Monday, November 8, 2010

A little catch up...

Just playing catch up--mostly for the grandparents :-) Here's what we've been up to lately...

Scott's parents came for a visit. We hit up Los Tacos--THE BEST authentic Mexican grill in town--as in, you are the ONLY white people there and it helps if you can order in Spanish--I'm salivating just thinking about it. We all went with the kids to see MEGAMIND--pretty funny but not one of the greats from times gone by. Am I getting old like my parents when I think things like, "I wish my kids would just enjoy the good ole' Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty, Bambi, Pinochio etc like I did when I was a kid"? All this fancy whitty repotoire, famous A-list voices, massively complicated technology, 3-D Imax blah blah blah doesn't make up for great-classic-timeless storylines and fantastic music (Beauty & the Beast to name one).

ANYWAY--we also paid a visit to the new bridge over Hoover Dam. We drove to and from Kingman (too many times to count) for the last 18 months, watching it grow, column by column and now that it is finally done we are in AWE. It cuts a good 1/2 hour drive time out and is flat out AMAZING to look at. You can walk across, take pictures etc and staring straight down into churning water makes you very aware of your own mortality. You literally are a tiny spec that wouldn't make a splash if you took a nose dive from that high up! The kids had a great time with "Big" Pappa and Grammy Jean--we are lucky to have our parents be so involved with our children!

Up next...Turkey Day with MY WHOLE FAMILY! I can't wait--the decor might not be as nice, but this will be a feast that puts Martha Stewart to shame! Yummm...

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Kooky Spooky Halloween

Anyone who knows Ryan really well knows he LOVES the PBS show Word World--especially their Halloween special "kooky spooky Halloween". He runs around yelling (because LOUD is the only volume he knows) AKOOKY ESPOOKY AHALLOWEEEEEN (phonetic spelling added for effect :-) The boys couldn't get enough of this fun holiday--what kid doesn't enjoy playing dress up, scarring people and eating a boat load of sugar? I even decided--instead of the well intentioned "candy rationing" that I naturally lean towards--to just give them their buckets from sun up to sun down for about 2 days straight and let them devour every last piece as quickly as possible. There was no long drawn out begging for more, it was five pieces at once, chocolate drooling, sugar coma causing bliss--hence the four sucker sticks poking out of Ryan's mouth all at the same time.

Funny how this holiday has made me grateful for our friends--in all my whining about living in Las Vegas, we've been extremely blessed & one of those blessings has been fabulous friends. First we headed to an "FHE" party where the kids got to "hunt" for treats in a dark back yard, eat monster pizzas & bone bread sticks and then pile into the backs of trucks (adult supervision was provided--don't worry grandmas) and take goodie plates to fellow neighbors & friends. The kids all had masks and LOVED ringing the door bells, screaming trick or treat and then running back to the trucks only to do it 8 more times that night!

We also headed to a party with family "L" and their adorable munchkins Gman and Lulu. It was a PJ party where we donned our jammies, ate chili & sloppy joes (slop sloppy joes, navy beans navey beans hoggies and grinders--ok I digress) sipped apple cider, sang Halloween carols (spoofs on Christmas carols) and watched an outdoor projector screen movie of the old animated Ichabod Crane & the Headless Horseman. The kids even put on those glow stick bracelets and boogied down in the backyard--just streaks of color running to Halloween music in the dark. It was fantastic--if we can't be with family, there are no better friends I would have asked for here!

We hit up the ward carnival and trunk or treat. Ryan was "plagued" by our friendly ward clown who consistently jumped out from between cars at little children, Ry guy in particular. Each time he would yell "ohhhh a spooky ghoooost". The clown would laugh getting a rise out of the poor kid and Ryan grew to love the clown. When he saw him at church the next day Chris said "Ryan, do you remember me?" Ry replied "ahhh it's the ghoooosssttt" which made Chris's day!

Last, since pumpkin day fell on a Sunday, we decided to have some friends to our house this time and cook "Dinner in a Pumpkin". This will be a long lived tradition in our home that started last year with our best friends in Kingman. They invited us over for the same dinner and it was AMAZING. We've since moved back to Vegas and they are now in Kansas but that didn't keep me from getting the recipe from Morgan and whipping it up on my own. It wasn't as good as it would have been if they were here but it was still pretty tasty (can you tell I'm missing you guys "W" fam??) You could tell all the hubbies were wary of the meal but after eating a few bites, a few went back for THIRDS (not Scott--other guys :-) The company was great and we're enjoying making more friends in our ward. The kids had a great time playing & handing out candy, wearing their Halloween pj's and I'm proud of them for not complaining that they weren't out knocking doors--with all the festivities that week, I don't think they missed it one bit. You may ask where Collin was during all the festivities...he pretty much slept in his car seat the whole time. He is the most mellow AWESOME baby in the world. His personalitiy ensures we'll at least have one more :-)

All in all, we are pretty lucky to live in such a great ward and have amazing friends like we do. Life wouldn't be the same and Vegas wouldn't be tolerable without you all. Thanks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Food

Last call for Alison's Pantry orders to be delivered before Christmas (Nov. 29th). Check out this month's catalog and order by Saturday 5pm. Alison's Pantry is full of delicious soups, breads, pastas, mixes--tons of meal ideas to make "mom's" life a little easier around the holidays. I'm looking forward to detoxing after Christmas with my favorite Baked Potato Chowder w/bacon & sour cream soup. Also, take a look at my personal favorites for holiday treats & gifts. This stuff is perfect for having "homemade" quality treats without all the mess. Email or call by Saturday if you'd like to order!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Pumpkin Pies Are Made...

