Monday, September 29, 2008

new favorite book

The Last Lecture

I'm not even going to tell you what this book is about.  It is 200 pages in a small size book.  I read it in 3 days.  (not my style lately)  But, if you want to know more take a look at this.  

PS. fill your stash of tissues before you pick this one up.  It's worth it.

added on Oct. 8:  This isn't a teary, sad book.  It will make you cry, maybe.  But, it's more of a who cares if there are always fingerprints on the fridge and I gotta remember to take more pictures of my kids and live each day kind of a book.  It makes you want to be a better person and a better parent.  And it doesn't take weeks and weeks to read it, so it's not like you cry for a month, just for a minute or two.  And, Rick was the one who purchased this book, so it's not even a cry baby girly book. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

BIG potty training break through

I was on my bed tonight with Cole after his bath.  We were reading a tractor book when I heard him grunting.  I looked at him and his face was slightly red and so I grabbed him and ran to the bathroom.  He consented to drop his drawers.  He let me put him on the pot.  He never let go of my neck through the entire ordeal.  He grunted a few more times.  No results.  But a huge step none the less.  Just thought I'd share.  
PS.  This is not Cole.  It is Sierra when she was 3.  
She was not in a hurry to potty train either.  
But, she sure liked a good book. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

oh my yum

I know it's not "on the diet", but I had a little sample of these yesterday

just in case you can't tell, these are sweet potato fries.
If this appeals to you, get in your car, drive to Orem (1360 South State Street to be exact--you'll find yourself at my second home, aka Arctic Circle), ask for Lanny, tell him Kelli sent you and he might just give you the friend discount (do not confuse that with the "Family" discount, hehe)

And be sure to dip in Fry Sauce.  And lick your fingers.  Ah, heaven.
I'm just not sure how my dad would feel about someone messing with his menu like this...  

It has been confirmed...

Lance Armstrong appeared on the Early Show, GMA, and CNN yesterday morning to confirm that he will indeed come out of retirement and try for an 8th Tour de France title.  WAAHOO.

To find out more about the Cancer initiative or to find our more about what you can do,
go to

Monday, September 22, 2008

wedding photo (#6)

kelli, lanny, Mom, Bry, Brandi

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reception Pictures (wedding post #5)

my mom was in charge of the table for the candy favors that they gave to the guests as they left.  I think it turned out kind of cute.  Except that my sister and I watched 2 ladies just scoop candy into their pockets and sleeves and mouth and then run out as fast as they could waddle.  And the rest of the candy was consumed by about 12 different little nieces and nephews (including 3 of which were my little darlings)  Oh well.
And the lady with my brother is his kindergarten teacher and long time family friend, Candy Belliston.

levi quilt (wedding photos #4)

OK, my turn to be in some pictures.  A few months ago I decided that I would make my brother a quilt for his wedding.  why?  I don't know.  Mostly because if I don't have about sixteen projects going at a time, then I'm not completely satisfied with my life...OK, back to the story.  I mentioned this to my mom and she brought down a small stack of my dad's old Levi's.  So, I cut squares from all sorts of old jeans (even some that were anonamously donated my someone in my ward and left on my front porch).  So, I pieced the squares together with the help of Rick's mom.  Picked out a green polka dot sheet (because green was by far my dad's favorite color!) And made a small quilt to give to Brybry for his wedding.  
I passed the camera off to my cousin for the quilt presentation ceremony  and these are just about the only pictures I have of myself from the wedding lunch.  Things got a tiny bit teary, even from my brother.  But, I figured it was my house, I could cause I scene if I wanted to, right?   

Wedding Lunch (part 3)

More pictures of the lunch.  It was tons and tons of hard work.  But, I think it went very well and was much more enjoyable than sitting and waiting for a table at Brick Oven and then yelling at each other up and down the tables because it's so hard to talk and hear each other with such a big group of people on a Saturday afternoon of a BYU football game.  
We had a good time.  I think that I have been around my talented neighbors Amara and Audrey a little too much.  I realize that it takes a lot of talent and skill to pull off something like this where you feed huge numbers of people.  I've noticed that Amara always uses a notebook with recipes, numbers, and notes.  I'm glad I made that observation, because writing things down is absolutely necessary to keep everything straight!!!! 

wedding part 2

These are just a few more random pictures from the wedding.  It was supposed to begin at the brides parents house at 11:00 am. 
Great, except that it was raining.  So, we all ran into the house for about 15 minutes.  When the rain stopped, we all ran out and found a chair, and Mallory's dad quickly performed the ceremony.  Shortly after the ceremony, it started raining again.  The dark clouds threatened until we got to Mapleton, when it really started to pour.  Nice.  By the time the wedding party arrived at my house, the rain had stopped.  We had taken all of my towels and wiped down all of the tables and chairs.  We hurried and fixed our plates while the sun shined for several minutes, before the next downpour.

