Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

December 30, I turned 32 years old! We just got back from Great Wolf. We made Raspberry peach dessert and opened presents. I really don't feel any older, I may look it though!

Trip to Great Wolf

We were able to return to Great Wolf Lodge on Dec.29-30. We had a blast! Chad's sister's family came with us. A really good thing about this resort is that it is not open to the general public. They only open it to those that are staying at the resort. It was sold out on the days that we were there and it didn't seem crowded. Tori and Camren were able to go on the Tornado. The Tornado is a huge slide that you ride on a four person tube. You start on the slide and then you drop straight down and go into this big tube that is kinda like a toilet bowl. You slide up and down the sides of it and drop again into the bottom of it. I hate it, but the rest of the family seemed to like it. Great Wolf is a great vacation because you are either in your swimsuit or your PJs. They have a story time by the clock tower in the lobby at 8:00. This time of the year they even make it snow in the lobby. It was really fun. You don't see Sydnee in any of the pictures because my friend offered to take her so Chad and I could play with our older kids. It was so great not having to hold her all day. Another fun thing there is the Treehouse. It has a huge 1000 gallon bucket that dumps every 5 minutes. It can really sweep you off your feet! The tube slides, mat slides, lazy river, kiddie slides, hot tub and more that they have there was so much fun. So, if anyone wants to come and visit us in Wisconsin, let us know and we will make reservations to go there again!

Great Wolf Lobby


Great Wolf Lodge


Friday, December 26, 2008


We had a very nice Christmas! Christmas Eve, Chad and I needed to go and pick up some "special packages" at our friends' house in Cross Plains. We were going down this winding road and hit some black ice. We swerved to not hit a plow truck and hit a snow bank instead facing the other direction we were going. The van was stuck! Luckily, the guy in the plow truck was nice enough to give Chad a ride home to get his tow ropes. While he was gone, two different trucks stopped to see if I needed help. I thought that it was weird that both men that got out of their trucks had shovels automatically with them in their trucks. They started shoveling me out, but it was no use. The snow was too deep and I was too stuck. I told them that my husband would be back soon and that he could get me out. By the way, I wasn't driving when we hit the black ice. Chad was, I just wanted to make that clear. Anyway, one of the men asked if I needed water or crackers and I said no and thanked them, then they left. I was grateful to know that their were good Samaritans in Wisconsin. Chad arrived shortly afterwards with two other vehicles that could pull the van out of the snow bank. We were able to get out, and continued on our way. Needless to say, I will not ever go down that hill again during the winter.
Anyway, Chad's sister and her family came to Wisconsin to share Christmas with us. They arrived on Christmas Eve. We had a big turkey dinner and then decorated Santa's cookies. We stayed up until 1 in the morning. Christmas morning, nobody came to wake us up early and so I went downstairs, hoping to start on breakfast, and found Camren in the living room just waiting for people to wake up! Soon after that all the kids came trickling down and the parents soon followed. We had the kids look in their stockings first and then they took turns opening presents! We had a huge mess at the end of it, but had a lot of fun! All Christmas day, we played and ate! It was great. We really enjoyed having the Curtis' here. It was really nice to spend Christmas with some of our family, instead of being by ourselves. I hope all of you reading this had a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas eve and Christmas


Chistmas 2008


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Camren!

December 20th was Camren's 11th birthday! He wanted Stawberry Cream Cheese Pie!

