Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Here's a rundown of the last month.

Searched for leappads for my kiddos for Christmas... I started in OCTOBER!

It only took me an entire month to track them down. {Insert eye roll here} Like searching everyday. Stalking online and in the stores. Seriously the coolest toy I think I have ever seen. And they learn SO SO much with it. They love their leapser explorer and all the games we have for that will work with this! And now, I'm half tempted to put them on ebay....They are selling for close to $300! Insanity. No, Not really, I won't do that, It was a pain in the butt to track them down and I only paid $80 for each of them. I love target, And I love coupons, And my Target debit red card!

The kids were sick for about 2 weeks straight. We're finally all better. Well, We were. And then... My wisdom tooth became infected. Possibly because of all the drainage and gross stuff from my sinus and ear infections. AWESOME. I felt like I was going to die. And really still do. I'm doped up on some pretty awesome pain meds right now. Well, Good news and bad news on that. I can't have them taken out. Well, I guess I could, But here's the problem... Most people have 2 roots on each tooth... Not this kid... I have 3. And they all go in different directions, Think baby octopus and that's what the x ray looked like. And the roots wrap around the nerve. So, If I have them removed, It's going to be a horrible surgery and recovery. And I could end  up with permanent nerve damage. Basically, My cheek could be numb indefinitely. Bad. And since I have room in my mouth for my wisdom teeth, I'd have to deal with huge gaping holes in the back of my mouth if I have them removed. So, We're going to put that off as long as we can... Hopefully forever.

So, As I laying in pain on the couch, Thinking the girls are playing in the toyroom, I smell something, and run upstairs. Well, they were upstairs playing... However, LaLa was painting her and Kynzis nails. ON THE WHITE CARPET! With hot pink polish. 

Still can't get it out. We're just going to have to replace the carpet. Mike joked and said, Well, That's a small price to pay...They needed some bonding time. At least they were playing together. {They usually ignore one another, They were both meant to be only children I think....HA! Boy did they get stuck with the wrong family for that!}

Blake had school pictures. Boy he is a handsome little man! And such a ham. That kid has no lack of self confidence that's for sure.

Training for the Disney 1/2 is slow... I haven't been able to run as much as I'd like. I've been sick constantly. Asthma attacks, Ear infections, Sinus infections, And now this wisdom tooth situation... So, I can definitely give up hopes of a 8 minute mile... It's going to be more like 12 I'm sure. And If I have to walk a 16 minute mile so help me I'm doing this thing. {And as a side note can I say that Sarah Poor is a running rockstar. She's my running partner and I'm totally slowing her down. Sorry bout that Sarah... One of these days I won't be sick anymore.}   

I did hit my goal weight. Actually a pound under. So that's nice, But it wasn't everything I expected... I've learned that your body is so different after each kid. Not necessarily on the outside, Well, it is I guess, But definitely on the inside. It's going to take a long time to get back to where I was fitness wise before I was pregnant with Brent. I get tuckered out way easier than I used to. I used to think 2 hours in the gym was just a warm up, Now it takes all I've got in me to get 2 hours done.

Thanksgiving was awesome. My mom is the worlds greatest cook. However, I wish I would have worn sweat pants because my pants were way tight after dinner. Oh man, And I have a new found LOVE for coconut cream pie. Oh crap it's good.

Black Friday shopping... Why do these crazy nut jobs open the stores at midnight and 3 am? Yes, I did go out at midnight. I went to Kohls and Target. Kohls to get a Cars 2 geotrax thing... I'm not even really sure what it is, But Blake wanted it for his birthday. I really had a hard time finding something for him that he really wanted and I knew he'd play with. Mike thought that was funny because every commercial that comes on advertising anything he asks if he can get it for his birthday.
I went to Target because they had the leapster games for $18 instead of $25. And they had this little toy phone for Kynzi. Looking back on it, I almost would rather have spent the extra $100 I saved VS. being super duper sleep deprived. Then my mom and my aunt went out shopping. It's really just more tradition and to hang out than it is to buy anything. Actually, I think the only thing we really bought was some jewelry. But a good time was had by all. I love hanging out with those two.
So, That's what we've been up to. Can you believe it's already DECEMBER?!? Where did this year go? 

