Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Cookin'!

This Thanksgiving will be the first one in our eleven years of marriage that we are having just with our own little family:) I love holidays with lots of family around, but at the same time I am actually looking forward to cooking and having it with just us:) So because my mom usually cooks...this Thanksgiving will be a little bit of an experiment trying new recipes out and such. So here's what's on the menu...

Turkey & Gravy
Rice and Mushroom Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes with Herbs
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Corn Pudding
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Crunch w/ brown sugar and marshmallows
Jelled Cranberries (for Scott-he likes the ones out of a can:)
Cranberry and Mandarin Orange Salad
Creamy Apricot Jello
Pumpkin Pie
Cherry Pie
Apple Pie

Man, just typing that made me hungry:) And yes, this is alot of food for just our family...I'm planning on eating leftovers for at least 5 days afterwards since I'm sure I'll be tired of cooking:)

So in addition to the food I'm looking forward to some other fun Thanksgiving weekend things...Scott and the boys watching football while I cook, visiting Three Cedars Farms to see Santa (it is always so beautifully decorated with lights and decorations), the Fantasy of Lights Parade in Howell our family enjoys so much each year, seeing the new movie Twilight with friends (including our friends Ben and Summer that will be visiting from Ohio), and of course starting our Christmas shopping!!! Gotta love the holidays!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Fun at Micky D's!

This week I had fun reconnecting with my long-time friend Marianne (Nielsen) Warner. Her and I became good friends when she moved here when we were twelve years old. We discovered our birthdays are only three days apart and that we were actually in the nursery at the same hospital in Provo, Utah at the same time:) We clicked and then when she moved to Ann Arbor we remained friends as we grew up in the stake together, went to girls camp, went to college, she went on a mission, moved with her family to Japan and back, both got married, and now have kids similar in age. She lives in Kansas but was back visiting her family in Saline so we decided it was a great opportunity to get together. So here are a few pictures of our reuniting:) Then, to top it total coincidence, another friend of ours from the stake and girls camp, Kristin (Quinn) Ellis, popped in to McDonald's with her kids:) It was fun to see both of them. I love meeting new friends, but there is just something about old friends that is so wonderful...the history together I suppose:) Thanks Marianne and Kristin!

Brighton's "Holiday Glow"!

Last night we went to the "Holiday Glow" in downtown Brighton. We'd never been before and it was alot of fun! Totally put us in the holiday spirit! They blocked off main street and had free train rides for the kids, free horse drawn carriage/wagon rides, bands and choirs playing Christmas carols, and hot chocolate. At 6:00 they did a countdown and lit up the tree and all the lights in downtown Brighton followed by Santa coming in for the kids. Anyways, here are a few pics...not great, but hey:) It was COLD last night...but FUN and the kids had a great time:)

Bath Time!

What blog wouldn't be complete without a few naked baby pictures:) Mallory and Preston love bath time!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mallory and Preston's Actual Birthday:)

I just posted pictures of Mallory and Preston's birthday...this my last post. But I wanted to add to are a few pictures from their ACTUAL birthday last year:) This year has literally flown by! It seems like they were just born and I have been really sentimental thinking about this past year of life with them. From the minute they came into this world, they have brought such joy to my life. They are both such calm, peaceful, happy babies with just the sweetest dispositions. I feel so blessed to be their mother and to have them in our family. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to have a daughter which I really desired. I am grateful to be able to stay at home with my children and to raise and teach them and spend each day with them doing fun things, going on outings and adventures, reading, cuddling, and just doing all the things mothers do. This year has not been easy however. It has been very challenging and frustrating at times trying to meet the needs of four kids under four. When I was pregnant, my dad gave me a father's blessing. In it, he repeatedly said this would be one of the hardest and most challenging times in my life...and he was right! However, he also said that Heavenly Father would help me through this...and he was right about that too! I feel God has given me additional energy in order to be able to meet the needs of my children. I often get very little sleep and sometimes am going non-stop, all day long, yet I rarely feel tired. I feel that he has helped me to find joy in motherhood and feel very positive in a situation that could be potentially hard. He has (and still is) teaching me to be more patient and to have more compassion, and to let go of things that don't really matter. This last year has been tough at times, but oh so rewarding. I remember when the babies were born thinking "if I can just get through this first year, I may be able to survive:)"...and I did!! It gets a little easier each day:) I love my children so much and at this time of celebration for Mallory and Preston's life, I just thank God for the chance to be a mother and for all his help in this responsibility. Now, I didn't post this so all of you would write back and say "oh, you're supermom...blah blah blah"...cuz I'm not...I just wanted to express my gratitude for my precious babies on their first birthday:) Love 'em!

Mallory and Preston's First Birthday!

