Monday, December 31, 2007

The Passing of a Legend

Nearly 19 years ago, our neighbors played a trick on my parents. They called and invited the whole family over one random night. What my parents didn't know was that they had rescued a precious little puppy and wanted our family to have him. They knew that if the girls saw him, we wouldn't go home empty handed. It was love at first sight! That little ball of white fuzz and giant ears was instantly ours forever!

Wally was such a talented, sweet, intuitive dog! I know I am biased, but he was the best dog ever! He could dance and sneeze on command, wash his face, give high fives and jump higher than any dog I have ever known. He could jump up and take a treat out of my out-stretched hand. I know I'm not THAT tall, but he was impressive.
If you pointed your finger at him like a gun and said "Bang" he would fall to his belly. Shoot him again and he rolled to his side. One more shot and he put his head down and rolled onto his back. Too funny! (I forgot to put this in originally)

He knew when someone needed some extra love and would come find you and sit with you when you were sad or sick. He also had this amazing ability to render you immobile when he slept on your bed. That tiny little dog would lay down just right so that you couldn't move your legs!
He was also a therapy dog who visited the nursing homes and Alzheimer's Center where my grandma lived. You couldn't help but stop to scratch his ears if you saw him coming down the hall. (Incidentally, he was much less traumatized by this than the parakeet that went there, too)

One of my favorite Wally memories was how he LOVED to open presents. He would attack the presents and shake them in his teeth until he had loosened the paper. He would throw the package and jump on it and start again. It was hilarious! He also knew it was better to give than receive, so we always got great gifts from him for our birthdays- he was a great shopper!

I am glad I have been blessed to share this sweet dog with my own kids and we are very grateful that we had some extra time with him over Thanksgiving! He had been getting more frail for some time and Friday it was time to let him go. It was a very sad day for all of us, but especially my parents who have taken such good care of him the last few years that the kids have all been gone.

When we got to my parents house today, Jenna and Aubrey went around looking for Wally first thing. I told them he wasn't here and that he was in heaven. A few minutes later Aubrey (who has a Snow White-like bond with all creatures) came to me with a very worried look.

"Mommy, I can't find Wally anywhere."

"Honey, Wally died."

"But Mom, I love Wally. I don't want him to die." She started to cry and then I lost it again.

We all love Wally and always will. This may seem over-dramatic to some people, but Wally was a special dog that touched many lives. I am grateful that we were so blessed to have him for nearly two decades.

Good night, Wally Wally!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

To our Connecticut-ians

Here we are at our family Christmas get-together and missing you. The kids send their holiday greetings. Hope you enjoy it!

Our other serenading today has come from Jenna singing "Glo-o-o-oria, Please let Chelsea stay, oh, glo-o-o-o-ria, please let Chelsea stay, oh." I hope it's a bit quieter where you are!

We love you!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nine months makes all the difference

Today is Lydia's 9 month-iversary. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone! She is still the sweetest little angel! (atleast for mommy- she's having stranger issues!)

We had her check up today and everything is perfect. She is 19 lbs and 27 inches long, and her head is in the 97th percentile- right on track for the family.

Here are some pictures of her playing a Grandma & Grandpa's house.

(Does anyone know how to rotate a picture once it is on here?)

Lydia is such a happy girl! She brings light to our family and makes everyone smile. She has the sweetest giggle and smile!

She is a busy girl as she rolls all over and tries to crawl. I am sure she will be all the way there by New Years- hopefully we will have the tree put away by then. She would love to get her hands on it.

Another fun thing is her new awareness of everything around her. She loves lights and sounds. When we go into a store or church or places like that, she can't get enough of the lights and everything going on. She smiles and laughs and tells us all about it!

I can't imagine our family without this precious girl!

We love you Lydie!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Family Christmas party

We had a great time at the Prestwich family Christmas party this year! There were four generations of family there. I didn't count how many people- at least 50 probably. Santa is always a big hit! My girls surprised me by running up to sit on his lap without hesitation! Even the baby! They had been watching as other cousins got little presents from him and wanted theirs! Jenna asked for Baby Alive; Aubrey asked for Doodle Pony; Lydia just smiled and tried to pull his hair.

She was so smiley! She wasn't scared at all!
What a laid-back baby!
Here's Grandpa Great with Santa!

The girls got little Dora play sets from Santa. They played so cute together that I had to get it on film for proof!

