30DT: Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen:

Today, I'm grateful for digital cameras.

I remember going on trips with rolls and rolls of film, carefully deciding whether a picture was worth taking so I could save film, mailing off the rolls and waiting for AGES to get the prints back.

Seems like the stone age now, huh?

I love digital cameras because:

  • They give instant feedback! Eyes closed? Take another shot. Kid not looking? Kid picking nose? Kid pretending to be asleep? Take yet another shot. At the offending kid.
  • They entertain my children! Who doesn't love to have Mom point the camera at you and snap your picture so you can see yourself immediately afterward? Pics, videos, you name it and we can do it, right now, for free, no questions asked.

Time to go take some pics, I think. :)

30DT: Day Fifteen

Day Fifteen:

Today, I'm grateful for GOOD JEANS.

And I'm on the hunt for a new pair. Not too spendy, preferably a trouser cut but maybe a straight leg -- I was NOT built for the skinny jean, unfortunately.

Anybody know the jean for me?

30DT: Day Fourteen

Day Fourteen:

Today I'm grateful for Primary songs.

Nathan, Annie, and I stayed home from church today, since Nathan is the latest one to catch the fever we've been passing around. Normally, I don't like staying home from church -- I miss the sacrament and the socializing -- but today was very peaceful. We tidied up the kitchen after breakfast and then colored at the table while listening to our trusty Primary CDs, and it was so relaxing.

The best part was that my little boy, who picks up songs like pennies off the floor, humming pieces of songs for the duration of the day. Who doesn't love a little boy singing lines from "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission?"

What are your favorite Primary songs? A few of mine aren't even in the songbook yet, but were introduced over the past few years in sacrament meeting presentation book. Here's my list, but add yours as you like!

  • Faith (is knowing the sun will rise...)
  • Love Is Spoken Here
  • If the Savior Stood Beside Me
  • Scripture Power
  • Latter-Day Prophets
  • I Am A Child of God
  • I Can Be a Missionary Now

There are many, many more, but those are the ones that come to mind tonight. Remind me of more!

30DT: Day Thirteen

Day 13:

I'm thankful for microwave ovens.

It's that kind of busy day, and I can't tell you how great it is to nuke my leftover gnocchi from date night last night and enjoy it a second time at lunch.

Pioneers, BE JEALOUS.

30DT: Day Twelve

Day Twelve:

I'm grateful for long, hot showers.


No pic for this one, natch. :)

30DT: Day Ten

Day Ten:

I'm grateful for my minivan!

People badmouth the minivan, but I LOVE mine. I won't wax as eloquent as this person, here, waxed about hers, but to her tribute, I say:

Amen, sista.

Long live the minivan!

30DT: Day Eight

Day Eight:

I'm thankful for good books to read with my kids.

We've developed the habit of working our way through classic kids books, one chapter at a time, curled up in bed after scriptures and prayers at night. Some recent reads include these:

  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph, and Ralph S. Mouse, by Beverly Cleary
  • Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing and Superfudge, by Judy Blume
  • The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks
  • Roald Dahl's books, including Fantastic Mr. Fox

What books did you read as a kid? What've you read with your kids? We're always looking for our next book!

30DT: Day Nine

Day Nine:

Today, I'm grateful for my SIL Rachel! (Lucky people with birthdays in November.)

Reasons why I'm grateful for Rachel:

R - Real. She is the real deal. Always genuine, gorgeous to the skin, kind to the core. Determined to do her best and be her best.

A - Animated. She's as much fun as Looney Tunes, without the risk of an anvil falling on your head. :)

C - Confident. She's not afraid to ask for what she wants -- and usually gets it!

H - Heartwarming. That may sound cheesy, but she's got a knack for making people feel special, at ease, and wanted. I call that heartwarming.

E - Energetic! She's the one with ideas for games and shenanigans. She's up late giggling with the girls. She's got questions and conversation starters and creative ways to use paper plates to entertain her niece and nephew.

L - Loving and lovely. I couldn't choose between these two. Rachel adores my brother James, and I love her for that. She is loving and kind to her whole family, near and far.

Rachel -- love you!

30DT: Day Eleven

Day Eleven:

Today, I'm thankful for silliness!

We're quiet at our house, but with a good dose of quirky humor. Our sense of humor is a little off-center, usually has to do with word-play, and keeps me sane in spite of my daily grind.

So I cracked up a little the other day when I walked into Annie's room and found this scene in the doll house:

Uh, honey, we need to talk.

About what?

You know what.

No, I don't know what!

You know.....

30DT: Day Seven

Day Seven:

I'm thankful for dental floss.

And Mom, I know you are, too.


30DT: Day Six

Day Six:

I'm thankful for my brother Stephen!

Happy birthday, little bro.

30DT: Day Five

Day Five:

I'm thankful for the scriptures.

Yeah, it's a Sunday School answer, but it's the truth. I recently started rereading the Book of Mormon, and it's a beautiful thing. I always feel the Spirit when I open the book, even if I don't understand exactly what's said (I'm in the Isaiah chapters, all right?).

My favorite way to study is to keep a notebook nearby to write down things that strike me as I read -- copy a verse, write down impressions and feelings, connect ideas to what I'm reading, you get the idea. Best plan for me.

Do you have a favorite study method? Have you tried all the fancy digital note taking and highlighting stuff on

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Four

Day Four:

I'm thankful for Annie's interpretive dance during FHE singing time.

