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!

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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!"

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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.