Monday, December 20, 2010

Jen's Famous Brother Cameron, an Internet Sensation with Kodiak Cakes

Who knew Cameron would be in so many commercials. We enjoy watching them. This one reminds us of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. What will be next, we are still on the edge of our seats.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Girls Visit Santa at the Church Christmas Party

Amaya is our first kid with no fear of Santa. Rachel didn't want to go to the whole activity because of Santa, but she finally came. Aliza said she didn't want to see Santa either. Madeline seemed not to have a problem.

Amaya Needs a Hug

Amaya usual just needs a hug to stop crying.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!!

I don't have pictures yet, but I just wanted to blog about Thanksgiving really quick before I forget and it's Christmas :) Jared's parents were able to come up and visit. It was so nice to have them come up. The girls just loved playing with both Grandparents. We like having visitors.

Jared played turkey ball yesterday and got his hand stepped on with a cleat in the third play of the day, but don't worry, he still played the rest of the game and had fun. He was the only adult to brave the cold weather, the rest of the players were teenagers.

I had fun going to JoAnn's this morning with Jared's mom and meeting up with my friend Tristan. I bought a LOT of fabric, but it was such a good deal, and it was SO fun to buy boy fabric :) We were there for 6 hours!!! Those lines are crazy, and I'm not sure if I'll do it again next year, but it was fun.

I am so thankful for many things in my life. I have a good life. Here are some of the things I'm thankful for...

Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Heated home
Answers to prayers
New fluffy socks
Families can be together forever
Understanding and
Loving husband (especially when I'm pregnant and a little emotional :))

Food Allergies = twist on Traditional Thanksgiving

This year was a new year for me for Thanksgiving. I've had many different health problems for quite a while, (like 7 years or more) and this summer I was thankfully finally able to figure out that I have food allergies. If I don't eat corn, wheat, some dairy, and peanuts and a few more things, I feel great.

So basically, I was pretty nervous for the holidays because food is such a big part of this time of year. I've been doing a lot of research online and have found that there are TONS of gluten free, and other allergen free blogs/websites with some really good recipes. I found a recipe for gluten free rolls, which I modified to also be corn free. I prayed that they would be good, and they were DELICIOUS!! I actually felt like I was eating real rolls. My father-in-law said he preferred my rolls over the regular homemade dinner rolls. That made me happy.

These recipes give me hope. I was able to eat rolls for Thanksgiving, I didn't venture out to stuffing, but I didn't really miss it, because I had my rolls :) I was a very happy girl.

So anyway. If you are in the same boat I am in, I want to post the recipes and websites so you can make them and have some delicious food again :)

gluten free, corn free dinner rolls To make them corn free, and potato free I just subbed in tapioca flour and they turned out just great. They did have a hard time rising, but they still tasted so so yummy. I doubled the recipe and froze the leftovers. Today I microwaved a couple and they still tasted great.

I made a yummy pumpkin cheesecake subbing gluten free/ corn free flour for the regular flour, and using a gluten free cookie for the crumb. I love the cheesecake and think it's way better than regular pumpkin pie, I'm sure the baby is loving it too, but probably my expanding belly will be showing quite a bit more very soon :)

My third favorite recipe, which I didn't make for thanksgiving, but crave it frequently is gf/cf waffles/pancakes. They are so yummy. Jared even liked them and was asking for more. (You do have to use a special baking powder mix, but it's just baking soda and cream of tartar.

Okay, one more. Homemade tortillas!! I really love these. It makes me feel not so left out when I'm making yummy grilled quesadillas for my family:) I do have to modify the recipe to make it corn free, but she tells you how to do it. If you have questions you can leave me a message and I'd love to help.

I am so thankful that we were able to finally figure out why I felt so horrible. Living without so many different foods is definitely not easy, but it is so worth it to be able to feel better. I am thankful for all the people who have put so much work into finding yummy food to eat even with food allergies. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's A .....

Can you believe it!?! It's true, we're going to be seeing blue! I had my ultrasound today and the baby looks healthy, which is great. He showed himself for a second and then curled back up into a little ball, but the doctor is sure. We're having a BOY!!! We are all very excited. (I had to post all three pictures because different girls looked good in each one :))
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Halloween

I wanted the girls to be different things for Halloween this year, like the 3 little pigs and a big bad wolf, or characters from The Wizard of Oz, but in the end I decided they'd have more fun if they got to pick what they wanted to be. Rachel went as Alice in Wonderland. I couldn't capture how perfect she fit the character on the camera, but I felt like Alice was sitting on my couch. Aliza went as Belle, Madeline went as Cinderella getting married :), and Amaya went as a ladybug. I don't have a picture of that, but this picture of her in a duck costume was too cute. She put herself in this basket and probably would have slept there if I let her. She looked like a cute little puppy or kitten curled up in her bed.
We had a fun time going downtown to the stores for trick or treating, and then to our church trunk-or-treat. I went as a "mummy to be" and Jared went as Andre Kirilinko with his old crazy hair style.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Preschool

