Sunday, September 27, 2009


Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread"

Are you scared of making bread? Be honest. I'm here to tell you that you can do it. Yes, you! It's really not that hard. People sometimes have this idea that bread is this really hard thing to make and you have to be a great cook to even attempt it. But that's a lie. (because even I make it)

My mom made bread all the time growing up. Not only is it cheaper, but I think it's healthier too :). We all love my mom's bread. Sometimes you will find children standing around the kitchen waiting for it to come out of the oven because it tastes especially yummy when it's hot, with butter and honey oozing all over it. It was just something my mom (and most of my aunt's) did. I guess that's something I felt like I was supposed to do once I got married. Here's proof--this is me 2 weeks after we got married, attempting my FIRST batch of homemade bread.

Kenny and I had a good laugh at how very large and deformed they were. I was somewhat paranoid that it wouldn't turn out, so I added extra yeast and let it rise extra long. I soon discovered that it was very unnecessary, and plus they didn't fit it any bags. I didn't do it very often while going to school because I was very busy and somewhat lazy, but since graduation I do it all the time and we love it. We grind our own wheat and it makes yummy wheat flour. I don't do all wheat bread because Kenny doesn't like it as much. So ratio of wheat to white is probably 3:1. That works for us.

Point is, I think you should all try it. It might take a few tries before you get it just the way you like it, but isn't that how most recipes go?
I only make 3 loaves at a time, then I freeze one or two and pull them out when I need them. They're a little more crumbly once they've been frozen, but it's still good :). There's probably hundreds of different bread recipes out there to choose from. If you'd like our family's secret bread recipe (just kidding on the secret part), just ask me. I'd be happy to tell you. So go! It will make your house smell so good and you will feel oh so domestic. Happy bread making!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Love The Lady In You

I don't know if any of you watch the show, "Dancing With The Stars", but I sometimes like to watch them online a couple days after they air. I actually know some of the people this time; Donny Osmond, Melissa Joan-Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Macy Gray (until she got eliminated), to name a few. Anyway, since I watched it earlier today I can't stop thinking about Kelly Osbourne's Viennese Waltz. Not only was it a neat dance to watch, but I was shocked by the reaction more than anything. She and her partner, and her mom were all crying. Her dad, Ozzy Osbourne, was shocked too! I don't know a whole lot about her life, other than the fact that she has had drug problems, and has basically just been a mess for many years. (With a dad like that how can you blame her?) But I thought it was so wonderful to see her find that beautiful lady inside of her. I have never seen anyone cry like that after dancing, especially the first week.

I have just been thinking about it, and it is proof to me of the divine nature inside each woman. Our spirits love beauty and grace, and that was obviously not something with which she was very familiar. When they got backstage after they danced, she said through her tears, "I have never had so much fun in my whole life and I can't believe I am crying". It's like her spirit was celebrating this natural side to her that she hadn't allowed before. I think everyone was so happily surprised because it is such a stark contrast to her normal self. She was dancing a clean, uplifting, and beautiful dance to wholesome music, and those things refine a person, and it overwhelmed her.

I was always amused by those girls that, while growing up, would have to remind everyone that they were a "tom boy". They "couldn't stand dresses or make up", and just wanted to play with, and act like, boys. I just wondered, what are you afraid of--looking pretty and feeling good about yourself? I'm certainly not saying that we have to always wear dresses and only do "lady-like" things. But it is important to recognize and love our femininity.

My absolute favorite sport is basketball. I played it through junior high, and all but my senior year of high school. I love it. One thing I really appreciated about my dad was that he would always tell me to keep being a lady. Just because I was playing a physical and competitive sport did not mean that I was not still a girl. I could be a lady on and off the court. That really stuck with me. You think about college and pro female b-ball players...not the most feminine gals you'll meet, and he didn't want me to lose that part of me.

