Friday, September 4, 2015

Sue Higley's Foolproof Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

I was lucky to grow up eating this amazing and delicious homemade whole wheat bread all the time. My mom would grind the wheat, knead the bread,then fill the whole house with the most amazing smells. We loved it right out of the oven with butter slathered on top and homemade jam or honey too. Drooling? I thought so. Here's the recipe. Sue Higley's Foolproof Whole Wheat Bread Recipe Makes 4 large loaves (I usually half the recipe) 1/2 cup warm water 2 T yeast 5 cups hot tap water 2 T salt 2/3 cup oil 2/3 cup honey 12 cups whole wheat flour Sprinkle yeast into 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand until dissolved. Combine hot water and 7 cups whole wheat flour. Add salt, oil and honey. Mix together until well blended. Add one cup flour to mixture, add yeast and mix well. Add 3-4 more cups flour. Knead for 10 minutes or until dough begins to clean the side of the bowl. A stickier dough will cause a more moist bread. Oil hands. Divide dough into 4 parts. Mold into loaves and place in greased pans. Oil top of loaves for a soft crust. Cover loaves with a damp cloth. Let rise until 1/3 in bulk, or 35 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. (My oven is about 35 minutes). Remove from pans, put on towel to cool. Burst tops with butter. Also makes great rolls. For high altitutes(over 4000 feet) bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes and the at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. But watch carefully, don't over cook. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Cell Phone:To Answer or Not to Answer?

I found this article in a Reader's Digest, and laughed my head off. It seemed to familiar to me-exaggerated, but oh-so-funny. What do you think?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 in Review

How to sum up a very interesting 2011? Here's a few highlights-in no particular order!
Piper and I cut our hair, me: 1 inches, Piper .
Monte spent a lot of time riding his bike all around the neighborhood, happily!
I went rock climbing and learned to Zumba! (So much fun!)
The kids and I had a blast at Dream Night at the Zoo, meeting Star Wars Characters, our good friends from Krispy Kreme (they sponsored Monte's 5K), and a really friendly slimy black tongued giraffe.
We spent the night in a HAUNTED hotel in Eureka Springs. SPOOKY!
We hung out with tigers and lions and oh my! nearly got sprayed by one! (Look at how hard Monte's laughing!
We took a trip to Oregon and California, seeing Grandma Bev and Jerry, Piper did make-up on G'ma Cathy, and lots of fun with my family as well...too much fun to take pictures.
We got to see our dear friends, Craig and Molly, who put on their own 5k for Monte's bike.
We rode on a super demon fast speedboat!
Piper started Kindergarten. (Cue the cute curly hair and big smiles!)
We had fun at halloween decorating faces and pumpkins...then slaughtered them to turn into dozens of loaves of pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin waffles.
I had a wonderful experience with a group of amazing women performing The 10 Virgins.
We met Santa at least 13 times. (Pictured here with santa at a special Make a Wish event in St. Louis)
We got to celebrate Christmas with Santa at THE CHATEAU, thanks to our great friends Amanda and Chad.
And a dozen other things! But those are some fun highlights.

Piper with her adoring friends...

Here's an adorable picture with Piper and a group of friends...all boys! Cute.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Goal: Increase Temple Attendance

Blessings of the Temple-Val R. Christensen Rexburg Idaho Temple President BYU-I Devotional October 7th, 2008
"Here's a summary of the blessings for those who attend the temple regularly:
1. They will feel God's power in their lives.
2. They will be taught words of wisdom.
3. They will grow up in Christ.
4. They will receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost, to be comforted and led into all truth.
5. They will be organized according to the laws of God.
6. They will be prepared to obtain every needful thing.
7. They will be armed with God's power.
8. They will have the name of Christ upon them.
9. They will have angels to guide and protect them.
10. No weapon will be formed against them.
11. No combination of wickedness shall have power over them.
12. Those who fight them will dig a pit and fall into it themselves.

Quotes That I Want to Share: Why being healthy should be a goal in 2012!

"How can I sit in the sun? It's a question every woman asks. How can I sit in the sun when so many people need me? How can I take the time for a workout? How can I meet friends for lunch? But just as I'm about to jump up and leap back into the life stream...the sweetness catches my attention. In a moment, the tightness within my chest eases, and i open my eyes to scan the tall pines around the clearing in which my cottage sits. The call comes again, solitary, it's beauty capturing my turbulent spirit, filling my heart with light, and-how?-the understanding that sitting here, resting and listening is what connects me to what's important in life...because when the spirit is still, the mind quiet, the body at peace, the whispers of God are everywhere."
Ellen Michaud- How can I Sit in the Sun?

"Most religious traditions view the body as holy. "When we take care of {our bodies}, we're also taking care of {our spirits}. We need a rich prayer life in order to remain full of hope, and we need physical health to fulfill our calling. If you don't have one, it's at the expense of the other."
Barbara Crafton- Diane Magazine

