Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! The year 2016 has been an adventure for us. It seems as though it all came and went in the blink of an eye!! We are super excited for 2017 to begin. (Perhaps this is why my blog is no longer updated regularly! Life is just too busy!!) A lot of apprehensions are combined with that excitement as well, as there are a lot of firsts for our family!
This Halloween was CRAZY! I usually start back in July, since I hand make all the costumes…I am not joking when I say I started three weeks ago! I was so grateful that I was able to go “shopping” in my Halloween costume closet! It really helped save me a lot. One thing for certain… sewing a double sided cape…. Is just too much! I don’t ever want to do that again…. EVER! I had TWO! I can’t tell you how many times I had to reload a bobbin!! I will be forever grateful for all the people who donated material to the DI! I am amazed at how much I was able to find there! Sheets from Walmart work great also! All things considering, I think we made it!! Not sure if this will be our last year or not! I hope you will all enjoy!
This was so cool! It happened on the 10th of May, 1869! The place where the Union Pacific and the Eastern Pacific railways came together! I have lived in Box Elder County for nearly 11 years and yesterday was the first time I have ever been to this place! It is only 30 minutes from our home. I took only one child with me while the others were in school. Probably for the best. I do not know how I could have kept my boys from being all over those trains! My oldest son was in the high school band and they were invited to go play. We went to go watch him. So many people were dressed up! If Mattie and I go next year… we are TOTALLY dressing up!!….because I am a costume freak!! 🙂 Styles of the 1860s….. Here we come!
Last week, over Spring Break, our little family took a vacation of sorts! We journeyed down to Ramah, New Mexico to put the death date plaque on my parents’ headstone for my dad. Dad left this earthly life back on December 12, 2015. I sure miss him, but I know that he is truly happy being with Mom!
We crammed NINE people into our suburban PLUS took tents and sleeping bags! Yes, we camped out the entire trip! We left Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. and made it into Ramah at about 4:30 p.m. We had a great visit with my Mom’s cousin, Dean Bond. He was generous enough to let us camp out in his yard, but his wife, Billie, insisted that we all sleep indoors because it was still getting quite cold at nights! Found out that his Sister is living up close to us and in our own temple district, and in fact…. I believe she was the one that stopped Ed and I at the temple a couple weeks ago asking if we would do some family names for her! I thought her name sounded familiar but I thought surely no one from Ramah would be this far north! I sent her a letter yesterday to see if it was her and will be interested to see if it was in fact her!
We left Ramah early Thursday morning. We spent a lot of time driving on that reservation. I surely hope our kids took a LONG look at that place and will realize just how good they have things in life. After returning home, I think there was one prayer that just completely full of gratitude for how good we have things. Running water, electricity, green grass, a big yard, a house big enough for our family, air conditioning, healthy children, cars that run…. the list goes on. We were going to take off and go see Mesa Verde National Park. I never had the chance to go while I was younger. We stopped off in Farmington for lunch and drove around to see where it was that I was born and saw my Uncle Al and Aunt Rosie’s home! That was like a second home to me. It was good to see it one last time, because I can almost guarantee I will never make that trip down there again!
By the time we got to Mesa Verde, it was late. There were very few people there, luckily for us. However, most of the tours were not open as it was still early in the year–apparently they don’t really get going until after Memorial day. Judging by the landscape and elevation, I can tell why! This had to be my most favorite park to see…EVER. I want to go back there someday! We got out late at about 7 p.m. and headed for Monticello. We got in at about 9:30 at night and found us an RV park were we could set up a tent and camp for the night. Aside from the noisy highway that was close by, it was really nice. We got up early again and this time we headed for Arches National Park. Again, I have never been there either! There were so many people there. It was like a highway…. I truly do not like big crowds, but we saw some amazing sites. Our little ones made the hikes without much difficulty. I thought about how we missed out on a lot of things while they were babies by not going very many places hardly ever. I have often wondered if it was the best way to go or not; however, when I saw how many people were carrying little babies and they were crying and hot and tired, and I watched all seven of mind make the hikes on their own, I had no regrets.
We left Arches around 4 p.m. and then took off to go see Dead Horse Point, State Park. Again, another park I had never seen. In preparation for this, we had to watch Against a Crooked Sky the Monday before we left! There were not too many people there….PERFECT! However, it was cold and started to rain on us a bit; but the view was absolutely breathtaking!
We left that area around 5 p.m. and after a stop for dinner in Price, Utah, we made it home at about 11:30 p.m. The only thing better than sleeping in your own bed, is having your own bathroom! The entire trip was long and hard. We felt like sardines. We had to unbury people EVERY SINGLE TIME the door was opened. We had little ones who could not wait very long for bathroom breaks, but it was wonderful! If this is what a vacation does for people, then we are going to make a resolution to try to do something more frequently. Up until now, all vacation was always spent with Ed going to some type of Scout Camp or Trek. Our family needed this. I needed this. This is our last Summer with our son, Dalton, as he turns 18 next February and we will be starting his mission paper work in one year’s time. The Lord was with us this entire trip. We were amazingly enough able to stay awake the majority of driving time. Only one close call, but at least I was awake enough to wake up Ed! Otherwise, we would have been spread out all over a SLC freeway! The only scary moment was when we stopped off in Shiprock, NM. We stopped for gas and had a drunk man knocking on the window and beg for money. Yes, we had TOURIST written all over our car with an extended carrier and a trunk clear full of stuff! I warned the kids that this could happen and it really did! Needless to say, we did not stay long in Shiprock!
