Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas

The kids had a great Christmas.






















Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jim

Notice anything different?

Look carefully.....














You guessed it!
Jim colored his hair!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Close Call

We had some great snow today! I love the snow.
But I would definitely rather play in it than drive in it.
And unfortunatley, I don't get any "snow days" off of work. This is Utah, after all.
So it was pretty nerve-wracking driving the 22 miles to American Fork.
The drive went well, even though it was pretty deep on the roads. But I guess the
trouble with traveling in the snow isn't so much the driving as it is the stopping.
Apparently you need about 100 yards to make a complete stop at an intersection in the
snow.

It's funny how, in times like these, so many thoughts go through your head in such a short amount of time:

"This is it! My first accident, and it's going to be all my fault!"
"Not at Christmas!"
"$$$$$!"
"Turn the wheel!"
"It won't work!"
"It worked!"
"Is there a fine for hitting a stop sign?"
"How deep is that gutter? Is it a ditch?"
"I'll never get out of it!"
"Wow! What do you know? Nothing happened!"

When I finally did stop, I was about a foot past the rear of the car in front of me. If I had hit it, it would have been a hard one. They probably had no clue about the little drama going on behind them.

So I drove the rest of the way home with a prayer of thanks in my heart.
When I came home, I said to Jim : "Come outside and look at the big dent in the car" (as his heart stops) "that isn't there."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Poor Sucks!!!

WARNING!: Pity Post Below



If you've never had to walk away from a cart full of groceries and have to explain to your children why. . . consider yourself blessed!



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Faces

I love gazing at these (not so) little faces that still love to sit and chat and snuggle with me on the couch when they come home from school.



Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, but I was a little busy cooking to post.

I am so thankful for so many things: my family, my health, my faith, and every single day of my life. Even when some of those days aren't the best, there is always hope for a better one tomorrow.

We had a really nice day yesterday shared with one of my best friends and her two kids. We also had a lucious turkey. In fact, Linda declared it as the best turkey she has ever tasted in her whole entire life! I shared some leftovers with a blind man whose house I cleaned today, and he claimed the same thing. He actually thought he was eating the dark meat when he was really eating white.
Since it seemed to be such a hit, I thought I would share with you all how it's done. I know I always love when others post recipes for me to try. So. . . I know it may be a while until many of you cook a turkey again, but maybe keep this in mind for next year:
I make a brine with apple juice, brown sugar, salt, oranges, fresh ginger, garlic and cloves. The turkey soaks in the brine overnight.
The next day, Jim prepares the BBQ with coals and hickory (or mesquite) chips. The turkey is set into the BBQ, covered, and it is finished in 3 hours.
This is the absolute moistest and flavorful turkey we have ever had. It is the only way we do a turkey anymore.

I didn't write out the exact recipe because I am tired and I'm sure it will be a while before anyone is actually in the mood to cook a full turkey again. But if you would like the exact recipe, let me know and I will write it out fully. And if you didn't want to cook it in the BBQ, you could use the brine and then roast it in the oven as usual. Either way, the brine makes all the difference in the world.

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight

Last night Nikita and I saw THE MOVIE.
You do things for your children that you wouldn't otherwise do.
I would have seen the movie, eventually. But I would not have stood in line for an hour and a half in a hot theater lobby surrounded by teenagers if Nikita hadn't gotten $5 tickets for a special Spanish Fork High School viewing of the movie.

However, I did like the movie. But I think that all the teenage girls liked it a bit more than I did. I am not the least bit in love with Edward, or any other character in the story. In fact, I think the best looking guy was Bella's father, Charlie. I was put off by the super pale skin and too-red lips on the Cullen males. I actually laughed out loud when his "father", Carlisle first appeared on the screen. I actually expected Bella to be shocked at his white face and make some kind of comment. He was definietly overdone.

But Nikita loved it and thought it ended way too soon. We'll be seeing the second one whenever it comes out, but not on opening weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Riddle:

Something funny has been happening lately almost every time I go to the grocery store. I'll be coming down an aisle where someone is looking up at a high shelf. Then they see me and suddenly look very happy. Why do you think they would be happy to see me? What do you think they might say to me?
Here's a hint:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Anniversary

Today, I've been married to my best friend for 20 years.
It seems like just yesterday we were on our honeymoon. I remember wanting to get home and start living our life. . . . .

What was I thinking???
I wish I was still there in Palm Springs, lounging by the pool, shopping, staying in. . .

No, honestly, I wouldn't trade the family we have now for all the lounging, swimming and shopping in the world.

I remember also daydreaming ahead 20 years and wondering what our life would be like. I must say, our life is nothing like I'd imagined. Many things that we wanted to happen, didn't. And many things that we couldn't have wished for, did.

It's been quite a ride. A bit like a rollercoaster, really.
I LOVE rollercoasters!

I can't wait to see what's in store for the next 20 years, but I'm not going to wish away today.

Masquerade

Last weekend Nikita went to the Masquerade Dance at her school. She went with a couple of gangsters, a biker dude (she was his chick), and Malibu Barbie and Ken.
I know - she's too cute to be a real biker chick, isn't she?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spoke Too Soon

It seems I may have given the impression that the car situation is fixed.
I suppose that's because I actually believed that it was!
This morning, while already running late-ish to church, I go out the door and see Jim hooking the jumper cables up to the car - again.
So we took both cars to church so that he could jump-start me again after church (we can't all fit in his pickup.)
Long story short: The dying alternator drained all of the power from the battery.
So, I get to take Jim to work at 4:00 in the morning so that I can have his truck to pick up a new battery for the van tomorrow.
Then I get to change my very first car battery.
What a good automotive education I am getting!
I hope I don't do it incorrectly:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Car Trouble

OK, the kids are cute, but it's time for something new.

