Sunday, December 28, 2008

Extreme Sledding

What is this?! A family picture?? Couldn't be. Kate's expression couldn't be helped. It was the best we could do.

Andrew's family (mom, sister, and brother) were all in town this weekend. We had lots of fun watching movies, playing Cranium late into the night, and sledding! It was probably the busiest day to go sledding--the hills were PACKED, but we still found enough snow to call our own for a few hours. It was Kate's first time sledding, and she LOVED it! Well, she loved it the first few times with Andrew anyway. Then I took her. I was so nervous she was going to go flying off the sled, that I used my feet to help slow us down, and in the process kicked up a ton of snow into her face. She didn't particularly care for that and was content to mostly just watch us after that.

As you can see...loving it with Daddy, not loving it so much with Mommy. Her tongue is totally sticking out in the middle pic--ha ha. (Click on the pictures to see them bigger.)

Andrew went off a jump. Got some good air! Then decided to go "snowboarding" and got some more air. Heh, heh.

We were sledding a bit too close to a fence and had a few bumps. (Andrew's sister is in the first pic.)

Andrew's brother and mom with Kate. Kate's cheeks were really purple. Poor thing. We all had a lot of fun, though. Kate loved to watch people sled down (and liked a good wipeout, too), and would yell, "Again! Again!" We went to the steepest hill in the park (which felt a little like a death wish) and went down a few times. I dug my boots in that time, too, and got a good face full of snow. Afterwards I felt like I'd just gone swimming, not sledding.

Monday, December 22, 2008


To me, Andrew seems very hardcore.

He's been looking forward to snowshoeing for the last six months. This weekend, he finally got his wish. He rented some snowshoes and went up a mountain with a friend. They carried sleds on their backpacks and so once they were ready to head back, they went all the way down on their sleds! How fun does that sound?! Andrew said he couldn't feel his toes or his fingers for a while (and his drinking water FROZE on the way up), but he wants me to go with him sometime over the break. Originally, he wanted us to go so that we could see the sun RISE--which would mean leaving our house at 3:30 AM! I convinced him that was not going to happen, and so I think we will settle for a sunset. And I will buy some toe warmer things to stick in my boots, because let's face it--I'm not hardcore.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Hey! Taai Taai!!"

Last week Kate started calling me "Taai taai"--Chinese for "wife." That is what Andrew calls me all the time, and Kate has picked up on it. At first I thought she was saying "Daddy," but then I realized she was calling me wife. But she doesn't just call me wife, she YELLS it. When she hears Andrew call me "taai taai" it is usually when he is calling me from the office. So she must think the only way to say "taai taai" is to say it as loudly as you can. "HEY TAAI TAAI!!" is a phrase I am hearing way too often these days from all members of the family.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Yesterday was Kate's second birthday! Yay! I can't tell you how relieved I feel as a parent that she's made it this far with no major mishaps. Phew!

As I may have mentioned previously, Kate now loathes the camera. No more ham and cheese--dang it! She ALWAYS covers her face when she sees it. So the trick is to get her when she isn't looking, from the side, or from behind. But I think it may be a while before I get a real smile for the camera again.

Thanks to all the grandmas and grandpas that helped make her day special. She got some cute books, animals, and the Little People Animal Farm. She loves lining up her Little People figures on her windowsill facing out. If you turn them around, she gets upset. They are supposed to be enjoying the view. She does it every day, multiple times.

Oh and my sister gave her a little trim last week, so now she can see!

