Friday, January 15, 2010

Highlights of 2009

This is a bit late, but I thought it was worth reflecting on some of the major events and achievements of last year:

  1. 1.  Averi is (finally!) walking and she’s loving her newfound independence.  She’s starting to babble and loves following her brother and sister around.
  2. 2.  Katie is learning how to read and loves attending Joy School.  She’s into all things princess and dress-up.
  3. 3.  Paul is potty-trained and can recognize most of his letters.  He’s a big time singer and loves performing.
  4. 4.  Aaron and I celebrated our fifth anniversary.  Here’s to another five that are just as good!
  5. 5.  Aaron and I played a few piano duets together for various church functions.  Even though we’ve been married for five years, we had never performed together.
  6. 6.  It was another busy travel year for us.  We made several trips to Salt Lake, camped in Moab, visited Flagstaff, and went on a cruise that stopped in Baltimore, Florida, and the Bahamas.
  7. 7.  Aaron is still the Webelos den leader and I’m in the Sr. Primary Presidency. 
  8. 8.  Our garden thrived and we loved eating fresh lettuce, spinach, basil, and tomatoes from our garden.
  9. 9.  I improved my sewing skills and made costumes and Christmas presents.  I LOVE my new Janome sewing machine.
  10. 10.  Aaron and I really enjoy cooking together and trying out new recipes.  We hosted Thanksgiving at home this year.  We had a few families over and had a fabulous meal.
  11. 11.  Aaron and I both really enjoy weight lifting, and I began running last spring.  I can run a 5K now and I’m considering entering a race this year.
  12. 12.  Aaron got a new car.  Now he can really impress me when he takes me out.
  13. 13.  We FINALLY have a couch for watching movies on! 
  14. 14.  The pergola is finally finished (except for one tiny piece that was cut wrong, but that will be finished soon).  Now we have a nice place to dine al fresco.
  15. 15.  Our kids have a cousin now that baby Brayden is born.
  16. 16.  We finally made it to the Balloon Fiesta!

Here’s to another happy and busy year!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roasted Chicken

Easy and delicious recipe for a whole roasted chicken.

Yield: 4-6 servings


1 whole frying chicken
garlic salt
seasoned salt
lemon pepper


1. Rinse chicken with cold water and remove giblets from inside. Lay chicken, breast side up, in sink.

2. Sprinkle seasonings generously over chicken (still in sink; this makes less mess!). Lift chicken and place, breast-side down, in baking dish (one that had a lid). Season the back side. Cover with lid.

3. Bake chicken for about 30 minutes per pound at 325 degrees. I find that the chickens I usually cook are about 5 pounds and I can bake them for at least 2.5 hours, but up to 3.5 hours, with success. It seems like the ones baked for at least 3 hours are the most tender!

4. Test chicken with thermometer and remove when tender (and, of course, at least up to temp!). Remove chicken and place, breast side up, on a plate to serve. The juices left in the baking dish make a great gravy!

This can also be done very successfully in a crock pot.  Cooking time varies according to crock pot.  When cooked 6-7 hours on low in my crock pot, it was juicy and tender.

This would also be a very easy recipe to modify.  It would be excellent with barbecue sauce, rosemary, or cooked with vegetables.  I’ve also chopped up the chicken and frozen it to use in other recipes. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby Brayden

Katie, Paul, and Averi got their first cousin at the end of September, which meant that Aaron and I also became an uncle and an aunt, respectively.  Averi just loves him (actually, she loves his toy lion) and wants to poke him in the eyes whenever she sees him.  I don’t think Katie and Paul quite get the concept of a cousin, but they’ll love it when they’re older. 

I got the chance to fly out to Utah in October to see Heather and Brayden.  It’s so easy to forget how tiny newborns are.  Even though he was quite large (almost 9 pounds when he was born), he was still itsy bitsy.




This is Averi pleased with making his little lion roar.  I know this is a post about Brayden, but Averi is too cute to ignore.

I couldn’t believe how much bigger he is now.  He has the most gorgeous dark eyes and super long eyelashes.  Of course, both his parents have amazingly dark eyes too, so that’s not much of a shocker.





Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I’m a surfer. I surf.

Aaron’s parents took us and all his siblings to Flowrider up in Ogden.  It’s essential a large fake wave that you can boogie board and surf on, and it’s extremely fun.  And quite painful at times.  I wound up with a massive purple and black bruise on my hip after one fall, but it’s so much fun that injuries don’t really bother you.  Until you get home.  We all thought we had improved quite a bit, until we saw the group after us have their turn.  We were humbled. 




Adam about to boogie board


Matt was probably one of the best in our group.  He actually managed to stay on for a while.






Jake, part I


Jake, part II



Sorry that I don’t have picture of everyone that went.  Lots of them turned out quite blurry since the light was quite low and people were moving all over the place.  But know that you were not forgotten.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas is over…

It’s always so sad to come back after a vacation, but it’s very nice as well.  It’s relaxing to be in your own home with your own things and your own food and your own computer.  It’s not so relaxing to return to being Mom full-time.  When we’re at Grandma’s house, they’re much less interested in me and I have a dozen hands to help with bedtime, dinner, etc.  But we’re back and we’re not doing too shabby.  We were quite good at keeping the kids on a schedule while we were gone, so it hasn’t been as miserable as it usually is.  I have a million fun pictures to post, so I’m definitely going to have to break them up.

Before we left we had a mini Christmas at our house.  We were trying to avoid hauling a million toys back and forth and partially succeeded.  Note to self for next year: don’t worry about bringing ANY presents up to Utah for the kids.  Grandparents, aunts, and uncles will see that they have plenty to open.





Averi did this to every present.  She thought the boxes were much more fun to climb on than to open.


Assembling the Barbie cruise ship.  Note the topless Barbie.  Apparently this is a European cruise.


Yay!  A new widescreen monitor!!  Thanks, babe!


Aaron’s new portable video camera that shoots in 1080p.  Tres fun.



So there’s our little at home Christmas.  It was very nice since everyone only had a few presents to open so we were able to play with all the toys immediately.  I think that this may be the path we head down for future Christmases.


Trying out Windows Live Writer, but it’s having troubles posting to Blogger…

A Few of My Favorite Things

Favorite Lotion:

J.R. Watkins Lemon Cream is delicious. I want to eat it. Seriously.

Favorite Fantasy Series:

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Picture shown is of the first book. I just finished #12, and it’s good. Read it.

Favorite Color Scheme:

Aqua and red. I’m in love.

Favorite Design Blog:

John and Sherry are just too cute (as is Burger, their Chihuahua), their style is fabulous, and I would kill for the PB Moorish Tiles rug in their living room. Check it out.

Favorite Makeup Line:

This one is always changing, but I’ve loved everything of Smashbox that I’ve tried lately. My newest product is their tinted moisturizer, and it’s great. I’m also in love with their Head Shot eyeshadow trio.

And there you have it. Just a few of my favorite things.