Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Heaven

If I were a pumpkin, this is where I would want to end up when I die. I mean, really, what are your other options?

Michael Jackson wanna be...

The infamous Trucker Chick...
Death By Electrocution?

No thanks! THIS is where I'd want to end up. You can call them Pumpkin Pie Bars, or Pumpkin Cobbler, or even Upside-down Pumpkin Pie. I think I'm just going to call them..
Pumpkin Heaven:

4 eggs
3 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups evaporated milk
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup melted butter

Mix the first eight ingredients together in the order given. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan.
Mix dry cake batter with melted butter until crumbly and top pumpkin mixture evenly.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 90 minutes. Cover with foil if it begins to brown too quickly, I usually start checking on mine around 60 minutes.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Defined : A super smokin' hot deal, that leaves you with a BIG GRIN on your face, a spring in your step and a song in your heart.

I love my Black Clogs. I have had them for 3 years and I think I've about loved them TO DEATH. The poor things have done their duty. To this end, I have been shopping around the last few weeks to find a suitable replacement. This is no easy task for a Size 11 wearing woman! I used to be a 10, which was manageable, at least I could still look for shoes at most stores. However after my first 2 kids, I landed at 11 and such is my fate. No shopping at the mall stores like Mervyn's or Penneys.

Then along came DSW. My friends, this place is shoe heaven. Alot of their shoes are stocked up to Size 11, like Rocket Dog, Guess, Privo, Clarks, Born, Steve Madden, you get the idea. They also send coupons for new store openings, if you haven't made a purchase in the last month, and even when you DO purchase and earn reward points.

It just so happens that I found the perfect shoe, while I had 3 coupons in hand. DSW will take up to 3 at a time. If you're interested in which shoe, see here. They are the comfiest shoes I think I have ever worn, and cute to boot!

And to make it even better, they were priced for $49.99, retail on them is closer to $90. After my coupons for $10 off, then $20 off, and one more $15 off.....I paid a whopping $5.29 for these shoes. Now, that is a gonga! I just had to share my glee!

Friday, October 24, 2008

'Twas the week before Halloween

...the kids were fresh out of the bath....well, two of them anyway
...one was soaking some more!
When what should we hear, but a ghostly rap...on the door.
We ran to the door with hair wet, but clean.
To find who was waiting, to visit us, keen.
Not a soul was there, not even a mouse.
A ghost had descended on the doorstep of our house.
Bags of treats he did leave,
five, one for each to receive.
Sweet treats lay inside to chase away gloom.
Savannah promply stashed hers in her room!
48 hours we have to return the sweet favor,
or another spooking might be ours to savor.
Might not be a bad idea :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beading Night

Every month, the ladies in my neighborhood get together to play. The toy of choice is beads! I learned how to make little girl bracelets when I was pregnant with Sydney...I made the girls matching ones so that Savi could give Syd one when she was born, and they could have "sister bracelets". Since then, I've accumulated the tools of the trade and it's become one of my favorite hobbies. With a toddler around it seems I don't get as much time in with beading as I would like, so it's nice to have one evening set aside here and there. There are quite a few mediums you can work with so I'm always learning from my beading girls new techniques and shamelessly stealing all their great ideas! Plus, it's just fun to catch up with each other and get peoples' opinions on what your project of the month is.
This month, I hosted. We meet from 9pm til whenever...usually about midnight. Savi was excited that I was having a party after they would be in bed, and wanted to leave a welcome sign for them. Isn't she adorable?

Here are the projects I completed last night! Selfishly, they are both for me. That is not usually the case though, I use a lot of my creations for gifts! I also made a pair of earrings to match a necklace I made last time, and repaired a necklace I broke a few weeks ago. All in all, a productive night! We had a new beading Mom :) join us last night who makes flower hair clips for her girls. She sews 5-6 little beads in the center of each silk flower before attaching it to a clippie. They are ADORABLE! I see another shameless steal in my near future.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yearbook Yourself!

