Friday, January 30, 2009

The craftiness of others

Sorry that we are such horrible bloggers. We did so well right at the start. We each tried to post at least 3 to 4 posts a week. And we did really good until the holidays came. And now we are in a rut. It's not that we aren't doing fun stuff, but we're busy! All you mom's know how busy it gets. So, please bear with us while we catch up and try to prioritize our lives. Blogging here and on my family blog has lately gotten put on the back burner. Sorry! It's just the way it is. I am trying to work my schedule out so that I am spending more time with my kids, trying to fit in exercise, and everything else in life. I'm afraid I'm giving up some of my blogging time for exercise. It's important and I'm really trying to get into the habit of doing it.

Good thing that there are some really crafty ladies out and about to get ideas from. Of course, because I am dieting, and trying really hard to be good, I want to bake. But I love to bake regardless, and here are two great idea's that we are going to try.

I found this little gem at Make and Takes. So much fun! I wonder what else you could make. See it here.
How cool is this cake? I'm going to try it. This weekend perhaps. It's super easy. At least it sounds super easy. See it here. Wouldn't it be fun to do it in all valentine day colors. OOOH! Or make cute cupcakes for the preschool party, although that would take oodles of time. I'll have to ponder that one.

For some great valentine printable sfor the kiddo's click here and here . And for tons of great ideas and printable valentines, check out Skip to My Lou's Valentine page.
What idea's have you seen or do you have???

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wikki Stix

My daughter went to a birthday party over the weekend and these were sent home in the goodie bags. These are the coolest things ever. Another one of those things when you think "why didn't I think of that". They are pretty much just yarn of every color dipped in wax that can be bent to form whatever your imagination wants.

BayLee is my little artist, as I have said before, and she has had so much fun with these! They have all sorts of different packages. It even came with dot to dot pages that you can use the wiki sticks to go from number to number. Pretty cool so I wanted to share.

Go check out to get more information.

Who Do You Love, FHE

We did a really fun family home evening this week. I cut out a ton of colored hearts and we talked about what it means to love someone. Then I had the kids draw a picture of or write on the hearts all the people they loved. They had so much fun! I then took them and hung them up in our living room where we will leave them until Valentine's day is over, that way the kids can remember all the people they love!! We have Grandma & Grandpa's, cousins, aunts & uncles, friends, and even grandpa's dog. It was super easy and super fun!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Real Hero Posters - Book of Mormon Heroe's

This is the coolest thing I have seen in ages!! My friend, Nicole called me tonight and told me to go check it out the web sight, Real Hero Posters. They have 12 amazing posters which feature hero's from the Book of Mormon. Each poster has a scriptural reference to go along with the picture. I am in awe at how cool these posters are! I love this top picture. It's called Daughters in the Wilderness. How often do you hear about the women in the Book of Mormon? I think I am going to have to order some of these. Go check them out. They are absolutely amazing!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

72-Hour Kit Baby Steps

For a great resource on food storage, emergency preparedness and 72 hour kits, click here.

72 Hour Kits in 10 Steps

Step 1: Find a container
Step 2: Add clothing
Step 3: Add water
Step 4: Plan Meals & buy Food
Step 5: Add Tools & Lighting
Step 6: Add First Aid Supplies
Step 7: Add Shelter & Warmth
Step 8: Add medicine & Vitamins
Step 9: Add Radio & Cash
Step 10: Add other supplies

Baby steps. A little at a time. I did this several years ago and it's time to go through and redo our 72-hour kits. We rotate them every 6 months. We usually do it over conference weekend, but some of our items no longer apply, so here we go again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ok, I just had to share this crazy story....

So, lastnight Adam and I were just playing around on Facebook and looking up people. So, for the heck of it we type in "Dover" (wierd concept but whatever:) So, we are looking, Adam is asking people what Dover side they come from, etc. etc.... When all of a sudden Adam stops the cursor on a name and says "hmmmmm. how did this happen"? So I look and there is the name Logan David Dover! I say "Your kidding me? There is another kid in Utah named Logan David Dover? That is crazy" He then says, "uh, Mandee.Look at the picture" IT WAS A PICTURE OF MY LOGAN WITH BAYLEE>

All of a sudden I get really panicked. It was 11 o'clock at night but I needed to know RIGHT THEN if Logan had set it up at 1:20 on the 20th of December. So, I go into his room, try to wake him up. He won't wake up, by this time I am convinced someone has taken my sons identity. So I see a cup of water on his nightstand and I very gingerly put it on his face. Sure enough he wakes up. I say (very calmly of course) Logan, did you set up an account on facebook?" Through very tired eyes he says "No". I then of course come running out to Adam. "He says he didn't do it!" SO by this time I am ready to make my blog private because I just know someone is taking pictures and using my kids on facebook.

