Friday, May 30, 2008

Best gift

One of my gifts from Dave for Mother's Day was a professional house cleaning to be used whenever I wanted it. It's been a crappy week for my family with all of us, except Kendall, getting sick and being miserable. I got hit with a double whammy of a cold and a stomach flu and I had to clean up after and comfort a baby who got the stomach bug bad. Needless to say the house and chores suffered. So I cashed in on my gift today and I am so happy. My house looks fantastic and smells so nice and I have the whole weekend ahead with no chores hanging over my head. They cleaned everything! I'm finally feeling better so we're going to do something, ANYTHING, tomorrow so I can finally get out of the house and join the general population again. I think we're going to have our house cleaned like this every few months, it was SOOO worth it. I'm so glad this week is over.

And I lost 5 pounds from being sick and eating cereal for days. Good friday.

Breaking Dawn Preview

So, I am like an addict for these books now and I am up really early and I came across this wonderful new information. I checked out and they had this link available for a sneak peak (one day early) of her new Breaking Dawn's first Chapter that is due to come out tomorrow in the Special Edition of Eclipse! Yipee! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Help! Please Post TinFoil Dinner Recipes

I desperately need some tinfoil dinner recipes as I am going camping for real this weekend (gasp!) and do not have a dutch oven or a camp stove. Can you anyone with any good tin foil dinner recipes please post them? I am also going to Girl's Camp in a couple weeks and Girl Scout Camp in August, so I need them for then too. My goodness, my whole summer seems to be filled with camping and I haven't really camped since I was a senior in high school 12 years ago. I wish I had a Deseret Book Store nearby so I could buy these books: Young Women Outdoor Cooking  and Roughing It Easy because they both look like they would contain the camping knowledge I lack. Thanks!!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

College Student Cleanout Freebies

At the end of the school year the college students around here throw out perfectly good and mostly almost new items. They literally put lamps, desks, rugs, chairs and the like in and around dumpsters. This year I picked up some really good stuff. Anything I don't end up using I can sell at the Neighbors and Newcomers' annual yard sale. A lot of professors and people in the community will dumpster dive for stuff and also a lot of people who live in vans down by the river (no joke!). I didn't actually come to blows with any river people, I just asked them politely if they were going to take a certain item and it not, could they help me take it out of the dumpster. I did have to power wash a few items to remove a year's worth of grime, but I think it was worth it. My husband said he would only get stuff if there was no one around and if it wasn't actually in the dumpster. I had no such reservations.

Here's what I found: cotton candy machine (which we have had endless fun with), desk from IKEA, small trash can, dolly, clothes drying rack, hat rack, set of plastic drawers, white flower pots, basket, chair, beanbag (not pictured), small area rug (not pictured), microwave (not pictured), cooler, 2 mirrors, electric kettle, four slice toaster, Hamilton Beach single serve blender with travel lid (perfect for protein shakes), corduroy purse, practically new broom and dustpan, shoe rack, small plastic shelves, and  some kind of tupperware with lid and compartments and handle for carrying (not pictured). 

I would also have had a new aquarium, but a river person got it first. I would have gotten a brand new futon, but my husband wouldn't let me load it into the mini van because he was afraid one of his students would see him. Don't tell him, but one of his students (that I have actually met before) did see me pull a beanbag out of the dumpster. Next year I am getting a babysitter and camping out by the dumpster on College Student Cleanout weekend, who knows . . . I might luck out and get a mini fridge.   

Summer(school) Fun

Three Sisters Garden

The first picture is a Three Sisters Garden. Native American have many stories, customs, celebrations and ceremonies related to these three crops as sustainers of life. The three different plants: corn, beans and squash benefit each other. Corn provides support for the beans. Beans have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. The large prickly squash leaves shade the soil preventing weed growth. This is a fun way to introduce gardening and also Native American agricultural techniques to your kids. We are going to plant these three in the soil behind our house and I am going to let the kids mostly care for these plants.


