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 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 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 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 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.

Saturday, November 1

Halloween was really busy...

This is how our Halloween Day began... Cooper changed into his Kung Fu outfit, and I helped Katelyn get dressed as a BYU cheerleader. I probably should have dressed her in a riding outfit since she insisted on wearing my old riding hat. Kate also insisted on wearing the empty toilet paper roll on her arm as a cuff. I'm glad that she is content with cardboard because I have no intentions of buying her any jewelry anytime in the near future. The two of them rode around the condo on the red car while I tried to get everything ready for our long day. Cooper kept asking "Mommy, when is it going to be Halloween?" and I kept answering "Cooper, it's Halloween all day's just that we don't trick-or-treat until night time."

We had an outing to Mandalay Bay's' Shark Reef. I don't have any pictures, but I'll post some when I get a copy from my friend. The kids had a blast, even though it was way past their naptime. Coop and Kate were really lucky though. Their friend's father is a pilot. He flies private jets for an incredibly wealthy businessman, so we were able to get a private tour. It was pretty awesome. Coop had a blast, and Katelyn was so amazed at all the buttons. She just wanted to push everything.

The kids conked out in the car on the way home. Kate was REALLY tired. Steph and I ran some errands and rushed home to make good ol' Cincinnati chili for the ward Halloween party. We met up with a friend, Ashley, and she brought her absolutely adorable pumpkin baby!! The kids had a blast and had WAY too much candy. They came home and I let them sit at the table and sort their goodies, then eat for about a half hour, then made them finally go to bed.

(Cadence, Cooper, Katelyn, & Mackenzie)

I hope the rest of you had a good halloween too!