Friday, December 20, 2013


(photo lost - sorry. probably just a pile of tissues or something exciting.)
I have a head cold. I hate it. Cough and blow my nose all night. Also wake up every three hours to feed a baby. Good night!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


The bathroom is at least finished. Please excuse the extreme brightness of the walls. It looked a lot milder on the paint chip card.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sleeping baby

I would have turned on the lights but then I would have missed the shot. She loves her burp cloths. But I think I can see why doctors say babies should not sleep with anything that could smother them.


Look what I made! Three actually, for Christmas gifts. My visiting teacher helped. A lot. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tile in

The bathroom is coming among nicely but for such a small space it sure seems to take a long time. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Basement bathroom

Today they framed in the shower. It will be tiled Monday. We are very excited! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Basement bathroom

Did I mention the remodel going on? Right now it is a mud pit. Concrete should get poured today. Very exciting and messy. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bathroom remodel

Not that I wanted to remodel it yet, but due to a diy home repair attempt we had a bit if a flood down there, requiring us to at least rip out the old wet stuff. I spent Tuesday night ripping up soggy 30 year old carpet and hauling it outside. I think I vacuumed up over 10 gallons of water in addition to what wad soaked into the carpet and padding. It wasn't just the bathroom, but the adjoining bedroom as well. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

First snow

Before even looking out the window this morning I dressed Joyce in her snow flake outfit. I was surprised to discover it had snowed over night. It is still coming and she loves watching it. 

Monday, November 4, 2013


Joyce loves her keys. Too much sometimes. Last week she accidentally gagged herself with the yellow one. It was sad and a bit scary. In her panic she kept shoving it in instead of taking it out. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


I figured the blog needed something new. Here she is chewing lettuce at grandma's. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Elimination communication

(photo is lost - be grateful)
I apologize for this photo, but it is evidence of an accomplishment in my book. I have wanted to try e/c but have only made half hearted attempts. Today I managed to save on a diaper by catching her cues just in time. So easy. I want to get better at this. Not sure it will be possible once her brother shows up. Truthfully I can't imagine doing anything at all when he comes. Who wants to be my live in nanny?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Getting dressed

You probably can't tell from this photo, but dad dressed her for the day. On the other side of her shirt is a pretty, large, loud, floral decoration. Bret just assumed snaps went in front. It made me laugh enough to leave it that way the rest of the day. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chocolate cake for breakfast

It was one of those sleep in days when the weather is perfectly "fall" and I want something yummy for breakfast. So today I took my favorite Hershey's chocolate cake recipe and made it oil and dairy free and instead of sugar I used dates and agave syrup. So good and healthy enough to eat for breakfast with no guilt. Yum! Here's a recipe, but keep in mind I'm never very good about being exact when I cook so this is my best guess at what I did. It probably sounds complicated, but that's because I'm using a traditional recipe and tweaking it. I'm not sure if all the steps and ingredients are essential, but it worked for me and I would be willing to try it again!

My Healthy Version of Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
(see recipe on back of Hershey's Cocoa tubs for the original)

3/4 C and 2 TB flour (I use ground whole white wheat.)
1/2 C and 2 TB cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 dates
1 C water
1 TB ground flax seed
1/2 C non-dairy milk (or use water)
1/4 C applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C agave nectar or some other sweetener of choice
1/2 C boiling water

Put dates in 1 C water and nuke for two minutes until soft. Combine flour through salt (first five ingredients) together in mixing bowl. In separate bowl drain liquid off the dates and mix with the ground flax seed. Combine soft dates with milk, applesauce, vanilla, and agave in a food processor or using an immersion blender to make sure the dates are ground up. Add the flax seed - should be thickish after sitting a bit. Now add all the dries to this wet mixture and beat for about 2 min. Can just do it in the food processor. Finally, stir in the boiling water, making the batter thinner. Pour into a silicone round or 8x8 pan, or is using traditional 8x8 pan, make sure it is greased in some way. Bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sleepy baby

Yesterday I went to an engagement party for an old friend. She is marrying Keith coogan. Bret thinks few will recognize his name. He may be right. But google him and you will see I had a brush with fame. Anyway I had so much fun catching up with old friends that Joyce basically missed two naps in a row. Then afterward I tried to attend the general relief society broadcast, which caused her to miss another nap. After the broadcast began she began to cry. Really cry. No comforting her sort of cry. Half way through the first speaker I took her home and she continued to fuss off and on for another hour or more. So I guess i'm not surprised that upon getting home from church today, and changing her diaper, she fell fast asleep in the spot where I left her while going to throw away her diaper. Poor exhausted girl. I think I may have learned my lesson about naps. 

