Sunday, June 29, 2008

One year BLOG-iversary

One year ago today, I started our little family blog. I was skeptical at first. I didn't think I would be very faithful about keeping up on the posts. One year later, I will admit it, I am addicted to Blogging. It has become our little family journal...our way to stay in touch & keep tabs on the people we love. We have also had the chance to reconnect with friends we haven't talked to in years. It has been easier to document our happenings here rather than writing it down five times over in every one's journals. We still have journals. I tend to go into more detail in my own personal journal. The older boys are writing in their own journals & it has made for a great summer activity. I am a firm believer in documenting ones life...the joys, the things that make you tick, your dreams, your testimony, the burnt cookies(the things that don't go quite so well) as my friend Camie would say.

As a treat to myself, I am going to have our Blog posts bound into a little book. Have you seen these? My cousin Katie blogged about it on her blog a few months back. At, you can have your blog posts bound. See, it really is a journal...with photos. The story of our lives.

If you know me, you know that we can't have a Blog-iversary & not have some fun give aways. Leave us a comment, tell us whether or not you keep a journal or maybe you are addicted to Blogging too. If you don't journal, what are your excuses?

As a bonus, if you can answer the following questions right, your name will be added to the pot a few more times. For each correct answer, I will put your name in the draw, giving you extra chances to win. All answers to the questions can be found in past blog posts (I kept them simple). Good luck & have fun. I am hoping everyone will post & let us know you're out there. The boys love reading the comments just as much as I do!

Here are the questions:
1. What is the date of my first blog post? ( I am giving you this one people)
2. What was my childhood nickname?
3. I have been able to escape two times this year with some of my closest friends, name one of the two destinations.
4. How long have John & I been married?
5. Which one of my boys made the select soccer team this year?
6. Whose favorite color is red(besides me)?
7. Why was John home from work for two months after Brody was born?
8. Who am I going to see in concert next summer (no matter what)?
9. Who learned to ride a two wheeler this last year?
10. Who can be found perched up on the kitchen table @ any given moment?

**EDITED** Lisa P was the first to respond & got them all right- way to go Lisa. You can do what Jacque did when answering...Just use the honor system. My brain wasn't thinking about how to post the answers w/out giving everyone a fair shot.
Have a wonderful evening!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A little Randomness for your Saturday

I don't have any jaw dropping news to report today. I thought I would post RaNdOm thoughts & what we've been up to this week. Here we go...

- We enjoyed a FREE Wednesday. We started our morning off by seeing a FREE movie @ the local theatre. They offer a free G & PG movie every Wednesday. We saw Shrek the 3rd. The boys had seen it before, I had not. Then we enjoyed kicking the summer reading program off @ our local Library. Fun games,book characters & live music for the kids. Then we hit Barnes & Noble & picked up their summer reading logs. When your kids have read 8 books, you turn the log back in & then they will receive a free book. Carter has already earned one free book. He has been a little book worm this summer.

- Old Navy, can't get enough of that store this week. I went in this afternoon to return a pair of shorts for Garrett & was surprised to see the lines hitting the back of the store. All solid color flip flops are on sale for $1.00. Yes, you read that right. Didn't buy any flip flops but still managed to walk out there with a bad full of summer goodness.

- The boys enjoyed a fun afternoon at the local water park. As a Mom, with four little boys, I LOVE {with a BIG ole' red puffy heart} the person who created such a cool park. The park is PURE genius in my book. Endless hours of cool playtime.

- I enjoyed a fun date with my sweetie tonight. We met up with some friends @ CRUSH29. It was fabulous to visit & have actual adult conversations.

- I am so tired of the smoke & the thick Haze covering our skies. I am ready for the blue sky to show it's self again! Tanner's select soccer practices were canceled this week.

- I am looking forward to the 4th of July & spending some time with my family. I love 4th of July... the colors, the BBQ's, the fireworks, & basically just having a day to reflect on the freedoms I enjoy.

