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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a...

Girl! We are very excited. :) So far she looks similar to the other two little people running around here, and I'll get really mixed up. That will be fun though. ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Cards

I love to get Christmas cards. It's so nice to know that someone was thinking of you, and took the time to send you a note at Christmas to tell you.

So why can't I ever get them sent out to people myself?? Something comes up every year.... At the end of this November, I pulled a tendon (or something like that) behind my knee and couldn't walk for a week. (I did this buy locking my knees whilst I did dishes for too long. The joys of pregnancy!). Last year I don't think my excuse was as good......but still, the card thing just didn't happen.

So here is a Christmas blog-card to all of you nice readers of this blog. We hope you are having a Merry Christmas season and the the Light of Christ is touching your hearts.

If you don't celebrate Christmas, we hope the same for you, but also that you are enjoying what holiday you do celebrate this time of year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Antlions vs. Lester update

I sure hope they all made it to higher ground. This is the bridge in Rockville Meridy and I were playing under with the antlions.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Soft Rock Stars

First of all. Isn't soft rock an oxymoron? If a rock is soft, shouldn't it be classified as sediment? What geologist out there can give me a good definition of "rock" that would include anything soft? I'm waiting, because I know I'm wrong. I just want to see the explanation.

Secondly, I just realized last night that Meridy and I are like rock stars. Well, except that we don't usually perform rock songs. We haven't done a rock song since "Wanted Dead or Alive" with Zach and Dad (Shella, were you singing too?) at the big Pope Family Reunion show. This realization came to me after I had finished singing "Far Far Away on Judea's Plains" in the ward Christmas program. William was having a hard time seeing me in Shepherd garb, so I started wondering what our kids think about all the performances we've been doing. We did our smash hit cover of "If I Had $1,000,000" (Christmas edition) at Hurricane's Festival of Trees earlier in the week. Meridy also performed a couple numbers with the Reeve Family Band at that event. She's been doing flute numbers in primary, sacrament meetings and a funeral in recent weeks. For example, she'll be playing a flute number for the ward choir today.

So yah, we're practically soft rock stars.

Merry Christmas everybody!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paparazzi Open House

I am having a Paparazzi Open House. It's a jewelry and hair accessory party at my house this Friday from 2-4pm!! No sales pitch, just come and see all of the cute items for sale. Your kids can come play upstairs if you need to bring them, so please don't let that stop you from coming. If I didn't get an invite out to you, please know that you are invited. If you need my address please leave me a comment. Hope you can come!

Great Christmas gifts for: moms, daughters, friends, piano teachers, and any other woman you can think of. Tons of items for only $5!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baked Apples

I'm finally starting to come to terms with something that I have felt bad for for a long time: I don't like to bake. There I said it. Even if it is in small print. I'm finally realizing that it's okay to not like to bake and own it.

I think the greatest source of guilt comes from the fact that my mom is a fabulous baker.
I grew up loving the holidays, to a major extent, because of the goodies my mom would bake. She would turn on the Christmas music and start baking. She gives many of her goodies away, but there's always a little left over for the kids. :) So many of our family traditions are centered around special food, and I can't always duplicate it, and my kids are missing out! Perhaps I need more practice, but I'm too impatient to practice.

Cheryl is a fabulous baker also. She makes some of the best rolls in the world, and she bakes them quite often. Then she turns some of the dough into cinnamon rolls. I love cinnamon rolls....

I hate baking because it makes a huge mess, and then I'm hardly ever satisfied with what I just made, and then I end up eating most of it, because I went to all the effort, and someone better eat it!!!! Then you gain weight on something that wasn't all that tasty anyway. To be fair, my kids and husband will eat what I bake and like it pretty well, but I somehow end up eating too much of it even though it's not up to snuff.

So finally to the owning it part.
I have decided that I will bake things that are easy to bake! Like those delicious three ingredient chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. Those are easy and tasty enough to be worth the effort. And like baked apples. I just tried these making these recently. So easy and so good, like apple pie, without worrying about a crust. All you have to do is:

Core some apples. (The only really tricky part is not piercing the bottom)

Peel away a little peel around the well you created.

Fill them with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, chopped pecans, and cornstarch (for thickness).

Top with a dab of butter. (I forgot this part and they still turned out well).

