Friday, May 30, 2008


"There is only one beautiful child in the world and every mother has it."
Chinese Proverb

I have 4 of the most beautiful children in the world. Everyday I'm struck by just how cute they are. I'm allowed to brag because we all do.:) I know that I've said this before, but they all look like their dad. In different versions, of course. When I was pregnant with Peyton, I kept having dreams that he was a boy and that he would look just like Tyler. Well, he was a boy and he does look like Tyler. There are differences, but sometimes it's like going back in time when I look at him. Avery is the female version of Ryan and Cameron is the exact clone of him. They're all so cute and I love them to death!

Christa Cooks

I've started another blog to catalog/archive recipes. Many are mine, but others are those from friends that I've tried and loved. Some are different from the original recipe. I like to experiment and fiddle and they are posted the way I've made them and how they work for me. Keep sending me more recipes, if you don't mind, and I'll add them. Visit the blog via the Christa Cooks link.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I can see clearly now the dirt is gone!

I purchased service from the youth of our ward at last week's Angel Auction Enrichment Night. I first bid on lawn mowing. Ryan was the auctioneer and didn't want to let me have it. He kept saying, "You'll have it done before then. You don't need it." He says things like this just because he likes to hear the gasps that it causes. However, he also knows what I'm like and was just being truthful. He doesn't make me mow the lawn. He has a hard time beating me to it. I just want things done when I want them done. I always seem to be doing 20 things at once. That's according to Ryan. He's always asking me why I can't just do one thing at a time. I just think that I'm being really super efficient. When I'm cleaning the house, I'm usually cleaning the bathroom, dusting the living room,vacuuming, doing the dishes and making scrapbook pages all at the same time. I just move constantly from one room to the next.

I didn't end up getting the lawn mowing. Liz Olson did and promptly walked the certificate over to me as soon as it was handed to her. Phooey on Ryan I guess, but really phooey on Liz. I beat the youth to it as well. When I looked outside on Tuesday and saw just how long and ugly it was, I decided I couldn't subject anyone to it. I mowed it, but decided to save the trimming for Ryan. What I did get and saved for the youth to do was window washing. I provided the buckets and rags and the youth and their leaders came and scrubbed them until they sparkled. It's something I've been wanting to do, but lacked real ambition and motivation to get it done. Unfortunately, the clean outsides reveal the dirty insides. Now, I'm going to have to clean inside as well. Thanks to the youth and their leaders for their help. It was very much appreciated!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Page Exchange Preview

Layout #1
Sorry about the orientation.
I can't seem to figure out how to rotate the image.
Layout #2

I told myself that I was only going to do 1 layout for my upcoming page exchange on Friday. I always do multiples. I couldn't resist and have done 2. What can I say? Doing this helps keep me sane. Plus, Scrapbook Stories is going out of business and I got some killer deals. The theme this time around was "holidays". My holiday was Halloween. My first, original layout is very simple, but it's actually exactly what I was going for. I wanted blocks of color and I wanted it to be simple. I didn't really want it to be overtly, in your face Halloween. I'm really very pleased with it. The second layout I'm growing to like. I bought the paper from Scrapbook Stories based on my lame memory of what I had at home. Never trust Christa's brain. I was trying to coordinate card stock with what I thought I had. I suppose that it works together. It's still simple and not in your face.

The end of an era

This was taken about 2 months ago. I guess I just
didn't notice, big surprise,but he's actually
smiling in a picture.

Peyton is now officially 100% weaned. I know that it's a little early, but I decided to do it sooner rather than later. I had to do it before he was a year old because we will be out of the country for a few days. I've been debating for the past month and finally decided to do it now. It was easy and pain free. I guess that's a blessing. Weaning Cameron was horrible. Thank heaven for cabbage leaves. I just want to use this time to focus on my diet and exercise. I've been wanting to push myself harder with my running, but have held back. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little sad. He's our last baby. Four is a good round number for us. It's going to be strange not having a baby in our house, but I guess we'll be moving on to a new phase now in our family.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More "Mexican"

I have no idea if I make these correctly, but this is how I've always made cheese enchiladas. As a side note, Cameron actually ate these without complaining tonight. What a shocker.

