Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!!!

Merry Christmas everyone :)

I am just about to succumb to a sugar coma take a nap, but I thought I'd put this picture of Santa up first. He stopped by last night around 6:20 to say , "Hi". He has upgraded from reindeer to a dark green Jeep. It goes well with his red suit, don''t you think?

On a less frivolous note, we have had a wonderful Christmas. We are loving having Summer home for the holidays and my sister Sara is here, which always makes everything more fun. It was really nice to go to church today, to sing and worship God.

We are so grateful for the gift He gave us of his perfect Son.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Manna from Heaven

The other day, I was on the phone with my sister Abby and my two youngest were playing in the backyard. Breathlessly, they ran into the house and Michael hollered, "Mommy, come quick! There is food falling from the sky!!!"

This I had to see, so out I let myself be led to the middle of the lawn where Michael pointed to the ground. There was a blob. I poked it with a stick. It was a piece of pizza crust that even had some pepperoni still on it. I didn't know manna came with pepperoni!

I looked at the sky, thought about it a minute, looked at the pizza crust and on closer inspection noticed peck marks all over it. One poor bird lost it's lunch, but the stray chicken showed up just in time to get lucky and have pizza!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Logan's Candies

Michael and I went on a field trip to Logan's Candies to see candy canes made by hand. It was fascinating. First, the candy maker poured boiling hot syrup on this big marble slab. It went right up to the edge of the metal bar he set there to contain it and there was a collective gasp while we all thought it was going to spill.

He talked about the candy shop and their history while the candy cooled. They have been there since 1933 and the same family still owns and runs it. He kept turning the edges into the warmer center to keep them from setting while he added color and flavor.

He added red food coloring to some of the candy and kneaded it in.

Then, he put peppermint flavoring in the part that was still white. The flavoring they use costs $750-$800 a gallon! He pulled the candy on this big hook on the wall.

The little red hood thingy on the counter is a warmer to keep the candy pliable while they pull the candy canes. Since they opened, they have made their candy canes with one big stripe and five little stripes. You can see how he put the big lumps of candy together to get the stripes and in the corner of the picture you can see the signature stripes.

They had four people at the counter making candy canes. There was a puller, a cutter, a roller and a bender.

A blob like this makes about two thousand candy canes. We each got to taste a bite of warm candy cane and it was so good :)

These giant candy canes were temptingly pretty, but does anyone really eat them? Maybe they buy them and keep them in their Christmas decorations forever...

Speaking of giant candy canes, that big one covered in lights over Michael's head is the largest handmade candy cane in the world. It is fourteen years old and I don't remember how long. Maybe they really do last forever.

See the ribbon candy underneath it? I was talking to one of the girls that worked there and she told me they used to have an old machine that made it, but it kept breaking. One of the owners thought she could do it, so she figured it out and now they make it all by hand. The girl telling me about it said they have to work really fast when they make ribbon candy, faster than when they make candy canes.

Each of the kids in the group got a stick of warm candy cane to shape however they liked. Here is Michael's creation :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Hike

We went to St. George to have Thanksgiving with Stan's family.
It was so much fun :)

My contributions were the gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, six pies and eight dozen rolls. We ate on Friday, so Thursday our little family (little compared to the 45 people at dinner) went hiking.

Stan forgot his hat, so he put one of my canvas shopping bags (that I always forget and leave in the car when I shop) on his head. I told him I am so in love that he could look ridiculous and I still think he's charming :)

I love the colors of the desert, especially the pale greens contrasted with the black volcanic rock. Aren't the cottonwoods with the sun shining through their leaves pretty, too?

What is it about seeing a rock that inspires conquest?

Speaking of challenging rocks, Stan rappelled down this arch back in high school.

It was so nice to be out in the cool air and warm sun.

It was especially great to spend time with Summer...

...and have fun with her :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Rachel and Heather turned two cake mixes into cupcakes for Mutual the other day. This is what Rachel did with the leftover batter.

Inexplicably, the "after "photo uploaded sideways.

One recent Sunday, Rachel and I were unintentionally color coordinated and decided it would be fun to have a picture. We had a hard time being serious.

For Veterans' Day, we went on an outing. Rachel let me do her hair a la Pinterest.

Everyone was happy to be out of school and together.

I pointed a squirrel out to the kids and Michael tried to keep Naomi from running up and scaring it away.

Heather took some lovely pictures.

We had a delicious lunch. I ordered two sandwiches and an order of onion rings for seven people and we still took extra food home!

Naomi showed me this picture that Rachel made her.

Lastly, we have some very sad news.

On our way to St. George for Thanksgiving, we planned on dropping Bertram Wooster at some friends' to be pet sat while we were out of town. Unfortunately, he flew away while we were all chatting in the front yard. The local shelters haven't seen him yet. We miss him and are sad and lonely.

Bye, bye Bertie :(

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Forgotten Bookmark

I am teaching a couple of bookbinding classes at our local museum and have been gathering materials. For one of the classes, we will remake a vintage book into a journal and I have been scouring thrift stores and library book sales for books to use. When I opened one of them and found a butterfly, I knew right away I wanted to submit it to Forgotten Bookmarks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Last night...

...there was a ring around the moon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Naomi's Alien

He's watching you!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Seven Billion and Counting and Counting and...

Amid news reports this past week and a half that the world population has reached 7 billion, I had a couple of budding demographers in the back seat of the car while I went to the drive through atm at the bank this morning.

This is what I heard -

Michael - There are more than 9 people in the world you know.

Naomi - I kno-o-o-w! There is more like a hundred and one!

Michael - No, more like a hundred and fifty five!!!

Naomi - I'm going to count. I'm going to count ALL the people I see. One, two, three, four...

Michael - Some of those are just car seats. Don't count the empty car seats!

Naomi - ...five, six...

Michael - I am going to write it down and whoever gets the most wins.

Naomi - I got up to seven!

Michael ended up counting to 56 by the end of our trip, but he admits he still doesn't know how many people there are in the WHOLE world.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Field Trip

Last month, Michael, Naomi and I went on a field trip with our homeschool group. We were happy that some of our friends were there, too. Sierra, Carmella and Catalina were much better at smiling at the camera than my two!

Each kid got a couple of turns tossing apples into the grinder to make apple cider.

There was a potbelly pig wandering around, looking at the ground for good things to eat. All of a sudden, it looked up and it was surrounded by elementary school kids. The pig started backing up SLOWLY, but finally resigned itself to being petted.

The program included being taught about what it was like to homestead in the West. Naomi sat in the front row and raised her hand to answer five or six questions. I was impressed with her bravery :)

Both of the kids favorite part of the trip was the "tin" (aluminum pie plate) smith craft.

I felt like a daredevil holding the nail for Naomi while she hammered away.

We ended the day with some cider and a caramel apple. Delicious!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Ugh. I don't like this "holiday" much. Just call me a Halloween Grinch (thanks to my cousin Lorna and Dr. Seuss for the name).

I don't like the blood, gore or general mayhem. There are a few things I love about the day, though.

I love the treats. I eat way too much candy. Maybe my stomachache is adding to my grumpiness. These are the Gingersnap Jack o' Lanterns I sent to Kelly's class party.

I love carving pumpkins. Thanks to the Elder's Quorum who threw a fun party Friday night that included a pumpkin carving contest. My owl won me a big chocolate bar :)

I also love seeing the kids dressed up and having fun. I usually (except late at night while I type, apparently) suppress my bad mood and try to have fun for their sakes. Aren't they adorable?

Naomi the Princess

Michael the Knight

Kelly the Cowgirl

Gwen the Moon

Heather the Greek Goddess

Rachel the Hippie