Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Sharon

Our little girl is one today. I can hardly believe that this past year has flow by as fast as it has. I am happy to say that Sharon is healthy and happy! It was one year ago today that we were presented with this not so beautiful little girl.
Unfortunately we were definitely not excited about her entrance into the world. You see, she wasn't supposed to be born for 3 more months. You can check out her birth announcement here and read more about her first few days here. She weighed 1 pound 12 ounces, and had pretty much no body fat at all. She had to be on a ventilator and oxygen for a couple of months, she had pneumonia, a surgery near her heart, and overcame so many hurdles in order to make it to this point today. She is so much fun, and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing little girl in my life. She is a constant source of joy, frustration, hair pulling, crying, and so much laughing. I am so happy to say that she is here to stay! Happy birthday my sweet Sharon!
I love this picture of Ammon's hands with Sharon. It really shows just how small she is! Her whole hand is as small as Ammon's thumbnail. It was amazing to try to change her diaper because her legs were like two pencils.
Here's another one to show how small she is. That's the nurse's hand and that stethoscope is only a little bigger around than a quarter.
And here we are just a couple weeks before taking Sharon home. I love this little girl!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ammon, Sharon & Guitar

Camping Scrapbook Page

5 Years Down

Wow! Five years of wedded bliss. I can harldy believe that it's gone by so quickly. Our lives sure have changed in the last 12 months with addition of our presently super grouchy, teething, congested, and snotty Sharon. She really is the most beautiful girl ever and is usually so happy and goofy. I can't imagine life without her as she kind of fills my days completely. Anyways, back to our five years of wedded bliss! I certainly am blessed with such a wonderful husband. He can always make me laugh, which I think is a pretty great commodity! Life sure would be boring without all the crazy and goofy things Ammon does for me.
If you didn't know, the 5th anniversary is traditionally a wood gift. We are planning on building a bed frame for our mattress once we get around to it, so that was going to be our gift to ourselves. Ammon decided he still wanted to make me something for our anniversary. So, he made me a fly tying stand modeled after one that he's had for a long time. I can't think of many other women who would be thrilled to be given a fly tying stand as an anniversary gift, but I love it, mostly because he made it for me!

He ran the Provo Freedom run 10K this year! I am so proud of him!

I love that he loves the gospel. He is a worthy priesthood holder, does a great job at his calling in primary and Cub Scouts, and I love to go to the temple with him.
He loves to try new things, like trying to get up on the wakeboard at our family reunion. He was pretty close!

He's the favorite uncle, at least to some of his nieces and nephews.
He's an amazing father and Sharon always love to see him! She gets a huge grin on her face when he comes home from work & she loves it when he sings to her and when he rocks her to sleep.
I am so grateful for this wonderful man and the years of marriage we've enjoyed! I look forward to many more years, and lots more laughs! I love you Ammon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

I found this recipe while perusing Preparedness Matters the other day and decided to give it a try. The first time I made it I actually used amounts from a different recipe and used the cooking method from this recipe. It worked pretty well, but my KitchenAid mixer couldn't quite handle the increased volume. I tried this recipe today and it was perfect! The mixer did so well and the loaves turned out perfectly, aside from being kind of large in the top. They cut so nicely for sandwiches and have the most wonderful flavor! I love that I don't have to spend hours letting them rise, and can have a craving for whole wheat bread and make it a reality in so little time! I think me and this recipe are going to be very good friends.

 Whole Wheat Bread in an hour & a half

6 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup high gluten flour
3 Tablespoons dough enhancer
3 cups very warm water
4 Tablespoons oil
4 Tablespoons honey or sugar
2 teaspoons of salt

Mix 3 cups wheat flour with gluten, dough enhancer, yeast and warm water; mix 1 minute. Cover bowl and let sponge 10 minutes.

Add oil, honey or sugar, and salt. Quickly add remaining flour one cup at a time until the dough forms a ball and cleans from the sides of the bowl (depends on the humidity whether you'll need to add more). Knead 7-10 minutes. Roll into 2 or 3 loaves (depending on pan size). Preheat oven to 200 degrees and put the loaves in. Rise dough in oven until double, 20 - 30 minutes (I think I did 25 minutes today and they were a little too high, think muffin top) (you can also just rise the loaves on the counter if you have time). Leave in oven. Turn heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from pans to cool. Coat with butter.

Yes, another scrapbook page. It's what I do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Emergency/Camping Box

Over at Safely Gathered In I recently saw a post about how to make a camping/moving box. I also think it would qualify as an emergency box. I always hate it when we go camping, and once you get there you realize you've forgotten an essential item. So, either you get creative to make do without it, or you run into the nearest town and buy it, meaning you have an extra when you get home. We went camping last weekend and I did forget a few items, though luckily my parents were coming up later and I was able to have them bring the things we forgot. Now, it would have been so much easier to just have a box with all of the necessary kitchen and miscellaneous items, rather than having to go through everything and say, "Will we need this?" So, after we got home, I created our own camping/emergency box. You can check out the post at Safely Gathered In to see what she put in hers, but here's what I put in mine.

