Saturday, September 25, 2010

Football madness...

*Sorry for the poor picture quality. There was no way Steve was letting me take my large camera to the game, and since our travel camera was stolen a year ago and never replaced, we had to resort to the digital camera we purchased right when we got married, almost seven years ago. Picture quality back then wasn't great as you can see!

Last spring, Steve noticed that ASU would be making an appearance against the Badgers in Wisconsin in the fall, so he started planning an outing. We joined Bob, Virginia, and Cameron on a short (1 hour) trip to Madison to enjoy some football at Camp Randall.

Boy were we in for a treat.

Surprisingly enough, I had never attended a college football game. BYU-Idaho didn't have a collegiate sports program so I never had the opportunity to go. So I was taking this in for the first time, and Wisconsin is the place to do it. The fans are out of control. Bob and Virginia, who have attended countless stadiums, said this was by far their favorite. All the fans are die hard. They love Wisconsin football and they make it known. The majority of the stadium was filled with red shirts. In fact everyone, every single person we saw, had a Wisconsin shirt or an ASU, but mostly Wisconsin. They take their games very seriously.

We arrived a little early to Madison, toured the capital for a minute, walked around the farmers market, grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the game. We got some slack for wearing ASU shirts which is to be expected. In fact, when we started planning the trip, I just assumed I would be wearing a Wisconsin shirt. Steve was crushed. Arizona is his home land.

But I didn't even own an ASU shirt, but I have 4 Wisconsin shirts. Steve made it very clear, if I wanted to join him for the game, I would wear maroon. So I did. Of course, then people assumed we either drove or flew from Arizona for the game. Sometimes we played along, other times we let the cat out of the bag and informed them we lived in Milwaukee. Then they were disappointed in us for not supporting our state. It was easier to just let people assume we traveled a long ways to see this game!
Although Wisconsin was highly favored to win over ASU, ASU put up a good fight. They were ahead at times, they made some great plays, but in the end, just couldn't pull through. We had a great time, great company and the fans lived up to all our expectations, and the student section was out of control. By far the best part.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I have a lot of hobbies...a lot. It seems as though every month I pick up another hobby. Steve's not so keen on the idea. It always takes more time, and of course more money. So although I enjoy sewing, cooking, gardening, home projects, furniture building and sports; I have two staple hobbies, graphic design and photography. Together they consume a lot of my spare/downtime without children.

I really enjoy the design because it is so flexible. Kids are napping, I design. Kids are down for the night, I design. Steve's gone for the evening, I design. It doesn't interrupt my family's life too much; which I love. Photography on the other hand isn't done at 8 o'clock at night. I try and keep photo shoots to a minimum because it always interrupts my time with family.

One particular night last week I had a family shoot downtown. I was rushing to get out the door on time as Steve came in the door after work one night. Hallie kept asking to come. I was in a hurry. I didn't want to be late. I didn't want to get stuck in traffic. And I surely didn't want to keep track of Hallie while I was shooting. She kept begging to come. I pushed her off and pushed her off. I walked out the door and got in the car, put the car in reverse and had this overwhelming sense of guilt. I ran back in the house, ran downstairs and asked Hallie if she wanted to join me. She was ecstatic. I made my expectations very clear. No needing to use the restroom or get a drink and there was going to be a lot of walking and she couldn't tell me she was tired. She quickly agreed and we got her shoes on and we were out the door.

We show up downtown to the historic third ward and as chances would have it, the family was late. So we made ourselves comfortable at a cute public market and started to talk. Hallie just talked and talked. She had so much to say. She asked questions about the shoot, about the buildings, about the people around us. I loved it. I loved that the family was 40 minutes late. It meant more time with my little girl.
When the family did show up they had a little girl who was 3 years old. Hallie made friends with her and they ran around holding hands and laughing. It was great. Hallie didn't complain once. She was very quick to listen. (Although I did have to talk to her a couple times, I had to keep reminding myself she was young!)

On the way home we stopped to grab a little treat and she was telling me how much fun she had. My heart melted. I almost rushed out the door earlier in the day leaving her behind. I could've possibly missed out on the special opportunity we had to spend some one on one time together. I'm so grateful I listened to the still small voice that told me to run back in the house and grab a girl who was crushed she couldn't go with her mom.

