Thursday, September 27, 2007

oh emm gee

um the office starts tonight. I may passout, or as Eliza and I like to say it... boss-owt

anyone care? anyone?

Go Chargers

Harper picked out this hat, and has been wearing it since he woke up today. Funny boy.

You Know You're From Vegas If...

1. You have no idea what a scarf does, but think it looks good
2. You know how to get to any casino on the strip without taking Las Vegas Blvd
3. You know where the natural history museum, art museum and zoo are.
4. You can now predict where the construction signs will be misleadingly placed.
5. Stop signs and red lights mean very little
6. The last time you went to the strip, your cousins were in town last summer
7. You become nocturnal between the months of April to October.
8. You know the seasons: Really hot, 2 months of nice, not so hot, 2 months of nice.
9. Your favorite chocolate is Ethel M.
10. When you go to different cities, you're amazed things aren't open after 9 pm
11. You've never seen a closed gas station
12. You can get hard liquor any day of the week, any time of the day.
13. When arriving home from vacation the slot machines in McCarran are comforting
14. You are still asked "smoking or non?" when you go to out to eat.
15. You laugh at people playing the slots at 7-11
16. You have no idea how a lottery works
17. What in the world is last call?
18. Your most prized possession as a Nevadan is your welcome to vegas license plate
19. You know the spaghetti bowl has nothing to do with food or football
20. You know never to merge right when driving north on I-15, it'll end anyway.
21. You think a pile of rocks is a nice lawn
22. The term Lake Las Vegas doesn't seem redundant in the slightest.
23. You remember the ugly lion
24. You give directions to your house based on location of closest casino
25. You need to walk through a casino to see a movie.
26. You go in circles through McCarran on purpose
27. You can spot a tourist from 3 miles away
28. Limos are an everyday sighting
29. You laugh at people taking pictures in front of the "welcome" sign
30. You don't own an umbrella
31. Sixty degrees is cold enough to wear a jacket
32. You can wear pants in the summer and shorts in the winter
33. You've never HAD to pay for parking.
34. You are outraged to pay more than 9.99 for prime rib and a lobster tail.
35. You pass this on to other locals
36. You remember when the 215 was a secret.
37. When at least one of the people in your neighborhood is a stripper

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday, Michael Dear!!!

(above: one of Mike's "forgotten" art pieces...aka, ones he thinks suck and tries to throw away and I dig them out and keep them. Also, click on any of the pictures in this post to see them in their true glory)

Soooooooooooooooooooo it's Mike's 30th birthday today! He's finally entered the 30's with me and what a wonderful feeling it must be. I remember my 30th and it was not spectacular, so I wanted this one to be extra special for him.

Last night, we went to this amazing place on the "strip" of Palm Springs. For those of you who have not seen this, it's something amazing, I have to say. Forget all your preconceived notions of what a "strip" is and imagine a long street lined with old spanish style buildings and mid-century (50's retro style) stores all pressed together side by side. Then imagine millions of palm trees and quiet sidewalks and restaurants to DIE for oh and the best part!!! (other than the shopping, but who can afford that, really?) The Art scene there. Oh and there's a Shag exhibit right now and I can get discounts because I'm a crazy stalker of it! Wanna see my favorite new Shag piece???:

Oh and if you're not familiar with Josh Agle's work, a few years ago he did ALL OF THIS MERCHANDISE for Disneyland I'm sure you've all seen:

Anyway, my Mike's an artist and an incredibly talented one at that: (this was a "doodle" in ball point pen one day while he was on the phone. Not the greatest scan, but just know, it's detail is incredible in person)

and I'm an art fanatic but our taste is a bit different, but just similar enough to where we appreciate eachother's opinions and likes. Palm Springs is fantastic. I love it. We decided that if we were a childless couple entering their mid thirties/forties, we'd move there and live in a sprawling ranch style house like this one that we love:

So we went to dinner last night just after the sun set behind the mountains right behind the restaurant. We went to Kaiser Grill. I had the salmon and a mixed field green salad with candied walnuts and craisins and goat cheese, Mike had his favorite Asian Pear and Gorgonzola wood fired pizza and we shared the crab cakes as an appetizer. Oh my delicious. Sooooooooo good. A bit on the spendy side but it was only like $60 for both of us. Oh and we had streetside seating, and it was a Tuesday so there were not many cars but it was nice to see some of the locals strolling down the gorgeous quaint sidewalks hand in hand.

Anyway, today he went to work, even though I begged him to stay home with me and play (he's such a good dad/husband/provider) so tonight, when he gets home, I'll have something nice for him...this baby will be sitting in the driveway.

