Monday, April 27, 2009

Last Day of Classes

Although I have thoroughly enjoyed Renie and Devon's classes at Lands End, it was nice to see them end simply because now the older girls have started outdoor soccer and our Saturday mornings were getting pretty crazy! On Saturday we went to the final classes, which for Renie, included a little "recital". My friend Kym taught the class again and did a great job.

Devon was very happy that his friend Xan was in soccer with him. That helped him to be a little more confident this year and participate more than he did last year. Next year he's ready to move on to outdoor soccer with the big girls.

Happy Birthday To Me!!

Me and the kiddos on my birthday:

I had a lovely birthday. Church was fantastic. A great sacrament meeting followed by a successful day in the nursery. After church and a quick lunch, Lincoln and the kids sent me to my room to read and sleep. After a yummy nap, Lincoln made me a delicious dinner of lemon chicken, Irish baked potatoes, and fresh asparagus, followed by angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

But it didn't start on Sunday. Friday night Lincoln took me out for a birthday date. We ate dinner at PF Changs- is there anything better than their chicken lettuce wraps? We had lettuce wraps, hot and sour soup and egg drop soup, Mongolian beef (our PF Changs favorite), almond cashew chicken, brown rice, and mini desserts- our least favorite part of the meal. After dinner we went to the Sundance Theater to see The Soloist. First let me say, the Sundance Theater? Fantastic movie going experience. I highly recommend it if you have one in your town. Clean, comfortable, convenient, crystal clear screens, definitely a bit more upscale movie experience, without breaking the bank. Next, let me say, The Soloist? Fantastic movie. Moving, compelling, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching. So all-in-all, a great night. To top it all off, our 12 year old babysitter did a great job. She had cleaned up the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, tidied the living room, and had gotten everyone in bed on time.
On Saturday, Renie had her last dance class and "recital", and Devon had his last soccer practice at Lands End. The day was stormy and rainy so the girls' soccer games were cancelled. Kennedy spent the afternoon at her friend's house, Jesse fell asleep at 3:30 in the afternoon and slept until 6am!, and Lincoln took Julia, Devon, and Renie and went fishing for three hours. I got some quiet time to spend cleaning. And somewhere in there on Saturday, Lincoln and the kids gave me a bike trailer for my birthday. Now I can take the two little ones biking with me while the others are in school.
I also forgot to mention that Kennedy made me a pin for my birthday, made from recycled materials (paper and a button). She gave it to me on Friday night so I could wear it on our date. So cute!
So basically it was a whole birthday weekend of fun and relaxation. Thanks Lincoln!

The Latest Addition

This is Graham. We adopted him from the Iowa County Humane Society. He is just the absolute perfect cat for us! He is lovable, playful, handsome, sociable, and incredibly patient. There was never a time of adjustment- he was never nervous or unsure in our home. He just came in and acted like he had been here forever. He plays happily with the kids, chasing around a toy mouse on a string as the kids drag it behind them. Jesse laughs and laughs so hard at him he can hardly catch his breath. The girls are learning to clean his litter box- they are not quite doing it to my standard, but they'll get there.

The only problem is that I seem to have developed an allergy to cats. I think it is manageable, however, if I just don't touch him much. Time will tell.

We sure love him!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Artichoke and Red Pepper Pizza Recipe

Here you go Erin. You'll love it, I'm sure.

Make your favorite pizza dough recipe or use 1 (10) oz can of refrigerated pizza dough.
cooking spray
1 T olive oil
1 Cup julienne cut red bell pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14) oz can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 (2.5) oz jar of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 C (6 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
Cracked pepper (optional)

Roll out pizza dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat dough into a 14x10 inch rectangle. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, set aside.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add red bell pepper, basil, oregano, and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in artichokes and mushrooms.

Sprinkle half of cheese over prepared pizza crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the cheese, and top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with cracked pepper, if desired. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Karen's Visit

This past week my cousin Karen, her family, and her Mom came to visit. My kids were thrilled to have their cousins here for a whole week, and of course, I was thrilled as well. The first full day they were here we went to Governor Dodge State Park to take a little hike.

The kids had a grand time running around climbing the walls of the little valley we walked through.

Seriously, they literally criss-crossed the trail, going up and down the hills on either side, much like a snowboarder on the halfpipe.

Lincoln and Jesse on the trail.

