Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The best of 2008

This is my final post for the year 2008. Thanks for the tag Krissi. It was fun reminiscing about the events of the past year.
Here goes:

My Top 12 events of 2008
1. We purchased our first SUV. It became a necessity for me, when I got stuck in the snow for 3 hours in my van.

2. I received the calling as Primary Chorister - for the first time ever. I guess they think since you can play the piano then you can also lead. It's been a lot of fun. The kids are great.

3. I was finally able to have all my varicose veins treated. Although a long and painful process, definitely worth it in the end.

4. Our third child, Megan was baptized. We had a great experience and it was a lot of fun to have all the family together in one place.

5. We made our summer trip to California and had a very memorable time. We visited with lots of friends and family, and we even made it up to Sacramento to our old stomping grounds. Great fun!!

6. We took Jill and Kevin to Magic Mountain for the first time. What a blast!

7. Camping at Bear Lake for the first time was a definite hit. It made it even better to be there with family. I think it will become a fun tradition every year.

8. Our youngest, Holly, started first grade which means that all of our kids are in school all day. Wow!! I was able to start substituting in the schools. Fun times.

9. Our oldest, Jill, became a teenager this year. She's a great kid. Teenagers are actually pretty nice people.

10. I was able to pull off the first ever, real surprise for Zaron for his birthday. Very fun!

11. Kevin started and ended his first successful football season injury free.

12. I watched a marathon for the first time and what made it even more memorable was my sister ran it and very successfully. It was her first marathon. Great job Sis! I also ran in my second 5k race and didn't do too badly.

Bonus event #13 (I know I said 12, but 13 is such a lucky number.)
We enjoyed a very nice Thanksgiving and Christmas with lots of family this year and we made lots of great memories. I learned that you can brine a turkey successfully as long as it's cold enough outside and you have an ice chest large enough to hold it.

2008 was Great! Bring it on 2009!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One of life's happy moments

Yesterday, Zaron and I decided to take advantage of some of his free time off from work. We went to Salt Lake and attended the temple and then went to lunch at The Garden. We had a very nice time. When we returned that afternoon, as we drove up to our house, we saw all four of our kids out in their snow clothes playing together in the snow. It was a happy sight to see.

This picture doesn't show it very well, but the mounds of snow in front of our house are "ginormous".
One of Life's happy moments!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby what a big surprise!

Boy were we surprised seven years ago when Holly was born. Not surprised that we were having a baby of course, but surprised that she was a girl.

When I was pregnant with each of my kids, I never had an ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. I just always had a strong feeling about what it was going to be. I was always right.....up until Holly. I was so sure that it was going to be a boy that I had filled the changing table with all the baby boy clothes and hadn't even considered a girl's name. I even told all the nurses when we got to the hospital that we were having a boy and his name was going to be Kyle. I could not have been more surprised when she was born and the doctor said, "it's a girl". I, of course, was very excited, but the first thing I had to do was call my mom who was at our house with the rest of our kids and ask her to dig out the baby girl clothes and wash them and bring an outfit to the hospital with a pink blanket.

So, as Zaron left the hospital to grab some dinner after Holly was born, he turned on the radio, and no joking, the song that was playing was "Baby what a big surprise" by Chicago. He just had to laugh.

Holly continues to surprise us. She is such a joy to have in our family. She is all girl and a total princess. She keeps us laughing.

I love the baby mohawk!!

What a cutie pie!

We celebrated Holly's birthday on Saturday by going to Jump On It. It was such a blast. Who would've thought that jumping in a room full of trampolines for an hour could be so much fun and so exhausting.

What's a birthday without lunch at Chadders?! Delicious!

Holly is a girl after my own heart. She doesn't care for cake, so each year for her birthday she asks for donuts. Yummy!
Happy 7th Birthday Holly!! We love you!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let it snow! Let it blizzard! Let it snow!

Okay, so I know I live in a state where it snows, but sometimes I wish it wouldn't so much. Yesterday, Jill and I were supposed to meet my Sister-in-law and her daughter in Salt Lake. We were going to go to the movies (to see Twilight, of course), and go out to dinner. It was going to be perfect. We were supposed to meet for the 4:00 showing at the Gateway. My plan was to help with Kevin's class party from 1:00 - 2:00, then send my three youngest home on the bus, pick up Jill from school at 2:15, and then head into Salt Lake.

