Monday, August 31, 2009

The White Barn

I have wanted this picture for a long time. Every time we go to Park City we pass this pretty barn with its flag. Loads of folks have taken its picture, you see them all around Park City and I have always wanted to take my own.

So when we headed up there with my parents to see the Park City Parade of Homes I mentioned how I never got around to having William stop the car so I could snap one. Of course my sweet dad pulled right over. William actually took these, aren't they great?
I think I am going to hang it in my bathroom.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A New Cookie

t has been a crazy week full of ups and downs resulting in a lack of desire to blog. But cookies fix everything right? And I wanted to try a new one, Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

2 c. butter
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. flour
12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients. Roll into balls. Flatten on cookie sheet with a fork. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes. While warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional). I skipped the powdered sugar and made a half a batch. I made them with chocolate and butterscotch chips. They were yummy, I usually like a chewy cookie and they are crisp but it was a nice change!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School!

Well, today was the big day! I love the first day of school. I always have. Getting to wear a new outfit, the excitement of a new school year, the butterflies in your stomach. Loved it when I was little and I love it now.

Here is the gang this morning.

This is one more reason I love going back to school. These two remember that they do like each other.

Oh, and as you can see Miss Brittany got new back-to-school glasses. Do we look more alike? I usually wear contacts but we thought we look like twiners now!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Goodbye Summer

Well, this is it. The end of summer. School starts Monday and I have to say I am so ready. I love my kids, we have had a really fun summer. Maybe our best ever. But I am afraid my face is going to stick in the ugly expression I keep finding it in. I don't even want to talk about the voices around here. Their whiny ones and my grumpy one. The bickering and boredom has reached new levels around here. The kids had to resort to the most creative and messy activities they have in their extensive collection. I actually let them because I was at such a loss, I am out of entertaining ideas. So here it is the last week of summer.

Huge tents in the family room.
Matthew's favorite waste of string, making a web.
Brittany's paper doll world. It really is amazing.

Their are whole families with their own houses. I really should have taken a picture of the mess required to create this amazing miniature world.

Miniature golf. What do you do when it is really hot outside plus your mom is too cheap to keep taking you to the real course at Cherry Hill? You create your own holes all around the cool basement.
So Monday we start our new school. I plan on cleaning house for at least the first couple of weeks. I am really hoping that absence will make our hearts fonder. Maybe I will greet them with big smiles and cookies and milk. Maybe they will actually be glad to see each other at the end of the day. Maybe.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good Kids

You hear a lot these days about troubled teens. In fact I have to admit to being scared to death of how I will handle the teen age years. My mom always insisted that she loved having teen agers and their friends at her house. I hope I will feel the same. We have had a great experience with a teen-ager this summer. Her name is Sarah, she is 16 and just amazing. My friend Circe recommended her to me. She has been teaching a series of music lessons for kids this summer. Violin, piano and voice. I have been so impressed with her talent, poise and just plan sweetness. The recital for the kids in her class was this week.

Here is Miss Brittany with her violin. Sarah is at the piano. Forgive the late afternoon sun giving her an even more angelic glow.

It was even more fun to watch because our friends Golda and Ruby, also good examples of great kids, had taken voice lessons and also performed.

I would say it is unreasonably unfair for these two girls to sing so well and play instruments like they do if I didn't know how hard they practice to develop their talents.

The whole group even played a song together on bells. Matthew got to help too.

It was a lovely recital and a lovely experience this Summer. I owe Miss Sarah thanks for what she has taught Brittany and for reminding me that teen-agers really can be lovely too. I think I will keep Brittany in her lessons if for no other reason than I hope her example will rub off on Brittany!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

1989-When the hair was Big!

Well, the long anticipated 20 year reunion is over! What a weekend! I have a few mixed feelings. Sad it is over, it really was fun. But glad it is over, seriously I have not stressed about what I was going to wear like that in about 20 years! The best part was definitely getting together with my best friends from high school. Can you believe how big our hair was?
This was us then.
This is us now. I think we are aging quite nicely thank you! We were like sisters back then. It has been probably at least 10 years since we were all together, maybe more. These girls mean so much to me. They loved me when I was very shy, not comfortable with myself or my own talents. They helped shape me into the person I would become and protected me from bad choices. I love them dearly.

We had a lot of fun too, this is one of the dances we went to together, it was a Halloween dance and we had dinner in my friend Kim's barn. I am the saloon hall dancer. I loved that costume. It was so great to be together again. Then there are the rest of the folks I went to school with . I have to say I think they all grew up to be really nice folks. So many people I enjoyed back then but haven't seen in awhile. So much fun to see them all. We all have grown up, to say the least. It was fun to compare careers and families. I little sad to see the effect of life choices on a few.

The whole thing made me value even more the friends I have from that time that I see more often than every twenty years. Some of them are in this photo from a youth conference we went to. I am lucky that there are probably a dozen or so I see or am in contact with frequently.

