Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood

Two times a year our neighborhood gets together for a morning of neighborhood service. Several homes and yards are visited by several dozen neighbors and projects, both big and small, are tackled by friends.  Debris is gathered and pitched, flower beds are cleaned, wood is chopped, and trees are cut down.  I just love working along side my neighbors. Even better, is that a friend across the street was having a tree chopped down. I mentioned to the neighbor in charge of her project that if there was extra time, I would love my Dr. Seuss tree to be chopped down as well.  Lucky for, me they found time to chop down my eye sore. In a matter of minutes, it went from up, to down, to chopped, to gone. Much thanks for our beautiful day in the neighborhood. And that is how my front yard went from a "4" to a solid "6." Now, that's a good Saturday.

Cleaning a neighbors yard.

Removing sod. Look at those strong boys.

That crooked sad tree needed to be put out of it's misery.

The little wedge shaped cut made sure it didn't fall on the house.

Lucky for me, the wedge cut worked.

Friday, April 29, 2016

2 to 3

Today, my last child had another first. His bum went from a size 2 diaper to a size 3 diaper.  I know that many baby bums hit this milestone at like 6 months, but Norman's 13 1/2 month old bum resembles the bums of his Smith family siblings (which is just tiny) and his next stage in diapering will be an un-diapered, potty trained bum. I have actually never purchased any diapers beyond size 3, which is nice on my wallet. But rest assured, a tiny diaper can still hold plenty of @#$%^&*.

Lucky little boy. He not only graduates from size two diapers, but also gets a new box to play with.

All the cool kids wander around with two binkies.

Clubbing, Round #1

So, I can honestly say I've never really experience that crazy, all night dance party event that many people consider to be part of the college experience.  At the ripe age of 38, I can now say that I've at least been close (well, probably not even close... but it was sure still fun.) My good pal invited me (and anyone else that was interested) to a "Mom Stomp." It was a dance party, good food, karaoke singing, cotton candy, fake tattoos, photo-boothing, hair braiding, raffle winning kind of a party, with all proceeds going to benefit the YWCA, which helps abused women and children. Good times were had.

The candy bar.

Two friends dipping around.

Group shot, minus a friend who was on a potty run. (Your welcome;~)

***This post is for Thursday, April 28th, 2016***

Fairy Tales

As an absolute blessing from above, my son Owen is finally starting to lose the teeth that are loose and crooked and wonky.  He lost his front tooth today (which was overlapping his other loose wonky front tooth) and I knew it was time for the Tooth Fairy to pony up. I even promised that if he let me yank it out I would pay 250% of what I normally pay for two lost teeth (normally $1 a tooth, now $2.50 a tooth.) So he let me pull, and pull I did. Below you will find the exchange of notes.

I deposited the note under his pillow (whilst he was still sort of awake.) I thought a puzzle would be more fun than just a word of dental praise. When I made the deposit, he reached under his pillow and handed me...

This darling little note that he had ready and waiting for his tooth fairy, which almost made me feel...

Sad that his note was somewhat cryptic.
This, my friends, is the advantage to having your children know you are the Tooth Fairy.
Good Stuff.

*** This event actually took place on Monday, April 25th, 2016***

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spanking Spanakopita

What fun I had with my two dear friends at my Studio 5 demonstration. Last week I taught a churchy class on cream puffs and gave a prize to two lucky winners: the chance to join me at my Spanakopita demo (if they felt like it).  My one friend hopped up to help, so she won a slot, and my other friend found an invite under a chair.  When I began doing demos I used to be way incredibly stressed about my performance. A dear friend, Amy H, was so kind and encouraging that she was my go to sous chef. Ten points to Amy for setting the gold standard on helping me at a taping.  The idea of having anyone else witness (what I worried would be) me humiliating myself, or some other tv catastrophe was just too much for me to be bear (bare?) Fast forward to yesterday and my fears were unfounded.  Much thanks to my winners who truly made what is sometimes a stressful part of my job, just simply loads of fun.

It airs today at 11:00am. I'm on the second half so if you're not in the mood for the whole hour, tune in at 11:30am.

Maegan and Amber.  Love the star wars t.

I thought, "hey, maybe I should do my hair today." So I did.

Brook and me, doing our thing.

Off the cutting board, into the pan.

Monday, April 25, 2016


Calvin and Preston are enjoying the idea of perfectly straight teeth, but aren't always enjoying the process of wearing the required braces to get there.  What they are enjoying is a little break from school, and their Ortho is fabulous (which is basically thee ortho in Bountiful) provides service with a smile. There is always a delicious cookie upon the exit, and apparently when braces get removed, a red carpet is layer out in honor of the occasion.  Preston, with much jealousy, witnessed three celebrations on the red carpet during his last appointment.  In less than two years, my children will smile in the mirror at their handsome straight teeth, and promptly forget who paid for them. Parenting rocks.

Dr. Feller; Kicking butt and taking names.

A bubble bath with his sister.
I think bubbles on his head suits him.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

You deserve...

I spoke today in church to 200+ people (I know because whilst I was sitting on the stand, I took a little headcount.) My topic was the Sabbath day, below is a small portion of my talk. Enjoy, and happy Sunday.


... In prayer and pondering the topic for this talk, some words popped into my mind that seemed odd. The Spirit whispered to me “You deserve a Sabbath.”  Just by way of information, I kind of hate the phrase “You deserve (fill in the blank.) Life isn’t usually fair. Mathew 5: 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Good things can happen to jerks, lousy things can happen to saints, we all fall short of the command to be perfect, or complete. So when something good happens and a pal congratulates me with a “you deserved that.” My usual response is, "I probably actually deserve a kick in the head, but I sure am thankful that this worked out this way."  So when the spirit whispered “You deserve a Sabbath day.” I paused and took note.

