Friday, February 27, 2009

The United CAKE of America

We got to make a cake for Trevor's Blue and Gold cub scout dinner this week. It was supposed to be an American theme so we decided to make this most beautiful delectable fruity-licious cake! We were all so please with it's gorgeousness. Here's the breakdown:

Jello cake (white cake with red jello)
cool whip
fresh strawberries and blueberries

Here's a little song just for you, cake:

Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain.
For purple mountain magesties
Above the fruited CAKE!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pet Store here we come!

Today was a big adventure day for Joy School. We've been studying ocean life and the letter S this week. And today was the day we got to go to the store and check out some of those animals in person - er... fish!

These kids loved checking out the fish and all the other animals in the store. It was like watching a pin ball game the way they bounced back and forth between the displays. And Jackson was there too, which made things even more interesting. (Mmm-hm. You know what he's like.) My favorite part of the outing was when walking out the door the kids all spied the "cookies" by the register. They all begged and begged for one of these most beautifully iced cookies until the lady told them, "Those are not for kids. They are for DOGS!" Whew! That curbed their interest instantly!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You know it's time to go to the grocery store when you run out of....

Neslte Quick

(Notice how I didn't mention any fruits or veggies? I guess we like to eat the opposite of the Atkins diet around here. High carb, low protien.)

What food does your family need to survive?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"I looked out the window and what did I see?"

"PINK popcorn popping on the apricot (er... plum) tree!"

The kids love it when the trees begin to blossom. I have to admit that I do to. We were driving in the car yesterday and Lizzie and Jackson both could not contain their enthusiasm every time we drove by a "popcorn tree". They would shriek, "There's another one!" about every 2 seconds. (When Jackson says, "There's another one!" it sounds like, "nuh-wun." Oh I love it!)

Then the conversation always goes something like this:

Lizzie: Mommy can we eat that popcorn?
Me: No sweetie. It just looks like popcorn, but it's really just flowers.
Lizzie: Can we eat the flowers?
Me: (chuckling inside) You can eat the flowers if you want, but they won't taste very good.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

good inspiration, execution falls short

So I've been wanting to do this great wall collage of black frames ever since I saw Rebecca's. (I totally ripped off one of your pictures - hope you don't mind!) She is so creative and crafty - just like I like to think I am. Doesn't it look great?! It's the combination of that earthy yellowish wall color with the black and white contrast that just speaks to me!

I complimented her up and down about how great this wall looked in her house so she sent me a picture of her inspiration for the same project. Here it is, below. I found out later that it was from And who doesn't love Pottery Barn? They do everything good - just like Rebecca.

I've had this stack of frames sitting next to the piano ever since we took down the Christmas tree. Remember all those frames on that tree? They looked so great up there I just couldn't part with them after the season.
Finally I got up the courage to put them on our wall. And this is what I got. (Sorry, no "Before" picture this time!)

It turned out ok and I'm satisfied with it for now. But it will need some tweaking for sure. I'd forgotten that all of Rebecca's pictures were black and white (mental note #1). She also put up the same kind of wainscotting and moulding like the Pottery Barn picture (mental note #2 for Jeremy). And the contrast between the wall color and the frames is not what I wanted either (mental note #3 for Jeremy and me).

The next project will be painting and I think I've finally nailed down a color - and there have been several attempts at finding one. Don't peek at the wall behind our drapes because there are about 8 different shades of "caramel" paint samples to choose from! It's called Bungalow Gold from Lowes. So whenever we get around to that project I'll post an update.

My project execution would have been better had I paid attention to the details. For now, thank you Rebecca for your inspiration.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"You can learn a lot of things from the flowers, for especially in the month of..."


One of my most favorite things is watching the daffodils start to pop up in the Spring. It is such a special treat. And oh boy does it make me happy! But is it really Spring already? Last time I checked it was still Winter.

