Wednesday, January 30, 2008


It has taken me a few days to figure out why I couldn't upload more pictures. I finally overcame my technical anxieties and did it! So some images from the Steven's extended family shoot will be up on my business website soon! check here

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Heart Hurts

My heart hurts because I will miss hearing the voice that has become so familiar to me as the word of the Lord. President Gordon B. Hinckley the prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints passed away yesterday. My first thought when I heard the news was happiness that he would be able to be with his wife who had already passed on and whom he missed so dearly. But as it sunk in and I felt the spirit , the tears started to come. I will miss his optimism and humor. I will miss his love and encouragement. What a life well lived. I started to think of my own life. How am I living. I realized that I had a lot to change, and that brought many more tears. The Holy Ghost took advantage of my humility to inform me that I needed to repent of many things. While I hate that feeling, it hurts. I know it is necessary in order for me to change and grow, so I have to be grateful for that. I thought it quite interesting that it was the death of our dear prophet that would bring on a change of heart for me. That even in death he has helped me draw closer to my Heavenly Father. I can't help but think of their sweet reunion. I can see it in my mind. His being welcomed back into the brotherhood and fellowship of all the prophets that have gone before him. I wish I were there to experience it. Don't worry, for the first time I am not anxious to leave this life. ha ha. Usually, I am anxious to leave this sin filled world to be with my Heavenly Father. Today, I feel strengthened to stop wanting to move on, and get to work, while it is my turn to work. I feel renewed energy to love and serve others. To give my life as our dear prophet did to loving and serving the Lord. My turn isn't over yet and I rejoice in that. So while my heart hurts, it is also filled with a great gratitude and love for the life of a man who gave to me a great example of how to live with great love and joy.
PS. My sister has some of the greatest quotes from President Hinkley here. I would love to hear yours

Friday, January 25, 2008

Someone is 30 Today!!!

and 30 is so HOT right now!
You are the best mom and wife. Such a Martha, but cooler. ha ha

I am sure you will have a fun day with Grant to entertain you!
and the cutest kid around to hang out with.

If I could give you anything for your birthday it would be hangin out with mom today. Of course I get to come too. a day filled with good food, mom stories, and laughter. I love her smile in this picture (she is hiding her braces). I know this will make you cry, but I want you to remember how much Mom loves you and thinks you are the greatest!!!! She misses you more than you miss her. She wishes she could be there for you, and spoil Cate along with the rest of us. But she knows you are in good hands with Grant and all of us.
Kelly, I love you, despite your gambling habits. ha ha. Laughing with you helps me not miss mom so much. I appreciate your layed back nature, your humor, and style. You are the kind of sister and friend everyone wishes they had. I am so blessed to have you and your family in my life!!! Have the best birthday ever!!!!! PS -be sure to check the mailbox today. You know I am a good gift giver!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One Lucky Dad

We all bundled up last night in the chilly 55 degree weather, to cheer on our Daddy! He was playing football with his work team. He was the oldest one out on the field, and the best player by far in our opinion. He also had the whitest legs. That's our Dad! We love him more than anything! Besides Mommy and Jesus of course. (wink)

Fiber Update

we are definitely living the high fiber life. In fact Jacob and Rachel's favorite saying right now is(that they think is so clever), "I'm poopin' like a rock star!" They make me laugh. As promised I am going to share my absolute favorite whole wheat pancake recipe. They are so incredible that you feel guilty. Like you are eating a dessert. Our favorite is to add blueberries. If you like you can use sugar free syrup, or pure maple syrup. To the ones above I added some buckwheat, hence the darker color. Although that is pretty close to the normal color anyway. So here it is...

-8 cups whole wheat flour (I freshly grind mine. Again you can add different grains and substitute a couple of cups of the 8 total). You can buy different grains at Sprouts, or of course many other locations. If you don't have a grinder, buy a whisper mill or borrow from someone. It is worth it!

-1/3 cup baking powder

-4 tsp. salt (try the brand "real" salt, so you get your trace minerals

-2 cups shortening (hmmm, could be why they are so good).

-2 cups powdered milk. (Have you ever heard of "morning moos"? It is very good.

Mix all ingredients together with a pastry blender. The attachment comes with most mixers (I reccommend the Bosch). If not the old fashion way would work. This makes a pretty large mix that I just put in a gallon zip loc. To make up a batch use 2 cups of the mix, 1 egg, and water to batter consistency. Batter should be thin. You want to heat up your griddle as hot as it can go. This is the key to good pancakes, if they are cooked to long they get rubbery. Grease up the grill however you want. Than pour it on. At this point you can just drop on top anything you want. You can have berries frozen in the freezer and just drop them on frozen. Than you flip them pretty quickly (bubbles forming in batter). OOh they are so yummy just hot off the grill. This recipe is such a great way to get your family starting to eat more fiber. They will never know they are eating 100% whole wheat. I promise. Every kid I have ever made them for, just can't get enough. So try them and see.

