Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Robbers

I woke up this morning to three children hovering over my bed in the dark.  I could hear them whispering to each other asking if this was a big enough deal to wake me up for (I am a bit of a bear in the mornings) when Jude says, "This is the kind of stuff they teach you about in school. You always tell a parent when there is a robber in the house."

A robber in my house, aye?

I scare them all when I shoot up in bed and say, "So we have a robber, do we?"

Jude replies, "I'm sure of it,  Mom.  We were all downstairs and we heard a 'shhh' sound."

"A shhhhh sound?"

"Yeah.  OH!  And there was a headband on the table and NONE OF US PUT IT THERE!"

"So, you're telling me that there is a robber in our house telling you all to be quiet and putting away the things on the floor?  This robber sounds fantastic.  Maybe we should make him some breakfast."

"NO REALLY MOM!  Lily (Maddie's friend who slept over last night) saw him poking his head up over the couch - TWICE! He painted his face black.  Then when we went back to get him, he disappeared."

Ella chimes in, "Man, this guy is good."

I roll out of bed and tell them that I will come downstairs in a few minutes to make sure there is nobody hiding behind the couch.  As they run away I hear Jude say, "I'm going to spray the robber with water.  They hate that!"

Ella says, "Yeah! And I'm going to get him in the balls."

WHAT?!  Did my barely-five year old girl REALLY just say that?!

I go downstairs to talk to Ella about what she just said, and I see this:

With the balls.  WITH the balls.

We need to work on her prepositions.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tried and True Healthy Foods...Part 1.

Well, here we are...three weeks into January.  This is the week where keeping New Year's resolutions gets a bit hard.  Mostly (for me at least) because stores start filling their shelves with yummy valentines candies.  And by this point in the year I'm SO past Christmas candy (talk about passé) ....but Valentines candy = true love, right?


Valentines Day candy is the devil.  Because once you stuff your face with that stuff you think, "Well, I already blew that resolution..." and continue eating candy hearts until your own heart aches of food guilt.  Vicious circle, I tell you.  Vicious circle.

This year I've entered a weight-loss competition (more about that on my other blog ------>) and have worked really hard at eating healthier in 2014.  Because of that, I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite recipes and go-to foods that are keeping both my husband and me food-guilt free.  Add them to your healthy foods board on Pinterest, and then actually eat them.  They are GOOD.  Now, these aren't my recipes...just some that are tried and true.

Carne Bistec found HERE.  This had great flavor if you love Mexican food.  I served mine with sliced avocado.

Magic Weight Loss Soup found HERE.  I leave out the mushrooms and replaced the cabbage with kale,  but it is packed full of vegetables, low in calories, and surprisingly flavorful.  It freezes well, and rewarms tasting just as good.

I know that some of you are thinking about the preservatives in frozen meals, but for me, lunch is all about convenience.  If I don't have something I can throw in quickly - I'll just eat whatever I can find (read binge on chips and salsa).  This pizza is actually pretty good, and warms up in about three minutes.  I also really love WW three cheese ziti.  I ate that almost daily when I originally lost 50 lbs. Posted HERE). I add a coke zero and call it good.  (Yes, obviously water would be the healthier choice, but I'm a junkie.  We'll leave that to another post.)

Salmon with mango-kiwi relish found HERE.  I usually avoid fish.  It kind of both grosses and creeps me out.  ESPECIALLY in my own home.  I trust restaurants to cook it well, but am terrified of making it myself.  This recipe changed my mind.  Super easy, super delicious.  I think this one was Rob's favorite of all the healthy dinners.  

Healthy Chicken Salad found HERE. I loved this one because I could make it in advance, and when dinner time rolled around I just pulled it out of the fridge, threw two scoops on top of a plate of spinach and chowed down.  Rob topped his with a low calorie dressing, but I enjoyed mine plain.  It was also great the next day.  

Chobani Flips, in Key Lime crumble.  I LOVE these.  I'm actually eating one now.  They are a great go-to for those moments when you really, REALLY need something sweet.  I'm not usually a lime fan, but my sister in law let me try one of hers and I was immediately hooked.  

PB2.  Can be found on, or in most natural food stores.  This stuff is amazing.  It is basically pressed peanuts without all the oil, fat, calories, etc.  You can add water to turn it back into a cream, or add the powdered version to your protein shake or smoothie for some real PB flavor.  I posted my favorite PB2 recipe on my other blog as well.  

Now that I've shared a few of my favorites, cook yourself something healthy tomorrow.  Your body will thank you.  I'll post a few more of my favorites in a couple of days to keep the resolution-ending cravings out of mind.  And if you want to follow my newest weight loss challenge, I'll keep updates over on the other blog. Happy (and healthy) eating, everyone!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


The little lady is now three years old, and in true three-year-old-fashion, she chose to celebrate her birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's.  The kids seemed to enjoy themselves, and as far as we know, none of them contracted hepatitis while there.  I guess we shall find out at their next well-child exams.  For now, we will call it a success.  

There are no words that can adequately describe the child I am raising.  The only way to really understand Claire is to meet her in person - but I will do my best to put her personality into words.

Claire is hands down the friendliest, and most social child we have.  She is always walking up to strangers (great) and asking their name - where their kids are - what their favorite color is - how old they are - can I play on your cell phone - etc. 

She loves to sing, dance, and twirl.  She looks at herself in the mirror with each day's outfit and spins in it just to see how the outfit looks spinning.  She is obsessed with jewelry, makeup, and playing on the computer or iPad.  We are constantly being told that we need to get her an agent because she's a natural entertainer, and can eye-roll better than most teenaged girls.  Don't even get me started on the hand that is constantly on her hip.  The worst part is that it's absolutely adorable....well, most days.

