Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Can you even believe it?!! I did a Try-It-Tuesday post! Hooray!

Today we're going to make "Red, White, and Blues". A tasty treat, just in time for your Fourth of July bash!

Start with your melted (or mostly melted if you're impatient like me) butter, and sugars. Cream them together then add the eggs.

Let it mix for a few minutes. It gets all fluffy and pretty. Add the flour, soda, and salt.

And now for the "red, white, & blue". Dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and dried blueberries. Sounds like and interesting combo, but trust me, it works.

Pour 'em right in. And you certainly don't have to plate them all gorgeous-like before hand. But it does look like a little flag falling into your cookies if you do. (Cheap thrills, I know.)

Mmmmm....see all the patriotic bits of goodness in there? Delish I tell ya, delish!

Red, White, & Blues

1 1/2 c melted butter (real, salted butter)
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
Cream together then add:
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix until light and fluffy.
4 c. flour (this is a fairly soft dough, but if it seems really wet, add a little more.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Mix together then add:
1 package white chocolate chips
1/2 package dried blueberries (add more berries if you like)
1/2 package dried cranberries

Bake at 325 degrees for 12-14 minutes, let cool on pan before removing. (Helps keep them soft.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gregg Manwaring Reunion 2009

We had a great time and after an initial hail storm from well...hell, (I crack myself up) we had beautiful weather. No one got majorly injured and that's always a success. We saw a record number of animals, including bison, a big horn sheep, several foxes (one that came right up to our picnic table), a grizzly and her cub (so cool), coyote, mice, deer, elk, all types of birds, and even a snake. Hooray for a successful 2009 reunion!

The Murdoch boys were kind enough to teach Alyssa and Carter how to fish. Justin, Jarom's brother, came along too and promptly fell into the creek. (Okay, he was trying to jump and his foot slipped.) I think getting wet is one of Justin's talents. Oh man, it was so funny!

While I was turned laughing at poor Justin's expense, I failed to realize that Alyssa heard the splash and had a panic attack. She took off running, full speed through the marshy meadow and managed to lose both her shoes. (Losing shoes is Alyssa's special talent.) I tried not to laugh at her, but I just couldn't help it. She was in tears from shoe loss and an adrenalin rush and I was in tears from laughing so hard. We searched and searched, but never did manage to find one of the shoes. If you ever go to Yellowstone and see a pink Croc floating down the stream, think of Alyssa.

Blake and Missy

Katie and Izzy

The Ward's, Justin, and Ellie

The kids in front of the Roosevelt Arch. The original entrance to Yellowstone.

The kids at Artist Point of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.

Driving and sight seeing in Yellowstone is exhausting. You have to catch a nap wherever you can. And if it happens to be on top of your brother, so be it.

The falls on Firehole River. You can't tell from the picture very well, but this is right on the edge of a cliff. It was a little nerve wracking with all those little kids running around, but thankfully everyone stayed safe. (And no one got bit by the chipmunk that would climb right into their hands. But we won't talk about that....)

When Blake and Missy took their tent down, they discovered a mama mouse had made a buffalo fur nest and delivered about a dozen baby mice right underneath them. (That little pink spot on the left is one of the babies.) I think Missy was a little grossed out by it.

But the kids couldn't get enough of looking at the pile of pink babies. With the tent gone, I was afraid someone would accidentally step on the nest, and that would have made me throw up. So we made a nice little shelter out of logs and branches.

I couldn't help but smile at Kate trying to take Truman by the hand. Usually she's taking everything away from him, not helping him. So this little scene was too cute.

The kids in the Old Faithful Lodge.

And now, the view of the parents on the other side of the lodge.

The fam waiting for Old Faithful to go off.

I've seen Old Faithful blow more times than I can count. I somewhat take it for granted. I decided this time that I ought to get a picture of it going off for my book.

We had a little excitement on the way home. We were playing a VERY competitive game of "ABC's" (which I won, but I won't brag about it) and we got so into it, we forgot to get off at an exit to get gas. So yah...we ran out, but luckily were able to coast within a 1/4 of a mile of a gas station.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Things of Interest

Here are a few note worthy events from this week in my life.

  • My poor dad had knee surgery and is begging for his pain pills. I Don't envy him at all. He fell on the ditch bank while changing water and tore his knee all up. He says he'd rather have a story about jumping on a runaway horse and transferring to another one at full speed and thus injuring himself. He thinks it sounds better than an old man falling. We sure hope he's feeling better soon and that he'll be back to his old water-changing-self in no time.

  • We had the 8th annual Gregg Manwaring Family Reunion in Yellowstone this year. (Pictures to come soon.)

  • We finally saw the sun and some warm temps so we pulled the pool back out. I was in the house listening to shouts and screams of delight from the kids. I thought, "Boy, they're sure having fun. They've missed this nice weather." When I looked out, I saw that they had emptied the pool, put in on the tramp, and refilled it. The poor tramp was sagging so bad I though it would bust. (I should have clicked a picture, but I didn't.) No wonder they were having such a great time. I made them empty it and then squirted them all with the hose. (They hid under the empty pool and thought it was the funniest thing ever.) Nothing like squirting the kids with a hose to relieve some stress. HA!