- I have a project due on Monday for an upcoming class. I haven't started it yet, it's in my head, the papers & embellishments are all picked out. I just need to sit down & focus!

- I LOVE watermelon & all of the other fresh fruit. I can't get enough of it this summer.

- I am still annoyed when I think about the woman who cut in front of me while standing in line @ Bath & Body Works this afternoon. Then she had the nerve to look @ me & look annoyed when Brody started screaming & crying. HELLO!!! I would have been out of there faster had she not cut in front of me. I love shopping in that store with 4 little boys (who by the way behaved just fine, with more manners than that lady).

- I have about 6 loads of laundry waiting to be washed. I have no desire to do laundry today. I am telling myself "One load at a time".

- John finally hung a little rack that I purchased for my necklaces. Just looking @ this makes me happy. Their previous home was over the medicine cabinet. Now they won't get tangled & we can shut the medicine cabinet. Simple things.

- I have been reading like a mad lady in my spare time. I have read Mercy, Keeping Faith & am almost done with the Friday Night Knitting Club. They have all been great reads.

- I love this little boy ( as well as my 3 older boys). When the big kids run in & out of the house all day to play, he is my constant companion. My little sidekick! There is always a trail of "stuff "behind him as he tromps through the house.
Hoping your weekend has been filled with sunshine & laughter.

Monday, June 23, 2008

These boys were cracking me up today.

Tanner & Carter each had a friend over to play today. There is a fire burning up north & the smoke has traveled down our way. The air quality is poor. There is a thick haze of smoke in the air. When I told the boys that we were going to stay in & play today, there were a few grumbles & disappointment on their faces. They had been eyeing the slip N slide in the back yard. Can you guess what the next best thing to a slip N slide would be inside the house? What? You can't guess? Neither could I-LOL! The boys then asked to slip & slide on the hardwood floors. I turned around for two seconds & this is what I saw.

The boys had gone into Tanner & Carter's room & put baseball socks & pants on for their Slip n Slide adventure. Way to use your imaginations boys. They had a fun afternoon playing Lego's, hide & seek, Slip N sliding on the hardwood floors, Popsicles, & wrestling. Thanks for coming over to play!

For your enjoyment, I'll leave you with a parting shot of Garrett. Each morning when I spike Tanner & Carter's hair, Garrett asks me to spike his hair too! I finally gave in this morning & we all had a good laugh. This boy has too much hair to spike! Oh well...It made him happy & he loved the comments he received while we were out & about!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Under Construction

Hang with me as I play around with the settings on my blog. I am trying out
different templates till I find the one that I love. I like the colors on this one...
but I don't like how hard it is to read my quotes, people you should know, & the
what I've been reading sections. As I sat down to play with it, I realized I could sit
here for hours & scroll through all of the different templates. However, I don't
have time to sit for hours (I wish - LOL). So please hang tight as I try to get it
right :).
I am off to help the boys clean their rooms & to accomplish a few other chores
around the house. Then we are off to the water park. What are you doing today?
Anything fun & exciting? Trust me, anything is more exciting than cleaning Tanner
& Carter's room. It is a total wreck right now. Wish me luck!
Have a Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've survived...

the first week of summer break (barely) with the boys. The flu thing sure
put a damper on the start of our summer vacation. Everyone else has
remained healthy (knock on wood). We have enjoyed many fun activities
so far. Here are a few highlights from our week.

Brody tromping around the kitchen in John's shoes.
He loves to do this & does any chance he gets.

Tanner enjoying the BB gun shooting @ camp.

Tanner & friends @ Twilight (Scout) camp.

Garrett riding the cement slide. What a PRO.

Garrett, Carter & Tanner waiting for their turns
on the slides. We happened to go on a day where
a licensed daycare showed up for an outing-NICE.
They only had 20 or so kids with them.

Carter posing for the camera-I've taught
him well.

Brody trying to convince Dad to
get him out of the water NOW!
He likes warm bath water instead.