I didn't bake a cake--just brownies and ice cream. She attempted to blow out the candles, but with no success. It was a fun birthday, though. Andrew was busy all day trying to finish up his homework by midnight, so I am hoping that we might be able to actually hang out as a family today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Stink of All Stinks

UGH. So this weekend I was walking through the living room, and as I was walking, I heard and felt 'squish.' My foot was drenched immediately. I looked down and one third of our living room area was WET. I searched for the cause, but had no idea why! I tried to soak it up with towels, but that really didn't work. The only thing I can think of is that it came from a water jug we have under our kitchen table. So I moved it outside, but it didn't leak at all! There was no water around it--just ALL over the carpet. So NOW the carpet REEKS! When you come in from outside it smells AWFUL. This smell is driving me nuts. I got down and smelled the carpet last night--yikes. Frankly, it kind of smelled like urine. But that's probably just from all the potty training with Kate. I am going to call the office today and see if they can do something without charging us...Until then...BLECH.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I got this book at the library for Kate without really reading it--it had flowers, old ladies, and animals--"Looks good!" I thought as I grabbed it. But when I read this book I get choked up! What a sweet book. Looks like the author has quite a few of these "Let's Be --" books. Thought I'd write the words down here so that you can read, too. :) The book has cute little pictures of a little boy going around helping people.

"I like to be kind; it's a nice thing to be.
When I reach out to others...
They reach back to me!
And so I have noticed
That, time after time,
God hands me chances
To simply be kind.
I'm kind to my family--I pick up my toys.
I go out-of-doors when I want to make noise!
But whenever they need me,
I'm always right there
To help them feel better
And to show them I care.
I'm kind to my friends--I do all I can
To be a good listener...
And to lend them a hand.
And when problems come,
I know it's a must
To shine with a kindness
They can lean on and trust.
I'm kind, too, to strangers,
When Mommy's nearby.
I offer a smile, and I always say, "Hi!"
And I'm kind to our neighbors
And bring them a treat
Whenever they're ailing--or just need to eat.
And always I'm kind
To God's animals too,
For their care is entrusted
To me and to you.
Yes, I'm kind to the lonely,
The hurting, the lost.
I'm kind without minding--
Whatever the cost.
For God blesses kindness in so many ways,
That the kindness I give out is always repaid!
So this much is certain: I know I will find
The happiest life...
By just being kind."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Cute Hubby

Andrew hiked to the top of a mountain this weekend. He was in need of a much-needed break from homework. He left at 5 am! Yikes! He was scoping out places for photography this winter to get pictures of the back of Mt. Timp. He NEVER takes self-portraits and rarely lets me take pictures of him, so I had to post this. He's been working on a website for his photography and needed a self-portrait. Looks like he found a great spot! (By the way, this is my very unskilled photo edit--I'm sure he will make it look a lot better.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

This picture is of my grandparents after a fishing trip (when they were dating, I believe)--aren't they cute?

Well, I've decided to really put some energy into the oral history editing business. I don't know where it will lead, but I have felt really good about pursuing this course. I felt inspired when I first thought of the business, I loved working on the book, and now that I have a final product to show people--I am ready to go!

So I made a blog for the business-- I tried to set it up as much like a website (and not a blog) as I could. Andrew will make me a website eventually, but until then I will refer people to the blog. We are starting out not charging very much just to get some more experience, get a little money flowing, and sort of test the waters--see how much people are willing to pay. I've seen sites where they charge thousands of dollars, but I don't know if people actually pay that...

I've even started networking (I've always been really scared by this concept). Next week I am going to meet with a lady from Salt Lake who runs a successful business of her own doing personal histories. She was very kind, and I think the meeting will be very helpful.

The new blog is still a work in progress, and I am sure I will be changing a lot of the text, but I wanted to get something up because we have had several people express interest since they have seen the Losee book. We even have a meeting set up for this afternoon with a potential client and will hopefully have more in the next couple of weeks!

So if you know anyone who needs to get their personal history done--send them my way! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Small Kate Update

Kate is increasingly difficult to take a picture of! Out of MANY pictures that I took today at the park, these are the rare few where she wasn't totally glaring at me. We had a lot of fun today running around the park and playing on the swings. Kate kicked her legs out and threw her body back (trying to make herself go higher), but she scared herself when she went a little too far back. She told herself in her cute little voice, "Uh oh! Careful!" Sadly, just moments later she let go of the chain on the swing and went flying to the ground (and I think she hit her head on a rock--yikes)! It was her first accident on the swings, and she was quite upset by it.

