Thursday, April 30, 2009

This day just keeps getting better and better.....

I finished my last paper for the semester.


I got good news that people like me after all.


I finished registering for fall semester. Thanks to the university's generosity in accepting my many credits as electives, I don't have to take 16 credits - only 10.


Now if I could just get confirmation today that the ink is dry on the sale of my Utah house, that would be the proverbial whip cream on top.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Little Houdini

We discovered this past weekend that The Love Magnet has learned how to open the garage door, run outside, and close it using the security key pad. She thinks she has discovered the freedom to run and play whenever she wants.

Made a trip to the local hardware store. Bought flap locks for all doors leading outside or too the garage. Installing them high in case The Love Magnet decides to take a chair to the door and see if she can learn how to unlock flap locks.

My daughter thinks it highly unfair that her brothers can play with friends without having Mom along as a chaperon. She also thinks that she should be allowed to do everything they do, no matter how age-inappropriate it may be for her.

My 6 year old has suddenly turned 16. What on earth am I going to do when she really turns 16 and wants to drive?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday Gratitudes (on a Monday)

I am grateful (ohh, so VERY GRATEFUL) that there are two weeks left before finals. I love school and I have loved this semester, but it has taken over my life. I'm looking forward to only one class this summer and much more time to be with my family. Cook in my kitchen. Blog. (I miss blogging on a regular basis.)

I'm thankful for flap locks. The Love Magnet notices that her brothers get to do things that she can' play with their friends without a chaperone. She has also learned how to open and close the garage door. The flap locks are going on the doors today. Very high on the doors. (I wouldn't put it past her to pull a chair over to the door to try to undo the locks).

I'm grateful that The Love Magnet was invited to a birthday party last weekend. She had a wonderful time. Lots of pasta salad, lots of kids (birthday twins) and a pony ride to boot. I kept going over the rules of birthday parties with her on our way there so she wouldn't try to help blow out candles or unwrap presents. The Love Magnet behaved marvelously and hugged everyone when we said goodbye.

Secondborn announced this past weekend that he had the 2nd highest score in his 6th grade for the language IRI test. We are thrilled for him! I am grateful that he has done so well in school this year. Math testing starts this week. We're praying for him, cheering him on, and making sure he eats a good breakfast.

Thirdborn had his book project due last week. This month he chose to do a reader's theater. I helped him put together a script and he worked hard on some really great animal masks for the characters. Mr. Wonderful and I went to help out. The project turned out very well. I'm grateful that Thirdborn has not lost his enthusiasm for school.

Mr. Wonderful had to speak in church yesterday (he is the YM President and the theme was the Aaronic Priesthood.) Other than announcing that we had three kids instead of four - he meant to say that we had three boys and one girl - his talk was flawless. He had great stories about his experiences and the Young Men were listening. I'm thankful that we were there to support him. I am sure he is grateful that it is over.

This past weekend, Firstborn participated in a dance event for our church. His group learned country line dancing and country swing. They did a great job. I'm thankful that he had a positive experience (he didn't want to do it at first...but I made him). Pictures will be posted soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Cold, drizzly day. Trying to think warm. No, think tropical. Feel urge to cook (since when do I not feel the urge to cook, I'm a foodie for Heaven's sake!) See overripe bananas on counter. Think how good they will be combined with coconut.....
Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
CL's notes: The tangy lime glaze cuts the sweetness of the bread. Substitute apple juice for the rum if you prefer.
My notes: I used coconut and rum flavorings instead of rum. Added lime zest to the lime glaze. Ohhhhhh, yum. The same article also did a Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread that is my other favorite banana bread recipe since 2003. But you'll have to wait for me to post that recipe. I'm trying to think warm right now. Hawaii would be nice.....
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk to combine.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut.
Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool bread completely on wire rack.
Yield: 1 loaf, 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)CALORIES 193 (21% from fat); FAT 4.6g (sat 2.8g,mono 1.1g,poly 0.3g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 35mg; CALCIUM 15mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35g; SODIUM 179mg; PROTEIN 2.9g; FIBER 1.1g Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2003

Monday, April 13, 2009

Proud Mom Moment

Last weekend, Firstborn told me about a lesson in his English class. His teacher asked the class "What is chivalry?"

No one could answer.

No one except Firstborn.

When his teacher asked him how he knew these things, he told her about being taught at home. Opening doors for all women. Letting a woman walk first into a room. Standing up when a woman walks into a room. Offering your chair. Holding a chair for a woman. Helping her with her coat. When walking on the street with a woman, be sure that you are walking between her and traffic. Offering your arm to a woman, especially if the way is slick, so she doesn't fall. In other words, doing everything you can to show respect to women. (In case you are wondering, Firstborn gave me this definition.)

He told her that he watched his dad act that way towards his mom. He also said that his mom took all her sons on dates and made sure they learned how to do the same.

Amazement from English Teacher.

Meanwhile at home, I am thankful that the lessons at home are truly sinking in. I am grateful that he has now seen the validity of such lessons. Not only did it earn him an A that day, he has seen that girls like being treated in this manner.

I am a Proud Mom.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter from my house to yours

Be sure to pause the music (scroll down my blog page and look on the right) before you listen to Elder Holland's conference talk. The talk is amazing.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Peace and goodwill (if only for a moment)

Tonight was one of those nights where I wish I could just bottle it up and save it.

I picked up my younger kids after school and took them home to find the two older boys. We had some celebrating to do:

Thirdborn earned 100%on his spelling test.

