MoT - 30

30. Today I'm thankful for my life. While I have challenges and demands and hard times, I know that I am truly blessed. I have a family that loves me, hobbies that interest me, friends who pick me up when I'm down, and lots of opportunities to serve others. 

I know the Lord loves me, and that's best thing of all.


MoT - 29

We're closing in on the end! This has been a challenge for me, for sure. Not finding things to be grateful for, but remembering to post about them! Luckily Blogger is handy with their 'scheduling posts' features and I've been able to come back in and supplement the days that I missed. So retroactively, my blog is updated! Lovely. Here's to finishing, even if later than anticipated!

29. Today I'm thankful for Lego Harry Potter for the Wii. The hubby and I love playing these games and have a lot of fun doing so together. Even though it takes some pushing and pulling to do with two players, we have a lot of fun and it sure beats just sitting and watching TV together (or separately, as is sometimes the case)!

MoT - 29

29. Today I'm thankful for painters! We got the outside of our house painted and it looks great. I'm MORE glad that the hubby and I didn't have to do it, because it seemed like a big job. 

But we had a great company come out and with 3 guys, they tackled it in a day with no problems. Now the house looks refreshed and our Homeowner's Association is happy. :)


MoT - 28

28. Today I'm thankful for Special K candy. It's so delicious and pretty easy to make, no baking required! It's perfect for gifts for friends and family this upcoming Christmas season, and it makes enough to keep some for yourself!

Here's the recipe, thanks to my sister-in-law Renee.

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. Special K cereal
1 c. chocolate chips (any kind)
1 c. butterscotch chips

In a pot, boil both sugar and syrup together for about 30 seconds. Don't let it change colors or boil any longer or it will come out hard.

Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla, mixing well.

Add the cereal to the mixture until it's well coated.

Grease a 9x13 pan (or smaller if you want it thicker) and add the cereal mixture to it, spreading it out to form a base.

In a small glass bowl, melt together the chocolate and butterscotch chips in the microwave, heating only for about 30 seconds at a time so it doesn't burn. Mix well after each heating until smooth. Pour on top of the cereal mixture and let it set up as it cools.

Then get ready for a party in your mouth! :)

Thanks, Renee, for the great recipe. It's definitely a tradition in our house now!



This Thanksgiving we got to spend the holiday in Cambria, which is on the coast a little north of us. The hubby’s parents invited us to go with them, and we jumped at the chance. We’ve stayed there before sans kids, and knew it would be a great place to go and just relax for a good portion of the week.


We had beautiful views, really nice weather (not too cold and wet, like I expected it to be) and some really great family time together.

On the first day, E and I took a walk down to the beach to see what we could find. He was rocking Grandma’s sweater.


He made me bring the remains of our popcorn to feed the birds. We weren’t successful. :)


But he did find a cool walking stick that he kept the entire trip.


When we got down to the beach, he used it to draw in the sand.


We also had lots of fun climbing on the pieces of driftwood that were washed up, as well as some great big rocks. He loved every minute of it!






It was so lovely outside, and I really liked having some one-on-one time with my big E. We don’t get that too often, and it was nice.


(And yes, I know it’s a horrible photo of me, but I had to post it because he actually smiled! The impossible is possible!)

The next day we took a drive down to the pier by the Hearst Castle, and the boys loved being out on the ocean (sort of). They were really cute together, too. :)





But apparently the loud waves were too much for them. Go figure.



Then we drove down a little further to see if we could get a small glimpse of the sea lions that we heard like to come up on the beach this time of year. We weren’t sure what kind of a turnout we’d see, but we were hopeful.

And pleasantly surprised!






They were everywhere! Up and down the beach, making noise, playing in the water, fighting each other, it was crazy! The boys loved it.


Afterwards, we drove back to the beach by our hotel and took another relaxing walk down by the water.



