Wednesday, December 31, 2008

She has needs, ya know...

While we were in Utah Eden became very vocal about her needs. She would say,
"I need mom."
"I need outside."
"I need cracker (or cookie, or cooker - which obviously is a cracker-cookie)"

but two of my favorites were these:

While driving from Alpine (south of SLC) to Cache Valley (north of SLC) there was a bad accident and the interstate was shut down. We had to travel on a slower highway (with everyone else) and so the trip that usually takes two hours took four. Eden was frustrated, tired, and eventually just mad. It was snowing and we were creeping along at about five miles an hour. I could only show her the cattle truck we kept passing so many times before she had just had it. Finally about a half hour from grandma's house she began to cry huge, fat, wet tears. In the middle of her sobs she repeated,
"I need grandma, I need grandma."
It was so sweet and sad.

A few days later at grandma's house (actually I think it was at aunt Heather's) we had just finished a big meal. Everyone was sitting around talking. There was a plate of my mother's hand dipped chocolates on the table. Eden walked up to the group of women sitting around talking and proclaimed,
"I need chocolate!"

It was classic.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Food Friday - Char Siu Pork

I got this recipe from my sister but haven't made it yet. She made it for us Monday night though and it was really delicious so I pass it along to you, my faithful readers. (the parenthetical notes are my sister's)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (I didn't have any hoisin sauce so I didn't add it, it was great without it, but maybe its even better with it)
3 TBS ketchup
3 TBS honey
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger (or 2 tsp fresh)
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 lbs boneless pork roast (I got a cheap roast with the bone in and it worked fine)
1/2 cup chicken broth
Mix ingredients together. Marinate for 2 hours (I did this but next time I will just cook it with out marinating it). Cover and cook for 8 hours.
I shredded it after about 5 or so hours and then put the meat back in for and hour or so. I served it over rice. Very easy and yummy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We are enjoying
LOTS of SNOW and
LOTS of LOVE and
LOTS of PRESENTS (especially Eden - I think her toy inventory just doubled).

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that we and you can find a little time today to reflect on the Son of God who condescended to become the Babe of Bethlehem. Without Him we would be lost - in every sense.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Food Friday - Holiday Slush

Hello Bamafam readers. This is BamDaddy here. I'm retro-posting Food Friday for this Christmas week. When I suggested a recipe to Heidi, she reminded me that I could also post on this blog. Silly Daddy. So I want to share with you a favorite Kesler family recipe that we always enjoy on Christmas Eve. I know there are a lot of slushes around out there, and maybe you've had this before. Anyway, here goes:

2 cans frozen concentrate orange juice + 1 can water
2 cans frozen concentrate lemonade + 1 can water
46 oz. can pineapple juice
3-4 bananas - smashed
7-Up (or Sprite)

• Mix juices in the blender.
• Add banana.
• Blend well.
• Put into containers for freezing (we usually use big canning jars with metal lids, but anything you can freeze will work.
• Mix Frozen Concentrate with 7-Up to desired consistency (we just use our KitchenAid to blend it) serve.

Enjoy! Merry Christmas slushing from me (us)!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cutest Mary

My sister participates in a preschool for her 4 year old boy. There are 5 little boys in their neighborhood and each mother takes a week to teach the preschool (which meets two mornings a week). This week is her week to teach and so she had them do the Nativity. Alas, with 5 boys who would play Mary?

She was so cute. During the actual program, Eden held the baby up to her shoulder and rocked him and gently said, "baby, baby, baby." It was just so adorable!

