Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Cookies

I found this idea on one of my Favorite Blogs and thought I would share. We will be making These Cookies Saturday night.  I just love Easter and what it means to me and my family.  I can think of no greater blessing then to be able to be with my Family Forever in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Without Christ's atonement and resurrection that would not be possible.  To know that there is someone else who has felt everything I am going through in this life is a blessing beyond measure.  I am so grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation and what Christ has done for each one of us. Having children at home there are so many things you can do to teach the meaning of Easter.

What is a favorite tradition in your family??

Happy Easter to you and your family!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Break Day 3-5

Spring Break this year was the BEST!  My friend Melissa and her kids came for a few days.  Our kids had the best time ever!!  The played in the water, made friendship bracelets, the boys made a wooden car, we ate lots of yummy food, we watched movies that made you almost pee your pants, we went shopping at Beals, we crochets, ate chocolate, the kids jumped on the trampoline,  and whatever else you can think of!  We decided this will be something we do every year!  

I first met Melissa when we moved to Morenci about 8 years ago.  She was the first to welcome me and we become fast friends.  Since then we have both moved and now live about 3 1/2 hours apart.  But you wouldn't know it!  She is the kind of friend you might now talk for months, but you pick up right where you left off.  We can talk about anything and everything together and she inspires me in my motherhood journey!  I have truly cherish her friendship all these years!  Everyone needs a friend like her!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mini Triathlon

The girls have been "training" for this event for the past couple months.  They both were pretty excited to participate in it.  Their leaders put a lot of time and effort into planning and making this happen.  Every girl finished and did very well! In our church children from 18 month through 11 years of age attend Primary.  For girls 8-11 they attend Activity Days twice a month.  I love that the gospel of Jesus Christ provides these girls with activities to build them as daughters of God and bring them closer to their Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blossoms & Babies

We are so happy to see blossoms on our fruit trees.  The kids went wild when they saw them.  They now know that blossoms mean sweet yummy fruit in the future!  I love Spring!

We went out and found that our Mama hen has had 4 babies hatch so far.  They are the sweetest little babies.  The mama hen is very protective and such a good mama.  The kids are loving the babies.  New life is always so wonderful to witness.  I think it animals teach children in many areas of life & love that we live where my children can have that experience.  What a blessing!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Make It From Scratch Monday: Homemade Yogurt

{Family Favorite}

We make 2 gallons about every two weeks.  It has saved us a ton of money and is healthier then the store with all the High Fructose Corn Syrup or Sugar.  We don't add sugar, just fresh or frozen fruit when eating.  I have added the option at the end though.  My Friend Melissa adds 1 can of Sweeten and Condensed milk and said it was delicious!  


*1 gallon of milk

*1 cup yogurt starter(you can use a small cup of plain Dannon , or you can use a cup from your previous batch.)

1. Place four quart glass canning jars, four lids, and four screw-tops in a large pot. Fill with an inch of water; cover with lid and heat to boiling. Boil for ten minutes. Leave the lid on the pot and move it off the heat until you are ready to use the jars.

2. Pour one gallon of milk into a large, heavy bottomed stockpot. Heat the milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Turn off and let the milk cool to 120 degrees fahrenheit(50-55 degrees celsius)

4. Stir one cup of yogurt starter into the cooled milk, using a whisk. Stir well to ensure that the starter is thoroughly incorporated into the milk.

5. Pour the milk into jars, and put the lids and bands on. Place them into a dehydrator (or other source to keep warm) and keep at 115 degrees.

6.  Leave in a warm place for four hours. When the four hours are up, place the yogurt in the refrigerator.  


To make a delicious vanilla version of this yogurt, add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar to the four quarts of milk when it’s cooling. Then stir in 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla, depending on your preference, and proceed as usual with the recipe.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Our First Recital

Loralie has a fantastic Piano/Voice teacher that she just LOVES!   Loralie is LOVING music and I am LOVING her passion for it.  Now that some of my children are getting older they are finding their niches and talents.  Loralie has a natural love for Music & Art.  I am so excited to see where these talents will take her.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Power of Moms Retreat

I just wanted to spread the word about an awesome Mom's Retreat coming up in May.  I am so excited to be able to go!  I have the BEST husband ever!!  Click below for all the details!  Two of my most Favorite authors are hosting it at their home!  So excited!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Crocheting Lesson

During Spring Break my friend Melissa came and stayed a few days with her children and we had lots and lots of fun, (which I will be posting about soon)!  One thing we did was crochet.  I have known for years how to make a chain but not much else.  Well, she taught me to make flowers and go beyond a chain.  Here are some things I have been trying out in my free time.  It is really relaxing to me and I am hoping the more I practice the better I will get!

{Crochet Bracelet}

{ A Pot Holder}

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Learning Circle

About two months ago I decided to start a Learning Circle and invited some local ladies.  It has been such a wonderful experience!  The articles are wonderful and really motivate you to become the mother and women you want to be without the guilt.  We currently have 5 in our group and would love more if anyone is interested.  It only cost $20.00 a year and is so worth it!  If you are not in my area and would like to start your own group click the button below.  As a mother we need a support group where you can honestly talk about all the mothering challenges we face.  I love the ladies in my group & always leave feeling encouraged!  Just to know that other moms are facing the same things is a comfort.

What is a Power of Moms Learning Circle?