My friend Charisse, who I don't see enough of, emailed me this link a few weeks back and I finally spent a few minutes checking it out. It is great fun! It has a span from 1950-2000 with a popular hair/clothes style from each 2 year period, and you can superimpose your face to see what you might have looked like as a highschooler during that time. The top pic is of me in 1960, the next in 1966...I think I look alot like my Mom did in the 70's after she bobbed her hair - except it was brown of course!
I looked at the one from the year I graduated, 1994, and I don't know if that was really what was happening then....at least not for me. But take it for what it is, a fun way to see yourself a little differently. I had a few good laughs!


Fall Weekend Review

It was like the 1st week of summer, all over again! (minus the trip to Cali to see cousins) The kids had a plan for each day, and I, the nice Mommy, obliged them. It was nice to get out and play with all 3, since lately errands, homework, etc don't leave much time for the outings we used to enjoy.

Thursday we went to The Living Planet Aquarium, where the stars of the show are the Manta Rays that you can pet. They had a new Octopus that was so spell-binding, I could've watched all day. Also a fun bio-center where you could touch stars, horseshoe crabs and other weird looking creatures. We spent 2-3 hours checking stuff out, they even had a play area that looked like a coral reef with tunnels and enclosed aquariums throughout that Sydney ran her little diaper off in! I'm glad I paid $33 for an annual pass, instead of $20 for the one day visit. I have a feeling it'll get a lot of use.

Friday we went and saw Kung Fu Panda at the dollar theater. Mom EVEN bought popcorn, something we try to tell the kids we don't have to do every time we see a movie, so it's a real treat. We smuggled in some capri suns and candies too. Bad Mommy, I know, but who wants to pay $3 for a bag of Skittles? Robbery, I tell you. We loved the flick, nice lesson about believeing in yourself.

Saturday we went as a family to a 3D Funhouse - 1st time in Utah!! OK, this left us feeling seriously ripped off. We paid $20 for a family pass to tour 2 tents filled with glowy paint and phosphroescent bubbles that made our skin itch. They didn't even use the paints right. With the 3D glasses on, the monster's bellies were concave and belts stuck out at you and such... Oh, and part of it was caved in, we had to practically crawl through on section of it....I don't think that was by design. The kids thought it was great, 5 minutes later when we were done, but Dad and Mom felt conned. Oh well, lesson learned. When the sign at the front says boldly, NO REFUNDS, you should be suspicious!

Yesterday, we went to the Scarecrow Festival. This is an annual fair put on by the Westridge Academy, a program for troubled teens. All the proceeds go to the program, and they have their students working all the booths. SO FUN! Tons of bouncy houses and slides and obstacle courses, face painting, pony rides, entertainment, clowns, really bad live music and all the like. We played for 4 hours and came home happy and pooped! I even got a little burned, it was such a beautiful day. The kids loved their face paint. The pics are after we got home, they'd played and had sno cones and everything so the paint is about done...but they still thought they looked awesome, and that's what's important!!

The house feels especially peaceful today....I wonder why? No I don't - it's because they're back in school. Hope you survived as well as we did! Next week - Halloween Candy Hangover!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Unspectacular Quirks

I have been tagged by Kasey, my sister and one of the best friends a girl could ask for.

Here are the rules:
1.Link to the person who tagged you
2.Mention the rules on your blog
3.Tell 6 unspectacular quirks about you
4.Tag 6 following bloggers by linking to them
5.Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

My 6 Unspectacular Quirks:

