Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Would Happen If...

Look at that sweet, innocent face.  How could somethig as precious as that cause flooding in three rooms of the house with just one quick flush of the toilet?  Well, it all starts with an apple...

We have a rule in our house that if you get out an apple and start eating it, you have to eat the whole thing.  We started that rule because the kids woud get out an apple and take a few bites and then want to throw it away.  They didn't want apple slices, they wanted to eat it like a big kid.  Then I would end up with 6 almost whole apples in the garbage.  I just couldn't afford that habit so we came up with the rule.  Yesterday, Zeke got out an apple along with some of the other kids.  They all ate theirs and went downstairs to play.  Zeke didn't finish his as quickly so he decided he didn't want it any more.  I told him he had to eat it.  As he takes a bite he starts dancing around like he as to go potty.  I told him to put his apple on the table, go potty and then come back and finish his apple.  I started doing the dishes, he goes potty,then he comes back out and tells me he finished his apple. I asked him to show it to me.  He says he ate it all.  I tell him I want to see it. He tells me he ate it all.  I ask him where it is.  He says he doesn't know.  I ask him where he put it.  He turns and walks down the hall to his bedroom.  I follow and ask where the apple is.  He says it's not in his bedroom.  I again ask where it is. He again says he doesn't know.   I tell him if he doesn't tell me where he put his apple I would have to spank his bum for lying to me.  He won't answer me now.  I swat his bum and ask where he put his apple.  No answer.  I swat and ask again.  No answer.  Again.  No answer.  We do this several more times.  Still no answer.  He's crying, I'm on the verge of crying because he's my little buddy, but still no answer.  I try to get him to look at me.  He looks above and to either side but won't make eye contact.  I sit him on my lap.  He still won't talk or look at me.  Finally I start asking more direct questions.  Did you throw it in Olivia's room?  No (at least I got an answer.  This gave me hope that it would all end soon)  Did you throw it in your room? No.  Did you throw it in my room?  No.  Did you put it in the garbage in the bathroom?  No. Did you flush it down the potty?  Yes.  Oh my heck! I sent him to bed and went to the bathroom.  No apple in the potty.  Tried to call Michael.  No answer  Waited a few minutes and tried to call again.  No answer. I didn't know whether to plunge or try to stick my hand in and see if I could feel it anywhere.  A friend stopped by to pick up his kids.  I told him what happened.  He checked it out  Plunged a little.  Everything flushed fine.  WHEW!!  Right?  No...

Fast forward to this afternoon. Michael comes home, goes into the bathroom, comes back out and tells me that our bathroom is flooded.  Goes into the other bathroom.  It is flooded too.  Goes down stairs to the laundry room.  It's flooded to from the floor upstairs.  Turn off the water, find every towel in the house that we own.  Start soaking up water.  Michael goes to get the snake while I continue to clean up water.  Some one goes into the other bathroom, uses it and flushes!  Come running out to let them all know that no one is allowed to use the bathroom or flush the toilet  First snake doesn't work.  Second snake kind of works.  Flush one potty and it overflows in the othr potty.  Finally get the clog aka "apple"  further down the pipes.  Go to the laundry room. Take cap off another pipe. Get a third snake (a much longer one) and snake up the pipe to the T near the ceiling.  Finally get it all cleared out.  Finish cleaning up the stinky wet towels, start laudry, wash hands and arms REALLY good and welcome our friends that are coming through the front door.  Thank goodness because we had 13 kids running around the house all afternoon!  That would've been ugly with no bathrooms!

Oh the joys of parenting and the sweet innocence of children!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Highlights

Christmas Day has come and gone.  This year was a little different than what we had planned.  Our usual Christmas Eve at our friends' house had to be canlled because of the big snow storm that had hit the area.  The interstates were closed, travel was not advised and we were completely snowed in.  The kis did get to go out and play in the snow.  That certainly helped pass the time.  Michael had to work all morning trying to clear out the snow for the workers that were coming in for their shifts.  Once here, they had to stay.  They ay get to go home today.  When Michael came in for lunch the kids opened their presents from each other. That also provided  much needed break from the wait for Santa.  Michael smoked a ham for supper.  It was delicious.  Before bed we did our Light of Christ family home evening that we usually do when we go to our friends' house.  Then we set out our stockings, Santa's cookies, and the reindeers gliittery oats.  Then off to bed we went.

