Monday, September 29, 2008

Kenny Who?

The other night, Greg and I were driving home and I made a comment about how few titles and artists I can put together. I may know the lyrics to a song, but that doesn't mean that I could tell you who sings it. In short, I am "Band Ignorant." Well, Greg asked me if I could identify the song that was playing (I still can't remember what/who it was), and I told him, "No." Then the song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (I had to look up the title for that one, too I would have guessed "Life goes On") and Greg asked me if I could identify the band. I said I had no idea, so he gave me the hint "It's the most popular band ever. I was able to guess the Beatles, but it was truly a guess.
Because of that, I wondered how my siblings were at putting titles and artists together. I knew Haylee would be the best, but I was most interested in Rick and Ben. I asked them each how many bands they could identify with their songs, and they each said, "About 5."
I asked them to identify the artist of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," and even with my sister-in-law, Heather saying "It's the Beatles," Both Rick and Ben said, "No, it isn't, but I don't know who it is."

Well, in my life I have been to one concert. It was a freebie put on by NuSkin for Kenny Loggins, so I told my brothers that was one singer I could probably identify. Rick's response was, "He sings? I thought he only played the saxophone!"

Yep, we're all hopeless!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Women's Conference

Tonight I went to the General Women's Conference up at the Stake Center and had a lovely trip down memory lane. The choir director tonight was Merrilee Webb, my choir teacher for two years in high school. I nearly started laughing aloud because as we sang along during one of the hymns, I couldn't help but feel like I was in high school again. I stood at attention, following her lips to finish off the consonants as we were singing. It was a little bit embarrassing because she (as she encouraged us during high school) didn't cut off at the "usual" places in the hymns, so I followed along even though nobody else in the congregation knew what she was doing, so I ended up singing a bit of a solo at one point (It wasn't too noticable though because the choir was doing the same thing I was on-screen).
The most amazing part about watching her (in my opinion) was the differences/similarities of how she was 15 years ago. In the "same" category, she was just as enthusiastic as ever in her choral directing, however on the "different" column, I think I need to show some "before" and "after" pictures.

Before (This is about what she looked like when I had her for choir, but she wore "big" glasses, too.)

After (yep, she ages backwards! She now looks younger and better than ever. Who knew!):

I do have one story I have to share about "Miss Webb." When we were in school, she told us that out of respect she wanted us to call her Miss Webb, but as soon as we graduated we had permission to call her "Merrilee." Well, she was teaching the song "Merrily we Roll Along" to the choir and one of the boys raised his hand and asked, "Shouldn't we sing "Miss Webb we roll along, instead?" That and the memory of a student being sent back to the class because the office didn't believe that Miss Webb's signature looked authentic (She just signed things with a combination MW that looked like a scribble to the "untrained" eye).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clubs and Righteous Living

OK that title sounds like an Ensign article title, huh? Oh, well! I am keeping it. Today after school, Ellie had a friend over for lunch. I asked them what they wanted to eat, offering PBJ's, Dino-nuggets, or some zucchini (I didn't really think they would take that one, but it never hurts to ask), when Ellie interrupted, "Um, Mom, you need to ask us if we want Macaroni and Cheese because we are in the Macaroni and Cheese club." She turned to her friend and said, "RIGHT?!" She said, "Yep, we're in the macaroni and cheese club." Naturally. I have never been a big advocate of "clubs," "cliques" or other elitist behavior, but somehow I have to let the Mac&Cheese club slide.
Especially since her friend is such a good influence. Apparently last night Ellie's friend got to go to the police station with the scouts where they all got a police badge temporary tattoo. Sarah looked at it and asked, "What does that say?" to which the friend replied, "CHOOSE THE RIGHT!"

Who am I to disagree?

The new police badge (If only it would remind everyone).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Entertain Me!

I don't know if anyone else has the same problem, but I just realized something about myself. When I am "in the groove" I usually blog every couple of days and check other people's blogs about once or twice a week. When I am under the weather (and consequently not in the mood to fold laundry or mop the kitchen floor) I find that I will check every blog I am aware of every single day. Not only that, but I am totally put out to find that not every single person has updated their blog to satisfy my craving for living vicariously...I mean hearing the latest and (of course) greatest things that are happening in everyone's lives.
On the plus side, it does make me a much more compassionate blogger and for a few days I will be bound and determined to write consistent, witty, entertaining blog entries for all one of my followers (Really. One. Thanks Maureen!).

