We had a great time at our ward Trunk'O'Treat last night. There were a ridiculous amount of cars parked and loaded with candy to give out. We came a little late so we didn't get tons, but let's be honest, Steve is going out tomorrow morning to buy a million of the $4 sale boxes, so we haven't really missed out on anything. Once they closed the parking lot down/people ran out of candy, everyone was herded inside to enjoy the "Haunted House", Pumpkin Carving Contest, Food and the Dance! Kalea sure loved the dancing, she was a little energizer bunny on the dance floor, it was really fun to watch her. There were some great costumes and it was just a fun night out as a family. By the time we got home Kalea was definitely D.O.N.E. In fact, in the car she was crying for home and bed and once I got her out of her costume, she went straight to bed with no clothes on- it was a fight to put her nightgown on! LOL Poor kid. Brynlee was pretty mellow all night- I think she was just amazed that the rest of the world stays awake past 7:30. Her little eyes were so huge all night just taking everything in- and she is quite the little dancer too! Thanks to everyone who made it such a great night, our family sure appreciated it!


Dressing Up...

So Steve and I have started to look for our costumes for next year- since this year we didn't really plan ahead, or at all and he was away, etc... etc... While perusing the web we came upon this costume...

I wouldn't have been so drawn to it if I hadn't just 24hrs ago seen a picture of my cousins' kids' preschool teacher wearing this...

Interesting, huh?


Fresh From the Oven

My Buns...
These buns are really good, and I can't take credit for the recipe at all. The dough is actually my cinnamon bun recipe. You can find it on ourbestbites.com "Everyday Cinnamon Buns". The cinnamon buns are TO.DIE.FOR. Maybe because I make extra filling, mmmm....
And yes, in case you were wondering, I do in fact use muffin tins to make my buns. This is mostly due to the fact that if I don't, I can never manage to actually make 12 equally pretty buns. It's a weird issue, I know.
Anyways, dinner tonight was SO GOOD! I am proud of myself. Steve will be home later to confirm- the kids weren't huge fans of the crockpot pork, but they don't like foreign textures, so their opinions can't be trusted.
That's about it from my kitchen tonight. I'll share my banana muffin recipe sometime too, people always ask for it and I always forget to give it to them...



So for the past month it seems our complex has been visited by quite possibly the worst "landscaping company" on the planet. I put that in quotations because that's what they call themselves, but I don't believe they actually do the job they're hired to. Anyways, about this time last week I heard this most annoying noise and looked out my kitchen window to see leaves/debris flying into the air and onto my deck... What the heck? So I go outside and low and behold, it is somebody with a leaf blower, blowing leaves out of my neighbors' flower beds- not owned by the co-op, and blowing them across the grass and sidewalk and into the street... Today, the same thing is happening as I type this. SAME EXACT THING.
First, what is ridiculous about this task is that because it's been raining/snowing/windy, the leaves are very wet/heavy, therefore, perhaps a leaf blower isn't the best method for trying to get rid of them. Second, we live on the ridge of Fish Creek, and the wind blows towards us, maybe not such a bright idea to blow the leaves into the street, since they will only end up blowing back. Third, my neighbors have leaves in their flowerbeds for a very specific reason, therefore, probably don't make them angry by making it your weekly goal to blow the leaves out of their flowerbeds. Fourth, you are making it impossible for me to have any "quiet time" with the kids before they go have afternoon naps.
I have even gone out to talk to the stupid guy and ask him to go away so my kids can sleep and guess what? He didn't even notice I was there, or just blatantly ignored me. He stopped blowing leaves and I said "Excuse me can..." and he starts blowing again. He is not wearing any earplugs... I don't want to make assumptions... Except that I do! Ugh! I am SO ANNOYED!
We recently bought a rake for like $5, I wish they would do the same so I don't have to hear the howling of their stupid leaf blowers for the next few months- until I will undoubtedly be hearing their snow blowers, probably blowing snow into the street that will blow back onto the sidewalk, which will mean I will be having this hate/hate relationship with these guys for the next 8mths... GRRRRRRRRRRR



