Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Julie!

It's my dear friend Julie's birthday AND anniversary today. I just wanted to send a little shout out to her and tell her how much I appreciate her friendship. I hope you have a very happy day!!!

Happy Birthday Natalie!

Happy Birthday to my littlest sister-in-law Natalie! In my mind she is still supposed to be 10, but now my own daughter is about that age. Natalie has grown into a beautiful woman, and she wears the MOST killer shoes I've ever seen. Hope you have a great day Natty! Natalie snoozing after a swim, in her Vera Bradley towel. WOO-WOO!

Natalie in 2006 at the Holley Manwaring reunion.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

1st night in the basement

Alyssa, Halle, and Bailey decided that they wanted to try out sleeping in the basement. I assumed they were going to sleep in either of the bedrooms or maybe in the family room, but when I went down to check on them they were asleep on the HARD stage. Silly kids!

Happy Birthday Micah!

Baby Micah turns ONE today!! He is just the cutest little thing. I could just pinch him. He's adorable toddling around and we just love to look at him. Glad you joined the family one year ago little Micah. Hope your mom and dad and brothers treat you right today!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

All I want for Christmas is my ONE front tooth.

Halle's loose tooth FINALLY came out today. She came home from school and the thing was dangling from her mouth. I asked her if I could try to pull it. She said yes, as long as I stopped when she said it hurt. So, I QUICKLY yanked and when she said ouch, it was already out.

I know this picture is blurry, but I think it is so cute of her. I just wish I knew what I was doing with a camera. I need some serious lessons, or maybe a better camera, or maybe both! :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Little Boys!

Last night after Carter had gone to bed, he stumbled into my room. He clearly wasn't awake because he said to me, "Red's not my favorite color." I told him to go potty and get back in bed. He told me that he had already gone potty and then he turned around to go back to his room. I figured that he had probably gone to the hallway bathroom and didn't think much more of it (he's not a bed wetter, THANKFULLY).

I followed him in to tuck him back in his blankets and stepped on a wet floor next to his bed. I reached down to verify what I already knew, sure enough, he had peed on his floor. In his sleep I am assuming. Not only did he pee on the floor, but apparently he thought he was in the bathroom because he stood and aimed at his bed. Little boy pee, doesn't just run down their leg onto the floor, oh no, it shoots clear under the queen size bed. You should have seen me army crawling with a towel, trying to mop up the mess. I think I'll take little girl accidents any day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gingerbread houses

I decided that it would be fun to let the kids make gingerbread houses tonight. I also had a brilliant plan to make them each their own out of cheap graham crackers. Well after about 35 broken graham crackers and still not even one complete house, I broke down and made a run to Michael's to get kits. (MUCH easier!)

I let the girls each have their own and Carter and I shared one. Kate just ran around eating candy and spilling things like a little banshee.

Carter was such a good sport to share with me and was really quite creative when I would ask him what kind of candy he wanted to use.

The finished masterpieces. From left to right, Mine and Carter's, Alyssa's, and Halle's. I am really impressed with the way they all turned out. It's fun to see each of their personalities in the houses. Now I am off to clean up royal icing that is EVERYWHERE the eye can see.


The holiday season always makes me think about traditions, as I am sure it does everybody. My sister-in-law Kaylin was talking about how her family eats homemade noodles in chicken/turkey broth on top of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. My family also eats noodles and potatoes (although not at Thanksgiving) and I have NEVER met anyone else who does so. I was so excited to learn that Kaylin's family shares in this tradition. So, I thought it might be fun to do a tag about our traditions. Here are a few of mine and I hope everyone will share some of theirs. I love hearing about other families' traditions!

1. Every year since I was born, my mom has given me an ornament for Christmas. She started me on the Frosty Friends series and they are still going strong. I have so many cute Eskimos and it makes my tree complete each year. I also follow this tradition and give each of my kids an ornament. We haven't found a series for any of them so we give them something that has to do with the previous year. For example, Halle got a little karate ornament last year because she took karate. I think finding the perfect ornament is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I also collect an ornament from every trip we go on. This has been a challenge in some places such as Singapore, but we still found something. I absolutely LOVE to get out my travel ornaments and remember the trip.

