Monday, August 31, 2009

Mt. Charleston

On Saturday there was nothing that we HAD to do. Lots of things that should be done, but nothing that couldn't wait.

We decided that we needed a little family fun and cool mountain air.

After Jasper's nap we loaded up Mike's car and headed for Mt. Charleston.

We took Mike's car because who wants to race down winding canyon roads in a mini-van if you could be in an Infiniti?

I could not believe that it was forty degrees cooler at Mt. Charleston than in Henderson. Yes, we're going back soon.

We drove around both canyons, checked out some camp sites (including the location for our upcoming ward camp out) and trails and let Jasper run wild at Upper Lee Meadows.

Does anyone have any secrets on crossing over the empty riverbed to get to Lee Meadows?

It was a little tricky up and down the steep slopes with a 2 year old. It seems like there would be a place to cross. Could someone build me a small bridge please. :>

Mike and Jasper had a wonderful time exploring stumps, trunks, trees, hills, the riverbed and rocks.

We have now learned that we should keep a football in the car at all times.

We met a family who was playing football in the meadow, and Jasper wanted their ball. They were kind enough to include him for a little bit, and he was happy as could be with that football.

Jasper even threw a pretty long pass before he had to return their ball.

Can't wait to get back up there!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just a Suggestion...

If you need to make a semi-important phone call and your toddler is screaming because you are paying attention to anything or anyone but him, there is really only one thing to do...

break out the entire jumbo jar of Costco milk chocolate raisins, take the lid off, and let him go for it.

Sheer joy, and no more screaming.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Farewell Travis, Lindsay and Leoni. Hello Sheldon!

My friends Lindsay, Travis and Little Leoni are headed out of the country on a BIG adventure. They are off to Quatar where Travis will be teaching English at a University.

Friday night we went to Lindsay's parents house for their farewell party.

Turns out that Sheldon the desert tortoise has quite a following. Lindsay said that some people were there to see them, and some were there to see Sheldon. I thought they were kidding.

Sheldon has quite a hold on people. To be honest I have contemplated going back to see him myself.

Jasper was a little unsure of Sheldon at first, especially when Sheldon starting chasing after him.

Sheldon is non-stop entertainment -- Look, Sheldon's gonna' get you -- Look, Sheldon's eating the lawn -- Look, Sheldon's in his shell. Oh the wonderment from one desert tortoise.

We'll miss you like crazy Travis & Lindsay -- and little Leoni.

Oh, Watermelon!

Saturday evening we treated ourselves to a delicious family dinner at Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ.

We had a gift card for dinner that we have been saving up for something special. What is more special no reason at all?

Jasper was an ANGEL! The last two times we've been out to eat have not been a pleasant experience, so his good behavior was a very welcome surprise.

Lucille's plays mostly BBQ King music, and I think that our little music lover was in some kind of a blues trance. He was super mellow and just kind of swayed back and forth to the music all night.

Once he even stood up in the high chair and swayed back and forth and then performed his signature tap dance routine.

Jasper is usually not a very good eater. The second surprise of the night was that he chowed down. Caesar Salad, Biscuits, Sweet Mashed Potatoes, BBQ chicken and lots of WATERMELON! We even had to order him extra watermelon. Guess what we'll be buying today?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cornbread Recipe

A couple weeks ago we went to dinner as a family at Famous Dave's BBQ to celebrate Mike finishing a case that had basically been consuming his life.

I have been craving their cornbread muffins ever since!

I went to my monthly recipe club on the 11th and the item to bring is an appetizer. After a little internet research I found a recipe that is similar to famous Dave's.

I had what I thought was a great idea -- I would make my own cornmeal.

Do you have ANY idea how noisy popcorn in a VitaMix blender is? Whew! And I thought that grinding wheat was noisy. My blender survived the ordeal and the muffins are delicious.

The first batch I made was only so-so. But I have made them twice since then and they are awesome. I like to make them in the mini muffin pans because cornbread is so messy. Smaller bites equals less mess.

Recipe for regular size cupcakes below:


2 cups yellow cornmeal (I ground popcorn like I grind wheat and made my own cornmeal)
1 (9 oz) package yellow cake mix (Most cake mixes are 18 oz – so use ½ box, or double this recipe)
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk (to make your own buttermilk combine: 1 ½ T dry milk powder + ½ cup water + ½ T white
vinegar or lemon juice; mix and let stand for 5 minutes)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 T light brown sugar
2 T honey
1 T mayonnaise

Cornbread Instructions:
Combine cornmeal, cake mix, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, set aside.

Combine milk, buttermilk, oil, eggs, brown sugar and honey in a bowl and mix well.
Add to the Cornmeal mixture and mix gently - there should be no lumps, but do not over mix.
Fold in the mayonnaise.
Let rest, covered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spoon the cold batter into a greased muffin tin or a cast iron skillet.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

For the mini-muffins, bake at 400° F for 9 minutes.

They are great plain or even with honey and butter if you don't want to make the glaze.

Honey Glaze: You can make this ahead of time and store it, covered, in the refrigerator. Re-heat before serving.
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey

Glaze Instructions:
Heat butter in a saucepan until melted.
Stir in honey.
Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Drizzle over Cornbread.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Splash n' Play

Thanks to Kohl's 80% off summer clearance Jasper has been having a mighty fine time slipping and sliding into our new tiny pools.

We spread out our double-wide (beach towel that is), grab The Friend and a few frozen Go-gurts and frozen grapes and camp out in the backyard in the morning.

Jasper joins me for a snack and a story when he needs a breather. The boy loves water!

Having a Fun Day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Favorite Summer Snack

Jasper eats so many frozen grapes that I decided to enlist his help in making more.

I got his special stool out and he climbed right up to help.

It took him a minute to figure out how to pull them off the vine, but one he got the knack he was a big helper.

Last week I received a call from the gal who was babysitting Jasper. She told me that Jasper was pulling on the freezer door and screaming for something, but she didn't know what he wanted.

I told her to try a popsicle, but she told me that was not what he wanted.

Then it hit me -- he wants frozen grapes. That was the answer. She gave him some and he was a happy guy.

Small video below.

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I am full time wife and Mom. Jasper is my busy 3 year old who keeps us on our toes. I like to sew and craft and make our house a home. I love to be outside and play with my boys.