Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Sandman

What do we do in Southern California when we get a hankerin' to play in the snow? We head for the closest thing we have to snow--the sand!

This was our first year making a sand snowman and in my humble opinion, it turned out pretty good. I can brag since I really didn't do anything except collect sea shells. There were lots of friends to help out -which is what made it so much fun. Some In-and-Out on the way home made it the true California experience.

P.S. For those of you who feel sorry for us, that we don't get to play in the snow, and make a REAL snowman, don't worry about us, we'll be okay. Sunny and 75 degrees in December does that to you.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's a...

We had our ultrasound this week and after an hour and a half of trying to get a good look, the technician finally determined that it's a healthy girl! We feel like this will even things up around here and bring balance to the universe...okay, at least for us. We're thrilled!


Ben and I were kind of hoping for a girl and were quite pleased with ourselves when proven right.

Kate has been calling the baby "brudder" since she found out I was expecting. She really wants to be the only princess of the family. She seems okay with having a sister, though.

The boys were betting on another boy and were only disappointed to lose the "kids vs. parents battle."

We feel blessed to have another baby come into our family and to feel a sense of completion. Most likely this will be the last. (Phew!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Every year in November we go to Bakersfield to enjoy Thanksgiving with Ben's grandparents, his Bakersfield aunts and uncles and cousins, and with his sister, Heather and her family who also drive down every year from Sacramento. With all the fun we have talking, eating, shopping, playing, watching movies, I am most grateful to be able to spend time with Ben's grandparents, and to have them be a part of our lives, in these closing chapters of theirs. I am happy knowing that my children will have memories of their great-grandparents. Brent and Rita Richards are in their nineties, very spry, funny and loving. I think we break something every time we are at their house, but they always welcome us back with open arms. Each time I say goodbye, I hope that I will get to see them at least once more.

Here is a part of a letter I recently wrote them:

I have really enjoyed living (somewhat) close to you and seeing you on a regular basis. I am so grateful for your examples and the influence you have on me and my family. I only ever had one grandparent, my Oma in Germany, who was really part of my life. Because I have not lived near her since I was a small child, I have not had the opportunity to spend as much time with her as I would have liked. I have sweet memories of her and the time I did get to spend with her is so cherished! Sadly, she now suffers from dementia and doesn’t remember any of her loved ones or those memories we shared over the years. That is partly why I am so happy that I have had the opportunity to get to know you and to spend so much time with you!
None of my grandparents are active members of the LDS Church or any other faith, and I am continually grateful for a strong gospel heritage through Ben’s family. I often think how blessed I am, how blessed my children are to know you, and more importantly, what kind of people you are, and I hope they understand the legacy you have left for them. Thank you for the faithful lives you have lead and continue to lead. I t makes such a difference to me, to Ben, and to my children.
Love, Kirsten

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No, I am not 16.

Yes, this picture was taken at 2:30am after seeing New Moon.
Yes, I went with these three Laurels AND about 30 of my friends.
Yes, we made T-shirts in line while we waited for two hours to get a good seat.
Yes, I am pregnant and need sleep.
Yes, it took me two days to recover.
No, This is not my favorite movie/book.
No, I do not endorse the Twilight books to the YW.
Yes, I am the best YW president ever.
Yes, the movie was cheesy and therefore hilarious.
Yes, Stephenie Meyer is Ben's first cousin.
Yes, she was on Oprah and is a gazillionaire.
No, she has not given us any money.
No, she won't speak at your fireside.

Will I go see the midnight showing of Eclipse?

Still undecided.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"What are you having?"

I was at Costco yesterday and a woman behind me in line asked me, completely out of the blue, "What are you having?"
Caught off guard, since I thought I wasn't yet showing, and a how-on-earth-did-she-know blank stare on my face, I replied, "I, uh, don't know."
Stranger Lady: "Oh. You're not finding out? It seems like everyone finds out these days."
Me: "Yes, I'm finding out. In another 5-6 weeks since I"M ONLY 14 WEEKS PREGNANT!"
(I did not shout out that last phrase, but I wanted to.)