P.S. You can thank the party host for this post because she reminded me that people still check my blog and I have been terribly neglectful.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Baby mess

I should have taken a before picture but it may have been to gross for my viewers. This is my office chair cleaned up after I discovered yellow liquid poop had leaked out of Joyce's diaper. This morning she had just a small load and it was pretty firm. I sort of wondered if it was too firm. Well this sure made up for it. Poor girl. Poor me. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Love Love Love

Yes I love this salad. I are half of it for lunch today. Not sure how it will go with my over riding nausea today. I think this is the fourth time I have made it in the last month or two. I love it. 
2 cukes
1 red pepper
1 onion
Half a bunch of cilantro
Couple handfuls of chopped peanuts
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons (or less) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
This cucumber salad beats all! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


We just returned from a week at a dude ranch where there was zero connectivity to technology. It was good, but my documentation is a bit behind. I found this green wrap invaluable for meal times. Bret wore it once but was accused of looking busty. A lot of times we didn't need it because so many of the staff were anxious to take a turn holding her. She was definitely very popular.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy fourth

This is how we are celebrating. Napping up before a night a family bbq fun.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Celery popsicles

These are  soooooooo good! 
1c celery juice (blended and strained)
1c simple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1c basil (soak in hot simple syrup then strain)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mobile death

My favorite mobile passes away this morning as I tried to hang it in the kitchen. Tile and shells don't mix. I needed to downsize my collection anyway I guess. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Bret is trying his hand at building some furniture. First project ever - wish us luck! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Short again

Hooray! I have short hair again and it feels great! A couple weeks ago I visited my nephew and he told me he liked my hair short, not long, so this photo is for him. Hi Logan! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

First visitor

Our basement is finally coming together!  The walls are all done and now we have to finish moving all the storage. Lynn came to visit tonight and we were happy to have our couches set up and clean. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

RIP aspens

I finally cut down my remaining aspens. The trees are now pulled in various spots of my driveway and yard. I have a blister, sunburn, scratches, and bruises; and my house looks naked. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Shakes for breakfast

Bret making his all time favorite. Avocados were 6 for one dollar. He bought 30 this morning. Endless shakes for the future! I made myself a broccoli chocolate shake - my favorite. 

1 1/2 c "milk"
1 c frozen broccoli
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tbs cocoa powder
3 Tbs sweetener

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Doing my duty

Bret was thoughtful and suggested we take a rose. it gave up the ghost before we got there but I figure dad doesn't care. The neighbors had a ton more decorations, but at least he now hasa wilted rose. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Look! I have new windows! Beautiful, but the screens are on the inside because they are designed to open out - the while thing. Different, but it will work and they are pretty and silk keep the cold air out. 

Neighborhood block party

These are the "Heartland Dancers."


This is where we had lunch yesterday. Panda something. It is a Mongolian bbq place but I am convinced they never put anything away at night or stay with fresh ingredients in the morning. It was way divey. The sign says greens and groceries and is the awning over where you assemble your ingredients. It was so not nice that Bret opted not to tip. It want like we had a waitress anyway. The only woman working there was so caught up in her Asian  soap opera we were lucky she cooked our food at all. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring is here!

not to make my sister jealous or anything, but I paid 1.27 a pound for these. Love the price matching. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hidden treasures

Look what I found in my heating vent today. This is why they should probably cleaned more than every 30 years. The date is 1981. on the back is an explanation of the word "scapegoat."

Friday, May 10, 2013


Bret is enjoying one of his favorite treats: avocado shake. due to the high milk content we have not made them recently. Since we are visiting his parents' he is indulging. 

Natural history museum

Bret received a year membership for the both of us at the natural history museum. We loved our first visit. 

Birth parent dinner 2

This was the view from my table. 

Birth parent dinner

Last night was our annual birth parent dinner. It was my first one. Bret and I chose to donate quite a bit of money to make it a really nice evening. One of the board members is friends with Kenneth cope and got him to provide entertainment. This is his back side. I loved one of his songs -about how God loves broken things. I saw a couple old friends there and had a grand time. some day maybe I will bring my own birth mom. 


