Sunday, November 28, 2010


Are you all thinking I am actually going to post something? I know. Shocking.

I wanted to spread the word to as many of you as possible about my sister Jill and her WONDERFUL new cookbook.

To "Stir Things Up" is to arouse or excite feelings and passions. I believe food does just that. We all have strong feelings and memories associated with certain foods. When I am in the kitchen cooking it is important to me to cook with love, passion, and lots of feeling. (I like to cook to music-think Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, 80's Pop Rock and when my husband's helping we sometimes throw in a little Def Leppard!) My husband often says he can "taste the love" in my food. I enjoy feeding my family, trying new recipes, and pleasing them with favorites. I enjoy taking meals and treats to friends and neighbors and hope they can "taste the love" too. With this cookbook I want to inspire others to try new recipes and flavors (yes, even try seafood) and experiment in the kitchen. You will love it more and your family and friends will be able to "taste the love".
I've always love to cook. I grew up helping my mom in the kitchen. (Get your children in the kitchen.) She taught me the correct way to measure flour and I've never forgotten...a great life skill! I remember when I was able to make cookies for the first time myself-then moved on to English muffin pizzas, pancakes, and tacos. By the time I was leaving home to go to college I was very comfortable in the kitchen with the confidence to try anything.
As a caterer I am always on the lookout for delicious, simple, and satisfying recipes that I know my friends and family will love. These recipes are my go-to favorites that have all of those qualities. I have collected them over the years. Some are from my childhood and I will always love them (even if they mights have condensed soup in them). Some of them are recipes I've adapted from others to suit my tastes. Some of them are my originals. Some of them are from friends and family members. All are delicious and well-loved!
So what are you waiting for...
Get in the kitchen & "Stir Thing Up"

Two years ago for Christmas Jill printed a small, but fantastic cookbook of some of my families best and favorite recipes. It was a hit. I use it all the time. Many of her neighbors saw the cookbook and wanted one as well. So now she has really gone and done it.

Jill created a cookbook of some of the BEST recipes out there. The book is hard bound, original art work, well over 250 recipes, indexed by sections, and DELICIOUS!!! This a very mom/family friendly cookbook. The recipes are also really easy to impress and entertain with. And most importantly. . .taste YUMMM-O!!!

She has titled it "Stir Things Up, the go-to cookbook" and I am SURE you will to.

These cookbooks are for sale for $25 each. Plus $5 shipping. If you order more than one, there is a 10% discount and the shipping will be adjusted to fit the need.

The books are ready for Christmas and make the perfect gift. A new cookbook full of easy and wonderful recipes couldn't be better!

Order quick because more than half of what she is printing have sold and they are going fast. If you think you want more than one for gifts, or that your moms and sisters may want one, pass the word to them. Once they are gone. . . .they're gone. Jill is an amazing cook and teaches private cooking lessons. I promise you won't be disappointed!!

You can contact me or Jill directly. Here's her email:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just to inform you

As most of you have noticed. . . I have taken a serious break from the blogging world. With having my 5th baby, moving to a new state, a new jopb for my husband, and now dealing with a first grader, and two in preschool . . . it's safe to say my life is busier than ever.

So, I am taking a break.I love blogging. . . sort of. :) But right now my time has to be spent on my crazy family and new home. . .that needs to be furnished desperately. So, bare with me as I get things in order and eventually find the time to get back into this little blog of mine.

While one of my best friends was visiting Utah, she took pictures of my kids and they all turned out so great. Thanks Melanie!!! What would I do without friends with talent?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

You were wrong!

Noah just came in my bedroom after JUST waking up and says, "Where's mom?!"

I said, "I'm in here." (The bathroom. Doing my make-up. Just to clarify).

He comes in holding a Spider man figurine and says, "See, you were wrong!!!!"

I said, "Oh yep. Good job Noah!"

He was referring to the position of Spider mans fingers when "webbing" someone. Noah always held his fingers in the Sign Language form of "I love you" (thumb out too) and I thought it was wrong. I thought to "web" someone your thumb had to be in. Silly mommy. And I think it was probably close to a year ago that I ever talked about it. Noah was really ready to catch me being wrong. :)

He walked out of my bathroom, turned his head and said, "SEE!! You DON'T know everything!!!!!"

