Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jack-O-Lantern, finally!

Here's the long, not-so-exciting story about our jack-o-lantern: A few weeks ago, we bought 3 pumpkins and put them in front of our house. We were pretty excited to have cool enough weather that jack-o-lanterns would last more than a couple days. That weekend, the pumpkins were taken (we saw evidence of smashing nearby). So, we bought 2 more and decided to keep them in the garage until we were ready to carve them. Well, we originally planned to carve them for FHE last week, but the kids got sick instead, then Scott was out of town. Today we figured was our last chance, since tomorrow is the big day. So, I got the kitchen ready and went to get the pumpkins from the garage. One of them was black and mushy on the top! (Maybe we shouldn't have stored them in the dark garage? the one we used was fine and they were right next to each other.) I had already told Eden and Andrew we would carve and paint pumpkins, and since we only had one left and they can't help a whole lot with carving, we carved, then the kids painted the one pumpkin we had (a $3.88 WalMart special, which essentially cost us $22.76 after everything that happened). If you can't tell, it is supposed to be a ghost.

*disclaimer: I am really not that talented artistically, we used a stencil; and we even bought one of those carving kits last year. The tools really are easier to use than our knives and spoons.*
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recipe Exchange!!! and Stake Conference

Here's the recipe I shared for the latest recipe exchange e-chainmail I got. It's actually from the Garnica's (hope that's ok), but I've switched from cooking them on the stove to using the crockpot method recommended by Mom.

Homemade Refried Beans (not exactly quick, but super-duper easy!)

Put about 1 cup pinto beans (sorted and rinsed) in crock pot. Add water so that the level of the water is 2-3 times as high as the level of the beans. Cook on low 6-7 hours, depending on how soft you like refried beans. Heat enough oil in skillet (mine is 10 or 12 in.) to generously coat the bottom of the skillet. Use slotted spoon to remove beans from crock pot to skillet. Use ladle or spoon to add some of the liquid from the crockpot to the beans. Use masher to mash/stir beans to desired consistency, adding liquid from crockpot as needed. Don't worry about adding too much liquid it will boil off pretty quick. Add salt to taste.

I usually make bean and cheese quesadillas for dinner the first day, then save the leftovers for bean and cheese burritos at lunch, they taste great with green taco sauce! Believe it or not, these have not caused much of a gas problem for our family (I've heard its because they are cooked in plenty of water, for plenty of time).

On another note, the kids and I actually made it all the way through our Stake Conference today, without Scott (he's in Meridian, ID for baby Abigayle's blessing), and it ran 20 minutes over (good thing the kids don't know how to tell time yet!) I only had to take Andrew out once, plus a couple water breaks. But the kids were actually very reverent most of the time!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Photos by Eden

We really haven't done much lately. The kids struggled with some kind of stomach flu most of this past week. So, I was looking through some of our old pictures to find something to post. These are pictures that Eden took during our Utah visit. She was always wanting to take pictures which is why we bought her a camera for her birthday (I have yet to scan any of those in). The first one is at Temple Square and the second one is in front of the apartment building Scott and I lived in when Eden was born. They're a little crooked, but she actually does a good job of getting everyone in the picture.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What a Guy!

Scott is such a great guy! Over the past few days he has done some wonderful little things for me that I really appreciate. On Saturday, he fixed the problem between our computer and printer (they weren't talking to each other, a problem I had already tried a couple times to fix, but Scott was the one to figured it out). On Monday he took the kids out for a drive after FHE to give me a little quite time (Andrew has been throwing fits a lot lately- even in public!!!), and last night he took the kids out to Pizza Hut buffet (kids eat free on Tuesdays) while I enjoyed a 28th OSS spouses' get together with tons of beautiful, yummy food from the hostess Helena. And today the housing office came out with the black-light to inspect our pet odor problem (previous owners had some poorly trained pets); I should have called weeks ago, but kept putting it off. I am just especially thankful for him today and wanted everyone to know. I love you, Scott!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Grandma & Grandpa Olson's Visit

This past week we had Scott's parents visiting. The kids were so excited, and then sad when it was time for them to go home. While loading these, I realized I didn't get very many with us or the grandparents (oops), but here's a little bit of what we did with them.

We went to the airplane museum next to the base. There was a lot of neat things to see. Here, Scott and Andrew are sitting in the cockpit of an F-106 (that's a fighter-jet, and yes, I had to ask Scott what plane it was).

This picture is from the trip through Custer State Park. They didn't see any bison, but they did see the wild burrows, which are actually quite tame. This one stuck his nose in the window when given the opportunity.

These are pictures from a trip to a park near our house. Andrew's Spiderman costume had just arrived (yeah ebay!), and he just had to wear it. He will go down this slide, only if I am watching nearby (it is a little high). Eden was having fun being silly with Grandma.

We also took a picnic to Mt. Rushmore, and then drove by Crazy Horse. Eden and Andrew were so excited to see these mountain goats. Apparently, they are not native to the Black Hills, they got loose from a movie production in the area.