Little Wife On the Prairie

When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


It is feeling like spring here!   

It's making Zaddok wear muscle-shirts and flex.
We have entered the season of cowboy boots. All boys must pass through this phase. It is part of becoming a man.

She is growing up way too fast.

Recorder concerts are the bomb! Hi Jolie and Merik!

Spring could be teasing us and we could be doing this again next week.

I love colored glass.  Just thought you might like to know something random about me. (Plus, I really like the color and light in this pic.:) 
I love this guy and his chubby thighs!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tea-parties happen

My daughter.  If there is ever a moment of pause, when the world goes quiet and I start to read a book, she comes up with a plan.  She will plan you right out of the room.  Every detail of an event is accounted for, every minute scheduled.  So one pleasant and quiet Sabbath, she came to me with her plan.  It was a tea party for the family.  I agreed, she took off! 

This was the result.  A perfectly perfect party, in her room, surrounded by 1000 of her closest stuffed friends. 

Boys at a tea-parties.  It is a beautiful and unnatural thing. 

Daddy had to fold himself up cross-legged to join us on the floor.  Crossed legs do not come easy for our poor daddy.  He is smiling through the pain.

A Sabbath tea-party insures that the goodies are simple and delicious.  Leftover challa, cookies from dessert and fruit.

I will keep this photo forever.  Partly because it is cute but specifically because I can use it against them one day when they try to leave me.
 "Mom, we are going to college."
"Oh yea.  How 'bout I show them how you guys really like to party?"
Blackmail: when a regular nice mom just won't do.

That's beautiful life folks. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow babies!

We have had incredible winter weather this past month.  I have, in the past, seen it snow a lot more here on the prairie.  I have never seen it colder here.  -30 wind chill!  That is cold.  Pipes freeze, wind blows and heaters can't keep up.  But my kids always find a way to look on the bright side.  I picked up Zaddok from school last week and he gave me his perspective on the weather. 

We were driving home from his school and he said, "Mama, it's a nice day today!" 

It was 4 degrees with negative wind chill because of the 30 mile-an-hour sustained winds.

Being the ever-sensitive mother I said, "What the heck are you talking about!  It's freezing and miserable outside!"

His little, sweet smile spread across his face as he gazed dreamily out the window.  "But the snow is so pretty!"

Then I got to see through his eyes. The snow glittered in the bright afternoon sun and the wind blew dancing currents of powder around our car.  The frost on the glass made an intricate maze of crystals across my field of view. 

I felt like a grump.  I let my own comfort determine what I saw in front of me.  Was it a nice day for playing outside, for gardening or for not wearing a parka?  Nope.  But it was still beautiful.  We had all been healthy, warm and fed.  I had nothing to complain about.

I said, "You know what buddy?  It is a nice day!"

Sometimes it takes a 5-year-old to teach me how to live.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm a square. So are my biscuits!

I am a self-proclaimed nerd.  I am really okay with it.  It's fun to be interested in things I love.  I don't care if watching the History Channel is dorky or if getting excited about compost makes me a weirdo.

 I would rather read a book than go to a party or have a picture of my food in a cookbook rather than have a picture of me in a magazine.  I am a square, an L-7 wienie.  (Who remembers that movie?)   

So it is no surprise that my biscuits, instead of being nice and round, would be square.  (Nice segue, right?)  If you have ever made homemade biscuits before, you know the process is, well...a process.  Rolling dough, cutting.  Rolling excess dough, cutting. It goes on and on until you have used all of the dough.  Here is my method.

I have a good recipe for a baking powder biscuit.  I have used it for years.  These just happen to be whole wheat. 

After you roll them out, instead of using a round cutter and having to re-roll the trimmings, I just use a pizza cutter or an ulu to cut the dough.  It saves you from having to work the dough over and over which tends to make biscuits tough. 

As you can see, they are not uniform.  The edges are not perfectly square.  Who cares!  We are just going to slather them with butter and jelly. 

These were delicious but a little different.  They did not puff as much as my plain, white flour biscuits do.   I will have to play with the recipe.  But they soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.  Mmmmmm.  They go great with coffee...or gravy.

Making these from scratch is just as easy as making them from a mix but not nearly as easy as pulling them out of the freezer.  (Although, I have had success with making them and freezing them for convenience.) 

The great thing about these is that they have 5 ingredients.  You can know for sure what your family is eating.  The ones you find in the grocery store have way more than 5 ingredients and some of them are not pretty.  (Natural and artificial flavoring?)

 Cutting them in squares makes them that much easier to make so give it a try.!

