Sunday, May 31, 2009

YW fun stuff

Just thought I'd share...

We're always looking for good service projects to do with the Young Women...A family just moved from our ward, away from their daughter's gravesite, so we went by one evening to weed and plant, then sent the mother pictures. I hadn't expected to enjoy it as much as we did. We also had a drive to collect clothing/personal care items for a local shelter for youth in need. On the final night, we decorated flip flops (sequins, ribbon, sparkles) to add to the donations.
And perhaps my kids' favorite, one evening we drew with sidewalk chalk around the church parking lot.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I think my kids belong here...

Rachel and Hannah both had field trips to the zoo in May--Christian went as Rachel's chaperone, and I took the boys and met up with the others when we could. The kids weren't at all shy about feeding and petting the giraffes, (drawing by Hannah)

they loved the train ride to the Wild Africa exhibit, but Rachel said her favorite animal was the bunny she chased. (Drawing by Rachel)

Here's Hannah, playing a massive game of Duck, Duck, Goose, with her classmates.

Checking in

I'm way behind in bogging--soon to come: blog about memorial day weekend, fun yw activities, father's and sons campout, mother/daughter night, and the blanket I just finished...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dental Events

(I promise--pictures soon!)

This afternoon Hannah and I had check-ups with the dentist. When I scheduled the appointments, I expected Christian to be around to watch the littler people, but he left early this morning for North Carolina. So--we had a crowded exam room. The hygenist was accommodating...for most of the cleaning, Aaron sat on my lap, watching, while Hannah asked homework questions from the corner and Nathan tore leaves off the potted tree. In the middle of all this, Hannah pulled a book out of her backpack and started to read. I was more than a little surprised to find that my 6 year old keeps a paperback copy of the Book of Mormon in her school backpack and is reading it in her spare time. Completely on her own. Lately she's been asking a lot of gospel questions (How can I know its true? What if I don't think my prayers are answered?) and we've told her that the first step is to learn the gospel and practice choosing the right.
Well, folks, my daughter is a better person than I am. I'm going to go to bed, but first, I think I'll read a little from my scriptures.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Ultimate Brownie Blog

I have decided that I really like to bake. I like trying new recipies, I like trying new methods, but I especially like eating what I make. My favorite thing (lately) to bake (i.e. eat) are brownies. I have a dark chocolate brownie (divine--rich, lots of chocolate flavor, must eat with ice cream or milk), turtle brownies (caramel, nuts, good chocolate from-scratch brownie), a favorite brownie mix (Giradehli triple chocolate, or, in a pinch, Betty Crocker triple chocolate), but for now, I think my all time favorite is this new find, courtesy of FoodNetwork.com:

Truffle Brownies

2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 stick butter or marg
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup flour
chocolate ganache for topping (recipe follows)
special equipment: 9-in round foil cake pan (or line 9-in cake pan with foil)

Preheat oven to 350. Using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs and salt together until frothy. Add sugar and beat until thick and pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds.

Put butter/marg and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat 1 minute, then stir (may need 30 more seconds).

With mixer running, add chocolate mixture to eggs. Add flour and beat 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl andmix 30 more seconds.

Spray cake pan and pour in batter. Place on top rack in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until center is barely set. (toothpick won't come out clean--these set in the freezer--trust me on this) Remove pan from the oven and let cool. Top with ganache and place in freezer for at least 1 hour.

To serve, remove from freezer and slice immediately. Allow brownies to come to room temperature before serving.

Ganache
1/2 cup (4 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream

melt in microwave, smear on top of brownies

Trust me on this, guys--these are truly divine. I'd post a picture, but I'd have to make another batch to do that and I don't think my diet could handle that. They are chocolatey, dense, delicious. I even added some milk chocolate chips to the batter just for fun. The recipe looks complex, but its easy--just add things one at a time. Try them! Or better yet, do something nice for me and I'll make them for you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, all y'all mothers out there

I do love Mother's Day. I love how every day leading up to Mother's Day my kids bring some fun me-centered project home from school (poems, cards, clay objects supposed to resemble my face...or a duck, depending on the year).
This year, to add to all the school-craft fun, Hannah was asked to give the Primary talk. She and I started writing it together, and Daddy helped her finish. Here's what she came up with:


Mothers are nice. Mothers do a lot of work for us. We love mothers. Mothers help us. I have a mother; she does lots and lots of work for me. My Mom washes my clothes. My Mom is a Young Women's teacher. Mothers cook for us.

I want to tell a story about Hannah from the Bible. Hannah wanted a child so she prayed to Heavenly Father for a child.

"So Hannah rose up...and prayed unto the Lord, and... and said, O Lord...if thou wilt...remember me, and...give unto thine handmaid a child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life,”

The Lord blessed her with a child and she did what she promised...she raised her child to the Lord. And when her child was old enough, she took the child to the temple to live there.

And she said, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there.”And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord”

Hannah kept her promise and was faithful. Mothers take of us and keep their promises and trust in the Lord. My mother prays to the Lord and trusts in the Lord. The Lord loves mothers and blesses them just like He blessed Hannah.

When I am a mother I want to be like Hannah from the Bible and like my mother when she took care of me.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Yeah, pretty good, huh? She also drew a card for me this morning. Here is a scan (pardon the quality--she drew with marker on both sides of the paper--and focus on the details):

The pucker-up smile, blue eyes, cute bow, nice dress, and the hair....since when am I a brunette?! No, please, it can't be happening! I know my hair is much darker than before I had kids, but I still like to hold on to the belief that I still have my blonde hair. It part of my identity!

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! (Well, everyone it applies to--not you, Daddies).

By the way, while I don't have pictures to prove it, Hannah did successfully learn to ride her bike yesterday and was awarded with a new pair of flip flops. Guess I just needed to find the right kind of motivation.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It pays to keep the car clean

Guess what I found while cleaning out our van--

Yup, Christian's wedding ring. He lost it in church, in Atlanta while we were visiting family, nearly 2 years ago. Or so we thought. Turns out it was in our van under a seat the whole time. Good thing we didn't buy a new one!

(Side note--this is not the first ring he's lost. The first year we were married he lost his nice ring while working on our front yard in our first house. This ring we bought from his brother Marc for $10--bought off Ebay...I can't complain much, because I lost my ring the week before our wedding on the hill behind the Maeser building. It was lost in the snow for two days before his friend found it in the melting snow on his way home from classes. Can you imagine if someone else had found it??!! Lesson learned? Don't do snow angels without gloves, no matter how excited you are that classes are over. And hang on to those rings! And clean your car!)