Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas, Christmas time is here!

This has been such a wonderful Christmas season thus far. Joshua is loving Christmas lights everywhere and I just love how excited he gets. I feel so behind on posting about all the fun things we have been doing, but here are a few pictures to whet your appetite.

Morgan was wearing this cute little outfit and taking all of the bows off the presents. A cute story is that Joshua saw me put the headband/bow on Morgan and he said, "How Cute! She look's just like Christmas."

Here are the kids before Church on Sunday. They aren't much for standing around together for a family picture, but at least they are both smiling!

Lastly we have sweet Miss Morgan admiring the Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Laugh or Cry

So I had one of those moments today with Joshua where you don't know whether to laugh or cry. I had taken the kiddies to my Mom's house and left Ryan home for some R&R. As we were leaving Grandma's I told Joshua we were going home to see Daddy. His response was, "I want to pick a new home."
I chose to laugh. In fact, I laughed rather heartily.
I think it's because every night when Joshua hears it is bed time, he immediately starts whining that he wants to pick a new book to read. I'm not sure why he whines because he gets to read whatever book he wants every night, but that is how it goes.

In other laugh or cry news, Morgan was exploring the house and it got quiet. I tracked her down and she had her hands in the toilet water. Ick! We are usually very good about keeping the door closed and I guess I need to work on keeping the lid down too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Morgan's Party #3: The Cake

The purse was pound cake with a butter cream icing. I made the hearts and monogram by heating Tropical Starbursts in the microwave, rolling them out and cutting with some tiny "cookie" cutters that I have. The nail polish and lipstick were Now and Laters which I formed into those shapes. For the purse handle, Ryan drilled holes in Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers which I strung onto some purse hardware that I already had.

The crazy looking bear was Morgan's special Non-DairyChocolate Cake with Dairy and Gluten-free butter cream frosting. Despite the limitations they were both delicous and I would make them again in a heartbeat. One word of warning is that the butter cream is not as stiff as a traditional buttercream, so be careful of how much water you add if you would like to do fancy icing with it. I tried to use some different tips and it just sort of ran.

I don't like to pass up an opportunity to show off what a GIGANTIC nerd I am, so I will also include my to-scale mock-up of the cake. I was using Costco pound cakes, and I wanted to make sure I knew exactly how this whole thing was going to go together before I started. It did save me a lot of time and stress by already knowing how I wanted the finished product to look. The red part is what I was having to cut off the bottom and add to the top to get a trapezoid shape. The dimensions on there are the size of the individual pound cakes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Morgan's Party #2 - Food

We did breakfast/brunch for Morgan's party and it was good. So good, that I got lots of recipe requests. Here are the recipes for the Cinnamon French Toast Bake and the Impossibly Easy Breakfast Bake. I am going to post them how I actually made them since there were a few tweaks.
Click on the name of the recipe above to get the original. I forgot to take pictures, so I'm borrowing recipe photos from the Pillsbury and Betty Crocker Websites.

French Toast Bake
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 (12.4-oz.) cans Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
6 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
Icing from cinnamon rolls
Powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with the butter. Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces; place pieces over butter in dish.
2. In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in milk, cinnamon and vanilla until well blended; gently pour over roll pieces. Drizzle with 1/2 cup syrup.
3. Bake at 375°F. for 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove covers from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) for 10 to 15 seconds or until drizzling consistency.
4. Drizzle icing over top; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with additional maple syrup if desired.

Impossibly Easy Breakfast Bake
2 packages (12 oz each) bulk pork sausage or chop up some link sausage
1 medium bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Cook sausage, bell pepper and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir together sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in baking dish.
2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour into baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

I just used some link Turkey sausage that I cut up into chunks and followed the rest of the recipe as written.

Morgan is 1!!

What a crazy and hectic last week we have had. I got a nasty horrible cold, Morgan turned one, and we had a rocking birthday party.

Usually I get real stressed out and am in full perfectionist mode for parties, but I felt pretty relaxed and had such a good time. This was in spite of some last minute cancellations, Ryan's tire blow-out en route to the park, and not a parking space anywhere because of a suicide prevention walk. We probably started like 45 minutes late, but it was all good.

I'm going to do a separate post about the cake and food, because I had many recipe requests and questions about the cake.
Here is one of my favorite moments from the party in Photo Essay format.(Click to enlarge)
The boy is Morgan's cousin Taisei. It was the sweetest thing ever to see.