Bryan's Wedding part 1

Those of you who know me very well know that the past week I have been entirely preoccupied with this big event:  My brother's wedding. Not that I had the whole wedding to plan or anything.  But we have been busy getting things ready.  More on my part of the wedding day events in the next few posts... 

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Rick got me into the Tour de France when we lived in Kirksville. Thanks Matt Oswin. We follow each of Lances Tour victories and were sad to see him retire. Although we continue to follow the tour every year (it is the only sporting event we ever watch) it has not been the same.  We are especially excited to see Lances recent announcement about his return to pro cycling with his Cancer initiative.  Rick's mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and Lance is the world greatest cancer advocate and voice. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

shoe shopping---HELP!

(these are from the website)
OK, I need your help internet people.  I need new shoes.  What I really should be buying is a pair of those ugly orthopedic white nurse looking shoes.  but for some reason, I just can't do that.  I thought about getting some crocs.  I am one of those people that thinks that the original style crocs (I have 2 pairs of them) are the ugliest shoe ever invented.  However, due to the current pain in the foot which I am experiencing, I must choose comfort over fashion.  So, I wonder if these are comfortable.  And most of all, I want to know what they look like on a real foot.  I need to know where the straps cross or the edges press against the foot.  
I tried to find someplace local where I could go try some of these shoes on, but they are new styles and not available yet at places like Nordstroms.  
So, if you have any ideas or you know someone with either of these shoes, let me know.
PS.  Getting old really stinks. 
PSS.  If you don't know me personally, I'm short.  So, I really need the extra 3 inches that these shoes provide.  But, not if I can't walk.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I had a request from a fellow blogger who wanted me to add a little more insight on Hurricanes and preparedness.  Well, here are some thoughts from watching the news about hurricane Ike last night. 
They said that there were at least 500,000 people in the Houston area without power.  The mayor of Houston suggested that the residents consider and prepare for the fact of living without power for at least 5 days.  He said a lot of other things, but that is the one thing that stuck in my mind.  I remember from Hurricane Katrina that we were without power for 5 days--127 hours and believe me, I was counting!  After just a few hours, the food in the fridge becomes questionable as to whether or not it is safe to eat.  The food in the freezer will last for a couple of days IF you do not keep opening the door.  So, think about you know exactly what is in the freezer.  A list of the freezer contents on the outside of the freezer door is a good idea, because every time you open the door, you lose precious cold air.  I also like to keep the freezer full because it will hold the cold longer, too. So, fill a few milk jugs with water to fill in some of those spaces if there are gaps on some of the shelves.  Those will act as giant ice cubes if the power goes out.  They will come in handy if you find yourself without power.   
Another thing that we faced in Hurricane Katrina was that after 2 to 3 days, people started to have food spoil so they took it out to the curb with the trash.  WELL, because of downed trees and power lines, lack of fuel for garbage trucks, and general inability to get the garbage pickup back on schedule, there were  piles of rotting food lining our streets.  Gross.

So, just do what the mayor of Houston has asked of his residents and think about what you would do without power for 5 days...

thoughts and prayers to the folks in Houston    

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fresh Tomato Soup

Let me just warn you, if you try this you will never eat Campbell's again.  That's OK.

3 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/3 c. tomato paste (or just one of those little skinny cans)
2 T. fresh cilantro or parsley
2 t. instant chicken bouillon
2 t. lime juice (or lemon)
1 t. sugar
a few dashes of hot pepper sauce.

In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, water, onion, celery, tomato paste, 2 T. cilantro, bouillon, lime juice, sugar, and pepper sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until celery and onion are very tender.  (just enough time to put together a grilled cheese sandwich)  Cool slightly.
Place half of the mixture in a blender.  Blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture.  Return to pan and heat through or serve chilled. 

PS.  I doubled this and I didn't measure exactly--I learned that from my mother.

Rick and I are still on the diet, but because everything in the recipe (minus the 1 t. sugar) is on the "OK to eat list" we ate some of this.  I tried to add up the calories for this dish.  I rounded up to the nearest 20 calories and I think that this about how many calories is in this yummy dish of tomato goodness.  So, I had seconds.  The kiddos had some cheese on top and some yummy goldfish crackers which I did not partake of, but enjoyed this meal immensely none the less.
Remind me to plant even more tomatoes next year.    
Did I mention that I love tomatoes?

good bye running shoes, hello bike helmet

here is a little following up regarding this past post .