If you’ve survived car accidents and heart attacks and food botulism. If you avoided the runaway bus and hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, avalanches, mudslides, tidal waves, falling icicles, poisonous mushrooms, train tracks, house fires, killer sharks, gang fights, lightening bolts, black widows, snake bites, falling bridges, and have managed to remain on this earth for 6 whole days, by the grace of God, then you deserve a Sabbath Day...
Perhaps we can approach our Sabbath day with a victory dance instead of a death march... I think we can begin by replacing TGIF with the phrase TGIS “Thank Goodness it’s Sunday.” We can start by reminding ourselves that we deserve the Sabbath Day.


Annie wanted to do a little spa action this afternoon with some face masks we bought at the store a few days ago.  Isn't she lovely?!

Owen is trying his best to look like a total hillbilly for his baptism. Another tooth gone.
The tooth fairy rests on the Sabbath (and doesn't have a dime in her wallet) so she'll be making a visit to Owen tomorrow evening. He's growing up!

This is my handsome tired boy, wearing his space monkey pajamas.
I wish I too owned a pair of Space Monkey pajamas!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Worse Than

Owen: So, it's not really fair that I have a broken leg and allergies. But you know what?
Me: What?
Owen: My allergies are way worse than my broken leg.

He's right. Allergies are the worst (but I've actually never broken my leg, but I'm still going to go with him on this one.)

Barely able to open his allergy eyes. About 10 minutes after his eye drops he was able to see again, and the red was mostly gone. Modern medicine is a miracle!

Simon sharing his Dulche de Leche ice-cream.

Costco. I love that my 7 year old can still squeeze into the cart. Normally I would not let him up, but I always make exceptions for broken-leg-allergy days.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Night in Paris

How lucky to live in such lovely area with such a lovely women's church group, that is fabulous at putting on lovely events. We enjoyed a "Night in Paris" together on Tuesday and shared in a tasty cheeseboard platter, followed by a slice of quiche and a salad. I did a cream puff demo, and then we gobbled up cream puffs, and pigged out on strawberry crepes, just because we could.  The purpose of the activity? To relax, unwind, catch up on old friendships, make new friendships, learn a bit of French cookery, and over eat. All in all, the night was a smashing success, thanks to all of those who put so much time and effort and creativity into the event, and to all those who attended. I love Relief Society! (which is what our women's group is called:~)

Fragile. Must be Italian.

Lovely ambiance.

Fabulous decor.

I love white twinkle lights.

Cardboard cutout of French waiter and actual cello player. Perfect.

Doing a demo and getting some help from dear friends.

I seriously want this guy in my kitchen.

*** This post is for Tuesday, April 19th, 2016***

A Simon Victory

Operation: Haircut
Plan: Bribe with a visit to Book Store
Mission: Accomplished

After the cut.

From the side.

Mythical creatures and sci-fi still have his heart.

The Young and the Restless

Norman is young. Preston is restless This two are fifteen and a half years apart. It is so much fun to watch the two of them together.  Preston was getting his tonsils checked, and since Norman is my assistant, he came along for the ride.

It's so cute how Norman is looking at Preston.

His top row teeth are coming in super slowly, and are huge.
I just don't want to forget how scrappy and adorable he looks right now.

My Doppelganger

So, all legit, I have been stopped at least four times in the last six months by complete strangers telling me that I look a wee bit like Emma Stone. Delightful. I love that she has a slight lisp as well, that she is lovely and famous and I so enjoyed the Spidermans (but it was just ridiculous when she if Spidey couldn't have just made his web a little shorter...) Anyways, wether this is remotely true or not, you can be the judge. But as for me, when it's time to come up with a new hairstyle or cut, color, etc, it sure makes it convenient that I can just hop on my laptop and search Emma Stone in google images.  If it looked good on her, it will probably look pretty good on me. Discuss.

It would more like me if her eye makeup looked wonky. 
With my glasses off, I can barely see my eyes when I apply my makeup. 
The final result is always a mystery.

If only I could get Ryan to dress up like Spiderman...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Prom 2016

Preston and some high quality friends.

The men were strong and handsome.
The women were bold and beautiful.

My son and his darling date.

They dined at the Chipper Chef's table.
I made a fancy Italian meal...

An his sweet brother and sister, Simon and Annie, played host and hostess/waiter and waitress. They even got dolled up for the occasion.

I got to be the MC for a cooking contest at the Preppercon for a food storage cook-off.
Delicious Fun.

Ryan entertained the troops during my stage time.
Norman is taking his sweet Georgia time learning to walk.  He's over 13 months old now, and still thinks that walking is lame.

***This post is for Saturday, April 16th***

Cast Away!

Owen is now officially cleared to walk... in a new walking cast... but his leg still hurts a lot and so he's still hoping around on his good foot...but Rome wasn't built in a day! As fun as lime green was, Owen opted for a bright orange. Solid choice.

Goodbye Green.

Hello Orange.

Go away winter. It seriously was snowing this morning.

*** This post is for Friday, April 15th, 2016***

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Two Babies

I got a little peek in to the life of a mother with twins. I was able to watch the darling niece of a pal of mine. Her little relative and my Norman are only a few months apart, and two is certainly double the pleasure and double the fun, which I wish also meant double the hands.  Once Annie came home from school, it got a little easier. She is excellent with babies! Too cute, these jr. citizens!

I love that she has Norman's binky in her mouth.
Lots of helping hands.

*** This post is for Thurs, April 14th, 2016***