Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Smooshing Video

April (Lani's sister) posted her digital video of our becoming smooshing champions. Follow the link and watch the 3rd video posted to watch the winning video. Also, when you watch, notice the other team dives for their finish line, but our skis were the first to cross the finish line, which was the determining factor for winning.

You may have to copy the above link into a browser window, if it doesn't hyperlink.

2008 Slideshow

Here's a slideshow created on smilebox of 2008. I didn't have all my pictures available to download, so you'll just see the ones that were on my laptop at the time I created this. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Click to play Year in Review
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Secret Santa, Part II

Amara is applying her lipstick she got with her toy purse. This year, we had a secret santa that delivered 12 days of Christmas gifts to our family. In no way did we deserve even a tiny portion of what they've given us, but we are deeply grateful. Although it was tempting to catch them delivering the gifts, we allowed them to remain anonymous. Here's what we've received Days 7-12 (see earlier post for days 1-6.):

Day 7: Colorful Santa Plate and a huge tub of Nestle Chocolate Chip cookie dough with instructions to make a batch for ourselves and make a batch to share with our neighbors.

Day 8: Doll toys- a stroller, a swing, a high chair, a carrier, a diaper bag, and a bouncer- all cute miniature versions of the real thing. The girls love playing with them with their dolls.

Day 9: Purses- a barbie purse for Lily complete with play cell phone, makeup compact, bracelet, and keys. Amara's purse was a cute fisher-price purse that plays music when you open it. It came with some toys, too- lipstick, keys, play money.

Day 10: 4 books- "That's not my princess," A Princess sticker book, A Fairy Cookbook, and a thicker cookbook.

Day 11: Bathtub fun with soaps, gels, salts, soap stars, and lotion and bubble bath from bath and body works.

Day 12: 2 adorable wooden boxes filled with food to make a Christmas dinner, and an incredibly generous Visa Gift Card.

The last day came with a letter that had 2 recipes that I'm going to try tomorrow. It also had a paragraph that said, "When we were deciding what family to give the 12 days of Christmas to, our kids chose Mr. C.. Thank you for being a great example and good influence on our kids. We hope you've enjoyed this as much as we have. Merry Christmas!"

So maybe our Secret Santa is one of Steve's students and their family?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog your "Better Burger!"

Click to play burger
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I hereby issue a challenge to all those who love burgers. Build a better burger, and BLOG it! Lunch today inspired me. I made an incredibly delicious burger and thought of all the people I would love to be sharing it with. Well, everyone has their own likes/dislikes when it comes to burgers, so I thought, maybe I can e-share this burger and challenge others to do the same. Then we all get to eat a killer burger to our own liking and we can share the fruits of our labors with those we love.

My burger was on whole wheat bread (no buns in the house) layered with a little ketchup, mustard, mayo, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. The kicker was the melted mountain of cheddar and white american cheese that blanketed the burger and crisped up on the outer rim (something that was inspired by an episode of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives w/ Guy Fieri). I think I'll call it "the Cheese-Collision" burger. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Secret Santa

Our family has been receiving gifts from a secret Santa for the past 6 nights (they are doing the 12 days of Christmas). Lily is thrilled each night when Santa knocks on our door and leaves us a gift. Steve and I are astonished at the amount of thought and preparation and money spent on each gift. Some Secret Santa out there has been heavily generous to our family, for which we are thankful. It touches my heart to know of the sacrifices someone is going through to make 12 days before Christmas a magical experience for us. Here's what we've received the first few days:

Day 1: A Fisher Price Little People Nativity (both Lily and Amara LOVE THIS!)
Day 2: A Crayola Art set (markers, colored pencils, paints, crayons, papers, glue, and a carrying case), AND a Giant Disney Princess Coloring Book (Each page is a poster). Lily has already colored/painted 3 posters.
Day 3: 2 Puzzles, one is good quality wood and has farm animals that make their corresponding animal noise when you put it in place. The other is a puzzle perfect for Lily that has different magnetic shapes that you arrange on the magnet board to make pictures or designs; it came with several pages that slide in that have pictures you can place the magnets on top of. These are a huge hit. Amara loves to make animal sounds, and Lily is so smart and makes beautiful pictures and designs with the magnets.
Day 4: A Complete Gingerbread house Kit (we're excited to put it together for home evening tomorrow.)
Day 5: Family Movie Night! A bucket of popcorn, a box of Red Vines, a box of Starbursts, and 5 DVDs (Ratatouille, Ratatouille Cooking, Nim's Island, Anastasia, and Pay It Forward). We ate all the popcorn and candy as we watched Ratatouille with the kids. Lily loved it, and the next day she was using the Little People from her Nativity set and pretending they were her rats. She was carrying them around with her to the breakfast table and stuff.
Day 6: Family Breakfast: A package of thick-sliced Hickory Bacon, A heavy sack of pancake mix, Mrs. Butterworths syrup, and a giant canister of Stephens Hot Chocolate. Because I was speaking in church today, I didn't have time to pull off the entire breakfast, but we did enjoy some of the bacon with our cereal, this morning. We're planning on using the rest for dinner on Thursday night (that's the night we usually do a hearty breakfast for dinner).

