Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas piano party

Some of my piano students. I have 20 students, and 14 came. I always want to get a picture with all of us in it but always forget! I'm so glad I remembered this time!
This was a totally casual piano party, no parents allowed! Only some kids wanted to play the piano, and I didn't make everybody play. After all, it was a PARTY!

We had pizza, and chips, and cookies, and brownies, and hot chocolate and marshmallows, and carrots and tangerines for dinner. Totally easy, and just what the kids like! We made little ornaments. They were supposed to bring them home, but most of them put them on my tree. I love all my students they are all such awesome kids! We played "four corners", hide and go seek in the dark with glowsticks, the Wii, sang some carols, and my sweet husband did some card magic tricks. It was a BLAST! And the only complaint that I had was that it wasn't LONG enough! I'll probably do this again next year, and I guess it will just have to be longer!

Six Flags holiday in the park

We had some free tickets that come with our season passes, so we took Dad and the kids' friend Brandon to Six Flags. We rode rides (except Joel), sled down a fake hill of snow, had snowball fights, walked under sharks, had hot chocolate, and oh so much more! It was really fun!

Apple Hill!

I've always heard about Apple Hill and have never gone, so this year after 21 years living near it I took the kids. First we went and picked up their great grandparents. Apple Hill is, you guessed it, a big Hill with lots of apples. Apples, apple cider, apple donuts, apple pie, applesauce, apple syrup, apple jam, and I'm pretty sure the list just keeps going.

We walked around, ate some samples, bought some apples, and then got some delicious hot apple cider. Afterwads we went driving around for this restaurant that great grandpa Mills wanted to go to, and we finally found it and it was closed! So we ate burgers:)

It was a really fun day. We will be going back next fall!!


I just came across this picture, it was last year. Here's why I love it: growing up Kerry and I didn't take great pictures, and Kristin ALWAYS took a great picture. So I love this because Kerry and I look great, and Kristin doesn't :) (of course she's still beautiful, it's just that her eyes are closed, but I'll take what I can get!) Love you kik!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's been awhile since I've blogged. We were sick most of November. We took a trip to Apple Hill with my husband's grandparents, and enjoyed delicious Hot Apple Cider! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
The day after Thanksgiving we took down all of the harvest decorations and put up all of our Christmas decorations. The kids had a blast and were giddy all day and kept saying, "I just LOVE this time of year." or, "This is the best day EVER!" We had Christmas music playing in the background, and it was just a wonderful day! That afternoon we went to Six Flags for Holiday in the Park and had an awesome time. We loved all the lights, decorations, hot chocolate, sliding down a snow hill, throwing snow balls, and riding rides!
One of these days I'll get around to posting pictures of our wonderful family times, but right now I don't really want to go downstairs and into the car to get our camera!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Daylight Saving + Staying home from church with sick kids who are starting to feel better = time to whip out some curtains!
Before! Yes we were ghetto with a blanket pinned to the wall. What do you want? I've been busy:)

I painted those silly swirls and the shelf. I painted my dresser too but it's full of junk and I don't really want to clean it to take a picture:)

Finally! I painted everything probably close to a year ago, maybe 6 months ago, bought the fabric, cut the fabric and it has been sitting in my to-be-sewn pile for far too long!


Tinker Bell

Peter Pan

Grandpa and Ben lighting the pumpkins.

She thought this was disgusting!

I don't have a final picture of her pumpkin because my camera ran out of batteries, but I'm sure grandpa got one!

sorry about the no shirt thing, he didn't want to put one on, he had a fever and was too hot.

I love when he's concentrating and he sticks his little tongue out, he's done this since he was itty bitty!

We had a bit of a rough Halloween. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I like to go all out. Instead I was taking care of a sick husband, a sick baby, then a sick boy, took the boy to the ER, then I got sick, then I took care of the sick boy some more, and now it looks like I will be taking care of a sick girl. All except for the sick girl everyone else is recovering.

