Monday, November 14, 2011


Here's a recipe for one of Miles' favorite snacks. He helps me measure the ingredients, then tries to snarf big handfuls before I'm finished stirring. "Peanut butter balls" must have been quite a mouthful, so he calls it "P-beeb."

Peanut Butter Play Dough
1/2 c. peanut butter
2-4 T. honey
1/3-1/2 c. powdered milk
1 T. wheat germ or wheat bran (optional)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (optional)

Stir everything together, adding just enough powdered milk to make a firm (but not dry) dough. Use for edible play dough or roll into balls for convenient snacking. Store in the refrigerator.

This post is in honor Liesel, who is about to turn one, and her peanut butter-loving mom. I guess one is the magical age when peanut butter is suddenly o.k. for infants. Happy birthday, Liesel!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Catching up

It's been an eventful week in Oklahoma:
  • huge rainstorm (2 or 3 inches overnight)
  • a 5.6 earthquake (Alvin burst in the room after it was over and said, "Did you feel that?! That was probably a 5-point-something!")
  • a tornado
Fortunately, the rest of October and November have been pretty mild. In fact, this evening we went for a walk in the dark in our t-shirts. I guess we're still used to Utah's chilly autumn weather.

I didn't really anticipate how much this move would disrupt our lives. Now that we've been here for a few months, I can look back and see some progress. I found a gym with a swimming pool and "Kid's Korner." I'm learning people's names in our ward, which I love. I've met some other young moms who I've really clicked with, and Miles is making friends with their kids. I got a Joy School going with 4 little boys - every Monday morning Miles gets to go to a new house and play with new toys. We've found good parks, a Science Museum with trains, grocery stores besides Walmart, and midwives and hospital to deliver this new baby.

Alvin likes his new job . . . up to eight hours a day. Unfortunately he works much more than that. On the weekends, in the middle of the night, on Sunday mornings. His company Chesapeake has acquired quite the reputation around here. Everyone seems to know that they treat their employees well with benefits and perks, but they also make them work. Geologists especially have a high turnover because they just get burned out. Alvin copes by doing yard work on the weekends. The other Saturday I heard him out in the yard grunting and saying, "HEH! HEH! HEH!" I looked out the window, and I saw this redhead in the forest with his shirt off, hacking at the trees with his machete! Don't get me wrong, I appreciate his hard work, but I really wished he could focus his effort inside our fence. He said, "I'm cleaning up the forest. Doesn't it look so much better?"

We are also working on the inside of our house. I think we go to Lowe's or Home Depot once or twice a week. This is challenging and stressful. I keep wishing my dad was around so I could ask him things like, how do you change out light switches and power outlets? How do you repair stained wood without sanding and refinishing it? Should I buy the entire toilet repair kit or just the flapper? Does carpet go below or next to the base boards? Everywhere I look, I notice things that need to be fixed or updated. Being pregnant makes things worse because it restricts my mobility and energy and puts a deadline on our big projects. Next time we buy a house, it's going to be nice, updated, and ready to live in. I'm thinking now that a nicer house that costs more is definitely better than a cheaper house that needs work.

Here are some pictures we salvaged from our broken camera:

From the roof. Notice the toys our kind neighbor lent to Miles and the trees Alvin trimmed. He did a great job, and he enjoyed spending the day climbing and sawing.
Here's me digging some angel food cake out the pan. It is nice to have a house-sized kitchen instead of an apartment-sized kitchen. There is space in the cupboards for all my appliances and dishes. Alvin hates the back splash, but I don't mind it. I just don't like the cupboards. What do you think?
Alvin wanted me to include this picture of the living room, even though that's not our furniture.

This was from Alvin's birthday. Miles put in the candles and helped light them. Well, he lit one or two before we took over.
Smoke from 33 candles!

Well, if I don't end up blogging for awhile again, here are our plans:
November: finish painting and carpeting our house
December 2-6: fly to Utah for my sister's wedding
December 16: estimated due date for Miles' baby brother. Hopefully he's not born as late as Miles (11 days)!