Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Hoopla

I was tagged by my friend, Beautopotamus to list 12 random things about me that have to do with Christmas. Since it's so close to Christmas, and since I'll be lucky to be able to do this in one sitting, I'm not tagging anyone else.

1. My favourite Christmas movie is Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. I'm not one to cry at movies, but this one gets me just about every time.

2. My second favourite is A Christmas Story. I could sit and watch the Christmas Day marathon if my family would let me.

3. Christmas doesn't officially start for me until I see Santa on the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving.

4. I hate non-religious Christmas songs. I'll somewhat tolerate Rudolph, and Frosty, but The Christmas Song and I'll Be Home for Christmas never get past the first few notes when I'm alone.

5. I think my mom wants to disown me for not putting tinsel on my tree. Growing up, we must've put about 6 boxes of tinsel on our tree, one strand at a time, every year. No kidding. I think the kids will have it tracked all over the house for me to find over the whole next year. Add the fact that we have a fake tree, all that tinsel has to come off.

6. I hate coloured lights. Hate hate hate.

7. I think I'm a pretty grumpy Christmas person reading over this list.

8. I won't go near a post office the month of December, so my packages never arrive until after New Year's. You're also lucky if you get a card before December's over, too.

9. Christmas stresses me more than any other holiday. Shopping for birthday presents really isn't a big deal for me, but shopping for Christmas makes me want to throw up. I hate the pressure and the crowds.

10. Yep, it looks like next year I'll be boycotting Christmas.

11. I make some sort of goodies for the neighbour's every year. In the past, I made cinnamon pull apart loaves (homemade cinnamon roll dough, cut each slice into quarters, throw it in a loaf pan and bake), but this year I'm doing Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls to a select lucky few.

12. Holy cow- I'm at the end and I'm still sitting. It's a Christmas miracle!! Last thing, hmmm.....My favourite Christmas album is by the Alston's. I don't think it's available anymore, but 3 of the sisters have a country album out now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Halloween 2007

Costumes started out as pretty easy this year. I knew Anneliese would be a cat (leftover from her sister). I didn't know how hard it was going to be to get it off of her. If the tail wasn't currently in rotation for handwashing, it would join the ears in still almost daily wearing.

Josh wanted to be the Red Power Ranger- had this from Caleb, so no problem. Caleb wanted to be a Power Ranger, too, so we went out and got him a new costume.

I thought for sure Mischa would be a fairy princess again. I almost didn't ask her, I was so sure. Nope, not this year. On the up side, this was a very popular costume:

Her favourite part was the Sweet-o-meter on her chest. The bottom part of the circle says: Sweet, Adorable, and Too Cute for Words. She would get mad whenever someone moved it off of the Too Cute for Words.


Kristine tagged me, and as much as my husband is giving her a hard time, I'm just thankful that the baby is leaving me alone to do this, lol.

Tag #1.
A) List your middle name.
B) For each letter, name something unique about yourself (it does NOT have to start with the letter of your middle name it is near).
C) Tag as many people as there are letters in your name.

Tag #2:
A) Link to the person that tagged you
B) Post 7 random/weird facts about yourself on your blog (cause we all want to know how weird you are!)
C) Tag 7 people at the end and link to their blog
D) Leave comments on each blog that you tag so that they know!

1. L- The summer after my senior year in high school and one summer in college, I worked as a market research interviewer in a mall (yes, those people you run away from). I searched out this job on purpose to help me get over being shy. The one perk was my boss in the phone study section was an Elvis wannabe and dressed up every day.
2. 0-I would love, love, love to be a receptionist or secretary. I volunteer to help my kids' teachers do their copying just to be able to use the school's copy machine. It is beautiful and if I had room for the huge thing, I would covet it more than I do.
3. U-Most of the books I buy for my children I buy because I want to reread them.
4. I-I once gave rescue breaths to a kitten born by c-section.
5. S-I haven't made my old lasagna for over 9 years- the last time I made it I was pregnant with Caleb and in the middle of morning sickness. I can eat other people's lasagnas with no problem. Even my mom's, which was the recipe I was using (with very little tweaking).
6. E-If I don't like a food, the reason will probably be because of it's texture.
7. *-I have the hardest time drinking out of glass glasses. I have to use plastic disposable cups at home. I also have a hard time eating off of hand washed plates.

