Monday, July 30, 2007

Another Harry Potter Comment

After reading so many Harry Potter books over the years and coming to the end, it's like saying goodbye to an old friend.

Harry Potter . . . Finished

As per the previous post . . . I had to wait until 12:40 am that night to finally get the book back. I read as often as I could over the next few days until I finally finished Sunday Night.

It was really a great book with lots of references to love, trust, and sacrifice. Good Stuff! At times I was worried it might end . . . well, I shouldn't say just in case you haven't read the book . . . But I believe it ended just the way it should end.

Friday, July 27, 2007

No One Can Eat Just One

Usually when a Harry Potter book comes out I'm the last to read it. I wait until everyone else has read it so I can enjoy it without someone waiting over my shoulder.

Well . . . it has been a while since I read book #6 so I went online to sparknotes to refresh my memory before I started book #7. It got me all excited and I could hardly wait to start reading. I went in to check on Niko during his nap and there was the book laying in the middle of our bed. Oh . . . I'll just read a chapter while Niko is asleep . . .

It's like that potato chip commercial, "No one can eat just one!" Well, I read five chapters and I had to take care of "stuff." In the meantime, Todd came home. And he is now sitting on the couch reading the book.

I'm just beside myself. I want to go grab the book out of his hands and continue reading myself. My only hope is that he reads fast and long into the night so the book can be mine. I need to get a hold of it before Kim and Tom get home tomorrow or I might be at the end of the line again.

I shouldn't have started.

If any of you have finished reading your copy and have pity on me . . . bring it over right away.


Okay, the previous blog was kind of lame. It was so cute when it happened. The blog just didn't do it justice.

Some days I feel like I have tons of stuff to write and can hardly get it down fast enough. Then there are days, sometimes several days in a row, when I don't know what to say or sometimes how to say what is running around in my head.

It's been very strange having Kim and Tom gone all week long. I'm feeling very anxious thinking about in just a few short years they will be both be gone.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

See . . . I'm stuck . . . I don't know how to put into words the thoughts in my head and the feelings in my heart.

"Come On"

I sat down at the computer to read a few of my favorite blogs when Niko came up and grabbed my thumb and said, "come on." He wouldn't let go until I got up and followed him into the kitchen, still holding my thumb tightly. We then wondered around the kitchen for a few minutes while he tried to figure out what he wanted, still holding my thumb tightly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another Outing

We, Grandpa and myself, made another outing today with 5 little kids. This time we journeyed to Costco. I am definitely feeling more confident about tackling outings by myself as long as Niko is strapped in (car seat, stroller, shopping cart). The kids enjoyed samples while grandpa filled his cart. Then we all indulged in berry smoothies for the car ride home. Yum!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Aunt Dot?

Aunt Dot . . . where did you go? We finally got to Twin. I called you and the number was disconnected. Sorry we didn't get to see you before you moved back to Utah. I miss you!

Kid Table and Adult Table

At family dinners while I was growing up there was always an adult table and a kid table. Although I have many fond memories at the kid table I always felt like I was missing out by being away from the grown-ups. When I was a teenager and finally got to sit at the big table I loved to hear all the "grown-up" conversations. I think I learned a lot about life while listening. I got to form my own opinions. I was even talked to like I was valued and important.

So as an adult I have always tried to include everyone at the same table no matter how long or wide the table needed to be. I guess I'm trying to give my kids some of the same great moments I had at the adult table. Today, as I visited with Laura I remembered all the fun and laughter at the kids table. I hope I'm not depriving my kids of those memories. Maybe next time a bunch of cousins are over I'll try adding a kid table . . . maybe . . . just once . . . I don't know . . .

Last Minute Road Trip

Last minute road trip . . . and I forgot to take the camera.

We decided at 9:30 this morning to make a trip to Twin Falls. Todd went to girls camp so it was just me, Grandpa, and 5 little kids.

