Sunday, November 30, 2008

No so little anymore

I thought it would fun to put up a little post about each of the girls individually. This first photo is of MacKayla in August of 2003. We went down to James' parents house and I put her into the sink while I was doing my hair. I thought she looked so cute and it would be fun to take photos over the years in the same spot, well that didn't happen, but it is still fun to watch how much she has changed over the years.

MacKayla is a wonderful kid. She is so inquisitive and just wants to know everything, but thankfully not in an annoying way. She loves to spend time with her Dad and they share a lot of the same hobbies now. She loves dinosaurs, Lego's, Star Wars and Daddy cartoons. I love that the two of them have fun things to do together.

MacKayla is also a great helper with the desire to serve. She is the one that I can always count on to be there and help whenever I need her. She is a wonderful girl and I am so lucky to have her!

This is MacKayla in September of 2008.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cooking man

Over the last few years James and I have been experimenting more and more with cooking. We love to eat and have had a lot of fun trying new things. Along with that, James has found that he enjoys cooking. So tonight I had James make dinner and he made a wonderful homemade cream of broccoli soup, and it was delicious. So today I am thankful for good food and for a wonderful husband who will make it for me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We hope that you had a great day and a wonderful meal. We enjoyed our day together and had a lot of fun making and eating our food.

We began our day with a Arabella feast, umm gotta love that fresh and tender baby meat. Bella was playing in the pantry and got into the roaster, gotta love this look.

The big girls love to help me cook and today was no different they helped to make the rolls and had a blast making them. Here they are proudly showing off the rolls that they made.

And here are the pictures of our feast.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

She loves her ba

When Arabella was first learning to make sounds she occasionally made a da sound, but never consistently. We used da da to refer to James, but it just didn't stick. Instead he is ba, and boy does she love her ba. When James got home today MacKayla went to the door and announced that daddy was home, when Bella and I went to the door she started doing her excited squeels and reaching out for James while yelling very loudly ba.

Arabella does refer to me as ma mom, usually getting out both sounds when she wants me. She also last week waved and said bye as some friends were leaving.

Isn't it funny how excited we get over kids and their first words, when in about a year all I will want is for her to be quiet for one minute.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cute girls

Here are some cute pictures of the girls. As for the last post, the head that was changed was mine. The head that you see in the header is the original one that I had in the picture, but James was able to put a better one on.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family Photos

I love having a nice family photo taken every year. I love to watch the changes in our family and to see how much the kids have grown from year to year. With that said, I hate taking family photos. We had a wonderful friend take our photos for us this year, but it seemed that in the end every photo had at least one of us looking weird (hence the new header). Luckily I have a wonderful husband who is great with Photoshop. I found a great picture of everyone but one of us, he was able to take that persons head from another picture and trade it, can you tell whose head has been changed?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reverse sexism

James and I are not "normal", I know, I know, most of you are saying, well, duh. When we go out to restaurants it is very common for our food to be given to the other person. I tend to order the steak or ribs, while James will order a sandwich or chicken. We have had several waiters give our food to us and when we corrected them they look at us like we are screwing with them.

Another example of our not "normal"-ness, is that I enjoy watching a good football game. Today I was watching the BYU-Utah game, a very sad game, while James was in the office reading a book. I had Annika join me and I was explaining the game to her. When Utah happened to make a great play, I groaned and was telling Annika that we only want the guys in blue and white to do well. MacKayla on the other hand was with her daddy and when she heard me yell at the Utes, she yelled out to me that "it's only a game mom". I tried to explain pride and wanting our team to do well, but she, like her father, would not accept it. BYU football is more than "just a game".

Friday, November 21, 2008

Funny Habits

As the children grow and learn new things it's fun to see what catches their attention. When Bella was a little younger my favorite thing was that she would give you the biggest gummiest grin and she would squint her eyes while doing it. She started doing it because we would do that to her. I loved how her whole face would light up with that smile. Lately she has been working on sounds that she can make. It started with clicking her tongue and now she has started to make a guttural sound. It almost reminds me of a cat. She is a funny one.

MacKayla has been working so hard at learning to read and is loving every minute of it. She got her first word list this week and I don't think she had taken her backpack off before she was ready to work on it. We promised her that when she can read on her own we will go to a bookstore and buy any three books that she wants and then when she has read 100 books on her own she gets to have a book party and invite her friends to come and play. The motivation of new books and a party are helping her to get into it.

A funny thing about Annika is that she is a constant ball of energy. The child does not know how to walk anywhere, she has to run, bounce, jump or dance. When you can get her to sit down she is fidgeting, or moving in some way. I love it though, I love the energy that she has and her desire to do everything. She wants to be everywhere, to know everything and to do everything that everyone else can do. It was because of Annika and her questions that we had to continue the human anatomy talks tonight. We used a kids science book tonight to help with explanations and they both enjoyed seeing pictures of bodies and all of the ways that they work.