BTW: anyone interested in starting one of these preschool deals in a year? oh, you'd have to be willing to travel to 'bama.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This was NOT in my Franklin

My plans for Monday:
8:00 a.m. - take Voice Male clothes to dry cleaner
9:30 a.m. - watch Eden participate in a Nativity play (as Mary)
10:30 a.m. - visit Irene
11:30 a.m. - visit Charlotte
12:30 p.m. - attend the USU Registrar's Office Christmas party (have lots and lots of fun laughing with old friends and remembering good times and agreeing as everyone goes on and on about how cute Eden is)
2:00 p.m. - put Eden down for a nap and do laundry

How Monday actually went:
4:30 a.m. - wake up with a bad stomachache, lay on the couch
8:00 a.m. - take Voice Male clothes to dry cleaner - Convince a really nice woman to rush our 9 pairs of pants and 12 shirts so that I can pick them up Tuesday
9:00 a.m. - lay on the couch
10:00 a.m. - watch Eden (while moaning on the couch) as Mary in the cutest pre-school version of the Nativity (five preschool boys and my Eden)
10:30 a.m. - yeah, you guessed it, the couch which is where I spent the remainder of my day (except when I moved to my dad's bed so I could watch some mindless television. Did you know that Kirby Heyborne was in a Lifetime original Christmas movie this year?)
2:00 p.m. - watched my mom do my laundry (thanks mom!)
3:30 a.m. Tuesday - finally feel well enough to get some sleep
6:30 a.m. pack up everything, pick up the VM dry cleaning and go pick Phil up at the airport.

We got to Phil's parents' house and he left for the Thanksgiving Point show afterwhich Eden promptly puked her guts out all over me. Poor Eden, she hasn't ever thrown up before. She was pretty upset by it all but rebounded quickly and, for now, is sleeping. . .

Just as I wrote that, she woke up. Now it is several hours later and she is attempting to sleep.

yeah, not what I had planned at all . . .

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Food Friday

Ok, this isn't a recipe, it is a wonderful tip instead. In Utah, there is a restaurant (popular for their catering and wedding luncheons) named "The Lion House." They have some of the best recipes and are especially famous for their rolls and breads. Well, if you do a google search with "Lion House Recipe" you will find a treasure trove of great stuff. So, while the Food Friday Czar is on holiday, get your recipe fix from The Lion House, you won't regret it.

And what did I do on Friday (instead of Food Friday)?

Well, I dipped all kinds of yummy chocolates with my mom, aunt Deani, brother Josh, and sister Heather. Such a fun family tradition! Then I went to the Ogden Voice Male concert. It was good. The audience gave them two standing ovations. Fun times.

Now it is snowing ... yippee!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

T'is the Season

The Christmas season seems to bring out the best and worst in society.

I may offend some of my faithful readers but I detest the whole concept of black Friday. To me it says, "let's interrupt what is to be a weekend of giving thanks and family and instead wake up early so we are grouchy then go spend the day consuming instead of giving thanks and in some cases being rude to other customers instead of enjoying our families." I mean stampedes to the point of death?? Really? What kind of society is this? I see shoppers frantically purchasing things because they feel expected to provide a gift. What happened to spending weeks in thoughtful preparation to show appreciation and admiration? It makes me sad to see how consumer-oriented the holidays are. This year we have the added, dualistic pressures of the recession: money is tighter, yet it is our patriotic duty to stimulate the economy. Sad.

On the other hand, people are so very generous during this time of year. I love to hear of and see people taking care of others. I see people reaching out to make sure children and adults have some kind of gift Christmas morning. Even in the midst of the recession, people give to the food pantry or to their neighbors. I love to see homes opened up to welcome the lonely into the circle of love and friendship and family during the holidays. There seriously is so much good that is done.

It seems that often during the year we think about giving in more global terms. We give to organizations (our church, non-profits, government agencies) but at Christmastime we more often reach out to individuals in our midst. It reminds me of a section in C.S. Lewis's book The Screwtape Letters*, in which Screwtape tells Wormwood, “Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary."

I love that at Christmas we show our benevolence in ways that it becomes wholly real. I hope that I extend that reality throughout the year.

*The Screwtape Letters is a fictional account of Screwtape (a devil) training his nephew (Wormwood) in the art of temptation. It is such an insightful and interesting book, I highly recommend it (and pretty much any of Lewis's books).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Food Friday - Easiest Fudge Sauce EVER

Store-bought chocolate frosting

Warm it in the microwave then pour over ice cream.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hats, Hats, Hats

Today at the chemo clinic a lady was going around to all the chemo patients and giving them hats (I think hers were knitted). I says to myself, "self, why didn't you thinks of that?" So, act fast, next year's Christmas Lottery just might end up in the chemo clinic.