Here's our happy birthday girl eating cake!
More to come on all the fun things Morgan can do, a MONDO slideshow of all the party pictures we took, and of course the FOOD.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We had a truly wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We were able to spend Thanksgiving Day with everyone in my immediate family. True, it's only my parents and my sister's family but with their hectic work schedules we usually only get EVERYONE together on Christmas Eve. It was a lot of fun getting to eat, visit, and watch the kids play.
We were also fortunate enough that my Dad had the time to do a little Photo shoot with our family. We were able to get out between showers and got some good pictures.

Ryan's family had Thanksgiving on Saturday and it was a blast too.

I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family, both by birth and by marriage.
We love them very much and of course we love our happy little Family of four.

Tim Tam Slam

Oh glorious day. The DELICIOUS cookie found only in Australia is being sold in the US at Target by Pepperidge Farm.
Having never been to the land down under myself I am thankful to have friends that travel and let me taste this wonderful little cookie.
Lest you think I am over exaggerating this sweet little delicacy, I'm hoping that Monica can add a comment and tell you how much she likes them too.

More info about Tim Tams can be found HERE and HERE
May I also suggest checking out a Tim Tam Slam HERE

Happy Cookie Eating!! Tell your friends!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Happiest Shopping Day of the Year

I'll get around to posting about Thanksgiving, but first I want to talk about Black Friday. I love it. I was talking to Ryan and I think I came up with the reason behind it. I am a pretty competitive person. I love to shop. So competitive shopping is the best in my book.
This year had a few stumbles, but overall a great success. Here's how it went down

3:30 am - alarm goes off
4:00 am - End of the line at Fry's Electronics. I was standing at Wendler Dr, which is the back of the parking lot

View Larger Map
5:03 - Enter Fry's
5:08 - Discover at the check-out that I had the wrong phones
5:15 - Discover at the check-out that I have the right phones and no wallet
5:25 - After hounding a few people; recover wallet from Fry's Safe
5:45 - Exit Fry's with the right phones AND my wallet
6:00 - Staples
6:15 - Home Depot
6:30 - Back to Staples to verify I got the correct item
6:40 - Drive-thru breakfast
7:00 - Game Crazy
7:40 - Radio Shack
8:10 - Target
8:45 - Home
12:00 pm - Big Lots while I was waiting for my free pizza at Papa John's. Which free pizza I got for signing up for some club at Game Crazy.
1:30 pm - NAP!!!

The results were that I got 95% of my shopping done. Next year I am going to be recruiting shopping buddies. It is a lot more fun that way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who's in Charge Here?/Push Over Mommy

The pictures could speak for themselves, but I love some commentary. Nothing goes better with a nice episode of Dora the Explorer than some Cheetos and a fine apple juice.

I think he's high on the all the Cheesy goodness. Check out that mouse. Yummy!

I think this guilty face says it all. Don't Snack and Surf!

Ryan took this picture this morning. Isn't the sunrise beautiful? I love this weather!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Allergy Test Round 2

Today we met with Morgan's new allergist and I liked her a lot. The Doctor at the same practice that we were referred to didn't have a single opening until January, so we went with the first available Doctor. She is very nice and I felt like she was really listening to me and answering my questions.

Little Miss got a skin test and she had a reaction to . . .
1. Milk
2. Eggs
3. Peanuts
4. Walnuts
Here's the proof!

Surprisingly she didn't have a reaction to soybean, which is what we had previously thought would be the most serious allergy.

Thankfully on a scale of 0 to 4 all of her reactions were a 1, except for eggs which was a 2. We have a prescription for an Epipen just in case and we have a fun video to watch about using the Epipen. They also gave us a practice pen so looks like we have a new toy for the Doctor kit.

We are going to test her again in 6 months and pray that the milk and peanut allergies have disappeared by then.

Morgan's birthday cake is going to be DELISH! Poor dear, I don't think she will notice though. I'll make a better one for the family to eat.

The skin test takes about 20 minutes and since we had already been in the appointment for 30 minutes, it was getting pretty boring. A bored blogger mommy means lots of pictures!! Here are two that I thought were the cutest.