I left for Kevin's party and the sky was actually partially blue and the sun was starting to peek out. It was perfect.....Or so I thought. That perfectness all changed in a matter of 20 minutes. It seriously started to blizzard like nobody's business. It was nasty. The wind was blowing, the snow was falling, the visibility was zero. I however, was not going to let a huge blizzard keep us from our plans.

I knew when it took me 30 minutes to get to Jill's school, which was two miles away, that our plans were headed downhill, and fast. It was inevitable; the snow was getting the better of me. What makes the story even better (or worse) is that I had called Jill's school so they could tell her not to ride the bus (Jill wasn't aware of the plans when she left for school), and they said they couldn't tell her. What? Are you kidding me! How lame is that. So, unfortunately, by the time I made it to the school, Jill was already on some bus, somewhere. At this point, I was just hoping that I made it home before midnight. The streets were serious parking lots. So, much to our dismay, Jill and I obviously never made it to Salt Lake.

It's just really frustrating when you really want to do something, and then something completely out of your control (like a dang blizzard), keeps you from doing it.

Oh well, what do you do? You go to Little Caesars and get $5 pizzas and bread sticks. That's what we did. Delicious!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I love Christmas

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love just about everything about it. I love the feelings of Christmas, the hustle and bustle, the surprises, the songs, the goodies, the presents, the Christmas movies, the lights, etc.... There's only one thing about Christmas that I don't care for. And that is the Christmas traffic. We encountered that Christmas traffic last night on our way to Temple Square to see the lights. It was pretty bad (I don't think it had anything to do with the Tabernacle Choir concert that was going on last night). It would of made for a bad mood had it not been for the Christmas music that we were listening to and the fun people that we were with. Once inside Temple Square, all the traffic and the fact that we had to park 6 blocks away were forgotten. The lights were so beautiful and well worth the tradition. I am always amazed at how perfect the lights and nativities look. It is so fun. It was a bonus to be there with my sister in law and her kids (minus my brother and their youngest, who unfortunately got sick on the way to the temple and they had to turn around to take them back home). We always have such a great time together. This tradition is definitely a keeper. Thanks guys for the great time. We look forward to next year!

Note to self: Next year, park the car in Sandy and ride Trax into Salt Lake. Fun!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear Santa......

Holly came home from school yesterday with the cutest letter that she had written to Santa.
Dear Santa,
How are you? I am great. How is your job and how is Mrs. Claus? How are the reindeer? I hope you have a good Christmas. Thank you for all the presents that you gave me last year. I have been good this year. Please bring me a snow globe. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.
Love, Holly
I wish all my kids could stay this little and innocent forever. Okay, maybe not forever, but for longer than they do. I can't believe my baby is going to be in second grade next year and my oldest is going to be in high school. Life goes too fast sometimes.
I guess that's why we need to enjoy the journey.
Enjoy your journey today!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

We survived the gingerbread house.....barely

Whoever said that making a gingerbread house with your family would bring you closer together? Well, maybe no one has ever said that. Actually, no one should ever say that. I bought a gingerbread house kit last year around this time with the hopes of making it with my kids. Well, I kept putting it off and putting it off until July when I looked in the pantry, saw the box and realized "Oh hey, we never put that house together". And I threw the box away. Well, today at the store I bought another one and decided that we'd put it together tonight for family night. What a great idea! I've been trying to start new traditions with my family so I thought this could be one of them. After tonight's experience, I'm seriously rethinking this tradition.
After dinner, we quickly cleaned off the table, turned on the Christmas music and opened the gingerbread house kit box.
Oh, and then it began..... "Stop touching!", "Get away!", "When do I get a turn!", "I said stop touching!", "Don't put that there!", "What are you doing!", "I don't want to put that there!", "Be quiet!", "Why are we doing this anyway!", "You're not my boss!".....
I'm sure you get the idea.
I wanted to get a picture of the kids with their masterpiece,
their very first gingerbread house.
Well, as you'll see it was a process to get that picture.
Ignore the blurriness in some of the pictures; the camera was acting up. It couldn't have had anything to do with the person taking the pictures.


