Wednesday, February 29, 2012

bear award

Mason earned his bear last night at the Blue & Gold Banquet.  He's been looking forward to this for weeks.  Once he earned 3 beads he became very motivated to finish.

These 3 boys are in my Den.  They are lots of fun.  They did a skit at pack meeting that at first they were concerned about being embarrassed.  When they realized that everyone will be laughing at the skit and not them they really got into it.  They did a great job!

last games

The boys had their last game on Saturday.  They both played OK.  Last week they both did much better.  I think their ready for it to be over. 

Saturday was also the school carnival.  We were able to make it to the carnival between games.  We only stayed for about 50 minutes.  The shortest time ever.  Plus this was the first year I didn't help out with their class booths.  I feel like such a slacker.  There really wasn't time.  This is also the ninth straight year of attending a carnival.  I'm burned out.  We still have 5 more years before were done.  :/

new lens

My new lens arrived Friday afternoon.  I was shocked it arrived so quickly.  I really wanted it before basketball was over.  I quickly attached it and started snapping pictures.  I love this picture of Adam.  I like how out of focus the grass is.

I ended up taking my camera to basketball practice.  This picture of  Carson is exactly why I wanted this lens.  I needed something with a lower aperture (1.8) to keep a faster shutter speed to get a picture, in focus, of the boys shooting.  I love it!!

Friday, February 24, 2012



Brian has been in Chicago all this week.  All of us at home are crossing our fingers that he'll remember to pick up some Garrett Popcorn.  This is The Chicago Mix, cheese and caramel together.  My mouth is watering as I type.  :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Karlee had a pre-UIL choir concert tonight.  I arrived early enough to play with the settings to feel good about the pictures.  No flash of course and I couldn't adjust my aperture, my lens only allows 3.5.

I brought my tripod and was able to slow down the shutter to get enough light.  I think it turned out OK.

They sounded great.  The real competition is in a week or two.
I didn't use a flash for these either.  Practice helps. :)


Today is the second day with 80 degrees.  After Bailee washed her car the boys wanted to play in the water.  So I played around with my camera too.  learning how to brighten the picture without using my flash.  Last weekend was my DSLR workshop.  I loved it.  The class focused on taking pictures manually.  He uses only 2 settings and never automatic.  I'm getting better, but I have to take a few pictures to get my ISO, aperture, and shutter speed right.  He says to practice, practice, practice until it becomes boring and you don't need to think about it.

He also recommended a 50mm lens, f1.8.  I've already ordered it and can't wait until it arrives in the mail.  :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

not my fav

Today I decided to do some much needed mending.  I would rather buy replacements than mend.  But I can't buy that Hong Kong cap just anywhere.  And these are my favorite jeans.  Plus Carson's backpack died Friday.  We forgot until this morning when he went to get it ready for school.  I don't want to buy him a plain boring backpack and I don't know where to find a character one this time of year.  So I guess Brian's lucky, his shirt gets mended by default.  :)

team party

Monday night was Carson's team party at Cici's.  This was actually my best experience there.  It wasn't busy so I didn't become concerned when the boys started wondering. 

Carson still has a game on Saturday, but this was their regular practice night and the schools were closed so we partied instead.  His coach was great!!  I'm keeping his name and number and I think we'll request him next season.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


 Last night Brian and I went to Pappadeaux for our Valentines Date.  We planned ahead and made reservations (a must every time from now on).  We had a table in about 1 1/2 minutes once we arrived.  The place was packed, as usual.  Brian had salmon with dirty rice.  The salmon was huge.  I had shrimp and scallops with risotto.  Something new for me.  Loved it!   We also had crab cakes for an appetizer.  There have been times that crab cakes have been my meal.  They are that good.

We were gone only 2 hours which is still a shock to me.  We had checkerboard cake with the family that was home and Carson was in bed on time.  It was a wonderful evening. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentines day fun

Last month I caught a few minutes of Rachael Ray and the Cake Boss was a guest.  He made a checkerboard cake.  It was impressive.  A few days after, the kids started talking about me baking a cake for valentines day.  So I suggested this one.  It took awhile to find multiple size round cookie cutters, but I finally did.

In between layers I made a diffferent frosting.  It's my Mom's frosting.  It was a nice touch to have two kinds.  Plus it was fun having pink for valentines day.
I learned this frosting technique from the Cake Boss. 
Tadah!!!  It was fun to make and yummy to eat!
For Mason's class party we had sundaes.  They exchanged Valentines. Then it was time to clean up.  The schools seem to be making parties shorter and shorter. It's rather frustrating.

