Wednesday, December 19, 2007
My baby is 4. She is magical. Somedays she throws 4 tantrums in 10 minutes at the grocery store. She says funny things. She told her preschool that I am going to have another baby. I am not! In a dressing room as I was trying different sizes on her she says out loud, very loud: Mom touch my boobies- they tickle! She gets cuddled almost every night by me or her big sister. She wears tutus anywhere, over anything or just alone. She still gets carried around in my arms and never pushed in a stroller. She makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and licks the knife during the process. She has eaten almost all of the candy on our gingerbread house that only she wanted to make! She cries some mornings and doesn’t others. There is no pattern. Something might make her happy one moment and furious another. Even as the baby of 4 kids, she still keeps me guessing.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This is a picture of my older sister, my dad, me and Cammie. We- me, my dad and Francie visited Cammie in Scotland earlier this year. It was a surprise for Cammie. She knew my dad was going to visit, but had no idea that Francie and I were coming too!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
When we purchased our house in 2000, it had a main floor and a partial basement. We had two bedrooms and 2 baths- one on each floor. At the time I was pregnant with my third and we had family in and out of our basement (poor Liz, Cammie and Charla!) We started work right away on our attic. It was rafters and bird nests at the time! Now it has a bathroom, a bedroom and a "Living Area" that the boys use as their bedroom. We are almost done! We have spent a fortune, redone a lot, hired and fired and lost half a fortune, but we are almost done! We have learned a ton too. So Cammie, here are the pictures you requested. I would have included the "during phase", but those pictures aren't accessible and I don't want to remember too vividly what a mess it was! We would loved to have done a bit more... Maybe if we win the Lottery (though I would need to start playing).
Monday, December 10, 2007
We have a dog. Over the past 5 years we have had 4 dogs. Our first one was a beautiful Weimaraner. We adopted him from a shelter. He was big and very smart. About a week into having him we were finally getting used to being dog owners. We liked him. On Christmas Eve Richard took him for a run. They had already been out earlier in the day, but Rich thought that it would help Sirius sleep and be more settled through the night. About a half hour into their outing, I got a call from a very distressed Richard. He was crying and my heart stopped. I thought that they both got hit by a car. It turned out that that was not the case. Richard took the dog across the street to run some stairs in the 6 level parking structure. He let Sirius off the leash. At the top, Sirius began to run really fast and Richard called to him. The dog stopped, looked at him, then took off, jumping over the 4” wall at the top of the building. We buried him in our frozen flower garden the next morning. Our second dog was another Weimaraner. She was also from a shelter. We had her about a week too. She didn’t like kids. One night we had some friends and their kids over and as the kids were screaming and chasing each other. The dog flattened one kid and scratched his back with her teeth. We returned the her to the shelter. Our third was a beautiful chocolate lab. We got her as a puppy in a parking lot right before Easter. She grew huge quite fast. As we live downtown, she was taken the few times she got out by “nice” dog people. We would put up signs and get calls (she did have a collar and a tag!). It was very annoying. Once a nice guy had her for over a week! About the start of summer, she was big, had no manners and no kids would play in our back yard. Not even mine! She disappeared one day and that was that. We didn’t even put up signs! We got our latest dog two years ago. Poppet is a Papillon- a circus dog from France. Papillons are about 7-11 pounds. Our papillon is not fat at 20 pounds and about twice the size of what I thought he would be! He is giant! We tried to get a little dog. Poppet is bad. Very bad. We have had him since he was 6 weeks old. We have loved him. We have castrated him. We have taken him to dog training. At the training, as I was paying attention, learning how to handle and train dogs, he would pee on me! He barks and is very obnoxious. He growls at Paris. He has bitten Paris- he hasn’t ever broken the skin, but he has made her cry. He has bitten Leif. Twice now as Leif has been reading in a stuffed chair, Poppet has come up to cuddle him. When Leif tried to pet him, Poppet bit him! Richard, who has never gone to Dog training, has gotten bitten 3 times by the wretched beast. It is always when he is mad at the dog and trying to catch him. Though once he got bitten feeding him! Now as the weather is turning colder, we aren’t taking him on as many walks and the other day he pooped two times in the attic (he hasn’t done that since he was potty training almost 2 years ago)! I am glad we have wood floors! The beastly little dog sheds. He sheds like it is summer every day! I used to like animals. When I was little I would bring home kittens and dogs all the time- my poor mom! She let me keep them all! Now I threaten to put Poppet on craigslist all the time!
