Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pioneer Day!

I love being able to celebrate Pioneer day. This is one holiday we haven't stuck with any particular tradition. Jeff had the day off from work, so we planned a nice relaxing day at home with the kids. Okay, maybe relaxing with 3 kids around isn't exactly realistic, but we still had a good time. We spent the afternoon baking sugar cookies. Jeff was in charge of assembling all the ingredients and supervising our little culinary-wizards-in-training. I got to roll the dough and then I pulled out all the stops. We got out every single cookie cutter we have (which honestly isn't very many) and the kids got to pick what shapes of cookies we had. Let me tell you they had a good time! We had Easter bunnies and eggs, bats, owls, pumpkins, pine trees, snowmen, gingerbread men and even Santa. After they had cooled we frosted them and then used every kind of sprinkles housed in my spice cupboard to decorate. McKay was more concerned licking the knife then actually decorating, and the counter was covered in sprinkles. It was great! It was one of those moments you hope always stays with your kids.

Between baking and frosting (giving the irresistable treat time to cool), we had a little BBQ. Jeff and I concocted our own baked beans completely from scratch (turned out soo yummy), added a little potato salad, some corn muffins, porked grilled outside and some pink lemonade and we were sitting pretty. No one went hungry. THat's for sure!

As soon as it was dark enough to do fireworks, we dragged blankies outside to watch our own little fireworks. They were surprisingly good. (I say surprisingly because we bought them last year.) Our neighbor ran over one that we hadn't set off yet. It looked like it would still work. Yeah. When a car runs over your fireworks, they're not going to work great. This one (a big one) fell on it's side after the initial lighting and then started it's lovely display of sparks. Only, when they are shooting at you and your little ones, they are slightly less lovely. My ears are still ringing from Lyndsi shrieking in excitement and fear.

It was a fabulous holiday all in all, and I'm so glad we took the time to stay home and make some fun memories with the kids.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

An Afternoon to Myself

There was once a time in my life (like this morning) that I thought I would LOVE an afternoon completely to myself. My wish came true. Around 2:30 my mom and dad stopped by and whisked Lyndsi and McKay off to the mountains for a little camping. Feeling the excitement rising and anxious to luxuriate in my little bit of freedom, I settled the baby down for a belated afternoon nap. least 2 hours all to myself! No snacks to fix, faces to wipe, no fighting...I was able to finish a movie without any interruptions. And then what? I was at a complete loss. I had forgotten how long a couple of hours could be. Not much on TV, especially when there are no kids begging you to let them watch cartoons instead of Oprah. No little giggles or prolonged silences to investigate. Nothing. Honestly, it was a little bit of a let down. On the bright side, there's always tomorrow to set things right! I'll have almost a full work day with just me and my babe who still takes 2 naps a day. And, Jeff is taking me out to dinner tonight. Yay!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Last summer for our little family book club, my sister-in-law picked a vampire story called *"Twilight" for us to read. I hadn't read a vampire story since Junior High, but I willingly went along with it, opting to check it out from the library instead of getting it from Barnes and Noble. (We had just read a different vampire story "the Historian" earlier in the year). Along with so many others, I was hooked on Stephenie Meyers series about a cult of vampires who were "vegetarian" only feasting upon wildlife. I just went to her website and read the first chapter of the 3rd book, Eclipse. If you haven't read her books, do! She puts a different spin on a classic monster.

*Read the book before you go snooping too far into her website. She has the first chapter of Twilight rewritten in a very different perspective. My own opinion is to read the book, then from her site. It's much more exciting that way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Christmas in July

That's a phrase we commonly here in this patriotic summer month, sometimes referring to a special charity drive, other times to a huge, blowout-type sale. I've seen the phrase a few times this summer myself. On my cousin's blog, she issued a scrapbook challenge to get some Christmas pictures committed to an album. On another scrapbooker's blog (OK-one of the royal family of scrapbooking-Becky Higgins), she was also talking about Christmas in July and how she was listening to Christmas music in her office as she worked on the December issue of Creating Keepsakes. With this inspiration and the enjoyment I find in doing a challenge, I started thinking more about the holidays. I went into my living room and dusted off my Reader's Digest collection of Christmas music. I sat down to make a meager attempt of playing a few carols. The first one brought the kids running to me from the far corners of the house as they heard the piano mimic the tinkling of sleigh bells and they joyously started singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." I experienced a slight rush of holiday feeling at that precise moment. Not playing the piano particularly well, I gave up on that song and tinkered around a little with "Jingle Bell Rock" one that I play particularly well, for me anyway. My fingers were still a little restless, so I continued flipping through the book, looking over each familiar Christmas title until I stumbled on a sentimental favorite of my. As I started, as best I could, playing through the slow, melancholy "I'll be home for Christmas," I was enveloped in memories of Christmas past. I was immediately transported back in time and place, several years back to my Grandma's living room. I could distinctly hear this song's beautiful melody coming from her piano with it's old, slightly tingy sound. I could almost feel the soft snowflakes swirling around outside her large front room window as I sat quietly in the living room, the only lights being the piano light and a soft glow coming from her flocked Christmas tree decorated with glass bells and little Christmas mice. I could even smell the homey, clean smell her house always had. It was amazing. This is not a memory of mine, but a feeling put into pictures in my mind. I had been bit by the holiday bug (and not the grumpy Bah!Hum bug) and was flooded with warm, wonderful sensations only Christmas time can produce, like warm rich hot chocolate after a night out at Temple Square or carolling or delivering gifts. What are some of your favorite memories of Christmas? What sort of feelings does that special time of year evoke from you? I'd like to encourage you pull out some of your favorite holiday music and let it take you back, let you feel. Then write it down while the memories and feelings are fresh. July is a great time to reflect on Christmas. There is no rush, no overcrowded stores, no calendars bursting at the seams. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Weekend in Review

