Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to my Gentry.
Nine amazing years of making my heart smile. And, one of the only people in the world that I would get up at 6:00 am for and drive to Krispy Kreme (yes the "hot now" sign was lit) so she could have her favorite sprinkle doughnut for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Perfect Pumpkin Pie
So, I really wanted to have a picture of my pie, but guess what?  I only make it once a year for thanksgiving, and since I'm going to be baking, I'll have no time to be blogging. This is my mom's recipe, and, in my opinion, it is hands-down the best recipe I've ever tasted. The secret is using honey instead of sugar.  
(Makes one pie...if making two, I blend each batch separately)
1 3/4 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. honey (darker honey is better quality)
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/8 t. cloves
1/8 t. allspice
1 c. evaporated milk
2 eggs
1/2 c. regular milk

*Blend all ingredients in blender on high until mixed well. Pour into crust and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until pie is set.  Check with knife in center.  When knife comes out clean, it's done.

I've tried various crusts through the years, and I this is my new favorite (thanks Lori!).
2 (rounded) c. flour
1 t. salt
Sift these two ingredients together.
1 (rounded) c. Crisco
Cut into flour mixture with 2 knives or pastry cutter (which I recommend).
Add 1/3 c. cold water (gradually) and mix with knives or pastry cutter until water is gone.
Divide into 2 balls (makes enough for 2 pies).....roll out and place in pie plate.

This is another thing I LOVE to use when baking crusts never burn.  Available at  kitchen supply stores, or's the link......Mrs. Anderson's pie crust shield
                                                                   Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This weekend I attended a wonderful "mom retreat", The Power of Moms, presented by its Co-Directors, April Perry and Saren Eyre Loosli. It was amazing and I loved having the opportunity to hear about other mom's frustrations and successes.  Sometimes motherhood seems like such a "solo" journey.  It was validating to hear that all moms struggle with difficult challenges.  It was also inspiring to hear how they overcome those challenges and strengthen their families. About 70 women attended the conference.  At one point, we broke into smaller discussion groups.  When we gathered together again, April highlighted a few comments from her group...
     One of the moms said, that just recently, she had made herself start sitting down to eat lunch instead of trying to do other things like the laundry or dishes at the same time.
My friend Lisa, who was also attending the conference, looked at me and said...
     That was you wasn't it?
So, then we both had to laugh...she's known me for 19 years, and yes, it was me that made that comment.  So, it was good to be reminded at this conference that it's important for me to take a little time for myself.  And, yes....when I do this, I'm a better mom.  Check out the Power of Mom website for lots of fabulous articles, programs, and other resources for the whole "mom" profession (link on my side bar). What's that slogan?.... "The toughest job you'll ever love".  Yep, motherhood!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Two nights ago Gentry was playing outside.  Sierra was also somewhere in the backyard.  I was making dinner and turned around to see Gentry walk into the splotchy face, tears streaming down, and breathing really hard.
     What happened? I asked.
She went on to tell me...
      She had been playing on the long board. She decided to lie down on her back (on the board) to ride down a very slight incline at the beginning of our driveway. She gave herself a little push with her legs, and started to roll. As she was rolling, her hair was rolling too, around both of the wheels. By the time the long board stopped, she was stuck. Then she went on to say...
     Mom, I was so scared that dad would drive into the driveway and not see me (my heart did a little was already dark).  I couldn't move, I called for help, but no one heard me.  By this point, I'm feeling sick thinking about the possibilities.  So I asked her..
     So how were you able to get up?
She looked at me and responded....
     I prayed, and then all of the sudden, my hair just fell off the wheels!
And I knew, without a doubt, that our Heavenly Father answered the prayer of a sweet, eight year old child. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a field trip

Last week I chaperoned Gentry's field trip to the Riparian preserve.  And for the "strange and unusual" file we have...
.......a very old opposum (who my kids think is probably related to "Buggsie" from Bed Time Stories).

A naked, albino guinea about getting a hard lot in life.

This guy...sorry, I don't remember what he was or where he came from.

A very large (and apparently cuddly) lizard

and, the world's largest breed of rabbit (this guy was not even close to being full grown according to our guide). Big Rabbit.

Gentry loved the animals, and thought the dinosaur bone dig was the best activity.  Definitely one of the more entertaining field trips I've been on in the last 14 years.