A poem inspired by Shell Silverstein:
One dog for sale
one dog for sale
one barking, barfing, biting dog for sale
Do I hear a dollar, a dime, a nickel?
Is there anyone who would want this mean dog?
Who was raised with 4 nice kids
Is there anyone who would want this pompous pooch?
Richard thinks we should get a Chihuahua. I think we should not have pets! But then we have decent days where I am glad that we have a dog for the kids to love and to play with. If we didn’t have him, I would want one for sentimental reasons. We have tried a few breeds and I think that not one is perfect. Shouldn’t kids grow up with a dog? Although if something happens to Poppet I will not replace him! Last year he was attacked by coyotes! Richard was about 10 feet away and saved him! He would have been the pack's dessert! Oh well! Now he is my bane!
Friday, December 7, 2007
O.K. so I have already broken the first rule of ettique and have written a bit about religion with "the Golden Compass", now I will break the second one: POLITICS! I should know better...
Our Christmas card this year has the greeting of Peace on Earth and our personalized message is “seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14. It is done in jest. But I really do mean it. Peace is understated. There is so much that could be accomplished if we as a people put our resources into bettering the world not killing each other. There was a news article from the military that Richard read- I'll cite it if you want to read it, but it said something like this when describing the killed Iraqis: Of the 14 dead, 10 are suspected terrorists, 2 women, and 2 children. All the men are suspected terrorists! I think that is way way off.
I can’t stand it when my kids fight. When we were little and fighting, my mom would always say, Bla Bla Bla “Don’t fight and serve the devil!” My sisters and I thought the phrase was funny, but I think that Bush is serving the devil with his fighting and war-mongering!!!
War is expensive, Peace is priceless
I bet world hunger could have been eliminated had the trillions of war dollars for Afghanistan and Iraq been spent on food for those who need it! Also I think that all of the politicians are so corrupt. Power corrupts and ultimate power corrupts ultimately... Dumb presidential candidates. Did you know that Obama quit smoking right before announcing his candidacy? I am so disappointed in all of them- at least the ones getting the media attention. I think that there should be no money involved in running for political office. Only the rich ones run. It is ridiculous the amounts of dollars that are spent on stupid political advertisements. They are all wimps! Bush should have been impeached a year ago. Clinton was impeached over an affair- yes he lied under oath, but Bush has lied so many times that I have lost count! He also encourages spying like the fascists and communists. A good movie to see is "The lives of others" it is in German and it is great!
When I heard and saw the twin towers fall I was so sad, but I don't think that the attack should have been used as en excuse for war. My saying was then and still is: Turn the other cheek. America was attacked, but that is no reason for a war. Forgive and lets try to understand one another better. Not invade and fight war. Senseless war.
Monday, December 3, 2007
We had our first real snow fall on Saturday. We awoke to a quiet white. Leif got up first and he looked out his window and immediately awoke Emilia. After that it was chaos. Gloves, socks, boots jackets, tantrums, gloves again and again and again! After breakfast they finally made it outside.
