Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Cards

I've been asked for my address several times on facebook already this year for Christmas cards.  Geez, guys.  It's not even December yet.  Somehow or other, I am really behind already.  

Today is a teacher in-service day.  After a nice, relaxing morning with all the kids home, I determined I was going to get a picture of the kids for our annual Christmas card.  I picked out shirts, brushed 4 heads of hair and pointed to where I wanted my hooligans to sit.  I took no less than 57 pictures, most of which looked something like this:
 I got one or two that were decent.  I think I'm going with this one:

Betty Crocker is not a good livestock judge

For my birthday I got a new Betty Crocker cookbook.  The one this replaced looked like it's been well used/abused.  After the kids went to bed last night, Ryan and I sat on the couch drooling over the pictures and checking out the new recipes.  Then we flipped over to the meat section.  Ryan about lost it.  His monologue went something like this:

"Betty Crocker is crap.  What kind of animals are those?  There is no freakin' way those cuts of meat came from those animals.  Look at that back.  What's wrong with that sheep's legs?  Are they broken?  That is one poorly muscled pig.  That [piece of meat whose name I don't remember] would only be half that size, and have two inches of fat on it.  That's disgusting."

I was dying.  As if the general public has any idea what "lousy structural confirmation" is.  I don't, and I am married to a former college livestock judging team member, and current Ag teacher.  Ryan went on, and on, and on.  In between laughs, I was playing more dumb than I am trying to elicit more disgust from him.  It was hilarious.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Today I made myself brownies instead of a birthday cake.  After I had mixed everything up and put the pan in the oven, I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  I had been sneaky, and mixed up the brownies without the twins knowing.  (Or having their delightful help.)

Later, coming back in the kitchen, I found Annie scraping the bowl.  She'd even pulled the spatula out and was licking it too.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

Tonight for Family Home Evening we went out and got ourselves a Christmas tree.  We are so excited about our BIG house that we got a BIG tree.  (It would have half taken over our living room before.)

 Lights up.  Ornaments next.  Ryan and I took turns unwrapping ornaments, and the kids were off putting on the ornaments.  It was a whirlwind of activity, but the kids did a good job.  I only rearranged a couple of stacked up ornaments.  We were done in record time.

 Angel going up!
 And this is me playing with the settings on my camera.  I got my tree to "glow."  :)  Sometimes I feel like such a doof.  I have this fancy camera for a couple of years now, and I need the manual to figure out how how to adjust the "ISO."  But at least the picture looks cool.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Minute To Win It- Thanksgiving Style

This month while I was sick and good for nothing except lying around all day, I decided what we needed for Thanksgiving was an activity.  So while I was a blob on the couch, I looked up Minute To Win It party games online and decided on a few of the many out there for our gathering.  It turned out so fun.

We started with Breakfast Scramble.  This is a puzzle of the front of boxes of cereal.  Strangely, this is harder than it sounds.
 Then there was Face the Cookie.  Seriously, so funny.  You have to get the cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using hands.
 Next, we had Shake It.  This is where you have to shake 6 ping pong balls out of a kleenex box.
 Then, we had "This Blows" which requires you to blow 15 dixie cups off the bench with a balloon.
 Penny Hose had us try to reach pennies in each of the feet of a pair of panty hose without using your hands to help the other hand.
Smiley Faces had us use straws to move M&Ms onto a paper plate in the shape of a smiley face.  Two eyes, one for a nose, and five for the mouth.
 Lastly, there was Noodling Around.  This was using uncooked spaghetti noodles to scoop up penne.  6 for adults, 4 for the kids.  No hands allowed- for those of us 8 years old and up.
I had a lot of fun.  Judging from the laughs, I think our guests did too.  I think if we host Thanksgiving dinner in the future, we will do this again.

Once the games were done, I headed to the kitchen.  The turkey had been in the oven for a couple hours, and it was time to whip the rest of it up.  Everyone brought part of the dinner, but it still takes a while to put together.  This was quite a feast!  We drank a lot of Martinellis apple cider too.
 After we were good and stuffed, we needed a little break before digging into the pie.  We had lots, and lots, and lots of pie.

Thanksgiving Decor

Here are some of the projects we've been working on to get ready for Thanksgiving:
 For Family Home Evening this last Monday, we made "hand turkeys."  Always fun to see everyone's interpretation.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I love this time of year.  We had some great talks in Sacrament Meeting at church today about being thankful.  Of course this topic was a no-brainer considering the holiday coming up this week.  But it got me thinking.  I am so blessed, and should take the time to remember to be thankful for what I do have.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for today.

