Sunday, December 13, 2009

Future Farmer of America

McKinley is our animal LOVER. Currently she is the steward of 3 hermit crabs, 2 frogs, and 1 very large dog. Add to the mix: 4 bunnies that she is taking care of for a Future Farmers of America project. On Jan 9th she picks the three best bunnies to take to the Collin County Fair to be judged. She is doing such a great job! Every day she feeds them, waters them, exercises them, brushes them, and "handles" them so that they will be socialized for the judges when they are evaluated. It makes it especially nice that so many of her friends from school and church like to come over and help with the care of the bunnies. BTW, anyone interested in adopting a bunny after Jan. 9th, call me. We have homes for two of them already. :O)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jensen's New Moon Bday party

How cool was it that New Moon came out around the same time that Jensen was celebrating a birthday? We HAD to have a NEW MOON celebration! We ate snacks ("bloody cupcakes" and type A, O, and B flavored drinks), did crafts (t shirts and necklaces), and played the twilight board game. After that it was off to Studio Movie Grill for the show and some dinner. Good times! :O)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

talented women

I love talented women. I love to see other women who excel in hobbies and skills. I am rarely jealous (because those of you who know me are aware that I don't have a competitive bone in my body). I love to see friends knitting works of art, decorating beautiful homes, writing eloquent poetry. I love to hear women who can sit down and play ANYTHING on the piano or sing a perfectly-pitched song.
I have none of those talents. I just appreciate seeing it in others.
This is one of the most talented people I know of. I say "know of" because I don't know her personally. I have just followed her blog for a few years now. She is an amazing photographer and writes the most hillarious posts. She is also a a FABULOUS cook. I have tried several of her recipes and they have all been divine! (Not so healthy or low in fat, mind you, but really yummy.)
She finally got talked into doing a cookbook. It is out now. Here it is.

She is also coming to Big D for a book tour on Dec. 1st at 7pm to Borders. I hope to make it. If you are looking for a great gift idea for someone who has everything - this migh tbe just the thing you are looking for.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Penance for being a negligent mom :O)

I was truly traumatized at the end of last year when I saw a picture of McKinley's class at the sock hop. She was the ONE AND ONLY GIRL NOT decked out in sock hop attire! I knew they were having a sock hop, they had advertised it heavily. But I thought it was one of those things like "pajama day" or "wear your favorite team jersey day" that was completely optional - take it or leave it. Little did I know that at our elementary school - sock hop is HUGE. Everyone goes all out for it! I felt so bad! (She actually told me that they year before she wasn't even allowed to be in the picture because she wasn't dressed in 50's attire!) Needless to say, I vowed to not let my little girls go another year UNsock-hop like. :O) Knowing that it came amidst a very busy time for me (planning Stake 11 year old campout, Stake Daddy Daughter Dance, hosting book club) I atleast had the forethought to enlist the help of a seamstress friend. We met her on a saturday and she let the girls pick out the color of their skirts. Didn't she do a great job?
Reagan and her friend, Alexa, at lunch on sock hop day
Thank you Sarah Rager, seamstress extraordinaire who made our poodle skirts!

They were so excited! My heart melted when Reagan gave me a HUGE hug and said "mom, thanks for getting us poodle skirts this year".

Sock Hop 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Miss America, Miss USA, and the Tracy from The Biggest Loser

Saturday we went to Cooper's Fall Festival. It was a hoot. Reagan and McKinley won most original costume. They went as Miss USA and Miss America. the judge was Tracy from the Biggest Loser. (Tracy works out at my gym) I don't know if you watch that show but she is the one that is on the purple team and everyone hates her because she keeps winning all the challenges. Anyway, here are the two winners and the big loser. She HAS lost alot, BTW. She looks great!

Here is a picture of Brady as a cowboy (on his horse) too.

