Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Humble Pie and Letting It Go

Without going into great detail (or any detail at all because you never know who will stumble across your blog), this week I have really been given a huge slice of humble pie. It is not that humble pie isn't good for you or that I have never had it before, but it was totally unexpected. Have you ever done something that you were super excited about and then somebody totally misinterpreted it and became offended by it? Yep, that's what happened. I really feel bad about it, but mostly because I just don't understand where this person is coming from. But, I'm swallowing it down and remembering that there is always something to be learned. Even if I don't understand and the prideful side of me really wants to fight back, I know that in the end what will really matter is how I handle it.

When we lived in Fayetteville (about 6 years ago), we had the MOST INCREDIBLE stake president ever!!!! He was actually just released a couple of weeks ago. Cory and I absolutely LOVED (and still love) him. Whenever you would pass him in the hallways at church, he would always stop, address you by name, and then make you feel like you were the most important person to him. When he spoke in stake conference, I would sit on the edge of my seat, write everything down that he said, and then leave determined to do exactly what he asked us to do. I have had some good stake presidents, but he was more than a good stake president. He was AMAZING!!

One stake conference, Cory and I walked in together and sat as far away as we could without making it totally obvious that we were in a fight. To this day, I have no idea what we were fighting about, but I do remember being really mad. We kept our distances and desperately tried to put on a happy face for those around us. I'm sure the talks were wonderful, but I was so upset that it was hard to even focus let alone feel the spirit. Then President Catlett stood up to speak. He gave a beautiful talk, one that only he could give. Near the end he spoke from his heart about some things that he wanted us, as the adult members of the stake, to improve upon. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I do remember three words that he said with such power and intensity that it pierced me to the very center of my heart. He said, "whatever it is that you are holding on to, whatever grudge you may be carrying, LET IT GO." After those three words my heart grew three sizes bigger and as I swallowed my pride and scooted right up next to Cory I whispered three other words in his ear, "I love you". Those three words made a huge impact on me that day. Little did I know that those three words, that specific and direct counsel from a man of God whom I loved and sustained completely and unquestionably, have come to my mind over the last six years over and over again. Today, they came once again, just as powerfully as they did all those years ago.

So today, I'm swallowing my pie and letting it go.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wheat Bread and Wheat Pancake Recipe

Andrea's Wheat Bread

2 tbsp yeast
1/2 c warm water
5 cups hot water
12-13 cups wheat flour
2/3 c honey
2/3 c oil
2 tbsp salt

First, in a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp yeast with 1/2 c warm water.

In a separate bowl, mix 5 cups hot water with 7 cups wheat flour. Then add 2/3 c honey, 2/3 c oil, and 2 tbsp salt. Mix together and beat for 10 minutes (it feels like forever, but I think it's pretty important to do it the full length of time).

Add yeast mixture and then add 5-6 c more wheat flour. Mix for about 6 minutes, until dough pulls away from the side of the your mixing bowl.

Grease bread pans and pour oil on your hands. Then divide the dough into thirds or fourths (depending on the size of your loaf pan). Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Wheat Pancakes

1 c milk
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Blend milk and flour at high speed for 4 minutes. Turn blender to low speed and add remaining ingredients. Keep heat on griddle at medium-high setting as pancakes tend to scorch easily.

{My favorite way to eat these pancakes is with a little bit of syrup, sliced up bananas and cool whip on top.....SO YUMMY!}

AMAZING Minestrone Soup Recipe

Here it is girls, the best Minestrone soup ever. Well, I guess it's the only one I've ever made, but I LOVED it (I've eaten it for lunch for like 3 days straight!). I actually got it from my friend Melanie's blog. Have I told you about it before? If not, you MUST check it out. I get almost all of my recipes from it. Go to www.thesisterscafe.blogspot.com to check it out.

Here's the recipe....

