Archive | January, 2012


29 Jan

Going about everyday life, going, going, going.

Then it happens.

The thing happens and it rocks your world.

Everything comes to a screeching halt.

Why didn’t I give him a hug when I saw him last night?  It was the last time I would ever see him.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t hug him and now he is gone.

I am grateful that we got to see him last night, ran into him at a wrestling match randomly.  No, not randomly.

Losing him,

He is gone but I can’t get away from focusing on his family.  A wife without a husband, an adorable young girl who doesn’t have a daddy.  Six kids who will never get to tell their dad they love him again.  Why.

You are in an amazing, place and you are with Jesus.  But that doesn’t really help us down here at the moment.

Some day Jesus will come and fix this broken world of sadness and pain but that doesn’t help tonight in our tears. Hope yes but still tears.

You were so full of life yesterday.  I guess you are more alive than you have ever been as well.

We love you and miss you.

Pretzel Rolls

28 Jan
Pretzel Rolls

The Dough
6-7 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups milk, slightly warmed
1 cup water, slightly warmed

Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

The “Bath”
7 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons baking soda

In a small container, mix yeast with warmed milk and let rest for 10 minutes.Whisk flour and teaspoon of salt in a large bowl.

Add canola oil and warmed water to yeast mixture. Pour into bowl with flour and salt. Knead in the bowl until dough is mostly smooth. Only add more flour if your dough cannot be easily handled. The dough will be somewhat stiff. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and put in a warm place to rise for one hour.

Punch down dough and knead in bowl for one minute. Cut dough into 15 pieces. (Cut more pieces if you would like smaller size rolls.) Form balls by pulling the dough under. Place on a well-greased surface. Let the dough balls rise for 15 minutes.

While the dough balls are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and get the pretzel “bath” ready. In a large pot, bring water, salt, and baking soda to a rolling boil. Plunge three dough balls into the water and let them “poach” for 1 minute on each side.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a well-greased baking sheet. With a serrated knife, cut 2-3 lines across each roll and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pretzels are a rich brown.  These are best eaten the same day they are made.

After we had eaten a few of these, Jared had a great idea.  He wanted to see how they would taste if we added cinnamon and sugar on top like the famous tornadoes they sell at Colorado Rockies baseball games.

And they were amazing!  So whatever kind of mood you are in, salty or sweet, these are delicious and the whole “bath” thing was pretty fun.

Frozen Water Experiment

26 Jan

A couple mornings ago the weather was 25 degrees and about 50 below zero with wild chill.

Before we even had eaten breakfast, Jared decided to try a little experiment.  He went outside with a cup full of cold water and through it up in the air….Nothing happened.  Hmmmm.

The girls were very amused.

We boiled a cup of water and then flung the water out of the up into the air….And it worked!

When the water flew into the air it made a hissing sound (I had to take Jared’s word for it because I stayed in the comfort of my warm house) and dissolved into a cloud of smoke.


If it gets that cold again make sure you try this, it’s a pretty amazing thing to watch.

I bought Two Dresses

24 Jan

I think it is important to have a goal and focus for a blog.

Last year my goal was to stop buying clothes for my girls for an entire year.  I did it, I survived, I made it.

For my first clothing purchase at the beginning of January I bought two dresses from a tiny hut in Belize.  They were 2 for $5.

I was contemplating trying to  continue my resolution and not buy the girls clothes for another year, but I decided against it.  My sewing skills have grown and I know I don’t have to go out the store whenever we need something.  I learned a lot last year and will continue to live in a frugal and non-wasteful way.  But I want to have some new goals for the blog this year and I also want to be able to buy a cute shirt when I run across one in a store.  Aleah’s pants have been slowly turning into capris and I want to be able to buy her some shirts to go under her dresses or sweaters to go over them.

After I bought the two dresses I felt relieved.  I thought I would feel bad and guilty as I ended my resolution, but I didn’t.  I felt a sense of accomplishment looking back at the past year and also excited that this experience was now behind me and I could look forward to something new.

It was strange buying the dresses because I had not done so in over a year.  But I felt okay doing it.  I thought I would regret buying the first item, but I didn’t.  I felt proud of what I had done in the previous year but also glad that it was over.  Phew.

Heres to a fresh new year full of fresh new possibilities.

