Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beginning of Wrap Up

This is the time of year that we begin to wrap up the school year.  There are a lot more bake sales, as they are trying to get the last of the fund raisers to do end of year activities.  I have been making cupcakes and cookies every week for a month now.  The kids have more tests.  They are practicing more for their upcoming PAT's. PAT's are for Grade 3,6,9, and 12 students, so I have all of my kids doing them this year. And also practice and doing finals. Yesterday we had our the last piano lesson for the year.  This week I also made my last dental payment for braces and retainers.  This means I should have $300 extra a month, but it is funny how I never seem to see it. Extra money always seems to have another immediate use.  We are into soccer, which is the last sport of the school season for us. School trips are getting planned and papers turned in. The weather is turning warmer and we have had some great days lately.  Girls are starting to get prepared for YW camp this summer.  We made our yearly 'List of Thing to do This Summer' a couple of days ago.  It is definitely the beginning of the end.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Leah has mentioned a few times that she would like to go on a daddy daughter date with just her and Dave.  I keep telling her to plan something then give Dave a few days to choose between so they could go. Last week Amber asked if Leah could come out to play with Emry.  The way it worked out she went out Friday with Dave and stayed to play Saturday. Since my kids are not allowed to have sleep overs at all she spent Friday with Dave.  They went out to check cows.
Leah got to help with that.  She loved wearing Grandpa's old coat.  They then ate dinner just the two of them. (Grandma had cooked it and left it in the fridge).  They did a few things around the farm and one last check before bed.

The next morning Dave cooked them an awesome breakfast.  She then spent the rest of the day playing with and having lunch with Emry, a little babysitting of the boys, and having a great time.  She is not sure that this should count as her daddy/daughter date, but I told her it is the closest she will probably get for a while.  Leah did love every minute of it and enjoyed the time with her dad and cousin.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Fun Continues.

We have had a wonderful Easter.  They kids have got along so well.  They have done a few chores each day we were home and really entertained themselves.  I am happy to report that it was mostly sidewalk chalk, walks, bike rides and reading.  Almost no wii or movies.  I have loved it.  Blake went to the farm with Dave one day and he had so much fun.  There was two calves born the day he was up so Blake got right in helping his dad with those.

One day was really warm and we took a picnic and went on a walk.  That afternoon it quickly turned cold and so I decided to take the kids to the cheap theater and watch a movie.  Most of the week has been spent at my parents house.  I had really wanted to fly somewhere for Easter, but it was not working out for us.  I couldn't seem to find the cheap flights I keep hearing about. (I am still trying for Christmas) So I called my mom and asked if we could book a reservation at her fine establishment.  She consulted with her booking agent and arrangements were made. :) The morning of Natalie did not think she was going to be able to come after all since Ryan had thrown up in the night.  But he seemed perfectly fine after and she ended up coming.  Blake was so disappointed when he thought Colton would not be there to play with.  Dad took all the boys to the Hutterite Colony to get some honey.  Expensive honey as it turns out.:)

We spent the couple days out there talking, planning summer, and cooking.  The kids again where awesome together.
The first day was so so windy.  But the second day they all helped Grandpa set the trampoline back up and bring out all the summer chair, then cleaned them all off.  
They also played a spy sort of game.  There was two teams.  One team would run and hide some where on the farm and then the second team would have walkie talkies and had to find them.  If you could find the teams jail you could rescued your captured team mates. They played for quite a while.  
There were some board game played and Blake dug a huge hole in the sand.  It went clear down to the plastic.  He said it was almost up to his arm pit. Ryan had heard that the sand might blow away so he went out to be obedient and shoveled it all back in by himself.  There may have been a little bit of sand in his shoes.  And socks.  And pockets.