Cheese Enchiladas

About 3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, whatever you want. You can purchase bags of a "Mexican"blend.)
1 28 oz. can of enchilada sauce or red sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350. Reserve about 1/2 cup of cheese. Mix with remaining cheese about 1/4 of the can of sauce and about half of the onions. Just enough sauce to hold the filling together. Spoon about 1/4-1/3 cup of the filling into a tortilla. Roll and place into a 9x13 glass baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. This should make about 8 enchiladas. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese and onions. Cover lightly with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Preschool Registration

Here she is enjoying one of her favorite past times.
Laying on my bed with her pillow & bow, watching tv, and sucking her thumb.
Please ignore the mess.

Today, I am going to take Avery's preschool registration to Granger High School. It came in the mail a couple of weeks ago, but I've been busy/been putting it off/just forgot (story of my life) to mail it in. Here come the cliches, I can't believe that she's already old enough to go to preschool. It seems like she was just born. Where did the past 4 years go?

She's really looking forward to going. She's been asking ever since Cameron was going there, when it was going to be her school. She'll be starting at the end of September. I just have to turn in the registration form and a $25.00 deposit today to ensure her spot. It will be strange and fun at the same time to only have 1 child at home again. Avery and I had lots of one on one time when Cameron was in preschool. I guess that's what Peyton and I will be getting in September. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to seeing all of the fun she's going to have and seeing how much she'll grow.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sharing Time

I have just remembered that it's my turn for sharing time tomorrow. So, why am I doing this you ask? I know that I won't be able to really get things done until the kids go to bed. A moment to myself won't hurt. I have a couple of CD-ROM's that I use for visual aides, etc. They make pulling a sharing time together a lot easier. I'll be able to do it in about 30 minutes.

I've been feeling really frustrated lately when it comes to primary. We need 4 teachers, I think one will be sustained tomorrow, so I guess we only need 3. I've submitted names and so far, I know that at least 1 has turned us down. We're having a really hard time coming up with any others. Why do people refuse callings? It makes me soooooo mad. I don't recall the Lord ever telling anyone that he just didn't have time for them right at the moment. He was too busy doing this, that or the other. Or, that he didn't like them, like people say they don't like kids or primary, and just didn't want to help them. Where do people think callings come from? I guess when they turn them down, they're really turning down blessings.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Goodnight, sleep tight!

I've been meaning to post this for a while now. This is what Peyton does now, every night when he goes to bed. I lay him down and he pops his left thumb and first finger into his mouth. I cover him up and he pulls the blanket up to his face and rubs it on it. It's one of those fleece blankets with the cut edges. He likes to grab onto one of the strips and that's what he uses to rub his face. It's so cute. Very a-la Avery and her "bow", which by the way, she still has to have to go to sleep every night.

The incredible, edible cake mix!

You can make pretty much any cookie using a cake mix. I never thought of this until a couple of years ago. I was on the Enrichment committee and we put together a ward cookbook. (I use it all the time, by the way.) Jillene submitted a couple of recipes, like peanut butter brownies and candy bar cookie squares. They both use cake mixes as the "base" or "cookie". I thought, why not use the basic method for other cookies. I tried it the first time when I was in a time crunch, but really wanted to have some chocolate chip cookies for a get together. It worked like a charm. I've mixed up the mix-in ingredient and I've found that if you just stick to this basic formula, pretty much anything will work.

1 cake mix (whatever flavor you want)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
baking chips, etc.

