Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend

Thanksgiving morning we met some out-of-state friends at the zoo and had a little "turkey trot" of our own. We ran a few times around the paths of the zoo "before normal zoo hours" (it's a member benefit)! Some of our kids rode bikes and the little ones sat in jogging strollers. It was so fun. I am really bummed that we didn't actually get any pictures of us all together there.

While everyone else was off looking at the new Komodo Dragon exhibit, I snapped a few photos of this cheesy ham.

At the Turkey Trot at my kids school.

I pushed my little kids in my neighbor's jogger (mine was in repair) while I ran with my other two around the school a few times. I ran with each of them separately. I think it came out to be about 3 miles total. Not bad for an elementary school. It was a very fun event.

Of course we ate very yummy food on Thursday. I was sooo stuffed. It actually hurt! We got together with a few of my husband's brothers and their families and my mother-in-law was in town. My family made broccoli salad, spiral sliced ham, mashed potatoes, and rolls. Oh, YUMMY! Everything was so stuff-your-face-good!! Darn, no pictures of the food either. I thought I got more pictures of everyone during the meal. I guess my brother-in-law probably did, but that doesn't help me right now. Anyway...

I did a little crafting over the weekend, too. I'll post about that tomorrow, I think. :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Quilt Progress

Yay! I'm making progress! I am so grateful to my husband for letting me quilt on Friday night, while our kids were being babysat. We hung out and watched Twilight while I quilted. (We were preparing to see New Moon the next morning. LOVED it!) He actually helped me a bunch. He lined up squares and drew a diagonal line on them so I could sew them. He also helped me the next day by watching the kids for hours while I was pluggin' away in our room, piecing this quilt together.

I'm only about 1/3 of the way through the piecing. But I LOVE seeing the progress! I am a slow quilter, but I still have hope that I will find the time to get it finished. I have about three and a half weeks left.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Guess what? I was featured on Little Birdie Secrets for their virtual cookie exchange! I feel so honored. Thanks, Little Birdies! All the other cookies look delicious, too. I am grateful for some new recipes to try this holiday season. Can't wait to try them!

Here's my recipe for Scotcheroos:


1 1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. light corn syrup

1 C
. sugar
6 C. rice krispies cereal

1 2/3 C. butterscotch chips*

1 C. sem
i-sweet chocolate chips*

*(You can adjust the amounts of the chocolate and butterscotch chips to your liking. For example, if you
aren't a big fan of butterscotch these are still good when you switch the measurements of the chocolate and butterscotch.)

Coat a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine peanut butter, sug
ar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal and stir until thoroughly coated. Press onto bottom of prepared baking pan. Microwave the butterscotch chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips together in a large microwaveable bowl on HIGH power for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave at additional 10-20 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Spread over cereal mixture. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until topping is firm. Cut into squares and then triangles if desired. Makes approx. 20 bars or 40 triangles. Optional (and pictured): Melt additional dark chocolate chips and/or butterscotch and/or white chocolate, separately, about 1/4 cup each. Use spoon to drizzle stripes back and forth on the pan, with each variety. (I usually only use two different kinds.) Refrigerate again to let the chocolate harden. The scotcheroos pictured are with dark chocolate and butterscotch drizzled on top. I like the look of it better than plain, if I am taking to a party or giving as a gift. When I make them just for my family I completely skip the drizzled chocolate on top. It's yummy either way.

Peanut butter (I used crunchy), sugar, and corn syrup melting together in the pot.

The rice krispies mixed with peanut butter mixture, pressed into the greased pan. They're actually really good just like that. If you're pressed for time or short on chocolate and butterscotch, just serve these. Just warn people that they have peanuts in them... they aren't regular rice krispie treats.

Topped with chocolate butterscotch mixture. Great just like that, too.

Just with butterscotch spoon drizzled. (It's a lame job of drizzling and ugly picture, I admit.)

Dark chocolate and butterscotch drizzled on top. It looks really good (and tastes good too) with white chocolate drizzled, too. (Though, not really in addition to. That would be a bit much!)

