Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What a Great Family Reunion

We had a great family reunion! Here is a picture of our accommodations. We had 10 tents set up outside. My parents slept inside. We got to bed after midnight every night and woke up with the sun every morning (most of us, anyway!).

My oldest brother and his family couldn't make it, so it wasn't a complete family reunion,but here are the pictures we took. The picture above is of the grandkids and grandparents. Again, it is minus 5 grandkids.

Here is a group shot of everyone that came. I organized where everyone would stand, so you have to say something about what a good "placer" I am.

Our family picture.

The original kids with my parents. Love the look on my dad's face.

I always have a blast when I'm with my family!
The reunion is over now, but the kids and I are staying with my sister Kim for a few weeks. Heath flew back to Colorado on Sunday, so if any of our local friends want to invite him to your BBQ festivities for the 4th of July, he would gladly come over and eat with you! *wink*
I'll try to post more pictures soon. Have a great week!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Doubled Over

We are in Utah and having a great time at the family reunion. I think there are 10 tents in my brother's backyard, and there is still room for all the kids to jump on the trampoline and play tag. Even having only two bathrooms for everyone hasn't been that bad of a situation. We all take turns beautifully.

It's been raining a lot. It's been sunny. It's been windy.

Woke up yesterday morning with my bags of clothes in a puddle. Spent the day with clothes strewn around the tent, getting steam dried.

Came home last night at midnight to see that the rain flap had been blown to the side, thus creating a waterfall right on top of my bed.

I think sleeping in the tent drugs my kids. After they fall asleep, I can move them around, twist blankets around them, step on them accidentally, and still, they do not move. It's like they are in camping comas. I prefer it to them being awake and whiny all night, so I'm not complaining. I just nudge them every once in a while to make sure they are still breathing.

I love listening to rain fall on the tent. As long as the rainflap is working, and I'm snuggled under all the blankets, I'm good.

We had one family that couldn't make it. My oldest brother's family. We are bummed.

I think my belly doubled in size since Wednesday. Seriously. I find it very strange. Luckily, my boobs didn't experience the same phenomenon. They are already over their limit.

Got a big day planned today. Over and out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Birthday Chart

I realize these are really terrible pictures of this birthday chart, but it kind of goes along with the really crappy time I had making it. It was supposed to be a quick craft that was fun and, well, it wasn't so fun to assemble it, that's for sure. This chart is a gift to my mom, so she has a fun way to keep track of everyone's birthdates. It includes my parents, their 10 children, all the spouses, and all the grandchildren....so for us, it's quite a big chart.

So if I've inspired you to make a birthday chart, let me give you some do's and don't in making it.

DO get yourself a long board that is wide enough to spell out BIRTHDAY, as well as have the months of the year written across it. It was sanded and stained, but you can paint it to match your decor if you want.

DO get your really talented sister to write out the words in a fun font using a sharpie marker, or you can use a die-cut machine, like the Cricut, to make your letters in vinyl.

DO get a number of smaller boards to write everyone's names and birthdates on it. Make sure that you have enough for everyone in your family, and enough extra for additions to the family.

DO try to get thick boards for the nameplates. Mine were very thin and I ended up needing to come up with a different solution for how to attach them to each other. If you look at the next picture, I used some 5/8" hook eye screws on the underneath side of the big birthday chart, centered under each month. Originally, I was planning on using the same hook eye screws in the top and bottom of each name plate, to make my chain going down under each month. However, because my boards were too thin to use those screws, I needed to come up with a different solution.

The husband and I drilled a hole in the top and bottom of each nameplate. I wanted to find some "S" hooks to link together, but the closest thing I could find in the store was a chain. So I took apart almost every link and made my own "S" shape out of it using pliers (took a long time), and hooked one in the top and bottom of each name plate.
Then when I was placing each name plate under the correct birthday month, I realized that my nameplates were too wide to fit nicely under their appropriate months. At this point, I was VERY frustrated. I made it work by staggering the columns so that you could still read everyone's name. Make sense?
In other words, don't do what I did. Let my mistakes help you. In short, here is what you need to remember: Make sure your BIRTHDAY board is long enough so that each of your name plates (which are thick enough to screw a hook eye screw into) fit side by side along the length of the big board. Prepare extra name plates if you expect additions to your family.
Finally, if you want a good example of this chart, LOOK HERE. She did it correctly. I'm the loser. However, in the few days that I've had this chart up on my wall, it's really growing on me. It's very artistic. It's also fun to see the legacy my parents have made.

