My Little Swinger

Kai took his first ride on a park swing today.

Have you ever tried to take pictures of someone on a swing? It was a learning experience for me.

Out of 135 pictures I got a lot that would have been darling had the focus not been on the background instead of the cute baby.


Many that were snapped a couple of seconds too early or too late.



But is all worth it to capture those shots that melt a mom’s heart.




Why I Have A Hard Time Finishing A Project

me thinking to myself:

“Hmmmm…I need to make room for all these bottles of salsa and jam, I better go clear out the toy closet under the stairs and put them there.?

(while looking at stack of bins of toys in closet under the stairs)

“Uh oh, I am going to have to go make room in the garage for some of these toys if I am going to store my bottles here.”

(staring at bins stacked in garage)

“Oh ya, I better pull out the box of “to grow into” kid’s clothes while I am moving stuff around.”

(as I look at shelves of food storage in garage)

“I need to restock the shelves in the kitchen with a few of those things.”

(in kitchen)

“I better sort out my container cupboard to make room for the new glass storage bowls.”

“Oh ya! I need to move the laundry along!”

(in computer room where the washer and dryer hide in a closet)

“If I moved some of those games that the kids don’t play much to bins out in the garage I could store a few food storage items on the top shelf of that closet.”

(while sweeping in garage)

“What did I come out here for?”

How Many Times Do They ALL Win Something?


Anna riding the prize

A couple of weekends ago we decided to stop by Crossroads Mall food court for dinner. After we ate we wandered up to the little carousel so the kids could have a couple of rides before we headed home.

The store right in front of the carousel is a unique children’s store that we have always liked to browse through, but have had many discussions about how the service was very poor and the salespeople always seemed like they didn’t want to be there.

We were very happy to see that that owner’s had changed, it had undergone remodeling and it was now called Common Folk, Co. (They also have a home store, which is shown on their website)

They had a grand opening sign and balloons and free cupcakes and little gift bags for kids so we decided to go browse through the store.


We found these cute little shoes for Kai that are made by a company called See Kai Run. The owner’s helped us find the right size and we chatted with them for a bit while the kids played in the toy section.

As we were about to leave a bell sounded and someone yelled for everyone to get on a paper number on the floor. They called out several numbers and Anna ended up winning a Corolle Poupette doll and the owner slipped Lincoln a Speed Racer when he saw the disappointed look on his face that he hadn’t won anything.

As we were waving and leaving the store the owner called out, “be sure to sign up for our drawing in the hall!”

I walked by a roped off area and saw they were giving away a Red Flyer tricycle and a John Deere tractor and trailer with pedals. I quickly filled out a card for each of the kids and we headed home.

A couple of days later we got a phone call that Luca had won the tractor. The kids were jumping up and down with excitement! We had already explained that if we happened to win something it would be shared by all of them, but I was happy to tell Luca it was her name they had drawn because she had not won anything the night we were at the store.

We went back up that night and picked up the tractor and the kids have been riding around the culdesac ever since.

The $30 I was feeling guilty about spending on a pair of baby shoes definitely paid off for us that time!

Everyone was very friendly and helpful and we love the unique lesser known products that they carry. Even if our kids had not won any of the prizes that they did we would still go back!

Homemade Salsa

Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I love Mexican food and especially chips and salsa.


Here is my friend Michele’s recipe that I used to make my first batch of salsa:

6–1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 12 cups) — peel and cook until mushy

6 jalapeno peppers

12 long yellow peppers

3 to 4 peppers — assorted colors — chopped

2 large onions — chopped

1–1/2 cups white vinegar

2 Tablespoons salt

3 teaspoons minced garlic (or much more, like I did, for a stronger taste)

Cook all ingredients 1–1/2 hours uncovered on simmer. Process in warm, clean jars in water bath, 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts. For less hot sauce remove seeds from jalepenos. (I removed about about 2/3 of the seeds for a slightly hotter than medium salsa.)

I quadrupled the recipe and it filled 27 pints and 6 half pints.


simmering salsa

Technorati Tags: Salsa,Home Canning,Recipes

Slowly Increasing My Domesticity


I have had a busy but fun week learning how to bottle. We now have blueberry jam, salsa, and tomatoes. I am hoping to get a few jars of pickles, peaches and pears in before our trip to California next month.

When I was growing up my friend Jana’s mom bottled the best pickles every year. Jana would ask me what I wanted for my birthday and I would say, “a bottle of pickles!”

It is about time I learned how to make my own.

It Smells Happy

I took the kids to the elementary to see if Luca needed to register for the new school year. I remember registering every year as a kid and it seems strange to just show up on the first day of school, but that is all returning students have to do here.


Luca had a cute little smile on her face as we walked into the school office and she waved at the two women working there.

“Hi Luca!” they said as we walked into the office. I could tell she was thrilled they remembered her name.

After finding out we didn’t have to fill out any paperwork we headed back to the car. Luca grabbed my hand and looked up at me and said, “I love the way it smells in there.”

She smiled all the way to the car.

I am glad that the smell of office supplies makes my girl happy.

I am glad that learning makes her happy.

I am glad that she is counting down the days until school starts.

But it doesn’t make me miss her any less when she finally goes back.

Her Plans Are Foiled Again


On our way to church this morning:

Anna: I don’t want to go to church. Let’s just pretend we are sick.

Me: That would be lying.

Anna: They will never know.

Me: But Heavenly Father would know.

Anna: No he won’t. He can’t see us.

Me: Yes he can. Heavenly Father can always see us.

Anna: What if we wear our church clothes and say we are going to church, but go to Chuckee Cheese instead?

Me: Yep, he would still know.

Anna: Dangit.