Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Isaac went in for a 4 month check.  The results:  16 1/5 pounds and an ear infection.  Blast.

One of Benjamin’s papers from school has a place where he has to use the words and write a sentence:  I have a chunk of junk.

Addie is walking home with a friend to play at her house after school.  Yesterday she came in second during back handspring races at gymnastics.  

Stuart, at times, tells me his legs don’t work when I want him to come.  It’s his arms that are broken when it’s time to pray.      

I love the way Paige runs.  It’s an all out kid run with ‘straddle’y legs and flying hair and arms.  I’m going to take a picture of it. 

The chickens moved out of the garage to a sealed up coop.  They still have a light bulb for warmth but my girl, Lacy, is being ‘hen pecked’ on her neck. Truly, the teenage years are rough. 


I’ve been driving without a license.  Technically it was lost and then Target found it and called me…. I should have gone right over and picked it up but it was expired.  It expired on my birthday when I was oh, so, very pregnant.  When I sent James Mair to fetch it a week later, they didn’t have it.  Target, mailed it, to my address of five years ago.  I have six months from my birthday to renew without a fine.  My irresponsibility is surprising me.  What’s the deal?   

the picture, you were going to say the picture too, huh…  maybe I’ll go tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

At Seven, Benjamin Uses the Force…

to shake all presents before opening them,


to do his amazing coloring and stickering,


to blowing out seven candles,


and to rein in the storm troopers and their guns.


Can you believe he’s seven? Benjamin loves corndogs, spaghetti, m&ms, and hamburgers. He plays the Wii for 59 minutes a day and LOVES Stuart, Legos and of course Star Wars. And truthfully this party about killed me. Ten 6 & 7 year olds for dinner and shooting marshmallow guns—thank goodness for James Mair, the basement, chickens and a back yard. And apparently a couple of them have never seen a baby nursing which is such an adorable reaction. Enlightening not scarring right?

We always talk about inviting the amount of friends that you are turning. But this time I was talked into a few more. All the invitees were from Ben’s school class, I really thought some might not make it. But come on, if you got this invite, you’d go. I did a light sketch of R2D2 and Ben filled it in. He even made an extra one for me.

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How about this shooter?


Friday, March 25, 2011

Been blogging regularly for a couple of weeks, we're looking at …

double digits for March!

“Hey, Nora, What’s with the sudden devotion to blogging?”

A, record, a record I say. I like taking pictures of my kids but... I haven’t printed prints in years. I like remembering all of the acquaintances of lives past, through comments and inquiries... I might call you. My motivation comes from last December when I thought in my head: But, how can it be Christmas? Didn’t we just do Christmas? Here’s to prove that Christmas really has 12 months between each one. 12 months… And also to showcase what’s most important. If you’ve been popping in for a while now, you’d gather from various posts that pregnancy announcements, Halloween and my kitchen floor were the most important things to me. They are, but there’s more.

“But, Nora, you’re blog doesn’t have any kind of theme or niche. What's your angle?

I’ve got nothin’ for you except the occasional misspelled word and a liberal amount of punctuation, comma and semicolon being my favorite. Also, endless tales and tidbits of my many, many siblings, children and of course, my number one, James Mair. Some baby dinosaur for you? 004 006 007

squeezin’ out the oatmeal!

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This weekend Benjamin has this planned:



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownies

This recipe came from Tastes of Home  Quick Cooking MagazineJulie, gave me a subscription to the magazine right after we were married.  The magazines were great for a newlywed learning to make food for 2 instead of 10.  We both laughed about the amount of food we saw our moms cook (and we’d make the same to eat with our husbands) and the amount two people could (should) eat. 

These brownies are rich and meet ingredient criteria of chocolate, cream cheese and peanut butter. 

Lastly, could some one please name the condition where one is not able to leave anything 9x13, 8x8 or 9x9 alone when it comes out of the oven?  There will always be a missing corner and I have no shame.001


3 eggs

1cup butter or margarine melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk chocolate chips


2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, combine eggs, butter and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients; add to egg mixture and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Set aside 1 cup for topping.  Spread remaining batter into a greased 9x13 baking pan.  In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until smooth.  Add egg and milk, beating on low just until combined.  Carefully spread over batter.  Drop reserved batter by tablespoonfuls over filling.  Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack before cutting.  Refrigerate until serving.  Yield: 3 dozen.   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kristy’s Citrus Salad

My sister went to high school with Kristi and she’s a hilarious blogger. Her recipe blog is full of tried-it-liked-it-and-I'll-pass-it-on recipes.

