Sunday, November 20, 2011

A few Collections of Pictures

Ben and I have been taking pictures using the RAW format on our camera. That means that my high quality desktop computer can not read them. I'm sure there is a way to download a program that will do that, but remember when I'm lazy? Me too. So here we are, a month since I've posted anything, and I finally have access to Ben's MAC. sigh... love. I put together a few collages of what we've been up to, most of which you've probably seen on good ol' facebook. But here they are anyway. Enjoy ;)

This is, as the collage states, the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower. It's pretty cool. We would have taken more pictures, but it's literally a tower that is 110' high, so our priorities while climbing were on making sure our children didn't die. But it's an amazing view of Monroe County. You can see why we love it here so much! And for the love- our boys are pretty dang cute :)

Here are the boys in their cute costumes. Hooray for felt, right? Grant had a little badge and star that is being covered up by his bag, but he's still cute! And Henry was a great candy pass-er-outer.

And here's the entire family (well, in separate pictures). We had so much at our Trunk or Treat!

Here is our cool looking house after Ben was thru with it! We finally bought a smoke machine and had a blast spookifying our little entry way. As far as trick or treat-ers... WHATEVER! We live on a cul-de-sac, but we're the 2nd house on the street off the main street. Well, everyone and their mom came to trick or treat on the main street, and we hardly got any people at our door! Sad. So anyone who did come to our house got a few handfuls of candy. I even gave a bag of candy to one of our college friends who lives in the dorms. But we had fun taking the boys down our street. Grant's first door that someone answered was funny. He went to step IN the house and tripped, thus face planting it in the entry way. We're so awesome at parenting that we started laughing. He was fine, but we thought that was a perfect way to trick or treat for the first time. Good job, Cletus :) We hope you all had a wonderful Halloween and that your bellies are primed for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Henry Ford Overload

A couple weeks ago, I met my mom in Michigan and we went to the Henry Ford/Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. I love this place- I have a lot of childhood memories from when I was younger, so it's really awesome to take my kids there now. Here are some photos from the trip. Enjoy :)

There was a "Wizard of Oz" exhibit in the museum- this was a part of the Kansas part of it.

I'm sad Ben hasn't been here yet, because there is SO MUCH about planes!

"My bologna has a first name..." This particular wiener mobile is from 1952- my mom says that's a good year... :)

More at the OZ exhibit.

A REAL LIFE turn table. Grant loved the train yard... weird... I know. 

Waiting in line for the wicked old carousel.

Old glass... cool.

I love two things about this picture- 1: the spinning wheel and 2: the way the window is propped open. Pretty awesome.

This is the OLDEST windmill in the United States.

The boys.

And what a great way to end the day - going back to the Oz Exhibit and watching a little bit of the movie in this awesome red arm chair.
We LOVE this place and you should check it out too!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ben the Magician!

This is keeping the boys busy lately- trying to figure out Ben's magical ways.

PLEASE excuse the night time mess that happens in our house. I'm sure everyone else's homes are spotless after a day full of playing, right?!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Picnik Love

If you haven't noticed by now, I like You can edit photos or combine them and make collages. It's pretty awesome. And the premium package is only $2/month! Woohoo! Today I learned how to use picnik to make prints. I'm really excited about the one I just sent into Sam's Club to be printed (only an hour to wait!!). Our home is pretty old. And it's a rental, so there isn't much we can do to fix it up. I've had a hard time trying to make it OUR HOME because of this. In the boy's bathroom (the one we let people use), there is an odd piece of wood with three hooks on it. It does not match anything, but it's mounted to the wall. We use all the time so it's not like it's useless. We also have Ben's teacher (now colleague) stay with us when he's in town and uses said bathroom. So this is what is being printed right now- soon to be put on a canvas and mod podged. 

YEAH! I'm so excited. I'll post pictures when it's hanging. (so maybe tonight??) Is this lame? If so- I'll not hang it and only have wasted $3. I'm basically giggling right now as I look at it. Enjoy your weekend!

Here it is all done. A little darker than I'd like- but I love it! 
I still need to fix the edges and I'm thinking of how to do that. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Making dinner in this house seems to be something I'm not very good at. You can add that to my list! I found this pretty simple dinner that I'd share and tell you what I did to make it better! 

