We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~





Loehrmann Family Favorite Recipes

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!


She's turning 29 again. She says every year. She has 10 grand kids now. She works and seems to enjoy it. She makes the best cherry pie you ever had. Oh, and pineapple upside-down cake. She has an amazing talent to sew, and created many a modest dresses for me as it is easier to find a pink elephant and a blue sunrise in Virginia than it is to find a party dress with sleeves, or material for that matter! She's a mean gardener (jk, but she DID make us work a lot as kids!--raking up leaves to burn, terracing off a lawn, retaining walls in backyard, etc. haha) She is really good at getting flowers to grow and has had her fair share of garden harvests in her lifetime. She used to be a lifeguard way back when, and still reminisces about it whenever we are near a pool, lake, ocean, etc. She taught us all how to shoot a bow & arrow. Mom loves to take pictures. Did you know she played basketball in middle school? Um, yeah. 5 foot 4, right mom? Oh, and she used to date a guy in college who took his rabbits on walks with a leash. I used to find that super fascinating until I had a rabbit, but then moving to Davis, I've seen a couple out "walking their rabbit" and it is hilarious! Hope you have a great day today mom!

And the rest of you, please add any memories you have of mom along with some well-wishes for her bday :) I'll add them to this post if I think it'll strike her fancy.

:) Oh, and this picture was taken in front of the house she grew up in in Northern California- Citrus Heights area. The mushroom is made of concrete and weighs a ton. Yes she put it in her suitcase to go home. It is reminiscent of a club that her English-teacher-mother started in high school and claimed to have no CLUE as to it's symbolic reference to drugs. LOL.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Whatcha Up to Lukas?

HANGING OUT WITH OTHER LITTLE PEOPLE:
This is Quintin who we babysat all day last week. Lukas was so sweet to him, petting him on the head, yelling "Schnuller" if he cried (and sometimes taking it out of Q's mouth!) and helping to feed him.


SITTING IN A BIG CHAIR:
Well, sort of. He has a booster seat (free off craigslist) now attached to a regular chair since we scored this $179 table for $20. Yes Jared, only $20. It's a better fit for our small apartment, and has little drawers in the middle (side when half is folded down) for crayons, paper and tape since Lukas now LOVES "Malen" (to draw). Did I mention I LOVE this table???


HAND WASHING/DRYING:
To use baby wipes less and sing the ABCs more, we sing while washing hands. It's become a new thrill as part of the eating routine. He no longer puts his hands up for all done, but starts singing "ABC, ABC, ABC" and we know he's done. Then it's time to dry, and he's chanting "trocken, trocken" at the handtowel as we set him down on the floor. It's all a whirlwind event though because really he just wants to be done so he can go dance in the livingroom to the Tarzan music. God bless Phil Collins.


DISCOVERING SIZE:
Look back to May of '09 to see pictures of Lukas in this same bassinet. He was amused at his attempt to fit in it again. ummmm, didn't really work, huh big guy?!


POSING:
The other day while cooking at the stove Lukas was standing up on the chair and just looked at me this way. I had the camera nearby (a must for this mom) but still wasn't fast enough. Then I said, "Lukas, mach' SO" (Lukas, do this) and put my head on my hands in the air. Then he'd repeat "SO" and cock his head sideways at me. He did it tonight again and again. These were the cutest ones from the "SO" pictures!


FOOD:
I wonder when he'll realize that pancakes aren't always made into heart shapes!?
This was on our anniversary at breakfast time.


HIS BABY BOOK:
At least 3 or more times a day he's pointing up at the shelf saying "Baby Boosh" which really means Baby Buch (book) and each time we pull down the "Lukas' Book of Firsts" that we printed in hardback for him, and tell him about all his firsts. I'm impressed with how carefully he's handling the pages (so far). He seems amused that there's a baby on every page, and that they all seem to have his name (which as of TODAY he says himself!!) It's a great way to share his adoption story with him as well and to see all of the jillions of things he did just inhis first 7 months!


SHAPES:
He totally digs the oval, and can get all of them into the ball without help. We still find the shape for him, and then he has to focus really hard to get the piece into the hole without trying to just muscle it in there!


GARDENING:
Today he actually went twice, once to pick tomatoes, weed and biff it on a swing. The second time to pick green beans with dad along too. No face plants (no pun intended) the second time.


KISSING:
Lately Lukas has been really excited about it, and runs up, plops himself on our laps and plants one on our lips saying,"MUAH" quite emphatically.
video

BIG WORDS:
He has also enjoyed saying "amoxicillin" ever since his ear infection in WA. We wanted to get it on video as proof :) LOL.
video

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anniversary Number SEVEN!



It's been seven years since we walked out of the Washington D.C. Temple as husband and wife. There's nothing like being in the right place at the right time with the right person for the right reasons. It's been another wonderful year with my sweetheart, and I'm looking forward to many more! I love you Jared!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Team Catniss!!


