Monday, December 31, 2012

One Word Goal 2013 {Embrace}

This past year my one word goal was "Cherish." And to my surprise, I have thought about that word and how to apply it to my life almost daily for the entire year. I found something to cherish during the trying times (and believe me--we have had plenty this year!)

I cherished the time with my baby, even when he was fussy, because he was mine and healthy and won't be a baby for long.
I cherished the smile from one student during one of my most challenging classes.
I cherish the fact that we were all alive.
I slowed down. I reflected. I contemplated. I cherished.

And now a new year has come. And I need a new one word goal.

I have listened to General Conference from this past October several times. I love so many of the talks. But there is something about Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from Saturday morning that touches my heart. He was teaching how to live without regrets. And that is definitely my purpose in making a New Year's Resolution. I want to choose one word to focus on throughout the year so I can look back on 2013 without regrets.

Near the end of his talk, he stated:
"...No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it."

Embrace.

 
It is perfect because it will help me expand on what I have learned to cherish in 2012.

I am going to embrace those I love.
I am going to embrace my thoughts and ideas and turn them into actions.
I am going to embrace new opportunities.

I am going to embrace the changes that will come, the challenges we will face, the choices we make.
I am going to embrace motherhood: to appreciate the fun parts and to laugh at the hard parts.
I am going to embrace all of the blessings in my life.

I am going to embrace 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Instant Homemade Rolls


Ok so this recipe is not really "instant." But it is as close as I can find for homemade rolls. Seriously start to finish is about 30-40 minutes. Yes. Homemade rolls from scratch in about a 1/2 hour! Yum!


1 + 1/8 c. warm water (1/8 c. = 2 T.)
1/8 c. active dry yeast
1/4 c. sugar 
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
4-5 c. all-purpose flour (possibly more?)
1-2 T. butter (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast and sugar; let rest for 5-10 minutes or until frothy and bubbly.  With a dough hook, mix in oil, salt, egg and 3 cups of flour until combined.  (With a KitchenAide, you can only go up to speed 2 once you add flour or you will burn out the motor.) Gradually add remaining flour until barely not sticky; if you add too much flour, the rolls will take a lot longer to rise but not enough will be too sticky to handle

Divide the dough into 12 equal (ish) portions then roll into balls. (Note: you could use this dough and make any shape of rolls you wanted. But we are going for the speedy method!) Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and let rest for 10 minutes.  (I placed my cookie sheet over the burner that is the heat exhaust for the oven. After about 5 minutes, I rotated the pan. This helped them rise better! If you added too much flour, just let them rise longer and they will still turn out!!) Bake for about 10 minutes or until tops are lightly golden.  Brush with melted butter right after taking out of the oven. (This will make the tops of the rolls softer. Sometimes I do this--sometimes I don't. Casey likes it better with the melted butter brushed on the top.)

Yield: 12 good-sized rolls. {Can also divide dough into 24ths for small dinner rolls.} 

This dough would also make great breadsticks, cinnamon rolls, etc.

Through trial and error, I created a 30 MINUTE HEALTHY ROLLS recipe. It is 100% whole wheat, fat-free, sugar-free and only has 100 calories per roll!! Be sure to check them out! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Best Moments...

1. Listening to music while I use the blender. He *hates* the blender!
2. Taggie--Devin loves slobbering all over this thing.
3. The bird vibrates if you pull it. Devin figured out how to pull it himself.
4. Baby Bunny playing with chewing Baby Jesus.
5. While riding in shopping carts, he figures out how to pull himself up to the front bar. When he is sitting normal in it, he can not even reach the first metal bar.
6. Devin was happily playing with the blocks behind his feet. He heard the heater turn on and turned himself around to check it out. Once the heater turned off, he turned around and continued playing with his blocks.

1. Helping mommy make Christmas cookies.
2. My little cuddle buddy! There are times when he does NOT want to be put down and I'm grateful for the sling I made!
3. I found him in his car seat asleep and cuddling with the blanket. It was just so cute!
4. Playing with Daddy on the floor.
5. Walking around downtown to see all of the Christmas festivities!
6. I'm wearing Devin in our front pack. This is how we stayed warm downtown once it became dark and cold!

