Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I feel like it's something I haven't had time to do for many months.

More than anything, I just want to take a deep breath and rest for a minute.

What is it with time lately? Everything seems so rushed.

I desperately wanted to enjoy the holidays- just wanted to sit and drink hot cocoa and read Christmas stories to my little one. I don't think I even drank one cup of the chocolate stuff- and read only a hurried story one night while tucking him into bed. And now the wrapping paper fills the garbage cans and the decorations have all been put away.

I don't know if it's because I'm in school while trying (emphasis on trying) to be a mom- with all of it's many duties, or if it's simply because time has sped up. But I'm feeling it big time.

I'm not sure it's something I can completely control, but I'm afraid if I don't try to do something to change things, I'm going to be putting Christmas decorations up again before I can even blink.

So for what it's worth, I am going to set a New Year's resolution right here, right now, for you to witness. It is simply to be still.

I plan to cut out some non-essentials to make more time for being still. I don't want another year to fly by so fast that it gives me whip lash. I want to make time for more of the little things in life, time to notice and enjoy them. And hopefully, I'll be able to share some of them with you.

So as we say good-bye to 2009 and hello to 2010, it is my hope that each day feels more like 24 hours instead of 24 minutes.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you have the very best New Year. I plan to as well. And I plan to savor the moment that the clock strikes twelve- to say good-bye to a year that went faster than I can even believe and then welcome in a year of many hopes and new experiences.

Happy 2010 to you all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sally Lunn Bread

As if Christmas morning wasn't amazing enough, I am going to share one more thing that you can do to make it just that much more memorable- and tasty!

Behold the infamous Sally Lunn Bread recipe! (It's what's been served on Christmas morning since I was a young little thing- and still to this day!)

Sally Lunn Bread

1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. lemon extract

Mix together and pour into a greased 8X8 pan

1/4 c. sugar
1/2 Tbs. lemon rind (or 1/4 tsp lemon extract)
1/2 Tbs. butter (melted)
dash of nutmeg

mix together and sprinkle on top of the batter- bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes

This cake is best served warm, and with hot chocolate! Enjoy my friends!!!

And I wish you all the merriest of Christmas'!


oh! I almost forgot...I usually double the recipe! It makes for great Christmas lunches too! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Guns and Tampons

Erik and I have been thinking about getting Isaac a rifle for his next birthday. We have consulted my dad, who is a big gun junkie, about which rifle would be a good starter for him. My dad LOVES talking about guns, going to the store to look at guns, buying guns, cleaning guns, target shooting, and some hunting here and there. He has managed to get both Isaac and Erik very excited about buying a gun.

So it wasn't surprising to me when a gun showed up on Erik's Christmas wish list this year -along with the exact gun he wanted, circled in an ad- so thoughtful!

"I thought we were just getting a gun for Isaac. When did this turn in to you getting a gun too?" I asked him one day.

"Well, when your dad and I take Isaac out shooting, I need a gun too." he said.

"My dad has lots of guns though. Can't you just borrow one of his?" I naively asked.

"Umm", he paused, thinking how he could bring this to my level of understanding- again, so thoughtful! "guns", he said, "are like tampons. You just don't share those things."

Hmmm. Well, I guess there's a lot I don't know about guns. But he's definitely no expert when it comes to tampons. They have to be one of the most shared items among the female population. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sweet Sixteen part 2

We took her to one of our favorite restaurants, Five Alls, for a 5 course dinner. Drinking out of the pewter goblets was the big hit of the night!

Isn't it cool that I have pictures of her first date? And that I can put them all over my blog?
After singing her a stirring rendition of, 'Happy Birthday' she ate her parfait and then we dashed back home for
cake and ice cream with her brothers, grandpa, and uncle who were all anxious for her to arrive!

It was a wonderful day full of great memories. She kept saying she didn't want the day to end. How sweet is that? She said it didn't feel like a birthday but more like a celebration that she can now date. Funny.

Happy Sweet Sixteen to my favorite daughter!!!! I love you!

Sweet Sixteen part 1

When the school day was through, she was given an envelope. Inside, a little rhyme told her it was time to celebrate, and that she was going for a little ride.

I let her drive. She likes driving a lot! She loves driving her daddy's car!

