Friday, October 31, 2008


So, I've always thought Elvis was pretty cute. But I've never quite believed the stories about girls fainting at the site of him.

Until now.

My Elvis is completely swoon-worthy.

And totally mine.


Happy Halloween everyone! More details (and the remaining days of the 13 days) to come!

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 13

On the thirteenth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Halloween dinner for eating!

In the past years I've made an elaborate dinner with fun sides and a spooky dessert. And it always is exhausting getting it all done, with getting dressed and trick-or-treating. So, I decided on a much simpler menu this year:

mummy dogs with blood (ketchup)
eyeballs (grapes)

We had fun making the mummy dogs together, and it made for a fast, simple dinner.

This was lots of fun, and I'm sad it's over. But, I'm kind of glad for a break, too.

Especially because today is November 1st, which is the start of a whole other countdown altogether.

Holidays are just too fun.

Mummy dog recipe from Jenny at Picky Palate.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 12

On the twelfth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Bags for trick-or-treating.

We decorated tote bags today for the kids to collect the goods tomorrow night.

Grace had (a little) help with hers.

Adam's may not be dry in time.

He likes his paint thick.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 11

Even Grace was un-impressed.

On the eleventh day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
A car drive for house seeing.

The plan was to go on a walk/drive to see some fun Halloween decorations (we've loved doing this in the past), except there weren't many houses decorated.

I guess people in the ghetto don't do that. :)

So, we got some donuts and came home and made up some scary stories. I told some ghost stories that we used to tell at girl's camp and sleepovers, that would keep me up all night hearing sounds in the woods.

Adam thought they were lame.

He's hard to please.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 10

On the tenth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Candy for haunted house decorating.

I think our activity today has been my favorite so far. We made haunted houses. I had fully intended to bake a big sugar cookie haunted house (like a gingerbread house, but with sugar cookie dough) for us to decorate together. But, then I thought, why? I knew if I did that, that my perfectionist side would come out, and I'd tell the kids where to put stuff and wouldn't let them eat it, etc.

What's the fun in that?

So we made them out of chocolate graham crackers, and decorated them with a bunch of dollar store candy. We had SO much fun, and I loved letting their little creative minds go!

Grace was more interested in eating than decorating. And more interested in eating the candy off of the house that she had just decorated, rather than sneaking a piece from a bag.

Adam wanted his a few stories higher, but decided to go with the more simplistic approach.

Well, simpler anyways.

If you decide to do this, DO make royal icing with meringue powder (you can find it at Wal-Mart or any craft store). It dries quick and hard and is perfectly safe for little fingers who want to taste it.

Or big ones. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 9

On the ninth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
A big pumpkin for carving.

Carving pumpkins is the best. Choosing the design. Getting out the slime. Separating the seeds and cooking them for a snack. We had a great time together carving up our pumpkin.

Grace did not want to touch the innards, but had no problem eating them.

Thinking back about our garden attempt, I wondered last night if she's going to become a raw vegetarian (is there a proper term for that?) someday. Hmmmm...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 8

On the eighth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
A scavenger game for hunting.

The eighth day of Halloween was supposed to be something else. However, I realized that I was missing an ingredient for the treat we were going to make, and it was Sunday, so I couldn't exactly run to the store. So, I pulled out a skeleton scavenger hunt game I had bought just for this purpose.

The goblin knows that she can be forgetful sometimes. :)

We had fun. It was okay. But I definitely think that the homemade crafts/treats are much more fun.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 7

On the seventh day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Spooky books for reading (by flashlight).

Lights off


2 flashlights


4 scary books from the library


A fun Halloween bedtime routine.

5 Things Tag

I was tagged by my awesome friend, Celeste. Here goes:

5 things I was doing 10 years ago ...
1- I was 16 (... going on 17 :) )
2- Having a blast with Homecoming floats, football games, and going out with my friends (I had just met Celeste, actually)
3- An assistant editor on the school newspaper
4- Making money by baby-sitting
5- Hating, hating my braces

5 things on today's "to do" list...
1- Visit with my parents
2- Stake 'Halloween Hoedown'
3- Work on my RS lesson
4- Write a paper
5- Work on Adam's Primary Program part

5 snacks I enjoy...
1- Strawberries/fresh pineapple/cantaloupe/peaches... any fruit, really
2- Chips + guacamole/salsa
3- Chocolate anything
4- Pita chips/vegetables + hummus
5- Yogurt + graham crackers

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire...
1-Get out of debt
2-Buy a house
3-Have more children
4-Save, save, save!
5-Go on a fun vacation.

5 places I have lived...
1-Phoenix, AZ
2-Glendale, AZ
3-Flagstaff, AZ
4-Las Vegas, NV

5 jobs that I have had...
1-Cashier at Rubio's Baja Grill
2-Store Manager at Delia's Cleaners
3-Front Office at a pediatrician's office
4-Front Office at the dorms
5-Groundskeeper at the dorms

Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, Let the person that tagged you know when you've answered the questions on your blog.

