Archive for January, 2012

January 31st, 2012

I have a secret

Hint #1: David’s custom Christmas Eve pajamas.

Hint #2: A picture taken three weeks ago to document a special time.

Hint #3: If you’re really slow, here is one more picture taken about ten weeks ago.

Please don’t share my secret on Facebook; let’s just keep this between us.

January 30th, 2012

flourless peanut butter cookies

I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine. I’ve made them twice, and they are really good melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cookies, and you don’t need to get out any flour.



2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt



  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugars, eggs, baking soda, and salt until smooth.
  2. Shape the dough into balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the tines of a fork, flatten each ball, creating a crisscross pattern.
  3. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until puffed and golden, 10 to 12 minutes (the cookies will deflate as they cool). Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

A few helpful tips:

  • Definitely use parchment paper or wax paper on your baking sheets
  • To get the peanut butter to come out of your measuring cup more easily: run your cup under hot water for a few seconds and then measure your peanut butter without drying it
  • Similarly, to make pressing the criss-cross pattern easier: have a cup of hot water nearby to dip your fork in when the dough starts sticking
  • Rotating the baking sheets halfway through is an important, needed step
  • Have a cup of milk ready
January 18th, 2012

printable church abc quiet book

After seeing a few ideas posted on other sites, I decided to take the time to make my own church ABC quiet book for David — one that was a little more my style. It includes all the letters of the alphabet with a corresponding picture and scripture or Primary song.












The Church website recently changed their Terms of Use, basically saying that blogs and websites can no longer redistribute artwork owned or licensed with, so I can no longer share the original ABC book that I made that includes the artwork.


HOWEVER, individuals are still free to use artwork found on for their own personal, family, and Church use, so I made a clear template that you can use over the artwork or photograph of your choice. Basically you find a picture that you would like to represent A – Atonement in your book, scale it to 4×6 and open the clear template that has the text (the letter, gospel principle, and scripture) and place it over your picture and export or save it as a new jpg and voila you have an ABC page (more detailed instructions found below).



Download the clear alphabet templates HERE.


How to use the template:

Download the template zip file containing letters A-Z and corresponding gospel-related theme and description.

Open the computer program of your choice. With programs like Photoshop, open the picture you want to represent the letter and scale to 4×6 then place the corresponding template file over the picture from your computer, OR open the template and then scale the picture of your choice to fit. Export the file as JPG and you’re done. The letter templates are already 4×6, no scaling or changing the size needs to happen.

For MS Word Users:

After downloading the zip file, open MS Word and make the page size 4×6 (File, Page Setup, 4×6), then set all margins to 0 (a dialogue box will pop-up, click okay and continue). Open the picture you want for the letter you’re working on and scale it to fit your 4×6 page or use the Height and Width adjuster found on the Format Picture tab (mine appears as a purple tab when I have the picture selected). Then open the template file  you want to use and drag it over the picture (you may have to adjust the Text Wrap and Order (bring to front/send to back), all found on the Format Picture tab). MS Word doesn’t save/export to JPG formats, but if you can save as a PDF and then open the PDF and save as a JPG. It’s a little tedious, but works. In MS Word, the final image will have a thin white border around it (like the picture below), so far I haven’t been able to find a fix for that, but it’s a minor thing.

*A Note About Scaling: If you scroll back up to the beginning of the post, you’ll notice that for the C – Commandments page the picture of Moses is cropped. The original picture is much larger and when scaled normally to fit a 4×6, didn’t fit well and looked disproportionate. To make it not look “stretched” or “squished” I scaled the picture down a little and then moved the focal point of the picture (in this case Moses) into the 4×6 frame and the rest of the picture overlaps the edges. When it’s printed, only what appears in the 4×6 frame shows, thus Moses fits nicely on the 4×6 page without being all squishy. I hope that made sense.

For my ABC Book, I used pictures from the LDS Image Libraries and personal family photos. Browse the gallery and find the pictures you want and save them to your computer. Use the template to its full potential and use personal pictures for Baptism, Family, Missionary Work (picture of dads, moms, uncles, etc or ward missionaries), Parents, Grandparents, etc. There are a lot of ways to make this unique for your children.

Be aware that when you upload your JPGs to have them printed, the photo lab may ask you for a copyright release for the artwork (this seems to be the case mostly with Walmart). Taking a copy of the Terms of Use from will be helpful to have in your pocket (highlight the pertinent section to speed things up).

The 4×6 photos fit nicely in the clear, plastic photo albums you can buy at most Walmarts, Targets, Walgreens, and some dollar stores.

A note about printing: If you have a local Walgreens, sign up on their website for their weekly ads. Walgreens has some pretty great monthly photo deals, especially if you plan on having more than one book made (they regularly have buy 25, get 25 free deals or off 40-50% off prints). I’m not affiliated with Walgreens in any way, I just wanted to share the deals. 

January 16th, 2012

daily mysteries

Sometimes I call David Robin Hood because he steals stuff and leaves it somewhere random.

Missing your phone? Check the pantry by the flour and sugar.

Sippy cups can be found on the bookcase.

Matt, are you looking for your balance ball? It’s in the bathtub, of course.

If your shoes go missing, look in the cupboard with the plastic tupperware.

Mascara is found next to David’s books and blocks.

