27 April 2009

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

I am putting this recipe on here so a.) I won't loose it again... and b.) you can enjoy it too. I got this recipe from my friend Ketra in Maui (I miss you!) and it is one of those "Oh no! It's 5 o'clock and I haven't got anything planned for dinner" meals. It only takes three ingredients...and rice or a baked potato...and about 25 minutes.

#1) an 11.5/12 oz. jar of Pepper & Onion Relish (could be called bell pepper relish also)
#2) 1 jar (about the same size) of Orange Marmalade
#3) 1 large bag of frozen meatballs (regular or swedish style...italian doesn't go too well with this)

If the meatballs are fully cooked, just dump them and the relish and jam into a pot and simmer it for 20-25 minutes (while the rice cooks). If the aren't already fully cooked, then fully cook them however it says on the package, and then simmer it all for 15 minutes. THAT"S IT!

We eat ours over jasmine rice, but you could eat it over a baked potato also.

That's all for now...although I did take my math final this morning and I think I did ok on it (high B low A...I'll let you know)...we'll see. I have a photography final tomorrow (ie: bring some food to share and see everyone's final photos) and I have about 4 hours of reading, two assignments, a 4 page paper, and a final to finish by friday for my Music Appreciation class. I'll be so glad to have that done!

26 April 2009

"What's this?"

The kids didn't have school on Thursday or Friday because of teacher inservice. I was sitting at the kitchen counter on Thursday morning doing math homework (studying furiously for my math final that is on Monday morning) and Isaiah was bored. He started opening drawers and cupboards. I didn't look up for awhile, but then he got into a drawer of random utinsils and started pulling stuff out, inspecting each thing. Then this conversation happened.

Me: Isaiah what are you doing?

I: Just looking to see what is in here.

Me: It's just kitchen stuff...get out of it.

I: What's this? (he holds up a hand held orange juicer I got from a Pampered Chef party that I'm pretty sure I've never used.)

Me: That's a juicer.

I: What does it do?

Me: Well, you put an orange or a lemon in there, and it squeezes the juice out of it. (I can totally see the wheels in his head turning at this point).

I: It squishes the juice out?! Can it do an apple?

Me: It is really just for oranges or lemons. (At this point, he sees the bag of clementines on the counter)

I: Can it do the Cuties?

M: Yea, it could juice a cutie. (His face lights up and he can hardly contain himself).

I: Can I put one in there?

Me: Ye....(he has shot across the kitchen and is putting an entire clementine, peel and all, into the juicer before I can finish my reply)...way~way~way~wait a minute! You have to peel it first!

It takes him a few minutes to peel the clementine, and I go back to finishing the math problem I am on. Since I am sitting right there, and not paying attention, he finishes peeling it, grabs a cup and squeezes juice all over the counter...some makes it into the cup. I grab him a bigger bowl and help him finish juicing it. London hears (from probably downstairs) our conversation, and gets in on the action. I think it was the highlight of their day. Enjoy!

20 April 2009

5 lessons in a row!

Our family has tried really hard, and we have had a lesson for family night for five consecutive Monday nights! That won't mean a lot to some of you, but I for one am super excited! We usually end up just pulling out a game or going shopping as a family for family night! =) I have even made family night treats for four of those lessons (cookies (x2), smoothies, and tonight I made banana bread.)

Caleb started it all five weeks ago. He was reading the Friend magazine during sacrament meeting, and found a story called The Big Jar he wanted to share with the family. He prepared everything by himself and he did a really good job.

London gave our next lesson. She taught us about when Joseph Smith received the gold plates. She colored all the pictures and then told us the story.

Isaiah wanted a turn to give the lesson, so he colored a picture from the Friend magazine of the ten lepers being healed (thus far I haven't found the link to it...) He taught us that we should be grateful for everything, and tell Jesus and others thank you. He read us Luke 17: 12-17 and showed us his picture.

Last week was Easter, and we read an Easter story book and some scriptures. The book is called He Lives and is a collection of paintings by Simon Dewey depicting the last days of Jesus' life. It also came with a CD with songs sung by Hilary Weeks.

