Thursday, December 20, 2007

Candy Cane Cookies

Tuesday Evening I participated in a Cookie Swap with some ladies from my ward. I made this particular cookie recipe for a couple of reasons. First, this is a family tradition dating back to the early years of my Grandma Grahams marriage. She made these every year of my childhood and my Uncle Joel has carried on the tradition with a twist. His twist is that he makes 6 batches or more with various colors and has everyone "create" their own cookie. In the past we've had children in a snowball fight, a UPS truck, Christmas trees, Christ in a Manger, and MANY others. The kids have a great time eating their "play dough" as cookies. Second, related to the first, it just doesn't seem like Christmas without them. So Tuesday gave me the perfect opportunity to bake up some Christmas Comfort. Enjoy!

Cream together:

1/2 Cup shortening (butter or original)
1/2 Cup butter/margarine
1 Cup confectioner sugar, sifted
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional, I usually don't add this.)
1 teaspoon vanilla (if I don't use almond extract I increase this by 1/2 tsp)
(I add food coloring at this stage of the "game" because adding them later makes them heavy and stiff.)
Sift together and Add:
2 1/2 Cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt

Candy Cane topping;
1/2 Cup crushed candy cane, make into a powder
1/2 Cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Let dough refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before handling. Shape dough and dough in Candy Cane topping or sprinkle over the top. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Recipe yields approximately 2 dozen 6-inch candy canes.

***As a side note, from start to finish (i.e. mixing the doughs, refrigerating them, rolling them out and baking them) was 3 1/2 hours. All said, not bad. We had fun in the kitchen. I just didn't make dinner, we got Chipotle. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Dearest Kevington

Sunday marked the 13th birthday of Kevin's that I have celebrated with him. It had no fanfare. He got his celebration the day before with the commemoration of the BYU v. UTAH football game. I know he enjoyed it because he spoke maybe 20 times to me the entire game. Thats EXACTLY what I expected to happen, really it was good to see him enjoying and soooo into one of his favorite things...College Football, especially BYU. He was born with BYU fanaticism in his blood. (His parents met at BYU, in the fall of 1978. They were married shortly thereafter, and he was born in Provo during the fall of 1979. Both occurred DURING football season. :)) He loves BYU football. Enough said.

I thought that since it was just his birthday, and I have been a witness to nearly half of all the birthdays he has ever had, I will do a highlight of some fond memories.

Sixteenth Birthday!---First birthday I was around for, but we didn't really do anything. I think my brother, his best friend, spent the night or something... The week following his birthday he got his drivers license, what a proud kid he was. He was the FIRST of our group of friends to get his license, subsequently he became "the driver" for the next 3 years of High School. Whenever there was a big dance he drove the group of us. When we had early Saturday morning rehearsals in Lodi, CA with Troupe Cabana, he drove. When we took the trip to San Jose his Senior year to play at 'Great America' with a car load of friends, he drove.

Eighteenth Birthday!---First birthday of his where we were actually a 'dating' couple. (I had finally turned 16 four months earlier.) Also the first year I played a large contributing role in organizing and throwing his party. It was a surprise party! ;) The guys attacked him in his bed while he was sleeping with the girls watching from the door. He really didn't appreciate that, but he did appreciate the waffles, french toast, cheesy eggs, hot chocolate and juice waiting downstairs. It was an all day event that leaves a smile on my face when I think about it. :)

Nineteenth Birthday!---After waiting 5 weeks for his mission call to come in he received the word, just days before his birthday, that he would be going to Taiwan Taipei Mission. His parents went out to Utah for Thanksgiving to help prepare for his mission. He went to the Mount Timpanogos Temple for his first time, ate dinner at Chevy's, and called me for a few minutes that night.