There's a cricket outside my window

It's already been a terribly long night. I had so much to do this evening, in packing and preparing for our trip, that I was up much later than I wanted to be. I had even managed to color my hair, which badly needed it, as well as apply some sunless tanner to my legs and to the husband's back, which the husband was more in favor of than I was. I hate sunless tanners, or more especially, the smell of them.

Then when I finally was able to lie down in bed, my stomach was so tensed up from stress, that it was really hurting. I couldn't fall asleep.

All night I've been smelling hair color and tanning lotion. It's sickening. With my sense of smell already at superhuman levels, it is just too much.

After hours and hours, a cricket starts chirping outside my window. The noise of the fan does not drown out it's cries. Shutting the window does not make it any quieter. I'm about to scream. In fact, I do. Like a madwoman, I throw my body pillow away from me, stomp over to the window, and pound on it with all my might and scream "Be Quiet!!"

This alerts the husband that perhaps I'm not having the best night.

He brings me downstairs to our guest bed to get away from the cursed cricket. It works. I can't hear the blasted thing anymore. But I still can't fall asleep.

I lie there for another hour awake until I hear something that sounds like the house is caving in. Oh, it's only the sprinkler system turning on, but the noise is horrific.

"That's it. I'm done!"

I come upstairs to check the time, and see if I can be put out of my misery and just get ready for the day. It's 4 am.

So I decide to type up this post, and am sitting harmlessly at the computer, and a giant dragon-like moth comes swooping down at me and starts buzzing around my ears and flapping itself in my hair, ready to set up permanent dwelling. At this point, the moth is the recipient of my craze. I am desperate to take out my tired revenge on something.

I could really do without moths and crickets right now. More especially, I'm getting so sickened by the smell of tanning lotion. I'm going to take a shower. Not that it will help.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's A......

Looks like we'll have a boy as the baby of the family! The Ultrasound Lady asked me right away what I thought we were having, and I told her BOY, although if it was a girl, it would be a lot easier since we have tons of girl stuff still from Georgie.

She put the Doppler thingie to my belly, I looked at the screen, and I said "It's a boy!" She said "Yup. Looks like you need to go shopping."

Our little baby was moving so much, that it was hard to get some good profile pictures of him. Baby is the length of a small banana, and weighs 10 oz.

We loved the Ultrasound Lady. Sometimes you get those people who don't say a word, and don't let you look at the screen. This lady talked us through everything. She was fantastic. Looks like I'll get to see her again in 4 weeks, though. She couldn't get good enough images of the baby's heart because of how he was lying, and his kidneys need another looking at also. So we'll be back.

This is a picture that Kamy took of us right before we left this morning. I'm 19 weeks today. Also, I know my chest is huge. You don't need to comment about it. I can't contain them anymore. They are as bound up as I can make them. At this rate, my boobs will be bigger than my belly by the time I'm 9 months.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Trip to the Store

I always make lists when I go to the store, and even then, I usually forget at least one item on the list. It seems that Walmart has gotten my entire paycheck (well, my husband's paycheck, that is) this month. I just get back from the store, realize what I forgot, and add more to the list.

This evening, I have yet another trip planned. Hopefully my last one before we head out on Thursday for our Family Reunion Vacation in Utah. There are just a few stray things I need this time, and as I was glancing over the list, making sure I didn't forget anything, I got a chuckle out of what I wrote.

Body lotion
Adult Gifts

I think if anyone saw my list, they might raise their eyebrows and drop their jaws. It wouldn't be as fun to explain my list, as see their assumptions written all over their face. In any case, I'll explain.
I need a bottle of lotion that I can close the cap on, as the one I have in our room is a squirt top...which is hard to travel with.
I need two white elephant gifts that are meant for adults, as opposed to a kid gift, for our gift exchange.
I need batteries for the flashlights, Reeses for the drive over, and floaties so my babies don't drown in the pool when we go swimming.

I'm sure as soon as I come home, I'll remember something else that I needed, but I'm sure to remember my "adult gifts". Hopefully.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Passing Suit

This is a picture of Keaton exactly two years ago. He had this suit in his closet for a long time, and finally was able to fit into it. He absolutely LOVED having a 3-piece suit to wear, and he wore it almost every week to church, for two years.

