Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

Here is my favorite cinnamon roll recipe. Its my favorite because it is so easy and always works out:)

4 1/2 cups of flour

1 package yellow cake mix

2 packages of quick-rise yeast

2 cups warm water

In mixing bowl, combine 4 ½ cups flour, dry cake mix, yeast and warm water until smooth. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 14-in. x 10-in. rectangle.

Cinnamon sugar mix (per half dough)

3 Tablespoons of Butter melted

½ cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix together. Spread over dough. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Cut into 12 slices (I usually cut them into 15 that are not quite so big); place cut side down in greased pan.

*Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.


*I almost always make these the night before. You put them in the fridge overnight right after you cut them in rolls. When I do this I put them straight in the oven in the morning and then turn it on so they are in during preheating also. 350 for about 25 minutes. They may not look like they will fluff when you first put them in but they do! Because who wants to get up that early to make cinnamon rolls hot and fresh out of the oven:)

Last but not least...

Frosting (enough for both batches)

4 Tablespoons butter softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Frost.


For Fun

For our Relief Society Birthday dinner I volunteered to make a cake. So I looked around on the internet to find a cute idea and this is what I came up with.

What you don't see is that there is one white cake and one chocolate cake. And that they are three one inch cakes layered together. The chocolate one even had mini-chocolate chips in the layers. Oh and it is obviously not sand but crushed graham crackers:)

I don't need another hobby but this was fun. I wonder what would happen I knew what I was doing instead of making it up as I go!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Sister's Book

The Adventures of Marcy and Sara: Book One: The Magic Mole The Adventures of Marcy and Sara: Book One: The Magic Mole by Martha Kehr

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I must admit that I was a little nervous reading this book. My little sister wrote it and I really hoped it was good but since it is her first book I didn't know what to expect. It was very creative and interesting. I won't give anything away but I totally thought I would find out about the letter in this book. I guess I will have to wait for the next.

Anyway the book is about two girls that come across a magic way to travel and the adventures they have. They travel to a fantasy land and their adventures get a lot more exciting. I really liked the creativity of Arcadia! Overall it kept my interest and I can't wait to read the next two. It was a great setup for bigger and more exciting adventures.

There were a few typo's and misplaced words but it is a self published book.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It was one of those Mondays...

It was one of THOSE days. It started with a great plan to get some spring cleaning done and run a quick errand. It ended with me physically and mentally exhausted collapsing in bed. It went like this: My van needed a little tune up done and the mechanic I use is way done south near Lee's Summit. My in-laws just happened to be leaving for a weekend trip to Florida, so it worked out perfect for me to borrow their car while mine was in the shop. On Monday, early afternoon, I was to pick my father-in-law up at the airport and he would bring me down to the shop to get my car. A perfect plan and it was going perfectly. I was on schedule to be back home for my tutoring appointment at 3:00p.
Having just picked up my van I got about 7 miles away from the shop when the OIL light came on. I thought, "This is bad!!" I took the next exit and headed towards the gas station to check the oil. I thought maybe the mechanic forgot to put oil back in the car. I hit a red light just before the gas station and the car died! Completely shut down! At this point I should tell you that my friend wasn't feeling good that day so I exchanged my Blake and Caleb for her 7 month old baby. I figured the boys can just play Xbox at her house and she can sleep and I'll take the baby with me on the drive. So here I am dead on the side of the road with a screaming 7 month old (she didn't like the bottle I gave her), my 2 year old and 4 year old. Luckily my father-in-law was nearby, grabbed some jumper cables and was there in 10 minutes. A young man did stop but I didn't want him trying to push my van through the intersection. I called the mechanic and he was flabbergasted to say the least. Our whole family has been taking our cars to him and we have never had any problems. He suggested that maybe the battery had just completely died. We have had some battery problems with the van so that seemed likely. With a policeman on the scene now I put the car in neutral and let it roll through the intersection and into a parking lot. We switched the car seats once again and headed off so I could drop Jerry off at his office and then run to buy a new battery to install. That would be when...

