Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Party

Yesterday was our preschool Christmas party. We played lots of games, made something to take home, and I sent them home with a wrapped gift I made for them. I found this pattern via Pinterest, and thought the kids would love them. What I didn't contemplate is the amount of work that it would take. I got emails from a few moms after the kids opened them at home, and the LOVE them. My nephew (almost 2) had the same reaction when I gave him one a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Productive Day

Today felt so great! I got so many things done before noon. I LOVE those kind of days. I made Christmas presents for friends that I cannot post yet because they haven't opened them yet :) I spent a fair amount of time making some blankets for our baby. My neighbor's twins love dinosaurs, so when I saw this material I couldn't resist.
 See, isn't it adorable!
 I found this argyle pattern on a trip to the fabric store with my sister.
This one doesn't look like anything super special. I bought muslin, surged the edges, then died it this teal color. It will be perfect for swaddling :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Cake

I love this local bakery called Kneaders. I was there with Brett a few weeks ago, and they had something called a Chocolate Peppermint Cake. I am not a huge cake fan, but I LOVE peppermint. I decided it was worth a shot. Ever since that first one I have been in  love with it. Brett and I both agreed that we could likely make it ourselves. We did, and here is what we came up with.

The filling in between each layer is whipped cream infused with peppermint. There is also some crushed candy cane in it as well. The top is a layer of ganache. I had never made that before, but it's much easier than one would think. I sprinkled it with crushed candy cane as well.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Very Busy Week

This week has been so busy. I guess that is somewhat expected with the Christmas season, but I seriously don't feel like I've had a moment to blog. We've also had a friend in town visiting this week. I didn't talk to her about posting about that will have to wait.

Mondays are always super busy for me. I teach 2 preschool classes, then piano lessons. I usually don't get done until 4ish. In preschool we are talking about Christmas traditions around the world. Today we did Sweden. That evening we got together with our friend, had dinner, and visited. We was nice to just spend time at home.

Tuesday Brett's sister had asked her dad and brothers to come sing for a Christmas activity at church. She was nice enough to send a photo...I forgot my camera.

Wednesday I taught 2 preschool classes again. We learned about Christmas in Africa. I talked to the kids about how far away that is. One girls' grandparents live in Alaska and her dad is a pilot so they fly there often. I told her it was farther away than Alaska, and she (for reasons I don't know) mentioned she had been to "St. George Washington". It made me laugh knowing that she meant St. George....then added Washington to it knowing about George Washington. That evening we went with our friend to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory (I haven't been there since my mission, and it didn't disappoint). Then we went to see the lights at temple square. The lights are one of my favorite things about Christmas.

Thursday I worked on making some Christmas presents during the day, then spend the afternoon with our friend. Brett and I had a quite dinner together that night, and put up Christmas decorations....I know that should already be done, but life has been a bit hectic. I love the nativities we have :)

Now we are to today. I did preschool this morning. I got a text from a friend right after preschool, and she told me to not turn on the TV just come with her on an outing. We both needed a trip to a craft store, and I willingly obliged. She told me that there was something horrible happening and it was on every channel. Today there has been a horrible shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut...or so I hear. There is so much sadness it is something I really didn't feel like I could listen to right now. We picked up the items we needed, grabbed lunch to bring home, then caught a show we had DVR'd together. I need to get busy on Brett's Christmas gift (we always make something for each other). I feel a bit behind, but and hopeful to catch up :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Casual Baby Shower

Last month I was able to get together with my roommates from college. It has been years since all of us have been together at the same time. Michelle is having a baby in Januray, and we all got together for dinner and gifts. It was great to see everyone again and be able to catch up.

sorry it's not a great quality picture.