Congrats to those who have won so far. I think there are just a couple left.

Oh, and Phil got a nice light blue hat (even though he hasn't lost his hair ... yet?).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

These are a Few of Her Favorite Things...

Eden loves books. She likes to carry them around and read them and look at them and sometimes draw in them (she's usually pretty good to choose her drawing books wisely).

A few of her favorite books to cart around these days are her For the Strength of Youth, Personal Progress, and PP Journal* (yeah, her mom is a YW President). She especially likes to show people the pictures of the temple on each of them. She even built a temple (or "temper" as she calls it) with her megablocks this week.

Eden remains fiercely devoted to her love of all things kitty. This picture captures another new favorite thing. She LOVES all the Christmas lights up right now. She calls them "happy" and will point to all the "happy trees" along our main street in town (no, it isn't called Main Street it is just the main street). We are excited to combine the previous happy thing (SL Temple) with the lights when we head out there later this month. She will love the lights on temple square**!

Elmo is still a love. She isn't obsessed like she once was but she still loves him. She sings his theme song (you know, la la la la) with an extra syllable (alla alla) it is pretty funny.
Like her father, Eden loves graham crackers!

And finally, Corrie. She also loves hats and has a couple that I made her that she likes to wear around. But this is not about the hat Corrie won and is modeling on her blog, this is about how much Eden loves Corrie. She says, "Corrie, happy." Yup, she is.

*For the Strength of Youth - a booklet put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help youth understand and live the standards of Christ.

Personal Progress - a program for young women (12-18) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It helps YW learn about their Savior and also teaches them to set goals and acquire skills. There is an accompanying journal to help them record the things they learn.

**The area around the Salt Lake temple is called "temple square." At Christmas time the square is lit beautifully. There are awesome nativities throughout the square and of course the large statue of Christ in the north visitor's center. It is a beautiful, happy place.

For more information about these and other programs you can visit

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Leaves, leaves everywhere

This is what we (meaning mostly my diligent, hard-working husband) did the day before Thanksgiving. We have SERIOUS leaves!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh What a Day!

Thursday night Eden just couldn't settle down. We'd spent the afternoon having Thanksgiving dinner with our friends the Dewsnups. Eden loves these people (as do I). Seriously, Eden often prefers Corrie (and she says her name so well and cute) rather than mommy. She likes to watch football with Brian (the dad) and plays with all of the kids. It is so fun for her to have such good friends. Anyway, she was quite excited and when we got home she just didn't want to settle down. Finally around 9 I convinced her she had to try. For the next hour we heard content-but-not-tired noises coming from her room. They sounded like this:

"Corrie, Corrie, Corrie"
"all done, all done, all done, all done"
"kitty, doggy, kitty, doggy, kitty, doggy"

until 10:30!

You'd think she would sleep in but that is where you'd be wrong. At 7:am she was up and ready to go! She took a pretty good nap in the morning (a rare thing these days) but didn't take an afternoon nap. By evening she was irrational, cranky, and trying the patience of her parents.

At dinner she wanted a "cookie, cookie, cookie" and didn't want to eat good food. She dropped her bowl of chowder on the rug. She poured her water all over the table. She attempted to dump her yogurt all over but I had put it in a container with a lid and straw (sometimes I'm smart). Finally she ate some yogurt, about 8 raisins, sucked the juice out of a tangerine, and had a pumpkin cookie (does that count as a vegetable?).

Next it was off to the bath. I made the comment to Phil that it was brave of me to bathe her right after she had raisins. Yeah, I'm dumb sometimes. Sure enough just as I was getting the towel she relieved herself in the tub.

Poor Phil, he got to clean up all the messes (the chowder, water, and poo).

It was good to say goodnight to her.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Food Friday - Thanksgiving Edition

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. We stayed here in 'bama and enjoyed a nice meal with our good friends.

I took four pans of these rolls
(Phil rolled them for me, aren't they beautiful?)

