Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Well, the Army sure has him! Last night the phone rang a little before 10:00 pm, and my dad said it was for me. For a split second I thought "Uh-oh. What's wrong with Lee?" But it was Lee calling me! Yeah! At Camp Bullis, different groups are coming in all the time for training (that it what it sounds like). Some reserve people are there doing training and they were told that they could bring cell phones. Lee's group of active duty people were told they couldn't. To make everyone happy, the reserve people are sharing their cell phones with the active duty people.

Lee got his one shower the other day. No more till Thursday night. It is going fairly well there for him. He is the platoon leader, and is over 60 people. I asked him how he got that job, and he said the previous platoon leader recommended him. Seems like it is a good Army leadership experience. There are 30 people sharing the tent. They get done anywhere from 4-6 pm and can turn on the A/C in their tent as soon as they are done for the day. He said it hasn't been too hot there because of some rain, and that's a great blessing. He was in the gas chamber the other day for 5 minutes. Like everyone else, he had to take his gas mask off for 3 seconds, put it back on, then exhale the contaminated air that got in his mouth so he wouldn't inhale the gas. He said it "burned" his skin--irritated it--a lot. The Sunday before last, one of the LDS guys got a sacrament kit from the Branch President and they were able to have the sacrament Sunday night. I don't know if he'll be able to call again before Thursday, but at least Thursday is only two days away!

We went swimming with Amy and Rachel yesterday. We also got groceries and some other needed things and dropped a book off at the library. Cal also had preschool. He really likes it! My dad did a nice FHE lesson. He showed the boys pictures of Jesus throughout his life and we sang songs that correlated with the pictures.

Today Clark had a kindergarten screening and I had to fill out some paper work. There sure is a lot involved in a kindergartener's life! His teacher seems good, and I like her assistant too. Sara, I got a glimpse of how busy you are going to be with your class! Clark really liked his classroom and wanted to start tomorrow. He goes only 2 days next week, as they are creating a smooth transition for the kids in kindergarten. He starts at 8:50, which works out perfectly for the days when Cal goes to preschool. But Clark doesn't get out of school till 3:50! Isn't that insane! Today to get out the door I had to get up at 6 am. Guess my summer break is over!

A little story, Saturday evening when we came home from the park, there was a white, collarless dog in our yard. It seemed nice enough. The only problem, it kept hanging around. I am just not the person to take in a stray anything and feed it and cuddle it. The only food and liquid this dog got out of us was some uneaten fish crackers I left out for the girls on the back deck. Monday morning the dog was still here. My dad tried to chase it off, but it kept on coming back. And when my parents went on a walk, the dog followed them. While they were on their walk, I called animal control and they came and got the dog. I am glad it's gone. So if you're missing a white dog, call the Johnston County Animal Control!

Picture from: http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/i%20want%20you%20us%20army.jpg

I got these dresses at the Carter outlet store in Vicksburg, MS in July. With the help of Jeanne Erekson, they were $4 each! Thanks Jeanne! I have been blessed finding cute, inexpensive dresses for the girls thus far.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Here is that donut recipe from allrecipes.com, submitted by Kelly. And for an official link, here it is: Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts


  • 2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast [I am positive that an envelope of yeast equals a scant tablespoon, so 2 scant tablespoons yeast would be needed]
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons hot water or as needed


  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy. [You may have to mix the yeast and the water together and then let it stand 5 minutes until foamy.]
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

For those of you who don't know, there is a good financial calculator on ProvidentLiving.org.

Check it out. And you can use it for figuring stuff out other than getting-out-of-debt type stuff: Calculator

Good evening everyone. I guess Lee is still alive. I haven't received any phone calls from Camp Bullis saying that he died or had a freak accident, so in this case no news is fabulous news! I am looking forward to his phone call Thursday night.

We had a nice weekend. Here are pictures of some of the events. Last night we went to a park and then to the store. I missed out on the adult session of Stake Conference. I love going to that meeting. But, I did not want to try and go with four little kiddos. I was going to offer my babysitting services to a friend, but we girls have had runny noses and I didn't want to pass anything on. I do remember Melissa, you babysitting for us for the adult session of Stake Conference in Kingsport! Thanks!

