Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Simple Faith

Alternate Title: Not Now!

At our house we have a Family Home Evening board. It has a peg for the song, prayer, scripture, lesson, activity and treat. Each of us has a tag with our name on it hanging from each of the pegs. Except one tag is blank, because there are only five of us. There are also 6 chairs at our table, which, if you can do simple math, means there is one empty chair.

Isaac has always been a little OCD and is very particular about everything. (He is going to drive his wife crazy someday, as I'm sure Kelly can attest.) Anyway, every once in a while Isaac will point out that there's a blank tag on the board or take note of the empty chair at the table. Last week both items seemed to hit him at the same time. I happened to be watching him as his attention alternated between the tag and the chair several times before he looked at me and asked, "Can we have another baby?"

I know I want another child, but I'm not sure now is the time so I deferred to a Higher power, "Ask Jesus," I answered.

Isaac took that to heart and immediately folded his arms. "Everyone do what I'm doing. We're going to say a prayer...

"Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this day. Please bless Mommy to have another baby. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Please don't tell me that I have to another baby just to strengthen his faith!

Coincidentally, Jack has been walking around all week saying "baby."

Are all signs pointing to "yes?"

The Photos That Almost Never Were

Well, new camera donations are just pouring in. Oh wait, those aren't donations, those are Corn Flakes. Either way, I do have some pictures from this summer thanks to my mom. She let me borrow her camera even though I clearly can't even take proper care of my own.

Our family at "The Big Hole" (aka The Grand Canyon)

Isaac on his first day of school.
Kenley preparing for the baglady convention My attempt at a portrait with my "baby."
Somebody get some pants on that kid
I think they're doing the Hokey Pokey
I console Kenley after some embarrassing moves on the dance floor.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's That Time of Year!

I love sugar cookies. I have always loved sugar cookies. But for some reason I only think to make them in the fall. Perhaps it's because I have a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter, or because I like to make candy corn sugar cookies. Anyway, I thought that I would share my awesome sugar cookies recipe that I got from a coworker a few years back. I love this recipe because it doesn't require any chilling before rolling and the cookies always turn out delicious and moist.

Sugar Cookies
4 cups flour
1 heaping cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix on medium speed until well blended and dough starts to make large clumps. Roll on a floured surface until 1/4-inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before moving to wire rack.

I like the separate the dough into thirds and color 1/3 yellow and 1/3 orange, leaving the last section "white". Then I form each section into a thin rope (sometime I divide each section in half and do this part twice for smaller cookies.) Line the ropes together with yellow in the middle. Gently press the ropes together and then roll lengthwise to make stripes. Cut into triangles to resemble candy corn. Bake as directed. Dip tips in melted chocolate if desired.

Happy fall!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Death of a Camera

You may have noticed the lack of photos on my blog. I am mourning the loss of my camera. It died in April and I have truly missed it all summer. I'm sorry I took it for granted. Whenever I needed it I just grabbed it without bothering to ask if it was busy or if it was a good time for the camera. I supposed it killed itself just because it couldn't stand the abuse.

All too often I toggled between taking pictures and viewing them. I didn't give the camera any notice. Just flipped the switch and on I went.

Sure, I had a case for it. But did I tuck it in every night? Did I make sure it's memory card was full of happy memories? Did I keep fresh batteries on hand in case the batteries lost power? How could I not notice it's sadness?

Even now I miss it only because I wanted to take so many pictures this summer. This summer we went to Yellowstone, Oregon, Arizona...had a family reunion, went to the American Idol concert and did lots of fun things with lots of fun people. Each time I wished that my camera were there. I realize now I didn't treat it like the part of our family that it really is.

Now the world will never see the photos that would have been: Kenley and Jack doing the Mexican hat dance on my kitchen table amid a layer of Rice Krispies; the time Jack ate a chocolate chip cookie and his face looked like he lost a fight with a poopy diaper; Isaac as he climbed aboard the bus for the first time; me on the day I actually left the house before noon, showered and everything. All are now distant memories captured only in my head.

