Monday, December 27, 2010

tHiS iS wHaT i LiKe (post 169)

...and now a very special tHiS iS wHaT i LiKe post because apparently what "I like" is to drive myself insane!! ;0)

                            *What I Made for Christmas*
I painted 3 pictures in all (I just mailed two of them away neglecting to snap pictures of them, oops!)

I sewed fleece travel pillow covers for my sons, and appliqued their names on them as well

I appliqued and sewed 3 pillows with my the hand prints of my children

My daughter and I made our own wrapping paper with brown parcel wrap and potato stamps

I made 5 pretty skirts in all, my daughter LOVED hers!
Including the stockings and the tree ornaments and many different kinds of goodies, I was one very busy Mommy this Christmas season! See the rest of the madness here and here. It was so much fun though, having Christmas on the cheap. We felt bad that the kids weren't as spoiled as usual, but honestly everything they got, was something they really wanted! They had a great time! As for the Christmas goodies here's one of the recipes I used:
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (gluten-free)
1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not imitation)
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
4 cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and the pumpkin until well blended.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; stir into the pumpkin mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until edges begin to brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

I know what you're thinking, aren't your recipes dairy-free as well? I know that chocolate chips generally aren't, but I found some great gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chips from Enjoy Life, that are both safe for my allergy-ridden eater and taste identical to the real thing, SCORE!
I hope that all of my readers had a wonderful Christmas with their families as I know I did, especially now that it's done! Now if I could only get my house back in order we'll be all set! ;0)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

None of that wordy-stuff that generally plasters itself over the pages of my blog, just our Christmas card pic and the warmest wishes from our family to yours! ;0)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The happenings of the season 2010

I took a break from my "Not so Average" blog this week, just because I had many other things that I wanted to accomplish instead. I did this and then realized that I haven't updated my family blog, shame on me! We've been busy here Among the Lambsfold (as always) and I haven't had the chance to share what everyone's been up to! So, here's an update:
Mom (me).
Other than acting as taxi, maid, cook, and all the other Mom-duties, I have been to interviews (with no result, poo.) sewed many, many Christmas presents and painted a few too and I'm in the process today of making goodies for everyone else. Oh, and breaking up fights today too, since the kids are on Christmas break. Yay me! ;0P
Has been working constantly to maintain sanity and quality of life I suppose and has lost his downtown renters. He decided to start (another) business and is going to run it out of his downtown building. Busy as always...but, I wouldn't know what to do with him otherwise! (I'm kidding of course!)
Is maintaining all A's and one B in school, walks home on his own daily, plays the violin and loves it and is still obsessed with Pokemon and Lego's. I have talked him into reading some works of fiction (yay for being well rounded!) and he completes his school and homework assignments without any help or reminding from me! He loves 6th grade and has adjusted wonderfully! ;0)
This girl is not happy unless she is surrounded by friends at school or is participating in at least three things at once. She sings in the DSE (school) choir, plays bass xylophone in "Orffestra", and plays violin, taking extra lessons on Fridays. She also participates in the school Safety Patrol, just like Drake did last year. She gets up early and to school at 8, 3 days a week and is just as super helpful and willing to help (haha) as always! ;0)
My little monkey turns 8 on the 27th and is getting baptized on Jan. 1st! He is super excited of course as well. He and his best buddy Teaghan take turns coming over here or going to his house on Fridays too. Teghan's Mom and family have issues with Celiacs too and I love to share gluten-free goodies and recipes with them and Teaghan's mom doesn't have to worry I'll poison him either! Which is a good thing!

I posted a couple of videos from Drake and Adree's Christmas concerts, enjoy! ;0)

Monday, December 6, 2010

'Tis the Season

My pretty house all lit up for the holidays!
Love the entry! Oh, and the glowing blob by the door would be Rudolf!