Ramah has not changed much! It was so fun trying to remember what it was like when I was young and spent so much time down there. I will always be grateful that I got to take my family down there to see it this one time!
If you’ve read much of my blog, you would know that a few months ago, I decided to try to paint brick on my kitchen back-splash. While it turned out, OK, there was something that was just bugging me about it. I guess it looked too “fake” to me. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to sound ungrateful, nor did I want to throw all the hours of my work away–believe me it took a long time to do that little paint job! I debated about whether or not to make it look like board and batten or to put bead-board paneling up there, since I had some left over from some previous projects; but, I knew that it was going to require a super busy husband to get that up. Not knowing what to do, I started looking around for some ideas. Well, the other day I happened upon an Ebay store that was selling their faux wallpaper and this particular pattern happened to be nearly 50 percent off! Wallpaper!!! I can do that and by my self, too, might I add! No husband required!!! And 50% off is a pretty sweet deal! It got here within three days!
So I put the the little ones to bed that night and went to work! My kids all thought it was either real or that their mother was an incredible artist! Wish that it could be the latter, but oh well!! So without further delay, here is my before and after kitchen back-splash. Perhaps someday when we have gotten our children into the mission fields, and there is a little extra to spare, we’ll go with real stone, but until then, I am going to enjoy my brick back-splash!
And the after:
Leave it up to me to be wanting to do something different to my kitchen RIGHT BEFORE the holidays…. I should be baking… not painting!!! However, I have been wanting something new for way too long. I absolutely LOVED my caramel colored kitchen; but recently, I just wanted a change. Last week, I walked into the paint store to discover they have a mistinted paint that would work just great for my kitchen!! Woo Hoo!! Couldn’t pass that one up. So, I painted my kitchen; however, being addicted to color like I am, it was still far too light. It still needed something… a splash of color somewhere. I thought about all my different options for a backsplash… seriously, I spent DAYS researching what I could do on my zero-budget limit. I was becoming depressed… whatever I did was going to cost me… a lot!
I happened to be putting some things up yesterday, when I opened up my craft paint drawer. All of a sudden, a light-bulb went off. I could at least try a spot, and if it didn’t work, I could always just paint back over it, right? So, I had painted my backsplash area my trim color that is in my home. Luckily I still had TONS of it left over! I then taped off a brick pattern. This took FOREVER!! I had my boys help me with a chalk-line this morning before they went to school just to try to speed things up a bit. I roughly cut around the edges of the tape so that it would be a jagged edge of both sides.
I took my burgandy paint and my brown paint and put them both together on a plate. I did not mix them, but left them side-by-side. I took an old sponge and dabbed into both colors and just started sponging it onto the walls, making sure to get both burgandy and brown colors showing through. When it was dry, I did the same with white paint and a sponge! I then put a top coat of polycrylic (which I had on-hand) over it, AFTER I had removed all the tape. Some of these walls will get a fair amount of scrubbing and cleaning and it needs to be able to hold up to regular cleaning. This project took a lot of time, but quite honestly, could not have been more simple. Yes, I know, it is not the fancy real stone, but we do what we can afford to do, and I’m just fine with that!!
I still have just a few more trim pieces to paint and put up–don’t tell Ed I used hot glue. I didn’t have liquid nails and I couldn’t make any more trips into the store. It’s sticking really well, and will easily pop off should I ever change my mind again without damaging the wall too much! I also am going to have Ed help me make some curtain rods for the kitchen and the dining room; however, THAT project will have to wait until after Christmas!!
Ta-Da!! My new kitchen!!! What do ya think!!
I’ve decided it’s not too easy to take a good picture of cereal! Luckily this recipe tastes so good, a good photo is not required! Cereal, at our house, is a RARE treat! It’s just too expensive to purchase. We usually eat oatmeal, pancakes, cracked wheat, or grits for breakfast. However, on occasion, WHEN I’M FEELING PARTICULARLY KIND, I like to make this cereal in a BIG batch! I try to make it mostly for my husband…. He leaves for church on Sunday mornings around 6 in the morning, and usually doesn’t get home until well after lunch time. He needs a little something to fill him up. This cereal is the perfect Sunday solution… and yes… I do have to hide it or else it would disappear in no time!
It’s really easy to make, and it’s really customizable to what you like! My kids only like chocolate chips, nuts, and dried and sweetened banana chips in it, but you could put anything you like into it!
In a small sauce pan, combine the following ingredients:
4 TB oil
3/4 C butter
8 T honey
1 1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt (roughly)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 to 2 tsp vanilla
Cook and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
Pour into a large bowl with 8 CUPS of oatmeal and a large handful or two of nuts. I like to use walnuts, or almonds, whichever I have on hand. Mix the sauce into the oatmeal until everything is coated completely.
Spray a large jelly-pan sheet with cooking spray. (This recipe will do two pans worth) Spread your oatmeal mixture out on the pans and cook them in a preheated 375 oven for 10 minutes. Let it cool completely, and then break it up and store it into a container. At this time you can add chocolate chips, or other tasty things, such as craisins, etc., if you would like to! Let me know if you like it!