I don't know if I know 7 people to tag. I'll tag Tara, Tiana, and Beautopotamus.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Getting There

Well, I've just about finished my to do list. I still have to find the darn cable to the digital camera (I'll have to admit I haven't looked yet). I'm almost done with my FHE lesson (just have to stick magnets onto my visual aids), but I have to find a Native American game to play at our pack meeting next week. Liesie is still wearing her kitty costume. The chocolate is just about gone, thankfully.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


To do list:
1. Finish up Cub Scout prep on Cherokee Indians and craft. Get keys out of locked car.
2. Come up with an FHE on Ruth for FHE group meeting next week.
3. Hide "oclat" from chocoholic little girl running around in her cat costume, the day after Halloween. I'm afraid she will be wearing it until she outgrows it. It might take years at her rate of growth. Please don't judge me when you see me at the store, lol.
4. Find cable to download tons of pictures to post about.
5. Figure out how to change template. Or come to terms with being early for next year. Or change blog to all things Halloween. The last two options are looking pretty good. And more likely.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Dancing Woman

Go here and tell me what direction you see the girl spinning. When I first went, she was clockwise, but I really don't identify with the qualities of a right brained person. As I was reading the descriptions, I saw her out of the corner of my eye and now she was going the other way. As I watched her, she switched directions. Weird!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Halloween Fun

Thanks to Kris I found out about Matie Kay. I had been looking to change the background for some time now, and Kris was right- it was really easy (hey, I did it, right?)- lots easier than the other place I wanted to go to and could never figure out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gotta Get Crackin'

Perry is totally smoking me on posting lately. Guess I need to dump the kids and get a life to blog about, lol. Maybe my upcoming overnight camping training in a few weeks will offer some humourous fodder (if it's anything like the last Girl Scout camping trip I remember, it will).

Therefore, I jumped on the quiz that he linked to on his latest post. Since I wasn't expecting it, and I can gloat a little over him, I apparently match Romney with a 95%. I also have the same match with Thompson. I also am relieved that I match Obama only 39% and Hillary 32%. Perry matches her 40% (if I remember correctly)- I blame his brief stint as a registered Democrat. I matched Gravel 16% and surprisingly Richardson only 26%. I thought I would match him more than Hillary.

I also ranked all Republicans before the Democrats. Must be the health care, social security, and illegal immigration.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vacation- Day Twelve- Salt Lake

I am so sorry to leave the vacation hanging. I started this post awhile back and then life exploded with school starting and all.

We started out the day with a family breakfast in a park by the Jordan River Temple. The kids stayed at the park, while a lot of us went to the Jordan River Temple.

After the temple, we went over to a nephew's house to help his wife decorate the cake for the 50th Anniversary picnic the next day. We rushed from there to Big Cottonwood Canyon (stopping to see the house where Perry grew up on the way) for the family campfire. The kids had a blast being outside. Gathering firewood was a huge hit. We enjoyed hot dogs and sang songs around the campfire.

What started out as a hug, ended up as fodder for Joshua's dating years.

Ed, Mischa, John and Anneliese. John quickly became Liesie's boyfriend and had her attached to him almost the whole time.

My man getting ready to cook.

Mischa loved the s'mores. She went around taking people's orders and making them.

One of my favourite pictures of the weekend.

A furry little friend came to snack off of what we dropped.

Making the fire. A VERY popular activity with the kids.
Before John, there was the ranch dip in Liesie's life. I think she probably ate 90% of it.

Caleb and a cousin. Thank goodness for batteries!

Yummy s'mores. Did you know that they make chocolate-flavoured marshmallows? They are really good. The strawberry ones are good, too, not too sweet.

More fun cousins.