Favorite Minestrone
submitted by Melanie

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery leaves and all, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can petite diced italian tomatoes
2 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
4 cups water
a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups cooked shell pasta
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and garlic into pot. Mix in tomato paste, beans, tomatoes, broth and water. Season with basil, oregano and salt. Cook and stir 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Add the chopped spinach the last 5 minutes.
Cook shell pasta in a separate pot until al dente. Stir pasta into soup. Serve with a generous sprinkle of fresh parmesan! Yum!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


My girls LOVE Star Wars. We watch them together as a family quite often on our Friday movie night. The other day Cloey decided to use lipstick to paint her face like the queen.

Katelund LOVES to write word problems for her math homework. Her teacher always puts comments about how funny they are. This is the one she wrote on one of her math pages this week. I LOVE the last line she writes... "You know like boom!"

Do you know those kind of people who can do it all? At the end of the day they look perfect, their house is perfectly clean, they have a delicious homemade meal on the table at 5, and kids are asleep at 7? Well, that is SO NOT ME!! I wish it was, but let me tell you how it is for me. Yesterday I decided to make some wheat bread (Andrea, I LOVE your recipe). In order for me to make wheat bread, I have to have a perfectly clean kitchen because by the end of the project it is going to be a huge disaster. Then I have to grind tons of wheat (so I have leftover for my favorite wheat pancakes), and then begin making the bread. Why does it take me all day? Because I have a 3 month old baby and a toddler who is in to EVERYTHING! At one point, I actually got so frustrated that I put all of the kitchen chairs into a locked bedroom so that she could no longer climb up onto the counters and into the pantry...best idea I've ever had!! And I really try to have dinner made before my older girls get home from school so that I can put my attention on homework. So by the time Cory got home from work, he saw a beautifully clean kitchen, four loaves of homemade wheat bread, and a pot full of DELICIOUS Minestrone soup. (Olive Garden better watch out because I'm pretty sure mine is WAY better than theirs), homework complete, and four happy children. I was feeling pretty good about myself, until I looked in the mirror when I went to the bathroom. HOLY COW!!! I totally forgot to shower. I had mascara flakes around my eyes, crazy hair sticking out in all directions, and flour ALL over my total grunge outfit (you know the kind, very worn black yoga pants and high school tennis t-shirt) that I was wearing ALL DAY LONG and I'm pretty sure I ran in it the day before. Good thing he kissed me anyways and totally loved dinner!

My wheat grinder is one of the BEST Christmas gifts ever!! Thanks Mom!

I had to take a picture of Cory eating this dinner because not only did he love a soup full of vegetables (when we first got married all he would eat were corn and peas) and 100% whole wheat bread, but also a dinner WITHOUT any meat. Can you tell how excited he was about me taking this picture? LOL!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Our Clacky

I love this picture of Cloey. It is SO her! She is such a fun daughter to raise. She tries really hard to be obedient and she constantly amazes me with her desires to be good and stand up for what is right. She is also quite the little missionary. But, she is still learning boundaries. When I say boundaries, I mean personal space boundaries. She is not shy very often and she loves to give people hugs (although at times it feels more like a tackle). She also has this wacky fun side to her. In our home, we lovingly refer to her as "Clacky" when she is in one of those moods. She is hilarious when she's like that but we are still trying to teach her that sometimes she needs to keep the "clackiness contained" :). On Friday, Cory and I sat down with Katelund and Cloey and talked to them about some things that we want each of them to work on and get better at. As they continually work on these things over time, they will be rewarded, nothing better than a good incentive, right? One thing we want Cloey to work on is manners. It has been so cute to watch her this weekend as she has been trying so hard to be so polite.

We went on a family bike ride this weekend. As we were riding along the trail, Cory wanted to show us where he had his biking accident a couple days earlier (he had gone mountain biking with a friend and his bike slipped under him on a really rocky trail. He has some major cuts and road rash all over his body now, just one more thing to add to his softball injury a couple weeks earlier and his second round of poison ivy from an Elder's Quorum service activity). As we went off the road, Katelund told me she needed to go to the bathroom. So I took Katelund off the trail behind some trees and Cory kept riding since anytime he stopped Makalya would start crying (he was pulling them in a bike trailer). After we were done, we hurried onto our bikes to catch up. In Katelund's mad rush to be in the front with Cory, she fell off her bike and scratched up her hands and leg. We all gathered around to make sure she was okay. She was doing some serious crying. Then Hailey and Makayla both started crying as well. Cory and I just looked at each other, laughing on the inside, as we realized how pathetic our situation was. Amidst all the commotion, I looked over and saw Cloey quietly carrying Katelund's bike up to the trail for her. It was so sweet. I was so touched by her quiet and simple act of kindness.

