So we Utahan's really LOVE to decorate for the holidays...any holiday. While the main story on the news last night was how the Salt Lake county mayor decorates his home for Christmas, here was some of the "breaking news" this morning...
We LOVE our little elf, but this family took things a step further..
God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your
song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever
May you stay forever young.
This is one of my favorite songs...and this my absolute favorite version
Here are some of my other recently found favorite things...
iphone case (goes with the forever young theme) I found this etsy and fell in love with it!
This book has so many great ideas for your families and reminds you to enjoy every moment! I am taking the boys on a tromp through the woods today to collect treasures to include in our ice wreath (another great idea from the book)
And I know I have mentioned this movie before but it is one of my favorites. It is a true story and it's release was met with some controversy, as Alaska did not want the character romanticized, but it is a wonderful, beautiful movie.
Like many families, one of our Christmas traditions is Elf on the Shelf. Our charming little elf, whom the girls have named Cutie, has started getting into some mischief lately. The kids woke up this morning and found that he may have gotten into a bit more than he can handle...
And unfortunately he only comes to life when the kids are sleeping, hope he can hang in there.
I saw this shirt and immediately though of my little Birklee. My wild, white haired, almost 3 year old. He is most defiantly a momma's boy and I love it. He has the body of 4 year old and the mind of a two year old (he is a giant boy) and he reminds of a cute puppy with legs that are too incredibly long and clumsy body that doesn't always cooperate. This is the lovely little boy who took 300 pics of himself with my iphone and then tried to deny it, the boy who broke his bedroom window twice with a matchbox car, the boy who currently has a giant scab on the back of his head (he probably could have used stitches), the boy who snuck behind daddy's chair last night and proceeded to break every candy cane in half, the boy who drink 1/2 gallon of milk everyday, the boy who sometimes drives me crazy and always melts my heart.
Today begins finals week, which only lasts two days for me. There is something refreshing about attending college the second time around. I am fortunate enough to be in a place in my life, and my family's life, to have the opportunity to focus and study subjects that truly interest me. I do no feel the pressure of quickly obtaining a skill so I can earn a living. Seven years ago, when Elizabeth was born, I put school on a back burner. I was only 1o credits away from earning a degree in elementary education. The time off from school (along with lack of thought about school) helped me explore life and find interests that will stay with for a lifetime. Truth being, I have always loved school, learning, reading, and exploring. Yes I will, eventually find a career in my (future) field, but for know I am finding the joy in learning. It is wonderful to go to class and really think about the lectures instead of viewing the class as one more to cross off the list. I am truly grateful that I have such a supportive family who encourage me to explore my interest of learning. While I have had a fun time this semester I am looking forward to the break to enjoy the holiday season with my family.
We should try to stay away from anything that makes us unhappy...i am adamantly against the strive for perfection, some things should be left unfinished...and maybe some things should never even be started
I have come across a magazine I love. It is not trying sell anything it is simply about life. The magazine comes is published four times a year. It would make a wonderful present for anyone (including yourself).
The ski season in Utah kicks off this week with tomorrow being the opening day for Brighton and many others following suit this weekend. We have been busy in the snow as we got 25 inches over the past 4 days. We have been outside sledding pretty much since Friday and are loving every minute of it! And to add to the fun even more, about 30 deer have taken up residence in a nearby field. They were a little too far off to get pictures of but they have been fun to watch. There are 4 bucks and about 20 little kid deer. The young ones spend their day hopping through the snow and playing tag. They are pretty darn cute.
We have a fun, busy weekend planned. Saturday morning the girls cheer at the Herriman football game, which is always entertaining! The we are off to the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake to visit the toy boutique JouJou. I have seen ads lately and it looks Amazing! Then to top off the day we have a Halloween Party. Papa is coming over to play with the kids for a few hours while we go out and enjoy the night! Pictures to follow...I am especially excited for the toy store!
We had our first freeze on Friday and that meant that the Saturday morning needed to be spent down at the garden. We all went down there and picked everything that was left. The plants had given us everything they had in them and they were spent. We brought home with us a total of 11 pumpkins, 5 cantaloupes (they ate 5 while were in the garden), a grocery bag full of cherry tomatoes, more onions than I will ever know what to do with (I may dry them out and save them for spices like I did with the cayenne pepper), some red peppers, and 5 eggplant. It was a fun season, filled with a lot of hard work.
