Monday, December 22, 2008

soup

I have had some requests for some of my soup recipes so I added a whole bunch on the cooking blog that I contribute to. If you are interested in taking a look click either here or go to the sidebar and click on What I Ate Today.

I LOVE SOUP!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

shall we dance

Scott and Grace are dancing to Bing Crosby's And the Angels Sing playing on the Victrola

**A Victrola is a antique record player from the early 1900's (manufactured from 1901-1929) that we inherited from my parents - Scott is in love with it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

one, two, three, cuatro!!!

That's right! Number four is on his/her way! I am ten weeks along and due July 10th. Other than feeling absolutely terrible, we are really excited...


P.S. Happy Birthday today Jessica!

Friday, December 5, 2008

another great lily creation




Apparently Tubby wanted to be Frankenstein for a day, so Lily, in all her creative glory, came up with this clever mask and hairpiece. Tubby was so excited and Lily was so proud. I thought it was pretty cute.

Monday, December 1, 2008

giving thanks

We had such a great Thanksgiving! All of Scott's siblings came to our house and we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast together. The only thing that would have made it better was if his parents had been able to join us (they are serving a mission in Slovenia/Croatia). Here are some pictures of the Turkey Bowl the morning of and dinner that evening (and the top one was taken after Karen's baby shower on Saturday - Karen is Scott's sister).


Scott and his four brothers.


Just before dinner. Don't you love the mismatched chairs!

Friday, November 21, 2008

what's next?

A couple weeks ago I beckoned my neighbor Wendy over to show her my latest project (she is a really good sport - she humors me with all my projects and is so encouraging). When she got here she asked, "So, do you just go from one project to the next?" To this I thought quickly and replied that I do.


Here are my latest projects; who knows what will be next (actually I already know what is next -painting the basement and hanging pictures down there, oh and painting my chairs).

This is Lily's wall of L's. I love monogramming and it was such fun mod podging these.

I painted my table black. It looks so great and I am so glad I did it. Now I just need to paint the chairs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

what do you do with a tub of goo?

That is...what do you do with a Tub of Goo who is having a birthday!!!!
At the restaraunt (I was feeling a little under the weather if you can't tell).

Opening his gift from Lily.

Can't you tell how excited he is to share his new toys...Look at Gracie's temper tantrum as he holds the train above his head...

Yesterday was my boy's fourth birthday. Can I just tell you that I feel like I have hit the jackpot with this little boy. He is just the very BEST!!!! I love how tender and sweet he is. He always tells me how much he loves me and every morning he comes and climbs into bed with me and cuddles right up. He is so sweet to his sisters (even though he does like to tease them - but is it always in such a fun-loving way). I just love this boy! By any description he should really get on my nerves - he never eats his dinner, he didn't potty train until a month ago, and he is like a bull in a china closet (talk about destructive), but for some reason I am able to just smile and be patient; it is really hard for me to get too angry with him. There is just something about his funny little personality that just melts me. Plus no one can make me laugh like him (Gracie is a close second). He pulls out the best one-liners. Needless to say I have a really big crush on him.


So back to his birthay....Sunday night we went up to my parents' house and had a family celebration. Then yesterday Scott and I took him out for dinner. Then when we all got home (I had to pick the girls up from Michelle's house) we opened his presents - that is after I woke him up. He was so tired he fell asleep on the drive home from the restaraunt. He seemed pretty thrilled with all he got and very reluctant to share with Grace.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM - I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

funny kids

This is how we spend our days. While waiting for dinner to finish cooking, Lily thought it would be fun to see if she could fit in the booster seat. Once she discovered that she could, she decided it would be fun to try and dance with it buckled around her. Silly Lily!