It has been getting a bit small on him, in the length, so we told him he'd have to give it to his brother. He was sad to let it go, but I found another jacket and pants set at the store, and even though it doesn't have the vest that he likes, he is happy with his new church suit.

These past few years, with Keaton wearing his suit, Kolby has been more than happy with a simple button up shirt and a pair of Khaki pants to wear. He wasn't interested in wearing a tie, let alone a suit.

However, maybe he just wasn't give the opportunity. When we told him he could wear Keaton's suit now, he was thrilled. Here he is, jumping through the jungle of our back yard.

The boys are two years apart, and they wear the same clothes, except in length. They share all their shirts, jackets, underwear, socks, shorts, and pajamas. The only thing they don't share are their pants, which differ in one size, simply for the length.

What fine looking boys I have, even if they close their eyes for pictures.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Husband

I met Heath when we were in High School. He was a year younger than me in school. Since we lived in an area where our church boundaries were quite extensive, and he went to a different ward, I didn't know he was LDS for quite a while. The school boundaries and church boundaries overlapped a few blocks out in the country where Heath lived. Therefore, he went to our school, but another ward. Anyway, we were friends.
My Junior year, and Heath's Sophomore year, we were in a musical together. Practically the whole high school was involved in this musical, but the thing that stands out to me, is that in this musical, Heath played my husband. What a coincidence.
My Senior year, and Heath's Junior year, we had a mutual class. We got to know each other even better. We talked a lot during class and in the hallways, and we had mutual friends we sat with during lunch. At the time, I had a boyfriend who lived about 40 minutes away. We decided that we would all go to Senior Ball together, so Heath asked a mutual friend to be his date. The four of us double dated to the dance.
Many times, Heath and I found ourselves dancing with each other, instead of our dates, for whatever reason. We had a fun night. As it was, I had my first kiss that night...from my boyfriend, not from Heath. It wasn't great.
I graduated high school and went to college. Heath finished his last year of high school, then went on a mission for our church. Four years passed before we connected again. I was just finishing up my last month of college and Heath was just getting ready to go to college. He called my home phone, thinking "whatever happened to my friend Shaina". My dad talked to him, and told him I was at college, but that he would deliver the message to me. Later, my dad called me, gave me Heath's phone number, and told me to call him. I was very much surprised, first off to hear from my old friend Heath, but also that my dad was telling me....no, totally encouraging me, to call a boy, which traditionally, he was against.
So I called Heath up, and the first thing he asked me was "So, are you married with, like, 5 kids by now?" I asked him just how old he thought I was, and reminded him it had only been four years since we had seen each other, which would prove his question almost impossible. We talked for a while, and made plans to get together the few days we had overlapping, when I would be home from school and just before he was to leave to start his new semester. I hung up the phone and started talking with my roommate Bethany, who was my childhood best friend. She knew Heath well. I said "Wouldn't it be funny if I ended up marrying Heath Nunnelly?" We laughed a bit about that.
As it happened, we had our date before he left for school, and with parting words, he said "I'll call you soon!"
Four months went by and I heard not one word from him. Loser.
The night of New Years Eve, I got a phone call. It went something like this: "Hi Shaina! This is Heath!"
"Oh, long time! Weren't you supposed to call me months ago?"
"Yeah, sorry about that. I've been having fun dating lots of girls here." (insert annoying sigh from me) "Anyway, what are you doing tonight?"
"I'm going to a party."
"Oh. I was hoping we could get together. I leave tomorrow to go back to school"
I gave in. "You could come with me to the party if you want."
He gladly accepted, and met me at the house of some friends, and we spent the evening together, along with a household of people, to ring in the New Year.
After midnight, I walked him outside to his car and we exchanged email addresses (which was kinda the "new thing" back then) and he promised (again) to email me the next day. I doubted he would.
The next day, I got an email from him. So begins our courtship. We emailed each other almost everyday, and sometimes multiple times a day. At first, the emails were very neutral, him asking for dating advice (gag me) and me talking about my job working at the middle school. By Valentines day, things started getting a bit more involved. Heath planned a quick weekend trip back home, and we spent the whole weekend together. It was then that we knew that if we continued this, that we would get married. Neither of us seemed to have any objections to that, so our emails became more and more personal and lovey. Emails changed to phone calls, and we spent hours (and hundreds of dollars) talking to each other. Permission was asked from the father for my hand in marriage. We just had to see each other in person to seal the deal. At the end of March, I drove down to Rexburg to spend the week with Heath and to "officially" get engaged. We had our first kiss the night he proposed to me. I accepted of course.
After a week together, I drove back home with a ring on my finger. Heath still had one more month of school before he could be done with the semester. We pined for each other. When he got home from school, we had a month of face-to-face dating before we were married, on the 4th of June.
I saved almost all of our emails during those four months of "email dating". I like to read upon them every once in a while. The first email was signed "Your friend, Heath" and the last email was signed "Your future husband".
I love our unique story of how we got together. Now, ten years into our marriage, and almost five kids later, our love has grown stronger. Happy Father's Day babe. Love you so much!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Yesterday was a busy day for me, but I wanted to take the kids to the park again. We left at 10:30, and I packed the usual snacks for a two hour park date: a granola bar for each of the kids and a bottle of water.

