Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Recipe of the Week #6

Here is an easy breakfast recipe that is in the crockpot. This is what we are having on Christmas morning. We eat these in tortillas with salsa like a breakfast burrito.

Crockpot Western Omelet Casserole
serves 12

32 ounces frozen hash browns
1 pound bacon, ham or sausage, cooked
1 medium onion
1 bell pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Place a layer of frozen hash browns in bottom of slow cooker, followed by a layer of bacon then onion, bell pepper and cheese. Repeat layering process two or three more times, ending with a layer of cheese.
2. Beat the eggs, milk and salt and pepper together. Pour over the mixture in the crockpot, cover and turn on low. Cook for about 8 hours.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hallie's rantings

The other day when I took Hallie and Grace shoe shopping; Hallie got a pair of boots. I did not really want to get them but she just went on and on about how she had always wanted boots and how cute they were. So finally I told her that she could get them but they would be a Christmas present. She was ok with that until we left the store and she wanted to wear them. Then when we got home she was showing them to Mark and wearing them all around the house. Finally I told her that she didn't have to wait till Christmas to have them. (Mostly because it was just another present that I would have to wrap, and I was tired of wrapping.)

So ever since I have bought her these boots she has changed. On Sunday on the way to church she told me that she wants to move to Texas. And when she gets there she wants to be a tour guide and take people all over the state and show them Texas. (Which I thought was really funny because she has never even been through most parts of Texas.) She ask me how much she should charge for this. While I am thinking, she says "maybe I will charge the adults $5 and the kids $3". I said "that is not very much money for a tour of the whole state, you could probably charge more than that." We discussed this a little more and she finally decided that she would charge $30 for adults and $22 for kids 11 to 3 and under 3 were free and she would give the babies free milk. She then told me that she wanted to get a horse and ride it to the store. So this boot thing has knocked cowgirl land. She also wanted to wear the boots in her pictures that we had taken today. And I have even seen her wearing them with her pyjamas. I am surprised that she hasn't tried sleeping in them. Here is a picture of her in her "cowgirl" boots.

"Somebody" in Texas needs to send her some REAL cowgirl boots.

Christmas pictures

We went and got our family pictures taken today. It went pretty well. Mark usually hates doing this because it is a lot of drama trying to get everyone to smile and hold still at the same time so the last professional family picture we had taken was when Carter was a baby. But when we were done he said that is went quite well and we were happy with how they all turned out. We also got Hallie's 9 year and Jackson's 4 year old pictures taken (we had done Carter's earlier). Grace did not do as well as we had hoped that she would because she was tired and hungry. So there are not many pictures of her smiling; mostly just sucking her thumb. Here are some of our favorites.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Plum tuckered out

"Plum tuckered out" is a way that my Mom descibes people when they are worn out. Apparantly that is how Jackson felt the other day when he came home from school. Mark took these pictures of him.

This is how I feel right now. I just spent 5 hours at the mall. I must have lost my mind to decide to go to the mall 4 days before Christmas. I was not Christmas shopping, thank goodness. I was trying to find a pair of shoes for Hallie. Black dress shoes. It should not take 5 hours to find a pair of shoes. But Hallie has these long skinny feet that no store has shoes for. We finally found some, actually a couple pair. I also bought Grace some shoes; and she has the opposite problem. She has extremely small feet. She does not even wear a size 1. The lady at the shoe store told me that size 1 is usually for newborn to 3 months old. I have never had a baby that is almost 8 months old and cant even wear a size 1. Oh well, the ones that I found are cute. Here she is modeling them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blabbering or First Word

Grace has started to say Da-Da. We think. Mark is always trying to get her to say it and so he is taking credit for teaching her her first word. It seems very early to me for a baby to start talking, but our kids have always talked early and very clearly. So who knows. You can watch the following videos and decide for yourself. Blabbering or first word?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blogs and going private

Ok so we may be going private in the future. Mostly just because everyone is sending me these crazy emails about how your life might be destroyed because some psycho person took pictures of your kids off your blog and posted them all over youtube or something like that. Or how some ex boy/girl friend found your blog and shows up on your door step at 2 in the morning. You know how things get blown totally out of proportion in emails. Anyway. If you would like to continue to look at our blog; please send me your email at flytarafly@hotmail.com. I know, now that I put my email up here, you are all thinking that I am going to get tons of junk coming to my email. Probably so, but I can press delete really quickly.