I beg to differ!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Introducing. . .


May 14, 2010
8 lbs. 4 oz
20 1/4 inches
Kate was born at 6:27am on Friday. Everything went great. I was admitted to the hospital on Thursday night/Friday morning and she was born a few hours later.

Last Saturday I was sure I was in labor so I called my friend Michelle to come over while Jason and I went to the hospital. One hour later we were back at home. NOT in labor. :) My fifth child and I still don't know???

I had an appointment on Thursday morning. I was dilated to a 4, 50% effaced. She thought I would have that baby any time. I told her I'd see her next week.

That night Jason and I went to dinner and had Farrah come babysit. I was getting some pretty strong contractions at dinner and decided against dessert. That's when I knew I was in labor. :) Dinner was AWESOME by the way. The Prickley Pear on Main Street. I loved it. Mmmmm!! I had fajitas which is funny since that was my last meal I ate before Jackson was born.

We went home, put the kids to bed and I laid down. Jason kept telling me we should go to the hospital, but I didn't want to be sent home again so I kept trying to wait it out. I ended up calling Michelle again because the pain was getting worse, an
d every 3 minutes. My labors tend to go fast and the fear of missing out on the epidural was too much!!

Michelle came over and we headed out. They checked me in triage and said they wanted to keep monitoring me for another 1-2 hours. Within 45 minutes I insisted they check me and get me some medicine. I was admitted.

We got to my room, around 1:30am, and the IV specialists came in. I was paranoid about getting the IV. I cried. And kept telling the nurses, "I'm not ready." They were really patient with me. But finally just did it. It hurt. Then I had a sm
all fainting episode. But that's nothing new. I have never had a baby without at least one major pass out.

I got my epidural right after the IV. Heaven. They did some sort of sensory test on me with a toothpick and that's when the big pass out happened. Maybe it reminded me of a needle? I don't know. But the next thing I new everyone was yelling my name and an oxygen mask was suctioned to my face. Except it was the smallest mask in the world and was pinching all my cheek fat. Rude. My heart rate dropped to 35 and after several minutes I was able to keep my eyes open. Barely. This was around 3am.

I fell asleep a little later, only to wake up to some MAJOR itching. ALL over my body. It was the meds in the epidural and I wanted to claw my skin off. They gave me some Benadryl in my IV and was OUT. Within seconds. Around 4:30am.

Then the midwife came in to check me. She broke my water and warned me of the pressure I would start to feel. She was right. This was at 5:30am. I called her back in the room at 6:15am DYING to push. She was casually getting some things out and I said, "She's coming!!! Now!!" Anne, the midwife sat on the end of the bed and out came Kate. I pushed for a total of 7 minutes. It was fast. And it hurt. But at least she is here and I am NOT pregnant. That's the best news yet. That and having a healthy, beautiful, perfect, little baby girl.

Kate came out screaming. Literally. Her hand was stuck up by her ear and gave herself a little bruise. Maybe it hurt her. But whatever it was, she was mad. I was still pretty exhausted from the Benadryl so Jason ended up holding her for awhile. She nursed right away. . . and did great. Then she didn't eat again for 13 more hours. Which was fine by me. :)

The pediatricians came in , checked her and she ended up needing some extra tests for turning blue. She is still doing it, but her test were normal so I assume it will pass. The hospital here only lets you stay for 24 hours so it was a fast time in the hospital. But I was glad to leave. They don't take your baby to the nursery so I'd rather be at home anyway. Lame hospital. (I had to get a picture of the 2 pediatricians checking her out. She ended up pooping for them, then peeing all over. And it took both men to get her put back together).

Kate has already made a major impact on my heart. I love
everything about her. And I am so happy she is here. Now to get some sleep. I miss that already.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Pledge of Allegiance

Thank you Miss Liz for teaching my kids. I actually totally forgot all about the pledge. And then Noah and Ellie were saying it back and forth together, arguing over who got to lead it. And then I remembered!!!

So stupid that they don't teach it in the schools anymore. SO STUPID!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Easter. . . late

Our Easter this year was very simple. The kids all got up, got ready and then got to have their egg and basket hunt.

