gag-gle noun \ˈga-gəl\ : a group, aggregation, or cluster lacking organization, which is exactly how I feel about my family every day.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Sunday

Each year the kids get new church outfits for Christmas.  This year I decided that we would all match, so we picked red and gold as our new outfit Christmas colors.  Will got a tie and sweater that looked just like Liam's.  Unfortunately, Will was unable to make it for the photos after church since 

he was called as the new bishop of our ward today.

So he was in meetings.  I figure these photos will be representative of our family on Sundays for the next few years of our lives.  Thank you to all the family that were able to come to our Sacrament Meeting to support him. Thanks to Jim (Will's dad) for being willing to come ordain him to the office of a High Priest and both him and my Dad for participating in the ordination and setting apart as bishop.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Candy

We made our own Christmas chocolate assortment to give to neighbors and friends this year.  The kids had a blast helping me package them up!

Liam on a bike

Liam has been asking to take off his training wheels for weeks, perhaps months, now.  But after daylight savings ended, it was too dark for Will to go out with Liam after work, and Saturday schedules kept filling up.  In the meantime, Liam has been practicing by trying not to let his training wheels touch the ground on his way to school. 

 Apparently that practice has paid off!  We purchased a kick stand a few days ago, and Liam convinced me to put it on his bike and take off the trainers.  I was surprised that once he got going, there was no stopping him!

I thought for sure our driveway would be too small to practice in because I had the hardest time learning to turn when I was a kid, but the small space posed no obstacle for my little man!

All we really need to work on is getting on and off- but the actual riding part he has down solid.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Soccer Kids

We got our summer soccer pictures.  

(The photographers were very unorganized, so after 40 minutes of being bumped out of line, Reese's team opted to go pose and take our own photos. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015


This year I tried to start making costumes early so I wouldn't be doing last minutes stuff.  It sort of worked.  The kids got costumes, but not with all the detail that I had planned.

At least we got pumpkins carved a week before the big day!

We looked at images online to carve, but in the end both kids just wanted to do a face.  They each picked out a pumpkin that they were excited about.  Reese loved the odd-tall pumpkin and Liam was excited to pick out a pumpkin small enough for him to carry around all by himself.

We've given up on real candles, and this year's dollar store electric tea lights change color!

Now for costumes.  

Reese wanted to be Link from the video game Zelda because she has watched her aunt Kenzie play the games and loves them because she knows Kenzie loves them.  I was going to be Zelda to go with her costume, but if you've seen Zelda, you know making a costume for her would be no easy task.  So I hopped on the Star Wars band wagon with Liam.
Reese:  Link (Zelda video games)

Liam was torn between Obi-Wan Kenobi or a storm trooper.  Costco had storm trooper costumes, which would have saved me some time, but in the end he picked the Jedi.  

Liam: Obi-wan Kenobi

After rejecting Zelda, I chose to be Han Solo (relatively easy costume) and Will then decided he would be Princess Leia to match. 

Anna: Han Solo

 I started making Will's costume, but then worried about embarassing the kids, so we switched him to Darth Sidious, the bad guy who shoots lighting from his hands. 

Will: Darth Sidious

Will and I were able to go to an adult party the day before Halloween this year, which I thought was fun.  Then we did trunk-or-treating.  We handed out some pencils, tops, balloons, and stickers as participation in the Teal Pumpkin Project (#tealpumpkinproject), which is a movement to be inclusive of kids who have food allergies and therefore have a hard time with Halloween festivities.

 Will took the kids around the block for a little trick-or-treating on the way home, and then the kids filled up their treat boxes and I got to keep the rest!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Sneak Peak

I finishes sewing the major components of the kid's Halloween costumes.  

Also, Peach found a turtle in our yard.  We kept it around for a few days while we tried to locate the owner, but then ended up having to take him to the animal shelter.  But it was fun while it lasted.

Oven Fried Chicken

I planned on making oven fried chicken today, but when I went to my Pinterest board I found out that my favorite recipe pin had been removed!  What to do?  I looked up some other recipes, but they called for corn flakes or breadcrumbs or something that I didn't already have on hand, so I made up my own!  And you betcha I'll be pining it so when I forget that my old recipe is gone I'll find my own in its place! And, btw, it was DELISH.

This recipe is enough to make 10-12 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs).  I made 5 thighs and 5 drumsticks.  Plan ahead!  You need to bake for 1 1/2 hours.