For the month of October, Rachel and Aliza got to go to play school at one of the local highschools. It was every morning from 8:00-10:30. The girls had a lot of fun, and actually did pretty good getting up so early. They usually wake up around 8:00. It was nice to have some time with just Madeline and Amaya, but the time each day really went quickly and I was surprised at how little I got accomplished.
Aliza's favorite thing about preschool was eating the snack. "When we last had the snack it had sprinkles and it was really yummy"
Rachel's favorite thing about play school was "playing at N.. High with Trinity, and we played mom, and it was really fun"
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Hair braiding by Madeline

Madeline is VERY into doing her own hair. She almost always does it by herself, and she actually does a pretty good job. Lately she has been telling me that she wants to learn how to braid hair. We were at D.I. and she found this pink horse. Perfect for hair braiding :) I gave her one lesson on how to do it and she picked up braiding immediately! This was only her second time ever braiding hair. I think we have a future beautician on our hands :)

Other things about Madeline... She turned five this year, so we were planning on her going to kindergarden, but as it was getting closer and closer, I really felt like it was not right for her to go to the elementary school (right behind I our house, I might add). I didn't really know what to do, because I really did not want to homeschool. Life is crazy as it is, but as things worked out, the right school for Madeline to go to this year is an Online Charter School (Connections Academey), which means homeschooling for me. Yikes.

It is a really neat program actually, and is publically funded, so all of the school supplies and lessons are sent to us. Every day I go to a website to know what lessons I'm suppose to teach that day. I have things I like and dislike about it. I know this was the right option for Madeline though. It has been a struggle for me to spend 3 hours a day teaching her, but it has also been fun to see her learn and to see the other girls learn as well. I do not know if I'll do this again next year, but it has been a good learning experience.

I think the most important thing is following the promptings we are given. Public School was not what Madeline was suppose to do this year. I know blessings come when we are obedient.
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Computer Desk

I've been meaning to post this desk for a while, but I have to admit, I haven't totally finished it. I was waiting to post until it was all done, but it's okay. I'll post it now, and just know for the future to not bring my projects inside until I'm completely done :)
I got the base of my plans from Ana White's blog, but modified this desk to my liking. The plans were actually the tryde coffee table for the base and the balin console table for the hutch. If you'll notice on her blog, I left out the drawers on the console table and just made the spaces on top able to fit containers I already had. I also measured ahead of time to make the legs on the hutch tall enough for our monitor, or one slightly larger, to fit underneath. I made two separate desks, so we can have them separate or together. I guess I made a lot of changes, which is probably why it took longer, but I increased the length of the legs, the length and width of the desk, and added cupboards to hide all of our junk :)
I really like how our computer desk turned out. It turned into a much bigger project than I expected, but I love the end result, so I'm happy I did it. Thanks so much to Ana White for being so generous with free plans, and for inspiring me :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

April 15, 2011

In case you didn't understand the underlying meaning of the post with the shirts I made for the girls, I'm pregnant!! :) I'm just past 15 weeks, and thankfully feeling much better than I did in the first trimester. I'm due April 15, 2011. We are very excited. Let us know what you think it will be.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Jared is pretty much recovered, and didn't get stitches. A friend of mine told me to use the skin on the egg shell on his cut and it would work just like stitches. I did that and I think it worked pretty well! Also, I wasn't mad like the filmer thought I'd be, I think I'll even let Jared play again next week :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crafty Freezer Shirts

I've been wanting to try out this craft idea for a while. I used my friend Tristan's cricut to cut out the words and then ironed on the freezer paper then used fabric medium and toll paint to fill in the blank spots. It was such an easy project. They don't look homemade, and the girls have matching shirts which is my favorite.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Freedom at Church!

Yesterday was a milestone day for Amaya. She is officially old enough to go to Nursery!! Yipee! She did great. She didn't cry and seemed to have a good time. It was definitely nice for Jared and I to be able to actually listen to the 2nd and 3rd hours of church.