Anyway, this may all be taking it a little far. It was just a dance. But it was a transforming moment for Kelly Osbourne, and I have just been reflecting on why it was so significant to her, and apparent to all watching as well. I just think it's important to love the lady in you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

this is what's going on

A lot of yuckies is what's going on at our house. Tyler and Brynlee both have yucky colds and so there's a lot of nose-blowing and sucking, coughing, sneezing, etc. Also lots of drinking and diaper changing (because of the excess fluids), eating cough drops (which Ty thinks are better than candy) and lounging around. I vote that there should be more sleeping!
I made Ty a nice bowl of hot oatmeal with extra honey (which he ate) for breakfast. Then for lunch I made him some hot chicken noodle soup (which he didn't eat). So far I haven't caught anything, knock on wood.

My hand is healing up very well. I am not wearing any bandages today, but I do need to release some fluid out from a couple of the blisters. They look like they'll pop if I don't. I don't know if that's good or bad to do myself, but I'd rather be the one to do it slowly then have it rip open spontaneously. Ouch. Really it's not nearly as bad as it should have or could have been. I had it in ice cold water for a good 20 minutes immediately after it happened, and I KNOW that made a difference. Either that, or I was miraculously healed because my thumb and pointer finger, and palm, should have been a lot worse. Really I'm doing great though.

I still haven't found my wedding ring. I'm losing hope. I had a dream that I found it in the dishwasher and that I was just crying a lot cuz I was so happy and praying "thank you thank you thank you" but then I woke up and it was still gone...and it wasn't in the dishwasher. It makes me so sad because even though I can get another ring, it will never be my wedding ring.

We are looking at apt./houses in edwardsville right now. It's not the we don't love this house-we do-but we are hoping to find something that's closer to everyone and everything. If we don't find anything, we'll stay. I guess we'll see.

It seems to be that whenever I write on here something my kids can't do, they start to do it like the next day. It's kind of funny. So now I'm going to write that Tyler is not even close to wanting to be let's see if it can work some magic.
Brynlee crawls, and pulls herself up to things on her knees, and occassionally on her feet but falls over shortly after. She shakes her head "no" all the time and it is the cutest thing.

What is it about pizza that is so gosh darn good? I swear I could eat that 3-4 times a week and not tire of it. You can just have different toppings all the time and love eating every time. Tyler totally agrees with me, except he wouldn't switch toppings around. It'd be just cheese all the way. He is one of the pickiest eaters alive but he can down like 3 whole pieces of pizza. I sometimes wish that I had a brick oven to cook it in like they do in restaurants...OK that was random. But really, I love pizza.

Anyway. That is what's going on at our house.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Down by one

want to hear the jist of last night? read this.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't let this smile fool you too bad

I think I have been very good at recording the sweet and wonderful things about Bryn. But let's be honest here, she has NOT been a very easy baby. Maybe I didn't realize how good Ty was, but now I really appreciate him hah. I keep thinking, ok the worst is over. But then something else comes along, and I've got another excuse for why she is so hard. It's always something. Let's start from the very beginning; C-O-L-I-C. Not so fun. On top of that she hated her car seat and screamed bloody murder whenever we would go anywhere. Eventually though, both of those went away thankfully. Then she was teething for like a month or more, straight...and I wondered how long you could keep your child on tylenol and/or motrin before it started having side effects. But we made it through that also, at least until the next batch of teeth come. Now she has a SEVERE attachment disorder to me. It is amplified by 20 when she is hungry or tired. I really don't know what to do about it. Do I leave more often and make other people listen to her scream the entire time to help her get used to it? Do I just give in because it helps out the tone and stress level in the whole house when she's not crying? Should I wean her to give us both a little more separation or would that make it worse? I would feel bad doing that though, because she loves it so much. I never knew what moms meant by their baby loving to nurse, until I had Brynlee. I know this too will pass, eventually. I just grow tired of waiting. She still doesn't sleep through the night either and that's wearing on me obviously. Anyway. The point of this post is not too get your pity or sympathy. It is what it is, and that's just kind of what you get with babies sometimes. Luck of the draw, or something like that. Any suggestions on the attachment thing? Any of you have or had kids like that? Kenny always says "if we have one more child like Brynlee that's our last one"...but at the same time, we obviously can't help but love this little girl whole-heartedly. I mean just look at that smile! And her many necks can a girl have? She really is a sweet girl, as long as I'm holding her! Oh motherhood. What a ride.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall table runner