... And super easy. I usually cut them smaller than this picture shows. I would cut them in half. They're more bite size that way. (I don't feel as bad about eating them, then.) :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Sorry if I fooled you with that title. I'm not hosting a giveaway. But, V and Co. is!! Go check it out and leave a comment for a chance to win! These things are gorgeous! If you don't have a camera with a strap like that, you could probably think of someone who would like it for Christmas.

Go check out *Shey*[B]'s etsy shop for all of her choices. Honestly, they are gorgeous! (I made one awhile back, for my camera, and it's okay, but nothing compared to hers!)

Okay, here's another one. The Burnt Daisy is having a giveaway. She has an adorable blog and makes beautiful decorative letters. Check out her "Believe" giveaway.

Good luck!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Goals Report

Were you wondering how I did with my "goals" last week?? Probably not. I just figured I'd report anyway.

There were eight. I think I did better than if I had not made those goals and posted them, but I still didn't accomplish everything. I felt pretty good about how I was doing until I looked at my list again. :-P

  1. The first one was eating healthy. Um, I tried. Sorta. Okay... I didn't give it a 100% honest effort. Bummer!
  2. Make new schedule and stick to it. Grr... I really wanted to do that. But, I had a hard time because I was trying so hard to stick to #5. I always ran out of time to do things when my kids got in bed and before I needed to go to bed and coming up with a schedule was one of those things.
  3. Be a nice mommy. Hmmm.... well, I really tried. My kids would beg to differ. Let's just say, there's still room for improvement and above all I need to learn patience and meekness. (Some answers for disciplining would help too.)
  4. Start the Christmas Quilt. Yay! This one I can honestly say yes! I have cut almost all of the squares for it and now I just have to figure out some further measurements before I can start sewing the front. I hope to do some of that this week. Woo hoo!
  5. Get a good night's sleep every night. I did alright with this one. (As long as you think going to bed by 10pm and getting up @ 4:30am is a good night's sleep.) I didn't get other things done though because for some reason we had things going on in the evenings as a family and my kids were always going to bed late (9:30pm - shudder)! Then I would crawl into bed shortly after.
  6. Get my laundry all the way done. Those of you who know me well, know that was a huge deal and I was in for it when I made that goal. I hate when I do that to myself. I make a goal that seems possible, but is not realistic. Okay. I guess it could be realistic. And, I did get A WHOLE LOT of it done. I actually stayed on top of folding it when it came out of the dryer too! That is a major accomplishment in and of itself. It usually just piles up for a few days until someone in our family (or all of us together) gets around to folding it. I actually gave my 8-year-old a job of folding a load of laundry each day and getting paid for it. It worked. That was helpful. I was happy with how much progress I made, but I have to be honest. I still had a few loads to do by the end of the week. Then I was too tired and sore on Saturday to finish those up.
  7. Have for self-control and discipline. Well reading the results from my goals, you wouldn't think I had practiced more self-control and discipline.... But I really felt like I had stepped it up from the "normal" for me. I think even if you don't completely accomplish the goals you set, if you try you're still using more discipline than normal. Right?? {please say yes}
  8. Exercise everyday. I did do this. Some days it was a pretty lame effort and no one else in the world would count it as exercise, but I did at least some situps (crunches) or some squats everyday that I wasn't running (but not nearly the amount I was doing over the summer when I was doing the 100 pushups, 200 squats, and 200 situps challenges). I should start those again. Hmmm... Anyone with me??
Okay now, that was a bit much for a goal report. Sorry. I actually meant to post something else and just have my report at the top (as a little blurb). Ha ha! I am quite a rambler, aren't I?

Oh, and I have a blog (the Lazy Organizer) that I totally love. I found it awhile ago (her link is in my side bar as well), but haven't had as much time to read her past posts until more recently. I adore this woman. I think I'd like to be her, a few years in my future. I think in her past, she was like I am now. Did that make any sense?? Well, check out her blog if you'd like. She's really interesting and well, you may not agree or want to be like her, or put her on a pedestal the way I do, but you may still find her life intriguing and at least interesting. Hopefully.

