Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's and a Word

It's New Years Eve!

Ty and I are headed out tonight for a little alone time and a little party time!

This morning I drove around in search of these:

They are sold out everywhere. I guess I am going to have to order them online.
One of my goals for this coming year involves a lot of home pre-schooling for Zackary in order to get him ready for actual pre-school. I think bananagrams will be a lovely addition to my home school projects!

I was reading THIS post this morning about the new year. In particular about a word for 2013. Last year was the first time I had heard about the "word for the year" concept. I thought about other people's choices and what I thought would make a good fit for myself. In 2013 my word is : CHERISH
I want to cherish my days, my family, my life, and the moments.

What are your plans for New Year's? Do you have a word for the year or any exciting resolutions?


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just Another Day

 Yesterday we found some camo colored face paint left over from Max's birthday party in August. Max quickly put it to use.
Soon everyone needed to be painted and we had a nerf gun battle going on.
 Mia was hiding in a corner eating red vines.
 Zack was in his own corner eating red vines as well. I don't think they were taking the whole war thing very seriously.

Meanwhile I was baking bread.
 I noticed while I was taking pictures that my loaf pans are really hideously ugly.
I think I need some of THESE from William Sonoma. That way the next time we have an army battle going on at home the bread will have more aesthetic appeal.

Just a normal Friday afternoon right? :)
Friday, December 28, 2012

The Best of 2012

I was at the store yesterday and there was a big display full of poppers and hats for New Year's.
I can't believe the year is gone! 2012 was a great year. 

We kicked off 2012 on January 1st with Zoey's blessing at church. We were able to have a great group of family and friends in attendance.

In February it got cold enough for snow in southern California. Ty was nice enough to take the kids out so that I could stay inside with the baby and enjoy the warm!

About a week after the snow the kids were able to go swimming in February. That's the beauty of life here!

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day celebration with the kids. It is going to be a repeat tradition for sure.

Max lost his first, and second, and third tooth!

Mia started taking dance lessons at Dance Spectrum. She began by taking both ballet and tap, but soon discovered she only really loved ballet.

I finally bought an ice cream maker. There have been many ice cream nights since!

We took a spring break vacation to the beach. 

I discovered Downton Abbey and coconut oil

I learned how to make fabulous no knead bread that has made many dinners much more awesome than before!

Mia graduated from pre-k and started kindergarten

We got a front loader washing machine and dryer. Life is much better now :)

I celebrated my 29th birthday with a Michelle's cake and friends.

We took a summer vacation to Monterey.

We spent the end of July in Utah with Ty's family

Max turned 7 and we celebrated with a military themed birthday party

Max started 2nd grade and began reading chapter books

Zackary turned 3 and fell in love with all things Pixar

I learned how to make 3 ingredient tomato sauce

Ty and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary and I cannot for the life of me remember what we did.

Mia turned 5 

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house again

Zoey turned 1

Zackary went to Thomas' Day Out and fell in love with trains

Max learned to bake brownies

We had a wonderful Christmas


I am looking forward to 2013.

In the new year I would love to create and organize a home office like this one:

I am making it a priority to eat more cookie dough

 I think it will make everyone happier :)

and I think I need to buy more shoes

Women's Murrietta Boot - Soft Distressed Brown
specifically boots.

What are your highlights from the year? What are your goals/plans for 2013?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 On Christmas Eve we took everyone out to Victoria Gardens for a last minute visit with Santa and a little shopping. We bought some last minute gifts and visited the fish at Bass Pro Shops.
 It was festively decorated for the holiday. Each of the kids took a turn at the shooting range...oh so holiday :)
Later we drove into the mountains to attend my parent's Christmas Eve party.
 Mia did a little performance of jingle bells. She wore her Christmas dress and looked beautiful.
 Zackary was sick! He only got sicker as the day went on and he spent most of the party asleep. We came home and got him some medicine...poor little guy!
 Max also put on a little show at the party. He performed a recitation from "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Yay Max!
 At home we opened pajamas, ate snacks and watched "Brave". (Brave was part of the Christmas Eve gift...the kids love it!)
 After the movie we tucked everyone in bed and got to work. I still had presents to wrap and Ty had a bike to assemble. I made cinnamon roll dough and we caught a bit of A Christmas Story on TBS before we crashed into bed.
 Christmas morning was great!
I must say I did really good this year :), I mean Santa.....good job Santa!
Everyone was pleased and happy! I love seeing them get excited about their gifts.
 Later in the morning my family came out to join us for brunch. We had cinnamon rolls and quiche. I used the recipe for the Pioneer Woman's cowgirl quiche. It calls for leeks and prosciutto. If you love quiche you must make some!
It was a wonderful Christmas and even though Ty was on call he was able to be with us through the whole morning of fun and food before he had to leave for work.
We had a wonderful time celebrating together and remembering the birth and life of our Savior. What an awesome time of year!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Finishing Up

