Thursday, January 31, 2008

Peek-A-Boo, I See You

Baby B is right in the middle of the peek-a-boo phase.

I LOVE this!

It is so fun to watch them giggle with delight at every "boo!"

So, while we were out on a walk today, she managed to twist herself around in her stroller (still belted in mind you---yeeouch how do they do that!?!) to play peek-a-boo with me.

Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy (at least for the R family)

January 30th is a busy day for our family. A day to celebrate &'s why (beginning at the beginning):

It's my father-in-law, Bill's birthday today. He was an amazing husband, father & grandfather. My only regret is that my kids were not born yet when Grandpa R left us...far too soon.
We miss you!

Secondly, its my dear parent's anniversary today.
32 years...go Mom & Dad!
Happy Anniversary!!!
(BTW....lookin' sassy in those 70's duds!)

And lastly, happy birthday to my nephew little B. Seriously the CUTEST brown-eyed boy around...who wouldn't love that face? :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


We firstborns get a raw deal. We are the EXPERIMENTAL children who our parents "figure things out" on. We pave the way through the STRICT years....and then watch as our parents loosen up for our younger siblings (your welcome guys!). We must be RESPONSIBLE & HELPFUL long before the baby ever has to be. We are DESIGNATED BABYSITTERS....often free of charge. We are overachievers, perfectionists, picky, detail oriented & organized....sometimes to a fault.
HOWEVER, we also NEVER get hand-me-downs, are the first to be spoiled, the first at EVERYTHING, our baby books are complete, we have the most pictures of our childhood, we are reliable, conscientious, natural leaders & high achievers...who like things done right the first time (& done OUR way) . ;)
Hang in there baby girl--mama will always understand your pain. :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

I NEED a Vacation...

Ok moms, I know you have had these days. You know, where all you hear all day long is fight, cry, whine (repeat ad nauseam).
My 3 are out to get me today.
I long for a getaway, someplace beautiful & serene....where I am completely and unequivocally ALONE! (ok...I suppose my husband could come too :)).
I wanna look out my window and see something like this...Unfortunately, the best I can do tonight is a bubble bath & a good book with a prayer that tomorrow will be a better day.
Calgon take me away............................

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Sad Day

My heart is full this evening as I have just learned of that one of the most extraordinary, humble and kindest of men has left us.

I rejoice for the reunion he is having with his sweet wife and those who have gone before him & mourn for those of us left behind.

I am grateful that his example in my life has encouraged me to Stand For Something, live with optimism and never lose hope.

Godspeed President Hinckley. We will miss you.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Note to Self: Never EVER leave small children unattended with PAINT!

Ok, I should know this right? I am on child #3 after all...that should entitle me some insights into the inner workings of a child's mind. Right? Hmmmm, you would think so.

So I'm chatting away with my Mom on the my pj's...(it's just one of those days) & I tell her, "Oh it is so nice, the kids are playing so well together today. Z just pulled out the water colors & they are painting."

How peaceful, a camcorder moment, as brother & sister enjoy the pleasures of painting....together....amicably...WOW!

Surely I can run into the office to check out a blog or two as I continue to chat on the phone! Of course, what could go wrong, I'll only be gone a minute or two......
or ten.

Fast forward two, five, ten minutes...who knows....& YIKES!

"Oh no!"

"OOOOOOHHHHH! What happened to just using water colors?!?"

"OOOOOOHHHHH! Who found the tempura paint!?!"

"OOOOOOOHHHHH! Where are the paint brushes?!?"

"OOOOOOHHHH! What is that on the baby's mouth!?!"

Lucky for my children, being a blogger has made me a tad more reflective these I take a breath, grab the camera & document the festivities.

Needless to say, the tempura paint has been hidden away...only to return when Mom is a little less....uhhhh.....distracted. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

When I Grow Up...

I have a vivid memory from my childhood. Sitting cross legged on the bathroom counter with my feet curled up under my nightgown. Chin cradled in my hands. Watching mom get ready for a night out. I think to myself... "Wow, I hope I am as pretty as my mom when I grow up."

Still feel the same way.

