Monday, November 30, 2009

Early Christmas Presents

So it was like Christmas around here today, in a very weird way.
First of all, this afternoon, I walked into the storage room and it was like a small river was running across it. The water heater was leaking like crazy out the bottom. I called Paul on his work phone and cell phone but no answer so I texted him to call me ASAP and he did. This is the type of project he would have liked to fix himself but couldn't because work is crazy and he's heading out of town tomorrow for the rest of the week. So I called a friend who happened to have her water heater go out yesterday to see who they called. Then I decided to call a few others to get an idea on prices. Before doing the calling I stopped the washing machine and dishwasher and turned off the water to the house. I looked in the yellow pages under plumbers and the first I ad I noticed was "A Better Water Heater." I called the number and was impressed with the guy and he said he could be there in about an hour. Paul talked to him too and was also impressed. He was there by 4:30 and done by 6:30. I've actually been bugging Paul about putting in a new water heater so this is like Christmas for me.
The second Christmas present was for the family, but especially for Justin. Our main family computer has been down for over a month and Paul finally bought a new power supply today and its up and running again. It really should be Justin's for real Christmas present because he's been so anxious to have the computer working so he could get to all the Christmas music in our iTunes library.
So come Christmas, we'll take a hot bath or shower and listen to great music and remember our presents we got early.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Can't say just yet

There are several things I could post about tonight but can't quite say anything just yet. Nothing really excitingto say just don't have the complete info to go ahead and post about.
One thing is a really disappointing event I could discuss concerning one of my kids but have to talk to the teacher at school first.
Another thing I don't have pictures for yet so I'll wait.
Something concerning an awkward situation with a friend and don't really know how to handle it.
All these thoughts are keeping me awake so I thought I'd share - but not really.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Holy War

Today was the BIG GAME.
We watched it in good company.
And in words from "The Grinch" that game:
Stinked, Stanked, STUNK!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

I just couldn't resist the tradition of going out shopping on black Friday. I missed going with my sister last year because she had just had a baby a couple of days before.
We decided to really complicate things this year and tried going to Toys R Us. For some crazy reason the store opened at midnight which really messed things up. We ( me, Brooke, and my sister) couldn't believe the chaos when we got there. We got there about 11:30 and there were so many cars we should have known just to turn around and go home. We parked and got out and noticed the line went all the way around the outside of the building. We decided to go to the front of the store and just wait for the line to go in and then we'd go in. We were witness to quite an ugly show. When they opened the doors for the line to go several hundred people who hadn't waited in the line rushed the door and tried to get in. It was so RUDE and UGLY. Luckily there was police there and one policeman drove his car right in front of the door between the UGLY crowd and the orderly line. The policeman ended up getting up on top of his car and it was all so crazy they had to shut the doors to the store and it looked like they were only letting in about 10 people at a time. We left at that point and went to my sisters for a couple of hours of sleep before heading to Kohl's at 4:00 am.
This year her oldest son who is 12 joined us for the first time. He was a great help because we would have him stand in the checkout line while we went and looked for the items on our list. From Kohl's we went to Target which was super crazy and a long line but it moved pretty fast. Then we tried Game Stop and gave up because the checkout line was so long, then Office Depot and gave up there too. We made a short stop at Walgreens and then ShopKo. Then we went back to Toys R Us and it was still crazy there 8 hours later but we were in and out pretty quick. We made one more stop to Old Navy where we took advantage of their offer of getting to go to the front of the line by applying for an Old Navy Credit card. That was awesome and saved 10% too. We ended up our morning with breakfast at McDonalds.
On the way home Brooke and I also stopped at Home Depot for a few things for the dad at our house. All in all it was a good shopping trip and I got some really good deals and had fun with my family on our crazy tradition.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Lisa, Judy, and Jenny
I started out this Thanksgiving by getting up early and participating in the Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving 5K. I am very grateful that Judy convinced me to sign up. I've always wanted to do the race but for a variety of reasons haven't done it. We all started out together walking and enjoyed the whole race excitement. When we were about 1/2 way I started doing a little running to get up the hills, I find it easier to run up the hills. Then Jenny passed me and finished just before me. I finished in 41 minutes, which was my slowest 5K time ever but pretty good considering I just started exercising again at the beginning of the week.

Brooke set a lovely table for our dinner.

This was Delicious.
Go here for the recipe. YUMMY!!

Our buffet dish up table.
The warmer is my mom's and is the greatest thing ever to keep all the good food warm.