So I go ask him again, sure enough this time it is a different tune. "Logan, Honey, you need to tell me right now if you did it or not. It is very important". He looks at me and says "Yes mom, it was me. I set up an email account in Yahoo so I could do it". OH MY GOSH. Here I thought I had done a good job observing what was done on my computer. It is in the dining room in my very small house. How could I have missed it?? It could be worse, there are far worse things to see on it but it truly scared me.

So, we contacted facebook and they have removed it but I am so shocked still that my son knew how to set up an account, upload a picture, set up an email, all on his own. Needless to say our computer now has a password. All is well now but I just wanted to let you know to NEVER underestimate the capability of children. It was a real eye opener. But to give him some credit, he never logged back on it after he set it up. After asking him why he wanted an account he said "I just wanted to do bowling and pet society" . Bless the little children. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

FREE 2-year subscription to Parent Magazine

Click here to get signed up for a free 2-year subscription to Parents magazine. Hurry quick, before this offer expires.

Easy Chicken A La King

Ok, this is seriously the easiest meal for sure!!!!! It was so quick (despite the crockpot cooking time) to throw together and it is a meal that you probably will always have all the ingredients on hand.

1 1/2 lb boneless,skinless chicken breast
10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup
3 T flour
1/4 t pepper
1 T dry minced onion
9 oz pkg. frozen peas
1/2 t paprika
1 lb. rotini pasta, cooked

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and place in slow cooker. Combine soup, flour,pepper, and onion. Pour over chicken. Do not stir. Cover. Cook on high 2 1/2 hours or low 5 1/2 hours. Stir in peas and paprika. Cover. Cook on high 20-30 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta and serve.

100 Tutorials For All You Crafty Gals

Found a great little sight called The Long Thread. They have a list of the top 100 tutorials of 2008. Lot's of awesome projects on this list. A few that I might do myself. Go check it out and let's get crafty!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


How many of you have kids who like to wrap string around their fingers and play in blind cords? My little Tyson does, but today we had a huge scare and I never even considered that this could happen.

I was running to get my husband some lunch and I told J.D. to unbuckle Tyson while I got the baby out of her carseat. J.D. yells at me that Tyson has the seat belt wrapped around his neck!! So I go around the car to climb in the back seat and it is not only wrapped around his neck but twisted around itself several times. Tyson had somehow pulled it out so that as the seat belt went back into the seat it had caught and each time he pulled his head it tightened tighter and tighter.

I was calm at first and I tried to see if I could get enough slack to pull his head out. About 20 seconds into trying, I realized that there wasn't enough slack. I couldn't get the seat belt to pull out because it's working properly and doing it's job, so I am holding on it, just praying that with all the movement we can keep the little slack that we do have. I am starting to get a little panicky because he is panicking. I call my husband, who was just down the street and told him I was going to send J.D. to find scissors so that I could cut the seat belt. He told me not to cut it and that he would be right there. He got there in like a minute, I don't know how fast he was flying, but he was quick. By this point, I had been able to get Tyson out of the booster seat so that I could give him a little more wiggle room. I'm yelling at my husband to just cut it and he's working his magic, but he unlatched the bench seat and pushed it forward and he somehow was able to get enough slack pulled out of the seat belt to get his head out.

The whole event was probably 5 minutes, if that, but it was so scary. Tyson's poor little face was bright red and he has sweat just pouring off his face and he was hysterical. And it hurt, because as he was struggling the seat belt was just rubbing his neck raw. It looked awful and these pictures do it no Justice. By the time we got home and I got all the kids in the redness was pretty much gone, but it looks like he has hickeys all over his neck!! Should be interesting explaining that one at church tomorrow.

If I had had a pair of scissors or a knife in my car, I wouldn't have hesitated to cut it, once I realized I couldn't get enough slack to get his head out. Never in a million years could I have imagined that happening. So just be careful. You never know what can happen.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baked Rigatoni

This one's a keeper. It was pretty tasty. My husband even liked it and I really didn't think that he would because it is so similar to spaghetti and he hates spaghetti. I found it over at Simplify Supper. Such a cool sight, if you've never visited before.

Baked Rigatoni

1 pound ground beef
1 package rigatoni pasta, 16 ounce size
1 package cream cheese, 8 ounce size
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook noodles as directed. Brown beef. Add sauce to meat and warm through. Layer noodles, chunks of cream cheese (dime size), meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese in 9x13 baking dish. Repeat layers until all ingredients are gone. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Meatloaf just ain't pretty

But it sure is TASTY! I took this picture months ago, but didn't post it because, it's just not pretty. I don't think you could take a good meatloaf picture, but if you do, let me know because I want to see it!!!