Twenty-third Birthday!---After 16 days in the hospital Leah Rose was born and on the 18th day in the hospital she and I were released. That day was also Kevin's Birthday. While I was in the hospital and it was getting closer to his birthday he informed me that he didn't want to share his birthday with Leah. So he got his birthday wish and Leah was born 2 days before his birthday. ;) That night after being released from the hospital we left Leah with my Mom and went out to dinner at P.F. Chang's with his parents. Crazy, huh? It tasted sooooo good!!! :)

24, 25, 26, 27---We have gotten together with family and friends to eat and play games. There was usually some football watching as well. :)

Twenty-eighth Birthday!---This year we invited over every one we could think of that was a BYU fan to watch the BYU v. UT football game. We had a Mexican night and Kevin's favorite dessert, Brownies. (Thanks Mendy for bringing those. :)) His favorite part was the football game, ofcourse. :) It was fun having a houseful, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

I love my husband with all my heart. We have grown together on many different levels and I am grateful for his loving kindnesses towards me and our children. Looking back on all the years we've been together it is AMAZING and unfathomable sometimes. Are we really this old? Are we really this young?!? (I am sure some of you are thinking that. :)lol) Kevin IS my best friend. He has been for nearly HALF my life, that's weird and mind blowing all at the same time.

Happy Birthday Kevin! I love you and look forward to many more birthdays with you...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Over, Under, Around and Thru...

Today my darling daughter hit a major milestone. hehehe!!! She tied her laces all on her own. She was so proud of herself that she came running into me, "Mommy, mommy I did it! Look I tied my shoe. Look!" She hadn't even done the other foot yet, she was just so proud. What can I say i was proud of her too.

Isn't she getting big!?!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Look-A-Like Mason

Well, I have joined the trend sweeping my friends sites and have finally done the Look-alike Meter for all 3 of my children. I did the Meter two different times for Mason and confirmed something I already knew.

Depending on WHAT my kids are doing or HOW they are acting determines which parent they look more like. The first time I ran Mason he was 7% on my side, then you have this picture that puts him as 15% more like his dad.

It was fun, but my conclusion? I have ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE kids who are SOOOO much better looking than Kevin and I alone. We've got a good genetic match! :)

Look-A-Like Leah

Look-A-Like Owen

Friday, November 16, 2007

Don't Know What to Say

I am not a fan of going shopping on my own with my 3 kids. However, sometimes that just CANNOT be avoided. Like today. Kevin is going on a Scout Camp Out tonight and needed a sleeping bag. (We are seriously lacking in the Camping gear department. We now own a lantern and a sleeping bag...that's it.) Leah's birthday is next week and so is Thanksgiving, supplies were needed. And OFCOURSE we needed to make our weekly trip to Sam's Club.

The kids did really well at the first two stores so at Sam's they got to have a pretzel as an afternoon snack. Leah and Mason got long pieces and I broke Owen's up into smaller pieces. I got every one situated and then started shopping while they were thus distracted. But today must be a lot of people's pay days and next week MUST be a holiday 'cause it was CRAZY in there!!! And there I am pushing my 2-seat stroller and pulling a shopping cart through the chaos of the Holiday Shopping Season that is descending upon us all.

I was pushing and pulling through a slightly crowded corridor when Owen turns around in his seat and gives me a look I have become quite familiar with as of late---he was choking! I had to stop right in the middle of the aisle to save my son from choking. It took 2 swipes of my finger to the back of his throat to clear his breathing passage. He coughed once and then was fine.

BUT behind me was a different story. As I turn around I find one woman gently trying to move the shopping cart that Leah is in, and another standing by saying, "That's what happens when you have too many kids."

I was shocked into silence. I couldn't think of what to say except to the woman who was trying to get by, "I'm sorry ma'am. My son was choking." That woman understood the situation and asked if he was "ok". The woman who had spoken out seemed to be shocked into silence. She spoke before she understood the whole situation I hold no malice toward her. I re-learned an important truth: Never pass judgment--especially without knowing every point of view.

On a positive note, there was a nice gentleman who works there that saw what happened and gave me paper towels to clean off my hands and Owens face. I could tell he was genuinely concerned for Owen and myself. I am grateful for his concern and his parting words to me, "Some people just don't know what to say."

May I always be a help to those around me and not a deterrent.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Here Baby...Fetch!

This morning Mason came up to me carrying a bag of chocolate yogurt covered raisins, "This peeze Mom. Peeze, Mom."

I caved, "Sure, but you need to share with baby Owen." (Owen was in the room with us and was already following around his big brother. I would have made a similar request if Leah had been around as well.)

"K, mom."