1. I enjoy driving at night, in the dark. I don't know why, it just seems like everything is more peaceful or something.
2. I love running errands, even with my kids. I think I just like to get out of the house 1x per day. I know some people who schedule all their errands on 1 day per week. I couldn't hang with that.
3. I have to be in the mood to do housework. When I am, I can wipe all my to-dos out in about 3 hours. When I'm not....well, I just wait till I'm in the mood. :)
4. I like to rough-house with my kids. When I was pregnant the last time I really missed it....and they did too, especially Gunnar. We love to roll around on the floor and tickle and wrestle and giggle.
5. People think it's SO HARD on me when Chris travels...it's really not. Like anything that happens on a regular basis, you develop a routine and there's comfort in that. Of course we miss him, but it's not like we're struggling. (OH, by the way - he hasn't traveled nearly as much this year than any of the previous 9!)
6. I have to wind down for at least 30-60 minutes after my kids go to bed. Even if it's doing the dishes that I left in the sink after dinner, folding some laundry or reading a book. I NEED quiet time or I can't fall asleep. My brain won't turn off if I just lay down before puttering.

And now I tag:

1. Angeline
2. Lisa
3. Kari
4. Liz
5. Lenice
6. Shelley

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandpa Cline!!!

My Dad turns 65 today!

He's been through a lot, health-wise the last 3 years and we almost lost him a couple of times at the start. That makes it all the sweeter that he's reached this milestone. We are SO glad he is healthy and happy today. And proud of him. It's not an easy road that he has walked, but he has done it with such courage and heart.

Dad, you are an inspiration! We love you so much!

Are you one?

....a Flourisher, that is.

I've never heard this term until today, but I think I like it! :) I found it in a study that gives 13 signs that you will live to be a Centenarian. Simply, Less stress = Longer life.

About 17 percent of Americans are flourishers, says a study in American Psychologist. They have a positive outlook on life, a sense of purpose and community, and are healthier than "languishers"—about 10 percent of adults who don't feel good about themselves. Most of us fall somewhere in between. "We should strive to flourish, to find meaning in our lives," says Corey Keyes, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at Emory University. "In Sardinia and Okinawa, where people live the longest, hard work is important, but not more so than spending time with family, nurturing spirituality, and doing for others."

Especially in this time of economic stress, I think it's so important to remember, we choose how to react to what's going on. We can only control a small amount of what affects us, so we should try to do so in a positive way.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I never knew I was a BLONDE!

Our big LCD tv blew a lamp last week and I am still trying to get a replacement lamp. But, that's another post....

Gunnar is used to having the smaller DVD/TV in the basement to himself, however he's had to learn to share some this week.

Tonight, Dad went down after dinner to watch the debate. Shortly thereafter Gunnar runs upstairs, all righteous indignation,

Gunnar - Dad came and stole the TV.

Me -Well honey, it is HIS TV too....remember the other one doesn't work yet?

G - Yeah, but he's not even watching anything good.

Me - What's he watching?

G - Two guys....one has brown skin, and the other has blonde skin.

Me - Really? That sounds like the debate, that's pretty important.

Me -What do you mean he has BLONDE skin?

G - You know, like mine.

You never know what's going on in their little heads sometimes!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Note to Self

Yeah, that's YOU, dummy. I know I'm just an insignificant little member to you. You don't think about me much. You don't call. You don't write. But next time you decide to reach into the dishwasher for a dirty spoon to shove leftovers down the garbage disposal with, try looking. My buddies left eye and right eye are good at multi-tasking, you can swivel them my way to avoid jabbing the tine of a filthy fork between me and my nail straight into the nail bed.
Did you know that in some places that is still used as a form of torture? It's true. I know, I'm whining. It only bled for an hour. It could've been the garbage disposal? Not likely. Middle or Index would've seen that coming and given me the head's up. So, just to make sure you don't make that mistake again, I'm going to swell and throb for the next day or so.
Don't even think about doing up those baby buttons on the back of your kid's onesies. Writing with a pen? Try it, I dare you. At least you live in the modern world and do most of your writing on a keyboard where I am not terribly overworked.
Oh, and I'll also stay red and bruised under the nail until it grows out....just so you'll know how much you hurt me. I'll probably have to go to therapy for this.