I also took some cranapple salad

This cranberry cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake - In your mixer combine 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1 can of sweet and condensed milk, 2 T lemon juice, and 1 egg. Pour into a graham cracker crust. In a separate bowl mix 8 oz whole berry cranberry sauce, 1 T brown sugar, and 3 T cornstarch and then drop globs into the cheese mixture. In another bowl mix 1/3 C flour, 3/4 C walnuts (optional), 2 T brown sugar, and 1/2 cube of softened (not melted) butter and crumble on the top. Bake at 375 f for 40-45 minutes (makes two small pies).

This french silk chocolate pie
French Silk Chocolate Pie - In a small saucepan, melt 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate and then cool. Cream 1 C butter and 1 C sugar in your mixer. Add the cooled chocolate and 1 t vanilla. Add 2 eggs and beat (or whip) on high speed for 5 minutes. Add 2 more eggs and beat for 5 more minutes. Pour into a baked pie shell. Refrigerate. Top with whipped cream.

And my first ever cherry pie
(Phil's favorite - I think I passed the make-it-close-to-as-good-as-my-mom's test)
Cherry Pie - I bought two cans of Oregon Tart Cherries and used the recipe on the label (which was the same as the one my MIL sent me)

How was your day? What food did you make and how did it all turn out? Don't you just love the smells of baking? Ummy, ummy!

Don't forget to leave a message and thereby enter yourself in the Christmas Lottery!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tradition and Limited-time Offer

Many years ago, Charlotte started a tradition. She crocheted hats, wrapped them, and then held a Christmas Lottery to determine the recipients. When people visited her college apartment they got to draw a number and possibly win a hat. What fun!

Then we became roommates and I wanted in on the fun. I made hats too. More people got hats. Pretty soon EVERYONE got hats. We started to have Christmas Lottery parties. Fun, fun.

As a flashback to those silly days, I have been making hats (besides, it is a great way to use up the dregs of yarn from the year's projects).

Do YOU want in on the fun? Ok! Here is the deal: while supplies last I will be giving a hat a way a day. Each day I will randomly select a number and then I will determine the corresponding comment from the day before and that person gets the hat!

These are cute hats, by the way!
Behold a few of my hats on the cutest (if not always cooperative) model ever:

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love this time of year.

Cool, crisp air.
Crunchy leaves.
Good food and smells and friends.

Putting up Christmas decorations.
Christmas music.
Excitement and anticipation.

Think: simplify, it doesn't have to be crazy.
Give thoughtfully, not spendily.
Find the joy and happiness.
Reflect. Rejoice. Repent.

Be grateful.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If I Ran the Zoo...

Eden and I made this building with her MegaBlocks (we like MegaBlocks!) and when we were done she decided to put her animals in it. Voila, a zoo! She was pretty proud of it and instead of instantly demolishing it (her normal way) she left it up all evening.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am writing this from the infusion clinic. Yup, we are back at it. This time one of the five drugs will be different (bigger chance of hair loss - how fun?). We remain extremely hopeful and place our trust in the blessings of the Lord.

Prayers accepted and appreciated.

Food Friday - Cranapple Salad

In honor of Thanksgiving, here is a favorite salad for the holidays.

2 C chopped Cranberries (the easiest way to chop them is to put them in a food processor while they are still frozen)
2 C shredded Granny Smith Apples (peel, core, and then shred)
1/3 C Sugar
2 C Mini Marshamallows

Combine these ingredients and chill for about an hour.

Prepare 1 C of Heavy Whipping Cream (don't add sugar) then fold it into the fruit mixture.

Serve chilled.

Optional: add walnut pieces, you can also leave the marshmallows out.

This makes a really pretty pink salad that is just so festive in flavor and presentation!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Musing about Mysteries

When I first started this blog it was titled: "Musings and Mysteries" but then it became much more about my life as a wife and mommy and much less of musings or mysteries. However, today I must muse about some mysteries found in the scriptures.

