Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're Off to the Ranch!

The Newman Ranch!
The kids and I are flying into Salt Lake City tomorrow. We are staying with Ty's parents through the weekend before heading to California to visit with my parents.

I have packed:
church clothes
church shoes
play clothes
play shoes
sippy cups

Hoping for a smooth flight and happy babies! Have a great fourth of July! We will be back in 3 weeks :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh Yeah!

That Pioneer Woman has done it again!
Over on her Tasty Kitchen blog she has presented a new brownies and bars category.
As you gaze in wonder at the temptations being offered I think it is appropriate to think of the song "Oh Yeah" by Stella (the one from Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
All of this goodness has got me wondering.....Are brownies Fattening?
Does it matter?

For my husband and Newman boys everywhere...

"You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun."

-Al Capone

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cowgirl Cookies!

I got the idea for this little jar-o-love on the Bakerella website here;
Cowgirl Cookies

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup m&ms
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.


1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melted slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Use the back of a large spoon to work it all together. You may even need to use your hands to get everything incorporated.

Then roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Love these layers (especially the pink m&m's! I found the custom color candies at super wal-mart in Hendersonville)
I thought the cowbells were a nice little addition :)

Layer the ingredients in like this:

First: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Second: oats
Third: m&ms
Fourth: chocolate chips
Fifth: brown sugar
Sixth: white sugar
Seventh: chopped pecans

Pack each level down really tightly.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Lots of bubbles, lots of smiles!
Little toothless baby smiles. Toothbrushes are still fun, even if you are yet to enjoy teeth.
Don't you wish you could sit in the tub and have bubbles come all the way up to your shoulders!?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I have been online searching for these cupcake converse and I can't find them anywhere!
The search continues....

For Max!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Moment

I love to daydream about the future. It is so much fun to think of the life that we may one day have. A house of our own, money in the bank, a yard, a dog, and maybe we can have it all closer to family!
While planning and looking forward to the future is important and fun I think we need to focus more on the moment.
We need to find "joy in the journey". We can find joy and enjoy our life right now no matter our circumstances. We have been in Tennessee for 2 years now. We have been far from family. We have been very poor. Ty has been busy, but we have made some amazing memories!
There have been times when I wished we could be closer to family, but we have been able to establish ourselves as a family better than we could have had we been living closer to our relatives. We have celebrated holidays on our own and established some wonderful traditions. Ty and I have grown closer and have learned to rely on one another better than we did before.
Sometimes I wish we had more money. At first it was really hard to change my spending habits. Ty and I used to eat dinner out at least twice a week. In the beginning I missed Friday night pizza, but I soon started making my own pizza. It was easy to make and better than pizza we could order from elsewhere. I was able to cook more and become better at something that has always interested me. Clothing proved to be a challenge. The kids were growing so quickly and my clothes were getting very worn. New clothing can be so expensive. I became very familiar with our neighborhood goodwill store. I am now a major bargain hunter and our family looks great for very little money. I have also gotten together with friends and had clothing swaps where we can all get something for free. These activities help provide physical needs and strengthen friendships. I have often wished that Ty could be home more. He has to work so hard and the hours are long, but we really appreciate the time that we do have together.
I know that we can find joy in life despite the difficulties and challenges we face.
Ty will graduate in December and we will move on to a new set of obstacles and adventures, but for now we are learning to enjoy our life as is. We get out of life what we put into it. Each morning we can wake up and try again to make the day great. I recognize a difference when I try to make the best of our circumstances.
Make the most of your moments.

such wisdom

"A party without cake is really just a meeting."

- Julia Child

Monday, June 21, 2010


Today is the summer solstice. Today we get to enjoy more sunlight than any other day of the year has to offer. Today we get to celebrate ME!
It's my birthday! Hurray for another year.
Here are 27 things I have done in 27 years;

1. married my best friend
2. had 3 beautiful babies
3. moved to Nashville, Tennessee
4. line danced at the Wildhorse Saloon
5. tried "Sprinkles" cupcakes....and Loved them!
6. bought a car
7. sold a car
8. bought a house
9. sold a house
10. mastered the chocolate chip cookie
11. ate lobster on the beach in Mexico
12. learned to shoot a gun
13. watched the entire "Gilmore Girls" series....more than once :)
14. attended 3 different universities and earned "0" degrees
15. started a blog
16. became a runner
17. ate Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kentucky
18. hiked the "Y"
19. Saw "Y" mountain on fire....twice
20. went to a monster truck rally
21. played in the ocean with my babies
22. attended sessions at the Salt Lake, Timp., Provo, L.A., Redlands, West Jordan, and Nashville temples.
23. lost a close friend to death
24. learned to live on a budget
25. learned to make Grandma Newman's caramels
26. drove across the country
27. cooked Thanksgiving dinner on my own

and here are 27 things I'd like to do in the years to come;

