Monday, December 29, 2008

Ella Squared

Aunt Ella was in town this weekend for Chase's farewell. He leaves for Ireland on Wednesday. Here Aunt Ella sits by Renee and holds EL at Michelle and Brad's.
Uncle Jim came, but caught a bug and stayed in bed. What a way to spend vacation. Sick in bed!

Visions of Sugar Plums

Sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

AL, IC, AJ, and RD are finally asleep after many stories and good night songs.

Don't they look like angels?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Little Christmas Eve Traditions

Tuesday - December 23rd. Andrea's husband Mike has Norwegian ancestry and the coolest Christmas tradition!

On the 23rd of December, Norwegians gather together to decorate their Christmas trees and have an open-faced sandwich making contest. Mike and Andrea's tree was already decorated, but we did have a sandwich making contest, complete with prizes.

The rules: make a sandwich and you have to eat it. If you do not eat something on your sandwich you are disqualified.

At first, I must admit I was stumped. What do you do with bread, cheese, sliced sandwich meat, pickles, sliced avocado, sliced cucumbers, sliced eggs, smoked salmon, sardines, condiments, etc.? How do you make them into edible art? Karyn is a fairly picky eater and was the most nervous about making something cool that she would also eat.

Once we had started it was a great deal of fun. Everyone made awesome sandwiches. Mike took pictures so we could vote on which sandwich we wanted for each of three categories: Silliest, Most Creative, and Prettiest.

Karyn made a silly face with a dip goatee; she won silliest. Richard (Karyn's husband) made a log cabin complete with someone standing at the door and a chimney of cheese cubes on a toothpick and won most creative. Andrea made a pretty display on her sandwich and won prettiest; her sandwich reminded me of the spread they laid out on the cruise.
Me, I made mine into a butterfly with red pepper strips outlining the wings and eggs and black olive slices and tomatoes and salmon making patterns on the wings; I used miniature pickles for antenae. And don't forget the avacado slice for its body!

Andrea may post pictures. I can't remember if Karyn or Melinda had their cameras, but I didn't have mine with me.

The kids ate what they would and mostly ran around and had a good time together. Laura sat on my lap several times to tell me made up stories about fairies. What a smart and imaginative little girl she is!

The evening was great fun! Thanks for sharing your tradition with us and hosting a great party, Andrea and Mike!

After the sandwich party, I went to Tina's and then later to Daphne's. An uber fun Merry Christmas-ing day!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Whoa!

Christmas came. Fast. Presents are all wrapped and unwrapped in a jiffy.

Thanks everyone!

Here is part of our Christmas program.

Mary, great with child. This part was not in the script. AJ came up with it on her own.

Joseph leading the donkey through Bethlehem.

Mary on the donkey during the journey.

Shepherd and angel?

Little Christmas gifts beneath the tree. (AM and EL)

AL as a rock star, after Christmas!

IC as Fancy Nancy.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a great night!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Want Candy!!!

Candy recipe links galore! Just click on the name of the CANDY and bam the recipe appears! 'Tis the season...

(Thanks Aunt Sandra and Karen W.)

