Sarah and the Band-aids

The other day I came downstairs from a "time out" that I had put myself in -  hoping to maintain some sanity - to THIS!  Sarah had empty all but about four bandages out of the box, and systematically opened every single one.  As you can see, she was sticking them to various surfaces, and my gut reaction was to say, "Ugh! Sarah!" and proceed to pick them off and up and get it back under control. (I had just scoured and straightened that bathroom that morning.) But, luckily I was on the phone with my mom, and she helped me remember to take some pictures.  They really don't do the scene justice, but anyway...here they are.  Aaahh! Childhood...and anything sticky.   And by the way, earlier, I found about six stickers on my sliding glass door, that did not come off without a fight,  courtesy of this adorable little munchkin.   Gotta love her!


Friday's Favorites + One Day Part 2


Well, the second thing I will post today is a travel tip.  For mine and Adam's ten year anniversary, we went to Alberta, Canada.  We visited Calgary, Edmonton, Cardston, and Banff.  This part of the world is so majestic, especially as we headed toward Banff.  The Canadian Rockies are really amazing!  

The scenery was continually changing, as we drove across the province, every change a beautiful picture.  On our drive we also got up close We stayed at a couple normal hotels in the city, but we also got to stay at a B&B when we went to Waterton called Northland Lodge.  It looked like a little Swiss chalet.  It did not have fancy accommodations, but was a true bed and breakfast - very charming and quant. 
 On our drive, we also got up close and personal with the local wildlife. 

 The lakes in Banff are world renowned.  They are amazing.  The most well known lake is Lake Louise.  It was gorgeous, of course, but that day was cloudy and foggy over the lake, so it was not my favorite.  Though the glacier going into the lake was awe-inspiring.  

My favorite was Lake Morraine.  When you visit this lake, you have to hike up a path, sounded by the mountains.  The lake is nowhere in sight.  Then out of the blue, your eyes are accosted with the most amazing turquoise water! 

It is truly breathtaking!!  The picture you see is realistic.  It really is THAT blue!  

We also went to a place called Waterton Lake, and took a boat ride across the lake.  

Once there, you can get out and walk around in Waterton - Glacier International Peace Park, the first  park of it's kind in the world.  It is one park incorporating two countries.  It is a beautiful.  Both American and Canadian flags are raised to equal heights.  It was quite an interesting feeling.  

The day was windy, but lovely.  We had a great time!  

Of course you can also visit the West Edmonton mall - a super mall with a water park inside!  And actually one of the highlights of our trip was a greek restaurant in Edmonton, where we went with a couple of Adam's friends from his days as a missionary there.  

The food was great, and they had an authentic belly dancer.  (Something I had personally never seen.)  She danced with our comedian friend, Kendall, who is a pretty big guy, but moves like a true comedian - quite agile - and he then got me into the action.  I am not a belly dancer, and was grateful there was no photographic proof of the moment!  It was a great time filled with lots of laughs.  We also attended the Cardston and Edmonton temples, which of course were both beautiful!  Well, anyway, if you get a chance to go, it is definitely worth it!!!

Friday's Favorites + One Day Part 1

I am not doing very well on Friday's favorites, am I?  I keep forgetting it's Friday till it's not...
Okay, today, I am going to talk about a musician I like.  He is kind of folksy, and has a lot of energy.  Adam and I went to his concert in Portland, when we lived in Washington.  It was fantastic!  And so, my favorite musician this week is...Peter Breinholt.  Now, I know some of you have heard of him, and some may not have, and still others may think, "well, he's Mormon...I don't usually listen to that kind of music...."  Well, let me dispel your worries.  This guy writes most of his own music, which is not cheesy or overdone, and even the more religious songs he does are timely and applicable to everyone, regardless of religion.  I think he has the heart and sound James Taylor, and the style and individuality of Jack Johnson, while managing to keep his music distinctly his.  Give him a try!
This clip is of Edwin's Tale - 1862.  It is a about a soldier....well, soldiers.  It is very touching to me.  I hope you enjoy.  I would also check out his other music.  What About is also beautiful.


