Thursday, February 26, 2009

Abigail- Finally in her crib!

...Because Brenley FINALLY gave it up! My kids love their cribs. They all have. I remember being told that it is time to move your baby into a big kid bed when they start climbing out of their crib. None of my kids ever did that. They have all been attached to their crib. Almost all of them only got booted when the next kid came around.

Bren was no exception. The child is 31/2 and just agreed to move to a big girl bed.

I am not sure it was for love of the crib as much as dislike for any sort of change. Brenley is the one that notices any type of change in the house. I remember we bought a new lamp for our bedroom and it took her a full day to get over it. She kept telling me that the old one had to go back. She would describe the old one and kept saying, "remember? remember mom? go get it back!"

I am pretty sure 3 year olds just don't like change. She had to see a picture of her (younger) cousin Zanya in a big girl bed before she warmed up to the idea. Then a few short months later...Voila!;)

(yes, Abigail will only sleep on her belly. But don't talk to me about SIDS. Because she sleeps with a fan on AND a pacifier, which both reduce the risk of SIDS. And she is breast fed. So it all evens out...)

Three Month Supply- Canning Meat

Otherwise known as: Why I have been neglecting my blog. And my book. Warning: May contain gross pictures. We are talking about canning meat here, people. Yuck!

My sister gave me the head's up. There were a lot of good deals on meat, and she would teach me how to use her pressure cooker. A few weeks ago she gave me a jar of beef that she had canned and it was delicious. So I have been wanting to give it a try ever since.

Now, Jannalee is not the type to make an idle offer. You know what I mean. Some people offer to help you, but you are hesitant to take them up on it. Jannalee tells me to come over at this and such time and she will teach me. This is not the first time, either. She taught me how to make homemade wheat bread a couple of weeks ago. I will post pictures when I have the guts to actually make some by myself;) This week, I promise!

Tuesday when the Ginge came over I ran around to 4 different stores and got some major deals on pork loin, 93% fat free ground beef, beef roast, and chicken breast. Then I swung by Jannalee's house to pick up the pressure cooker. Which I would have been too intimidated to use if she hadn't actually shown me how. I started browning the ground beef, because I needed some for that night's dinner anyway. I decided to just brown it all while I was at it.

Ground beef is really the only thing you have to cook before canning. The rest of it goes into the jars raw. So then I got started with the gross stuff. My kids were appalled.

I am running the pork through Italian dressing mix. Jannalee said that it tastes great that way. You can open a jar, heat it up, throw it on rice and you've got a meal. The rest I made up myself. I used a Costco meat rub that we love on burgers in a jar of beef. Then onion soup mix and garlic in another jar of beef. taco seasoning on beef. Ranch dressing mix on chicken. Soy sauce and garlic pepper on chicken (Which is how I cook it usually) and a few other things. I got a little creative.

The first night I was up with it until 1:30 because I underestimated the time required. It takes 90 minutes for quarts to cook in the pressure cooker, so I was figuring an hour and a half. I wasn't counting on the time it took for it to get to boiling, then to pressurize, then to depressurize afterward. One of the drawbacks to canning in the middle of the night is not being able to call your sister with little questions. Oh well. You live and learn.

(my quarts in the cooker)

(my pints, after they are done cooking)

No, they don't look pretty. But they taste good. I hope. Jannalee's tasted good, we'll have to see about mine. I am trying to resist the temptation to use them for dinner next week just to see how they taste! C'mon, wouldn't you be curious?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Ten O'Clock....

...And I am sitting on the computer. Wendell is laying on the bed watching the news. I hear him call to Brenley and tell me she just walked past our door into the family room. So I got up to check it out. This is what I find:

Keep in mind that I got right up to check on her. I remember noticing at bedtime that Mitchell had already crashed on the couch. I remember thinking, "I'll have Wendell move him later"

Brenley decided to make herself cozy and snuggle up with him and promptly fall asleep.

I think this may have been a case of sleep walking. It has happened in our family before. But I think it is funny that even in her sleep, she thinks it would be nicer to snuggle up with her brother than to find a seat by herself:)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt Giveaway

Go here to see these cute skirts. There is even a link on how to make them, if you are the seamstress type. I am not. And I want one. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is it Just Me?

Or do these two kids look similar?

I thought Abigail looked a lot like Kindyl, but I am starting to think she looks more like Mitchell. They definitely have the same coloring. (my ghastly white skin, poor kids). But they have the same Macnab nose and snapping turtle mouth.(The point in the top lip comes down low. I call Abigail my little snapping turtle. In the nicest possible way of course;) And they both have my eyes.

But she still has Kindyl's dimples. And her gums are the same. (She has an attached frenum on her top lip like kindyl did.Kindyl's had to be burned off so her teeth could come in right. Lucky Abigail;)

Maybe I just spend way too much time looking at this baby. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Infrared Photos

this is what I have been looking at online this morning with Abigail.

I want to steal the daisy photo and frame it. What is your opinion on Internet thievery?;)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Fun- Fridge and Hair

Inspired by this post, I decided to finally take my favorite Christmas cards off of my fridge and make it more Valentine appropriate. It is not fabulous or fancy, but kind of cute:

Luckily I had these cute magnetic hearts with all of our names on them. I like how Brenley's heart holds up her artwork, next to the tissue doily heart she made in pre school:
And Abigail's heart holds up her baby cousin's birth announcement, etc.

You get the gist. So my question to you is: Will hearts still be appropriate after V day? Or do I need to make flowers with their names in vinyl lettering for Spring?(probably not going to happen)Are hearts universal enough to stick around? I need your input.