That's right kids, it's a Badonkadonk. Here's the description from

Product Description The JL421 Badonkadonk is a completely unique, extremely rare land vehicle and battle tank. Designed with versatility in mind, the Donk can transport cargo or a crew of five internally or on the roof, and can be piloted from within the armored shell or from an exposed standing position through the hatch, thanks to special one-way steel mesh armor windows and a control stick that pivots up and down to allow piloting from the standing or seated positions. The interior is fully carpeted and cozy, with accent lighting and room for up to five people. A 400 watt premium sound system with PA is mounted to project sound both into the cabin and outward from behind the windows. The exterior is a steel shell with a rust patina, and features head and tail lights, turn signal lights, trim lighting, underbody lighting, fixed slats protecting the windows, and a unique industrial-strength rubberized flexible skirt that shields and protects the wheels to within an inch of the ground, while still allowing for enough flex to give clearance over bumpy and uneven terrain. Master power, ignition, all lighting, and stereo features are controlled from a single switchboard to the left of the driver, again accessible from either the seated or standing position. Standard drive is an air-cooled, 6hp Tecumseh gasoline (unleaded only) engine, with centrifugal clutch, giving the Donk a top speed of 40 mph. This vehicle is not licensed for use on public roads, and is intended as a recreational vehicle only. Badonkadonks are produced on an order-by-order basis, with each one having it's own unique set of features. With your order is included unlimited consultations with the designer and manufacturer concerning all relevant options (a representative from NAO will contact you shortly after your order). Price does not include shipping and handling.

...just kidding.

Anyway baby, if you're reading this, I love you so much. You have taken this old girl and her 4 kids and turned us into the family we never had. You're a patient daddy, a sweet husband, an amazing provider, a priesthood holder, an amazing artist, an incredible person and last but not least, my very best friend. I couldn't want more, and we love you so much!

Happy Birthday Michael!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ross Baygiss

As you know, Tiffany and Harper and I went to Las Vegas yesterday. The drive there went well, Harper slept most of the way until he heard Bohemian Rhapsody on the cd player, and then he was head banging and trying to snap even though his eyes were still closed. The kid is psycho for the Queen apparently, God Bless Her.

So we get there and hassle after hassle starts immediately, lines, people going on break who were supposed to meet with us but eventually, we got everything done we had to do. Whew, what a relief! Then we went to Mom and Dad's and hung out there for a couple of hours as I coveted all their new furniture. I wish I lived there NOW!!!, but I don't.

Then we went to dinner and began our drive home at like 7 last night...and that's when Harper decided he'd scream for 2 hours until he threw up. So much fun. We had to sing the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack to him since we didn't bring it and that's the only thing that calmed that kid down. Oh and then he was awake til 3 this morning rolling around in our bed while we tried to sleep. We even put his favorite movie on in our room, but he just rolled around, kicked us in the face and body slammed me 3252521cv23 times.

Now that I got that out, I'll dedicate today's song to my darlin one, the day before his birthday. Since today is September 25th, and today is actually more special to Mike than tomorrow (his real birthday)...I'll dedicate this song in honor of exactly WHY today is more special than tomorrow:

My husband has been known to play Halo with his old college buddies, headsets and all, for 20+ hours on his weekends (before the baby came). These are adults mind you, and ALL of them are awesome guys with jobs and educations and families, one of them is a DOCTOR (well he's in his residency) but either's actually endearing for me to see him "play" with his friends. They're all good guys, so it works for me.

Darlin, you know I love you. If you want it...we'll go get it tonight because that's just how big my heart is.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Song #2 - Wonderboy by Tenacious D, video by Ryan Chase & Pals

Since you all loved the Saturday Is A Special Day, I thought for the 2nd day of the "countdown til Mike's old" should include another of the videos by the same guy who made that video.

It is a song we love in this family, every kid knows every word, and on road trips, it warms our hearts to hear all of our kids (sans Harper just yet) singing it loudly and proudly...

Darlin, I dedicate this to you...except the "grab his scrote" part...that's just sick.

On my way to Vegas, yo. See ya'll tonight!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Big Three Oh

My darlin' husband is 30 on Wednesday. Yep, the old man is getting old, and in preparation for the day, I'll sing one song per day to him starting today with this grand anthem to love by Donny Osmond, Sacred Emotion.

I think they filmed this in the salt flats, and Donny sure looks handsome in his "cool" clothes. I'm tellin you, I've had a mad crush on Donny ever since I was born on this earth with a body, and probably before then. I used to have the Donny and Marie barbie dolls with thier purple/pink/blue tango outfits...gorgeous! But even though I have this crush, I love my Michael more than anyone including Donny Osmond (even when he's dressed like Joseph singing Close Every Door...and that's a LOT)

3 days left of your roaring 20's baby!


Tiffany and Michael like it at the end when they, as they so put it, "break it down" at :57 left to go in the song...aka, the end when there's just a drum machine and them singing. I admit, this was my favorite part too when it came out and I am not ashamed to admit I can sing every single part and word and note that Donny utters in this song. Don't be hatin.

Saturday Is A Special Day

Taylor inspired me this morning to post on our lovely afternoon yesterday.