Now for the highlights:

11 pm:  finally able to go to bed after we made sure "Santa" had come
2 am: woke to some one moving around only to find Makenna sitting on the couch holding her prize that Santa left by her pillow, waiting for every one else to get up. Sent her to bed with instructions not to come back up before 6am.

6:15am:  Makenna and Maddi come bounding up the stairs.  Michael and I slowly roll out of bed.  We let them open their stockings wile they wait for every one else.

6:45 am:  They are allowed to wake up the boys.  Zeke sees his bucky bull from Joyce and Jim and immediately there is a rodeo in our living room!

7 am:  Olivia is wakened and extremey excited about all the can Santa left.
7:15 am:  We can FINALLY open presents!!

8:15 am:  after opening things one by one and stopping on occasion to clear out the wrapping paper we are done and Michael is off to work to clear snow so the boys can get to breakfast.
9am: breakfast
10 am: out to play in the snow.
1 pm:  Inside playing the Wii
5:30 pm:  Zeke asleep on the couch, Michael headed out to find the other kids who had disappeared while playing in the snow.  He finds them several houses down, building tunnels in the snow in the big row of trees next to the road with the neighbor kids.
8 pm:  bring pillows and blankets to the basement, watch the movie Up and have a sleepover

Favorite gifts:
Olivia: Baby with wagon and shopping cart.  She also loved the Dora barn and truck
Zeke:  Bouncy bull and nerf gun
Dillon:  snowboard, nerf gun and Vikings pillow

Zane:  Packers jersey and snowboard

Makenna:  Webkinz and Apples to Apples game
Maddi:  Vikings football and skateboard

Michael:  coveralls
Me:  Wii active sports
The whole family:  Wii - given to us by Michael's sister Stacey.  We spent many hours playing that yesterday.  First thing that the kids did this morning after they woke up was turn it on.   I even got a knock out this morning with the boxing game!

Games played together:
Bop it
Apples to Apples (we even got Michael to play with us)
Monster Match
Go Fish
House (Olivia and Dillon)
Shooting the nerf guns
Crazy 8s

Anyways, we had a great day!  The kids had fun and we spent a day with no fighting.  There didn't seem to be the let down that there has been other years.  You know, after the presents are opened and the initial excitement has worn off.  Maybe part of that was because they were able to go out and play in the snow (almost 2 ft of it) for hours.  Maybe because Santa and others brought things that they could do together, like board games, card games and the Wii.  All of us us spent the day taking turns, whether on the Wii, the snowboard or playing games.  It was a really nice day and one that I will always remember.  The spirit in our home was good and the time spent together was fun.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gift from the boys at McCrossan Boys Ranch

The building and trades class here at the ranch chose to make Christmas presents for our kids this year.  I'm not sure why, but I know they started working on it shortly after Thanksgiving.  I few of the boys slipped up and told Michael bits and pices of what they were doing so we had a general idea of what they were doing.  Today they delivered the gifts in two great big boxes.  The kid were excited when they got home from school and saw them sitting in the living room floor.  They were even more excited when they found out the gifts were for them!  When Michael got home we let them open them.  Each kid got their own coat rack with their name carved out of the wood.  They were huge!  Then they burned the wood with a sander or something and stained them.  They look really nice and the kids thought it was the coolest thing ever!  How nice of the boys here!  My kids love the boys here on ranch and have had a lot of fun with them over the last year.What a fun surprise they gave us!

T'was the Day Before Christmas

This was inspired by all the energy that is oozing from the children right now.  It seems no matter how hard they try, they just can't seem to completely get control of themselves  They aren't being naughty.  They are just being kids a few days before Christmas!

T'was the day before Christmas and all through our home, was chaos and clutter and toys that had been thrown.

