"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Jazz Game


 
Mason's cousins are on Junior Jazz teams and get hooked up with tickets every year to a game.  Brandon, Mason, Millard, Brooke, Jason, James, and Makayla got to go this year.  I understand it was a great game from start to finish, and everyone had a sensatonal time.  Here is Mason's "dance":
video
Apparently he was getting pretty into it.  

It was a quick trip for them.  Arriving Saturday afternoon, lunch, Cabella's, Temple Square, Jazz Game, drive back.  They didn't get home until almost 3 am!  Long day, but from the looks of things it was worth it.

Baby Morgan Blessing Day


My sweet little niece was blessed on Sunday.  The weather was horrible.  A total blizzard.  The road to their house was actually closed that morning and their church was cancelled.  But it opened  a few hours later and we loaded up and headed out.  They had two other babies (twins) in the ward that were being blessed, so they had a sort of private church meeting.  Just the family and a few close friends.  It was very nice.  Brandon's family came all the way from Washington.  Morgan is such a doll.  It was fun to see everyone.  The weather was worse on the way back, so we couldn't stay too long.


I've been earning about a C- for my photography skills lately.  All the good ones here were taken by Melissa and Jason.  I don't know WHAT I was doing.  Where are all the pictures of the happy parents?  The cute kids playing together?  The whole gang at our house?  Trevor and Averie giving hugs?  Well, they're all in my head my friends.  I'll try to do better...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Everything Bagel Bread



My kids love the "everything" onion bagels.  So I adapted my potato bread recipe to be sort of similar.  It turned out really yummy, so I thought I would share:


It's a bread machine recipe, so I just "proof" the yeast, dump in all ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup wheat flour
3 cups white flour
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cups potato flakes
2 Tb. butter, softened
2 Tb minced onions
1 Tb sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (for color, I would have used some poppy seeds too, but I was out.)

After the dough is finished I knead it again, shape it and put it in the pan.  I sprinkle more minced onion and sesame seeds on top and cover it to raise for another hour.  Then bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  I covered the top with tin foil the last 10 minutes so the toppings didn't burn.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Fond Farewell...



The time has come to trade in the old Jeepy-soo. He was going to cost more in repairs and upkeep than we were willing to spend. He made a great down payment on our new ride though. Good bye old buddy. You've been good to us.

We need a little more wiggle room for our growing kiddies, and maybe even room to haul a friend or two...

Signs of Spring

True, there was snow on the ground this morning when I awoke, but there are still promising signs that spring just may decide to visit us after all. Ellorie found the first cricket of the season on the porch, to her utter delight. Also, my tulips are starting to emerge from the muddy flower bed.

Yay!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wedding Festivities

Thursday my baby sister Kelsey (a.k.a. Lissa Loo)  was married in the Salt Lake Temple!  I bawled and bawled.  It was the most beautiful ceremony.  I can't believe how fast time goes by.  I still think of her as little.  Sometimes I call my girls "Kelsey" on accident.  I remember her being younger than Averie, so it scares me just a little bit to think of my own girls being old enough to get married in the blink of an eye.  

Brandon couldn't come in the middle of the week during tax season, but I REALLY missed him.  It was a big job to do all the wedding stuff with my three cuties sans husband.  I didn't get nearly the quantity or quality of pictures as I would have liked, but what can you do?  I'm not going to say it wasn't stressful, but it WAS totally worth it, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  

Here are some shots of the kids "waiting".  (Thank you SOOOOOO much Shane and Carlee for all your help!!)

And here is the grand entrance, and shots of the family.  Clockwise from the top:  My brothers Shane and Caden, Tiny me and my tall siblings; Grandma Sherma, My Mom, and I;  Kels and Ellie;  the happy couple;  Aleisha, Natalie, myself, Carlee;  I am wearing 4 inch heels by the way...

And the reception:
(I just had to include this big cheesy smile at the end...  Kelsey is going to kill me, but she was so happy and smiley.  You just can't fake that kind of happiness...  I love it!)
Notice there are very few pictures of my children.  Where were they you ask?  Good question.  Averie was running out of the building and into the street repeatedly, so I was chasing her in heels repeatedly, Ellorie and Mason were gorging on candy and cake, dancing, and enjoying their cousins they hardly ever get to see, and I was desperately trying to keep track of the three of them.  I loved watching the dancing and the "toast and roast".  Here are the kids dancing a little bit:

video

I'm so sorry I didn't get a chance to talk to all of you more.  I left there a little sad that I didn't get to visit more.  I love all of you and I was so glad I got to at least see everyone.  I need to come down for a week just to visit with everyone.  

