Sunday, December 12, 2010

{sort of} birthday interview with Andrew

I always feel a little bad about not having much to put in the blog besides a birthday celebration report for the kids.  Tonight when I was catching up on Andrew's birthday post, I remembered that our Primary did these spotlights by email.  So, I copy and pasted, 'cause that's how I roll.... (now hopefully I still have the one from Eden's birthday too....)

1. Where were you born? Honolulu, Hawaii

2. How many Brothers and Sisters do you have? 1 brother and 1 sister

3. What do yo like to do for fun? play with Legos, ride his scooter, jump on the trampoline with Dad

4. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas!

5. What is your favorite food? pizza, salami (not sure about this one, but that's what he said!)

6. What is your favorite Primary song? Joy to the World and Follow the Prophet

7. What is your favorite scripture story? Helaman and the Stripling Warriors

Guess who's six!

This guy!

He was just *a little* excited to be celebrating the big day, complete with cupcakes and presents, in the morning!  (One of the perks of Scott's weird work schedule.)

He's been asking for a 'ninja backpack' for a while.  Once I figured out what he was talking about (a weapon carrier that can be strapped to his back), I thought I might find one on clearance after Halloween.  No such luck, but Amazon came to the rescue.

Of course, no birthday would be complete without adding to his Lego collection....

... I think Legos are here to stay for quite a few years (Jake loves them too)... not such a bad thing to be crazy about, as long as they don't completely take over our house!

Once again, our photographer got lazy {read: busy serving and eating the yummy cupcakes and ice-cream} and didn't take any other pictures of Andrew's celebration.

We love you Andrew!  You are a great son and brother.  We're lucky to have you in our family!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 10, 2010

Early December...

Who's the birthday boy in this picture?

If you answered, Scott, you're right! It was so obvious to Andrew that the thing his father wanted and needed most in the world was a set of two Star Wars guys. "So he can have someone play with him when he wants to play Star Wars." Unfortunately, our resident photographer forgot to take any pictures of the cake, so this is the only documentation we have that Scott did indeed have a birthday this year.

Our ward Christmas party was the first weekend in December, and the theme was "A Night in Bethlehem". Lucky for us, we had these great outfits from Scott's trips to 'the desert'. We got lots of compliments, I guess deployments and TDYs have their perks... Unfortunately, Scott had to work that night so he didn't get to come to the one party this year where he'd have a reason to wear his own middle eastern outfit.

One FHE in November we collected leaves. I flattened them and coated them with wax using an iron. And, finally, a few weeks later, I remembered to let the kids make som art with them.

Eden was so excited when she came up with the idea to put all these together (Notice how well they 'go' with her shirt ;)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

While I was pretty impressed with how The Turkey came out (we tried brining this year), I am hoping to get some more pictures from my sisters to show the real fun we had with our visitors.  I seriously have only 3 pictures from this weekend, and they're all of Scott cutting the turkey!

The kids had the whole week off and it was nice to not have to worry about schedules or homework for a while.  We did have some sickness early in the week.  Jake passed his cold to me, Eden and Andrew both had a stomach bug.  But, by the time our guests arrived Wednesday evening we were on the mend.  Dana & Guillaume caught a ride with his sister and husband, and they even made room so Michell could come from Rexburg too!

It was so nice to have the extra hands in the kitchen on the day of.  We had lots of things that would be best if we made shortly before serving.  We were shooting to eat at 3pm, and we sat down at about 3:40, so not too bad, considering all the food came from one kitchen!  There's no way it would have been all done if I had been cooking all by myself.  Here's the menu, with my own notes for next year:

turkey- saoked in a brine overnight, then we cooked it breast-side down for the first hour, came out pretty good, maybe try buttering it before cooking next year (PW makes it look so good), 11 lbs.  was a pretty good size
garlic mashed potatoes- red, unpeeled,
stuffing- added sauteed onion and celery to stovetop stuffing
cream corn- Cream Corn Like No Other from, remember to warm it up in the crockpot next year
green bean salad- had butter, bacon, and sliced almonds from The Girl Who Ate Everything, much better than green bean casserole, maybe use less bacon next time
spinach & cranberry salad- Jamie's Spinach salad, used store dressing, make a half recipe, since it doesn't keep well for leftovers
dessert-y sweet potatoes- from the Guthrie's, half it next year
gravy- from the drippings!
cranberry sauce

dessert: probably need to narrow it down to 3 or 4 next year, but they were all yummy, and we used our own pumpkin puree for all the pumpkin recipes
pumpkin roll
pumpkin pie
double layer pumpkin cheesecake- TGWAE
apple crisp- TGWAE, only cooked half a recipe, good thing
peppermint oreos- TGWAE, make a half recipe next year, but this was the first thing gone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another list for another weekend

This weekend was preceeded by a pretty nice week, minus Jake hanging on to his cold that started the previous week.  Scott was home for 5 days instead of the usual 4 and we got a few things done around the house, including Scott deep-cleaning the stove, and staining our front door.  Isn't he great?!