Vacation- Day Eleven: Salt Lake

I don't have any pictures from today : ( We had a family get together at my brother-in-law's clubhouse and pool. We had a nephew come home from his mission and Anneliese absolutely fell in love with him. The kids had a blast and it was a great start to the reunion!


Thirteen years ago a little family was started.

A lot has happened in 13 years. A lot we didn't expect to ever go through, but, holding on to each other, we hung in there. I'm not one for deep thoughts, or eloquent words, so I'll just say that I love my husband even more now than I did when we first got married. The love caused by young hormones has given way to the love caused by more mature, though just as crazy hormones. As much as our lives have changed since that day 13 years ago, I was thinking about how huge the changes will be in the next 13 (in my perfect world)- our oldest back from a mission and in college, perhaps engaged himself, our oldest daughter learning to like online college courses from the safe confines of her room (lol), our next son getting ready for his mission, and a little girl getting ready to join her sister in her room until she's 30. The years have flown (time really does fly when you're having fun) and I can't have enough of them. Thank you, my love, for being the perfect husband, father, friend, and lover. Thank you for all you've given me- even though most of them involved sleepless nights and toxic waste diapers. Thank you for putting up with all of my idiosyncrasies (hey, spellcheck says I spelled that right!). I LOVE YOU!!!!!

I was going to post pictures, but the scanner doesn't want to seem to work for me, so I'll have to have my handsome husband figure it out when he comes home tonight : )

Menu Plan Monday

I received my Simple and Delicious magazine this weekend, so it's let's experiment week.

Saturday- Leftover chicken enchilada casserole and spaghetti and meatballs

Sunday- Italian sausage with bowtie pasta, French bread

Monday- Happy 13th Anniversary to us!! Pork Kiev, roasted potatoes

Wednesday- Kids' favourite chili, crackers

Thursday- Potato flake chicken, corn

Friday- Homemade pizza
Come play over at Laura's with us!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vacation- Day Ten: Off to Salt Lake

After all the craziness of the day before, we were all ready for a nice, air-conditioned car ride. We drove through St. George, and the kids and I got to see the St. George Temple.
Photo courtesy of the St. George Temple page on

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of the landscape in this area. We were in constant smoke or dust for probably 3 hours. The smoke was from the Milford Flat fire. I had heard how big the fire was, but to actually see the aftermath was heartbreaking. The highway we were on had been closed a few days before we came through, and it was still smoking in some areas. We could see the orange repellent on the road and got to see two helicopters, one filling up at a pond, and another flying to the pond.

We pulled into Coleen's in Salt Lake right about dinner. The kids were thrilled to meet more cousins. Caleb was thrilled to have more boys to play with. We continued our practice of happily staying up too late.


Caleb started karate right after we got back from our vacation. Our dojo really likes to award based on obeying, so to earn his white belt, we had to "catch" him doing things he should without being told. After five of these "Zero Rules", he was able to earn his belt and to break a board with his hand. His instructor was a little nervous at first, and during some kicking drills, he called him over to work on some self defense (but was really testing how hard he could hit). After hitting his instructor a couple of times, the instructor discovered that Caleb is very strong for his size and would have no problem. At the end of class he got to break his board.
And on July 31, 2007, another white belt was born. No sweat, according to Caleb. Now he's off to earn his blue star for 40 days of "Black Belt Mornings"- totally getting ready for school on time and with a smile on his face. If I remember right, they get red stars for every straight A report card.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I had to do a little shuffling around of the plan this week, since I forgot to plug in the crockpot yesterday. We're also all about quick meals this week, with lots of stuff going on in the evenings.

Saturday- Turkey sloppy joes and tater tots
Sunday- Creamy marinara tortellini
Monday-Moe's Southwest Grill
Tuesday- Ranch Chicken, corn, rice
Wednesday- Stirfry
Thursday- Soup (yay Campbells!)
Friday- Homemade pizza and popcorn

Laura's got lots of yummy stuff going on- go check her out!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Vacation- Day Nine: Nonstop Action

This was by far the hardest day of our vacation. I still have no idea how the kids survived- much less the near absence of complaining from them.