We went to a baby blessing that morning so it
was all a bit rushed. And that afternoon we flew out (meaning me and the 4 kids) to Utah in search of a home. That trip is a post in itself. And I doubt I will ever do it. So, I'll let you know if we get a home soon.
The kids loved their baskets. Ellie ate ALL her candy that morning. I used to ration out the sweets. Like Halloween, Christmas, etc. But for me, it is so much easier to let them have what they want. Cuz the sooner it's gone. . . the less I have to fight. So, while Jackson has 90% of his candy left and Noah has 70%, Ellie is empty handed. Jackson still has Halloween candy. Sick.

The Party

Ellie had her little birthday party with her friends today after preschool.She invited Estee, Ashlyn, and Drew. And we had lots of fun together.

Each girl dressed up any way they wanted
. . . princess, tutu's, fancy!!! Ellie got a new tutu for her birthday so she decided to wear that. And of course her cowgirl boots. Obviously.

The girls had a little tea party in Ellie's princess tent. . . heart shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grapes and apples.

Ellie insisted on opening presents first, and I didn't have it in me to wait it out, so we opened them all first.

Then they all decorated, or tried to deco
rate mini cupcakes. (They managed to mostly eat the frosting. Who can blame them?) And if you are wondering what in the heck color that frosting is. . . well, it was purple. I guess. More grey. But Ellie is in love with purple these days so I tried. Just not hard enough.Then played, then sang Happy Birthday, (Ellie was singing loud) and ate some Barbie cake.
Then it was over.

We had a great time celebrating Ellie's birthday, and having just the girls here. Except Carson. He doesn't count yet. :) Noah and Jackson each had play dates so it was perfect.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ellie's Third Birthday

"My dear brothers and sisters, may the laughter of children gladden our hearts. May the faith of children soothe our souls. May the love of children prompt our deeds. 'Children are an heritage of the Lord' (Ps. 127:3)."

Yesterday Ellie turned three. I can't believe she is already that old. And that I have another child after her. . . and another one almost here. Maybe that's why I can't believe she is already three. Where did the time go?Ellie is one of my most favorite things in this world. She makes me laugh, sing, dance, and cry. (I have to be honest). She is one of my children that gives me a run for my money, and if truth be told, I wouldn't want her any other way.I love how strong she is. How stubborn she is. How incredibly sweet and thoughtful she is. I love her more than I can express. Even when I am at my limit with her, I know she is a blessing to my life.

Happy Birthday Belle!
Just a few fun facts about my little Belle
1. Favorite color: PINK. . . or purple. Totally depends Right now, PURPLE.
2. Favorite food: Chicken
3. Favorite show: (she has a 5 second attention span so this is very vague) . Infact, she couldn't pick one. She never watches TV. I wish I could change that. :)
4. Favorite song: Follow the Prophet
5. Favorite princess: Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Snow White (she is sitting here answering).
6. Favorite thing to do: run around outside. (But let me assure you that the real answer is disobey me, make messes, and be a bit sassy). Still. . . she's a keeper!!!! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Here's the update!

Carson had his cardiology appointment on Wednesday. It took FOREVER. . . and I was getting super impatient!!! Shocking I'm sure. But sitting there for over 3 hours is so aggravating!!!! Lucky for me, Jason was able to meet us there and help with Carson. He was getting so tired and sick of being held. We all know how light headed I get with hospital stuff. And Jason was there to help out!!!Anyway, things look fine. She heard the murmur, wasn't too concerned, but still wants to get a chest x-ray. And then see him again in 6 months. So in Utah, I will take Carson back for a check. They ran a bunch of tests on him, hooked him up to a few machines and everything looked good.

I was never too concerned to begin with because I really didn't have any reason to be concerned. I knew that murmurs are common, but since the pediatrician referred me, I figured always better safe than sorr
The cardiologist did ask me if Carson ever has had any episodes where his lips have turned blue. And believe it or not. . . he did.

When he was first born in the hospital I sent him to the nursery. Then in the morning they didn't bring him right in. So I calle
d down to the nursery to find out where he was. They told me he had been taken to the NICU and someone would be down to explain in a minute.

