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Roby has loved her first week at her new school.  All the teachers and staff have looked out for her and I am grateful to parents who prompted and kids who thought to come over and give her hugs and high fives all week long.  My favorite part is that every morning I get to walk to school with her and we have some solo mom and daughter time.  She walks home with her friend Luke and his family every afternoon and thinks its great.  She was busy this week making a cute birds house for her valentine box and putting together valentines for her class.  Allison working behind her was busy making monkeys with little banana candies saying she was bananas for her friends.  Robyn asked Spencer where his valentines were and he informed her that boys in high school do not do things like that.  Instead he brought doughnuts for everyone to the bus stop and thought that was cool.

I spent the week sick with a cold and actually took Wednesday off of work and just spent it curled up in bed with a book.  Now I can finally speak and it doesn't sound like a munchkin anymore.  But if I start coughing, its all over for a good ten minutes.  Can't speak or function but just have to suck furiously on my cough drop.

BUT we did have a surprise visitor Wednesday night and were delighted to have my brother drop-by.  He even brought JCW shakes so kids were bouncing off the walls with joy.  Made my day to be able to visit for awhile.

Friday Jeremy and I had our Valentine's date, something I was looking forward to all week long.  He took me out to a Thai restaurant I have been wanting to try and then to a movie - Taken 3 - the antithesis of every Valentine movie.  It was awesome just to be out without any errands to do or kids.

Saturday the kids and I got to go to Family Day at Rootstech.  This involves Allison being in the car ready to go two hours early and Robyn and Spencer groaning how awful it was going to be.  They loved it.  It ended with watching Studio C and David Archeletta and then we had to go raid Trader Joe's to stock up on treats.  Kids picked out their own valentine treats this year.

Saturday morning we had had our annual waffles, strawberries and cool whip breakfast.  I felt like I was doing pretty good at Valentine's this year.  And then while we were in SLC kids were talking about how I always do a special dinner with cards and presents for them at their place on Valentine's Day.  And all I could think of was Oh shoot!  So Jeremy found their cards and wrote them notes and set them out, along with picking up cupcakes for everyone and a gorgeous bouquet for me.  I am grateful he always has my back.  Then he went for a walk with Jasper...

We got a text during the late afternoon that Jasper had been attacked by a german shepherd and that they were going to the instacare vet.  Story is that Jeremy went for a walk and a big dog ran out of a house.  So he scooped up Jasper.  The owner came out and put the shepherd away and brought out his little dog and asked if they could socialize.  Jeremy put Jasper down and the German Shepherd came barreling out of the garage and picked up Jasper in his mouth and started attacking him.  So Jeremy dropped to the ground and wrestled Jasper out of his mouth.  The owner drove Jeremy to the vet where Jasper was anesthetized, punctures stapled and is on pain pills and anti-biotics.  Jasper is a little edgy now!  We have been trying outfits on him to keep him off the sores. He isn't liking it.

But he should make a full recovery physically and be fine.  We are hoping the shaking and nervousness wear off soon but our kids are giving him lots of love.

This recipe is from my friend Melissa who also gave me my favorite roll recipe.  Its hearty, easy to make and my kids like it - a winner all around.

Multi-Grain Bread

6 c boiling water
2 c five grain rolled cereal (Bob's Red Mill)
7 c whole wheat flour
2 c white flour
2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
3/4 c vegetable oil
3/4 c honey
1/2 c wheat germ
1/2 c ground flaxseed meal
1/2 c wheat gluten
1-2 c additional white flour

1. Pour boiling water over the five grain cereal in bowl of mixer.  Let sit until lukewarm about 1/2 hour.
2. Add the rest of ingredients except the last 1-2 c additional white flour and knead in mixer till all is incorporated.
3. Add more flour until the dough is soft but still sticky.
4. Knead for about 8 minutes.
5. Cover and let rise until doubled in size around 1 hour.
6. Shape into loaves and let rise 30-45 minutes or until loaves have risen a little over the top of the pan.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Makes 4-5 loaves.

This is one of those recipes I didn't write down because I assumed my kids would just remember how to do this when they leave home with this collection of recipes.  But then I thought again...  And I realized that I had already posted this recipe but we have altered it over the years.  For example we decided we no longer liked shredded lettuce.

