Thursday, July 30, 2009


What do you get for your birthday after becoming a mom? Handmade goodness. Both of them worked really hard today to give me special presents. Caitlyn made me the jewelry box (with carrying strap) and the bluebird necklace. Nathan made me the card. Both of them are very special to me and I am glad to have them home with me on my 29th birthday.

.... more pictures to come from tonight... Chad and I are going out on the town.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The 4th - better late than never

So, I totally forgot to post pictures of the 4th of July. Since I want to make this all into a book some day I thought I better get these in before its too late.
I dont want to brag or anything but Chad and I have the best spot to watch fireworks. There is never anyone around us, we dont fight traffic and we are directly underneath where they are lighting them off. Ok, so a little tresspassing may be involved, in the name of fireworks they really dont care. They told us so.

We started our afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa O'Loughlin's house for swimming and hot dogs.

It really is the perfect afternoon for Nathan. He could think of no better combination.

This is becomming a tradition. We take pictures of the kids swinging their glow sticks around.
This year I decided to join in the fun.

Dont laugh. I was 30 weeks pregnant in the picture and didnt feel like doing my hair that late at night after swimming.

This is what people should look like when enjoying fireworks. Chad and Caitlyn were really into them. Nathan on the other hand....

...spent the entire time looking like this. Last year was better. He looked at them a bit, but this year he wouldnt even give them a chance. When they are over he claps and cheers. Not because of the great show, but because they are over. We really dont like to torture our kids. Really. We thought he would like it better than this.

Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I very rarely will take pictures of my dinners, but this one just turned out so colorful, and to be honest I was quite proud of it. Not because it was difficult to make, but because it was relatively easy and it tasted great. That, to me, is a good recipe.
So, I am posting it here to you, but to be fair I do have to mention that I totally took it from somebody else's blog. Isnt that why people post them anyway?

BBQ Chicken Salad
( the picture above is the recipe halved. Which fed out family and had leftovers for lunch the next day)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce - cut into 1/4" strips
1 large bunch romaine lettuce - remove ribs & cut into 1/4" strips
1 cup jicama - dice into 1/4" cubes
1 cup frozen white corn kernals - rinse under cold water & drain
1 can black beans - drain & rinse
2 cups cheese (I like the cheese crumbles for this salad)
3 medium tomatoes - dice {grow at home or beg for some from neighbors' garden}
1 or 2 avocados - dice
juice of 1/2 lime - drizzle over avocado
1/4 cup cilantro - mince

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Best Foods™ mayonnaise
1 package Hidden Valley™ ranch dressing mix

2 lbs. chicken tenders
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Make ranch dressing. Chill along with all ingredients except chicken.
Place chicken tenders in a Ziploc™ bag and marinate in olive oil, soy sauce, garlic and salt for 1 hour. Place tenders on broiler pan and season with fresh ground pepper. Broil 4-6 minutes per side. Watch closely. Let rest 10 minutes before dicing into 1/2" cubes, then toss with barbecue sauce.

On a large platter, layer lettuces, jicama, corn, black beans, cheese and tomatoes. Top with warm barbecued chicken and avocadoes. Sprinkle on cilantro.
Serve immediately with ranch dressing and garlic bread.

Seriously, try it. You're family will love it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

passing on knowledge

I may not have a lot of sewing expertise, but I am a mean cross-sticher. Yesterday I was working on the baby's Christmas stocking and Caitlyn was totally mesmerized by the processes. Today I thought, why not let her try. I remember learning how to do it and my mom patiently working through them with me. So, off to Michael's we went. They have great little kids kits for $2.99. What a great summer activity! She'll be working on it for a while, but she will be so proud of it when she is done.
It will be a dolphin when she is done. Oh - and the selling feature of this particular kit to Caitlyn is that all the blue surrounding the dolphin is glow in the dark.
Any ideas on what to do with this when it is done? A little pillow?

She's decided that the hardest part is getting the needle to come up from the bottom in the right place. She's figured out that if you hold it up to the light you can see where you need to go.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Although this shows me in all my pregnant/camping glory... I love how Nathan is sitting in this picture while eating his lunch. Totally relaxed.

I had a genious idea of getting this Word World toy that Nathan has been wanting FOREVER from Target. It finally went on a good enough sale so I picked it up to give him something to do while we were up there. Another great idea that we discovered was to set up a tent specifically for arts and crafts. That way the kids could do projects and play with toys outside of the sun and the bugs. It worked out great. Nathan was a little more than excited when I showed it to him.

Alot of time was spent in this hammock.

Although not pictured, I spend an afternoon in this hammock reading while Chad and Ben took the kids fishing. It was nice to have some time to relax and just listen to the birds. Although, Sarah and I both agree that there was one bird that got on our nerves.

