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Saturday, September 8, 2012

3 kids with big imagination equals fun

© Vladimirm | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

My three kids, it only takes a spark to ingnite a whole imaginary world for them.  Someone decided  that the ice chest looked like a treasure chest. From that thought came a whole world of games  pirates, treasure hunting, hide and seek etc. The kids have spent the most part of the day playing these games. I love it when they get going like this. It keeps them active and happy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

getting ready for cousins camp

It is that time of year again when we get together with our kids for cousins camp. The last three or four years we have done it, and the kids have a blast. I am in charge of the backyard olympics. It should be really fun. I found a new site that is wonderful.  enchanted learning  is a site for teachers etc. I was able to print out all kinds of things for our own olympic games. The kids are so excited to help make the medals. We printed out the medal template and then we used glitter glue (on sale at walmart for back to school) to make them pretty and shiny. Look forward to seeing my siblings and having a good time with them.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm the farmer

My Kaytlin loves to wear her bibby overall shorts and dresses.  Several times a week she says. "I want to be a farmer!" We put on her overall dress or shorts; to which she responds "I am going to find a cow!" She then goes off looking for her brother and sister and announces that they are the cows. They start "mooooing" and the fun begins. I love my active and entertaining kids. When in the car, we do not put on a movie like other families. We play "old fashioned" road games

Last summer we started a game of "dunk the cows".  The car is divided into two teams. One team on each side of the car. Each team looks for cows on their side of the road, collecting as many cows as they can. When water is found on your side of the road, you get to dunk the other teams cows. They then have to start all over again collecting cows. It started off with cows, but then went on to whole farmyards. It is a fun game for everyone including the little ones.

What do you do to keep your kids active?    What road games to you play with your family?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

my three wild ones

If only I had known that I would be raising three very "spirited, lively, and strong willed " children.

Don't get me wrong, they are very lovely children, but they are children who put everything to the test. When we go out people comment "oh you have your hands full" and nearly everyone comments about my youngest  "busy child".

Growing up I envisioned life with kids all nice and neat. I pictured myself going to church well behaved kids in tow.You have seen it (You know the ones I am talking about.)  I knew that I had what it takes. I was sure that I would have the best behaved childen, but what I have looks something  more like this.....

I was a shy and quiet kind of a kid. I was naturally obedient. I just followed along with the family. I did not get into alot of trouble. I was happy to sit and read a book or to entertain myself quietly. To have kids that are such opposites of me, it is a real challenge.

Our oldest is so noisy. He can not go anywhere without making a ton of noise. Some people put squeaky shoes on their kids, my son comes with it built in. Grandpa calls it his "audio locator" You almost always know where he is because you can hear him.  He is all boy. He loves things that go fast. He is curious about things and how they work. There are many toys that are broken because he wants to know about them and how they work.

Our middle child is a bit more quiet. She gets awfully quiet and you knew she is into something. The hard part is hearing the quiet with her noisy brother around. She is extremely emotional and sensitive. She also has a condition where she cries at certain times of day. I warned a babysitter that she would have a meltdown and cry about 7 pm. I told the sitter not to worry that it was normal for this child. Sure enough right on cue, she melted down into a crying puddle. No one knows the cause of this, but it is what we deal with.

Kaytlin earned the nickname whirlwind early on. She is so busy all the time (even in the womb she was busy). It is a full time job to keep up with her. She is curious about everything. She wants to know how everything works. She adds to the broken things about the house. She is not shy about anything and makes freinds everywhere she goes. She is headstrong and wants to do whatever it is she wants. Keeping her in line takes alot of work and is not easy.

My sister was asked by her daugher "Am I going to have any more cousins?" They were going through the family to see who might still be having babies. When it came to my husband and I, my sister said "I think they are done having kids" to which my neice breathed a huge sigh of relief.  My sister asked "what is that all about?" the answer, "Have you met Kaytlin!"

The most difficult part is knowing how to reign them in without stomping out their spirit. Kids need alot of spirit and determination to make it in this world. I want them to keep their spirit and determination alive and well. But how do I survive in the meantime?

I am reminded of a bible verse Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go:and when he is old, he will not depart from it."   I am also reminded of a quote by Joseph Smith  "We teach them correct principles and they govern themselves"  My parents tried hard to teach us and give us the tools we needed to make it in life. My husband grew up on a ranch and worked hard and has been taught good values in life.

Living in the slow lane allows me to get back to my roots. It allows me to teach the kids life lessons. We recently aquired chickens. Part of the project was to become more self reliant in having our own sustainable food source and teach the kids about real food. The other part was to teach the kids  responsibility of taking care of the animals. We are growing a garden, even if I have a black thumb. We have not had much success, but I am learning along with the children. As a family we are striving to have a better place. Slowing down and getting to the heart of things has been a real blessing in my life. Some of the best lessons have been learned while working together as a family.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

cherry harvest time

We got a call from the neigbors telling us  "cherries are ready come and share the harvest."
we ended up with about 16 pounds of fresh cherries

The children and I woke up the next morning and picked cherries.  The children really enjoyed helping to pick cherries.They were eager and willing to help. It was a fun experience for them. I loved being able to teach them about real food. We spent several hours processing the cherries. My four year old made up a song to sing as we pitted cherries. We made some good memories as we prepared the harvest for storage. We ended up with 16 half pints of cherry jam, 3 quart size bags of frozen cherries, and 1 dehydrator full of cherries to be dried.

