Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Slippery slope

Yesterday afternoon something terrible happened.
The boys were all home from school, the dinner casserole was in the oven and I was starting to work on Sariah's wedding dress.
I needed my dress form which was in the storage room. As I got closer to the door, I could hear some muffled giggles from inside the storage room.
The boys know that they are not allowed to play in the storage room, so I was a little confused.
When I walked in, I was shocked at what I saw.
Jacob, Ammon and Malachi were sitting in a darkened corner of the storage room and they were drinking something from cans.

My heart stopped.

When I got closer, they tried to hide the cans from me, but it was too late. I already saw what they were drinking.

Mountain Dew.

I was furious! I knew exactly where they got them from, because I have my stash hidden there in the storage room behind the bags of rice.
I confiscated the cans and gave them a lecture on honesty and not taking things that they know don't belong to them, and why on earth were they snooping around in the storage room and when they find something that isn't theirs they should just leave it alone.
I then talked about how they KNOW very well that they aren't allowed to drink caffeinated beverages and it's bad for their growing bodies, then I made them dump the cans down the sink and sent them to clean out the garage.

I was so angry! I've hidden that Mountain Dew there so I can have some when I really need it. It's strictly for medicinal purposes only! The boys have never seen me drink it because I'm very discreet when I do and then I put the empty cans in the neighbor's recycle bin so nobody knows I drank any.

When LaMar got home, I informed him that the lesson for FHE would need to be changed to one about honesty, with a bonus discussion on the Word of Wisdom.
We had a really good discussion about those things in FHE and the boys apologized for doing something that they knew was wrong. All things were harmonious in our home again.
Later, after the kids all went to bed, I went to the storage room to get some canned fruit for tomorrows Jell-O and I looked behind the rice to see exactly how much of my Mountain Dew they had taken.
Imagine my shock when I saw that there wasn't any missing. It was all there!

The boys hadn't found my stash after all.
Then I was completely embarrassed. They must have been so confused about me lecturing them about honesty and not snooping through the storage room and taking things that don't belong to them................

Then I got to thinking. WHERE did they get the stuff? They must have bought it at the gas station down the road or the grocery store.
This really upsets me because I can't believe that they allowed my children to purchase such an item without the consent of an adult.

Today they let them buy Mountain Dew and then tomorrow, what?

Energy drinks?

Oh my!! They wouldn't allow children to buy energy drinks??

Would they?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nothing good ever happens when we leave Happy Valley......

Yesterday, Sariah came over and we went into Sandy to look for bridesmaid dresses.
Against my better judgement, we went to the mall. LaMar hadn't made it home from work yet, so I had several of the younger boys with us. I forget how many.
We went to a store at the end of the mall and Sariah found the exact dress that she wanted for her bridesmaids. It was lovely, and more modest that I thought we might find in Salt Lake.
As we were putting the dresses on hold for her friends to come and try on, I realized that I didn't see Mosiah.
We looked all through the clothes racks and the dressing rooms, because he loves to play in those, and he wasn't there.
We looked out in the mall where they have the little kiddie rides, he wasn't there either, we looked all over in the immediate area, and he was gone!
Naturally at that point, I panicked and the girl working at the bridal shop called mall security.
They started looking too. We went upstairs because Mosiah is obsessed with escalators and will ride them all day if he could.
He wasn't at the food court by the merry go round.
He wasn't at the toy store.
He wasn't anywhere!!!!

Then I got a call on my cell phone from mall security.
They found him!!

He had made his way down the mall and was playing in the display window of Victoria's Secret.

I knew we shouldn't have left Utah County.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wedding plans!

Oh my! I've had such a busy week that I haven't had time to write anything here. I have a few minutes right now, so I'll give a quick report on the last few days.

