Saturday, October 13, 2012

Heeber Creeper

June 2nd 2012

We celebrated the end of school and the beginning of summer with a ride on the Heeber Creeper. The kids loved looking out the window of the train.

Amelia said, "Grandma is taking us on the cweeper cweeper."

I took a picture of my Grandpa's farm which is adjacent to the Heeber Creeper train track.

We also hung out with the family at the cabin. Good times!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation

We were excited to celebrate Phillip's graduation from Kindergarten. He really enjoyed his time in Mrs. Thornell's class.

Highlights from Phillip's year:
Phillip got into Mrs. L's ( the principle). Club for learning to write his name the school way. Each month they do a drawing and randomly pick kids in the club to have a pizza party with the principle. Phillip was picked the first time!

I got to help with testing once a week out in the hallway. Phillip would be very upset if I didn't mark his she perfectly.
"Mom, why is there a circle and not a check mark?!"

Phillip increased his love of math and science. He got better at reading because he liked checking off the numbers from his take home reading.

It was a great school year!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Recap Coming Soon!

I have been neglecting my blog for TOOOO long!

My new goal is to update at LEAST once a month.  A practical goal for myself!  I can DO IT!  I don't need to wait until January 2013.

I have been fairly busy blogging on my Securemama site.  It has gotten some additional traffic.  I have had some speaking engagements as well.  Securemama to the rescue!!

The problem is that I'm still working part-time, still taking care of these four cute kids, it has been hard to document all of the funny stories and things they say in the bloggosphere!

Well ... here I go!  Hopefully I haven't forgotten everything that has happened in the past 5 months!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Look back on April ... Look forward to May

Lily's dance recital! Lily was sooo excited to get dressed up amd do a cute dance with her friends. She blew kisses and hopped around the stage. Even though she was the 17th to perform, we were so happy to see her on stage.

Sports T-ball & Soccer!!

Phillip in ACTION!

Pete is coaching T-ball. It's a little like wrangling cats,but Phillip is very motivated to get the ball even if it means he has to run into a pile of fellow team members to make the play.
Here's me at my BYU women's conference booth.  It was a great experience.  My mom was there and helped out a lot!  It was a lot of work, but well worth the time!

Here's Henrie's latest Instagram photo.  He is getting more and more chubby every day!


How could I forget?! We went to the annual Mapleton Easter Egg hunt. We also had a fun little easter egg hunt at home. What cute kids!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happiness is Having a Sister!

I was thinking of all of my sisters on my run today.  I was thinking of how they have influenced me and my path in life.  Not until this afternoon, I realized today was the anniversary of when my little sister Julie died at the age of 18.  It still is bitter sweet and we all miss her dearly.

Emily - My oldest sister Emily, even though she talks really fast on the phone, has such calm and reassuring personality.  I often would escape to Emily's house.  During the Summer months when I was still living at home.  (I think I may have lived with her for a total of a year if you added up all of the time).  Or, during college when I needed to just talk and hang out.  She is always so positive and caring.

Cheryl - Cheryl helped me to learn to put my best foot forward.  She did my hair and got me dressed every morning until I was 8 years old.  "Beauty is Pain!" She would say while brushing out my hair.  She even rescued an haircut disaster in college.  I cut my hair in the middle of a date.  When I was all dressed up to be picked up, my hair was a boy haircut, brown and greasy.  She got me an appointment and paid for some highlights so I could feel better about my hair.  Even though I often times feel tired or awkward, I know I can try to look my best.

Mary - Mary gave me a fascination for the ever-improving mindset.  There is always a 'better' way to do something.  We would make custom 'home-made' planners during my first year of college.  (we couldn't afford a franklin planner).  By the next year we had to buy all new materials because we had to re-work our design.  Imagine our lives now with 100+ apps to make your life easier.  It just takes forever to find the 'best' app!

Al - Al has always had a zest for life and was never scared to try and figure out something new.  She went to China to teach english for six months.  She is now running a farm with goats, chickens, & sheep and 8 kids!  She helped convince me to move to Philadelphia.  She was moving but assured me that her friends would look out for me, which they did.  It's amazing the things you can accomplish when you are not scared to get out and try something new.

Suz - Suz helped pave the way for the little sisters.  She did Tennis throughout school, which I copied.  She ran track her senior year, which led me to run track the next year.  She was in student government, and so was I (the next year).  Get the pattern? She kept telling me to major in Information Systems.  She even forwarded me a copy of a friends offer letter to entice me.  She has always encouraged me to learn and do more in school, activities, and now in real life.

