Monday, January 24, 2011


I've had this little ongoing recipe blog that I'm finally trying to keep updated as I cook things. I know that I love recipe blogs and use them frequently for meal ideas. If anyone is interested, feel free to check it out.

Some of the recipes will be just normal but I also like to branch out frequently and try new things. If I use a recipe from you, I will note it, if I don't, feel free to kindly remind me, likely I can't remember my source. I'm not trying to steal recipes, I just want a collection for my own use, but figure you might find using my collection helpful as well.

I'm not the best at remembering to take pictures of the things I cook because I'm usually too excited to dig in, but I'll try. Also, every recipe I put on the blog will be something I've cooked personally, so I know if it is actually a good recipe or not (in my opinion).

Friday, January 21, 2011


TWO years
22 lbs and a bit (can't remember) - between 5th and 10th percentile - YAHOO!
Between 50th and 75th percentile for height (our new pediatrician does things different, doesn't give an exact percentile and doesn't give me a paper that shows the measurements, and as we know, my brain can sadly only remember so much).

Got 2 shots, flexed quad with first shot so the liquid sprayed out of her leg and all over me - hopefully that still counts as an immunization?, cried only until she saw the pretty bandaids that the nurse was going to put on her owies and was told that she could go home and show daddy; showed off her vocabulary and her VERY strong willed personality. All I can say is she is going to make it in this life with a personality like hers.

TWO months
13 lbs 1 1/2 oz - 95th percentile
Between 90th and 95th percentile for height
Head is between 50th - 75th percentiles - doesn't seem to have the big Christensen head.

Got 3 shots, only cried for 30 seconds; was told it is ok for mom to feed him every 2 hours during the day since he is as big AND tall as he is.

Great Grandma Gwen

Grandma Gwen and Ivan got to meet for the first time a little over a week ago. Eric's parents were in town for Daniel going through the temple for the first time and for Ivan's blessing and stayed and Grandma Gwen's in Ogden. We made a few trips up there throughout the week to hang out with them and Eric's sister Kristen and her kids too (they stayed there most the week as well).

I always enjoy visiting with Grandma Gwen. She is full of wisdom and stories. I guess you're bound to be after living such a full life. She is such an example to me. Her husband, Moyle, died quite a long time ago. I think when Eric was in his pre-teens, so like 20-ish years ago. I can't imagine going on that long without the love of your life. But she has filled her life with good things, kept busy, and spent lots of time with her kids and grandkids. I pray all the time that Eric and I will die together when we are good and old, but if that doesn't happen, whichever one of us is left behind has Grandma's example to follow.

About 2 weeks ago Ivan really started to interact with us. I LOVE it! I thought it took a lot longer for a baby to reach these milestones, I must have forgotten, but he is totally smiling at and "talking" to us. And within the last few days started laughing. He is such a sweetie. He is also a people person. He would love to be held 100% of the time, and I'd love to hold him 100% of the time, but honestly I can't. There is Reese to play with, housework to do, food to prepare, and so on. Don't get me wrong, I do hold him a lot, and I LOVE that he loves snuggling with his mommy so much (I prayed for a snuggly baby), he is just so darn sweet! I can't get enough of him!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A mother's brain

Why is it that once we become mothers it is so hard to remember ANYTHING?? Almost daily I think of something I ought to start/stop doing or something I need to get done the next day. If I don't put it in my phone as a reminder that will sound an alarm to remind me, it will not happen and I won't even think twice about having forgotten to do that thing because it will be *poof* out of my brain. Sometimes I think, oh why don't I write that down so I remember, but what happens when I write it down? That piece of paper either gets lost in my Mary Poppins bag, in the mess on my countertop (organization is NOT my strong suit), or gets into the hands of my sweet little girl, in which case it gets colored on with pens, highlighters, and crayons, and I fail to recognize it as my "to-do" or "be better at" list, and it ends up getting tossed under the couch or into the garbage.

How am I ever going to make any changes in my life when my brain won't even kind of remind me to make those changes...any ideas?

