Sunday, December 12, 2010
Last year, we started a new tradition with our children: The Gingerbread House. For a family night, we brought out a kit I had purchased at Michael's Craft Store and had a good time putting it together. At Sloan's request, we even made characters to live in the house, based on his new favorite movie, "Frosty the Snowman". Apparently, this movie affected him more than we even knew and as luck would have it, the house proved completely inedible.
A fact the children refused to accept.
So, sit back, and enjoy as we introduce you to "Sister Frinkle" and the rest of the Frosty Gang courtesy of our very Gailey Christmas; sans pants.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
We already know that Ethan has some high expectations for his future Mrs. If you can't recall, see here. Last night just before bed (as this seems to be the time when my children open up to me most...) he enlightened me as to further qualifications for his future spouse.
Upon picking up my People magazine, he saw this add on the inside cover and took notice:
"Well, now! That's a pretty girl."
"Oh yeah? She's a little old for you, buddy." said I, remembering that, according to the People Birthday Calendar, she is 40 years his senior. "Maybe you'll have to set your sights closer to home."
"I don't know. Lots of girls are pretty but plain."
"Yeah? What other girls do you think are pretty?" I said, fishing for names of girls in his class to scout out when I am volunteering next...
"Well. . . I like this one. . ." he said, poking his finger at Kim Kardashian's face on the magazine's cover.
Ah, well. Not that I wouldn't mind being Julia Robert's mother-in-law...
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Well, folks. It's that time again to link up with Sami over at Symmetry in Motion for this month's Symfully Sweet Saturday! Rest assured, I did not take this month's competition laying down. Allow me to fill you in:
To help keep the competition interesting, I had a strong desire to try my hand in the culinary section of my store of creativity. It began with these little beauties and evolved (I'm sorry... snowballed) from there. As you continue to read, you'll see I got way out of hand.
Yes, cupcakes. But not just any cupcake. Vanilla cupcakes with a Buttercream Candy Corn frosting. Wait. Did she just say "Buttercream Candy Corn"? Why yes, she did.
Who knew that they made such a thing? Turns out this cute little site makes just about everything. I even picked up some "Candy Apple" flavoring to spice up the Apple Spiced Cuppies I made last year.
That's all well and good, but how did they taste?
One reviewer had this to say, "Mom, you should make these again!" Need I say more?
Lest you think I forgot the inside. It didn't go as planned, I'll admit. It was supposed to be layers, like, well, Candy Corn. Ah well, I accept.
They're cute anyway, right?
Even with these cute little cuppies in the holster, I could not be done. It might have been all the candy corn coursing through my veins over the last week, but I could not stop. Hmm... cupcakes mean birthdays. Birthdays mean parties. At least, in my world, it does. What next?
Aw. Now that's a cute little handmade box of Candy Corn. Oh, wait...
Ah, gee! Now that's just darling! It's a treat and an invitation?! You say I get an invitation to the party of the year as well as an ounce of Candy Corn?! Where do I sign?
I'm sorry. Your mouth is so full of delicious treats that I cannot understand you. Come again? Oh! You say that the positively sinful sweetness of my cupcakes has made you thirsty? May I offer you refreshment...?
And since no party would be complete without an edible parting gift, I present:
Party Favors a la Brooks: The Candy Corn Cake Pop. Original recipe, courtesy of the baking diva herself: Bakerella. Design and yummy execution: yours truly.
Does life get any sweeter than this? I submit not.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
So, I've gotten to do a lot of fun things lately. I blame my awesome husband for enabling me to do things that very well may turn into addictions. Let's be honest, though. They already were addictions. Card-Making and now (thanks to Maggie and Monica...) Spa Weekends. My sister, Sami, saw my post about my spa weekend in April and was green with envy. She decided that we ought to have one in the fall. Through much twisting of my arm, she was able to get me to agree and when she flew in on Thursday, we were ready to get our relaxation on!
Since I was a good blogger and took an insane amount of pictures, I will share my weekend with you in pictures.
We began our weekend on Friday morning at the Outlets. We got some really cute clothes, but this photo showcases one of my favorite moments in the day: shopping for sunglasses. I am borderline retarded when it comes to choosing eyewear so Sami was able to help my decision along. Isn't she fashionable?? I really like the shop-lifting safety advocate in the background.
We then headed to the hotel to check in and get gussied up for dinner/Girls Night Out. Too bad no one but us showed up. Ah, well. At least I had a hot date! Sami was a good sport and let me do her makeup... ain't she pritty??
Not sure why my teeth look orange in this picture. Please ignore that...
All dressed up and ready to go in our new outfits from White House Black Market. You don't have to say it, we know we're dead-sexy.
