Monday, December 20, 2010

[hoping to adopt]

our cute neighbors josh and rachel are hoping to adopt!
they just submitted their papers with an agency and are now just waiting :)
they are so excited and are asking people to spread the word to anyone you know who is considering placing a child for adoption.
please check out their blog and read their story!

josh & rachel are such amazing parents and have so much to offer another child!  

we love you guys!
best wishes!

Friday, December 17, 2010

[christmas greetings]

here's what we sent out this year...
Merry Christmas 
from our family to yours!

tri-fold photo card (front & back) by tinyprints

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

[annie's holiday party]

seven two & three year olds gathered and celebrated 
annie's third birthday!
we made it simple, short and sweet.
they decorated little gingerbread houses, ate peppermint cupcakes and played kiddie games!
they were all so good and so polite!
annie had a blast and still believes it's her birthday each day, even two weeks later :)
cousin blake adorned his house (below) with this cool red dude 
(i don't even know what this toy is called lol)
happy birthday cute girl!

Monday, December 13, 2010



this year i caved in and bought the girls their own little bargain Christmas trees for their rooms.
it wasn't hard to convince me since i grew up with a small, bright, glowing tree in my room.

they're so magical!
they had so much fun decorating them as they pleased.
target and tai pan are my friends!

laundry, laundry and more laundry is on my to do list today.
i'm hoping i can squeeze in a little wrapping in too!
happy monday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

[the best chicken noodle soup in the whole wide world]

mmm, you're gonna want a bowl full of this!

this soup is our family's favorite!  my mom makes it this way and it is oh so delicious!
nothing tastes better than a bowl of this goodness on a cold winter's night.

the best chicken noodle soup in the whole wide world
note: these are not exact measurements.  it is very forgiving.

• a couple large handfuls of baby carrots, rough chopped into bite sized pieces (thirds)
• one onion, chopped small
• 3 stalks of celery, rough chopped 
• 1/4 cup butter
• salt & pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley 
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 large chicken breasts, trimmed or whole whole *rotisserie chicken
• 8 cups of water
• approx 8 tsp chicken bullion (may want to add a little more depending on your taste)
• three large handfuls of dried country egg noodles (i buy mine in a big bag at costco)

combine first five ingredients and sauté in a large pot.  cook for 1-2 minutes until onion is almost transparent.  do not overcook veggies-they continue to cook with the noodles & chicken.  add water, appropriate amount of bullion, bay leaf and parsley.  bring to a boil.  add noodles and chicken breasts.  return to a boil.  cook for 8-10 minutes checking on chicken (do not overcook).  When chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove and dice.  return to soup and continue to cook until noodles are ready.
*if using a rotisserie chicken, just heat until warm, remove from stock pot and pull chicken off the bones and add to soup.

serve with hot rolls!

Monday, December 6, 2010


do you have an advent calendar?
i happen to love them and haven't found one that i'm crazy about.
maybe making one is the best solution.
check this idea out!
carissa at brown eyed fox made the cutest countdown ever!  
**sigh** i just love her blog.  she's so creative!

i ended up buying a fairy cute countdown package at target this year and it doesn't hang well :(
i'm thinking to buy a large apothecary jar and filling it with the pouches. hmmm.

what special things do you do at your house?

i love learning about people's traditions!
here is one ashley shares on smile & wave that i would really love to start!  
you must check out her blog too!!! you'll be hooked.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

[yummy preparations]

it's december 1st and really time to rock it!
it won't be long now until santa comes and i have a lot to do!

first on the list, my youngest's birthday!  
she's turning 3 and having her first friend party on saturday! 
we're having a little holiday bash!

annie requested party hats and a real pony - lol.  where did she get that from?
sorry, no pony.
party hats we can do!

so today we will be gathering supplies and preparing for a yummy little celebration!
i plan to attempt gingerbread for the first time.  wish me luck.  any tips?

aren't these little peppermint meringues so unique and adorable?  i've never seen anything like them before.
find the recipe here

(pictures courtesy of martha stewart)

Friday, November 19, 2010

[personal progress]

okay girls, watch for my old school yw necklace on me each week at church...
if i'm not wearing it, go ahead and please harass me so i'll remember to put it on!

last night i had the great opportunity to attend the young women auxiliary leadership training meeting
at the conference center tuesday night with our young women's presidency.

i would just like to say that sister elaine dalton is just so delightful!
her enthusiasm and beaming spirit emanated as she spoke to us about 
being an example of faith and purity, and the importance of personal progress, activities and the gospel in our lives.  
her counsel rang true and strong to me, inspiring me to be a better leader.
what an uplifting and motivational meeting! 
i love the girls of our ward so much - they are just incredible and so, so good.  
i hope to be a good example and help them in any way possible!