1. visit more temples
2. buy another house
3. help my boys become eagle scouts
4. send my boys on missions
5. help my daughter get her young women's medallion
6. see her married in the temple (see boys married in temple too!)
7. sleep in
8. run a marathon
9. write a cookbook
10. go to Peru with Ty
11. go to New York with Ty
12. rent a beach house with the fam
13. visit Chelsea Market in New York
14. see the "flying" fish in Seattle
15. take the kids to see the lights at temple square
16. teach Mia to make Grandma Newman's caramels
17. buy Ty a sports car
18. eat a sticky bun from the Flour bakery in Boston
19. learn to drive a motorcycle
20. meet Ree Drummond
21. make our home a place where the spirit can be felt
22. study photography
23. have laser eye surgery
24. eat tomatoes grown in our own garden
25. learn to do a fishtail braid
26. serve a mission with Ty
27. be the best partner to Ty in all of his endeavors

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones...Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years to come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried."
- Gordon B. Hinkley

Happy Father's Day!

Ty and the babies....
Ty became a dad/father on August 19th, 2005. 2 became 3 and we were very happy.
Ty worked hard to support us.

Mia joined our family on October 4, 2007. She had a rough start and spent some time in the NICU.
Ty had a special place in his heart for this little girl right from the beginning.

Zackary was born just last year on September 22nd.
He loves his daddy.
He reaches for him when he sees him walk through the door.
Ty is a great father. When I was young and thought about the man that I would marry I just wanted him to be a righteous leader that would be able to give our children blessings when they needed them.
Ty is always ready and willing to give blessings to our children when they need them. He is my perfect partner.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


The simple solution!
Today we are making cake...Birthday cake! and Father's Day cake or Happy Saturday cake....Any excuse for cake!
I have found a great recipe for a fabulous chocolate cake. It is easy and delicious. It is "Pioneer Woman" approved :)
The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever!
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

  • 1-¾ stick Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.

Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together and pour over warm cake.

I'm Bored!

There is a constant need for entertainment at our house. Max and Mia want to be busy every minute of the day, so I made an "I'm Bored" bag.
I filled the bag with paper strips. Each strip has an idea or a project printed on it.
It has been a huge hit!
Max and Mia love pulling an idea from the bag. It makes it more exciting than if I were just suggesting it to them myself.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Last night Ty and I went out for my birthday dinner.
We ate at Maggiano's in downtown Nashville. It was a wonderful Italian restaurant with a great atmosphere. We ordered shrimp scampi for an appetizer. Ty and I love shrimp scampi and this was the best we have ever had! We asked the waiter to bring us extra bread so that we could get every last drop of butter out of the bowl :)
We had a great time. We talked and talked and ate! Those Italians sure can cook. It's a good thing that we know how to eat!
On top of the wonderful meal the heat and humidity left for a while and we were able to enjoy some seriously gorgeous 70 degree weather.
When we got home the kids were all asleep - Thank you Sis. Johnson!
We watched a little Friday Night Lights and headed to bed. It was the perfect birthday celebration.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Feet

Zackary is 38 weeks and walking!
He will not be stopped. I can't help comparing him to a penguin as he waddles through the kitchen! We love our little penguin :)

Egg Carton Breakfast

Max and Mia prefer a breakfast they can snack on while they watch an episode of "Team Umizoomi".
Today I gave them an empty egg carton filled with grapes, graham crackers, and vanilla bean greek yogurt for dipping. They were very pleased :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Father's Day gift idea

I think I would change the "papa" to daddy or father, but I love that it will work for a dad who has both sons and daughters.


In honor of the coming Father's Day holiday, we are having a special FHE lesson complete with a special daddy style dinner.
Sticky BBQ short ribs and corn on the cob.
We bought our corn from the farmer's market on Saturday and this afternoon Max helped me remove the husks.
He worked really hard and did a great job!
Corn on the cob is one of his favorites too. Just like his daddy :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value. Let your first interest be in your home. The baby you hold in your arms will grow quickly as the sunrise and sunset of the rushing days."