Shanna and Haley love to climb on things. They are little monkeys. Notice the dining room chairs, and how they're not in the dining room? If we leave any chair by the table, the girls will climb onto the table. It for sure will happen if Haley is around.

I don't know if I ever took pictures of the girls in their cute pink plaid dresses. Here they are! I tried to get them together on the white bench, but guess who wouldn't cooperate?

Saturday morning I cut the boys hair. Clark did pretty well sitting for me, but Cal had a hard time. At one point he started wiping the cut hair off his neck and cut his finger on the scissors!

Cal and Shanna playing while I was chopping Clark's hair.

Thursday Sheldon finished mowing the lawn. Dad mowed it the day before, but the mower ran out of gas. It's a fun lawn mower. Sorry Jeff that you never had the privilege to cruise on it!

That afternoon Dad, Mom, Sheldon, Ila, Anthon, Clark and Cal went to the Judd's to go fishing. President Judd is in our ward and is the Stake President. He also was my parent's last Bishop, and his wife is my and my mom's visiting teacher. We have an "in" with them I guess you could say, and they had fun at the pond. All the fish steered clear of Clark the Shark, so no one caught any fish.

I forgot to tell Cal that he was going fishing without me. It totally slipped my mind. Cal happily climbed in his car seat and drove off with Sheldon, Ila, Anthon and Clark. My mom called me an hour or so later and Cal was crying and had been crying for awhile. He was fine at first, but then realized that I wasn't coming I guess and couldn't take it. Poor guy. I am sure glad he goes to preschool well though! What was funny is tonight Clark, Cal and I were looking at the pictures from the fishing trip and Cal remembered that he was sad. To explain his sadness, he kept telling me: "But I love you mommy!" He told me that after every picture we saw from the fishing trip. "But I love you mommy!" He must have really missed me (because of his great love for me.)

Whoa Ila! That rod is going to drag you under!

Cute Anthon showing his support for Google (his black baseball cap)

That night I made cupcakes and let the boys decorate them.

You gotta eat the frosting first, right?!

I finished the book The Murder of Roger Akroyd, by Agatha Christie. I enjoyed it. Today we had Stake Conference. I was able to stay in the chapel the whole time! And the reason why I could do that is because Dad went out a few times with Haley and Mom took Shanna a couple of times too. Thanks Dad & Mom! We all rode together in my van. I cleaned it out the other day and it looks pretty good on the inside. I'll wait for Lee to do the exterior when he gets back.

Shanna and Haley are in the toilet water playing phase. Today at one point Shanna got into the bathroom and was playing in the toilet water. I knew what she doing so headed to the bathroom. She had moved away from the toilet and was headed to the door. She saw me coming into the bathroom and ran back to the toilet, shoved her hand in, and started splashing very vigorously. We are constantly shutting the bathroom doors. But if they see that it's open, the girls drop everything and head inside!

We are happy and anxious as Lee's parents finish their second mission this week. We hope that the moving goes well and proves to be as easy as a move can be. It is wonderful and a blessing when grandparents serve missions!

Clark took a long nap this afternoon, thus he didn't fall asleep tonight right away. He was talking to me a little bit tonight while I was reading scriptures. He asked, "Why is your belly like that?"
Me: "Because I've had lots of babies"
Clark: "Do you have otro baby?"
Me: "No, I'm just fat"
Clark: "Like Uncle Sam?"

Here is a yummy recipe from my Betty Crocker chocolate 2008 calendar. You need to make it sometime. Make sure though that you have a lot of people over, or you'll be tempted to eat it all in one night!

And, that donut recipe is coming soon. I'm telling you, those donuts are soooo yummy, melt in your mouth donuts!

