Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas with the Grumps

I'm not sure why, I'm sure I've raised them better, but our kids just don't get excited about things. Like when we told them we were going to Disneyland they just stared in confusion at us.

This Christmas was no different. While they got a lot of exciting gifts, there was no shouting, there was no jumping up and down. The best we could get was a feeble smile and a thank you. It's not that our kids don't like what they got, they just aren't excitable like I remember being when opening my presents on Christmas.

Hilights were an American Girl doll, a baseball set, puzzles, and a doll stroller. And glitter balls. After all the hundreds of dollars that were spent, it was the $5 glitter balls that took the cake. Go figure.

The baseball set was a big hit with our little slugger. Now he can stop using the rolling pin and any other like item as a bat. I'm not sure why, but I have this weird affinity for jammies with the feet in them. I call them footie jammies, not sure if that is the correct term. Anyhow, when I see my kids running around in them for a minute I'm reminded how lucky I am that they are still young. Maybe secretly I think they'll stay that way forever and not become teenagers.

We also had the kids make gifts for each other which was fun. M. made K. a Dora pillow and matching blanket, hand sewn.

The American Girl doll

Christmas at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Yes, it is a miracle, we all wore red this year despite my husband's near hatred of the color. He had nothing green that was not in the laundry.

While Christmas has come to an end I'm still listening to Christmas songs in the car just hoping it will last a little longer!

Recent Reads

This has been a strange book month. Some were really good, some were ok, and others were disappointing.

I loved this book, perfect for capturing the Spirit of Christmas.

Next on the list is Inkheart. I actually really liked it although it started off kind of slow and I was confused about what was going on. About a quarter through the book it got exciting and the rest was good. It was kind of Harry Potter/Fablehaven-ish. I found it on the "clean" list at the Provo Library. There were a couple swear words though. Apparently it's a trilogy, I did not know that... as well as a movie.

(no photo available)

Third, Fine Old High Priests. This is one we're reading for our neighborhood Book Group. I wasn't that thrilled about it at first, but it worked itself out and it was quite a good book with a good message about friendship and religion.

Fourth, Map of the World, from Oprah's Book Club. It was so intense I couldn't sleep at night after reading it and I had nightmares about the story line. The book was extremely well written and exciting, but it's one of those books where I wanted to re-write the ending. I had been so invested in the book I felt let down at the end. The (bad) language in it is terrible as well, be warned. I don't know, I think if I had the chance to unread this book I would. Haunting...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun in the Snow

The first snow is always so fun. The kids went outside to build an igloo and came back in about 30 minutes later with their red cheeks and shivering and decided to build a mini igoo! They forgot to bring their scarves back in and now they are outside growing icicles.

Kids Christmas Outfits

My mother in law gets Christmas and Easter outfits for her grand kids each year and this year's outfits were so adorable!

The poser.

We're just glad he's wearing a tie.

Love the black skirt!

Christmas Dance Recital

The girls had their December dance recital this year at a new dance studio called Academy of Ballet. We originally chose it because it was next to the hubby's job and he could shuttle them home, but his office has now moved to Salt Lake. It's a nice studio, but I miss Kim's dance studio. It was a little more fun and not so serious for the little ones. This was like a pre-recital to get ready for the real one with real ballerinas in the Spring. Our oldest daughter does well at ballet so we thought this would be a good place for her.... we'll see...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I {heart} Disneyland

We had a lovely time in Disneyland. It was lovely because it was rainy and we didn't have to stand in line and it was lovely because we had 5 days together with no interruptions, no work, just fun. I really wanted to go to Disneyland once during the Christmas season to see the decorations and the rides. It did not disappoint. It was lovelier than ever.

This is what the baby looks like after a long day of driving. We got him undressed and in his PJs without a peep. He loved everything at Disneyland, even the Matterhorn. He was quite the trooper! The only thing he didn't care for is seeing the characters up close. We had to force him to be in the pictures with them!

Love the mouse ears and Mickey's toon car.

Grandma gets sick on the tea cups.

Little Boy Heaven.

Little Girl Heaven.

Wish Lists...

Disneyland Christmas Parade and Fireworks. This is Princess Ariel and prince Eric. I love Ariel's dress!

Dinner at Ariel's Grotto is a hilight. If you wonder how rainy it was while we were there, check out the girls jeans, wet up to the knees, but nary a complaint we heard! They weren't able to wear their princess dresses this time to the dinner because the rain was so bad, they would have been soaked through and freezing. M.'s boots got ruined because they stayed wet for 4 days and mildewed. She said her feet were dry though, the rest of us didn't have that luxury.

Spelling Bee Buzz

Ok, so I'm a little late on the blogging thing. I have a good excuse though: I was selling at 3 holiday boutiques, a vacation to Disneyland, and a site My Cute Dressups, ebay, and Amazon stores that quadrupled Christmas sales from last year.

