Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I had a nice relaxing evening for my birthday.
Haley kept asking, "Where is everyone for the party?"  I had to explain that WE were the party...and that's all I needed.  

I've been thinking a lot about marriage and family lately and the importance of these two things together.  I feel so blessed to have a wonderful, loving husband.  I get to go to sleep and wake up everyday with my best's a nice feeling.  And my darling girls...oh, how lucky I am to be their mom!  These are gifts that I was given, and I'm going to hold them tight.  

That evening our dear neighbors stopped by with a special gift for me.
A Gratitude journal.

I've had my eye on this journal too, so I was especially happy to get it.
Every page is blank except for in the corner of every page there is a quote.  I have a feeling that many of these quotes will make it to the chalkboard for all to see.  They're just so good.

I think it's important to record what we're grateful for everyday.  And it doesn't have to be anything elaborate, it could be as simple as getting outside and feeling the fresh air on our face.  Remember, it's the little things that sometimes bring us so much joy.  
But yesterday, especially, I was grateful for my family...they bring me by far the most joy and happiness!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's my Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to me!

I got hugs and birthday kisses from my girls this morning.
I got to drive to the store listening to Piper sing "Happy you you Mommy!  Happy you you Mommy!"
I received a dozen Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes from my mom...I may be breaking into those very shortly!
Ryan is bringing home dinner!

Life is good.
I think I'm digging my 30's.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Review

The weekend started off kinda crummy as Haley woke up with a fever Friday morning.  She was down for the count all day long.  

When I was young and had a fever I remembering laying on the floor in front of my parents' big front slider.  I loved feeling the warm sun shine through on me.  I told Haley and she promptly laid her pillow down and got comfy by the window.  She probably stayed there for 3 hours.

Luckily, by morning she was up and going full speed again.  But I still felt she needed to lay low and take it easy.  A good day for it as it snowed all morning.  But, by mid day the kids were getting really bored of the same old indoor activities.  So, to remedy their winter blues I pulled out some of my old Barbies and accessories they hadn't seen before and I even took out the convented Barbie box that belonged to my mom when she was young.  

They were so excited!

I remember playing with my mom's Barbie when I was little.  It brought back so many memories as soon as I opened the box.

 These two were my favorites.  
 This is what they were wearing when I took them out.  I imagine they're wearing the outfits from the last time I played with them when I was a kid...kinda neat.

These Barbies entertained the girls for the entire afternoon and into the evening...about 5 hours total they were downstairs playing out one story after another.  No fighting!  

These dolls are very prized possessions so they had to be put away at the end of the day...but I'm sure they will come in handy again to ward off some winter blues.

Sunday I skied the day with my older brother, Matt.  It was awesome!  Rarely do we get a chance to hang out so I jumped at the chance to ski with him.  And then that night we watched the Oscars at our friend's house.  It was a lovely evening.

Her girls decorated the stairway that led to our little Oscar fun!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Haley Cooks Dinner

Haley came home from school yesterday chomping at the bit to make dinner herself.  Trying to appease her I told her she could make mac and cheese (from the box).  Ryan is out of town this week so our  meals are a bit more casual.  Anyway, she didn't go for it.  "No mom!!  I want to MAKE something with more ingredients!"  She immediately started flipping through my cookbooks.  I started to get nervous about what she may pick out, and the fact that I really didn't want to tackle this task of her cooking in the kitchen at that moment.  All I could envision was a whole lot of work for me that I hadn't anticipated with Ryan being out of town and all.  I started preparing myself to have to shut her down and say the dreaded "No, not today."  

But before I could say anything she found a recipe on making homemade pasta...she was SO excited.  "This is it!!  This is what I want to make!!"  For the record, I have NEVER made homemade pasta before.  Actually, I take that back.  I did make homemade egg noodles for soup once, but they didn't come out so good.  The idea of making homemade pasta seemed daunting, but she was so I said yes and hoped for the best.