Now on to finding more new traditions! Wish me luck!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A day for giving thanks!

I love Thanksgiving! It is one of my favorite holidays and this year was no exception. It was so great. Brent and Krissi and their kids spent the night at our house on Wednesday and we had a blast. We talked, we laughed, we cooked, we ate, we stayed up late (adults until 2 a.m., kids until 4 a.m.), we cooked some more, we laughed some more, we ate some more........
Great food, great times and great memories!

Wednesday night, Brent and Krissi made exactly 96 rolls.
And they were delicious!
Kevin and Andrew made a yummy banana pudding

Doesn't that turkey look good enough to eat?
And the kids aren't bad looking either.
We cooked the turkey in the roaster this year to save
the oven for the other dishes. It turned out so juicy.

Everyone ready to dig in.
After all the preparation time, I told everyone that they had to take more than 10 minutes to eat. They all did a good job; it took at least 30 minutes. And that didn't include pie time.

Here come the after feast pictures:

Brent and Krissi checking out the Black Friday ads

Alex, Henry, Megan, and Holly hanging out watching a movie
(the picture turned out kind of blurry.)

Andrew, Zaron, and Kevin watching the Cowboys game

Hopefully I don't get killed for posting the next three pictures. I couldn't resist.

Brent resting from his hard labors

Samantha catching a few zzzzs.

Jill in dream land.
Thanks guys for the yummy food and the fun times!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pilgrims and Indians and Vampires, Oh My!!!

I went to Megan's 3rd grade Thanksgiving program yesterday. Usually when I hear the words school program, my mind says "ugh, do I really have to go". Because I being the supportive mother that I am, would never say this out loud. So it is an understatement to say that yesterday I was sincerely shocked. It was seriously the best 3rd grade program that I have ever seen. It was so cute; I loved every minute of it.

Here is Megan with her friend. They were Native Americans. Aren't they so cute?
The kids sang the cutest songs with the funniest actions.
After the program, I went straight to Orem and spent pretty much the rest of the afternoon Christmas shopping. I'm happy to report that I am completely done with all of my Christmas shopping. Yay, and before Thanksgiving even. That's a first for me!

And finally, I finished the day with another viewing of Twilight. Yes, Jill and I have seen it twice now. We took Shaelee, Jill's friend with us. We felt stupid standing in front of this sign. Oh well, good memories. I have to say that Twilight is even better the second time around, if that is even possible. We totally love it!
And so you don't think we just ditched the rest of our family on the night before the night before Thanksgiving (because this was last night, two days before Thanksgiving), we didn't. Zaron took Kevin, Megan, and Holly to see Madagascar 2 at the same theater. They didn't want their picture taken, but they loved the movie.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

5 Stars

Jill and I went to see the 10 pm showing of Twilight last night with her friend Erika and her mom Annette. We had such a blast. The girls wanted to get there at 7:00 because we didn't have reserved seats and they wanted to get the best seats. Well, it paid off. We were second in line and we literally got the best seats in the theater; third row from the top, right in the middle. The waiting time went pretty fast too; we took lots of card games.
I love Skipbo!

Jill and Erika in their Team Edward shirts.
They made these shirts; I think they turned out pretty professional looking.
Annette is so great and she's very fun to be with!
I was kind of skeptical going into the movie because I have become very disenchanted with the Twilight books.
Whoa, was I surprised. The movie was sooo good; better than I even imagined. I think I liked it even better than the book.
I totally want to see it again.
Thanks girls for the fun time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The grades are in

Last week, all four of our kids brought home their 1st quarter grades. I don't mean to be braggy, but they did really well. Holly got all checks and pluses. Kevin and Megan each got all A's and one B+. Jill got staight A's and she's in 8th grade; amazing. So, we told the kids that instead of paying them for their grades that we would take them out to dinner. We asked them where they wanted to go; they chose Costco pizza and churros. Yea, score!! Costco pizza is delicious and cheap. We went out last night and we had a great time. It was fun to reward the kids for their hard work.
Hey, what do I get for helping those kids get such good grades? I mean, afterall, with the exception of math, I put a lot of effort and sweat into these kids and their homework, which equals good grades. I think I deserve something..... I wonder.....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tag, I'm it.....twice

