Thursday, August 29, 2013

7 years

Tomorrow is my sweet, amazing, generous, unselfish, empathetic, little guy's 7th birthday. Sometimes I'm blown away at the sweetness of this boy. Whether it's asking me, "How was your time with your friends, mom?" or randomly thanking me for, "always entertaining us all day", he never ceases to amaze me.

We've had our challenges but one thing I'm so thankful for is that even during times I might be frustrated, I have a list a mile long of the kind and wonderful things he does on a regular basis that I need only think about and I'm instantly brought back to being patient. I love, love, love him. Love him.

We've done a few special birthday things this week leading up to tomorrow. One was yesterday morning when he was given (as requested a long time ago) an oversized donut from his favorite donut shop for breakfast. Tomorrow we'll be heading up to my in-laws for the weekend. We've made a tradition of always going up on his birthday so he can celebrate with both sides of the family. :)

CAM: "Hmmm...this tastes exactly like a regular donut...only bigger." 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


*I did not watch the VMA's the other night. I DID hear about Miley Cyrus' performance. My response? Speechless and disgusted (although sadly not shocked). Can I just move us to an island so my kids never are exposed to anything like this? :)

(I couldn't even find a decent pic of her at the VMA's)

*Chris read a fun article about secret things you can order on various menus. I've heard of the Biscotti Frappuchino and it does sound amazing. The only problem is that you are then adding $1.75 to a $4 drink to get them to blend in one of their biscotti cookies. :(

*Zoe is no longer a member of our family. She went to a GREAT family and we've already received text pics of her and her new 10 year old owner. Chris and I were a tad disturbed at how UN-disturbed both our kids were at letting her go. Kendall really could have cared less and Cam only expressed slight disappointment. Weird.

*A while ago I told Chris that I don't think I would ever want to go back to the gym. I love being able to start my work out literally 5 minutes after I've rolled out of bed in the morning. I also like being done before the kids even wake. However lately I've realized that it might be fun again to work out surrounded by others. Maybe someday...

*Last night I made super yummy and easy meatballs. I simply made a basic meatball recipe, then wrapped each one around 1/4 of a string cheese stick. Cam loved it!! :) This pic is from a blog post that inspired the idea.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Today a friend of Chris' invited him and Cam to join he and his boys on a trip up to the mountains. They visited Keller Peak Lookout and then had lunch before heading back down. Cameron loved it. :)

So what did Kendall and I do? I first treated her to one toy at the 99 Cent Store (I swear she acted like she won the lottery when I suggested this). We then went to Lakeshore Learning Store for their free craft Saturdays.

Before she and I left, my stomach felt a tad upset. I ended up needing to pay a visit to the restroom at the 99 Cent Store...oh, how lovely that was. :) Anyway, I'm still not completely in the clear so when Chris and Cam got home, Chris took both kids over to a friend's house for swimming, where they are right now. I was so grateful especially considering how tired Chris has been (just bad sleep). In fact, just this morning we played the "What would we do if we had a kid-free day?" game. His day included watching golf in his recliner and eating pizza. I know he has and is having fun, but it's not quite as relaxing. :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013


*Today Kendall and I were at the mall and she walked into a Hallmark. They had a Christmas tree ornament of something I haven't thought about in probably 25 years...Rainbow Bright. Remember her?? :)

*Today on the way home from school I just had to chuckle. This type of conversation is SOO normal for us, but I laughed at how funny it would sound to an outsider listening to a 6 year old. :)

CAM: Mom, my school is in San Bernardino county. You were at our house which is in Riverside county. Isn't funny that today we were in two different counties??
KELLY: Wow! That sure if funny!
CAM: And mom, isn't it funny that the 5 freeway runs into the 10 freeway?
KELLY: Um...I guess so! Wow! :)

*Costco visit today:
-Frozen veggies
-String cheese (Kendall would eat 20 a day if I let her!)
-Trash bags
-Greek yogurt

I was very tempted to make an impulse buy after tasting the YUMMIEST sample. They were Popcorners Kettle Chips. Wow. But I'm doing really well on our budget this month so I didn't want to blow it. :)

*How totally true is this?!!!!! :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

two firsts

Monday was Cam's first day of 1st grade. He was not nervous a bit. I had dropped off my "IEP Cheat Sheet" for his teacher last week (just giving her insight into him...basically summarizing his IEP goals). In response she wrote me/him the sweetest email introducing herself. I think this really helped and Chris and I were impressed that she made this effort before the first day. :)