The recipe is called Chicken Enchilada Puffs and I found it on a blog called TidyMom. 
The recipe calls for 6 ingredients:
1 package jumbo crescent rolls 
3 oz cream cheese 
1/2 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese 
3/4 cup cooked chicken (diced or shredded) 
1/3 cup enchilada or taco sauce 
2 teaspoons enchilada or taco seasoning mix 
1/4 cup Mexican shredded cheese for sprinkling 

What I did to make it better (or a tad bit healthier) and CHEAPER 
(meaning- STORE BRANDS BABY!) was this: 
-Less/reduced fat rolls 
-3 oz Neufchatel 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese 
-2 chicken breast cutlets- so hardly any chicken 
-I forgot to add the cheese till the end, so YEAH! No cheese fat in ours and it worked out just fine! 
-AND I added an entire package of Kroger (store brand) Mexican Style Frozen Vegetables. 
**These frozen veggie mixes are now my favorite thing to cook with. I know that there is nothing like FRESH veggies- but the fact that these are the kind of veggies one would put in a Mexican dish is AWESOME! They also have Italian Style, Asian Style, Stir Fry, and MORE! I'm so excited. 

This dinner was awesome and because I added the veggies, it made it so I now have left over mix in my fridge for a taco or something tomorrow. So simple. So yummy. Grant LOVED it and Henry- well- he picked at the bread. 
I don't know what to feed him............................ 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good and Bad

I've been struggling lately with feeling like a good person/mom. Sometimes I feel like I'm a bad mom. My kids probably watch more movies than they need to. While we have a quasi schedule, it's not like everyone's I see. I loathe giving baths, so I don't do it everyday (and I make Ben give them baths). We eat meat- and more than maybe some would like, but it's not the only thing we eat. My boys are CRAZY! They run away when ever they get the chance (why did Henry have to follow in his brothers footsteps!?). Grant's not in a pre-school and I've been slacking on my plan to do home school pre-school (we do things every now and then). I started working about 1-2 days a week.  I probably sit in front of the computer more than I should- and I'm trying to make sure I am only on it when the boys are napping/sleeping.  I hate doing the dishes, and I'm not the greatest at cleaning things up right away. My personal scripture study and prayers have been at a low I'd rather not think about.

With all that said, it's not a pity party. I've been able to sit and think about things that I think I and our family do well. I LOVE doing laundry. I love the smell of clean laundry and I'm fairly good about getting it folded right away (I say this with two loads on my couch right now... hahaha). My home is not a disaster, but it most certainly looks like we live in it. And to be honest- I don't know how well I'd enjoy the "sterile" look of cleanliness- I don't know how mom's are able to keep such nice looking homes. Part of me thinks that something/one gets neglected. And while I have very crazy children, they have some of the best manners I've seen. And that IS a result of my trying to teach them something. In the morning, Grant says, "Good Morning, Mom! How are you?" Then I'll answer and he then says, "I'm doing well, thanks, how are you?" That makes me so happy. They always say please and thank you. They are great kids- crazy- but great. My husband is awesome. He loves me and he loves our kids, and all of us know it.

So the deal is this: no one is perfect. I'm the farthest thing from it- but I'm trying.  I think it is important to be concerned about what YOU (me) are doing to be better, and about your own standing with the Lord. I feel guilty enough from my own conscience- I don't need other people judging me. And really- at the end of the day- I think what's also important is if you are worthy to go to the temple- AND if you are- are you going??? How many people spew what others should and shouldn't be doing- but then aren't attending the temple? Isn't' that what's most important? Isn't that we're all trying to be worthy to be a part of? Let's stop the judging (me included!!!!!!!!) and start making sure we are ALL at the temple as OFTEN as we can. 

Anyway, I'm off to go buy things for a Pinterest craft! hahaha


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Halloween Happiness (and stuff)


I've been getting WAY TOO excited about Halloween over here. Can you tell?

The homemade pumpkins are from THIS website. The Pumpkin Pancakes can be found HERE. And the cookies can be found HERE. I also made some banana pumpkin muffins. All three of the recipes were made with one LARGE CAN of pumpkin puree. Awesome, right!?

With all of THAT said, I've discovered PINTEREST. I was really nervous that it would take over my life. I told Ben on a few different occasions how I wasn't sure if I was going to join, but I gave in. While it HAS taken over my life, I have also USED tons of things (in the week I've been a part of it) that I've found. All the creations from this post were pinterest finds. If you are not on Pinterest- beware. It WILL take over your life, but it's so amazing, it is worth it. What is it?? It's basically a social online bookmarking website. Pretty awesome. 

