Friday, June 26, 2009

Crazy Fridays..

well, we made our strawberry jam yesterday and some yummy rolls today to go with them.(see picture on the left of my blog for quick cake mix rolls). Just goes to show that...


A family that cans together...

doesn't have to stay up so late doing it all by themselves.
Josh had his face painted and had a cool time at the Salt Lake Chalk Art Festival

Well, it on to another weekend and another camp out. Our family hasn't been home together for a Friday night pizza night in 3 weeks. It is just another faze of life, I guess. Meanwhile we have finally changed our pizza movie night to pizza sub movie night. The kids like it and so do we because we have been saving about $40 a week! Who wouldn't like that?
We saw Inkheart tonight and we give it 5 stars. The kids really liked it and it had a happy ending, which I like. John and Josh will be back tomorrow, then, we are planning a camp out from July 1 to July 4 with the whole family and our friends the Howletts. That should be fun.
not much else going on...things in the house have been remarkably calm and I am doing lots of homework in preparation of my first final on July 15. I am a little nervous but I am sure I will do okay. then, it's on to 2 science classes that i would like to complete by the end of August. We shall see how that all plays out.
The house is clean, laundry is done, the yard is mowed, the garden is weeded, the jam is preserved, the pool is vacuumed and cleaned out, and the animals are taken care of so, I am just going to relax with my kids tonight with another movie and sleep in tomorrow (well, hopefully I will make it until 7:15am). It feels good to be caught up and it feels good to have a handle on things today.

Make sure you read through the whole recipe before starting...

Quick Cake mix Dinner Rolls
1 TBSP yeast
1 1/2 C warm water
3 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 (9oz. ) package of cake mix NOTE: A box is 18.25oz
1/4 C melted Margarine or butter to brush on rolls before rolling
2 eggs

dissolve yeast and warm water. Let stand until yeast foams. Add flour and cake mix. mix until dough is smooth. Knead dough and continue adding small amounts of flour so that dough is soft and not sticky. Place dough in lightly oiled boll. Let rise until double in size. Punch dough down roll into 12 inch circles cut into wedges, brush with butter and roll from wide edge to point (like a crescent roll). Brush rolls with beaten egg white and butter. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 20 rolls
I thought I knew what I was doing and messed up the first batch. So, I am trying again. I have some homemade strawberry jam just waiting for these rolls and some hungry kids.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So I was wondering...

why I feel the need to pretend that all is well especially on my blog. Actually, everything is well right this second but you know what I mean, right? So..sometimes the house is a mess and the kids are crying and have thrown so many fits that I can't even count but does that make me a bad parent? Of course the answer is no (at least i hope yours was a no too.) It just means that it is life. I think it is funny though that few people tell life like it is.
Why? Why this insecurity? I have never said to any of my friends "You did what???!! to your kids?" "Unbelieveable and I thought i knew you!". The fact is that it is impossible to know what someone elses' life is like and what their situation is so who am I to judge them? and...who are they to judge me? But, I think it comes down to more than that for me. I want to be liked. I don't want people to think I am a bad parent or person. Does it also come down to self esteem? I am not sure. ALthough, that would be my guess. Anyway, i want people to think I have things under control and all is well. I don't even like asking for help to take my groceries to the car when I have 3 cartloads...what's that all about?
So, this is just random babbling as I think about my day and the last few days. I have been doing great and have been very comfortable being me but reflecting on the past and ways for me to change now. I can only change me and my attitude and behavior. I can't change anyone else around me (nor would I want to), okay you caught me...I would like some of my kids to be happier in life but that is not under my control. Everyone needs to discover themselves. I find that I do care less and less about what others think or feel the closer I draw to my Heavenly Father. When I am on the "right" path the less the "things of the world" bother me.
I wish that people could get a little glimpse of life through the eyes of a traumatized child. I think many of you would be shocked at what you would see and feel when faced with all of that trauma, angst, and anger. But, these kids need us. They need to feel safe, they are in desperate search of a place to call their own. There is an overwhelming need for foster parents or people that will house a child especially older children. It makes me sad to hear why people won't take these children in their homes. I am not suggesting that it is easy because, it's not. You would be overworked and way underappreciated but you would make the difference in the life of a child. The trials and challenges we have faced as parents to hurt children have made us become stronger as individuals, parents and spouses. We never thought that our lives would have taken the path that they have. The thing that keeps us going and motivated is we are doing the Lord's work here. This is what He would want us to do, take care of his children. We are blessed when we extend ourselves beyond what we thought was possible and keep His vision for us.
I know I rambled about 2 completely different subjects tonight but both I feel strongly about and they are kinda tied to each other. Helping others. Make people feel appreciated and valued for the efforts they are showing. Help them when they can't help themselves. Don't judge unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. Find ways to extend ourselves so that we can become "in the image and likeness of our Father in Heaven".

