Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Paninis and a Princess

Last night we had paninis for dinner.
They are a favorite of ours, so easy and so satisfying :)
Have any of you made paninis?...What kind of ingredients did you use?? We usually use the same every time, but I'd love some other ideas :)

Here's what we put on our paninis:
- bread
(you can use just about any kind...we love Dave's Killer Bread)
- mayonaise
- fresh greens

- cheese
(I love fresh motzarella, Adam likes his with pepperjack and sometimes sharp cheddar)
- tomatoes

- seasoned, grilled chicken breast

(it's all about the pesto)
We put it all together...and put it on our George Foreman, works just like a panini press! :)
** there's no need for butter on the outside of the bread (like you would grilled cheese) they're just wonderful without it!
Let the sandwich(es) grill for about two minutes (check a few times to be sure the bread is grilled to how you'd like it, not burnt;)
And ENJOY! We had ours with a side of delicious steamed cauliflower, brocoli, and grilled summer squash :)

The picture is dark, but you can see that Adam is chowing down :)

And the princess part of this post...well, my sweet Adam came home from work SO excited for a surprise he wanted to show me on his computer. I sat on his lap with my eyes closed as he clicked away on his computer.
"Open up!" he said.
TANGLED was starting to play! That boy is just too cute! He's known since November, when I first saw that movie, that I've been excited to see it again with him! (we're big Disney fans:) So when he found out you could pre-order it on iTunes two weeks ago, he got it and has been waiting to surprise me <3 After Brooks went to sleep, we watched it, snuggled on the couch...we laughed a lot, and I even cried. (I get really emotionally attached to movie characters, even cartoons)
All in all, it was a wonderful night :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Brooks,

Hi there sunshine! You really are my sunshine...especially on these cold, snowy and overcast days (in late March for goodness sake!). Well Little B, you turned ONE 2 weeks ago! Your Daddy and I have been blessed to have you in our family for 12 whole months now. Your sweet Grandma Kjar says that raising/watching children is like watching the Discovery Channel 24/ true that is! It's been amazing to see you learn and grow...get back up when you've fallen down...try all kinds of new're becoming more loving and interactive every day...and you are so patient with your Dad and I as we ourselves learn how to do this parenting gig ;)

I know I posted many of these pictures of you back in November here, but I just love seeing them all together...I'm amazed at how much you transform, and so quickly:
From our sleepy newborn,
to our wrinkly-legged 1 month old,
to our 2 month old giggler,
(once you started laughing you've never stopped:)
to our smiley & chubby 4 month old,
to our 6 month old sitter,
to our always-laughing 8 month old crawler,
to our 10 month old little bookworm,
to our 11 month old wobbly walker,

{Sunday, March 14th @ 9:19pm
weight: 7 lbs 10 oz
height: 21 in}

{weight: 12.72 lbs
length: 23.75 in}

{weight: 15.5 lbs
length: 26.25 in}

{weight: 18.45 lbs
length: 27.0 in}

{weight: 22.93 lbs
length: 28.75 in}

{weight: 24.67 lbs
length: 30.31 in}

I love you Brooks, and your father and I are so excited for what this next year holds in store for you!! Summer is going to be amazing with our little man. Cheers to another year of learning and growing bud! :)

Love always and forever,

PS - Lots of kisses coming your way!

Monday, March 28, 2011

vlog - 12 reason we love Brooks

Thank goodness for a husband who remembered that he set up a youtube account a while back...we can now post normal speed videos! yeesssss!

I realize I say in the video we were going for 35-40 seconds...but some good laughs made it a bit longer ;)

We chose to list only 12 reasons (out of MANY) because he's 12 months old :)
And here's a translation in case you couldn't understand us through the speed-talk and laughter:
1) we love that Brooks is a great baby
2) we love his mullet
3) we love his belly
4) we love his laugh
5) when we change his diaper and he sometimes pees on us, that's real funny ;)
6) he has his daddy's eyelashes
7) we love watching him sleep
8) we love when he wakes up happy
9) we love his is the front, party in the back (repeat;)
10) we love his booty with his diaper
11) we love his little teeth (he has 5 now!)
12) we love that he loves us!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Guardian of Virtue

Last night, before our little cozy-robes and smoothie-sipping date, I was lucky enough to go the the General Young Women Meeting at my church. Every year, the presidency over all of the Young Women (girls ages 12-18) speak at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and the beautiful meeting is broadcasted all over the world. The main message surrounded one of our Thirteen Articles of Faith:
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many thing, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Toward the end of the meeting, they played this video. It is absolutely beautiful...watching so many young women share their heartfelt testimonies gave me goosebumps (the good kind). I am so inspired by their sweet hearts, full of faith.