Also if you don't make your own bread you can still buy bread that has fiber. So many don't, even that say they are whole wheat. check the back. This one below is good. It has the consistency of white and isn't too dark and is high in fiber. My kids don't complain. Another one that I like better that is really soft and yummy is at Sams club in a two back. I believe it is Aunt Hatties as well. I need to go get more. It is really super good. I love other kinds better, but for kids that don't like wheat, these are great.

Good Luck, and here's to you being on your way to "ppopin' like a rock star". Go ahead sing it like the song party like a rock star. You know you want to. ha

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

something new!

I have been wanting to try some new locations that I have had my eye on. Do something more funky. I always have ready models so yesterday Rachel and I headed out for some fun together. I don't think I have ever taken my kids out around here and done a photo shoot. I need to do that. I couldn't get Jacob to come with me. He is next! I have some fun ideas. I love the smiling tin figure in the background. Love the colors. and of course love my model the best! We got lots of cat calls from people driving by (we weren't in the best area of town. ha ha).

Other fun things I am up to are......
Redocorating and updating the kids bedrooms. i can't wait to share. They are turning out soooo sooo cute. Rachel was wanting to add high energy bright colors, more teenager. I think these pictures will work in her room. Ikea was definitely the place to find fun accents for cheap too! This kind of thing is top on my most fun things to do in life. I spent alot of yesterday cleaning out bedrooms. How do kids do it?! How is it possible for me to take out hefty bags full of trash and goodwill? I really need to do this more often. Less is definitely more. You find really neat things at the bottom of kids drawers too. Jacob's collection of notes from girls is always entertaining. And now I know where all the girls ballet slippers have gone! It was like Christmas for Rebecca just moving her bed and finding all kinds of treasures. See, we are still in the Christmas spirit over here. Decorations and all. It is starting to get embarassing though when poeple come over. ha ha.
This morning I started a new violin student. It was so much fun. I don't have time in the afternoons to teach kids (for obvious reasons), but an adult during the day. PerFECT! So, I am doing my goal of always having one student. There are so many great things to do in life. It is so hard to pick and choose. My viola and cello (and violin for that matter) are just gathering dust. I need to work some time into my schedule for music. I need to start taking piano again. I really could be more productive I am sure of it!! What a laugh. I am really enjoying getting up with Dave to read and pray. Makes a big differnce, and so does exercise for me. I can definitely do better in the eating dept. Since I ate chocolate yesterday and for FHE dessert lemon blueberry cheesecake. But seriously, how could I pass up lemon blueberry cheesecake I ask you? Moderation. I still lost weight this week, and my goal is only a pound a week. Very doable for even me!
Well, I am off to cozy my daugher who is home sick, and make some lunch. Have a great day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The comfort of a true friend

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts, or measure words---but pouring them all right out--just as they are--chaff and grain together--certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them--keep what is worth keeping--and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

Dina Marie Mulock

This poem was sent to me today by my dear friend Nancy. She loves poetry and most of my favorite poems are ones that she has introduced me to. Thanks Nancy for being this kind of friend for me. Ti voglio bene.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My favorite this morning