I have a neuroma.  The dr. shot it full of cortisone 6 weeks ago.  That method works about 50% of the time.  It seemed to work for me at my follow up appointment 2 weeks ago...until last week when Rick and I decided to get out and run because the dr. told me that I could.  Well, about 2 miles away from home I realized that I was not meant to be a runner.  I pretty much had to crawl home.  I had put on my list of things to do in 2008 to run a half marathon.  Not gonna happen.  I went back to the dr. yesterday and he took an ultrasound of my neuroma.  It's actually quite small, smaller than the dr. would recommend for surgery.  so, he gave me another shot of cortisone.  (ouch)  he said that if this one doesn't work, the next step is surgery regardless of the size.  He discussed the risks with me.  It's a pretty involved little procedure requiring 6-8 weeks of recovery.  Mostly, I don't have the time and patience for any of that.   
So, I am no longer a "runner". I have dusted off the bike helmet and tuned the bike up nicely and now I am a "biker girl". 
The reason that appeals to me is because of this:
 or this   
or even this
and definitely this
 Hello spin bike.  Hello eliptical machine.
I got a little bit emotional thinking about it last night.  It reminds me of a shirt that I have that says:  "I run so I can eat more chocolate cake"  which sums it up to a T.  I don't really consider myself much of a runner, I still don't "get" that runner's high nonsense.  I do love the way it feels AFTER I run, or when I participate in a 5K and I finish and get to wander around at the end of the race with people who have finished 30 minutes earlier and are still snacking on the fresh fruit.  It makes me think of when I am pregnant and I can't run (except when I ran on the treadmill 8 months prego with cole at the YMCA--I think they had 911 on speed dial when they saw me coming and I only ran until I started to pee my pants which wasn't really very far at all, anywhoo).  It was when I was pregnant and couldn't run that every made me feel like I wanted to run.  Well, I felt that way last night when I finally came to the conclusion that I must give up running.  But, I consider myself lucky because I have 2 legs that still work great and I can ride a bike, I can do a lot of other things--as long as it doesn't include impact on the ball of my foot.

I guess if worse come to worse I could always try swimming for exercise.  The only reason that appeals to me is because of this:

or this...or this...
I will keep you updated...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy to Sierra

This is my sweet baby girl who turns 8 tomorrow.
I would have 10 kids if they were as easy to get along with as Sierra. (maybe not really, it was hard enough just getting 3 I got!)  But, the bottom picture just makes me laugh because when I tell people about my three kiddos, I tell them that the oldest and the youngest came from the same mold.  Sierra, however, is not at all high maintenance like her siblings.  I am convinced that they girl could occupy herself all afternoon with nothing more than a rock and her imagination.  she is so creative.  She is lovey and snuggly and it felt really good this morning when Rick left for work at 6 am.  We had slept with our bedroom windows open and the room was freezing.  I didn't stay cold for long because Sierra very quietly slipped right into my bed and snuggled me back to sleep for 30 minutes.  It was awesome.  I love it that she is a writer.  She has a journal that she has been writing in nearly every night for more than a year!  Yahoo--a writer.  Her artwork is so insightful.  She always slips in an angel or two with heart shaped wings to look over the subjects of her drawings.  
We just love our squeeze child and cannot wait for the big celebration of her birth this weekend and even more celebrating  next month when she has chosen to be baptized a member of our Church 
love you, Yaya.

Let's take a vote

First of all, I love Fall and Halloween.  
I am ready to decorate for Halloween.  Not the creeepy Orem neighbor decorating (if you remind me, I will take a pictures for those of you who don't happen to know who I am talking about.)
I just love the colors, and the leaves and the pumpkins.  I asked Rick to get the Halloween decoration boxes down from the shelf in the storage room for me last night.  (He has to work a 16 hour shift today, so I figured it would be a good day to decorate in peace).  But, Rick informed me that it was entirely too early to get out the Halloween decorations.  I told him I would keep the ceramic skulls that he made at the Utah STate Prison hidden for a few more weeks.  He said that I MUST wait until after the big family celebration next week until I can get out the Halloween decorations.  He thought it would seem weird to have the Halloween decorations competing with the Wedding lunch.  Hum, I don't think a pumpkin or two will really matter.  What do you think?
Besides, I still have my quilted valentine wall art hanging in the entry way.  You'd think he'd be happy to have that pink thing put away before it looks like I've decorated early for Valentines day again.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

my hands are BURNING!!!

because I just made some of this...

my house smells so hot and yummy.  My eyes are watering.  But, I am out of jalapenos.   I need some donations if my plants don't grow more peppers before it gets too cold.  I still want to make jalapeno jelly.  I'm also out of jars and rings.  But, it gives me such pleasure to be adding things to my food storage shelves.  I just love this time and  year and watching my shelves fill up with things that I've bottled with my very own hands with things I've grown in my yard!     
Next up is salsa verde.

The recipe is from fashionable foodie.