Jun 30, 2012

Stewart Falls

We had such a fun time today hiking to to beautiful Stewart Falls in the Provo Canyon.  John and I hadn't made this hike since Hailey and Alyssa were just little and there was no Abby or Macey. 

Macey enjoyed the hike mainly because she was on her dad's back the entire time.  John did have a sore hip by the end of this, he claimed carrying 32.7 lbs on a 4 mile hike was to much for him.  I can laugh now, but I would probably complain if I was carrying her too.
 Hailey was quite the trooper and did complain at all.  She led everyone the entire hike and stayed happy and cheerful even as the day heated up.
 Alyssa loves the outdoors and she was as happy as Hailey, but she kept complaining that she wanted lunch (at 10:30).  She kept poking buttons on my phone so that she would know when it was after 11:30 and she could have her sandwich.
 Abby was the best of all, she walked the entire 4 miles (though this wasn't exactly her choice), holding either her mom or dad's hands'.

 We had a great break when we finally got to the falls.
 Hailey looked so cute!

 After this hike, we decided that since we were already in the alpine loop we would drive on up to cascade springs.  The girls were tired and a little grouchy, but we enjoyed walking around the springs also

I think their favorite thing was going to Timpfreeze in midway for some dipped icecream cones w/ fries and onion rings! 

Jun 19, 2012

Rock canyon

It's such a beautiful summer and today was suppose to be nice and cool. Abby had to get a shot for kindergarten registration and always after shots I let her go to mcdonalds. It's a great bribery! I thought we could have a nice picnic with our nuggets at Rock Canyon park an we did but..... there were some other little kids their that were so rude! Yes they were only 3-5 years old but their mothers jut set talking to each other oblivious to the profanity coming out of their childrens mouths. Needless to say we didn't stay long.
I wasn't quite ready to return home and do my cleaning so we decided to hike up Rock Canyon. Hailey and Alyssa each had on great shoes (they had tennis in the morning), but I had on flip flops and Abby was wearing her church sandals. We grabbed some water bottles at the Creamery on 9th and ended up hiking for 2-3 hours.
The girls loved climbing all over the rocks.
There was a row of bushes just covered in butterfly's.
Macey was quite the trooper and did really good hiking up the trail, but I carried her most of the way out. Next time I'll plan a little more and take the backpack to put her in.
Abby's sandals broke on the way out, thy were already to small and well they were definitely not shoes to hike in ;)
Half way through we were joined by some of our friends (the Paige's) and we rehiked a small portion back to the butterflies an dragonflies. Alyssa just had to show her friend how many butterflies there were.

When I got home Macey was asleep and last minute made the decision to see the parade of homes houses tonight. It was free today only for a certain pass we had. John and I quickly got a babysitter and headed out.

We went through 8 homes some big some small.

 I found a cabinet I want John to make me, hehehe.

We found an art studio we want put into our basement plans.

And we figured out what we want to do with our under the stairs closet.

Jun 10, 2012

Navajo tacos

Through the past years John and I haven't gotten into to many last lasting arguments, but this is one that will last forever. I love making fry bread, and John loves to eat it.... but, he insists on calling them scones. Scones are baked not fried, and definitely not a southwest food eaten with chili. I loved navajo tacos growing up, especially the ones you could get in Taos, NM out at the indian pueblos. I guess this argument will go on forever ;). I have trained my children though, an they don't call them scones. Haha!

I do have a really good fry bread recipe , thanks to an old family friend, Sue Jackson. I'll share that here and it makes @20-24 pieces of fry bread.

Fry bread
2 C Boiling Water
1/2 C Margarine
1/2 C Sugar
1 tsp Salt
Combine all above ingredients and cool to room temp.
1/3 C Luke Warm Water
2 T Yeast
Combine and allow Yeast to activate and start raising
6 1/2 C Flour

When water/sugar mixture cools to room temperature add yeast mixture and mix. Slowly knead in flour one cup at a time. Allow to rise 15 minutes and then divide into balls and fry in a fey daddy.

I love to serve these with:
Fruit jam
Or a a Navajo taco with chile, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream and sometimes a southwest ranch.