Becca - Becca helped me learn dedication and perseverance.  I was behind her in College and thought about going into Accounting.  Anytime we talked about owing money to each other she made me say in Accounting Lingo "I need to debit my Accounts Receivable and credit Accounts Payable." (That was totally wrong, that's why I'm not an Accountant today).  Becca is nervous to take on any new hobby or craft because she will not go halfway.  She started running again after her last baby (who is 18 months old) and just ran in the Boston Marathon! Amazing!

Julie - Julie taught me about bravery and courage.  Julie is my little sister by 14 months.  We were often confused as 'the twins' because we both had blue eyes, blond hair, and were the same height.  She quickly passed me in height as well!  She was diagnosed with cancer at 16.  While in remission she would go on 'photo safari's,' fly kites, and started picking up where she left off.  When the cancer came back, she had a fighting attitude.  She said, "I know that this is probably the hardest thing I will go through, but it's not THAT hard."  Towards the end, every day was a fight and she was strong and courageous, not for herself, but for all of us who didn't want to see her go.

Bina - Bina helped me have fun laughing, singing, and being silly.  I am a goof, and will always be goofy.  Bina just helps accentuate that aspect in me.  During college we would do such crazy things together.  I went to pick up Bina from the testing center and decided to dress as a princess.  I started chasing and calling after random guys, "My Prince! My Prince!"  We would often go to 7-11 in the weirdest outfits.  Bina helped me realize that we are all a little weird and "That's OK!"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Madness!

I kept meaning to post a new entry, but everything has been moving at a quicker pace around here.

Highlights of March
  • Henrie's baby Blessing
  • Phillip learned to ride his bike.
  • Pete Coaching T-Ball, & Phillip's first Soccer Game.
  • Amelia is learning to go on the potty.
  • Henrie is smiling and sleeping.
  • Spring weather and being outside!
  • Lily had her dance dress rehearsal.
Lowlights of March
  • The Flu bug came and went.
  • I did mountains of laundry cleaning up lots of potty 'accidents.'
  • Looking for missing dogs

Here is a picture of our little lucky charm! Can you tell which one is Phillip and which one is Henrie?

After the wind storm, we had a lot more pine needles to clean up. BUT all of our sycamore leaves were blown into other yards! Yay!! the glass is always half full! We added another swing to the tree. We now have 3 swings one tree and a baby swing ready for Henrie on the other tree.

Here is Phillip digging his mine shaft. He kept drawing plans for his mine shaft during the winter. He also created an outline of the step by step process .. 1) wait for summer 2) dig with my shovel 3) dig with dad's tools 4) get my friends to dig etc.

Phillip even mentioned that he wanted to have a 'mine shaft' birthday party, but his friends don't HAVE to help. Only if they wanted to. He has since said that he doesn't care that much about gold anymore. Now he is looking for diamonds.

Amelia was throwing a fit, so I put her in timeout. I knew she needed a nap but it was already 4:00. I waited a few minutes and peeked in the room and saw this cute little napper on the timeout chair.

I took a picture of our morning ritual. The kids love to wave at the window as Pete pulls out of the garage on his way to work.

Lily's dance rehearsal! She loves being a girly girl! I did my best with her hair. I was amazed by some of the work of other 'stage moms'!

Phillip on his bike!

Phillip's first Soccer game! He really wanted to do soccer, but we had already signed up for T-ball. So we are doing both! Pete is in charge of T-ball and I will be in charge of soccer. ;-)

Here is T-ball practice. There is the GREAT Coach Olsen taking a knee with the 5 and 6 year olds and teaching them the fundamentals of baseball.

In all it has been a busy but fun month! I can't wait for more games, dances, and spring weather to do some planting.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Henrie's Baby Blessing

We had Henrie's Baby Blessing yesterday. I can't believe he'll be 3 months old this month! Pete did a great job and gave him a very nice blessing. Henrie is such a sweet little baby and is starting to coo and smile. We are so blessed to have such a happy healthy baby boy! I am grateful to have family around for the special event!

Our treat bar with labels and all! Little Amelia liked the stool right next to it :-)
My Lemon Layer Cake .. Before ...
My Lemon Layer Cake ... After! Success!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Cake Recipes!