It started out normal, the clouds outside were thick and we'd just opened our eyes and in walked Harper...naked. I imagine he'd thought himself pretty clever, taking off his own diaper and all, but he'd apparently discovered that OOO LOOK! This thing down there squirts water stuff! ALSO! WHEN I MOVE THIS WAY AND THAT!!! IT SPRAYS ALL OVER THE FLOOR AND WALLS!!!

Then we got everyone else up to start their chores, and I won't scare you with the details, but we did all of the things in the Saturday song from the Children's songbook, including but not limited to:

  • Clean the house
  • shop at the store
  • brush our clothes
  • shine our shoes
  • trimming our nails
  • shampoo our hair
All of this took approximately 10.5 hours to complete. Anybody else have a "fun" time having your kids get their kids to do their jobs?

Also, here's a fun short movie to watch.

the end.

Friday, September 21, 2007

All You Vegas People

I'm coming up to Vegas on Monday morning for a meeting at the courthouse, anyone want to do lunch afterward?

...oh yeah, that's all moved too! Stinkers! I was gonna say let's hit Macayos! Hey mom, let's do Macayos at 11:30!!!

New Girlie Diet Blog!!!

We Ain't Fat...We Fluffy!!!

Eliza, Mandy and I started a blog to keep track of recipes, weight-loss goals, crazy diet stories, girl gossip and lots more fun stuff!!! If you want to be a part of it, send me your email address and I'll invite you since we'd like it to remain "invite only". That way, we can feel safe exposing things like the number of strawberry vanilla bean cupcakes we shoved in our mouths last night, or how many bags of doritoes we crammed down our gullets for breakfast this morning.

mikeandalli [at] gmail dot com

One more thing, you don't have to be just family to join, all of our friends are welcome too!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sick version 1.5

If you haven't recently tried Sick v1.5, you really should. It comes in a special kit for one adult and one infant. First the baby gets it then you (the motherboard) get it. It's really easy to use and it apparently installs itself on your physical hard drive when you're not looking. Next, it spreads all over your body til you feel like you've been beat down by the business end of a redwood tree. Eventually, it starts to raise the temperature of your body until your eyes feel like they're steaming and then comes the best part. The hallucinations and mumbling! This part is fun for the rest of the family, especially when you can't remember any of their names, but not to worry, they'll trash your house even though you don't recall who they are for a period of time. As we're deep into it, the baby starts to get better, which would seem like a GOOD THING right? Well, it's not but let me explain why. When the baby, or .5 part, is sick, he stays laying with you, he wants to be held, he wants to have 53 baths per day which equal easy time for you even though there is barf. Less movement, less maintenance, more snuggling, more naps. So when the adult (me) finally wakes up with a 103.2 temperature today, the baby is feeling better and everyone including the husband leaves for school and work leaving you with an active baby who wants to play like he hasn't ever played before, and whine like he's starving (probably because he is since he didn't eat for 4 days almost) and all you want to do is lay in bed and mock Rachel Ray and cry during commercials because you feel like crap, you start to wonder who manufactures such evil software. Oh and the most fun part is how your voice is gone, so your baby thinks it's hilarious to hit you in the face because your scary hoarse demon voice freaks him out. Oh, and I feel like I look like this:

So anyone know how to uninstall Sick v1.5? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Love Kirby???

In honor of TLAP day (talk like a pirate day) there is a movie being released with none other than Kirby, our favorite LDS Son of Provo!


there's actually a screening here and in SLC and a few more places today. It's called Pirates of the Great Salt Lake. Here are some myspace videos with several clips.

Go see! All of ye! Arghhhh!!!

Arghhhh...the blood of it!!!

Ahoy ye skurvy dogs and bilge rats!!! Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day mateys!!!

For the last 4 years or so, it's been a favorite day of mine! Today is the day you get to swashbuckle, and plunder and kidnap, well...maybe not kidnap, but you get the picture.

Today is the day my kids come home from school and I give them their list of chores printed out on brown paper. Chores like "Swab the Deck!" and "Walk The Plank!" etc. Today is also the day we have fish n'chips, mmmmmm. I put a little note to each of them written in piratese with their nicknames on them. Jonah's happens to be "Ugly Frank Lofton" this year. Good stuff.

We'll finish off the evening with a treasure hunt that always leads to some type of treasure that we've hidden in this awesome authentic looking treasure chest I got at Cost Plus 3 years ago.

Now, fer the best parrrrrt...all day t'day mateys, ye must talk like a pirate! Grab yer loved ones smartly and have fun with it! Arghhh, I got much swabbin' t'take care of this foggy morn', so I must be sailin' on! Drink up me hearties yo ho!

P.S. - the title of this post is dedicated to Eric Nelson, who at the tender age of 3 made this little phrase up. We still really don't know where he got it from.

P.S.S. - click on the links in the post for more fun.

P.P.S.S. - If you say "Piratitude" it's nearly impossible to NOT sound like a pirate. Try it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Of Course I've Been Too Close To See, The Answer's Right In Front Of Me!!!

