Honey Lavender Ice Cream

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I need to get a better picture, but this stuff was gone waaaay too fast!

Monday was spent doing what I love to do best. My pal Rach came over to play while our little ones went wild and the babies roamed. Rach and I tend to always have something up our sleeves - a project, a recipe, a sweet deal to share, a cool new idea. We talk about fashion, hiking, husbands, food, hair, plans and everything else. It really is just as much (if not more) of a play date for us than the kiddos.

A few months ago she brought up her love for Lavender Ice Cream back in Seattle and it's come up another time or two since then. And because I have been totally obsessed with homemade ice cream, after getting my new gadget in mid July, we made some serious dreams come true.

Honey Lavender Ice Cream by Me

2 c cream
1 c whole milk
2/3 c honey
1.5 tbs lavender (I had a little fresh and a little dried)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk cream, milk, honey, and lavender in saucepan and bring to just a boil over medium heat. When mixture boils take off heat and put a lid on it. Let steep for 30 min. Strain lavender bits (or leave in if you'd like) and cool cream mixture (I set the whole pot in a bowl of ice to get it to cool quickly). Add vanilla and salt. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight. Put mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thickened 20 minutes. Transfer to airtight container and freeze until it's as firm a desired (if you can wait that long). Enjoy!!

It really is that easy folks.

BTW, I think this is totally a chick ice cream. Easy took one bite and pronounced, "What? Why does this taste like flowers?!?" Then he handed the container over to me. Hahaha.


Musically Inclined


2 weeks ago I found this beautiful 1960's Kimball Piano on trusty ol' Craigslist and when we traveled out to the lake and found it nestled in the corner of an older home I immediately fell in love with it's simple charm.

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Since we are not too musically inclined around here I brought our friend Courtney along to fire the old gal up. Court confidently sat at the piano and pulled out some sheet music from her bag. She played beautifully while the sellers and I all sat and listened. Then she pulled out more music and played again on the higher notes. We then got Ava (her future student) to come and give it a whirl.

After Court's stamp of approval Easy made our offer. It was accepted and a few hours later he and 4 other guys hauled the beast home where I shined her up and the girls really tested it out.


Easy took lessons as a kid and I can barely plunk out Twinkle Twinkle, but we are trying, and improving with help from this book.

Ava eagerly starts lessons on Thursday!

One important item of business! What do I do about the bench?

Loose the pillow altogether?
Keep the vintage blue cushion?
Update it with some fresh new fabric?


Girl Talk

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holding chicks at the county fair last weekend

I think it's pretty normal as a mom to want to slow or stop time.

Tonight as I tucked my big girls into bed I wanted so badly for the evening to linger so I could just lay and chat with them longer.

Mae was telling me all about Gym Class and how her class got three gold stars. How Lauren was the fastest and how they have to do "Hips and Lips" when they walk in (put one pointer finger to their lips and the other hand on their hip). She giggled and jumped from one topic to another so fast that I could barely keep up. She ran her little fingers along my new dangling earrings and about threw herself out of bed with excitement when I told her that Luke's mom was driving her in the morning.

Ava and I talked about being a loyal friend. Yesterday her best friend was wrongly accused of hitting a boy and Ava (for fear of being in trouble herself) took off running. She now knows the importance of sticking by her friend and being a witness to the truth. She also told me that some boys chased her and another girl in her class during recess. I told her that if she is going to let boys chase her than she had better never let them actually catch her. "Some boys can be kissing boys," I said. She looked at me wide eyed and replied, "I'll never let them catch me!"

She always asks me to tell her stories about when I was a kid so I told her about riding the little 50cc motorcycle with my brothers up to the gas station on the highway, buying waaaaay too much candy, and jumping off the roof of our house onto the trampoline using a bed-sheet as a parachute. She couldn't believe it. I don't blame her though - I guess it does sound pretty wild.

Then I gave them a bear kiss, bird kiss, fish kiss, puppy kiss, eskimo kiss, butterfly kiss, and finally a mommy kiss before calling it a night.





Amidst all our summer fun, traveling, and school now being in full swing our Muppet girl went ahead and decided to get big.

She is now nine months and about the cutest thing ever.

Easy and I are loving her to bits (not literally) and her big sisters are doing the same (quite literally).

