Thursday, January 28, 2010

crazy busy

So, it has been a couple weeks since I've updated... I've been a slacker. And crazy busy. January is always a crazy month for us. This year more than usual though. So, I'm going to attempt to catch everyone up on the craziness... bear with me, this may be a record breaking long post.

Two saturdays ago was the busiest saturday I remember having in a long time. First and foremost, it was Tristyn's 17th birthday. Gosh, I love that girl. She brings me so much joy. I can't believe that she is 17. It's so strange how quickly they grow up. But I do enjoy it. I love my teenagers. It is so much fun being able to communicate with them on an adult level. We have many meaningful conversations and I'm so grateful for that. I have really lucked out with some amazing step kids. They have made the step-parenting thing very easy and natural for me. Tristyn and I have always had a great bond. Ever since the beginning when Thayne and I started dating. Any time I spend with her is great time. So, for her birthday, I spent the morning with her. She has been trying to grow her hair out for about 4 years. She just can't seem to get it to grow past her shoulders. That's why I thought that hair extensions would be the perfect gift for her. My friend and hair stylist, Jenny, gave us a great deal and did an amazing job. It was so much fun to sit and have girl talk all morning. 3 hours later... Tristyn's hair was down to her waist. It was a bit long so Jenny cut off a few inches so that Tristyn wouldn't accidently be tucking her hair into her pants. It looked amazing and I couldn't have been happier with the results... but most importantly, Tristyn was happy and couldn't stop smiling. It was worth every penny.
Sadly, I must report that there was a problem with the glue and most of the extensions have come out now. :( Tristyn has been really sad about it but thankfully, Jenny is able to get us in on Monday to get it fixed and restore the long luciousness that Tristyn loved so much. I am also going to learn how to do it so that I can fix it if there are any problems and so I can redo it every 3 months or so when it grows out.

During our salon time there was a baby shower going on for my friend Emily. Since I missed it I stopped by her house later to visit with her for a few minutes and give her the baby quilt I made for her. It was the first quilted quilt I'd ever made so it had some "charcter". But, I think that just makes it more fun. Emily loved it and agrees with my opinion on the character (much to my relief). It was so fun getting a chance to visit with her.

I also had another baby shower for my friend Cori. I hadn't seen Cori in such a long time and it was sad because in high school the two of us were attached at the hip. I have so many great memories with Cori and I was so excited to get to see her again. There were also quite a few people that we went to high school with so it was like a mini reuinion. It was a great way to spend my afternoon. I also made her a baby quilt... I call it my first one ever also because I made it at the same time as Emily's. It was made with lots of "character" too. :)

So, while I was out getting hair done and visiting old friends, Thayne was at home with Max helping my brother, Nathan, install new carpet in our basement. The kids all love the new carpet and are excited to repaint. We will be taking the kids to Lowe's on Saturday to pick out their paint colors. It is really exciting.

Max loved playing Twister on the new carpet.

Last, but not least, we went to see Thayne's dad, Craig at the VA Hospital. He had a massive heart attack. It started that Tuesday but he just thought he had the flu or something so he didn't go in until Friday when it became unbearable for him. He'd been having a heart attack for 4 days. It really is amazing that he is still alive. He was joking with us that people in his town call him the Maverick. I am happy to say that he is doing well and is recovering nicely. All of the doctors are amazed at how minimal the damage to heart was and how quickly he seems to be recovering.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

70 Years Old

I LOVE my house. It's charming, cozy & original. There aren't any other houses in my neighborhood that look like mine. It's also small - under 2000 sq. feet. I love that too. I don't need a lot of space. I don't want to have to clean a lot of space. We still have 5 bedrooms - plenty for our family of 7 and still room left for a guest bedroom. It's all I could ask for. EXCEPT, it's 70 years old. I know that's where it gets its charm but it's kinda a headache too. It's been well taken care of so when we moved in 4 years ago there really wasn't that much that we had to do. It was livable. Old but livable. We've slowly been working on updating it. The first big project was the upstairs bathroom. It's still not completely done but it is mostly. It has turned out beautiful and it will be awesome when we do get the last of the small details done. We also started painting the outside of our house a couple summers ago. That project got put on hold when Max was born. We have to scrape the old paint off and it's lead based so we can't do it with Max around. One of these days after it warms up maybe I'll send Max to my sister Blythe's for the weekend so we can get it done. I'm getting sick of a half painted house. But again, when it is finally done, it will be awesome. So, this weekend we started a new project. It's a lot easier than the bathroom or painting the entire house. It will be done a lot sooner too. I'm going to make sure of that. Thayne got a really good deal on carpet from a guy that he was doing some electrical work for. The carpet in the basement is HORRIBLE. The kids have been troopers for putting up with it. Today we pulled up the old stuff in the boys' room. What was under it was amazing.

Thayne's a pretty handy guy to have around. I can do whatever he can't so between the 2 of us, we've never had to hire anyone for any of the work we've done on our house.

The blue commercial grade carpet is what we've had. It wasn't even attached to the floor at all. Max loved pulling it back and picking at the pad underneath. We had to put an end to that. Too bad I never knew that underneath that pad Max loved picking at was a Gorgeous green & yellow checker board floor. Ick. Some of the things we've found in this house have really baffled us and this is one of them.