2 Minute Microwave Fudge
5 Minute Fudge
7 Layer Bars
Aaron's Buttery Cashew Brittle
Almond Bark
Amanda's Peppermint Creams
Ann's Cream Nut Candy
Bavarian Inn Peanut Bars
Beth's Delicious Fudge
Brownie Fudge Dessert
Buckeyes
Buckeyes
Butter Toffee
Candied Yams
Candy Bar Brownies
Candy Cane Brittle
Candy Cane Fudge
Caramel Krispie Treats
Caramels
Carmel Corn
Carol's Christmas Treats
Chocolate Almond Bars
Chocolate Balls
Chocolate Billionaires
Chocolate Chow Mein Candy
Chocolate Covered Cherr ies
Chocolate Covered Nuts
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Nut Caramels
Chocolate Popcorn
Chocolate Silk Bon Bons
Chocolate Truffels
Christmas Candied Walnuts
Christmas Crackle Candy
Christmas Mice
Chunky Mallow Candy
Cinnamon Hard Candy
Cinnamon Popcorn
Cranb erry Nut Fudge
Cream Cheese Candy
Creamy Chocolate Truffles
Creamy Microwave Pralines (Texas Stye)
Crispy peanutbutter balls
Dark Chocolate Fudge
Deborahe's Holiday Chocolates
Disappearing Marshmallow Brownies
Dish of Dirt
Divinty
Dorothy's Peanut Butter/Butterscotch Noodle Cookie
Dreamcicle Fudge
Easy Candy
Easy Divinity
Easy Divinity Easy Divinity Candy
Easy Fudge
Easy Granola Candy
Easy Microwave Carmel
Easy Microwave Fudge
Easy Pecan Logs
English Toffee
English Toffee
English Toffee Bars
Fabulous Fudge
Fake Brittle
Fantasy Fudge
Festive Chocolate Truffles
Five Minute Fudge
Fool-Proof Fudge
Frosted Pecans
Fudge
Brownies
Fudge for One
Fudge Puddles
Georgia Nuggets
Grandma Donna's Nummies
Grandma F's Delicious Fudge
Grandmother' s Holiday Fudge
Hard Candy
Hard Tack Candy
Ho-Ho Hash
Holly Confection
Honey Comb
J & D's Peanut Butter Balls
Jeanne's Tiger Butter
Jen's Chocolate Meringues
J's Cream Fudge
Magic Marshmallow Fudge
Mama's Fudge
Maple Rum Balls
Margie's Best Candy
Martha Washington Candy
Martha Washington Mounds
Marzipan
Melting Moments
Melting Moments
Memaw's Reese's
Meme's Best Ever Peanut Butter Fudge
Meringues
Micky's Mints
Microwave Peanutbutter fudge
Microwave Pralines
Milk Fudge
Milky Way Bars
Million Dollar Fudge
Mimi's Famous Fudge
Mocha Truffles
Mom's Mints
Mr. Monroe's Famous Fudge
Mrs. Eisenhower's Fudge
Never Fail Fudge
Never Fail Fudge
No Bake Rum Balls
No Cook Peanut Butter Fudge
No Fail Fudge
Novia Scotia Treats
Nut Mallow Goodies
Nutty North Pole Fudge
Orange Balls
Orange Glazed Pecans
Out Of This World Fudge
Oven Carmel Corn
Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle (Microwave)
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Bars-An Elve's Favorite Treat
Peanut Butter Candy
Peanut Butter Candy
Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Fruit Squares
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Snowballs
Peanut Clusters (mircrowavable)
Peanut Krispies
Peanut Patties

Military Thank You (Sponsored by Xerox)

Karen W. sent me an email explaining how it works.

Choose a thank you card here, and Xerox will print and send it to a soldier currently serving in Iraq.

You can't pick out who receives it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING would it be if everyone sent at least one card?!? It is FREE and takes only seconds to select a card and message. This is a simple way for us to show the soldiers we support them and are grateful for their service.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's in a Name?

My friend Jolena posted a fun little something on her blog that I thought I would try.

A: Dead sexy
N: Can kick your butt
D: funny and sweet
R: good bf/gf
E: Freakin Beautiful eyes
A: Dead sexy

What's in your name?

A: Dead sexy
B: Loves people
C: Really easy to fall in love with
D: funny and sweet
E: Freakin Beautiful eyes
F: People wild and crazy adore you
G: Never let people tell you what to do
H: best smile
I: Loves to laugh
J: makes people laugh
K: Really silly
L: easy to fall in love with
M: makes dating fun
N: Can kick your butt
O: Has one of the best personalities ever
P: Popular with all types of people
Q: A hypocrite
R: good bf/gf
S: Lives life for fun
T: loved by everybody
U: gets blamed for everything
V: Not judgmental
W: Very broad minded
X: Never let people tell you what to do
Y: (I'm not sure what happened to Y. Maybe it means you are a mystery?)
Z: Lives life for _____ (The end of Z's phrase disappeared too!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mike - It's B-day Time!

Michael - Hope you have the best birthday ever. What a present... surgery? Hope all goes well and that you are breathing through your nose again in no time flat!

Happy Birthday to a very patient Brother-in-Law! Did I mention I might be in the neighborhood again this weekend...? lol :)

(Don't worry - I'll find a great picture later)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Hoe Down

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Got an Itch

I love the idea of t r a v e l i n g to far and different spots of the globe. Even places like Montana or Maine - because I've never been there before. There is a draw of mystery in the adventure and the great unknown.

Smarter Travel emailed some last minute travel deals to me this afternoon. Anyone up for Seattle ($138) or Guadalajara, Mexico ($450)? You can search for deals by your departure city or sign up for their email and watch for whatever the wind blows.

Fodors sent an email with top travel tips for families including ideas for Staying in the States, Big Cities, Camping, and Visiting Relatives. The tips offer to make a vacation more than a "staycation".

Sigh.

Anyone have relatives in Paris?

Friday, December 12, 2008

1 - 2 - 3 !

YEAH!

AJ turned three today! She went swimming and to the Bean Museum and had lots of fun!

Thanks for the sleepover invite. Rain check?

Somebody Is Having a Birthday!

Happy, happy Birthday nAtHaN, dear. Happy days will come to you all year. If I had one wish THEN it would BE, a hAppY, HaPpY birthday to you from me!

Hope it's a great one!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What's More to Love?

