Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving in Pictures

A few notes: There are no pictures of our food/us eating, because my camera totally wigged out for the meal only. It was literally working one second, and then wasn't the next. And then after dinner, it was completely fine. Weird.

Hence, the picture of the leftovers in our fridge.

Grace didn't do well at the movie (expected). But, she was free and Adam had a free coupon from school, so I wasn't really upset about us not getting to really see the movie. Adam and Mike had a lot of fun watching it, though. :)

Hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


"Be grateful. There are two little words in the English language that perhaps mean more than all others. They are 'thank you.'

The habit of saying thank you is the mark of an educated man or woman. With whom is the Lord displeased? He names 'those who confess not his hand in all things' (D&C 59:21). That is, those who walk without grateful expression. Walk with gratitude in your hearts, my dear friends. Be thankful for the wonderful blessings which are yours. Be grateful for the tremendous opportunities that you have. Be thankful to your parents, who care so very much about you and who have worked so very hard to provide for you. Let them know that you are grateful. Say thank you to your mother and your father. Say thank you to your friends. Say thank you to your teachers. Express appreciation to everyone who does you a favor or assists you in any way.

Thank the Lord for His goodness to you. Thank the Almighty for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who has done for you what none other in all this world could do. Thank Him for His great example, for His tremendous teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help. Think about the meaning of His Atonement. Read about Him and read His words in the New Testament and in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Read them quietly to yourself and then ponder them. Pour out your heart to your Father in Heaven in gratitude for the gift of His Beloved Son.

Thank the Lord for His marvelous Church restored in this great season of history. Thank Him for all that it offers you. Thank Him for friends and loved ones, for parents and brothers and sisters, for family. Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at it. You will find it will yield wonderful results."

-President Gordon B. Hinckley

We just finished up a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving day. Details to come. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too. I love this day; that a day is set aside for us to give thanks to our Father in Heaven. We have been blessed with so much; I am truly grateful.

I love Thanksgiving for this reason.

However, the food doesn't hurt, either.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thoroughly Enjoyable Day

We woke up to cloudy skies and rain.

Spent 2 hours at one of my very, very favorite stores, playing with everything and staying dry.

Sang "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" about 349 times.

Came home and chopped, sliced, and cooked to get ready for the big day.

We wrote love notes to each other on our porch with chalk.

When Mike came home from work, we ate English muffins with jam for dinner.

I said that I wasn't cooking this week.

Except for tomorrow, of course.

Then we watched The Santa Clause as a family.

Because it just seemed like a fun, pre-Thanksgiving, getting ready for Christmas thing to do.

We snuggled on the couch together, and laughed at Grace.

She squeals every time she sees a Santa.

I love it.

My house is clean. Everything is prepped. The rolls are rising. The turkey is brining.

I don't think 'brining' is the correct word.

Improper word usage aside,

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksigivng Menu 2008

So, more for me than anyone else, I'm putting my menu on here for Thanksgiving this year. It'll be nice to have it all in one place + remember years from now what we ate + I know you are all just dying to know what we're eating.


Anyways, it looks like a lot of food, well, because it IS a lot of food. I'm hoping, hoping to have some guests stop by... several of Mike's associates at work didn't have anywhere to go, and I think everyone should have somewhere to go on Thanksgiving, so they have been invited. We're also on the missionaries list of possible homes to eat at. We'll see who comes... if no one, that's okay because this is the only meal I'm planning on cooking at all this week, and that will mean a bunch of leftovers!

The menu:

Good Eats Roast Turkey
Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes
Pioneer Woman's Turnip Gratin
Nano's Stuffing
My Mom's Cranberry Marshmallow Salad (reduce sugar to 1 cup)
Brown-Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Spinach Salad with Creamy Apple Poppy Seed Dressing
Potato Rolls

I just gained 5 pounds typing out that menu.

And I want to forget about dessert, because did you see how much sugar is in that menu? The salad will be like a dessert alone. But, if we do have guests, I'll go pick up a pie or something. So not making that. :)

Life has been so crazy, crazy busy lately, and I feel really bad for the lack of blogging (sorry fam). BUT, Adam's off of school all this week, so things should get caught up around here soon. I'm so happy to have him home with me... I didn't realize how much I've missed him in the afternoons.

I seriously have.

We're going to have a fun week of finishing up Christmas shopping, daily afternoon bike rides, and some last-minute Thanksgiving crafting.

And decorating the house for Christmas, of course! Can't wait 'til Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Funny (in a twisted way)

Wanna laugh?

Are you as twisted as I am?