This week, I gave the lesson. I also used the Friend magazine...they make it so easy... =). I gave a lesson called Helping the Lambs. We learned about helping others learn about Christ and feeding his sheep.

Well, I am excited that we are having family home evening lessons more regularly now. It is always hard to keep it going, so we will try and see if we can make it stick!

19 April 2009

Camp out!! ~Darwin's first post!!

I took Caleb on his first Boy Scout camp this weekend. It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of dads and two leaders, so we were one on one with the boys. We did a two hour hike to the cabins, the hike is normally a little shorter but there was 2 to 3 feet of snow that was softening on the trail. It was like walking on a balance beam that you could not see and not everyone did so good. We identified plants and animals on the way out. We had a lot of fun walking with the boys. When we got there we built a fire and made dinner. All the boys thought it was the best food that they had ever eaten. The hamburgers "were ever, even better then McDonald's". That night I read the Patrick McManis's story "The Skunk Ladder". I could not stop laughing the entire time that I was reading. Then we all went to bed. The next day the boys worked on scout skills like sharpening a knife and ax, chopping wood and lashing. Caleb and I were able to walk down to the beach and look at birds and other animals. We had a lot of fun. The walk out was another two hour walk and we were both glad to get to the truck and drive home. The night we spent in the cabin, Caleb said that he thought he heard a bear. I guess I still snore.

Here are some pictures.

18 April 2009

High Adventure

We went out shopping today at a store that is going out of business. I bought two pairs of SouthPole jeans for London, and two pairs of SouthPole jeans and a pair of dress shoes for Brooklin. I paid $95. The total without clearance pricing...$225! Anyway, the dress shoes I bought for Brooklin are high heels. This is not the first pair of heels she has had, but until she tried to walk in them, I didn't realize they were the first pair of heels she's tried on that didn't have the chunky soles. It was really so~o funny. She stiffened her legs, took tiny steps, and was generally falling all over the place! I'm suprised she didn't break one or both of her ankles! I so wished I had a video camera with me. The shoe clerk tried to help by giving her walking tips, but it didn't seem to help. It was just really humorus. She is now wearing them around the house so she doesn't look like a goof tomorrow at church. =) They are very cute on her though.

17 April 2009

Field Trips, Haircuts, and Scout Camp

Yesterday, I was able to go on a field trip with Isaiah's class. They went to visit the City Museum. They really didn't look at the museum stuff...they learned about glaciers. The first picture is of Isaiah making his own valley with a "glacier". They gave the kids an ice cube and a tray of dirt. As the glacier moves, it creates a valley and picks up dirt as it goes. Our home is located in a valley that was created by a glacier (over several hundred years) so it was neat to see how that worked. The other picture is the kids looking at a model map of our town. They were able to see the whole valley that the glacier carved, the ice fields behind the glacier, and several other glaciers that we can't see from the ground (they are up in the mountains).

Today, I went on a field trip with London to the Glacier Visitor's Center. The group I was with went outside and learned about how vegetation can regrow from rocks after the glacier moves and exposes new rock. It starts with lichen, then moss, then fireweed, then lupine, aspen and willow trees, next comes Sitka spruce, and then Western Hemlock. It was kind of fun to learn. Next, we went inside and learned about archeological finds in SE Alaska...like petroglyphs, and paintings. The first picture is of the kids making their own petroglyphs in salt dough. After that, we learned about raptors in SE Alaska. We have eagles, owls, falcons, and hawks. We got to see different kinds of feathers, feet, and skulls from different kinds of birds of prey. (see the second picture). After that, the kids went to eat lunch, and I had to go (to do homework and then go tot class) but the kids had two more demonstrations and then they hiked out to the waterfall near the face of the glacier.

OK, on to haircuts.

Every single one of us got our haircut yesterday. Darwin went to the barber, and I did everyone else (including myself). I lost an inch, Brooklin and London lost 2 or 3 inches, and Caleb and Isaiah got the crew cut that I do...1/2 inch ontop, and 1/16 inch on the sides and back. None of us look too much different...the boys needed it, and the girls just needed the ends trimmed.

