Monday, July 23, 2012


I've begun to have nightmares about school.  Last night it was care plans and IVs.

Of course there's the perpetual nightmare of what am I going to do when I graduate...

And I don't even want to think about leaving this guy...

My first day back is exactly a month from today.

Don't make me go!  I've been having too much fun!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Healthy Ice Cream

That sweet tooth drove Hyrum and I to try something new and we loved the result.  Is it just me, or does it feel great to eat ice cream without feeling guilty (or losing points on your health challenge).

Easy Healthy Chocolate Ice Cream


1 banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp (or more) unsweetened cocoa powder

First, freeze your banana.  You want your banana to be ripe--not, brown, mushy banana bread "ripe" but a sprinkling of brown spots ripe.  After it's frozen, cut it into smaller pieces and then stick it in a blender, a food processor, or just have at it with a fork.  Now you have banana ice cream.  If you're a banana person, go right ahead and eat it, but if you're like me, a my-bananas-need-a-little-help person, add peanut butter and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Mix through.  Eat immediately.

Total calories:  approximately 170

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Baby's No Baby

Lately, when I look at Hyrum, he looks so...


He toddles around, opens doors, turns on the vacuum, reaches things he shouldn't be able to reach, and climbs on anything he possibly can.  He's just getting so BIG.  He's a little boy.  He's not the little baby he used to be.

He's so smart, too.  Remember these stackers?

He actually stacks them now.  And then throws them at me.  Then I shake my head sternly and say "Ouch!"  So he throws them at me and shakes his head sternly.

He loves to come sit on your lap when we're playing together.  He'll bring me books at let me read the first four pages.  He will lay his head on your shoulder and give you a little pat when he wants to give you "a love."  He makes sound effects for anything with wheels--a kind of buzzing "bum, bum, bum."  His newest word is "uh oh."  When he breaks my sunglasses, "uh oh!"  When he drops something, "uh oh!"

I'm so blessed to be a mother.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Obligatory Post About Arizona Rain--Complete with Blurry Pictures

It rained.  It really rained.  It rained and we realized we had a gutter problem because we had a waterfall right behind the back porch.

Hyrum had his first real rain experience.  As soon as it started we made a mad scramble for his shoes and I was saying, "Come on, Hyrum! Let's go! We're gonna miss it!  It's raining!"  You never know if those darn storms are gonna last.

Luckily he got plenty of playing in before we started to see lighting and Dad said it was time to be done.

Hooray for rain!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fruit in a Blender

After lunch today, Husband decided he was going to bust out the root beer floats.  "It was his free day" for week one of the 8 week challenge.  Oh how I wanted today to be my free day too!  Unfortunately, the massive migraine that kicked in on Thursday afternoon resulted in a woefully miserable day as far as the challenge goes.  I resigned, knowing that it had to be my cheat day by default...

Needless to say, all day I was craving root beer floats, cookies, caramel apples, chocolate bars...

I was about to give in,

But then I threw a bunch of fruit in the blender and made myself a smoothie.

It was yummy.  It satisfied that insatiable sweet tooth.

I proudly announced to Husband, "It's not even too tart for you!"

I was surprised when he puckered up with the first bite.  "If that's not tart, I'd hate to taste what is!"

It wasn't tart.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Far Away

So what do you do when you have family that live far away?  No one with a normal life can actually go visit grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins in other states often enough.  So how do you make sure your little one knows who they are?

One thing we love to do is to video chat.  It's fun to get Grandma and Grandpa on the line and say, "Look what Little Gus can do?  He can eat with his very own spoon!  He can say 'Hi!'" etc.  But at most, that's happening once a week...

Well Grannie had a great idea.  Why not make a little picture book?

So I used my 50 free prints from Shutterfly, bought a photo sleeve book from the dollar store (Can you believe those are practically extinct?  I had no luck finding them at Walmart and there were slim pickins at the dollar store.) and made Hyrum a little book.

It has pictures of him, pictures of Husband and I, pictures of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-grandparents...  Hooray for this little book.  Hooray for the internet and telephones.  Hooray for airplanes.  A thousand miles is a long ways, but today's conveniences are such a blessing for our family!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

No Longer Safe

Our home is no longer safe...