  • part girls’ night out (with a meaningful purpose – in addition to having a great time)
  • part book group (with a lot less pages to read…yep, you can complete the reading for each month in about 30 minutes)
  • part support group (we all need more opportunities to learn from, encourage, and even sometimes commiserate with other moms)
  • part motherhood course (because you deserve a monthly class to help you grow yourself, build your fellow mothers, and shape the future that starts right in your own home)
A Learning Circle involves 5-12 mothers who gather each month for great conversation centered on an excellent in-depth article.  
The Power of Moms provides our Learning Circle Leaders with the following:
  • step-by-step instructions to start up a very fun and effective group
  • thought-provoking, fun-to-read articles, great discussion questions and simple assignments to go with each month’s topic

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

Jeremy and I made the recipe from THIS blog over the weekend.  We bought and mixed all the dry ingredients together.  Last night for dinner I mixed it up for the first time and I was so HAPPY!  It is the best Ranch Dressing  I have EVER had!  Plus I know it doesn't have all the scary ingredients the bottle from the store has.  I am very picky with my ranch so I was a little nervous.  If you love ranch, but want a healthier alternative, plus save money, try it, you won't be disappointed

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix: 
8 T. dried parsley

2 T. dried minced onion 
1 T. dried chives (optional, but gives it a good scallion/green onion flavor)
2 T. black pepper
2 T. garlic powder
1 t. paprika
2 t. thyme
2 t. oregano
3 t. salt

2 t. seasoning salt 
2 t. dried dill
1/2 t. cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (you will want to do this or it will be too chunky with all of the parsley). Store in a cool, dry place.

Ranch Dip: 
1/2 c. mayonnaise (good quality--not lowfat)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. lemon juice
1 T. ranch dry mix

*If you want ranch dressing, just add buttermilk or milk to your desired consistency is achieved--you may need a pinch more salt once you thin it out.

Our Garden

{we have planted}

*Green Beans
*Purple & Yellow Onions

We have a mama sitting on eggs that should hatch this weekend.  We are so excited to how many she has!

Daddy's helpers in the garden.

I love Springtime.  I love the smell of wet dirt & grass.  I love the feel of wet soil on my hands.  I love when the kids play in a puddle and the amazement on their faces.  Nature is calming to the soul. I am so looking forward to summer rainstorms.  Summer is just around the corner and I am so happy to have all the kids home!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Make It From Scratch Monday: Butter

{Making Butter} from Fresh Raw Cream

Since we don't have our own milking cow {yet}, we found a sweet family who sells fresh milk & cream near our home.  We had fun this weekend making our own butter.  The kids really enjoyed watching the process.  It is so yummy!  I found a great tutorial and thought I would share.

This milk is as fresh as you can get, we pick it up the day after it’s milked, it’s unpasteurized and unhomogenized. Since it’s not homogenized the cream rises to the top, it’s also called cream line milk. If you look closely you can see the cream line in the milk on the right.

Making butter is super easy, all you need is cream and a jar or you can make it in the mixer or the blender. You can simply shake the cream in a jar until it’s butter, or use your mixer on a low to medium speed.  It really doesn’t take long, between 10-20 minutes depending on the cream, temperature and how good of a shaker you are.  Fill your jar 25-50% full of cream, I try to keep mine around 40%. The more cream you have in the jar the longer it takes to form butter because there’s less movement of the cream. If it’s too warm the butter will be kind of a whipped butter and it will be more difficult to rinse and knead later on.

While mixing you’ll notice the cream turn from liquid to whipped cream. It will become harder and harder to shake (if using the jar method) as it gets thicker. Eventually you’ll notice that it will break, this happens when the butter separates from the buttermilk. You’ll definitely notice the difference in sound at this point. As you are shaking, notice the color of the cream as well, it will start to turn more and more yellow as the fat molecules group together.

It will now be easy to shake and you’ll notice the butter will start clumping together. I like to rinse mine when it forms marble sized pieces. Pour the buttermilk out of the jar, but keep the butter in. Make sure you keep your buttermilk, it makes great pancakes, muffins or biscuits. Add some water back into the jar and shake again, do this two or three times until the water is just about clear. Empty butter into a strainer to strain off water. Transfer the butter into a bowl and knead with a spoon until it form a ball, you’ll notice you’ll be working water out of the butter. If the butter is too soft put in the fridge to harden a bit before kneading.

You can add salt to your butter if you’d like.  Homemade butter is really tasty, it has a different taste than store bought butter. You can let the cream sour a bit before churning to make a cultured butter, this only works with raw cream though, you’ll have to add cultures to store bought cream if you want cultured butter. We were amazed at the color, the stuff I buy from the store is almost white, as you can see this is very very yellow. This is because the cows are pastured.

Have you ever made butter?? What did you think?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Our Conference Weekend

{I dearly love Conference!}

We had such a wonderful weekend.  I love that all day Saturday feels like a Sunday.  I love that we are all together learning and being inspired.  We had decided to make it a tradition and CAN either Meat or Beans every Conference to keep up on our food storage.  Plus I love Jeremy's help!

The talks this conference had everything I needed.  They covered so many things I needed to hear.  I have re-listened to many already.  It is too hard to choose any favorites this time.  But HERE and HERE are ones that I've listened to again and just LOVE!  Plus I love THIS one too!  Too many to choose.  So go HERE and pick for yourself!  There is something for everyone.

Ok, here we go

{A lot of Littlest Pet Shop playing}

{Yummy Orange Julius drinking}

{Lots of napping and relaxing}

{Lots of Kisses & Snuggles with this little guy!}

{Playing in the floor with trucks while listening}
He is such a sweet young man

{Daddy designing out our fantastic garden this year}

{Many jars of Pinto Beans now on our shelves}

{Loralie being sweet as ever}

{Magnet Doll playing on the rug}

{Flip Flops and Apron wearing}
It was a beautiful weather weekend

{Strawberry Shortcake even stopped by for a visit}

I am go grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and my family's life.  It helps us to be better & become who we were sent her to become.  I love that we are able to listen to the Prophet of God and the Apostles every 6 months!  Every time I listen, I feel the Lord's love for me.


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