Sep 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to my M O M -

Today is my mom's birthday.... It's late... and I already talked to her, buuuut. Thought I would post a little snippit. My mom gets a little "embarrassed" (insert quote fingers) when I "brag" (insert quote fingers again) about her on my blog. So I will refrain- ONLY because it's her b-day.

I will not mention that she came to visit again after my last post about her. I will not even think about mentioning that she made Mia a cute baby blanket for her dolly, and gave her that little baby boy doll, and made him a bobby. Well, the baby boppy is actually a traveling neck pillow, but Mia thinks it's a boppy. I love these three babies... yes, the fake one too. It provides Mia with hours of play time. She loves it and pats it's at shush's it and carries it around all day long. It is the sweetest thing EVER! Don't try and play with it if your name is Ellie because you will get in trouble for unleashing Mia's ability to scream "MINES!" "Hands off the baby!"- she hears that all day long... about both babies... poor girl.

My mom came up and DID NOT help me complete Jack squat ;-) She did not help me with sewing projects, or can jars and jars of pickles, or make Jam, or sew a wedding gift for a friend, or keep my house spotless. I did it all my self... no really... I did ;-) We did not take a break to go visit my Grandma and Aunt. Ok, we did... I am getting confused with all of my did and didn'ts. Sammers has a thing for great grandma's. I have a suspicion that great grandmas have a thing for him as well.

We met up at my Aunt Lani's. Mia loves this swing- all the kids do. This is one thing I have years of pictures of. I should have a swing folder for all the pictures I have of my kids on this thing.

Mom- you are a peach! Happy Happy Birthday to you! Can you believe I was able to can all these peaches without you? The children didn't eat for a few days, but we have a years worth of peaches! The kids LOVED peeling the peaches- I couldn't keep up. Despite their help I don't want to can anything for awhile... although canned pears are the only way to eat them. I failed to take pictures of all of my completed peaches (the fun part), but got a before shot. Not quite as gratifying, but oh well.

Hope it was a great day!

Completely unrelated, but because I am blogging... for whoever is still reading my sporadic blog... please Pray for THIS family! Heartbreaking!

Sep 27, 2010

Bears in the Lake?


We met up with my sibs/parents at Bear Lake last month. When we told the kids we were going to Bear Lake, they were concerned. We convinced them that there were indeed no Bears.

The Jensen Clan minus 2 families.


The kiddos enjoyed the sand- the weather was perfect!

Elvis trying her hand at frog riding. You have to appreciate the differences between Jense and Ellie. When I took them out on the Jet-ski Jense wanted to go really slow, and Ellie wanted to drive it as fast as it would go. Could they be more opposite? sheesh!

Papa and the Slammer. You can tell by their skin tone which one lives in Utah!

Chillin on the couch- whatever show it was... they were tuned in. The basement of the cabin was fun. My sister and I had a ping pong challenge. After many attempts to volley it past 9, we finally made it to 100. The great thing about ping pong is how quickly the game can turn and you find your self flailing out of control while the ball speeds back and forth between the players never hitting the table. It was so fun!

Aunt Nat's painted finger and toe nails for all the girlies. She did all of their hair as well. My dad repeatedly said, "Aunt Nat keeps you all slicked up nice...yes she does" It was nice to have a break from the hair doing. I have been enjoying doing Ellie's hair lately because she is really into it and has a lot of requests, but Mia... oh Mia. I pretty much throw her hair in a high pony every day because she puts food in her hair at every meal...it's a disaster. Right when I think we made it through a meal, I turn around and her bowl is on her head. So, she gets all fancy for church, but that's about it. She sports the messy look a lot... we throw a bow in her hair and call in intentional!




It's crazy how much my sister's daughters look just like them!

Sydney (left) looks just like a blonde Suzie.

Abby (right) is a perfect replica of her momma Rae.

My oldest sister Jess also has two daughters that resemble her.



What would a post be without Mia doing her signature long blink. AND- no female dominance here... everyone says she looks like John... everyone.

Jense made a space shuttle out of wood, from one of those Lowe's kits. His cousins made steam rollers. He loves his shuttle, but asked me if he could have a steam roller for Christmas. Good thing I only brought a few of them on the trip because we would probably be facing yet another collection. He loved Bear Lake.. he loves any kind of vacation and always needs an update about how many days we have left.

Nats and Mia. Aunt Nat is the BOMB! She texted me recently: "can I have Mia?" I told her yes, even though I didn't mean it. I like to send her picture texts of Mia to entice her to come visit us. Is it working Nat?