1.  I ran about 14 miles on Friday.  I'm not 100% committed to the half marathon in a couple weeks (I'm waiting to see what the forecast is for race day). (Which probably makes the mileage sound even crazier to those of you who already think I'm crazy.)

2.  Jacob has been sick with a cold and whiny most of the week.

3.  I was supposed to participate in a 5k with a bunch of ladies from our ward Saturday morning, but couldn't bring myself to ditch a whiny, slime-faced Jake on any of our baby-sitters (I want to make sure they actually want to take care of my kids!)  Of course, Scott had to go back to work with the morning shift on Saturday.

4.  I took the kids to the zoo on Saturday morning instead.  I used up almost an entire package of tissues with Jake.  It was pretty cold, so that didn't help his current condition.  One of the kids favorite things at our zoo, is the place called My Big Backyard.  There are a few farm animals there, and some BIG backyard items.

The kids requested that the black chicken be in the photo too.

5.  Yesterday afternoon, I went visiting teaching, which is always good, and then to Costco.  I stocked up on things (Nutella!) from the coupon book and got only a few other things that we were out of, but didn't have coupons for.  My savings were about 15% from the coupons, on top of the fact that I was buying in bulk from Costco!! The checkout guy was impressed too.

6.  I caught Jake's cold yesterday. (I know it's only just begun because it's only affecting one side of my face so far. Lovely.)

7.  Scott and I had a nice date-night at home with Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster.  Dinner was take-out from a local restaurant that sent Scott a $10 gift certificate.  The Mile-High Ice-cream Pie was delicious and HUGE.  We'll finish it off tonight when he gets home. :)

8.  This morning, Scott made crepes- SO YUMMY!-  then we played some card games with the kids.  Fortunately? I decided to stay home from church with all the kids, since Jake and I have colds (Scott's working this afternoon- of course!) I got to Skype with my mom and sister in Belgium and eat Tam-Tams with Stephen's Hot Cocoa (Chocolate Raspberry flavor if you must know).

9.  Andrew got tummy-sick. I'm glad it didn't happen at church. But now I have 2 whiny, sick boys.  Did I mention Scott's at work?

10.  I made 3 pumpkin rolls to be filled with cream cheese frosting and frozen later tonight or tomorrow.

11.  I'm having Thanksgiving at my house. I'm a little nervous about all the cooking, but we're excited for the company!  I do have a plan for cooking most of the food ahead of time and just heating it up on Thursday. It involves me doing some amount of cooking (besides our regular meals) every day this week. I really can't afford any more sickness around here.

12.  So... Not a completely horrible way to spend the weekend, but not quite the 'BANG!' I was hoping to start out the Thanksgiving Week Break the kids have.  That's right, they get the WHOLE week off, and I'm trying to make that a good, fun, healthy thing for all of us, while still staying somewhat sane. :)

For your viewing pleasure, here are some crafty things I've been up to lately (not this weekend):
The wreath idea came from my friend Jessica's blog, Sherbert Cafe.  The rest came from our ward's Super Saturday.  I was in charge of 'teaching' the Cookies for Santa plate.
This is vinyl stickers on a circle cut from an acetate sheet (like they use for over-head projectors).  Then rolled it up to get it inside the flattened sphere ornament and then add some 'snow'.  So easy, the kids helped me make them at home.

And here's a new 'old' post about a morning at the hot air balloon festival:
Colorado Springs Balloon Classic

Sunday, November 7, 2010


...or 1:52:30
Here I am still in the first half of the race, feeling good. And how could I not when I had a van full of fans cheering me on?
This is not the greatest view of me, but it does show my clock time. Actually, given the look on my face the last few miles, this probably is my better side. ;)  ['TMI' details on my running blog only]

I started my watch started when I crossed the start line, and paused it for one pit stop (luckily there was no line!), and I stopped it right after they ripped my tag off my bib, not more than a few seconds after crossing the finish. So take your pick- I'll take the watch-time!
And here is my fan club, these guys sat in their van for nearly two hours and cheered me on while their mom took lots of pictures, and the girls even gave up their room for me the night before the race, thanks again! I am so lucky!