Your trusty right,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Snowbird Tram

2 years ago

Last year

One of our annual traditions is a fun one for the kids and a great way to double check that our cold-weather gear is up to par! Snowbird holds a food drive/customer appreciaiton weekend (well, actually 2 weekends) where you can donate 1 canned food item per person and receive a free tram ticket. We bring our 5 cans, and have a great family outing! This year because of the storm, I didn't bring my camera because I knew we wouldn't be able to get any clear shots. I'm kicking myself though because there was a TON of snow, and the kids had a blast! We spent the week purchasing bibs and boots (a lot harder than you would think with my texture freaks, my friends) and were finally ready by the weekend. Whew.
It was about 37 degrees at the bottom of the tram, and 18 degrees at the top. Everything stayed warm but our faces, so I think we're set for the winter! The snow came up to Syd's knees, and in some of the drifts to her waist. She mimicked her sibs in her usual style and was tossing snowballs at them in no time. It was nice powdery snow, and only a few balls went in anyone's face. By accident Mom, I swear!! Right.

If you happen to be local, it runs next Saturday and Sunday 10/18 & 19 from 10-5. Make sure you give yourself an hour... in other words, arrive before 4, so you don't miss out!

Snow flies early

...this year. Usually we don't see it at our house until after Halloween. What does SnOw mean at our house? The kids know all too well, and won't let Mom and Dad forget it...
Hot chocolate and marshmallows.....
Building a measly little snowman. Cute though, with Peanut M&M eyes and buttons and a baby carrot nose. Too bad I didn't get a pic of the finished product.
Eating fresh fallen snow....nature's own sno-cone!!
Making Caramel Apples!!! We haven't ever done this before, but it might be a new tradition at our house. The kids had a great time and nobody got burned. Always a plus!
Bet you wish you were here this weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We are Jack-o-lanterns


My kids love Halloween. In fact, it is Gunnar's favorite holiday. As soon as it's October, it's all about decorating the house, costume decisions, and the anticipation of it all. SO far, Savannah is going to be a tiger....convenient, since that was what her dance recital costume was this year. We just have to warm it up a bit with some black pants and long sleeve shirt. Gunnar WAS going to be a mummy, but has now decided he wants to be a ninja. I think the sword turned the tide on that one. Sydney is going to be Fifi, the poodle. I found the cutest costume at Old Navy for $15. Totally soft and will keep her so warm. Love that place. Not sure if I'll dress up this year. We'll see.

What are you and your's going to be?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Snake egg?

...not quite. Gunnar and his best bud were playing in the sandbox today. Gunnar came running in and said they had found an egg in the sand. I quickly went to check it out. They had it dug up and in a pail filled with sand and water. It was about 3 inches long and 2 inches across and oval in shape. It was slimy. It was smelly. It was gross.
I poked at it with a stick and it felt kind of leathery. It had a greyish thing poking out one end like it was starting to hatch. Yuck. Had I been more brave, I would've dissected it. However, I just chucked in in the trash and then proceeded to have the boys disinfect their hands, then I cleaned the toys they had the grotesque thing in.
I thought tonight that I'd look up snake eggs and see if that could've been what it was. It does resemble them, but after a bit of poking around I found this.

I think this is indeed what we had going on. It makes sense because it says that this type of fungus grows near rotting wood...check.....and in moist garden areas....check. Also called a stink horn. I dug around to make sure there were no more. I found 1 smaller one attached to the wooden frame of the sandbox. Grossest thing ever.

Fall colors

I love this time of year! The crispness, the colors, the anticipation of the holidays. This weekend we went on a drive of the Aspen Loop and ended up at Sundance. The colors were spectacular! It was an overcast day, threatening to rain, but still gorgeous sweeps of mountains covered in contrasting colors. Thought I'd share. Check out the red Aspens! I haven't seen any that vibrant before.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gunnar's 1/2 Birthday Party?

