Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We're Off to DISNEYLAND!

So we decided to spend time this year with my sister and her family, and my parents at Disneyland instead of pigging out on turkey and all the fixins'. We're not quite sure what we'll get to eat for Thanksgiving dinner--but sure it will be more fun than sitting around feeling way too full and watching football all day! Of course, we might throw up whatever we do eat when we ride Tower of Terror the 10 times the kids always want to ride that dumb ride! (Not my favorite---Uuugh~)!
Actually, we had our turkey dinner on Sunday--I didn't want to miss out on all the awesome turkey leftovers that come with Thanksgiving. Some of my favorites: Turkey sandwiches--with mayo, lettuce, and here's the secret--jellied cranberry sauce. If you want to be really naughty, try it with whipped cream cheese too--YUM~! Stuffing is awesome smothered in gravy! Todd's mom's pumpkin pies--(I tried--but it's just not the same without her homemade crust! Oh, and I overcooked it too)! She uses the Libby's pumpkin recipe--but substitutes brown sugar for the white. My all time favorite Thanksgiving recipe--sweet potato casserole--this is a recipe that even the kids will eat. I thought I'd share:

Sweet Potato Casserole
6 large sweet potatoes
1/4 C. butter
3/4 C. light or heavy cream
1/2 C. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla (I always use more)
12 large marshmallows, halved (optional)
Cook sweet potatoes until tender--(or use 2 or 3 large cans of cooked sweet potatoes). Drain and place in bowl. Mash until smooth. Add butter, cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Transfer to a 13x9x2 in. baking dish and bake at 350* for 35-40 min., covered with foil. Uncover and put marshmallows on top (if desired). Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted. Serves 8-10.

I have so many things to be grateful for! I love the Thanksgiving season, and that it makes us remember how blessed we truly are. I am truly blessed, and so grateful to my Heavenly Father for his hand in my life. I am grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel, and how it blesses my life. Most of all I am grateful for my family, and extended family, and love them so much. Thank you to all of our family and friends, who make our life so full of joy and love! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Time Flies...

5:30 a.m. November 23, 1993! Getting ready in our hotel room!
I am sitting here blogging at 4:30 a.m., another sleepless night with Baby #6--thinking about a similar sleepless night exactly 15 years ago. That night--was the night before my wedding. I remember the struggle to get even an hour of sleep that night--praying so many times that the rest would come, to no avail. Worrying about the bags that were going to be under my eyes in the morning, as I looked into my sweet fiance's eyes across the alter in the temple. I was so excited, so in love, so looking forward to being with him for time and all eternity. Wow, how time flies! I think of all the things we have been through, all of the sleepless nights, the times we thought we'd never make it financially, the fights--(yes, I know it's hard to believe--we do fight), the tears, the work that goes into a marriage-- into a family. Would I have taken the leap had I known how hard it would be? Would anyone? Then, I think about the joys, the laughter, the excitement, how he still makes me feel so needed, and so loved. I think about the birth of each of our children--how we have struggled together to raise each of them, how I thought it was just as hard with one baby, as it is with number 6! Is it worth it? You betcha! Each of them has brought so much joy to our lives, and so much love to our family.
Another sleepless night--yes. But 15 years from now, I will be blogging about how I miss our children who have moved on, married, and have kids of their own, who I'm sure I will see less than I want to. I will be sad that there are no more babies, not enough fingerprints and smudges on my walls, or holes in my furniture, and complaining about how I sleep too much now--without babies and toddlers who need me. I'm sure I will still be blogging about my sweet husband, who I still am madly, deeply and passionately in love with. Sweetheart, thank you. You are the love of my life, you are my rock. You have never given up on me, even when I know it would have been easier to walk away--you stayed. Even when times have been hard-- you sacrificed. Even when I have been stubborn--you were patient. What we have built together is amazing to me--and YOU are amazing to me! Thank you, for looking into my eyes 15 years ago--and saying "YES" to this crazy life! I'm sure you couldn't have known what you were getting yourself into--but you have stuck it out with me--through thick and thin--and for that I am so grateful! I love you. Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thought these were funny! Enjoy...





Friday, November 21, 2008

Refreshing...

This is a video my sis-in-law sent me today--I thought it was quite positive, and reminds us that we are stronger when we work with people of other faiths toward a positive goal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What we're up against...

Just to update--a few links to let you know what we're up against when it comes to the radical gay agenda. They are not going to go away quietly. What if this group came to your church? Despicable!

http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2008/11/michigan-liberal-gay-group-attacks.html

http://bashbacknews.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/the-queers-are-finally-bashing-back/

Rise and Stand Upon Thy Feet...