1. This picture is kind of old. Notice how he doesn't have much hair. But he was playing with his mashed potatoes and totally enjoyed himself.
2. Stealing Mommy's waffle.
3. Devin also loves to chew on his hands
4. I can feed myself Mommy! (He loves the rolls I made!!)
5. I like using my sippy cup--all by myself!
6. Playing/ eating a biscuit.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Three Gifts of Christmas {tags}

I LOVE Christmas time. There truly is something magical in the air throughout the hustle and bustle. But I want to teach Devin the true meaning of Christmas. I want him to find his own testimony and to truly remember the reason for the season. With that said, I do love the warmth of Santa too and am so excited to have a little one believe. I remembered from some RS activity I went to a while ago how the parents would give their children gold, frankincense and myrrh each year--The Three Gifts of Christmas. I loved the idea and thought it would be the perfect way to remember Christ during presents.

There are a variety of ways to use the tags. You could have each parent and Santa use a tag. You could have them all be from Santa (and a couple could be in the stocking.) You could assign a tag to each sibling (if you had enough kids) and then they have to get a gift that they think would fit in that category for their sibling. I'm not totally sure how we are going to use them--I just know that somehow they will be used on the gifts. (And if you have already bought all of your Christmas gifts, my guess is that you could probably attach one of the tags to a gift because at least in my family growing up, we were getting things like this anyway.)

The gift of Usefulness (myrrh--was used as a medicine)
The gift of Meaning (frankincense--was used as a fragrance)
The gift of Wonder (gold...)

For the usefulness we will give him something he needs. (A few ideas: new clothes, coats, school supplies, hygiene stuff, etc)

For the meaning we will give him something that he will cherish. (Ideas: something homemade, something spiritual, a journal, a book, a blanket)

For the wonder we will give him something he wants or something that he is not expecting. (This really is wide open. Either make it something that he has been asking for. Or make is something he is totally not expecting.)

Simply print off the tag and attach it to the correct gift! :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Easy Clam Chowder

I love cooking. But some nights, I just love having something to eat without much effort on my part. This clam chowder is perfect for one of those nights when you stand in front of the pantry/ fridge hoping something will appear out of no where because you can't figure out what to make and don't have time to do so anyway.



2 cans cream of potato soup
2 cans cream of celery soup
2 can chunky New England clam chowder (pictured is Progresso but you could use any brand)
1 can corn, drained
1 can clams, undrained
1 pint half and half (or 2 c. milk)

Open all of the cans/ half and half and heat over medium heat. Use a *large* dutch oven type of a pan because this makes A LOT!! And if you are not a fan of clams, you can drain the can to make the flavor not as strong or leave it out all together.

I love this soup and I love how easy it is!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

6 Month Checkup

This picture of his hands is a classic. Devin loves chomping on them.
Recently he will stuff both hands all the way in.
Casey tells him its "double or nothin'." Haha!

Hard to believe that my itty bitty baby that was once at 9% for his weight
is now at 48%.
He is growing so much and is healthy and strong.
He has almost tripled his birth weight
and weighs 17 pounds 6 ounces!

Devin is 27.25 inches tall which is 78%.
And his head is 16.9 inches which is 28%.

Our doctor told us he looked healthy and perfect in every way.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"The Nativity" FHE Lesson


I wanted to make an FHE lesson to go with our nativity. My plan was to have something that as we went through the lesson we would set up our nativity. I found these adorable nativity cards at Funky Polka Dot Giraffe and used them as a starting place. I also found a FHE Lesson by Jenny Phillips that was kind of similar and I used part of her lesson as well.

Before FHE: Print off pages 4-6 in the pdf document that Jenny Phillips uploaded. (If you want to participate in the activity later, don't look at page 5&6.) Also, you will need to print off all of the nativity cards at the Funky Polka Dot Giraffe. (Click the links above to go print those things.) Cut out the nativity cards and then hide them in your living room/ entire house--depending on how hard you want to make it. If your nativity is already set up, quickly take it down. If your kids ask why tell them it is a surprise for FHE so they will look forward to it.