Kate is really talking up a storm now. She'll say words seemingly out of nowhere. They are words I have said in the past, but not right before she says them. It can be startling. Like when she warned herself to be careful. I hadn't said for at least a couple days! :) Or how she said "chicken" yesterday when she saw a picture of it, but I know I haven't said that in a while! Anyway, she can now count all the way to ten! As in 1-10! Amazing--but I think pretty typical for an almost two year old. But still--amazing! :)

She has been less excited to give hugs on demand and more interested in doing whatever she wants. 'Sigh.' She goes potty at least once a day, just before bath time. She LOVES Cinderella and I hear "Wewwa, wewwa!" at least ten times a day. She thinks the mice are hilarious. I showed her a picture of Andrew and me on our wedding day, pointed to the dress and said, "Cinderella." So, now she thoroughly believes Mommy is Cinderella and Daddy is the Prince. Heh, heh. That might be one of those awkward realization moments in a few years--"Wait a minute. You mean my mom isn't Cinderella?" when she's like 12 or something. I told her she looked like Cinderella in a big poofy dress she wore to church, and she would NOT let me take it off her afterwards. She still won't let me touch her hair, though, so it's always hanging in her eyes.

I had to take her out of church on Sunday (for the first time in like 6 months!), not because she was fussing or anything, but because she was reading her book VERY loudly. I could tell it was disrupting people, so I opted out.

Oh yes, and lately she loves to tell Mommy to "Shhh!" as she puts her finger to her lips. She usually does it when I'm singing to her--oh well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

WOAH...WHAT did she just say??

Kate has a swearing problem. No, she didn't hear me, Andrew, or anyone else for that matter say the words she's saying. And so now you're probably wondering if she didn't hear it or learn it from someone, then how does she know swear words? Good question. She doesn't. It's just an unfortunate case of poor enunciation--I mean, she isn't even two yet after all.

I do yell out a lot--especially when I am cooking. Cooking usually = water boiling over, cutting myself, burning myself, or burning food. So Kate hears a lot of "Oh shoot!" and "Oh CRAP!" and "Oh NUTS!" She's mostly opted to repeat "Oh nuts" which I am happy about. But lately, she has been trying to say "Oh shoot." Only, it doesn't sound like "shoot." When I first heard her say it, I probably looked at her with a bewildered expression for a good five minutes. I realized she did in fact learn that word from me, just not exactly the word that's coming out of her mouth.

As I have mentioned previously, Kate loves animals--and she's learned the names for just about all of them. I didn't realize when I was innocently teaching her the names of animals that this would be a problem. The biggest problem being with the word "frog." Doesn't look like a swear word, does it? Well, when the "r" isn't clearly pronounced, and the "g" sounds more like a "k"--yeah. Andrew heard her say it the other day, and he stopped whatever he was doing and stared. "WHAT did she just say?!"

I covered my face, "FROG."

He shook his head slowly, "That didn't sound like frog."

So, we are working with her on "r" and "g." I can only imagine these words spilling out in nursery--ahhh!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weight Loss Update...

Boy, I have lost my motivation for this Biggest Loser round; it's been gone for a few weeks now, actually. It hasn't been as motivating for me this time because I'm always ranked in the 20s--not even close to competing. The only way I keep losing some weight is because I had the stomach flu two weeks ago, and this week I have the cold flu. That helps with weight loss, at least. :) So, I think there's just one more week to go. I've lost 12 pounds so far this round--not great! Yikes. Just wanted to update you all in case you've been wondering what's been going on with that. Still 16 more pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can I get a HALLELUJAH????


