Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Look at what came in the mail yesterday!
Thank you Nana. Benson is IN LOVE. "Miles" does not leave his side. And he's even cuter than I anticipated.

And Banks, as expected, kind of likes the frog (that I so lovingly knitted), but will require more urging from me to become attached. I'm working on him though. He's sleeping with froggie tonight whether he likes it or not.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So coveting this chair right now. I am currently looking for both a rocker (for my baby) and a velvet-covered chair (for my happiness) and lookee there, they make one with both. And it's 50% off! Ok so it's still $550 and $125 for shipping, therefore slightly out of my price range, but someone out there can afford it. So someone buy it. And then invite me over so I can enjoy it for a minute.

Monday, December 28, 2009

snippets of christmas

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We spent the morning playing with legos

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Benson got the Optimus Prime with double swords that he's been talking about since July

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And Banks got his big Megatron

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The best part of being the only girl in the family; I finally get to be Mary when we act out the first Christmas! I've always had to be the angel because apparently little sisters make better Marys.

We sort of neglected to take photos on Christmas this year. These are some of the only shots we took. Oops. We did have a lovely day though, even if we don't have much proof.

And all evidence of Christmasness was put in boxes by 8 am on the 26th. Bring on the new year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

yay for ben!


This little cutie started his first day as a college graduate today. Now, with a BA in both Chemistry and Russian, he is off to tackle the world. Congrats, my darling. Although this paper has taken a little longer than expected to procure, I wouldn't change our path for anything. I'm proud of you and all the decisions you have made. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

And no more homework for at least 6 months! Wahooo!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm so wishing I didn't already max out my Christmas budget... Benson would absolutely love a little mouse baby in a matchbox.

Monday, December 14, 2009

crying bcgs

This is how I feel when I think of how long we must wade through this ugly cold weather. It's the brown. I think it's amplified here in the winter. I don't want a white christmas this year. Can't we just skip straight to Spring?

Ps. Is this not the saddest photo you've ever seen? It makes me want to run right upstairs and snuggle this little boy while he sleeps.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

babies of another sort

So it has pretty much been non-stop baby making around this house the past few days.


Oh, that. 5 months late people.

I mean of this sort:

fruit snack babies
This may look like an ordinary box, but it holds life. Life!

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Benson has fruit snack babies! He even made little pjs for them, as well as pillows and blankets. 90% of them are girls and all of the girls have names: Clementine, Olive, Catisha, CatRisha, and Adelaide. All the rest are unnamed boys. Poor things. Note that they are mostly of the pineapple variety, as these ones have "hair."

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They even have a toy box with toys. (I did help with the toy box a bit). And as of this morning they have bunk beds!

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The proud daddy.

It is so hilarious to see Benson's imagination begin to take shape.

Sunday, December 6, 2009



Here's hoping your Sunday is looking as good as ours.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

baby baby

click on the image to see it bigger

Now that the shock has worn off, we are getting really excited to have another boy. I'm especially excited after seeing these images on heather ross' blog. If these make it to fabric, I've got the new baby's quilt already figured out. Now for a name... (now taking suggestions).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

the big news

What a cute little bummy shot...






So if you are as surprised as we are raise your hand. We actually had a secret ultrasound about a month ago (at 17 weeks) and were told he looked an awful lot like a girl. But apparently it only took a few short weeks for our girl to sprout a very obvious boy part, because there was definitely no doubt. And this is the exact reason we didn't tell people... just in case. So there you go. Hat trick people, you win.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

homemade donuts, originally uploaded by Annedear.

On the menu for tonight: homemade donuts and freshly squeezed lemonade.

No, I'm not pregnant.

Why do you ask?

Monday, November 30, 2009

thanksgiving was full of thanks, as usual


Well this is pretty much the worst photo ever, but we were too excited to dig in to worry about picture quality! Aaaaand this is the only photo we have. Awesome. Anyway, Thanksgiving was lovely. We had our local missionaries over to attempt to stand in for their own mothers and families. I'm sure it wasn't the same (well and one of them is from Canada so it would be pretty hard to compare), but we had a lovely day just the same. No tragedies or even funny stories from the day to share... just a nice, simple Thanksgiving. I sure missed being with family though.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Photo 5

Knives sharpened, new flatware arrived(!), whole nutmeg ready to be grated into delicious oblivion...

Ready, Set, Cook!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

very very first


Moments ago, Benson grabbed a pen from the pen holder, tore off the lid, and proceeded to sound out and spell his first word. I'm so shocked and amazed and proud and excited! I was quietly folding laundry on the couch, listening to his sounding out, and wondering if he was actually going to do it. And the cute part? He was adding "family" to our big family list of things we are thankful for. It's already on there 3 times, but I guess we are really thankful for each other.