Jerry got pulled over for speeding. I think when he pulled out his license and the cop saw his prosecutor badge he decided to just give him a warning:)
Soon I was off to Walmart where I realized that Sydney's shoes had not made the switch to the car, so she had none. I carried in the baby and Sydney into Walmart with Luke on tow. We got some bottled water, formula and treats for Syd and Luke. Back in the Tire section we found NO BATTERY for my car. I did what anyone would do in my situation...
I got back in the car and ate chocolate:) (don't tell my in-laws). Jason at this point had offered many times to come but it was just a battery. All I needed was a wrench to fix it. With all the kids happy I ran to Sams Club where they did have the battery I needed. Now I just needed a wrench. I ran back to my in-laws house to grab a wrench. I got back to the van and changed the battery with no trouble still didn't start! At this point I called the tow truck. I didn't even cry when they pulled it onto the truck. Luckily that morning I had been listening to Elder Wirthlin's talk entitled "Come What May and Love it". I tried to laugh at the absurdity of the situation and laughed while I talked to various people on the phone. I also looked at the bright side...
1. The weather was beautiful, no rain snow or anything cold. In fact I got a little red on my arms.
2. Cheryl is still out of town so I could keep one of my in-laws cars. (Of course that means I will be picking Cheryl up at the airport on Thursday with a severe sense of de-ja-vu)
3. My insurance will pick up half the cost of the tow.
4. Blake and Caleb had not been left home alone for my quick 2 1/2 hour errand that turned into 8 hours.
5. We were safe:)

I will admit that I was a little grumpy on Tuesday and still tired. I was not looking forward to taking 4 kids to the DMV on Tuesday, but luckily the line was very short!!
I should mention when I called the shop in the morning he told me that the car started right up for him. I asked him to figure out what happened.

I trust that this happened for a reason and I will probably never know why..oh well at least the initial repair had been less than I budgeted for so I am still going to break even.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Look Down

I just posted an edited post I had been working on earlier and it showed up further down the page. So if you want to look at a list of classic books...look down!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


There are definitely some ups and downs in parenting and motherhood! Luckily we have those moment of joy that make it all worth it. Today had one of those glimpses in it.
It was a beautiful afternoon and I needed to get some cleaning done that I hadn't gotten to yet. I decided to go sit outside with Sydney and Luke so they could ride tricycles and scooters and not worry if the bedrooms got vacuumed. (Probably the first step to joy...ignoring housework:) When Sydney saw the bus go by she started screaming and jumping "Blake and Caleb". Of course you can't copy the cute way a she, as a 2 year old, says their names. As soon as the boys rounded the corner she was running to them with the happiest expression on her little face with her arms stretched out for a hug. She got to Caleb first and gave him a hug and then on to Blake. The best part was seeing the boys smile and pick her up hug her. Luke was right behind her. So there I was looking at all 4 of my kids walking together with smiles on their faces happy to be all together. I just wish I had my camera:)
A moment of JOY!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reality Check

So I was watching the news for a little bit last night. They had a clip about this peeping tom who was videotaping a high school girls dance group routine. He apparently had multiple camera's including one under his arm to get under their skirts. Well some of the dad's noticed this and followed him outside where they confronted him. They just called the police and held him until the police got there. Nothing dramatic the boy was arrested on voyeurism charges as he should have been. Yeah for the dad's for paying attention and not using violence as retaliation. So, not going into the horrors that will probably be that boys future if he doesn't get help, the real reality check was when they interviewed some of the dads of these high school girls. THEY DIDN"T LOOK OLD!! I mean they looked about my age, and they had high school girls. What does that say about me? I am getting old!! So for all my friends with high school kids and my young women moms, YOU LOOK GREAT:)

PS. I did NOT sit on the counter of my bathroom for 20 minutes right next to the mirror picking gray hairs the other day. NOT ME!
(I think I will be dropping by Shari's tomorrow:)

Monday, March 2, 2009

100 Things to do in Life

I got this from another friend.

100 Things To Do In This Life...

How many have you done?

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (Full orchestra counts right?!)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland (Disney World should count)

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a Praying Mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (can’t imagine ever doing this!)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (high school counts right?)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (I’ve seen one in person at least!)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (only on the Wii)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (kind of, the sound of the surf coming in in the darkness was terrifying. We walked on the other side of the dune.)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in movie
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (only as a baby)
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Talked your way out if a ticket.

I only have 46. So at my current pace I only have to live to be about 69 years 3 months:) Although I think I will be okay if I never brake a bone!

25 Random Things

25 Random things, facts, habits, or goals about me:

I have been slowly working on this list:)

1. I love to play Disney’s Toontown online. It’s really funny but I think that it’s mostly parents on there anyway. BTW I have 2 toons that are very powerful!!

2. I am planning on running a half marathon this year. I might make a goal for a full one if I can do the Disney Marathon in 2011.

