We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cake Anyone!?!?

I'm taking a cake decorating class! Well, I did. I still need to sign up for the next round of classes. I've never been particularly or especially drawn to cake decorating but, when my friend said that the classes are half price right now...it sounded fun!

This class has been my attempt at life long learning (go BYU!) and streching my creative juices. I have been looking for ways to be more creative since President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk to the General Relief Society. I love that talk!

Since I started the class my sister introduced me to Cake Wrecks! It's a blog all about cakes. When she told me about the blog she gave me a disclaimer...I think she didn't want me to feel bad if my cakes were wrecks at first. Julie said that they only bag on "professional" cakes...you know the ones that are supposed to look good because people are paying for them. But they also feature may cakes that are great...and some of them by amatures.

Anyway, it's a great blog with posts everyday and included with the pictures is witty and down right hilarious commentary. The writer of the blog, I think her name is Jen, points out funny things that I don't even notice. She explains them in a way that makes total sense because that IS what you see...but, it makes no sense...because it's a cake or on a cake. If you want to check out Cake Wrecks click here! You should follow that blog...it's wonderful!





So now, may I introduce you to my cake wrecks? I know I'm being too hard on myself but, honestly...there is room for improvement and yet, I impressed myself with these cakes/cupcakes.

This is the first cake I decorated. It was for Marley's birthday pictures and I had a lot of help from my friend Becky, who took Marley's pictures. It turned out way better than I thought it would...a little lopsided but, not bad!

One of the first rules for cake decorating....put the message on your cake FIRST. THEN decorate around it. But, really I was just practicing my writing. Though I should practice the rules too! Right?

Here are a few more angles of this upside-down, inside-out, twisted little cake.


Now for the cupcakes. The far left ones, I was practicing my drop flowers. The top middle one is a clown, with no head. One knee is bent and then other leg is crossed over his foot. The top right one was me practicing shells. The bottom one, I was trying tip 107 which isn't included in this class...but, my friend Amy had it and it seemed to be easier to make the drop flowers. And it's always fun to experiment. The other two are just blobs of practice. What? I was practicing my blobs.
Now for the finale! The best cake I made! A little OVER done but I was practicing everything I learned in the class!

Yes! I made those roses!
We love you all!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

RISE AND SHOUT THE COUGARS ARE OUT!!!!

Today!

At 57 years old!

My dear mother is graduating from BYU!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!


I am so proud of my mom. It has been a hard road...college is HARD!!! But, the best thing to do when a hard thing is accomplished is to walk down memory lane. Here we go...


Mom! Remember when you went to Ricks! That was your first college experience. Your roommates were Ruth Johnson, Danzelle Lewis, Barbi Green, Carolyn Morgan, and Vera Harston. Remember last year when you had a roommate reunion!


Then you went to San Jose City College and you became a Dental Assistant.


You used your Dental Assisting AA to put your dear Husby through college and help him graduate from BYU!


You babysat and did home day care so you could stay home with your kids! Which we are so grateful for! I'm sure that was an education in itself with Brandon Walengren, Mikie, Jeffy, and Rebecca Pixton, and we can't forget, Shawny-Poo!


You and dad then decided to move to Montana...which we all loved...except the whole Motel management stuff. There, you were reservation manager, bookkeeper, maid, maintenance coordinator, and I'm sure many other jobs.


Then we moved to California...back home for you and dad! You still wanted to stay home with us so you worked for Video III...which we all loved! Watching all the new releases as we prepped the video tapes to be put in the grocery stores, to be rented!


You also did some daycare at this time too. The only one I remember was a kid from my class at school. Patrick! He fit right in with us, with his red hair, unfortunately it was a mullet. Anyways...I digress.


Then you worked for Dr. Pulley an opthamologist in San Jose. Boy was that nice to get free eye exams and contacts at a great discount. Wow! A lot of your jobs had great perks!


Then you worked for Tom Skornia Corporate Law Attorney. This is when you finally returned to school. You went to Dianza College and took a Business Law class and an Excel class and you even got Tom to pay for it! What a very nice man! This is when your jobs started to give you perks and you deserved them!