Garrett has become quite the fish this summer. He loves the water
& will even jump in @ the deep end. We are looking forward to many
more fun outings. We hope you are enjoying your summer & that you
are staying COOL!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Chris Harder photography

Amy Knudtson photography

Chris Harder photography

Amy Knudtson photography

Chris Harder photography

Chris Harder photography

Amy Knudtson photography

Wishing all of the of the wonderful Fathers out there a wonderful Fathers Day.
We hope you enjoy your day & are able to relax & enjoy those you love. I want
to wish my Dad, Hans (John's Dad) & John a Happy Fathers Day.

The boys & I thought we'd list a few things that we love about John/Daddy:
-he is a great soccer coach -Carter
-he takes me to the motorcycle shop on Saturdays -Garrett
-he is smart, extra smart when it comes to computers & math (two things I am not)-Raimi
-he lets me lay in his lap & loves to snuggle me before bed- Brody
-he taught us how to ride dirt bikes & quads -Tanner & Carter
-he signs me up for basketball, baseball, soccer - Tanner
-he has a strong testimony, knowledge & love for the scriptures - Raimi
-he reads stories to me - Garrett
-he knows how to jump in & help when I am at my whits end - Raimi
-he tucks me into bed each night - Carter
-he lets us stay up late on the weekends - Tanner & Carter
-he tells me he loves me everyday - Raimi
-he helps me practice my free throws - Carter
-he takes us camping - Tanner
-I loved when he would pick me up from preschool on Tuesdays - Garrett
-he gives me a piggy back ride to bed each night - Garrett
-he lets me play with & talk on his cell phone - Brody
-he knows how to make a mean breakfast - Raimi
-I know he loves me - Carter
-he knows how to do wicked Cannon balls into the pool -Tanner
-he works so hard to provide for our family - Raimi
-he lets me wear his tennis shoes that are way too big for me - Brody
-he buys us A&W root beer floats (our favorite) - Tanner
-he is so handy, he can fix just about anything - Raimi

Our list could go & on...we want you to know that you are the world to us,
John! Today we celebrate YOU & are so grateful that you are a hands on
Dad & a constant presence in our lives! Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

13 months & non-stop FUN!

Mr. Brody is 13 months old today. I am not sure when I will stop counting
by months or stop recording his happenings. As for today, I am going to
keep at it. Our little photo shoots are getting harder to accomplish as he
is becoming more independent :).

At 13 months this is what Brody is up to:
-he is one happy baby, just so smiley & sweet.
-he is still wearing a size 4 diaper.
-he is still teetering between the 18 month-24 month size in clothes.
-he is drinking vitamin D milk & made the transition from formula to
milk just fine.
-he is still taking two solid naps a day. One in the morning & one in the
-he is doing so much better with solid foods. Likes string cheese, watermelon,
green beans, yogurt & pasta.
-he has one more tooth(bottom left), 3 on the bottom, 4 on top
-he loves to dance. As soon as he hears music or if someone starts to sing,
he will bend his little legs & start to bop up & down-makes me giggle!
-he loves the little car that he got for his birthday, he would sit in it for hours
on end if we'd let him.
-he is a climber. Climbs up onto the kitchen table, the coffee table, the couches,
etc... he hasn't learned to climb out of the crib-knock on wood.
-he loves to pick up the cordless phone & pretend to talk. You will hear hear
him say him say "da-da" when doing so.
-he loves to give kisses & loves to snuggle.
-he now sits facing forward facing in the car. He thinks he is such a big boy.
-he can be found dragging his blankie behind him.
-he can say: ma-ma, da-da, five (as in high 5), wa-wa (water) ba-ba, and
he said Grandpa
today when my parents were leaving-so cute!
-he loves to wave hi & bye.

This little boy steals my heart everyday. He makes me smile, giggle, & is
non-stop fun, all day long. I love this boy & am so grateful he is MINE!
Happy 13 months little Bro!

