A few of my favorite things (Oregon)

Some of my favorite things of our Oregon vacation:
1. Playing volleyball for three hours, two nights in a row! Totally awesome!
2. Playing Boggle
3. Visiting the cheese factory and eating some Sweet Centennial ice cream
4. Finally meeting my niece, Emily! Of course, I overloaded my camera with pictures of her.

^^They look alike, don't they?^^
^^Singing Popcorn Popping^^ they were both on different parts of the song though.

^^Emily was such a cheeser. She knew what the camera was all about^^

^^Michael wasn't a huge fan of Emily touching or hugging him^^
Actually, on our last day when we were saying our goodbyes, I asked Michael to give Emily a hug, and he actually went for it. But then they ended up bonking heads, and that made Michael cry. But after he calmed down, I asked him if he wanted to try to give her another hug. He walked up to her, and then slouched on the ground and hugged the floor next to her. *just to be safe I guess!

Oregon Coast

We visited Tillamook, Oregon for our Thanksgiving holiday. My family came up and we had a wonderful visit. We stayed up late every night, playing games and chatting. This is some of my family the first morning (and a boyfriend).
We treated Suzy and her BF like the paparazzi treat a celebrity. Lots of pictures were taken of them cuddling, and sneaking kisses. They are hooked to each other-almost literally, sometimes. Here was my official "paparazzi picture" through the stair railing.On Thursday morning, we took a drive to a couple of different beaches in Tillamook. I forget the ocean is just so beautiful and breath-taking. I loved standing on the beach looking into the foggy distance, and watching the waves crawl their way up the sandy ground.

We also visited one lighthouse. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures with our camera of a view I call "heaven", but somebody did, so I'll post it later.
And this is the view from my Aunt's front window. So beautiful.



I know. I know. Richard just celebrated another birthday. But I don't have any pictures to show.

But, I was actually writing this post in honor of Mary Etta Apple Mitchell. She would've turned 130 today. I have never met the women, but I am excited to someday.


Reflection in short

I keep looking at old videos and pictures. Time sure flies by. I can't believe how much I have already forgotten about Michael's "little" days. Here's a picture taken 1 year ago today.


Taco Soup

I made taco soup tonight. You have no idea how long I have been thinking about making taco soup but have been so intimidated by it. It turned out to be really easy though, and it used up 4 cups of my dry beans! (Figuring out how to prepare dry beans intimidated me once too). The soup was yummy and even better, I learned I could freeze the soup to warm up later. Good thing because it made a crock-pot full. 

What other soup recipes should I try?

And another picture from Halloween. One of my beehives titled my "costume" as a soccer mom because I wore a Mia Hamm soccer jersey. Richard originally bought that shirt for me long before we started dating, hoping one day to give it to me. And then I married him. It's kind of like how I gave him "The Bean Game" aka Bohnanza for a Christmas present, hoping I would marry him that way the game would be mine again. No, that's not the only reason I married him--but I anticipated things pretty well didn't I?


HUGE CATCH on laundry supplies!

So I went to Fred Meyers to find Washing Soda, the last ingredient I need to make my own laundry detergent, but I couldn't find it. For the life of me, where is washing soda? Anyway, I ended up catching a super deal on laundry detergent and dryer cloths without very much effort.

First, I found Baking Soda that had a rebate attached for a free liquid laundry detergent when I bought both items. The baking soda was 69 cents--so that was a fine enough deal in itself. But what did I see when I went to the detergent isle was a "Free Dryer Sheet via rebate" sticker on the powdered box of detergent. I took it off to read the details on the back and it stated: "Buy and A&H 2-1 dryer cloths plus any A&H Laundry Detergent and receive a refund check [for the cloths]" The word, "Any" was key which meant the rebate for the cloths would work just fine with the purchase of the liquid detergent. Sweet!

Since I was already buying the detergent, I just added the cloths to my purchase. To make the deal even sweeter, at checkout I was able to use two coupons I had in my coupon binder (which is just a picture album split into categories). And I MADE SURE TO REMEMBER TO PRINT A DOUBLE RECEIPT! Because with both rebates, you need to have an actual receipt from the store-no copies.

So here's a breakdown of numbers
•Cloths = 3.50 = Free after Rebate
•A&H Detergent = 4.99 =Free after Rebate
•Baking Soda= .69
• Add two $1 off coupons = $1.31 moneymaker! -tax, and stamps.

Now of course, in the fine print it says limit one refund per family--however, these refunds are under different program numbers and allow two different envelopes so I'm pretty sure both rebates will be honored. If not, it was still a fine deal and I'm not too worried.


Janae's Super Brownies

This just might happen to you if you try some of Janae's brownies. You'll stuff as much as you can into the sides of your cheeks.
Just make sure you don't stuff too much in there.
They were really yummy and SUPER chocolatey. I mean-SUPER.
Janae visited us all week, and I neglected to get a picture on my camera with her in it. Doh! So just imagine the most awesome person you know--that would be Janae.


One More Monster

Photo by Kim Barlow


Happy Halo-Ween 2009

What a fun Halloween evening we had! Richard decided to reintroduce his Master Chief costume that he built two years ago. Unfortunately, his thighs and tummy have grown some so he had to figure out a new way to attach some of the pieces. But, his costume still looked awesome as ever. Here's just the head and crotch shield. Lol!
We borrowed a costume for Michael to wear. He was a little blue monster. He didn't like it the first time we put it on.
But, it was after he saw himself in the mirror that he decided he looked kind of neat. He would've worn it all day.
I didn't realize the grey dots on the outfit were reflective until I took some bling-bling pictures of him.
For the first part of our evening, we went to the ward's trunk-or-treat and Halloween games. Richard's favorite part, of course, is walking into the gym where everyone is eating, and immediately seeing much of the crowd turn their attention to him. Actually, he can't really see much through his mask. There is only a small slit for his eyes to peek out. In fact, at one point, someone in the ward reached out his hand as he introduced himself to Richard/Master Chief. Richard couldn't see him reaching his hand out and didn't react--and it ended up looking more like a diss on his part. Oops.
A picture of some of the youth gathered around and talking to Richard. I'm sure he loved all the attention. His costume is pretty awesome--I must say. And it was made with lots of love and care. I have a creative husband. He's already getting ideas gathered for next year.
Michael wasn't at all afraid of daddy--and knew exactly who was hidden inside that costume.
They had a lot of fun games at the activity. Michael liked the cake walk, and soon learned to follow in a circle and would clap everytime the music ended. He actually ended up winning a cupcake once (which most of it, I ate). Here he is just relaxing in the middle of the circle.
And a short video clip of him playing the game.
Trunk-or-treat time! Michael understood that I wanted him to put the candy into his bag everytime that he got some. However, he didn't like that I would never open a candy for him to eat. He didn't understand that at every car there was more candy, he just wanted the candy he had now!
At one point, he started running as far away from me and everyone else with a fun size bar in hand. He didn't want to put it in the bag. He ended up hiding behind a car and trying to gnaw through the wrapper to the chocolate inside. He is a smart little bugger.
After the trunk-or-treat, we went to Taco Bell for a free taco. And then went to some friend's house to play a game! It was a delightful night! And we sure love our little monster.