The Beauty of Autumn

So...fall, and almost winter, is upon us.  I love this time of year, as so many of you have also said.  I always think of the movie You've Got Mail, when Tom Hanks' character says "Don't you just love New York in the Fall?  It makes me wanna buy school supplies."  Then he talks about bouquets of sharpened pencils... Anyone remember that?  Anyway, I totally get what he is saying.  There is something about a chill in the air, leaves falling to the ground, getting out your sweaters, settling into a new school year, sharpened yellow number two pencils, and the color orange.  Orange leaves, orange pumpkins, orange fire...For me, fall is refreshing.  It is in some ways an awakening after the lazy days of summer, and in some ways a settling in, and still in some ways it represents the anxiousness of change.  

Each year we get ready for the coming winter.  We prepare our yards, we pull out our warm things, we drag out recipes that require hours of simmering, and we start to make plans for winter sports and holidays.  And of course in the winter, we all talk about the symbolism of old things dying away, and in the spring, awaking and arising anew.  I guess, what I am thinking about tonight is how most of us have passed our childhoods, and even our young adult lives (summer), and are in the thick of fall.  I think of autumn as representing a time for preparation...a time to harvest.  What are you harvesting?  What are you letting go of - putting away?  What are you preparing in your hearts and lives?  

Well, on a lighter note, I found this poem.  My Sam thought it was pretty funny...Oh the life of a pumpkin! 

A Naughty Pumpkin's Fate

Author unknown

A queer little pumpkin, a jolly fat fellow,
Stood close to his mother so rotund and yellow.
"What a stupid old place! how I long to aspire,"
Cried he, "I was destined for something much higher."

"My son," said the mother, "pray do be content,
There's great satisfaction in life that's well spent!"
But he shrugged up his shoulders, this pumpkin, it is true,
And acted just like some bad children will do.

With a shout and a whoop, in the garden they ran,
Tom and Ned, for they'd thought of the loveliest plan
To astonish their friends from the city, you see,
With a fine Jack-o'-lantern--"Ah, this one suits me!"

Neddie seized the bad pumpkin, and dug out his brains,
Till he felt so light-headed and brimful of pains;
Then two eyes, a long nose, and a mouth big and wide,
They cut in a minute, and laid him aside

Until night, when they hung him upon a stout limb,
With a candle inside; how his poor head did swim,
As they twisted him this way, then twirled him round that,
Till at last, with a crash, he fell on the ground flat,

A wreck of the once jolly, fat little fellow,
Who stood by his mother so rotund and yellow.
Just then a lean cow, who was passing that way,
Ate him up, just to finish HER "Thanksgiving Day."

If you haven't carved your pumpkins yet, or had that first cup of hot apple cider...get ready for the pleasures of fall, and we can pretend together that winter is really several months away, instead of several days.  However, when winter arrives I will enjoy the beauties of each snowflake too, and revel in the twinkling lights and glow of winter...


Past Due Favorites

Well, I have neglected my Fridays Favs for two weeks, so I am going to put one of my favorite recipes and a new song that's worth your time.

First, I am going to post my Homemade Cinnamon Roll recipe.  The dough recipe for this is from The Lion House Cookbook.  I also use this recipe for Dinner Rolls, as it was written for.  (I will give my tips for great dinner rolls at the end of the recipe.)

2 T dry yeast
2 Cups warm water
1/3 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup softened or melted butter
2 1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 C dry milk
5-6 Cups flour
1 egg


1 stick of softened butter
Brown Sugar

In a large electric mixture combine yeast and water.  Let stand until yeast breaks down and becomes frothy...about 5 minutes.  Add sugar, butter, salt, dry milk, 2 cups of flour, and the egg.  Beat together until smooth.  Add the remaining flour, a half a cup at a time.  Reserve the last half cup for kneading and rolling into rolls.  You want the dough to be slightly sticky, so stop adding the flour when it is workable, but still a little sticky.  Knead until workable and smooth, but again with  little stickiness.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a dishcloth soaked in HOT water and wrung out.  This will help it raise a little quicker.  Raise to about double or triple size.  Shape into rolls.

*Rolls shape easier when you stretch and pull small amounts into balls rather than rolling the dough between your hands.  The rolling technique frequently results in bumpy rolls.  Taking the small clump of dough in both hands, put your thumbs together, and stretch outward, turning the edges under toward the center.  You may repeat this as necessary to create a smooth roll.