As soon as we arrived, I started hearing the normal whining. "I'm hungry!" This is said with the most pathetic face they can come up with, and is accompanied by arms folded over their tummies, hunched over in anguish.

I remind them that they just got done with their late breakfast barely an hour ago. I think they can survive. Go play.

This continues for the next thirty minutes, with each of them complaining to me that they are close to death from being so hungry. I give them each a granola bar and tell them that is the only thing I brought for them to eat. We'll have lunch when we get home.

They rip into the granola bars like they've been fasting for 8 days, even though they grumble that they don't like those granola bars. Then, for the next hour, they continue to complain at how hungry they are, and even go so far as to try to manipulate food from the friends that came with us. I even caught Keaton standing over the blanket of a family we didn't know, who were enjoying their lunch. He was totally stalking their food!

I am so tired of needing to pack the pantry for an hour and a half worth of park play time! It's like a trigger inside them...as soon as we go somewhere to play, they can think of nothing else than eating. Yesterday was the last straw for me. I'm not even packing them a snack next time we go to the park. I don't think I can handle their grumbling anymore. We might not even make it to the park if they act the same way. I'm done!

On the way home, after a severe talking to, the kids were very quiet in the car. I was able to look at all the street names that we passed. One thing I love about living here is that there are such pretty and unique street names, like Tulip Tree, Buttermilk, Pleasant Lane, and Winding Hill Road. Among such treasures was this street name: Purgatory. How terrible! I think that would really deter me from buying a house on that street! Luckily, a few streets later, there came another interesting street name: Deliverance. Too bad they didn't intersect. Now that would be quite the unique street address.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's on my mind.

Right now I'm up earlier than I want to be. This summer sun is killing my desire to sleep in. The kids are all still asleep, which is wonderful. Georgie escaped to "teaton and bobie's room" to sleep sometime during the night. She prefers to sleep in the boys' room, for some reason.
I'm tired of eating scrambled eggs for breakfast. I really don't like eggs a great amount, so I'm anxious to have something else, but since I don't eat cereal, my options are limited. Sometimes I get smart at the store, and buy some granola and yogurt, which I eat together, but I guess I've been lacking in brain cells lately, as I was at the store last night and walked right past the yogurt, looking at the different flavors, and didn't even buy any. I'm going to go eat leftover pizza for breakfast.

The kids like to have "porridge" for breakfast rather than cereal.

Heath just expressed an interest in eating cracked wheat for breakfast, saying he absolutely loves it. In all the years we've been together, I've never once heard that before. Guess we learn new things about each other everyday....

...like the fact that he prefers to use my styling products on his hair, instead of all the "manly" products he buys, then regrets. Or that he doesn't buy man razors anymore, and is super content to use my purple and pink razors. However, since I am wearing his jammies this morning, I guess it's ok that we share things.

I have a lot of things to do before our family reunion. Games to plan, presents to make, (we always have a white elephant exchange, which is hilarious) freezer meals to make, and craft projects to finish. Speaking of crafty things, I'm not the only one in my family who is crafty. There are actually quite a few of us, but my sister Sharon, in particular, is having a cute giveaway on her blog in honor of her 200th post. This is one of the four prizes you could win. Scratch that. I'm going to win this prize. The other three are up for grabs. So go over to her BLOG and give her some love...but don't you dare win this prize. It's mine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Anyone Out There?

Sometimes I feel pretty lonely in ciberworld. Are people still reading this blog?