Tom Skornia retired and you worked for the Thoits Firm. The perks were your great friends! And probably working in Palo Alto, CA was pretty awesome too...I thought it was! I love downtown Palo Alto...so cute! Anyway, again, I digress.


Then you eventually ended up working at BYU! That's when you ultimately returned to college. This job was an education. And of course just as you had done in the past you wanted to take classes to get better at your job. You took Editing classes and realized....hmmm...I think I want to be an English major! The perk of this job was THE BEST! You could go to school for FREEEEE! And your children could go half price! I loved that perk! I'm sure Peter does too!


And now.

Today.

You are officially a college grad!


I won't remind you about the tough classes and how you felt like all the young kids around you had such bright and fresh minds. They learned from your experience! I won't remind you about how you had all these plans to take Spanish classes and ONLY speak Spanish in our house (NONE of us know Spanish). And I won't remind you about STATISTICS!!! The bane!


I WILL remind you that we car pooled! We learned all the groups we heard on the radio and quizzed each other. We had BYU brownies together! And a few lunches and a few donuts! And about 6 TONS of chocolate covered raisins. And about 3 TONS of chocolate covered peanuts. We never took a class together...too bad...but, I'm sure you would have been WAY smarter than me. You and Peter took a class together....he never studied...hardly went to class and got the same grade as you....what a PUNK!

(What I wouldn't give for a BYU Brownie, right now! No mint please!)


Well, that's about it for memory lane. I hope it was a good trip for you Mom! I love you and again I'm so proud of you! I wish I could be there, like you were there for me. I appreciate all you have done for me, our family and especially what you have done for you!


I love you!

Your Favorite Daughter,



Becky

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Happy Place...

What is a "Happy Place?"

I think, on all levels, it depends on who you ask. Most times it depends on when you ask them...and in what context. It is also SO hard to narrow it down to one or two or even three “happy places.”

SO considering, a "Happy Place" can be quite complicated...if you let it.

I would have to say my top three happy places.... right now....in this context are:

1. Being with my family. I love my family so much! Immediate and extended. Both of my parents have great families. Both of Nathan's parents have great families. We both have great legacies to live up to. But right here, right now, I love Nathan and Marley...my little family. The other day I was walking behind them (place and context to be mentioned later). Nathan was caring Marley and they were both looking SO happy! I thought in my head, those are mine, I love them and they love me! I am so blessed...and happy!


2. Being in nature. When I was walking behind Nathan and Marley (mentioned above) we were out in nature. Marley and I have been helping Nathan with one of his projects for school. He is mapping a large plot of land using GPS. I'm actually going to blog about that experience in the future...maybe when the project is done. But, being out in nature is one of my happy places. I love the prairies. I love the mountains. I love the beach. I just love it all!

I even consider walking down a busy street being "in nature"...there are birds and flowers and trees to enjoy, even on a busy street.

I don't mean to judge but I do not understand the people that are out in the great outdoors...for a walk or whatever and they have an iPOD plugged in their ears. What is more enjoyable to listen to than the real life great outdoors? I am especially perplexed by the mothers who are walking their baby and or other children and they have a personal listening device plugged into their ears. Granted I've only seen this weirdness a few times but, they are totally missing out on the creak creak creak of the stroller. Their babies cooing or gooing. And if their "baby" is bigger...they are missing out on their child's discovery of the great outdoors. The chirp of birds. The ZOOM of the cars! The breeze in the trees. Not to mention if their kids are older and walking beside them…can’t they just talk with their child while taking a nice walk?

Maybe Music is their happy places?

3. Exercise. I hate to stop what I am doing to exercise. I hate to get up early to exercise. Exercising is hard and it makes me all sweaty but, when I'm doing it and especially when I'm done...I feel SO good!...and feeling good makes me happy!

I know all of you have “happy places.” Tell me about them. Please try to limit it to three. It's hard...you'll see.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Grocery Store...

Marley and I went grocery shopping the other night, while Nathan taught his lab. I saw a few funny things that I wanted to share with you. These made me laugh in my head...ok, some made me laugh out loud and some made me snicker so no one would know I was laughing.