  • The girls started tennis lessons and love it.

  • We've gone from shivering in coats and blankets at a t-ball game, to sweltering to death and needing to hide under the umbrella for shade all in a week's time.

  • And last but certainly not least, the world lost Michael Jackson. Whatever will we do? Actually, I've always felt sorry for the poor man. He seemed very lonely and sad to me. He's just about the only thing on the t.v. and my kids are very curious about this legend that they don't have a clue about.
  • Halle says, "Why did he change his looks? He's so ugly. He looked best when he was normal." (If only the man would have known that himself.)
    And Kate refuses to believe that he's male. She keeps saying, "Is hims a girl?" She's so confused. Don't worry honey, I think we all are a little confused.

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009


    Remember how I said (last month) Jarom would get his own personal header for Father's Day?

    Remember how I used to blog daily?

    Remember how I used to visit you all daily?

    Remember when school was still in session?


    Do you all still remember me?

    I promise I'll post something new soon, don't give up on me quite yet.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Back Yard Birds

    Jarom surprised us all with a bird feeder so that we could use our scope and check out the birdies. I think the kids took about 100 pictures but we were able to narrow them down to a few of our favorites to share. They would get SO excited every time a bird would land on the feeder. They sat watching for a couple of hours. (Except Kate kept going out and scaring them away. She just wanted to hold one.)

    The camera focused on the tripod and scope, but if you look past it you can see the little bird feeder. This is the view the camera gets without the scope.

    And here's with. Look how you can even see the cute little birdie feet.

    And here's one that I thought was really cool. The zoom was off so the camera caught the inside of the scope, but I like how it frames the bird.

    The birds wasted no time emptying the feeder. The seed was gone in just over 24 hours. Time to fill it again, I think.

    I'm a Real Runner (hardy-har-har)

    Warning: Graphic picture with blood below. If you don't like blood, don't look. (It's really not that bad, but I thought I'd warn you none-the-less.)

    As some of you may or may not know, I have been trying my hand (or legs) at running. My first goal is a 5K, and coming from somebody who can't even run a full mile without stopping, this is a lofty goal. I'm not going to lie, it has NOT been easy and I'm still not at my goal. But I am improving, slowly, and this is a good thing.

    I hear (and see pics on facebook) tales of my runner friends. Blisters and lost toenails from marathons. I'm not so sure I'm made of that kind of material. I've been suffering from some pretty bad shin splints and its all I can do to limp my pathetic little 2 mile walk/jog home. (Some new shoes and shin exercises are helping with that though.)

    Anyway, today, I got my first real "running battle wound" and now can say, "I'm a REAL runner!" This must be said w/Pinocchio's voice from Shrek. Okay not really, but it sure sounds good, and I did finish the run while bleeding to death. (Alright....I wasn't bleeding to death...but I was bleeding.)

    Anywho...my oh-so-adorable-son, whom I love so much, but am DONE exercising with, ran me over with his bike. My knee jerk reaction to scream "Ouch, you dummy! Watch what you're doing!", I'm sure sounded oh so grown up to the landscaping crew that witnessed the whole scene. (And no, I don't call my kids dummies, it just flew out of my mouth from nowhere.)

    Poor kid felt really bad as soon as he saw the blood. "Mommy, I'll get you a bandaid when we get home." Honestly, it didn't hurt all that bad, stung a little, but yep, I'm a "real" runner now!

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    Cake, Music, Friends, and Storms

    Get the driving treats ready; we're going on a road trip! There's a party going down in Boise and I plan to be there. And be sure to call a bloggy friend that you've never talked to in person before. Sure helps the time pass more quickly. (SOOO fun to talk to WishTrish in person!! Such a cute little voice she has.)

    First stop ,Miki's! She was so sweet to house Kate and I and even got a babysitter for the evening. Kate and Camille (and Megan, not pictured) had fun playing house and squealing at make believe monsters. I was so happy that Kate had fun. She's picky with who she is willing to play with, but she really enjoyed her new "best fwinds". (And I enjoyed being with my dear friend Miki!)

    Now....on to the party! Jennifer turned 34 and threw the party of all parties.
    There was entertainment. And Jennifer even danced for the crowd.

    There was dancing and a live band. (I'm so surprised the cops didn't show up. It was so loud! LOL!)

    There was even cake (with YUMMY frosting which Jennifer needs to post the recipe of, ahem)!

    And best of all there were friends. So fun for me to meet Queenie (on the right) for the first time. We hit it off like old friends, not skipping a beat. Sure wish blogs could portray laughter because there was lots with Queenie and her laugh is something everyone should hear!

    And just like that, our time was over and we had to head back home. Such a long drive for WAY too short of a time with friends.

    Now...cue music. Yep, go hit play on my playlist. Go ahead, I'll wait.

