Sunday, January 31, 2010

A New Ward

I know it's shock, but we are in a new ward. We've only been in our current (well, now previous) ward for about 8 months, 4 of which we were in Phoenix with Sharon at the hospital. But, tonight the ward boundaries in our stake were realigned, and our little chunk of a subdivision was put into a new ward. Long Mountain Ward, here we come! I am glad it's not just us & that we have at least a few familiar faces coming with us. We'll attend there next Sunday. Wish us luck!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Tapioca Pudding Kind of Day

One of my favorite memories from my elementary school days, was when we had those rare rainy days. School seemed more fun because rather than go outside for recess, we would stay inside, sit on our desks & play quiet ball. Then, after walking home from school, or if it was rainy enough Mom would come get us, I would walk in the house to the wonderful smell of fresh tapioca pudding. Now, I find that I rarely make tapioca pudding unless it's raining outside. It just reminds me, "Hey, I've got tapioca, I should make pudding." So, I've decided to share the recipe I always use.

I always double the recipe, mainly because two egg whites is too little to beat in my kitchenaid, & because a single batch would be eaten extremely quickly.

Fluffy Tapioca Pudding
4 eggs, separated
24 Tbsp. sugar, divided
2/3 cups Tapioca
8 cups 2% milk
4 tsp. vanilla

BEAT egg white in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Gradually add 12 Tbsp. sugar, beating until soft peaks form.

MIX tapioca, remaining sugar, milk & egg yolk in medium saucepan (I actually use a large saucepan for the double recipe). Let stand 5 minutes.

COOK on medium heat, stirring constantly (I always use a whisk for the stirring, because it makes the pudding fluffier), until mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat. Quickly stir egg white mixture into hot tapioca in saucepan until well blended. Stir in vanilla. Cool 20 minutes; stir. Serve warm or chilled. Stir before serving. Store leftover pudding in refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My "5 Sense"

Ok, so my friend, Angela, has decided to do a giveaway of a few blog headers made by her in exchange for "5 sense."
"The sense should pertain to the maintaining of the home or the preservation of the homemaker’s welfare (aka sanity).
President Kimball advised, “Whatever your circumstance, let your premises reflect orderliness, beauty, and happiness.”
Working, working from home, staying at home, whatever the circumstance, how do you keep order, beauty and happiness within your abode?The “sense” could be but not limited to… positive affirmations, recipes, helpful websites, solace, household tips, advice, products, patterns, hobbies, books, whatever."

here are my 5 sense:
1. Digital Scrapbooking- I usually find time to be on the computer every day, & I have really come to love the time I spend scrapbooking. It is time that I can unwind & the projects are on a small scale, so I can complete at least one page in the time I've chosen to sit at the computer, giving me a sense of accomplishment that I often find lacking when I look at the piles of laundry, stacks of dirty dishes (or even clean dishes needing to be put away), floors needing mopped or vacuumed & all sorts of other small things that tend to pile up if left too long. Scrapbooking helps keep me sane, & also accomplishes a commandment to keep a record

2. Christmas Playlist- I will admit with no guilt whatsoever that I have over 600 Christmas songs on my iPod, & I listen to them year-round. That doesn't mean that I only listen to it all the time, but I like to sneak it in every couple weeks or so, just to get my fix. I love the feelings & memories that come when listening to my Christmas music.

3. Prickly Pear Jelly- Unfortunately I missed most of this fix this year, due to the early arrival of one aforementioned wiggly youngster (which we are very happy about now), but I really enjoy the time of year when prickly pears come ripe. It gives me so much satisfaction to take a totally raw fruit product, then through lots of work & steam & smashing, wind up with an end product as tasty as prickly pear jelly (& it doesn't hurt that other people like to buy it as well).

4. Cloth grocery bags- I am by no means a "green" person, but I really love these cloth grocery bags, & have made a few for myself & others. They are exactly like plastic walmart bags, but cloth! They hold so many things & are so cute. It also gives me opportunity to break out the sewing machine, which I consider part of my zen. Ok, maybe not zen, but at least part of my weekly sanity check.

5. The Book of Mormon- After a year & a half of reading, I finally finished the Old Testament just before Christmas, & then started on the Book of Mormon again. After the OT, reading the Book of Mormon felt like coming home. The language is easier to read & understand, the principles are sound & speak to the soul, the writers feel like old friends, & the spirit I feel brings a sense of peace & comfort to my life & home. I love it when I read the Book of Mormon over again & I find something totally new that hadn't touched me in a previous reading, as if it wasn't there & then suddenly was written in when I needed it most. It's like that every time, though always different. It truly is written for our day, & I can't wait to share my love for it with my daughter!