Heaven help me.

Presenting our Claire:

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Red.  You are the sweet and sour sauce of this family, and our chicken and rice home just wouldn't be the same without you.  I love you from head to toe, and am so grateful to be your mommy.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As 2013 comes to a close, and as my 2014 resolution to blog more begins, I thought I'd whip together a "what you missed" post to wrap up our year in about thirty or so photos.  Kind of like how TV shows give you five minutes of last season's highlights before jumping into a new season each fall.  "...and that's what you missed on Glee."

Who watches that show, anyway?!   Not me.  Ever.  I'm (ahem) 28, ya know.  

So back to 2013.  Let's just jump right in, shall we?  

(I had intended for this to go chronologically, but apparently blogger has other ideas)

I announced my pregnancy to my family via this photo. Apparently I felt more pregnant than I looked.  Nobody got it.
We spent many warm weekends at the condo in St. George
Rob and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.  He surprised me with a trip to Vegas and California.  
Seth was born - and we took this Benjamin Button of a baby picture.  Whose old man baby is that anyway?!  
Rob wrestled with his children on a nightly basis.  Usually just in time to rile them up before bed. 

We learned that Claire was destined for stardom:

We sobbed as we left our first little home. 

Rob turned 33, and I botched his cake

We celebrated halloween with a skeleton, a witch, Merida and Ariel
Madelyn was baptized
We took this photo.  
We blessed our little Sethy Boy
We said a swift goodbye to Rob's parents
We carved awesome pumpkins
Ella Bell turned five.  Jude made her a bow - which she proudly wore to school.
Claire Bear turned 17 2

Rob reached a big milestone with his business
Juders turned 6

We painted Easter eggs (with monkeys?)
Jude killed at LEAST sixteen acres of rainforest with all of his creating
The hole in the mouth happened.  
Bowser ate four of Yoshi's five limbs, and we finally had to get rid of them (yes...somebody actually bought 1/3 of a lizard)
Miss Maddie turned 8
We blew the neighborhood away with our amazing fireworks display.  (ARE THOSE SNAKES COMING OUT OF THE GROUND?!) 

We sent three incredibly tired looking kids to school (Ella - preschool, Jude - 1st Grade, Maddie 3rd Grade)
I turned 28(ish) and cried while trying to blow out my candles.  Thanks, hormones. 
Rob read to Maddie's class, and we learned about beef jerky.
My brother and his wife came to visit us from Chicago
We utilized our zoo membership (and actually saw real animals as well as lego animals)
Ella grew her hair out

Then chopped it

....we spent two weeks in Chicago with my family and forgot our camera.

All in all, I'd say 2013 was a pretty darn good year.  It had its ups and downs, but we've definitely been blessed.  We are happy, healthy alive, and ready to embark on all of the joys that 2014 will bring to our family.  

Wishing you all a wonderful 2014...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Maddie's Baptism

The end of last summer was a busy time for us, as I mentioned in my last post.  The entire summer our family was looking forward to Madelyn's baptism.  We knew it would be the first Saturday in August, since she had turned 8 in July...which also fell in the same week I was supposed to be induced.   It was a really big and exciting day for Maddie, so naturally I was a bit worried that little boy Seth would decide to come JUST in time for me to have miss it, or come at a time that would force us to reschedule.  

Thankfully, the boy held out and we were able to enjoy a beautiful day with our amazing little girl.  Maddie was so sweet, and thrilled to baptized by her dad.  Having so many friends and family around to support her only made the day that much more special.  Rob and I are so proud of her desire to be like Christ, and couldn't adore this sweet child more.  
We love you, Madelyn!  

The bottom is the last family picture we took before Seth joined us.  I went into labor the very next day.  Thanks, Seth, for not stealing Maddie's thunder.  Your timely arrival saved Maddie years of resentment, and saved me thousands of dollars on therapy for Madelyn later in life!  

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Yeah, it's been a while.  I'm just going to make this a blog of excuses so people understand what I've been dealing with.

In August, Maddie was baptized, I had a new baby, school started, and we began packing.  In September we moved - while taking care of the crankiest baby on the planet.  Yes - Seth was a bit of a beast. We moved into my in-law's basement while they were still upstairs for one month. (They are serving a two year mission and needed someone to house-sit, so we turned our home into a rental and moved in.)  Then they left and we moved (what seemed like) a second time - upstairs.  Two weeks later we took a two week trip to Chicago, and just got back to find two kids with RSV.  Yeah.  Did I mention I'm still driving the kids back and forth to their old school?  Not a super long drive, but an extra half hour every morning and afternoon.

Yes, yes....I could complain all day, but I'll keep it brief.  On top of everything, and maybe even the biggest contributor to my lack of blogging has been trying to raise the funniest, most dramatic, and most demanding redhead that this world has ever seen.  When I asked her to say cheese for the camera, she struck this pose:

100% Claire.

The kid kills me.  Then makes me laugh.  Then makes me run into my room and lock the door.  Then kills me again. Then stops me in the middle of a sentence to say, "Love you, Mom." Last week I overheard her starting a riot in nursery.  Think fist-pumping-chanting of "RED! RED! RED! RED!" getting other kids to join in so she could get her way. I apologized over and over to the nursery leaders for my outspoken daughter when I picked her up and they said, "Oh, she's hilarious.  VERY ARTICULATE."

Very articulate indeed.

 Heaven help me.  If this kid ever stops napping I don't know what will become of my life.  Either way, if this kid gives me a break every once in a while I'd like to be back on board with this blogging thing.  It used to make me pretty happy.  Guess we will see what lies ahead for our little Merida.