Archives for 2011

Review Extravaganza: Spooky Chocolate Burnout

October November December

October started out with several spooky happenings.
Here’s a mysterious shot of our smoke filled living room. 

Then, I talked about our family weapons and my reaction when
I heard an intruder coming up the stairs.

In November, I was dealing with some serious post-Halloween chocolate issues.
My husband had the nerve to hide the candy–from me!

We also held The Toddler Olympics.  Dax was the clear winner.toddler standing in sink

And I reminisced about our Thanksgiving.
Evie and my homemade cranberries took a tumble down the stairs. cranberries dumped on stairsThough a permanently pink carpet looked inevitable,
I discovered the magic of rubbing alcohol and baking soda.
My carpet was saved!

I also had a little blogging burnout and got some much appreciated advice!

Looking back over my December posts, there was a bit of a Grinch theme going on.
I don’t think I’ll encourage anyone to visit those posts just yet.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal:  Basking in my two final days of holiday feasting.

It’s the last week!  Grab a button and link up your October, November, December posts below.   All extravaganza details can be found here.  Thank you so much to everyone who’s participated.  And a big thanks to Emmy Mom for coming up with the fun idea.  The winner of the eight fabulous prizes will be announced next week!

Have a happy New Year’s everyone!


My three-year-old, Mase, still regularly lets us know, “I’m a man!”  The other day he wore TWO pairs of superhero underwear at once to declare his manliness.

But having two older sisters definitely has influenced my man:

Mase was so disappointed when Dani and Evie got lockets for Christmas.

I want a locket!  Where’s my locket?

Sorry buddy.  Santa just brought the girls lockets.

Lockets are for girls.

Maybe you get me Batman locket?

And a fond memory from last week:

Mase and Evie were both angrily screaming and chasing each other around the house.  Mase suddenly stopped, “Evie, I’ll be your friend, if you give me a makeover.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Appreciating my little man.

Christmas Magic

I gave big hints this year.  I knew my hope of getting an iPad or slr camera would be unlikely.   But a Kindle was in the possible realm.   Yet!  My husband went the extra mile.  Gave me something I didn’t even know existed.  Try not to be jealous.

And I love it!

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Perfecting my slushy making skills, of course. 

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Review Extravaganza: Shaking Mormon Tales

July August September

These months were…unique.

I wrote a series of posts–Tales From my TV News Journey Parts 1, 23.  They covered three personal career failures that turned out to be amazing blessings in my life.

I then was a little shaken up when I found out one of my blog friends was blog bluffing!

I told people why they may NOT want to be a Mormon.

And finally I wrote, my most read post, maybe still, Seaweed.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Being grateful that my daughter no longer plays with Seaweed.

Have a beautiful Christmas everyone!

Now grab the button and link your own July, August, September review posts below. You can link up any time through the end of Tuesday.  All Review Extravaganza details are here.  It’s an easy post to write if you’re busy with the holidays.

Saltine Christmas Cracker Toffee

saltine cracker toffeeHere’s an easy (completely unhealthy) anytime recipe that is divine!  I’ve seen and used many versions of this candy so I have no idea where it originated, but it’s a great go-to recipe when you need to take treats anywhere.  People gobble these!

35 saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups chocolate chips (semisweet or milk chocolate)
Crushed candy canes (optional)

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 11×17 jelly roll pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
  2.  Arrange crackers on pan.
  3.  Melt butter in microwave.  Combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Boil for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4.  Remove from heat and pour mixture onto crackers. Bake for 6 minutes.
  5.  After removing from oven, sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the crackers.  Let sit for two minutes, then spread the chocolate.

We used crushed candy canes on top so I could make these more festive, but nuts also work or nothing at all!

Saltine Cracker Toffee

And on a possibly related note, are anyone else’s clothes fitting much tighter this month?

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal: Attempting to loosen my clothes, after the holidays.

I’m linking-up with some friends today:

Criminal Intentions

My three-year-old son is ahead of his time.  I mentioned in a recent post of my early thieving ways.  Both daughters have also had stealing incidents.  But Mase is starting so young!

My six-year-old, Evie, happily ratted out my newest little thief!

“Mo-om, you’ve got to come see this.”  There it was, under his pillow.

I have to say, of all my kids, these stolen goods were the most impressive.  Sadly for Mase, he didn’t get a chance to eat his stash.

We took the candies back.  Mase had no trouble apologizing as he handed the store greeter a ziplok bag filled with his treats.


Whoa!  I couldn’t believe my luck!  So much less drama than his sisters.

And here’s my three-year-old, a week later, at Target.  I asked him if he had any candy.  (Note my camera lens cover still doesn’t open so well after it was covered in sweet potatoes last month.)After this shot, I commenced a full-pocket search.  There was a definite lump in his fleece front pocket.