A few weeks ago we went down to the farm and picked a few bags of apples. We all ate at least one a day and as they became slightly worn out I decided to make one of my favorite treats. Today I pulled of the food dehydrator and started slicing. Last year I made plain apple chips and cinnamon apple chips, but this morning I noticed we were out of cinnamon so plain it is.I slice them up, put them in the dehydrator for 4-5 hours and put them in jars. They are one of my favorite fall time treats. I did learn a lesson though, If you eat a whole bag of apple chips DO NOT follow it with a glass of water or you will quickly learn what it feels like to have 5 whole apples in your stomach.
During my years as a parent I have run across other parents who have a real anxiety about allowing their children to get dirty...at all. There are times when I prefer my children to stay clean, if we are going out or have plans I prefer for them to stay clean. But here's the thing...they are kids. Let them get dirty. To me allowing this for your child is giving them the ideal childhood. Kids should play in sandboxes and climb trees, lots of trees, build forts outside, ride bikes and wander using their imaginations without anxiety that their parents will be upset that they got some dirt on their clothes. After all isn't that what washing machines and soap are for?
And on days when we have absolutely NO other plans this has been known to occur.
It started out innocently enough...
The trench quickly got deeper and turned into a pool
Madelyn joined in the fun and brought her rake
More water was added, things were getting a bit ridiculous...
They were such a mess, but had the best time ever! The clothes came clean as did they and I would let them do it again in a second!
I love a variety of movies. I love dramas, girly movies, comedies, all kinds...But I absolutely adore 1980 Chevy Chase movies. Last night I watched National Lampoon's Vacation and was really truly laughing out loud. Here are some of my favorites, really choose any of them, you can't go wrong.
Funny Farm is one of my favorites. Chevy Chase, the setting, the clothes, the cars, the dog who runs away, the mailman. It cannot be beat!
National Lampoon's Christmas- puts to shame even the wackiest christmas decorators
National Lampoon's Vacation
I probably watched Three Amigos at least once a week when I was little. I loved this movie!
I have 4 young children and shopping for clothing, while fun, can be a source of frustration. I definitely do not want my child looking like a walking billboard for a t.v. show or movie (really why would any parent want a their child covered with images of cartoon characters).It is also difficult to find clothes that are made with quality and will hold up. If I find a company that can produce clothes that are durable enough to be handed down from child to child they will receive my business. Really, is that asking too much?
This is my favorite piece of children's clothing we own. My husband' grandmother made it or him 35 years ago. It has been worn by him as well as our 2 girls and is currently worn by both of our sons. I have no doubt it will be saved for their children. If I could find find sweaters sold in stores that were of this same quality and overall awesomeness I would buy them all!
Recently, in my English class, we have been reading various writings by Margaret Atwood. I have fallen in love. She has a certain something. When I was asked to describe why I liked her so much I couldn't help but say she seems like a real spitfire. I think she would find it amusing that we are even analyzing one of her stories, in particular, as it seems to be written to make fun of the generic styles in which so many books are written. I cannot wait to read more of her work. If you have not heard of her hurry to your library and check her out (literally).
Every time my husband hits a home run one of us collects the ball and gives it to him. He writes the date, team, and field at which the home run was hit (and occasionally the score). He then takes the ball home and adds it to a box which houses the rest of the collection. With our 10 year anniversary rapidly approaching I decided to take risk and make something with them. I called my father-in-law (he had the tools and guidance), went to home depot for the supplies, and walmart for RIT dye and wood stain. I gathered all the supplies and headed on down to my Father-in-law's house where he showed me how to use all of the tools. I used 70 home run balls in all and I have to say I am very pleased how it turned out! When our anniversary finally arrived Chad was very excited, he said it was the best present he had ever received. Home run baseballs and a flag- it really doesn't get more American than that!
We have a problem....my 2 year old boy decided last night that the sound the air conditioner vent makes can only be one thing...a monster. We had the a.c. on all day and he was way too busy to notice a thing. But the minute the lights went out there was nothing to occupy his little mind but the sound coming out of the floor. It started with a whimper and quickly escalated to a full-fledged scream. He came running downstairs telling me something about a very naughty monster. After a cuddle session on the couch I took him back upstairs, where the panic attack started all over again. There was only one thing to do, turn it off and open the windows, which we did.
*this was the same little boy who (only 2 days ago) smashed my camera to bits....who is the monster? He really is the cutest little boy though.
My family had a wonderful mother's day. We picked up some KFC and headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon. After a short hike we came to the perfect picnic spot. We were nestled in the shade and far enough from the river that I didn't need to panic about the kids. Here is he conversation we had on the way to our picnic
Me -"Did you bring a blanket for the picnic"
Chad- " I was an eagle scout, I am always prepared. You're the fly by the seat of pants Floridian who shows up to the mountain wearing flip flops"
Me- "No, I wore boat shoes" (really not ideal for hiking, but in my world one step up from flip flops)
Chad- "Well, that's a miracle"
It was perfect weather and we had an awesome time!
