Friday, February 27, 2009

Too good to not share!

Ever since I have started my lifestyle change and watching what I eat I have been gathering recipes. I can finally say that I now have a pretty good repertoire (but if you have any good ones, send them my way please!!!). My doctor told me that chefs are usually really successful at losing weight by changing their eating habits because they know how to combine flavors and substitute without sacrificing taste. I will admit that this has been my greatest challenge because I am such a foodie! (I don't make the traditional "Molly Mormon" recipes.) I have, however, lost 30 lbs so I must be doing something right.
When I started this "lifestyle change" I was skeptical because my doctor kept on telling me that it wasn't a diet, but a lifestyle change. Because I am cheeky and a bit obnoxious I quickly pointed out that if this wasn't a diet then I should be able to have snacks, treats and desserts too. She told me that I could but that I would need to try and find foods that were low in fat and that fit into my eating habits.
So, that's what I did. I have scoped out a bunch of desserts that I now love! Including my most favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Yep, that's right. . . chocolate chip cookies that are low in fat and high in taste and moisture. I like my chocolate chip cookies fluffy and moist and these sure do deliver! I thought that some of you might want to get your hands on this recipe so I am pasting it below!
Try it and let me know how it goes! (Oh and I usually double the recipe and it makes about 6 dozen when I do it so I must make my cookies a bit bigger than it says in the recipe.)

En-light-ened Chocolate Chip Cookies

These delicious chocolate chip cookies contain the goodness of whole grain combined with the sweet indulgence of semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Hands On: 10 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Makes: 4 dozen cookies (1 cookie per serving)

3 cups Eagle Mills� All-Purpose Unbleached Flour with Ultragrain� (I use regular flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Fleischmann's� Original Margarine-stick, softened (1/2 cup = 1 stick) (I use regular margarine)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla (I actually add a Tablespoon, but I have real Mexican vanilla so it tastes sooooo gooood!!!!)
1 pkg (12 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
PAM� Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350�F. Combine flour, soda and salt in small bowl; set aside.
Beat both sugars and Fleischmann?s with electric mixer on medium-high speed until well combined. Add applesauce, eggs and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually stir in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in morsels.
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; transfer to wire rack, cool completely. Store in covered container.

Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 117
Total fat 4 g
Saturated fat 2 g
Cholesterol 8 mg
Sodium 75 mg
Carbohydrate 19 g
Dietary fiber 1 g
Sugars 13 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1%
Iron 3%

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Little Piece of Rainbow

I don't know what it is about rainbows, but it seems as though whenever I see one it makes me happy. Maybe it's because I don't see one every day or maybe it's because they are so colorful and really stand out against the grey sky. I don't know, but whatever it is, I love them!
This morning, while I was driving the kids to school (at -35 degrees it was too cold for them to walk to their bus stop and wait) we saw 4 different rainbows going in all sorts of different directions. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. And, it just so happened, that those rainbows were all I needed to feel good and happy and know that I was going to have a great day!
I don't know why I have been thinking about those rainbows all day, but I have. It seems to me that rainbows show up at just the perfect time. They appear right after a storm or a cold snap and they seem to give you a glimmer of hope. For me they truly do symbolize hope. They make me hope that the storm is over and that sunshine will prevail. They are so colorful and cheery that even though I am almost 30 I still get excited when I see one and I always have to point it out. Will I ever grow out of that??? I don't think so. But, that's okay. If I am still 100 and looking for rainbows I will be happy because that will mean that I still have hope.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Prophet

In the church that I belong to the leader of our church is called the Prophet. I had been talking to Dustin about the prophet recently and testing him to see if he knew what the Prophet's name was. . . well. . . take a peek into our little conversation and see if you think he understands who the prophet is.
Me: Dustin, what is the prophet's name?
Dustin: I don't know mom. . . I want a snack.
Me: Dustin, it's Thomas S. Monson
Dustin (eyes all lit up): Thomas??? (He is thinking about Thomas the Tank Engine which is his favorite toy)
Me: Yes, its Thomas S. Monson
Dustin (laughing): No mom! It's not Thomas is monster! It's Thomas and His Friends (part of the Thomas the tank engine theme song)
Me: Honey, it really is Thomas Monson
Dustin: Mom. . . Thomas is a train not a monster!

I give up! Maybe in a couple of weeks we will revisit this topic! I mean what are the chances that the prophet has the same name as Dustin's favorite toy???

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It all changes in the blink of an eye!