It's been a very frustrating week. Car trouble always makes me feel that way.
Apparently the alternator in my car has been suffering lately. Then it died. I knew it was time for a new one when I had to ask the woman whose house I'd just cleaned to give me a jump-start. (How embarassing do you think that was?)
But that was on Monday, and payday wasn't until Friday. And when a car part will take half of your paycheck, you really have to time it just right.
Thank goodness Jim's very generous uncle had a spare vehicle.
So, today Jim picked up the part.
Did you know that car repair is a really good bonding experience? It's a precious time together that money cannot buy. (If we had the money, we would have taken it to a mechanic.)
Well, after about two freezing cold hours of dropping tools and mangling and blackening our hands, we finished installing the new alternator, only to have it die again at the gas station.
When Jim came to rescue me, he found that the only problem was a loose battery connection.
So now, hopefully, the car will start tomorrow, and life (so far) will be back to normal.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween

So, we have: A Hippie (not Jack Sparrow!), A punk schoolgirl, A scarecrow, and Indiana Jones.

Ivan is the hippie and Andre is Indana (for those who can't tell them apart.)
Andre & Ivan are enjoying their spoils, even as I'm posting this.
How was your Halloween?



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday

There is nothing quite so sweet as making your kids do something that they don't want to do, but that you know they will love once they do it.
That happened on Saturday.
There is an amazing spot just above Provo called Rock Canyon. I've been wanting to go up there before fall was over and all of the color disappeared.
Saturday was the perfect day!
I dragged the kids up there with me. I knew they would appreciate it once they got up there. I must say, the trip was worth all of their panting and whining.
























After all that climbing, we went just down the hill to Rock Canyon Park and had a really nice picnic. After we ate, the kids thought it would be fun to roll down the soft grassy hill. But then some other people showed up who planned on doing some ice-blocking.
Apparently they were very generous people. They asked the kids if they had ever tried it before - we hadn't. So they let us use a couple of their ice blocks and we all gave it a try.





















But they still did a little rolling, too!
And as we were heading back up the hill to go home (and just after I turned the camera off) a gorgeous deer dashed out of the bushes, flew down the hill and bounded across the field.
It was really amazing to watch.
After the deer disappeared, it was declared that today had been one of "the best days ever!"

A Bug's Life (and Death)

Ivan & Andre just came running in to show me the bugs they caught outside. They found a really big grasshopper and a bright green praying mantis.
They wanted to capture the two of them together to see what would happen.
Well, as you know, a praying mantis is really a preying mantis.
He probably thought the bug gods were smiling down on him when they delivered him a HUGE LUNCH!
So now my boys get to see nature in action.

Warning! The following photos are not for the faint of heart, or those with weak stomachs, or those who have just eaten, or are about to eat:





This is all very fascinating to watch in real life. The mantis seemed to be thoroughly enjoying his meal, turning his head from side to side as he gorged himself on the grasshopper's body fluids while the still-living grasshopper squirmed and kicked his legs, fiercely at first, then more and more slowly as his life was drained from him.
And, yes, that little black spider in the corner of the second photo is, indeed, a black widow that we found right inside the front door right after capturing the other two bugs!
Dis-disclaimer: I'd like to say that no actual bugs were injured during the filming of this blog. . . . .
but that would be a LIE! (The grasshopper and the black widow have, in fact, been seriously harmed.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Local Food & Entertainment


For all of my local friends:
Check out Dew this Saturday night.
Our good friends, Andy & Simy Gartz are the owners of this wonderful little restaurant. Come try some fabulous food, comfortable atmosphere and some great entertainment.
Jim and I will be there!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All Better!



After 2 hours in the dentist's chair, one root canal and one lovely (I won't say what it was really like) extraction, I'm feeling much better!
The night before had been completely void of sleep, but last night was blissful.
I got to stay home from work today, and now I'm happily chomping on my candy corn (with the other side of my mouth, of course).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Toothache


I'd tell you about my weekend, but the Percocet is kicking in, so I've got to get to bed before it knocks me out.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Have a Seat?


Our house is pretty small, but it's saving grace is the fairly large family room downstairs in the basement. This is where we hang out to watch movies as a family. It's also a lot more comfortable than sitting on a chair in the kitchen to watch the little 13" T.V.
Until now.
We had a cozy little set-up downstairs. There was a large comfortable futon, a really comfy and fun "sky chair" hanging from the ceiling in the corner, and two Jim-and-I-can-fit-in-them bean bag chairs.
Well, Saturday afternoon, while watching General Conference, Jim and I were dropped onto the floor when the futon frame snapped underneath us. So we took it apart and folded the mattress against the wall to use as a "pseudo" couch. It isn't nearly as comfortable sitting on the mattress at a full 90 degree angle, but it serves a purpose.
Then last night while everyone was watching a movie, the sky chair suddenly let go of the ceiling and dropped Max onto the floor. Scared him!
Now we're just waiting for the bean bag chairs to burst and leave us completely seatless!
Maybe we should all just take up Yoga!

Thursday, October 2, 2008