However, Alex (sick boy) had a high fever and couldn't go trick or treating:( I felt awful and tried to convince sick husband to take him to a couple of houses while I was at my parents trick or treating with the other two. No such luck. Apparently he cares more about other people's health than I do :)

Katelyn and Benjamin got to spend the night at grandma and grandpa's house the night before Halloween and had a great time. Can't wait for us all to get better so they can do it again ;)

Grandpa Clift took the kids trick or treating, and grandma and I stayed home to pass out candy. We had our delicious traditional clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and had a nice evening! Wish my whole family could have been together and well, here's hoping for next year!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trunk or treat

We went to our church's trunk or treat. There was a chili cook off, carnival games, pony rides, and then the kids went trick or treating from trunk to trunk.
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Halloween piano recital

My piano students. 13 students came, I have 18 students. Pretty good turn out! I loved all of their Halloween costumes.
We had a lot of yummy Halloween food, crafts, fog machine, bubble machine, dry ice,face painting, bean bag toss, relay races, and pumpkin bowling. I like to have fun and relaxing piano recitals so the kids get used to playing in front of people in a non-stress kind of way.

Alex and Ben playing in the dry ice fog, Alex and Katelyn played their piano pieces so great, and Joel did an awesome job helping me set up all day for the recital. Alex played twinkle little star, and Book of Mormon stories. He played really really fast and did a great job! Katelyn played The Caravan, and Blue and Low, she played so awesome and got a lot of compliments!
I wish there were three of me, actually four of me. I didn't get any pictures of the kids doing crafts and games because I was too busy trying to talk with parents, man the food, man the crafts, and man the games. But other than that this recital was a huge hit.

Pumpkin Patch

Alex and Katelyn had a field trip to the pumpkin patch. We got a school tour and learned about how a pumpkin grows, how to roast seeds, and how indians used squash. They got a hay ride, got to play in the hay playground, pick out pumpkins and eat a yummy sack lunch. What a fun day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Pictures!

Benjamin, 2 years old
Alex, 7 years old

Katelyn, 10 years old

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Smashed Potato Soup

Made this for dinner tonight, it was easy and delicious, this might be my favorite potato soup.

Smashed Potato Soup

3-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped yellow and/or red sweet pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons bottled roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream, half-and-half, or light cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Sliced green onions ((optional)
1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine potatoes, sweet pepper, garlic, and black pepper. Pour broth over all.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
3. Mash potatoes slightly with a potato masher. Stir in whipping cream, cheddar cheese, and the 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions. If desired, top individual servings with additional sliced green onions. I topped with extra cheeese too:) Makes 8 servings

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rotisserie Chicken

I have been trying really hard lately to plan our meals ahead of time, you know, before actually going to the grocery store, and it has really helped. Taco Bell has missed us.

This week I planned my meals mostly around chicken. I bought an already cooked rotisserie chicken ($4.98 at Costco) shredded it all up and saved it. It makes any dish any night of the week go by extremely fast, and it tastes delicious.

Last night for dinner I used shredded chicken, threw it in a frying pan with some spaghetti sauce (from a jar left over in the fridge) threw in some taco seasoning, and done! Tortilla chips, lettuce (I used a spinach mix last night and really loved it), sour cream, refried beans, salsa, and some shredded cheese. Easy, delicious, and the best yet, it uses items I always keep so it's good for a fast-I-don't-feel-like-cooking meal!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I love Fall!

First Day of October we made Mummy Hot dogs, monster mouths, orange juice, orange jello, and had cute little pumpkin straws! The kids made a graveyard in the middle of the mouths.
We love Fall! We decorated for fall on the first day of autumn, never mind that it was still 100 degrees! :)

These are the pumpkins from our garden! One of them was on for too long and rotted, and there are a couple more still growing!

Happy Birthday Ben!

Ben on his 2nd birthday covered in his chocolate cake! We celebrated Ben's birthday a week early because his was on a sunday and we couldn't go anywhere fun, plus Katelyn's birthday and his birthday are right next to each other and it can get a little tiring!
Playing with the new trains and train track he got for his birthday, wearing his new train hat!

James the train costume! He made me go look at it every time we went to Target, so I figured he really liked it. And my kids love to play dress up and have a huge bin of costumes!

