Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Twins are One!

Happy Birthday, Max and Will! 

These two little tiny peanuts are now two happy, healthy one year olds.  And when I say happy I mean it.  They are seriously the happiest babies I have ever seen.  

Maybe they are so happy because they have their sweet mother...

She is healthy too.  
It is a day of celebration for all of us! 

PS My sister wrote about the birth here.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Few things we've been eating...

My cousin Robin and I always joke about whipping up "concoctions" that usually involve chocolate.  My Aunt Kathy was the equivalent of "MacGyver" in the kitchen.  She would just "whip" up some fudge, brownies, or chocolate frosting at the mention of a craving.  The skill must run in the genes.  My typical go-to chocolate concoctions are things that are QUICK and can be whipped up fast..."No Bake Cookies", boxed brownies, and muddy buddies (you know the Chex cereal recipe...).  As you can see my "go to" things have to be FAST and but not necessarily high quality.  :)  

The other day I was sitting in some waiting room and ran across a "5-Minute Chocolate Cake" in a Readers Digest.  I had to try it.  It would be perfect for "whipping" up when a craving hit. The part that intrigued me more than the five minute baking time, was the SINGLE SERVING aspect.  I actually shared it with my kids and it was plenty.  Depends what kind of craving you are having.

It truly does take only 5 minutes.  This is a GIANT mug. 

I would actually recommend cooking it a little less in the microwave, it can get dry.  Gooey is better. 

5-Minute Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 salt
2 T unsweetened cocoa
2 T whisked egg (not quite one whole egg)
3 T milk
3 T oil
3 T chocolate chips or broken up candy bar (I used the mini-chocolate chips which I think were perfect...a SKOR bar might me nice too!)
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Mix first four ingredients together in large coffee mug; add egg and combine until paste forms.  Stir in milk and oil, then chocolate chips and vanilla.

2.  MICROWAVE on medium for 3 minutes, until cake starts to crown over top of mug.  (Mine was so big it did not ever reach the top of the mug.)  Remove, top with chocolate sauce or ice cream if desired, and enjoy.  

Other things happening in the kitchen...

Michael is obsessed with eggs.  He asks me to make them all the time so I finally taught him how to make them himself.  After school he will just bust out the frying pan.

Final product...he does pretty well! 

He is also really into "banana shakes".  They are really complicated. Bananas, milk, and ice.  Why so much about Michael...he is the most opinionated in the kitchen.  And he takes matters into his own hands.

I just included this because it is so crazy!  Great Harvest makes their regular white loafs of bread look like this at Easter.  My mom surprised us with a loaf and then a week later a friend stopped by with a loaf...sweet! All the colors make toast much more exciting. 

Maybe I should try it on my own. 

Last....this is my FAVORITE yogurt.  No other will do.  Once I tried Fage, there was no going back.  It is SOOOO creamy.  It has no sweeteners, so people, this IS going to taste on the sour side.  I mix it with my own berries and a little sugar, or some homemade jam and granola.  Delicious!  It has some crazy amount of protein per serving and doesn't have all that junk found in lots of other yogurt.  My SIL's mom scored a ton of this stuff on a sweet sale and gave me like SIX containers FREE.  It is not cheap so I was feeling so grateful in my heart of hearts.  It's creamy deliciousness will never let you down. 

Alright, I am getting hungry and must get to bed!  No food for me!  
PS Fage should totally hire me to advertise since my blog has such a high traffic volume. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From the desk of MIchael...

Michael likes to draw and write.  A while back he showed me his journal.  He had written PAGES- single spaced.  He is very honest in his writing and it often makes me laugh.  (None of the fluffy things you would find me writing in my journal at his age.)  He is going through a little bit of a "poor me" thing that I really hope is just a phase! 

After Christmas I asked the kids to write thank you notes for their gifts. After Michael went to bed I saw this one and CRACKED pretty much sums up his little "phase".  

"Dear James, Thank you for the handcuffs but they don't do anything, no one wants to get arrested or play cops.  But thanks.  Love Michael 
PS The handcuffs are broken"

But thanks...seriously?  

Not only does he write, but he draws a lot.  This is not one of his better drawings, but it caught my eye... 

Michael is on top of the cliff....he writes "he fell of this cliff" 
At least James was not dead after falling off the cliff.  He still said hi. 