Mom, you are beautiful.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Little Known Fact

These are MY tools. My husband may have been the one to purchase them, but they are MINE. (hmmm...starting to sound a little possessive aren't I? ....of course, honey, you are ALWAYS welcome to use them. ;) ) Actually, the Titanium trimmers were purchased specifically for me & at my request.
You see, I LOVE trimming our plants. Not sure what it is, but I get extreme satisfaction from hacking away a tree or shrub. I am no expert by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I take pride in my little contribution to our yard maintenance. It may take me a week (or month) to get all the plants trimmed up & sometimes they may look a little....uh, whats a good word....ummmmm....interesting when I'm done, but hey there is nothing more gratifying than choppin' off a big ol' tree limb. Plus, power tools are fun. :)
Next I want a blower cuz...
I may love to trim, but I HATE to clean up.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


My new favorite quote:
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."
~Abraham Lincoln

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Command Center

I have loads of ideas for my house floating around in my head all the time. However, lack of time & funding delays bringing these ideas to fruition. BUT at last, an idea that has been bouncing around in my head FOREVER was made a reality this past weekend! I give you....
The R Family Command Center!!!! TaDa!!

Yea!!!, A place for the kids backpacks, a place to write messages to each other, a big family calendar (each of us are assigned a different color--yes I'm THAT nerdy), a home for the keys, a cool clock to hopefully keep us on schedule & my fun FHE board that tracks who's in charge of what for family nights.

I LOVE it!!!! (thanks honey for staying up late to get it just right!)
Yeah, I know its not February yet, but I wanted to start FRESH in a new month. :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

These Are the Days

These are the days that we live for here in, 65 degrees, sunny with a nice breeze...aaaahhhh.

These are the days we dream of when its 115 out in July.

Days when we can play in the park without snow boots or sunburns.

Days when the kids can even run around barefoot...yes even in January.

Days when it doesn't matter if your clothes match or not.

Days when sticky blue taffy on your face is quite alright.

Days when we've got nothin more pressing to do than hang out with our grandma, aunts & cousins.

Days when combing your hair is just plain unnecessary.

Days when its ok to just be silly

Days I will always remember.

Our PERFECT winter's day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Tale of Two Eyebrows

Do you ever have something happen that makes you laugh out loud, simply by thinking about it? I mean seriously laugh so much it hurts, even hours & hours after it happened? Well.....something like that happened at our house today & I'm still giggling about it.
So we all dragged out of bed this fine Sunday morning to get ready for church...ok I guess I dragged out of bed, everyone else seemed to be up & at em' just fine. The fun started when I headed into the bathroom to wash my hands. I glanced over at Rob who was getting ready. He was using his hair clippers to trim his eyebrows. Now, although I have not actually seen him do this before, I knew that he did do it to "tame" the brows...thus avoiding the bushy brow look some men find so attractive. ;)
Anyways, I smirked & was thinking to myself..."better make sure you don't shave your eyebrows off" & was just about to open my mouth to say it when he looks at me & says..."Uh, I'm not sure what just happened."
Yup, you got it...he basically DID shave off one of his eyebrows. (K....I'm laughing out loud AGAIN just remembering it!) :D :D :D
So I am CRACKING UP....He looks absolutely hysterical sporting one normal eyebrow & one EXTREMELY short...almost nonexistent eyebrow. I can't even look at him, I'm laughing so hard. Funny thing is...he had the #6 guard on the clippers, same as usual, but for some reason it didn't work quite as expected this morning. He says it must have been because I needed a good laugh today. Boy did I get one!
Well, we had church in 30 minutes...what to do...what to do....AHA! The beauty of the eyebrow pencil.....just a little careful application & viola! You couldn't even tell. No one in church even noticed.

Thanks for the laughs babe & for being such a good sport (I'm sure I would NOT have been.)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


There are some days when I'm just soooooooo tired. Deeply, painfully, excruciatingly tired. Like today. I was up too late last night on a date with my sweetie & then L was up FIVE times in the night!! Sometimes it feels like I haven't been well rested since I had kids...actually even before that...since the first time I got pregnant!
So I am going to bed.

I'm feeling kinda how L was feeling here...its 5:00 p.m., I'm making dinner, he's lying at my feet & says:
L: "Mommy, how much longer before dinner?"

Me: "About 10 minutes buddy (have you noticed we call him this A LOT?)"

L: "Okay."