  1. I have often been amused at the thought of Abinadi taking the trouble to disguise himself and then going before wicked Kind Noah only to say, "the Lord commanded me, saying--Abinadi..." doh! I can't believe I just told you who I was! Lesson learned from Mosiah 12 is clearly that if you are going to disguise yourself don't blow it by telling them who you are.
  2. The servant of King Lamoni, Abish, had been converted "on account of a remarkable vision of her father" so does that mean that her father had a remarkable vision or that she had a remarkable vision in which her father appeared to her? I don't know, it is a mystery to me! Lesson learned from Alma 19:16 is that English is a vague language.
  3. At the end of the book of Ether there is a great battle and the two nations have essentially destroyed one another. Only two men remain: Shiz and Coriantumr. After Coriantumr "leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz." Then we are told that Shiz fell "and after that he had struggled for breath, he died." How is struggling for breath done without a head? Ok, I know this is gross, but seriously, what does that mean? Lesson learned from Ether 15 is war driven by the pride of men is never a good idea and I should have taken anatomy, then maybe I'd know how one struggles for breath without a head.
I'll quit with these three, but there are many other (frivolous) mysteries in the scriptures.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I know Layne and I'm no Layne...

Layne: married to the most funny VM guy

Me: married to the most not funny VM guy*

Layne: degree in Technical Writing and therefore a bona fide Grammar Nazi

Me: minor in English and therefore a self-proclaimed Grammar Nag

Layne: keeps up with four adorable, energetic offspring

Me: barely keeps up with one fairly calm offspring

Layne: shops at Whole Foods and NEVER at Walmart

Me: shops mostly at Winn Dixie and once in a while at Walmart

Layne: grows much of her own food (including meat, produce, eggs, etc.) on her home farm

Me: grew this
(and only this)
in my "garden" this year:

I know.
It is about two inches long.


but Layne still loves me.

*During the summer Phil and I got married, Layne's oldest son informed me that "my dad is the funniest guy up there [on stage] and your dad [I assume he thinks Phil is my dad] is the most not funny."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Eleven Years Without It - sorry Philo

Approximately eleven years ago I decided that cable was an expense that I could live without. I was just done with my masters and hadn't started making the big bucks yet and had student loans to repay so why not get rid of television? Besides, it gave me an excellent excuse to visit the boys two doors down when NBA playoffs came around*. I haven't paid for television since. No cable. No satellite. Not even rabbit ears.

It was seriously one of the best decisions (and easiest to live with) I've ever made. I can't imagine how I ever found the time for "must see TV" every Thursday night. I'm able to watch LDS General Conference online. I'm even able to watch a few other shows online these days (Monk and Psych are a couple of favorites). I've saved lots of money.

I was a pretty faithful follower of a few shows when I discontinued my television watching. I tried to have high standards and not watch trash. Then I saw some of those same shows and I realized that I had become very desensitized to them when I was watching every week. With a little distance between me and my beloved plots and characters I realized they were feeding me a large dose of yuck. I don't need any more yuck in my life.

Phil and I have discussed what to do about TV as our family grows. We don't want it to be the forbidden wonder that resides in the homes of friends and therefore gets partaken of in excess when accessible. For now, we'll stick to our decision to keep it out of our home. We'll probably be those weirdos who don't have TV for the rest of our lives.

*I ended up marrying one of those boys even though he never watched the playoffs with us.

Food Friday - 1 hour Rolls

I found this online and made them. I love that they are one hour rolls (instead of 2 or 3!). I thought they had a great texture, they were plump and brown and looked great. They tasted pretty good except next time I'm going to add a little salt. When I asked Eden if they were "yummy" she replied without missing a beat, "no." Funny kid.

    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 31/2 cups all-purpose flour

Combine milk, water and butter, and bring to baby-bottle warm. To start the yeast fast, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the milk mixture. Add the flour a little at a time until you get your desired consistency.

Knead, place in oiled covered container, and let rise in a warm place 15 minutes.

Punch down, and shape into about 24 small rolls in a shallow greased baking pan. Sides should just touch--don't pack. You have to work quickly, because this dough rises fast!

Let the shaped rolls rise 15 minutes. Bake in a preheated 450 oven 12 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sister Wife Job Description Continued...

