Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Learning curve

I was reading the comments to one of the Deseret News blogs and someone was saying women would have an easier time if our society didn't put so much pressure on them to have a dozen kids and to be stay at home moms and not work outside the home and to be the submissive wives that we should be. Well, I can say, I live in this society and I don't feel any pressure to replenish the earth with children. Larry and I know what is good for us and we have two beautiful boys that we absolutely love. I don't feel pressure from society to be a stay at home mom. I have adapted my hours so that I am home with my boys after school and I think we get the best of both worlds (work and home time). I am far from the 1950's wife and am much more outspoken and challenging to my husband than what he probably would like but he doesn't expect dinner on the table waiting for him when he gets home or that I have the house spotless. I'd like it to be but he has no expectations of me.

The one thing that I feel I am inadequate and am not up to "societies" standards is cooking and baking. I should be able to cook and bake but I'm just not that good at it. I know it's a practice thing. So, with the holidays I wanted to make a yummy treat that I could share with the neighbors. I always get homemade goodies from neighbors but I am the one who goes out and buys something from the store. So, my challenge this year was to be a good neighbor and "bake" something. I told my sister my plans and she said she had a great recipe that she shared with me. Easy enough...

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
1 stick of butter
1 can condensed sweetened milk

Off to the store I went to buy the items on the recipe. I know, it's pretty sad that I don't already have these items in my cupboards, but I don't. I bought what I needed and set the items aside until the following night. My evening was already booked with my husband, a tile float, and grout.

Last night was the big night. I started out putting the brown and white sugar in the saucepan, next was the Karo syrup and then the butter. I finished with pouring the evaporated milk in. I mixed and mixed and waited for the rolling boil. It came but the carmel just wasn't thickening up. I won't tell you how many times I had already talked to my sister on the phone but this time I asked her why it wasn't getting thick. So, we went through the ingredients again. Yep, I have the sugar, the butter, the Karo syrup, and the evaporated milk. Evaporated milk? Yeah, that's the same thing as condensed sweetened milk, isn't it??? That's where we found the problem. I know she was laughing on the inside but she didn't let me hear it. First batch of carmel saw the inside of the garbage to the store I go in the snow storm to buy condensed sweetened milk...mix in the sugar, again...butter, again...Karo syrup, again...and condensed sweetened milk.

So, after the learning curve, I got it. And, I have to say, I think they look pretty darn good for my first time!!! (patting myself on the back) Not to mention, tasty too!

My inspiration
My reality

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Boy

Larry had his birthday this past week and the boys were excited about it all week long. Dresden knew what he was getting and kept the secret like a pro. We went to dinner at Royal India which we all enjoyed. In fact, Dresden said it was his favorite dinner ever. Nothing like getting our kids to love curry early on. Mention shrimp and they will eat anything!

We came home to a surprise cake that I made, which the boys were waiting all day for. I read that Tiffany Arnold came across a R2D2 cake pan at a garage sale months ago so I asked if I could borrow the pan for Larry's birthday. She graciously loaned it to me and I thank her for that. It looks like I might need it a couple more times for the boys birthdays. The cake was just a box mix but Dresden said it was the best cake he has ever had. I suspect that's only because he was eating R2D2's leg.

Anyway, I am grateful for Larry and the things he does for our family. He is witty and smart and loves to live life to the fullest. Happy Birthday, Larry. I love you!

R2D2 (it's been nearly five years since I made a cake with stars so I was pretty out of practice on this one.)

Larry acting surprised for the sake of the boys.

Larry carefully cutting out the drawing Logan created.

It's hard to see but Logan drew a picture of the four of us holding hands and wrote "Family" above the picture. Pretty cute picture.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just a picture

I snapped this picture the other day
and thought it was just too cute not to post.
Logan looked at this picture and was like,
"Me and Dresden have the same eyes!"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Reader in the family

Dresden and Logan had Parent Teacher Conferences last week and both boys are doing well in school. I have been worried about Dresden's reading and his lack of interest in reading. We did find some books, the Magic Treehouse series, that he was interested in but he still didn't love reading them by himself. Well, after conferences we went into the gym to the Book Fair and let the boys pick out some books. Dresden wanted the book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. We bought it for him and he immediately took to the books. He barely put the book down all night. I am so happy he has found the magic of reading a book and the desire to want to read more.

Dresden was sent to timeout and had to sit on the bench. He took his book with him and rather than leaving after the 7 minutes he stayed right there for about 1/2 hour reading his book.
The boys were helping Larry cut up celery and buttering the casserole dishes for the homemade stuffing he was making. In between jobs Dresden was reading his book.

To be Five again...