Get the sized baking dish needed for number of apples. Fill the bottom with just enough water to cover. Place apples in pan. Bake at 350 for 30min give or take depending on size and hardness of apples. (Mine were small and took 30 min).
Top with vanilla ice cream and enjoy warm!

Unfortunately, my kids didn't totally go for this recipe, so I need more EASY and LOW mess baking recipes that taste a little better than out of the box. Do you guys know any????

And do you guys have holiday traditions that don't center around food? I know my family does have some, but I want more ideas. We need to start some personal family holiday traditions!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nate's Birthday

Happy Birthday Nate! We had a good time celebrating Nate's birthday. These are pictures from a quick little party we had at home. We just had ice cream with candles, and the kids and I went shopping for Martinelli's, fancy cheese, and crackers for a "present". Nate already knew I was going to get it for him so that we could use it in a fancy dinner at home with no kids. (Thanks for watching them Angie!) I loved how he hammed up the photos anyway. The kids had a good time.

Below is a photo of our fancy cheese, crackers, apples, and Martinelli's for the first course of our fancy dinner.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010 (Updated)

First of all thanks so much for all your well wishes, and happy thoughts. We are very excited about our newest little surprise coming in May. Today I bought my first little baby item for our new one. I have lots of hand-me-downs from my previous two that this baby can use, but it's always fun to have a few things of your own--you know? So this is what I bought yesterday:

If the baby is a boy I can keep it just how it is. If the baby is a girl I am going to find some really cute ribbon and make some little bows to put on all the bats. :)

So anyway.....we did have a fun Halloween. We missed the ward party in the end, which made me sad, but we went to my mom's house and had a good time. Here are two pages I have finished: (I have had way too much fun scrapbooking on my computer since it came back from the computer ER doctor, Garry. He is AMAZING. Other people talk about their children's pediatricians, I talk about my computer's techie.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

{An UltraSound} Picture Says a Thousand Words

Well, actually no, an ultrasound doesn't. Don't we all wish it did? Too bad we need a professional to interpret what each little fuzz ball is and which way is even up. Fortunately for us, as average citizens, we're still pretty smart and the ultrasound to the left gives us a rough idea of what will be coming to Merinate around the 16th of May.

{The labels in orange are what I remember of the professional interpretation given for my ultrasound.}

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Boys are different from Girls

These are some old baby pictures I found of Ellie at her Aunt and Uncle's wedding when she was five months old. She still has that "new baby" look--she looks like she's still trying to get used to the world. She has those dainty little baby girl hands. She's wearing a bow! She is wearing a beautiful bright pink, homemade dress. Very innocent. (But, she wasn't very innocent I assure you. She kept me up half the night at age five months. )

I have some really cute pictures of Will in a Baby Tux when he was only a month or two old. I wish I had them on this computer. Maybe I will have to edit this post later...
He looked handsome. Even though he had baby hands, they didn't look "dainty." He was not wearing a bow, but a bow tie instead. He looked innocent then too. He wasn't so innocent a few days ago.....

Now, Ellie is by no means a perfect child, and William is a good little boy. But William does things the likes of which Ellie has never dreamed of or would be too afraid to attempt....

Two days ago William out did himself. In one day, he:

1. Put gobs of toilet paper in the toilet after going potty, and held down the flusher. Water was all over the floor. I only found out about this because I went in to check on him. When I found him he was content to stand there holding down the flusher watching the water overflow. He could have stood there for who knows how long without thinking to tell me.

2. Ripped keys off the computer key board. He's done this before. He's already been in trouble for it. Once he ripped off nearly the entire keyboard. Obviously he thought he would try his luck again. The letter "s" is still missing.

3. Took off his clothes and ran around naked outside. I don't know why.

4. Wouldn't get into his car seat when I said now, I told him that I wouldn't give him any candy next time he asked. I gave him about three seconds to learn the meaning of the word 'now'. It didn't work so I shoved put him gently into his seat, and told him that when I say now, I mean now. Then he asked, "Can I have some candy?" I said, "no." He started to bawl. "Can I have some candy?" "NO." More bawling. It was the only thing I could do to upset him all day. Nothing else made a dent. Now a few days later, every time he gets in his car seat he asks, "Can I have some candy now?"

5. Gave me a scare by nearly ruining the computer, by nearly spilling root beer on it it. He knows he can't have food or drink by the computer.

