Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Jack O' Lanterns

Instead of carving pumpkins this year for Family Home Evening, we let the kids draw on them. First of all, it was easier than carving with those two. Second of all, I really want to use my home-grown pumpkins for pies and other yummy things later. So this is what we came up with courtesy of a bunch of Sharpie markers:

Caroline's Pumpkin Face

Clayton's Masterpiece (with Daddy's help.)

Whew! That's Over!

What a weekend!!! Friday night I had a band concert. Yup, you read that right. It's been what, 12 years since I played in a band? But our community here has a band that is offered as a class through Chadron State University. I opted to take it not-for-credit, simply because I miss participating in a music ensemble. What fun it was to get out my flute, that has mostly been used for the occasional musical number in Sacrament Meeting. I even had a solo in "Emperata Overture" which I swear I played in an honor band like, 15 years ago. It was a wonderful experience that even Caroline & Clayton seemed to enjoy, once the powerful opening phrases of our first piece died down. Jake's favorite part was our last piece - the Colonal Bogey March from the movie "Bridge Over the River Kwai" (also familiar from the old "The Parent Trap" in the scene where the twin sisters are taken to their solitary confinement cabin).

There I am to the right of the band director.

On Saturday, we headed up to Rapid City for Stake Conference. The kids & I hung out at the hotel (after we found the hotel) and then met Jake after his meetings for dinner. It was nice to get to sit by my husband that night to be spiritually fed during the adult session of conference while our kids kicked it in the nursery with the teenaged daughters of a good friend (thanks, again Erin!!!) On Sunday morning, we weren't so lucky to be sitting next to each other, since I had the opportunity of sitting on the stand to give a talk. Lucky me. I definitely had a LOT of divine help with that one and really am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on and then speak about the topic I was given, which was "I Believe In Christ."

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Post About the Craziness of This Last Week

Things have been a little crazy around here. Here's a taste of what's keeping us Busy Butlers, uh, busy.

We've been working on our food storage...

For breakfast the other day, I found two oatmeal packets leftover from last year. So I mixed them up. I don't remember the last time I made Clayton baby cereal, and Caroline wasn't a fan of hot cereal last year (except Malt-O-Meal, and boy howdy, after our "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears" preschool unit, I tell you, "Porridge" was a hit.) So the oatmeal. I made it. They chowed. It was great. But I don't want to buy those little packets anymore. Too expensive. So I found a fantastic recipe for the homemade version, but instead of making packets I filled canisters with the mixture that we just scoop out with a 1/3 cup measure. Wow. And since I already had all the ingredients - unopened cans of quick oats leftover from students at the school, freeze dried fruit from Emergency Essentials and a variety of coffee creamers from making flavored hot cocoa last year for Christmas gifts, it's cost me zip! Easy and cost effective (that is, unless your family gobbles up two whole canisters within the first week of making them.)

We've cleaned out the garden. Or at least started.

I made salsa and chunky spiced applesauce.

We've had a preschool lesson on where milk comes from. Check out the book Ice Cream.
Caroline showing Daddy how a cow gives milk.
We've done some housekeeping.

And we've been dancing. Some more.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Head Harvey - Just for you, Lucinda!!!

Remember to pause the music at the bottom of the screen first!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"It's Our Halloween Confection!"

Seriously, don't ask me where she learned the word, "confection".

But as I poured the caramel slurry (cool word, eh?) and the candy corn into the corn pops to make this treat, that's exactly what Caroline said. I've been wanting to make these for a while, and got the idea from my friend, Brittany's post about her Halloween popcorn balls. But my parents introduced me to Barrel 'O Fun brand corn pops, which has the yummiest caramel pops recipe on the back. I don't have a lot of restraint when it comes to this stuff. It's ooey and gooey (because I omit the last step of putting it in the oven to bake), salty & sweet, and this year I added the candy corns and it's just that much better! So go get yourself a bag of corn pops and enjoy! And if you just want to make yummy gooey caramel corn, here's the recipe: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1 cup brown sugar. Cook for two minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sides begin to bubble. Add 1 tsp baking soda-the foaming helps it coat the popcorn or whatever more evenly. Pour over your popcorn. Yum!