January 12th, 2012

my little linguist

David’s pediatrician said that most 15-month-olds say three to four words in addition to mom and dad. Not only does David know a lot more than three or four words, but he clearly understands a lot of what we say to him.

Along with his almost constant toddler jabber, David says:

  • momma
  • dad
  • car
  • dog
  • nana
  • papa
  • puppy
  • nananna (banana)
  • crack (cracker)
  • bye-bye
  • uh-oh
  • wow/whoa
  • no, no, no (he never says it just once)
  • dadid (David)
  • ball (occasionally)
  • more
  • up
  • call
  • eye
  • yay
  • wew-woh (hello)
  • oh/ow (he uses those interchangeably, meaning he never uses ow correctly, which can be funny)

He adds a new word every few days now.

The other night we had peas with our dinner and David kept pointing at his and saying, “ball.” He was really confused when I kept correcting him. Peas do look like balls, I guess.

He just turned 15 months and can identify all the parts of his face/head, as well as his belly, knees, feet, toes, and fingers (I’m still trying to teach him shoulders so we can do “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” together; his little stubby arms have a hard time reaching his shoulders).

One of David’s favorite things to do is walk around “talking” on my cellphone. He’ll hold it up to the side of his face and talk to his imaginary friend (or sometimes Nana and Papa, who he called once all on his own without me knowing) for large amounts of time. If my phone isn’t available, he’ll use his thermometer instead.

The other night Matt was walking around while talking on his phone, so David grabbed my phone and followed him. It was so cute and funny. I think it’s cute that they’re wearing matching socks.

January 12th, 2012

oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree

(Oops, I thought I published this post about a week ago … And I apologize for some of the weird formatting; my blog has ideas of its own.)

Some of my favorite things about Christmas this year (basically our Christmas in a nutshell):

  • Seeing a lot of Matt’s family in southern California; his sister and her family, his parents, his grandparents, and his aunt and uncle were all there in person. We were able to video chat with the other families, so we pretty much got to see and talk to everyone (thank you modern technology). It was seriously so much fun, and David was overloaded with spoilage and attention.
  • Watching David perform for his cousins and other admirers; this kid is such a ham!
  • THE WEATHER: We left Rexburg at a brisk 12 degrees and spent a week in the 70s. No coats! No hats! No gloves! David played on green grass in the warm sunshine.
  • Visiting the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and walking through Air Force One.
  • Taking an exclusive tour of the Disney Studios backlot and learning about the behind-the-scenes and going-ons of Disney. Rob, our brother-in-law, is an attorney for a division of Disney and could therefore take us on an employee-only tour of the Disney backlot; we walked through some of the buildings, saw some original sketches and illustrations from several Disney-favorites, saw a few costumes worn by the actors in their live-action movies (like Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland, for example), and so many other really neat things. David unfortunately hated the tour and was pretty much a pill the whole time (until we found the Lady and the Tramp plush dog display at the on-site store which David walked around and squealed at for 10 minutes at which time Papa picked him up and took him), but Matt and I are glad we went. Papa bought David one of the plush puppies from the display, he’s cuddling with it in his crib as I type.
  • Visiting my great-aunt Lillian (Aunt Lil as she calls herself). I don’t even know how to describe this woman. She’s old, but full of fire. She’s hil-arious; all comedy in my genes came from her. When I was a child, she and my great-grandmother traveled the world and would send us knick knacks and sweaters and dolls from their adventures. Whenever we’d see her she’d take us out to Pizza Hut and then get us cherry-dipped Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen, every single time. I have so many wonderful memories of her and I am so happy that we got to take an afternoon to see her and show off David.
  • Oh, and getting a SEWING MACHINE. Almost forgot that one. Almost. The sewing machine was my big gift and because most everyone knew that’s what I was getting (thanks to a not-so-sneaky elf), almost all of my other presents were sewing related. I now have pretty much everything I need to start sewing; 26 spools of thread, fancy scissors, cutting mat and ruler, pins, pin cushion, and on and on. I couldn’t be happier. My domesticity is going to a whole new level. Prepare yourselves for all of the sewing posts in your future.

Our trip home deserves a post all its own, I’ll save that for later.

January 3rd, 2012

dear dinner genie,

What should I make for dinner tonight?

This is what I have:


Okay, okay we have milk, cheese (I think), turkey lunch meat, two eggs, bread, a scrape of sour cream, and various canned and frozen goods. And a ton of peanut butter, can’t forget that.

I made spaghetti last night, so we can’t do that again (mostly because I used all the pasta). Pancakes are out too, we’ve made those a lot since we’ve been home (by “we” I really mean Matt, thanks for breakfast Matt).

I went to the store yesterday, but left after an hour with only milk, bread, toilet paper, and toothpaste (what I needed to survive) because 10,000 students, parents, and siblings were clearing the store after moving in for a new semester.

I do have one dinner in the freezer that I made for a “rainy day.” I can’t decide if my situation is dire enough to use it or if I should continue to save it; there might be a really bad day yet to come and I’ll wish I had dinner in the freezer.

I tried to look up a recipe on the Martha Stewart website, but spent a half hour browsing sewing projects instead (darn it, domestic Martha). And why do her recipes call for ingredients I’v never heard of?

Fine, I’ll do it myself.