Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving just passed and before I dive into Christmas, there’s no better time to stop and count your blessings. 


Here’s a couple of mine- Sophie and Sage.


and a few more


I expected a normal picture of my teenagers, and got this.  Never a dull moment, sure love my boys! 

So, taking a minute or two, jot down all that you’re grateful for…

Here is my two minute list…

  • My Savior, Jesus Christ
  • Paul
  • My children
  • Adoption
  • Friends
  • the gospel
  • Extended family
  • Home (1 year in new home)
  • Good neighbors
  • Bruno, my dog
  • Temples
  • Free Country
  • Skilled, honest leaders
  • Good schools / teachers
  • reliable job
  • Service opportunities
  • Kindle / a good book
  • Travel (one can wish)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Sushi
  • my new Blendtec
  • Nordic Track (mostly)
  • Neat bloggers I’ve come to know


There’s much to be grateful for! (even if times are rough) 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


On Black Friday, we avoided much shopping and took the family to see Oliver at HCT for a fun family date night.  Looking forward to seeing this with my girls, because of the storyline, and my boys, who have been in quite a few plays, and enjoying with my sweetheart.




( my boys were smiling, secretly :)

the theater is so warm and inviting, especially at Christmastime.  Along with the play, the girls look forward to the huge cookie and drink we each get at intermission (I admit, we all look forward to it, they just voice it), it’s a staple here.



We thoroughly enjoyed the play.  Sophie and Sage were glued and had some inquisitive questions and comments.  The lady on the right played Nancy, the leading female role (awesome voice!).  When she saw the girls, she gave them the biggest hug and told them they are beautiful as they chatted about the play.  So sweet.



dang, no flash. 

Then to see Oliver (giggle, giggle).  He did a great job, such a cute little actor (he’s a soccer player too).  On the way home, our giggly girls teased each other about having a crush on him.  Thought he was talented and cute, but they concluded that they like him only as a friend, lol.

They thanked us more then once before going to bed, for such a special night.  It sure was.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gobble, Gobble


Such a pleasant Thanksgiving 

We had our own family feast this year, then met the rest of the family at Grandma’s & Uncle Mikes for pie (new tradition).  For our formal table setting, this is as elegant as it gets when you’re busy preparing the meal.  Do you like the Cornucopia and floral candle holder I made last week?



Paul outdid himself.  Marinated the bird overnight in a salt brine, then smoked it in the Traeger.  Let’s just say-  Best.  Turkey.  Ever.  So tender and flavorful.  We ran into some kinks since the Turkey got done early (an hour in a half before we were planning on eating, hmmm), so we had to figure out some tricks to keep it warm without drying out.



The girls playing Slap Jack with their brothers.  It was great having Nick home from college!  Sophie in blue, Sage in pink



Then off to Grandma’s and Uncle Mikes for pie


Chillen at Grandma’s



A fun clan


with my cute niece, Ber


Our Thanksgiving menu…

  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes w/ Martha Stewarts Giblet Gravy
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Fruit Salad w/ Pecans
  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Homemade Rolls
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Sweet Pickles
  • Black Olives
  • Crackers and Cheese Ball
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Chocolate Layered Pie

Everyone pitched in to help and we had plenty of left overs.  So, what are some of your favorite Turkey Day dishes? 

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Speech Festival, do we have a winner?

A fun thing about third grade is being able to compete in the speech festival.

Sophie, Please Don’t Read this Poem, by Ken Nesbitt

Practicing her poem.  Sophie’s expressive eye-brows kill me!  (some people say that’s how they tell my girls apart).  Nice job Soph, that’s not a short poem.

I have to say, I didn’t know how they would do with this challenge.  They could memorize well, but articulation isn’t the easiest for them… speaking Cantonese until 3 1/2 before learning English, and having some twin language going on, they’ve had to work hard with their English annunciation, so I’m proud of my public speakers!   


Sage- Mithing Tooth, kinda

Her sis was making her laugh, lol.


Sage, Mithing Tooth, by Ken Nesbitt

Yae Sage!  She also did a good job and won out of her class.  She went on to the next level then spoke a little faster and didn’t make the time limit (58 seconds, she needed 1 minute).  Bummer, too bad they didn’t let her try again since she was so close.  Oh well, she’s a winner in my book!  

