Saturday, January 31, 2009

Love Affair

My husband loves cast iron.

In fact, he used quite an unusual method in college to determine how much he would spend on a date with a girl.

And it all had to do with... a dutch oven.

Bill enjoyed dating and he was a very creative dater, often coming up with very clever, fun dates on a dime.

But, Bill really had to like a girl if he was going to pull out his pocketbook for a date. He knew that a good dutch oven was about $35. And he frequently used this price to compare with the possible price of a date. If he liked a particular girl and was interested in pursuing things with her, then he wouldn't hesitate spending some money on a date. If not, well....then....let's just say, he would rather spend his money- on a dutch oven!

When we met and after getting to know each other, to my delight, I quickly passed his dutch oven test. (Thank goodness :). And after we were married, for one of our first Valentine's he bought me some cast iron cookware... because, and I quote, "Nothing spells L-O-V-E like cast iron!"

I must admit, it took me a few years to get the hang of cooking with cast iron. I really didn't enjoy it at first- - too heavy for my weak arms, drying and oiling them so they wouldn't rust, a pain in the neck to clean ("you mean I really can't use soap on these things?!?")

But as the months and years passed, and my pans became shiny, black, beautifully seasoned and nonstick - my heart softened and my admiration (for both my pans and my husband) increased.

Bill very recently showed his love for me by presenting me with his mother's cast iron skillets. And these pans are simply amazing- 30+ years of love, seasoned into each one.

I use cast iron every day. I love it. It is my pan of choice. It is a love affair.

And for this Valentines Day I am hoping to get this:

A reversible cast iron grill...

...because nothing spells L-O-V-E like cast iron!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


She walks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Could someone, please tell me...

...When it was, that my 10 year old son gained the ability of devouring a foot long sub sandwich without even a blink?

Anyone? seems like just yesterday he couldn't finish his chicken nugget kids meal.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kim and Janet

My parents. My heroes.

Happy 36th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

A few words that come to mind when I think of the two of you:

Happy... With each passing year you seem to grow more happy and more in love...there is not a greater gift you could give to your children.

Devotion... To your ever-growing family, your friends and neighbors, your faith in Jesus Christ.

Simple... Humble. No pomp and circumstance. No frills. Just the way I love you...just the way I want to be.

To the greatest parents one could ever ask for. Thank you for your influence, understanding, patience, and love.

All my love,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wall of Angels

It's done!!!

The Family/Ancestor wall is finally done.

It's been in the making for a few years now-- I've been collecting and saving pictures for a very long time. And with Bill bringing home many new pictures when he and his brothers and sisters went through the family home in Rexburg it really got me excited to fulfill my vision. It's just what I needed to kick me in gear.

With the help of my good husband on the ladder for a couple of hours (right over stairs I might add), and a shopping trip to acquire a few more frames, this is what we spent the evening hours of Family Home Evening doing:

I love it.

I find myself staring at it multiple times a day. There are many on the wall who have already passed on and even many whom I have never met before. But I absolutely love being able to put a face with a name on a pedigree chart and I feel so close to each one of these people when I do this.

I feel like I have a whole entire wall full of angels staring right back at me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bread Boycott

I havn't bought any bread for 2 weeks now. Not one single loaf.

Bill and I got an electric grain mill for Christmas this year so that I can really start using the hundreds of pounds of hard red wheat in our food storage.

We've made cracked wheat on occasion for breakfast (which we really love), but other than that, our wheat has just sat.

I didn't want it to sit any longer.

I have been bound and determined to learn to make a good whole wheat loaf of bread. Believe me, I have tried before- each time a disastrous effort-- dense, heavy, loaves.

BUT, with the help of my mom (the ultimate bread baker) and her neighbor, we have succeeded!

I can now make whole wheat bread that tastes good. Really, really good. And it uses sugar instead of honey, so I can save all my honey to make the really important stuff like
honey butter for the bread or to put on cracked wheat- Bonus!

It is a wonderful recipe. Very light and soft and slices beautifully. Oh yea, and makes great toast (just for you Linds :) ) And the really great part? Porter and Evelyn eat it as fast as I can slice it.

So far we have eaten it with corn chowder, to make eggs-in-hole, and to toast for breakfast. Oh, and I can't forget the 2" thick hot slices with honey butter that Bill and Porter have eaten in honor of Bill's dad. (Bill's dad used to take each kid on their own special day during spud harvest to Ricks College for lunch. For dessert his dad would always order a thick slice of bread with honey butter...Bill always wanted ice cream...but he eventually learned to appreciate his dad's idea of dessert).

I'm sure our bread-consumption will slow down a bit when the novelty wears off, but for now, it just feels really good to be able to make your own bread to use and freeze, and I must say, I am really quite proud of myself. It has been a real accomplishment!

*I'd be happy to share the recipe. Just email me at

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

tea for two

I've been collecting costume jewelry for a while now. I have been putting it into a plastic pencil box and keeping it in a drawer of my vanity in hopes that someday I would have a little girl.

When Evelyn was born, I knew that there would be many dress-up tea parties in our future!

I have saved some pieces from my good ol' high school dance days.

My grandmother gave me some of her jewelry last spring when I helped her go through her things.

And just this past weekend, my husband received some jewelry when he and his siblings went through their mothers things.

He knew he had to have this piece to put in the plastic pencil box:

And would you believe it? Evelyn knew just what to do when we let her hold it. She immediately put it on her finger:

Just as Porter knew instinctively what to do with a ball or a truck, Evelyn knows exactly what to do with jewelry. It was so fun to watch! We just set her on the floor right next to the box of jewelry, and watched this unfold:

~the ring box opens and closes~

~this is serious business~

~bracelet on~

~necklace over the head~

(Porter helped with the placement of the rhinestones on her head)

Oh! It's so much fun being a girl!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I Will.

I get really tired of cleaning urine from around the toilet seat.

Wait. Let me rephrase that.

I get really, really fed up with cleaning urine from around the toilet seat, on the walls, bathtub, shower curtain, and ceiling.

Yes, I said ceiling.

That's the hand a mother is dealt when blessed with boys.

More specifically, boys who have a hard time aiming when they wake up in the middle of the night and are lucky just to find the toilet bowl. And boys who are zombie-tired in the morning with hours of built up fire-hose pressure in their bladder from a long night's snooze. And boys who wait til the very last mili-second to go because they are afraid they will miss out on something really, really important.

It's something I have been struggling with for a very long time.

I've tried everything. Floating fruit loops. Incentives. Lectures. Begging. Pleading. Crying.

And then the epiphany came. This week in fact. After a long emotional weekend of going through the stuff of someone you have loved and lost.

New perspectives.

When I clean my bathrooms this week- urine and all- I will try to do it with a new perspective.

Because, one day (and it's really not that far away) that boy will be gone. Grown. On his own.

And I will wish so badly, that I could go back to cleaning the urine from around the toilet seat.

Friday, January 02, 2009


The New, University 19th Singles Ward POG Grand Champion!

Porter entered the POG tournament a couple of weeks ago and ended up winning the whole sha-bang...pretty impressive given that he, Bill, nor I had ever heard of POGS before.

Apparently, POGS are little cardboard discs, popular in the mid 90's, and used in a game similar to a marbles game:

Here he is in action:

He was pretty excited because the prize was a game of TWISTER and a hand-carved rock trophy:

He took the trophy to show his 5th grade class the next day.

Way to show up the College kids Porter!!