Saturday, December 10, 2011

Date with Syd

Today was my day to take Syd out on a little date with mom. It was very simple, we went to the Library, the "Up" house, and then to the gas station for a treat. We have not been to the library in far too long, and she has wanted some Cam Jensen books for quite a while. We got her a few of them and then headed to the "Up" house. It is awesome!

Syd was excited to find the secret room upstairs. They did a fabulous job decorating the place to look just like the house in the movie. There was a little girls room in there that was so beautifully decorated, I pointed out to Syd how nice it was all clean and clutter-free. She loved it. I think I have her motivated to get her room all nice again. She wants to make it cute but not like a "little girl" as she put it. She is feeling more grown up and ready for a change. Maybe we can do that for her birthday, she'd love it!
She loves going to get a treat at the gas station. Usually I just grab a drink and the kids don't get anything, I'm mean like that, so for her to choose something was quite a big deal for her. She loved it! We had a good time together. I love my Syd!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My baby's birthday

Kayman turned 4!!! He has been so excited to be 4 years old. He asked me about a week before his birthday if he was still 3, he didn't want to have missed anything. He loves being able to ride in a booster seat now instead of his big bulky car seat. I feel old now, no more car seats in the ole minivan! It's a good change, but it still makes me feel old.

We had a little party for Kayman on Thanksgiving with Nana and Papa since they were headed out to Hawaii and would not be around to celebrate with us on his birthday. Lucky them, in Hawaii! He got a tool kit and outfit from them. He has been going around the house with his screw driver "fixing" everything. It's so cute!

Then on the night before his birthday we had the rest of the family out to celebrate. My parents, Jaycie, and Andy's sister and her family made it out for the party! It was a lot of fun. We love having so much family so close and so supportive of our children.

Kayman had a great time spitting --errr, blowing out his candles.
He got a Nerf gun! He loves that! He also got a Marshmallow gun, which he loves even more. He shoots out the marshmallows, then picks them up and eats them. He got train stuff and matchbox cars as well. Lots of new toys!!!
Syd and Jess both made him a special gift. Syd made a K with a paper plate and smarties. Jess made Felix the Cat on a paper plate with smarties. They thought of this themselves and figured out how to do it. Very sweet.
Kayman about to shoot me with the Nerf gun!
Kayman with his daddy. He loves his daddy so much. When Andy gets home from work, Kayman runs up to him and immediately starts wrestling with him.
He was a little hyper from all the cake and ice cream and excitement of the night, and he wasn't too interested in being serious for a picture with mom.
I stole a birthday kiss anyway.
And then I tickled him relentlessly, until he said, "Pause!"
Happy birthday Man. I love you! You are the highlight of my days now that we get to spend all day together, just you and me. We have a lot of fun playing with your trains, your books, watching movies, going shopping, and going out to lunch to McDonalds. You are such a sweet and loving boy. I love you so much!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I know it is so cliche to write a Thanksgiving post about all I am thankful for, but this year I just cant stop myself. I have so much in my life that I don't deserve, but that I am very grateful to have been blessed with. Here are a few things:

My dear husband: Andy is the most loving man I have ever met. He is so gentle, thoughtful, caring and kind. He is my best friend. I have always known how amazing he is, but in this last month I have developed an all new appreciation for who he truly is. He loves me. He accepts me with all my craziness. He is the best father for our children. No, he is not perfect, as none of us are, but he is perfect for me. He knows me and my needs, and he does his best to meet them. He works countless hours to provide well for our family, then he comes home and serves us all. I do my best to make sure the home he comes home to is one he wants to return to for the rest of his days. We love him so much and are so grateful for all he is.

My children: I have three of the funniest, most energetic, lovable children I could have asked for. They all make me laugh every day. They love each other, play together, help out around the house, and our family would not be complete without each of them. I love the energy they bring to our house, even though I complain about it a lot. It is not always easy to deal with on days when I don't have a lot of patience, but I love how happy they all are and how much joy they bring to my life.

Family: My parents and siblings all live here in Salt Lake and it's wonderful! We get together fairly often, and we were able to have Thanksgiving all together. It was so much fun! We are also lucky enough to have Andy's parents and one of his sisters here. We see them quite often as well. I love getting together with family. For me, there is nothing better than spending time with those you love and who you know love you, talking, laughing, and making memories. Everyone gets along beautifully and I couldn't have asked for a better family! I know that sounds cheesy and unrealistic, but it really is true. We are all different and have our little quirks, but we can see past the differences and we all have great relationships.
Here we all are on Thanksgiving Day. My cute parents who do so much for each of us kids, my adorable husband who sacrifices every day for our family, my adorable kids and their bright smiling faces, my brother, his darling wife and their adorable little boy, and my sister with her husband and her soon to be baby boy. She is due Dec. 18, isn't she so cute pregnant?! I sure love all these people. They are amazing!

