Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September Is A Good Month To...

It's a good month to restock my food storage!

Most grocery stores are having their caselot sales this month. Over the past week I've pretty much hit every grocery store within 10 miles of my house to get the best deals on everything. It's been a great feeling to see the shelves full again.

Which brings me to think for a minute....Do grocery stores outside of Utah have caselot sales? That might just be a Utah/Mormon thing.... If we are unique this way, then I'm glad I live where I do! Food Storage rocks! If I were ultra-uber amazing, I'd can my own food storage. But I'm not cool like that. I buy it on sale. It's so nice to be able to look at a recipe, and then go "shopping" in my food storage room! I wish we could stock up on perishables like milk and bread. That would be even cooler! If I had a cow, I guess I could milk it, but now is not the time to talk about how ridiculous that scenario would be.

However, I do know how to make bread! I made some a few days ago in fact. I got the recipe from my friend, Angie Brennan. This is the most light and airy bread I've ever made! My kids and I devoured an entire loaf in an afternoon. Not one of my best moments in life....but totally worth every crumb!

Parker made this picture the other day. Can you guess what he was drawing?

Okay, take it easy everybody! Enjoy the last few days of the month! Make sure to do your Home and Visiting Teaching! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Crazy Kids

Awwww, poor buddy. He was having a hard day today. Thank goodness my kids are now officially off track! We could use a little break. :)

Look at Cameron's new game. Balloon and ball popper (oxy moron, punny, ironic...what word am I looking for?). Entertainment for at least the length of how long it takes me to get ready for the day. It's a great thing!

The other morning this is how I found Carson sleeping. Somewhere in the night he fell off is bed, the mattress fell on top of him, and he continued his adventure in snooze land. He has ALWAYS been a heavy sleeper. I remember one time when he got up at night to use the bathroom and ended up using his laundry basket as a toilet.

This time of year brings us to...wait for it....REFLECTIONS contest.

I tolerate the reflections contest. Not to beat a dead horse, but it's all about being creative. I think I've explained how I feel about that before! I admire it in others, but I wasn't born with the elusive "creative gene".

The theme this year is "Together We Can...". Carson drew an awesome picture titled "Together We Can Help Keep The Earth Clean". His picture had kids and animals cleaning up a forest. Parker on the other hand, he was a bit more complicated. Sam kept trying to get him brainstorming about the theme but Parker wasn't exactly into it. Finally Sam said "Parker! What is the first thing you think of when I say Together We Can?" Parker looked at Sam and said "Together We Can Build The World's Largest Candy Bar!"

If I were in charge, I would have said "C'mon Parker, get serious!" but because Sam is brilliant and nurturing, he said "Okay, let's do it!".

Glasses make you look like a genius, right?

And just like that, Parker entered the Reflections contest with this household's first ever 3D art submission. I think the various flags skewered into the candy bar adds a nice touch, don't you think? The scaffolding work that supports the candy bar was made from toothpicks and silver paint. I love it! I seriously wonder what the PTA board thinks of it. It's directly from a 6 year old's mind, they have to understand that!

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Is What It Looks Like Today

I went to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple parking lot today and took a picture of the hillside that is still on fire:

The wind isn't blowing the smoke right into my area anymore so that's a relief. Although when I put my contacts in this morning my eyes said "Oh NO you DIDN'T!". Hence the glasses today. Ug. I really need Lasik or something of the sort.

Back to bigger things than my eyes....
Four homes were burned, 1,652 homes were evacuated, and today 7 schools are closed in the area. Evacuations are still in place. I feel really bad for all the residents of Herriman, it's quite a mess out there! I guess times like this I should be thankful I live in the ghetto without grassy hillsides behind my house! Just trying to be positive here....

Seriously though, our heart goes out to all those in the area! I am really surprised at how many people I know who have been evacuated or affected. Here's hoping they get the fire put out today!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires

About 4:30pm today a fire started by Camp Williams near Herriman UT. Apparently a fire started in a machine gun training range on some property in Herriman that Camp Williams owns. I heard the anchorman on our local news refer to this fire as the "Machine Gun Fire"....kind of weird. Anyway, the smoke is so thick! I live several miles north of the fire so we aren't in the evacuation range but we are dealing with the smoke issues. I feel so bad for the people in Herriman, over 1200 homes have been evacuated. Several homes have burned. The wind has been kicking up pretty hard all day, which certainly doesn't help things. Here's praying that the wind stops, the fire is controlled, and people can escape without injury!

