Monday, September 29, 2008

I Dare You Not To Giggle...

So every once in a while I need a little boost. We all have those days. You know the ones I'm talking about, so I won't even bother to elaborate.
But, I have recently found a blog that just makes me laugh so hard I forget about all my worries and feel lighter and more joyful.
Try it out I am sure you will be as delighted as I am.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yummy Rye Bread!

When Hubby and I got married two of his aunts went in together to get us a bread machine. We loved it! It was so much fun to set it before we went to bed and wake up to those delicious smells that would make our tummies grumble in the wee small hours.

Early this year our bread machine broke! Granted it survived ten years of our torture. But we missed it. And we were planning on getting a new one this Fall.

But I have since discovered that I LOVE making homemade bread. I love putting all the ingredients together to make something that my family can eat. I love having that yummy yeasty smell in the kitchen. I love being able to get my hands dirty in the dough. I love getting my aggressions out by kneading the dough for 10 minutes. And, who doesn't love the smell!?

I have made white, wheat, German rye, French, etc.

So I thought I would try making another rye bread. The recipe was for a traditional deli or Jewish rye.

Very easy to make. It was a little time consuming-you make a "sponge" with bread flour, yeast, water, and honey first and let that sit at room temp for a few hours till bubbly on top. Then you add the rest of the flour (both bread flour and rye flour) the caraway seed (it gives it that yummy flavor!), a little oil and a little salt. Knead like crazy. Then it has to rise a few times and shape, then, finally, you can bake it.

And everyone loved it (especially Hubby who is enjoying that I have been making so much bread lately.) We ate it for dinner with Hubby's homemade vegetable beef soup-mmmmm.

It wasn't as smooth as other breads, though. Kind of lumpy. Is that just the nature of rye bread? Does anyone have experience with rye?

I think I would like to try a sourdough if anyone has any advice. I'll have to get that starter going. Is it better with all-purpose flour or bread flour? I'll have to get some books to help me out with this!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Latest Project

Because I have been such a proctrastinator lately, even to the extent that I am procrastinating changing my behavior, I have not worked on several things that I really should be working on.

But, yesterday I wanted to accomplish something. So I came up with a cute idea for my table.

I wanted a fall-themed table runner. But knowing my children I knew a table runner would be out of the question (same goes for a table cloth). Can't you just see the mess that would be pulled on to the floor?!

So I came up with this instead:

It is just a simple little centerpiece, well out of a toddler's arms reach.

I cut some muslin, and hemed the edges. Then I dry brushed it with a soft brown paint. I painted on the two pumpkins. And sat a real pumpkin in the middle. I thought it turned out pretty cute and have decided to make one for each season.

By the way, it does look better in person.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Laundry Room

I have a dream...

Of a grand and beautiful laundry room with windows, and shelves, and baskets, and a deep sink, and a large table in the middle for folding, even an ironing board that I don't have to put away (maybe that's my problem with ironing!)

But that is just a dream...someday...maybe.

Right now I have a 5x5 room. But I still love it. Doing laundry has got to be my favorite chore. Especially when I can stand in the room, all the clothes sorted into piles around me, good clean smells filling the place, the washing machine going at full blast while I stain spray ALL the kids clothes. With all the noise from the washing machine other noises are drowned out and I can sing at the top of my lungs without anyone caring whether or not I hit that note. I am in my own little world.

I don't even like it when Hubby does the laundry (he does it in this very interesting way!)
I have made my laundry room beautiful so I can enjoy being in there more.
When I was pregnant with #4, I needed a place to get away. I chose the laundry room. I sat in there for hours...on the top of a ladder. I painted a clothesline with hanging clothes. (I took pictures when it was done, but I can't find them, and I am too lazy to take more, so if you want to see it, come on over!)

I also have my first oil painting (shoes) hanging and the comic strip I posted above (which is scary how true it is) to remind myself why I am doing so much laundry, whenever I start to complain.

It isn't huge and spacious and there certainly are no windows, and no room for any more baskets or shelves (let alone a table), but it continues to serve as a sanctuary.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I've Got A Pocket - Got a Pocket Full of Sunshine

Some moments of happiness over the past few days:

Seeing how much my kids LOVE playing with each other.

Baking homemade rye bread that Roy really likes. Baking bread in general actually. It calms me.

