Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Festivities

For some reason the older I become, the more I love Halloween.  I mean I loved it when I was younger but something about seeing my children dress up in cute little costumes and parade around town begging for candy melts my heart.

                       Divabelle (1 of 1)     mayawitch (1 of 1)

KC caught the pumpkin carving bug.  He even looked online for templates.  Obama was a no-go but scary pumpkin face made the cut. *ha! pun intended*dadcarve (1 of 1)

It was fun, even if some of us caught the frustration bug instead.

    Divacarving (1 of 1)    divacarving2 (1 of 1)

Those are uncle K’s hands.  Thanks man, for gutting my daughter’s pumpkin!

I also slaved away on these.  I mean Halloween is all about the sugar right?    Mmmm…. sugar.

       cinnamonrolls (1 of 1)   cinnamonrolls2 (1 of 1)

We won’t be trick-or-treating tomorrow due to H-ween falling on a Sunday but we have had our fair share of festive fun.

We went to our ward trunk-or-treat last night and uh…can I brag for sec?


Edit: They had “good”, “better” and “best” hence the quotations. ha ha.

Thanks.  I feel much better.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A scary story


*In honor of Halloween I wanted to tell the most terrifying experience of my life.*

I was nine years old and in the fourth grade.  My best friend at that time was Lisa.  She lived right down the street and we played together often; mostly Barbies, some house and some school. 

It was mid January.  I remember singing “I believe in Christ” in church that Sunday.  I was excited because the next day we had no school.  It was Martin Luther King Jr. day!  It was decided that I was going to spend the night at Lisa’s house that night.  My little sister, Kelli, tagged along.

We played together as we usually did.  We undressed and dressed the Barbies, made them act in ridiculous scenarios, paraded them around, living vicariously through them.  Didn’t all little girls wish they were older, with 12 inch waists and double D racks?  I sure did.  I also wished I had a plastic man with plastic hair and ambiguous body parts.  Those were the days.

It started getting late and we contemplated sleeping all together on Lisa’s double bed.  We decided against it and settled for sleeping in the loft next to her parents’ room.  A loft with a built-in floor to ceiling bookshelf.  A bookshelf where every space was utilized; encyclopedia sets, dictionaries, kids’ books, fiction, non-fiction, church related materials adorned the space.  I vividly remember gazing at the sheer volume of books thinking, “Wow I hope there is not an earthquake tonight.”  Growing up in California, one has those thoughts frequently.

We fell asleep quickly.  I awoke sometime in the middle of the night with a bloody nose.  Nothing too strange but there was an odd sense in the atmosphere.  I couldn’t put my finger on it (maybe because my fingers were preoccupied with tissue) but something was…off.  Oh well, I was only nine.  I wasn’t about the ponder the complexities of the universe.  So I went back to bed.

The next moment I’m about to share is so crystal clear in my memory.  It was a very surreal experience, one that will always be present in my imagination.

I opened my eyes and it was dark.  It was not morning yet but I was so violently woken.  I realized things were shaking.  Everything was moving.  I reached out my hand and grabbed onto the railing right above my head.  An earthquake.   I was terrified.  Scared out of my mind.  The shaking continued for what felt like hours.  In reality it was only for less than a minute.  Something was so different about this quake.  I had been in a couple before but this one was so fierce, so violent, so full of rage. 

My instincts were to get up and get out.  I tried.  For some reason I couldn’t move.  I felt as if I weighed 400 pounds.  Then I heard Lisa’s mom gasp, “Dennis, the children are covered in books!” 

Books?!  What the heck was she talking about?  Oh wait…books..BOOKS!  The bookshelf!  All that material was on top of us.  We were buried in literature.  I shoved and hurled books aside and pulled out my body.   We ran out of the house, unknowingly stepping over broken glass, decorations, dishes and picture frames. 

We made it outside into the chilly winter air.  Up and down the street every neighbor had the same idea: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. 

There we sat, shivering from the cold and fear.  It was around 3:45 in the morning.  More than anything at the moment I wanted my mother. 

Lisa’s Dad had to run back inside to retrieve jackets and coats.  I was so enveloped in hysteria that I thought he would never make it back out alive.  Well he did.  I still wanted my mom.

Finally we got into the car and my sister and I were driven up the street to our house.  My family was in their car as well, huddling together for comfort and for warmth.

With sunrise came the understanding that this was a massive earthquake.  Neighbors and families tenderly walked through their homes and around destroyed priceless heirlooms, treasured gifts, loved art, precious china, recently jarred foods and countless other material items.  Some lost their entire homes, some lost loved ones. 