I just couldn't help myself. Thanks Dad & Happy Halloween--they will never taste the same again!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


For anyone interested--I have access to ordering bulk Guittard chocolate and nuts. Scott's boss & wife organize this each year--this is the second year I've ordered and LOVE it. The prices beat the grocery store and this is fantastic chocolate--especially for holiday treats. I burned through my order last year and will probably get double this year. It keeps GREAT in the freezer too. Here's whats available this year:

Raw whole almonds - 25lb box
Raw walnut halves & pieces - 25 lb box
Pecan halves - 30lb box
Roasted & Salted Natural Pistachios - 25lb box

Semi-sweet regular chocolate chips - 25lb box
Mini chocolate chips - 25lb box
Milk chocolate regular chips - 25lb box
Old dutch cocoa - 40lb drum
Old dutch chocolate slabs (dipping chocolate) 50lb box (5-10 pound slabs)

I'm willing to orchestrate splitting boxes if you don't want whole boxes for yourself. If you can find others to share with, that is great too. I MUST have the orders and $$$ to me by Oct. 19th. The order will arrive Nov. 1st. I will have it available at my home sometime that afternoon. CALL or EMAIL if you are interested and I'll get you pricing info. Anyone you know is welcome to contact me to order--tell your friends/family/neighbors, the more the better!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Alison's Pantry October Catalog

The Alison's Pantry catalog #12 is here! It is full of great holiday treats & gifts as well as wonderful seasonal items like homemade soups & breads. Contact me for a catalog or view it here. Also anyone who refers a friend in the month of October who places an order will receive $5.00 off their order--PER FRIEND! Place your order by October 27th to receive your items in time for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brand New Record

Yesterday I blogged about ice cream at 8:30am---well today I have it beat. A flooded garage due to a blown water heater, which means no water until the property management company fixes it (and we all know how on top of things those companies are) warrents a WHOLE BAG OF CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS before 8am. I'm lovin' life today!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ice Cream O'Clock

For all you Harry Potter fans...remember Mrs. Weasley's magic clock that told her the mortal peril status of all her family members? Well, I have a magic clock too--you are jealous, I know! It is internal but that is neither here nor there. This wonderful, magical clock of mine tells me when it is time to have a bowl of ice cream in order to maintain motherhood sanity! Some days it chimes around 8pm when I've had a long but fulfilling day. I'm ready to put my feet up, watch my favorite tivo'd shows and dig into something light and refreshing like Chocolate Chip Mint ice cream.

Other days it chimes a little earlier--around 2pm--when I've put the boys down for a nap (who don't normally take naps but go to sleep in order to stay in the world of the living for another day!) The rascals--mostly Ryan but Jason is turning into quite the button pusher--have given me a headache. I need peace and quiet for at least an hour otherwise--in the words of Madagascar's King Julienne "i'm going to freak on them"! I pull out something a bit more potent from the freezer like Cookies 'n Cream. I eat a few hearty scoops, watch some Grey's Anatomy reruns and feel ready to face the rest of my day.

Every once in a while, that glorious magic clock chimes first thing in the morning--like earlier this week when Ryan decided that our digital camera needed a BATH! That's right folks, I was stuck on the couch feeding Collin when Jason comes running in with a dripping camera--Ryan following closely, wailing about "BATHTUB TIME" and angry that Jason ruined his fun. This was around 8:30am, so what did I do--instead of exploding I put the boys upstairs watching Toy Story and I pulled out something potent, lethal & completely necessary--Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl. It is chocolaty, fudgey, creamy with thick ribbons of real peanut butter running through it. I thought about a bowl and spoon but threw that notion out the window. I simply grabbed the carton, plopped on the sofa beside my drooling camera and dug in with the ice cream scoop shaped like a pig!

Thank you magic ice cream clock for saving me from throttling my children--you can chime at me anytime! Now all I need is a magic exercise clock that chimes right after my ice cream clock and saves my ever expanding backside!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Alison's Pantry

I came across a great company when I lived in AZ. They offered me an opportunity to work with them when I got back to Vegas and now that Collin is here, I finally took them up on their offer. Alison's Pantry is based in Utah--I'm one of two people working for them in the Vegas area. Their specialty is FOOD--which you all know is right up my alley--even if that simply means eating it all the time. Actually Alison's Pantry is simply another "purchase" point (like grocery stores) for manufacturers to market their products. They sell everything from gourmet baking mixes, holiday treats, desserts, cookie-bread-roll doughs, frozen meats, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, pre-made soups and even bulk items like Costco or Sams. They even have a section for emergency preparedness, offering items like dried milk, oats, cocoa powder, canning supplies, containers, kitchenware, emergency supplies/kits and so much more. Each month Alison's Pantry puts out a new catalog (click here). They carry consistent items, again much like Costco, but each month they offer specials based on holidays and what manufacturers want marketed so the catalog is always changing and offering something new. Each month I'll be hosting a "catalog & tasting" party so that people who would like to learn more about A.P. can come, ask questions, place orders and sample their delicious products. I even have an email list where I send out specials, product updates, recipes and party information. If you're in the Vegas area and would like to join the list, leave your email address in the comments section and I'll add you. I even have a blog focusing on A.P., their great products, recipes and various specials they'll be offering. Feel free to check it out (A.P. blog). I'm excited about getting started with them, love their products and hope you do too!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


*I posted this last year, about this same time--I tried coming up with new material but nothing else would do it justice!