I got out of the shower the other morning and this is how I found Adam and Gracie. They had pulled out all my bowls, measuring cups & spoons and put a can of food in each. It kept them busy for about an hour.
They keep me entertained ALL day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ode to the Blessed Blog World

WARNING: I am about to step on my soapbox. I am going be long-winded.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people talk about how irritated they are at how bloggers only seem to portray the happy things in life. Apparently it is annoying that people will only put the good things that are happening on their blogs. I hear complaints about how these “happy” bloggers are all trying to convince us all that they live perfect lives and never have anything go wrong. This attitude bothers me; let me explain why.

A few years ago I discovered something about myself. I discovered that I love to be around people that motivate and inspire me. It makes me want to be better. For example, I have a friend, Britany, who I met during our time in Washington. Britany is one of my dearest friends – I really love her. She is so talented, and one of her many talents is that she is an amazing organizer and housekeeper (even at this moment she is rolling her eyes with a little chuckle, just as she always does when I tell her this). You can stop by her house at any time, completely unannounced and it will be clean. Not only will be clean, but she has used such style and creativity in her decorating. She is amazing. When we became such great friends and I started to learn this about her, I really wanted be more like this. I have been making an effort ever since because she motivates me to be better.

Another friend of mine is one I have known for a long time. Rachel, is a friend of mine from high school and since the day we met when we were 14 years old I have never known anyone to want children more. She has always loved children and has always wanted to be a mother. She now has four beautiful children and anyone who reads her blogs or talks, even briefly, with her can tell that she adores them. For her, it seems, they are a complete wish come true and that is how she treats them. She is such a sweet and lovely mother and she inspires me. I love being a mother and sometimes when I don’t love it as much as I ought to I think of Rachel and it makes me want to do better. I never feel like she is bragging or boasting, whenever I read what she has written about her kids it comes through as complete love. Just as a side note, I truly think she is a wonderful gift to her children – they are the luckiest children to have such a mother!

One last friend is another from Washington. My friend Heather is amazingly creative. Quite possibly one of the most creative people I know. It just seems to seep from her pores. I love being around Heather because I suddenly feel like I can be my quirky, unique, and wanna-be creative self. She brings it out in me and I love that feeling. I am always motivated to do something beautiful with my surroundings or look at the world a different way. I love being inspired to be more creative.

I could go on about every person on my link list (and so many others), but I won’t. My point here is that isn’t it fun to be around people like this. Don’t we all want to be better in some way? Aren’t we here on this earth to become perfect? What better way to do this than by surrounding ourselves with people who also have that goal in mind? I view the blogging world as this – a world where people can inspire me to be better. I like that people tell me about the good things in life. I love the creative ideas, the recipes, the outings with kids, and latest snapshots! I like knowing that my friends are happy. It inspires me to do more with my kids, make some fun changes in my house, take better care of myself, etc, etc. Plus when I am feeling down, all I have to do is look at the wonderful people around me who have filled their lives with good, productive things. And that inspires me to leave the pity party behind and get to work. Somehow this works like a charm every time!

Everyone has bad days. You are a fool if you think otherwise. Some have more bad days than others. So it goes without saying that even though we are posting utopian entries of bubbles and rainbows we are all still having the occasional hiccup. And I don’t think that by blogging about the good stuff we are trying to convince the world that we or our lives are perfect. But think about it – would you really want to skip from one downer blog to another? I don’t mind reading about someone’s bad day occasionally, everyone needs a chance to vent a little, but it wouldn’t be fun to read about everyone’s bad days everyday. In fact, it wouldn’t even make me feel like my life was better because everyone else is struggling so much. If anything, it would just bring me down. I think we all get our own little doses of reality when we are feeling down ourselves – why bother with everyone else’s reality as well?