Wow! We've been incredibly blessed to have such good friends around us. I wish I could say thank you to them, but it's obvious they would like to remain anonymous. I was thinking of leaving a big Thank You card for them on the 12th day. It's a wonderful gift to us as parents to see the excitement, and smiles, and joy of our children (and us as well) with each gift. I wish I could allow our secret Santa to see just how precious each gift is to us. It's more than just gifts, each night we are allowed an experience of the twinkling eyes of our children which brings such joy. It really has spread Christmas cheer out over several days, not just one day, and I am grateful for that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Smooshing Champions!

Vernal, Utah is the home of Holly Days (an annual city celebration). The picture you see is from last year's festival. I wanted to take my family last year, but with a new baby, it wasn't going to be fun or easily feasible. This year, to be sure that we attended, I entered Stephen (my hubby), myself (Lani), Jake (my bro), and April (my sis) into a Smooshing Contest.

Smooshing is new to me and everyone I know. (The picture on the far right is smooshing.) It's a contest where you race in teams of four all strapped in to a couple of red-painted 2x4s. In essence, it's sorta like cross country skiing with four people attached to the same skis. It takes a good amount of coordination and it's a pretty tough work out.

Well, we raced our way through the contest and when we made the finals, we were informed that first place receives $200.00 and second place gets $100.00. You better believe we pulled together and busted through the finish line coming in first place! It was awesome because we came from behind. We were so winded (some of us more than others. I think it took me ten minutes to catch my breath!)

Spencer (April's husband) has the only digital footage of us. If I can get it from him, I'll post it here. It's pretty fun to watch.


Oh yah, and we were on Vernal TV, not that anyone watches that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monkey Excitement

Steve took Lily to the dollar store in Vernal and purchased a monkey toy that grows in the water. The toy grows gradually and takes about 2 days to reach it's full size. Then it's supposed to gradually shrink back down after you take it out of the water. So we gave it a shot. Lily and Amara loved looking at the toy in the water. It grew and grew over 2 days time, but it started looking more like a mutant than a monkey. The ears grew very large, as did the arms and hands. The face didn't really ever grow, so it became squished up and swollen looking (Lily said, "hey, how come his eyes disappeared?"). The water became murky after a day, so I changed out the water and the next day the monkey-mutant began to look really sick as the paint cracked into a million cracks and flaked off in random spots. The legs didn't ever grow, they just soaked up water and began to disintegrate. I pulled the monkey from the water and sat him on the window sill hoping he'd dry out and return to look somewhat normal. A few hours later, when no one was looking, I threw it in the trash. Steve came home later that evening and asked, "Where's the monkey?" I didn't know he was watching it grow too. Lily told him that he's sick and sitting in the sun on the window sill. I said, "Yah. The monkey is sick." and pointed to the trash. He was disappointed. I wish I had saved it a few more hours.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We're made for eachother...

I, Lani, took a 10 question quiz and found out that I'm an Esme. Steve took a similar quiz and found out he was a Carlisle. For those who have no clue what that means, it has everything to do with the Twilight series. Carlisle and Esme are a married couple in the book. Click on the links below and take your own quiz, if you like.

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

I'm a Carlisle! I found out through Which Twilight Male Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lily spells her name

So, I was typing on my laptop, Amara was napping, and Lily was playing with blocks. Then Lily says to me, "Mom, I spelled Lily." I looked down and she had Y i and 2 backwards Ls she made out of blocks laying on the floor. Technically, that spells YiLL, but I'm not picky. I've never seen her make letters before, so I was a little shocked. All the letters from her name are there on the floor and she created it! Of course I am a very proud mother and think my daughter is so smart and amazing, so I decided to use my webcam to video her accomplishment.

Fall Mornings, Cold Toes...

I made this video card for G.G. (Great Grandma Lauret) to show her our gratitude for the booties she gave to Lily. They've come in handy on several occasions. They are cute and warm. Thanks...

Click to play Lily's cold toes
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Just another day...

I thought you would enjoy a look at a typical after-lunch playtime scene of our living room. Take notice of the two cute kids in the toy box/ ottoman. They were sailing in their magic vessel across the sea of toys, maneuvering around glaciers and rock formations to the far away island where flowers float and you can pick posies from the air and rub the fragrance on your skin to freshen your sweet scent. At least, that's what I pictured.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Family Fun in the Fall...