2. Sunday dinner is a big deal at our house. It's usually the best meal of the week where we can sit together as a family and talk and eat longer than on a busy weekday. A traditional Sunday meal for me is roast beef with potatoes and gravy, rolls, corn, salad, jello and if we're lucky, chocolate cake for dessert.

3. Every December we like to get a hotel in Salt Lake and tour the temple grounds to see the Christmas lights. My parents did this with us when I was kid and we always stayed in the Marriott that was connected to the mall. The mall is no longer there, so it's kind of sad to me, but I still enjoy Salt Lake at Christmas time.

4. Biscuits and Gravy has been a staple meal for me since I was tiny. My mom would make homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy from bacon drippings. (A little different than the Northern version of sausage gravy.) This is a favorite meal for my kids too. Looks like the tradition will continue.

5. Jarom's family has many fun traditions too and I don't want to steal from what Becky or Emily might say, but I thought I would post one of my favorites. Each Christmas season they hold a progressive dinner. They go to each family's house and have one course of the meal. Last year we started in Pocatello for drinks and appetizers and drove all the way to Rexburg to end with dessert. It takes about 5 or 6 hours, but it's really fun and a great way to ensure that we get to see each home decorated for the holidays.

These are just a few of my traditions. I sure hope each of you will share yours. Here's to a tradition filled, wonderful holiday!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blue and Red

Seriously, I don't even know what to say about this picture, other than, na-na-na-na-naaaa-naaa!! :)

Kate's 2nd birthday!

Happy Birthday (a week late) to my little 2 year old! My how time flies. It's crazy to look back at last November (which feels like just yesterday) and see how much Kate has grown.

I just LOVE those little chubby cheeks. I just want to kiss her face off. But she's such a snot, she won't let anyone kiss her.

It was so fun to get to have Quin and Natalie here for a birthday celebration. Thanks for coming!

Present time! She got some cute things including, dress-ups, pretend make-up, and a new warm blanky.

Ooooh, pretty girl!

Blow out the candles! Kate was adorable when it came time to blow her candles out. She sat patiently while we sang Happy Birthday to her and then right on cue when we finished, she sat up and blew the candles out. She's seen enough of these things to know how it works.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I didn't get my camera out a lot this weekend. I hate it when I do that. I'll have to see if I can borrow some pictures from my father-in-law. I have had a really nice, relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. It started out on Wednesday when the Utah cousins (Murdochs and Hollingsworths) showed up. The kids were getting a little wild and needed to blow off some energy, so we found an empty church house(in the gym), bought some dollar store balls, and played a SERIOUS game of dodge ball. We had kids and adults crying all over the place. (No serious injuries, just some good ol' fashion fun.)

After the kids were sufficiently tired and in bed, Becky, Elise and I met up for some desserts at TGI-Fridays. We had such a great time talking and laughing and and laughing some more. I told Jarom when I left that I thought I would only be about an hour. I left at 9 pm and didn't get home until 1am. The restaurant even closed around us, so we ended up sitting in the car and chatting. It is always so great to get together with good friends.

(not our dinner, but looks just a pretty)

Thursday we had a delicious dinner complete with all the trimmings at Jarom's folks house. (This is where I need to steal pictures.) We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, homemade rolls, stuffing, jello salads, green bean casserole, corn, cranberry relish, relish trays, and an assortment of pies and candy. good! I love Thanksgiving dinner; definitely one of my favorites.

AND What is Thanksgiving without going shopping on black Friday? Actually I looked at all the ads (one of favorite traditions on Thanksgiving day) and really didn't see anything I wanted to stand in line and fight the crowds for. So I decided I wasn't going to go this year. Then all the talk about eating out for breakfast without kids or men enticed me too much and I caved in. I seriously didn't think I was going to buy anything. But.......
Yeah, I found a few things. I am looking for coordinating outfits to wear for our family pictures and as I was searching I found sweaters for $7, and pants for $11 and they were just too good to pass up. Plus I bought everything I might possibly want to wear in the pictures and then when I make my decision, I'll take some of the other stuff back. Anyway, it was a good time, as it always is and ended with yummy breakfast. (The one time a year I am up early enough to eat out for breakfast.)