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm not paying $10 for a roll of wrapping paper.

Seriously? Why have I never noticed how expensive wrapping paper is? Well, I'm not doing it...Not this year. I'm not spending the money on it. What A WASTE! They destroy it anyways. It's like flushing money down the toilet. So, Instead, I have been asking for paper bags instead of taking in my reusable grocery bags. Yep. That's what they are going to be wrapped in. Now, before you think how ugly that will be, Humor me for a minute...

I mean, I have LOADS of scrapbook paper, ribbon and wraffia in my craft stuff. And this last picture is just a toilet paper or paper towel roll, made into a flower. SO... Brown paper bags from the grocery store = Free. Craft crap from my garage = Free. So, Wrapping for Christmas this year... Yep, You guessed it... Free. That's at least $20 in my pocket. Because lets be honest, We never buy just one roll.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


We've been a bit under the weather this past week. 3 sick kids, Plus a sick mommy plus some asthma attacks, and that about sums up the week. And of course we still had to make the rounds for Thanksgiving. It's nice having 2 of the 3 sets of grandparents in town, However, It makes for a lot of time in the car on Thanksgiving. Of course Mike played in the turkey bowl that morning. This was the first year we didn't take the whole family. Tired Mommy + chasing 4 kids.... Not something I was up for. Then of course there was more food than we could possibly eat. Oh it was GOOD! Well, I know that I'm late to getting this post up, But I just wanted to make a list of the things I'm thankful for.

The gospel of Jesus Christ. And my membership in his kingdom. The knowledge that I can be with my family not just til death do us part, but for eternity.
For the Temple, and the covenants it has allowed me to enter into with my father in Heaven, and the blessings that come from being true to those covenants.
For the scriptures, and for the peace and direction that they offer.
For my husband. I could never describe how much I love him. I'm thankful that he has a job, And grateful that he works so hard to provide for our family, And that he supports me in staying home with our sweet children. I really admire and adore him. For the man he is, and for the man he wants to be. For the worthy priesthood holder and patriarch of our home. I'm grateful for his example, And his devotion to our father in heaven. I think he's as close to perfect as they come.
For my children. I love the things they teach me. I love to laugh with them, and I am thankful that I have been allowed to be their mother. Yes, It was hard for me to get them here, But I am thankful for the times that God allowed me to suffer in those pregnancies and deliveries. In those times, I was blessed with the opportunity to gain a stronger testimony of the Atonement of our Savior. I'm so so thankful that Blake and Brent came out of the NICU healthy. I'm thankful that I was given those experiences. I learned things that could be learned no other way.
For a home.
For cars to drive.
For the gym. For the sweet women that take care of my babies everyday.
For our families. We have such a wonderful support group.
For righteous examples who I want to pattern my life after.
For the ability to feed our family. And the security of knowing that we have sufficient for our needs.
For Blake's teachers. He is learning and progressing so well thanks to teachers who care.
For the ability to pay our bills. I remember very vividly what it feels like to not have enough.
I'm grateful for the financial lessons that we have learned. Even if it was the hard way.
I'm grateful for the talents that I have been blessed with. And, Well, for the things that don't come so easily that I have to work at. It teaches me patience.
For the ability to serve those around us.
For our health. Yes, Everyone has some minor issues, But really, We are all healthy.

There are a lot more things that I can think of. But they are things that would have no significance to anyone else but me. Maybe all of this has no significance to anyone else, But this one was really more for me. I hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and took the time to thank God for all that he has given you. Everyone has something to be grateful for.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

pumpkin cupcakes

It's kind of nice just staying home all week. Just hanging out. However... It's not so awesome to have 3, Soon to be 4 sick kids as I'm sure Blake will get it. And all I seem to do is bake and eat. I'm not a huge pie fan... But I do love pumpkin... And I LOVE cupcakes. So last night I was in a pinch for time and needed a treat for family night... So are you ready for the easiest fastest yummiest pumpkin cupcakes ever? I'm slightly embarrassed as to how simple they are...