It made a huge impact on me.

And I'm pretty sure she'll remember it too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Funny Comment...

Hallie has been really concerned with flooding homes, due to her traumatic experience with our own home. She will see friends, or random people and ask if their house flooded. When I tell her we've lost something, her first reaction is one of sadness, "Oh. It went away with the flood, huh!?" No it didn't.

So it should come as no surprise that the following conversation took place:

Hallie: Mom, the little mermaid's house flooded didn't it?
Kara: No, what makes you think her house flooded.
Hallie: Have you seen how much water is in her house. It's overflowing. There's so much water, she has to swim everywhere, even in her bedroom...but the flood didn't get my room did it?
Kara: No, the flood didn't touch your bedroom. And the little mermaid's house didn't flood either.
Hallie: Yes it did mom, I saw pictures.

I didn't even argue at this point.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dress up...

My kids are make believers. Big time. I always hear Hallie and Hunter playing house and it cracks me up all the time. They dress up. Well... Hallie dresses herself, and then throws some accessories on Hunter. But he loves it. And they always fight over the same cell phone. It doesn't matter which phone it is, even though we seem to have 20 of them lying around, they always want the same one. And it changes day to day as to which one it is!
The other day I heard Hallie and Hunter just giggling in his room. I listen for a second and from what I can make of the situation they were playing house. Hallie was the mom, Hunter the husband and then there was the baby. They were making the baby laugh. It was great! (cowboy hats are a staple for every dress up outfit!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Labor of love...

Once upon a time, I came across the coolest website; (which has now been switched to The website had step-by-step instructions on how to build countless pieces of furniture, to resemble those of Pottery Barn. I was in heaven and the wheels started turning. Steve quickly shot me down. "Not until you finish all the projects in the house." He likes to throw out the caveat because he knows I will never be done with projects in the house. Once I get close, I just start re-doing, what I've already done.

I'm sure Steve thinks I'm a little handy-capable, fairly handy - yet somewhat capable! What can I say, I'm the project queen.

So I didn't start the bed right away, but I wanted to. Every couple days I'd pull up the site and look through the plans yet again. I did this for 5 months! That shows some restraint my friends. I'm normally not that disciplined. But I was really waiting for the approval of my husband. Why his approval you wonder? No he doesn't help in the process, but he has to live in a home that is neglected for a week. I really try to shelter him from the mess, but sometimes, especially on a project of this magnitude it is just not possible.

So once I got the green light, (green light meaning he didn't argue as much as he used to about the project) I went full speed ahead. I altered the plans a bit to my liking and purchased all my wood. This proved to be the most difficult task. Buying good quality wood was not easy. Most wood was split or crooked and it was frustrating to sift through piles and piles of wood to find one piece that would work. Definitely my least favorite part of the project.

After the wood was purchased everything went well. I was able to use my mother's day gift: nail gun and compressor which made me feel powerful! It did get difficult as I built the headboard; it just became too large and heavy to move by myself. But luckily I had some great friends that were able to assist me as needed!
After a week and a half (and just two days before I left for Idaho) I was able to put the bed together in our room. What a rewarding feeling. I won't lie, I was a tad worried to sleep on it the first night because I feared I did something wrong and the whole thing might come crashing down on me. But I'm happy to report my worries were gone the next morning when I awoke, and the bed was still standing. YEAH!

Steve will admit, although he fought me on the bed, he too really loves it. What a much needed upgrade from our previous metal frame!

So, just as the bookshelf a while back was confidence builder, so was the bed. I'm ready for something else. Perhaps some nightstands, with drawers.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two wheels...

A year ago, we bought Hallie a bike. Of course it had the traditional bell, streamers coming out of the handles and some training wheels and she loved it. She rode it round and round our neighborhood, stopping at our older neighbors to shoot the breeze.

One day I was talking with a friend and she was saying how she was getting her daughter to ride without training wheels. The thought had never crossed my mind to take them off. I just assumed she would ask to have them off when she was ready! (Of course, this is our first time with this!) So I started thinking it through...If I take off the training wheels, I'm going to have to help her every time she wants to ride the bike (which is a lot). Not sure I wanted that task. Then again, it would be fun to have her ride the bike free and clear. So we removed the training wheels - big mistake. She couldn't touch the ground sitting on the seat, so she had a hard time getting the whole balance thing down.