Babysitting one of the cutest little girls in our ward. We had a blast playing. Maybe, babysitting other people's kids in general, cause I get to give them back.

Seeing #3 fall asleep in the car after throwing a fit. I always know why he has fits, even thought he won't accept the reason. Also, jogging behind him at the park while he rode his scooter and him yelling the whole time "Don't catch up!"

The afterglow of finishing my ironing (that's right I put it off for a couple of months).

Being tackled by #4 in a big bear hug as soon as I sit on the floor with him. Plus his new pig noises, and he made up some sort of sign that I have no idea what it means. I was trying to teach him cookie on Monday during FHE treat. Maybe he just keeps asking for cookies.

Being able to have a nice conversation without any high-pitched whiney noises with #1.

Hearing #2 discuss probablity. It cracks me up!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What A Riot

I have been laughing nonstop today all because of adorable, clever #3! Here a a few things that made me laugh:

Kept referring to Oliver Twist as Oliver Swirl.

Said OCTAGON about 17 thousand times on the way home from preschool. All in different tones, pitches, etc.

Dressed up like a super hero (cape, headband, and "sword"). And named himself Zion. When asked "why Zion?" He said "Because of the song 'We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet.'"
The last line says "the wicked who fight against ZION will surely be smitten as last."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's In A Name?

When I was growing up I was endlessly teased for my name (by kids at school and brothers and sisters at home). Because I hated that so much I ended up not liking my name (which I am sure made my parents feel bad now that I know how much time, thought and love goes into naming a child). It was too unique, too different. I never even knew another Summer until high school.
My plan was to change my name when I turned 18. I never did figure out what I would have changed it too.
As it turns out I like being the only Summer around. In fact it was a pain when I was in a ward at BYU with another Summer (I even visit taught her).
I think I grew to like being unique in name and person.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Okay, So I'm A Little Selfish

I am. There is no denying it any longer. I want things a certain way, for my convienence. I discovered this the other day at the dentist when I was upset that my regular hygenist wasn't there and it turns out she is pregnant and only working one day a week. Yeah for her, but come on, what's up with that? Instead I got stuck with the worst hygenist ever (who tore up my gums like you wouldn't believe-I still have scars!).

I will also put the kids to bed early when I just can't stand it any longer. They may not go to sleep right away (okay, they never do), but they are out of my hair and I can finally hear myself think!

I dislike giving up the radio in the car. Do you know how many times this week I was forced to listen to one of the "Magic Tree House" books on CD? Too many! Granted I did give each of the kids a specific time of day that they could choose what we listened to, but I just wanted to pull my hair out listening to those innane stories. I don't recommend them.

I am also very selfish about my time with the kids. I sometimes wish the boys didn't want to spend all day playing "Lego Racers" with Hubby. Why don't they want to do something with me?

Most of all I am selfish of my time with Hubby. I loved it when he got the full-time gig with a real office to do his work in rather than bringing it home just to ignore me (although he still sometimes had to bring work home). And when I am on the phone with him, oh, watch out! I will not tolerate noise of any kind.

Sorry that you have to occasionally get a glimpse into the negative side of me. Maybe someday I will have the wisdom and strength to put off my "natural [wo]man."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where's My Pillow?

Not much to write about tonight. I have no thoughts today except that I am sick of this headache! I have had a killer headache for four days straight now. In fact Hubby just got back from the store with some migraine medicine (nothing else has worked). I will be heading to bed early tonight.

Maybe I am going through withdrawel, not having had real, good, old-fashioned sugar in a couple of weeks. My body doesn't know what to do.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You Are My Friend

I am missing Mister Rogers. Where am I going to get that good feeling about myself that I need so often? Watching him was like having a therapy session the way I always felt so calm and happy about me afterward.

I don't want a world where we can't watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS. It saddens me that there are some people out there who don't appreciate him and his advice, knowledge, and understanding ways. That they think all these other dumb shows are worth more than the affirming, loving, musical, simple teachings of my friend Fred.

And even though my kids have seen so little of him, they know who he is, they know his songs (we sing a few of them around here), and they know there was once a man who appreciated children for who they are.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Idea? Bad Idea?

I sure give a lot of my opinions! So this time I am asking for yours. Simple questions, so don't worry (just be honest).

Orland as elf

Orlando as pirate?

NKOTB back in the day

NKOTB today?



