Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Beginnings

We had a new beginnings idea that started morphed into well - this.. it was pretty awesome, and my little - er, not so little 12 yr old did it!  Cheers for her, this may help someone who wanted to do the same thing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Long Lost, but Happy Still

So, I'll catch up with all that has happened, but I'll just start with Chloe's Daisy Ceremony-Potluck for the end of the year. Chloe received her prizes from selling the Girl Scout cookies, of which her favorite was a matching Panda-baby and a little girl t-shirt. She named her Panda Chelsea, and she was so bummed after dirtying her shirt... 3 days of wearing it finally got it dirty.

She said a temporary good-bye to her beloved "Aunt Di" and we snapped a picture of her and her B.F.F. Mathias.Aunt Di/ Daisy's has been a huge pull for Eva to 'get with the learning program' and read. She's willing to let me homeschool her so that she can go to Daisy's with Chloe.Aunt Di always let Eva participate in as much as she could and definitely has lit up her mind with the Brownie-way. I'm excited for her confidence and energy to be put in a good direction, and Aunt Di is old fashioned with manner's, etc., so I LOVE HER! I hope to be a Girl Scout leader in the fall.

And Chloe did lose her second tooth the Sunday after she lost her other tooth - which was a Friday. The story is hers to tell, and I hope she writes it somewhere. It's humorous though- a hard cupcake and her super -loose tooth that just 'fell' out.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Freezer Success!

I made a bunch of breakfast burritos and were sure they were ruined but warmed one up and thought.. hmmm... pretty darn good still...

It's awesome and now B has breakfast on the go with protein and all! Here's the instructions:

You can vary the additions to this recipe for breakfast burritos. Add onions or frozen hash brown potatoes, omit the salsa, try using different types of cheese or flavored tortillas. The possibilities are endless!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 12 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. pork sausage, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 2 cups Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese
  • 24 flour tortillas


In large skillet, melt butter. Beat eggs in large bowl and add to skillet. Cook eggs in butter, stirring frequently, until scrambled and set. Add cooked sausage and salsa to egg mixture and mix gently.

Warm tortillas as directed on package. Place about 1/2 cup egg and sausage mixture onto each tortilla and sprinkle with some cheese. Roll up each tortilla to make burritos, folding in the ends and rolling up. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and freeze until solid. Then wrap individually and package in zip-lock freezer bags.

When you're ready to eat, unwrap the burritos, wrap loosely in microwave safe paper towel and heat in the microwave on high power for 1-3 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.

You can also thaw burritos in the refrigerator overnight, then wrap each in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until hot. The thawed burritos can also be deep fried for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and crisp. 24 burritos

I was able to make 27 burritos with this recipe, and used eggs, hashbrowns, cheese and sausage. We'll decorate with salsa as needed, but the girls don't like salsa all the time, so I left it optional.

It's Special... and WHAT!?

We had a movie set to play for our date night this weekend and in my effort to chase Eva to bed, I said, "Hurry and get to bed before you see them kiss. EEWWWWW, GROOOSS!"
She swirled around and looked at me, smiling and replied, "Mom.. it's not gross it's sweet and special. (This is where I think... hmm that's kinda sweet - I'm a good mom- and then she continues) That's how we get married. I've kissed a boy. Sam and I kissed each other."
I said "Are you married now!?"
"No, mom. You're so silly."
Needless to say my mind was a little bit preoccupied during the beginning of the movie. When will she realize every boy has cooties?

Meanwhile Chloe's school has boys chasing her to kiss her, and all the drama of "He said he likes you. He wants to kiss you" etc... OY! She replies, "My dad will come here and beat you up!" At least that's the report that I hear...

When did my girls get interested in kissing and boys???


We are proud to announce the first visit from the Tooth Fairy this weekend... twice!! Chloe lost a tooth on Friday and then yet another yesterday during a cupcake snack. She was nervous when both teeth were so ready and was eating only on the sides of her teeth to avoid those loose ones. She is so proud of her new smile, and we're reinforcing the concept of tithing.. 1/10 of all we earn goes to the Lord, it is naturally his part for blessing us. She will be a tithe payer this year.. and I think it's a great time! She also wrote down her testimony in her journal the other day after our talk about what a testimony is (Something one believes to be true) " I believe / I have a testimony- "and so on. She wrote " I believe Jesus loves me. I believe Heaven is real. I believe I am a daughter of God." It was really sweet. I will get another picture with both teeth missing and post it, too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I've been spending several hours outside weeding our yard this week, and planting the flowers we bought last weekend. It's been work and as always rewarding to see something you've worked hard for turn out beautifully. It's a time of year when Chloe really can get her hands dirty and she absolutely loves it. She just 'gets' the gentility that nature needs and the rules for it make sense to her. Chloe shines here - Eva is deterred by the dirt and sweat she'll experience, but she'll still be a good sport and try it for us. We put mulch on this year and it's something I think the girls both really liked to do - sprinkle here and there and everywhere!!

