Thursday, May 28, 2009

What is Hiding in the Rocks?

Last week, a visiting neighbor found something in the rocks down the street. He showed Zoe, who in turn, has shown each one of us.

Follow along...
Can you see them? Look closely... Baby birds.

We thought it was pretty cool and just wanted to add to the posts following a theme with Alex & Nicole and Levi & Saddie before they flew away.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Garden Lesson

My Grandpa Heaton's garden last week.
For some reason at the beginning of the season, I always seem to compare my garden to my grandpa's (particularly the onions). His vegetables always seem to be bigger, healthier, and more abundant.

In comparison, mine are smaller, more insect eaten, and the seeds don't always sprout. I begin to question myself and all the time and work I've put into this garden.

Our north garden a few weeks ago.

Our south garden today.

Then, I go out into our garden, and I start to work. I water, and weed, and watch the plants. And something happens. I change my mind and my thinking.

I begin to see that the plants are growing a little bit everyday. I start to notice the beneficial insects, like ladybugs, that are crawling on the plant leaves. And then Asher and Zoe notice them. So I get to watch their wonder and fascination.

The pomegranate flowering.

Tomato blossoms.

I get to see little miracles happening, blossoms here and tiny new fruits there. And I begin to know that this little garden is such a blessing to our family. And for a brief moment, I realize that I no longer need to compare. And that feels good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Get Ready for Summer GIVEAWAY

So, today is the last day of school. Aryn and Isaac have really liked their classes and their teachers. They've learned so much. One of the best things is that they both really love to read! I can't tell you how happy I am about that. We decided to make a little Thank You gift for their teachers. I found the instructions to make these cute bookmarks here.
Aryn and Isaac drew the pictures, and picked the colors for the fabric on the back. Pink for Isaac because he said that was his teacher's favorite. And green for Aryn because she said that was her teacher's favorite. I did the stitching for Isaac, but Aryn did hers on her own!

We thought it would be fun to get this summer started with a GIVEAWAY. So here you go... This time around, there's going to be a few twists...Just to add to the excitement!
1. I'll draw TWO winners. One for "Martian Man" and one for "Les Fleurs." (Original artwork by my children.)
2. Since it's mother's day month, if one of your names or one of your mother's names matches either of Gene or I's mother's MAIDEN name (does that make sense?), you get an extra entry. Their maiden names are: HEATON and EDWARDS.
3. We're going out of town, so the contest will close Tuesday @ 12:00 noon. Just leave a comment to enter.
4. Good Luck! And have FUN with the kiddos this summer!
I have to share one more piece of excitement. While Aryn and I were stitch, stitch, stitching away, Zoe wanted to try. I got her a little yellow hoop (her favorite color), she drew the picture on the fabric, and off she went! Now she's stitch, stitch, stitching away! She can even thread the needle! She's getting so big. She's so happy with herself too. And that makes me so happy.

The contest is now closed!!! I will draw the winners and post them soon!
The winner for "les fleurs" is... the TONIOLI'S
And the winner for "martian man" is... the MOORE FAMILY
CONGRATULATIONS! I'll get these sent off!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spinach Poppy Seed Salad Recipe

What do you do when you've got a bunch of spinach? Make Spinach Poppy Seed Salad, of course!

Luckily, we had the opportunity to use a lot of our spinach last Saturday evening. My cousin Ryan came home from his mission and we were invited to a Homecoming dinner. I love when Family gets together. And I LOVE being able to go out into the garden and gather some of what we've grown.

My cousin Maresa gave me this recipe. (I've printed my adaptations.) It is SO good!
The Recipe:

Spinach Poppy Seed Salad
1 bag fresh spinach... (or from the garden!)

1 head iceburg lettuce

1 small onion, slivered

grated cheese (I use cheddar)

1/2 bottle real bacon pieces

grape tomatoes


2 1/4 tsp. poppyseeds

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

3/4 tsp. dry onion

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. rice vinegar

1/2 c. oil

1.Wash and tear the spinach and lettuce. Mix together.

