A Cell Model

1374720568539Glow stick parties are a favorite of ours. We create all sorts of crazy things, experiment like crazy, and always listen to Daft Punk. In preparation for fireworks on Pioneer’s Day, we had an awesome glow stick party, where even the girls were creating costumes. 1374721147708

At this party, I made a model of an animal cell out of glow sticks. I am calling it the nerdiest thing I have ever done. As you can see, there is a cell wall, and a nucleus within the cell. Inside the nucleus is a double helix, or what I consider to represent the DNA. In the next picture, you can actually see the cell dividing.

Cheese Tomato Pies

cheese tomato piesOr mini pizzas, as we called them growing up. This was one of our favorite dishes as kids, and it’s simple enough that my mom actually taught me how to make them before I left home. I haven’t made them for the longest time, but was reminded of them while talking to my brother on the phone the other day. I decided they would make a great dish for lunch, as that is the most difficult meal for me to plan. The reaction when I placed these in front of my daughters was absolute awe and joy that I had made them something so delicious looking. Of course they tasted good, too, and brought back a lot of wonderful memories for me.

Cheese Tomato Pies


  • 2 C flour
  • 2 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Pizza Seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry blender to incorporate butter. Add milk and use hands to bring dough together. Now you have biscuit dough.
  3. Separate dough into 9-12 balls. Place all on the cookie sheet. Flatten each ball and shape into a mini pie crust, pushing the edge up so the filling will not leak out.
  4. Cook crusts for 5 minutes in the oven.
  5. Remove crusts from the oven. Reduce temperature to 350°F. Flatten middle of crusts with a spoon if necessary.
  6. Spoon cottage cheese into the middle of each crust. Add a spoonful of tomato sauce on top of the cottage cheese, avoid the crust. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and add a pinch of parsley, oregano and pizza seasoning to each.
  7. Cook pies for 20-25 minutes, or until crusts are browned on the edges.

Complimentary Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was courtesy of our chickens and our garden.

Our Buff Orpington started laying this last week.

We gathered six tiny eggs from her, and decided that might be enough to feed all of us, so we cooked them up this morning.

Then we got our first Hamson tomato, and diced it to add to the eggs. I scrambled the eggs, added a little salt and pepper, and then added the tomatoes. The juice from the tomatoes made the eggs cook for longer, but, also, kept them moist.

The scrambled eggs with tomatoes were delicious. We ate every bit of it.

Sweet Pea Tomato Plant

Sweet Pea TomatoesIf you recall, back in May, I wrote a post about the ten different kinds of tomatoes plants that we planted this year. I was very worried that I would get overwhelmed by so many plants, but so far by pruning and trailing them, they haven’t gotten out of hand, and I have a lot of green tomatoes waiting to ripen up.

The first tomatoes to ripen come from my Sweet Pea. So many people get confused when I talk about this plant. It is not a pea plant; it is a tomato plant that produces tomatoes the size of a pea. The plant is very bushy, having seven main stems, even with excessive pruning. I prune this plant the most out of all my tomato plants. The plant is only about two feet tall. I have not pinched off the top yet, so I am curious to see if it will get any taller, but to already be focusing its energy on ripening tomatoes, I don’t think it will grow much taller.IMAG0700

I planted this in a pot, which might contribute to its small size, but it has thrived in the confined space, and remained movable if needed. As more and more fruit has grown, it has become necessary to support some of the main stems with bamboo rods. The tomatoes are fun to snack on and the go very well in a salad.

My Mini Rose Bush

IMAG0694I have loved mini rose bushes since I was a little girl. My mom has two of them in her yard. Last year I bought two of them, and never managed to put them in the ground. They died over the winter. So, this year, I saw a mini rose bush on Pro Flowers.com, and strongly hinted to Michael that I would love to have one. It was delivered just in time for Mother’s Day, and I actually kept it alive this time. I planted it in my front yard, too late to see all the beautiful blooms, I thought. Today, while inspecting my garden, I discovered a beautiful tiny rose on it! I am so happy that it is thriving, and I can’t wait to see it grow over the years, and watch the tiny roses every year.

You Know You’re a Mom When… #1

IMG_20130707_182640Yup, that is the back of my smart phone. I take many of the pictures on this blog with it. Today, I was making dinner, and heard Lizzy saying something about my phone. So, I went into the living room, and found Leah coloring on the back of my phone. I haven’t tried to clean it off yet, and I’m almost inclined to just leave it. It’s kind of a cute case, specially designed by my Leah baby.

Why is Red Cabbage Called Red Cabbage?

IMAG0697This is a totally awesome answer. Red cabbage is known for its ability to indicate different pH levels. My sister-in-law and I discovered this while naturally dying Easter eggs, and my sister did an elementary school science fair project about it, and won! Basically it comes down to this, red cabbage, when in an alkaline (basic) solution turns blue, but when it is in an acidic solution, it turns purple and can even go as far as red.

Different soils have different pH levels. It’s why we planted our blue berries in a pot with only Mel’s Mix, which is more acidic than alkaline, while our native soil is very alkaline and would have produced terrible blue berries. The different soils around the world, and their pH levels, effect the color a red cabbage grows. In very acidic soil, a red cabbage is actually red; in neutral soil, a red cabbage is purple, and in alkaline soil, a red cabbage can go as far as turning green.

Red Cabbage

IMAG0698My red cabbage is finally ready to pick. I planted it as a start all the way back at the beginning of April. It survived frost after frost and heat wave after heat wave (yeah, that’s Utah for you), and now I finally get to devour it. This was probably the easiest thing I’ve ever grown. It’s taken such a long time to grow that I’ve never had to worry about it going to seed, and I just watered it everyday to get it to grow. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to cook with it, possibly a coleslaw, but I’ll be scouring Pinterest to find exactly what I want.

Eggplant Blossoms

IMAG0707I am not a fan of eggplant. I have tried many times to find a recipe that I like it in, and every time I receive the confirmation that I do not like eggplant. Even still, I planted it in my garden this year. I have heard and read many times that it is a beautiful plant, so when given two for free, I decided that at the very least, I would get the joy of seeing what an eggplant plant looks like. Today, while inspecting my garden, I was graced with the beauty of the eggplant blossoms. They are the most beautiful purple color I have ever seen, and it’s almost a shame that they will eventually turn into eggplants, but hopefully I will be able to find a recipe that I like or someone that will take them all off my hands.

Teaching Sharing

IMAG0686Sharing is a complex idea for kids to grasp. They actually have to think beyond themselves, and accept parting with something they might hold dear, at least for the moment. We didn’t really get serious about teaching sharing until our church nursery had a lesson about sharing. Lizzy came home with a new tool in her arsenal. Rather than being the one to give up something, she began insisting that everyone must share with her. It was a bit of a face-palm parenting moment.

IMAG0689So, we began the slow process of teaching sharing. Toys are the obvious things for kids to share, but we, also, insist on sharing food and time doing a certain activity. As the parents, Michael and I have to ask nicely and coach the girls through the action of sharing. It can be aggravating when they aren’t willing to listen, but when they actually follow our directions, they get lots of praise and a serene moment with friends.

We usually can tell that we have a moment to teach when a fight breaks out over toys. We ask the child that wants the toy to ask nicely for it, which sometimes means telling them exactly what to say. And then we instruct the child with the toy that it’s time to share, which means it’s the other person’s turn, and it will be their turn again in a little bit. This doesn’t always work, and sometimes ends in time outs, but when the kids aren’t being obstinate, they practice the process of sharing. We’re hoping that after enough times practicing this skill, that it will become second nature.