Thursday, December 31, 2009


2009..  it was a fun year!
January- I celebrated the last birthday for my twenties..  I am looking forward to 30!  This month our house was also blessed with a Dyson..  the gift that keeps on giving. :)  Snow was also awesome this month bringing Merrill up the hill in the backhoe more than once.
February- Our baby turned one.  A new little red-headed boy named Tyler was born to Austin and Brooke. We also started practically living at the hotel..  the end was nearing!  My decision in re-decorating the craft room amid the chaos is something I question to this day.
March-  If we thought life was busy in February, we were quickly corrected in March..  the hotel was our life.  We learned who our best friends were when help and endless offers of help poured in.  We spent more than a few late nights down there and learned how to make beds in record time!  We were happy to finally open mid-month.
April-  This month brought us our 9th wedding anniversary and a new computer.  With the new computer came PhotoShop and my life was digitized.  My love for digital scrapbooking just began..  We also planted our first real garden and looked forward to enjoying lots of home-grown goodies.  Ashley graduated from her first year of pre-school and was sad it was over.  She couldn't wait to get back at it!  Lynn was really reading..  writing and illustrating her own books.
May-  We ended a hard year of kindergarten with Lynn graduating, looked ahead to summer, relaxing, and a new year in first grade with a new teacher.  We also spent our Wednesdays at the fair grounds, softball was in season!
June-  We just began our summer and what a way to start it off..  we went to the Ogden temple for a primary activity then followed it up the next week with a family trip to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house.  Such neat experiences to share with our girls!  When it wasn't raining, we spent our days in the sun, near the pool.  If it was raining, we were playing inside, or enjoying a dip at the hotel.  We also went to the Air Show and watched the Thunderbirds.  The girls cheered in the South Ogden Days parade.
July-  A month of celebrating, parades, and fireworks began..  we went to Lagoon and spent a fun-filled day there.  I also captured some of my favorite pictures of our little family there.  I got to learn some really cool tricks while taking digital classes online.  At the end of the month, we started to enjoy some goodness from our garden.
August-  Life picked-up and we started sprinting in August.  Clint and Britney were married the beginning of the month at the Salt Lake Temple.  We enjoyed our day there.  We had some home improvement projects online.  We were working all summer on the outside, and it kept on going!  Back to school was beginning in the PTA realm of things too.  Talk of moving began, and the work on the house got kicked into high gear.  Peyton broke her arm...  School started.  Merrill turned the big 3-OH NO! ;)  Mindy got a new camera and turned into a one woman paparazzi.  This only helped the digital addiction.
September-  Merrill enjoyed a cruise while Mindy (& company) prepared the house for how many appraisals?!  Oh, and walk-troughs...  we moved at the end of the month, so happy to finally be out of boxes!!  Again..  we are so blessed to have the friends and family we do...
October-  Ashley turned 5!!  We settled into the house and really began to enjoy our space to stretch...  Kevin and Randee welcomed their long awaited little girl Chace.  Merrill ran off to Arizona for work and I stayed at home, painting over the horrid blue in what was to be my craft room.  Halloween brought out some fun with an increase in the number of trick-or-treaters at our new address.
November-  The holidays officially began in our new home and I wanted it to be special.  I had the bulk of Christmas gifts taken care of early so we could enjoy...  until I got sick, and threw us off track for a little bit.  Lynnie turned 7!  We had two Thanksgivings..  one with mom and dad while Merrill worked and one at home the following day.  We put up the tree, after cutting off a few inches and leaving off two rows of branches. :(
December-  We packed it in this month!  We picked up old traditions and started a few new ones.  We enjoyed the month, but wish it would have gone by a little slower.  We were especially thankful to have our children really grasp the true meaning of Christmas.

Funnies: End of a decade edition...

Not that I am really going to note 10 years worth of funnies, (most of which would be my own..  hehe..) but a few noted during this most busy time of the year, a time when I wasn't thinking first and foremost about blogging them.