It is drawing closer, I can sense it--the way you can feel someone watching you from behind. Each day I grow more anxious as the knots in my stomach move closer to the base of my throat. It is this time of year, late summer, which brings on an antsy-itch I can't scratch-time is dragging, sort of feeling. What might be the cause of this unusual behavior you ask?

It is COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON! It is that time of year when grown men cry and sweet old ladies punch other sweet old ladies sitting next to them for wearing the wrong color or cheering for the wrong team. You may think I'm crazy--one too many sleepless nights, a few too many chocolate brownies for breakfast. But let's be honest, who can ignore the feeling you get watching throngs of excited fans walk into a college stadium during a fall afternoon? The best is when the sun is just beginning to lower in the sky and the autumn leaves are shinning in the dull light. The air is crisp and so electric that the hair on your arms stand up, you almost can't help but run to your seat--even though you are an hour early--because you just can't wait to see the green of the field. The smell of grilling burgers hangs sweet and heavy in the late afternoon air and you feel the swell of pride as the band beats out your fight song. Complete strangers stand in unison, chanting as your team screams confidently out of the tunnel. It is a religious experience.

I've teared up a few times when the fight song is sung or an incredible, unbelievable, almost impossible catch is made. The best is watching the shear, uninhabited joy that grown men get from seeing messes of pads and helmets crunch together with jarring force. There is something to be said of the effort athletes give to their craft, the sacrifice, energy and soul with which they work and the simple pleasure derived from doing it well. Kids rightfully worship 18-25 year olds like they were war heroes and to those kids, watching those men exert every ounce of strength left on that field of battle, they are! College football is every metaphor, every cliche, every emotion, every everything. If you have never been to a game, a college game played not for money or endorsements but for the sheer glory of the fight--REPENT NOW--go, cheer, let loose, eat great food, be inspired. It is an experience all it's own!

You can sense it can't is coming and you will never be the same again!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The rabbit & the fish

Once upon a time, over 12 years ago a farm boy met a city girl he couldn't resist. In his attempt to win her heart and impress her family with his self reliance and manliness he sought to bring the girl a gift for her birthday. He searched high and low, near and far, asking all his friends what would be a deserving gift for the beautiful maiden. Finally he found the perfect thing, wrapped it carefully, lovingly and set off to her home. As the girl unwrapped the gift, trembling with excitement, she let out a squeal and yelled loudly "what the *&%$"???

OK OK enough fairy tales--scott went hunting the weekend of my 16th birthday (2 weeks after we first met) and brought home Thumper the bunny rabbit. That's right folks, he killed, skinned, froze, wrapped and presented the bloody cold lump of meat to me for my sweet 16. It was wrapped with duct tape in a Toasted Oats cereal box and in a gift bag that had a barn, cow and sunflower on it--probably "recycled" from some other occasion. So what did I do you might ask? I found out his birthday was a mere 11 days later, bummed a 2 foot long steal head fish off my young woman's leader & her husband. I wrapped it in a box (on a bed of ice cubes) surrounded by colored Swedish fish and put a mini baseball hat on the fish's head & gave that to him for his 18th birthday.

And you wonder why we are a match made in heaven. Happy birthday dear--I love you and am glad this fair maiden got her man!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Collin had his first real "photo shoot" a few weeks ago. A friend in our ward has a great set up at her home and offered to take the pictures for us. They turned out great--Thanks Valarie!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Soft & cuddly...& saving Ryan???

We are coming up on the three week mark of having baby Collin in our lives. There have been good nights, there have been bad ones--generally because of Ryan, not Collin, who wakes up thirsty or hungry or wet and does it incredibly grumpy so as to wake Jason, Collin & myself along with him. There have been good days which include fun trips to birthday parties, sprinklers on trampolines and sacred nap time but there have been bad ones, like getting escorted from Michael's Craft Store because of Ryan's tantrums or being asked 3 times at the grocery store if I "need some assistance" AGAIN because of Ryan's tantrums or better yet, him head-butting me in the face, giving me a bloody lip in front of my friend's bishop (thus saving Ryan's short little life but also being an extremely embarrassing incident)! Why he did this you ask? Just another tantrum!

And so we find that having three kids isn't all that tough--having Ryan is tough! I don't think I've prayed for patience more in my life. I find myself asking for clarity on how to handle this kid at 3am 20 times in one week. And so amidst it all, I addictively sniff Collin's head (that sweet new baby smell) and mutter "serenity now" while donning earplugs to drown out the ensuing war raging around me. I cuddle the baby because it keeps my hands busy (so I can't do permanent damage to my "strong willed" 2 year old). And I pray while changing diapers that this phase passes quickly--that it is a phase and not a personality trait--and that he makes it to his 3rd birthday (in September) because the time is ticking rapidly on his short little clock of chance after chance after chance. Collin is already the salve for all the bad, frustrating, out of control things in my life because even at 4am he is snuggly & smells good & makes everything all better. Thank goodness for new babies (if only they could stay like that A LOT LONGER than a few months!) There would be a lot more peace on this earth if they did :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

There & Back Again by Bilbo Baggins...

What a week! Collin Tidwell arrived Thursday evening (7/8/10)--he weighed 8lb 12oz and was 22" long with tons of dark hair and beautiful skin--lets hope it lasts! He is the perfect little boy, sleeps/eats/poops, rarely cries (I think I've heard him twice) and just slept from 2am until almost 7am this morning!

