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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Card

We got our Christmas Card out in time which is amazing because I didn't think we would be able to get to it this year. We usually have our friend Danielle take a family picture of us well in advance of our Christmas Card, but we were busy and she was busy so i braved the photography world and attempted to take a picture of the kiddos. Danielle, I appreciate your hard work so much more now. Taking a picture of two kids is hard. You wouldn't guess from the first "test" photo we took, but from there it just got worse. I'd like to note that between each of these pictures are more pictures much blurrier and horrible looking. We were all pretty frazzled in the end.

Test...if only they were wearing their Christmas clothes...

At this point I was bribing Lucas with a cookie to smile and hold Darci up. He gave up after this photo.

So I stuck her in the bumbo and tried to get a picture of him kissing her...she wasn't a huge fan of that either.

So I gave her the binky and just decided that was going to be the happiest she was going to be at this point. Hardest thing ever.

The final product.

"Mommy, don't you ever make me do that again!"

In other news...

I've put together our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Meals. Let's just say they're going to be fantastic!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Festival of Trees

This last weekend was the Festival of Trees in Sandy, UT which is an event to raise money for the Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake. There were TONS of people there and there were TONS of things to do. Unfortunately we couldn't get any pictures of ourselves with the trees because there were so many people moving through the aisles  but we did get some pictures of some pretty cool trees. There were big trees, small trees, intricate wreathes, aMAZING quilts, fudge, elephant ears, cinnamon rolls, caramel apple slices, gingerbread houses and SANTA! We didn't get a chance to look at all the cool gingerbread houses because there were people surrounding them CONSTANTLY. There were also cute little girls doing Irish dance on the stage, however, it was a little weird to hear Tchaikovsky come on and see girls doing an Irish jig...but that's besides the point. The point is, we had lots of fun and saw lots of cool trees!

For Mom: Scottish Tree

For our girl readers: Tangled Tree

Complete with props

This was the best part of the super hero tree...

A Through the Looking Glass Tree

Lucas' favorite tree: The Mickey Tree

For the Bakers out there: A Cupcake Tree

For our Pixar Pals: An Up Tree

For my Brother: A Paul the Penguin Tree (The Tree's name was even "Pablito's Tree") 

And finally the coolest tree there: The Harry Potter Tree!
Complete with Firebolt, Gryffindor's Sword, and Hedwig.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Guys...

 ...i like to skootch around on my back...




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alliance to Save Energy

It's that time of the year again! The Alliance to Save Energy is an alliance (duh) that works to encourage a more energy efficient lifestyle. They lobby in congress to promote energy efficiency as well as show large corporations how they can save money in becoming more energy efficient. They are supported by a wide range of members of congress, large corporations and non-profit organizations. We found this group because Craig was writing an essay for his English 2020 class about how much of global warming is the sun and how much is man-made which led him to some interesting websites about energy usage and the effect it has on our lifestyles as well as the environment. There are only so many resources we have and even those have a limit, we believe that becoming more energy efficient can help our world be a little more pleasanter to live in for a little bit longer. All we have to do is become a little more aware. Happy Holidays, everyone!



For those that just want to see something cute :)

Thanksgiving

And WHAT a Thanksgiving. It was just the four of us and my cousin Sarah but I made all the food I wanted, anyways. Get over it. We didn't even end up with as many leftovers as we thought we would. Oh we had leftovers...just not a full weeks worth. That's good because some of us are not leftovers people (Lucas).
Yes that's Lucas picking at the Dressing...he just couldn't wait.


On the Thanksgiving menu:

Prosciutto Turkey Breast: I lifted the skin off the turkey and stuffed rendered prosciutto between the skin and the flesh and brushed the rendered fat over the skin. I think next year I'll do thin slices of bacon instead to get more of a bacon flavor. Regardless, it was delicious. And the gravy it made was absolutely heavenly. Light but flavorful.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes: The secret is using warm evaporated milk. If the milk is cold it will cause the starch in the potatoes to seize up and gives you a gummy potato...no bueno. These potatoes were light and fluffy thanks to the warm evaporated milk (you can use warm plain mik, I just like the flavor of evaporated milk).

Apple, Cranberry, Cinnamon Dressing: Need I say more?

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with bacon. They were beautiful. No marshmallows for these mashed sweet potatoes. I used bacon, sour cream, and green onions to give these taters flavor. Topped with some panko bread crumbs gave them the perfect crunch.

Jello Pretzel Salad: I say salad...but it was really just pre-dessert. Raspberry jello with mandarin oranges in it, on top of cream cheese and whipped cream, on top of a pretzel crust. Best pre-dessert at Thanksgiving.

Rhodes Rolls: Yes I took a shortcut here...but it saved me so much time. I topped them with some melted butter and garlic salt and those rolls were MINE.

Green Beans: Yes...just plain old green beans. Craig and I decided we didn't want to have heart attacks this year so we played it safe with some salted and buttered green beans.

And finally...THE PIES!

Yes I said pieS, as in more than one. Two to be exact. It's just blasphemous to have only one pie at Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie: This was probably the most perfect pumpkin pie I've ever made. No scorches, no sagging, no unwanted weird skin on top. Perfect. The changing variable? Using Sweetened Condensed Milk instead of evaporated. Changed my world of pumpkin pies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffle Pie: Craig chose this pie (go figure) and it was worth it. A thin layer of ganache on the bottom and a light cream cheese, whipped cream, and peanut butter filling on top to make up the rest of the pie. Topped with melted chocolate and chopped peanuts. It was worth waiting a couple of hours between the first piece of pie and the second.

