11 January, 2011


SO.....as of this week, we have agreed to adopt a precious baby from louisiana! we had not been actively pursuing adoption, but it was on our hearts to do if God ever provided a clear path for it. I just am not sure my faith was ever big enough to request of God that He provide the thousands of dollars an agency requires to finalize expanding a family. however - I DID have faith that God could to something creative, which he did. a college student whose family we know fairly well fell pregnant. In addition to wanting her precious child to grow up in a home with 2 parents and lots of loving siblings, she is not wanting to give up her college scholarship or her dreams of doing something great in the world, so she has given us the honor of becoming adoptive parents!

We've had nearly 10 years since the 27-week birth of Emmanuelle and a subsequent tubal ligation, waiting for it to FAIL. (I know - helLO? looong story.) THe new babe is due 2 days before Emme turns 10. I've heard countless times that a 10 year window is pretty typical for a tubal to fail, so in my mind, I always guessed we'd add a child in about 10 years. I just didn't know it would happen *this* way!

I canNOT describe how absolutely amazed, humbled, grateful, and blessed I feel to be a part of this whole process! we do not yet know the gender of the babe, but i will be keeping everyone posted, and this blog will once again become an active one, bc I have something to talk about! love you all!

10 December, 2009

it's about time.

ok, getting back into blogging again. i fell IN LOVE with facebook when i realized how interactive it is, and my blog just never was. busy SAHMs need *conversation*, people. not just rambling on about life. (well, some of that, too!) but, sorry it has been a year. i suppose things happened in that time. we moved, we had a miscarriage, we took a vacation to Miami, FL where my children saw the ocean for the first time. Our new neighborhood is full of my childrens' friends, so I found myself calling my mom one day to say "i only have 9 for breakfast this morning!", I cut my hair, we planned a bang-up party at church for halloween, we had 101 people over for memorial day (not necessarily in that order)...

so, hopefully more will come soon. hello again, world!

26 December, 2008

Christmas dinner........2008

for the record. ( so i don't have to remember for a year!)

we had broccoli/chz soup, smoked turkey, served cold, with lingonberries, Torsk(!), garlic mashed potatoes, Moroccan olive bread & asiago cheese bread, spring green & spinach salad, strawberry yogurt salad, candied yams, and the most perfect risotto...yummmmmmmmm. with asparagus & gorgonzola...like candy! and, some very nice Zinfandel brought by Rey....good thing! thennn....apple & pumpkin pies with home made vanilla ice cream.

what I wish I had done differently....had the "arrival time" for guests be sooner than 4pm, and had a nice spread of appetizers, so we could leisurely munch, while i leisurely cooked, then eat later. I regret leaving the white wine out of the risotto, but other than that, it all went quite well. I need 2 dishwashers. that would help tremendously!

sorry - not much for pictures this time...camera was full, and everyone was too busy cooking or playing to empty the memory card!

19 November, 2008


Instead of stuffing the cavity of the bird, which slows down cooking time, gently push the stuffing up under the skin via the neck cavity to protect the delicate breast meat. as the sausage cooks, the fat/juices saturate the meat, moistening & flavoring the turkey - YUM!!

Allow 18 minutes per lb, and 20 minutes’ resting before carving.

Feeds 8 to 10. Takes 3½ hours plus resting.

17 lb fresh or fully thawed turkey
2 lbs italian sausage - sage variety is ok if you like it - it is all good!

1 med. red onion

4 cloves garlic

1 bag pepperidge farm seasoned stuffing/bread crumbs

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

good dash of cayenne pepper

rosemary sprigs

small lemon wedges

Heat oven to 375. Rinse the turkey and wipe it inside and out with a paper towel. Fold the wing tips under the body to help it keep its shape.

To stuff the bird under the skin from the neck, work the skin free of the breast by putting your hand between the two and gently inching your fingers forward to halfway along the length of the bird.

Push about half of the stuffing in, spreading it generously over the breast area. Don’t pack it too tightly, as the stuffing will expand, but do reach as far into the nooks and crannies as you can, and down the length of the drumsticks.

Tuck the drumsticks under the bird slightly. Pop the lemon, herbs,salt and pepper, and all remaining stuffing into the cavity and skewer closed.