Also, if you have a blog please send me a link to it. If you haven't noticed our Friends and Family section in missing. Somehow we lost all of the blogs that we look at when we were redoing our background.

So please send me your emails addresses and blogs.

Recipe of the Week #5

Here are 2 recipes that I used for our ward Christmas Enrichment. The Beef recipe makes a lot but freezes really well. The jello also makes a lot. I don't know what else to tell you to do with all of it other than eat it. I also think it should be renamed because Fruity Gelatin Salad just sounds boring. It is really good for the holidays because of the color and the cranberries; but I have also made it in the summer for girls camp and they really liked it. (Even the ones that swore they hated cranberries or jello). So give them a try.

Flavorful Beef in Gravy
serves 12
3 lbs beef stew meat
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 1/3 cups milk
1 envelope onion soup mix
mashed potatoes or hot cooked noodles

Place beef in a 5 quart crock pot. Mix together soups and milk. Pour over beef and stir. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Fruity Gelatin Salad
serves 15-18

6 ounces cherry jello
1 cup boiling water
10 ounces frozen sweetened sliced strawberries
20 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained
16 ounces whole-berry cranberry sauce

In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in strawberries until berries are separated. Stir in the pineapple and cranberry sauce until blended. Transfer to 9x13 pan and refrigerate until firm.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Grace swinging

Here is a little video of Carter swinging Grace in her jumper. She is not laughing like she was before I got the camera (of course) but you can still tell that she likes it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Recipe of the Week #4

I bought a whole bunch of cranberries at the store during the week of Thanksgiving. So here are some muffins that I made with them.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons water
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 teaspoon orange extract
zest of 1 orange
1 cup cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 400. Mix first 6 ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together and slowly mix with dry ingredients. Chop cranberries and fold into batter. Toast almonds. Fill muffin cup and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

If you dont want to use the whole wheat pastry flour you can use all purpose.
You also can replace the flax seed with another egg.

Who is carrying you?

This is how Jackson came to me today. I did not take the picture at that time because I had to rush to get Grace before he dropped her. (For this picture I had him show me how he picked her up and then took the picture. And Hallie was standing there ready to catch her if he dropped her.) When Jackson brought her to me her arms were up around her head because she was slipping down as he walked. Later I let him drop a raw egg in the sink to show him what would happen if he dropped her. I dont know that it taught him anything other than throwing eggs in the sink and watching them crack is fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy 7th month birthday!

I meant to post this yesterday (the 25th) since that is really her birthday but didnt get to it, but I thought I would post it anyway.

Happy 7 months little Gracie. You are such a cutie pie and such a sweet baby. I cant believe you are already 7 months old. I love it when you bury your head in my shoulder and squeeze me back when I hug you. And how you kick your arms and legs like crazy when I come to get you out of your bed. And your sweet baby breath. And how you put your head on my shoulder and sleep after I feed you at 3 am.

Writing this makes me want to go wake her up and play with her. But I wont. Here are some pictures of the 7 month old little girl.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Recipe of the Week #3

Well maybe I should rename this post to recipe of the month, because I have not done one since Halloween. Oh well, I will try to be better at doing one every week. But here is one of my favorites. Pecan pie is probably my favorite pie. Especially if it is done correctly. (Done correctly to me is whole pecan pieces on the top and little chopped up pieces floating around in the heavenly filling. I think that my mouth is watering just thinking about it!) And if you really want to have a treat you can get a pecan cobbler a la mode from the Whistle Stop Cafe in Kennesaw, GA. Anyway back to the real reason I was posting. This is a recipe that you can use for Thanksgiving if you are wanting to limit your Pecan Pie intake. (But who would want to do that.)