Monday evening we had the pleasure of meeting our daughter's future in-laws. They are very lovely people, although Trevor's mom seems a bit uptight. She feels that we should be having the wedding reception at some place like the Joseph Smith Building, The McCune Mansion, the Rice Eccles Stadium Tower, or the 23rd floor of the Wells Fargo building in downtown Salt Lake.
I think I might have offended her a bit when I said that I couldn't see the point in spending so much money when we can get the church building for free.
She then offered to pay for the reception. I told her that it wasn't a matter of having enough money, but more a matter of being frugal. Why spend all that money on one day?

I told her that we can get the church and rent a few backdrops, and if we can't find any backdrops, we can just hang crepe paper from the basketball hoop and call it good. Right about then, Trevor's mom made a funny choking noise and the veins in her neck started to pop out.
She managed to take a deep breath and offered to find a caterer for the food. I told her that we had that all covered because one of my visiting teachers used to work for a caterer and between her and the other ladies in the ward, we would make some nice refreshments.
Besides, I used to be a Pampered Chef consultant, and I have a few tricks that I learned from doing that.
Then Trevor's mom raised an eyebrow looked at my enormous belly and said "I really don't think that you should be taking on such a project in your..........current condition!"
I told her that I was "perfectly capable of such a project, thank you very much!"

The other issue that we were having was the date of the wedding. Trevor's younger brother Easton will be leaving for his mission the second week of December, and Trevor really wants his brother to be there. Right now, we have the wedding tentatively set for the day after Thanksgiving. We will have some family in town that week, so that will be perfect! Plus, it will still be a month before the baby is due. I usually go at least a week past my due date anyway.

The only problem with the wedding being so soon is that I will only have time to make Sariah's dress. I would have liked to make the bridesmaids dresses for her three best friends too, but after discussing this with Sariah, we have decided to buy the dresses instead. This afternoon, we will venture north of the point of the mountain into Salt Lake county to look for bridesmaid dresses. While we are there, we will go buy the fabric for her dress too.

I almost forgot about what else happened Monday. One of the boys came and told me that there was something wrong with the toilet. When I went to investigate, sure enough, there was a huge glob of something white in the toilet. I got a bucket and started scooping it out because I was pretty sure that it wasn't going to flush down.
Then, I noticed the empty can of potato pearls sitting behind the bathroom door. It seems that one of my darling boys raided the food storage and dumped an entire can of instant potatoes in the toilet.
I scooped out as much as I could but the toilet still wouldn't flush. I finally called our home teacher Brother Jeppson who is a plumber and he came over to look at it. He tried all of his nifty plumber tricks then decided that the best way to fix the clog would be to remove the toilet. When he got it off, along with the mashed potatoes he found a stash of legos and toy cars hiding inside.
Anyway, because of that, I didn't have much time to make dinner. We had ham, green bean casserole and Jell-O salad. (I had planned on making mashed potatoes too, but after that afternoon, it will be along time before I eat mashed potatoes again) I wasn't able to make anything really fancy with the Jell-O. That's probably why Trevor's mom felt that I couldn't handle a catering project.
This was the Jell-O salad that I made.

Take a can of pineapple and drain off the juice. Mix in one package of Jell-O with the pineapple until it's dissolved, then fold in a tub of cool whip. You can add a can or two of mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows if you want too, but I decided to keep it simple.


Thank you to those of you who suggested that I make the jell-O in the shape of a Temple. I think I will save that for the wedding.
I'm considering making the wedding cake out of Jell-O. What do you think?
I could make several tiers and frost them with cool whip.
I'm open for suggestions.

As for the name of our baby, we were thinking about Sam Teancum Pearson, however, we are open to suggestions for that too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lost sheep and big news!!

This weekend turned out to be full of surprises!