What a beautiful day and a beautiful event.  I'm so happy for you Kelsey and Kris!  Congratulations!  We love you!!

Clark Planetarium

 
We went to the Planetarium in Salt Lake City the day after the wedding.  We've been before, but the kids LOVE it, especially Mason.  The big machine, "Newton's Daydream" is always a hit.  They could play with the knobs and gadgets all day.  I think I must be asking for punishment taking all the kids sight-seeing by myself.  But we survived.  Mason and Ellorie are wonderful!  Averie had her moments.  She had a long weekend with very disruptive sleep patterns.  (Very little at all to be honest.)  It was a really fun couple of days and we are all REALLY tired and glad to be home!

Walkin' on the Moon (and Mars)

 
The rumors are false:  Children are not better behaved on the moon.  But they are still very cute.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Princess Party

 
Ellorie was invited to her cousin's Princess themed birthday party.  So much fun!  It's not often Ellorie gets to dress up as a pink fairy princess and play with just the girls.  Such a great party.  Thanks Hilarie!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Four-Eyes

It was bound to happen eventually, I just didn't expect it this soon.  My baby boy needs glasses.  So sad.  Actually, he is ecstatic.  Ever since we started reading Harry Potter he thinks glasses are ever-so-cool.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately) they didn't have any "Harry Potter" styles that fit his face.  

He had me pick him up directly from school instead of riding the bus because he "just couldn't wait that long".  He was hilarious with the doctor.  He was making the funniest comments like "whoa, that's WAY better!"  "No wait, go up, yeah that one..."  He was very vocal and so grown-up.  It made me smile.  It turns out that his eyes aren't really that bad, but bad enough that we really can't wait to get them.  He is supposed to take off the glasses for reading.  Now lets see how long he can keep them out of Averie's reach and/or keep them from getting lost.  (Man, glasses are expensive!)  He is counting down the days until the chosen pair arrives.  
(I was way too close to him with the camera, I swear they don't look this big on his face in person...)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Artsy Walk


The girls and I went for a walk to deliver my paintings to the Carr gallery today.  Averie loves to go for rides in the stroller.  Ellorie also enjoyed the walk.  Especially holding the orange flag to cross the street, and pushing the buttons at the street lights.  It looked so nice with the sun shining brightly, but it was still pretty chilly.  


We walked several blocks to the museum to visit another painting of mine in the plein air show.  This museum has a kids room with lots of cool artsy toys and games.  Ellorie's favorite is the magnetic face toy.  She would have stayed there all day.

The shows at the museum right now are SO gorgeous, so if any of you readers are living anywhere nearby, get down there NOW!  Okay, not now, but soon.  And it's free, even better! 

Tag: 8 things

8 TV Shows I enjoy watching:  ( We have three channels.  I actually just watch them on the internet if I have a chance.  I'm pretty behind though.)

1. Biggest Loser

2. Heroes

3. Bones

4. Life

5. The Office

6. Arrested Development (on DVD)

And when we had cable:

7. Project Runway (not on HULU, sad..)

8. Wonder Pets (We miss you Ming Ming)


8 Things that happened yesterday:

1. "Turbo Jam" aerobics class (It killed me!)

2. Read books with the kids

3. Made homemade refried beans

4. Finished a painting

5. Matted a painting, finished framing another one.

6. Lots and lots of laundry

7. Made an appointment for Mason to get his eyes checked.  I think he needs glasses.

8. Paid bills


8 Things I am looking forward to:

1. April 15th!!

2. Art show at the Carr Gallery in a few weeks

3. Kelsey's wedding

4. Spring!

5. Planting a garden

6. Finishing the basement someday

7. Camping this summer

8. Playing outside with the kids and Rocket.


8 Things on my wish list:

1. Riding Lawn Mower for the acre.

2. A vehicle that can seat at least one more child so we can take a friend somewhere.

3. A big huge pressure canner and a food dehydrator for "harvest" this year.

4. An art studio. 

5. A one-woman-show in a really nice gallery

6. Chickens

7. A dressage horse (and appropriate funds to care for it...)

8. A month painting in Italy, or anywhere really.


8 Things Brandon did yesterday:

1. Showered

2. Drank the gross licorice root "stuff" I made for him to help with the stomach ulcer. (stress I'm assuming)

3. Went to work

4. Drove to Blackfoot to audit a company

5. Maybe filed a tax return or two?  (Lets be honest I don't really know what being an accountant entails.  I can barely balance the check book.)