Add to this the normal, everyday messes, and little sadnesses that come in the day of a three year old. Every time I turned around there was another or near disaster. Yes, boys are different from girls.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet the Colors

Have you ever watched the 1990's version of Sabrina, with Harrison Ford? It is about a business tycoon named Linus with seemingly little sense of humor or heart, his handsome and womanizing brother David, and the girl who lives above the garage named Sabrina. I'm not going to go into detail about the movie, however, because I'm not really posting about this movie. I am posting about two scenes in this movie. In the first scene Linus and David are talking in Linus's office. In the middle of the conversation, Linus whips out a gun from his desk and starts firing at a large flat screen television. David is shocked, and we the audience can't suppress a smile. The catch is that the TV screen is indestructible. In another scene in the move, we see Linus trying to sell this TV screen to some Japanese business men. He demonstrates the screen's qualities by beating it with a stick. He then bows over the stick to the Japanese men, offering them a turn to do likewise. Why have I described these scenes to you, do you ask? It is because I want one of those televisions.

Have you ever watched Meet the Colors? For your sake, I hope it wasn't for very long. Meet the Colors is a very educational show in a family of educational DVD's that help young children learn and memorize many useful educational things. My children LOVE them. They love the colors video even though they have known their colors for YEARS. However, what is good for children does not equal good for adults. The method used in these programs to teach children is REPETITION. In a scene from Meet the Colors, a cute little purple puffball floats across the screen painting a purple picture of grapes saying:

purple, purple, purple, purple.......

(the bold letters indicate where the word is emphasized). That is all the little puffballs say. They only say their color. That is the entire dialog for the movie. Over and over and over and.... By about the seventh purple, I'm about ready to pull out a gun and shoot the screen. Unfortunately this would destroy our TV. I would like to buy that indestructible screened TV so that I can have the satisfaction of shooting the colors without actually harming anything. Violent, I know. But you would want to also, I am sure. For some reason I can handle Dora for a very long time, but if I had my way, Meet the Colors would only last for about 2 seconds.

If we are going to have valuable programs that help our children learn their colors, why not also have some programs that make mom personally happy as well? Mine would be called, Meet the Family Rules. It would involve the faces of smiling and adorable cartoon puffballs repeating things like,

"Mommy is always right."
"Mommy is always right."
"Mommy is always right."
"Mommy is always right."

"You must look both ways before crossing the street."
"You must look both ways before crossing the street."
"You must look both ways before crossing the street."
"You must look both ways before crossing the street."

"You cannot eat ice cream out of the carton even though daddy does."
"You cannot eat ice cream out of the carton even though daddy does."
"You cannot eat ice cream out of the carton even though daddy does."
"You cannot eat ice cream out of the carton even though daddy does."

I think it would be a successful venture, except for the fact the the people who make Meet the Colors, Preschool Prep, would probably sue me. It would still be satisfying though......

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rainy Day

It was the most amazing rainy day today. It just about rained for three hours straight (and then some more off and on late afternoon through evening.) A monumental feat for Utah, not for Oregon. I lived in Oregon and England for some of my childhood, and it took YEARS of living in Southern Utah before I came to appreciate rain again.

Here are some things that, beyond the obvious (such as, maybe the always-dreaded drought will be vanquished because of this storm), I appreciated about the rain today:

1) That fresh RURAL dessert-rain smell. (Not be confused with a Vegas rain smell--it has a hint of the smell I am referring to, but with Vegas mixed in.)
2) The rain finally washed the nasty smudges from my windshield. (I won't describe them to you, that would be...unpleasant.)
3) The children got to see their first wild snails at ages 5 and 3 because the rain encouraged them to come out of hiding. (Slimy, but still cool. They were by the car and we had to work hard not to run over them. We cheered for them after we backed out without crushing them.)
4) The children got to dance in the rain. (I liked hearing them giggle and I didn't have to get wet).
5) I got to listen to thunder and see some lightning. (I used to love to watch lightning storms off my parents' deck. Still do actually, just don't get the opportunity).
6) Related to number 5 but deserves it's own recognition: We got to drive through the storm and watch the lightning. (Nate and I had a very memorable date once "chasing" a storm in Cedar City. We listened to the Sister Hazel CD, Chasing Daylight.)
7) Our next door neighbors' yard looked like an English garden. (Our yard looked nice, needs a little more love from us I would say...)

ps. I did not take the picture. It is meant to be a general representation of the desert rain.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Behold the Power of Iced Cream!

