Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa, Baby

Tom took the day off today so we went to the mall to visit Santa.

Morgan did really well with him. He liked her so much, I'm sure she'll get a great gift this Christmas. Enjoy this $25 picture...
Morgan's Christmas dress.

Thanksgiving Pictures

Here are pics from our Thanksgiving weekend.

Tom and his turkey.
Our place settings.
Some day we may have a dining table and chairs and not have to borrow from the church, but then again, maybe not.

The pecan pie. I made the crust and my mom made the filling. Sooooo good.

On Saturday we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the BYU vs Utah game. Well, I guess I should say that Tom, Jo Ann, Ron and my dad went to watch. The rest of us showed up two hours later and left before it was over. What can I say, I'd rather shop than watch football.

New Moon

Yes, I am one of the die-hard Twilight freak fans that went to the Midnight showing of New Moon. I even had some tattoos that I got with the book and put them on my neck and wrist. The wrist says "Edward" because I definitely belong to "Team Edward."

The other crazies with me are Nicole, Angela and Collette. We were also there with Amber and Sandi but they weren't there for the pic. Angela, Sandi and I played basketball from 9 to 10:15 and then met Collette and Nicole in line. Collette got there around 9:30 and was at the front! Yeah, Collette!

It was a good time and the movie was so much better than the first one.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Today was such a wonderful day. We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house with my parents, Jackson, Shyanne, Tom's mom, Jo Ann, step dad, Ron and coworker, Kevin. It was our first time to cook a turkey. Tom studied how to prepare it for weeks and it was so delicious, thanks to America's Test Kitchen and PBS. My mom and I made a pecan pie from scratch, too. We made everything else but it was the normal stuff and boring to read about. I did forget to make the green bean dish that I had planned to make and started preparing the night before. Oh well.

We spent the morning cooking, then I took Shyanne and Ron for a 3 mile run, dropped them off at my house and ran another mile. It was one of those days that I just didn't get tired.

After dinner we went to New Moon (which I'd already been too -- midnight on opening day!). When we got home I put away the fall decor and got out the Christmas stuff.

I used to not like Thanksgiving very much and would plan stuff like trips to Hawaii and not care about missing the holiday but I have a greater respect for the day now. With so many people having a hard time right now I feel very blessed and thankful that we are doing well mentally, physically, economically, spiritually and emotionally.

To close this post I have decided to write 20 things that I am thankful for that come to my head first.

1. My husband and daughter.
2. Our extended family that is so wonderful and are willing to travel to visit us in Idaho.
3. My church calling in the young women.
4. My health.
5. That Morgan was born without complications and has been over all very healthy.
6. That I had the opportunity to bring a life into this world.
7. Our house.
8. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (this is in random order, obviously) who love us unconditionally.
9. Tom's job that allows me to stay at home with Morgan.
10. Everyone who helped us move into our house while I was in the hospital and those who were so welcoming when we got here.
11. Books.
12. Movies and TV that allow me to veg and wind down.
13. Restaurants where Tom and I can have date night every week.
14. Date night.
15. Our babysitter, Kelli, who is so good with Morgan.
16. A king sized bed.
17. The United States of America.
18. To be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
19. The holidays that bring festivities and fun from all around.
20. Nice people.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lights! Camera! MURDER!

Tonight we had a great time at a Night of Mystery murder mystery party hosted by Amber and Collette, or should I say, Dana Darling and Penelope Hughes. I started off as Angel Wood, a seductive actress that just won an Academy Award, and ended as the lieutenant because Angel Wood was the one who was murdered. It was a lot of fun and everyone got into their characters well.

The way to play is prior to the party, each guest receives a detailed character description (including costuming and acting tips) and background information on their characters. The guests arrive at the party in character and are given a set of objectives (to complete at the beginning of the party). The objectives given to each of the characters are designed to help the guests mingle with one another and to help divulge more information about possible motives for the murder that is about to occur.

When the lights went down, so did I. The rest of the night we were given clues to use to help us solve the murder (and I came back as someone else). Amber was the only one that knew who it was beforehand (because she was the host). None of the rest of us guessed correctly at the end of the night. It was Brady Comeback!

Here are some pics of the night. Thanks again Amber and Collette!

Dana Darling and Brady Comeback/Amber and Brent

T. Redd and Jada Broken/Robbie and Sandi

Hobart Hughes and Natasha Gibson/Garrett and Tasha

Ward Winner and Penelope Hughes/Russell and Collette

Angel Wood/The Lieutenant and Hunter Starr/Kelli and Tom

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Laughing Gerber Baby

I took this picture of Morgan and I think she looks so pretty in it. I love her eyes and lips. We've been told that she looks like the Gerber baby and Cindy Lou Who, and we agree to both.

Lately we've gotten a funniness confidence boost. Morgan is finally laughing at random things we do. She's been laughing for a few months but now it's for real. Last night she was sitting with Tom in the living room and I ran across the kitchen and slid (on purpose) on the hard wood floor all Tom Cruise in "Risky Business" like. Morgan thought that was the funniest thing and started cracking up. Of course that meant that I did that for the next 20 minutes but it was worth it. It was great exercise and hearing my kid's laugh if the best sound in the world.

Another thing that she is doing is balancing when we hold her in the air by her thighs. She has pretty strong core muscles and does really well standing while holding my hand. I think she might skip crawling entirely. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DC Sniper

Tonight the DC Sniper was put to death by lethal injection (which, if you ask me, is too good for him). I guess I just wanted to write something because it was such a big deal to me since I was right there during those weeks of terror. It is hard to put into words how I felt while the DC Sniper thing was going on. Sometimes we tried to joke about it, sometimes we expressed our fear.