Carson's lips turned blue in the middle of the
night and they thought it was safest to send him to the NICU for some tests. He was still in the NICU for the morning, just for some monitoring, but then they brought him back to me and he was fine. Nothing to be worried about. I think it is all just coincidence. But again. . . always better safe than sorry.

Anyway. . . he does need to gain weight. . . not that he is small by any means, but for obvious reasons with his health he should be gaining. And she said to keep a close eye on that. (I took him to McDonald's yesterday and he ate an ENTIRE cheeseburger. . . onions, pickles and all). So hopefully that will help get him fatter. :) It helps me. :)
There it is. Carson is wonderful.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


9 MONTHS: January 7, 2010 was his appointment

Weight: 21 lbs (51%)

Height: 29 inches (80%)

Head: 18 inches (97%)

1 YEAR: March 29, 2010 was his appointment

Weight: 21lbs. (29%)

Height: 31 inches (80%)

Head: 19 inches (94%)
Back in January when Carson had his 9 month well child exam, the doctor heard a little heart murmur. She also found a little ear infection and thought the murmur could be something to do with the ear infection. So we took the antibiotics to clear up the ear and I was supposed to go back for a check on the heart in a month. I blew it. Totally forgot to go back.

So yesterday was his 1 year well child exam and she checked his ears again. All clear. But then she said, "He still has the heart murmur. I'd like to send him to a pediatric cardiologist just to be sure."

Sure of what?????

She said he is most likely fine and the murmur will go away in time. But there is a chance that it won't and could be something more. And if anyone noticed, Carson didn't gain weight from January 7th, to March 29th. The heart murmur could have something to do with that. Anyone that has been around little Carson knows the boy can EAT! He's bottomless. So I am concerned that he hasn't gained any weight in almost 2 months.

I called the cardiologist and we got an appointment for tomorrow morning. I'm sure he is fine, but the no weight gain is strange. Although he is a bit more active these days.

I'll let you know how the appointment goes tomorrow.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Playing catch up

I have a couple things I need to get up here.

Carson's FIRST birthday.

A trip to San Diego WITHOUT kids.

First, Carson turned the big ONE on March 18th. We spent the day going to the Toledo Zoo with some of our friends and had a great time. We had a week of gorgeous weather and took full advantage of it.By the time we all got back home from the zoo, it was getting late. I hurried and made a cake, made dinner and sent kids upstairs for showers and baths. When Carson was all bathed, Jason brought him downstairs, put him on the counter next to his cake, we took some pictures of him. . . DIVING for it, and then I let him touch it. He didn't like the feel of it. And then we sent him off to bed. :) Just remember. . . he has NO CLUE. I am not a big birthday girl for one year olds. I think they are fun, cute and if I had any extra energy, I might actually do one for my kids. But I don't see that happening in the near future, so for now, their first birthdays are pretty lame. But I do let them have cake. At least I meant to let Carson. It was just so late.
So, the rest of the kids came downstairs and we all sang "Happy Birthday Dear Carson" and ate the cake. It was delicious. Happy Birthday buddy!!

Then the trip to San Diego.


Jason had a medical conference there so we decided to go. My in-laws flew out to take the kids for the week and judging by the SAD Ellie when her Grandma left for the airport, I think it is safe to say my kids had a seriously fun week. Ellie cried the whole way home from the airport.

Anyway, San Diego was everything I remembered. The weather was GORGEOUS, the food was yummy and the shopping was great.

We mostly did just that. Eat, shop, an
d walk around the beaches.We got in on Sunday and just went to Poway to check out my old stomping grounds. I loved it. Then we ate at Oscars. Yum. Then we went to the movies. We saw the Blind Side and that is probably one of my all time favorite movies. ALL TIME!

Monday we went to breakfast at Richard Walkers and it was DELICIOUS!!! If you are ever where there is one of those. . . GO. You won't be disappointed. We went shopping for awhile and I found the cutest little clothing store for kids. It's called Peek . . .aren't you curious. We bough
t a few things for the kids and I had to get out of there.

