Tuesday, December 23

Merry Christmas to all my Blogging friends!!

Edited to add: I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 for all my digital scrapbooking.

Click on image for larger view. This is my digital scrapbooking page for my Christmas 2008 mini-album and my e-card/blog card to everyone. I hope that everyone has a great Christmas and I hope that we'll all remember the true meaning of Christmas and the Savior's gift to us.

Recipe: digital paper- Summer Driggs freebie, dictionary paper - can't remember, green glitter alpha - Ellie Lash

December 14-23...Behind again

Okay, first I have to post a funny exchange between Cooper and I...

Me: Cooper, tonight you're going to have a babysitter. I don't want you to cause any trouble for her. I want you to make sure that you eat all your food and don't complain.

Cooper: Okay mommy. I'll make sure I eat all the pasta and you make sure you don't make the pasta taste terrible.

Me: (rolling eyes) Cooper, the pasta will not taste terrible, I promise.

Cooper: Okay, just make sure it tastes good.

Me: thinking...man, i thought i was a pretty good cook, why in the world would he think that the pasta would be terrible, it's just spaghetti for crying out loud...

So, that's my Cooper. You just never know what will come out of that mouth of his, and where in the world he gets it from.

Back to the intended purpose of this post...

December 16th: I cut down Cooper's naptime to 1 1/2 hours. He tends to fall asleep a little more quickly at night. I had printed out some Christmas images onto watercolor paper a couple weeks ago. Cooper and Katelyn LOVE to use my watercolor pencils and color in the images then use the brush to paint it. Here's Cooper with his snowman image. He wanted the hat to be red, and the whole head ended up red. He was going to leave the rest blank, because snowmen are white, but I told him to make it a snowman clown. (I really just wanted him to finish coloring the image instead of wasting all that watercolor paper).

December 17th: It snowed. A lot. Yes, I guilt-tripped Jake into "spending time with Cooper" by having Jake take him to the parking lot so Coop could build a snowman. That kid was the happiest kid I've ever met. He LOVES the snow and he'd been begging me to build a snowman, but I kept telling him to wait until his dad got home. (I had taken the kids on a walk - Cooper biked - on Monday, December 15th, when it was snowing pretty hard. I figured it was Jake's turn to do snow duty.) So, Jake took the kids to Wal-mart, then dropped of Kate, and built this little miniature snowman with Coop. The two little rocks were suppose to be eyes, but I thought they looked like boobs. If you look really close, you can see two little sticks for arms too.

December 20th: Ward Christmas Party - Cooper and Katelyn had so much fun. Kate had a couple of the boys following her around making sure she was okay. I don't know what it is about her, but the 4-5 year old boys treat her like a princess or something, well, more like a porcelain doll. It's kind of amusing to me. Cooper was really excited to tell "Santa" what he wanted. He even told me what he told Santa. So much for telling him Santa's not real. I did have to tell him though that gifts don't come from Santa, they come from mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, aunties and uncles, etc... He understands that, so as long as the credit goes to the right people, I'll let him believe what he wants.

Same party, but Katelyn was FREAKING OUT because of "Santa." What is the deal, seriously, Coop at this age was scared of Santa too. I was even holding her and she was screaming bloody murder. Can you tell I thought it was funny? She kept screaming "no mommy, no!"

December 22nd: Cooper got this Holiday Cake Kit at his primary meet and greet activity on the 20th. His whole little bag from his future teacher was packed with awesome stuff. Anyway, he really wanted me to make this cake with him, so I thought it was a good day to do it. We were at my sister's place watching her dog, so that's why the kitchen may not look familiar to those who've been to our place. Yes, Cooper is wearing a pink bib. I didn't realize I had switched them until I looked at this picture. Cooper was mixing the cake mix and Kate was watching with envy. They both got to decorate their cakes and they definitely turned out colorful. The frosting was pretty much just powdered sugar. After the finished decorating it, I let them each eat their own cake. They only ate a little bit of it, but at least they had fun getting it decorated.

