Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A cheesy confession

I'm sure you all remember my very insightful post from months ago stating my point that Cheese Nips are the best cheese crackers ever made. Well, I have a confession. . . this is hard to admit. . .but I'll do it. . .

I tried the Cheez-It Zesty Queso/Cheddar Blanco Duoz crackers and I love them.

There, that feels better.

Well, not completely. I have one other thing to get off my chest. I tried the Cheez-Its Tabasco crackers and I love them too.

Ahhhhh! Cheese Nips, I'm so sorry! I still love you. But I've decided to broaden my flavor spectrum. I blame Joey. I was buying him Cheez-Its(because he is a self-proclaimed "it" lover) and bought a couple of new flavors. I had to try them myself of course! But I am still a firm believer that the original "nip" beats the original "it" any day. I'm still a nip at heart.
:)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summertime tradition

When we go swimming, we always come home for ice pops on the back porch. We do it so much that as we drive away from the pool now, Cali says, "Ice pops? Blue?" (Blue is usually her color of choice:) She knows what to expect now! And it also helps to make leaving the pool, not a big deal. They've got their treat to look forward to after all.

As you can see, they love them. Especially Miss Cali. Just look at that little scrunched-up face of sheer delight.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Left To Tell

I just finished reading the book,"Left to Tell" by Immaculee Ilibagiza.

About the book: "Immaculée shares her miraculous story of how she survived during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 when she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days. In this captivating and inspiring book, Immaculée shows us how to embrace the power of prayer, forge a profound and lasting relationship with God, and discover the importance of forgiveness and the meaning of truly unconditional love and understanding—through our darkest hours." (summary from http://www.lefttotell.com/)

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It brought tears to my eyes and taught me so much. It inspired me to pray more often, more specifically and more fervently. It reminded me of how miracles still happen. It inspired me to try and form a closer relationship with God, through prayer and scripture study. It taught me to forgive more willingly. This woman forgave men who killed most of her family during this atrocious Rwandan genocide. Its an amazing and unbelievable story. And as you know, very sad. I can't imagine going through what this woman did. And I just can't believe people can be so cruel. She is truly an inspiration. She embodies charity-the pure love of Christ. If you haven't read it already, add it to your book list! It may sound like a depressing book, and yes, the material is very sad, but its so very uplifting. I closed the book feeling like I had a whole new outlook on life. Thanks Immaculee for sharing your story.
Up next on my reading list: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Glenn Beck's Common Sense. Yes, I'm trying to become more literate! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Official Sticker Club Member

Ella received a letter from a friend a couple of weeks ago inviting her to be part of the "Sticker Club." Its basically a chain letter type of a thing. I think its such a cute idea! You just have to send one sheet of stickers to one person(whose name was on the letter you receive originally) and then you send copies of the letter to 6 of your friends, with your name/address added to it and by the end, if everyone participates, you can receive up to 36 sheets of stickers. All kids love stickers and all kids love getting mail, so its totally fun! Ella checked the mail everyday and when the first sheet of stickers arrived, the look of excitement on her face was priceless. Here she is with her Hannah Montana stickers moments after opening her first envelope. So thrilled!

I know some people hate the chain letter dealio and don't think its a good idea, but I figure the six people I sent it to are people I know really well and I know the six they send it to are friends of theirs. And friends of my friends are my friends too! And I also figure not even half the people I send it to will even do it anyways and thats totally fine, I don't care at all! :) But we have been receiving fun stickers, so thanks to everyone that has participated! Ella is having a blast. I'm finding stickers stuck to everything:)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Cabbage Patch memory


When my sister Tara and I were little, I remember very well the Christmas we each received the coveted Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. After ripping off the wrapping paper and seeing that little round plastic face smiling back at me, I was in heaven. . . my sister received one too and I remember us both pulling them out of the boxes and then comparing them(we were quite the comparative competitive sisters:) and thinking mine was the best. While, she, I'm sure, thought hers was. Its sorta like when you grow up and have kids and you think yours are cuter than everyone elses:) A mothers love. . . Well, back to the story, I remember each of us opening up the envelopes with the birth certificate inside that told you the name of your doll. I opened up mine and her name was "Hilda Aurora." Not my name of choice, but decent I guess. Hilda sounded old ladyish to me and Aurora reminded me of Sleeping Beauty, so I called her Aurora. And here is the good part...when Tara opened up hers, the name give to her doll was "Dorcas Amy." I remember laughing and laughing. I think she did too, but I'm sure part of her was also dying inside. :) And I'm also pretty sure she called her doll, Amy.
I was telling my kids this story the other day and they laughed so hard! I was laughing so hard I couldn't even get the entire story out. It just struck me so funny! Sorry Tara. I guess we are laughing at "little Tara's" expense:) Not the "adult Tara," so its okay.
Oh, but we loved little Dorcas, didn't we Tara? :) Ahhh, the beauty of childhood memories.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cali is a big girl!

