Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hawaiian Sweet Bread...

I am a fan of all things bread. In fact, I've yet to meet a bread I did not like. And of course included in the bread category would be cinnamon rolls, my favorite. 

But bread has always been my go to snack. I like it toasted with butter and jelly, I like it fresh out of the oven, I like it five days old at room temperature, I'm really not picky.

On Sunday, I was making some teriyaki chicken with rice. Typically with rice, I don't see the need for a bread, but it was Sunday and I wanted to bake so I decided to try a new recipe: Hawaiian Sweet Bread. The only reason why I felt the two items should even share the same meal is because they had a common ingredient...pineapple juice. I'm logical like that! It was a recipe a friend had made and it was delicious. 

Side note: the same day I made three large loaves of sweet bread, I also noticed my bananas were going bad. I couldn't let a banana go to waste so to add to the three loaves, we also had two loaves of banana bread and some muffins. I told you I like bread!

Hawaiian Sweet Bread
7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
2/3 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter, softened (use real butter - margarine does funny things!)
1 cup pineapple juice
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, sugar, yeast, salt and ginger. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter and pineapple juice to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a ball. Place in three greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 3 loaves (12 wedges each).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

18 weeks...

4 month stats -
14lbs 13oz

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tie Dye...

I know that tie dye isn't necessarily the "in" thing right now, but my kids are totally diggin' it.

Last year, the day before school started, we had a fun tie dye session with a ton of friends. One of Hunter's shirt was dubbed as his "special" shirt and he frequently requested it. Of course, it has seen better days and he is growing out of it. It was time for a new one...So I decided, tie dye the day before school starts just might be our little tradition.

Here is a step by step instruction guide:

Supply list included -
Shirts (washed)
Rubber gloves
Rubber bands
Several plastic bags
Plastic Bottles
Dye - I've used a variety of dyes. You can buy special dye (made specifically for tie dye) at JoAnns or Michaels (with a 40% coupon). RIT dye - not my favorite method, the color tends to fade more with RIT. Or buy specialty dye online - (My friend uses this method). They have a huge variety of colors and a step by step instructions on how to use the dye. You will need to buy a couple other products to complete this process, but the color selection and color retention in fabric is worth it!

Make sure the shirts are good and wet. (if using dye from Pro Chem - follow their instructions!)

With the wet shirts, use the rubber bands to create different designs. We did a wide variety, and this is where the kids really can help out and have some fun. We used youtube to figure how to create certain designs. Several times, we had no clue what we were doing, but every single one turned out great!

At this point, we somewhat excused Hunter (for obvious reasons) and allowed Hallie to let her creative juices flow! We used only three colors - red, blue, yellow - and using the rubber gloves we started squirting the die on the wet shirts. Some shirts we only used one color, other shirts were a rainbow of colors.

After the shirts were good and saturated with dye, we let them sit in a plastic bag for a while. (once again, follow the directions on whatever dye you purchase.)

Rinse with cold water several times and then wash WITHOUT ANYTHING ELSE!! This is a very important step and you will be gravely disappointed if you disregard this step!

And here is the result. Each kid made 5 shirts (that is how Hanes sells them!) and they use them as sleep shirts.  

Although not totally "in", we will definitely keep up with this as long as the kids enjoy doing it. I'm tempted to do it again during the holidays as their Christmas eve sleep shirt...we'll see...

Friday, August 26, 2011


Kara's Party Ideas

The baby shower (from way back when) that my friends and I threw for Tricia is being featured today at Kara's Party Ideas. (Not me Kara, a different Kara!)

Check it out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Potty Training funny...

We're still in the potty training stage and it totally sucks. When naked, this kid is 100% trained. However, when underwear or pants are being worn - he's maybe 25% trained.

The other day he expressed his need to go to the bathroom so I follow him in and watch as he carefully climbs onto the toilet. After going a little bit, I offered to help him, to which he snapped, "I'm not done yet."

The curious boy that he is leaned his head as forward as he could while still sitting on the toilet when he immediately jerks his head up. He looks straight at me and suddenly tears are rolling down my cheeks and my laughter is uncontrollable. There, running down his forehead is a stream of liquid. Yep, he went to the bathroom on his own head. He's such a classy and talented guy - I'll make sure to let every future girlfriend know!

I still die laughing as I write this. He cracks me up!

Father and Sons...

Better late than never on some posts...this happens to be one of them.

Just three days after Bennett was born, was the ward annual father/sons campout. Steve was excited to go to spend some time with his brother and nephews. I felt Hunter would really enjoy this experience, and seeing as though he is a "son" it would only be right if he attended. Steve fought me on it for brief period of time but when it was evident the campout would be close to the birth, he knew it would be a help to get Hunter out of the house for a while. My mom was there with me and we enjoyed a wonderful sleeping newborn, delicious dinner, the painting of fingernails and a movie with treats.

Hunter had a good time as well.

He adores his cousins and they are so good to him. (Look at how he's holding on to his hand!)

Steve said Hunter enjoyed the campfire a great deal and announced he was ready for bed after several marshmallows. Typically, not a whole lot of sleeping takes place on a camp out but Hunter went against all odds.

