Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jackson's 4th Birthday

It has been a fun week for Jackson. Grandma and Grandpa Smythe came to visit and the kids have been loving it. We all have. There is nothing like an extra pair of hands. Or even TWO extra pairs. :)
For Jackson's birthday we went to Red Robin for a yummy birthday dinner and the workers even sang Happy Birthday to Jackson. He acted like he couldn't hear them. But I know he was dying to laugh. (Ellie had her first taste of a chocolate malt and she LOVED it). Then Grandma and Grandpa took him to Target to buy him some new Leapster games. When we got home we opened presents and had a very exciting time playing with so many new things. Even Noah got to open a few things. This clock has a serious weight strength. I know from personal experience. Only a couple of special people got to be there for that. :)I made that cake. One of my friends claims that I don't love home made things. I am hoping this will prove her wrong. I just don't love being the one to make them. But what mommy would I have been if I didn't even try? :)

Jackson got some new games, a couple of new cars, a rock and roll guitar, and a new race track for his cars. It couldn't be more "right" for Jackson. He also got some very fun new things at his party. Games, cars, Flo's gas station (his favorite), one of those "grow your own pet" things, puzzles, DVD, what more?!!! Let's just say he had a second dose of Christmas. You're only 4 once right? Some quote that are becoming quite famous around my friends that Jackson has created and used many times while opening his gifts were, "Holy heck!" "You have got to get out of here!"(he said that in a very excited and surprised mood. And to no one. Just to himself. Sheer disbelief I guess at the present he was getting). "Are you kidding me?" They were all just said to himself, just so happy at what he was unwrapping. And NO, I do not say "holy heck." That is his own creation.
Then for today. It was his big birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. That place has seriously changed since I was little and had my party there. Where are all the freaky robot characters that put on a show? And where did all the balls go? The pizza has sure stepped it up. It's no Pizza Hut, but plenty greasy, making it actually taste edible. The kids all had a great time, (I think) and Jackson loved every moment of it. Unfortunately, Jason was on call again so he had to leave early. We all missed him. :)And of course Nora was there. Did you expect anything less?

So, it was a super duper fun birthday this year. And the BEST part was that I didn't have to do anything for it. Just the party bags and cake. That is so NOT the stressful part. When our little hostess started cutting the cake, my face lit up. I didn't know that was included. Worth every cent. Goodbye mess. Hello clean home.
Thanks to all of Jackson's friends that came to celebrate. We loved having you there with us.

In Memory Of. . .

Yesterday a friend of mine called to tell me that President Hinckley had passed away. I was very sad to hear the news, but also so thankful that he is now back with his wonderful companion. It seems he has long awaited his reunion with her. I know he is in the better place. But I will miss him. He was a great inspiration to me as a missionary 6 years ago and an even bigger one as a mother. His counsel and testimony gave me strength and has guided me when I most needed it. It would be impossible to forget the missionary he was.

I met the Prophet twice in my life. And each time he was sincere with me, kind and gentle. Much like the Savior would be. I will never forget the wonderful things he did as our leader, a husband and father. I will miss him greatly, but I am so very grateful to know that he is where he belongs now and that one day we can see him again. And most likely he will make me laugh as he always did.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A day in the life.

I have been trying to come up with something to "blog" about for awhile now. I am sure some of you have noticed my lack of new posts. But I feel like I just don't have anything exciting to share. My days and nights are pretty routine.

Except. . . Ellie had a major fall last Saturday. She fell off the counter in my kitchen. The babysitter called me and it was horrible. Thankfully, Ellie is fine and nothing major happened. I think it might even be safe to say that I cried more than her. I am SO grateful she is OK.

So, not much new here. I woke up today to Jackson asking if he could get in bed with me because his ear hurt. Then Ellie woke up, and I called the Dr. to make an appointment. We ate breakfast, ran on the treadmill (not so much "run" but more like walk), showered and once Ellie woke up from her nap, we all headed over to Brooke's for some great girl time. An attempt at making my FHE board signs was made, but not worth mentioning as I DO NOT like the way they look. Starting over. Then we left to make it to the Dr. Yep, Jackson has an ear infection. (I had the Dr. look at Ellie too just to be on the safe side). :) After that, we were off to fill the prescription, go buy Ellie a big girl car seat http://www.hautebebe-boutique.com/catalog.php?category=4 (that is the cover I bought for it thanks to Emily D. Minus the ruffle), and return after that to pick the prescription up. Now let's go home. Not to forget the stop at Chic-filet for dinner. YUM-O! And now I am sitting here. Jammies on and ready to relax. There is my day for the most part. I failed to mention a funny moment when Jackson told me that Noah pushed him off the chair so I asked Noah to say sorry. He simply put his fingers in his ears and made some sort of noise that was unrecognizable. Nice.

Maybe soon I will have something better to talk about. For now, this is it. Sadl
y. :) I am attaching photos for no special reason.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another Ann Arbor trip?

