Tuesday, September 25, 2007


That was my time for the 5K I ran on Saturday morning. Not too shabby, but I was certainly inspired to start training again so I can improve. Christy ran a personal best time, which was awesome, and Holly ran her first 5K ever. We had a great time-- especially when it was over!

My new shoes were very white, so I felt a little nerdy, but they sure were comfy.

Here we are: Christy, Holly, me. Next up, a 10K in early November... I better get moving now!

Sunday School Party

As I may have mentioned previously, Chris and I teach the 12 and 13 year old class at church on Sunday. Since we regularly bring treats, we have some 14 and 15 year olds join us as well. On Saturday, we had a pizza party for them as a reward for bringing their scriptures every sunday for a month. I know, they should be doing that anyway, but even with bribery it took them nearly six months.

So, Saturday afternoon, our home was a ruckus of (gross) Domino's pizza, Halloween candy, and stinky teens. They had a blast, not because we're so awesome, but because we sponsored a boy-girl party and let them have unlimited soda. Fun, fun.

We couldn't get them to cooperate for a picture without them trying to annoy each other in some way. Here, one of the guys is hitting the girl next to him with Tom's drumstick.

My favorite quote of the day came from one of our 13-year-old girls:
"Like, Oh my GOSH, you guys! I totally HATE reality shows.
Like, Dora the Explorer..."

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I love getting product recommendations from blogs, not only because I'm always on the lookout for good stuff, but also because I like the insight it gives on what people like and why. Today I thought I'd share some of my latest "can't live without" stuff:

1. My Vera Bradley backpack

I am a lover of all things purse, and this backpack is like a purse, but better. I love that I can use both hands while carrying it, and I love that I have room enough to carry a ton of stuff without hauling around a huge purse. I love that in my boy-filled life, I can carry something totally girly and get a ton of compliments. Totally worth it!

2. My Personal Labeler

I've been reading a book about getting organized and the author strongly suggests buying a personal labeler. It seemed kind of silly, but I decided to get one anyway. And I totally love it! I could label everything, but I manage to restrain myself to files and things that have a significant need for a label. I recommend this product to anyone-- it makes you feel more organized just using it!

3. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

I may be way behind the times having just discovered these a few weeks ago, so you may already know about the amazing cleaning powers of microfiber. If not, get some of these as soon as possible! I bought mine at the Don Aslett Cleaning Center here in Logan, and I can't say enough good about them. You know that old addage, "twice the power in half the time"? Yeah.

4. Pandora.com

This week I've been listening to Annie Lennox radio. Remember Shakespeare's Sister? I was listening at work when their "Stay with Me" hit (which I believe was their only hit) came on, and I laughed out loud. I like reminiscing via Internet Radio.

5. My new Rykas

Christy, Holly and I ran in a 5K race this morning (which I will post about later this evening after I download my photos), and although pretty much every other part of my body hurt, my feet felt great! Ryka, you've got a fan.

6. My Food Chopper from The Pampered Chef (see Emily if you want your own!)

Actually, everything I have purchased from The Pampered Chef is awesome, but I use this product even more than I thought I would. The chopper has actually encouraged an increased consumption of fresh veggies at our house. I love chopping, especially onions.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Playing with Dad

There aren't many things more interesting to little boys than building things and knocking them down. Case in point: a giant colosseum meticulously created by Chris, for the sole purpose of giving Gordon something to destroy. Check it out: (my favorite is the "background music")

Afterward, Chris was occupied with something else, then came back to check on our little guy to find him, apparently mid-build, fast asleep among his toys. Is that cute, or what? And, as proof that this fun little activity runs in the family, here is Tommer, age 2, after having destroyed a similar colusseum built by Dad and Uncle Jake.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Utes are Back, Baby!

Chris and I need to aplogize for our lack of faith in the Utes. On Saturday afternoon, they handed the UCLA Bruins a very hefty loss, and Chris and I were there to see it! The game was really unbelievable, and we had a great time cheering for touchdown after touchdown, and eating some tasty kettle corn. It was a good day all around.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Recipe: Brownies

Remember when I said I was going to post a new recipe every month? Ha ha. That was a good one!

Well, maybe I'll just get real and say this: I'm going to post a new recipe whenever the urge should strike. So there.

