Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our trip to Disneyland a long play by play!

We drove down Tuesday morning. The trip started uneventful. We got to about the Bakersfield exit when Hannah insisted on going her chair. We pulled over next to some sheep (unfortunately the camera was still at the bottom of our luggage) where I tried to have her relieve herself...boys have it soooo easy. As I am standing in the mud trying to hold Hannah in a right angle while spreading my feet far enough apart to not be the recipient of unpleasantness. Jeremy was snickering behind me. It was awkward and Hannah refused to go. Then I tried to do the same for Haylie, unfortunately she failed to perform as well and was less then thrilled with the circumstances. We get pack on the road. Hannah had another accident. Oh well. We made due with what we had and there were no more accidents the entire trip. We stopped at IHOP and rolled into Disneyland at about noon. It took about 7ish hours. The park stayed open until 8:00 so we kept going. On the way to the tram Hannah feel asleep sitting, which turned into the nightly ritual.

We did lots of fun things. The park was not crowded at all. In fact I think we only got a fast pass once. It was an awesome trip. Jeremy and I were able to rough it with out any help. Jeremy's sister had met us there on Thursday and spoiled us with her presence. She stayed off some rides so Jeremy and I could ride some together. Miranda and Gwen I think laughed from when they first saw each other at 10:30am until they sadly parted at about 7:30 that night. It was fun, they are so close. We didn't tell the kids that we were planning on meeting up with them, so when we saw them Spencer walked up to Logan and stood next to him. Logan wasn't sure what this kid, with a baseball hat and sunglasses, was doing invading his personal space. Then we told him it was Spencer and his countenance changed. He was also thrilled to be able to see his cousin. That leaves Taylor who dotes on all the little ones. I think the twins actually walked a little this trip. It was fun to be together. One funny moment was when we were deciding to go on Mulholland Maddness. Logan was unsure and then Taylor calmly informs us that Miranda Gwen and Spencer got on the ride. Unsure we said Oh they are in line already. She said no they are on the ride. Sure enough they were cruising! There was no line to wait in, mostly everyone got to go two to three times in a row. We went on the Silver Zephyr where Miranda was chosen to hold a traffic director thing and was the flight commander.

Favorite Ride

Jeremy: The same as always Pirates of the Carribean

April: Thunder night!

Miranda: Thunder Mountain

Logan: Muhholland Madness

Haylie: Winnie the Pooh and Matterhorn

Hannah: Winnie the Pooh

Lauren:...stroller? or Winnie the Pooh

Favorite Food:

Jeremy: Ice Cream EVERY DAY!

April: ...who am I kidding the ice cream!

Miranda: Ice Cream

Logan: Shrimp at the Rainforest Cafe

Haylie: Eggs (I am not sure we had these?!)

Hannah: Chicken Nuggets

Lauren: Ice Cream

Favorite First

Jeremy: The Golden Horseshoe

April: The Golden Horseshoe... for ice cream

Miranda: Riding the Orange Stinger...Being picked for the Jedi Academy ...again

Logan: Astro Orbiters

Haylie: Matterhorn

Hannah: Gadget's Go Coaster

Lauren: Ice Cream, they actually shared with me!

We had an excellent trip that included eating at the Rainforest Cafe and Goofy's Kitchen, which was a first for us.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

begging for free stuff...

So have you heard of SwagBucks?  It is a search engine but they reward you points for using them.  As you collect points you can get stuff ranging from gift cards like amazon or starbucks, to actual video game consoles.  So here is what I am asking of you...sign up.  If you are not already subscribed click this link.  It will take you to Swagbucks.  It may download a search bar at the top.  I have had no problems with junk or weird computer issues.  I normally wouldn't shamelessly promote this but I have a reason.  Here it is...

I am starting to run, yes pick your jaw up off the floor, not very good but I am trying to condition my self to be able to run a consistent three miles in less than 30 minutes.  I think I am at about 45 minutes right now.  There is a 5K in June that I would like to participate in.  Here is where Swagbucks come in.  I want an iPod for running and it just isn't in our budget, it is something that really doesn't  count as a neccesity.  With Swagbucks, if you sign up you start off with 30 points.  If 10 people sign up using the link I have provided I will have enough to get this and follow the counsel of not going into debt for non-neccessities.  In saying that, you then can refer 10 people and get yourself a cool iPod or something even more fantabulous!

