Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Tongue of Angels

I have a confession to make:  I'm an angry mother. 

It's only been recently that this has become a problem.  Don't get me wrong, I yelled before, but it wasn't common.  Actually, it's been since my concussion last March.  Apparently this is one of the big long-term, side effects and there's basically nothing I can do about it.  I know I can also blame a lot on pregnancy hormones and having Gozer for a second child (that's her new nickname, btw), but I don't want to make excuses.  I just want to change.  I was thinking about some talks from leaders of my church.  Even if you aren't LDS, they're worth reading.  They make you stop and think about what you're doing.

Any of you who are LDS probably remember President Uchtdorf's first address to the women of the church in 2008.  It was called Happiness, Your Heritage.  This is the one where he talked about his wife making fantastic meals but never thinking they were good enough.  There were two things he said that really struck me that day:

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before." 

AND then he quotes Brigham Young, "Nearly a century and a half ago, President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day. “There is a great work for the Saints to do,” he said. “Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. In the mean time continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ.”

My goal was to create a garden and home that angels would come to visit.  It's a process, but it's coming together.  I've tried to make my home warm and inviting and have developed a fantastic routine for keeping it clean.  On the surface it looks great!  And yet, the angels have stayed away.

It's because of my temper.  Bless my wonderful little girl for forcing my to acknowledge this weakness in me.  It isn't easy.  It's downright embarassing.  But admiting you have a problem is the first step, right?

This brings me to the next talk I remember, from Elder Holland called the Tongue of Angels.  Again, it's worth reading even if you aren't a member of my faith.  In particular he says, "We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don't say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child's view of himself or herself. But it is even more important in shaping that child's faith in us and their faith in God. Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive."

I think of the times I scream at my kids for breaking something I just bought.  For getting mud on the floor I just mopped.  What message am I sending them?  That they are less important than things or appearances, that's what.  And that is just plain sad.  No matter how much I cuddle with them after and tell them I'm sorry, it doesn't take away the sting of my words.  I've let it slide too long using the excuse that it's frojm a brain injury, but I think I have now let it become a habit.  Regardless of it's origin, it needs to change.  And so internets, since I seem to have the bread baking down (I have more pictures!!), I have a new resolution.  Stop yelling, mom!  Maybe I can give myself a reward (chocolate!) for days I don't yell or gardening money or something.  But I will find a way to break myself of this awful yelling habit of mine.  Then, hopefully, the angels will come to my garden.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter

Normally I really like winter, but this year I feel like it's starting to drag on. I want to go outside and dig in the dirt! I'm feeling enclosed and hormonal and insecure. I feel like if I could just get into the soil, I could work through all my feelings and really figure out what it is I'm wanting right now. We've been in this house almost 2 years now. This is the time I start wanting a change. I want to move, or remodel, or do major landscaping...something! One thing I've learned though is being a landlord isn't for me. We've had great renters and no problems with it, but I don't find it enjoyable or fulfilling at all. And really, why have anything take up space in your life if it doesn't bring you joy? So that's the question I'm really pondering right now...what do I want to do/learn/focus on that will truly bring me joy?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's a Girl!!!

As fun as it would be to post pictures of this little treasure, I really don't feel like busting out the scanner.  Sorry.  But two are really cute.  The position of her umbilical cord makes it look like she's blowing bubbles!

My feelings?  Shock!  I really totally expecting a boy.  I just wasn't even close to being sick with #3 as I was with baby girl.  Sicker than the boy, yes, but I figured I'd have gotten IV's or at least 1 UTI if it was  girl.  Now that it has sunk in (and the boy has stopping crying), I am ecstatic!  First off, I have to say that I have been worried sick about this kid because I had some very high fevers during weeks 5 &6.  So my biggest feeling is for gratitude that she has no visible defects. 

I always wanted all boys because I'm such a tomboy, but I am starting to really love girls.  It's weird.  I think they're bringing out my inner girly girl.  The Boy was VERY upset when we told him and I was really sad for him.  But then we got to talking and he realized he really just wanted to teach it new things and he could do that even if it was a girl.  Now he's happy.

