Sunday, November 30, 2014

belated thanksgiving

Yesterday we had such a fun time celebrating Thanksgiving. My parents, Susan's family (including her MIL), and Chris' brother's family all came out for the afternoon. The kids were amazing and played non-stop the entire time. Chris and I were commenting afterward how much adult talking time we were able to get considering we had 7 kids running around. :)

A quadruple game of Solitaire...

The weather was great and made it so the kids could eat outside at their own table. I won't lie and tell you that our table inside was much more conducive to conversation with this arrangement! :)

Favorite Thanksgiving Foods:
Chris: Stuffing
Cameron: Stuffing, rolls
Kendall: Stuffing
Kelly: Sweet Potato Casserole, cake

Sidenote: Sadly, I think that my favorite Pumpkin Crunch Cake probably made it's last appearance. While I still adore it (as does my SIL), the general consensus seems to be that it is "too sweet". Considering the labor it requires, I'm just not sure it's quite worth it. Ahhh...we had a good run.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Our Thanksgiving celebration will take place Saturday as we just returned from two nights camping with my family. We had a fun time with PERFECT weather!

The kids slept great both nights. "Great" by our terms still includes very early wake times, but we would take that over waking in the middle of the night! Here we are on a short morning walk trying to let others keep sleeping.

The kids brought their scooters, which they used a ton!! Here is my dad riding around with them.

My mom led the kids in a small craft of painting some rocks.

Harry Potter during some down time. :)

The beach was the highlight for all the kids. We had no idea it would be as nice as it was and were delighted that it was warm enough for the kids to swim! Even better was the fact that there were very few people there, making it so we almost had our own private beach.

Here we are right before we left this morning. We sure made some GREAT memories :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

3/4 and 1/4

3/4 of my day was pretty yucky. Kendall woke at 3:45 a.m. When I went in to see what she needed I was met with a, "Nevermind!!". Nice. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal because we would both go right back to sleep. However, thanks to the thunder/lightning last night, all four of us were woken and awake for the day by 4:15 a.m.

A couple hours later I left for my sub job at the high school. It was NOT the best day. Note to self: Do not accept PE jobs. Wow. Wrangling 60+ high school kids (half who didn't want to do anything) is not  my idea of fun. It was just plain stressful. I was counting down the hours until I could get home to the kids because today was Christmas decorating day! Woohoo! Yes, it's a little early, however since I'm hosting Thanksgiving next week, I wanted to have the house nice and Christmas'y. :)

So the last 1/4 of my day totally made up for the first part!

Last year we started the tradition of letting the kids eat dinner by the Christmas tree the night we decorated. They were VERY excited about it again this year. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

four things

Four Places I've Worked
1. Manhatten Bagel
2. Mary's Shelter (home for teen moms)
3. Gahr High School: Guidance Counselor
4. Nordstrom: Lingerie department (lasted two weeks...ha!)

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once
1. Clueless
2. Father of the Bride
3. Runaway Bride
4. Sleepless in Seattle

Four Books I'd Recommend
1. Unbroken
2. Silver Like Dust
3. Harry Potter
4. Into Thin Air

Four Places I've Been
1. Germany
2. New York
3. Guatemala
4. Ukraine

Four Things I Don't Eat
1. Anything higher than a 0 on a 1-10 spicy scale
2. Lobster
3. Licorice
4. Most meat :)

Four TV Shows I Watch
1. Parenthood
2. Parks and Rec
3. Tori and Dean
4. Battleground

Four Things That Made Me Smile Today
1. Kendall today: "Mom, sometimes I feel like I'm doing a big poop. But then I look down and I'm only doing a small one."
2. 103.5 Christmas music
3. Seeing both my kids when I picked them up from school
4. Listening to Dr. Laura lay it out for someone on her show :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

dumb and dumber to

*I tried the Starbucks Chestnut Praline Latte on Friday. Holy cow. That is one yummy drink. However with my soy upgrade, my Tall was $4.75. Really, Starbucks?? Ugh.

*Today Chris went to see Dumb and Dumber To with his brother. They had seen the original a long time ago and it still ranks near the top of their favorite movie list.

*While Chris was at the movie, we went hiking with my sister, her kids, and my parents. It was a tad chilly, but still a beautiful day for a hike.

*Normally I make myself wait longer to start listening to Christmas music, but two radio stations have already started playing it. Why not?!! It sure puts me in a good mood. :)

*We are mid-way through Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow and are really liking it.