3 ingredient pumpkin cupcakes

1 15oz can of pumpkin. NOT PIE MIX. Plain pumpkin.
1 yellow cake mix
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

That's it. dump that in the mixer and pop them in the oven at 350 for 17-18 min. No eggs, No oil, no water... Just dry cake mix, canned pumpkin and cinnamon sugar.
Let them cool and frost with 

Cream cheese frosting.
1 stick softened butter
4 oz cream cheese at room temp.
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 ish... cups of confectioners sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk

Depending on how thick you like your icing determines how many cups of sugar and how much milk you use. I like mine pretty thick for these.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cleaning out the bookshelf...

I have a million things going on right now. Not to mention a billion projects.

I've been really trying to do better about scripture study. I teach Sunday school, So obviously I prayerfully search the scriptures to prepare for that each week. But I have never been good about knowing references. I have always admired Mike's knowledge of the scriptures. I used to think that he would always know the scriptures better than me because he had the opportunity to serve a mission. Well, Over the 6 years that we have been married, I've learned that just because someone serves a mission doesn't mean that they have an exceptional knowledge of the scriptures, The thing that makes Mike different is that he puts forth a generous effort to study his scriptures everyday. I have asked him on occasion how he has memorized so many. Obviously its one of his gifts to be able to remember them so well.
Every time I clean out the bookshelf, {As I did on Friday} I see his copy of Vaughn J. Featherstone's scripture memorization program. I've never thought anything of it, And certainly didn't think that I could do it. Nor have I ever really had a desire to do it. I have always wanted a knowledge of the scriptures like he has, but have never had the desire to do the work. I think this time, I'm ready to give it a whirl.
It's an entire year long. I'm not saying that I won't miss a day, or that I can even memorize a scripture in a day, But I'm going to try and I'm going to do my best. Mike is going to do it with me too, So that will help me to be accountable. I have the time, Well, No not really, I don't. But I am going to make it a priority and instead of listening to music when I run, You'll probably see me on the treadmill talking to myself. Don't make fun of me.
I also have a new set of scriptures that I really need to use. {My set is the set that I've had since I was 12, And I think like 10 pages are missing and they are falling apart} But I'm really not looking forward to having to break in the new set. It's going to take me forever to transfer everything all the notes and quotes and marks, We're talking months... So, I'm hoping to make a cute scripture cover for them and perhaps that will be incentive for me to use them more. More on that later. Anywho, If you'd like a copy of it, You can let me know and I will get you a copy. I haven't been able to find it online anywhere or I'd link it up, So we're going to have to go old school and I will get you a paper copy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Potato cheese soup

Sometimes, You just need some good ol' comfort food. I have fond memories of eating this soup on freezing cold Boise Idaho nights as a kid. It's not, low calorie, But I'm not really a "Low Calorie" person per say... I'm a no artificial processed crap kind of person. Potatoes are healthy, But not "low calorie, or Low carb". I'm an athlete, I need carbs... Lots of them, especially right now, Nursing and training for races, and 6 days a week at the gym...You can't do that on a low carb diet. And have you seen how much my kids run? They need calories too. I'm totally rambling.... So, This recipe isn't for you if you are seriously on a diet... But I do not feel guilty feeding it to my family with a side of homemade wheat rolls.

6 cups of water
8 chicken bullion cubes (or the equivalent, I use the organic better than bullion from Costco)

bring that to a boil
2 cups milk ( I use 1%)
1/2 cup flour ( I use whole wheat)
stir soup constantly. bring to a boil and boil for 1 min.
ADD: 3 cups cooked, peeled, and chopped poatoes
Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat.
Stir in 1 pound cheddar  cheese. Yes, You read that right... one pound. (I use 2% sharp cheddar.)

This is the original recipe. I think tonight I'm going to throw in some broccoli, celery, carrots, maybe some squash puree, etc, chopped super fine to get some more veggies in my kids. I mean, Or you could always go crazy and add bacon. I'm not a bacon fan though.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ruffle tote.

So after making my tree skirt, I got to thinking, What else could I use this super duper easy method for?
Well, I needed a little tote bag for Sunday to hold my scriptures and Sunday school manual. So, I figured this would be a cheap and easy experiment. And to my delight it came out great. Not quite no sew, But that's because I wanted my edges finished, So I guess you could just fray check the crud out of the fabric strips and call it a day, If you didn't want to sew at all. Or there is also an iron on hem tape that could work too I suppose.
I started with a canvas tote from JoAnnes. You know the like $3 ones. And about a yard of fabric.

