Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Little Princess

Elora's favorite Christmas gift is definitely the princess dress-up box that aunt Andy gave her. Thanks Andy!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

Doesn't Elora have beautiful lips?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Also Didn't Make The Card

Normally I wake up to one of the kids yelling "Mom". Yesterday I woke up to Jonah saying, "I awake" to himself before he started screaming for me. So cute/funny.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!

After addressing, stuffing, and stamping over 50 envelopes for Christmas cards yesterday I was more in "Christmas mode".
Today I baked cranberry bread (with orange juice and walnuts in it:) and anarchy cake (this time with cranberries & cherries). I also dipped pretzels in white chocolate. I tied ribbons on my bottles of homemade vanilla and curled them. I wrote in cards to go with gifts. I delivered a few gifts to neighbor friends.
Sacrament meeting (roughly the first hour of my church) today was awesome. It began 20 minutes early with a bell choir playing prelude music (Christmas songs). Then the entire program was done by the choir (singing Christmas carols). It was wonderful, even if I was rather distracted by my very overactive and funny Jonah.
During Sunday School (the second hour of church where we study scriptures) I took Jonah home for a nap and picked Elora up after her nap and brought her back to church with me. She wore a maroon velvet Christmas dress that was too darling (pics tomorrow). She is the youngest kid in nursery and I was informed that the older boys (20 mos. to 3 years old) really doted on her:)
Got two more gifts from neighbors this evening:) Tried a new dinner recipe which was interesting but I won't be doing again (unlike last week's risotto which was a huge success). And here I sit still listening to Christmas music.
Another good day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Is it possible to be a politically conservative Christian and still find Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Ann Coulter repugnant? Admittedly I don't watch political talk shows or listen to talk radio. The closest I come is listening to NPR in the car for about 30 minutes once a month. Frankly, I barely know what's going on in the world. But I've watched segments of their shows, read things they've written, seen interviews with them, and know a bit about them and I'm totally turned off by the little I've been exposed to. They all seem like rude know-it-alls who are insensitive and love shock appeal and aren't willing to try to see things from any one else's point of view.
If it makes my right wing relatives feel any better, I detest Bill Maher.
What little I've seen of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert is hysterical and right on the money.
I've never listened to Rush Limbaugh or watched Hannity.
I prefer Letterman to Leno (though I like both) and Ellen to Oprah (though both are ridiculous in their own ways).
Please share your thoughts. You know I encourage healthy debates and lively discussion here in Wonderland.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Cards

I wasn't going to send Christmas cards this year. I am the most broke I've ever been, I'm busy, I'm lazy, I don't have any pictures of both of my kids both looking at the camera, etc. But as soon as cards start arriving to me, I remember that I kind of love sending out Christmas cards. Yours might be late, but it's probably on it's way. This is not the picture on it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Like Conan, So Sue Me

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Our fun didn't end yesterday with the breakfast Christmas party. It snowed all day! We decided after naps we had better go out and play in it. Plus, Brandon had promised Jonah they could make a snowman and Jonah certainly wasn't going to let him forget it;)

The beginnings of a very large snowman. The base was so impressive that neighbors came out to join the fun of making the rest of him.

Elora snuck her gloves off a couple times so she could grip the snow better and taste it:)

The boys, finally ready to come in.
When Elora got to cold, she and I came inside and made homemade chili to go with yesterday's homemade bread. In the meantime, the boys went over to the park with the neighbors to do some sledding.

Jonah kissing our snowman.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Parties

Thursday night was my Culinary Club's foodie gift exchange Christmas party at my house. It was tons of fun. I gave a Cherry Anarchy Cake and received white chocolate fudge and all the stuff to make my own batch of it. I coveted the homemade spaghetti sauce with roasted vegetables.
This morning was my church's annual Christmas breakfast party with Santa and talent show. I brought some of the breakfast bread pudding that was served and it was delicious! I will definitely be making that again.

The face Elora makes all the time lately:)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Because the cat came dashing out from behind the tree right after it came down, I suspect foul play. Several ornaments were broken and there was a lot of water, pine needles, glass, porcelain, and glitter to clean up. The tree is looking lovely now and we had fun decorating it a second time as well.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Watch Elora's slow progression of undressing on Monday morning:

Most everyday lately, after dinner, whether it's a bath night or not, my kids undress themselves to run, play, and dance in the buff:)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thanksgiving in Arizona

We got home from our Thanksgiving trip last night. I've spent all morning reading up on all the blogs I follow who have new posts in the last week and most of them did:) Brandon is finally getting over his miserable cold but unfortunately the kids and I have it now and there is a lot of snot involved. I'm just glad we're home now and that it didn't spoil our vacation.
The kids and I flew to Arizona last Tuesday morning. My mom picked us up from the airport and we went to her house for lunch and naps. Then my sisters Sarah, Karen, and Robin came over, along with their kids (except for Gabe). My brother Ted also stopped by. It was SO fun seeing almost everyone immediately after arriving. My kids had a BLAST playing with six of their ten cousins and six of their ten B.-family aunts and uncles that day.

