Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Favorites!!!!

One of my all time "Friday Favorites" actually comes on "Friday". Every Friday evening our family has "Movie Night, Pizza Night". This tradition became a solid part of our lives at least 2 years ago and is treasured in our family. Here's the deal--those members of the family who have generally been good that week get to participate in the evening. Of course they get to eat with us but if they have been warned during the week due to behavior and the behavior hasn't stopped then they won't get to watch the movie with us and instead must go to their room and read books. This may sound harsh but I'll have you know--know one has ever missed this event! The kids will do anything to be apart of this night. Usually BJ picks up $5 pizza's from Little Caesars and I go and get a movie from the Redbox as well as a few treats. Sometimes I will get 6 different candy's and put them in a brown paper bag and the kids have to reach in without looking and pull out their treat for the movie. Other times I just get a few treats to share. Cardon likes to make popcorn for the group. Every once in a while we make homemade pizza. Each person gets to make their own individual pizza and I must say that it's always tastier than any store bought version. Our kids love this night so much that once when BJ was out of town I decided to take the kids out to dinner on Friday night instead and they started to cry when I wasn't taking them to a place with pizza. Crazy kids!!! WE LOVE OUR "PIZZA NIGHT, MOVIE NIGHT! P.S. Our favorite babysitter, Courtney stayed with us for a weekend while her parents were out of town. So, she joined us for our traditional Friday Favorite.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ordinary moments create the extraordinary

So I was talking to my friend Valerie last evening while I was outside taking pictures of the kids and she accused me of "blogging". I told her that I was just taking pictures of the kids. After a little thought on the subject, I must confess that this "blogging" has made me more aware of all the little things that go on in my life on a daily basis. I've always taken pictures when we go on outings--you know the big things but haven't ever given thought to taking pictures of the ordinary things that we do each day, week, etc. I remember a picture of me and my older sister and brother laying on the heating vents as little kids with blankets over us. The air would blow up the blanket so that it was a balloon of hot air and we would lay there for what seemed like hours all toasty warm. I loved that picture because it reminded me of a good memory of home with my brother and sister. This gave me a novel idea. How about capturing the ordinary--maybe someday they will be extraordinary to my family. So, almost every evening after dinner the kids like to go out and play in the yard, especially as it is cooling off. Brinly is the 2nd momma in the family and is usually happy to push Amelia on the swings (I must admit that I don't do this nearly enough). The girls play really well together--most of the time (we all have our moments) and it's fun to see them enjoy each other. I have 3 sisters with lots of fun memories, so it does my heart good to see them creating their own. Cardon has football practice twice a week and as soon as he got home he wanted to show me his "moves". Jace just wants to do everything the 'big kids' are doing but he especially loves balls. He wants to throw and kick every ball in his sight. BJ is at the church working with the youth on Wednesday nights so he didn't get to be with us but he's usually here throwing the ball with Cardon or pushing the kids on the swings. We stayed outside until we thought we might be near death from mosquito bites. I got one right in the middle of my forehead--nice! This is a good life. People always say that life goes so quickly when your kids are small--I do believe that to be true. 11 years has already gone by in a blink of an eye. I just had a flash forward of these little ones as teenagers! AHHH! I think I'll just stick to this stage for now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday's Menu!!!

Colleen's Famous Banana Bread

5-6 bananas
4 eggs
1 cup butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1cup brown sugar
1 T vanilla
Mix dry together, then add to wet:
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
Pecan Topping
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts. Mix in a small bowl adding nuts last, mix till pasty--spinkle on banana bread batter just before baking. You can double the topping recipe and put a layer in the middle--more yummy but more messy. Grease 2 loaf pans.

Bake in a 300 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 min. or until it comes out clean in the center.

I love to make this for parties (wedding showers, baby showers, girls night out--anything really). It is more like a banana cake with all the yummy toppings. Next week I'll give you my whole wheat banana bread recipe which is to die for also but a healthier alternative.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Favorites!!!

So little Miss Amelia Rose gets my "Friday Favorite" this week. As you can see here, she was big--REALLY BIG, weighing in at 10lb. 1 oz, 2 weeks early. She wasn't destined to stay this big as you can see in the rest of the pictures. I often call her my "little peanut". However, she just wanted us all to know that even though she was the 3rd child, her personality was going to be REALLY BIG so that she wouldn't go unnoticed. She NEVER goes unnoticed!!!!
As she got older I was very aware that she was going to give me a run for my money. You can see the "sparkle" in her eyes in this picture that constantly reminded me that it wasn't a good idea to leave her alone for more than 30 sec. or I would pay for it. I payed for it here!!! Good times!This picture captures the very essence of "Little Milly". I could hear screaming and crying outside from Brinly and went out to see what was going on. Brinly had decided it would be fun to see if she could fit all the way under this bucket. Sure enough as soon as she did Amelia went over and layed on it and wouldn't get up. When I went outside she was laying on the bucket with a huge smile on her face as Brinly was crying inside of it. I just had to laugh, and then take some pictures.Amelia loves to play dress up and she still likes to change her clothes at least 3 times a day. I thought this outfit was priceless!This is my "Little Milly" today. I asked her to go and get her shoes and socks on so that we could go to the gym and she came outside wearing this. She was totally proud of her choice in outfit and loved the sock and "barbie shoe" combination. I've embraced this side of my little Amelia Rose.
So, you may ask why she is my "Friday Favorite" when she is absolutley my most challenging child. Glad you asked and I will be happy to tell you the answer. Little Milly brings so much laughter and joy to our home. Along with all the frustration comes so much fun. There is never a dull moment in our home and she reminds me all the time to live life to its fullest. She's spunky and quite crazy at times and a piece of me in my "spunkier" days (you'll have to talk to my mom about that one). I look at her with her adorable little button nose with the cutest sun kisses all over them and her "white" blond hair and I'm grateful to have a little girl who isn't afraid to be herself---something I never wish to squelch . She really is difficult at times but either they are less frequent or I am learning how to deal with them so much better. She is a joy to me (as are all my children) but today she is my "Friday Favorite". So, here's to knee high socks with barbie shoes!!! 3 cheers for Millie!

