31 January 2008

happy birthday to me!

Actually I ordered these right after Christmas with my Christmas money (thanks m & d), but they came ON my birthday. I'm so excited to try some new things! I did try some little toast/egg cups, which were pretty good. A picture and the recipe is here.

organizing idea

This is from Sunset magazine. I think I might use the clothesline idea at my desk. (Mom, this might work for your wall.)

26 January 2008


I just found a new website that you should all go and visit. Click here.

25 January 2008

I want

I really like these. What do you think? You can get them here.

I forgot

The best part of my Ikea purchases :

You can't tell from the pics, but they also nest inside each other.


I'm sure that you all know that I love Ikea. Yesterday I got to go with Jamie (we only took 5 kids this time, instead of 8). The plan was to put Sam and Alex in Smaland so we only had to take 3 with us, but they only let you stay in Smaland for 1 hour. That only got us a quarter of the way through the downstairs.

Even with all the kids, I came away with lots of good junk. Of course I can't find pictures of everything on the website. So here's a partial list.

Several rolls of wrapping paper for 50c each! (including black and white stripes, BW polka dots, silver, and some other great ones.)

Several rolls of string for 50c each!

A few cd cases for 50c each!

Some nice pillar candles for 99c each! (for all those power outages we've had lately, and since I can never find the flashlights).


It's been a not so great day today. At one point Charlie and Luke were both in bed screaming. I needed a little break so I tried to block them both out (impossible) and sat down to watch a little Martha. What really made it great was this icecream (which I got for my birthday last week from my lovely RS pres. Holly.) YUM.

And for the other slump towards the end of the day this was just what I needed. It's really bad, and you probably won't be able to watch the whole thing. Dan sent it just at the right time.

My fave: the lead singer's awesome dance moves.

church bag

So I thought that Dan lost the church bag when he cleaned out my car (thanks for doing that, by the way). But this week I think what really happened is that it was stolen! Who would steal a church bag, you're probably wondering. About a month ago my car window, and Dan's were broken. They were after the TV in mine and they got Dan's stereo. They also ripped everything out of the consoles and glove boxes (in search of electronic goodies, I'm assuming). I think they took the backpack (church bag) hoping it had some phones, cameras, ipods, etc. I wish I could have seen those thieves' faces when they opened it up to find pictures of Jesus, diapers, wipes, lace-up cards, books about tithing, prayer, David and Goliath, and animals, several old coloring books, and some new twistable colored pencils! I'm most upset about the books and lace-up cards, and the new colored pencils. Luckily there were no scriptures in there.

So the point is - I need to put together a new church bag. What are the favorite things in yours? (Aunts and grandmas are encouraged to comment too - since you may have your own great church bag.)

24 January 2008


No, I'm not doing a giveaway, but oh! baby buy products is. Check out the blog for info on winning a $400 gift package! They support local vendors (in the pacific northwest) who make lots of great things for babies and kids. This post will give you all the details. I hope one of you wins!

p.s. the widget on my sidebar will take you directly to their blog.

23 January 2008

unauthorized haircut

I'm a little slow with this one because it happened over a week ago. But oh well. Sam woke up one morning with his hair looking like this.

I asked him why he cut his hair and he said he didn't do it, Jack did. So I start getting all mad at Jack - asking why didn't he cut his own hair and other wonderful questions like that (the kind you ask when you're really not thinking.) Jack says Sam asked him to do it! (Other info from the confession: two of Sam's monkeys also got haircuts.)

The punishment: to wear it like that. This really bothered me more than Sam so after 2 weeks, I cut it. Here's the new do.

ps - why are all the posts of my kids about hair?

21 January 2008

bowling with the fam

Sounds like fun, right? If you thought that, you were wrong.

We had reminded everyone in the car, in the restaurant, and on the way to the lane, that if they could behave, they could stay. If they fought, or whined, or didn't obey, we would have to go home.

The bumper lanes were broken on our lane, so Jack was really upset every time his ball went into the gutter. And by upset, I mean crying and vowing to never bowl again (until his turn came up again, and then it started all over.) Sam accidentally got hit with the ball (when he didn't listen to us to STAND BACK when other people are bowling) and consequently kept bawling if any little thing didn't go his way. Charlie just really wanted to stick his head in that hole and was having trouble staying in the general area. So finally (with 2 rounds left) I told everyone we were leaving. Just in case you think I'm a really mean mom (as opposed to just a plain old mean mom) I only decided to leave after repeated offences by each child. Luckily More Than a Feeling by Boston was blaring and no one could hear 3 kids screaming at the top of their lungs. (Luke was quietly sleeping.)