The best part of the weekend was spending some time with my friend TeraLyn, I even brought my camera to get a picture of the two of us, but completely forgot to get a picture. And I discovered Noodles is a yummy place to eat! Thank you, thank you Rocknak Family!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

We didn't get a lot of pictures of our Halloween festivities, which mainly consisted of our ward's Fall Festival. {Chili Cook-off, Brownie Bake-off, carnival games, and trunk or treat.} Scott and I are on the activities committee and were heavily involved in pulling the whole thing off, and I didn't even think about my camera the whole night, so we don't have many pictures.

We did have this yummy guy for dinner one night last week.  (Jacob didn't get the 'funny face' directions.)

Merlia (Barbie), Iron Man, and The Tiger are excited about the candy, just a little.

Enjoying their loot.  Jake is a major candy-monster.  If you don't want him to eat it, you better not let him see it.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Does anyone else get messages to their inbox that look like some random person has commented on a blog post, but then when you actually look at the post, the comment isn't there?  This has happened a few times in the last few months.  Thankfully, nothing obscene so far, and since the posts don't seem to be real, I'm thinking it's some kind of spam.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Museum fun with Logan

Last week, my brother came out for an ROTC convention in Denver.  He was nice enough to come a little early and play with us at the Littleton Historical Museum (the kids had another day off of school- what's up with October?).  First we stopped at a grocery store to grab a quick lunch (Lunchables are a HUGE treat for our kids).  We ate at a park right across from the museum.  The kids had tons of fun, and burned some energy so they were a little more excited for the museum after the long ride up to Denver.

Jake's favorite was this climbing wall, and he could scale it all by himself!

The museum is pretty great, and free to the public.  It is the only Smithsonian affiliate in the state of Colorado.  The museum itself has a few exhibits, including some hands-on stuff for the kids.  Then there are two 'working' farms, circa 1860s and 1890s.  It's amazing the change that 30 years could make, when that 30 years brings the railroad in.  Their website said that they have people working the farms in costume from the time period.  But, we missed all of them, I think because we waited until after lunch.  (I caught a glimpse of somebody driving a wagon at one of the farms while we were still at the park.)  So next time, I think we'll make sure we go when we can see them in action.  They keep farm animals there, but the kids favorite was a little cat they found relaxing in a window of the 1890s farmhouse.  Of course the cat bolted as soon as the house became over-run with cat-loving kids.

The kids could have spent a lot longer at these hands-on parts of the museum.  Andrew kept saying he was "The King of England!"

Thanks for playing with us Logan!  Hopefully Anna can come next time!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fun at a 'pumpkin patch'

Scott's parents were able to visit with us for a few days before Eden's baptism.  Originally, I had picked out a different farm where we could go into a real pumpkin patch and pick our pumpkins.  But, this one was closer, with a petting farm, and a deal running for half-off adult admission.  And each admission came with a *free* pumpkin- any size.  (And I mistakenly thought there was a real pumpkin patch too.)  When we got there we found out they also had some other things to offer:
- a camel, seriously

- lots of fences for little Jake to climb (Andrew joined in too)

- a slide down into a small gorge

- pony rides (the kids also got to ride a barrel train)

- a hay-bale pyramid to climb on (there was also duck racing and large containers full of dried corn for the kids to play in) and *a little* of wind.  Even with Andrew's pointing finger, that is by far the best picture we got.

Notice how our pumpkins are all pretty much the same size?  Well, the 'pumpkin patch' consisted of a fenced in area with pumpkins spread all over.  And they were all pretty much the same size.  (Luckily, there was a wheelbarrow available for transporting our SEVEN pumpkins!)  A little disappointing, since I had envisioned a less homogenous display on our front porch.  But, I think we'll be making some pumpkin recipes soon- without using a can!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eden's Special Day

Eden was baptized on October 9th. We were fortunate enough to have both of Scott's parents and my mother able to attend. Eden asked both of her grandmothers to speak at her baptism. (We were also fortunate to have the program all to ourselves, since Eden was the only one in our ward being baptized this month.) She asked me to play the piano, and Scott baptized and confirmed her. I know it was a special day for her. When she came out of the water she said, "That was so exciting!" She was so happy to finally have her baptism day. My only regret is that I spent most of the time (that I wasn't playing the piano) wrestling with a quite disruptive and uncooperative Jacob. Letting someone else try to take him only made him louder. Obviously, this was something I should have thought about and made a plan for before the baptism. Should I have got a sitter? But, I don't think I would have felt right about not having Jake there. Definitely something to consider if we have another restless toddler around when Andrew turns eight.

