Saturday, December 29, 2007


Aunt Kristin sits with the girls and Santa who showed up at Grandma's house on Christmas Eve. We had a yummy dinner with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. We also had a talent show where Shaunie and Heidi sang "Mary's Lullaby" while Grandma played the piano. It was a lot of fun.
Here is what Santa left for us. We tried to tone it down a bit this year but it still looks like a lot. Shaunie got a guitar, Sam and Leah got scooters and they all got a play kitchen and an art easel. I decided that less is the best. The kids seem to enjoy their individual presents more when there aren't a ton of them. Overall we had a fun Christmas. We spent most of Christmas day at Grandma and Grandpa Mangum's house.

Gingerbread Christmas

We had a fun time making Gingerbread houses with the McCoy Family. They turned out great and the kids had a lot of fun.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sam's Christmas Program

Here I am dragging him to the front. We only made it to the side.

For the last song they sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and had cute antlers and noses to wear. This is me trying to coax Sam in to putting his nose on.

Here is Shaunie with Austin at the treat table. I decided that if they get married we could use this shot in their wedding video. Seriously, I think Shaunie has a little crush on Austin, but don't tell her I told you.

Well, Sam had his Christmas program last night. It went really well except that Sam absolutely refused to go up and take his place with his other classmates. We tried bribing him, threatening him (not really), urging him, carrying him, sitting with him, singing with him, EVERYTHING and he was just too scared. Miss Tina even said he could pick from the treasure box if he went up front and although he cracked a smile and was definitely thinking about it, he still refused to go up. Maybe next year. I will say that Miss Tina did a great job with the kids and they all adore her. Even Sam was very willing to go give her a hug and thank you after the program was over. She gave them cute presents and they made darling decorations and ornaments. Thanks so much Miss Tina for all you do. You are a great teacher!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

magical forest

On Friday we went to the Magical Forest for Sam's preschool fieldtrip. We should have taken Shaunie because it was so much fun! It was freezing! We got to see Santa and everything. I hope you like the pictures.


On Saturday I got lunch (mac'n'cheese) together for the kids, sat them down and then ran upstairs to put Troy down for a nap. I was only gone for about 30 seconds. I came downstairs and surprisingly interrupted Sam saying the prayer. All their little heads were bowed, eyes closed and their arms folded. It was so cute! When they were done I told them that I was glad they remembered to say the prayer. They told me that at first they had forgotten but then they remembered. I was so touched. I could just see them having the discussion that they needed to say the prayer and then deciding that Sam would say it. It made me feel like they are getting it. It was one of those proud mom moments.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree!

I love Christmas! Here is our living room. I love walking in and seeing the Christmas tree shining. My kids make sure that it is always on. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Donuts

Our newest Christmas tradition is to make donuts. I don't know how I came to this conclusion, but I sure like it. We had so much fun on Thursday night making donuts. The kids made an assembly line with Shaunie and her friend, Brooke, doing the chocolate and vanilla glaze, and Sam and Leah doing the sprinkles. Everybody had tons of fun. We ended up giving the extras out to some friends in the ward. Shaunie made a special note to send where the receivers had to guess what was inside under the foil. She is cute. We love our newest tradition!

Smily Baby

Troy is smiling for the camera! It is so hard to get him to do it because he always stares at the camera like he's trying to figure it out. I finally got this shot while distracting him. He actually is a very smiley little boy. We love our Troy Boy.

Singing in the Rain

It never rains in Vegas so when a miracle takes place and the rain decides to sweep through the kids love to put on their "coats" and run around in it. Sam and Leah just couldn't stay inside while the drops fell down. My kids are such desert doodles!

Jeremy and the kids had fun about a week ago while I was gone doing a Modbe Party. They made dinner and had tons of fun doing it. They made "pigs in a blanket" and then made little faces out of the food on their plates. Jeremy said that Sam was very proud of his frowny face. What a nut head!
This is a little outdated, but I wanted to include it anyway. It was Sam's turn to take treats to preschool the day before Thanksgiving. We made these little turkeys. They were fun and the kids loved them. They were also very yummy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I am finally done! Well, I'm done with the December Enrichment. What a relief! It went really well. We had a progressive dinner. We started at one house and then had chips, salsa, and dip at my house and then at the next house we had some yummy Mexican food made by a sister in our ward. It was so authentic and soooooo delicious! At the end we met at another house and had cocoa and Krispy Kreem donuts. I read the story A Christmas Bell for Anya. It was a tear jerker! We gave out little packets of Christmas stories as a present from the presidency. It was nice and everyone seemed to have such a nice time. My only regret is that we didn't provide babysitting so some sisters were not able to come. I felt that the sisters really bonded with one another. We missed those who weren't there. I wish there was a way to get more sisters to come. Any suggestions? Thanks to all those who came and helped make it a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dots on my toes