Opening Song: Picture a Christmas (Children's Song Book #50)

Opening Prayer:

Opening Activity:  Give each family member a paper and pen. Let them all look at the “Can you tell what picture these are a part of?” sheet included in this packet (don’t let them see the answers), and give them 2 minutes to try to figure out as many of them as they can. They can write them down on the sheet if they think they know or want to guess. (If children are too young to write, you can just do it out loud together as a family.) After the two minutes are up, go over the answers, showing them the “big pictures.”

Discussion
1) How much easier is it to tell what the picture is when you see the whole thing and not just a tiny portion of it? (Talk about how maybe they could tell a little of what the picture was, like a house, but didn’t realize it was part of a snow globe. You may be able to get glimpses of what something is, but can’t understand all of it without seeing the big picture.)
2) Christmas presents, decorations, and Christmas parties are just a “tiny portion” of the big picture of Christmas. If we are only looking at the candy and the decorations and the gifts, we will miss what the “big picture” really is. What really is the big picture of Christmas?

Transition: Today we are going to set up the Nativity. Everyone needs to go find one card that looks like this (show the one not hidden). Even if you see more cards, just take one and come back.

Lesson: Read the card then let that person take out that piece from the Nativity and set it up. Once all of the cards have been read for the first round, send everyone out to find another one. Continue until all 10 cards are found and the nativity is set up.

Activity: Make a Gingerbread Nativity and ask about each thing as you are making it. Basically reteach/ restate the quote you read about each piece while you make it. (The link is for a gingerbread nativity that I have seen floating around through pinterest.)


Closing Prayer:
 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Devin's Data: SIX months

Happy HALF Birthday Baby Bunny!!!
 

Weight: We will find out tomorrow. I guess 17 pounds.

Height: ?

Clothing Size: He wears a mix of 0-3 and 3-6. He would still be wearing only 0-3 except all of his warm clothes are bigger sizes. The 3-6 looks like he is swimming but the 0-3 is becoming a bit short on the length.

Diaper Size: 2

Milestones: Baby Bunny has stranger anxiety. He can sit without support and stand while holding onto something. He takes steps in place when I hold him by his hands. He associates "Mommy" with me. Devin can spin a complete circle in both directions on his tummy and roll from front to back and back to front consistently. He uses his spinning/ rolling to get things he wants and drags them to himself to chew on. Baby Bunny can hold his bottle by himself--but I always still hold it and him anyway. Milk time is our snuggle time! :)

Eating: Devin loves food! He nurses about 5 times during the day. He also eats two meals. Each meal he has about 10-12 ounces. No idea how he eats so much--he is still SO SKINNY!

Sleeping: He goes to bed normally around 9:30 and wakes up about 7 to 7:30. He will take a short nap mid morning, a long nap late afternoon, and a short nap right before bedtime.

Communication: Devin is a little chatterbox! He loves talking to me! He has also figured out how to buzz his lips and does so often. We are working on teaching the signs for "more," "all done," "food" and "milk." I think he recognizes the signs and knows what they mean but he hasn't signed them to us.

Likes: Devin loves cuddling with Mommy! He loves it when I hold him. He smiles the biggest when he sees Daddy come home from work. He enjoys playing with his Taggie and chew toys. He laughs when we play peak-a-boo. He enjoys exploring everything. Recently he became fascinated with his seat belt while in the high chair/ shopping carts and touches it constantly trying to figure how to get it off.

Dislikes: Devin cried while sitting on Santa's lap. He misses Mommy when we are apart. He gets frustrated when he can't reach something. He gets bored easily.

Nicknames: Mr. Devin. Wee One. Baby Bunny.

Most Memorable Moment(s): Devin's two bottom teeth broke the surface and are about half way in. He figured out how to walk while sitting in his walker and loves his independence! While riding in the shopping cart, he tries to figure out how to bust out by pulling himself to the bar I hold to push the cart. Devin and Mommy both had the stomach flu over Thanksgiving.

Hardest Part: Devin gets bored rather quickly and sometimes it is hard to keep him occupied.

Lisa's Favorite Part: Knowing that he misses me while I'm away and listening to him laugh after a bad day.