For the next few nights our neighborhood camped out in tents.  We had no running water, no electricity and grocery stores were out of commission. 

And then there were the aftershocks.  The aftershocks wore my on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard.  An endless chalkboard.  We watched as dust from the mountains floated up and then resettled.  As soon as one began you had to find something to hang to or hunker down to the ground, or find a doorway.  I hated those aftershocks. 

After a few days I found myself back at Lisa’s house.  My eyes widened as I looked around and I kept thinking, “We WALKED over all this stuff?!”  I had no recollection of any bleeding toes or heels.  It was so strange.

Then we went up to the loft and I was incredulous.  There was no.way. that all of those books were on top of us.  No WAY.  And as I thought back to that terrifying moment I realized that I never felt one book touch my body.  Not one.  Only the shaking had aroused me from my sleep.  Surely I would have felt dozens of books crashing on top of me.  But no, I didn’t.  Lisa and my sister came to the same realization. 

Then we made our way into Lisa’s room.  The room we considered sleeping in that night.  A room that now had two mirror closet doors practically draped across her bed; glass shattered all around. 

At that age I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of such a disaster.

To this day the 1994 Northridge earthquake remains one of the most expensive natural disasters in world history.

The End.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



                        timeout2 (1 of 1)timeout (1 of 1)

In time out 10-26-10

Just like any family, we have rules. 

1. No back-talk

2. No hitting

3. Listen to mommy and daddy

I would say those are our Big Three.  And when they don’t adhere to those rules, they get a time-out.

Well, in our house we have banned words or phrases.  They would fall under rule #1.  A few of them are:



intentional potty talk (poo poo, pee pee, butt..etc)

But Munchkin has a hard time with pronunciations.  So her variation of shut-up is “shove-up.”

So we had to ban “shove-up” as well. 

Can I tell you how darn difficult it is to stifle my laughter and restrain myself from squeezing her?  It’s just so cute.  I can’t handle it.

But I have to.  Diva watches me.  She rules with iron fist.   And when she tattles, “Mommy she said SHOVE-UP!”  I just can’t help but laugh. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Good Day

On days like this, I love being a parent.  Okay well I love being a parent every day (no, not really) but today I really, really enjoyed it.  I love to watch my children’s happiness flourish and blossom right in front of my eyes.  Their energy and pure joy is intoxicating.  It’s contagious.  It makes my heart happy.

pumpkins3 (1 of 1)

We visited our local pumpkin patch today and while this is a yearly tradition it still surprises me how fresh and magical the experience is once we enter those gates.  Not because we spend a ton of money or shower them with treats.  It’s because we’re together.  Having fun.  Creating memories. 

divathirds (1 of 1)

They had a live band and a stage and Diva was in her element.  She danced and skipped and danced on that stage for over an hour. Like full on dancing.  Non stop.  For an hour.  A local high school dance team held a freeze dance contest and Diva and Munchkin drank it up.  It was adorable and precious and sweet and hilarious all at once.

           divahorsie (1 of 1)     shorty (1 of 1)

And of course, there were ponies involved.  More happiness.  More energy.  More love. 

munchkinhorsie (1 of 1)



Thursday, October 21, 2010


Overcast+bright clothing+boring cement wall=cuteness.

boots (1 of 1)

              sillygirls (1 of 1) silly2 (1 of 1) 

kiss (1 of 1)divasmile (1 of 1)  Who knew it would be difficult to get a 2.5 year old to actually look at the camera? 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gone Fishin’


divafish1 (1 of 1)

We took off to Big Bear for the weekend.  My sister and her husband invited us to join them.  We’re so glad they did! It was fun and relaxing.

Hubby had researched online about this cute little fishing place where you were guaranteed to catch a fish.  It was built for little families like us. 

Diva was so excited.  She kept telling us that she wanted to, “Catch a fish, smash it and eat it.”

And then we arrive to the Alpine Trout Lakes and it was closed.  Permanently.  What is a desperate parent supposed to do now?

Well, we bought a one-day fishing license.  And bait.  And a pink, Disney Princess fishing pole.   We settled down on a dock, cast the line and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

                           dadfish1 (1 of 1)     momfish (1 of 1)

divafish (1 of 1)

 We caught a big fat NOTHING. 

Diva was upset but we finally convinced her that, “The fishies just aren’t hungry today.  We have to come back and try again.”  (and I’m a little relieved we didn’t have to smash and eat whatever ended up on that line.)

