Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Calling

I recently received a new church calling and have finally started to chill out enough about it that I can blog about it! I was called as the 2nd Counselor in the Young Women's presidency...daunting, right? I've got to admit that the thought of serving in the young women's organization has always scared me. I think I just remember how much it meant to me, and how much my leaders meant to me, that I'm afraid I couldn't ever be that to someone. I'm still not sure that I can be, but I am definitely willing to try. I am excited for the opportunity no matter how scared I am, and I'm excited about those that I will get to work with. I have been so fortunate to learn from 3 wonderful examples for the past 2 years of how a memeber in a presidency should act and only hope I can come close to following their examples.

I forget sometimes how fortunate those of us serving here in Utah are. We have so many resources and opportunities available. Today our presidency went downtown to a leadership training meeting and were blessed to hear from Sister Dalton and her counselors. Sister Dalton is amazing. I came away from that meeting finally feeling like I was where I should be. She assured us that we have been prepared to serve at this time and that we are called of God. She encouraged us to help the young women of the world, "return to virtue". She spoke of our girls needing to be refined and I think Sister Dalton seems the perfect example of class and refinement.

I'm excited for the Personal Progress program and the new tools they will be implementing shortly online. I really hope that I will be able to participate in these activites and encourage these young girls to complete theirs.

I also have the cutest new ladies joining my Beehives this year!!! I am so thrilled to have them join the already great girls in there and can't wait to see their enthusiasm and excitement about being in the YW program. I think all primary girls look forward to that day. I remember shortly before Tay's birthday this year she informed me that she had only "1 year and 5 days," until she would be in YW. How cute is that?

Alright, done with my nervous rambling other than I love the Mutual Theme for the year: "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee, withersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9) What encouragement for the young people of the world!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I have a sick obsession lately with being cheap. I suppose that's not a bad thing, but for some reason I get really really excited over it. To the point where I am taking pictures of stuff and blogging about it. That's not normal is it?

Everyone knows I love a good grocery deal...here was the result of my shopping trip yesterday. All of this only cost me $2.43 with tax. Insane, huh??? I am excited about those lunchables...Gavin loves them and it's one thing I can actually get him to eat! He's usually way too busy for that!

Shortly after Max was born, Amy told me that she found out how to make your own laundry soap. I HATE paying for things like laundry soap and toilet paper that obviously serve a purpose, but get washed down the drain. I decided I would give it a try. (If you know my step-mom she is the cleanest person in the world and if this soap was good enough to wash clothes at her house it was fine for mine!) It probably takes me a total of 15 minutes to make and it works out to only .02 per load! That's unheard of! Especially since it seems all I do these days is laundry. It make a 5 gallon bucket at a time. I think I made it the beginning of December and I am just barely down to the bottom of it at the end of March. I will have to pay more attention to my timeline this time around, but I think that's worth 15 minutes of my time! Here's how you do it....
Buy these ingredients...
I found the Borax at Wal-Mart, but the other things I found only at Smith's. (They have the Borax too, so you could just get it all in one place.) Next you need to grate your soap....

I actually have a grating attachment for my Bosch that I usually use and it's done in no time, but I wanted to see how long it would take using a regular grater...it wasn't bad at all.

In a big pot add 18 cups of water and the grated soap. Heat it until the soap melts. (Watch it because right about the time it's done it will really start to foam!) There may still be a few floaty pieces of soap, but that's ok. To this add 1 1/2 cups of the washing soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Mix and remove from heat.
In a 5 gallon bucket add 4 gallons, plus 2 cups of water. Then add your soap mixture and stir. Let it sit for 24 hours and it will gel. It looks weird, don't be alarmed. Stir it up a bit and it will still be weird looks. It's ok. Use 1/2 cup per load. You can also add essential oils if you want it to smell different. It just has a clean smell to it that is fine. I haven't tried the oils, because, well I'd have to buy those and I'm cheap remember?!?!
Next...bread. I can't tell you how long it's been since I have bought a loaf of bread. I've made my own white bread for over a year and thanks to 2 good friends I have finally mastered whole wheat bread! I don't know why it was such a problem for me, but I had the hardest time with it. Anyway, I got an awesome new blender that happens to grind wheat of all things. Here it is in action...

When Keith and I got married, his mom gave me a Bosch mixer. I don't think I had any idea then just how much I would use and LOVE it! The only problem is, if I ever needed to actually make bread without electricity....well, I wouldn't know where to start!

The dumb thing about this is, I never took a picture of the finished product...suffice it to say that it just didn't last too long :)
Anyway, if you need a good white bread recipe or now wheat bread, I've got them! If any of you made it this far, hope you enjoyed reading this!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chef Skinner

Gavin is really into playing pretend. It's really cute but I have to remember who he is at every moment or he gets slightly upset. Today he decided to be Chef Skinner from Ratatouille (not sure if I spelled that right). I thought he was pretty clever to make sure he had a chef's hat, but it did mean we needed to have a discussion about putting plastic bags on our face! I'm pretty sure he understands now, but my bread bags might just find their way to a different spot!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My boys...