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Dream Bars


1/2cup packed brown sugar
1/3cup butter or margarine, softened
1cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1cup packed brown sugar
1teaspoon vanilla
2tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1teaspoon baking powder
1/2teaspoon salt
1bag (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1cup milk chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze
3/4cup milk chocolate chips
2teaspoons vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar and the butter. Stir in 1 cup flour. Press in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix eggs, 1 cup brown sugar and the vanilla. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, the baking powder and salt. Stir in semisweet and milk chocolate chips. Spread over crust.

3.Bake bars 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat all Chocolate Glaze ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Drizzle glaze over cooled bars. Refrigerate at least 1 hour until firm. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. Store at room temperature.

Thanks Betty C!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

These are some of the donuts Lois and Jeff made Friday night. Boy, they were SO incredibly yummy!

By the way Lois, thanks for bathing the girls and getting the ready for bed a couple of times!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just a little update. Today I mowed the front lawn with the new mower. I would have done the whole lawn, but it is huge, and the girls only sleep so long. I have been enjoying the tomatoes from dad's garden and made salsa a few times. I made some this afternoon too. Yesterday and today I did some laundry and read the Elden & Lena Bartholomew Family Newsletter. I loved reading it! It's fun to find out what family is doing. I finally got around to doing Family Home Evening--on Wednesday afternoon. I think the boys enjoyed it. On Tuesday, after Cal's preschool, my mom came and we stayed and visit taught his teacher, Ms. Claudia. It worked out quite well. I should be able to see the other three sisters next week. I hope Lee is surviving Camp Bullis. I won't hear from him for another week and a day. (I'm counting down!) Enjoy the pictures of the girls.

Oh, and yesterday I was cleaning the bathrooms, and in the upstairs bathroom I was too careless with my little jewelry box and it fell in the sink. Luckily I took inventory of the contents and realized one of my earrings took the plunge down the drain. (Luckily it wasn't one of my kids that fell down the drain. We all know how well it went over when I stuffed my kids in my wallet!) Good thing my dad was back from Utah! He got the pipe off and my earring re-appeared. Thanks Dad!

Grandpa giving the girls a ride yesterday afternoon

Last night after the girls' bath, they looked so cute I had to get some pictures

Shanna drinking bath water

Haley is all camera and even after singing and snorting, Shanna still wouldn't look at me and smile for the camera

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is cute!

I know it's small to read, but just click on it, and it will enlarge for you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lee is at Camp Bullis now. He is there for his field training. He had to be outside at 2:50am this morning. It sounds very interesting and not very pleasant...only one shower for the 11 days he is there, a trip to the gas chamber, and no air conditioning till 1 am. I am sure there will be some other adventures too. He will get experience shooting guns and doing land navigation. The downside for me: no electronics are allowed--cell phones included. I can't talk to him for the 11 days. Only 10 more to go now!

Cal had his first day of preschool today. He really enjoyed it. He'll go twice a week. Clark was sad that he couldn't go with Cal. My mom stayed and was an assistant for the day because the only other assistant apparently was with some sick family members.

I exercised while Cal and mom were at preschool and after lunch we all went to the library and shopping and did some errands.

Tonight Clark was asking me where his money was--some coins that he has. I said I put them away so the babies wouldn't eat them because they would chock on them and die. Clark then said, anticipating the worst, and assuming they somehow died: "Then we would get a new baby?" I explained that we would someday get a new baby, but we want these babies. Clark then told me he wanted a boy baby so he could play with him. I asked him how many and he said three. Cal became concerned and thought we would be trading Shanna and Haley for some boy babies. He wanted to keep Shanna and Haley. I told him that Clark wanted to keep them too, but he also wanted boy babies. It was a cute conversation.

We had a great time with Lois and Jeff and Reed. One highlight was enjoying homemade donuts Friday night. They were SOOOOO good. Lois and Jeff did a fantastic job. They were yeast donuts, so the nice, fluffy kind. We enjoyed watching the Olympics together and also Murder She Wrote. I am sad they are gone! And I bet they are sad too because they are missing my mattress. (Right?!) I let them sleep on my bed while they were here and they really liked it. Reed was so cute with the girls and Clark and Cal also had fun with him.