I'd like to thank Angela for this idea, as it has helped me to look at my life & see some of the good I do, no matter how unorganized my home may be today, & realize that I can always do a little more each day. Thank you! Oh, be sure to stop by Angela's site to check out the rules, & you can participate as well by posting a link to her site & sharing your 5 sense.

Nursing Cover Project

A friend of mine gave me a nursing cover at my baby shower (now if we could just get Sharon nursing) and I thought it was so handy that I decided to try to make one myself. It didn't look hard but I just needed something to use in place of the bendable plastic that keeps the front part open so you can see the baby. The one she gave me is an Udder Cover (yeah, I know, make a bunch of stressed lactating women feel even more like cows) and is pretty great. I just wanted an extra & to know if I could make them as baby shower gifts. I was able to find some 1/2" fabric covered poly boning like they use in dress shirt collars to keep them stiff and it works really well. I bought some similar to this, but got it from Wal-mart. I completed my handmade one this afternoon & it turned out great!Here are pictures of the two covers, one is the store-bought & the other is handmade. Can you tell the difference? The rectangle body started at about 36"x26" including the seam allowances. The only other tools needed were two 1" D-rings.

What you wish for

So we've been getting some rain the last couple days. Yesterday morning, though, it was kind of sunny in the morning & I was wondering where the supposed storm had gone. It clouded up during the afternoon & was sprinkling when Ammon got home just after 3:00. It continued to get heavier until we could hear it pounding on the roof, even with the TV on. Then, I went to let Jack out in the backyard & when I opened the door, the water was at least 1/2 inch deep on our patio. I told Ammon & he headed outside to check things out. I guess our two inch drain pipe that lets water drain from the back yard into the front yard wasn't up to the task of releasing all that water. So, Ammon dug the drainage trench a little bigger (noticing along the way that once the trench hits the end of our front yard, it just turns to head into our neighbor's yard. bummer for them, right?) & things got a little better. Then, the rain started coming down even harder (how is that possible!) & he decided to just enlarge the hole where the water escapes. He & Jack got soaked outside & finally came in at least half an hour later. Apparently that was the key, because our yard drained fine, & our house is still standing & quite dry this morning. With all the rain & the power flicking on & off, it made for a fun evening. How's the weather where you are?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sharon's Blessing Day

Christmas Pages

I just finished some Christmas scrapbook pages & thought I would share. We had a nice Christmas at home & with some friends. It's so nice to be home again & even better to have Sharon with us & doing so well. Thank you for all of your prayers & support. We couldn't have done it without you! Have a happy new year!

Digital Scrapbooking Supplies

I've had a few people asking recently about the digital scrapbooking supplies that I use to make my scrapbook pages. The way I do things really doesn't tend to take a whole lot less time than regular scrapbooking, because that's the way I like to do it. I've seen other people who also do digital scrapbooking, but keep it much simpler. It's really up to you as to how complicated you want to make it. Blurb, the book printing website I'll be using, has a free program download that has templates & guides to help you create your photo book, which makes things really easy. Just do what you know you have time for, or else you won't get anything done for being overwhelmed by everything.

I've gotten the majority of my papers & embellishments from Shabby Princess. The kits are really nice. They also have supplies you can buy, but I usually just use whatever I can find for free. I also found a website that sends a daily email with a free download and the things they send aren't too bad. It's digital scrapbook experts and you just have to sign up for the free daily emails. Another place I get a few things is designer digitals. You have to register on the site to get the freebies, but they have new papers & embellishments every few days and it's free to sign up. I actually just found another site that has free downloads today: peppermint creative. I really just find the things I use by searching Google for digital scrapbooking freebies.

I use Adobe Photoshop Elements as my editing program. I basically just open up one of the scrapbook papers, add my pictures & elements, then save it as a jpg file, which can then be printed as a photo, or added to my photo book. There are other programs (my Mom uses one called Picture It) that you can also use, but I've found that Elements is so much better than any of the photo programs that came installed on my computer. I got mine on Amazon for a much better price than they have in stores.

Eventually, when I have enough pages done, I will have them printed into a book. I will use Blurb, which has a free scrapbooking program you can download to your computer and then order the book from the website. They have really reasonable prices. There are so many different ways of doing things, though. Let me know if you'd like any help getting started! Good luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Great Deal

I just discovered a new website today! I am working on a project & wanted to get some 12x12 scrapbook pages printed. Well, I know that Walmart will print them if you go online, but you can only do it using their premade templates that you just drop your pictures into. I personally think they aren't the prettiest things, & they definitely don't work for what I'm doing. So, I started looking around online & found a place that will print my own designs in a 12x12 format for just $1.99! It's called Scrapbooks Please and I'm hoping that the prints I've ordered turn out nicely. I'll let you know how they look once they arrive.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Meghan Herbert

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Jordan Herbert, married January 2nd, 2010! This is our family being very excited about their marriage! =)