Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Some people might feel shy or too "self-centered" by announcing to the world that it's their birthday. Not me!! I like to share with anyone who will listen that today I am special! Yippee! I am now one year older. I have taken on more cell depletion and wrinkle damage (lucky me) and, hopefully( because I really could use it) acquired another year of wisdom. Thank You Stanton for the gorgeous flowers! I love you!


Thank You, Mom and Dad for the yummy cookie bouquet. They are so scrumptious!
I love you too!

SKI BUNNIES!

Cute Moms!
On Wednesday (March 21st) Tustin didn't have school due to one of those "Teacher Conference" days. (do you ever wonder if those really are legit?- or is it just a cover for our fine educators to go get a massage?) Anyway, I thought it was a great opportunity to take the kids skiing. (after all they cannot possibly be related to their Grandpa Neilson and NOT know how to ski!) I went with Lisa Powell, Marianne Schmidt and all our kids. We put the three youngest in the day care and the 6 older kids in ski school. It was great! I haven't been skiing in so long and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it. The kids did super for their first day. I was impressed with how quickly they picked it up. For the most part, they were riding the chairlifts and speeding down the hills all by themselves before the day was over. (OK, Kimball- not so much. The whole "pizza plow" method of stopping seemed lost on him and he stuck to the "straight down, super fast and bale out when your about to crash and die" method. We barely missed a few scary encounters with trees, poles and fences. Next year I'll be sure and give him private lessons --and a helmet. That being said, he absolutely loved it!) I've never seen Tustin take to a sport with this much excitement before. I loved the glow on his face after each run. Looks like we're going to be ski bunnies around here come next season! Tustin going it alone in ski school

Losing his goggles, and in classic Kimball form, NOT looking where he is going!

Andrew, Hunter, Emily, Tustin, and Kimball


Tustin and Andrew- the speed demons!

(Lisa, who is way more technologically savvy than I, made a fun video of the kids that day. To see it go here.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

SLEDDING!

We finally had enough snow (and sunshine) to take the kids sledding this last weekend. We met friends (shout out to the Labelles, Schmidts, Roses, Zarcos, Powells, and Roddys!) over at Flint Park and created what we have dubbed "The Island," which is a gigantic blue tarp spread out at the end of the sled hill. It's a great place where we can watch the kids, eat food and relax on our beach chairs in the middle of winter! Next year we think we'll add even more summer flavor to it and bring a barbecue for some hamburgers and such.I bought a new double seated tube at "The Christmas Tree Shop " for an amazing bargain, (love that store!) and as it turned out it was by far the best ride- much better than the expensive tube I bought the year before. I wish I had purchased 3 or 4 of them. I will definitely be on the look out for them next year. Laura couldn't keep her snow hat up off her eyes. She didn't seem to mind and would just tilt her head way back to get a look at anything that interested her. She loved the sledding and every time we reached the bottom of the hill would say,"Try Again, Mom!"
After sledding we returned home to take hot baths, drink hot cocoa, and watch a movie. It was one of those great days where all we did was spend time with the kids and I didn't worry about my long "To Do" list even once. ( this is a milestone for me people)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Underwear and it's Many Uses


This is what can happen at my house if you leave the basket of clean laundry unattended for too long!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Where Have all the Photos Gone?

I decided to add a link to show all the fun outfits I made for Laura this last year ( see sidebar). I figure it will be a good way for me to keep a record of them that I can enjoy looking at-especially on those days when she refuses to wear anything but nasty old PJ's. But, while making this album, I realized something very sad: There are quite a number of outfits that I don't seem to have pictures of at all! Could it be that after sitting at my machine all those hours in an effort to garb her in something adorable I never bothered to encapsulate it on film before she outgrew it and I boxed it away? What kind of a Mother am I? All that cuteness is gone forever!

I refuse to accept this- so I think I will rescue these outfits from their storage dungeons and make some of my local girlfriends bring their 1year-old daughters over to try them on and have a photo shoot. ( That would solve the problem and would be much easier than trying to come up with another daughter of my own!)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Polka Dots Anyone?



I love Puddle Jumper Shoes! I wish I could afford to buy them in every color. In fact, I wish they would sell them in adult sizes because I think my feet could be really happy donning polka dots. But for now, I have to be content with just a couple of pairs for my daughter. They are so fun and look adorable with just about everything. The company was created by a Utah Mom, go figure, and now her shoes are sold in boutiques and cute designer stores. Why can I never think of these things first? So fun!

Getting better at this!

I returned to my blog again today to try and fix the problems I keep creating when I mess around with my html, and as luck would have it I was able to figure out why my dates were so huge. Luckily, I had saved a copy of my previous blog sometime before. ( be sure and do this if you plan on "tweaking" your own blog) and was able to use my former html format to deduct the problem. Yeah! This is definitely turning out to be a "Dang I'm cute" kind of day!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Please Help Me!

