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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Party till you drop

Dear Family and Friends,

This is what our backyard looked like Wednesday morning.  I can never remember it snowing before Halloween and kids were thrilled running around to find snow gear.  All those yard projects I have been putting off will now just have to wait.  The snow melted down here by the end of the day but it has stayed cold and often rainy.  Wednesday I ran with my running buddy Jen in the snow and dark and decided with slushy feet that we were done till either the weather improved or it wasn't pitch black in the morning anymore.

This week has been full of Halloween mayhem and then today everyone crashed.  Spencer, Taylor, Allison and I took long Sunday afternoon naps to recover while Jeremy manned Robyn who did not think a happy nappy was a good idea.

Allison was thrilled with her Alice in Wonderland costume that my sister Christina made her.  Robyn was very specific about her Doormouse costume and then ended up wanting to be a princess at the last moment.  Spencer had high emotions about how his Ranger's apprentice costume turned out.  So Spencer and Robyn each had to have some time to calm down and realize that mom's sewing capabilities are limited!

Tuesday night was our ward party with a chili cook-off, pictures, carnival games put on by the youth and a trunk or treat.  Then Wednesday night our neighbors put on a spook alley for all the kids in their basement.  Kids loved having a mummy show him his brains or a fortune teller to predict their future ("candy, I see lots of candy...").  And then Thursday night was Taylor's school carnival full of games, junk food and contests.  Friday was full of everyone having class parties.  I got to bring treats to the girls' classes and help with Spencer's party with my helper Robyn happy to eat any extra doughnuts in the background.  So our kids' got their fill of Halloween festivities.

Saturday Spencer had his first pow-wow at BYU.  He took space exploration and mammal study.  He is excited about all his homework that he needs to do especially building a rocket.  On Saturday was my Halloween half marathon.  It was really fun with 2000 people there.  Most people wore costumes and I was amazed at what people were willing to run in - a nun's habit, a wedding dress, every super hero imaginable, fairies, witches etc.  My personal favorite were the two guys in the UPS uniforms that were a couple of sizes too small or the ladies with the shirts that said "does this shirt make my butt look fast?".  We ran from Aspen grove and Sundance and down the Provo canyon.  Best part was that I was able to do 8:41 minute miles which for me was huge - running downhill is the only reason I was able to go that fast but I will take it.  When we got up the mountain it was 30 degrees but by the end of the race it was 50 degrees which felt great.  Afterward I met Spencer at BYU to eat Navajo Tacos together to celebrate.

For Halloween we ate our blood (marinara sauce), bones (breadsticks) and brains (stuffed pumpkin).  Kids wrapped up warm as it was rainy and stormy outside but candy is a strong motivator.  Spencer met up with our two neighbor boys Grant and Gabe to run around the neighborhood for two hours.  They were really good about checking in every 30 minutes and loved their freedom.  Allison and her friend Andra were shepherded around by Jeremy and my friend Brenda took Robyn and her daughter around in her van.  All kids had a great freezing cold time and carefully picked out their 12 candies to keep, scarfed a bunch and sadly contributed to Jeremy's work treats.

Other odds and ends this week as Halloween occupied most of our time: I was able to go spend a day with my sister-in-law Kelly with Robyn along for entertainment picking out carpet and tile etc for the new house they are building.  Its always fun to spend someone else's money!  And Jeremy has been busy putting together the idea of doing a photo studio co-op in a nearby warehouse.  He is very excited about the idea but it still weighing the logistics of it.

Taylor has had a better week.  He has had 2 bad days but has had a lot of good moments too.

Love to you all, Heather

After eating an orange doughnut!

Allison brought back lemons from CA so we made lemon pound cake for Taylor's school carnival.  You can all it lemon bread if it makes you feel better about eating it for a snack!  Great with whipped cream and strawberries but my favorite is just plain.  This is from one of my old neighbors in Provo, Becky Bawden.