Everytime the kids go back to school, it is also the time that the weather gets cool which means school germs and sickness. Now don't get me wrong, of all of the seasons, Fall is my most favorite (just like Grape...inside joke there...sorry) not only because of the fact that I look absolutely ravishing in scarves and sweaters, but because that means we're approaching 3 awesome holidays that line up in a row! One per month! I like to think that Heavenly Father felt bad for the scorching summer heat in Vegas + the fact that my kids all come home with ebola type diseases from school immediately after starting back again, and that's why he gave us October, November and December and their fantastic holidays.

So last night, Eliza and I had planned to do some digi-blogging/graphic design work at night after the kids went to bed, but just as she called me to tell me she had a quiet house:

Harper barfed all over his bed.

Want to know what my night was like? Just rinse and repeat the above statement 3525 times.

Now today, he's just flat out grouchy. I handed him his favorite sugar free shortbread cookies that have a hole in them and as he was getting off the couch, one of them chipped a little bit, and seriously, I'm talking about a sliver the size of a staple...and he lost his damn mind people. There was thrashing and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! Thanks to the goodness I don't have neighbors within earshot or I'm certain I'd have been arrested.

Anyway, we went to the store for popcicles and the only ones they had were these generic sugar free lime numbers. It said "Fruity Yum Pops!" on the packaging, but what it should have spelled was "Syrupy Carpet Stainers!" in even bolder letters, right at the top. I knew they'd be horrible, but the child was dying, or so he thought.

Now he's sitting in his papasan chair watching Jack, and he's surrounded by the toys he dragged over loves best:

  • his blue chair with attached lampstand
  • his piano
  • his most favorite green blankie/dee-dee
  • and Casey's bicycle helmet (???)

If I can get this guy to nap, things will definately go up a couple of digits on the CRAP-O-METER that I use to gauge my days, but right now, it's at about a 1.5 (1 being horrible-10 being spectaculacious!)

Moral of the story:

When buying popcicle treats at the store, Caveat Emptor people...Caveat Emptor.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Crack Cocaine + CTR 5'ers = Suicide Mission

Church yesterday was a riot! No was a full on violent riot. We had 9 of our 5 year olds show up and they were all on what appeared to be the "Crack Cocaine". After we got them all tied down situated in their little chairs, we proceeded to bribe them with memorizing these two phrases:

  1. Always remember Jesus Christ
  2. Obey His commandments got it! More Crack Cocaine aka candy.

Afterwards, we went home and changed and headed out to the beach, but not before tossing together some sandwiches and everybody's favorite Fall Snack Mix:

Yep! It's the Oblad favorite pasttime of putting one bag of candy corns with a jar of peanuts. I usually don't like candy corn, or any of those candy corn flavored items you see in the fall (pumpkins etc.) but when they're mixed in with some salty peanuts, you just don't get much better than that! Now the argument we have quite often amongst Oblad siblings/parents is what ratio of peanuts to candy corn you put in your mouth for maximum flavor happy! So after hours and hours of intense trials, I've come to believe that one candy corn with 2 peanuts is best. Try it yourself! Ps, if you don't like Payday bars, don't try this one at home. It tastes just like a Payday!

One more thing, I have to tell you. My husband brought me flowers for our anniversary, and I made him big fat honkin' peanut butter cookies. Muy...muy delicioso. I love that man o'mine!

Now enjoy some pictures why dontcha?!? (notice the pictures are mainly of Jonah and Harper...and one of Casey? Well, the girls decided they were going to go walk around to look beach cruiser bikes. I think they should have just said "To look at boys"...what do you think?)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We Went To The Beach Today

and I'll post more pics tomorrow morning, but until then, I thought I'd share with you a few things that were spoken by my family at random moments during the day:

  • "I sure wish that lady's hair wasn't greasy"
  • "ew, did your bum just unzip?"
  • (said in all seriousness by Jonah after Casey was humming Lady Lumps by the Black Eyed Peas to himself) "So what do you think she's going to do with all that junk inside that trunk?" to which Casey shrugged and answered "I dunno, I always wonder that too"
  • "Mom, that wave just pulled my unda-pants off almost!"
  • "Cool, we'll just count that as your bath today"
...more to come.

Friday, September 14, 2007


As a young child, I had a sister who was only a year behind me in age. We, for the most part, played very well together. There were times we had our differences as most siblings do. I'll admit to doing a few mean things like the time Eric Driscoll and I were playing Star Wars in the backyard on the swingset, and Eliza wanted to play and of course, I was Princess Leia and Eric was Luke Skywalker. She got upset and wanted to still play, but I told her that she'd have to be Chewy. Yes, you heard me, Chewbacca. Back then, I thought this was hilarious, and to be honest, I still do. Poor mean Eliza. For that I will feel eternally entertained sorry. I really really will(not).

