Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa Clause came to Town

Our ward Christmas Party had a surprise at the end....Santa came to town! Our kids all enjoyed sitting on Santa's knee and telling him what they wanted for Christmas, and if they had been good this year. Of course--they are angels (ha!). Actually, we do have pretty good kids...I sure think they are awesome!
I think that Santa will be visiting our home this year.
Holiday Fun!

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Cocoa

I am a huge fan of hot cocoa. I usually have at least 1 cup a day during the colder months--it warms me from the inside out and is very soothing. Have you noticed that a small can of semi-decent cocoa in the store is at least $4 and makes maybe 6 mug-fulls?? Expensive!! Well, I found this recipe in Good Housekeeping and thought I'd share it with you... I tried it this morning--and it was quick, easy, and awesomely delicious (and I'm pretty picky about my cocoa). I could see making up a batch and putting it in a cute tin as a nice (and useful) Christmas neighbor/friend gift. Hmmm....

ingredients:
1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cup sugar
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semisweet chocolate chips)

**I MADE 1/2 OF THIS RECIPE**

directions:
1. In food processor, with knife blade attached, blend cocoa, sugar, chocolate, and 1/4 tsp. salt until almost smooth. Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature up to 6 months.

2. To make cocoa: For each serving, in a microwave-safe mug, mix 3 Tbsp. Cocoa Mix with 1 cup milk. Microwave on High 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until blended and hot, stirring once.

*Top with a dollop of whipped cream on top, or marshmallows.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups of mix.
18 servings.

variations:
*Mexican Spice
Prepare Cocoa Mix recipe as above, adding 2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper *cayenne) before blending in a processor.

*Vanilla Variation
Prepare Cocoa Mix recipe as above, adding half of a vanilla bean (pod and seeds) before blending in a processor.

A great tool for making hot cocoa...Mr. Coffee's "CocoMotion." It blend the cocoa so smoothly and makes it light and luscious. It retails for $10-$15 at places like Wal-Mart. I LOVE MINE. My brother and sister in-law got it for me 2 Christmases ago (they drew our name) and it was a great gift...packaged with mugs and cocoas.

For This Recipe & More Visit My Recipe Blog At:

http://www.SaraColoradoRecipeSpot.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Out For Some Pictures

It was a beautiful November day...unbelievable...64 today here! Tuesday is going to be 69!! Anyhow (getting side-tracked in marvel of the nice weather in NOVEMBER)...we went out today and took some family pictures. Okay, one of my major PET PEEVES in life is going to get family portraits done...or even for just one kid. Waiting for the photographer to be ready (and I have an appointment!), keeping the kids calm, keeping the kids clean, getting them to like some total stranger and actually smile for them....not my happy day. But I do love having nice portraits of the kids.

About this time of year (Christmas card time) I know I need a good family photo. Have any of you ever gotten (or sent) cards that have just pictures of kids on them, and you're thinking...who are these kids?! You really need to put your pictures on there too--so we know who is sending these to us (reading the name on the card is not enough)--I want to visually see how my friends are getting older too, after all! =) I digress again. We went out on this beautiful day, to a canyon that is mere steps away from our house (although we drove over there as to keep the kids from dilly-dallying). My friend Natalie and I worked out a trade...I put all her Christmas Card addresses into a spreadsheet so she can send out her cards this year (without having to hand-address her cards), and she take some pictures of our family with her talented eye and fabulous camera. **I love trades** We got some great photos of the family together and I wanted to share some of the fun ones with all of you. So here you go. So much better than going to a studio!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Memory Making