I tag: anyone who wants to!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 6

On the sixth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Spooky treats for sharing.

Every year (since we've been married), Mike and I have 'boo-ed' our fellow ward members with a treat and a ghost to pass on. It's been a lot of fun to do, and have our kids get into, as well.

This year, Mike and I knew it wouldn't be possible to do in the ward we are in now. For a variety of reasons, it just wouldn't work. So, instead I thought it would be fun to doorbell ditch some treats, with no requirement of passing it on.

We had fun making the cookies together and doorbell ditching is now something Adam wants to do daily... even with a scary experience with a dog tonight. Grace, well, she doesn't subscribe to the "It is more blessed to give" idea, and was very upset that we were giving away all of the cookies.

Bringing cookies, ringing doorbells, running as fast as you can, and jumping in the car is an activity that made us all feel silly. And giggly.

We love feeling silly and giggly.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 5

Today the goblin left us a yummy after-school snack in the fridge. Yum!

On the fifth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
A Frankenstein treat for snacking.

Instructions here. (FYI: I used pistachio pudding-because Mike really likes it-instead of vanilla + green food coloring).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 4

On the fourth day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
A pumpkin game for playing.

We played "Pin the Face on the Jack O' Lantern." This was so fun and made us all laugh like crazy.

Some of us were better at it than others.

Adam's first try

Forgive the lopsided pumpkins. Along with a lack of poem skills, the goblin is not too good at free-cutting pumpkin shapes.

She also can't sing.

Or so I've heard.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 3

Day 3. I am loving this.

On the third day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Ghost suckers for licking.

Classic, easy, simple, and fun. Tootsie roll pops with a white tissue wrapped around, tied, and a face drawn on. Adam liked making his a bit more scary. Grace was confused why we were turning perfectly good candies into ghosts. We are bringing them to playgroup tomorrow to share.

After sampling them first, of course. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 2

Today's note read:

On the second day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Apples for caramel dipping.

Very fun. Very yummy. And very, very sticky!

PS-I've had people asking if Grace's head is hurt again, and why she is still wearing a bandage. No, she hasn't been hurt again. I'm just keeping it covered in Mederma and under a bandage. No sun exposure = better looking scars. And being unable to see her owie means no Gracie sobbing about the 'yucky' on her head. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The 13 Days of Halloween: Day 1

Clockwise from top left corner: Mine, Grace's, Adam's, Mike's

I love Halloween. I think I've mentioned that a time or twelve before. Anyways, I read about a really fun way of counting down to the big day/doing all of the fun crafts and treats that I've been thinking about for the past 11 months.

The magazine I found the idea in did "The 13 Days of Halloween", with each day on a wall hanging, with the activity to be done that day on the back. But, I thought it would be fun to have a 'goblin' deliver a bag each day with a note and supplies for the activity/craft/recipe. As the kids tore into the bag, I thought, "This would have been so much fun to do for another family." So we're going to do that next year. Friends: beware! :)

Today, was Day 1. The goblin delivered a fun, orange bag, with a note that read:

On the first day of Halloween, a goblin gave to me:
Pumpkins for painting.

The goblin is not much of a poet. But we'll forgive her.

The bag had mini pumpkins, some sponge brushes, paint, and google eyes in it. We painted them, and had a blast! Mike and I painted one, too. We had so much fun getting creative, and I LOVE how they turned out! So fun.

Can't wait to see what the goblin delivers tomorrow! I'll do a quick post everyday on what we do. That will let our families know we're still alive, and give anyone out there some easy Halloween craft ideas. Just in case you wanted some.

(I need to catch up on my posting to keep our family caught up on us, but Super Saturday/school is just taking all of my time now. Will do that soon!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

5 Days Later...

We took Grace's bandages off today. Which proved to be a lot more problematic than I thought it would be. The doctor used the 'medical super glue' to glue all of the steri-strips and bandages to her forehead, with the thought that she wouldn't be able to remove them that way.

She couldn't. Neither could I.

If any of you have ever had super glue on your finger before, then you know what a pain it is to get it off. But, I needed to clean the area, so, we slowly, slowly pulled it off.

And then she had her first bath... which she was SO happy about.

After her bath, she ran to the mirror to check herself out, like she normally does after her bath. She was a bit distraught about the mark on her forehead. She kept pointing to it and saying, "Yuck!" I was really worried for a little while.

However, I quickly put the medicine on and then busted out the "Princess" bandages that I bought a few days ago just for this occasion. I then held my breath, as we looked in the mirror again.

I think the face says it all.

Grossin' Me Out

I like candy corn and I love Hershey Kisses. But every time I walk by these in the store, I gag.

Just needed to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Food Nerd/Going Crazy

While we were living at NAU and going to school, I realized that I really liked cooking. Which was unfortunate, because our budget allowed for rice and beans, with the occasional treat of boxed mac-n-cheese.