(Yes that is a sticker on Ivan's face. Reese is a VERY good sister and saw that he had scratched himself so she put a "bandaid" on him :))

Monday, January 17, 2011

A name and a blessing

On January 9th Eric blessed Ivan. Our families gathered together in my parents' home and Ivan was given an amazing blessing. Eric and I hadn't talked about the blessing ahead of time and it was neat to hear that Heavenly Father had the same blessings in mind for Ivan as I did as Eric spoke words that I hoped would be spoken. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun spending it with almost all of our family.

All the men that participated in the blessing. We were so grateful for all of their support and love.

A couple weeks earlier my aunt had Reese and Ivan come down to her photography studio so she could take their pictures. We so appreciate her generosity and I was so glad to get some pictures taken of Ivan in his blessing outfit. This outfit was worn by Eric when he was blessed, as well as most, if not all, his brothers for their blessings too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Carlsbad Caverns

Ranger Reese was a great tour guide :)

Here we are at the entrance to the cave. During certain months bats live in the cave and at certain times of the day (I'm thinking evening) you can sit in an amphitheater above the opening to the cave and watch all the bats fly out to hunt. Luckily we visited during the season when the bats have flown South to Mexico for the winter. It was nice not having to worry about them flying into your hair while wandering through the cave.

I love my family. It is still weird to me when I see a picture of all 4 of us, but i absolutely LOVE it!

The cave was amazing! It is one of the biggest in the world. It was seriously huge and the trails don't even lead you through the whole thing. You could explore it your whole entire life and still only scratch the surface. The cave has paved trails all the way through it and is dimly lit. We took headlamps so we could see certain things a little better. At first I was under the impression that we had to walk back up the trail and out of the cave. I was a bit depressed because the trail in was really steep and really long (after walking all the trails to the bottom we had gone for 3 or more hours). LUCKILY they have an elevator at the bottom! BEST idea EVER! Dan and Eric told me this once we were a little ways into the cave and I asked if we honestly had to hike back out, but I still wondered if they weren't just teasing me, and it wasn't until I saw the sign pointing toward the elevator that I finally felt complete relief.

The cave formations are all kinds of cool. Some look like they belong in the ocean, some in outer space, and some in the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Here's a trick Eric taught me so I could remember the difference between Stalactites and Stalagmites. Stalactites are hanging "tight" to the ceiling (with a "c"). The Stalagmites are on the ground (with a "g") like where you'd find mites crawling around. Finally a way to remember!!

As soon as you think you can see the end you enter a new part of the cavern and see an "end" to that part of the cavern. It is crazy that the cave is so gigantic and is a natural occurrence. Mind boggling!

This is how you used to have to get in and out of the cave. BLAH!

Don't some of these look like they inspired the plants in Avatar!

Ivan slept through like the whole cave. Reese slept for a good part. It made for a relaxed and enjoyable trek through the cave.

Other highlights:
- While there we remembered that our friend Kurt, who lived in Timberlakes, was now working and living in NM. Eric didn't have his phone number anymore so he had our sister in law message Kurt on facebook to have him call Eric. We were able to drive out to his town and he treated us to delicious Mexican food. It was nice catching up and eating totally delish fish tacos!
- For future road trips I need to remember that traveling in the Subaru with 3 adults and 2 car seats doesn't make for a comfy trip. My tailbone was killing and my butt and legs felt like I had a huge workout for a few days after the trip. I wish that was the case! Why are car seats so dang bulky? It isn't like the kids using them are all that huge.
-The night we stayed in the hotel Ivan had a 7 hour stretch of sleeping. SO awesome! The night we got home he slept for a 9 hour stretch. Even better! The last couple nights....nothing more than a 2 hour stretch the first night and last night a 4 hour stretch. I wouldn't mind if he started doing more of those 7 - 9 hour stretches. Nope, not one bit!

In case anyone is wondering - Carlsbad Caverns are TOTALLY worth the drive and the fee. It is only $6 a person and anyone 15 and under are free. Seriously, how do they afford to maintain the trails so nicely, pay for lighting, plumbing, etc, and pay all the rangers? No idea, but I'm ever so grateful for a place that is actually worth more than what you pay. That seems to rarely happen!