Logan had a couple friends over yesterday after school and it was so fun to watch the way they interacted with each other. They were silly and crazy and just plain fun to watch and listen to.

Little daredevils doing flips on the trampoline.

Acting as "Grandpa's & Grandma's"...whatever that means.

A couple group shots.

Lunchtime! It drives me crazy seeing noodles hanging out of Logan's mouth but feeding the other boys showed me that this is just the way noodles are to be eaten by boys.

Watching a little Scooby Doo in the tent.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

Today is the day the boys have been waiting for...okay, one of the days they have been anxiously waiting for...the day they get to wear their costumes to school. Our intentions of getting up early to start on the "getting dressed" process was a bust. We didn't manage to get up any earlier today than normal. We did manage to get all ready in time for school...I just didn't make it to work on time...I guess that isn't very uncommon. Anyhow, here are the boys in their costumes.
Dresden, as a very convincing Harry Potter. He has been so excited about wearing this costume. He was nervous about the black hair spray that we were putting in his hair until we got him dressed in his tie and cloak and put his glasses on. When he looked in the mirror he stopped and stared and couldn't believe how much he looked like Harry Potter. This is the surprised face he had when he looked in the mirror. He was very pleased with the whole outcome.

This is him Ooing and Aahing at how the black hair really does look like Harry Potter.


Logan, well this is just the perfect costume for him. He used to flip his collars up on his polo shirts because "that's how vampires wear their collars". Logan and I decided we would both be vampires this year. He and I are going to make a drop dead gorgeous couple.

Logan certainly knows how to pose for a picture.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

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Monday, October 19, 2009

The Ups & Downs of life

Life has been a bit crazy the past little while and I just haven't had the time or energy to blog lately.

To begin, the boys have been in school now for almost two months and are enjoying themselves. Even though Dresden's best friends aren't in his class he still enjoys going to school and has been talking about a new friend from his class. It is always comforting to know that he is capable of meeting new friends even though he is sometimes shy. We have been trying to work on his reading and he just hasn't enjoyed it. He enjoys when we read to him but we just haven't found anything for him to read that he is interested in. I talked to the ladies here at work and one of our artists brought a book series for me to take home. She said her kids really enjoyed the series so I tried it with Dresden. He LIKES it! He read about Ancient Egypt and a Ghost Queen that lost her book of secrets. Anyway, last night he said, "who knew that reading can be so much fun when you have a notebook to write stuff in." I was so happy to hear that come from his mouth. The character in the book keeps a notebook and writes important facts in it. Dresden decided to write things on a notepad, too.

Logan is just so full of energy since school started. He has learned new behaviors that don't sit so well with me (hitting with a closed fist) but overall he is learning lots and meeting new friends. He enjoys school and I really think he could be challenged a little more, which I guess falls on my shoulders. I bought addition flashcards for Dresden but I think I will have Logan learn them too. I may as well teach two kids at once and Logan certainly loves to learn new things.

Our families have been in our minds and hearts a lot lately. My Grandpa Strong's health has been on the decline for the past 6 months or so. We finally thought we found the problem, a blockage of the carotid artery. He had a stint put in and things were looking up. Until he decided to walk around the new church house that was being built. He walked around the building under construction and fell hitting his head on the corner of a concrete walkway. A worker came to help him up, got him back on his 4wheeler and sent him on his way. Two days later when they came up for their trip to Jackson Hole with my parents his face eyes, side, and back were covered with bruises. His face was all scabbed up from hitting the concrete and he had a bump on his head that was enormous. The whites of his eyes were completely blood shot and swollen. He looked horrible. Early the next morning we had the ambulance come and get him. After a ct scan we found out he had a subdural hematoma. He has been in the hospital since September 24th. He has had his brain operated on and because of a catheter he had in for 2 weeks he ended up getting a UTI which seemed to be causing him to shut down completely. Since he has been on antibiotics he seems to be doing a thousand times better. Still not himself completely but better. My poor grandma has had to deal with so much emotionally. She is such a rock. I don't know how she gets through it all. Besides dealing with all the emotional stress of my grandpa she has the emotional stress of moving from her home in Ephraim into my parents other house up here. The doctors aren't letting my grandpa leave the valley so thankfully my parents have their other house that my grandparent's can move into. The family is happy to have them closer but I know it isn't easy for them.

