Monday, December 29, 2008

riding in the car with lil's

i love the conversations we have with our kids in the car. they are always so random. the other day larry and i were running errands and somehow, miraculously, only had lily with us. here is a sample of our conversations.

lil - knock knock
me - who's there
lil - banana
me - banana who
lil - banana giggle giggle giggle

lil - look out we're going to crash
me - we are not going to crash
lil - yes we are. here we go! (insert high pitch squeal here) giggle giggle giggle

Saturday, December 27, 2008

christmas 2008

about a week or so ago i was rushing around, going from store to store in a desperate push to get the christmas shopping done and get christmas cards finished and placed in the mail. and then this song came on the radio while the snow was gently falling covering everything in a fresh blanket of snow. at that moment i had an epiphany. or at least a gentle reminder that my christmas priorities were a little out of whack. so after listening, i tried to take a step back and not worry so much about whether or not every loose end got tied up. christmas was so much more peaceful this year!

i need a silent night (click on the title to play)

we started the festivities by having our friends the hendricks over for christmas eve dinner. we have known dan since before brendan was born so when he's around it's like spending time with family. after a yummy dinner, we visited a little bit and they headed out to get baby mason to bed. we had our traditional reading of luke 2 and this year we added songs to each passage. it was very sweet and spiritual. then the kids got to open 1 present which is always pajama related and larry and i got things ready for santa's big stop!

here are some of my favorite pictures from the day.

the kids waiting anxiously at the top of the stairs. everyone has to come down at the same time!

brookes face when she realized the princess bike was for her.

bella has been waiting one of these e pet things forever

brendan anxious to see how fast his nerf gun really shoots.

lily mothering her new baby

bella taking lily for a ride on brookes bike. christmas is the one day a year where riding a bike in the house is completely acceptable.

every year there are a few toys that become the "coveted" toys. here are this years winners

lily's veterinarian pet carrier. i don't even think the poor girl realized this toy belonged to her. someone snatched it away practically the minute she opened it.
bella's barbie mp3 player. i should have known that this would cause problems. i got it for bella because brendan got an mp3 player and i knew she would be jealous. had i only had the foresight to know that all the kids would want one! i have to say that the kids love these. they were worth every penny. but, the kids can't listen to music without singing and they all sing really loud - i have absolutely no clue where these traits come from... wink wink. so when they are both in the same room with them on - it's simply delightful.
i hope that all of you had a wonderful christmas full of the joy and love that the season represents. i hope that you felt the saviours love for you and your family. christmas is such a magical time of year. starting with the miracle that occured back in a tiny stable in bethlehem.

Monday, December 22, 2008

pheasant - the new chicken!!

larry went pheasant hunting on saturday. to be honest with you i just thought he was going to have a good time and relieve a little stress. i didn't actually think we were expected to eat what he brought home! so imagine my surprise when he walked in with a beautiful pheasant, they are truly pretty birds, and announced that he was going to go and remove the breasts so we could eat them. seriously?!? we are going to eat it?? i questioned in my best supportive yet alarmed tone. you betcha was his reply - and off we went with kids in tow to clean it. one of the most surprising parts to me is that the kids watched the whole process and thought it was cool. when the tail feathers are dry bella wants to hang them in her room. one word comes to mind here - Gross!! but i have to wonder - are the girls going to be into hunting as well?? a whole little family of hunters? minus me of course
so last night we had said bird in one of our favorite family meals (mixed with chicken because we needed more meat) and it was really good. taste wise there was almost no difference between the two. maybe this wild game eating thing won't be so bad after all.....
here is the recipe i used. i got it years ago from my friend emma and it has become a family staple in the winter. it's really simple and yummy.

chicken and rice

3-4 chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 1\2 c instant rice
1 can cream of chicken, cream of celery and cheddar cheese soup
2 c water + 1 1\2 soup cans water
salt and pepper to taste

place chicken in 9x13 pan. pour rice and 2 c water over top. in a medium sized bowl mix the soups and 1 1\2 soup cans water together until blended. pour over chicken and stir a little bit to mix. cover with foil and bake for 2 hours at 350. it will look a little soupy when you take it out but as you stir it will thicken.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

a tree grows in the forest.....

beautiful and majestic it grows for centuries. then the hahl's come and chop it down ending it's life for the noble cause of a christmas tree.