Lemon Pound Cake

1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
Grated peel of 1 lemon, around 1 tsp packed
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk

Glaze: 1/2 c powdered sugar and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5x3 bread pan.  In a mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in all the remaining ingredients (except glaze ingredients).  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45-55 minutes, until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven.  Poke holes with a skewer all over the top of the loaf.  Let bread cool on wire rack while you make the glaze.
Mix glaze together until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.  Remove bread from pan and place on a plate.  Spoon glaze over warm cake.

Dear Friends and Family,

We are in the middle of a rain storm but it is snowing on the mountains.  I cannot remember the last time we have had snow before Halloween.  It is supposed to clear up next week and I can go pull out all the dead plants. But right now kids are excited to turn on the heater and fire place and think hot chocolate should become a food group of its own.

Biggest news of the week is that Allison came home Tuesday afternoon.  She was spoiled rotten out in CA and once the initial excitement of seeing everyone at home was over, she was a little let down with the transition back to reality.  Doing make-up homework, eating squash for dinner and going to bed early on a school night was a little depressing.  Today she wore the dress my mom bought her in China Town and felt quite special.

This week was full of just the regular rhythm of family life.  Spencer and I got our flu shots together.  Robyn thought it was great that I couldn't get the mist as she could tell the nurse when and where to stab me.  Too bad moms can't cry.  I told Robyn that Sunday when we used our last pull-up that I couldn't buy anymore.  She has still been wearing them at night.  I am not giving in to the pressure of having to wash the sheets every night but one so far but it is very tempting.  Jeremy has been getting up in the middle of the night to wake her up which helps but not enough yet.  I figure she has to get it at some point!

Friday night I had a girls night out with a bunch of women from our ward where we ate at Zuppas and watched You Again at the movie theater.  A very cute chick flick.  Spent any free time this week working on sewing Spencer and Robyn's Halloween costumes.  Last night Spencer and Allison went to a friends Halloween party.  Spencer was willing to put up with an unfinished Halloween costume in order to play games and eat treats.  I am not sure if I should be depressed or flattered at our kids belief that I can magically make the perfect costume for them.  We have had a few tears as reality and their visions have collided.

Speaking of treats after we had our big Auxiliary training Thursday night with a buffet of amazing desserts afterward, I decided I needed to do some changing.  All the ladies I run with eat zero sugar (it is a bit ridiculous).  I couldn't help but think about the half marathon on Halloween and wonder how much better I would do without any junk in my body.  So I figure I can do anything for one week (the longest I have ever gone without sugar has been maybe an afternoon).  And it has been dang hard!  My hand keeps automatically reaching for everything I shouldn't eat.  I don't plan to keep it up past a week but I am hoping it will reduce my dependency on regular chocolate fixes!

Jeremy has had a photo week.  He had two photo shoots, one of which he was a model for and the other he photographed.  Then Saturday he was able to spend the day at a photo class learning how to do lighting etc.  He learned a lot and enjoyed the challenge of learning new things.  He has been pulling in the daddy points lately after solo parenting two nights in a row while I was gone and then doing Saturday morning by himself while I ran and then cleaning the church again.

Love to you all and hope you are enjoying a nice rainy day inside as we are.


P.S. Forgot 2 highlights of the week.  Monday we decorated "pumpkin" cookies.  Spencer created Mt. St. Cookie for his FHE treat with candy overflowing.  And secondly Jeremy had his physical this week to get shots for our trip and was psyched that his cholesterol is much better than mine.

This is from my neighbor Elaine.  I picked my last zucchini of the year today and decided to use it in this frittata, one of my favorite recipes.  Served with a salad and some french bread, it makes a perfect summer meal.

Zucchini Frittata

2 c shredded zucchini
1 c bisquick
1/2 c parmesan cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c oil
1/2 tsp each, salt, pepper and oregano
2 Tbsp parsley, optional

Stir all together.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Serve warm with salsa on the side.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Market Street Clam Chowder

Part of growing up in California is having clam chowder with sourdough bread on the various piers along the coast.  There is something about the salt air, the sea gulls and seals barking that makes it taste delicious.  But my favorite clam chowder recipe is from a restaurant in Utah, Market Street Grill.  They hand out the recipe at their restaurants and it tastes exactly the same when you make it at home.  Of course to get that exact taste you have to make it with half-and-half which I only do for company and special occasions.  Otherwise my family has to live with a mixture of skim and whole milk instead.