She pretty much did everything!  She read the cookbook, found the ingredients and the measuring cups.  The only thing I helped her with was kneading the dough...but that was pretty tough so I don't blame her.  

So, when it came time to roll out the dough I remembered that I actually own one of those pasta making thingys!  We actually got it for a wedding present nearly 14 years ago!!  I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never used be honest, I was a bit intimidated by it.  So anyway, I found that bad boy, cleaned off all the dust and gave it go.  I love it!!!  Haley had a ball rolling out the dough, it made things so much easier!

Not bad, huh?

I love Haley's enthusiasm for everything.  She gets an idea in her head and just has to do it right away...waiting to do something "tomorrow" is just torture for her.  She's a self starter.  I love that about her.  But I find that more times than not I have to say no because it's just not realistic for that day.  Like for her wanting to go the Animal Museum at 6 in the evening...I just can't do that.  Or her waking up and NEEDING to take the dogs for a walk when it's a blizzard outside.  What?!  Or wanting to do a very complicated craft right before bed.  Basically, she probably hears "no" a lot.  

But not yesterday.  She pushed me out of my basic routine and she took me out of my "comfort zone" cooking wise.  I need that sometimes.  Kids keep us on our toes, and help us to live in the moment. 

The time right after school and right before dinner is the witching hour for moms.  It's usually the craziest time of day.  But for what ever reason I said yes to her crazy idea.  I'm so glad...we had so much fun!  It's funny how we need our children just as much as they need us!  They help us find joy in the most unexpected times.  

And while we were busy making pasta the rest of the house went to crap.  I pretty much expected that to happen.  So while Haley and I were making memories in the kitchen...

Piper got into the bread and helped herself.  Notice the towels all over my floor...they pretty much stay there.  The joys of living with a 1 year old.

Rory got into the homework/craft/random things drawer.  And with that egg carton sitting there it looks as though she may have gotten into the recycling too.

 Basically a big mess in every room.

But the pasta was delicious!
Haley has now become our pasta making master.  She'll need to do again for Ryan when he get's home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cooking with Kelly: Scones

Sometimes I think scones get forgotten about...muffins always seem to take the center stage over scones.  But I prefer a scone (done right) over a muffin any time.  They are much denser than a muffin and don't have as much sugar...and if they're done correctly they're nice and moist.  They go hand in hand with a cup of coffee...or a cup herbal tea in my case.

This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup dried currants or snipped raisins

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Using a pastry blender (or fork), cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Set aside.

In medium bowl combine eggs, whipping cream and currants.  Add mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Using fork, stir until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead dough by folding and gently pressing dough for 10 to 12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth.  Pat or lightly roll dough into an 8 inch circle.  Cut into 8 wedges.  

Place wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Brush wedges with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden.

* Just to be clear...this is the original recipe.  I actually have never used currants or raisins in my scones.  I prefer blueberries.  The scone pictured I used both raspberries and blueberries and they were delicious!  Also, I rarely have whipping cream on hand and usually just use whole milk and I find that they come out just as good!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Are you kidding me?!!!


If you haven't seen the last episode of Downton Abbey, than what ever you do, DO NOT read this post!
Spoiler alert for sure!

I'm so mad at the writers of the could they...and why?  WHY?!

I'm still in mourning over the death of Lady Sybil, and now they kill off yet ANOTHER beloved character?!
Is it so wrong to be able to see a young family get started with their new little baby?  In both cases, tragedy hit hours after they had their baby.  And both families were so in excited for the next stage of their lives.  I'm so sad.  Poor Matthew...and his poor family.

And why do we have to endure two tragedies in one season?!  We can only handle so much people!!!

So, here is what we learned about living in this time period...DO NOT have children!  You or someone you love dearly will die just hours after you give birth. have been warned!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day

It's been a pretty chill weekend.  
Friday after the girls got out of school my friend and I took our kids to another nominee for best animated movie...Wreck It Ralph.  We all really enjoyed it!