2 more days until Christmas!

1 church program

2 casseroles

several gifts

1 visit with Santa

1 reading of The Christmas Story

We can make it!

Also....I hope we can all rejoice in the spirit of the season, and the reason....our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ!

THIS year's Christmas Devotional from the First Presidency was a great kick-off to the Christmas season for me and I think it makes a wonderful end as well!

Merry Christmas and Good Luck!

O Come, Emmanuel - Christmas Version - ThePianoGuys

I think everyone has seen this video posted all over the place, but it has really helped me to remember my Savior, this Christmas season. It is beautiful!

The Coat: A Story of Charity

I watched this video with the kids.
I think they got it :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yay for Vacay!

 Christmas Break has arrived!
I was so excited to be done with school and homework for the year. I am sure my kids were glad too :)
 We kicked off the day with donuts from Foster's In Redlands. If you have never eaten a Foster's donut you must! After donuts and a little Christmas shopping we came home for some crafting......
I don't know if this counts as art or weaponry, maybe the art of weaponry.

I am so happy to have everyone home for a while!
I am using some of the free time to look at boots like THESE
and I am menu planning....I think Ty should be home for dinner tomorrow night and I think I should make this:
Doesn't that sound marvelous?

Happy Thursday!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Things

1. Last night was a blast! We had my two younger brothers and my parents over for dinner before we headed over to Max's 2nd grade Christmas performance. It was great! After the show we came back to our house and ate cookies and fudge. I love Christmas!

2. Poor Mia woke up with a bad cough this morning. I decided it was bad enough that she was going to need to stay home. She was so disappointed! Today is the last day of school before Christmas break and this morning was supposed to be Mia's kindergarten performance. I feel so bad for her. I wish the sickness could have held off for one more day.....Instead she is cuddled on the couch with blankets and drinks. I do hope she gets better soon!

3. I was coaching Zack to say"Merry Christmas". I wanted him to deliver his Christmas gift to his speech therapist and then to say Merry Christmas. He ran in and said about 4 times, "Meeey Iiismaa". That's the best I can do at describing what he said.....We love him and are very glad that he is in speech therapy :)

4. Cookies! They are happening today, because it's Christmas and my brothers are around to eat them.

Have I mentioned how much I adore brown butter in cookies? It's a good thing.

5.It's Wednesday, but the Friday feeling is taking over. I am so looking forward to the next few weeks!

How are you spending your holiday?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mistletoe Kissing Prank

At BYU in the Wilk-y!

I would do it....if Ty was around :)
Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Clothes and Stockings

 Mia wore her new Christmas dress on Sunday. I bought it for her to wear during her kindergarten and dance performances.
Max ended up wearing green as well so we let him jump in on the pictures.
My kids love their stockings. I remember loving my childhood stocking just as much. I love how magical Christmas time is for little children :)
I also really love making some of that magic happen for little children at Christmas time!

One More Thought...

It was difficult to take the kids back to school this morning. I knew it would be. I didn't tell them about the shooting in CT. I just let them be blissfully unaware. They love school. They are looking forward to these next few days before Christmas break. They have so many fun things to look forward to. I want them to continue to look forward to school. I want them to not be afraid. I prayed as we drove to school. I keep these prayers for my children in my heart all day every day. I plan to keep them there forever.
Thank goodness for Christmas, and by that I mean thank goodness for Jesus Christ.
There is reason to hope and rejoice.

Note: I read THIS story. It brought great peace and comfort to my heart.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Weekend

We had such a lovely Saturday together. Ty and I took the kids to the Mission Inn in Riverside. At Christmastime it is done up with lights and decorations. There were carriage rides in carriages that looked just like Cinderella's. Mia thought it was amazing. Several of the horses pulling the carriages had glittery painted feet. I loved that. 