Everybody ready to eat our big dinner.
(don't you just love Justin's hair?)
I really should have taken another picture after we all dished up but things got pretty crazy.
All of the food was delicious, especially the cranberry sauce. We were all full too fast and then enjoyed visiting for awhile and then started eating again with dessert.
I am thankful for my family, our home that keeps us warm and out of the cold, Paul's job that provides for our family and good friends. There is a lot more to list but that is enough for now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Results

This is my own homemade Cranberry Sauce. I got it here at It was SO EASY to make, I couldn't believe it. And it smelled so good while it was cooking. Yum! I can hardly wait to try it tomorrow.
There are so many variations out there to try too. There is another one I want to try that has more to it and more of relishy, chutney kind. Hopefully I'll have time to make it in the next couple of days to go with the leftovers.

Here's the bird!
Paul had said he would do the whole dinner but I really didn't want to wait until Thursday and do everything and get all stressed out and have dinner late in the day. While I was thinking about what stresses me out about the big dinner its trying to get everything to come together at the same time and have it all hot. One of the main pains is getting all the meat off the turkey and the mess in the kitchen from fixing everything.
I decided to do the turkey today - best thing I ever did (hopefully it will taste as good tomorrow when we warm it up). All of the meat is off the bones and nicely put in a casserole dish and all ready to go. And all of the mess is cleaned up.
I tried something new with the turkey this year. Its this recipe with one switch - Martinelli's instead of champagne.
The pies are made and in the fridge ( we do Banana Cream pie without the bananas, one sugar free for Paul's dad). I am also going to bake a Razzleberry Pie tomorrow. I also have the stuffing to make and the rolls and that's it tomorrow. And then bring it all together so we can eat around 4.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

A Day of Preparation

This is the "off" year for my siblings and parents - meaning we are all with our in-laws for Thanksgiving this year. Its great that we've got it worked out like that.
So, this year Thanksgiving dinner is at our house. Paul's family is small - only one brother and one sister. His brother lives in Pennsylvania. His sister's family is old enough and both of her kids have kids so they do their own thing.
Our gathering will be very small - just the 7 of us and Paul's parents. A lot of years my parents will join us but this year they are going to my brother Parry's house. Even though it is a small group its still a lot of work for a dinner that is eaten in less than 30 minutes (if that). I really wanted to just go out but Paul didn't like the idea and I didn't want to deal with the crowds.
I talked with several friends about how they do lots of the prep for the dinner ahead of time and decided to try it out. I did the shopping yesterday and lots of work in the kitchen today (not really too much ahead but some). Once I got behind the idea I kind of got into the making of Thanksgiving dinner. I actually spent a lot of time on checking out alternative recipes to all the traditional foods. I actually got excited about trying a couple and worked on them today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Miracle

There was a miracle at our house yesterday:
Monday is always laundry day. I really only do laundry once a week, always on Monday. I usually set my alarm for 6 to get up and get it started early. I try to stay home the whole day so I keep the cycle moving and get it finished.
I usually do 2 dark loads, a light colored load and a white load (towels and sheets are washed on other days, very sporadically I must admit).
So, yesterday I started at 6:30 and a true miracle occurred - it was all done, folded and PUT AWAY before dinner time. That is huge for me. And the next part of the miracle is I got all the ironing done too - 16 shirts and 2 pair of pants.
Now if it could just stay that way!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Entertainment and the Media

For Family Night we've been going through the "For the Strength of Youth" booklet. We take one section each week and discuss it. Tonight was the Entertainment and Media section and took quite some time to discuss. Most of our discussion actually ended up centering on music (which is actually the next section for us to discuss) and our family is very musical - in that we all love to listen to music. We all have different likes and have a wide variety in those likes. As we were talking about what you choose to watch and how you decide what is appropriate I thought a lot about two recent music shows I watched. Last week I watched the CMAs (Country Music Awards) and then last night I watched the AMAs (American Music Awards). There was a huge difference in the 2 shows and the feeling from both shows. I used to be a huge country music fan and that's all I listened to. Now, not so much, although I'm still a fan of certain country artists and can always listen to country music if someone else is playing it.
I'm more of a fan of the music played on the AMAs but after watching the 2 shows I have to wonder about my music choices. There was nothing objectionable or questionable on the CMAs but almost everything was questionable on the AMAs. It did not leave me with a good feeling at all and ended with worst display I've ever seen on regular TV. The CMAs almost had a family feeling to them and left me with a good feeling.
We had a good discussion with our teenagers and hopefully it made them at least think about what they choose to watch. Jared and Kamryn endured the discussion and were anxious for the LESSON to be over so we could play Duck, Duck Goose. Its really too bad we didn't have the video camera rolling during our game.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Primary Program

Kamryn all dressed up and ready for her first Primary program.

Jared all dressed up and ready for his first Primary program.

