Easter Celebrations

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Easter is my absolute favorite holiday. And dying Easter eggs is simply the best! Always such fun and messy. Messes are good, at least for a few hours. As an added bonus, this year Wallaby could actually participate! Naturally he loved coloring the eggs and dipping them in the dye—he will probably have blue hands for a week now.

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We experimented with new techniques this year, including using string, lace, ric-rac, and reinforcement stickers. We also tried out the new McCormick neon food coloring—they have instructions specifically for dying eggs on the box. They were such pretty colors!
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I only tried the string once, and probably didn’t tie it at tight as possible, so it slipped a bit in the dye.

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The lace was really hard to get tight enough on the egg. We used safety pins to keep it on, but some of the dye inevitably seeped under, same with the ric-rac. Maybe next year we could try hot gluing them on and then peeling it off after? I used a white crayon to outline the ric-rac, and that seemed to help.

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The really good idea was using the reinforcement stickers to make perfect polka-dots (colored in with a sharpie after the egg was dyed).

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Or put on before it was dyed, like this egg.

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But my favorite was watching Wallaby explore the egg dying process.

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I also loved how the white lace was dyed such lovely colors along with the eggs.

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We have an Easter egg hunt planned for tomorrow morning (another first for Wallaby) and then an Easter basket with a new book and toy on Sunday (don’t tell Wallaby). If he’s lucky we might share some of the candy from our baskets, maybe. We’ll go to church, of course, and then a big family meal—my favorite way to celebrate any occasion!

What are your big Easter plans? If you have a minute and want to remember the true reason to celebrate, then you will enjoy this.  Happy Easter to you!

A Picture Post

What better way to end the week of no posts than with a bunch of odd photos thrown together.

wpid-imag0647.jpgThere was the time we used our moving boxes to make a fort.

IMG_6628Wallaby studiously watching the back neighbors jackhammer the dirt—that’s how hard the ground is here if you want to plant anything substantial.

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The day we got a 5 minute rainstorm. And were billy goats apparently ∨

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My soggy bookmark.

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The bath that feels like a swimming pool to Wallaby, yet he still cries every time we turn off the water.

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An average sunset as viewed from our bedroom window.

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The 70 year old Wallaby in his track suit.

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The Blood Orange Rolls that I made for LDS Conference. I’ll be posting the recipe next week!

Have a great weekend and hopefully a cooler one than us.

Wedding Planning Part Two

Being here in Arizona with my mom means I get to really help with the June beach wedding plans for my sister!

We bought the Children’s Place turquoise gingham shirts from this post  for the youngest of the nephews and will be making white linen shorts for Walter and the other youngest boy—this style, but white.  Super cute right?  For the older boys we are thinking about this tiny gingham shirt from Dillard’s, also with white shorts, but maybe fedoras with a red ribbon? We shall see.

Old Navy was a total score for the little nieces outfits! We found perfect white eyelet dresses for the two youngest and a peasant top for two of the older girls. We will be adding turquoise bows to the dresses and turquoise skirts for the blouse.

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Top Dress / Bottom Dress / Blouse

Now we just have everything else to plan for this San Diego Beach Wedding. Any recommendations on places in San Diego for a picnic lunch after the ceremony? We want outdoor seating for 50. Oh and where are the best beaches for pictures? We want nice waves to run in, some cool rocks in the background/to climb on, a peer, and perhaps a cave if we can swing all that ;)    Some things are hard to plan from a distance.

Getting Settled

We have arrived in Arizona and finished unpacking the final boxes today! What a glorious feeling to be settled in your personal space and yet still have so much to explore outside your door. And the weather! I won’t rub it in for the rest of you snow covered states—perhaps you could show me the same courtesy come June when we hit triple digits? That would be very neighborly of us.

It’s extra fun to be near my family and Wallaby has no shortage of cousins to play with any time we choose. In fact, yesterday we all got together for lunch and Wallaby and his little four-day-older cousin have begun a love/annoy relationship. At one point she was motherly stroking his hair

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and at other points they were arguing over toys and sippy cups. Wallaby is in some serious need of competition anyway, so these cousins are just what is needed!