Market Street Clam Chowder
Serves 12

1 c potatoes, diced 1/2 inch
1 c celery, diced 1/2 inch
1 c onion, diced 1/2 inch
1 c leeks, diced 1/2 inch
1 c green pepper, diced 1/2 inch
3/4 c chopped calms (save the clam juice or buy bottled clam juice)
3/4 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
3/4 Tbsp whole thyme
6 bay leaves
1 tsp Tabasco
3/4 c sherry wine (optional - if you want to leave it out or substitute cranberry juice)
2 c water
3/4 c clam juice
3/4 c butter, melted
1 c flour
2 quarts half and half which is 8 c (or do 4 c skim and 4 c whole milk)

  1. Combine melted butter and flour in a 9x9 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients except half-and-half.  Simmer until potatoes are thoroughly cooked.
  3. Stir butter-flour mixture into chowder and stir until thick.  Mixture will be slightly less thick than cookie dough.  Remove chowder from heat.
  4. Stir in half-and-half until blended.  heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally.  Serve immediately.

My kids used to call this "hot-dog soup" now they call it "sausage soup".  But whatever they call it, it is one of my favorite rainy, cold day type soups.  I use an immersion blender so I can just blend the potatoes together in the pot which makes it slightly easier.  Then I cook the meat and vegetables in a separate skillet and then just add that mixture to the potatoes when ready.

Sausage and Potato Soup
Makes 8 servings

4 large potatoes (or 6 regular sized ones), peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 1/2 lb bratwurst cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 small cabbage thinly chopped
2 tsp chicken bouillon
2 tsp marjoram leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c half and half (or whole or even skim milk - depending on your taste)
1 8 oz sour cream

  1. Heat potatoes and 3 c water to boiling.  Water should barely cover potatoes, add a little more if necessary.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until tender.
  2. If you have an immersion blender, simply blend up the potatoes and water in the pot.  Otherwise pour 1/3 of the potato mixture into a blender and blend at low speed until smooth.  Repeat with remaining mixture.  Set aside.
  3. In sauce pot, cook sausage till cooked half way.  Add the oil, celery, carrots, onion and cabbage and cook stirring occasionally until tender.
  4. Add potato mixture to vegetables and meat.  Stir in bouillon, marjoram, salt, pepper and 3 1/2 c water.
  5. Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in half and half and sour cream and heat through.  Do not boil!

Dear Family and Friends,

We have had fall break this week with no school on Thursday and Friday.  So Wednesday afternoon Allison set off for her long anticipated adventure to fly by herself to CA to spend a week with my parents.  She was so excited she was walking on air.  She was packed and ready to go a day in advance and didn't look back at me once as she walked onto the plane with her carefully packed Hello Kitty messenger bag slung over her shoulder.  She is doing all the touristy things she requested like going to the aquarium, walking the Golden Gate bridge and just loving having time with her grandparents.  Robyn is already asking when is it her turn to fly to California.  Spencer did the same thing when he was 9, so we told her she has 5 years to go.

For those of us stuck at home we have had friends over, stayed up watching movies, had cousins over for pizza night and spent an evening up at Gardner village looking at the witches.  Robyn had spent the day playing non-stop with her friend Tally.  She was so used to talking that she literally did not stop for 3 hours (we were timing her) while we saw all the witches.  Its just fun to see all the Halloween decorations, Robyn went on the pony ride and then we visited their amazing candy store for fudge.  (Jeremy is still doing the no-junk diet and is looking amazing.  I on the other hand have gotten over my guilt and have no problem eating fudge while he looks on!)

Taylor spent Monday up at Primary's again discussing how to manage his seizures.  He is going back for an MRI to make sure he is not having any mini-strokes as his eyes tend to go wonky periodically and his left side is really tightening up when he gets tired.  Things are gradually improving overall for him.

