Thursday, August 8, 2013

Valentine's Day

 We were excited for Valentine's Day this year because we were having visitors! Michaels brother & family came to visit, which meant COUSINS!!!
 The girls took pixy sticks for their Valentine...we make them every year.
 My little Hallie was so adorable! I love dressing this little girl up!

Our totally awesome sister missionaries, Sister Berger and Sister Vander Does dropped by to do some service! They came and did dishes and vacuumed! They are so cute, and we love them!

Soccer Time

 Soccer is in the winter here for obvious reasons. Jillian was so excited to play again. She is a natural athlete and will probably do good at most sports! She was practically the only girl on her team. The other girl never came. At first she wasn't thrilled about this. She came home with questions like, "What does it mean when the boys tell me I am good, for a girl?" She showed up the boys most every game and actually turned out to be one of the best players on the team. She loved scoring goals! She had a total of 4 goals for the year, which isn't too bad!
 Don't make fun of our "grass" here...yes it is more like hay, but works!!!
 Jillian wasn't scared to go after the ball and get in there...even with the boys!

 Jillian played her friend Emma, on the purple team. She loved seeing her friends!
She can't wait for next season to start!

A Winter's Hike (Arizona Style)

 We love Arizona in the winter. It is beautiful! Nice weather to send all the kids outside! Over our Christmas break Michael and my brother Kyle, took Logan and Jillian down to Sara's crack for a hike! They had a blast!
 Jillian loves hiking...especially in her brand new boots that she got for her birthday! Little TURKEY!
 This is a bit tricky for the little kids, but they love the rope part.

 Jillian made sure to take her notebook to write down all sorts of stuff...not really sure what?

 The end of the trail takes you right down to the lake. Fun!

 Heading back! They had a great morning, as did I!!! Cleaning without the entire circus to mess it all up!

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't know about you, but I am always on a look-out for an amazing chocolate chip cookie. I am super picky when it comes to a cookie...I am not a soft chewy crisco cookies (barf) type person, and I don't enjoy the super crunchy cookie, like I grew up with! Actually, my favorite cookie is from the Old Grist Mill in Logan, Utah. It is thin, has an amazing vanilla buttery cookie flavor, and chewy with a bit of a soft textured outer crunch! YUMMY!!! I came across this recipe in a magazine, made some alterations, and gave it a try. It is a winner! I meant to take a picture but they vanished, somehow? Let me know if you enjoy!

Crispy-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 1/2 good quality vanilla (this is where the cookie gets half of its flavor)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut (this is where you get the other delicious flavor)
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour...yes only 1/2 cup!
1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugars, and salt together for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Don't skimp on this part. Add egg, vanilla, and soda, scraping down sides. Add oats, coconut, and flour; mix on low until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Let stand until oats are soften, about 30 mins. Bake on parchment paper, 3 inches apart. They spread out! Bake on 350 for 14 minutes. For crispier cookies, bake 2 minutes extra.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jillian's Baptism

My little Jillian was baptized December 29, 2012! We were so excited for the holidays to come and for Jillian to be baptized. Most of my family was able to come for this exciting time. My parents and brother Kyle came for Christmas and stayed through New Years! My sister and her family came for the baptism and stayed for New Years! So we had a busy busy holiday season, but we loved every minute of it!
We had her baptism in the afternoon, and had a dinner with a few close friends afterwards. Jillian's favorite food is Panda Express, so we surprised her with a giant Panda Express dinner. Catering is always the way to stress!! She loved it. I assume her idea of heaven is chow mien and orange chicken everywhere! She is a funny girl!
I set up a little table at the church and made her a book of a few pictures and then places for people to write a little message. It turned out cute. That is what the CTR book on the table is. I should have taken pictures of it. It is just a 6x6 photo flip book that I have posted awhile back.
Baby Hallie...trying to get the pink marshmallows!
This is my silly Jillian trying to be funny with her eyes crossed. I hate when kids do that.

And...another silly Jillian picture. I didn't even know she was making faces until I loaded to pictures on the computer.

All the cousies...without baby Hallie.
All the family! We have the same picture here with the same people a year earlier for Hallie's blessing!
Papa and Gramma with their 7 grandkids!

Everyone trying to give Jillian a hug!

Getting ready for the big event!
and silly Sally! She cracks everyone up. She reminds me a little of my Jillian.
Look at the 3 of us!
Jillian looked so adorable and was so sweet! She loved loved loved her dress so much...I did too! And my mom made her the little flower in her hair. There is definitely an advantage to living in a small town with a small LDS community. We can pick whatever day to be baptized and get to plan the program. It's not a generic stake baptism production with people speaking that you don't even know. Uncle Kyle and Gramma gave great talks, and all the cousins sang, and our most awesome sister Missionary, Sister Vander Does who has a beautiful voice sang too! It was perfect! I love my family!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hallie and her Suckers

 Hallie has a thing for sweetness on a stick! She has to have one in every hand!
 This particular night she was being a goof ball!
 I think she opened 5 suckers and was taking turns licking all of them!
 And then she seemed to lose a few...wonder where they are??
So cute!