*If you are going to make cinnamon rolls, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.  Now, you are going to take a stick of soft butter and spread it gradually onto the dough.  (Ignore how much butter you are going to use.)  You may not use a whole stick, but the result you want is a smooth, slightly thick layer of softened butter.  This helps the filling stay in the rolls and not seep out during baking.  Next, you are going to take brown sugar, and create a similar affect as you did with the butter, a smooth slightly thick layer of brown sugar.  Pat it into the butter so you only see the brown sugar.  Then sprinkle liberally
with cinnamon.  Now, from the long side of the rectangle,  start to roll.  Once the dough is rolled together, try to pinch the loose edge into the roll.  Now, pull a good piece of floss free.  Lift the edge of the roll up and place the floss underneath it about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in.  Wrap the floss around the dough, cross it over itself, and pull till it cuts through the dough.  Carefully pick up the individual roll, and place it in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.  Continue until all the rolls are cut.
 Bake at 375 for about 18 minutes or until browned.

When cooled, frost with a Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 Cup softened butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
Powdered Sugar

Cream the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add the Vanilla.  While beating the frosting, gradually add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it is sweet enough for your taste.  This will be a few cups or more.  

These are so amazing!  They take some time, but they are worth the effort!  One of my favorites!

Second, I have recently purchased several songs from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack.  Ironically enough, one of my favorites is called "Liz on Top of the World."  This music is romantic, and so soothing.  I love to fall to sleep to it, or just have it on at night.  It is really peaceful.  Enjoy!


Dance Class Update

Hey everyone, I just wanted to give you an update on our "dance" class at the church.  I know I have been terrible at blogging in the last couple weeks...I may not even have any readers left out there. :) But, if by chance anyone still reads this, let me fill you in on how well our class is going!  Right now, we have between 7 and 10 "regulars."  It has been really fun watching them grow.  And each week we have one or two newbies.  I hope they become regulars too.  Anyway, this class has been awesome.  These ladies started out feeling ridiculous, and thought they looked even worse, but they are looking great!  I wish they could see themselves.  I think they would be pleasantly surprised with their progress!  Way to go ladies!  Also, I just wanted to let you know that we are toying with the idea of doing a second class from 9:00-10:00 am on Mondays, right before play group.  We will be focussing on "stretch and strengthening" in that class.  I would really love it if more of my lovely friends would come and join us!  Believe me, anyone can do this!  We have all ages from the mid 20's to 70's.  We laugh and sweat and have a great time!  I know some of you have said you are afraid to come to a "dance" class, but give it a try - I think you will love it!  By the way, those of you who come, I would love for you to give me your feedback - good or bad.  Leave me a comment, so we can have the best class possible for you.  Those who don't come, if you have any questions about whether or not this is the right workout for you, just post any questions or concerns you may have, and I will do my best to answer them.  


I Have Been Tagged in Sevens

Well, my cousin Amber tagged me.  (Thanks Amber :))  I hope you guys don't get too bored, as I talk so much, you probably all know everything about me, but here goes:

7 Things I Can Do:

I can cook...I think
I can do a triple pirouette
I can run for six miles without stopping  (trying to work up to thirteen)
I can sing a little
I can grow beautiful flowers
I can do some pretty mean arm balances in yoga
I can cheer people up

7 Things I Can't Do

I can't play basketball, volleyball, or almost any sport that uses a ball
I can't get my house under control right now
I can't seem to be patient with my kids
I can't wait for my husband to be home!
I can't keep my life organized
I can't draw as well as I used to
I can't seem to shut up, when I get excited about something!

7 Things That Attracted Me to Adam (and still do)

His confidence
His eyes!  
His gentlemanliness
His romantic side
His focus & drive
His testimony
His love for me

7 Things I Say Most Often

I said no.
That was your choice.
Maybe later.
Get off the computer.
I love you!
Is your room clean/homework done?

7 Celebrity Admirations

I also can't think of many...  
Anyone who is brave enough to live a virtuous life amid fame, because that would be hard.
I will leave that one up to you...

7 Favorite Foods

Mexican Caviar
Good New York style pizza
Rice Pudding
King Crab
Coconut Shrimp
Guava Cake
Homemade Ice Cream
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Grecian Pork Tenderloins with flat bread and Tziziki  sauce
And...oh, that is more than seven...sorry, but I could go on, I love to eat and cook.

7 People to Tag
Tamzen (but you need to invite me to your blog so I can read it)
(A couple of you I still need to add to my list.  Sorry I haven't yet, but I will.)

Well, I hope you enjoyed that.  It is harder than it seems to answer some of these questions.  But it is also kinda fun.  Especially reading other people's responses.  Have a great Saturday!