Casey's Favorite Part: Seeing him grin from ear to ear when I come home from work.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My BFF

Three years ago, my life changed forever. It is hard to believe that it was only three years--it seems like so much longer. My last name changed. I made covenants. Now I always have my BFF by my side.

Three years ago I thought I knew what love was. But I have watched and felt our love grow and deepen everyday since. And especially this past year. Love is staying up all night with a fussy baby and letting me sleep. Love is sitting by my side while we went to the emergency room three times. Love is working full time while going to school so I can stay home. Love is making me comfortable when I'm sick. Love is holding hands, sharing secrets, struggling together, cuddling, sacrificing.

<3 Our love is forever! <3

Monday, November 12, 2012

Devin's Data: FIVE MONTHS

Oh my goodness.
I LOVE this outfit!!!!!!!

Weight: he weighed 15 pounds 12 ounces on Nov. 3rd

Height: (I need to measure him. He is asleep. I will update this later.)

Clothing Size: 0-3. I think he will be outgrowing it sometime soonish.

Diaper Size: 2

Milestones: sits by himself for short periods of time, reaches for everything and drags it to him if he can reach, has some separation anxiety, jabbers in multi-syllables

Eating: He nurses about every 4 hours. Then has breakfast and dinner of solid foods. When eating solids, he eats about 7-8 T. of pureed food for each meal. Pumpkin is his favorite food so far and he hates avocados.

Sleeping: Normally goes to bed around 9 now and then sleeps until 8. He takes about 3-4 naps during the day (depends upon how long the nap is).

Communication: jabbers constantly (especially at Mommy), recognizes the sign (ASL) for milk, I understand all of his different cries—I never thought I would be able to tell the difference but I know.

Likes: jumping, Elmo (he talks to Elmo when Sesame Street is on—the rest of the animals/ people he just watches), cuddling, when Daddy comes home from work—he grins and grins!, swinging, playing with his toes, reaching for the table cloth

Dislikes: having his nose suctioned, wiped or having saline drops (basically, just don’t touch his nose!). He hates it when he feels ignored and people are not paying attention to him. Getting bored or scared. Having his fingernails trimmed.

Nicknames: Mr. Devin, Baby Bunny

Most Memorable Moment(s): being a skeleton family for Halloween, swinging in the park for the first time

Hardest Part: for Lisa—this is a 24/7 job with no breaks, weekends or holidays. It is really hard when he is just crying for no reason and can’t tell us what is wrong. But I wouldn't trade this for anything! If Devin was writing this, he would say the hardest part is when he can't reach a toy. He wants to crawl but doesn't know how and gets grumpy when he can't reach.

Lisa's Favorite Part: cuddling with him and seeing how happy he is. His smile is contagious!!

Casey's Favorite Part: interacting with Devin and singing to him

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gratitude Challenge {FHE Lesson}

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and several people posting something they are grateful for each day this month, I thought it would be fun to start the month off with a gratitude lesson for FHE instead of waiting until the Monday before Thanksgiving. Hopefully it will help us learn to live in the Spirit of Thanksgiving Daily for the entire month instead of just one day.

Opening Song: #241 Count Your Blessings

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: 

  • D&C 59:21
    • Ingratitude (confessing not His hand) offends God
Discussion:
  • Ask each family member to share a time when the Lord blessed them. 
    • Be prepared to help them remember stories from their individual lives. Do not hurry this part-- let everyone discuss and reminisce.