The tree is up and ornament laden as well!
 Ah, as you can see we have been busy here among the lambsfold! Busily decorating and preparing for the impending holiday. Do you know what's really fun about having a house? Putting up lights! Yep, it was so much fun standing in the blistering cold and rain and wind doing it too! Do you sense my sarcasm yet? Haha, seriously though the lights look great and they are a great way to bring on the cheer.;0)
A couple of weeks ago, Lee recruited me to help in hanging the lights from the eaves. He gave himself a great sore back and neck from standing on the ladder, I froze below holding the lights and the ladder. The high pitch above the garage was was a little scary to do. Lee has a hugely tall ladder that there is no way to stand on level ground on our slanted driveway to reach. It was a little unnerving standing up so high and he recruited me to brace myself (all my weight) against the bottom of the ladder as he leaned it against the house. I imagine we provided the passing neighbors with a fair amount of comic relief as well!;0) I'm glad we did it though and I'm glad Lee loves Christmas so much because try as I might, I still feel far more overwhelmed by it than enjoy it. Thank you Baby for all of your radiant positive thinking, you are my sunshine in a dark world.;0)
With not very much money to go around this year, I had to get pretty creative for tree decorations this year. This means I sat and hand sewed for hours this last week to get them all done, but as you can see the tree turned out gorgeous! (Click here if you want to see what I made) 'Tis the season for sure and I hope to make it as "merry and bright" as possible! ;0)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Five days later and a holiday passed and yet, Mom still maintains her sanity

I made a wreath for a friend...

Camilla made a wreath too...

Camilla's wreath was super colorful and cheery (just like her!)

and Lee amused himself by torturing the children! ;0)

We had like the endless holiday weekend for Thanksgiving and I was so busy cooking up a fabulous gluten-free storm, that I didn't have time to take pictures of the actual day, but I got pictures of the days around it (yes, that does too count!) oh, and a video of Adree! ;0)

Thank you W.C.S.D. for leaving the kids home with me for 5 days straight, 5 WHOLE DAYS!!! Do you have any idea how long that is?! Alright, enough with the melodrama they weren't THAT bad...just the normal bickering and maybe a little more than usual whining. They were out of school all day Wed., all day Thur., all day Fri. and then the weekend too!;0) So what all did we do?

Wednesday. Since the kids were out of school I recruited them for labor purposes. They helped clean the house (that they helped dirty up BTW) they emptied trashes, cleaned the bathroom, picked up their rooms, picked up the family room, emptied and reloaded the dishwasher. They were quite useful actually...hmmm...;0) I got started with the food prep for the next day by making 3 pies too and a large batch of Jello-salad! ;0)

Thursday. The big day! Lee and I got up at 6:30 and got started with the feast. Lee is such an awesome good kitchen helper, I never have to worry about making the whole meal myself, he's always right there with me. Thanks baby!;0) Lee prepped the Turkey for the oven and made the stuffing and the gravy too. I made the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, prepped and put out a veggie tray and salami and cheese balls and crackers too. Dick and Brenda (my ex in-laws) came over and ate with us and then we watched "Christmas Vacation" and "A Christmas Story" while we lay fatly on the sofa. Camilla and Steven and Steven's dad and little baby Illianna came over later in the evening and we sang karaoke too! ;0)

Friday. In years past when money flowed a little more freely, Lee and I would have gone to Vegas for Black Friday or at least gotten up to snag something the kids or us needed for the impending holiday, not this year though. Nope, this year Lee and I slept in pleasantly and Lee went to work. I got to work on the many Christmas decorations and stockings I need to make this year, so that we can put up our tree next weekend. Well, Adree had other ideas. As I was cutting out stockings, Adree brought me her poor clothes-less Madam Alexander doll and insisted that I needed to make her a dress...and shoes (what?!) as well. As ugly as the dress turned out (and shoes), it took up way too much of my time and I finally got stockings done at 3 in the afternoon. I ran out to fetch a couple of things from Michael's I needed and when Lee got home we took the kids to go see Megamind in the theater (it was really cute!). Lee had asked the kids to make him a list of three things they wanted for Christmas that day and when got home he and I scoured the internet to find what they wanted. We were up until midnight, but we got almost everything! Woo hoo! ;0)

Saturday. The big rivalry game of Michigan vs. Ohio State was on Saturday and since Steven is a huge buckeyes fan and Lee a Michigan alumn, Steven and Camilla came over bright and early at 10am to watch and share a little smack talk (of course!) Lee and I made sure to dress appropriately in Michigan apparel and even donned each of the kids in blue and gold as well. Not that I was overly interested in the game and since Michigan got slaughtered so ( 37 to 7), Camilla and I amused ourselves by making rag wreaths (thanks Sissy!). Camilla's turned out so bright and cheery and I made mine for a friend who wanted one and it turned out great as well! (She loved it!) Since, watching the game depressed Lee (he says Michigan has sucked for a while, he doesn't normally even watch) he insisted that we needed to watch the U of U/BYU  game too. He rooted for the Utes, Steven rooted for the cougars. They came out even with the Utes winning (that was a great game) and Camilla and I completed our wreaths and Lee barbecued turkey burgers, yum! It was a good day all in all and Lee and I (and Adree) sang a little karaoke for the rest of the evening!;0)

Sunday. Church, finished up what little Christmas shopping was to be done and a retro Pink Panther movie and a lot of rest from such a busy weekend.;0)
So, five days later and a holiday passed and another looms on the horizon. Mom is busy and barely maintains her sanity, but I wouldn't have it any other way! ;0)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Adventure fizzled...

