Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Family Bathtime

So, we've been in Maryland for the past week for a very long overdue family reunion, and what picture do I get? Cousin bathtime...

Thanks Henry for being modest!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ten Down...An Eternity To Go

Yes, it's true. Rick and I have been married for ten years today. We're even spending this event the same way it started...in Maryland with my family. Granted, this is not how we dreamed our ten year party would turn out, it just kinda happened that way. Anyway, during these past ten years we've...
1. Had three beautiful children - Richard Aren, Lily Katharine, and Tatiana Claire.

2. Watched one of those children be released from a life full of pain and hardship, to the loving arms of her Father in Heaven.

3. Watched another child be released from that same pain and hardship because of a bone marrow transplant.

4. Watched a third child come into this world as healthy and happy as a child should be.

5. Stood by eachother as Rick completed a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, while working full time.

6. Survived living with Rick's parents.

7. Survived living with my parents.

8. Never declared bankruptcy...we've come close, but not yet!

9. Finally spent more time together than apart...thanks Rick for getting out of the Guard!

10. Continued to love eachother despite everything that has been thrown at us.

I love you Rick, and everything we've done together has made me happier than I thought possible...now don't screw it up.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Who Needs Nail Polish?

Yesterday after all the kids had gone home but before the mess had been picked up, this is what we found. If you can't figure it out, this is Tatiana using a birthday candle, dipping it in frosting, then painting her toes with it. At least she's resourceful.

Happy Birthday Aren!

Yesterday we celebrated Aren's ninth birthday...can you believe it! I was going to post the typical birth birthday to present birthday pics, but since we already went through the "I can't believe my baby made it this far" in October because of his transplant, I'll spare you all again. Instead, here's way too many pictures of kids you really don't care about.

Stereotypical balloon race

Opening presents...lots of Bakugan

Blowing out the candles...on the good cupcakes

Peace at last...watching Kung Fu Panda and waiting for the pick-up

Cupcake Chaos

Yesterday was a really busy day...Breakfast with Santa, Aren's birthday party, haircuts, blah blah blah. With so much going on, I asked Rick if he could make the cupcakes for Aren's party. About halfway through my haircut I get a text from Rick that says, "CALL ME!!" I was pretty sure he only wanted me to pick up something at the store so when I called back he said, "Um, buy more cupcake mix. Mine didn't turn out." It was only two hours before the party started and there was no way now I was going to make cupcakes so I just picked some up at the store and came home.

So, wanna see what happens when Rick is in charge of cupcakes and when I am in charge of cupcakes?

Here's Rick

Here's me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Ms. Austen!

Happy Birthday Jane! Because of you, I have this...

My world was forever changed the day I found Mr Darcy.
All my gratitude to you.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I've decided something over the past few days. It took a few days to come to this conclusion because I like to mull things around in my head, talk them over with Rick and my sisters before deciding how I feel. So here is what I've decided.

I don't care. I have no opinions.

I don't care about politics. I don't care if someone thinks Obama will keep our country from the depths of despair or if he is, as my sister-in-law says, "Obama-geddon". I don't care where my tax dollars go as long as they go somewhere. I have absolutely no clue about politics and quite frankly, I don't want to. I see how involved Rick gets and how upset he can be that he can't share his opinions without someone thinking he's a left-winged, tree hugging, military hating, tolerant (which is now a bad thing), barely hanging on to his temple recommend whack job. I listen to my father-in-law and others talk about people such as Sean Hannity along with Bill O'Reily as if they were some kind of conduit of righteousness being used to usher in the second coming of our Lord and I just don't see it.

It's not that I don't care about anything, I just don't care about being informed and having an opinion. I have friends that are so worried about the state of the world today I wonder how they even function...constantly wondering if the school their children attends is conversative or liberal enough, if they have enough guns to kill the intruders that will certainly be trying to steal their food storage now that the world is coming to an end. I just can't do it.

I worried for two years whether my children would live or die, planned Lily's funeral before we even knew she would die, wondered what I would do with Aren's game cube if he didn't come home from the hospital. I missed so much by what if-ing and wondering and I refuse to do it anymore. Let the world go where it may. Let politics take it's course. It will go and do it's thing whether I watch the evening news or not. For now I'm just going to watch Aren get off that bus and run to me while holding up his hand in the I love you sign and give him a hug. I'm going to wach Tatiana grow up and learn to say thanks and please. I'm going to prepare lessons for 18 month old children that would rather blow bubbles than listen to me. I'm going to hang out with Rick and finish watching the last season of Angel and decide together which show we should waste our time on next.