We got everyone a hot chocolate and walked through the festival of lights. The kids were especially excited to see Santa's reindeer. It was the first time any of them had seen a real reindeer and they were thrilled. Ty was impressed by the outdoor ice rink. He can actually ice skate so it was fun for him!
It was a fun evening and I so enjoyed doing something special together as a family.
We are so blessed.

This morning we are getting ready for a dinner with friends and for the arrival of my brother Jamison. He will be staying with us through Christmas and we are looking forward to the next few weeks with him.

My part of dinner involves these:


Have a lovely Day :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Yesterday was sad.
I cried. I mourned. I worried. I prayed. I hoped.
I wrote in my journal. I read my scriptures. I called my family. I hugged my children.
Today we are moving forward with hope and faith. I am so thankful for the good that remains and for the Lord that lives.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Journals and Brownies

I found Ty reading from some of his mission journals last night. It made me all nostalgic and I went and found some of my old journals as well. We sat there reading to each other. Passages from our lives. It has been several years since I have kept an actual journal. My last entry was from just after we moved to Tennessee for school. Since then I have blogged and photo booked, but I haven't sat down to write about the day's events. All of the reading and the memories made me want to start writing again. I can't think of a better time than Christmas to start recording memories. Even if I am the only one that ever reads them :)

In other news; I made brownies.

they were some of the best I have ever had. They make me all nostalgic too!

Also....I am really glad that today is Friday. 
Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Zoey Time and Chocolate

My mom came out this afternoon to take Mia to dance class so that I could stay home with the Little Miss!
She has been all cuddles today. I am loving the closeness, but I do hope she starts to feel better soon. 

I am starting to plan for Christmas day at our house. We are hosting Christmas brunch for my family. 
I really want to serve this:

I think it looks amazing and I think we will have to test it out soon to make sure it is as awesome as I am imagining it to be!

What will you be serving on Christmas day?

The Band Perry - Better Dig Two (Official Lyric Video)

What do we think of this song?
I think I like it, but it has a seriously creepy feel to it.

Midweek News

1. Last night we delivered little Christmas packages to all of our nearby friends. We did it early this year, because last Christmas everyone was already out of town for the holiday. It is our little tradition to go out for Chinese food after we make our deliveries. It might be the only time during the year that our kids get to eat at a real restaurant!
Ty and Max love orange chicken, everyone loves fried rice, and I have always been a beef and broccoli fan.
Dinner was delicious and we had a wonderful evening together. 

2. On a sad note: Zoey has a staph infection :(
She is on antibiotics, ointments, and house arrest until she feels better.

3. Max went to a viking themed birthday party, because nothing says December birthday like vikings.

4. I have decided that Ave Maria is one of my very favorite Christmas songs. Especially THIS version, sung by Josh Groban.

5. I don't have dinner planned for tonight yet. I know it will involve a nice loaf of bread that I have rising, but so far that is all, and man can not live by bread alone! Unless that bread is adorned with butter and honey :)

Yay Wednesday!
Saturday, December 8, 2012

Max Bakes

 Max loves brownies. He loves plain, chocolate, no frills added brownies. Lots of times I make brownies full of nuts, caramel, or peanut butter. Max just wants nothing to do with that. I decided he had better learn how to make himself some plain chocolate brownies. He used a mix, but he did it all himself. He was so pleased! ( He had already sampled these when I took the picture.)
and then he did this....
oh well.

Cookie Decorating

 Ty will be working all weekend long so it's just the kids and I at home. I turned up the Christmas music and made a big batch of THIS cookie dough. It's not technically gingerbread, but it has plenty of cinnamon in it and it works well for roll out cookies.
 Yes, I am lazy. Instead of cutting out all of the pieces for gingerbread houses and then struggling to put them together, I simply cut out the front section of the houses. No one seemed to mind!
 This is what I get whenever I ask Mia for a "pretty" smile :)
 Max likes decorating cookies because he can sneak ridiculous amounts of candy into his mouth while I am not looking.
I let the kids do everything themselves this year. I love how pleased they are with their own work.
 No matter how simple.
and this is Zoey looking up from the ground. She likes to be included.
That's our Christmas fun for the morning. Later we will be watching the Santa Clause.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas movies and kitchen drama