Baking Powder Biscuits    

2 cups unbleached white flour (you can use 1/2 whole wheat)
3 tsp baking powder (I always use the non-aluminum kind)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil or butter
3/4 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients.  Make a well (or dent) in the dry ingredients.  Add the milk and fat to the center.  Mix with a fork until dough forms a wet ball.  Turn out onto a flat surface and knead 10 strokes just to make the dough uniform.  Lightly roll out dough to 1 inch thick.  Cut (however you prefer, I won't judge.) and place on a baking sheet. (Make sure you cut straight down into the dough and do not twist.  This can seal the edges of the dough and prevent them from rising when baking)  Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes or until slightly browned. 
Makes 8 to 10 biscuits.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Playgroup is not for wusses.

Last year, my sister-in-law and I decided we were tired of wishing for a group of girlfriends.  We had talked several times about how it is hard to make relationships in a small town full of life-long friends.  It not that people are mean.  It's just that people are creatures of comfort.  Meeting and befriending new people is not always comfortable nor natural.  It's easy to have a good talk with someone.  It's hard to form those good long-lasting friendships.

In the spirit of desperation and a lack of fear of rejection, we did it.  We started a playgroup.  We invited a few of the moms that we knew and told them to invite moms that they knew.  It started out as a really nice time with some really great girls.  We always had fun and our kids loved it.  But as all things do, it grew.  We've had some people come and some people go.  But there is a good core group of girls that have been there most weeks.  Here are some of our sweet kids.

In the past year we have gone from just some nice girls with sweet kids to actual friends!  It is just what my SIL and I hoped for.  And guess what...we have room for more.  We don't ever want to be a closed group.  In fact, just last week, we had a new mom join us for playgroup.  I had met her at a park and it turned out that she knew one of the other moms in our group.  We invited her to come, and she did!  She and her kids fit in like they had been there from the beginning.

We had our first real mom's night out last night.  Seven of our girls came, including our newest member.  We also have a mommy who is preggo with her first. (She didn't get to leave her kid at home.)  We are all ages, we go to different churches, we even have some different ideas about how to raise kids.  But none of that matters.  We love each other!

But you can't be a wuss to be a part of our playgroup.  You have to be able to handle conversations about childbirth, potty training, breastfeeding, and yes folks...poop, lots and lots of poop.  We do tell stories and laugh ourselves sick about life-saving marmots, neurotic bottle-fed goats, 101 ways to marinate chicken, and husband antics.  And every now-and-then we can get Amy to gag.  Its really great.  But you have to be able to hang with our loudness our honesty and Jill's dirty looks!  She won't give 'em unless you deserve 'em.  (Love you Jill. :) Please still make me a hat.)  You have to be able to look past a dirty house, a snotty nose, or my lack of style.  We are not perfect but we have a perfect group!  See...

I was trying to get a pic of the whole car but ended up getting just these 3 girls.  It was too cute not to post!

Jess and I

Amy and Jessica

Jill, Jaylene and Amanda
We had a blast together last night! We stayed out so late that several of our husbands called to ask if we were drinking or if we needed to be bailed out.  I love all of you girls and can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Have you ever...

Been awakened by the sweet sounds of Ode to Joy on the recorder?

Been cuddled by your big brother?

Entertained a crowd with just your hair?

Or, made your mommy so very happy by bringing her coffee in the morning. 

I love snow days!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's golden!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of joining my grandparents (and about 100 of their friends!) in celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. That by any standards, is amazing. We had a wonderful time and saw some wonderful people. My grandparents hugged and talked and laughed until the cake was gone! Congratulations Papa and Grandma! We see your love for each other after all of these years. It is a sweet and beautiful thing. Here are the pics...

The guest book was the same book they had used at their wedding 50 years ago!

The cake was as delicious as it was beautiful. 

We decorated in gold for the golden anniversary!

Grandma getting into the mood.

Papa is not really a party kind of guy.  But he was the best host!  He greeted every single guest at the door.
We set up tables with lots of pictures.  People enjoyed looking at 50 years of my grandparent's life.

Aunt Pammy and Asher.
These are some of their good friends Barbra and Ray.  I rounded them up for the picture but couldn't get them to quit talking and laughing! 

They finally cooperated.

My sweet sisters and my mommy. 

They just visited and visited.

These little buddies were great!  They ate cake and played.  As did the other kids. 

She is the best grandma.

Papa cutting up with the fellas.

This is Wanda.  She and Grandma have been friends for a million years.  They raised their kids right next door to each other.  They vacationed together, they kept kids for each other, they just lived life together.  Wanda's husband JB is gone now.  So is the other sweet couple from the neighborhood, Grammy Faye and Papa Leo.  We miss them all.  

This is the family.  Sadly, it is minus my cousins Jordan, Aaron and his wife Leah.  I just want you to pay special attention to my grandparents.  Holding hands, surrounded by their legacy.  I want that at my 50 year anniversary.

  However, I would like for you to ignore my son who made that exact face in every picture I took that afternoon... 

You thought I was kidding. (and I'm sure you thought it would be Zaddok!)