Michael is also a little obsessed with making some money.  He is always coming up with new business plans.  He made these flyers and passed them out at school.  He is a little heart broken that no one has called us yet to take care of their pet.  (Which I can't believe because I ALWAYS need someone when I go on vacation...) One person did call us to watch their bird, but we were in California.  Maybe this summer I told him. 

His latest idea is he wants to buy his own zoo when he grows up.  I told him to go for it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Three years ago

Three years ago this week we left California...I can't believe it has been three years, and then sometimes it seems a lifetime ago.  

 I can't believe we got our whole life into that moving truck.

Every nook and cranny was full.

We said goodbye to our school.

Our beautiful yard.

Our house...

Goodbye to all the painting and projects...

Our ward...

I can't believe how much small the boys look! 

We left early in the morning with the kids still sleeping.

James rode in the little truck with Dad. (Thanks Nana for the yummy toast and bacon!)

So long, California!

Goodbye Highway 99

I wish I had a picture but when we arrived in Idaho- my sister had made a Huge sign, 


It was nice to have a welcoming crew when we arrived.  

It was a BIG change and change is always hard.

We missed our friends and family left behind.  

We were thankful to have family and neighbors close by.

If I have learned anything in the last three years is the Lord works in Mysterious Ways!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Random Wrap up

Every time I download pictures I find many I did not take, or some that I did, and they make me laugh...or not.  This week I looked at A LOT of pictures because I have been trying to organize mine.  So here are some randoms I just knew I wouldn't want to forget!

This one was taken with my phone. I sent it to my sister in a message and said, "This is why I don't take naps."  Ryan was out of town, and this is what I awoke to on a Sunday afternoon.  

I always find find photos done with "Stachematic".  Somehow, it is always so amusing. 

There are a million photos on my phone taken by Annie.  Some are actually kind of interesting because I get to see life from her point of view.  I don't have tons of pictures of me, and not many of me going about everyday life.  Now I don't have to worry, Annie captures all I could want and more. (I am serious about the more, yikes!)  Here I am putting on make up.  I like to sit down on the floor to do makeup and hair.  It keeps Sophie entertained too.  In college I would get up early to go work at the "candy counter" and even back then I would not get all primped up in the bathroom.  I would go to the living room, and curl my hair while watching the Today Show.

This is so dorky, I just had to laugh at myself. I decided I would take pictures of what I wore for a few weeks.  My biggest dilemma each morning is, "WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?"  I figured if I just made a record on my phone, I could just repeat every few weeks. Mostly, I just think, there are lots of people in the blog world that take pictures of themselves...maybe I could pick up a few skills.  What am I doing here, WAVING????  That and hoping the side shot will make me look the most skinny.  Maybe I should take some clues from Erin and her Fashion Friday Posts.  ("I got this cute top from Forever 21")  Kidding people, Kidding. 

 Every picture I took is seriously ridiculous.  So I quit.   

You might think this is just a regular old carrot that Michael peeled, but you would be wrong.  He found it in the bag of MINI carrots, you know, the pre-peeled and cut ones.  Someone forgot to chop this guy up!  It was so exciting we had to take a picture.  And, remember, we are really in to the whole mustache thing.  (Also, Michael does NOT have a sprained or broken arm.  However, yes, he did wear this ace bandage for two weeks straight until I told him his arm was gonna rot so he had to take it off.)

Okay, I hope you are not offended. Reggie's behind never fails to amuse my children.  This time they took a picture and then saved it as my screen saver-such sweet surprise for me when I went to use my phone.  (Reggie belongs to Uncle Cade and Aunt Michele)

For a minute on vacation I could not find Sophie...I hate that feeling.  But I found the dog kennel downing some yogurt.

Joshua trying to even out his tan lines from skiing.  

And finally...a blast from the past.  Two of my favorite pictures I recently just looked at.

James, TEN years ago.  

Joshua, about 10 years ago too...trying on Grandma Critchlow's wig when she had cancer.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Goodbye Skiing, Hello Willow

I am so sad, I accidentally just deleted this entire post while trying to fix a mistake...GRRRRRR.  You can read about skiing and dogs another time. So sad.

Here we go again...

The boys got in quite a bit of skiing this year.  Whenever Joshua would hear that Grandpa was going skiing he would politely offer to accompany him.  Grandpa is great about taking them up and teaching them the love of the sport.  Since I am still nursing, going up all day does not work so well, so I didn't make it out too much.  Here was a day that Ryan was able to break away....nothing like that view from the top of Targhee!
Joshua, Dad, Michael, and James

Abigail, James, and Joshua enjoying a lunch break. 