Yesterday was also another first for Amaya... she broke her first bone. It's actually the first bone any of our kids have broken. After church we were sitting on the trampoline and Amaya put a purse on her head and was walking around. Silly, I know, but just before Jared could get her she stepped off the edge of the trampline. She landed on her shoulder and broke her collar bone. Ouch! She actually is doing really well. She is one cute, tough 18 month old girl!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Aliza's Golden Birthday

Aliza turned 4 on the 4th of July. She was trying to show us that she is 4, but it looks like 5 instead. She loves Belle, so I made her a Belle dress and a Belle cake. I was not in the mood for making an elaborate cake, so I was thankful my parents gave Aliza a small Belle doll. Perfect for the cake :) Aliza is such a sweet girl. We love her so much!
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Sleeping Beauty Madeline

I think this was on July 3rd. We must have worn the girls out that day. I came inside and found Madeline sleeping like this. She got the balloon for her birthday and loved it every minute. She took the balloon outside and of course it ended up flying away. It was a tragedy. I felt bad so I got her another one and told her not to take it outside. Well, not too long after that she took it outside. It blew away again. Too bad. Luckily, my Aunt Kim sent her a dollar for her birthday and with that money she got a third balloon. She kept this one for longer, but I think it eventually ended up outside too. Maybe she'll learn next year :)
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We did family fireworks this year on the 3rd of July. It was really fun. The girls all loved it, except for Aliza, and she sat on my lap most of the time covering her eyes. We didn't go anywhere to watch big fireworks, but were actually able to see a lot of good smaller firework shows right from our backyard. That's my idea of a good night. Rachel was the only child awake so it was fun having Daddy/Mommy time with Rachel. God Bless America!
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Nintendo 64 is in the House

Ever since we've been married Jared has wanted to get a Nintendo 64. He's seen a fair share at garage sales, but I never gave in. Until this summer. :) It was too good of a deal to pass up, ($8 for the system, controllers, and 5 games). The girls have had fun playing Mario Smash Brothers. Jared and I play Dr. Mario whenever I'm willing to play... about 2 times a month :)
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rachel Feeding Goats at the fair.

We had a lot of fun at the fair this past week. Jared worked for a couple hours at a work booth at the fair, so we decided to go and meet him when he was done. The girls loved feeding the goats. Rachel giggled every time the goats licked her hand. It made me laugh. The girls primary president treated them to icees, which was perfect because it was HOT. The high for the day was 104. The high for the next day was 76! We had a great time.

Bonneville Hot Springs

Jared took Friday off this week. On Thursday we went to State Fair in Boise and on Friday we decided to go camping. It was SO much fun! We got to our campground and then went on a little hike (less than 1/2 mile) to a river with hot springs running into it. It's called Bonneville Hot Springs, and it was one of my favorite camping trips ever! The water temperature was perfect, and the depth for our kids was great. Camping was good too. It wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, and we had a lot of fun eating canned food and telling stories around the campfire. Jared said that it was maybe the easiest fire he ever started because everything was so dry. Jared did almost all the work getting everything together, which always gives me more motivation to go camping :) I just love going into the mountains and getting a breath of fresh air.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dust if You Must...

Tonight I was organizing my file cabinet and came across this poem. I think it was given to me from my Grandma Spencer because it looks like her handwriting at the top. Thanks Grandma!

"I can't tell you how many countless hours that I have spent CLEANING! I use to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect- "in case someone came over"-. Then I realized one day that no one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!

Now, when people visit, I find no need to explain the "condition" of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven't figured this out yet, please heed this advice.

Life is short. Enjoy it! Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
music to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
with the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair,
a flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go- and go you must-
you, yourself will make more dust!

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived. "

I just love this! It is how I try to live my life. I wish I could have both worlds, but I'd rather be on the enjoying side of life. Of course there are times very often :) when we must clean, but is it a want or need?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Amaya at 16 months

Amaya is at such a fun age right now. She's starting to talk and says, "gog" for dog, momma, dadda and also has her own language. I tell her to say Madeline and she makes a three syllable sound. Amaya has so much fun playing with the girls. We tried to keep her away from the trampoline at the start of the summer, but she figured out how to climb the ladder to get up. She gets very angry if she is not included. Amaya is a tease, maybe even the biggest of all the kids. I often think she will start screaming soon as I watch the kids tease her, but she just teases back, or is the one that started it in the first place. Amaya will sit on almost anyones lap for a long time, just relaxing. She LOVES animals. Jared is very happy he finally got an animal lover.
Amaya is so sweet and fun. We love her so much!
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Little Miss Rachelina Ballerina

Rachel just turned three and she is full of spunk and mischeif. I love her so much. She is curious about everything so I can't leave her alone for too long or she'll get into trouble :) She loves playing with her sisters and gets along really well with Amaya. Rachel can already do flips on our hanging trapeze thing on our swingset. Madeline told me that Rachel taught her how to do it. She is pretty cuddly and loves it when I read stories to her. Rachel's favorite color is purple, her favorite food is probably peanut butter and jelly and treats (she sneaks them the most) and her favorite princess changes from Cinderella to Snow White. She ALWAYS wants to sleep on the floor. If I put her in her bed she ends up on the floor by the morning.

Rachel adds so much joy to our lives. We are so glad she's part of our family.
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