Shameless plug over, I will still be friends if you don't sign up but if you do I make some pretty good chocolate chip cookies...and if you are too far I will emailyou the recipe haha!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cheese Zombies

Use your favorite dinner roll recipe.  While still dough place a 1/2" cube of cheese, I used colby jack, but typically use velveeta.  I think I am changing my taste buds because the colby jack was better!  Pull the dough around the cheese block.  Make sure to pinch, push and pull so the cheese is sealed well.  I used to think more cheese equals better zombies, but then the cheese would all seap out during baking.  Let sit for 30 minutes (or longer, brush with melted butter.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until top and bottom is slightly browned.

Here is the recipe that I used and is now my favorite dinner roll recipe!

Sweet dinner rolls (this links to the bread machine version, it is the same just I ordered the ingredients my kitchen aid which I have come to love, I never use the bread machine anymore!)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 pkg yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Mix warm water, warm milk and sugar.  add yeast.  Let sit for 5 minutes or until thoroughly frothy...and stinky!  Add butter, mix well, then add egg, stir again.  Add 1 cup of flour and salt, mix, then slowly add remaining flour until desired consistency it should be elasticy and barely tacky to the touch.  I have found with bread you get to be artistic.  Sometimes the dough can get moody!

Place dough in a greased bowl and let sit for 1-2 hours, until dough has doubled.

After dough has risen, place on a floured surface and press out to a thick rectangle.  This made one dozen rolls, so I cut the rectangle with a pizza cutter (a must have tool in every home) into 12 equal portions.  Then I did as stated above.

I placed the prepared rolls in a 9x13 glass dish and let rise for 1 hour, so they would be done when I was done with dinner.  I brushed them with butter. and baked them at 400 for about 17 minutes.

Hopefully they turned out as good for you as they did for me...and no these are not the healthy wheat version ;)  I think the hardest part is finding the perfect bread dough.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I asked my mother-in-law if I could read her People magazine when she was done. I was interested in reading an article about the Duggar family whose 19th child was born at 25 weeks and is in the hospital.  So yesterday I got to read the article and with temptation so strong I read the rest of the magazine too.  Is there any gossip that is better than the celebrity kind?  I mean if I liked gossip of course!?  Logan was reading over my shoulder as I came across two funny pictures.  The first one was a print ad for kitty litter.
Logan was laughing so hard.  The sound of the uncontrollable laughter followed by him taking the magazine out of my hands, saying "Miranda, look at this!  Ha-hah-ha-hahaha!"    After I was done he actually carried the magazine around and kept laughing everytime he looked at it.  He also made sure everyone in the house got to see it as well.

The second picture is not quite as funny:
Logan looked at this picture, with confusion on his face he said "Mom, that's weird.  Why is he wearing girl clothes?  I mean his shirt is all sparkly and tight."  Obviously my son has no appreciation for costuming and figure skating!  Or sparkly men, he probably wouldn't like Twilight...humph!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Miranda was in her first spelling bee at school.  It was so exciting.  They did a classroom spelling bee and she was one of two to move on to the next step which was school wide.  Each class had two students particiapate, grades three through five.  As we practiced the words with her we kept reminding her that she was competing with 5th graders.  So she should relax, have fun and think of it as practice.  I was so nervous for her, not whether she would win, I already know she is a smarty, but that she would be devestated if she messed up.  Being the great mom that I am I remembered the camera.  She got up to spell her first word.  Dangerous...and the camera died, I mean the re-chargeable battery was not charged.  I missed it.  Miranda got the word right and when she turned around to go back to her chair she brought her elbow down and her knee up and quietly said "YES!" It was great to watch that moment.  She continued on, I had to take Lauren to the bathroom so I missed a word.  When I got back another mom said "Miranda got applause."  I thought wow, it must have been a really hard word since all 270 kids in attendance were told to not applaud.  Then Jeremy said "she spelled applause."  That definitely made more sense.  I was able to get this word on video via my phone.  It is not great but we captured the moment!  She is spelling monarch.

I am so proud of her, just the fact that she got up there and did it in front of her peers, she didn't seem nervous.  Later she confessed that she was so nervous she almost cried at the beginning.  She got out in the fifth round and walked away with her head held high, such a great example.  I am glad most of her siblings got to see her.  I am also happy that both Jeremy and I were able to be there and that she could see us smiling at her as she spelled the words.  What a great moment!  Miranda made it to the 5th round and beat several fifth graders.  She came in 8th of 18, so I am definitely a proud mama!

Monday, February 15, 2010

They are 5!