Are your children currently biting each other, and you want nothing to do with it?

(Er... that's probably just me...).

Check out some of these de-motivators.

They are hilarious.

And even more funny to me because I know someone who is really into motivational posters. In an annoying type of way (like he/she is always throwing the quotes in your face).

I keep thinking of anonymously giving them one for Christmas.

I won't... I promise.

I'm all about avoiding evil, vengeful Christmas gifts this year. (Remember the angel we gave my neighbor, Celeste? Good times).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ward Thanksgiving Party and a Loose Tooth

I'm not exactly saying that the two have anything to do with each other.


Last night was our ward Thanksgiving party.

And now Adam's tooth is loose.


What WAS in that Jell-O?


Anyways, we had fun at the party, and now Adam's a-wiggling his tooth like crazy in hopes of the Tooth Fairy making an appearance before 'Show and Tell' at school this Friday.

It should be fun.

(BTW-I was assigned to decorate a table for the party, and that's what the very top pic is. It's the only picture I took because things quickly got out of hand with Adam wanting to eat an entire ham by himself. He loves his ham. :) )

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Feelin' All Domestic

True story:

When I got married, I only knew how to make steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and rice.

And a mean frozen pizza.

Not to brag or anything.

I was completely fine with that fact, however, and determined never to be one of those wives who was constantly cooking and cleaning and all domestic-ing and stuff.

So if you had told me 7 years or so ago that I'd be making my own chicken stock and pumpkin puree and sewing up a storm and loving it, I would have laughed.

Or fainted.

Or cried and joined some feminist group, where I would've had to burn my bra or something.


But, for some reason, whether it's because of my former obsession with Food Network or because I'm trying to be more economical or because I am trying to live healthier or what, I am loving feelin' all domestic, and making everything from scratch.

It makes me so happy.

And I think Mike likes it, too.

Puree your own pumpkins with the recipe here.

You know you want to.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Should Be...

I should be...

1) Doing the laundry.
2) Making reminder phone calls.
3) Cleaning up breakfast/lunch.
4) Getting ready to go to 2 meetings.
5) Writing a paper.
6) Taking a test.
7) Making food for the ward party tomorrow.
8) Getting decorations together to decorate for the party.
9) Cutting out quiet book pieces for a humanitarian aid project.
10) Wrapping a birthday present for Adam's friend.

Instead I'm:

1) Sharing chocolate cake
2) With a naked 2-year-old (we're working on the potty training)
3) And getting kissed with a chocolate-y mouth...
4) Making a total mess of me and her.

I'm not complaining.

I love motherhood.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Free Snapfish Book

Until tomorrow, Oprah is giving away coupons good for an 8" x 11" Snapfish book ($30 value).

You have to get the coupon by 11/14 (tomorrow) and redeem it by 11/16 (Sunday).

I'm using mine to make an art book like is suggested on the site: take pictures of your kids art, and upload them into a fun book... how cute is that? It's going to save loads of space.

But you can do anything.

It would make a great Christmas gift.

Awesome. This makes me very happy.

Details here.

*Edited: You still have to pay for shipping. But, still. I'm excited.

This Looks Fun

A holiday book swap. I'm not sure if we'll be participating, but it looks like fun! (Click on the picture for details).


I think Mike was kind of hungry when he wrote that. :)

But it was super-sweet anyways.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday

This morning I woke Allison up and said,"Happy Birthday Allison." To which she replied with a big smile, "Happy Birthday to you too." I guess she was still a bit tired.

Allison is an amazing wife and mom to our kids. We have celebrated 8 of her birthdays together. She amazes me at all she does. She continues to add more and more things everyday it seems. I know that she will continue to surprise me. I am a lucky man. Allison is a great cook, baker, and cookie maker. She enjoys trying new recipes and even enjoys the failures(which don't happen very often.) I always find websites open with recipes for new things. She researches recipes to find things that our picky family will eat, which is not an easy task. I love Allison and all that she does. Happy Birthday Allison.

Crock-Pot Love

I adore Crock-Pots. Which technically should read "I adore slow cookers" because Crock-Pot is a brand name, not an appliance.


Anyways, I love, love, love my Crock-Pot. It's actually not something I used to use very often, unless a recipe specifically called for it. However, school/meetings/other stuff was completely taking up my time in the evenings, leaving me little time to make dinner.

Meaning we were eating lots of PB&Js. Which was fine for Adam, but I can only take so much peanut butter. You know?

However, now we are actually eating meals, because of this little beauty. Everyday I drop Adam off at school, come home and throw dinner in the Crock-Pot (I think if you capitalize 'Crock-Pot' using it is okay... maybe?), throw the dishes in the dishwasher, and when I come back that night, dinner awaits.