Oh, and I made two different batches of zucchini bread last week. One was regular and one was chocolate zucchini bread (with chocolate chips as well), and my kids still don't know that it had zucchini in it. I had a few zucchini from my garden that I was able to harvest (the first! Yipee!), and I hope to post about that soon. My garden is going crazy and I want to show you! It's so fun!

For now, I'd better get back to being a mom.

Have a great Monday (evening... now).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Run from the Sun 1/2 marathon

I'm not in love with this picture of me... but I wanted one of me with my race shirt, bib, and medallion on.

This is quite a long post. I don't expect you to be interested in it at all. I wrote the long version for me. Kind of a journal entry, so to speak.
But here are the highlights for everyone else:

  • Expo was smaller than I expected. Food was a little lame. (But it was their first year doing this race. You're thinking, 'Take it easy on them!' , aren't you?)
  • I beat my 2:20 goal by 10 minutes!
  • I got sick the night before the race and gargled w/ salt water. It helped. I was okay for the race.
  • My wonderful family was there to cheer me on!
  • My kids loved the kids party and junk food that was provided
  • I got a free massage! (only my legs. I'll take what I can get.)
  • It was cloudy and rained for a bit.
  • It was a fun race and fun family event.
Now, to skip the long version, scroll down. There are pictures at the end of this boring, long post. :-) The pictures are more interesting. (I think)

The long version:
The Run from the Sun event was fun, today! The expo was last night and I hate to sound ungrateful, but I expected more. More booths, more freebies, more food! There was a free pasta dinner provided by BJ's (okay, really I paid for the race, so... ya know. I guess it really was pretty nice of them, though). I guess I just expected a little more from BJ's. I was a little disappointed because it was rotini with spaghetti sauce, a caesar salad, and a little crust of garlic bread. I could have easily made it at home. I also went away still hungry. (Grant and I went on our date after this and we ended up going through the drive through at Panda Express, for rice, right before we went home.)

Last night I started feeling really sick with a sore throat, headache, and stuffy nose. Man, that scared me! I was so worried about how I would feel while running. I had some vitamin C and throat lozenges before jumping in bed. Throughout the night it got worse. I woke up at 2:30am and gargled with salt water a few times. Yuck! I've never tried that before. {I TOTALLY SWEAR IT WORKED!} My throat felt quite a bit better immediately. I then took Umcka cold medicine. That helped too! When I woke up at 5:30 to get ready, my throat felt a bit better. I gargled with salt water again. Took more Umcka, then put some Ricola's in my pouch for the race.

I was feeling only a bit sick by the time we started the race. I wished I had taken some Tylenol right before the race, because I had a headache for the first half of the race.

This race I only stopped once at a water station to grab a sip of some electrolyte drink. I was so grateful to have my water bottle belt (I know... I had that on my Christmas wish list... I'll probably still wrap it and put it under the tree when it gets to be a day or so before Christmas. Just to remind me that it was for Christmas). I think that helped me with my time and helped me not lose momentum (or whatever... you know what I mean).

I was getting really tired and sore by the 1oth mile. I had to make it into a mental game at this point. Really I was breathing fine and not too exhausted. Just my legs were tired and telling me to stop. I told them to keep going. I even felt like I was going faster at that point. I may not have been going faster but it just seemed like that because I was starting to pass quite a few people in the last three miles. That was really enjoyable. Such a motivation, for sure! At abut the half way point I came up on a guy that I could never really seem to pass. After awhile I decided to just keep up with him. I did that until about the last mile, when he started going much faster and I lost sight of him when we got to the stadium at the finish line.

Pacing myself was hard. I knew I should start out slow so I wouldn't get worn out too early and end up slowing down during the second half. I didn't pay much attention to the time until I realized I was at the 4-mile marker. I looked at my watch and it had been 40 minutes exactly. I was excited at the prospect of finishing with a 10-minute-mile. I know that's slow for most people. But for me, it's something I have to work hard for (at this point in my running career). I had originally made a goal of finishing in 2 hours and 20 minutes. When I saw myself running a 10-minute-mile mid-way through the race, I changed my goal to 2 hours and 10 minutes, with always trying go faster, to try and beat that goal too.