I'm so proud of Eden and her choice to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It's the first of many decisions she will face that will greatly influence her life's path.  Love you, Eden!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another Eden

"Well, I pretty much know everthing because, I learned lots of stuff in primary."

We actually got to watch General Conference on our TV this year for a couple sessions.  Saturday morning we watched with friends who projected it onto a huge wall in their living room. Sunday afternoon we listened on the computer upstairs while Jake napped, and Eden and Andrew played with Fun-Fusion Beads {= 2 whole hours of nearly perfect quiet}.  I'm so thankful for modern technology!  This is the first year we didn't drag everyone down to the church building for one session. Scott was working swings that weekend, so he only got to see the morning sessions. It was a nice weekend, but I digress.

During the conference sessions, the kids had packets I printed out from sugardoodle, the both really enjoyed those, and the bingo game (we used peanut butter M&Ms) I printed out as well. Eden really wanted more pages, even though she apparently knows everything at the ripe old age of 8. Actually, that's probably why she wanted more pages, she loves being right, and knowing everything.  It would have been nice if she had given her parents some credit, but at least she likes Primary.  Really, she's known everything since she was about 2, but now she's able to write it out for the world to see, in almost perfect English.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Believe it or not

**I originally wrote this almost two weeks ago, so note the updates.**

1.  I recently decided there are 3 things that help me feel good.  They are so simple, and yet so easy to forget, or push aside for things that seem more urgent (or because I get lazy).  They say writing down things, like goals, makes them more likely to become real, so I am giving it a try.
  • Reading the scriptures.  Currently, my goal is one chapter per day (in the Book of Mormon) and I can't believe how hard it is to be consistent!  But, I do feel better when I am consistent.
  • Exercise.  Ever since I found out that Scott's work schedule would interfere with our half marathon, I've been pretty lazy on the running.  I still go, just not as far or as fast as I should.  It's sad, because I'm kind of wasting all the mileage I had built up.  On the other hand, I've been pretty consistent on the ChaLEAN Extreme program, and I'm in the lean phase (last month out of 3) now.  I really like the program, and I think it has worked pretty well for me.  (It would work even better if I was as consistent with nutrition, and if I was as consistent on Ab workouts, I really don't like those.)
  • Service.  At first I was thinking just #1 and #2 were the keys to my personal happiness, but recent experiences have reminded me that NOTHING beats the feeling of knowing you have really helped someone.  Sometimes it's a family member, sometimes it's a friend, sometimes it's a stranger.  I could do a lot better at looking for opportunities to serve- again with the consistency.
Maybe my real problem is consisteny.

**UPDATE: Kid-parent frustrations are one of the quickest and surest ways (for me) to be in a foul mood.  And, I have to remember that getting sufficient sleep makes a big difference in my ability to be a better mom.  Scott typically works 2 midnight shifts out of 10 days.  I have the same troubles sleeping as when he's gone.  I REALLY need to figure out a way to get myself to bed at a decent hour on those two nights.  FYI- I'm pretty sure that when those 2 mids land on Friday and Saturday night- meaning Scott is sleeping or working for most of the weekend, and Tired Me is faced with 3 bored and energetic kids- it's the perfect storm for creating Mean Mom around here.**

2.  Being a 'fun mom' is hard for me.  Sad but true. We're pretty good at getting out and about to see and do, but I want to create more family memories in our home.  I think that's as important as anything else we do for our kids.  Today I ordered a subscription to Family Fun Magazine ($10 for a year, so I thought it was worth a try)  after seeing it referenced on a few blogs.  (I am attempting to study up on creating 'family fun'- can you say nerd!?) 
The last several months, I got pretty good at being the 'authoritative mom' and the 'disciplinarian mom' (maybe those aren't quite the right descriptions, hopefully you get the picture), but 'fun mom' kind of got pushed out of the picture a bit.  I'd say I felt 90% serious, 10% fun.  (Hopefully the kids have a better impression of that time period.)  Sometimes I think I'm still stuck in that 'mode'.  Having Eden (and Andrew) back at school really has helped me unwind a little (I was wound pretty tight) and focus more on non-academic/non-serious, but still very important, family/parenting issues.

3.  Maybe I'm not done unwinding seeing how I've spent almost an hour on this post, when I should have been blogging about any number of other things.  Things that my kids would certainly rather read about if I ever get around to turning my blogging into blurbing.

4.  New-girl syndrome has struck.  One benefit of being so focused on homeschooling since we moved here was that I didn't notice and/or didn't care too much about making new friends.  (Sure, we've met a lot of people, and made a few 'friends' and had some fun, but no real lasting connections yet.)  Now that my head is above water again, I feel the feel the familiar sting.  I miss my old friends and I'm not sure I'll ever find any as good as them.  And at the same time I know it is (probably) only a matter of time before these feelings pass and I do feel like I fit in here and have made some real connections to people here.  It's a comforting thought, but sad in a nostalgic way at the same time.