The pictures above are what happens when Mother Nature refuses to cooperate. We attempted to make it to Sink Valley on Saturday and spend a little time at Mom and Dad's cabin before it gets snowed in for the season. Since we hail from Dixie, the quickest way to get there is up and over the top of Cedar Mountain. Which isn't a problem at all in dry conditions or even if it has snowed a little, a couple of days later when the road gets cleared. We closely monitored the weather and knew that a storm was coming, but all the weather reports up to the day before promised of snow late in the day on Saturday. It came early, obviously. So what do you do when you have to make new plans on the fly? Ah, you make do! 
My in-laws (ex) Dick and Brenda were with us for the day and so we stopped in the snow, let the kids out (Lee included!) and let them throw snow at each other for a while! It didn't last long, no one was really dressed for snow. Afterword we gathered everyone back up and headed back down to Cedar and ate at McDonald's for lunch and let the kids run around in the play area for quite sometime while we visited. Essentially the entire trip ended up being a quick jaunt in the snow, a meal at McDonald's, and a short drive through Cedar Valley. Yep, pointless? Perhaps. Lots of fun anyway? You betcha! And hey, we got our Christmas card picture taken even has snow in it this year! ;0)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fingers crossed...

What a cute picture this is! I will never say that I don't have silly energetic kids! They brighten my existence in all ways and I know that I am a better person because of them. I have loved to watched them grow up so much this last year and Drake and Adree especially have just sprouted before my eyes. Sethee, as skinny of a monkey as always, has grown like 2 shoe sizes himself! He's still not very tall, but should be really stable!
I wish I could stay at home with them forever, picking them up from school, getting a snacks, helping with homework...but I can't. I have to find a job and at this point, I'm very tired. I have had three interviews with a company over the last couple of weeks and I must say, I really, really want the job! So, I have my fingers crossed and I'm trying to only think positive thoughts. I feel anyone's pain who's trying to find something in this trying economy, it's so very hard. I have sent out my resume to like a hundred people, I've had like a dozen interviews, I'm almost to the point of standing by the freeway with a cardboard sign....uh, almost!
I'm tired of my life in a limbo of sorts and would love to fast forward a little just to get on with it! Fingers crossed for me and all the positive thinking one can muster...time to move on! ;0)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Over the weekend

Forgive me for my lack of pictures for this post, although I was prepared enough to grab my extra batteries for my camera, I subsequently left it behind...poo. Anyway, if you want to see pictures visit my sissy's blog here!
The kids and I and my Mom in tow had the opportunity to trek up north to participate in my little niece Ainsley's baptism, so cool! She was baptized by her Dad on Saturday during their Stake's baptism day and got to share the opportunity with 3 other little girls from her ward. They all looked like angels in their white dresses and smiling faces, it really was neat! I can't believe that she is eight already and that means that Sethee will be eight and getting ready to be baptized soon, crazy! I can't believe they are growing up so fast...*sniff*
This is going to be short and sweet, especially for the lack of pictures...but, I want my sissy to know that she is a great person and Mom and sissy and that we all love her! You do a wonderful job with your little family and I look up to you even though I'm older and always have. I'm sorry that you have people in your life that are unkind and unappreciative of what you are and have to offer and I pity them, for they are missing out.
That's it, that's all I have to say today.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween pics!

"Prince" Puppy!

Lee the creepy farmer (Illianna wasn't amused)

Happy Halloween 2010

Seth the Mad Scientist

Adree the Lil' Devil

Drake the chinchilla
Adree and her classmates performing with the Southwest Symphony!