We were SO proud of M. who won her 3rd grade class Spelling Bee and then competed in the school-wide bee. If you know how shy she is, you know this is a huge accomplishment to stand up in front of the whole school with teachers and actually say something into the microphone (I think she was the shortest one there.... sorry, you got that from me). She did extremely well and beat out at least 1/2 of the competition, even older kids. There were 9 students left when she got out. The word she missed was "quarantine" which she spelled, "courantine".

It was a proud moment for our family seeing her up there (she's the one up at the microphone)!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What Ellipticals Are For

We just got a jump on New Years resolutions by resolving to exercise and we purchased a used elliptical exercise machine on KSL. I have used it twice (it was awesome, I loved it--way better than a treadmill) and Steve hasn't used it at all, he's waiting for the TV to arrive to give him motivation or an excuse for another TV, who knows?

Most of all (like every other hanging area or surface), it's main purpose is a dress up hanger. Pretty creative, eh? I don't know why, it just makes me smile on the inside when I walk downstairs and see all of those hanging there. Hee hee.

I just purchased $1500 of Little Adventures seconds at 1/2 price and I'm not sure where to put them all. It was literally 8 giant boxes full of stuff. Hopefully they will all sell at the Battlecreek Boutique I will be selling at and I won't have to worry about where to keep them!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Boutiques

My Cute Dressups (aka-"I") will be at 2 boutiques this Christmas season and will be having an amazing sale: fancy dresses will be $13 off and will be selling for $24! The first Boutique is the Spanish Fork Christmas and Gift show at the Spanish Fork fairgrounds just off main street. We are all set up and ready to sell like crazy to 20,000 attendees. Come and get all of your Christmas shopping done there. I got a sneak peek of about 1/2 of the booths there and I saw some really unique, fun, and interesting things. This event is Friday and Saturday only.

Then, as if that wasn't enough fun, be at Battlecreek Boutique in Pleasant Grove 3 days later. We will be showcasing our girls princess dresses at this boutique. A fun new addition we will have at Battlecreek is our reversible pettiskirts. They come in various sizes and are a great dress up or skirt to wear over leggings or jeans. They are machine washable like all of our other dress up clothes. There will be some great dress up bargains here as well. Our traditional and fancy dresses will be selling for $24 and the flip slips are marked down from $36.99 to $18.50!

Come say hi and get some great Christmas gifts.

Incidentally, if you are considering ordering costumes, please do it soon. Little Adventures is nearly out of all of their main dresses. I have a small stock of everything, but it will soon be sold.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I know I'm nearly a month late, but our kids were healthy for Halloween which is cause for celebration. Not to mention it's the only Halloween I can remember when it hasn't been frigid in Utah.

This is the day before Halloween. KK and I being the only ones not sick.

Here is KK dressing up for dance class. She is ticked because I had the nerve to make her wear a slip underneath.

5 minutes later, this is what she looks like (I gave in ok!), notice the difference in facial expressions!

After the flu, ear infection, and Pnemonia, M. is experiencing a miraculous recovery to go trick or treating.

Here's the boy that HATES to dress up, hate is not a strong enough word (hence the red eyes). I bought him a $40 Cars costume at the Disney Store that he refused to wear, and he wanted the $3 one from Savers. Well, he didn't actually "want" it, we forced it upon him as he was kicking and screaming. He was fine once he was getting candy. Instead of "trick-or-treat" he would say, "Gimme a treat". I suppose when you're 2 you can get away with that. I wonder if I could get away with that at 33. I have this thing for Butter Fingers. Anyway, I had to chase him around with the camera for this photo.

And last but not least is the entire family. I wish I could be Snow White every day, but I'll have to settle for once a year. If you were to peek under my dress you would find I'm wearing my favorite jeans and tennis shoes :). Steve is a Ghostbusters guy which was quite the hit in the Mormon hood.

Can't you just see what Cookie Monster is thinking in this picture? Get this stinkin' costume off of me! Now! While we all look like the happy family in this picture, what you can't see is that all 3 kids were fighting over Toto just a few minutes before.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Nothing says Thanksgiving (to me) like turkey and cranberry sauce. I love cranberries, even the canned ones. But if you have never tried a homemade cranberry sauce, you are missing out! It's so easy to make and makes the house smell like the holidays. Here's a good recipe I found on Did you know you can freeze cranberries for up to a year, so stock up now while they are on sale? I halved this recipe because it was just for our family and we have been enjoying it for a couple days. The cinnamon sticks make the house smell so nice too!