Pecan Tassies
24 tarts

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c flour
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped

For tart shells, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add flour; mix until a soft dough forms. Cover; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place balls of dough into ungreased cups of mini muffin pan. Dip a tart shaper in flour; press into dough to form tart shells. (If you dont have a tart shaper you can make an indention with your thumb or the back of a spoon.)
For filling, microwave butter on high for 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Chop pecans, stir into filling. Using a small scoop, fill each tart shell with a scoop of filling. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan for 3 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is there anyone at home?

Well, I've been very quiet on the blogging front lately, but that isn't because life is boring. So I thought I'd at least get on and post a little something. I've been plenty busy at work lately. In what I do, we have up and down periods, usually every 2-3 monhts or so I might end up in between projects, but I've been busy for 2 months now and have work through the end of January, so that's very nice.

One of the big things going on for me lately is that I sprained my ankle really good playing volleyball about 5 weeks ago. I grazed someone's leg coming down at the net and rolled it all the way down. I've rolled my ankles (both) multiple times playing basketball, but this was a really good one. I was on crutches for close to a week, and now 5 weeks later, I'm still tender and maybe only about 70%. It's sucked, because I miss my volleyball, basketball and tennis. They're my get away. I thought I'd include a picture or two of my bruising and swelling from a couple days after the sprain, but I don't want to show off my hairy feet. :) I did swell halfway up my calf and down to my toes and bruised from above my ankle to my toes. The swelling had spread out nicely by then. About 3-4 hours after the sprain it was just like I'd hidden a softball in my ankle.

This past weekend, Tara and Grace and my sister in law went up to Nashville to a time-out for women and met my sisters there. They had a lot of fun, and me and the children went and spent the night Friday at Wes's house. We had a lot of fun there too. I brought my TV and Wii, so we had two TVs and two Wiis so we played lots of games and Wes and I watched Iron Man that night. We also went and bought Wii Music on Saturday, and it is quite a fun little game. There's a lot of different things you can do with it. We're learning that Carter has quite an ear for music has he plays a little music game called Pitch Perfect. He's really good at it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pearly Whites

Last week was the week of teeth. Grace got her first tooth; actually teeth. She got her 2 bottom teeth in one day. She had been waking up a lot in the middle of the night and I just could not figure out what her problem was. Then one morning she was chewing on my finger and there they were. It took a few more day and then they were completely out. Here is a picture of them.Then, a few days later Hallie FINALLY lost her snaggle tooth. Her front top tooth has been sticking out because her adult tooth was coming in behind her baby tooth. It looked horrible. I told her that if she did not get it out by Friday that I was taking her to the dentist to have them pull it. On Thursday night she was at soccer practice and a boy that was defending the goal kicked the ball and it hit her in the mouth! Knocked the tooth right out. I told her that she needed to thank him for saving her from having to go to the dentist and get it pulled.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jackson Votes

Today after I picked Jackson up from preschool, we went to the grocery store. When we gott there he wanted to take his Weekly Reader that he got from school in the store with him so he could trace the letters. So we go in and go shopping and when we are waiting in line at the check out I started looking at his Weekly Reader. The cover of it has a little kid with a flag and it says Ready, Set, Vote! So I am look at his Weekly Reader and talking to him about it. On the inside of it there is a section that says "Who Will Be Our President?" and there are pictures of John McCain and Barach Obama out on the campaign trail talking to people. There is a little box on each one of the pictures and Jackson had colored in one of the boxes. The following is our conversation.

Me: What are these little boxes for?

J: We voted for the Prophet.

Me: Oh, you mean you the President.

J: Yeah, we voted for the President and he won. (pointing to McCain)

Me: Oh, why did you decide to vote for him?

J: Because he wears a tie!

In the pictures McCain is wearing a suit and tie and Obama is wearing a blue dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up and the top botton undone.