Monday, December 10, 2012

An Anual Tradition

All the girls in my family get together every year at Christmas time for a baking day. This was a much easier dynamic when we were single or married without kids. This year, we did things a bit differently, and it worked out really well. Everyone brought something to make that the prep work was done for. I brought a delicious peanut butter cookie dough that you cook then dip in chocolate. I made the dough at home, then we made the cookies together. I didn't bring a camera, and my sister just used her ipod for pictures...thanks Jess :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What's Your Favorite Thing About Christmas?

That is one of the first questions that I posed to my preschoolers yesterday. I would say that at least 75% of them responded with something related to them receiving presents (either from others or from Santa). I really made me kind of sad that things have become so "me centered". So, I started posing questions to them: What about Christmas lights? What about playing in the snow? What about making fun treats with mom? get the idea. One girls eyes literally lit up when I asked about Christmas lights. In an effort to help them see beyond themselves (I know that's not something that comes naturally at this age), I have given them a daily homework assignment for December. I gave them paper ornaments that they are to decorate and bring back with something nice written on it that they did for someone else.

Brett and I had this conversation this morning as well. He said his favorite thing about Christmas was family. He had lots of favorite things, but they all revolved around family. I would say that I have to agree with him. I love making those Christmas memories together.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Festivities

We love Christmas! Yesterday Jenny had a Christmas dinner and program with women from our area. We had volunteered to bring a treat. There was a particular one that she remembered her mom making when she was younger. Thank goodness for the Internet and google. Things are found so easily :) They are called Chocolate Revel Bars and they are heavenly.

Here is the recipe if you're interested.
Chocolate Revel Bars
Recipe type: Dessert, Cookies
Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
Serves: 30-40
 You will take great pleasure or delight in eating these rich, gooey and chocolatey bar cookies.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can (1¼ cup) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, optional
  1. Cream the butter and the sugar.
  2. Beat in the eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, baking soda and 1¼ cups flour.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour and then the oats.
  4. In a medium saucepan, cook the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and 2 Tbsp butter over low heat until the chocolate has melted.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 2 tsp vanilla and the nuts if desired.
  6. Pat ⅔ of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 10×15 pan or the equivalent.
  7. Spread the chocolate mixture over the oat crust.
  8. Dot the chocolate with the remaining oat mixture.
  9. Bake the bars at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden. The chocolate will still look moist.
  10. Let the cookies cool and then cut them into small bars. {They are rich and gooey so a small bar goes a long way.}

Monday, December 3, 2012

Decorating the Tree

We spent the evening putting lights on the tree and hanging ornaments. We both absolutely love Christmas time! It is nice to see so many people have such good will towards others. It seems to just bring out the good, and help people see the good more often.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


These two started off with a rather rough morning. I was going to work out with their mom, she went to change clothes, and Sophie (right) decided to bite Lilian. Huge crocodile tears, and I felt awful. I put Sophie in the corner in timeout because I know thats what her mom does, then snuggled Lilian. Sophie got to spend a fair chunk of time in her room, and I went to help her calm down more than once. I was worried she might hate me. I went back over later to visit and Sophie came running to me with arms in the air. I was grateful she wasn't mad at me. They ended up both wanting me to hold them at the same time. This is what it turned out like.

I started talking to them about Jenny having a baby. I said, "Sophie, Jenny is going to have a baby." To which her quick response was, "Noooo." (with a little attitude). I said the same thing to Lilian and got the same response for a bit, but she then started saying, "Jenny baby." and  brought me a small baby toy. Sophie wasn't sold on the idea before I left, but the next day the first thing she said to me was, "Jenny baby." I'm sure they'll see a lot of our little one :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I make plenty of mistakes, but I have this friend who thinks I do it all, all of the time. She obviously doesn't live here :)

Yesterday I had a lot of things on my plate, and a lot of girls that showed up for our activity...nine girls total, mostly eight years old. Things were a bit crazy as we were learning and making bread that I did something I have never done before. I left out the yeast. Who leaves out the yeast? Apparently I had other things on my mind. I was totally doing to take a picture and post it, but my kind husband disposed of it for me before I got the camera out. I could hardly believe how dense that bread was. Hopefully I won't make that mistake again, but anything can happen :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crazy Day

This has seriously been a packed day, but I haven't blogged in a few and I have a few spare minutes...literally.