We started out the day in Flagstaff. We then started our drive to the Grand Canyon. The drive was nice and uneventful. The weather was absolutely fabulous for Arizona in July. The day before, the high at the Grand Canyon was 97 degrees. This day it was 87 degrees.

We parked near the front of the park, at Mather Point. The view was fantastic. The kids and Perry humoured me and my fear of heights by staying one big step away from the fence, lol. I tried to get close to the fence a few times, but it just made me dizzy and nauseous.

Don't ask me about the face Mischa is making- don't have a clue there...

After seeing Mather's Point, we jumped on the shuttle to the Bright Angel trail, made famous in the book, Brighty of the Grand Canyon.

To the right was the El Tovar Hotel.

After we took this family picture, a guy came and let us borrow his binoculars so we could see the two mule trains on the trail. Liesie wasn't liking me taking pictures for some reason

One thing I learned was that most of the buildings on the South Rim were designed by Mary E.J. Colter. I loved the Geologic Fireplace that she created, which mimics the strata of the Canyon.

We walked out of the lodge to catch the shuttle and saw the train from the Grand Canyon to Williams. Liesie and Josh really liked the "choo choo".

We then went back into Grand Canyon Village and caught the IMAX movie at the National Geographic visitor's center. I was really amazed at John Wesley Powell, who went down the Colorado River with only one arm.

Our original plan from here was to get to Las Vegas via the Hoover Dam. In Kingman, though, we had to change our plans. The highway was due to be closed over the Hoover Dam at 7:00, and we were an hour away at 6:00. We didn't feel comfortable cutting it so close, since if we missed getting through, the only way to Las Vegas would be to go back to Kingman, so we went west to Bullhead City. We made it to Las Vegas maybe about 10 minutes later than we would've if we made it to the Hoover Dam. We checked into the hotel and were out on the strip at 9:00. We parked at Caesar's Palace (wow) and took off to Treasure Island to see the pirate show.

F.A.O. Schwarz

It was so hot and crowded in front of Treasure Island. If we had really thought about it, a show called the Sirens of T.I. didn't sound very family friendly, and I am very glad that the kids could only see the fireworks and pyrotechnics from the show. I know that this family trip was part educational, but I didn't count on giving them the lesson the sirens were going to give them. We went to the Mirage to catch the volcano eruption, but, after waiting in front of the hotel for 15 minutes, we realized that we would have to wait another 15 for the eruption. The kids were melting onto the sidewalk by now, so we decided to run back to Caesar's Palace and catch their show, which was indoors. I loved the curved escalators in the Shopping Forum. The Harry Winston store wasn't a bad place to window shop, either. We made the show just as it was starting and the kids really liked it. There was even a big saltwater aquarium that the boys really liked.

We decided to call it a night and to just do a quick driveby of all the casinos on the strip. We caught a glimpse of the Bellagio fountains, and I'm sad we didn't get to see them. The kids really liked all of the different casinos. We got back to the hotel (which reallly liked me- we were on the 11th floor and the elevator was glass) around midnight. The kids just dropped, and it was the first time in the trip that Anneliese didn't wake up during the night.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Picture Problem

Blogger is giving me fits right now. First it wouldn't let me post a picture, now it will let me download only 2. I have a post just waiting for a few more pictures, so bear with me and hopefully it will be ready tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vacation- Day Eight: Off to Flagstaff

This was a really busy day. We got up in the morning and took pictures with all of the cousins. We drove up through Cliff, then Luna. We waved to Kris's mom as we drove through St. Johns, Arizona. We made our first stop at the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. I had never been to them before and was so glad we stopped. The kids got their Jr. Ranger badges and liked learning about the Indians and how the petrified wood was made. Joshua thought it was "Awesome".

A chunk of petrified wood

The forest today

Look at all the neat dinosaurs we could've had as pets

I'm too little for this to think about eating, right Mom?