1 package of baby greens (the big package of baby greens at Costco or a couple of heads of Romaine) really just a large bowl full of goodness
1/4 C chopped red onion

1/2 C chopped nuts (I like sliced almonds toasted)

1/3 C crumbled feta (or buy the brick and grate it)

2 tsp lemon zest

1 apple - peeled, cored and sliced

1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced

1/2 a can of mandarin oranges

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 t lemon zest

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbs. olive oil

salt to taste

Mix the dressing in a blender or magic bullet. Dress and toss the salad right before serving. Please dress, dress, dress it because with out the dressing it’s pelado rabbit food.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bitty and Baby

When I was searching for a new wood floor I would bring home samples. Oh, so many planks! My brother, Allen, even accused me of collecting enough to do the kitchen floor just in sample planks. Addie built this for the simple machines fair at school and she used Espresso Oak flooring, from the garage. She could really have built a whole Bitty playground.


Did I mention he’s a spitter?

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The activity day girls gave Isaac a bath last Friday. He was charming and content, even doing the ‘happy baby’ yoga pose. There was a distinct pull of innate nurturing that oozed out of the 7 girls (ages 10&11) all piled into my bathroom as they stripped, soaped, diapered, dressed and swaddled him. I can’t even put into words their reaction to the miracle of baby and getting to bath him. At times, I’m a little strung out by this babe and they reminded me what a joyous occasion a bath can be.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Isaac who keeps track of  his finger or both fists orally. 


Do you need some fat baby for your day?


I taught preschool for the last two weeks. 

“Hey Nora, I thought you retired?” 

This year I’m doing a co-op.  These girls are adorable and I’m done for the rest of the year!


Have you taken your chick for a ride lately?004

The Tightwad Gazette would be so proud.

Do you have a loaf of old bread?  One that will not get touch because your kids recoil when you mention: toast.  Never mind that it was the exclusive after school snack of your childhood…

Sandwiches a la cookie cutters.  Lunch using the bread that would otherwise go to waste. 

“I can really throw away the crust?” 

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Happy Birthday to most beloved Vanessa and a Happy St. Paddy’s to you all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Day Off

Beside speed, a high speed quad ski lift offers a chance to find out where people come from to ski at Deer Valley. Florida…Atlanta…New York, Robyn and I rode up with all of them today. And when asked where we were from and where we worked we told them…

“Well, Salt Lake City, and we left a bunch of little kids with my sister to come and do this”. We would all agree it was a nice ‘day off’.

However one gentleman did ask if we were going to be skiing tomorrow. "I wish,” I replied, “I could only get today off.” wink wink

“Oh really?” he quizzed, “I work in Draper, where do you work?”

“Oh..well..I have five kids…I left them today to come do this…”

“Oh cool, so where do you work?”


Paige’s Play Group


And about the skiing…It was! All worth the effort!

Blessed thanks to Donna who took on two 4 month old babies, and 3 other little ones, so we could go. She’s a fine wet nurse if you you’re lookin’.

Blessed thanks to Bevan, for sporting us the passes and a great set of skis. pssst, Monica, I borrowed your boots.

Blessed thanks to James Mair, for hanging back to send the big kids off to school, before he headed into work.

And blessed thanks to the Wasatch County Sheriff, who pulled me over going 29 in a school zone, and warned that it was a pretty expensive ticket and to just watch for it the next time I came through.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 3rd 2001

If it had just been a normal day…

text added

Faith in a resurrection and a life after this one is key to smiling, in this photo, on this day, every year.


We released some of the 10 balloons and celebrated with dinner at Chuck–a-rmma. Thanks Grandpa Chuck! An all you can eat buffet with kids is laughable: they got full and stopped eating! what-in-the-world? The fishy crackers from the salad bar was everyone’s favorite.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicks—and Cool

The kids played outside yesterday and today.  yea yea yea.  This great weather as made me aware of two things.  We need to fix some flat bike tires and the front flower beds looked better covered in snow.  But bring on spring and summer because sandals mean less socks in the laundry.  Another yea, yea, yea! 

My delightful neighbor Savannah is learning to play the guitar, under my tutelage.  My skills are rusty and my best stuff include camp songs and John Denver. Whenever I start a new student I search out fun, playable, more recent (this century) music to play.  Have you heard of Ingrid Michaelson?  Yes, I’m a little slow, she’s very 2008ish but her songs are delightful.  Do you play the guitar?  Is your capo    locatable?  (Mine was lost in my socks for years).  Do you have kids that think everything you do is boring?  So, play the song Everybody with these chords, include the funky clapping at the end, and sing loud!  Now you’re cool. 


The chicks played outside for the first time.  The red one is Addie’s replacement.  Her name is Ruby.    014 017

Benjamin’s friend that’s a girl, holding Ruby and carrying Nugget.


The beloved Bumbo that Isaac dislikes greatly, and a window in Benjamin’s mouth. 