 I cut the fabric into 4 inch strips with the rotary cutter.
 Then, I serged the edges so it wouldn't fray. {if you didn't want to sew this is where fray check or hemming tape would come in handy} That's my little LaLa, She loves pushing down the petal.
 Then The gluing and ruffling began... Same process as the tree skirt. I started from the bottom of the tote and worked my way to the top.

 Oh I forgot, I also put on a magnetic snap. Easy peasy. I used the everything mary brand. Here's the video that shows you how to put it on.
 I also cut off the straps and before I put on the last row of ruffles at the top I just glued down the handles I had made out of the fabric. {They are just straight pieces of fabric.}
 Then I added the last row of ruffles over the handles. That's it. Easy peasy lemon squeezie.
I thought that I was going to use this for my scriptures and manual on Sundays, But A certain someone has already adopted it. I don't think I'm getting it back anytime soon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Attitude of Grattitude


The other night, I was up Cleaning up after everyone had gone to bed. While I was picking up, I let my thoughts fester, First from, "Man, It would be really nice if someone would help me." To, " I can't wait until the kids are big enough to really help me clean up." To, " UGH! I'm really kind of ticked off that Mike went to bed and I'm cleaning up after him, And the kids...And this is has taken me two hours" To I am really ticked off, Mike doesn't ever help me" {Which is absolutely not true, But That's what I was thinking as I was getting madder and madder}
So there I was carrying arm loads of crap up the stairs, and so irritated,  I took Brent upstairs and laid him in his bed and of course he started screaming, I walk downstairs to get the last armful of stuff, and Mike walked past me, over the pile of crap, and laid down on the couch. I spouted off some rude remark and went upstairs.
By this time I was FURIOUS.
First off, Mike knows, I HATE when he sleeps on the couch. He used to have to do it when we couldn't turn the ceiling fan on at night because we had new babies, And he can't sleep if he's hot. And I absolutely hate it. So that kind of made me even madder. 
Well, Finally I laid down for bed, and I was looking at pictures on my phone, and a picture of Mike holding the kids came up, and then after that, a picture of Brent in the NICU popped up. 
My heart melted. How could I have let myself become so angry. I swallowed my pride, and I sent Mike a text message, That just said I was sorry, And that he's really the closet to perfect man that there is. I really do think that. 
As I was looking at those pictures, My heart was softened and the joy and gratitude that filled my heart was overwhelming. I was so grateful that Mike was the man who sat by my side both times our little boys were in the hospital. Grateful that we have 4 beautiful, Healthy children. So thankful that he has a job, and works so hard for our family. So thankful that we have reliable cars. That we have a place to live. That we have food to feed our children. That we have the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Gratitude brings peace. Gratitude brings joy. Gratitude brings love.
It allows us to feel the love of our Savior and our loving Father in Heaven. 
I am learning to cultivate my attitude of gratitude. 
I am overwhelmed when I think of the things that we have been blessed with. 
And so thankful and grateful that the Lord would bless one as undeserving as I with so much.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Extra money for Christmas and less crap.

Recently, It dawned on me that Christmas is really expensive for 4 kids. I was looking into starting their Christmas lists, and deciding what to buy each of them. First off, I REALLY wanted these for them. They used to have little wal mart ones that they destroyed, So I wanted these because I know Pottery Barn quality is awesome, and I could just wash the slipcover.
Pottery Barn anywhere chairs. But they are WAY expensive. The oversize ones I want are $160 each. Yeah, Times that by 4 kids. Because you know if I don't get them each their own they will fight over it.
Not to mention the leap pads they want. {They play with the demo one at Target for like 15 minutes until I drag them away from it} Plus the games, Plus a Unicorn...No joke, I'm supposed to come up with a unicorn. I mean, Santas magic is going to make a unicorn...
So, I was thinking back to the Christmases that we didn't have any money, and what we did. The first year we were married Blake came home from the NICU on Christmas eve. He was our present. Aside from the gifts our parents got us, Like socks, and kitchen stuff, He was our only present. The best Christmas present either of us have ever received. The next year, We just had Blake, And he was one. So really, we didn't really need to get anything. Then there was a Christmas in there that we went overboard. That will never happen again. We only had 2 kids. Then there were a few Christmases that we had NO money. So I sold things. The whole reason for this post. If you're looking for ways to come up with a few extra buck for Christmas, Here's some things that I've done that have worked pretty well.