But the pranks were not one sided. Let me recount a story, a tale that takes us way back...back to a time when things were simpler and life wasn't so complicated...set your time machines for 1981. We were living in a little house in Las Vegas with our parents and our baby brother Taylor. Ashley wasn't even a thought back then.

Picture this, Christmas morning, we wake up to gifts galore. One of the major gifts was a huge 10 foot cardboard box that contained what we thought was a "chimney". Yes folks, a chimney. We were jumping around just thrilled over what we thought was the best present Santa could have brought two little girls...a chimney. It was actually a swingset...yeah. That's another story for another time, moving on...

...another of the gifts I received was this book called My Book About Me!!! by Dr. Seuss. Behold! Do you see it's glory? If you're not familiar with this book, let me take you inside of it. Each page held a spot for you to insert details about your own life.

It was an interactive journal, and even as a young child, I was very interested in writing and such. So when I saw that each page required my personal attention, I was stoked. Each page would say something like..."It is _____ steps from my front door to my mailbox!!!" or it would make a statement as exciting as "My most favorite animal is a ________!!!" Now trust me, when I'd see those blank spots followed by not only one exclamation point, but several! Even up to 3 sometimes??? Oh it was like the "Chimney" meant NOTHING to me in comparison. What chimney? Chimney who???

So I got right to work after present opening time was up. I got my little pencil and started to carefully fill out the pages. The first page wanted you to put a picture of yourself in it. I glued a school picture in. I went through every page after that with enough joy to fill a hot air balloon and a few hours later, and I mean hours...I reached the end. Not after carefully counting and double counting the aforementioned "steps from my front door to my mailbox" just so I could apparently write "Foot" in the blank instead of the actual number. I also made sure to carefully gaze into the bathroom mirror just to make sure I got the correct eye or hair color. I counted all my toys as requested, I named my favorite music and imaginary animals, I listed all the places I'd name it! If there was something to be known about Allison, well it was written right there in My Book About Me!!! Meanwhile...Eliza apparently did NOT get My Book About Me!!! and because of that fact, a storm began to brew.

Let's skip forward to a time in the future, the date I can truly not recall because I fear I've blocked it out of my memory. I believe I came home from school to find My Book About Me!!! not where I left it. Now let me backup to fill you in on one little detail. See, I'd come home from school and read My Book About Me!!! over and over again, carefully noting with wonder all of the interesting facts about myself. So you can imagine my disdain when I noticed it was gone. I searched under the bed, in the closet, I looked in every nook and cranny in my room. Suddenly, fear came over me. I think Eliza was in Kindergarten, making it so that she'd have been home without me during the day.

Intuitively, and guided by what I believe to be the spirit no less, I crept into her room. There was My Book About Me!!! sitting on her floor. My heart began to race as I opened the very first page.

Right there. Scribbled across the top of the page it said:

My Book About Me!!! My Name Is Allison E-L-I-Z-A!!!

Terror took over my body as I slowly turned through each page as she'd written things like:

My Favorite Color Is Blue!!! POOP

It is foot POOP steps from the front door to the mailbox!!!
It is foot POOP o'clock when I get up every morning!!!

My favorite breakfast is French toast!!! POOP!!!

That's right. I believe now, looking back, that she only knew how to write a few words, and to be honest...POOP!!! is pretty darn funny. Then though, this was the end of my world. My life was destroyed and many other dramatic emotions came over me like a tsunami.

Now, as we're adults, I'd pay $10,000 to have that book. To have it WITH the markings of my sister. She got me back for that Chewbacca stunt, oh yes she did. She got me back with POOP!!!



Eliza now says she only "scribbled" in said My Book About Me!!! and that it was infact the notorious Taylor who a few years later wrote POOP!!! in all of the spots. If indeed Taylor was the offender, you can see from my obvious trauma that I truly didn't notice that it had been a few years when the crime occurred...

I really want to find that book.

Eliza would like for me to expound on the "Foot" steps. In each one that said "It is ______ steps from my door to the first tree" and "It is ______ steps from the first tree to the mailbox" etc, I put "Foot" instead of a number. Don't ask me why, it made perfect sense at the time.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

H-A-Double L-O-Double U-Double E-N Spells Halloween!

Since the brother brought up the Halloween (I'd spell it out like ya'll do, but I'm in a hurry, I have a 14 month old monkey on my legs screaming), I thought I'd post a few of my most favorite Halloween things.

First of all, has anyone seen these glorious action figures?

Abra-ca-dabra, the halloween witch horse. She comes with her hat, a brush, a cape, and apparently this little darling has, according to the packaging, magnets on their feet. We all know what the brush/hat/cape is for, but one might ponder on the magnet feet. Ponder no longer, I have your answer. FRIDGE WALKIN'!!!

I'm sure they'd walk nicely up my car too but I'm afraid that might just push me over the edge. Moving on...Next I've got a special treat for you that every single year my kids think they will die without.