For lunch we drove to Ocean Beach. And while it's a bit of a ghetto place to go . . creepy people there, a friend recommend this great hamburger, fries and shakes place to eat at. Hodad's. So we thought it was worth the weirdos. And it was. It was so go
od. Totally sketchy when you look at it, but worth it. I mean. . . check out that shake. The one day Jason actually went to a meeting was on Tuesday morning. I ended up going to the San Diego Temple and it was so nice. I ran into an old friend from the ward I grew up in and it was fun getting all caught up. I actually ended up running into her son who was a good friend of mine growing up. . . in Costco. Yep, you read that right. We went to Costco. And I of course found some things I had to have. :)Later that day Jason and I drove to Lancaster where his sister Megan, husband Robbie and 2 little girls live. And while Lancaster is not a destination that anyone would actually want to travel to. . . we had a GREAT time with them. I loved seeing my nieces and getting the chance to bribe them into loving me with treats and gum. Whatever it takes!!!!! We can't wait to actually live closer to them.

Wednesday was also a super fun day. We went to Coronado Island for breakfast and then to Old Town. I thought Jason needed to see it. (Mostly so we could eat some seriously good Mexican food). Mission accomplished.

The Mormon Battalion Visitors Center is there and was just redone. It was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. I even volunteered Jason to dress up as a Mormon solider. Ahhh, totally out
of his comfort zone. :)We met up with some old friends for dinner that night and it was so fun. I grew up with Krissy, we roomed together at college, traveled to Israel and Europe together, and she ended up marrying one of our good friends from RICKS. So, it was a great reunion for me.Thursday we came home. Sad. But I was missing the kids and dying to see them.

Thanks Larry and Judy for taking the time to watch our kids. The kids had a FABULOUS time with their grandparents and Jason and I had the perfect little get away.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time for bed

Tonight was enrichment. I am on the committee. Jason had to work. We have 4 kids. What was I going to do?

A good friend here let me drop my kids off at her house for her husband to watch and off we went to Relief Society. Thank you Chris. Both of my boys remembered you in their prayers tonight.

After enrichment, I dropped off my friend and ran inside to pick up my kids. I sent Jackson, Noah, and Ellie to the car and I went upstairs to get Carson out of his portable crib. I was telling the older kids to be quiet so that Carson would go right back to sleep.

And apparently I was saying it in such a firm voice that as I was loading Carson in and said, "Please be quiet!!!". . . .

Jackson said to me, "Well, it sounds like you need to go straight to bed too."

I laughed hard under my breath and got in the car. :)

Then we all hurried in, got our pj's on and Jackson said to me, "Why were you telling me to hurry?"

I said, "Because it is late and I want to go to bed. I'm tired."

And he said, "Well, I can tell you're tired because you're talking so sassy."

He speaks the truth. And he made me laugh! I'm TIRED!!!

Me + tired + 31 weeks pregnant + being alone = SASSY!!


Friday, February 12, 2010

For Grandma's, Grandpa's and those that love my Carson

My apologies

I remember as a little girl always following my older sister around. She had this friend that lived up the horse trail from us and whenever Jocelyn got to go to her house, I seemed to get to go too. I even remember her name. Kelly O.

I'm sure my mom saw me and Jocelyn as a pair. When you get Jocelyn, you get Jana too.

Score for me. But I know my sister would have had things differently if she was the boss. Lucky for me, she wasn't. I got to do so m
uch with her.

And so it is with Jackson and Noah. I have been thinking about this for awhile now, ever since Jackson started school.

Jackson has made some really good little friends from school and church. He gets invited to so much. And Noah is in a preschool where there is only one other boy his age, and his church class doesn't give him too big of a selection either. So, even though we love his preschool buddy, I wish I could offer Noah more friends.

I haven't made the jump to sending Noah with Ja
ckson wherever he goes, but when Jackson has a friend over to our house. . . well, I see my boys as a pair. If you want Jackson, you get Noah too.

Today, Jackson had a friend over after school. Kian is his name. After playing in the basement for awhile, Noah came upstairs and told me that Kian said he only wanted to play with Jackson. Noah came to tell
me the "news" and so I then called for Jackson to come upstairs.

Noah, "Jackson, come upstairs right now. Mom wa
nts to talk to you."

Noah, "Mom, he's not coming."

Noah, "Jackson. RIGHT NOW!"