The boy by Camren is Jules. When we found out that we were going to be moving to Las Vegas, all Camren wanted was to find a really good friend. Chad and I told Camren that he should pray for that and that Heavenly Father could bless him with that. Jules' family moved in about a month or so after us. He lives about three houses down, he is in Camren's grade, and he is also in Camren's school class. He is such a good kid just like Camren. He truly had his prayers answered.
Camren told us that all he wanted for his birthday was Zelda Twilight Princess Wii game and Star Wars; Force Unleashed. We decided to get him one of them and thanks to Grandma Adams he got the other one as well. Camren was very excited!
These are our dear friends Bishop Walker Carolyn Walker and their daughter Kristina. You can't really see Kristina, but Sydnee is sitting on her lap. Sydnee has taken quite a liking to this family. Carolyn has really been like a mother to me here. She has been there always whenever I am in need of something. She can never leave you without her giving you a hug. Her birthday is on Christmas day and I thought it would be fun to surprise her on Camren's birthday. With Camren's permission, we decided to surprise her with a blueberry cream cheese pie for her to blow out candles on and a present from our family. With her birthday on Christmas, she doesn't get to open any other presents on any other day. She told me that this was her first time that she was able to open a birthday present that wasn't on Christmas. It was really fun to do that for her. She has done so much for me and my family while we have been here. We love their whole family!

Colder than Ever!!

I just have to say that it is absolutely freezing here. I know that I have said that on previous blogs, but this time I know what I am saying because I have experienced it. The past few days have had unbelievable temperatures and wind chill factors and snow accumulation! We had our second snow day on Friday. The kids got an extra day of Christmas vacation and Chad's work closed at noon because of so much snow. There are 30 people that work for his company and 4 showed up. When I woke up today the normal temperature was -10. We had a windchill advisory that got to -30. I have never experienced cold like this! Church was cancelled for the other ward that shares our building because of how cold it was. Our bishop considered cancelling church today or just having sacrament meeting today because of the cold. He didn't, but I was glad that we only lived across the street for our building. The wind has caused a lot of drifting snow all over the roads. The fields all over our area look like frozen waves on an ocean. My friends say that this is cold, but it gets colder come January!

More Christmas Spirit

We got our Christmas Tree up and decorated. I have to say that our decorations keep getting higher and higher. Sydnee thinks they are "pitty" and has to touch them and as a result has broken a lot of them! Our small entryway Christmas tree was something that we go when we were in Las Vegas and too lazy to put up the big one. I am glad that we made the effort to put up the big one.

I love this part of Christmas when you can say that all your neighbor treats and gifts are out and you are done with Christmas shopping. We are going to have Chad's sister Jen and her family come and stay with us for Christmas. We are so excited to be able to share this holiday with "real" extended family. Chad and I have been away for a lot of Christmas' and have tried to form and continue on with the Christmas traditions that are a good fit for our family. It still is not easy to have to go through so many holidays without our extended family around, so it is fun when they come to us, instead of us going to them. My kids are counting down the days until the Curtis family gets here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tag 3 Christmas Wishes

I would have several Christmas wishes. The three that come to mind are:
1. Plane tickets for my whole family to go and visit family in Utah.
2.My children's happy faces on Christmas morning
3.Getting all debt paid off!

Those are in no special order, but now that you have read them, you now have to go to your blog and do your 3 Christmas wishes because you are now.......TAGGED!!! HA! HA! HA!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our First "Snow Day"

I didn't take any pictures for this post. We had our first "snow day" yesterday. The night before we had freezing rain and then about 5-7 inches of snow. I have never seen freezing rain. It falls very lightly, but it freezes on anything it touches. We had ice droplets all over our windows. It is a really bad thing for the roads. It makes the roads really slick. They cancelled school for the day because of it. I didn't think it looked all that bad, but if you went outside you slipped if you were not careful.
I have heard that we are in for a long winter. Last year there was over 100 inches of snow! The Farmer's Almanac is predicting even more for this year. I don't mind the snow as much as I thought I would. I just don't like the cold with the wind chill factor. The other morning it was 7 degrees, but the wind chill made it feel like -2. I dread having to go out anywhere. My kids love playing in it, but lately they haven't been staying out too long. I just try not to go out at all!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

'Tis the Season for Chocolate!