I have been SO busy for SO long now, I really haven't taken much time to scrap...in fact, it's been MONTHS. For something I enjoy SO much, it makes me sad that I haven't done it in so long. I've almost ignored the urge--because I'm too overwhelmed (with other stuff) to think about it.
Last night, I was putting some Girl Scout newsletters that I've been doing for her troop, in her scrapbook. I sat and looked through my past work and realized how very much I miss it.
Tonight, I took to it! I had no meetings and didn't have to run the kids anywhere. Yay! So, after dinner, I locked myself in my office and sat down and digi-scrapped. I love doing it this way. Look below, the same layout, but I can throw them in each of my kids' books and they'll never know how much easier it was for me (and quicker) to do it this way, than to do it with actual paper. I still do miss the hands-on, cutting, gluing, etc....but this way is practical for me right now. Plus, I can get a kit of digi-scrap files, and I know that they match and that the embellishments will "work" on the page.
It felt really good to do a little "memory-making" again tonight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Halloween Tribe

We had a great Halloween. It was excellent trick-or-treating (probably the best we'll EVER EVER have). The day was in the mid-70s and the evening didn't even require a jacket. Last year...2 sets of underclothes, winter coats, hats, etc. We loved it this year! Yay!
Thank you to Grandma Mac for the making of the costumes...they were so much fun and we. Thanks Auntie Marcie for letting me borrow your get-up this year...it was awesome! We had a lot of fun and a great night.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Day in Estes

Yesterday, after our Primary Program, we went up to Estes Park for the rest of the day to do a little geo-caching and to spend some family fun time. It was a GORGEOUS day...70-degree weather on October 25th!! The elk were out in their glory. We could have reached out and pet a few of them...truly. It was so exciting to see them and hear their mating calls. They are amazing animals--the kids were thrilled to see so many of them. We are so lucky to live so close to so much beauty and variety.

4 Little Indians

Halloween is coming and Grandma Mac really came through for us! What a fabulous seamstress and creator she is. The kids just loved being dressed up in their indian costumes. I love that they all matched. There wont be many years where they can have the same theme and matching costumes...so yes, I'm enjoying it now! Thank you --AGAIN THIS YEAR-- Grandma Mac! We love you.
Trick or Treat!

My lil' Pumpkin

I love Autumn! I love Kyle. The two go great together. I couldn't resist taking some snap-shots of my little guy the other day while we were out enjoying the weather, collecting leaves and getting some fresh air before it gets too crisp out. Kyle is so irresistible. p.s.--he HAS had a hair cut since these pictures ;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A fun weekend of Camping

Ah, Autumn is upon us. We knew that this would probably be our last weekend to go camping, so we took advantage of the trailer we just bought last Tuesday, and went before the weather was too cold. It was borderline while we were there. I have to say that the furnace in our trailer was very helpful! I LOVE MY TRAILER (excellent Craig's List find)!

We had such a good time. Jim's cousin's family were camping this weekend too, so we coordinated with them so we could all have fun together (Aaron & Megan and their kid) and my friend Shauna, her kids, and her two sisters and their kids. Okay...a lot of kids...but what a great place to just set them free and let them have fun--hiking, climbing big boulder-type-rocks, and just playing around. They kept themselves rather entertained. Tess (our puppy) had so much fun too--the kids loved taking her on walks and she was in heaven with all the attention.

We ladies were entertained too. Our favorite time: in the trailer playing board games and eating licorice. It was great!

We dutch oven cooked, sat around the campfire and sang silly and fun camp songs, and just had a good-ole'-time. The fall colors were awesome and I'm so glad we went before it was too late. This upcoming weekend is going to be in the 40's--good thing we went while we could!! What a great time we had!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not Many More

I can't believe it, but summer is winding to an end. This week is supposed to be in the mid to high 70s though, but I can't help but think it's winding to an end...that this is summer's last stand.