So this could mean any of the following:

a) I've had one too many McDonald's plain hamburgers/Wendy's baked potatoes/KFC mashed potatoes and gravy/Taco Bell bean burritos, all my current stand-by lunch option.
b) I'm actually having twins, maybe triplets
c) fourth pregnancies are just that bad
d) some people are extremely rude and have not had the unspoken rule
"Don't assume anyone is pregnant and don't say anything to that effect" explained to them.

What do you think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

Purple Fairy
Ron Weasley
Gryffindor Seeker
and Amazing Race Married Couple

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The big old recap

Has it really been 7 months since I blogged? Well I feel like I have to catch you up on our happenings in order to get into blogging again. I'll try to make it quick and painless.

April - 30 days hath September, April, June and November...
Out of those thirty days in April, we had 23 days of visitors -we tried to pretend we weren't on vacation, but had our fill of Disneyland, the beach, Yogurtland and In-n-Out burgers while trying to squeeze in our regular activities, like baseball, not to mention planting a garden (thanks for the help, Ben and Nettie!), celebrating Easter, getting pulled over by a cop on a youth activity, and keeping Kate out of the make-up bags of house guests.

May - It's mah
birthday, it's mah birthday...
I finally got the camera of my dreams after saving up some pennies and foregoing gifts for, like, the last four years. Thanks for your prudent budgeting, hon.
The Nikon D60 has been nothing but fun. I knew I liked taking pictures, but I didn't realize how much. I also didn't know that pictures could actually turn out how I pictured them in my head.
I also got my YW medallion a second time, as a leader. It's silver and shiny...oooooh.
It was an amazing experience, mostly because I was able to share it with six Laurels in my ward.
Ian got two awards in May - one was an art award. A picture he drew at school was chosen to represent the school district at a local art show -who knew he had a creative side! All I ever see is the dominant, Ben-like, engineer side. He also received a trophy for swimming in a meet -where he swam a 100m IM -that's an individual medley, one length of each stroke. We were proud of him just for finishing the race. He keeps improving!

June - Sum
mer, here we come!
We've got two June birthdays in our family -Kate turned three on the 16th and Jake turned 6 on the 21st. The summer officially began on June 18 and I promptly went to YW camp. So much fun! Jacob lost his first tooth. Like Ian, his teeth come in behind the existing one, resulting in two rows of teeth. DUH-nah, DUH-nah, DUH-nah...

July- Road trippin'
We went on a big Western Coast road trip! We stopped in Sacramento, the northern California Coast and the Redwoods, Vancouver, Washington, Crater Lake, Oregon, and San Francisco. We managed to see most of Ben's family, the Bjarnasons, the Blakes, and the Bettingers.
Later that month the boys had hero camp - I made memory books for 130 kids- and we saw some of the biggest waves ever seen in SoCal.

August- Kicking back!

A great month to enjoy our beautiful surroundings. We went to the beach often, played with friends, went to parks. I organized my second annual Mom's beach retreat at Three Arch Bay, enjoyed a day in LA for a Youth temple trip, and headed to Bakersfield for two days of Youth Conference. We went river rafting and after bracing myself for 120 degree weater, it was surprisingly cool!

September -
Back in the saddle -almost.
We went on a quick trip to Utah to visit family over Labor Day weekend because school started so late this year. A few highlights were meeting our new niece, Claire, and going to Swiss Days in Midway - one of my favorite craft fairs (I do enjoy the atmosphere, too, although they take the Swiss theme a little too far by serving such delicacies as Swiss Tacos), and a trip to Pace's Dairy Ann in Bountiful. The boys started school on September 10 and Kate started an all girls "Princess Academy" the week after.

And now that you have read my big, boring review, I shall reward you with the reason for my failed attempt at blogging again in September, even though the kids were at school and I should theoretically have loads of free time. Wrong! All I'm doing these days is thinking about food, trying not to think about food, taking naps, and eating more food so I don't throw up. Yep, I'm pregnant!!! We're having number 4 in May!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Since I came out of my blogging shell last year around this time, I couldn’t let the streak end.