Monday, November 12, 2012

A special road trip

My purse camera was acting up on this trip, so the pictures aren’t the best, but a trip I really want to document.




In September playing catch up we traveled for a neat celebration, honoring my grandma who would’ve turned 100, and my dad who turned 80.  We gathered for lunch and enjoyed catching up, then met at the cemetery for a well deserved tribute to my wonderful Grandma.



my dad shared some old pictures of our ancestors from the early 1900’s, they had one of the first cars in their area.  It was so neat hearing the history on this side of my family.



My dad and his sweet sisters. 

Aunt Shirlene read some funny, touching letters, Aunt Helen and I arranged the flowers, and Aunt Gwen brought balloons.  Then we all shared stories and memories of their mom/ our Grandma… from her cheerleading days in high school, to her dating days when she met my Grandpa, to the special things she said before leaving this earth.  She was an amazing lady, full of spark and warmth, whom everyone loved.  Never saying an unkind thing about others and she raised a wonderful family. 

My favorite memories with Grandma… picking and eating fresh peas with her in the garden; seeing her face light up when we would come each summer, squealing  with delight; our yummy bedtime treat, she let us pick our favorite homegrown, home bottled fruit each night before bed; she had fun activities planned and taught me how to sew and embroider; and she bought me my first bra, yup, she was an awesome Grandma!  


Genuine, warm, and fun people!  My parents divorced when I was 2, so we would stay with my dad for a few weeks each summer in a different state.  They were always thrilled to see us and made us feel like a valued part of the family.


Happy 80th Birthday dad!  (10 years older then my mom) 

We love you Dad!

They adored Sophie and Sage and getting to know them better!







On the way home, we stopped at the new Brigham City Temple (the day before the dedication).  What a neat addition to this town, it’s beautiful!  We also toured the popular lava spot in ID, since they missed some school for this trip, I tried to make it educational.  The girls and T found it fascinating.



my nephew JJ, Trevor and my cute sis


They were locking the gates, but while we were here, two sisters traveling from CO came to us and had many questions about our temple.  We were happy to talk with them.

Thanks Aunt Lena for the belated birthday gifts for Sophie and Sage, so thoughtful!

Families are Forever!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Trick or Treat

Halloween was a hoot!
The girls were excited to wear their costume to school and celebrate with their classmates.

Isn’t that a cute owl?  Nice that they added some healthy fruit in the mix. 
I’m the historian / photographer in Sages class…  Yae, get to take more pictures!  And they asked me to do the bulletin boards in Sophie’s class.  I agreed, then realized I should do an art or craft project with the class each month to display (what do I get myself into?  JK).  Confession, although I’m a designer and I love art, I’m not a big fan of crafts.  Oh well, it’s making me to be more creative (and patient) and I enjoy working with the kids.  I’ll post pictures of the bulletin boards each month.

Sage, our cutiepatootie, that’s what her friends call her.  She didn’t waste any time eating her owl, and those around her that didn’t want theirs gave them to Sage, she brought home about 3 other Ding Dongs, joy.

Good excuse to dress up, the witch is in!  Everyone thought Sophie’s soccer costume was awesome, nice cross eyes Sage.

The girls and I made this fruit (jello flavored) popcorn for Sophie’s class, the kids loved it.  For a real crisp and colorful treat, use the Corn Syrup recipe, but we liked the Eagles condensed sweetened milk recipe, more tasty.

A few sick pumpkins. 
Imitation is the best form of flattery right?  Trevor carved his big pumpkin and the girls followed suit.  I wasn’t into the carving scene this year, hoping to overlook the whole thing, but the kids didn’t forget and quickly carved them before trick or treating.  

They were thrilled when their friend invited them to trick or treat in our old neighborhood.

Fun seeing old friends.

Trevor (his non costume) and uncle Mike.  Always a nice visit at both Grandma’s this spooky night, and the weather was Perrrrfect.
The girls got soo much candy, they kept a little and donated the rest.
Hope everyone had a funfilled Halloween!