 It was nice to see the harvest all laid out. We were tired and sticky red by the end of the day, but it was well worth our efforts. I was glad to be able to teach the children how to work hard towards a good goal.

This morning when we had fresh cherry jam on our pancakes, the smiles on the kids faces said it all.

I am grateful for my neighbors who shared with us their abundance. I am also very grateful that I have put our family in order to be able to receive such gifts. We keep our preserving supplies on hand and within easy reach. When these opportunities come along we can take advantage of them. I know many people who are far to busy to enjoy these simple pleasures. Many of my freinds are so busy that  things meant to be a blessing end up being a burden. I know several people that 2 am is the only time they have to do such projects. Not wanting to waste an opportunity, they preserve in the middle of the night leaving them groggy, and irritable the next day. They miss out on the real opportunity of teaching the children the art of the harvest.

 (You can read about me learning how to preserve the harvest with my Grandma here)


Sunday, June 10, 2012

June Brides

We had the wonderful opportunity to go to Idaho to see Gregg's oldest daughter be married.  It was a good trip. There were many freinds and family there to support her. It came fast. It does not seem possible that the little girl I met a few short years ago is a grown woman. I wish her the most happiness in her new marriage. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cooking withGrandma Wright also known as cooking with whatever

Growing up I had the the privelege of being close to both sets of Grandparents.  You can read an earlier post about my Grandma Keyte here 

I got the chance to live with my Grandma and Grandpa Wright for several summers while I was going to college. Several years later while attending college a second time, I was able to live with Grandma. She has since passed away, but her memory sill lives on in my heart and my cooking.

Cooking with Grandma was always an adventure. Grandma would say the meal wasn't complete until we had added our favorite ingredient which was "whatever".When she would ask what I had put it something, I would respond "a little this, a little that; whatever." We loved to invent good eats. Grandma used recipes as a starting place. She hardly used a recipe as is. She would always add her own twist to it. I have many of her recipes now. They are full of notes about what she added or changes she made.

One summer Grandma made some yummy strawberry ice cream. Her sister asked for her recipe. My Grandma replied "Oh it is your ice cream recipe!" Her sister looking rather perplexed stated "I don't have a strawberry ice cream recipe." The story goes on with some very colorful languge that I will not expand on here. The point of the story being; the recipe was for burnt almond fudge ice cream. Grandma had used it as a base and added her own twist. I get that from her.  

Grandma taught me the art of cooking from the pantry. She always had a well stocked pantry and could cook whatever from what she had on hand. I love those skills that I learned from her.  I learned alot of my home preserving skills from her also. I have many fond memories of being with her in the fall harvest time preserving all types of fruits and vegetables. I am grateful for her knowledge that she passed on to me.

Cooking with Grandma was a joy (most of the time) except for the part where I am supposed to learn the secret of her famous Divinity candy.  For the holidays she had several recipes that she would make. You can read about her green onion dip here.  She would make fudge, gumdrop bars and divinity for family members and for select friends and neigbors. The Divinity was a favorite. Those who came to her house for the holidays left with a real treat. Most everyone agreed that her Divinity was something special. 

 Learning to cook the divinity was a real challenge and one that I have not mastered yet. It starts with beaten egg whites to which a hot sugar syrup is beaten it. It is again beaten, this time by hand to create the smooth creamy texture. It is then dropped by teaspoonful onto buttered cookie sheets to cool.  It all sounded easy until; "Cook until it looks like this,When it does like this, it is ready". I am learning and putting it all into my brain and then,"Oh it is humid today we have to cook it a bit longer".  She has been doing this so long 20+years, it is a part of her. She has temperatures to which to cook the syrup on her recipe card, but she says that they are no good. She can't trun it out using a thermometer. I have to learn to do it her way. I tried hard. I spent many a years at her side trying to get it right. She would look at a batch halfway through and she could tell if it was going to be perfect or just ok. I tried and tried, I could not see any difference. With her help I turned out some batches of divinity, but left on my own.....oh dear!

How many batched of divinity can one ruin? For me it was an endless supply. One year I made a bad batch that did not set up. It was a gooey mess. I recreated it into the most lovely ice cream topping. My sister asked how I had made it and I said "First you have to wreck a batch of Grandma's divinity" Mom would say that you better enjoy food I made, you may never have the same thing again. This was a prime example. 

I have found that if I slow down and don't hurry it. I can turn out some good divinity. I turned out one nearly perfect batch and one ok batch this last winter. I also wrecked two batches. 50/50  It is better than one good out of every ten (which is what it seems like I started as). But it is things like this that we cherish.  Take time to teach each other and learn from others.  The time that we spend together now becomes one of the most important things later on.