Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recent times

Internet, at last! We switched to DSL  internet access, and man, it’s SO much faster! I am amazed. Pinterest loads faster on my phone, and that makes me blissfully happy:)

Here’s just a snippet of our home life:

Brooke continues to be an angel baby, almost 6 months. She’s 12 pounds, 24 inches, and growing like crazy. She loves to suck on things, smile at everyone, and melts our hearts. We are so thankful to have her in our family. The boys continue to love on her, and blow on her belly.



For months, I have been trying and trying to bake bread successfully. I have tried dozens of recipes. My problem is that I could never get it to rise high enough. It was always pitiful. I googled rising methods, trying everything from heating the oven to the lowest setting and putting the dough in there, to putting a cup of boiling water in the microwave and putting the dough there. I’d give up, then come back and try again, wasting more flour, but at last, I found a winner. Actually, it was the recipe that was shared at an enrichment activity last year at church. I just decided to come back to it and try again. When I saw how high it turned out, I screamed and sent a pic to Shaun. At last!!!!!!!!!!! Recipe here. I halved the recipe so I could make it in my mixer. Added some honey also. Me so happy.


My new favorite way of cooking potatoes. So crunchy and delicious! Recipe HERE.


Ethan had to get two cavities filled. He wanted Dada to come with him, and was a real trooper. Ethan slept while the dentist worked on him, came home, and slept some more. The only time when he naps ever is when he’s sick or something. It was a nice, quiet afternoon. Our dentist is so kind. He called later that afternoon to check on him. Good man.


And let’s not forget adorable Kevin, the pizza lover!


At church, I got a new calling, somewhere to serve, teach and such. I am a Beehive advisor, teaching the young women of 12-13 years. I nearly lost it when I received the calling, I was so excited, blowing my cover and revealing that I am a freak. I’ve always wanted to serve around the girls. I just thought it would be fun. I hope they leave me in there for a long time:)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ricks/BYU Idaho thoughts

I know a girl who will be attending college at BYU Idaho, in Rexburg, Idaho. I went to this school when it was Ricks back in 1999. To put it simply, I had the most wonderful time there. Every time I hear of someone attending this college, I smile and pray that they will have as much fun as I did. I wanted to write so much more on her FB status, so I thought I’d write my thoughts here. There’s so much more to write, but it’s getting late.

Please forgive me, I know this is kind of a long one. This post is for those headed towards that wonderful college, and it may cause some giggles for those who have been there.

Here is the playground!

See the marks on the snow to the right of the stairs? Great sledding area:)

Oh, how do we begin? There’s so much I want to say. Let’s do the bullets, so its easier to read:)