Cover the base of the pan with a layer of foil, and lay the turkey on top, breast-side down. Bake for 30 minutes, or until skin is a medium brown and slightly crispy

Completely cover the turkey in buttered or Pam-sprayed foil.

Roast for two hours.

The turkey is cooked when the juices that run from the thickest part of a pierced thigh are clear.

Allow the turkey to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before carving. If the drumsticks are not fully cooked through, simply cut through each joint where they join the body and return them to the oven under a sheet of foil for another 20 minutes as you rest the turkey and carve the breast.

06 June, 2008

fun way to send a message....

On the advice of a friend, (AND bc she is giving away a free, fun offer...) I went to www.myfruitrollups.com and designed a fun little treat to share with my kiddos. We never buy these things, but this made me reconsider for a brief moment, as it would be an awesome way to spread the news of "we are taking a trip", or "Gabe got an 'A'"! At the very least, it is a fun activity for your kids to do online...check it out!

04 April, 2008


THIS is what was said of the last rotavirus vaccine, since removed from the market, after agencies in the UK authorized its use:

After administration of RotaShield(R), most adverse reactions observed are regarded as minor. (WTH?) In clinical trials, the most common adverse event associated with RotaShield(R) (when compared with placebo) was fever after the first dose. Administration to infants with persistent diarrhea or vomiting or to those who are known or suspected to be immunocompromised is contraindicated. (that means if your child's immune system is compromised in ANY way, DON'T DO IT, PEOPLE!) RotaShield(R) should not be given to infants who are hypersensitive to latex or to any component of the vaccine, including aminoglycosideantibiotics, amphotericin B or monosodium glutamate. (okay - do you know much about MSG? DO you want your infant having it?) RotaShield(R) does not prevent infection with rotavirus but does reducethe severity of disease should infection occur.

It doesn't even prevent your child from getting the disease! It simply "lessens the severity" - you as a parent can do the same thing, without making your child eat MSG or latex, simply with good nutrition.


ANOTHER vaccine ~

In studies of more than 24,000 infants, Rotarix prevented severe and mild cases of rotavirus-caused diarrhea and vomiting during the first two years of life.

Read on:
The most common reactions reported during clinical trials were fussiness, irritability, cough, runny nose, fever, loss of appetite and vomiting, the FDA said.

"This vaccine provides another option to combat and reduce a potentially severe illness that affects so many children..."
- Dr. Jesse Goodman, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

hello, let's trade what could POTENTIALLY be severe vomiting and diarrhea for fussiness, irritability, cough, runny nose, fever, loss of appetite and vomiting. Do they really think we are complete morons? so kids get vomiting and diarrhea! then they never get that virus again. that is the beauty of a virus - once you build natural immunity, you are immune for life, as in chicken pox. So you feed your child the years-proven BRAT diet - bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, and you move on.

"a potentially severe illness" - just like falling out of bed is potentially severe....we don't vaccinate against that, and most every child falls at some point! Do you seriously want your child to ingest a vaccine, that, when previously developed had this said about it: An earlier oral rotavirus vaccine sold by Wyeth was pulled from the market in 1999 after it was linked to a rare, life-threatening type of bowel obstruction known as intussusception.???

The good news: "Although the FDA has concluded that the available data do not establish that these events are related to the vaccine, the agency has requested the manufacturer to conduct post-marketing safety studies involving more than 40,000 infants to provide additional safety information," the FDA said.

This means....that they will TRY it on your children, then (maybe!) write in to the drug company if adverse reactions arise. Did you KNOW you gave birth to a guinea pig? yep - it only LOOKED like a human baby. They didn't tell you then that that sweet, chubby-cheeked little thing would later be used for clinical trials. oh darn.

you can read the full report here.

I know I haven't been here for awhile...sorry, have had a very full past couple of months. I hope to be more consistent. Facebook is stealing my time away from the blog, tee-hee!

just had to stand on my soapbox a little bit :-) Well, one of them. I have others - regarding soy, autism, ADD/ADHD, divorce, doctors, antibiotics, genetically modified cooking oil, Vitamin C, parenting, and commercially prepared infant formula. If you ever need some entertainment, or someone with whom to debate, please let me know! love you all!

09 February, 2008

HERE is an advertisement...