Moments later, he was asleep on the hard, cold kitchen floor. I get it though. Some days, like today, I could go to sleep on the kitchen floor too.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Tag, I'm It....Part II

Ok so here's my next recipe to share. It is prepared in my BELOVED crockpot. I absolutely adore my crockpot. Would not get along without it. It is a MUST for any time starved, sleep deprived mommy like me....but I digress....behold...Teriyaki Pork Roast:

3/4 c. unsweetened apple juice
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 lb. boneless pork loin, halved
2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. water

1. Combine apple juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic powder, and pepper in greased crockpot.
2. Add roast. Turn to coat.
3. Cover. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Remove roast & keep warm.
4. In saucepan, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir in juice from roast. Bring to boil. Cook & stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with roast.

I serve this with brown rice for a healthy, delicious, EASY meal. Bon appetit!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tag, I'm It

Its my first tag! I've been tagged by Ally, the original family blogger, who has been waiting patiently for the rest of us to catch on....hey Ally it looks like it is FINALLY catching....actually spreading like wildfire is more like it...wooohooo!!

Anywhoo, I am supposed to be posting 3 of our favorite dinner recipes, BUT since my blog would cease to be MY blog without pictures, you will simply have to be patient & enjoy one recipe at a time until I can photograph a few more. ;)

Here's my first contribution...last night's blue plate special...Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law who used to make it better than I ever will. Everyone in our family LOVES it...even the kids gobble it right up!

2 c. Ritz crackers, crushed
1 tsp. seasoned salt (Lawry's)
8 oz. PLAIN yogurt
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
6-8 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (but I love to use chicken makes it...well, just more tender! :))
1/4 c. melted butter
Combine crackers, Parmesan cheese, garlic & seasoned salt; set aside. Coat each piece of chicken with plain yogurt, then coat with crumb mixture. Arrange in greased baking dish. Drizzle butter over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
the secret: the tip my mother-in-law gave me was to soak the chicken in the yogurt over night or at least for the whole day prior to baking....mmmm tender & DELICIOUS.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So if you've checked out the "about me" portion of my blog, you may have noticed that I am a chocoholic. Hello, my name is Jen & I am a chocoholic....a SERIOUS chocoholic. As in, must have chocolate EVERY SINGLE DAY!! It may just be a few chocolate chips if I have nothing better, but I really, really need just a little bit of chocolate daily....the DARKER, the better!

Oddly enough, this trait skipped being passed to my daughter who would rather have vanilla ice cream (?!?!) & went straight to my son. Little man L is *almost * as big of a chocolate lover as I am.

We have some friends who are going through a bit of a rough time right now & so L & I decided to make them some cookies. Since we would be giving the bulk of them away, we decided on nice, rich, chocolaty Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies. Mmmmmmmmmmm. I don't make these often because they are pure chocolate with chocolate chips & nuts. These cookies greatly displease Daddy & Z who would MUCH rather eat sugar cookies. But for L & I, we were in pure heaven.

For you other chocolate's the recipe (thanks to my sister-in-law C for sharing this recipe with me.)

Warning: These are DANGEROUS...I've already had more today than I'd care to admit. ;)

Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Mix dry ingredients. Cream butter & sugars. Add 1 egg at a time & then the rest of the ingredients. Bake 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees. Try not to eat all in one day. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Order out of Chaos

So I got an email the other day from my sister telling me about how excited she was about cleaning out & organizing her kitchen cabinets & how she couldn't wait to tackle her office. I replied about how that was "my kind of fun" (direct quote) & how excited I was about having cleaned out my laundry room that day. Then I told her that we were a couple of nerds. Yup, nerds. We are dorky, organizational nerds.

Ok, I admit it!
I LOVE to organize. A clean, organized space for me is a thin slice of heaven. It puts my mind in such a peaceful place. In my dream home EVERYTHING would have a place & everything would be IN its place. Now I definitely DO NOT live in that world, nor will I probably EVER live there with lots o' little kids and a husband who is....ahem....organizationally challenged. (love you sweetie!)

So for my latest project I undertook the task of cleaning out my "junk" drawer. It had gotten REALLY out of hand. I loved this project because it was quick, easy & the results were awesome! Yes, for me, this really was fun....not work. I even used a gift card to buy the drawer dividers & I was EXCITED to use my gift card for that.