Those are the moments that I live for as a mother. Yes, she is all about getting her incentive, but I don't think that had anything to do with why she did what she did. She did it because she loves her sister. She did it because she is just that kind of a person. A little person that continually amazes me with her huge capacity to love. Our family would be so incomplete without Cloey. She brings so much love, spunk, and excitement to our home. Life just wouldn't be the same without our little Clacky.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Chicken and Hormones

Ever since I have become obsessed (out of necessity of course) with the labels on food, I have come to realize how much junk is in things. I can totally see why people are going towards the "whole and real food" way of eating. I am all about eating an apple instead of apple juice, homemade bread vs store bought, making my own granola instead of buying the bars, etc...BUT, I am also not totally sold on the whole organic thing. I think there is some validity to what they say, but it is so stinking expensive to shop at stores like Earth Fare or Whole Foods. The thing that is really getting to me lately is the whole chicken thing. I buy my chicken from Sams. I LOVE the price and I also love that I can use two chicken breasts to feed my family of five (really 6 if you count the chicken that eventually trickles into my milk).

But what about the inhumane way that these chickens are being raised? What are the long term consequences of eating chicken that is filled with hormones and such to make them way bigger than they naturally are? I just don't know. How can I afford to feed my family if all of my food budget goes toward meat from Earth Fare? I can just hear myself now, "Sorry kids, there's no food in the cupboards but at least what you do eat is supposedly the best money can buy." I say supposedly because really what if the whole organic thing is just a big old scam? What if those chickens are given the exact same hormones just in lower doses or maybe they are given something way worse? AHHHH!! I just don't know. The real solution is to just have a huge garden in my backyard and my very own chicken coup for eggs and even a couple cows for milk. So I guess we need to live on a farm. We never should've moved away from Idaho. :)

But until that day, I think I'll just keeping buying my hormone filled chicken at Sam's Club and hopefully we won't all die from cancer in the meantime.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Battlefields and Prophets

The other weekend Cory and I loaded up our girls, their bikes, his bike, and the double stroller and drove about 20 miles down the road to one of the Civil War Battlefields. This particular battlefield was where the last major Confederate victory took place. It is 5300 acres!! It is not only huge, but it is also beautiful! There are monuments and trails everywhere. Cory went on a 25 mile bike ride with the boy scouts and the girls and I went on our own ride. The girls rode their bikes while I ran/walked with the stroller. It was so much fun!!! The weather was perfect and we even saw about seven deer.

The girls' favorite part was when we climbed up the winding staircase of the 85 foot monument that looked like Rapunzel's tower. On our way back to the van we each took turns making up our own story of the monument. I wish I had recorded their stories. They were hilarious. My story told of a love story between a girl who was from the south and a soldier from the north. She told him that she would meet him at the top of the tower and he would come and rescue her on his horse. Yep, I'm totally a sappy romantic. But I'm not the only one, you would be totally shocked at how romantic Cory is. Anyways, back to the other weekend....

As we were walking, the girls wanted to know all about the Civil War. As I explained to them what they were fighting about, the girls just didn't understand why anyone would be okay with having slaves (although, they sure don't have any problem with ME being their slave...just kidding...kindof). It's so easy to look back in history and see things so clearly. Right and wrong just seems so black and white, and yet in the present, there seems to be so much more gray. I don't think things are really that different. Right will always be right and wrong will always be wrong, but for whatever reason, the lens of the past and future are perfectly clear while the lens of the present seems to blur up so quickly. After this last weekend of General Conference, I feel like my lens has cleared up. I can see so much clearer the many things that I need to improve on and/or change. I'm so grateful for a prophet, a Seer, who can, and always will, see things as they really are and as they really will be.

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