He is oh so proud of himself.  He throws a fit when the chairs get put away.  Why is climbing so fun?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Healthy Frozen Treats

My sister-in-law Whitney invited us to participate in an 8 week challenge.  There are 10 goals per day, each worth one point.  Those goals are:
  1. Exercise for 45 minutes
  2. Get at least 7 hours of sleep
  3. Drink 64 oz of water
  4. No junk foods (sugar/high calorie)
  5. Eat two fruits & two veggies
  6. Don't eat dinner after 9pm
  7. Daily multivitamin
  8. Read for 15 minutes
  9. One act of kindness
  10. Personal goal
The personal goal is tailored to you and addresses something specific that you want to improve.   You get one free day a week, where you automatically get 10 points.  There are also some group goals and rewards.  I'm actually really excited about this challenge.

The funny thing is that Husband had just bought a case of IBC root beer and a 1/2 gallon Blue Bell ice cream.  Needless to say, that's not going to get eaten real quick.  In the mean time, I've been trying to come up with some yummy treats that satisfy my sweet tooth without causing me to lose a point.  This is what I've come up with so far...

Frozen Banana Bites


Vanilla Yogurt
Toasted Almonds

Mix cinnamon into yogurt.  Slice banana and dip in yogurt.  Place on wax paper.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds.  Place in freezer for 45-55 minutes.

It's as easy as that!  I did some with and some without cinnamon.

Frozen Yogurt Bits


Yogurt (any flavor)

Put yogurt in ziploc bag and snip the corner.  Pipe dollops of yogurt onto wax paper.  Freeze for 45 minutes.

I tried this one on a whim.  I just felt like filling in all the extra space around my bananas.  Turns out they are super delicious and Little Guy loves them!  I can't wait to try with different flavors.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spoons and Peanut Butter

This is one of those things where years down the road, my fifth child will say, "Mom, how come you don't have any pictures of me using a spoon correctly for the first time?"  And I'll probably just sigh and say, "Because I love Hyrum best."  

I guess I was feeling a little bit adventurous and I decided to let Hyrum try out the spoon at dinner tonight.  We tried this a few weeks ago, and although he could get beans on his spoon, he couldn't get them into his mouth.  Much to our surprise, tonight he had it mastered like a pro, right from the get go.  I'm a proud Momma.  He ate his entire dinner with a spoon. 

Husband was saying, "That's not normal!  Not just any 14 month old can do that!"  

My retort was, "How do you know?  You've never had a 14 month old!  You just want him to be extraordinary."

Husband smiled and agreed.

After Dad went to bed (at 6:30--gag me!) Hyrum and I decided to have some peanut butter, honey, and crackers.  After licking the peanut butter/honey off and handing me two soggy crackers, I decided it was time to move up in the world.  The pictures are blurry, but he sure liked it...until he decided it was bedtime and started rubbing peanut butter in his eyes.  Then it wasn't fun because Momma had to wash it all off and he hates getting his face washed.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A New Schedule

Husband passed his test and will graduate Tuesday as a Transportation Security Officer.  (Yes.  They take this very seriously.)  In addition to all of that excitement, he starts his official schedule tomorrow.  He'll work four days a week from 4am to 10 (or 11)am.  While there are a lot of things we like about this schedule, there are a few that we're not too excited about, and I'm sure even more that we'll discover over the next few weeks.

For starters, Husband doesn't even like thinking about waking up at 2:30am to get himself ready, out the door, and to work on time.  I don't like that he has to go to bed so early.  I'm dreading actually going to bed tonight.  Husband snores.  Normally that's not a problem because I'm asleep before it starts and it doesn't bother me in the middle of the night, but trying to fall asleep to that sweet music is another story.

And then there's the new habit he's picked up with the new schedule.  Booby-trapping me.

I needed to get something out of the closet.  I didn't want to bother him, so I crept quietly down the hall and then...

BAM! SPLAT! CRASH!  BOOM!  I walked right into the bedroom door, which he had cleverly shut and which I could not see in the dark.

"Huh? What's going on?" Husband says drowsily.

I'm not sure whether to bust up laughing or to cry.  I try to stifle whatever it is gurgling in my throat and apologize, "You shut the door and it was dark and I couldn't see!"  Nice apology, I know.