I finished another little project this week. I LOVE it! I think I have enough scraps to do a runner/cover for the top of our piano. I really can't take credit for how stinkin cute it is (I wish you could see all the fabrics up close). My mom gave me all the fabric to do it. Actually she sent it to me last year, but I was trying to finish up my last semester of college so I didn't ever get around to it. But this year I finally pulled it all out and I love it. My mom already had all the strips cut out for me too! She made it SO easy all I had to do was sew it all together. Thanks mom, for helping my house look cute! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Welcome Jaycee

Kenny's sister, Shariane, welcomed little Jaycee into their family on Sep. 11, 2009. She weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20 in. Last time I saw Shariane, on August 11th, she looked like this...

Now they've got a beautiful baby girl to show for that cute belly :).

Babies are such precious little miracles, and I never tire of seeing another one enter this world. Congratulations you guys!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


What is the worst thing you could ever lose? (Talking about material posessions of course.) Something that is expensive, sentimental, small, and frankly irreplacable?

What is, wedding ring!!

I LOST MY WEDDING RING! It's been 9 days and I still haven't found it. It makes me so sick inside. I pray to find it all the time and I look everywhere but I just can't find it. I mean you imagine all the places that it could possibly be in a house. It's such a small thing!! I have not yet emptied out the vacuum but I am going to do that today, just in case. I feel so naked and awkward without it. I think the last time I had it was when I took it off to make fondant for Kenny's birthday cake. But really, I don't know. I might have put it back on and lost it after that. That's what makes this even worse is it's something I'm so used to having on that you don't really think about it. AGH.

I remember one time when I was younger and my mom lost her wedding ring. She told us all that whoever found it would get some money as a reward. Jeff ended up finding it, if I remember correctly, and did get some prize money. Too bad my kids are too young to care about money, or to help me look for it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One of the great things about Kenny...

he helps us all reach a little higher. :)
photo by my sister Laura.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good..."

I realize that this scripture was used in the context of enduring trials, but I'm using it for food. Some of my sisters and I have started a blog in our efforts to become better cooks. Somewhat of a "school". If you'd like a better introduction to this, you can read this. Steph (my sister) has a much better way of writing things than I do. Or if you'd like to just check it out yourself, then visit our blog. Oh, and you might want to find the very first post so it all makes more sense. Feel free to join or participate any weeks you'd like. It's fun and it's all in the name of experience. to learn things that will be for our good, and for the good of our families as we hope to be better cooks for them.
Like my peach cobbler pictured up top? "It looks awful rich." "It is, so I serve it over ice cream to cut the sweetness." Can anyone name that movie?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You Two


You make me laugh so hard every day with the funny things you say and do. Some of the more recent funnies are:

While reading scriptures, you were repeating the words as I said them to you like usual. Then we came across the phrase "a blind man". I stopped and asked you if you knew what a blind man was. I explained that it was when you can't see, then you looked out the window and said "just pull up the blinds, and then you can see". Sometimes you are too clever for me.

While driving in the car the other day, I stepped hard on the gas to make it through a yellow light and the engine made a loud sound. You hollered from the back seat "Easy, mom! Easy!"

Sometimes you ask for more time when we're at the park, or if you don't want to go to bed, etc. Usually you just say, "two more minutes" but the other day you said "two more days".

Whenever I let out a sigh, or an aggravated "ugh!" or when you think I'm even the tiniest bit upset, you always ask, "what's-a-matta mom?"

There's a hundred more examples but I just want you to know how much I love having you around, and I love hearing you talk so much! Today I was thinking about how when you turned 1 or 18 months and I could count how many words you could say. Now you just say everything and you communicate so well!