All day long we had a pile of wet accessories by our front door. In the evening we took the kids sledding. Paris was a riot. In years past she was cautious. This time she got on her sled and plowed down the hill! I was so surprised. I laughed when one time she didn't get on it fast enough and it went down the hill without her. Without waiting she ran after it. It was so funny to see her chasing the sled! I made vanilla cupcakes... This by far is the nicest recipe that I have tried. Moist, flavorful- perfect! It is from Martha Stewart and it is better than the Magnolia recipe or the joyofbaking one! I frosted it with chocolate buttercream and sprinkles- the big kids got one in the lunches- they'll get another if they bring back the containers! Aren't the containers awesome? I did some crafting... Rich thinks that I am crazy.. or at lest this latest creation is.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Today the kids got out of school early for Thanksgiving. I had planned to do pictures today. Yesterday it was beautiful and 65, today it it freezing at 47 with a chance of snow! I had a feeling it would be this way- the warm before the storm! Nevertheless, photo time today and we had a good, successful shoot. As the kids get older it get so much easier to take pictures. Now, only Poppet is naughty. Here are are a few we won't be using:
Friday, November 16, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
What makes a perfect day? For me it really depends on what I want to accomplish. This past weekend I think that my family had a perfect day- I got up around 8 and cleaned the kitchen- not too bad because I went to bed the night before at 8:30! Rich got up a bit later and helped me. I made biscuits from scratch, fried up some turkey bacon, eggs, and we had a mellon from Green river that was perfect- even in November!!, and peppermint tea and juice. All of us sat down to breakfast by 9:30 and we talked and planned Thanksgiving. Next the kids cleaned up their stuff and Rich and I did the dishes (again) and cleaned the kitchen and whatever else that needed attention, we went to the park and walked and played catch and hit a baseball. It was so beautiful and the weather a bit chilly, and no one was there! On our way home we ran into some friends and they ended up coming over and having lunch- I made oatmeal cookies and then they left with out staying too long. We did dishes (again) and just hung out with the kids. Paris had a late nap and we had pancakes for dinner and then put the kids to bed and did dishes (again). Rich and I hung out a bit. We played games on orisinal.com (you should check it out- it is great for kids) and Paris awoke at 9 p.m. and we fed her 6 pancakes and she was still hungry! Then we went to bed- Paris too. It was just a nice day- we didn’t try to accomplish anything. We just wanted to have a nice day! We did.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
A few months ago I had a dream that one of my sisters and my sister-in-law were pregnant and over due and I was helping them- you know how dreams are. I told Richard later that day and then the next day we heard from one of his siblings that one of Richard’s sister was pregnant- the one that I dreamed about. It had been on my mind and when I found out that one of the girls in my dream was pregnant, I emailed my sister who I thought was pregnant too. It turned out that she was not expecting, but a few days later I got news that my littlest sister is pregnant with her first! Emilia, who spent a few weeks with her in the summer, knew! She knew for about 2 months and did not tell anyone! I thought that was very admirable of her to keep such a fun and exciting secret. Neither my sister or my sister-in-law know what they are having... But I did make cards to send to them, so Charla, Liz, here’s a preview! (Sorry Charla for spilling the beans, but you are half way through- I love you!)
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I have committed myself to insanity- not really, but I did commit to do a Christmas botique! It gets bigger every year and I have not participated for a few years and I have never done much or very well, so why am I doing it again??? I don't know! Try until I succeed? Or just make life kookoo? I am going to sell my birthday garlands and merry Christmas ones and maybe the party/ birthday hats. Really anything paper that I can manipulate. I have tried to sew and I get too frusterated. So paper is my medium of choice. Sisters? Friends? what do you think?
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Atlas said, "You know, maggots are a healthy source of protein." Dinner? Remember the owl that Richard found on the way home from our road trip? He put it on our recycling bin- the only place high enough for Poppet to not get it and has left it there for a few weeks. Tomorrow is recycling. The owl needed to be moved. Rich's idea was to leave it somewhere and in a few weeks? months? only the bones and feathers would be left, only we live in the city....
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Salt and pepper
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
2 tbs butter
1/2 rotisserie chicken
2 tbs chopped shallots
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup half and half
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 egg yoke beaten with 1 tsp water
one 9’’ pie dough round
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of lightly salted water to boil. Using a pasta insert or sieve, immerse the carrots and peas in the water and boil for about 4 minutes, add the corn and boil one more minute. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a large frying pan and add shallots/onions, stirring until softened- about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and stir well. Stir in broth, wine, half and half, and parsley and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in carrots, peas, corn and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 9’’ deep-dish pie dish.
Brush some of the egg yoke mixture in a 1-inch border around the edge of the pie dough round. Place the round, egg side down, over filling and press the dough to the rim of the dish. Trim off any overhanging dough and brush the surface lightly with the remaining egg mixture. cut a few slits in the center of the top with the tip of a knife.
Place on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes, serve hot!
Pie Dough- make this first!
If you have a food processor put 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 tsp salt in bowl and pulse a few times, add 6 tbs chilled butter and 2 tbs shortening. Pulse until a course meal forms. Add enough cold water (up to 1/3 cup) with the motor running, until a ball forms. Form into a disk and refrigerate for 30 ( while you make the filling) roll out into a round 1/8-inch thick.