I like to make one like this:

1 white cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup Heath toffee bits
1 cup Kraft caramel bits

Last night, for enrichment, I did this:

1 chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 bag Andes mint baking chips

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish. You'll have to smoosh and flatten the cookie dough into the dish. It will be thick. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

I thought that the mint ones were good and I hope they were. Try this and try "mixing" it up. It seems to me that the possibilities are endless. Happy baking!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Baby Breakfast

I usually give Peyton a banana mixed with yogurt, oatmeal baby cereal and flax seed. I like to use Stonyfield Farm Organic Yo Baby yogurt. You can get it plain, mixed with cereal and fruit or flavored. I've been giving it to him because it's made with whole milk. My pediatrician suggested whole milk yogurt to see if we might be able get him to gain some weight. I think that he's just meant to be thin like Cameron, but I'm giving it a try. I was almost out of the baby cereal, so I tried something that I don't know why I haven't tried before. I just used quick oats and ground them in my coffee grinder. Basically I made an oatmeal flour. It ground up to the same consistency as the boxed stuff and mixed up just as well. There were no complaints from Peyton. So, maybe this is what I'll do from now on.

Eat Mor Chikin

Last night we attended the Premiere Night of the new Chick-fil-a in South Jordan at The District. Ryan provided a sound system for the event. His cousin, Becky Pickle, is the owner/operator. Becky & Chick-fil-a invited 150-175 people to come and preview some of the food. You could have either the original chicken sandwich combo, char grilled sandwich combo or chicken nugget combo. The kids could have the same thing or a 4 or 6 piece nugget kids meal. You also had a choice of cheesecake or brownies for dessert. Then at the end they passed out vanilla, chocolate or cookies & cream shakes. Not just samples. Full size shakes. There was so much food. I didn't try the shakes because they're not always my thing, but what I had was really good.

They had "cows" walking around waving and posing for pictures with the kids. My kids all thought that they were very funny. When it came to actually posing for a picture, only Tyler would do it. One of the cow costumes is about 8 feet tall. So, I guess that can be pretty intimidating. Avery and Cameron wanted nothing to do with him even though they knew the "cow" was Becky's brother Steven. They would only wave and say hi from a safe distance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Almost 10:30 on the dot

I had to go to Costco and Walmart yesterday because I was taking dinner in to our bishop's family, along with Bobie, and I needed to get a few things. I had been telling Cameron for at least a couple of hours that we would be doing this. I had also been asking him for at least that entire time to get dressed. I don't usually like to get involved with the picking out of clothes with him. He's too picky and it can get hairy arguing with him. So, during the two hours of prep time, I did some laundry, cleaning and got myself ready. Remember that I told him the entire time I was doing this that we would be going to these places and he needed to be ready when I said it was time. At around 10:28, I went downstairs to find him, and there he was on the family room floor. He was playing the Wii and was still in his pajamas. Of course. Is anyone surprised? This is Cameron I'm talking about. I decided to press my luck and quickly grabbed some clothes for him. I tossed them at him and told him to put them on. He wanted to know why he had to get dressed. What did he mean why? Hadn't I been telling him for 2 hours that we were going places. He immediately started whining that he didn't want to go. He wanted to stay home and continue playing the Wii. I told him tough luck, we were going and he had to hurry up. He yelled some more and I was starting to get frustrated with him and thought to myself, "I wish he could go to school." I then looked up at the clock and it was 10:29:50. Ten seconds shy of my prediction.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cameron's Excellent Adventure!

Today Cameron begins a week off of school. He actually doesn't go back until next Tuesday. This week gives the kindergarten teachers the chance to finish up all of the assessment tests and compile the reports. I have an appointment with his teacher on Wednesday to discuss the past year and where he stands now. We already know he's ahead, she'll just give me some ideas to help him, etc. He's thrilled about the time off. Tyler not so much. He railed against all the injustices of the elementary world this morning. Why did he have to go and Cameron got to sit at home on his butt? It wasn't fair. He planned on discussing it with all of his friends as soon as he got to school. He wants them to band together and start a revolution. No more time off for kindergarten and nobody else. I was actually slightly looking forward to this time off. It gets a little old taking them to school at 8:00 and then going back to get Cameron at 11:15. It feels like you just keep stopping and starting your day. We'll see how long it takes until I want him to go back. I'm guessing it will be around 10:30 today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday is a special day!