I've been yearning for a space outside for the kids to play contently so we'll see what I can create for summer fun.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

By Small and Simple Things...

I hear these words a lot, " I just CANT DO IT!" Whether it's me frazzled at children or weeding, or my kids in frustration about something, they come to mind easily sometimes. Now, those words aren't really allowed in this house as it should more appropriately be stated, " I just WONT DO IT!"

As I was watering the plants the other day, cleaning the floors and doing the dishes, I was thinking how powerful water is as a substance. It does so much for us. It is nutritious and relaxing to listen to, and yet the constant flow of water on a substance wears it right away. Hot, cold- it is a life sustaining necessity. But, it's just a little water here and there really. I've had those sticky spots on pans and silverware that seem to take a lot of water and scrubbing to get it off, but it does come off. If I didn't have that water, some of this dishes I have would surely get tossed given the patience I have for things like dishes.

I thought about this power of water, of the Hoover Dam and the power that the water brings to the area and how it changed this areas economy and industry out in the west. That's amazing to me. But what's even more amazing? The Grand Canyon. I'm sure when it started waaaay up on the top, no one would have ever imagined the power it would have on 'just a little dirt'. Yet the water has gradually worn down all these layers of stone and rock. The deposits are being moved and relocated into another location downstream somewhere. This stream has meant several things to several people in the last several several centuries. Yet it is only one river.

Never underestimate the power of one person... and never say "I CAN'T DO THIS!" We limit ourselves too much! The song comes to mind, "Put your shoulder to the wheel, and push along." We don't know how many people are touched by us, weeds will always need pulling, and the kids will always need tending. A mother's influence is unfathomable. Just like water against the Grand Canyon walls. At least for me...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thinking Day

Chloe had a little presentation for us to watch Saturday. She is in the local Girl Scout troop and has had a blast! It's been great to watch her get out of her little reclusive shell she'd been in and get to do things she wouldn't have the chance to do normally. In the earlier spring she was able to go see Disney on Ice and roller skate. We joined the troop for the roller skating and she had a rollin-good time. Eva can't wait to be a Girl Scout and they let her participate whenever it is OK.
Chloe was a Fairy who painted Tulips for a lady (a folk tale). She got to read an important fact about England and hers was about the first public zoo.
We had so much fun with this outfit and then she was able to get an 'old' outfit (But seriously I remember my friend wearing this to her Girl Scouts meetings... so it's not THAT old... right? ) It was too cute. We couldn't sport the beenie that it came with due to the bun in the hair for the skit.
She did a great job. She also brought a potato and it's seeds and the girls formed the number 100 while they sang the Girl Scout Song... it was actually a little touching. So sad that it was a family function and only 1/20 of the girls' parents were there. Eva got dressed up to have fun that day too- Great lookin- Daughter's of God. I stuck some flowers in her hair so she looked fairy-ish and springy. She was a great sport and posed like ... a model or something when I took this picture.
Gabriel was a pretty good sport about not wrecking all the displays and screaming his head off all the time. He did sweep the floor for the Girls Scouts, try all the food as well in the cultural food section... many he did not like and the faces he made were humorous! Look at all those teeth! He's currently teething on his bottom i-teeth. He sticks his tongue over the spot and constantly looks like he has something in his mouth. He's getting better at listening to me as I allow him more independence a little here and little there. I love the Girl Scouts for my family!

Easter Saturday

Because of the hype of "The Bunny" we decided to leave Sunday sacred and do the fun wild on Saturday. We dyed eggs the night before and after Gabe spilled pink dye all over the table (and after Brian pulled it out of the wood using our miracle liquid gold cleaner) we had dinosaur eggs, monkey eggs and Tinkerbell eggs in a variety of colors.

