Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Party

I hate how crowded and impossible it is to have a date on Valentine's Day. This led to our family changing the dynamics of our Valentine's Day into a day of love for the entire family to share.

Every year we make homemade pizzas(heart shaped, of course,) everyone's favorite junk food, and rasberry sherbet mixed with sprite to drink. We go around the table and tell what we love most about each other while we pig out.

I enjoy it thoroughly, as do the kids.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

True Love

I've been thinking a lot lately about my marriage and my family. I remember as a teenager lying in bed at night thinking about my future. I thought about who I would marry, how many kids I would have, where we would live. Everything has turned out much different than I ever thought. I never imagined living in Utah married to a 6'2" red-headed stud who is absolutely passionate about hunting. (Which hasn't always been easy for me.) I did imagine having lots of kids, but never considered all the challenges that would come with that...for them and me. I DID imagine getting pregnant, having a babies, taking them for walks, trips to the library, helping out in their classrooms, trips to the zoo and making cookies together.

Somehow, in my thoughts of the future, I never pictured administering over 20 pills a day, along with vests that shake my child violently while she breathes from a mask to help clear her lungs. I never pictured having twins pulled from my tummy via c-section and staring at a cleft-lip that marred my baby girl's beautiful face. I never considered the stress that insurance issues and downfalls in the economy would cause in a marriage. I just never did.

I also never imagined going to bed each night staring at a man that owns my heart. I never imagined feeling so much joy and pride seeing my children run home from the bus together laughing till the cry. I never imagined waking up to burnt toast and watered down orange juice in bed or 3 year old twins that love to dip dino chicken nuggets in their milk...but these are the things that make my life full of joy. Knowing that I can be with them forever. Knowing that no matter what twists and turns life may bring....I will always have them.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Isn't it interesting the way our children decide what new things they want to be involved in and then they go for it! No fear. No hesitation. Just do it! I love it. I really look up to my kids for that. I guess I'm not so much the mom that says, "You have to pick something and stick with it." Maybe I should be that way more. But part of me can relate to them wanting to try everything. I want to try everything, too! I really feel that when they find their true love, that their passion and excitement for that find, whatever it may be, will drive them to excel at it.

So far, Lizzie has tried soccer, piano, swimming, baseball, ballet, gymnastics, tumbling, and basketball. She's enjoyed them all but could take or leave most. She's recently informed me that she can't live with basketball. (I was hoping for softball...oh well.) So basketball it is...And boy is she good at it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hospital and Zoo

Gracie has her check-ups every three months. The hospital is only a couple of miles from the zoo so after an excellent Pulmonary Function Test of 133 we met some friends at the zoo. The weather was nice, there were hardly any people there and the animals seemed happy to see us. (Especially Tino, the gorilla)

I wish I could have gotten a better picture of Tino because he was the most interesting, disgusting gorilla we've ever encountered. He was sitting right by the glass with his back facing us. Every few seconds he would turn his head to look at us as he chewed on something he kept putting into his mouth. A big, brown something. As he popped the last morsel into his mouth, he reached down to his back-side and grabbed another snack, fresh from his bum. Disgusting? Yes, I know. My kids were enthralled. Frankly, so was I. We could have sat and watched that dirty ole gorilla all day, but life and reality awaited us at home.

On the way home I remembered my dad telling a story about the gorilla in the Birmingham, AL zoo and threw up into his hands then threw it all over my dad. Lovely. I guess I'm grateful for glass enclosures now instead of bars.

We look forward to our next zoo excursion. Thanks, Kendi, for entertaining us for the afternoon!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunday Night Splurge

Every Sunday night the girls and I make a treat. This was a recent sweet that we all enjoyed (a little too much.) It's easy to make and oh, so yummy.
I got the heart shaped pans (2 of them) at Target in the dollar section for $2.50 each. They are silicone. Have you tried those?? Where I have been all these years?... They are guaranteed to please.
Here's the recipe:
Double-chocolate cake:
1 pkg plain devil's food cake mix
1 big box chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 c sour cream
1/2 c warm water
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c choc. chips
Preheat oven to 350. Spray your pan. Put cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, water and oil in large mixing bowl. Blend w/eletric mixer on low for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down sides. Turn it up to medium and beat for another 2-3 minutes. It will be very thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until it springs back with light touch of finger, or starts to pull away from the pan. (20-30 mins if you've got it in 2 pans or 45-50 if it's all in one.)
Remove from oven and completely cool before frosting.
Magnolia Bakery's Traditional Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, very soft
8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 c milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream butter with 4 cups of the sugar. Add in the milk and vanilla. Slowly add the remaining sugar one cup at a time until thick enough to spread. Add food coloring for pretty pink, valentiney color. Store extra at room temperature.
Add lots of heart sprinkles or edible pearls to make it beautiful then eat until you make yourself sick! Yum.