One time we bought one and it is apparently sound activated, so one day when I was making dinner or something in the house, I could hear this strange sequence of sound coming from my front porch. It went something like this:

clap clap clap

OoooOoOoooOO!!! (from the ghost)

BLOOD CURDLING SCREAM!!! (from the kids)

repeat 2413523 times.

My neighbors hated us.

Next is something I see at Michaels every year.

YAY! It's the Bag Of Skulls! Riddle me this, what exactly are you supposed to do with the bag of skulls? Is this something kids like in their trick-or-treat bags? Do you decorate your home with these lovely orbs? How about the church bag, do you pack them into your diaper bag and when a little one starts to scream through the meeting, should you hand him a little skull to play with? I'm confused, but they do look fun to squish/bite none the less.

So look what those lucky Japs get: (I can say Japs, my husband is 1/4 Japanese)

That's right, KitKat Pumpkins. I don't exactly know how or why, but it sounds so delicious to me right now I can hardly control myself. Those asians sure got it goin' on, am I right?!?

Next and lastly, I'll share with you a few pictures that I made all by myself to hang in my home for the season of Hallows Eve festivities, and I'd love to share them with you now:

First, the one I love to call "Hello Buzz? It's Kjersten! You are SUPER hot!"

Click it if you want to see it large, and I suggest you's spectacular.

I love this last one I call "Spooky Adventure Ladies" is of Kjersten and Eliza, and they're coming of what is dubbed "The Wildest Ride In The Wilderness"...and if THAT isn't frightening in itself, well then I just don't know what is. Enjoy:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mmmm, I Shall Eat 22345 of These Tonight

I was preparing our FHE for tonight and I came across this awesome recipe for Hannukah Doughnut Balls that I'm going to make for our refreshment after the lesson. They look like Aebleskivers, but they're more doughy, less pancakey:

Hanukkah Doughnut Balls

2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil for deep frying
1 cup powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, eggs, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt until well blended. (The batter will be soft.) Heat oil in deep skillet until it is hot enough to fry a 1-inch cube of bread in 1 minute. Carefully place dough by tablespoons into the oil. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. When all doughnuts are cooked, pour powdered sugar into a plastic or paper bag. Add a few doughnuts at a time, close bag and shake gently until well coated. Serve warm. Makes 25.

from the Lion House recipes

I think I may roll some in cinnamon sugar, and drizzle a couple with chocolate, oh and when they're hot, I could put some of my strawberry freezer jam on them with butter!!! Holy. I can hardly wait.

By the way, have you all visited the Deseret Book site's FHE lesson page? Um hello, it makes FHE nearly effortless. When it is the kids turn to do lessons, I print one of these out and they study it and add their own words to it, but either way, it's awesome. Also, go here to find the new site for these same lessons! So fun!

Not Just Another Monday Morning

I woke up this morning to see Michael shaving and when he noticed me stirring, he looked over and smiled. I'd opened the window next to my bed the night before and the cool air of the morning left the tiniest little chill on my cheeks. The boys were giggling outside with their baseball mitts and I hardly cared that they were playing catch at 7 am because they sounded so happy. I looked at the trees out my window and as I breathed in the crisp air I remembered that today was our anniversary.

I've learned a few really hard lessons over the years, and some really good ones as well. Most of these lessons came because of situations I was put in, or put myself in, but always, I come out of them taking something valuable with me. One of these lessons was the one that taught me that I am worth more than I thought I was.

Michael sees who I really am. He treats me like I'm good. He doesn't question my personal decisions because he knows I'm prayerful about them. He knows I spend time with my kids, he knows that I take care of my family, he knows that I go to the temple and he loves that about me. I don't have to have prove that I do good things for him to treat me nicely. He loves me when I'm sad, or frustrated, and he doesn't offer unwanted advice. He listens when I tell him how I feel without an "I told you so" or a single mocking tone out of him. He is my best friend, and he makes me want to be a better person. He knows me and loves me for who I am now. He knows the stories of who I was years ago and he is the first one to tell me that I'm more colorful to him because of my scars and my past. He can see me for who I am today, not for who I was back then.

He is such a good example to our kids. He has taught them to help me, to love me, to compliment me, to be greatful, to be patient, to be loving, and to value family time. He taught them to listen to me and how to speak kindly to me. When I make them all sit for family home evening every single monday night, he gathers them together and they listen to him. When we eat dinner at the table every night, he will take the reigns and ask someone to pray because he honors his priesthood. We go to bed together every night, and when I look up from my scriptures and see him reading his, it warms me like something I cannot even describe.

He comes home from work every day and kisses me first. He plays with the kids and helps them with their homework. He spends every free second with all of us. Every one of our kids feels loved, and when they kiss us both goodnight, we feel loved back.

Michael hasn't made me a better person, he's allowed me to be myself. In his eyes, I am perfect. That alone has changed my life.