  Sister Dalton invited us leaders to "ask the youth they lead to do hard things." As you do this, youth will "grow and rise. They will become confident." 
She relates the experience of one ward where the young women were strengthened as they set out to accomplish the "seemingly impossible." 
"These young women were not only told that they were great, but they were given the opportunity to BE great, to ACT great, and to DO great things."
                                                                                                                                  - taken from

i have a strong testimony that the young women's program is divinely inspired from God.  it is such a source of strength! 
i would like to thank all of my yw leaders for all they taught me; for all the fun activities they planned, and just how much they loved and cared about me!  
i knew and still know that i am a daughter of God.

i also want to thank my mom for all the help she gave me with my personal progress.  
mothers and fathers are the key and such a great influence to completing all the requirements!  
in this meeting they told a story about how one ward's bishop decided to work on personal progress and how he had the young women sign off his requirements.  
i just loved that!  how cool is that?
this necklace brings back so many fond memories for me.  
it reminds me of the strength i had, for the good service, studying, and even preparation for marriage and motherhood personal progress gave me.  
it's not just about having these beautiful golden charms, but what a treasure this necklace is to me!  
i pray all the young women in our ward will seek after all the wonderful blessings we are promised as they complete their personal progress.
love you!

this is good!  take a minute to watch :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

[one hour?]

have you been to this blog?
i just love her tips and can't wait to try some of her recipes.
i am very tempted to sign up for her menu/newsletters.  are any of you subscribers?  how do you like it?

for all of those photography/social art lovers out there, i just posted a video clip on my photo blog you must see

Friday, November 12, 2010

[meet sparkles]

eewwww!  look at that water!
yesterday breenie reminded me that it was time to clean the fish bowl.
we call her the fish whisperer
she carefully whisks up this little creature with her bare hands and lovingly replaces her to her new home.

several months ago while my girls were at my parents with their little cousins, my mom ever so bravely took them to the pet store.  all the kids really wanted little frogs or turtles, but the closest they got were beta fish.
my mom happily bought the kids their own little swimmer.
after they came home and surprised mommy with their famous prize, my mom told me that breenie sat and cried at the store because she was worried i'd be mad and wouldn't let them keep 'em.
she kept telling marmie (the name her grandkids call her), "we better not."
she's such a little tender heart.
my mom convinced her that i would be fine with the fish and not to worry.
well, i was fine for a little while...
one didn't live for more than a week, i think they killed it when trying to put sharp dirty rocks on the bottom of the bowl :(
i warned them!

now i'm ready to give this little thing up for adoption!
i had no idea she would live this long!
we tried to pawn it off on our neighbors after they babysat her while we were on vacation, 
but they brought her back (after like 2 weeks - i kept forgetting to go get her - out of sight out of mind i guess lol - sorry ariane)

sparkles is a good girl... she's pretty easy i guess.
the girls just really want a dog now and that won't be anytime soon!  
i keep telling them that their new little brother will be their new pet :)

we really need to jazz up this fish bowl.  
poor little thing is probably bored to tears! can fish cry?

have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

[love notes]

this morning when i was making my bed after lulu left for school, i discovered this little note she left for me on my nightstand.  
what a way to start the morning! 
it always feels good to be loved & appreciated :)
 i needed this little booster.
after glancing at it again, it looks like i sat her down and had her write over and over again (envisioning the teacher & the blackboard scene) i love you and you are the best mom LOL
i sure teach 'em right!