Monday, June 22, 2009

Our weekend..

was a great success. We had presents for John for 4 days last week. They were just small and simple but they were so important for the kids. Unfortunately for John. they all revolved around food items. Well, that's what he gets, I guess.
we try and pamper him but he likes to share in all that goes on rather than to take a nap or a seat on the couch. That is great except on the days we want to pamper him. Then, it makes it hard. Oh well! We had a fun day anyway and I didn't have to make the whole meal by myself ( a bonus).
I tried some homemade freezer rolls and they actually turned out fairly well, now I am wondering what else I can freeze ahead. Can I freeze cinnamon rolls before the second rising, or corn dogs, or??? The list goes on and on. I am trying to think about all that I see in the store that is frozen and wonder if they put something "special" in it to freeze. that is my next project.
I am gonna try cinnamon rolls this week and more cresent rolls. That's a good start.
Well, the impossible happened this week! Josh set a date for his Eagle Scout project July 18th. He is working with anysoldier.com to collect money and items for soldier's who are deployed in combat areas. The money will help send the packages..and the donation list is endless but hot items are the individual drink mixes and diaper wipes. But, really anything from home that is prepackaged and not chocolate (too hot and it will melt).
I am impressed with all that he has done so far and I am determined to not complete any of this for him. I do help him with ideas and we will both brainstorm with him but we want him to complete this on his own. I did go pick up some items today for him since i was already out and about.
Well, this week we are onto Animals and have the zoo and Bean museum planned. But, first I have to get the vans emissions and safety done. The kids have been doing all right but I have started to limit computer time to a couple of times a week rather tahn everyday and they aren't always happy with that idea. It has helped today with no rain.
ON to the week....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June is well underway....

at our house. We are having so much fun now that my ankle is getting better. It still hurts and is swollen (I hope that's normal) and it only really hurts on side to side movement and extreme stretching ( my cupboards are a bit too high). Walking doesn't seem to be too much of a problem but not too much walking still.
Besides that! I have been baking like a fool. Who knew cooking could be so much fun.
Okay, maybe John did know that but... We are plugging away at our summer. We are doing lots of scout requirements, picnics, and discovering the joy of being a child all over again! I am not sure who loves summer time more..me or the kids. What a lazy time to relax and listen to the kids laughing (okay, yelling at each other and arguing but, I swear I did briefly hear laughter today, maybe that was me laughing at all of the whining and complaining). We did have a shining moment today, shopping at DI for 1 1/2 hours...you could have heard angelic choirs of angels singing during that time as I smirked a little at the other moms' kids throwing tantrums. We are gearing up for our first ever "stay"cation! It is going to be amazing. We are going to Trafalga, McDonalds, Thanksgiving Point, KFC (provided those rain checks ever show up!), Pier 49 Pizza, the movies, This Is the Place, Hogle Zoo, Hiking Ensign Peak, Timp Caves (never been there) and a couple of other things planned. It is going to be great! We are ending the week with a carnival (in our backyard, that we are working on right now) and an outdoor movie. Doesn't that sound great? I am tired just thinking about it all. So....




John and Josh cut wood for Girl's Camp last Friday and this was their dinner Roasted Rabbit



Josh and John fishing while in Scofield

While they were there...(refer to video at the bottom of post)

We were having a light saber war.

The end of a successful bug hunt

While I was busy taking pictures...the kids got a little farther away than I was comfortable with.