Taking advantage of the nice weather, when Rory asked if they could turn on the fun water-hose-toy that grandparents got us, I had to say "yes." They are having so much fun. Silly boys--they are so cute. Who needs swim suits either...after wearing nothing but for a week at Lake Powell, the underwear/diaper thing is just fine!
Even Tess is enjoying the outdoors.
I'm ready for Autumn. I love it actually, but little by little, outdoor activities do dwindle.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Garden Grows

My garden is growing! Yes, you'll remember, this is my first year -ever- of having a garden. It's growing! We made the garden and it took a while, and we were about a month and a half behind, so my plants aren't quite where they should be for this time of year, but still...I'm so excited! The tomatoes are green...but they are growing, and there are a lot of them--both on the normal plant and on the heirloom tomato plant (and right after I planted them, they looked like death, but they've made a great comeback). The zucchini is finally growing. The cucumber plant looks great and I'm sure one day soon an actual cucumber is going to appear. The beats are delicious (we've already cooked a couple up). The carrots are growin, and the pumpkins will be here for sure soon! My herb garden (in the planter box) is looking great and I can't wait to get some fresh pesto made from the basil. I have a good recipe that calls for sage too that I'll be making soon with the fresh sage.

Next year I can't wait to see where we'll be at by this time in the summer and I'm looking forward to trying a few other veggies---like broccoli and maybe even cauliflower!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Children, 2008-09 School Year

I love school pictures. I love it too that I can take the younger kids and get theirs done there at the school at the same time. It's easier for me to do this, than to take them to a portrait studio (one of my most UN-favorite things to do). I really love the way they turned out too. I just look at my little blessings and can't believe how full my life is--I can feel my Heavenly Father's love for me when I look at the sweet children he's entrusted to my care.
(Isabel-8, Bryce-6, Rory-3, Kyle-19mo)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

She Sings

We've had this Primary Teacher Improvement Evening planned for a while and we hosted it at our home. Well, we wanted a special musical number--the song "Teacher, Do You Love Me" is so appropriate for the occasion and there is a teacher and child part. So, I thought Isabel might enjoy singing the child part. She's been practicing and singing along with the Primary CD for a while. To our great advantage, I was able to get Olivia to sing with her...and they did such a beautiful job together.
Isabel sang out and was clear and knew her words. She is such a sweety and did a beautiful job. I'm so so proud of Isabel. I'm thrilled with the kind and wonderful daughter of God she is.

video

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Growin Kyle

I can't believe how cute and big he's getting...let me count...how old is he now?? My baby is 19.5 months old! Wow, he's just so much fun and full of so much love. This was a cute outfit that my parents bought him quite a while ago that I thought "it will be a long time before he can fit in them"...but now he is!

Can you slow down your growing...please KyKy?

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sara & Jim's 10th Anniversary in Vail, CO

July 25th was our 10th anniversary. We celebrated this past weekend. We had big plans to go to NY, but when it came down to it, I was a little nervous about going so far from the kids. We decided to go up to Vail which is only about 2 hours from our home. We had such a nice time. We stayed at a beautiful hotel there at the base of Vail Village...The Vail Plaza Hotel & Club. I highly recommend it if you ever go there. It was as nice as can be. We got a beautiful suite there...and it was luxurious and comfortable. The Village was just awesome. There was a farmers market in the morning, live music all around the village at night, restaurants galore to choose from, bridges everywhere, beautiful flowers, alpine-style architecture. From top to bottom, it was fabulous. I had no idea that Vail was so beautiful.
We did a lot of geo-caching (see my "Treasure Hunting" blog post to learn more about that) while we were there. We even went to sacrament meeting at a cute little LDS chapel in Avon...right near Vail. We spent some time in Beaver Creek (also a gorgeous village/area).
The highlight of our trip was probably going horseback riding. We went for a 2 hour trail ride and it was so much fun! I was on a horse named "Brownie." Jim rode "Gus." It was just gorgeous terrain and we had a blast. We highly considered going back the next day for more riding...to do the cattle round up, but we had other activities already planned. Jim and I often talk about packing up and going to live on a ranch. Okay, Jim has spent some time working on a ranch while he was younger, but other than that, we would have no idea how to get started, but it would be a dream. Okay...a tough dream once the novelty wares off, but still! We sometimes wish we could just do what we want to do in this life...our dreams...and though it's possible if you are willing to give up everything you have for that dream, it's not always practical...you know what I mean?? It's like "we have this life that we've built for ourselves and our family, and we're so grateful for the great life it is" but then there's that "can we trade it all now and do THIS or THAT?" Probably not, so we're content with the few times we can dabble in other life-dreams.
Needless to say, we had a WONDERFUL time in Vail for our Anniversary. These 10 past years with Jim have been the happiest of my life...I never thought marriage could be this good. Jim is my best-friend and the love of my life. I wish everyone were as lucky as he and I have been.

