Thursday, December 23, 2010


I tried to play the role of good mom yesterday and let my kids decorate cookies.  I didn't even decorate for them and then try to play it off like they did it themselves.  Nope, they had free rain in the decoration department, as is evident with Tatiana's creation...

Monday, December 20, 2010


It's already been proven I am the master of all things crafty so check out Aren's birthday cake I made ALL. BY. MYSELF.

The best part?  Aren walked by, stared at it for a minute and then said, "Awesome, Mom."  I know.  I know.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Creativity Strikes Again

I've always been jealous of my friends with the cool family home evening charty thingys for their families.  Well, my jealousy is no more.  With the help of my more than crafty friend Brenda and my not so crafty friend Martha, I made this the other day.  Boo-yah!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

Lots of families have gingerbread house traditions and ours in no different.  I remember it started eleven years ago in a crusty basement in Provo, UT where my sister, Sarah, made homemade gingerbread and cut out all the pieces to exactness.  We've kind of evolved since then and we buy the kits because they're much easier, but we still have a good time and love getting together.  Although the making of the houses has evolved, the final product is still pretty much the same for can't tell if it was done by an adult or a five year old!

The final products

Aren adding his roof and I helped because I have mad skilz.

Taryn is a little more exact in her abilities.

Me and my sister...sorry Kath.  I promised to use the better pictures of you, but I lied.  I'm selfish that way.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I've never considered Aren to be a "special needs" kid.  He's always just been Aren to me.  But once a year I'm forced to realize that Aren is in fact "special" and needs to be treated as such in some instances in school.  He has recently graduated from an IEP to a 504 for school and I was given a copy to look over and I cringed as I read this and other quotes, "He will require adaptations to the PE curriculum when he gets to middle school and high school, due to his orthopedic limitations.  He is unable to extend his wrists actively or passively.  His reaction time is delayed if a ball were to be thrown at him, his run is slow and choppy."

And then I cried as I read this line, "He is a courageous young man who is no longer afraid to take risks."  Yeah, he is.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Lights!

 Today Rick put up the Christmas lights outside.  He was pretty excited because I allowed him to switch to LED lights this year.  They're a little lot more expensive but after last year's crazy electric bill I had to concede.  Our budget didn't allow for lots of lights, but we'll add on as the years go by, but seriously, check out Tatiana wearing her December.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"So What Did You Do Today?"

This is what Rick will ask me when he calls home or walks in the door around 4:30 today, and he'll look around and think that the answer is nothing.  Then I'll give him a mug filled with homemade hot chocolate and he won't care that he has to wear dirty socks tomorrow because this stuff is pretty yummy...and way too easy!

2 c. nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Hershey's cocoa
1/2 c. powdered non-dairy creamer

Add 1/4 cup of mix to 3/4 cup of hot water and drink it up!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Done and DONE!

So, remember how two months ago I said I was going to run a 5k?  You don't?  Well, check it out HERE.  Well guess, what...I did it!  I convinced another sister and a sister-in-law to do it with me and along with my original crazy sister who had the idea, the four of us ran on Thanksgiving morning.  What was supposed to be only 3.1 miles was actually 3.5 and we kicked it.  I am actually loving it and have plans to run another 5k in about three weeks and then I start training for a 10k.  Woohoo!!

Me, Emma, and Brieann
Emma, Kath (the instigator), and myself
Crossing the finish line
Tatiana waiting for us to finish and having her own little race

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Swear I'm Done

 I promise, this is the last creative thing I'll do for a while.  Isn't this totally cute?  I found the idea in the November 2010 Disney Family Fun Magazine and thought it would be a great idea for a Family Home Evening Lesson on giving thanks.  I plan on either having the kids pick a fruit/vegetable and either tell something they're thankful for or have a scripture about gratitude to read.  I'm pretty excited!  Anyways, if you're looking for a fun activity, you can find the template HERE.  And if you live in Sierra Vista and can't find the felt, get a good contact like my sister, EMMA to send you some of her leftovers from her project!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Color Me Creative!

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but I just have this overwhelming desire to create and change things.  Not quite sure where it's all coming from, but I'm gonna ride this wave until it drops me off at the shore of all things lazy.  Today's creation?  A dress for Tatiana!

I'm not the best at sewing which is why I make friends with people who are.
Martha is so patient and she's got some mad sewing skillz, 
so by combining her with me,
we were able to come up with this little diddy...
Not too shabby for my first try with someone watching me and reminding me not to sew the head hole closed!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Oh. My. Stars. I woke up this morning to find this amazing picture in my inbox sent from my number one trainer as a missionary. Jenson and I had a blast together. We were companions for five months and went through the toughest and best times together. And the best was this baptism of Lily and Aren, I sure did name my kids after them! From right to left - Mane (pronounced Ma-nay), who introduced them to the gospel, precious Lily, Jenson, baby me, and my dear Aren.  