I usually try to get all of my ironing of Sunday clothes done on Saturday night. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not. I actually did it tonight because I have ward council meeting tomorrow morning. I like to have it all done and the clothes all laid out for Ryan so that he can help the kids get ready. I don't leave any room for guessing or questions. Ironing never used to be one of my favorite things to do, but I actually enjoy it now. Isn't that gross, but I can't stand it when my kids/Ryan's clothes aren't ironed. I think that it's very obvious when it hasn't been done. The shirts just don't look as good as they could. I've found that I really like Magic Sizing. It does exactly what it says it does and that's make ironing easier. I find ironing relaxing because it's quiet. My kids don't think it's fun and so they don't hang around while I'm doing it. Ryan had me teach the young men in our ward how to do it when he was the president. There were some boys who really needed some help. I have no idea if any of it got through, but at least we tried to plant some seeds for good grooming and dress. Ryan's kind of uptight when it comes to men's dress clothes. I guess I am too. I like it when my husband and sons look put together and nice. Like the belt should match the shoes. The socks should match the pants or at least be dark (in my opinion). This is actually one of my pet peeves. When boys/men wear white athletic socks with dress pants. It looks TERRIBLE. The tie should reach the belt, not above it, not below, when it's tied. Also, both of us can't stand short sleeve dress shirts. They conjure up images of fast food restaurant managers. Don't believe me. Next time you're in McDonald's or something, look at what the manager is wearing. A short sleeve shirt and a tie. Enough of my preaching. Just remember, this blog is the world according to Christa.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mackay Family circa 1978 or '79

Here's another picture I found while browsing through my computer. (Bobie, this is probably around the time when your sister would have babysat us.) My parents look so young. Much has changed. Namely, my dad no longer has hair.

To the Basics & Beyond

I went to the Granite School District offices this morning and registered Tyler for the Beyond the Basics summer course. I got there just in time too. I got there at 10:00 a.m. and they had just a few spots left. Any later and I might have missed the chance. Thank goodness I got there when I did. Tyler would have been very mad if he missed out. Hooray for summer school!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Semi-Mexican Christa Style

Taco Soup
2 14 1/2 oz. cans diced stewed tomatoes (I like to use the "no salt added" variety)
1 can of black beans (drained of most liquid, but not rinsed and the same for all the beans)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of corn (drained)
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 medium to large white onion chopped in a small to medium dice
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. lean ground beef
I've made this with taco seasoning. If you do, I wouldn't use the entire package. Maybe 1/2-3/4. I think that it tends to be too much if you use all of it. What I prefer to use is cumin and paprika. Cumin has a smoky flavor that's similar to the packaged stuff, but not as salty or overpowering. If you use cumin and paprika, I would use about a tablespoon of each, or do it to your taste. I think they are the best combo.
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan that you will be making the soup in. Add the onion to the hot pan and saute for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Break up the ground beef into the pan and brown. (Season it with salt and pepper at this point.) Use lean ground beef so that you don't really have to drain. If there's a lot, then by all means drain it. Add the garlic when the meat is almost browned. If you add it before it will burn and not taste good. Add all the canned items and whatever seasoning you choose. There should be enough liquid in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and what's left in the beans, that you won't have to add any other. If it seems to thick, or there's not enough, add some water. You be the judge as to how much. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve over corn chips. I've also made tortilla strips from flour tortillas. Stack up 3-4 tortillas on a cutting board and using a pizza cutter, cut into thin strips. About 1/2 inch. Heat vegetable oil in a pan, about a quarter of an inch in the bottom. Enough so that they will float and deep fry. It will only take a couple of minutes. Take them out when they start to turn golden brown. Put them on paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot. Sprinkle them over the top or at the bottom of the bowl and serve the soup on top. Top with cheese.

