Friday, November 30, 2007

Ketchup anyone?

Could this day be any more perfect?? :) Woke up this morning to a beautiful blanket of white snow outside and my husband having already fed and studied spelling words with Ethan. Yea! Now I have 4 little kids (3 that I watch on Fridays) that are all downstairs playing delightfully with each other, and a computer that will be available ALL DAY LONG!! It has been way too long...

I am going to be doing a few catch-up posts over the next couple of days, so if you are interested... scroll down. I hope to be back to regularly scheduled blogging in the near future! :)

BIG thanks to my Awesome uncle for helping me resolve my camera issue. Huge thanks. I was going nuts....

Oh- and just one more think I found while searching for a ketchup picture... What a great idea from one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple.

Making pancakes from a ketchup bottle. Keep it in the fridge and when you need to make pancakes in a hurry, Bam! Genius.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fire Starter

Today, I asked Ethan to go out and do yet some MORE leaf raking with me. It was a really cold day, so I decided that I would start a fire in the fire pit so we could go warm up between trips to dump the leaves. I found a few decomposing logs and threw them in the pit. Ethan walks up and says, "What are you doing?" I say, "I am making a fire so we can stay warm." He replies, "You don't know the first thing about making a fire. Let me do it...." Then I sat back and watched.
I know it is a simple thing, starting a fire. Even starting a fire "the RIGHT way" might not be that big of a deal. But for me, watching him start a fire just like his dad has always done, it was surreal. I was so proud of him. I am so thankful for the kind of boy he is and I am in awe of how fast he is growing. Sometimes the future scares me, the dreaded "teenage years", but for just a little while today- I saw him as a kid growing up and I was excited.
The fire lasted long into the dark as we sat around it talking about nothing in particular. We watched the embers fly up and graze the trees above, the kids even lit long logs on fire and used them to make smoke letters. I didn't get too many leaves raked up, but it didn't matter. There is always tomorrow. I was happy to throw all the plans out the window and share this night with my kids.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cleanin' Up

Hey! It's fall ya'll. I love fall, as most people do. I also love that our yard is really big and has lots of good shade trees for the summer months. However, big yard + shade trees + fall = LOTS of work in the yard. We usually do it in sections, because it is so much. With Nathan being so busy with school, the kids and I set out to make a dent.

This is the section we decided to start with...
After raking, and using the leaf blower, we got a big pile. When you have been working so hard, you usually need to take a rest. We did that by jumping into the pile and laying there for a while until the wind blew the leafs over our faces...
Ethan and Saroya always think of new and exciting ways to do this tedious job. Last year, Ethan pulled Saroya around in the wagon while Saroya drug a rake to pick up the leaves. It didn't seem to be too productive so it didn't last long. I thought it was cute though. This year they tied a tarp to the back of Ethan's 4 wheeler and filled it up with leaves. Then they used bungie cords to hold up the sides and keep the leaves in. It actually worked really good. While they took the leaves back to the woods behind our house, I raked up some more leaves and got another pile ready. By the time we were done with that one section, it was dark and we still needed to eat (and make) dinner and take baths. It took a long time and it was hard work, but we had so much fun. I went out eary the next morning to get a shot of what the yard looks like clean, so I can remember it in 3 days when there will be tons more leaves to be raked up...

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Ok- I am just going to hurry and get this done since lately there hasn't been enough "Holly Computer time" and Nathan just informed me that this coming week is going to be the worst for school so far. That translates to NO Holly Computer time... Ugg.

I am supposed to write 6 things about myself, and then tag other people to do the same.

So these are a few things about me that will probably make you question your association with me. Oh well, I am who I am...

1. I HATE SPONGES AND MOPS!! I think they are gross and germ ridden. I use a dish rag (el cheapo one) to clean my floors and then I throw it away. For the sink, I use a clean dish rag every day and wash old ones. This is ironic too, because I am NOT a neat freak or a germaphobic. Heck- I'm actually not that tidy at all! I guess that commercial of the lady cleaning her kitchen with a raw chicken breast really got to me... :)

2. I am never on time. If I am early (at ALL) it's probably because I got the time messed up. It's not that I am trying to be inconsiderate, but I feel uncomfortable if I get somewhere early. (Did I get the wrong date? Am I at the wrong location?) Now that I have kids, even if I wanted to be early, it wouldn't happen. I am just not organized enough.