I'm just going to be. And that's ok.

The Tao of Pooh

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast? said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Parade of Santas

Every year at the main park here in town, there is a big display of wooden cut out Santa Claus' from around the world and through the ages. It's kind of fun to see how he has developed and what he represents. Here are some of the highlights...

St Nicholas brought apples to the poor people...boo! Who wants an apple for Christmas?

Here's traditional Santa, complete with annoyed Tatiana.

Of course the kids saw the slide and we had to make a detour so they could play. I mean, looking at Santas isn't as fun as you'd think apparently.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Treats - Part 2

These are Hearty Trail Mix Cookies in a jar. These make great holiday gifts...yes, HOLIDAY because you are not limited to just gifts for Christmas. Change the M&Ms colors and you can give this gift for Valentine's Day, Halloween, or even 4th of July. So without further ado...

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 M&Ms

1. In a 1-quart jar, pack brown sugar in bottom and make as level as possible. Pour sugar over and level.
2. Pour oats over sugar and level.
3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. Gently spoon flour mixture over oats. Level carefully, then tap down.
4. Sprinkle raisins over flour mixture, level and smotth the edges to make them even. Sprinkle coconut over raisins and press down.
5. Sprinkle candies on top. Press down and place lid on jar.

Attach the following directions to the jar with rafia if you're really crafty or with some duct tape if you're Rick.

Hearty Trail Mix Cookies
1 egg
6 tablespoons butter; softened

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Empty contents of jar into large mixing bowl. Add 1 egg and 6 tablespoons softened butter or margarine.
*Beat on low speed or by hand to blend, then drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
*Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack. (Makes about 3 dozen.)

Happy Saturnalia!

Friday, December 12, 2008

For Rilz! It's Moprah!

My e-bff TAMNers is having a way super cool e-party and giving away lots of way super cool goodees!!! Go find her and she can be you're e-bff to...but not as good as mine...for rilz.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

18 Months and Yummy Cake

Tatiana has made it to 18 months and contrary to popular belief, Rick and I CAN make kids that aren't jacked up! She's about as healthy as they come...23 pounds, 31 inches, and up to date on immunizations! Did you know when kids get colds they don't always lead to pneumonia and ear infections? Did you know that not all children have to have blood transfusions on a regular basis, or infusions to keep them alive? Really! I'm serious! It's true!

So, apparently Pillsbury makes a mean cinnamon loaf. Here are some pics of Tatiana getting every last crumb she can...yes, I took pictures instead of telling her it's disgusting to lick the floor.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Treats

I love making/eating treats...shocking, I know. I found this recipe on-line the other day and thought it was too much fun to keep it to myself. To help out the cooking dummies out there, I've documented each step with a picture. I believe these things are called Chocolate Buttons. Enjoy!

Step 1: Ingredients
You'll need a bag of pretzels (preferably the circle kind, but if you can't find those the regular twisty ones will do), any variety Hershey Kiss, M&Ms, and parchment paper (no! not wax paper).

Step 2: The pretzels
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper then add the pretzels. Make sure they don't overlap and they are all on the paper and not touching the cookie sheet.

Step 3: Chocolate
Unwrap the Hershey Kisses and put one Kiss on top of each pretzel.

Step 4: Baking
Put in a 200 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is melted (the Kisses will still have their form).

Step 5: More chocolate
Take M&Ms and place in the center of the Hershey Kiss and press down so the chocolate flattens out a little and covers the center of the pretzel. Leave on parchment paper until completely cooled.

Not bad, eh?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Give Up

Well, I guess it's better than his last school picture.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Holidays!

We all know I'm a blog hopper. I jump from one blog to another reading people's lives and thoughts. I roll my eyes, I laugh out loud, I even forward stuff to Rick and some of my other cyber friends so they can join in on the fun. During this past week I've noticed a pattern and it's driving me crazy...almost as much as e-mail forwards.

Quit being offended by the use of Happy Holidays!