Larry has the sweetest mom. She does so much for everyone else and loves her family unconditionally. She is so wonderful to our family and just adores our boys. Our hearts were broken when we found out that she has cancer again. She had breast cancer 5 years ago which was treated by having a mastectomy and has had clean screenings since. Over the summer she had lost some weight and for peace of mind she saw her doctor. Everything looked good but he couldn't explain the weight loss so he did a full body scan. The scan showed enlarged lymph nodes so they did another test to determine if the lymph's had cancer. If cancer is in the body it is supposed to show black for cancer or white for normal lymph's. The scans showed red. The doctor wasn't sure what that meant so he took the test results to a panel of oncologists. They suggested doing a needle biopsy but the prominent lymph's were located mostly around the heart so a needle biopsy would be too risky. They did find a couple lymph's near the base of the neck that they decided to biopsy. The tests came back positive. The test results came back the day our family was getting off the lake at Powell. We drove straight to her house and Larry administered a blessing. Bertha has been on pin and needles because she doesn't meet with the oncologist until Oct. 28th. We are hoping and praying for the best outcome possible. She is a fighter and I hope with the support from her family she will fight this cancer again.

We love our families so much and we hope we can give them the support they need.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Logan's prayer

The other night Logan came to my room to say his prayer before bed. He usually says a pretty quick prayer but this night he kept going and going. He usually is done after a few "help me's" but as he kept going and going my heart melted more and more. I was in such a bad mood when he first came in but by the time he was finished with his prayer I felt so blessed and happy to have this little boy. It made my horrible day worth having. After he was finished I gave him a kiss, tucked him into bed, and went straight to the kitchen for a pen and paper to write this down...

...thank you for this day.
Help me to not see things when I close my eyes.
Help me to have good dreams and not bad dreams,
and when I wake up help me to have a good day.
Help me to sleep in my own bed more times.
Help me to eat good foods so I can grow up big and strong.
Help me and Dresden to listen to Mom and not fight with each other.
And help me and Dresden to clean our rooms more often.
And bless Dad that he will get home from work safely...

After I went and wrote this down I went back to check on Logan. He was still awake and wanted me to lay down by him. He locked his little arms around my neck and then said, "this will be a quick one, I forgot to say something in my other prayer."

...thank you for this day. Help me and Dresden to have a good day at school tomorrow...

Logan certainly brings joy to my life.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So grown up

Logan's first day of kindergarten was a breeze. Following in his big brothers footsteps, he didn't complain, whine, stall, or hang on my leg when it was time to go to school. He did such a great job of being a "big kid" and handling this new adventure with confidence and excitement. I am so excited for him to learn, develop, and to grow.

I was trying to get a picture of the boys walking together but Dresden noticed and quickly bailed before I got a picture of the two of them together. Dresden and Logan will walk this path most everyday together.
Logan is showing his friend Carson his cool new backpack.

Logan eagerly awaiting instructions from the teachers. When his teacher came out he was first in line (not sure if that was because they were going in alphabetical order or just by chance...I was in the office filling out a paper that they didn't give us...why do they need to know my occupation anyway?) Because he was first in line he got to hold the door open for all the kids.

I know every mom says this but it's true... I can't believe both my kids are old enough for school!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My boys the Wildcats

Well, my boys will both be attending Willow Canyon Elementary this year. Officially "Wildcats"! I can't tell you how popular that is thanks to the High School Musical movies. I was asking Dresden the day before school what his feelings were about starting 2nd grade. He was like, "I don't get what you mean?" So I asked, "are you nervous or excited?" He just replied, "it's school, I'm not excited or nervous." Wednesday morning came without any hassles, he got up and got dressed, at his breakfast, brushed his teeth, and didn't even complain when I did his hair. Dresden didn't complain or stall or argue about anything the whole morning. When we got to school he found his line and waited in it without needing me to stand by him. I think I needed to stand by him so I kept checking in with him but he was still fine. Anyway, the bell rang, the teachers came out, and away he went into the second grade doors. I don't even think he looked back once. He is getting so independent and grown up. I miss my little Dresden that used to rub the tip of his stuffed tigers tail on the tip of his nose and would cuddle with me. But I am so happy that he feels comfortable enough with himself that starting school isn't a big deal.

Logan goes today for his Kindergarten testing and I know he is so excited to start school. I have some letters and numbers workbooks that I take to church for Logan to work on and he made the comment, "I love to do homework!". He considers these workbooks his homework and he is so motivated and eager to learn new things. He definitely is my little pleaser. He wants to accomplish things in order to get praise. It really is charming. I hope he keeps up this desire to learn and the want to please but I hope it changes into a need to please and fulfill himself and not others. I can't wait to see how he will react on his first day of school.