5.  Boy, would I love to have a running partner again.

6.  I have not touched the Hunger Games series yet.  While the rest of the world (at least my facebook world) was submerged in Mockingjay, I sank into a couple books from a caterer murder mystery series Erin got me started on.

7.  Scott and I are on the activites committe.  (Now if I could just get a calling in the Sunday School, I think I'd have everything outside the priesthood on my New Member Resume Information sheet.)  We have an 'adults only' square-dancing/barbeque coming up, and part of me is hoping for something to prevent us from attending.  My comfortable 'kid cushion' will be stripped away.  I will have no easy escape from the pressure and awkwardness of social conversation.  Wo is me.  Hopefully I remember to wear a top that won't give away my profuse nervous sweating. 

**UPDATE:  We went, we had fun, and I did remember to wear something that wouldn't show the sweating.  But, with the full hour of square dancing, everyone was sweating anyway.**

8.  I really thought BYU would defeat USAFA.  Where did the team go after those first 2 touch-downs?  (I have to admit I didn't pay enough attention to the game to have a real opinion on what happened after the first quarter.)  Fortunately, the friends and the post-game food more than made up for BYU's poor performance.  (Does remembering to bring the camera count for anything when I don't remember to TAKE A PICTURE?  Nope.)

9.  Since every one of our children has had their turn getting very lost (as in putting me into near-panic lost), Andrew decided it was time for seconds.  {Actually, maybe he just thought his first experience didn't count since I didn't actually know I had lost him until a kind woman returned him to the group we were with.  But that's another story.}  We (me and the kids) were on our way back to our seats from the [outrageously price] kid-fun-zone.  I didn't realize how close to the end of the game we were.  As we were hiking up to the U sections, the flood started.  (There had been a trickle of mostly BYU fans before this, but I just thought it was because BYU was playing THAT BAD.)  Andrew had been running ahead of me (against my vocalized wishes).  I was hoping he made it to our section (our seats were near the top, close to the main walkway on that level.  But, when I go there (with Eden and Jake), NO ONE was there.  Scott and the rest of our group had already started towards the parking.  That's when I started to panic a little.  I screamed at talked to Scott on the cell phone, then told the nearest gate attendant that we had lost a five-year-old boy.  Shortly after that, Scott and our friends started back-tracking to look for him.  In the meantime, stadium security located a 7 year old boy (not Andrew).  Scott eventually found him on the main walkway between where I had lost sight of him and where our section was.  The whole ordeal was probably 5 minutes, but it felt like a lot longer.

10.  I will not post this until I have posted something more fun.  

**UPDATE:  our desktop, which has all the pics, has a virus or something slowing it down A LOT, and this post is getting pretty out-dated, so I'm ignoring the self-challenge.**

Here We Go Again...

Jake loves Andrew so much (most of the time), and wants to be just like him.  He's had a couple close calls with the brick fireplace that gave Andrew staples in the back of the head.  But, he took it on the chin (this time), and the culprit was a sideways kitchen chair (why do they insist on playing with the chairs this way?).  Luckily, no staples, or even stitches.  He got glue (that didn't make him any happier about holding still so they could be sure to glue the cut CLOSED (and not open).

Fortunately (for me), Scott was home (sleeping for MidS, so not so fortunate for him) when the incident occored.  He kindly volunteered to take Jake to the emergency room, and I stayed home with Eden and Andrew.  Last time he was working the night shift, he came home and let me sleep a couple more hours before he went to bed for the day because he knew I struggle with getting good rest when he's gone.  He offered to do that yesterday too, and I foolishly declined.  He's such a nice guy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

...And the surprise party

Eden and Andrew went out to lunch with Scott. They even picked up one of Eden's friends who we had invited, and she did a great job of not letting on to Eden. She was REALLY surprised!

On of the games we played was this 'flour cake with a penny on top' game.  Everyone took turns cutting away pieces of the 'cake'.  Whoever made the penny topple had to go in after it with their teeth.  Surprising Andrew didn't mind the mess too much!

 I was so impressed with the age range we had that the girls all played nicely together and even included Andrew in all the fun.

 Scott got a 'real' icecream cake from the ice cream store.  We got this great picture of Eden as she blew the candles out.  After more than 5 minutes of trying to cut and serve the cake, we sent the kids outside so the cake could soften more.  It was just a *little* too hard to cut.