  • Well, let’s start with the lovely climate of the winters there. Think the North Pole. A tiny, tissue paper jacket is not going to cut it. At night, and in the early morning, the air can get down to single digit temperature. Owning a North Face down jacket is not a bad idea. A good scarf is a must to wrap around your neck and mouth at night. Oh, it’s cold air to breathe! You get excited when it’s an cloudy night, because the air gets insulated, and the temperature warms up about 10 degrees:)
  • The first day it snows is a glorious one. The snow has a universal effect of making everyone on campus giddy and happy. Snow ball fights erupt, mass laughter abounds, and it’s great fun. The next 6 months of snow afterwards tends to make people a tad grumpy, he hee!
  • If you have a good view of the road from your apartment living room, sit back and watch all the Texas, CA, and other students from warm climates attempt to drive on the snow for the first time. Eat popcorn.
  • When going to the Sand Dunes in the winter for some awesome sledding, do tell the driver to slow down and not hit the brakes so hard, because the icy roads will indeed make your car spin. Also, consider yourself blessed to have a guy friend who has full control over his car on the icy roads. He may take you and roomates out to the empty parking lot and do donughts. Try not to giggle at your roommates who get freaked out.
  • Learn to play guitar. Then, when cute guys come over who know how to play, they will serenade you and your roommates. Applaud and feed them. It will make them feel like rockstars:)
  • Hardly any amount of actual studying can be done on the first floor of the library. It is a carnival of ‘quiet’ socializing, meetups, and a constant flow of traffic where people sit, read and check out all the pretty students walking past them. True. You must go up on the higher floors and hide in a cubicle to actually ‘study’.
  • Enroll in College Choir, the choir class that involves no audition. A truly, wonderful experience. This isn’t ward choir. Be prepared for hard music to learn that will stretch and uplift you. The teachers are highly educated in their music field, and make the choir class an amazing 50 minutes of your day. You will hear lots of ‘Watch your consonants. Don’t breathe there. All eyes on me while you’re singing. Drop your jaw, round tones. Hold your folder up and look over it at me." If it fills up online, which it always did, you can show up first day and usually can add the class. Don’t give up.
  • If you are so blessed to not have a class during the class time of the Collegiate Singers, go to their class, sit up in the back row of chairs, bring some homework to do, and listen to the beautiful sounds that choir produces. It requires an audition to be in that choir, and it’s the best of the best singers on campus. Sit still and listen while they sing and rehearse, and you’ll hear a small glimpse of what the choirs in heaven sound like.
  • The Snow building is wonderful place, the music building. As you walk down the halls of piano practice rooms, you’re hear a plethora of sounds ranging from Mozart, Bach, and more, all swirling around your ears. Music majors are a delight, as they will constantly break into song spontaneously, and they have great voices. So fun. Theater majors are good times, too. The ‘fishbowl’ area is a neat place to crash. Sometimes, I would study there, and there would be little music groups practicing in that area. Fun to watch. Seriously, you will be inspired by the amazing amount of talent from students there.
  • Enjoy the fabulous blessing of ‘student price’ for concert tickets. There will be a wide variety of great concerts through out the semester. Jon Schmidt, accapella groups, and sometimes a highly entertaining group of senior barbershop men.
  • If you stay during the summer semester, you will experience a whole level of fun that students who attend the regular semesters don’t know about. Bridge jumping. Small amount of classes to take, thus giving you more time to play. The college has these great summer weekend trips that include river rafting, trips to Jackson Hole, and more outdoor bliss all for your handy ‘student price’ of a ticket to attend. Oh, these are such treats! If you see the opportunity to attend Bar J, go! You get the ultimate cowboy/ranch experience of a tin plate dinner of ranch food. After dinner, 4 old musician cowboys give you a hilarious and entertaining show. So much fun.
  • Living in the dorms is fun. You’ll be out of sugar, go knock on someone’s door to borrow some, stay for an hour getting to know them, because everyone there is just so gosh darn friendly!
  • Being the roommate with a TV instantly bumps your cool factor up a few notches.
  • You will love your roommate who was taught by her mom to bake bread and cook actual food other than top ramen!
  • Two things that will help maintain peace and harmony in your apartment with your roommates: Have apartment prayer, and do your dishes. So very true.
  • There may still be the group of girls that bake cookies every Sunday to bring to the boys to have a delightful flirt fest. Just smile, and offer help in making the cookies.
  • Sometimes, there’s nothing more fun than on a weekend watching movies with a big pack of guys and girls, and a Fiesta pack from Taco Bell. When the curfew came at 10 for guys to get out, the guys promptly used their muscles to lift and carry the couches out the front door, I busted out my down comforters, (remember, COLD air at night in Rexburg!) and we hooked the TV up to an extension cord, placed it in the doorway, and finished our show.
  • There’s a guy named Jeff who owns the Rexburg Drive in, (if its still open, I hope). He and his kids would work the food area, making great shakes and burgers. Take a part of that.
  • Saturday mornings are fun to move the couches in the kitchen, and eat breakfast on the couches. Random, yes.
  • When September 11th happened, there was a news story of the New Yorkers taking the time to smile at people when they passed them on the streets, being humbled from the tragedy. That happens everyday on campus on a regular basis. You will make more friends than you can imagine.
  • The terms DTR, Preemie, ‘going to the gardens’, and NICMO will probably still have their significant meanings up there.
  • Idaho Falls had the best fireworks ever for 4th of July!
  • Every Tuesday at 2pm, the world holds still for an hour as everything stops for the weekly devotional address. Huge migration of students to the Hart auditorium. A nice moment to bring your scriptures, and get fed spiritually with music and an enlightened speaker.
  • You will meet some of the most kind hearted teachers there who love to teach and care about the students.

Then, before you know it, it will be over. Your time will come to close the college chapter, and move ahead in life. You’ll cry a tear, and thank Heavenly Father for the amazing experience you had, the education you gained, for the people you met, and the friends you made for life. Enjoy every minute up there. Try to find the balance of getting your homework done, and having a blast with friends doing all the fun activities the college provides. You’ll feel spoiled to be there. I remember thinking when I was there, “I wish my friends in Vegas and Kooskia could experience this with me.”

Isn’t that like life? Before we know it, we will be done with this life, and move on to the next. I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it, so I can thank Him for the experience, the people I’ve met, everything. So symbolic. Ok, must go to bed!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cloth diapers!