6. I'm assuming took a lunch break, probably on the client to a yummy restaurant.  (One of the perks.)

7. Uh, worked some more.  

8. Got home at an unearthly hour only to do it again tomorrow. (Come quickly Tax day!!!)


8 People I Tag:

Hmm.  If you haven't done this one yet and it speaks to you, consider yourself tagged.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Healthy Snacks to Go

I've been on a crusade to increase our healthy food intake around here.  This is one of my favorite on-the-go, ridiculously healthy snacks.  I go to the bulk section of the grocery store and get little baggies of all the healthy stuff my family will eat.  I get smaller bags of the more spendy items and bigger bags of the things we like the most.  


Today I got:  macadamia nuts($1.30), raw cashew pieces($0.52), raw sunflower seeds($0.38), yogurt covered raisins($0.58), raw pumpkin seeds($0.50), unsweetened shredded coconut($0.14),  dried cranberries($0.68), dried mango($0.28), plain granola($0.58), raw whole oats (already had these), slivered almonds($1.12, I got a LOT of these.), dried blueberries($0.50), and wasabi peas($0.12).  That's a grand total of 6.70 for enough snack baggies to last for a few weeks, you can make them a lot cheaper too if you don't go for the more expensive nuts and fruit, or if you dry the fruit and make the granola yourself.  Store bought trail mix is a lot more expensive, full of salt, sugar, and oil, and not nearly as tasty or full of the good stuff.  It almost feels like cheating!  I love it.
Sometimes I throw in some mini dark chocolate chips, or a greater variety of dried fruits and nuts.  Then I get some snack size Ziploc bags and assemble.  Some are more fruity and sweet, some are more nutty and salty.  They are perfect for a snack any time of the day, have lots of good omegas in the nuts, its very filling, and best of all it's delicious!  

Brandon has a crazy schedule right now and has very little time for meals at all, much less healthy ones.  So I assembled him a box of these baggies (along with a few other things) for him to snack on throughout the day.  I'm thinking I need to go back and get some more stuff to make some for me now...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kelsey's Wedding Shower


I must have had a sensational time at my sister's wedding shower, because I didn't take hardly any pictures!  I hate that, when I get home from a really great weekend and realize that I don't have any pictures of the most important part...  Oh well.  I'm sure I'll make up for it and then some at the wedding.


The kids had a great time playing with all of their (my) cousins.  The little baby girls loved all the attention.  It was so much fun to see and talk to everyone!  Wish we could have stayed longer and spent more time with everyone.  Congratulations Kelsey!  We're so excited for you!! Less than two weeks to go...

Museum of Ancient Life

 
I was feeling brave, very brave.  So, I took all three kids by myself to the museum.  It was fantastic!  They totally loved every minute.  Even Averie was entertained.  The water table was their favorite.  Time well spent.

Ten Reasons We LOVE to Visit Grandma Gina and Papa

10.  Abundant wildlife.  Jade the dog, deer in the yard, a beautiful view.

9.  Toys galore, including a GIGANTIC bucket of Legos.
8.  Patting the moose.  Also, sleeping next to the moose.  Averie loves it.
7.  A huge cozy bed for all four of us to sleep in.  (Surprisingly comfy and roomy...)

6.  Great dress up gear
5.  Pikachu, the stuffed animal.  Ellorie has one, but still loves Grandma Gina's .

4.  Fantastic food, entertainment, and conversations (Always!)

3.  Endless patience with um... small mishaps..  (blackberry jam.  Everywhere.)
2.  Sensational Style, including cut and color (thank you, thank you, thank you!)

1.  And of course the very best part is spending time with Grandma Gina and Papa.  We love you!  Thanks for letting us come.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Mud


Yes, this is Mason. Yes, that is a bare foot covered in freezing cold mud. Yes, he was bawling, but I still ran to get the camera because I couldn't resist. Yes, those are his BRAND NEW school pants, thanks for asking. He was really offended that I kept laughing...

Ellorie's Hand Sandwich

"Mom", says Ellorie, "Can we have hand sandwiches for lunch today? Please??"
"What is a hand sandwich?", I ask
"I saw it on tv. You make a sandwich and then cut it into a hand with a cookie cutter.", she explains
"Oh, sure, why not."