December 23rd: Jake took me to see the "O" show at the Bellagio. I've seen it once before, back when my sister got married, but we pretty much sat in the very last row at the very top. Tonight, we got to sit in section 103 row H and were pretty much front and center. It was amazing (except for the fact that we were 1 hour late, so we missed half the show...beware of the Bellagio, their parking lot was completely full and their parking attendant kept letting cars go in) and I've never had seats that good for anything. I was really impressed and awed by the talent of those performers. I don't have pictures - shoulda taken one of Jake and I in front of the theatre, but didn't think of it. They don't let you take pictures inside, so I only have words to record this day. This was also the first day that Cooper and Katelyn have been babysat by someone other than family. (Well, my friend Kim watched Cooper a couple of times when he was really little, but Jake and I consider her pretty much family).

Sooooo, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I'll have pictures for tomorrow and for the 25th!! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 16

Christmas Days 6-13: Catching up....

...again. I always seem to be catching up when I finally sit down to post. Anyway, here is a little update on our Christmas happenings.

December 6th - Family pictures at the Bellagio Botanical Garden. They had just finished the display when we went on Saturday. Jake was there too - but I rarely have a good picture of the kids and I, so I thought I'd post this one. I also got to catch up a little with my friend Matt and his family. I knew them a long time ago from my ward in Cincinnati, OH. It was nice to catch up. His parents have not changed - they're still as sweet and amazing as ever.

December 7th - We took a little walk/bike ride/skate trip around the neighborhood before church. It's kind of our Sunday thing since we have 1pm church. Jake and I are working on teaching Cooper how to balance and kick on the long board, but this particular day I wanted to see if he could ride his "big boy" bike. He can - but we decided the other bike was a better size for now.
December 8th - Katelyn and Cooper wanted to spend some quality time with mommy building something with their legos. We built the police station, (you can see the model we copied on the back wall), and then the kids played with the building for a while before Katelyn decided to destroy it. That's usually how our lego sessions end.
December 9th - Another lego session. I was honored with the job of building the train tracks. Coop and Kate had a blast making themselves into human tunnels for the train. I learned that the engine goes forwards and backwards. These kids are so lucky - I NEVER had toys like this when I was little. My sister and I spent most of our childhood dancing on furniture.
December 10th: Cooper and Katelyn had playgroup and the activity was watching a Christmas movie (The Grinch Who Stole Christmas) and drinking hot chocolate.
December 11th: After naps, we had some friends come over and play for a little bit. They took out the train tracks again and had a little fun with that. My children definitely need to invite more kds over for playgroups - they're not the best at sharing their toys, but they're experts at sharing other people's toys when they visit with friends. They spent the rest of the evening with my sister while Jake and I went to an office Christmas party.
December 12th: Cooper and Kate spent the morning with their good friends (thank you soo much Rhonda), then came back for naps, then spent most of the evening being cooped up in the condo while Steph and I cut, ironed, and sewed the rest of our stuff for the craft show the next day. Thank goodness we were able to take the kids to play with their friends again for a little while. They were really getting tired of mommy NOT playing with them.

December 13th - It was Cooper's friend's birthday, so he got to go to a birthday party. Lucky for him he went to another party after that one was over. There was a neighborhood party and the kids got to pet some animals, ride the train around the park, jump and climb on some air filled thing, and eat lots of food and popcorn.

More to come tomorrow. I've still got 4 more days to catch up on. Hope the rest of you are enjoying your holiday season. Oh, and if anyone catches typos on my blog, please let me know. I have a pet peave about typos.

Sunday, December 7

Christmas Day 5

It was my sister Steph's birthday on Monday and my friend Brit's birthday on Wednesday. A bunch of us got together on Friday and had a little celebration pot-luck for them. The kids were actually playing nicely for a while and happened to all congregate around the piano when I took this picture. Each of us left with some yummy salsa that Rhonda made. It was VERY yummy. Now I need to buy some chips to eat it with. The holidays have always been about food, friends and family. Does we need anything else?

Christmas Activity Day 4

Cooper found these popsicle sticks that I bought a couple years ago. He really wanted to build a house with a fence and a backyard and decorate it with candy. I think what he had in mind was making a gingerbread house...similar to this unfinished one that we made at the end of November.
Katelyn's was made from some leftover broken pieces of graham crackers. The popsicle house and backyard didn't get very far. He finished the bottom of the house and one side before he got bored and decided to actually take a nap. Go figure. Anyway, ended up going to a friend's house after naps and the project still remains unfinished.