This is after Dresden's first day of Second grade. One of his friends was having a hard time in the morning so I thought I would bring a reward for all the kids for accomplishing their first day of school. Here is Dresden NOT wanting to pose with me but finally posing with his Blow Pop...I just happen to be next to him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meet the Mayor

Willow Canyon Community Council will be honored to have Mayor Corroon attend our upcoming Council meeting. August 26th @ 7:00pm. Sandy Library. Please join us and meet your Mayor!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Follow up

I decided to make a phone call to the District offices today and spoke to Tamra Baker, Director of Elementary Schools for Canyons School District. Tamra was very willing to speak to me and is very aware of the number problems at Willow Canyon. She and Mr. Theobold, Willow Canyon Elementary Principal, have talked numerous times about the options and what can be done. Tamra explained that there just isn't cushion in the budget this year and they are really keeping a tight watch on teacher contracts. She did say that the enrollment numbers for Kindergarten back in June were way down, which I was able to find a spreadsheet on the Canyons website that stated 49 kids were enrolled for Kindergarten at Willow Canyon. So, now there are 64 students enrolled and the District just doesn't have the luxury of hiring a new teacher. However, they are willing to do a "Day 5 Count". After five days they will see how many students are actually attending and if the numbers still stay this high they will re-address adding an additional class.

Although I'm not completely pleased with the current situation, I understand where the District is coming from. However, I think I will still be making a phone call to Mr. Theobold as well, to discuss my concern.

Monday, August 17, 2009

How many is too many?

My little Logan will be in Kindergarten this year and he is so excited to go to school with his big brother. We haven't received a packet yet with any school information so I started to ask around church yesterday. So, the rumor one has received their information yet AND there are only two kindergarten classes with 35 students in each class. The rumor says that if there are 6 more students to enroll then they will open a 3rd class.

Seriously??!! I happen to know that Willow Canyon has turned away 4 kids. My daycare will only bus to schools where there are multiple students attending a school. Logan was the only one going to Willow Canyon so my daycare started sending kids up there to register for Kindergarten. Each one of those kids were turned away. So, explain to me if they only need 6 more kids to open a third class WHY the school would turn away 4 of them???

I did call the school and there are 64 kids enrolled so that would mean 32 per class. Good luck teachers...and students!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tonight I was dragging my boys around town getting errands done and like usual, I was singing to the music in the car. Dresden and Logan often feed off each other and great conversations are had. Tonight Dresden had an idea...

D: Mom, I know what we should do. Because you like to sing so much we should build a stage in our backyard so you can sing.
L: Yeah, because you do sing nice.
M: Ahhh, thanks Logan.
D: We'll put a lock on the know, not Nana's gate but ours...
L: So people will have to come through the gate...
D: Yeah, and charge money for people to watch you sing and it will be non-refundable.
L: Yeah, we should build the stage so people will give us money!

I do enjoy singing to music and I really hate it when someone is in the car with me and tries to carry on a conversation with me while I am singing. Can't they see I am singing?! Anyway, the boys had a great idea...especially the "non-refundable" part of it all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Joyous day.

I'm not sure I should be this excited that I have a sink with running water, but I am!!! The counter top was finished yesterday and the plumber installed the faucet, water line to the fridge, and gas to the stove last night. The kitchen is looking amazing! There is still lots to do but the end is in sight. I have to mention the other thing that makes me happy...we bought a soap pump and had it installed too. It's silly, I know, but having one less bottle on the counter makes me smile. I was actually squealing in delight last night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Willow Canyon Community Pool Party

Some of you may know that I serve as the North Area Rep for the Willow Canyon Community Council. As a council we discussed different activities we could do as a community. We have decided a Pool Party would be a fun summer activity for the community. We have rented the swimming pool at Alta Canyon Recreation Center for Thursday, August 6th. The large pavilion will be available for community members to use for their picnic dinners and then the pool opens for our private community party at 8:30pm until 10pm. The swimming is free of charge for community members and their families. I hope those that live within the Willow Canyon Community boundaries will bring their families and join us for our Community Pool Party. Please share this information with your neighbors and watch for the banners that will be posted in the community and the flyer that will be delivered next week.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call. 801-860-4579 or email me.

p.s. I just learned that Salt Lake County Mayor Corroon will be attending our August 26th Community Council meeting. If you have never met the Mayor or have questions you would like to ask, this is a great opportunity to meet Mayor Corroon. Community Council meetings are held every 4th Wednesday of the month at the Sandy Library. Meetings start at 7:00pm.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beach House

This summer we rented a beach house in Mexico with my parents and siblings. We had a fabulous time and had miles of beach to ourselves. This picture best describes what the vacation was all about...putting your feet up and
the vacation was also about reading good books...
and spending time with family...

we spent our days in the ocean...

and digging in the sand...
our evenings were spent watching amazing sunsets...

we were crafty...

and we were bird watchers...
and squid finders...
and showed extreme patience while the catalytic converter had to be replaced during the first leg of the trip and then the fan belt on our way home...

overall the vacation was a great success and I can't wait to stay in paradise again!