Mexican Pie
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 package taco seasoning
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced stewed tomatoes (no salt added)
1 large can black olives, chop them

Brown the ground beef and onions. Add the taco seasoning. When thoroughly browned, add the green chilies, can of tomatoes and chopped olives. Bring to a boil and them simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid cooks off. You don't want it to be too runny.

1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup Bisquick or other baking mix, like Jiffy
3 eggs
1/8 tsp. red pepper sauce (if you like a little heat)

Mix all together with an electric mixer until smooth.

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 9x13 baking dish. Pour in ground beef mixture. Top with cheese. Pour over topping. Bake until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. About 25-30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Garnish with peppers and shredded cheese if desired.

No more naps?

Yesterday, Avery did something she's never done before. She opened her bedroom door from the inside. Yikes. She chose the wrong time to do it. I want her to do it when she wakes up in the morning, not in the afternoon when she's supposed to be taking a nap. Yesterday, she was only in there for about 45 minutes. I guess that's at least something. I've known for a long time that she very rarely actually takes a nap. Maybe only 1-2 out of every 7 days days does she sleep. It's just more about the quite time I get. Even if she was in her room playing, at least I still had some time to myself. I could always count on the fact that I would get it because she wouldn't open her door to come out. Has all that changed? I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Snack Time

Pretty much every woman in Ryan's family loves this snack: apple slices and peanut butter. I've had it many times, but lately I've been eating it a lot. I've had 1 apple everyday for the past week. I can't get enough. I love Pink Lady, also known as Pink Crisps, apples and Adam's Natural Peanut Butter. I have to have cold apples. I can't stand them even at room temperature. So I keep them in the fridge and now, cutting them is a breeze. Thanks to Ryan and my new knives. :] It's so delicious. In fact, I'm enjoying it right now. So, if you want to try something yummy and nutritious, try apples and peanut butter.

Visit Adam's Natual Peanut Butter for great recipes:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Restaurant Recommendation

Ryan took me out to lunch at the Red Iguana on Saturday afternoon for Mother's Day. I LOVED IT! I highly recommend it. They have a huge menu and it was kind of hard to decide, but I finally settled on the Cochinita Pibil. (Pork) It was served with corn tortillas, rice and black beans. Delicious. Peyton came along for the ride. He enjoyed all of my food as well, but especially the guacamole. Try it sometime. You'll be glad you did.

Visit their website. You can peruse the menu, get hungry and then maybe want to go.

Ryan's Rubbing Off

Yesterday, Cameron wanted to make breakfast for me. His teacher, Mrs. Schlappi, has been telling all of the kids for quite some time just what they should do on Mother's Day. He can be a very literal kid. He takes any of his teachers very seriously and always tries to do what they tell him. If they said it, then it must be true. So, when I got out of the shower he came to get me. He had set everything out on the kitchen counter. He had Ryan hold up a blanket in front of it so I couldn't see it and then had him sweep it away for the big reveal. A bowl, spoon, glass, banana and my box of oatmeal. He told me "I wanted to cook it, but dad wouldn't let me. He said I should wait for you so that you could pick out the flavor you wanted." Tyler said, "I bet if we put bacon on it she would like it ever more. :) I fixed it and he then serenaded me with special Mother's Day songs Mrs. Schlappi taught the kids. They were so cute. Thanks Mrs. Schlappi.

He also unloaded the dishwasher while I was in the shower. Ryan said he wanted to do tons more. He didn't feel like he was doing enough. Cameron promised to be nice all day and do everything I asked. That lasted for about an hour. Just until it was time to get dressed for church. He wasn't happy with the shirt I picked out. He had decided that he should be wearing the shirt he got for Easter. (I wish he would have told me that before I ironed the one I did.) I reminded him of his promise and then he decided that he looked handsome in the one I picked.