Peyton knows who Jesus is now.
It is partly due to all the Nativities around the house and her being a little noisy in Sacrament meeting, leading to me having to take her out.  While out in the foyer enjoying a walk, she points to all the pictures hanging on the walls.  In the beginning, she would ask me, "Dis mom?"  and the answer was always "That's Jesus."
Now, instead of her asking me, she states, "Look mom!  Jesus!!"
One evening, after tithing settlement, we were walking out of the church house, through the foyer, and Peyton kept saying, "Look!!  Jesus!"
Ashley said, "Geez..  Peyton is so into Jesus lately."

Ashley also composed a new part to "Old MacDonald".
He now has underwear on his farm, and the sound it makes is: "streeetch... stttretch..."
Imagine her singing that little ditty throughout the store...  loudly.

Peyton has been enjoying watching home videos, starring her.  She thinks every baby is "Pey-don", and laughs when it is a more current version of her.  She did cry while watching her first birthday..  at first I thought it was because she felt my sadness, longing for my baby, but then I quickly realized that it was because she was so messy in the video eating her cake.  Uncleanliness disturbs her.
Last night, she woke up a few times in the night, not crying like she had the night before, but pointing to the TV asking to "watch Pey-don?"

Lynn gets into giggly moods too.  Giggly moods that don't end quickly and can be downright annoying sometimes.  She has gotten the giggles that are contagious..  we end up getting them too, and then are puzzled because we don't even know what it is that we are laughing at.
It seems that whenever we have mashed potatoes for dinner, she starts sculpting them, staring at them, and then she says, "This means something..  important.."
That just spurs a "UHF" line-off, where she and Ashley sit back and recite lines from the movie.  Merrill is proud when they do that..

But the funniest thing that Lynn has said lately, and it wasn't funny at the moment, was when my Amoxicillan caplets were found to be broken open, and the contents used as snow.
I asked her what gave her the idea.
"My brain."
"And what exactly did your brain say to you?"
Then, in this growl-ey, evil voice, (think: "red rum...") she says, "GO TAKE YOUR MOM"S PILLS!"
It was freaky.
It still is freaky now, but I can see the humor in the situation now too.

Hopefully they'll still be cranking them out this next year, without the freaky voice part.

Carrot Cookies..

It's that time of the month again..
Flavor of the Month has been so much fun to do!!
This month is "Cookies".
While I have many cookie recipes that are my "favorite", I thought I would share one of my childhood favorites, and try to get my kidlets into them too.

Orange Carrot Cookies

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla (I tried Almond extract in them and mmm..  yummy!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked, mashed carrot

Cream shortening and sugar together.  Add the egg and mix well.  Add in the dry ingredients, vanilla, and carrot, finish mixing.
Place by teaspoon fulls (I use my smallest scooper) on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Then comes the icing..

4 tablespoons butter (or margarine) softened
3 tablespoons orange juice
zest from half an orange
pinch of salt
powdered sugar

Mix all and add powdered sugar until it reaches a thick, but not too runny consistency.
Ice the cookies while still warm.

Now, I LOVE and ADORE carrots..  I have my entire life.  I have given them credit for my great eyesight..  until my late twenties when I had to get reading glasses..
These cookies were a favorite of mine when I was little and I still love them now!  My kids like carrots.  Especially with dip.  But this is not the same thing..  they gave me some interesting looks while making them, so I knew it would be fun getting them to just try them out.  Merrill even gave them a whirl, he was the one giving the weirdest looks by far.  He said they were "okay"..  and he doesn't like much of anything.  In fact, I am still trying to figure out why he likes me! ;)

A little force was necessary on the part of the kiddos trying them out....  :D

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 29th..

December 30th..

On to the fun stuff..

Off of the "have to" list for a while, and on to the "want to" list.
That is my kind of fun!
Here's a few things I have finally gotten around to doing..  they have been waiting for only a couple of months...

A different kind of fun..