Friday, August 15, 2008

1st Day of School

I have a little bit of catching up to do on my blog. Since I just had my tonsils out and I'm laid up in bed, I've got my laptop and I thought I'd get to work....in between sleeping and not eating. Ha!
Well, Bryce & Isabel went off to school just a few weeks ago. I can't believe that Isabel is in 3rd grade (I have to keep reminding myself--3rd!!), and Bryce went off to all-day-school in 1st grade! He was excited to the bus TO school and HOME FROM school. I'm so proud of my kiddos. They were so excited to go to school and get things started. I love that they love school...and I hope that continues for a long long time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Yes, we did it...

We bought a dog. I know you're saying "Sara...a dog?" Okay, yes, I'm not a dog lover--I never really had a dog (except when I was super young), but I figure I don't have to love other dogs, but I do love mine--maybe as a whole I'll start liking other dogs too then? I don't know, but I really love our dog.

Her name is Tess. I was inspired by a fabulous tv series called McLeod's Daughters. It is an Australian Western Drama type show. I love it and it's been so fun to watch. Well, one of the main characters is Tess...and when we got our puppy, it just seemed to fit!

We were on our date-night last Saturday and we went by the Pedigree Shop in the Park Meadows Mall. I've been there before and nearly bought a basset hound puppy (it was so dang cute). Well, this time, I saw our little Tess, and she won me over (she's so dang cute too). We held her for quite a while and she was just a doll. I just did it! We got her! My kids have been longing for a pet (a real pet--not just fish) ever since we had to have our kitty find a new home about a year ago (Rory turned up allergic to cats). You should have seen their faces when we brought Tess in to meet them, they were over the moon.

Here are some pictures of Tess. She is a Puggle--a Pug/Beagle hybrid breed. She wont get too big--medium breed--, she only "moderately" sheds and it is short hair shedding, so not too bad (plus we already have our cool Dyson "Pet" all ready to go). She is really really sweet. We are doing some pretty strict training with a trainer...crate training her. Though she's have several house-potty-accidents, we still love her a lot. A great pet for our family and I can't wait until she understands where to put her potty stuff so she can be more free in the house.

Welcome Tess!

Friday, July 18, 2008

We're Crafty

I know during the summer people take their kids here, there and everywhere. I'm not one of those people. We do go to the park quite often, and we do have some fun outings...but I'm not one to do it every day. With four kids and the youngest being rather young and another being "busy" it gets overwhelming. We usually wait until Dad is available to do our outings.
They do love crafts though. Yesterday we painted a lot and they loved that. We play with a lot of model magic clay (a great product--a cross between clay and play-dough--and non-messy and fun!). Today then, I thought I'd take them to Michael's and let them each choose a craft. We needed some new stuff and I thought this would be a fun summer activity, and give my kids some new projects to work on.

Isabel choose paint by number. She's always loved painting and I let her get two different kits since they are so inexpensive. It will take some patience to accomplish but I think she'll be pleased with the outcome when she gets there.

Rory choose Paint & Swirl. We actually already had the machine that spins your paper around and round, but we got refill paints and paper. He loves seeing it swirl and squirting the paint onto the paper.
Bryce choose a Tie-Die shirt kit. We bought t-shirts for the whole family (he'll do his first). He's really excited and we'll let you know how it turns out. There is some set-up time so we can't get straight to it, but it will be neat once it's done! This is perfect too as their elementary school's colors are "tie-die" --so he can wear it to school for school spirit! He also wants to make shirts for friends when it is their birthday (so invite him to your party and you just may get something tie-die)!