I've borrowed others' cameras, but it's just not the same.

Why me? Oh, goodness. Why?

(Anyone wishing to donate to the Shut-Up-Already-And-Buy-A-New-Camera fund is welcome to do so.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Can Make Me Feel This Way?

My Girl

I notice Kenley doing "the dance." Do you need to go potty?
What happens when you pee in your pants?
I get a pinch.
Do you need to go potty?


F, G, Y & Z. Now I know mine ABCs. F, G, Y & Z. Now I know mine ABCs.


One. Two. Three. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Sixteen. Seventeen. Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Group Insanity at it's Finest

Our family just returned from a 6 day trip to Arizona (read 4 days in the car, 2 days in AZ.) And when I say our family, I mean Jeremiah's entire family. From the 8 kids, ages 5 and under, to Grandpa, age 88, there were 20 of us total in 2-twelve passenger vans and Grandpa's Tundra. I have to be honest, I enjoyed myself far more than I anticipated. Not that I was dreading it, but I'm not really a road tripper. I like to drive as long as humanly possible before stopping - which obviously was not possible with 20 people travelling together. But it was not as bad as I thought it might be, all things considered.

Once we got there we were able to relax at the condos that my in-laws had reserved. Jack had a fever the first 3 days of travel and was extremely irritable so we didn't get much sleep. The first day at the condo he finally napped and Jeremiah and I laid down and snuck in a siesta as well. Most of the rest of the family had already headed off to go sight-seeing, but I'd had enough of the car and wasn't about to drag Jack around in his less-than-charming condition.

It was so nice to stay in the condos. We roomed up with Evens and Kelly and my sweet niece Kara. I hadn't seen Kara in ages so I was really surprised when she warmed up to me quickly. Every time I turned around she was at my feet reaching her arms up to me. It felt great to be loved.

Jeremiah and I went with Lucas and Carenna's family to some cliff dwellings before the wedding on Saturday. I was kind of bummed when I learned that the main trail was closed due to rock slides, but once I saw how many stairs we didn't have to climb with 7 kids in tow, I was relieved.

Tanner and Caroline had a really lovely wedding. The wedding was outdoors in the afternoon and they had a...an...interesting ceremony. I could barely hear them as they shared their vows, but I didn't have to hear them to know they love each other.

Isaac was the ring bearer and he looked super handsome. I told him to hold the pillow like it was a plate of food that he didn't want to spill. He did really well walking down the aisle, but became a little distracted by the ribbons on the pillow during the ceremony. I couldn't look away as he dinked around, putting the pillow on top of his head and burying his face in it. He accidentally untied one of the rings and it dropped to the ground. Luckily he retrieved it quickly and there were no more incidents before the rings were actually exchanged. Guess we should have made it to the rehearsal...

Anyway, it is so great to see Tanner happy. His once omnipresent scowl never made an appearance over the weekend, not even on the dance floor. I know he loves Caroline immensely - I never thought I'd see the day that Tanner would get out on a dance floor and dance, to country music no less. Their reception was very family oriented and kid friendly, which we greatly appreciated. Everyone had fun at the dance following the reception. I even got to bust out some old-school moves on the dance floor, courtesy of Kelly's dare.

The day we left Flagstaff we headed to the Grand Canyon, which I was really excited about since I'd never been there. However, as I mentioned before, I'm not much of a road-tripper, and was less than thrilled when the venture took about 7 hours. Luckily we ended up stopping to stay the night earlier than planned and got to come home at our own pace on Monday.

All in all it was a great trip. And barring some hugely childish and selfish behavior from a certain in-law I really didn't have any issues with anyone during the trip. I do think, however, that next time we will make our own arrangements, and I'm pretty sure that everyone else came to that conclusion.

It's so nice to be home and in our own beds. Jack's mood has improved dramatically and things are back to normal. This was our final hoorah for the summer and it was a great way to end the summer of a million activities.