President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

"I am one who believes that we should earnestly and sincerely and positively express our convictions to those given the heavy responsibility of making and enforcing our laws. The sad fact is that the minority who call for greater liberalization ... make their voices heard until those in our legislatures may come to believe that what they say represents the will of the majority. We are not likely to get that which we do not speak up for."
"Let our voices be heard. I hope they will not be shrill voices, but I hope we shall speak with such conviction that those to whom we speak shall know of the strength of our feeling and the sincerity of our effort. Remarkable consequences often flow from a well-written letter and a postage stamp. Remarkable results come of quiet conversation with those who carry heavy responsibilities."
"Declared the Lord to this people: 'Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.' "
“ 'Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind” (D&C 64:33–34).' "
"The Apostle Paul, in his defense before Agrippa, gave an account of his miraculous conversion while on the way to Damascus, declaring that the voice of the Lord commanded him to 'rise, and stand upon thy feet' ” (Acts 26:16).
"I think the Lord would say to us, 'Rise, and stand upon thy feet, and speak up for truth...' "
September Ensign 2004 "A Message From the First Presidency."

Man--I miss him! What a great man! He certainly practiced what he preached. Did we listen?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Costco...

We went to Costco today--crazy I know, it's a zoo on Mondays, especially now that the winter visitors are back in town. Can I ask you why the heck so many old people shop at Costco? I mean really--it's just for the free food, don't you think? They don't have much else to do, so they go there for the free samples, and leave. Seriously, if I only had 2 people living at home, I wouldn't go near Costco! Walmart people--Walmart! Great prices, and everything is NOT in bulk! We love the winter visitors though--I was beginning to miss being cut off in traffic, and having people blow through stop signs like they aren't even there. It's like they think--"I've had to stop at these things all my life--I'm not stopping anymore!" And you can't forget getting stuck behind one who is in no particular hurry--when I am ALWAYS in a hurry to get somewhere! Welcome Back--we missed you! I'm only joking--I love the winter visitors--(a disclaimer in case any of them read my blog--I don't want them running me down in the street, then claiming they didn't see me--old age you know)! And yes, I know sometime I will be old--and I will resent these horrible stereotypes. Or maybe I'll just botox till I drop--and never get old! Yeah, I think that's what I'll do!
On a brighter note--three words--COSTCO PUMPKIN PIE!!Welcome Fall--FINALLY!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Go Devils!

I have already told you how much we LOVE college football season. Even though this year has been frustrating to say the least--with a record of a whopping 4-8! There is still no place we'd rather be! This year has been hard, with Todd's parents on their mission--we have sure missed them, especially during the ASU games! The kids loved to fight over who got to sit by them, (and inevitably spill their drink on one of them)! Bob was always good for high fives all around our section at just the right moment! It has just been hard to not have them there with us this season! I know they read this blog--and I'm not trying to make you feel homesick--(okay, maybe a little), but I just want you to know that this family is not the same without you here. You two are dearly missed--and it's never as evident as at the games! We wish you could be here suffering through this horrible season with us--and even though you're not--HIGH FIVE! We love you so much! Here are some pics from our last game--(we will be gone during Thanksgiving & the UCLA game)--so we brought all the kids. We had a ton of fun--and our section was an AWESOME cheering section! Good job guys!

This is Joshua's favorite spot--he stands here pretty much the whole game! I asked him the other day what he wants to be when he grows up, I said, "A doctor like grandpa?" He's like--"no, DUH, I want to be what Dad used to be--a football player." Please pray along with me that this poor boy grows--please...
My camera lens was smudged with all the kids handling it--sorry Justin & Kels!
Ashlie and Brecklyn--what a sweet cousin!Teaching Ashlie the game!David & Kirkland--can you tell this is Todd's brother?Kari & sweet baby KruzTodd caught this cute pic of his brother Greg & his baby KateAshlie loves her daddy!
I'm not sure if Baby Jack gets enough love...

Interesting Read--


I read this article: CLICK HERE on Meridian Magazine's website today, and found it very interesting. It is an LDS police officer who works for the LAPD who has witnessed the Prop. 8 controversy first hand, from the beginning. It is so interesting the turn that this issue has taken, and the persecution that the LDS people are facing in the Los Angeles area especially. I especially liked his reference to Elder Hales conference talk where in part he says:

“I would say that one of mortality's great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively – to put up our dukes . But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior's example. Remember, Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. And in Lehi's dream, those coming to the Savior also endured ‘mocking and pointing … fingers' (1 Nephi 8:27). ‘The world hath hated [my disciples],' Jesus said, ‘because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world' (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.

“To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23:34).”

We have often been instructed to love our enemies, and despite the current horror of our trials, this is no time to do differently.