On a hot summer day, being crafty isn't a bad alternative!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Treasure Hunting

So many people haven't heard of it....it isn't actually called "treasure hunting" it's called "geo-caching" and it's so much fun! This is our favorite family pastime in the summer and "good-outdoor-weather" activity. Our friends that moved away, Alissa & Mike, introduced Jim to it while they were still here. Since then, we've enjoyed the sport as a family, and often on date-nights, Jim and I will geo-cache. Sometimes, Jim will even take the kids and go hunt for treasure! After all, it's free (as soon as you have a GPS).


So, what is Geo-Caching? Go to http://www.geocaching.com/ and learn more about it. There are caches that people hide (we've hidden a few ourselves)...in open spaces...like in parks, along pathways, hidden from plain view. There are different levels of difficulty and different sizes of caches. It could be a Rubbermaid container sitting nestled under a tree--covered by leaves and branches, wrapped in camouflage tape. It could be a 35mm film canister hanging from a tree branch. I've even seen a magnetic bullet that unscrews to keep the log in--attached under a park bench. This is a sport and you can begin with the easy and big caches and work your way to more difficult caches. There are riddles and clues for some caches and it can be a lot of fun and challenging, or really easy and simple. You choose.

For each cache, you locate one near you (search by zip code or through Google Maps) and then you find the corresponding GPS location coordinates. Then you go and find it! Each cache has a log that you sign once you've found it--and then you go back to the web-site and log your visit. Our kids enjoy the caches where you can exchange a little toy of some sort. They bring a toy (usually an old McDonald's trinket that is small) leave their toy, and take one that is in the cache. Not all caches have these, but usually the caches that are large enough, do have trinkets for exchange. This is how it got nick-named "treasure hunting" by my kiddos. They get new little "treasures" that they had to hunt for and find!

It may sound complicated, but it really isn't. Once you have a GPS...go to GeoCaching.com and read more about it. There are some really basic and inexpensive GPS units, and then if you find you like the sport...you can get more fancy. It's a fun sport and rather popular and growing in popularity all the time. There are TONS of caches all around you. Why haven't you heard of this before? Well, there's kind of a "cloak-and-dagger-ness" to the sport...don't let "muggles" figure out what you're doing. Just kind of fun and quiet--but a great FUN activity while you're enjoying your outdoor activities--and the kids enjoy it too!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Golden, CO


What a fun Saturday we had. We went up and visited a friend, Patty, that lives in Golden--Jim's known her most of his life--a close family friend. She took us to lunch at the Golden Hotel which is right along the Clear Creek. It was really beautiful as we lunched on the patio that overlooked the water. There were kayakers and it was just a lovely day--we couldn't ask for nicer weather.

We took a walk up the river--they have several "nature-y" sculptures along they way. The kids loved those! They had a mock pioneer town, with real chickens and people dressed as pioneers. Then we ended up going down by this great slide that has a mouth of a fish at the opening on the bottom. This was Kyle's favorite thing to do. He would go down, and just keep running up the stairs as fast as his little legs would take him.

At this same area, there was a concrete "jet-out" that went into the river. I was kind of scared, as the waters were rather fast and I could just imagine it sweeping a kid away...so we were super safe. It was COLD water! But, after a while, it was rather refreshing to stand in--kind of a neat thing, that you would think --in our sue-happy world-- wouldn't be so much allowed anymore, but it's cool that it's still there and able to be enjoyed.

My kids love rocks. They love to smash them, play on them, collect them...I find Isabel's backpack full of some "cool" rock she found at school or on the way home, or a cool rock that her science teacher gave her, or her bus driver...so I guess people know that she likes rocks! This has passed on to her brothers and they will go outside and play with rocks for hours. So, when they saw these big rocks to climb on, they were loving life!

I was impressed with Golden and want to go back and spend more time there. Maybe even try kayaking! They make it look so easy. =) It was really a beautiful place--it gets me wondering where else in Colorado we need to explore. Any ideas people???