Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Picnic Table

 My mom found this little table for the kids. They love it!
I am so happy to have a backyard to put it in where they can eat ice cream and color pictures and drive their little matchbox cars!


I have met some great people the past few weeks since our move to Beaumont.
Our next door neighbors have been wonderful! They have twins Max's age and the kids are loving spending time together. Ty has hit it off with their dad and has been borrowing ladders and tools as we have started different projects around the house. Their mom is great as well! She and I are able to talk and laugh together. She told me yesterday that she has no family. No brothers and sisters and no parents! She started to cry and I thought how desperately she must need some good people in her life. 
Today at the park there was another mom playing with her two children. We started talking. I told her that we had just moved to the area and asked her about preschools for Mia. She had some great information for me. She told me that she and her husband have lived in Beaumont for 3 years and have made no friends. She said that she has been so preoccupied with work and her kids she just hasn't had much time. 
I was struck by the fact that there are so many lonely people out there. People are sitting in their homes wishing for friends. We cannot be too busy or too involved in our own lives to reach out. If we are lonely we need to get out there and invite some neighbors to a BBQ because chances are they are lonely too! I am going to try and be open to these new relationships and friendships. I want to help lift these ladies! We are all in this life together. All children of God. All trying to find joy. All trying to get home. We need each other!

Zac and the cookies

 Zackary woke up from his nap yesterday feeling not so grand.
It was a beautiful afternoon so I took him out to the little picnic table in the yard and sat him down with some milk and cookies.
It didn't take too much convincing. He felt much better!
We spent the rest of the afternoon outside and even cooked dinner on the grill. Hurray for sunshine and cookies!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Take 2

 The sun came out and warmed up the world! We headed out to another playground so that the kids could run and I could play with my camera some more!
Doesn't Max have the best blue eyes?!
I love that he is always willing to pose for me.
 An artistic photo of Zackary and his good friend binky. I was chasing him around the play equipment trying to steal his precious binky away so that I could get a good picture of him. He was not amused!
 Little Mia riding a cow.
I know you can't tell it's a cow, but it is.
 More of Zac. He is getting so tall and independent.
 I was so glad we got to have our successful park trip today. How we love our sunshine!

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies

(My new camera is doing great! So excited about how these cookies look....I know that makes me strange, but I'm okay with that!)

I have tried many different chocolate chip cookie recipes. Today I had to make Thomas Keller's version.
The cookies turned out thin. I was worried that they would be crispy, but they were chewy and delicious! I will make these cookies again. The recipe is a keeper.

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/3 + 1 tablespoon flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces chocolate cut into chip sized pieces (I used chocolate chips!)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter with the sugars until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients. Mix in the chocolate.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes. The cookies will spread and the edges will become brown.



 Our new neighborhood is great! There are several little parks and playgrounds within walking distance of the house.
This morning we picked up some doughnuts and headed off for some play to celebrate the first day of spring break. Sadly the day didn't feel so spring like. The wind was blowing and we were all freezing!
 We gave it our best effort despite the chilly temperatures.
 Zack is a climber. He is willing to use steps but usually he heads directly up the slides. Maybe he will be a rock climber like his Daddy!
Max is a great helper on the playground. He tries hard to obey while "other" little people are running away into the fields while I yell at them to come back.
Max and Mia were excited to try out the teeter totter. I think it must have been made for some heavier folks because they could hardly get it to move past this point!
After some time our hands and faces were freezing so we headed home. We are coloring pictures and playing inside. I am sure we will do a little baking later on! Happy Monday! Hoping for some warmer weather soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I like my man

Ty bought me a new camera.
I guess he likes me.

pictures coming soon!

Friday, March 25, 2011


I lost my keys this morning.
Or rather, I lost them yesterday and today I could not find them. I was seriously distraught. I NEED those keys! This house is so big and I searched and searched in vain. I finally got down on my knees to pray. I asked Heavenly Father to help me find the keys. 
I continued with my search. I kept having this feeling that I should go through the garbage that I had thrown out last night. I wanted to be sure the keys were no where else before I looked through the garbage. There is a lot of grossness in there. 
I gave in and opened up the big trash can lid and pulled out the garbage bag from last night. I opened it up and almost immediately, there were the keys!
I am so thankful that the Lord is mindful of my little world and my simple needs. I am so thankful that He hears and answers prayers.
I am so thankful that I don't have to walk Max to school in the rain!

Fabulous Friday!