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone who has had the chance to already to celebrate or who is celebrating today has a great Halloween! We had the opportunity to celebrate yesterday and it was a smashing success for sure! Ha, I say yesterday although we had fun Halloween activities all this last week. The kids had a blast...Mom? Well, I'm a tad worn out of course! ;0)
On Tuesday Adree was able to go to Halloween party of a friend that lives a few houses up and had a great time! On Wednesday the kids had a Halloween Primary activity to go to as well. Drake had insisted all month that he didn't want to dress up this year, which is fine. At the last minute Drake decided to go to the Primary party and since he didn't have a costume, donned his chinchilla ears and went anyway. At the schools around here the Elementary kids can dress up in their costumes and attend the Halloween parade before school lets out and at the Intermediate level they let the kids wear their costumes all day. After the Primary party Drake asked if he could dress up and go Trick-or-Treating, I asked what  he wanted to be. "Can I be a chinchilla?", he asked. Sure. It took just a minute to think up a way to turn him into a chinchilla and get him a couple of things he needed anyway and got to work.
He needed another hoodie (his had seen better days from chronic winter wearing) and so I looked for a brown one (one of the few colors he'll wear) and a pair of brown pants, what can I say? He loves brown! I stitched a couple of  pipe cleaners to the sides of the hood and made a tail out of a pipe cleaner and some scrap brown material and stitched it to the bottom of the hoodie. Took me five minutes and I took off the pipe cleaner whiskers and tail and he has a new brown hoodie for school! I put all the costumes I made on my other blog, click here to see!
On Thursday was the school carnival and Seth went with a friend to that and I went shopping for the things Drake needed for his costume.
Friday was really fun though! Adree had the opportunity with her class to perform with the Southwest Symphony at the Cox auditorium on the Dixie State campus, it was really cool! We only received one free ticket per student and had to pony-up 30 bucks for everyone else, but it was really fun to listen to all the musicians and to see Adree perform. Totally worth it!
Yesterday, even though it was only the 30th, was our Halloween and Trick-or Treating! 'Tis what happens when you live in Utah my friend! What a great time it was though! Instead of your traditional Trunk-or-treat that many wards have, our ward has a huge block party instead! All decked out with food and music and even a haunted house, it was great! It felt just like Halloween used to be when I was growing up, yes before the world became a much scarier place. I bought about 10 lbs. of candy in anticipation of the Trick-or-Treaters and Lee gave away most of it. We stationed Lee on the front porch swing where he sat motionless and took great fun in scaring the kids by grabbing them when they reached for the candy! He must have looked pretty scary because he freaked out the kids running the haunted house and someone even asked to have their picture with the "creepy farmer guy". Haha, it was pretty funny!
Our friends Camilla and Steven and their baby came over to hang out with us and Camilla and I took the kids Trick-or-Treating around a couple of blocks. The kids had a lot of fun. This is only the second year they have gotten to go traditional Trick-or-Treating, we lived in an old person's neighborhood before and just took the kids to the Mall instead. They had a great time running ahead and going to our neighbors houses and Drake stood in the shadows and jumped out at whomever had the misfortune in answering the door. Silly boy! Our friend Annelise (Miss Rogers) stopped by for a little bit as well and she went through the haunted house with me and the kids. The haunted house might have been more scary if it hadn't of broken down while we were in the middle of it!  The room we got stuck in had a teenager in a "Scream" mask behind a curtain, he kept poking his head through the curtain saying nothing and getting right in Drake's face. Drake just looked at him and said, "What? Are you trying to scare me?", as he chased him down and stomped on his foot. Apparently, when we got going again he was ahead of us and told me later that he had slugged someone else that was trying to scare him as well...hmmm...he did run from the chainsaw guy at the end like everyone else though! ;0)
As you can read, we had a fantastic, scary fun Halloween! Happy Halloween from Among the Lambsfold...BOO! ;0)

Monday, October 25, 2010

In the spirit....

We started out attempting caramel apples...

next time I'll use different butter!

Somebody murdered that pumpkin!

Seth was thrilled to get his hands icky, really! ;0)

Look who got to carve them all!

Adree's shot of Lee scooping out his pumpkin!

They turned out pretty spooky, mine on the left, Lee's on the right...
The kids' are cute too, Drake's on the left, Seth in the middle and Adree's fell asleep on the right!