Are you people serious? I can't even begin to describe how annoyed I get when I hear about Christmas being under attack because people don't wish you a Merry Christmas when you buy your groceries at the store or because there's a menorah next to the nativity at city hall. Last time I checked there is more than one holiday during this time of year. Ever heard of Hanukkah? Kwanzaa? New Years Day ring a bell? Happy Holidays is an all encompassing term used to lump everything into one, not to take away your right, or mine, to celebrate the birth of your/my Savior. And I promise if you say it or hear it, it won't make you any less of a Christian or any more of a socialist.

Taking offense when offense is not intended isn't the most Christlike thing. I don't think baby Jesus, or the grown up one for that matter, would approve of the lack of brotherly love.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear Ol' Dad

Aren loves Rick. Everything about Rick intrigues him and he wants to be just like his dad in every way. If Rick uses a word that Aren is unfamiliar with, the word must be defined and it is immediately incorporated into Aren's vocabulary. Most recently Aren has added the word "literally" to his list of words. When Rick says, "Aren, go jump in the car," it is followed up by Aren saying, "Do you mean literally?"

Rick can be a pretty sarcastic person and Aren has been picking up on that and trying to use it appropriately. He'll even go so far as to say, "Dad, do you think that was sarcastic enough?" Rick honestly has a tear in his eye when Aren is able to make a comment that is not only filled with correct vocabulary usage, but can also be used as a back handed remark.

There is one thing however that Aren wants nothing to do with when it comes to Rick. This morning Rick made eggs for everyone and Aren grabbed his plate and sat down without getting a fork. Rick, who had already been eating, gave Aren his fork and went to get another one. I looked at Aren and said, "Ew! Now you have daddy germs." Aren just grinned and said, "Fine by me! I like dad." It would have been perfect if it had stopped there, but Rick had to open his mouth and say, "Now you have my germs and my genes. Hope you like hairy backs!"

Aren's face went blank, he dropped his fork, spit out his eggs, and went and found a different fork to use. Seems that Aren wants to be just like his dad...but the hairless version.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pockets are for Sissys...Take 2

Come on. Who needs pockets when you've got a perfectly good diaper, ya know?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Genetics and Christmas Lights

Genetics is an amazing thing. My father passed away when I was 11 years old, so we're talking over 22 years ago. That's a long time and it's next to impossible to remember his mannerisms and things he said, hand gestures and the like, yet every Saturday after Thanksgiving I'm reminded that my father still runs through me.

I can cuss just as well as he ever could. Love you dad.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Finally Fall

Here it is the end of November and Fall has finally hit southern Arizona...just in time for Christmas.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Do Overs

When I was little I used to play jacks with my sisters. We would spread ourselves out across the kitchen floor, cross and uncross our legs and then get serious about our onsies, twosies and threesies, if the jacks were touching or not and strategizing to figure out just how high that ball needed to be thrown up in the air for the ultimate tensies. We played for blood but every once in a while a glimmer of Christ-like love would poke through and when things went wrong we would allow a do-over.

Do-overs are great and something that as adults we don't take enough advantage of. Just this morning as I was trying to clean the kitchen in preparation to dirty it up again, and I as I usually do, started going ballistic about the lack of help I was receiving. Rick tried to calm me down, which I refused to do, and consequently that pissed him off and away we went...me cleaning and hating, Rick wondering and hating. After collecting myself, I stepped outside of the kitchen and said to Rick, "Can we have a do-over?" His response..."Yup."

And that was it. We're talking again and pretending like I didn't let my jacks bouncy ball get too far out of control. Aren't do-overs great?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Buche de Noel

Probably not very many of you know that my mom and dad met while they were missionaries for the LDS church in France. I always thought that was pretty cool, until they started speaking in french and I couldn't understand them. I loved how they took some of the french traditions and brought them home and we incorporated them into our family. One of them was a traditional dessert called Buche de Noel or a Christmas log. It's made from cake and shaped to look like a log, then frosted and garnished and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I made my first one today for a Thanksgiving feast for Aren's class and they were looking for dishes that represented our families and I figured this would be perfect. I thought it turned out pretty well!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It's a good day!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Aren Is My Favorite

Sunday was mine and Rick's first official day on the South Beach Diet. Aren had watched us go to the store and prepare our snacks and meals and was very aware that we were trying to eat better. On our way home from church Aren said, "Mom, why are you on a diet? I mean, dad I can understand, but why are you?"