we love going into the forest to find and cut down our own christmas tree. it's a pretty new tradition for us, but the kids love it! when you are in the forest, it's really hard to tell how the tree is going to look when it's isolated away from the others. the other trick is figuring out how monstrous it's going to be in your living room! our's ended up being a lot wider at the bottom than i thought it was going to be (that's after cutting at least 5 feet off) and getting it into the house was pretty entertaining. thankfully the elders showed up at just the right time and helped larry pull it through the door and lift it up.
i was hoping that we wouldn't have to do the platform again this year but after lily took about half the ornaments off a friend of ours tree we figured it would be a pretty good idea. maybe next year we can put it on the floor like normal people. but until then, the platform actually has some positive attributes. first, the space underneath provides an excellent hiding spot for those secret christmas items. second, it makes the tree easier to water. thirdly, we don't have to worry about little fingers pulling the tree over on themselves. and i think i actually kind of like how it keeps the tree out of the way a little bit.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

the best night evah!!!

my girls, like so many other girls i know, love high school musical. they know a majority of the songs and love to dance and sing along. so, the other night when my very sweet and generous friend christy won free tickets to high school musical the ice tour and took us instead of her boys it was like the most exciting night of their young little lives!! seriously - so much fun! i didn't tell the girls where we were going, mostly because i didn't want to listen to them squeal all day long and partly because i wanted to make it as exciting as possible. when we drove by the venue and bella saw the signs she was practically speechless; a major first for her.
the skaters were amazing. i can't even imagine being in that kind of shape. what a work out! the picture above is the only halfway decent one i got with my limited photograpy skills. they just wouldn't stop moving long enough for a good shot and my camera is just too slow!
i told the girls that they could have one thing to share. of course they picked the cotton candy with the big shiny ryan hat.
the girls striking a pose with christy after the show.

the excitement of the night exerted so much energy out of them that this is what they looked like when we pulled into the driveway. since that night, the first words out of bella's mouth to everyone that she sees is about going to HSM on ice and how it was the best night of her life. so thanks christy for sharing your tickets with us! the girls will never forget it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

pickle holder

do you love eating pickles but hate the dreadful pickle smell your fingers get after holding them?? if so, your going to love this new product (patent pending) created by our own budding inventor whom the product is named after. the lily pickle holder allows you to enjoy your pickle without getting any of the juice or pickle smell on your personage. the classic, yet fun design, is so easy to use that even a two year old can master it in no time.
to order your pickle holder call 1 - 800 - mychildistoocuteforwords. call now as supplies are very limited!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

complete and total randomness

  • we were driving in the car the other day and the kids begged me to listen to mamma mia. over the summer we almost wore the cd out so i had put it away for awhile. i forgot how much fun that music is! everyone was singing and dancing in the car. even lily knew some of the words to the song "mamma mia". but whenever i hear "lay all your love on me" all i can think of is the men in speedos wearing flippers doing the penguin walk. makes me smile every time.
  • i am so excited that batman dark knight is on dvd this week. i loved that movie and have been anxiously waiting to see it again. that is one i will need to add to the dvd library for frequent viewing. yes the movie is very dark, but heath's performance is so amazing! i completely loved it.
  • lily's new phrase is "no thanks". she says it all the time. my favorite is when i tell her it's time for bed and she looks at me in all seriousness and says no thanks. like it's an option! but at least she is being polite.
  • i love it when it snows before all the foliage is off the trees.
such beauty!
  • lately i've been submerged in organizing musical numbers. there's music for sacrament meeting and enrichment activity. i love doing it, but it can really be stressful. however, in the end, when everything comes together beautifully, it's worth every stressful second.

  • i really enjoyed the christmas devotional tonight. presidents uchtdorf's message about his childhood christmas's in germany really touched my heart. with all the bling and hype it can be hard to keep the kids thinking about the true spirit of christmas. just the other day larry was telling brendan about christmas's he spent as a child visiting people in the hospital. memories that he will never forget. but can he remember the toys he got that year?

  • larry got our christmas lights put up on the house this weekend and i am so thankful to him for that. i love having lights on the house. it just makes me feel so festive and ready for the season.

Monday, December 1, 2008

new loves

  • pickles - brooke and lily are addicted to pickles. they can't get enough! lily can eat 3 to 4 pickles in one setting.
  • turkey pepperoni - besides pickles, all lily wants to eat these days is turkey pepperoni. over the weekend she ate an entire package. turkey pepperoni has less fat than regular but it has a lot more spice in it so i'm kind of surprised at how much she likes it.
  • fashion - bella is totally into fashion these days. she loves to try and put her own combinations together. most of the time she does well. but - she loves to wear magenta colored sweatpants with this little brown skirt. that one i'm not feeling so much.
  • abstract art - brendan has discovered abstract art and has been trying to create his own masterpieces. it's a fine line between abstract and scribbles and he's working hard to differentiate between the two.