Dancin' Fools

Mostly, this post is for the benefit of my family who are all far away and don't get to see the kids on a regular basis. Clayton's my little rhythm man. He loves to bang on drums (he loves to bang on anything for that matter, including his sister's head.) And he loves to dance.

Here, we're listening to "Thriller" and Clayton is doing his own version of it.

Caroline started dance lessons last month. It's been good for her coordination. Plus, it's just so stinkin' fun to watch her in her little leotard with her dance shoes on. Her teacher is great, and I like her style of instruction - it's a lot like the way I used to teach when I did dance. Unfortunately, the video ends just before they start the "boogie woogie" which is so cute to watch. I had moved for a better shot with the camera, and Clayton realized I wasn't right behind him. Listen for the plaintive wail near the end of the video.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flying Purple People Eater

This is what happens when Mama & Caroline have way too much time on our hands and are so stinkin' excited for Halloween we can't stand it. Our little plastic ice cream cones have multiple uses at our house - sometimes they're microphones, sometimes they're magic wands. Today they were Purple People Eater horns.

Caroline as the purple people eater. She loved it until I turned on the music and told her to sing. I think the "horn" felt weird on her chin.


It was supposed to freeze Monday night. So the kids and I picked all of the tomatoes in the garden. They were both little troopers, and Clayton, particularly, seemed to have a deep satisfaction in picking cherry tomatoes one by one and dropping them into the basket. Caroline was just happy to be in the garden with Mama. It didn't freeze, so now I'm using a little trick my mom did to get her tomatoes to ripen when it was too cold outside for them. Except I sorta cheated and used a tip from another lady that lives out here near us. Maybe because her name is Milly, I thought it sounded like a good idea. Or maybe because I'm lazy and my mom's method involves wrapping each tomato individually in newspaper vs. Milly's method which involves spreading the tomatoes in layers in a cardboard box with layer of newspaper between each layer. Anyhoo, I hope they ripen.
Those green ones are ripe. They're an heirloom variety that came in a mixed packet from Gurneys. Aren't they gorgeous? And I love my little yellow pear tomatoes!
Bird Egg Beans (another heirloom vegetable, these seeds were from my good friend, Sabrina, up here), green & wax beans, jalepenos and tomatoes.
Bird Egg Beans, unwrapped. Aren't they the coolest lookin' things?
A handful of the sweetest, juiciest little strawberries from our little patch. The perfect snack!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Thanks a lot, Erin. (and that comment is dripping with sarcasm :D) I can't seem to stay away from The Pioneer Woman. I just relate. Even her whirlwind romance to her cowboy hubby rings very familiar to me. I love everything about her site: Her photography - especially the photos of the livestock and her family (especially her kiddos) working the ranch, her gardening stuff, her "confessions". And the food. Oh, heaven help me, the food. Tonight we had her onion strings. Man. OH Man. Even Caroline gobbled them up. Caroline, who, if she even feels the texture of a cooked onion in her mouth starts to gag uncontrollably. Even after she'd eaten, like 10, and I told her they were onions she still downed them. And because I'm a Utah girl deep down there somewhere, I had to serve them with fry sauce. Anything that deliciously fried has to have something deliciously calorie laden to dip it in.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Giveaways and other stuff...go here

I've decided that i want this blog more focused on our family and stuff we do. I've created another fun blog where I can keep track of the fun giveaways and other great stuff I discover while I'm blog-hopping during my internet time. So visit Butler Blog Buzz to see some cute stuff!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mammalicious Finds: Plum Creek Mercantile Give Away

Mammalicious Finds: Plum Creek Mercantile Give Away

These are so cool! An economical and green alternative to plastic snack baggies. I've started dividing our bulk snacks into individual portions so my kiddos can help themselves when it's snacktime. They feel so independant and things stay in the baggies. But I love the idea of these fabric & velcro ones. Check them out!