No! Seriously! It totally does! In my previous post I wrote about Lee and how he is my youngest and I savor each moment with him right? I wish I could just bottle up his babiness (I know its not a word) and preserve it forever! However, this kid has other things in mind.
Take today for instance:
This morning I got up, got the girlies off to school and then at 10:30 it was time for Lee's nap. Not a problem! He was soooo ready for it and willing to lay down and go to sleep. . . . or so I thought. Turns out he just wanted his bottle. That's okay though because often times he will finish his bottle, cry for a minute and then go to sleep. So he cried, and cried, and cried and cried. Then, all of a sudden I heard "Dada" coming from the top of the stairs!
This baby, who was supposed to be in his crib, who doesn't even crawl, who has just started pulling himself up to the standing position as of 2 days ago, has now figured out how to get out of his bed. Lee's poor face was all red on one side and he had carpet marks embedded into his head where he must have fallen. I felt like the worst mom ever!!! None of my other children have ever escaped from the crib so this is a first for me.
Because I felt so bad I immediately called Otto to tell him what happened. Lee was army crawling around on the main floor doing his baby thing and I was kind of keeping an eye on him. Because of this you can imagine my surprise when I hung up the phone with Otto and turned around in time to see Lee almost halfway up the stairs. . . . did I mention he doesn't even crawl yet??? Who is this kid???
I am a person who hates stair gates! I always trip on them and they wreck my walls and they are a real pain in the behind, so when my kids learn how to go up stairs, I immediately teach them how to come down.
So, I taught Lee how to go down stairs. So, in the space of 2 hours my little baby went from not crawling to the master crib escape artist and a climber and descender of stairs. Ummmm, didn't he get the memo???? He's the baby! I'm not having any more children of my own! He's not supposed to do these things so quickly!!!
What is he thinking???
So to all you mom's out there. . . don't blink or else everything may change on you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The End of an Era

I feel as though I am experiencing the end of an era. I am a quite sad about this, but at the same time I am excited for what the future will bring. My baby is going to turn 1 in 3 weeks and so I will no longer have any more babies of my own that are in my house. Ever since I got pregnant with Lee I have known that he would be my last baby. It was harder for me to pick his name because there were still so many names that I loved and so many people that I wanted to name him after and I knew that I wouldn't have another chance to name my children after people that I loved and who inspired me to be better than I am.
And so he has become the end of an era. Sometimes when I watch him crawl around I get sad because I won't get to watch any more of my babies learn how to do that. Sometimes when he is trying to do new things I get sad because I won't get to experience the joy and the pride that I always feel when my babies learn how to smile, clap, play peek-a-boo, say "Mama", give high fives, shake their head no etc.
Because I have known that Lee would be my last baby I have tried to savor each and every moment that we have together. I always make time in my day to just sit down with him and play and read stories and sing songs. I feel bad because I didn't have that same opportunity with all of my children, but I know that I just wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I didn't take the time to be with my baby before he grows up.
I will miss the baby talks, smells, tricks and toys. I will miss them more than you can imagine. I have a few regrets. One of my biggest regrets was that Otto and I never had the money to be able to give our babies a nursary. We never had the opportunity to paint a baby's room or pick out really cute bedding like I see my sister and sister-in-law doing. I have never been able to get matching furniture for the baby's room and I have never been able to completely set aside one whole room just for the baby. I really wish I could have. I know that in the long run it doesn't matter, but I am the kind of person who likes to do little things for others and I have always felt bad that I have never been able to do that for my own babies.
So at the end of this era I look back on my favorite moments, past regrets, joys, pains and sleepless nights. I look back with fondness and with gratitude that I have been blessed to have so many beautiful babies that I have loved. I am excited to watch them grow up. I am excited to experience their baptisms with them, their first dances, their graduations from school, their wedding days. And even though this is the end of an era for me, it is also the beginning of another new adventure. . . and I just can't wait for that ride!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun Family and Friends Weekend!

