Monday, December 1, 2008

words of wisdom

from C over the last few days

me: C, these are The Great Smoky Mountains.
C: They're not great, they're boring!

K: C, how do I look?
C: About as good as a chicken can look.

I swear, I don't make this stuff up.

lesson learned

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We went to Tennessee, rented a cozy little cabin on the side of a mountain. It was secluded, it was quiet, it was divine. We went to Gatlinburg, we went to the Aquarium (I highly recommend it to anyone), we went hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, we ate turkey and sweet potatoes (Drew's favorite), we played miniature golf in the rain, we rented a movie, we ate Blue Bell ice cream, we got in the hot tub, we watched the parade and football, we read, we drove a 'roller coaster ride' to and from our cabin, we enjoyed just being with each other. Then, we came home. That was a mistake. My dear husband thought it would be a good idea to come home on Sunday so he could get back to work on Monday, and C could go to school. Big mistake. Our 6 hour trip took 11. After leaving our cozy cabin at 10 am, it took 2 hours to get about 20 miles. The rest of the trip was not much better. At 9 pm last night, we were finally pulling into our driveway, tried, hungry and frustrated. We will never travel on the Sunday after Thanksgiving again. Lesson learned.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

and now for your nightly entertainment....

Some of the funny things that were said or done in my house this evening:

K: "Mom, when I go to time out, I talk to myself" as in I don't talk to anyone else, just me.

K: "Mom, can I have some popcorn?" Me: "sure" so she proceeds to put the toy down her pants so she could have hands to hold the popcorn. I mean, she didn't have pockets and all, so where else would she put it. And of course, the table, counter and floor were all full (yeah, right)

Me: "C, if K told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?" C: (without even stopping to think about it) "Well, if it was a little bridge, I would, but not if it was a big bridge, cause then I might get hurt" (At least he had some logic to that one)

And now, the entertainment is over.

Friday, November 21, 2008

today. by the numbers.

2 - kids who took swim lessons this morning
6 - inches to the Subway sandwich for lunch
12 - Ding Dongs purchased (only 2 eaten)
19 - emails received (6 responses sent)
28 - degrees outside at 4:00 pm
155 - pennies to purchase a gallon of gas at the closest gas station
1 million - smiles from 3 happy kids

It all adds up to 1 happy mama!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


For those of you in warmer climates (and you know who you are) I would like to share with you a video that was taken last night before dinner.

I realize that we live in the north, and it is November, but let me just say...last week it was 70 degrees and we were wearing shorts and flip flops. This is the second time it has snowed in the last 3 days. Its gonna be a long winter...

C's Birthday

I wanted to post a few pictures from C's Birthday. We started the day with donuts for breakfast. Some of his friends came to play in the morning. That afternoon we all took naps because we needed to rest for Chuck E Cheese. Yes, we went to Chuch E. Cheese and ate pizza and played games until it was past bedtime. Then, we came home for cupcakes and presents. C got lots of Transformers for his birthday, which he was thrilled about. He is stil working on figuring out how to Transform them all, but it will come with more practice. The day before his birthday they celebrated it at school. He had cupcakes and got to be the Leader for the day. He wore a crown all day and even got presents from his teachers. He was thrilled that they were able to celebrate with all of his school friends. It was a fun day for all of us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We have been so busy the last week or so that E hasn't really had a chance to take good naps in his bed. So, I have found him in these two different places snoozing away.

And yes, he likes his first two fingers in his mouth. No pacifier, just fingers. And, he asleep standing. Poor kid was worn out!

Birthday Boy!

Last week was C's birthday. He turned five! I can't believe that five years ago, our first child was born. What an amazing time we have had since then. He has taught us so much about ourselves, about him, about our Heavenly Father and about life in general. He is one of the most caring individuals. He loves to sit and snuggle with you and would rather be in the same room as you than alone. He is so smart. He loves to sit and read, and ask questions. His mind is constantly turning, wanting to know more and more. He loves to talk, in fact rarely is it quiet with him around. He can be so profound. He remembers the small things you teach him and then applies them to other aspects of his life. We love you, buddy! I am so glad that you are my son. I am glad for everything that you have taught me. I hope you had a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Run, Forest, Run

Saturday morning after Halloween a friend of ours had a Halloween Fun Run for the kids. At first C didn't want to run, but after he saw everyone else running, decided that it would be fun. So, he ran the second time with the rest of the kids. It was a ton of fun for the kids. (Thanks Military Mama!)

stretching before the first race

I love this picture of K finishing the race

C running the race with his buddy Logan

C and Logan showing off their medals

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

before we forget about halloween.

