Monday, September 29, 2008


I ran across a couple of discs that brought back some memories from my deployment to Kuwait. As I looked through them I couldn't help thinking how much has changed since then. It did bring back some good memories of friends and experiences sweltering in the 130 degree heat of the desert. I'm grateful for the friends I have. I've told Jen before that I have the best friends anyone could ever wish for. As I look at these photos I think of the friends that have been there for me since. My life has taken some amazing twists and turns, but my friends have been a constant source of inspiration and joy-Thank you

Thursday, September 11, 2008

King's Peak summit

This is my first attempt at a post, so nobody better laugh. You see, Jen has completely dropped the ball when it comes to keeping the blog going. Like many things I've had to step in and right the ship! All kidding aside, I don't know how she keeps her sanity with all she does, not to mention the schedule with the kids etc. She is coaching Mady and Mimi's soccer team, which has been awesome to watch those girls play their hearts out. More on that later.
The Young Men's high adventure activity this year was to summit Kings Peak. It was a 32 mile round trip hike that quite literally "kicked my trash". The first day was an 8 mile hike into our base camp, where we fished and made ready for the next day. On a side note the leader (Steph), now this guy has climbed mountains like Rainer and McKinley, had to escort one of the young men out to meet his parents on the first day. He hiked into the base camp, all 8 miles, in the dark. Talk about gutsy. The next morning he comes strolling into camp at 6 am, he had slept the previous night about 100 yards away from where we were camped! We gear up and start for the summit. About 2 miles out some kid approaches us and informs us he is lost. Steph once again leads this kid all the way back to his campsite. The route we took to the summit was over Gunsite Pass and in order to catch up to us Steph had to ascend up what is called "the chute" a brutal pass that should be called "elevator shaft" to better describe its angle. When we finally make it to the base of the peak, I am done, physically, literally, figuratively, whatever you want to call it. The rest of the crew takes off for the summit. I force myself to eat a bagel, some trail mix and jerky. After about 20 minutes I feel much better and decide to push on to the summit. Now this mountain is nothing but rock. I mean jagged rock. I managed to catch up to the group just before reaching the top. We snap some pictures, and due to possible incoming thunder storms, start our descent. After reaching the base, we decide to go down the chute in order to shorten what has already been a long day. Now going down the chute was the most stressful part of the whole journey. It took us each about an hour to get to the bottom. In the mean time we had to scream at people below us to watch out for rocks, more like boulders, we had kicked loose and sent them crashing down the mountain. One boulder I kicked loose took off and was headed straight for two people below. I managed to get the attention of one guy, but the other looked up just as the rock hit him squarely on his forearm. Luckily he had just lifted his arm off the ground, otherwise I'm quite certain it would have broken his arm. He ended up with the biggest "monkey bump" (his words) on his arm. We finally made it down together, and in one piece. The rest of the hike back to camp was about 4-6 miles. After we returned to camp we ate, and literally fell into our sleeping bags. The 8 mile hike out seemed just as hard as the 16 mile summit due to sore, blistered, tired feet. We hit Wendy's in Evanston like a freight train! All in all it was an awesome 3 day adventure. We are already talking about our next adventure in the summer of 09.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Three Hundred Dollar Braclet

Last Friday, my washing machine stopped draining. We've all been through it, so what can you do? Luckily, I was caught up on my laundry for a brief moment, so I wasn't too stressed about waiting until Tuesday to call a repair man b/c of the holiday weekend. Again, what can you do?

The repair man came on Tuesday and took apart the washer. He said it was the pump and we had him fix it. We paid him the $300 and I was back in laundry mode. (Which was just in the nick of time since my laundry was piling up by this time at an alarming rate...)

You know, up until that point I was accepting of the fact that things break and you have to fix them. I was peace, love, and light.

And then we found the bracelet.

Wednesday morning Matt came upstairs and went into the laundry room. The old pump was lying on top of the washer so he picked it up to look at it. And then he walked into the kitchen and said, "Hey dad, I think a bracelet is stuck in that pump." Seriously. THAT BRACELET WAS STUCK IN THE PUMP! What are the odds? And why didn't anyone (a.k.a. the repair man) think to look in the pump to see why it wasn't working. And more importantly, WHY ARE MY CHILDREN NOT EMPTYING OUT THEIR POCKETS WHEN I TELL THEM TO? WHY? WHY? I think they must sincerely believe that I am talking to myself when I give them such directions.