Getting him here was quite the adventure--hence the title of this post. We had a missed epidural stick, another attempt that poked through causing a "not quite numb in the right places" result & spinal headaches after. Then the first solution for the incapacitating headaches didn't take so I was back in the hospital less than 24 hours after discharge trying the blood patch procedure again--needless to say 4 epidurals in 4 days wasn't my idea of "feeling better after the baby was born". However...we have felt very blessed in many other ways. Our friends, family & ward have been incredibly helpful, the recovery process has been amazingly quick with almost no "post baby hormone" issues, grandma is here taking care of us all--what more could we ask for? The Lord has truly inspired those around us to help when we needed it most and Collin is healthy and happy. I'm sure more photos will come in the next week but here are a few quick shots to satisfy the grandmas/grandpas and out of towners DYING to see the little guy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What about...

ok, I'm being neurotic I know but I hate not having names narrowed down this close to d-day. What about Evan or Jake? Or anything else remotely good since we still have no feeling one way or the other?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Catch Up...

There is A LOT to post about but I have no time for that right now. First we have to figure out what to name baby boy #3--I refuse to be calling him "baby" for the next several months because his father & I can't think of anything good. We are pretty traditional, we want something that isn't too trendy & will fit with the other two kiddos (jason & ryan). The middle name will most likely be Jack, Joseph, or Paul after our grandfathers. Take the poll, leave us PLEASE!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Psychiatric Help--5 cents!

So Ryan has been going through what I HOPE is a phase! He won't stop hitting, whether playful, powerful or on purpose he just won't stop. I have mentioned before that this is one stubborn child and what took Jason seconds to learn, seems to take Ryan months. We have tried time out, sitting in the corner, the "naughty" stool (super nanny), taking away toys and eventually spanking and he just isn't letting up. It has become embarrassing taking him to nursery/friend's houses etc.

He has always been a very physical boy--loves hard, plays hard (nothing from hugs to punches/kicks are ever soft)--and it seems like he can't DO or communicate anything without some aspect of physicality. He has to constantly touch you, usually by hitting, anytime he wants your attention/emphasizes a point/gets frustrated/even playing has to be accompanied by some element of hitting. I'm not sure what to do anymore--I'm ready to lock him in a dark room and walk away for a few days! Any advice??

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Lake Lyndsay"

Last Saturday we were invited to go hang out, swim, fish, bbq etc with a subcontracter Scott works with and his family. Turns out this guy used to be a pitcher for the BYU baseball team, married a local girl whose family owns a TON of land with cabins, fishing/swimming pond, horses, and sooo much more--about an hour outside of town. It all started as her father's dream and now each of his kids has their own cabin, they grow their own alfalfa, have their own well that supplies hundreds of acres with water plus all their work equipment for the dad's business is located there. It was so great to see a father who worked hard to have his family have a "getaway" outside of Vegas where now, all the kids and grandkids come stay almost every weekend and it is their own little "resort". own a piece of "country" heaven with animals, cabins, water--away from the rest of the world. I'd take that over a fancy timeshare anyday!
They were great to hang out with and it was just what we needed! Hopefully we'll be doing it again soon. Thanks Jeff and fam!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Amidst the Crazy...

I've been in a funk the last few days--just ask the ladies from "girls night out" when I sat and stared off into space for 3 hours straight. They couldn't figure out what my deal was. This morning was the final straw--nothing major had occurred, just little things building up over weeks and months and years and pounds until I took a hot shower, bawled like a baby and let the drain wash all the snot and hormones away. I made it out of the shower and then gave up again, plopping down on my closet floor hating my maternity clothes and the really cute shoes and wedding ring that don't fit right now. Looking back, I looked pretty funny with Ryan standing next to me, squishing my cheeks in between his chubby little hands saying, "ok mom, ok mom" checking up on my hysteria and wondering what in the world was wrong with his crazy mother.

Yet amidst it all, there were things to be thankful for:

1. Jason who decided to "clean" Ryan's room aka the toy room from HE*L where carpet had not been seen for days, drawers hung open with clothes hanging all over and bags of unpacked who-knows-what had been stashed during the move. He came to say he had a surprise, grabbed my hand & lead me down the hall, insisting that my eyes stay closed. Of course his gift brought a fresh wave of tears for my boy that knows just what to do to make me feel better and even a bought of laughter at all the toys "cleaned" by shoving them under Ryan's bed, in the play kitchen oven and even in the dresser where I have no intention of digging them out--they can rot there for all I care!
2. For squirt guns and lawn chairs that allowed me to sit and take pot shots at the pigeons that keep landing on our freshly planted grass, eating all the seeds. I even wondered how many birds I could take out at close range with Scott's shot gun. Don't worry, I stuck to my water pistol for today but if the crazies get worse, you never know!
3. And at the end of the day for a husband who walks in the door, doesn't ask questions, loads up the family and off to Cafe Rio we go. Oh coconut shrimp tacos with mango dressing, how I love you right now.
4. Last but not least, the quiet happy hours I am currently experiencing as boys sleep peaceful and I get ready for a foot rub and Glee.

So much to be grateful for...just keep reminding me over the next few months!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jason is 4!

Yesterday was Jason's 4th birthday---we often look at friends who have kids a few years older than ours and think that it is a long way off, not so! It comes quicker than we realize. Then when you start saying things like, "in 4 more years he'll get baptized" or "10 more years and he'll be going to dances"--then you really get panicky and old, fast!