We were scheduled to go on a preschool field trip today, but did not have enough parents who were willing to go, so it was canceled and normal classes were held. In my morning class (4-5 yr olds) during play time one student discovered that by rubbing blocks together it was make an elk or goose call. I was impressed that she knew what those sounded like. My afternoon class was filled with meltdowns at random points because of things like: "don't look at me", "don't touch me", "she won't share a train", "I don't want to sit by ___". Most of those comments coming from a student that usually doesn't have issues. Maybe it was a rough morning??

Next I have 5-10 eight and nine year old girls coming over for an activity, learning how to make bread, and tying blankets to donate to Primary Children's Hospital. My kitchen needs to be clean (nothing too major :)) before that happens.

Finally our evening is ending with family meeting a new friend of ours, visiting, playing games, eating food :)

I have work to do :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

the day after

I honestly feel like the day after Thanksgiving is a wasted work day. Brett's company lets them use vacation time if they would like it off. He would have liked it off, but he (and a few others on the project) had a Monday 8 am deadline. So, I dropped him off for work, hit up the new outlet stores (lots of fun, cute places), then finished up with some online Christmas shopping.

Brett only worked until 1, then we headed to a lunch with all my extended family. It was so good for so many of us to be together. There were relatives I hadn't seen in years (and we are only talking my grandparents and their posterity). There were people that Brett had never met. We helped with set up, ate a great meal together, and enjoyed visiting for a while.

On the way home that evening Brett and I decided to go see The Rise of the Guardians. We really hadn't heard much about it. We barely made it to the theater by show time, then waited 45 minutes while the theater tried to get the projector to failed and lots of people were unhappy. There was another showing in a theater they owned close by that we were able to get into :) It was a fantastic way to end our day, and a movie we would both recommend. I loved the little lessons it taught. As we were leaving I told Brett is made my heart happy....just what we needed!

Friday, November 23, 2012


I really try to be a grateful person. I feel like all too much there are children that are (or feel they are) entitled to certain things just because they are them. I want my children to realize the value of work, how to work for something, and that things aren't just handed out for free. I had a conversation with an 11 year old the other day and she was talking about going to sixth grade camp and taking her ipod (which is really an iphone 3 she inherited from her mom when her mom upgraded, there just isn't phone service on it). I told her that I had worked at camps and that things can get lost or stolen or broken and it likely wasn't a good idea. I was amazed when she looked at me and said, "It doesn't matter. It didn't cost anything." Which is when we had a little conversation about even though she didn't pay for it, someone did, and is wasn't free.

So, I am thankful for parents who taught me (and my husband, and his parents) to work. I earned money to buy things I wanted. I knew the value because I work for things.

I am so grateful for family. We will have around 60 people together today with my grandparents to have a family dinner together.

I am grateful for a great husband who works hard to provide for our family. He is such a great person and always has such a positive outlook on life.

I am grateful for good neighbors who look out for and care for each other.

I an grateful for Christmas time. I truly think it is "the most wonderful time of the year". I have been listening to Christmas music for a while now because it just makes me happy.

There are so many things in this life to be thankful for. I'm glad to be reminded at this time of the year what so many of them are!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Break

As soon as I finished preschool for Thanksgiving break I headed out the door to deliver gifts to people in our ward area for Christmas. We have a lot of condos in our area. I did 96 flights of stairs yesterday. Needless to say my legs have been a bit sore. We just shared a Christmas story of service with an ornament a friend help me paint (we had 150 to do).

