Saturday, February 27, 2010


Aah.  The month of February.  I actually enjoy this month for several reasons.  First of all, it means we are one month closer to spring.  Second of all, I have always liked Valentine's Day because it forces people to do, write or say nice things (without the major expense of large gifts) to the ones they love...and if you know my husband, he needs that forcing-sometimes.
Third, as previously mentioned, I like Valentine's Day because it is the day David and I met.  Thus, he is forced to endure a day of cheesy-ness.  Fourth, I get to decorate with pink!  A color I love, but that doesn't really fit in the home decor, so February is the expection! Fifth, my girls get excited about writing notes, school parties and Valentine boxes and I share in their excitement!  Yeah, I love February.

I was a room parent for Jeana's Valentine's Day party, and since we didn't think the boys would be into pink and red hearts, we decided to choose a theme for their boxes, so they were to decorate their boxes with something that represents our city.  Jeana went with a pink flying pig in a red polkadot skirt, of course.

So, not the most scruptious of pictures, but last year over Valentine's Day weekend, we did a fun fondue night with a few family friends, the Williams and Vaughns, we decided to hold a repeat this year.  The kids ate volcano cheese fondue from a recipe book of Jeana's, only I couldn't figure out how to stack the food on the side to actually make it look like a valcano.  However, they enjoyed it anyway.

They were the only ones from the group willing to pose for me.

On the actual Valentine's Day, which was a Sunday, I made a yummy breakfast, only it ended up being for lunch because I am never that put together when we are rushing to get ready for church.  So, I made raspberry cream filled waffles topped with a yummy buttermilk syrup.  Yes, my photography skills improved since the Volcano Fondue.

Since my husband loves the word 'tradition' I thought I'd throw it out here.  The girls and I started a tradition a few years ago, where we set up our own little cafe and usually they serve Mom and Dad, so this year I decided to mix it up a little and serve them.

These were part of my children's Valentine from me.  There is this super creative friend at church who makes really cute things, including felt food.  She was kind enough to teach us a few things and we made some fun felt chocolate covered strawberries (the chocolate slides off) and sugar cookies that wouldn't be the same without the sprinkles.  My girls loved them and they have now become food for their pet stuffed animals.  

They needed some real chocolate too.

Okay this is so something their mom would do.  I don't need to eat the whole thing, I just want a sample of each and I don't like trying to guess which flavor the inside holds.  So, when I saw these of Abby's, I had to chuckle.  However, she left these on the floor while watching a movie and let's just say, Annie, our dog had an EXTRA large chocolate fill that day.

Love and Food.  Food and Love.  Love for Food.  Food for Love.  Since we had a whole Sunday to enjoy a fun holiday, I decided to try my hand at homemade Italian-style lasagna.  We have some friends, Sam and Rachel Vaughn, who both served missions in Italy and cook some great food.  So, I asked for details on how to make a traditional lasagna and then was on my own.  I'm sure I didn't do everything right, but it was fantastic!  The sauce cooks all day and then instead of cottage or ricotta cheese, a white sauce is used.  Mmmmm.

I also wanted a fun dessert since we seem to stick to the basic chocolate chip cookie unless there is a special occasion, so I got a few ideas online and decorated a cheesecake.  It was actually prettier than it tasted, but hey, it made for a cute picture!

David and I also celebrated our 9th anniversary on the 17th.  Luckily, we got to go out over the weekend, because we didn't get to celebrate on the actual day--my fault.  Jeana is absolutely in love with her teach this year.  She stays after to help her clean up or just to talk and from what I gather, her teacher adores her just as much and is always commenting on how she wishes she had 30 'Jeanas' in her class because she is a good listener and rule follower.  Anyhow, she has been trying to invite her teacher for dinner for quite sometime, but since dance was on Tuesday and Thursdays, I suggested dinner on Wednesday of the next week.  Well, school was cancelled Monday and her teacher lives 45 minutes away, so I wasn't going to change plans or break Jeana's heart when I realized I had invited her over on our anniversary!  Oops.  We had fun anyway and ate tasty homemade Indian food (Jeana's choice).  9!

We did have a few sick days too.  Abby stayed home one day and piled every blanket she could find on her chair, I guess to make it more confortable?!  Then, she snuggled up to one of her favorites...Sewing With Nancy, weird I know, but she loves it.

I also gave much-needed haircuts to the girls.  I wanted to try my hand at long layers and I think they turned out pretty cute!  The cuts definitely made them look older.

At the end of February, we were able to go visit the cousins and get to watch as Ethan was baptised.  My parents decided last minute to make the 28 hour-ish trek for only a few days and it was a fun surprise to see them.  Then, since they had to pass through Utah and since Aunt Corinne had the weekend off of work, she came too!  It was fun to visit with them all, even though it was very short trip.  Though I appreciated the fact that I only had to drive 5 hours home!  My parents thought it would be fun surprise to not tell the grandkids, but when we got there, the girls didn't seem the least bit surprised.  I asked them why and they said they already knew they were coming becuase they heard me talking about it on the phone!  Ha ha.  I guess I just assusmed they were oblivious to my conversations, but I now know I need to be a little more careful!

