Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Did you know that vinegar is a great household cleaner? I did this today:
Place one cup of bleach on the bottom rack of your dishwasher. Run cycle, but stop before the dry cycle begins. Then put one cup of vinegar on bottom rack, and run cycle again.
My dishwasher looks and smells fantastic, and all of the hard water deposits are GONE! I did have to scrub around the edges with a toothbrush to get a little bit of leftover gunk, but it really worked!
You should also clean your washing machine this way. Use 2 cups of vinegar and run a hot cycle. Keeps your machine clean and it will run better and last longer.
Other uses:
*boil 1/2 c distilled vinegar in water in the microwave to loosen baked on food. Wipes right off!
*rub shower doors with vinegar soaked sponge...gets rid of soap residue
*clean gunky iron w/sponge soaked in vinegar
*2 Tbsp to 1 pint water to wash fruits and vegetables (will kill bacteria)
*equal parts water/vinegar to wash windows streak free
*1 cup ammonia, ½ cup white distilled or cider vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe this solution over walls or blinds with a sponge or cloth and rinse with clear water. Dirt and grime comes off easily and the solution will not dull the painted finish or leave streaks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jillian the Homemaker

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm famous (in the family and neighborhood at least) for my homemade rolls. They're delicious. I ran across the recipe about 10 years ago, and could do it in my sleep now. I try to make them on Sundays, but at least on Fast Sundays...make them to go with my potato/cheese soup on a rainy day...make them to put chicken salad on...make them to bribe my wonderful, amazing, generous big brother Dan when I need him to fix my computers...they're magic!
Jillian has never made them. She's helped me on many a Saturday night with melting the butter and adding the milk. And on many a Sunday morning, helping me roll them up...but she's never flown solo.
Her dorm decided to do up a real Sunday dinner yesterday...I think they're all missing their mother's home cooked Sunday meals! They each chose a part of the meal to be responsible for...Jill decided to try the rolls. AND took on doing a double batch to take to all of the boys...smart girl!
They turned out great. I'm so proud of her!

Here is the basic recipe:
1 stick butter, melted
add: 1 c. milk, cook until warm

2 tsp yeast (or one pkg.)
1 T. sugar
Mix together w/couple tablespoons warm water to make yeast soup

Mix together:
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp salt
3 eggs

to this add the milk/butter mixture and yeast mixture and stir
add: 4 c. flour (In the interest of my low carbness now, I use mostly whole wheat flour or a combo of whole wheat/soy flour. They still turn out yummy. Judging by these pictures Jillian went for the full octane white stuff!)

This is a very sticky dough. Now you can leave it over night to raise. Or if you're doing it the same day raise for about 4 hrs.
Divide dough into 2 equal parts. Roll out each part into a circle and cut out 12 wedges. Roll up and let raise again for 3 or 4 hrs.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 min.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 28, 1984 and 2000

On this date in 1984 Andrew and I went on our first date. We were Seniors in High School. We went bowling and then to a George Benson concert, and were basically inseparable from that day forward. When I got home that night, I said my prayers and begged Heavenly Father to make Andrew ask me out again! He was so tall and cute. I adored his big green eyes and dark hair and quiet strength. It worked : )
Fast forward to September 28, 2000. He and I were in a hospital room holding our stillborn son. After 4 miscarriages we had spent the whole pregnancy praying for this baby to live. I was also secretly praying that if it was not Heavenly Father's will for this baby to live, to please just let me be able to know if it was a boy or a girl. Not knowing was just torture for me. I had heard the baby's heartbeat just days before we went in on the 28th for an ultrasound. I can see now that our loving Father in Heaven had a plan for our family, and was mercifully allowing me the chance to meet this baby.
Neal A. Maxwell wrote in the August 2000 Ensign:
"Have I had some prayers that were not answered? Yes, and so have you.
Sometimes the reason is that we may ask for something without enough faith, or we may in fact ask for something that isn’t expedient or that isn’t right. For us to get used to the fact that all prayers are not automatically answered is one of life’s growing experiences.
“I know that [God] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things” (1 Ne. 11:17).
Please, submit your will to God. It is the only gift you’ve got to give. And the sooner it is placed on the altar, the better it will be for all."