Proposition 8

Well, I know I am getting very political today, but I wanted to just share a couple thoughts and a video I just received about Proposition 8, a proposition on the ballot in California. This proposition, if you are unfamiliar, will stop the legalization of gay marriage in the state of California. When I first heard about this, I of course felt it was something important, and right, but that the issue, at least for the moment, was not in my neighborhood, so to speak. Because it was not something I could vote on right now, I think I was storing it the back of my mind, hoping it would not spread to my area. Really, I did not give it a lot of contemplative thought. I know the rest of the country frequently follows California, but what could I do about it? I don't live there. Then when I went up to Washington for Amalitta's baptism, and attended sacrament meeting, I was surprised to hear the stake president speak a little about Proposition 8. He said he had recently attended a regional leadership meeting for the church, where they were given a letter about the importance of this proposition. He explained that the church is very involved in getting out the vote for this. He said that in California, each ward is given the responsibility of calling every person within their ward boundaries, obviously no small number in California, to encourage them to vote in favor of Proposition 8. I was surprised to hear a church leader talking about political things in a sacrament meeting, but he talked about why this is so important, quoting frequently The Family a Proclamation to the World. He talked about the fact that the church sees this as spreading to other states, and as Washington is close in proximity and politics with California, it was important that people under his guidance understood just what was at stake, namely the degeneration and degradation of the family. Then, today, I received this video from my sister-in-law (thanks, Cati) and wanted to share it with you. This brings it home for me. I consider myself a tolerant, loving person. But when other people's beliefs come home to my kids and family, without my consent, I draw the line. I believe that God has ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman. If someone wants to live outside His law, I do not call myself their judge, but I can do this without supporting their lifestyle choice. This video is very compelling, in that it demonstrates that an act like supporting legalized gay marriage enforces, by law, the normality, and indeed the moral equality of such an institution, thereby undermining God. Watch it. It will be worth your time. We may not all be able to vote on this, but if it fails in California, the same fight may be coming to our own states, cities, and neighborhoods.


Debate? Or Political Show?

Okay, I know I may be in the minority here, but I am really frustrated with our candidates for president this year.  I generally go more republican, and after some of the things being discussed about Obama and his connections, I was hoping that McCain would deliver a convincing win tonight to help me feel I was definitely picking the right man, but I didn't feel that.  In some ways I felt he was more disjointed than usual, and that Obama seemed to be "putting up with" an "old guy" so to speak.  (That was from some of the looks on his face during McCain's answers.) However, McCain, while I respect whole-heartedly his military service/service to country, does not inspire me.  His answers felt insincere/politician like to me.  I cannot agree with Obama's policies, and frankly, I worry that he is not what he seems, not the face he wears.  I think McCain is probably what he seems.  His demeanor just irritates me at times.  I appreciate my right to vote, and so I will exercise it, but I wish it was something I was excited to do this year...  Maybe some of my disgust is the general feeling of unease about the country, and our leaders.  I have lost faith in congress lately.  I love this country, and our Constitution and Bill of Rights, but I worry about the hands elected to uphold all these things.  This is really a rant.  I know.  I think it would feel so great to know that the man or woman we were electing was honest and true in his/her intentions, was there to truly serve others, not to serve self.  Of course I would also like to see them putting forth well thought out articulate ideas and plans.  Right now, I am not sure I can say I am feeling honest intentions or great plans from either candidate.  But I know many of you lovely people are feeling those things.  So, please help me see what I am looking for from either man.  If you have any insight or thoughts to help me feel excited again, PLEASE, I am all ears!  
On a lighter note, I did think the following SNL was quite funny!


Modesty 101

This week my two little ones had some really cute lessons to teach about modesty.  When I was looking up the song "No One" by Alicia Keys in iTunes, this picture popped up:
Upon seeing this picture, (though the angle was a bit wider so you could see her shoulder better) my four year old said:

This comment was followed by the inevitable, "Right, Mom?"  "Right."  I said with a smile.  I love seeing their innocence!  

A couple of days later, Sarah was playing with a little Disney princess blow dryer someone had given her.   I knew it had a picture of Belle on it, but didn't really pay attention to it.  Then she came over to me with blow dryer in hand, and said:

This was the picture on the blow dryer:

WOW....what do you say to that?  A harmless little blow dryer.  Or so I thought, but as Sarah pointed out, "Princess shirt off?"  Yea, it kinda is.  Hmmm....