The children were wrestling and bouncing off walls, while the dogs were running around chasing balls.
Mommy was in her apron baking sweet Christmas treats and Daddy was shoveling snow that had heaped.
When out in the den there arose such a clatter, mommy came running to see what was the matter.
She threw down her apron and ran across the floor as Daddy came bounding in the front door.
And what did their tired, frustrated eyes see, but six little children and a knocked down Christmas tree.
The ornaments were scattered all over the ground, the presents were smooshed, the children dared not make a sound.
Tears filled mommy's eyes as she quietly turned away. Daddy stood there not knowing exactly what to say.
So he got them all dressed and took them outside to play while mommy tried to salvage what was left of the day.
The little children slowly came in one by one and told mommy they were sorry for what they had done.
Their eyes were tear filled, their boots full of snow, their cheeks were bright red, their shirts wet to the elbow.
Mommy hugged each child and whispered softly in each ear "I love you so much, my sweet little dear."
Then they all worked together and straightened the tree, picked up the ornaments and turned to mommy,
"The mess is all cleaned, can we help you bake?" Then they decorated cookies and made the Christmas cake.
That night by the glow of candle light, they read about the Baby Jesus on that first Christmas night.
Then Mommy and Daddy sent them to bed and tucked them in tight, "Merry Christmas to you and don't let the bed bugs bite!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mom, there's pooballs in the bathroom floor!

Not exactly a phrase I want to hear - EVER!!  Well, tonight I heard it.  Dillon needed to go to the bathroom but only got as far as the doorway before those dreaded words left his lips.  I came to see what exactly he meant by "all over."  He meant all over.  I wondered who would have done that and then I saw on the corner by the laundry basket a little swimsuit with a pair of previously white Dora panties next to it.  Apparently, my little Olivia didn't quite make it to the potty:)  Amazily enough, only one pooball got stepped on.  I cleaned and lysolled and then called the little Princess.  She came upstairs sporting and clean pink leotard with a new pair of panties on.  When asked why she had on a new outfit she replied that her other one was poopy and wet. Imagine that!  That girl is something else!  At least she changed her clothes instead of staying in her messy ones.  Gotta giver her credit for that I guess!  I must say, there is never a dull moment with her around.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Today we made our annual sugar cookies.  I made about 14 dozen.  The kids had fun decorating with M&Ms, chocolate chips, and sprinkles.  After we finished we went over to the lodges that the ranch boys live in and brought them plates of cookies. My kids were excited to do that.  They know some of the boys and really like them.  The boys are always nice to the kids.  The boys were also excited to get some treats.

After that we loaded up and went to McDonalds with an indoor playland.  The kids played for a while and then we went driving around looking at Christmas lights  We ended at Falls Park.  They have every tree lit.  All the buildings are decorated, the falls are lit up and there is all sorts of cool things to see.  There is a big tower there that we went to the top of so we could see all the lights from up high.  The kids really liked that!  It was really pretty.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera but we will go back again and then I will take pictures.

All in all it was a great day and we had a lot of fun being together and enjoying each other!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread houses

Today I got to participate in the making of ove 20 gingerbread houses!  It was so fun.  Zane's class made them today.  The kids came up with such different ideas.  They all turned out so cute!  They also got to decorate a gingerbread man for their afternoon snack.   Michael stayed home with the two little kids and the little boy I was babysitting.  I had fun spending the morning with Zane.  After we were done I got to eat lunch with him and Dillon.  Dillon was so excited!  He didn't know I was going to be there.  The teachers let us all sit together  I also got to see Maddi and Makenna.  It was a fun morning.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Makenna's Baptism

Saturday Makenna was baptized.  We are so proud of her decision to follow the exampe of Jesus and be baptized.  She was very excited about it all.  She got to pick out the songs and who spoke.  Maddison spoke on baptism.  She did a great job.  There were about 50 people there. She didn't even seem very nervous.  I spoke on the Holy Ghost.  Halfway to church I realized I had forgotten my talk at home. Oops!  I had wing it.  Very fitting, I suppose, to give a talk on the Holy Ghost and have to rely on Him to help me get through my talk.  Michael baptized and confirmed her. He did a good job too.  It was a very special day for all of us.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The week continues...

