Sunday, September 26, 2010

Some recipes... some thoughts... some events

Front room:
My wonderful Father-in-law painting away the brown and bringing in a fresh yellow

The finished product- Notice the pilates reformer is the main attraction! Love that machine and love teaching on it!

As I've said before- I love the fall! It makes me want to cook and knit. So that's what I've been doing (along with the other things I do everyday: homeschool, driving kids everywhere, teaching yoga, doing young womens and managing a family)  I found the cutest pattern for a button scarf and it's super cute.  I think that might be Christmas presents for my young women, and probably for a few other lucky ladies.

Here is the beginning of the scarf.  It uses large needles and chunky yarn so it's a super quick knit- also uses the seed stitch which I love.
Here is the finished product- so cute! It only took me about an hour or so to knit up so it will be nice and easy to make for gifts.

In the way of cooking... The other day I made my favorite baked chicken.  It requires that you brine the chicken (soak it in salt water) and then bake it at a pretty high temp.  It is so juicy and full of flavor- the kids like it better than the rotisserie chicken that I sometimes get from Costco.

Heres the prepared bird going into the hot oven...

And the finished product- look at that lovely skin and juicy meat!

And for the recipe:

Roast Chicken

1 cup salt dissolved in a big bowl with 2 quarts cold water
1 whole chicken
1 tablespoon oil (I usually use grapeseed or coconut)
Ground black pepper

Put chicken cleaned of giblets in bowl of salt water and let sit in fridge for 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to lower third of the oven and heat to 450 degrees.
Remove chicken from brine and pat dry, butterfly (cut off backbone with kitchen shears) and flatten the breastbone, tucking the wings behind the back.  
Rub the skin with oil and pepper
Place the chicken on a wire rack on a sheet pan and throw it in the oven
Roast the chicken until beginning to brown about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan and continue to roast about 30 more minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 in the thickest part of the breast.
Pull out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes- then eat it up!

I also made my favorite granola ever:
Here's some of the lovely ingredients-

The finished product

My favorite thing about this granola is that it has no sugar or corn syrup.

Jamie's Granola:
1/2 cup oil (I use olive or grapeseed)
1 cup honey
2 cups chopped nuts (I usually use some almonds and walnuts)
2 cups grain (oatmeal, 6 grain- whatever you have/want)
2 cups raisins
2 cups coconut
4 Tbs. flaxseed
2 cups chopped, dried fruit (apricots, mangoes- whatever)

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
Pour on a sheet cake pan lined with wax paper
Cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring around occasionally
Remove from oven and let cool.  Stir or break it up and put in air tight container

Mission Buddies:
One of Petter's mission friends was visiting from Beijing, so we had a get-together with a bunch of his mission friends and his mission President and wife.
It was a great time.  We had smoked salmon, steak, bacon wrapped asparagus, lemon bundt cake and roasted potatoes.  It was a lovely meal with some great peeps.

Petter and Lats prepped the asparagus and exercised their culinary skills.

Here's the whole group as their wives take pictures.

I had to speak in church today on the topic of discipleship.  I ended up only having a few minutes to speak (I was the last speaker) so I kept it short.  I feel grateful that I was able to research the subject, even though I didn't share all of it, and was reminded to Follow Him more diligently and act as he would act more in my life.  We went swimming on Saturday so Simeon could practice and remember all he learned in swim lessons and overall it was a pretty great week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sim Swim

Simeon, my adorable 2 year old got his gold medal from his swim school.  It was amazing watching him learn and love swimming.
He learned to float on his back all by himself- they teach them to flip over so that they can get a breath and then keep on swimming.

He had the best teacher ever- our lovely Brooke Thomas- it was so fun that she was his teacher because we grew up in the same neighborhood.

Here he is with his new gold medal!  He wore it for days straight and now just likes to carry it around.

I was so proud of him for being such a big boy and becoming such a great swimmer!

Project of the week: Paint the mirror-
I had a big dark mirror in the front room that was too dark for me so I decided to paint it....
bright blue!!!! It looks really good now, especially since my Father-in-law is painting the room a light yellow(my favorite Yellow Flicker by Benjamin Moore) and getting rid of the shiny brown that was on the walls.

Simeon has a new obsession with Iron Man- he thinks that if he takes off his clothes it makes him look more like Iron Man- so he's usually not dressed.  Here's a moment when I caught him with a little something on- he was lying on the stairs "reading".
My sweet Olivia has had the best attitude for the last few days.  She is so great to get her school work finished and seems to enjoy all the new things we are learning.  She is doing great at Latin and it's fun to see her little brain grasp that the words we are learning are the root or the base of the language we use today.  She is such a good reader and I'm glad I caught her in a moment where she was into her book.  She is reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (love her books) and it's a pretty difficult read but we /she is getting through it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ode to Friday

Friday, Oh how I love you,
Let me tell you why,
The quiet in the morning,
The once a week treat trip,
The no homeschool day,
And the once-a-week coke
I allow myself to sip.
I love you, I love you, I love you

The books I'm able to read,
The projects I'm able to complete.
I owe it all to you,
The best day of the week.
Ode to you Friday,
May you always stay the same,
And hopefully when I'm old and gray,
I'll still fondly speak your name.
I love you Friday, I love you.