I typically try to get up with Brett and be able to spend some time with him. I was up around 6:30 the other day. Brett and I had breakfast together, and I got his lunch ready so he could head out the door a bit quicker. I did a workout which was a bit hard with how sore my legs were from yesterday. A little later we (friend and twins), headed out to outlets that just opened about 15 minutes away. Its a really nice new place, with lots of great stores. Hopefully there will be some good holiday shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

These Two

These two can often be found at our house. They always act nice for us, and they really make us smile. Their mom went home to get dinner ready for dad (who works crazy and awful hours).  We kept them with us, had dinner with them, and shared a little treat. I was getting ready to host book club at our house that night and had to finish making our desert. I made Pumpkin Pie Cake. We did homemade whipped cream to go with it. The girls were here while we made the whipped cream, and we opted to give them beaters. I love how much they loved it! They curled up with Brett afterwards for a story. They love books :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Project Time

Two of my sisters wanted to learn how to make mitered blankets for their babies, nieces, or nephews. One sister was watching another sister's kids, plus I invited a friend to add to the madness. We ended up with one 4 year old, and five 2 and under :) There was fun had with blocks, trains, and stories! Below are just some fun pictures of all the playing that happened. Sadly, no pictures of their finished projects....we were a bit occupied.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I got a text from a friend Friday night that she had used my husband as a bribe to get her 2 year olds to go to bed...and hoped it was ok for them to come visit in the morning. I sent her a text when we got up that they were welcome to come join us for dinosaur pancakes. They loved them. Lillian requested a snake one for her second. They both ate quite well, and we got to play with trains after :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kids are Funny

Preschool is my "day in and day out" activity. There have been lots of funny things said by them recently, and thought you might get a good laugh from them as well.

Last week we were learning the word do. I usually use the words we are learning in a sentence so they will know what we are really talking about. After giving them an example one boy said, "I know, Ms. Jenny, like (sang) 'I will go I will do the things the Lord commands.'" I told him that was exactly the right way to use that word.

Often kids sing songs as they work. On Friday, while working, I hear one little girl singing "We will never, ever, ever get back together." It made me laugh a little inside thinking of a five year old singing about never getting back together. I asked her if she liked that song to which she replied, "Yes, but my sister really does." Then I asked her if she knew who sang that song. She looked at me in thought and said, "No...wait. Taylor Swift, I think." I told her that she was right. I wonder if Taylor realizes that 5 year olds know who she is.

One little boy totally brightens my morning. I really enjoy his happiness and enthusiasm for life. He comes to preschool from about 5 homes away. Every morning as soon as he can see me he starts yelling, "Good morning, Ms. Jenny" until he can hear my response. One morning he had been pretending about being on a boat before preschool. That morning my greeting was "Ahoy, Ms. Jenny." I sure love him!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Party

Brett's parents have had a really fun tradition for the past several years of doing a Halloween party with all the family that live close by. They have been themed in the past with things like Harry Potter, the past few we have done minute to win it games as teams. Brett's team won thanks to his amazing talents :)
"This Blows" blowing up a baloon and using the air to knock 8 cups off the table.
"Baby Rattle" shaking all the gumballs from one side of the bottle to the other.

"Play it by Ear" listening to the sound/feeling the weight of coins in 8 differnt cans and lining them up in order.
"Noodling Around" Putting 6 penne pasta noodles on a piece of spaghetti while balancing it in your mouth.
We all had a great time playing games with each other. Brett's mom always makes special treats to end the evening with as well. We are grateful for these fun times we get to have together.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Day Out

My sister Heather doesn't live too far away, but because of work schedules we don't get together super often. She called on Monday wanting to get together today, and since I had the day off it worked out well :) We went to Gigi's (super awesome food/cooking store) in SLC to get makings for Italian sodas as a thank you to the person who designed our pass along cards (should be here tomorrow).  Then to JoAnn's for material. They were we having a great sale and we needed some for a service project we were doing with girls for church. Heather, her daughter, and I grabbed lunch after. Her daughter is only 2, and did great at lunch. Pictures of fun material and lunch date below :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Under Construction

This is a blog we are currently working on. Feel free to look around, but please be patient with us as we get things "just right."


