The Cutest Blog on the Block

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How I Make Cheesy Beef and Rice

I gather all my ingredients.

I start cooking the rice and meat.

The boys are playing Pokemon cards.

Warrick says,  "There's a weird bird in the backyard!"  
Stafford says,  "I'm going to kill it."  

They all go outside.

I finish cooking ground beef and brown rice.

Stafford and Warrick come back inside.

Warrick says, "Stafford has a weird bug in the house!" .

I say, "Take it outside."

Warrick exits.
Stafford exits.
Weird Bug exits.

I drain the grease from the meat.

Warrick says, "There's a butterfly in a cocoon and it's head is bleeding!"

I mix the beef and the rice.

Stafford peeks his head in the door.  "We just found cat poo.  Hurry!"  .

I mix in yogurt, seasoning and milk and put the food in a casserole dish.

Stafford holds the door open and Christian hollers.  "I just touched cat poo and can't get the water to turn off!"  

I say, "Put the hose on the grass until I can get there."

Christian says with a hint of panic, "There's not a hose attached!"

I go out to find loads of water spilling out right by our foundation.

I can't get the water to turn off.


Christian says, "I'm going to take a bath."

I finally get the water off and add cheese to the casserole and put it in the oven at 350 degrees.

Time passes.

Warrick and Stafford come to report.

Warrick says, "We gave the butterfly a flower even though it's head is bleeding."

I sit down to write this blog before I forget how my life really is.

Warrick says, "Come on Stafford.  Let's go check on that butterfly.  I'ts probably going to bleed to death."
Stafford says, "Let's get it a band-aid."

Stafford says  " I need to take the butterfly to my horsey stuff.  Because it has a doctor's office and I need to fix him."

Warrick says, "Mom, you need to see this.  It's very, very sad.."
I stop typing this post to go see the butterfly because "it's very very sad".

Warrick says, "I need to go inside."

Warrick goes inside.

I take pictures and then I go inside.

Warrick is kneeling at the couch praying.  He looks up like he was caught and goes back outside.

Warrick comes back inside.

"It's coming out of the cocoon!"

Warrick exits.

Warrick re-enters.

He runs and gets Christian out of the bathtub.

They go out to the butterfly.

Warrick calls in to me.  "It has it's wings out.  I think it's going to live!"

Christian gets an idea that if the cocoon was attached to something that the butterfly could get out.  He pokes a pin in the end of the cocoon and it pulls the butterfly out.

The casserole is done.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Great Hike For Kids

Owen's Loop is my new favorite kid friendly hike.

It is not crowded like some Southern Utah hikes.  
As a matter of fact, you will most likely find yourself alone.
The trail head is not well marked.
It is short.
It is easy.
Our boys love it.
There are rocks to climb on.
Lizards to chase.
And views.

On one side you will find views like this.

And views like this on the other side.

This looked like a mini-cave dwelling.

 Porter thought it would make a good picture if he climbed into one of these holes.
I think climbing out was more difficult than he anticipated.

 There are cairns to follow when the trail is faint.  
Glenn informed us that they are called cairns, not Karens.  
Suddenly, it became really fun to call them Karens.
Below we have a Karen.

Rocky - double meaning

Friday, May 11, 2012

I didn't want to.

We used to be cold cereal people.  Everyday. It worked out well for us.  When someone woke up, anyone, they would simply help themselves to cereal and I could keep sleeping. 

That was the upside of the arrangement.

The down side was that cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, sugar, and milk spills sprawled across every flat surface.  By the number of bowls and spoons, one would think that I had at least eight children.  I often wonder why there are more bowls than children.  I also wonder about the nutrition they are getting and lastly, I wonder about the puddles of sugar that are speckled around the table. If that much sugar didn't make it into the bowl, I imagine how much actually did make it in.  To top it all off, those boys can eat.  A lot.  Cereal isn't cheap.  Even with price matching at Wal-mart.

At some point, enough is enough.

For me, enough was enough a few weeks ago. I decided I would wake up super early and fix breakfast every week day.  Less sugar.  Whole grain goodness.  Less mess.  Cheaper. It has worked out.  But today was different. 