7 Layer Dip

1.  1 large 30 oz can spicy refried beans or 1 30 oz can of regular refried beans with a 1/3 c salsa stirred into it
2. 1 16 oz container of sour cream with 1 packet or 2 Tbsp of taco seasoning stirred in
3. 3 avocados blended with 1/2 c salsa and 1 tsp salt
4. favorite salsa
5. 1 14 oz can corn sauteed in 1 tbsp oil along with 3 diced and seeded jalapenos and sauteed until corn and peppers are slightly charred
6. shredded cheddar cheese or mexican blend cheese
7. chopped tomatoes

Arrange ingredients in layers and in order 1-7 in a large platter.  Serve with chips and keep in fridge until you are ready to serve.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Breast

4 large chicken breast
1 block 8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 c Monterrey Jack Cheese
1/3 c jalapeno peppers, diced and 1/2 seeded (about 3 jalapenos)
1 c flour
2 eggs beaten
2 c bread crumbs
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Make a slit in the middle of each chicken breast to make a pocket.  Salt and pepper each chicken breast.
3. Beat cream cheese, jack cheese and jalapeno peppers together.  Stuff the mixture into each chicken breast and pin the breast shut with toothpicks.
4. Put eggs in one shallow bowl, bread crumbs in one shallow bowl, and flour in one shallow bowl.
5. Roll each chicken breast in flour, then egg and then bread crumbs.
6. Heat oil in a large pan.  Saute each chicken breast for 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown.
7. Place chicken on an oiled baking sheet.
8. Cook for 30 minutes.

I love this salad.  Jeremy thinks its tolerable and my kids dislike it.  It must be a mom thing, as other moms have really liked it as well.  It keeps for a day in the fridge so you can have the leftovers the next day.  I got the recipe originally from neighborfoodblog.

Heather's Salad

 1 cup bulgur or spelt or faro or even brown rice - any chewy, larger style grain
 2 cups shredded kale
 1 chopped avocado
 1 apple, chopped
 ½ cup chopped pecans
 ¼ cup dried cranberries

 ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

For the vinaigrette:
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook the bulgur or other grain according to directions.  Cool.
2. Chop up the avocado and apple and put it into a big bowl.
3. Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to the bowl and stir all together.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss all together.

Makes 6-8 side servings of 4 main dish servings.

    Sunday, February 8, 2015

    Making Glass

    On Monday I got to go with this little cutie on a field trip to the Planetarium.  I had arranged to take the day off several weeks ago and we spent from 8 -2 exploring the cool science exhibits, watching shoes and raiding the food court.  I don't think I could be a 3rd grade teacher unless I had a huge supply of chocolate in my desk!

    Robyn's life ended up changing a bit this week.  After several months of praying and fasting (the amount of stress and thought I put into some situations is a little ridiculous - comes with being a mom I guess) I decided to enroll Robyn in our neighborhood school for 4th grade.  The school boundary is actually 2 houses away from us but our entire ward goes to Manilla School.  So I had to go through getting permission from the two principals, of the school we were supposed to go to and the school we wanted to go to.  And then because we weren't within boundaries I was told we could be put on the list for 4th grade but we wouldn't know for sure until school started and they saw if there was room.  BUT they did have room right now in the 3rd grade class if we wanted to switch.  And because of school testing this next week it would be best if we switched now.  So it felt right and we all agreed so Robyn starts a new school tomorrow.  We have been at Lincoln for 6 1/2 years and it felt strange to be done with uniforms and teaching art.

    Robyn and Allison continue practicing with their play and got fitted for their costumes this week.  Allison gets to be the Pied Piper of the rats for a scene and received her tap shoes this week.  She has been busy tapping away in the garage with squeals of delight.  We tried to tape her but the squeals and tap dancing disappeared every time someone appeared.

    Jeremy helped me take Jasper up to get his rabies shot this weekend.  Jeremy and he have quite a report going - Jeremy playing with Jasper has become the kids' after dinner entertainment.