Sigh... it feels like magic.

Like in The Little Princess when Sara and Becky wake up to the Magic turning their room into a palace, and a warm meal. It's like I have my very own Ram Dass. In the form of a small, red kitchen appliance.

I love that book so much. I must read it to the kids.

And I'll begin reading it to them in all of the leftover time I have because of my Crock-Pot. (I so knew I could tie that all together).

Anyway, beyond dinner, I've been making copious amounts of Crock-Pot applesauce and Crock-Pot chicken stock overnight. Chicken stock to get ready for holiday cooking and applesauce for canning.

Or, canning was the plan, anyways. Unfortunately, the applesauce is just too darn amazing, and keeps getting eaten for breakfast before it makes it to the canning jars.

I'm not that upset, really.

It just tastes too good on oatmeal.

For more recipes try: A Year of Crockpotting. And for some great slow-cooker tips visit: Better Homes and Gardens.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Birthday Present

Tomorrow is my birthday... I turn 27. So, yay!

Mike asked me a month or so ago what I wanted for my birthday, to which I immediately said, "A trip to Phoenix to see family." I didn't think it was possible for finance/work reasons, but Mike made it happen.

Which is just the best thing ever.

He got the time off and worked it into our budget, and we went on vacation! We really haven't gone on a vacation in years. I mean, we visit family a couple of times a year, but it can be exhausting being out of town, trying to see everyone, etc., especially since we only normally go down for holidays or big events (like weddings) that are busy anyways, so it sometimes doesn't really feel like a break. You know?

The dam bridge

Grace taking her turn at the wheel

Adam fulfilling a life-long dream of washing the windows

This time was different, though. We didn't really have anywhere to be (except for a baby shower), and decided we were just going to relax and take it easy, and let what happen, happen. Mike took almost a week off of work, though, and we had a blast. We drove to Flagstaff on Friday night, and stayed in a hotel there. Adam has always wanted to go to a hotel, and he and Grace had so much fun jumping on the beds, watching Nickelodeon, and taking a bath in the huge tub.

I think the biggest thrill for Adam was collecting the 'free stuff.' For a little boy who is a major pack rat, getting to collect plastic cups, soap, and bottles of shampoo was heaven.

Whatever makes him happy. :)

We headed down to Phoenix the next day for a baby shower and to see our brand-new niece who I almost kidnapped because she's so beautiful and lovely and I really want a baby.

But I didn't. :)

We spent the rest of the day with Mike's family, and Adam and Grace got to play with all of their cousins that they miss so much. And I got to talk to all of my in-laws who are the funnest people on the planet.


We went to church the next day with my parents (where Kaity and I had a completely irreverent, scream-fest reunion in the parking lot), and had a birthday dinner (for moi and my cousin) at their house. Grace has been crying for her 'Grammy' and 'Papa' ever since they came up a few weeks ago, and I was so happy that she got to spend time with them. We got to spend time with both of my Grandmas and my siblings (minus Morgan), and had a great time. We went over to see Mike's grandma that night, which was so nice. We miss spending Sunday evenings with her.

We left the next day and went back to Flagstaff, where it had SNOWED. It wasn't a ton of snow, BUT enough for some snowball fights and enough for us to get cold and wet. We went and looked at our old dorm, Joy Cone (Mike's former job), our church building, and played at the park.

Inappropriate snow attire

We began heading back a bit late (with the thought that the kids could sleep in the car on the way home). We stopped in Seligman for a potty break for Adam a while later, and all went inside to stretch. Mike left the lights on in the car, and we were gone a little longer than expected in the gas station, and returned to find the car dead.

Seligman is about 60 miles from Flagtstaff, a truck stop in the middle on nowhere. And we were having a hard time finding someone to give us a jump at 10 o'clock at night. We finally called our roadside assistance, who told us it would be over 2 hours before someone came.

Mike and I just laughed. Because it was funny.

In a way.

Our prayers were answered, however, about 30 minutes later when Mike found someone with jumper cables. Our car started, and we came back to Las Vegas safely.

I really couldn't imagine a more perfect weekend: a night goofing off in a hotel, being able to spend so much time with the people we love, snow, and safety.

We are so blessed.

Unfortunately, it's back to the real world tomorrow. But, that's okay, because I just had the most perfect birthday ever.

And it's not even my birthday yet. :)

(Sorry for the major blog neglect happening here... school, RS stuff, and a bad cold have taken over my time... I will be catching up!)