She went from house to house following the clues. At each stop she received a gift, a rose and a special birthday greeting from friends who have meant a lot to her over the years we have lived in this area.
Jaden was her first crush.
A hug from her daddy!
Bethany, an awesome neighbor who we lived across the street from for 4 years.
Her friend and dance teacher, Laura.
Her big sis, Teagen.
Her best friend for years, Audrey, and family.Her young woman leader, Shelly, who has become a good friend.
Her past young woman leader, also named Shelly.
And last but not least, her main squeeze, Kevin.
After the scavenger hunt, back at home, she opened all the presents and got ready for her first real date....well, not exactly. Her parents would be coming along....

Up on the housetop!

What is it about building a house out of gingerbread, icing, and lots of lots of candy that makes two boys happy and cooperative? We should do this more often.

Seeing the light

I am slowly digging myself out of the hole I fell into a few weeks ago. I'm still trying to figure out how to do it ALL- and how to do it gracefully. So thank you for checking in on me, and for your patience in my absence. Here's some of what's been taking up my time lately....

Finals. But they are over now! Ya-freaking-hoo. (That sounded bad. But I really mean it!) I despise finals. That I know. What I don't know is how I did on my final. It will remain a mystery until Monday.

A wrecked car. MY car to be specific. But it should be coming home tomorrow! How do people ever get along with one car? It's been a long 5 days trying to juggle everyone's schedules with one set of wheels. Kindergarten, cheer, gymnastics, school for me and the kids, work, needing to shop!- how does anyone do it with just one vehicle? Let's don't even talk about how much fun it is going to be paying for the repairs- especially this time of year.

Nicole's 16th birthday. It has come and gone. It was an exhausting day- but so worth it. (I will post in great detail all about it! Much more detail than anyone would ever want to know. Just pretend you are interested. I'm emotional right now.)

Erik's company woes. They have had my mind trying not to think 'reality' for so long that I'm not sure I know how to live in reality anymore. Which could be a good thing. But probably not. Hopefully when I check back into reality, things are much, much better in that regard. I'm sure they will be.

And just the rest of life. It's such a busy, crazy time of year. I hate that about this time of year. I just want to relax and listen to Christmas music and drink hot cocoa.

That hole was not a fun place to be but I'm getting closer each day to finding my way out of it and now I'm ready to join the blogging world once again. It's good therapy. So is having glitter toes. I highly recommend it. It gives you something happy to look at everyday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

A little peek at what makes this time of year so merry and bright around here.

It IS the most wonderful time of the year, don't you agree?

Baby it's cold outside!

we took our time this morning and left a few minutes later than usual so he wouldn't have to wait outside, in the bitter 17 degree cold, waiting for the bell to ring.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Idea for you!

I can't be the only one who stresses about what to give for neighbor gifts each year. It is something I fret about way more than I should. If you find yourself in the same boat as me, you will want to read on. If you already have your gift figured out- you may want to stop reading now. I'm just warning you. I'm about to share a really cute idea....

Last night we received our first neighbor gift of this season. I love that they thought of us- but did they really have to think of us this early? Now I'm feeling even more pressure.

Well, lucky for you, you don't live in my neighborhood because, thanks to the creativeness of my neighbors, you now have a darling idea that you can use! (Sorry to those of you who DO live in my neighborhood) :)

So without further ado, here you go. Your neighbor gift for Christmas 2009.
It's hard to see, but it's a bottle of antibacterial hand lotion. This would be super cute with a bottle of hand sanitizer too. Read what the tag says, I love it!
Now seriously, isn't that the cutest thing ever? Use it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas to me

I've seen Christmas trivia lists floating around different blog sites....I hope you'll play too! I can't wait to read your list!

1. Best childhood gift from Santa: All my baby dolls. There was nothing like waking up Christmas morning, sneaking into the living room and seeing my new dolly sitting next to my stocking. My sisters and I would get our new babies and then go back to one of our bedrooms and try to sleep a few more hours until mom and dad woke up and it was officially OK to go see what Santa had brought us.

2. Best childhood memories: Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa West's house. The food was wonderful, there were lots of presents and usually a new nightgown that grandma had sewn for the granddaughters. After the party, we would go home and put our nightgowns on, turn on the christmas tree lights and the christmas music and twirl around in our new gowns.

3. Favorite Christmas cookie: Sugar cookies. My mom made the BEST sugar cookies. To this day I haven't found one I like better. They have just a touch of lemony flavor. Yummm.