Friday, June 13, 2008

How to RUIN the 1st day of Summer vacation...

-not sleeping very well, knowing you have to throw up... but just not knowing when.

-hugging the porcelain throne @ 5 am (the worst feeling in the world).

-being down & out all day with the stomach flu.

-missing the first pool party of the season.

-instead of enjoying the yummy food @ the pool party, I have had a piece of toast today.

-sleeping ALL day because your body aches too much to do anything else.

-high fever that won't break.

There is my day in a nut shell. This is not how I wanted to start our
summer vacation. I hope this bug ends with me. I am praying nobody e
lse gets it. I can't remember the last time I was this sick.

Sorry for the delay in posting the WINNER to the "Summer is" contest.
There are no cute pictures of my boys drawing the name. I wrote every
ones names down, folded them up & then drew the lucky winner. The
lucky winner is LIZZIE! Congrats. I will most likely not make it to the
PO tomorrow but I will mail it out first thing Monday morning. Thanks
for playing & sharing what summer is to you! I hope you all have a
wonderful summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to YOU!!

Today is Garrett's 4th birthday! He came into my room this morning & asked
the standard, every day question: "Where's my Dad"? My standard reply is
"at work"! He is such a Daddy's boy! Then I said "Happy Birthday bud"! His
eyes got huge & he said "it's my birthday, I'm 4"? The day has finally come!
He has been talking about his party(the one that was not planned) all month.
Not wanting to disappoint him, I called two of his best buds, parents last night
& arranged to pick them up this morning. We headed over to the McDonald's
Play Land where we enjoyed lunch & ice cream. It was perfect morning for
those three boys. They ran, jumped & played for 2 hours straight. Now Garrett
is counting the hours down till the rest of the family gets home. He is excited &
anxious about opening his presents & eating cake. He asks if it is time to open
presents oh about every 5 minutes. It is going to be a LONG afternoon-LOL!
Happy birthday sweet boy! You are a smart, wonderful little boy! We love your
spunk & all of the joy & sass you add to our family. Happy birthday chicken :)!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Is...

So... this is the way it works these days. The only way I seem to get any scrapbooking done is when I buy the Kit Of The Week that I have designed for Green Tangerines. Part of my job includes designing these K.O.T.W's for the store. Kelly(my boss) will usually hand me a piece of pattern paper or two & then I go from there. Some weeks it is a REALLY big stretch(code for I am not really into the paper) to see what I can come up with. Some of the paper lines are things that I would never have picked in a million years. I designed this LO for last weeks kit. I was given the two pieces of blue pattern paper & I used them as the base of the LO. From there, it was a blank canvas. As I was sorting the piles of pictures that have made their home on the floor in my scrapbook room, I came across these fun pictures from last summer. They are perfect for this LO. I had forgotten about them so I had to borrow some pictures from a co-worker to complete the original layout. We were visiting my Gram & Gramps Shore(the boys great grandparents). All of the cousins & my parents were there & it ended up being a fun little photo shoot. Just in case you can't read my journaling, it reads:
Summer Is:
sunshine, blue skies, playing with our cousins, green grass, water fights, running thru the sprinklers, visiting with our grandparents, swimming, smiles, sleeping in, water parks, play dates, trips to the dollar store, & endless hours of fun!!! *If I had had more room, I would have added:the smell of sunscreen, Lake Tahoe, ice cream, flip flops, air conditioning, camping, the slip & slide, Kenny Chesney concerts, lemonade, 50 cent nights @ th Boardwalk, the list could go on & on.

What does summer mean to you? I am thinking it is time for another give away. I happen to have purchased an extra "Summer Is"kit. For those of you who leave a comment on what "Summer is" to you, I will have my boys draw a name on Friday. Friday is their official first day of summer, fitting for a summer time layout. School ends on Thursday-YEAH!!!. Your kit will come complete, with all of the product you need to create this layout & a color photo of what the completed layout should look like. All you have to do is cut the papers, adhere & add your cute photos. I can't Wait to hear what summer is to you! Good luck!