Three years ago I had an epiphany while I was taking an oral history editing class: I wanted to start a business interviewing people about their lives. I wanted to make books out of the histories. So I decided that first I needed a sample to sell people on my business. Andrew and I decided to offer my services for free to someone to get experience and a final product. We chose a man in Andrew's old ward. Anyway, we spent hours interviewing him--it was such a neat experience! This man is so incredible. I edited and designed the majority of the book right after we interviewed him. (Andrew's incredibly fast-typing mom transcribed the whole interview--THANK YOU!!) Then something happened. I didn't work on it very much after I started remodeling our house, and then I had Kate...*insert additional excuses here*. There really is no good excuse why this has taken me so long. But I am here to say that it is DONE!! I ordered the books for his family this week. The picture above is the dust cover for his 6x9 hardcover book. The green at the top is cropped off.

The subtitle started out being "A Hardworking Country Dog" because he joked in an interview that that's what he wanted written on his tombstone. But, by the end, we opted for a more traditional title that ties into promises in his patriarchal blessing. The picture on the back was a picture Andrew took a long time ago in Zion National Park. Ferril's family has a tradition of going there--so it worked well. The book ended up being 115 pages. The picture of the first page of the chapter is just to show you how the book looks/reads (click to see larger).

Now that it is finally done, it makes me want to do another one. Crazy, I know. But if I was actually paid to do this--I would totally be motivated and love it. I did really love working on this history. I will probably never meet most of his family, but I know an awful lot about them!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Letters from a #1 fan!!

Ha--I was just going through old letters and what not and found some funny stuff. Below are two letters that I wrote in October 1988. I was almost nine years old. Hope you get a kick out of these, like I did. My personal favorite is the one to Debbie Gibson. After you read the letters, I don't think you'll be shocked to learn that they never wrote back.

"Dear Mr. Swayze,

I am writing this on my computer.

You are one of my favorite actors. I love the movie "Youngblood." It's cool! I saw the TV version. What movie that you've made do you like the best? I've not seen "Dirty Dancing" because I'm only 9. But I've heard it's wonderful, and I want to see it. I wish you were in more PG movies.

I have a poster of you! I collect "Teen-Beat" and "All-Stars."

What is your favorite sport?

I live in Omaha, Nebraska. It's very nice out here.

I love horses. I think they are so pretty. I hardly ever get to ride them though. How much do you ride your horse? If I had a horse I would ride it all day and night.

I want to be a famous dancer--it looks really fun. I also want to be a singer. I want to play more sports. I think they are fun. Is your wife a dancer also? I think you should make more movies together. I think she is pretty.

How many people are in your family? There are six people in my family. I have a sister and two brothers and a dad and a mom. My sister is 16. My brother is 13. My other brother is 11, and I am 9 years old. I do not act like a 9 year old at all. My friends and I act like big teenagers.

On the bus to school we always look at Teen-Beat. My friend likes George Michael. She wrote to him, but he never answered her letter, but of course it has not been a long time. Because he lives far away.

What do you do in your spare time?

Do you think Rob Lowe is nice? I was wondering how do you dance like that? It looks so hard. I tried it I could not do it. Do you have a child? I don't think you do. Just to make sure I thought I'd ask you.

Because of integration, I go to Conestoga school. It's okay, but I like my other school better. It is called Catlin. I have more friends there. My friends has one of your tapes too! She enjoys it very much.

Have you met Debbie Gibson? Well, if you have do you think she is nice? I was wondering if I should write her also.

I like your song "She's like the Wind." It's neat.

Are you going to make a "Dirty Dancing II?" I sort of want to be an artist! I love all the movies that I've seen you that you have made! I think that is neat that you and your wife have been married for so long.


Your fan,

Jenny Ericksen

P.S. Please write back!"
Dear Miss Gibson,

I love your music! It's awesome! I don't have any of your tapes. But my friend does, but one of her friends accidentally took her tape so now she doesn't have it.

Do you think Brian Bloom is nice? Because I wanted to know if I should write him. I probably am going to write him anyway. But I was just wondering.

So now about you. What do you do most of the time? What school did you go to? I go to Conestoga school. I am in third grade. It's not the best school. But it's okay.