I'm thankful that my parents raised me in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I'm thankful for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  With His help, someday I may become the person I want to be.

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband.  Ryan has been great while I have been sick.  He's cleaned the house, cooked dinners, and put the kids to bed without complaint.  And once that is done, he holds me on the couch while I cough.  No matter what I make, Ryan always says my food is better than anyone else's.  He doesn't complain those days I'm a lousy housekeeper.  He thanks me for the clean clothes I (usually, just not so much this month) get around to washing.

I'm thankful for girl friends who surprise me and take me out to dinner for an early birthday celebration.  I have wonderful friends.

I'm thankful for family friends who hang out with our craziness.  Even when some no longer live in town, they still call us up and want to see us when they are in the area.

I'm also thankful for family friends who have medical knowledge and let us pick their brains (and stitch up my husband- twice) on weekends.

I'm thankful we were blessed with finding the perfect new house for us.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the space.

I'm thankful for my girls.  I love when I catch them being kind and sweet to one another.  I love that they like each other, and want to spend time with their sisters.  (Ahem, but they still need to go to sleep when it is bedtime!)

I'm thankful for my in-laws.  I couldn't have married into a better or nicer family.

I'm thankful for bartering.  It was really nice to have free babysitting last night so I could go grocery shopping with Ryan- just the two of us.

I'm thankful for modern technology.  I'm thankful for email, phones, the internet (how did we find new recipes without it?), tv (to use the kids attention so I can get something done), epidurals, stand mixers, mp3 players, cameras, computers, washing machines, cars, indoor heating and plumbing, and dishwashers.

I'm thankful for a modern day prophet and revelation.

Once I got going, it was easy to come up with quite a list of things I'm thankful for.  I could keep going, but I think I'll stop here for now.  How lucky and blessed I am to have been born in this time and place.  I need to remember that, more than I do.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Today I broke down and went to the doctor's office.  Ryan insisted.  As in, he made me an appointment before I even got up this morning.  I think he got kind of worried about me when I got really winded from going up the stairs in our house twice yesterday.  (It was Sunday morning and we were trying to get the kids ready for church.  Making several trips up and down stairs is par for the course.)  I went to church with the family.  I tried not to sit too close to anyone while I hacked away in the back of the primary room.  I had already missed one Sunday from this blasted virus.  Missing two was unacceptable.

After church, I had to lie down and do nothing for the rest of the day.  At dinner time I literally had no energy and had to prop up my head at the dinner table.  I felt utterly pathetic.

At the doctor's office it was determined I had bronchitis and borderline walking pneumonia.  On one hand, it was a relief to know there was a reason for my symptoms.  On the other- how sad is it I suffered through 12 days of this before deciding to do something.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Family Day

Yesterday most of my husbands family came over to our house (minus Michael, Blair and their son Simon, who obviously think they are too good for us and came up with some lame excuse of going to see Blair's brother when he came home from his mission-humpf).  Ryan's grandma flew up from California, and everyone converged here to see her.  Our new, lovely, very big house is a good place for big family get-togethers like this.

 It was also a good opportunity to celebrate Annie and Maddie's birthday again with the extended family.  I don't think they minded having to open some more presents.

Annie asked Grandpa to change Cinderella's clothes.  I laughed to myself and took pictures of Grandpa's fingers trying to manipulate the teeny, tiny clothes for the teeny, tiny doll.
For dinner we had our friends James, Tiffany and their kids over to join us, since their furnace was out.  With another 5 people here, we ended up having the kids eat on the floor of the kitchen while the adults ate at the two tables set up in the front room.  Ryan and I were kidding around about leaving a jar by the front door and letting our guests give donations for a bigger table.  We made need one eventually, as the family continues to grow.  But it isn't such a bad problem. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sickie Poo

I got sick this year- really, truly, good and sick.  The day after Halloween, I started feeling kind of "off."  By Friday morning, I had a fever, chills, and a good, solid cough.  Ryan stayed home from work to take care of the kids so I could be pathetic lying down instead of pathetic and trying to take care of kids.  Hopefully rest would be just the thing to get me going again.

Saturday (and the twins' birthday) I was worse.

Sunday I was starting to sound like Elizabeth before I took her to the doctor a couple of weeks ago.  Ryan found some Mucinex for me, and after a couple of doses, I was breathing easier.  I was coughing a bunch, but at least I felt like I could take a good breath in.  I was still horizontal and shivering under our big denim blanket.