Friday, November 11, 2011

a kidnapping (sort of)

Today, this kid turned 14.
(Does he look a little shaken up?)
This morning, at 8:30 in the a.m.,  nine other kids (dressed in black,wearing ski masks) entered our front door, and headed for Drewby's bedroom.
Chaos ensued.
And was followed by the removal of Drew to an awaiting van.
Which transported him to another boy's home whose sweet mom (thanks Ruth!) made all ten of the boys pancakes and bacon. Which was followed by several rounds of the latest and greatest video game. Later, Drew came home to celebrate...
with a little Mexican food (Mi Amigos)...
and some cake....and his family.
This kid is a really good kid with some really good friends.
Happy Birthday Drew!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Jenny delivered a healthy baby girl a few days ago....Lily Adele.

Carl Sandburg once said, 
"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on"

...and it will.  Welcome baby Lily.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I never had a brother. Growing up, it was just my sister and me.  Now I'm the mom to three girls and one boy.  Really, Drew is a teenager, and will turn fourteen this Friday.  What does one do with a fourteen year old boy?  This is new territory for me.  But, I do enjoy a challenge.  When Drewby was little, it was easy.  I was his mom, and he loved everything we did together.  We read books, drew pictures,  sang songs, and built lego spaceships.  I always had ideas for us to spend time together.  But, how do you spend time with your fourteen year old boy?  My video game skills are lacking, and I'm not very good at lacrosse.  How about bacon?  That's what Drew and I did together last week.  We made dinner.  I set Drew up as the short order cook (bacon and sausage).  We talked about grease control and how to cook the perfect piece of bacon (crispy, but not burned).  And, while we were cooking, we were talking about other things.....not significant things, but things.  And, I realized, that I missed Drew.  So, a few days later, I took him to lunch, and we shared onion rings. And, he talked a lot, and I loved every minute of our time together. Parenthood is an amazing thing, you get out of it what you put into it.  Not always on the timetable I'd like.  Sometimes the "payoffs" don't come for years.  But, like I said, I enjoy a challenge.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

terrible, rotten, no good day

Today started out so nicely.  I slept in and had a lovely 25 minute shower.  Then Gregg and I took Gentry to her soccer kind of went downhill from there. G is a perfectionist.  They played the most challenging team of the season.  Final score...Leopards 0-other guys 1.  Guess who was the goalie when they scored? Yep.  So, Gentry spent the next 10 minutes telling Gregg and I that it was her fault that they lost.  We encouraged, praised, and then, I tried "tickle torture".  Unfortunately, after a brief smile, Gentry did and involuntary jerk of the arm resulting in a fist to my nose.  Yes (post deviated surgery) my nose is so much better, but the blow was delivered to the one part that still hurts.  I was glad I had my sun glasses on (FYI-if you blink and tilt your head back,  tears will go back down your throat, not down your cheeks).  So, G feels bad, my nose hurts, and Gregg drives to pick up hay for our horses before we head home.  We pull into the place, Gregg decides to back up and turn his truck around.  I'm on the phone with Sadie being informed that no one at home is doing their Saturday jobs.  As Gregg shifts into drive, I see a tree stump to our left.  I say, "watch our for that.." Bam! We hit the stump, our seat belts lock, and I have to apologize to Sadie for my "French". Gregg and I get out to find a HUGE dent in the front of his truck. We get the hay and head home.  We get home, the kids are parked in front of the TV, no work is done, and I have to get back in the car to go to the grocery store. I get to the grocery store and am so distracted, I hit a couple of isles at least three times after forgetting something.  I check out, realize I forgot a few more things, get those things, load the groceries, drive home, unload the groceries and realize I only have one hour to make chili for our ward party tonight. So, I make the chili, put it in the crock pot and decide I need to vent (blog).....Hoping the rest of the night will be a little better.

Yeah-that kind of day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Last year we started a new tradition for November...a "Thankful Tree"
I just took several pieces of brown card stock, formed the base, and then traced and cut out limbs.  Another option is to trace a tree on butcher paper.  I added this little owl, and pretty soon other animals (courtesy of Sierra and Gbee) started showing up. I also put our family name at the top.

    • Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. ~Denis Waitley
                                 Happy November

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Some pics of my trick or treaters.  

Camp "Half-blood" costumes from the Percy Jackson series...kinda "homemade" (purchased shirts and iron on letters and ironed them on-impressive, I know).  The third child did not mind that I got the "L" backward and thought it looked "cooler that way" anyway.

Sadie went as a teenager and even volunteered to take Gbee (which made her feel very important).
Unfortunately, no pics of my other teenager.  Drew headed to friend's and told me that his costume would just involve wearing all black and I think a t-shirt tied around his head.  What can I say, he's thirteen.  Gregg dressed up like an ASU fan (t-shirt and hat), and I went as an ASU fan's wife.  
(Sorry, no pics available).  Fun night and the result was a tired, happy family.  I am still trying to recover the carnage of the "day after halloween" house.  Happy Wednesday!