Really the bottom line is this – is reality really THAT bad? I don’t think so. I think when we do feel a certain way we ought to do one of two things; either look around and see all the blessings we have and the amazing life we really are living or go see a doctor and get on some medication (because if the first doesn’t work, then the second really is the best option). I can tell you I have seen some of the darkest corners of Africa and the most desperate of ghettos in places like Thailand and Mexico and there is no one that I associate with on a regular basis (either in real life or blogging) whose situation can ever come close to that. There are women who are abused in so many different forms everyday, women who live with literally nothing, woman who are raising several children alone, woman being driven from their homes, women who are starving, sick, or dying. I have met so many of these of women and it is amazing to see them smile and look at the beauty of life. They have inspired me, they have inspired me to be more thankful, to be happy, and to always make the best of life.

I know this was long, but I have been wanting to get it off my chest for so long. Mainly because most of the blogs I read are so great – I love seeing what you all are doing (good and bad). I want the blogging world to know that there is someone out there who loves reading all the happy, sappy, and sometimes totally cheesy posts written. Thank you oh blessed blog world!

Okay, so I will step off the soapbox now, and I will try to not rant and rave again anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

aren't they adorable


The other night Adam wanted to sleep in Lily's bed. Figuring it wouldn't last long, I agreed. I was wrong. This is how I found them a couple hours later. I thought it was pretty cute...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

belated



Happy Birthday Mom...that is, happy belated birthday! Saturday was my mom's 60th birthday. We had what you might call a whole birthday weekend in celebration. Saturday we plotted with my dad to take her to a matinee so that some of us could go and deep clean her house. All our lives whenever we'd ask her what she wanted for her birthday she'd always say, "a clean house and happy children." Well, I figured that after all these years she finally deserved it. Really there wasn't that much to clean, but we were able to dust, sweep, vacuum, clean the bathrooms, and the toy room. Then we had a recent picture of the six of us framed and left it with some beautiful roses that Renee bought. She was elated! Then that evening we took her out to dinner. Sunday after church my parents came over to my house for dinner and then everyone else joined us afterward for cake and ice cream. Renee made the most awesome cake in the shape of a 60. It was such a fun weekend and it was nice that my mom didn't have to make or clean dinner the whole time. I love you Mom!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

farm animals (they have dragons on farms)




Halloween was a hit - of course. Anything involving candy and costumes is going to be a hit! Gracie was a chicken, Lily, a piggy ballerina (she came up with that on her own), and Adam was a dragon. I really wanted him to be a cow because it would fit the theme better, but the dragon costume was so cute, and I am pretty sure that if dragons were real then they would totally live on farms.
PS The smoke in the bottom picture is from Scott's fog machine that he just had to have. It did add a pretty spooky touch when the kids would come knocking at our door...

Friday, October 31, 2008

the dreaded toy monster

I am such a mean parent. Yet, I am also a genius! My children really struggle with the idea that when they make a mess then they need to clean it up. Whenever I ask them to clean a particular room I get either;

"I will do it on Monday..." (or whatever day isn't today) OR;

"But my hands and my arms and my legs get too tired..." (funny, they didn't get tired making the mess) OR;

"Will you help me?" (which then turns into me cleaning and them watching...or just leaving all together).

So, lately I have been more of a stickler about having them clean the mess, although I always do go and help them - well, really I direct them more than I help them.

Well today I was tired of the fighting. Lily's room looked like an atom bomb went off in it and the basement didn't look much better. After lunch I asked Lily to go and get started on her room and Adam to go and pick up all the "boy" toys (we have a bin for "boy" toys and a bin for "girl toys). Oh, sob, sob, moan, moan..... it was like I was sentencing them to life in a Turkish prison. I told them both that I would come and help each of them, but it was no use. Then it hit me; my moment of genius. Any of you out there who are opposed to Santa Claus (shame on you -but that is a commentary for another day) and the Tooth Fairy, I am warning you now, quit reading you will hate this idea. So back to my moment of genius....I told the kids that if they didn't start cleaning their toys then the Toy Monster would come tonight when they were asleep and eat all the toys left out. Well, they bought this completely and started asking all sorts of interesting questions about this dreaded Toy Monster. He is huge because he eats so many toys, and he is very sneaky, he can come in completely undetected. They asked why he hadn't come up until now. I explained it was because I was a nice mother and hadn't told him yet that there are children living in this house. Well, my little plan worked and I now have at least some order in my house. And quite frankly I thought it was a pretty clever story. Heck, if Lily can have imaginary friends and cousins then I can have an imaginary monster - besides, whatever they don't pick up will start to magically disappear......

