Thursday, June 28, 2012

More iPhone photos...

Here are some more random photos from my phone that I came across...

Sometimes I do whatever it takes to entertain my children while shopping, and I go to more extreme measures when they're someone else's kids. What I can't remember is whether I tried shoving the pretzel up his nose or if he did that on his own. Sorry Nicole! (Do you remember that crazy trip to Hobby Lobby with all our children??) While living in Milwaukee, I drove past this business on the way to Costco - After driving this crazy shady way a couple of times, I found a new route. Luckily you can get your screen printing done for your family reunion and the funeral. I can't remember the last time I saw coordinating shirts at a funeral. Maybe they're on to something... I woke up one morning (while pregnant with Bennett) with a black eye. I have no idea what happened. Steve swears he didn't hit me while I was sleeping. No one really knows.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Idaho Part 2...

After our reunion in Rexburg, Steve flew home while I drove the five hours with my sister-in-law and her children to my parents house. 6 young children in one car can be a little crazy - one hour into the drive I started questioning our decision to drive together. But we did it and each passing hour it got just a little easier.

At my parents house we enjoyed our free time. It was sprinklers and boating and playgrounds and parks and friends. It's nice to step away from normal life every once in a while just for a bit. To allow my kids time in the house that I grew up in and for them to do the same things I did as a little kid. Hallie loved hearing stories from when I was a little girl. She wanted to know where my bed was, what hung on my walls, what books did I read. She loved the questions. Hallie spent a lot of time at the piano. My mom taught her a song the first day we were there and I heard that song at least 10 times a day every day we were there. Towards the end of our stay my mom taught her an additional song and it was a relief! The weather was more than enjoyable, especially compared to our Arizona triple digit weather. We spent a lot of time sitting in the grass and the kids got a kick out of the sprinkler. We only run through sprinklers once a year when we visit Idaho, so it's always a treat. Of course vacations aren't always perfect...the kids don't sleep in their beds, they wake too early, they don't have their normal responsibilities and sometimes there are serious breakdowns. Luckily we had more happy moments than anything Our time passed much too quickly. I would've given anything to have another week, it's never long enough! I've got to figure out next year how to get more time in Idaho. The kids and I are flexible, it's Steve we need to work on!

No more Costco burgers...

When I want to bbq, I go to Costco and buy a lifetime supply of frozen patties. They're easy and they're tasty. It never crossed my mind that I could make them. I figured if Costco made them, they're probably the best.

Of course pinterest opened my eyes - I came across a recipe from Little Miss Momma blog for some homemade patties. I'm a sucker for a new recipe so with my brother and his family in town, we fired up the grill. And although it is somewhat embarrassing to admit, for the first time ever we used patties that I hand mixed with love...and cheese. I read through a lot of feedback from the original recipe and several complained that the burgers fell apart. I added an egg to bind it together and ours turned out great, much tastier than the Costco alternative. Who would've thought!??

3 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20)
1 cup of grated Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 egg
season salt
cracked black pepper
onion powder

Mix it all together with your hands and form into patties - remember they will shrink!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Idaho Part 1...

Going to Idaho means family time and cooler weather. Much cooler. Usually by the time we go to Idaho, we've been in triple digits in Arizona and it rarely crosses my mind to pack anything for cooler weather. I'm lucky I threw in a sweatshirt for each of the kids just before leaving. We used them everyday for a whole week! We spent some time in Rexburg with my entire family. My sister is finishing up her last semester there and so we brought the family to her. Steve and I are both graduates from there and I love going back to visit. We always drive by our first home and talk about the good ol' days. We walk campus and notice all that has changed. The campus is in constant construction and there has been so much that has changed. Like the huge conference-like facility that can accomodate the entire student population. It was impressive. I love to return to the Spori building where I worked and had all my classes. So many good memories. We spent time playing tennis and playing at the park. (There never seems to be enough time to play all the tennis that we dream of playing.) We visited a natural hot springs which was ideal when the temperature outside was 60 degrees. My family has a variety of interests, and they are not always shared by all. Although Steve and I love tennis, not everyone does. And there are plenty of other activities that members of my family enjoy, but I don't. So trying to come up with activities for a reunion that keeps everyone's interests can be challenging. But I think we nailed it with the sand dunes. Everyone, including the children were involved and it was awesome. We rented machines for an hour and spent time going up and down sand dune after sand dune. It was bumpy and crazy and we had a great time. Hunter loved it so much he fell asleep while out on the dunes. Pure exhaustion and fun; an activity enjoyed by all.

My sister's fiance surprised her for the weekend which brought tears of joy. We stayed up late joking and laughing together. We ate and ate some more. We reunited and built relationships. We had, by all accounts, a successful reunion. It is great when four days with family doesn't seem long enough...

Home again...

It's been a month of travels for our little family. We made our annual trip to Idaho to stay with my family and it was fantastic just like it always is.

We've spent some serious time in the car. When my kids are happy and content watching movies, I love road trips. When they're screaming for snacks and crying out in pain every time their sibling touches them it's like nails on a chalkboard.

But I really do love being in the car, driving across state lines, seeing new landscape and vegetation. There's something very energizing about seeing the United States through my windshield. I find myself listening to certain music as we hit different milestones from our drive. Some areas are nostalgic for a variety of reasons and I can't help but reminisce. I love it. I much prefer it than flying (at least on 17 hour drives or less!).

But as much as I love a good road trip, I love being home more. And it feels good to be home.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh the places you'll go...

I work with the young women in our church and we recently held the "Laurel Banquet" for the graduating girls. Using the "Oh the places you'll go" book as our theme, we set forth with our plans. It would be an outdoor dinner party with fun whimsical decorations.

The day of, we set everything up early and marveled at our work. Weather is rarely a concern in this area and we were devastated when a light rain sprinkle covered the ground. And had it just sprinkled, we would have been fine, but it turned into a serious downpour. We didn't have a back-up plan because we didn't think that one of the 7 days it rains a year would fall on our banquet evening. But it did and we had to scramble...a lot.

We ended up spending the evening together in a converted garage and although it wasn't what we had planned, it was wonderful.

The invites: All the girls who weren't graduating sported cute handmade aprons to serve the graduates and their families.
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