Jun 6, 2012

I haven't had time to blog in a long time and I decided that if I didn't have time while my girls were in school, I definately wouldn't have time while I'm trying to help them have one of the funnest summers ever.  You know the funnest summer ever attitude only lasts the first 2 weeks of summer :)  Right now as I blog I can here Abby screaming outside, it's not a scream because she's hurt or in danger it's a scream because she's mad.  She's mad because I won't take her over to her friend Katie's house to play, so much for a fun summer (but I am blogging :))

To start our summer off well and make it where we can get lots done but not make me have to clean up after children constantly I made a very basic chore chart.  I've had lots of people ask me how I have the girls do chores and keep the house clean, so here's a list.  Everyday the girls have to do their basic pickups, make their beds, practice the piano and have individual chores for that day.  I estimate this should take about 1-1/2 hours to finish everything (including piano) if the will do their work quickly. 
Here is Hailey's daily chores: Monday- Vacuum all rooms in the house & take all laundry to the laundry room, Tuesday - Clean bedroom (she has to pick up everyday), Weed, Wednesday - Clean her bathroom, Thursday - Vacuum LR again, clean LR, Friday -  Clean up basement (unfinished with lots of toys down there) and garage
Here is Alyssa's daily chores: Monday - Dust bedrooms, LR and dining room, Tuesday - Clean bedroom, weed, Wednesday - Shake out bathroom rugs, Clean up toys in basement, Thursday - Clean sister closet (walk-in) and guest bedroom, Friday - Clean bedroom, wipe down sinks and toilets with clorox wipes
I decided to teach the girls their piano lessons this summer just so that I can monitor their progress a little more.  I found some really awesome books I can play more primary songs for Alyssa and Mormon kids bignotes for Hailey.  I'm really hoping that I can get some of that old love of playing the piano back in Hailey as she learns to play the primary songs that she loves to sing.

Thats not all we do, we have been to pools multiple times already this summer.  Macey gets left home when we venture to 7 peaks and Hailey now knows not to wander off or she may wind up lost for 2 or 3 hours.  We have went on bike rides, played in the water in our backyard and our neighbors back yards, and went on exploritory hikes.  Not to much we can do yet when I'm still not suppose to be driving for another week.

I also am making my girls work on multiplication and division this summer.  I guess you can tell what there mama taught :)  Haileys book club (mother/daughter book club) is the Pennderwicks all the little 9-12 year old girls are excited to read this and if you're looking for a good read for your child.... this could be it.
the penderwicks book jacket

My new Irish Cream Cupcakes

Yesterday we had our monthly Mother - Daughter bookclub here at our house.  You know when people get together, people have to have treats.  So Hailey and I spent the day making and trying cupcakes (and Alyssa made the cheese bread to go along with dinner :) ).  We had one failed recipe and one recipe that was so delicious!   In all it was a really fun cooking day and we learned a little about how these recipes will be altered for the next go around.  I will say Hailey is on her way to becoming a wonderful cook!
Caution: These are very Rich! (I'm not a dark chocolate fan, but with these I may become one)

Irish Cream Cupcakes 
1 Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup melted butter
2/3 Cup milk
1/3 Cup Irish Cream creamer
1/4 C Flour (due to high altitude)

Preheat oven to 350.  Using a large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined and then mix on high for 2-3 minutes.  Pour batter into lined cupcake pans.   Bake 20 minutes.  Cool completely, cut triangle out of top for chocolate caramel ganache filling. 

Chocolate Caramel Ganache (Delicious):
8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3 ounces caramels (about 10 candies unwrapped)

Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.  Using a small sauce pan, heat whipping cream and caramels over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the caramels have melted completely.  Pour caramel cream over chocolate and stir until melted.  Fill cooled cupcakes while this is warm
**tip** put this in a disposable frosting bag, cut the tip of and just squirt it into the cupcakes for a clean easy job

 -- You may have your own favorite but this goes great with these cupcakes and is what makes the cupcakes the best.  This recipe is for frosting with cake decorating bag and tips (as shown in picture above) so if not using them, cut recipe in half. Here is some awesome directions on frosting cupcakes http://www.ourbestbites.com/2012/05/how-to-frost-cupcakes/ .

3/4 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese, softened
5 1/2 to 6 Cups Confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar)
1 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tbsp Irish Cream creamer

In a large mixing bowl cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla for 2-4 minutes.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time making it a little stiffer than desired.  Combine whipping cream and irish cream and slowly add to frosting, using more for creamy consistency, use less for stiff consistency.  Top cupcakes with this buttercream frosting.

Garnish with caramel syrup and remaining ganache (I didn't use ganache in picture)