Christmas Day 2 and 3

I just HAD to take this picture of Kate and Kenzie on Tuesday. Steph and I had them wear matching outfits, all the way down to their matching legwarmers. I'm not sure how many of you wore legwarmers as kids, but I grew up in the 80's, so I definitely wore them. They're back in style now, but I'm just too old to pull it off. If Kate's hair was longer and thicker, I would've put her hair in a side ponytail.

Day 2:
Cooper and Katelyn wanted to make Christmas cards. Specifically, they wanted to water paint Santa. I ended up printing out a picture of Santa and a picture of a reindeer to fit on a card front. Then I used a pencil to scribble on the back so that I could transfer it to a piece of water color paper. After transferring the kids used my water color pencils to color it in, then used a brush with water to spread the color on the picture. They had so much fun doing this - and of course I forgot to take pictures.

Day 3:
We went to the Lied Children's Museum. It was our Wednesday playgroup outing. Again, no pictures. Cooper and Katelyn really enjoying playing at the pretend grocery store. It was the first area that we saw when we went in and all the kids had a blast touching all the things that they're never allowed to touch in a real store. They also had a bubble station and water area that they played in. Upstairs there was a wind display where you entered this cylinder shaped room and the wind gets up to about 78 mph. Kate loved it - the other kids were a little scared. I was happy to find that Kate's "Kisses Clippie" didn't slip off her hair at all. When it was time to leave, Cooper kept trying to block my way, saying "I don't want to go, we haven't stayed long enough, don't make me leave!" It was frustrating, but at least it made me feel like the $7 I paid to get us in was worth it.

Sunday, November 30

Homemade Ornaments Christmas Day 1 (a little early)

Here are a few simple supplies that you can use to create some homemade ornaments for you and your kids to decorate:

Glitter Glue ($1.99 at Michael's)
Chipboard (or you can use the cardboard from cereal boxes)
Cuttlebug portable die cut machine (or a punch)
Tag Shaped Dies (or metal rimmed tags from an office supply store)

Cooper has a miniature Christmas tree from our friend Angie in Elko, NV. She was Jake's co-worker at the Chiropractic office in Elko. One day she was talking to Jake about Christmas and he was telling her how we didn't have a Christmas tree and didn't intend on getting one for a long time. We both figured that as long as we spent Christmas somewhere else, we didn't need one for our house. I'm not a huge decorator...(have you seen my condo?), and I have no clue how to decorate a Christmas tree. That was always my mom's job. She could always make it look amazing. I was planning on buying some banner paper and drawing a huge one for Coop, then letting him draw ornaments on it. Afterall, we already told Cooper that Santa wasn't real anyways. When Angie heard that, she told Jake that we were horrible parents. The very next day she brought in the mini Christmas tree for Cooper. "Thanks Angie!!" So, I decided that since Jake and I don't have any Christmas traditions to call our own - except ruining Christmas for our kids - I was going to start our first official "Decorate Ornaments for the Mini-Tree Day." Seriously, this is one of my best ideas ever and the kids had a blast...even my sister wanted to get in on the fun since it looked so cool. I'll post an after picture of the tree, but I want to strongly encourage you moms to do this with your kids. It's soo fun...and if you need some of these cardboard cut-outs, I'll be willing to help you out with making some. Just bring your cereal boxes to me. This is definitely going on my future Advent Calendar of Christmas Activities. I'm finally getting into the spirit.

Coop, Kate, Kenz, and Steph - taking a minute to pose for my picture

Kate using markers for hers. She finally caught on to the fact that everyone else was using the glitter pens and I gave in and let her have a go at it.

Coop decorating his ornaments. He was so cute - he wanted them to all look "beautiful" for his tree. I'm curious to see what he does next year.

Steph displaying a few of the ornaments that she and I decorated. Yes, I was really into this activity too.