I thought I would post a few pictures. (Okay, so maybe a lot, but its my blog, so I can do that) The ward had a 'trunk or treat' and costume parade. Even E dressed up for that one. Then we had 'Beggars Night' which isn't actually Halloween. C dressed up as the white power ranger and K as Ariel. They got WAY more candy than they needed, but I guess thats part of the fun. On Halloween we had some friends over for cookies (pumpkins of course) and Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. And now for the pictures...

Trunk or Treat Costume Parade
Beggars Night

Beggars Night

Charlie Brown

cookie decorating

Thursday, October 30, 2008

For the Grandmas....

Thought you might enjoy this.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

We carved pumpkins last night and had a wonderful time. C decided that he wanted Frankenstein on his and K decided she wanted a kitty cat on hers. Drew decided to go with a more 'spirited' design.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Fall Fun

On Monday, for Family Home Evening, we thought it would be fun to make caramel apples. The kids have never made or had caramel apples, and they are still talking about how yummy they were.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fulton Farms

We went to Fulton Farms on Saturday to go to their Pumpkin Patch and hay ride. It is something that the kids love to do every fall. Drew carried E in a backpack and he couldn't have been happier. It was a chilly day, compared to what it has been, but a lot nicer weather than it was when we went last year. We picked 4 really great carving pumpkins, played in the straw maze, rode down the slides, talked to the llamas and turkeys, went on the hay ride, and went through the corn maze. We even brought home a pumpkin for pie and some locally made apple cider. Yum!

The kids sitting on the pumpkins they picked.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I still have a few things I want to post about our trip to New york, but for those that are anxiously will have to wait until another day. Last week, we made significant progress toward finishing the basement. It is almost done. Just a few little things left, like the toilet in the bathroom and touching up the paint on the doors and trim. Drew worked so hard to finish it, and although it took a lot longer than he wanted it to, I couldn't be more proud of his efforts. He put a lot of time into learning how to do things before he did them, and learned a lot. Its now actually a livable space that doesn't require shoes to walk through. It looks awesome and I can't wait to move stuff in!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New York Part 3: Hill Cumorah

We were able to go the Hill Cumorah and see where they put on the pageant every year. I drove to the top with the little ones while Jody walked to the top with the older ones. As I was driving I realized that this hill, when Joseph was told to go, was covered in trees and brush and leaves, etc. just like the back side of it still is. There really is no way he would have known where to go to find the plates without some help. In addition, something that I didn't realize, the Hill Cumorah is actually about 5 miles from where his house was, so it wasn't like he was just out one day and stumbled upon the plates. He was led to a specific spot where he would find the plates to translate.

There is a monument to the Angel Moroni at the top of the Hill.

C standing on the hill, in the front where they hold the pageant every year.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New York Part 2: Pennsylvania

One of the reasons I wanted to go to New York was to see all of the church historical sights. Jody is moving from there, and I thought it was a good opportunity to have a place to say and my own personal tour guide. Drew couldn't go with us because of work, and we missed him, but we had a good time. One morning, while Reese was in school we went down to Pennsylvania and the Susquehana river to see where the Aaronic Priesthood was restored. It was about 20 or 30 minutes drive from where Jody lives. In that spot there is a monument. Also, you can see the cornerstones to the house that Joseph and Emma lived in when Joseph and Oliver Cowdry did a lot of the translation of the Book of Mormon. Within walking distance of the house is a cemetery where Emmas parents and Joseph and Emmas first child were buried. What a neat experience to stand in ths same place as a Prophet and to understand the sincerity and everlasting impact he has had on our world today, and me personally.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New York Part 1: Apple Picking