One final story. The other day, I was changing Morgan's diaper and therefore she wasn't wearing any clothes. Joshua walks over and says, "Whoa, big belly!" Oh she is going to LOVE him when she gets older.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The flu, allergies, other fun stuff

The last week has been pretty lame and so no blogging. Last Friday we went and saw Joel McHale at Celebrity Theater and it was hilarious. The only lame thing was that I spent the whole time using my Jedi mind tricks to not vomit everywhere. I made it until we got home and then let the flu commence.
Morgan has been teething and so she has been cranky with her nose running like a faucet. I took her to the Doctor to make sure she didn't have an ear infection and to talk to the doctor about her milk allergy. The doctor ordered a blood test and the results came in today. [Ominous doom music] Morgan showed a reaction to milk, egg whites, and peanuts.
We set up an appointment with an allergist and hopefully we can sort this whole thing out a little better. To date her milk allergy seems limited to a skin reaction, so we are praying that the peanut thing is just a false positive or very mild.

Should Jessica read this post. My heart has always gone out to you for all the struggles with Nora's severe allergies. I may be needing some tips on how you manage to not tear your hair out dealing with this stuff.

Lastly on the news front. My car is chirping and the Check Engine light has come on. So.... it looks like my car will be in the shop. Thankfully my awesome and retired mother has volunteered to help us out should the need arise.

I should say that not everything is lame. Yesterday I was able to finally punch my Official LDS Woman card by making dinner rolls from scratch. They are/were yummy too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

This weekend is the Race for the Cure to benefit Breast Cancer research. Some friends of ours, the Coltons, are very personally involved in a battle with breast cancer and they are asking that people can help out and donate whatever they can, to help his Mother's team make their goal. She has stage 4 breast cancer and is participating in the 3 day walk.
Here's a link to the whole story if you want to read it, CLICK HERE

Dan is asking that everyone that reads his post donate at least $5. I would really encourage anyone reading my post to do the same.

Ryan's mother had breast cancer when he was in High School and I bet that you wouldn't have to ask around too much before you found a women that you know who is either currently fighting or has had cancer in the past.

Any donation is tax deductible and they send you an email receipt that makes it very easy to keep track of. Everybody wins!


Monday, November 10, 2008

You eat what ?!?

I was thinking about dinner choices and came up with the hypothesis that every family has a dish that is a little odd or could be considered kinda yucky to others.

Example: I ate corned beef hash growing up. It consists of canned corned beef, potatoes, and onion cooked in a skillet. I think it is quite delicious, but I can see how others may find canned corned beef off-putting.

Example 2: One of my husband's favorites is Peas and Tuna. It's a white sauce made of milk and butter, with peas and tuna in it. It is served over butter milk biscuits. Say what? Truth be told, I will eat it now because if I go to the trouble to make a nice dinner for my DH, I am not going to make a separate meal for myself.

So I am curious what weird meals did you eat growing up? Leave me a comment and feel shame no more!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween, Halloween, we love Halloween!

It is a little bit of old news now, but here is how our Halloween went.
We went out to Ryan's parents house and did some Trick or Treating with his Sister Tiffany and her son Capper. He was Buzz Lightyear. The boys were really cute together.
Joshua is a professional Trick or Treater now. He would ring the doorbell, thrust out his bag, get the candy, and then take off running for the next house. He kept saying, "Come on Capper!" because Capper was just not keeping the pace.

After the trick-or-treating we went back to Ryan's parents and ate some yummy Chalupa and just had a really nice time together as a family. Charlie and Misty and their kids were there as well as Nanna and Taisei. The kids played in one room and the adults were in the other. It was awesome!

Joshua and Capper decided to climb under Grandma Becky's old desk and play. Taisei was more into the awesome pink roller skates.

We didn't leave East Mesa until after 9pm! That is way too late for our kids, but everyone was having such a great time. All things considered, it was a pretty smooth car ride home and Morgan didn't scream the whole way.

Halloween 2008 is officially put to rest. I can't wait for next year when Morgan is walking around too. It will be great!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nap Time To Do List

1. Finish the last of Morgan's b-day invitations
2. Blog about Halloween and post the cute pictures
3. Look up a few random things for my blogging play date tomorrow

INSTEAD I spent the WHOLE time looking at the KBtoys sale. KBToys is having an awesome pre-holiday sale, where you can get some screaming deals. Check it out HERE
Shipping is $.85 a pound so try to take advantage of the items with Free Shipping or buy small things. :)

If you have a laid back family like I do, you can inform Grandma/Grandpa that they just got some awesome deals on Christmas gifts for their grandkids. Everybody wins. Hurry, sales ends November 17 or until they run out of cool stuff.