(click on the picture to see these eyes up close. Wait until you see them in color!)
Whenever I am editing a photo shoot I get so excited! Each image is my favorite, until of course I edit the next image. I just love doing this! I am especially drawn to children and their beauty. Their eyes just draw me in. I love eyes. My favorite pictures are when they are the focal point. They really are the window to the soul. And children's souls are so pure. Added to their purity are other things depending on the child. In some there is sweetness, in others compassion. Others are sparkly and spunky. Others serious and sincere. I love them all. They are all perfect and beautiful in my eyes. The love that children radiate is one of the most wonderful things on this earth. Keeping that purity is the hard part.
One of my dearest friends, Nancy has 6 beautiful children and she is one of the best moms I have ever seen. Her oldest boy and second child has autism. He can not speak and is pretty much in his own world. Every time I talk with Nancy on the phone she has new "Grant stories". They can not take their eye off him for one minute. I am so filled with compassion for my friend when I speak to her and I can't help but say, "How do YOU DO IT?! I don't think I would be so happy and patient like you are." Her reply is always the same. "Are you kidding? He is the only child of mine that I don't have to worry about. He will make it for sure back to Heavenly Father." In other words, he will keep that purity that I am talking about. (Isn't she awesome!!!! I love you so much NANCY!) After hearing of her recent struggles with him, (they are comical if it isn't you dealing with them) I said to her, "Just think of after this life when Grant is whole and perfect. What joy you will have and what gratitude he will have for you. " When I told Dave what I said, his comment was, "When they see who Grant is, and how he changed their life and kept them on the right track they will probably be thanking him." All I have to say is, "where would we be without an eternal perspective? How would we deal with all the difficulties in life?" I am just so thankful that I do know about the gospel of Jesus Christ and that the Holy Ghost truly has confirmed to me that without a doubt it is true. That we really did live before we came here. We are the sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father that loves us beyond anything that we can comprehend. That this earth was created for us, to gain a body, to have these experiences, and to show our Heavenly Father that we will obey Him and have faith. I just can't wait for everything to be perfect again. I like perfect. I like everyone being happy, and everything clean and perfect. A mix between "MONK" (have you seen that show?) and Pollyanna. ha ha. Anyway, I just started out wanting to share this picture that I love above of Darla's little nephew and than off I went. Can't wait to show the rest! So have a perfect day! I think I will. I got up and read scriptures with Dave and prayed, was a nice mom for my kids this morning. Went to a kickbox class and I just called Dave and got permission to go to IKEA!! (in other words permission to buy some things). WOO-HOO! I told him that I like this scripture thing. It softens him up. Makes him weak to my beggings. ha ha.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy New Year

Ok so I am a tad behind. I still haven't shared my favorite Christmas pictures. I just sent out the last of my Christmas cards yesterday, and my Christmas decor is still up. What can I say. I am taking the keeping it Christmas all year very seriously. Another thing that I am taking seriously are a few new goals. I am finally ready to share them. I am finally ready to be held accountable I guess. So here it goes.
1. I HAVE TO START GOING TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR. I have no more excuses. I have plenty of time to myself during the day, I don't need to stay up late. Than just maybe I will be able to function before 10 am. I have gone to bed early the past 2 nights, and I feel fabulous this morning. I am filled with hope that I will be able to stick to this. Change my wicked ways.
2. Lose 15 pounds by May 1st. Dave turns 40 and we are going on a southern Carribean cruise (wanna come?) I have gotten out of my habit of exercising as regularly as I usually do, and getting older doesn't help either. I started a women's support group with my ward called SET (Sisters enduring together, ha ha). It is for weightloss/healthy living. We have met twice and it has been very motivating and exciting.
3. Read scriptures and pray with Dave every morning. See you don't have to be perfect (or anywhere close to it) to be a Relief Society president. I have never been able to do this. Mainly because of my evil late night ways. The being sick pregnant and have five kids didn't help either. But again, I really have no excuse now. My baby is 6 and 1/2. I can't believe it!
So there they are. For all the world to see. Maybe I should add taking down my Christmas decorations. I think I need a support group for that. ha. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 14, 2008

I like this.

"Two wolves live inside each of us," the old Indian said to two young men who had come to hear his wise counsel.

"One wolf is evil and destructive and hurtful," he continued. "The other wolf is good and kind and caring."

The two young men waited for the elder sage to speak further and, when he didn't, one finally asked: "How do you know which of the two wolves inside us will grow to be the strongest?"

The old man was waiting for the question. He replied in a voice heavy with meaning: "Whichever one you feed the most."

Just another reminder to me that it is my choice what I become. It takes a concentrated effort to overcome what comes natural. If I feed myself the crude and perverse stuff of the world, that is what I will become. There is so much good to be had. I am trying to develop an appetite for what will make me stronger spiritually. I need to think on this. What do I need to change in my daily diet. What am I feeding myself? Food for thought. Both wolves are so cute here though. I think that's how it can be even more deceiving. The world is making bad look good, and good look bad. and just so you know, i didn't take the picture of the wolves. ha ha.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Polar Express

What a fun idea! Up in Williams, Arizona there is an old train that runs year round up to the grand canyon. During the holiday season it changes into a magical train that goes to the north pole. Williams is a quaint mountain town. The perfect setting. We stayed in the cozy lodge next to this vintage train station. At 6pm with pajamas on and blankets around us we boarded the train being welcomed by the conductor and our own cook and elf. We had hot chocolate and cookies and read the story of the polar express. Dave really enjoyed the reading as you can see below. ha ha. Hundreds of people and excited kids and there is Dave. Mr Grinch. ha ha. I love the picture of the kids above. Gazing out the window at all the christmas lights getting closer to Santa's village.
We finally arrived at the North Pole. It really was magical. Then Santa came on the train. THE REAL SANTA! and gave each child a large bell.

