Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Todd's brother, Trevor, is graduating from University of Utah on Friday.  We are so excited for you and proud of you too Trevor!  We know that you will be successful.  By the way,  he already found success with his sweet wife, Whitney.  He couldn't have been any luckier in the wife department.  I feel lucky too.  She is a great "sister".  I am always in a good mood when we are together.  

Have a great weekend you guys!!  We'll be thinking of you.

(The above picture is them as newlyweds with an almost 2 year old Harrison)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Turn Off TV Week

We are not completely following the no TV thing this week, but are significantly cutting back.  So what's a Mom to do?  After all, TV is so tempting as it can be a great babysitter, entertainer, and so forth.  I decided to come up with some ideas and thought that I could share them here, if anyone is interested...
  1. Read a book
  2. memorize an Article of Faith, scripture, or poem
  3. teach the kids to bake
  4. draw pictures
  5. write the missionaries
  6. go for a walk
  7. go to the park, splash pad, etc
  8. go to the zoo
  9. go to the library
  10. go to a museum
  11. sidewalk chalk
  12. blow bubbles
  13. run in the sprinklers
  14. ride bikes and scooters
  15. go to Sonic for Happy Hour
  16. go swimming
  17. have a puppet show
  18. organize the house
  19. write a story
  20. wash the cars
  21. visit the Temple's visitor's center
  22. take a nap!
I am excited about this week now!  I hope my kids will do well.  

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Recent Happenings....

We have been keeping pretty busy around here.  I love it!  I thought that I would take just a few moments to record what we have been up to.

We finally made it over to San Tan Village, which is adorable.  Becca, Stephanie, and I took our kids to the splash pad.  Alyssa decided the sprinklers were not for her.  Luckily there was a darling Puppy Store across the way and we got to admire the cute puppies instead.  Becca and I also enjoyed some good lunch and adult conversation!

Stephanie told us about the Fun in the Sun Festival, put on by Mesa Public Schools Early Education program.  I am so thrilled that we went.  Although, Alyssa decided (at first) that the festival wasn't for her either.  I was feeling frustrated because there were so many fun things for her to do and she didn't want to leave her stroller!  So, I pretty much forced her out of her shell.  We made fruit loop necklaces, she liked the idea of making a necklace.  Then we went to checkout a fire truck.  She would not go in it, so I carried her and we both went in it.  Firetrucks are pretty cool.  Finally she started to realize that this was fun and we got to enjoy the rest of our time there.  They had so many wonderful ideas of what to do with your toddler to preschool age children.  My favorite ones are:
  •   getting a large container and putting flour (or rice or cornmeal) in it with some small spoons and cups and let them play with it - like sand 
  • bubbles - they just used water and dish soap
  • fruit loop necklaces
                                             Lyssa playing with stamps
                                          Who doesn't like these parachutes?
  After all of the neat ideas, I felt as though I really needed to be more educational at home.  So after school, instead of "Sponge Bob", Harrison and Lyssa made paper sack puppets and had puppet shows.  They loved it.
I decided to get bangs and get (very subtle) red-brown highlights.  The Young Women kept saying, "You look pretty, what did you do?"  
I have been crafting a little.  This is my cheap alternative to vinyl, I heard about this technique on Tip Junkie.  I loved Elder Ballard's talk and wanted a quote from that talk on my walls ASAP.  Now, while it isn't the most eloquent plaque, I smile whenever I see it.  
   Some canvases for Lyssa's room.....
    I wanted some Italian in her room too....
This is Harrison's old bulletin board.  All I did was paint it red, used a cowboy boot stamp and stamped it on top of the red, stapled the fabric on top of the cork, and then Velcroed the wood pieces on it.  I still have to make some pillows with the rest of that fabric.
We finally saw "Juno" and "I Am Legend".  Well I think I saw 30% of "Legend" the rest of the time my hands were in front of my face.  It was scary!

We are still busy with T-Ball.

I cooked every night this week, wowsers!

The "Cleaning Fairy" has been stopping by the house and leaving treats for Harrison sporadically.  This has made him extremely happy to clean his room.  Ya, I just made up the Cleaning Fairy and he ate it up.  I love it.  It is fun.  I usually just write a little note that says keep up the good work and leave a small toy or candy on his bed while he is at school.  This week the Fairy was feeling generous and left him a huge bucket of sidewalk chalk!

We got our Summer Movie Fun Tickets!

My Mom had Friday off and we spent the day at Tempe Marketplace.  Fun!

My Mom has been dragging me to her Zumba classes.  She is a Zumba junkie.  So last week Stephanie came too.  Let me tell you guys, Stephanie is a good dancer!  Zumba is way fun too.

Well I could go on.  But, it is late and I am sure that no one is interested in reading any more about my life right now.  I will have to update my blog as I do things in the future!  Oh and I have a rodent story to share, so don't let me forget!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Creme Brulee French Toast

I am so not a breakfast eater.  Quite regularly I have leftovers or a cheese quesadilla for breakfast - breakfast of champions, eh?  Anyways, this dish has convinced me that not all "sweet" breakfast meals are gross.  Furthermore, this is one breakfast that I would eat everyday for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I got this recipe from "The Essential Mormon Cookbook".  In case you don't have a copy of this book, here is the recipe:

1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 loaf Texas Toast bread, cut thick slices
5 eggs
1 1/2 Cups half and half
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 recipe Syrup Butter*

In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat stirring occasionally.  Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish.  Spread to cover the entire dish.  Places slices of bread on top.  Mix together eggs, half and half, salt, and vanilla.  Pour on top of bread.  Cover and place in refrigerator over night.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Serve Syrup Butter on top.