It's just little things but I think I need a day out of the house...After Michael being gone all weekend, the week started out okay.  He took Monday off, we did a little shopping and took Zeke and Olivia to lunch with their Applebees certificates.  Tuesday the bad weather started and so we were stuck inside for a few days.  That is also the day my washer broke.  Wednesday there was no school and I got another washer.  Wednesday night Zane threw up. This morning Maddi threw up.  I also am babysitting all day today and tomorrow.  Today I spent the entire day doing laundry.  During one of my drying loads I heard some clanging in the dryer and discovered Makenna's ipod.  It is ruined.  I feel horrible.  I tell them all the time to empty their pockets and I was in such a rush to get caught back up with the laundry that I didn't take the time to check everything.  She just bought it 6 weeks ago with her money that she had been saving.  She listened to it all the time.  I can't afford to buy her another one, she doesn't have the money to buy another one right now.  It was just a little ipod shuffle that only costs $50 but that's huge to her.  Anyways, now I don't want to tell her when she gets home because I know what will happen.  She already is having a hard time with all the emotions and excitement of Christmas and her baptism.  This will put her over the edge for a few days.  Anyways, I know it could be worse.  I just feel bad.  I really need to go shopping and get groceries but I can't.  It's below freezing out there and I have sick kids.  Tonight we have swimming lessons. Tomorrow I am babysitting again.  Saturday we are doing pictures on the sleigh, then Makenna's baptism and then I have a church thing that night.  Hopefully everyone else will stay healthy so we won't have that to deal with too.

Sorry about the downer blog.  It's one of those days:)

Wet Jeans!

I went dow Tuesday morning to switch over the laundry only to discover that my washing machine was broken with a load of very wet jeans in it.  I wasn't too excited to find that!  Our machine had broken once and was fixed and had been working fine since then.  So I was kind of surprised to see it just stop like that.  Now I had a load of wet jeans and a dryer that already took two drying cycles to dry a normal load of laundry.  It was going to take days to dry those things!  The weather outside was freezing so I couldn't hang them up outside an I had no where inside to hang themk and let them puddle.  Well, I began the quest of finding a new washer.  Craigslist had nothing.  Of all the times I have seen washers and dryers on there, there was nothing!  So I began looking for a new one.  Along the way Michael told me to go ahead and get a dryer too.  I never realized how expensive those things are!  It has been almost 10 years since we bought some and I was not at all excited about spending so much money.  Yesterday I went out looking.  I finally sucked it up and bought some.  They are very nice, but I am leary about them.  Everything is so electronic now.  I hope they last like my others did.  I do NOT want to do this again anytime soon!  Michael went and picked them up as the load of jeans finished their last of 5 or 6 cycles in the old dryer and were finally dry.  When we brought them home the kids wanted to know what they were.  We explained that they were their Christmas presents and we were going to have to take all their others back.  They studied our faces trying to figure out if we were joking or not.  To help them feel better, I let them know that they would be able to wear clean clothes Christmas morning as they sat and looked at the empty tree:)  They knew we were kidding at that point and ran off to play with the big boxes.  I must say, they are also very heavy to lift and take downstairs.  Michael had the hard part.  Once they got lowered onto the stairs (he was at the bottom and I was at the top), he would slowly walk down the stairs with that huge thing and let it slide behind him.  I was afraid it would run him over but it didn't.  Anyways,they are hooked up and I am doing laundry as fast as I possibly can!  It doesn't take long to get behind with six kids, one who is being potty trained and two who have decided to get the stomch flu!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Weekend

I just have to tell you all about my weekend.  I guess just to let a little steam off so all my children are still here at the end of the day.  Friday morning Michael left town. I babysat all day from 7am to 4:30 pm.  We went out in the morning and did a few errands, came home, ate lunch and had a semi-quiet quiet time.  The big kids got home from school around 4pm.  About 4:45 I took them to McDonalds for drive thru supper, rushed home and started getting ready for the k-2nd grade concert.  We left about 6:40 to go to school, a 20 minute drive.  Concert went okay.  Kids did a good job.  Afterwards we had to go to the classrooms to pick everyone up.  It was clear at the other end of the building.  My hands were full so Maddi was trying to keep tabs on Olivia who found great pleasure running through the crowds ahead of us. The hallways were jammed packed and I couldn't get to her so Maddi would try to chase her and hold her down until I could catch up.  I would hold Lala's hand and she would scream as we slowly moved down the hall.  By the time we made it to all three classrooms the halls had cleared out some.  Lala then began to run and try to slide on the carpet with her white tights.  I once again held her hand as she screamed all the way back to the other end of the building.  And yes, people noticed:)  As we walked past the tables selling rootbeer floats I had to say no to that over and over again to insistent children and eventualy threathen their lives if they didn't stop asking.  We eventully made it the door where I had to fight Olivia to the ground to get her coat on her- she hates wearing it.  Maddi then realized she had dropped one of Dillon's school papers some where along the way.  The thought of back tracking almost pushed me over the edge but luckily Maddi found it quickly and out the door we went with Olivia being dragged behind screaming and fighting to get her coat off.

