Monday, January 26, 2009


Mmmmm, homemade applesauce. Azure Standard had 20# of organic end of season Gala apples for $9.60! That's a lot of yummy goodness for less that 10 bucks. Since they were end of season, they weren't really good for fresh eating. I knew this when I bought them, so made plans to just sauce them.
I decided I just had to have a jar of apple butter too. I mean, who wouldn't, right?

I like simple. So I don't do the whole peel, core, quarter business. I hack them in half with a big knife and dump them in a big pan.
See? Lots of apples in a big pan. I don't yet have a giant stainless stockpot, just an enamel one. I didn't feel like cleaning apple goo out of my big canner, so I did a few batches in my awesome All-Clad pan. It worked fine, just took longer.

Once the apples are soft, I put them in the hopper of one of my bestest Goodwill finds ever. A complete and practically new Victorio Strainer. I think I paid around $7 for it and it was worth every penny. It is one of the best kitchen tools ever. Whole cooked foods go in, perfectly strained foods come out. Fast. And the kids love turning the handle. See all that sauce? And another great thing is that because I cooked the cores and peels too, the sauce has a rich color and is really high in pectin. The applesauce is creamy, not watery or chunky. I like chunky too, but that creamy feeling is really different from store-bought applesauce. Well, let's face it. It's homemade, so there are so many things better about it!
For the apple butter, I took a few ladle-fulls out of the bowl and put them in a smaller pan. I sprinkled on some cinnamon, cloves and ginger and boiled it until it was super thick and spicy brown. yummmmm.

Are you hungry yet?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hellow crud

We were doing so well. A few colds here and there, but really, quite minor. Now C is upstairs in bed with a horrible cold/sinus thing. The boys have all had it to varying degrees. And I have it. Ick. And I think we may have shared it with a few people since we were pretty social on Friday. Sorry everyone!
E was even sleeping pretty much through the night, but he was up 2x last night with stuffies. Still worlds better from where he was!
On the upside, I don't have a cough (knock on wood) for which I am extremely grateful. And the boys let me take a nap today. That also helps.

On the pregnancy:
I am very obviously pregnant now. I need to take another picture. Enough that strangers and acquaintances alike feel safe commenting. All positive so far. I still feel really good too. The SPD comes and goes. Some days I hardly notice it, some days walking is a challenge. But mostly good days. I think it has to do a lot with how much sleep I get. Or more likely, how many times I get in and out of bed. Also, as much as I would like to be all perfectly fit, walking or other activities really aggrivate it.
The baby moves all the time now. G and M really like to feel the kicks and are starting to want to talk to the baby. They are totally cool with the fact that we don't know if we'll be having a boy or a girl. And so far, no sibling issues. Of course, we'll see what happens with E when he is put out of his baby of the family spot. He is not really keen on me holding other babies. I'm hoping that he can put up with sharing. I'm sure he'll be fine. He'll not be the first 20 month old to have to share mom. And he is already used to sharing me, really.
I am starting to get a little nervous about how far along I am. Today marks 24 weeks. It's kinda scary to think that we are entering "age of viability territory". And that May is getting here so dang fast. It feels like I have only thought about the house and not the baby. And I really, really need to think about the baby. After all, I sold all baby clothes. I do have a co-sleeper, car seat and my babycarriers. And a few diapers. But clothes might be nice. I should just go and grab a few packs of onsies and declare myself ready.
That's the beauty of new babies. They really don't need much! But we do. Like a freezer stocked with food. That would be nice. Dinner trains don't work so well for a family with all the food issues ours has. But I don't really want to stock it now and then have to haul everything down the street.
In thinking about the food prep I needed to do, I started looking for some recipes. I wanted large quantity recipes for some basics that I could alter to meet our needs. I ended up at the quantity cooking and cooking for a crowd type sites. I had the thought, as I'm reading recipes for 25-100 people, that you know you are getting into large family territory when you resort to these recipes! I must be Mormon. Hahaha. That and feeding 3 boys. I'll figure it all out, I'm sure. I called my mom and she had some good ideas.

It is getting harder and harder to blog these days. E loves the computer. He knows the off button very well. He also has a knack, like his brothers before him, for finding interesting settings on the computer that I don't know how to fix. Just this afternoon, he got ahold of the mouse and clicked it a bunch. He changed some setting in blogger that made all the type go backwards. So instead of typing blogger, it would come out as reggolb. I shut it off and restarted and it fixed it. I could not for life of me find the setting that would do that. Any one know how he did that??