I think you are pretty, so do my friends. Your family is as big as mine. I wrote to Patrick Swayze on Ocotber 9, 1988. It was two pages long! The letter was pretty good!

I play soccer, baseball, and I want to play basketball.

Your fan,

Jenny Ericksen

P.S. Keep up the good work!

Friday, October 31, 2008

I just got back from voting early! Yay! I should have done it earlier in the week, though--and/or earlier in the day. I went around lunch time and it was PACKED. Luckily, the line went pretty quickly--"only" 40 minutes. I wouldn't mind that by myself, but with Kate it was a little harder. She kept wandering away, going up/down stairs, etc. I bought a little candy and had enough to keep her close or at least coming back. Heh, heh. I have a feeling that come Tuesday (election day) the lines will be fairly small since everyone seems to be voting early to beat the lines. Oh well. No more obsessing over who I am going to vote for in both the national/state elections. I have to say--it felt good to vote third party! :) My conscience can be at rest. ;) Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Being Silly

Sorry for the camera all over the place--I was trying to keep Kate modest. :) For some reason she thinks it's hilarious when I say, "Eww gross," and I think it's adorable when she says it. She was more entertained this time by the growling, though.

Lovin' Fall!

This is one of two little playgrounds right behind out apartment.

Coming down the big slide!
The weather has been so gorgeous here! Kate and I have been loving spending time outside. In the videos below, Kate is pretending to sleep--fake yawn, fake snore. Love it. In one of them you will see she has a one track mind about the potty. (This was taken last week when we were potty training.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I need a potty break!!

Phew! This has been a long week in the potty! Kate loves to read on the potty (as you can see), and also loves to count her books--over and over again with pretend numbers. She insists on having several with her at all times. I have a video of her "counting" I might post later.

Anyway, there have been many successes and many accidents. I have a large pile of laundry that smells like urine. Luckily, there's nothing that smells like poo. After a couple days, I stopped putting her on the potty so much (she was starting to get tired of it) and just started asking her if she had to go--trying to get her to initiate it. Sometimes she would nod and run to the potty, but mostly she would just shake her head and say, "No no potty!"--inevitably followed a few minutes later by a tinkle tinkle on the carpet. There's only so many of those that I could take, and I finally put her in a pull-up.

I've decided that she nor I are ready to potty train just yet (we gave it our best!). Since I've put her back in her diapers today, she has asked twice to go potty on her own. She totally gets it, but I think I will just let her take her time and build up to being completely diaper/pull-up free. Maybe it won't be long (I hope!).

In this video, she is saying some letters but is kind of silly about it--she's usually much more
studious! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Potty Training Phase 1: Complete!

Well, it hasn't even been a whole day yet of potty training, but an entire morning has almost passed at least--and I'm very excited. Kate loves to read on the potty! I woke her up this morning, whipped off her PJs and stuck her on the potty hoping to catch some morning pee. She was still half-asleep and wondering what the heck was going on, but it worked. I'm not sure she quite understands yet, though I try to cheer each and every time I hear a tinkle. I'm following advice from my sister-in-law--I put Kate on the potty for 15 min on 15 minutes off (you're supposed to do this for 2-3 days). It hasn't worked exactly like that, but pretty close. She's just had a few accidents and it was on the tile--so hardly any clean up.

Anyway, I'm sorry if no one is interested in potty training. I'm sure I wouldn't have been either. But for those that are--thought I'd give some details.

The biggest success of the morning was just a few minutes ago when I stuck her on the potty, and she went #2!! I can't tell you how excited I was that I didn't have to clean it up from the couch or anything horrible like that. Plus, it was easier to show her what she had accomplished exactly. I hope it's sinking in!!