Today I didn't want to.  When it was time to get up.  I didn't.  I rolled over and started dreaming.  And it was a good dream.  I dreamed that I was running a race against Lisa Neagle and Janalee Proctor (If you went to my high school, you will appreciate this.) and I was winning AND it was a long distance race AND I wasn't even tired.  We were approaching the last bit of the race and I was feeling great.  I was in the lead and so curious as to if I could actually win. I was wondering if they were saving their speed for a last burst at the end and I was wondering if I had enough to combat that if I needed to.  

Then I hear, "Mom, can we just have cereal today?"  I'm shutting my eyes tightly in hopes of keeping the scene vivid.

"No.  I'll be there in a minute."  I say.  The race is still happening in my mind.

"Why Mom?"  Think whine.   

Oh no!  The race is fading.  I'm letting go of the dream and starting to picture Porter hovering over my bed, on Glenn's side.  He jumps and now he's on the bed, even closer than before.  I don't see him, but I feel him.  I'm still trying to keep the race real, with my eyes closed.  I want to go back to it.  I really want to know if I can actually win.  It was going so well.

"Okay fine!  Have cereal.  Just close my door when you go out."  I can't argue right now.  Every word I speak drags me further out of the dream.  I've got a race to get back to.

I picture the race course.  It has lost its color.  Then it's gone.  My dream is gone.  I try to think of the details so that it will come back.  

But it is no use.  

I lay in bed and hear hard pieces of cereal clanking as they make contact with an empty bowl.  

He forgot to close the door.

I know I wouldn't have won those speedy girls in a real race.  But in my dream I could have.  I sigh.  I get out of bed.  I eat more cereal than I should have.  I help Porter with his piano.    I send the boys off to school.  I shower.  

Stafford won't go to preschool. I go with him and sit with him.  No, he's not staying without me.  It is not where I want to spend my morning.

So we leave.  Stafford, Warrick and I.

The plan was to get my hair trimmed while Stafford was getting an education.  That won't work now.   

I go to the Art museum to get Art Ball Tickets.  When we walk in, Stafford goes right to a sculpture and hugs it.  The volunteer gets after him.  He is now clinging to my leg with his face buried in my outer thigh.  I think the lady feels bad.  We all do.  She directs us to the office to buy the tickets.  A woman from our ward is working there.  She says, "That will be $70."  Ummm.  I hesitate while thinking, "I thought they were $35."  She sees it on my face.  I explain.  She is really nice about it, though I feel dumb.  Dumb that my son hugged a statue and dumb that I don't want to pay that much.  I then find myself going on a mini-tour of the museum with her.  How did that happen?  But she is really nice and I enjoy that.  She takes me to the sculpture garden.  There is an Indian on a horse, children frozen in a gay (old meaning of the word) frolic and among the grand figures, a naked lady, just relaxing.  Like it's normal to be lounging in the nude.  Maybe it is.  I won't judge.  I've seen naked ladies before, but I don't feel like seeing one right now.  My sons aren't as familiar with the topic and I don't feel like explaining that it's art, and beautiful and freedom of speech/expression and that we shouldn't be asking why there is a naked bronze person staring at us, but instead we should all be asking why there are not more naked bronze people staring at us.  Not really.  But before my boys experience a deeper level of art than I want them to, I tell our self appointed tour guide that I need to get going.  She chats a bit more.  And since she works in our ward primary, she tells my boys that they are the best kids in primary.  They say thanks, after I prompt them to.  

As we drive home, Warrick says that she's wrong.  They aren't the best in primary.  

That's okay.  

Stafford calls himself a bad boy.  I think he's still wounded from the museum reprimand.  I tell him he's a good boy.

I suggest he goes to get the mail.  It is something that excites him on a daily basis.  He wants me to come.  We walk down the driveway.  No mail.  I knew that.  It's too early in the morning, but it gave him something to do.  I bring our big black garbage can back to the house.

It is 10:30 am.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Your Best Race

There is an amazing woman in our ward.
She is kind.
She is friendly.
She has great ideas.

One of these ideas was a once a week event that focused on fitness.
She had games of capture the flag, tag, relay races, sharks and minos, and a walking school bus home from school.

One Saturday, we had a "run your best race", race.
The kids all had name tags with 3 strips of paper on them.

 After each lap they take a strip off and put it into a box. 
The more laps you ran, the more prizes you would get. 
Everyone brought toys from their house to make up the prize table.  

When your name was pulled out (everyone got something) you were able to choose from the wealth of treasures on the table.

Here all the kids wait for their names to be called.

Christian and Jared G.
Stafford going at breakneck speed.