My tall, handsome date from 1984 and I have been blessed with an eternal family...I am so grateful for my knowledge of the gospel, the Plan of Salvation, and my firm belief that Heavenly Father loves us, and does hear and answer every one of our prayers. Even if those answers aren't always what WE had in mind!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Autumn is my favorite time of year. I LOVE everything about it...mulled cider or pumpkin spice candles, leaves, hay bales, pumpkins, harvest stuff. I dragged the kids (interpret: boys) to Thanksgiving Point today. KBULL offered $.93 admission tickets! Whoo hoo...every other year we've gone it's been $10.50 PER PERSON! I got us all in for a total of $4.00. Beautiful. It was really fun and Grace got to do everything she wanted...rode the train, went on a hayride, did the small maze, jumped on stuff, did the slides. We had to go early in the season this year to get down on the screaming cheap price of tickets today...so it was really hot. I pretended that we were wearing jackets and feeling frost nipping at our noses like we usually do!
They have this huge inflated Monster. You walk into it's mouth, and it's supposed to be as if it swallowed you. You walk down it's throat, past it's beating heart, into it's stomach...down the intestines. I've never gone into it before. Grace is TERRIFIED of it. If you've read previous posts, you know why. The boys did it, and then Tyler came back and offered to take me. Yay! So we walk in, and it's REALLY dark! I'm starting to freak out a little when I realized that my sunglasses were still on. Whoops. I shoved them on top of my head, grabbed my son's hand and we walk on. There are "monster innard" sounds all around, but you can barely hear it over the SCREAMING AND CRYING CHILDREN and TODDLERS who were dragged in there by their masochistic parents! I SO hope that all of those poor kids are sleeping smashed between mom and dad tonight as a result!
So the best part (besides holding my 16 year old son's hand...probably for the first time in ten years) was when we got to the end and the monster FARTED US OUT! Puff of air and all. It was brilliant.
Anyway, Ty and Grace posed happily and good-naturedly for the pictures. Ryan did not. He is so grouchy about having his picture taken. Ryan and Tyler conquered the "David Archuleta" corn maze in the time it took Grace and I to do the hayride...they can be very proud of themselves. We missed you this year Jillian! See you in two weeks :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Jillian waited 12 long years for her dream of having a sister to come to pass. Believe me, she loves and appreciates her baby sister! You would think that 12 years would be WAY to big of an age gap for these two to be close. Nope. My beloved Jillian has conscientiously cultivated a wonderful relationship with her Gracie. She has read to her, played with her, taken her to movies (even with other friends along), taken her on special shopping trips, to lunch, to the library, on drink runs...you get the idea.
Now all of this has made the hole in little Grace's life even bigger now that Jill is gone away to CoLLeGe, but that's ok. They've written emails back and forth, text messaged, called. I find little pieces of paper with notes to Jill on them, and we "snail mail" them every once in a while. Grace will draw a picture of the two of them, and write "Everyone misses you Jill. Well, mostlee Mom and me miss you not the boys have fun in colige"
A couple weeks ago, Grace came into my room with a note and a $10 bill. It was a Saturday night. She said that she needed to mail the money to Jill "right now!" She had broken into her piggy bank and taken out her savings.
I told her that it was a lot of money! "Ummm...let's put it on my dresser and if you still feel this way in the morning we'll do it." I started thinking...have we been talking about finances in front of the kids? No. Have we mentioned Jillian paying for college? No...Hmmm.
Well, first thing the next morning Grace got up, brought an envelope in and was insistent on sending it to Jillian. So we did.
Sacred funds my friend. Sacred funds.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


My amazing friend Kristen sent this via email today, and I loved it.
"A mother should give her children a superabundance of enthusiasm, that after they have lost all they are sure to lose in mixing with the world, enough may still remain to prompt and support them through great actions." — Julius C. Hare (1795-1855) English Cleric
She said:
"I love this quote….and think that the word “mother” might be easily replaced by the word “leader” or “friend”. Let us strive to give the people around us a bit of a re-charge today by letting our own enthusiasm and excitement for life shine and show!"

Thanks Kristen! You never fail to make me smile and feel more optimistic about my life!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

Today would have been my mom's 71st birthday. We usually went to lunch on her birthday...she was incredibly difficult to buy presents for though. She pretty much bought herself what she wanted when she wanted it. We basically gave up trying to get the present thing right. And my dad learned to just have her pick out whatever it was that she wanted...surprises didn't work! All she really wanted from us was our time. She lived to "make memories" with us and our kids. I still think about her and miss her every day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In Which Chipmunks Come To Life

We have a little plastic chipmunk like this one that came from my mom's house. My kids took it as a memento when my dad moved. It lives in our front flower garden. It's kind of tacky, but whatever. I found out recently that Ryan has been telling Grace FOR YEARS that this chipmunk comes to life every night and does stuff. He's even gone so far as to sneakily go out when she's asleep and move it around, slightly, to different locations. She's gone out, and whoa, it's moved!
I also found out that one night Ryan and Grace were outside and he noticed that it was getting dark. He timed it just right and said "lumos" at the exact moment the street lamps were going to come on. I heard her telling Jill that he has magic powers. She really believes it.
Is she going to need therapy someday? Or do all brothers mess with us this way? Sigh.

