Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Weekend!

 We took the opportunity to go to my parents house for Easter Sunday and go to church with them (well, Jason and the kids went while I stayed with the babe).  We took some family pictures since we had the extra hands!  Thanks Dad!

 The kiddos adore Parker.  They love to lightly touch him, say "bless you" when he sneezes, and talk to him.
 Our little Parker (just a week and a half old) relaxing on the couch while the other two run wildly around the house.
 The Easter bunny was not happy with the kids attitudes on Saturday so he decided to hide the goodies outside for the kids to find instead of leaving them on the kitchen table.

 Decorating Easter eggs

 Such cute kids!  Love them!
Parker was not up to participating in the decorating of the eggs.  I know just how he felt.
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Photo Dump!

Here are a ton of pictures that I have been meaning to post, but haven't.  Sorry there are so many at once.
Me at almost 39 weeks pregnant.  Jason wanted to play photographer and get some pictures before I had the baby.  Not too shabby!
 Birthday morning!
 Jefferson's 6th birthday! I can't believe he is getting so big!
 Jefferson playing soccer.  He loves it and makes goals every single game.  It is so much fun to watch him because he smiles and laughs while running down the field.

 Practicing with coach!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Sometimes I just really crave carbs.  I love bread, almost any type of bread, from muffins to pumpkin bread to french bread and any thing in between.  These little beauties are the perfect match for the day when you are craving carbs with a smidgen of salt.  Delicious!


I came across this recipe some time in 2005 on this site.  It has served me well- with the bonus of being able to please many, due to the plethora of dipping options you can serve alongside.  It might look a little complicated, but believe me, it is super simple and yummy.  Comfort food at its best.

Homemade Soft Pretzels (adapted by me)


1 tbsp. yeast (I used a heaping tbsp.)
1 tbsp. sugar
2 cups warm water (from the tap is fine)
1 cup flour
4 cups flour (I only used about 3-3 1/4)
1 tbsp. salt
1 egg + 1 tbsp. water (egg wash)
coarse salt


1. In a large measuring cup, measure out your water and add in the yeast and sugar.  Let rest for about 10 minutes so the yeast can proof.
2. In a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aide with the dough hook attachment) pour 1 cup flour and the yeast mixture.
3. Add in flour mixed with the salt until the dough is a bit sticky, but coming away from the sides of   the bowl.
4. Knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth.  Place in an oiled bowl and cover.  Let rise until doubled in size.
5. Punch down and remove from bowl.  Knead gently about 3 or 4 times.
6. Cut dough into 16 pieces.  Roll out each piece into a 14" rope and shape into a pretzel.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise 15 minutes.
7. Drop each pretzel, 1 or 2 at a time, into a pot of boiling water.  Boil for 1 minute, flipping after 30 seconds.  Replace on cookie sheet. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP- IT IS ESSENTIAL TO MAKE THE PRETZEL LIKE CRUST)
8. Brush each with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven  for 13-15 minutes.

*These are great fresh from the oven dipped in a little bit of mustard.  ENJOY!
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Yuuuuummmmmm! Vanilla Pudding Cinnnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

 After helping me make scrumptious honey butter dinner rolls on Saturday, JCT asked if we could make dessert rolls on Sunday.  Happy that he likes homemade food and is willing and happy to help, I went ahead and made these bad boys. (Ignore the quality of the photo... I was too busy eating them and should have taken a picture sooner:)

Just to warn you, these are soooooooooo very NOT good for you, but they are sooooooooo very delicious.  They are soft and gooey and cinnamon-sugary. The secret seems to be the vanilla pudding.  I kind of wonder what they would turn out like if you used chocolate pudding?  Any who...this recipe does make quite a lot though so they are good to share with friends or just hoard them all for yourself.  I usually get 24-26 good sized rolls.  I made my husband take a bunch to work with him so we weren't forever eating cinnamon rolls and gaining the sweet delicious calories that come with them.  The frosting is really easy and good, but if you don't like a lot of frosting you could always just make a simple glaze.  I tend to do the frosting if these will be for a dessert and a glaze if they will be for breakfast.  The original recipe is found here.  Enjoy!!
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Happiness Project


At the beginning of this year I made a goal to read BETTER.  Now, I am an excellent reader, so by better I mean the content that I read.  I will still read YA, Romance, Science Fiction, Cookbooks, etc, but I wanted to make sure that I was expanding my knowledge and thoughts.  A few people I know were re-reading this book so I decided to pick it up and give it a try.  I am so glad that I did.  It provided a lot of food for thought.

