Friday, February 27, 2009

A Fun Day Outside

One thing we've learned is to take advantage of the sunshine while it is out. Today was one of those days. I ignored the housework and took the kids out to enjoy time in the backyard. The kids and I had a lot of fun and I was out there with the camera taking lots and lots of pictures.
These pictures are in a backwards order, so the ones at the bottom of the page came first but oh well...they are close enough.

I loved this picture. Ethan and I came in early since we were getting cold, but Kiera stayed outside and collected rocks to put in her truck. Ethan went up to the back door and watched while Kiera came up and played with him through the glass.


Kiera loves being outside and she knows exactly what toys to take with her. She has had this rainbow ball since we were students at BYU-Idaho and she was just learning to sit up. It has been the best .98 cents I have spent!

Ethan has been paying closer and closer attention to his surroundings and is constantly exploring. Today while we were outside, he watched the pigeons flying around our subdivision. He was so excited. I was so happy when I caught a shot of him looking up and pointing at them flying overhead.

Ethan is so close to walking! I am just waiting for the moment when he takes off. He loved pushing the Flintstones car around on the back patio.

Boys will be boys. And it didn't take long at all before he put the rocks in his mouth either.

Oh he is sooo cute!

It is almost time to get a new swing. Kiera is too long for this one. Once she is in it though, she is there to stay for push, after push, after push.

Kiera took on the job of pushing Ethan in the swing. It was fun to watch them. Ethan would laugh and giggle every time Kiera touched the swing for another push.

I am so thankful for the good weather when it is here. The sunshine makes me happy.

Slicing Onions

Have you ever been cutting onions and suddenly your eyes begin to burn and you start to tear up? Of course anyone who cooks has experienced this. Well no more worries...If you feel the tears coming on, set down your knife walk over to your freezer. Open the door and stick your head in with your eyes open. Close the door a little bit behind your head for the best results. The cold from inside instantly freezes the onion out of your eyes. Instant Relief!

Morning Adventures

These days if you want a place to sit at my house, all you have to do is find a cushion. And I mean that literally. My couch cushions are constantly missing in action. Well... the culprit has been located. "This is what happened" -Adrian Monk. Kiera has been carrying off her victims to be used as pyramids or battering rams. She finds her strength to lift and drag the cushions from one side of the room to the other and sometimes even to another room entirely. She then stacks them on top of each other and climbs to the top like a little mountain goat. Giggles and squeals can be heard from all over the house as pillows fly and Kiera and her accomplice roll around and celebrate their crimes success.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

weekday playtime

It has been awhile since I made another posting. I have been pretty busy lately. I have taken up another babysitting job. I am now watching one of Dan's co-worker's kids on Wednesdays and Thursdays for 5-6 hours. And also on Thursdays I babysit for another mom for 2 and a half hours. It is pretty crazy but the extra money will be nice. I love to go shopping and I always feel bad for spending Dan's hard earned money on just "stuff" but this way I can spend for fun and not feel bad about it.

I was watching the kids on Wednesday while they played in the front room and decided I needed to take a couple pictures. The one of Ethan didn't quite turn out since he kept blinking with the flash but I love the one of Kiera in our PlayHut tent.

I think having the other kids come over will be good for them so they can learn better social skills and learn how to share. Right now I am just trying to get used to the idea of having 3 toddlers and 1 infant to watch at the same time. It is tricky.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Useful Information

I got this information in an e-mail so it isn't from me but I thought it was great

Did you know that if you:

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef..It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350
for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy.. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper.. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you
bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar
and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the
cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't
digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he
took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a
mesh material ... I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ...
the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us
that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.
You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your
clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel
waxy when you take them out of the box .... well this stuff builds up on your clothes
and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your
house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long
time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with
hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.
He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?!
Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that.
So, I thought I'd share!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring is on its way!

Heavenly Father is amazing! This morning I wasn't sure what to expect with the weather. It was gray, cloudy, and dark. But now that the day has gone on it has turned into a gorgeous, sunny, warm day! The sunshine makes me so happy. I went out to be a part of it and discovered many of the plants coming out of hibernation. This makes me even more happy because it means that Spring is on its way! I took some pictures of the flowers and plants around the yard. Hope this brightens your day as well.

More Brittany Creations

Today I found some time to be creative and decided to make some greeting cards to have on hand when something comes up and I need one. I was able to make 8 today! They turned out pretty cute. So if any of you get one of them just know that you aren't less important just because they were premade.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Ethan

Ethan's 1st Birthday was on the 15th of this month. I can not believe Ethan is already a year old. I think that was the fastest year I have ever experienced. Even Kiera's first year didn't seem like it went that fast. Maybe that had to deal with the fact that I was still in school. But either way it is hard to believe. We threw a party for him on Monday night it made for a very fun FHE. We invited a few friends over too. Dan thought it was silly to have a party for a one year old but I didn't agree at all. Every member of my family deserves a celebration and turning one is no small feat to me. I went all out and decorated a cake with one of Donald Ducks nephews on it. (I don't know if it was Hewie, Dewy, or Louis)

I bought yellow and blue streamers to go with the Duck theme and Dan was the one who put them up. He did a really good job! The guests walked in and complimented on the streamers, and I told them "thanks, Dan did it." They were impressed and so was I.

We had a total of 19 people in the house.It was fun and it made me feel more at home. I grew up having big parties with lots of people. It is just something Dan is going to have to get used to. Here is are a couple pictures of the people who came to celebrate with us.

What's a party without games? I bought some balloons thinking I would just use them for decoration but at the last minute decided it was time to play a game. I had the men go first. When I told them they were going to be having a race to see who could push their balloon across the room with their noses; some of them complained and said "this wasn't in my invitation!" "You're just teasing right?" When are they going to learn that when you go to a party for a 1 year old you're going to have to play like one too? Here is a picture of the men acting like their childlike selves. It was fun. Us ladies took a turn too and Dan took video of us so I will have to post that later.
Ethan did better than I thought he would at opening presents. For the most part he participated in every gift at least a little bit. Thanks to everyone for their gifts. Ethan enjoys them all and is already sharing them with Kiera. (Not that he had any say in it. She's already claimed most of them already).

I went all out and decorated a cake with one of Donald Ducks nephews on it. (I don't know if it was Hewie, Dewy, or Louis). I did a four layer cake and also make cupcakes to go with. We had plain old vanilla ice cream on the side. (I love plain old vanilla). And you can't have cake without ice cream.

Happy Birthday Ethan! We love you!

CLICK HERE for Singing Happy Birthday Video

Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby Loves

I can't say enough of how grateful I am to be a mother. I love my children so much and love watching them grow. Kiera and Ethan are becoming the best of friends and are so sweet to watch. The other night while Dan was gone for mutual, the kids and I were playing with the tunnels and tent. We had so much fun giggling and chasing each other around. Later Kiera and Ethan were playing together and I got some pictures of Kiera kissing Ethan on the cheek. Ethan thought it was funny and would laugh every time Kiera put her face closer to his. It soon turned into a game and she kissed him over and over again. It made for some perfect picture taking! I also had Kiera pose like she was saying her prayers so that I maybe could use it for another picture to draw. Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do! Being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I do make mistakes at times but I hope that my children one day can look back and say that I did an ok job.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Brittany Portraits

For Christmas Dan got a tripod for the camera. Today I decided to try it out a little bit and take some pictures of myself while the kids were down for naps. They didn't turn out too bad. A little more playing around with the camera settings won't hurt to get the lighting right but for now these will have to do. I really like how the second one turned out though. I sent it Dan's e-mail so he could use it as a desktop background if he wanted. hehe.