The Easter Bunny got the girls some fun things which they discovered at 515am and I just so happened to get only about 4 hours of broken sleep that night. Complete cooincidence, I know. I don't know how I missed that silly Easter Bunny. Chloe wrote the Easter Bunny letters and offered her dress up bunny ears, a card from all her siblings and then asked a question. I've taken a pic of the letter and hopefully it will post well.
On Sunday our Easter ham turned out scrumptious (Thanks Safeway) as well as our cheesy potatoes a-la Nana. It was an extra fun thing to make bunny shaped biscuits with the girls. Totally cute and fun!
We watched our church's broadcasts of General Conference on Saturday and Sunday as the kids actually did settle down and listen - especially with the packets I printed out (Thanks, Chloe's favorite thing was learning to be modest and not show off our bodies. That means no tank tops, shorts above the knees or belly revealing clothing. I know that she'll be protected by her angels as she follows the councils of the Prophet in all she does, and it's nice that we both agree on modesty. We'll see if we can keep that up for those nice 'agreeable' teenage years! Eva 'wrote' some words she heard them say several times and was also really good at keeping the noise level down during the talks. We could all feel the Spirit in our home for sure. I really liked just letting Gabe play happily while I was uplifted and not having to worry about him getting into another Sister's purse, or screaming etc. Ah- but we are back to church today and he's doing a little better every week - I think. And here they are together - and mostly looking at the camera.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chloe is 6!

Chloe turned 6 and I'm so happy! She is such a help to our family,and sense of general calm in moments of frustration. I can tell she has confidence and courage now - a big difference from just a year ago. She never would go up front for singing - very shy around everyone but immediate family. Now she lets her vibrant personality shine all the time - no matter where. She is riding a 3 wheel bike - with only one training wheel on as a compromise between no training wheels and two. She has a huge heart and compassion that just seems to be the perfect thing when someone gets hurt or is sad. She's a great example for the other kids to follow and I'm grateful for that.
She had a Secret Garden party where she could invite 6 kids and they did some party games, had cake and ice cream and then decorated and planted their Snapdragon pots. Chloe picked those out for her birthday plant. We'll see how well they do. The pots looked great!
B and I got her a camera this year, trying to support her interest in taking pictures. She's coming into her own world of artsy and english hobbies (hooray for me!)She's a great reader, too and I think she takes after my mom there. She does voices, and pauses for all the breaks just like someone was talking. She loves Junie B Jones and has just gotten the loose tooth edition. She has two loose teeth up top and two loose on bottom.
Well, here are some of the pictures from her day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A NewYear - What a few months

I know that I haven't been very up to par with this blog -as the decor dated it around Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Christmas went well - B's mom came out and we were able to do lots of things with her. My favorite thing was visiting Oatman. Eva walked right into a burro's big barrel chest head on - and looked up at its head about 6 in. about hers. She didn't scream, cry or move really. Then there was the waiter who was licking his hands - and wearing skulls and roses on his shirt. Then there was a magnet that read "It's so hot in Oatman even my ass is sweating- (the reference to the animal prevalent there.)" We had brought a 5lb bag of carrots with us and man - it's truly the catnip of those burros. We had to duck behind store doors and wait for some of them to go find someone else to harass. One burro snatched the bag right out of Nana's hands and you know - she turned around and grabbed that sucker back. It was just hilarious the things that were happening. We even stayed for the gun fight. It was pretty neat but one of the actors had just had hip surgery so we watched him die s.l.o.w.l.y. And one of the shots actually hurt the other guy although they are just blanks - it was not supposed to be pointed right at the other person. So - we made all sorts of memories there.

In February our ward boundaries were redrawn and I was released as RS Counselor. Now I am the Activity Days Leader. I am really excited about all the fun things we can do. The girls are too cute too - and before they get too cool for fun things. Ages 8-11. I'm jazzed, needless to say.

Brian is the ward assistant clerk mainly responsible for membership records. He graduated with his Master's Degree in December, and we celebrated by going to OH for a few days and doing 'the walk' down in Columbus with several other students.

Our visit to OH brought the realization again that AZ is really where I feel at home now - although there's so many great and wonderful people in OH. The sky was gray... the snow was gray.. Gray. Yep. And it was cold. And snowy. I mad a topsy turvy cake for Brian's graduation.

SO in the realization that we felt at home here in AZ - we started looking for a home. We've looked and looked and looked, but in the end it still comes down to savings. Debt to income ratio - yada yada. We don't want to be here forever, but a few more years will not hurt us for sure. Renting was the outcome out of all this hectic chaos for all those who know me. Thia family rearranged practically the entire house this weekend to refresh our flow and view on the house.