I love how these kids are growing up.  I love that they use their imaginations and don't need a lot of toys or electronics to entertain them.  I love that they use board games and make things up.  I love that my parents have the best huge back yard where they can just go.
Another day we were there my parents had hidden mason jars filled with candy all over the yard.  They sent the kids out to find them.  One jar was left and Ryan had not found one yet.  All the kids wanted him to have one also.  They all circles the spot where it was buried until he spotted it.  That is awesome looking out for one another.  They then brought it all back in and divided it up to enjoy.  This is the third time we could remember my parents getting us candy for Easter.  We were a little surprised when my mom told us there was a hunt planned.  The kids loved it.
We are wrapping things up.  Today was grocery shopping and laundry.  I am putting the finishing touches on my talk for Sunday.  Cora and Blake are reading.  Leah is at a party. (She was invited to a teenage murder mystery party.  Because it is teenage they don't do murder, instead it is someone turned on the sprinkler system at the prom.  She was so excited to get dressed up into character and go)  Dave is going to stay late at work so I can pick her up and meet him there.  She is going to the farm with him this weekend.  Can't wait to hear about the party and who did it. We are getting ready to head back to school and putting more finishing touches on the house. This has been the best Easter yet.

Natalie, here is my new couch.  I forgot to bring pictures when we were out at mom's.  I am not super excited about the pillows, but plan to cover them in the same material I will use for the seats you are going to help me with that we talked about.
Amazing how they seem to be exactly the same as my chairs.  Bought 1 1/2 years apart and at two different locations.  That is pretty good.  I was so glad Cora spotted this couch.
So here it is now.  Where do you want me to put the plant or plants?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Beginning of Easter Week

Wednesday Leah had her final badminton tournament.  I forgot the camera so I only have crappy pictures taken with my phone.  She did pretty good.  One partner ditched her and then another was sick.  She was not overly pleased with the one she ended up with, but it happens.

It was cold and snowy so soccer was cancelled that night.  Ended up being nice we got some things done I didn't think I would have time for.  Thursday was every one's final Easter class parties.  Leah asked me to make snickerdoodle muffins.  The day before they had a bake sale and I made Amber's Oreo cupcakes.  They were a big hit.  Months ago we had booked Thursday to do temple baptisms with Leah.  We did not have enough priesthood that were able to come and the temple told me I would have to cancel.  Even though she had done them last week with the youth I still wanted to go with her.  I asked Leah about it and she suggested we ask our home teacher.  I thought it was a lot to ask of someone to drive down there.  He was very willing to go and we are so grateful he did.  Nicole stayed outside with Blake and Levi.  It was a nice evening.  I love going and doing the baptisms and I love having my children there with me.  One of the workers took Leah and I aside and asked us to come on a little tour with him since Leah was new.  We enjoyed that.  Last week when she got home Leah made a font out of Lego. Oh and the brown thing is her kiwi bird.

Friday we had decided to sleep in since we could. Then at 6:25 a.m. we were all wide wake.  Oh well.  We had breakfast then the girls and I went to clean the church.  I figured out how to get Leah to work.  I strapped this vacuum on her and plugged it in, turned it on and told her where to start. She didn't know how to get it off.  It worked perfect. 

After we had a simple lunch.  Dave and I spent the morning rearranging the house to make it look it's best.  We have only a few more things left to do.  Kids cleaned their rooms and played on the wii.  Cora did a deep clean out of her clothes since we had just gotten more from Smith's.  In the afternoon Dave spent hours getting the last of our taxes ready to go in.  I made buns, did some laundry, and some sewing.  Blake and Leah played in the rain. As soon as it started raining hard they wanted to go outside.  That is when I would have chosen to come inside. Everyone took a little break in the afternoon.  I had hidden mini caramilk eggs, mini peanut butter cups, a milka for each of them and a chocolate bunny for each around the house.  We did an actual egg hunt which we haven't done for years. Dave looks at me funny every year when I do the Easter treats on Friday, but I like to save Sunday for the true meaning of Easter.  I feel Christmas has been really taken over.  I don't want Easter to become this way.  They had fun searching all over the house for them.  But I forgot to buy Mini Eggs.  Remembered just as I went to pay.  I will probably never hear the end of it.  Good thing they are sold year round and I can get some next shopping trip. It was not a lot of candy, but they had fun searching for it.  That night we watched a movie and off to bed.

