Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Red Elk Burritos

Sorry I don't have a picture! We ate them all before I thought about it!

Red Elk Burritos
1 lb. ground elk meat
About 1/4 C. flour
About 1/4 C. shortening/lard/oil
1 large can red enchilada sauce (we like the La Victoria or Macayos brand)
2 1/2 C. of shredded cheddar cheese

Brown elk meat.  Next, we're going to act like we're making a gravy (over medium heat).  Add some shortening/lard/oil to the pan so that making a roux will be possible. Add a little flour at a time until you reach a roux consistency (you want the roux to still be very oily, not very floury). After your roux caramelizes, add the can of enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese.  Stir until thickened.  Serve in tortillas

Thursday, October 2, 2014


 The kids and I visited a local fire station for a preschool field trip.  Buddy  was in HEAVEN! He was literally bouncing off the walls.  The firemen at the station were commenting, "Now there is a future fire fighter!" because he just couldn't contain himself.

Ten loved it, too! She got to participate right alongside the "big" (bigger than her) kids.

The fire fighter that gave us the tour was so great with the kids and super patient.  Buddy was the only one who got to wear her fire hat.  He said it was "real heavy!" But, it made for such a cute picture.  It's my favorite of the whole outing!

Thank you to all the men and women who serve as fire fighters, police officers, ambulance drivers/paramedics, and...let's not forget the military!

The Big City Backwoods Family loves you ALL!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Navigating the System, Talk like a Pirate Day, and Picture Day!

What I have been up to lately...let me begin: 

First, it has become a concern that Buddy may need a little extra help with his speech.  When I ask him to say one word, he can repeat it beautifully, but when he says a whole sentence, it is not understandable to strangers and the Favorite sometimes has a rough time understanding it, too! 

So, on September 3rd I got him tested through the public schools pre-screening.  He failed the speech area.  Not because of his individual words, but because of the pronunciation of sentences.  So...they scheduled another test 3 weeks later. 

So, on September 23rd we had another appointment. This one was the real screening.  It was longer. More focused and more 1-on-1 with Buddy and the testing staff.  When it was over, I expected to know if Buddy qualified for the local preschool program, but they were super vague. 

They scheduled an IEP meeting for October 13th, but left me with absolutely no indication of whether he got into their program or not or whether or not he passed or failed their tests.  

So frustrating! 

Other than that, on September 19th (International Talk Like a Pirate Day) we plundered Krispy Kreme and got 4 dozen free DELICIOUS doughnuts! YUM! Here's some picture proof! 

Somehow, taking professional quality pictures of my kids does not happen as often as it should. It's so sad.  Not sure how it happens since I am a photographer...I guess between all of my hobbies and responsibilities, my family's pictures end up taking a back seat.  Here they are! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Puppy Overload--What else were you expecting?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Camping in May

Back in May, before our lives got out-of-control busy.  We went camping with my in-laws. It was so fun. We camped at the Rainbow Campgrounds at Big Lake, AZ. It got pretty cold at times (especially at night) and my in-laws have apparently been using this trick to keep warm for years! It is amazing! Why didn't I know about this sooner! While sitting around the campfire, you can set up some reflex (or you could use something similar to one of those cheapy car windshield shades) behind you...and stay SO WARM! If it's really bad, you can set it up so you have one behind you and one above you as a roof.  Seriously amazing.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A dog house story-continued.

The Dog Mansion is nearing completion. YAY! (But, I wish it was already done.) 
Not too much more to go! The walls have been lined with sheet metal.  It has paint and insulation and and and. So many things it's hard to list.  Soon...soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the progress pictures. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Up, Up, and Away!

Remember the niece that I made the Rock-a-Bye Baby Crib Quilt for? Well...she was born really early and is currently in the NICU until she grows strong enough to go home with her parents.  She is a tiny little thing.  Born at 1 lb. 2 oz.  and 11 inches long, she is the smallest baby I have ever seen, but she's cute (of course.) 
Little E holding her mom's finger.

So, in our free time her mom (who is living with us) and I worked on an UP QUILT for little baby E. I first designed a doll house pattern (20"x20") that would work as the house.  While I sewed that, my sis-in-law, S, sewed some of the yo-yos. I will explain in detail below what we did. 
Pixar Quilt
Up Baby Quilt

Pixar Quilt
Up Quilt

1. I pieced the doll house pattern that was found on Craftsy but has since been removed (by me). Please email me at for more details about the pattern. But, just make sure that you use the sky fabric for the bottom pieces that are the "grass" pieces on the pattern. 

2. Next, cut 2 fabric strips 3.5" x 20.5" from your sky fabric and sew to the right and let sides of the house using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

4. Cut a piece of sky fabric 24.5" x 26.5" attach to the top of your house section.

5.  Cut borders.  I decided on a 1" border (brown) and a 4" border (yellow), so when I cut my strips here are the dimensions that I used.

        Brown 1" borders: 1.5" x 44.5" (cut 2) (sew these length strips on 1st)
                                     1.5" x 28.5" (cut 2) (sew these width strips on 2nd)

        Yellow 4" borders: 4.5" x 46.5" (cut 2) (sew these length strips on 1st)
                                      4.5" x 36.5" (cut 2) (sew these width strips on 2nd)

The finished quilt top will measure 36.5" x 54.5". 