Maybe not living with the dinosaurs is a good thing

The Painted Desert

I was really amazed at both the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. I wasn't expecting much from them, truth be told. There were some really neat petroglyphs- one looked like a giant bird eating a person while another person was yelling. It was really weird to look out and see these little bumps on the ground and then realize that they were parts of trees. It was really neat at the Jasper Forest to see the logs still in the cliff walls, just waiting for erosion to expose them. The Painted Desert was more rock layers than sand, so that was more interesting to me.

Vacation- Day Seven: A Day of Rest in New Mexico

We spend Sunday in Silver City. We spent most of Sunday School in the halls with people, catching up. We were told the great news about a friend of ours- when we left, her husband was not going to church at all. They were sealed in the temple in June. We came home and caught up on laundry and packed for the next day. Again, we stayed up too late, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vacation- Day Six: Off to New Mexico

We left Saturday morning to head on over to Silver City, New Mexico. We were on a little bit of a time crunch, since our nephew was getting baptized at 3:00. We met up with some friends in Superior- they live in Miami and we had planned to stop and see them for just a few minutes, but they were on their way to the Valley to be there for their daughter's ultrasound. We chatted for about 20 minutes with Mark and Brenda, their two sons (who have grown about 3 feet since I last saw them), and their oldest grandson. Then it was off to the baptism. It was really great seeing everyone from our old ward again. It was amazing the difference 3 years makes in a kid's look- I hardly recognized everyone! After the baptism, we ran to Wal-Mart to get some batteries for the digital camera and to test our theory- you can't walk into the Wal-Mart in Silver City without running into someone you know. We ended up seeing 3 people we knew before we got to the first aisle, and added one more person as we walked the store. It was really fun getting all of our kids together at Pat and Kris's house. They had never met Anneliese and we had never met Bam-Bam. Lucy and Josh were really little when we left. Angel-Face is missing in the above photo (I don't think I got one of him with the digital), so you'll have to go to the above link to see him. We stayed up too late and had a lot of fun catching up.

Vacation- Day Five- Phoenix

Everyone is feeling all better. We decide to go to Waterworld for the day, since the kids have been talking about a waterpark since they found out we were going to Phoenix. Liesie wasn't too sure about it at first, but she really liked the lazy river. Mischa liked the lazy river, too. Caleb really, really, really wanted to go on all of the slides, even the one that pretty much goes straight down. He was really upset when I told him no. After a fun day of splashing around, we got dressed and went to see Grandma and Aunt Nancy. My digital camera's batteries decided to die here, so only have undeveloped pictures of them. After seeing them, we went off to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Vacation- Day Four- Phoenix

Mischa is sick. Running a fever and can't keep anything down. So Mom and I left everyone and went shopping, lol. We had a nice lunch and went to get an outfit for my birthday present. I got a pretty skirt and a few tops. The kids all got an outfit, too. We had a great dinner of grilled steak, lamb chops, and asparagus (well, great for Perry and my mom, lol). In the evening, Caleb and Josh started running fevers, too.

Vacation- Day Three: Phoenix

Happy Fourth of July!

Today was spent getting set for going over to my cousin's. She lives really close to the Peoria Sports Complex and they have great fireworks every year. I made my deviled eggs, and my mom barbecued some cranberry orange chicken wings (very yummy). My cousin has a pool, and she rented a Spongebob jump house for all of the kids. She also has a misting system, so it's really nice to be outside. Liesie was really loving the pool. We put the arm floaties on her and she didn't want to be held anymore. She was even trying to jump into the pool. Caleb was a little bummed, though, because my cousin's daughter and friends wouldn't play with him. Things were going well, until we gathered in the driveway to watch the fireworks. Mischa said she wasn't feeling well, and in a few minutes threw up. The fireworks were great, and it was good catching up with everybody again.

Vacation- Day Two: Phoenix

Welcome to Phoenix during the hottest week of the year. Yes, 117 degrees this week. I think it was just for me.

We got up to run to Wal-Mart to get some supplies (car seats, diapers, etc.) while my mom ran to the grocery store to get groceries. We arrived home at about the same time. We went swimming at the subdivision's pool. Joshua liked to be on the stairs and Anneliese was slowly getting used to the water.