Aren is my favorite.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Thanksgiving Bandit

On Monday night while helping Aren with his homework the doorbell rang. I went to open it and no one was there, but guess what was...a big ol' turkey and two grocery bags filled with everything we'd need for a Thanksgiving dinner.

I really couldn't believe it. Most of you know that money is tight for us. We've been trying to pay off close to $50,000 in credit card bills (most of it medical) for the past four and a half years and we are so close but not quite there. Having someone do this for us was just a blessing out of nowhere.

Thank you to our bandit, where ever you are, and I look forward to the day when I can do the same for someone else...six more months baby!


1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket
2. Where is your significant other? Kitchen
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Crazy
5. Your father? Bald
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Elders
8. Your dream/goal? Svelteness
9. The room you're in? Dining
10. Your hobby? Scraping
11. Your fear? Toothlessness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Enrichment
14. What you're not? Svelte
15. One of your wish-list items? Grass
16. Where you grew up? Maryland
17. The last thing you did? Shop
18. What are you wearing? Jeans
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pet? Gross
21. Your computer? Crap
22. Your mood? Content
23. Missing someone? Lily
24. Your car? Mazda
25. Something you're not wearing? Socks
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? Long
28. Love someone? Ricky
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Friday

I TAG...Petra

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Really, I Care

Just in case anyone thinks I hate my children and do nothing but sit in a comfy chair and shout obscenities at them all day long, check out these latest pics of the kids I love best in this world.

Here's Aren and Tatiana outside on the swing...obviously Tatiana is not the huggy type.

Now this is the life, sippy cups, granola bars and television.

Poor Tatiana. All she wanted to do was have a place to sit and look what happened.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Be Careful!

So this morning while getting everyone ready for the day, the tv was turned on like it always is, but this morning Barney was on. I'm not a big fan of this show, but it stopped Tania in her tracks thus saving me from cleaning another potential mess on her part. All the suddden Barney and some yellow dinosaur, I think BJ, were singing about being careful and how when a parent says, "Be careful," it really means I love you.


Really? Be careful = I love you? See when I say "be careful" to my kids that's just one small step away from, "I swear on everything that's good and holy if you don't stop messing around I'm gonna smack your head off and feel good about it." Who knew that empty threats and love go hand in hand.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Carbs Shmarbs

In a last ditch effort to not be a chub-a-chub Rick and I are starting the South Beach Diet tomorrow. We've made out our list of meals and snacks for the next week and I am really going balls out on this one. I admit I am a little put out by the whole no carb thing but the fact that I can drink diet coke and it's not even remotely cheating is a good thing. It should calm my nerves and keep the shaking due to lack of starches to a minimum.

So suck it carbs! I never liked you anyway!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait Giveaway!!

Just follow this link and enter to win a watercolor portrait of your children!


Good luck...but not as good as mine obviously.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

To All My Local Friends...

Just so you know, there is a bone marrow drive tomorrow during the day at the mall. It begins at 10:00 a.m. and I believe goes until 4:00 p.m. There is no pricking, no blood draws, no big needles into your hip bone, just a simple cheek swab and you're on the list to save someone's life. Don't think you have the time or don't think it's that importanat? Tell that to Aren.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You!

This morning has been a little bit of a hallmark moment for me. On our way to WalMart this morning we had to take a small detour because of our town Veteran's Day parade. I wanted to go, but Tatiana's green boogers deterred me from standing out in the cold. At WalMart there was a man standing by the door passing out red flowers to everyone to help us remember the veterans. He was dressed up in his WWII best and I couldn't help but think of his bravery over sixty years ago. I began thinking of my own sweet Rick who left his family for nine months to serve the US Army in Bosnia, even though things were medically falling apart for our children at home. In the store I saw a sweet little girl with a t-shirt that said, "My daddy and my heart are in Iraq" and it took everything to keep my composure.

How extremely grateful I am for the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. How completely amazed I am at the strength and faith of the families that are left behind. Thank you to you all. Your sacrifice will never go unnoticed.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I don't care what anyone says, evolution is totally possible.

For people who have been following my blogging for a while, you might remember my post about crazy blog people I discovered on the internet. If not, check it out here and here. In one of my not so finer moments of adulthood, I pretty much slammed someone whom I had never met before and said things that I would never dream of saying in real life. It didn't matter what this person said, she was wrong...end of story.