And no better place to eat than Lucille's Bar-B-Que! Yummy!
I can still smell the warm biscuits and apple butter.
My new hat from Charlotte Russe. It was too cute to pass up. Now if only I could figure out when and where it is appropriate to wear ridiculously adorable hats...?
Our hotel was pretty nice. Forget for a moment that it's basically like the Labyrinth on the inside, and it was awesome. We did meet a lot of nice guys willing to help us find our way. Either we looked pretty cute, or they were really drunk. At least we found our way. And the guy that touched Sami's neck was at least a 6. Not too shabby... Oh, yeah, the picture. Our room actually had a doorbell! Talk about fancy! Here is Sami, demonstrating exactly how cool we thought that it was.
I'm a sucker for a nice bathroom. This one ranks in the top 5 I've ever been in 'cause it had a chandelier. I know... I'm tough to impress.
Our room also had a balcony! It might not be much to you, but I've never stayed in a room that had one, so it must be elite. It didn't matter that recent precipitation left a good 2 inches of water on it and since we don't smoke, it was practically useless. It was still there.
The view from the balcony. It might mostly just be tree-top view, but it was MY tree-top view! Oh, and you see the little sliver of pool?? Pool-side, baby! Like I said, elite.
And on to the main event! We got to the spa around noon and enjoyed a 50-minute couples massage. Obviously, I don't have any pictures of that, but here's the before shot of our feet. Pretty snazzy footwear, eh? Spa regulation sandals. Beats the disposable flip-flops we were wearing after our pedicures. I nearly killed myself on them. Turns out, they're really slick!
Us in our paraffin-boot glory. Flattering, I know. Each thing that they put on our feet smelled better than the last. By the time they were brushing the bottom of my feet with a pumpkin pie scented mask, I wanted to eat my own feet.
During our pedicures, there was a wedding being set up. It began while we were waiting for our polish to dry and since the procession was being serenaded by a famous singer from a Christian rock band called Stryper, the ladies at the spa couldn't resist flinging open the doors and inviting us to watch the strangers wed from the main entrance in our bathrobes. This is the only picture I got (which isn't great) before security shut me down. Strange considering that the attending security guard and I go way back...
While we were getting ready to exit the spa, we noticed several people using a strange machine on which they would stand while the machine would shake them. Since I've decided to try to be more flexible and try things I otherwise wouldn't, I decided "What the hay?". It's called TurboSonic and apparently it detoxifies one's body by taking it through various degrees of shaking. According to the digital reader on the machine, in the ten minutes I was on it, I burned 150 calories. I'm pretty sure that would have to be from the laughing and not from the shaking though I'll reserve judgement until I see some scientific data from an independent researcher. Mostly, all it did for me is shake me to the point of nearly peeing.
Sami, trying to figure out the miracle machine.
The result. I miss you already , Green Valley Ranch Resort. Miss you already.
Oh, and you too, Sami.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Since my dear friend, Kris, invited me to my first card/stamping workshop in February 2008, I have fallen in love. In love with stamping. In love with card-making. In love with really cool tools for stamping and card making. And most of all, in love with the idea of being gone from real life for a whole day, doing something that I love with a bunch of people that I love.
Twice a year, there is such an event in Saint George, put on by one Jill Olsen. It. Is. Fantastic. I have only ever let myself go to one a year in February, but after much longing and deliberation, I decided and organized a group with our course set to Utah in October.
Saturday was the big day. We left early in the morning and returned late-ish in the evening. We had the best time with good friends, good food, good shopping, and of course enough craft ideas to make our collective head explode with joy.
Table #3 (Somehow entirely unpictured: Staci)
These are some of the favorites that we were able to make:
Dinner at Mongolian Barbecue. This is the before shot.
You pick out your uncooked food and sauce and after cooking it in front of you on a giant wok:
Voila! Dinner. The food was pretty good and I gotta admit it was pretty cool, but I can't lie, the atmosphere was a little iffy. Notice the cardboard boxes they are standing on? Definitely a new experience... maybe I need more of those.
Just had to add this in. Mason, enjoying his spoils from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory located in the same shopping center as the Mongolian Barbecue. I couldn't forget my babies entirely...
Wish you were here?
Posted by Brooks at 6:02 PM
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
As I was finishing an all-too-quiet shower this morning, I turned off the water and was immediately greeted by:
"Riiip! (*giggle, giggle, giggle*)."
Knowing this was not a good sound, I quickly dried off just enough water to not slide across the linoleum, and ran to see what my youngest child was up to. I could do nothing but shake my head and laugh at what I found:
At least someone liked it.