Leah was helping me wrap presents yesterday when she took off her boot and told me that the dots on her foot were hurting her. She even showed me the dots. I didn't see them but I know what she was talking about. I've had dots hurt my feet before.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I've decided that things are only as important as you make them. This means a couple things to me. First, when things are going wrong or not as you would like them you have all the power to decide that they are not that bad. You don't really have to be upset about anything unless you care about it. This means that the things that upset you or make you sad (or happy) are the things that you care about the most. Second, that life can be totally meaningless and boring unless you care about things. I remember my parents getting mad at me when I would tell them that I didn't care about something. This is probably why. Ultimately, we are in charge of our own happiness and we choose this happiness by the things we choose to care about. The depth and length of happiness in your life depends on the things you choose to care about. Also, the more I choose to care about only myself, the more difficult it is to be happy.

The First Noel

On Saturday I was invited to sing in our old ward...the Desert Sage ward. I took Jeremy's sisters along with me because I have a cold (cough cough sniff sniff). It was soooo good to see the old wardies. There were a lot missing, and I mean A LOT of people missing, but there was still good ole' Bishop Nolden, LaNell Lueck, and all the young women (just to name a few). I got to give them all hugs! It was like coming home. We sang "The First Noel". It is the song we sing every year. I love it and it is beautiful.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We love to play Scrabble! It all started on our honeymoon when Jeremy slaughtered me over and over again. Now we engage in fierce competitions with Josh and Jody that go deep into the night. Jeremy won last time, but that was after I had a winning streak for about 3 games. Now the kids are joining in on the fun. Sam loves to play Scrabble. He loves putting tiles on the board and then asking "What does that spell, Mom?" I try my hardest to sound it out but words like ttrwral are just a bit tough. I am just happy that he likes to play with me. Leah actually got in on the action today, too. She likes to put the tiles on the board but pays no attention to the letters. She is just filling in spaces. When she is done it looks like a bunch of squares randomly placed on the board. I hope that she is at least noticing the letters so they become familiar to her. Our fun is only short-lived though, for soon they lose interest and would rather play on the computer or eat crackers.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here is a poem by one of my favorite poets. He is awesome! Don't read it too fast...

i thank You God for most this amazing

by e e cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Little Troy looking at the food.

All the kids pause for a photo.

Malachi, Leah and Ani

Here are some Thanksgiving pictures.
The food was yummy and I realized just how blessed I was.
This is Sam's picture that he made in preschool. Notice how well he can write his name! Also, notice the backwards four. He thinks that this is part of his name. We have only recently been able to teach him that he doesn't need to say it when someone asks him what his name is. . .

This is Shaunie's journal from the day before Thanksgiving. I thought it was priceless! She has such good handwriting, I think it's better than mine!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


What am I thankful for? Oh lots of chocolate, families, friends, beautiful days that don't go over 78 degrees, hot chocolate, laughter, my husband, good food that reminds me of good friends... oh so many things.
Sam and Shaunie had their primary program on Sunday. It was very special and I was very proud of them. Shaunie looked very pretty and remembered her part so well. She is always so good at helping out and participating. Sam had a hard time getting up there. We had to bribe him to do anything at all. Thanks to the great primary leaders for being so patient and to Miss Tina for telling him he could come and pick out of the treasure box if he did his part.
So tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We went shopping last night...well, I went shopping. Jeremy and the kids went to McDonald's and played while I ran to Walmart and picked up some stuff for dinner. We are having dinner here at my house and I hope it turns out. We are having Jeremy's family and our friends, the Brunners, come. I am excited for the yummy food. It should be fun. Now I just have to clean my house and get everything ready for tomorrow. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with lots of fun and food and family and friends.

Speedy Chicken Stir-Fry

Here is another favorite meal. It is easy as heck and very tasty!

8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini), uncooked
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. each: ground ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts

COOK pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 min. of the pasta cooking time.

MEANWHILE, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.

DRAIN pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon evenly into four serving bowls; sprinkle with the peanuts.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


This morning Jeremy and Shaunie had 'Dad's and Donuts' at school. It is where the dads go to school early with their kids and have donuts and then go out and play on the playground for a little while. Shaunie loves it. Jeremy seemed to enjoy himself too. He told me that it was fun and that there were a lot of dads from our ward there. No surprise there....Mormons make good dads. The only part I didn't like was that he brought home some extra donuts and I HAD to eat some. Dang it all! There goes my goal!