My kids had never been to the circus before. Is that a crime? Maybe. It is kinda pricey, and I wasn't sure they'd sit through the whole thing. The last thing I want to do on a Saturday is chase my toddler down concrete stairs and hope she doesn't bif it. That being said, we decided this was the year to brave it. It ends up that the event fell on Gunnar's 1/2 birthday, and so he thought the reason we were going was to celebrate. While that's all well and good, I didn't want to set the precedent of 2 birthday partys every year!! It's enough work on the real day!

It was great to see all the animals, the feats of strength, the guys on stilts, the cirque de soleil type stuff. They even had guy riding a motorcycle on a steel wire, with a tumbling girl underneath on a bar. They went in a complete circle a few times, crazy. And then the steel cage in the shape of a ball, they stuck 7 guys on motorcycles in there. There has to be some trick to it, but I couldn't figure out how none of them colided with the others. I didn't even think they would all fit in there! It was nuts. The kids loved the clowns of course and all the silliness and slap-stick humor. It was a great time.

We went to the 11am show, and by the time we got home the kids were all OUT. I think they were so overstimulated from all that went on. It was loud and exciting! I hope they'll have good memories of it all though.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chores Galore

My current project is coming up with a chore schedule for our family. Really this is something that I should have developed years ago, and Chris keeps asking me to do. I think the reason I haven't up to now is that with a baby it is really hard to know which day you'll be able to mop the kitchen floor, or clean the bathrooms, etc. Fear of failure maybe. I have always gotten by on doing it when it has been bugging me and I just can't take it anymore. Although this approach has been somewhat effective, I think a more proactive tack might be more appealing....and maybe the chores would take less time? Anyway, since all of you are, I'm sure, more organized than I am, I would love it if you would share your chore calendars with me. It would make this seemingly daunting task a bit easier to handle, I hope.

This is the list I have so far....I just need to choose what days I need to do what and plunk it down into a calendar.

-floors, mop and vacuum (1x week)
-bathroom toilets and sinks (1x week)
-laundry (2x week)
-dishes and kitchen clean up (daily)
-change linens (1x week)
-dust furniture (1x week)
-yard work, mow (1x week)
-ironing (1x week)
-water plants (1x week)
-deep clean kitchen (1x week)
-deep clean carpet spots (1-2x month)
-clean fish bowl (1x month)

*kids chores*
-make your bed (daily)
-take a bath (2x week)
-empty garbages (2x week)
-take dirty clothes to laundry room/
put away their folded clothes (2x week)
-toy pick up & straighten room (2x week or as needed)

I need to coincide toy pick up, maybe the day before vacuuming. Bathing the same day that sheets get changed, etc....so I want to play around with it a bit.

Maybe if we have some special task, I'll just add it to the calendar that month. I'm sure I'm forgetting something but I can always adjust as things come along.

Let me know what you think, any suggestions are MORE than welcome.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tis the Season

...for scrumptious pumpkin cookies!! The kids had a talent show in Primary the Sunday before last and Savannah chose to showcase her talent of baking. Really, it was the talent of helping Mom bake, but whatever works. Anyhoo, we dug up this recipe that I found last year. Wow, is it good. We used semi-sweet chocolate chips and no nuts (for a crowd, allergies and whatnot) but they still turned out stupendous! The secret is the cloves, it makes the cookie nice and "spicy"! I made it last year to the letter and they were equally yummy. I had lots of requests for the recipe and thought I should just post it here so all those I love can try it out. It IS baking season after all!! Enjoy.

Macadamia Nut White Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Vanilla chips and crunchy macadamia nuts make a supremely rich cookie; pumpkin adds a luscious moistness to these year-round favorites.
Estimated Times:Preparation - 20 min Cooking - 11 min Cooling Time - 15 min cooling Yields - 4 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12-ounce package) White Morsels
2/3 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts, toasted

Directions:PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.COMBINE flour, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. DROP by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets; flatten slightly with back of spoon or greased bottom of glass dipped in granulated sugar.BAKE for 11 to 14 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.