I attempted to confiscate the lump.  But Mase had learned his lesson–never give up your stash!  I literally had to wrestle him to the ground, in the middle of Target, to get those precious gummy bears.   He stayed face down on the hard Target floor for a a few minutes afterwards…defeated.

Last night, my husband and I were talking to our kids about the meaning of Christmas.  We asked each of them what gift they would be willing to give Jesus for Christmas.  I had an inspired idea.

“Mase, maybe you could give up stealing for Christmas.”


Perhaps he didn’t understand, “Mase for your gift, for Jesus, you could stop stealing candy.”

“No. I think I’ll give Jesus a cup instead.”

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Year:  Keeping a closer eye on my newest criminal.

Review Extravaganza: Cleaning Climbing Spiders

April May June

We had some eventful months!
First, my children had some unexpected arachnid assistance with their ultimate April Fool’s joke.

My five-year-old Evie then got on a climbing streak, but wasn’t very skilled at climbing down.

In May, my dearest husband gave me the gift of a cleaning lady.  It didn’t go so well!
Meanwhile, my seven-year-old daughter took up a new hobby, wasp whispering.

Miraculously she didn’t get stung that month, though she did get attacked by our trampoline net.
I am such a mean mom.  I still laugh when I see this.

In June, I wrote a heartfelt message to my daughters about fitting in,
after some girls weren’t being nice at school.
Looking back, I think I need to follow my own advice!

We also had an amazing day at church–the picture below was a precursor to
the GRAND church finally.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Appreciating that things aren’t quite so eventful this month.


Now for Review Extravaganza rule clarification.   You need to have to button in your review post this week to get a point towards the eight fabulous prizes.  Last week you got a point either way, but this week the button must be there.  

And if you didn’t join in last week, we’d still love to have you jump in.  For every extravaganza detail you would ever need to know you can click here.

Please link up your  April, May, June review posts below, anytime through the end of Tuesday.   I’m looking forward to reading them!

Stop Making Me Mad!

I’m positive that I used to be easygoing.

I got offended this week.  I don’t take offense very often, but I let it happen.  At the time, I felt very frustrated and thought I was being unfairly treated.  But looking back now,  it seems ridiculous on my part…mostly.  Certainly getting mad didn’t make this particular situation better.

And while we’re enjoying the season, I’ve noticed little things bugging me more this month. Then I get irritated by my own irritability!

I can’t control what people say or do, but I can control my reaction.  So, here are:

Six Solutions to Stop the Madness!

I don’t write this to give advice, as I am in no position to do so.
Just brainstorming some ideas for myself.

Big Picture
When I get frustrated it’s usually because I’ve lost my perspective and get caught up in a not-so-great moment.  I want to always keep site of my goals.

So What!
I know that this sounds like I’m in junior high, but it hurts a little when someone doesn’t like me.  I need to get over it!

Scripture reading, prayer, exercise, meditation, ice cream–I think everyone has a unique set of things that keep them grounded, and I know putting those things at the top of my daily list will be helpful.

This has always been very important to me.  I want to be a nice person who ocassionally gets grumpy, not a generally grumpy person trying to be nice.

I want to cherish my family and friends more.  I know I am very fortunate and daily gratitude can make all the difference.

I’m allowing myself to not be perfect with any of these things.  Certainly, there will still be times when I don’t handle a situation with grace, but if I were too perfect, I’d have nothing fun to blog about.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Easing into my refound easygoingness.

Do you let little things bother you?  Please share.  Or, I’d love to hear some ideas about how you keep your cool.

Silly Chilly Family Tradition

It’s been a rocky start to the Christmas season.   Our Elf on the Shelf, Pip, even left us for about a week.  He was appalled by my children’s overly mischievous behavior.  (Please see almost any of my other posts for mischievous details.)

Still!   I don’t like to be the mean mom all of the time.  I thought my minions were long overdue for something special.

I’m with JDaniel4’s Mom today for her Pause Life for a Moment  feature.  Her site is a must read if you’re looking for wonderful kid crafts, teaching ideas, and heartfelt posts.   I’m pausing to start a silly, but sweet new family tradition.  So click the button and head on over!

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Planning to make more memories, the good kind.

Sister Sweetness

My six- and seven-year-old girls are the best of friends, except for the majority of the time, when they are mortal enemies.

While driving home from a Christmas activity, Dani just couldn’t find the will to be nice to her sister.   It was almost bedtime and she was sentenced to a night in her room.

I just can’t ever be nice.   I should go to jail forever.

(said seriously while we were still driving)
Why don’t you start by getting out of the car.

And there seems to be a ritual bedtime clash between my two friends.  Here’s one of many recent nighttime scuffles.

Dani said I signed a contract to switch beds and I did NOT sign a contract!  I don’t even know what a contract is.

Thankfully, the sisters did team together this week to organize their bedroom drawers.   They were singing and giggling while they worked.  I was thrilled they were getting along…until I saw their organization results.drawer organization

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Unorganizing the organization.