In addition to doing the housework, I want my sister wife to watch Eden so I can take a long luxurious steaming hot shower without interruption. Yesterday's shower consisted of a persistent game of Pick-a-boo as Eden pulled back the shower curtain (thereby letting in the cool air to mix with my steamy hot stuff). One of us had fun.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Food Friday - Food Tip

If you are like me, you love those flash-frozen chicken tenders and breasts. They are just so convenient. Apparently, they are so popular that the supply-demand has determined they should cost more than fresh chicken tenders and breasts.

I want convenience and good prices!

What is a frugal-yet-lazy girl to do?

Well, last Saturday I found a good deal on some fresh chicken tenders (a HUGEGIGANTIC package) so I bought them. I didn't want to store them in freezer bags because they would all just glob together and defeat the purpose of buying nice-sized tenders.

Then I had a brilliant (at least I hoped it was brilliant) idea. I put a piece of wax paper down on a cookie sheet. Then I arranged the tenders (not touching) on the paper. Next, I put another piece of wax paper on top of the chicken. Then I put the cookie sheet (actually I ended up with two) in the freezer. I have a deep freeze so there was plenty of room, but you could do it on a small sheet for your regular freezer.

I left them in over night.

They froze.


Without globbing.

I took them out and tore off the wax paper and put the "flash frozen" tenders in freezer bags where they will remain as individual entities waiting for that future day when I will take one or two out and make dinner.

It was brilliant after all! Yippee!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wanted: A Sister-Wife

Ok, my husband would actually be off limits so the job description would probably read a lot more like a MAID.

But here is the deal: I'll do your cooking if you do my cleaning.

Any takers?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby!

Eden is hitting that age when she just loves babies! She still calls herself a baby but she clearly has an affection for babies smaller and younger than she.

The trip to Utah was HEAVEN for her.

On Thursday (the day we got there) she got to see her cousin Arabella who is about a month old. She is so cute and Eden was perfectly willing to let me hold her. Eden had a cough so we had to keep her at a distance but she sure loved looking at all the baby stuff from the car seat to the infant swing to the blankets.

On Friday she got to meet another new cousin, Emma (3 weeks old). This was great fun for her because they were both spending the night at Grandma's house (I mean "Monkey's" house). Emma's big sister, Brinley did a good job of helping Eden appropriately love on Emma. Eden was intrigued by how Emma got her food. Yeah, Eden that is how MOST babies do it! (Eden refused to nurse and so I pumped and she drank from a bottle for the first 11 months of her life!)

On Saturday she got to meet one of her newest Voice Male cousins, Jack (also about a month old). She admired him from afar but sure enjoyed talking about the baby (and she flashed him that belly button - along with everyone else in the room).

On Tuesday (I know, she had to go two whole days without a new baby!) she got to spend time with her Eternal BFF, Heather (six weeks old). She even learned to say "Heather." She was pretty cute about it. Charlotte (Heather's mom) and I took our little girls on a walk to the park. It was so fun to share stories and enjoy the time with our girls. Heather slept and Eden yacked. Thursday morning as we were getting ready to leave I was singing some song with the lyric, "baby, baby" and Eden said, "Heather." Well, I thought she was saying my sister, Heather so I replied, "what about Heather?" and she explained, "baby, baby!" She loves her EBFF and all the babies she got to see while we were in Utah. We are so glad we got to take a trip so early in all their little lives.

Baby Words and a little TMI

Eden has begun putting words together. She'll say, "silly hair" when she sees her hair in the morning (for so little hair she gets some serious bedhead sometimes!) or she'll say, "I happy" or "pretty shirt" or whatever. She's actually been doing this for a month or so but usually she has repeated a combination that she's heard us say.

Yesterday she came up with her own descriptive phrase and I must say it is quite impressive. Someone tooted (ok, it was me ... oh come on, you do it too!) and she exclaimed,


Monday, November 3, 2008

More Utah Pictures

While in Utah, Eden and I convinced my mom (it wasn't hard) to go to the park with us. It was a beautiful fall day. While we were driving we saw my sister, Heather, and her family headed home from the doctor (they all got their flu shots) so we invited them to join us and they did! We had such a nice time! Here are some pictures:

This is my nephew Binh. He kept running around and saying,
"Heidi, Heidi, take my picture!" I am really impressed by how well this one turned out!