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Isaac, at 4 months…

is ticklish and loves to be changed. 

has no eyebrows, but a million expressions using them.001

officially has a bedtime, 7 or 8 depending…

just started spitting up, drat.

loves to sleep with one of my shirts.


is hosting a horrible cold but smiles through the snot!


My favorite thing: while nursing he punches his cheek with a repeated flying fist.  Four months and he’s close to moving out of my bedroom.   Loving this baby Ike.   

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy Birthday Donna!

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Top Five Donna Facts

1)  She can telemark ski like nobody’s business.

2)  Her baby is ADORABLE!  Child of color she is.

3)  She likes country music.

4)  She as very blue [BYU] blood.

5)  She’ll have internet access this week and will be able to read this. 

Happy Birthday Sista! 

Marshmallow Krispie Bars--- A La Amazing

These bars come from the greatest dessert cookbook ever, The Favorite Brand  Name Bake Sale Cookbook.  What makes it so great?  THE PICTURES!  One giant full color shot  on every page.   The recipes are pretty good too.   Vanessa’s renter, once upon a time, lent her the book and they made these.  She showed the book to me on a visit and I copied this recipe and a few others down.  She then bought it for me for Christmas.  Thank You Vanessa!  The book even has gold leafing on the pages’ edges. 

1 package (19.8 ounces) Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix

1 package (10.5 ounces) miniature Marshmallows

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal

1.   Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease bottom of 13 X 9 inch pan. 

2.  Prepare and bake brownies following package directions for basic recipe.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle marshmallows on hot brownies.  Return to oven.  Bake for 3 minutes longer. 

3.  While brownies and marshmallows are cooling, place chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in medium saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted.  (I do this part in the microwave)  Add rice cereal: mix well.  Spread mixture over marshmallow layer.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Cut into bars. 


Monday, March 07, 2011

New year’s resolutions and an update

I asked around a bunch this year about resolutions and the response was polar!

“I don’t make ‘em because I don’t keep ‘em”


“Where’s the list…

Last year my resolutions were to acquire a new kitchen floor, and to blog faster. Burnt Sugar took me 9.5 months and faster blogging happened but so did neglect and abandonment! Forgiveness please?

This year’s resolutions: and just smile with closed lids that it’s March and I’m typing them down:

#1 Less of my yelling voice. So dumb but I’m trying.

#2 Post 25 recipes on the little ‘ole recipe tab of this blog.

#3 Do something with listening to music and my kids. I really haven’t figured this one out. Dust off my Dell DJ and plug it into something? CDs from the library? Join the rest of the world at itunes? I will report.

#4 Social Temple attendance. It might work. Again I’ll have to report.

#5 Keeping my car keys and my cell in the same small pocket of my purse. I figure I can save at least 5 hours from my life, not looking for them, in just one year. I’m going to put that time toward thinking about a new camera.

Some events to look forward to that could be considered resolutions, but aren’t really because they’ll happen anyway:

#1 Women of Steel triathlon the end of May. Vanessa mentioned it’s a wimpy tri but she probably missed the adj. in the title of the race.

#2 Lotoja 2011! I’m doing the relay version of the longest one day bike race in the nation with Robyn and the, not wimpy Vanessa.

#3 A trip to NYC some time in the fall. Have you been? Without the little guy even.

#4 A decision about countertops, apron sinks, large pricey rugs, media wall built-ins, a kitchen table, fabric window issues and basement lighting improvements. You know my timetable…unbearably long…so this really is not a resolution, just more of an annoying reminder that I debate and have intentions every.single. day.

Update Time

James Mair: is committed to keeping his job which in the next couple of months will require hours and hours of time. I’m all for the commitment because I like it that he has a job.

Addie is doing 100 back handsprings a day for a fudge bar. What will my kids not do for a fudge bar? Pick up their pajamas!

We got baby chicks! They grow before our very eyes but alas tragedy has already struck when Addie’s chick declined and then died, today. We ordered six knowing that death could happen so we'll be happy with five (what we had before) laying girls.


Isaac Scott has doubled in size. Not in lbs. but visually. Proof.


The girls have moved beds to sleep downstairs in the preschool room and the preschool is now mere piles for the DI, the garbage man, and the storage room. I’m ready to paint their old room and move the babe.... so I can sleep through the night.


We blessed Isaac Scott the first part of February! Such a fifth (6th) baby thing to do—not mentioning it till now. It was a joint blessing with the beautiful Anna Hawkins. A huge thanks to all family and friends who came to celebrate. It was so enjoyable.


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I’ve been eye level, then chest high and now knee deep in a decrapification of the basement. Mercy and send a dumpster. I’m almost done.