3. I love to sleep. I mean I REALLY love it. I don't stay in bed all day, or even take naps, but when it is time.... YEA!! I even have it down to a weird science. I love a cool room with lots of heavy warm covers on top of me. Then I love to put the covers over my head and make a little tunnel for just my mouth to get fresh air. (Oh my gosh. I am totally laughing that I am actually acknowledging this and writing it for the whole world to see.) Then I lay there and make lists in my head to fall asleep. :) It doesn't have to be this way, it is just my favorite way...Ok- I am a total freak! I can't wait to hear it....

4. I burn things all the time. (In fact I just did...) I just get distracted and then... Oops! I even left a chicken breast cooking on the grill once for humm..... a couple of hours? Luckily it didn't burn my house down. Some things I prefer burnt. Like popcorn. Nathan doesn't get it, and I don't totally burn it, just a little grey. I'm blaming that one on my mom. Right mom?

5. I usually don't like comedy sitcoms. I don't know why. I have never watched a whole episode of Seinfeld, Frasier, The Office or Scrubs. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I have recently watched a few episodes of Two and a Half Men because all of a sudden, Nathan says he loves that show. I started watching Friends a few years before it ended.

6. Gosh- I feel like I should write something really good about myself since I am sounding like someone you would really rather avoid. Sorry!! :) Lets see.... humm... I like teaching. I like seeing the look on someones face when they "get it" for the first time. I don't think I would ever go to school for it, but I am glad I get to help out in my kids classes and I get to teach the youth in our ward. Sometimes I know I nailed it, and other times I want to climb in a hole, but I am always glad I got the chance.

Ok- so now that I have no friends left, I won't bother tagging anyone. (Plus, everyone I know has already been tagged!! :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Big Sis!

In celebration of Nikki's FIRST ever blog entry and because it was her birthday yesterday, I wanted to do a post just for her! I will not tell you how old she is, but I will list 36 reasons why Nikki is so great!

1. As kids, she was always our fountain of information. You could ask her anything and she would know all about it and tell you.

2. As adults she is always a fountain of information. You can ask her ANYTHING and she knows all about it and will tell you.
3. She worries she is not a "good enough" mom, and I can tell you without any question that she absolutely is more than good enough.

4. She validates me.

5. She has the greatest kids and my kids adore them!

Jaleigh & Jackson

Kobe & Saroya

Ethan, Jillie & Reagan

6. She is one of the only people I talk to on the phone for a REALLY long time.

7. She is genuine, honest, and completely level headed.

8. She gives me clarity when I need it.

9. She helps me see other peoples sides when I can't see it myself.

10. I will listen to any advice, direction, or insight she has, and I find myself a better person for having listened.

11. My husband will listen to anything she says too. When we are in disagreement about something, if I say, "Well, Nikki thinks we should.." chances are he will eventually do it. :)

12. If I am happy, sad, frustrated, or angry she is always there and I always feel better after having talked to her.

13. She has something weird on her leg. (Sorry Nik, I thought it was funny :)
14. I once got into big trouble for trying to make Nikki laugh when she didn't think it was funny.

15. She watched Ethan when he was a baby for me and to this day, I don't know how she took care of 3 kids two and under. I will forever be grateful.

16. She has a husband that loves her desperately.

17. She is an amazing cake decorator (even at 4 in the morning...)

18. She is very organized and loves to help others (me!!) get organized.

19. Because of her, I got away with a lot more as a kid.

20. She stood up to a cop that thought she caused an accident and fled the scene while I was at my friends house hiding the vehicle that was REALLY involved in that incident.

21. She is a true friend. She still keeps in touch with friends from elementary school.

22. She is curious.

23. She buys "Method" brand soap because she likes the bottle it comes in. Now I do too.

24. She passes down hoards of clothes for my girls to wear, which they LOVE!

25. She had her mouth wired shut for 6 weeks. I think she even kissed a boy this way!

26. She leaves a comment for every post I make on my blog.

27. She loves spiced gumdrops and goulash.

28. She ate my carmel apple when we were kids and I am so sorry that she got in trouble for it. :)

29. She was part of the cool kids group at church and by default, so was I.

30. She survives on only 3-4 hours of sleep a night because she is busy taking care of "things".

31. She is very creative and has taught her kids to be the same.

32. She is a great missionary herself, and has always helped the missionaries in her ward.
33. She has unbelievable patience.

34. She has unwavering faith and instills that in her children.

35. She is independent, strong and capable.

36. Even with all this having been said, I have not given her justice. She is amazing...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Girls Day Out!!

Every year it has been a family tradition for the women of the family to go on an all day shopping excursion to prepare for the Christmas holiday. It has varied as to who was available or in town, but it we always have a blast!