Oh, and here are the results; both before and after...

Before (it is almost embarrassing - is that a spatula?)

After

Thursday, October 30, 2008

the pumpkin patch


Lily had a field trip to a pumpkin patch on Monday. She invited Grandma Goats to come along. Grandma said she had never been invited to a pumpkin patch and accepted the invitation (which was very kind of her considering she has a lot to do in preparing to leave). It was a nice morning and Lily LOVED having her grandma there - she was sure to point her out to everyone she met.

who doesn't love oreo cookies!

I think it is safe to say that Grace loves them... Like mother, like daughter!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

i'm sorry, could you repeat that please?

The other day my parents shared some very interesting news with all of us...maybe you would like to hear it too. Apparently they are moving to Guam. Yes, you read that correctly, I typed Guam. Where is Guam, one might ask. Well, it is the South Pacific, sort of near the Philippines. They will be there for two year, and then thereafter my dad will retire. They are super excited and we are excited for them. Although I have to admit I will miss not having them here and since Scott's parents are in Slovenia this means my children will be without grandparents for a while. Oh well, they are little and will survive. In the meantime I can start planning my beachy, sun-drenched vacation to tropical Guam.



Thursday, October 23, 2008

sooooo big!

video

This is mostly for Grandma and Grandpa Chickens who are so far away and haven't seen Gracie in months. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"witch" way did she go?





For Family Night yesterday my parents, Renee and Fam, Michelle and Fam, and me (with the kids) all went to Gardner Village to check out the witches. They set up all the witches every year and we have such a great time exploring. Afterward everyone came to my house and we enjoyed soup in bread bowls. It was so fun!

Scott was still at work when we went to Gardner Village (which he was totally bummed about), but he joined us for dinner... Luckily we live a block away and we can go with him another day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

shades of fall

I love this time of year - I don't particularly love cold weather, but I don't mind the cooler temperatures and the excuse to wear my winter wardrobe. I love the onset of the holidays. It is such a nice time of year - it seems people are happier and friendlier. Neighbors and strangers seem to reach out more. I love the first snow and my children's excitement when they wake up to it. I love dressing up for Halloween and gathering together for Thanksgiving; I love pumpkin pie! I used to love Christmas until I started feeling guilty about only getting my children a couple of gifts - I hate the idea of going overboard so I really hold back each year. I do love Christmas and singing the carols; I really love singing the carols and listening to the Christmas music (except "Raindrops on Roses" from Sound of Music - when did that become a Christmas song?). I love this time of year.

Do you want to hear a cheesy story? It snowed Saturday night and my kids woke up and came running into our room Sunday morning to tell us. Of course they wanted to go out and play in it immediately. We got them all dressed in their snow gear and let them go out. I felt such warmth in my soul as I watched the three of them play in the snow. I started to cry - I was so happy that we lived here and that my children were making such happy memories. Say what you will about Utah, but I have been so happy with the idea of planting roots here. My kids are happy and I love where we are. All of those feeling of gratitude came streaming through my body at once and I all I could do was cry (you need to understand that crying for me is like two tears - I just don't have the ability to cry anymore - someday maybe the floodgates will open again, but for now all I get is a trickle).

So, I have been decorating for this, my favorite time of year (other than the Fourth of July). I have far more Fall and Christmas decorations than any other and I look forward all year to the makeover my house gets every October 1st. Here is a taste of what Fall looks like at my house....