To finish the quilt, I tried using SPRAY BASTE For the first time. And...I LOVED IT! 
(Link to the kind I used at the bottom of this post.)

I used the free motion quilting feature of my machine for the sky and stitch-in-the-ditch for the house and the borders.

I did my binding before I attached the yo-yos.  

For the yo-yos I used a variety of colors (but mostly tried to stay with bright colors.)  This was a GREAT scrap buster project.

I used Clover Yo-Yo Makers to make the yo-yos in the 30mm, 45mm, and 60mm sizes.

I then tacked each yo-yo in place (after I laid all of them out to make sure I had them placed just where I wanted them.)

I sewed 1/8" satin ribbon on for the strings. And used fray check to finish the ends! 

While I took pictures of the quilt, my kids enjoyed playing with the Favorite at the playground. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

MIA on my blog/Get that sock off his back!'ve missed me! Admit it!

So...what have I been up to this whole time you ask!?!?!

Let me sum up (in no specific order):

I turned 28!  
Make a wish!
The Favorite woke up early to make me breakfast burritos. He cooked me brats on the grill. and the kids had special pictures they had colored a couple days previous!  The Favorite gave me some Bass Pro gift cards that we get from our credit card points (very coveted items at our house---so this was huge for him to give to me instead of keep for himself). And then, Buddy and the Favorite made me Pineapple cupcakes! YUM!

I was visited by a friend...who also brought me cupcakes...but these were all different flavors. Yum! 

A couple days later 3 of my sisters made me a special lunch. 

I have taken a short break from paper piecing.  I worked a little on it tonight, but sometimes you just got to take a short hiatus and then return later.  It was starting to become too much of a good thing if you know what I mean.  I have had quite a bit of business making ties and pacifier clips in the meantime anyways!

Here's what I've done that you haven't seen yet! George! (Available here!)

We celebrated Easter! 

We celebrated on Friday and Saturday and saved actual Easter Sunday to remember Jesus Christ and not think about the Easter Bunny.  I like it that way! 

Buddy hardly took off these goggles for a couple weeks.  Then the strap finally broke and it was a sad day at our house. 

 Photo: Fun Easter evening tonight! Beau has pretty much worn the goggles the Easter bunny brought him since Saturday morning when he got them.  I love these kiddos!

I got more serious about Family History Work. 

Now don't get me wrong.  I have NO CLUE what I'm doing.  But, I'm learning. 

I have been working with my dad who is working with my uncle and I have been given an ASSIGNMENT which is fantastic, because it's something I know how to do! Yay! 

And the myth that "Aunt Mary already did all my family's work" is just that....a myth. Surprisingly! 

*Aunt Mary...this is in no way directed at you! lol (yes I actually have an Aunt Mary). 

I've been doing a lot of other things as well.

-Priming the dog mansion. 
-Getting over being sick (yes...I was sick again). 
-Nursing the Favorite when he had his "man cold." (He's a big baby when he's sick). 


I joined a gym.  I got a great deal (Groupon) and bit the bullet.  I have grown to love running, but I need to change up my routine.  

So far, I have tried Zumba, Cycling, and lifting weights for my arms. 

I loved the Zumba and Cycling.  The weight lifting....I felt like I looked like an idiot.  I had to read the instructions on every machine.  And I just walked around the gym like a lost little puppy. 

Oh well! Tomorrow I have personal training, and I'm going to ask about weight lifting! Maybe I won't stick out like a sore thumb anymore after tomorrow?!?! 

Here's a little comedy to help you picture how I felt at the gym. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The never ending project...a dog MANSION story

My life lately has felt a bit lonely! The dog house is taking a lot of my husband's attention and I will be SO HAPPY when this thing is finished for multiple reasons. 

1) I will get my husband back. 
2) I will get my side of the yard back. 
3) The dogs will have air conditioning and will have no need to come in the house this summer (our weather is too hot to let them stay outside during the hot summer months.) 
4) Because this dog mansion will have 3 dog doors and the ability to section each area off, we will be able to use it when puppies are born as well. (Read: no puppy poop in my house! YAY! And no small children poking puppies.) 

The Favorite originally had plans to build with wood, sheetrock, etc. (like our house.)  But, a friend taught him how to lay block and the project transformed. 

The walls were finally up! Working on the stucco in this picture! 

Stucco work!
Cinder block does not have a very high R value (meaning it's not very insulated.)  Running an air conditioner into our Dog Mansion would not be very efficient (read: would cost a lot more $$) without additional insulation.  So, the Favorite decided to add more insulation and OSB to the inside! Stay tuned! He's not done with that wall yet. More dog proofing to come.

The inside so far. Lights and outlets in. Insulation and OSB up on one side.

He has installed outlets and a light inside the Dog Mansion for future use.  Checking on puppies in the dark might be a little hard without a light. And if he needs a heat lamp for the puppies, the outlets will come in handy.

The roof is now insulated with fiberglass insulation and is just lacking some shingles! 

He's had LOTS and LOTS of help from 2 very small workers. It's been really handy (just ask him) lol.
The roof is ON! Just needs shingles! 

So many "helpers"

Anchoring the boards/insulation to the cinder block wall.

Don't forget your eye protection!
In the meantime, I have embroidered the Gila Valley Temple block AND created a pattern for the Gilbert Temple. Enjoy!
Gila Valley Temple

Gilbert Temple