Our Primary program turned out quite good, with the exception of little Ashton Willardson who got up to the pulpit and refused to say his part. He just stood there staring at the microphone until he finally pulled it close to his mouth and did a very loud burp.
His parents were horrified but a few people were impressed that he had been able to wake up Brother Olson on the back row.
After church I sent LaMar home with the boys, and then I met with the Bishop who told me that next week I would be released from my calling as Primary President. I started to protest, but he said that with the demands of my family and the new baby coming soon that the Bishopric thought that they would give me several months without a calling.
When he put it that way, how could I refuse.
I went home and started working on dinner. I put a roast in the oven and made a lovely jello salad.
We sat down to dinner and noticed that Mosiah was missing. We looked all over the house for him. We looked in all of his normal hiding places and he wasn't in any of them. We looked outside all around the house and he wasn't there.
We were starting to go get the neighbors to help us look for him when we got a phone call from the Bishop.
It seems that when LaMar took the boys home, he didn't bother to make a head count. Mosiah had wandered back into the primary room and sat on the front row with the Sunbeams from the 3rd ward. The Primary presidency asked him his name and they thought his last name was Peterson and they assumed that he was there visiting with the Peterson family.
They even had him come to the front of the primary and they sang him the welcome song.
Long story short, after the 3rd ward primary was over, the Sunbeam teacher took him to Sister Peterson who had no idea who he was and eventually our Bishop saw him and called us.
I need to get some sort of GPS unit to sew into his clothes.

After dinner Sariah called to say she was on her way to visit and was bringing a friend! I hurried and made a double batch of peanut butter rice crispy treats with chocolate on top, because I know how much her roommates enjoyed those the last time I sent some home with her, but when she got here, she hadn't brought any of her roommates.
Sariah walked in the house on the arm of a very handsome young man and she had a huge diamond engagement ring on her finger!

Oh my! Such exciting news!
His name is Trevor Erickson, and he's recently returned from his mission in Argentina. He seems like such a nice young man and I've never seen Sariah so happy!
Trevor comes from a very small family, he only has one brother, but he seemed right at home with the rest of our boys. He really liked the rice crispy treats so when they left I wrapped up a big plateful for him to take home.
Tonight we are going to have Trevor and his family over for dinner so we can start to plan the wedding!
I need to go get out my Jell-o cookbook and find something really special to make for them.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Putting the "fun" in funeral

Here it is! I'm finally posting the recipe for my Ward famous funeral potatoes.
It might seem strange of me to put this recipe here since practically everyone that lives in Utah knows how to make these, but my sister who lives in a different state has told me that she knows tons of people that have never even heard of funeral potatoes!
Can you believe that? They have never heard of funeral potatoes.
It's really quite sad when you think about it.

I like to think that my recipe is just a little bit better than everyone else's. I'm not sure why, because I think that for the most part the ingredients are the same, but for some reason mine is just better. It's probably because I make them with love.
Whenever we have a Ward pot-Luck, and I sit my potatoes next to the other 16 casserole dishes with funeral potatoes, mine always look the best, and are the first ones to be eaten.
When anyone tells me how wonderful my potatoes are, I act very gracious and say that mine aren't really that good, there are plenty of other potatoes that are so much yummier, because humility is one of my best qualities. (but we all know which potatoes are superior)

To start, take a 2 lb bag of frozen hash brown potatoes and thaw them in the microwave.
Next, open 2 cans of cream of chicken soup. You don't have to use cream of chicken, cream of pretty much anything will work. For this batch, I used 1 can of cream of mushroom and one can of cream of celery, and it was yummy!

I just want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I don't like the easy open tabs on the top of the soup cans. It makes it much too easy for a small child to go in to the pantry and pull the tab up on about a dozen cans, and not have me notice for several days so we need to throw away all of the cans because the soup has gone bad. We got one of those fun plastic doorknobs on the pantry door now too.

Mix the two cans of cream of whatever soup with one pint of sour cream. Be sure to rinse out the sour cream container and save it. There are so many things that these can be used for! I like to keep a stash in the back of the van for when we have some sort of ward dinner, and there's food left over. I get those empty containers out of the back of the car, and we fill them up with food and send them home with everyone. I can't tell you how many craft projects we've made with empty sour cream containers. Their uses are endless!

My recipe calls for one cube of melted butter or margerine. Several years ago, we had a nutritionist come and talk to us for Enrichment meeting and she told us that the only reason to add the butter or margerine was to add more fat to the potatoes, and we probably didn't want to do that. I haven't used the butter in the potatoes since then, and I haven't really noticed a difference. If you really want to use the butter, go ahead. It will just make your hind quarters larger.