My girls are 5!  Time is falling away and they are little ladies now.  I can't believe they are not the tiny little twins I just brought home from the hosptital what feels like yesterday.  They had a fabulous birthday week.  We started celebrating their birthday as a family on their actual birthday.  The next day we had a friend party.  We made it a theme of circles, because five is a round number?!  OK so really because I found some cute polka dots!  We played musical chairs and the kids were so fun to watch it was all giggles and good memories.  It was a memory I want to keep forever.  They were so happy!  The next day a friend who was away for the party brought over a gift from Florida, flamingos, stuffed of course.  The next day we celebrated with some family.  The next three days were all about preparing for valentine's day.  Then Sunday we celebrated their birthday again with more family.  These girls were so spoiled.  They (and me too!) are so blessed to be surrounded by so many people that love them.

Thanks for all those who helped make this the best birthday ever.

6 more weeks of winter...

I actually got up and went to exercise this morning, it was rough and hard, mising three times is definitely a no-no!  I perservered and made it through, well actually I was there until the end.  I am still grateful for this out of shape body that can do these things in an attempt to become a better shaped body!

My reward for getting up at 5:30 this morning was to come home after the sun was coming up and see this:

So refreshing.  I love this little tree.  We had it planted about 4 years ago, it is a fruitless cherry tree.  The first two years it produced cherries.  Don't know if they were edible, I was too afraid to try...I am not sure they were even cherries?!  This is my favorite time of year when it is in bloom.  I love the tiny pink flowers all over. 

Happy Spring!

Friday, February 12, 2010

He loves me!

I got to take Jackson to the doctor today, surprise, he is a growing healthy young boy. As we were driving there a song in the Children's Songbook from church was playing. My Heavenly Father Loves Me (click to hear the music or watch the video below with the words)

Here are the lyrics if you don't want to click:
1. Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by our lilac tree,
I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heav’nly Father created for me.

2. He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart:
I thank him rev’rently
For all his creations, of which I’m a part.
Yes, I know Heav’nly Father loves me.

Words and music: Clara W. McMaster, 1904–1997. © 1961 IRI. Arr. © 1989 IRI

This year in Primary (the group of kids at church from ages 3-11) our theme is I Know my Savior Lives. Then each month is broken down to a monthly theme. As I was reading each month I noticed that this whole year is about helping the children go back to the basics of gaining a testimony. January's theme was "We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ." I think this is a great way to start out. When you gain a testimony this is the very first thing you need to believe and KNOW to be true (real, sound, unchangeable...). Then going even further it breaks it down more week. The last two weeks were "Heavenly Father and Jesus love me."

That is where the song ties in. There are so many great things around us that we take for granted, tiny details like the "colors of butterfly wings", or the "touch of a velvet rose." Now that we know such beauty it would be weird to think of anything less. If a butterfly was just one plain color or if a rose just felt like paper, as always Heavenly Father went the extra mile and added more than what we needed.

I am not very talented when it comes to music, I have no rhythm and the only notes I can carry are ones in a book...on paper! I am thankful for the "magical sound of things." I have come to appreciate music and what it can add. It is so powerful and can really bring in the spirit and prepare you for teaching and learning. On the same note it is equally powerful that it can take away the spirit and lead you down a darker path. On a non musical note, I love email, the computer, surfing the net. There is generally no sound. It is so easy to misinterpret how someone is saying something when you don't hear it. Maybe the exclamation was one of joy but because you didn't hear it you though it was anger. I am so grateful for ears!

The part that touches me the most is the last four lines of the second verse. "He gave me my life, my mind, my heart, I thank him reverently" He gave each of us a body to do with it what we will, he gave us our mind to choose which path we want to take, he gave us our heart so that we can love passionately, to be able to guide our mind with a feeling. He thought of everything. For that I am especially grateful. I don't think I spend enough time acknowledging my gratitude. More than anything I know that He does love me, imperfections and all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The girlies are five!

Haylie and Hannah celebrated their 5th birthday. I can not believe how fast time flies. It feels like for the first 8 years of our marriage it was like a checklist. Baby one: done, baby 2 done:, buy a house done, baby 3...and get the idea. It has been a neat experience having planned Jackson as our last one. I think I get to change my focus from the next goal to really enjoying the moment with these wonderful kid-lets.

On to Haylie and Hannah, my easy going, happy twins. It is so very hard to make sure they are individuals. They are twins that makes them special as a package, yet they are special as individuals as well. I try not to compare but it is pretty much impossible, since I do it between all the other kiddos too. With twins though it is like a science project, always analyzing the data, to see how they are different and how they are the same.