While I am talking about the funny things of my kids I might as well include James and myself...If somehow you didn't know, James is a big kid. He collects Star Wars Lego's, Godzilla figures, Star Wars and Star Trek toys and figures, and comic books (of the Star Wars variety). I tease him about it, but I am glad that he has something that he loves. He is a wonderful guy who treats me great. I love that James is able to have a conversation about anything, he is a walking encyclopedia, he has useless, or not so useless, information about everything. He is also able to continue a conversation that was stopped in the middle for whatever reason at the exact point that the conversation ended, even if it was several days ago. While I can forget what we talked about five minutes ago, he will remember five days from now, unless it's about doing something that I want him to do and then magically the conversation disappears from his mind, funny how that works.

As for me and my weirdness, I am sure there's many but it's harder to come up with something about yourself. I love to watch movies and I can enjoy almost any of them. However, the first time that I watch something I don't laugh, talk or react in any way to it. I want to enjoy and fully grasp the movie before I comment in any way on it. This leads some to think that I am having a lousy time while watching something, but really I am just taking the whole thing it. I also love to read! I love books and being able to be carried away in a story. The problem comes that I will read a book to the exclusion of all else. When reading a book that I really like and am interested in, I will read the whole thing in a day and neglect everything else.

So yeah, these are some of the funny habits of our family. We are a crazy bunch, but we fit together perfectly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good dad

Today's post is another instance of looking through photos to find something to talk about. Here James and MacKayla had fallen asleep together. We had MacKayla during James' last semester of college and despite how tired and busy he was he would still take the time to cuddle with her. She was a hard baby to get to sleep and after a while I just needed a break and James would take her for me. She was the only one of our kids who would fall asleep on us beyond the first couple of weeks. The other girls have been great sleepers so I can't complain, just not on us.

Anyways, I think James is an awesome man and dad!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


When I was pregnant with Arabella I kept waiting for one of the girls to ask either where do babies come from, or how do they get in their mommies tummies, however, no one did. I asked them one time where they thought babies came from and they responded from mommies tummies and that was that.

Well tonight MacKayla decided to ask "how do babies get into mommies tummies?" I wanted to be as honest with her as possible without giving too much away so I was thinking for a second. During this time James begins to discuss cellular mitosis to her. Wonderful answer, except you have to at least know what a cell is, so she was lost. So we sat and talked for a little while and gave a VERY basic idea of how babies are made. I was telling her about eggs and how all girls have eggs in their bodies that can grow and become babies and she looked at me quizzically and asked if the eggs hatched, it was cute.

After discussing how babies got into the bellies, she wanted to know how they got out. Annika started laughing and said "the hospital uses a big knife and cuts them out of the mommies." They have seen my scar and they know that for me babies are cut out. So I went on to tell her how babies come out, her eyes got real big and then she just rolled over and started laughing, the idea was of course preposterous to her.

Ah the innocence of youth...

Monday, November 17, 2008


The Stake that I grew up in had an annual trip to canoe down the Colorado River for the girls that had completed their Camp Crafters program. I was able to participate in the event twice and each time was an interesting experience.

The first year began in an interesting way...We started out the morning we were to begin rowing by discovering that the canoes that had been rented from the Army had holes in them. We had to go to the camp store to buy a lot of bubble gum and duct tap to repair them and then use a whole lot of prayer to keep those canoes together. Once we got going things got even more interesting though, the river had the absolute worst weather that the leaders had ever experienced in the many years of going. We had rain, hail, lightning and thunder. We were supposed to canoe about 50 miles over the course of the week, but with the weather we were having a rough time of it. On the worst day we were sitting in our aluminum canoes in the middle of the river while being pelted with rain and hail, and then if that wasn't bad enough, the lightning began striking near us. Needless to say we had twenty some girls in tears and praying harder than ever before. We had a motor boat with some adult leaders with us and they went ahead to scout a place for us to set up camp. They came back for us a while later and towed us all to this little island. The island must have been about 100 feet long, and 25 feet wide. Not much room at all! Because we had not expected the weather to be anything like this our gear was not prepared for it and we had very little left among the group. Of the six girls that I was with we had one two-man tent, one sleeping bag and one mummy-bag that had survived the day. We all piled in real close in that tent and used the one dry sleeping bag under us and one of the girls moms that was on the trip gave us her sleeping bag so that one went on top. We were quite warm in that little tent.

We were able to finish out the trip with the weather a little better the next couple of days, but boy was that a crazy trip! To top off the end of the trip though, on the way home we hit a wind storm that managed to knock over the trailer carrying the canoes in the middle of the highway.

The next year I didn't go on the trip and they had perfect weather. The girls were able to swim, cliff dive and have an excellent time.

I was able to go the next year and I was all set for an awesome year. Well it was better than the first but still not great. We had cold temperatures and lots of wind. Until coming to IF I had never experienced wind like on the river that week.