I found this darling banner at emmie cakes. Usually I prefer making things myself if that's an option. Sometimes they turn our way, and others... well, we'll just say they turn out.
Pre-made banners are $5 per circle/shape/square and $2.50 if you do the work yourself. I love the idea of a kit for a first time attempt. For St Patty's Day and another holiday, I could springboard to create my own. Now, I've just gotta block out some time.

Tagged Again!

Rules are: Anything you have done has to be in bold. How much have you done?

1. Started your own blog (Up to three now...)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
(Wii Rock Band counts, right?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (Last time was Daphne's birthday)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
(Twice! and Disneyworld Once!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a Praying Mantis
10. Sang a solo
(only in the shower, baby!)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (my Band*its are an art, right?)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (GROAN!)
17. Been to the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre
20. Slept on an train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon (No, but I went to St George to cheer for someone who did)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
(Both of my parents and my grandparents too! Someday I'll make the trip further back than that.)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
(igpay atinlay and other variations)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I try this one daily, but *sigh*.)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (I thought about it, but wasn't brave enough)
44. Visited Africa (IN MY DREAMS - Someday)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
(Dad was an EMT and sometimes picked me up from dance class in the ambulance. I thought I was sooooo stylin'!)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
(Good old Seminary Movies - "Free to Choose" extra and an independent wacky, crazy, silly Heber Creeper Adventure file)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (Teresa, Valerie and I made creatures out of some seashells and glue. We sold them in the bank parking lot in Lehi when we were young. No lemonade stand for us!)
58. Taken a martial arts class (I know karate and several other Chinese words... It was a martial arts self-defense class. Thanks, Toney!)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (I try to support them by buying and eating some, though.)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (My "All the Pretty Horses Book" for one)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Tied a quilt (Quilted a quilt or two too)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a Bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (Someday)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
(Fish. Otherwise, it would be, "Run, Bambi, run!"
88. Had chickenpox (Twice!)
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (I wasn't selected. They settled out of court.)
91. Met someone famous (I met Dan Aykroyd outside the House of Blues in Vegas.)
92. Joined a book club (Just one?)
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (What about wading? Unintentionally. While trying to ride a bike on the sand...)
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Visited Italy

And I tag anyone who’s so inclined.

Reading Prejudice

Reading this blog entry made me laugh, until I thought about it further.

How often does what I am reading, or would like to read, categorize me to an outside viewer? How often does what someone else is reading (or not reading) categorize them for me? Am I reading-prejudiced? Are they the window to the soul?

What Someone Else is Reading

Here is a blog I found with ideas of what to read, when I'm stumped and can't seem to find a good book, any recommendations, etc.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Turning Three and Jungle Jim's Playland

On Saturday afternoon, we went to Jungle Jim's Playland in Midvale to celebrate RD and AJ's third birthdays. RD turned three last week and AJ will turn three this week.

I think that the kids (and adults) had a lot of fun.



E. wouldn't ride the Jeep Safari without her mom. Go, Janette!

Erika braved the way-fast elephant ride with Zack.


More of the elephant ride.

The spaceship ride was a hit! The kids could pull down on a lever to make their ship go up and push up to go down.

Mini-tilt-a-whirl anticipation

Giant swings

RD's dirt cake. Isn't Bekah clever?

AJ's Barbie cake. Renee--what a Suh-weet cake!

Nathan, Dad, RD, and AL.

Mom and EL

Party on!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure


Choose your own adventure:
Walking, Cycling, Kayaking and Activity, Winter Walking and Cycling Tours, Guided Walking Tours, Winter Cross Country Skiing, and Most Requested.

The new 2009 Headwater’s Europe Walking and Cycling Holidays brochure is available.

Doesn't this sound fun?
How it all Works

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Joy to Everyone

Lisa sent me a video (that kept giving me errors when I tried to post it).

It's a good reminder. Follow this link to see it. (Courtesy of BYU's Fine Arts and Communications Program)

May you and yours have joy this Christmas and hereafter!

Guess Who is THREE?

RD! Happy birthday to a sweet boy!

Let's make soup again together really soon. (But, can we leave out the ice cream cone next time?)

Love you!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not Getting Any Ideas

I love this bouquet. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Norm!

Don't you just love visitors?

I found this new blog today from following a visitor's post. It has adorable stamping and card ideas.

Yesterday I received a darling homemade Christmas card in the mail from Wendy. Thank you! (If you haven't checked out her blog and paper creations, you are missing out!)


People Got Talent!

Now I just need more time to copy....

Monday, December 1, 2008

12 Gifts that Won't Break the Bank

Read original article from Bankrate.com

While many of us look at reducing holiday budgets or purchasing gifts that are more practical and affordable than those of previous years, Jennifer Melnick Carota, author of The Gift Therapist blog and the book "Shop Smart Give More" thinks that the current economic situation will not adversely affect the giving season. Carota states, "People will become more creative and frugal with their giving dollars."