This year was even better than the last--it is great to see their little personalities come out the older they get. He gave us each birthday hats and got angry every time we took them off. He even sang himself Happy Birthday--while looking in a mirror--several times that day, called Scott to find out when he would be home for his party and LOVED it when his grandma, papa and mimi called to talk to him on his special day. He requested chicken nuggets, capri sun, colored marshmallows, and watermelon for dinner--quite the combo, I know. He followed it up with Popsicles and cake for dessert. He actually wanted to do the cake himself so he cracked eggs, stirred, baked, frosted, sprinkled and blew out candles all by himself--hopefully he'll be a great chef someday! After eating our stomach ache on a plate for dinner, came present time. Scott and I totally understand how some kids turn into spoiled rotten little is the parent's fault. It is so stinkin' fun to see your kids face light up when they see "just what they always wanted" underneath all that wrapping paper and tape. I just have to tell myself to refrain from giving him everything he wants just because it makes ME feel good!
(gift from I said, spoiled rotten :)

After much screaming, jumping around surrounded by CARS, Thomas the Train & Buzz Lightyear paraphernalia, bath time was instigated--mostly for Ryan's Popsicle covered sake, bed time came and birthday ended. I sat and looked at old photos of birthdays gone by, especially when he was born and didn't get nostalgic, just excited for year after year of excitement, chicken nuggets and homemade birthday cake!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weekend Warriors

After getting our feet beneath us--barely--and totally identifying with the scene from Incredible's when the wife calls the husband celebrating that they were finally moved in because the last box was unpacked, although it was over a year later...we headed to Utah. We couldn't help but admire the red rocks and rich burnt colored dirt of the St. George area and then salivate as everything slowly grew more and more green. We even drove the freeway with our windows rolled down for a bit just to smell the farm fields and even the cows--they just look and smell better surrounded by lush green farmland! could say we miss that landscape--Vegas isn't the prettiest place to live that's for sure! All that pining aside, we hit Provo right in time to meet up with my siblings Lisa, Dave & Summer and cousin Carrie for a trip to PF Chang's. How my tummy LOVES that place. I don't think you can go wrong there but the Shrimp w/Candied Walnuts IS THE BEST!!! I think I want that to be my last meal on Earth--or just bury me with it--either way it will get into my system! We had a short but great time with them and then headed down the road to SLC for our Nephew John's wedding the next morning.

Being in the SL Temple has got to be a highlight for us--so many memories, like the lady who fainted right in front of us before we got married--talk about jitters! Anyway, it was great to be with family, especially in that setting...aside from being the fat prego Aunt forever immortalized in family wedding photos. I tried hiding but somehow managed to stick out like one giant polka dot nonetheless! (Wylie, I think you were hiding out in CO--just wait, your turn will come:-) Thanks to David & Roma for such a wonderful time, luncheon, & family--you done good! And thanks to the ever present Archibald clan who fed us a great breakfast and let us all use their home (once again) as Utah base camp when we are in town. We loved seeing everyone and can't wait till the next gathering!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We Made It!

One of Scott's coworkers asked me today, "so are you all moved in?" It took me a bit but finally I responded, "the boxes are in, they just aren't unpacked yet!" After haggling with utilities companies, finding out the dryer was completely broken and hanging our wet clothes in front of the fireplace, realizing we have NO cell phone service in our house and having to sign up for a home phone, trying to lock the front door only to discover that the house key provided by the property management company didn't fit (among many other things) we just wanted to say, we are here & we are alive. By the way, we get text messages but the cells don't ring when they should and messages often show up hours after they are left so if you want our home number, text or email--those 2 technologies are atleast still reliable!

After all the craziness dies down, I find I'm grateful for little things---like Jason who willingly runs up the stairs to get what I need so I don't have to waddle my way up there or Ryan who is sleeping through the night better (thanks to Scott's "tough" love methods) as well as a 1 hour nap each day (oh how I love "quiet" time). I'm thankful for a nice calm neighborhood and backyard that will soon have growing grass! I love that there are decent Chinese restaurants that DELIVER! But most importantly, I LOVE my icemaker--that's right folks, we finally have a fridge with water despenser/icemaker that chops my icecubes into tiny little chunks for me to chew on AS OFTEN AS I WANT. No more trips to Sonic just for a cup of ice, it is right at my fingertips! Anyway, life is good, we are adjusting and miss you all mucho--Tidwells

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I find myself wanting to cram in all those "last" things before we move--restaurants to visit, friends to hang out with, places to for this "last" my friend and I packed up the kids and headed to Lake Havasu. It's only an hour away, the temps are AWESOME in the spring and CRAZY hot during the summer but for being completely desert everywhere, it really is a pretty lake. It is huge and the city has done tons to make it really family friendly--great parks, beaches, golf, picnic areas etc. So aside from being a fatty prego lady, I still enjoyed myself since we were the ONLY people within 200 yards on the beach. The kids had a blast and it is a place I will miss heading to when ever the weather suites us! Bye bye Havasu!
(Of course I forgot the camera so I owe all the great shots to Morgan--even the one of Ryan flashing a little skin!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

To quote a friend...

"So they just passed a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he didn't understand it, passed by a Congress that exempts themselves from it, signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese,... and best yet it is to be financed by a country that's broke...hmmmm???"

My One True Love!