Went and got my passport application turned in this week so I am one step closer to our February trip.  I have had on our fridge a list of to-dos for two months now so I was glad to cross passport off that list.  And Jeremy, aiming for super husband status has been chipping away at the rest of my list for me.  He finished up the lights on our deck Saturday and it looks so awesome at night.

Robyn (and the rest of us) are missing Allison.  But without Allison to interfere Robyn is enjoying some illicit activities.  I was mowing the lawn Friday and Robyn brought out her baby stroller to join me.  She was so cute pushing her stroller around the path several times, talking to her baby and tucking it in with a blanket.  Showing her baby all around the playhouse etc.  Then after half an hour when I finish up the back, I walk by her stroller and get a close look.  It wasn't a doll but rather Midnight, Allison's guinea pig.  Midnight's eyes were just looking everywhere trying to absorb it all in.  Robyn was very proud of herself.  Then I sent her off to put Midnight away as cousins arrived.  I spent the next 20 minutes talking to Kelly till I heard some dissenting voices upstairs and went up to investigate.  Brynn was taking her turn hugging Midnight and Midnight was beyond stressed after receiving so much love from Robyn and cousins.  Now Midnight is in her house and refuses to come out to play.  I am sure she will need some TLC from Allison to recover from her trauma.

Rest of our week was full of the routines and to dos that keep us busy.  Cleaned the church, cleaned the office, Jeremy and I were able to go see Red (highly recommend it) and have dinner together.  Spencer and Jeremy enjoying football on TV together, Robyn being unable to go through the night without peeing her bed.  Just our regular life.

Love to you all and a special hug going out to CA and our little girl,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Favorite Lasagna

This is Allison's most requested meal.  It is not easy to serve as it pretty much falls apart when you scoop it.  But it tastes so good that no-one cares.  It is easy to make the day ahead and then let it come to room temperature the next day and cook it.  You can freeze it uncooked or cooked.  We usually make it in two 9x9 pans so we can eat one and freeze the other.

Our favorite Lasagna

 3/4 lb mild Italian Sausage
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 can 6 oz tomato paste
1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth or 1 1/2 c
1 1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
12-16 lasagna noodles, cooked
cheese sauce
1 c jack cheese, shredded
1 c parmesan cheese, shredded (in a pinch do 2 c jack cheese and skip the parmesan)
Salt and Pepper

Cheese Sauce:
1/4 c butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 c flour
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth or 1 1/2 c
1 c milk
2 c jack cheese

1. Cook sausages, crumbled beef, onion, celery and carrots in a large skillet.  Drain.
2. Stir in broth, tomatoes and spices.  Cook until mixture is thick around 15 minutes.
3. Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a pan.  Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring until onion is soft.  Blend in flour and nutmeg.  Cook until bubbly.  Stir in broth and milk.  cook until it boils and thickens slightly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese until cheese is melted.
4. Assemble lasagna in a sprayed 9x13 pan.  Arrange 1/3 of the lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1/2 of the cheese sauce.  Repeat.   End with a layer of lasagna noodles and the last of the meat sauce.  Top with jack cheese and Parmesan.  Cook in a 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes till bubbly.

I guess I could have called this the "tongue out edition" as well, as that seemed to be a common theme in a number of photos! Kids love it when Heather makes sugar cookies and break out all the sprinkles & frosting they can manage to pile on top of their treat. Most still believe a better cookie is one where the top is completely hidden by frosting, and in turn that frosting cannot be seen due the thick layer of sprinkles.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The sun will come out tomorrow...

Dear Friends and Family,

After a week of rain, clouds and dark skies, today the sun came out.  The girls and I just got back from a long walk with Rocky and bikes and drank in the warmth and the sunshine.  I am glad fall decided to stick around a little longer.

This week I caught Robyn's cold so we were hacking away.  Wasn't anything serious, but I would get kids off to school and then collapse for a two hour nap.  Then up again to get kids squared away then back to the couch.  Felt like a big wuss.  But with the rain and cold outside it was great timing to drink hot chocolate and stay on the couch a bunch.

