Sunday, February 27, 2011

What did that groundhog say?

Our computer crashed.  Thankfully we have a direct line to a good computer hospital.  (Thanks Sean!).  He managed to rescue our pictures. Yea!

The kids are playing hide-and-seek with all the lights turned off.  The darkness hides the dishes and laundry so all I can hear are sounds of laughter.  Good idea.

I secretly can't wait until basketball is over.  And I accidently "forgot" to sign up for soccer for Jen and Ben.  It starts the day after the baby is due...  Dallin and Landon had two days this last week when they were home less than 30 minutes between 7:15 am and 9 pm.  Exhausting.

Everyone had the flu one at a time over the last few weeks.  There are still remnants of yucky coughs floating around.  As Landon told me this morning (he and Dallin are studying viruses in science) "I have a cough now so I am probably getting better but maybe I need to stay home just for today".  Hmmmm?  Nope.  Sorry Lan.

Jenna has a fever again tonight.  Hopefully we aren't on round two...

In case you are wondering, it doesn't work to fill your ear (if you are using an ear thermometer) with really hot water in order to fake a fever.  It does work to fill your mouth with really hot water before taking an oral temp but the guilty look on their faces usually gives the deceit away.

Rustin and the three big boys spent the weekend at the winter Klondike camp-out.  I don't know why but it is the favorite camp-out of the year for them.  They built and slept in a snow cave and woke up warm and toasty unlike their tenting counterparts.  -2 degrees tends to blow right through tents...

The sun came out on Saturday and they all came home sunburned.  They loved it.

We have six inches of snow outside. The snow forced Austin's school to cancel his ski trip.  Ironic huh.   Last week we had a day when the temperature reached 65.  It made me want to put fake tan lotion on and go out and weed the flower beds.  Except I can't reach my legs or the flower beds...

I have reached that stage of hugeness when perfect strangers look at me with pity and say "oh how much longer until your baby?!"  My answer is always the same.  "A year or so I think."

Actually it is only six weeks but oh what a long six weeks it will be.  I am as big now as I was when I had Jenna.  No wonder I loved being pregnant with Jenna. Cute little less-than-eight-pounder.  Big babies are definitely harder to carry--good thing they are cute!

Pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love, bribes and other important things.

Because it's Valentine's Day I am starting with a picture of pretty flowers courtesy of Rustin.  I would show the chocolates he sent but they are gone...

Here's what I spent the morning doing.  It made my family happy.

There are a few things I learned from my years (7+) working as a nurse and I've used a lot of those skills in my life as a mother--bandaging wounds, dosing tylenol and deciding whether injuries were ER worthy or not.  

But I learned another skill that is just as important.  What would that be you might ask?  The power of a good bribe.

It's true.  I don't know what it is about nurses and health care providers in general but there is nothing like a little food to butter them up.  If you ever find yourself or your loved one in the hospital and you want to be sure to receive good care I have a tip.  Find out whether the nurses work eight or twelve hour shift rotations and put together a basket of goodies for each shift. {Candy, lotions, popcorn--anything good.}  Night nurses will be especially impressed because usually only the day shift workers get the goodies.
I have seen the magic work many a time.

So to apply this to my life--I try to send food/treats in to Rustin's office from time to time.  Not only to make Rustin's life easier but because I really do appreciate them.
They often spend more time with him than I do and they can make things easy or miserable.

So for Valentine's Day I sent in a pan of cinnamon rolls.  I have worked many years to get these rolls just right but this time I used a little different recipe.  I used the recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  I made the dough at night and I rolled out the rolls, placed them on the pans, covered them with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out but they were awesome! I'm so glad to know that I can make the rolls ahead and still have them ready and hot in the morning.

I spread the rolls on the big pan out to where they were just barely not touching each other.  Perfect.  I smashed the rolls together in the little pan and the rolls were doughy in the middle.  I just put them back in the oven but next time I will spread them out a little bit.  

I have to say--I like my frosting recipe better than The Pioneer Woman's.  It is perfect.  Not too sweet.  Buttery.  It can make a mediocre roll heavenly.  Here we go:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs (about) milk
melt these together in a sauce pan until everything comes to a boil.
remove from heat.

add 1 tsp vanilla 
about 2 cups powdered sugar.

Wisk until it's smooth and a little thinner than cake frosting.  Frost the rolls when they are warm so it can seep into all the nooks and crannies.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feeling Pioneer-ish?

It all started one lonely night when Rustin was gone and I found myself home suffering from post-book syndrome. (You know that feeling when you finish a good book and find yourself wandering around the house feeling displaced and looking for something that seems to be missing..?).
My sister suggested I read this online book--Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--on the internet.  It only took a minute and I was hooked!  I read the entire thing way too fast and quickly found myself back in that post-book syndrome again. 
Unfortunately I discovered that this particular story hadn't been published. So I quickly filled my time reading about photography, cooking and life on the ranch.
When I found out that not only was that awesome online romance story published, but that Ree Drummond was coming to Salt Lake City, I couldn't pass up the chance to get a hold of my own copy of both Black Heels to Tractor Wheels and The Pioneer Woman cooks.  And it was a good excuse to get out of town with my mom and sister.  After all, my days of easily leaving kids behind are numbered.
We had a great weekend and I love love love the books.

Ree was just as charming and down-to-earth in person as she is in her writing.  It was fun to hear her speak about needing static guard and about wearing two layers of spanks to try to hide all the "lumps."

Many thanks to everyone for a great night!  And to my sis--I got you an autographed copy!

Ree's cute kids watched from the balcony.

Did you notice I found my camera?  Now I've lost my phone. ugg.