Saturday afternoon after the Heits up and left, (after packing up and all) we went to Daniel and Amy's to celebrate Rachel's birthday. We had a nice time and Ila made the cake from scratch! It was yummy. Rachel seemed very happy and loved it when we sang Happy Birthday to her.

Saturday evening we watched history as Michael Phelps won his 8th gold medal--the most ever at a single Olympic game. Also, he has won the most medals (gold?) ever. It was awesome! I enjoyed the medley race--800 meters? I can't remember all the details, but I think I am fairly correct.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Till the End
On the last leg of our month-long trip, our van hit 165,000 miles (in Georgia I think). We missed taking a picture of 150,000. We got this van August 2004, and the miles were in the low 80,000's. So four years later, we've added approximately 80,000 miles. Not too bad. Hopefully it will last at least 80,000 more!

Fun in the Sun
Enjoy the photos from today. Lee is doing well in Texas. There are some problems with his paperwork that he had to deal with so hopefully we can get some money by September! Tonight when Clark was talking with Lee over the phone he said: "Daddy, I want you to live with me. " And I heard his oft repeated phrase: "Daddy, I like you." It's so cute and somewhat heartbreaking. The kids seem to be doing okay with Lee being gone. At least it's not for forever! We had fun shopping this afternoon and are enjoying the Olympics. The neatest thing for me was the opening ceremony with the 2008 drummers. That was sweet!



Lois and Jeff and Reed are visiting us. Reed and Shanna wouldn't look at us.

Yummy sidewalk chalk

I filled lots of water balloons for the boys this afternoon. They love playing with them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I know you'll love it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bye Bye Billy

I haven't kicked with Billy Blanks for about a week. The last Saturday Lee was here, about a week ago, we got a treadmill. We were actually going to buy this particular treadmill at a yard sale of a neighbor. When Lee went to get it, the neighbor couldn't find the safety key to get the treadmill started. After our big vacation, Lee was out running and stopped and talked with our neighbor. He had fashioned a piece of wood to fit in the key slot so the treadmill would turn on and said we could have it for free! Sweet! There is a cable outlet upstairs and I have our TV hooked-up so I can watch the Food Network (or any other desired program) while I walk and run. Clark thinks it's fun to exercise too.

The Big Three-O

Next year I am turning 30. To me 30 seems like a landmark birthday. I will be leaving behind college/school life, and will be in adult territory. I will be old. Not really, but I think some of you may know what I am trying to express. Also, I've heard a few people here and there mention how they have had specific goals they wanted to accomplish by the age of 30.

For awhile I've looked forward to the time when we will get a bigger income and can start paying off student loans. A few days ago I was struck with an amazing idea: to be out of debt before my 30th birthday. I think it would be incredibly fabulous! I ran the numbers, and it looks like it is very doable. I am so excited about being debt free and want it so much that we are even going to stay home for Christmas this year. Some of you may know that I love being with family over Christmas, which requires traveling. But to keep the momentum going with paying of student loans, this will be our first Christmas at our own place. Though, we may luck out and get some family at our new place in Missouri; we'll have to see. The end of November 2009 or beginning of December 2009, tune into the Dave Ramsey show on a Friday. I will definitely be calling in!

So if anyone wants to race or compare numbers/percentages every month, let me know! We're starting our own race soon!

Last Thursday I did a little makeover on the front sidewalk. After doing the sidewalk, I decided not to exercise that day. I figured I had enough of a work out.

Lois, Jeff and Reed are here visiting us. They are back from an excursion to Florida with my dad and Sam. We went outside for a little this evening. Here are some pictures.

This is what boarders my parents' backyard.

This is the neighbors' pond

Cal trying to imitate a kangaroo (well, actually, the camera happened to shot at the right moment)

If you were lucky enough to read my earlier post about loosing my kids, I hope you had a good laugh. Sorry for the rest of you, it's now corrected. Didn't you know I had a wallet like Hermione's purse?