The day started out sluggish and slow. I felt drained already and it was only 9am. It dragged on, hour by hour, occupied by minimal housework, avoiding packing and trying to keep the boys entertained. By 5pm it felt like 10pm and I just wanted to go back to sleep. I still had 2 1/2 hours to kill before the kiddos went to bed--I could hear the clock tick slower and slower as every second DRAGGED on. Enough was enough! We threw on shoes and jackets, grabbed the keys and headed out the door for a walk to the mailbox. It was only around the block but if I let them get distracted I might actually be able to burn a half hour! We get to the box, put the key in and what do I find..."wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles"...a package. A box sent from my sister Lisa. The boys are excited, "a present for me," cries Jason! Ryan jumps up and down and babbles something about Lightening McQueen??? All time burning is forgotten. We rush back around the block, excited to get our glorious package opened and discover the wondrous contents inside. The kids clamour on chairs around the table, chanting "open, open, open". My hand shakes a little with anticipation as I cut through the packaging tape, open the top flaps and remove the bubble wrap from inside. My heart stops for a moment, literally halts, as I realize what the priceless treasure is....GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!! My loving, thoughtful, beautiful sister sent me GIRL SCOUT COOKIES.
She knew I had missed the boat here in Kingman, Provo was still selling them and she came through for me. I don't know that I have ever enjoyed checking the mail so much in my life. 5 minutes after opening, our hands and faces were covered in chocolate--ok just the boys but still! My tummy was full of thin minty goodness followed by a cold glass of milk. Oh my sister--and Girl Scout Cookies--you have been a much needed relief to a long and droning day. How I will cherish you forever--who am I kidding--I'm lucky if they'll last a week but it will be the most tasty week of my life!

Friday, March 19, 2010

9 vs 12 month school year--feedback PLEASE!

Ok Dear Void,

Here is the question at hand: 9 month school or 12 month school?

The areas we are looking to buy a house are ALL year-round school zones and I have mixed feelings. I myself (and Scott) always attended the traditional 9 month system--there was no other option where we grew up and I find myself preferring that for my kids too. I'm not sure I like the idea of "no summer break" and have heard stories about kids being placed on differing "tracks" making family vacations difficult. I also think about things like Scout camps, sports camps, sports in general and wonder how a 12 month zone will effect all that. I'm concerned about the quality of education and wonder if there are downsides to either system (9 vs 12 month)? I'm wondering if my desire for a 9 month zone is valid enough to let it determine the area in which we buy a house or if I am letting it carry "too much weight" in our living decisions? I never thought I'd have to deal with this decision but winding up in Vegas has left hardly any other option open--btw--I am not cut out for homeschooling and want my kids in a public/charter system so that isn't an option.

I don't care who you are or what your background is; educator, parent, child, grandparent etc but I want your "educated" opinion on the question at hand, "How concerned should I be about living in a year round school zone?" I want to know the positives, negatives and everything in between. I have several friends, family members etc that are teachers, have kids in year round, were in year round themselves etc and I want you ALL to weigh in--send me an email if you don't feel like there is enough room to write everything in the comments section:


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Playing Catch Up


We've had a busy couple weeks--between all our trips to Vegas doing much needed house hunting, trying not to get run off the road by people who have never seen snow before, or having a family "Mary Poppins" day at the park, life has been fun! We move in three weeks--new address...not sure yet! But I'm packing a little each day, stocking up on paper plates and pizza coupons for that final week when you have to pack EVERYTHING, and the boys--well let's say they watch a lot of pbs--word world, curious george etc (I try kidding myself that it's not so bad as long as they are "learning" shows). All in all, we are alive and I am getting FATTER--gotta love life!
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kingman "CALL GIRL" career day? say that 5 times fast!

So for the last year I've taught the 8-12 year olds in Primary and have loved it. I always let them go around the circle and tell me one cool thing they got to do the previous week--gets the chatter out so hopefully they listen better (sometimes it works)! So today a little girl in class (I'll call her "sugar" to protect the innocent) said "last week I got to dress up like a call girl for school". No joke--I was stunned--especially when another girl in her same grade but different class whispers "she was a prostitute for career day?" So wanting to figure out whose idea this was (her parents, crazy teacher, her, some unknown role model etc) I ask, "Really? What did you wear?". She responds, "a cowboy hat, boots and vest." I'm thinking, oh I hope there was more to it than that, this kid is only 8! And yet, as dumbfounded as I was, I wasn't as surprised as I should have been, I mean this is Kingman. Land of the Sunday "great deal" yard sale advertised in Relief Society, the 80 year old granny I saw in a motorized shopping cart with a pistol on her belt--what other surprises could there be? As I ask more questions it becomes clear--she dressed up like a COWGIRL not CALL GIRL--she just got her W and LL's mixed up. Gideyup! Another adventurous day at church in good 'ole Kingman, AZ! I think I might miss this place--or at least my blog will!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ode to Kingman...(hum my country tis of thee while reading)

My Kingman 'tis of thee
all of this dirt I see,
to thee we sing!
Land of Walmart's shopping pride
with all your auto rides (senior citizen shopping carts:)
home to your double wides, to thee we sing!

Oh sage brush covered hills,
and trucks with gun racks filled
my heart cries out...
No more desert landscaping
or stoplight nosepicking
or bluehaired gun-slinging--please SET ME FREE!

Oh friends we'll miss you most,
our sanity to thee we owe.
Don't ever change!

The late night games we played,
culture--we never strayed!
great food we always ate,
come and visit soon!

