Friday, November 28, 2014


This is what it looks like when you need to make mashed potatoes for 25+ people and you only have small pots.  

It takes all 3 pots you own and boiling 2 batches of potatoes to get them all cooked.  Luckily, we just bought the large one a few weeks ago......made the job much easier.

James is teaching international students and most of them have never experienced Thanksgiving - many of them didn't even know what the holiday was.  So, we invited a bunch over to experience it. Luckily the neighboring apartment was open and James' school director let us use it - there's no way we would have fit into our place.

I probably should have been a little nervous about feeding almost 30 people, considering it's been a long time since I've made a lot of the traditional food, we have a minimum of cooking utensils, and almost no serving stuff.  But, I wasn't too concerned.

They've never experienced this, chances are good they won't like lots of it even if it is made excellently, and they don't know any better, so why stress?

It did take quite a bit of thought getting the logistics worked out.  The joys of a small kitchen and very few pans.  :D 

The heating element broke in our oven.  Luckily we noticed it as we were putting the Turkey in.  It's a good thing we had a key for the neighboring apartment...the Turkey and rolls would never have baked in time.

Here we are with most of the students that came for dinner.  The students were from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Little Scary

James and the girls were having a little too much fun with the google eyes.  Creepy isn't it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Several months ago the girls started talking about Halloween. (yeah...we must not have much to talk about!!!) Hannah really wanted to be a princess. There is nothing wrong with that, but for some reason I really wanted to avoid a commercialized costume that every other kid will have. Maybe it's because I'm too cheap to buy the store costumes and to lazy to make my own!!!!  Anyway, I didn't force the issue, just offered a few other ideas and both of the girls were hooked with poodle skirts. Something about twirling skirts sounded appealing to them.  So....they decided to be 50's girls.  Naturally Hannah chose yellow and Sofia chose purple.

They had lots of fun twirling in the skirts!!

I thought of doing the 50's theme for the entire family, but ended up not doing it.  TJ went as our little monster....with clean teeth!

We had fun carving pumpkins.  The girls really got into it this year. They each got their own pumpkin and really enjoyed seeing them lit up.

Monday, November 24, 2014

She's Flying

Sofia had a trike.  She didn't really like it and didn't seem to want to make it work.  That all changed the day Hannah got a bigger bike.  Sofia inherited Hannah's old bike.  She was pretty excited for the upgrade.  That day she miraculously learned how to pedal and is now officially a biker.  And pretty darn fast.  For the size of her legs, she really does fly down the bike path.

Of course the fairy wings make everything better.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Much Needed Visit

Last weekend we went to Oklahoma City to visit friends and go to the temple!!!  It was exactly what we needed.  It was fun to meet up with friends remember what it's like to have friends.  :D And it was soo unbelievably nice to go to the temple together.  

Here's the cute family we stayed with.  Our girls had fun playing with Julia and it was fun to meet Miriam.  Thanks for arranging it Lauren!!

Friday, November 14, 2014


In Turkey we pretty much lived off of a 72 hour kit.  At least it felt that way.  Moving here we had no food at all.  It's a rather large task to build a pantry from nothing.  And pretty pricey.  But it was kind of fun to stock up on things like wheat, a wheat grinder, oats, etc.... (this is how I know I'm officially old and boring).  Anyway, we now have a decent amount of pantry items on hand.  Time to learn to can....daunting.

I have had a pressure cooker for about 2 years and now I have officially used my pressure cooker and canned something for the first time. 

We made applesauce....and you don't actually need o use the pressure cooker for that, but since we only have small pots I used the pressure cooker as our pot.  Worked out pretty well.

Doesn't make sense to go to the work of making it for such a small batch, but I wanted to make sure we tested it out before making lots.

There's something rewarding about doing something on your own.  It's so satisfying each time you open the cupboard.

Sadly, there's no where nearby that can test the type of pressure cooker we have.  I've found some suggestions online for testing the pressure on your own, but haven't ventured into that world yet...I suppose that's next on the list.

Monday, November 10, 2014

My Own Etsy Shop

I haven't posted on here or done anything lately....except sew, sew, and sew some more.  Today I opened up my own etsy shop, Simpledayz. After hours and hours of work I have exactly 1 item to sell (well, actually 6 of the same item).

Here's the culprit:  a quiet book.

I know, I know....not the best photos.  But I'm tired and I don't care right now!!

For any of you that have ever made one or anything similar you know they are insanely monotonous and time consuming to make.  A few years ago I made one for our girls and when I finally finished it I loved it.  BUT I vowed I would never make another one again.

So, why would I make one now?

Because I've been thinking of ways I can contribute financially to our family.  I've been thinking about it for a while, but haven't come up with any realistic ideas....not with the 3 little ones around at least.  Until one day I was sitting in church and the idea of making and selling quiet books came to me.

I tried not to think about it.  I didn't want to make them.  I didn't like the idea of the time consuming project.  The risk of no one buying them.  The risk of failure. And did I mention how time consuming they are to make?

But the idea wouldn't go away.  So, I begin purchasing supplies, brainstorming pages, making patterns, and finally sewing....then sewing some more.  A few weeks later and lots of hours at the sewing table (aka dining table, play dough, and paint table) I have several finished.

So, today I created a shop and listed an item for sale.  The shop is simple - okay, it's beyond simple.  It's plain and needs work, but it's going to have to work for today.

I'm glad the sewing is done for now.  I'm glad I've ventured onto it.  It's nice to know I can accomplish something.  And...if none of them sell, I've got some great gifts!