 Hurray for Friday!
I think we should all celebrate with some chocolate chip cookies. When we bake cookies in this house everyone goes after the dough and we end up with very few finished cookies!
This morning I found a fantastic recipe over at the Gingerbread Bagels blog.

Now you can have your cookies and eat the dough too!
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another Day

It is almost 9 am. Max's lunch is all packed and ready to go. The kids have been fed and dressed. Breakfast has been served. Time to get this day started!
I am already being tempted by the Heath candy bars that Ty broght home from work last night. I have a bag of heath toffee baking bits that I am thinking I will work into some delicious treat later. It rained all night but the sun is shining again this morning so I am going to try and get a little more weeding done. I started hanging pictures yesterday, and I am going to put some more up today.
The kids are adjusting well to the new house. Mia loves having her own room and has already started locking her brothers out. Zack has been in a toddler bed since we got here and is doing as well as can be expected. Max loves to use the downstairs area as a ball playground. He is doing great at school. We are all looking forward to his spring break next week. I am excited to not have to plan our day around trips to and from school for a little while!
Poor Ty has gotten sick. I feel so bad that he has to get up and go to work when he does not feel well. He worked 14 hour days all week, but after today he will have a three day weekend to rest up. I am planning on roasting a chicken and making soup. He says he doesn't like to be babied, but that just can't be true. Don't we all need a little babying once in a while? 
I hope everyone is having a great week!

(P.S. Ty has given me the okay to get a new camera. I am looking for something simple and effective that takes great pictures. Any suggestions????)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ad Hoc

One of my friends bought me this cookbook before we left Tennessee. It was on my Christmas wish list and she surprised me with an early gift.
I had to pack it away very quickly and didn't have a chance to read through it until now!
It is full of cooking wisdom and philosophy. Thomas Keller believes that great cooking can be accomplished at home by the home cook. He says, "The more pleasure you take from cooking, the more fun you have in the kitchen, the better your food will be!"
I agree. I think it is important to have fun in the kitchen.
He also emphasizes the importance of being organized in the kitchen. He says, "Good organization is all about setting yourself up to succeed. It means getting rid of anything that would interfere with the process of making a recipe or preparing an entire meal."
According to this logic, before cooking I need to get rid of my children, husband, telephone, and laundry.
I do end up dealing with a lot of distraction while cooking, but things seem to turn out all right!
Anyway. . . I am loving this cookbook and I am looking forward to some fun in the kitchen!


Our yard has a lot of potential. I have been outside all morning weeding. My hands and fingers are stained brown and green. I almost gave up when the soft earth revealed giant earthworms and bugs galore. I have visions of a beautiful yard and they are pushing me forward through the weeds!
I am hoping all of this yard work creates a green thumb in me that I didn't know existed :)

Cake Batter

I found these happy creations over at How Sweet Eats

I am making these for breakfast tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All moved in!

We got the keys on Friday night and quickly rented a truck and packed up what was left of our things. My brother came over that night and he and Ty loaded the truck so it would be ready in the morning. On Saturday we got right to work and were out the door by about 9. At the new house we had some helpers from our new ward who had come to help carry boxes and furniture into the house. I carried boxes up the stairs for what seemed like hours! By the end of the day my calves were killing me! It seemed like the job would never get done but somehow we did it. It was so wonderful to put all of the kids to bed in their own beds in their own rooms. On Sunday we were back at the new ward. The kids love the primary and everyone seems so nice. We got invited to a big get together that evening and we had a wonderful time getting to know everyone. On Monday I cleaned all 5 bathrooms. They were clean when we moved in, but I was curious to see how long it would take me to make my way through all of them. It was a big job and by the end of it my hands were all cracked and dry, maybe gloves next time! Today we bought a new dryer. Not that there was anything wrong with the old one, but this house only has hook-ups for a gas dryer and ours was electric! I am super excited to be doing laundry once again. I think we are all settled now. It feels great to be home. We love the new house and we love the neighborhood. We feel like we have been so blessed. I hope that we can be a benefit to our new ward and neighbors. 
There is still much to be done but we are here!

Friday, March 18, 2011

We have the keys!

The keys are ours and we are moving in the morning!
Happy weekend ya'll!!!!!


I just read an article all about honey. It really is amazing stuff.

Honey is a natural way to enhance energy. Instead of energy drinks the article encouraged adding a spoonful of honey to your morning routine for a natural pick me up. I could go for that. 
Honey will help your skin stay supple. When used on skin honey helps to hydrate and restore elasticity. 
Honey is the healthiest sweetener. Natural honey has been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar.