Christmas dresses

Mommy just couldn't wait any longer to give the girls their Christmas dresses! I bought them the day after Thanksgiving, so I feel like I showed great restraint in waiting a whole week. We gave them to the girls Friday afternoon. We had just come back from seeing the movie Enchanted, so the girls were on a princess high. They felt so pretty!

This is Sunday after church. We had a hard time getting all three to smile in the same picture, so I have lots. Here are a few of my favorites.

We got 10 inches of snow on Saturday, so we went outside for a white backdrop. It was so cold, but so beautiful!

Festival of Trees

Last Thursday we went to the Festival of Trees with Kat and her kids. It was awesome! I have loved it since a child when we used to perform there with Sunshine Generation and school choirs, but it is so fun to see it now as an adult and appreciated the work and craftsmanship that goes into these masterpieces! The girls also loved the craft area and the performing groups- especially the tap dancing grannies! We also ran into Rex and Susan Beaird, long-time family friends who are very speical to me for many reasons- another time and place... It was great!

We also have a nephew who was born with some serious heart problems who has spent quite a bit of time at PCMC. We really appreciate the dedication of the volunteers who work so hard to raise money to provide care for all children, no matter what. My girls have been to PCMC many times to visit their cousin, so they have some idea of why they have the Festival.

I loved this Nativity scene and wanted to keep the idea for future use!
This was done by some of the people in the ward I grew up in. It was a huge candy factory. Too cute! Aubrey is also sporting her Mickey Mouse ears that Santa made her from balloons. We also found a tree that Tim's work did in honor of the daughter of a co-worker who died in a car accident earlier this year, as well as a tree and ginger bread house that our neighbor and her family donated.

If you have never been to the Festival of Trees, please try to go next year. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I have been tagged (a few times)

Here are 6 things about me you might not know...

1. I have three sisters and three daughters (and three sisters-in-law, come to think of it.)
My husband is convinced that my mom taught us some voodoo or something to only have baby girls. True, I have only one nephew on my side of the family, but there was no trick involved.

2. I was the president of the Future Homemakers of America and the Home Ec Sterling scholar in high school and now my house usually looks like a bomb went off. It was easier to multi-task, cook, clean, and be crafty before I had kids. Now most of those things get done, but cleaning is last on my list. Sorry, honey.

3. I know that "On the 13th day of January 1851, the seeds of earth awaited birth beneath the desert sun. Into that frozen valley (Parowan) came a hearty Mormon band...etc...sage and grease wood stir a pie (or up high), a lake of salt and alkali, Indians called it Parowan, evil waters, bad for man. That's for Val and Lacie...

4. Here's a shocker- I tend to take on more than I should and have a hard time saying NO when people ask for something. Luckily, I work best under pressure and everything turns out OK.

5. I once plunged into the ocean in a para sailing mishap.

6. In my life I have been a cub, a bruin, a Bengal, a Rebel, and a badger, but I will always be a Ute!

So there you have it.

Here are the rules: 1. Each person list 6 facts/habits about themselves. 2. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, and then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment, letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog for the rules.

I am tagging Ali, Lisa, Emily, April, Tara, and Kat

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

From the mouth of babes...

Here's a conversation we had on Saturday.

Jenna: Mom, did you know I am on fall break?
Mom: Yes, Jenna.
Aubrey (muttering in the back ground) I don't like fall break.

Jenna: I can't wait till November 12th, so I can go back to school.
Aubrey: (a bit louder this time) Me neither, so I can play with all of your stuff while you're gone!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Haunting

So far, the Halloweening has been a whirl wind tour of the Valley. We saw Aunt Court at Allstate, had lunch with Grandma Barb and the Gibsons, and now we are visiting Papa Gary.

Here are some pics of the little ghouls.

Lydia is Boots the monkey since I am Dora the Explorer. Kayla is a baby shower. Zach is Bob the Builder and the girls are witches.

We also dressed up on Saturday for a Halloween party with the cousins.
(Lydia was a skeleton)
This was at play group. Clairesse planned a very fun party!
(Lydia was a lady bug)
My girls are tired of dressing up. I never thought that could happen! Hopefully they can endure a few more hours of fun at daddy's office, the trunk-or-treat, and grandpa great's!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Girl in a Whirl

If you, or someone you know has ever felt overwhelmed by all they feel they need to do, Vickie Gunther of Redlands , California , wrote a hilarious poem, Dr. Seuss style, about how much LDS women try to take on. David B. Marsh used it at Women's Conference, and Vickie has given permission to share it.