The only picture we got of any of the pies...I seriously don't know what happened there.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday not only because of all the food I get to cook, but because of the reminder it is to me to stop and smell the roses. This is a busy time of the year and it's nice to take a break and be thankful for all the blessings in my life. I am truly grateful for the things I have in my life. I have a loving husband, two beautiful children, generous friends, patient extended family, a warm place to live, and a healthy appetite for progression.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Darci's Tryptophan kicking in!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Thrill Seeker

What makes Darci giggle? Getting thrown in the air by her daddy, of course!

video


video

Sorry this one is weird, it was easier to hold the camera long ways...so now they look upside down...but Darci's laugh is still cute!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Restaurant Watcher

It's a new blog I've started. I know, I've become one of THOSE moms. I don't care. I just like that I get to write about things that I generally love to talk about. The Restaurant Watcher is me going around to hole in the wall restaurants in Northern Utah (for now) and trying their fare and then writing about my experience. I started it a month ago and I'm finally getting the guts to tell people about it. It'll be updated weekly and I welcome other suggestions of restaurants that I should try, should you feel so inclined. Anyways, you're welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying writing about it.

The Restaurant Watcher

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, Lucas Dell

We went to Jake's Jack-O-Lanterns to pick ourselves a Pumpkin! They had everything! Animals, a hay maze, a corn pit, and pumpkins of course! Fun was had by all!


He's got his pumpkin face on


ISN'T she BOOtiful!


I know what you're thinking...and yes...that is a wallaby...


...and that's the closest thing we could get to Lil' Sabastian here in UT...


Pumpkin!


He just wants to be like Dad!


The corn pit was surprisingly deep...


He was surprisingly hesitant when it came to ripping the guts out


Pumpkin carved? Check.


Lucas loving the carved pumpkin? Check.


We had a great Halloween. We all went to our church's Halloween party as The Huxtables from The Cosby Show and then Lucas went as Batman for trick or treating. Unfortunately, we didn't get ANY pictures. Yeah. I know. Lame. We'll do better next time. Happy Halloween!



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Annual Happy List

I can't believe another year has passed since my last Happy List! There are just so many things these days that make me smile at random moments. Enjoy!

1. Lucas' amazing ability to mimic Fred Astair
2. Darci's Smile
3. Lucas being potty trained
4. How nice our new neighbors have been
5. How happy Craig is with his job
6. Thanksgiving food/cooking thanksgiving dinner
7. Cooking/baking
8. Reading aloud with Craig
9. The noises Darci makes when she's half asleep/half awake
10. Fall weather
11. Food
12. Trying new restaurants and finding out they're good
13. Playing games
14. Talented friends
15. Intellectual and witty conversation that can be shared respectfully
16. Seeing strangers help each other out despite how horrible the world can be
17. Receiving flowers from Craig
18. Feeding the ducks with Lucas
19. Watching Lucas and Craig play together
20. Powerful Movies
21. Eureka moments
22. A clean apartment for longer than a couple of hours
23. Bringing home surprises for Craig from the grocery store
24. Lucas being able to tell me that he loves me
25. Darci's heart murmur closing up

I'm sure there are more, but I've found twenty five is a good number because it's long enough to incorporate a lot of things that make me happy, but not too long as to bore my audience. Thanks for reading!



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The World...

...as seen by Lucas. We gave him our old camera and put a memory card in it so he could take pictures...here's what we saw...





This seriously made me so happy when I saw this one




yes...we love to watch MASH...and by we I mean me...








Darci's not quite sure what's going on

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oliver's Makeover

Oliver Queen (aka The Green Arrow) is not just a comic book character, but my beloved Ford Focus.

So FOREVER ago when I had just moved to Utah, I was driving some ward members to FHE up in the canyon. I had parked and was pulling out to straighten out Oliver out but one of the guys in the back opened my door as I was pulling back out. It got caught on the car next to me and hyper-extended my door and put a crease in the seam of the door making it impossible for me to open the door unless the front door was opened first. I tried everything to get it out and finally took it to a friend's dad who did body work and he told me I had to replace the door completely.

Well, four years later and right before our second child was going to be born, I decided to actually get it done (I suspect nesting instincts). So I called around to some junk yards and finally found a door, the guy even said he would put it on for me! So we arranged everything and right before we hung up I asked him, out of curiosity, what color the door was. I was secretly hoping he would say green, but alas he said the opposite...white. I called around to some body shops to get an estimate on how much it would cost to get just the door painted...they estimated anywhere from 300 to 600 bucks. HA! So I was placed with a little project...painting the car door.

There was no way it was going to get done before Darci came so for a little over a month we had to drive around with a white door. I sent multiple emails to my dad to ask what I needed to do and get in order to get this done and when he came down for Darci's blessing he bought us the things we needed to paint the car and gave us further instruction as to how to paint the car door. This last weekend I took advantage of the perfect weather and painted the car door. Below is my progress.


Washed, roughed with steel wool, and first set of tape placed


Rest of Oliver taped off, wiped with acetone, and sprayed with primer


Paint and clear coat


Finished product.

I still need to add another coat or two of clear coat because we didn't have enough, but other than that, our car door looks back to somewhat normal and we love it!

Darci and People


First we have Jennilee Fewkes. She made an impromptu visit to Utah for a funeral and found some time to come and hang out. We honestly never thought we would be able to get a picture of the two together so it was a wonderful surprise!


Lucas requested that he be wrapped like Darci and insisted that I take a picture of them. So I did.


Riley, Darci and Lucas' cousin, has been so excited to have a girl cousin and to hold her that we couldn't help but get a picture of the two of them.


Grandma was very excited to see and hold Darci so that was worth documenting...


...and we can't forget grandpa either.


Daddy and Darci after she was blessed...


...and then some creepy lady just showed up after the blessing and insisted she get a picture with this beautiful girl...so we let her...