* I didn’t refrigerate the dough the first time and it was just great! Refrigeration makes it a bit more firm and easier to work with.
* I got cheap $2.99 white wine from Trader Joe’s. Anything will do. The sauce smells divine when cooking!
Monday, October 29, 2007
I am always glad for a run-through for Halloween. We forget stuff and some things just don't turn out as planned! We went to a magical Halloween Carnival on Saturday night in Salt Lake and needed to get the kids ready. The night was so fun. It was amazing! It was in a big backyard and there was live haunting music, a real fortune teller, a freak show with a bearded lady and a two headed baby (one of the heads had fangs too!), a unicorn horn, a bycycle made of bones and lots of other scary stuff, fire dancers, and a fantastic reptile show! It was all free too! During the reptile show, Leif and Emilia were wrapped up by a 14 foot python and Atlas helped hold a 120 pound anaconda! I took the little kids to get their fortune told and the lady was only going to let them draw one card, but both Leif and Emilia drew the sword/ sorrow card first that she had them draw two more- I am going to have to brush up on my Tarro reading to better interprete that! We all had a blast!
This is my attempt at a girl pirate cake!
Friday, October 26, 2007
My baby is 4! Wow!
It is so fun- I love 3 and 4. They are such great years.
We had a birthday tea party for Paris and 6 of her friends. We played hot potato and musical chairs.
For the thank-you gift we gave flowers. There was no candy- it was great and the girls were so well behaved and cute.
The weather was perfect and the colors in the back yard were so pretty. I love Autumn.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
For startes, I have this amazing recipe for chicken potpie that is as easy as it is yummy. Here are the results from my kids- now just so you all know, Richard was out of town when I made this!
I anyone wants the recipe, I'll post it! Someday I hope to have my own family cookbook! This one will be one of the first.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
So I mentioned that the kids are taking horseback riding lessons. They love it. All three of the big kids got to a trot and Emilia even galloped a bit- Atlas did too a few weeks ago! Atlas gets turned loose in the arena and Emilia and Leif have been on lead. Emilia got to ride alone yesterday too. It is so fun to watch them. The have good seats!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We took a road trip! I love to travel and go to new places. This trip was a bit new even though I had been to both places before. I’ll start at the beginning. I made reservations months ago to go to Mesa Verde. I changed them three times! Finally it was time to go and I almost changed them again! I dragged Richard away from his work and packed the car. We had to go to the grocery store- the car all packed with 4 kids in tow and already 2 hours late leaving. After getting all our food, we headed to Moab where we planned to stay the night.
We took HWY 89 through Spanish Fork and our phone reception wasn’t so great as we were calling hotels. Now, it should not have been so hard to get a room as it was a Thursday night, but everyone we called was booked. I saw a sign for the Sleep Inn and Comfort Inn (or so I thought) in Moab, with a picture of Arches National Park. I called them using goog411, a fantastic tool usually. Goog411 is a free information service. It is 1800 Goog411 on you key pad. It is great for cell phones as it is free and they connect you for free to what ever number you are searching for, however, one must use patience as it is a computerized service and sometimes it is hard to get the computer to understand what you are looking for. Try it now and see if the computer understands you the first time... So, I got Comfort Inn in Moab and they had a room! We were set...
We drove to Moab with out incident though a little bummed that it was dark as it is a pretty drive. We got there at 10 p.m. and just could not find the hotel. We called and got directions but they did not make sense. We drove all over Moab and called the hotel again. As is turned out, the hotel was in Greenriver, a 40 minute drive back! Goog411 gave us the wrong city and I made a reservation and gave them my credit card! Rich was so bugged! After that 30 minute delay we continued to drive South and found a hotel in Monticello. When we got up the next morning we discovered an empty soda can under one of the beds (we didn’t have any soda). Outside it was beautiful. The mountains looked almost cartoonish as their colors were so brilliant. We got a good start and headed to Colorado.