As you can tell, I've been trying to personalize my blog a bit more. I have spent/wasted hours over the last few days scowling at my html in the hopes of making sense of it. I finally figured out how to add my own header but, somewhere in the course of that, I messed my posting format up. I now have a humongous font used for the date at the top of each post, and yet most of my past posts seem to have lost their dates all together.( which really messes up my theory of chalking this up as the journal time I feel guilty about never getting to.)

So how do I fix this? Anyone?....Anyone?.... Bueller?.....Bueller?.....

Ebelskivers!

While visiting my parent's I picked up my Mother's copy of the new Williams and Sonoma catalog and noticed these very scrumptious looking treats called "ebelskivers," which I guess are a tasty Danish tradition. ( sometimes spelled "aebleskiver") I showed the picture to my mom and together we decided to try them out. Unfortunately, one needs to have a special pan in order to make them, but surprise!-Williams and Sonoma just happens to sell them. (side note: W&S gives wonderful recipes and photos of delicious food- but one soon discovers that in order to replicate the vittles you have to buy some product or another from them. Simple yet ingenious advertising. I wish I had thought of it.)

Mom and I quickly dashed out for some bonding time and some "ebelskiver pans" of our very own. Luckily for us, they had two left and we were able to try the recipe out. Now, if you're like me, you will want to add some cinnamon and vanilla to these. (really now, what isn't better with cinnamon and vanilla?) They are tricky little buggers to get just right, but worth the effort. Yummy!

I experimented a little again with some whole wheat flour and some various fillings like lemon curd, ricotta cheese and honey. Personally, I thought the ricotta was the best- especially after it's drizzled with syrup and powdered sugar. Once I have perfected a recipe I'll be sure and post it - or if you're a Danish buff and have a yummy one to share let me know!

Thanks Again for the pan Mom! I love it!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cruising in Balboa 2/27/07




Grandpa Neilson rented a little boat at Balboa and took us cruising to check out all the yachts, sailboats and gorgeous homes there on the island. He let each of the boys take a turn driving and they loved being "The Captain." Kimball made me take a picture of every boat he saw that donned his favorite color-green. The funny part was that all of his favorite boats ended up being people's beat up old dingies. It was a beautiful day and we had such fun.

Thank You Grandpa! We love you.

The Happiest Place on Earth







This year on our trip home to California we spent a great day at Disneyland. The lines were non-existent (we walked on practically all the rides without any long waits) and the weather was of course-amazing! Both our boys are finally tall enough to ride all the roller coasters so after a morning of FantasyLand and Toon Town, we dropped Laura off with Grandma Neilson to head back and force Tustin and Kimball on all the rides we've missed out on the past 7 years since they entered our lives. Fortunately, despite their nerves at first, they loved them all and we didn't scar them for life. ( I can't say as much for our trip to DisneyWorld when Tustin was 3 yrs. old and I made him go on the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom. He still talks about that being the scariest thing that ever happened to him. Even now, when he knows the dinosaurs weren't real, he gets the shakes just thinking about it.)

However, in order for them to willingly go on the fast and scary rides they made a deal with their Dad: If they rode all the roller coasters, He would have to ride the tea-cups. Now Stanton hates the tea-cups because he has what one would call a "weak stomach" and they make him sick- as in he usually pukes. He tried to get out of it, but the boys had no mercy- a deal's a deal! Fortunately for all of us, this year Stanton held onto his lunch. Check the photo above- he loved it!!!
We had a great time -and Disneyland, especially when the crowds are elsewhere, lives up to it's slogan of being "The Happiest Place on Earth." (OK - as a disclaimer and "shout out" to my awesome mother- let me clarify that in all seriousness I know there are many places much better and happier than Disneyland including, of course, The Temple. That being said- I do love the Magical Kingdom and am quite happy there, even if it does cost an obscene amount of money- a fact that Stanton considers just another good reason not to have anymore children.)

Ice Dancing Anyone?




A few weeks ago we had a very wet snow followed by freezing temperatures. Unknown to us- this will turn all the snow on ones driveway into solid immovable ice that is hard as a rock and impossible to shovel off. The next morning we could have had our own "Neilson Family on Ice Show" in our front yard (if we'd had the skates or the talent to go with them).

Anyway, this happened on a Wednesday- It was not until the following Saturday, after we were ridiculed for our laziness (thanks Michael) that we ventured out to try and pick away at our land of Antarctica. After a couple of hours of hard labor our driveway was again safe from lawsuits and we were left with huge piles of ice slabs from which the boys created their own snow fort. It turned out pretty good.

Maybe they will be architects! (In my opinion this is much better than being a "soldier with a dog" which is what Kimball is aspiring to as of now.)

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