Who doesn't love a long weekend?? I mean seriously! I LOVE them! I always try to do something fun with the kiddies and this weekend and definitely been fun for the kiddies!
On Thursday (teacher's convention) we had one of Abby's best friends come over for the day. Then that night we had Abby's other best friend and her sister come over for a sleep-over. On Friday afternoon we packed up all of our stuff and went down to Cardston for the weekend to stay with Otto's brother's family so the kids could play with their cousins!. On Friday night we went and saw the town's production of Fiddler on the Roof. It was fun to see some people that we knew in the play and even more people that we knew in the audience!
On Saturday we took the kids sledding on the iciest hill I have ever been on, but they all had a blast. . . .okay, well maybe not all of them had a blast. . . Lee didn't like sitting in his car seat for an hour, but I was able to buy some time with all of the treats that I brought for him!
Saturday night we left the kids at Otto's brother's house and the adults all went out to dinner in Waterton. Normally we would have gone to the Kilmorey Lodge, but since it is no longer standing we mozied on over to the Waterton Lakes Lodge where the chef had moved to and we ate dinner there. It was a nice Valentine's dinner! I was also able to meet Chef James which was awesome because my dad is one of the owners of Kilmorey Lodge and he always talks about Chef James. He often asks me questions about food and when I give him the answers he tells me that that is what Chef James says. It was really great to talk to Chef James for a bit and to get to know him a bit better.
On Sunday we went to church with our cousins and it was really funny to look down the bench and have Jason (Otto's brother who is dark like me) and I on the ends, but then see 11 blond children that all look alike as well as Otto (who is very blond) and my sister-in-law (who is also very blond) sitting on that bench. If ever there was a family that looked alike it is our two families. I always find that to be interesting because Jason and I are both dark, but somehow we got all of these blond children. I have a feeling that in 10 years they won't all be blond any more. I wish I would have taken a picture. . . it really is quite the sight to behold!
After dinner at Jason's house we headed home. It was fun to spend so much time with our cousins, but Otto actually had to head into the office today to get some work done. That's okay because later on this afternoon, my cousin is bringing over her family to come play and have dinner! The kids are so excited and I think that it will be the perfect ending to a weekend full of fun, family and friends!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So I have these three beautiful little girls. They all go to school and today is each of their Valentine's Day parties because it is teacher's convention this weekend. For their schools I always buy some of the store done cards along with some candies to include with their Valentine's. This year I thought I was so smart and found "Valentine Gummy Bracelets". I thought "Perfect, now I can save some money because I don't have to buy the candies and the cards seperately."
On Monday evening we decided to write out our classmates' names on the Valentine Candies. . . . well, it turns out that the candies didn't come with a card, but that you are supposed to try and write your name on the wrapper in the small heart on the top right hand side of the plastic. I don't know if any of you have 5 year olds, but a tiny heart is NOT going to be big enough when your name is Caroline. So, after realizing this when we have all sat down to create the bracelets and enduring 5 minutes of crying I decided that there was something that I was going to do about it. (Now the logical thing would be to get up, run to the store that is down the street and buy some boxes of Valentines right? Unfortunately I am not that smart!) So I said to the girls "wait here" and they did! Meanwhile I ran downstairs and grabbed a couple of cute scrapbooking papers and my Cricut Cutting Machine and brought them up. Anne and I spent about 1/2 an hour coming up with the design and we finally settled on a very simple but cute (I did have to make 60 of them) Valentine's Candy wrapper for them so that Caroline would have plenty of room to write her name.
So it took about 3 hours in total to make all of them, however it seemed to be worth it. At three different periods throughout the day, yesterday, my girls all told me that they were so happy that their mom was a scrapbooker because they had the best Valentine's out of everyone in their class! They were so excited to bring the Valentine's to school and show them off.
So, I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I can scrapbook and apparently that is all that I need in order to be a good mom. . . . for a few minutes anyways!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Always go with your gut!

This is something that I have learned since becoming a mom almost 9 years ago. I am a big believer of following your instincts and going with your gut. As a mom I do this all the time, and it has taught me several things, made me laugh, saved my kids etc.
Last night it happened again . . . . take a read!
Here let me set the scene. . .
I walk upstairs because the kids are supposed to be getting into bed so that they can read for 1/2 an hour before bed. Caroline and Dustin are in the hallway and Dustin is crying and grabbing at Caroline. They are both in their PJ's and Dustin is holding a small board book and Caroline is holding a stuffed bear.
Megan: Hey you two! What's going on?
Caroline: Dustin is mad at me because he thinks that I have a blue book.
Megan: Dustin, you already have a book, now stop grabbing at Caroline. (All of a sudden I feel as though I need to take another look at this scene.)
After another quick look at the two of them I remember that Dustin is actually quite smart and that Caroline is sure squeezing that bear tightly.
Megan: Caroline, DO you have Dustin's book?
Caroline: No! I don't know what he is talking about
Megan: What are you hiding under your bear???
Caroline (eyes really wide and looking totally guilty): Well, its Dustin's book, but I really wanted to read it.