I went on a quest to find pretzel rods the other night, it was on my mind for days so I finally decided to just go find them. But this story isn't about the pretzel rods, it's about crazy/weird/drunken morons who, while in their strange state of being, decide it's a good time to try and pick up women...
I just really wish that people didn't have this weird tendency to holler at females from their vehicles when said females are alone, in a very dark parking lot, late at night. It is so unnerving. And then it is such an ego crush when they say something like, "Ooooh got some jiggly bits, that's okay I liiiiiiike it like thaaaaaaaaaaat". I mean, thanks for trying to make my day... :S
I had to return a movie to the Safeway dvd play box that same night. I appreciated the fact that a normal/decent human being was standing in line with me and asked all sorts of questions about the movies I've seen recently. Albeit, said normal/decent human being was pajama clad, but he didn't mention my jiggly bits and I felt far less intruded upon.
Needless to say, I was glad to get home to Steve and let him laugh at the fact that I have now moved into the stage of life where I attract total weirdo's. Hilarious. I am now on a quest to destroy my jiggly bits and to only venture out in daylight, wish me luck :)


Thanksgiving Picture

I honestly can't explain why it is, that Picasa and blogger have such a hard time communicating with each other, I mean, they are supposed to be an item. Nevertheless, here is the Thanksgiving picture collage- oh and can you see the one with Rex falling- I quickly found out it's difficult to take a picture and catch a kid, although I had plenty of time...I missed....
I can now add "Auntie of the Year" to my "Mom of the Year" collection.



This year we spent Thanksgiving up in Edmonton with Steve's family minus a few. It was lots of fun. The kids played/wrestled/danced/watched movies/did hair, etc...
Of course, what would a holiday weekend be without Kalea pulling some kind of awesome, death defying act? She must have nine lives or something.
The little hooligan decided she wanted to experience the luxury of Jesse and Serena's ensuite bathtub all by herself. So she got in and filled that beautiful tub to over-flowing. We think she must've got mighty cold because when she was found she was no longer in the overflowing bathtub, but rather dancing naked with her uncle's toothbrush beside the tub.
I'm not trying to make light of the situation, it could have been so SO much worse. Steve and I had both had impressions that we should find out where Kalea was, but we weren't quick to respond and I certainly felt the sting of that since I had a very specific impression and I ignored it. I can't imagine the guilt I would've felt if things had gone the other way. Stomache turning.
The next best part of it all was that once Kalea was "rescued" from her crazy self,
I went to grab a diaper and she proceeded to try and escape down the staircase. Um, Jesse and Serena's house is very open, so said staircase can be viewed from family room/kitchen/dining room. Did I mention the missionaries that joined us for dinner, they sat on the stairs...
Yes that's right, my naked child almost ran her naked self into one of those missionaries! Oh yeah, in front of a house full of relatives :) AWESOME.
Needless to say, we left relatively soon following that wonderful exhibit from our "spirited child". PS the food was AMAZING, hopefully people remember that and forget Kalea's nakedness!
In other news...
We got to go to the temple on Saturday and it was so nice for so many reasons.
It's always great to see familiar faces and to be in a room full of mostly family makes the experience a bit more special. We also hadn't been for quite a while, so it was great to be back, especially to our temple. Loved it.
Our kids got up early enough on Sunday that we decided to go out to Sherwood Park for 9 o'clock church. It was so nice to be "home". Again, familiar faces and a room full of friends.
It was fun to show off the kids, and get to visit with people who I haven't seen for a few years. Thank goodness for blogs and facebook although, I think they are a poor substitute for face to face contact, like really poor, as in, when exactly is our next *SPARK* gathering???
Oh, and the ride home...
Steve had to drive separately from me and the girls because he picked up his company car. Never. Again.
I'm just super grateful that a) nobody hit us/we didn't collide with any deer, etc... and b) no cops decided to pull me over and find that Kalea was sitting in front of her seatbelt, not buckled into her seat?! Oh yes. We have lots to be grateful for.