Many of the reviews I read made it seem like the author, Gretchen Rubin, had no right to write about happiness when she hadn't experienced real sadness in her life.  I couldn't disagree more.  She starts out her book my saying that she had everything she needed to be happy, but was having a hard time being grateful for those things.  Isn't that where happiness should start?  At home, being happy with what we have no matter what life hands us.?  So maybe she has never lost a loved one, or been jobless, homeless, loveless, etc.  I don't think that means that she can't be unhappy.  She makes the statement that if you can't be happy when you have all that you need, how are you going to be happy when life hands you some thing awful?

She spent a whole year trying to make her life happier.  Each month she focused on a different aspect of her life with some mini goals to go along.  Some examples are, Marriage, Parenthood, Energy, Work, etc.  She read tons and tons of books and studies to try and help her understand what happiness truly is.  I found what she was doing fascinating and thought provoking.  It made me reevaluate my attitude about and towards people and the things around me.  It is easy to blame others and situations on your attitude and happiness, but it really it a decision.  I won't get into all the details, you'll have to read the book for that, but I want to talk about her 12 Commandments.

Before she started her project she made a list of commandments.  Things that would remind and help her along the way.  When she failed or things got tough, she would look at her list and breathe and start fresh.  If nothing else, write these down and keep them somewhere that you will frequently see them.  They do help.

1.  Be Gretchen (Don't pretend to be someone else.  If you don't like sushi, don't pretend to just   because it is the hot new thing, etc.)
2.  Let it go
3.  Act the way you want to feel
4.  Do it now  (If a task will take you less than 5 minutes, just do it)
5.  Be polite and be fair
6.  Enjoy the process
7.  Spend out (Serve others)
8.  Identify the problem
9.  Lighten up
10.  Do what ought to be done
11.  No calculation (Just because you do something nice for someone, don't expect them to turn around and do something nice for you.  Do it because it is the nice thing to do)
12.  There is only love

There are a few things that I am really working on and I find that the days go smoother and less stressful.  I am working on being just K and not someone I think that I should be.  Any way, I really liked this book and it made some great points about what happiness actually is.  It is different for everyone, BUT everyone can be happy.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Last Sunday one of the Brethren in our ward gave a talk on being Thankful and being Grateful.  He asks which of the two was better and then proceeded to point out the difference and tell us which is the greater virtue.  It was a good talk and one that I appreciated and needed.  You see, being thankful is usually only expressed in words, while gratitude is expressed in actions.
You can be thankful for your warm coat in winter, but you show gratitude by helping others be warm.  It really gave me something to think about.  How am I not only showing my thankfulness, but also my gratitude?
I love Thanksgiving.  It is my most favorite holiday and it bothers me that a lot of the world just glanced right over it.  I think that if more people took the time to remember the purpose of Thanksgiving (not just shoving turkey down our throats) and acted on their thankfulness and gratitude the world would be a much better place.

Okay, I'm off my soap box.  On to cute things.
Jefferson's preschool class had the cutest homework assignment.  Each child was given a picture of a plain turkey and was told to work on it with their parents and disguise the turkey so it would be spared from the Thanksgiving feast.  It was so much fun coming up with an idea and then doing it together.  I made extra copies of the turkey before we disguised it so we can do this every year.
We chose to disguise the turkey as a fire breathing dragon.
I think it turned out pretty darn cool looking.  Jefferson loves it.
Some of the other disguises he saw in class included: and angry bird, a sheep, an elephant, Santa, a dog, a cow, etc.  Tons of fun.
Another tradition we started this year was the Thankful Tree.  It is such a simple yet great idea that everyone should do it.  I just gather branches from outside and stuck them in a vase and used construction paper to hide the bottom of the branches.
For FHE one night we talked about Jesus and how he gave us all and how we should always be thankful and show gratitude.  I cut out leaves of different size and color and every morning we each got a leaf and wrote what we were/are thankful for.  It was great to have that time to reflect. 
You can tell straight away which leaves are Jefferson's.  They crack me up.  That first day he thought really hard and then loudly proclaimed, "PIRATES!"  He is so funny.

On just a cute note... when we were leaving for school a couple days ago it was cold enough for hats.  Jefferson wanted to wear his dragon hat and as soon as he put it on Addison started grunting for hers.  Aren't they the cutest thing?
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Born to be Wild!!

Looks can be deceiving.
Concerning these two- Truer words have never been said!

Thanks Aunt Kelli!!  
They love their gear!!
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