Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Ellie-ism

I just found out about another Ellie-ism from a friend of mine who was in Primary on Sunday with Ellie. She said that one of the members of the Primary Presidency was giving a sharing time about prayer, and started her lesson by saying something like, "Isn't it frustrating when you try to call someone on the phone and the line is busy, or they don't answer? Well, we are very lucky because Heavenly Father will always answer when we call."
And Ellie, without missing a beat, said, "But I don't even know His phone number."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


After Becca's birthday party was such a success I decided to enter the Ladybug Picnic idea at BirthdayPartyIdeas.Com and guess what?! I just got an e-mail telling me that my idea was one of the winners. Woo Hoo! How fun for me. They are sending me a gift card & my idea is listed with the "new entries" but I just have to say that seeing that email (especially after having such a frustrating time cleaning up after mess after mess) really made my day.
So, now I am off to put a diaper back on Nakey-Rachey (who can't seem to stay clothed for more than five minutes at a time), clean up my kitchen, and do a load of laundry all with a smile (where I can guarantee I would not have been smiling a few minutes ago).
Yay, Me!


Here is an incomplete inventory of the contents of my vacuum today (and yes, this was empty before I started vacuuming the first of the messes) :

Item....................... Quantity
Potting Soil.................. 2 plants worth
Rice Crispy Dust......... 1 uneaten box
Granola........................ 5 cups
Styrofoam.................... seemingly infinite
Dirt and Grime............ too much to quantify

Yes, Rachel has had a very productive day. I, on the other hand, not so much (but my carpets are nice and clean now. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

An Ellie Quote

"Mom, I like to eat almost everything. . . .It's just that my taste buds don't like hardly anything."

Saturday, July 25, 2009


In lieu of a trip up to Pine View (due to threatening inclement weather) we went as a family up to the canyon today for lunch. The girls had a great time playing with the cousins and we ran into our friends the Farrers/Barkers. The water in the river has slowed enough that we let the kiddos play in the river & they spent the better part of the time in the water. Here are a few pics of the day's events:
Sarah and Lindsey "skipping" rocks across the river
Lauren and Sarah floating the hollowed out "zucchini boat" downstream.
Rachel enjoying the "refreshing" feeling of cold water on her toes.
A picture from the bridge of everyone in the water.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's Always fun at Grandma's House

Here are some pictures (courtesy of Haylee's blog) from the summer party my mom did for the grandkids...I have to say grandkids now instead of granddaughters because "Baby Maffew" as Rachel calls him was also invited :)

The girls enjoying a crayon popsicle (I can say girls this time because poor Matthew didn't get one...and he looks sad about it, huh?).
Becca drawing herself as a mermaid with sidewalk chalk.
The girls playing Ring Around the Rosie in the kiddie pool.
Rachel's sidewalk chalk masterpiece.
Mom's blue Jell-O masterpiece.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Equals Popsicles

Sarah has taken it upon herself lately to be the experimental chef...and not just any chef, the Popsicle chef. In the past week or so I have found grape popsicles (water and grapes stuck in a paper cup), carrot-sicles and PBJ-sicles, but by far the most disturbing concoction was the hot dog-sicle. Oh, yeah, Sarah broke chunks of hot dog off, crammed them into a water bottle, filled it to the top with water and stuck it in the freezer.
Then, when I threw it away, she freaked out because she couldn't find her "special invention."
What she planned to do with it (other than freaking out every child in the neighborhood) I have no idea, but fortunately the 'thing' was gone long before she came looking for it (and fortunately for you, I did NOT take a picture).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

High On A Mountain Top

Saturday we decided to take the girls for a hike. Since the weather looked clear we decided to head up to Bountiful Peak. When we got there I was sad that I didn't pack any Handi-Snack cheese and crackers because the first time I ever hiked the ridge I was about 5 or 6 and Grandpa Hodgkinson packed might have been the first time in my life I had ever eaten them and I thought they were AMAZING! But, even without the cheese and crackers we had a great time.
Come to think of it, that was probably one of the first "hikes" I had ever been on . . . . . . .No wonder I like hiking...I associate it with "special" food :)
Here I am with my grandpa looking out over the valley. I remember he held me on his lap because I didn't want to sit on the rocks. I love this picture.
Here is a picture of me, Rick, Ben and my grandpa. (and some random person in the background).
But back to our trip on Saturday...The drive up the mountain was beautiful. The girls were a little worried that we were going to drive off the edge of a cliff when we first started out, (and as we looked down at the Bountiful Temple the girls looked once but told me not to ask them to look again because they were too scared) but once they got over their fear of the cliff they enjoyed the drive up. About half way up the mountain we started seeing wildflowers like crazy. We saw huge patches of bluebells (which happen to be Greg's favorite flower) interspersed with wild roses and other gorgeous flowers.