Friday, November 21

When we first met...

my husband looked like this...but he was wearing a black beanie hat and his beard was much bushier. I know that some of the words I'm using are not real, but let's just forget that I'm an English major. This is a blog - and I'm not a professional writer. Doesn't he look like he's from Alaska? I definitely think so. I remember him telling me that he was in Chiropractic school and that he surfed. Would you have taken him seriously? I didn't then, but after a few months he shaved that stuff off his face and I figured that maybe, just maybe, he was serious about life. No really, it was hard for me to take someone seriously who had this much facial hair. I never dated guys with facial hair. Anyway, I just thought about this stage in his life and wanted to post a little about Jake. Oh, and I forgot to mention that shortly after this picture he went on a surfing trip to Costa Rica and got robbed. Yes, everything except his passport and a few other very important items. Everything else was taken. He came back to school and shaved his beard and after a couple months of debate, asked me out for Feb. 21st...exactly a week after Valentine's Day. Needless to say, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day, afterall, he spent that Valentine's eating at a restaurant alone while wondering why he was surrounded by so many sappy couples at dinner. Hmmm, are all single guys like that?

Wednesday, November 19

New Drapes!!!

In my quest to find a style that's me, and to finally decorate my condo, I took my sister to JoAnn's to help me pick out some fabric for my drapes. I was so tired of the old school vertical blinds, (which of course the kids are always playing with), and definitely tired of the neutral blah that has become my home. In my other post I started the addition of color with the crate covers. This is my second addition of color - but I have a little dilemma which is in need of your opinions... (and by your, I mean everyone who stumbles upon this silly blog). I'm not sure that these crate covers match the drapes that I've made. It's actually not a huge deal, but I'm just not sure if I should remake the crate covers with another fabric that coordinates better with the drapes, or if I should keep it as is. I'm looking for completely honest opinions, because I'm not one to take offense to negative feedback...and I'm really trying to make my house fun and funky but still coordinating to some degree. Oh, and i did put another cream colored drape (I think it's thai silk fabric or duponi) behind this panel after I took pictures. So, check out the pictures below and let me know what you think.

Decorating Cookies...or Frosting Eating Contest???

The kids have been really busy lately. We've been having one more formal playgroup and one informal playgroup lately, so the kids have had a lot of time hanging out with each other. Last week we did Cookie Decorating and they had so much fun that I promised them we'd do it again. Well, we did. On Monday a bunch of us got together and I made 6 dozen cookies (with a new and amazing recipe from allrecipes.com here. They were really good and I added an extra 1/2 C sugar and 1 tsp almond extract to the recipe. We had TONS of frosting and sprinkles from the amazing moms that were there and the kids had a blast. Before we even started one of the kids was trying to "drink" the sprinkles, and my Kate was sticking her finger into every bit of frosting she could reach. It was kind of gross, but kids are kids. All the knives were not only used to spread frosting, but were licked and dropped and all sorts of stuff I really don't want to remember, but it was fun anyway. Here are some of the pictures of the kids who were there. We also invited some other kids who were at the park to come and decorate a few cookies of their own.

Lucas getting into the food fun.

Li'l Ed (with some help from mom) cleaning up the frosting on his forearm

My niece, Kenzie, enjoying her own cookie. (She was sooo cute.)

Kate was really into the candy corn. She dropped 3 half-frosted cookies before she finally got to eat one.

Macey was really cute. She made sure to decorate a cookie for her mom.

I wanted to gag when I saw Cooper's cookie. It looks like a mound of yellow playdoh mustard and red playdoh ketchup. Sick. At least he enjoyed it though.

Kids busy decorating their cookies.

More kids decorating their cookies.

Kate and Evan enjoying their cookies.

Sunday, November 16


*Two names I go by: Angie and Relicious (Jake made that up for the times that I do absolutely absurd things)
*Two things I am wearing right now: Glasses and PJs
*Two things I want in my life right now: To finish decorating my condo and a gift certificate to Papertrey Ink
*Two things I did last night: Went to the temple and checked my blogs
*Two things I ate today: Homemade fried rice and homemade pizza
*Two of my favorite drinks: Water and Sam's Choice Cranberry Black Cherry
*My favorite thing to do with my right hand: Maneuver the mouse??
*Two favorite positions of the sun: Sunrise and Noon
*Two favorite things to do in the fall/autumn: Hike and Camp
*My favorite article of clothing: My Li'l Maggie Lucky jeans
*My first disappointment: hmmm, not answering that one
*Movie line that is always stuck in your head no matter what you do to get it out: "Niner"

I tag Diane, Christy, and Julie!