We love to travel and see new places. There have been some really amazing trips we have been able to take together, and experience new things together.

Our trip to Costa Rica we totally LOVED!! We were able to spend time in the jungle, at the beach, in the rain forest, and at volcanoes. This zip line was truly amazing. We had 15 different cables, and one that was over 1500 feet long across a beautiful open valley.

This was the first time that Jenny had been to Disneyland. We went with Brett's side of the family, and truly enjoyed our time there.

A few years back Brett had to go to Orlando on business. Jenny figured she might as well tag-along. This day we were able to go to the Magic Kingdom, a first for both of us.

On the same trip to Florida we were very fortunate that the space shuttle had a launch scheduled while we were there. Jenny's dad works for a company who makes the boosters for the rocket and was able to get us tickets to go out to the site and see the launch. It was one of the most incredible things to see and feel (we were about a mile away by bird flight across water, and the ground still shook).

We were able to spend a week in Oregon at the beach with Brett's family. His younger sister lives in Oregon, and the rest of us made the trek up there. We went early morning digging at low tide for shells, rocks, and anything of interest :)

We were able to go to Mesa Verde, visit the cliff dwellings, and enjoy the scenery there on the way to a family reunion in Durango.

Good With Kids

We both love children! Jenny decided early on to go into elementary education so that she could spend more time with them.

When Jenny taught public school she worked with third graders. This is one of them hard at work :)

Every year in preschool we do different holiday parties. At halloween one of the things the kids love to do is a pumpkin roll relay. This little guy is almost there, then he just needs to head back to the start line!

One of our sisters asked us to take the girls out while the boys had a birthday party at her home. We gladly obliged. They are all so much fun!

Brett loves to work with kids and teach them new things. Here is a niece and nephew working on a toy box with Brett.

A Good Home

We have a great home, and one that is filled with love. We can't wait to share our home with your child.

This is a photo of our home. We truly love it here. We have done so much to make it ours, and are always working on a project to improve things and make them better.

This project has taken us a little while, but we are so excited for this space. Together Brett and Jenny built raised planters. The posts you can see in the picture is for a pergola that we are still in process of building. It is going to be a great area to be able to spend time outside in :)

Our Family

We love to spend time with our extended family. We feel very blessed to live so close to most of them, and it makes it easy to see each other.

My mom and I have been able to get together for the past several years and attend Women's Conference. It is always a very uplifting experience, and good time to spend together. I am so grateful that she is close enough to do this with!

Jenny's younger brother is currently attending BYU, so it's not too far to come for a visit. He came on the same evening as Jenny's sister and kids. This is a fantastic new park that they put in our city. My nephew was a bit scared to begin climbing to begin with, but quickly overcame that :)

Jenny's mom's family gets together every 2 years for a family reunion. Her mom's siblings are literally scattered from coast to coast so sometimes this is the only chance to see cousins. Here are most of the girls in the family after riding a tram to the top of the mountain.

Jenny's brother and his wife had twins a few years ago. This is just a fun family gathering at their home after the boys were blessed. Our family has grown with nieces and nephews a lot over the past few years.

*Disclaimer* this is not a great photo in general (like you needed me to tell you that), but it's the best we could find :) This was our first camping trip together with Brett's family. We went camping on Memorial Day weekend. It was SO cold, and actually ended up snowing on us as well. Needless to say we took down camp and came home early.

Brett's side of the family participated in a bike ride to benefit Parkinson's Disease. We all got together, cheered each other on, and enjoyed time with one another.

Jenny took a few of her nieces and nephews on Brett's side to this fantastic art day in Springville. It is put on by the city, and the kids and make and take home up to 20 different art projects or activities. It was a day filled with fun, and lots of first experiences for them!

Brett and Jenny feel that it is important to take time to do things as a family. We love camping, and went with our neighborhood in September. The little one in the picture with us lives next door and loves Brett immensely!