It has been snowing like it should be here, and we went to have some fun in it today.
Grandma called and started a snowman making contest.  Each of us would build a snowman at our own houses, and we would receive prizes for them later.
The girls played while I shoveled (because we work, then play around here..) and I enjoyed some ibuprofen with my lunch later.
Their play wasn't exactly how I remembered having "fun" in the snow..
Lynn was attempting to get out every ride on in the garage, and take it out the un-shoveled part of the driveway.
Have you ever tired to ride a trike in 8 inches of snow?
Turns out, she really wasn't having all that much fun.
So I threw her in a snowbank.
She still wasn't having fun.
Ashley was busy burying and then rescuing the ornaments I forgot to bring inside after our Christmas card photo shoot.
It was complete with sound effects and a rather convincing script.
Peyton was trying to copy the snow angels she saw Ashley do as soon as she set foot in the snow earlier.
The only difference:  Peyton was making angels in the dirt and oil of the garage floor where Merrill parks the truck.
I finally got the shoveling done, and we started our attempt at building a snowman.
Needless to say, the snow was too powdery to pack, and there were no snowpeople rolled in my yard today.
We drew one instead.

I think we might just win the award for "flattest snowman".
But I did get some "traditional snow fun" pics...  without the snow clothes, because those got "boring".

Three (semi) skilled women in the house..

I will be the first to say that I am not a pro when it comes to my crochet skills.
But I can make a decent looking hat.
I was thrilled when little Lynnie started asking me if I could teach her how to crochet.
That is just one way to make my mommy heart proud.
So I started with her.

Ashley is at the age where, if Lynn can do something, she can too!
So yesterday I taught Ashley.

Right now, it's just the basics.  That's where we all start, right?
Lynnie can make one really mean chain!

She is planning for them to be gifts. :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

We've been making this and making that.....

Had a sleepover with the cousins last night.
3 of the 4 have new American Girl dolls, so we made girl and doll PJ pants.
Matching PJ pants.
(I will have to share the pattern when I finish tweaking it..)

I also taught Lynnie-lou to crochet tonight!!!
It is so satisfying that these things are being handed-down..  it's even nicer that SHE asked me to show her how.

She was sad to leave it for bedtime, but it was a must..  she was so tired today FOR SOME REASON... ;)
I have a feeling that tomorrow will be a fun day.

December 28th..

December 27th..

December 26th..

Too much thinking..

I have been doing too much thinking lately..
Planning ahead.
Goals for the new year..
A new "word" for the new year.
How to organize this and that.
The big 3-0.
Up-coming birthday for little miss P.
Valentine's day stuff..
ALL the projects I get to do now!
I realized that from the beginning of August until Christmas Eve, it has been a "go, go, GO!" mentality around here.
Getting one house all fixed up, ready for appraisalS, walk-thoroughs, and a sale.
Back to school fun.
Packing up and moving.
Moving in and getting all set up.
The big project.
Now, I can breathe, and think about a few things that I have wanted to do.
Then I will move on to more PTA stuff.  (That yearbook will be fun!)
But while doing all of this thinking, my body has been working on a project of it's own.  I woke up this morning to find a gray hair.

 I called Merrill to tell him all about it.
He wasn't impressed.
When I asked why, he replied,"You have ONE gray hair..  I have MILLIONS."
Maybe not millions, try hundreds.  It's true.
(Love you Mer!)
I tried to tell him that I am now catching up to him..  well, trying to at least.
That 3-0 is coming up, I guess I just needed a visual reminder.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

This Christmas...