I am lucky enough to live in a wonderful town. Herriman donated a big plot of land for a community garden. I was lucky enough to receive a 14' x 30' plot. Elly and I have had a lot of fun planting and watering and taking care of our soon to be fruits and vegetables. I didn't realize how much space this actually was until we started planting! So far we have planted 3 varieties of tomatoes, bell and cayenne peppers, eggplant, strawberries, cantaloupe, pumpkin, okra, carrots, spinach, snap peas, white onions, bunching onions and a few more that I can't remember at the moment. We still have on row that is unplanted. We plan on putting in some kohlrabi and watermelon. Luckily it is only a mile or two down the road so it is easy to hop on my bike and head over for weeding or watering. I love that this was offered to all residents for free, what a wonderful opportunity. Here is hoping that with some work we will have a very productive garden this summer and fall.
My husband and I have gone through many a cars. We went through a phase one year when we had 8 different new cars and I guess we couldn't find the right fit. Over the course of the year we bought a new GTO (2005, when they switched from a 5.7 l to a 6.0 l), a new BMW ( I thought I really needed it, I was not impressed and only kept it 2 months), a Subaru outback (uneventful), an Evolution 8 soon traded for an evolution 9 (brought to the track several times and we got it down to an 11 sec. 1/4 mile car). During the course of buying and trading all of these cars we also had our ever faithful, reliable Toyota Tacoma (with a 4 inch lift, it was one of my favorites). When we moved to Utah, my husband was lucky enough to have a career that paid him a monthly allowance for his car. I still had a need to find a fun a car. We tried and Audi wagon, this was a lot of fun until... the air shocks (which had no warranty) went out one by one and they were each $1200 to replace (a piece). Yikes, we traded that in for a ford excursion which fit us all nicely, but the 10 mpg and 44 gallon tank was not making me very happy (seriously $180 to fill up). This year, as my husband was preparing to buy himself a new jeep, he was very surprised when I suggested that we trade in all cars for his new car (yeah for no car payment for us, since his work pays for it!) I would then proceed to find a car we could pay for with cash...dun, dun, dun! At first I looked at Jeep grand Wagoneers (I LOVE them). I could not find one that was not like driving a bomb down the highway, so plan B. Wait...I didn't have a plan B, and my car was gone....So....
We found a Volvo wagon. I think I love this car because it is paid for, and there is definitely something liberating about that! It also has....
the girls favorite part, a rear facing 3rd row seat. They love this, I hear a constant giggle coming from back there, and when I look in my rear view mirror the driver behind us is either waving, dancing, giving the girls thumbs up or laughing hysterically. I know Maddy and Elly put on a show for them and their dance moves put a smile on every one's face! It also doubles nicely as a stage area for....
ski stuff. There is an ample amount of room for ski clothes, snacks, etc. It's a mess, but it's a ski mess and in my book that's okay! Elly also added...
A sticker from Brighton resort, which is her new favorite. We are lucky enough to live within 30 min. from all the major resorts in Utah , but this weekend Brighton became her favorite. I am sure it had something to do with the handful of stickers the lift operator gave her, along with the workers who would cheer for her when she was going down, and the skittles her Papa would give her on the chair lift. She would get one skittle for every turn she did on the previous run. We are lucky enough to have her Papa as a ski teacher for us all.On weekdays he is an engineer, but on every weekend (Nov- May) he is a ski bum. He is so patient with us all and my goal is to have all the kids skiing in the next 4 years (my husband snowboards so that is no help). Normally I say no to stickers on cars, but with this car somehow it is okay.
So that is the new, old, addition to our family. And while my husband prefers to drive his brand new car, this fits the rest of us just fine.