Next, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoons of dried onion. Sometimes, I just use onion powder instead, but not 2 Tablespoons of onion powder, more like 1/2 teaspoon.
If I'm making these the same night as a combined activity for Mutual, I might sometimes add just a little extra onion powder to the potatoes. No need for the girls in the ward to get too close to my boys now is there?

Next you add 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese, and mix well. Sometimes I use a bit more.
Stir in the hash brown potatoes and put them in a 9x13 pan. Be sure that your name is on the pan if you're taking it somewhere. I really hate it when I take a pan of potatoes somewhere and when I get the pan back, its not mine. I really don't understand how this happens because I have "L Pearson" written in large letters with a sharpie on every casserole dish that I own.
Now the very last thing you do is to put a heavy layer of corn flakes over the top of the potatoes. The recipe says this is optional, but it really isn't. Don't skimp, use plenty, this is what makes them good.

Now bake them in a 350* oven until hot and bubbly. I think about 20-30 minutes. I just watch them until they look right.

When they are done baking, they should look like this.

Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!

I got a phone call while I was trying to write this recipe. It was the Ward Executive secretary brother Peterson, asking if I could meet with Bishop Christiansen after church this Sunday. I wonder what he wants to talk to me about. I hope it doesn't have anything to do with that song that the Sunbeams were singing in their class last Sunday. Honestly, I wonder where these little kids learn songs with inappropriate lyrics like that. They probably have cable television in their home. Oh well, at least by the time I meet with the Bishop, the Primary program will be over.

Tonight, is the Father's and son's campout! LaMar is taking the 7 older boys and I'm staying home with Mosiah and Alma. I will put them to bed early then do something by myself. I invited Sariah to come over so we could do some scrapbooking together, but she has a date.

I think I'll make myself a batch of brownies. This is the first pregnancy since I was pregnant with Sariah that I have craved chocolate this much! With most of the boys gone tonight, I might be able to eat as many as I like.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One of those days

Today was one of those days where I needed to go get a Mountain Dew from the stash I have hidden behind a big bag of rice in the storage room. Officially, we don't believe in drinking anything with caffeine so I just don't let anyone know about it.
We had another bathroom incident with Alma today. We put the doorknob covers on the bathroom doors, but somebody forgot to close the door and he got in anyway. I will never understand this child's fascination with water. I found him in the bathroom splashing his hands in the toilet. When I got closer I saw that he had dumped a bunch of legos in the toilet and was stirring them around. At least he didn't flush them. I wonder if Lowe's sells anything I could install on the door that would make it close automatically.
I had a Primary presidency meeting today, and found out that the Jacobson family has decided to go out of town the this weekend and they are taking the kids with them which means that in the next few days we need to find replacements for their four children who all had some of the main speaking parts for the program. Now we're scrambling to find four kids who can take their parts.

This morning I started to make the potatoes that I've been promising to make for the last few days and realized that we were out of potatoes so after I picked up Jared from kindergarten, we went to Wal-Mart to do some shopping.
I need to apologize to anyone who was shopping at Wal-Mart today who might have been stuck inside while the store locked down due to the Code Adam.
Yes, my three year old snuck away from me somehow and we couldn't find him. We looked everywhere! We thought that he would be in the toy department for sure, but he wasn't there. A store employee finally located him inside one of the dressing rooms wearing a witch hat he picked up in the Halloween isle. I'm beginning to wonder if this kid can make himself invisible so he get away and hide without anyone seeing him.
During all of the ruckus, I forgot to buy potatoes but still managed to spend over $100.00.
I made a breakfast casserole for dinner, because it uses some of the same ingredients as the potatoes, except potatoes.
I had planned on posting the recipe, but the last Mountain Dew I drank has just worn off, and I'm really tired, so I'll post it tomorrow. I even got a few pictures that I can share if I can figure out how to get them on here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

When food doesn't happen

I had planned on writing my first recipe tutorial today, but life got in the way, and we ended up eating hot dogs tonight instead of the yummy ham and potatoes that I was planning for dinner.