*I'm turning in my application tomorrow to hopefully sub at the kids' school. I'm not feeling the, "we are desperate for subs" vibe (like we were told at orientation) from my district. The jobs I've gotten have been the result of my orchestrating rather than them calling me. Plus, subbing at my kids' school will somewhat help the pick-up/drop-off stuff we have to figure out when I sub (since right now the schools I do get release later than their school).

Friday, November 14, 2014


*A couple of days ago Kendall had her ending recital for her dance elective at school. It was only one song long, but boy was she adorable!!!! My mom and sister came to cheer her on.

* I really, really want to try the new Chestnut Praline Latte.

*I'm in a work out rut...meaning workouts aren't really happening. I remember last year it being so hard to get up once the nights turned cold. Last year I gave up all together for the month of December and while it was QUITE nice for that month, it was SOO hard to get back in the groove come January (so I won't be doing that again).

*Yesterday I subbed and I can't tell you how nice it was to come home to an amazing smelling house, thanks to my crock pot. Why don't I use that more often??? Sidenote: While it smelled amazing, the chili recipe I tried wasn't so much of a hit.  I have two bean haters in the house so I had tried a pumpkin turkey chili recipe I found. It just didn't cut it. :(

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

long weekend

This past weekend was extended thanks to a day off from school and us taking off an additional day. :) Saturday started out at Chris' grandmother's home to help with her estate sale.

I don't think our kids would have lasted the whole day had it not been for their cousins. :)

Cameron was kept occupied by several road Atlas books he found in the pile of old books. These kept him quite busy for a large portion of the time. :)

On Sunday the guys golfed and Chris' mom treated Rebekah and I to pedicures. :) That night was SUCH a fun night and I got zero pictures. :( We had a bonfire with everyone, including our good friends Matt and Jana (and their kids).

Monday was a day my kids had been talking about non-stop even before our weekend. We all went to John's Incredible Pizza. All four cousins adore this place and it was highlight for me to see them have such a great time. 

The buffet was actually quite good and had a lot of variety (way more than Chuck E Cheese).

Our weekends up north are never void of yummy food. After arriving Friday night, we ate dinner which included a really, really tasty quinoa salad. Here is the recipe

The second yummy item came on the way home. Chris' brother had told me about a really good iced coffee he had recently tried. I NEVER in million years would have stopped at this place, but it was literally the best iced coffee I've had to date (and I've tried a lot of places). It's from a Vietnamese restaurant called Lee's Sandwiches. Fortunately there is not one near our house because I would be going far too much.  But if you are ever in the Riverside area (or there are other locations), you really must try it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

color of rain

*Yesterday I subbed at the high school so Chris did drop off/pick up. I was missing picking up Kendall since she is always extra chatter-box'ish after school, so I had Chris text me a pic :)

*A friend of mine told me about a great recipe for spaghetti squash. I made it last night and we all really liked it! Instead of infusing the sauce with jalapeno, I used minced garlic.

*I worked at the high school again today and had a ton of down time (either because of the teacher's prep period or study hall for the kids). I ended up reading almost half of, The Color of Rain. It's a heavy read (making me tear up a couple times) so normally I wouldn't devote so much time to it at one sitting, but it was all I brought! It's REALLY good.

*Yesterday my sister, mom and I took the kids to tour our local Christian radio station, KSGN. They also recorded the Pledge of Allegiance (the radio plays a recording of local kids each morning). The kids loved being recorded and it was such fun hearing them this morning on the radio.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


*More often than not, Cameron gets up well before Kendall each morning. Lately he's really enjoyed reading my blog while he waits for her to wake.

*I love this pic from earlier in the week. It was, "dress in your favorite sports team" day at school. Chris loved that it happened to land on a World Series game day. :) Sidenote: Chris' beard has gone bye-bye. He was growing it until the World Series was over (some superstition thing). I must admit that it did grow on me...but I still like him better without. :)

*Last night was such fun with the kids. I just love taking them trick-or-treating and seeing how excited they get. This is a pic from another day as they were more bundled up last night because of the weather change.

*Here we are at a "candy break". 3-4 times throughout our time, we stop and let the kids take a break by eating a piece of their loot. :)

*Tonight my parents are coming over to watch all five kids while Chris and I as well as my sister and her husband go out to eat. We are going to an early dinner and then heading back home to have dessert with my parents and the kids. I made this recipe, altering it a bit by frosting it with whipped cream rather than the recipe's frosting (I'm not a butter cream fan).

*Chris found a show that we both like! This is quite rare. :) It's called, Battleground and it's a fake-documentary (like The Office) following a campaign staff of a woman running for senate.