"Terror" really is the only way to describe those weeks. Everyone was scared just to walk outside. There were people taking their kids out of school and the ones that were there were on lock-down. I was a missionary at the time and we were put on lock-down every time we heard of a new shooting. I was on exchanges when the first one happened and had to spend the day at other people's apartment without my own things.

I remember going running on p-day with another missionary and at this time the reports were that the people doing the shooting were driving a white van. We would freak out a little every time a white van drove past us. One van drove past and the driver did something to make a gun shot noise to scare us. It totally worked and wasn't a funny joke.

The thing that was scary was that everything was so random. The last killing was right by the apartment complex I was at when the first one happened. Others happened all over the DC area, in both Maryland and Virginia.

Lori, one of the people that was killed, was at the nearest gas station to the temple. She was LDS and helped us out with an investigator one day. I don't remember a lot about her, just that she was helpful. She drove us from our area to the visitors' center so the investigator could get a tour. When she was killed, two sister missionaries were in the grocery store parking lot next door and were the first ones to run to her. When they got to the visitors' center, Sister J (to not disclose the true identity) told me that she watched the life drain out of the woman.

Another thing I remember was when the freeway was shut down from the beltway to Germantown because they were looking for the shooter. It turns out (from what I remember) that the the snipers were on the freeway but the police were looking for the white van still.

Anyway, lethal injection was too easy in my opinion. I know that I'm stepping down a spiritual law when I want an eye for an eye... but I'll advance in other ways.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Little Bee and More Halloween Stuff

For her first Halloween, Morgan was a bee. I think she's the cutest bee in the entire world.
Maybe next year we'll take the candy out of the wrapper for her.
Tom and Morgan at the ward Trunk or Treat
Me getting a big bee kiss

We weren't able to get this done before the party so we made a Rice Crispy Treat brain on Halloween day.
The last surprise Halloween dessert was this kitty litter cake with Tootsie Rolls for poo.We found it to be really clever and good so I'm putting instructions on my blog for anyone that wants to do it.

1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 white cake mix
2 large packages vanilla instant pudding mix, prepared
1 large package vanilla sandwich cookies
12 small Tootsie Roll candies
1 new kitty litter pan
1 new kitty litter pan liner
1 new pooper scooper

Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans).
Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.
Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.
When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it too soggy. Combine gently.
Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box.
Put 3 unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything -- this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.
Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top. For the coup de gras take one Tootsie Roll and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bluuuuuuh (in Dracula accent)

Have I mentioned that I love hosting parties? Because I do! This is the end result of our JELLO man. Doesn't it look creepy! I couldn't have been more satisfied with how the skin turned out. We made the blood with berry jam. The picture on the right is just after the Baby Ruth was dissected from out of the colon area-- I know it's disgusting... but so great.

The girls that planned the party with me came over to decorate before the party. We put up the tables and chairs, then as part of the party games we put random kitchen items that could be used as bowls, spoons and forks in paper bags so our guests could choose what they would be eating with.

My mom helped me decorate the stairway while she was here. We hung this giant spider from the light. I vehemently dislike spiders and this one creeped me out every day. (Picture below)

When the guests started to arrive, one couple brought this poster of me and two other gals dressed as KISS delivering the invitations. They taped it to the wall in the enterance.

I took Morgan to a babysitter who was also babysitting some of our guests' kids. I told her to call if Morgan wouldn't stop crying. After about 45 minutes I got a phone call and ran and picked her up.

After dinner everyone played Bunco (except me because
I was taking care of Morgan). I had never heard of Bunco until I moved into this ward. I think it it suggested for almost every group activity. Anyway, that's what was played and I think everyone had fun.

At the end of the night everyone voted on their favorite costumes. We took 2nd place! Here are pictures of the guests and their costumes.

Nacho Libre and Sister EncarnaciĆ³n (1st place)

Vampire and Vampiress (2nd place) Pregnant Nun and a Priest Obama and his Nobel Peace Prize (3rd place) Whoopi Goldberg (I think but maybe just a black chick) and King Bling

Holy Sheet and Sheet Head
(I didn't know that is what they were until after the party. At first I thought they were ghosts but now that I know, I think it's way cooler) Lady and Her Cat
Dora and Diego
Ketchup and Mustard


Have I ever mentioned how clever Tom is? Well, he thought of something to be the highlight of the Halloween party. To do it successfully we had to purchase two mannequin torsos and a whole bunch of JELLO.

First, we made a bunch of peach and mixed it with milk then dumped it in one torso. Next we put the other torso on top and took it outside in the cold air to harden over night.

The next day I made a JELLO heart out of a mold that we got.

Then we mixed a jillion boxes of raspberry JELLO and dumped it in the torso on top of the peach "skin." Next, we put the heart in and added gummy worms and Baby Ruth candy bars.

I'll post the results next...

Grandma's Visit

Tom was away on business again last week so we flew my mom out to stay with me and Morgan so we weren't scared. We had a great time preparing for our Halloween party. I think we made ten trips to various stores to buy seasonal merchandise.

Tom and I decided to be vampires for our party and we needed to make a dickey for Tom's costume to make it look real. My mom helped me do it and it turned out to be just what I wanted.

Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin (I don't know the real name) was on one night and I turned it on to watch with Morgan. I used to watch it and Garfield's Halloween Special every year when I was growing up so lucky Morgan gets to join in the tradition.
We're so glad that grandma was here for the week. We had so much fun and she was so helpful. We can't wait to see her again for Thanksgiving.