Now tell me, Mason. How many licks does it take?
Posted by Brooks at 5:23 PM
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
So, I'm actually subjecting myself to what they call a "linky-party". Whatever that is... It started as me, trying to make my sister (over at Symmetry in Motion) feel like she's not a loser, and then it turned into fun. You see, she's hosting this contest called "Symfully Sweet Saturdays" and was afraid that no one would participate. As a general rule, I don't participate in contests because I don't ever win, but being the devoted sister that I am, I couldn't let her down. That's just how I roll...
Take a moment and check the links I supplied. I'll wait...
So, now if you've done the required reading associated with the links above, you should know what this contest is all about. Now, I will give you the assignment: Tootsie Rolls!
I had no idea what to do until I got my latest order from Stampin' Up!. Gosh, I love that company. In that order happened to be THE MOST DARLING Owl Punch. I was inspired.
So, without further ado: My project. I hope that you think that it is as cute as I do...
The Tootsie Pop goodie bag!
And of course, what is a Tootsie Roll challenge without actual Tootsie Rolls??
*For the record, I am aware that the text for the Tootsie Roll Pillow Box should have been white and not black. Unfortunately, the size constraints of the pillow box determined the impossible nature of hand-cutting letters in the correct font. I'm only 27. I don't need arthritis... yet.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sloan is probably my most interesting boy. He gets along very well with girls, loves to play house, and his favorite color, despite the merciless teasing of his older brother, is pink. I would worry about him and being able to fit in when he starts school, but he also loves to do "boy" things, too.
One of his most interesting attributes is his imagination. I am certain that (along with his good looks...) he got my creative genius. Lucky boy, indeed.
This evening, while putting him to bed, he announces:
"I've lost my sister."
"That's because you don't have a sister."
"Oh, I've got a sister. I just can't find her."
Now, I am a person who believes that children can somehow know things that we don't, so in my excitement I probed further:
"What do you mean?"
"I have a sister, but I can't find her, so I've lost her." Rolling his eyes and holding his hands out in explanation, like this makes it quite plain.
"Sloan, you don't have a sister. Who is Sister?"
Sloan tired of our conversation and was in no mood to give further explanation to his slow mother. Luckily, Josh was enlightened and had just come into the room.
"Sister?" he says, "I know who she is."
"Who is Sister, and how do you know?"
"Deggy told me." (Deggy is Sloan's favorite stuffed bear.) "After he finished his prayer, of course."
Please, allow me to introduce, Sister:
Apparently, my dreams of having a daughter were satisfied with a toy from the dollar section of Michaels. Go me.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Something that you may not know about me: People tell me things. I don't know why, perhaps I am just a good listener, but people confide in me. Generally, it's strangers who have no business assuming that I am a trustworthy person worthy of confiding in.
Yesterday, while sitting down to a nice lunch at CostCo, my listening ear failed me. It could be that I am still getting over an ear infection that I contracted two weeks ago. In fact, we'll place the blame for my predicament there. Aside from that, I must confess that when a stranger is pouring out their secrets to me, I don't always give them my best attention. Especially when I am wrangling three boys and my husband is in the three-hour food court line. In these instances, my mind goes into what I like to call "Auto Response", and I use one of four blanket answers for each thing that they say. We all do it, right? Right?
The situation happened like this: As I was pulling the third of my boys from the cart I heard a woman behind me say, "Wow. Three boys, huh?" (I get this a lot. At least once every time I go to the grocery store. Apparently, we are quite the circus sideshow...)
Me: "Yup. Three boys."
Stranger: "Ever gonna try for a girl?"
(This question is the one that bothers me. Oh, blast. I can try for a girl? Shoot. If I had known, maybe I would have applied myself more...)
Me: "Ah, well, the "trying" hasn't worked so well thus far, so I think I'm just happy with my boys."
Stranger: "Wow. I'm glad that since I could only have one, it's a girl." (Points across the table to her daughter.)
Me: "Well, I'm happy for you."
Stranger: "You see, I am a school teacher and I always thought that I wanted both a boy and a girl, but after teaching boys, I am so glad that I got a girl."
Me: "Yeah, boys are certainly a different breed."
Stranger: "Yeah. I have problems with infertility so I could only do one round of IVF."
(I have nothing else to blame for what next popped out of my mouth but that my irritation with the conversation had activated "Auto Response".)
Me: "Oh, fun!"
The instant it came out, I realized what I had just said and I wanted to reach out into the thin air and grab it back. It was like watching a terrible cartoon. I quickly rambled something about how beautiful her daughter was and hoped that she hadn't noticed the insensitive, yet unintentional, comment. Our conversation didn't last long beyond that point. I tried to snuff it out and turn away with the pretense of digging through my purse and focusing all my attention on putting lipgloss on Mason, lest my mouth get me further into trouble.