I did remember to bring my camera, but I forgot the memory card, so unfortunately, you don't get to see the meltdown.

They continued to scream/fake cry almost all the way home. I think next time we have a day off, we'll get a babysitter and Dan and I will go do something by ourselves!


This is for those of you who get mad at me when I cut off Charlie's curls. They always come back - especially when his hair's clean. (Don't ask me about the tongue, I guess he thought it would look funny.)

18 January 2008

another video

17 January 2008


So, this isn't my normal humorous video, but it is funny. And no, it didn't happen in Dan's office.

16 January 2008

a new idea

Well, I guess it's not that new, but it's new to me.

I love vegetables with Ranch dressing. The way my mom used to get us to eat vegetables was by setting them out on the table before dinner with Ranch. I'm pretty sure I ate gobs of them that way. In the past few years I haven't eaten many vegetables, I'm not sure why because I really like them. I've been trying to change that and this is where the new idea comes in.

Even though I'd like to eat Ranch in large quantities every day, my thighs tell me that's not a good idea. So (finally getting to the new idea) I tried this recipe from the new Everyday Food. It's a white bean dip and it's great for any kind of raw vegetable you like. (I tried to get a picture and the recipe link, but I guess they don't have it up for the new issue yet). Here's the recipe:

White Bean Dip

1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 - 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

In a food processor, combine beans, lemon juice, oil, garlic, rosemary, red-pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp water. Process until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed, Season with salt and pepper.

The new idea is that I don't have to eat raw vegetables with Ranch, because there are a whole host of other dips which are better for me. If any of you have a healthy, alternative, vegetable dip, I'd love to have the recipe!

P.S. I also tried the salmon burgers from the new EF and they were pretty good. No one liked dill sauce, but other than that - good.

10 January 2008

first unfinished project completed!

Woohoo! I have completed project 3L. (See here for the complete list of unfinished projects). The dresser is now painted. I will admit that this picture looks better than the dresser does in real life. After 5 or so coats of stinky spray paint, I remembered that the dresser is for the boys and that making it perfect was a crazy idea. So I stopped at pretty good. Because I never take before pictures, you'll have to visualize that the old one looked something like this, ugly and brown with terrible brass looking pulls. The new one looks quite a bit simpler below. Thanks to Jessica for a free dresser! It's so motivating to finish a project - I've already started on my next one.

10 years

May 7th will be our 10 year anniversary! We need to get away together and we've thrown around a few ideas. We have lots of miles so we could really go anywhere and we have about a week, thanks to my mom (who'll be staying with the kids.) But we haven't made any decisions yet. Do any of you have any great ideas about where we should go? I really need some help on this. Thanks, Leigh

09 January 2008


Since it's winter, and it's snowing and cold, isn't soup the best? I made my favorite clam chowder last night and thought you all might like to try it out. I know I've pushed this recipe on some of you before, but it really is THE BEST clam chowder I've ever had. It's from Market Street Grill here in Salt Lake (also the best seafood restaurant here.)

Market Street Clam Chowder (Serves 12)

1 cup potatoes, diced ½ inch
1 cup celery, diced ½ inch
1 cup onion, diced ½ inch
1 cup green pepper, diced ½ inch
1 cup leeks, diced ½ inch
¾ cup chopped clams (canned or fresh)
¾ tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoon salt
¾ tablespoon whole thyme
6 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Tabasco
¾ cup sherry wine (optional)
2 cups water
¾ cup clam juice (drained from canned clams or purchased separately in can)
¾ cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
2 quarts half-and-half

Combine melted butter and flour in oven-proof container and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. In large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients except half-and-half. Simmer until potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Stir butter-flour mixture into chowder and stir until thick. Mixture will be slightly less thick than cookie dough. Remove chowder from heat. Stir in half-and-half until blended. Heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.

A few tips (maybe more than a few): I almost always double the vegetables because I like more in there. Especially the potatoes.

Make sure the leeks are soft before you add the butter/flour.

I always melt the butter in the oven container, then add the flour to it. (I also love this method of cooking it in the oven, it makes it much more efficient.)

I usually add the sherry, but didn't have it last night and it was still good.

2 cans of clams give you about the right amount of clams and juice.

I never put in the Tabasco sauce and only put in 1/2 the pepper. Otherwise it's too spicy for the kids.