Tonight, while I am mulling the idea of (re)starting a diet of some kind (plus the running with my new shoes!), I thought I'd post a recipe for the simplest, most delicious Brownies ever! These do not taste like boxed brownies-- they are much, much, much better.

This is not actually my recipe; it belonged originally to my mother-in-law, Marilyn's mother, Phyllis. I was not honored to meet Phyllis in this lifetime, but from what I hear, she was an amazing cook. Try these brownies out, and I'm sure you, like me, will have no doubt.


Oven temp: 350

1/2 cup butter (yes, you must use real butter, I prefer it at room temp)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Stir all ingredients together (when Marilyn first showed me this recipe, she told me that she only hand-mixes it... I can't do it any other way).

Pour batter into an 8X8 glass pan and bake for 25 minutes.

* These brownies are tasty when served alone, but my favorite way to eat them is topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of butterscotch caramel syrup. Mmmm....

Thanks to Marilyn for passing this delicious recipe on to me-- they're the only brownies Chris will eat!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Welcome to the cafeteria...

At Thomas's school, the kids are given a couple of different options for lunch. The first option is the regular cafeteria menu, prepared by "Chef Heather" and her crew, and differs each day. They send home a monthly calendar and, for the most part, I think Heather comes up with some pretty good stuff. This option is served on a green tray. The other option, served on a red tray, is called "Munchers". There are three options in the Munchers category: yogurt munchers, peanut butter and jelly munchers, or pizza munchers. The Munchers come with the entree as described above, plus string cheese, some kind of carbohydrate (like a roll or a breadstick), and the large fruit of the day. All lunches, whether on the green or red tray, get a choice of white or chocolate milk and an all-you-can-eat trip to the salad bar.

Every day, without deviation for as long as he has eaten at the cafeteria, Thomas has chosen Yogurt Munchers (red tray). He even prefers this choice to a lunch I could send with him from home, which is perfectly fine with me.

Tonight for dinner, I made beef stroganoff. Now, I should mention that this meal is not a family favorite, but something I decided to do because we had an extra 1/2 lb of ground beef in the freezer that we needed to use. I cooked the beef with onions, though, and I thought it turned out pretty good. I knew it would take some coaxing, but I had hopes that maybe they would actually like it, or at least just pick out the egg noodles.

When I put his plate in front of him, Thomas scowled, "Oh gross! It's just like the green tray!!"


I never win anything-- but tonight, when I checked my e-mail, I got this:

How awesome is that?!? I'll have to write a review of the shoes when I get them. Sweet!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blog Contest! What is Chris doing?

Yay! It's a Blog Contest! Here's how it works: look at the picture and post a comment guessing what you think Chris is up to. Be as vague or as specific as you'd like. I will review the comments on October 1st and anyone who guesses correctly will win a really cool prize! SWEET!

Guess as often as you'd like-- but if you know for sure (ie: Chris told you), don't guess until the 1st so you don't ruin it for everyone else. :)

Happy guessing!

Gordon the Imp

You know things are getting a little crazy when you feel like your best hope is to pull out the parenting manual and start desperately searching for some clue as to how to control your two-year-old! I am at the end of my rope, so hopefully Dr. Latham has some very specific advice on what to do with a very adventurous, and recently very independent little guy.

Gordon is certainly my "spirited" child, and the past couple of weeks, he's taken "spirit" to the extreme. My mom and I were talking about him after a really crazy day today, and I do think that a lot of his acting out has to do with Thomas being gone all day at school and his little two-year-old mind trying to cope. Last year, Thomas was only gone for about 3 hours a day during kindergarten, and then they just spent the entire summer as each other's primary playmate. When we put it that way, I realize how difficult it must be for Gordon to be so lonely and it nearly breaks my heart. I just want to go in and cuddle with him!... But, it's so difficult to remember those feelings when he is pouring chocolate milk on his brother's head or baby powder all over the carpet downstairs, or screaming like a banshee because it's time to come inside.

Despite his tendency toward being a baby demon, he really is such a fun little kid! I found this video of him before the Aggie game-- I was trying to get him to sing, but he was kind of sleepy and just really giggly. I defy you to watch this without breaking a smile!

Okay, I am going to try to take a very deep breath, then go upstairs to kiss my little imp!

At long last-- Labor Day Weekend!

Wow, I am behind! Labor Day weekend was the weekend before last, and we really did have a fun time, despite my delay in posting about it.