I haven't been blogging much lately, because my life has totally stopped as it does every year around this time since I learned to make chocolates! This is my tenth year doing it. I learned when I lived in Washington. Glenna Dean taught me. I had to do it with her for three years before I dared to venture out on my own. Thanks Glenna!
I started my chocolates early this year! I started the Sunday before Thanksgiving and got done with them today! I usually start the week after Thanksgiving. I made more chocolates this year than I ever have before. Wisconsin is a great place to make them! I closed off my kitchen and made it very cold! It was not a hard thing to do here. In Las Vegas, I had to do them in the wee hours of the morning to even get it close to the freezing temperature that it has to be at when I make chocolate. They didn't turn out near as well as they should have. Here, I could do it in the middle of the day! No problems! They turned out wonderful. I didn't have many people come and talk to me while I was doing them unless they were bundled up, even then they didn't stay long. Tori helped a lot by putting the centers in the chocolate for me. You wouldn't think that it would save me much time, but it saved me tons!

I made two of everything that I make. I made 8 batches all together of the fondant. (That's the white stuff I am working on my marble slab.) It takes anywhere between 35 minutes to an 11/2 hours to work it. It starts out as a syrup and gets really thick and glossy. It then will lose it's shine and go really creamy. I then will add whatever flavor that I am doing. I think this was a mint batch. I did cherries (my mom's favorite), cherry-nuts, pina coladas (my dad's favorite), and mints. The non-fondant chocolates were caramels, turtles, and peanut butters (Chad's favorite). I can't decide which one I like best. It is a toss up between the cherries, the cherry-nuts, and the turtles. I also made 5 batches of Walnut Rocha. I was going to do six, but I don't think that I will need to. Here is a picture of the finished products. I will only do this once a year. My family is glad to get the kitchen warm again. Making these chocolates, totally gets me into the Christmas Spirit! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! (I am yelling this from Wisconsin. Can you hear me?) :)

Camren Orchestra

Camren decided that he wanted to learn the violin. He has done a lot better than I thought he would. He is learning quickly and it is something that he loves to do. I like it that I can help him when he needs it.


This picture of Jorden was taken in November. We had our first official snow ans Jorden was able to make his first snowball. Then, a few weeks later we got a big winter storm. We still have that snow! It is so cold here and my friends just laugh and say that it is cold, but it is not yet freezing! What am I going to do? My friends in Las Vegas tell me that it is still in the 70s. Our high tomorrow is going to be 22 degrees, our low is going to be 8 degrees! My kids are liking the snow for going sledding. They come in the house and want hot cocoa to warm up. I have not been able to find certain name brands of foods that I like here and one of those is Stephen's Hot Chocolate. I did find one called Polar Express and it is pretty good. I just don't know if I can handle all these adjustments! :]


This is our Sydnee. This picture with her mouth open reflects a lot of her personality. She has her mouth open a lot because she is very vocal. She also will come over to you when you are eating and stand there with her mouth open until you give her a bite of whatever you are eating. She loves egg nog and her blankie. She will suck her thumb and hold on to one of the strings on her blanket and put it up to her nose. The most excited thing about Sydnee right now is that she is finally in Nursery! YEAH!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pinewood Derby

This is Camren with his last Pinewood Derby car. He and Chad had a good time working on it together. It didn't go very fast, but it looked really cool! He did a really good job on it. He had a lot of positive comments on it. He will be out of Cub Scouts in December and we won't have to do this again for three years! Yeah!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brahnson and Sydnee

I have to say, at times, Brahnson can be very hard. I truly believe that Sydnee was sent to us to soften him. It doesn't matter how bad of a mood he is in, if Sydnee is around he is instantly happier. Sydnee is the same way. Brahnson can always make her day brighter. She prefers him over her mom sometimes. The first thing that he asks when he gets home from anywhere is "Is Sydnee awake?" If she is, he goes and finds her and if she isn't, he wakes her up and plays with her. She is always happy to see him. She stops whatever she is doing, stands by his feet, puts her arms up towards him, and says "Up!". He picks her up and she gives him big hugs that she rarely gives anyone else. They have a very sweet relationship. We love them both dearly!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This is our dog Tino. We have had him for a little over a year now. He is a pretty good dog, if you have to have a dog. He comes when he is told and does tricks. He is really good with Sydnee. She will pull on his ears and and grab at his skin and hair and he will just sit there. He hardly ever barks. He hates the cold though! We will take him out right now and he does his business in a matter of seconds and comes right back in. It is in the thirties now for the highs!
Nobody wants to really take him out and take care of him except for Camren. So, we told Camren that Tino is his dog and he is responsible for him. He has done a pretty good job in taking care of him. I think Tino understands that he is Camren's because he never leves Camren's side when Camren is home. I tolerate him when Camren is gone. If we have to have a dog I can't complain about this one.