Ah, brotherly love. ;)




Ending with a surprisingly good photo of the hubs and I that E took himself! :)

The last vacation day (besides traveling), we went to Hearst Castle to take a tour and look around. The hubby and I got to go without the kids and just enjoy having some time to ourselves. They had changed up the kinds of tours that they offer, so we only got to see a portion of what we saw last time, but it was still fun and we had a great time.





All in all, we had a wonderful vacation and really loved ‘getting away from it all’. :)

MoT - 27

27. Today I’m grateful for peace. It’s been a great week with lots of it, and I’m hoping for peace in the upcoming week as well. There are a lot of things that are coming up in the next few weeks that I’m responsible for, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get them all done.


MoT - 26

26. I’m grateful for fun travel days! Today was such a fun day, even though it turned out a lot longer than originally planned! We left Cambria and started heading back down towards home. First, though, we stopped in Solvang and had some lunch, complete with Ableskivers! If you haven’t had these before and get the chance, eat some! They’re delicious.

We also got the boys a couple of toys from this cute little toy store that I love, it’s all great, solid stuff. E got a stomp-powered rocket that we’ll try out soon. He’s so excited to see it work. We’ll see how it goes, we’ve already had to make him promise that he won’t try it in the backyard because it will go into the neighbors’ yard.

W got a cute little bathtub guy, a scuba man that swims around. He loves it.


MoT - 25

25. I’m thankful for getting to spend some good quality time with my hubby. We toured the Castle today and it just made me realize how much I love antiques (but not in my own house) and how much I detest the art deco look. There were a lot of both things at the Hearst castle!

I also loved getting to hear Alex Trebek on the audio tour as we rode up the mountainside in the bus. It surprised both the hubby and me, since he hadn’t been narrating the last time we went up there. :)


MoT - 24

24. Today I’m grateful for my awesome family and the great vacation we’re on! We took a drive up the coast for Thanksgiving and it’s been heavenly. Today, for Thanksgiving, we’re heading out to a yummy restaurant at a hotel that will have a great Thanksgiving feast for us. E’s excited, as am I.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to seeing the Hearst Castle with my hubs. We get to tour the place with no kids! (Because let’s face it, with all those rooms and acres to run around on, I’m very sure my children would get lost!)



MoT - 23

23. Well, today I am grateful for my exceptional husband. He makes me smile (even when I don’t want to), he works extremely hard for our family, and he puts up with me! :)

No, but really, I find that I’m happiest when we’re together. I miss him terribly when he’s gone and I love just hanging out with him. That’s what drew us together in the beginning – just having fun, laughing, playing games, and enjoying each others’ company. We don’t do enough of that with all of our ‘grown-up’ responsibilities anymore, but I do love it when we get to.

So here’s to you, husband of mine! I love you mucho mucho and I’ll always be your very own BC.


Also, today’s his birthday, so he’s double special.


MoT - 22

22. Today I’m thankful for getting to spend time with my little family this week. We’re enjoying the time off from school and work, and are just going to have lots of fun together. I do love just being with them and having fun. The other night, all 4 of us sat in our big bed and watched America’s Funniest Home Videos. We laughed until we hurt! It was so fun to get to enjoy something together, and have all of us laughing. Loved it. I can’t wait for more of those moments as our boys get older and are able to enjoy more of the things that we do.

It always seems that the hubs works a lot and we don’t have enough time to spend with one another. I’m glad to have weeks like this that remind me why I love these people so much. :)


MoT - 21

21. Today I’m thankful for Starbucks Hot Chocolate. My friend Tracy let me know that they were selling the mix at Costco, and after having some at her house, I had no choice but to go out and get some for myself. Their peppermint hot chocolate is one of my favorite things during the warm winter months, so having the mix gets me one step closer to being able to make it myself at home! Yummy!

Also, I’m so glad we’ve had cooler weather this fall, it’s really helped to make it feel like the seasons are actually changing! That’s one thing I’ve missed while living in California. So I’m thankful for the cooler weather that makes drinking this yummy hot chocolate a possibility!