As we have been explaining to our children, today is our family’s birthday. Happy 11 years M- family!

Thank you, Kirsten, for being the wonderful woman that you are. You truly are amazing! I am so happy that we are married and am excited for the many, many years to come. I love you!

For those of you who are still watching this blog, Kirsten is planning on returning soon after her long blog absence. She has been working hard with the Young Women in our ward and loving it and had to slow down on the blogging for a while. But I have heard rumors that she is returning to the blog soon.

For a quick update, summer has been a blast, with a vacation to the Redwoods, Vancouver, WA, Crater Lake, San Francisco, and many family and friends along the way. Add to that Girls Camp, Youth Conference, Hero Camp for the kids, Cub Scout day camp, Girls Beach Retreat and lots of family beach trips and swimming, it has been one fun summer. Stay tuned...

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Sibs

I spent a weekend with my family in Utah. It was fun to hang out sans kids and enjoy some adult time together. My siblings have turned into some of my best friends. They are all such great people.

Janine (in pink) is kind, loyal, creative, a great photographer, and an excellent mom. She has a knack for decorating and an eye for beauty. One of my favorite memories about Janine is her obsession with all things rich and beautiful. She loved shiny pennies and you could trade her a shiny penny for an old dime any day. She'd b-line it to the fur coats in the department store while my mom shopped. she still loves to shop and likes everything purdy.

Stefanie (in purple) is gracious, a fabulous housekeeper, and very unselfish. She runs marathons, which is an amazing accomplishment all by itself. She is also one of the funniest people I know! I remember little Stefanie thinking she was Battlecat from He-man, growling at others and running on all fours. She still runs fast and occasionally growls, and although she has a little bit of Cringer inside her, Battlecat comes out when it's time to get tough.

Ryan (we call him "the boy") is hard-working, smart and a true gentleman. Maybe he should have been born 100 years ago, but then he would not be my fantastic brother would he? He made my trip possible with a sweet Delta buddy pass...thanks, Bro. I'll always remember him with an umbrella in hand, a top hat and a fake mustache, pretending he was some kind of wizard. And that was pre-Harry Potter. And did I mention he has the cutest little dimple ever?

Julianne (in jewel-toned blue) is generous, happy and cool. She's always up for a party! She works at a boutique and knows how to get her fash ON. Recently she accidentally ended up in a Salt Lake Magazine modeling a local designer's new line of clothes...and she was the cutest person in the photo shoot. I remember when she broke her arm and had that adorable little pink cast put on. Somehow she made it look cute and almost started a trend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's grosser than gross?

I'm having nightmares. I have to hide the library books we got for my son's insect report.

I've got a serious case of the heebie jeebies!

I learned the nastiest, most disgusting word I have ever heard.


The hardened egg case of a female cockroach.

Can you believe my son chose the COCKROACH for his insect report?


Tell me you don't have the heebie jeebies right now!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day

Hope you wore green and no one pinched you, and if not, that a really cute guy did.
Hope you ate some form of cabbage, corned beef or potatoes, or at least something green.
Hope you find your pot of gold at the end of your rainbow, or at least some luck comes your way.
Hope the leprechauns came to your house and left a mess and some yummy gold and green and rainbow candy, and if not, that you ate something chocolaty and sugary today.


Big Stake Split + being recalled as Young Women's president = no time for blogging

It's been about 3 weeks and things are getting organized and a little less BUSY. I'm loving working with the youth and other awesome leaders.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Totally rad 80's danc-o-rama...

Last week this stud-muffin...

asked me bodaciously...

to go here on a most fine Valentine's Day...

with the rest of our way cool church group...

who were as stoked as we were...

to rock it...

...with crucial moves like the running man, the cabbage patch, the worm, the robot, moonwalking, some sweet slam-dancing and a wicked weave.

(That's Ben's foot as he's doing the Three-Man Weave with Yuppy Ted and Jimmy Simmons.)

It was, for sure, most radically righteous to the max!