For those wondering why in the world we're trying to potty train her when she's not even two, it's mostly to save some money on diaper costs. I hope this works! And yes, you can count on more potty training updates. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

An Update on Kate

I just can't get over how wonderful Kate has been lately--especially in church! You would never know that she's almost two. She sits there with the hymn book in her lap and croons away happily; when the song is over she announces to the congregation "All done!" and puts the song book back in its place. Knowing what to expect next, she folds her arms (and sometimes even waits in the same spot all the way through the prayer) and then says, "Amen." When the sacrament tray comes into sight, she eyes it eagerly and says loudly, "Mmm mm!" Sure she needs lots of treats and books to make it ALL the way through, but I haven't had to take her out of sacrament meeting in three months!

She used to scream and cry when we would drop her at nursery, but not anymore! Last week, she calmly sat down and started to read a book. When she saw that Andrew was still there, she waved and said, "Bye-bye, Daddy!" Andrew was a little shocked, but took the hint and left. Then this week I dropped her off and she didn't look back. I was like, "Bye Kate!" Nothing. I'm glad she's happy, of course--but I can't help but think she's growing up too fast.

She is talking like crazy these days. No complete sentences really besides the ones she's been saying for a while now--"Where did (fill in blank) go?" and "Oh! There it is!" She seems to understand words and can repeat them after just one time hearing it. Amazing. One of her new favorite phrases is "Woah! Cool!"

She loves to clean up after herself and instead of opening cupboards and pulling things out of them as most toddlers are wont to do, she is always closing drawers and cupboards after I've left them open.

Learning the names of colors and letters is her latest passion. She finds letters on tires, bottles, weights, bikes, you name it. She knows an awful lot of them now, too. Her pronunciation of "w" is the cutest, in my opinion. She knows a lot of random animal names like "turtle, moose, and bee" but still calls cats "meow" and sheep "baa."

She loves to give hugs and get hugs, and if you sing her the "I love you, you love me" song--then you will even get a kiss. Singing has definitely remained one of her favorite things. She loves to sing along to "I Am a Child of God"--meaning she finishes the last word of every line.

She always wants to be outside. Always. No matter what. She is always putting her shoes on and going to the door. We're lucky enough to live at a place with a slide right behind our house. She even got a trike that she's been trying to figure out. The only time she's really fussy is when I try to bring her back inside.

Kate is very shy. She loves to watch other children and always has a little face that looks like she is longing to join in their fun. She is very sensitive and doesn't understand why kids would be rough with her when she is always willing to share.

She doesn't like clips or hair ties in her hair. I don't know how to put them in. She never wears them.

Homemade bread is her favorite food. When it comes out of the oven, her little fingers are digging in when Mom's not looking. She'll have a mouthful of bread and be holding out two hands desperately begging for more. Even when the bread doesn't turn out so well (which has happened the last few times I've made it), she always makes me feel better by being an eager consumer.

In short, Kate fills our lives with much joy. If she ever spots me crying (as I do sometimes when I have my period), her face crumples up in a very concerned way, and she rests her hand on my shoulder while saying empathetically, "Ohh." In church, whenever a baby or toddler is crying, she gets her concerned face on and points to the child. She then says, "Want it!" I'm pretty sure what she is trying to say is that the child wants something--give it to him/her!

What a great kid! This week's challenge/milestone--POTTY TRAINING.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kid Dot Coms

My older brother, Mark, is a computer programmer and an amazing photographer. He is always creating something cool, it seems. He recently launched a new website called He has three little girls that love to play on the computer and have occasionally come across bad things when typing in the wrong addresses of their favorite websites. So he made a program where each child can have their own home page with their favorite links. It is such a great idea! If you have kids on the computer--you should check out his site and try it for free! It's a great way to help protect your kids.

Kate's not even two, but I set up a little page for her to try and she loves it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A pound of flesh...

Sorry, I know this is disgusting...yes, it is a pound of fat. I lost this plus 1/2 pound this week. It doesn't seem like a lot to say I lost 1.5 lbs this week, but when you actually look at the fat--seems like a whole lot more, no? :) Only 19 more pounds to go to my GOAL weight. To be honest, though, I will be THRILLED when I lose about 10 more pounds (it'll be my high school weight). But, of course, I am going to the very end!