1. There was some dark brown sausage for sale. It was on one of those foam trays and then wrapped in cello...it was seriously coiled up like POO!!! And it looked like POO!!!! I can't believe anyone would buy that...actually it looked like it had been there for a long time...GROSS!

2. I saw a lady smell her hand!!! Ha ha ha!!! Her and her daughter were picking out chicken and she smelled her hand after she put the chicken she selected in her cart! I think it's hilarious to see people smell their hand!

3. Marley was tired and about half-way through shopping I noticed she was just sitting there, in her chair seat, very serious. I looked at her so she could see I was looking at her and I asked, "Why so serious?" It freaked me out when I realized that's what the creepy, dead Joker says. I think it freaked Marley out too because after that she kept fake-smiling and nervous laughing.

4. I bought some Doritos, they were on sale and I like to put chips in Nathan's lunch...something fun and crunchy. Well the flavor I got....Late Night Tacos at Midnight. What? No really that's the flavor name. Reminds me of late night Taco Bell runs, in high school. But, really? A Doritos flavor...I'll let you know how they taste. (Oh goodie, I found a picture online!)
5. Last but not least....I saw a chubby little kid with a shaved head...well, except the top. Well, the top was shaved but not as closely as the rest....you know like a bowl cut buzz style. No that's not the funny part. There was also longer hair around his hair line! Yes, the same length as the top!!! Like if you were coloring and you outlined the picture with your crayon before you colored it in...that's what it was like. Like there was hair left to perfectly outline his hairline. I don't know if I'm explaining this clearly but, it was HILARIOUS!!! After extensive internet image research I found a silly picture of a MAN with a similar cut.

Ok, this one is more funny because this dude is an adult and gets to say how his hair is cut...whereas that little dude in the store probably didn't ask for that.

That's the extent of my/our laughs at the grocery store. Do you even laugh at things at the grocery store?

We love you all!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

One Year Ago Today!

Marlayna was born!!!
Marley is one year old!

5 things I love about our little onesie.

1.
I love her breath! I love to smell it. Usually I just like baby's breath...because it's not corrupted by solid foods yet....but, she's eating solid food and I still love to sniff her breath.
2.
You all know I think she is THE CUTEST when she sleeps. I'm her mom so I think she is cute ALL the time...but, THE CUTEST when she is asleep.
3.
I love that she already has a favorite pair of shoes. They are brown Mary-Jane style with flowers. We'll have to show you sometime. I put some "walking" shoes on her and she found one of the cute brown shoes and she held it up to her foot. I asked her if she wanted to wear those instead and proceeded to change her shoes. Once they were changed she smiled really big and gave a deep, long satisfied grunt/growl.
4.
I love that her hair is taking its time to grown in. It makes her still look like a baby...which is fine with me. And doing baby/toddler's hair is hard! I know...one day, I'll have to do her hair but, for now...I'm glad she's still bald.
5.
I love that she is a good girl. She is a pretty mellow happy girl. Sure she has her moments of tired wretchedness but, she is overall a very good girl. I think we've only taken out of church once for being too noisy. I hope she keeps it up!
There are SO many more things I love about Marley...but, we'll leave it at these 5.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what is on the agenda today.

Dad is at school until around 4:30 today. But, he’ll still come into the birthday picture around about mid-day.

Right now Marley is down for a nap.

While Marley sleeps, I will make her cupcakes....Confetti Cake with Confetti frosting. (My favorite)

While Marley sleeps, I will also make some Scotch-A-Roos.

When Marley wakes up, we will have some lunch.

Probably Roman Noodles, her favorite.

At 1:30 we will go pick up Nathan because he has a break at school and we will go buy Marley a birthday present. We already got her some jammies but, we are going to get her a "walking toy," something to help her practice.
And she thinks that's pretty cool!
Then Marley and I will go to a bake exchange. One of our friends organized this bake exchange where a bunch of ladies bake something, then get together to exchange our goodies. This is cool because then you have a variety of treats and not just a bunch of the same treat.
Then we will pick Nathan up from school and bust home. We will make homemade pizza which is our Friday night tradition and then we will eat it.