Here is a picture I saw on KSL.com, this is the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, which is the temple I attend every week! So crazy!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Rambling

Today is a good day to just ramble, don't you think? September 15th is the middle of the month, and Wednesday is the middle of the week. Yep, good time to ramble.

The last few days I have walked with my kids up to school instead of just waving "good bye" from the driveway. It's been interesting because as soon as we hit the school grounds, Parker says "Bye Mom!" and leaves me in a hurry. Carson, on the other hand, begs me to walk with him to his classroom and doesn't want me to leave until he goes into his room when school starts. It's funny because Parker is younger than Carson! Carson is in 4th grade and he still thinks "mom is cool!". Parker is in 1st grade and he avoids me like the plague. I was telling Sam about it and he said "I'm so glad our kids are really different!" That's a positive way to look at it! So badly I wanted to run up to Parker while he was waiting in line and give him a big smooch on his cheek! But I refrained. Not sure how long I can refrain however....

While I was at school this morning, I said good-bye to Carson as he walked into class. As I was leaving, I heard his teacher say "Mrs. Sweet?". I turned around as he was walking towards me. He said "Let's have a little conversation about Carson...". Ahhhh, this is familiar territory for me! In fact, I had to laugh on the inside because I was wondering when this talk was going to occur! Every year towards the beginning of the year I have this awkward conversation with Carson's new teacher.

"Carson is really smart, and he's a really good kid....BUTT.....well, he talks a lot! He's very social....." At least he didn't say "he is a day dreamer and I don't know what to do with him" like last year's teacher said. In fact, I was super impressed with this guy. He wasn't complaining to me, he was prepping me for future complaints Carson might have about his teacher. He said "If Carson ever comes home from school and he's frustrated about his strict teacher, just know that I'm trying to help him!". I was on cloud 9! This guy wasn't going to throw his hands in the air, he's going to help him! I assured the teacher that we have strict rules at my house regarding finishing school work and doing homework and that we are not lazy parents. I then told him he has my full support on however he could help me teach Carson! It was awesome.

As I was leaving school I ran into a good friend, who knows my history of talking to Carson's teachers. I said to her "Well, I just had my annual teacher talk!" She laughed with me and life goes on. Can't wait to see if I have annual talks with Parker's teachers...I'm still trying to see what kind of a student Parker will be. He's more the silent type. You know what they say about silents types....silent but deadly. OH wait, not sure that's what I think it is....

Another school related rambling:
There is a bus stop by my house. I can't remember if it's jr high or high school, but every morning a bunch of teenagers line up by my front yard. Guess what these punks do? They leave all sorts of trash in my flower bed! Yesterday I found a pop tart wrapper stuffed into my Mums and then I found a rotten banana peel hanging on my dahlia! What do I do about this? It's never ending, it's been happening since I've lived here. Should I buy a small garbage can and conspicuously place it amongst the mums? I don't want to make a huge deal of it because guilty/ticked off teens equals toilet papered houses!

Guess what this week and next week brings? Fall TV schedules! Yay. I'm excited to watch the ol' regular shows as well as a few new ones. Running Wilde looks like it has potential. Time will tell! Are there other shows I should be checking out? What are you going to TIVO/DVR over the next few weeks?

My final ramble: What are ways you try to save money or cut expenses in your household? I rec'd a power bill a few months back that was astronomical. So now my A/C temp never goes below 77 degrees. My power bill last month was $30 lower due to increasing the temp by a few degrees. I felt empowered! What are your tricks of the trade? Do you plan menus around the weekly sale items at the grocery store? Do you keep using that same razor until it cuts your legs up? Inquiring minds need to know! I feel like we don't have too many luxuries, but I want to tighten the financial belt a little more.

That's all I got, for now....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where Did Summer Go??

I'm tripping out that we are half way through with September. Seriously, I feel like I need to start Christmas shopping already! Oy!!

I have been a blog slacker, which is completely lame because this is supposed to be my "day to day life" journal. When did I start believing that I had to have something really blog-worthy in order to blog? If you really want to know my day to day life, I should blog about how many diapers I change in a day....or how many times Cameron says "Mom, I got a boogie!" as he holds out his finger for me to wipe! Okay, well, my blog readership may go down dramatically if I get that detailed...

I will tell you about my life for the past week:

My dad's brother has apple trees by his house in Menan Idaho. My dad went up to Idaho last week, picked a TON of apples, brought them home, and then for two days we canned apple pie filling and applesauce. Lots of work, but I'm loving the results. I've already attempted making apple pie. I don't think I've ever made a fruit pie by myself before. I need lots of practice, but it tasted super fantastic! Warm apple pie just SCREAMS autumn, don't you think? Now if I could just go outside and rake leaves.....oh wait, that tree fell down. Bummer!