Blake could not make up his mind if he wanted to go with his Dad today or not.  He really wanted to go, but for only half a day.  Another bonus of getting out there is the kids really can come and go.  We don't have to arrange the whole day just to spend a few hours.  Dave will be able to work on a few things after work even if he does have something in the evening. And when he is working the kids can at least still eat with him or know their dad is close by when they go to bed. Anyways in the end he decided to go.  His work boots were soaking, he left them out in the rain last night, and he has no work shoes that fit anymore.  Dave suggested gum boots, but he didn't have any of those that fit either.  Apparently I need to do some shopping for him:)  I told him all I had were Leah's old purple flowered ones.  Blake said he didn't care.  There were a few holes in them, so I sent him out to have Dave duck tape the holes up.  This is what he came back in like.

They are off to do what Blake calls 'boy stuff'.   The girls and I have spent a while sitting in the sun reading.  This afternoon we have a long list of sewing projects we need to get taken care of. Also we will go over their Personal Progresses and see what to work on for the next week.  Cora and I have Ladiesfest coming up and are off to go for a run together.  Well we will start together anyways, she is much faster and better endurance.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Newest Little Cousin

We made a quick trip to see the newest addition to the Puzey clan yesterday.  We had been trying to figure out for a couple of days when we had time to go up and see them.  Everyone really wanted to go.  Blake said that he would be willing to give up the birthday party he was invite to so we could go yesterday. Dave went into work at 5 so he could leave early.  We meet him there and headed up.
Leah has been dying to hold this little girl since she was born Monday.  She is a girl and born in April.  The only thing that could have made it better in Leah's eyes was for her to be born two days earlier on her birthday.
We are now up to 4 girls on that side.  Still outweighed by boys. 4-7. She really is a cute, little, sweet thing.  I even held her.  That is pretty big for me.  I totally could have taken her home.  Then I remember the sleepless nights and was good just to cuddle her for a while.

Cora was loving holding her also.  I am thinking this little one may be a little spoiled by my girls in the next few years. Or forever:)

 Welcome to the family Cadence Elaine Atwood.  
After leaving the Atwoods' we gassed up, at our dinner (It was a little difficult for Dave to each his sandwich and yogurt on Deerfoot.  Made an interesting drive. Hand Dave sandwich, take a bit, take sandwich back, make a sandwich for a kid, hand Dave sandwich back.  It was good though) Blake has been really wanting to go to the Lego store.  We told him multiple times we would only be looking.  He tried so hard not to ask for anything.  The girls found some little key chains that were not much and Blake found a little $6 set.  Dave decided that we have not got them anything for a while and it wasn't much.  So Dad got it for them.  We got home at 10 but Blake could not wait any longer to put it together.  It was small and he did it quickly, then slept till 8 this morning.  It was a fun little get away.

Leah had her first temple baptisms this morning.  We got back quite late and I was worried about her getting up.  Dave turned on the light at 5 am and before he had his teeth brushed Leah was up.  Cora didn't sleep much last night, but she always gets up good.  I had made them snickerdoodle muffins, bought juice boxes and yogurt to send with them to eat in the morning.  I sent lots so if any one else rode with them, they could share.  The girls were the last of the group and there had been a few back out so they got to do 10 names each.  Dave baptized everyone.  Leah came back very excited to go again on Thursday.