I have found the cheapest way to buy honey is to buy locally and to buy in bulk.

Happy Friday!

We made it!
It has been a busy week! I spent hours in the car driving Max back and forth from school. Ty and I ran around like crazy people trying to tie up loose ends with the folks at the mortgage office. We may NOT be moving this weekend! We just happened to choose the worst group of people ever to work on our loan. The realtor and the mortgage group have told us that they will never work with these individuals again. Neither will we! 
I am still holding out hope that we might move tomorrow. I know! It is that last minute!
Oh well!
On the bright brother is coming out today. He was going to help us move and still might if we do, in fact, move. If not the kids will love climbing all over him and watching movies with him. I love having someone new and exciting around to entertain everyone for a while!
No matter what happens I am very much looking forward to the weekend. I can't wait to spend some time with Ty. Max will be home so we can play. It is supposed to be kind of cold and rainy so maybe we can keep cozy by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate. 
I hope everyone has had a great week. 
"Just Keep Swimming!" (Thanks Dori....)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No new camera yet so just words for you today!
Last night I cut out a bunch of little green footprints (aka: leprechaun footprints). I made a path all over the yard leading to a green bucket (aka: pot of gold). I filled the bucket with fun surprises; socks, pinwheels, and gold coins. 
The kids are waking up to a Leprechaun hunt that leads to a treasure!
The green shirts are ready to go and I have plans for a green dinner this evening.
Happy St. Patty's! Go Green!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I was asked to make a cake for an 80th birthday party this weekend. I was told that the little old lady loved lemon cake and red velvet cake. Red velvet cake is totally disgusting and not worth making.
I am making a lemon cake.
Take that red velvet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Afternoon Delight!

I have to leave soon to pick Max up from school. Ty had the day off today so he is staying home with Mia and Zac. I need to drop off all of the new student paperwork at the office and then Max has to come along while I do a little grocery shopping before we come home. My parent's dishwasher has decided to kick the bucket and we are all very tired of washing dishes. I am going to buy paper plates and cups to make things a little easier on everyone. 
After the store we are coming home to make these:

Happy Tuesday!

The walk thru

We got to go have a look at the house this morning. We came armed with the camera and a measuring tape. The measuring tape survived the visit, but sadly my camera did not. Zackary was carrying it when he fell down the stairs. Zac recovered. The camera died.....but I got a lot of pictures before the bitter end of the camera. I just didn't get any of the outside of the house. Oh well! This is the first room you walk into upon entering the house. It will be our formal sitting room. (you know the room you bring the visiting/home teachers into that stays relatively clean most of the time!)
More of that same sitting room. The tile is travertine and it continues through most of the first floor.
The sitting room is open to the dining room.
Ty is going to build us a great table to go in here. I am hoping by Thanksgiving this year we will have it and be ready to put on a great holiday feast!
The dining room leads into the kitchen/family room area.
The stovetop has 5 burners. Not professional grade, but I think I can make it work!
We bought the fridge and the barbeque from the sellers so we will be ready to go after the move this weekend.
This pantry makes me very happy!
The kitchen is open to a family room that has a little gas fireplace. I am getting a big sheepskin rug to sit right in front of it. It will be a great place to get cozy on winter evenings.
The half bath downstairs.
The kitchen has sliding doors that open to the backyard.
Mountain views!
The bbq
Downstairs will also be home to my exercise room and the guest room with one more full bath. Now onto the upstairs.
The laundry room is upstairs and there is a sink!
I am ridiculously giddy about this room. It shall be mine!
There are 2 loft/open areas that flow from one to the other. Here Zackary is leaving the smaller and walking into the greater of the two rooms. Ty wants to raise the half wall to the ceiling and use the bigger room as a theater room.
The kids will each have there own bedroom upstairs and they will have 2 full baths to share between the 3 of them.
One with one sink the other with two. I don't know how we will decide who uses which one.
Mia was very pleased to find toilets and showers in the house. I don't know what she was expecting.
These double doors open into the master bedroom.
There is a fireplace and a bay window. Happy!
They left the vinyl "Always kiss me goodnight" on the wall.
A piece of the closet. Another happy room.
There is a big soak tub in the master bathroom. It is between the 2 vanities. I love that we will each have our own sink area, but the best part of this bathroom is the toilet room! Separate from the rest!
I think this side will be mine because it has the little place for a bench and I can see myself doing hair on makeup there. (I can see Mia doing it too!)
Ty's side.
Little Zac is anticipating bathing in the big tub! Can't wait for Saturday! Hope you enjoyed the sneak peak!