I thought there were advantages and disadvantages to running a 1/2 marathon that is a two loop course. By the time I got around the first loop, I was tired and didn't know if I could finish the whole thing. I also thought it was hard when I was running the 2nd lap and I would see things for the 2nd time but remembering how much farther I still had to go. It was helpful when I was getting to the last few miles and I would see things repeating and it felt like I was so close. Kind of weird...

It was a fun race. A flat course. I passed the temple twice (that was fun). It rained a bit. My kids had fun. They loved the kids party and junk food. I loved the massage after the race. I was happy with my finish. Not too many participants, not too few. I ALMOST got hit by a car, twice. I bought two new pairs of running shoes ($50 each - Road Runner Sports was there selling all shoes for $50). We got lots of free stuff. Great volunteers. Fairly well organized (besides the fact that they didn't have a place to keep your purses and bags). All in all - Very fun time!

My sweet husband cooked a very yummy Pad Thai dinner for me tonight. I was in heaven!

I wasn't with my family when they were driving to the race, but they snapped this nice picture on the way. Are there really two rainbows?? Isn't it beautiful?

My awesome kids waited for me at the corner where we started our second lap of the race. That was such a great motivator, to see them there, cheering me on! I am so grateful for them!

I believe this is me right before I saw my family at the start of the second lap.

My kids, enjoying very non-healthy snacks at the event. (Why are they feeding our kids junk? Aren't they supposed to be promoting health??)

My kids had a blast at the kids events. They had bounce houses, bracelet making, face painting, junk food, etc. (They were going to participate in the Family Fun Run, but I had just finished my race and ... it just didn't work out.)

Minutes after I finished... drinking a protein enhanced chocolate milk. It looks my kids enjoyed these, as well!

I liked this photo because it's my awesome, supportive husband, my messy-faced (red licorice) baby, and the gray, cloudy sky!

This little guy was so cute. He just came up to me and hugged my legs, looking up and smiling at me. He said, "Hi, Mom. I love you." Then, we lost him for a few minutes. What a scary feeling! After we found him again, we moved the GPS tracker from my water belt pouch, into his shorts pocket! When we lost him (that first time), I also was separated from my friend whom I went with and whom I run with a few times a week. I never ended up finding her again and therefore have no pictures of us together at the race. :-(

Getting ready to leave the race.

It was a good race, good event! I hope they do it again next year!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Goals for the week

Really quick. I went to Blissfest. It was fun. Beautiful stuff there! I wish I had had more time to spend browsing through all the booths. I was there too late to see Stephanie Nielson :-(. I spent some time at Heather Bailey's booth but didn't actually meet her. She was there (actually mostly at another booth) but she was always talking to people and I just didn't have the guts to interrupt or "wait in line". Plus I didn't know what I would say... "Ummm.... I love your stuff!" ??? I also forgot my camera. :-( I really would have loved to take pictures of everything! Oh well! Also, all along Main street in downtown Mesa there were booths set up and some of the streets were closed off for events. It was very cool. I wondered how often they do this and if it had anything to do with Domestic Bliss and Blissfest.

Okay, so onto my goals for this week.

  • Eat healthy (to prepare for my 1/2 marathon on Saturday) (any advice on how to eat healthy? It doesn't come naturally to me)
  • Make a new schedule and stick to it (I am in desperate need of a schedule for my family and myself, so I can make it through the Holidays - and life in general. Things need to get done, ya know!?)
  • Be a nice mommy (I've been crazy lately and my kids deserve better)
  • Start on the Christmas quilt
  • Get a good night's sleep every night (the schedule thing should help, as long as I stick to it)
  • Get my laundry all the way done (100%! - It's pathetic. It's been awhile since it's been 100% done)
  • Have more self control and discipline (that could be a whole other post! Ha!)
  • Exercise EVERYDAY (either run or strength train. something. but taking it easy, so I'm not worn out for Saturday.)
Wish me luck.

Do you make weekly goals like that? Or are you just way more "together" than I am? What are your goals??

Friday, November 6, 2009

Two Crafty Things Today: one online, one in person!

