September 30, 2009

Berlin...growing up so fast!

Aww, time is flying by too quickly! She turned 3 months on the 17th! Isn't that crazy?! Maybe not for all of you, as it is for me! I wish I could just press PAUSE!

She's been rolling around and lifting herself up so well lately! She has become the most perfect sleeper ever! She goes to bed when Phil and I do...around 11ish everynight and wakes up anywhere between 9 and 11! Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?! She doesn't like her pacifier any more and just sucks on her fingers! At first it was sooo annoying, but when I learned that's why she was sleeping so great...I got over it fast!

Whenever I take pictures, my dumb flash flickers like a million times...I guess to keep the red eye out? Anyway, it makes her mad and by the time the camera takes a picture she's never smiling! I think it's hilarious!
Here's some of her "pissed off " looks:)

She's the cutest little "mad" person ever!

September 24, 2009


So I wasn't in the mood to make dinner or have another mess in my currently CLEAN it wasn't hard to talk Phil into taking us to Chilis! When Shavonne got wind of our plans...she also thought it was a terrific idea so Greg, her, and the kids came too!

The last time Shavonne and I were at Chilis (maybe a month ago), I had my 3 youngest and she had both her kids. We got the "eye" from several sweet looking couples! Anyway, while we were there, we donated money to fight childhood cancer and got to color some sweet pictures of "chiles"!

When we walked in tonight, we found them! There were soooo many of them and we actually spotted them! Sooo I took a picture:)

The one on top is of Seattles...doesn't she color well?
And these too are Madison's and Haven's...Our husbands were soo proud! I have to admit...Shavonne and I had fun reflecting on the lunch w/out husbands and still managing to color 3 chiles! Ahhhh, fun times:)

September 20, 2009

Fall is Here!

I LOVE this time of year! Yay! I love that I can open the windows again (not yet, but soon), plan parties, have an excuse to bake non-stop, and most of all decorate the house! I don't know why...but seriously ever since I was young my mom would do the same thing with our house and it would just "feel" so good to know that the seasons were changing!

So, it's safe to say that I'm keeping the traditions alive! Phil makes fun of me if I start to decorate for fall too early...especially when it's still 105+ outside during the day! In California I think it's allowed to start putting fall stuff up as soon as the kids start school! Sooo, I waited and waited...until today! After continual hints, to my sweet hubby, to climb into the attic and retrieve my "fall" stuff...he finally agreed today! Yay! I think anyone that knows Phil can hear his exact words..."Oh, here we go!" HA Ha! He acts like he's sooo put out at first and then when he sees how excited the kids and I get...he admits how much he loves this time of year too! He's just can't resist my decorative charm!)

I've heard WAYYY too many people complaining that there are no seasons here...all I have to say is make your own! Ha, you may say, "ghetto"...but I'll have you know that it totally works! The other day someone was over and said the weather is starting to cool down! Look at the trees...When I looked outside there was only 1 tree that was was mine! With all it's fake leaved glory!!! So there!

You know you secretly like my idea!!

So here's my outside take on "fall" saw my sweet cute little scarecrow...and my "Welcome to our Patch" sign, wreath, and door covered with fall leaves and lights! I LOVE it! the decorating could be so much better, but it's the idea...okay...I wish I had soo much more time on my hands!

My way of bringing fall into the house is with leaves, leaves, leaves...and of course some cute decorations! I put up the fall decorations...add halloween stuff to them for October...then back to fall for November! That way I can get so much use out of them!

These are my absolute favorite pumpkins in the world! They look absolutely magical!

I LOVE FALL! (In Phoenix)

September 19, 2009

The Cookie...CookOff!

So it's a Saturday afternoon...the house is clean...the fall decorations are up...and we've just eaten lunch. Phil and I are "tag teaming" the lunch mess and he starts to say that a chocolate chip cookie sounds really good. So, I do the polite thing...offer to bake some cookies. Instead of saying what most spouses would say..."sure, sounds great, no I'll do relax"...he says, "No I want a REALLY good cookie!" My mouth about hit the flipping floor!

He knew he was seriously close to getting ALL dessert privileges taken away for GOOD! He tried to backpedal but he was just digging his grave...deeper and deeper. So to try and make it a "humorous" event (I think he was being serious)he offered to have a "Cookie, Cook off!"