We have been seeing these strange web-like things all over Lewisburg and thought they belonged to some kind of spider. It turns out that they are caterpillar nests. After the eggs hatch they spin silk and live in there for awhile. As they mature they venture out for food (my garden) and eventually turn into moths. This type is called the Eastern Tent Caterpillar. Emma collected four of them today and named them Annie, Teeny, Joe and April (after her birth month and her grandmother). Aidan found one and named it Harriet. They seemed very interested in these caterpillars and so I went online and found out how to take care of them until they turn into moths. On this same site are crafts you can make related to butterflies. I am going to have a clipboard where the kids can make observations on what they eat (apparently caterpillars are picky and will starve to death before they eat something they don't like, I think this will be a good lesson for my extremely picky kids) and draw pictures of their progress. I might invest in an aquarium so they have plenty of room and can be observed better. 

I want to do summer school, but I don't want it to seem too schoolish with lots of desk work, etc., I think I will mostly be doing creative projects and activities as much as possible. I'm sure these activities are doable for most of you if you are interested.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh what do you do in the summertime....??

My oldest already has the summertime blues! What's that about? She LOVED school and now claims she is bored ALL the time, which means bugging me all day everyday for something to do. I've brought out all the kids games, I taught her how to knit on those looms, she's been cooking with me, she's exhausted her coloring books and she's sick of going to the park. I didn't know that was possible for a kid. I need some ideas. Indoor and outdoor. What are some fun, affordable things you do with your kids?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thanks again...

Just wanted to say thank you to all who have given me advise about the Bed Rest situation. I went in to be monitored again today and I am still having problems, even on bed rest, so looks like I will be down and out the remainder of the pregnancy. But thank you all for your words, it made me look at it from a different perspective, and I greatly appreciate your stories. I will keep you posted as much as I can.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bed Rest...What's that?

So I am now 32 weeks prego and have been put on bed rest, not to be mean, but yeah right! What really is bed rest, is there such a thing, and in a 12 hour day just how many are we actually supposed to rest. I mean if kids, the house, food , and the husband all take care of them selves, then yeah maybe, but those are just dreams right? any suggestions?

72 hour kits

I've been slowly building up my food storage lately and want to make 72 hour kits also. I think it was Robyn who mentioned in another post about rotating your 72 hour kits during conference weekend and I'm so going to start doing that. It's a perfect time of year to change out winter clothes for warm weather clothes, or a bigger sized diaper or whatever. I'm going to get some backpacks to store everything in and keep them downstairs. I was thinking of making a duplicate set and keeping it in the car in case emergency strikes while we're not at home. Or if someone is stranded I'd be able to offer help in some way. I found a site that's got lots of great ideas and information and thought I'd post it on here in case anyone else was interested.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fingerpaint Wall Art

I saw this on Tutus & Turtles and I think it would be so fun and cute. I think I'll try it when I actually have a home to decorate.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Go Skating!

Emma's Girl Scout Troop went skating and Aidan and I came along. I think it was a pretty good inner thigh workout and it was nice to skate around the smooth rink under the disco ball and strobe lights with the warm air rushing over my face and through my hair. It brought me right back to 5th and 6th grade when I used to go skating with my friends at the Golden Skate in San Ramon, CA (do you know what I mean, Julie?). They even played some of the same music (Double Dutch Bus by Frankie Smith) and some of the same games (limbo and freeze skate), but not shoot the duck:(

Aidan and Emma hadn't been roller skating since we lived in England a couple years ago when they had few weeks' worth of lessons. But they picked it up again pretty fast and popped right back up every time they fell down and even tried to do some tricks. The last time I skated was 10 years ago at Classic Skating in Orem, UT on disco night with Collin, April, Kirsten and Robyn. I remember Collin tripping and taking me down with him during a couples' skate. Instead of letting go as he fell, he tried to pull himself up hand over hand on my arm.

I had so much fun this time and didn't fall once even when my children were grabbing on to me. Roller skating was a really fun and nostalgic experience. I highly recommend it as a date or something to do with your kids. 

Are there any fun things you used to do as a kid that you want your own children to experience?

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Host

Has anyone read it yet? I've heard it's good and I want to check it out from the library but there's a waiting list. (Springville library is dinky) So I wanted to see if anyone thought it was good enough to buy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TV and vegetables

As you can see from the new poll, I've been thinking about TV watching. What do you guys think is an appropriate amount of TV time for kids? What are some good alternatives to pass time? Sometimes letting Ollie watch a show or movie is the only way to get him to settle down and just rest for a while. Also, how many servings of vegetables should we really expect our kids to eat every day? Any suggestions on that?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Washer and Dryer Recommendations?