Another thing- I have a small house. The majority of my things don't have a home, so sometimes (all the time?) I feel overwhelmed by the clutter that takes over. My kitchen has very little counter space & I've tried a few different ways to keep produce out of the fridge, but I have still been short on space. Then on pinterest I saw an idea about hanging baskets on the wall. I didn't feel like going out and buying any new ones (because I'm cheap! Surprise!!) and I remembered I had some left over wire baskets from our metal shelves that I am not using. I decided to add those to the little wall space I have in my kitchen. I also hung up my pot holders that REALLY do take up space in my small drawer. The spices on top of my stove hood is something I've been doing for a while. Those are IKEA containers with magnets on the bottom. I originally bought the metal magnetic bars, but I had no space to put them! Here is my kind of over crowded stove area! I love it. When Ben saw the baskets, he said, "Okaaay." haha... Oh well- I'm the one making food on the stove.

Well- I hope everyone is doing well. I have some AWESOME pictures of the boys from the past week or so, but they are all in RAW format and they won't upload to our awesome PC.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm 12 again

Sometimes I feel just like that... 12 again.

With no particular details, I hate feeling left out. Some days I feel like I am perfectly happy here, then other days I wish I had my friends from college here with me. I miss having a best friend. Someone to call to do anything with. Now that I don't have that (did I ever, really?), I feel like the girl with glasses and pants too short that no one wants to hang out with when I ask anyone to do anything.

On a brighter note, Henry likes to give me hugs on his own now. Grant is getting so smart and his vocabulary and word choice & arrangement (is that what I mean to say) is pretty amazing. Now- if they'll just calm down a little, I might begin to think about when we want to have another child (a year? two?), until then- I'm grateful I have a very part time job so that I'm able to get away and talk to adults (and junior high kids... is that better than a 2 & 4 yr old?) and make some grocery money. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Catch Up Part 2 (or 3)... DISNEYLAND

We love Disneyland. 
I didn't think I'd love going over and over again, but I don't really get tired of it. I mostly love California Adventure (but these pictures are from the Disneyland day). And I love that the boys have such a blast. Isn't that what it's all about? 

The Castle. Grant loves the castle (can you tell?)

TEA CUPS! This was so fun with all four of us.

Grant's favorite thing (other than meeting Mickey Mouse) is the roller coaster in Toon Town. You'd never guess with how he covers his ears whenever something loud is heard. 

And they were SO exhausted by the end of the day! These cute boys had a blast!

Monday, September 5, 2011

More California.

One of the days in California, we went to lunch with Ben's grandma and then played at her house afterward. It was fun, and I had so much fun with the camera. 

Basically we played with bubbles the entire time.

While this is out of order, our last morning I made Ben take me to Paramount Ranch. I was really excited because this is the place they filmed Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (which I am currently watching via Netflix DVD).  Unfortunately, FORD was filming a commercial for the 2012 Explorer (or something)... so we could only walk along the perimeter of the ranch. It was still so fun (but wicked HOT).

 This is the train station that they build in the 3rd season.

And finally- DR QUINN'S OFFICE!! I'm such a dork, and I'm proud :)


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Catch Up PART 1

I didn't think we really had much planned this summer, but lo and behold- our summer is over with, and we were busy! Ben is now teaching his first semester of college and I am loving the lower stress associated with not being a student anymore. Now if I will only finish up my degree so we don't ever have to think about it anymore!

It's been super hot, so we have been inside, watching LOST. oops. It's so good, and we're almost done with the series. But we did take a break and go to California to spend our annual Mathews Family Vacation. It was so fun! We love Disneyland and California Adventure- we could go ever trip :) Enjoy these fun pictures from the beach. (Also- I'm too lazy to do any collages right now!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Second Chance

Remember that brocolli that looked like it was dying? 
(see last post)
Look what I found today!!


And here are some on the other plant. 
They still look like they've been attacked, but we'll see if these things make any progress.

I felt so cool going outside with my basket and snipping off the basil. I got about 3 cups worth today out of my 5-6 plants. So what did I do?

Make PESTO! of course!!

 If you've ever made pesto, you know how you need TONS of basil to make a decent amount. I froze the rest of the pesto in 5 TINY muffin cups. I figure I'll snip each week and continue to make some pesto. It's SO GOOD. And it is NUT FREE- as are all things in this household (usually!).