He didn't win the costume contest in his age group but I have to admit that the competition was pretty rough! The following day he won the contest at my grandparent's assissted living center. They had a TON of kids in costumes and I thought for sure there was not way he would beat out some of the other kids but he went up to the judge and "shot" her with his "guns" so I think he won by intimidation. :O)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Choose This Day

Choose This Day

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Sunday, October 4, 2009


I had an "aha" moment this past week. I was frustrated with Jensen about something that , now, seems REALLY trivial. I heard this song by Cherie Call and I instantly thought of her. She completely embodies the sentiment in this song. Jensen doesn't care about makeup, trendy hairstyles, or "it" clothes. She is the "peacemaker" in our home and is constantly looking for ways to help me around the house. She NEVER complains. I am grateful to Heavenly Father who I believe answered my prayer one day this week by reminding me what a beautiful young lady she is and what truly makes us beautiful.

Look at all the signs, Look at all the shows
All the glamorous people who claim to know
What perfection is and what makes beauty stay
But when all the styles go out and the labels fade away

It's what you give that makes you beautiful
It's how you live that makes your dreams come true
Keep your faith in this world,
And let the light of the Lord shine through
That's what makes you beautiful

Nothing burns as bright, nothing shimmers so
As the smile of a friend when hope is running low
And how your hand feels warm when you dry a tear
Love is still in fashion at the end of every year

It's what you give that makes you beautiful
It's how you live that makes your dreams come true
Keep your faith in this world,
And let the light of the Lord shine through
That's what makes you beautiful

Even roses fade away in the snow
But the beauty in your heart can always grow

repeat Chorus

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Homecoming 2009

Poor Jensen missed out on all the fun, she was home with the flu
for her very first high school homecoming. :O(

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2 of the men in my life are leaving me a.k.a. life is about to change.

Why, you ask?

Finally after six months of legal proceedings, mediation, and writing checks to attorneys: Brent is starting his new job tomorrow (and he is counting down the minutes, I think).

Don't get me wrong. I think he enjoyed being home. For the first few months. And then it got old. He can't wait to be anxiously engaged in something other than a "honey-do" list. I am going to miss having him around as a constant companion to run errands, help with laundry (have I told you how good he is at laundry?), pick up and drop off from school. Those days are over as of tomorrow. He will be traveling a little too so I am in for a rude awakening, of sorts. On the flip side, I TOTALLY prefer getting a paycheck to watching our savings account dwindle. It is a completely welcome trade for both of us!


Brady will be going to school everyday starting tomorrow. Three days he will go to Janette's "art/playschool" and then two days a week to preschool in Plano. He can not wait! He is soooo ready!

I wasn't going to do it. I wanted him home with me. Afterall, he IS my baby! My last! But the transition of going from 6 playmates every day (5 siblings and dad) to 1 (me) seemed to be too much for him and he was having a really hard time! Apparantly, I am not fun. Janette decided to do this little pre-school for a few hours each day and several of his buddies from church were attending so it seemed like the right thing to do. I feel good about it. Sort of. Afterall, he IS my baby. My last.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

a downright "cheer"full week!

Reagan and McKinley attended the Eagle Cheer clinic this week, hosted by our very own Prosper High School Cheerleaders. They got to cheer at the game Friday night too. It was really fun. Here is a cute pic with Hillary and Lucy who are on the varsity squad but also happen to be members of our ward. They were sweet to take this pic with Reagan and McKinley after the Eagles defeated the Farmers 27 to ZERO!!! GO PROSPER!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

the best things in life aren't things...

Here was my project today. I have been looking for an oversized picture for our entryway for awhile now and found this. What d'ya think?

Monday, August 24, 2009

the annual first day of school pics, 2009 edition


they're off.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's official! I'm old.....

These are pictures of Jensen and two of her buddies at HIGH SCHOOL ORIENTATION! In exactly 7 days I will have a high schooler! I can't believe how fast time has flown....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

the simple pleasures of summer 2009

This has not been a summer of extravagant vacations. Its been a summer of simple pleasures, probably my favorite thus far. Which is kind of , well, ironic. How many dads get a chance to spend an entire summer home with all the kids??? We have made some great lemonade out of the lemons life handed us over the last five months. I had everyone brainstorm their favorite memories and compiled a list because I wanted to be able to remember it.