Everything he did reminded me so much of his dad. I'm sure Cameron learned/inherited it from him. Ryan thrives off of surprises. He's always very thoughtful and listens so that he can get me what I want. I've said all of this before, but who cares. I'll say it again. I love you Ryan.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom I never tripped over toys or forgot the words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests, or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put him down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside of my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.
Happy Mother's Day to all!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Heart

I tuck my kids into bed every night. We say prayers and give each other hugs and kisses. The usual stuff. Tonight I finished the ritual with Avery and then she said, "Mom, you make my heart happy." Does it get any better than that?

Happy early Mother's day to Me!

I love to watch Food Network. If I have the TV on, and I'm paying attention to it, it's usually there. I have a few favorites. Like: Barefoot Contessa (love it), Good Eats (very practical stuff), Paula's Home Cooking (for the fattening desserts) and 30 Minute Meals (because, duh, they only take 30 minutes to make). Rachael Ray can kind of bug me, but she has some great recipes and they're usually very easy to make. I've been admiring the knives that she uses for quite some time. Anytime Ryan would be watching it with me I would say, "I really like those knives. I wish I had a set like that." Assuming that they were probably expensive, I would just say, "maybe someday." Someday came yesterday. Ryan couldn't wait to give me my Mother's Day gift because he knew I would be very excited about it. He gave me the Furi 3 piece Rachael Ray set. There are 2 knives. One 7 in. and one 5 in. The bamboo case is the 3rd part of the set. I chopped up a storm today while I was making dinner and they're fantastic. I love them. I also love that he listens to me and gets me all the little things I say I want, but don't think I'll ever get. The best gift, of course, is him and our beautiful kids.

All's clear on the Zoo front

Yesterday I went with Cameron's kindergarten class to Hogle Zoo. I drove and met them there because the kids, of course, took a bus. How exciting. I didn't feel like trying to take Peyton and Avery on the bus. That would have been a mess. So, driving was myself was just easier. Thankfully, it was a nice day. When we went last year with his preschool class, there was a blizzard and we spent most of the time holed up in the gift shop. By the time we left we were soaking wet. ("Soaped" as Cameron says it.) We had two other boys from his class with us and they were both really good kids. Cameron thought that it was hilarious that one of the black bears pooped right in front of us. I told him, "Hey, everyone has to. He just happened to have to do it while we were watching." Nothing traumatic happened. Everyone listened. No problems to report. Just a fun day. What a relief!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stolen Token of Love

On Monday, I sent Tyler to Jillene's house to get back a book she had borrowed. He came home with the book and a little something extra. A flower for me. When I asked him where it came from, he said that he had picked it. He could tell right away that I didn't like that answer. I wanted to know from where. He said it was just growing in some bushes. I told him those bushes had to be in someone's yard and that meant that he had picked a flower that belonged to them. He started to get upset and so I told him I didn't hate the flower. I loved that he would do something like that for me. He just can't go around picking random flowers from other people's yards.

Cameron & Tyler get a kick out of soccer

Cameron & Tyler have been playing rec league soccer through the Redwood Rec Center. Tyler enjoys it and participates without complaining. Cameron is Cameron and usually has to be coaxed out onto the field. Once there, he has a good time, but it sure can be a pain in the butt to get him out there. I don't have pictures of Tyler right now, but will take some at Saturday's game.