LOL! That kid is hilarious! She totally tried to make Dustin look like the villan when she was the one who was teasing him. See. . . you never know what you'll discover if you just follow your gut!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The ugly duckling

Sorry all. . . this is about our new puppy again. . . he's the lastest and greatest thing that has happened to our family in the past little while so right now we are just all in love with him! So. . . I guess that that spills over into my blog.
I have to be honest. Until I got Cooper I didn't even like the Basset Hound breed. I thought that they were th "Ugly Duckling" of all of the dog breeds. I mean they look as though they are a genetic mishap. I couldn't understand why Otto loved them so much. They have these short thick legs that look as though they don't work right. They have long droopy ears. They have all of this extra skin that just hangs around. They are quite stalky and slow. They don't have a ton of energy, and they don't really do much.
And then we got Cooper. And, yes, I have a feeling that he will grow up to not be the most beautiful of dogs. He will be built like a Basset Hound because he is a pure bred. However, I have now figured out why Otto loves this breed so much. Cooper is very different from Zeke (our Yorkie). He has these HUGE paws and the longest ears that drag on the ground and it is so cute to watch him trip all over himself as he is learning how to work his big, awkward body. Cooper is really shy. When people come over he just hides in his room and he doesn't bark at them and he doesn't run around all crazy like and jump up on people. Cooper is so sweet and shy but once he warms up to you he is so sweet because he just wants to cuddle. He is still a puppy so he does have bursts of energy, but because he is so big and awkward he can't do anything quickly so it is very easy to play fetch with him or to chase him around because you can do everything at a walking pace. When I open the door Cooper just looks at the outside and walks away. . . Zeke, however has already shot out the door and is a block away before I can close the door again. Cooper is a Hound so he has a really incredible sense of smell. It is so much fun to watch him sniff everything and explore all of the different smells around. Whenever I give him a bone he has to smell every inch of it before he will take it.
Cooper is not much of a chewer. He is a puppy and so he does chew on things a bit, but he is really easy to control because he is so low energy. Seriously, he is the perfect dog for our family. They say that Basset Hounds are very loyal, make terrible guard dogs (because they are so shy), and get lonely easily and so they should go well with families with children and other pets. . . well folks that's us. And if Cooper is awake and he can't see anyone around he does cry. So I am glad that we got him. I LOVE his floppiness and his awkwardness. I love that Zeke now has a full-time buddy and I have decided that I love having a Basset Hound. The do make great pets!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Our Big Floppy Baby

No, I am not talking about Lee (although the description does fit). This big floppy baby has HUGE feet, lots of hair, the biggest puppy dog eyes (literally), long floppy ears and a tail that won't stop wagging.
His name is Cooper.
We love him.
I am having problems uploading photos but they are on my facebook page.
He is eight weeks old, a Basset Hound and he hasn't quite figured out his weird shaped body yet. He is so shy and cuddly. He loves Zeke (our Yorkie) is almost as big as Zeke and weighs more than him already. Did I mention that we love him? He is sooo floppy and it is so cute to watch Cooper try and get used to walking on the hardwood floors and trip on his long floppy ears. I have never seen a more awkward little puppy.
Cooper is Otto's dog. Otto has always wanted a Basset Hound ever since I have known him. I didn't really understand why he loved the breed so much until I met Cooper yesterday. These dogs are not like any other type of dog that I have ever seen. Instead of getting excited when people come near him, he shies away. He is REALLY cuddly and he gets lonely really easily. (That's one of the reasons that he will fit in perfectly with our family. . . there is ALWAYS someone around!) I wasn't expecting to get a basset hound until Father's Day, but when a friend of mine said that she had two puppies for sale and the price was right, I just had to get him!
Anne and Caroline were at home because they were too itchy to go to school and so I took them and the little boys and we went and got Cooper. Afterwards we took him to Otto's work to surprise him with the puppy.
Otto sure was surprised! He was shocked because he had NO Clue (neither did I really) and it WAS the kind of dog that he had always wanted.
So, all in all, we are so excited about this latest (and last) addition to our family. We all love our big floppy baby and we are so excited that he is part of our family.

Monday, February 2, 2009

At least we are sharing around here!

So I often compain to my kids that they aren't sharing. They fight over just about everything and it drives me wild!!! However, I can't say that I am especially thrilled that they have all decided to share "Fifth's Disease" with each other. This disease typically only affects children ages 5 - 15, but somehow my two boys have had it too.
Thank goodness its no big deal! A little cold followed by a huge rash is something that I can deal with. In fact, if the girls weren't so itchy I would have sent them to school because once you have the rash you are not contageous any more. When Abby got this right after Christmas I went and read a bunch about it and I have never laughed at a description of a symptom before, but I couldn't help myself this time! One of the symptoms of the rash is that the "child looks as though they have been slapped in the face". Now, I haven't personally slapped my kids in the face, so I can't be sure, but I believe that it means that the rash starts on their cheeks because they turn really red. But, seriously. . . . how hilarious right????
At least it isn't something worse that they are sharing. . . like . . . . ummm. . .. malaria or something, so I guess I can't complain too much!