There are many other things I am grateful for, but family is the most important to me. Family and God. My relationship with God has been needing some improvement for a while, and I am finally getting myself closer to where I want to be. It takes a lot of work, but I am slowly getting stronger and more diligent in doing all that is required of me. I have so much to be thankful for, and I try to remember that every day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Locks of Love

Sydney has been growing her hair for years. She loves long hair, she loves to brush it, braid it, and create new and inventive ways to style it. I mentioned a few months ago that her hair was nearly long enough to donate to Locks of Love, and she had mixed emotions of wanting to help others, but not wanting to give up her hair. We didn't talk about it for a while, then she mentioned she needed a trim the other day. I told her that if she wants to donate it, now would be a good time. Immediately she smiled and said she wanted to do it. "Can we go now?" she asked. I sent her to the shower to wash it one last time, and we were off to chop her locks.
Here is one last look at her long golden hair.

Isn't she just adorable?! She loves her new do and doesn't even miss her hair. It is a little frustrating for her that she can't pull it into a ponytail, but it will grow fast. She feels so good knowing that she did something good for someone else. Her hair will go toward making a beautiful wig for someone who needs it.

My little girl is growing up so fast.

Friday, November 11, 2011

One year older and wiser, too!

Andy just had his birthday!!! We were so excited to celebrate with him this year. I had a fun project I worked very hard on for him, the girls made very thoughtful gifts for him, and Kayman, well, he watched us. :) The girls helped me frost the cake and decorated it with 32 candles and not quite as many cinnamon bears.
After work we picked him up and took him to dinner where his family was waiting for us! That was his first surprise. He didn't know they would be there. That was fun, and really good food! We went to Goodwood BBQ. Yum! After dinner, we headed home where he got to blow out the torch of a cake. Nevermind the fact that this thing ended up covered in wax. The girls were still excited about all the candles, and he was happy for the effort we put into it for him.
Then came the second surprise. The girls threw him a "Cinnamon Bear Party!" They spent so much time drawing and painting this huge cinnamon bear (all by themselves, their idea, their work) and cutting out tiny cinnamon bears that they taped all over the walls. We also spread a huge bag of cinnamon bears all over the table around the cake. They were so excited! Obviously, Andy loves cinnamon bears. He loved his surprise.
We are headed on a vacation in a few months, so Andy's real gift was to get certified for scuba so he can come diving with me when we go to Aruba! Wahoo!!! Happy Birthday babe! We love you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Party!

Happy Halloween! The girls got to dress up in their costumes for school. Jess was Tiana from Princess and the Frog, and Syd was Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Aren't they beautiful?!
They were s excited to put glitter on their lips! So pretty!

Syd was the most beautiful Ariel I have ever seen! We sprayed her hair red with temporary hair coloring, loaded her up with eye make up, and she suddenly looked like a teenager! She is looking much older than just 7 years old these days.
Jessica was a beautiful Tiana! She is the perfect princess. She plays the part so well with her delicate mannerisms and little princess accent.
Kayman was the perfect SWAT guy. He has been hand cuffing people and tying people up for weeks now. He's a natural. I keep finding random things around the house tied up or cuffed. The other day I found my drum stool tied to the living room chair with a jump rope. There were some pretty good knots in there. He also cuffed the refrigerator door to a kitchen chair. This kid, such a nut.
Halloween night we made home made root beer! This was a tradition I had as a kid, it was so fun to start it with my own kids. They loved it. It was really fun to make, and even better to drink! It was delicious...and I don't even like root beer!
We had my parents, Andy's parents, and Andy's sister and her family out for dinner on Halloween. It's tradition that we have Frito Pie (Chili with fritos, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and corn) and cornbread with honey butter. It was super yummy with the addition of the home made root beer! We had quite the crowd. After dinner we headed out trick or treating and loaded up on a TON of candy. It was nice and warm and Andy and I even dressed up this year. It was a great Halloween with family!
I hope you all had an equally enjoyable evening!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


As of this moment, I have no goals. No short term goals, that is. I admire this in others, but lack the skill to think of new and meaningful things to set as goals for myself.