I've been tagged twice this last week,
by my friend Carrie and my sister-in-law Stacy.
Lucky for me, they were both the same tag.
Here goes............
Eight things I'm passionate about:
1. Zaron
2. My kids
3. Food
4. Surprises
5. Candy and popcorn
6. Time to myself
7. Not looking stupid
8. Not hurting people's feelings
Eight words or phrases I use all the time:
1. Did you brush your teeth?/Did you wash your hands?
2. Did you read? Are you sure?
3. Did you do your jobs?
4. Pick up your stuff right now
5. You're kidding/Are you serious?
6. I'm not going to tell you again.....
7. Do you think you could stop fighting?
8. I love you, have a good day or good-night
Eight things I want to do before I die:
1. Finish the basement
2. Go on a mission with Zaron
3. Have grand kids, whoa
4. Be retired preferably before age 65
5. Travel
6. Learn to ski
7. Visit Paris and Rome
8. Attend all the temples in the world
Eight things I currently want or need:
1. To lose weight
2. To go on a cruise
3. To be debt free
4. Painted walls (in my house)
5. A new wardrobe
6. A library (in our city)
7. More time in each day
8. Grass and a fence (in my backyard)
Eight places I want to visit:
1. Hawaii
2. Puerto Rico
3. California
4. Caribbean
5. Mexican Riviera
6. Disneyland (again)
7. Alaska
8. South America
Eight favorite restaurants:
1. Carrabbas
2. El Pollo Loco
3. Cafe Rio
4. Chadders
5. PF Changs
6. Benihana
7. Famous Dave's
8. Taco stand on 2nd west in Salt Lake
Eight TV shows I watch:
1. Monk
2. Psych
3. McBride
4. Jane Doe
5. Quincy MD
6. Perry Mason
7. Little House on the Prairie
8. Brady Bunch
Eight people I tag:
1. Amy (my sista)
2. Anyone
3. else
4. who
5. wants
6. to
7. be
8. tagged.

Monday, November 3, 2008


This is a totally random post! Oh well!!
On Saturday, I took the girls, Jill, Megan, and Holly to see High School Musical 3. It was so good; fabulous songs and excellent choreography. We had such a great time; fun girl bonding. We ate so much popcorn to last us a lifetime, though. But we had to. If you bought the large popcorn then you got, not a free refill, but a refill for 50 cents. We all know what a rip off the concessions are at the theater. So we had to take advantage of getting the additional large popcorn for only 50 cents. I guess it's the same as buying something that you don't really need, but it was on sale and such a good deal that you couldn't pass it up.
Moving on......
This is the result of eating too much Halloween candy,
suckers start growing out of your mouth.
I have the most! No, I have the most!
And finally.....
I was driving to the grocery store this morning and I turned on the radio. What did I hear? It couldn't be Christmas music already. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love Christmas and Christmas music. I'm just a big fan of enjoying one holiday at a time. Last I checked we haven't celebrated Thanksgiving yet. Time already flies fast enough without the holidays being crammed all together. Oh well, by the time I was home I realized I was actually enjoying the Christmas music. It does make you feel good!
I do love this time of year!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

I love holidays, but I wouldn't say that Halloween is one of my favorites. I love trick or treating and I love all the candy. I don't love spending $30 or more dollars on a costume for one night. I know, I'm such a cheap skate. So because of this, my kids have learned that they need to be creative when it comes to dressing up for Halloween.

This year Kevin got a $5 wig and $3 glasses.
He never did figure out what he was, but I think he looks pretty cool. He did win the best costume prize at a class party. Thus, proving my point that you don't have to be a big spender to be a winner.
Holly got a $3 grass skirt (which ended up breaking and falling off by the end of the night, thank goodness for shorts underneath, what did I expect for 3 bucks, I'm not sure), a Leigh that was in the basement, a borrowed hair flower, and a homemade coconut top (the coconut shells were from sorbets that we bought at Costco last summer, delicious).
I think she's a super cute hula girl.

