Friday, November 28, 2014


 Today is little miss Zoey's THIRD birthday!
I was so excited to spend the day celebrating with her.
Zoey woke up at 5 this morning to lots of pink balloons!
 She helped me pull out the Christmas decorations and she got to decorate her own little happy birthday/merry Christmas tree.
 We are having a cookie/hot chocolate party tonight for Zoey's birthday.
 I baked sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies while watching "The Holiday" of my very favorite Christmas movies :)
Zoey helped me frost the sugar cookies with lots of white icing and pink sprinkles.

I am so happy to have Zoey in our family!
She is a wonderful little lady :)
Zoey loves pink, puppies, horses, chocolate, berries, milk, cuddles, warm pajamas, team umizoomi, dancing, singing, and her brothers and sister.

Happy Birthday Zoey!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


 1. Zackary crafted this beautiful pasta bead necklace for me at school last week. 
I love it!
 2. We went to Utah. We left on Friday. Temperatures were very low! Luckily we ended up staying in a great little condo with a fireplace. We ended each night with hot chocolate in front of the fire. We were able to visit with Ty's brothers and sisters, and have a wonderful surprise run in with our friends.
We came home on Monday!

3. I woke up on Tuesday with a migraine :(
I rarely get headaches and migraines are really minimal, but they take me out!

4. Today was baking/Thanksgiving prep day!
We are not hosting the main even this year, but we are bringing some fun dishes. I am making a big salad filled with pears, sugared cranberries, candied pecans, and blue cheese!
I baked a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust, and I whipped up some cinnamon honey butter for the rolls.

5. After all the prep we ran up to our favorite park in Oak Glen for some fresh air.
The weather could not have been better.
 The kids played and spent forever hunting acorns off the ground.

6. After the park we stopped at Los Rios Rancho to pick up some cider for tomorrow.
We did a little apple/ cider tasting while we were there and shared a caramel apple too!

7. I am so thankful for my family and all of the moments we share together.
I am looking forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekend Love

Thank goodness for weekends. 
I slept in and enjoyed a mug of hot chocolate at 8:00 instead of 6:00. I think hot chocolate tastes even better when combined with more sleep than usual.

I have been piling on the miles this month. A fitness blog I follow challenged readers to run more this month in an attempt to not eat more this month :)
Last week I ran 43 miles.
I worked hard to get there. Some people taking the challenge are running 50 - 100 miles a week. Some are running much fewer of course!
It's just good motivation to get moving.
(I also find motivation in clever running quotes like THIS one.)

Ty and I were able to get out for a quick date last night. We ate at In N Out in Cabazon. Ty finally, for the first time ever, ordered his burger animal style. He agreed that it made the burger better! Animal style forever.

We leave for Utah in less than a week. The high temperatures there are in the 20's and 30's. The high temperatures here are in the 60's and 70's.
I may die.
Maybe this is just a good excuse to purchase really cute winter clothing that I never get to wear during my southern California winters.

Things I am loving right now:
THESE treats are going on my Christmas baking/making list. 
I might make a batch of these PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES today.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


1. We finally took family pictures yesterday! I didn't think we were going to get it done this year, but we were able to sneak it in. One of my friends is a photographer and she called me on Monday night to say that she could fit us in yesterday. The boys had fresh hair cuts so I figured it was best to just get it done! We met at a church in Banning. The kids were pretty cooperative. I hope we get a few good pictures out of the deal.

2. After pictures yesterday we took the kids to see Big Hero 6. 
It was the first movie we have gone to all together (all 6 of perfect!)
Everyone, even Zoey, did great! The movie was fantastic. I highly recommend it.

3. I decided it was about time to get started on the Christmas candy making. I made three batches of fudge. One peppermint marshmallow, and two salted almond.
My family loves the salted almond kind best, so I have to make extra!

4. I really should be cleaning or doing laundry right now.........

5. I buy a bag of cinnamon scented pine cones every year. I just can't help myself. They smell so delightful.
I was so excited to find this DIY tutorial to make them at home! I am sure my kids will love an excuse to hunt for pine cones and to bring them home!

6. Have you heard THIS song yet?
I am loving it!

Back to the grind!
Have a great day :)
Monday, November 10, 2014


We are 10 days into November and I wanted to catch up with all of the thankful posts with one of my own!

1. I am thankful for the scriptures!
We are so blessed to have the scriptures so available. I have several bound copies. I read scriptures online, (sometimes I listen online!), I have the scriptures on my phone.
I don't always read a lot, but I do my own study daily before I read with the kids. I am constantly lifted and inspired and guided through the words in the scriptures. I am always awed by the examples I find in the ancient prophets and leaders.
The scriptures are teaching me how to be more like my Savior and that is awesome.

2. I am thankful for my family.
My husband is amazing. I love him. He makes me happy and I try to make him happy too! 
My kids are great. They are beautiful and worth all of the work.
I am so blessed to be a part of them!

3. I am thankful for my church calling.
I just love the relief society. I did not grow up with sisters and I always felt like I missed out, but I am so glad to be a part of the largest women's organization in the world!
I often think of this quote by Marjorie Pay Hinkley:
“We are all in this together. We need each other. Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young, and hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old...We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith every day. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth.”

4. I am thankful for our home.
We live in a beautiful house. I love decorating it for the holidays. I love keeping it clean and organized. I love to entertain in it. I am happy to have my children play and grow in it. 

