“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”
Dr. Seuss

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hacky Sack!

We have been so excited to make these this summer! They were super easy, we did them in about a half an hour! I used flour, so mine are a little bit more like stress balls, but they can still be used as hacky sacks! The kids had a blast making them and playing with them!

Here are the instructions:
9 (11-inch) balloons (for 3 balls)
2 1/4 cups of dried lentils

Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. Stretch the first balloon by inflating it halfway, holding it closed for about 30 seconds, and deflating it.

2. Place a funnel in the balloon's neck and gradually pour in 3/4 cup of lentils, pushing them in as you go. The balloon should be firm but squeezable.

3. Snip off the balloon's thick rubber lip. Cut the neck off a second balloon and gently stretch the opening.

4. Ease the second balloon over the filled balloon, tucking in the neck as you go.

5. Cut the neck off the third balloon, stretch the opening, and ease it over the other two. Repeat this process to make a set of three balls, or however many you'd like.

Stay tuned...frogs are on the list for tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm In Love...

Yes, I am in love, with a lot of things lately!
First off, I am in love with cooking. All of the sudden I have found this new found love of cooking for my family. It is probably because I can't eat any of the stuff that I cook (long story, I will tell it in a month!!!). Because I can't have it, I want everyone else to eat, and eat really, really good!!! I went through my cookbook cupboard and decided to go through everything and make my own cookbook! It has been so much fun and I have found so many wonderful recipes to make! I was even thinking (let me know if you are interested), of creating a blog where all of those that want to be could be authors of it and we could each post a new recipe a week, whether it was main meals or desserts, etc. Than if we try something that is posted, we could comment on it...kind of like recipezaar.com, but on a more personal level.
Anyway this is what we had last night!

Parmesan Pork Chops
1/4 cup biscuit/baking mix
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
4 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick and 6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Place biscuit mix and egg in separate shallow bowls. In another shallow bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and rosemary. Coat pork chops with biscuit mix, dip in egg, then coat with Parmesan mixture.
In a large skillet, brown pork chops on both sides in oil. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear, turning once. Yield: 4 servings.

The next thing that I am in love with...Cache Valley!!!
I love this time of year in Cache Valley. We go every year to the Art Summerfest! It is like chocolate for me...endless booths of artists for three days, so much fun!!! We took the kids on Saturday!

They had a huge bubble machine!


And lots and lots of food!!!

The last thing that I am in love with...well of course there is more than just three things, but this is good for now...
I am so thankful for Father's Day! I love spoiling my husband, not that I really wait until Father's Day, it is just another excuse to show him how thankful I am for what a good father and provider he is for our family.
The kids were excited to let dad sleep in and make him snacks (he doesn't really eat breakfast!). They love singing to him at church! We made this cake for him today (it is a tradition to make a cool cake every year!) We made the Etch a Sketch this time...here are some others that we made too!

Here is the cake recipe I used this year. It was rated by 600 people on recipezaar.com with 5 stars...
SERVES 16 , 1 9x13 pan (change servings and units)

1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/8 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
chopped walnuts
1Preheat oven to 275°.
2Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
3In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
4In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
5In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
6Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
7Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
8Stir in banana mixture.
9Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
10Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
11For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
12Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
13Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
14Spread on cooled cake.
15Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

I hope you are all having a wonderful day! Thanks for reading my love list! Let me know if you are interested in the recipe blog! Crafts are on their way!

Sorry if there are spelling errors...my little button isn't working today!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Making summer fun, in an organized fashion...yes I said organized!!!

Ok, so Organized isn't something that usually comes out of my mouth, unless I am talking about how unorganized I am or how I want to be more organized...but I think that I am changing my ways!!!(Tad is jumping up and down in the background!!!)
We have been out of school for over a week now, and I have spent that time coming up with some ideas! Last summer was over before I knew it; this year I have made weekly craft lists and outing lists. We of course have the normal reward jar and chore charts! I am making the kids choose two chores from a list that they have to do everyday, they are actually getting them done daily, along with piano practice, math worksheets and reading time! Because there is a set time to do it all, they know exactly what they need to do! But I had to share my two favorite things that we are doing this summer! I called my friend Rory one day in a panic trying to find ideas to make summer lunch time a little easier. I don't know if this sounds familiar, mom makes mac n'cheese, all of the sudden no one wants mac n'cheese, they want everything else under the sun...I was not looking forward to this daily routine. Rory gave me not one but two great ideas!!! She does a lunch time summer menu! She lists veggies, fruits and then about five main courses that are always on hand. I added beverages to mine so that it would be more like a real menu! We deco pauged card board and made our own "real" menus! They are waiting next to their breakfast bowls in the morning so that they can decide what they want and then I am prepared! They have loved it! There haven't been any fights, no changing minds, and my kids are getting a balanced lunch everyday!!!

Rory's second great idea is for snacks! We go through snacks so quickly during the summer. She set a money value for each snack and then she gave her kids a set amount of money for the week. Once it was gone, it was gone. She uses change since her kids are a little older. I decided to use fake dollars that I bought for a dollar! The kids have also enjoyed this, and they are working on their math and money skills and don't even realize it!!!