What is everyone up to? Do you have vacations planned? Yard work? Gardening? Summer school?

I've got a family reunion at the end of next week in Utah. We leave a week from tomorrow. It is a reunion for my side of the family. Just my parents, all their kids, the kids' spouses, and grandchildren. Wouldn't seem like a large amount, but we number almost 50! If you can believe it, we will all be camping in my brother's backyard. We joke about it being a "tent city", but I'm sure it will be a sight to see. Hopefully we can fit all the tents back there, and still be able to walk around. The real problem is going to be negotiating showers in the morning. I think it may take all day to get everyone ready.

After a weekend of family fun, Heath will fly back home while I stay in Utah and visit longer with family. I'll stay for about two or three weeks. During that time, Heath will be here working. Since he just started his new job, we were lucky he was given two days off to drive over with me and stay the weekend. Sadly, he won't be able to bum around Utah for three weeks.

In preparation, I'm going food shopping today so I can make some freezer meals for the husband. If he can't have me, at least he can have some good dinners, right? I've got a few new recipes up my sleeves, so we'll see if they are worthy of a blog post.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Schedule

I've been asked to share our family's summer schedule with everyone. First off, it really helps if you plan the schedule with your kids. If they give you input, and decide with you, they are more likely to stick with it. So now, sit down with the kids and make a chart on a piece of paper that breaks up the day by the hour, and start filling it out.

First off, we put down some of the things we did once a week. These included (1) Library trip, (2) Park day, and (3) Play dates. Every Monday, we go to the Library. Every Wednesday morning we go to the park. Every Tuesday we try to have a play date with someone, either at our house or at their friend's house. Last summer, since we lived near the beach, we had a beach day, so put down whatever your family likes to do.

Secondly, everyday the kids have specific things they need to do. Everyday after breakfast, the kids are in charge of cleaning their rooms and then picking up on additional room in the house, like the family room or the bathroom. In addition to that, not relating to the schedule, each of the kids has a specific chore. Keaton waters the outside plants, Kamy takes the garbage out, etc. I put this down first thing in the morning, so I have a clean house for the day, and the kids know that if they take too long doing it, they won't get to do the next activity on the schedule.

Also, I have set aside a specific time everyday for reading. That includes me reading to the kids, as well as them reading by themselves, or me helping Kolby with his reading.

We also have an hour set aside for schoolwork/artwork. This helps keep the kids alert in their studies, writing, etc.

Now, I'll admit, that if activities come up that take us away from the schedule, or if I'm not feeling very well that day, the schedule gets forgotten for a time. Be flexible with it. I think that we have it mostly for the times the kids come to me and whine that they are bored or that they want to watch tv, but I want them to read. All I say is "What's on the schedule?" and they don't complain anymore.

I also have scheduled "play outside" time, as well as one hour of tv/movie/wii time a day.

So here is a quick breakdown of the schedule.

8-9am Get up, eat breakfast.
9-10am Clean up rooms and house. Get dressed, brush teeth and hair.
10-11am (Monday Library) (Tuesday Play date) (Wed Park) Other days are open to suggestion.
11-Noon Play outside or continue with prior hour's activities
Noon-1pm Lunch and clean up
1-2pm Reading Time
2-3pm TV/movie/wii time (in other words, rest time for me!)
3-4pm Schoolwork/Art
4-5pm Play outside

Hope you find something that works for you!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Best Cure For Bad Dreams

Snuggling asleep next to your daddy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Afternoon at the Park!

Today was the first sunny day all week, from what I can remember. We have Wednesday mornings planned for our park day, but it was so chilly and overcast that day, that we had to postpone it. We woke up to beautiful sunshine with very few clouds, and when the kids asked if we could go to the park, I was more than anxious to agree.

We detoured on the way to invite some friends to come with us, and we met up at a park north of town, called FoxRun Regional Park. Keaton had requested a park that had a see saw in it, professing his anguish in never having been on a see saw in his whole entire life, and he just couldn't be happy in a park that didn't have a see saw...so I looked online and found a park accommodated his desire. I was more impressed with the park, because it had a few large ponds in the area too. Seemed like a great place to spend the afternoon.

When we got there, Keaton found a friend from his class at school, and quickly forgot about the see saw when his friend let him take a turn on his skateboard. At the end of the 20 minute lesson time his friend gave him, he was given the title "professional" and was quite proud of himself. Then he asked me for a skateboard for his birthday. Here he is demonstrating a turn.