Four of Heather's five kids: Binh, Lydia, Caleb, and Sam (Natalie had a friend at the park so she ignored us):

Lydia and Eden. Lydia is always so patient and kind to Eden. She is an excellent older cousin and spent endless time taking Eden to see the neighbors' dogs and cats and doing Eden's bidding.

Lydia looking very grown up for an 8 year old

Sam, Eden, and Binh taking a break from throwing rocks into the stream

Eden and my mom. I've mentioned how everyone in my family calls my dad Punka, well one day Eden pointed to a picture of our family and said, "Punky and Monkey" and I think it is a pretty cute nick name for my cute mom

Eden was a trooper during our crazy trip. She was either totally abandoned by her parents (but in the safe and loving care of both sets of grandparents) or being hauled from one event to another. By the time things started to settle down I could tell she just needed some normal time with mom. I had thought I would try to see more friends and go see my former co-workers on campus but the mom in me decided to just spend some time with my girl. So we did. She really liked the MegaBlocks and we had a great time stacking them. We also played with my mom's play kitchen set (shhh... don't tell Eden, but that is what she is getting for Christmas). Eden made us soup and served me a banana, an apple, and an orange. We had a good time!

MegaBlocks are cool!

Eden with two of her VM cousins. I love all three expressions!

Pumpkin Walk

North Logan, Utah is a great community. It is where Phil and I met (we were neighbors). I love it. One of the things that I love most about it is the sense of history and community. An example of this is the annual Pumpkin Walk. The community gets together to create a fun, imaginative play land out of pumpkins.

Here are a few pictures from this year's event:

one of the political scenes (there was also one of Obama in a crib and a sign that read, "too young")

Pecos Bill and lots of cute kids (Eden and some of her cousins)

Moses parting the Red Sea

Brent, a local hero around Cache Valley - he rides his bike around and honks and waves to everyone

Michael Phelps winning another gold

An ER room (notice the woman in the orange - she is vomiting - funny!)

The nursery section of the hospital

Noah and his ark and animals

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Kitty

Friday, October 31, 2008

My hubby is definitely a USU Alumnus, and he is distinguished, but is he really young?

This year for Utah State University's Homecoming, the six men who make up Voice Male were honored to be the Young Alumni of the Year. I got to go along for the festivities and it was great fun. We were treated pretty well with a fancy banquet (at which Phil gave a very nice "acceptance" speech-ette). Then we got to dance the night away (I think we made it about 45 minutes). The best was watching Phil's parents - they know how to dance, none of the awkward move back and forth junk we were doing! After that, Phil and I took a walk across campus. I was sad, the place I had spent most of my time while a student (the library - and now you know, I was/am a nerd) is now a soccer field. Sad.

The next day we got up and went to a nice breakfast. While the president of the Alumni Association was speaking, Eden walked up in front of the podium and lifted her shirt for everyone to see. My mom later confessed that while she was babysitting Friday night, she told Eden that she had the smallest, cutest belly button. Naturally Eden figured everyone would want to see the "smallest, cutest belly button!"

After breakfast we were off to the parade. My mom, brother (Josh), sister (Emily) and her husband (Todd) and daughters (Brinley and Emma) joined Eden and I. Voice Male was in the parade - naturally!.

After the parade we were off to the president's pre-game reception. A live band, more good food, and lots of sunshine greeted us. Then we were up three floors to the president's box to watch the football game.

It was nice being connected to a "dignitary" (even if VM isn't always exactly dignified). For more accounts of this fabulous weekend see here, here, and here. It was so much fun to see the other VM families. It really is kinda like another family.

So here (in reverse order because it doesn't matter how many times I load pictures, I can't seem to remember that the first shall be last and the last shall be first, when will I learn my Isaiah scriptures????) are some pictures of the festivities:

The view from the Prez's box:

Our little Aggie

Me, Eden, Mom, Emily, Emma at the parade:

The "distinguished" and "young" Alums: