Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer's End and First Day of School

The last week of summer I tried to do a few fun things with the kids before they had to go back to school. My friend Jessica and I met up at the Springs Preserve one day to take the kids since they were free in August. They all had a really good time, despite the heat. They loved seeing the different desert animals, looking for bugs and playing with everything. It was fun to get a few hours out of the house and have my kids entertained. We also ate lunch at Dave's work a few times this summer. The boys LOVE going to work to eat with Dad. They get to sit at the big conference table and Dave always draws them pictures on the computer they can take home to color.

The first day of school came quickly and I was happy as can be. Trevor started 2nd grade and his teacher is Ms. Nix. Colin started kindergarten and has Mr. Bryson for a teacher. Colin had an amazing first day of school! He was afraid he would be bad at school but when he came out with a stamp on his hand he said to me, "It was so easy to be good, I don't think I have to be bad anymore." He had a lot to tell us about school and all of the things they did and talked about. I think he will really enjoy it. Trevor had a good day as well, but told me they did a lot of work and it was not always fun. He said he had fun at lunch and at recess and PE. He has a few friends in his class so that is always nice. We talked about how he needs to work hard and that even if school is not fun he still needs to go and always do his best. He is hoping the work is not too hard this year and that he gets good grades. I think Trevor has the hardest time with change so I think as he gets into the routine at school and knows what to expect his days will go better.

Friday, August 20, 2010

France

I have always had a love for things French. I think it started with ballet. Learning the names of steps in French and what they mean in English. When I was in high school I took French for two years and then when I got to college I had to take a foreign language as a part of my Bachelor of Arts Degree. I actually got a minor in French because it was just three extra classes I had to take which included a French literature class, that I am happy to say I passed with an A. When I did my student teaching I taught a French 1 class and I loved it. I was not fluent by any means, but I knew enough to teach those kids. We had fun, we played games, and they learned. And those kids told me they had liked the way I taught. The teacher who supervised me in that class was named Barbara Edwards. On my last day of student teaching in her class she gave me a gift. She gave me a lovely make up case that she said was for me to use when I took my trip to France. I loved Barbara. She was so happy, kind and sweet. She always smiled. She was encouraging and supportive. She died in one of the planes that were hijacked on 9/11. I was happy I had the chance to know her and to work with her. When Trevor was a year old and I was pregnant with Colin, Dave and I went to France. My friend Pam was living in Nice at the time and I knew if we did not go then we never would. We didn't go to Paris or Lyon or any of the other places I had dreamed of going when I studied French in school, but we were there and that was good enough for me. We spent a week eating baguettes and strawberry tarts. We walked around the city of Nice and watched the people and loved the look of the old buildings. We visited museums and enjoyed the architecture, both old and new. We walked along the Mediterranean and stuck our feet in. We shopped in open air markets and tasted French treats, paninis and pizzas. We took bus tours of the city and stopped at places that interested us. I loved hearing everyone speak, I loved trying to understand what they were saying and trying to speak back. I would love to go again, but if I never do I am glad for the trip I did get.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lovely

Last week in my Bountiful Basket I got corn. Of course I wanted to grill it for dinner this week, but when I shucked it I was amazed at how pretty it looked. It was white and yellow and just so lovely. I could not stop looking at it. Yellow is my favorite color and that corn just caught my eye. So I took pictures of it. I had to it was so pretty. And after I grilled it, it was so yummy!! And to go with my corn I made an equally delicious oven roasted BBQ chicken. I even grilled a nectarine and tossed it into my fruit salad. Mmmm. We had a good dinner that night. And no one argued when I ate the last piece of corn. I had to have it. The grill does amazing things to food. I can't wait to see what we get in our baskets this time. And if you want to know what the heck Bountiful Baskets are go to their website and check it out. It's such a good deal. And you always run into friends when you're picking up your stuff. Fun times. http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/
Colin even liked dinner that night! But when he saw his corn he said, "Why does it have this black stuff on it?"





Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dinner help


We've been getting Bountiful Baskets lately and I have a bunch of stuff in my fridge that I am not sure what to do with. I have a ton of tomatoes, green peppers and onions but I know I'll never use them fast enough before they go bad. So I decided to do some dinner bags. I chopped my green peppers and onions and put them into freezer bags so I can use them when I make chili or chicken tortilla soup. I sliced green pepper and onion for another bag to use for fajitas (I'm making those on Sunday). And my mom told me that I could chop up tomatoes and freeze them. The tomatoes can be added to spaghetti sauce or canned diced tomatoes to add a "fresh" taste. I put everything in smaller freezer bags and they are all portioned out to be just enough for one recipe or one dinner. There was a cooking show that used to be on called "Make Ahead Meals". In that show the host showed how to make a menu for the week and then at the beginning of the week choose one day to prepare everything for the week and have it ready to go. Vegetables and meat would get chopped up and placed in storage bags or containers so that when you were ready to cook dinner everything was prepped. It's a great idea, but not something I do. Sometimes if I have time in the morning or afternoon I will make up my casserole or dinner and put it in the fridge so that at dinner time I just have to put it in the oven. That is a great time saver and especially good for those busy nights where you are helping kids with homework or have places to go. That might be something I'll try and start doing more of. I think with 2 kids in school now I will need to be more prepared and little things like this will help make dinner time much easier.

Beach video

I figured it out. Here it is. Short but sweet and the kids love seeing themselves in "movies."
video

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunbeam

This is how our Family Home Evenings usually begin:

video

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cooking

When I was visiting my friend this past weekend we were sitting up talking one night about stuff. We got on the subject of grocery shopping and what we make for dinner. I said to her, "I love cooking dinner. It's my time. It's when I get to do something I really enjoy, when I get time alone. It's relaxing for me, it makes me happy."
I think my love for cooking must have started back in my mother's kitchen. I remember sitting watching her cook and wanting to help. I always say to Trevor, "I learned how to cook by watching my mom cook," and it's true. A lot of what I make for dinner for my kids are things my mom made for us. And often times I don't need recipes because it's already there, already known by watching and doing it a hundred times before. When my little sister and I were the last ones home my mom told us we needed to start making dinner. We did and even though my sister was already a better cook than I was, I learned a lot from those dinners we made together.
In college I learned how to take simple ingredients and make a meal. My roommate Jamie and I would combine our food and I would make something of it. It wasn't always fabulous and gourmet, but it was good for what we had. But I really started to love cooking when I lived alone. I live alone for a year before I got married and that was the year I started making a menu. Each week I would sit down and decide what I wanted for dinner that week and I would make a menu, then my grocery list. And when I lived alone I made dinner for myself almost every night. I tried new recipes, I grilled outside, I tried new food that I had never tried before and I started watching cooking shows. I would get excited thinking about what I would cook for dinner that night and when I sat down to eat, very often alone, I always felt proud of what I was able to do.
I'm not the best cook and I don't make very fancy meals, but it's something I really do enjoy. There are very often days that are filled with things like laundry, cleaning toilets and vacuuming, listening to fights, changing diapers and all of those mom things that are not always fun and exciting. But when I can stop all of that for a moment and step into my kitchen and cook dinner I start to feel like I'm really doing something. And even when no one seems to like what I made, at least I got my time.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beach trip

Dave and I met Jeremy and Susie Sewell when we were newlyweds. I had just been called to be the Young Women president in our ward and Dave and I were sitting in church looking around at the members, trying to decide who I should choose as councilors and a secretary when we saw a new, young couple sitting a few rows ahead of us. I knew instantly she needed to be my secretary. I didn't know who she was, but I knew I needed her. That was how we met Jeremy and Susie. They lived in the same condo complex as we did and they were assigned as our home teachers. We really enjoyed our friendship with the Sewells, and 9 years later we are still good friends. Jeremy and Susie recently moved to California for a new job opportunity so a few weeks ago, on Facebook, Susie and I made plans for us to come and visit. We left on Friday and had a fun weekend at the Sewells' home. Our kids played and stayed up very late, the adults talked and visited. Saturday we went to the beach, then out for ice cream, then went back to their house to make pizza for dinner. It was a short trip, but a nice break; something our family needed. I love when the Lord sends you friends at different times in your life and how some of those friendships just get better as the time goes by. Here is a video and some pictures from our day at the beach. Of course I forgot to have somoene take a picture of our family together. Oops.
Okay, so no video. I don't know why but it won't load. But Trevor and Colin LOVED the ocean. Logan, not so much. He just stayed on the blanket and played in the sand.