Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Allergy

I think my son has developed a pumpkin allergy. He got itchy, watery eyes when I burned a pumpkin spice candle and said he was itchy all over. He carved a pumpkin at school and his hands got itchy. We made pumpkin cupcakes last night. I let him taste the batter and his throat got itchey. The odors made his eyes itchy just like the candle. I'm so sad. His favorite part of the holidays is the pumpkin pies. He also loves pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I feel really sad for him. He was crying last night because he is sad he won't be ableto have any pumpkin pie. That is the only reason he eats Thanksgiving dinner-I won't let him have any pie until he eats something good. Poor kid.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Party

I promised my children to that I would throw them a Halloween Party. Problem was, up until last night I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I made pumpkin cupcakes last night. Today I made spiced apple juice and chocolate chip cookies.
We made pizzas first and played games while they were cooking. The first game we played was Witch's Brew. We cut out things that might go in a witch's cauldron; 10 red ants, 1 green toad, 10 shark's teeth, etc. We had 5 children come so there were 5 of each item. 1 was given to the person the rest were taped to his back. The idea is to get one of each item from the other player's back while protecting your own. The first person to collect them all and put them in the cauldron was the winner.
We also played Halloween bingo I had bought when my daughter was in kindergarten and I was room mom.
The last game we played was lots of fun but I'm not sure what it's called. We put 20 random items in a bag. Each child closed their eyes and picked one item out of the bag. Then we started the story. "One night I went to our deep, dark cellar . . . " The children had to continue the story using whatever they had picked from the bag. They picked 3-4 times before they ended the story.
I had goodie bags but didn't get the chance to fill them before the party so I made that a party game too. The children really seemed to enjoy that. It was kinda like trick-or-treating.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Activities

This last weekend was so fun. Friday night we went to the Enchanted Woods in Ogden, Utah. It is $6.00 per child but the adults get in free. We helped Little Bo Peep find her sheep. We heard stories from Pecos Bill, Puss in Boots, Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, the Frog Princess (the princess who dropped her golden ball down and well which was retreived by a frog who was actually a prince), Charlotte from Charlotte's Web, the One Little Pig (semi-original story) Jack from Jack and the Magic Beanstalk and others. At each stop, the childen got little treats, a mask, a flute, a sucker, etc. I think my son is too old for this now. I don't think he had much fun. I don't think you are allowed after you're 11 anyway and he will be 11 in December.

We also went to the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden. They have people stationed around the park for the children to trick or treat at. This year, they even had pie samples. It was okay but we will probably go earlier next year. We got there later than normal this year and they were running out of treats for the night. We paid for 2 adults and one child and it was $25.00. They did accept coupons we had for buy one adult ticket and get one child's free.

On Saturday, we went to Boo at the Zoo. Its fun to trick or treat there. I'm not sure the price to visit the zoo but they don't raise the price to go to Boo at the Zoo like they do at Eccles Dinosaur Park and This is the Place. The children were also excited to see the baby giraffe, tiger cubs and the new baby elephant, first one in this zoo for 90 years. The babies were so cute!

After the zoo, we went to This is the Place. (Its a Utah thing.) We rode a train, went trick or treating a bit, did a couple crafts and rode on a pony!

Getting Organized for Christmas

Getting organized for Christmas is quite a task. Every year I get things done that I want to but there are other things that I think would be really nice to do but never get around to doing. I have thought about paying someone to help me be organized but I really can't bring myself to spend the money. So I go here. I like the calendars, the gift lists, the children's want lists. They have lists for making gifts, what your making, who its going to and a date to have it done by. And its free.
If you are interested in Santa sending your child a free letter, I'll post that link later, so stay tuned.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why I Like Canning

I love saving the fresh fruit and vegetables that we have grown.
I like knowing that there is food in our storage.
I like serving food I grew so there are no pesticides or herbicides.
I like knowing what is in the food I am serving to my family.
I like not serving preservatives and other chemicals I can't pronounce.

It gives me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
I love being creative and trying new recipes.
I enjoy the process.

I know I'm following the prophet by being as self sufficient as I can.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Temple Tour

The Oquirrh Shadows temple was dedicated last month. My family had the opportunity to go through before it was dedicated. It sits atop a small hill just inside the Daybreak subdivision. As this will be the temple our stake will be going to when they go on ward temple nights, we were given opportunities to serve during the tours. It was a wonderful experience.

Canning Jalapenos

We thought we were buying bell peppers and somehow grew jalapenos. I don't like to waste food but I also know there is no way my family would eat so many. I thought I might put them in some salsa later in the winter when its cold anyway so it would warm up my home. I took my recipe from here. While it seemed to be a good idea, I will NEVER do it again. While cutting and cooking, the gas and fumes irritated my throat so much I almost lost my lunch. Every member of my family was coughing before the we were able to get them all into bottles. I am willing to try almost any canning idea at least once but I won't repeat this one, though I am glad I tried it once. On the bright side, however, look how nice they look. I did get 19 half-pints of jalapenos. I must say how grateful I am to have used the rubber gloves. My husband said he could do them without rubber gloves. He used his bare hands and did half of the peppers or maybe even just over half. He was hurting the rest of the night! Poor guy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Make Your Home Sing Monday

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? W

ell, I think Nan's post was directed to me. I am the night owl. I do tend to stay up to late. But the children are going back to school after a three week break (year round) so I need to start getting to bed at a decent hour and actually go to sleep. I know when I do, the day goes better. I get more done and have a clear head of what needs to be done. So thats what I will do to make my home sing, get to bed at a decent hour. What are you going to do?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Monday: Cereal
Lunch: Chili with Crackers
Dinner: Roast Beef, Baked Potatoes, Fresh Vegetable
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Soup with crackers
Dinner: Grilled Chicken , Baked Potato, Steamed Vegetables
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Dinner: Pork Chops, Fresh Steamed Vegetables
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Sandwich with Chips
Dinner:Spaghetti,Fresh Salad Steamed Vegetable
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches with Chips
Dinner: Date night for me and pizza night for the children
For more great menu ideas click here.

Very Basic Canning Basics

Some things about canning are to have fresh fruit of good quality. Your foods quality will not be improved in the canning process so you must have good produce to start with.
Make sure all your equipment is clean and ready to use before you get your fruit, vegetables, etc ready. That way you are insured the jars and other equipment is ready.
Only use canning jars made for canning. Don’t use old mayonnaise jars or other jars not designed for canning. The lids don’t always fit exactly right which means they may not seal properly which can potentially put your family at risk.
Use the correct canning method. If you put all the work and creativity into preparing your foods, you want to make sure they will be preserved for when you need them.
Know the correct amount of time to can for your area. Most canning books give you the time to process your foods at sea level with a conversion chart for other elevations. I live in Utah so I need to process things a little longer because we are so much higher than sea level.
Can what you will use. You won’t want to spend so much time prepping things and processing just to find out no one will eat it. I canned a few things that my family will not touch. That being said its fun to experiment.
Most of all, have fun. I usually make applesauce, apricots, tomatoes and peaches. I missed the peaches this year which make me sad. This year was still fun though. I canned pink pears, apple butter, and spaghetti sauce for the first time ever.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We have been making applesauce. I thought I would post how we do it. Its actually much simpler than my mother used to do it which is how most people make applesauce. I have a steam juicer. Rather than add water to my applesauce, I use the steam juicer. When the juice starts to flow, I know they are soft enough. After they have stoftened, I put them through the food strainer-that gets rid of the peelings and any seeds I may hacve missed. Then we put them in pints because my children don't eat applesauce-we substitute it for oil in our recipes. (In case you were wondering, no one has noticed.) Luckily my parents and we have apple trees so our apples were free. I love free!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homemade Applebutter

I have always wanted to make homemade applebutter. My mother said it was hard so I have never even attempted it. I read a blog called Cents to get Debt Free. She posted a recipe for Crockpot Applebutter. I admit that I have actually burned things in the crockpot but I am willing to try again. I will only do half pints becuase I'm running out of pints and quarts and I'm not sure if my family will eat it. If not, I'll give away some and keep the rest for me. If you would like to try the crockpot applebutter, you can get the recipe by clicking here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Refi Update

We are getting an appraisal done on our house. In anticipation of this, we have been getting rid of items that we don't need/want/love. I am an admitted pack rat. I wish I could say I don't hold on to anything but I can't. I always think I'll need it right after I have given something away. Sometimes I am right but most of the time and am not and I ususally find I didn't really need it after all. I am happy to be getting rid of as much as we are. This picture is half of what we ended up getting rid of. It took my husband two trips to the donation center with a full van to get rid of what we did. I do admit that there is more "stuff" around that I can get rid of, I just need to be ruthless and do it. It is so freeing (is that a word?) to have that "stuff" out of our lives.