Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Little Sister's Day Everyone!!!

What?!! You didn't know that today is LITTLE SISTER'S DAY?!!! Okay - I just found out yesterday myself. The girls invented it. They stayed up in their beds until 11:00 last night planning for it. This morning Anika woke up and HAD to bring Keslie breakfast in bed. What was on the menu? Cereal, yogurt, and a newton bar. Now I'm supposed to load them up in the car so that we can go get decorations (long, worm balloons), stuff to make a cake, and a present for the little sisters. =) What the?!! I'm not sure what to do here. Do I embrace this new holiday or do I burst their bubble and let them know that we are definitely not going to the store to buy presents today. Do they KNOW how many little sisters I have?!! =)

We have been packing up a storm over here. Wait - I have been packing up a storm over here! Nathan hasn't packed a single box yet. It's probably for the best. His packing skillzzzzz leaving something to be desired. =) He's very helpful with other parts of moving. He has been patching walls and trying to fix dryers and other fun handy man thing. This move is coming up so fast! I'm freaking out. I am going to miss this place and the people so much. I'm having one girl's night a week. Last week we ate (of course!) and then went and saw 17 Again. Loved it! Love Zac Efron! He is such a *terrific actor*! ahem. =)

Monday, April 20, 2009

We get lots of inquiries as to who Brenan looks like. I think he is a mix of both girls. Some say that he is more Keslie while others think he is all Anika. So, I decided to compare pictures. I think I'm right. He's a mix!

I'm back from Texas!! I found us a really cute home with a BIG YARD and 4 BEDROOMS! WAHOO!!! We are really excited about it. The lease is a little intense - definitely not what we are used to. Hilda and Saul have been like family - we won't ever even meet our new landlord. He does everything through a real estate agency. We are responsible for all minor repairs and all yard maintenance. The equipment isn't even provided! We've got some big expenditures coming up this summer.

* Moving costs
* Refrigerator
* Lawn mower
* Weed wacker
* Washer and dryer - unless we can get ours fixed (keeping our fingers crossed!!)
* VAN! ( I admit it. I'm excited about this purchase.)

AND a million other little things that come with moving. YIKES!! I don't have pictures of our new place yet but I will take some when we get there. I LOVED Texas and it makes it even better that Brooke and Scott are there! Brenan loved chillin' with his cousins. Here he is with Drew!


The kids colored eggs with their friend Wyatt.

Attended the annual playgroup Easter Egg Hunt.
Had fun finding eggs and Easter baskets that the silly Easter bunny left.

Dressed in their Easter outfits! We broke these out early this year for Jordan's wedding. I know - I am SUCH a good photographer!!! =)

Mom - this one is for you. Here is some of the art work that Anika has done with the bendaroos!

Best bread ever. It's as soft as store bread. It's my mom's recipe and it's SOOOOO GOOD!!
Didn't it turn out pretty?!
Here is the recipe for you - but I don't know how you'd do it without a bosch or some sort of mixer. You definitely can't hand knead this stuff. It's WAY too sticky!!

Makes 4 loaves

6 Cups hot water - about 115 degrees
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup honey
1 Tbs. salt

Run mixer for 30 seconds then add:

4-5 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbs. yeast
1/4 cup wheat gluten

Run mixer for 30 seconds - it will be a cake batter consistency. Now start adding bread flour or white flour until it pulls away from the bottom/sides. I think I usually add another 5 cups of flour. Run your mixer until you can take a glob of dough (your hands will need to be nice and oily!) and stretch it. If it makes a thin "window" (picture stretched out bubble gum) but doesn't make a hole it's ready. If not - mix for a few more minutes and then try again. Sorry if that doesn't make sense - it's hard to describe it with words!

Next you will need to pour some canola oil on the counter and spread it out. Now pick up your huge glob of dough and smack it down on the counter a few times. Cut into 4 loaf sized blobs and place them in your greased bread pans. My pans are 12 inches long and they make the perfect sized loaves. I think 4 is a bit much so I'll usually make 2 loaves and then use the rest for cinnamon rolls or bread sticks or something.