I may have also bribed him with a pet...

My due date is staying at May 28, but I'm guessing the 22nd since the other two came about a week early.  So there's the pregnancy update.  Now we just gotta come up with another girls name.  We have such an easy time with boy names but really struggle with girl ones... oh well.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Success!!



Okay, I know the top looks a little funky, but it tasted soooo good! Edible bread, my friends. We have acheived edible bread! I still need to be able to make bread the real old fashioned way, kneading and all. But I'm going to take this success and run with it as long as I can. OH! And since I was in the mood and my oven was already warm, I made "healthy" oatmeal chocolate chip cookies too. You can see them cooling behind the bread. They're "healthy" because they use whole wheat flour and oats. We won't discuss the sugar content.

The best part of the bread was that I went to make a sandwich with it today and it tasted even better then it did out of the oven. It was soft and chewy and wheaty all at the same time. I used the honey wheat sandwich bread recipe from HBin5.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some handmade Christmas gifts

I made these for the kiddos and am very proud.  oooh and ahhh over them all you like.





I made them both pajamas out of some uber cheap flannel I got.  I still have lots more I'm thinking of using for a quilt.



I worked so long on this sweater for baby girl.  isn't she cute with those Baby Legs on with it?  There's a hood too.

I love handmade, especially at Christmas time.  But I really struggle with comeing up with ideas.  Kids are eas, at least.  I made ornaments for all the girls in my family as well.  I wish had pictures, some of them really seemed to like them.  I look forward to the handmade gifts my children will give me.  The boy made me a book this year.  It totally brings out my inner "mommy".  I love that stuff!

Bread with pictures

So while browsing for bread books I came across the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" website. They had a video showing how to make the master recipe and I thought, "I'll just use that to make some bread!" After buying the book, I figured out what I did wrong. I didn't buy the book. Apparently you can't just get the ingredients, and adjust rising times to what you've read in other books. Who knew? Maybe that's why I always preferred cooking to baking. There's a lot more wiggle room. But it wasn't a total loss. Here's the dough after I mixed it.



And then, you guys, a miracle happened. It rose! See, here's proof. I actually got some dough to rise!



So then I refrigerated it like they said and then grabbed some dough out (just like in the video), formed a little oval with it and stuck it in my bread pan. It came out looking like this.



not very inspiring, is it? So anyway, I figured out that I handled the dough too long, didn't put enough in the pan, and didn't let it rise enough. That explains the smallness. That aside, it tasted like bread, but not very good bread. It really needed sugar. So since the video was for pizza rolls, I made cinnamon rolls with the remaining dough. Soooo good!!!!



Lots of brown sugar there, too.

So tonight (since I now have the book) I am making the "whole grain sandwich loaf" which uses honey and some other ingredients. It's better when left in the fridge for 24 hours so I'll let you know Friday if this one turns out. Most of the breads in the book are free form loaves. I'll try some of those later.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back to blogging

I've wanted to blog, but I was waiting until I uploaded pictures of the bread (it didn't work). But my camera battery is dead and the charger is in the car. Needless to say, I haven't brought the charger in yet. Hopefully I'll remember when hubby gets home for lunch.

I bought the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The previous recipe I tried was from these guys (on the website), but there's things in the book I needed to know. So I'll try again later this week. I'm not sure if I'll like it or not, but it's worth a shot. I have many more to try I'm on hold for at the library.

Christmas was wonderful and I made some really cute gifts for my kids I'm excited to post pictures of. I've spent the last week getting my home back in order though. The number one rule of living in a small house is you have to keep it clean! I'm also finally painting over the last of the baby vomit pink in my bathroom and kitchen. I haven't picked a paint color yet, but primer white beats that horrible pasty color I was surrounded by.

Pics, and more pics to come!

Meanwhile, we're loving sledding in the backyard! But every day it isn't snowing I'm just aching for spring so we start digging in the yard. Hubby and I are both going a little stir crazy and have drawn out plans to convert the entire backyard into nothing but food growing goodness. With the baby coming we'll be lucky to get a few fruit trees in, I know. But it's fun to plan!