Thing 1:

Ooooh. I'm so excited!! When I opened my google reader this morning and saw the post from Heather Bailey, I was so happy and so sad at the same moment. There is a craft fair event in Mesa this weekend (yay!) and it's Friday night (tonight) from 6pm-10pm (NO!!! I can't make it at that time!!) Oh wait... As I kept reading I found out that it going on (10am-5pm), on Saturday also!!! Woohoo! (Now if I can just fit it in...). Heather Bailey will be there along with Stephanie Nielson (nienie) and her husband (don't know if they'll be there both days, though), and many more!

I don't want to go alone. Anyone want to go with me? I asked one of my crafty neighbor friends and she reminded me that she would be out of town :-(. So, let me know if you're interested in joining me!

Here's a link to the Domestic Bliss blog (that's the boutique store where the craft event is at).

Thing 2:

Some of my favorite craft bloggers (click there to read about them) have been chosen to participate in a crafter's challenge. It's called So You Think You're Crafty (S.Y.T.Y.C). This is the last day to check out their "anonymous" first-round project and vote for your favorite. There are some REALLY beautiful creations. Very talented women, I tell you!

When you go to the So You Think You're Crafty blog you click on "this week's challenge" on the top tab. Look through those crafts and vote. Then you get to see the results so far.

It's fun! Go check it out. Don't forget to vote! And come back here to talk about what your favorites are. (It's SOO hard to decide).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spare time = quilting. Now I just need to find "Spare Time"!

Seriously! Do you remember me talking about wanting to make a Christmas quilt for my husband's boss' family? Well, Christmas is right around the corner and all I've done so far is order the fabric and wash it. It's been patiently waiting there on the shelf, for weeks, to be cut and pieced! I was just waiting for all of the craziness of October to end (not really on purpose. I just never found "Spare Time"). I guess I did think to myself that the beginning of November will be less busy and I'd find the time!

We're in NOVEMBER! It doesn't look good for me and that quilt!! I need a whole Saturday to myself, my cutting tools, and my machine! I don't see that happening this month though.

Enough rambling. Sorry.

I bought Moda's Figgy Pudding for the fabric...

and I want to do a zigzag quilt similar to these:

(found here at Film in the Fridge)
{I'm seriously loving her blog. I just found it. She inspiring in the quilting department. Very talented!}

(found here at A Quilt is Nice)
{Also a very talented quilter. I've learned a lot from her blog. She has beautiful stuff.}

I really hope it doesn't take me too long to make this quilt. I hope to be able to show you some pictures of progress very soon! And, if you see Spare Time can you tell him to stop by my house, please?! I need him!

P.S. Did you notice I was successful with my posting of pictures from other sites?? Yay! Thanks for your help. :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Busy Halloween Week

Three of my kids, with three of their cousins.

It's been a week since my last post, but it seems like weeks! We've been so busy that I feel like there should have been multiple blog posts from each day last week. There just never seemed to be any time to blog about things. Now, I guess I'll try to fit it all in at once and only share a few of the more interesting things that we did.

My baby chick. I need to send this to Little Birdie Secrets. I got the idea from them.

I stayed up so late one night making/altering this Draco Malfoy costume.

Preschool Halloween Party:

7-year-old birthday party on Halloween Day:

We did crafts and snacks. I think they had fun. :-)

6 and 7-year-old's use a lot of mod podge!

This pic is of the mummy pizzas before they went into the oven.

And... Our dinner and dessert last night:

We made these Stuffed Pizza Rolls from The Best Bites blog. (see my last blog post about them.) We used our own homemade pizza dough recipe (I should have my husband post that here on my blog sometime...) This was SOOO yummy! A bit more work (just took a bit more time to assemble) but WELL worth it! Really, dipped in warm sauce, it's so much better than pizza! You've got to try it! We'd like to try this one next time.

And here is my family's first ever Pizookie! We all just grabbed spoons and ate it straight out of the pan together! And of course we LOVED it! (We don't usually have dessert after dinner - in fact it's really quite rare here.) We DO usually make cookies on Sunday evening, though, and last night we decided to bake it a little differently! Thanks to some awesome friends for introducing me to these yummy creations! (I live in a cave, apparently!)