Don't forget to comparison shop. You can do a google shopping search to make sure you are getting a good deal. (It seems like eToys and KBToys are the same website, go figure)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

By Popular demand... Peanut Butter "Cheese" Ball

I took this to Holly's baby shower and it was a big winner. So here is the recipe for the Peanut Butter "Cheese" Ball

Estimated Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes.
Freezing Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

1 package (8 ounces)cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
¾ cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (not all-natural)
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups (9 ounces)NESTLÉ® TOLLHOUSE® SWIRLED™ Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Morsels
Graham cracker sticks and/or apple slices

BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until blended. Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly (should form a ball shape).

FREEZE for 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm enough to keep its shape. Place morsels in flat dish. Remove plastic wrap from ball and roll ball into morsels to completely cover (you may find it necessary to press morsels into ball).

PLACE ball on serving dish; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until almost firm. (Can be made ahead. If frozen overnight, thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with graham cracker sticks and apple slices for dipping or spreading.

I used creamy peanut butter
I also used the Dark Brown Sugar but I'm sure you could sub in for light brown sugar.
I did not freeze it as long as it suggested, as I was under a time crunch. So I would be curious to see what kind of difference that would make.
I doubled the recipe and it made enough for a small army.
Based on how much was eaten, I'd say that Apples were a bigger crowd pleaser than the graham sticks. Could be that people were trying to think they were eating healthy by slathering this yummy goodness on an apple.

Also I got the recipe from HERE

Friday, October 31, 2008

Morgan's Invitation

As a little bit of a joke and because December is such a busy month, I have made Morgan's birthday invitations. I have really planned the whole party in the last 24 hours or so. I felt bad that I was working so hard on Joshua's party which isn't until January.
Anyways... I had an impromptu photo shoot in the front yard with Morgan yesterday, printed the pictures at Costco, stayed up late to get my prototype, and have assembled them today.
I think they turned out really cute, if I do say so myself.
So here they are....

The front....

The front and back of the three different designs I have used so far.

I pinked out the details, to keep away all the pesky paparazzi.

My husband loves to tease me that me real interest in Scrapbooking is in collecting the supplies and not actually making the scrapbooks. Well here is a case where it paid off. I paid exactly $2.41 to make these invitations because I had everything I needed here around the house except for the prints.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things I would love to own

I've found myself having some random wants recently, and so I shall post about some of the awesome things that would make me smile.

1. An extra wide baby gate would help me separate my kids into different side of the house so they wouldn't fight. LOL! While I would love to use it for that, sometimes I just need to keep them in either the family room or the living room, and all of our current gates are not wide enough.

2. I would also like this book. This is Nie Nie sister's blog and over the course of the last 2 months I have checked her blog everyday for updates on the Nielsen family. I just love her style of writing. Plus the royalties will go to her sister, so double score.

3. More stuff inspired by the Nielsens. Apparently their family loves this cd, and from listening to the clips available on the internet, I don't blame them. The songs are awesome. I think this cd is going from a want to a necessity. 4. I've posted about a give away on the Knot Sew Shabby etsy shop before, but check out this rockin busy book. I love it. $45 is a bit out of my price range, but I like to look at the pictures. I also dream about the day that I could beef up my sewing skills to do something so complicated. :)

5. I would love just about anything from Knot Sew Shabby, but I really love these on-the-go activity books. I've made crayon pouches before, but this really kicks it up a notch.

Procrastining much on doing the dishes? I think so!!

May you find some awesome things that make you smile too!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Festivities Part 1

I strongly believe in getting a lot of use out of a Halloween costume and so we have quite a packed Halloween schedule. Saturday we went to boo at the zoo with my sister and her family.
Saturday night was our ward Halloween party. Here are some pictures from our busy, busy day.

Princess Jasmin and Peter Pan hanging out in front of the zebras.

Joshua and Samantha checking out the Elephants from the new viewing area.

Joshua trick or treating at the ward party. He is really digging the whole candy angle this year. He hasn't really cared in years past. It is really cute.

Joshua was very happy to show off his spoils for the evening.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Discovery Channel Moment

We went to the zoo today with April and Mason and had a total blast. Joshua and Mason were so cute together. Joshua would follow Mason wherever he went and kept saying, "Come on Mason." It was so precious. They were even holding hands part of the time.
I love these pictures because it has their cute little shadows too.

Mason found a photo booth, so Joshua was more than happy to play in the booth too.

Here's one of Morgan. Poor girl got ignored in her stroller a lot. She didn't mind too much though.