We had a great Thanksgiving weekend up in Edmonton, it was full of family and friends and an appreciation for the roles each of us plays in our families.
I'll post a few pix later, but for now I wanted to talk about the "conversation" that's happened since Elder Packer's wonderful conference talk last weekend,"Cleansing the Inner Vessel" (you can find it on lds.org). There have been protest letters against this wonderful man, for his willingness to take a stand on a tough social and political issue. His talk/sermon last Sunday was for all of us, not just one specific group of people. It was not anti-gay and it was certainly not a "hate crime". He spoke of our Heavenly Father and His purpose in creating us, His children, male and female. Elder Packer spoke of our roles as parents, to lead our children in righteousness, to be their lighthouse in the storm of this world. He spoke about the evils of the world and the confusing messages that are out there. He spoke of our Savior and His great love for each of us, of the Atonement and the ability that it gives us to repent and be clean of our sins and return to live with our Heavenly Father. Elder Packer, as a special witness of Jesus Christ, spoke of Him and His gospel. It was beautiful. It was pure and simple. It is too often misunderstood.
I am SO thankful for the blessing it is to have modern day prophets and apostles, that our Heavenly Father has provided counsel and guidance for us in our day. That we can have the blessings of knowing Him through those special witnesses that are here, in our midst today. I have a deep respect and love for Elder Packer. I know that what he said might not be popular with the rest of the world, but so often things that are right aren't. I am in awe of the strength and faith that he has in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I listened and as I've re-read this talk, I have been reminded of the Apostle Paul who, in Romans 1:16 wrote, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..."
I can wholeheartedly echo that sentiment, I am not ashamed, have never been ashamed and will never be ashamed of what I believe. I am thankful everyday that I have been so fortunate to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life from the get-go. I am thankful for the family and the community that I have been raised in, that have allowed me to grow and to foster a love for my Savior and His teachings. I am so fortunate and couldn't be more thankful for the blessings I have because of it.


Why My Husband Is The Best/Cutest/Awesomest & A Good Read

Sorry if this makes anyone feel like their own husband is a slacker, but mine is pretty rad and here are the latest reasons...
1. Instead of telling me when he was coming home, Steve called on Saturday morning and asked to be put on speaker with Kalea, to tell her that he was coming home that very night!
2. He made us girls a stellar chocolate chip waffle breakfast on Sunday morning- even though he was up late and recovering from the eastern to mountain standard time change.
3. His carry-on wasn't a carry on at all, it was a super duper cute stuffed lobster for Brynlee.
4. He, and he alone, eradicated the mouse situation by tearing apart our basement storage area and finding exactly where those little *%(#&$^@# were nesting. He then proceeded to make it impossible for them to ever be comfortable in our home again.
5. When we woke up yesterday he turned to me and said "Let's take our mom's to Cora's for breakfast." To which I said, "Okay, but I have to shower". He responded "You go get ready and I'll get the girls ready". So off I went. Well, post shower I get a knock on the door from Kalea, so I open it and she is NOT ready AT ALL. Then Steve appears and he is NOT ready AT ALL. So I look at him and start my usual "How am I supposed to get everyone ready in the next 10 mins?" schpiel and he says "I'm not going and neither are the kids", to which I respond "What? Yes you are, go get dressed", to which he says "Nope, you are going out for a girls' day and I am going to watch the kids, so hurry up and get ready". WHAT THE WHAT?!?!?! Yes indeed I got to go SHOPPING with NO KIDS! I even got to have breakfast and lunch with NO SCREECHING, NO WHINING, NO FOOD SHARING, and NO CLIMBING OUT OF BOOSTER SEATS/HIGH CHAIRS!!! Blissful, wonderful, peaceful morning/afternoon of no stress! It was great, I had fantastic company and got some cute stuff and didn't have to worry about $$$ for the first time in a looooong time.
I am so happy to have Steve home, and honestly, all the extra's this week were unncessary, but very much appreciated. I survive pretty good without a lot of "stuff", but I really do have the sweetest, kindest, most selfless, wonderful husband on the planet. It is no small thing to not have Daddy at home for extended periods of time, it really does have a noticeable effect on kids- even at this early of an age. For now, I think our research into single parent family living is over. We have concluded that marriage really is an institution that weakens in the absence of one parent, no matter how valiant the effort to keep stability in the home. Chaos inevitably ensues in one form or another ie. poop or mice or if you're lucky, both. When, in our case, Daddy returns, life becomes stable and the level of happiness and peace in our home increases rapidly. It is one of those things that I didn't really notice before.
Speaking of marriage, I love it and I picked up an awesome book yesterday by Bruce C. Hafen called "Covenant Hearts: Marriage and the Joy of Human Love"(no this isn't a paid advertisement). But, I am pretty sure it is one of the best I have ever read on marriage/family life and I am only half way through it. This one is worth a day of neglecting your kids to read it all the way through HA! It's written from an LDS perspective, but it's really, in my opinion, a good read for anyone regardless of religious background. Great insight into what's happening in our world today and how we've gotten to this point, etc... I am loving it, and if my opinion changes I will let you know, but I am pretty sure I will still love it when I'm done later tonight.
So, to summarize, my husband=amazing, my new book=amazing, my marriage=not perfect, but amazing :)