(p.s. I'm not a poet, nor do I claim to be- I know that this is not a proper format or anything, but I had to tell Friday how much I love it, sometimes you just gotta say what you feel)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Last Bash/ First Day of Homeschool

Lovely Labor Day I spent the day preparing for our first day of school: writing the schedule on the white board, going over lessons, organizing books and putting a new battery in the clock.  While I was organizing books, I realized that I needed some adjusting of shelves so my wonderful hubby came to my rescue.  It's amazing with just a little adjusting, now I can fit everything and still have room left over. 

I now have an organized bookshelf and everything is within reach- phew.

With the planning and preparing finished, we were all ready for a little fun.  We attended the Thanksgiving Point luau and had a great time.  I was surprised a bit by the size of the crowd- there were soooooo many people and the line was ridiculous!  It was a good opportunity for Petter to explain to the kids that this is what Disney Land is like.
We each got our own lei, had a pretty yummy dinner...

and enjoyed a great Polynesian show.

Jayda making a tuna fish face
Olivia is my budding fashion designer and showed me some of her creations with the flowers
I think this is my favorite picture of Simeon and his little paws.  He loves to cuddle up in a "nest" and if it ever got messed up he would stand up and say, "My nest is ruined!".

First Day of School
So my kids have an absolute favorite breakfast: scones- seriously who doesn't love fried dough?  So I surprised them with scones for breakfast.  Few things make me happier than when my kids gobble up what I cook.

School went pretty well for the first day, it's always a bit tricky starting up and getting back into the routine of waking up early and getting our bodies and brains moving.  Math was the biggest struggle but I know that we'll get it once our brains wake up!  We did a little science/history experiment and started making salt blocks like they used to make houses out of in the middle ages in Ghana (ours are a bit smaller :)) We filled up ice cube trays with salt, got them wet and set them out in the sun.  The salt started to harden and dry and we were feeling excited about our little project until the neighbor girls (previously mentioned) came and destroyed them.  That'll teach us not to leave things on our front porch :(

It was still pretty fun and I think the kids got the idea of what it would have been like.

I'm feeling so blessed that I get to stay home with my little ones and teach them and learn from them.  I love that we spend all day together being productive and then we get to go play/relax/dance or whatever.   It's a pretty great set-up =)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Weekend!

Our weekend started out great- on Thursday (not technically the weekend, I know) we went fall shopping for clothes for the kids- everyone was happy about that.  Friday we had a full day: we met dad for lunch at his new work (he just started working for Rio Tinto), we went to Tio the mexican restaurant across the street from his office and enjoyed some time with daddy and Grandma Laurel.  After lunch Laurel and I hung out with the kids by the splash pad and took the kids for a treat.  She watched the kids while Petter and I went to the temple.  What a lovely, wonderful, peaceful place!  Everytime I go I am reminded of God's love for me personally and I am always amazed at the simple, organized way the temple operates.  We did sealings and it was so fun to hear the words that were spoken at our wedding ceremony and be reminded of the blessings and promises that are mine if I am true to my covenants.  After the temple we met up with Dianna and Bernie for dinner at Pei Wei- yummy- good food, good conversation, good time! I absolutely adore Dianna and take any opportunity I can to hang out with her and enjoy her easy-going fun personality.  
Saturday, I got up early and went running, then headed off to teach my early morning yoga class at the girls ballet studio.  When I got home we decided to take dad swimming and show off some of Simeons sweet moves.  Simeon fell in love with my swim cap and wore it for most of the day and keeps wanting me to put it on him even at home.  On the way home he was still wearing his swim cap and fell asleep in the car, when I got him out of the car he was dripping sweat and his head was still soaked but he wouldn't let me take it off- funny boy.

We are dealing with a bit of neighbor drama here at the home-ranch: our neighbors' little girls like to mess with our mail (this is like the 5th time) and they've destroyed netflix dvd's and things in the past, yesterday they opened all our bills, a paycheck and various other mail and tore most of it in half! We are so fed up with them (we've talked to their parents several times about the problem, I've talked to the kids about it and nothing changes) so tomorrow we are going to buy a locking mailbox.  Thursday the little girls got their dad's handgun and took it outside and were pointing at other kids etc. so the police came and dealt with that problem- luckily it wasn't loaded.  We are struggling in our family to be kind and neighborly yet not allow them to take advantage and destroy our things.  Next phone call if something happens again is the police or DCFS.

On to lighter subjects: today (Sunday) has been a restful, relaxing, wonderful day.  We had a crock-pot dinner waiting for us after church and then enjoyed some reading time while the kids were in quiet time. I am reading "Little Women" and feel like I'm in heaven with every paragraph.   I've read it before but it's so different to read a book as an adult by choice.  I love Jo- she's the one I'd have gotten along best with and I love how blunt and funny she is.  I love reading classics and love to talk about them and apply them to my everyday life.  The other day I said that I hated something and someone said "that's a strong word"  and I thought of Jo and how she says "I like to use strong words that mean something".  Love, love, love that book.  It's particularly pleasant after my last book "Last of the Mohicans" which is sooooo good but action packed and gory, but very enlightening and educational.

I have been neglecting one of my most loved activities: knitting.  I haven't done any projects this whole summer and am starting to get the bug with fall coming.  I keep thinking of the hats, gloves, pillows, and socks that I want to make- I really want to learn fairisle knitting - so maybe I will. :)