I wanted to crack up, but I told him I was game, and might have let slip...if he was so good then he wouldn't need a recipe! So he agreed to the challenge, that we would both make our own versions of the "perfect" cookie, without a recipe.

The kids were in the kitchen within seconds of our little debate! (They can always tell when Mommy's about to win something:) The teams were chosen, the aprons were attached, and the trash talking began!

(Team Daddy)

(Team Mommy)

I know they're both pretty cute, but only 1 team was seriously going to be the winner! We were both very determined and began immediately!

Some of us were "cocky" and some of us took the higher road...(letting the cookies themselves do the talking!)

Unfortunately, I was soo worried that he was copying my own recipe that I added "more" and "less" of the things I would normally use, so he would copy, and his would taste like crap...(then secretly added more later....or just hoping that the "more" I put in earlier, would help it taste really good. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, as you can see the batters looked pretty similar...

And the WINNER is....


Mine actually were okay, but Phil's fell a little short in the taste and thickness categories! I guess he added butter AND oil! Yummm. Maybe we'll stick with recipes from now on!

We laughed so hard after this! Phil said this was probably the single worst idea he's ever had! Ha ha ha!

Boston judged the cookies and gave me this note!

Poor Paris...(if only she was just crying about the cookies...)

September 16, 2009

Chocolate Chip Surprise Cupcakes!

I had an early morning appointment this that meant that I was actually up, ready, and out of the house by 8:30am! The 3 littlest got to stay home with Phil, so that was REALLY nice being able to get out without a diaper bag, car seat, and a billion other necessities! When I got home, Phil surprised me by having all the morning "clean up" routine finished! (My kids can make something as harmless as coco puffs for breakfast, look like a scene straight from a horror flick! At least a kitchen horror!)

Since I had all this new found time on my hands...I did what I LOVE to do a "sista" out. Literally, poor Shavonne and her family pretty much have the swine's not we like to think the worst about illnesses. So for all necessary purposes...they have the H1 N1 virus...or whatever it's called! Anyway, when I was sick last week she came over and made me the best soup I thought I would try to return the favor and make her some dinner...with a little dessert! I'm always up for a reason to bake!

So I started searching and found this recipe on Picky Palate called the Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed Cupcakes! Don't they just sound amazing?! Her pictures look soo good too! Unfortunately, I didn't have all the ingredients she called I tweaked the recipe just a bit. You should check her recipe out...because I'm sure it's delicious!

Since the recipe makes 24 cupcakes, I decided to surprise Phil and the rest of his fellow "office mates" with an afternoon snack! I didn't tell him I was coming...I only gave him a text telling him to come outside. He never knows what I'm up to! HA HA! He was pleasantly SURPRISED and called to tell me they were a hit! (Even though mine were a little different than those on Picky Palate...they still turned out great!) YAY!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Filled Cupcakes

1 box Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate cake mix
1 small (3.9oz) box of Chocolate Jello instant pudding
1 1/4 Cups Water
3 Eggs
1/2 C vegetable Oil

Your Favorite Cookie Dough Recipe...or the one I used...
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Light brown sugar
1 Cup Butter (softened)
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Egg
2 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli or Hershey)

Cream sugars, vanilla, and egg together first, before slowly adding the remaining ingredients. The chocolate chips last.

8oz Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2 Cup Butter (softened)
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, and oil into a mixer and mix for 2 minutes or until it's well blended. Begin to fill 24 cupcake liners 1/2 way full with the cupcake mixure. Then, press 1 Tablespoon prepared cookie dough into the center of each cupcake batter. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out pretty clean from the center. Move to wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Place cream cheese and butter into a mixer, beat until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar, then add whipping cream until you achieve the desired frosting consistency. Then spread the frosting onto the cupcakes!

September 12, 2009

Carmel Apple Pudding Pie!

Okay, so I was in the mood to bake...and Phil was in the mood for some Apple Pie. Not exactly what I had in mind to bake. (The last time I baked a pie...I won the Irvington ward's "Pie Baking Contest" like 7 years ago and thought I better go out undefeated!) Ha Ha! I'm just not a huge "pie" fan...I guess I just prefer more sweet than fruit? Anyway, I figured if I was going to try out this apple pie thing...I was going to create AN AWESOME apple pie! I looked at a few different recipes to get an idea of the basic ingredients that were supposed to go into the "average" apple pie...and then changed it up, so it could have a shot being AMAZING!