We celebrated my sister Suzie's and my dad's b-days. Happy birthday!

My dad rode the jet-ski in his socks... he he. He would make a great sandal and socks guy.

Apparently Raspberries are the big deal at bear lake, I mean raspberries shakes...famous...or so the signs say. So, my bro in law ken made raspberry shakes from Fat Boy ice cream. I failed to mention in the farm post that all of the ice cream and yummies come from the Pepperidge farm factory conveniently located by the farm. So, they just stop on in and get mass qualities of "seconds." They brought 50 fat boys for the few days we were there. Ken used the ice cream and hooked everyone up with a yummy shake. Thanks Kenjo! and Thanks for cutting an insane amount of watermelon. What does it say about a family when everyone shows up with a watermelon?

Sep 23, 2010

I have three words


I'm the Beauty!!

*This is probably only funny to my sisters... isn't this a great "I'm the beauty" pose?


This girl is full of spunk- and I can't keep up with her... or the spunk.
BUT I love it!

Sep 20, 2010

We're on our Way-

We're on our way... on our way to grandpa's farm.


Down on Grandpa's farm there is a great big tractor- sing with me now....

We visited Nana and Papa down on the farm this summer- I had not been there in years! It was fun being there with Mia and Sam. My sister Raegan had my other two kiddos, but they were at the farm earlier that week.
Mia has an obsession with sunglasses, so does her dad. Lucky for them, there is usually a pair hanging around. John cannot drive a car without sunglasses on. He is notorious for going into public wearing my girly glasses because he forgot he had them on. Mia is notorious for hiding mine all over the house.

With the luxury of only having Mia (Sam was asleep) we took pictures all over the place. Mia was a good sport.

Hay for sale... all of this hay can be yours! Just call my dad :-) Isn't she a cute sales girl? Totally washed out, but cute nonetheless!

flirty blink! She now has certain people in her life that she does the flirty blink to. She always has her flirty eyes for our friend Chris, but won't go anywhere near him. She wanted inside of the tractor... when she wants something she flirts...hmmm danger.
Tractor tires are always a sources of entertainment for any kiddo

She was NOT entertained by the four wheeler however! I took her for a short ride which terrified her. Next time then.

The older two- not terrified.

My favorite memories of the farm from growing up are... in no particular order:

CASCOS!! My grandma/grandpa kept a plentiful stash in their freezer in the utility room (funny that it was a "utility" room- I could use one of those). They are delicious! Nut sundae on a stick...mmm mmm!! My parents now carry on that tradition although they switch off between cascos and fatboys.

The teeter totter- it was the coolest teeter totter ever- I don't know how to explain it, it was a long long kind of bendy slab of wood on a pole- I should have taken a picture.

The smell of the house- each room had a different smell... my grandma's bathroom always smelled like cherry almond lotion/olay lotion... always! The kitchen always smelled like something delicious, and the utility room smelled like CASCOS ;-)

-The bunny tree
-riding 4 wheelers
-watching lawrence welk- sp?
-the horse figurines on the wall
-grandma's junk drawers (it had great junk)
-the mud hall- work boots all lined up
-the over sized spoon and fork on the wall (I have the exact ones... no walls in my kitchen... darn) I will use them eventually-
-walking through the barn and climbing hay
-going on walks

I am glad my kiddos got to see the farm! It was good to be back even if it was a short visit. More Utah adventures to come.

Sep 13, 2010

The Baby Boy

It doesn't get any better than this!

Sam,

You

Are


LOVED!!

At five and almost a half months old we are just lovin you up. A few things for the baby book...

You weigh 16lbs as of last week
You are 26.5 inches long
You smile non stop
You are always willing to eat
According to your dad you kick things over on purpose (2 glasses of water).
You grab at everything- and have already spilled 3 jars of babyfood and two boxes of cereal with your super reaching skills. Mommy is slowly catching on-

The thing I am loving about you right now is how you rub your eyes. I can't get enough of your sleepiness and the noise you make when you are ready to sleep. Your tiny little yet chubby hands rub your eyes over and over- It's the sweetest!!

Sep 9, 2010

Those Famous Pickles

After a few requests for my moma's... I mean "Grammie's Dill Pickle" recipe- I decided just to throw it on here for all of you pickle making maniacs (like us).

Be forewarned that once you make and have eaten these pickles... you will never be the same. I mean, you will be in pickle HEAVEN and will forever be a pickle snob!