I realized that I don’t have a single goal yesterday when my sister in law revealed to me that she is going to write a novel. A 50,000 word novel. By the end of November. That is quite the goal! I thought to myself...”the only goal I have is to get the laundry done and the dishes washed before the next day starts.” While that is a necessary task in my home, it’s definitely not a goal I ought to strive to keep to better myself.

I have the typical goals floating around in the back of my mind. Daily scripture study and prayer, regular Temple attendance, teaching my children right from wrong, and a few more vague goals. But I don’t have something concrete, something with an end result to work for. Short term goals.

I have been pondering this all day. The more I think about it, the more lost and useless I feel. I have been trying to think of goals I could set for myself, but to no avail. There is always the goal of “exercising X number of days a week” or “eating healthy” or “keeping the house clean”, but these are all day in and day out goals that are never ending. I need something with an end date. Something that will motivate me to reach the goal I set for myself. But, alas, I am at a loss.

Let’s be honest here, there is no way I could write a 50,000 word novel by the end of November. Probably not even by the end of my lifetime. I have nothing in my head to go on. No story to start writing.

So, I am very curious...what are your goals? May I steal one of yours? I desperately need some ideas. I need some goals to help me feel better about life in general, and to give me some purpose. Please help!

Halloween Party!

Daphne and Shaggy, more commonly known as Steph and Andy, attended the most spectacular Halloween party we have ever been to! My friend Tya and her husband Brandon throw a Halloween party every year, and this is the first year we have been able to make it. They sure know how to throw a party! From the costume contest, to the brain jello, to the finger shaped green breadsticks, to the spider cake, to the many different treats shaped like gross stuff, to the hired Magician! This was an amazing party!!!
Andy and I rarely dress up for Halloween, but this party motivated us. We decided Daphne and Shaggy suited us well. :) We considered bringing Dallas along as Scooby, but didn't think that would be appreciated to much, so he stayed home. It was a great night out with my man, and a fun time mingling with old friends. Happy Halloween!

Marathon Hair

My friend is a nut and runs marathons. All the time. And she has very long hair, so that can cause problems when running for 4 hours. She has tried everything from ponytails, to braids, to buns, and nothing holds up throughout the entire run. So she came to me to see what I could do for her because she knows I love to fix long beautiful hair, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve for securing it the way she needed. She came over the morning before the race, and this is what I did for her...

Her hair is halfway down her back, and we got it all secured up like this. She slept on it, woke up and raced with it, and it looked just as beautiful when she was finished. Yay! So, if you happen to be running a marathon and need my hair services, come on over!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Caught in the Groove

I am a drummer. I have played the drums since I was 14. I took a 12 year hiatus when I moved away to college, but I have recently picked up the sticks. We call ourselves Caught in the Groove, and we love to make music. It feels so good to play again. I love being back behind the drums, it is s beautiful stress reliever!
We got band photos taken, and here you go:
Patrick, Laura, Steph, Gary
And my solo picture. How ya like me now?!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Andy and I went out shooting for the first time in a long time. Two years for me, though he goes more frequently. About a year ago, he went to an intense training course at Front Site Firearms Training where he learned how to use the AK47 with great precision. He took me out West of Utah Lake to test it out.
Andy with his AK
I prefer to shoot the M44. That thing has some kick! And the bayonet is pretty bad-a.
This is the awesome target Andy made so we can see how precise we are. After each round of shots we cover the holes with tape, that way we can tell who is getting the kill shots. It's usually not me, but I did get the guy right in the face! Never mind the fact that I was aiming for the chest. He would be dead nonetheless. Yeah, so I need to work on my accuracy. We'll be heading to Front Site soon enough for some classes. Don't mess!

Cowabunga Baby!

We spent many many days at Cowabunga Bay this summer. We got season passes and went there at least once a week. The kids had a great time on all the waterslides and in the lazy river, and I would either read my book or chat with friends. It was a lot of fun for all of us! We had a terrific summer!!!

Back to School...

The girls started back to school! They love their Charter school and that they get to wear uniforms. We all love that. It makes getting dressed in the mornings a no brainer. The girls both got wonderful teachers and were so excited for their first day of school!
Even though it was a warm day, they insisted on wearing their boots and leg warmers. The were hot by the end of the day, but they sure looked cute.
We are grateful they are in the school they are. They have both done very well so far. They love the new friends they are making, and their favorite thing to do after school is come home and tell me what they did nice for somebody else that day. Jess is usually finding someone on the playground who needs a friend, and then goes to them and asks them to play with her. Syd is wonderful at helping her friends clean up their messes, or helping someone pick up something they dropped. Both have made some great friends and love their teachers. So far so good!