Saturday, November 15


My Cooper. For whatever reason, Cooper has this thing about sleeping with something. Usually it's his little stuffed dog, but today it had to be the flag. It's not really a big deal to me, but Jake found him lying like this, (he was taking a nap on our bed) and had to take a picture. Anyway, thought I'd share this picture.

The real reason for this post is because my cousin sent Katelyn a belated birthday present. Playdoh. What kid does NOT like Playdoh? When I put the gifts on the table, she actually started ripping the paper. I guess I assumed that she wasn't really into gifts and wouldn't really "get it." Well, she proved me wrong. As soon as Cooper saw Kate pull out the first few containers of Playdoh, he went for the scissors to help her open all 28 containers. (I, of course, stopped him after he opened the first 6 containers...no need to have all that dough out all at once.) They had a blast though since one of the packages came with all the playdoh shaping toys. After the huge mess, they reluctantly cleaned up and put everything away. Although it is a lot of fun for the kids, this stuff is really messy and gets EVERYWHERE. Anyway, this is going to be a new weekly activity/Sunday morning activity for them.

Some me time...

Thursday night some friends and I went to a late showing of Get Smart. Who in the world can pass up $2 movie night at a brand new casino and a movie starring Steve Carrell? Definitely NOT me. It was a blast and since Jake and the kids went to an earlier showing of Kung Fu Panda (on the IMAX), we all got to have a little fun for the evening.

Saturday, November 8

A new do...

Britney Shepherd is a friend of mine who works at Regis Salon @ Fashion Show Mall.

3200 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

I LOVE my haircut! Britney does such a great job, and she's so cute too. Anyway, like I said before, if you're ever in Vegas down by the strip, you really should stop in the salon and get your hair done. It'll be worth it. If you live in Vegas, you should try her. She's really good.

Monkey Business...as my dad called it

This is my dad. He and my mom live in Tianjin, China. They're on a trip right now to Dalian and found this farm boy who has been training these monkeys for quite a while now. Oh, all you animal lovers, don't worry, these monkeys don't get beaten or physically abused. The boy who owns these monkeys is very smart. He wanted to make sure that his monkeys were not afraid of people and that they wouldn't attack people. When they misbehave, he just kills a chicken in front of them and they behave again. Hmmm, well, I guess animal lovers may not like that last part, but the chicken doesn't get wasted. They're sure to eat it, head, feet, wings, and all. Even the gizzards. So anyway, this is just a really cool picture and it reminded me of the panda picture. Oh wait, you guys have never seen that one. I'll post it below. Isn't this the cutest picture you've ever seen? This is a real panda, in China. I'm not kidding. My dad actually had his arm wrapped around the panda's shoulder. I'm sure if you're not careful, it can hurt you, but this one seemed to be pretty chill. I don't even remember when this was taken, but it was quite a few years ago. I do wish that I could've been there. That panda just looks so relaxed and cute, of course.

Friday, November 7

Can you guess where we were camping last night??

The REI Grand Opening in Summerlin (Las Vegas) NV!! Last night my friend Carly and I camped out in front of the store because the first 200 customers got a Nalgene bottle with a gift card inside. How cool is that?? So, here are some pictures from last night. Truth be told, Carly was the true die hard behind this whole event. I was mostly coming along for the fun of it - and of course for the nalgene bottle. You just can't beat the adventure, and a night with no kids?? Who would give that up.

The pictures from last night were taken by a security guard. He was really nice. He was inside the store most of the time, but he watched us from the lobby and made sure we were safe all night. I had one of the best night's sleep that I've had in a long time.

The last two pictures on the right are this morning's pictures. I woke up around 6:15 am and this was my view. Around 7 am, one of the supervisor's for this grand opening event pulled up on his bullet bike and took this picture of us. Yes, we were the only two people until around 7:30 am when two more people joined us. I guess you could say we were either die hards, or nut cases, or both. Oh, and my awesome friend Britney cut my hair yesterday too!! I'll show the pictures in another post. I just couldn't stand having my hair get so long and it was really quite blah...so she spiced it up for me and did an AWESOME JOB!!


Britney Shepherd
Regis Salon: Fashion Show Mall
3200 S. Las Vegas Blvd

Oh, and even if you're just visiting Vegas, you should really stop by Fashion Show for a new do or a trim. She's awesome at styling and updos.