Ironically, the subject of a daughter came up later during lunch with Ethan. While eating his pizza, he declared that, "Mom, if you ever do get your own girl, you're gonna have to give it it's own room, 'cause we don't want it to bother us."
Maybe I'm better off...
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Very few actually know what a rockin' mom I really am and since I don't ordinarily like to toot my own "Rockin' Mom" horn, not many ever will. But occasions of extra rockin'-ness such as this warrant vigorous horn-tooting. And so I commence...
Josh recently finished his LAST SUMMER SEMESTER as a Dental Student! Meaning, that we have a whopping 8 months left until I get to see my stud muffin in a cap and gown. We decided to make our last break between summer and fall semesters one that the boys (at least the two older ones...) would remember. (When I say "We" you know I mean "I" as I am the rockin' one here...). The boys had been begging to go camping, probably because Caillou loves to camp. He is the coolest bald kid on PBS, after all.
Being something of an allergy-stricken indoor girl, Josh assumed that I would want no part of that. Or rather, perhaps he hoped... hmm... but rather than let the boys have all the fun, I opted to introduce my boys to the "Sloan" way of camping.
The plan: To drive to Mt. Charleston and find a camp ground for over night. We found one wonderful campsite at "Hill Top" campground (The view was A-mazing!) and set up our tent, "kitchen area" and "explored" in the woods. We took hikes, ate ridiculously unhealthy foods in large amounts, and played Uno until one sore loser put an end to that. By the time the sun was setting, our boys were obviously tired and it was quite plain that they would sleep like champions, even in a tent. Explore the rest of the night with me:
8:31: All three boys, sound asleep in their respective beds. Parents quietly chatting under a beautiful full moon.
8:45: Dad concedes that buying the lantern that Mom suggested would have been nice to play games by. (We didn't build a fire on purpose. I didn't think that it was the safest thing to have a blazing fire and a curious 15-month-old.)
9:00: Equally tired parents decide the wise thing to do would be to brush teeth and turn in.
9:15: Mom discovers that toilets have a curfew as the door to the closest "Vault" toilet is locked.
9:21: Mom explores options of open-range peeing.
9:36: Parents in bed and children still asleep.
9:42: Frantic giggling under the covers as parents learn that at least one of their boys is a "sleep tooter".
10:02: The first squeaks erupt from Child 1's air mattress as he rolls over.
10:03: Child 3, screaming.
10:45: Child 3, asleep, being put back in crib.
10:46: Child 3, screaming.
11:27: Child 3, asleep, being put back in crib.
11:28: Child 3, screaming.
11:45: Child 3, asleep, yet thrashing in Parent's bed.
11:47: Child 3, evicted from parent's bed.
12:01: Soft rustling sounds as Dad takes Child 3 to the van for a drive.
3:00: Dad awakened by Child 3, screaming in car seat.
3:01: Dad learns that he should have moved the lumbar support while sleeping in the car.
3:10: Dad refills Child 3's milk and rocks him to sleep.
3:17: Child 1, jealous and awake in Parent's bed, asking why Dad got to take a hike in the dark.
4:23: Child 3 in parent's bed, cuddling with Mom; Dad sleeping sideways on bottom of air mattress, cuddling Mom's feet.
5:15: Child 1, awake, announcing that "The sun is up! It's day!"
5:16: Child 1, 2, & 3, awake for the day.
5:30: Family walk around the campground.
5:45: Mom discovers that toilets don't so much have curfews as broken doorknobs and with a little ingenuity uses the most disgusting "Flush Toilet" in history.
6:00: Breakfast of Pop Tarts and Apple Juice in the tent. Note to self: Bad idea.
8:00: Family hike up Robber's Roost which would be slept through by Child 3.
11:00: Breaking down camp and heading home for grilled cheese and showers.
Perhaps Mason's just not ready for camping... but I am still pretty rockin'. Basically, the "Sloan" way of anything, rocks. Even when it turns out that bad. You wouldn't believe it, but the boys had a blast and can't wait to do it all over again. Even I'd do it over again... but only with a healthy dose of Dimetapp around 8:29.
Mason after some "exploring". Boys may as well be made of dirt...
*Sadly, this is really the only picture we took. We realized halfway to Mt. Charleston that we forgot the camera to document our rockin'-ness but the boys were too excited to turn around. We decided to rely on our camera phones (picture taken above), not realizing that searching for signal because you're on top of a mountain would result in two dead phones after 1 hour. Live n' learn, I guess...