4. It's not Christmas without: Oh. There are lots of things that make Christmas Christmas to me. The music for one thing, the lights, being with family, Sally Lund bread in the morning, and although I hate to say it, snow.

5. Christmas pet peeve: Hmm. Well it really bugs me when the stores put Christmas decorations out before Halloween is even over. It seems they want us to think Christmas earlier and earlier each year. Grumble, grumble.

6. Favorite Christmas music: Hands down, anything by Johnny Mathis. His voice is Christmas to me. It doesn't matter what he sings. I hear him and it's Christmas. I have many other favs, but he is at the top of my list.
Johnny Mathis: A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration

7. Real or Fake: Fake! I do miss the smell of fresh pine in my house (there are candles that help with that now :)) but I do not miss the mess of the needles all over the house, watering the tree, and putting on the lights. I am a pre-lit-take-it-out-of-the-box kind of girl now.

8. I spend Christmas Eve: With Erik's family at our house. We share a meal, exchange gifts, take lots of pictures, and then when everyone is gone, do a quick clean up, put the kids to bed and spend the rest of the evening wrapping presents!

Your turn!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What's up?

My good gravy! It's been quite some time since I last posted. I didn't mean for that to happen, but blogging just kept getting pushed down the list of things that needed to get done.

Here's a little of what's been going on around here.

Notice anything different? Yep! She got her braces off! She was stunning before, but wow! Gorgeous! I keep telling her to smile lots so we get our money's worth. Yikes! I hate the thought of having 2 more kids to put in braces. Orthodontia is a great business to be in. That's all I have to say about that.
Oh yah! Look at the flames! I am another year older and the fire on my cake keeps growing. I'm going to need a fire extinguisher to put it out in the next few years. My lung capacity barely did the job this year. It was such a great birthday- much of it thanks to all of you! I received so many birthday wishes from friends and family- thank you so much!
Thanksgiving came and went (sorry no pictures) and I didn't even take the time to post what I am most thankful for. So if you'll indulge me for a bit, here's my list- as it would have appeared had I posted on Thanksgiving day.

The top 10 things I am thankful for this year.

10. The opportunity to get an education. Sometimes I ask myself if it is worth it- all of the time it requires and stress it creates. But I have to say that yes, it is worth it!
9. Good health. I have always been the one who gets sick around here, but for the past few years, I have been surprisingly healthy. Becoming a germaphobe probably has a lot to do with it. :)
8. A warm home. What a difference adding one more fireplace into our house has made. Cozy and warm. Just like I like it.
7. Electronics. My cell phone, laptop, itouch, camera, dvr....just to name a few. This one may sound very materialistic, but seriously, how would I get by without them?
6. Money. We aren't millionaires by any means, but I am so thankful that we have always had enough to live on and enough to share when needed.
5. The gospel in my life. I couldn't make it through this journey of life without it.
4. Good friends. I have the best friends in the world. Just so you know.
3. Being a mother. It didn't come easy, but I am so thankful that I was blessed with the opportunity. It has taught me so much!
2. Living in this country. Every time I hear the national anthem played, I get choked up. Things aren't perfect here, by any means, but our freedom is priceless.
1. My family. They really are my greatest joy.

I am looking forward to what's ahead as we turn the page on the calendar tomorrow. I still can't believe that it's Christmas time again, but now that it's here, I am very excited! Finals will be here and over before I know it and Nicole will be 16- dating and driving. It's all good and exciting! Another year is almost gone- it's so crazy. But at the same time, as I look back on all that has happened this year, I get so excited about the possibilities of what's to come in the year ahead.

I hope your holidays are full of many good things too!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making a list

the Christmas lists have been showing up around the house....the hoping and dreaming have begun.  

ian wonders, "when will I be santa, mom?  i want to give presents to all the kids, EVEN strangers."

it's good to be a child.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Fun

                                                               Ian's famous weekend hair.

It's Monday and of course I am looking ahead to a new week, but before I get too carried away with all of that I wanted to take a minute and remember some of was seen and done this past weekend (and I don't know about you, but my weekends end on Sunday night- that was just for clarification- just in case you were wondering- but if you weren't then you can just skip this whole, really long statement in the parenthesis).

Here are a few of my favorites...

Mr. M and I were honored to go on a 'NOT a date' with Nicole and her cute 'friend' Kevin.  As we were walking into the movie theatre, I heard Nicole say, "We are such losers.  We are hanging out with my parents."  Now that was not exactly what I wanted to hear, but as I turned around to glare at her, a smile crept across both of their faces and I knew that they were just as happy as we were to be hanging out together.  Right?  