Please realize that with the number of kids that I have, disasters can happen at any given moment, such as the one that happened this afternoon involving a backed up toilet, and a toddler who enjoys flushing repeatedly.
Two things will be happening this week. First of all, we will be putting those annoying white doorknob covers on the bathroom doors to keep Alma out of the bathrooms and second, I will be fixing a menu of high fiber foods in the next few days.
Nobody laid claim to the "blockage" so I'm feeding the fiber to everyone!

After the disaster clean up was finished, and the kids snarfed down their microwaved hot dogs, we sat down for Family Home Evening.
The subject for the lesson?
We had another subject scheduled for the lesson tonight, however, we decided to change it to reverence mostly due to the "incident" during church yesterday. What "incident" you might ask?
I'm not exactly sure which one of the boys brought the bubbles to church. None of them will admit to it, but I did see which one was blowing the bubbles out into the congregation.
I didn't notice at first because I was busy with the two youngest boys. The baby was chewing on the hymnbook and so I was trying to pry it out of his chubby little hands and he suddenly let go of the book which made me knock it into Mosiah which sent his cup of cheerios flying into the air all over the floor, and as I was consoling my screaming baby while trying to bend over and pick up the cheerios in my current state of pregnantness, the baby found out that they made a really neat crunching sound as he walked all over them on the carpet. Oh well, at least that stopped him from screaming.
(Really, I think it would probably be quite fair of me if I signed us up to clean the church twice a month instead of twice a year because my family is most likely responsible for most of the stuff that needs to be cleaned up.)
Anyway, as I'm trying not to pass out while leaning over to clean up the cheerio dust, and feeling bad for anyone sitting near us who might have been fasting because the cheerios were smelling pretty good, I look up briefly to breathe, and I see bubbles floating in the air.
Then I looked up at the stand to see the Bishopric who seemed rather amused. I could see that they were trying their hardest not to laugh out loud.
I guess I should be glad that our family provides so much entertainment for the rest of the ward. We cause laughter, which makes people feel happy right?
(Right about now, I'm really missing Sariah, she had always been such a great help to me in Sacrament meeting. I am so happy with how well she's fitting in with her student ward, but I do really miss her)
LaMar woke up and confiscated the bubbles, and we were able to get most of the cheerios cleaned up.
It's times like these that I'm extra grateful to be Primary President, because I can leave the meeting during the closing song to prepare for Primary. That way, I don't have the opportunity to enjoy all the clever/funny/sarcastic comments from the people sitting behind us.

Tomorrow, I will get the post up about the potatoes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hi! I'm LaDawn!

Well, this is it! My very first blog post.
I can start by giving you a little background on my family.

I grew up in LaVerkin, Utah. I am the second out of seven kids. My maiden name is Smith, and I'm a direct descendant of Hyrum Smith.
I met my husband LaMar while attending my first year at BYU where I was persuing a degree in early childhood development.
We were married three months later, and the following year, we welcomed our first child (and only Daughter Sariah, (18) who is currently a Freshman at BYU.
In the years since then, we have added to our family with 9 more children, all boys! I like to call them my "Stripling Warriors." They are Helaman (17) Nephi (15) Moroni (14) Jacob (11) Ammon (9) Malachi (7) Jared (5) Mosiah (3) and Alma (18 months). They are all as incredibly handsome as their father.
In a few months, our family will reach 13 members, as we are expecting our 11 child. Sariah was really hoping for a little sister, but it looks like we will bring our total number of boys to ten when Sam is born at the end of the year.

I am currently serving as the Primary President in our Ward. I have served there for just over three years.

My original reason for starting this blog was to share my recipes and vast knowledge of cooking and other homemaking arts, but just so you know, I will be writing about my family too. They are my life, and everything I do revolves around them. Besides, they are the ones that I cook for most of the time, so I feel like I need to include them too.

( I might just include a little bit of Ward gossip too;)