You absolutely adore Brynlee and like to give her lots of hugs and kisses. You always ask to hold her, and when she wakes up you say "lets go get her mom!" and you run into the room cuz you can't wait to see her. Sometimes it's hard for you that she gets so much attention, especially from other people, but you handle it well and have figured out your own cute ways of demanding attention :).


You turned 7 months on 9/9/09!! Your daddy and I can't believe how big you are getting and how fast you're growing up. You are constantly pushing yourself up onto your hands and knees, but you haven't quite figured out how to coordinate the hands and legs moving. You army crawl a little and get where you need to go. You are always reaching for everything and can't hold still for a second! It's so fun to watch you figure things out. You do this funny backwards push that looks like the worm in slow-mo.

You've got 6 teeth now and you eat solids like a champ! There isn't anything we've tried that you don't like yet, but you really love blueberry pancakes, peaches, and bananas.

You started saying "ma ma ma ma" a couple months ago and it surprised me because that's not usually the first sound babies make. But you still do it all the time and I love it. When you're mad you say "na na na" but I can't get you to say "da da" time.

I could've sworn they cut the cord at your birth, but you are still SOO attached to me. Most of the time I don't mind because I know it won't last long and I love you so much too. I just wish you'd let even your dad hold you once in a while :). I love to watch you watch your brother. You are so interested in what he does and he makes you laugh so hard. I hope you always have a good relationship with him.

You two are our greatest blessings.

Happy Birthday Kenny!

On Tuesday, the 8th, Kenny turned 26 years old!! I keep telling him he's SOO old! haha. We had a nice relaxing morning. He slept in (until 6:30 or so, which is much later than his usual 4:30 or 4:45 waking up) and I made a yummy breakfast of streusel cupcake/muffin things and bacon. Then he played with the kids for a while, got ready and went into work around 10:30.

I had the best idea for his birthday cake and I was really excited about it. I wanted to make a dumbbell, since he's addicted to working out since he got his gym pass. But I prove retarded once again and couldn't get the fondant right and didn't really have time to spend on it because of a crying baby and a toddler that asked me approximately 549 times to play with him that day. So I bagged the whole idea and put the two cakes together and frosted it all. Then I made some rice krispies really quick and formed them into a giant "26" and stuck it on. It was totally lame, but I decided to not be too angry about it because that'd be dumb, even though it was upsetting to work so hard on it for so long and then have to change it completely. Oh well.

Once Kenny came home from work, we all went out and got a boat-load of Chinese food, came home and feasted like kings. Then he opened his presents with Tyler's help (which was hard to convince Tyler of ALL DAY that they were not his, and now he tells me his birthday is coming soon). He got the game "bocce" which we've wanted for a long time, some socks, sweat pants, and weight-lifting gloves. Although he told me that only the weirdos wear the gloves haha so we'll take them back and get a watch instead :). We enjoyed some cake and ice cream and watched a movie, half with the kids, half without.

I wanted to throw him a party but he was very insistent (sp?) that I don't, so we just hung out together as a family and had a great time. Here's a few quirks about Kenny you may or may not know about...

He hates to have the sheet tucked in to sleep. He says it pulls down on his feet and it's too restricting. So whenever I make the bed I tuck in my side, and half the bed at the foot and that's how it is.
He also will take off one shoe, or sock, and leave the other on. It would drive me nuts to do that because I have issues with "equilibrium" but he's comfortable like that.
He brushes his teeth for a long time.
He flexes in the mirror and I think it's cute. I laugh at him all the time about it.
He is constantly whistling/humming/singing a song. He never knows the correct words to songs though, (which drives me crazy) so he'll just make up words, or whole songs.
This one's not a quirk, or a secret, but he's the best husband and dad ever and we think he's the best!!!

