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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pepper your Jack

I bought "Mexican Style" cheese on Friday and was all jazzed to throw it on some Jess-Mex food that night when I opened it and discovered what looked like mold on most of the cheese-- really. All over.

The other bag too. WHAAAA?? NASTY!

Then today, as I took another look at the dotted, and then the cheese description, I saw that it was probably just the pepper in the jack cheese.  Duh. Shoulda seen that.

And that got me to thinking...
I wonder how many times when we see something in a person that we think is moldy, it's actually just their spice? And they probably have no intention of molding your meal, but sometimes we assume the worst intentions,...and you know how assumptions go...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just trying to keep your Head Above Water

2nd Annual Family Day

 Celebrating our eternal family by visiting the temple where we had a sealing ceremony where a man of God says we can be together for time and all eternity if we keep the commandments and always try to do His will. Talk about motivation to be good, huh? This was done when Lukas was around 8 months old, when his adoption was finally official.

 We walked all around the beautiful temple grounds, looking for deer & turkeys, and remembering our special day. Mostly we just wanted to spend the day together.

 Looking for the birds we hear chirping in the trees.
 Sweet moments.
 A tender mercy for a two year old on a visual deer hunt on a cold drizzly day.
After we had raisins and pretzels on the curb, Lukas decided to keep going.
We hiked up the hill at the front entrance to the temple, up to the green space up there with park benches where we looked through the pictures in his book from his sealing day and had some treats together.  Then we were off to Apple Hill to spend the rest of the afternoon together.
 The weather there was absolutely gorgeous! Such a change up in the mountains- to sunny warmth and blue skies! Lukas was more than a little thrilled to finally get to ride the ponies at Apple Hill!
 Waiting for his turn.
 A teeny bit nervous.
 Giddy Up Little Cowboy!

 "Ohne Mama! Alleine!"
 And then all by himself! There he goes!

 "Thanks Valentine for the ride!"

 This picture of Jared and Lukas says just about everything about the kind of relationship they have. I think tt's my favorite one of the whole day.
Rule 4 of the sign above explains the picture below. But I love the hand in the pocket!

After feeding the fish and watching others cast their lines, we made our way to Jessi's favorite part of Apple Hill- the little fudge shop just behind the ponies with free samples and a cute playground. Happiness for all on family day. It's a great day to be a Loehrmann!

 I find these pictures so darling. Lukas' first solo purchase. He selected the apple, paid the dollar and got the change all by himself. Then we found a booth to sit in with an old grandma and grandpa there in the store to enjoy his "Apfel Treat" and an apple donut to boot.

Lukas' first encounter with Santa this year. He was so thrilled to have that
candy cane and savored it in all it's red and white striped glory on the way home.
He was one sticky, but very happy little boy.
Since then, he has sat on Santa's lap at WalMart and a church party, and associates Santa with
getting a candy cane, since that has been the case every time without fail.
He calls them all "lustige Santa" and thinks it's so cool that people will dress up like Santa to
make little kids happy, and to help us remember to make others happy just like Jesus does.
And knowing he isn't "real" ruins nothing of the excitement that he feels to see him and get that candy cane. And the best part? We get all the kisses and thank yous for those Christmas presents this year!

"Because nothing says classic like Christmas" 93.7

According to Lukas: The holy family, wisemen and shepherds on their way to Bethlehem.

2nd official Forever Family Day

2 years ago on this day we were sealed together as a family in the Sacramento Temple, and beginning last year we instituted an official "Forever Family Day" to be together and remember it.
So if we keep trying to keep the commandments, and be nice to each other, "We can be to-ge-ther For-ever someday!"

We had a pancake breakfast together, loaded in the car to drive to the temple. Lukas rocked out to his favorite German tunes on the way there and wanted to see the turkeys and deer first thing. Priorities people! So off we went to the fountain- of course, then around the temple grounds towards the back, quietly walking (reverence? Or just quietly looking for deer? Either way, neither reason meant Lukas was quiet, but we did look for wildlife, and we did talk about going to the temple and wearing white and being on Ixchelle's lap, and how all the grandparents and uncles were there, and the aunts Amy, and the cousins, the case worker, some ward members- who are almost all not in the ward anymore!!- and Lukas' birthmom and her family. And how it was such a special happy day.

The weather was really overcast and drizzly, so we were bundled up and took a pretty long walk, dooown that road behind the temple where nobody ever drives. And to our surprise we DID see deer AND turkeys, and I felt like it was God's way of smiling at us for our son's sake :) We hiked up the entrance hill and read through Lukas' "sealing book" on a park bench, eating snacks, before heading to the car and driving up to APPLE HILL for some good ol fashioned fun!