Today at church Gavin leaned over to Max and said, "I like you, Max!" If you think that was cute, what came next was even cuter. He said, "How'd you get so cute, Max? Was it from your mom?" I about died laughing! I think Gavin might have heard that a few times, but considering he looks just like his dad, he must have gotten his cuteness from him!

Later today, Gavin said to Max while I was changing his diaper, "Brother, you need to get bigger and go on the potty. Don't go in your diaper...yuck!" Good job, Gavin....train him early!

Most of the time we hear a lot of "Goodnight, Brother," and "I love you, Brother." Every once in awhile Gavin (while being grumpy) will lean over Max and say, "I'm NOT HAPPY, Max!" It's really kind of funny and I'm not sure why he feels the need to let Max know this, but he has done it way more than once! I have to admit that after a particularly rough night of getting up with Max while he was sick, on about the 5th time I leaned over him while changing his diaper and said, "I'm not happy, Max!" He just smiled and wiggled like he was the funniest kid ever. You can't ever be upset with him, he is way too cute and smiley! It's hard to believe that he will be 5 months old this week. I have absolutely no idea where the time has gone. I remember feeling so excited for all of the new things Gavin was learning, but I feel a little less excited about Max doing them because I know how fast he is growing up. This time I know what will happen and that my baby isn't going to be around forever. He is already growing into a sweet little boy with a personality. I already find myself longing for those days when he was tiny and snuggly. I may have even forgotten how he was so colicy for 3 months...maybe. He is such a joy, as is Gavin. I feel so incredibly blessed to be their mother. Definitely not worthy of this responsibility, but I will do all I can to raise them to be wonderful men. At least I have the added bonus of them learning from their father. He is a great example to them, and I am lucky to have him as one of my "boys".

*Brittani, just because I know you're going to say something...yes, I am posting for the first time without a picture. I am on my new laptop and there are no pictures on it and I sent Gav to get the camera cord and he never came back! Which means I need to go check on him!!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's gonna be a bright, sunshiney day...

The weather was INCREDIBLE today! I want spring to be here NOW and knowing Utah, this was just a tease and it's going to snow tomorrow... Anyway, we took advantage of it today! I let Gavin outside and the first thing he did...run right to the dirt and start spraying it with his spiderman water gun...every little boy's dream! I went inside at one point to feed Max and all of the sudden Gavin was crying and coming in the house. I was afraid he'd gotten hurt and asked him what was wrong and he says, "The snake scared me!" I so did not want to hear that! Deciding that I needed to be a brave mother and take care of it for him, we ventured outside so I could see what I needed to do to show him that it would still be ok to play outside. I asked him where he had seen the snake and he walked me over to the dirt and there it was....
Can you see the little worm? It was slightly bigger but Gavin sorta took his shovel to it before I got my camera there! I thought it was so funny that he called it a snake. He's never seen a worm before, I guess!

After playing outside we came in to do a few things and Gavin found some BOM stickers. He was really excited about this and I currently have a few stuck to my backside...He then told me, "Hey, Janelle, I'm going to give your baby 5 stickers." (He's really into not calling us Mom or Dad at the moment...I HATE it) Max ended up with 6 stickers for the picture and he has about 20 at the moment....Silly boys! Max put his hand up on Gav's head and left it there for a bit. I thought it was so cute... I love my boys!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Why can't I stay out of the frosting....

Tonight I attempted my first character cake for my niece's birthday tomorrow. It took FOREVER and she's 3 and will never know that I only kept doing it because I love her :) She is having a Dora/Princess birthday (her choice!). Thankfully my kids were good and Keith was home to help.
Anyway, here is Dora...Her face needs some work now that I see this picture...I'm not sure what's up with her eyes and her pink tongue looks like a tooth...I was trying to follow the way they artistically did it in the picture, but to no avail.
And here is my kitchen afterwards...
We will just call it creative chaos! I don't know why I can't do anything neatly. I really wish I was an organized person, but there are just other things that I am better at; like eating frosting! Everytime I make it I wonder why I eat it when I see how much shortening is in it. I can't help that I just happen to make REALLY yummy frosting! I'm looking forward to devouring Dora tomorrow!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Gav has to put in his contacts every morning just like mom and dad...it consists of him dipping each finger in the solutions and touching his eyelids...does he get any cuter?

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010


You know those days when you just wish you could change your name and not be called Mom for the rest of the day? Well, I never have those days...and not because Gavin doesn't want/need me every second of the day, but he has a new name for me everyday! Today I have spent the ENTIRE day answering to the name of Phoebe. One day I was Steve all day, one day squirrel and one day it was Food-up. I am not sure where that came from but every once in awhile he will call me that again. I wonder what it will be tomorrow....

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