P.S.  This morning at three, when I woke up to fix Husband's lunch, pray with him, etc., I told him, "I 'a-door' you!"

Friday, July 6, 2012

Toddler Photography

Is it just me, or is it hard to take pictures of a toddler?  Mine doesn't seem to want to cooperate.  No matter how hard I try, more often than not all my pictures look like this...

 On the run!

 Here, let me swat at your camera!

 I'm hiding!

Ha! You thought you had me!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Piece of the Temple

We had a most fantastic Family Home Evening this week.  We drove to the Gilbert Temple construction site.  We were able to see the temple, which has made a lot of progress since we last talked about it.  The have a little visitors trailer center there.  Inside there are pictures of the progress, architectural drawings, and missionaries who are there to answer any question you may have about the temple.  We learned some really neat things...

First of all, this is the largest temple the Church has built since the Mount Timpanogos Temple, which was dedicated in 1996.  What most impressed me, was what I learned about the sealing rooms.  There are five sealing rooms on the third floor.  Two of them are small and have seating room for about twenty--just so we don't get homesick for the Mesa Temple!  The other three, however, will hold about 70-80 people!  Another thing I thought was neat is that the bride and groom will exit from the south side of the temple, rather than the east, where the main entrance/exit is.  This bride and groom exit goes right into the bridal garden.  This is a perfect way to make sure that you don't have to worry about clogging up the entrance to the temple (or having a bunch of people in the background) when taking pictures! 

One thing I joked about is that I'm going to miss the golden windows!  Right now they just have plywood up in the windows, but it will be replaced by stunning art glass.

If you have a chance to go by the visitors center, they are handing out pieces of the temple!  One of the walls for the outside of the temple cracked.  These walls are made of white, pre-cast concrete with a quart aggregate mixed in.  The quartz is shipped from Georgia to Dallas, where the walls are formed, and then it is shipped to Gilbert.  Normally the crack in the wall would be fixable, but only the best materials are used for the temple.  Instead of sending the wall back to be ground up and mixed into a road, they kept the wall and have broken it up so that anyone who would like can have a piece of the temple.  I know that I will always have a piece of this temple in my heart!  We love the temple and are so excited for its completion.  Families can be together forever because of temples!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Homemade Wheat Bread

Since I've dubbed myself a bread maker lately, I thought I would share my homemade wheat bread recipe.  It's a slightly modified recipe I got from my friend Heather.

Wheat Bread

2 3/4 cups warm water                                 1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar                                                4 cups hard white wheat flour
1 Tbsp. yeast                                                3-5 cups white bread flour
1/4 cup oil

Combine and stir the warm water, sugar, and yeast, then let sit approximately 10 minutes to activate.  In the meantime, add the oil, salt, 4 cups of hard white wheat flour, and 3 cups of white flour in a mixing bowl with a bread hook.  Add the yeast mixture after it has activated.  Mix on low for 1 minute, adding white flour gradually until the dough forms a ball and then comes away from the side of the bowl.  Mix on medium speed for 7 more minutes, then place in greased bowl and cover with a towel.  Let rise until double, about 1 hour.  Punch down and form into loaves or rolls.  Cover and let rise until double, about 40-60 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees.  18-20 minutes for bread, 13-15 minutes for rolls.  Remove from pans to completely cool.

I'll also share with you a few tricks I've learned over my 2 1/2 years of married, bread making, experience.  First of all, you can change the ratios of white and wheat flour however you like.  You can make all white or all wheat bread.  Until recently I was an all white kind of gal, but lately I've been doing it in this ratio (about half and half) because I feel like it's healthier, I have wheat and a wheat grinder now, it tastes yummy, and I'm not brave enough to go 100% whole wheat.

Next...the must of bread making that I've learned the hard way.  Bread must cook for the full 18-20 minutes.  If the tops look perfectly brown after 15 minutes don't fall for it!  If you take those pretty little loaves out after 15 minutes you will be a sad homemaker indeed when you slice those puppies and find a raw middle.  Yuck!  The trick is to check your bread at about 15 minutes and if the tops look done, just slide a piece of foil over them.  The foil will keep the tops from burning, but will allow the middles to cook through. 

Happy baking!