Sonic "happy hours" - (slushes are 1/2 price)
The Frank Buck Zoo
the Rough Riders baseball game
Purple Vanilla milkshakes at the "Purple Cow"
$1 flip flops at Old Navy
watching episodes of CAKE BOSS and REBA
building bears for $30
fishing in the pond
playing "train", "uno", and "Scrabble" on Sundays
singing "Boom, Boom, Pow" at the top of our lungs in the car ( a cleaned up version, of course!)
seeing UP! (the movie)
Family Home Evening with the J. Sallaways and T. Sallaways
Pool Ball with the Teachers and Priests
White Cherry Slurpees
Swim Team
Having the Pratts stay with us for a week
Hawaiian Falls
Funnel Cakes
Getting Pedicures with Gigi
Service project at Sunrise Senior Living with friends
Lucy's Cafe
Cottin Gin Cafe with the Scholls
Prosper Basketball Camp
Cheer Camp
Temple Baptisms
summer reading challenge
Bubbles and Wowza and Brady's birthday party
Girl's camp
Scout camp
High Adventure
Six Flags with friends (Tanner)
Main Event and Harry Potter with the Fergusons (Jensen)
seeing Transformers with the guys (Tanner)
saving up for, buying, and learning to play guitar (Brent, Tanner, and Kiki)
Chocolate Molten Cake at Chilis
making NEON Rice Krispie treats
Swimming at the neighborhood pool and almost always either making a new friend or finding an old one to play with
watching horror movies on clear play
Nim's Island for a buck
swimming and Joe's pizza with Sharon, Lindsey, and Kyle
Pei Wei days with Tyler
4th of July with two of our favorite families, the Hennefers and Sampsons
and back to school shopping at Grapevine Mills

Sunday, August 2, 2009

FINALLY, some good news...:O)

Yay! We finally came to a resolution on Friday! Brent is free to go to work and we are happy with the end result. He came home about 1pm on Friday and immediately was on the phone the rest of the day with prospective employers and "head hunters". Things are looking better already.

Friday, July 31, 2009

D Day

Well today is the day. I am going into it with ZERO expectations, that way I won't be disappointed if things don't go well. It is such a disconcerting feeling to have your fate and future completely out of your own hands and in the control of a completely neutral third party. Here is what I have learned leading up to this fateful day:

1. Save! Save! Save! We are sooo glad we are savers! We would have never been able to afford to fight this battle (or keep a roof over our heads) if we hadn't been savers.

2. It's never a bad idea to have the business card of a good labor attorney in your rolodex. I'm just sayin'...

3. There is a silver lining to EVERYTHING, you just have to look for it. For instance, Brent was the only dad able to attend ALL the swim meets for the season.

4. Family trials make stronger families.

5. It feels GOOD to "let go and let God".

6. Prayer is even more powerful than I thought.

7. Oh yeah, that whole "turning the other cheek" thing....

8. With every "trial" (ironic, don't you think?) we get to choose. Is this going to make me BITTER or BETTER?

I'll keep you "posted".... (get it?)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Swim Team 2009

I know this is completely un-interesting for all of you but I really need to document swim team season for my kids so here goes. We had a great year!

Tanner gets his events number, heat, and lane assignments from "Coach T", the best swim team coach ever!

Tanner and his all-star-placing freestyle and medley relay team.

Reagan shows her events at All Stars.

(Freestyle relay, individual backstroke, and medley relay)
Kiki swam the freestyle relay and the medley relay.

Kiki with her biggest fan.

Reagan in "the zone" before a race.

Jensen and Tanner with Maddison

swim team buddies

I need to give a little shout out to our swimming friends, the Fergusons. Swim team would not have been the same without them but unfortunately, I must not have had my camera out at the meets they came too. They had to miss a few at the beginning of the season so I don't have any pics with them but we love you Katie and Jenna!