Scout Camp

Caleb is going on his first ever scout camp out tonight. He is SO excited. Darwin was able to go with him, and they had fun packing their packs and Caleb got a new pair of boots and rain pants for the trip. They are sleeping in cabins, but they don't have any mattresses on the bunks, so they still get to use sleeping pads and sleeping bags. One of the funniest things Caleb did/said while packing was he kept calling his granola bars "Trail Food" because that is what the list said he should pack....trail food! It made me smile everytime he said it.

Ok...no guilt (although I did mention school) =) ...and it isn't even summer break yet!

16 April 2009

Summer break is coming...maybe I'll be better at posting then.

It seems that a majority of my posts now are either me apologizing for not posting or something about school...lol...so why break the chain now. I took 10 credits this semester, and with the photography class, I've taken so many pictures for homework, that I don't want to take any pictures for fun right now! I took ZERO pictures of Easter! I did however take this picture for my photography class. The theme was "Hands".

There is a song called "His Hands" by Kenneth Cope that inspired this picture. I just searched YouTube and found an amazing video for the song, so I am posting it below.

We had a great Easter...the bunny came on Friday night (so as not to interfere with the real meaning of Easter...and if you want to watch an amazing video clip about Easter click here). On Saturday, we got chocolate bunnies and hunted eggs. Brooklin also got her first long babysitting job for pay on Saturday. She babysat a little boy from 8am to 2 pm while his parents (the mom works with Darwin) went skiing. On Sunday we went to church and Brooklin and I sang in the choir. I also got asked to do a 3rd calling, and I will post what that would be after it is official. For now, I play the piano for Relief Society and serve on a committee in the Relief Society (the women's organization). They told me to let them know if it got to be too much, and they would lighten my service load, but it should be fine.

Everyone is doing good. I will be happy to have a short break from school...it will only be a few weeks because I am taking an online summer course (English) but the small break will be nice.

I need to go and make dinner, and maybe I will blog again later this week!

01 April 2009

April Fool's Fun

We love April Fool's Day around here. I had class until late last night, so the only fun thing I did this morning was I wore all my clothes inside out (which Brooklin thought was a fabulous idea...and wore hers like that for the entire day) and I wrote all their names backwards on their lunch sacks, and gave them peanut butter and nutella sandwiches for lunch. They knew that the nutella sandwiches were for fun, because I normally do not share my nutella.

After the kids went to school, I went to work setting up pranks! First, I printed off these two signs (from FamilyFun.com) and posted them on the kids' doors.

Next, I blew up four balloons and didn't tie them shut. I carefully twisted the ends of two together, and then shut the ends in the door of their rooms, so that when the door was opened, they would fly around the room and make noise and startle the door opener. After that, I tore off a lenght of 4 squares of toilet paper and used a sharpie to write "Who goes there?!" on it. Then I floated it in the kids toilet, so the first person to use it would get a little suprise! Funny enough, London was the first one in there, and it did startle her, and she had to go bad, so she ended up having to change her clothes! oops! Caleb read the rat sign, and then opened his door and jumped in the air when the balloons started flying around the room. He blew them up again and set them up in the garage door, so when Brooklin got home and went to put her shoes away, she would get a suprise...and she did! She almost broke out her mad ninja skills on the door! So funny!

For dinner this evening, they were all expecting something fishy with their food...but we just had regular old sloppy joes. They were kind of disappointed, until I announced that for dessert we would be having fish sticks and peas. The "fish sticks" were really authentic looking, but the "peas" were not very fooling. I even pulled the "fish sticks" out of the oven to make it look more real. They are also from the FamilyFun.com website. They are made out of those sugar wafer cookies (the pink, tan, and brown waffle cookies) covered in peanut butter and then covered with crushed corn flakes. It was messy, but really fun. We had some of Caleb's friends over...and they were really leary of our dessert fish sticks. We had to convince them that it was really good.