MoT - 20

20. Today is my sister, Emily’s, birthday. Happy Birthday, sis!

I’m thankful for her and her example of perseverance and strength. She’s been through a lot in her life and she just keeps doing what she does, which is be a great wife and mom.

Hope you have a wonderful day today and enjoy your trip!


MoT - 19

19. Today I’m thankful for my parents. It’s their anniversary and I know they’re having a great time together.

Without my parents, where would I be? Haha. Truly, though, they’re showing me a great example of love and commitment and how a great marriage only gets better with age. Thanks for deciding to get hitched, Mom and Dad! :) Love you!


MoT - 18

18. Today I’m thankful for great Christmas music. Yes, I’m one of those who listens to it before Thanksgiving, and I can’t get enough. Although I will hold out until November 1st, but after that, it’s holiday music all the way. I picked up Michael Buble’s new album last week and love it. There’s a duet on there with Shania Twain that I just can’t get out of my head! It’s really fun, you should check it out.

You also can’t go wrong with Kenny G’s Holiday and Miracle CD’s either. Pure awesomeness.

My favorite Christmas song is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and whenever it comes up in the car on the radio, the kids and I turn up the volume and sing it at the top of our lungs. I just love it, and so do they. I’m thankful for the happiness that brings the kids and I,



MoT - 17

17. Today I am thankful for a husband who helps. Last night he out of the blue asked what he could do to help me out and it was SO appreciated. I know that he would do anything I ask him to do, but when it’s just an unsolicited offer, somehow that makes it better.

Thanks, babe.


MoT - 16

16. Today I’m thankful for modern medicine. We had a follow-up doctor’s appointment for E today with his ENT and everything is looking great. I’m so, SO thankful that we haven’t had an ear infection since his surgery and that his quality of life has gotten better. With tubes in his ears and without his tonsils and adenoids, he sleep better, he can hear better, he eats better (which may or may not be a good thing for him, lol) and he’s just overall a healthier kid. I’m so glad that we had this option available to us and I know it’s going to continue to make his life better.


MoT - 15

Today I’m thankful for what a difference a nap can make. I was having a pretty bad morning yesterday, just feeling awful and down and all that yucky stuff. Then I went to put little W down for a nap (because he was obviously feeling the same way) and I fell asleep on the La-Z-Boy in his room. I had the most amazing dream, none of which I can remember, and awoke with a refreshed and content feeling. It was like the outlook on my life just did a 180-degree turn in that space of time.

So today, I’m grateful for the blessing of a really great nap. Because they can be life-changing, apparently.


MoT - 14

Today I am thankful for a creative mind. I love that I get excited about DIY stuff, craftiness, and all things artistic. I’m thankful that Heavenly Father blessed me with that kind of a brain, even when I don’t do so well with the logical side of things. I’m happy that art can speak to me and that I can get lost in all things right-brained. It just feels like home to me and I feel at ease when I see something that speaks to that part of me. I’m thankful for that – that peace and momentary happiness can sometimes just be a good piece of art away.


MoT - 13

Today I’m thankful for my little family. We are getting to a point where the boys are growing up and becoming more independent, able to hold intelligent conversations (or at least understandable ones from little W) and I feel like we’re in a really good place right now. I enjoy the times that we can spend together playing games, making up silly stories, telling jokes. In fact, today we, as a family, played “Simon Says” and it was quite fun! We each took a turn being Simon and came up with some fun stunts and tried to trick each other into getting out. The boys loved it, and so did the hubby and I.

Those types of moments are becoming more common, and for that I’m grateful.


MoT – 12

Today I am thankful for my very good friend, Tracy. I love that we hit it off right when we met and even though we live far apart now, we can still pick up right where we left off whenever we see each other. I am thankful that she puts up with my hermit-like ways (meaning I rarely venture out of my comfort zone to call people and make connections. It’s a big weakness.) and even though we’re busy, we do connect when we can.