(stop humming or the rest won't make sense:-)

So we are off to Vegas in a few short weeks--Scott's project is wrapping up here and we are headed back to start another. Although my "ode" doesn't state it (I couldn't come up with the right rhymes) we really will miss this place and the people here. It will be nice to get back to civilization but this was a great adventure while it lasted (Sunday "testimony" auctions, yard sale underoos and all!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And the verdict is...drumrole please...

I was laying by Ryan today while he dozed off for his nap (before my ultrasound apt.) noticing his chubby hands, where he still has dimples on his knuckles and was remembering the outfit he wore home from the hospital. I started freaking out. I don't think I want a girl...changing a girl's diaper would be SOOO weird, I wanted another boy to wrestle with, chase and throw around. I know how to do boys, I don't think I could do teenage girls, I'm not a girly girl, I don't do slumber parties and Hannah Montana crap.

Needless to say, the Lord needed me to freak out for a moment so that I could be over the moon that #3 is another little boy. The ultrasound was VERY clear--just like Jason and Ryan's (showoffs). And to top it off, he stretched and put both his hands up behind his head, the same way Jason and Ryan liked to sleep when they were babies--it was perfect! The due date is still July 26 but the tech said she thinks it will be closer to the 21st with how we are measuring...big--but what's new? I can't wait and of course Scott is thrilled and said he secretly had his fingers crossed for a boy anyway! So frat house here we come--if I'm ever begging for a girl's night out, you know why!

Tender Mercies...

I find every time I'm pregnant I am much more sensitive to other's sufferings. I find myself bawling watching news features or tearing up reading articles or stories that wouldn't normally affect me. I find it easier to sympathize with friend's and family's struggles and I'm much more reflective on the blessings in my life. I've tried to be more service oriented, more patient and long suffering (I know--you can't tell from my 5 Stages and Vomit posts, but I really am trying :). So you can imagine how touched I was when I checked the mail box a couple weeks ago and found a package from my Aunt that I haven't chatted with in forever. She said she read my blog, could totally identify with my-life-as-I-know-it and thought I might need a pick me up; warm feety socks, lotion, a little crafty, and best of all--CHOCOLATE! I couldn't believe how something as simple as a note and some thoughtful treats could make my day--lets be honest, my week. Soooo thanks Aunt Julie and hopefully I'm reminded to do little things like this for those I care about more often! Oh yeah, I totally scarfed all the chocolate before Scott was home from work--come on, I'm not that selfless!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

White Chocolate & Raspberries!

I was asked to make a cake for a friend's daughter's birthday. They didn't have many requests or ideas for it except that she likes "funfetti" cakes--too funny since she was turning 21--and that they wanted it to have "white" frosting and raspberry filling. Sooo I decided to make a white chocolate cream cheese frosting with the top layer being her "funfetti" request. The bottom layer--surrounded by the pirouette cookie sticks--is a simple butter vanilla bean cake. Both have layers of a raspberry cream cheese filling in between. Outside, on top of the frosting are white chocolate curls and tons of fresh raspberries. The cake was only supposed to serve about 8 people, but they wanted it to be 2 layers. When I showed up with this I simply told them I don't know how to bake "small"! I think they enjoyed themselves! I'll post the recipes a bit later if you want them!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Block Walls & Vomit???

The last 48 hours has had me throwing my hands up in the air yelling "Really life, seriously?" But at least it had me laughing in the end. It all started with a lazy Saturday afternoon of meandering through a few mattress stores--salivating over pillow top king sized bundles of goodness. Every time I'm pregnant we wish we had a king size bed, this time we might actually do something about it! Back to the story--Ryan takes off running down the sidewalk, Jason yells "I'll get him" and begins to chase down his little brother. I walk quickly behind, making sure they are ok. Ryan turns to make sure someone is in pursuit, I yell at him to "come back right now!" He giggles and rounds the corner at top speed--it is a dead end so no where for him to go. I slow down, he sees me and of course, speeds up, tripping just in time to land head first into a cinder block wall. There was no catching himself with his hands, no slowing down, just full speed ramming his little forehead into the concrete. I fully expected gushing blood based on the sick thumping sound he made on contact. Instead, when I got to him 10 seconds later there was a 2 inch lump forming on his forehead, swollen and blue under the surface where are the blood was building up. I think I stood there for a full 30 seconds debating on rushing him home or to the hospital--it looked that bad! Scott had his head on better than I, snagged some ice from the Circle K next door and began applying pressure. Long story short, we got him home, iced him every half hour and waited for the swelling to go down. He woke up looking much better Sunday morning but he is beginning to turn an excellent shade of blue, green and brown all over his forehead.

Now where does the vomiting come in you may be wondering? During one of his icing sessions Ry got particularly worked up. Now you have to know Ryan, he is a fighter--he fights anything and everything for no real reason at all. He is also an easy gagger & massive puker. When he gets worked up he begins to gag and if it continues he then throws up (I sometimes think he does this at will knowing we will let him get whatever he wants because we are afraid he'll gag & puke) This time, to have a reason (thumping head and really cold ice pack) he fought even harder resulting in Scott holding his head still in one hand, ice in the other and me pinning his body down to control the rapid thrashing. He then started gagging, we tried to sooth but eventually let him stand up to calm down for a second. What happened, he vomited chocolate milk and pb&j all over the carpet. I caught some with my nearby jacket, Scott grabbed him at arms length and relocated him to the tile to finish the job. I closed my eyes trying to focus on flowers and sunshine and breathing through my mouth instead of what was happening a few feet away. Did the flowers and sunshine help you wonder? NOPE! 30 seconds later, still on my knees from helping Ryan, but at least on the tile instead of the carpet, I COMPLETELY lose it all over the floor. Scott gave himself whiplash wondering who to help first, the mom or the boy. Instead he bee-lines for the camera, laughing and shaking his head in amazement/disgust. After a few quick shots and humorous jabs about his dynamic duo of puking son and wife, he got Ry guy stripped down, in the tub as I finished my business, got stripped down and hosed off. Scott moped, I scrubbed carpet. We were quite the team. We even finished with 5 min. to spare before our company showed up for treats that night. At least I was laughing when all was said and done, it could have been worse!