I know this kind of thing has been offered before, but I found it today in the "free" section of a local newspaper...i might call and say I am interested if I didn't already have one of my own to train...

Free to good home

Logan, UT Feb 9, 2008
Free to good home, My husband that has had 18 years of training, he is partially potty trained he will not put down the toilet seat and sometimes has an accident on the floor, he socializes very well with other females but NOT friendly with other males, I have found if he makes a mistake you can correct him by rubbing it in his face, he will growl at you for only a moment then he will straighten up for awhile. he is very territorial and protective, I hate to let him go but because of my new job and work schedule I just don’t have the time to clean up after him anymore and give him the attention he needs at the same time,

He is like a Saint Bernard, very cuddly and cute and has been spoiled, and thinks he can sleep with you every night, if you adopt him do not let him spend all night your bed that would be a big mistake because he will hog the whole bed and make all sorts of noises all night long including drooling, It would be best to keep him in another room until you want to show him affection, he will be more grateful. He does need constant reprimanding and discipline or he will try to control the household...

The woman gave no phone number, and I assume I could contact her via email. Maybe someone should ask her if she REALLY wants to get rid of him. Perhaps if she thought about it for awhile, she would see the benefit of having him around, even if he never does learn to put the toilet seat down. Did you know they sell automatic toilet-seat-closers?

21 January, 2008

LUKE is 12!!

Luke at age 3...

what a sweetie...we had a pizza party, with 15 guests, which later became 19 as more people stopped by. Luke helped decorate (and light, lol) his own cake, which was a big step in growing older... Two cakes were needed, of course, for all those guests...a mint one (Which is Luke's favorite), and the standard "Better than Farm" cake, as Grandma re-named it years ago :o)


Actually "ghhghhghAHla", as my sweet Jewish pastor's wife pointed out. Yummmy bread, which uses an egg dough that tastes best when left to ferment a bit in the fridge for a few days. The dough recipe originally called for 1/2 cup of melted butter, which I accidentally left out, but would again, because who needs all that butter?? Instead, I brushed butter on the fresh, hot bread, and that moistened it up just enough!

so, here ya have it:

1 3/4 cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 tbl instant yeast

1 1/2 tsp table salt

4 lg eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup honey

7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, water, honey, yeast and salt. Stir well. Add in the flour. STIR, BABY STIR!!! Stir until you don't see any more dry bits of flour. Spray with cooking oil, cover with plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 4 days. The longer you let it stay in the refrigerator, the better tasting the dough will be.

pssst....if you want, you can let it rise for 2 hours on the counter, pinch off the dough that you need to make your Challah. However, I've found that with only a 2-hour rise, the bread isn't very flavorful. Still good, but definitely not as good as if you had let it sit 1-4 days in the refrigerator.

1 lb of Master Challah Dough (above) about a grapefruit sized chunk of dough

4 1/2 tbl Nutella

small egg + 1 tbl water, whisked to make egg wash

The first thing you need to do is take that master dough out of the refrigerator, grab a grapefruit sized chunk of dough. Return the rest of it to the refrigerator to use another time. Generously flour your hands and the dough. Shape the dough into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough and tucking it to the bottom all around, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. This creates a taut, smooth surface. Let the dough hang out on counter a bit, to take the chill off.

Braid Dough: Now, back to the dough. Use palm of your hands and roll the dough into a thick, even log. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces with knife or dough scraper. (It's easier to cut even pieces when the dough is not round). Roll each piece with your hands to stretch into a long 1 1/2" thick rope. Try not to just stretch it out by pulling, the dough will break. Easiest way is to place dough on counter and roll back and forth with palms of hands, starting in the middle and hands move out which stretching the dough a bit. Don't worry about getting it to look pretty, just try to get each piece even sized.
Time to add the Nutella. Take one piece of dough. Use your thumb or the side of your hand to press and create an indent in the middle of the strand. Spread about 1 1/2 tbl of Nutella in this indent.

Bring up the sides of the dough, encasing the Nutella and pinch dough closed. Repeat with other strands. Don't have to be perfect. It's messy, I know, but it's NUTELLA and worth every finger lickin' mess.
Pinch it up! I found that it worked best to lightly press a butter knife along the center, and use my left hand to pinch it up by grabbing the very edges.

