Friday, November 19, 2010

...and another Birthday!

Every once in a while as a special treat, we change the homeschool venue and load all of our books upstairs and sit at the kitchen table.  It's funny how much more attentive the kids are when we sit in a different location.  I love watching Olivia help Jayda, I think they both learn a lot that way.

Olivia is getting really good at knitting.  She is making presents for cousins and friends for Christmas and just finished her first scarf.  She's gotten pretty quick at it too.

My oldest daughter had a birthday yesterday! I can't believe my baby is 9 years old.  It's funny how whenever I have a birthday, I feel exactly the same; but when my kids have birthdays, it makes me feel old.  I looked at myself in the mirror and I think I see some wrinkles.  I get almost a depressed feeling the day after one of my kids birthdays: wondering if the birthday was fun/magical enough, wondering if they felt special, and in a way, wanting time to stop so they don't get any older.

We had a great time re-decorating her room for her birthday.  We rearranged the bed and dresser, added a bedside table, lamp, some wall decals, new bedding, and Grandma gave her an awesome dish chair to lounge in.  

Her favorite color right now is orange, so we tried to bring orange into everything.  Her cute new duvet cover, sheets, and bedskirt are pretty cheery.

For her birthday, she also wanted a haircut.  My sister, Holly does a great job and I love Olivia's sweet face with bangs.

I'm glad I captured this moment with Olivia and her Grandma- they were playing an impromptu duet together.
We switch off and do a party with friends on the even years and a family party on the odd years.  This year was an odd year, and she wanted her favorite foods: scones and mashed potatoes, finished off with Grandpa's special cream cake.

We had the party at Petter's parents house.  Olivia wanted to have a pie fight but settled for this alternative: a piece of gum hidden in a pile of whipped cream, first one to get the gum wins. Although, really in this game, everybody wins.

It was really cute to watch, some of the kids were shocked that this type of eating was allowed.

Simeon thought that was the way to eat for the rest of the night, so he went ahead and dove right into the cream cake.

One of my favorite Birthday traditions that we do is favorite things (adopted from Petter and his family) where we go around the room and everyone tells their favorite thing about the birthday girl. Papa talked about how she makes good choices in every situation even if she has to tell an adult that she's not supposed to listen to a certain type of music or watch a certain movie.

Here I am telling my favorite things: I love that she's so responsible, such a great big sister, such a great helper, a great entrepreneur (she has her own preschool and makes $3 a week) and I'm happy to be her mom.

Happy Birthday Olivia!! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

knitting and pumpkin

Hallelujah!!! I finally finished Granny B's lap blanket with a pocket.  My sweet Grandma Beth moved in with her daughter, Rhea about two years ago.  They live in Fredonia, Arizona, which is a small town right on the border of Utah and Arizona.  It gets chilly there but not freezing.  The last time we visited her was last fall on our way to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim and she kept adding wood to the fire they had going and seemed cold all the time.  She has also lost a lot of weight and is down to about 115 lbs. so I decided for Christmas this year I would make her something she could use.  So I found a picture of a lap blanket in one of the knitting books I borrowed from the library and felt inspired.  I sort of made up the pattern and did a 4x4 rib pattern and added a pocket so she can keep her crochet hooks and glasses and tissues handy and contained.  I think it turned out pretty good, I hope she likes it.  It has taken me FOREVER to make it, I would bring it everywhere with me: the doctors office, my inlaws, my parents, I would work on it any chance I had and finally finished!  I have so many knitting projects to complete for Christmas, I'm so glad to have the most time consuming one out of the way.

Olivia is modeling it for me- I had to put a button on the pocket so it wasn't so camouflaged.

With November in full swing, pumpkin has been one of my cooking staples.  For young womens on Wednesday I made chocolate brownies with lots of pumpkin puree, they were delicious!  I mixed some puree into pancakes last week, Norwegian pancakes this morning, smoothies with kefir about every day and tonight I made the most delicious frittata ever!  Frittatas are kind of regular dinner fare at our house and I love to experiment with different ingredients.  Love to make them with asparagus and bacon, onions and potatoes, broccoli or whatever else I have around.  
I think that tonight's is one of my favorites ever.  It has caramelized onions and about a cup of pumpkin puree.  The thing I love about pumpkin is that you hardly know it's there and it can be sweet or savory.
So now I'm going to write the recipe because I know I'll want to make it again and since I usually just make things up as I cook, it's hard to replicate unless I write it down.