1) Little girls that make you stronger mothers

2)kids that make you laugh so hard that you pee a little (or a lot--let's be honest)

3)Choosing to not let the little things bother you

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yea! It's official---School has begun!!!!!Brinly is going into 1st grade and loves her teacher already.
Cardon is going into 3rd grade and "likes" his teacher already.
Amelia got to go to her 1st day of tap/ballet class. She had been waiting for this day to arrive for at least a year. She was soooo excited--big girl!
Any tears shed by me? NOPE--not even one! As everyone around me was carrying kleenex because at any given moment sobbing could occur, I was doing the "Back to School" dance looking like a fool. Don't get me wrong--we had a wonderful summer full of playing at the pool, popcycles, friends, Friday Fieldtrips, swim lessons, late nights, back yard camping, movie watching, video game playing, pizza eating, not house cleaning (who cares, it was summer), and to top it off---Grand Caymening with Grandpa and Grandma. But------everything has its season and now was the time to be back on a schedule, get organized, and learn, learn, learn ! I also must say that it has been a pure joy to spend some quality time with my little ones. I feel like I did when I just had Cardon and Brinly and we watched Sesame Street and Dragon Tales and played with the little farm animals and toddler toys. When I have everyone home we watch Zack and Cody and Hanna Montana and my little ones are spending time watching Cardon and Brinly play the Wee. So, I feel like the little ones are getting my undivided attention and then when Cardon and Brinly get home they get undivided attention. It's a Win/Win! I love it! So, 3 cheers for school. Yippeeee!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

OK, so I've had sooo many people ask me for my cornbread recipe. So, here it is! Happy cornbread making!
3/4 c. cornmeal (fresh ground is wonderful)
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. Rumford baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. oil
Combine all ingredients into mixer. Beat until dry ingredients are blended in but don't over beat. Pour into greased 9 X13 pan and bake for 30 min. at 350 degrees. (I use a 8 X 8 pan because I like a thick piece, so it takes longer to bake--more like 40-45 min.) You just have to stick a knife in it and have it come out clean. Do not over bake or it will be dry. Happy Baking! Let me know how it turns out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Favorites!!!!

Today I thought I'd talk about one of my "favorites" and possibly every Friday here after--we'll see.
BJ gets the top of my list to start with. What an incredible husband, father, etc. He is the most hardworking, patient, loving, kind, understanding, caring, funny person I've ever met and I get to be married to him. I know that I take him for granted because he is not the typical man. I'm sure of that---beyond sure but I do know that I've got a good thing here. In our faith we believe that we aren't married just here on earth but for eternity if we live faithfully--and not just the 2 of us but our children will live with us for eternity as well. I realize that there are many marriages that would not be excited about that prospect--even maybe purposely not want to live faithfully because of the lack of excitement but I have to say that I would do anything to be with this man and my children for eternity. So, 3 cheers for BJ--love that man!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grand Caymen Island!!!!

Grandpa took us to see the Turtle farm. Way cool! Amelia loved holding the turles.
We wanted to have a family picture taken here and this little boy just really wanted to be in the picture. So I thought---why not? That was the easiest pregnancy ever!!!!
We swam with sting rays. We got to hold and feed them. It was totally awesome!
My mom and I loved relaxing at the beach. What a great vaca!

Hey, we're in Grand Caymen Island! What else is there to do but relax!!!!

Grandma loved playing in the water with the kids.
Cardon, Brinly, and Amelia all enjoyed digging a hole to bury dad in.
What a great way to spend our last week before school started. We love Grand Caymen!!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Remembering Alaska!!

Our fishing trip to AlaskaWe caught Salmon and Halibut
We saw whales 50 ft. away from us
This was a good fishing day!
It is sooo beautiful here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Friday Fieldtrip!!!!!

For our Friday fieldtrip this week we took the kids on a "milking" adventure to see the cows.
About an hour and a half away from our house there is a dairy that puts their milk in glass bottles and sells it in our local grocery store. We went on a tour of their farm and got to see how the cows were milked, feed the baby cows, learn to milk a cow, see how the milk is packaged and then our favorite---taste the milk. They don't stop with chocolate milk here. Oh no! They've found a little nitche and have milk in all kinds of flavors---Strawberry, banana, orange, and rootbeer. For some reason these flavors did not sound appetizing but after tasting it decided that it was quite good. We brought chocolate, and strawberry home and the kids can't keep away from it. What a fun adventure!!! The kids had a ball and we had a lot of fun ourselves---except when Brinly Puked in the car on the way there (a memory that keeps things fun.) It was MOOOOVELOUS!

Yes, we are mooing in the picture if you can't tell!!!!!