Ben's presents! A Thomas the train quilt I made (with a little help from my mom), thomas movie, costume, and train tracks!

In the morning before we went to Six flags! I completely forgot my camera, but got some with my phone. We rode Thomas the Train (can you tell that he is totally obsessed??), another choo choo ride, went through a hay maze, rode the carousel, went trick or treating, and rode Thomas the Train again. It was a really fun day!

Katelyn's Birthday!

Katelyn turned 10 on the 10th! To make this special birthday memorable we threw her a surprise party! Daddy took her boating with her brother and a friend, while mom set up he party with grandma and grandpa, and Kate's birth mom.
Dad and mom got Katelyn a phone this year! It was earlier than we had planned, but she is getting old enough to stay home for an hour or so by herself and we don't have a house phone. And we thought she would like this a lot more than a house phone, and it's cheaper!

This is her in the mornin with her tiara sunglasses and birthday girl pin.

At her pajama party we did manicures, pedicures, facials, foot bath, we made hair flowers, decorated pillowcases and made bracelets!

All of her friends had a fun time hiding and jumping out to surprise her! It was a fun and very successful party! (Made even more enjoyable thanks to parents for taking Ben!)
Happy Birthday Katelyn!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homeschool week 5 or 6, not really sure! :)

We had a bit of a rough patch and we are learning that we can't go anywhere or do anything in the morning, because if we do our day is completely ruined and no school work gets done!

The kids are being troopers though and are doing great on their school work! We've been having fun doing halloween poems, skits, and reading halloween books. We painted spider webs and read "The Spider and the Fly." I am also loving that we get to count learning about prophets as part of history. Every morning we learn about old testament prophets and then sing a song that helps us remember that prophet.

Alex's eyes have been hurting him especially when he reads or has to concentrate on his work for too long. At first I thought it was just an excuse, but as time has gone by and it has gotten worse I took him to the doctor. Now we are waiting for our eye doctor appointment at the end of the month. Wish it were sooner because I have to baby him and read more things to him so his eyes don't hurt, I don't really have the time for that!

This morning Ben drew on sissy, the computer, Alex's language arts book, and the wall. He really loves our morning ritual where we sing songs, read poems and books, say the pledge of allegiance, sing the Star Spangled Banner, and sing the prophet song. But as soon as the real school work begins he wants more attention. I give him his own coloring books, but he wants to do exactly what they are doing...

But overall, even with all of our glitches, we are absolutely loving homeschool. We love that we can do our math lesson in the grocery store to find out how much the banans cost. Katelyn likes to add things up as we shop and make an estimate as to how much money we spend, and Alex likes to find the cheapest item so we can save money :)

We love that P.E. can be dancing around in our pajamas, or going to gymnastics class! And we love that music is practicing the piano, and singing songs. We have fun learning about science by making yummy concoctions in the kitchen.

And most of all we love NOT going to school!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


The kids just started gymnastics and are having a blast. Katelyn is a natural!
Alex loves all the running around!

Ben was so excited he could hardly contain himself!

What a fun class!

Trouble is my middle name

Ben is now old enough to realize when he is doing something wrong. So what does he do? Well he hides, and does it anyway...
He locked himself in the playroom so he could have as much time as he needed to complete this masterpiece.

The day before this he took a pack of gum and shut our bedroom door and was quickly opening the gum and shoving as many pieces as he could in his mouth. Then when Joel caught him he grabbed the pack of gum while shoving more pieces in his mouth as fast as he could and ran for his life. What a little stinker!

Balloons and glow sticks

I was going to the hospital t visit my dad (he's home and recovering now! yeah!) and Joel took time off to stay home with the kids. He took them to the store and bought a bunch of balloons and glowsticks. Then he blew up the balloons and stuck in the glowsticks, turned off all the lights and turned on music for the kids to dance to. It was so fun. You can't really see very well in the pictures, but it was still cute.

It was so much fun that we all went to visit grandpa at the hospital and brought him glowsticks and balloons. The kids made him a glowstick necklace and he wore it proudly down the hospital hallway in his hospital gown! He said the nurses and doctors thought it was funny.