Chris had to work, so I took the boys to Idaho for the long weekend. We arrived at my parents' house on Friday evening. My grandparents, Poppa and Sue, and their little beagle, Buddy, were also there for the weekend. We don't get to see Poppa and Sue as often as we'd like, so it was a great time catching up with them.

18 Again, for a night

On Friday night, I put the boys to bed, then had a great time staying up and chatting with my mom and Caitlan. After my mom got tired, Caitlan and I stayed up even later, then went to Denny's at 2AM. Caitlan is fun and we had a good time just being girls-- of course, this is what her life is like all the time! The 2AM crowd at Denny's is a little sketchy, but we did discover some tasty new bbq wings.

Saturday with the kiddos

On Saturday, sweet Sue took Ann-Michelle's and my kids to Toys-R-Us where the kids were allowed to pick out a present of their choice. My children chose gifts that were very indicative of their personalities: Thomas, a remote-controlled little airplane, and Gordon, a 3-foot-tall T-Rex. I need to take a picture of that dinosaur and his owner lugging him around the house.

After shopping, we met at Tautphaus Park for a KFC picnic. We were almost destroyed by the very aggressive bees that reside there and apparently have a thing for fried chicken. At least the kids were cute.

Dallis, Hadley and Gord enjoying the great weather and the mini M&Ms Sue spoiled them with.

Running! I love this picture of Dallerina!

BYU won, but who was watching?

Later on Saturday, the boys and I went over to Jarom and Elena's beautiful home to crash their BYU party. Just kidding, I actually brought my old, tattered BYU sweatshirt, just so I could fit in. Instead of watching the game, however, I had more fun chatting with Becky, Elena and Kaylin, and trying to keep my kids out of trouble.

It mostly worked-- and as you can see, mine aren't the only kids interested in the hose!

Thanks again, Manwarings, for hosting us! We had a great time!


On Saturday evening, we met the Freeds and my parents and grandparents at Leatherby's, a tasty little ice cream shop in Idaho Falls. The sundaes were gigantic and the homemade hot fudge was to die for. Mmm... nothing like ice cream to end a fun day!

kids in the parking lot, eagerly anticipating their treats

Cute kids!

Todd getting ready to inhale his tasty mud pie

Probably not the world's most flattering picture of me, but here we are-- me, Poppa, my mom and Sue, eating our tasty desserts.

Sunday with my Gordy-Roo

On Sunday, Gordon wasn't in the mood to go to nursery and I wasn't in the mood to go to Sunday School (no offense, Dad-- he's the teacher-- oops!), so we ditched church and went to the river where I took about five million pictures of my little squirt. I did manage to get one awesome one, which I plan to do a little photo-shopping to and blow up to an 8X10. Let me know if you want a copy-- I'm thrilled with the way it turned out! (Never mind the graffitti, of course)

Me and the Gordster

BBQ at Kristie's-- and cake for Mom!

On Sunday night, the boys and I went to Pocatello to stay at Kristie and Todd's, mostly so that Thomas could get full access to their Nintendo Wii. I think he played for five hours, which I was willing to overlook since he was so excited about it. He came upstairs to eat and go to the bathroom-- seriously, this kid could be a junkie. Fortunately, the Wii is staying in Pocatello!

On Monday, the family joined us at the Flatland's for a barbeque-- and a surprise mini-party for Mom. Everyone had fun blowing out her candles-- Poppa would re-light them for any kid who wanted to blow them out!

Gord and his great-grandpa-- so cute!

Whew-- it was a fun weekend, but I was ready to come home and unwind. Next time, I'm making Chris take the boys, and I'll stay home and watch football! :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I haven't done a lot of birthday posting on my blog, not because I don't love all of you, but because I know if I try to post everyone's birthday, I am going to end up forgetting someone.

Today, however, my dear Mother is entering a new decade and if anyone deserves a special birthday post, she does!

I am very privileged to have a mom who has not only loved and cared for me my entire life, but has also become one of my very best friends. She is a great "Mom-Mom" (nicknamed by Thomas, and can't seem to get a new one) to her grandkids and I really appreciate everything she does for us. Mom, I hope your birthday is fantastic-- I wish we could be there in person! We love you!


Friday, September 07, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Becky tagged me twice in one day! This one was a little harder than the one about Chris. (And yes, I'm slow...)