The Girl in a Whirl by 'Dr. Sue' (a.k.a. Vickie Gunther)
Look at me, look at me, look at me now! You could do what I do if you only knew how.
I study the scriptures one hour each day; I bake, I upholster, I scrub, and I pray.
I always keep all the commandments completely; I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear! I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair!
I memorize names of the General Authorities; I focus on things to be done by priorities.
I play the piano! I bless with my talents! My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance!
Each week every child gets a one-on-one date; I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!) I'm taking a class on the teachings of Paul, But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,
I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished; Our t-shirts are ironed! My toenails are polished! Our family home evenings are always delightful; The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.
I do genealogy faithfully, too. It's easy to do all the things that I do!

I rise each day early, refreshed and awake; I know all the names of each youth in my stake!
I read to my children! I help all my neighbors! I bless the community, too, with my labors.
I exercise and I cook menus gourmet; My visiting teaching is done the first day!
I also go do it for someone who missed hers. It's the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters. I chart resolutions and check off each goal; I seek each "lost lamb" on my Primary roll.
I can home-grown produce each summer and fall. But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,
I write in my journal! I sing in the choir! Each day, I write "thank yous" to those I admire.
My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen! My kids get straight A's! And their bedrooms are clean!
I have a home business to help make some money; I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.
I go to the temple at least once a week; I change the car's tires! I fix the sink's leak!
I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread; I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.
I make sure I rotate our two-years' supply; My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
These things are not hard; 'tis good if you do them; You can if you try! Just set goals and pursue them!
It's easy to do all the things that I do! If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too!
It's easy!" she said and then she dropped dead.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Office Quiz

Try this funny quiz! Thanks Ali for the link!

Here are my results:

Dunder Mifflin Personality Quiz
You scored as a Jim Halpert
Congratulations, you're Jim! How'd you get to be so awesome?

Jim Halpert
Toby Flenderson
Karen Fillipelli
Michael Scott
Pam Beesly
Dwight Schrute
Creed Bratton
Ryan Howard
Andy Bernard
Angela Martin
Kevin Malone
Kelly Kapoor
Meredith Palmer
Jan Levinson

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kindergarten Halloween party, etc

Today was Jenna's class Halloween party, since they will be off track during Halloween. I am the room mother, so we went in spite of the tonsils (or lack there of). She was a purple witch. This isn't the best picture, but it was all I could get out of her this morning. She was so set on going to the party, but you could tell she wasn't 100%.
This is the Halloween Twister game I made.
The kids had a great time! We also had a game where the kids put lots of marshmallows in their mouths and said "Trick or Treat" as well as a craft (paper plate spiders) and a snack (graham crackers that the kids frosted & decorated). It was really a fun morning!

Much to the chagrin of my husband, I also dressed up. I was Dora the Explorer. Luckily, I already have the poofy brown hair and a pink shirt, so the rest was easy!

This is a sneak peek at the cake I am working on for a baby shower tomorrow. There are little baby footprints, a ruffle boarder, and pearling. I will take a picture of the final product.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Update on Jenna

Jenna's surgery went perfectly yesterday! She is now tonsil & adenoid free! It was quick and relatively painless. We had to be at the surgery center at 7:00 am and we were home by 9:45. As soon as Jenna was awake she was asking to go home!

Since then we've had a hard time keeping her still. She's dancing and jumping and singing and talking! She wanted to go to Heston's house yesterday to play! I think she's always had such a sore throat, that this seems normal to her. Her only complaint is a sore on her lip where it looks like she got pinched during surgery.

Yesterday she was trying to talk me into letting her go to school today, which didn't work. Today she tried a new approach and said, "Mom, I think I'd like to try school tomorrow without tonsils."

Nice try!

If she were older, she'd be begging to stay home longer!

Anyway, thanks for every one's help and visits and Popsicles! Thanks to those who have been entertaining Aubrey, too. That is the biggest help of all!

Have a great day!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Part 2

Side note: A few hours after I posted the message below, my bishop called and asked me to speak in Sacrament Meeting about how conference impacted me and my family. I was glad I had been listening!

I was also touched that the Spirit already had me thinking along these lines. I am excited for the opportunity to study conference again so quickly and remember the many many things that effected me.