As I sat wrapping gifts at 3 am, early Christmas morning, I was hoping that the girls would remember this Christmas for many reasons..
Trying to make it the most memorable Christmas to date, took a lot of energy, and backfired multiple times, quite frankly.  Our "Plan B" seemed to really sink in, and had me feeling guilty, thinking that "Plan B" should have been "Plan A" the whole time.
We wanted to have all of the fun of Christmas, and still have the spiritual side, the true meaning, being taught and shared in our home.
We took away most of the emphasis on the Santa part. emphasized the spiritual.
Now don't mistake me, we ALWAYS focus on Christ, He is the main part of our Christmas, but we have fun..  we do have small children here...
I think we were successful.
As we were walking around Temple Square Tuesday night, Ashley kept saying, "Mom, I just have this word stuck in my head!  It won't leave and I just don't want to forget it...  Jesus is the reason why we have Christmas."
See, success.
That was the soundtrack to the next two days.  I was thankful to have it playing in my head during the rush, hustle and bustle of all the last minute things, especially the things that went a little wrong.  It helped to put it all into perspective.
I was most thankful for the days leading up to Christmas, reading books that tell the story of Christ's birth, not only from the view point of people, but from the animals too.  The stories of His life, all that He did.  There were books that taught us about service, loving one another, thinking more of others than your self.  I am so thankful that every night, as we read those books, I was able to share my testimony with my girls..  they also learned to understand what I was saying while emotional, quite emotional at times.
I know, even though I wasn't present, that He was born, that He lived, that He atoned for all..  He died for all that we may ALL live again.
I am so thankful for the miracle of His birth, for this time of the year when the best seems to come out of everyone..  I am thankful to be able to spend it with loved ones.

I hope your Christmas was as good as mine.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reminders in Vinyl..

Our house this time of the year called for a couple of new signs, reminders if you will..

Traditions: Spritz Cookies (AKA Press Cookies)

So the licorice caramels are very yummy..  especially if you enjoy black licorice.
Lessons I learned:
Use licorice oil or Anise oil.
I used Anise extract.  Not the same thing.
I used the WHOLE BOTTLE to get the right flavor.
Did I mention they are yummy?
We have been doing a lot of baking this last week.
- Cupcakes
- Mints
- Dipped pretzle rods
- Fudge (that didn't turn out..  there is a difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed.  I buy more of one, and love it so much, I think it should go in EVERYTHING!!  Not in fudge though..  no, no. no.)
- Caramels
- Licorice caramels
- Sugar cookies
- Spritz

Spritz are my fondest childhood memory..  and that is what we call them, some people call them "press cookies" but I like Spritz..  sounds more festive. ;)
I remember my mom making them, every year.  She stored them in the largest Tupperware bowl known to man and it wasn't the fake Tupperware, it was the real stuff here people..  the kind that had the little circle on the lid with the notch cut out, I think to put it on a beaded chain?
We used the ginormous bowl as a booster seat as well.
She made them in red, yellow, and green, decorated them with red hots, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating the dough.
I still do.
There is something that having your own children does to you, especially around the holidays.  I am usually on a mission to learn how to do something just the way my mom did when I was small.  That is what happened  the year I had Lynn.
That was also the year Merrill got me my cookie press for Christmas.
Love that guy!
I bet I could have gotten another dozen or so cookies if I could just keep my hands out of that bowl!
It is an easy recipe, I use my Wilton cookie press to extrude them in the fun shapes.


1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of Almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add eggs Almond extract, and the flour, and mix until it forms a dough.  Chill in the fridge until ready to use.  You can either roll in waxed paper, then slice and bake on a cookie sheet, or you can use a cookie press.

Red hots to embellish make them that much cuter and yummy!

Bake at 300 for 6-8 minutes

I love these things..  but I love pretty much anything with Almond extract in it.
My StazOn ink smells like Almond extract..  I get hungry for Spritz while I scrap sometimes for SOME reason. ;)

December 21st..

I just couldn't decide which one I liked better..  the fog has left some pretty cool stuff behind!

December 20th..

December 18th..

December 19th..

December 17th..

December 16th..

What is ultimately wrong with this picture?

Sunday I put myself and the girls through a quick torture..  um, I meant to say, photo session.  They all had on their Christmas dresses and you know, you just have to get them while you can.
Peyton had enjoyed her Sunday at church messing with her hair, so that was attractive, and Ashley..  well, let's just see if you catch that.
I finally did..  in sacrament meeting.

Before we move on to Ashley's latest silly fashion choice, I have to say that I hear all too often that my girls look, "just like their dad"...
I would like to say that, in these last 8 photos, I have seen more of me in them than ever before! :D


Such appropriate socks for church..  dont' you agree?