That being said, here's a lovely little video that made me think of him:

Friday, September 7, 2007

Calgon, Take Me Away!

Since I started being the stay at home mom again, it's been hard to get back in the swing of the daily routine of laundry/cleaning/play time with the baby/errands/scripture study/lesson preparation/cooking/shopping. Don't get me wrong, I am the happiest girl in the world now that I get to do this again, but I will be the first to admit, I fell out of the habit these last 3 years I've been out of the house. Back then I'd stay up really late finishing all the chores, and get like 4-5 hours of sleep if I was lucky. So lately, I started setting a daily goal sheet. Not a "list" of things to get done, that "list" of stuff to do leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I used to be in a situation where instead of me being able to be in charge of my own house and daily schedule, I'd wake up to a daily "list" with no "Dear Alli" or "thank you" or "love ya!", but you get the picture.

Anyway, I know that I work better when I'm setting my own personal goals and schedule, so that's what I did. By 10 o'clock, kitchen done, sink emptied, floor swept and dinner for that night planned out. If I don't have all the dinner food I need, then I get ready to go to the store before Harper's noon nap. Laundry obviously starts early so my house doesn't get too hot in the afternoon, and with 7 of us, there are 2-3 loads every day. Yay teenagers and their towels! Anyway, you get what I'm saying. A very regimented schedule. Oh and my favorite part is when I can call Eliza or whomever and talk on the phone while I'm getting my kitchen done. I've always been a fan of that.

Anyway, today, Harper was eating his breakfast, and all the kids had finally gotten out the door to school and Mike was just driving away when I stood up and said outloud to nobody at all "Ok, let's get this kitchen started" and no sooner had it left my lips when Harper stood up and walked into the kitchen and opened the dishwasher. Coincidence? Probably not.

Moral of the story:

Babies make awesome slaves.

ps, it's Mackenzie's 13th birthday today!!! Go wish her a happy birthday HERE! Can you believe I have 2 teenagers (girls at that!), 2 tweenagers (boys at that!) and a toddler. Good thing I like them all right?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Flipping (The Heck) Out

For any of you who watch Flipping Out, know this. The guy I worked for from December til May was exactly like him. I'd totally go back working for him but we've decided that I need to stay home with our kids. Also, know this, I loved working as the assistant and right hand man of a massive developer/ocd freak. I loved it. But you see what those people on that show go through? So much stress. Not because of the business, I LOVE the business, I'm good at it, I love working in the renovation/construction/real estate business, but not when the guy who runs the company is straight up crazy and uses psychics to bless the house.

That being said, I dreamed last night that Mike was designing the website, and I was in real estate again. If only.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

So I'm about to show you why my geeky self is so excited lately. I've been exploring the heavens. That's right people, just like Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon. Thank you Mr. Google! Thank you Mr. Universe! I love your new baby!!!

Teaching By Faith

Today I was studying for my class on Sunday, and came across the article in this month's Ensign about Teaching By Faith. As I was sitting there in the quiet house while Harper was sleeping, and trying my darndest to figure out how to get our class to actually absorb what we're saying, I started thinking about our current calling. Mike and I have 6-10 (depending on the week) 5 year olds BUT! we have what the primary president calls "The Challenging Group". See, we have 2 who are on A.D.D. meds, one who has anger issues that his family refuses to acknowlege, one little girl with Downs Syndrome and a couple of little girls who think that they need to pretend they are babies and suck their thumbs and talk like infants. Don't get me wrong, I really do honestly love these kids and they are so much fun, but how do I "teach" them. I've taught young women, the relief society women and have been in nursery a zillion years, and I know that it's the basic principles of the gospel that they need to hear when they're little, but I'd really like these kids to learn from us while they're with us. Half the time our class is cracking up at one of the kids who decides to do an impromptu dance, or Mike and I are stifling a laugh because they all seem to think the answer to every question is "Heavenly Father!!!" or "Jesus!!!". For example:

US: Hey guys, who is this? (we hold up a picture of Pres. Hinckley)

They all raise their hands eagerly. We call on one or two who always reply:

"HEAVENLY FATHER!" or "JESUS!" and if we say "close, but not quite...anybody else?" they yell "Jesus CHRIST!!!" as if that's what makes a huge difference.

Now, these kids are all from good strong families mostly, and we have the daughter of our Stake President in our ward, and a couple of them have parents in our Relief Society Pres and Elder's Quorum Pres, so I know they're being taught at home. It's just amazing to me what kids say sometimes. Kind of like how one time Tiffany told her kindergarten teacher that I lock her in her room and make her eat out of a shoe. Or how Mackenzie once told Miss Kris (her pre-school teacher) that I spank her until she cleans our whole house every day. This was at age 4 mind you. She vehemently denied this of course...but I digress. ( I do that a lot lately )

So back to my thoughts on the lesson. Mike's first teaching calling is this one. He studies the manual and takes notes, marks scriptures, the whole nine yards, and every week we end up teaching the lesson almost by the seat of our pants when the "outline" we've drawn up seems to bore them.

