Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pinteresting Wednesdays - Books!

This is my first time participating in this meme, but I always love looking at all the great stuff on all the other blogs, so I thought I might as well join in. Since one of my biggest passions is reading, that's the theme for this week.

Source: None via Brenda on Pinterest

Source: via Brenda on Pinterest

Alpine Loop

 Last weekend we decided to take a drive around the Alpine Loop.  We were probably a couple weeks too late to see all the colors, but there was still some really pretty trees.  We drove up a really long, bumpy dirt road to get to this lake, and it wasn't as pretty as I was hoping.  Oh well. 

I liked this spot.  I thought it was kind of neat.

 I didn't tell Ethan to pose here or anything, he's just this cute.

This reservoir was so pretty and blue, but I couldn't really capture it on camera.

This was my favorite spot.  It was so gorgeous!

And here's two pretty things.  Nature, and my beautiful daughter.

I have dirt on my face!  I love being with my man, though.

Just one more.  I love looking at it, and I love my family.  I'm so blessed!  Thank you God for this beautiful life!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Wreath

I saw an idea for a yarn-wrapped wreath on another blog, and decided I would give it a try.  The other one was plain white, and could easily be used for any season.  But while we were looking for yarn, we (Kaitlyn and I) decided it would look cuter with fall colored yarn, and it so does!  I love this so much more than a plain white wreath.

It took longer to wrap than I thought it would, and I ran out of yarn and had to go buy more, but I really like the finished product.  The Squirrel and leaf are just pinned on, so they can easily be taken off and we can change the look.  I'll probably do more wreaths for different holidays and seasons.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

House Stuff

 I've been doing a few little projects here and then to update my house.  I'm sick of wishing things were a little cuter.  I finally printed off some of the pictures my sister took of us last year.  It's hard to take a picture of pictures, especially when it's in the hallway, but you get the idea.  Eventually I'll add more black and white pictures.

I wanted to change the flowers in my holder thingies, and maybe go with the seasons.  I'm not sure if this one is quite full enough, but it always takes way more than I think it will.  I thought the stuff in this one would fill both of my containers. 
And I finally updated our family picture.  Ethan is no longer a baby in our picture! :) 

Monday, September 19, 2011


Yesterday was a fantastic day.  I love weekends, and Sunday is a huge part of that.  But yesterday just seemed like an extra great Sunday.  Church was wonderful, as usual, and we are really enjoying going to the Daybreak campus.  It's smaller than Draper, so it's easier to get to know people, and they're great people! :)

Just after church we attended small group.  It was our second week with this particular group, and if our boys would learn what is and isn't appropriate when at someone else's house, it'd be great.  There's a good mix of people there.  It's nice that we get to take all of our kids--Kaitlyn and three other girls her age (which is awesome that there's that many) watch the younger kids while the adults do small group.

Kaitlyn had fun at a tea party with the high school girls from church, while they talked about activities they'll do in the coming year.  She also wants to be a debutante, she says.

Then we went to the vision dessert for church, which they do once a year.  This year prior to the service, they did a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new Draper church, which is exciting.  We didn't go to that, just went straight to the vision dessert.  It seriously did my heart good.  My favorite part was the music, because there's really nothing like it.  Singing in a church building is just not the same as being outside with a few hundred other believers worshiping God.  And when I picked up my little Ethan at the end, and he did his best to sing along, my heart just about burst.  This is joy.

Imagine hundreds of voices singing this song:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Someone requested that I put Disneyland pictures on our blog, so since I'm very nice, I decided I'd do it.  We all loved our Disney trip so much, and really had the time of our lives.  I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did, but I'd go back in a heartbeat.

The boys got to do the Jedi Training Academy and were in heaven.  I read some tips beforehand on how to have your kids get chosen, and I'm glad I did.  When they both got picked we were so happy!

Ethan looks a little nervous here, but I don't think he was very scared.  As he was going up to fight Darth Vader, the Jedi Master said, "Thirty-six pounds of unbridled fury!"  That's our Ethan.
As Kevin was going up to take his turn Darth Vader said, "The force is strong with this one."  And if you know Kevin at all, you know he is almost always smiling and laughing.  Which he did all throughout his fight with Darth Vader.  So it was great when, as Kevin was walking away the Jedi Master said, "Keep smiling, he hates that."
I think this picture was on Dumbo, which was definitely one of the less interesting Fantasyland rides, but it's a classic.  We didn't get very many pictures in Fantasyland.
I didn't ride on the teacups.  All that spinning would definitely make me sick.  But it was perfect because then I could take a picture.
You can't go to Disneyland without meeting Mickey Mouse!
And Minnie!
This was on one of the rides in A Bug's Land, and was probably the ride at Disneyland that made me the sickest.  Riding backwards will do that for me.
I love my boys!  I think this was on Small World.
The first time we went on Tower of Terror the boys were scared out of their minds.  But then they wanted to do it again, and the next time they were all cool about it, like it wasn't scary at all.  If you've never been on this ride before, the first time is definitely a rush.  This is just a picture of a picture, so it's not great.
Just a fun picture in Toontown.
Here's another picture of a picture.  We had a lot of fun on Splash Mountain.  This was our second time in a row riding, and we knew when the picture would be taken, so we were all supposed to have our best scared faces.  Troy's scared face is not very good.  The funny thing is, Ethan's face looked exactly the same the first time we rode on it, so this really is his scared face.
I have a lot more pictures (although not as many as I liked, I learned lessons for next time we go), but I feel like I've already done more pictures than anyone who reads my blog would care to see.  Like I said, we all had the best time, and were sad that our vacation was done.  My favorite ride was definitely Star Tours, and all I can say is the fast pass system is the best, especially since Star Tours had just been redone and had ridiculously long lines.  We got to go on it three times.

