Tuesday, September 30, 2008


*This is his I'm gonna get it face. He makes it before he pounces on things which he loves to do. Usually it is the TV controller.
Today is Brandon's birthday which I feel like is more important to me than it is to him, but whatever. Maybe it is just that he feels like he is getting old and has to start growing up. I don't think he will ever grow up. . .which I happen to enjoy that young boyhood charm of his so I am happy about him not growing up. We celebrated on Sunday with the fam and I think Jackson was more interested in the cake than anyone else was. He was eyeing it all night. How does he know that it tastes good? I guess sugar leaves everyone in a trance, even babies. Just wait until it is his own cake and he can do what he wants with it.

He sure has that deer in headlights look down.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Jackson has so many expressions I thought I would share some recent FUNNY FACES!

This is his what are you doing? face

Dr. Evil face

I'm innocent face

When he is hungry he smacks his gums like an old man.

I want to crawl but I just can't get there.

Story of our lives, Brandon and I are tired and Jack is wide awake.

Free Cooking Classes

This week was so much fun. Jackson and I attended 2 free cooking classes. The first was a sister in Brandon's mom's ward that talked about whole grains. Now I don't believe everything she has to say. . . (like we should be pooping after every meal, that might be too much information but from a nutrition stand point I find it interesting). Anyways, she did have some great ideas on incorporating more grains into your diet which I know is a good thing. I left with some really great ideas and a few recipes. She is writing a cook book and wanted us to try them out. Now I am not a chef but I have written a cook book before (actually 2) and I know it is not easy. However, there were a lot of mistakes in the recipe momma Stoker and I tried. It was this pasta with sundried tomatoes, olives, and chicken. Sounds good right? It turned out ok but that was mainly because we changed the recipe a lot. The one thing I did like was the quinoa when it finally cooked. **For those of you who don't know quinoa is a really good grain that is full of protein and great for nursing moms. Brandon even liked it and he hates quinoa. Although now he is starting to like it if I hide it a bit.

The other cooking class I went to was at Shar's Bosch store. IT WAS AWESOME. We made rustic breads which are really fun and a really yummy lentil bacon soup. It was so good. I was in heaven at the store too. All these cool cooking gadgets (like I don't already have a ton) but I still bought a new pastry brush and a micro plane for fine grating. I pretty much made me Christmas list there as I was walking around looking at everything. They have classes for free every week and everything that she makes involves whole grains which I love. I reminded me of the good old days of the cooking class at BYU. It is not often that I learn something new at these classes but I learned a lot and will be going back for more.

By the way Jack loves cooking with me and he is sitting up on his own. He is also always reaching for stuff. His favorite right now is the remote. The other day he practically jumped right off Brandon's lap to get it. He is getting to be such a big boy.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Today was Brandon's last day of work at Genworth. I am sure they were sad to see him leave. Who else is going to work 15 hours a day for them? He was a little sad to leave too. . .he said he got a little choked up when he was walking out the door because that office has been like a second home to him. Now all he has to focus on is studying for the next few months and applying to schools. Hopefully he will be able to focus, being out of school for a year makes it hard to get back into the study mode. He is planning on taking the GMAT at the end of October and apply to schools by December. Hopefully we will get in somewhere that will be beneficial for Brandon and for our family. U of Chicago, Northwestern. . .etc. I would be happy to go back to BYU mainly because it is cheaper and safe. I know people there, it is a good school, but I have to go with what is best for Brandon and our family. It is scary not knowing the future. . .especially for me the ultimate planner. (I have like 3 lists of things I need to do next week already, haha). So I just want to say GOOD BYE GENWORTH, HELLO UNKNOWN.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Go Bananas

Jackson is onto solid foods now. He is a really good eater, but then again he always had been hence the big cheeks. He has tried all kinds of food now:
rice cereal
sweet potatoes
applesauce (his least favorite)
bananas (his favorite)

The other day we were making baby food (big batches and then you put them in ice cube trays and freeze them for future use, great idea!). We also made banana bread and when I was making it I think Jack got a little frustrated because I kept putting the bananas in a bowl and not in his mouth. He kept smacking his lips and sticking out his tongue which is his way of saying "I'm hungry mom". So I decided to give him a bit and he was happy. Anyways, I thought you all might enjoy the pictures of us making the banana bread and the recipe.

PS. Jack got his second tooth, so now he has two front bottom teeth. No more gums only smiles.

Banana Bread
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3-4 bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add two bananas and mix until smooched. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combine. Combine remaining ingredients (except bananas) in a small bowl and slowly add to sugar mixture. Add remaining bananas and smooch but leave larger chunks. Add chopped nuts. Place in muffin tins, mini muffin tins, or loaf pans and cook at 375 degrees for 25-50 minutes depending on the type of bread you are making. Here is an estimate of the times for each:
mini muffins: 25 min
muffins and small loaves: 30-40
large loaves: 40-50

Bread will be brown on top and a toothpick inserted will come out clean. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Super Sweet Printer

Last year Brandon bought me this super nice photo printer for my birthday. I use it all the time for printing pictures (since I have like 500 of Jackson already), however the other day I decided I was really going to open her up and see what she could do. I was amazed by her capabilities.

***Side note: we name all our major possessions in our household ie: Stevie the tv, Bubba the bed, Betsy our tv in our bedroom because she is silver so obviously she is a girl, Frank the couch, etc.

So Silvia (the printer) can print photographs up to 13x19". Which is amazing! She has 8 inkjet cartridges in her belly and she spit out a print the other day that looked professional quality. I really wanted to make a large print of a collage a made of some of Jack's pictures and I was going to go through Heritage Makers (which is a great company by the way), but it was going to cost me $100 just to make the print. Thankfully Silvia came through for me. I still had to pay to have it framed which is another story, but I am so glad Brandon bought me the printer because now I feel like a real professional who can make prints for my own clients (if I ever get any).

Anyways, here is the print I made. If anyone is in town and needs a photographer please give me a call. I would be happy to make something similar for you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Times they are a Changing

Big and small changes are occurring in the Stoker household:

Change #1: Brandon quit his job to focus on studying for the GMAT and applying for MBA school.
The Good: Brandon's stress from work disappears, more sleep for Brandon, Jack and I get to see dad more
The Bad: the bank account takes a hit

Change #2: I am working for an online high school (Connections Academy)
The Good: more money in the bank account, work from home part time, I get to keep teaching
The Bad: not much money ($10/student/month for photography class; $2/student/month for health class)

Change #3: Jackson's first tooth came in
The Good: Jackson's first tooth came in, less crying over hurt gums
The Bad: sharp, jagged, and hurts when he gnaws on my finger

Change #4: Jackson rolled over on his own
The Good: mom can relax and not worry about him rolling over and being developmentally stunted (all mom's worry right?)
The Bad: none this is a great change

More changes to come in the near future I guarantee but until then we will just have to wait.

It's over for Roddick

Just when I thought he looked really good and was on the rise he disappoints once more. All I can say is if you are going to open your mouth and talk crap about your opponent to the media you better back it up with your own play. Now I am not one to say I don't partake in the occasional witty banter of another player but at least I know what I am getting myself into. Roddick's match was a disappointment to say the least. Sometimes I think he gives up too soon or waits for the next game. Don't wait, take your shot now. Otherwise he is not going to win another major and that would be a travesty with all of his talent. In the end I will be watching and rooting for Djokovic because he may have a bad attitude sometimes and he tends to be a little of a cry baby, but he knows how to win a match when the world is rooting against him. Good luck Novak. . . Beat the ICEMAN (Federer).*To see Andy's comments on Djoke check out espn.com