Mallory and Preston turned ONE this past Wednesday, Nov 5th! We celebrated with a little family party...ordered pizza, had cake and ice cream:) They dove right into both! I don't give them too much food yet, so they were spoiled with this special treat and love it! Good times:) Happy Birthday Babies!

I Love VG's!!

I have to put a little plug in for VG's which is just the best grocery store ever!...for a couple reasons... First of all...they have the best race car carts! Check out the pictures'll notice that they have not one,...but TWO seats up top for TWO babies to go in! Mallory and Preston love to be up and looking at me, so they love this! Secondly, there are not one,...but TWO seats for the boys to sit in and drive the while I shop, they drive! Plus there is plenty of room for the groceries! Whoever invented this cart was thinking of me!...Thank you!! Now, the tricky part is that sometimes someone else is using I have to pray as I drive to VG's that the four-seater race car cart is there:)...luckily usually it is:) And if not...someone in the store will track it down for me!!'s a pic of Mallory...ready to go to VG's to get her birthday cake...the kids in the store...and the cakes...:)

Also...the other reason I love VG's is that they give FREE cakes for your child's first birthday! Since as long as the store has been open, they always give free cakes for a first or hundredth birthday! So we went to order Mallory and Preston's cake and I suggested they could have one cake with neutral colors and just put both of their names on it...but the nice bakery lady was, they both get their own cake!:) So nice! So yeah...I got $32 worth of free cake...score!! Gotta love VG's...not to mention, VG's has the best produce, awesome salad bar, deli, and bakery:) Love that place!...pretty pathetic I'm blogging about grocery stores, but hey, it's the small things in life that bring me joy:) So here's Mallory ready to go to VG's to pick up her birthday cake...and the kids at the store...and their birthday cakes (that were yummy by the way!)...

Gratitude Tree

Thought I'd pass on a Thanksgiving idea that I got from MOPS... For FHE this past Monday we made a "gratitude tree", which basically consists of a trunk made of a grocery bag and the leaves made out of our hands traced on colored paper. We talked about gratitude and what it means to be thankful for something. We each traced both our hands and said two things we were thankful for and put them on the tree. Then we traced lots more hands and then throughout the month at dinner time or as we think of things, we are going to put them on our gratitude tree. I thought this was a great idea because it extends the Thanksgiving Holiday all month long. We often do things like that for Christmas, but not so much for Thanksgiving. Plus, I remember growing up that we would all go around the table on Thanksgiving and say what we were thankful for...but we were too focused on eating the food to really think too much about we all just said home, family, gospel... I'm hoping this way, since we will talk about it all month that we can dig a little deeper and fill the whole tree with MANY things we are thankful for. Then on Thanksgiving, we can go back and read them:) Just thought I'd pass along the idea...:)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yay!!!! I'm finally done!

I am celebrating tonight because I am finally done with my two online graduate classes I've been taking! The last thing I wanted to do at this point in my life is take college classes, but unfortunately I had to renew my teaching certificate by taking six credits every five years to keep it current. I've worked too hard and long to let my certificate expire, so I had to take the classes to keep it current. So for the last few months I've been working at night typing papers and doing assignments trying to get everything done. I didn't want to attempt to do any of the work during the day with the kids, so the only time I could really concentrate on working is at I've gotten in the habit of staying up til 2am working on grad work (while taking breaks to blog, check my e-mail, facebook etc.:) Well, as of tonight...I just turned in my last assignment and final project and it feels great! I feel such relief and am excited about the time I will now have in the evenings to to what I want to do! I'm grateful for the classes I took because they were all about teaching children to read and were perfect right now as Logan and Tanner are starting to put sounds together to form words. I used them as my guinea pigs as I tried different games and strategies with them (since I didn't have a classroom of students) and then I would report on it. They liked playing the phonics games with me while the babies napped...I called it our "school time" and they always got excited about it. Anyways, now that the classes are over, there are so many prospects about how to spend my time in the evening...I am excited to catch up on all the books I want to read!! I am finishing "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer and am looking forward to the next two books in the series. I read the first two so slowly because I just didn't have much time for reading... I'm also planning to read "Tell No One" by Harlen Coben. This book was recommended by my Bishop of all things:) He lent me the book claiming it will make a good book club book...we shall see...seems pretty suspenseful. Our next book club book is "The Freedom Factor" so that's on the list...oh and I want to finish reading the "Children of the Promise" series...and the one after that "The Hearts of the Chilren". Man, so many books, so little time!!! My sister told me about a website called I joined it and it's great! If anyone is an avid should join! You basically have a profile and update all the books you've read, are reading, and want to connect with all your other "friends" and exchange book reviews, ratings, etc. Anyways...just had to share my relief and excitement for all my new found time...although now I'm thinking that I shouldn't post this cuz the minute I do, something will come along to fill it...ok, I'm off to read!!