When we got home we called Michael, got on pajamas and brought our sleeping bags out to sleep by the Christmas tree.  I then proceeded to make cupcakes for a baby shower the next morning only to realize I had no eggs.  It's 9pm, all the nieghbors were gone, it was freezing cold outside and the kids were in their pjs.  I emailed an apology to the girl in charge and let her know that my cupcakes were going to be store bought!  We turned out the lights around 10 pm.  At 10:30 I forced Olivia into my bed because she kept playing in the living room. She cried herself to sleepby 11pm.  Around that time I made Zeke and Zane go to their beds.  They, too, cried themsleves to sleep. 2:30 am, Olivia falls off the bed.  3am she goes out into the living room to sleep and starts crying when she can't find Maddi.  Maddi wakes up, I get them both settled and we all go back to sleep.  6:30 am the kids are awake and in my bed.  The beginning of another day!

8 am we leave the house and head to JCP.  Not exactly where I wanted to be going with 6 children but I had no options. There were things I had to get and they had to come with me.  I felt bad for dragging them through the store so I let them pick out something. $80 later we left. On to the grocery store for cupcakes and doughnuts and then to church for the baby shower.  Baby shower was crazy.  My kids (especially one) were all over the place and  had to constantly go and round them up and bring them back.  It didn't help that there were some other kids there helping to lead them around.  I wouldn't have cared so much but they had people there cleaning and they didn't need my six kids running around.

After that we headed to ToysRUs.  BIG mistake!  There were so many people there.  Me and my kids naturall take up more space than most and it was a nightmare trying to manuver through all the people.  However, I had promised Makenna she could go there with her gift certificate and they had a sale going on for a toy that Zane wanted to get for his class gift exchange.  We found what we needed and went to pay.  When we got there we were told that the toy Zane had picked you had to get two of if you wanted the deal.  I about died.  I said never mind and we left.  We came home and spent the rest of the day inside.  We made Christmas cards and then Maddi helped me make caramel and chocolate covered pretzels.  Well, the caramel didn't quite turn out and ended up sticking to the wax paper so a 40 minute project turned into 2 hours.  It was 6 pm by the time we finished.   I was tired and frustrated so we had cereal for supper, watched Santa Clause 2 and 3, ate popcorn, took bathes and went to bed.  Michael got home sometime after 11pm.

This morning as we were getting ready, I told Michael that Olivia couldn't go to nursery today because she had a runny nose and a cough so we were going to have to keep her out.  He then informed me that he wasn't going to be at church because he had to work!  What was supposed to be an evening parade turned into afternoon wagon rides and everything else.  So there I was after such a long weekend heading to church by myself with the kids.  Olivia wasn't feeling well, Makenna was on one of her kicks (still), I had to teach my class and I was frustrated with all of it.  Olivia leaked through her diaper and puddled all over the floor duing primary, I had to tackle her once again to the ground and pin her while I put her coat on and then drag her out to the car crying after church, buckle her in and listen to her cry herslelf to sleep.  Thank goodness for chocolate and Diet Dr. Pepper!

Now the kids are downstairs "cleaning". They have been there for 30 minutes or so.  Three of them have been up to tattle, one of them several times, at least three of them have sat down there crying and they all claim to be the only ones doing the cleaning.  Maybe I should go help them but I'm not going to.  I know, not very nice, but I don't really feel very nice right now.  Michael won't be home until after 7pm and I don't want to deal with it right now.

So there you have it! My weekend.  I don't mean to complain but I have had no one to talk to all weekend so I needed to get it out somehow.  I really do love my children and weekends like this make me very grateful I am not a single mom and that I do have a husband that helps me when he is home.  It also makes me very frustrated to always be the one left behind to d it all.  I know, that'my job and it's a job that I love most all of the time but everyone needs a break every now and then right?  Well, hopefully my time is coming soon.  I am dreaming of getting highlights and a trim (not that it will happen because highlights are expensive but I'm dreaming right?), maybe a nice lunch and some time to window shop without having to be home by a certain time.  Those are my dreams but I will be happy with a 30 minute run to Walmart to get groceries without having to haul the kids:)

Hope you all - whoever reads this - have a lovely week! 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Catch Up

We had a busy week over Thanksgiving.  I went to school on Tuesday to make bread with all the little kindergarten pilgrims.  They had made hats and vests to wear for their Thanksgiving feast.  Olivia tried them on when Dillon came home with them. 