Eva had her 4th Birthday ala Tinkerbell and I made a nice cake for her that looked like a pro. I was pleased. She got everything she wanted plus some and she had a blast at her party when we danced Irish jigs and made fairy crowns with pipe cleaners, beads and ribbon. Then they decorated their own fairy wings. It was cool.

B had a birthday and turned 27 - and he's still so handsome. Eva decided for him that he would have a Spiderman birthday and so he did. I think his best gift was the 42" joint grad / birthday gift that we got that outsourced my favorite Entertainment Center. How much do those go for in garage sales, anyways? So we have the 'clearest' TV ever - per Chloe. He's still going for a second Master's in Information Systems Management. The girls did their cards all by themselves and they were so proud - I loved it. They got to pick out who gave dad what. Gabe just isn't too into the production yet - but he liked the recordable card. So much that he's torn it apart to see where the sound was coming from and well - ya.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life in the Homeschool Lane...

We've taken pictures of life during school hours here and also Gabe's recent rash of getting in to EVERYTHING!! Everywhere he is, chaos and mess reign. Slimy globbered toys, food, and who knows what leave his 'tracks'. Welcome to toddlerhood, baby boy!

Happy Halloween!

This Year we had Cleopatra, a lion, and a Tinkerbell. They all loved their costumes. Mostly- Gabe was a little upset, but he was grateful when the cold night descended. Ya, ya, I know - cold was like 60 something. But dang man- it's cold out here when that temp hits and there's no sun.
The kids went up and down the neighborhood street, and then were begging to come home. We've still got about half the candy. Who could ever eat that much anyways???
The girls were bold enough this year to go up on their own, regardless of the spooks along the sidewalk, or scary sounds. I loved it. Their independence is refreshing in moments like this. Brian and I were vampire/vampiress.

(and yes- I've seen New Moon, read the books and am totally geeked about the whole series.)

Rock on!

These are my 'boys' for an afternoon of Guitar Hero. Okay - just a song or two, but that's enough for me! I can't stand the thing! But at least a few people in my family appreciate the purchase. Gabe couldn't get enough of it. Hilarious! Brian played for him, but he thought he was playing, just like he 'drives' with Mari Cart and other things. Cute, too!


*Like this, right mom!? I can tell they've learned something from me in the process of canning applesauce up the wazoo!

A Walking Advertisment

Hey mom! You know what I want? I want these things you can stick on your teeth and then walk around all day and not have to brush. They're like little stickers!! And then you can walk around and say (*smile*) and everyone will say, "Wow- what nice teeth ya have!" And they're like little stickers! That's what I want.

Hmm. Any idea of what she's talking about? She seems sold on their idea, doesn't she? What other things has she seen and just believed because it was 'on tv'? Crazy. She should've gotten paid for what she was trying to sell.

Oh- and as I'm writing this we have natural gas people fixing an apparently leaky pipe outside my house. Thanks for those tender mercies there! I had absolutely no idea because we've been across the house and in a closed room most of the morning. Crazy. Things to be thankful for, for sure!

Ah - things have been busy here. I organized a food drive for Thanksgiving for local members and we fed 4 large families and 3 single/couples. We're on our way towards having a successful nativity play in the beginning of the month as well. And we're doing a food drive/toy and book drive for kids during the month of December. I'm excited to see what gets donated and how the sisters react. It's been hard for a lot of people this year, and I think it's great our sisters are willing to share the little they might have to better someone else that's in harder times. I think it's coming down to that as a society. People bearing one another's burden's, yada yada. oo- and I've also started to organize a craft day for our RS sisters a ''last moment'' kind of thing right before Christmas, but we've had some awesome ideas presented, so I'm totally jazzed!

Here's some pics of my new haircut - totally Kate and 8 style. I love her hair all the time and I've felt gorgeous with this new 'do' . I've even started wearing makeup for everyday again... Brian likes it. Even better!

Brian's been called to be the membership clerk of the ward. I knew it was a clerk position *gut-wise* but had no idea there existed a clerk-assisant position. Who knew!? My intuition strikes again!

I've gotten almost over the loss - almost, but feelings come and go quickly now - like a tsunami. I'm ok one moment and then a look, or something prompts a teary-eyed me. We'll figure it out. Eventually.

