Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dinner in a Pumpkin.

1 small pumpkin
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cup rice, cooked

Hollow out the pumpkin. Brown ground beef and onion. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and cream of mushroom. Simmer 5 minutes, add rice. Scoop filling into the pumpkin and put lid back on. Bake at 350f for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve by scooping out rice mixture with pumpkin.

My pumpkin seems a little too big for this recipe, next time I'll double it. I also have a recipe for a chicken variation. If your interested email me or comment and I'll send it to you. Enjoy!

Carvin' Time.

Every year the girls design on paper (those who can) what they want Daddy to carve their pumpkin to look like. And Garin spends hours fulfilling their wishes, this year he got done early - we were in bed by midnight!

The wards in our building combine to have a little carnival and Trunk or Treat this year. We took our pumpkins to the contest. Everyone recieved an award, here is what we won:

Riley- Most Tradtional.

Amellia- Best Cheerful Smile

Claire- Most Triangular

Olivia- Most Mouthy

As you can tell the judges were stretching but they were so excited to win, especially Riley. I think it was the highlight of her night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Livvy Mae is Three Today!!

Today my baby turned three years old, it seems like yesterday I was bringing her home. While it is nice having her potty trained, able to feed herself and do many other things for herself, I miss holding a little baby and cherishing that time in her life a little more; especially when I didn't know she would be my last baby. I guess the next time she's sucking her thumb and obsessively playing with my hair until I want to scream I'll have to remember that I won't get that moment back;)

Livvy was lucky enough to have her birthday spread out for a few days. Last Saturday she got to have birthday cake with one of her cousins and open presents from Grammy and Grandpa. She got a Belle dress which she has been dreaming about for weeks. Earlier this week she got to open presents from Marme and Papaw. She got some Olivia by Ian Falconer stuff. If you have ever read the Olivia books you will already know my Olivia (and Claire for that matter) very well.

Livvy loves all things princess as do most girls her age so, I made her a 'Pon a Dream' cake { this is what she calls Sleeping Beauty.}.

I had a lot of fun doing it, although I was babysitting today and had 14 little hands to worry about instead of my normal 8 so I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked to on the details. I had a lot of fun fashioning a bodice and sleeves from molding Starburst candies together. The best part was that she loved it and couldn't stop opening the fridge to look at it.

Next it was pizza for dinner followed by cake and ice cream. Yummy, yummy, yummy! And then the presents.

Friday, October 19, 2007

All we need is LOVE.

One reason I love to home school is all the fascinating things I get to learn too.

Today we were learning about the colony at Jamestown. This is something that I have been interested in since I was about 9 years old because we lived near it at that time. I love the story of Pocahontas and her people. Her father who's name is Wahunsonacock { something I learned today} but we know as Powhatan is said to have asked John Smith "Why should you take by force from us that which you can obtain by love?".

Now this question was all about the settlers stealing food and such but when I read those words I thought of how applicable it is to us today in many ways. My first thought was 'Maybe I need to butter my kids up a little before I announce chore time?'. But seriously this idea could be an important tool for me as a parent as I am always feeling so forceful. Can I love them into chores and pleasantness?

Another thought I had is, how much more would we be inclined to fulfill our civic duties to vote and attend city council meetings and etc if we felt that the politicians actually cared how each of his or her constituents thought or felt. If we felt that they had a love for the people, the kind you feel from President Hinckley, would we have the social problems we have now? If we felt love and concern would we feel so helpless and backed into a corner by the rising prices of all the necessities of life?

If we smiled more would people be so pushy at the store or any other place where there are lines involved? Would you honk your horn the next time someone cut you off on the road if you had a little love in your heart? Maybe more people should ask this question of themselves and others.

Really this idea isn't new, Christ has proclaimed it for centuries. Love for all man kind is the key to happiness. I just wish it wasn't so hard to do sometimes! Thank goodness for repentance.

Today I'm so glad that I home school.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

For me, the holiday season officially begins when we make our yearly F.H.E trip to the Pankratz Pumpkin Patch.

I love seeing my little girls running through the field on their own personal treasure hunt. Everyone has their own criteria of a perfect pumpkin. Claire loves to find small ones- unfortunately they were all rotten this year. Riley and Amellia are in it for size, the bigger the better. Olivia {obvious in the picture} just wanted to go home. Garin likes the long and skinny ones. I like them to sit flat and have lots of seeds.

Tromping through the patch dredges up the memories of holidays past and the fun we have to look forward to. Crunchy leaves, pumpkin treats galore, the smell of warm spices, Thanksgiving dinner, candy, being grateful, parties with family and friends, shopping & shopping, trimming the Christmas tree, special nights reading the scriptures by candlelight with hot cocoa, trying even harder to be like Jesus, and the thoughts flood on and on. I get butterflies in my stomach with anticipation of all fun we get to have as a family. Yippee! Let the warm, joyous holidays begin!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Held captive in Forks

So I haven't written in a few days because all of my free time (and some not so free) has been held captive by the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. I read all three in about 5 days. Now I know that I am a little of a late bloomer on these books because I have been focusing on reading 'the classics' and haven't really read much else. Earlier this year I read Dracula by Bram Stoker so when someone suggested that I had to read these I was intrigued. Unlike most books I was immediately drawn in. Even though they are written for a younger audience I found the story to be very interesting and exciting. If you haven't read the books yet, take some to- they are worth it. Check this out for more on what they are all about:

If you have read the books here are some of my thoughts.