So there you go. Go out and vote and choose the one that wears the tie!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Grace's First Food

Grace had her first food this week, with some rice cereal. Here's a pretty good video.


Tara's been bugging me for a while to blog about the kids playing soccer and post a few pictures. We signed the kids up for soccer to play in a league at a big subdivision in our neighborhood. We signed them all up 2 weeks into an 8 week season, so they missed the first couple of weeks. They've now had 4 weeks, and seem to be doing better each week. Jackson scored a goal last week! Jackson's league is just chase the ball back and forth to the goal. Carter is one of the youngest in an under 8 league, but he seems to really enjoy it, and just runs around. Hallie was very timid at first but she's getting more and more relaxed and in to it as the weeks pass. If she'd get over her fears and try hard, I think she'd do well, because she's actually very athletic. Here's some pics of Carter and Jackson, we don't have a good one of Hallie because we've forgotten the camera a couple of weeks, and didn't get a good one before.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Recipe of the Week #2

Here are some Halloween/Fall recipes.

Pizza Dip in a Pumpkin
1 small pie pumpkin (about 2 ½ pounds)
½ cups finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 ½ cups pizza sauce
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup finely chopped pepperoni
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Cut top off of pumpkin; scoop out seeds and fibers. Replace top; place pumpkin on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, sauté onion and green pepper, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through and cheese is melted. Pour into hot pumpkin. Serve with breadsticks. Yield: 3 cups

Pumpkin-Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Combine eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three-fourths full. For topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle 1 teaspoon over each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: about 1 ½ dozen

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Really Big Guy

On Sunday we went to a stake fireside with Coach Ingle and Shawn Bradley. Coach Ingle is a man that is in our ward that is the basketball coach for Kennesaw State Univerity here in Georgia; but coached at BYU when Shawn Bradley played there. It was a very good fireside. It was for the youth but everyone was invited; so we went. Shawn Bradley was a very good speaker. At the end he answered questions that the youth had. He is some interesting things about him. He is 7 feet 6 inches tall. He was only 19 inches when he was born; but 10 pounds. His wife is only 5 feet 4 inches tall. They have six kids. Since retiring from the NBA he now is the the athletic director and assistant principal for a school for troubled teens. Here are a few pictures of Shawn holding Grace; and with me and Mark.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What ever happened to customer service?

On Friday we had a bad customer serive day. This is how it went.

I took Grace back to the doctor. On Wednesday when I took her to the doctor they said they wanted to recheck her breathing and lungs; so I went back. Her appointment was at 9:15. They did not call me back to see the doctor until 10:15! Sitting in the waiting room with a 5 months old and a 4 year old for an hour is not exciting. But because I love the doctors at this practice and it is not normally like this, I will continue to go to the them.

After the really long doctors visit I went to BJ's (equivelent to Costco and Sams except they will take manufactures coupons on top of their coupons). Any of you that know me well will know that I am a little obsessive about getting the LOWEST price on things. It makes me so happy to see that I saved more money than I spent. I think even if I was a millionaire I would use coupons. It thrills me to pay .50 cents for a box of Cheerios! Anyway, back to the real story. So I go in to BJ's and buy a butt load of stuff like usual. I get up to the check out and did the self check out. I scan all my stuff and then my coupons. I know that the machine is going to not let me use the manufactures coupon and the BJ's coupons because I have tried it before and one of the workers have to come manually enter it in. So I am expecting this. Well, I was not expecting what then happened. The worker came up to me and starts scanning my coupons. She sees that I have 2 $1.00 manufactures coupons for grape juice and have already scanned the store coupon for grape juice. She tells me that I can only use one of them. I say to her "I thought I could use two if they were packaged separately." She says "no you can't do that." I say "well I do it everytime I come in and they usually take them." She says "Well, I will let you do it this one time and you can't do it anymore!" (I am not very happy at this point.) I say back to her "when I bought my membership they told me that if the product was individually wrapped and then packed together I could use a coupon for each indivual item." She then flashes her name badge at me and says "Well my name is Corey and I am second in charge here and you are not suppose to do it" She then asks me if I bought two of something and I said no and she blows air through her lips like she is really disgusted, scans the coupon and walks away. After that I was livid. So I wrote her name down and I intend on writing a letter to BJ's. Also, later that day I looked up on BJ's website and read their policy about taking coupons and this is what it says

"Can I use more than one coupon?