Last Sunday, Jason and family came over for conference and dinner.  Here is our typical evening:

Girls and moms decorating Halloween cookies
Little boys checking out their latest games on the computer
Big boys checking out their latest games on their phones
 We always enjoy having family over and kids are excited to resume regular cousin nights again.

Robyn had a field trip Friday to HeeHaws, a pumpkin activity land for little kids.  The petting zoo was a hit but because of the rain the mud and feces smell was very strong. I was amazed by their fly trap.
That is ALL flies and most of them are still alive!

Robyn and I on a hay ride
Robyn picking out her pumpkin
Had some friends over for dinner Friday night and made a bunch of home-made pizza.  We're getting closer to getting the recipe right.  Although the next morning I ran a 10 k with several of my friends.  The whole way I asked myself, "why did I eat pizza!?"  The race was an all woman's race and everyone who is in the Ragnar van with me ran it.  My friend Brenda stayed with me till she smoked me the last mile.  But she showed me I could run a lot faster than I thought for a lot longer.  And she does it all with a smile and cheers for everyone around her.  I am more of the grit my teeth and try to finish type.  The worst part was that the volunteers sent us the wrong way at the end and made us run an extra MILE.  That part stank a little bit.  You kept thinking you had to be done as your watch showed you reach and pass 6.2 miles!  But it was a lot of fun and a great experience.

Jeremy had a fun/educational night this week as a friend helped him strip down his motorcycle and put it back together as it has been having problems.  He celebrated today by taking it up in the foothills by us, bundled up against the fall chill.  Came back with a smile.

Last night we went to see the play The Scarlet Pimpernell.  It was a musical and was really well done. That is one of my favorite old movies.  The only scary part for me was that our kids babysat themselves.  We didn't leave till 7 so everyone was showered, fed and pilled.  So Allison read Robyn stories, brushed her teeth and tucked her in.  Spencer tucked in Taylor and then the big kids stayed up to watch a movie and then tucked themselves in.  We came home to the house locked, Rocky standing guard and everyone asleep and the house cleaned up.  It was really nice!

Allison is really excited to fly to California this week.  She is telling everyone all about it.  Hope my parents are ready!

Love to you all, Heather

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

Growing up these were one of my favorites.  I often have the problem in the fall of having a half to one cup extra of canned pumpkin.  So my solution is to make muffins for dinner.  My mom would always put raisins in her muffins but in my chocolate addicted household we use mini-chocolate chips.  Unless I am making these for guests I always do at least half whole wheat.  They freeze wonderfully but are best the day made.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/2 c pumpkin
1/2 c oil
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c raisins/mini-chocolate chips

Mix egg, milk, pumpkin and oil together.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir well.  Fill greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes for mini-muffins and 20 minutes for regular sized.

This recipe is from a Relief Society luncheon I went to.  It is similar to my chicken pasta salad but just a different flavor.  It can be served in rolls or croissants or on top of lettuce cups.  But I prefer it just straight with french bread on the side.

Chicken Salad

3 c cooked chicken, cubed
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp orange juice
1 1/2 c green grapes, halved
1 13 1/2 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 11oz can Mandarin oranges, drained
1 c almond slices or slivers
1 1/2 c mayonnaise
3 c cooked shell pasta (1 1/2 c dry shells equals 3 c when cooked)

Mix all the ingredients and chill.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Minestrone Soup

This is from my friend Soni although I use chunky vegetables and she likes everything minced smaller or shredded/julienned.  It is one of my favorite ways to use my fall vegetables.  My kids grumble when I make it, but they eat it.  I told them this is a keeper despite their objections!

Minestrone Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped white onion
1 small zucchini chopped
1/2 c cut up green beans
1 stalk celery diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c vegetable broth (do not use chicken broth!  I have vegetable bouillon base that I use to make broth from)
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz can small white beans or Great northern beans, drained
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 carrots (1/2 c) chopped
2 Tbsp cut up fresh parsley (opt)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
3 c hot water
4 c fresh baby spinach (pieces torn in half if they are big)
1/2 c small shell pasta

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.  Add broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, carrots, hot water and spices.  Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes.  Makes about eight 1-1/2 c servings.  Serve with shredded parmesan cheese on top.