It has been about 3, maybe 4 weeks since we were able to drive up to New York to visit my sister. The 3 kids and I piled into the van and drove all day to visit our cousins. We had a wonderful time. We were able to eat ice cream and play with cousins, and Jody and I stayed up way too late most nights talking or watching movies and eating brownies. One evening, we went to an apple orchard. New York is famous for their apples, and I can see why. The kids had a wonderful time. They got to ride on the tractor and pick as many apples as they wanted. C and K both ate about 2 apples, whole, core and all, in the hour and a half that we were there. They had toys for the kids to play with and we came home with yummy apples (I think I have a new favorite - HoneyCrisp) some apple cider, and even some apple butter to bring home to Drew. While there, and eating apples, Reese ended up with a loose tooth. She was so proud, and even lost it a few days later.

Here are the kids pausing for a moment from eating apples to take a picture. They were so sticky and dirty by the end. Thank goodness for wipes. And whats up with that smile on C?
Reese and C standing in the middle of one of the apple rows. The trees were short enough for the kids to pick their own and we didn't have to help at all.

What a fun afternoon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


C played outdoor soccer this fall at the YMCA. I don't know if he liked the actual soccer or the talking to friends more, but I think he had a good time. I finally took some pictures of his last game. I think there was more big finding, rock collecting, grass picking and hugging going on most games than actual soccer being played. But, I guess you can't expect much from 3 and 4 year olds who have never played before.

Yes, that is my son with his shirt over his head standing in the middle of the field while the other kids, watch and then run after the ball. Gotta love it!

Drew wanted to help coach, so now we have 2 fabulous purple shirts with their names on the backs of them!

Here he is in all his Purple glory! Actually running after the ball and playing the game. YAY!

On picture day, K wore her purple shirt that morning thinking that she was having her picture taken. She was so disappointed that she didn't get her picture taken too. So, luckily I had my camera, and our little cheerleader was able to have her picture taken just like the bigger kids.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Because I haven't posted and pictures of E lately, here are a few for those who want to see them.

Sorry, just face shots, but thats what I like. The top one is from K's birthday and the bottom was from this past weekend. I can't believe how much he looks like C!

Marinara Sauce

As requested, here is the recipe for Marinara Sauce. It is originally from Michael Chiarello on Food Network (one of my favorite places to look for new recipes). I picked this one because it was super easy, and I have all of the ingredients on hand, and don't have to go to the store. I did tweek it a little to suit my needs, though, so here is my version.

2T oil
3/4 C minced onion (just one medium onion)
1T chopped Parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 C fresh tomato puree
1-2T basil
1t salt

heat the oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add onions. Cook until translucent. Add parsley and garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, basil and salt. Simmer until a sauce like consistency. This usually takes awhile, but you can walk away from it and let it simmer. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick. Try it. If it needs to be sweeter add some sugar.

I have just pureed the tomatoes in the blender. It takes about 20 Romas to make 8 Cups of puree. I don't blanche or peel them, just throw them in the blender. I tried another recipe that called for celery. It was yummy too. My suggestion, start with the basics, and add what you like to make it your own. If you like onion, add more onion. (We like onion) If you like garlic, add more. If you like it sweeter, add sugar. You get the idea... Also, I would recommend the Romas. They are meatier and not so juicy, so the sauce doesn't turn out real runny. Good luck to everyone!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I was not able to plant a garden this summer because we were in Virginia during the time we should have planted. My wonderful neighbor Dawn planted 8 tomato plants in our garden while we were gone and said that she had them extra and we could have them. So, I didn't really do anything with them and just let them grow. This is what I ended up with.

Eight Roma tomato plants that produced a ton of fruit!

So, I made this:

I have had enough tomatoes to make 2 double batches of marinara sauce. I pulled some more tomatoes yesterday and have enough to make one more double batch. If the weather stays warm enough for another week or so, I will have enough to make yet another batch. Needless to say, I think we have enough sauce to last awhile. C even calls it 'Mommys Famous Yummy Sauce' Not, famous or yummy, but both. I guess he really likes it homemade. And so do I, its so much better tasting than the store bought stuff.