Christmas Decorating Early

Chad wants to take away my "traditional" Thanksgiving. He wants to go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving. He even got the kids on his side too. So, I couldn't wait to get on to the next holiday and start putting up Christmas decorations. Tori and I wen to a super Saturday for Relief Society and made these Christmas ball ornaments to put on our tree. It was way fun to spend time with her that way! Jorden just wanted his picture taken.

We can't really put nails into our fireplace mantel, so I found these cute things at Menards!(that's like a Home Depot) I was so excited that I had to put them up! Don't they just make you feel happy? I love them. And yes, you can count eight stockings up, even though we only have seven people in our family. We thought we should buy an extra just in case we add another person to our family in the future. There are no announcements that are being made by that statement. (:

Sydnee loves to see all the decorations. I'm only doing a little at a time. I also got my chocolate and that made me a little excited for Christmas too. Chad found a food distributor that is only an hour away. Instead of getting my usual 10lbs. He got me 50lbs. I will be dipping a lot of chocolate this year and the next!

Purple Velvet Girls

Tori is turning into such a beautiful girl. She is just as beautiful inside as she on the outside. Her teacher tells me that she is nice to everyone and makes sure that everyone is being included in whatever game she is playing.

Sydnee keeps us on our toes. She did her first trial run of nursery today. I had to stay with her, but she did great! She will be 18 months next week. I am so excited to be able to go to both Sunday school and Relief Society by myself and not be distracted or be the distraction when I have Sydnee in their with me.

I found Sydnee's purple velvet dress at Saver's and knew that Tori had a purple velvet dress as well and had to get it. People at church said she looked like a little "snow princess". This is them together in their purple velvet! It was very fun to dress them similar for church.

Our Handsome Boys

These are our handsome boys after a very much needed haircut. I was too embarrassed to take before pictures. I can't believe how much older they look when they get a clean cut haircut. Brahnson is almost as tall as I am. Camren and Tori are pretty much about the same height now. Jorden loves getting his picture taken!

Our Backyard

This is what we see when we look out our back yard. In the distance, you can see a pole sticking out. That is a tornado siren. Every Wednesday around noon it goes off as a test. I have never heard one before I moved here. We see a lot of birds here. We get a lot of them in our backyard. I have seen a few wild turkeys, but not in our backyard yet.

This is the pond that we have in our backyard. My neighbor's daughter said that it froze completely solid last winter and she liked to ice skate on it. The other picture has all the ducks and Canada geese we get on the pond. They are pretty wild. I gave my kids some bread to go feed the ducks and they swam away from them and hid in the bushes. The ducks that I grew up with always would come near you when you had bread.

I'm glad we have some small sledding hills in the back. Jorden is just waiting for it to snow so he can go sledding. We have had snow, but nothing that has stuck around. My friend told me that last year it really started snowing around the first part of December and didn't stop until mid April! They had over 100 inches of snow. The farmer's almanac, that is pretty accurate, is predicting even more snow this winter!

Monday, November 10, 2008

This is Tori going to her second official Activity days! They did a way cute thing that I thought was great. They went to Old Navy and had a modesty fashion show. They brought out an immodest outfit and talked about why it was immodest. The girls were then able to choose a modest outfit and model it for their "fashion show". This is Tori's outfit. The other picture is all of the girls that went! They are a great bunch of girls!