Last night we took Cali's crib out and brought the toddler bed in. She was so thrilled to get to sleep in a big girl bed last night and has done WONDERFULLY in it! We've laid her down 3 times in it now without a peep or a sound. She stays in her bed and just goes right to sleep! Hooray! I hope this lasts. . .I'm wondering when she'll figure out she can get out of her bed and start playing with toys instead:)


Here she is for the first time in her bed. She was so happy!


Aubrey and Ella were happy for her too. They kept telling her, "Wow, Cali, look at you! You're a big girl now!" They are such sweeties. Here's a picture of the three of them smooshed together in the bed. They all wanted to share the moment with her:)

And a trip down memory lane(2 years ago when the bed was still Ella's). I can't believe how quickly these kids grow! Gotta treasure every moment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gotta get these booties in shape

This is what half of our bedroom looked like Saturday afternoon. . .we purchased a Schwinn 431 elliptical at a GREAT price(Woohoo! Amazon was having a CRAZY sale on these products last week! So, Happy Anniversary to us!) These little girls decided to help their Daddy put it together.
When we're helping we're happy!
My man finishing it off. A man building stuff is just SO sexy. Well, not a man, MY MAN!
Ella organizing:) She is quite the organizational kid. Love it.Ta-da!!! When I came home from the grocery store, they surprised me with the finished product. Thank you so much girls(and Joey!)!!

We are already loving this bad boy. It is an awesome elliptical. Very smooth, very quiet, lots of programs, cup holder, place to put an ipod/mp3, a little fan & 18 inch stride. We are happy with our purchase and hoping to tone up quick! I'm thrilled to have one in my home. I flaked on the YMCA after 3 months(me=loser). It just wasn't working out for me. Mainly because I won't leave my kids with strangers, I just won't. Never have, never will. And really early mornings aren't my thang and evening workouts aren't either. I tried both-the 6am workout before Joey had to leave for work and the 8pm. Yuck. I love to workout around 8 or 9am and now I can! I can exercise whenever I want without having to worry about someone watching the kids for me, without having to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and without having to workout before I go to bed(which makes it hard for me to sleep.) Suh-weet. Wish me luck on my new endeavor! I really hope Joey and I stick with this and look totally smokin hot in a few months:)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cali, Cali, Cali

Cali is definitely a 2 year old.


This is a typical view of her eating area after she is done eating. Not sure where the chunk of styrofoam plate went. Never found that. Maybe it was ingested. And then digested.


One afternoon, she got into the winter coat closet(someone helped her with her scarf:). I guess she hasn't liked the recent 105 temps either and decided to take a journey to winter again. Oh, and spring too-I forgot she was also holding an umbrella.

Ice pop spillage that she is pointing out to me quite nonchalantly. No prob Mom. Just wipe it up for me real quick like, will ya?
Despite the "fun" that a two year old can be(she is a mischievous little booger:), its moments like this that make it all worth it. . . .



video

Saturday, July 11, 2009

An eggroll emergency?

While opening a package of eggroll wrappers yesterday, I noticed this interesting piece of information(the "P.S." at the bottom). . .


Well, lucky for us, it wasn't an emergency:) We had a good 30 minutes to kill and everything was A.O.K. No eggroll emergencies here(that still makes me laugh). . .Aubrey was my eggroll wrapper yesterday and did a fabulous job. It was fun working in the kitchen with my little girl and teaching her eggroll wrapping skillz.

We tried a new recipe from allrecipes.com: Southwest-Style Eggrolls. They turned out so yummy! I'd recommend trying this recipe!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Swimming Lessons: Check

We did it! We are done with our 2 week swim lessons session. All 3 girls took a class this summer and learned soooo much. I highly recommend putting your kids in lessons every summer. Each year they improve a TON. My girls, especially Aubrey, refused to put their faces in and were so afraid of water for years. I put them in lessons and immediately I saw improvements. They were willing to do things for their teachers and around their peers that I couldn't get them to. It was wonderful to watch them overcome fears and learn new things!