She hates hates hates being left in a room alone
Still nurses like a champ
Eats about anything you give her
Lights up when anyone talks to her
Scoots around on her belly with her arms pulling and right toes pushing behind
Gets up on all fours when she is feeling fancy
Has two little teeth on the bottom
Loves to swing
Is a string bean weighing in at only 15lbs

I am in absolute denial that she will be one in... in...

I can't even say it.

3 months.


And Eat They Did!

Last night we had a special little feast and a few activities planned for our last evening of summer break before the girls started school this morning.

I whipped up some hearty pizza crust while the older three played Legos all afternoon.


And while the wee one practiced her moves.


I was so excited about my masterpiece as it came off the grill. It smelled heavenly!


Fire roasted red and yellow bell peppers
Sauteed onions
Shredded Mozzarella
Fresh Basil, Thyme, and Rosemary
topped off with
Crumbled Goat Cheese and Cracked Pepper

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The girls took one look at it and I knew that what was supposed to be bells and whistles was going to end in bribes and threats.

And bribes we had!


I had a fresh batch of Mint Oreo Ice Cream in the freezer for our special little dessert and not one of them was going to get a bite until they ate that disgusting smelly gourmet pizza.

And eat they did!


In High Fashion


I asked the girls this week if they wanting to try on their new clothes and have a fashion show. They both looked at me strangely and asked, "What's that??"

So I did what any good mom would do and I pulled up a few videos on YouTube to show them a runway show complete with walks, poses, and serious faces.


I think they nailed it.


The Never Ending Loop

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Panguitch Lake, Ut

Now that all the laundry is done and things are somewhat organized around here I can highlight our trip for you.

We made it to UT in 22 hours. Left at 4am and got there at 2am the following day. We had intended on staying in Denver, but decided to save a hotel fee and just go for it. By the time we reached my brother's house I had gone completely insane.

SLC and Utah Valley memories:

Seeing my parents and brothers!
Lindon Aquatic Center with cousins
Highland Splash Park
Hiking the "Y"
BYU Creamery on 9th East
Alpine Slides in Park City
Cafe Rio
Boating on Deer Creek Reservoir
Dinner with the Christiansen's
Playing Just Dance
Red Butte Gardens with Carlson's
City Creek

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After we spent a week in Utah Valley we packed up the car and headed to Panguitch Lake with The Gardiner's. It's a secluded little reservoir in central UT near Brian Head Ski Resort. We stayed in the perfect little cabin with all of Easy's siblings except his sister Rachel whom we all really missed.

Panguitch memories:

Seeing the Gardiners!
Printing shirts
Fishing (no fish!!)
Easy taking a header while Mt Biking
Hiking at Cedar Breaks
Debating social issues
Having no internet or phone service

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We headed to Phoenix next for a quick stay and "Hello!" to our girls' best little friends and some of our favorite people The Robertson's. After being there a day we wished we had allotted an extra day or two to see more friends.

Phoenix highlights:

Going by our old home
Seeing our girls light up and disappear with their besties
Swimming and jumping on the tramp
Froyo with the Sierra's
Trip to REI for Easy and I + baby
Trader Joe's Carne Asada for dinner
Kierland splash pad
Jordan convincing me to use my pressure canner
Easy hiking Camelback at 5am to avoid the hellish day high temp of 118

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On our way back home we took a little detour to Austin, TX to see my very best friend Alisha and her sweet family. It was a long 15hr haul and when we arrived just after midnight I was never so grateful to be out of the car and to see her!

Austin memories:

Staying up late chatting with Aly
Meeting Jeff Jr
Their awesome backyard tree swing
Mariachi at dinner
Trying on expensive cowboy boots
Big Top Candy Shop
Watching the bats fly out the SoCo Bridge
Seeing the girls read stories together
Hugging sweet Jill goodbye over and over

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Craziest thing is that the girls start school next Monday. Yep! Both Ava and Miss Mae will be gone. I haven't had just 2 kids at home since 2009. I'm having major mixed thoughts and feelings

They did a little runway show for me this afternoon with their new outfits. I can't wait to show ya'll the pics! I think I have some future models on my hands.



...did I just say ya'll?



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Easy and Hays at Cedar Breaks
August 2012

4 daughters
9 states
15 days
3,480 miles
5 places to stay
1 dirty minivan


It's pretty safe to say that we are so glad to be home, but we did it!

And yeah, we would probably do it again.
It was that great.

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