Go around your house and collect the things you don't use anymore, Or the things that don't fit, The toys your kids don't play with, and the things they've outgrown. Makes you money and cleans out your house to make room for new things. {I hate clutter. The rule in this house is every one thing in... one thing out.}

  • Consignment shoppes are awesome! Little Bits on Beach Blvd is my favorite. You can like their FB page to see what they are buying and when. 
  • There's also Craigslist. I've had awesome success with this. Just make sure you meet in a public place and that you don't meet someone alone. Take your husband or brother or someone. 

  • Ebay. I've also had success with ebay. We've sold Iphones, and Playstations, and WII's on ebay at Christmas time for more than we paid for them, because most of the stores were sold out. I have a few listings right now. You can find them here. I go the cheapest route possible. One free picture, And minimal upgrades for the listing. If people want more pictures they can ask and I will e mail them. The only thing I pay extra for is a reserve price. That's so that if I don't get how much I want to get out of something, I don't have to sell it. 

  • Etsy. If you're the crafty type, You can always make and sell things on Etsy. I've done this, And I just don't have the time for it anymore. Just make sure you have a decent profit margin, Take into account the time you spent, and the supplies that were used to make it. 
Shoot, I've had friends post a picture on facebook and say its for sale and sold it on facebook.

I know Christmas isn't about the presents or money. Actually, We are keeping Christmas very very small, And really want our kids to remember that it's not about presents and Santa It's about the birth of our Savior. So our kids are getting one "Big" present, and 2 little ones. They will be entertained with one present they really want anyways. But even at that, Christmas is going to cost money. And I had a lot of closet cleaning to do, Took some of the kids clothes in to sell, And listed some clothes of mine that don't fit anymore on Ebay. Every little bit helps. Okay, No more posts on Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving. But I wanted to give you enough time to do this before black Friday! {Basically the best day of the whole year} Go de-clutter and make some money honey! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Give it a go.

Whose idea was it to go to Costco at lunch time/naptime with all 4 kids? Oh yeah, That was my brilliant idea. All things considered they did really good. Note to self though, LaLa does better walking than Blake. He needs to ride in the cart still. The kid cannot for the life of him just walk and hold onto the cart. Anywho, A few things... I found these at Costco.
Cute isn't it? They come in a 3 variety pack, In cute little 10 oz bottles. It tastes better than it looks. And if you've been scared of "Green Monster" smoothies, This is a good place to start. My kiddos LOVE them. I had to limit them to one a day, because they would drink them all in a day.

So I was "stuck" on my weight loss journey. You know that stupid plateau you hit just before the last 5-10 pounds. Yeah, So annoying. Nothing I did worked. I Am So So strict with what I eat when I'm determined. Yes there were some days I could have been better, But For the most part whatever I did the scale would not move! So I hopped online and searched. This is what I decided on.

Jillian Michaels recipe for losing 5 pounds in 7 days...

Get 60 ounces of distilled or pure water...
Add a tablespoon of sugar free cranberry juice...
Add 1 dandelion root tea bag and...
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

This recipe works because it helps flush out excess water weight you have carrying around in your body.
You could lose more than 5 pounds in 7 days depending on how much excess water weight you're carrying around.

I went from 134 pounds to 127 pounds in 5 days. {Yes, I really just put my weight out there for the world to know.} I started Sunday before last and finished on Sunday the 30th. I did it for a week along with a super strict diet, and am excited to say, It got me over my "HUMP" weight, and I was at 126 today. 3 pounds from goal weight. {Not goal body, because toning and muscle building takes time} I don't know if it curbed my appetite, Or if I really just retain water really bad, Or what, But it totally took the bloating away and made me feel great, and got the ball rolling again in losing the pounds. A word of warning though... It tastes NASTY. I'd say it tasted like butt, However, That wouldn't be very lady like of me would it. So we will say it tastes disgusting. But it works. So, If you're brave, Or just sick of being "stuck," Give it a go.