Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blueberry Cake Doughnuts

I've had several requests for this recipe, so here it is! Mike is a HUGE cake doughnut fan, while I prefer raised. That's okay, because they were still YUMMY!

Blueberry Cake Doughnuts

2T shortening
1C sugar
2 eggs
1C buttermilk
1 pt fresh blueberries, rinsed hulled & patted dry
3 1/2-4 C flour
Pinch salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 C milk
2 C powdered sugar

In a Kitchenaid-type mixer, cream together shortening & sugar. Add one egg at a time and beat until incorporated. Slowly add buttermilk. Switch to dough hook and add blueberries. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda & baking powder then add it to the blueberry mixture 1 C at a time until dough forms a smooth ball and climbs up the hook. Put dough in a greased bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. (Mike made the dough the night before then cooked them in the morning and they were great!)
Preheat fryer to 350. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick, then using a doughnut cutter or biscuit cutters, cut doughnuts into rounds. Fry until golden brown, then remove & drain on paper towels. Whisk together milk & powdered sugar & drizzle over doughnuts & let glaze set before eating. (If you can wait that long!)

So there you have it. Hope you enjoy them! This makes about 2 dozen, depending on how big or small you make them. Mike actually made doughnut holes out of it all and we probably had 3-4 dozen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


My sister, Meredith is having her fourth boy next week, but has yet to come up with a name for her bundle of joy, as she's run out of boy names! I'm on the lookout for suggestions from all you in cyberworld.
Some helpful information:

*Her other boys are named Zachary Tyler, Wesley David, and Benjamin Nathan. All shortened to one-syllable nicknames: Zach, Wes, and Ben. She'd like to keep within the system. :)

*Her last name is Lowe. This prevents many cute names from being considered, i.e. Joel Lowe (jell-o), Brock Lowe (broccoli), etc.

Anyway, you get the idea. Any suggestions would be helpful & I'll pass them along to her! Thanks!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Basketball Analogy

I've felt impressed to write about something we discussed in Relief Society yesterday. The question was posed, "Why do we need adversity in our lives?" I started thinking about basketball. (I know, sports analogies are usually left to the Elder's Quorum, but stay with me.) I think life is a little like basketball. We practice dribbling, shooting, passing, running plays, and defensive strategies so that we can become better at each skill, and a develop into a better player in general. If all we ever did was practice, what good would that do? We need to actually come against an opponent to test our skills and know what we need to work on in order to advance, and therefore be in a better position to win the next game.
In life, we spend each day "practicing" such skills as obedience, communication, compassion, faith, etc. But in order for us to progress, we need to come against an opponent to test our skills so that we know where we are and what we need to work on. The trials that come into our lives are just such an opponent, and by evaluating our performance within and at the outcome of each trial, we can know on what skills or characteristics our time should be spent "practicing."
For anyone who has played basketball before, you know that emotions can run high, effecting performances and ultimately the outcome of a game. Same thing in life! If we allow them, our emotions can hinder our ability to see clearly the big picture and stop working in areas that need the most attention, or cause us to give up altogether.
I guess my point is that we can be in control of our "game" as long as we take the time to put the right kind of practice in beforehand.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bridget's 3rd

So my baby turns 3 today. Sometimes it's hard to believe it's already been that long, other times I could swear it's her 13th. When we brought her home from the hospital, it took her all of 3 days to start sleeping through the night. I think Heavenly Father knew we needed that with 3 others at home to contend with. She was always very mellow and content with where she was and what she was doing. I could bring the playpen out to the garden and pull weeds for an hour or so, and she'd play with no complaints. I was overjoyed to have such an easy baby! Of course, Murphy's Law would state that "good things never stay the same." At about 18 months, she turned into a little whipper-snapper! Her independence and stubbornness suddenly emerged, and my easy-going baby was no longer. She suddenly had this twinkle in her eye that meant she knew exactly what she wanted and exactly how she was going to get it. It's the latter part that has challeneged her mother! I'm hoping we can learn to channel her independence so it will be used for good, and not evil in the future! I'm excited to see how being a big sister will change her, while at the same time hoping little Dixon will survive her. Bridget, you are my biggest challenge, but boy do I LOVE a good challenge! You're the smartest three-year-old I know, and I'm so glad you're mine!

