Friday, February 20, 2009


Today my brother-in-law, Wayland turned 30. My sister had a big night planned.
Orson and I got all gussied up.

Then, this arrived at our house.

Here we are, the Fab Four. How did I get in the front in this picture? Me, Orson, Wayland and Ally.

Ally is so excited about the racketball rackets we got him.

Here is some of the gang inside the limo.

This is the steakhouse we went to for dinner in Scottsdale.

The cute couple.

The whole crew at dinner.

To top off the night, we went to a comedy club. For 12 bucks you get 90 minutes of good, clean entertainment. You wanna go sometime?

30 looks good! Happy birthday Wayland. We love you!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

Here are some great photos of how Orson and I spent Valentine's Day together.

Well, they aren't great pictures, but we had a great time. Nathan had a meet. So, we had dinner at 4:30 at Charlston's and then headed to Phoenix to watch Nathan compete. I wish I took better pictures. After, we took Nathan to Z Tejas. So, we ate two dinners and one dessert. We got home at 11:30. That's love!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pre Valentine's Day

I have been in a funk. This is the week of LOVE and I have not been feeling it. I love reading blogs and seeing all the cute things people do for their families and the adaorable decorations that go along with this holiday. I used to have decorations for this time of year. I love to decorate for the holidays. I don't have any. I found the heart cookie cutters and Megan has taken them to the floor of her closet. They probably won't get used to make cookies. I have been racking my tired, groggy brain as to what to do for my love this year. I got nothin'! He has been working late for weeks. We're talking getting home between 10 and 12. I have been a tax widow for 15 years now, but some weeks are still harder than others. Last night as he called to check in at 8:30, he was really trying to connect so he asked me how my day was going and what did I do. For some reason I was so annoyed. I don't want to tell you about doing the laundry. I just don't. Who cares. If push came to shove, my family would wear dirty clothes and not care. Many mornings I have found the hampers dumped out as people searched for what they wanted to wear. I am getting off track.

So, today I thought I am finally going to clean my room. This will be my gift to Orson. He will be able to walk in the dark without saying "OUCH!" I should have taken a before picture, but I didn't want it documented. I'll post after pictures later. Anyway, as I took a break, I was reading Kimba's blog and last year she had a great post that resonated with me. Here are a few scriptures to show you where I'm going with this:

Proverbs 21:9 - Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Then this one...Proverbs 21:19 - Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

And my personal favorite...Proverbs 27:15 - A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day.

Okay, my only solace is that I am not alone in this. I am not the only one who struggles at the end of a crazy day to smile and greet the man they love with a hug and kiss. However, this year for Valentine's Day, I would like to give my husband a gift he has never gotten before. A non-grouchy wife. I have got to change my mood. I can no longer resent the fact that I have to set the tone of our house. Orson is just so much better at being happy than me. It's who he is and how he came. I am starting to regret this rant, but I don't want people to think after they read my braggy Christmas letter, that life is perfect for me. We learn and grow closer to one another by opening up about our struggles and fears. I am not looking for pity here, either. I just love my family so much and wonder why it is so hard for me to express that.

I really appreciate all the kind words that are left for me in the comments. I love every one of you who takes the time to read this. I have great friends. Look for a much more uplifting post tomorrow.

Friday, February 6, 2009


If you read this post then you'll know that I have been on a quest to improve my homemaking skills. I found this site that I absolutely love. Go here to check it out. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day at the Dentist

This is what Megan looked like this morning. Except for the smile. My dad is a dentist and even though he practices in California, he has always taken care of us. That is until Anna and Megan showed up with horrible teeth. Megan was the latest to have two crowns done. I have never even had a crown. My dad told me with these two that he couldn't do it and to take them to a pediadontist in AZ. Boy is it expensive. So, this morning we got to the office at 7:30 a.m. so she could drink the sedation medicine. She bit the doctor during this procedure as well. After 45 minutes, she was taken back and administered the gas like shown in the picture. I could hear her scream as I sat in the waiting room. I am exhausted. The doctor said it sounded worse than it was. In a month we get to go back so he can do 2 more on the other side. Joy! So, now I have been watching her sleep for the past 3 1/2 hours. I hate the dentist. Love you Dad!

Monday, February 2, 2009


I saw this on a strangers blog today and wanted to keep them for myself, so I thought I'd share.


Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simple chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yum

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mix er for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! -- static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove-top-skillet will be much easier to clean now.

Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces-no more stains.

When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead-no white mess on the outside of the cake.

If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato-it absorbs the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator -- it will keep for weeks.

Coming Clean

Today I am coming out of the closet, or as I like to call it, coming clean. Here goes: I am not a great homemaker. There, I've said it. This has been a struggle for me my entire married life, of almost 20 years. You would not believe how messy our house was even before we had kids. Don't get me wrong, I know how to clean. I was a janitor at BYU and I can do amazing things with a toothpick. I just have never been able to figure out a system to keep my house together. I can honestly say that I have never once had my entire house clean at the same time. There has always been some hidden "crap" somewhere. I'm not saying that we live in filth, either, I just feel like I am consumed by thoughts of my house almost 24/7. Of course, this all came to me today as I finally cleaned by bathroom after months of neglect. I even scrubbed the shower, and that probably had not been done...well, I can't even remember. Are you thinking less of me? Does anyone else have boxes of stuff they don't know where to put so it just moves from room to room? Am I alone in this? (Can you tell what time of the month it is?) I'd love to hear how you keep up with your house. I know this is a skill that can be learned and mastered. My greatest concern is what attitude I am teaching my girls about being a homemaker. It can't look great to them by the way I act. Thanks for reading my rant. I am off to dust my bedroom.

Our little doll

Rachael love to dress Megan up. All the accessories are from her build a bear. Too cute!