Bonus Question: The title of this post comes from which Disney movie? (Last time I asked this question there was only ONE person that knew the answer - kudos to Rebecca for that one. Don't you guys have all the lyrics memorized to every Disney movie?)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our New Super Hero

Sue answered my plea when she saw this post. Her son broke his arm about a month ago and she had the perfect solution to our bath-time dilemma. We tried bathing Lizzie with a garbage bag just like the doctor's told us... yeah right. That did NOT work. Her cast was totally soaked afterward just as if she hadn't used the bag at all. I was ripping my hair out over the wet cast and the phone rang. It was Sue with the answer to all our problems. Her doctor recommended this product:

There it is! Our new best buddy - AQUA SHIELD! (you have to sing it like a super-hero name, "Aqua Shield!")It's a super nifty cast protector made especially for bathing. Here's how it works:

1. Open it up and start filling the tub.

2. Stretch the opening and slide the entire cast inside.

3. Put the bagged foot into the tub until all the air is pushed to the top of the bag.

4. Open the top of the Aqua Shield to "burp" out the rest of the air. It automatically seals water-tight.

5. Submerge the leg/cast with no worries and enjoy a lovely bath!

So, we owe a million thank yous to Sue for saving our sanity and Lizzie's bath-time. You are our New Super Hero!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

what up, cuz?

Well, we did it. We went to Thomas and Amy's apartment last night to show off baby Bella to our kids. They have been waiting and waiting to see her and it was all finally worth all that waiting. The kids were so full of awe when they saw her for the first time - it was such a precious moment.
They haven't seen a brand new baby like that since baby Lucy was born and that was almost 8 months ago. Thus, Jackson was thoroughly confused. He kept calling her Lucy instead of Bella. When he did say Bella it was so dang cute, "Bennuh" - he can't quite say those "l's" yet.

Bella's face looks like she might be in a bit of pain here, but really she was just sleeping. Check out her cute outfit! Raspberry striped hoodie coverall with the cutest matching shoes lined with soft fuzzy fur! Look closely and you can see her binky bling. It's clipped to her top and looks like a fancy jeweled bracelet. Oh, yeah, it was awesome.

The kids all got a turn to hold the baby. Logan was first.

Then Lizzie. These 2 girls are going to have to stick together for awhile - they are the only 2 girls cousins on the Duran side so far.
Trevor was last. He bashfully accepted his turn, but we could all see that he really wanted to hold her.
They all thought she was the sweetest thing ever.

I thought these shoes were pretty dang sweet as well! This girl is going to have the BEST shoe collection.

While we were there we figured out how many years it would be until Trevor and Logan would be old enough to babysit Bella. Only 3 years for Trevor and about 4ish for Logan. It blows my mind sometimes to think how old our children are - especially when looking at baby Bella and remembering that our kids used to be that small. Time really does fly as they grow up so fast.

This is the night we've waited for...

The kids finally get to meet their new cousin, BABY BELLA! We're going tonight to see Bella (and Amy and Thomas) for the first time. They can't wait!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It was a group date on Valentine's

Valentine's Day evening was so great! Jeremy surprised me with some beautiful white roses and then we were off! There were 12 of us that met for dinner at Claim Jumper.

We were there,

Rick and Michelle,
Kari and Robb,

Katrina & Louis,

Aimee and Matt,

and Jared and Elizabeth.

Jeremy and I always split this dish - it is so delicious. It's called the Black Tie Pasta. Yum!

Robb was super hungry. He got a full rack of ribs and a second platter for the rest of his meal. My favorite was when he asked for a doggie bag to take all the bones home to his dog.

Matt could not be out done by Robb - so he ordered the same thing. Not to worry, I don't think either one finished the whole plate themselves.

Michelle and Rick ordered this most beautiful lemon square for dessert. That presentation was fabulous!
Kari and Robb ordered this monster dessert called "I Declair". It's an eclair the size of a football and it was also de-lish.

Don't worry...we all helped him eat this dessert. It was so tasty!
After dinner we headed over to Laser Quest for a rousing round of laser tag. It was a blast. We were definitely the oldest crowd there, but it was still so much fun. We haven't done anything like that for ages and I'm sure we'll go back soon. We walked out of the arena and Jared said, "When are we coming back?!" He was even trying to make plans to return as we were leaving the place. And here's a bonus... I beat all the guys! Even Jeremy - who has slaughtered me at laser tag in the past. Wow that feels good to win. Can I gloat just a little bit longer? Ahhh. Winning is great.