We're doing pretty good in the kid's categories.  But as for the best picture nominees...well, I haven't seen one.   I'm not doing so good with my Oscar homework!

But yeah, so this weekend...pretty chill.
The girls, cozy by the fire, most likely watching All Dogs Go to Heaven or Wild Kratts.

Today I entered the modern era and became the proud owner of a smart phone.  However, I have no idea how the thing works!  I better figure that out soon.

The girls are now on the slopes with Ryan and I'm thinking a pot of soup is sounding pretty good for dinner.
Happy President's Day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Weekend

We had a great Valentine's!

And luckily I didn't screw up the was delicious!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Rory, enjoying her breakfast this morning.

Haley and Morgan were so excited for school this morning!  Both looking forward to their class parties and passing our their Valentine's.  

I remember when I was in elementary school, I was very particular about who got what Valentine.  You know how the store bought Valentines would always have some type of message on them?  Well, I was very careful about making sure I didn't put a boy name on a card that was too lovey dovey...I didn't want them to get the wrong idea, you know.  Ha!  What a silly girl I was!  It's all about the candy anyway...I'm sure the boys didn't even read them.  

In other news...but an appropriate day to announce it (even though most people already know through facebook).  Ryan and I have set a date to be sealed in our LDS temple!!  We could not be more excited about it!  Come May 18th our family will be sealed for time and all eternity!  What a grand day that will be!  

You can read about temples here.

Happy Valentine's Day ya'll!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's and Tradition

So Valentine's Day is tomorrow.  The little ones and I have been out and about every morning this week looking for the perfect things to decorate for our Valentine's dinner.  Haley and Morgan have no idea what I've been up to...I want them to be surprised!  Not that it takes much...all I have to do is put a vase of flowers on the table and they go crazy!  I love that about them!  These are times when I'm especially grateful for my girls.  Perhaps four little boys would appreciate it just as much, I don't know.  But then, growing up I don't EVER remember my brothers getting excited for a pretty least if they were, they never showed it very well.  But then, guys are simple creatures.  Ryan would be happy if I served him his steak on a paper plate.  But I know he appreciates when I go extra mile to make it special too.

When holidays roll around I feel like my job as a mom is in full stressful as it is to make sure everything is just right (well, as close as I can get)...I love it!  It's my job to create traditions and add special details to make things memorable for my kids.  And they appreciate it so much!  It's such a great payoff.  I'm looking forward to seeing my girls' eyes light up on Valentine's when they discover candles on the table.  Or how thrilled they'll be to drink Martinelli's from wine glasses and eat off the special china.  Like I's the little truly is.

Years ago when Haley and Morgan were younger I felt more frazzled around holidays.  I wanted things to be special but I just didn't know where to start.  I remember a Valentine's Dinner I made years ago and it turned out to be such a disaster.  I chose a meal that was way too complicated...nothing was coming out right and my timing was terrible.  We ate much later than I had anticipated and by the time we did sit down I was so frustrated and grumpy.  Plus, I never did have time to set the table pretty.  I put way to much emphasis on the meal!  Little girls don't care that steak is being served but they do notice a pretty tablecloth or flowers on the table.  

So, since then I have learned a little, KEEP IT SIMPLE!  I also learned that traditions are so important!  They can take out a lot of stress that can come from trying to think of what to cook or what to do.  I serve the same Valentine's meal every year.  That way I can focus on little details for the table that the girls look forward to and enjoy.

Our Valentine's Menu:

Steak au Poivre
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans Amandine
Baby Lava Cakes

It sounds fancy, but it is actually really easy.  The hardest part is making sure the steak isn't overcooked...I would really hate to screw that up!  This is one time a year that we splurge and buy a good cut of steak...and I think it's safe to say that it's Ryan's favorite part of the meal.