Yesterday was Kendall's first day of ballet class. To say she was excited for this is an understatement. However I was cautiously optimistic because she is very shy, so I wasn't sure if we would get there and she would change her mind. Fortunately that didn't happen. :) She absolutely loved every single minute of it. She was still a tad shy (I don't think she spoke a word the entire class), but she was in heaven and let loose a gazillion words about it as soon as we got into the car. :)

I love this picture because she looks a little drunk on happiness. :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

two new foods

I experimented with two new recipes this weekend. I found a really tasty chocolate cake that uses quinoa instead of flour. I even cut the sugar by a third (I do think cutting down on the sugar requires using dark chocolate cocoa in the keep it rich enough) and omitted the frosting. I simply sprinkled a few chocolate chips on top. The quinoa does affect the texture, but not the taste in any way. Very yummy!

My second recipe was to further my goal of making hummus a staple in my kids' diet. I want more lunch box options and know hummus on sandwiches, as a dip, etc. is a GREAT idea. I've been introducing it gradually. For dinner last night I loosely followed a recipe, however it was basically seasoned ground beef on top of a hummus covered pita. Kids ate the whole thing!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

want a dog?

Zoe joined our family last summer. She has been a great dog in that she is super friendly and wonderful with the kids. However Cameron and Kendall's enthusiasm for her has dwindled by A LOT. It's gotten to the point where Zoe just isn't worth the upkeep. As sad as this sounds...we just aren't that into her. She needs a home where she will be played with more than the MAYBE 2-3 minutes per day she gets from Cam.

So with that you want a Boxer? :) Or do you know someone who wants a happy, non-aggressive, been fixed, up to date on shots, dog?  By the way, she also comes with a custom made dog house, complete with a light hook up for heat (for cold nights). We are asking $50 simply because she is fixed, comes with her shots and the doghouse.

Anyone?? Please?? :) Here is my Craigslist posting if you are interested.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

san diego

This past week was spent with Chris' parents. We had a WONDERFUL time and were sad to see them leave this morning. Here are some highlights:

*Sunday started with a birthday celebration for Debbie (Chris' mom) along with Chris' brother's family and my parents. She had requested lemon cheesecake. I had never made it before but it came out delicious (even for my chocolate-only tastes). :)

*Monday morning we headed to Legoland. His parents had rented a house for the next three nights. It was great weather and the kids loved it!

*One of the highlights of Legoland was the spending money grandma and grandpa gave the kids. They each got a Lego set. This was SOO nice for us to have for Cam. It literally provided 6+ hours of activity for him while we were at the house. For instance, here we are at approximately 6 a.m. one morning...he was QUITE anxious to start on it. :)

*The next day the boys went to visit the U.S.S. Midway while the girls went to a park and did some shopping.

*That evening was one of the highlights for me. We found a cute little street front restaurant on Coronado island and had the most DELICIOUS food (homemade pasta!).

*To say the kids enjoy grandma's iPad is a huge understatement. :)

*Another highlight were the evenings after the kids went down. It was nice to relax and read. One night Chris and his dad also watched and soon became fans of Duck Dynasty. Wow. I guess there are SOME funny lines, but I'm not quite sure why it is such a cult phenomenon. :)

*On Wednesday we went back to Legoland to go to the Aquarium and Waterpark (within the theme park). 

*Afterward we were able to catch a few of the Lego Friends for a quick picture. Kendall was quite shy, but excited none the less.

*The next morning we headed to the mall for some school shopping for Cam and ended our time with a yummy lunch at none other than our favorite, The Cheesecake Factory. Chris' parents stayed a couple more days at our house upon our return and left this morning. Overall it was such an enjoyable vacation and a great way to end our summer. Regular life resumes, with 1st grade beginning Monday. Thank you SOOO much, Debbie and Wayne, for an AWESOME week!!! :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

more of this and that

*Right now I'm relaxing in the recliner while the kids watch Wreck It Ralph. We made popcorn for the movie and I was again confused as to why I can't cook all the kernals without them burning. So I end up with about 1/3 of the kernals left whole. :(

*This morning my friend sent me a link to a really cool blog post about the game "high/low", which we play each evening at dinner. There is a third question we will now add. Thanks, Jessica. :)

*Also this morning Cam spent 2+ hours creating his own Lego house for the competition Lego is holding on their website. He was sooo excited to do this and upload it to become a part of the competition. While it probably won't win, it was too sweet to see him so into the whole process:

"Village House"

*The base camp for the firemen fighting the fire in Banning is just down the street. We have NEVER seen this many vehicles, personnel, etc. Wow.