Caitlyn was so excited to have other kids there to play with. Her and Crew got along and had a great time.

Another activity I brought up was a couple of bubble guns. The kids thought they were great - except one wouldnt work. Granted, they were on clearance at Target so you probably shouldnt expect much but Chad was determined to do all he could to get it functioning.

We camped pretty close to a couple of lakes and the kids had fun trying to fish

If you saw our last camping post... last year some time... you will rememer than Nathan thoroughly enjoys wearing Ben's life vest. This trip was no different.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wicked was wicked

For Sarah's birthday we got tickets to Wicked... waited a few months... and then the day arrived. It was a great time. The balance in the theatre was off a bit so it was hard to understand them for the first few songs, but it seemed that they fixed it, and the rest of the show was great. I had never heard any of the music or knew the story line - which actually made it fun and surprising. Overall, we would all recommend it. If you have a chance you should check it out while its in town.
We took some fast photos as the theatre was clearing. Although I would rather throw this picture in the recycling bin, it was the only one taken of us so - it goes on the blog. Unfortunately.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Family ala WikiSticks

Inventive? Artistic? Heck yeah. I was quite impressed with Caitlyn's abilities of using her library reading program prize.

This is how I originally found them. We were all dancing together. Take notice of the bump on my belly. I was informed that that is the baby.

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July in th BG

I haven't always loved the 4th of July. It was always fun to have a swim party or a BBQ. We never really went down to the corral areas and watched the fireworks withthe rest of the livestock. We did watch from our roof on occasion. However we did live in the ghetto and so there were all sorts of hooligans that had snuck insane amounts of fireworks back from the most recent trip to Mexico. We would all go outside and watch them go off. the cops would come, citations issued, and then we all went back inside. The founding fathers would be proud.

When I was on my mission, the 4th of July brought new meaning. I was in a place where freedom was just starting to develop. Our day to day hassles would continually remind me of how great it was back in the USA. 4th of July rolled around and, as a mission, we were invited to the embassy party. We decided that it was going to be a great 4th of July day. P-Day was switched so that we could have the whole day to celebrate.

We started by making home made decorations. Actually Sisters Campbell and Merrill did that. It was very high class artsy stuff.
Then it was time for our blueberry pancake breakfast.


After the pancakes we moved on to the feats of strength. Brett Tobler would do 10 or 12 every time he walked through this doorway. He was strong. I watched him knock a guy out in one hit. Then I got sucker punched in the ear. That's what I get for watching.
After that we moved on to the embassy party. They had a flag ceremony. I almost shed a tear. The marines brought out a cake shaped like a white house and we all had a great celebration.

Later that day it was dinner time. We decided to be patriotic for the southwest USA. We made fajitas. It was totally good. At this point in our culinary careers we didn't know that we had to remove the seeds from peppers. They came with there own internal fireworks.
And what 4th of July would be complete without an eating contest. Brett Tobler took this very seriously. I'm sure he won. My face was on fire.
This was the best 4th of July that I have ever had. It made patriotic music my favorite holiday music. When your morning starts John Phillips Sousa style how can it be bad? Hope you have an exellent 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ward Party

Last Saturday we had a ward party. I am on the commitee so alot of my work, and by defalt, Chads help went into making the night memorable and fun. Isnt it so true that your spouse holds your calling just as much as you do?
Anyway, we had a high school reunion night. We asked for people to dress up in their decade and to bring memorabilia. We had a great response. People brought yearbooks, letterman jackets, cheerleader outfits and some pretty "interesting" photos.
Quick shout out to Heidi for the idea and info!

They were both football players at Westwood

At the beginning of the night we had everyone play a "bingo" game of high school facts. They had to go around the room and find people that could sign in the spaces until it was full. I signed a lot of "my high school mascot was a jackrabbit".

We also created a photo - op right when they came into the building. It was a last minute addition to our activity - but we just had to have a prom-like photo session, and as you can see we had some great moments :)

Our main activity was a hallarious game of Family Fued. Chad found an awesome program online that looked exactly like the show. We had it projected onto a huge screen and it worked really well. The two teams: Winners, and KYT. Unfortunately, the Winners were not that and the KYT team did just that :)

Chad was the host while I manned the computer for the game. He did great. The room was laughing the entire time.

It was a friendly game, but there were a few times that the judges had to pull rank... and by judges I mean me and our unborn child.

This is right before they won the bonus round. Check out the screen - seriously it is exactly like the game... music and all.
If you are looking for a great ward activity then this is a winner! We supplied subs and rootbeer floats. We had so many people show up that we had to go back to Ned's for more sandwiches. That is a huge sucess in an activity committee member's book.