Ben and I are in need of a new washer and dryer. We have been borrowing a set for the last 5 years and now we need to get a pair of our own. I have been looking at those new high efficiency, front loaders. Wondering if any of you moms have any opinions on brands or models before we spend a fortune on my least favorite activity?

Monday, May 12, 2008

March of the Penguin Cupcakes

OK, I know . . . but they are just so cute! Penguin cupcakes.

Sleeping Advice

I know I haven't commented or posted anything in a long time (and i'm going to be better about that) but I need some advice to you super mothers out there. I thought I had an angel as a daughter. She is about 23 months old and went down for the night really well. I would read her a book and say prayers with her, put her in bed and she would say " bye" and I could close the door and she would fall right to sleep. For the past couple nights it's been the total opposite. I try to put her PJs on - screams the whole time. I try to read a book and the same thing happens. I'm constantly fighting her to get into bed. She takes a good hour and forty-five minute naps every day but I feel like she is always tried. I try to get her in bed by 7 or 7:30 but I believe she could go to bed a 6 when she acts this way. Have any of you had this problem or something similar to this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

Just for laughs. Hope you all have a wonderful day!

You Know You're a Mother When ...

You count the sprinkles on each kid's cupcake to make sure they're equal.

You have time to shave only one leg at a time.

You hide in the bathroom to be alone.

Your kid throws-up and you catch it.

Someone else's kid throws up at a party. You keep eating.

As you cling to the high moral ground on toy weapons; your child chews his toast into the shape of a gun.

You hope ketchup is a vegetable, since it's the only one your child eats.

You find yourself cutting your husband's sandwiches into cute shapes.

You hear your mother's voice coming out of your mouth when you say, "NOT in your good clothes!"

You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.

You hire a sitter because you haven't been out with your husband in ages, then spend half the night checking on the kids.

You use your own saliva to clean your child's face.

You say at least once a day, "I'm not cut out for this job", but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything".

Things I learned from my mother:

1. My mother taught me to APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me about RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me about LOGIC.
"Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me about FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

6. My mother taught me about IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

7. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

8. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it."

9. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

10. My mother taught me about the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

11. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

12. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

13. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

14. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

15. My mother taught me about MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

16. My mother taught me about ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you'll be cold?"

17. My mother taught me about HUMOR.
"When that lawnmower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

18. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

19. My mother taught me about GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

20. My mother taught me about WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand.

21. My mother taught me about SHARING.
" I’m going to give you a piece of my mind!"

22. My mother taught me about FEAR.
"One day you'll have a child who'll do the same things to you."

Race for the Cure 2008 in Sacramento

Today I was able to walk once again for my dear friend Alena who was diagonsed last year with breast cancer at the age of 22. After under going a single mastectomy and Chemo treatment, this year we got to walk for her as a survior. She is a beautful and strong young woman, who I think can make it through anything. If you have not or feel like you don't need to, please get a breast cancer screening simply for those who did not survive.

Self portraits

Once in awhile Kendall will get a hold of my camera and start taking pictures. They used to simply be the world from her view such as the ceiling, the tv, the floor, her foot. Lately she has been turning the camera around to get shots of her own face. She thinks it's hilarious and I keep finding them on the camera when I go to upload my own pictures. Here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cute Cupcakes

Check out these cute cupcakes. (And a description of how to make them.) Sharks and ladybugs and sunflowers, oh my! I am obsessed with making them. I think I might have a new consuming hobby or a problem.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Night night NOT!

When you put your kids to bed at 7:45 in time to enjoy American Idol, with no Binki for Vivy I might add, and it's really quiet...You know something is up! I came in during a commercial to see my soundly sleeping children and what do I find...TWO cute girls sittin' in the crib playing tiger & lion :)


Here's a little treat for those who are "slightly interested" in Twilight. The last posts about the books mentioned the movie that is being made. I know some of you are "kind of " excited to see it. So, here is the official movie poster and movie trailer that came out yesterday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Heather "McKinney" Campbell

Well, to start off... I am Amber's little sister, Kirsten and Katy's cousin, and one of April's niece's. I have lived in California all my life and hope not to move to far from it. A little back ground about me: Turning 28 yrs old tomorrow, I've been married almost 7 months and I am 32 weeks pregnant. (yes... a honeymoon baby.... SURPRISE!) This is my second marriage and I have a 6 yr old daughter named Kami.