And so, in searching my brain for a great entry, I turn to my brother, Rick, who is the big 30 today. I had decided that it would only be appropriate to call him to wish him a happy birthday (and remind him that while he is now thirty, I am only 31--if only for the next 6 days). When I was about to call, Sarah climbed up next to me and asked me what I was doing. I said that I was going to call Uncle Rick to tell him happy birthday. She then asked, "Am I invited?!" I told her that he wasn't having a birthday party, at which point she slid off the bed, threw her hands in the air and said, "Then why did you even tell me?" Apparently she is in need of some serious entertainment as well, and a simple phone call just isn't going to cut it.

But, even if it isn't on Sarah's radar I still want to say:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The purpose of this post title is two-fold; first, for anyone interested, I am publishing my grandma's recipes here. It is also in reference to my new favorite "game" that I have been playing with the girls.
Ellie and Sarah have had a really hard time getting along lately (I'm sure my short temper due to illness hasn't helped) and I was sick of getting after them to "BE NICE!" (shouted down the stairs in a less than nice way).
Growing up I always played "Tiger" with my brother, Rick, where he was the tiger, I was the master and he had to do whatever I told him. For whatever reason, it worked, and we got along as long as I called him "Tiger" first.
I could just see Ellie scratching and biting (I don't know if I mentioned it here, but she has tried to lick her primary teachers on more than one occasion) if she was a "tiger" so I opted for a similar but slightly more civilized game.
I told her that when I said "GRANDMA!" She had to pretend like she was a grandma and try to solve whatever problem she was dealing with the same way Grandma would.
So far it has worked like a charm. If she can't come up with a solution she will ask me for a hint so she can win the game. I am loving it, and only wish I had thought of it at the beginning of the summer!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Out of This World

In my junior high days, I loved the TV show "Out of this World." For anyone unfamiliar with the premise, it was about a girl who was half alien (I think it was on Friday nights, apparently my Sci-Fi Fridays started early). Anyway, her primary "power" was the ability to stop time. I have to say it is a gift I have wished for many times, and today is no exception. I am currently suffering from a bit of a cold, and have no energy. The other day I tried to take a nap, but was awakened three times in 15 minutes (the fact that I could fall back asleep that quickly is a sure sign of my illness).
I was thinking that if I could stop time, I would take a nap. By stopping time, I wouldn't have to worry about my kids getting into anything while I wasn't watching and I would be able to sleep without anyone poking me in the eye and asking if I'm "Just Pretending."

Here is a clip of the intro to Out of This World for anyone feeling nostalgic!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just a Recipe

Other than the fact that I was a little out of it last night, and couldn't sleep due to my stings on my side, the rest of last night was pretty mellow, thankfully! This morning I am still in my glasses without makeup or brushed hair, and I have just let Sarah and Rachel play by my side while I have typed up a few recipes. Today's recipe is one we use at Easter, but you could certainly switch it from peanut butter eggs to peanut butter pumpkins! I love the nostalgia that comes with typing up all of these recipes. I can remember helping my grandma wipe down the sides of the candy pans with a pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, stepping back a step so she could pour the hot syrups onto the marble slab or on nut covered cookie sheets depending on what we were making. It makes me miss her terribly (tomorrow marks the two year point of her passing), but it also makes me feel closer to her. So, without further ado, here is the recipe for Peanut Butter Eggs (or pumpkins, or whatever you want)
Peanut Butter Eggs
2 cups peanut butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 package graham crackers

Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter together until smooth. Crush graham crackers and add to the peanut butter mixture. Shape into eggs and dip in tempered, high quality dipping chocolate.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What a Day!