It's only Saturday night, one full day of the weekend yet to go, and I am still going to review my weekend in hopes of preventing any further excitement. Friday I did go see Harry Potter. It was excellent. It wasn't as dark as the preview made it seem. Next time I won't read the book in the 2 or 3 months before the movie comes out. Being a 900 page book, there were some things that didn't make the movie for obvious reasons. If you go see the movie, read the book after. It will fill in a lot of details. Jeff really enjoyed the movie as well.

In other weekend new, this afternoon while playing on the bathtub (don't ask), Lyndsi fell and broke the washcloth/soap holder in the shower with her knee. After Jeff practically knocked down the locked door, we discovered she had torn the skin on her knee pretty bad. Lucky for us the doctor's office is a hop, skip, and a jump a way and open 7 days a week. She ended up with 7 stitches. Bummer. I've never had stitches and it was hard watching her go through that. She's a little bit of a drama queen so there was a little bit of theatrics involved, but you could tell the screams of pain versus the ones of drama. Soon after returning home however, she was playing like nothing had happened.

I'm really hoping tomorrow is quiet.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Jeff and I are going to see the new Harry Potter film tomorrow. I can't wait. I never thought I would be soo excited (I need to find a new adjective-but if you know me at all excited fits) about the whole Harry Potter thing, but I'm hooked. What can I say? The fifth book, "The Order of the Phoenix" is by far my favorite, at least of the 5 I've read. (Yeah, I'm a little behind on my wizarding current events. Current events was never a strong subject for me.) I've purposely been putting off reading No. 6 until I see the movie. I don't want to know what happens next just yet. I'll be back soon to let you now how the movie was!

Christlike Attributes

I was just reading through the July visiting teaching message on practicing holiness. I loved the quote by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He said, "Developing Christlike attributes in our lives is not an easy task...The reality check comes when Christlike attributes need to become visible in our lives--as husband or wife, as father or mother, as son or daughter, in our friendships, in our employment, in our business, and in our recreation. We can recognize our growth, as can those around us, as we gradually increase our capacity to 'act in all holiness before [Him]' (D&C 43:9)" I was thinking along these same lines the other night when Jeff and I were discussing the events of the day and I made the comment that kids have a way of putting a magnifying glass on all of a parent's faults. In a way, I am grateful for that, for them showing me that I still have much to learn and master before I am a truly Christlike person. I am also grateful for wonderful Church leaders who have such a loving and positive manner, always encouraging us to do better than we are.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Grandpa is always willing to share his treats with a cute face. This time however, the cute face won and got half of his ice cream sandwich! She has a very tenacious grip on treats. Not only was half of Soph's face covered in chocolate, but grandpa's shirt as well.

Today my little basket of sunshine reached another milestone. She pulled up to standing all on her own! I cannot believe how big she is getting. See that smile on her face? That is an almost-always permanent fixture, especially if you are chasing her around the house or if McKay is anywhere near by. I am not ready to be the mother of another 1-year-old. She has just grown up in a blink of an eye.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Charity Crop

My cousin Marlene and her husband Karson are sponsoring a charity scrapbooking event to support the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation. This sounds like such an awesome event. To read more about it, visit the Charity Crop link.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Creamy Garden Spaghetti

We made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! Even Sophie gobbled two mashed-up bowls of it. I found the recipe a long time ago in a Taste of Home magazine. It is alot of work and 4 hands are better than two for this one, but well worth the time and dirty dishes!!

Creamy Garden Spaghetti

1/2 lb. fresh broccoli, cut in florets 2 T. butter/margarine
1 1/2 c. sliced zuchinni 2 T. flour
1 1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms 2 T. Chicken boullion granules
1 large carrot sliced 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 T. olive oil 2 c. milk
8 oz. uncooked spaghetti 1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese
1/4 c. chopped onion 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
3 garlic cloves minced

In a large skillet saute broccoli, zuchinni, mushrooms, and carrots in oil until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and set aside. Cook spaghettis according to package directions. In another saucepan, saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, boullion, and thyme until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes (or until thickened). Reduce heat to low; stir in cheeses until melted. Add the veggies; heat through. Drain spaghetti and toss with veggie mix. Serves 4.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


I have been inspired by friends and family to create a space for my own little thoughts, pictures, etc. that I want to share those I love. So, to all of you, enjoy!