Secrets of Thin People: How They Get There, How They Stay There-Real Simple 2006

Hope Chest Treasures

Yes, it's been FOREVER since I've posted. I thought I'd try blogging again! This year I've set some fun new goals for myself, and I'm excited to see them through. Don't be skeptical, as we renewed the goals our family set last year, 50% were met completely, 25% were met 50%, and the last 25% about 25%. Not bad! I enjoy improving myself and seeing the positive changes.
Back to the point! I spent some time going through my hope chest and discarding some things that I had held on to for too long, adding a few new things, and enjoying the experience. Here's some treasures I found:
Since I can't seem to position the pictures where I want them, here's a summary in no particular order.
Monte spent a big part of his first few years in the hospital, but had amazing nursery and primary leaders and teachers in the BYU 172 Ward. In fact, they truly went far and beyond anything I could've imagined in their quest to help Monte feel their love, and the love of His Savior. Here's a card that they made with the kids to celebrate Monte's favorite song and let him know how much they missed him. So absolutely adorable.
When Monte was 18 months old he spent 3 months in the hosptial having 17 shunt revisions. (Brain surgeries with a million complications and...well, everything you could imagine). At the time I was in my absolutely last semester of a tumultuous college experience. I had everything arranged so I could finish and graduate in August, but only if I kept up a full load of summer classes. If I didn't finish them, I would be pushed out a few more semesters in able to get all the right classes and times...
So, in one of the hardest and heartwrenching summers of my life, I balanced the complications of having a child in the hospital, a husband working full time, driving back and forth from SLC and Provo, and keeping up with the homework and studying. Luckily I was in the right major: one of my classes was called "FAMILIES IN CRISIS." I've always loved irony. I was blessed with kind classmates who covered for me often when I couldn't be in class, and kept pushing forward, day by day. It was with a heart full of indescribable emotion when I finally finished. (And with good grades too!)
The day of graduation both of my families came down to support me. Heartbreakingly, Monte was still in the hospital. My beloved Aunt Allyson sat with him so that I wouldn't miss the ceremonies. I was trembling with emotion as I walked up the final hill into the Mariott Center and into the tunnel. I couldn't believe that I had finally done it. The entire time I was in college I had felt and enormous pressure and drive to get my Bachelor's degree. I couldn't rest until it was finished. As I came out of the tunnel surrounded by amazing friends that had helped me through the last seemingly impossible semester, big posters held by all of my family caught my eye. It took a minute for me, then my friends to process what we were seeing, then the entire Family Science graduates burst into tears. THANKS MOM. Here's what see were seeing: Big posters of pictures of Monte in his hospital scrubs, shaved holes in his hair, wrapped limbs with IV's, ect...smiling and "saying" how proud he was of me. Sob. I know that having my degree has blessed me as a mother and wife absolutely everyday. I'm so grateful to have had that experience, and the examples of my Mom and Grandma to support and push me. (My wonderful grandma sent a very welcome check and a box of See's Chocolates to celebrate. WOW!) My mom booked a room at the hospital for a surprise party, she knew that I wouldn't want to be away even a minute longer. Monte was in a wagon stuffed with pillows, the walls were covered with posters celebrating the occasion, and cake was enjoyed by all, including our favorite Dr.'s and Nurses. What a crazy day.

Lastly is a cute letter from my sister Allison, written not long after I was engaged. I laughed through the entire thing, even at 10 she was pretty clever.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Miles for Monte-the final product!

All the months, phonecalls, door to door solicitations, sleepness nights and endless phone calls were worth it! Monte has his bicycle! He has been on it almost everyday, even in the 100% humidity and 99+ degree temperatures. I just had to share these pictures of the joy on his face as he rides. He's a complete natural, HE insists on doing all of the pedalling himself, and he LOVES steering himself also. This is remarkable for a child who struggles with the ability to lift his left foot when walking and HATES to hold onto anything, unless it's his idea. The bike allows him to sit up tall and proud, exercises him in a fun, cool way, and helps him learn to control the direction he goes. It's amazing and oh, so fun! He just laughs, and laughs, and laughs...

Miles For Monte, The Event

We had an amazing and miraculous event for Miles for Monte. The day started out dramatically miserable, terrible rain, gloomy dark skies, and a general discouraging outlook. We kept up smiles and positive attitudes, confirming over and over that the race will go on...regardless. Privately, Piper and I prayed together that "it could rain all it wanted all day long, but Heavenly Father, please make it stop for 2 hours for Monte's race." Well, the rain continued up until the event, making the set-up and preparations a bit hectic, then immediately stopped about 20 minutes before the race time. Wow. I had avoided looking outside the last few hours before, and was shocked to step outside for the run to find sunny skies and dry pavement. It was a miracle from heaven. Later, as we left the gym for the final time, it was to see that the rain was again pouring, and continued all night long. Our hearts were gratified to have almost 200 people attend, and at least 150 runners participate. We felt loved and supported by this great community that we live in, and so excited at the number of friends and family that ran their own races in Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, and more!
We could not have done it without the many sponsors, volunteers, and helpers, we're so grateful!
The entire night was so incredible, it's hard to share it all. Here's a few of my favorite moments:
Before the race started we had everyone line up on either side of the gym and put Monte in his walker down the middle. As we chanted "Monte, Monte" he started out limply standing in it, then as he heard his name stood taller and taller and RAN his way through the crowd with his head held high and strong, marching leg action, running all the way to the door.
Monkey Moes donated a gigantic bounce house, Piper spent hours racing up and down on it, and was thrilled when she was able to drag me away from the last minute preparations to race through it with her. It made us collapse with laughter, and helped me calm down a bit!
I handed out huge chocolate feet to the winners in each category, saying things like, "I had the fastest feet!" "My feet are so fast, they might melt!" "I won the foot-race at Miles 4 Monte"
I was able to run one of my best times, even after having been up most of the previous nights that week finalizing everything. Each time I was tempted to walk for a bit I remembered Monte and his remarkable strength through each of his health struggles, and I couldn't quit.
Our family friend George Dyer surprised us and agreed to be our last minute MC, using his beautiful voice to make everything seem special!
The Andy's Frozen Custard and Krispy Kreme donuts were a perfect addition to the evening!
The LDS Missionaries were all able to attend and race, doing surprisingly well, one of them even placing 2nd in his age category. They helped both before and after the race, modeling their service and smiles to the community.
Anyway, it was exhausting, amazing, wonderful and overwhelming, and will always be one of my most special moments...
here's a few pictures of the night!