We still had fun though.  The weather was gorgeous.  The air fresh.  The lake serene.  The kids well-behaved. 

And now we are the proud owners of a pink, Disney princess fishing pole. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I’m all about simple.

I have minimal decorations.

I rarely wear jewelry.

I only wear makeup when I’m on a date or at church.

And when it comes to food, the simpler the better.  Find delicious ingredients that blend well together and you’re good to go.

One of my favorite meals to make stemmed from this recipe but I’ve changed it a whole lot.   First, I hate mushrooms, second I try to use whole grain pastas as often as I can.  But I love the taste of hot Italian turkey sausage.  It’s the entire flavor of the dish.

pasta (1 of 1)

Hot Italian Turkey Sausage with Penne Pasta and Peas 

Box of whole grain blend or whole wheat Penne Pasta

Package of frozen peas

Hot Italian Turkey Sausage (removed from casing)

Fresh Parmesan Cheese

*Fresh Mozzarella cheese

*Oven roasted tomatoes or Sun Dried Tomatoes

*Fresh Basil

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

Bring to boil a large pot of salted water.  Meanwhile heat a tablespoon of olive oil over high heat and sauté turkey sausage breaking into small chunks.  When turkey is no longer pink add in peas and heat through, drain excess fat from skillet. Boil pasta according to package.  Drain and add to large bowl.  Add in pea/turkey mixture.  Add in chopped tomatoes along with chopped fresh mozzarella.  Grate in some fresh parmesan cheese and a couple tablespoons of chopped basil.  Salt and pepper to taste.

It is so good and SO easy.  Promise.

*These three ingredients are “extra” meaning if I don’t have those ingredients I still make the dish and it still tastes great.  The “extras” just add a little oomph to the pasta.

This is one of my hubby’s favorite meals and one of the few meals my kids will actually eat and ask for seconds. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not gonna happen

So.  A couple months ago I signed Diva up for soccer.  I thought to myself, “She’s going to be so well-rounded!  Oh what an athlete she will be!” 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago; her first day.  In Diva fashion she jumped right in, she was involved, she kicked the ball around, ran up and down the field and then she began to very slowly dissolve into an anxious, terrified puddle of tears.  She had realized that this is something new.  Something she’s not familiar with; an activity in which there are kids better than she is, BIGGER kids, faster kids.  And I made the rookie mistake of cheering for her on the sidelines.  It was the five words, “C’mon honey kick the ball!” that triggered her entire meltdown.  And we never recovered. 

That’s not to say we didn’t try.  We continued to take her the following few weeks but the final straw was a grand exit in which I carried Diva over my shoulder, carrying on in full hysteria, while holding Munchkin’s hand, a camp chair over the other shoulder, my bag and a couple dollies under the crook of my other arm (wait do I have three arms?  I wish p.s. Hubby was out of town).  I felt 25 pairs of eyes on my back as I made that walk of shame and 50 eyes is 50 too many to witness such a parenting failure.  So I said to myself, “Not gonna happen.”

In between soccer attempts Diva asked, “Mommy WHEN am I going to do princess ballet again?”


So much for well rounded.

twogirls (1 of 1)

Munchkin was in on the ballet-ness.

munchkinwatching (1 of 1)

The room was way too small to take pictures, and the window too reflective to get a good shot.

tuttifrutti (1 of 1) icecream2 (1 of 1)

Munchkin got a little antsy but nothing a good cup of fro-yo couldn’t cure!


Because we were camping over General Conference weekend I downloaded all the sessions to my ipod and have been listening to them while cleaning, cooking or when I have a silent moment to myself.  As I listened to the Saturday morning session I was overcome by the Spirit.  The choir singing, "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet" was beautiful and I add my thanks that I am indeed grateful for a Prophet of God, to guide us in these Latter Days.

A few days ago, my husband and I watched our beloved Prophet speak on Gratitude and I loved every minute of his talk.  May we all be grateful for the blessings our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. 


Sunday, October 3, 2010

What I love...

...about beach camping:

The sand (perfect for abundant imaginations) Photobucket

A sunset-watching family.

The sunset

My silly girls (and not having to wear a stitch of make-up)

S'mores.  It's like every year (and it's good I only eat them when camping) when I bite into my first ooey, gooey grahamchocomallow cookie I remember how much I LOVE them.  Mmmmmm.  Yum.


Reading trashy, pointless, mind-numbing magazines.

A perpetually dirty Munchkin.  (Oh who am I kidding, she's always dirty at home too.)


Daddy-daughter moments.



And sheer happiness.


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