Oranged Cranberry Sauce


  • 2 (12 ounce) packages fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, orange juice, and brown sugar. Add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the sauce has thickened. Taste for sweetness, and adjust with additional sugar if necessary. You can not overcook, so continue cooking until you have a good thick consistency. Let mixture cool, then refrigerate in a covered container.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recent Reads

I have a dirty little secret. I love to read. ALOT. I stay up way too late reading mostly because I get sucked in and can't quit until I fall asleep or finish the book. Sometimes the hubby has to remind me that the stories are "not real" because I get so involved like they're really happening! These are some of the fun books I've read this month.
Dairy Queen, a cute little book, and something different to read.
My sister in law Kim recommended this book and I read it in a day (I did have the flu and couldn't move without hugging the toilet bowl, so I had a good excuse, ok). It was really good and gave me some good ideas for food storage and preparedness!
Rashi is a Jewish scholar and I enjoyed learning more about him and his family. The Jewish religion is so fascinating with all of their rituals and their hardships in world history. This is a series of 3 books, but beware of the "romance" factor of these books, it's pretty graphic.
I loved this book. It was witty and fun with a surprise ending. Do I like Cinderella's step-sisters now? I think maybe I do.
Haunting and distressing, but a good read because of it! I can't stop thinking about the love triangle in it, it's driving me nuts! I loved this book and it's sequel "Catching Fire"

We read Freakonomics for Book Group and had a very lively discussion on it. It's basically a spin on traditional statistics and interesting comparisons on society that you wouldn't naturally think of. I liked the chapter on Parenting the best, but the whole book was interesting, but I wasn't crazy about some bad language and the writers style.

I have also read a book on stress relief and how to run a small business, but I didn't think you'd be as interested in those :).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wanna Watch a Show

I love the street signs all lined up in a row as he's transfixed by Dora. Can you say one track mind? Now, how do I turn off the record that's always saying, "Mom, wanna watch a show, Mom, a show, Mom show, show Mom and including other various terms that may be heard at our house on any given day.

Our Newest Family Pictures

I loved this year's pictures we took at Thanksgiving Point. They were probably my favorite ever of my kids. Steve had laser hair removal on his beard and was all stubbly so we decided not to be in the pictures this year. Who cares what we look like anyway :).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ahhh.. The Joys of Parenthood

Me: Megan go watch a movie for your quiet time.
Megan: There's nothing we like to watch. Whining ensues...
Me: You have like a 100 videos, go watch one.
Megan: But one of them has a bad word in it
Me: Thinking to myself: Oh no! What movie do we have that has a bad word in it?
Megan: It's the Berenstein Bears one.
Me: This piques my interest because if you've ever watch one of these shows, it's on the extreme of clean and family friendly. So, I ask, what word is it?
Megan: Well, (getting nervous) they say "stupid".
Kaylee: Yeah, they say stupid.
Me: At this point I'm holding back a laugh big time and somehow say, you better not watch it then, that's pretty bad.

I look at Steve and just crack up when they aren't looking. I know some day we our kids will discover worse words, but I'm glad they think stupid is so bad right now!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Add 6.4 Years to Your Life

Just by flossing daily!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Target... How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways... well... the newest way. Our local Orem Target is now doing price matching! That means you can take in your ads from other stores and get the same prices at Target. Talk about one stop shopping! Plus, check out the clothing clearance, I just got 3 shirts for under $3 each.

Tee Hee

I hardly ever get amused when browsing my local classifieds website, but as I was looking for a costume for the boy who hates costumes ( I know I know, what's wrong with me!) and came across this 8 foot costume! Doesn't this just make you want to spend your last $100 on it, it's hilarious!

See the ad here:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hunger Games

Whew! I'm addicted to this book. Very exciting. I can't wait until I get the 2nd book at the library. Only 74 people need to read it first :).

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wednesday Wars

I thoroughly enjoyed my latest read, Wednesday Wars. It was a pleasant book for a change!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NO... N-O-N

Kaylee was trying to take something from Matthew (age 2) and he was quite distraught. She said, in her sweetest voice, "Matthew, can I have that?" He screamed, "NO!" and then spelled out N-O-N. I guess he's a genius, he's already spelling words, even if they are wrong.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Alchemist

I just finished The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It was.... I'm not sure... interesting and thought provoking, with an unexpected ending. I think it would be a good one for book group and the discussion that insues.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's a Record!

So my company has been around almost a year now and I enjoy it a lot! I made a goal this year to get 7 orders on My Cute Dressups each week. I did pretty good throughout the year. I mostly made the goal every time, except for one week in the winter I didn't have any orders. This week I had 23 orders! Maybe all of that article writing is paying off.

My ebay store is going ok, steady and strong. I had to go and change all of my listings so now it's slower than usual because I had to start over on many of them. But, overall I'm pleased with the progress there.