You may not use more than one coupon on a single item. However, if you buy a multi-pack (a pack that contains multiple full-sized packages of a single product shrink-wrapped together) you may use multiple coupons.
For example, if you have 2 coupons for 50� off an 8-oz. bottle of face cleanser and you are buying a multi-pack that contains 2 or more 8-oz. bottles of face cleanser you may use both coupons" (taken from the BJ's website)

So doesn't it seem like I should be able to use 2 coupons if I buy Grape Juice that has 2 individual bottles packaged together?

Anyway on with the next episode of bad customer serive.

[MARK]: "Tara, Jackson, Grace and I go to Chili's for lunch. We arrived at Chili's at 1:10 pm. I know specific times because we had to be out of there by 2:00pm so I was checking the clock. We were told we had about a 15 minute wait. I looked around and noticed and told Tara there were 7 tables/booths that were empty, waiting to be bused, so it shouldn't be that long. We waited for over ten minutes and none of those tables were still bussed and now I would estimate that number had at least doubled, yet we still waited to be seated.

"So as a manager walked by, I grabbed him and brought this to his attention, stating that we'd been waiting around 10 minutes and when we walked in there were 7 empty tables and booths that I could see that were waiting to be bussed and now there were even more and yet we still waited to be seated. His first response, word for word, was "Sir, I just walked by and you weren't here." I'm very mild mannered, so I just disagreed with him and told him we had indeed been there longer than ten minutes and he said he'd take care of us, and walked off. I cannot believe the the first response from a manager at this store would, for all intents and purposes call me a LIAR!!

"We were then immediately seated (why we weren't before, I don't know), and we were seated near the To Go area, so I went to one of the employees there and asked if there was a way to give feedback on the store, they said it was online. Then I asked if the gentleman that we spoke to was the only manager there today, and they said yes. I asked for his name and they told me Joel. I said thank you and sat down and noted the name. We then had great service from our server, she was very polite, kind and attentive.

"When time for the check came, the manager returned to apologize and took an appetizer off our meal. When I told him I was less upset about the fact that we were slow to be seated than the way that he responded to me when I told him what I'd observed, he then back pedaled more and then gave us another $10 in Chili's gift coupons. His apology seemed anything but sincere and only a way of trying to placate me, with my best guess being that it was only delivered because I asked what his name was from one of his employees, otherwise, I doubt I would have seen him at all.

(this is almost word for word from my complaint to Chili's on their customer feedback, with a few changes and the final comments ommited)"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recipe of the Week #1

Well, when I started this blog I thought about putting a section of recipes and adding a new on each week. Never did it. But the other night I taught a class about crockpot cooking and the girls (women, but I like to call all women "girls") wanted more recipes so I thought I would start adding them on here and if they are that interested in getting my recipes then they will also have to read our somewhat boring blog. So here is my first recipe. They will not always be crockpot recipes; but maybe the first few since they were wanting more.

Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake
Category: Crock pot
Serves 4
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp baking cocoa
1 cup boiling water

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of sugar, flour, and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the milk, peanut butter, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Spread evenly into a slow cooker coated with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine the cocoa and remaining sugar; stir in boiling water. Pour into slow cooker (do not stir). Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2-2 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream.

