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!

Jess turns 6!

Jess turned 6 on July 11! She is all decked out in a new outfit, purse, barrettes, press-on nails, bracelets, and lip gloss. What a beauty!
The only thing she wanted, and talked about for months before her birthday came, was to go swimming at the Rec Center on her birthday. So, we did! Here are the kids having a great time together!
They enjoyed swimming for a couple hours, then we went home, showered, and headed out to buy Jess some birthday surprises! Jess and Kayman played with some toys while Syd and I picked out some gifts we knew Jess would love. Yes, this is called procrastination. Birthday shopping on the afternoon of your child's birthday with your child at the store with you. I know. But hey, she ended up with a lot more than she otherwise would have, so it was good for her int he end. After buying her gifts, we picked up an ice cream cake at Baskin Robbins on our way to Nana and Papa's house for dinner.
They didn't have a cute pink cake with the mint chocolate ice cream that Jess wanted inside, so she picked out this blue one. She didn't care about that as much as I thought she would. She loves ice cream cake! After singing happy birthday and giving Jess our wishes for her, she got to open her gifts! She got a bunch of fun things, her favorites being this sparkly silver purse,
and a new Barbie!
We celebrated a few days later at Grammy and Grandpa's house with another cake! Lucky girl got 2 birthday cakes!
Jess is such a sweet girl. She still really loves to play with Barbies and watch movies. She plays with friends as much as possible, and loves to play outside. Swimming, jumping, and riding her bike are a few of her favorite activities. She is also a star reader and is reading near a 4th grade level. (she is going into 1st grade) Jess loves to write notes to her friends and draw pictures for them, sell things (lemonade, homemade toys, etc.) on the corner in the summer time, go to the movie and eat lots of popcorn, and play pretend with her brother. Jess is our little princess, we love you sweet girl!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Girls Night Out!

College was an amazing time for me. I had a ton of fun with the wonderful roommates I had. I was lucky enough to get really great friends out of it who I still keep in touch with. Kami lives out of state, and Tanisha and I both live in SLC. When Kami comes to town we like to all go to lunch together. We decided this time to go out and do something a little more exciting. We went out to dinner and then to the Dark Arts Festival. Like I said, something exciting. Very different from what we are used to. And, needless to say, we met some interesting people...

This is a picture of Kami, me, "Vyle", Tanisha, and Sharyl. We kept seeing this crazy looking guy and decided we had to have a picture with him. While Kami and Tanisha were talking to him, I met this beautiful woman Sharyl who jumped into the picture too. Kami, Tanisha and I had a fabulous and interesting night. Gotta love girls night out!

***Sharyl has a very interesting story I could fill an entire post with, but basically she is a model/artist in San Jose, from Orem, UT who has been fighting MS for a few years now and has found amazing ways to deal with it. She did a photo shoot depicting how it feels to have MS. You can paste this link into your browser and see her photos on this if you are interested. It is very moving. I think you have to be logged into facebook, then paste the link. If you can't get it and are interested, let me know. I can send it to you in facebook.

Watch your toes!

These pictures are not for the weak stomach peeps out there. Be warned!

Syd was playing with some friends and was standing right in front of the door when it was opened. It caught her toe just right, or just wrong I guess, and ripped her toenail off. There was blood everywhere. It filled her shoe and got all over the carpet in the church. Gross. She wasn't even crying, not much anyway. This is how it looked after we cleaned it up as much as I dared.

I didn't want to touch it for fear of causing more damage, so I wrapped a paper towel around it and we went straight to Instacare. Syd got her first ride in a wheelchair!
She enjoyed that. She thought it was pretty cool. The Doctor irrigated beneath the nail and put it back where it belongs. Even though it was only attached in one corner of her nail bed. This worked for a while, but then got all dried out and became difficult to deal with. The nail would catch easily if not wrapped up very well, and we were headed to Lake Powell. Luckily we have a Doctor in the family who removed the toenail on the houseboat the first day there. Thanks Unc!
Here is Syd just after getting wrapped up at Instacare. She stood up to walk out and immediately turned white. We had to lie her down and give her a popsicle for a few minutes. Then she was much better, but she got a wheelchair ride out to the car.
Syd learned not to stand right in front of a door that may open at any moment and rip her toenails off. Too bad she had to learn the hard way.

I need some Vodka!

I walk into the liquor store. I have no idea where to go, as I have never been in one before. I know I need one thing. Vodka. The cheapest biggest bottle I can find. Two of them. And I need them now. Before it's too late.


Because I am making homemade vanilla extract and my vanilla beans just arrived in the mail! I have got to get them soaking soon so the vanilla is ready around Christmas time!!! Here are the beauties:
I have learned from the lovely woman at www.heavenlyhomemakers.com how to make my own vanilla, so here I go!

What you need:
1 gallon of Vodka
3/4 lb fresh vanilla beans
1 gallon jar
...and that's it...

Then when the glorious vanilla beans come, you cut them up the middle (to let the beans out) almost to the tip, leaving the very top connected. Put them in the jar.
Dump the 2 huge bottles of Vodka into the jar. All of the vodka. No saving any for other uses. You'll mess it all up.
Then seal the jar and place in a dark area for 4-6 months, and then you will have your very strong, very yummy vanilla! It will make great gifts. And even greater cooking addition. When we make homemade vanilla ice cream, we usually put in twice as much vanilla as is called for. With this we won't need to, because apparently this vanilla is much stronger than the junk you can buy in the stores. Which doesn't have much actual vanilla in it anyway.
I'm pretty stoked about my new little project. Partly the fact that it took all of 20 minutes to put it together and now I just wait until it's done. And partly the fact that now I know my way around the liquor store. :)

Caught in the Groove

I am now officially in a band. I am a drummer. For real. We even had a gig! Ok, so we didn't get paid, but it was awesome nonetheless. I had some wonderful family come and support me too, so that was awesome. Here I am in action:
This is the whole band. Gary, Laura, Quinn, me, and Patrick. We are a very diverse group who meshes together beautifully! We do cover songs ranging from Abba to Colbie Callet, to Van Morrison. We love the same music, and we all are so chill that everything runs very smoothly. I love my new friends. I love making music. I love that they need me. I love being part of something that is important to me. I love doing what I love!!!