Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Festivities!

Wow, we had quite a busy week this week filled with Halloween Festivities!!!

One of our wonderful homemade decorations for our house...

We had a ward party on Thursday night and I was a bag of M&M's and Brad was a cowboy.

On Thursday night the girls wore matching clown outfits...there were cute hats to go with these outfits too, but they kept falling off so they got the boot.

Tonight, on Halloween night, Jane was a doggy and Maren was an octopus.

Here's a little blast from the past from Halloween last year. Jane was the octopus and Maren was a little lamb.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Three Cheers for the Binky Fairy...

So, I hope that I'm not speaking too soon, but Jane officially gave up her binkies tonight. We had a visit from the Binky Fairy!

We explained to Jane that there were other babies in the world who were crying and who needed binkies. We also said that now she was two years old she was such a big girl and didn't need binkies anymore. So, the Binky Fairy was also so proud of Jane for being so brave and such a big girl that she was going to come bring a big present for Jane.

So, we put Jane's binkies into a box and tied a bow on it and Jane said, "bye bye binkies" and put them outside on our porch for the Binky Fairy to come and get for all of the babies.

When we came back inside I told her that the Binky Fairy had already come and left her the present on her bed...she was SO excited!

The Binky Fairy left her a Princess Aurora doll and she loves it! Jane thinks Sleeping Beauty is SO wonderful and beautiful!

Jane kept telling us how nice the Binky Fairy was and how much she loved her new dolly. What's so great about this doll is it is a doll, a pillow, and a blanket. When you unzip the bottom of the pillow you can pull the blanket out. Needless to say, Jane loves it!

When I was putting her to bed tonight we got her all tucked in with Princess Aurora and Jane turned to me and started to say, "I want my..." Then she stopped and you could tell she was thinking. Then she said, " binkies..." and she smiled and said "goodnight Mommy!" It was almost too good to be true.

I just thought I would include that I was going to do this similar concept to get Jane to get ride of her binkies at Christmas time, but I was going to have her give them to Santa Clause instead of the Binky Fairy...but I just decided that we couldn't wait until Christmas and it needed to happen now. I know Jane is ready and I think the whole idea has clicked for her... I hope :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hee Haw Farms!

Yesterday we went with some of our friends, the Lewis's, and took the kids to Hee Haw Farms in Pleasant Grove.


Jane, Addie, and Maren with Leroy...the 1200 pound pig!

Maren hanging out with a goat.

Mommy, Maren, and Jane on the tractor pulled train.

Working our way through the corn maze.

The girls had fun sitting all together in the wagon.

We all had a blast, especially the kids! Thanks to the Sister Carlson for the tickets :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken Salad (with Cauliflower)

2 large eggs
1 pound of chicken
(boneless, skinless, cutlets or breast, rinsed and dried)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup green grapes, coarsely chopped

Directions: Place the eggs in a small saucepan and add cold water to cover. Cover, set the saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let stand, still covered, for exactly 15 minutes. Run the eggs under cold water to cool, then peel them. Separate the yolks from the whites. Chop the whites and discard the yolks (or refrigerate for another use).

Sprinkle the chicken with salt, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil and then the chicken. For cutlets, cook 4 to 5 minutes per side until lightly browned on no longer pink in the center. For chicken breast, cook 5 minutes per side, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 9 to 10 minutes longer. Let the chicken cool slightly before cutting it into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, mayonnaise, celery, cauliflower puree, yogurt, grapes and chopped egg whites. Serve warm or chilled.

Notes: Children love grapes, so this makes a great lunch for the whole family. Using leftover roast chicken saves time; so does using a food processor to chop the celery. Also, I got this recipe from Deceptively Delicious.

Monday, October 20, 2008

PIZOOKIE (like Pizza and Cookie) or "Never on Sundays"

Thanks to the Lewis's for introducing us to this delicious treat!

PIZOOKIE (pronounced pa - zoo - key)

What you need:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Vanilla Ice Cream
Whip Cream
Caramel and Chocolate Toppings

Directions: Grease a pie pan and cook a layer of cookie dough for about 11 minutes or just until the edges and top get barely golden brown (you want the cookie dough inside to still be a little bit gooey). Immediately top with lots of scoops of vanilla ice cream, whip cream, caramel, and chocolate syrup. Eat right away with everyone eating straight from the pie pan (this is a very important step :) ).

I got this yummy chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Lewis's as well and it goes perfectly with Pizookie.

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter (softened)
1/4 cup sugar
1 small pkg. vanilla pudding
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg. chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend butter, sugars, vanilla pudding powder, eggs, and vanilla; then add flour and baking soda. Finally, add the chocolate chips. For cookies, cook for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. For Pazooki cook for 11-15 minutes or just until the edges and top get barely golden brown (you want the cookie dough inside to still be a little bit gooey).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween Time at Gardner Village

Today a group of us took our kids to Gardner Village. It was completely decked out for Halloween and we had a lot of fun!

Our precious cargo!

Jane making new friends at the petting zoo in Gardner Village.

Caleb chasing a billy goat over the bridge...

Getting a good look at the bunny rabbit...

All of the kids having fun in a wagon while we were trying to get a picture of them with everyone looking forward...without much success.

Me and my girls!

A final attempt at getting a group picture of the kid-a-lids...notice there are only 4 of the six kids that were there.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun Halloween FHE Activity!

Leave this poem and some treats on two of your neighbor's doorsteps...this is a fun family night activity....HAVE FUN!

The Phantom Ghost has come to town
to leave you some goodies, I see you have found.
If you do not wish a curse to fall,
Continue this greeting, the Phantom call.

Post this Phantom where it can be seen,
and leave it there until Halloween.
Then make two treats and two phantoms like this,
Deliver them to 2 neighbors who may have been missed.

Deliver at dark, when there is no light. Ring the doorbell,
run and stay out of sight! Have fun and remember,
don't be seen...share in the spirit of Halloween!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Little Middle Sister

So, my extremely talented sister-in-law Suzanne has a little Etsy shop that is absolutely worth posting about: The Little Middle Sister. She makes and sells lots of cute little girl clothes...hey, where did she get those adorable little models? :)

My friend Michelle has also started a great little online boutique...check out her link (Ali*P Boutique).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

PBJ Muffins!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins (with carrot)

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp margarine (or butter)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 large egg white (or 1 egg)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fruit jam or jelly

Directions: Preheat the ovento 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, carrot puree, sugar, and margarine with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the yogurt and egg white.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, but do not overmix - there should be some lumps in the batter.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and drop a spoonful of preserves on top of each.

Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 20-25 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

Notes: I didn't have yogurt, so I used sour cream and it worked out great. The recipe calls for creamy peanut butter, but I used crunchy and I liked the nuts in the muffin. If you are doing mini muffins, only bake for 12-15 minutes. When spooning the jam on top of the muffin mix, swirl it into the batter just a little bit otherwise it tends to slide of the top of the muffin as they bake (as you can see in my picture). Also, this recipe is from Deceptively Delicious.