So anyway, my point is that as moms it is our jobs to make sure our kids are fed, clothed, warm, cozy, safe and loved.  But I also feel it's important to celebrate life, to have special days that the kids can look forward to throughout the year.  Something out of the ordinary.  I want them to have memories of drinking out of the fancy glasses and eating off the good china, not just seeing them sitting in a cabinet unused.  Celebrate the grand things as well as the little things in life.

So with that I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day!  Here's to keeping up with traditions or starting new ones! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ottoman Overhaul

This is what our ottoman looked liked before.  Sadly, the cushions on our sofa are close to looking the same way...luckily, we can flip those suckers over and no one can see what a sad state they're in.  Remember this day, I'll get that new sofa, promise.  But anyway...with the ottoman, something needed to be done! it is before (I know, just pathetic).
See those little holes in the foam pad...those are from little kid fingers.  So fun.  Now if I would have known how expensive foam pads were I would have saved that baby!  I spent $50 on a new one.  Sheesh!
 First thing first, I took it all apart.  The only thing I saved was the piece of black fabric on the bottom to hide the wood.

I bought a new foam pad...the most expensive part of this project...ouch.  Unfortunately, I had to cut it to size. They suggested I use a serrated knife, which I did, but the results were terribly jagged.  Luckily, that doesn't really matter since it will be covered with a layer of batting and the new fabric.  

Stapled everything down.  I went with the folded corners to avoid any sewing.  But I think the look would have been much cleaner if I sewed panels like the original had.  Oh well.  Then I attached the black piece of fabric on the bottom.

Screwing on the legs was actually the worst part as a couple of screws are stripped or something (I just can't seem to get them in).  So, I'm not exactly sure how long this "new" piece of furniture will last in a household with four wild kids...but, we'll put it to the test!

The finished result!

It has a few puckers here and there so it's certainly not perfect.
But I'm pretty happy with it!

Monday, February 11, 2013

First Steps!

My little Rory took her first steps this weekend!
She has decided that walking may be pretty cool after all.

Now if she could feel the same about sleeping in...that would be great.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ski Day!

Ryan and I skipped out this morning to do some skiing...just the two of us.
It was wonderful.
It had been two years since the last time we went skiing together...sheesh.

Our good friends and neighbors watched our little ones for us.  And I'm happy to report Rory did NOT scream her head off the entire time, which was a huge relief!  In fact, I think she enjoyed herself.
Rory...getting all dolled up.

Now, I'm off to a Valentine's party with friends!
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cooking with Kelly: Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is for sure a family favorite around here!
And it's so so easy!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cans chicken broth (about 4 cups)
1 can refried beans (I use the no fat kind)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chilies
1 cup frozen corn

Throw everything in a pot and heat through.  Simple as that!
Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream.  You'll love it...I promise.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Weekend Review

This picture of Piper was actually taken last week, but she's just so darn cute I had to share it.  Also, that's a big mound of snow in our yard!!  

 Friday evening I took the girls skiing.  I think they were a bit on the tired side as Morgan had three spills the very first run we did.  But it was still fun to get out...and, while we were there we got to see my brother, Jeffy, participate in Sundance's Race Series.  What a thrill that was!  And he got third place!

Saturday was yoga and library with the girls while Ryan went for a ride.

That evening we had pizza and movie night!
We watched a Disney Nature film, African Cats.
Something a little different.  Haley is really into African animals right now so this was right up her alley!
And since it was Disney it was really geared toward children.  It didn't show any gruesome scenes of lions tearing up gazelles or little babies getting eaten.  (it did happen, but you didn't see it) And no animals gettin' it on.  So like I said, very kid friendly.

Sunday we churched it up and then watched another movie with our friends.  This movie was part of our Oscar prep. The Pirates! Band of Misfits is up for animated best picture.
And I'm happy to report that the girls really enjoyed this one!  None of them cried or ran out of the room in fear...a happy day for all!
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