Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hightower home lately

Well, here we are in week 3 of the semester and I think we are finally getting a feel for what the next few months are going to be like.

I would really like to get this off my chest because I think it will make me feel better. When I first decided to take this schooling thing on (again) Ryan and I came to an agreement that in order to succeed at school we were going to have to let a few things go. The main one being a clean home. With a 10 month old BUSY child who feels it necessary to empty all drawers, baskets, and shelves, there was just no way we could keep up with her and still have any time for, well, anything. That has in fact happened and our place is a complete disaster 95% of the time. Even when we make an effort to put something away it is usually just so that Kaylee has something new to re empty. To anyone out there who comes to visit us, please do not judge! Under different circumstances we normally keep a reasonably clean atmosphere. I haven't had a ton of visitors thankfully (and I try to straighten a bit for expected ones) but I am always so embarrassed when people show up. I think I should hang a sign on the door that says it didn't used to be like this :) It's actually fairly stressful to live like this because it eats at me to walk in the kitchen and not see counters haha. It also makes it harder to make a lunch or dinner when there is hardly room to work with. I've also noticed that messiness compounds itself. Once the place is a mess then no one (including myself) feels bad about just adding to it.

The plan was always that we would dedicate Saturdays to laundry and cleaning. We did ok the first Saturday but after a long week of working hard it doesn't sound all that appealing to slave the entire day with cleaning supplies and laundry folding! Sometimes you just want to get out and play! So add overflowing laundry baskets and unfolded laundry piles to my disaster zone!

We sort of have a system for dinner though. In the mornings after I work out I throw food in the crock pot and throw together a lunch to take to school while I get ready. When I get home I set the table and make sides. Ryan is then in charge of clean up while I run off to do homework (we don't always execute perfectly but it's still the usual plan.)

Ryan really has taken on a lot and I am grateful to him. It's not like his classes are any easier than mine and yet he still takes care of Kaylee and (usually) gets his work (paid and school) done with little to no complaint.

With Ryan constantly on his lap top (usually at the kitchen table) and me on this computer in the bedroom we found ourselves living on two separate islands so Ryan decided he wanted a small desk that he could put in our room so he and I could at least be working in the same room. We were visiting my mom one evening and I saw my sisters old desk sitting there with no one to use it. She let us borrow it and it fit perfectly into his corner.

cool huh?

Things are wild and I can't wait for us to be done but I think I will be able to look back and be grateful for this time in my life.

Note: We graduate exactly 1 week apart from each other and we are considering taking a trip somewhere to celebrate that joyous day. we've even considered taking our trip to Florida so he can actually walk at his graduation but we'll see.

What I'm learning: Tomorrow in foods we are making corn bread, broccoli salad, and soup. I'll let you know if the recipes are good. I have to start a business in one of my classes and my group is really leaning towards a dating service here at BYU but I will probably explain more once we've ironed out the details. In my finance class I really appreciated some of the links we were given today. You may want to look at them here (the first two links are lists of helpful stuff)

off to bed...

Friday, September 11, 2009

random life

All of this is from facebook so some of you may have already seen all this... I do this for the benefit of those without facebook :)

Here are some happy Kaylee pictures to make you happy...

My Lil Cougar!

I took this picture to pass the time in American Heritage. This is a really evil class that most people take as a freshman or sophomore. I put it off and now I have to take a class where my TA assumes I'm a freshman. I saw a boy going into this class who was in the young mens when I was a LEADER over young womens! NICE...

I found this cute decorating sticker set that fit with Kaylee's room so I put it up the other day. I'm in love with it! It looks even better in person.

"Once upon a time there was a princess..."

MMM cookies

This is the picture I took in my foods class today... My favorites were the pineapple muffins, the raspberry muffins and... THE CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL BEAN COOKIES! I made the cookies in my group and they happened to be my favorite. The best part is they are less fat than your average cookie. SCORE!

In case you are interested here is how it is done...

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and BEAN Cookies

These cookies have a low-fat secret. They’re full of beans! This recipe has been adapted from Idaho State University researchers in Pocatello. This recipe replaces 75 percent of the butter with beans and applesauce to create cookies with fewer calories and fat.

1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
¾ cup drained and rinsed great Northern white beans
¼ cup applesauce
1 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. butter extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cup milk chocolate chips

Decorative Piping
½ cup milk chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 375ยบ.
2. Lightly coat 4 baking sheets with cooking spray. You will have to borrow cookie sheets and jelly roll pans from one of the kitchens doing muffins. Remember to return the pans to the correct kitchen.
3. In blender, process oats until finely ground but not powdery. Pour the oats into a separate bowl and combine with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In the blender, puree the beans, ¼ cup applesauce, 1 Tbsp. water, eggs, vanilla and butter extract.
5. In your KitchenAid mixer, cream the sugar, butter, and the above pureed mixture (scrape out your blender thoroughly) and beat well.
6. With mixer on low speed, mix in the oat and flour mixture.
7. Gradually stir in the milk chocolate chips.
8. Using the small spring-loaded cookie scoop, drop dough by spoonfuls on prepared cookie sheets. Using a wet hand, press the dough to the thickness of the chocolate chips.
9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
10. Cool slightly before putting on cooling rack. You may need to put the cookies in the freezer in the dispensary so that they will cool on time.

Decorative Piping
11. After the cookies are completely cooled, gradually melt the ½ cup milk chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals in a FREEZER zip-lock bag. The chocolate chips should NOT become warm – only to the warmth of your hand – a total of 1 minute should do it. Massage the chip with your hands between the 30 second intervals.
12. Snip a SMALL corner off (toothpick size) and pipe the melted chocolate in a zig-zag pattern on the tops of the cooled cookies. Place the decorated cookies in a cold place for the chocolate to set.