There were lots of stops along the way to take cute photos of the kids on the rocks and logs.

Here's the Tatro/Knouse Crew. That's a lot of kids.

A couple more photos taken along the way.

We had a great time! The weather was perfect and the company divine!

Jesse and Kate

A couple weekends ago we had the privilege of watching our little friend Kate while her Dad was having an emergency appendectomy. She is 2, just a few months older than Jesse. I thought they were so cute all engrossed in a Little People video.


I made this delicious pizza recently. It's artichoke and red pepper pizza with cheese. So very very good. And I got the recipe from Cooking Light so it can't be THAT bad for you!

Jump Rope For Heart

So wow. It's been a while since I've blogged. So I guess I'll try to do a little catch up.

A couple weeks ago, Kennedy participated in Jump Rope For Heart, to benefit the American Heart Association.

The entire fourth grade spent an hour and a half in the gym jumping rope. Parents were invited to watch and join in. Lincoln and I both took our turns jumping, though we have no photographic evidence. The younger classes each took a few minutes to come watch, and were able to participate if one of the fourth graders chose them to take their turn. Kennedy lovingly picked Julia to jump for a minute and she did great.

I left the event about 15 minutes early and ended up missing Devon's participation. I wish i would have been there for that!

Getting hotter and hotter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


My cousin Karen and her family and her Mom will be arriving tomorrow! I am so excited to have company! All the plans for their visit have not been completely worked out, but I'm sure we'll find some fun things to do. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for some outdoor activities. Stay tuned!

Parenting Regrets

You know how sometimes as a parent it is suddenly brought to your attention that you have been handling some parenting issue very poorly? Is it just me? I had one of those moments at about 3 a.m. Devon awoke and came to our room to report that he had wet his bed. I reacted the way I always do upon being roused from blissful slumber to go clean up pee-pee. Ooooooooaaaaaahhh, Devon! Come on, bud! (whine whine, moan, moan.) Lincoln told him to go in the bathroom and get his clothes off. He went in to do that and i was about to get up to help him wash up, when he came back out of the bathroom and said he wasn't wet after all. I felt his pants and he was, in fact, dry. I sent him back to bed. A few minutes later I heard sounds from the other end of the house that suggested someone was puking. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. There was Devon. Standing in front of the toilet with his pants down, sobbing. I went and put my arm around him and asked what was wrong. He told me he was afraid to go to bed because he was worried he would pee. I had him pull up his pants and i took him back to his room. I tucked him in and explained to him that it was not a big deal if he wet the bed. We would simply change and wash the sheets, and change and wash his clothes. There was nothing to get so upset about. Accidents happen and life goes on. I kissed him and told him to go back to sleep. Five minutes after I had climbed back into my own bed, I heard movement again. I got up to discover him in the bathroom again, trying one more time to pee. I got him back into bed and went through the whole reassurance talk again. This time I explained to him that it takes your body some time to make pee and I was SURE he would make it the rest of the night without an accident. I kissed and hugged him again, tucked him in, and went back to bed.
This morning he was so excited to tell me that he didn't have a pee-pee accident. He goes through little phases where he wets a few times in a week, then he'll go for a month or two with no problem. Just when we think he's over it, he wets a few nights in a row, or four nights in a week. And that's when I start my whining. Turns out my pep talk in the night was more for me. I was making him feel horrible about wetting, so much that he was making repeated trips to the bathroom in an attempt to squeeze out a few more drops of pee, so as not to have to face me in the night with the bad news. I feel terrible! Before he settled in for the night he had made several attempts as well. So I'm officially reminding myself that it's not a big deal if he has an accident. We'll just clean it up and move on, without guilt trips, whining, or moaning.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Few More Wedding Photos

I love the color and the texture of the brick in this photo of Lauren and her Dad. I also like how he's looking off into the distance/future.

Sometimes I really like a heavily edited photo like this. I like the drama.

I did a whole series of these photos with just a faint blush of color. I like how they play up the vintage look of the wedding.

Lauren is a beautiful woman and she was positively radiant on her wedding day. I could have photographed her all day. Unfortunately we lost the light and had to call it quits. As I look back over these photos I see lots of other great spots to shoot and wish I could go back and suggest a few more poses to capture. But all in all I got LOTS of fantastic shots. (Oh how I wish I had Photoshop!) The weather was absolutely glorious. Who would have guessed we could have an outdoor wedding in the North Country in March?