And We're Off!

Our start of 2 weeks of family togetherness started on Monday, July 2nd. Our flight was at 9:30 p.m., but due to the fun Atlanta traffic, we left the house at 5:30 to insure getting there on time. We hit absolutely no traffic, so we were at the airport around 6:30-7. We had a quick dinner and let the kids play on a little playcenter that was conveniently located right across from our gate. Anneliese loved the bathrooms, with their automatic soap and water dispensers. The flight was nice. Caleb stayed awake the entire time, Mischa was awake most of the time, and Anneliese was nice enough to sleep through most of the flight. My mom thought that we were arriving on Tuesday, so I'm glad I called her at the gate before we left. We arrived in Phoenix, and the thing I really hate about that airport is that the rental car area is accessible only by shuttle bus. We got our car, no problem, and zoomed off to my mom's.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


We just returned from 2 weeks of family fun. I'll be blogging about it, but as usual, there is the requisite unpacking and laundry to do. I should be done today with it all, so I'll start tomorrow.

And a quick funny-

From a previous post, you know that the Backyardigans are big at our house. I like to kid the kids about some of the episodes. I switch the words of the Ghost and Pirate episodes (the Ghosts favourite word is Arrr and the Pirates say Boo). I like to do this particularly to Joshua because he gets the biggest laugh in correcting me. So Perry decided to ask him what a pirate ghost says. After he got the concept, his answer was:


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Do I?

Do I look cute enought to get out of trouble because I've learned how to escape my crib?

The Songs Won't Go Away

I'm so addicted to the Backyardigans (thanks a lot, Coleen!). I think if I sliced all the songs together and danced to them, I'd have a cute and fun workout, lol. Liesie thinks she's Uniqua and just about has the songs down pat, too.

Menu Plan Monday

It's going to be a little lazy on the dinner front, since we're leaving next week for 2 weeks of family bonding.

Saturday- Manicotti, French bread, and salad, lemon sheet cake

Sunday- Ranch chicken, mashed potatoes

Monday- Beef stirfry

Tuesday-Kielbasa, au gratin potatoes

Wednesday- Salisbury steaks, corn, rolls

Thursday- Soup

Friday- Homemade pizza

Go check out Laura's blog for more tasty treats!


Our bishop's daughters put on several summer camps, one of which being an acting camp. At the end of the week, they put on a little play. This year they did "Holka Polka" and Caleb was a wizard (Grandolt) and Mischa was a fairy (it has gnomes instead of fairies in the script). In the play, Prince Charming is put under a sleeping spell, and the fairies decide to take back the witches' magic. The witches decide that they need some positive PR to help them keep their magic, so they send the sweetest witch (Brenda) to break the spell. Along the way, Brenda meets up with the Big Bad Wolf (Mr. Fuzzy), Cindy No Shoes (Cinderella), Pinocchio, and Humpty Dumpty. She learns that image isn't everything and everything isn't what it seems. In the end, the mystery is solved (never trust a fairy godmother) and the witches get to keep their magic. It was a really cute play, and not bad with only a few days of work. We're already looking forward to next year!

A Little Friend

This little blue jay fledgling appeared outside of our window a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the next day he ended up on our concrete front porch and I think got too hot and stressed there : ( I did get to see one neat thing, other than this cutie, though. I first noticed him because of his parents flying around the yard. When I saw him on the ground, I was worried, since our neighbour's cat roams loose. I didn't need to worry, though. A little while later, a flurry of birds caught my eye. Just as I feared, the cat was in our yard, but he was being chased out, not only by this little guy's parents, but by 2 male cardinals, a male towhee, and 2
male house finches. Those birds hung around for several hours.

I Got Sticks!

2007 Space Derby Champion

Caleb and his winning rocket.

Ready to Explode

This is the cake I did for Caleb's class party. The one I did for the Blue and Gold banquet was a little different- not made of styrofoam and fondant like this one.