    For Christmas, Jason and Kelly gave Jeremy and me a gift card to make some glass flowers at Thanksgiving point.  So Saturday afternoon with Allison in tow we went in for our appointment.  Allison was the only kid who wanted to watch.  Lucky for her, Jeremy decided he wanted to help and take pictures so Allison got to be the main person for his flower.  She was thrilled.  We get to pick them up anytime after tomorrow.  It was a very cool experience to see how glass objects are made and to participate in the process.  While there we looked around at all the stained glass windows they are making for the Rome temple right now.

    Since Saturday also included a beehive trip to the temple, cleaning the office, and grocery shopping plus kid stuff - we all collapsed on the couch that night with a movie and ice cream.  Jeremy is the fun person in our house who thinks of things like getting ice cream and is willing to play fetch with Jasper over and over for the kids.

    Jeremy and Spencer continue to work on driving.  The gratitude I feel for Jeremy taking on that task cannot be over stated.  Lets leave it at that.  And that the kids think its really funny how I try to go to my happy place when he drives our family around every Saturday.  Deep breathing, closed eyes and prayers are involved.

    I am off to read in bed.  Evidently cranky mom made an earlier than usual appearance tonight.

    Sunday, February 1, 2015


    True love is your husband spending his lunch hour running up to SLC to buy you cheesecake on your birthday.  True love is your husband getting up early and getting kids ready for school solo and bringing you breakfast in bed so you can sleep in till 7:20 ON A SCHOOL DAY!  My birthday was awesome.  I ended up having to work a bit extra but it was also a neat experience because I went into it thinking it would be hard and kids were great, and it was fun to teach part of the class while the teacher was gone for training that day.  Awesome friends dropped by or sent messages, Jeremy picked up pizza for dinner and we all got to go to the BYU men's volleyball game that night.  Round it off with Spencer staying up with me to watch Lincoln and it was a super full, and fun day.

    This week was New Beginnings for young women.  I am amazed at the work and effort these women put into these events.  They had the whole gym set up like a cruise ship, complete with gangplank and red carpet and life size palm trees.  I spent Wednesday evening cooking cupcakes and Thursday evening setting up and enjoying the event with Allison and Jeremy.  It made for a late night for everyone.  Robyn babysat Taylor for us and did a great job although she scared me by saying she got Taylor out of his chair and into his beanbag so he would be more comfortable.

    Allison has had a busy week.  On Monday she stayed after school working on her presentation and then at night went to a space science fair.  Then she had a competition for a club she is in at BYU all day Tuesday.  She and her friend got a silver on their project which means she goes up to state in March.  This involves staying two night in a hotel up there, so she is very excited about that.  Thursday she had an allergic reaction to Macho as she was getting ready for school.  She missed her carpool as she tried to get her eyes to calm down so I drove her to school a little later.  Red eyes, in glasses because she couldn't get her contacts in, puffy face, hives, and tears that made everything worse because she didn't want to go to school looking so horrible.  It was an emotional mess.  Finally after stopping at Walgreens for benadryl, she agreed to go home and sleep it off.  Girls - the drama is totally different than with boys.  Luckily after a day of Benadryl she was fine.  Saturday she went to an engineering fair at BYU with a friend and enjoyed all the nerdy booths and displays.

    And on Saturday afternoon I got to take some of our Beehives to our Junior High Play of Bye-Bye Birdie.

    Spencer is still plugging away at school, driving and volleyball.  He has been driving us to and from the office every Saturday and then whenever Jeremy will take him out.  Sitting in the back seat while he drives our entire family in the van is like riding a roller coaster.  You are pretty sure everything will be fine but there is a sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach that at any moment things could go horribly wrong.  We got to go volleyball shoe shopping Saturday.

    Jasper continues to entertain our whole family...and poop in our bedroom - what is up with that?!!  This week he learned to chase the chickens up into their coop, and then go hang with them in their laying boxes.  The chickens were not fans.

    Last night and today was our Stake Conference.  And it was our traditional Super Bowl Sunday with Jason's family.  He does all these different types of wings and we do the rest.  Good thing this is only once a year.

    I am ready to slow things down a bit this week!  And sugar free January is no more!