We also celebrated Michael's 35th birthday on Tuesday.  Olivia loved helping hm open te presents.  I also spent the week cleaning, making fried pies, cleaning, trying to get everything ready for the 21 person feast and cleaning!  We had a fun day.  21 people for dinner and anothr 5 for dessert.  The food was great and the company was too.  Makenna invited everyone to come back next year! The next day Michael went hunting and then had to work so the kids and I stayed home and decorated the tree and put up all our Christmas decorations.  We did venture out that afternoon and went to Walgreens to get the Webkinz they had on sale. 

Saturday we headed to Hendricks to the parade and Santa Clause.  The kids loved seeing him and their friends. 

Sunday my class had to do sharing time in Primary so that was fun.  We talked about service.  Monday Maddi had her winter concert at school.  Zane had swimming lessons and Zeke and Olivia and I spent the morning doing errands.

Tuesday Zeke and Olivia and I went to the Kids Explorer Club at the mall. We sang songs with Santa and he read the kids a story. That night the girls had church. 

Wednesday we had play group at church and I learned to make hair bows and stuff.  That afternoon I took Maddi to the dentist.  She had a absess (sp?) and ended up having to have one of her teeth pulled.  When she came out she showed me the tooth in a little box they had given her.  I told her when I was little and had to have my tooth pulled I got a necklace to put my tooth in.  She looked at me with really big eyes and said "I got my tooth pulled?"  Must have been good drugs!  Last night I babysat for a few hours too. 

Today I had nothing!  I let the kids stay in their pajamas until noon and watch TV.  I made gunk, worked on Christmas cardsand folded laundry.  It was great!  Tonight the girls have swimming lessons and I have church.  Tomorrow Michael is leaving for Kansas.  He'll get back late Saturday night.  I have to babysit all day.  Tomorrow night Makenna, Zane and Dillon have their winter concert.  I also have to make 2 batches of cupcakes.  Saturday morning I have a baby shower to go to and then the week is over!

Now you are all caught up on life in the Christiansen home!  Does anyone want to come over Saturday afteroon and make Caramel and Chocolate covered pretzel rods?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Maddi turns 9!

On the 21st we celebrated Maddi's 9th birthday.  We did a family celebration the night before because Michael was going to be gone on her bithday.  The next day we went to Hendricks and spent the afernoon with the Johnsons.  The kids had lots of fun playing and I had lots of fun visiting!  We brought cupcakes and had a little birthday celebration for Maddi, Makenna, and Sophie.  That evening we went to the Olsen's havest party.  That was also a lot of fun.  The kids got to see a lot of their friends and I got to see alot of mine.  We made it home and got to bed around midnight.  It was a long, but fun-filled day!  We are so thankful for Maddi and her "big sister" attributes.  She is so helpful and kind and always tries to do what is right.  It is fun to watch her grow and learn more about herself.  She is exploring more into her likes and dislikes and is enjoying all the discoveries she makes a long the way.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Definitely His Father's Son

Today Dillon's class had pajama day.  They are learning the letter P so they got to wear pajamas and bring pillows - highlight of the year for a lttle 5 year old.  Dillon decided on some footy pajamas, a pillow Michael made in Home Ec and a stuffed pig.  To top it all off, he wore his boots with his footies!  It was so cute.  Something that once again proves that Michael is the father of all of these kids despite what he claims!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fried Pie Recipe

If you don't want to use apricot, I have also used cherry, blueberry, apple and lemon pie fillngs.  I have even tried chocolate pudding, just use the pie recipe when you mix it so it is thicker.  Also don't store in plastic, it will make the crust soggy.  Just keep them covered with paper towels and a light towel.

Apricot Filling:

1 pound dried apricots
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
dash of salt
1/4 c butter
2 tsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp conrstarch, if needed

Soak apricots over nigt in enough warm water to cover.  Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer the apricots, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally, mashing the fruit with a wooden spoon.  (I use a handheld drink mixer to puree the fruit a little)  Add the sugar, nutmeg, salt, butter and lemon juice.  If the mixture seems thin, combine the cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water and stir into the apricots.  Continue to cook 2 or 3 minutes until mixture thickens.  Aloow to cool while preparing the dough for the pies.