So, Aubrey has just about perfected her rotary breathing and is doing her elementary backstroke really well now. Ella went from doggy paddling and kinda swimming to full-on swimming, even on her back! And Cali will put her face in the water(sometimes! :) I am proud of each one of them! Here are pics Joey took on their last day,which was July 3, so he had the day off and was able to watch and take pics for me. Thanks babe!

Aubrey doing the backstroke


Hey Dad!
Her classFloating quite nicely

On the last day, Aubrey's class jumped off the diving board into the deep end! Way to go Aub!


Now this sequence of Ella pics is so cute. . .her class had to climb on this alligator guy across the pool.

Almost there!

And here she is swimming away. . .no fear this year! Yea!
Here are Cali and I doing the Mom & Me class. She honestly hated it half the time, but oh well, we tried. I had to have something to do with her while the other two were doing lessons! At first, she cried during class and didn't want the instructors to talk to her much less look at her. But by the end, she enjoyed it much more(thank goodness). And she did really good at blowing her little bubbles and eventually sticking part of her face in.



My awesome friend, Jennie, and her son, Benny(hey, that rhymes!) took the class too. It was fun to have someone I know there to chat it up with.

Blow those bubbles Cali girl!

Receiving her certificate and animal crackers. That made her so happy!
We survived. Now we are back to those wonderful lazy no-structure days. Life is good:)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Partytime!

Last night, a few friends and I threw a party for our awesome friend, Katie. She turned the big 29! Its her last year of her twenties(which birthday I'm approaching myself! Nooooo! :) It was a fun evening of great food, laughs & girl talk. We also watched the chick flick, "Confessions of a Shopaholic" which was really cute. Hope you enjoyed the party Katie! Thanks for always being such a wonderful friend. You are totally one of the nicest people I know. I love ya!
The clan(from left to right, top to bottom): Amanda, me, Nicole, Jennie, Katie, Sarah, Jessica & Kirsten.
How do you like my polka dot cake? I'm no pro like my sister, but I thought it was kinda cute.

Katie will love me for posting this one:)
Chillaxing after the movieThanks to everyone that came and helped make it so super fun!


Monday, July 06, 2009

9 years

And he still gives me fever. . .
Happy Anniversary Joey! I love you you sexy man you!

Pictures taken tonight after our hot date:) Shout-out to my bud Jennie for coming over so that Joey and I could go out tonight!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

July 4th

The 4th of July was just a perfect day! It started off with a red, white & blue breakfast: homemade buttermilk blueberry pancakes, strawberry syrup and whip cream(one of my favorites!). Then we took the kids to see Ice Age 3 in the early afternoon (cute movie btw), came home and ate lunch, and then we all took two hour naps....soooo nice. I think geocaching and swimming from the day before wore us out or something.:) Then we woke up and Joey bbq'd some yummy hamburgers and hotdogs. After that I did a little FHE lesson on Patriotism , which was an awesome little lesson! We will do that every year now. Thanks Mom for sending me the link! We then made brownies and decorated them like little flags (another idea I grabbed from everydayfoodstorage.net). Then we headed out with a few other couples and their kids to the city's fireworks show. It was lots of fun!



I have to say the favorite part of the day wasn't the food, the fireworks or the brownies(which I think was my second fave:) My favorite part of the day was when we were talking to the kids during the lesson about the Book of Mormon. We talked about how verses in 1 Nephi 13 correlate to Christopher Columbus and the events leading to the founding of America. Aubrey was wowed by it and said, "I didn't know it talked about that in the Book of Mormon!" and wanted to hear more. Reading those verses in the Book of Mormon increased my testimony in the Book of Mormon, in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and in the knowledge that America is the promised land, the land of the free, a blessed nation, a nation under God. I am so grateful to be an American and for the Lord's promise that He will protect this land as long as we follow His commandments. What a wonderful knowledge that is.



Here are pics(I'll spare you captions) from our fun-filled 4th!



Okay, I have to caption this...Cali and her friend Charley are getting into the candy bag. It was so funny. They practically lived next to that bag all night long:)


Oh, and this is when the fireworks started. Cali LOVED the fireworks and was in awe by them. Sorry I couldn't resist captioning! :)


Hope y'all had a wonderful holiday filled with fun, family, friends & a love of country! May God continue to bless this land.