She knows her cue. We say, "Welcome to Family Home Ling-a-ling" (long story) and she goes nuts. Her favorite dance tune is, "Book of Mormon Stories," as you see in the video, but she gave us a nice lyrical number tonight during, "Families Can Be Together Forever."

Annie, you crack me up.

And I'm thankful for you.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day Three

Day Three:

I'm thankful for swing sets.

We got one in our backyard this year, and I couldn't be happier with it. Kicking Nicole and Nathan outside for hours at a time worked only because there were swings to ride. Nathan also learned how to pump. FINALLY!

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day Two

Day Two:

Today, I'm grateful for these biscuits. We ate them with split pea soup this weekend and I loved them so much I think I ate more of them than I did Halloween candy. Lots of butter make them de-double-licious. Wanna make them? Here's the recipe.

Southern Biscuit Muffins

2 ½ c. all-purpose flour

¼ c. sugar

1 ½ Tbsp. baking powder

¾ c. cold butter

1 c. cold milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 (2 ½ inch) muffin cups. (These muffins brown better on the sides and bottom when baked without paper liners.) In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until flour mixture is moistened. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan. Cool on wire rack.

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day One

Every day in November, I'm going to post something I'm thankful for. I did this on Facebook last year and wanted to do it again this year, but on my blog this time for two reasons. First, it's my goal to get back into the habit of blogging more often. Second, this way I can add pictures more easily. And also, my mom isn't on Facebook. :) So here goes.

Day one:

I'm thankful for a husband who makes applesauce. Lots and lots of applesauce. One large box of apples in his hands becomes rows and rows of shining jar of applesauce. They look like jewels on the countertop and they -- and he -- make me grateful.

Pumpkin Patch

I've been a mom for 7 years now, and I like to think I do a lot of fun stuff with my kids. But for some reason, we've never done the pumpkin patch thing. At least, not till this year. :) Enter: Baggenstos Farm. It's a local farm about 10 minutes from our house that offered everything we needed.

Big red barn? Check.

Hayride behind the tractor? Check.

Lots and lots of punkins? Check.

Pumpkins for hugging? Check.

Lots of room for an independent one-year-old to run around? Check.

We had a great time and will be going back next year for sure. Next time, I'll plan enough time to visit the hay maze and petting zoo, but for now, our fall pumpkin quota has been met.

Now we just need to carve the suckers.

And look one more time at this picture:

Yep, still adorable.

Costume Time

Since tonight was our ward's trunk-or-treat, we got dolled up and ran over for some candy. Annie was game for our pretty ballerina/princess outfit, and what a pretty princess/ballerina she was! Now I just have to decide if that's really a smile or a grimace.....

Now this girl knew what she wanted: Queen costume. In red. With sparkly shoes. No poofy skirts. Isn't she regal?

And for Nathan? After last year's Super Frog, I wasn't surprised when he chose another unique costume idea. Meet:

The Lego Brick

Smiling Lego:

Full-length Lego:

Sinister Lego:

Recipe for Lego costume:

Good-sized box
6 empty tuna cans
1 hot glue gun
1 can spray paint

(that's a lot of tuna, if you were wondering...)

Good-bye CSA

Pros and Cons of Being a CSA Member

The pros
  • Supporting local, diversified, organic farming
  • Weekly trips to our GORGEOUS farmer's market
  • Getting in the habit of eating more veggies
  • Being adventurous eaters when we're given a new veggie
  • Being adventurous chefs when we're given something new or more of something than we expected

The cons

  • Paying for food that sometimes isn't what we'd choose
  • Sometimes wasting food because we just weren't creative or adventurous enough eaters and chefs that week
  • Having to get to the market EVERY WEEK. ALL SUMMER. And arranging for friends to pick up our bags when we just can't make it.
  • Cabbage, eggplant, tomatilloes, cabbage, turnips, cabbage.

This week was the last straw: a cabbage as big as my one-year-old and weighed 4.5 pounds. Next year, we're just going to go to the market with the money we would have spent at our one farm and support more farms and get what we want, when we want it. Instead of this:


Your fist rubs your eye as I gather you into my arms and sink into our favorite chair. I feel the curve of your back mold into my body as you burrow your face into your fuzzy pink blankie and I burrow my nose in the soft fuzz of your red, baby-fine hair. I press my cheek against the rounded head beneath me and feel your little arms squeeze once, twice, even though they don't even reach around my shoulders. My lips touch your warm, squishy cheek and I will myself to remember this.

Because you are one, now. I remember holding the brand-new you and doing the same thing: memorizing the grunts and murmurs you made when you curled up on daddy's chest, the exact curve of your cheek against my breast as you nursed, the cooing noises that told us you'd be a talker. I tried to imprint your newborn self on my memory because when I look at you now, I know that the you that you were is gone. Gone the way of so many fleeting moments: rolling to get from place to place, the unsteady wobble of your walk that is already more confident and unbelievably fast.

Now you point and grunt to get our attention. Now you love barking at our neighbor's dog, as if you two could “woof-woof” your way into friendship when you won't let him lick your toes. Now you steer me by taking hold of my pant legs to pull me where you want to go. You are here, but the you that you were is gone. And I must hold you close before you leave me again and leave a new you in her place.

Stay with me, baby. Stay with me.