Aluminum foil
Broom & dust pan
Bug spray
Can opener
Cereal bowls (2)
Cheese Grater
Chef knife
Clothes pins
Cook Pots (large and small)
Cutting board
Dish scrubbers (2)
Dish soap
Egg carton fire starters
Frying pan
Hot pads (2)
Jack’s food bowls (2) (he's our dog)
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Metal mixing bowl
Mugs (2)
Pancake turner
Paper towels
Paring knives (2)
Pitcher (2-quart)
Plastic cups (2)
Plastic mixing bowl
Plates (9)
Potato peeler
Serving Spoons (2)
Spatulas (2)
Spices (Garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, cajun, taco seasoning)
Stove & fuel (single burner)
Table cloth
Tea pot (for boiling water)
Toilet paper (2 rolls)
Towels (5) (hand towels)
Trash bags
Wash bins (2) (we got these from the hospital, they used them to bathe the babies, I've also seen them used as barf buckets, etc.)
Wash rags (2)
Wooden spoon
Ziplock bags

Ok, so obviously this box can be adjusted to your individual needs. Why do we have 9 plates? Well, because we found a camping dish set at a thrift store and it had 9 metal plates in it, along with the cook pots, tea pot and skillet. All of these things fit in the box with room to spare. For the box we used an 18 gallon plastic tub that we got from Walmart for about $4.50. Now is a great time to buy those because they have them cheap for college students. Ours only has the neon colors left, but we bought them while there was still blue.
Now, please, don't go out and buy all of this stuff today because it will be way too expensive. A lot of these things I already had. Most of these things can be found at thrift stores, or garage sales for really cheap. Some of them you probably already have and just don't use because you have so many, like wash rags, hand towels, and other things. Look around your house before you buy things. Take inventory and then make a list of things you want to look for at thrift stores. Then, if you still need things, buy them on sale at the store. Do it gradually, you don't need it all today.
So, in an emergency, I could grab this box and have all the things I would need to have a working kitchen and tidy campsite. Plus, we could use the plastic tub for bathing, or just storing water. I will probably find a few more things to add to the box as we go camping again and realize we've forgotten something that we needed. I hope this helps! Leave comments with any questions you have. I put a link to the egg carton fire starters so you can learn how to make your own if you want. They are so great because they burn a whole lot longer than a match, so you have a bit more time to get your fire built around it. All I used were the carton, dryer lint and candle wax. I didn't have the wood pellets and they still worked just fine.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wonder Box

Yesterday I made a Wonder Box. A wonder box is not a telephone-booth-type-box that has a variety of super hero costumes in it so that you can change at a moment's notice to dash off to do an heroic act. It is a thermal cooker that can double as a small bean bag for a little girl named Sharon. If you don't have a little girl named Sharon, you could probably substitute a small child by another name. At our most recent Relief Society activity we had a woman teach us about emergency preparedness and 72-hour kits. She showed off her wonder box and told us what it can do. I was definitely interested and asked her if I would be able to borrow her pattern. Well, as you may know, I tend to get a little crazy when I have a project I want to try. Rather than just call to see if I could pick up the pattern, I found one online. This website has great information, including a tutorial and recipes for the
Wonder Box. I've saved the instructions that I used in a PDF file, which you can access via Google Docs at this link. I drew the pattern out using a compass and ruler, since I couldn't really print it with my printer. I also only drew half of the pattern (long ways), and then placed it on the fold of the fabric. This is a fairly quick project to do, especially since I like to go crazy and finish projects the same day I start them. First, I made the Wonder Box out of a duvet cover I bought at Goodwill awhile ago. Then, I made another Wonder Box out of jeans that I got at the thrift store for 50 cents each, and inserted a zipper so
that I can use it as a cover for the one made out of sheets. This way, if it gets dirty, I can just take off the cover and wash it, rather than having a big, dirty bean bag. I bought a 100 liter bag of styrofoam bean bag refill beans from Kmart for $12.99 and it filled the entire Wonder Box, plus I made another bottom half of the box to use as a bean bag chair for Sharon. I had a bit of trouble with the zipper, because the first time it was too small to fit the bean filled box inside.
A 14 inch zipper is ok, but a 20 inch zipper would be a whole lot simpler. I'm not going to go into huge detail because you can go here and read all about it. You basically get your food up to boiling, put the lid on it, insert into the Wonder Box, put on the Box lid, and your food is piping hot hours later. I'm so excited to try it! I might just have to cook something here at home and try it, rather than wait until we're camping. Hope this was helpful! Good luck! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Silhouette Art

I've been wanting to put some silhouette art on my walls for awhile now. I just had to make the time to get the pictures and make them. My mom took pictures of everyone aside from myself, Ammon & Sharon and just emailed them to me. I then opened the pictures in Photoshop Elements and deleted the background. I then printed out the pictures in black & white with my printer already sized to the correct size for the frames they were going in. Then I cut them out in black paper using the printouts as templates. I also added some grey papers to some of the frames to give them a little more interest than black and white. I think they turned out really neat! I love that you can tell who each person is! I love them! They look so good in my dining room on the wall!
Here they are all together.
Meghan & Jordan
Breanne & Adam
Grandma Shari
Mom, Dad, Janelle, David, Allyssa
I guess I forgot to take a picture of the one with Ammon & I. You can see it in the picture that has all of them in it. I bought most of the black frames from Wal-mart and a couple of them were at an outlet store for super cheap. All-in-all, it was a pretty inexpensive craft!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I can hardly believe that Sharon is already 11 months old! She'll be a year in less than a month. That's crazy! I love this little girl so much! Here are the scrapbook pages I did of the pictures I took of her today.