And here are some of my notes and thoughts I had while listening to the inspiring talks:

Mary N. Cook spoke about how Christ lived a benevolent life. And in the scriptures there are numerous examples of men and women who have strived to live benevolent lives, following the Savior's example. One is from a parable: the Good Samaritan. I need to do as the Good Samaritan did, and serve, with a benevolent heart, any one in need around me. Sister Cook said that we all have "personal longings and private dreams"...we are all unique, but we ALL seek to be loved. She gave us a challenge: over this next week we do at least one Good Samaritan act. I am going to follow any promptings to reach out to those around me, show them I care, and that Heavenly Father loves them. I am excited to see what opportunities I will have to serve...

Next, Elaine S. Dalton shared with us a beautiful and insightful message of being a guardian of virtue...she encouraged all of the young women to be a protector and defender of moral purity. How can we guard virtue?? She adviced the girls, and mothers and leaders, to make a list of do's and don'ts...then live that list. Near the end, Sister Dalton reminded us of the touching verse in Proverbs 31, and said these lovely words:
"I am a guardian of something more precious than rubies."
How true that is.

And lastly, President Henry B. Eyring shared his testimony and knowledge of God's love for him, and of God's love for each of His daughters. I felt the spirit so strongly when he testified that our Heavenly Father has a bright future for each one of us...and by knowing that, our daily, hourly, and by-the-minute choices will be more sincere and be more Christ-like...our lives will be filled with more joy than we can comprehend.

I am so grateful for such inspired women and men that serve in our church. And especially for a loving Heavenly Father who wants His children to come to His Son, and live lives of virtue. The Young Women's program is amazing and I'm so blessed to be apart of it!

You can watch the full Conference address here :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Smoothie Stay-cation...oh, and a vlog :)

** I got the recipe for the Sarah Bear Smoothie we're sipping on, here.

PS - was the video 21 seconds or 52 seconds?? should be 52...for some reason when I just watched it again the audio is normal but the actual video is speeding through! please let me know :)

3-Layer Peanut Butter Bars

I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER. And when it's combined with chocolate, I'm in heaven.

So when my Young Women's youth group had a Bake Sale to earn money for their girl's camp this summer, I was all about signing up to bring a batch of Peanut Butter Bars. The Bake Sale coordinator, Alicia, gave me the was easy and turned out great! I brought home an empty pan from the bake sale :)

Alicia's 3-Layer Peanut Butter Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 cups oats
chocolate frosting (found recipe here, but I'm on the hunt for something better...)

Preheat oven at 325. Cream first 6 ingredients. Sift soda, salt, and flour. Add flour mixture & oats...barely mix. Press dough on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 13 minutes. (do not over bake!) Chill bars in the fridge until cool (about 30 minutes). Spread peanut butter on bars...1 1/2 to 2 cups. Spread chocolate frosting over top. Enjoy peanut butter & chocolate heaven!

** The chocolate frosting recipe I found here, didn't turn out how I'd if any of you out there have a favorite chocolate frosting recipe, please send it my way! :)

I'm linking up this yummy recipe to Whipperberry...they never let me down with amazing recipes, crafts, decor, and party ideas. Go check them out here!

Friday, March 25, 2011

in denial that it is not summer

It has been snowing for a couple hours now...but as you can see by my shoe choice, I am most definitely in denial.
And my daffodils by our front door seem to be in denial of this fickle weather too :) They've pushed up through the cold ground and are toughing out the cold. Oh I cannot wait 'til they bloom.
And while driving in the car today, in the snow, I listened to two different songs by John Mayer on the radio ("Daughters" and "Dreaming with a Broken Heart", two of my favorites). John Mayer instantly makes me think of summer...I've been to two of his concerts (he is amazing live), both during the gorgeous, WARM months of summer. So thank you John Mayer for warming up my cold, snowy afternoon with your fantastic voice :)

Below is a video of him singing live in California...his version of "Free Fallin'" is ridiculously amazing. Enjoy and happy friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

say "daisy"

Brooks was having a grand ol' time at Daddy's work today...walking around and jibber-jabbering like crazy. My friend Alla (who is also a wife of one of coworker of Adam's) has a little boy named Aven who's almost 2, and they were there also. We had fun talking about our boys and seeing them "play" together :) AutoSource (where Adam works) has a dog that pretty much lives there during the day...she's their mascot, a cute little Jack Russel Terrier type, named Daisy. That little pup looooooooovvvvees kids and has no boundaries regarding PDA...she's about licked Brooks' face off once (only kidding). Well, Alla got Brooks to say "Daisy"!! Luckily I had my handy-dandy phone to capture his little genius moment (yes, as his mother, I think he's a genius baby).