I stole this photo from my friend Circe, I couldn't find any with her in it she is always the one taking the pictures. It is a few of us at her baby shower. This weekend made me want to hang onto them even tighter. There is just something special about people that have known you since you were a kid. And it goes without saying that we are going to have a great time talking over the weekend's events! Now I have to go back to being my grown-up responsible mother-person but it sure was fun revisiting the 17 year old me!
Hey, if you happen to be one of my friends from way back you can read more about the reunion on Circe's blog and here and here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Day at the Fair

I feel like I should sing that song that Templeton sings in Charlotte's Web about the fair. We spent a really fun morning at the county fair today.

You can't beat the fair for colorful animals. You gotta love polka dot chickens and rabbits! Don't you love the bunny who got dressed up for the fair?

We had some fun pony rides.

Raced some ducks.

Met a very lovely clown named Rainbow who made fabulous balloon treats.

Yep, the sign was right!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We are still here!

Poor neglected blog! I feel like I haven't been much in blogland lately. We have been busy cramming the last days of summer full of fun.
Monday we were off to the zoo again, this time with some favorite friends we don't see nearly enough of. They lived by us in Syracuse.
These two have been friends since they were two years old. Then they had the nerve to move to Springville. Something about wanting to see the father of the family more instead of losing him to a really long commute every day. It was great fun for the kids to rekindle their friendships while enjoying the animals.

There was even a new baby giraffe!
I was especially grateful to get to hug and squeeze my dear friend Jen who was in a really serious boating accident (think Natasha Richardson) but is healing and going to be okay. There is something so precious about friends you have had for years. They understand your history, have seen your kids at their best and their worst, have helped you through the garbage and still remained your friend. Of course I have no pictures of her because everyone knows moms take pictures, but don't appear in them!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

In an effort to make this blog a more complete online cookbook for myself I am adding our favorite peanut butter cookies. These are perfect for people who don't need food to be gluten-free but might know someone who is. They are great because you don't need any special ingredients. No special flour. No flour at all. Really, it is like magic! All you do is throw the following in a bowl.
1 Cup Peanut Butter- can be creamy or chunky but make sure it hasn't been contaminated by crumbs.
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup of chocolate chips.
Mix them together and drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. They will be fragile when they come out, let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and they will be less fragile when they are cooled. Do make sure to use a clean cooling rack so you don't contaminate them or place them on a clean towel to cool. That is it! I really don't know why they work but they are yummy.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Jungle Boy

When we went to the zoo on our vacation last week Joshua's favorite animal was undoubtedly the leopard. The habitat was partially inside and partially out.
So he stood at the window, "Where my yepard?" The leopard would walk by, great happiness! So then we went to the outside portion. I think the kid would still be standing there if we had let him! Here is his "yepard". We expect Josh to go on safari any day now.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New Sense and Sensibility

Did you know there is a new version of Sense and Sensibility? You probably did but I didn't. I discovered it at my library so I took it home to try. Honestly I wasn't sure I really needed to see another version of this old favorite but William was out of town and I was working on the scrapbooks I am so far behind on. I told myself I would give it 30 minutes and then if I wasn't enjoying it I would move on to something else. Three hours later I was very happy. It was so well done, with more detail than other versions. As much as I love Emma Thompson and her version this was at least equally enjoyable.
The set the library had also included Miss Austen Regrets. I had just watched that from Netflix last week on Miss Vanessa's recommendation. It explores Miss Austen's possible love-life. I enjoyed it too and would recommend it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Great Fishing Adventure

Fishing was a major part of our little vacation adventure last week. William and I have a favorite fishing spot. We have been going to this particular little lake in the Uintahs since we were first married. It was the only cheap vacation we could afford. Even certain rocks seem familiar to me now. So it was really fun to take our kids. They have been before but it has been a couple of years since they have been since we were in California.

Man, they really got into the fishing!
Here are some of the fish Brittany caught. She would proudly tell you she caught five.
And Matthew also caught five. I should mention that the tiny fish in the lower left corner was caught by Dad not Matthew. His were much bigger.

Yep, I even caught one.
This is the reluctant fisherman. Josh did not love the experience as much as the rest of us. But hey, he is only three there is still time to convert him.
We told him if he caught one more fish we would go home but he had to hold it and let me take his picture. Can you see my hand holding it at the top?
All in all a sucessful trip, the kids even wanted to make sure we could do it again next year. You bet!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sunday Update

We just came back from a great adventure in Park City. First we started at Hoogle Zoo, one of my kids favorite places. You have to pose with the gorilla, unless of course you are Joshua and refuse. Apparently frozen animals are scary. Brittany and Matthew even touched this scary guy. Don't you love Brittany's face? Then is was up to Park City and the fabulous suite William got for us. The hotel had a fun pool so there was a lot of swimming happening too. It was great! The next morning we got up REALLY early so we could drive up to the Unitas for a fun hike and some fishing. Don' t you love this picture? There were loads of wildflowers. And lots of fishing lessons. More about my great fishermen later. We stopped at the Upper Provo River Fall. So pretty. This great vacation was all thanks to this great guy, my man. The next day we awoke to balloons. Is there any better way to wake up? Then we were off to the Park City Arts Festival. It was so great, now I am all inspired to try something new. I love that arts festival, I always see something I have never seen before. This time is was a guy who printed individual pictures of black and white trees onto wet plaster. Amazing. No pictures though, I was afraid of upsetting someone. It really was a great trip!