Saturday, November 28, 2009

Totally Toes Pedicure Party

Ever since Grace went with her Girl Scout troop to Totally Toes, she has been saying that she wanted to have a pedicure party for her birthday. So today Grace and five of her best friends, Ava, Carly, Kristian, Katie and Maria, went to Totally Toes and had a Cotton Candy It Up Pedicure to celebrate Grace's 8th birthday.

Grace, being the birthday girl, went first. She got to sit in the big comfy pedicure chair and soak her feet in a warm cotton candy soak, then she had her nails shaped and her cuticles cared for. Next came a Cotton Candy oil massage on both her feet and arms to get ready for the foot Wax Dip which came next. And of course, they finished with the polish of their choice and polka dot nail art!

Ava and Grace waiting for the party to start.

Maria and Katie

Kristian and Carly

Grace with Carly's Mom, Mrs. Erin

Grace and me!

Getting ready to soak those feet!

Letting the wax dry from the wax dip

Carly's next!

Grace's Pretty Toes!

Ava, Carly and Kristian being silly after their wax dip

This was Katie's first pedicure! She liked it!

Maria, Katie and Kristian

Grace, Kristian and Carly letting their polish dry.

Making a wish!

Zach helped pass out the presents

You may wonder why I have these next two pictures of cupcakes. Well, I worked all morning long on baking cupcakes, making cream cheese icing from scratch, and painfully decorating each cupcake. I had them loaded up in a cupcake carrier that I had borrowed and as I was on my way out the door to go to the party, the bottom fell out of the carrier and the cupcakes hit the floor! I was left standing their with the handle and the top. As soon as Dave heard the noise, he knew what had happened and came rushing over where I was on my knees in tears. I felt so bad that I had ruined all of the pretty cupcakes for Grace's party and there was absolutely no time to make any more. About that time, Grace came back inside to see what was taking me so long and found us there with the cupcakes on the floor. Her mouth just fell open. We got them all picked up, I dried my tears and Dave promised to leave right after us to go to the store to get store-bought cupcakes and bring to the party. Grace was worried that he would forget but he didn't. He bought the prettiest cupcakes he could find and from the looks of it, all the girls enjoyed them and didn't know what they were missing. I took these pictures when we got home because I figured that one day we would look back on it and have a good laugh.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We spent Thanksgiving Day with Claire and Joe Woodward and their family and we all had such a nice time. Grace and Zachary had a blast with their kids - triplets, Margaret, Allie and Honor and their 9 year old son, Ian. Joe's parents, Marie and Joe, were also there and there was such a huge spread of food! Claire cooked a HUGE 22 pound turkey and Joe also fried a turkey. I think everyone thought that Joe and his Dad were going to burn the house down and Dave joked that he was there as the "safety officer". Both turkeys were absolutely delicious! Along with the two delicious turkeys, we also had mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, rolls, Marie's specialty - turnips au'gratin, stuffing and then my contributions, sweet potato souffle and green bean roll-ups. Then for dessert we had pumpkin pie, red velvet cake and caramel pecan bars. Yummy! We had so much food and everything was soooo good. Even Grace ate everything on her first plate and wanted seconds!

After dinner, the kids played while we relaxed with dessert, coffee and football!

Getting ready to take out the fried turkey

.....and here it is!

Honor, Grace, Zachary and Allie

Joe's Cajun Fried Turkey looks and was delicious!

Claire's 22 lb turkey fresh out of the oven

Joe and his mother, Marie

Allie, Grace, Honor, Ian, Margaret and Zach

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Decorating the Christmas Tree

We started the process of decorating for Christmas today and put up our Christmas tree. Here it is before we put the ornaments on. The kids and I had a great time hanging all of the ornaments and remembering who gave us which ones and seeing some of our all time favorite ones. I love this time of year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Tonight the LA Galaxy played Real Salt Lake for the MLS Cup. Dave got us all excited and we showed our support by us all wearing our LA Galaxy Jerseys. Dave got an awesome fire going and we let the kids stay up late to watch part of the game. It was exciting and nerve-racking. There were so many injuries and after 90 minutes, the game was tied 1-1. There were 2 15 minute overtimes where no one scored so it went to penalty kicks. It went back and forth until Real Salt Lake made one more penalty kick than the Galaxy to win the game. So disappointing!

Boys Will Be Boys.....Forever and Always

Zachary loves all of his wooden blocks. He plays with them and builds things and has so much fun with them. Yesterday Grace and Zachary wanted to go to Toys-R-Us and spend some of their money. Zach knew exactly what he wanted to buy - army men and tanks and he found exactly what he wanted.

Today Dave and Zachary did what I'm guessing all boys like to do - they played war. They built bases and arranged their army men, tanks and helicopters and had an all out war. And they had a blast!

Zachary's Base

Dave's Base

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Am Not a Cook

I am not a cook. Anyone that knows me and knows me well can tell you that. I had rather eat out every meal than cook at home. Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE a good home cooked meal. I just don't like to be the one that is doing the cooking. I cook because I have to. I don't cook anything fancy; my family eats lots of tacos, spaghetti, Bertoli in a bag (I know that's not really cooking), and then I have a few recipes out of a couple of cookbooks that I use regularly. Two things that I can cook and I do cook them well if I say so myself, are red beans and rice and banana pudding. Dave loves my red beans and rice and anyone that ever tastes my banana pudding loves it. It's the kind that your Grandmother made.....from scratch. There is no "banana pudding" in my banana pudding and it has meringue on top, not cool whip. Anyway, those are two things that I do well.

I've always loved the idea of being a good mom and my children coming into a house that smells like cookies baking or better yet, letting them help me bake the cookies. But I've never enjoyed that either. It was always just easier to do it myself than to let my kids help me bake.

I was at a birthday party yesterday and my friend, Renee, said something about making homemade chocolate chip cookies (although she calls them hemi cookies - don't ask). I said, "You know? I have never made homemade chocolate chip cookies. I wouldn't even know where to begin." And she said that she just uses the recipe on the back of the Nestle Morsels bag. Today I was in the commissary and I have no idea what came over me, but I looked in the baking isle and picked up a bag of Nestle Chocolate Morsels and looked at the recipe. And I bought the ingredients that I needed to make homemade chocolate chip cookies.

This afternoon after the kids came home from school, I helped them with their homework and then I asked them if they wanted to make cookies. Grace thought I meant the slice and bake kind because that is all she has ever seen me do. She was so surprised when I started taking out the flour, sugar and eggs. And I let them help me! They each got to break an egg and Grace helped pour the flour mixture in and Zachary poured the chocolate chips in.

And now my house smells like warm, yummy chocolate chip cookies baking and Grace and Zachary just enjoyed their first homemade chocolate chip cookie made by me with their help. Hopefully, there will be more afternoons like this and when they are older, they will remember these and think what a good Mama I was.