You know you really want to read a book when you're considering spending the afternoon at Borders just to read the whole thing in a few hours!

AHHHH! It came out yesterday- the final sequel to The Hunger Games. This has been such a riveting adventure. Can't wait to experience the final book! And you know what's sad? It was at Costco on it's grand debut day.

That was yesterday.

I went to Costco yesterday.

Distracted by my fair share of samples. MMMM. Salmon burger. MMMMMmmmm.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Down, Set, Hike

...and Lukas leans down with hands on the ball and throws it between his little legs!

AHHHH!So awesome! We like to joke about how we'll send Bronco a letter with a picture of us- with the footballs I won 3 years in a row that he signed, and with Lukas pushing things around -the vaccuum, the shopping cart- all in preparation for playing football.

Don't worry. We're kidding of course. Something about the head trauma involved with football makes me want to keep our little giant off the gridiron, but who knows? What I do know is that I'll definitely teach the kid how to throw so he can launch em away for many Turkey Bowls to come!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ruffle your Feathers...

If you don't comment on this, I totally understand, but how can you read THIS and not have an opinion??

I'd love to hear your opinions!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pat on the back

Dear Mama,
Thanks for making such yummy pancakes this morning. Thanks for sneaking me a little dab of whipped cream, and thanks for the fun picture book and stickers during sacrament meeting. Sorry that I pulled your shirt down so much during that first speaker and almost pulled out your hair tonight when our home teacher was visiting. The bath time rocked, especially when the pipes were roaring like a 747 on take off!
Good job!
Love,
Lukas

(Thus the back-patting going on from him while I was rocking him and singing to him to put him to bed. His little hand just kept patting my back :) It was so sweet!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

DRAWING FOR COOL GERMAN SOUVENIR

So we're leaving the country sometime before the year is out to welcome Nikolaus in Germany! Here's the deal: From all the comments over the next 2-3 months I am going to have a drawing. RULES: For every comment, I will put your name in a box on a piece of paper. Before we leave for Germany, I'll pick a winner, then mail them an awesome German souvenier that is sure to please as soon as I get back (because, of course, I have to get it in Germany!!) Here's a good-luck wink from our gameshow host:
videoHe's really learning so quickly: winking now, saying two word sentences, "Bye Bye Papa" and "Mehr bitte" and "Milch bitte!" AND THIS MORNING FOR THE FIRST TIME HE SAID, "ICH LIEBE DICH!" AWwwwww! With any luck, I can get him to stop pulling my hair and we'll all be set!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And people wonder

... why our screen door has issues:



Stats for Lukas at 16 months:
28 lbs. 3 oz.
33 1/4
19 1/4

And he's finally figured out how to move FORWARD on his little Bobby Car, but just a little. Last night he started puckering up for big kisses (less mouthy now- mostly lips- except for part of that runny nose....) He wakes up every morning with the desire to DANCE!! And waves his arms in the air while sticking out his bum and bouncing up and down with his legs. He's figured out the stairs just great. Still climbs up the slide like a champ and goes down now too by himself just fine. He stands at the opening to the fire pole thing and dangles one foot out "to test" but doesn't scare me to death anymore about just jumping off (like when he just grabbed onto the outer bars and hung there by his hands with feel dangling!!)

He is super interested in the big world around him, especially other people. He juts his hand out waving at people in the grocery store, on walks, etc. He winks at people on command (so cute!) and it always makes them happy! He cuddles so well before going to sleep and just lies his head on my chest, sometimes almost chanting, "Mama, mama, mama"

He says TONS now and copies more and more every day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MacGyver moment


It's one of those hmmmmm moments that happens so unexpectedly, and the predicament so random that there's really only one thing to do:

MACGYVER your way out of it.

Such was the case when a certain toddler put a remote control through the bottom hole of the speaker box.

His face:Oh, haha that was so funny!
My face: (four hours later when looking for it, cleaning up the house in the process. LOVE that!) "Oh!" "Uh oh!"

-wheels turning-

What would MACGYVER do?

Duct tape.

I grabbed a long handled 1/8 tsp measuring spoon so it wouldn't take up too much space in the hole, wrapped some duct tape around the end, sticky side out, and after a few attempts, snagged myself a remote control back out of the speaker box.

Kept Lukas from now putting his half-eaten carrot in there.

Showed him the remote- total surprise and happiness!

VICTORY!! Now it's naptime for the little Murdock.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Home Making

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.

...If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

AWESOME! HERE WE GO!