Now it's time for rising! You can do it the long way - let them rise on your counter for 45 min. to an hour or you can do it the fast way - set your oven to it's lowest setting and place the bread in for 20 minutes then just turn up the oven to 350 degrees (you don't need to remove the bread while it heats up). Bake for about 30 minutes. I don't think it makes much difference - I've done it both ways and the bread is always delicious. After you remove the bread you can spread some butter over the top - this will make the crust nice and soft.

Now just spread some jelly or butter or cinnamon/sugar butter (even better!!) on a nice thick slice and enjoy!! This bread is soft enough it can be used for sandwiches! YAY!!

Have a great week!!

P.S. Has anyone seen 17 Again yet?? I think it looks SO cute. I'm thinking I might need to put together a girl's night this week and go see it!!

Monday, April 06, 2009

AZ Fun!!

I have become such a slacker. I'm not a very good blogger anymore. We had a wonderful time in AZ in March! We went for Jordan and Marshall's wedding. It was beautiful and they look great together! Marshall is in great standing with the girls - he went swimming with them one night when no one else would and they will love him forever because of it. We are so happy for Jordan and Marshall! Being married is so fun!

My little sister, Kelyn had her 3rd baby on the 14th of March! Perfect timing! I was able to go hold him at the hospital and he is SO sweet and cute and tiny (at least he was! he's already gained almost 3 pounds! Go Logan!!). I love this picture of Kelyn and Logan. She is such a good mommy.

Brenan got sick while we were there! Go figure. His first time ever getting sick is while we are on vacation! We even had to take him to the hospital!
We celebrated Isaac's birthday at the park! He's such a cute, little dude! Here is a cousin shot! Left to right - Isaac, Baby Logan, Samuel, Brayton, Raylee, Anika, Brenan, Keslie.
We visited Grannie and Papa. The girls LOVE LOVE LOVE Coco the dog. I don't know if the feeling was mutual! The girls got to help make monkey bread with Grannie. They had so much fun and the monkey bread was so good! We gobbled it right up! It's always so nice to go over and visit with Grannie and Papa. I love their home - it's full of memories and they always make me feel so loved.

Look at how big Brenan looks! He is almost 1/3 the size of Gran!That bike is the coolest. We went and visited Grammy and Aunt Jolee a couple times too! Grammy is such a champ. She broke her foot and she still does EVERYTHING! When we got there she had just been cleaning the porch and moving the chairs around! WHAT?!! I just loved visiting with them. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing family.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture of Grammy with Brenan.
Grammy gave the girls a ride around on her wheelchair. They thought it was the coolest thing ever. They spent the rest of the time terrorizing their poor cat!

This cute little boy is Devvon! He is Chris and Stephanie's oldest. We had the traditional "cousin playgroup" while I was there. Mandi and I brought our kids over to Heidi's and spent the day. It was great to see those girls. I loved looking at all the beautiful things people have given in honor of Jersey and I was so happy to finally get to hug Heidi.

Here are the "best friends"!
Here are the girl cousins on the West side. Anika and Kes love Carolyne. They all became such great buddies the last couple days we were there. We had fun watching BOLT at Afton's parents house. They have a full on movie theater in their basement! Pretty cool! And I LOVED BOLT!
I am SO mad I didn't get a shot with all the West cousins! Next time! I stole a couple pictures of the kids off of Afton's blog! =)
They love playing in the sand at the park by Nana and Papa's house!Taylor, Carolyne, and Drew!
Nathan got to go to the zoo with everyone. The kids and I had to miss out on that fun activity but here is proof that Nathan was in AZ! Thanks again Afton!

Anika loves babies. Here she is with Logan.
BIG baby
LITTLE baby.Super Duper CUTE babies!

Logan really wanted to Wrestle!
Grandma Kivett was in town to help Kelyn so we got to see her a couple times!
Thanks Mom and Dad West for making the trip to AZ possible! We love you guys so much!