Monday, October 6, 2008


We had a family home evening on Smiles today (we're using the New Nursery Lesson Manual from Church, it's great!). We decided to let the kids show us their best smiles and take a picture and post it. These aren't really their best smiles, because they had to make some crazy faces too, of course. They're still really cute. You can see Hallie's snaggle tooth. I'm going to pull that thing in the middle of the night!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I love fall

I love fall. I love having the windows open and crisp air. I love the smells. I love the colors. I love fall fabrics. I love my new blog background. I love it all. But one of my favorite parts is that it is cool enough to go out walking. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Jackson goes to preschool and I walk him to school in the morning. At the beginning of September when I would leave it was still pretty hot; but now it is so nice. Well, I think it is nice but the kids are a little cool. Today I did not walk Jackson to school in the morning but I decided to go walk and pick him up at noon and it was only65 degrees! I love it! Here is a picture of Jackson and Grace all bundled up the other morning when it was only 48 degrees.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hallie's birthday party

Last Friday we had Hallie’s birthday party. She was turning nine and wanted to have a sleep over, but we decided instead to have her friends over from 5-9 pm and wear their pjs and do fun things. They made their own little pizzas. (Which I forgot to take pictures of.)

Watched Camp Rock.

Played with Hallie’s hamster Jerry.

Painted nails.
Opened presents.

Decorated cupcakes.
And because we thought they had not made enough mess already. We had a fondue fountain to add to it.
And then after they were all good and sugared up; we waved good bye and sent them home to their parents to get them to calm down and go to bed.

Why do children do this?

Ok, so Jackson says that he wants a fruit rollup. So I go and get the snack basket down and the following is our conversation.
Me: Ok there is a blue. Blue. Green. (This whole time I am digging through the snacks trying to find more fruit rollups.) Blue.
Jackson: No, I want red.
Me: I dont think there are any more red.
Me: Blue, green, oh here is a red.
Jackson: No, I dont want red I want a blue.

Why do kids do this?

"I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void."

Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mmmm. I love this foot!

Grace loves her feet! And a few cute pictures of her and Grace and Carter and Tara.

Too many ignorant people in GA

Just a quick rant about people not using their heads in GA. I read recently that the national average of gasoline rose just $.05 over the weekend. Well here it rose well over $.60. Why? Because all the people here freaked out and went and got gas on Friday and Saturday because I guess they believed that Hurricane Ike, which was over 900 miles away, was somehow going to cut off the whole supply of oil to the state of GA. Man, if it really was that fragile of a setup, we'd have been in trouble a long time ago!! Almost every gas station we drove by on Saturday was out of gas, and we saw it for as much as $4.50 in some places, and it was around $3.60-$3.70 on Thursday.

Think people!! You're the same ones that complain about gas prices, and then you go and drive them up yourselves!

Hablo Español ... todavía

I was invited a few weeks ago to give a talk on the 14th in a Spanish group they are creating in a branch in our stake. So with some nerves, having not given a talk in close to 12 years in Spanish, I prepared my talk on Prayer. The group is small, but growing quickly, and after the 1 hr 15 minute drive, I made it out a bit early for the meeting. The meeting was simple and before me a poor Elder that was out only a month was also giving his first talk. Ahh, I remember how difficult that was. We opened my first area in my mission, there were no members there. For the first two weeks, before we had investigators, our Sacrament Meeting was just my companion and I. It was an eye opener.

Anyways, the talk went well. I was a bit nervous about the amount of vocabulary that I'd remember. I speak some from time to time at church since we've moved to GA, but not as much as I'd like. Well the talk went quite well, and I felt that I really kept their attention and felt that I was able to invite the spirit to the meeting, convey my message, and the Spanish felt great. Afterwards, I met some of the members and investigators, and there were quite a few from Guatemala, and almost all of them were from the area of my mission (there are 4 missions in Guatemala).

It was a great experience, and I was able to drive about an hour back and still make it back before our meetings ended in our ward. Maybe they'll ask me to do it again, I really enjoyed it, just not too soon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Go mighty Cougars! Could they have had a more perfect game? Four touchdowns in the first 5 minutes of the second quarter. Everything went their way, and nothing went UCLA's way. Can't wait to see the polls tomorrow. Max Hall, Pitta, Collie, Unga looked great, and the entire defense too.