For Christmas Haylie wanted a Barbie and Hannah wanted a baby doll. We went out shopping with both of them and they each got to pick out an outfit, a book, and a toy. Each thing was a little different. They did get similar shirts but Haylie went for the jeans and Hannah went for so super cute olive green pants. We are heading into the last six months of having them home with me. Starting in August they will be at school for 3 hours a day. I will only have two kids at home which hasn't happened since the twins were born.

As I said before, these girls are always happy...well almost always. I think this is why when they are sad they typically get what they want, they are just pathetic when they are sad. I love these precious girls and what they have added to our family. I was looking at they mostly incomplete baby scrapbook with them and was reminded that when we found out there were two babies Miranda said "One for me and one for Logan." The girls play well together, but they also play well individually with who ever is available and willing.

Haylie knows 95% of her letters by sight, so I won't be suprised if she is reading soon. She is one who you can't tell when she is feeling terrible. She looked like she had a sour face and I asked if she felt fine, she quickly smiled and said yes, immediately following that sweet smile she tossed her cookies. I think fine may be a word used quite frequently in her vocabulary, I will have to watch her.

Hannah on the other hand is a people person, typically not shy, and can speak quite a bit clearer then Haylie. That is how a lot of people tell them apart. If they can't understand one they know it is Haylie. Which is also very funny, Hannah never has a problem understanding her. Enough about boring details...

Today we had some of their preschool friends over to celebrate their birthday. I have never had a friend birthday for them for a few reasons but the main one is that they are twins who have the same friends. So how do you choose who invites who? Or do you say no gifts please! What about come to their party and here's pressure to spend money on two kids at one time and it isn't even Christmas.

I bit the bullet and did it. It was very low key but the memories for me where priceless. We played musical chairs. As the music was playing and several soon to be 5 year olds danced around the chair giggling without a care in the world, it just confirmed that this is what a party should be about. It was perfect. I hope the memory for the girls will be just as amazing.

It started out with nothing, then I decided to make party hats. I figured I would make them white and the kids can decorate them. I would add a "5" medallion (a circle with the number five) to the front. Then I figured I could print out some hats already decorated then I decided it needed some more and came up with this cute little number.

The only thing the girls requested was making donuts using the Dough-nu-matic. They see it everyday in the garage. I realized we have a theme, circles! From there I came up with M&M's as party favors and then bagel bites and grapes for lunch then of course cupcakes for dessert. As I was talking to the kids as to what activities to do they came up with musical chairs and duck duck goose. I thought it was brilliant. That is what we did. First all the party animals got to help make the dough, then we tried watching the donut maker do it's thing. I messed up on the dough consistency so we ended up with dough-noodles. Fortunately most of the kids stil thought they were tasty. Lucky for me it was the only flop. Everything else was perfect. We had enough activities and change of pace things that the crew never gor bored.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Love Songs

Wordful Wednesday is done on several blogs. It is a day when a topic is given and you get to write your thoughts. I have wanted to do it for some time then the day comes in a tornado of a storm and I forget. So here is my first time.

The question is do you and your spouse have a song. Jeremy and I don't necessarily have a song that we call our song. The song we danced to at our wedding was "From this Moment" Sung by Shania Twain and Bryan White. I love this song and it was a neat day. As always looking back it seems kind of corny but it is so true. I love him more today then I did then and there is nothing I wouldn't do for him...well maybe except clean the bathrooms often but that is just one little bitty thing (right honey?). He is and has always been a dream come true and I don't ever want to be without him by my side. I know that when we are together we can accomplish anything and have fond memories. Even during times of trial, it is comforting to know that we went through it together, each of us being strong for the other.

The other song that I feel is "our song" is Just another day in Paradise by Phil Vassar. It represents my life now. People so often say how do you do it all? I don't, I just do enough to look like it!!! There are always things that could be better to make life perfect, but if you didn't have 10 thousand things pulling you in 1 million different directions life would be boring and you wouldn't value those little moments when in the middle of the hustle and bustle of life your husband swoops up the cantankerous two year old and starts dancing with her. A huge smile on his face as he watches he giggle with glee. That is pure bliss. I wouldn't change it for any other thing! Or when I am making omelets for our family and trying to make it so we can all eat at close to the same time. I am on the last ones and it flips onto the floor. My blood boils as I pick it up and throw it in the sink and Jeremy says " I totally would have eaten that!"

Do you have a song?

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