One that I forgot to mention earlier was Joseph B Wirthlin's talk about love and charity. It was so touching to see him working so hard just to stay standing. I knew his message must be important for us to hear if he struggled so hard to stay and finish it! Even more moving was to see his fellow apostle, Elder Nelson literally holding him up by the belt and arm so he could finish! They were a visual aide for his message.

"That is an example of the pure love of Christ. Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life.

"Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through valleys of darkness and through the veil of death. In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life."

Take a few minutes and re-read your favorite talk today!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I hope you enjoyed General Conference as much as I did. All of the talks were wonderful (of course), but there were a few that stood out to me.

Sister Beck, the general RS President, gave two talks that moved me to action. At women's conference her talk made me want to work so much harder as a wife, mother, woman and as a member of a RS presidency! She just says it like it is and she makes no apologies for beliefs that might not be what the world likes. Go re-read her talks!

Another part that stood out to me was Pres Eyring talking about writing down the ways that God blesses our lives every day, so when we look back, we will remember.
"“O remember, remember,” Book of Mormon prophets often implored.1 My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness."

I am not a great journal keeper, so I try to do some of that here and will try to do better.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful family, to have come from a wonderful family, to have married into a wonderful family, and to have an amazing family of friends I have gathered along the way. From Alyssa in elementary school, the BT and others in high school, to amazing friends and roommates from Snow, to my awesome friends in our ward, I am so richly blessed. I am not always great at keeping in touch, but know that I think of, worry about, and pray for you often.

That's the blessing I'm counting at the moment. There's a lot to count there!

Tooth news

Yesterday we had a random tooth coincidence. Lydia got her first tooth overnight and then during school Jenna lost the same tooth. Hmmm....

Told you it was random!

Friday, October 5, 2007

new pics below

Jenna's toothless picture has been added to the tooth fairy post below.

Lydia's amazing tongue

On our way home from the Manti temple Lydia started pulling the funniest face. I handed my friend the camera and she caught this on film. She would arch her back and her entire face changed when she stuck her tongue so far out. This went on for about ten minutes, with me and Aimi and Janice laughing so hard! She had never done this before and we can't get her to do it again.

If I knew you were coming...

In an effort to remind my brain how to learn, I am taking a cake decorating class through our local community ed program. In my family we LOVE birthdays, so I figured this was something I could use in the future and possibly save money, too.

It has been so fun, and our teacher is very sweet! There are also very nice ladies in the class, so it makes for a fun Thursday evening, even if I miss all of my favorite shows. Ü

The first week we learned how to prepare and frost a cake- without getting crumbs in the frosting. I can be harder than you think! We also learned a technique to use a paper towel and a fondant spreader to smooth out the frosting. You can see the results below. Jenna wasn't fooled at all. Her first comment was, "Wow, Mom! It looks like a paper towel!" Nothing gets by her!

Week two: We learned how to use the star tip to fill in designs and to make a shell border. This is not my favorite cake, but we're progressing.
On Saturday, I decided to take a cake to display at our stake's Evening of Sharing. (Before Women's Conference we set up displays of goals we have been working on throughout the year.) I got started kind of late, so made this out of Rice Krispie treats. It was much cuter than the yellow flower cake, but extremely sweet. I had never had a frosted rice krispie treat before. Yikes!
Week three: I decided to try chocolate this time. I also thought I'd show you the steps that I go through to make the cakes. Here I have cut off the top of the layers and have frosted the bottom layer.
Here's the second layer added. I took the cake like this to class to work on.

Next came the chocolate butter cream frosting. I used a giant tip called a cake froster, which was much faster, easier, and better looking than just a spatula. I also think the consistency of my frosting is improving! OK, the blog monster just ate that picture. I still don't quite know what I'm doing here. If you know how to retrieve a deleted picture, let me know.

Here is my impressive Basket Weave cake. (ha ha ha) It actually turned out better than I thought it would and it was so fun to do! I did the vertical lines in a light purple and the rest is chocolate. I also did a rope border along the top and bottom of the cake. I was so proud of me!

Since this is to be my mom's birthday cake, I added light purple rosettes to hold some candles and some stars and dots to fill in the top. Hopefully I will be able to continue to improve. I knew I had done well when Jenna said, "Mom, it looks like a flower basket!" Yeah me!

By the way, stop by my house on Fridays- I always have cake to share!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Long time no blog...

So, I have been absent from posting for a little while. We have been running like crazy here, so this got pushed aside. Here is a bit of an update of what we've been doing.