  • Now ask them to share a blessing they received from the Lord today. 
    • Explain that sometimes it is easier to remember the big blessings of the past, and that is important; but we should also remember the blessings He gives us every day. Be prepared to help them with ideas.
Lesson:
  • Watch the youtube video clip from Pres. Monson's talk about gratitude. (He reads the story of the 10 leppers then explains it a little bit. You could just read the story, but I like hearing the prophet's voice.)
    • Discuss Question Ideas:
      • What story did Pres. Monson read from the scriptures?
      • How many returned to give thanks?
      • How did Jesus respond to the grateful person?
      • Do you think it was easy for the one person to return? Why/ why not?
      • What does sincerely giving thanks do? (Pres. Monson listed two things after he read the story.)
      • Why is it important to give thanks?
      • What are three ways that you can be more like the one who returned and sincerely given thanks?
  • Read D&C 78:19
    • What do you think it means to "receive all things with thankfulness"?
    • How can we do that? (the next youtube video/ Mormon Message helps teach us how to do this.)
  • Watch the Mormon Message about Thanksgiving Daily.
  • Make a goal to live in the Spirit of Thanksgiving Daily as a family. One way to do that is to take the Gratitude Challenge. (See the Activity idea below.)
Activity:
  • List 100 things that you are grateful for. What? 100 seems too large? It is easy if you take the Gratitude Challenge! Simply print the "i am grateful for..." chart for each member of the family. And then have everyone fill it in. It is not a race, nor secretive. Feel free to help each other list your 100 ideas. For young children: have them tell you and you write it down for them but I think they are still capable of listing all 100 things. After they finish, have them draw a picture on the back while you make your own list.


Closing Song: #219 Because I Have Been Given Much (fyi: I can't link this to play online because it is copyrighted... time to bust out those dusty paper hymnbooks)

Closing Prayer: 

Treat:
  • Thanksgiving Blessing Mix
    • Talk about each thing in the trail mix while you are making it and what it represents. 
    • Print off some tags and put some in packages to share with your neighbors and friends.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin No Bake Cookies


Normally I make things once a season 
and then move on to another festive treat.
But this was so yummy that I made an exception.
I just finished making them for the second time.
And allow me just to say that they are 
beyond delicious and highly addicting.
L.O.V.E!!!

"No Bake Cookies" (which have probably several other names--chocolate, peanut butter, oats) show up in every ward cookbook I own. One book even has the same recipe printed over and over just with different names. And they are great. There is something amazing about chocolate, peanut butter and oats all mixed together. But I found something even better. Seriously! This is a must try!! If I had to describe the Pumpkin No Bake Cookies (I personally call them Pumpkin Quickies but I thought no one would recognize the word quickie)
 I would say it is a pumpkin caramel flavor.

3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. milk
4 t. (1 T. + 1 t.) pumpkin pie spice {a little note... yes that is a lot! I buy it from Winco in the bulk section so it is not very expensive}
1 (3.4 oz) box instant french vanilla pudding {plain vanilla would work}
1 t. vanilla extract
3 1/2 c. quick oats

Melt the butter in a large pan on medium heat. Stir in both sugars. Stir in milk and pumpkin pie spice. (I have to use a whisk to get the spice to combine.) Bring to a boil and then boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat then stir in the pudding mix (yes, the dry mix) and the vanilla extract. Stir in the oats and then let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, line the counter with wax paper. Drop the Pumpkin Quickies onto the wax paper using teaspoons. Let sit overnight to set up--they will set up but it does take a long time! Makes about 50 cookies.

Enjoy and don't forget to share! :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Safety {FHE Lesson}

So remember the story of the Six Little Ghosts that I posted near the beginning of this month? Well, it is finally time to use them on Monday for a Halloween Safety Lesson!!Yeah Baby Bunny's first Halloween is almost here! :)

Opening Song: Choose the Right (Hymn 239)

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Alma 57:21

Lesson: Read the story "Six Little Ghosts" If the children are old enough (aka Devin is too little... hahaha!), let them move the ghosts while you read. I'm thinking Baby Bunny will just watch though. And if you haven't had time to make the felt ghosts, just print some cute ghosts or draw your own and then color them in!

Activity: Give everyone a copy of "I Can Be Safe This Halloween!" The purpose of this is to draw a picture in the box and then write below explaining how they will be safe. After present each child with a "Halloween Safety Certificate." (Note: both of these are the pictures below. Save each picture to your computer then open it in Word Document and make it the full size of the paper. Then print off the number of copies you need.)