Long hair

Short hair?
(common, don't even tell me you don't love Nelson!)

David & Mattie fighting

David & Mattie in love?


flip flops?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where Have I Been?!

I can't believe I haven't posted since Sunday! I was just too busy all week studying for my midterm (I felt very nervous and unprepared for it). So since I haven't done any blogging all week I will make a list of what I loved about this week (in no certain order). You don't want to know the things I didn't like about this week.

-Walking for an hour every morning. It gave me so much energy for the rest of the day plus all those good feelings I get when I take care of my body.

-Hearing #4 making tiger noises. Can he get more adorable and lovable? I have a hard time believing it.

-Having 3 children out of the house and one peacefully napping so I could study effectively. Sigh.

-Being sent to the library by Hubby (he even made dinner) so I could do even more studying.

-Cleaning the garage (finally). Just how many bug corpses do you think were in there?

-Losing almost 3 pounds.

-Finishing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with #2. And, consequently, starting the next one with him.

-Getting the newspaper. We finally subscribed and I love it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Harry Potter Is My Hero

I avoided reading any Harry Potter books for years. I thought it was ridiculous, and suspicious, the way everyone took to them so quickly and ate them up like they were gorging.

I saw the movies, yes, but casually (not in the theaters or even the dollar theaters). Hubby and I would rent them or borrow them from the library. I thought they were pretty good. I didn't see what was so great about them. And I couldn't imagine 7 (well, now 8) movies coming from this series!

But last year I took a children's literature course (I know, I know, I talk about this course ALL the time to EVERYONE, so if you are sick of hearing about it, OH, WELL! it was the BEST course I EVER took [and that's a lot of capital letters]) which changed my opinions about a lot of things.

I was required to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the class. I did it grumbling a little, and sceptically reading everything. But I grew to love the story, the message, the characters, and the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

I went on to read it with the kids. And from there reading the whole series (this was after all 7 were published so I had them all at my fingertips and didn't have to wait for the next one.)

The story was spectacular! The fantasy amazing! The characters endearing (or easy to hate depending on who they are)! My emotions were a rollercoaster (I even threw the 6th to the floor when I finished it at 2am and vowed not to read the 7th!) I was amazed to learn that JK Rowling had the WHOLE story figured out from the beginning. It was intresting and complex. The way the books weaved together was beautiful. The good vs evil plot will never get old because that was life is about. We relish in the fact that it is more obvious (more physical in nature) in literature though; that almost makes it a little easier to deal with than our own spiritual struggles.

I appreciated (as all C.S. Lewis fans do) the gospel related aspects (righteous vs evil, resurrection, love, sacrifice, change and repentance). These will always ring true.

But what I think I admire most about the series is the way it changed children's literature.

It was a surge of life for a dying area of literature. Children just weren't reading the way they used to. Harry Potter made children WANT to read, like they never read before (10 year olds reading 500+ page books!)

Before Harry Potter children were most likely to read realistic fiction books. Stories that are true to life were more appealing. Children (and adults) need to know they are normal and that their circumstances, situations, desires, feelings, trials, etc. are similar to others'. And realistic stories gave us all that confidence and normality (come on, who didn't feel better about themselves after reading about Ramona Quimby?)

Now, children seem to be more likely to prefer fantasy. And who wouldn't in our world today. I don't want to read about real life anymore. After dealing with nonsense around me all day long I want an escape to a world where things can be cleaned up. A world different from our own with strange people, strange animals, new languages, new rules. It is an adventure and a relief.

Harry Potter paved the way for other fantasy stories. If you've read the Twilight series (which I haven't), that probably wouldn't be around if not for our favorite wizard.

The birth of Harry Potter was an important event for the world of literature. I hope you have read them and seen that we all need a little Harry Potter in our lives.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

In Memoriam

Our diaper bag died
The zipper can not be fixed
We are sad and lost

Friday, September 5, 2008

This Weeks Favorites

This week I have three new favorite items to share.

1st- Goo Gone- I don't know how many of you out there know about this spectacular product. I keep it in the laundry room (although you can use it on other things too). I can get out grease spots on clothes with it (even after they have been through the dryer) and this week I got tree sap off a shirt (without the yucky terpentine smell!) with no problem at all. I was amazed!