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This photo is from

This week is an amazing week to be able to watch! For the first time in our history, a black man will become president of the United States. Yeah, I know, normally I'm not all about the race thing. I really and truly want this world to be like our family, where everything else is seen before the color of your skin. But in this world, skin color is important.
I've been meaning to post something about this and haven't really gotten around to it. Until I saw the above picture. It's just like any number of family pictures that we have. Kid having fun with grandpa. Who really looks nothing like him. But do you see any reservations on the faces of these 2 buddies? Do you honestly think that every time Mr Dunham thought about his grandson, he thought about his skin? But do you imagine that the other people on the beach were thinking about it? You betcha. And they still are.
It means the world to me that now, not only can we read books about families who are made up of a rainbow of people, but my kids can look at pictures of the President's youth and see that.
It means even more that if someone decides to tell my kids that they can't do something because of the color of their skin, they can tell 'em to stick it. After all, Barack Obama made it all the way.
I don't necessarily want my kids to become president. Okay, I really don't want them to at all! But I want them to dream big. I want them to know that they can set a goal and achieve it through hard work and dedication. And what they look like or where they come from has no bearing on that whatsoever.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Good day

So it's not 100% as there are still some paperwork issues to work through, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they are worked out by tomorrow. For the most part though, today was a successful and productive day!
I called all the utilities this morning and they are all on. With the exception of the gas, which won't be on until Wed. Kind of a bummer since the house is freezing. C actually had some windows open since it was warmer outside! We took over a space heater and that is helping.
Then I called the painters. Our neighbors had a hearty recommendation for a painter from Salem. I called, they came out by 1pm! They'll start painting first thing tomorrow. YAY! I'm so excited that this is moving so fast since we wanted the painting done first so we could then work on everything else.
Then I called the flooring guy. He was on his way out here anyway, so is over at the house right now measuring the floors so we can get all our quotes. We should be able to order flooring tomorrow and hope in gets here in a timely fashion. More YAY!
Yesterday at church several people said they wanted to come and help clean. Some of the cleaning is pretty gross, but with everything else going so well, I'm actually looking forward to starting. And if you know me, you know that is a big deal!
I'm going to start ASAP. I'll talk to the painters to see if it's a problem for me to be over there. And then farm out the kids. Since I'm pretty sure that kids + scaffolding is a bad combo!
It's really looking like we'll be able to start moving quickly. Of course that makes me a little nervous. Cuz that means I need to start packing, y'know? And it seems a little weird to go and get a bunch of boxes and pack everything up to move down the street. Of course, I'm not going to pack everything as it just doesn't make sense. But I'll puzzle that out as we go.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pictures of the house

Click on the picture for a larger view of everything. I love Picasa3!
I'm amazed at how patiently you have all waited for pictures! No one has demanded them yet. Of course, our parents and Aunt J have all toured the house itself, which is way better than pictures anyway. But still, you must all be very polite. I would not have been so. Maybe I'm rude?
We spent a lot of time at the house today. C has been diligently working on re-keying the locks, re-programming the garage door code and trying to replace the outside door to the garage that has a massive doggy-door in it.
It has been a day of telling the neighbors too. It's nice that they are all so happy about us getting the house. I guess that means they like us as much as we like them! Always a good thing.
Monday my day will be spent calling utilities, painters and figuring out what order I want to do the cleaning in. You should see the oven. Ewww. And they are still some dishes in the kitchen. As in, dishes. In the dishwasher. Can you say garbage? Totally not green, but, yeah. I think I may be calling on my friends to come and help me scrub.
But just check out that master bath tub! I'm so excited to get heat turned up and the bathroom cleaned, moved into and soak in that tub! Now you know where the baby is likely to be born as well. :P

Friday, January 09, 2009


We signed papers on a house tonight.
Monday mid-day we should be the official owners of 2 houses. Well, you know, the mortgage-payers on 2 houses.
But it's done. I don't have to stress every day now about what the bank will come up with next. I just have to stress about getting moved into one house and the other one sold. But our real estate agent has been more than awesome. So I think I know who to call to get that last part taken care of!
I guess it's time to call all the neighbors on their offers of help in moving!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

About the house

I hope by posting about this I'm not jinxing it. But it's been one heckuva week!

We signed an extension up to the 6th. Figuring that since the foreclosure auction was scheduled for the 7th, surely if we were to get the house, it would be done by the 6th, right?
It started with the banks not even attempting to get back to us until after Christmas. They wanted more money. 10K more and were being stick in the mud about it. We went up a bit, but they were firm. Fine, we said.
Then, on the 6th. Mid DAY, the second lien holder decides they want more money. Won't sign papers till they get it.
Umm, dudes, you can get some money from us purchasing the house through short sale or NONE if it goes to auction. That's right. ZERO.
The real estate agents, desperate to close the deal and get paid are thinking humans and offer some of their commission. They are smart enough to realize that something is better than nothing.
First position says fine, pay all you want, we get it all.
Banks are greedy goobs. Greedy obnoxious goobs. I could say more, but I try to remain somewhat family friendly.
Anyway, 11th hour, the bank files papers to cancel the forecloure auction. As in, 1 hour before the auction, it got cancelled. C of course, was already on his way there. Took a day off work. They said we could sign papers that afternoon.
Paperwork got to the final bank last night. They closed and went home.
In theory we could sign papers today.
I'm not holding my breath. I have a life to live.
On the funny side, the real estate agents have been using my pregnancy as some sort of leverage. They tell the bankers that they need to not add stress to my life because I could go into labor. Seems they are heartless goobs as well.
Want a heads up on who NOT to bank with? I'll tell you after I have papers in my hot little hands. It's a small world, you never know, ya know?