Just as we pulled into town we stopped at the Golden Corral for a late lunch and met Aunt Mary Jane and Uncle Darrel, Aunt Shirley and Uncle Keith, Aunt Fay and Uncle Mailon, and Laura and Mike with their three kids. We made a quick stop to see the Twin Falls Temple being built. We then headed over to Aunt Mary Jane and Uncle Darrel's House where I tried to visit and reminisce while keeping an eye on a two year old that can't stay in one place for too long. Then we enjoyed dinner which included grandma's recipe of peas and potatoes in a white sauce and the traditional kids table and grown up table. Then we made a made dash for home before it got too dark.

Thank goodness Laura had her camera. Modern technology is great. She will email me some pictures when she gets back home and then I can post them.


It doesn't matter how hot it is . . . if you just received cool army hand-me-down pajamas that will keep you nice and toasty in the middle of summer.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Corn, Corn, Corn

It was so yummy! I had three ears myself. Sorry you missed it.

Check It Out

Check out the YouTube Video posted in the right sidebar called Momsense. You might need to be a parent to appreciate it . . . or . . . just have a really good memory of your childhood.

Husking Corn

The kids helped Grandpa husk corn fresh from the garden out on the deck. Niko ate a whole ear uncooked. It's on the stove cooking right now. Wish you were here to enjoy it with us. Yum, Yum!

To Bed

Okay . . . so I am going to bed now. This is even too late for me and I am a night owl. I am getting a little bit tired . . . maybe I will be able to sleep by the time I get all ready for bed.


I was washing a load of clothes from Thomas' scout camp. I had only wanted his clothes in the washer because . . . well . . . scout camp . . . you know . . .

I loaded his clothes in the washer (front loader . . . ) and walked out of the room for only a second to go get Thomas' scout shirt, leaving Niko in the room. When I came back I sprayed his shirt with Spray 'n' Wash and tossed it in, closed the door, and started the machine. When I went to take the clothes out of the washer to put them into the dryer, the washer was a lot fuller than I had anticipated. Niko decided to fill it up with whatever he could find . . . his church clothes (pants, white shirt, and vest) . . . a belt . . . Kim's swimsuit . . . a towel . . .

Hot, Hot, Hot

Okay, so we came home a little after 1:00am from this run to Wal-Mart. It was still 80 degrees outside! I am so tired of this heat. It came so early this year and there doesn't seem to be a reprieve. It usually cools down a little at night so we can turn the air off but . . . 80 degrees . . . still a little warm for my liking.

The Shiner

I'm not quite sure what happened . . . something about two boys ramming their bikes into each other . . . heads meeting . . .

Jay said, "Justin's head feels like steel."

When Does the Sabbath Day End?

We had to make a "necessary" run to Wal-Mart to be ready for 6:00am tomorrow morning. We never shop on the Sabbath unless it is absolutely necessary. So we waited until after midnight to go because I just couldn't bare the thought of going on Sunday.

As I was walking through the store I couldn't help but think I was pushing the line a little bit. Some religions consider the sabbath to be from sunset the day before until sunrise the day after. I think I will try a little bit more to be prepared on Saturday for Sunday AND Monday morning.

I should go to bed now since I need to get up in just a few short hours. But the house is most quiet and I am wide awake. Maybe just a few more minutes . . .

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Split

It is our second week in the new ward. New ward . . . no, we didn't move. They finally split our huge ward. We were bursting at the seams. We figured the stake just couldn't do anything because there was not a building or time slot for another ward in our growing stake.

There was no warning. As we arrived at church a couple of weeks ago, Kim showed me the program. We were so excited because it showed our great Stake President speaking for the entire meeting. Only minutes into the meeting we knew what was coming.

Although we can see the church from the back windows of our house, we have to drive 15 minutes away to another building in another stake.

We have a great new Bishop. No callings yet . . . for anyone. We only have a Bishopric. Everyone is just pitching in and taking care of the area that they were working in before the split.

We still fill up the whole chapel and half of the cultural hall. At least there is a little breathing room now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

100 Blog Entries

Wow . . . a hundred blog entries. Who would of thought? It feels like I haven't been doing this very long and yet . . . 100 . . .