Luckily a friend had a smaller bike we could borrow so Hallie set off to ride it on her own. After a week and a half, and three 20-minute sessions of working with her she was off. A little wobbly at first, on the grass, off the grass, but she was riding. You could see the sense of accomplishment in her eyes, she was having a blast.

She learned this task just days before she was getting ready for her first day of school and you better believe she was on top of the world...she was going to school and could ride her bike without training wheels. They just don't stop growing do they?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Photo Fun...

We came home from church one day, and as I shuffled the kids out of the car, Hallie turned to talk to me and the light hit her eyes just right. Of course the camera is never too far away....
Surprisingly they were pretty good for being hungry and tired after 1 o'clock church!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Candy Toss...

I was cleaning my kitchen one morning when my friend Paulina stopped by to chat. I was envisioning me productively cleaning a cabinet or two while she sat at the table and chatted with me with our little ones just outside the window jumping on the trampoline.  I got much more than I bargained for.

Paulina is a go-getter and she was not about to sit and watch me go through cupboards. "Let me just help you". So she did. One cabinet turned into two, turned into 5, turned in 22. Yes, we went through every single cabinet. The kitchen was in complete chaos, but the cabinets were refreshingly organized. We came to one cabinet that was slightly comical.

The candy cabinet.

We all have one of those right? I'm not the only one? This is a cabinet where all candy from every holiday and every function gets put. While we taught seminary this was a great cabinet to pull from for any sort of incentive. But since my braces, Steve's diet and the end of seminary the candy cabinet hasn't been touched. It was overflowing.

So we just started throwing it away.

I'm happy to report that we no longer have a candy cabinet. Instead it has been replaced with a small candy shelf. The only candy that was kept, was that which could be housed in two small candy jars: chocolate and non-chocolate.

You should've seen the faces of those kids as they came inside to a trash can full of candy, they thought they had died and gone to heaven!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Little mouse...

We have a wonderful single neighbor who brings over zuchinni for us several times a week (our plants were washed out in the flood). He's a very smart man because he knows by bringing me zucchini, he in return will receive a loaf of zucchini bread. It's a win-win situation.
So for the past couple weeks, we have had several loaves of fresh bread on our counter. One morning I walk into the kitchen to see the stool pushed up to the counter right where the bread sits. Sure enough, some little creature decided to take a nibble.
When I saw Hunter's hands I knew the bread underneath his fingernails was as much evidence as I needed.

Hallie asked what happened and I told her a mouse got into the bread. That was enough for her to hear, she didn't want any more bread. That was easy. Now more bread for me!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Random desk...

*Note: I wrote this post just days before our basement flooded. I'm happy to report that my desk is back in the basement and clean as a whistle! 

I'm just sitting at my desk laughing at the things which sit here, wondering how in the world they ended up here. Sure I've been gone for awhile, but I think the items are now reproducing!
Hole punch
Straight sewing pins
Word of Wisdom FHE cutouts
Canning lids
Mini recording tapes
Unused roll of film (who knows where that came from or how old it is!)
Hunter's toothbrush
Picture Frames
Magnetic Kids game
Hallie's Leapster
Video Camera
A piece to the vaccum
File folders
Square of fabric
Mailing envelopes
Scripture mastery card
Instruction manual
External flash
Bag of miscellaneous items
Empty pencil bin (makes me wonder where the pencils are at!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Our garden has been good to us. Pre-flood that is. You see, our garden sits in the very lowest portion of our yard. Whenever it rains, it puddles in the garden. Generally this works to our advantage and we don't have to water it very often.

However, in the event of a flood, our garden cannot handle the amount of water that will sit and puddle for days on end. As was the case a couple weeks ago. The flood was more than those little plants could handle and we lost 7 of the 9 tomato plants and 2 of the 3 zucchini.

Sad day.

Fortunately, we had plenty of ripe goodness when the flood happened and although we lost the plants I was able to pick what veggies were ready. And what a great harvest we had.
Until next year, my plentiful garden.
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