We're also going to paint the kids' rooms and update some of the electrical stuff. My deadline for it is the end of February. I'll let you know how that goes.

I also started a different kind of project today. TONS of my friends are having babies. I have 2 baby showers next saturday. I like to make gifts instead of buying them. I couldn't decide what to give to my friends for their babies. I have a couple of friends that make quilts and I've always loved them. They sell them but they aren't cheap. Plus, my motto is "If I can make it for less $, I won't buy it". So, inspired by my quilting friends, I started my first quilt today. It's probably way more detailed than I should have made it considering that it is my first but I can't go back now. I got quite a bit done and I'm happy with the results so far. I will post pictures after the baby showers so there is no risk of the recipients seeing them before they should.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza

I've had a lot of requests for my whole wheat pizza recipe so here it is:


  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings.
  5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.
It's super easy but does take some planning to give the dough enough time to rise. I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine does!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

1 down, 4 to go

We had our first birthday of the year yesterday. Jakson turned 11 and we had a great time celebrating his day with him. We told Jakson that we could do whatever he wanted. He decided that he wanted to go to D.I. so we went to 3 different ones. I know is sounds funny but D.I. is one of the kids favorite places to go. We got Jakson a basketball bag and Max some clothes. Kyle found some awesome skis and boots for $16. When we got home from our D.I. adventures, the boys watched a movie while Kassidy and I made dinner - homemade whole wheat pizza. It was delicious. Then we had brownies and ice cream while Jaks opened his presents - a movie (Remeber the Titans) and a new basketball.

Jakson's favorite dessert!

Jakson's face after eating his favorite dessert!

He couldn't wait to watch the movie so that's what we did to finish off the day. It was a simple and laid back day but we had a lot of fun and it was a nice change of pace after the craziness of the holidays. We love Jaskon and can't believe that he is growing up so fast.
So, this was actually today but I thought it was funny so I had to include it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The last day

2009 is officially over. Finally! Don't get me wrong - I had a great year. I'm taking away a lot of really good memories and experiences and I have A LOT that I'm thankful for. It was kinda tough too. And that is why I'm glad that it is finally over. I'm really looking forward to 2010 and I'm hoping that this year can be even better. Next year I hope to say, "2010 was a really great year!" No "it was tough" or "hard" or anything like that. Just "really great".

So, maybe the whole year wasn't Really Great but the last day was. I couldn't think of a better way to end the not-totally-great year. The day started out like any other day. Breakfast with Max, bathtime, a little bit of house work. Later in the morning, my sister Roxane stopped by with her kids for a few minutes. We had a quick little visit but it was good to see them. Then, my niece Kaitlyn came over. She had a big dance that she was going to and she wanted to look amazing. She asked me to do her hair and makeup for her. It's always so much fun hanging out with her. She has grown up so much and I can't believe she'll be 17 in a few days. She is adorable and I really can't take much credit for how amazing she looked when she left my house.


Later, Thayne and Max took a nap so they would be able to stay up late with everyone while my sister Blythe and I went to the grocery store. I don't think I've ever been to the grocery store on New Year's Eve before and I'm sure that I will avoid ever doing it again at any cost. It was CRAZY. But fun. To make the most of it and get out of there as fast as possible, while still looking good, we ran and twirled and leaped and rode around on the back of the grocery cart. I'm pretty sure that everyone thought that we had started celebrating the New Year a little early. :) Oh well. As soon as we started loading the groceries in the house my Brother Sam, his wife Roxy, and their girls Lily & Marah pulled up. They live about 6 hours away so we don't see them very often. Lily & Marah are the most perfect little girls you've ever seen. They are so sweet and fun. While Sam & I were in the kitchen competing to make the best dip my brother Nathan and his wife Ashley showed up. It was fun having 2 of my 3 brothers come since none of them were around for Christmas. Thayne set up the living room with strobe lights and black lights and music to dance with Lily & Marah. The girls loved it. Thayne couldn't leave the room without them following him and telling him to go dance with them... and Lily kept coming in the kitchen to tell me, "we're having a REAL party in there!" It was really funny. We had all planned on playing some games but it was so much fun just eating and hanging out that we never did get around to any games. We all ate ourselves sick and the consensus on the dip competition was that Sam's Jalepeno Dip tasted just as good as my Artichoke Dip. Sam may not be able to admit it but I will also admit that his was definitely just as good as mine. :)

Marah wanted to lay on Kassidy's "princess bed" and watch a movie. We all took turns sitting there with her. This was Sam & Blythe's turn.

Thayne painted the girls' finger and toenails. They loved it.

Lily helped paint Marah's and she thought it was great. Marah didn't seem to mind that she ended up with nail polish all over her fingers and toes.

Nate & Ashley were exhausted and crashed on the couch. Max helped Nathan massage Ashley's back.

Roxy & I took pictures and talked about photography a lot. She is an amazing photographer. She just started within the past year but she really takes amazing photos. These are her blogs: and

It was a lot of fun and I loved being able to spend some really good time with everyone. Thanks for making the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 awesome. I love you guys!