Twenty minutes from our home is a little town called Bluebell. Every fall they have a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and kids courtyard complete with a haybale mini-maze, slides, goat petting zoo, corn playzone, and wagon rides, barrel train rides, corn launcher, food for purchase, etc. etc.

We didn't have a chance to have much fun there last year because it was SO cold and stormy, but we went on a warmer day this year and we had a lot of fun. Lily and Amara both loved the goats and playing in the corn sandbox thing. I Smilebox-ed some photos and video for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Click to play Fall Fun!
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ewww... more bathroom drama

I, Lani, babysat again today. This time Katie needed help wiping after going #2, so I dutifully went in to help her and just as I was grabbing for the toilet paper, I stopped in disgust at what I saw. A poo smear on the roll of TP about as wide as a 2 year old's finger. Katie noticed my pause of shock and she told me that she wiped some off already. I carefully unrolled the used paper, tore it off and as I was throwing it in the toilet, Katie leans forward and grabs me around my favorite WHITE capris and grasps on with both hands. She must think I'm a freak by the way I reacted to her trying to steady herself. It sounded like I was practicing my vowels staccato-style, "Ah! Eh! Oh! Ew! Up! Off! Eee!"

Lesson learned: never wear your favorite white capris while babysitting. It's too risky.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eye-opening Babysitting

I, Lani, babysit a 2 year old girl in my ward a few days a week for 6-8 hours. Although it has been fun to have a friend for Lily to play with, Katie (the girl I babysit) is a toddler and is very different from Lily. I share the following true stories also known as humor at my expense:

Bathroom Drama- things I've told Katie...
Don't flush crackers
Don't waste water
Don't waste soap
Don't flush toilet paper that is still connected to the roll
Don't play with my lipstick
Don't lick my chapstick
Don't put your hands in the poopy toilet water
Don't make a mess
And today- "What are you guys doing?"
Lily(sitting on the pot having finished pooping): "Dipping things in the toilet."
Me (holding back my disgusted shock): "Is that okay?"
Katie and Lily (Katie holding a wadded up dish towel): "YES!"
Me: "NO! You do not put clean towels into the poop in the toilet."
Katie (disappointed): "Okay."
Me: "Did you dip anything else in the toilet already?"
Lily (smiling and laughing): "Yes. We put my sandals in there."
Sure enough, her sandals were sopping wet. Oh gosh! After throwing them away, I fetched them from the trash 5 minutes later realizing that we can't afford to buy new sandals at the end of sandal season. So I washed them twice with extra soap. and sent them through the washer.

Katie spills every day she's here. She even manages to spill water from her no-drip sippy cup that I require her to drink from. Her biggest spill was an entire pitcher of water from the table onto the Kitchen floor and all over herself.

Every half hour I'm asked for a snack. Although I provide a morning snack at 10, lunch at noon, and an afternoon snack at 3, she still asks for more and more. Maybe I'm a bit stingy, but I don't believe she's starving. Plus, her mother doesn't make any effort to bring any food for her. So, if it's on my shoulders to feed her, she will be fed as if she were my child.

Ahh, it feels good to vent a little of my eye-opening babysitting experiences.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Weekend with Steve's Parents

Click to play A Grandparent Weekend
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We had an enjoyable weekend with Steve's parents. They celebrated their 40th anniversary while here! Congratulations!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our Visitors!

Thanks to my dad and Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Lauret for coming to visit us! We cherished every moment together on Saturday. Although the visit was short (5 hours-ish), we sure appreciated you guys sacrificing your time and money to come visit us!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Prayer of a Child

The other night, Lily prayed, "Bless us to grow up... taller... like a dinosaur." I'm really not sure what brought that to her mind, but I sure love her prayers!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just Kiddin Around

It was a good afternoon last week when I was eating pie with my girls and just kidding around. It was an added joy to have Amara join in our laughter and follow up with her cute "oooo" face that she does so well. Steve calls her little pucker "her blue steel." It's adorable!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I was convinced by Elinn (Steve's sister) and Mandy (My sister-in-law) to read the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I purchased the book and read it together with Steve. I'd have to agree with Steve that the book can get really ooey-gooey when describing the undying beauty of the vampires (Edward especially). But, that didn't stop me from wanting to read on with the following books (It stopped him, but he went and read a synopsis online for the rest of the books so he knows what happens). I read the 2nd book (New Moon) this past weekend. I haven't read a book by myself that quickly since Harry Potter 1-3. I've got to admit that I'm going through withdrawals while the library is currently out of their 5 copies of the 3rd book (Eclipse). I can't wait to see the movie, but even more, I can't wait to read the rest of the books. Steve tells me that there's a rumor that Stephenie Meyer is writing a sister series of Twilight but with Edward as the narrator. I hope that's true!