You may laugh at our choices for 'A' words, but truth be told, the kid now knows the letter A. Just 1 minute at lunch time + copy paper + Sharpie. Now they hang on the wall across from his chair.
Confession:
I have never made rolls. I have sisters in law who are quite capable, so if there's ever a big family function (i.e. Thanksgiving, etc) there's NO need for me to attempt them, especially when one can eat THEIR amazing yumminess. Thank you Grandma Marie for your simple recipe that I whipped out before church yesterday! We had homemade spaghetti sauce all made from the garden and noodles, these homemade rolls with our homemade freezer jam. MMmm!

I never ate this in Germany. But "German Pancakes" sure are delicious!

Lieber Gott,

Ich bin klein
mein Herz ist rein
Ich will auch immer
artig sein...

...und vielleicht auch noch ab und zu mal sauber?

Zootsuit Riot


5 minutes later: A different verdict on the tie

p.s. This whole suit ensemble: ONE DOLLAR! Yes people. ONE!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Face the Facts... poor fish!

Typical faces we see daily. SUCH a sweet boy!




Seriously, have you seen a more innocent face? Just wait though. The other day while using the bathroom I didn't hear Lukas.

At all.

Instantly I think of my mom's story about her visiting teachers being over and it getting quiet. Too quiet. Then finding two little boys sitting on the kitchen floor dumping honey all over each other.

I didn't find honey.

No.

I found fish.

And a little boy standing ON (yes - mother heart freaking out inside at the implications of that) the kitchen table. Long sleeves today. Arms in the fishbowl.

Both arms.

Taking rocks out one by one.

I actually considered for a split second if I could take a picture of this heinous stone snatching but decided in favor of the safety of the child and wellbeing of the fish.

Clean up child. Mop up the table. Check fish for shock. Dress child again.

No, it wasn't over.

This was after he'd dumped over the laundry cart. When I saw him (again- silence is the dead giveaway for mischief!) he just sat there and looked up at me with the same face as the lotion picture above.

And, for the record, I DO watch him, but now and again you gotta use the bathroom and put away dishes. Needless to say we went right out to the playground afterward. Such a mindset is better spent on chasing squirrels, watching butterflies, and gorging ourselves on tomatoes from the garden, which was ALSO really fun! (Always messy, but always fun!)

Pearly Whites

If you want to keep em, you gotta brush em.But even when you brush I guess they all fall out eventually.


Amazing how he puts up with it! Our newest trick is to let him hold dad's toothbrush, and help dad brush dad's teeth while I hold Lukas' brush and brush the little man's teeth. So far, so good!

Oh and that lock of hair over Lukas' right ear that sticks out? Gone now. Tucked into his little journal next to the first little dandelion he picked for me.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Food, Glorious Food!

The food bug has bit me and I'm just itching to try new things!We've grilled

I've harvested from the garden and made salsa

I finally tried Bonnie's recipe for Pupusa


And I finally dove in to the Walker Family Cookbook to put together my own version of Sweet & Sour chicken, using ingredients for 3 different sorts of sweet & sour things, none of which really matched what I wanted to accomplish in a short amount of time! Fwa-La!

Breakfast has also been reborn with rice pudding (thank you Frankfurt Mission Cookbook!), German pancakes (Thanks Jan) and good ol' scrambled eggs, bacon & toast.

"Send em out with big bellies and fill em back up as soon as they get home!"
Tomorrow is crockpotting. Jared will be thrilled. He always wanted a wife who would cook. Maybe he'll find her soon :)

See my recipes at my Dinner Club Blog! Most all of these recipes are little kid tested (we're talking 2 year olds!) and APPROVED! When we lived at BYU, 4 families got together 4 times a week to share a meal. Whoever cooked that night for 4 families got three no-hassle, no-cleanup meals that week when going to someone else's house. A good trade off? You'd better believe it! The women were freed of time & stress. The men had fuller bellies. Our wallets were healthier, and so were our meals! And what great friendships are born from eating together!

On My Summer Vacation I learned...