2. Whip together or shake in a pint bottle the dressing ingredients. Add onions and marinate for 8 hours or overnight. (Maresa says she only marinates for a few hours. Me too, usually.)

3. Layer cheese, bacon, and tomatoes on top of spinah mixture. Pour the dressing over this right before serving and toss.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


...I've been doing for the past few days?

Passing this bad boy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tadpole Update

Well. Instead of getting to watch the transformation from tadpole to frog, we got to experience another of life's little lessons: death. Yes, all of the tadpoles in the aforementioned post have all died. Sorry to say.

And just for your information...Isaac bought them from a classmate for 1 penny each. They also talked their dad into taking them to the Toquerville park/stream to catch more on Saturday. Hopefully, some of these little guys will make it to maturity!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

That Boy! has a Secret



So. When I took the kids to school this morning they were whispering in the back of the van. All three of them. Aryn, Zoe, and Isaac. I dropped the two older ones off, and when they left I said, "Zoe, what were you guys whispering about?" She said, " I can't tell you. It's a secret and if I tell, Isaac won't let me play with them."

Them?Well, that sure got my curiosity a-going.
When we got home I asked her about it again. In a round-of-about way, I learned that Isaac has taken into his possession a small amount of polliwogs. POLLIWOGS. I don't even know where he could have gotten them! She said he bought them from someone. What?! That boy has definitely got some explaining to do.
I looked up some information, here, on how to take care of them. Which as soon as Isaac gets home he going to read. Let me tell you.
Actually though, now that the initial shock has worn off, I think this could be a fun learning experience for all of them. The transformation from a tadpole into a frog could be an amazing thing to watch. As long as nothing dies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Wonderful Time

My brother and his wife came down for a visit. They decided to go camping. (Her sister and two children came along as well.) We decided to join them Monday night for dinner. It only took a little more than 30 minutes to get to our destination. Gene and I were so happy we decided to go. So were the kids!

We cooked hot dogs and tin foil dinners.

We all enjoyed the fire. (especially Isaac)

We played a game of Skipbo. (Nicole, Alex, and Gene)

We had so much fun that I decided to take the kids back for lunch and the afternoon today! It was so nice to be in the outdoors, away from our regular schedules and lives. It was calming and grounding, to stretch our bodies and our imaginations... to do something a little different and out of the ordinary.

We built and added to the woodland fairy houses we'd started the night before.

We scrambled up rocks and crowed like roosters. (He thinks he's king of the world!)

We ran through the trees and picked up bits of nature. Most of all, we enjoyed ourselves and each other.

It was a wonderful night and a wonderful day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spinach, Anyone?

We had our first harvest from the garden last Tuesday. SPINACH.

I made Lasagna Roll-ups. I learned how to make these while in college. I lived with some girls that wanted to share food and cook with everyone instead of cooking our own food for ourselves. It was fun, and I got to try a bunch of new things!

Aryn loved, LOVED them. Isaac picked out the filling. (He is one picky kid.) Zoe sort of ate them. Gene and I both enjoy them.
Lasagna Roll-ups

Cheese Filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese
freshly chopped spinach (or 10 oz. frozen spinach)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
grated mozzarella cheese for topping

1. pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 13x9x2 baking dish.
2. cook noodles as directed on package
3. mix the cheese filling ingredients. drain noodles.
4. spread 3 Tbs. of cheese filling down the length of 1 noodle. roll up. repeat for each noodle.
5. place rolls in baking dish. cover with remaining spaghetti sauce. top with mozzarella cheese.
6. cover with tin foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

i LOVE pink

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Peculiar Quirk

This is going to sound a little silly, and I can't believe I'm actually going to publish this, but here goes...

I've been meaning to post something since it IS a new month, but I haven't been able to because I haven't changed my picture heading or my colors BECAUSE it is a new month. Does that sound strange? Yeah, it does, even to my own ears as I write this...

Anyway, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, on Sunday !!!