I've tried hard in my endeavor to read 'the classics' to look for themes and ideas in the story, in Twilight I loved an idea that is brought up by one of the Cullens( I can't remember if it is Edward or Carlise). I don't have the book in front of me so I can't quote it exactly but one of the characters talks about not having complete control over what life deals you and needing to do the best you can with it, with the knowledge you have, in their case specifically of right and wrong. To some degree we are all 'monsters' and have to 'put off the natural man' despite the station we find ourselves in life. We can't use excuses of poverty or wealth, trauma or abuse, etc. It reminds me of Jane Eyre. Jane always chooses the right, almost to a fault, but it makes me reflect on the easy of my circumstances and how much I misbehave.

I enjoyed New Moon but I could not focus on it as intently because I was too sympathetic to Bella's pain and had to try not to remember the times when I felt like I was 'holding my self together'.

Eclipse is a toss up for me. I loved the story line and the action and suspense. I was completely disturbed by the controlling nature of Edward's and Bella's relationship. I'm glad that the author chooses to have them compare parts of their life to Heathcliff's and Cathy's in Wuthering Heights. { if you have read Wuthering Heights - never mind that is a whole neither tangent. I read Jane Eyre to recover from Wuthering Heights } They were just as destructive to the world around them. I was also disappointed that Bella is constantly trying to entice Edward to make love to her. Since this is written for teenagers and many young teenagers I know have read it, I wish the author would have addressed the situation differently. I think it was enough to have her so against marriage. Teenage girls have it hard enough with the pressure around them I think it makes it hard to see someone that they may relate to or come to know ( even if they are fiction) make choices like that and not put some of that back on themselves. It send a confusing message. Thank goodness Edward has amazing self control and above all is still a gentleman.

Over all I loved this story and greatly anticipate the books still to come. Happy reading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I'm it..

I've been tagged by Autumn to answer these questions. Enjoy!

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:

  • Just settling into my new apartment in Utah with Shaina.
  • Wondering if I'd ever meet the love of my life.
  • Working at Hogi Yogi/ Teriyaki Stix...YUMMY!
  • Wondering if my car will start the next time I go somewhere.
  • Trying to get my credits transfered at UVSC.

5 things on my 'to-do' list today:

  • School work with my kids.
  • Prepare entries for a bake off.
  • clean the bathrooms.
  • go walking with friends.
  • run a few errands.

5 snacks that I enjoy:

  • dark chocolate
  • chips and 'Sallsssa'
  • vanilla Coke Zero
  • Strawberry/ Heath Bar shake from Iceburg
  • any sour gummy candy

5 songs I know the Lyrics to:

  • Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel [that's for you Autumn]
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • Thank You by Dido
  • Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack [and I close my eyes, too ; )]
  • Pick a Disney Song

5 things I'd do if I were a Millionaire:

  • Buy land for a new home and small farm.
  • Take my hubby to Hawaii.
  • Take my family on a year long trip around the world.
  • Start a charity organization with my children.
  • Buy dream homes for our parents.

5 of my bad habits:

  • Procrastination
  • Being what my husband calls a 'read-inner'.
  • Losing my temper too often.
  • Being side tracked too easily.
  • Staying up and then waking up too late.

5 things I will never wear again:

  • A small bra.
  • Frosty white lipstick.
  • Denim overalls.
  • Blue nail polish.
  • Any clothing in florescent colors.

5 of my favorite toys:

  • Scrapbook stuff
  • ipod
  • Camera
  • Guitar hero
  • Computer

People I'm going to tag:

  • Shaina
  • Garin
  • Mom
  • Anyone else who reads my blog.

Alright, Lets go! I want answers! Besides it is lots of fun.

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Baby Boy

No, I'm not making any announcements. This is my baby boy, Max.

He is a 'Schaunocker' puppy (1/2 Schnauzer, 1/2 Cocker Spaniel). We brought him home in June. I never thought I'd see the day he would come to our home because when we were first married Garin swore there would be no pets. But his heart softened to a soft batting of my eyes {and years of pleading}.

He is the little baby of the house and knows it, too. He knows I'm the Mommy and just like any baby prefers to nap on Mommy's lap. We've had fun taking him camping with us and having his companionship. He is a funny little dog that when ever he does something that he knows is naughty he immediately comes and begs forgiveness before we even know what hes done. He enjoys chasing leaves that blow in the wind, skateboarders, and cars. To any crinkling sound of a bag made in the kitchen, he is there in a heart beat trying desperately to have good manners in hopes of a treat. The girls have loved having him as a little playmate. Recently he has been losing his teeth and they find great fun in looking in his mouth and checking which ones are gone and which have grown in. Riley found one on her bed the other day. We love our little baby boy:)
He is our best chance so far of having a son and brother! (ha-ha)

The Greatest Snow on Earth...


that is what we boast here in Utah. But why, oh why, can it not seem to wait to fall until winter! Only a week after the official start of fall (and a previous days' temperature of 80F) we received an inch of snow! That's what I get for being excited that fall was here and enjoying the temperate climate and wonderful sunlight. Snow does put you in the mood for cozying up with someone you love, with socks on and a blanket, sipping hot cocoa or Christmas shopping and Thanksgiving dinner. I guess I should be giving thanks right now for the much need relief to dry, thirsty state.