Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vacuum Obsession

My little Darren loves the vaccuum. He follows it everywhere, constantly plays with the attachments, loves to sit by the plug while you are vacuuming and unplug it, and loves to hold on to it as I vacuum. Mark happened to leave it running and unattended the other day and Darren siezed the moment. He ran to it as fast as he could and then proceeded to vacuum the same spot for about six minutes while I snapped pictures. He was in heaven. He would concentrate really hard and then turn and smile and laugh at me. We were all busily doing our morning lists but this brought everyone running and we all just sat and watched and laughed. Babies are the best. I wish I could be as thrilled with running this machine. Thank goodness my kids are old enough that they do most of the vacuuming these days.
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Nothing Like Homemade Bread

I have been a bread maker since very early in our marriage. My sweet husband liked it enough and likes me enough to even buy me all of the right tools. In order to make great tasting nutritious bread you really need to have a great recipe, a bosch mixer, a grain mill (wheat grinder), and stone bread pans. In the beginning I always mixed in about 1/2 white flour with store bought wheat flour but since the grain mill I have gone to 100% wheat and then finally to wheat, spelt, rye, popped amaranth, flax, steel cut oats, and many more. I found Chef Brad who taught me how to use grains in my everyday cooking. I now own an electric pressure cookers and use it at least 4 times a week. I love it and my family even likes it. His big thing is not to change your families diet too drastically or it scars them for life since we all have such an emotional attachment to foods. Anyways, back to the bread. My family loves the bread. I bake five loaves about every 6 to 7 days and freeze three of them. We eat one of them the first day because no one can resist fresh bread. So here is why I am posting this. My bread has always tasted great but does not have that store bought professional look to it. I try to cut it just so and store it right. Not until I went to my neighbors garage sale and saw this bread slicing gadget did I finally feel satisfied with the look of my bread. Now I put it in there and use an electric knife and each slice comes out perfect. The feel of each slice is much nicer and it crumbles much much less. I am so excited about this. The bread even stays moist longer for some reason. I have been searching for so long and now I have finally found it. Hooray! I don't do many things very well but I guess I am pretty good at this one. Stop over any time for a slice or even a loaf.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Working With Family Is Fun To Do Fun To Do To Do To Do

After moving in to our new home we have had quite the opportunity to be outside in the heat working together as a family. We have spent weeks working hours a day to rid this yard of weeds, greening up the lawn and keeping it mowed and removing unwanted cactus and very poky plants that will not work with kids in the yard. I thought it was going to absolutely miserable and we would have to drag our kids out to help. This has not been the case at all. We have had some great "Ensign Moments" working together. Mark and Bradley and even Eleanor have said several times, "I love working together, This is fun, Look at our progress, It looks so much better, This feels good, It's fun to tell stories and work at the same time." It has been amazing to work side by side and have them just talk and talk and talk. It is stunning and has made this task bearable. It does feel really good to all be out there together accomplishing a task that beautifies our home and teaches us all to work. I have not been so hot in I don't know how long or sweat so much but I don't mind at all. Amazing!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things I love about being home

I dreamed so long about moving back to Arizona and how great it was going to be. It has been so much fun having all of it come true and so much more. Here is a list of some of the great things about being done with school, living in Arizona and in our own home.
-Having a steady and dependable income
-No more visits to the DES office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Alan is relaxed and happy as can be
-Our own home that we can paint, change carpet or even knock down a wall if we wish
-Family, family, family they are everywhere and wonderful
-A ward that seems to be made for me
*a running group that meets at 5:15am and will run a 1/2 marathon together
*an amazing babysitting co-op (one of the best ideas I have ever heard)
*a fun book group
*lots of families with 4-6 kids in our same stage
*a fabulous cub scout program
*very very friendly and welcoming
*I already feel like I have been here for a year not 2 months
*I get to work in the nursery (I actually love this calling and Darren gets to start early)
-Grandma sleep overs and outings with just the grandkids and grandma
-Paying back not accumulating more student loans
-I can buy little things here and there without any feelings of guilt
-Arizona sunsets
-Warm swimming pools
-Meeting up with old friends in random places
-Cousin play dates
-Having Alan home on Fridays is the best!!!!!!!!!
-Trips to the cabin, hiking, and camping in the desert with the Rangers
-Being able to pay for a date and a babysitter
-Feeling settled. I can finally make new friends without reservation of having to leave them in a couple of years.
-My children can grow up in the same schools with the same friends.

and on and on and on....................

Being done with school is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stress is still there and always will be but it is well cushioned by so much support and love from all our family and friends and security in Alan's job.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Day- off to school

The day has arrived that all may be still and quiet at moments in my home again. Yesterday was the first day of school. They started at a new elementary with the new house. Bradley was very nervous and excited and Mark was super cool and calm and Eleanor just flowed into class and said, "Bye Mom." She is so independent. They seemed to have a good day and as usual I had to pull out the very few details they were willing to give up like , "My teacher is nice, I made one friend, we went over the rules and toured the school." That is about all I got. Their school is huge and quite the maze to get around. I still haven't figured out how many levels it has. We only live 1/2 a mile from the school so I bought a bike trailer off craigslist and put the baby seat on the back of the bike and we all ride together to school. I am sure we are quite a site. Maybe I will get a picture sometime. It will be fun to have some one on one time with Luke when Darren is sleeping and to have less kids to haul around town.