By the time I made it down to Carson's class they were already finished with their activities.  I was dissappointed.   Although, this is a super cute picture of his class. :)

i heart

Brian's parents will often give us a gunny sack full of potatoes whenever they come visit.  Or sometimes when we visit them.  They are now all gone.   I miss Idaho potatoes.  There really is a difference.  I promise!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I am loving Sundays.  I love having church at 8:30 am.  No I don't like waking up before 6.  This morning I didn't get up till 6:15.  I really didn't want to get out of bed.  But I love having church early.  I love having the rest of the day to hang out with family. 

Geoff was a good sport today.  Carson still needed to read 60+ minutes for his Six Flags free ticket which it due Monday.  He had read Green Eggs and Ham to me already, when Carson picked up his next book.  I kinda cringed.  This book is soo long, (I knew Geoff felt the same).  I told Carson that that book was Geoff's favorite, with a smile.  Geoff was great and listened to Carson read the entire book.  Although I think he slept through parts of it.  :)

 Carson has basketball practice on Monday evenings so we have been having FHE on Sundays.  I love it on Sundays.  We aren't pressured with time or struggling with schedules, not as much anyway. 
 Last weeks treat was super good and super duper easy.  This week was something new.  Yes, I found it on pinterest.  I love it!!  S'mores Cookies!!

Just like traditional s'mores over the campfire, I dropped one.  It flipped over on the stove.  One of the girls said, "At least it didn't land in the dirt!"  Good point.

This year, I know it's only February, we are rotating turns with the lessons.  McKinzie & Goeff take one week (I try to call them McRae's but the kids think it's weird), Brian and I both take a turn, then one of the other kids.  So far it's working out great and it's happened every week. Wahoo!! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

loving it

I'm loving pinterest.  The other day I said, "look what I found on pinterest" so many times that Brian started using this phrase to start his sentences.  ;)

McKinzie and I made these Valentine blocks the other day, from pinterest.  I think they turned out cute.  Because of this idea and many more from pinterest I bought myself a toy.  A Cricut!!  I'm loving it!  I went over to a friends house the other day to get some tips on how to use the machine.  She also showed me some of her vinyl ideas.  I think I'm going to use them.  Another friend is coming over on Monday to help me with a program to help design bigger projects for the cricut. 

There was a time that Brian was worried what I would struggle when all our kids started school.  Like I wouldn't have enough to do.  Well I guess he doesn't need to worry.  I'm dabbling in so many hobbies there are days I'm not sure which one I should do.  :D

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Today is Mom's birthday. 

This past weekend was really tough.  On Saturday I received this picture of my parents in the mail from my sister, Waynette.  I love it!  Although it made my weekend worse.  This picture is exactly how I will always remember them.  This picture was taken before Mom got sick.  I'm guessing 2009.

Monday I started thinking of doing something on her birthday.  Then it hit me!!  Attend the temple!  I sent out emails to siblings to attend the temple in honor of our Mom.  They all loved the idea.  Six of us had plans to attend today, in four different temples.  The Boise Temple is closed so Richard couldn't attend.  Brian's schedule was light enough that he was able to go with me.  It was a great session. 

I have a feeling I'll be attending the temple in honor of my parents for years.  My Dad's birthday is in July.  I'm already planning on attending on his birthday too.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012


 Karlee LOVES grilled shrimp!  Whenever we go out to eat that is what she orders, but she only eats the shrimp.  It's kinda frustrating when the meal costs $12+.

A few weeks ago she found a recipe for grilled cajun shrimp.  I've never made shrimp.  Last time I went to Sams I picked some up for her.  Tonight nothing was planned.  The girls didn't have homework, so we all got together to make dinner.

Bailee made the marinade while Karlee and I made a quick run to buy a spice I didn't have.  Karlee made the cajun butter, and I made the pasta.
 Every step of the way it looked and smelled yummy.

 The last five minutes were crazy.  That's all it takes to cook angel hair pasta and grill shrimp. 

It turned out perfect.  The angel hair pasta actually is made with chicken.  I decided to omit it.  They complimented each other very well.  This meal is a keeper.  Thanks for your help girls!

100th day of school

Isn't he just the cutest little old man you ever did see?!?

He has been looking forward to this day for weeks.  He was so excited to use Grandpa's cane and wear a mustache. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Last night Mason had a choir concert with 6 other elementary choirs in our district.  They all did a great job!  All the schools sang two songs,  Then the last two songs all 7 schools sang together. 

 The man above is the district fine arts director.  He is wearing a duct tape jacket because the students were about to sing a song called Duct Tape, written by Mark Burros who came and directed the last two songs, below. He also, during the day, had a little workshop with the students.  Mason said he was fun and would try and talk like a little boy or girl.  :)