You might have to experiment - if it's too runny, cook more the liquid off the vegetables next time. If it's too thick, you can always add regular milk to thicken. You can even substitute the half and half with regular milk if you cook off a lot of the liquid from the vegetables.

If you have an Elmer cookbook - this is in there!

This also makes great leftovers and all my kids LOVE it.

I've never tried it without clams, but I imagine it would be just great without if you're not a seafood person. Just substitute the clam juice for water or chicken broth.

You can find all of Market Street Grill's recipes here. (I also love their fruit tart.)

07 January 2008


I really shouldn't start this post out with a complaint, but it's too bad that we think about being grateful only in the month of November. So here's a list of some things that I'm grateful for right now.

1. The way Luke wakes me up in the morning by cooing rather than screaming. Even when he's soaked and hungry.

2. Stripes (in any form).

3. How Sam never forgets to kiss and hug me at night, even when I'm mad at him for not going to sleep.

4. The new snow. It's snowed a few times in the last week and it makes everything look so clean and beautiful.

5. Chocolate fondue (the best is pineapple).

6. Jamie living here!

7. Jack reading the scriptures by himself in bed at night.

8. The Soundtrack for Pride and Prejudice (beautiful).

9. Dan. After spending 4 hours in the ER late at night with Charlie, I just wanted to go to bed, but I still had a long list of groceries to get. I went to bed anyway. Dan went to the gym (at 11:30 pm) but before he left he looked in my purse for the grocery list. He couldn't find it but bought everything on the list he could remember AND flowers. What a nice guy.

10. Charlie trying to be good by saying "shushie" in stead of "shut up".

06 January 2008

behind the scenes of "Frohe Weihnachten" 2007

Well, I think you've all received your Christmas letters by now. And thanks to all of you who think I had anything at all to do with the writing of it. It's very flattering that you think I could write such hilarious stuff. I do have to admit that (see first post) I am not a great writer. I can be funny at times, but not all at once, and definitely not in a newsletter. (PS - I have helped with writing parts of the Christmas letters in the past, but those were very small parts.) What I'm trying to say is . . . all the credit for the writing goes to Dan.

However, I will take credit for being the art director/photographer/layout editor/editor for content/printer/producer/mail room operator.

What an undertaking! When Dan first mentioned this idea, we were on our way home from Spokane at Thanksgiving. I was trying not to freak out at the idea of trying to get these done before Christmas. I was really thinking it would never happen if Dan was in charge. But around Dec. 15th he mentioned it again.

The first thing to figure out was the glasses and turtlenecks. We don't own one turtleneck in this household because, as you may or may not know, I hate them. (Actually, now we do own one turtleneck, for Luke. We didn't have any baby friends with black turtlenecks.) Luckily we were able to borrow some just to shoot the pictures. Dan really wanted different glasses for everyone, but I'm not sure where he was planning on getting those. There were only 3 pairs of glasses, which we shared. So we started taking pictures.

We had to bribe the boys to do it. We recruited Jack first but he started crying when we told him it required wearing a turtleneck, slicking back his hair, and wearing silly glasses. (I think he thought he would be made fun of - cute little Jack.)
Sam was easily bribed with 2 quarters. His shots were pretty good too. I think at this point no one else wanted to take pictures and probably we were working on several other things at the time because it was the weekend. So another week went by . . . (and I was still trying not to freak out.)

The next time we decided to take pictures I had just about had it (I was freaking out). I was ready to send this picture (or one like it) on one of those photo cards which would read "due to a fight, there will be no letter this year."

This just wasn't funny enough for Dan. It was at this point that he decided to get up from reading (because that's what you do when you want a Christmas letter to go out before Christmas and there's only a week left, and some of those days in the week are the actual holidays and no mail goes out) and take the rest of the pictures (meaning I took the rest of the pictures - but he did get out of bed). I think we bribed Charlie with candy and Luke was perfect, of course. Jack joined in after he saw that we were all doing it and that it was actually funny. We were pros at that point, so our pictures went quickly.

For someone who's not a writer this post is becoming lengthy! So - I'll sum up. Formatting pictures took a while because we still had to figure out how to do it. Our computer wouldn't turn on after a power outage and we weren't sure it ever would (it did after the letters were sent). Luckily I had emailed Dan the photos before that happened. Trying to line up the photos took me at least 10 hours and lots of swearing because I wasn't doing it in the right format. When I handed it over to Dan it took him 10 minutes. I printed a whole box of photo paper (the nice kind) with my color ink cartridge on empty. It ruined the whole box. It took me a few days to figure out what was wrong (why would you need a color cartridge to print B&W?) Many hours and many dollars later, we finally got it done! I hope you all enjoyed it! We may never do it again!
PS - even with all the problems . . . I love technology . . . always and forever.