Thanks to the encouragement of a good friend, we made the switch to cloth diapers for Brooke. Money is tight right now, and I got tired of throwing money out the window on diapers. I love the cloth diapers. All I can say is ‘Why the heck did I not do this sooner?"’

Everyone seems to have mixed opinions on them. I get a lot of ‘You’re brave!’ comments. I think the poop issue is something that was worried about. Apparently, it’s not a big deal at all. You just dump it in the toilet, swish the diaper around to get rid of smell, and throw it in its own hamper. I think I can handle that. I do laundry every day already, so not a problem there. Bottom line, just don’t have extra money for diapers each month, so we thought we’d give this a shot.

We got a big box of diapers, pins, and covers. Let me know if you want the link, and I’ll gladly email it to you! At first, we had no idea how to put them on Brooke. She was so cute laying on the bed, waiting patiently while we fumbled about. Looked up some videos on youtube, and that did the trick! A super friend gave me her clips that work a ton better than pins, and that made life wonderful.

Here’s our cutie, almost 5 months! She’s starting to find her little voice, and sounds like a little bird cooing all the time. She gets hugs from the boys all the time.



I got my haircut recently, and my friend wanted to straighten my hair. I told her go for it, because it takes a long time to do. Hadn’t done it since college, so I knew it would be fun for Shaun to see. It has a Cinderella effect, because when I wash it, the straightness disappears and goes back to wavy, but it’s fun, huh?


Boys. Mud. Outdoors. Dirt. This is my life, ha ha!


Our school for the day: Putting numbers on their mat, and having them drive to the numbers. Gotta make it fun:)


Love this pic. The boys were laying down still in our bed one night. They only do that if they are sick, but this night, they just were simmering down in a nice way. We all got together and snuggled for a bit. Loved it! Wish that would happen more, but I just try to enjoy those moments better. Love these kids. Trying every day to figure out the parenting/disciplining crap, but above all, I just love them. Love that I have bunkbeds and cribs for them, warm cotton sheets, a backyard for them to run in, and bikes.

By the way, made this homemade chocolate pudding yesterday. SO, so good!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My little getaway

**Been meaning to post this awhile ago. Sometimes, life gets so darn busy to blog! :D**

Last week was amazing, and super busy. Once a year, 25,000 photographers flock here from all over the world to attend WPPI, a conference full of 2 hour classes from pro photographers, a huge trade show of vendors, and more. I was very, very lucky to go for three days with some of my oh-so-cool mommy photog friends:)

Shaun was a saint, and took care of the kids so I could fly down the freeway and enter the land of cameras for some great knowledge. One day, Shaun watched my friend’s kids and ours so we could both go to our class. Six kids, all very young. I was praying for him while I was in my classes that day. Supremely awesome husband!!

The blessing of living in the city of this conference was that I didn’t need to stay in a hotel or buy food. Each day, I packed sandwiches, granola bars, water, wore comfy shoes, and took tons of notes. I loved talking with people, seeing where they were from, and hearing about their businesses. At lunch, I sat on the grass outside the buildings, and listened to all the different accents spoken. I saw lots and lots of jeans and boots. I guess boots on women are the rage right now.

I met some of the superstars of photography land. (I really didn’t know how big they were until someone told me, ha ha!) One of them was an incredibly gracious and kind woman named MeRa Ko. She taught some wonderful tips on family photography and photographing little ones. She is a natural light photographer, and her work is beautiful.

I bought her inspiring little book. As I was attempting to win an Ipad, I sat and read through it, looking at the beautiful images of babies. It was right then that I felt such peaceful, inspirational feeling, (amazing that I felt this in the trade show, an huge room of vendors and tons of noise) a reminder of why I started going gung ho on taking pictures in the first place. My kiddos. They were my first and main models, and I loved learning my camera on them. I loved getting beautiful shots of them growing up. I decided when I got home that I would do better and take more pics of them.

Here’s a few for now:)

Kevin, doing airplanes with his hands. He is my blanket boy.


Rare calm moment with my rambunctious Ethan.


Beautiful Brooke. Love the catch lights in her eyes!


Love my kids. Today has been a good day so far. (Chaos hour hasn’t begun yet, at 4pm:) Hardly any tv, had some friends over for a playdate, and my boys played so nice with them. Practiced their manners. Made me feel like I’m doing something right. Mickey nuggets for lunch, and bike riding out front. Yup, its been good.