In that spirit, here are 12 ways to use your ingenuity and know-how to boot the bad-economy Grinch out of your holidays and spread some serious holiday cheer.

1. Movies
2. Energy
3. Coffee
4. Food
5. Spa
6. Financial peace of mind
7. A 'new' car
8. Wealth builders
9. Home staging
10. Organize
11. Health
12. A 'new' wardrobe

May I also add inexpensive homemade footware?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What's for Dinner?

Ever loathe the weekly (or daily) grocery trips? Ever get to the grocery store and wonder what happened to your list?

Wish you could automatically generate one rather than having to plan one out? Want a monthly calendar to help you plan meals? Need new meal ideas to add to your staples?

Nicole blogged about this website and its dinner planning hints and tips. You can create your own online recipe database and share recipes. I think this sounds like a fabulous (and free) idea!

Watch the interview with KSL's Studio 5 or visit the website SimplifySupper.com. Sign me up, Scotty!

Friday, November 21, 2008

After Twilight

Mom and I went to see Twilight this afternoon. I'm still a little queasy from all the quick camera movements and sitting so near the screen.

Overall, I liked the flick. I don't know if it would have made as good of an impression if I didn't already know the storyline.

Half of my enjoyment came from the expectation of what was coming next. Part came from the "crowd" participation. It was almost like being a part of a melodrama with the cheers and boos and screams from the audience.

I'm not totally sold on Edward or Bella. I pictured both characters very differently from the movie depiction.
That said, I'm already planning to see it again. Not so close this time, please.

Any takers?

Getting in the Mood


I've been fighting it. Thanksgiving hasn't come yet! But, seeing this wreath puts me in the mood for Christmas.

Thanks, Grandin Road!

What a Surprise!

Debbie S. shared this clip with me. Thought it was HILARIOUS and had to share.



Listing

12 Tips for Giving on a Tight Budget

Braving the Tide

Another find, courtesy of Andrea! Her pen saved the day on our Park City adventure. My pen now saves me time and again. I was a skeptic, but am now a believer.
I love that pen!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yum, Gum!


Andrea shared her pack of gum last night. Pomegranate. Delightful! Thanks, Andrea!

(Disclaimer: I don't remember the pack looking like this or being a mixed flavor, but it was the only pomegranate Trident image I could find.)

Got the Touch?

Has anyone out there heard about Quantum Touch? A friend mentioned it and I wondered if anyone else had heard of it...

Rolling in the Dough

Homemade Play Dough

Ingredients:
3 c. flour
3 c. boiling water
1 1/2 c. salt
6 tsp cream of tartar
3 TBSP oil
food coloring

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil.
2. Add boiling water and mix well. You can knead dough on floured surface until no longer sticky (do not add too much flour or dough will dry out).
3. store in air tight container or ziploc bags.

Find Your Spot

I decided to take the quiz that Angie and her friend Michelle took. I suppose I was in a quizzical mood.

And the winner is...
Olympia, Washington The Evergreen CapitalSet on a magnificent peninsula in the South Puget Sound, this spot was originally called "black bear place" before being renamed after nearby mountains… Population: 222,000 Average Home Price: $225,000 Precipitation: 51" Snow: 10"

2nd Place was...
Tacoma, Washington Port City of the CascadesThis city's name comes from the Native American name for Mt. Rainier, "Tacobet," meaning Mother of the Waters... Population: 193,600 Average Home Price: $207,000 Precipitation: 39" Snow: 16"

5th Place was...
Provo-Orem, Utah Living and Learning at their BestThese twin cities in central Utah are home to some of the world's top collections of dinosaur bones… Population: 189,500 Average Home Price: $205,000 Precipitation: 12" Snow: 30"

Find your spot here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feeling the Christmas Budget Crunch?

(Warning: this post is not for the faint of heart or easily embarrassed.... It may also be a post with a limited time engagement.)

Crystal sent me an email about a nifty homemade Christmas slipper craft idea for those on a tight gift budget. It made me laugh and I wanted to share.

These bedroom slippers are soft and hygienic, equipped with potentially non-slip grip strips on the soles, fresh (optional built in deodorant feature), convenient (no more bending over to mop up spills), completely disposable, biodegradable, and environmentally safe.

They come in three convenient sizes: (1.) Regular, (2.) Light and (3.) Get out the Sand Bags.

Materials (per pair):
Four maxi pads
Decorations (optional)

Instructions:
Lay two maxi pads out flat (for the foot part). Wrap a second one around each flat pad to form the toe area/top. Tape or glue each side of the top pieces to the bottom foot part. Decorate the tops with whatever you desire, silk flowers, buttons, ribbons, etc.