“Southern girls are God's gift to the entire male population. There is absolutely no woman finer than one raised below the mason-dixon line and once you go southern may the good Lord help you - you never go back” ― Kenny Chesney
It must be in my blood, after all all I did grow up in a place that was only cold 3 weeks of the year (one year we had a snow day because it got down to 35 and no one had winter coats), my winter coat was a windbreaker or a jean jacket, and I never really understood the big fuss about a "fall wardrobe". But that was life on the space coast of Florida and now my life is the beautiful Rocky mountains of Utah. It seems that I have yet to grasp the fact that it is only above 80 degrees 4 months of the year because every March when all of the lovely spring clothes come out I can be found with wallet in hand ready to stock up! But wait, then there is the realization (after purchasing the clothes) that I can't wear them for another 3 months? Today I have over come this. I sat at the computer, gift card in hand, looking at all of the cute skirts and dresses but instead I bought a wonderful pair of wool plaid pants. I realized even though it is April it is still chilly and it's about time I get that through my thick skull.Just out of curiosity I looked up the avg. temperature in northern Utah. The avg. high is 64 and the avg. low is 42 (that's the average for the year). I then put on a sweater and some wool socks and headed outside with my daughter. She ran around playing Rapunzel (using a blanket for hair) for a while as we watched black storm clouds roll over the western mountains across the valley. While I am grateful for having grown in the land of sunshine I am even more grateful that I live in a place with such beauty. I think growing up in Florida has made me truly appreciate every minute of every season. One day it will be snowing the next day it will be 75, it is crazy and I love it!
Beyond glazed is the best doughnut store and I am lucky enough that it is in my town. The specialize in unique flavors such as maple bacon (my Elly's favorite), cherry limeade, s'mores, lemon orange cream, the list goes on. The are amazing!
It is so hard for me to believe that my daughter's first year of school is coming to an end. Seven short months ago we walked her to school, proudly taking pictures of her in her cute school uniform. Elizabeth (Elly as we call her) absolutely loves school and is well on her way to becoming a very good reader. This year I was lucky enough to be Elly's class mom. We have had so much fun throughout the year and it has been amazing to see all that she has learned. She has two final projects that need to be completed before the year is through. The first is to research her favorite animal at the zoo and present the information to her class. The second is to research an ancestor and give a presentation to the class. She is excited to do this project on her 6th great-grandfather, President Taft (let's just leave out the part about him getting stuck in the tub). Just think, soon we will be sinking into the warmth of summer and long days outside exploring the yard and neighborhood. As fall approaches I will have 2 little girls in school....
On a side note I need to find a thank you gift for her teacher and teacher's aide...any ideas?
If my life were a movie it would definitely be a mash of Chevy chase movies, starting with funny farm. I LOVE this movie and I think the town we live in has as many oddities as this town. For example we may or may not share the same mailman....
Our mailman is not in fact a man, so maybe they are just cousins. I have yet to ever see her in a mail carrier uniform (she does wear her p.j.'s and slipper though), she drives her own vehicle, she will sometimes only deliver mail 3 days a week (she has been better lately) and the only time I have actually spoken to her she came ranting to our front door very angry that my 5 (in the return address) looks too much like an s. I am very confident if we bribe her with money, as they did in the movie, we could get her to act respectable.
We have a delightful dog. She is a bit more spazzy, like the dog in the beginning of the movie who runs off and doesn't come back (she was a cattle dog). Now in her old age she is more mellow and lays around all day. My husband calls her carpet paws because she spends all day laying around in the family room.
And last but not least, my car (well not yet) is parked in front of their house. My husband traded my car in yesterday for a new car for himself, so I get to drive his new car until he hands his work car back in. But then.....I am on the hunt for a jeep grand wagoneer. When my husband told me to look for a car he thought I was ridiculous for wanting one. But I love them. My brother-in-law and I went and looked at one yesterday...it was beautiful but a little mechanically unsound...okay it stopped several times and one time put itself in neutral when I was driving down the road. I started laughing hysterically and made him drive the rest of the way. So...maybe I won't end up with one but I sure like them!
We also go on many road trips (seeing as how I have no desire to take a2,3,5 and 6 year old on a plane) and lots of drives in the summer. They very much remind me of national lampoons summer vacation. When we go up to Idaho and we don't have enough seats for everyone my husbands mom has had to sit in the trunk on our way to a restaurant, its an SUV, but still (and she volunteers). I swear the first time she hopped back there I had tears in my eyes from laughing. Sad thing is, in her little town I don't think it was all that unusual? Grandma in the trunk, need I say more?
Saturday night my husband's oldest and closest friend was married (seriously, they have been friends since they were 7). This was the second marriage for both and they chose the simply elegant and beautifully casual Cactus and Tropicals for the venue. It is a working greenhouse and nursery that grows tropical non-native (obviously!) plants, it was gorgeous. My husband was the best man and it was fun seeing him all dressed up (the last time he wore a tux was at are wedding and that was almost 10 years ago). Instead of doing a toast all of the groomsmen roasted the groom. I believe my husband, who is witty but has a very dry sense of humor, mentioned the fact that the groom has lived at his dad's house, when they were growing up, more than he had. It was a wonderful night full of laughter, dancing (badly on my part), and little croissant sandwiches.
Our little family (minus Birklee
who was hiking through the plants) Elly dancing her heart out