Monday, April 13, 2009

You spin me right-round, baby!

Oh, joy. Like I don't have a hard enough time bending over already, now I get to deal with vertigo, too! It started Saturday morning & when it hadn't subsided by this morning, I called my OB to make sure I wasn't having a brain aneurysm...that would've been a bummer. Instead I was told it was probably just a deep inner ear infection. Upon further investigation (thank you, WebMD), I was able to find a prognosis--labrynthitis--a viral infection occurring a few weeks after an upper-respiratory infection or the flu. Haven't had the flu for years, but I did have a nasty upper-respiratory bout a couple of weeks ago. Yay me. The kicker is, "the vertigo may last for several weeks" and "antibiotics rarely work, since it's usually caused by a virus." I can just imagine how fun it will be when the room is still spinning as I'm giving birth in June. So much for helping Mike in the garden for the next couple of weeks, unless of course, puke makes good compost...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Biointensive Gardening Explained

Here's a few websites with great explanations of the Biointensive Gardening method we're using this year. We'll continue to document our progress this year, and you can decide for yourselves if this is something you'd like to try! Five beds double-dug, 4 to go!


My Faves

I couldn't help but post my favorite shot of each of the girls. In this one, Maggie looks as if she's not a little girl anymore! In fact, she grabed her "Hannah Montana" purse the other day, flung it onto her shoulder and asked, "Do I look like a teenager now?" It has begun...

Brooke spent the entire photo shoot posing as if she were America's Next Top Model. She's probably the most girly of the bunch and likes to wear dress-up shoes around the house constantly. If she could wear a dress or skirt everyday, she absolutely would! I love how this picture captures all of her sweetness!

Katie has a laugh that is completely infectious! She's a silly little girl who loves to play and make up jokes, then belly laugh at her own hilarity. She wakes up in the morning with hair a beauty queen would be envious of, and one day she'll actually appreciate it!

Bridget is still Little Miss Independent. Of all the girls, she is the most stubborn--can't imagine who she inherited that from...You can always see the gears turning in her head, and it's been so fun to watch her figure things out. Somehow she has an understanding of things that surpasses her three years, and I'll be lucky if I can keep up with her very much longer!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Girls

At first glance, this photo doesn't strike one as very spectacular...a shot from behind of four little girls, all holding hands amidst a garden of flowering bulbs. Nice. Cute. But that's what draws me to all different forms of art, especially photography. It gives me an opportunity to glean what I will from the endless possibilities of meaning contained within one single piece. This photo in particular, has evoked a flood of emotion as I've spent the past little while contemplating with tear-filled eyes, what it represents to me.
Of course, these four little girls aren't just any little girls--they're MY little girls. A humbling thought, as I know they have been sent to me for some wise purpose that I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding. As their mother, I take my place where I can get the best view, watching from behind as they learn to make their own decisions and deal with the ensuing consequences of those choices. I guide where I can, picking them up if they stumble along the way, encouraging them to reach higher, and applauding all their efforts.
Bridget, Brooke, Maggie, Katie
Each of these four little girls is as unique as the dress they wear, and yet they have already learned that standing together, side by side, is where they want to be, despite any differences they may have. They have the whole wide world ahead of them, and they are ready to face it together, hand in hand.
It dawns on me that all mothers must surely feel this way about their children--the neverending reservoir of love for each of them, and simultaneous grave responsibility for the soul of another. Makes me appreciate and love my mom more deeply and with more respect than I ever had the capacity to before. It also reminds me of four other little girls, whose mother still stands behind them after all these years.
Meredith, Amanda, Julianne, Emily
See, it's not just a picture...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Snapshot of Spring

We just had to take advantage of this BEAUTIFUL not-snowy day, so the girls and I met my friend, Heather at the Salt Lake Temple to get some snapshots of them in their Easter dresses, surrounded by spring COLOR!!! Please go to her website http://heathergardner-familyphotography.blogspot.com/2009/04/stringham-family.html to check some of them out, and when I get my CD of them, I'll post some more.
Thanks Heather! You do a great job and you were so good w/my hammy little girls! Can't wait for you to do our newborns!