5. I am thankful for work.
I am thankful for my husband's job. He works hard to support us. I am thankful for the work I can do at home. I am thankful for the work my children do at school and at home. Work is important. 

6. I am thankful for health, exercise, and the opportunity to take care of our bodies.
I love to run. I am not the fastest. I am sure I don't run the farthest, but I run when I can and I love it. I love to think of my body working efficiently while I run. Lungs moving air, heart pumping blood, legs moving me along!
I am so thankful for good health. I try to appreciate it when I have it and hope and pray for it's speedy return when I don't.

7. I am thankful for music.
I have no doubt that music is played and performed in heaven. I am sure Handel's Messiah was divinely inspired. There is no better way to invite the spirit into your home than by listening to the mormon tabernacle choir.
This time of year I find myself listening to Christmas music. A whole season filled with songs about Christ. Music can create a beautiful soundtrack to our lives.

8. I am thankful for chocolate and peanut butter and all delicious food that make life so extra decadent.

9. I am thankful for friends and family (the ones that live outside of my own house!)
We love spending evenings dropping in on friends with treats and enjoying a quick visit. We are so lucky to have wonderful parents that are always trying to help us out! Let's not forget siblings. I don't have any sisters, but I have brothers. They are pretty alright. I will keep them!

10. I am thankful for the earth.
I love THIS mormon message about the earth as our home.

There are many many blessings in my life that I could continue to list, both large and small. I am thankful for this wonderful thanksgiving time when so many are embracing an attitude of gratitude.

Happy Monday :)
Have a great week!
Saturday, November 8, 2014

Saturday confessions

I went to Ross yesterday. I was shopping for clothes for the kids to wear in family pictures later this month.
Somehow I ended up leaving with no clothes for any of the kids, just a pair of boots for myself.
I don't know how it happened, but I love the boots :)
Ty left first thing this morning for a full day of pediatric life support training in Pasadena. I took the kids to Chick-Fil-A!
Zackary did a little happy dance over the chick-fil-a dipping sauce. Mine were the only kids at the restaurant and they really enjoyed having the little play place all to themselves. It was really nice to sit quietly while they played!
 After Chick-Fil-A, we ended up at Target. Mostly because I still needed outfits for the kids to wear in pictures!
Once again I got distracted....Scharffen Berger chocolate at Target!
I was excited.
I did end up getting the clothes we needed so it was a very successful trip.

The kids and I are going to spend the afternoon making brownies. THESE look amazing!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

cookies as medicine

 Sad story of the day - it would seem that Zoey's cold has morphed into an ear infection and we can't get in to see the doctor until tomorrow! We are alternating advil and tylenol and just hoping tonight goes okay!

Happier story - to brighten up the day, Zoey and I made peanut butter banana and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
 They are pretty healthy and yummy too!
 Zoey approved :)
Chocolate is a great substitute for least for a little while.

Another happy story - Zack is doing much better :)
So happy to have one person on the mend!
This is Zack with my brother, Joel.
They are a barrel of monkeys.

Once again, I am looking forward to Friday, for the doctor visit, for the weekend, for no homework :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

sickness, gratitude, and hot chocolate

1. Sadly the usual holiday season of illness seems to have welcomed itself into our house this week! Late Sunday night Zackary woke up and could hardly breathe. He has always had airway/respiratory problems and we have a nebulizer at home for him, but we just couldn't get him breathing well, so Ty had to run him to the emergency room at about 1 in the morning. I waited for the "everything is ok" call to did! Ty and Zack were home by 3 and after a sick day at home in pajamas on the couch, Zackary is very much on the mend! Now Zoey and Mia have colds and coughs.....nothing serious, but hopefully we can get healthy again soon!

2. I have really been enjoying decorating for the season. I have never been the best at decorating for holidays, but I am getting better with each passing year!

3. I know they are incredibly cheesy, but I just love the Hallmark Channel Christmas romance movies! I record and watch them every year, and they always make me cry.

4. This is good to remember:
5. and so is this:

I love November and Thanksgiving time for all of the gratitude awareness that seems to appear everywhere! All over social media people post about the blessings in their lives. People show a little more love, kindness, and generosity. An Attitude of Gratitude really is the best!

6. THESE recipes and ideas for Hot Chocolate look amazing! Hot Chocolate has been happening more and more often at our house, and that is always a very happy thing.

7.  I kind of wish it were Friday. The kids have Monday and Tuesday off from school and I am really looking forward to the 4 day weekend.....and for Thanksgiving break.....and for Christmas break.....
I think I just really hate homework!

Happy Wednesday! Here's hoping Friday comes soon :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

awards, restaurants, and holidays

 Zackary earned an award at his school assembly yesterday!
He was so pleased with himself. He just kept smiling!
It was very fun to watch.
 His award was good for a free kid's meal at Denny's. Max had actually earned this same award about a month ago, but we hadn't had a chance to use his yet!
Ty left for work early this morning so I decided to take the kids out for breakfast, and use those certificates.
 The kids were all really well behaved. 
Max and Mia ordered chocolate chip pancakes with sausage, and Zackary ordered regular pancakes with yogurt and hot chocolate.
 Zoey ordered nothing.
 We gave her one of Mia's pancakes and she was very happy.

 After breakfast we stopped by Wal-Mart so Max could buy a pair of sunglasses he has been saving for. I ended up buying cinnamon scented pinecones and cinnamon sticks while we were there. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time!
At home I took down the Halloween decorations and did a little decorating for Thanksgiving....all while happily listening to Christmas carols!

Happy November!