In essence, I’m just grateful for our friendship. :)


MoT - 11

11. I’m thankful for something silly today. I’m thankful for fun, teenager vampire stories that let me relax and just enjoy life every once in a while. Of course, there’s the classic Twilight, but I’ve also recently started watching Vampire Diaries, and that one’s a lot of fun too. Nothing like watching a little craziness to make me happy.


MoT – Day 10

10. Today I am SO thankful for Scentsy’s Cinnamon and Clove scented bricks. Oh my goodness, my house smells like there are gingerbread cookies baking in the oven and it’s like heaven on earth for me. Christmas is basically my favorite time of the year, period. So anything that helps bring in the spirit of Christmas, I’m all for it.

It’s glorious.


MoT – Day 9

Thanks to the magic of the internet, I can go back in time and post this on the actual 9th day of November. Love. Did I mention I love technology? :)

9. Today I’m thankful for my little E’s enthusiasm for life. He is the funniest little kid and is always ready with a solution to any sort of ‘problem’ or roadblock he may come across. His mind works differently than mine, and I’m constantly challenged to come up with different ways to get through to him. I can’t say it’s always fun, but it pushes me and makes me stretch in ways I didn’t know I could. I love him and all his quirks.



MoT - 8

8. “I love technology, but not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology. Always and forever.”

Today I’m thankful for everything technology! I love my smartphone and the access it gives me to almost everything I need, wherever I am. I’ve been saved more than once at the grocery store because I forgot my list, and all I had to do was look up the recipe online and use it to get the ingredients I needed. Before technology, I’d have just been out of luck, because I have no memory for those types of things.

I can’t imagine what my photos would look like without the immediacy of digital files and the ability to tweak them in Photoshop. I wouldn’t have as great of photos of my kids, that’s for sure. I didn’t really have the money to spend on film figuring out settings on my camera, so I’m SO glad that digital was invented, just for the sake of convenience. It doesn’t cost anything to delete a bad photo!

I love having an instant way to connect with people, via text messages that are quick and easy. Of course, it’s not for all of my communication, but it’s so nice to be able to send a short note to someone I love, see exactly when they read it, and get one back. I love it.

So I supposed I’m grateful to live in a time when technology is so advanced. It’s pretty cool.


MoT - 7

7. Today I am thankful for the women in my family. My mother, my sisters, my sweet niece and wonderful aunts and cousins. I know that I can call up my sister Ali for anything in the world and she’d listen to me. I love seeing how adorable my cousin Sarah is as she is living her newlywed life. I can count on my Aunt Mary for the sweetest, most sincere hospitality (that I’d still LOVE to pay back one of these days!). I know I can count on my Grandma for a good game whenever I’m in need of some stiff competition. :)

I come from a long line of amazing women and I’m thankful to be a part of that heritage. I love having sisters and girlfriends that I can relate to and who understand me.

Thank you, ladies.


MoT - 6

6. Today I am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I am privileged to have in my life. Knowing that I have a Savior means absolutely everything to me. Knowing that I can live with my family again after I die, means so, so much to me.

What would any of this mean without that knowledge? What would it mean if I thought that this life was all there is? It would be really hard to feel hopeful. But I do feel hopeful because I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father who wants nothing more than for me to be happy, here in this life and beyond. And for that, I am thankful.

I am thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


MoT - 5

5. Today I am thankful for grandparents who take our kids sometimes so that the hubby and I can have a date night. We sure do need them, what with his job and the kiddos, we don’t get that much time to ourselves. So it’s so nice to get to catch up and have some grown-up conversation.

Thanks, Grandma and Papa!


A Month of Thanks

I can’t believe how soon this month has come up on me. It really feels like just a few weeks ago that I was lamenting how far away the holidays were (in March) and wishing it would get here faster. Looks like my wish came true.