icing his head

totally self explanitory!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chocolate Frosting

I am in a generous mood and thought I should share a little piece of heaven with the known blogging world. Here is the recipe for my FAVORITE chocolate frosting of all time. Wash your hands because you are gonna want to stick your fingers in the bowl for a taste!

1 pkg cream cheese (8oz)
1/3 c butter, softened
1/2 c cocoa
3 c pwd sugar
4 oz melted chocolate (I prefer semi sweet or unsweetened for that rich chocolate color--the type of flavor is up to you)
whipping cream

Mix butter & cream cheese well. Add cocoa and melted chocolate. Slowly add powdered sugar until smooth. Add a tbs or two of whipping cream if frosting becomes too thick for your use. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A nice distraction!

I was asked to make a cake for a friend's baby shower Saturday night. I got to spend Friday and Saturday "playing" with all my fun tools & recipes--just what the dr. ordered to take my mind (and tummy) off of life-as-I-know-it. The photo isn't that great and the cake wasn't perfect but I had a great time and it sure tasted GOOD!

I used one of my favorite chocolate buttercream recipes--I'm not a huge fan of how fondant tastes even though the final product is much smoother. I personally prefer buttercreams--thus the "not so smooth" look of the cake, but rich creamy frosting was worth it. The decorations were made out of modeling chocolate--one of my favorite things to play with. It has the consistency of a tootsie roll but can be molded, cut out, shaped etc just like fondant--and again, tastes much better! Last but not least, underneath all the fluff was chocolate fudge cake with a raspberry cream filling. Delish!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My 5 Stages...

So a little insight into me--I love the tv show SCRUBS. I think it is hilarious, a completely unrealistic, realistic show allowing characters to say and do what I feeling like doing but would be socially outcast if I did. So last night we were watching a rerun about dealing with the 5 stages of grief and I decided that I am smack in the middle of the 5 stages of "dealing-with-my-life-as-I-currently-know-it" and the lack of control I have over ANYTHING! The first few stages are easy to come by: I have been angry--A LOT--when Ryan wakes up for no reason at night, multiple times, and I am getting less sleep now than when he was a new born! I have thrown tantrums at 1pm when he refuses to take naps but have pulled my hair out at 4am when he decides he is up and ready for the day. What 2 year old does that? I have been in denial about my ever expanding belly, hips, thighs (among other things!) even going as far as to purposefully wear clothing that would simply help me look "chubby" instead of pregnant so as to avoid conversation about it. (yes this child was planned and we are very happy for he/she to join us but believe me people, talking about and going through #3 is much different than the thrill of child #1 or even #2--not bad, just different.) I just want to SCREAM at the cosmos that I have paid my 9 month "dues" with Jason and Ryan and haven't I earned the right to just be handed #3 and not have to deal with all this other CRAP? Which leads perfectly into the bargaining stage--it pretty much sounds like I'm willing to make just about any kind of deal in order to get out of the next 6 months of life! Now, depression is an interesting one. I don't really do the depression thing--unless something incredibly tragic happens, I just don't see it coming--I'm much more prone to the anger/denial/bargaining stages, they come so naturally to me-ha ha (I think that should worry me but it doesn't, I fully embrace it!). And so, last but certainly not least brings me to where I am at now, acceptance. I cannot control where we will be living in the next 2 months--here in Kingman or Las Vegas. I cannot control that I'd REALLY like to buy a house where ever it is that we land but I don't know where that is, when that will happen, not to mention the fact that settling down for the next several years in either of those 2 locations was never in my game plan. But, AGAIN, I have NO CONTROL and I am accepting that. Also, I accept the fact that I don't do my makeup everyday like I used to--I'm lucky to get in 2 days a week--Sundays and the other day I brave life outside my house to run necessary errands. I accept the fact that I only have 2 pair of pants that fit me: 1-my favorite fleece lounge pants that look more like pjs than something I should be wearing to the supermarket and 2-the pair of jeans I bought after Ryan was born that were 3 sizes too big but I refused to wear maternity pants when I was no longer pregnant--and they don't zip up anymore! I accept the fact that my house is a disaster and I'm constantly fighting to chase after my kids (especially Ryan who is the ANGEL OF DESTRUCTION) in order to maintain any semblance of organization at all. And last but not least, I accept that Scott has not eaten a hot breakfast in nearly 3 months, is living off a steady diet of apples, granola bars and slim fast shakes because the thought of getting out of bed and facing the day before 7:30am makes me want to bury my head in the ever abundant DIRT of Kingman, Arizona!

Wow--although there is so much more...I'll spare you and just say that if you hear from me, see me, get a text in the next 6 months--feel lucky because that is more than most will be able to say. I accept my non-controllable-life-as-I-know-it and simply say bring it on. I can't guarantee that I'll do anything about what comes, but I accept it nonetheless. AHHHH!