Monday, May 16, 2011

the can't-hack-it housewife

I deliberated about the name of my blog and almost called it "the can't-hack-it housewife."
I could fill a blog bearing said name with endless tales of all my failures to keep house, raise functional children, etc.  In the end I decided it would be better to focus on the positive things in my life so I gave it a name that makes me think "wholesome and tasty".

The pitifully small pile of books I have read in the last 3 years were read in attempt to become the domestic goddess/super mom I want to be. *the last two in the pile I'm still working on...*

Unfortunately, just reading the books didn't result in instant tranformation *lame*.  I guess you have to take the principles in the books and form good habits of living by them to make it work*who knew?*  (btw--All of these books are great, and worth reading.) 

So the first habit I've chosen to work on is one I've slacked on lately--reading scriptures daily.  I especially like this promise:

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from
the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by
themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great
book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell
therein. The spirit of reverence will increase, mutual
respect and consideration for each other will grow. The
spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their
children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more
responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents.
Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity – the
pure love of Christ – will abound in our homes and lives,
bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.”
~ President Marion G. Romney

  Of course, I couldn't start reading daily until I had a specific goal with detailed steps *is that OCD-ness, or just procrastination? any of you do that?* so I found this 100 page chart to read the Book of Mormon in as many days and made this document from it so I only had to print 26 pages instead of 102.

Now that I've blogged about it I think I can actually start...unless I want to cut out the pages and make them into a cute booklet first....*joking*

Friday, April 8, 2011

april fool's food

I've never been good at tricking anyone on April Fool's Day.  Sariah came home from school and told us how many kids she got to "look" with the old "your shoe's untied" trick.  I was always the one that looked!  I wanted to try something fun for the holiday that wasn't too mean to play on toddlers, so I found this idea for a fun meal.

Here's what it was supposed to look like.
Fake Spaghetti and Malt Balls
When everyone got home for the day I told them I was working on spaghetti for dinner and wanted them to go out in the pasture and start a fire for roasting marshmallows for dessert. (They had been begging for a camping trip and this would be the compromise).  With the house to myself, I used strawberry cake mix to make cupcakes then placed them upside down on small plates and piped butter cream frosting all around like spaghetti.  I topped it with strawberry ice cream syrup and chocolate truffles.  I set the table with a pot and jar of spaghetti sauce to complete the illusion.
 It might have worked except the kitchen smelled like cake and the "meatballs" looked plastic. Everyone was immediately suspicious.
 They may not have been tricked, but at least everyone cleaned their plate and enjoyed dessert first for a change.
After "dinner" we went out to the fire and had hot dogs, chips, and marshmallows for our "real" dinner. Not the healthiest meal, but it was a holiday.

 Jim used the fire as an opportunity to burn some unwanted brush, so it got a little too hot. 
After the food lost the kids' attention I broke out some glow bracelets to keep Hank from trying to walk through the fire and from trying to pick up every spark that blew out on the grass.
The only problem created by this joke was Porter asking for "that spaghetti dessert we had last year" every night for dinner for the next three days.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

plantin' taters

I love to garden.  Gardening for me is very nostalgic and gives me a great sense of accomplishment.  My house may be a mess, and my kids may outsmart me, but at least I have a garden with vegetables (hopefully) growing in it!
With rain in the forcast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday; I made sure to plant my taters on Thursday.  Jim had meetings and errands to run related to work and took Hank with him (amazing help), and luckily I had Jared to do the hard tilling for me (also amazing).
 First, I raked out and picked up a large quantity of rocks. 
Wyatt enjoyed sitting on the rocks in the wagon and throwing them back out. (Not so helpful.)
Next, I dug the furrows with a hoe because I don't have a big-wheel-furrower-thing (wishlist) like Dad did when I was little. 
The first year I planted a garden, I dug my furrows with a stick thinking "I'm so resourceful for using this stick when I don't have the right tool" *pride* only to be humbled later when I realized foolish me could have used a hoe (duh) to dig them.
Finally, I planted the taters. 
Porter wasn't too excited about picking up the rocks, but he loved putting the cut potatoes in the furrow...for about the first row.  Then he was done, and moved on to being my photographer.  He did a pretty good job, and he provided a commentary as he took them.

"Mom, I got Wyatt's picture!"
"Mommy, I got Jared's picture!"
"Mom, I got your picture!  You look so beautiful!"
(*aww* Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder on this one)
"Mom, *laughing* I got your butt!" (this one's for you, Amanda)
And of course his self-portraits.
Two of our bottle-fed baby goats followed us around as we gardened and provided entertainment.
 We were all pretty pooped at the end of the day, and my arms ached all night.  I'm sooo out of shape.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

fashionably bald

Think of the worst comb-over you ever saw.  When I was 16, I took a summer job and my boss had one that resembled this, only it went pretty much from one ear over the top to the other ear.  I guess growing up my generation saw too many of these drastic comb-overs because we've developed a comb-over phobia. Now any man who is slightly balding and has hair over 1/4" long (especially if he gels it) MUST have a comb-over.  The only solution, therefore, to allow one to be both bald and fashionable is to shave it all off and adopt the skin-head look.

(Mmmm, not bad, Bruce.) 

My husband found himself in exactly this predicament.  I thought he still had plenty of hair. I thought he looked great with his handsomely receding hair line.  I thought it was far from looking comb-over-ish...

Photo of Jim Reed

...but he didn't, and I couldn't convince him.  He actually agreed with 2 other balding friends to take the plunge together, to shave it and let it all go, and they all showed up at church together bic-ed bald.  (All but one, whose wife got him to keep his hair for a couple of weeks longer....but he has now jumped on the bandwagon.)

I was worried he wouldn't look as great bald, but I was pleasantly surprised.  My husband has a very handsome bald head!  The funny thing is how he didn't do it alone. My husband isn't one to hesitate in doing anything alone or on his own, but with this venture, he got his friends and kids to do it with him.  (One of the other guys got his boys to shave bald, too.)  It reminded me of teenage girls who can't take a bathroom break unless their friends go with them.  Some things are just more fun in numbers, I guess.
All sooo handsome!
 (The mow hawk Porter had in the last post was a baby step to going bald.  Sariah actually paid him a dollar to go with the mow hawk, and unfortunately he fell in love with it and cried when I finally shaved it off.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

craving chocolate?

Today I was attacked by a chocolate craving.  Usually I overcome said craving by eating a few green olives or a cheese stick, but (being 22 weeks pregnant) it was too strong and I was too weak.  I had spent the morning browsing recipes and planning a months worth of dinners while trying to ward off the munchies by drinking LOTS of water.  (My 3 adorable monsters trashed the living room, tore 3 pages from my bible, and dumped out a jar of cinnamon while I was thus occupied.  Lovely.)  After a late lunch of leftover pizza, the craving began.

I tried to ignore it as I put Hank and Wyatt to bed and went outside to plant a row of spinach with Porter.  The refreshing outdoor work only made the craving stronger and with not a single chocolate chip in the house I soon found my self google-ing "chocolate fix."  I found this amazing blog post and decided to fill "Porter and Mommy time" with a lesson on the letter "B" and a corelating snack of Brownies in a mug.  It was a great least the brownies were.  After I told Porter that "Bakugon" was something cool that started with "B", he decided that "Ninja" was cool and also started with "B".  A long debate later I almost had him convinced that only "Black Ninja" starts with "B" and not just "Ninja".  Almost.

Cleaning up the mess.
Patiently waiting.
Topped with ice cream and ready to eat!

(Though this is not a healthy snack, and not "real" brownies; this way you will never have to worry about eating a whole pan of brownies when the crave hits!)