New Mexico 2011

For Dan's birthday/ Eric having a break from school, we decided to do a road trip to New Mexico. We left Tuesday night and, thanks to Eric staying awake and driving, arrived Wednesday mid morning in Roswell, NM. We hung out there for a while and explored the city and learned about some of the UFO/alien stuff at the visitor's center. We went to a gift shop to see if there was anything worth buying but aliens in liquid filled jars and pillows with felt alien heads sewn on them, aren't exactly our choice in home decor.

We brought all our own food so that we would only eat out if there was something totally worth it. This was a good choice. Typically I'm so sick of fast food by the time we're done with our trip, but this time we brought delicious selections of food and it felt so good to eat real food while on a trip. Here I am cooking our breakfast of sausage and scrambled eggs outside of the Roswell visitor's center.

The worker at the visitor's center told us about a bunch of places we should go see while in Roswell. We skipped the alien museum and decided to head over to the free Zoo. Free Zoo? I know, I didn't know such a thing existed either.

So this is what you get when you attend a free zoo:
- A cougar staring down and smacking its lips at your child and another child holding a sandwich. It was in an enclosure that it EASILY could have climbed out of. FREAK me out!!!!

- A one winged vulture flaunting its one wing to the other vulture in the pen who had no wings :(

- A billy goat who stunk up a 12 mile radius with it's nastiness. It did have a really cool beard though!! So silky - Pantene Pro-V for sure!

- And then some really cool other animals, and only a mom and her two kids as fellow patrons.

Right outside of the Zoo was a cool playground. Check out the rocket ship slide. The slide was totally polished to perfection for sliding down at super speed and landing straight on your back, as was demonstrated to us by a 3 year old boy many times.

Reese decided that since her hands were pretty gross from the Zoo and playground, that there was no reason not to keep adding to the filth.

Our next destination was Carlsbad. Our main point for the trip was to go to the Carlsbad Caverns. We had to take a little longer route so Eric could go through a town with the same name as one of his favorite TV shows.

There was a cool old gas station in the town as well. I don't know why but I'm obsessed with old gas stations. They are always so sweet looking and make me feel like I'm living in the good old days.

We had to make LOTS of pit stops, seeing as Ivan is becoming a chunk-a-lunk and wants to still eat every 2 hours. Not complaining, just letting you know why so many pit stops. Reese needed to get some energy out and move her legs so Eric and her went on a little jaunt through the field while Ivan filled his belly.

To be continued...


I cannot believe Reese is 2 years old! So fun but so sad that time goes so darn quick!

Reese had a day full of playing, reading books, and going to the store with me to buy her party decorations.

I was wanting to make her a Despicable Me or Monsters Inc cake since those are her favorite movies but I couldn't find anywhere that sold those toys so when I came across this cool set of sea life I decided they would make for a fun cake and even more fun bath time.

My parents, Don, Camla, and Elise (the Norwegian girl living with my family) all came up for the party.

Reese was so cute opening her presents. She loved ripping through the wrapping paper and then so long as the gift wasn't clothes she would play with whatever she unwrapped for a while before we convinced her to open another present. One of her presents was Yo Gabba Gabba underwear. She was so excited when she saw the packaging. She then wanted us to open it, so we did and got the underwear out of the package. She was pretty disappointed. She kept searching the packaging over and over because she just knew there must be a toy in there somewhere. Oops!

Reese of course joined in on singing Happy Birthday to herself. It is, after all, one of her all time favorite songs.

We finished off the evening with Just Dance. That is one fun game, even when you are a totally awkward dancer like me. Reese loves to dance along and it is totally darling!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas 2010

We had SUCH a wonderful Christmas. Packed full of family time! We loved having Eric pretty much all to ourselves over the break and took advantage of hanging out all day long.

On Christmas Eve we went down to my parents' house and had our traditional shepherds' meal. It was fun, delicious, and nice to watch a movie about our Savior.

I love Christmas and everything good it stands for and brings out in people!

We went home after dinner and had our own little Christmas the next morning. Reese LOVED opening gifts. I took video this year, so I sadly don't have any still shots of Christmas day. After we opened our gifts we headed back down to Provo to have a traditional German breakfast at my grandparents', do presents with my family, and visit nieces and nephews to see how their Christmases were.