One great memory of the second trip was meeting up with a group of boys on a scout trip who spent the day floating and flirting with us, that was fun. In the picture you can see the canoe from my second year. We had brought boogie boards with the hopes of being able to lay out while floating and getting a tan, well in the end all they did was slow us down with added drag, there was no way we were getting in that water.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Was doing so good...

Once I found out that is was National Blogging Month I wanted to participate and blog everyday, well last night I didn't get around to it, oh well, maybe I'll just have to post extra on other days.

On Friday I made my first homemade cheesecake and it was yummy. I love cheesecake and this one was pretty easy to make so I am including the recipe for you here:

New York Style Cheesecake
1 cup crushed honey graham crackers (about 6 grahams)
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

5 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 C seedless strawberry jam

Line a 9x13 pan with foil leaving enough over the sides to make a handle.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min.

Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended (this is the key to keeping it from cracking on top). Pour over crust. Sprinkle dollops of jam and then use a knife to swirl the jam into the cheesecake.

Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Awesome video

FYI - Car Seat Expirations

I was talking with a friend last night who had never heard that car seats can expire and just in case anyone else hadn't heard either I thought I would share the information. All car seats contain a manufacture date on them. Some of them will also contain their expiration date, if they do not the manual will or the general rule of six years can be used. After six years (or the date on your seat) the chair should be destroyed so that no one else tries to use it.

The reason for this is two fold, one, degradation of the materials, and two, safety factors. The materials used will degrade over time. There is a internet clip that shows a crash test of a car seat that is 10 years old, and the "child" is thrown out of the chair. The second reason of safety is just that over time the car seats are improved and the safety features enhanced.

I hope this can help someone out!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad Mom

Arabella is our first kid to learn to crawl in a house, the others were in an apartment where we never had to worry about stairs. I used a baby gate for a little while when we moved here for Annika but she learned how to get up and down the stairs pretty quick. Well I hadn't pulled out the baby gate yet, and now I feel horrible! I was trying to teach MacKayla how to tie a shoe and Bella was playing with her toys. I had only looked away from her for a second and the next thing I heard was a thunk. She had gone down the stairs. I ran as fast as I could and made it to the bottom of the stair just as she did. The poor kid was hysterical. Thankfully she is fine, but I was freaked out. All she needed was a little bit of mommy cuddles and she was as good as new.

The others have each fallen down the stairs several times, but at least they were older when it happened. Oh well, now the baby gate is up and hopefully this won't happen again, or at least not until she is older.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As many of you know I love to cook. I especially love to cook because it means that I get to eat, and I really love to eat. My love of cooking came about mostly in college. My second year I lived in Heritage and we had a kitchen and had to prepare all of our own meals, and I learned that you can't live off of ramen forever. However, I'm sure my roommates got tired of the smell of kielbasa with potatoes and eggs, because I did live off of that.

In 2000 I had some wonderful roommates and we decided to have a Thanksgiving dinner together. I had helped my mom in the past but had never done the whole thing, and neither had any of my roommates. As I was the one with the most experience I was designated as the cook. I tried to involve each of my roommates but several had a severe aversion to touching raw meat. Another funny thing is that none of them liked the idea of eating gravy made from giblets, but once they tasted it they loved it.

That turkey was the first one that I ever did, and it has since become a tradition. I have made a complete turkey dinner every year for the past eight years and I look forward to many more.

I don't have a picture with my first roommates and the turkey but this is the one I made my second year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Awesome deals!

I went to Albertson's today for another awesome deal. I bought 15 boxes of Macaroni Grill box dinners, which I have to say taste much better than any other box dinner that I have ever had. 24 bottles of body wash and one box of Smuckers Uncrustables. The total for everything was $26.42, however I have coupons for $15 off my next order, so that brings the total to $11.42 for everything, or about $0.38 an item, not too bad I think.

This couponing can be a lot of fun.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A look back

By the end of this national blogging month you will each know way too much about me...but anyways, here are some photos of James and I over the years. Wasn't he a cute kid?

James on his baptism day 1987

James and Kelsey Christmas 1989

James and Kelsey about 1990

Freshman year

Probably around 1997 or so

James' senior picture


La Tisha newborn 1980

18 months, don't we look so happy. It had been a long day.

Four 1985

About 1986




Junior high, gotta love all the zits

Senior pictures 1999

Freshman year of BYU, we went down to San Diego for the BYU-SDSU game, it was a blast.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Whenever I take out the camera my girls instantly want to be a model. They will lay in funny positions, make silly/serious faces, and do the most random things. Why they do this I have no idea. I am not that way, I smile and enjoy the photo but want to get it done, but not them, we can take 100 photos and still not be done.

Well, I realize that in the end I am to blame. I was looking through old photos of me and in almost every one I was "striking a pose." I made the same goofy faces they do, I did the exact same things as them. So here are some posing pictures of me when I was MacKayla's age.