Well, I spent all day cleaning today. Didn't exercise or anything. Still in my exercise clothes. (Here's hoping!) Anywho, to reward myself I decided to make a Lemon Layer cake. YAY!! Henrie only likes being in the swing and I didn't want to stick him right back into the swing all day so I tried something new. I let him sit in the Bumbo chair. He didn't like it until he was on the counter and eye-level with me and could watch me cook. But, the poor little guy fell asleep in his chair. I guess I need to be a more engaging "Food Network" personality for him. ;-)

In the spirit of cake making, I thought I would post the recipe I used for Lily's Cake and icing.

I have to admit, don't think I'm being conceited ... it tasted REALLY good!

I used a box chocolate cake. I think the flavor was fudge. I think any chocolate box cake would work.

Box cake modifications:
  • Extra flour about a 1/3 cup (only do this at high elevation)
  • I substituted 1/2 cup butter for the oil
  • I substituted water (1 1/2 cup) with sour cream and curdled milk (curdled milk: 1 Tb of lemon juice in 1 cup milk and stand for 10 minutes .. This was a substitute for buttermilk which I did not have on hand).
  • Whip the cake batter until it is fluffy.
  • I followed the tip from a cake decorator and wrapped the cakes in saran wrap and froze them until I was ready to decorate. This traps in the moisture.
  • Pudding - I just opened to pudding snacks that I had on hand.
Whipped chocolate Ganache Frosting:

16 oz semi sweet chocolate (I just used a bag of semi-sweet morsels)
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Melt the chocolate. I usually do this in the microwave on a low setting and stir often.
In a sauce pan heat butter until melted. Add the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt and stir with heatproof spatula until sugar is dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate, butter mixture, and cream to clean bowl of standing mixer and stir to thoroughly combine.

Place the mixer bowl over an ice bath and stir continuously with rubber spatula until frosting is thick and just beginning to harden against the sides of the bowl, 1 to 2 minutes (frosting should be 70 degrees). Place bowl on standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 mintues. Stir with rubber spatula until completely smooth.

I'll post the Lemon Layer cake recipe later. I have to see if it turns out first!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day! Yay!!

What a great time to have an 'extra' day!! I feel like I should post something to make this extra day possible.

I was asked to do a booth at BYU Women's Conference. I was hesitant at first because I thought I was going to have to sew something or do something crafty. Anywho, they said I can pick my own topic. What better topic than ... Securemama!

Here's a link to the latest post. I am going to focus my booth on the "Top Ten ways to Protect your Kids on the Internet." Let me know if you have any ideas. I get to bring a helper and my mom said she could come. She has called me a few times already about this and now I am reminded of my days in school when I had a project due. I guess it helps to have a kind reminder!

Not much else is new around here. We are just "In the thick of it" with these four kids. Little Henrie is starting to smile!!! Yay!! What a cute little guy!

I'm starting to exercise and venture out more. Here's a picture from a walk I took. Oh Beautiful!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Lily!

We had a Pretty Pink Dancer party!

I watched part of Lily's Dance class and saw how much she LOVES to dance around like a little ballerina. Her teacher told me she got hurt during the class and she told Lily she didn't have to keep dancing. But Lily said, "I want to Dance!!" I've noticed that Lily always has a little skip in her step and walks around the house on her tippy toes.

So, we moved the furniture, pulled up the carpet and had a dance party! We hired a REAL dance professional straight from Broadway. Ummm ... Me! hahaha! Pete even showed the girls a few moves.

My sister Suz sent me cookies for the party favor. So cute! Lily wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. (good choice!) I'll post a recipe later. I've been experimenting with box cake recipes.

We did some dancing games and Lily wanted to play Duck-Duck-Goose which was a LOT of fun.

Cake, chips, and drinks (check out my FANCY party fountain below) and lots of presents and the party was over. Whew! I'm glad I had help and had a GREAT celebration for Lily!

Happy Valentines Day!

It was a fun Valentines Day this year! Pete and I went out the night before which was a very welcomed break! Thank to Pete's parents who watch all four kids! We went to dinner & exchanged cards. Pretty simple and Pretty Great as I remembered the holiday THAT day.

Phillip came home with a LOT of candy from school. I had to try my hardest to keep the kids from eating candy all day.

My heart pizza turned out great! Too bad the kitchen was too messy to make cards. Ah well ... Maybe next year.

Phillip took the trouble to make his own Valentine cards. Here is what he gave Pete. I think Phillip believes that it is an empty gesture unless there is money included. A very generous gift from Phillip. Or was it an investment? Phillip ended up getting $5 from Pete for Valentines.

The girls liked the Valentine app that I downloaded for them. We all said what we loved most about each other In all, a great day for the family.