Friday, January 30, 2009


My gardening friend Leslies posted a recipe for Naan, and I made it once and decided that it would make awesome pita bread for pocket sandwiches.

1 tea spn active dry yeast
2 tbl spn yogurt
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tea spn sugar
3/4 tea spn salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbl spn water

Garlic-butter topping(Mix both):
1 tbl spn butter
1 tea spn garlic

Heat the water to luke warm (it should be warm when you dip your finger in it. I normally microwave water for 10sec). Add yeast, sugar and salt. Leave it for 10mins till the yeast forms a froth (gets activated).
Now add all remaining ingredients and make it into a dough. Knead for 3-4mins. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place for about 2-3hrs till the dough doubles in volume.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Make balls from the dough and roll them. Do not make them too thick as they puff up when baked (I roll them into thicker than chapathi/phulka but thinner than alu paratha). Apply a little butter on top. Line them on a lightly buttered cookie sheet.
Bake in the oven at 425F for about 7mins till they puff up. Take out, apply the garlic-butter mixture on the top and keep it in the oven again. Bake for another 5mins till the top looks brownish.

Makes about 8 small naans

For pita bread, I left out the garlic-butter topping and just baked them for 6 minutes total (if you bake them any longer they get crunchy). Also, don't roll them out as thin so that they puff up more. Cut them in half and fill them with any sandwich fillings you like. We had hummus, turkey, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and avocado. I also made mine with wheat flour. It's been fun to learn to make different types of bread, I didn't buy pita bread a lot before, but now I can just make it myself. These really puff up, so although I make them small, they have a nice big pocket for stuffing. If you don't keep plain yogurt around, you could probably leave it out- I haven't tried it so I'm not sure what difference it would make. If you buy a container of plain yogurt for this and then don't know what to do with the rest, you can scoop some into a dish and stir in a spoonful of jam. That's what we do with our homemade yogurt.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yoga Kids

I've been a little worried about my 5-year-old. He's very energetic, and doesn't have a good sense of where his body is in relation to other things (like my face, or the wall). In an attempt to help him learn some body awareness, I did a little online research and decided we should sign him up for karate or yoga. Until summer, we'll pass on the karate, and I invested in a set of 3 "Yoga Kids" DVD's. A picked the ABC one today, and we all did it, even CP (sort of).

I can't recommend the others since we haven't done them, although A is putting another disc in as I type (which must mean he really liked the other one), but we had a lot of fun with Yoga Kids ABC's- if anyone is interested in trying it out let me know!

(The funny thing- he keeps getting a wii remote out to use with his yoga (since he sees me do yoga on the wii fit).

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We've been watching the classifieds for several months for a piano. We've been saving up, and planned to use our amex rebate check (got to love cash back bonuses!) next month, but we saw one yesterday and my mom and my Mister went to check it out. The exterior is kind of beat up, and will need to be sanded and refinished, but the insides look pretty good, and it was a price we couldn't pass up. My Mister is also going to scrap the bench. The top is made of plywood, and the bottom fell out of it before we got it, so we'll keep the legs, and my Mister will just replace all the other parts of the bench, and add hinges back in to make a nice piece where we can store music books.

We'll need to get it tuned, and a couple of keys fixed, but that hasn't stopped us from playing around:

A trio.
Doesn't it look like I know what I'm doing?

Thanks so much to our friend S who dropped everything to help us move the thing. We really appreciate it. If we can ever return the favor, just ask.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Update on West Bountiful Power Plant

Update on Co-Gen Plant: City Disapproval May Be More Difficult than Originally Thought
Recently, I announced with some confidence that our zoning ordinances would not allow us to approve a co-gen plant adjacent to the Holly Oil Refinery. After further research I have discovered an old agreement that was signed with Holly before the city's most recent zoning ordinances were approved. The agreement allows Holly to build a co-gen plant as part of a larger upgrade of the facility.

While we have identified several strategies that we can use to prevent the construction of this plant, my initial statement that our zoning ordinance provided sufficient protection was inaccurate. I am confident that with the support of the Division of Air Quality and local State Legislators, we can prevent a co-gen plant from being built in West Bountiful.

