Saturday, December 31, 2011

Square Foot Gardening

Our new project for this year is square foot gardening.  Todd made the 4 X 8 foot boxes . . . 

and put them out next to the front yard.

I'm sure there will be more pictures of this as we progress through the seasons.

Winter Camp Out

The kids begged to sleep in the tent.  Up it went, right in the middle of the living room.  By morning only the two girls were left inside.  One boy was in his own bed and the other was on the couch.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Presents

What a treat!  We got to have Niko with us for Christmas eve and Christmas morning!  Woo hoo!

We are still trying to avoid the crazy over done Christmas present thing.  This year we opted for practical gifts for everyone . . . monogrammed towels and sleeping bags.  Todd and I also tied new, big fleece blankets for everyone.  Aunt Teresa had made all of the kids blankets about 10 years ago.  They have been well used but now are a little small and worn with age.

We also got a new 8 person tent, a one minute tent, literally.  With a stop watch in my hand, Todd and Thomas put it up for the first time in one minute.  In the house.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Comparison

I was looking through last year's pictures of Christmas eve in preperation for this year and I came across this picture.  I was so amazed at how big Todd and I looked.

We decided to take a similar picture of the two of us this year to compare.  Can you tell a difference?  I hope so!
Just wait until next year . . . it will be even better!

Christmas Eve 2011

We have had the same foods for our big Christmas Eve celebration for as long as I can remember.  Why?  I don't know.  So this year we decided to try something new.  We went with an Asian theme.  

These take out boxes, filled with Asian candies, were our place cards.  This is Brian, my brother in-law and head chef for any holiday feast.  We never would have pulled off the evening if it were not for him.

Red chargers with white plates were topped with napkins and chopsticks.  The centerpieces were Thomas' idea.  Yes, those are fish.  I should not take him with me when I go shopping.  He has this Jedi power where he talks me into things.

My favorite Christmas visitor . . .

And then we dig in!  I have no pictures of the food because I was so tired from working in the kitchen that it didn't even cross my mind.  Woops!  We had pork and seeds, pot stickers, egg rolls, and California rolls for appetizers.  Then bowls of eggs drop soup.  The meal consisted of steamed white rice, stir fried vegetables, sesame noodles, almond chicken, orange chicken, and schezwan shrimp.  It was delicious.  And we had a LOT of left overs.

The traditional nativity . . .

Karen and Paul joined us for the first time this year.  Karen was our pianist for our Christmas Carol sing-a-long.

And of course a visit from Santa!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Trees

I have an Christmas obsession.  Christmas Trees.  I don't have a ton of Christmas decorations, except for trees.  This year we had 4 large and 3 smaller trees.  There is just something about those small twinkling lights that just make any room feel like Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Human Postal Sponge

I was getting some Christmas cards ready to mail today but didn't want to lick all those envelopes . . . so I let each of the kids take a turn.

Don't worry . . . no paper cuts.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Bad and the Good

The bad news is . . . this is what you will see piled just inside my front door.

The good news is . . . this pile also came with one returning college student.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Before Christy and Brian headed home on Saturday, Todd, Thomas, Christy and I went shooting.

I got to shoot one of my other birthday gifts for the first time.  It was the first time I had ever fired a hand gun. I was amazed at how much power such a small gun had.
 Loved it!  Can't wait to go again!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We got to have Thomas home for 5 whole Days!
Uncle Travis and Aunt Jenna stopped by with their friend Stephanie and stayed the night, before heading on to Pocatello.
 Aunt Christy and Uncle Brian came with their 3 kids.
 There was a lot of craziness and silliness going on.
 And just a lot of fun and even more catching up.
 We all ate way too much.

This is my brother in-law, Brian.  He always makes the work load easier.  And he is a much better cook than I am.
 Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Visitor

My brother, Larry, came to visit for a few days.  Can you believe I didn't take a single picture at all?!  Me either.  We had a great week visiting, eating, and checking out some of my favorite stores and stores I have always wanted to visit.  My brother and I seem to share many similar ideas and love for many of the same things.  Love spending time with him!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

One of my new birthday gifts was a a large enamel coated dutch oven.  Something I have always wanted but never wanted to pay for.  Yes, I am totally spoiled.  The first meal I made in it was Chicken and dumplings.  So delicious.  I have had this recipe for years but haven't made it for quite some time.  I got the recipe here.  It is always a favorite.  I usually double the dumplings and leave out the thyme.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011

I lined the family up for a picture in costume and noticed they were all wearing black.  What ever happened to Spiderman and princesses?!  

My Birthday

I went with a really good friend to the spa on my birthday.  We had pedicures . . .
 and then we got our eyebrows waxed.
 We met our husbands for lunch at Kneaders.

 Check out this yummy turkey avocado sandwich that I had for lunch!
 And this delicious fruit tart I had for dessert!
My family showered me with many great gifts including this one and the "thing" that goes with it.  I'll leave that part up to your imagination.
It was a most excellent day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A New Member of the Flock

Meet Ethel, the newest member of the flock.
We had some friends who had 2 chickens.  When one died, they worried the other was lonely.  They asked if she could come join our chickens.  Of course!  It's a little of a "trick" to get her accepted in, but happens quite quickly.  The kids have enjoyed holding, petting, and loving her already.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Choir Concert

Is Erica really old enough to be in high school?!
 She was in her first choir concert.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Our first honey harvested by my honey!

Todd brought the boxes in,
 scrapped the caps off of the honeycomb with a hot knife,
 spun the comb really fast to release the honey,
 and then filtered the honey, twice.
There it is . . . our beautiful raw honey.  
We got 18 pounds from our first harvest!  We are hoping to get more next year as the bees will not have to work at building all the honeycomb because we left it for them to use again.  Also, Todd is thinking about getting some more hives.  What a successful project!