Friday, October 30, 2009

Catch of the Day

Halloween crafts on the loose- the spiders found Jeremy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Art Review

Yesterday morning, our cousins, Thomas and Elen, came to visit. They had a drawing that Jeremy had done when he was a kid, so we decided to have an art review and breakfast together. We all had samples of our artwork from when we were kids and our children had fresh samples to show from the new generation.
The other day, we let our children know that these relatives were coming to visit. Here's what was said-

Mommy: On Wednesday, Daddy's cousin is coming to visit. His cousin, Thomas, and his wife, Elen.
Nichole (with wide eyes): Thomas? Like the train?

Well, he wasn't exactly like the train, but the children still had no problem warming up to them. They were even so nice as to let Elen read them several books while sitting on her lap.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pizza Muffins

Some people asked how Nichole and I made pizza muffins, so I figured I’d tell about it here. First I’d like to give some background about myself. I’m not a bad cook and I’m not bad at baking, however, I’d always been intimidated by using yeast. Whenever we made rolls or pizza dough, my husband was the one to make them. I was afraid of not getting the water at the perfect temperature as I had always heard it would kill the yeast if it was too hot. Fall 2008 I took a bread making class at our church building. A mother and daughter team from Pantry Secrets, a small business based in Utah County, came to teach us about their bread dough recipe. A versatile recipe that can be used for so many more things than just bread. I learned that in their recipe, you use hot tap water and guess what… it doesn’t kill the yeast. I instantly became a fan of this bread recipe and I’ve been making bread as well as using this dough for other things ever since. Jeremy got me their DVD for Christmas and I’ve been using the tips in there for so many dough projects from cinnamon rolls to hamburger buns. You can learn more at
Now that I’ve got my little testimonial out of the way, I’m going to put the basic bread recipe on here. If anyone finds out that I’m not supposed to do that, let me know, but as far as I know it’s okay. I’m letting you know where it’s from and telling you that I am very pleased with this.

[I’ll add my own comments in brackets]

Pantry Secrets Homemade Bread Recipe [this is written for use with a Bosch mixer or Kitchen Aid, neither of which I have, so I do it by hand]
10 ½ cups white bread flour or wheat flour (do not use all-purpose flour)
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
3 rounded Tablespoons saf-instant yeast
3 Tablespoon liquid lecithin* [soy lecithin is an emulsifier, I think. Instead of using oil, lecithin is used. It is shelf-stable and does not go rancid like oil does after a while]
4 cups hot tap water
Mix dry ingredients [I do it in a big bowl with a mixing spoon]. Add lecithin and water. Mix for 1 minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add more water. If dough is too moist, add more flour. Mix for 5 minutes [or dump it out of the bowl onto a sprayed with cooking spray surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes]. (Do not add water or flour to the dough after it has finished mixing.) Spray counter and pans with Pam. Shape loaves and cover with a dish towel. Let raise 25 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. This recipe makes four loaves of bread.
*Squeeze or pour approximately 3 Tablespoons of lecithin directly into the bowl. Do not measure [they said the lecithin is too hard to clean off mixing spoons, so that’s why they say don’t measure].
For whole wheat bread, use the same recipe but add one cup of applesauce as part of the hot tap water. Mix for ten minutes.

Now for Nichole’s and my part. We divided up the kneaded dough into the four loaves. Two were wrapped in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for later use in rolled out doughs. One loaf was divided up into hoagie type buns (and Nichole’s contribution of her sort of kneaded dough). The last loaf was divided up into a bunch of rounds rolled out. I let them sit for a bit while working on baking the hoagies and gathering pizza toppings.

Then I rolled the rounds out again (After they had raised a little while sitting, they rolled out even bigger). Now came the toppings. Each got a little bit of tomato sauce, then a sprinkling of garlic powder and Italian seasoning, followed by some cut up pepperoni and pieces of olives, topped with mozzarella cheese.

I gathered up the edges at the top and pinched them together, then put them in a muffin tin. I baked them in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes.

Pizza muffins. Yum.

Of course this is the dough I use because it doesn't intimidate me, but other doughs you're comfortable with will work.

Monday, October 26, 2009

When You're Sick

It's so great to know that when you're sick, your kids are willing to help you out and not make too many messes, because you don't have the energy to stop them or clean up after them.
So, in the rare occurance that this does happen

you know that they'll help any way they can to clean up their own messes.