In another post HERE, it was certainly my first reaction to "put up my dukes". In the times to come, however, when we feel this way, I have a feeling we will need to keep this counsel in mind.

Friday, November 14, 2008

On a Walk...



So I dropped Ashlie off at her little playgroup today--which I LOVE by the way! Some ladies in my ward and I got our 3 and 4 year old girls together for a playgroup--and there are 8 of us--which I thought might be too many girls, but they are all so sweet, and they have so much fun together! Best of all, we get 2 1/2 extra hours on Friday for errands--and only have to have it at our house once every 2 months--AWESOME! I decided to take Jack and go for a walk around my neighborhood. It's funny--I don't think I've actually been on many walks since we moved to this house 3 years ago. I usually use the treadmill if I exercise at all. Boy am I missing something! Here are a few things I learned on my little 45 minute walk this morning:
1. My stroller (which is new with Jack BTW), pretty much sucks! That thing has the squeakiest wheels--and it drove me crazy the whole time. The wheels are wobbly as well. Granted, I bought the cheapest stroller/carseat combo I could find--since this is most likely the last baby--so I guess you get what you pay for! Bring on the WD-40!
2. Jack LOVES the outdoors. He didn't make a peep the entire time--and he sat forward and was looking all around at everything the whole time. I thought maybe he'd fall asleep--since he was up all night and up early again this morning--but no luck.
3. My legs itch really bad when I am exercising--does anyone else have this problem? I get home and look at my legs and they have like claw marks in them from me scratching them so hard. It's enough to drive me crazy!
4. There are LOTS of moms out there exercising--I am not alone in trying to get in better shape. Todd keeps getting mad at me for sharing on here about my struggle to get in shape and eat right--but I don't think I'm the only one doing it. I think every woman struggles at some point in her life with this issue. We all want to look a little better, and feel a little better, and the struggle is the same--I'm just posting so I have some accountability--not so people feel sorry for me or something. And yes, I am aware that people have real problems--and mine are very petty--I know!
5. Walking by the school, I saw a 6th grade class out playing flag football. It's funny to watch this age of kids. When you are a 6th grade boy--you are running around frantically trying to get your hands on the ball--you don't care who's in your way. When you are a 6th grade girl, you are in a group of 1 or 2 other girls at ALL times--and running to get out of the way of the ball at all costs, all the while giggling and whispering about the geeky (but secretly you think they're cute), sweaty 6th grade boys (who are secretly trying to show off for you). 6th grade is one I would NOT want to repeat!
6. Even at 8 months old, a little boy is completely fascinated with a dump truck. He was giggling and squealing, trying to stand up to get a better look at it. I can hear him now..."Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a dump truck driver..." What is it with men and BIG trucks? It's definitely in their genetic make-up.
7. The Arizona weather right now is FABULOUS! I love the cool mornings, and the still warm, but not too hot afternoons! THIS is why I live here! (By October I had almost forgotten!)
8. Even though it's cool, if you're gonna walk for 45 minutes you should probably bring a water bottle. Little Jack wasn't even walking and he was dying of thirst when we got home--he drank 8 oz., which he never does! Oops...sorry baby!
9. It's murphy's law--Jack fell asleep right when we got to our street, and woke up when I took him out of his stroller to go lay him down. So much for that idea! He was good though so I can't complain!
10. I need to get OUT more! Exercising is not such a bad thing--and I still had time to blog when I got home. No time yet for a shower though--oh well! First things first...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Please EAT!

I have a few picky eaters in my family--so I have had to resort to some tricks to try to make them eat something--I thought I'd share. Ashlie hates eating lunch. There is really nothing she likes for lunch, and would rather eat cereal than anything else. Believing that man cannot live by cereal alone--(especially if it's Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes), I have tried to introduce her to the peanut butter and jelly or honey sandwich. Novel idea--I know. I was unsuccessful every time--until now! I was going through food storage in the closet the other day, and noticed this huge bin of cookie cutters that my sister gave me for Christmas a few years back. There are 100 cookie cutters in it. So I got them out and let Ashlie cut out a puzzle out of her sandwich with one of them. She thought it was great and believe it or not, not only does she eat the middle of the puzzle--she eats the frame as well! YEAH!Now to Baby Jack--he's not much of an eater either. Seriously, he doesn't say it he sprays it--ALL OVER ME! This boy hates baby food. He will choke down the fruit--but that's about it. Forget about rice cereal, or oatmeal, and forget about those mixed dinners--NOWAY! So a week or two ago, I bought me a little mini-chopper at Walmart--for $9.99--(big spender, I know), and it has been GREAT! First I tried using my blender, but it wasn't really worth cleaning the whole thing just for a little bit of food. This little chopper is the perfect size for making about a cup of baby food, and it's powerful enough to make it a great consistency for little guys--with only 2 teeth! So I put leftovers in, or whatever we're having for dinner, or canned fruit or veggies, and VOILA--baby food with some actual flavor! I love it--and he does too! Now maybe he'll grow a little!!