He slept, and slept, and then slept some more. Steve said hands down this was the most he had ever slept consecutively.

Although the sleeping was uncharacteristic of him, his appetite was spot on. This kid can eat. And then he eats some more. I'm not sure where it all goes but he knows how to throw it down.  He threw down f-i-v-e large pancakes. Five of them! He ate more than the grown men!

Steve (although nervous originally to take a 2 year old camping on his own) said they had a blast. He couldn't have asked for Hunter to behave any better. He let him get as dirty as can be, play in the campfire, sleep away the morning and feed him an endless supply of pancakes. Hunter came home and kept talking about his "camp with dad". I was so glad they had some great one-on-one time. Perhaps Steve will want to take two sons to next years campout!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Idaho (Part 3, and final part!)...

Surprisingly- for as many posts as it took to wrap up our Idaho trip, our trip was not that long. We just managed to pack it in!

After McCall - we were a little worn out. And although we had big plans to go to the county fair and to see a movie and see some friends - we (more importantly our children) were exhausted. We laid low the last day and got packed up, ready to drive out the next morning.

We did hit up the pool Friday morning with my sister-in-law and her kids.
I'm grateful Steve was there to join us, he is Mr. Fun when it comes to pool time. He knows how to make a game out of anything and is always willing to throw the kids around a bit!
I took our traditional Grandparent photos.
And we let the kids run through the sprinkles once again and enjoyed a nice summer evening.
Until next summer...we will miss you Idaho.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

17 weeks...

This little guy is 4 months in just three days!
We won't have any weight or height updates until Friday but I have a sneaking feeling he's on the higher end of the scale. My arms are telling me he's gained quite a bit of wait over the last month!

This last month we've spent a lot of time traveling and he was a trooper in the car.
He's quite the talker and loves the sound of his voice.
He loves to have people talk to him.
He has a very short fuse. He can be happy and talking and within a split second he will be inconsolable.
When he is out. He can be miserable.
He's rolled over several times from his front to his back.
He's starting to reach for things, but doesn't really hold anything in his hands.
He likes the taste of smoothies!
He is not content by himself - he needs someone to hold him and talk to him.
He is so fun right when he wakes up, all smiles.
He sleeps through the night (we did have quite a few rough nights while traveling, but he was off his schedule!) and wakes up like clockwork at 6am.
He's becoming far more interactive and both Hallie and Hunter love to play with him.
This week our photoshoot included a very special visitor - my niece, Brimley is on her way to college this week! She loves these kids more than anything and I don't want to see her go.
I just keep thinking how much older B is going to be the next she sees him. It just about breaks my heart!

Monday, August 22, 2011

McCall (Idaho - part 2)...

Want to know where one of the most beautiful places in Idaho is?
McCall, Idaho.

McCall is about two hours from my home town and we would make that drive several times a year for different reasons. McCall was in our athletic conference so every sport had to play one game in McCall, also McCall was in our stake for church (boundary) which meant we had several activities a year there, including girls camp, but rarely did I spend much recreational time on my own there. I took for granted the beauty of the area when I had such easy access to it growing up.

While in Idaho visiting family, we made a three day trip to McCall to visit our good friends the Owens also visiting from Nebraska. Her family grew up with a cabin there and we were more than excited to experience the area with her.

Our first mandatory stop was the Pancake House. Between all of our orders, I tried a lot of items, and none of them disappointed. I ordered their famous cinnamon roll (because I'm a sucker for those things!) and it was the size of a large dinner plate. No joke. And I ate the majority of it. No Joke! And if I could, I'd go tomorrow morning and order it again...and I'd also order the McCall omelet.

We played on the beaches of Payette lake, which kept the kids busy for hours. (which in turn gave us plenty of conversation time). Side note: it is one of the coldest lakes I've been in. Even in the heat of the summer, it is frigid. Then again, I'm a bathwater temperature kind of girl. The lakes in Wisconsin would eventually warm up for me to jump in, but it was a very short window. Arizona has been kind to us as the pools are heated by the extreme heat to near perfect temperatures. There was no way I would be taking a dip in Payette lake!

We did get slightly wet as we played on some jet skis and let the kids go out on the tube, but with only a couple limbs wet, the water was manageable!

We ventured out to Ice Cream Alley, which is quite literally what the name implies; an ice cream shop in an alley way.
Great use of space if you ask me and I would have been pleased as punch to frequent the shop every day if we had more time! They had a great variety of flavors and gave generous helpings. Hallie's eyes about fell out of their sockets when she saw they had bright blue bubble gum ice cream! Every kid's dream! I'm just wondering why they have to make it that crazy blue that inevitably stains clothing - because what kid can eat it without getting it on them? But the smiles are worth it I suppose...
We were able to hang out, enjoy the scenery and some amazing friends. The kids all kept each other entertained and I love how well they've line up thus far. (Including their baby girl who will be born shortly and will be the perfect playmate for Benentt!)
We were recapping with the Owens family all the places we've met up with them over the years. We visited Washington DC when they lived there, they visited us in Milwaukee, we met up in Nauvoo, we visited them in Nebraska and we met up in McCall. We're hoping that our summer trips to Idaho will line up in the future as well! We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends, looking forward to years of family trips together!
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