Five Things I am Thankful for

I am thankful for many things. But here are five in particular.

  1. My children. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the influence of these kids. I adore them, and I think being a mother is really the greatest calling ever. I wouldn’t dream of living my life any differently.
  2. My husband. I think every day how lucky I am to be married to Kevin. He is perfect for me. I am so grateful that we met, and made the decision to be married. And even better- sealed for time and eternity. What more could I ask for?
  3. My church. Because I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have the knowledge that I am a child of God. I know that there is life after death, and that since I am sealed to my family, we will all be together for eternity. I know that the way I choose to live my life is the way that will get me back to my Father in Heaven. I know that I am blessed to have the knowledge that I have. I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ is my Saviour. I know that I am a member of the true restored church. And I am so grateful for that.
  4. My Home. Although I sometimes wish out loud that I had a bigger one, I am so grateful for our home. I am grateful that we have a place to come at the end of the day where we feel comfortable. I am thankful that we have heat and beds and food. The basic things that can be so easy to overlook as blessings. 
  5. My Health. I am very thankful that I am very healthy (aside from the occasional colds). I can run if I want to. I can jump and dance around with the kids. I don’t have to take medications to keep me healthy. 
What are you thankful for?
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Pecan Pie- High Altitude Version

1 cup dark corn syrup
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecans
Mix all ingredients, except pecans. You’ll notice that I put the eggs in without beating them first. My gut was telling me to whisk them before adding them to the rest of the ingredients, but I didn’t listen. I wanted to try it the exact way the video showed. This was a bad idea…you’ll see why later.

You can dump all the pecans in the mixture, but I like to make it look pretty:

If you make a design first with the pecans, pour the filling in very slowly or it won’t stay that way.

Nifty crust protector my mom gave me last year. Helps the crust cook without burning. You can make one out of aluminum foil as well. Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes. You’ll know it’s done if you tap it and the top springs back.

See those yellow spots? It’s egg. Make sure you whisk the eggs separately first! Should have listened to my gut…

Pie Crust Recipe

makes one 9-inch crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
3 Tbsp cold shortening
3-4 Tbsp very cold water

Combine dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, cut butter and shortening into flour mixture until they are no bigger than a pea. Sprinkle water over the mixture, and toss together with a fork until it comes together.

Shape into a ball, and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Roll out into about a 12-14″ wide circle. I have this nifty pastry mat from Wilton that shows how far I need to roll it out.

Drape the crust over your rolling pin to transfer into the pie plate. (Tip: spray the pie plate first with a nonstick spray) Trim excess, leaving enough to fold the edge under. I usually have to patch some spots with excess from another part of the crust

To crimp the edges, push the dough with your thumb or index finger on one hand while making a little “v” with your thumb and index finger of the opposite hand. (I took this picture with my chin, aren’t I talented? hahaha)

Random Pictures

I thought it was funny the way he fell asleep on the couch- I think he was trying hard to stay awake and not lay down. And, he is in his underwear. We aren’t home for 10 seconds before he strips. He even tries to do it when we visit grandparents!

This is a new fad. It’s called pig hair. All the rage with the little boys. : )

Fresh Flour Tortillas

Whisk together:
3 cups flour*
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Add:
1/3 cup oil (canola)
1 1/3 hot water

Blend, knead a little. Let the dough sit under a bowl for 20 minutes.

Make golf size balls, flatten with your hand then roll out. Cook on a hot griddle for a minute or so on each side.

Whatever you do, don’t forget about them until you smell the flour burning…

*You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour, and then you’ll want to decrease the water to about a cup.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

Around here, anyway. I’ve never decorated for Christmas this early before. It’s always been the weekend after Thanksgiving. But this year, I just couldn’t wait.

We were so lucky to find a huge Christmas tree in great shape on Craigslist- for free! So I just had to set it up. I love it!

Willow Tree Nativity- a Christmas gift from my mom last year. My favorite!

 Cute little nativity, also a gift from my mother to the kids. They love playing with it, and it keeps them away from mine.

And this is how it is played with. Yes, that is baby Jesus “sliding down the mountain”. I’ve also witnessed a fight break out between one of the wise men and a camel.

"Just" a Mom (aka Perils of Network Marketing)

(This is a repost from earlier this year)

Is it enough to just be a homemaker and a stay at home mom?

I have always wanted to be a mom. Never have I wanted to have a career in anything other than motherhood. But when I was pregnant with my first son, I got involved in a network marketing company. Going to all the meetings and listening to the training cds, I soon had a different mindset. It was all about the money. I was with this company for about 2 years. I planned parties, and prospected total strangers, I went to meetings several times a month. The main focus was always “get to the next level”, and “when are you getting the car?”. I became so focused on making sales and getting customers that I was slowly losing touch with my identity as a mother and wife.

I took the kids with me to meetings during the day, and left them at night with my husband so I could go to parties or other meetings. My husband and I couldn’t have as many date nights, because I was busy. I started seeing less and less of my husband, and spending less quality time with my kids. I was spending more money on products than I was bringing in in sales. I heard things from prominent leaders in the company, like “you can’t sell from an empty wagon” and “put it on a credit card- you can pay it off when you get to a higher level”.

And all for what? So I could “make it” and become rich? Where were my priorities?

For some reason, I felt like being a stay at home mom and homemaker wasn’t enough. In fact, in my presentations for parties, I would say something along the lines of “I’m so glad to have something to do so I can contribute to the family.” What an awful mindset- that I’m not contributing enough by doing what I do every day as a homemaker.

I started getting pretty stressed. Every person I met was another potential customer. While introducing myself, I’d be thinking of a way to let them know what I did for a living. I called family and friends to try to get them to buy something or host parties for me. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without feeling like I had to do something for my business that day, or it was a waste.

I remember one day when my visiting teachers came over, they asked if there was anything they could do for me, and I just asked them to try my product! (I’m just shaking my head at myself now)

Thankfully, I got a little too stressed and decided to take a step back. Then I started thinking about what I was doing. I wasn’t taking care of the house, because I was too busy going to meetings or prospecting during the day. I didn’t make a good dinner every night, because I was too busy going to parties or meetings. It had become more important to me to get the car and get to the top level in the company than to do what is most important right now- raise my family.

I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with making a little money at home. But when making money consumes all your thoughts, time and energy, then there needs to be a change.

So what do I do now? I wake up, do my chores and play with the kids. I bake. I make dinner from scratch. I “play” preschool with my little 3 year old. And I love it. I love how things have slowed down. I love being “just” a mom.

Book Wreath

I found the tutorial online HERE.
Cost:
10″ foam wreath- $1
Hardcover novel- $1
Hot glue- already had it
Time- About 1 hour
= $2, that’s my kind of project