Our house is spooky too!
I've been neglecting this blog and I apologize for that, I have a five day a week publication blog I write and with the kids being so involved and Mom as acting taxi, I run out of time frequently! I'll try to update this blog weekly at least and keep everyone abreast as to the happenings Among the Lambsfold!
One advantage to not working, is that I have plenty of time to do fun seasonal things with the family this year! Including decorating the front of the house, making goodies and we even carved 5 pumpkins this year, fun!
I wish the caramel apples had turned out better, the soy butter I used was too oily to have the caramel set up properly. It tastes just fine, it just doesn't stay on the apples. Looks like we'll be cutting them up and dipping the apples instead, eh, such is life sometimes.
Lee got a head start on the house decorating, much to my chagrin. I came home on the last week of September and had a grim reaper hanging in the entry. He didn't understand my annoyance when I complained. "I think it looks great...", was all he said until I pointed out that now I had to do the rest of the house because just one decoration is kinda lame looking. Poo. It took a couple of weeks of gathering things up and hanging them, but it definitely looks like Halloween at our house now! Scary!
I remember thinking that carving pumpkins was so much fun growing up, although I don't know why! I was elected to do all the carving at a young age and as you can see...nothing's changed! This kids had cute pumpkin designs this year though and Lee did his own gigantic pumpkin (all 29 pounds of it, thank goodness they were on sale for 25 cents a pound @ Albertson's!) and it looks great! Adree's pumpkin refused to stand up straight, so we carved it on it's side and made it look like it was sleeping, it even had a bump on the side that looked just like a nose! Drake requested hexagon eyes, an octagon nose and the scariest face possible, I obliged! He looked when I was done and said, "Hmm...that is pretty scary!" ;0) Sethee wanted square eyes, a triangle nose and a scary mouth, he's so funny! Mine was last of course and I just finished mine up while Lee took the kids outside to light theirs. My pumpkin had green "warts" all over it and a great stem, so I cut the hole in the side and put the mouth and eyes on the top and laid it on it's side to use the stem as the nose! Not too bad for just a few minutes!;0)
In the spirit for Halloween we are and I'll post all the costume pictures next week! Boo! ;0)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Fall"ing for you

A) Cloudburst over Navajo Lake

B) Road to Navajo Lake

C) Foreground Aspens

D) Dry spell

E) Quakie grove

F) Pine boughs  and aspen

G) Leaves of change

H) Golden hue

I) Contrast

J) Autumn skies

K) At attention

L) Navajo Lake overlook

I love this time of year, don't you? The summer's heat is melted away by crisp mornings and cerulean skies, nature sheds to rest till Spring time abloom. Lee the kids and I took a little time over the weekend to go and enjoy all of this and spent the night in Sink Valley at Mom and Dad's cabin. Which they were so gracious as to abandon for us! THANK YOU!! ;0) It was a great and peaceful time and the kids loved being able to wrap up and sit on the porch and roast marshmallows over the fire and amused themselves by singing silly songs and making up stories. Lee and I were better able to enjoy the quiet the next morning by insisting everyone stay outside and the kids ran through the trees, up and down the hill playing Pokemon or what have you!
I was also able to take many pictures on Cedar Mountain, where the colors were at their peak in many places. This is why I have so many on here for you, I need your help! I have a very large and very blank wall in my Family Room and it has always been my intention to have some of my quaking aspen shots blown up and mounted for it. I have sooo many good ones, that I'm having a hard time choosing...take a minute to look them over and let me know what ones I should definitely choose! You'd be a big help!;0) Some of them are from last year, the orange/gold shots are from this year.
I sure love this time of year, don't you? ;0)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Of course...

Adree with her choir group and "conga town" drummers in the Rodeo parade

How cute is this?

Seth the skateboarder!
Of course if Adree was in the Rodeo parade that means Mom and the boys we standing through all most all of it because Adree's float was one of the last ones to go by. Yep, standing there and sweating and being peppered with questions from Drake about all aspects of the parade. Of course we were standing on the wrong side of the street from where Adree was, that's why I drew a little arrow to show you where she was...even though you can't see her! Of course as well, Lee got out of all of this by having to work! Oh well, she had a good time and that's what counts, right? ;0)
I took Sethee with me to Wal-Mart this week and they and skateboards on clearance for 5 bucks a piece and excitedly wanted one, telling me, "Momma, I will leawn how to wide the skateboawd so I can take it to school and not have to leawn how to wide my bike!" Stinker has still been to much of a chicken to master the bike yet. I haven't decided why the skateboard is less scary, but hey, whatever! He looks so cute standing on the back of it and pushing off to go and he has been super excited about learning to "wide it" too! He has gone out before school to practice several days this week and after as well! Adree wants me to go and get her one too now of course, that girl never met a sport she wasn't eager to master!
Of course this how life goes and we along with, following the sun to change as we live. With each passing year they grow as you give, of course we go forth like sand through a sieve. ;0)