Let's just say they are so good that John STEALS them (he is more than welcome to them) from my mom's storage. sorry dad :-)

OK Here goes.... drum roll.... the recipe:

2 grape leaves
1 clove garlic; 1/2 - 1 dried chili pepper (depending on how spicy you want them)
1 bunch dill (1 large head or 2 small stems)
cucumber to fill


Brine:

2 qts Vinegar 1 qt 1pt. 1c.
1 gallon water 1/2 gal 1qt. 2 c
1 cup non-iodized salt 1/2 c. 1/4c. 2t

pour over cucumber, wipe jar tops, seal, process in boiling water bath 5 minutes.


Start with as many pickling cucumbers as you please. If you've been reading my blog for awhile you may or may not laugh at this. Yes, there are pickling cucumber that are NOT full sized and do NOT shrink! Ok, so wash em up...

Cut off the "blossom side" of the cucumber- not the part that has the stem looking thing or as my kids call them, the "pokers." You don't need to remove that much...see photo above

Ok now load up your jars with the spices. Make sure you have already prepped your jars before loading them up. This is the part that is fun because if you want to make a few jars that are more spicy you can add a more peppers/garlic. Make sure to mark your extra spicy ones with a sharpie.... when it's done processing.

Make sure you purchase fresh dill. I bought this dill at Winco and it was fabulous dill! In the recipe the Heads are the top flowery parts- he he- I'm so helpful huh?

Now- cram as many cucumbers as humanly possibly into the jars. Try and purchase the smallest sized cumbers... they're tastier anyways. Put larger ones in first they squeeze smaller ones all around. If you want to you can cut some up to fill the jars more, but it's not necessary.

Now, fill the jars with the hot brine. Leave at least a half an inch (or more) from top to get a good seal. We used the large brine amounts because we made mass amounts of pickles. If you don't want to make enough to last you a whole year, use the other quantities for the brine. Do not use plain vinegar- apple cider vinegar is the way to go.

Now, place them in your water bath caner (or whatever you use to can food) and process them in boiling water for 5 min. Take them out and let them cool. Make sure you hear the "pop" and that your lids are all sealed up.

VOILA!!!

You have the tastiest pickles known to man! Oh, wait... did I mention you have to wait a few months to eat them? Well, you don't have to, but you should- they are just better the longer they have to really soak up the goodness.

Happy Pickling!

Sep 8, 2010

Camping 2010

We went camping with a group of friends this last summer. It was Sam's first camping experiece... and one of Mia's firsts for that matter. We had a great time! One of the evenings the mommies of the group decided to skip out on bed time and drive into a nearby town to see twilight. Right when we got there... no wait...right when we sat down to watch the movie the entire movie theater lost power. It probably served us right trying to go to the movies while camping, so no twilight for us.


Jense was super determined to catch a fish...there were no fish to speak of. Despite all of his casting out, Jense has only caught fish at those U-fish (catch a fish in 30 seconds) places. Hopefully too many years don't go buy before he catches a "real" fish. I for one have yet to catch a fish. Well, if we're being honest I've only held a fishing pole with the intent to real something in only a handful of times.

The"Slamilander" catching crew. There were a surprising amount of salamanders ready for the catching. The kids enjoyed holding them captive in empty jars. Ellie wanted to bring her Slamilander home, but she was convinced that he needed to stay with his buddies. All of the kids loved holding them, and some even held a few at a time.

Mia playing with Alice, or vice versa. Mia loves attention and she usually gets as much as she wants!
Taking a break from fishing to pick up rocks and throw them into the river.


There is that hunky baby again... all wrapped up in his signature pink blanket. Seriously, I have cute boy blankets, why when it's time to take a picture does he always have a pink one?

Saying goodbye to her little critter. They kind of creeped me out to be honest... I am sure I would have loved them as a kid, now I prefer not to touch anything that is slimy and squirmy.

We stuck Sam in the back of the bike trailer... it was brilliant really, but he wasn't always on board with our big ideas.

These two little beauties of mine.... Ellie is wearing Mia's swimsuit- just like she did last year with the same group of friends. Ellie wore Mia's 6 month swimsuit last year. Forget Mia stealing her older sister's clothes, (like I did) Ellie will be snatchin up Mia's.

Ellie was surprisingly good at casting the line. She was able to get it farther than me. No fish was caught for her either... I seriously lack faith when it comes to fishing.