Jump ahead a few weeks as Rick and I discussed politics. I would ask Rick his opinions on something and then begin to ridicule and tell him how wrong he was on every point he made. Now fast forward a few more weeks and I had a similar experience. I was asked my opinion on something and no matter what I said, I was told I was wrong, no ifs, ands or buts. I was livid....and then the light bulb went off.

I'm a jerk. I was having done to me what I had been doing to others for the past few months, lifetimes probably, and I hated it. I am happy to admit though that times are changing and I am evolving. The "someone" who I slammed a few months ago is actually a pretty nice person I've discovered. We track each other's blogs and actually leave nice comments instead of snide remarks. Rick won't talk politics with me any time soon but I think that's more because I'm politically challenged and not a good debate as opposed to something else. As for the latest drama, agreeing to disagree and saying no more is sometimes the best thing.

I'm evolving and getting better all the time. That doesn't mean that I'm getting more right all the time, but instead evolving into a better person, learning to understand and accept others for who they are and not for what I want them to be. I enjoy seeing where I've been, where I am now and what that means for me in the future. Believe me, I know I've still got a long way to go. I mean for crying out loud, apes are still evolving. Don't believe me? You haven't seen Rick's belly.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. What's the point of caller id if you can't be picky about when you answer the phone...that's for you Rick.
2. Why, oh why, would you advertise slightly used binkies on Freecycle?
3. Sixty degrees is not that cold and still I can't get warm.
4. Wal-Mart sucks yet their White Cloud Supreme diapers are a gift from heaven.
5. I hate children but somehow my house has become the neighborhood hang out...and I teach piano lessons to these monsters.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Found It!

It was a trying week searching for Christmas backgrounds but I found it! Hidden deep within the realms of One Cute Blog was the paper I needed to keep my promise to not post my playlist until the proper background was found.

Thank you One Cute Blog!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Little Miracles

This is my sister Sarah and her gorgeous daughter Maren. Maren was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a condition where she basically had only half a heart and has endured a series of open heart surgeries to correct the condition and has more to go. You can read a little about their journey on Sarah's blog. Sarah and Maren are on the cover of Children's National Medical Center's quarterly magazine and their story is featured inside. I am constantly and truly amazed at my sister and her daughter for their strength and faith through this battle they've been asked to fight. They are both an amazing example to me. Love you guys!

No Boundaries

No one is immune from the effects of this election. Even Tatiana felt the stress of it all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Few Results

So, normally I keep this place my opinion free, but I know that some people were wondering about what's happening in AZ, so this is for you...and anyone else who cares.

Prop 102 passed which was the proposition that defined marriage between one man and one woman. I'll leave my thoughts out of this one.

One thing that didn't pass in Sierra Vista was the override. For more information on this, click here. Basically this was a way to give the public school system more money even though the stupid legislature here doesn't think they need it. It failed and I'm pissed. I can't believe that people are so unconcerned with the education of their community's children. What this whole thing means is that within two years there will be no music, art, or gym programs at all and children will be in school around five hours a day as opposed to the almost seven right now. There is still a possibility this thing will turn around...the vote can be vetoed and yadda, yadda, yadda, but it doesn't change the fact that over 50 percent of the people I live with would rather have a bunch of idiots running things. Thanks guys! Can't wait to see how they screw you over!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted!

Did you? I don't give a rat's butt who you voted for or how you voted on which proposition, I just hope you took advantage of this great opportunity to make your voice heard.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Good Ol' Days

Remember when all it took to put a smile on your face was a really good episode of Sesame Street?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Under Pressure

I've noticed over the past few days that my posts have been revolving around family activities, with pictures to prove it. It's been a little while since I've posted a bloggity thing which include insights into my every day lifetime movie and I'm getting nervous that I can't deliver.

Nothing remotely interesting is happening right now. Sure I pissed Rick off enough last night that he went to the store and I wondered if I would ever see him again, sure I let Aren eat so much candy on Friday night that he threw up four times in an hour, and sure Tatiana has mastered her climbing abilities and proved it by standing on top of her dresser yesterday, but all of that doesn't seem "good" enough to post about and turn it into a life lesson.

Maybe life doesn't have to have a lesson. Maybe life can just be life and that should be good enough for me. Maybe just by typing I've accidentally stumbled upon an insight for my lifetime movie.

Maybe I'm back.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Results Are In!