Joshua, James, Grandma, and Abigail getting ready to head back up the hill. 

The best part of the ski season of me was not on the mountain.  It was one evening in January.  I had decided last minute that we should go to the Warren Miller Ski movie.  If you buys tickets you get two-for-one lift tickets.  During the intermission they do drawings for various ski prizes.  There was a total of SIX of us in our group.  My niece won a ski backpack.   I thought that was pretty lucky that someone in our group won.  Our luck had just begun!  I won $600 skies and Joshua won ski bindings.  SWEET! 

Who is this furry friend?  Well, even though our last dog did not pan out for us, I still really wanted to have a dog!  I saw this gal online at a shelter and told Ryan I wanted her... he was less than excited after the last dog fiasco.  She is an Llasa Apso that is three years old.  That was perfect because she was out of the puppy scratching, chewing, or potty accidents.  She doesn't bark much and she doesn't shed.  She looked so much like Max and I just knew she was for us! Her foster mom was not sure how she would do around the little kids. The night we brought her home she was so nervous and hid from us.  She gradually warmed up and now doesn't even flinch around Sophie.  I think her previous owners were not too good to her, but now she is living the high life!   

When we picked her up her name was Addie.  Since we have an Annie, Abbie, and Sadie around here I didn't think that worked too well.  My mom thought we should name her "Maxine" since she is pretty much Max reincarnated.  I finally decided since she's  my dog, I would pick her name...

She got her first haircut his week.  We went pretty short for the summer.  She is feeling pretty snazzy with her blue bow and new pink collar. 

 Funny story-
A year ago my twin nephews were born.  They named one of them Maxwell, but call him Max.  A few months later after Max (the twin) was born, Max (our dog) died.  Even though it was a tragic loss, we were happy that Max's name would live on.  :)  When I told Annie that I was naming the new dog "Willow" she said, "That's like the boys name."  By "boys" she meant the TWINS.  The other twin's name is William.  He goes by Will.  I think my brother would be so proud to know that his two son's have the same names as both of my beloved dogs....Max and Will (Willow).  Hee-hee

Monday, April 16, 2012

Two Pink Princesses

In Conference our prophet Thomas S Monson said this, 

"...may you endure.  What does it mean to endure?  I love this definition: to withstand with courage."  

I love this picture.  The two pink princesses. Grandma would hate it, and I know why.  Her hair is not done, she has on no make up, she is not fixed up to her beautiful self.  However, I love that it shows all her wrinkles...signs of living a long full life.  The whole time we were in California Great-Grandma felt terrible.  She has all sorts of aches and pains.  However, she knows the names of her GREAT-grandchildren and she shows interest in them even when she is feeling her worst.  This time we were not able to go out for dinner or breakfast like we usually love to do with Grandma.  She just didn't have her pep.  However, every morning she would say how she wanted to go out.  

It would be hard to go on when your sweetheart has been gone for a long time, and when you feel crappy all the time.  She is a great example of ENDURING.  It would take a lot of COURAGE.  Nana and Papa are a great example of enduring along with her.  

Spring Break Part 2

Okay, now for the pictures of my iPhone...

 I am so excited for the trip I can hardly stand it!  I won't go to bed the night before. 

Nana meets us for lunch at our favorite restaurant....

I don't even like fast food. I almost never eat a burger...except here. 



More fun with friends and as usual, LOTS of laughing.


Down in Palm Springs....Dane and Krista. 

Krista is hiding in Dane's hair. 

This beautiful lady is the reason we went to Palm Springs.  This is their wedding picture in Vegas.  It was the first time we met Aunt Carol.  There is no one like her.  She fought a long brave battle with Cancer.  Even in the midst of pain and sickness she was always concerned about everyone BUT herself.  She made everyone feel important.  She had more life than anyone I know!  We were all able to share memories of her at her beautiful memorial service.  We were glad we were able to be there.  

Uncle Doug and Ryan...Uncle Doug has been a great example to all of us of service and love to his sweetheart in sickness and in health. 

And finally I had to throw in this last picture of Ryan on the vacation, since he is often in some corner looking like this.  I tease him that he is playing games on his iPhone, but in his defense, he IS usually doing business. 

With Spring Break over and stop-SUMMER VACATION!  Can't wait!