Mayor James Behunin

Doesn't look good. It may be too late for contacting anyone but the West Bountiful Mayor: Mayor James Behunin

Although I think it would be good to email all the other people on the list to tell them how stupid you think they are. Look outside. What in the world are they thinking? It makes me want to swear. This morning when I was at my 2nd grader's school, they announced that it was "another bad air day today" and told the kids with asthma or allergies to stay indoors and the rest of the kids to "not run around or breathe deeply while outside" (I told my son to stay inside- maybe he can avoid asthma or allergies?).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sun Worship

A late nod to winter solstice, today I feel the need to post about how much I love the sun. The last week or so, I've started noticing the sun shining in the front windows of my house. It starts sometime before 4:50, which is when I noticed it today. In the late summer, I shut the blinds in an effort to keep the sun out. In the winter, the sun is too low in the sky to reach those windows.

Spring is coming (eventually). Must be time to graph out my garden plan...

Hold Me Tight

On my brother's recommendation, I bought Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson. It's relationship self-help book of sorts, centered around Emotionally Focused Therapy, EFT.

So far, I'm really enjoying it, and want to share, so here's a quote:

The message of EFT is simple: Forget about learning how to argue better, analyzing your early childhood, making grand romantic gestures, or experimenting with new sexual positions. Instead, recognize and admit that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection... EFT focuses on creating and strengthening this emotional bond between partners by identifying and transforming the key moments that foster an adult loving relationship: being open, attuned, and responsive to each other.

(you should be impressed that I typed that paragraph while looking at the book, fairly quickly, with only two (haha, I just found two more, guess I'm not as good as I thought...) typos.)

If you want to borrow the book after I'm done with it, let me know. The book says that 70-75% of couples who go through EFT are happy in their relationships, even with couples who previously were high risk for divorce.

My take is if it can do that much for unhappy couples, what can it do for couples who are already happy? I'll let you know.

Monday, January 19, 2009

CP is an unusual baby

A friend of mine says that it's only a disorder if it causes problems in everyday life, so while I might jokingly call him my OCD baby, that isn't really accurate. OC maybe, or better yet, "unusually tidy". Evidenced by:

As soon as he could walk, he started picking up bits of dog food off the floor and putting them back in the dog food dish. He's adopted that as his "job" (maybe he knew that he'd be taking over as official doorknob cleaner as soon as he was tall enough so he thought he'd try to get a different gig).

If his fingernails get too long, he comes to me holding his finger out, "finger, finger!" and then he holds still while I trim his nails (and if I miss one or don't cut one enough, he lets me know).

If his long-sleeve shirt gets pushed up, he pulls on them and says, "on" until I pull them back down into place.

If he has any lint, boogers, or hairs stuck to him, he says "uh oh mama" until I get rid of the offending object.

He picks crumbs up off the floor (at our house and other people's houses) and either gives them to me, or puts them in the trash.

If he spills while eating he says, "uh oh mamma, ness" (mess), or "nessy" (messy) until I wipe it up.

He has no problem with non-food etc... messes though, as he is currently emptying the bookcase of all books within his reach (since we took all the toys upstairs, it's his favorite activity- thanks daddy, we might want to rethink that one).

Now I need to teach him to put the books back, maybe if I tell him that it's a mess and show him how to clean it up, I won't have to anymore...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Guitar Cake- I'm a cool mom, I know...

For my soon-to-be-5-year-old's birthday, he wanted a guitar cake.

My Mister and I outdid ourselves, I think:

Update: I submitted my cake to Coolest Birthday Cakes so stop by for more information on how you too can make such an awesome cake (or you can just ask me). :)

(I wish I had come up with the idea of that website- with how much traffic it gets, he must do okay off the ad money.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Talking about difficult things

Growing up, I was always taught at church to avoid any type of "anti" materials. It wasn't an issue for me, why would I be interested in anything like that?

What interests me is what people view as "anti" material. Protest literature produced by groups who feel strongly that the LDS church is evil would certainly be considered "anti". What about blogs or papers written by former LDS members? How about things written by current LDS members that question why things are the way they are? What about books like Rough Stone Rolling, which included unflattering information about Joseph Smith and his family (along with very much inspiring information- in fact I think the unflattering stuff makes all the rest even more inspiring)?

Church history is full of things that perhaps are easier to avoid talking about, but I've always thought (and still think) that it is healthier to talk about mistakes honestly than to try to hide them or pretend they didn't happen, or to make up stories that "might be true" to make those mistakes more palatable.