OK, I seldom do more than one post in a day, but today will be the exception. This morning, after getting Becca and Ellie off to school, and Sarah off to preschool, I came home and typed up some recipes, obviously. Like I said, it has been pretty slow because although my grandma was really a great cook, some of her recipes are a little vague when it comes to instructions, and although that may work on salads or casseroles, somehow I don't think it will be beneficial to just have a list of ingredients for Mimi's fudge with a couple notes that say "put butter in pan then add vanilla" as the total instructions.
So, I was a little disappointed by the fact that I only got about 5 recipes copied over during the 2 hours I had to myself (I also had commute time and Rachel to take care of, though, so I wasn't too distraught. Well, after copying the recipes, I picked up Sarah, raced over to the elementary school where they were launching a hot air balloon today, then I picked up Ellie and drove straight up to Lauren's birthday party--which was darling by the way.
I had to leave the party early because my visiting teachers were coming, so I raced home, went through the mail, and helped plan a surprise party for my VT's husband with her. She had to leave just before 4:00, but asked if I would watch her daughter. I told her it would be no problem, and sent her on her way.
I told the girls to go outside to look for Becca, and when she got there the girls asked if they could keep playing outside. I was just cleaning the kitchen and told them it would be fine, since I could see them. Within two minutes of saying that, three of the girls came running into the house in hysterics. They had disturbed a nest of hornets and the little critters followed the girls inside. By the time I had closed the door I had been stung twice. I killed about 10 hornets in the kitchen then quickly ushered the girls upstairs where I could close doors and contain the situation. I first put Rachel in her room and closed the door, since she hadn't been stung, then I killed a couple hornets in the hall, took the girls into Sarah's room and had them all strip down to their skivvies because the hornets had flown down their clothes. Once they were bare, I sent them into Becca's room and killed 5 more hornets. In Becca's room, I saw that there were still some hornets in the neighbor's hair (I had already killed 3 on her head) so I dispatched them by pinching them because they were right next to her ear, and I didn't want to hurt her. Once I was convinced that the girls were not being stung any more, I put some numbing spray on them and went back to Sarah's room where I found 2 more hornets.
I went downstairs and killed between 5-10 more bugs, and told the girls they could come down and watch a movie. As they came down, the neighbor said that she thought there was another bee in her hair. I didn't think it was possible, but decided to appease her, and there was in fact another hornet stuck in her hair.
All in all I killed probably between 30-40 bugs and received 3 stings in the process, and the kids had 3-5 stings each, but after some Benedryl and an otter-pop they all seem to be doing just fine.
I now get to prepare my house for our Young Women activity which is here tonight, and somehow throw some dinner together, but I am really hoping that the rest of my night is uneventful compared to the rest of the day!

Recipe Rundown!

For anyone who didn't know my grandma, she was an incredible cook. And I have taken the task upon myself to type up her recipes. It has been slow going, and I thought perhaps one way to make it a little more fun is to share one of her recipes each day as I am typing them up. Trust me, these are worth keeping track of! You are also very lucky because today I am starting the "Candy" section of her recipe box, and that was her specialty! I should probably save these for Christmas, and perhaps if I am feeling generous I will post more as we near the Christmas season, but for today, here is a recipe for Grandma's personal favorite candy (they taste a lot like Mrs. Cavanaugh's Mindy Mints). They are simple (just a mint chocolate ganache dipped in more chocolate), but delicious!

1/2 pint whipping cream, warmed
1 1/2 pounds high quality dipping chocolate
5 drops mint oil

Pour warm cream into chocolate and beat with mixer until chocolate is entirely melted. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and dip in tempered chocolate.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ellie at her finest

Yesterday, I felt like I was in an alternate universe. It started out when we went to the Stake Center to get our temple recommends renewed. I didn't get a babysitter (and wasn't too worried for the 2 minute interview) so Ellie and Sarah went in with Greg, Rachel came in with me, and Becca sat out in the hall. When our interviews were over, Ellie turned to me and said, "So, Mom, how is your testimony today?" She was so sincere and sweet Greg and I both started laughing our heads off, and none of the girls could figure out what was so funny.
Then, at church, Ellie was asked to give a talk in primary. She did a great job, and received many compliments on it. When church was over, her teachers came up to me and said they were so proud of Ellie giving her talk, and that she had been a perfect angel in class for the last few months, and they wished all the kids could follow her example.
I don't think I ever expected those words from any of Ellie's teachers (but I was thrilled to hear it)!
All day long Ellie was a great helper and really was the perfect example.
As I was putting her down to bed I told her how grateful I was for her wonderful behavior, and she looked at me and said, "Of course I'm good. My superior brain helps me to know how to act."
Yep, she will always be my Ellie.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I was very excited to get a phone call from Greg's sister with the exciting news that they had their baby girl! She is a cutie, huh?! This is the first of four on Greg's side to come along, and with Haylee on our side, I feel like I'm surrounded in babies--the only downside is that it makes me realize that Rachel really isn't a baby anymore, but I am thrilled to be an aunt again, and can't wait to see this sweetheart in person...even if it does take a while :)