Sweater Pants Update

22 Jan

Here is an e-mail I received last week:


I never write to people I don’t know or really ever read blogs, but I bought a pair of your sweater pants at the urban alchemist and I checked out your website from the label and after reading through the history of the pants I thought you’d like to hear that they found a great home! My daughter loves them -so warm an cozy, and I have made another couple pairs thanks to your inspiration, so I just wanted to say thank you.

And she even sent a picture of her adorable daughter wearing the pants:

Isn’t it cool that a cute little kid in New York is wearing the sweater pants I made in little Cook, MN.

I am so glad she contacted me and allowed me to share the picture and the e-mail.


20 Jan

I think all the proper people have been notified so I can finally announce it myself!

My little sister, Caroline, is engaged to a great guy, Michael!   Sophi is a huge Michael fan and has learned his name before any of the other aunts or uncles.   We are all so excited about the upcoming wedding this spring.

Aleah and Sophi will be the flower girls and I am in charge of coming up with their dresses.  Yikes!

Okay, at least I am already thinking about this right?  I have about 5 months to come up with two flower girl dresses.  Here are a few of my favorites I have found on Pintrest:

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
SO in love! :)wow

laceso simply and perfect, favorite??

cute shoulderslove that the dresses are different!

flower girls in tutus plus grayTutu's for Flower Girls...

Any tips or votes?

Perhaps this one? =)

Pancake Pencil

18 Jan

One of my favorite Christmas presents I got this year was a pancake pencil.  This is what it looks like:

My friend got it from Williams and Sonoma and I think it is essential if you have kids or if you like to spice things up for breakfast every once in a while.

Aleah was always asking me to make her pancakes into different shapes.  They usually just end up looking like a blob with a couple legs.  Now that I have this nifty tool I can easily make stars, dinosaurs, hearts, people, snakes, animals and the letters in her name.

Gymnastics Bar

16 Jan

We looked online for a gymnastics bar to buy for the girls.  These are some that we found:

Olympia 45 Inch Adjustable Gymnastics High BarAai Junior Training Bar

The first one was $285 plus $49.66 for shipping, a total of 334.66.  The second bar cost $440 including shipping.

So Jared decided to make one for a fraction of the price.  The paint cost $10 and we have plenty left , and the wood cost $20.  The bar was something we had been hanging our clothes off of in the basement of our previous house.  The total price of the homemade gymnastics bar was $30.00.

My dad even got in the act and helped with the painting.  We brought Aleah to the hardware store and let her pick the colors herself.  But she did not know what the colors were for because we wanted her to be surprised on Christmas morning.

This is Aleah running to her gymnastics bar.

They love it and hang off it for at least an hour every day.

Such a great outlet for their never ending supply of energy.  Thanks Jared!

Look ahead to the February 8th post for great instructions.

Kid Curling

14 Jan

If you are up for a new winter sport, check this out-

Jared and I were out of town while Jared’s saint of a mother watched both girls.  Bless her.

I have some interesting ideas for this new year of blogging and I can’t wait to share them all with you.  Hope you didn’t get too sick of looking at my favorite flowers for a week from the previous post =)

See you in a Week-

6 Jan


Here are a few pictures of my favorite flowers for you to look at until I get back on January 13th.

I will miss all you lovely people.

See you in a week.

Oh yeah, one more thing:

I am writing to ask if you could donate anything to this online auction that will be taking place in about two months. The purpose of the auction is to raise money for a teen  mom program called Young Lives.  Every penny raised by the auction will go directly to the young moms.  Anything at all that you could donate would be much appreciated. Anything from a gift card to a homemade item. The auction will be held in March but we would like the items by February 1st.

I am asking if any of you wonderful crafty people would be willing to donate any kind of item. You can donate a pair of earrings or any gift cards lying around the house. How about season tickets for sporting events? Maybe a timeshare that you won’t get around to using this year? Do you work for a company that makes in-kind donations to charities? Whether you think your donation has a lot of value or just a little, we will take it all! Every gift will make a big difference in teen moms’ lives.

Another opportunity for those with blogs that would want to get more publicity and traffic would be to buy an advertising slot. The auction is nationwide and thousands of people will see your advertisement or look at your donated craft item. The auction will run fromMarch 1st through March 11th, 2012. All donations must be received by February 1st.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this, here is the link so you can check out the website and actual auction,

Or at least shop at the auction website when the time comes

Thank you, any questions you can email at