Here are eight little-known tidbits all about me!

1. I think there are two types of people: fruit people and veggie people. I'm the latter, hands down. I enjoy eating almost every kind of vegetable-- cooked, raw, mixed in with other stuff, whatever. Fruit, on the other hand, is a different story. It's not that I don't like it-- I do like a lot of fruits-- but they're rarely my first choice. Fruit has to be raw and fresh-- ew, I hate baked fruit. Pie people (Chris) don't understand it, but hot fruit brings on a huge gag reflex for me. As Gordon would say, "Ucka!"

2. I cannot stand shoes with straps that go between my toes (ie: flip-flops). I have been known to, on occasion, wear dressy shoes with between-the-toe straps for the sake of fashion, but I don't own a single pair of flip-flops. It's not just the toe thing-- I don't like the sound of those spongey plastic soles snapping against bare feet. I know they're really in style right now, so no offense to you flip-flop wearers, they're just not my thing.

3. I get very moved by commercials. It's not just the sappy ones-- I've been moved to tears over commercials that are just really well done. Like this one from JC Penney, shown during the Oscars last year. Awesome.

On the flip side, there is nothing more offensive to me than a poor commercial. I get upset just thinking that someone got paid to make this crap! I have also boycotted a few products and businesses simply because I hate their ad campaigns. For example, I refuse to eat at Carl's Jr. because I hate those "don't bother me, I'm eating" commercials with the amplified noises of people chewing, or wiping up the drippings from their burgers with their french fries. Nastiness.

4. I love watching movies, especially if there is some kind of dancing (or even cheerleading) involved. I'll also watch a teen flick any day of the week (these two often go together). I love dramas and comedies, of course chick flicks, but I can't handle scary movies or movies with excessive violence. I've had recurring nightmares based on a really stupid horror movie that I watched when I was in high school.

5. I keep a rating list of my favorite versions of crème brûlée. This is my favorite dessert of all time, and I love that it is different at every restaurant. So far, the #1 crème brûlée on my list is at Barkley's Steakhouse in Victoria, BC. It is made with just a hint of maple and it is incredible. Mmmm... Barkley's. As a side note, Chris and I are planning a trip there with our friends Nicki and Ryan Stanton to celebrate our 10th anniversaries next year.

6. I don't have a green thumb. I think gardens are beautiful-- I love flowers and trees and fresh produce-- but I am not talented in the growing-it-myself department. I may try to give this another go next year, but for right now, I'm looking forward to the snow. I need a Roberto! (Roberto mows Heidi's lawn-- does he do any other gardening?)

7. I love Bon Jovi. I stumbled across a live acoustic concert on VH1 a few months ago-- it was so, so awesome. Bon Jovi is still as cool as they were when I first heard "You give love a bad name," when I was in 4th grade.

Mostly, though, Chris and I listen to smooth jazz. We're nerds.

8. Like Elena, I love the world of blog. I think everyone should have a blog and I am not ashamed to pester people about it. It's not hard and it's free. You should start one right now.

I love to read my friends' and family's blogs and I also like to surf around and find random interesting blogs to read. I actually have a few favorites-- people I don't know-- that I visit almost daily (I think the term is "blog-stalking"). I'm a self-proclaimed google slueth as well. If you are google-able, I've probably found you. I just like to know what people are up to.

I'm tagging everyone, especially Caitlan!

Edited to add the Bon Jovi picture... because we can all use some bad medicine...

'Tis the Season

If you know anything about my husband, you know that the college football season is more anticipated than most holidays. He reads articles, listens to the talk radio, and studies his press guide thoroughly. This year, Chris even put up a countdown calendar with post-it notes. And, finally, here we are: the Season has begun!

Chris and Thomas celebrated the blessed occasion by taking in their first game of the season at our favorite local Romney Stadium. The Utah State Aggies took on the Rebels from UNLV-- and lost-- but the guys had a really great time. Since Thomas's school is on campus at USU, he is technically an Aggie-- a Little Blue Aggie, to be exact.

Later that night, Chris watched his Utes lose to Oregon State, and we both wondered whether uber-consistent blog coverage of our guys in red is a good idea this year. I'll still probably do it-- after all, this blog is about our lives-- and we'll just pray that injuries heal quickly and the team can get it together in time to make it a good season. GO UTES!