We figured our kids were pretty deprived when they got so excited about the escalators at West Edmonton Mall.  Now we have decided maybe they are just strange.  Dave was speculating that perhaps the toothpaste was giving him heartburn at night.  I bought a different brand to see if this was the case.  The feedback and critiquing of a new brand of toothpaste from the kids was hilarious.  It went on for a couple days.  They would let me know how they felt about the color, flavor and texture.  Even what they thought about the tube.  Seriously strange:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Samoa Chocolates

There is a cookie at Real Canadian Superstore called Caramel Coconut Cookies.  There are the No Name brand. Which seems funny to type.  Seriously these cookies are so amazing.  They taste exactly like the Samoa Girl Guide Cookies.  Caramel, coconut, and chocolate are all some of my favorite things, and here they are combines.  What could be better.   I follow Mel's Kitchen Cafe religiously. (And if you don't then you should get right on that Last week she made a Samoa Cupcake.  This got me thinking that a chocolate would be to die for.
And I was right.  I used her topping for the cupcake, but exchanged the milk for cream and used a little less coconut.

Samoa Chocolates
35 Kraft Caramels pieces unwrapped (approx 1 bag)
3 Tbsp Cream
2 1/2 Cups Toasted Coconut
Dipping Chocolate
Melt the caramels and cream together, stirring until smooth.  When coconut is toasted mix into the caramel.  Let sit for about 5 mins.  Shape into balls and dip in melted chocolate.
I always freeze what I am going to dip, especially if it is soft like these.  I am not a really great dipper, so this make is easier for me.
We literally could not stay out of these.  These melt in your mouth.  The kids where grabbing one every time they walked through the kitchen. It is a good thing I made a small batch to try first. Dave did not try them for a while, he was busy painting.  When he did he deemed them amazing also.  We have decided they a must keep for Christmas Chocolate making.

Monday, April 7, 2014

12 Years Old

Leah has been so excited for this birthday.  12 is a big one.  She gets to go to Young Women's.  She gets to do baptisms for the dead. She gets to wear dangly earrings.  She gets her nice set of scriptures. And birthday's are always fun.  Leah wanted to open presents first thing in the morning.  We gave her a Rainbow Loom, Scriptures, and  Tea Set.  She was going to get contacts, but after 2 trips to the Dr. Leah still couldn't get them in her eyes.  We have decided to wait 6 months then let her try again.  We also got her some clothes for her doll, but they have not come in yet and we didn't tell her.  It will be a surprise. We have booked the temple to do baptisms on the 17th as a family and the youth are going on the 12th.  She will get to go twice, right away.
I did not even ask Leah what she wanted for her birthday dinner this year.  It was not worth it because I already knew.  Spaghetti! She really is the most spaghettiest eating girl I know.  For breakfast she requested English muffins and bacon.
Leah asked for a DQ cake.  It was so good.  She ended up choosing the Oreo Blizzard Cake.
We did not do much for her birthday as it was General Conference Weekend.  On Saturday Dave was working on the house still.  He is hoping to have it up for sale by end of April. We moved everything to the center of the room so he could paint and listen at the same time.  After every talk Saturday morning Dave would say what a good talk it was.  Cora started teasing him that he was just saying that so we would think he was listening.:) But I think Saturday morning might have been my favorite. (Dave says I need to listen to the priesthood one since Elder Uchtdorf's was awesome.  Hmm maybe it was Elder Oaks.  Guess I will have to read it all) During conference there was a lot of bracelets made.  Blake made some mazes with his Lego and a marble.  During the sessions the kids went outside. We finally had some beautiful weather. (I saw a saying this morning that made me laugh. "This is a lovely winter we are having this spring") They drew with chalk and played basketball.