Some of my favorite memories of these trips:

*The year Nikki, Tami & I were all pregnant and we had to have the windows rolled down for the 2 hour trip there and the 2 hour trip back, or Tami would puke. We were all freezing, but not puked on...

*Starting at the Maidenform outlet store because I needed a new bra- NOW!

*When Nikki & I took our nursing babies. It really turned out nice for us because we got to sit down and rest often, and we had strollers to load up bags on! :) You gotta be tough to shop with us!

*When Nikki showed up as a surprise and I screamed for 5 minutes terrifying Jackson.

*Always stopping at Harry & David, or Peppridge Farm to get snacks.

*When Mom FINALLY got her ears pierced.
*The year I bought more furniture and accessories for my home then presents for anyone else. I only stopped because we wouldn't have enough room to sit in the car on the way home.

This year was no exception. We started out the day early-7am, so we could get to the stores by the time they opened. My cousin Emily was in town from Arizona so he was able to come too!
We started out the day with a good stretch, and a bathroom break. It was soo funny to me that when we were all behind stall doors, my cousin Emily says, "Does anyone have Triple A?" and I look up to see an advertisement on the back of the door about a discount you could get if you have Triple A. It was classic that she was already "shopping" for a deal. :)

We hit the pavement pretty hard! We got a lot of deals and presents too. Emily even got a "Grow your own snow" kit to bring back to Arizona. :) Then with sore legs and feet and with a car full of deals, we were ready to sit down for a good meal before heading home.Another year of fun to add to the books, and a BIG thanks to the men in our lives for taking care of things at home once again. Anyone else wanna come next year? :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007


We made it through another long Halloween day! With a kitten, bunny and hockey star how could it go wrong? Ok-I know this matters to me more than anyone else, but her hat is really sewed straight, she just kept pulling it back making it look crooked. It is not sewn as bad as it looks in this picture. Thank you...
For the first time, we had kids having parties & parades at two different schools at exactly the same time. YIKES! Nathan went to Ethan's (thank goodness he didn't have to work!) and Jaleigh and I went to Saroya's. Unfortunately we only have one digital camera so it came with me to Saroya's party. Her class did a cute little play for us so I was glad I had it. The play was about the life cycle of a pumpkin and she was a tiny sprout. The kids would get up in groups to say their parts. Saroya's first line was, "Stretch... Hello!" It was soo cute! I could just see a little sprout just coming up out of the dirt saying that! :) (Ok- was that a total MOM comment??)

We usually have the tradition of going out to eat before trick or treating, so the kids will at least have something half way decent to eat that day. I think I may remember this from my childhood. Is that right Nikki, Sunny? Anyway, we went to Pizza Hut. Everyone was exhausted from too much partying (and Jaleigh without a nap) so it wasn't good to start with. We ordered a pitcher of soda and they just brought empty cups with lids for the kids. Well, Jaleigh insisted on showing us that SHE could do it herself. I said, "Jaleigh, it will spill" as she put all her weight into pushing the lid on. "NO!! I CAN DO IT MYSELF!!!" as loud as a tired little 3 year old could. Within seconds... SPLASH! and soda all over the table. (Luckily not on Saroya's white costume!) Then I hear in a little tiny 3 year old voice, "oh, I see...".

After dinner we hit the road trick-or-treating. The weather was pretty nice, a little cold and breezy but it seemed like trick-or-treating weather. They kept saying it was going to rain, and thankfully it didn't, but the sky was really ominous looking, making it seem even more cool. We saw a adult couple dressed like Shrek & Fiona, and I swear it was REALLY them. Holy smokes! It made me laugh, and if my camera wasn't making me crazy, I would have asked for a picture! :) We only went to one side of a street before Jaleigh started giving me her bucket and saying, "Momma, you hold this" and then turning to Nathan and saying with her arms stretched out, "Daddy, you hold ME!" Hey- I was happy with the candy... :) We came to this older man sitting in his driveway passing out candy. Something about him, Jaleigh loved! As she walked toward him she was really giving him goofy smiles and waving. Then as we left she kept turning around saying things like, "I will miss you" and "See ya later" "Be safe" "Have a good day". WE all laughed. She was so funny.

Then with one last stop at a friends house (where we were invited in for desserts and a warm-up) we were headed home. The kids sacked out fast, and I was thankful! We had had a long week already and we still had 4 more days to go!

Every year I think as we are trick-or-treating, "This is really a strange thing that we do. Dress our kids up and have them go door to door to strangers houses. The strangers are excited to see them and give them candy." Weird, but fun. And even though they are "strangers", it is kind of refreshing that most "strangers" are good people, just like you and me. Happy Halloween!