Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feels like Home

Last Sunday I phoned my parents at 1pm and promptly invited myself and my family out for dinner at their house. I was missing my parents. I wish they lived right next door. So we packed up the kids (including their pjs) and drove the hour out to their house.

We had a lovely time eating and talking. My kids got ridiculously dirty playing in the piles of gravel that are my parents yard and had tons of fun.
Sept 26 - Grandparents
I love this picture for a few reasons. My mom isn't really a fan of pictures (she's worried about how she looks and losing weight. But I love her just how she is). And frankly, neither is my dad. But I just happened to ask and they both did it. And it is so them.

Grandma happy with her grandkids close. My dad with his Hill Spring basketball t-shirt under his other shirt. The light my mom pushed over by her to be in the picture. My kids in their pjs before we rushed them home to bed.

All of it, just natural. Just THEM.

Before my sister died, my mom and I didn't have a very good relationship. I just saw our differences as a teenager and not our similarities. After Kelly died we became close. We are best friends now. She is my sounding board. Really we talk about almost everything. And no one gets me like my mom. I am sad that it took losing Kelly to get the relationship that we have. But I am so grateful that we have it.

I have good parents. Good people. Who are completely down to earth and absolutely faithful and loyal. I love that we live close enough that my kids get to see them. (I am very lucky my kids get exposure to both sets of wonderful grandparents.)

Sometimes you just want to be at home. Even if your parents don't live in the same house that you grew up in. To me, home feels like these two.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In the kitchen: Apple Crisp

A few weeks ago I was asked to help out with a Relief Society Meeting all about Food Storage and Preparation. I made the dessert for hte evening and it needed to come from food storage.

Well the thing is, we don't have one. As soon as we settle (as in next year when we move out to Raymond - which we are doing after Regan is done residency) it is one of the first things I will be focusing on. But for this event I got some dried apples from two friends out of their food storages. To make these desserts.

So you take a pot of apple slices.
Food Storage Apple Crisp starts with these

Cover them with water. Add two vanilla beans (sliced and scrape the seeds into it too) and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Water & Vanilla Beans

Add sugar and boil it. On a slow boil for a while.
Needs a little longer

This is how the filling is supposed to look when it's ready. A yummy saucy pie filling or apple crisp filling.
Filling Ready to go

So then you put it in the pans and add your topping. I made mine out of oatmeal, flour, sugar, salt and butter cut it.
Apple Crisp
Then bake it just like normal apple crisp.

We served it with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. mmmmmm
Does that explain how to make it for ya?
Do you have any sort of food storage for an emergency?

Today my oven is getting fixed (FINALLY) and I feel the need to bake multiple TREATS. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Did you know

.....that my oven has not been working since LAST friday?! As in I have not been able to bake anything in the oven in over four days. It is KILLING me. Lucy wanted muffins for her snack day today. Couldn't do it. No oven. And this weekend we are having her birthday party - which she wants as a Bake Shop party. Kinda hard to bake without an oven. All I have to say is, that part better come in like today!!!!!

...I loooove going on photo walks in the evening. Just taking my camera out and seeing whatever I see. These three first ones were taken like seconds apart. But I was manipulating the dials to get different effects. Aren't cameras COOL!!!!
Changing the light
Lethbridge at dusk
The Coulees
... speaking of photo walks. Regan has taken to using my old Camera. I never did send it away yet to get fixed. So sometimes it doesn't even work. But he is playing with it and we are out taking pictures. It's kinda fun :)
Camera man

.....that the older I get the more I am grateful for my parents. They give and give and give and give. And have sacrificed so much over the years. I wish they got more credit for all they do and have done.

......the Eli has officially made it to the terrible twos. He has started being a little stinker and shouting NO if he disagrees or he just feels like it. He is talking a lot lately. Saying really funny things. Two is such a funny age. It is filled with lots of terribly cute things and terribly frustrating things.

....I am really enjoying my Macro lens. A lot. This is little Harrison whilst I was babysitting him last Thursday.
His close up

.....the upcoming weekend I have a wedding in Calgary to shoot. But since Regan is on call I am going to have to drive up the morning of the wedding and drive home the same day. With 8 hours of shooting in the middle. Wowee that's gonna be a LONG day.

...I have become obsessed with CLOUDS.
Fall sky

.....I am doing lots of cute things for Lucy's upcoming birthday party this weekend. Sewing things and making invites. I'll share it all next week.