2nd-My new lip gloss-I lost a lipgloss somewhere in the blackberry bramble in Washington over the weekend (I am sure the wildlife look lovely now). So, of course, I had to go get another one! I went to The Body Shop and found a lovely pink lipgloss, that smells like pink grapefruit (Hubby, with his citrus obsession, loves it, score for me!) It was also part of a line that donates money to the "Stop Violence in the Home" campaign. Yea for looking pretty and doing good at the same time!

3rd-Imperial Dragon Seseame Seed Oil-so yummy for oriental dishes, I made teriyaki chicken. It tastes terrific and even the kids enjoyed it. Try it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why Are Ghost Town's So Creepy?

So I've had my moments in believing in ghosts. When I was a kid I would love to hear about how some really old building (now used for business) was haunted by the ghost of a person who once lived there. I swear I heard a ghost laugh at one such place and went running to where other people were.
I have never actually seen a ghost but wouldn't want to even test those waters! Although, I am considering staying in a hotel in Williams, AZ that is supposed to be a haunted bordello (what noises would we hear exactly?)

When in Washington this past week my sister took us out and about and everywhere. On one of our journeys we came across Rattlesnake Lake. A placid, clear lake occupying an iceberg shaped valley. Apparently on a clear day when out on the lake you can see all the way to the bottom where you can see rooftops. Rooftops?!

The story goes that in the early 1900's a town called Moncton was settled where the lake now sits. A reservoir was built on the hillside above the town. Because the soil was so gravelly the water just seeped down and through and slowly flooded the town out. And in 1915 it was abandoned completely.

We walked closer down toward the water (I was hoping I wouldn't see any rooftops) and an amazing sight unfolded. Tree trunks sticking up out of the water!

It was beautiful and yet creepy! For some reason knowing that people used to live and work and play and love in a place that is now underwater is a little unsettling for me and the tree trunks just made that more real.

But my question is, why? Why is it creepy? No one died because of the flood. There are no stories of women walking the shores of the lake wailing for their lost children or kittens or bathtubs. Or children lost in the slow moving flood waters. So why can't I just enjoy the lake and not focus on what it used to be.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Never, Ever

Obviously I can't even start to list all of the things I have never done. But here is an insight into me through a few of those things that I have either chosen not to do (that most others have) or, just by happenstance, never got around to.

I never:

*Graduated from college-well, I am working on it, slowly, but surely. I think I just compare myself to Hubby who has 3 degrees and is working on his 4th. However, I love being able to share with my children how important my education (and their education) is. So much so, that I am willing to sacrifice right now, and be an example to them. Hopefully that will influence their future educational decisions.

*Pierced my ears-my parents let us choose when us girls turned 12. I chose not to, and never regretted it. But I will let #1 have the option when she turns 12.

*Watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"-at least the whole thing. I have seen bits and pieces here and there as my brother seemed to watch it a lot, but never the whole thing in one sitting. Should I be ashamed? I think Hubby is going to try to fix this one pretty soon.

*Wore a wedding ring-That's right! In fact, I told Hubby when we were engaged that if he bought me one, I wouldn't wear it. I think I just never felt comfortable in jewelry. And hey, it's just one more way that I can save money!

*Went to prom with a guy-Yep, my prom date was a girl. My boyfriend was on his mission and I didn't want to go with another guy to prom, so I took a good friend and we had a great time. I just got to have fun that night.

All in all, I wouldn't change a thing!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Whistle A Happy Tune

I have always loved music. Listening to it...singing it (although nobody wants to be around me when I am in a singing mood). I grew up singing in the bathtub (and on the toilet apparently). I listened to those in my family (who are musically inclined) sing non-stop, or play instruments. I grew up listening to albums (yes, records, we had hundreds of them) from Broadway musicals I hadn't even ever seen, but I knew the music.

Music was HUGE for me in high school (I am sure that is true for all of us with rebellious natures). And even now, when listening to the car radio, I will shut out everything else if I hear one of the following songs (a few of my all-time favorites):

"Somebody" by Depeche Mode

"One" by U2

"Hands to Heaven" by Breathe

"Nothing Compares to You" by Sinead O'Conner

"More Than Words" by Extreme

"Eternal Flame" by The Bangles

"A Little Respect" by Erasure

"Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS

"Even Flow" by Pearl Jam

"Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" by Bryan Adams

That is all I could think of for tonight. There are thousands more that I love!