{the first few times it sounds like he's saying "daddy", which is probably the case, but toward the end he says "daisy" really clearly! :) And I apologize ahead of time for my commentary...i definitely get louder when I'm excited}

I cannot even begin to say how thrilled I am just thinking about our little man talking and speaking ACTUAL WORDS (or at least putting syllables together that are pretty close to the real thing;) We'll see what I can teach him by this weekend :)

Yay for learning!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

seattle, game nights, hikes, FAMILY...oh how I love Washington.

Like I said yesterday, last week my sweet Grandma Smith, Brooks, and I took a trip to Washington to visit my family while Adam was in Philadelphia supporting his brother Ben, who wrestled in the NCAA's.

Today I'm going to share our adventures in Washington...and you may notice that there are quite a few pictures ;) that's because I couldn't help capturing just about every moment with my family that we see just a few times a year. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking...or at least try to ;)

Even with a security breach at the airport that caused us to be on the tiny Delta plane longer than planned, Brooks was amazing on the ride there!...but boy was he excited to run free at PDX Airport before my Mom came to pick us up :)

We started the trip Thursday morning by heading up to Seattle to visit my brother Steve.
Lunch at Cactus hit the spot...if you want DELISH Mexican food in Seattle, that's the place.

We then met up with Natalie (my sister), Duane, and their cute kiddos who drove from Spokane...we all headed over to the Olympic Sculpture Park and saw some fantastic pieces!
This piece (pictured above and below) was my favorite..."Love and loss"...the letters were created around steps, benches, table, chairs, and even a tree. I took pictures of each letter and arranged the photos so you can see the message :)

We took a walk to the pier before saying goodbye to Steve...
Love the picture above of Grandma Smith and Steve.
Next stop, Seattle Aquarium!
We said goodbye to Seattle and came home to Vancouver. After putting the kids to bed, the adults stayed up to visit and play games...we decided on Blurt, a word game that none of us had played before, that made for some gooooooood laughes!
The next day was why we came the the time we go through the Portland Temple with my sister Corrie. Going through the temple is a huge step in our religion, and I'm so happy for Corrie as she enters this sweet part of her life... :)
After the temple we had the friends and family that made it to the temple over for some ice cream...we had quite the selection ;)

Saturday morning we made special breakfast of stuffed french toast. It was fun cooking it with my Dad and adorable niece Amanda...Brooks was our sou chef ;)
I was so glad to get out in the gorgeous NW outdoors and go on a hike at Cougar Creek...Brooks on my back and my family by my side :) Just missing Adam!
Corrie's friend Nate (walking by my Dad) joined us too :) Nate, Dad, and my nephew Ryan were great at tracking the coordinates for some geocaches...the kids always love finding them! The first one they found was a minicache...a film container connected to a big toy spider (good camouflage), with a little roll of paper for signing our names. You can kind of see it says "3/19/11 Stums, Anderson, Kjar, Doty"
I was one happy girl being surrounded by so much GREEN.
My Dad is the most adventurous Grandpa...the pictures don't do justice, but there was this huge metal "ship" just off the trail that we've never noticed, and he couldn't help but explore it with the grandkids :)
Sweet kisses, and skipping rocks :)
I couldn't help texting Adam this message I wrote him on the hike :) I missed him so much!
Back at home, the girls got their craft on and made some button earrings...Amanda was so excited about them it made me so happy! :)
And the boys did some awesome wood carving and wood burning with Grandpa :)

Cousin bath time!!! Brooks and Amber are just 5 months apart...too too cute!
And another game night...this time Taboo (love that game) and some TimTam slams (of course;)
Sunday morning the kiddos played before church...peek-a-boo with Ryan!
And Brooks was a little gentleman in his tiny suite from Grandma and Grandpa Stum as part of his birthday present :)

Monday monring, Corrie, Grandma Smith, and I did some shopping at Salvation Army, love that place!...we all found some awesome finds. And at the check out we found out that Mondays are 50% off!! Yeeesssssss!

And before heading to the airport we went to my beloved Burgerville...fastfood joint only in the NW :)
My favorite thing on the menu (other than their seasonal chocolate hazel nut milkshakes) is their classic cheese burger. It's small, but the awesome sauce they put on it makes up for it :) Brooks even got a few little bites!
We topped off our burgers and smoked salmon salads with an Oreo mint shake...YUMM-O. Corrie took advantage of their crayons and enjoyed some coloring...oh My Little Pony :)
We didn't want to say goodbye...and that's probably why we lost track of time at Burgerville and got to the airport 35 minutes before the plane took off!!! It was a MIRACLE, but we made our flight!! I laugh to myself now thinking of me and my cute little [strong] grandma running through the airport with our suite cases and a baby on my hip. I'm sure we were quite the site! ;) And again, Brooks was fantastic on the flight, even fell asleep in my arms :)
Oh how our little B missed his Daddy...he was SO happy to be in his arms :)
It feels SO good being back with my other half :)
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