It looks like there will be no Christmas music today...mostly because you all said not to and partly because there are no really good Christmas backgrounds available yet. So we compromise...no music until I can find a good background!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I haven't figured out which holidays are more draining...the ones where you spend all morning cooking and cleaning getting ready for company or the ones where you spend all morning getting everyone dressed up to be something they're not. Either way, here's this morning's picture of everyone all dressed up.

Rick is an airbender from the Avatar show, Aren is Ash - a pokemon trainer of course - and then there's Tatiana who looks more like a bar wench than Red without her hood. Oh well.

And of course Aren just asked me if he could be Darth Vadar the next Halloween. Seriously? Let's at least get this day over with before we start planning for next year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sorry, Had to Do It

Sigh. I love Twilight and I'm lame.

I'm a Esme! I found out through TwilightersAnonymous.com. Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Cast Your Vote!

In honor of the upcoming elections I have posted a voting station to the right of this post. I've been working on my Christmas playlist, yes I've officially lost it in the world of blogging, and really want to post it, but should I? Please help me decide as my new calling as Nursery leader is slowly sucking out my brain.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

It was anybody's turn but Rick to choose what to do this weekend and seeing as it is the Saturday before Halloween it seemed only appropriate that we go to the pumpkin patch. The one we went to was a local by the highway stand so it wasn't the most glamorous thing in the world, but it got the job done.

And now, the standard pumpkin patch pictures that all mormon mommy blogs should not be without...

This last picture is when our camera battery officially died...you're welcome.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tricks of the Trade

As I revealed in a previous post I'm not the best stay at home mom. Although I am grateful for the opportunity and realize how lucky I am in this day and age to be able to hang out at home all day long, I admit I don't take full advantage of the situation. My house is rarely spotless, I don't take Tania to the park every day, and Aren usually never has homemade treats waiting for him after a long day at school. But there are some things I have learned, and that's how to trick Rick into thinking I do these things all day long. I know he reads this so my pretend dream is now over, but I figure his mom is a way worse housekeeper than I'll ever be so it'll be ok.

So, some tricks for you ladies who are tired and need a day off but feel guilty about it...

1. To make everyone think you have a clean kitchen, even if it's not, pour a little bit of bleach down the sink. The bleachy smell will make everyone think you've been slaving all day and even if it's not perfect, people will think that something they can't see is super clean and therefore compliment you on your hard work. This also works for bathrooms.

2. When someone asks what you did today, list each item individually. Instead of cleaning the house you, "straightened the family room then put some clothes away. Tatiana was being crazy so I tried to calm her down by letting her help fold the laundry which was totally exhausting...". You get the picture.

3. Storebought cookies get as much excitement out of the kids as homemade ones. Plus if you don't have any on hand, you can list going to the store as one of your individual items.

4. Be outside waiting for your husband with the kids when he gets home. This way even if you've only been out there for five minutes, he doesn't know that and he'll think that he owes you some time with the kids and you can go pour bleach down the sink.

5. If you're really desperate, blame everything on the baby. It helps to throw some of the afterschool cookies on the family room floor and rub some crumbs into her face. Also, take her pants off and let her run around in her diaper. Nothing says "I can't take any more of this" like a dirty baby/toddler.

I don't necessarily recommend doing all of these on the same day, unless you're borderline ready to kill your children, then by all means, use these and any more you can think of. Hope this helps!

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Finally Done!

I've been working on a digital scrapbook for about a year now of Aren's trip to Disney World with Make-A-Wish and I am proud to say that it is finally finished. You can find it at the bottom of this page. Take a peek!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Keep Us Safe from Harm and Accident

Holy crap. Rick thought it would be a great idea to check out a canyon today and spend some time together as family. Sounds innocent enough right? So we take off to Carr Canyon and as usual I'm driving because I get car sick. We see a sign informing us that the road isn't paved and I didn't think much of it because of our time at Coronado a few weeks ago...unpaved roads but very drivable. So not the case here. The roads, if you can even call them that were horrible! Huge rocks/mini boulders paved the way and the only thing keeping us from falling off the edge were my white knuckles clutched to the steering wheel. I would have cried but I knew if I did we would die.

Once again Aren said it best when he said, "I hope we make it down this mountain...alive." We did and we even got a few pictures out of the deal. It'll be a few more weeks before Ricks gets to choose our weekend outing again.

Tatiana the Explorer

Hubba hubba


Treehugger Aren...Rick is proud of this one

Death's door