And . . . the people who got me started on this . . . where have you gone? Isn't is about time to get blogging again . . .


Yes, it is finally here. We have to water it all the time. The kids are now counting down the days until they are allowed to play on it. Next . . . the flower beds . . . trees . . .

Friday, July 13, 2007

Don't You Wish You Were Here?

We have been enjoying the fruits of Grandpa's garden this past week, new red potatoes, beets, peas, and green beans. Today for an afternoon snack the kids and I enjoyed the first cucumbers, sliced and dipped in ranch dressing. It was so yummy! And fresh!

Here is a view of Grandpa's garden from my laundry room window. It's a great site to enjoy as I fold clothes. The picture just doesn't do the garden justice. It is absolutely beautiful and barely a weed can be found.

It looks like a storm could be brewing. I'm hoping for rain to help cool things off.

By the way . . . Todd and I both jumped off the bargain boat and swam to shore. Please note in the following sentence that I use the term "we" very loosely, as I will be the one keeping little kids out of the way and not doing the installation. We are installing sod in the front yard tomorrow morning at 7:00am. The reason I am posting the time is in hopes that you all will be over to help with the festivities. Hee hee!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Paddle or Swim

The water is looking so cool on a hot summer day. I think we are about to jump overboard and swim for shore.

(You will need to read the previous post for this to make sense.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The curbing is in. Yea! It looks really great. Todd always says pictures are better when someone is in the picture. So . . . he posed for me. Sorry, he is in the shadows and kind of hard to see.

I looked at trees yesterday.

We were all set to plant seed but found out the sod might be in our budget. I am always the first on the bargain boat and the cost of seed compared to sod is quite a bit of different. But . . . the thought of having a yard full of grass in only a day just might be enough for me to jump out of the boat and swim for the shore.

The Lost Cookie

When Niko came home from his visit yesterday he had a mini bag of chocolate chip cookies shaped like Hershey's Kisses. I was talking to Todd on the phone as he tried to open the bag. He gave one big pull which ripped the bag apart and cookies went flying everywhere. Even though I was a little distracted while talking on the phone I still helped him pick up the cookies from the couch, coffee table, and floor and then place them in a bowl.

Hours later I felt something poking my stomach just above the belly button. I lifted up my shirt to see what it was . . . a lost cookie. I can hardly believe I didn't notice it was there for almost 3 hours.

A Hug and a Kiss

When Niko first came to live with us last October he couldn't say any words. His first response whenever he was upset was to scream and run away from everybody. It has been a challenge to help him understand that when you are upset you go to someone you love for comfort and get hugs and kisses.

I was feeling like he has overcome that tendency to run away but yesterday I am quite confident in my assumption.

After having a teary conversation while talking with a couple of family members, Niko comes running up to me and says "hug" as he stretches his little arms around my neck and pats me on the back. Then he turns my face towards his, looks me in the eyes, and says "kiss." He then plants a very big kiss on my cheek. He then looked at my face again to see if I was okay. This made me tear up even more. He wiped a tear from my cheek and then checked my face again. He then put his cheek on my cheek to wipe the tears. I was smiling because he was so sweet. He must have realized he did the job because he then climbed off my lap and went on his merry little way.

No, I don't think it is the responsibility of little kids to comfort their parents. But what a treasure it was today. Now I know he gets the whole concept of comforting. It is something I wish I had learned at the age of two.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Be Back Later

I was just about to sit down and blog for a few minutes . . . but the landscape curbing "guys" just showed up . . . so I'll be back later. I'm going to go watch and maybe take some pictures.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Yard Update

Curbing goes in on Monday. Yea! Then we can start on flower beds and grass. I wonder what grass looks like!?!

Simple Scones

This is the recipe I referenced earlier today. I found this recipe on my favorite recipe site, . Our family loves these. We call them English scones because scones made in Idaho are a completely different thing, small pieces of raised bread dough fried in oil. These Simple Scones are what the rest of the world thinks of when they hear the word scones. They are easy to make and we usually have all of the ingredients on hand. Within a half an hour you can make, bake, and start eating them. Yum, Yum!