TO DO list

I have decided to get up every morning and make myself a to-do list. It is one of the ways I can combat my feelings of accomplishing very little other than dressing, feeding and caring for the kids. This feeling is getting to me and making me feel pretty boring and sad. I think there might be a little post-partum creeping in every once in a while too. Anyway, this list is helping me see what I do everyday and I am feeling better about all my responsibilities. These are the days that you just have to remember that the most important job a woman can have is to raise her family. I am working on it. I think the best thing it does is help me to review my goals that are so hard to keep. It has really helped me to remember to watch what I eat and do all those little things that I have been putting off forever. I hope I remember to keep doing this.


Sam said this morning "My eyes are melting". He said that they always do that when he first wakes up. Come to think of it, my eyes melt every once in a while too.

Monday, November 12, 2007

by Major John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice, selflessness, and lives. I cannot express my deep appreciation for you. Thank you.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tonight and last night we had a little Stop n' Shop at a friend's house. It was a lot of fun. Not too many shoppers came by but it was so nice just to get out and hang with friends and chat without having to take care of kids. I love having such good people around me. They offer a break from the monotony of life, they offer good ideas, they help you realize you are not alone. Thanks to all of you good friends, you help me be a better person just by knowing you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

We had this last night for dinner and it was way yummy and oh so easy. The kids enjoyed putting their own toppings in. I liked it because it was easy, healthy and delicious.

Tbsp. KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups water
6 frozen small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
4 cups tortilla chips (about 6 oz.), coarsely crushed
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese
1/3 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

MIX dressing and garlic in large saucepan; cook on medium-high heat 1 min., stirring occasionally. Gradually add broth and water, stirring until well blended. Add chicken. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165°F). Remove chicken from broth mixture; cool slightly. Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer; return broth to pan.
SHRED chicken; return to pan. Stir in tomato sauce. Cook on medium-high heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.
LADLE soup into eight soup bowls. Serve topped with remaining ingredients.

Computer Literacy

Okay, I now have my computer back and it is better than ever! I am soooo excited. I replaced the motherboard, complete with a new processor and fan, and I added 1gig of memory. (Did you get that I did it?) I am so proud of myself. I learned a lot about computers and how they all fit together and I realized that it is just a pretty complicated puzzle. I like puzzles. I also added 4 new USB ports so that we can add all our peripherals on as we please. My computer runs like a dream and it is soooooooo fast. Yeah! By the way, this is what my new motherboard looks like. Cool, huh?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Finally little Troy slept for 7 hours! It is a miracle and I am the happiest mom in the world! Oh what a wonderful feeling! Oh what a wonderful day....!

Results of Sleep Deprivation...

This is soooo me!

Sleep deprived test subjects have difficulties thinking of imaginative words or ideas. Instead, they tend to choose repetitious words or clich├ęd phrases. Also, a sleep-deprived individual is less able to deliver a statement well. The subject may show signs of slurred speech, stuttering, speaking in a monotone voice, or speaking at a slower pace than usual. Subjects in research studies also have a more difficult time reacting well to unpredicted rapid changes. Sleep deprived people do not have the speed or creative abilities to cope with making quick but logical decisions, nor do they have the ability to implement them well. Studies have demonstrated that a lack of sleep impairs one's ability to simultaneously focus on several different related tasks, reducing the speed as well as the efficiency of one's actions.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Very Handsome Guys

Here are my two handsome men. I think they are so darn cute!

Reaching Up

I took the honkin' bag of candy away from Shaunie that she had been "worshiping" in her room before school. When a kid is counting, categorizing, collecting with questionable means and obsessing over candy (or anything for that matter) it is time for a little intervention. I took it away and decided to distribute it in a less obsessive manner. She was NOT happy. I put it on the fridge for later when she came home from school. Well, Sam and Leah decided that while Mom was upstairs and busy with Troy they would take on the challenge of getting the candy down all by themselves. They took their task seriously and this is what I found after they raced up the stairs to show off their prize. I realized that I have very brave (or naive) children. Is this what is meant by the faith of a little child?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

It's Halloween

We did it! We got through one more year of costumes, carnivals, candy (well that's not over quite yet), and trunk-r'-treats. The kids had a great year and we didn't even carve pumpkins! Kinda a bummer, but we still had a bunch of fun. Our ward trunk-r'-treat was fun even though a bunch of kids from the apartments next door to the church decided that they would get in on the action. I guess it could be a missionary tool, huh. I am sure they felt the spirit while they were begging for candy. lol! The kids had fun. Shaunie informed me beforehand that she didn't need anyone to walk around with her, that she could do it alone. She is getting so big! Jeremy walked around, mostly just to take care of Leah, and helped them get all the candy they could handle. Troy was little Nemo, Leah was a Princess, Sam was an "engine" turtle (yes, that is the ninja kind), and Shaunie was a very cute witch. They all loved their costumes which means a lot to me. We went over to Grandam Mangum's afterwards to show off our costumes and see our cousins. Overall it was a great night and we had a lot of fun. Thank goodness it only comes once a year!