Monday, February 25, 2008

One Hill of FUN!

(I'm still camera-less and I'm finding that it really lessens my ambition for blogging! Without a picture to post this loses some of its fun).....anyway....

Since we never got the chance during last weeks vacation to hit the slopes, I decided to extended our week of no school by one day and head up to ThunderRidge this morning. It's a local ski-hill up in Patterson. I call it a "hill," because really that is all it is. There are three chairlifts that allow you to come down basically the same exact run.... the east side, the middle or the west side. It's perfect for beginners and we had a great time. An added bonus?- the weather was absolutely beautiful today. We hardly needed coats at all. Another bonus? We were one of about 15 people there, so it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Kimball finally learned how to turn and how to stop. Pheww!! Previous to this day his technique was something like "Go that way really fast, and if something gets in your way....." - don't turn!! ( bonus points for anyone who can name that movie- one of of my all time favorites.) For awhile I was worried he was going to kill himself, an innocent bystander, or even a helpless little tree with his crazy-no-fear technique!

Tustin became so confident that he wanted to advance to the "intermediate" runs and even went off on his own for awhile. (before anyone freaks that I let him do this- might I remind you about the "one hill" terrain of ThunderRidge. He could go as far as he wanted and I could still probably see him.)

As we left Tustin said, "Mom, thanks so much for bringing us. This was a great day!" Unprompted gratitude from one of my children!! That is a big thing for me as a mom and just about brought me to tears!

Sometimes, ditching school and being together is just what the doctor ordered.

It was a great, great day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!
My Valentine ditched me to go skiing in Canada with his father and brother. But, he sent me these flowers so I will try and forgive him.
I refuse to let his absence be an excuse to allow this day to go by without a yummy candlelit dinner, so the kids are going to take his place and we are having a yummy steak dinner tonight! We're going to sprinkle rose petals, light candles, eat chocolate dipped strawberries and have a grand ole time!
Hopefully we won't have too many spilled drinks and "ew, I don't like that's" to go with it as well.

Keith Urban- I LOVE YOU!!

If only I had really been this close!

That big screen was great for those of us way up high!

I just got home from an amazing concert at Madison Square Garden. I went with great friends: the Roddys, Schmidts, and LaBelles, and (since Stanton is out of town and I did not want to sit home and miss out on this) my friend Jen took his ticket and came with me.
Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are on tour together. I've always been a big Carrie fan- but by the end of the night it was all Keith for me! That man is gifted!! I love his music- but you can't really appreciate it, and him, until you see him in person. I had no idea that he was that good. And not to mention- he is pretty dang gorgeous!

He can play the guitar like you wouldn't believe! I've never even cared for the electric guitar much before tonight ( I guess I've always asssociated it with heavy metal music which was never my thing)- but when he played it, it was again - breathtakingly awesome! He was an amazing performer. I want to listen to his music over and over now. It was so much fun!!

I can't even think of what else to say- it left me speechless!

If you can get a chance to see this concert- go. He is unbelievably good!

(Seriously- I'm all a flutter about it even now!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

This has been one of those days:

I woke up with the flu ( for the second time in 6 weeks)

My water bottle emptied into my purse and destroyed my camera. ( my blog will now be picture-less for awhile)

My daughter peed on our "Love Sac," ( a giant foam-filled bean bag of sorts) and since it soaked all the way through the cover and into the interior stuffing, we either have to throw it out, or just accept the fact that we are now snuggling on a latrine.

I learned, from watching "Oprah," that living in a cluttered, unorganized house will contribute to a person gaining weight.... Great, just great.

If I really thought about it , I'm sure I could come up with a lot more, but nobody likes a Debbie Downer and now I feel much better having vented.

According to one of my favorite books (shown above),"some days are just like that."

And according to one of my favorite childhood movies,"The sun will come out tomorrow."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Kimball Wisdoms"

I had a conference with Kimball's Kindergarten teacher today so that she could tell me all about his progress and go over some of his work with me. She shared a particular experience she had with him last month.

The class was working on a project regarding their New Years Resolutions. Kimball wrote that he wanted to learn how to climb a coconut tree. Well, although she thought that was fun and original, she really wanted the kids to focus on something that they could actually practice and accomplish, and being that we live in the northeast (where coconut trees are not generally found), she thought he should try and come up with something else, and told him so.

He looked at her and shared some insight:

"Mrs. Lilien, I am a Mormon, which means I have free agency, and that means I can do whatever I want. And I want to learn how to climb a coconut tree."

I'm not sure that this was a good missionary moment for him or a bad one, and I've decided not to worry about it. I'm just glad that he's confident and willing to speak up and express himself and be who he is. You tell her darling boy of mine!

Keep practicing that "free agency, " ( And please only use it to do exactly everything your mother says. I know best!)

Some New Favorites

My kitchen has been completely transformed this year by the use of some terrifc new gadgets I got for Christmas, so I thought I would share. Here are three of my top rated:

This appliance is everything they say it is! I use it almost every day, and an added bonus?- it's cute red color. I can leave it on the countertop and it fits right in with my decor! It is awesome! I can cook salmon fillets or chicken breasts in about 3 minutes! (I used to boil chicken for soups or even broil it sometimes- but that either took too long or gave me unreliable results, like leathery meat) I've even put frozen breasts on it (because I never actually get around to the whole -"plan the meals and defrost the meat in the fridge the night before - routine.) and with a couple added minutes they cook up marvelously!

Another added bonus about this "speed cooking" is that I no longer feel a sense of panic at 5 o'clock when I haven't planned any dinner and my hungry children turn into violent, screaming, whining beasts because they haven't been fed yet. ( Stanton would be sure and interject here that they get this whole "I'm starving and will be unreasonable and unkind to all" trait from me. Sadly, on this one account I must concede and admit my guilty genes.) But no longer! Now I can whip out a hot meal in matter of minutes. I love it! Love it!
( Thanks Mom and Dad for a great gift.)

I have mentioned before that I am an easy sell when it comes to infomercials, but when I first saw the TV Ad for The Magic Bullet I was skeptical. It jusn't didn't seem like something I would ever use. But, I changed my mind after a conversation with my sister, Wendy, who I was surprised to learn actually owns one and thinks it is terrific.
So I added this little gadget to my wish list, and Christmas morning I was delighted to find it under the tree from my in-laws. ( Thanks again Ralph and Katherine. It's the best!) I have used this kitchen toy almost every day since as well. It is terrific. It's small and can stay on the counter top without making a big scene. I love that you can blend a quick little smoothie in the very cup that you drink out of. It negates so much mess. It's super user friendly and it's easy for the kids to use themselves. I've even grinded wheat in it to make bread. ( It took a while because I had to do it in small batches- but it worked!) It gets 5 stars from me!

I have a paasion for mangoes and average about 1 a day. The biggest draw-back to this love of mine is that mangoes are not easy to slice. They have a large oblong seed that is diffiecult to work around and still get nice pieces that are'nt smushed and mutilated. With practice, I got pretty good at it, but still this tool makes it so simple! Love it! Love it! Another winner from Santa! ( thanks Stanton!)


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