The last six months or so, I've come to understand why the church doesn't like to talk about some of the Difficult things.

They're difficult.

Thinking about why God would allow a prophet like Brigham Young to be so racist is difficult. Thinking about why supposedly good church members were responsible for the deaths of so many innocents at Mountain Meadows is difficult. I could go on and on.

Thinking about those things, makes you question everything. That makes you feel lost and alone, because if you are questioning things these, you don't feel like you can seek the advice of church leaders, because heaven forbid they think you are questioning your faith. So you struggle through so many feelings of doubt all alone.

I understand why the church feels it more important to focus on strengthening it's members, I'm sure there are enough problems to deal with without stirring up more themselves by bringing up the past. I get that, but it would sure feel nice to have grown up being taught what I've struggled to learn recently. It always surprises me when I learn something only to realize that it's something I've always know, but Heavenly Father patiently reminds me over and over again.

People are not perfect.

Joseph Smith wasn't. Brigham Young wasn't. Thomas S. Monson isn't, and neither am I. We're all human, with human weaknesses, viewing the world through dark glasses, filtered by our own experiences (although I'm pretty sure that prophets have a slightly less murky filter than I do).

The most inspiring thing to me in all of this, is that despite the personal limitations of so many great people who have gone before me, God allows them to also do so much good, and that gives me hope. Hope that someday we don't have to hide from difficult things, that we can be strong enough to deal with them, and learn from them, and still know that God loves us, and that he lets us make even horrible mistakes so that we can learn and grow and become a little better than we were before. A little more understanding of those around us when we see their flaws, because if God allows an imperfect man to be his prophet, there's hope for the rest of us.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Statement on Proposed Plant by West Bountiful Mayor, James Behunin

Recently, many residents have expressed concern about a co-generation plant that has been proposed for a site next to the Holly Oil Refinery in West Bountiful. The facility would use the waste bi-products of the oil refining process to fuel what has been described as a "co-generation" power plant. Some are concerned that the plant would increase air pollution in the area.

The proposed plant was first brought to our attention over a year ago. Individuals representing a firm wishing to build the plant presented a set of conceptual drawings to the city. Wendell Wild, the Mayor and a few members of the city council reviewed the plans and raised several concerns. The most serious concern is the site's location. It was proposed for a site that is zoned for residential and commercial use. A co-generation plant was not a permitted use at the proposed location. An additional concern is that the city has worked closely with Holly Oil to preserve a buffer zone around the oil refinery. To build a power plant in the buffer zone would go against all of our efforts to surround the refinery with a beautiful, landscaped open area. Because no request for a building permit has been submitted, the city has not taken formal action to approve or deny the proposed project.

More recently, we have heard rumors that the Utah Department of Environmental Quality has granted preliminary approval for the construction of such a plant. In response, a group of physicians have begun to organize a public campaign against the project. They even predicted that the construction of the plant will increase the number of local deaths due to respiratory illness. Naturally, some of our residents have become alarmed by such statements. However, residents need to know that it is a top priority for the Mayor and Council to protect the health, safety and welfare of the city's residents. We simply will not permit the construction of a facility that would threaten the health of our citizens.

If you haven't already, take a minute to contact Mayor Behunin to let him know you support his stance against the proposed power plant, and encourage him to continue to keep it out of our community.

Email:; Phone: 801-560-3944

Monday, January 12, 2009

I enjoy clean air.

This time of year it should be especially obvious that it would be irresponsible to allow even more pollution. For our health, and the health of our children, lets all take a few minutes to write/call/email and let the powers that be know that we don't want more pollution.

From Utah Mom's for Clean Air:
Here are Five things you can do to help stop the proposed Petroleum Coke plant in West Bountiful:

1. Attend the Division of Air Quality Public Hearing, Tues., Jan. 13, 6:30 pm
DEQ Auditorium (Room 101), 168 N. 1950 W., SLC
Show your support by voicing your opinion or just showing up.
(If you need help formulating your ideas, communications Ph.D.student
Brenden Kendall is happy to help. Email:
It is critical that we fill the auditorium to show the depth of public concern.

2. 2. Submit your comments to the John Jenks at the Division of Air Quality by Jan. 15, 2009.