I got this recipe from a ward cook book years ago and it is our very favorite meatloaf recipe. I make one with sauce and 1 without for the kiddo's. This is a very rare treat for me and me picky children don't get excited about it, but me and the hubby like it. So does my father-in-law, it's one of his favorites that I make! I have substitute the turkey burger with sausage and ground beef. Whatever your preference.

1 lb. turkey burger
1 lb. hamburger
1 egg
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 box stuffing
salt and pepper to taste

Sauce: 1 tbsp. mustard, 1/3 cup ketchup, 2 tbsp. brown sugar

Stir together sauce ingredients until well combined. Set aside. Mix remaining ingredients together until it stands by itself. Divide into 2 loaf pans. Cover with sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. *This recipe is great because you can make one and freeze one for later.*

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I need your advice....

First of all, we haven't dropped off the face of the planet. Both Mandee and I have just been very busy with our everyday lives. Not to say that we aren't always busy, but it just seems that time slips by and life is really busy in spurts. I promise to be back and posting soon!!

But first, I need some advice. I am the Beehive advisor in my ward. We have a great group of girls. This past Sunday the entire presidency was released and so was an advisor and our secretary. Four of these beautiful and wonderful women had been in for over 2 years, so there is a lot of emotional attachment for everyone. I was retained along with another advisor and one member of the presidency was also extended the call back as the 2nd counselor, so whew, very little change for the Beehives. However, we will miss our friends very much!

So my question is, any ideas for handling such a change? There were several very emotional girls on Sunday and some emotional leaders!! As one of the surviving leaders, I want to do everything I can to make this transition a positive one for the girls. I'm that friendly face that they are comfortable with so I need to help keep things rolling smoothly. Any ideas?? Any advice you can give will be much appreciated.

In the meantime check out these sweet talkers, candy bar wrappers. This is what we were going to do for our young women's birthday's. Maybe we still will, who knows?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Valentine Party Woes

Ok, I know we just got Christmas out of the road and now I am asking for help with Valentines day. I am the party mom for my first grade daughters class and I am looking for ideas!!! Please let me know if you have any for me. :)

I am looking for treats, games, and crafts. Any ideas would be helpful. Thank you so very much. You guys are all amazing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bratwurst and Saurkraut

Another quick family favorite dinner. First off, there was no way to take a good picture of these. It isn't an eye appealing meal but it is super tasty. We all have our own way of eating this meal. I took a picture of the three ways.

This is how my son eats his. He eats it seperatly.
This is how my husband and I eat ours. We like the taste of the mustard on the Brat and it is more filling in a bun.

My oldest daughter likes it like this. Cut up and mixed in
with the saurkraut.
All very different ways but each way is tasty.

I buy the Johnsonville Brats and the saurkraut in a jar. I have tried the canned saurkraut and my personal opinion is that I think it tastes like metal so I go for the stuff in a jar.
First put 1/2 C water in a skillet over medium heat. Let it warm up to Medium before adding the brats. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for another 10 minutes. They could be done at this point but I take it a step farther and dump out the water and fry them for a little while. I then remove the brats and dump the whole jar of saurkraut with the liquid. This gets the taste of the brat onto the saurkraut. I do this for about 5-10 minutes and then it is done. I top it off with a green salad.
The kids love it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Do You Think I Am Obsessed?

Hello, my name is Brandy and I AM A CRAZED, COUPON CLIPPING MANIAC! The first step is admitting you have a problem. I mean really, who takes pictures of their food after they go grocery shopping????? :) :)...

This is a $123.85 worth of groceries. Here is what I got:

10 boxes of Gogurts
6 boxes of cereal
4 boxes of Fiber One granola bars
4 boxes of Fruit Snacks
3 tubs of frosting
2 lbs of butter
2 blocks of 32 oz. cheese

I only paid $39.56!!!! I save $84.29 between the sales and the coupons. I'm telling ya, Grocery Smarts is the best thing ever! Plus I have a $15.00 off my next purchase coupon. I figure that I spent about 2 hours going through the add and printing and clipping my coupons. But that means it saved me $42.00 for every hour. That is not counting my additional $15.00 coupon.

Anybody else want to be obsessed with me?????

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Red Food Dye

Just had to throw a question out that hopefully someone can answer. Like I have said before I have a son with ADHD. I know that diets can increase hyperactivity and I have been doing a little bit of research but I have learned that sometimes it is more effective to hear about actual cases from people with experience.
We have tried to cut out Red Food Dye and it helps a lot but are there other foods that may also increase hyperactivity? One of my new years resolutions is to be more understanding of his "disorder" and do what I can do to help. My heart breaks for the kid and I wish I could take it all away. I know that in some peoples eyes ADHD is no big deal but I think that noone understands how HARD it is to handle until they are in those shoes. I try to be a little less judgemental about "other peoples children".
Please let me know what you know about the diet. :) Thank you for your help and we look forward to a new year with new posts and ideas.
Have a FINE 2009.
Every Sunday, my husband and I would take our little family and go and visit his grandparents. Every Sunday, his sweet grandmother would give me her coupons out of her paper. And every Sunday, I glanced at them and then threw them away! I'm ashamed to admit that, but I did. I never wanted to spend the time on clipping coupons. I mean, I knew it could save you a little money, but who had the time?