Secondborn got straight A's on his report card.

Firstborn earned 100% on his health exam today.

All of these are big accomplishments at our house. I took the kids out to dinner at our favorite burger-and-shake place. This is the moment I want to save, the moment we sat down:

Thirdborn was hugging everyone when they expressed admiration over his spelling score. He worked so hard for that this week. First born was high-fiveing everyone over his sports health exam score. Secondborn was proudly telling everyone about his report card and his latest exam on Ancient China. The Love Magnet excitedly told everyone "Good job!" as she scarfed french fries and fry sauce.

Everyone was listening to everyone else.

There was no fighting, teasing, or taunting -

For the entire meal.

My kids are good kids, but they aren't perfect. When these rare moments come along, I want to sit back and watch every second, hoping that I don't lose a single detail to faulty memory. I can't explain why these moments happen. But for one meal, it did happen.


Apparently Heaven is a burger joint with fabulous onion rings and lemon custard shakes, where love abounds between all brothers and sisters. Who knew?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cub Scouts, Cute Babies, and Heroes (all in one fun filled Pack Meeting)

Yesterday, we had our first pack meeting in our newly formed ward. Thirdborn (finally!) received his Bobcat patch. When asked if he would like to say something, Thirdborn replied "I really love Scouting!"

The Love Magnet was ever so supportive....until she got sidetracked by a Cute Baby Alert.

The Love Magnet loves babies. Especially patient ones who will let her hug and kiss them. This particular baby was incredibly forbearing. Can you blame my daughter? Look at the cheeks on that baby. And the red hair and blue eyes. It's almost an overdose of sweetness.

After the awards were done, there was an Easter Egg hung on the back lawn of the church. Unfortunately, The Love Magnet wasn't fast enough. She didn't get one egg.

When they discovered that The Love Magnet didn't have any Easter Eggs in her sack, Thirdborn and two other Cub Scout Heroes shared their eggs with her. The Love Magnet ended up with more eggs than anyone. I am constantly amazed at the kindness and generosity of 8-10 year old kids. None of them were forced to do this. They even hugged back when The Love Magnet expressed her thanks.

Add one more hero. Nothing is better than the view from the top of a big brother's shoulders.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Food Storage Made Easy is selling these cute food storage organizer binders. The whole purpose of FSME is to show you that EVERYONE can do this. They'll hold your hand and walk you through their list of babysteps. Check it out here. They are also giving away a few of these binders in a promotional contest to advertise the new and shiny gizmo. Pass the word on.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I really ROCK at this food storage thing....

Over the weekend I bought 80 boxes of Post cereals for $51.20. That breaks down to $0.67/box. (Cereal that would normally cost $4.98 a box for a total of $398.40.) I saved $347.20.

Now, I know you are thinking: What on earth is she going to do with EIGHTY boxes of Post cereals?!

I'll have you know that I have four children, two of them teenagers. They eat through one box every morning. (no, I am not kidding). If I let them eat cold cereal every single morning, those boxes wouldn't last three months.

Good thing I don't let them eat cold cereal every single morning. There are also pancakes, muffins, oatmeal (not much success in getting them to like oatmeal but they still have to eat it every now and then), bacon and eggs, and smoothies.

Truly, food storage is a really good thing. It saves money since you stock up on sale items. It saves trips to the grocery store. Click on these links for ideas:

Simply Living Smart
Food Storage Made Easy
Provident Living

Sunday Gratitudes

Sunday Gratitudes on a Sunday! That has become a bit rare around here. My life has been so full of school and kids that I hardly get to do much more. I was holding off a post until I could get the pictures downloaded....but my camera isn't cooperating. You'll just have to imagine the beaming faces:

I'm grateful that Thirdborn was awarded the Star Award for Determination. He was beaming in front of the whole school. I can't think of anyone who deserves that Determination Title more than him. He has worked so hard. I'm currently reading Dr. Levine's A Mind At A Time which has been great at explaining how Thirdborn thinks. I'm eager to get the summer academic program started that will focus exactly on his learning disability.

I'm grateful for "Grandma P" who visits The Love Magnet's class once a week to work on writing workshops. This sweet woman helped my daughter to write, illustrate, and "publish" a story called The Rootbeer Float (apparently TLM got the idea after having floats for FHE treat). My daughter so so excited to read the book to me at the Authors Party her class hosted. She was even more excited to read the book to her best friend E. (Unfortunately, the great pic I had of this moment is floating somewhere around my camera. This is where you imagine beaming faces). Let me also share how thankful I am for E. E is so patient with The Love Magnet. They play together and work together. I am so grateful that my daughter has good friends in her class.

I'm grateful for General Conference weekend. The talks will be available to read soon. If you can't wait, you can see the video archives here. I will post the links to my favorites: Elder Holland and Sister Thompson. (I would love to have lunch with Sister Barbara Thompson someday. I think she might be a kindred spirit.) I loved the messages of living within your means, trusting in our Heavenly Father, having faith, understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ and exactly what his sacrifice means for us. My spirit has rejoiced today. My batteries are recharged.

I'm thankful that I was able to get the research done and my papers finished this past week. More exams and papers coming up every single week until the end of the semester. This semester has been hard, mainly due to the class times, but I'm making it and the semester is almost done.

I'm grateful that we were able to see my family and Mr. Wonderful's family over Spring Break. It had been awhile. I really got to spend some time with my mom and my twin sis. It was divine to be together.