P.S. A new KOTW is released every Thursday morning @ Green Tangerines. They are available while supplies last.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

All About Me

*edit* I re-read my answers this morning & realized that some of my answers did not make sense(that cut & paste thing screwed me up). I re answered some of them. Sorry about that!

I lifted this off of my cousin, katie's blog. I enjoyed reading her answers so i thought i would do my own. Kind of fun!

*Taking a 2 hour nap after church- heaven!!!!
*of course my kids. they make me proud-most days!
*Did I mention that 2 hour nap today??

*losing a loved one
*the price of gas going higher

* to raise happy, productive kids
* to get back on my treadmill on DAILY basis
* to eventually get down to my pre prego weight, 4 kids ago-uugghhhh!

* Clean sheets on the bed. If I had unlimited time, I would wash them every day. There is nothing like clean sheets when you crawl into bed at the end of the day.
* A clean car, free of the papers & garbage that my Little's tend to leave behind for me to pick up. I have to work really hard @ this one but i sure do enjoy a clean car.
*I can't stand it when my feet are dirty. Ever since I had to get stitches on the bottom of my big toe in the 5th grade, I can't go bare foot when I am outside. If i do, i will run right in & wash them off in the shower. UGHHH, just thinking about it makes me cringe. I never wore shoes when I was younger. I would run all over the neighborhood (in the gravel street, etc...)w/out my shoes. My feet were so rough & calloused that when the Dr. went to put the stitches in my toe, the needle bent three times. he had to start all over each time & it hurt like heck!
*BONUS* I have four. I keep buying the canvas tote bags from every store (Target, Wal*Mart, Pier One, Trader Joe's) in my effort to "Go Green". Now I just need to remember them each time I leave the house to go shopping.

* my house is very untidy right now & I don't mind , I know... so not like me...GASP!
*I struggle going to church each week. I know I will be walking the halls with Brody for about 2 out of the 3 hours. Not my idea of Sunday worship :). 5 1/2 more months till he can attend nursery. Counting down the months!
*I don't like seafood. Never have, never will. tuna fish is my limit :).

*the elementary school
*the baseball fields

*the girls @ GT

*In & Out
*Jamba Juice
*Costa Vida

*the Kenny Chesney concert-seriously, he is probably rocking the stage RIGHT now @ Pac bell park in San Fran...I SO wish I were there. Mark my summer!
*New York City with an unlimited cash flow
*Lake Tahoe
*In bed, out for the night.

*my kids
*Steph-I am going to miss our preschool chats during the summer break :)

*Grey's Anatomy
*reality tv.
*Deal or No Deal

now it's your turn!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thinking & Favorite Recipe!

While we were @ Carter's baseball game last night, we got to talking to one of his teammates, Grandparents. The more we talked, the more we learned we had a lot in common. The Grandpa had lived in Germany for a while...that opened up a whole other conversation. The conversation made its way to the topic of German food. John & the Grandma were reminiscing about their favorite German meals. I left there feeling a little sad. Sad, that I don't have any of my Mother in laws tried & true recipes in one spot. My mother in law, Renate, was a fabulous cook. She was the kind of cook who would add a little of this & a little of that to the things she cooked. She did not cook with a recipe. There fore, I can't cook some of my hubby's favorite meals, the meals that he enjoyed as a child. Renate passed away 6 months after we were married. June 1st, marked 12 years since her passing. I have been thinking a lot about her this week & how I wish I could have gotten to know her better. Everyday, I say a little prayer, thanking her for the son she raised. I really do have a fabulous hubby & for that I am so grateful!