Wishing and Hoping,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Real Life and Cheerios

This is a must see for those who need a smile. It's a short video I shot after our 1st swimming trip (back in July when we were vacationing). Lily was hungry and Amara wanted to "talk". We are at Steve's parents home.

Click to play Turn a Frown Upside-Down
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Amara walks...kinda

When she wants to, Amara will stand and walk for us. It's really cute to watch her tiny body move.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Raisin Pie

Today, Lily wanted to do her own cooking show, so I grabbed the camera and recorded away. It's about 2 minutes long. She called her creation "a long treasure hunt" on camera, but later when she was eating her creation, she called it Raisin Pie. In case you want to make one of your own, here's the recipe.

Lily's Raisin Pie Recipe:

Graham Cracker
Vanilla Yogurt

Spread yogurt on the graham cracker and top with raisins.

She came up with this one on her own. I am quite impressed.

Click to play Lily's Raisin Pie
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Listen carefully, Lily is telling a story

Here's 2 of the cutest sisters hanging out. Can you tell what Lily's story is about?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

1st Swimming Trip of the Summer!

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What was going to cost $5 ended up costing $23.00 because they now require children 3 and under to have swim pants and a swim diaper (even if they're potty trained). So, I had to buy those specialty items for my girls. Their smiles made it all worth it!

Jaxon walks early!

We were at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant waiting for our food when Jaxon decided to entertain our table with a little walk. We love Jaxon and his good parents!

Malia walks!

We haven't seen Malia for so long, and it was so exciting to see all the things she can do now. She walks like a pro! Lily and Amara just love Malia. I think Malia has a good time with them too because she is always smiling.

The Amatuer Video of the Amazing Fieri Race

At the Lauret Family Reunion this year, dad planned an "Amazing Race" complete with challenges,clues, and a little creature named Fieri. We had a lot of fun completing challenges and collecting ingredients for the Pasta Throwdown.

The challenges consisted of 1- Photograph wildlife (with Fieri in the picture), 2- Compass Course to find Gold (a medal), and 3- Build a Rocket and launch Fieri so he gets 30 seconds of air time. That turned out to be more difficult than anyone expected because Fieri either kept forgetting to jump out of the rocket or his parashoot kept malfunctioning. Good thing Fieri has infinite lives!

The ingredients went into the Pasta Throwdown, which was dinner for everyone. Our team (the winners) made Radiatore with a chicken and 3 cheese tangy tomato and herb sauce w/ roasted zucchini and yellow squash side dish. There was also a Carbonara w/ green beans side dish (Cheryl and Dave's team), and a bow-tie artichoke heart and asparagus alfredo (Spencer and April's team).

WHAT A BLAST! Thanks dad for your planning and all the good food and fun times! You're the best!

Click to play Lauret Reunion
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

April's tooth

Weird story... April woke up a few days ago with something sharp in her mouth. It turned out to be her tooth that had chipped! Weird!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Collage of Emmy

This is my beautiful niece, Emmy. Good job Hayley and Scott!

One year ago...

It was almost a year ago that I gave birth to Amara and we moved to Roosevelt. One photo is Lily when we moved. The other is Amara a few days old.

Two years ago...

I was reflecting on what life was like 2 years ago when we were living in American Fork with Steve's parents, when I came across a picture of our adorable Lily. My, she has grown in 2 years! She is still just as sweet and cuddly.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I found some smiles


Well, paddle boating was an adventure with our 2 girls. Lily is between us (you can't see her because our life jackets are enormous. We couldn't sit Amara down because her life jacket would cut off her oxygen. Try paddling a boat while holding a kicking baby a foot in front of you and keeping your eye on the 3 year old so she doesn't climb overboard. It's an adventure (and because of the discomfort, our family lasted only about 10 minutes out on the water)!

Lily almost attempted the "BIG swing"

At the Christensen Family Reunion, we did a ropes course and there was a big swing. Lily thought it looked fun until it was time to climb the ladder- then she would have no part of it.

Amara's 1st B-day Cupcake...a month early.

Steve's mom decided to celebrate Amara's birthday as one of the activities during the family reunion since all the family would be there, so she bought a tiny cupcake for Amara.

Family Pictures from the Christensen Family Reunion

Aahhh... pictures. Steve hates them and Lily wanted people to know that she's not a big fan of them either. We got Lily to smile in 1 of the fifty we took. She's so photogenic, even with tears in her eyes!