See, I'm very well used to teaching, and I expect this. I expect to wing it. I expect to change it up, to make them listen by making sure they stay involved, but Mike feels guilty because we're not covering every point in the manual. And here's my question for you. Do you all feel like you're doing the same thing? How do I explain to my husband that he's not doing a bad job, on the contrary, he's doing an awesome job. Is it wrong for us to teach this way? I feel bad that he feels bad about these kids not "learning"...or so he thinks. What are your thoughts on this?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Trader Joe + Alli = TLA

Hey guess what. So we love Trader Joe's. I'm talking L-O-V-E people. Like makey outey kind of affection. I'll admit, I started going when I lived in Seattle because all of my fellow hairdressing hipster friends were doing it and I had to see what was in this place. I'd always shunned it previously in Las Vegas because my friend Diana shopped there because her mom told her it was good for her, and they were straight up crazy people. Ya'll remember the Rouws. Yep, I love those people like they are my own, but don't get me started on their craziness. They rock. Anyway, I remember Diana telling me about the organic toothpaste and the organic this and that and usually by the time she was describing what she thought were the benefits of brushing your teeth with what tasted to me like swamp scum, I was off thinking about how bad I wanted In-And-Out or something. I couldn't take food type advice from people who slathered their ham sandwiches with a fat schmear of (un)delicious Soyannaise. So yeah, anyway, I went there in Seattle. Oh. My. Holy. Pita chips and salsa and organic burritos that make you want to kiss every mexican grandma in the world...people, even then I liked Trader Joe's a whole bunch... But I digress.

Anyway, my sister in law Amy, she and her boyfriend Seth had us over for dinner and she is young and unmarried, and oh so hip with her live in boyfriend who is smart and cute and all, and she asked us if we'd care for some spinach artichoke dip. Hot dip. With cheese. And dip. Did I mention the cheese? The Cheesy Dip?

So in no less than 3 minutes, we had pita triangles and the most delicious dip in front of us. May I interject here that I did no less than lick the bowl when we had finished it all? I certainly did...and proudly at that.

So I'm an addict, a Trader Joe's addict. I love it so much, and I'd buy their clothes if they sold hempy inexpensive long as they carry that $1.99 Spinach Artichoke Dip, I'll shine their cute little tree huggin' shoes til they can't shine no mo! (can you shine birkenstocks? hmm....)

And the moral of this story is:

I already loved Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's, but now that I'm fully almost engaged to Mr. Trader...I scare my 34 year old self...ok???

that is all.

Laborious Diem

For Labor Day, we drove down to Taylor and Mandy's and spent the day with them in not so cool weathered San Diego. It was so ridiculously hot, we all agreed we'd rather be in Vegas. We had 108° weather with 70% humidity. Oh and then the 7 of us in their house and they have 4 people. Actually, the company was good, and the kids were having the best time ever, so I didn't even notice til we were on our way home and Mike and I were talking about the crazy heat.

I cut Jonah and Casey's hair finally, since they were both sasquatchian, and the babies hung out and kissed and had lil' snack parties on the table and chairs that they all love. Sweet Taylor made us all bbq, and he stood out there in the da baste, Tay. Thanks for that.

Oh and I took pictures of Taylor and Mandy back in April or May, and I sent them a few times via gmail, and apparently, they're still in my outbox on an old gmail account. I reopened the folder and found a really cute one of them. I'll send them again guys...sorry!

Here's one of them in black and white. So cute!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Jonah's new blog

after much begging and screaming about how his sisters have had a blog and he hasn't, I gave in and now Jonah has a shiny new Tony Hawk blog. Go check him out and add him to your blogroll! He'll probably blog 23523 times per day.

Jonah's Blog

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Blades Of Glory!

We just had the weekly movie party with the kids and their friends and this week we had Blades of Glory! I made about 10 dozen really awesome oatmeal raisin cookies and 6 dozen are left...I'm certain there will be yucky tummies tomorrow morning! It was hilarious, the kids + Mike were all laughing so hard, and Harper watched the entire thing while snuggling on blankets with Jonah and Casey on the floor by the T.V. So cute. Anyway...

...we had a huge rainstorm today, they said there was a tornado that touched down about 30 miles from our house, but we're on the side of a huge mountain, so we didn't get hit thankfully. But! We did get a buttload of rain, which we needed so I guess prayers really are answered!

Tiffany went to an 80's dance with a ton of kids from the ward, and she looked so stinkin cute! I'll upload the pics tonight and let her post them on her blog. She has many stories to tell about Matt Russo who is in our ward, and who is so dang cute. He's a good kid, so that makes Mike and I happy! Oh and we told her midnight right? Yep, kid came home at 10:55. GOOD GIRL TIFF!!!

Anyway, I'm going to bed, but I'll let her blog the stories so be sure to visit her blog later!