Our first major snowfall of the season happened this weekend.  The boys- including Mr. M- were out playing in it by the time the sun was up.  The four-wheeler with a snow plow on front, was dusted off, sleds were dug out of the corner of the garage, gloves, boots and hats were pulled out of the 'snow gear' box.  And the good news?  I only cried for a minute.  Then I heard my dad in the back of my mind saying, "Buck up Becky!", and I did.  I am ready to face another winter.  

Our annual Primary Program was this weekend at church.  If you haven't been to one of these, it's a must!  We have 125 children in our Primary and they all did a wonderful job of providing 40 minutes of pure entertainment, and still managed to bring the spirit.  There was one little boy who kept trying to have a conversation with his dad, who was in the audience.  "Am I being good, dad?", he shouted out at one point.  Why can't all meetings be like that?

And finally, to end a fine weekend, Nicole and I watched a chick flick together- one of my most favorite things to do- just the two of us sharing girl time and a little popcorn with each other.  The boys were not feeling left out- I assure you.  They were in the basement, sitting in front of the big screen enjoying a movie (something with lots of noise and explosions) of their own.

Ok, now I'm ready.  Bring on the new week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What I am loving right now

Lotion, lotion, lotion.  Can't get enough of it these days.  This is my personal favorite for really dry hands- winter hands as I call them- like mine.  But this is a close second- love the smell.

My very favorite treat to listen to- next to Christmas music of course.  I wish I could find their album! 

This mug.  I wish you could see his freckles better- oh my heart!

This scent in my bedroom- ohhhh!

Headbands!  I have bought 4 new ones in the past few days....this is the picture that inspired my new haircut (and the headband I bought because of it).  :)  And this is the one I hope to buy next.

And last but certainly not least, this is currently my favorite treat.  I recently read that almonds are a great memory booster (heaven knows I need help with that) and that dark chocolate does wonders for your heart (need that too).  So as I see it, this is the miracle food that I have been searching for.  Now if it could only fix my wrinkles and take a few inches off the waist line.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The day started out blustery, but warm.  I knew the cold was coming.  So I decided to bake up some of these to make the inside of my home spicy smelling and cozy warm.

They did the job just nicely.  Now I'm ready for the storm. I think.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'll be seeing you

I am not one who is good at good-bye's.  Especially if I am the one being left behind.  I'm better at them if I am the one who is going off to some great adventure- so that I am too preoccupied to miss the people I have said good-bye to.

Today I must say good-bye to one who has been there, off and on, by my side for the past 8 months.  And I am once again the one being left behind to deal with my sorrow.

My days have been brightened, my heart has been warmed (as well as a few other body parts), I have been cheered up when I was feeling a little blue.  A true friend.

As I watched the news last night, I realized that this is it.  Today is the last day that my friend will be stopping by to visit for several months.  I am going to be optimistic and say four months.

But to show good faith that my friend will be back, I planted spring tulip bulbs as a greeting when it comes back to shower me with it's joy and warmth.

So I say good-bye to the warm temperatures that I have so loved and appreciated for so many months now.  This is it.  I'm going to give you one last hug and then you'll have to excuse me as I run to my fireplace for comfort.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What I love most about Sophie

She makes a great hairbrush.  Here she is running her nails through Nicole's lovely locks.  
She reminds me often, to stop and just stare into the fire.  Something we both love to do.
She is a great example to me of how often we should take a nap.  No matter where you are or what you are doing, just plop down and take a snoozer whenever you feel like it.
She is sweet.  Ian was holding Sophie this morning when I heard him whisper, "Mom!  Sophie isn't whining.  She loves me because my tongue hurts."  

Sophie isn't the most patient cat with the boys- usually she doesn't sit quietly while they try to hold her.  She is quite vocal about it actually.  But not today.
She makes a wonderful centerpiece.  Her gray fur just compliments the fall colors so nicely, don't you think?  Actually, this is a big no, no.  She got booted off the table right after I took this picture.
She makes a lovely throw pillow.
She gives my boys the best baths.  And if you ever need a good exfoliating scrub for your face- she's your gal. 
She just keeps going and going until the job is done.  That's another thing I love about her.
Oh, that you could each have your own Sophie.  But alas, she's just ours.