Maybe by the end of the summer, I will still be sain, maybe a little more organized and my kids will be a little healthier and better at math...we will see!!!

My main courses for my menu are hot dogs, calzone(i found an easy, but good one that could be used for sandwiches), spaghetti with meat balls, chicken pot pies, chicken nuggets & mac'n cheese. My kids are anti sandwiches and things out of a can, but they do love frozen pot pies...picky, picky!

I am going to be posting a lot of crafts this summer, just in case anyone is looking for some. This month will be a lot of father's day crafts and 4th of July. If anyone else has any great crafts...let me know, I am always looking for new ideas!!! (I posted a lot today...I was a little behind, so keep scrolling down!!!)

Being 30 ROCKS!!!

So this was the 30th birthday plan...To go mini golfing & race car driving on Friday with the kids and then on Saturday Tad and I were going out to Hamilton's (my fav). At about four o'clock on Friday Tad came in and handed me a card. By this point I was wondering what in the heck was wrong with him. He had been cleaning like a mad man all week long, no joke my house was sparkling! Tad cleans all the time, but he was really doing a tip top job, I just thought it was because it was my birthday week! Anyway, back to four on Friday...the card, I open it and he tells me to go get my bag packed, my mom will be here in an hour!!! We didn't have a lot of time, so he took me to the Anniversary Inn for the weekend. He had been planning it for two months...crazy since Tad cannot get anything past me, he is an open book. But boy did he have me...! So Saturday after a little clothes and car shopping, he said he forgot his glasses and won't be able to see the movie...so we go home. Ya, home to a house full of family and friends!!! I was in complete shock. He got me twice!!! It was such a fun surprise!!! It was great to see everyone and have such a good time! I am still in shock that he slipped it all passes me! But I am so glad that he did! Thanks to everyone that drove up here, it was so much fun to see you! And thanks mom & Mitch for watching the kids all weekend! I love you! (Sorry for all the pictures, if you can't already tell, I am a picture freak!!!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Welcome Summer Vacation!!!

The last day of school snuck up on me this year. Last year I was so prepared, I made Heritage Makers books for the teachers two months before school was out and had a list a mile long for summer activities! This year, I realized the day before school was out that I hadn't done teacher gifts yet...AHHHH! Luckily we were working on a fun project at home and Aurianna chose to give some to her teachers for their desks!!!

These were a lot of fun to make...if you want to know how let me know! We are using them as their reward jars this summer, every time they do something impressive they get gum...so far they are loving it!

Aurianna had a blast at her last day of school party! In the morning they had a read-a-thon and then in the afternoon they played a ton of fun games! It made me so excited for next year; I am going to be Aurianna's class mom...oh the possibilities have me giddy!!!

And these are Aurianna's adorable teachers! Mrs.Chambers and Mrs.Maetonga! Aurianna adores them, she is going to miss them so much!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ode to Fillmore

Oh Fillmore...you are such a lovely little place...I have often looked at you from afar as we drive on by. And although I wish that our relationship would have stayed the same, I am glad that you were there as our %#@^;% van decided to overheat. I am also thankful that you are the home to some very kind people. To the Best Western Lady who called around and found us another room so that we didn't have to all share a King size bed, thank you. To the Spinning Wheel motel manager, for giving us all a laugh as you walked out to help us in your pjs and for running a very colorful 1960's motel, it was a much needed smile! For Brent, the mechanic, for riding over to our motel on a bike to look at our van and tell us that the engine is cracked and unfixable and not charging us a dime for it, you rock! And to the city council woman, and my step sister, Krista, for living in Fillmore and saving our behinds. Thank you for working part time for Brent, for picking us up and welcoming us into your home. You are a lifesaver. Our children were entertained by your children, your dogs and brand new kittens were adored by my children and breakfast was wonderful! Truly thank you for everything!

Dumb Van! This is the point were the kids asked what was wrong with the car and why we kept stopping. We said that the car got really hot. Trey sat there for a few minutes and then said..."I know...the car is really hot because we like to drink hot chocolate in here!"

It's for sale for 200,000...just in case you were wanting to invest!

The lovely bathroom...yikes!

Here lies the Thornton van...you were expected to run a little longer...it would have been nice to continue not having car payments, and for that I leave you with finger...Enjoy Fillmore!

One more big thank you...Thank you Loretta and Tyler. We brought way to much stuff to St. George and we are so thankful that you two were willing to drive down separately just to carry us and all of our things. Thank you for driving us all the way home! We love you!

St. George

Over memorial day weekend we were invited to St. George to spend the weekend with Tad's Aunt Karla and all of the Thornton cousins! Caroline, Aunt Karla's best friend and a friend of the family for years opened up her gorgeous house to all of us and made us feel like we were all royalty for the weekend. They cooked us glorious food, treated us to wonderful restaurants and entertained the kids with swimming and fun new toys! The kids had a blast with all of their cousins!

Mom was in St. George for the weekend too! She met us at an awesome park! We all had a blast!