Anyway, the bracelet made an excellent object lesson for my children that morning. Yet again I can say to them, "Do not doubt that your mother knows it."

Now that school is out I am hoping that this is not a foreshadowing of things to come. And I want my money back!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This One's for Kirst

Ok, so I'm a really bad friend and it takes me a long time to post on this blog. But, I have my garden to blame for that. (A post on that later...)

Nonetheless, I promised Kirst this recipe, so I thought I would share it with everyone.

Beef and Chicken Fajitas with Peppers and Onions
(Cooking Light, June 2001)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp grated lime rind
2 1/2 tbl fresh lime juice
2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.25 oz. can) beef broth

2 pounds flank steak, boneless chicken breast, or a mix of both
2 red bell peppers, sliced(or cut in larger wedges if you would like to grill them)
2 green bell peppers, sliced or cut in wedges
1 large onion, sliced or cut in wedges
sour cream

Combine the marinade in a bowl. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the marinade into a ziplock bag and add your beef or chicken. Pour the remaining marinade in a separate ziplock bag with the vegetables. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Grill meat to desired doneness. Grill your vegetables or saute them in a hot skillet until caramelized. When the meat is done, place it on a platter and cover with foil for about ten minutes. Cut the meat diagonally across the grain into thin slices.

Serve with tortillas, salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

There you go! Easy as pie....

Monday, March 24, 2008

This is more the Norm

After a little nap Daniel was clearly ready to go again.

Sitting Still

He just crawled up on the couch, laid his head on Liza and fell asleep.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Matchbox 20

So, the concert. I loved them the last time that I saw them, so I was looking forward to this with great anticipation. Let me just say that they did not disappoint. It was deeeeeelightful to say the least. And second row seats? (Thanks to Brad's concert mojo...) I never want to see a concert another way again. I have been ruined.

Now, it must be said that I have spent the last 4 years going to Ryan Shupe concerts and the like, which are perfectly fine. But don't you sometimes forget what it's like to be at a concert where you actually feel like dancing? You know, where you're dancing around and screaming like an idiot? We all need this.

So, they start out with a little countdown and start right into "How far we've come". And ladies and gentlemen, they were ON. I have to interrupt myself and say that I love the evolution of a concert where the band comes out and the first few songs are high energy, but then there is that moment, or that song, where they just settle in to their groove. Everyone is warmed up. For Matchbox 20 that song was "Back to Good". Just watching Rob Thomas up there belting it out filled my little heart with joy (and momentarily made me forget that I had a kid at home puking...)

Their encore was fantastic. I especially loved that at the end of "Bright Lights" they went right into the Beatles song, "She came in through the bathroom window" (I know, weird title, but it's the Beatles, right?) and Kyle Cook and Paul Doucette both sang a verse. Turns out, they rock as well! Plus, they did a cover of the Cracker song "Low" that I was quite fond of. And, to top it all off they ended the show with "Push". Yes.

So, a couple of other notes: People in general (and the intoxicated girl next to me specifically) have no sense of rhythm. It's unbelievable. It's not even like they are on the 1 & 3 beat instead of the 2 & 4 beat. They're just all over the place. High unintentional comedy for me.

Also, you could buy a wrist band with a USB port on it that had your concert recorded on it. Genius! (Someone is making a killing with this, BTW) Of course we bought one and have been reliving the concert ever since.

Well, that's it! That's all I've got. Rock on.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Breaking Bad...

So, life has been a little, um, hectic lately.

A week ago today I was pleasantly anticipating three things: Jackson's first birthday, Bekah's 8th birthday (both being celebrated on that Saturday--double the fun!), and the Matchbox Twenty concert. (Second row seats!)

Now, let us all remember that Brad and I attempted to have a little getaway at the end of December. A few hours before we were supposed to leave Eliza started throwing up. One hour before we were supposed to leave Daniel threw up all over me. Good times indeed. Thank goodness for grandmas and aunts who stepped in and took care of all the sickies so that we could still go. However, one hour after we left I started throwing up, which was not exactly what I had in mind for my getaway activities.....