There was a reception ending at the church when we were done, so some lady brought out these HUGE cookies that were leftover for the kids, which is the only reason they were willing to somewhat pose for the picture.

Jeana thought it was fun to watch Ethan get baptised knowing she will be soon too!

The group who came to support Ethan in his big decision.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

President's Day

I love that Abby enjoys school so much, but sometimes it takes a little creativity on my part to figure out what she is learning.  She came home other day and said, "Mom, you know that guy who wanted to become president and so he grew a really long beard? Well, we learned about him today and even got to make a 'cavin' like the one he lived in."  

January was even better when Abby came home and said, "Mom today we learned about that one guy that we don't have school on Monday because of."  Vague I know, but since it was close enough to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it only took a minute.  I am so glad that my child keeps learning about 'guys' in school.  However, she then furthered her comment with, "Yeah, some people didn't like him and they were really mean to him because he had brown skin and not peach skin and we watched a movie on how people were mean to him and his family and started his house on fire and they even killed him.  Sad huh?  Mom, we should love everyone and not just people with peach skin."

Friday, February 12, 2010


I LOVE LOVE LOVE snow days.  Well, on occasion.  I have never lived in a place before that gets so many, but I have to admit on cold days, I don't like to go out- anywhere.  I like to just hang out with my family, stay in pajamas if we want and of course drink warm things like flavored milk steamers and eat hot soup.  (Yes, we all know my life revolves around food!  Someday, when I am a size 2, that might change, but not today!)  Anyhow, all that to say, if the weatherman predicts a snow day, even if there is only a light dusting, schools start cancelling or delaying the night before.  So, at the beginning of the month, Jeana came home saying her teacher told her class if they wanted to guarantee a snow day, they needed to put their pajamas on backwards, flush all the toilets three times and sleep upside down, well Jeana followed the instructions to a T, she almost forgot to flush the toilet downstairs before going to bed and was greatly concerned, so she was allowed to get up and ran awfully quickly.  Needless to say, it worked!

Our neighbor, who is currently a single dad, had to go to work, so his daughter got to hang out at our house for the day.  We decided to make a few treats.  Nothing pairs better with hot soup, then some nice, fresh homemade whole wheat bread.  Of course, the girls decided to make bears and snowmen instead.

They love to bake with mom.

Yummmmmm...ooey, gooey goodness...need I say more?

There is this great blog that always has tasty recipes (and if you live nearby have already been introduced to it by me I'm sure), but the reason I like it so much is because I am a visual cook.  If I hear about a recipe, sometimes I think, that could be good, but show me a picture, and I usually try to fit it somewhere into the menu ASAP.  All that to say this particular blog offers many great recipes with awesome inspiring pictures, so I decided to try my hand at some decadent food shots and well, yes I need work, but hey, it was fun and only took like 50 snapshots to get these two pics.  The blog is called,, if you haven't be there yet, go check it out!

And what better way to enjoy a snow day than play in it and walk the dog in your pajamas?

Another attempt at a snowman.  And I know I have mentioned in the past that I have great neighbors, but I HAVE great neighbors!  Whenever it snows, the two neighbors next door, both pull out their snowblowers and do all 7 houses in the cul-de-sac.  Which this winter was especially nice because Dave has been extremely busy trying to finish his PhD, so he hasn't been around a lot and so it was nice to get out of the shoveling myself!  THANK YOU KIND NEIGHBORS.

I am typically pretty good at avoiding getting sick most of the winter, but it seems like at the end of Janaury or beginning of february, I get hit once with either the flu or a cold.  It usually only lasts a week, so I must admit I am fairly fortunate.  Well, this year was no different, but while I was sick and the girls were again enjoying a snowday, I found this lovely note and handpicked goods on my bed.  I really love having girls!  Both are very thoughtful and Jeana will often do sweet things like this.  She left me a note telling me that because I was not feeling well, I could go back to bed and Abby and she would take over and even make me dinner in bed!  The only problem was, there were too many things to do that day to go back to bed, but I was still touched by her thoughfulness!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Dad asked the girls to organize the coat closet, and well, the assignment quickly became a game, can you guess who came up with idea?
Abby has really loved having Annie around.  I don't that it always goes both ways, but Annie is adjusting to her more all the time.  Abby definitely lets her know who is in charge, but also probably shares more treats with her than any other family member too.

I am currently in charge of planning all church activities for the year.  So, my committee and I decided to do a 'Paradise Cruise' at the beginning of February and it turned out really well.  It was a little rough getting started because we got dumped with snow that day and we weren't sure if we would have to cancel, finally about an hour before the activity, the walks were shoveled and the ok was given, so we followed through.  Though, some of the early birds were quickly given assignments to help set up!  We had a swing dance instructor and yummy island/tropical foods.  

Some of the youth were kind enough to babysit so the activity could be just for the adults.  However, once the activity was over, they worked their way into the gym and held their own tropical party.

 Cute Island princesses!