Ellorie saw this on PBS this morning and wanted to try it. Cute idea I thought. I have quite a collection of cookie cutters, so she picked out her favorites. She ate the shapes, and I ate the "edges". If you can't tell, they are a strawberry, a bunny, and a hand. I didn't think the chocolate chips went too well with a melted cheese and turkey sandwich, but she thought it was the best thing ever.
And thanks, Mom, for the new "hand" cookie cutter-- It came in "handy" Hahahah (Okay, I know.)

Mud and Ambition (Wouldn't that be a great Novel title?)


Today I was feeling a bit ambitious.  Its almost springish outside.  All the snow is melting, it's a little overcast, but quite warm.  I decide it is nice enough to take everyone on a walk, Rocket included.  I bundle up the girls and open up the garage.  Ellorie is holding Rocket on the leash and I am attempting to unfold the giant double stroller.  Averie toddles off the driveway and into the mud- UP TO HER KNEES!  She is screaming and sinking in the "quick mud", Ellorie is yelling because Rocket is really excited and keeps nipping at her, and is barking like mad.  "Maybe this wasn't a great idea", I think to myself.  We haven't even left the yard yet.  


So I wade through the mud to rescue Averie, who of course gets me all muddy with her flailing and kicking.  I tell Ellorie to hang on to Rocket so he doesn't chase the Kindergarden bus that is just driving down our street.  I wash, change, and console Averie.  I load the girls into the stroller (Ellorie sits on the back "bench" seat)  We are off again.  

Did I mention that I just started teaching Rocket to walk on a leash?  He is terrible at it.  Sometimes he is scared of it, and then other times he attacks it savagely.  He figures out in a hurry that the wheels run over him if he gets in the way, so that was a quick teacher of where to walk.  He also just stops and sits down a lot.  I've never had a dog that does this before.  He seems to be a quick learner though.  

He is doing remarkably well, but he keeps ATTACKING my pant leg, full teeth, snarling and all.  This will not do.  What have I adopted here???  We're working on the nipping thing, but I do not like this aggression.  I pick him up by the scruff of the neck and we have a little talk.  End of story.  Now he walks nicely beside the stroller.  

Things are going well.  We turn the corner down the street and see three of the neighborhood  kids running toward us with their three dogs, none of which are on leashes.  Rocket hasn't been around other dogs yet since we got him, and is quite scared.  The three dogs are quite friendly though.  They make their greetings and the kids and 2 dogs continue with us on our walk.  (One of the dogs went home.)  They did attempt to "gang rape" him a few times.  I have to keep kicking one of the dogs off of him.  So gross.  Poor Rocket.  He does love running with all the kids though, and he is getting very good at walking on the leash.

But all in all it was a successful outing.  We're going to try it again tomorrow, sans neighbor dogs though.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Random Stuff and the "Blahs"

I have been neglecting my blog a bit. Everything just gets so blah this time of year... It's starting to thaw a bit and rained and even hailed a bunch today. Which means we are surrounded by an acre of mud. New puppy, mud, children running in and out, mud, blah! I really hope the grass takes off quickly this spring.Here are some random pictures I found around the house that my little artists created:

Mason has been reading the Harry Potter series lately, and is very into drawing quidditch pictures, the golden snitch being his favorite subject. He drew a fully colored version on his school folder.Averie loves to doodle and color, especially with markers. More of it ends up on her legs and face, but she LOVES them, so I can't resist. She prefers pink and yellow currently.

I absolutely love this one. Look how cute the picture of Rocket is with his little tongue sticking out, and Mason's crazy hair (pre-haircut).


And a couple of parting shots:

Mason and Ellorie fell asleep like this in Mason's room back to back. They are just best friends. I love it!

Here are some farm fresh eggs Brandon got from a co-worker that had an over-abundance. Awesome! (I just love the green ones.)

Okay, this probably qualifies for my most random post ever, but that's where we're at right now. March is kinda one of those in between months. I've just been getting by and painting as much as possible, playing with the kids, cleaning when necessary, puppy training, (another post for another day...) We miss having Brandon around for sure! Only six more weeks to go until tax day!! (HOOORAY!!!) I'm also really excited for Kelsey's wedding festivities coming up. I need to get out of the house...




Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Niece!





We're so excited to have a new little niece and cousin! Her name is Morgan Kate... isn't she precious?!? We just love her!

We went to visit (bombard) them in the hospital on Friday night. Ellorie wanted to hold her and touch her the whole time, Mason was a little shy and didn't really want much to do with her, and Averie liked to look and point, but didn't want to get too close. Brandon even held her. I love holding new babies.

Congratulations Melissa and Jason!