Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Seriously Want More Already...

Turns out Ezra was the New Years baby in Cardston, even though he was born on Jan. 6th.
He's famous!

So I turned 31 years old this weekend. Turning 30 was misery but I'm ok with 31 for some reason. My goal was to be done having kids by the time I was 30 so I just barely made it with 3 week to spare. Unless I have a few more that is... 
What better birthday gift than this little guy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Breakfast Just Gets Better and Better...

We made this for breakfast today. Thank you Jenny for sending me the recipe. I LOVE when people send me recipes. We used strawberries instead of blackberries and brown sugar instead of maple syrup. The baked banana in it is so good. 

Healthy Baked Oatmeal

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnut pieces
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar or maple syrup (and more syrup for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries (blueberries, raspberries, or a mixture)
  1. Mix together the oats, half of the walnuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
  3. Generously butter the bottom of an 8-inch pan and add sliced bananas and half of the blackberries.
  4. Add the oat mixture to the top of the fruit.
  5. Pour the milk mixture over the oats. Use a spoon to make sure the milk mixture is incorporated throughout the oats.
  6. Add the remaining walnuts and blackberries.
  7. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven with the rack in the top third of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. The top should be golden and the oatmeal should be set.
  8. Let the oatmeal cool for a few minutes and serve with maple syrup and if you are really feeling wild, more melted butter

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Had this for Breakfast Today

Vanilla Avocado Banana “Ice Cream” (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free)

1 ripe avocado
1 medium banana (previously frozen in chunks is optimal)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c milk (nut milk, vanilla flavored nut milk, milk, cream, vanilla Coffeemate, or water)
1/2 c sugar (add/reduce/omit as desired, or use stevia or vanilla NuNaturals stevia drops, to taste, or agave)
1 cup ice cubes (optional)

Blend everything in Vita-Mix or blender until smooth.

Vita-Mix Tips: If you are using a Vita and the mixture is extremely thick, add more milk/agave/splash of water until blending is easier and blend on High. Don’t be afraid of High.  Better to do this on High for shorter duration than lower speed/longer duration.
Store in container in the freezer.  Mixture will freeze solid in the freezer and if so, let thaw for 5 minutes on countertop until you can scoop it out.

Tried it, LOVED it.

We gobbled these up. They are fantastic.
 I'm planning on stocking the freezer with them for Timmy to grab before work for breakfast. 

Homemade Granola Bars

Basic Ratio for TRIO Bars:
1 cup toasted or raw nuts (e.g., cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts), coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup seeds (e.g., green pumpkin seeds (pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)
1/3 cup chopped dried fruit (any variety/combination to create different tastes; this also includes unsweetened coconut)
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
(note: honey will not work--bars will be sticky, not crispy) 

1.     Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8-inch square pan (9-inch is too big* see note below) with foil and lightly spray with (do not skip these steps!). 
2.     In a medium bowl, combine the chopped nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
3.     Add the salt and syrup and stir to coat.
4.     Scrape/dump mixture into prepared pan. Now, to press it out evenly: Tear off a good size piece of foil  (around the size of the pan or slightly smaller). Lightly spray it with nonstick spray. Use the sprayed side of foil to press and spread evenly into pan. Works like a charm!   
5.    Bake for 18 minutes (the bars will not be hard at this point). Place pan on cooling rack and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes (give or take) until partially set up (it will depend on how hot or cold the kitchen—just don’t cool completely). Use the sides of foil to lift the bars from the pan. Do not try to remove from foil—they will stick like crazy. Cut into 8 bars.
6.     Go and do something else until bars are completely cooled. Once cooled, the bars will lift right off of the foil. Wrap in parchment or wax paper and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.  


Made this yesterday. It's super inexpensive and it works awesome.

Homemade Natural Mouthwash
Total Time: 5 min.

1 cup filtered or distilled water
1 tsp baking soda
8 drops peppermint oil
4 drops tea tree oil
(optional) vegetable glycerine to taste
Sterilize the container you want to put your mouthwash in by placing the glass vessel in boiling water for a couple of minutes and letting it dry on a clean towel. Place funnel in top of bottle and add baking soda, oils then the water. Replace bottle cap and shake well. It’ll be a little cloudy at first but will clear up in a couple of minutes when the baking soda fully dissolves. If you want a sweeter mouthwash to mask the slight saltiness of the baking soda, add a few drops of vegetable glycerine, shake to mix and taste, adding a few more drops as necessary until you reach your desired sweetness. Then, swish away!
That is ALL you have to do. Crazy easy, right? It works really well, better than conventional, pain-inducing mouthwash in my opinion. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I finished my book "Daughters in My Kingdom- The History and Work of Relief Society". I especially enjoyed chapter nine, "Guardians of the Hearth". I wanted to share some of my favorite parts.

President Hinckley said this of women, "You are the guardians of the hearth... you are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God."

The word motherhood defines women's eternal roles; it describes their nature as nurturers.
Nurture is a rich word. It means to train, to teach, to educate, to faster development, to promote growth, and to nourish or feed.

Sister Beck taught about the role of nurturing; "To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers should create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth... Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work."

"Hold your heads high, you wives, mothers, homemakers. You engender life and enrich it. Don't trade that pervasive force for fleeting, surface trinkets. Cherish it, enlarge it, magnify it. You hold a mighty office."