This evening we took all the girls (and Carter) to see Enchanted. SUCH a CUTE movie. Two thumbs up for me. FINALLY a normal Disney movie that is just sweet and innocent and not sassy and attitude filled. The new movies lately drive me nuts. I just want something with lots of cute singable songs where the animals sing and dance too. And this is the show. (Really great!)

Tomorrow we get to look forward to BYU stomping the UTES and celebrating Kate's 2nd birthday. More fun and food, always a good thing in my book. Everyone is welcome to join us for cake and icecream at 6:30 pm at our house for little Kate-Kate's party. (And I do mean everyone. Elise we'd love to have you if you're still in town.)

And now we're on to Christmas!!!! Let the shopping begin!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks For...

These are the things I am grateful for and listed daily throughout November 2007.

My basement
BYU football, (only if they win though, otherwise it makes for grumpy men)
Food, family, friends, and relaxation that comes with this holiday season
The feeling I get when there is snow on the ground and Christmas music on the radio
My warm beautiful home
Hugs and kisses
Beautiful music
Good books
Helpful grandparents
Wonderful teachers
My senses, and all of them work
My computer and blogging buddies
Hot running water on demand and flushing toilets, aka indoor plumbing
Food at my every whim; NEVER having gone hungry
Friends old and new
My soft, warm, cozy bed
Living near family
Bedtime when all is quiet
Modern medicine
The opportunity to have seen as much of the world as I have
An extra hour this weekend (Standard Time)
My Spotbot carpet cleaner
A happy marriage to the love of my life
Healthy children

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Halle's solo

Halle's class did a play this week. It was soooo cute. It was all about Life Cycles and the kids were hilarious and so well prepared. (All her teacher's doing.) Anyway, Halle was a cocoon and this is her solo.(Each kid had a solo, and they each did great.) I missed the very beginning line where she said, "I don't want to grow up." I was really proud of her. She sang on pitch and was nice and loud.

THe very end that got cut off said, "The chrysalis stage now."

Baked Potato Soup

So, I thought I would share a really yummy soup recipe I made this week. It has become one of my new favorites and is perfect for a cold wintry day.

6 medium Russet Potatoes cubed
1 large onion chopped
3 cans chicken broth with roasted garlic (I couldn't find this, so I used 1 can with roasted veggies and 2 cans regular.)
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. pepper

Put above ingredients in crock pot and cook until potatoes are tender. (I just did it on the stove because I didn't have all day.) Mash potatoes until soup is slightly thickened then add:

1 cup Half and Half
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (I used medium.)
3 T chives (I used a little less.)

Stir and serve with sour cream, crumbled bacon, and more grated cheese.

Seriously DELISH!! (And no, it's not even close to fat free.) Hope you enjoy.

Happy Birthday Kaylin!

Yep, that's right, another birthday in our family. Today is my sister-in-law Kaylin's birthday. Kaylin is such a soft spoken, easy going person. We are so thankful to have her in our family.

Happy Birthday and I hope it's a great one!

Kaylin at her baby shower BEFORE my adorable nephew Eli was here.

Kaylin, Eli, and Ben at Eli's blessing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We're getting closer!!!

We've been working hard finishing the basement. Over the weekend we had a "paint party" and had so much help from everyone. THANK YOU!!!! Today the flooring came, they'll finish up tomorrow.

Don't mind all the mess, just look at the carpet on the floor and the painted walls!! It's so much fun to see it coming together. The carpet turned out a little darker than we had wanted, it's so hard to envision carpet from a 3x5 square. But, we still love it! We just like to have something soft and warm to walk on.

Here's the stage with the hardwood (well fake stuff). I just LOVE my stage, it's my favorite part of the basement.

This is Alyssa's room. (Don't mind the painter's tape. We're still doing touch ups.) Jarom says it's so bright he's afraid Alyssa is going to have seizures in the night. It really is Hubba-Bubba pink, but Alyssa is in love with it. (The ceiling is white, but the flash glared the pink on to it.) I am going to try to find a way to tone it down a little. Suggestions?

They still need to carpet my stairs and Halle's room . I'll post pictures of those when they are done. Then, the electrician will come and hang all the lights and then we need to make shelves for the closets. And then it will be move in time!! (The bathroom vanity is postponed for now.)