3. I would love to be going to Disney World this year. If you are seeing a pattern you can blame my husband and in-laws because I only knew Disney had movies until I married into this family.

4. I am severely challenged in many areas, mainly any kind of decorating.

5. I love To Do lists. I don’t feel like I accomplish anything unless I have lots to do.

6. I could spend hours doing math problems. I seriously think its fun. Ask my sister, I was helping her study for the GRE and after 11 hours I was still like, “let’s just do a few more problems!”

7. I love to read. But only books that don’t have a lot of crap in them. I don’t like to read about social issues or deviant behaviors or critically acclaimed… I just want happy endings with a good conflict. I can watch the news if I want to be depressed.

8. I went to State in Track and Field for both 4 by 1 sprint relay and shot put.

9. I have 4 brothers and 2 sister and am the middle child.

10. I can’t handle static noise. Example, if the stove fan is on my tension level steadily increases.

11. I played the cello, which has the most beautiful sound of all stringed instruments! One day I will relearn.

12. I love to bake and none of it is good for you. (I think that is the real reason I have 15 pounds to lose.)

13. I’m happy to spend an hour everyday reading scriptures. I really think that people haven’t changed, just the details.

14. I love Wild Berry Skittles. I can’t find the big bags anymore in this area so my friends are on alert to inform me if they ever see them.

15. I did 56 hours of college between January and December of one year. I only had 1 B and 1 C. (refer to #5)

16. I love cashews and potatoes!

17. I believe strongly in choice with consequences.

18. I got married at age 19 and still graduated from college just weeks after turning 21.

19. My checkbook has to balance to the penny.

20. I am trying to teach myself how to play the piano.

21. I want be better at keeping my house picked up.

22. I procrastinate but work better under a deadline anyway.

23. I like car trips.

24. I do not express my feelings well or like to talk about my personal life but I hope I don't sugarcoat my life either.

25. And last but not least, my sister used to let me take her car out when she didn't want to take me places. I was only 14! But other than that I was an extreme goodie goodie:)

Got Books?

Just a tag from a friend on facebook.

The BBC believes most people will only have read 6 out of the 100 books here. How do your book reading habits stack up?
I just thought it was interesting. No big deal though guys.

Look at the list and comment how many have you read.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
2. Lord Of The Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Robert Heller
14. Complete Works Of William Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher In The Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Elliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War And Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevski
28. Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind In The Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles Of Narnia - C S Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austin

35. Persuasion - Jane Austin

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C S Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie The Pooh - A A Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years Of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving
45. The Woman In White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne Of The Green Gables - L M Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord Of The Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense And Sensibility - Jane Austin
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice And Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count Of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude The Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Francis Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Inferno - Dante
77. Swallows And Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackery
80. Possession - A S Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchel
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. Remains Of The Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - E B White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart Of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. Confederacy Of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I am a quarter of the way. Some of the books I doubt I will ever read but I should try Dickens. I can't believe I have never read one.
I might have read Moby Dick in middle school, but since I can't remember I doubt I should count it:)

I wonder if it counts that I have read some of them multiple times?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Opening Day

Here is a picture of the Goodyear Ballpark in Arizona. Home of the Cleveland Indians Spring Training. This is where Jason goes and spends an exorbitant amount of money on travel. At least I don't pay for it:) Anyway this is the end result and everyone is excited with the final product! So in honor of the opening Jason planned a little boys trip to catch the home opener, and slip in a Royals game in Surprise. It is good to have connections. He got all the tickets free and all the hotel rooms using points. We didn't have enough free flight for the whole group just our family. The only downside was that Jason's brother Brandon wasn't able to come.

So here is the whole group: Uncle Dan (Meghann's husband), Blake holding his signed ball, Uncle Dudley (Stephanie's husband), cousin Noah, Caleb holding his signed ball, Jason and Jerry (Jason's dad).

Here is Blake holding his signed ball. He got Coco Crisp, Mark Teahen, Zach Greinke, Kevin Seitzer, and Jon Buck to autograph his ball. They had a great time at the Royals game against the Texas Rangers. The Royals even won! In fact...

Here is Caleb getting a signature from Hall of Fame Rangers pitcher, Nolan Ryan.

Then they had some fun at a Western themed park. They watched a gun battle (dramatized of course). Climbed a rock wall, they loved that!

Rode a bull

And got to go behind the scenes and see all the stuff you never get to see at the game. So besides the fact that they forgot sunscreen the first day and fried, they had a great time!! And within 12 hours of their arrival home from sunny Arizona, it had snowed 5 inches:)