Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Overnight date, Friend Game Night, Scott's Bday

A couple of weeks ago we watched the Ludwig children overnight (good friends of ours) while their mom and dad went to a Broncos game in Colorado. They were kind enough to repay the favor and they watched our kids this past Friday night to Saturday late afternoon, so that Scott and I could have an overnight date over Scott's birthday weekend.
We went to a rock climbing place in Sandy called Momentum. It's a bit pricey, but so fun! We've only ever been rock climbing at a rec center in Colorado, so it was fun to go in Utah, and use their huge climbing walls! We also tried bouldering, which I would never do outdoors because you don't use a harness, but it was fun to try indoors where there are shorter walls and mats underneath to catch us if/when we fall.
We were there for a couple of hours, but we could've stayed a lot longer, had we not other plans for the night. After climbing we had dinner at Archibalds which has the best fried green tomatoes with a creamy salsa dip, and some awesome desserts; my favorite is the bread pudding with white chocolate sauce. After dinner we saw the new Star Wars movie (can't remember the last time we went to a theater...we prefer watching at home in the comfort of our pjs, blankets and pillows :)). We decided to sleep at our house since the house was empty(and it's nice to save money), and the next morning we went for a jog, went to the temple, had lunch at Kneaders and then went to Sprouts for some groceries and picked up the kids. We loved our time together, visiting over dinner, and in the car, talking about goals and future plans and other things.
Here are a couple of pictures Elisa Ludwig took of our kiddos at their house. All the girls slept in one room, and the boys in another. 
We think we're going to have to make this a yearly tradition because the kids loved it and so did we :). 
Saturday night we had our monthly game night, over at our house this time. The Hansen's and the Wilcox's came over and the kids immediately ran downstairs and played while the parents snacked and visited, we played games at the table, then when all the kids came upstairs to eat and play spoons, the parents switched and we went down and played some more games.
Sunday Scott turned 35! He requested bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast and stuffed pasta shells for dinner (stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach and sausage) with brownies and cookies for dessert. He opened his gifts at breakfast and Elisabeth got him a plant for his office, Jane, Annabelle and Charles got him food items (chocolate milk, sun chips and a candy bar) and I got him a BYU tshirt, a new CTR tie, consecrated oil and keychain holder, protein bars and a few homemade essential oil gifts including two roller-balls one of which was a cologne, the other a muscle rub, and shaving cream.
That night/morning it had snowed quite a bit and we didn't have time to shovel much before 9am church, and we were surprised and touched to see a couple of our friends and neighbors with their snow plow 4-wheelers, removing snow from our driveway and in front of our mailbox and driveway.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Recycled Sword, Sickness, Bball Cheerleaders

In cub scouts, Charles group made swords from newspapers, which then meant that several of our girls each wanted to make their own. Easy and cheap fun :).
Someone got a hold of my camera (fairly common occurrence) and snapped a couple of pictures of us hanging out in the kitchen after school...which is our typical hangout place because kids can work on homework on the table, while I clean and finish up dinner preparations while helping children with homework.

All of our kids have gotten sick over the past month. They all had colds (congested cough, that sort of thing), that lasted for a week to a month, and each one had a fever for about a day, or a half day. Scott and I, surprisingly, didn't get it! Yay! It's hard to take care of others when you're sick, so it's nice when it passes us by.
Here's Jane with a favorite late afternoon snack: plain yogurt, granola and blueberry parfait (sweetened with a little honey).
Scott is playing basketball at the church this winter and most of his games are pretty late so we don't usually go, but this past week he had an 8pm game on Thursday, and the kids were off of school Friday, so we all were able to go. It was fun watching our girls be little cheerleaders on the sidelines :).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Birthday to my love!

Happy 35th Birthday to my best friend and eternal companion! I love you more than words can describe. I wrote THIS post last year about how Scott is the man of my's still true today :). Happy Birthday Dear!

*Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Scott from this past year:

Handsome dad, at a family 4th of July BBQ in WA

Silly daddy, on our date with Annabelle

Handy dad, building a much needed hallway that always should have been there

Hard working, selfless, manly dad :), cutting wood for his parents wood burning stove in NC

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Closet and pinewood derby car

Scott took these pictures on his phone this week and I asked him for them since I only had food pictures on my camera this week :). Scott has been working hard in the basement since we moved back in May and it is so close to coming all together! We just have a couple of small things to finish up and then it's done! This is the closet that he put into the bedroom downstairs, since we had a little bit of a weird space after he made threw up a wall down there making a hallway. It looks great and we just need to paint it and make a door to put on it now. 
 Saturday Charles and dad made his pinewood derby car. Now they just need to paint it. I am grateful for dads and husbands because some of the things that he's happy to do as projects on his own (house projects, fixing things, electrical etc) and with Charles, I am most certainly not happy to do and I don't even know that I could do it well, so I'm glad he can help and take over where I really would rather not, and hopefully I do the same for him in other areas. Go team! :)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Trying new recipes

Saturday and Sunday each week, is when I go through my pictures and write posts for the following week, and this week, pretty much the only pictures I had taken from the week were of food! That was a first! Probably because of all the recipe experimenting I was doing this week after having checked out, "The Beauty Detox Solution" by Kimberly Snyder, and a couple of her other books. I did find this picture on my phone that Nora must have snapped as I was exercising one morning: lifting my 15 lb weights to my Cathe video I rented from the library.
 This is a kale salad I've made multiple times this week for lunch. I used the sprouts that I sprouted last week and this is the salad that I just toss on the ingredients for a dressing, and it doesn't use oil which I love.
 These are called Blonde Truffles and they are a chilled dessert made from ground almond and coconut, coconut oil, pure maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla. I think the whole family liked these.
 'Meatballs' made from lentils, spices and veggies. Scott and I really liked these, but the kids didn't love them, though they preferred them when I cut them up into smaller pieces, more like a meaty sauce. I don't know that I've actually ever made them real meatballs before so it could just be that that seemed weird to them.
 Home made sauerkraut. This took about 7 days as it was bubbling and fermenting. It tastes so much better than normal sauerkraut and it was crispy and yummy and not soggy.
 I ate this several times this week on toast with avocado, tomato, sprouts and a little salt and cayenne pepper. So yummy!
 Vegetarian Sushi:
 This was the first time I'd ever bough Nori wrappers and made sushi which was fun for me. I loved them, Scott though they were fine (but he normally hates sushi so that was actually a compliment), and the children refused to try them. I will make these again but probably half the recipe as I will probably be eating them all on my lonesome.
 Sweet potato shepherds pie. Everyone had some and liked it fine, but no one really loved it so I don't know that we'll be making this one again.
 This 'ice cream' I've made before, but we made a couple of alterations and LOVED it! Everyone wanted seconds. It's made from unsweetened almond milk, coconut meat, dates, pure maple syrup, natural peanut butter, vanilla and salt. And I had fun cutting open my coconut a new way this time: using my cleaver. I used the coconut water in a green smoothie.

I love to have this ice cream with some chopped pecans on top. Yum! Oh and I love that I have an ice cream maker and that we can make recipes with almond milk and coconut etc because I have a dairy sensitivity, which I don't normally have much dairy so I forget sometimes, but we went out with friends on Friday and had dinner and ice cream. Scott and I shared an ice cream and that night my stomach gave me a lot of trouble which served as a good reminder.

So that was my week, a lot of cooking and experimenting with new recipes during any free time I had. My family enjoyed some of my experiments, but not all :). I don't normally experiment this much in a week, I might try  one new recipe, but since I had this book on loan from the library, I felt like I needed to make good use of my time with it. Oh, and I did make one HORRIBLE cauliflower soup that we just ended up throwing away because it was just gross and smelled gross; but we also then found another recipe for cauliflower soup that we liked quite a bit. You win some and you lose some :). I'm grateful for my family who are patient and obliging during my recipe experiments :).

Friday, January 15, 2016

Nana's Funeral, Daddy out of town

Scott's Nana, Doris Smith (his father's step mom), recently passed away. Scott was able to fly to PA to attend the funeral service last weekend. 

Scott, Elisabeth, Nana, Elisa(me) and Charles
 He was happy to be able to reconnect with his cousins, and uncles. He hadn't seen them since we've been married so over 12 years at least.
cousins: Tyler, Scott, Kelly, Matt and Lynsey

R. Scott Smith, his uncle Bob, and his brothers Craig and Kent
Here are some pictures of our weekend when dad was away:

Elisabeth had chills and a fever Saturday afternoon. By the evening she was feeling much better.
Saturday, Annabelle, Jane, Nora and I painted the downstairs bathroom as an early birthday surprise for Scott...he's been wanting to redo this bathroom for awhile so we thought we'd get it started for him :). And I've hated this orangey/brown paint since forever!

The 'after' picture of the bathroom which is now painted in Benjamin Moore's, 'Grey Owl', which I love! Next up in the bathroom will be to replace the floor.

Sunday morning and Saturday night, Elisabeth had a couple of small red dots on her face, perhaps the start of a rash. Then Sunday, as soon as we got to church, I noticed she was getting welts all over her face, and they were growing and spreading right before my eyes. I talked with a nurse in our ward, had Brittany, a teen friend and good babysitter, with with my other kids, as I quickly walked elisabeth home to get her some benadryl. I didn't have any on hand and everyone from the neighborhood was probably at church, so I said a quick prayer and was inspired to call our neighbor Kelly. She hadn't left to church yet as she was getting the baby ready, and she had some allergy medicine! Within 5 minutes of it going down Elisabeth welts started to disappear and her itching went down! Another blessing from the Lord! Love Him! Elisabeth stayed home since they weren't completely gone down and I went back to church with the kiddos. We texted a couple of times when I wasn't up teaching singing time, and she was doing well. After church Elisabeth's face looked normal again; we're still not sure what caused it though we did try isolating a couple new foods she recently added to her diet, but haven't found the answer. Elisabeth informed me that she read the entire book of Helaman while we were away! Good job! She has a goal to finish the Book of Mormon fast and she's doing great. 

While Scott was away I also tried making my own sauerkraut and alfalfa sprouts. Both turned out great, though I made WAY too many sprouts. I started them in one quart sized jar and ending up having to put them in 4 jars because they kept growing! Whoops! Next time I will be sure to only put maybe a tablespoon of seeds into my jar. 

Elisabeth snapped a few pictures of the family on Sunday. Here are Annabelle and I after church: Annabelle reading her scriptures and me working on my family blog, aka journal. 

The kids made dad a giant 'welcome home' poster, Sunday after church. 
We hung it up in the kitchen. On the poster Elisabeth wrote this cryptic message, "we have a surprise for you in the basement" :); which was, of course, our beautiful paint job :). 

 Elisabeth reading to Jane Sunday evening before bed.