As I have thought about our conversation with this set of grandparents last night, I have come to the conclusion that I need to record our families favorite recipes & get them into one spot. I want my boys to have copies of the things they loved while growing up in our home. I am thinking I need to compile a book. Not just a book, but one that is scrapbooked. I am going to include pictures of the finished recipe & include those too. We have a Recipe Album class coming up at the end of June at Green Tangerines. I think I just might take this class to get this project started. Tonight, I will share with you the first recipe that is going in our book. I have to thank my dear friend, Meridee for this one- I hope it is okay to share your recipe Mer? It is her Caramel Corn recipe. My boys ask for it all the time, especially when they know that we have Marshmallows in the house. The first time we enjoyed her Caramel corn was when her hubby was our Home Teacher. He showed up one Sunday evening to visit our family. I knew Meridee was out of town & Joe showed up with a plate of Popcorn (caramel) balls. I was surprised & asked him if he had made them? He proudly said "Yes". Okay, I have to tell you that not only did he make them himself, but he put them on a plate, wrapped in cellophane & tied it with a raffia bow. Wow-what a guy! He's been our favorite Home Teacher ever since. You will love this recipe. It is so yummy & so easy to make. It has that great sweet/salty combination.

Here is Meridee's Caramel Corn Recipe:

2 bags of microwave popcorn (Meridee uses low fat, we use the butter kind)

1 c. of Brown sugar

1 cube of butter

14 large marshmallows.

Pop your popcorn in the microwave. Remove as many of the un-popped kernels as you can & place in bowl.

On the stove, melt your butter, brown sugar, & marshmallows. It should take about 6-7 minutes (don't rush it). Once it's all melted, I let it simmer for about 30 seconds (don't boil it).

Pour marshmallow mixture over your popcorn & use a spoon to coat. Enjoy

*You can make popcorn balls with this recipe too. I just spray my hands with Pam cooking spray & roll popcorn mixture into balls once it has cooled a little.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Just because...

he is so STINKIN' cute & I am one proud Mama! Here are a few photos of Brody right before his 1st birthday! Our good friend, Amy, took these for us! Thank you Amy. It is hard to just pick a few when there are about 200 photos that you love :).

Brody's latest & greatest trick is to climb up onto the kitchen table. Once he gets up there, he usually has enough time to do a little dance & then John or I swoop him off the table top. Sometimes he giggles with glee at the thought of the chase & other times, he is just so mad that he has been caught. There is NEVER a dull moment in the house with Brody on the move.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Girls Get Away

I don't even know where to begin. I was able to get away this past weekend with a big group of girlfriends! The Solano's were gracious enough to open their Condo's & host our fabulous weekend. I was able to leave Friday morning & returned home on Sunday evening. It was a wonderful escape & the company could not have been any better (except if everyone could have made it). I am so thankful that John was so great about letting me go. I left him with all four boys & a busy,packed weekend. He truly was Mr. Mom this weekend & I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for a hubby who can hold the fort & troops down while I am gone & EVEN have the house cleaned up before I returned. Thank you sweetie - I SO appreciate you! I thought I would list some of the highlights from the weekend. Here we go!

-Loved the car ride to & from! Fun, serious girlfriend time to chat.

-The Condo was amazing-5 star accommodations.

- For $39.00 I had my own room & bathroom & groceries for the weekend.

-Staying up until the wee hours of the morning chatting with friends.

-Sleeping in, not having to be anywhere or having a schedule to follow.

-The 1 1/2 mile hike that turned into a 7 or 8 mile hike for some.

-Celebrating Stephanie's birthday!

-Laughter & tears.

-Blisters & shin splits-not fun!

-The view from the top of the forest, looking down @ Lake Tahoe, absolutely breath taking.

-Riding the STINKY Gondola @ North Star. A bunch of stinky mountain bikers made that thing STINK so bad.

-Not having to cook or clean.

-Church on Sunday morning. It was a wonderful meeting filled with the spirit & wonderful people.

-Roasting S'mores @ the fire pit.

-People watching & the Bungee jump.

-Jan doing back flips on the Bungee jump, showing up the older lady before her.

I can't wait for next year :). A huge shout out & thank you to the Solano's for a FABULOUS weekend. Thanks for the memories!