Monday, September 8, 2008

20 years in pictures

Again, I hate to scan pictures. And there actually are surprisingly few of Andrew and I together anyway : ) I, of course, have been contemplating the last 2 decades. It all boils down to our kids really. Someday I'll scan and post the pictures of Andrew and I vacationing in Washington D.C., at the cabin etc, because of course we've been places and done things together. But as I'm thinking about it, the most important things are the 4 little souls we've created together. We've weathered jobs, callings, car problems galore, a flooded basement,teenagers, ill parents, suicide, miscarriage, a stillborn son. But we've also had fun, worked together, and watched these 4 amazing people come into the world and enrich our lives beyond anything we could have imagined. Especially notice the college graduation picture with THREE kids under the age of FOUR. Yeah! And notice how much my dear husband loves his kids...especially his girls. And between daughter #1 and the last picture of daughter #2 he lost the mullet!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

20 Years

Twenty years ago today Andrew and I were married.
Ronald Reagan was president. George Herbert Walker Bush and Dan Quayle were elected in November, defeating Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen.
Ollie North was indicted for the Iran-Contra affair.
CD's outsell vinyl records for the first time.
Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Hope and Glory, Moonstruck, and The Last Emperor were up for an Oscar. (The Last Emperor won...never saw it!?)
Record of the Year: "Graceland," Paul Simon
Album of the Year: Joshua Tree, U2
Song of the Year: "Somewhere Out There"
Top ten songs:
1. Faith, George Michael
2. Need You Tonight, INXS
3. Got My Mind Set On You, George Harrison
4. Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
5. Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns N' Roses
6. So Emotional, Whitney Houston
7. Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Belinda Carlisle
8. Could've Been, Tiffany
9. Hands To Heaven, Breathe
10. Roll With It, Steve Winwood
Stamps cost : $.22
gas cost : $1.08
Acid washed jeans, crests on jacket pockets, fingerless gloves, Hawaiian shirts (Miami Vice!), leather bomber jackets, and big hair were the fashion.

Andrew had been home from his mission for a little over 4 months. Neither one of us had jobs. We moved into the apartment complex that my dad owned on 6th south in Salt Lake. Andrew started school at the University of Utah. We scraped and scrimped and somehow barely paid our bills...I don't remember how. But we were happy.
Andrew got a job with UDOT...I got jobs at the mall and at American Express. Six months later we were surprised with the stick turning blue....and so it began.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oh Boys.

I'm basically lazy. I was searching through the files on the computer looking for old pictures I've already scanned...it's a lot of trouble to hook up the scanner and work on preserving all of the old pictures, and I'm loathe to sit and do it.
ANYWAY. As I was looking for pictures of Jillian I ran across this file, and whee there were some pictures of my boys....cute, yummy perfect little men. Aren't they fine?

This is my all time favorite picture of my Ryan. Yum Yum Yum.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Pardon me while I indulge in a little more "Waaa I miss my Jillian" whining. Yep, we have cell phones. And email. Thank goodness! But I miss her face. I miss her voice. I miss listening to her play the piano. I miss the constant interaction that we had...I could always count on her being there; to talk about her day, to listen about mine. To run here or there, to bring me a drink from Harts, to go shopping with, to fix my ipod...the list goes on. I still feel this empty sucking hole in my soul where she should be...does that make sense? My dear friend Joy reminded me to keep breathing, and truly that is the best advise I've been given, because about twice a day it hits me that she's not going to walk in the door any minute and I seriously DO stop breathing for a second.
However. I DON'T miss her shoes everywhere. Her room being a mess. Her purse dropped on the couch or table...hmmm...now that I think about it...(just kidding Jill)
I love that she still calls me every day...I love that she's relishing her classes and truly appreciates the opportunity she has to LEARN and GROW. And she does. So many of her friends had to postpone college due to money issues or whatever. This was such a hard step for her to take, and I'm so proud of her for following through and grabbing the opportunity and going for it even though it's scary. And lonely.
Whenever my mom wanted to "guilt" us into doing something, or remind us of what we owed her, or what we meant to her she would say "I carried you under my heart for nine months.....!!!" It became somewhat of a joke in the family...and now I use it (sparingly and usually on Tyler) when I'm trying to make a point. But now I'll say it to my Jillian...I carried you under my heart for nine months...and you're still IN my heart forever even though you're far away.
And yeah, yeah, we've aged. Good Grief. The first picture was taken when Jill was 6 weeks old (Jan 1990) the second on her 18th birthday (Dec 2007)She, however, has aged beautifully!!