Friday, April 29, 2016


Tony and I we're excited to be able to go see "Wicked" yesterday. It has been years since we've been to see a play. 

The performance was amazing! The actresses and actors are so talented in so many ways- singing, dancing, and acting! The costumes and set were also very well done!

I had really been anticipating this evening. I wanted to leave at 4pm so that we would have time to go to Cheesecake Factory beforehand and to just enjoy one another and not be rushed before the show. Unfortunately, it is the last week of temple shut down and I should have known better.

Tony was supposed to be done at 2pm and promised to do his best to get out on time. At 2:15 he told me he was waiting for Patrick to arrive so that he could leave. At 4pm (when we had intended to leave) he still wasn't home and wasn't responding to text messages. 4:30 and he didn't respond to phone calls. 5pm and I was worried he was dead on the side of the road. 

He called at 5:04. Patrick had just arrived and he had been stuck meeting with the interior designers from Salt Lake. I was not happy. I knew it wasn't his fault (although I found his "my phone was charging in the office" excuse pretty lame), but I was so frustrated that my "perfect night out" had been foiled!

We ended up scarfing down Braum's hamburgers before rushing off to the play. We got their in plenty of time, but he still owes me a fancy dinner. 😉

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ellie Texas is One!

We got to celebrate another birthday this week. Ellie Texas turned one!  How lucky are we to have her sweet little person in our family?!

She's a climber, an almost independent walker, a chatter bug, a tongue clicker, and outdoors lover. 

She still likes to spend a large portion of the night with her mom. We're working on it...

She's also a cake lover. She ate it so fast she gave herself hiccups. 

She is adored by all. Most who know her best refer to her as Ellie Bean, the Bean, or just Bean! We'll see if that name sticks forever. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hyrum Turns 5!

Our little guy turned five today! He has been counting down the days for weeks! 

He was lucky enough to have cousin Jacie in town to visit!

Aunt Sydney was clever and gifted him $5.55. 

Grandma and Grandpa are always favorites. We are sad we couldn't share day with Grannie, Pops, and the other Aunties and Unlces, but he sure loved their gifts!

Sydney helped me make a lemon cake with homemade strawberry frosting. It was delicious! And I think our cake skills were pretty on point too! 

So now that Hyrum is five, he will suddenly and magically like salad. He also anticipates learning to read (although I argue that he can read some). He also plans to see quite a few new states this year (yay for traveling). Being five may be his best year yet! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Rooster Dinner (and a little library update)

For those of you who would rather not read about the rooster killing, here's a happy little update about the library.  We have been listening to "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" in the car all week.  There were a couple of times we had to sit in the garage and listen to one more chapter after returning from running errands.  Hyrum loved the adventures of Ralph S. Mouse!  This afternoon when we went to the library, one of the librarians came up and asked if we would like to take the "Pin the Mouse on the Motorcycle" game home.  They had no need for it anymore and my post on their Facebook page had "made their week!" (I had simply thanked them for putting on such a fun even that inspired my boy and brought reading to life.)  How awesome is it that they recognized me and were so thoughtful??  I love our library!

But really, that rooster!  His name was Nugget.  We bought him as a chick and unfortunately, our aspirations for his *ahem* productive egg production fell through when he began to crow.  He's been crowing for at least a month now.  It's like a loud, obnoxious alarm clock that goes off at 6 a.m., doesn't have a snooze, and doesn't shut off until 7.  He had to go.

We could have found someone to take him, I suppose.  But we paid $3, plus room and board for four months and I didn't want him to get off that easy!  Unfortunately, Tony and I are not very knowledgeable in the chicken killing business, but we do have a Grandpa with some awesome skills.  We roped him into coming and helping.

Hyrum was so excited.  If you had been at our house in the weeks leading up to this, you may have heard him stick his head out the back door and holler "You better be quiet or we're gonna cook you for breakfast!"  He may or may not have picked that up from someone, but it was still hilarious.

After Grandpa cut off the head and the chicken was flapping around Hyrum said "This is awesome!"  Judge me if you want, but I think this made good memories for my kids.  Plus, if the world ever ends and we need dinner, it'll be right out back and they'll know what to do.

The kids weren't interested in plucking the chicken (maybe next time), but Tony helped (until the smell got the better of him and he had to bail).  Yay for my nurse nose that turns off.  I didn't smell a thing.

So my father-in-law and I had some great bonding time as we harvested the drumsticks, thighs, and breasts of that chicken.  By golly, that bird looked a lot bigger with his feathers on.  We probably won't be able to feed our whole family a full meal of chicken, but hey!  The alarm clock is gone and he's gonna taste good!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Husband gets to work with some pretty stellar people at the temple.  Big surprise?  Sybil is the cafeteria manager and we love her!  She spoils Tony.  He calls himself her "garbage disposal."  That means he gets to eat whatever doesn't get eaten and will be thrown out.  He doesn't complain.  She also sends things home for me from time to time.  The latest is a sourdough starter.  I was super excited to give it a try!

When I first started feeding it, it wasn't very active and I was kinda bummed, but I was also persistent.  It only took a few days before it started looking exactly as it should and I was able to bake my first loaf of bread! was yummy!

Previous to this, I hadn't had any exposure to sourdough (other than eating it!) and I've learned a lot.  One of the coolest things (I think) is how much variety you can make with your basic sourdough starter.  So far we've tried sourdough waffles and sourdough oatmeal muffins.  The waffles were different from a traditional waffle, but delicious with butter and syrup all the same!  My kids didn't really like the waffles, but they did like the muffins.  They may be the prettiest muffins I've ever made!

Tomorrow we're going to give sourdough pancakes a try!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary!

One of the things I cannot live without is a quality library nearby. I have been very impressed with the Rowlett Public Library. The librarians care about our family and know us. They have a great selection of books and movies. They always have great activities for kids and families. Today they threw a 100th birthday party for Beverly Cleary (her birthday is on the 12th). It did not disappoint. 

First we got to sit and listen to an excerpt of her story "The Mouse and the Motorcycle." Hyrum was enthralled! We made to check out the audio book so we could hear the rest of the story. 

After the story they served delicious birthday cake. 

They had a pin the mouse on the motorcycle game for the kids to play, birthday cards to make (to be sent to her publisher), and a mouse craft. 

Hyrum really enjoyed the entire activity and when he got home he made a paper motorcycle for his mouse! 

I'm so grateful for good books and for libraries that foster a love of reading and learning!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Texas Springtime

I have been loving every beautiful moment of spring this year. It's been so pleasant and we love spending every moment we can outside. 

I love my roses that are as big as softballs. It's the ugliest bush in the most awkward place in our backyard, and we don't really do much to care for it, but  they are beautiful! I'm having a hard time sharing them with the bees!

The Rowlett Creek Preserves have been visited many a time for a family hike. It's not the same as hiking a mountain in Arizona, but it'll do. 

Hooray! Hooray! For our swing set. It's so good to have something fun for the kids to do outside. 

The hammock is a new addition this year. I wish I could snag a few solitary moments to take a hang, but alas!

Park time is always fun, especially when we get to go with friends. 

I didn't have pictures to show our garden that seems to be thriving, our trip to the splash pad, or our bike rides. Life has been good to us this spring. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Package from Grannie

The kids got an unexpected package from Grannie yesterday. Boy were they excited!!

It had puzzles and coloring books and bendy straws, gummy bears, and headbands for Ellie Texas. 

It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Plus, the headbands accent Ellie's cuteness. She gets all sorts of compliments when she wears them around town.