... LAMP IN THE CORNER, who cares? It took what, 5 seconds to do it - that's not art sweetie. Build it all with forks and then I'll be impressed) Sorry to end on a grouchy note - I must need chocolate or something. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Groovy Green Goddess aka Shrek Smoothie


Check out this super yummy breakfast. Your family will never guess the mysterious green ingredient. Tell them you used green apples and green grapes. Then after they've finished add, "Oh yeah, and some spinach!" Thanks to www.crunchydomesticgoddess.com for the recipe.

Serves 2, don't try to double it - it won't fit.
Ingredients:
1 banana, cut in chunks
1 cup grapes
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 apple, cored and chopped
1 and 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup flax seed or wheat germ
Optional - ICE. Gives it a nice chill.

Directions: Place the banana, grapes, yogurt, apple and spinach into a blender. Cover, and blend until smooth, stopping frequently to push down anything stuck to the sides. Pour into glasses and serve with funky straw. Heck, why not watch Shrek?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Long time no blog

We really have been busy with all our summer activities and yet I'm already planning my to-do list for when school starts and I have some ME-time again. You know me and lists:

*Potty train my baby boy
*Walk/Bike/Run every day with N in stroller or bike trailer. Also put him in a gym class of some sorts - he already likes to do front flips off the couch and onto the love sac.
*Get all the kids into swim lessons. I'm hoping it won't be so busy once school starts.
*SCRAPBOOK - I feel sooo far behind
*Quilting - all the kids need new, bigger quilts and I want to do a patriotic one for picnics.
*Finish painting the inside of the house: ceilings, doors, trim and touch-up.
*Deep clean every nook and cranny. It's true what they say: Cleaning the house with kids still in it is like shoveling the driveway in a blizzard.
*Temple at least once a week and get my scripture reading in every day.
*Index 100 names per week. This is my newest thing. You transcript old census files so temple work can be done on them. Check it out at http://www.familysearch.org/

I must say that one of the funnest new things we've done this summer is HIKING every Friday. It's just gorgeous around here and it's fun for the kids & they get some fresh air. Here are some of our favorite places we've gone:

*Cascade Springs up American Fork Canyon. Very pretty with little fish and butterflies.
*Ensign Peak - a little steep in some parts but the view is to die for! You gotta go, now. There's so much wonderful history up there as well in the lower memorial garden.
*Bridal Veil Falls - short, paved and just plain fun since there are snakes & squirrels along the way. The kids liked Krispy Kreme donuts on the way home as their reward for the long drive.
*Cecret Lake - I spelled it right, really. Last year there was still snow up there in July. Salamanders in the little lake up at the top = pure bliss for boys.
*Red Butte Gardens - there was a free day. I love freebies.
*This is the Place Park - another free day. It was packed with people.
*Donut Falls - it was packed when we went on the 4th of July weekend. I'd like to go again so we can go all the way to the top and see the actual part where the water falls into a hole in the rock. Hence the name, Donut Falls.
*Mt. Timpanogos - kinda steep but worth it for the view. I recommend the cave tour if you don't have a baby who's afraid of the dark. Last year, N woke up crying and the tour guide hurried us thru the rest of the tour since no one could hear him speak above N's terrified cries.

Ensign Peak:

Look for my upcoming post about our trip to Ouray, Colorado. We had so much fun there. If it wasn't so cold in the winter, I would consider moving there.

One more side note: Z and J both moved up in their piano books. Hooray!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Relief Society Enrichment Ideas


I thought I would share what our ward is doing for Enrichment and hopefully ya'll will share what has worked well in your women. I love swapping ideas!

Quarterly Enrichment Meetings:
These are the big, all-out ones that we provide child care for and it almost always involves delicious food. We try to get all the women to come to these.
1. Birthday Dinner celebrating RS B-day. We did this potluck on Earth Day and did it as green as possible. We asked our Stake RS president to give a short talk. We also played a 60 Second Social game where we had each sister ask the other a few questions (from a list we provided). After a minute, one side would rotate down so they ended up talking to 1/2 the ladies there. It was so much fun! It was hard getting the ladies to stop talking and move on down the line. Then for dessert we had a variety but it had to include green lime Jell-O in it. :)
2. Service Auction. I'm excited to bring this back again. Sisters come with homemade crafts or goodies OR they can auction off services such as babysitting, cleaning, lessons, etc. Then there is a list of ways to earn points such as 10 pts for visiting teaching this month, 5 pts for every child you've had, etc. They tally their points then use them to buy things up for auction. We're going to try to get an older but fast-talking gentleman to come be our official auctioneer. Last time we served food storage desserts & appetizers like pinto bean fudge and fruit smoothies from canned fruit and powdered milk.
3. Humanitarian Project. I've spoken about it before but White Elegance has AMAZING prices that can't be beat on their Humanitarian kits that you can assemble and turn back in to them or to the Humanitarian Center. Not sure which one we'll do yet.
4. Progressive Dinner. My mother's ward did this and women carpooled together. I started it in my ward when I was Enrichment Leader and it's stuck around. It's potluck and you separate into groups then go to one house for appetizers, another for main course, another for salads. RS provides rolls and paper goods and a short Christmas program at the end with dessert served and a small gift is given.

Enrichment Activity Groups:
These are smaller groups of women who would like to meet together on a regular basis and is headed up by someone who will organize it and tell people what, when and where.
1. Temple 1st Tuesday of each month 10am session. Babysitting swap available.
2. Book Club 1st Thursday of each month at 7pm. Preferrably books by General Authorities. Some books we've done are: Sheri Dew's book "God Wants a Powerful People", Beverly Campbell's book "Eve and the Choice Made in the Garden of Eden", Ferrell's book "The Peacegiver", Truman Madsen's "The Temple: Where Heaven Meets Earth"
3. Scrapbooking & Crafting 4th Friday night each month 6:30-9:30pm. Finish up leftover projects and offer one optional project per month: April- Explosion boxes, May- glass etching, June-Quiet Books, no July (Pioneer Day). Sept-Living Christ frame, October - Vinyl FHE board, Nov- large vinyl clock, No Dec (Christmas Day), Jan- jewelry, Feb - fridge photo magnets, Mar- Glass block w/ vinyl, April – pillowcases, May - Capri Sun bags, June – Table Talk ?s in IKEA jar w/ vinyl, no July (Pioneer Day), Aug- Cute Aprons, Sept – Family Memories Game, Oct – flannel rice bags, Nov – vinyl family chore chart, no December (Christmas). Yes, I'm in charge of this group - can you tell? :)
4. Quilting Bee. No cost, donations and helping kids welcome. 2nd Thursdays 7-9pm. Tied quilts are donated to Humanitarian Center. FYI, cheapest place I've found to get stuff is Walmart. Flat sheet for the backing, high loft batting and a top fabric that has a pattern so I don't have to mark it.
5. Cooking/Food Storage. Summer canning (such as making jam), Rotation/Room Ideas, 72 hour kits, etc. Held quarterly.
6. Single Sisters Group – They come up with ideas for the single sisters in our ward such as lunch dates, movie nights, going to a museum or art show, etc..
7. Summer Walking every Tuesday and Thursday 9-10pm around the neighborhood.
8. Summer Hiking Friday mornings with kids, easy hikes. This one's also mine. Email me if you'd like the list of locations or you can google it for your area. I love living in Utah! The kids have so much fun in the great outdoors and it's even funner doing it with other kids.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Fun List & a new addition to our family!

Every year I get so excited for school to end so I can grab my kids and go on lots of field trips. Each year we do a few new things and try to do some of our old favorites as well. I'd thought it would be fun to share with you some of the things we have planned for this summer:

Mondays are designated Cleaning Day but we'll also go for a bike ride to a park for a picnic lunch. We're still keeping up with piano lessons as well. And of course, we're doing Family Home Evening every Monday night.
Tuesdays are Craft & Cooking Day. We'll do a craft project & I'll teach the kids how to make their favorite thing to eat.
***Our Summer Crafts are: decorate a photo frame, tie-dye shirts, sew a tote bag for library books, stepping stones, sew PJ pants, clay creations, and door hangers.
Wednesdays have Storytime in the morning at our library. I already got the info for summer reading programs at the library and Barnes and Noble. Then we're off on a field trip.
Thursdays are reserved for Yard Work but in the afternoon I'll take them swimming.
Fridays are hiking days and date night. Once a month we'll take a kid along and make it their special night to have Mom and Dad all the to themselves and we'll let them decide what they want us to do. (I always wished as a child that I could tell my parents what to do...)
Saturdays are Field Trip Fun days (see list below) and hopefully Daddy will be able to come along.
And Sundays are a day of rest which I will need by then. :)

Some of our old favorite things to do are:
*Do some boy scout activity patches for J
*Swimming at the Rec Center - they have an indoor playset that's fun but it gets loud.
*Go camping in the backyard and at our Ward Campout
*Children's Museum & Clark Planetarium & play in the water feature
*Church History Tour - Museum, visitor's center, BY Musuem, etc.
*Liberty Park & Tracy Aviary & Salt Lake library where they have themed reading coves.
*Thanksgiving Point Gardens and Dino Museum (coupon)
*Gardner Village (for Sweet Afton's free fudge sample)
*Living Planet Aquarium (discounted first Monday evening of every month)
*Farmer's Market Saturday mornings downtown
*Provo for the Museum of Art, Krispy Kreme tour, McCurdy Doll Museum (still don't know how I'm going to drag my boys in there.)
*Hogle Zoo & This is the Place (FREE on July 10th)
*Wheeler Farm
*Red Butte Gardens (FREE on Pioneer Day and Sept. 7th)
*Natural History Museum (FREE first Mondays of the month with activities after 5pm)
*Bowling, Classic Skating Center, Mini-golf (I love my Entertainment book!)
*Boondocks (just once or twice on their $12 Tuesdays)

Some NEW things we're doing this year are:
*Ogden- Dino Park, Treehouse Museum and possibly iFly to see my almost 9 year old fly in a wind tunnel (coupons for all!)
*Cabela's - apparently they have a ridiculously sized fish tank
*Build-a-bear (coupon!)
*Fishing. Free (no license required) on Saturday June 14th
*Park City - Alpine Slide, Human Maze, Legacy Launchers, and Little Miner's Park
*Pottery class at Color Me Mine with a coupon
*Cooking Class at Young Chefs Academy with a coupon
*Go to Bear Lake for a 10k and during Raspberry Days (I'm so excited!!!) for a 5k
*Seven Peaks - still looking for a coupon
*Cowubunga Bay which is brand new. Not sure if it's worth the money... I have a friend who said if I go at 6am for a TV shot next week our kids can get in free and play for awhile. We'll see if they wake up that early...

You won't believe it but it really does all fit into 3 months. We're also going to AZ for my neice's wedding - I feel so old when I say that. Oh! And Jeeping. Phew! Don't tell my husband I put that last. I really am excited to try out our new Jeep rubicon once he gets it lifted and the 3rd row seat put in. It's our new "baby". So much easier than giving birth to a real baby. LOL Isn't he cute? Now we can all fit. We used to have to drive two cars down and then pawn off one of our children to a friend. The 3rd row can be forward/rear facing. Cool, huh? They were having a sale, Troy was able to bargain it down further and they threw in an Entertainment package, a sleeping bag, fishing pole and MP3 player. Moab, here we come!


P.S. If anyone's interested in a white Liberty, call me! :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coke Cake



So here's a new dessert I tried and all the kids loved it. Maybe it's because I only buy soda twice a year. It's on the rich side. We used caffeine-free coca-cola. :) You should be able to just click on the picture to see it pop-up to the larger size.

Again, sorry no picture of the actual cake. It was so fantastic there wasn't a chance I was going to stop and grab my camera. Never get between me and chocolate! :) Isn't it a cute way to scrapbook your recipes though? I got the recipe from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/ This is J's favorite recipe now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stretch your Dollar

Here are my notes from our Enrichment class we did on saving money: (I added a few ideas of my own as well)

Subscribe to up to 4 Sunday newspapers so you can get multiple coupons. If you live in Utah, I have a neighbor who can offer you a discounted price on this AND you get a visa gift card you can use anywhere if you do more than 2 papers. The more papers you buy, the greater your gift card amount. I like to keep my coupons organized in a binder with baseball card holders. In the front I also have my Best Prices Sheet which I made by going to a few stores and writing down the prices of items I normally buy. Now I know where to buy what for the best deal and when the ads come out, I know if it's really a sale or not. Great sites that tell you where and when to use these coupons in conjuction with grocery store sales are:

http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/ They have a Utah forum with Screaming Deals.
http://www.grocerysmarts.com/ use code: g84clh You can find printable coupons here as well
http://www.utahcityguide.com/new/guru/index.asp for Utah’s Grocery Guru’s weekly deals

*Did you know you can stack store and manufacturer coupons on one item?
At Kohl’s you can also stack their “15% off” with “$10 off any $20 purchase” coupons which recently came out in the mail. (They expired now but do this a couple times a year - we go to the clearance section at the end of season and with the coupons, it almost feels like stealing: $2 for a tee or $6 for a jacket, then use the coupon... you get the idea)

Walmart will price match other stores advertised prices. Great if you only want to go to one store. I do this almost every time I go to this store. Half of the items are usually the same price or a better deal. It helps to be organized when you go to checkout.

Catalinas are coupons that print out at the register. You can use them on your next shopping trip.

For free/almost free Prescriptions consider using the gift cards for transferring prescriptions. These are found in Target ads, Smiths, as well as other stores.

Beer companies are offering amazing rebates on various items. Some end up being totally free. And the best part is you don’t have to buy the beer! You can find these on posters on end caps of the grocery store aisles or in the beer section. They are on tear pads. Most of them are located at Smiths or Albertsons. They come and go but summer and holiday seasons are a great time to look for them.

Clothing: ShopKo and Sears have a Kid-Tough Guarantee on their store brand of kids clothing. If they wear out, just take them back and get the same size item. Sometimes you have to save the receipt so be sure to check out the details at each store. Great for boys who wear out the knees in the pants and even better if you have more than one of the same gender child. ie: 11 year old wears out the size 10 pants, go back and get them exchanged and now your 8 year old has new pants! Consignment or Thrift stores are also a great place to get a good deal on gently used clothing. Also, it's a great way to recycle. Whenever we travel down to Arizona, I try to stop at the shops down there. $2 for shirts, $5 for shorts/pants. Garage sales are even better and you can usually barter down the prices. Our neighborhood does an annual garage sale every June so everyone waits till then and it is packed! A realtor does the advertising for us in the paper and offers a pod afterwards that you can fill with your leftover stuff which is then donated to Deseret Industries.

For a great deal on fresh, local food think about joining the Community Food Co-op. In Utah, you order before the middle of the month and get your fresh local food the last Saturday of every month. It helps a great cause. Google it to find out more. You have the option of picking up your food at a location closer to you if you join a team.

Entertainment: At the library, you can place holds on new books and movies and watch them for FREE. If you can't wait that long, try the $ theatre. Ours just changed their day to Wednesdays. Another free way to watch movies is to go to http://www.insideredbox.com/. They used to have weekly Monday codes for a free movie but during the summer they will be changing to monthly. Entertainment books are great for buy one, get one free offers.
Boondocks offers $12 Tuesdays in the summer. Some local attractions offer free days thanks to ZAP (Zoo, Arts, Parks tax). If you plan on going somewhere frequently (like the Children's Museum or Zoo) it might be worth your money to get a yearly membership. Better yet, tell the grandparents it would make a great gift for Christmas/Birthday gift!


With all the money you save, you can maybe even go to Paris! That's what my neighbor is doing! I think I'll buy more scrapbook supplies (with a coupon of course)!

Free Kids Meal Days


Sorry, I've been busy with couponing and finding other ways to save money. All I can say is, I love beer rebates! You don't even have to buy beer! In the past 2 1/2 months I've gotten back over $200. Love it! I recently put together an updated list of where kids eat free/cheap in our area. Search it out if you don't live in Mormonland. Each city has different days.

Fuddruckers- Mondays after 4pm $1 kids meal per adult meal

Joe’s Crabshack- Mondays kids eat for 99 cents. Two per paying adult

IHOP- Tuesdays after 4pm 2 kids eat free per paying adult

Mayan- Tuesdays 1 free kids meal per paying adult. Great shows!

Fazoli’s- Tuesdays 5-8pm kids eat for only 99 cents

Denny’s- Tuesdays after 4pm 2 kids eat free per paying adult

Chick-Fil-A- Wednesdays 5-8pm 1 free kids meal per adult combo purchased. They also get a ticket for free ice cream and they have activities for kids to do. *Remember to ask for a stamp card and earn your way towards more free kids meals!

Carl’s Jr.- Wednesday nights 1 free kids meal with purchase of a combo meal

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Second Piano Recital

So the kiddos had another piano recital - hence the reason we hung around for Easter instead of heading down to Moab for Easter Jeep Safari week.

I tried but can't find the cord to upload the video I took. During J's performance N made a move to go out the Emergency Exit door so it was a little jumpy. They all graduated to the next level of piano books. And of course, J has already played ALL the songs in his new book... in one day.

Other than that life has been busy with my calling and I re-painted our living room, kitchen and family room in one week. The trim & doors look so much better in a semi-gloss ultra white. I love it! I had my neighbor help me finish it up since I had a craft night for some church women. We made birthday and baptism explosion boxes. I love the store Pebbles in my Pocket! They have some cute ideas for Young Women as well. http://www.pebblesinmypocket.com/ Check them out!

P.S. I finished the Book of Mormon challenge - Six Weeks Closer to Christ. It was so much fun marking up my new scriptures and it's become a wonderful habit for me to carry them around and read whenever I have a free moment. This book changed my life and every time I read it I get new insights. It has brought more peace into our home and I am thankful for that. Now I'm starting the Old Testament and am going to try to read about 13 pages a day.

Happy Easter!

We made some yummy Easter Breakfast rolls this morning and they were so easy. This would be great for a FHE lesson on the Resurrection!

1 package Rhodes Texas size rolls, thawed
1 package large marshmallows
1/4 cup melted butter
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Flatten each roll and place marshmallow in center of roll and wrap the dough around, sealing the seams really well. Brush top with butter then sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Put in warm oven to rise for 1 hour with shallow pan of HOT water underneath. After one hour, remove the water pan, turn on your oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes. Just like Christ's tomb on Easter Sunday, these rolls will be empty inside!

Makes 24 servings. We usually only do a 1/2 recipe, then use the rest for dinner rolls that night.
*I would've included a picture but they were so yummy - we ate them all! :) Z says this is his favorite recipe now.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scouts and Biking

So much has happened this past week that I'm starting to forget it all:

Our oldest graduated from Cub Scouts and had his Arrow of Light ceremony. We're so proud of him. We worked really hard to get all those activity patches and pins. He loves Boy Scouts now that one of his friends came in.


My daughter learned how to ride her bike! She had seen her friend outside learning to ride her bike with her dad so she grabbed my husband and told him she wanted to learn how to ride her bike... right now. So out they went and we got lots of pictures of the two of them trying. Troy said she kept leaning against him - it didn't matter which side he ran along. So the next day she sees our boys out riding their bikes and so she asks Daddy if he'll come help her. "Not right now" since he was a little tired from yesterday's learning experience. So about 10 minutes later I went outside to get something from the car and I glance down the street to check on all of them and she's at the end of the street just riding along all by herself! So I ran inside, told Troy and grabbed my camera. Z had coached her through it and it was all just so amazing.

And now I can't remember the rest... lol I just know... Life is good.

video