.....I finally decided to cut Lucy's hair. She HATES having it done. And really, I'm not that good at doing her hair. So I convinced her to get it cut. And I LOVE it. It is sooooo much easier to do now. :)
Hair cut!
.....I love it when Regan and I just get time to talk to each other. About whatever. Everything and anything. Love Love Love it. Love Love Love him.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I know around 125-140 people read this thing every day.

But to Amy, Kathleen, Carmen, Whitney, Lora, Abby, Megan, Kristin, Marie, Heather, Brooke S, Jen, Kristi and Crystal....

You guys are the ones who most often post comments.
And just so you know, I appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Art in the Living room

sept 18 - Blow up
This is a snap shot of my living room wall. I just got it to look like this. As in on Saturday I started getting out the ladder that my brother Bob had left here (like I asked him too) and started getting all the hangers out and then my dear husband got the hint and actually did the job :)

I take lots of pictures. Lots of ones that mean a lot to me. And sometimes I don't get many printed. Why NOT?! Who knows. I get some printed for scrapbooking (although I need some printed from lately to scrapbook). But I need to display some of my art. My photography. So I bought that big frame from Ikea last time I was in Calgary. And got a large 20x28 print done at London Drugs. And trimmed off a tiny bit so it would fit in the frame (ever notice Ikea frames NEVER fit regular printing sizes?).
This is the picture in case you are wondering.
Middle of Nowhere

The Alphabet art is something I've been working on forever. I had all the letters done a month or more ago but it wasn't antiqued. So finally I did that too and my wonderful husband hung them all up for me. It is TOTALLY inspired from The amazing Susie Haarris. She has lots of other ones I am going to make on my own to hang in my house!

I want to add a small wooden word "love" and perhaps one other thing since it's best to have an odd number. But I love how it looks.

Have you blown up any BIG pictures lately and hung them up?

And thanks for all the comments on yesterdays post. I wasn't looking for accolades on my mothering at all, just sharing my thoughts. I used to spend more time writing about things more on here and I've decided I need to do that more often.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I've been thinking a lot lately about parenting. About my job as a mom.
I do a lot of other things. Photography, which is fun and something I think about a lot. I spend time scrapbooking and crafting and sewing. And there are books to read and magazines to peruse. Recipes to try and cookbooks to finish. Curtains to hang and dresses to mend. Blogs I'd love to read.
sept 6 - FHE
But nothing is as important as being a mom. I know it internally. Am I living that?

I love this quote from President Gordon B Hinckely:
"You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out. It will not be the money you have made. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be, How well have my children done?

If the answer is that they have done very well, then your happiness will be complete. If they have done less than well, then no other satisfaction can compensate for your loss. And so I plead with you tonight, my dear sisters. Sit down and quietly count the debits and the credits in your role as a mother. It is not too late. When all else fails, there is prayer and the promised help of the Lord to assist you in your trials. But do not delay. Start now, whether your child be six or 16."

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Am I putting my best foot forward for my kids? When I kneel down to pray at night and in the morning, are my children forefront in my mind? Their needs, their happiness, their concerns and troubles. Am I putting more effort and preparation and planning into my parenting as I am my photography or my baking or my crafts?

I always thought I would be blessed with piles of kids in a short amount of time. Like my mom had. But apparently that is not what God wants for me. And I've realized that that wouldn't work well for me. I have needed the space between my kids.
I am not one of those women who gets to plan what month they want to have a baby, since you know, it'll be better to have a baby in this month cause of whatever. That's not me and it's not my body. But that is okay. Today it is okay. Yes pregnancy is hard for me. Eli's was, well horrific. But I know that they are more kids to come to our home. At least one more. Maybe that is all. I don't know. I'm not sure I can BE pregnant more times that once more. (unless I get some crazy awesome pregnancy that other people experience.) I'm sure I will know when our family is complete. But that's not the point. The point is, am I doing my best in my mothering? Am I saving the best of me for something else or for home?
sept 15 - Modelsept 19- Messysept 4 - Captain PJs

I'm not sure why I am sharing all this today. Perhaps cause it has been on my mind so much lately. Perhaps I want to encourage you to be putting your best foot forward, whatever that best is. Cause everyone's is different. And that is okay. Because we are all crafted in the Lord's image. He made mother as on of the most important roles on this earth. And we've got it.