    Did you do it?
    Are you listening to that creepy song?
    Let the words start, they're even creepier.
    Yeah...that was the song that played just as I saw THIS up ahead.

    Tell me that wasn't a little ominous? I totally freaked myself out. LOL! But we made it safe and sound (albeit a little slower than normal) and I'm all ready to do it all again! But not while listening to scary music, driving through scary weather.

    Thanks everyone for SUCH a fun weekend!

    Thursday, June 11, 2009


    Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE t-ball? I LOVE t-ball!

    And I adore my son!

    Pictures curtesy of Carter's coach.

    Tuesday, June 09, 2009

    Koolaid! Get your Koolaid!

    I am a country girl. Raised on a wheat, sod, and tree farm. Speed limit 50 mph on the road in front of my house. You DON'T have lemonade stands on 50 mph roads. I don't think I ever sold lemonade as a kid. Plus there were no neighbors really to sale to. So in my mind, lemonade sales don't work, are a flop, and you just shouldn't do them. My born-and-raised-in-a-neighborhood-kids disagree.

    They beg EVERY summer to have a lemonade stand. And the answer from me is always "no". I just can't stand the thought of them getting their hearts broken when no one buys their lemonade.

    Today the begging was so incessant that I finally said "yes", and silently thought to myself, "Fine, go learn you lesson." I told them to go get their chairs and things set up and then I would come and make a pitcher of Koolaid for them.

    Before I even had time to come downstairs, they came running in the house yelling, "Hurry Mom! We've got three customers waiting!" HUH?? Customers? Good night, I guess someone learned a lesson and it wasn't my kids.

    Really it was so adorable. Three grown teenage kids stopped and dug through their pockets for quarters. Several other little neighborhood kids stopped in. A couple from church drove by and stopped. Carter drummed up his own business by telling the next door neighbors to come buy (we had to have a little etiquette talk about that one). The lawn mowers across the street even bought a few glasses.

    All in all, they made $5.25 in about an hour. They were on cloud nine. And I was pleasantly pleased with their success.

    Summer Fun

    Popsicles, flip flops, capris, Drive-In movies, thunderstorms, star gazing, sleeping in, camping, warm days and cool nights.

    These are all things I love in the summer time. What do you love?

    Also, I don't have a new recipe to post for T-I-T today, but I do have a couple I've tried in the last little while. Both of these recipes are worth mentioning.
    Allisyn's Artichoke Chicken

    Wendy's Glazed Pork

    Monday, June 08, 2009

    Water Party

    Well, as you can see I survived the water party. It was actually a lot of fun, but about an hour too long. I had originally agreed to 2 hours, but my girls complained and I caved. Never again. Three hours is just too much; the kids get bored and start fighting with each other. Two hours max from now on.

    We lucked out with the weather. I kid you not, this was the only nice 4 hour block we've had all week. And not only nice, but absolutely perfect for a water party.

    We ate ice cream sundaes (each kid brought a favorite topping) played a lot of water games, splashed in the pool, and popped about 400 water balloons. I seriously thought my fingers were going to fall off from tying so many. I eventually just had to stop, much to the dismay of the party goers.
    The water party attendees.

    The girls thought it would be awesome to put the slip-n-slide at the bottom of the real slide. Yah....it didn't work so well. We ended up moving the slip-n-slide and playing on it like it was supposed to be played on.

    Lots of squealing and laughing at Hot Potato (water balloon style). If you got caught with the balloon, you had to sit on it and pop it. They loved this.

    A rousing game of freeze dance.

    Popping water balloons on the tramp was a riot.
    We also played several water relay games and blind man's bluff. Several kids fell in the pool with that one. Probably not so smart to blind fold the kids around a pool. LOL! But they loved it.

    Mmmmm.... water balloon shrapnel and grass clippings. Come on in, the water is fine. :)

    Sunday, June 07, 2009

    12 Years of Wedded Bliss

    Today marks our 12 year anniversary. We kept things simple and low key this year. Just dinner and a movie (Angels & Demons) and a trip to Wal*Mart. (Because every good date must end with a trip to Wal*Mart.) Alyssa babysat for us and even made Ramen Noodles all by herself for dinner for the kids. Having a big kid is GREAT! (Although I just went and watched my slide show from last year and teared up at seeing Alyssa little.) Man time goes fast!

    The weather here has been something else. Crazy storms every night. And serious storms with hail and lightening and swirly clouds. I told Jarom today, "I'm sure glad my wedding isn't really this weekend because I'd be TICKED with this weather!" (And I would have too. Thank goodness we enjoyed a beautiful day for our own wedding.)

    Happy Anniversary to myself and my dear Jarom. And now, I'm off to enjoy a slice of cheesecake with my very best friend. I love you Jarom!

    Friday, June 05, 2009

    Happy Birthday Mom!

    Happy Birthday to you!

    Happy Birthday to you!

    Happy Birthday dear Moooooommmm!

    Happy Birthday to you!