...that little kids and pigs have a lot in common
...that a farrowing pen is really heavy
...that baby pigs have belly buttons
...that you can help a newborn pig breathe by sticking grass up its nose
...that some kids feel happier dirty
...that Lukas speaks English too
...that spelunking headlamps are very useful in picking strawberries at night
...that Breakfast traditions get people to the table
...that airplane rides are no problem when the child can sleep through the landing
...that distraction works much better than the sippy cup method during landing
...that a backpack for a carseat is one of the coolest inventions ever
...that sarcasm is hurtful, but teasing is more endearing
...that taking time to just be still and listen does a lot to create a loving home
...that when a kid has a lot of loving cousins with strong families, that child is never left wanting for friends, even when that child is no longer a child.
...that the simplest things of life really do bring the greatest joys
...that toys without batteries are still the best toys ever
...that imaginations are inspired when given a tapestry of open air, hand-built tree houses, and plenty of things with which they can get dirty, hurt, and into mischief!
...that those big farm sprinklers are MUCH bigger than one ever imagined from the highway
...that crop cirlces are much bigger than you imagine from the airplane
...that 16 month olds can look the same age as 2+ year olds
...that Lukas would be more than thrilled to be in nursery right now
...that a chicken's head pops right off when held under the handle of a shovel while pulling on its legs
...that the eyes can still blink and the body can run around while no longer connected
...that dogs like the taste of chicken heads
...that severed chicken legs make fun toys when pulling on the tendons to make them "wave"
...that families are never too big or too busy to put another plate at the table, give someone a ride to church, or help another family learn about the Gospel
...that boys can be just as good -if not better- with little kids than girls, when given the opportunity
...that kids will choose to study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel on their own when encouraged in the right spirit and attitude
...that when a mom works from sun up til sun down, it's difficult to ever do anything other than what she asks
...that a grandmother can look amazingly young while jumping over fences & chasing chickens to catch for butchering
...that simple meals can not only feed armies but paint smiles on them too
...that every family has its own smell :)
...that canning chicken, dehydrating carrots, and cleaning up kitchens all offer amazing opportunities to exchange ideas about life's triumphs and worries
...that Benadryl keeps my child up high as a kite all night
...that my baby's fascinated by lightning and thunder and can now say them
...that one can find reasons to be grateful for being kept up til 4:45am
...that God paints sunsets the same everywhere- but you can just see it longer and better on a farm
...that everybody needs someone to talk to
...that some people are really good at helping others in a pinch
...that kids are really capable of a lot when we let them investigate and explore life around them without always gasping
...that one can freak out on the inside and recover before your child ever knows it
...that even when a kid calls green tomatoes apples and eat them, they still taste like green tomatoes!
...that the influence of grandparents can be felt over 3 generations through
...that a soft kind voice will ALWAYS get more respect from kids than the alternative
...that everyone has their load to carry and that they choose every day how to face it
...that marriage isn't all about romance and getting what you think you deserve like in the movies, but about both of you loving your part of the deal and doing it happily, and just doing it without waiting for the pats on the back makes for a productive and happy, hard working home :) Sure -some jobs stink, but at least we can be grateful for having a job to do. I think of this when smelly diaper wafts across my nose. I'm grateful that there is a little person whose diaper I get to change! I'm grateful I have food, for which I have to wash dishes. I'm grateful for a home, which I have to clean. Not sayin' I ALways feel this way, but the attitude switch has helped immensely!

Circus Heritage

Grandma Kay was a circus lady.

Snake handler and contortionist to be exact.

So maybe this whole circus craze just runs in the family, eh?

Future as a clown? Unicycler? Only time will tell. For now we'll just enjoy that contagious laugh!

Airplanes & Babies


15 THings I've learned about little babies on airplanes:
1. Balloons are a VERY smart thing to pack in the diaper bag. Just blow them up whenever you need a ball, a balloon, or a deflating air-in-your-face-blower!
2. The pacifier is like baby's security blanket. Lukas was NOT giving his up for the world on take off
3. You can feel good about chasing a kid all around a terminal knowing that you are giving other passengers free entertainment with their flight!
4. Trust in the TSA system that nobody slips bombs into your luggage while it sits and point A as you follow running-pantz to points B, C, and D.
5. The little planes are awesome because you have to walk out onto the tarmac to get on, thereby increasing the entertainment factor for your little sweetpea!
6. Little planes also means putting your "carry on" onto a cart while on the tarmac because NObody's bags will fit into those briefcase sized compartments. I think they're just there for your jacket.
7. The air hole that blows at you in your seat is fascinating
8. The "Bim Bom" of the seatbelt symbol flashing on and off is super fun to imitate
9. If you bring the carseat (for me, just for restraining purposes for my running man) he will more likely kick back and sleep- only if he does this in the car though)
10. You can also use the seat to restrain your screaming mimi inside the terminal when it's time to eat and you don't want to play scooper-upper as your child runs this way and that with string cheese a 'flyin' in the wind.
11. Since you're not on a car, you can jack the carseat back a little more bed-like so that baby can sleep better.
12. If he decides that kicking the seat in front of him is super fun, then put something up under his legs to make them just too far away from the seat (Whew!)
13. A Moby wrap can double as a blanket on the freezing cold airplane, and is the only way to get munchkin through security (didn't have to unwrap him!) and onto the plane with ease.
14. You really always need lots of snacks. Some cool new ones help.
15. Never underestimate the fun of looking out the window! We saw the most aMAzing sunset on the horizon and was glad I could share that little moment with my son!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lukas in Pig Heaven



See a resemblance?




Men at Work:

Ben would catch them. Lukas would squeal with laughter. "Katze, Katze, Katze!"



This was sweet! Lukas was up on the table while Jana was trying out her camera. Lukas kept holding out his arms to me to hug him.