Look at Lizzie's excited face waiting for her turn to talk to "THE REAL" Santa face to face. I love her shirt. It reads "I'm on the nice me."
Dave then perked up for the carols on the way back from the North Pole. While singing the 12 days of Christmas all the men had to stand up and do this action while singing "five golden rings." Dave was doing his funny deep falsetto voice. Look at the elf doing it behind him, and down below is our chef laying in the isle doing it! You should have seen his "lords a leaping" I tried to get a picture of it, I was laughing so hard.
We pulled back into the station and out we went into the cold snowy night. Like I said Magical. Doesn't it sound so cool and like the neatest thing to do at Christmas ever? Yes it does. Except I left out little details like. We were squished, the "hot" chocolate was cold and gross. The chocolate chip cookies were super hard. I had lost my voice and couldn't really sing. Rebecca was feeling motion sick and I kept having to go to the bathroom with her. The train broke down and we had to sit for an extra 1/2 hour and a part of that time all the electricity was out. The girls were fighting and crying about who gets to sit by the window. and I am pretty sure that our elf was an ex-convict. I know his ears are fake, and he smelled like beef and cheese. ha ha ha ha ha. But even with the details, it was still fun! It made it all the more memorable. Especially since who we were squished with were our wonderful friends the Lowrys and the Gardners. We were still Merry, and I won't ever forget the experience. I kept thinking that my Dad would love this, and think it is so cozy. After we got back to the Lodge we got some hot (really hot and yummy) cocoa and sat by the big fire in the Lodge's great room and just gazed and enjoyed! Thanks Lowrys for inviting us!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

more tahoe fun!

Of course the fun only lasted about half an hour. Then the blue lips, numb toes& fingers, and sore bum from too many bumpy rides down the hill set in. Dave finally had to announce that if one more person cried we were going home. So two minutes later to the car we went. But not before Leah took out one more kid. Poor Leah. These things always happen to her. I really hope she grows out of it. If not, you can gaurantee that she will be the girl that trips as she walks up to get her highschool diploma. She is so funny. So the wimpy Arizonians had to pack it up pretty quick. What a sad bunch we are. If it drops below 65 degrees we can't set foot out of doors. OK, so I should speak for myself. I am the biggest wimp of all. Snow is so beautiful. Why does it have to be so cold? How am I supposed to take pictures with frozen fingers I ask you. ha ha.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Home Again, home again, jiggidy jig.

this is where we have been. Cozy at my Dad's house in Tahoe.
This picture was taken Christmas day after opening presents and our belly's were full. My Dad with his dog Bettis. What a pair. Crack me up. We were always bugging my dad for snoring anytime we were watching t.v. that combined with Bettis passing gas was almost too much. ha ha. I have spent the majority of Christmas vacation in my pajamas and eating sugary foods. Time to get back to real life. Back to a schedule, the gym, and regular meals. I mean when school gets back in next monday. ha. I still have some partying left in me. I am thinking up some really great goals for the new year and trying to hurry and finish some of my projects that I wanted to get done in 2007. Like put all of my recipes on the computer on my cook'n program. I have lots more to share. I am not ready for the holidays to be over and in protest, I refuse to take down my Christmas tree! It just makes me too happy. Here Jacob is playing his new harry potter game for the Wii system that we got this Christmas. Very fun. There have been alot of sore arms around here from playing bowling, tennis, and boxing.
ps. Nice buns Leah. She is getting quite meaty. She is making us laugh every day with her obsession with meals. She insisted that when she ate at 4:30 last night it was lunch and at 6:30 she needed dinner. After breakfast one day she wanted to eat again because she felt that she had missed dinner the night before. Too funny. Jacob has taken to calling her porkchop. Why do brothers insist on teasing? I let her know that her figure is absolutely darling and perfect, but no more thirds at meals. ha ha. I need to show some restraint as well. But again, I am not quite done with my holidays. I still had to try all of these cupcakes today that Jenn who I visit teach gave me. She has been down in Beverly Hills the past two months training at "Sprinkles" which is a cupcake store. She is the manager for the one opening up at the end of this month in Scottsdale. THey are sinfully delicious. The red velvet was my favorite of this batch. The frosting was extraordinary. Aren't they pretty? I can't wait until the store opens. I definitely will be visiting teaching often! ha ha! Jenn also is a chef. Can you tell that I do the visiting teaching assignments. smile. Thank you Jenny!!!!!