So what are we going to do with it?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spiritual Sundays

Numerous leisure hours have been made available to men. It is noticeable that many use these extra hours for fun and pleasure. Certainly an increased part of it could profitably be used for gaining knowledge and culture through the reading of good books.
Numerous people fail to take advantage of these opportunities. Many people spend hours in planes with only cursory glancing at magazines, and in the train or bus, time is spent "sitting and thinking," and in many cases, "just sitting," when there could be such a constructive program of reading. People in beauty parlors, professional offices, waiting rooms, and elsewhere waste precious hours thumbing through outdated magazines when much valuable reading could be done in these islands of time.... Even in the beginning there was the written word, for Adam and Eve were conscious of the need for the development of the mind, "And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled." (Moses 6:6.)
- Spencer W. Kimball on Reading

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Wednesday

1. My sewing machine died right in the middle of some projects I need done for tomorrow night.

2. All three of my kids had multiple crying episodes.

3. I couldn't sleep cause my back has been killing me lately. I have started getting up to do yoga before the kids are awake but it is still waking me up lots during the night and in the morning.

4. Eli no longer naps and that means I have less time to myself during the day. Some days he is learning to play a bit with Lucy and by himself, but not today AT ALL.

5. I got ready early and got Eli into the van and drove to the north side for his gymnastics that apparently doesn't start for another week.

6. I drove to London Drugs to print off a BIG print of one my pictures that I am planning to hang above my door and the file was corrupted and didn't work.

But on the plus side

1. I figured out what the theme for Lucy's party is going to be and what I am making for all the girls who attend it as their "gift bag"

2. I hand painted two signs for the RS meeting.

3. I exercised this morning.

4. I ordered the picture I wanted printed online when I got home and it worked.

5. I got asked to contribute to a book that is going to be published about crafty things. :)

6. I edited a whole bunch of Nicole and Derek's wedding.

So the good balanced out the frustrating.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Important Time of the Day

I think one of the hardest parts of the day is between 330pm until bedtime. Kids come home hungry and tired. They come home needing reassurance and some come home needing some time to themselves (Alden). Some come home bursting with excitement about whatever happened during the day. It's also the time before supper where you are supposed to be getting that ready. And the time for homework. And the time for baths and lots of other things. Play time that kids missed. If you do piano or soccer or any of those things. It often all seems crammed into those I'm-so-tired-and-sleepy-myself-so-I'm-crabby-and-when-is-dad-coming-home moments. I have a hard time around then.

But I do think that that is one of the most important times of the day. When I can provide moments with my kids that are important. I wonder if I need a schedule. If I need to be better prepared for when they come home. To focus more on having a good healthy snack first thing, a little bit of time for them to relax and play and then time at the table for home reading and homework, with some inkling of what I am making for supper.

Seems I haven't gotten all that together since we started back to school. But I want to. I want to get my ducks in a row and be serious about greeting my children with a smile and being fully involved with them at this important time of the day.

How do you handle the after school pre-supper time?

And since I can't have two posts in a row without a picture... here's a random one.
Prairie Fields

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In the kitchen: Cookbook Review: Small Batch Perserving

Small Batch Preserving
by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard

This is one great book! I have really enjoyed this book on canning!! It covers how to's. It covers jams, jelly's, conserves, relishes and pickles. Lots of recipes that are unusual and totally good!
I've made Pear Raspberry Jam, Peach Pear Jam with Lime and Sweet and Chunky Apple Butter.
I bought the book at chapters for $19.95. If you like canning at all, go and get it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

5 Things

1. I am trying to switch Eli's sleeping (since he's going to be the death of me - 4 am on Saturday morning!) and now when I wake him up from his 30 minute naps in the afternoon he is still el-zonko. So I get to sit and hold him. And I've been enjoying it. Since he's was past the snuggly stage (way to many things to do other than snuggling) I enjoy that I get to hold him. And take pictures of him while he sleeps. Although I am supposed to be waking him ;)
Sept 8 - Sleeping Eli
2. My friend Megan brought me back this pile of fabric from the states. I am making it into lots of fun things to sell. Megan and I are going to have a table at a craft table in November and since she told me about it and I decided to do it I have been making piles of lists of cute things to make and sell. Dolls and aprons and car rolls and all sorts of cute things. I'll be doing lots of wooden things too - but I'm starting with the sewing!
Sept 9 - Future
3. I really enjoy making donuts. I think it's fun. And I love serving them too since people always enjoy eating them. I made a bunch for our ward's corn bust last week. mmm donuts.
4. Now is the time of year for many photo shoots for me. One of my most recents that I really love. And there are LOTS more on my site from this shoot and lots of other ones - with more coming all the time!
The Music all Around
5. I am surprised how much my ankle is still sore when I stand on it too much or walk too far. I thought it would be done hurting but I was definitely wrong!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spiritual Sundays