Closing Song: Do What is Right (Hymn 237)

Closing Prayer:

Treats: Make Ghostly Bananas (cut bananas in half then dip in melted white chocolate and add two chocolate chips for eyes) or Ghostly Nutter Butters (same thing but dip the Nutter Butter cookie in melted white chocolate and add chocolate chip eyes) or have hot chocolate with Ghost Droppings (marshmallows). These are just a few of my ghost ideas.... :)



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Squished Witches

 This has to be one of my favorite Halloween traditions!
Well... it is a toss up with reading the 6 Little Ghosts.
But every year we would make Squished Witches.
And I think as a little kid the making it was for sure the best part! :)
As an adult, let me just say that Squished Witches are *delicious!*
I'm excited to continue this tradition with Devin now!

1/2 c. spider webs (powdered sugar)
2 c. frog eyes (chocolate chips)
1 can ghost blood (14 oz. sweetened condensed milk)
2 c. squished witches (creamy peanut butter)

Put the spider webs into a large cauldron. Stir in the ghost blood and say "Boo!" While croaking, add the frog eyes. Stamp your feet and add the squished witches. Then stand on one foot and stir everything together. You must repeat your name backwards while stirring. Next drop with black cat paws (teaspoonfuls) onto moon (wax) paper. Chant "Happy Halloween" three times. While shivering, chill the witches for a short time in the cold box (refrigerator). Eat the witches and you will be safe from vampires forever. Count Dracula counts 50-60 witches in the end.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Forgetting

In a world filled with liking, pinning, and blogging.
Filled with reading statuses, picture gazing, and stalking.
Filled with lists of projects to do, recipes to try, and crafts to impress.
Filled with writing posts, checking comments, and planning what to share next.
In this busy, time consuming world, it is easy to forget what matters most.

It doesn't matter. I don't care about what some odd 800 people are making for dinner everyday. I don't need thousands of ideas for how to entertain a baby. I don't mind if my stats page is low.


I am choosing to spend my time with someone that I can touch in real life, someone that thinks getting his diaper changed is plenty of entertainment, someone that smiles when I say his name.

I am choosing to remember. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

17 years. 7 months. 5 days.

Do you remember the first time Devin wore this tie?
It was celebrating Casey's First Father's Day.
It is weird to think about how much Devin has changed in 4 months!
And he is preparing to be a missionary; white shirt and tie.
He has 17 years, 7 months and 5 days left until he can serve the Lord full-time.

I just L.O.V.E. seeing my darling two boys together!
(Especially when they are both smiling!)

Devin loves his Daddy! Devin tells him stories and grins in only a way that a dad could understand.

Friday, October 12, 2012

4 Month Checkup


Devin did great at his 4 month checkup.
He loved telling our doctor stories and laughing together.
The doctor said he looked perfect in every way and is developing great!
That is always great news!! :)

He weighs 14 pounds 4 ounces.
(which is 14.33 pounds)
And he is clear up to the 39% for weight.
Considering he started at 5%, he is doing amazing.

He is 25.25 inches long.
And I'm not sure what percentile that is. 
He was measured wrong at his appointment.
From looking at his growth chart though, I would guess that he is around 75%.

His head is 16.4 inches.
Which is the 33%.
Wow!
His head grew A LOT these past two months.
His circumference percentile has always been in single digits.
He has to have room for all of his brains.
Haha!

And a few other things that I forgot to record his 4 month data sheet.
He cries every time I turn the blender on.
Any other loud appliance--totally fine.
Blender = screaming.

He has now tried 4 solid foods.
Rice Cereal mixed with Mommy's milk
Bananas
Peas
Peaches
(in that order)

So far he likes peaches best!!
He doesn't complain or spit them out at all.
Peas are another story.
And he doesn't like plain rice cereal anymore.
It has to be mixed with one of the two fruits he has tried.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Devin's Data: FOUR Months

Weight: I guess 13.5 pounds

Height: I guess 24 inches

Clothing Size: 0-3

Diaper Size: 2 (he out grew 1s fast. I was tired of exploding diapers all the time!)

Milestones: recognizes and responds to Devin and Baby Bunny, eats solids, cries tears, turns to loud sounds, multi-syllable jabbers, puts everything in his mouth, stands while holding on to something, laughs, working on his "pincher" grip with thumb and index finger

Eating: he nurses when he first wakes up then after his nap enjoys rice cereal and bananas. He likes his cereal thick and will eat a lot. He really enjoys bananas and eats about one small/ normal sized banana per day. I have no idea how much cereal he eats or milk from nursing. But before bed normally around 6 oz of expressed milk in a bottle.