Jackson, "Noah, I already know what Mom is going to say. She's going to tell me to 'Start playing with Noah right now or I will call Kian's mom to come pick him up!'"

I was sitting in the living room with Carson, liste
ning to my boys and getting a good laugh form the conversation. It brought back so many memories of when I was little and was such a tag along with my sister.

Dear Jocelyn,
I am so sorry for always making you include me. I can see that might have been a little annoying to you. :) (I know it is to Jackson).

But TOO BAD! My boys come as a pair!!! :)

And so did Jocelyn and Jana.

And here's Ellie Belly helping make brownies. She LOVES LOVES LOVES to help in the kitchen. And my major O.C.D. makes it hard for me to let her. But I want her to love cooking and baking as much as I do so I
am trying hard to let her do all she can. (To an extent. There are some things I just can't let go of). :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend of adventure

My ward here in Ann Arbor has a very neat tradition each year of doing a Relief Society Retreat. It starts Friday night and goes through Saturday afternoon. Some spend the night, some don't. It was one of my best weekends in a very long time.

To put it shortly, it was 2 days of laughing so much it hurt and being extremely spiritually fed.

On Friday night, after a hilarious display if lip syncs and delicious food, we watched an inspiring movie called "Celebrating What's RIGHT With The World" and if you ever get the opportunity to watch this video, I highly recommend it. I loved it for so many different reasons.

Saturday was breakfast and some incredible women s
haring life experiences that strengthened all of us. Then a few classes and home I went.

I think if I ever get called to a Relief Society calling, I would seriously like to do something just like this.

Then Saturday night Jason went to work and I was going about with my normal business. I called the kids to the table for dinner a
nd they all came running.

Then I heard Jackson crying his little heart out an
d I went to see what was wrong. Normally I hear crying and I tell all of the kids to please stop it and get to the table. . . or wherever I am calling them to. But I could tell this time Jackson was hurt.

I was hugging him and telling him to just take a deep breath. He finally did and I asked him to show me where he was hurt. He touched
his ear and I took a look.

I called my dear Farrah and she came right over. Jackson and I left to the ER for some stitches. Jackson was scared and worried about it, but he was great. I ended up calling some of our good friends here that is a fellow in facial plastics for ENT. He told me the oral surgery guys were on call and not to let them do the stitches. :)

We left the ER after about an hour and headed to target for a new DS game for being so brave.

Dan (fellow) came over to our house, stitches in hand and did the whole thing on the kitchen counter. He had to give Jackson a shot in his ear for the numbing and Jackson did great.

Three stitches later and my son was whole again.

Thanks Dan. You have no idea how happy I am that we are all moving to Utah. I plan to live very close to you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jackson Luke

I really don't think a mother could ever adequately describe the joy that each child has brought into her life. And so it is with my Jackson. From the day I found out that I was pregnant, to this exact day, my love for him has grown to be something that could never be fully expressed. He means the world to me.

Of all my children, Jackson brings more peace and calmness to the Smythe storm than is to be expected. :) He has always been my one child that is so passive and pleasant in almost every situation. Not that my other kids aren't wonderful in many ways, but they are definitely on the more "normal" side of child development. Is that a good way to put it? :)

Here is a quick example. And NOTHING out of the ordinary for him.

I made cupcakes last night for his class at school. After I made all 24, Jackson came downstairs and told me there were 25 in his class.


I said, "Well, I hope someone is absent tomorrow."

Jackson said, "No Mom. It's okay. I don't need one."

And that is the real Jackson. Always making life easier for his mommy. Always. And never giving it a second thought.

Jackson helps me all day long with whatever I need. Yes, he gets annoyed with me many times, asking for so much help, but regardless of how annoying I am, he does what is asked. Every time. I could count on one hand the number of times Jackson has really been punished. (Don't ask about Noah and Ellie). Like I said, Jackson isn't a totally normal child. I just don't want anyone thinking I'm oblivious because he is my child. I SPEAK THE TRUTH!

I love you Jack!! You make me happier than I ever thought possible. The last 6 years have been the best 6 years of my life because I have a son like you. I couldn't be more proud and thankful to have you in my life, exactly the way you are.
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