I am disappointed because Amazon just emailed and said sellers have to make 25 sales or more by November 1 or they will be kicked off until after Christmas. The reason I started the store is so I could be around for Halloween and Christmas. I've been on Amazon for about a month and have 9 sales. It will be a close call and I'm worried I'm not going to make it. The problem is when you are new on Amazon, they put you down on the very bottom until you prove yourself and make sales, but it's hard to make sales when you're number 100 on the rankings, sometimes I can't even find my listings. I need a good incentive for people to order on Amazon. Does anyone have any good ideas for a contest or a coupon? I would feel more comfortable if I could get 10 more sales. Let me know what you think! I need serious help!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tender Mercies

It was nearly 5 years ago that my favorite talk was given in General Conference, called Tender Mercies of the Lord by David A. Bednar. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about how many times I have received tender mercies.

The other day I was complaining because Steve works long hours and then has bishopric "stuff" 3 days a week. It's hard on a young family to hardly see their Dad. Immediately after I vocalized that complaint, something popped into my head from when I was a teenager.

When I was a teenager I wanted everything for my future life that I didn't have then. I wanted a husband who was worthy to be a Bishop (yes, I actually wished for that!), I wanted a big house with nice things, and I wanted to be financially stable. As you can imagine, financial times were always tough with a single Mom. And I wanted 5 great kids. While that may not happen because of my health issues, I do have 3 great kids. I'm always amazed with our not so perfect parenting that our kids are so obedient!

Anyhow, I realized that I had received everything I wanted and I was complaining about it. How ungrateful is that?

I guess I am even thankful for my illness, which is a struggle every day, but has taught me how to be closer to the Lord. He has made many weak things become spiritual strengths in my life. I feel a lot of guilt sometimes because I can't do things like I used to before I became sick, but so many times I am reminded that if I am doing my best, that's all that matters.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lehi and His Family

This year I have really grown to love to read the scriptures every day. Not that I didn't like it before, I just didn't make it a priority.

I don't go to Sunday School and Relief Society any more because I am the Nursery Leader, so most of my Gospel instruction is on my own. I finished the D&C a couple days ago which I really enjoyed and I decided to read the Book of Mormon again. I have read it so many times, I always wonder if I will learn anything new "this time", I think I won't and then the Lord proves me wrong. Just in the first few verses I learned something!

I guess it just dawned on me that Lehi had lived in Jerusalem his entire life (his home, family, friends, business, and memories were all there) and how difficult it would have been to just pack up, leave, and then live a Bedouin lifestyle which was totally foreign to him and his family. They went from being respected to living in a tent in the desert. It had to be hard! Of course, the Lord sent him a vision and helped him and his family in numerous ways. But, it was just eye opening to me because I ask myself if I would be willing to do the same if I were in his shoes?!

Here is a beautiful painting of Lehi by one of my favorite artists. His daughter was a roommate of mine at Ricks (now BYU Idaho) Lehi in Jerusalem by Del Parsons depicting Lehi preaching in his home land

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Smoking Apple

Steve and I went out to dinner before the adult session of Stake Conference and we didn't really have a lot of time, so we wanted to go somewhere quick that wasn't quite "fast food". We really enjoyed the Smoking Apple (BBQ) Restaurant in Lindon. Of course, many of the yummy things had milk in them so I couldn't eat them, but the owners were really nice and we enjoyed the food. Anyway, the meals were around $7 and the meat came with 3 sides, so it was a lot of food.

Try it out sometime!
70 N. State St
Lindon, UT 84042

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sisters Last Forever

While the girls were doing playdough (I probably spelled that wrong), this is what I heard:

Kaylee: Megan do you still love me?
Megan: says nothing (...typical)
Kaylee: I love you
Megan: Do you love me more than your friends?
Kaylee: Yeah, you're my sister and sisters last forever, right Megan?
Megan: Right.

I wish I had a sister, that was so cute!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Savings at Savers

I got some great 1/2 price finds at Savers today because of those nifty silver tags. I love thrift stores. I love that we have several within miles of our house. It's not like we can't afford to buy new stuff, I just like bargains. I love yard sales and I buy a whole bunch of stuff I don't need at them.

So, at Savers, I got a really ugly gray metal table for $4 that I will then beautify with white spray paint to use at the corn maze for my laptop. I also got hangers, baskets, toys, and a whole cart full of winter clothes for the kids including Gymboree, GAP, and Old Navy fashions. All for $60! Did you know if you donate items to Savers you get a 30% off coupon for next time. AND if that wasn't enough fun... Monday is 50% off everything day. I decided I didn't want to go though, because, well, while I like Savers, I hate crowds. There is one downside, I probably bought something with a stain or a rip in it. It happens. And I have allergies from dust getting in my nose. Achoo!


Why can't I win Boggle? It's driving my crazy that I can't beat my husband at this game! It really shouldn't bother me, but it does. Since I can't beat him, can anyone tell me how to cheat?