Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Heart Day!

I have to say, I love Valentine's Day! Not necessarily because of gifts or nice dinners or anything like that, but it is just an all-around happy day. This year was no exception. Because it's rare that V-day falls on a Saturday, it was a special treat to have Mike home with us all day! Mike's family has always had a very family-oriented Valentine's Day because it is actually his little sister Amy's birthday. We decided that this year we would also have a family-fun day and Mike and I would go out this week when we won't have to pay a babysitter or fight the crowds. We woke up and Mike and Amy played "find the heart" (you know that game you play in primary where there are only 5 places in the whole room to find the picture, but you play it 20 times anyways) while I cooked breakfast. I have to say, we played that game several times for a lot of time that day because Amy thought it was hilarious. If we put it at her eye level, she found it pretty quick, but if we hid it a little better she'd walk up to every piece of furniture and smile and say "is it over here?" and wait for us to answer.

For breakfast we had this delicious quiche (super easy, really delicious) with this cute pan my mom got me a couple years ago, with pink milk, strawberry muffins (because they're pink), and oranges (because we picked a bunch at my grandma's house the other day and they are delicious!).
After breakfast we cleaned up, we made heart-shaped sugar cookies (with the intention of taking them to friends, along with the Valentines Amy colored, but alas, they are still unfrosted on my counter!) Afterwards, Mike cleaned up the backyard (the last time he'll have to clean up after Cougar!), and then I had to head over to a baby shower for Samara. Mike and Amy played while I was gone and he put her down for her nap. When I got back, we decided to head over to Walmart and get our family gift, which was a Wii Fit. We also picked up a fantastic fondue pot at Target on our way home because I had purchased all the ingredients for an elaborate fondue dinner!

Dinner was delicious! We started off with this cheese fondue recipe with french bread, broccoli, cauliflower, and apples. Then we had a ceasar salad, then on to the main course (sorry no pics! I swear I thought I took one before we ate, but apparently not!). We had some sirloin steaks that I had chopped up. I marinated half of the meat in this marinade and left the other half for dipping in sauces. We mixed up four different dipping sauces, and added some red potatoes and onions on the side. We were definitely stuffed by the end of the meal! Amy wasn't quite as impressed as we were, but she picked a little here and there and enjoyed the movie we had picked her up from RedBox (Little Mermaid 3). Amy and I cuddled on the couch while Mike did the dishes (yeah he did! thanks honey!) and talked with his family on the phone. After we had let our food settle, we pulled out a chick flick, warmed up the chocolate/peanut butter/chopped peanuts fondue with strawberries, bananas, pretzels, and marshmallows, and relaxed on the couch. It was a really great day and I am so grateful for my little family and the fun memories we are able to make together!
By the way, the fondue pot is so cool that we totally want to have a fondue party now! Any takers?! Definitely in the near future...

Crazy Weather!

So this post seems really silly now because it has gotten so much colder the past week than it was. So, for my family in Utah who thinks it's crazy that I put my daughter in her swimsuit and sun hat and sent her in the backyard to play in the wading pool, I PROMISE it was totally 85 degrees that day and she did not want to play outside otherwise. I tried to convince her to go play with her bubbles she got from Grandpa Laudie for Christmas (she is officially obsessed with blowing bubbles now!), but she stood in the doorway and just looked uncomfortable. As soon as i mentioned the word "swimming" though, she was out the door and ready to play! She only played for about half an hour and then came in to warm up a bit, but she definitely was having a blast! She's definitely ready for summertime so she can swim! My little fishy!
On an unrelated note, we recently found a new home for our former dog Cougar. While he was a new, learning experience to have, he was a bit too much dog for my little 2 year old who wanted to play with him but not be tackled in the process. This has by no means deterred us from getting a dog again, but next time we will definitely get a smaller dog! Cougar now lives in Mesa with a nice family with 3 kids and 2 other dogs. An interesting note is that we found out the week he moved out that he was actually mostly German Shepherd. Go figure. We got a nice card from the family just the other day letting us know that he's fitting in with their family just fine, they're starting obedience school with him next month, and that they just love him. It was a good decision for us and him.

This is Amy saying goodbye to Cougar. I wish I could say the sadness in her eyes was because she was going to miss him, but actually he just licked her face (which she hated) and she was a little mad at him. It was a bitter sweet goodbye, but it's been nice to be able to freely use our backyard again.

Happy Birthday Mike!

So I'm a little late in this post, but Mike's birthday was on January 25th. We started to make some fun plans (fun, stay-at-home plans because it was on a Sunday) and Mike realized he had an orchestra concert that night! He's been playing with the Scottsdale Symphony and they have apparently changed their concerts to Sunday/Monday instead of Monday/Tuesday like they used to be. Needless to say, he was a little bummed. Despite that, we had a really nice day. We went out the night before (thanks Kimmi for watching Amy!) to Outback Steakhouse... yum. It was nice to go out with just the two of us! The Owens came over later for cake and ice cream. We had a very relaxing morning. Mike's family has the tradition of doing cake and presents on the night of your birthday, whereas my family is MUCH less patient and we want our presents first thing in the morning! However, because of the concert that night and Amy possibly being asleep when we got home, Mike broke with tradition and opened his presents before church. Amy gave him the classic Ritz and spray cheese (yuck!) that he loves, and his mom sent him a really nice shirt. He also got some nice cards from his Aunt Daveda and my grandma and a gift card from my mom. His big present, however, was the Wii. I splurged. I swear, the month preceding his birthday, 5 different guys asked him what kind of game system he had and, while he denies it, it was a little embarrassing for him to say "Oh, just a Game Cube." When you own a system they are no longer making games for, it's definitely time to upgrade. So, Mike got the Wii. He's been having a lot of fun with it, and even Amy's gotten a strike or two at bowling!
"No Way" is what he's saying here. Mike's a bit of a penny pincher... okay, he's CHEAP, so I knew this would blow him away! I'm a really bad secret-keeper, so everyone in my family and the ward knew what he was getting, but I did somehow keep it from him. Every time he'd say something like "you know what I could really use..." I would just smile and say "but that's not what you got!" It drove him crazy!
After church, we rushed home to get his birthday dinner done before leaving for the concert - Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. After a quick, and I mean QUICK, dinner, Mike and I rushed off to the concert (thanks Owens for watching Amy!). It was a nice concert. Mike did very well. Sorry for all the fuzzy pictures - the lighting was really bad in there.
Look Mom! Cute vinyl!
Mike is on the far right of the main orchestra section.
Happy birthday to my husband! I love him very much and hope he had a happy day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Projects

With Valentine's Day tomorrow, I decided I should finish off the last of my Valentine Day projects for the year. I am happy to say that I actually finished all of them! Woo hoo!

Project #1: Heart Wreath. This is SO super easy. I copied it from here.
Project #2: Valentine Mailbox. This is just one of those little wooden mailboxes from JoAnn's. I thought it would be a cute place to put Valentines from each other and from family and friends.

Project #3: Love Blocks. My mom decided to outdo my craftiness and made super cute LOVE blocks, so I stole her extra wood and made some too.

I have to admit, I haven't crafted in a while and I'm still new to the whole scrapbooking thing, but I really enjoyed doing these projects the past two weeks! It's been much more rewarding than watching television!