Happy Birthday Kenny!! We love you so much!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day

On Monday it was Labor Day, and so of course Kenny had work off. We loaded up in the car and drove out to Belleville, for a full day of fun at Eckert's. They are another pick-your-own fruit place, but much bigger. They were also doing a family day with lots of rides, animals, music, etc. We had a blast. It was a hot day though, and we saved the actual apple-picking until the end so by then we were all hot, sweaty, exhausted, and worn out. But we are so glad we went. Tyler had a blast going on the rides, and petting/feeding the animals. They had funny contests like the greased pig, scoop shovel races, chicken plop bingo (which is where we all stand around and watch a few chickens, who are caged in, standing on a board divided into numbered squares, until one of them poops, then whatever number their poop landed in, the person who chose that number won a little prize) pony and camel rides, miniature golf, etc. We also met up with some friends from the ward, the Porter and Lindsay families. It was fun to see them there! We took a ton of pictures, as usual, and here's some of them.

Don't you love this golfing stance

Kenny givin the camel some love :)

Tyler is so funny about animals. He absolutely loves them, but when it comes to touching them he is very wary and apprehensive. So this was a big deal that he let them eat out of his hand. He didn't want to ride the pony, or the camel (which saved us 5 bucks so we were ok with it haha). When they had the kid contest where all the kids went into this big pen, then they let out about 10-15 goats covered in stickers and the kids had to pull off one of the stickers from the goat and they'd get a prize. It was all great until tyler got trapped in the corner and had a big group of goats heading straight for him. he got stuck and surrounded, and I was sure he was going to start crying. He was very brave though and got a sticker, and there were no tears!
She looks a little drunk here, but I just had to capture her feet up on the bar. She always rests them up there and I think it's so funny.

I decided that I will not go to any more fruit-picking things until both children are walking. Ugh! That girl is heavy.

We came home from that and recovered for a couple hours, then headed out to the Reeds' house, our friends from the ward. We had a little weenie roast over there and had fun visiting with them and the Kraude's, the newest family in the ward. The kids were completely worn out from the day, and so were we, but we had a great time! And we have some delicious honey-crisp and Johnathan apples to can now :).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I love my job

Job title: MOM
Stewardship: Tyler and Brynlee
Working hours: 24/7
Days off: NONE
Replacements: None
Payment: none
Job Benefits: Eternal happiness and growth
Job description:

Inspire curiosity...

Stimulate their senses to help them learn...

oh yeah, and anything and everything else!

Yep. I've got the best job in the world.

Disclaimer: It's safest to not ask me my thoughts on motherhood around 4 in the morning when I've been up all night doing my "job"!! It tends to be a bit more negative, with an occasional use of profanity...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mills Apple Farm

Yesterday I took the kids to a pick-your-own-fruit orchard with a group of ladies and their kids, from our ward. It was our first time going somewhere like that and we had a great time! There were 6 women with 9 kids between us all (a lot less than there would have been if school hadn't started) so there were lots of kids for Ty to play with so he was very happy. And we got some yummy apples too, so who couldn't love that? There's a big playground and shaded area that we all just sat around talking afterwards for a long time. Really the weather this week is like the greatest weather we could ask for! The high's are in the 70's and it's just cool and breezy. We have our windows open 24/7 and it is SOO nice. We can't get enough of being outside. Here's some pics from our fun trip.

Tyler with his girlfriend, Ashlynn.

They have small bags for the kids to carry around and pick apples so Tyler loved helping out. of course I had to discard the majority later when he wasn't looking, because he picked up all the yucky ones off the ground.

My favorite one of the day

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Influence of Righteous Women

Did everybody see that article in this month's Ensign issue? It's the cover story and it's awesome. I've been thinking about it lately and I wanted to share one of the best living examples of the influence of one righteous woman. See that cute old lady on the left, laughing at her great-grandaughter? Well that's my awesome Grandma Andersen. Mother of 12. Grandmother of 104. Great-grandmother of 190 and still counting. Not many people can brag about that large of a posterity, but she can (and she proudly does :)). This woman amazes me. I know this picture is a 4-mixed-generations picture, because she's actually my dad's mom. But she's the only blood-related Grandma still living. We got to live next door to her while we lived in Utah and I loved getting to know her better. I hope I can be half the woman she is.