Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Son, The Walking Infomercial

Harrison has an excellent memory and also loves to watch commercials. So, the other day I was feeling exasperated with Elizabeth and said, "What am I going to do with you?" Harrison replied, "Mom, if you think we have too much stuff, you could get some Space Bag Storage Packs." M, "What??" "You can put them anywhere -- under the bed, in closets, or in drawers." When I realized he was quoting an infomercial, it really cracked me up and improved my mood. (Although I just realized he was probably thinking we could put Elizabeth in one of those things, suck all the air out with a vacuum and shove her under the bed.)

The next day he randomly said, "Mom, to order Space Bag Storage Packs, you must be 18 years or older." Now, if I could only get him to listen and remember everything I say. . .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Party

Jenni and I threw a Pumpkin Party this weekend that was so much fun! I LOVE themes and got a big kick out of all the pumpkin stuff we did. It started with a pumpkin pail full of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for the invite.
After trying lots of different options, we decided on this table cloth and pumpkin center piece.
For dinner we ate Pumpkin Curry Soup and Baked Potato Soup served out of pumpkin tureens.

Jenni humored me as I insisted on taking a picture of us with the fruits of our labors.

For dessert we had pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies and pumpkin cake, and some other yummy treats. (This is actually a picture from the last time I made it, because it turned out cuter that time!) Then we carved pumpkins. Here we are with our traditional jack-o-lantern type pumpkin.
Tiffany and Mark were in the bigger is better camp and Mark was trying to score brownie points (or something) with his romantic carving! Chris and Jenni went traditional too. Mina and Derek spent a lot of time on their Cosmic Kitty design!
Randi and Allen had a vision for their odd-shaped pumpkin that no one else would have picked. I was quite impressed with their pre-planning Allen's free-hand skull carving.

Then we played Nate's and my all-time favorite party game -- The Couples Game (our friends in CA got sick of it, but we never tire of it.) It generated a lot of laughs, as always. We had so much fun and are thankful for good friends.

Friday, October 24, 2008


HE HE HE = Harrison + Elizabeth Making Me Laugh!!!
The other night I went to put H. to bed and found this. I asked him if he did it and he said no, so E. must have done it. It is so precious how the maternal instincts come out so quickly in little girls!
This is what I saw from my family room after making my kids an afternoon snack of Ramen Noodles. (Notice the legs). I have no idea why they were doing that, but they left their legs up there the whole time and have done it a few more times since (probably because I took so many pictures the first time.)
I would love to know who started it and who was the copy cat. I bet I can guess!

I think I've mentioned H.'s obsession with bows and arrows that he got from the Book of Mormon. (We are still reading the story of Nephi's Bow almost every night). Well, he's having trouble waiting for Christmas, so I decided to make him one in the mean time. He LOVED it.
I should have thought of it sooner - it took about 2 minutes. I love that he's still pretty easy to please!I know this one is blurry, but notice the "arrows" in his pocket!
What a funny kid. Yesterday he carried a bottle of aloe gel around all day (took it to Target and everything). He said it was, "just in case I get sunburned, so I can be frepared (he meant prepared)." I was telling him something totally unrelated that I was proud of him about and he said, "You know what makes me croud? That I love being frepared." Maybe I need to get his ears checked again!

Last Thursday Nate took the kids to watch our then-undefeated BYU Cougars at a friends house (I had a meeting). Thanks to Obaachan and Ojiichan, they were able to be decked out in BYU apparel. (Harrison and Elizabeth are both wearing size 2T -- his way too small, hers way too big! His 5T one was in the wash).
Better luck next time, Cougs!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Little Pumpkins

This little pumpkin was killing me today in her darling Halloween outfit! I got that shirt on clearance at the GAP right after I found out I was pregnant with Harrison. I loved it then and love it now and hope that a couple more kids get to wear it someday!

The shirt even says "my little pumpkin." Too sweet!

I couldn't resist showing Harrison in the shirt. He was about 6 months younger when he wore it. Oh my, they grow up way too fast. I miss that little guy. Can I just take a moment to say how much I LOVED that pumpkin patch. It was at Avila Valley Barn on the Central Coast of California and we went every year since Little H. was born (4 years). I am very sad not to go this year. I've asked around about a patch here that has PILES of PUMPKINS, because that's what I loved about it, but no one knows of one. Oh well, there's plenty of things here to make up for the lack of piles of pumpkins. I just want to eat him up!
Okay, back to the present. . .these two really do melt my heart!

She watches him for all of her cues on how to act and what to do. She has just recently started saying his name "Shehson." She asks, "Shehson?" M, "He's at school." E, "Oh." It's so cute!