Sleeping: Devin is a great sleeper and he sleeps in his crib in his own room. He normally goes down at 9-9:30 then sleeps until 6 on weekdays and 7:30 on weekends (he hears Daddy up getting ready for work on the weekdays and wants to join him). He goes back to sleep for about 2-3 more hours. Then normally three more good naps throughout the day.

Communication: Baby Bunny found his lungs. He screams now and thinks it is hilarious. He also cries big alligator tears (and has the entire past month) and it just melts my heart. He talks ALL the time and always has a story to tell me.

Likes: chewing on his hands, playing with the plastic linking rings, sitting up in his walker, standing (this would be a love!), going for walks and seeing the world, cuddling

Dislikes: when Mommy is working on something else and not giving him my undivided attention, cereal if it is too cold or thin

Nicknames: Baby Bunny, Squawky

Most Memorable Moment(s): eating cereal for the first time and then trying bananas, watching General Conference for the first time, hearing his sweet laugh, standing up against something (laundry basket or couch) by himself

Hardest Part: cleaning up rice cereal--the stuff should be renamed to edible glue!, trying to decide if Devin is still hungry and wants more or if he is full

Lisa's Favorite Part: every morning (seriously every!) I wake up and tell Casey how excited I am because I get to spend the whole day with Baby Bunny. On the weekends I excitedly exclaim that we get to be together as a family the whole day. I don't know how to explain it but this is definitely my favorite part!

Casey's Favorite Part: hearing him laugh and watching him stand up

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Best Part...

The Best part about being a full time homemaker is having the time to make rolls from scratch again.

The Best part about being a full time Mommy is being with Devin the entire day and him helping me make the rolls in the kitchen. His job of keeping me entertained was exhausting...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Six Little Ghosts {Halloween Safety}



This has to be one of my favorite things about Halloween.
Each year the "Six Little Ghosts" would come out to play.
My mom would read the story and my siblings and I thought it was the greatest.
We LOVED putting the ghosts up on the flannel board.
My mom LOVED that it taught us good Halloween Safety Rules.
And even when we got older, we would still beg to get the ghosts out each year.

My mom made hers when she was at BYU studying Elementary Education.
She also made a *fancy* flannel board.
Well... I don't have a fancy flannel board.
Instead I used one of Devin's adorable blankets and draped it over our couch.
Ta-Dah! Instant (and cheap) flannel board.

Then to make the ghosts...
I found a cute ghost clipart I liked somewhere online.
Printed it off and cut it out.
Then traced 6 white ghosts and 1 of each color on to felt.
(For the chocolate chip ghost, I used tan and then drew on "chips")
I just drew random different face on each ghost with a sharpie.

Craft Skill Level: Super Easy
Time to Make: Around 30 minutes

And now for the story.
Seriously this is the best part!
I wanted something cute and festive.
So I retyped my mom's story and added some color and pictures.
A little side note:
I think I figured out how to upload a document to blogger.
It is saved as a picture.
So click on it and then save it to your computer.
Open it in Word and then make the picture full size.
Print. :)

We would do this for FHE every year before Halloween.
Make sure you check out the FHE Lesson Idea!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One Proud Baby Bunny

Baby Bunny was intrigued with the laundry basket earlier this afternoon while he was helping me fold clothes. I helped him stand up next to it. And he fell in love! He was so proud of himself for being able to stand without Mommy's help!

Friday, September 21, 2012

LDS Popsicle Puzzles

I have lost track of how many Popsicle puzzle tutorials I have seen out there in blog land. I realized that this could easily become a Reverent Bag activity by using pictures from the Gospel Art Book.

I found the pictures with two on a page fit the jumbo sized Popsicle sticks perfectly. Each of those pictures used 11 sticks. I used modge podge, let it dry then an exacto knife. (If you are confused about how-- google it, there are SO many tutorials that I figured it wasn't worth the work to create another.)