This is the apple pie filling my mom has always made (as far as I can remember) and it's soooo good! If anyone is interested in the recipe, let me know.

I've also been busy organizing (by "organizing" I mean chucking outside!) all of Parker's treasures that he brings home from school every day. He literally comes home with his pockets STUFFED. Rocks, leaves, wood chips, pine cones.... and every day he is so excited to show them to me. "Mom! Look what I brought home for my collection!" Then he dumps everything on the table, where he promptly forgets about it all. Seriously, every day I say "Awesome Parker!" and then he leaves the room and I toss it all outside. Yes, he may need counseling one day, but at least he can't complain to the counselor that he grew up in a dirty house! Don't be judging me! Walk a mile in my shoes....

Also Parker related, he has become quite the accident prone kid. Here's hoping a growth spurt is making him awkward because I'd hate to think he'll be this clumsy forever...

He crashed his scooter into the neighbor girl while she was on her bike. Scratched his face and shoulder:

Then he scratched up his thigh because he put one of the above mentioned pine cones in his pocket and fell on the pine cone while at school(I keep laughing when I picture this one). The next day he was riding his scooter home from school and crashed over a raised crack in the sidewalk, skinning his knee.

Then last night he was swinging on the rope swing in our garage, lost control, and smacked his back on the stairs. Poor buddy!

Oh hey, look where I went yesterday!

The Bonneville Salt Flats in Western Utah! Well, that wasn't my destination, but I drove through them. I always wondered what they looked like, shockingly, they look just like the pictures I've seen on the internet. Wasn't that a good story? Ha Ha!

Hi Sam.

Anyhow, the destination was a quaint little place (or dive) called Wendover! Our friends, the Colasurdo's, invited us to a Jim Gaffigan comedy show and we jumped at the opportunity. It was a blast! I honestly don't remember the last time I laughed for 1 1/2 hours straight! That guy is hysterical! I can't say it enough, if you find out he is in town, don't hesitate...buy tickets! You won't be disappointed! The only routine I had ever heard from him was "hot pockets". At the end of the show, Gaffigan left the stage. We were all clapping and he came back for an encore. As he walked back on stage he said "sorry, I was hungry and had to eat something...I ate a hot pocket" and the crowd went CRAZY. He then delivered that routine and it was more funny in person. As we left, my friend Mindy said "I didn't realize I should have done warm up exercises for my face so it wouldn't hurt after laughing for so long!" Perfectly said!

Here we are on the way to the metropolis of Wendover. I was pretty eager. Mindy is playing it cool! ha ha!

Hopefully this link works, here's the Hot Pockets clip:

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Egg-stremely Fun Egg Drop!

Now don't get me wrong, I love seeing my kids participate in various classroom activities, but sometimes I'm not super giddy/excited. Anybody else feel the same way? Can I get an 'amen'? Let's say, for example, the 3rd grade "Underwater Sea Creatures" report. Snaking my way through 4 classrooms, looking at posters, while trying to keep Mr. Cranky Pants (Cameron) happy....that was a little crazy.

However, Friday was NOT one of those mediocre times! Friday was the Egg Drop! There's just something exciting about a teacher on the roof with a bunch of egg-holding contraptions, just waiting to be dropped to their potential death! Seriously,it was fun!

I think I may have mentioned this before, but one of the zillions of reasons why I married Sam was because he's creative. He's not afraid to get uber creative in school projects. I looked into my future when we were dating and saw lots of crazy kids with lots of last minute projects and I shuddered. But then I realized that Sam would be able to step in and save the day for all the creative type things. So, after I said "yes" I would marry him, I had two stipulations:
#1: He would always be in charge of school projects with our kids
#2: If we ever had a daughter, her name would be Lillie.

He agreed to both items....and we lived happily ever after. I've gotten a lot of use out of #1, but #2, well, that's another topic.

So,how did Sam and Carson create the perfect egg holding device? Sam really just wanted to borrow our neighbor's chicken and let the teacher throw it off the roof because, after all, there's sure to be a raw egg inside the bird, right? After I drooped my shoulders in frustration and nodded "NO", Sam got serious. First he took a grout sponge and cut it in half. Then he and Carson chiseled out a perfect resting place for the raw egg:

Then he put a bunch of insulation in a box, placed the egg-filled sponge on top, and then more insulation on top of that. Wrapped up the box, and then, per Carson's instructions, made a parachute. Carson dropped the contraption off the top of his play house and it floated down pretty nice. However, with the egg secured inside the box, we didn't know if it survived the fall.