Lukas passed out along the way, in arms-behind-the-head fashion, so we ate lunch at the usual stop. (Boa Vista Farm has the most amazing tri-tip sandwiches!) and dined in front of the car while he slept. Yay for family day slash date all in one!

Once at High Hill Ranch, We went straight to the apple cider "sample" house where you can watch all the apples getting smooshed into juice while Lukas discovered the joy of a tri-tip sandwich. When he found out what it was he exclaimed, "Ich mag steak!" (of course you do honey. We all do.) Normally an apple juice FREAK, our little boy lost all interest in the stuff in lieu of the forthcoming ponyride. He's been to this place every year of his life and this was the first time he was big enough to go. He beamed with pride on that little pony named "Valentine" and even wanted to ride with nobody next to him. He made a couple of quiet "Yee-haws" and rocked himself forward to urge that little steed on. So comical to watch, and of course we stood there grinning from ear to ear like a couple of goofs, watching our little cowboy go.

The fishing pond was full of lots of quiet little moments where Lukas would just lean on one of our arms watching the ducks, the fish and the people casting again and again. The sky there was blue and the sun warmed us in and out. We should head for the mountains more often to escape the dreary air that gets trapped in our part of town.

We found a huge bin of pink lady apples and Lukas was excited to pay for it all by himself. Then we sat at a booth with an older couple from town eating a few apple donuts to celebrate the day. To top it all off, some guy dressed like Santa was there for people to take pics of their kids, and although apprehensive Lukas was happy to have a candy cane to put in his pocket, and held the thing (while in his breast pocket-image that) the whole way to the car where he sucked and slobbered on his little red & white striped cane of pure sugar. He never had it so good- no not ever.

We feel so blessed to have this little person in our family, and are continually amazed by his inner peace, his little singing voice, his hugs for others, his want for affection, his compliments (last night at THanksgiving 3.0 he said "mama, hast du has gekocht?" (ja) "Mama hast du das gekauft?" (ja) Gut gemacht mama! Gib mir ein high five!") his ability to talk and express his feelings, and most of all his love for family and for Jesus. He will often pile on top of us or inbetween us when we hug and say "Sandwich!!" or "faMIIIIILia"  He feels most secure it seems where we are all together. His dad is his hero, and they connect over books and soccer. Lukas was recently telling me, "No mom, that's not a drop kick, it's a lob kick", and went on to show me his Heel trick and volley kick that he's learned from dad.  We learn so much from each other and are really grateful for each other, and to be in each other's life.

Happy Forever Family Day!

Urban Playground

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Welcome Home Justin!

We are glad Justin's back from Iraq via Saudi Arabia. His being gone has helped my child recognize 2 other countries on a map. (That's ALSO what they mean when they say 'Thank you for your service', don't ya know??) Glad he can be with his family again. I know they've missed him very much. Pretty sure he's Payton's hero. Loved reading the signs they worked so hard on. I wanted this in our family book for posterity:

1st Advent Sunday

Friday, November 25, 2011

Twas a month before Christmas...

Our finished result: Christmas Glowing in our living room! YAY!

Twas a month before Christmas,
and under the tree,
crawled two little elves,
to find where the light switch could be!

Then once they were out,
Oh the trumpets they played.
They mostly made spit,
but had a really fun day.

The tree we adorned with tree with treasures near and far,
...the angels and lights, ribbons and a star.

When three little elves came across three little hats,
We took a quick picture just like that.

All nestled in on his Papili's lap,
This little elf enjoyed this snack after nap.

To top it all off before we turned off the light,
we placed candles in the Advents Kranz tonight.
Then to the bath time, scripture time and pony ride down the hall,
We're ready for Christmas to come to us all!

Apartment Re-do & DIY Project

So when it pours down rain on Thanksgiving and there's no Turkey Bowl, how do you help your husband have the same awkward aches gotten usually by playing football? By moving furniture all over the house of course!

As I did laundry... on Thanksgiving,... because, while a holiday, potty training children don't adhere to the social norms of any holiday, the house slowly transformed each time I walked back into the house from loading or emptying washers/dryers.  Those who've been to our house before will be shocked for sure. Luckily, we've never unpacked about 20 Xerox boxes of books since moving in July, so there wasn't much to unpack from these shelves, but still. I'm really happy about the DIY bulletin board, made literally in about 20 minutes: (Ugly bulletin board + black spray paint + glue sticks + scrapbook paper) By the end, it all looked like this and I just love the homey feeling in our apartment !!