I remember everything about this day...picking up Lily and Aren to take them to the swimming pool for the baptism and bringing them flowers, Aren walking out of his tiny one bedroom apartment with flowers for us because he was so excited to be baptized, the bus ride, the baptism and confirmation, walking home and listening to these sweet friends sing "God Be With You Til We Meet Again".  I remember taking Lily to work afterwords and she brought chocolates to give to everyone so they could celebrate this day with her.  Love!

Fourteen years ago seems like yesterday. What I wouldn't do to go back there.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kitchen - Phase 1

So,we moved into this house about 18 months ago.  We bought this house because there really wasn't alot that HAD to be done, just some things we wanted done and slowly but surely things are happening.  This weekend Rick and I decided that kitchen cabinets over the sink must go.  It blocked the view into the dining room, which we hated, but we weren't quite sure what to do about the missing cupboard space.  I think we came up with a good idea so, without further ado, here's our kitchen remodel - phase 1...

Here's the before

And the after...

We're still not quite done.  We need to repaint the walls, paint the shelves and phases 2-? includes plans for granite tile counter tops, new lighting, new appliances, and finally cupboard painting, but for right now, I'm pretty happy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


My friend Sharilyn renamed me "MollyBeth" the other day after she found out I was thinking of doing a really cute craft for Thanksgiving along with canning my own apple pie filling.  I wonder what she'll call me after she sees these cute little hair things I made all by myself...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

We Weren't Last!!

Today I ran my first 5K...I use the term "ran" loosely.  But whatever.  I did it and even though I don't have an official time, I know it was around forty minutes.  Thanks to Sunny who ran it with me and told me how cool I was the whole time.  And a special thanks to the eighty year old woman who got rocks in her shoes and had to stop so I didn't have to come in last place.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I loved dressing up for Halloween when I was a kid...trying to figure out how to make a costume out of what I had hanging around.  I remember the store bought costumes and the only kids that wore them were the "uncool" kids.  Now it's totally the opposite.  One year Aren dressed up as a ninja - a costume he put together himself - and I heard a friend of his at school say, "Oh, could you not afford a costume from the store this year?"  What the heck?!

It is now my goal to make cool costumes out of stuff I have around the house.  If something needs to be purchased, fine, but I want them to be able to wear it later and not have it look like a costume.  So, without further ado, I present to you my two little rock stars...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time Out for...Eating?

This past weekend I, along with two of my very best friends in the world, got to spend the weekend in Phoenix at Time Out for Women and while it was really was amazing, as I looked through my pictures I realized that the whole three days could be documented by what we ate...and ate!  Oh my goodness we went everywhere! 

First we have...
(I was an In-n-Out virgin until that day!)

followed by...

(Cafe Rio deserves before and after shots)

and last but not least...

This doesn't even include the places I didn't pull out my camera, the movies, the snack runs to the CVS across the hotel parking lot.  Goodness gracious!  It was a fantastic weekend that I can't wait to do all over again next year.  Mark your calendars SV ladies!  We're hitting the Phoenix Time Out for Women on November 4-5, 2011!
Lori and Brenda at Hard Rock

Me and Brenda at TOFW (Hey Brenda, I need that one picture of all of us!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Five Years

Our family has celebrated a few five year anniversaries.  The first one was our fifth wedding anniversary on December 29, 2003 and it was a good one.  Rick was home from a nine month deployment to Bosnia, Aren had just turned four and Lily was not quite two and both were as healthy as either of them could be.  The next one happened on January 3rd of this year when we remembered the death of our beautiful daughter Lily.  Today we celebrate again as we remember how five years ago today Aren got a bone marrow transplant.  Aren loves today because he says it's like having another birthday every year, lol!  Well, he's right.  Each year we celebrate his birthday AND his transplant day. 