Yesterday at school they went to the pumpkin patch. This is what he picked. When I inquired about the missing stem (because really, a cute stem makes a cute pumpkin) he said his friend pulled it off. Later after he overheard me complaining about the friend to Nathan he informed me that it was just an "askadent." I'm glad he's a loyal friend.

I'm also glad he's a little bit crazy. Keeps things interesting.

Here he is trying to emulate the sweet smile I was demonstrating for him. I LOVE these two little pumpkins (even more on days like the last few when everyone has gotten enough sleep!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Soup Recipe

There have been a few requests for the Ward Award Winning Soup recipe. I was hesitant to put it on here because I wanted to try to tweak it a little more, but I don't know when I'll get to making it again, so I'll post it and let you tweak it as you may. (Thanks again to Shauna G. for the original recipe)

Chicken Queso Soup

3-4 C. cooked chicken, shredded
(I did 5 smaller breast portions, probably the equivalent of 3 big ones in the crock-pot with 3 C. of chicken broth (3 C. water + 3 t. bullion) -- for about 4 hours and it shredded right up)

After shredding the chicken, add it back to the broth (which should now be 4+ cups of broth with the extra juices from the chicken. So if you do your chicken a different way you need about 4 1/2 C. of chicken broth).

Then add:
16 oz. can Mexican corn (rinsed)
16 oz. can black beans (rinsed)
4 oz. can diced green chilies (with juices)
10.75 oz. can Campbell's Cream of Potato Soup (I want to try leaving this out and see if I still like it. It would save on money and be healthier without it and I think it would still be good. If someone tries it without, let me know, although you wouldn't have anything to compare it to. . .)
1/3 C. snipped fresh cilantro (plus more for the very end)
1 envelope Taco Seasoning

Let that simmer for a while. I did it for a few more hours in the crock pot.

About an hour before serving, remove 1-2 C. of the broth into a pan and add 1 1/2 C. water, plus 1 C. of sour cream (I used low-fat and it was still good) and a 14-16 oz. jar of queso. I used Pace Mexican 4 Cheese - because it looked the most real (not bright orange) and it was the cheapest. Blend that all together and then add it back to the rest of the soup. Sprinkle with additional fresh cilantro before serving.

You can garnish with fresh avocado. I didn't, but I think it would be very yummy. I also thought fresh chopped tomato would be a nice touch, but didn't do that either. It tastes great with tortilla chips for dipping, but is also amazing (and much healthier) without. Oh man, now I want some. Really bad.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ward Halloween Party

So I should be going to bed, but the massive amounts of Halloween candy that I pilfered from my children after our ward Halloween party are running through my veins and keeping me alert!

Since they didn't want people to wear masks, I decided to paint Harrison's face to go with his Spiderman costume. (I figured we needed to do something to make it special since he wears is several times a week!) So yesterday we did a test run and it went pretty well.
First thing after waking up this morning he said, "Let's paint my face." I explained that it wasn't going to be until a lot later. He said, "But it's tomorrow." (Meaning, we are now in tomorrow which is when I said the party would be.) Unfortunately after being excited about it all day, the paint bothered his face much more tonight (maybe because we went swimming today?) and he couldn't handle it, so I wiped it off and we were left with a sunburned-looking Spiderman. Oh well, it set him apart from the 5 other Spidermen there.
Elizabeth was a chick. And she sure was cute -- for the whole 5 minutes she kept her costume on. Good thing I got it on clearance last year for $4.99.

Then this started to happen. . .
Forget the costume. This girl was there for one thing and one thing only (takes after her Mom).

Where was she getting this constant supply of candy?

From Miss Smartie Pants.

Lots of people didn't get it at first. Do you?

Next year I might just put them on my rear and go as a Smart _ _ _ instead!

Harrison loved the donut on a string game.

For the record, Nate was there. He said he was going as a model for Steve and Barry's (His entire outfit is from there including the shoes and jacket which aren't shown in this picture.)

My face wasn't the only thing fed at this party, my ego was too. I am not a very competitive person (probably because there aren't that many competitions that I could win). One of the only things that bring it out in me are Ward Soup Cooking Contests. I was very pleased tonight to win my third one! I wasn't nearly as confindent as I was last year, because I was trying out a new recipe (a risky move I realized, but I really wasn't going for the gold this year, so to speak). After winning twice with Baked Potato Soup (in two different wards) this year I did Chicken Queso Soup. Thanks to Shauna for the recipe, that I changed a little, including the name, because there were no tortillas in it. Now I have two "A Ward Award Winning Soups."

Here's me last year. Here I am with this year's prize. (And cuter hair if I say so myself.)

Man, the first time I lose one of these could be a devastating blow.

I wonder how I would do in a Humble Pie Contest?