Let's braid! Start in the middle and braid. Pinch ends, tuck under. Now braid the other side, pinch and tuck. Start braid from the middle (instead of top) so that it tapers evenly at both ends. I tried to keep the seam side UP, so that the filling did not melt out as it baked. There will be places where it splits open, but that is okay.

Again, spray and cover with saran wrap, then a soft towle, and let rest for 1-1/2 hours. 20 minutes prior to baking, preheat your oven to 350F.
When dough is ready to be baked, brush top with egg wash. OPTIONAL: sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 25 minutes. While still warm, brush with 1/3 cup melted butter, generously coating the entire surface of the braid.

Emme helped me, so along with her own mini-braid, she made an "E", and "L", and a "V" to give to her brother and sister. This recipe made about 3 large braids. Enjoy!

16 January, 2008

guess I should post

something! Not a lot of news, no new photos here...we have withdrawn Luke and Victoria from school, which means I now have the youngest 3 at home full-time. it is very nice, and they are on a much better routine, and seem to be growing more confident, as opposed to less confident each day.

We are looking toward starting up parenting classes again in March, and as I scrutinize my own children, I seem to be learning more...we are never done learning!

#1 ~ your children are what you make them. If you think of a child as impatient, and you respond to them with impatience, they will be impatient! If you consider a child to be responsible, and treat them that way, they will become that. IF a characteristic of a child is troubling you, then examine carefully how you act and react toward that child.

#2 ~ I forgot what the second one is....but it will come to me. For now I will say "Moms, get plenty of rest. staying up too late makes it hard to keep your eyes open!"

01 January, 2008


You may notice that this is post #17 of the day. (or so - I lost count after 2) Today is New Year's Day, and I am trying to decide if I want a resolution. I think the first one will be NO MORE PROCRASTINATING! One of these days, I will get started on that.

We had a party, and decorated with TIME in mind....

ben made (yes, pizza - it was requested, and very delicious. I DO cook, and love to, but ya can't fix what already works). He also helped me put together a fun display area for his wonderful pizza, so I got to throw my signature in on the party somewhere! The pizza boards/stones were elevated at different heights, with greenery, candles, ribbons and lights entwined all around. The fountain was surrounded with garland as well, and the water fell sweetly as the party began. THEN...the excitement drowned out any splashing sounds, but that's okay.

At the end, everyone stood in a circle and ripped open party poppers filled with candy and little paper crowns. You can almost see some of them here hanging on a sparkly ribbon as Emme zooms by. At 11:30 p.m., some sugar kicked in , and she had a second wind! an hour later, 3 very tired girls stood for their first picture of the year. Only Emme got her crown on as the party was winding down.

Anne and Jordan, Benjamin and Jodie....hey, it was a PARTY! Costume ball or not, I was dressing up! I even sprayed glitter on my hair. Ben, at 12:15 a.m., was very worn out, but happily sat with me for a photo. Thanks, babe!

and Christmas day brought....

filled stockings, and wonderful guests! We did not do much photography during the dinner, which all played out very nicely, but the table was pretty, and everyone had to be wheelbarrowed away from the table by the time we were done. It was a wonderfully blessed day!

I found darling little glitter-coated cardboard letters to denote which stocking was whose...one of these years, I vow to have them all MATCH, but in the end, kids really don't care!!

on to Christmas...

which was very, very nice. we were home alone, just the 7 of us, so it was a very casual night. Ben made pizza for us, and everybody dressed in their regular play clothes..i am wishing now I would have at least made emme brush her hair, but I had spent the day with Victoria having some "girl time" and was happy to just sit down on the couch and let kids pass out gifts! Here are a few moments preserved via digital pixels...

The TREE.....(the angel really does have a head).
Emme and her beloved gift from Gabe.

Christian opening a pedal to enhance the sound of his electric guitar....

Luke got new binoculars!!!
And Gabe got a batman toy from Annie...he was pleased as punch!

Christian gave his sisters Dance Dance Revolution 2, and as you can see, they were very excited!

And Victoria's birthday

She turned 10 this year, was given a karaoke machine with which she sings her heart out, and got her ears double-pierced! Her best friend Makayla went with her and held her hand. They laughed together as Victoria had tears rolling down her cheeks, but loves them now!