Friday, November 20, 2009


f16 (1 of 9)

f16 (2 of 9)

f16 (3 of 9)

f16 (4 of 9)

f16 (5 of 9)

f16 (6 of 9)

f16 (7 of 9)

f16 (8 of 9)

f16 (9 of 9)

That little clip was Ben doing a barrel roll in an F16. Uh, wow. Ben was rewarded a flight for being Airman of the Year at his guard unit. What a crazy cool experience for all of us! We got to stand right on the runway when he took off, and even narrowly escaped the jet wash blow over. So so so cool. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Oh and we are really proud of Ben for not puking or passing out, even while doing loop-de-loops, barrel rolls, and drop offs at 8.5 G's (that's a lot).

Monday, November 16, 2009

if you can't say somefin nice,

Macro-Bunny, originally uploaded by Danz in Tokyo.

then don't say nuffin at all.

Which is the reason for the extreme lack of posting right now. I'm having a hard time learning some important lessons about charity, but I'll come back when I learn to be less like Lamen and Lemuel, and more like Nephi.

Monday, November 9, 2009

potty time


Banks has found a new potty. Everyone should have boys.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

preschool farewell


It has been the best of times, and the worst of times. I love time alone with Banks, and Benson loves to play with the legos at school. But I hate how there are really really mean kids at Benson's school who punch him and steal his toys. And most recently, I hate how he's taken these habits and brought them into our formerly peaceful home, kicking his brother (and the dog!) and calling everyone names. Yesterday we preformed an experiment to see if we could find my sweet and loving Benson again, and lo and behold, one day out of school and he's back. And so, without further ado, Benson's preschool experience is coming to an end. Today I am making caramels to put in monogramed mugs to say thanks and farewell to his teachers and tomorrow we will deliver them with the bad news.

And I feel so much better. What I've learned from this experience: trust my instincts. Mother's hearts just know.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


One of my internet friends put together a food/recipe blog a few months ago and asked me to contribute. I was so excited! And then I never posted anything because I'm a rat. But I really enjoyed reading all of the yummy recipes that others contributed. Anway, I finally posted something over there so I thought I'd post a link here so you can check out THE BEST FOOD I'VE EVER EATEN. It's true. If you need something to wow your amazing chef mother-in-law or your boss, this is the recipe for you. Check it out here, and while you are there definitely browse the other recipes and get some inspiration for cooking this week. (added below for book printing- ct)

Chicken with Morels by Ina Garten
1 - ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1/4 cup clarified butter
1/3 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 cup Madeira wine 1 cup
(8 ounces) creme fraiche
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lift the morels carefully from the hot water in order to leave any grit behind in the liquid. Rinse a few times to be sure all the grittiness is gone. Discard the liquid and dry the morels lightly with paper towels. Set aside. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the clarified butter in a large saute pan and cook the chicken in 2 batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole. Add the rest of the clarified butter to the pan along with the shallots, drained morels, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring constantly. Pour the Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half over high heat, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and reheat slowly on top of the stove.

Monday, November 2, 2009



Halloween was great fun. The kiddies had a great time trick or treating, and they've already forgotten about their candy! Score.

We didn't get a good shot of Benson's turtle shell (he is a Ninja Turtle, also known as a "minja turtle" around these parts) but trust me, it was awesome. And we tried to convince Banks to be another turtle but he wanted no part in it. We ended up having to wrestle him into the Superman costume, because he is very extremely two some days.

Best part of the night: Some of the teenage boys at our church made a little "haunted stage" at our church. Benson went through it not once, but twice, and screamed and cried both times. It wasn't funny the first time, but the fact that he freaked out the second time after insisting he wanted to go through again did make us chuckle a bit.

Hope all of your Halloweens were as fun as ours!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pumpkin fest 2009

So excited to get started!

They call it pumpkin loooooove

Notice the blood on Ben's face. Gruesome.

As it turns out we didn't have an ace bandage to stop the heinous bleeding from Banks' head, so we fashioned one out of fleece. But then everyone had to wear one and be Ninjas so he'd keep it on. Not pictured: Mom freaking out because Dad is encouraging the injured one to do kicks on le stool. I'm not going to survive this.


I heart pumpkin carving, but like it even better when Banks doesn't fall off the stool and crack his head open two seconds in.

Friday, October 23, 2009

back from the brink

I keep going on hiatus on this here blog, but this time it was with very good reason. I've been crazy crazy sick and sort of afraid I was going to die for a bit there, but I'm doing better today. Hooray! Unfortunately it appears to be my turn to play nurse to poor Ben.

in which i stood on the chair because i no longer have a lap top.