3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 c chilled vegetable shortening
1/3 c. chilled butter (can use 1 c. butter flavored shortening instead of shortening and butter)
1 egg

Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl.  Using a pastry blender or forks, cut the shortening and butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Lightly beat the egg in a 3/4 c measuring cup.  Add cold water to fill measuring cup to top and add to flour mixture.  Stir with fork until the dough comes together.  Gather dough into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Assembly of Pies:

Divide dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter.  Roll out a ball between sheets of waxed paper into a 5 inch circle.  Don't let the dough get too thin or it will fall apart when you try to move and cook it.  Spoon 1 to 2 Tbsp of the filling onto half of the circle, leaving a 1 inch border at the edge.  Moisten the edge of the pastry with water.  Fold the dough over the filling to form a turnover and press the moistened edges together(I usually try to fold the bottom edge over the top to help it stay together even better).  Using the tines of a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges of the pie to seal.  DON'T SKIP THAT PART!!  It makes a huge difference in the way the pies turn out.  Repeat the process for all the dough and filling.  Chill the pies while the oil is heating.

In a heavy skillet, heat oil to 375.  Oil should be about 1 1/2 inches deep or use a deep fryer.  Add the pies in batches and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until a golden brown. Remove pies with a slotted spoon or spatula.  Drain on a bed of crumpled paper towels.  Cover with additional paper towels and a clean towel to keep pies warm and keep them from collecting moisture.

Don't try to make the pies and cook them at the same time.  Make all the pies and then do the frying - trust me, I know:)

Kenna's Birthday weekend

We spent all weekend celebrating Kenna's 8th birthday.  Friday she got to wear a new birthday outfit to school and we made cupcakes to take to her class. Saturday we went to Hendricks and spent the day with the Olsens.  It was so much fun!  The kids played and I got to spend the time talking with Pam.  There was no fighting or arguing or crying.  It was great!  We ate pizza and then had cupcakes and ice cream.  Then then Maddi, Makenna and I got to open presents. There was a lot of sadness when we had to leave but we get to go back this weekend so we are looking forward to that:)  Sunday Makenna opened presents before church.  Olivia was a BIG help!  We had our primary program in church that day.  The kids did a great job.  That afternoon Makenna got to talk to lots of people on the phone and we had macaroni and cheese for supper followed by more cupcakes and ice cream.  She had her interview with the Bishop and now we get to set a date for her baptism.  She is really exited for that.  Makenna has proved to be a challenge over the years, but despite the difficulties we have also been able to see her develop a kind heart full of tenderness and love.  Her capabilities to love are huge and we hope that she continues to develop in that way.  She is very smart and loves to learn.  We are so proud of her in so many ways. I hope that she can listen to the prompting of the spirit and follow her heart so she can have her life filled with happiness and contentment.  She has so much to offer.  I hope she finds confidence in herself so she can live life to its fullest.  We love her so much and can't imagine life without her!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Here are a few pictures from Halloween.  The kids had a lot of fun.  We did some tic-or-treating on our own then we met up with our neighbors and went with them for a while.  I think we ended up with about 19lbs of candy.  Way too much, but it sure got the kids excited!  They get a piece each day after school and one after supper. We are also using it as bribery to help potty train Olivia. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fun Crafts

Yesterday at our play group the mom that was in charge showed us how to make these cute crafts. She has a cricket (I am very jealous) and she cut out the vinyl letters with that. We made the one that says joy.  It was so easy to make that I decided to make my own tonight.  I got pre-punched out letters and they worked just fine.  Tomorrow the kids want to make one. We will try it with stamping the letters on.  Anyways, all you do is cut out some 2x4's into different lengths and paint them what ever color you want.  Then you pick out different kinds of scrapbook paper and cut them to size.  After the paint dries, use modge podge and stick the paper to the wood.  Let it dry a little and then modge podge over the top to make it shiny.  If you are using vinyl letters wait until it dries to put them on.  If you are using paper letters , put them on as soon as you put on the top coat.  Then put another coat just on top of the letter. If you are stamping letters, put them on before you put the paper on the wood. Simple.  Easy.  Cute.