It was cruel irony to get the Food Network for free, and yet have no money to make that kind of stuff. So being the COMPLETE nerd that I am (I'll admit it), I made a list of recipes that I wanted to make when we were rich.

Or, at least when we were out of the cup-o-noodles category.

So, while we aren't rich be any means now, we don't have to live solely on rice and beans anymore, either. And I've been indulging myself in (occasionally) making some of the creations that I've saved up so carefully.

I mentioned that I'm a nerd, right?

Last week I bought my very first leek and spaghetti squash to make this soup with this week, and I've pretty much been sighing in happiness every since. I actually keep peeking into the fridge so that I can see them. I'm so excited to cook the soup... chop up the leek, and roast my spaghetti squash like all of the famous chefs I used to adore (we don't get cable nowadays).

The thought that I just might be crazy to be this excited has crossed my mind.

I think that's what happens after being trapped in a house for 5 days with a sick little boy and a girl who "isn't allowed to sweat or the glue holding her forehead together will dissolve" does to you.

Makes you start worshiping leeks.

And pretending to be Rachael Ray.

And letting the world know about it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A New "Pet" Of Sorts

Months and months ago, I found an ant farm on clearance. I've never seen an ant farm in person before, and it looked pretty fun, so we bought it, and sent out for the ants. A few weeks later, we received a notice that it was too hot to mail the ants, so it would be a while.

We waited and waited and waited. And forgot all about the ants, to tell you the truth.

Then last week, the ants came!

It was still very hot, and most of them (unfortunately) died en route. However, 4 are still living.

We set up our ant farm, dumped them in, and fed/watered them. It turns out that ants are actually super cool. And they are the best baby-sitter ever.

Ants on Day 2

We sit around and watch these guys a lot. They are truly fascinating. I was even late picking up Adam from school last week because Grace and I were staring at them. Which is beyond pathetic. They are super strong and intelligent and I never realized what hard workers they are. It's just amazing seeing these little bugs haul huge pieces of dirt, care for each other, build tunnels, and tear apart food. Fascinating.

Ants on Day 8

And I completely and totally love them because Adam and Grace will just watch them and watch them while I do exorbitant, selfish things for myself...

... like showering.

Which I'm sure everyone appreciates.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conference Cinnamon Rolls

While we were dating, Mike and I made our first batch of cinnamon rolls together for Sunday session General Conference. And we've made them every time since. These are the absolute, most delicious cinnamon rolls ever. I know everyone says that about their cinnamon rolls.

But that's only because they've never had these.

These rolls are ridiculously rich, and one is way enough, so we always make plans to bring half to another family before conference begins. Or be a good missionary and invite some others to watch conference with you with the lure of these delicious babies.

Clone of a Cinnabon


1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (4 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. Place first 7 ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes (I normally do this the night before, and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Let come to room temperature before baking). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
Note: If you don't have a bread machine, you can still make this. Check out the reader comments for directions at the recipe link below.

Recipe courtesy

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Last night Grace was being a little goofy. Dancing around, jumping, and singing. All in an effort to stay out of bed. After tripping and hitting her head on the fireplace, she got what she wanted. Well, she got to stay up until 3:30 in the morning at least. I don't think she wanted the 1-inch long gash in her forehead.

I called the urgent care (really wanted to avoid the ER) and they assured me that they took care of lacerations, even deep ones, on young children. I drove there and waited. Only to hear the doctor tell me that there was 'no way' she could treat a 2-year-old. Thanks.

So, we headed to the children's ER. She was checked and re-checked for a concussion, I was questioned and re-questioned for abuse (sad world we live in), numbed up with gel, and put back together with 'plastic surgeon glue', which I've been told is a fancy name for 'super glue.' And after lots of Nemo stickers, juice, and a pink piggy puppet, she was happy and we came home.

She's doing great (and is already playing the sympathy card...), and I think that the worst part of this is going to be that she can't take a bath for 5 days. This girl looks forward to her bath at night all day. Five days is going to be torture!

I'm so thankful that she's okay and didn't have a concussion. I'm so thankful for the wonders of medicine. I still can't believe how relatively simple and easy the process was and that she didn't have to get shots/stitches that would have caused her additional pain. We are so blessed.

(BTW, do any of you have fireplaces and what do you use to protect the edges? We have the 'corner cushions' on the fireplace, but I haven't been able to find anything to go along the length... which is where she hit her head.)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Nights Are the Best!

Adam and Grace LOVE Friday nights.

Not because we normally watch a movie together

Or because they get to stay up a bit later.

Though they do love those things.

But, because I scrub down the bathroom on Saturday mornings and don't care how dirty it gets on Friday nights,

I let them SPLASH as much as they want during their bath.

BTW, the tile really isn't that dirty. It's an older apartment, and that's just how they are. Or, that's what I tell myself it is anyways. Otherwise I'd be so grossed out that we'd have to move. :)