Wallaby is adjusting well—waking more at night than is usual, but today I discovered 3! new molars poking through, so it’s to be expected. Wallaby also has a lot to say lately. He will chatter on in his little language for minutes at a time to anyone who will listen. And there are a couple of new parks to explore within walking distance, so we’ve been taking many a trip to them.

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And we’ll end with another model shot of little Wallaby. The adorable striped overalls were a gift from my mom from Old Navy.

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Easy French Bread Recipe

I love to bake. I love everything French. Naturally this is one of my favorite recipes, and we make it almost weekly—Wallaby and I can eat half the loaf straight from the oven!

I used to always cook alone—The Grizzly Kid is not a fan of the kitchen—but lately Wallaby insists on being my helper. In fact, he often requests to help cook by going into the pantry and patting the flour bag, or pulling a chair from the table over to the counter. So I give him his own measuring spoon and a little bowl with some flour, water, sugar, to stir up on his own and then he’ll reach over and poke his spoon into the big bowl helping me to stir it up.

Wallaby baking

Wallaby baking

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It gets a little messy, but we have fun. Anyway, onto the recipe! I have been using this recipe for years, so I don’t remember where I got the basis of it, but I’ve changed it a little along the way. It results in a fluffy center and a chewy, crusty crust. It smells heavenly and tastes even better!

French Bread Recipe    

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

1 Tbs sugar

1 ½ tsp yeast

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp salt

 Directions:

-In a medium bowl dissolve sugar into warm water, add yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.

- Add remaining ingredients, knead well for a few minutes adding more flour if needed—the dough should not be sticky. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes.

- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle. Roll up dough from the long side pushing out any air bubbles as you go. Once rolled into a log, tuck each end under, just enough to cover the appearance of the layers from rolling it up.

-Place on lightly buttered cookie sheet and make deep diagonal cuts into the loaf using a serrated knife. Let rise in warm place for 30-40 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes. A few minutes before it is done pull the bread out and lightly spread butter over the top and return to oven. Watch carefully as it finishes cooking as the butter will make it brown faster. Remove once golden brown and let cool in an open space to allow it to develop the chewy crust.

It’s that easy, and takes less time to rise and bake than traditional bread. Plus if it lasts to the next day it can turn into french toast, a sub, or a yummy BLT:

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I hope you’ll give it a try! It is 100% Wallaby approved.

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Utah: The Final Days

Things have been a little nutso and a lot of fun around here lately. Well, certain parts of each day are fun, specifically the parts where The Grizzly Kid is home with us but we aren’t packing or cleaning for the big move and instead are checking off our to-do before we leave Utah list. Yesterday we went to lunch at Art City Trolley here in Springville, and it was delightful. I built my own burger and with the toasted bun and super delicious fries, I seriously enjoyed it.

Today between packing in the morning and cleaning in the evening we made it over to Rita’s for a free Italian ice, for the first day of spring. Wallaby shared my key lime ice with me and cried when it was all gone—lets just say he enjoyed it—and The Grizzly Kid had an oreo shake made with custard, which was very creamy, or so I would say, if I had stolen it from him to try it out…

wpid-IMG_20140320_150209.jpgHe had some serious focus going on. And he wasn’t the only child there that we saw cry at the end of their ice. So it’s pretty good.

Still to go on list of fun things to do, is visit the new Daylight Donuts that opened here—can you tell that I love food? Pretty much all of my lasts in Utah are to do with visiting local eateries. The Grizzly Kid wants to take Wallaby on the frontrunner train, we’re pretty sure he’ll love it, since he signs train for every motorized vehicle that he sees. And I want to go play up Hobble Creek canyon on a warm afternoon. Then there are final gatherings with friends and family, of course. What else do we need to do before we leave Utah? What should we put on our Arizona to-see/to-do list?

Moving Forward

Today is The Grizzly Kid’s last day of work. We will spend the next two weeks packing, cleaning, and playing before we take the plunge and move the farthest we have in our marriage. We look forward to this new adventure even though we are not the most adventurous of people. In the face of the unknown this talk by Elder Richard G. Scott that I recently read has really helped me. Especially this quote.

Quote

Faith. It always comes back to faith. We trust we’re doing what we’re supposed to and we will be led.