Warning...if you weren't in the mood for might be, after reading this!

First I made the pie dough, so it could "chill"...literally while I finished the "filling"!

Pie Crust

1 1/4 C Flour
1/3 C Butter
1/4 Tsp Salt
4-6 TBS Cold Water
Dough should be moist...but not wet!
Place this in a Ziploc bag and put it into the fridge.

Now for the yummy stuff...

Carmel Apple Pudding Pie

8 Apples (different varieties. I used Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, and Red Delicious)
1/2 C White Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2Tbs Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Almond Extract
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Flour
1/4 C Pecans (chopped)
1/2 Pkg of Vanilla Pudding mix. (the small box)
1 Jar Carmel Ice Cream Topping (maybe about 1/8-1/4 of the jar?)

First I peeled, cored, and diced the apples, then I tossed in the lemon juice. Next, I poured in the sugars (1 at a time) and cinnamon. After all the apples were coated with cinnamon and sugar, I added the Almond Extract, Vanilla, Pudding, Pecans, and Flour.

Then I took out the dough that's been chilling in the fridge and rolled it out to be a little bigger than my pie dish.
A sweet little trick I learned!

You roll the dough back on to the rolling pin, so you can...

Do this!! Okay, maybe I'm the ONLY one who didn't know about this little technique! I used to move it by hand! HA HA!!

Anyway, then I put the yummy apple mixture onto the pie shell.The BEST part about this pie is the Carmel Topping! I drizzled it on until it coated all the apples...

Like THIS!!!

I'm not a huge fan of the regular I concocted a crumb crust that basically consisted of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, flour, and oats. Sprinkled it on...then baked it at 350 for about an hour...

It may not be very pretty to look at...

But when you pair it with ice cream...You have a dessert you can't pass up! I know... me and all the pictures...but I wanted to give a visual of my little concoction...and there's nothing to get you in the mood for dessert more than a "play by play" recipe! Yeah...You're Welcome!)

September 6, 2009

Berlin's Blessing

She's such a sweetie! She was blessed today in our ward, with so many of our family and friends there to watch and participate, which was so special because she's our absolute last! I'm so happy and excited to start the next chapter in our lives! She really is a happy baby, especially when she is being luckily this weekend she had LOTS of "holders"!
She still spits up a ton! So that's the cute little yellow stain you see on her BEAUTIFUL dress! My mom actually bought this dress for Brooklyn's blessing in February of 2000! Every single one of my girls has worn it for their blessings since! That's actually pretty amazing...
I'm not really sure what was going on here...but since I have the picture and none of us look necessarily gross, I'm including it. You can tell it had all the intentions of being sweet...but instead it made us all look a little "challenged"! Oh well...maybe we are!
This one is a little better...but you can tell it's been a long weekend/day! I was so ready to kick the dress to the closet! These two are always off somewhere getting into some sort of trouble! Today we found them hand cuffed together...with a pair of Boston's hand cuffs...that I know for a fact have been thrown away at least 10 times!!!! Luckily their hands are so small...they're more like bracelets that can be removed at will! These two are hilarious together!

My dad is always a great place to store kids when you're too busy! He's patient and doesn't seem to mind if they're happy or upset! In this case I think Drake was a little fussy...but as you can see...Berlin's used to it! I'm always on the go with her!

September 5, 2009

Boston's Baptism!

Can you believe that it was actually raining on his birthday? I know, it almost never rains here...and today it decides to rain! Not just rain...POUR is more like it! My parents stayed at Shavonne's house last night in Buckeye and luck would have it...Buckeye got some serious rain!

His baptism began at 10:00am and I think my parents and Shavonne and Greg showed up literally right as he stepped into the water, it was such a close call! I'm glad that everyone could make it down...being a long weekend and all! We've been having so much fun and are glad that we get to continue the party tomorrow for Berlin's Blessing!

We actually had to take this picture the next day (Sunday) at Berlin's Blessing...because it was raining on Saturday:( Which is a good thing too because Boston forgot his tie yesterday!!!

After the baptism...we came home to eat and hang out! (Something I really love to do best!)

Luke, Jake, and Boston...Jake, Brooklyn, and Nash...all enjoying some pulled pork sandwiches!

The highlight of Boston's day...opening gifts! He got some pretty sweet things! Thanks again to all the family and friends that could come and to the family and friends out of state who called and made his day:)