But aside from the long baking time, this recipe is pretty easy:

Soak your chicken

Wipe your baking sheet with shortening

Mix your seasonings

Coat your chicken pieces and pop into the oven

Drizzle dry spots with cooking oil

Continue cooking until you have crunchy skinned, moist chicken

Chicken Mix:
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt (or regular table salt)
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
Other stuff:
3 1/2 lbs, or about 10-12 pieces of chicken thighs/drumsticks (bone in, skin on)
1/4- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup buttermilk*
Cooking oil for drizzling

*(I never have buttermilk on hand, so I use 1 cup milk mixed with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, and let sit for about 10 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place buttermilk in a large mixing bowl and add chicken.  Mix chicken until every piece has been dipped completely in the buttermilk.  Let sit while you prepare the pan and mix.

Line a large baking sheet (preferably one with a rim) with aluminum foil.  Using a paper towel, scoop about 1/4-1/2 cup shortening and rub the foil to coat.  Rub it on fairly thick.

Add all of the Chicken Mix ingredients in a gallon size zip-top bag.  Seal and shake to mix.  Add the chicken pieces, 2-3 at a time, to the bag.  Seal with a lot of air in the bag and shake to coat the chicken.  Remove chicken from bag and place the pieces on the shortening-coated baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces until all pieces have been coated.  Discard remaining chicken mix and buttermilk.

Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown and crispy.  After 30 minutes of baking, check chicken and drizzle oil (I use a canola/olive blend) on any dry white spots.

Serve with napkins because this is finger-licking good!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Today is Agents of SHIELD day for me (the season started last week but since I'm too cheap to pay for the program I have to wait a week after each episode airs to watch it)  and I'm super excited, and I don't know anyone else who is excited so I will watch it by myself and not have anyone to talk to about it.  That's why I'm posting it here.  I just needed to tell someone, even if that someone is just the empty interwebs.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Shareese's first Primary Talk

Reese gave her first Primary talk today!  It was about President Thomas S. Monson's experience with setting a fire to teach the principle of obedience.  She used a felt board to illustrate and she did great!  I had her do it again when we got home so that we could record it.

When President Monson was growing up, each summer his family stayed at a cabin in Utah.


 One morning, President Monson and his friend Danny
(add 2 BOYS)
Decided that they wanted to clear an area in a nearby field so they could have a camp fire.

(add GRASS)

They began to pull out the grass, but it was taking a long time. President Monson said to Danny, “all we need is to set these weeds on fire. We’ll just burn a circle in the weeds!”

President Monson’s parents had warned him about how dangerous fire is. He knew that he was not supposed to use matches without a grown-up around. But he knew where the matches were and he took them without asking.


He was careful to make sure no one was watching when he took them. He ran back to Danny and they set the grass on fire.

(add FIRE)

At first, President Monson and Danny were excited that the weeds were burning up so quickly

(Turn grass from GREEN side to BROWN side)

 but soon they realized that the fire was not going to go out on its own. They panicked when they realized there was nothing they could do to stop it.

They ran for help. Soon many people were running back and forth with things to put out the fire. 

(Add 3 PEOPLE and BUCKET and HOSE)

It took hours of work to get the fire completely out.

(take off FIRE)

President Monson says that he learned several difficult but important lessons that day. One of the lessons was the importance of obedience.

There are rules to keep us physically safe. Heavenly Father also has given us commandments to help keep us spiritually safe so we can return to Him. President Monson hopes that we will all keep the commandments and be obedient so that we can be blessed with the rich rewards Heavenly father has promised those who obey him.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Reese

Reese turned 7 today!

favorite food is pizza . wants to be a restaurateur when she grows up . loves to draw . fashion conscious . likes school . favorite cereal is Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs . likes to organize the shelf in her room with all her trinkets . doesn't like veggies . smiles and laughs a lot . likes to read . favorite color is green . Daddy's girl . still afraid to go under the water . curious and smart- asks lots of great questions . messy . likes to help out . can't wait to be big enough to not sit in a booster seat . likes video games . likes math . likes to use the scissors for craft projects and leave tiny paper scraps all over. sings . wants a skateboard . 

Reese's birthday was on a Friday, but school recently started and she wanted to ride a scooter to school instead of walk, so she was allowed to open one present early.

On her birthday, we ate pizza, and then invited Heath's over for some cake and ice cream and a few more gifts.

Reese wanted a minion cake.  I feel compelled to note, for those that aren't familiar with minions, that minions love love love bananas.  That's why there is a pile of bananas on the cake.

Happy birthday, Shareese!  You are loved!