This is my favorite shade of Fall.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

raspberries and ta daaaa

Raspberries:
We have a second crop of raspberries and Gracie has discovered just how yummy and accessible they are. Her friend Campbell has also made this discovery.

Ta Daaaa:
I have spent the last three days painting Gracie's room. I LOVE IT! Thanks to Scott's patch jobs on the walls it turned out perfect (there were a bunch of holes in the walls - weird). If you can't tell, the bottom half is stripped. It turned out super cute.

P.S. Adam has been completely dry since Tuesday - What a HUNK!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

captain underpants


The monumental day has finally arrived!!!! We have, at last, made a break through with Adam and the potty - and just shy of his fourth birthday (in one month)!

What made the difference you ask. Time and my incredible patience! I am serious, I think I deserve the Patient Mother of the Year Award (may as well give me the most humble mother award too...). A couple of years ago I prayed very fervantly for the opportunity to develop more patience - well I am here to tell you that the Lord does hear and answer prayers. He gave me Adam so that I might learn how to be patient!

Okay, so here is the quick story (or maybe not so quick). In short, nothing worked; well almost nothing. I tried EVERY trick in the book! People would suggest things and all I could do is politely nod my head all the time thinking about how I have tried that method and it failed miserably. Finally a couple months ago I decided to just forget about it and let him wear a diaper. Then two friends of mine finally gave me two suggestions that I really hadn't tried yet (this was in two seperate conversations). I decided I would combine them and see how it went. One friend, Wendy, suggested that when the diapers run out then don't buy anymore. My other friend, Malisa, suggested that you take yourself completely out of picture, tell him he is a big boy now and that he is wearing undies. If he has an accident he will have to clean it up and that you aren't going to remind him every hour to go potty. So I found a happy medium. Monday morning I told him we are out of diapers and he is a big boy now. We put undies on and I told him if he needed to go then he knew where that bathroom was (after all we have only gone over that part about a million times). He had accidents all day. I never made a big deal about it, I just told him to clean it up and get a clean pair of undies and pants. We did this again yesterday. We again had accidents all morning and even a poop accident while I was at Target (luckily it was pretty contained in the undies). He didn't like the feel of the poop in his undies, espcially since I wasn't in any hurry to leave the store - I know that is disgusting and the health department would kill me if they knew I didn't rush him to bathroom to clean it up - I was making a point though! When we got home there was one more accident and then something must have clicked. The rest of the day he would come running to me to go sit on the potty - even when he needed to poop! This morning he woke up with a dry Pull-Up and again was very excited to go potty. I am telling you, I think we are on a really great path and I am so THRILLED!!!!! I know that no one likes hearing potty stories, but for me this is the biggest news we have had in months and it changes my life!

Hooray for CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS!

Monday, October 6, 2008

there were never such devoted sisters...

Melissa (my brother Sam's wife), Lisa (my oldest sister), and me at the restaurant the first night

Jennifer and Renee (Michelle couldn't come until a little later that evening)

This last weekend my sisters and I all got together for our bi-annual sisters trip (I think it is bi-annual; we go every other year). Jennifer, my second oldest sister, has a beautiful vacation home in Midway (about then minutes from Park City) so that is where we met this year. We went hiking, shopping, got pedicures, ate at fun restaurants, watched the new movie "Ghost Town" (very funny), and we even played a little pool. It was a really FUN time and I can't wait for the next one (which I am planning for St. George). I love my sisters so much and feel really blessed that we are able to spend time together!


PS the title is a line from the song Sisters from the movie "White Christmas" - truly a classic.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

politically correct

I know I talk a lot about the funny things Adam says, but I just can't help it - he is really funny! Here is the latest:

Renee (my sister): Adam, who is your favorite aunt?

Adam: (thinks for a moment before answering) I like the black ones!

It took Renee a minute to realize he was talking about ants, not aunts! I figure if my boy ever runs for office he can say without hesitation that he has liked people of all races since he was a young boy - ah...the political correctness....