Simple Scones

Submitted by: USA WEEKEND columnist Pam Anderson
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 180 members
Yields: 8 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.

3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

4. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Printed from 7/6/2007

Pulling Out The Big Guns

The last few days have been so hot, well over a 100 degrees. Today it is suppose to be 108 degrees. We have let the kids play long endless hours outside despite a yard of dirt and the heat. They never seem to know when they have had too much heat. We usually have to take a pitcher of water outside to provide drinks continually. Then we finally call them inside because they are so red in the face and their hair is so wet from sweat that it appears to be pouring rain outside, which it has not.

Besides the heat, the kids have been completely filthy dirty.

So today as the temperature reaches 108 we are all staying inside. I made all of the kids take long showers until every speck of dirt was gone. They are dressed in clean clothes and I even did the girls hair in pig tails and a braid. They had to finish all of their chores before playing with toys, the game cube, or watching TV.

The boys all finished their chores fairly fast, Justin and Jay by 11am and Thomas by noon. The girls were a different story. Kim is out of town so we all are pitching in to do her jobs. The little girls were finding every excuse to not get their work done.

Yes, our kids have daily jobs to do, but they are by no means too much. It should only take them about 40 minutes to do everything on their list including reading for 20 minutes. They are things like keeping their rooms clean, putting their clean clothes away, clean their cubby, emptying the dishwasher, reading for 20 minutes, and cleaning chores like vacuuming, dusting, or washing mirrors.

I just couldn't get the girls to do their work. I started to make lunch and told the girls they couldn't have lunch until all their jobs were done. There was grumpy faces and feet stomping but I held my ground. Still nothing was being done.

At about 3pm I decided to pull out the big guns. I knew the girls would be very hungry by now. I decided to make scones, a favorite family recipe. It smells up the house, they are fast to make, and the oven doesn't need to be on very long on a hot day.

I will post the recipe later.

The scones come out of the oven. I call on the intercom, "If your chores are done, come to the kitchen for a hot scone." To sweeten the deal, I placed the scones on the kids favorite plates.

I got these cute flower plates from one of my best friends. One day while visiting her family in Southern California I saw her plates and commented on them. Only a few short days after arriving home, two sets of matching plates, bowls, cups, and utensils arrived on our doorstep. Thank you, Celeste! They truly are the kids favorite plates. We are still enjoying them.

The girls came rushing to the kitchen and grabbed a plate. I did a quick check of their lists hoping everything was really done. But not even close. Now there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. But the girls finally kicked into gear and within minutes they enjoyed their scones together (just in time for dinner).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

From A Distance

Erica wore these corny glasses all afternoon that made me giggle every time I looked at her.

Our 4th of July was spent eating Danish Pancakes, playing games (Skip-Bo and The Farming Game), and watching fireworks. Todd lit some fireworks in the front yard and then we went out on the back deck. We could see the fireworks across the whole valley. It was really great but it just doesn't even compare to seeing the fireworks up close. We have resigned ourselves to watching from a distance for a few more years until all of these little kids are older.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

Our family 4th of July tradition is to have Danish Pancakes for breakfast. Yum, Yum! We usually invite a bunch of people and eat outside. Well, this year there is no yard. So just our "little" family had breakfast together at the table.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

At a Loss for Words

I had a really creepy earwig thing happen. I am definitely not going to write about that. Actually, we have had quite a few creepy earwig things happen lately. I'm not going to write about any of them.

Someone did something very hurtful to someone in our family. It will make me sad and I don't want to stoop to their level. So, I will not write about that either.

Hummm . . .

Since I am at a loss for words (and thoughts) today I think I will add something to the sidebar of this blog instead. Here is a list of blogs I like to check out (on the sidebar to the right).

And as Erica greeted me first thing this morning . . . "Happy 4th of July Eve!"

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Sometimes fasting seems like a chore. It feels like I am starving instead of fasting.

Then there are days like today. When I realize I really need the help, guidance, and answers, the whole fasting experience feeds my heart and mind.

The Cousins Minus Kim