To celebrate this month and (hopefully) make it slow down a little tiny bit, I am going to jump on the bandwagon and compile a sort of gratitude journal here on my blog. Each day, I will post about something I am grateful for. I think that not only will it help November take it down a notch in the speed department, but also help me to recognize the amazing things that I have in my life. I have been needing that lately.

So here goes. Since I missed the first three days, I’ll list those things here in this first post, then continue with one a day throughout November!

1. I am grateful for my husband’s work ethic at his job. He doesn’t quit, he doesn’t complain (much), he works smart, and he does his best. I know he’s out there doing as much as he can so that he can come home to us as soon as he can. He takes initiative and he has a very good job to show for it. I’m proud of him.

2. I am grateful for my first-born child, E. He is the one who made me a mom, who constantly challenges me with his ideas and projects and questions, who makes me feel good about myself when he thinks I’m a genius because I know how boogers tickle your nose, and who is so, so intelligent. He is a goober, he tries to make me laugh, and I love how good it makes him feel when he succeeds.

3. I am grateful for my youngest child, W. He is seriously the cutest thing on the planet. His little voice melts me, even when he’s telling me “No!” and sticking out his lips in defiance. He loves being silly, laughing at his own jokes, and making his brother giggle. He is fearless when it comes to climbing on things and sometimes has to remind me that he’s only 2 1/2. He tries so hard to keep up with his big brother. And I love his little face way too much.

4. I am grateful for a garage that I can drive right into when it’s raining outside. I love being able to stay dry and warm when I get out of the car instead of having to scramble to run into the house. Along with that, I’m grateful for an automatic garage door opener that works most of the time, for the same reason.


Grandpa Visit!

So I realize that the past couple of blog posts have all been about me mercilessly begging for things, so I figured I’d change things up and post about things going on in my life that I am blessed with!

First off, the kids and I were so lucky to get to see my Dad last week. He comes out to California every once in a while to drop the hammer on some of his company’s manufacturing plants. At least, that’s what he was doing this time. ;) So we headed out to meet him for dinner. The kids chowed down on huge kids’ meals (note to self: get one for them to share next time we go to this place) and I got to catch up with Dad. It’s always so, so nice to get to see any of my family. I really miss them all, sprawled across the country as we are. There’s just something so sweet and nostalgic about hanging out with my family. I’m glad my dad has work that brings him out here occasionally.

So anyways, here are the pics. Of course, I only got a couple, and forgot to take any of the rockin’ kite my dad brought us all the way from Germany. E kept saying, “Grandpa, I speak Germany.” And then he’d try to sound out the words on the package, stop half-way through, and say, “I guess I don’t speak Germany.” Then my dad took a crack at it and sounded way better. Of course, E had to reply with, “I knew you spoke Germany, Grandpa!” Too cute.


(SOOC – I’m really lazy tonight)

Thanks for a great, if short, visit Dad! We love you! (And you’d better figure out a way to smuggle Mom in your suitcase next time…)

Check this out

This video is ridiculous!

I really want one of these for Christmas. Any takers? ;)


Calling All Fundraising Supporters!

Our elementary school is having their yearly fundraiser and E is excited to be participating!
While we're not keen on bugging our neighbors too badly, I have no problem bugging family and friends! :) And the cool part is that you can peruse the catalog and purchase items online, so you don't even have to be local! That means, Nana and Grandpa, that you can help us raise money for our school too, if you're so inclined. The best part? The items will be shipped directly to you so you won't have to wait for us to get it and send it your way.
And hey, if you're in need of some wrapping paper, isn't it better buying it knowing you're helping school kids? Think of the children! ::wink::
If you haven't stopped reading yet, haha, then here's the site where you can buy 'til your heart's content:
Then just click on Shop Now & Support, and shop away!
Make sure that when you are checking out, you enter E's student code: 941937
That's very important, as we won't get credit for it otherwise.
Thank you! 

PS: The deadline is this Friday, November 4th, so get those orders in fast!