And finally: Heart hair.
In honor of this important day, Brenley wore a heart in her hair.(instructions found here)

She wore it like this to church on Sunday too. I liked it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

4 Months Old!

I like to take a picture of my babies on their "birthday". These are Ab's 4 month pictures. On the quilt my mom made her.

She is starting to look older. Though she has had the good grace to stay tiny.

I consider this a personal favor, and appreciate it very much! As my last baby, she can stay little for as long as she wants. Though her doctor may have a different opinion. Her stats:

11lbs 2oz- 10%
231/2 inches- 10%

I don't know her head measurement, but it is 25%. And apparently at birth it was 50%. So they need to check her out again in a month and make sure her head is growing as it should. But her soft spot is still soft, so she is probably O.K. I am inclined to call it nurse error, since her first measurement of the day put her in the 12th percentile. They remeasured it and got 25th. SO I am wondering how precise her first measurement really was. She has always had a sweet little tiny head, which I appreciated at birth. For a little perspective:

This is Abigail with Joy's two year old Trigg. Who has a perfectly normal sized two year old head.

She has been a good eater since birth. She eats frequently, she just doesn't eat much. Joy took her for a couple of days for our anniversary, and said she just really only wants to eat a couple of ounces. She is perfectly happy, just not that hungry.

As long as she is gaining weight she is fine. But her pediatrician gave me some high calorie formula for preemies to supplement her with after I am done nursing. Just in case. She won't drink it. She is full. I'll keep trying, though, just to make sure she is healthy.

But I like my dainty tiny dolly just the way she is!

Why I Love February

Because tulips are my favorite. And February starts like this:

Because my anniversary is Feb 2nd. (Yes, that's Groundhog's Day)

And then we have Valentine's Day, and I get even more:

And they last until March.
I love tulips. What a fabulous way to usher in Spring!

The Killers

I was just telling Wendell last night that I need more Killers on my i pod. Hoping he would take the hint and do it for me;)

Then I saw this on Julie's blog and had to have it for my own.

I think it is a sign. That it has been too long since I have been to a good concert. It's time.

(yes, I have 3 or 4 way more important posts to do, but this was the easiest one to do one handed while waiting for Brenley's bus;)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lucky 13?

Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. Woo hoo!

(you'll have to excuse the quality of these pics. This was before digital cameras, and our scanner is not great.)
Half of me is amazed that I am old enough to have been married for thirteen years. Most of the time I am still 16 years old in my head.

The other half of me is absolutely amazed that I chose a dress with such poofy sleeves. At the time I thought it was beautiful. I will be urging my children to get simple, timeless wedding dresses. Like the ones that are popular right now.

When I look at these pictures I am amazed at how small my family was. We only had 5 grand kids. Now I think we are up to 36. And 5 more spouses. Our family pictures are far bigger now. And half of us are still procreating.

We were looking at our honeymoon pictures (Wendell won't let me post any, because we were mostly in our bathing suits on our cruise) and Wendell said, "It looks like I married a little girl!" I look at 19 year olds today, and agree. Although at the time, I thought I was old enough, and perfectly mature;)

When I look back on that day I can't help but think of how incredibly lucky I am. Although we dated for a year almost to the day before we got married, there are certain things I couldn't have known.

Like what a fabulous father he would be. How he would take turns taking care of our infants in church so that I can actually listen in my meetings. How he doesn't flinch at changing a diaper. How all of the little ones in our family would flock to him. How he recognizes that we are co parents, and taking care of your own children is not babysitting.

Or how he recognizes my needs and doesn't balk. How could I have known that when I had a barely two year old toddler and an 8 month old who hadn't yet taken a bottle he would urge me to go ahead and go to Utah for Women's conference with my sister for three days and leave the babies with him. His exact words?"I promise she won't starve. just because she has never taken a bottle doesn't mean she never will." He was right. By the end of the first day she finally gave in

How he realizes (possibly because of the above experience) that being a stay at home mom can be every bit as demanding as a job, only with longer hours. he is willing and able, every now and then, to just take over at home after along day at work.

Or how he would encourage me to take time for myself when I need to. That's right, I didn't say "allow" I said "encourage" without complaining. Go scrapbooking with my friends. Go to lunch with my sisters. Or even the occasional out of town concert. Somehow he just knows that I will be a better mother and wife if I get a break every now and again

How could I have known how handy he would be? How we wouldn't have to waste money on hiring a professional every time something went wrong with our cars or our house. How did I know he could put together furniture, or even install flooring?

Or how he could figure out everything he could ever need to know about the computer. And everything else for that matter. I am not what you would call the queen of common sense. But I am now because I married the king!;) He can always figure out how to do things more efficiently, or to make something work out when I don't think there is a way..

How could I have known he would trust me to handle all of the bills in our household? Or that we can be almost equally frugal, and discuss money issues before any major purchase. This is a comfort, because money is the cause of more than half of all divorce in our country.

Or that he would be sensitive enough to cry with me when I lost my father, and take care of me while I was grieving. And not expect much the first couple of Father's Days afterwards.

The more I see of the world I know how lucky I got on this day thirteen years ago when Wendell and I started our eternal family and were sealed together in the Mesa temple. The more I see of the selfishness of people the more I am grateful for a husband who is basically not.

At 19 and 23 we may not have known exactly what we were doing. And we still don't. But we have been able to figure it out together. We still have many challenges ahead of us. Like teenagers. Yikes! And who knows what will happen to our family in the future. But I am not afraid. I know we will be able to work it out together.

Here's to at least 50 more!