Monday, January 28, 2008

A touching and fitting tribute to our beloved prophet.

President Hinckley

President Hinckley

I was so sad to hear about President Hinckley. He was such an amazing man. I loved his wit and sense of humor and I loved how optimistic he was. I just wanted to share one of my favorite quotes from him.

"In all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
--Gordon B Hinckley

I believe that he certainly lived by these words. I will miss him, but can you imagine the welcome home that he must have received and how wonderful it must have been for him to be reunited with his sweet wife. I am so grateful for the gospel. I am thankful for eternal families and the hope that the gospel gives us. I am thankful that we have a loving Heavenly Father who has given us so much guidance and help on our path back to him.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Austin....aka mess maker

So, while I was blogging just now Austin has been a very busy boy! Check out his work.....

Austin has discovered how much fun it is to throw everything into the laundry hamper. Several days ago I was helping Erik and Cameron clean their room and I had the laundry hamper out so that we could throw all the dirty clothes into it. Well, Austin was actually being quite helpful and picking up clothes and throwing them into the hamper. I was impressed at what a good job he was doing. he throws anything and everything into the hamper. Look at what I just discovered (notice the "Sorry" cards from the game board mess). What am I going to do with this boy?!

Welcome to my world. Here is Austin crying at my legs!


I have been wanting to try to make these elastic, beaded bookmarks for some time now. A friend of mine bought me one of these for Christmas and I love it. So, I figured out how to make the bookmarks myself and I gave them to my Beehives today as a handout for our lesson. I think they turned out pretty cute! My girls were so excited and they couldn't believe that I made these for them.

This is what the bookmark looked like on the handout.

The Pinewood Derby

We had so much fun at Erik's Pinewood Derby! You could just feel the excitement of all the boys the minute that you walked into the church. They had the track set up and ready to go and all the cars were lined up ready to race. Erik lost the first round. He was a little disappointed, but he was a really good sport about it, but we're happy to announce that he won round 2! So he didn't go home with the first place recognition, but he did win the award for the "best hot rod!" Oh yeah! He was thrilled. By the way, doesn't he look so cute in his cub scout uniform? We had such a fun night!

This picture was taken right before Erik's big race!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The big weigh in....

So, today was the day to weigh and check in the pinewood derby car. E was so excited! Brett came home and finished adding the weights and then it was off to the church to weigh the car. Initially the car weighed just under 5 oz., so they were able to add another weight, and with that it weighed exactly 5 oz.! E was so excited about that! He is really proud of his car. This has really been a fun experience for everyone. Brett has really enjoyed working on this project with E and I have had fun just watching the whole process and sharing E's excitement. Even C helped out by finding just the right color for E's car. I still can't believe my boy is even old enough to be a boy scout. (when did that happen?) Brett asked C if he was excited to build a car when he turns 8 and he said "yeah! I'm going to make mine the Batmobile!"

Just a few things to share about the other boys. Today I was watching TV with A, and there was a commercial with a penguin on it and we're sitting there watching and the penguin walks out and A yells "Pengin!" I said "Did you just say penguin?" and he pointed at the TV again and yelled "Pengin!" Where in the world did he learn that? All of a sudden this boy is talking like crazy! It is so cute.

Then early this evening C came downstairs in one of his many dress-ups. This one happened to be his pirate costume. A saw him with his bandanna on his head and went nuts trying to take it from him. So I sent C to go get him one, then I tied a bandanna on A's head just like his big brother and he loved it. You know, he still seems so little to me, but he really watches his older brothers and wants to be just like them. It is amazing the influence they have on him. Anyway, here are some pics of my cute, I mean cool (I've been banned from using the word cute) pirates!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's official......

A is now in nursery! Today was his first official day in nursery. The past couple of weeks, he has wandered into nursery on his own and didn't want to leave and wouldn't you know it, today he cried when Brett went to leave. He did great though and shortly after Brett left him there, I went to check on him and he was doing just fine. He was sitting on the floor happily playing with toys. He looked so cute in there. Then at the end of church when I went to pick him up, the nursery leader told me that he did great and that he is a sweet boy. Yes, he is a sweet boy (most of the time.)

We had a nice day at church today. I am really enjoying studying the Book of Mormon this year. We decided that we wanted to read the Book of Mormon as a family this year, so we have set aside some time right after dinner to read the scriptures together as a family. I am happy to report that so far we have followed through with this really well. We have only missed a couple of times and the boys (especially C) remind us when we forget. I found this great reading schedule in the Friend this month. It breaks down the Book of Mormon month by month so that by the end of the year you will have read the entire book. Since the boys are still a little young, we are reading the younger children version and just adding in a few more chapters as we see fit. Anyway, it has been fun to read the scriptures together.