Friday, September 05, 2008


Sarah started preschool this week, and she is fortunate enough to have her sweet, wonderful mother as one of her teachers. OK, so I'm just too cheap to pay for preschool, and am overly involved in my children's lives. But, I got to take the first week of preschool, and I have to say it was a ball. The kids are absolutely darling, and I had so much fun teaching them. This week we talked about the letter "A" and I had originally thought that I would do "A is for Apple" but I changed it a little bit (we still focused mostly on apples) to "A is for Adventure." We talked about Johnny Appleseed, then I let the kids dress up like Johnny and go out to our appletree and pick as many apples as they could reach. Then, we read "How to make an apple pie and see the world" and pretended that we traveled all around the world (my house) in search of the exotic ingredients needed to make a pie...although they would not let me say that we had to go to Vermont to get the apples because there was a tree in the back yard. But we did get to go to Sri Lanka for cinnamon, Jamaica for sugar, the ocean for salt, France for a chicken to get an egg, Italy (Venice to be precise) for semolina flour, etc. The kids got into it really well, and helped me make an Apple Crisp-pie once we gathered all the ingredients (I was going to make a real pie, but thought we would run out of time and thought a soggy crust would be disgusting).
But the best part of the whole adventure was just the kids, so I have posted some pictures that I took of each of them dressed up like Johnny Appleseed. Happy Adventuring!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kindergarten Assessment

I realized this afternoon that I never wrote anything about the assessment Ellie had with her teacher during the first week of school. I realize it is a week late, but the conversation is worth jotting down for posterity.
The interview began with Mrs. Wallace asking Ellie if she knew anyone in the class. Ellie started naming a few kids in the neighborhood and Mrs. Wallace said, "I'm glad you know some people..." when Ellie interrupted, and said, "I'm not finished. I also know..." and proceeded to name about half of the class (most of whom she had only met on the first day of school).
They then sat down to discuss the letters, numbers etc. that Ellie knew. Starting with the letters, Mrs. Wallace asked if she could identify one of them. Ellie looked at the page and said, "Yes, but first I want to tell you about these letters. This is a W. It says 'wuh,' like window, or wet. This is an H. It says 'huh' like hat, or happy. OK, now I will tell you this letter. It is a P. It says 'puh' like pan, or popcorn.
Then it was time for rhyming. Mrs. Wallace asked, "Do you know what a rhyme is?" to which Ellie responded, "Yes, like rhyme, time, dime climb, mime."
During each of the questions, labeled with pictures, Ellie would find the answer before Mrs. Wallace asked the question.
The next section was on identifying numbers, and the last number happened to be 8. Mrs. Wallace said, "Great!" and of course Ellie had to remind her "Eight, great! Another rhyme!"
Yes, she is really going to struggle academically this year!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Go Barbie!

Tomorrow is Sarah's first day of preschool, and in an effort to get to know the kids and their moms, I decided that it would be fun for each of them to bring a bag of things that represent themselves. As I tried to come up with some things to put in Sarah's bag, we had the following conversation:
Me: Sarah, what is your favorite toy?
Sarah: Mmm, Barbie Island (aka Rosella in "Barbie as the Island Princess)
Me: What's your favorite show?
Sarah: Barbie Island
Me: What's your favorite thing to do?
Sarah: Go to the zoo!
Me: What do you like to see there?
Sarah: Barbie Island (You may recall she was there one day)
Me: What animals do you like to see?
Sarah: Azul and Tika (The animals in the movie)
Me: What is your favorite food?
Sarah: Chicken....Do you want to know what kind?
Me: Yes, What kind?
Sarah: BARBIE-Q!