By day, Megan was a Gothic girl and by night she was a witch. She went to school dressed in Gothic attire and her friends told her she looked really scary. She decided that for trick or treating, she didn't want to look so scary and she went as a witch. It's good to know that witches aren't that scary. We scored big with Megan this year. Her cape was a black trash bag and her hat was from the basement. Her Gothic costume was leftover from her sister's costume last year. Net cost - $0!!!!

This year Jill wanted to be batman. Being the big spender that I am, I bought her a $2 mask, $1 black gloves, $1 black snow cap that I was going to going to turn into the pointy black batman cap, a yellow belt made out of some leftover fabric, and a cape from the basement. In theory and in my mind, this was totally going to work. Well, the mask looked more like Zorro, the cap ended up looking like Mickey Mouse, and the cape had huge holes in it. Sorry, Jill we'll have better luck next year. I think we'll look into renting a costume.

Last night, Jill was going trick or treating with her friends later in the evening. Therefore, she wasn't ready to have her picture taken before I left to take the two little girls trick or treating. I left the camera with Zaron and told him to get her picture before she left. Well, the first thing Jill told me this morning when she woke up, was "I got out of having to have my picture take last night, nanner, nanner." She did end up wearing the black snow cap, the gloves, the mask, the cape, and the belt and she told everyone she was batman, but she wouldn't let Zaron take her picture. What a stinker!!

But, I didn't want to leave Jill out on my Halloween post, so here is Jill when she was four years old, all dressed up as a nurse for her preschool Halloween party in Michigan.
Isn't she adorable!! Nanner, Nanner, Jill

Monday, October 27, 2008

A quick trip to the pumpkin patch...........Or not!!!

For family night, we decided to take a trip to the pumpkin patch. I've been feeling like a lame mom since I haven't hung up any Halloween or Fall decorations. I thought it would be fun to let the kids pick out their own pumpkins and carve them. (It was actually Jill's idea, but I thought it would be fun too.) So we ate dinner early and headed out to a favorite pumpkin patch about 20 minutes away. We finally arrived at our destination and what did we find? They had just closed, it was 6:45 and they had closed at 6:30. What kind of a pumpkin patch closes at 6:30 on the last Monday before Halloween, and in Utah no less? Don't they know that procrastinating Mormon families buy their pumpkins on the last Monday before Halloween? We aren't super familiar with the pumpkin patches in Utah county, or in any county for that matter, so we decided to go to Wal-mart. What did we find at Wal-mart? They had just sold their last pumpkins for the season. Are you kidding me? At this point it was getting late and we were running out of options. We decided to stop at Smith's on our way home, as our last ditch effort. Right about this time, the pumpkin spirit was gone and the finger pointing began. "We should've...... You never....... I told you........ Who's idea was this anyway?....." We were almost to Smith's when we spotted this random pumpkin stand on Main Street and it looked open. We pulled in and this nice, nice older man came to the window. We asked if he sold pumpkins and if he took checks. He said, "Absolutely." Yea!! The hunt for the great pumpkin was over. To top it off, the pumpkins were huge and cheap. The pumpkin spirit had returned. As we were getting back in the car, all the kids said, "Let's come here every year." So, an hour and a half after our search for pumpkins began, we found them less than five miles from our house.
What an adventure!!!

My sentiments exactly! That stuff is pretty slimy!

Yummy, raw pumpkin with seeds

Whoa, don't mess with Kevin, he's a man on a mission
Careful with the knife there, buddy!

Of course, Holly found the heart shaped seeds
(they're kind of hard to see in this picture)
She was very excited!

If looks and knives could kill (actually knives do)
It's kind of hard to see the knife in this picture, it's in Jill's hand

I wish they looked this excited to eat my dinner

I'm not exactly sure what Megan's planning to do to the pumpkin
It looks like some sort of martial arts

Dramatic poses with the end product
I think Jill is trying to blow her head up
Megan is attempting to eat a cookie through the pumpkin's mouth
Holly is reenacting Romeo and Juliet (I think she's Juliet.)
Kevin is stabbing the pumpkin
Once again, careful with those knives, guys!!

They all did a great job with their pumpkins, very creative
They did most of the work themselves
P.S. I did finally hang up Halloween decorations tonight, after the kids went to bed.