now how do i get sam to write me one?  he's in need of some major points! [pouty lips]

i've been trying to keep myself busy and it's not very hard.
while sam has been working around the clock lately on their new software release, i've been taking care of everything around here.  gosh!
i have a whole new appreciation for single mothers & women who's husbands work out of town.
the best thing i've found is to not even plan on him being here or seeing him.  it's sad, but it makes it easier.
hopefully after next week i'll have him back!
really, i'm just grateful he has a job & i'm so grateful for all he does to support our family.
he wants to be here.  he feels bad.  we understand.
i truly am blessed to be a stay at home mom; 
although, like oprah says, it is the hardest job in the world!
sometimes rewarding j/k

candles have been my friends and motivation these days.  their spicy aroma somehow motivates me...
they excite me with their holiday smell & glow.  yesterday after laying around all morning feeling unproductive and exhausted, i lit my favorite candle and turned on some Christmas music.  
i somehow transformed and began buzzing through the whole house cleaning every surface. 
i highly recommend it!
there's nothing like a clean and clutter free home, is there?
i will enjoy it today and try to keep it up.  it usually doesn't last very long with children!  or shall i say my children?

gotta love all the pen marks all over this little ceramic pumpkin :)
i wish that was the only object in our house attacked by my little artists...
my walls sure need some good magic eraser action!  that was one of several things i didn't get done yesterday.  maybe today.

you must watch this clip!
my friend's husband michael ethington is an amazing pianist!  his believe album is one of our favorites!

h a p p y   t h u r s d a y !

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

[isn't it interesting]

i've been thinking a lot lately about change and
the way my attitude and outlook on different subjects morph and transform.

like for instance, breastfeeding.
before i had babies, i thought it was weird, strange and kind of gross.
when my first little babe came along i decided to try it out and see how it went; knowing it was the best for her.
i did not enjoy it. 
it was awkward, frustrating and not beautiful whatsoever.
it didn't last long.

the second time i attempted, it was a little easier, but it still didn't come natural & bottles were once again my best friend.

sadly, the third time was not the charm either.
i couldn't keep my milk.

i've always been a bit envious of those women who can successfully nurse and love it.

so, for whatever reason, i am anxious to try again with my fourth.  i'm feeling confident today.
the older i have grown (seasoned maybe?), the more beautiful & amazing it has become to me. 

i cant' wait!
today we were able to take another peek at our little boy inside and i am crazy over the moon in love.
they took a couple 3-d pictures for us and he's soooooooooo cute!

so please, if you have any secret tips, tricks, or good advice for me, please share!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


(picture courtesy of brandi johns)

ha ha ha, last night sam and i dressed up as brad pitt and angelina jolie for [our friend's] famous johns/lowry annual halloween party!

my parents came out to watch the kids while we partied; but before we left, my mom assisted me in arm tats and HUMUNGO lips.  we could not stop laughing as she drew these giant red smackers on my face!!!

yesterday i spent most of the day in search of asian baby dolls; but with no luck had to create my own.
so i sharpied up some of the girl's white babies with black hair and dark eyes.  it's all in the details, right? LOL
i kept repeating to my girls, "only mommy can color on these dolls, okay?"  "never do this!  got it?"

you can't see in this picture (i should have taken some), but my forearms were covered with roman numerals, chinese writing and dragons.  the kids could not stop asking about them.  again i warned, "only mommy can color on her arms, okay?"  "never do this!  got it?"
Wow, what a great mother :)

we had a fun time sporting maddox, pax, zahara and shiloh with knox and viv in the womb :)
we got some good laughs!  everyone kept telling me they couldn't look at me and my enormous lips without laughing!
oh the fun!

happy halloween!

Monday, October 11, 2010

[day dreaming]

i totally wanna these gigantic fabric wall decals for my up and coming boy nursery!
they're removable, reusable and re-positional.
made in the u.s.a.
aren't they saweeeet?

Friday, October 8, 2010

[costume crunch]

it's coming...

(the girls helped me make cupcakes for their school's bake sale - we each snuck one)

(a white shirt?  what was i thinking?  by some crazy miracle, she happened to keep it spotless)

before we know it, halloween will be knocking at our door.
i can't wait!
or can i?
for whatever reason, i tend to stress myself out on all the details.
it's so silly!  so stupid!  i think it's mainly the costumes.  i need to make my kids make up their minds.
we need to pin it down now.

i walk through the stores and stare at everything.
i'd love to buy it all, but then i usually end up buying nothing, thinking i have plenty of time.

then, every year when we actually make our final choices and need to find accessories, carving knives, etc., everything is either picked over or gone.
do you do this or am i the only one?

so this weekend we will decide.
we will pull out the costume bin, jump on-line, whatever it takes to get the job done 
so mummy can rest in peace.