Cute Picture!

This was my sister Kimbie's kids on Halloween. They were Snow White and the 7 dwarfs! I told her the only problem would be getting the oldest to dress up for much longer! (She's 11). Otherwise they'll have to have another one! J/K! Check them out! So cute!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Go Play in the Street...

So, a month ago or so, my neighbors had a yard sale, and there was this bike ramp sitting out there for sale. Joshua kept coming in and asking if he could go and buy it with his money--(of which he has pretty much NONE), so Todd kept saying "sure--go buy it". We left to run some errands and returned home a few hours later to find the bike ramp in our driveway. Perplexed, we asked Josh what it was doing there. "I bought it", he says. "With what?" "My nickel", he says. Yes, my sweet neighbors were kind enough to sell Josh a sweet bike ramp--for all of one nickel. Let me tell you, I am not a bike ramp type of person. I worry about the broken limbs, and bruises, and cars, and shiners, etc. etc...you get my drift. I also worry about the neighbors coming over to use that thing--and their kids meeting that type of fate because of our bike ramp. But I couldn't very well get rid of this thing after our neighbors were so kind to give it to Josh. So I put it in our back yard, in the side that no one goes on, behind the fence, and out of sight out of mind right??? Darn, I was wrong. Erin had some friends over today, and they were looking at the boat, and saw the bike ramp and decided to pull it out. So I hear a ruckus coming from the front yard and look out my window to see 10 or 12 kids out there on that bike ramp.
Not only is it in the middle of the street--MIDDLE--not even to the side, but I have every kid in the neighborhood getting in on the action in the middle of the street. My first reaction is--"crap--put that thing away!" But then I just started watching them, and listening to all the fun they were having, and I got my camera out instead. They had fun on that thing for over 45 minutes, just running and jumping, seeing who could jump the highest. They were even jumping over each other--which made me soo nervous! But I held my tongue. No cars came--and they did move it out of the middle of the road when they were done. Wouldn't you know it--that bike ramp has come out to play every day since then. Out of sight, out of mind only works for a little while...oh well! Aaahhh to be young again!

Back to Exercise...UUUGH!


So the diet isn't working so well...mostly because I am so tired of having to monitor everything that I put in my mouth. It makes me crazy to have to actually live that way. I just feel out of control right now, so I am resorting to yes, exercise! YUCK! If I'm gonna do it--I need to have something I can do FAST, and it has to be EASY. I can't keep up with those hip hop dance videos, kick boxing is way too hard core for me. Pilates makes me feel like I'm being twisted in ways that the human body shouldn't be required to twist, (not to mention all of my fat rolls that get in the way while I'm trying to twist). Yoga, well let's just say--I am WAY too high strung to do yoga! Here's some videos that I love though--at Beachbody.com. Tony Horton's Power 90 is great, and easy to follow--he also has these Power Half Hour, that I did today: they are fast and easy, and best of all, the next day you can feel that they pretty much kicked your butt. Today I did the thigh burner--and tomorrow I won't be able to sit on the toilet or in this computer chair without grimacing in pain! I should clarify--these are NOT the P90X DVD's--I have those too--but they are REALLY hard! Not for wimps like me! Those are for people that are hard core exercise people--which I am NOT! (Wish I had known that when I bought them!) I also love the Slim in 6 series with Debbie Sievers. She uses little weights and lots of repetition. Needless to say--I have spent way too much money over the years on exercise videos--can you tell?? But I have a lot of variety, so when I do make the commitment (every 3 or 4 months) to start exercising, I don't get bored for at least a few weeks, which should be enough to bring my weight back under control. And maybe all this exercising will make me motivated enough to climb back on the wagon and keep my eating under control. Yeah right...old habits die hard...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hawaii Trip 2007

I was trying to figure out how to use Photobucket--(I know, it's about time), and this was my little slideshow I made! Yeah me! So Sue--call me! I will walk you through it!


Fun on Sunday...

This is our new Sunday thing... Mexican Train dominoes! It's a really fun game that everyone--all ages can play. We pop some popcorn and sit down after dinner is cleaned up to play. I got this really cute domino set at K-mart with a little train thing in the middle that even has sound effects which the little kids love! We found domino holders as well that make it easier to organize them and hide them from the other players. (We have a few cheaters in our family--I won't mention any names, you know who you are!) If you already have dominoes at home look HERE for directions! Have FUN!Jack was stuck under here! Too funny!
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