This was fairly easy--it just took time to dry. And it makes looking at pictures way more engaging for a little Baby Bunny. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cream of {Fill-in-the-Blank} Soup

I love canned cream of something soup. Not plain. Eeeeeww! Gross! But so many of my favorite recipes call for it. And it is nice having on hand so I can quickly dump things together and make a quick casserole. But canned cream soups add up. And I realized I could make it for SO much cheaper, if I would just add my own water instead of buying water in the can. (If that makes sense.... And sorry I don't have a price comparison. Everything for the soup I already had... so free?! Even buying it though would not be that pricey.) Another bonus is this is fairly low calorie! :)

2 c. nonfat dry milk powder (like the food storage stuff)
3/4 c. cornstarch
1/8 c. (2 T.) chicken bouillon granules (I buy this stuff in bulk at Winco. I think there is a vegetable bouillon if you were a vegetarian.)
2 T. dried onion flakes
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. pepper

Pour all of the ingredients in a Ziplock bag and seal it. Shake well to mix everything. Store at room temperature. Yields: 6 cans of cream soup.

When ready to use, whisk 1/3 c. of can soup mix with 1 1/4 c. COLD water for 1 can of soup. (It has to be cold so the cornstarch won't clump together.) Heat on medium heat while stirring frequently until thickened. Once thickened, you can add 2-3 T. (or more if desired) chopped mushrooms or celery or etc to make any flavor of cream soup. (FYI: I normally leave this out.) Use in place of 1 can of cream soup in a recipe.

Also... just for your information... I have found that when I use this in a recipe, I don't need quite as much liquid. So if the recipe calls for extra milk/ water, I will leave this out or reduce it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Laundry Soap

So I researched A LOT of homemade laundry soaps.
For the most part, I followed the "recipe" by

I feel like I'm old schooling here by making our own soap.
Baby Bunny was helping me make the soap--so cute!
Ingredients:
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (6 lb) Container of Sun OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle. (Winco has a generic brand of oxy clean. We have used it before and it works great. It is WAY cheaper than the original brand.)
1 box flaked Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle at Walmart (Winco did not have this. You could also buy two bars of zote soap and grate it yourself. You would save about $0.71 but it was worth it to me to not have to grate it because I read tons of people complain about how that took forever!)
4 lb Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle (I bought this at bulk from Winco. Way cheaper!)
1 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle (So this is my tip. Add this stuff and it makes the cost of your soap go WAY up! I think when I make this again in the future I am going to try leaving this out and then just use dryer sheets and/or liquid fabric softener.)


Pour everything into a huge bucket. (This had some of our emergency kit stuff in it that I emptied out for the purpose of stirring soap.) As you can tell though, I poured things in a little at a time to create layers. Totally recommend doing this because it made stirring a lot easier!

The label on the bottle... Keep reading, I will share it at the bottom.
Here is the one benefit of adding the Purex crystals--reusing the bottle! The lid to the bottle has lines on the side (like normal laundry things). And here is the best part. You don't need very much soap!! Seriously 1-2 T. So I just use the lid from the crystal bottle and fill it to the smallest line. I know that sounds crazy but that is what  I read on How Does She. (And there are tons of reviews/ comments of there of believers of this stuff. I figured with enough good praise I would try it out.)
I don't own a funnel.
So I used the leftover paper from the label I printed off.
And I was so excited to try this stuff out. (Haha... excited to do laundry--that must be a first...)
It works great! I LOVE the smell!!! Everything is so clean and refreshing.

I'm not sure how the smell would be affected without the Purex crystals. Personally, I think it would still smell great because the Zote soap is amazing! And as I was pouring things in the bucket, I loved the Zote stuff but could not really smell the crystals at all.

Several people said they had used it on baby clothes. So I figured it was worth a try.
I found stains do need to be pre-treated (like normal). Everything came out clean except for the clothes Baby Bunny exploded on. I just tossed them in. Uh, no. When there are yellow stains on his clothes, they need scrubbing beforehand!


And now for the best part. I originally saw this on the Facebook page of Sugardoodle but I can't find it on that page anymore. I just googled it and found an 8x10 print you can download at Three Little Monkeys. I figured it was a good reminder to see every time I had to use the laundry soap. I printed it off then taped it on the bottle with packing tape.