Other people think out way better ways to say this stuff

I am lucky to have "met" through the world of cyber-space, Heather. She is a birthing/breastfeeding/knitting goddess!
And she headed up the nursing picture protest against Facebook. She got a bit of flak from other Mormons about breastfeeding modesty. I love, love, love how she put her response. So well thought out and articulate and brilliant. Since I agree wholeheartedly with everything she has said, I'll just send you over to her blog!
Go, click, read and ponder. And tell me what you think.
Personally, I think the US needs to get over the whole breasts=sex hangup. Nope, sorry, my breasts are for feeding kids. Got a problem with that? Deal with it with your therapist. But babies have a right to eat. Personally I think people yelling into cell phones, stuffing their faces with processed food and wearing ugly clothes are more repulsive. Much more. Can I tell them to go do it in private then? Why not? I think I may.
"Hey buddy! That food looks disgusting. And you have no manners whatsoever in eating it. Go away."
Can I kick someone off an airplane for slurping a Pepsi? It's annoying.
Can I force people who wear their pants so low it shows their underwear to cover up?
Can I please, please tell girls who wear low rider pants low enough to show their g-string to wrap a blanket around their butt?
Hey, I'm opinionated anyway. And hormonal to boot. Watch out world!
I just scared my poor husband, didn't I dear?
I have a feeling he won't be going out in public with me for awhile. Nah, he will. He loves me. And he's brave.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Just lucky ol' me

My scientist at work.
It started snowing last night again and M asked what would happen to the Dead Sea if it froze. We explained that would be nigh on impossible given a) it's geographical location and b) it's salinity. "But what if it got to 0 degrees for 2 weeks?" he wanted to know. Dad suggested he run an experiment. He kept notes even (reluctantly-mom's can be just horrid), and recorded his process, hypothesis and observations.
He stirred in as much salt as his jar of water would hold, drew a line at the water level, capped it and put it in the freezer overnight. The result? Salt water doesn't even come close to freezing in the freezer overnight. Gets dang cold-but no ice.

Grandma and her boys. Can you tell she likes them? Adores, spoils, thinks the world of--yup, true grandma. She had one on her lap. Another felt a little left out. The third noticed that Grandma had become the place to be and well....

M with his new cousin. She was born in October and it took FOREVER, I mean, months, for me to finally meet her. Her momma handed her over first thing, lickety split. Such a smart woman. I am quite in love with my nieces! Of course, can you blame me? Just look at her! And she and M seemed to totally hit it off too. Awwww.

For the past few, well, 15 months, we've been struggling with E's sleep. I am trying to be good about implementing the strategies outlined in Elizabeth Pantley's book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution. It's a great book, I just need to be more disciplined. And maybe not be so careless as to leave trade secrets lying around. Maybe this is why some of them aren't working as well as I'd hoped. Someone got a heads up!

And finally, the joys of my life, my guys. Every gal should be as lucky as me! Aren't they a great looking bunch?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Annivesary Inn

C and I love the Anniversary Inn. It's so much fun. Some of you have been there, or at least know what it is. For the rest of you, I will enlighten.
It's a hotel/B&B for couples only. Each room has a theme and is decorated to the hilt for it. The first time we stayed there, M was about 2 and C's parents got us a room on a special deal. It was fairly new to Boise at the time. We stayed in the Sleeping Beauty Castle. It was amazing and we knew we wanted to go back as soon as we could. It took C actually getting a job so we could afford it, but we have been back 3 times since then. Our stays have been in the Oregon Trail, the South Pacific and Enchanted Forest. We have full intention of continuing! I'd love to stay in, well most of the rooms. Not much desire for Biker's Roadhouse, Sport's Central, or Fisherman's Wharf. Just me. Other's love those rooms and I'm glad they have them.
What do we love about it? First of all, the service is great. It's also just for adults who want to get away. No loud groups or screaming kids. Don't get me wrong, I wish more places were kid-friendly, but now and then, I want to get away!
The design of the rooms also makes for a complete getaway. It's not just a bed and bathroom. You can see from the rooms that there is a complete theme. The 2 person tubs are jetted, and many have clever waterfall showers. Oregon trail has a shower falling from the spouts of 3 glass wine bottles. The forest-themed rooms have "rock" outcroppings with water falling over. How fun! The beds are not just thrown in the middle of the room. In Sleeping Beauty's Castle, you sleep in a round bed in a turret. The Oregon Trail bed is in a covered wagon. Look around, you can see.
Included in the room is a big screen tv or screen with DVD player and free DVD checkout. 2 at a time. And breakfast and cheesecake. Yum.
The rooms are expensive at first look. But with what is included, I think it sure beats a nice hotel. We have stayed in a fancy hotel downtown Portland that really was about the same price. When it cam down to it, it was just a room. Meh.
So, if you are ever in Boise, Logan or Salt Lake and have a chance to run away for a night or two, DO IT! You'll be so glad you did.
Yeah, I sound like an ad. Stepping down now. :P