Yes, we went to Ann Arbor once again. This time was for my cousin Sarah's wedding. Sarah and Miller were married in Nauvoo and the reception was in Chelsea, MI. My mom stayed an extra week here in Pittsburgh so that we could all drive there together and she could help her sister with everything left to do.

Yes, we went to Ann Arbor once again. This time was for my cousin Sarah's wedding. Sarah and Miller were married in Nauvoo and the reception was in Chelsea, MI. My mom stayed an extra week here in Pittsburgh so that we could all drive there together and she could help her sister and her niece with all that needed to be done.
When we arrived, it was a very pleasant surprise. Much of the yucky set up was already done. Just the finishing touches. Which as we all know means hours yet of preparation. :)
The reception was great. Very fun and wonderful food. My boys loved the dancing. But once other people started dancing, they stopped. Congratulations Sarah and Miller!!!!! Thanks for such a fun night.
And of course thanks to Shawn and Lisa. What would be do without you guys? Let me know the next time you go out of town so that I can plan accordingly. :) Tell Shawn to watch out for our next Wii experience. I was faking it earlier.


Anyone who knows me at all knows that when it comes to being home alone, (which is quite often) I am extremely scared that someone is going to break into my home and either kill me or rape me. I know, too graphic. But it is the truth. I am terrified of it. In fact, I have given up on watching Law and Order all together.

So, tonight I made my first "911 Emergency" call. I am still pretty shaky and worried about someone coming in my home while we are all asleep, but the police are gone now and I feel a little more secure.

Apparently, there was no one in the home. I heard something. And I even went downstairs to check things out. On my way back upstairs I grabbed a butchers knife just in case. Then I heard it again. Someone was jiggling my basement door. I opened the window to see if it was the rain or wind. But nothing. And I heard it again. I was freaking out. I picked up my phone and dialed 911. The police were here within 2 minutes. If that. And there were tons of them. Probably 8. It was a feeling or relief when I saw them all speed into my street and give my home a throrough check. They found nothing. They went in all the rooms and checked on my kids. I was trying to stay relaxed, but I was so worried about someone getting to my children that I had no choice but to call the police. When I saw them sleeping in their beds, oblivious to what was going on in their rooms I felt so thankful that they were sleeping in peace and that I have been so blessed to have them. They are my life. The thought of someone hurting them sends my mind flying with revenge. The police shined their lights all through their rooms. Everything was fine.

Now that they are gone, I am scared again. If I can just make it until 6am. That to me, for some reason is a safer time. :) People are waking up and I don't feel so alone.

Does anyone else live in this fear that I live in? I have seriously wanted to own a gun, but Jason is NOT comfortable with me having a gun when he isn't home or with the kids around. So, mace it is. A friend of ours swears by it. I am weary of it, but it is better than keeping a butchers knife by the side of my bed. :)

So, it is 4am. Two more hours to go. This might sound a bit psycho to most people. But I just couldn't risk it. Most nights that Jason is gone, I sleep very little. But I have never actually called 911. Tonight, I heard something. And I heard it more than once. My mind wasn't playing tricks. I was wide awake. Whatever it was, it scared the CRAP out of me. Now, I am going to try and sleep a little. Or blog. :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

TV Junky

I have to start by asking that anyone who reads this post not judge me. I acknowledge my problem. I have one. This will be quick.

I hate Omarosa. I forgot all about her. And now she is back. (Throwing up in my mouth).

YEA!!!! I am so happy that Chrissy and Clay are back together. If you don't know who they are, you can either consider yourself lucky or feel sad about missing something so stupid that I enjoy. Either way, it was so good to see them back.

OK, please no judging. I am aware of my problem. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the year 2008!!! We had a fun time celebrating with some of our friends here in Pittsburgh. Thanks to Brooke and Cody for hosting such a fun party. I think we planned on actually playing some games. And I even saw Brooke get all the games out, but we all ended up talking instead. Which I of course love. :) At midnight, we stepped outside to see some fireworks, and I think I saw ONE! All these hills in Pittsburgh and no benefits. It was a great time ringing in the new year. And a HUGE thanks to my wonderful mom for babysitting my kids. For those that wanted it, here is the White Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe. And for those that have never tried it. . . MAKE IT!! It is so tasty. White Chocolate Bread Pudding

6 large French croissants

4 egg yolks plus 3 whole eggs
3 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream (I obviously ignore this)
2 cups big white chocolate chunks
1 cup good quality dried cherries
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
Butter to coat baking dish (I just used PAM)
Raw sugar to sprinkle on top

Cut croissants on an angle (1-inch slices) and place in the4 bottom of a buttered baking dish. Add the chocolate pieces and cherries on top of the croissants. Mix together the yolks and whole eggs, cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Pour mixture over the croissants/chocolate/cherries, pushing them down until all the liquid is absorbed into the bread pieces. There will be lots of liquid. Sprinkle raw sugar on top.

Bake at 300* for 30-40 minutes. This dessert should remain very soft and moist. Start checking after 30 minutes. Filling should be soft-set, but not dry. Serve warm.

My mom gave this recipe to me and I actually didn't even know what Baileys Irish Cream was. :) We just added more milk instead. And it is delicious!!!