The next day was the egg drop. It was awesome to see how different students came up with their own ideas of how to safely drop an egg off the school roof. I saw lots of boxes, lots of parachutes, a rubbermaid container, a diaper wrapped up with the egg inside, a stuffed animal with the egg inside, and one lonely ziploc back with the bare egg sealed inside. That kid must not have had an awesome guy like Sam around to help!

Here is Carson's box floating down:

Here's a teacher opening up Carson's box, the suspense was making me pretty giddy:

Voila! Perfectly unharmed!! Way to go Carson (and Sam)!!

Along with Sam's creativity, comes random-ness. I was putting groceries away this afternoon and then I noticed Sam taking some odd pictures:

That same random-ness, then does something creatively fun: he made a rope swing in the garage. That kept my boys happy until bedtime tonight. Good times!

Phew! What will tomorrow bring?? Can't wait to witness the next creative burst from the husband.

Speaking of being creative, guess what my parents and I did? We canned Apple Pie filling and applesauce. My boys polished off a jar of the applesauce tonight, Cameron may turn into an apple if I'm not careful....what do apples do to your system? Do they plug you up or loosen you up? I should probably watch for warning signs. Either that or just put Sam on diaper duty over this long weekend....yes, that's a much better plan.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Football Widow

The first Utah football game is on right now...therefore I am now officially a football widow for the season. What better use of all my time than to update my blog?

Guess what? My mother-in-law, or MIL (for those kids who like the acronymns), turned 75 years young last week. We invited the family and some of her close friends to a park for a hot dog roast and to celebrate Fontella! It was great fun! I barely had a chance to wish her a "happy birthday" because she was constantly surrounded by so many people. That's a good sign that you've lived a friendly and happy life!

The other morning I was sleeping nice and soundly. Suddenly I was wide eyed and freaked out at the sounds I heard. It was like somebody was banging on my roof! I flew to the window to check it out, then remembered I was blind. I put on my glasses and then flew again to the window. What the Hail? It was crazy hail and wind and rain. Oh yeah, the lightning was so wild. It was almost constant lightning, maybe a second between flashes. I watched at the front door for a minute and then heard thundering footsteps behind me. Carson came running upstairs to check out the insanity. It was fun. The street was completely white with hail, it looked like snow! Yay for summer storms, I think they are the bees knees AND the cat's meow. Too bad Parker and Cameron slept through the whole thing! This picture was taken around 9am, 3 hours after the storm! Look at all the hail still sitting around!

Last spring, when Carson was in 3rd grade, everybody received a cabbage plant. They were supposed to plant the cabbage and nurture it so it grew to a mature plant. By September 10th, we are supposed to take a picture of the cabbage, with the student, and submit it to the school. There will be one winner from the school who will receive a $1000 scholarship. Carson and I nurtured this cabbage like crazy. Before too long it split like a cool embryo into two cabbages. I probably should have separated the cabbage heads so it just grew one because then all the energy of the plant could go into making the cabbage head bigger. But I didn't. Don't know why, but I bet it has something to do with "I have bigger concerns". Things were going well until the said hail storm hit us. One cabbage head survived, the other got shredded! ha ha, do you get it? shredded cabbage? I have a sudden hankering for cabbage salad....you know, the kind with ramen noodles in it? Yummers.

Quick! What's the first thing that pops into your head when somebody says "Top Ramen"? I bet it has something to do with "poor" or "college student" am I right??

I'll maybe turn these pictures into the school tomorrow or Tuesday. Good luck buddy, you're gonna need it!

Speaking of Carson... This morning I was running around like crazy getting kids ready for school and I had Cameron in the tub. Suddenly Cameron starts SCREAMING and yelling "I don't like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I ran into the bathroom to find a big 'ol LOG floating next to him. Sooooooooo disgust-i-pating. I did what any insane mom would do in times of crisis: I picked up the log and tossed it in the toilet. Carson was right there when he saw me lose my dignity. He gave me a complete look of disgust and ran downstairs to his bathroom, where he horked his Chocolate Cheerios in the toilet. Oh man, it would have been more funny if I wasn't still trying to get kids out the door. In fact, I'm laughing right now about it! Needless to say, I scrubbed my tub with Comet today, which wasn't on my agenda! :)

Guess what IS on my agenda? Tomorrow the 4th grade is having their annual 'egg drop' contest. The kids have to design a device that will keep the egg from breaking when it's dropped off the roof of the school. Sam and Carson worked hard on this project tonight. I'm excited to see how it all shakes down tomorrow. Pictures to come!