*Syrup Butter:
1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups maple syrup
I didn't make the syrup butter and the French Toast was amazing, who knows how delicious it would have been with the syrup??  Oh and by the way, I didn't say this was good for you, it just plain tastes good!

This is so decadent I think I will add it to my traditional Christmas morning breakfast menu! This would also really impress overnight guests.  AND it is so easy too, way easier than pancakes or waffles or regular French Toast....can you tell I think this stuff is great??  


Chandler's Tumbleweed Park has, quite possibly, the world's cutest playground. They call it Playtopia. Playtopia has three distinct areas for the kids to play. All of the areas are near one another and they have ramadas interspersed, so you can have a nice little picnic if you want.  They have "City Land" which has a little city street for the kids to ride their bikes on and pretend they are in cars. They have "Critter land" which is a nice sized sand lot, covered by a sun shade. They have fake Woolly Mammoth bones sticking out of the sand box and the kids can pretend they are digging for fossils. Then they have "Farm Land" which is a gigantic playground that is totally farm themed. It is so adorable. The best part is that is completely covered by a huge tin roof, it looks like we are under a barn roof. This is so important to me because Alyssa is so fair, and it is so hot here. The shade provided by this structure is way better than what a typical playground shade thingy provides. We had a blast and I can't wait to go there again. It is on Germann Road, just west of McQueen, if you are interested in going.

                                                My cute little farmer...
                                                   Farm Land...

                                                   Critter Land...Katherine was ready to go home, 
                                   we had been there for almost three hours and didn't realize it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Have an Announcement!

And no, I am not pregnant!

I have been reading and re-reading Elder Ballard's talk from General Conference.  I was really touched by it, particularly when he encouraged us to find one or two things to learn and do to "fill our well".  I have been thinking about this a lot, even before Conference, and this is most likely why his talk hit so close to home.  So, with a lot of thought and prayer, I have decided that one of the things I am going to do is start running again.  Last spring I trained for two races and having a goal in sight brought a lot of fun and challenge to my running.  So, my announcement is....I am going to run the PF Chang's Marathon in 2009.  I figure if I announce this so publicly I will more apt to follow through, of course that didn't work with my Diet Coke habit, but I really like running!  So, I think I will be ok.

I have also started to do a lot more to fill that well of mine and be a better wife and mother.  If I can get a spare moment - and when I am not dog tired- I will actually post some pictures of these things.  

So, what do you do to fill your well and be the great mothers and wives that you all are?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Autism Family Day

This Saturday, while the "boys" were at Priesthood session, my Mom and I took the kids to Mesquite High School's 2nd Annual Autism Family Day. We went because it is a fundraiser for Autism Awareness and my Mom is a counselor for Mesquite High School (and was working one of the booths!). This was so much fun. They had all of these inflatable toys for the kids: a bounce house, a huge slide, a maze, and one where you are tied to a bungee cord and you run and then get snapped back. They also had booths where the kids could fingerpaint, play hoola hoops, do a dunk tank, get "tattoos" etc. A good time was had by all. The weather was perfect too. An added bonus for me was adult conversation with my Mom and some of her co-workers. After that we met up with all the "boys" and my parents treated us to dinner at Tia Rosa's. A night like this was just what I needed.

Conference was wonderful too. Didn't you all just love Elder Ballard's talk? I can't wait until Thursday, when puts the talks up on their site, to print it out and read it over and over again!

Hong Kong Night Night

Todd's parents sent these darling silk pajamas to our kids, from their mission in Hong Kong. It is pretty much a "Mission Impossible" to get a decent picture of both kids together!

Friday, April 4, 2008

"Freckleface Strawberry"

My parents gave Lyssa the cutest book for Valentine's Day, "Freckleface Strawberry" by the lovely and beautiful Julianne Moore. I think the book is semi-autobiographical as it chronicles the life of a 7 year old girl, referred to as Freckleface Strawberry, who has, yep you guessed it, red hair and freckles! Alyssa, and the whole family for that matter, love this book. We read it to her all the time.

I think Lyssa knows that little Freckleface Strawberry looks a lot like her, minus the freckles (although I am sure she will get them sometime). In fact, we now catch ourselves calling little Lyssa "Freckleface Strawberry"!!

One day this week, after reading the book for about the millionth time, Harrison asked me if I had any freckles. I said, "Yes! Everywhere...on my face, arms, legs...You know you could call me Freckleface...(I thought for a moment) Blackberry. You know, because I have black hair instead of red hair." Harrison looked at me for a moment and then said, "Or Freckleface Greyberry".

WHAT??? I think I have found like 2 or 3 greys over the years. Thanks a lot Harrison. With him for a child I should have an entire head of greys in no time.

I have an appointment for a cut and color next week....I am thinking of going red. It would be nice to look more like my own little Freckleface Strawberry.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Harrison's first T-Ball game of the season was last night. It is surreal to me that we have a kid old enough to be doing things like T-Ball, school, and so forth. Anyways, the game was a lot of fun. I love that there is no score and it is all about the kids learning and having a good time. I really love that the game was only two innings long! I think if we let them go a whole 9 innings we would still be there!

Harrison's Team aka The Cardinals

Harrison, #11, and his teammates waiting to bat!

Harrison up to bat.

Harrison was the "pitcher" for one inning. That is Todd in the yellow, helping in the outfield.

Alyssa did pretty well. She only ran out into the field once! I think she wanted to play with her brother.

Our little All Star!