But he didn't neglect the see saw.
Kamy, Olivia, and Georgie took turns on the tire swing, but they swung in it mildly compared to what the boys were doing later.
Kids love to shovel anything in a bucket. Who knows who the pail and shovel belonged to, but Georgie had a good time playing with it, that is, until a fly buzzed by her.
Here is Keaton helping Georgie up on the swing. He is always very thoughtful with her.
This picture was taken mid a hectic and chaotic spin cycle on the tire swing. They loved it!
After they played for a long time, we went to the little lakes. There were two that were connected by a little stream. It was a really peaceful area.

Just to prove I was there, here's our token family picture. We'll definitely go back soon!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More Clarification Needed?

I have ARTWORK time scheduled everyday for the kids. Guess I need to be a bit more specific on exactly HOW this should be accomplished.
The rule-breaker tearfully participated in the next scheduled activity: Clean-up Time.

Wanting Food!

I am hungry now! I've been going on hardly any food the last two or three months. Nothing ever sounded good, and cooked meat always made my stomach turn. Not that raw meat made my mouth water, more like the smell and idea of meat was revolting.

I survived on drinking cranberry juice, eating cashews, peanut butter crackers, fruit, and salad. I usually had scrambled eggs for breakfast, and although I could eat them, eggs aren't my total favorite.

But now things are different! I had THREE helpings of sausage penne last night (check on my sidebar for the link to the recipe. It's a keeper!) and the whole day yesterday, I was salivating over planning the rest of the week's menu. Tonight I'm making cube steak with country gravy and mashed potatoes. It was something that I grew up having at the ranch, cooked over dutch ovens, and it continued to be a family favorite in my house growing up. Actually, I'll make ranch potatoes. Even better.

By the way, when we had our ranch cookouts at the rec center, everything was cooked over the open fire, in dutch ovens. We all sat around the big fire pit on benches and logs. We'd play with cousins and ride huge rope swings, and have a fabulous time. Then we'd go back to our houses on the ranch. So we didn't live as primitive as the photo suggested in the other post. We played outside a lot, so we were always dirty, and we enjoyed cooking over the campfire.

Getting back to food, I'm a bit worried that my sudden appetite will hamper my plans to keep my weight gain to a low number. But I did get something last night that always helps to control my need to eat: crushed ice. I got five bags of ice from sonic, and I'm a happy girl. Mmmm. Today is going to be a good day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Updated Pregnancy Picture: 17 Weeks (4 Months)

It's not the greatest picture, but we'll see if I get better with taking pictures at this angle during the next 5 months.

Sometimes I look bigger, sometimes I look smaller. I think it all depends on what I'm wearing. I've gained 5 pounds, as of today's appointment. I'm a bit surprised it's not more, considering I had to have gained at least 10 pounds in my chest. I'm completely bursting through my bras, and totally need to get some new ones.

I have my ultrasound in exactly 2 weeks. The kids are placing bets on if it's a boy or a girl. My initial guess is boy.

Got Zucchini Growin' in your Garden?

If you do, then you probably enjoy eating zucchini. If you like zucchini, you probably like zucchini bread. I love zucchini, and I'm so glad I found a recipe for zucchini bread that didn't have a whole lot of oil in it. That has been my complaint before...the bread tastes so saturated with oil.
This recipe only uses 1/2 a cup of oil and it makes two loaves. Give it a try. You can find the link for the recipe here, at my favorite cooking site Coconut and Lime. If you want to browse around at her different recipes, you can click on the ingredients list at the top of the page to find recipes broken down by ingredient. However, this is not an all inclusive list. Lower down on her main page, she has a search bar, and you can type in whatever you are looking for, and chances are, she's made it. She has great instructions, and great thoughts on how each recipe turns out.
I've made a number of her recipes that have now become a permanent part of my menu, including the Fresh Cranberry Cookies, Jelly Donut Cupcakes, and Winter White Cauliflower Soup that are posted on my sidebar.
So, give it a try. I'm going back to have a second slice of my zucchini bread.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today It's My Birthday!