Now, I am a good navigator. I have taken my kids to lots of places alone, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Arches, and Bryce Canyon to name a few all without incident. I have a map in my glove box and I get hotels and camp all by myself. Me and my 4 kids. What happened next is not normal. Richard was driving which was nice for me as I usually am the driver. He asked me where to go and I gave him the directions from memory. After driving for about 2 hours on a lovely road, I was not seeing any signs that I thought we should have been seeing. I checked the map and almost died! We had been driving 2 hours in a wrong direction. We had been driving South West when we should have been driving South East! Yikes! So I sheepishly told Rich that we needed to turn around... He was bugged again, but not so much as the road was beautiful and we had never been there before and most likely wouldn’t be going on that road again. We did see however, the valley of the gods on HWY 191 near Mexican Hat. We stopped at Four Corners and were in 4 states at once. It is on a Navajo Reservation and both boys were called girls!
We took a road East and got to Mesa Verde about 2 hours later then I thought we would. We found our tent site and found out that there are bears in the park- much to the excitement of our kids. We visited the Treehouse that evening and saw lots of deer. When we went to sleep we froze. I remembered it very warm the first time we camped there, 11 years ago and in the summer. I did not expect it to be freezing that night in mid October at 7000 feet elevation! It was so cold that it reminded me of the time I camped on the snow when I was in Young Woman’s and we went on some pre-camp hike and camp in Idlywild and lost the trail because of the unexpected snow. It was miserable that night- though just for Richard and me. Our kids, though cold were in heaven.
Atlas almost cried when we told him we were going to stay the next night in the lodge! Because we saw so many does, the kids started putting money on bucks, bears, wolverines, and turkeys. Unfortunately no one got any money as there were only a ton of female deer! We had a fun day hiking and climbing in Cliff Palace. I don’t remember all the ladders from the first time we went, and if I had, I don’t think that I would have taken all the kids down to see the ruins. When we were listening to the Ranger tell about the site before we started in, we could see people climbing on the face of a cliff, exiting. I thought that it was a different ruin, not the one we were going to see. Down in the site Emilia realized that there was only one way out- not the way we entered. The both of us were a bit panicked. I am not fond of heights, especially with a three year old! And ladders on the face of a cliff did not sound fun. It still doesn’t, but it wasn’t so bad!
We ended up not staying in the lodge. We decided to go to Moab that night instead. But before we left the Park, I connected with a mangy coyote. A car in front of us was stopped. In Yellowstone that would mean an animal sighting, but at Mesa Verde, it meant road construction. Not this time. A very large coyote was standing by the side of the road. As the car in front moved on, we stopped by the large canine. I called out to him (called him a her) in my cooing animal talk. He walked closer. All the kids got so excited and started talking to the coyote and rolled down the windows- hanging out to get a better look. I panicked a bit and told them to get back in the car- with my window down I kept talking and keeping eye contact with him. I really wanted to give him our leftover turkey burger sitting in our cooler. Rich almost did, but then we thought that it might be a conspiracy and a ranger was watching us and would give us a $500 fine for feeding a wild animal. We started to drive off, with the window down, and the coyote followed us. We stopped and reconsidered feeding him, but ultimately left. I think that I left a part of my heart with that sad, beautiful, mangy coyote.
We made it to Moab in record time, considering our little detour previously. On the drive there we were always on the look-out for birds. Leif thinks he saw a bald eagle though he also swears that he saw a wolverine back in Mesa Verde! At one time Richard spotted a volture- Atlas said it was a golden eagle and I didn’t see it. I saw a goshawk- a few, on the tops of telephone poles. Richard thought one looked like a grouse and Atlas thought they all were falcones! I think that we need to go to bird school.
We got to pick any hotel we wanted downtown when we reached Moab! Arches was amazing as usual. During one of the hikes, Atlas grabbed my hand and told me he was glad we came and that it had been better then he had hoped! The kids swam in the pool and warmed up in the hot tub and played in the sand. It was great. On the way home, at a Paris pee stop, Rich found a recently killed owl. It looked like it had hit someone’s windshield. He wrapped it in a plastic bag and put it in our trunk! It is now laying on our recycling bin getting wet in the rain and hail!
All in all the trip was great- it was different then other trips I have taken with the kids. Different dynamics with Rich present. Usually Atlas sits in the front seat and talks to me, but he was moved to the rear to be a kid. There were great times and there were hellish times with the kids in the car. At one point I threatened to pull out all their hair if they didn’t stop fighting and touching each other! Not a hair was harmed by the time we got home but they only got mush for dinner!