Jackson and Karen

Wednesday after my brother Spencer (15) and sister Claire (11) had left for school and my dad (Papa Stan) had left for work it was just the kids, mom (Nana Colleen) and I hanging out at home for a little while until my cousin Jill came over. We talked and talked and chased my kids around until it was time to feed them lunch and put them down for naps, at which time Jill made a run to Ned's Krazy Subs to pick us up some lunch. After we ate and talked even more, she headed out. That evening the kids and I ate dinner with Robin and family at their house. Jonah, who is only 6 mos. older than Henry, actually hit it off with Tucker, who is six. We had a sleepover at their house and had breakfast together before beginning Thanksgiving cooking.
Back at Mom's house we finished preparing our stuffing before picking Brandon up from the airport. There were 26 (!) of us there for the big meal with only my siblings, their spouses, and kids, no extended family! The food was FANTASTIC and the company DIVINE.

Gabe, Spencer, Claire

Charlotte, Elora, Ethan

Robin and Adam (with Adam's new beard!)

Jonah's favorite dish was the "pukin with marshplellow" (aka: sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows). He and Elora also both loved Mom's famous cranberry "salad". After they finished eating, Elora proceeded to go around the room sitting on various adult laps and mooching more food off of them. When the children's table cleared, Jonah went back to scavenge for any food left on the plates, which was plenty.

Jonah and Moqui having a tea party after dinner.

Six little boy cousins playing together.

Robin, Em, and Michelle.

That evening we met up with my dad's family at Aunt Susan & Uncle Steve's house for a pie potluck. Uncle Kent was there with his wife Margaret and my cousins Jay and Alex who still live at home and their son Lucas and his wife Annie were there as well. Susan's kids Mike (with wife Stephanie and their 3.5 children), Abbie (with husband Jake and 2 kids), and Cathy (with husband Ben) were there too. Uncle Bart was in town from Utah with his son Trevor but none of the others. And Uncle Steve was at home in UT with his clan, while Uncle Matt and his family were with his wife's family in California. We missed all the cousins who couldn't make it and had a ball chatting with the ones who were there.

Brandon playing kickball with nephews Chandler, Tucker, and Jack.

Friday morning we loaded up the Suburban and my family of four, my parents, and my two youngest siblings enjoyed a nice 4.5 hour drive down to Rocky Point, Mexico. After checking in at our gorgeous two-bedroom condo, we headed down to the beach for a little fun in the sun. The highlight of my day was seeing a hermit crab the size of two baseballs (one for the shell, one for the crab).

Saturday was more beach time and also some swimming in the pools. I picked up homemade tamales in town to share with everyone and dad, the kids, and I did a little grocery shopping at the Super Ley. A storm rolled in late that afternoon and the weather was cloudy for the rest of the day, but still nice. I had had fun shopping at a few local stores for sandals, etc. as well.

Sunday Dad went to all three hours of the LDS ward in Puerto Penasco while us heathens who hadn't brought any church clothes, played in the sand and water. We went to my dad's favorite place for lunch, El Pollo Papago. Martin, the owner, greeted us with a "Hello Stan" as we walked in. The chicken there really is the best and all the sides are delicious too, far better and healthier than a fried chicken place in the states. After lunch we went to the Michoacana for ice cream treats.
Monday morning, after a brunch of cabeza street tacos (freak out all you like but they were delicious!),
Brandon and I took the four kids to one of the rockier beaches to look at a few tide pools before the tide covered them all. Jonah and Elora loved chasing birds on the beach and stripped down more and more until they finally were skinny dipping.

The kids weren't as good on the trip back to AZ as they were on the way down and we also had a flat tire, but we still arrived back in Mesa in good spirits. I called Delta to try and change my flight to Friday or Saturday so I could spend more time with my siblings, cousins, and Grandma and see a couple of friends, but the change fee alone was $150. Ridiculous! I think if they have empty seats they ought to be more accommodating, especially when people are sick and shouldn't be traveling.
Tuesday Robin and kids and Teddy all came over for lunch before we had to catch our flights home.