I'm hoping to be somewhere else by the time the next school year starts, and the next few months will tell me where.... *crossing my fingers* maybe closer to nuclear family. Homeschooling is going Ok, but it's not my absolute forte. I'd much rather sing abc's hundreds of times than try to explain how a shape is not a form, but every form has it's shape. Seriously! And then there's dealing with the tantrums the rest of the kids have while I'm trying to be patient with the oldest. That's just the youngest toddler most times, and he only screams because he wants the computer and the keyboard, and sharp pencils in his mouth as he stands on a chair. Ya. Most is my parental guilt for not spending equal time with everyone, but Eva could care less about school sometimes, and Gabe is only 1.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Snip, Snip!

Today I actually took some scissors to my sons almost mullet. I was trying to push it off, but when the food starts a-stickin' my scissors needed to get a-clippin'! Several screams later and after 15 chocolate chips were eaten-or rather inhaled without much success, I just started grabbing and snipping the best I could. I don't think he'll ever sit still again - but he's just the cutest little squirmy worm! Now hair no longer curls at the nape of his neck.. so he grows up just a little more every day. The girls thought it was really fun to try and distract him, feeding him treats and trying to get him to look the other way. It was a good time for all - except Gabriel, most likely. He's up to a full cup of life cereal in the morning with a sippy cup for breakfast- a full sandwich and some applesauce and then another sippy for lunch- dinner is a guess if he'll eat or not. Seriously, where does it all go?!

Friday, October 23, 2009


So, we're updating the last few weeks. Sickness. The swine flu, more like - and everyone BUT Gabriel managed to catch it. The pharmacy budget I set is completely blown out of the water, and I'm not excited for the 5 Urgent Care bills and 2 sick visits to the kids pediatrician. It would have been nice if I went to the Urgent Care first - they tested everyone for flu once one case was confirmed in the family.

Gabriel's Birthday. That I'll make a fresh post about. But he was sick all weekend before, and right up to his birthday. Luckily on his birthday, on his anti-histamine his polka dots from the roseola virus disappeared and he was at least a little manageable. Chloe was recouping from a 102 fever the evening before so it was a slow and low key day.

Fall time - my favorite season...and the events of the month have taken our 'splurge' income straight to the 'sick' expenses and then some. Leaves around here are changing if you look carefully, but they'll blow away and you don't see them on the ground long enough to jump in them. Only the weeds and tumbleweed stick around the yard - and shoot, we could jump in those all year long if they were actually pleasant.

IRS - Apparently our CFA out here did not include the income I had from OH in 2007, when I had even given him the information for it. So we got a letter in the mail yesterday demanding the hefty sum be paid asap, of course. I think I'll use a new CFA this year. Frustrating.

Work stuff- Brian was given some huge responsibilities at work that are causing him heartburn at every hour of the day. It was kind of like, "We failed at this last time and we had a whole team. You do it yourself in half the time, okay?" I've been watching a little girl here and there but it's been crazy with sickness here and there. She's a doll though, and I miss her playing with my girls every week. I am toying again with the idea of becoming licensed nationally... seems like a good thing to do to be prepared in times of need. Just a hard expense upfront for a 'stay at home mom'.

Temple visits- actually made it and had an absolutely wonderful spiritual experience! Hadn't been to the temple in almost a year and a half but my goal is to be going monthly now. We'll see!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gabe's Post

He deserves his own post as he's learned to do so many things this last week. He's stacking, attacking, building and breaking.... Climbing, singing, rolling around - so much!! I survived four days without Brian last week - whew! But I felt he missed just so much so I took all these pictures as Gabe was doing things. He sits on his little doggie chair now, rides instead of pushes his popper around, and from what I can tell he prefers order and cleanliness (fixing all things out of place lately). And I finally got a picture that shows his two bottom teeth. Now to get some pics of the top four that are coming in all once. Poor little man. He likes to wear headbands, purses and pushes strollers around with the girls all day too. I am slowly building a boy toy collection, and dinosaurs are our newest addition. Things are great with Gabe!! I love him so much and appreciate the sweet spirit he brings into our home.

What's Up- Side Down?

I have no idea what kind of lizard this is, but his visits have become frequent- ever since our neighbors put up a pool-- coincidence? No idea, but I thought this picture was too cute and detailed to pass up posting. Someday* I won't live in the desert and I'll appreciate all the wildlife pics I have. I'm going to try and post more of them on here so that when I make a book- all sorts of things will be recorded.
Anyone know what this is? I recognize it from my road runner book, but more than that-?