This year Aren was excited to finally receive Halo Reach, after all, it's been out for a whole month!  We also went out to dinner at one of Aren's favorite places - The Golden Corral.  Why is it his favorite?  Because "I don't have to wait to order my food.  I just get to eat right from the start."  That's my boy! So, Happy Transplant Day Aren!  I love you and I love that you are here with me still.  Every day I thank my Heavenly Father that you were able to stay with me just a little bit longer.  Your happy spirit fills me with joy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cats, Carnivals, and Conniptions

Mango is still alive...barely.  That cat has got the patience of Job.  Tatiana "plays" with that cat constantly and he has yet to bite or scratch her.  It's pretty funny to see Mango come running out of Tatiana's room, no doubt to save his own life, and then to see Tatiana come running out after him exclaiming, "I think Mango is scared of monsters!"  I'd have to agree.
We decided to give Mango the afternoon off by taking the kids to the carnival that came into town.  Normally I avoid it at all costs, I mean, paying as much for wrist bands as a ticket to DisneyLand would cost seems a little ridiculous but every once in a while I like to remind the kids I'm not THAT horrible.  As always, Aren was a great big brother and went on all the kiddie rides with Tatiana.  She really is lucky to have him.  We did let Aren have a little bit of a break and go on the big rides.  Check out this picture of what was supposed to be Aren, but the guy next to him stole the show I think...
Lest you think our weekends are all fun and games, this was also the time I decided that Tatiana needed to be potty trained.  She turned three in June and I figured it was time...again.  I say again because this is really the third time we've started this project.  You'd think I knew how to do this, being she is my third child, but Aren pretty much just decided one day to poop and pee on the toilet and Lily was so tiny and sick that we never really thought about it.  I'll just jump to the end and tell you she's not peeing on the potty.  After crying to my mother for twenty minutes and having her assure me that when Tatiana interviews for a job they will not ask how old she was when she finally learned to crap on the pot, I gave up once again because this girl is just bound and determined to not pee unless she's in charge.

Please don't tell me what you did to get your children trained because I've done it...sticker charts, pretty panties, treats of every kind, promises of ballet lessons, toys she's only allowed to play with on the potty...the list goes on.  And no I will not throw her into a cold shower if she pees her pants.  What is wrong with you people?  I still figured I'd mention my lack of amazingness to help other loser moms with loser children who won't pee on command and to show off this totally cute picture of my half naked daughter sitting on a toilet with a kick-ass unused sticker chart in the background.  I may not be able to get my daughter to deposit her waste in appropriate places, but I sure know how to get back at her with pictures that will piss her off in ten years. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010


So apparently Katy Perry did this video for Sesame Street and during the screening of it, too many parents complained about her attire and so it's been pulled.  Really?  I mean, yeah, there's definite boobage, but it's not that bad and I'm pretty much as prudish as they come.  What do you all think?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Really? Yes, Really.

The other day my phone rang and it was my sister, Katharine.  The conversation was pretty normal and then it turned into something dark and grotesque.  It went something like this:

Kath: So, are you guys still planning on coming up for Thanksgiving?
Me: Sure am.  I want it on record that we're having tons of meat, carbs, and sugar.
Kath: Fine. But before that I was thinking of running a 5k.
Me: That's great!  Good for you.
Kath: Wanna run it with me?
Kath: Hello?
Me: Seriously?  Do you know which sister you're talking to?

After much thought, I've decided to go ahead and do it.  I'm running a 5k in two months and let me tell you something.  I don't run.  At least not until this morning.  I ran 1/2 a mile this morning - after my sixty minutes of kick me in the ace step aerobics - and plan on running three times a week until I can run 3.1 miles without vomiting and/or passing out.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weak Moment

We all know how I feel about animals.  You've forgotten?  Click here.  But for whatever reason, last week I got bee in my bonnet and decided I wanted a cat.  Now.  I broke the news to Rick by saying I wanted a baby.  With fear in his eyes he stood there for a moment then I said, "Ok, how 'bout a cat?"  After a sixty hour work he was weak and ripe for the picking, so I got my cat.

Meet Mango

Friday, September 10, 2010


Check out what Aren made today in school.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Growing up in Maryland we had the opportunity to watch the Baltimore Orioles every summer.  We started out at Memorial Stadium with three buck night and went from there and every game was full of fun and stories to tell.  Now I live in the middle of nowhere and major league baseball isn't an option, but in Tucson there is a minor league team that fills my desire to relive those fun summer days.

Last night we went to the last game of the Tucson Toros with the Bartholets  and we had a blast!  We left Tatiana at home and had date night with Aren which he claimed as "the best night of his life".  I don't know whether that's good news or pretty dang sad.  Either way, it was pretty fun.  For a measly 13 bucks per seat we were in box seats and even had a guy that would take our orders and bring food back to us so we didn't have to miss a thing.  Plus we were in shouting distance of the Toros players.  Our favorite for the night?  Luis.  Easy on the eyes and acknowledged our teen screams every time!  We're getting season tickets next year!

The family...minus the crazy one
The Bartholets
Aren and Tuffy, the mascot
Laurel and our Luis!