Once again ice cream is the unlikely ingredient that breaks down walls and creates camaraderie. The first time this happened to me was on my mission. I was having problems with one of my companions and was praying for help with it. Then I got a prompting to buy some ice cream. I said, "ok," and I picked some up on our way home for lunch. I was about half-way through the carton by the time the 2nd step of the plan occurred to me. I stared at my ice cream and thought, "I'm supposed to share this with my comp." So I told my comp I was done with it and offered him the rest. He looked at me with narrowed eyes and then took the carton. Happily, our companionship greatly improved after that.

Tonight was a similarly surprising answer to prayer involving ice cream. I've been trying to promote unity within my deacons' quorum because these guys are not exactly the Getalong Gang.
The guys really came together for this top secret ice cream restaurant stunt for our combined mutual activity. We used our very own money to buy ice cream and lots of toppings. We met at the church early to prepare all the stuff, just barely getting completing our preparations before everyone else showed up at the church. After the water-rocket launch activity we sprung our ice cream party on everyone. The deacons were way excited about the whole thing, and totally combined forces to get it done. It was almost as good as Remember the Titans.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shampoo: The Continuing Story

For those of you who are interested in the continuing saga of my shampoo. I bit the bullet and bought the shampoo to the left. It smells quite nice. I'd even say it smells like pomegranates--just like the freshly opened pomegranate on the bottle. So I am appeased.

I did look at the other 'fancy' shampoos. In my new empowerment I was thinking of spoiling myself. I smelled the Herbal Essences. It smelled lovely. But I just could not purchase it when a perfectly good bottle of Suave was over on the other shelf, larger and cheaper. Add the fact that I go through shampoo far to fast. (The nasty coconut bottle is actually 3/4s of the way gone already.) The contest was over really quickly.

Now, one thing that I do not stint on is conditioner. I love Tresemme conditioner. It is so thick and smells so good and does it's job so well. I try to buy it on sale, but when I run out of my current bottle, I will pay top dollar if I have to. The nice thing is that it takes me so long to go through a bottle of this stuff.

When I did buy the bottle to the left, I spoiled myself. This kind of Tresemme is new to me. Notice how it also says 'naturals'. In this case I do not think it misleading. There is no freshly opened fruit on the bottle to mislead and it says "with sweet orange". Therefore I know that it probably doesn't smell just like an orange although it is influenced by them. As a customer, I feel satisfied.

One note that I have to make about Tresemme right here is that, if you are buying the original line every bottle of shampoo from "for colored hair" to "for fine hair", smells the same. Have you ever noticed that? I wonder if each bottle actually contains the SAME shampoo... Not sure how I feel about this. But as the conditioner works so well for me, I won't worry about it too much.

So, I bought the pomegranate shampoo, but I guess that wasn't empowering enough for me anymore because I also bought the hairspray to the left. In my defense, I really was out of hairspray. I suddenly realized: why care about how your shampoo and conditioner smells, if you buy stinky hairspray (which I usually do because it is cheap). So I bought this one on a chance that it would smell good......and it does! So far it also does what it purports to do on the bottle which is to give you a good strong hold while not being too much like a helmet. It even works in humidity apparently, but until I win a vacation to Florida or Hawaii, I'm afraid I can't test that. The price wasn't too bad either, about a dollar or so more than usual.

Monday, September 13, 2010


"Los hermanos sean unidos
Porque esa es la ley primera-
Tengan union verdadera
En cualquier tiempo que sea-
Porque si entre ellos pelean
Los devoran los de afuera"

Canto XXXII, Decimoseptima Sextina

Martin Fierro, de Jose Hernandez

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Take Hold of My Strength

I had my 10 year class reunion over the weekend. We had a really good time. It was good to see old friends and experience that camaraderie we used to feel. The bonfire was a totally fun nightcap, and that couch was practically begging for a pyre. R.I.P. couch, R.I.P.

The reunion made me think about why exactly we feel attached to these people even after 10 years of going our mostly separate ways. I concluded that it was because we influenced each other through shared experiences over time. Some influences were for the good, some not so much. The people we really bond with are the ones that lift us up and strengthen us. We take hold of each other's strength.