In other news, and inspired by my friend Melissa's photo (who wears skinny jeans, not mom pants), my new mom/pregnancy uniform came in the mail today. I never though I'd actually succumb to the temptations of "comfy pants" but alas, I have. Oooo they are nice though. Got them from Shade, if anyone else wants to join me in the "looking better than sweatpants around the house" brigade. I put on regular clothes to go out still, I promise!

Monday, October 19, 2009

still no photos...

But a lovely update for you all. Highlights of last night include:

1. Benson screaming he's going to throw up at the exact moment banks is screaming he has to poop and ben is gone so I'm running around trying to catch all the bodily fluids before I have to clean up two accidents. Awesome.

2. Benson wetting the bed (for the first time in at least a year) (he's sick), changing the sheets at 1:30, getting back in bed, only to have to rinse and repeat on Banks' bed literally 5 minutes later. Awesome.

3. Ben is home from Minnesota! (this one's for reals) He pretty much loved Rochester and Mayo and if he doesn't get in there we will all probably die from sadness. Even though all of our friends are convinced that if we move there we will all die from coldness.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

back in webland

Soooo, for my birthday Banks decided to pour water on my macbook. Yaaaaaay! That was yesterday and we tried to blow-dry the poor dear and revive it, but alas, it's dead Jim.


Blogging begins on a new computer, all fresh and new without any of that "other" stuff we had on our last computer. Like videos. And stories that Benson wrote. And other things like that, which we never really liked anyway, right? Thank goodness we had the sense to backup at least our photos on an external so we didn't lose every photo since the beginning of our marriage. Wouldn't that be so sad?! It used to take a fire or a horrible flood or some other catastrophe to erase all of one's family photos and keepsakes, but now all it takes is a tiny little cup of water. How sad!

Anyway I have to work on getting photos on here and downloading new software and other such boring things and then I'll be back, I swear. Don't have too much fun without me.


Friday, October 9, 2009

could someone alert my body

to the fact that I am 13 weeks today, aka NAUSEA SHOULD BE OVER.

Come on, body. Get with the times.

Pretty please.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

i've got skillz

halloween poster

If all I had to do for my calling (job at church) was make posters for youth dances I might be set. I don't think I've ever seen a hand-illustrated advert with spiders and such gracing the halls of my church. Don't you want to come to our dance now to see what the decorations and food will be like if the poster is this awesome?

I love to pat my back sometimes, don't I?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

cracker hat and number 3

cracker hat
Benson wanted to make a hat this morning. But not just any hat:

cracker hat-2
A hat filled with crackers and a door he could open.

cracker hat-3
And so we did.

cracker hat-4
And this is what most of the photos look like because Benson likes to pose like a weirdo (but it's cute to his mom).

And now for something completely different:


Awwwww baby! He/she was a squirming away in there today. So so so cute at 6cm long, and I'm further along than I thought! Wahoo (13 weeks on Friday)! See you on or after April 17th little sweetie pie.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

home sweet home

I saw this little post on decor8 today and I just had to repost part of it here. This is something I think of often, and tried to teach to my little primary kids, and want to continue to teach the 12-18 year old girls I teach.

"Some people grow up and do not have such a sweet home. There is chaos, fighting, illness and many other things that can stand in the way of feeling safe, at peace and happy at home. I think that is one of the best things about being an adult and moving out of the house for the first time. As a young person, you have the chance to create your own Home Sweet Home no matter what your past was like. You can remove the stress and chaos and start anew. You can make decisions that are good ones, so as to safeguard your new found freedom and peace. If you are able to continue this for many years, and you meet someone, fall in love and continue having a relatively peaceful home life then I think you have accomplished a lot in your life. I remember when I was little, I lived next door to a couple who were always fighting. You could here them several houses away! And when I went to visit their daughter, I was surprised at how uncomfortable, even as a little girl, I always felt visiting her. They weren’t screaming when I visited, but this energy and negativity hung in the air like a very bad smell. And it felt thick and suffocating. I always asked her if we could play in the yard instead of inside of the house, I did not like how their home felt."

I have felt this same way before and while I did grow up in a home sweet home as a young girl, I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to give that loving and warm experience to my children and their friends (eventually). Home is our favorite place to be and I hope as my children grow it can stay that way.

image via the wheat field

Monday, September 21, 2009

apple pickin we will go

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apple orchard-4

apple orchard-2

apple orchard

I have the most romantic dreams about life. Frolicking through the apple orchard is definitely a part of those dreams. And I have to say, it was every bit as lovely as I had imagined. Perfect weather, crunchy apples to fill our tummies, climbing trees the way boys should... it was all very perfect. It was not perfect to have to drive an hour and then wait an extra half hour in the car with cranky boys just to get into the parking lot, but definitely worth it. I still want to pick blueberries, Michigan family, and one of those days I'm going to do it. Right after reading Blueberries For Sal, the best children's book ever.