My husband's name is Jason and he is the answer to so many prayers. Right now I am working part time at a DDS office close by, I am an RDA and have been working in Dentistry off and on since high school, however I am hoping to join the ranks as a full time mommy once I deliver. If you want anymore info about the fam.. you can check us out at


For any of you jewelry makers, Michael's has really expanded their bead selection, AND they are all on sale right now. I made these bracelets (Happy Mother's Day mom- these are for you) for less than $6 each.

Amber "McKinney" Beck

Howdy, I was instructed to intro myself so here it goes.

I am Katy's cousin. I grew up in Sacramento. I went to BYU and lived with Kirsten, Katy and Tara (sort of). I could tell some stories about those times, but I will save that for a different post. I will label it : "Remember the time when...." j/k

Any who, I'm not good with the telling about myself so I will make it easy.

Name: Amber
Married: yes How long: 7yrs Where: Oakland, Ca
Age: old
Residence: Lincoln, CA (Sac)
Education: BYU Degree:BS Marriage, Family and Human Development
Employment: temporarily retired (1yr) Former employment: Management sales (8ish yrs)
Children: yes, please Quantity: 2 (for now) Genders: male Age: 5 & 3 years
Activites: potty training Hobbies: landscape and entertaining Guilty pleasures: shoes, eyeshadow and swimwear Favorites: T.V.- "So you think you can dance", LOST and the Office Food-Mexican and BBQ Games- Rockband, Ticket to Ride and Settlers
Hopes: To survive more child births Dreams: Get my food storage complete
Pet peeves: movies where animals talk, when my child insists on wearing Halloween pjs 24/7/365 and Twilight (sorry). Favorite Quote: "It is what it is.."

That's it. Thanks (Katy) for the invite.

Weston (yes, he has red hair) Joshua (his father's clone)

On the road

Okay Super mommies, here is my dilemma. My two year old terrorizes her older siblings in the car. Poor Kenzi has to sit next to her and gets hit, scratched, pinched and her hair pulled almost daily during drives to and from school or running errands. How do you put a kid in time out while you are driving? I tell her to fold her arms, but you can guess how well that works. I've tried playing silly kids songs on the stereo and bringing toys along to occupy her, but it doesn't work for long. For some reason she prefers to pass her time by beating on her sister. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 5, 2008

New craft and Party Blog

Katy and Kirsten suggested that I start a blog devoted solely to craft and party ideas. Here it is in all its crafty glory. I have only posted about Emma's 7th birthday party. Enjoy if you wish!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mantuary, a Room of His own

So Collin showed me this article about the Mantuary phenomenon. It is basically that your husband has a room to himself that he can decorate any way he wants and fill with things he likes to do: pool table, old sports trophies, poster from Star Wars, etc., and women and kids are not allowed in there unless they ask first or are invited. I actually think this is a cool idea, but only if wives can also have some sort of womantuary

Collin's mantuary would contain: first and foremost the ultimate TV-watching LaZboy, A nice big HDTV and he means big,  cable package that includes European soccer, mini-fridge stocked with lemonade and chocolate milk plus a  cabinet stocked with Snowballs and donut gems, a toy basketball hoop in a corner and several blow up balls for kicking and shooting around the room. The decor would have stuff from his travels, he is a world traveler after all, as well as paraphernalia from his glory days (pictures of himself playing soccer, trophies, a shrine to himself), props and costumes and other items for his movie making, computer with iMovie on it and a Fusball table with a ping pong top that can cover it to save space table.

If I had a womantuary it would have built-in shelves for all my yarn and books and craft stuff. A computer to assist me in scrapbooking, etc. A comfy couch I could lay on while I read. A huge table I could use for sewing or scrapbooking. I would decorate it really fun and funky and colorful and modern with tons of pictures I have taken on the walls. It would have a normal size TV and its own cable box so I could record all the shows that conflict with Collin's shows and watch them while I do crafts. I am thinking that this sounds kind of boring so I will add a rock climbing wall and a spin bike and a kickboxing dummy and somehow I will be able to take virtual group exercise classes from my TV.

How about you all? What would go in your womantuary? What would your man put in his man cave?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Are we up for another round of discussion about Twilight? Any theories about what is going to happen in the last book, Breaking Dawn? Has everyone read the first chapter of Midnight Sun yet? And as a side note, is anyone planning on reading The Host?