Ok, so back to present. The night before the parties I come down with pink eye. PINK EYE! What the....?!!! Then, like wildfire threw Southern California, I proceed to give it to my three youngest children. Clearly, I did not make it to the birthdays. Yes, I was sad.

Let's move on. Because the pink eye gets contained and I still have the concert to look forward to, right? Well, here we are on Thursday, getting ready for the concert. I have decided to try (after a week of no makeup thanks to the pink eye) to look (and feel) like a real woman. I shower, I cleanse, I exfoliate, I hydrate, etc. Hey, at this point I am feeling pretty good! The hair is straight, the clothes are clean and I am going on a date!

And then Liza starts throwing up. Again and again. Is someone trying to tell me something?

So, yes, we still went to the concert. (More on that later...) But my makeup was smudged, I smelled like throw up, and I came home and slept on the floor of my daughter's bedroom.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Winter Wonderland

So, really there is supposed to be a sidewalk in picture number two! It is completely covered under three feet of snow. And the bottom picture? Those bushes that you see are the tops of the fruit trees behind my house. There's about four feet of snow back there.

Oh, and yes, it is snowing right now.

I love it!

Monday, February 4, 2008

It's a show about nothing

The backround info:
Sunday morning Daniel was up at 5. I changed Liza's diaper twice during Sacrament meeting and once again during Nursery in addition to removing her onesy which fell into the toilet when she wanted to go potty like the big kids. I was a sub in primary and shoveled 14 inches of snow off of my driveway. Oh, and did I mention that Brad is out of town?

By 5:30 Sunday night I was doing the dishes while Daniel screamed and clutched onto my leg in an attempt to push me away from the sink. Liza was standing on the step stool beside me and crying as well because she couldn't play with the bubbles in the sink. (Daniel was in the way...) I, of course, was mentally singing Marvin Gaye (Whoa, mercy, mercy me...things ain't what they used to and wondering how I was going to find my happy place as the older children played/fought downstairs. (No, we never quite reached that state of Sunday reverence that I naively anticipate late on Saturday nights.)

Ok. Enough backround. So I finish the dishes and contemplate dinner. And here is where the joy of Jessica Seinfeld enters my life. I settled on the "pink pancakes" (with beet puree) from Deceptively Delicious and my kids loved them! Yes, I know it's the small things, but it turned my night around. Successful meal times have a way of doing that for me.

So here's the deal. Everyone knows that I like to cook. I love doing the grown up foods with marinades and grills and fresh herbs, etc. But let's face it-sometimes you just need to get some food on the table. And mind you, I don't deceive my kids when it comes to food. They are pretty good at eating their fruits and vegetables. However, Deceptively Delicious has a lot of great recipes that simply fortify some main dishes with more vitamins and minerals that give me a little piece of mind as I rush to put dinner on the table. I told my kids that there were beets in the pancakes and they thought that was cool.
Some of my favorites so far:
pink pancakes, p. 143
tortilla "cigars" p. 144
chicken nuggets p. 75 (very yummy)
yellow cake p.186

Try it out! It's the first cookbook I have been excited about in a while. Who could even change your day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I hate science projects

So, it's science project time. And excuse the digression but who knew there was such a fad among girls now to do all of their science experiments on the effectiveness of various lotions, creams, etc.? It has surely become the photosynthesis experiment of its time....

Anyhoo, here it is, the night before it's due, and I am just now proof reading Mady's content for her project. And yes, I am saying the same thing to myself that I did back when it was actually my science project that I was working on. WHY DID I WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE?

Mind you, the actual experiment was done last week. The packet was even done last week. However, the putting it together didn't make it past the fact that I have SIX KIDS all talking to me at the same time with comments like, "Mommy, I poopy." and "do I have to do my chores today?" to "Why can't I have a cell phone?" and back to "Mommy, D's poopy."

The fact that I actually completed all of my secondary education and yet am doing it all over again times each of the six children has me feeling a little cross-eyed right now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The short hair

So, here it is-the short hair. I seriously feel about ten pounds lighter! I thought I would throw in a couple of other pics for fun. (Clearly Liza wasn't feeling the love when we decided to take the family pic at Bridgette's baptism. What can you do...) Enjoy!