So strange isn't it, that when I first reached the weight I am now (going up), I felt huge and fat. But on the way down, it's a whole 'nother feeling! It's all relative.

By the way, last week I never got the hopefully I will get them this week.

UPDATE: My weekly rank went from #37 to #16 and overall rank fell from #24 to #20. Yay!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

DIRT is ready! Oh, woops, I mean dinner is ready!

Mine didn't look nearly as appetizing as this. And yes, I realize that you're all probably thinking, "You thought this looked appetizing?!"

Last week, I bought a huge bucket of lentils. Why lentils, you ask? Not sure really. I saw them at the store (and noticed that they were really high in protein) and went home to research what one actually does with lentils. I found what I thought looked like a tasty Indian meal called Mujaddara. I always tend to think of food storage in "Well, if we're starving we could eat this every day and survive" terms (Reminder: La Choy products are an exception). It definitely could have just been my lack of cooking skills--but it didn't come out that well. I actually kind of liked it, but Andrew quickly concluded that it tasted "like dirt." I wasn't offended because I could definitely see his point. It was all brown--brown rice, brown lentils, brown onions. I tried adding some soy sauce, but that just made it browner. Plus, I don't think I cooked it with nearly enough water--so it was very dry. Still, I ate it for a few days (I made WAY too much. How the heck was I supposed to know how much two cups of lentils makes? I had no idea.).

Anyway, tonight I tried a recipe that my sister gave me--Lentil Stew. Mmm, mm!! Andrew was freaking out that it was the best thing he'd ever had. It was dang good--shocking, I know. But I still have 43 lbs. of lentils...and Mujaddara is really easy and cheap to dirt will have to be in our weekly rotation, I think. Does anyone have any recipes that include lentils? Please--let me know. :)

UPDATE: Here is the lentil stew recipe--
1 cup dried lentils (just rinse)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced (or use equivalent amt of garlic powder or granules)
1 Tbsp. Cooking oil
1 7 1/2 ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 cups beef bouillon
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 or 2 potatoes cubed
1 (big or 2 small) yam or sweet potato cubed (boil slightly to remove skins easily)
1/2 lb fully cooked smoked sausage, slice
1 Tbsp. sugar

Rinse lentils, in big pot cook onions, garlic in hot oil till tender, not brown. Stir in lentils, beef broth, undrained tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, pepper, potatoes, yams, bring to boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer till veggies are tender. Stir in sliced sausages. Add 2 Tbsp. of sugar.

**Now, when I made it I had three slight changes. I had mild Italian sausage (which was pretty spicy) instead of smoked, and I used canned yams (sweet potatoes) instead of the real thing. I just drained off all the syrup and put it in when I put in the sausage. And I used Italian Seasonings instead of oregano (since I didn't have any). I also doubled the recipe (and froze a bunch) since I didn't have tomatoes in a 7.5 ounce can. Really tasty, though.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Oh no!"

I was trying to get her on video saying "stuck" because it is very cute, but instead I got her saying, "Oh no!" Andrew and I love the way Kate says, "Oh no!" I think it is probably our favorite thing that she says. We often try to imitate it, but it's just not the same.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On a lighter note...

I have a TON of videos and pics I need to post (well, at least some of them). Thought I'd start with this one. My mom sent Kate a couple of Boynton books a few weeks ago and I recorded her first time reading them. She says a new word in this clip--so it's very exciting! :) She also recognized that the characters in the book were tickling each other and made her tickle noise (the one she uses anytime she tries to tickle someone or sees a belly button). Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Last Chance!!

For anybody who is against the bailout--PLEASE call your senators and congressman today!! Just Google their name and phone and it comes right up. We need to flood the lines! It only takes a minute and it could make the difference! Congress is voting TODAY.

Here are Ron Paul's House floor remarks today.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Check this out!

