Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lunch Date

I had the pleasure of going out on a wonderful lunch date with my oldest son: Preston Edward Albert Smith.  Ryan was busy slaying the dragon, Calvin is still at Scout Camp, and Owen, Simon and Annie didn't want to ride in the car for the drive to CousCous.  By the looks of my dish, we know who the winners of the lunch mealtime are: Preston and me.  I totally plan on him taking me out to lunch regularly once he arrives at manhood (as in no longer a teen and holding down a full-time job.) There's proably more to that "manhood" definition, but for now, that'll do.

Lamb on pita, garbanzo chips, hummus and a cherry cream soda (not pictured but certainly worth mentioning.)

Last day of Cookie Camp. Sifting again. Gingerbread cookies were a huge hit.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Last Wednesday of the Month!

Annie put my sports bra on our dog. There's that.

COokie Camp day 3.  No bake cookies, cuz the kids were sick of not being able to eat the dough (that whole salmonella thing.)

Dessert: Peaches and Cream. A classic for a reason.

Ryan bought me a snoogle,  a total body pillow.
The packaging says it's the "Mother of all Pregnancy Pillows." 
I'll test it out tonight.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Book of Mormon

My daughter and I started to read the Book of Mormon together tonight. It brought back such wonderful feelings that I felt when I was little: reading a book with big words, that I didn't entirely understand, but still being able to feel the Spirit of God as I read. How lucky I am to have been raised in a family that read the words of God found in scripture. I hope my kids can feel those same fuzzies and that some day as parents they will be able to help their own children discover sacred things for themselves.

If you want to learn more about The Book Mormon, read it. Don't go to see the Book of Mormon musical if you are trying to discover the message of this book. Hollywood is often a poor place to turn for accurate information.

Here are some favorite B of M quotes:

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
“Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
That's just good stuff.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cookie Camp

My second kids camp of the summer is officially under way.   We will be baking up a storm, cookies to be specific.  Chocolate Chip was the winner of the day.  The class is large, which means Cookie Monster would be proud.Super funny was when one of the kids declared how much he hates chocolate.  Even funnier was when another didn't want to eat any of the freshly baked cookies.  I don't think I have ver refused a cookie straight from the oven. Oh, well. You ca't win them all.  In spite of these minor setbacks, the class was a total smashing success.  I am a very big fan of 1) Kids 2) Cookies 3) Teaching 4) Silliness. Today was basically a perfect blending of all those ingredients.

I love my KitchenAid! And the hats are also pretty fantastic!

Owen is getting a spoonful of dough to put on the cookie sheet. 
It's serious business.

Calvin is off to Scout Camp.  Go get some badges, son!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Countdown to Cuddles

As of this very day, I am 7 weeks and 1 day along in my pregnancy. This little person is about the size of a small raspberry. Delicious!  Naturally, every one of my kids (especially Annie) are dying to know if I'm making a sister or a brother.  I told them we will find out about a week before Halloween, which is about 90 days away.  Annie has been diligently working on an art craft all day, and her final reveal was truly impressive. She made a countdown calendar, and it is rad.

Each square is numbered and has been personally decorated. Its so fantastic. I wish this picture did it justice.

The middle square reads "Days when I'm getting a baby boy or girl..and I'm hoping for a baby girl!"  
That pretty much sums up her feelings on this whole baby thing.

Getting everyone ready for 9 am church is a little like warfare.  Owen got it done, fast and efficiently, even if his shirt was inside out.  How did he manage to button it...?

Cricket fell asleep in such an odd position today.  We sure do love this dog!

Pancakes for dinner. And I even had to borrow the eggs to make the batter (thanks Sister Erickson!) Kind of pathetic.  It's definitely time to go grocery shopping:~) 

Final Family Visitors

As of today, everyone of my immediate family members (parents, brother and sisters) will have come for a visit this summer. Everyone but my niece who is in Hawaii with her Aunt, and I'm sure she really missed being with us today... My brother (John) and his fam came to have lunch, to chat, to reminisce, and to dance some jigs. John is surprisingly nimble and light on his feet.  It was great to see them.

My nephew Collin.

Owen, Bridgett, Collin and Annie dipping around.
I seriously can't believe I didn't get a picture of the rest of the crew. Just picture a very attractive man, a beautiful sister in law, a nephew (kind of shy) and a girl on a Hawaiian beach.  That's all of the Holmans. So glad they made it to Bountiful.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Empty House

We have had members of my family staying with us for the past 16 days, It has been loads of fun to spend my days with some of the people that I love very most. Hillary and her crew left early this morning.  The house is much quieter, and but my heart is much fuller, loaded with some great family memories that were made over the last two weeks.

My Sister and her crew driving away... off to AZ... to live closer to the rest of my siblings and our parents. While I'm here, a mere 14 hour drive away...

At the pet shop with some pals, buying Cricket a new leash.

Pioneer Day

Pioner Children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked. In an effort to recreate the strenuous exercise necessary to walk across the United States, we hiked Ensign Peak.  When the Mormon Prophet Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley, it was recorded that he said "this is the Place." He knew the saints had arrived at their final destination because he could see the specific mountain hill, now called Ensign Peak, that he had seen in a dream.  It's a short, steep, wonderful hike, that we trudged up at mid-day in the summer. I think my ancestors were glad of our hike, and approved of the run to Baskin Robbins that followed.

