Friday, June 24, 2011

This week's afternoon snack: Hummus

Hummus (original found here)

1 can chickpeas (drain half the liquid)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
dash of sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon dried parsley

Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary. Eat with tortilla chips or however you enjoy hummus.

(I added twice the lemon juice. Oops. It had quite the tang. The kids generally liked it, although Miss E thought it had too much lemon.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cuckoo Wasp

We've solved the mystery of our shy, backyard resident. Near the top of our backyard, there are a couple of what look like ant hills with large holes the size of a pencil eraser in them. Occasionally, one of us would catch a glimpse of a quickly retreating green head, but that was all. I finally asked the Extension agent about it.

We've got cuckoo wasps. I had no idea they even existed. Aren't they beautiful? Apparently they help pollinate and don't sting. So, we'll let them stay.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pioneer children

We had a fun time dressing up for a pioneer parade two summers ago. A kind woman in our neighborhood helped fit us out with appropriate costumes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Almost-Christmas surprise 2010

The professor finished his Enigma machine. I made him a box for it (with help from a kind cousin) as an almost-Christmas surprise. Of course he took it to work before I stained it or got a picture. And so, finally, here it is, in it's glory.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Yesterday I woke up happy. Not just fine, not just ok, but thrilled to be alive. Not only was it bright and sunny outside, I was bright and sunny inside.

I've noticed that food tastes extra good after fasting, and my husband is extra handsome after a trip. Well, joy is extra sweet after it's been missing for a bit.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My helper

Young T has decided to be helpful. The other day, I left a load of clean clothes on the dryer, to be folded later. Before they were folded, Young T found a bucket, moved it to the washing machine, opened the washing machine, and threw them in. Thankfully, he couldn't reach the soap. Later, after I had taken them out and moved them to another room, I found him there again. This time he had carefully dragged dirty clothes from the piles on the floor up onto the bucket and put them into the washing machine. He couldn't understand why I insisted on taking them out and sorting them again. That boy sure works hard at whatever he does. And I sure undo a lot of his work. (And vice versa.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Block Sampler 1.19 ~ Basket

This block is a larger block, like the Weathervane block. Four smaller blocks would sew together to make this one.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dinosaur Project

When Young A was small, we inherited a much beloved pair of dinosaur sweats from my brother's family. After being loved by their family and ours, they are worn out. I copied my sister-in-law's ingenious pattern and have made a pair for Young M and Young T. It's fun to have the dinosaurs around again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My exercise program

Step one: Feed the children. This is an important to step to minimize distractions and loud yelling in the middle of your session.

Step two: Turn on something to listen to. One of my recent listenings has been about Winston Churchill.

Step three: Kick the toys, books, and papers out of the space in front of the TV.

Step four: Turn on ballet/workout.

Step five: Pause the DVD. Pause the CD.

Step six: Find the Dubliner cheese.

Step seven: Start the CD. Start the DVD.

Step eight: Dump out the shape blocks during the chassé.

Step nine: Dump out the shape blocks during the attitude.

Step ten: Pause the DVD. Pause the CD.

Step eleven: Answer the phone. Check on the kids. Answer the door.

Step twelve: Start the CD. Start the DVD.

Step thirteen: Distract Young T away from the power button. Start the DVD over.

Step fourteen: Do the sit-ups and ab exercises with a toddler sitting on my belly, laughing.

Step fifteen: Pause the DVD. Pause the CD.

Step sixteen: Change a stinky diaper.

Step seventeen: Start the CD. Start the DVD.

Step eighteen: Pause the DVD. Change the CD.

Step nineteen: Start the CD. Start the DVD.

Step twenty: Pause the DVD. Pause the CD.

Step twenty one: Clean up the accident in the bathroom. Encourage clean underpants.

Step twenty two: Start the CD. Start the DVD.

Step twenty three: During the changement, don't land on the shape block Young T left on the floor.

Step twenty four: During the reverance answer the question, "How much longer until you are done?"

Step twenty five: Turn off the DVD. Turn off the CD.

It took over an hour and a half to do a fifty minute workout. But at least the kids weren't all playing right at my feet setting out their houses and stores and supplies in my clear space like last time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our new adventure

Miss M and Young A have recently begun piano lessons, taught by the inimitable RedHairedUncle. They are enjoying it immensely. (I wonder how long this will last.) Occasionally I will find one or both of them at the piano playing either something made up or figured out. Already, they are much more comfortable with the piano. It's fun to watch them starting something new.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I wrote this back in December.

I'll admit it. I tend to whine at Life. I don't know why there always has to be something crazy going on. Some days it's sick kids. Some days it's interpersonal relationships, sometimes work related stress, other times testimony related stress. I've been quite frustrated with this. When President Uchtdorf talked about simplifying life during times of stress, his message resonated with me. And yet his example of the trees slowing down their growth during difficult times frustrated me. Aren't we here to grow? So why do we keep getting more and more challenges slowing us down?

The answer is in those trees. For some trees, when they slow down their growth, they become much stronger.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Christmas surprise 2010

I finally have pictures of last year's Christmas surprises. This was probably my favorite: Tetris window stickers for the Professor's office.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Getting off the roller coaster

I think I've finally figured out how to avoid the worst of the emotional roller coaster that I struggle with. I have found that I have to get enough sleep and exercise each day. This is mildly ridiculous considering that Young T does not believe in sleeping consistently, but we're making it work. (Although, Monday night was rather ludicrous. A simple fifteen minute nap was enough to have him awake for three hours in the middle of the night. That boy is sure teaching me something...if I learn whatever it is, do you think he will sleep?) So if you call and I sound like I just woke up, you may have caught me napping.

This new knowledge has an unexpected benefit. You see, now that exercising is about more than just "being healthy" someday, I find it much easier to fit it in even when I don't want to. Half an hour of "I don't want to be doing this" is much better than a couple of days of "I want to curl up and cry."

While this may not always work, right now it does. I am grateful. It's nice to start feeling like myself again.