"Ashen Flame"

Andrew just finished editing another picture! My parents saw this slide and wanted it for their entryway. Andrew just finished it up and will be ordering the print soon. He is really excited about this one. He took this picture of a dead Bristlecone Pine tree in the White Mountains (in California) on his most recent photography trip. You can read more about it on his blog. He's going to submit this picture to the Springville Art Museum next spring. Fun!

**He found a website that lets you try out frames on your pictures. He really likes this style--with a linen matte and wants to do his pictures that way from now on.


I only lost one pound again this week...shoot! I came in at #31 for the week and dropped to #25 overall. The good news is, though, that my wedding ring fits fine again! I had gotten just a band that I dubbed my "fat ring." But that one falls off all the time now. Yay!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wave goodbye to the Constitution, Timmy! There it goes! GoodBYE!

"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." --John Adams

"A generous parent would have said, 'if there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.'" --Thomas Paine, Common Sense

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." --Thomas Jefferson

Okay, people. I know some of you reading this don't necessarily subscribe to my political views and maybe thought I was a little nuts for supporting Ron Paul. That's totally fine. But one thing that even the media agrees on is that Ron Paul was right about the economy. Maybe you've noticed that lately he has been all over CNN, Glenn Beck, etc. because he predicted this financial crisis years ago. Please read this letter that Ron Paul sent out to the public today It is time for us to wake up and not take this lying down! Contact your state representatives (it's actually really easy--just click here)and tell them how you feel about the proposed bailout. Let's do something! This is supposed to be our country--let's not sit idly by and watch it fall to tyrants.

*Stepping off soapbox.*

Friday, September 19, 2008

I can't believe I haven't killed someone yet.

My new least favorite activity is driving Andrew to school. If I'm not swerving to dodge a maniacal bike rider, then I'm slamming on my brakes for swarming students darting to and fro, or about to lay on my horn for the lady in the SUV in front of me who is NOT moving! I had some serious rage today as I was dropping Andrew off. I was trying to pull through a crosswalk, and one nice girl stopped and waved me through, while a completely oblivious guy plowed ahead. After I dropped Andrew, I drove extremely slowly forward through the masses (it's not really my wish to kill anyone), but one guy had his head down fiddling with his mp3 player and walked straight into the car. Luckily, I had spotted him and wasn't moving. But he looked up at me and totally glared! As if I had the nerve to be driving in the street. It is truly some kind of miracle that there aren't pedestrian deaths by the hundreds every day at BYU.

Just ONE

I only lost one pound this week, but I am excited about it still because my BMI is officially in the "Normal" weight category (just barely). I've gone from borderline obese to overweight and now to normal! What a great feeling! I still feel overweight, but I'm getting closer to my goal every day. I even lost another inch off my waist. I've had the toughest time losing inches from my waist! That's where the majority of my weight likes to hang out--yuck. (I've only lost about four inches for 28 lbs.) I hope I can have a bigger week next week. Updates on rank later.

UPDATE: I came in ranked #22 for the week and moved up from #26 to #23 overall. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

A new season of inspiration...

The new Biggest Loser (family edition) season starts tomorrow (Tues 8/7 c)! Thought I'd give it a plug for anyone who needs some extra motivation to lose weight. I started watching this show part way through last season. I love working out while I watch it--it really makes me want to push myself. Check out last season's winner (and the first ever female winner)--Ali (above). She went from 234 lbs to 122 lbs! Amazing. I'm so excited for it to start again. While it can be really overly dramatic sometimes (especially during weigh-ins), I still love watching all the people go from unhealthy, overweight, and depressed to healthy and happy people that feel like they can do anything. It's great! Check out this site (the sidebar--scroll down) to see everybody's transformation from last season and 2007. Woah. It's a good reminder of why I took those "Before" pics.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Working my way up...

I lost three pounds this week (yeehaw!), and for the week I was ranked #14. Overall, I went from #42 to #26. Yay! Here I come, baby! :)