Downtown SLC

Since Ryan was able to come home from Boise early last Friday, we decided to have a little quality family time. We went out to lunch and then went downtown to visit the Conference Center and Temple Square. Of course, we've been there before, but we've never taken the kids on the different tours. We saw the presentation in the Tabernacle. Toured the Relief Society Building and visited the Primary display in the basement. Looked at the the flowers and marveled at how beautiful everything is. We finished up with a tour of the Conference Center. Taking a tour is the only way you are allowed go through the building. Cameron really wanted to do it because you end the tour on the roof. He HAD to know what was up there. The kids were the most impressed with all of the water features. Fountains, reflecting pool, etc.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One of my favorite recipes

Tomato and Basil Spaghetti
1 pkg. thin spaghetti
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6-8 medium to large tomatoes
8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella (Use the soft fresh variety. Preferably the balls of mozzarella packed in water. The low moisture type tends to be oily when in melts.)
fresh basil (about 2 tablespoons and that's about 10 large leaves)
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Chop the tomatoes in a small to medium dice, tear/shred the basil leaves and cheese and put all into a large bowl. Add the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes so that the tomato juices will start to run (macerate). While doing this, cook the spaghetti until it is al dente. Drain and pour immediately into the bowl of other ingredients. Pour in olive oil (about 1/4-1/3 cup) toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.
It's one of my favorites. I think that Kristen said once, that it was something Landen really liked too. Don't worry. I'll be making it for you when your baby is born. You just might have to wait until we get back from London.

Scrapbooking for all

The open invitation to scrapbook at my house on May 16th applies to all. Not just people in my ward. So, any family who wants to come is more than welcome.

Scrapbooking at my house anyone?

My ward is having it's 2nd Annual Angel Auction for an Enrichment Night. You can auction off services, goods, etc. You buy the things using "Angel Bucks". (Is that the right term?) Also, Jillene, do you still want Ryan to play auctioneer? Last year I contributed scrapbook pages and baby receiving blankets. Someone, wink wink, told me that they really wanted them last year and were very upset that they didn't get them. She's hoping that I will do it again and that she will be able to get them this time. I guess I hope she does. If only to avoid the tantrum thrown last year when she didn't. I realized yesterday that the Auction is just 3 weeks away and I only have a few layouts done. I've done several, but if anyone is up to it, we can have a scrapbook night at my house on Friday, May 16. I will probably use the time to finish up some exchange layouts as well. Just let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Zelda the Ocarina of Time & Morning Sickness

When I was pregnant with Tyler I had really bad morning sickness. The only thing I could do to stop the room from spinning and keep myself from puking nonstop, was to sleep. The beginning of my pregnancy was in the summer. We were living in a 1 bedroom apartment on Lake Street (2100 S & 740 E) in Sugarhouse at the time. The apartment building was all brick and it would get VERY hot. I would lay on the couch a few feet away from our crappy, in the wall air conditioner. It was kind of like a campfire. You only really felt the cold if you sat just a couple of feet in front of it. The components inside would also freeze if you ran it for too long. Anyway, I would sleep and to alleviate boredom, Ryan would play Zelda the Ocarina of Time. This went on for about 3-4 months and to this very day I can't see, hear or think about that game without feeling sick. Tyler and Cameron will decide to play it every once in a while and I practically can't even be in the same room. In fact, I prefer to be upstairs in my room with earplugs in so I can't even hear it while it's happening. Tonight I was waiting to put them in bed so that Ryan could help Tyler through a part he was having some difficulty with. I could hardly watch and had to resist the urge to cover my face and plug my ears. Blech. Just writing about it now makes me want to puke.

My boys "aim" to please

Any family with young boys will know exactly what I am talking about. Little boys and toilets don't go together. I have to wipe down the toilet in the kid's bathroom with a wet rag and some type of spray cleaner at least once a day. I don't know what they're doing when they are going to the bathroom, but it's obviously not paying attention to the task at hand. I've banned them from standing while they go because that's when it's the worst. I know that infringes upon their basic rights as a man. They were meant to stand while going, but that's when it's the worst. Oh, well. At least Cameron doesn't still come upstairs in the middle of the night to get me when he has to go. He would walk all the way up to my room to have me come back down and stand outside of the bathroom while he went. He didn't want me in there with him. In fact, he would lock the door and yell at me if he thought that I was anywhere near there. Then I would have to put him back into bed. Being OCD, everything would have to happen exactly the way he wanted it too, or there would be HUGE fits and it would take forever. The bathroom is directly across, and I mean directly, from his bedroom. They're only separated by about 2 1/2 feet. The hallway to be exact. It's not like he had a hard time finding it. It was harder to come all the way upstairs to get me. So, why I even had to be there I will never know.