~~Gordon B. Hinckley

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun Craft Friday

Rice and Beans? Not just for dinner :)
I sat the kids at the table and pulled out some Elmer's glue. I helped with the glue while Max and Mia sprinkled on the rice and beans.
We made some art and some messes, but nothing a little vacuuming can't fix.
We even tried glitter on black paper. Max tried squeezing the glue out himself. He made a happy face and a zig zag. so talented :)

Touch A Truck

The weather in Nashville today could be described as : Hazy, Hot, and Humid. Not exactly a great combination for outdoor activity, but despite the heat we arrived at Moss Wright park just in time for the Touch A Truck event. There were all types of vehicles; swat cars, army jeeps, fire engines, tractors, an ambulance, and even the Nashville party bus! The kids were able to climb on and get a close look at each of the "trucks".
I was attracted to this sleek black S.W.A.T unit.
Max climbed in and pretended to be on one of those C.S.I shows.
Next up were the army jeeps and vehicles. Time for G.I. Max!
By this time I was sweating profusely and my hair was stuck to my forehead, but it was worth it to see Max in this army helmet.
He looks so pleased to be in position just behind this large machine gun. Must have something to do with his genetic makeup ;)

Last of all we visited the farm equipment. Max loved the tractor. He still sings along to the "Big Green Tractor" song. Maybe one day he will be a farmer.

Mia was finally willing to give things a try.
As I said before, it was HOT! We were ready to cool off with some nice A/C and....

All gone!
All tuckered out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can't help lovin' that man of mine!

Ty is back in Bowling Green today. He will be home tomorrow night after the kids are in bed.
I have a very hard time behaving while Ty is away. The house gets very messy. The kids and I eat cookies for dinner. I watch Keeping up with the Kardashians....you get the idea.
I miss him.
I love him even more than I love butter. And I love butter a lot :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I love granola.
Today we made some and it was super yummy.

Maple Cinnamon Granola

Mix together: 2 cups oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt

Whisk to combine: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon maple extract

Pour honey mixture over oats and stir to coat evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove oats from oven and stir in nuts and raisins. Bake 5-6 minutes more. Allow to cool on baking sheet.


Zackary's hair was long enough that if he were a girl, and if we had wanted to, we could have put it into a ponytail. Time for a haircut! We buzzed it. I am loving rubbing his little bald head :)

A New Fav!

This is a Tasty Kitchen recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I made it last week for the first time and it was amazing. We devoured it. I repeated the recipe tonight and it was just as yummy. This one's a keeper :)

Butter Chicken
  • 4 pieces Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut Into Bite Sized Pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 whole Lemon, Juiced
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • ¼ cups Butter
  • 1 - 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups Brown Rice (or However Much You Want)

Combine first 8 ingredients and marinate overnight.

Saute the onion in the butter until soft. Add marinated chicken cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on. Add the whipping cream. The sauce will thicken quickly. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Miss Mia

Little Miss Mia enjoys her girl time. On days that Max goes to school she covers the house with little ponies and care bears. She plays quietly and happily. She watches Dora and Kai-Lan while snacking on blueberries.
When Max comes home things get much louder. Max pulls out the toy guns and other weapons and goes to war. Mia hides her ponies.
Coming from a girl with all brothers....I totally understand!

37 weeks

Zackary is 37 weeks old today.
Almost 9 months old :)
....and yes he is that chunky in real life.
Zac has been to the pool and loves it. He likes to splash in the water while he sits on the very first step. Zackary loves eating brown rice, mashed bananas, and whipped cream. He is crawling everywhere and tries to escape daily. This little guy is going places.

Me, Me, and Me!

On June 21st I am having a birthday.
I am turning 27.
I have put together a list of things that would make turning 27 the most awesome birthday ever.

an ice cream maker
(Ty thinks this is a silly idea, but I want one anyway!)

new boots
(knee high please)

A trip to the salon
(I actually have a new hair style in mind)

new running shoes


Michelle's dark chocolate raspberry cake :)
(thus explaining the need for new running shoes!)

Monday, June 7, 2010


We took a blanket outside and stared at the sky. We looked at the clouds. I felt the warm sunshine on my face and the cool breeze on my toes. It is the perfect way to spend a summertime day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I love Saturdays!
Ty left early this morning for Bowling Green, so it was just the kiddos and me at home. Instead of our usual Saturday morning crepes we headed out to the farmer's market in Hendersonville. On the way there we came across a garage sale. I had to stop and take a look. As it turns out it was an LDS fundraiser for Girl's Camp! We found some great deals. Growing up I loved Calivin and Hobbes. My brother's and I have read all of them! I am excited to read some of the classics again.
We also bought some kids books and movies. All for a good cause! Gotta love those Young Women!
We left the garage sale and made our way to the farmer's market. We bought some of this multi-colored popcorn. My kids and I love popcorn and this was delish. The day was already scorching! It is going to be a very hot weekend.
We purchased some fresh Georgia peaches :)
And some Gallatin grown green beans and potatoes.
Happy Saturday!