Garden Bounty

This was a great harvest day in the garden, especially considering I have hardly done a thing this year to take care of it. I have not had the intense desire to be in the yard this summer. I planted the seeds, they grew, and here is my produce.
Even Dallas loves the tomatoes. He was stealing them out of my bowl.


My children are so sweet. I was getting some house work done and when I came into the kitchen, I saw this bowl full of tomatoes with this note attached. The kids had gone out to the garden and picked all the tomatoes for me. Then they wrote me this sweet love note to go with it. Being a stay at home mom is the most under appreciated job, in my opinion, but these precious moments make it all worth it.


I just want to make some delicious grape juice, don't ruin it!

Man's Adventures

I woke up Sunday morning around 6 to blood curdling screaming coming from Sydney's room. I ran in there to find Kayman at the foot of Syd's bed in severe pain, and Syd apologizing to him. She had accidentally kicked him in the neck while they were both sleeping. He would not move on his own. I carried him to his own bed to lie down with him and try to comfort him a little. He screamed for at least an hour before he was able to drift back to sleep for a bit.

He was not able to lift his head from his pillow. Kayman is usually up around 7 and ready for breakfast. When 9:30 came around and he was still refusing to move, Andy brought him some Cheerios in a bag and a sippy cup of OJ. He was hurting so much. At one point he told me his arms were hurting, and when he turned his neck he said his foot hurt. That made me very nervous, so we got him in the car and took him to Instacare. (A big thank you to my friend Rachel who took the girls with her to church so we could both be with Kayman)
Kayman got a neck brace very quickly after we came in, then an X-ray of his neck. He was a whole new kid once he got the brace on. Here he is being silly with the technician after she gave him a sticker and a sucker.
And who would think we could keep him still for a second? No, I didn't think so. He is unstoppable. The X-ray came back normal, he wore the brace for 4 days, and now he is just fine. What's next?!

Kayman started preschool! He is growing up way too fast. This little man of mine takes everything he does and does it all the way. He loves preschool. He loves his backpack (because it has flames on it and he pretends to burn people with the fire). He loves his school shoes. He loves teacher, Mrs. Teresa. He loves the time with his friends. And I love the time all by myself for 5 hours a week!

Kayman was so excited for his first day of school. He's such a handsome little boy.
We tried riding bikes the second day. He loved it, until he got about 2 houses away. Then he got tired and decided he was done riding. He got off his bike, sat on the grass, and refused to get up. With a little coaxing I was able to talk him into making it the rest of the way to preschool. The ride home was the same story. He also did not want his picture taken.
Kayman insists on wearing his snow boots with everything, he loves his sunglasses, and he wore his last wristband from Cowabunga Bay for nearly 2 weeks. He's also quite the Cowboys fan.
He picked out this SWAT team uniform for his Halloween costume from Costco. We love Costco, by the way. He wore this for 2 days and still tries to handcuff everyone who comes close enough. It's pretty hilarious to watch this kid ride around on his bike in this uniform blowing his whistle at everyone. Here he is looking pretty tough.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cousin's Campout!

When I was a kid, my mom used to have all of my cousins over for "Cousin's Campout" once or twice every summer. It was the best tradition, and we all loved it! I got to know all of my cousins very well and my mom always made sure we had a fun night. Sometimes we camped out in the backyard, sometimes we slept on the floor in the Family room, but we always had a great time! I decided I want to start doing this. It's a great opportunity for the cousins to spend some time together, and I love having them over!
There are 14 kids on Andy's side and most of them live out of state. We did get together for Lake Powell, but when I finally got around to having the cousins come out for the night, only one from out of state was still here. So we only had 7/14 of the kids, but we still had a good time.
After eating pizza for dinner, we headed outside for a fire and some S'mores. Mmmmmmm!
This would be Uncle Bob...aka Micaela.
Izy looking gorgeous in her hat! :) I love that hat!
Ava is SO excited to gobble up that marshmallow!
Kennedy just chillin' by the fire!
The little girls slept on the trampoline an Kayman went to bed while the older girls and I came inside to watch Tommy Boy and eat lots of popcorn and soda! I love having the girls over to hang out with me!