Joseph Smith said of that precious book, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

MSBH Challenge Update

It's been a while since I updated my list.
I made this not long ago which I LOVED!
Nectarine Tart
125: Classic Crumb Cake
126. Crumb Topping
127. Peach, Apricot and Cherry Pie
128. Apple Crumb pie
129. Slab Pie
130. Almond Crumb Crust
131. Fourth of July Blueberry Pie
132. Gooseberry pie
134. Tender Pie Dough
135. Struesel
136. Nectarine Tart
137. Tart Dough

I am planning a baby shower and I am making treats to go to that... so I will hopefully be able to knock off about 4-5 more recipes for that today. :)

Sept 2 - indoor play
This child is adjusting to having the other kids in school. He is lonely. And doesn't know what to do with himself. I set up the tent in the living room and he played for a bit. He spends a lot of time whining and crying that the other kids aren't home. Hopefully we adjust, so that we both can be happy and I can still get some things done during the day!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

In the Craftroom: Scrapbooking Lately

I have not had the time to scrapbook lately. If I have free time I feel like I need to edit pictures. I have lots of shoots to edit and some that need to get done soon for posters for a violinist and weddings and newborns and families. But I did take a little window of time on Sunday night and about an hour Monday to scrapbook. And it was mmmmmmaaaaarvelous! Some fruits of my labor.
22 things I've learned as a mom
3 parts to my heart
9 Years
I am a photographer

Monday, September 06, 2010

Steed Family Reunion

In the summer we had a big steed get together. One where all my FIL's sibs and their kids stayed together. We were only missing 3 people. Which was pretty good. I shared some nature shots from that trip, but not a lot of people shots. So here are some of those.
This is everybody who came.
The whole Steed gang (-3)
Early morning Sadie and some Sunday afternoon games
Sadie & Bochie Ball
The inside of the old schoolhouse great grandpa steed taught in and lovely little Melia
The old house and Melia
Lucy really wanted to try on Uncle Murray's hat and finally got too.
Lucy the cowgirl
Classic Uncle Nolan
Classic Uncle Nolan
Grandpa and Eli walking down to the original homestead of Grandpa's dad's growing up home
3 Generations later
The walk into the homestead
Family Hike
Gavin and Clare
Gavin and Clare
Lucy just love love loves Melia (look at them holding hands) and the barn
New best friends & the barn
See what I mean?
Lucy and Melia
Thanks to Aunt Deb there was lots of fun stuff for the kids to do
Craft time
Lovely Gab who needs to move closer to home
Derek helping Alli dunk in Waterton lake
Derek "helping" Alli dunk
Coooool mountain water
The shock
Beach treasures
It was so much fun to spend time with each other!
Something I hope we do more often!

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Aug 30 - First Day
1. First day of grade two for Alden. First day of Kindergarten for Lucy. No it's the not the best shot, but Eli was trying to run into the street, I have a sore ankle still from my fracture and the street was LINED with people who were going to school too. But we did it :)

2.Eli has been sleeping bad again lately and I am tired every day. Yet I stay up to get things done like editing pictures and canning fruit and seeing Regan when he comes home from work.

3. I have eaten a LOT of peaches in the last 4 days. I mean A LOT.

4. My friend Rebecca is having a giveaway on her bog today. And she just moved her whole little family (4 kids) over to a tropical island so her husband could attend medical school. She takes great pictures and is sharing lots of neat things about their new home. Go read it.

5. Last week before school started my lovely friend Heather & her two kiddos came and stayed with us. It was so fun.
A Quiet moment together
His Hiding SpotDress up Friends

6. I bought this book recently and have been making lots of stuff out of it lately. It is SUCH A good book!

7. I can't believe it's September!