Then we will eat cupcakes and watch Marley make a mess.

Then Marley will go to bed! And I will watch her sleep!

WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!

(Becky Anderson took these cute pictures!! She is a great friend and an excellent photographer! To check out her photography site, click here. She hasn't touched up or altered theses pictures yet and I think they are wonderful! I'll show you them again after she has worked her computer magic!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where did our ticker go?

I have no idea!! But, I've had more trouble with that ticker than it was worth (free). Ok, so maybe that's not true.

Many have been asking when Marley turns ONE...this Friday! Horray!

I'll get a two year old ticker up soon after her birthday. I really didn't even realize our ticker disappeared until Natasha mentioned it....then I promptly forgot until tonight. So, anyway...Birthday this Friday...new ticker will follow soon after.

We love you all!!!

(check out the post below, just posted earlier today)

Grandma....here are my teeth...and some other pics I thought she'd enjoy.

Mommy's first attempt to capture my pearly whites.Some other tries were more successful.
Now some pictures of my very first ponytail. Look really close...it's microscopic.

I still love to eat.

And you all know that mommy can't resist to watch me sleep.

We all love you!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Style Quiz...

My friend posted about taking this style quiz...intriguing! It's the best quiz I've ever taken. You just rate pictures on how much you like them and then BAM! It tells you your style...even provides a picture of such style and a description. I need all the help I can get, ESPECIALLY when it comes to style.


I was 44% Classic
Classic
What's old is new again! The beauty of Classic style is how well it takes all of the beautiful forms, colors and textures of the past and reinvents them in a way that feels both fresh and inspired.
The style itself is a mix of European influences and French, English and Italian antiques and replicas are often used together. Furniture is well proportioned and comfortable and the rooms give off an air of sophistication and grace. Oil paintings depicting still-life or nature scenes and emphasizing symmetry of pairs helps maintain the traditional nature of the room. Windows are often covered with opulent fabric shades and/or drapery.
Traditional rooms give off an air of history that seems to say "I was here long before you, and will remain long after you've gone." And yet, even with this level of sophistication, the rooms are soft and inviting.

33% Wine Country Style
Wine Country Style
Tuscan sun, here we come! The Wine Country style reflects the feelings evoked by the seaside regions of Europe such as the South of France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The style manages to be both refined and casual, such that you can mix beautiful antiques with more rustic wrought iron or wood and the result is both sophisticated and cozy.
Furniture is large and comfortable, colors are bright and cheery, and regardless of the color palette the spaces almost always feel warm. You can easily translate the style into the perfect family environment but you can just as easily emphasize the more formal pieces and make your room the perfect adult getaway.
23% Rustic Revival
Rustic Revival
You can take kid out of the country but you can't take the country out of the kid... or is your theme "you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid?".
Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic/vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You've taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals to young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay, or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love.

My thoughts on "my style" I really think that each of these rooms could be found in my home one day. I love the Classic room for a family or front room. A room where we have family home evening, sit quietly and read books, or where we visit with the home or visiting teachers. I would also love to have a piano in a room like this. Although, I haven't seen my Aunt Kathy's family room in a couple of years, this room reminds me of her family room, I love it! So elegent and classic and yet comfortable.

The wine country style room looks to me like a perfect living room. Where we play games (perfect game table back by the windows) and enjoy the rowdy part of our lives...together. I love the oh so comfy looking couch and in front of that (which you cannot see, but you can imagine) is an armoire which hides our TV, and it has a beautiful wine country style plant on top.

And the rustic revival...that would be a great playroom/lounge room for playdates and MUCH more rowdy/busy playing. A perfectly comfortable couch where I and friends can supervise the chaos. I would put lots of children's books in this room and tons of fun and adventurous toys like....tunnels and a slide! Later when my children have grown I would turn this into a library. One day I'M GOING TO HAVE A LIBRARY. Ok, probably not.

And we're back to reality. Stay tuned for an exclusive tour of our small but lovable apartment. I truly do love it! Julie has been dying to see where we live, but you're all invited!

If you want to take the quiz to find out your personal style
click here!

We love you all!!!!