Annie and Cricket on the trail.

Cousins at the top. Well done Websters and Smiths!

Hesitant, unattractive selfie.

Lunch at the park. Lots of shade.

I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream!

Chocolate and some sherbet concoction.  FYI: I hate sherbet, but I still love Owen.

Once all the kids went down, Hillary and I went to Nielsens for some fries, a burger, and some custard... at around 10:30pm.  Her birthday is this week, she is leaving tomorrow, and I am going to miss my sister!

*** This post is for Thurs. July 24th, 2014***

24th of July Eve

Here in good old Utah the 24th of July is a big holiday, equal in excitement to the 4th of July. It is a day that we honor the pioneers settling into the Utah valley, in 1847.  Festivities include fireworks, parades, pulling handcarts, old fashioned pioneer games, etc.  There are so many celebrations around the state, so I'm told, that some of the cities in Utah choose to celebrate the big day on the day before.  So on the 23rd of July, also known (by me) as the 24th of July Eve, we watched a killer parade in Bountiful, and enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display up at Mueller Park Jr. High.  Do other states celebrate their founding like this? I don't know, but I sure am glad to reside in the Beehive State.

No one blocking our view: the best way to watch a parade.

My next door neighbor designed this float.  It was awesome! 20 points to all of my churchy friends who helped construct this winner!

A rubbish shot of the beautiful fireworks. Proof that I was there.

Our crew light up by the magic show in the sky.

*** This post is for Weds, July 23rd, 2014***

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Turtle Track

Upon returning from a Dr.'s visit, I ventured into my backyard and discovered a race of epic proportions.  Athena Xena Smith vs Tatiana Rose Loftus.  Greek Turtle vs. Russian Tortoise.  The reality of the race was that once a competitor stopped moving, they would be lifted up and put back down in the same place, like a jump start. And if they started to go the wrong way, they would be lifted up and pointed in the right direction.  They raced several times, and each of the girls took a turn winning/losing.  To my knowledge, no bets were placed, no money paid out.

In this picture, Athena won, but humbly chose to go under the finish line instead of over it. No one likes a show off!

Quite the race track.

Looks like a tight race. Athena is younger and speedier, but Tatiana is larger and more level headed.

Bountiful temple. Double date with my sister and our husbands. What a sunset! What a view!

Love is in the air.

*** This post is for July 22nd, 2014***

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Today we did Lagoon with a bang. We were at the theme park with all of our children from open to close, which means that we are awesome parents.  Our feet are tired, our clothes are sweaty, our memories for the day have been made.

On our way! Once we got inside we divided into age groups and I didn't see many of the kids for most of the day.

Luckily, I got to cheer the kids form the sidelines, and din't have to do the teacups myself.

Dinner. That man loves corn.

*** This post is for Monday, July 21st, 2014***

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Temple Square

In the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City lies an are known as Temple Square. On it lies the Salt Lake Temple, a few visitor's centers, the Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, some very lovely sculptures, a reflection pool, and bright happy flowers.  Its an ideal location to spend a Sabbath day. It's even more ideal when you wander around with your sister/nieces and nephews.

Inside the North visitors center is a lovely display on the humanitarian projects that my church does; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Ryan knows loads about the Tabernacle, and so he gave us a little history/architecture lesson.

It started raining, it started pouring, and old men started snoring.

My sweet family in front of the temple.

Cousins together forever.

Sizzling Saturday

This morning I did one of the things I truly love to do: taught a cooking class. I had three teens who came to my kitchen eager to learn some culinary basics.  A few hours later they left with some important kitchen skills, and some amazing food that they had prepared.  Meanwhile, Ryan took the kids over to my Grandpas home and helped out with some yard work, along with my Aunt Jane and my cousin, Age. Productive Saturday.

Knead the dough!

Those are olives, not chocolate chips:~)


Preston is coughing like it's going out of style.  Dr. Fox (and yes, I did ask her opinion by saying
"so...what does the Fox say?") gave Preston a nebulizer treatment and told him to get rest, use cough drops, and also prescribed him an inhaler.  The fox says: acute bronchitis. 

***This post is for Saturday, July19th, 2014***

Friday, July 18, 2014

My 3 Karate Kids

Is it karate? Actually, I think it's tai-kwon-do. Anyways, tonight was the belt ceremony at the dojo where my kids are learning the martial arts.  Owen advanced to his Dragon Green Belt, and Simon and Calvin are now Gold Belts.  The dojo has some amazing instructors and many people (both kids and adults) at various levels.  My favorite part of the ceremony was watching my ninjas do their moves. My second fav was watching the instructors and black belts do some amazing flips, kicks, and all around asa (Korean for awesome) moves.  I feel much safer going to bed tonight, know that my 3 warriors are closer to black belt status.

Owen with his new green belt!

Part of the ceremony is breaking the straps off the new belt. It's super fun to watch.

Calvin and SImon are prepping to break their new belts open too.

My taikwondo kids.

Simon showed up at the DI today in his rollerblades, so I made him wear the inner lining  of the boots inside. It was such a Napoleon Dynamite look, and he was pleased to rock it.