I was born more than three decades earlier, in a little town in the midwest. I was the fourth child for my parents, who later went on to have six more kids after me. I secretly think it's because I was so amazing, they tried six more times to get another kid who was as fantastic as I was. (It's my story, ok?)
My mom loved me so much, she just couldn't bear to let go of me, even when I was having my picture taken.
I eventually made it out of my mom's arms, and grew up to be quite the child. I never did anything wrong. (well, there was one time I remember trying to hide under the kitchen table when I was supposed to be getting a spanking. My dad tried to grab me, and I slid over to the other side. It was a great game, of staying just out of reach from my dad and laughing everytime he tried to grab me. That is, until he caught me. Boy was he mad. I was turned over his knee and received spankings until I didn't think I could ever stop crying. I wasn't laughing anymore, I'll tell ya that.) I still don't remember what I did wrong that day, so we'll still say that I was the most angelic child. Everyone should learn by my example.

We use to play out on the swingset in our yard. Actually, it was a pole that was centered high in the air between two trees, with chains connected to it somehow so it could form swings. Later, we took the swings off and used it as our gymnast bar, twirling around and doing the most amazing backflips off of it. (I'm the one standing in the middle)

We were growing up on the ranch at this time, and this is a classic picture of me and my older brother Jamie, taking a little rest from running around, while waiting for the food to be served. Actually, I think we were in trouble, which is why we were sitting there. Again, I claim innocence. (You can see my Great Grandma in the blue shirt in the background, surrounded by dutch ovens. It was a good life, with good food.)

So goes the story of my first eight years of life. After that, I just got more incredible.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Anniversary Excursion

We were able to leave the kids with some great friends Friday night and Saturday morning, so that Heath and I could have a little getaway for our Anniversary. We started off by going to dinner at the Olive Garden. Yummy. I was so full on my favorite Zuppa Tuscana Soup, that by the time I got my plate of fettuccine, I was full. I saved it and had it later.
We drove out of town about an hour, and nestled between the mountains was our Bed and Breakfast. It was a beautiful log cabin style house and we loved everything about it. Over the garage was a rec room of sorts, and they had a ping pong table. Heath and I tried our hands at a few games. Actually, we barely hit the ball. Apparently, we stink at ping pong.
After scouting the room in search of stray ping pong balls, Heath found some weights that he strapped to his wrists to "better his game".
Sad to say, it didn't make the game any better, but we had a great time anyway.

The next morning, we enjoyed sitting on the porch as the sun reached over the mountains. Beautiful.

After breakfast, we said goodbye to our Bed and Breakfast hosts, and drove to Manitou Springs, a quaint little touristy town at the base of Pikes Peak. We parked the car and walked up and down main street and enjoyed the morning.

We found some interesting shops. This looked like a fun place to eat. The Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant.
I saw this old piece of rusted machinery that looked like some of the old parts we used to play on when I was a kid, growing up on the ranch. I thought it would be a fun reminder for my sisters.
There are many natural springs located throughout the city. Most of them taste like terrible soda water. Heath sampled a few.
Some shops have some crazy things for sale. I think Heath looks like Will Ferrell in this picture. That is, if Will Ferrell ever played a mountain man in a movie. We sat on benches and steps and watched the people around us and enjoyed the sunshine. It was a gorgeous day.

Then, it was lunchtime. We came home and ate our Olive Garden leftovers and got into bed.....and took a nap. We were exhausted. It was a really nice getaway.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rocky Mountains (Part 2)

After we had our picnic lunch, we started off down the trail. We hiked along Adams Falls, then continued on the trail for another few miles.
When we got to the Falls, everyone wanted to jump in the water. By the way, we borrowed a backpack carrier from a friend, and I'm afraid it has ruined all future hiking endeavors for our family. Georgie sat like a Queen the entire time, and refused to get out to walk. She'll never go back to normal hiking again.

We saw lots of little animal life on the trail. We had to point out each one, every time we saw one.
Heath tried his hand at rock climbing, with Queen Georgie along for the ride.

As I was setting up the camera for the 10 second delay picture so that all of us could be in the same photo, a sweet older couple came hiking up and offered to take our picture for us.

We didn't get much further on the trail before we stopped for a snack and a rest. We finally persuaded Georgie to get out of the backpack carrier. What was the first thing she did? She tried to climb on my back for a 'piggy-ride'.
Kolby picked a lovely wildflower for me, that was growing dangerously close to the edge of steep incline.
Then we turned around and hiked back. Kolby was dragging by the time we made it back to the starting point. I've never seen him so worn out before.

It was a nice trip. We are glad we went, but we are just as happy with our hiking trails closer to home.