My little artist.

Halle is my little artist. She's always crafting, gluing, or drawing something. And she insists on decorating the walls with holiday appropriate art. So here are a couple of her Thanksgiving ones that I think are so darling.

The Mayflower

Pilgrim woman in a garden.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Kate!

Today my baby turns 2!!! Can you even believe it?! It is CRAZY to me that I had her two years ago. (Although I can't imagine life without her.) We aren't celebrating her birthday today. We are waiting until next week so Uncle Quin and Aunt Natalie can attend. (I'll only be able to get away with postponing her birthday a few times, so I need to take advantage while I can.) I love me sweet little baby. (Even if Jarom says she's only sweet to me.) She is a spunky little opinionated thing, and a BIG TIME Mama's girl. I just love her to death!!!

I love this picture because it is so her with markers drawn all over her, her being silly in her clothes, and her cute little baby picture behind her.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Anna!

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday! She has had 2 grandchildren due on her birthday and 2 others due with-in a week of it, but non have ever come on her birthday. (Kate came close with only a day behind.) We are so thankful for a fun grandma. Every time we visit she has something special planned for the kids to do. We hope you have a very happy birthday and we'll see you tonight at your party!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The party!

Halle won a party at the craft store Michaels. The kids all got to paint little treasure boxes and played a few games. They even sang "Happy Birthday" to her over the intercom. It was the easiest party I have ever thrown. I just got to sit there and watch while the employees handled everything (even clean up!). Thanks to my sister-in-law Deidra for entering Halle's name into the birthday party drawing that allowed us to have the free party!

The whole artistic crew with their lovely hand tattoos. A really nice guy would try to draw whatever the girls wanted with markers on their hands. (Why do kids LOVE to draw on themselves?)

A fun little game where they all ended up sitting on each other's laps.

Halle wanted a cake "with a kid drawing 'Starry Night' (by Van Gogh)." Uh, okay. So I thought and thought about how in the world I would do that, and finally I found the artist Barbie set and used it as a cake topper. I had planned to tape a picture of Starry Night on the easel, but as soon as Halle found out that she could stick stickers on it herself, she was completely satisfied.
What a great birthday Halle had. She got so many neat gifts from everyone and has just had more fun tonight. She hardly ever stays up past 10, but tonight I had to drag her away from all the toys/crafts/computer games to send her to bed. What a cute kid I have!

Mrs Ball and Halle

Today is also Halle's teacher's, Mrs Ball, birthday. I find it so ironic that they share a birthday. This is truly a match made in heaven! This woman is the the very best of the best. I am so grateful Halle got to have her for a teacher and gets to keep her for 2 more years. The room moms and I did a little birthday party for Mrs Ball and Halle. Mrs Ball said that she has taught school for 20 some-odd years and Halle is the first student that has ever shared her birthday. (And Rachel, she just doesn't have enough good to say about you!)

Happy Birthday Halle!

Today my little sweetie Halle turns 7!! She still seems so little to me, but she is a great big grown up kid. I love my little spitfire child. She always makes us laugh with the funny things she says. She has such a sensative little spirit too. Our family just wouldn't be complete without our pretty little Halle Loo!! I love you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's in your purse?

Jennifer tagged me to take a picture of what's in my purse. No cleaning allowed, just dump and take the picture. And since I had just cleaned it out about a week ago I thought, "Why not? Although it will probably be boring." But to my surprise when I dumped it, I found an ice cream scoop. Yes that's right, an ice cream scoop. Don't you always carry one?

Thank goodness I had cleaned last week or the pile of papers and receipts would have been about 3x's as big and there would have been half eaten crackers, fruit snacks, etc. So as you can see, I carry lotion, Dramamine, keys, wallet, lip balm, band aids, feminine products, coin purse, card carrier, receipts, and paint swatches. Missing but normally there is also Excedrin (my drug of choice), my cell phone, my camera which I was using, and anti-bac gel.

This is from the back pocket of my purse. Blistex, 3 all but empty flavors of gum, an extra camera battery, more gum, and cover up recently added due to my eye brow incident.