Note: Paper towels and toilet paper are irresistable to little kids when the parent is sick.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The KAT's Meow

Mommy: I'm so glad I get to be your Mommy. What a blessing. Heavenly Father sure loves me.
Nichole: And me, too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Glow Sticks

I love the glow sticks we got for "A Campout... In Our Living Room." The package we got had the ends able to come off. The glow sticks could be connected to the ends to make different shapes. If you connected both ends with glow sticks, you could make a ball. Another shape you could make with one end is a flower.
Of course the best thing about them is the creativity that comes with their use.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Daddy-Daughter Party

Our ward did a Daddy-Daughter Party last month. They had a dinner, dancing, and fun with glow sticks (which began Nichole's love for glow sticks). Before they headed out to the party I made sure to get some pictures of Nichole and Jeremy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: NNNNN, that spells "dog and cat."
Mommy (quickly): Actually "dog and cat" is spelled D-O-G, that's "dog." "And" is A-N-D, "and," and "cat" C-A-T-E (*hand to forehead, shaking head*) Oh dear.

Nichole was wearing a necklace and asked me what the back of it said. I spelled it out.
"C-H-I-N-A spells China."
"Oh," she said. "I'm China."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Watching Peter Pan

I do believe in fairies. I do. I do.

It worked.

Tinkerbell's okay!


Monday, October 19, 2009


This little kid's chair is made to recline just like an adult's would. Jr. refuses to recline in it, however, choosing instead to put his legs over the sides and often falls asleep in that position.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I think it's elegant

Jeremy made this balloon flower vase so he could make a picture of it into a birthday card. I thought it was a very elegant piece.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Catch of the Day

There's no story behind this one. We were just in a courtyard at the library and I was taking pictures of the kids playing. I like how this one turned out. That's it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

See What Happens

See what happens when Mommy goes off to take a class and Daddy's left alone with the kids?

Actually, I'm very happy for my husband's support as I go to learn something to better myself.

*Note: I found out later that Nichole calls these "hair masks."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recycling Art

I found that after the kids draw on one side of their art paper on the easel, there is still a whole side not yet used. We don't paint on the easel, but we can take that paper and paint on it at the table.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: I like corn in the zebra's ear, but not in the zebra's face.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Essential to Take on a Trip

What? You're going on a trip? Take me. Please. I won't take up much room.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jr.'s Turn




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Friday, October 9, 2009

Homemade Hamburgers, Yumm!

One day, Nichole let us know she wanted hamburgers for dinner. What a great idea. We happened to have a lot of supplies for that- the makings for the patties, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, condiments- we could make them pretty good burgers. What we didn't have were hamburger buns. I had made some bread earlier so we decided to use that. Big slices of bread, just not that thick. It was quite an adventure with so much stuff on those large yet thin slices of bread.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Campout... In Our Living Room

Last night for Family Home Evening, we had a campout in our living room. We built a tent out of PVC and large scraps of cloth. It was kind of like the house we built in an earlier post- "This is the House that JAT Built." Just shaped a little bit differently.

Jeremy built a campfire with balloons and glow sticks inside of the neon flames.

We had hot dogs for dinner and after, we "roasted" marshmallows over the fire.

Jeremy heated them up in the microwave and we put them together with graham crackers and chocolate to make s'mores.

Jeremy put together some more glow sticks and we had fun taking pictures of the kids playing with them.

The kids fell asleep in the tent. Jeremy wasn't feeling so well, so he and I went to sleep in our room. Early in the morning, Jr. came and joined us, so by the morning, Nichole was the only one left in the tent.

Good family activity.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Catch of the Day- Hat Rack

Something's not quite right on the hat rack. I found out later it wasn't the kids who did it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: I'm going to play with you or something.

Jr.: Hello and I'm poopy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Popping Corn

I asked Jeremy earlier about popcorn. What is it? Is it different from the corn we eat from the can? What makes it pop?
In his wisdom, he suggested I make a "class" out of it. I should take this opportunity to educate myself about something then teach the kids about it. Oh, he's so smart.
So, I did. Yay for the internet when used for educating about popcorn. Not all the questions I was wondering were answered, but definitely enough to teach the kids something new.
Before we got to the popcorn, Nichole and Joshua helped me load the dishwasher and do the rest of the dishes in the sink. That way we'd have room for the popcorn popper on the counter. They were big helpers.

We got the popcorn popper down and the container of popcorn kernals and we learned. The popcorn kernals look like the kernals of corn that we eat from the can, but they are different. They are a special kind of corn. The corn in the can doesn't pop like the popcorn. Inside each of the popcorn kernals is a little bit of water surrounded by a little piece of starch. When they get really hot (with air or with oil), the water says, "Hey, I'm getting hot. Let me out of here." It get so hot that it turns into steam (we've learned about the different states of water before) and goes, "Pop!" It turns the popcorn kernal inside out and we can see the big white part that we can eat.
We put what we learned into practice. The kids loaded the top of the air popper, Jr. turned it on, and Nichole dumped the kernals in. After a little bit they started popping and hopping all over the place and when it was done, the kids were very happy with what they had made. Not to mention getting to eat it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Look at this Picture

Something's not quite right?
Do you know what it is?