We made masks out of cast material (so fun, quick and easy)! Can you tell who is who?
Enjoy the video...I did! I wonder what next week will bring?

video

Homemade Cinnamon rolls

Okay, so I have found a new blog that I absolutley love and has inspired me to start cooking better and more fun things. The link is on the left side..Mommy's kitchen. I have been a cooking fool. It started with some cinnamon rolls then on to, homemade corn dogs, followed by, homemade oreo's, homemade bread, pizza subs, m&m cookies, and some great dinner meals! What fun! I have been having so much fun creating that I have to go get another 20lb. bag a flour..TONIGHT! So, that I can keep creating tomorrow. I want to start with this recipe from Mommy's kitchen for cinnamon rolls and maybe inspire you too.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup milk *1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons, half stick) *1/4 cup sugar *2 teaspoons yeast (one package) *1/4 cup warm water (105°-115°) *1 egg *1 teaspoon salt *3-1/2 cups bread flour

Filling1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons, half stick)4 tablespoons brown sugar1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon(optional) raisins
Glaze1 cup powdered sugar1 tablespoon milk1/2 teaspoon vanillaStart by scalding the milk. Scalding breaks down a protein in the whey that can keep the dough from rising as much. In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, bring the milk nearly to a boil. When a film starts to form on the top, turn off the heat and skim it off with a spoon. Add the sugar, salt, and the first half-stick of butter and stir until the sugar and butter are both melted. Set the milk/butter mixture aside to cool to room temperature.In a separate bowl, combine the yeast and warm water and stir quickly. Stir in the egg. Add the milk/butter mixture. (Make sure it's cooled down to room temperature or you'll kill the yeast.) Add the flour and stir until the flour is all incorporated and the dough comes together in a soft, loose ball. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil (I always use extra virgin olive) to a clean bowl. Roll the dough around until it is oiled all over, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a wet dish towel. This will keep the dough from drying out and forming a skin, which would keep it from rising.Put the bowl someplace warm, not hot -- inside the stove, turned off but with the light turned on is about perfect -- until the dough has doubled in volume, about an hour-and-a-half. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to deflate it.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until the dough is smooth and satiny. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about an eighth-inch thick. Soften the butter, but don't melt it. Spread it evenly onto the dough. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough and roll it up. cut into rolls and oil a baking sheet and arrange the rolls with room in between. Place the baking sheet in the oven -- turned off but with the light on again -- until the dough warms up and the rolls double in size. Then bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown on top. Arrange the rolls on your serving dish, and prepare the glaze. Pour it over the rolls.
Night Before Assembly:
Wrap the roll in plastic wrap, to keep it from drying out, and then aluminum foil, to help keep the shape. Put the wrapped roll in the fridge overnight. The next morning, the cold dough will be firmer and much easier to cut. Use a knife, fishing line or dental floss, once they're all cut, oil a baking sheet and arrange the rolls with room in between. Place the baking sheet in the oven -- turned off but with the light on again -- until the dough warms up and the rolls double in size. (This could take 2-3 hours so plan accordingly) Then bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown on top. Arrange the rolls on your serving dish, and prepare the glaze. Pour it over the rolls.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Well,

we are into our summer a little bit. We have had "melt-downs", tantrums and all kinds of various things going on. We did manage to make it to the temple and are planning on going 2 times this month! (Okay, we usually go 2 times but, it sounds cooler when I say it like that). My ankle is healing nicely albeit very slowly! I have managed to make it through my first credit at school and am now enrolled in 11 credits: 2 science and one humanities. (we'll see how that goes!) I am teaching at a cluster meeting Wed and Enrichment on Thurs. and a foster care class (with John) on Thursday night after enrichment. So, we are keeping busy! We had a successful art week last week and this week we are on to baking week! Sounds fun...I know!
Well, we started a few more therapy sessions for summer. We are now enrolled in Bonding through Movement! It is pretty fun and a different kind of therapy. We will see how the summer turns out!
The kids are really having fun and I get gently (or not so much) reminded when we don't have journal time every day! Who knew the kids would love journal writing so much?! We are having fun and I hope we can fit everything in that I want to do without anyone collapsing from exhaustion. ( I am mainly talking about John and I) the kids seem to be energizer bunnies!
I am so glad for this "season "of my life. (i don't just mean summer). My life seems to be hitting a great stride. Things are falling into place so perfectly, after so many years of preparation on Heavenly Father's part with still more to go. There are many days when I feel like..how could it be any better than this?
I guess I just mean that life is good. It is certainly filled with many struggles (you would all laugh if you knew what we experience everyday) but, it is good. There is so much joy to be found in everyday and I struggle to find it amidst the screaming sometimes but it is there. Life is meant to be savored and joy to be found in it...not endured! When I focus on the joyfulness everything feels better and the days seems a little brighter.