I have some pictures from our day at the beach that I'll try to post another time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stew Recipe

This is my favorite stew--I just toss it all in the crock pot and it's really good.

1 lb (about 2 large) peeled sweet potatoes (you can use regular, too)
1 lb carrots
1 medium yellow onion
2 lb top sirloin
3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups water

And that's it.  I cook it all day in the crock pot, and add a bit of flour near the end if it seems like it needs thickened up.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sweethearts 5k

I finished my first 5k today. I think my time was about 28:05, but I'm not positive. That's way faster than I expected, because I'm a fairly slow runner. I ran with my dad just about the whole way, and I think we pushed each other a little bit, so that was nice. I only wanted to stop and throw up for the last half mile or so, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. :)

Here's a picture of me, Mindy, and Aubrey. I don't take very good pictures when I'm trying to hold the camera.
Here are all the girls who ran it--Geoff and Dad also ran, but Geoff was off somewhere and Dad was taking the picture.

 I can't really say it was a fun time, because I still have not fallen in love with running, but it was fun to spend time with family.  It was also nice to run with my dad the whole time, even though neither of us talk when we run (I know for me it's because I can't, I'm just concentrating on breathing).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cauliflower Soup

Tonight for dinner I made cheesy cauliflower soup. I was a little worried beforehand, because I thought it might not be good, and nobody would eat it. I needn't have worried. It was so delicious. Kevin licked his bowl clean and asked if I could make it again tomorrow. I had a big huge bowl. Ethan didn't really eat it, but he doesn't eat anything these days. Troy and Kaitlyn both liked it as well.

So, here's how I made it:

1 16 oz. bag frozen cauliflower
2 cups milk (whatever you normally drink)
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
heat until boiling, then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 8 minutes

Slowly stir in 3 Tbs flour (you can do more or less depending on how thick you like your soup), then cook for a couple more minutes.

Remove from heat and add 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and a little bit of lemon juice.

That's the basic recipe, and it can be altered to suit your tastes. I added a bit of herbs (I can't even remember what at the moment). You could add onions if you like them. The only thing I would do differently was that maybe I would chop the cauliflower before adding it, because some of them were pretty big, but once it's cooked the cauliflower is easy enough to cut up with your soup spoon.

Besides the soup I also made cheesy pita bread. I used whole wheat pitas, sprinkled a very small amount of cheese on the top (the cheese is just supposed to add flavor, it's not meant to be a gooey sandwich), then broiled it in the oven for a few minutes. It was a delicious side to the soup, and my whole meal was only 6 weight watchers points. To give non weight watcher people a reference, I'm supposed to have 29 points per day, so 6 for dinner is a low number, but the meal was very filling and yummy.

I got this recipe off the weekly meal plan at e-mealz, but I did alter the soup recipe a bit.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Slash toast

I was trying to figure out what to cook for dinner tonight when Ethan came in and asked for toast. So I said, "Okay, tonight can be a leftover slash soup slash toast night". And Ethan said, "I want slash toast."

In other news, I ran 4 miles today, and felt like I could have gone longer but the treadmill was stupid and automatically started with a cooldown at 45 minutes. I'm feeling a lot more ready to run a 5k next Saturday. If you would have asked me if I would be running like this even a few months ago, I would have called you a crazy person. I have always really, really hated running. But I've ran three times this week, and I'm not hating it. I still don't love it. The whole time I'm running I kind of want to stop, but it's getting better. We'll see how much I continue to run after the 5k.

Troy is working today on his day off and it's making me ornery pants, but there's nothing I, or he, can do about it, so I'm trying not to be. At least he's getting the weekend off while others at his job will still have to work. I hate employers who seem to have so little respect for their employees, but that's a rant I won't get into.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I haven't blogged since Thanksgiving. Could be because we haven't done anything since Thanksgiving. Except for a wonderful Christmas, that's mostly true. We all just keep plugging along, and here it is February already, and I'm so ready for summer. Cold weather is not good. I'm pretty sure it makes puppies cry.

So I think I'm going to try to blog more. Or at least, I'm going to blog more today than I have so far this year. That's a good goal, and one I think I can accomplish. In the past I've made about 20 bazillion different blogs about different things, but (besides my book review blog) I think I'm going to just move it all here. It's not that I'm spending time blogging anywhere else (besides my book review blog), but I might as well fail at blogging in just one place.

So, health and fitness-wise, I'm doing okay. I've been exercising, and while I don't always love it, I do like that I'm getting stronger. My biggest problem was that my body changed in some ways, but my midsection is not changing at all. And I'm starting to realize that no, I can't eat whatever I want and hope that the exercise will take care of it. Because it won't. After half a year or so, it hasn't worked. So I decided I've really got to make some eating changes and stick to it. Since my sister-in-law had quite a bit of success with Weight Watchers, I decided to give it a try. I started on Monday, so I can't really say whether or not it's working yet, so we'll see. In a way, keeping track of everything I eat has been good for me. In another way, it's a pain in the behind.

What else have I blogged about on other blogs? I don't think I've bored anyone quite to death yet, and since that's my goal, I've got to keep going until at least one person dies. Movies! We haven't actually watched a whole lot of movies lately. Mostly we've been making our way through Stargate Atlantis (which ties Friends as my all time favorite TV show) on DVD. We finished the series not long ago, and I was sad. I wish it was still going. I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which might be one of the weirdest movies I've ever seen. It was definitely interesting, but not one I'd watch more than once. I'm sure I've seen a few others here and there, but I can't think of any. Right now we're mostly watching season two of Dollhouse, another show that got canceled too early.

So . . . there's got to be something else I can say---wait, I think I just saw someone drop dead. Either that, or they're just faking it so I'll stop. Either way, I'm done.