3. 3. Write or call Gov. Hunstman and your state legislators stating your opposition to the petcoke plant.

Locate your legislator on the interactive map for Utah House seats. and the interactive map for Utah Senate seats.

Send correspondence to the Governor at
Governor John Huntsman, Jr.
Utah State Capitol Complex
350 North State Street, Suite 200
P. O. Box 142220
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2220
Gov. Huntsman's Email form

4. 4. Send an email to Mayor James Behunin of West Bountiful: Even if you don't live in West Bountiful, pollutants from this proposed plant will affect you if you live along the Wasatch Front and he needs to hear from you.

5. 5. Write a letter to the editor to one or more local newspaper(s).
Like coal, petroleum coke is not a clean source of energy. We need to be investing in clean, renewable energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal, all plentiful in Utah.

Consolidated Energy says their plant will contribute just a little more pollution, but it is time to draw the line and reduce the pollutants in the air we breathe. The pollution from this plant would be the equivalent to putting 10,000 additional cars on the road.

The one million pounds of pollution from this plant will permeate the Salt Lake Valley for the next 50 years. The heavy metals from its smokestack will land on every carpet, counter top, playground, garden, and swimming pool and end up on the hands of every child.

This plant is especially dangerous to our children because of the many tons of toxic chemicals and heavy metals called "HAPs" (Hazardous Air Pollutants) that will be emitted. Even the Utah Department of Environmental Quality that is preparing to approve the permit admits that no amount of exposure to HAPs is safe. Even trace amounts of HAPs can cause genetic damage, cancer, brain damage, and metabolic and reproductive diseases. The unborn are the most at risk.

This plant is not needed to keep your lights on. Rocky Mountain Power has not asked for this plant and you may not even receive any of its electricity. While your family's health will be put at risk, you will receive no benefit or compensation.

More pollution in the Salt Lake Valley has a negative economic impact. It discourages new business, stifles existing businesses like tourism, and hurts your property values.

The pet coke will be imported from other states. The plant will collect this refinery by-product from throughout the West for incineration here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas Pics

J testing out his new bike (check out those handbrakes!):
A sanding his new "real tool" tool bench (Santa is an incredible woodworker, but apparently, he missed a spot):
CP stacking up blocks so he can use his little people tractor to knock them over again:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Artisan Bread- Day 2.75

We ate the whole loaf (it wasn't huge, and there are four of us- the boys ate as much as we did, I think (except CP, he didn't think it was bread, so his usual "I'll eat any kind of bread or bread product and nothing else" diet plan didn't apply)).

We dipped it in oil and balsamic vinegar. My Mister called it "as good as restaurant quality", and said that he was impressed (he's not easily impressed, so that's kind of a big deal).

Here it is all sliced and ready to eat:

Artisan Bread- Day 2

This ball is about 1/4 of the total amount of dough I made yesterday, I used a little flour on my hands and tucked the sides under to form a smooth top on the ball. Then I let it rest for 40 minutes (actually a little longer because I forgot to preheat the oven halfway through the 40 minutes), then I made a couple of slashes in the top and scooped it into the oven with a tray of water under it.
Here is what came out of the oven:

The crust is nice and crinkly when I squeeze it, and I'm excited to taste it, although I get the idea from the recipe that the bread doesn't get really good until you've been doing it for awhile and the dough develops a richer flavor.

I think I'm also going to try shaping the dough into rolls and baguettes. I love bread.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day?

Colleen, my gardening friend, posted this link to Mother Earth News for an easy recipe and instructions on making artisan bread. I decided to try it out (some one had to be the guinea pig to report back).
Here's the dough just mixed:

The ingredients are very simple:
3 cups lukewarm water

1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)

1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt

6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, white flour (I'm using white for the first try, but in the future, I'm going to try wheat)

It's nearly done rising, then I'll put it in the fridge, and tomorrow I'll cut off a 1/4 of the dough lightly shape it into something roundish, and bake (leaving the rest in the fridge for another time). The next time I make dough, I make it in the same container, without washing it, which eventually gives the dough a sourdough-like flavor.

I'll post an update tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Funny Things My Kids Say...And an Exercise challenge

A: Mom! MOm! (me running into the bathroom thinking there was an emergency) Mom- Look, I made an ocean in the potty. The pee is the water, the bubbles are the island, the little poop is the fish, and the big poop is the shark.