Jeremy and I were stuffed from our dinner so we did not order dessert at the restaurant. We let our food settle while we lasered it up and then opted for some ice cream at Cold Stone.
It was a fun night of friends and food. So, what did you do? We'll need ideas for next year...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

we've gotta BOLT

Last Monday was a holiday for the kids and Jeremy from school. We spent most of the day out at Valley Children’s Hospital getting Lizzie’s foot put in a cast. It worked out just right because we had planned to take the kids to a movie and we got out of the hospital just in time for the 5PM showing.

Our kids have been dy-ying to see Bolt. And hallelujah! - it just moved over to the $3 theater! Can I give another shout out to the $3 theater?! We love that place!

So, to be totally honest, I was more engrossed in my super-buttery movie theater popcorn, passing out food to the hungry kids and chasing Jackson around to actually pay attention to the movie. I may have fallen asleep a couple of times too.... woops! (I only know 2 other people that do that - fall asleep in the movie I mean - Julio and Karen, my mother-in-law. I guess now I can count myself into that group!)

So, I guess it was not the greatest. A rental, for sure. But for $3 a ticket it was totally worth it. Have you seen it?

We'll give it 3 super-barks out of 5.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Love, it seems like only ye-ster-day..."

Prepping for Valentine's Day was so much fun! - cutting out paper hearts, buying candy and more candy, and making handmade valentines for all the kids.

Here's the centerpiece for the kitchen table.

Hanging paper hearts from the chandelier put us in the mood.

Simple touches like heart garland from the dollar store make me so happy.

The kids felt like it was a party all day long. I hope they all felt special and loved. They were a little kinder, a little more helpful and there was little to no crying. Imagine that! I HEART Valentine's Day.

Bonus Question: The title of this post comes from what Disney movie?

Friday, February 13, 2009

kids say the darndest things

We went to visit Amy and baby Bella in the hospital last week. When we got there we found out that they had changed their visitor policy that very day. Bummer for the kids, right? Well, Grandma Elizabeth was there to entertain the kids in the hallway while I got to visit with Amy for a minute. The kids had a great time at the hospital...

Lizzie: Mommy, we went to the hop-sital today.

Mommy: Jackson where did you go?
Jackson: Alligator!

Mommy: Jackson, did you go in the el-e-va-tor?
Jackson: Alligator!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


There she is! A beautiful baby girl for my brother Thomas and Amy! (Thanks for sharing your pictures with us.) She came ON her due date. February 11th. Only 5% of babies actually do that. So we know one thing about her already - she is prompt and on time!

This moment is so perfect - mama seeing her baby for the first time. That gaze full of awe... there are no words to describe the feeling. Oh, it makes me cry every time I look at it.

And what a great first family portrait.

Look at her eyes so wide open. Thomas said she had her eyes open like this for the first 4 or 5 hours.

And she's already talking. Look at that "cooing" mouth.
Thomas and Amy we are thrilled for you to begin your new life as parents. The kids are also thrilled to have their first Duran cousin. They keep calling her "cousin baby Bella". We wish you guys all the best in these first few months.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lizzie's 5th Birthday Morning

It is tradition in our family to wake up on your birthday morning to a PARTY! We pile all the presents on the table....

...and decorate it up just a bit with balloons and curling ribbon to make it feel even more special for the birthday person.

Lizzie so enjoyed her birthday morning party with just our little family. We all woke just a little bit earlier than usual so we could party together before daddy had to leave for work. You may notice everyone looking like they just rolled out of bed - because they did.

Lizzie opened so many of her favorite things. She's been talking about Fancy Nancy for several weeks now and thank heavens for Costco! They had 3 of her books. Lizzie was stoked! She was also much in need of a couple Ken barbie dolls to go with all her princess barbies. Make-up, bubbles and Littlest Pet Shop VIP's were also on her list.

My favorite quote from Lizzie was this, "Daddy can I have doughnuts for my birthday breakfast? It's my birthday so I get whatever I want, right?" It's cute now, but I'm sure in 10 years it may sound different coming from a teenager...

So, to honor her birthday wish, daddy whisked away to the doughnut shop at 5:30 AM to get his little princess her birthday breakfast. Thank you daddy for making her birthday morning perfect.