Lest I forget that the zoo is supposed to be an educational place, the Galapagos Tortoise's gave us an interesting education indeed. Once you get past the giggle factor, it was pretty crazy because the Mommy turtle was walking all around the exhibit with that big old dude on her back. You may not be able to tell from this picture, but he is way bigger than her.

I would have to say this is one of the more successful trips I have taken to the zoo. Everyone had a good time and there were no meltdowns!
Mason is such a sweetheart and his Mom is pretty awesome too! I definitely want to get together with them again soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Washua so funny!

Joshua says some of the funniest things recently. Here are a few of them.

Yesterday I started the project of cleaning out the pantry to organize everything and make space for all the food I bought at Fry's case lot sale. I didn't get everything back in pantry yesterday so the living room had quite a bit of food in rows on the floor. When Joshua got up this morning, he looked down the stairs and said, "Oh NO! What a mess! Food on the floor!"

Last night we were trying to get Joshua to tried a "grilled cheese tortilla," since he loves grilled cheese sandwiches, but won't touch a quesadilla. He put up a big fight but Ryan made him try it anyways. As soon as he took a bite he said, "YUMMY! Need more!"

All this evening he has been saying, "Washua is so funny!"

Part of his bedtime routine is rocking in the glider and having us sing a few songs to him in the dark. Well recently he sings to us and if we try to sing along he says, "Washua sing!" and then he starts the song over again.

All day today he keeps saying, "Morgan Happy! Morgan stopped crying." He says it even if she hadn't been crying recently.

Tonight he was eating Corns. So cute!

Here's my favorite. The other day he had a crayon in the backseat with him. He starts saying "Mommy, what happened?" I was driving and couldn't take too close a look, so I told him it was okay that the paper had just ripped. As we were pulling into the driveway he starts saying something about putting the crayon in his mouth.
Well as it turns out, what happened to his crayon is that he took a little nibble of the end of the crayon. Oh dear!

A day of firsts

Well we had two big "firsts" in our family today.
1. Today was the first time we gave Morgan and Joshua a bath together. They thought it was a really good time especially since Joshua doesn't always like his sister.

2. During this bath, Morgan pooped in the tub for the very first time. Eww yuck! The craziest part was that Ryan was practically giddy because now I knew what it was like to go through the ordeal of cleaning up the mess and being all grossed out. This is how things went down
A: Oh no, she's pooping! What should I do? Drain the water?
R: No, we have to document this. [Grabs the camera, SNAP, SNAP]
R: Now you can pick the poop out of the water and drain the tub.
A: [Handles the dirty work, cleans everything up, and gets the kids back in the tub.]

I was seriously going to hurl. I do have a new appreciation for Ryan's poopy tub experience
However I think I had it way worse because Morgan's poops are pretty loose. Ryan took the pictures and it is at his insistance that I post his "documentation."

Scroll down past it if you think that is totally repulsive and insane. There is a post of some cute pictures of the kids below this one, so don't skip that.

Okay, you should be safe now..... Oh the things I blog about.

Riding in Style / Primary Program

We took a trip to the mall last week and to our utter surprise, Joshua wanted to play with all the cars they have there. He didn't actually want them to move, so that is nice for our pocketbook.
These pictures are mostly for my Mom, because she would never believe that Joshua climbed in all these cars willingly and had a great time playing. You can tell he had a good time because out of about 20 or so pictures, I could only get him to look at me for one.

Sunday was the primary program and I think it went pretty well. The practices leading up to the program were pretty chaotic, but as usual, the kids pulled it off. We've been in the ward for 5 primary programs and I have been the pianist for the primary program for the last 3 of them. I hope that one day I can sit in the audience and watch instead of participating. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
My parents came and helped entertain the kids so Ryan wouldn't be all stressed out. It was very nice of them and they did a good job at keeping everyone entertained. I only heard Morgan singing along a few times while I was up at the piano.

Here's sweet Morgan at church, doing what she does best. (Looking adorable and keeping us out of Sunday school.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Princess Stinkeye & Other Tales

It's been awhile since I have posted some of the random pictures from what is going on around here, so here we go.

1. "Go ahead and cross me, I DARE you! I'm princess stink eye and I mean business. "

2. "Oh wait, I mean I'm sweet as can be!"

3. Morgan and Joshua before church. 4. Another shot from before church. They are both leaning forward and somehow it just makes Joshua look like a little person. It's very weird how the proportions turned out.

5. Here's Morgan in her wig. I didn't love how it looked so I didn't want the wig in her official pictures. I was afraid it would take away from her cute little smile and costume. It is hilarious though.

Dinner Calendar