J: Mom? (Also in the bathroom- we spend a lot of time in the bathroom around here) Do you see my muscles? (he points to his ribs)
Me: Those are your ribs- they're bones, not muscles.
J: Oh, but I'm still strong, see? (flexes his arms).
Me: You are strong!

And, this isn't funny, but today walking A home from preschool, his hands were cold so he was holding my hand, and his little hand felt really nice in mine, and it made me think how fast they grow up. J still holds my hand sometimes, but not as often, and his hands are not too much smaller than mine these days. Being a mom is a pretty good gig, even if I do get pooped, slobbered, and boogered, and-every-other-bodily-functioned on, on a regular basis (I don't really get pooped on very often, but really, once is enough for a lifetime).

Also in other news, I'm joining the Great Fitness Experiment's January experiment. Charlotte is taking Shape Magazine at their word to see if their "Drop 10lbs this month!" workout really works. The format is as follows:

Monday - Shape Magazine strength circuit
Tuesday - Boot Camp interval workout (you can sub biking, running, swimming or any other activity that gets heart rate upupup and then takes it down for a rest and then back up again. The key is the intensity - you want something short and hard. Don't go over 45 minutes. You want a suggestion? Do the 8/12 bicycle sprints!)
Wednesday - Shape Magazine strength circuit
Thursday - Yoga/walking
Friday - Turbokick interval workout (again, sub in what you like)

I think for the interval workouts, I'm going to do several short rounds of wii fit hula hooping to make up 30-45 minutes worth. Charlotte posted pictures of the Shape Magazine strength circuit on her blog, but It's hard to read the words, and some of those, I can't tell how the model got from one position to the next, so I'll probably pick up a copy at the store, or at least read it in the check out line...

Anyone care to join me? I figure this will give me a little bit of accountability to actually follow through. I'm starting today with a wii fit hula hoop interval workout. I don't think this is going to help me gain muscle, but the hazy, cold weather has me feeling a bit blah, so I think this will help, and I don't think I'll lose any weight with it, when I workout regularly I crave eggs. :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Years Resolutions

I don't really like the idea of new years resolutions, I do, however, like the idea of setting goals for myself, and a new year seems like a good time to set some goals, so call them what you want- here are mine...

-Gain a few pounds of muscle. If I weighed a bit more, I'd theoretically be less susceptible to illnesses, and I'd prefer to not gain fat. This goal might be the hardest. Any tips for gaining muscle and not fat? I'm guessing ice cream every day is not the way to go here... Is weight training necessary for gaining muscle?

-Clean out clutter. I have too much stuff, and would like to simplify and organize things.

-Be content with what I have. This goes along nicely with simplifying and organizing. It's easier to clean out clutter if I am careful about what I bring into my house in the first place. I'm not going to stop buying things (I love books, and nice quality kitchen things, and my kids like games and toys), but I'm going to be more thoughtful about what I buy.

Long Hair is feminine

Throughout my life I've cycled between having long (or longish) hair and chopping it off short. When I first started dating my Mister, a sister-in-law of his commented on my short hair. It may have been a compliment, or a statement of fact- perhaps she saw a picture of me with longer hair before meeting me.... whatever her reason, it perpetuated my idea that to be feminine, you should have long hair (well, I only ever felt that way for myself. I don't remember ever seeing anyone else's short hair and thinking they weren't feminine- usually I see women with short hair and it makes me want to cut my hair short.)

Anyway, I think I look better with short hair, but a part of me always feels like I ought to have longer hair (and I'd love to have hair like in the shampoo commercials- that and two complete eyebrows (and complete vision) are my hope for the resurrection). I have some friends who always keep their hair short, and some who always keep it long. Fewer seem to cycle between long and short like I do. It seems like a silly thing, but I'd like to make peace with my hair length.

If I can find something that looks okay when I go running (and where the sides don't bounce) and something that looks okay when camping (short of wearing a hat), I think I could get over the "feeling more feminine" with long hair pretty easily. I chopped my hair to jaw length yesterday, so it's a big change, and so far, I'm not feeling too much haircut remorse yet.

Does anyone else have weird hair issues like me? If so, what do you do about it?