When we got to the first overlook, Greg pulled off to a small turnabout, and Ellie panicked thinking momentarily that he was going to drive us down the mountain the quick way, but when the girls got out of the car they were thrilled with the view.

After our short hike to the top of the peak we stopped to watch some scouts with mirrors trying to signal across the valley. We saw the flash from one group that was stationed at Bountiful Pond. The fact that it came from Bountiful Pond was fun for us, too because on Wednesday night we took the girls on a picnic/hike through the swamp around the pond and it was fun to see the pond from such a height.

When we told my dad today about the scouts with mirrors he said that the reason we went up to the peak with my grandpa so many years ago was to participate in the same event. What are the odds?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Some Pictures from the Baptism

Sarah in front of the house. Can you see the short part of her bangs (the reason she even has bangs is to cover it up).

Here is a picture of Becca just after the baptism up at the Stake Center.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eight is Great

Yesterday was Becca's big day--although I find it a little hard to believe my little girl is old enough to be baptized!
Becca was very involved with the planning of the festivities. Instead of having the usual "Great to be Eight" theme for the baptism preview, the Primary Presidency had a "Black-White Choose the Right" theme, and Becca thought that it would only be fitting to incorporate the theme into her baptism party. So, my kind sisters-in-law brought various black and white cookies, we decorated the house with all things black and white and had French Dip Sandwiches for dinner.
I had planned on taking pictures during the party but totally forgot, so the only pictures I have are from before everyone came...Greg has some pictures of Becca on his phone & his dad took some of her up at the Stake Center, but here are a couple from before we went up to the church.

Little kids picnic table
Cookie jars filled with various black and white cookies

Black and white in the dining room

Black and white in the kitchen (I added more daisies just before we left to the church and filled the little bowls with black and white jelly beans and chocolate covered/yogurt covered raisins and pretzels)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I have been wanting to make these for a while & since Greg's best friend brought us some fresh raspberries for his birthday, I decided it was the perfect excuse (since I don't have anything else to do today...what with Becca's baptism two days away and all). But, they sure turned out cute!

I made a dozen cupcakes, but by the time I got the camera there were only three (very nearly two) left on the plate.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Here are some pictures of the girls on our trip to the zoo a few weeks ago. I got them from Greg's phone (along with the pictures from the previous post). We went on Meadow Gold's Mother's day & got the girls' faces painted, rode the carousel and train, and got to see the elephants playing/eating. The girls had a great time.

Go Sun Devils!

I was at the grocery store checkout today and saw three Mylar balloons with the letters A S U (the "S" was even the right direction) and, although I realized immediately that it was meant to be read from the other direction, I found it kind of funny that everyone leaving the store got to see a tribute to Arizona, as a lead in on my post about this patriotic weekend, I thought I would also give a shout out to ASU since my local grocer did, too.

Since it was a nice long weekend, I am just going to give the quick low-down. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures, so I'll have to swipe some from Greg's dad to post here, but for now, here is the low-down of our weekend.

Friday we left as soon as the girls were up and ready for Pine View Reservoir. We went up the weekend before and there was NO beach, and although it was still pretty sparse, we found a little sand for the kids to dig around in & they loved it. They also enjoyed riding on Grandpa Steve's 3 man tube, swimming in the lake & playing with COUSINS!

That night, we went to see fireworks in Centerville, and as we were driving home we watched the North Salt Lake fireworks which happened to be directly in our line of sight the whole way home. It was really fun.

Saturday morning we woke our poor, exhausted girls up for a family breakfast at my aunt's house, then loaded them up for a trip to Mirror Lake. The drive took a little bit longer than usual because as I looked back at Becca I noticed a slightly green hue to her face, so we pulled into WalMart & got Becca some Dramamine... We were riding with Greg's parents, who have a brand new car, and I was very grateful Becca didn't single-handedly eliminate the "new car" smell.