I may be a nerd, but I'm a happy one. (at least every time I look in my junk drawer) Hmmmmm....I think that drawer needs a new name....odds & ends drawer, handy tools drawer, tidiest space in the house drawer..... ;)

Monday, January 14, 2008

"Is it my favorite?"

Hawaiian Haystacks. A dinnertime staple around here. It has been FOREVER & it was when I was growing up too. They are really quick, relatively cheap, made with stuff I usually have on hand & a definite crowd pleaser. They are also Z's FAVORITE meal. Inevitably as the dinner hour approaches she'll ask:
Z: "Mom, what's for dinner?"
Me: "Chicken." (not always of course, but we do eat A LOT of chicken)
Z: "Is it my favorite?" (she seriously asks this EVERY time we have chicken)
Me: "YES!"
Z: "Yeah!!!!" (happy dance)
At least tonight that was the gist of our conversation. There are plenty of times when the answer is "no" & then I know what's coming next...."awww Mom, I don't like this stuff....why don't you ever make my favorite???"
The thing is....I DO make it.....a lot.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Grandma's Garden

There are times in life when we must live vicariously. Sometimes, it is just necessary. Case in point...Grandma's garden. I'd LOVE to have a garden in our backyard, BUT feasibly at this point....uh, not gonna happen. Someday....... BUT, for the time being, we are lucky enough to enjoy the "fruits" (haha, no pun intended) of Grandma's labor.

Plus the kids get to have a little "gardening" experience. Nothing is more fun that eating fresh fruits & veggies that have grown right before your eyes. They are SO much more delectable than the stuff we get at the store (even from our beloved Market!)

I never thought I'd see the day that MY kids would eat tomatoes like apples, but they all do....seriously....they LOVE tomatoes.

I do remember that my opinion of tomatoes changed when I was about 10-years-old & had my first fresh tomato from my Grandpa N's garden....mmmmmm...I can still taste it....a big slice with just a little salt. Yummy! After that I had a new view of tomatoes. BUT, I still don't eat them like apples...a girl's gotta have limits. ;)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Trip to the Beauty Salon

There are not many 5-year-old girls who get to get their hair cut in a fancy salon (at least those who are living on our budget!), but my little Z just happens to be one of the lucky few. Our stylist, the divine Miss J, also happens to be one of the best friends I have ever...or will ever...have & she is sweet enough to give us a really GREAT deal. (We've been friends for over 20 YEARS!!! Now THAT makes me feel old.)

Today it was time for a trim & so Z & I headed out, just the 2 of us, for a little girl time. Z was a bit nervous, but really enjoyed being pampered. It was her first time having her hair washed in "the big bowl" & she obviously really enjoyed it! :) We all know that is THE BEST part of a haircut!!

As we were walking into the salon our conversation went a bit like this:
Z: "Mom, are you getting your hair cut today?"
Me: "No, mine takes a long time because I get color put in it."
Z: "What color do you get?"
Me: "Just brown."
Z: "I want to get color too!"
Me: "Weeelllll, maybe when you're all grown up."
Z: "Awww, okay."
Me: "What color do you want?"
Z: "PINK!"
Z is also blessed with amazing, naturally curly when she gets a cut she has layers put in so that it will curl up easily....making life easier for Mom. Even though sometimes she wishes for "smooth" hair, I think that she is oh so lucky & absolutely STUNNING with her beautiful curly locks.

All done...what a GORGEOUS girl!

(even without the pink...LOL!)

Friday, January 11, 2008


Today Miss Z had a play date with her cousin, little L. Not only are Z & L cousins, but also GREAT friends. It has been such a treat for us because L's family lives just minutes away. After they had tired of playing ponies, jumping on the trampoline & eating left over candy canes, they decided to get REALLY girly by putting on "makeup" & painting their nails. So, foreseeing a possible mess, I sent them into my bathroom to far from carpet & furniture as possible. As the baby was napping & little man L was off on his own play date, I enjoyed a few quiet minutes folding laundry & answering emails. I suddenly realized that the girls were quiet, TOO quiet. I decided to go investigate. I discovered two very glittery & glamorous little girls who had not only covered themselves in sparkles, but the bathroom too! Oh well, you're only 5 once right?

Lookin' good girlies!!