Got some cute pictures of Grace and Hallie, we'll try and get them posted later.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I love the Olympics and my DVR

...but apparently I don't love sleep as much. I have to say, this Olympic experience has been different for me than any other, and that has to do almost completely with the DVR. I just finally gave in and got one about a year ago, and it's been great. In fact, I hate it when I'm watching TV in another room and want to rewind and can't.

However, I've never enjoyed the DVR as much as I have for the Olympics. We keep the DVR in our room, since we typically only watch TV at night, after the kids are in bed, or we're in bed too, so we watch most of the TV in our room. This has been perfect for the Olympics. I just record everything and watch it at night, and start watching the primetime Olympics around 9-10pm and watch until midnight or one... or two... and skip all the commercials and other things that I might not be interested in.

I love it because I get to watch so more of the events that sometimes you miss during primetime. I love so many of the events, swimming, gymnastics, diving, track & field, basketball, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball (I love the men's indoor volley ball, Clay Stanley is a beast!), even trampoline.

But I have to say there have definitely been a few amazying things this Olympics. Michael Phelps is just unreal. The 4X100m freestyle relay was amazing, how we beat France, and then the 100m butterfly was just magical. I couldn't believe that he out-touched the other guy. From almost every camera angle until it was slowed down and from below, I thought it looked like he lost. Then the men's gymnastics team taking silver with their best two gymnasts injured and gone. Then Nastia Luikin and Shawn Johnson going 1-2 in the all-around.

Also I have to say that Usain Bolt (what a great name for a sprinter--Bolt) is a freak. He runs a 9.69, even while celebrating the last 15 meters! I could have done without the grandstanding, but what's this guy going to do when he gets a better start (he had probably the worst start in the group) and runs the whole way. Is 9.5 or even 9.4 out of the question? That's so stinking fast.

Then there's one thing that has just become an inside joke for Tara and I. On Saturday we were watching trampoline. It really is amazing, they jump like 20 feet in the air. Anyways, there was a Chinese man who competed who is named Dong Dong. No joke. Why would the parents do that? I guess there's probably some cultural explanation, but Tara and I start laughing at even the mention of the name now, so it gets thrown into conversation at random times now over the last few days.

So that's it. I highly recommend a DVR. Great for the Olympics and General Conference too (if you're LDS). And if you haven't tuned into the Olympics much, do it. You're missing out, and you're one of the few in America who's not watching :-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Here is a little video of Grace. Not a very good one, but Ellie wanted to see her in action. She is laying on a quilt I am making. Doesn't it have pretty colors?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good-bye old friend

I have decided that if I post small little blurbs (instead of waiting until something really exciting happens) maybe more things will be put up on here. So today as I was doing the laundry I made a sad (and somewhat embarassing) discovery. I have a shirt that I have had and worn since high school. Yes, you read that right. Since high school. I probably got it going into my Junior year. So that you dont have to rack your brain figuring out how long ago that was; I will tell you. Fourteen years ago!

So the sad thing that I discovered is that this shirt finally has a spot on it that looks worn out and I feel that I must part with it. But I am just amazed that it has lasted so long; because I wear this shirt pretty often. It is soft and comfy and does not look too out of style (I hope). It is just a blue and white striped tshirt style shirt. I have never had an article of clothing this long. So I am putting a plug in for Jones New York clothes. They will stand the test of time.

Good-bye old comfy shirt. I will miss you.

Pictures from Vacation

Carter, Kyler (their cousin) and Jackson at the children's museum
Hallie and Grace Carter during his birthday party at Sarah's. Notice the movie is upside down.
Carter ready to blow out the candles on his backward cupcakes. We sang backwards too.
Jackson's cousin Ethan just loved him. Ethan was a cute little guy, always laughing.
Grace catching some z's at the zoo
All the children at home on the couch. Jackson's cheesing, and Carter's looking elsewhere, but Grace looked cute in this picture, so I wanted to post it. A little half-smile.