Christmas pjs

I love stripes! When I saw these red and white ones, I had to get them. I wish the stars weren't there, but what are you going to do when you're at Steve and Barry's and they're only $8 a pair and they're the only red and white stripes around? They didn't have any in Luke's size, but luckily I found his at Gymboree in the same shopping trip.

05 January 2008

great gift

Emily E had us for Christmas and made these little guys for the boys. I'm not sure she'd ever do it again, but aren't they great? Names (from L to R above): Max (Jack's), Smelly (Charlie's), Mappy (Sam's). They each named their own.

04 January 2008

busted up

Yep, it has finally happened. Charlie busted his chin open last night and I had to take him in to get stitches. I was out running errands when Dan called to tell me I'd better come home to take Charlie into the ER. Apparently he had been balancing on a baby swing and when it swung one way he hit his chin on the hardwood floor. It was split open pretty wide. My friend Krissie came over (she's a nurse) and said we'd better take him in. After longer than 4 hours in the ER he came home with 10 stitches. He's the first of the boys with any stitches.

haircut (finally!)

This is shaggy Jack (pretty cute, I think).

This is cleancut Jack (pretty handsome, I think).

What do you think?

01 January 2008

my new creative thing

Yep, it's earrings. It all started when I went to the bead show with Janiece. If you've never been to a bead show (which I hadn't until this one) there are many bead vendors and everything's sold in strands. It's nice because things are much cheaper than they are at a bead shop, but you have to buy a lot. I came home spending much more than I thought possible and with many more beads than I needed. I decided to make some earrings for Jack's school's Fine Arts Show. I sold them for $10 each and 13 of 18 pairs sold!

Since then I've mostly made them for me but I just took another 13 pairs to a consignment store down the street. I haven't called yet to see if they've sold, but I'll be checking on that the next time I remember during store hours. Here are a few favorites. Let me know what you think.

ps - penguin jewelry is the unofficial company name and two of these are photographed in my packaging.


So - it's been 2 weeks and one day and . . . tada!

I know you can't see the flowers really well. I'll try to get some better pictures of them when they get bigger and there are more. (Also the boys picked them to give to Nicole when she came to visit, so there are some missing.)

My great idea was that I would photograph these little pups every day and do a time lapse slide show. Well, that proved much harder than I originally thought. Oh well - this is as far as I got on that.

it's that time again

The time for New Year's resolutions. I love this time of year. I think this blog will be great for keeping track of my goals. Hopefully it will help me stay motivated to complete them.

The Goals:

1. To speak in a kinder voice.

We had a really boring church speaker a few months ago, but he had such a nice voice. He spoke gently and softly and I thought, "I'd really like to speak like that all the time." I'm not really sure how I will accomplish this goal, but it's one I'll be working on for longer than this year I'm sure.

2. Get some good control of the finances.

Yes, I have okay control, but I will be adding to the 401K this year and also sticking to the budget better. I think we'll go back to the cash days instead of using plastic so much. I'll let you know how it works.

3. Complete numerous projects already started. (Pictures will follow when projects are complete).
a. DONE paint benches (made in a class Fall 2006)
b. DONE sand and paint boxes to go under benches (made in same class)
c. paint 1 2 doors for downstairs bedroom (the new bedroom for Jack and Charlie, once all the projects are completed)
d. DONE rod and shelves for downstairs closet (for same bedroom)
e. DONE finish quilting and bind Amy Butler quilt 1
f. DONE sew top together and quilt and bind Amy Butler quilt 2
g. DONE finish quilting and bind fish quilt for Charlie
h. DONE finish Katie's quilt (resizing because I made it too small originally)
i. DONE sew top together and quilt and bind red quilt
j. DONE quilt and bind living room quilt
k. DONE paint inside front door
l. DONE paint and finish dresser
m. pulls and legs for green cabinet for living room (which I bought at least 2 years ago, but stopped working on it when I accidentally drilled into my hand.)

There are many other projects I would like to complete this year, these are just the ones I started when I was pregnant, and then lost all will to do anything but carry a baby and feed the other boys. (Actually some of them were started well before I was pregnant.) Finishing these should free up some space in all of my closets where I store unfinished projects!

What are your goals for the year?