Pumpkin Frittata:
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned)
3 eggs
7 egg whites
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion- diced
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Heat oven to 450
In oven safe skillet, saute onions in a little oil or butter
mix all remaining ingredients except cheese
once caramelized, spread onions in an even layer in the pan
add egg mixture and cook on med till just the bottom is set
add cheese evenly on the top
pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes 
remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes, cut in triangles

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy...

While the weather is deciding whether it's Fall or Winter, I didn't want to leave beautiful Draper and the trees there.  I'm sure I've mentioned how I miss Draper... I'm sure we'll end up back there some day.  The Lindon trees at my in-laws house are absolutely breathtaking so I snapped a pic looking up.

We threw our kiddos up in a flowering pear tree- gosh my kids are great!

My sweetie Petter and I in front of his childhood home- love that place!

My dad turned 60 this week (woa, that is really old) so my mom planned a bunch of surprises for him.  She brought him to Holly's salon and since he doesn't have any hair he wasn't sure what he was having done, he was thrilled that it was an hour massage- lucky!  Then in the evening they went on a date up to Sundance and the Foundry Grill and Surprise!- all his kiddos (minus the one in China) were there to pig out with him. (notice Adrian's cute new hair cut)

Then on Sunday we had a party for him with the Grandkids.  It was a Superman themed party due to his obsession with all things Superman- he even got a new Superman lunchbox and T-shirt (did I mention he's 60, not 6?)  

What a cute bunch of kids!

Olivia has to get braces, so this week we started the journey... she got a special appliance to spread her bite and in 6 weeks she will get the official braces.

My sweet (and spicy) Olivia is turning 9 next week (I have a 9 yr old!) so for her birthday I knitted her a special scarf- in her favorite color ORANGE!

When I started making this scarf I thought it was the hardest thing I had ever made, but once I got the hang of the loop pattern, it was actually pretty easy and awesome! I'm definitely going to make more in different colors, and much longer.
I just love the loop pattern- so cozy!
Even though my life is sooo busy right now with homeschool, young womens, yoga, pilates, places to take my kids etc.  I feel so blessed that I have such a full life and that I have people I love so close.  I am thankful for my kids especially this time of year when I can think and reflect about the day they were born (Olivia and Sim both have birthdays) and the blessings and joy that they have brought into my life.  I just love 'em!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Phewsh- October is over!

I'm soooo glad October is over! I love the fall and the chill in the air etc, but October was soooo busy, I'm still trying to catch my breath!  The girls thought our Halloween decorations were not quite up to snuff so Petter bought a bunch of spider web stuff and a giant spider.  The girls spent the better half of a day setting it all up, they did an amazing job!

Then of course, the annual carving of the pumpkins.  The greatest thing about the pumpkins this year is that they were all from our yard.  We had a volunteer pumpkin plant that produced 2 really big pumpkins and 2 smaller pumpkins- so we didn't have to go and find any.

Simeon really wanted an Iron Man pumpkin so I did the best I could with what I had to work with:

Jayda directed Petter in the carving of her pumpkin;

Olivia's little friend came over for a piece of the action

Jayda started piano lessons and we bought a little keyboard.  She loves it so far and spends hours making stuff up- it's pretty great.

On Saturday Sonia put together a party at our house for the kids.  She was quite the entertainer: she had cupcakes to decorate, pictures to color, a bunch of crafts, pin the tail on the wild donkey and a bunch of other stuff going on.  The kids absolutely loved it, and it was a great way to kill time while they waited to go trick-or-treating.

Here's the Witch Diva herself

Uncle Kris had a Viking costume so Sim tried it on

Bella with her spooky creation out of clay

It was a really rainy night so I opted to stay home and answer the door and Petter and his mom took the kids out to beg for candy.  It was pretty funny, Simeon had been wearing costumes all week that by the time the actual event came, he didn't really feel like dressing up so he put on a breastplate that he won as a prize from the party.  So we have Princess Laea (sp?), a knight and a witch.

Ready to go!

Sunday was actually Halloween and we had another party at our house with my side of the family.  We have a tradition of making "Witch Finger Breadsticks" with green skin and warty fingers, and an almond for the nail.  My kids have gotten pretty good at making them, we kind of have a system.

Here's the cooked finger. Holden wouldn't eat one because they look gross.

Andy and Adrian provided the doughnut eating fun for the kids.

On this day Sim decided to be Spiderman and Papa was the Lone Ranger.

Here we have Superman, Indianna Jones, and Merlin the Magician (Adrian did a great job on that costume)

So over all October was fun, fun, fun but so much work and a lot to clean up- I'm glad Halloween isn't for a whole year! Now for Thanksgiving and Christmas....