As I pondered this, I made it the point of my scripture study that night. I thought about how marriages, families and quorums are supposed to be like that. The ultimate should be our camaraderie with Christ. This verse put it the way that made sense to me, "Let him take hold of my strength..." Isaiah 27:5

On a completely unrelated note, this guy has an amazing voice. It makes my raise my eyebrows and close my eyes and hold perfectly still. Sometimes it seems absurd that voice comes out of that body. He looks like a teenager, but sings like a 40 year old. The more I listen to the song, the more I think it could be like a 10 year reunion--except that instead of an island, its a small town we're coming back to.

Just keeping it random.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I will be happy when....

......this shampoo bottle in my shower is empty.

Now, you expect Suave shampoo to be just as good as the "leading brand" with all of those commercials they put out urging us to save our hard earned dollars and buy Suave. Now you would hope that a company selling products in our good country would be honest with the people. You would hope that it really does clean hair. Well I'm here to to tell you that it does clean my hair. That is not what I am complaining about. I am complaining about the false advertising that occurred when word "natural' was printed on the bottle.

Why do I complain about the use of this word, when it states on the bottle that it is "infused with coconut extract"? What I am wondering is this: How natural can the shampoo be if it does not even smell like coconuts? Shocking, I know. Do you want to know what it does smell like? Nasty, Cherry, Cough Medicine. The kind that you have to choke down. The kind that I complain about Ellie hating so much (that she throws it back up), even though I hate it too.

I have tried so hard every morning to ignore the picture on the bottle that looks like a freshly cracked open coconut. I have tried every morning to pretend that it smells like a delicious cherry shake. But, sadly, it just does not work. Words can not express the excitement I know I will feel when I am purchasing a delicous smelling, new bottle of shampoo.

Now, if you are going to make a product that doesn't smell/taste such as it is advertised, the least you can do is make it taste as good or better. Like, my new alcohol-free Western Family mouth wash that helps stop gingivitis. It tastes somewhat of root beer. I am pleased enough with it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Antlions vs. Lester

Way back when we created this blog, we declared that we would keep it random. I think we haven't been random enough of late. So here is a story about a random antlion date. Last night Meridy and I had a much needed date. We were on our way to Zion/Springdale, but I decided to pull over in Rockville. Meridy and I like to take walks and look at houses together. Rockville has a lot of old and/or novel houses and yards, so we had fun. Eventually, we got to the cool old bridge. We read the plaque and were duly impressed. It turns out there are hundred of antlions under the bridge...right next to some ant holes...go figure. Here are some educational links for antlions.

I decided to show Meridy the wonders of nature, so I started helping the antlions out. Most of those antlions were hopeless. The ants escaped almost every time. One ant in particular was especially wily, clumsy, but wily. He was Lester. Lester kept stumbling into antlion holes, but he always got away. Billy was not so lucky.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Life out of Order

These are some pictures of our life the past few months, not necessarily in order because it is too difficult to put it in order. Sometimes you just have to let these things go. Like sometimes you have to wear flip-flops to church because, they should just be happy you even made it there today. (I almost wore flip flops to church today, but I could bring myself to do it. So I wore nice black shoes that didn't really match.)

So now you all get to play a really fun game! (This is a phrase that works well during sharing time. You tell the kids whatever you are doing is a game and they usually go along with it.) I'm going to make a list of things of note, that isn't necessarily all inclusive---
(I had to say that for legal reasons),and you get to find if there is a picture (or pictures) that coordinate with said item on list. Some items do not have a picture associated with them. Sorry.

Ellie graduated Preschool.

I got called to be Primary President.

Emily came to visit with her kids. Fun times!

We celebrated the 4th of July with a softball game, fireworks in Hurricane and Cedar, whoopie pies, etc.

We did the previous thing all over again for the 24th sans the softball game and Hurricane fireworks.

We celebrated Will's birthday with a pool party and cake, and then again at my mom's house only without a pool.

Ellie got her tonsils removed!! She is looking so much better.

We went to lots of cousin birthday parties that we enjoyed.

We saw old friends, whom we miss.

We got really messy.

We got really messy again trying to potty-train Will.

We grew a garden....and we grew weeds.

We went on a little family overnight vacation to Cedar Mountain.

Nate worked all the time at the law office. His office is nice, you should go see it.

We were silly.

We went to the fair.

Ellie started Kindergarten. She loves it. Will was sad the first day. Then the next day he said, "Today I will not miss Ellie." He still loves her though.