Tim was gone part of last week for the muzzle-loader hunt. No deer this year. It was kind of crazy with the girls by myself for a few days. I fell off the No-more-Diet-Coke wagon! I am SOOO glad I have a wonderful, helpful husband!

Jenna and Aubrey have been taking tumbling at the high school and I have been taking a cake decorating class. I have pictures of both that I will post later. I take pictures of each cake so I can (hopefully) see some improvement.

Jenna is doing well in kindergarten! She is improving her reading and handwriting very quickly. Her teacher is so sweet! Jenna is also looking forward to getting her tonsils out on Oct 16th. In preparation for this, I took the girls to tour the new IHC hospital in Murray last Friday. It was very interesting to get to see the operating rooms, PT department, transplant room, recovery, and many other behind-the-scenes things. I wasn't sure the girls would like it, but the are STILL talking about it! I think Jenna was glad to see that there wasn't anything scary or weird, just tools, lights, a bed, etc.

She was so impressed by the whole thing that she told us, "Every time I think about that beautiful building, I just can't take my mind off it!" (She's going to win an Oscar some day!)

Aubrey is as energetic as ever! She likes to work on her 'homework' at the table while Jenna does hers. She so admires Jenna! She is always trying to do what Jenna does. They are best friends, even when they fight like crazy! Aubrey is so helpful and wants to be doing what Mom and Dad are.

Speaking of Dad, she has this new habit of calling him Tim. She was saying the prayer after family night on Monday and she asked Heavenly Father to bless "Tim, Mommy, Jenna, Aubrey, and Lydia." Too funny!

Lydia is still an angel! She is sitting up on her own much better! She has stopped gagging when given baby food. Her smiles and giggles keep us all entertained!

Well, I just saw the time and need to run. Have a wonderful week!

Also, check out the link labeled 'Hill's recipe blog' and leave a contribution from your kitchen. I have the brown sugar chicken cooking as we speak.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Deperate Times...

Aubrey has shown very little interest in potty training. By this age, Jenna was very confident in her ability to pee in the potty. In a desperate attempt to interest Aubrey in the potty, I put some blue sprinkles (like you decorate cakes with) into the potty. They dissolve a little and turn the water blue. Aubrey's goal is to turn the water green. She loves it! So far it is helping her want to be in the bathroom. We'll see what happens next...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wild West Jordan Park

We went to a fun park with Kat and her kids last week- Wild West Jordan park. Here is what we found!

Can you fin the kids on the porch?

Our wild woman, Aubrey.

Aubrey and Zach played so cute together!

Makayla on the swingLydia

Pioneer children sing but don't talk, don't talk, don't talk....

This was a really fun park that was big enough for the parents to enjoy, too.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Six months already

Lydia is six months old today. I can't believe how the time has flown! She had a check up today and is perfect! She is right at 50% for her height (25 1/4 in) and weight (16 lbs 5 oz) and 75 % for her head circumference (17 inches). She is starting to enjoy cereal and baby food more. She tries to roll, but HATES being on her tummy. She sits for a little while before tipping over. (Darn giant head!) Still not much hair to speak of. She smiles and giggles and talks to us all day. So sweet!!

She is such an angel! I can't imagine our family without her. When I think at how close we came to losing her or me when she was born, it really scares me! So many things can go wrong, but we are so blessed!

Here are some recent pictures of her.

First shot at the tooth fairy

Jenna lost her first tooth last night and could hardly wait to collect her dollar! (She informed us that is the going rate) The TF almost missed the boat, but luckily she was awake at 5:15 and remembered and stopped by for a visit.

Here's Jenna's new smile.

Here's the note she got.

We are experiencing technical difficulties. The pics might have to wait...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ward Party

We had an awesome ward party last night! It was officially called a dutch oven cook off & dessert contest sponsored by the Elder's Quorum and Relief Society. In other words, my sweet husband was at the mercy of my party-planning fetish.

We had an amazing turn-out! I lost track at 120 people as I was counting. We had 40 families represented, which is unheard of in our ward. (some Sundays we are around 60 people when church starts.)

We have wonderful neighbors and it was so fun to enjoy so many of them at once!

Hopefully the you can see the slide show and see how much fun we had!

Thanks to all who participated, and especially Kim & Lisa for all the phone calls to the ward members. Thanks also to Jill Arveseth as well as the Brighton Pointe Ward- their ward parties were the inspiration for this one.

Trying something new


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