This is my old room. Once walked in wood paneling that I found warm and inviting. Now it will be a generic plain walled room. Yes I miss it already. Mostly because of the headache it has been to transform it. 

Window well

I am getting a new one. Not quite up to code but at least useable is the plan. It will cost about $500. I don't want to think about it. Hopefully all will be normal in a month. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Basement drywall

Here is the latest view of our basement. I took it from the north looking south this time. The pile in the middle is our couches stacked on top of each other. Word is it will be another 2 weeks since the windows and doors are being custom made. Today the tried digging out our old window well to put in a deeper one. The old one was formed with rebar so the $125 rental fee for a concrete cutter was a total waste and they spent the afternoon with a sledge hammer. Sadness all around. I should get a photo of the big hole. Maybe tomorrow. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Beauties

These caught me by surprise. I need to spend more time outside before they are gone.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Poor mom

Now she gets to clean house. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More basement progress

I didn't think it was possible but I now have my dryer next to my washer. Out is not totally set up yet - the guy wants to redo a lot of the plumbing still. Amazing I tell you. Amazing. Plus there are now no light bulbs hanging down to hit your head on. He put in recessed lights in places I didn't think it was possible. Next week the dry wall should be going in.

Mint ice cream

Well it is like ice cream. It is frozen banana blended with frozen spinach and a bit of cocoa powder. Oh and peppermint extract to give it the  minty flavor. All on top of whole wheat oat pancakes. I call it a delicious breakfast. 

Monday, April 22, 2013


That last post didn't turn out as cute as it was in person. Sorry. So here's something new. Wish I had a good photo to go with it. Instead, I pulled an old photoshopped photo of myself as a Pioneer Woman. It kind of goes with the quote. I think this may be my new mantra.
~Our God is a God who uses broken things: broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength." -Vance Havner~

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dog love

We are house/dog/child sitting this weekend at my sister's house. Her dog, like all dogs, can't get enough love. Here she is dozing next to Bret ready for a belly rub. Too cute. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kale powder

I used my fancy dehydrator and then crushed it in my cuisinart mini-prep. I hear it is ready to add to smoothies and muffins and soups and sauces without compromising flavor. We shall see. Now I want more kale! I hope the community garden grows more than it can distribute. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I can't resist sharing the haul I just brought home. By price matching I spent $25 on 54 pounds of food. I got 8 avocados, 6 mangoes, 10 grapefruit, 2 asparagus, 2 red  leaf lettuce, pineapple, mushrooms, broccoli, 2 cauliflower, 2 celery, cabbage, book Choy, and tons of apples. I wish I had added it up first to know how much I saved. My sister says I am the lucky one to have a Walmart so close but also so many ads for affordable produce oriented stores. I couldn't agree more. You should see hire many apples we go through in a week more that we don't eat meat. 

Friday, March 22, 2013


Look at us! We are making a mess! A friend in the ward is redoing the electrical in our basement. We have beautiful new lights throughout and switches in logical places. We also finally emptied out the rafters too! Old dusty wood scraps be gone! Any one out there want any? Can't wait for neighborhood cleanup! Next up is dry wall. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Salad love

I am totally in love with this salad these days! I am sad for Bret that he is not a fan but happy to have it all for myself. This is actually my second batch I love it so much. 

3 shredded carrots
1/2 head of shredded napa cabbage (I will have to try regular next time to see if it is just as good.)
1/2 c raisins
1 lemon's juice
2 Tbs sesame seeds
Touch of sesame oil if you dare.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pink flowers

I don't know the type of plant this is but I love how every February it blossoms. I was given one as a gift when my father died from the English department at work, but it quickly died. The next year my friend gave me this one for my birthday and I am proud to say it is thriving. I love it. I wish the pink showed better but such is the cell phone camera. 


Yes I have become one if THOSE pet owners. If I were a face booker people would block me. don't worry, I only have him a couple more days. I just had to share another sleep photo. He snores. Not as loudly as my husband used to, but in a cute way. I hear he is on the heavy side for a shih tzu. 

Chocolate pudding for breakfast

WOW! I am living this! 1/4 c Chia seeds, 3 tbl cocoa powder, banana (1 mashed and 1 as topping), 1 cup soy milk, 2 tbl maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/3 c oatmeal, and leave in fridge over night. Breakfast for two! Or one if you don't like to share. I think I will use more oats next time.