Organic. Is it really the best? I don't know.

I've been trying to buy a lot of foods that are organic. I'm not sure if I'm really doing any good, but I think that even if it's psychological at least that's something. I'll trick my mind into thingking that it's better for me. I just figure that since organic things don't have the preservatives, additives and fillers that are found in most everything, that has to be a good thing. Plus, growing organically is supposed to be kinder to the environment. I'm not going crazy environmentalist. I'm just trying to do a small part. I have a vegetarian cousin (Jenny Davis) who says that the cattle and beef industry is bad for the environment. She says that all of the cows flatulence is depleting the ozone layer. There's also the whole cruelty to animals thing, but that's another story altogether and that's not why you came here.

When I don't feel like cooking millet, I eat organic instant oatmeal. I like Nature's Path Oats & Flax. It contains just what it says and is sweetened with cane juice. Better than high fructose corn syrup. I add extra flax for the crunch, my organic vanilla soy milk, honey and a banana. It's delics kids. (Racheal Ray will have to verify I spelled that right.) Costco now also offers their own Kirkland brand of it. There are about 5 different flavors and 45 packets in a box. It costs about $9.50 a box. So, not bad. Only around .21 cents a day for breakfast. I just figure the less man made stuff I put into my body, the better.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm a Pepper

If there's one thing sweet that I really miss having, it's Dr. Pepper. Over the past few years, I've cut back dramatically the amount of it that I drink. I use it mainly for medicinal purposes. It's great for treating a migraine. I did sneak it in every once in a while just because, but I've had to cut back even more. It's another one of my weakness, or kryptonite. I could easily drink a sweet, sweet Dr. Pepper right now.

Bless my soul. The boy is a reader!

Cameron has suddenly tapped in to his well of knowledge and in the past couple of months has become quite the reader. He's very good at sounding words out. He obviously still has some difficulty with bigger words, but at least he's trying. It's an amazing thing to see.

The facts about flax

As I've mentioned before, I have been eating flax on my morning cereal. To learn more about it visit my sister-in-law, Heather's blog. She has a post about "The wonderful world of flax". Look under the label of nutrition.

aka Hendriksen Happenings

Avery and the no opening of the bedroom door rule

For some reason, Avery will not open up her bedroom door herself after she has been sleeping. After a nap or when she wakes up in the morning. I have no idea why she does this. She will wait and wait and wait and wait until someone comes to retrieve her. I've asked her why she just doesn't get up, open the door and come upstairs to tell me she's awake. She sort of smiles and giggles when I say this. As if a princess would do something like that for herself. She still has to wear Pull Ups to bed at night because of this. I know she won't get up use the bathroom. Especially since she won't even do it in the afternoons when she's supposed to be taking a nap. Refer to "Avery's going problem." Today I left her in her room until around 9:40. I knew she was awake for quite a long time. So, I purposefully made a lot of noise hoping it would entice her to come out. Silly me. It's never worked the 150 times I've done it before. Why should I think that it would today.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Funny Picture

A picture from when I was a kid that I forgot that I had. I guess I can see that Tyler does look like me.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Home again, home again

Ryan should be home from Boise any minute. He wasn't able to make it home earlier in the week because they found work to keep him busy the whole time. He was originally scheduled to come home this evening. So, even a few hours earlier is nice. The kids are very excited and can't wait to see him. Me too!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Winter Wonderland?

Is it just me or is anyone else sick of the winter. I know that we're only having snow "flurries" today, but it's May 1st for heaven's sake. Enough already. I want the warm now!