By the way, the ice cream scoop was left over from our ice cream party we had at church on Sunday, but I had totally forgotten it was in my purse. It's amazing what can hide in there!

Now, I am tagging Elise (becuase I know she'll do this) and Emily (because she needs to update). :) P.S. I am ALSO tagging Becky!!!

Happy Birthday Samantha!

Today is my niece Sami's birthday. She is 10 years old today!!!! Sami is a sweeetheart, peacemaker, caretaker and we just love having her around. As much as Alyssa loves to see Sami, Carter is almost more excited. Sami is always willing to cart him around or play ball with him. Happy Birthday Sami! We hope it's a great one!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mystery solved!

So we found Alyssa's pillow!! Hooray! And Lee Ann, you are the WINNER!!! It was in my trailer. I seriously don't think I would have thought to look there without your suggestion. Thanks a million!!

Carter's letter to Ogden.

I just overheard Carter pretending to write a letter to Ogden. It said,

"Happy birthday Ogden. You are the sweetest present opener. You are learning to try your best."

And to hear Carter saying each word like he was writing them, it was all I could do not to roll on the floor laughing!!!

Happy Birthday Zane!

Today is my friend Jennifer's little boy's birthday. And since she was so nice to post a birthday wish to Alyssa, I thought I would do the same for Zane.

And since I missed Ethan's (one of my mental block birthdays) I thought I'd add a quick Happy Late Birthday to him as well!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

More Elena-isms

Elise tagged me to do more isms about myself. So here goes:

1. I love animals and when I get a pet, I keep it for the duration of its' life. I am fully committed. (Much to the chagrin of my husband. But he puts up with me.)

2. I am a lover of people. I don't mean just people watching, which I do enjoy. (Especially at the fair; people come out of the wood-work there!) I truly love most people. It is easier for me to find the good in someone than it is for me to find the bad. (Don't get me wrong, I can still find negative things, I'm not perfect.) I even feel sorry for crazy murderer people if I see them give interviews on t.v. and I hear their side of the story. I could NEVER be a prosecuting attorney, I'd lose every case.

3. I am addicted to chocolate and sugar. The ONLY times I can make myself stay away from the stuff is when I am pregnant and have gestational diabetes. I guess worrying about my child's life is a lot more motivating than worry about getting my own self healthy.

4. I have a pretty good memory. I am not talking about remembering what's on my calendar. (My babies took all those brain cells.) I am talking about memories of people from my past. If I knew you at all when I was younger, I still remember you. No matter how little our relationship was. I can also dial a phone number once and have it in my head for forever. And I consider myself pretty good at remembering birthdays, however there are a few that I just have mental blocks on!

5. I have to sleep with one leg hanging out of the blankets. I also HAVE to have my pillow. I take it anywhere I go. (Except on my big trips, I am too afraid I'd lose it.) I've had this particular pillow for 14 years and the one before that I had since I was a baby. Jarom tells me this not something to brag about. But I LOVE my pillow. It's made of squishy foam and the exact firmness is hard to find. I actually lay on the pillow in the store before I buy it. Crazy, I know.

6. I don't believe in letting kids cry themselves to sleep and I do believe in a family bed. Hence the reason we had to finally give in and buy a king size bed. As much as I complain about Carter not sleeping in his own bed, I really quite like to cuddle up to him and my other kids during the night. I know they won't be around for forever and the time seems to keep moving faster and faster.

Now, I am supposed to tag more people, but I don't know how you all feel about being tagged. So if you want to do this I would love to read more about you. (Please, please!) And thanks to Elise; I kind of like these silly things.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Ogden!

Happy Birthday to the toughest kid ever built! We love our fiesty, sweet little Ogden. He's always good for a laugh. We hope you have a very happy birthday and we hope you get some motorcycles!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cheering for BYU!

We watched the BYU football game at our house tonight. The girls were our cheerleaders. Bailey and Alyssa made do with swimsuits and skirts as cheerleading outfits.

Halle is the lucky one who actually owns a BYU cheerleading outfit. Although, it's starting to get to small, but she's really cute in it.

And not to be left out, Kate got pretty in Halle's dance costume. She thinks the devil horns are headbands and wears them all the time. She also insisted on the Tinkerbell wings. Is she not the cutest thing!!???