*Today at the fruit stand I bought about 10 lbs. of almost done grapes. We will try to plow through half. The other half I'm going to attempt homemade raisins with this recipe. We'll see!!

*A good friend of mine just told me she was pregnant. I'll admit that while I'm super excited for her, I'm also a tad jealous. In addition to the fact that Chris underwent the "procedure" a couple years ago, there are a couple reasons it's not an option for us. But I'll be honest and say that I in no way feel ready to be done with this stage of our lives. I know I'll always be a mom...but I sure love having two little ones rely on me for absolutely everything...

*We often tease my dad because he will scrape his bowl dry whenever he eats ice cream. I hate to say I've taken after him as well. However Kendall takes this trait to a whole new level. The other day she not only stuck her tongue in the Mcdonald's sundae cup to try and lick everything off, but she then proceeded to lick the outside of it as well. :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


*A while ago a friend introduced me to a company called Norwex. They make "green" cleaning products. I was impressed, but not willing to plunk down any money until I discovered their "veggie cloth". I was sooo tired of the process of soaking my produce in water/vinegar, then scrubbing. I'll admit I'm a tad hesitant because this veggie cloth just seems too plain easy. You literally wipe off your veggies like if you were using a normal rag. Sounds too simple to work? I hope not because I've been using it a lot. :)

*Speaking of veggies, while I like to think I generally eat pretty healthy, Chris' cousins this past week put me to shame. :) Austin's talk about kale being practically God's gift to the body inspired me to give it another try. So my lunch yesterday included a healthy portion of steamed kale. Um...I think I need to research some tastier ways to eat it. :)

*This is essentially our last week of summer at home. Next week we are heading to San Diego with Chris' parents and Cam starts school after that. I'm feeling a tad sad that it has gone by so fast and I won't have my little guy and Kendall won't have her best playmate anymore during the day :(

*Bachelorette:  I'm a little skeptical of Dez and Chris. I love Chris, but I'm just not sure she could have gotten over Brooks in just a few days. However who are we kidding? Why am I questioning that when I watch a show which basically finds peoples' "soulmate" in 10 weeks?!! :)

*Quote of the day (last week): Cam had been very interested in talking about heaven, hell, Satan, etc.

Cam: Mom, I want to go to heaven too so I can be with you.
Kelly: Ah, Cam, that's sweet. I feel the same way!
Kendall: Mom, I'm excited to be dead next to you.
Kelly: Oh! Um...thanks! :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

reno vacation

We are back! I must say that this was one of those vacations that we did NOT want to return from. :) Reno was the destination for our trip to visit Chris' side of the family. We cannot thank Noonie and Deb enough for opening their home to us and giving us such a wonderful time (which also included Chris' uncle and cousins from Oregon). Here are just a few random snipits of our stay :)

Lake Day: Lake Tahoe was absolutely beautiful and this picture was one of Chris' highlights of the trip...relaxing in the rafts with his kiddos (and cousin Kayleen).

Back Patio: One of my favorite things was getting to eat our dinners out on their back patio. It was sooo peaceful and fun to talk into the night after the kids went to bed. Here is Kendall after Deb taught her and Cam how to make Banana Boats over the fire pit.

Relaxing: Despite having the kids with us, it truly was a relaxing trip. Here is Noonie and Kendall relaxing during a rousing episode of Doc McSnuffins. :)

Car rides: We were in the car a lot :) The kids did remarkably well...however I will say we LOVE DVD players! :)

Hiking: We went on one longer hike and a couple short ones. They literally live in the forest area of Reno so trails were easy to come by.

Reno: After Chris' uncle and cousins left, the six of us headed to downtown Reno. Here we are at Circus, Circus playing arcade games...which the kids LOVED.

In-laws: Since the drive to Reno is pretty long, we broke up the trip on both ends with a visit to my in-laws. We always enjoy our time here so it was nice to extend our vacation this way.

End of the trip: We ended our time with a breakfast at the kids' favorite breakfast spot...IHOP. Kendall literally ate this entire plate. I was stuck between, "Oh my gosh I can't believe my daughter just consumed that much sugar!" to, "Wow, pretty impressive... pretty darn impressive" :)