All day Leah was singing. 'It's my birthday.  I can do what I want to.' Even wrote it on the side walk for the world to see.  It was a fantastic family spent day.  Happy 12th Leah!!!
Sunday we got ready and settled for the morning session.  We were commenting how we loved to stay home and in our sweats or pjs to watch conference, and wondered if anyone still dressed up to stay home. If I was going to go to the effort to get in my Sunday clothes I would drive to the church.  So here is Cora and I.
Then Dave came down all ready with scriptures, suit, notebook, and pens. (He changed back for the afternoon session.)He thought he was pretty funny;) 
Since Kita shared this Hassleback potato recipe it has been a favorite.  Yesterday we decided to try upping the ante a bit.  In each slice we put some bacon and green onions.  SO GOOD! Blake put cheese on his and said it tasted just like a potato skin.  We had Ham, these potatoes and layered Jell-O.  Then the rest of Leah's birthday cake for dessert.
Funny how some recipes bring back memories.  I can tell you the first time I made this layered Jell-O.  It was summer time and we were getting together with the Puzey clan at the house Jared lived in on the highway.  At this point Dave and I were the only ones married, but Amber and Steve were there.  I remember Steve in the hammock. I was pregnant with Cora.  I had just had this at a work get together and got the recipe from a co-worker.  I thought this would be the perfect time to try it myself.  It was simple and delicious, just took some time.  But I remember how pretty it was and every one else loved it and wanted the recipe also. I have rarely made it in the last couple years.  But we enjoyed the Jell-O and the reminiscing yesterday.
Time for the last session.  Leah and Blake really got into it.  Our computer stalled and we missed the last 15 mins.  We are hoping we will be able to get it for FHE tonight.  I hope we did not miss some great announcement or blessing from the prophet.  They were all wonderful talks again.  We went for a walk during sessions and the kids played with chalk again.  It really is my favorite weekend of the year.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Who Guessed Where??

Here are every ones guesses.  I think if you click on the picture it will make it bigger so you can read it better.  I had a lot of fun doing this.  Congratulations to McKay and the lucky people in Colorado Springs that get to have you serve there.

The winners are Ty and Mike.  I remember saying the grand prize was the knowledge that you were right and maybe I would spring for a chocolate bar.  Apparently only the chocolate bar part was read:)  My favorite guess was by Ryan.  He guess Old Navy (the airport was also a guess he made)  I looked it up and there is an Old Navy in Colorado Springs.  I figure if McKay can give away a Book of Mormon in the Old Navy sometime in the next two years, then we will count Ryan as winning also.  Thanks everyone for playing my game.  Good luck McKay!!

Last weeks Women's Conference was really nice.  There was a beautiful video that they showed that I would like to show for FHE next time it is my turn.  We had a little dinner before hand then all watched the session.  I sat between my girls.  My in-laws are without a building right now because of renos.  So Myrna, Amber and Emry came and watched it at our ward. It was a great night.
Before we left I had this idea for Leah's hair.  After I did it and she looked at it she told me it was called a ladder braid, except I did a twist.  I was brilliant and did not even know it:)

Leah's nails.  She had a great time having me do these.  She has been trying to use tape to make designs, but it is so sticky it was just pulling the polish off.  I picked up some of those rings for ripped paper for binders. (I have no idea what they are called)  They worked great.
Cora wanted a picture of her nails too.  Just because.  She is like me and can't stand to have polish on her nails.  We both start picking at it and biting our nails again.  Cora does keep them clean and trim though. Leah is always painting her and trying new designs and patterns. Cora and I do our toes instead.
Dave has been working crazy to get this house ready to sell.  For the last week or two he has been getting up at 4ish to either scratch the cement in prep to prim, painting walls, or moving boxes.  Then he does more painting, filling holes, sanding etc right after work till about 10 at night.  While he is at work or sleeping things are drying so he can get back at it again.  We call him up just in time for dinner then he goes straight back to work again.  He is trying to get as much as he can done before the 12th when they start calving and he will be gone half the week again.  We have tried to help him with what we can, moving stuff around and cleaning up around him, dejunking, and putting things back.  I know he enjoys the work.  I am so glad that he knows how to do it. We still have to put trim in the basement, repaint upstairs, paint Cora's ceiling and the family room downstairs, and fix a hole in the bathroom wall.  As soon as it is all ready we will put the house up for sale.  Scary thought.