*This soup keeps for several days but does not freeze well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference Weekend

The my little ponies that pop up all over our house add to the decorating scheme, don't you think?
Dear Family and Friends,

 This week I felt like fall even though the weather was warm and Indian summerish.  We kept the windows open most of the week and it felt so nice to have our house smelling fresh and clean again.  Despite fans/candles etc after a while if our house is closed up all I can smell is old diapers, dog gas and remnants of cooked food - not the best combination.

Allison had a great birthday.  She brought treats to school and shared a poster about herself.  Her math T.A. made her cookies and they canceled math homework in her honor.  She picked out a cake from Coldstone and ate a meal of noodles, butter and cake.  Enjoyed all her presents and stayed up late into the night trying to learn a new knitting project by the light of her night-light.  Jeremy took her out for a birthday dinner the next night to her favorite all you can Chinese buffet that has noodles and shrimp - her favorites.  (Until this year he would take kids out to lunch on their birthday but now our kids' school has a pretty stringent attendance policy and we didn't want to risk it).  So she was just beaming pretty much the whole week.  She started her new math class with the 5th graders and once she realized she could do it, all the butterflies left.  She is having to scramble a bit to learn a few new concepts but since she is still getting As on everything, I am not too worried.
Allison loves her new slippers Mimi!
 Taylor is enjoying conference.  Every time the organ comes on, he starts chirping away - loudly.   The first half of the week he didn't do so well.  To the point that I started to worry about more permanent brain damage from seizures or mini-strokes.  When he is tired he really favors his left side and keeps his left arm/hand curled up.  And he has a harder time walking now or using his hands.  But by the end of the week he started cheering up and relaxing his left side more.  We went to ward temple night on Wednesday and I couldn't help sitting there and wondering how long Taylor will be with us.  Sometimes I think we will have him for a long earthly life and then other times I realize how fragile he is.

Spencer met with his psychiatrist today (with Robyn along to distract and annoy).  I appreciate his doctor a lot but boy is he chatty.  Two hours for an appointment to see how Spencer is doing plus commuting to and from the U of U makes for a very long morning.  But he helps me see how good Spencer is doing overall.  We changed his meds a bit to help with the high anxiety he gets especially over making decisions.  And Spencer has started wearing an ipod while he does his math homework which seems to help him not be annoyed by the sound of little kids playing.

Friday night Jeremy and I got to go out to one of our favorite restaurants Biaggis up in SLC with our neighbors the Larsons.  We are going on a cruise with the Larsons in February so we had fun discussing what we wanted to do on our trip.  Plus we ate an obscene amount of good food and returned home to watch the A-Team.  The movie did a great job of playing off the old T.V. show and was a lot of fun to chuckle at.

 I have been getting up before the sun to run lately.  I have a 10k this Saturday and then a half-marathon at the end of the month.  After doing 12 miles yesterday with some friends the 13.2 miles don't worry me quite so much.  I am still not that fast but I am much faster than I was two years ago when I started running so I am happy.  I am almost getting used to running looking like a dork, with my headlamp on and my reflector vest.  Yesterday two of my friends and I are running along a trail in the pitch black and I just kept thinking, "please, don't fall!"  But the nice part about running in the dark is that I swear your body thinks its still asleep so you just cruise along without thinking too much about it.

Back to conference again.  Watching conference with kids is a great practice in patience and dilligence.  Allison and Spencer are getting better about listening quietly and Robyn made it through one session due to a box of candy and a game of bingo.  The rest of the sessions has seen Robyn digging through our toys to find the loudest most obnoxious things she can think of to drag out.  I am hoping some of the messages get through to her simply by proximity to the T.V.

Love, Heather
I finally finished my scarf for Allison that my sister Christina helped me start in DECEMBER!  The flowers didn't quite turn out looking like flowers but they are still cute I think.  This scarf was re-crocheted so many times until I could get it right.