I won't lie. It's time consuming if you want to save money and use your coupons to your advantage to get the best deal. When using coupons, it is a waste of time (and money) if you are using coupons to purchase things just to use the coupon, or to buy things you wouldn't normally buy. Using coupons on items you always buy anyway, AND combining coupons in conjunction with sales and clearance prices is where you will get ahead! Today for instance, I bought 8 bottles of Aussie Hairspray. Crazy, you say? Well, we go through about 1 bottle a month, I'd say. Well it's regularly $3.99 a bottle. Lins had it on sale for 2 for $4.00. Well I had coupons for $2.00 of 2 bottles of Aussie product. If you do the math, it works out to be $1.00 a bottle instead of $32.00 for 8 bottles. Great deal, huh? It may not save me money in the moment, but it saved me $24.00 over the course of the year.

The first step to take if you have not been an avid couponer before is to get a subscription to the Sunday newspaper so you can get the coupons. I get 4 Sunday papers so that I can have multiple coupons available to stock up on items that I use every day. Most papers have weekend subscriptions, and subscriptions where you can purchase more than one paper. Also ask family members, friends and neighbors, whether of not they use their coupons. Many people, throw them away!!! T

You can also find coupons on line. The website that I use is Grocery Smarts. This is the best site for anyone who uses coupons. They break down the sale ads and show you where to spend your money so that you are getting the best deal. They also show you where to find coupons online and they also tell you where to find coupons in your ads. They do all the work for you.

Once you begin getting coupons you need to organize them. Some people cut out every coupon in the weekly inserts and file them away. Other people only cut what they know they are going to use. I have friends who use the Grocery Smart System and they keep a file folder with their inserts filed by date. That way they just pull out and clip what they need.

I've tried both way's and I use both systems to some degree. Any coupon that I will for sure use, get clipped and put in my organizer. It goes with me everywhere. My inserts are kept in a file box by date and I use those if a great deal comes up on something that I would not normally buy. I try not to be stingy with my coupons. My neighbor and I swap coupons frequently. I also try to give them to other's if I know it is something they will use. I have also left coupons at the store on the shelf before. I like generic diapers. I have never been one to buy Huggies or Pampers, I mean I like them, but they are so expensive. I alway's try to leave those coupons in the baby aisle. I like to think of myself as the coupon fairy!! I hope it makes someone's day!

I promise that it is worth the time it takes to clip coupons. There have been times when I have saved $40.00 or more just in my coupons. It makes up for the cost of the newspaper subscriptions very quickly. Join me this year and make a resolution to save yourself money and to bulk up your food storage!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Amazing Pictures

I wanted to share these beautiful pictures and what the artist has to say about each one of them!
David Bowman: has had a passion for art ever since he could pick up a pencil. He loves creating images of the Savior that inspire and uplift. Along with his Christian fine art, David has also written and illustrated a series of scripture storybooks for children titled "Who's Your Hero". Check out his website at see more of his precious art.

One of the greatest human needs is a sense of security. In all aspects of life, we naturally gravitate towards anything that makes us feel safe. In this piece, I wanted to convey a sense of complete peace and calm like only the Savior can provide. It's a security that allows us to rest assured, without fear or worry, when we put ourselves trustingly in His arms. Little children have that inherent kind of trust in their parents, so it's fitting that the man and girl who modeled for "Security" are actually father and daughter. They generatedthe exact feel I was looking for.
"My Child"
This piece conveys an intimate, up-close-and-personal feeling of the Savior's love. Notice how all the lines draw your attention and point towards Jesus' face in the center. I chose the name "My Child" because the only thing that could compare (even remotely) to Christ's compassion for us is the love of a parent for his/her child. This image is also intended to put things in perspective. Above all, we are God's children first. He allows us the privelege of experiencing parenthood for ourselves and we are entrusted to be the mothers and fathers of His children here on earth.

The Savior tells us we need to become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God. I've often wondered what it is about little children Jesus loves most, and I think its their innocence. They are clean slates, seeing the world and others through untarnished eyes. Their hearts are pure, without the baggage of cynicism and self-doubt. In this piece, I've tried to imagine how a child would act upon meeting the Master for the first time. Without reservation or inhibition, I think he would simply want to play with Him. He would be at complete ease, allowing his pure little heart to soak in the love and laughter of His pure, infinite heart. Its no wonder Christ delights in these little ones and sets them up to be our examples.