Monday the twins watched too much tv.

Tuesday, I showered and took the minivan in to get our break pads replaced, and that was my big accomplishment for the day.

Wednesday was my day to help with preschool.  Since Thursday was no school due to parent teacher conferences, we switched days.  We were going to have a field trip, and I was needed to help drive kids to Kid's Castle to run around and play.  I mostly sat by myself once we got there, so I wouldn't cough on people.  Thankfully, a couple other moms not with our preschool group came too, so I was able to trade seating when Maddie had an accident, and just go home early.  After a trip to Costco.  We were out of cheese and a few other necessary things.  Then I laid down for the rest of the day.

Thursday we drove to Boise and back in a single day.  Instead of getting antsy and wiggly after sitting in the car for so long, I was content to just be an un-energetic blob.  The only thing missing was my blanket (I brought my pillow) and putting my feet up.

Now it's another Friday, and I am still on the couch feeling like I'm trying to cough up a lung.  My fever still comes and goes, usually with timing of my doses of Tylanol or Advil.  The kids think my voice sounds like Daddy's voice.  I'm really tired of this virus.  It is taking its merry time going away.  I need to get my energy back, and soon!

Boise Temple Open House

Sometimes I think we are certifiably crazy.  Yesterday morning at about 7:20 am, we all clambered into our minivan and went for a 5 hour drive to the Boise LDS temple.  We made pretty good time, only stopping once for lunch and a potty break.  As we drew close the the freeway exit, I saw one of those construction-type signs on the side of the road with directions on which exit to take to go to the LDS Temple Open House.  I started laughing, which started my coughing again (more on that later), and I was unable to tell Ryan what had set me off until after we had passed the sign.  It must be an Idaho thing.  I'm pretty sure I didn't see anything like that for the other two open houses I've attended in our state.

Once we arrived, we all stayed in the car and shimmied into our church attire.  I'm sure we made for a nice show, had anyone been paying attention.  

The kids were pretty excited to be able to go inside the temple.  (To learn about LDS temple open houses, click here to read about them.)  We all got glamorous "booties" to go over our shoes and we swish, swished our way inside.  Maddie loved the sparkly chandeliers and asked for one for her room for her "burpday."  I thought the stained glass windows throughout the building were beautiful.

Once we were finished with the tour, we went back to our car for our coats and the camera.  We didn't drive 5 hours to have no pictures to remember this by.  We walked back on the grounds and looked for a good photo op.  We found one, and looked for a good place to balance the camera while the timer ran down while Ryan ran back to be with the family for the picture.  Well, there wasn't any good places.  There was a garbage can, but the edge was too slippery.  While Ryan was searching for something better, I shrugged out of my coat and threw it across the garbage can.  Now the camera wouldn't fall into the hole.  We were set.  The first time, Annie followed Ryan over to set the self timer and when Ryan grabbed her to run back, her boot fell off and so she was screaming when the camera took our picture.  It wasn't a good look for her.  The second try was better.

 We love fountains.

Once we felt our wiggles were sufficiently sufficed, we all piled back in the car for the ride home.  That's right- we drove all 5 hours back home the same day as the first 5 hours.  The kids did great.  They were rewarded with hot fudge sundaes at McDonalds when we stopped for dinner.  We listened to 2 audio books, watched 1 movie, and sung along to music.  I still need to get a video of all the kids singing along to "Call Me Maybe."  It's the funniest thing.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

In Which Annie and Maddie Turn 4

My babies turned 4 yesterday.  (sniff, sniff)  They have been so excited for their "burpday," as they call it.  Every time we would enter a store, they would point out so many things that they wanted for their birthday.  Luckily, they seemed happy with what they got.  Annie and Maddie got to open their presents in the morning.

In the afternoon, Ryan took the girls on an Amazing (Boy) Race.  The race was held in honor of a local little boy with Menkes Disease.  I was supposed to go too, but I've been really sick the last couple of days.

After dinner (which Ryan made, because I've been pathetic and haven't felt like moving much), it was cake time.  Annie wanted pink frosting and Maddie wanted purple.
Happy Birthday Annie and Maddie!

Friday, November 2, 2012


Maddie loves her Tinkerbell costume so much.  She's been wearing it all the time.  Even if we try to put her to bed in her pjs, she changes back into the costume after we leave.