Kamryn said her part from memory and did a great job.
"Remembering Jesus helps me choose the right."

Jared said his part from memory and did a great job.
"I remember Jesus when I take the sacrament."

Kamryn and Jared with their friend Josh on the stand before the program.
Today was our ward's primary program. It was a nice program and I held my breath through most of the program hoping that Jared and Kamryn would behave sitting up on the stand and then do a good job on their parts. Gratefully, I could exhale a sigh of relief when they both said their parts from memory and without any help and didn't freeze when they were up at the microphone in front of everyone. They both tried their best to sing all of the songs. We got several very nice comments from people in our ward about how they did .

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Justin's hair

Justin's hair is quite the topic around our house. It is the longest its ever been. He kept it long for Halloween and then didn't even do the 70s basketball player thing. I don't mind it and I think it even looks good when he has it curly. He just puts mousse in it and it curls great.
After playing soccer it gets pretty wild though. The picture below has his hair all fro'd out. The picture doesn't really do it justice.

Tonight I asked him if he was ready for a haircut yet. He'd said the other day its really starting to drive him crazy. He said he wanted me to straighten it before I cut it. We'd mentioned awhile ago that we should do that just to see what it would look like. So Brooke and I both worked on him. It was so funny, all of us sitting in the bathroom. Below is the results:

I think he should go to school like this but he says he doesn't want to go through us straightening it again.

Kamryn's owie

A couple of sundays ago Kamryn and Jared were out playing on the trampoline with Taylor. Kamryn fell over Taylor's leg and hurt her leg/ankle. She wouldn't walk on it the rest of the day so I was worried that it was broken. She didn't seem to be in too much pain but refused to walk on it. The next morning she still wouldn't walk on it so I took her to the ER to check it out (for us its the best place to go in this kind of situation because our pediatrician doesn't do xrays at the office).
The nurses were so cute with Kamryn and totally spoiled her. They gave her a little stuffed orange bear, coloring books and crayons and treated her like royalty. Kamryn was a very good patient, although very shy. She only cried when the doctor moved her foot and ankle around. They did xrays and there was no fracture. With a child her age they still wrapped it up in a splint so she wouldn't walk on it and it could heal.
She was very heavy to carry around. She still went to school and sat in an umbrella stroller so it was easier to get around. All of her classmates helped her out and her friends drew her pictures to help her get better. Some of her other friends even brought her paper dolls that she loved to play with.

By Thursday she was walking around with the splint on it and it was coming undone. She wanted me to take it off so I did. She limped around for a couple of days and now is completely back to normal, thank goodness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Perfect Pilgrims

Aren't these the cutest pilgrims you've ever seen?

Jared and Kamryn with their preschool buddies after their Thanksgiving feast at school. They were so excited about eating their feast at school and told everyone about it, including the cashier at Kohl's this morning.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Super 17

Justin's 17th birthday was yesterday. I can't believe it!
I can't be old enough to have a son that old.
Here's a few recent pictures of Justin:

Receiving some merit badges at our last court of honor.

Justin was able to participate in Taylor's ordination.

Justin showing off his "fro"

Justin with a "mullet"
I haven't taken his birthday picture yet but will have to add it in when I do.
Justin is a great son. For family night we honored him and everyone told something they liked about Justin. Taylor is glad Justin has been teaching him how to play frisbee. Brooke likes that he is a nice older brother. I like Justin's sense of humor. Paul commented on how Justin has absolutely no temper. We all agreed. I don't think I've ever seen Justin upset or angry or mad. I think that is pretty amazing.
I love you Justin.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"I'm Not Fat"

Overheard this morning while Jared and Kamryn were in their room getting dressed.
I heard her yell "I'm not fat" and then start crying. She came to me and said, "Jared said I'm fat."
She was very upset by this. I told her she's not fat and I told Jared its not nice to say that to somebody.
There is so much reality in all of that, sad :(

Digging out and catching up

Yesterday was the first tuesday since school started that I wasn't at volleyball. Wow, it felt weird and great at the same time. I loved supporting Brooke on Brighton's team but it is nice to have some time back in our lives.
I've let a lot go during the volleyball season and hopefully now I'll get some things caught up.
I rearranged Jared and Kamryn's room and cleaned out their closet and drawers to put away summer clothes.
Yesterday I worked on Justin's room. For the kids birthdays, I clean their room. Not to embarass him, but his take's the most work. He's not the cleanest or neatest of our kids (that award goes to Taylor). It's a satisfying job because it looks so much better when I'm done - now if it would just stay that way. I of course, forgot, to take before and after pictures.
And as usual, I have a lot to catch up on here. Maybe that will happen today while the kids are at school.