We had a great picnic lunch, walked around the lake, fished, and only got a little bit of rain.

In fact, considering the ominous weather forecast for the weekend, we really lucked out. I think that both Pine View and Mirror Lake were both a lot less crowded than they normally would be on the 4th of July weekend because of the prediction of rain, but we didn't have any trouble with the weather, and we definitely were successful at wearing out our girls.

I am very sad that I didn't get a picture of it, but when we got back from Mirror Lake we were unloading the Suburban and all three of the oldest girls just lay down on the grass and crashed (Rachel was asleep in her car seat).

On the night of the fourth, after dinner and a short nap for the girls, we went to Greg's sister's house for the "Avenue of Fire" celebration. We had root beer floats, cotton candy, glow sticks, music and, of course, a great firework display.

This picture isn't from the "Avenue of Fire" it's from Greg's work party, which was also fun, and didn't get blogged about, but at least it gives an idea of what the evening entailed.

The only downside to the entire weekend was trying to wake up the girls for 9:00 church the next day. OK, so I had a hard time waking up, too. But I think it was worth it.

Happy Birthday

Today is Greg's birthday & I just had to start the morning by wishing him a good one. He is such a great man I feel very lucky to have him for my sweetheart. So here is hoping 32 really is as wonderful as Mariannne said it would be!
Happy Birthday Greg!
I love you!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Ladybug Birthday

Becca requested a ladybug party for the big number 8, and I obliged without realizing how few resources would be available for a big girl ladybug party, but after a little creative thinking and a trip to Dollar Tree we came up with a very fun day.

We started the morning with ladybug pancakes per Becca's request. All I did was make slightly oval pancakes & let the girls decorate them with strawberry syrup and raisins.

For the party, I decided to call it a ladybug picnic and included lunch in the party. Here is a picture of the invitation...It looked much brighter in person, but my lighting was bad. For lunch I made ladybug PBJ's (I made open-faced sandwiches cut in ovals basically like the pancakes but with mini M&Ms for eyes, peanut butter, strawberry jam, and raisins or chocolate chips for the spots (I let the girls decorate their own)). I also served cherries, BugBite Graham Crackers, carrot sticks, string cheese & oyster crackers (Becca's choice) for lunch in cute little trays.

Here is a picture of the girls at lunch--they are wearing ladybug aprons I found at Dollar Tree :)

The reason we got the aprons was that Becca wanted to let the girls decorate their own cupcakes, so when I saw the aprons I thought it was the perfect accessory. Here is a picture of the cupcakes we made (I made the two on the middle tier that are tipped on their sides and the girls made almost all the rest. They did a good job)

Once we finished our lunch and dessert, the girls had a ladybug toss (I found a garden flag at Dollar Tree that had 3 flowers on it, so I cut out the centers of the flowers & had the girls toss little rubber "BlingBug"(sparkly) ladybugs through the centers. The prize? More BlingBugs. I separated the girls & had some tossing ladybugs while others had their toenails painted to look like ladybugs. I got each of them a pair of red or black flip-flops to wear so they wouldn't ruin their pedicure & they were all thrilled with their bright red toes.

Do you like Sarah's toes (sans flip-flops on the bottom left)? She wouldn't let me remove the paint from her toes & she has had three different ladybug pedicures (first from me to practice then from Becca when they were supposed to be cleaning their rooms) so her toes just look like a blob of black and red, but she was thrilled with the look.

After the pedicures we played ladybug bingo, opened presents, and went on a ladybug hunt (a treasure hunt where each of the clues had a ladybug sticker on the they were looking for the bugs). The rest of the party favors included bug-shaped bubble wands (butterflies and ladybugs), ladybug sidewalk chalk, stuffed ladybug picture frames (I took the girls' pictures at the beginning of the party and printed them while they ate lunch) wall crawler giant ladybugs, pinwheels and other ladybug goodies. I had the girls decorate treat bags with ladybug stickers, markers, glitter etc. as they arrived and then handed them back when they reached the end of the treasure hunt.

Becca was thrilled with her party. She got some darling gifts including this cute ladybug notebook
If you don't know how to make these notebooks tell me...they are a fun, fast, cheap and easy project (we have made several with our young a class activity and again at girls' camp).