The Christmas fun this week has been movie watching. It started with "The Holiday". We watched a quick Nativity movie with the kids for Family Home Evening. Ty was working a lot this week so the kids and I watched the original Grinch movie (I am not a big fan of the new one!), Mickey's Christmas Carol, Santa Paws, and the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. I am also working my way through "The Family Man" (another good one!).
and it's only Friday! 
I have had several kitchen disasters this week. I actually threw away 2 whole batches of cookies. They turned out terrible! To redeem myself, today we are going to make some of this:
The kids are having friends over this afternoon and the recipe requires no cooking so we can all get involved.....I am especially looking forward to having Max and his friend smash all of the peppermint candies for me.
Also....I am sure it will be delicious in front of the fire while watching more Christmas movies :)

Have an Awesome Friday!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I adore chapstick. I am not a big makeup girl, but at any given moment I have 2 or 3 tubes of chapstick with me. If not, I am headed to the store to buy some. 

I saw these festive little holiday series while shopping the other day.
I had to try them out. Mia supported my decision and suggested we get some for her as well :)
They would be perfect for THIS project:
Merry "Kiss"mas and a "Chappy" New Year!
A happy little gift for friends, sisters, moms, or whomever in your life needs chapstick.

Thursday Things

Christmas shopping so far:
Kids - done!
Stocking stuffers - not begun!
Teacher gifts - done! (except for cards...)
Parent presents - done :)
Ty - I still don't know what to buy a man for Christmas
Neighbor Gifts - I think so...

SO....I have got to get to Target alone at some point in the next little while.

To celebrate the few things I have been able to get done I am going to make a batch of THIS granola.

In other news. I love squash and I have been eating it in abundance. I read this tutorial on how to roast an acorn squash about a month ago and I have been happily eating acorn squash ever since. Zoey likes squash too. Ty, not so much.
How do you get your family to eat more of what you love? You cover it with cheese!
Try THIS recipe for spaghetti squash gratin. Max asked for seconds and that is saying something.

Is anyone all the way done with Christmas shopping? In past years I have really tried to be done by December, but this year it just got away from me.

Happy Thursday....Yay, almost Friday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I like to consider myself a fit, fairly athletic person. I enjoy exercise and try to include it in my daily routine. I follow a few health and fitness blogs that sometimes feature different workouts and exercise ideas. One blogger almost always includes an exercise called a "burpee" in her routine. I had no idea what a burpee was. I googled it and this is what I found:

I am just not that bouncy.

Sorry burpees.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Littles

Max is Zoey's favorite. Max is a great big brother to her. She will go to him and let him carry her around!
 I hope he will always be a comfort to her :)

Little Miss Mia....
 She was not feeling to happy so we stuck Zoey on her lap.
 Mia loves Zoey. Yay for sisters!

Zoey got a baby doll for her birthday.
 She adores it. She carries it around and makes everyone give it kisses!

and here is Zackary.
He wanted a picture with his ninjago man.

Love these Littles!

Recovering from Yesterday

Yesterday was busy. Zack had speech, Max had karate, I promised Ty his favorite dinner, and I was driving the kindergarten carpool. Last night I was tired! Sadly, I forgot to give Zoey a dose of tylenol before bed. She is teething all over her mouth all at once. I didn't figure out why she kept waking up until I had already been up about 20 times with her. Poor baby! Poor us! 
Sometimes I look at a picture of myself and wonder where those dark circles under my eyes came from and then I remember that I haven't slept in 7 years. Oh yes! That's right!
There is a scene from "The Holiday", one of my favorite movies any time of year but especially at Christmas, where Cameron Diaz is ranting about stress and work and life. She says that women get stressed and then they get wrinkles and then they look hagard! Sad:(
I guess I should be glad for wrinkle cream.
and I think I should watch "The Holiday".

I have declared today to be a day of recovery and therapy!
I am going to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.
 I don't know how I do it, but I somehow manage to forget to watch it every year when it airs on the first Sunday of December. 
I am going to make Cinnamon Rolls for dinner.
I am sure they will pair well with hot chocolate and a movie!

and I am going to remember to give Zoey her tylenol before bed.