Last, today I actually made a yummy Sunday lunch (and no, it wasn't cereal). I made....wait for it...Chicken Cordon Bleu! Now anyone who knows me, knows that I have an aversion to touching raw meat, especially chicken, with my bare hands, so this was a big deal for me to actually have to touch the chicken to roll the ham and swiss cheese in it, but I did it and it came out awesome! Here is the recipe that I used:

Cordon Bleu Chicken Rolls
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 slices cooked ham
4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup cornflakes cereal crumbs
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place each chicken breast half between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet to about 1/8 inch thickness. Place a finger of cheese on each ham slice and sprinkle lightly with thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Roll up seasoned ham and cheese 'jellyroll-style', then roll each chicken breast with ham and cheese inside. Tuck in ends and fasten with toothpicks.
Place melted butter in a small bowl and place cereal crumbs in a shallow dish or bowl. Dip each chicken roll in butter or margarine, then roll in crumbs, turning to coat thoroughly. Place coated rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for about 40 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear. Serve with cordon bleu sauce, if desired.
To Make Cordon Bleu Sauce: In a small saucepan mix together the soup, sour cream and lemon juice. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, and serve hot over chicken rolls. Makes about 2 cups; 8 servings of 1/4 cup each.

I didn't make the gravy (as we aren't fans of gravy with this meal), and I made a few other changes. I let out the thyme and just seasoned with salt and pepper. Then instead of the cornflakes, I used dry breadcrumbs. Anyway, this was really yummy and I will be making this again. I also made these awesome Parmesan Knots which would be really yummy dipped in marina sauce with an Italian style meal

Parmesan Knots

1/2 C vegetable oil (I used melted butter instead)
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese (I just used parmesan in the can)
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes (I left this out as I didn't have any)
1 1/2 tsp Oregano (I used a little less oregano per our taste)
1 tsp garlic powder
dash pepper
3 cans (12oz each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used Grands original flaky)

In a small bowl, combine oil (or butter), cheese, parsley, oregano, garlic powder and pepper; set aside.
Cut each biscuit in half. Roll each portion into a 6" rope; tie in a loose knot. Place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 450 degrees for 5-8 minutes (I baked mine at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes) or until golden brown; immediately brush with the parmesan mixture.

Here is a pic of the end result

What did our picky boys eat you ask?
Dino chicken and apples. C did try the Cordon Bleu and he said "This is homemade?" I take it that he liked it, but he didn't want a portion of his own.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Check out my file box

Snow Day!

Today Brett took the day off of work and the boys took the day off from school and we headed up the mountain to play in the snow. There is this great snow park called Yuba Gap. They have some great hills to sled down and lot of room to tromp around in the snow. We got off to a rocky start this morning. As always, we thought we would be heading out the door much sooner than we did, but for some reason, it always seems to take so much time to pack up and head out and inevitably something ends up missing and we spend way too much time hunting for it and today that was C's gloves. We were unable to find them, so he scored a brand new pair (and so did his mom LOL). After all the rushing around we were finally on our way! Luckily, it didn't take us quite as long to get there as we thought that it would. It was such a beautiful day today, we couldn't have asked for nicer weather. The boys loved sledding! C told me that this was "a dream come true". He said that he always wanted to play in the snow. E loved sledding too, he got going pretty fast down the hill on his little saucer. A was so cute! He loved sledding with Brett and me, when we got to the bottom of the hill, he would say "fun" and "again". He also learned a new word today....his glove fell off and he touched the snow and said "cold". Anyway, we had a blast and we look forward to having another "snow day" soon.

Update: I found this quote that I thought went appropriately with our snow day:
"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together." --Verna M kelly

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pinewood Derby

So the Pinewood Derby is coming up in a couple of weeks. Brett and E worked really hard on his car and boy is E proud of it! The big weigh in is on Tues. night! He has proudly named this little beauty "Flame Strike". Here are some pics of the finished product!

So, I have been playing around with my blog today and there is much to be learned! How fun! In fact, I spent some time on here this morning when I was supposed to be exercising...oops! Oh well, maybe later.

Brett and I are taking the boys to play in the snow tomorrow, so I am frantically trying to pick up snow gear for the boys like pants, gloves, a sled etc. However it is proving difficult to find these things. I managed to get E some snow pants at Target! Yeah! Now I need to find a pair of snow boots for me and some kind of sled or saucer. It is so strange to live in an area where it doesn't snow. I grew up in Utah and you just always had snow gear. We miss the snow. People here think we are crazy! So many people live here in sunny CA because of the fact that it doesn't snow here. But, there really is nothing more beautiful than fresh, clean snow blanketing the ground and trees and icicles hanging from the roof. Yep, I miss it. Anyway, it should be a lot of fun tomorrow. The boys are really looking forward to it. In fact, this will be the first time that C who is now 5 has ever actually played in the snow! Can't wait.

Update: I managed to find some snow boots for myself! After I picked up the older boys from school (yes, I must be crazy), we all headed off in search of the boots and a sled. We went to not one, not two, but three sporting goods stores on our quest and wouldn't you know it, it was the last store that had what I was looking for. So the boots are by no means a fashion statement, but they'll do. The boys were laughing at me because they are so "tall"! HE! HE! Yes, they do go up my leg around my calf, but at least I'll be warm and dry. Also the boys picked out a tie dye funny! But the best part is that it is a toboggan type sled and they were so excited to be able to use it together!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm bloggin'!

My name is Melanie. I am married to Brett and I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom to 3 adorable, rambunctious, funny boys ages 8, 5 and 18 months. I am starting this blog as a way to file recipes, craft ideas, activities to do with your children and whatever else I think is interesting. My hobbies include scrapbooking and card making, reading, and doing crafts with my boys. I am always looking for fun things to make and do with them. Welcome to my blog!