Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Christmas Tree

It was a ccccoooolllllddddd December Saturday. Everyone was bundled up and ready for the hunt to begin.

Off to work crew! Find us that perfect Christmas tree.

At last it was found. Nic and Arielle were put to work sawing it down.

Kiley watched and hung out in the tree wagon.

Bella cringed on the ground trying to decide which way it would fall.

Dad held the tree (because Lilly ran around the tree, and again, we didn't know which way it would fall) while Valerie watched on.

Finally the tree came down and Nic used his boy scout skills to cut us a nice base.

Arielle and I huddled around with joy that we found the perfect tree and would soon be sipping hot chocolate in a heated car.

Let's haul that baby home!

Look at that tree!!!!! It is the tallest we have ever found. It looks like I am off to buy more Christmas lights!


This year the best part of Thanksgiving for me was......... That it was so casual and laid back. Everyone helped prepare dinner and we didn't have a set time to get things done by. It was a great way to celebrate this year - considering my tendency to want to do nothing......hormones, right?
Jim and Lilly worked on a cheese, meat and cracker tray.

Our yummy appetizers we snacked on most of the day.

Arielle helped me make the pie crusts.

Nic did a lot of cooking. Here he is getting ready to do the stuffing.

Bella and Kiley are working on the kids favorite pie - Chips-A-Hoy chocolate pie.

Valerie made these yummy rolls - Rhodes style.

Jim boiled our flavor injected turkey. He had to sit outside and hold the umbrella over it so the flames wouldn't go out.

Bella and Arielle set the table for us.

And dinner was served!

I believe in disposable tableware, sorry environment. I do recycle though.

Nic is not drinking beer. It is a favorite ROOT beer.

Arielle likes a crust only pie.

I made this delicious pie. Close to picture perfect, it signifies how grateful we our for our happy and comfortable lives.

Fall Sports

This fall Valerie and Nic played Volleyball, Kiley played Field Hockey and Arielle and Bella decided to take gymnastics. I didn't get any pictures of Val and Nic because I was the assistant coach and didn't even think to take my camera. They both played well- Valerie got a lot better at blocking and playing at the net. Nic had a lot of energy and would run for almost every ball.

Arielle and Bella love going to the gym. Every time I watch them they are bouncing around in place they are so happy. Bella falls down about 10 times a lesson, just because she is bouncing so much in one place. Arielle seems to get competitive and likes to do things fast.

Kiley played Field Hockey this year for the first time. She had a lot of fun with her friends. She even played well enough to get invited to an end of year all-star game. Too bad it was on Sunday. Luckily for Kiley though, she was the only one I got pictures of playing.


We can tell the kids are getting older because there weren't as many pumpkin carvers this year. The ones that did carve though made some great jack-o-lanterns.Nic went as his Dad.Kiley was a Wizard.Bella was a Cowgirl.Arielle was a Mad Scientist and Lilly was a Princess.The best part of Halloween was that Grandma was there to visit!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Honey Crisps

My dear friend Shannon invited us to go pick apples with her the other week. We gathered up most of our kids and headed to the orchard. The kids were happy, the apples were huge and juicy sweet and the cider doughnuts were delicious. Thank you Monsons!

Kentucky Vacation

I had an extra airline ticket to use and Jim's parents came into town for about two weeks. This all added up to the perfect set up for a long weekend vacation for Jim and I.
We decided to head to Kentucky since that was a state that neither of us have been to. Our first stop, and one I didn't get pictures of, was to the Louisville Slugger museum. Jim got to swing Mickey Mantel's personal bat and we saw how baseball bats were made. It was a really fun tour. Our next stop was to Churchill Downs. It was a huge, palace like place. It was very beautiful.
In the midst of our little travels, I did get to try Derby Pie. It has chocolate and nuts in it, kind of like a pecan pie.
We were able to visit the Louisville Temple. It was beautiful, but what I liked best was how friendly everyone inside was. We were chatted up at every opportunity.
We couldn't have missed Mammoth Cave. We descended 280 stairs through narrow and twisting rocks. It was a little intimidating at first, but it was beautiful.
I was environmentally friendly and had my shoes scrubbed so I wouldn't transfer bat diseases. This was a precaution they take because I wore these shoes in Jewel Cave a few months before. It was neat to see the differences of the two caves.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was the Lexington Food tour we took. I know Jim had his doubts, but he ended up loving it just as much as I did. We went to 7 different local restaurants and were taught a little history as we toured around.
Our fist stop was to Alfalfa's. We had fresh buckwheat blueberry pancakes topped with a homemade blackberry syrup. Wow, soooooo good. If we had stayed here one more day I would have gone back for a full breakfast.
At our second stop we were given a taste of a favorite local soda. It is called Ale 8 1 (a late one). It is kind of gingery, but pretty good. The locals said it is all the rage at the little country church parties.
I forgot the name of this restaurant, but it was very fancy and the chef passed around his cook book. We had fried green tomatoes - which Jim ate and enjoyed, Black Eyed Peas made into croutons, and the most delicious deviled eggs we have ever had.
At this local hang out we had black bean and ham soup, which you could spice up with some lime tequila if you wanted. We stuck to the sour cream and onion add-ons.
The soup came with fried corn sticks and jalapeno butter.......mmmm so warm and delicious.
Here we had bread pudding infused with Bourbon. We weren't too sure how potent the Bourbon was, so we at a few bites to taste it, but didn't eat it all........just in case. :)
These guys are part Italian and part Spanish and decided to get together and make Pasta. They supply local restaurants, work with Chef's to make signature pasta flavors and sell their product at an open air market.
We had their red pepper pasta with a cheese sauce and chicken bites. This was Jim's favorite meal. It was really good. I loved the different flavor and the freshness of the pasta.
Our last stop was another fine dinning restaurant. We had a red pepper and lobster polenta, with a crispy outside topped with a small prawn and sweet Bourbon sauce. It was soooo fun to try something I would never order. And it was very, very good. I didn't have a favorite, I just enjoyed being able to try so many different foods.
We had a great time in Kentucky, it was a beautiful state. And in the end, though we loved our vacation, we were excited to get back too........
our turkeys at home.
Thanks Mom and Pops Atkinson for watching our kids!