I pulled out a small bowl and put in about 15-20 pieces, gave it to Mason ("Tanks mom") and didn't think much on it.

Till about 2 minutes later I see Owen on the floor crawling after what looks like a chocolate covered raisin. I get Mason into view just as he throws said raisin in the general direction of Owen and hear, "Here Baby."

I step fully around the corner of my kitchen counter and asked, "Mason, what are you doing?"

"Share with Baby. Here baby fetch! Get it!" And off flew another raisin with Owen crawling quickly after it.

I couldn't handle it! I turned around and just had a great belly-laugh. Followed shortly by a quick call Kevin to let him know just HOW cute his kids are. Kids really are good for a joyful laugh. :)

I tried to snap a picture but the moment was lost. :(

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

If I Can't Love Her

Not just the title to one of my favorite songs from a Broadway Musical ("Beauty and the Beast"--it's the last song of the first act before the intermission) it is also how I feel about my beautiful, intelligent, helpful, creative daughter-Leah Rose.
Tomorrow marks the 5th year since I went into the hospital to "have" her, she just wasn't born for another 16 days. :) For those of you who don't yet know the story...I went in for what would be the start of my every two-week visits to the Doctor and was diagnosed Preclamptic. My doctor's office was located in the same block of the hospital and he sent me right over to be admitted and have an Amniocentesis (a large needle is inserted through the abdomen to retrieve a sample of amniotic fluid to determine the maturity of the childs lungs). Her lungs were rather underdeveloped for her age group so they loaded me up with Magnesium Sulfate (to drop my through the roof blood pressure) and gave me a 4-dose steroid treatment to encourage her lungs to develop. Well, 16 days later she was delivered and 18 days later I was released from the hospital.

Some things I learned about Leah before she was born...
-She loves to move, especially to dance. She was dancing in my womb at 16 weeks.
-She does things in her time and if she wants to. Thinking of creative, positive ways to encourage to make certain/good choices is a FULL-TIME job.
-I love her with every fiber of my being. She is the one who taught me of the love there can be between a mother and a child.

Some things I have learned from Leah over the last 5 years...
-Love is unlimited and unconditional.
-Compliments given and received brighten everyone's day.
-Forgiveness comes without conditions.

I love my daughter. My greatest hope and prayer is that we will have a close relationship throughout our lives.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Seven Wonders of the World

Now I am not a huge fan of forwards...However, my cousin sent me this video...and who knows if the circumstances described are real or not---BUT the thought is great! What would we list as the "7 Wonders of the World"? What would be in my list? I'll have to think on that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

For Myself

I put a widget on page all by myself! Usually I have to result to calling family and friends and being walked through the process. Yay! It feels nice to be able to do something on my own for myself. I have many opportunities throughout the day to do for others. Ofcourse, those others are my three children that more or less EXPECT those things and others to be done for them. How to teach them to be appreciative...well, we're working on that.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mother of Three

It is both a joy and a challenge raising three small children. Late nights and early mornings make for a tired and touchy mommy. With our recent move the kids have been responding well. However, I know Leah has been having the hardest time adjusting to not having friends around 24/7. She just loves to play and misses all of her friends she use to see daily. Finding ways for her to entertain herself and her brothers has been the challenge as of late. I keep telling her it will get better once we are setup in our new apartment and everything has a place, for it is not till then that I would feel comfortable having other children in my home.

Mason is a trooper. His quiet self is starting to assert itself more and more. He loves his big sister and little brother, but he doesn't love being bossed around by her. Mason is so helpful with Owen, he brings diapers, throws them away, and brings the bottles when Owen is ready to eat. His favorite things have been the Hot Wheels and larger cars we have. And ofcourse, we can't fail to mention his love of all things round, oblong, hard and soft, namely BALLS. But an interesting addition to his list of favorites are the color red and baseball caps. It just so happens he now has a red Mickey Mouse cap he loves to wear.

Owen has mastered crawling and flown right into the standing up to EVERYTHING trick. He is a baby on the move, it appears to me he doesn't wish to be left out of anything Big sister or brother might be doing, or his mommy for that matter. His favorite place to be is right at his mommy's feet while she's in the kitchen cooking and cleaning---not the safest place for a seven month old.