Sis. Beck again: “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. … It requires a conscious effort to diminish distractions, but having the spirit of revelation makes it possible to prevail over opposition and persist in faith through difficult days and essential routine tasks. … When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us.”

“Mothers in Zion, your God-given roles are so vital to your own exaltation and to the salvation and exaltation of your family. A child needs a mother more than all the things money can buy. Spending time with your children is the greatest gift of all.”
Ezra Taft Benson
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (1988), 515

“Heaven is a place,” President Kimball taught, “but also a condition; it is home and family. It is understanding and kindness. It is interdependence and selfless activity. It is quiet, sane living; personal sacrifice, genuine hospitality, wholesome concern for others. It is living the commandments of God without ostentation or hypocrisy. It is selflessness. It is all about us. We need only to be able to recognize it as we find it and enjoy it. 

"Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife.”
President Spencer W. Kimball

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Books Everywhere

I'm feeling the need to share some of the books we've enjoyed over the winter so far. Sometimes I get into a book slump and don't have any soul searching books on the go and then other times I have stacks of them. Right now my stack is out of control.

It just so happened that Jane and I were on our fifth Little House book "The Long Winter" just in time to read for December. The coolest part was finishing it on Christmas Eve. 

Jacob got this one for his birthday. It's written by Elsa Beskow whom I learned about from my friend Luisa. We now have a little collection of her books.

 "Elsa Beskow (1874-1953) is the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia, and for over one hundred years Swedish children have grown up with her books. With a focus on nature, the changing seasons and the adventures you can only have as a child, her books transcend nationality and time and are true classics. For children aged 3-7 years old."
This butterfly book is by Sibylle von Olfers (1881-1916). Her books are equally darling if you ask me.

"She uses a blend of natural observation and simple design that critics 
have compared to the works Elsa Beskow."
"Snowflake Bentley" is actually a true story. It's a neat story about finding your passion in life and living it out. I was inspired. I also liked how his parents believed in him.

This past summer, our friend Ellice was reading "The Witch of Blackbird Pond"  at the swimming hole and she told us a bit about it. It motivated Jane and I to read it and finally did. We both really enjoyed it.

"The Hiding Place" is such a moving book. I don't know why I haven't read it until now but I'm glad I waited because I got to read it with Jane. Listening to me read is sort of Jane's thing. She will do it for hours and at any time she's ready. She just really loves it, so I capitalize on it and it's so rewarding to have all these books we love in common. This one had three small parts I skipped over because they weren't age appropriate but other than that it was lovely. 

I have to admit I felt pretty heartless taking this picture since Jane was in the depths of despair but I just thought it was so cute that she felt so wounded by the story. She was sitting at the table with a box of tissues and that's when I snapped the photo.
The sign of a true book lover. 

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” 
-Corrie Ten Boom

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valley Alley

This was Scarlet's first time bowling and she was a natural! She waited so nicely for her turn and then she learned perfect Granny bowling skills. The only problem was the 15 minutes it took for her ball to get to the pins.

Charlie won for the second year in a row and I was happy he did because he was so certain that he would and no one else cared.

New Baby Vacation

A week after Ezra was born we took a week family vacation to just enjoy this new baby and some uninterrupted family time. 

I packed some Minute to Win It games for the down time and some of them made us laugh pretty hard.The cookie on the face game was the funniest. You look like a weirdo with
 a cookie on your face :0)

This was a fun game too- they each got a Kleenex box and they raced to 
empty it but only using on hand.

This game we played a few times. Charlie especially liked it. Rolling quarters towards forks. 

 Getting a bouncy ball from the foot of pantyhose without using your other arm to help, turned into pantyhose on the head and loud growling for Scarlet...

Balancing dice on a popsicle stick in your mouth.

Movie night.

Math is Awesome

To: Mommy
I am sorry I was being grumpy about my math. I guess I wasn't in the mood. And was not cooperating with you. I am sorry. Do you forgive me? Math is Awesome!
Love: Jane

This note made my day. How cute! The best part is the spelling of cooperating "qwoprating".
Jane easily gives up on a tough math question so that morning I had tried to give her some math confidence. I made her stand on her chair and yell math phrases like, "Math is Awesome!" and "I am the boss of math!" She was embarrassed at first but after the other kids got in on it she did too.

Castle All Day Long

We've been collecting Schleich animals since Charlie was a baby. He loved them and then, luckily Jacob loves them just as much. Jane likes them too but she doesn't want to play as long as she used to. Tim and I love listening to the animal dialogues they make up while in imagination land. Often I hear them making the animals talk to each other about the gospel. It's so funny. I also hear the animals talk about going to the gym and being pregnant with a sore back. Yikes, nothing gets past these kids.

Best Voice Ever

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

Birthday Month

We have 3 out of 5 kids born in January and I'm a January birthday too. So 4 of us, and right after Christmas too. I don't know how this happened. 

 Jane woke up to this birthday door on the morning we celebrated her birthday.
I got a little fancy this year with the cupcakes- it's so not like me to do this kind of stuff. But don't 
worry, they were actually whole wheat, carrot spice muffins :0)

Uncle Jared got Jane an ipod! She was elated.

 Jane turned 8 this year so we are having her baptism on Feb 4th. She worked really hard in her Baptism Prep class to get ready. She did lots of reading and studying and she even memorized some scriptures on her own.

Jacob loves insects so this is his caterpillar cake. It was actually bran muffins- nobody even noticed :0)

Uncle Jared hooked him up with a remote control car and it was even red!