sweet dots

Let a friend borrow your baby swing (which had been gathering dust in the garage) and she brings you this (I'm a sucker for any packaging that's cute):
With three lemon and three cookies and cream cupcakes inside:
Thanks Sachia! You can borrow my stuff any time!


Potty Training

We've started.

Three of these:
For doing this:
We'll talk to you in a week.


10 years ago, today

It's that time of year, when BYU students start wearing shorts in 64 degree weather and apartments are vacated as quickly as possible so kids can head home for the summer.

Well ten years ago today, I wasn't wearing shorts (I gave up on that my freshman year since mine were all too short and knee length or capris were NOT the thing then). But in 1999, Casey and I both graduated from BYU. We sat in the same big graduation and didn't even know each other's names. In fact, for many years we lived only a block from each other but didn't meet till 5 years later. Crazy how life happens.

Casey graduated with a B.S. in Statistics. BYU had just started the 5 year B.S/Master's degree joint program the year he graduated. In retrospect, he wishes he would have stuck around for it. But hey, I was ready to get out of there too. And oddly enough.....he's just months away from getting his Master's degree from Cal State LA this June!

Casey and his parents:
Linda, Casey and his brother Brady:
With one of his professors:
Hanging out on campus with the famous Y in the background. For all you youngsters out there, that library behind him was still under construction. We never knew the campus you all lived on.
And I've already shared my sentiments with Casey......but his style has definitely come far by the time we met in LA. I don't want to think I was superficial back then, but those pants wouldn't have made me interested in a date. I'm a big believer that timing is everything. And it's a good thing we met in our later years.
Just for kicks, a picture of his brother Jeff and good friend Brett, from the Y days:
I graduated with a B.A. in Communications, TV Production emphasis. (I actually finished in December of '98 but was still in Provo working for KBYU full-time and could participate in the ceremony.) I loved my major and have loved where it's taken me in the film/tv world. And though there are days that I question whether I should have majored in Fashion Design and learned the real ins and outs of clothing creation, I'm glad I did what I did. Hey, I can still improve my sewing craft in the future.

Casey's family and my family sat in those chairs behind me for the huge graduation, while the grads sat on the floor of the Marriott Center. But since I had spent the past 3 years working on the TV production side, I decided to join my crew and worked as the camera operator for the ceremony. It seemed the appropriate way to graduate, doing what I had studied (my hair was brownish/red then):
Here I am in one of the control rooms where we broadcasted hours of Blue and White Sports Network games, KBYU News, rountable discussions, and silly projects. I really loved those days. It was such a team effort. And I met/worked with some wonderful people (including my friend Amie Amezcua who became a really close friend of mine when she moved to LA too).
Me, Camille, and my cousin Rachael. I used that kroq keychain for years.
The next day were the individual Major ceremonies, which I did participate in.
Me and Camille:
Rachael and me. She, Laura, and I lived together my last couple years there. What fun. And how 90s were our shoes?
Eric and Laura. 1960s?
And to finish off the day, we kids wanted to eat at Del Taco on State Street in Orem (which was the only one around). My parents, who were paying, did not protest!
Today, my brother Mark (the one on the right in the photo above) is graduating from BYU with his Masters in Information Technologies (though I'm sure there's a more technical name for it). It's cool to see it all come full-circle. Congrats Mark!

I really truly loved my BYU days, FAR more than my High School ones. Sometimes I wish we were blogging/emailing people back then because I would have so much more to read and remember. But I still have plenty of dumb photos. And I did actually have an email account by the time I left. We weren't that archaic.

Happy Graduating day everyone!


Saturday Morning

It seemed like a day for donuts, so we went for a morning walk.
And we sat in the Vons parking lot eating loads of sprinkles:till Owen got drunk:


My Friends Tigger and Pooh

As follow-up to the last post, I got video of Lucy singing the theme song to "My Friends Tigger and Pooh". She's currently obsessed.
I tried to find the real song on Youtube as comparison but just found a dumb music video. So I'll here are the lyrics and a Lucy video:

My Friends, Tigger and Pooh, they're always there for each other.
You'll see how much fun it can be, there's so much in the woods to discover.

And if you need help on the way, Buster might save the day. Or piglet, Lumpy, or Roo. Eyore has a paw to lend. Rabbit has an ear to bend. Now all we're missing it you! (ooooo!)

Hooray, it's a honey-ful day. So let's laugh and let's play here together.
With my friends Tigger and Pooh. Darby, Tigger and Pooh. My friends Tigger and Pooh.

That's you buddy. (laughs), You too.
(that last line is my favorite, the way Lucy says it. Oh, and her goodbye at the end):


Super Sleuths are on the case!

Casey's parents bought this Superman hat for Owen when he was born. I got it out today (to break-up a hat fight, so each kid would have one). And Lucy decided she loved it!...and has been wearing it NON-stop. She even wore it to the mall and I wondered if people thought she was a boy.
Apparently, she thinks it's the same hat that Darby wears on her favorite Tigger and Pooh show.
She kept taking her hat on and off all day and exclaiming, "it's time to slap my hat!" (just as Darby says on the show). It made me laugh every time.


RECIPE: Chicken Tamale Casserole

A - it's super easy to make
B - my husband could eat it all day long. And happy husband = happy me.

I found the recipe in Cooking Light and made a few changes. The original recipe calls for a box of Jiffy Cornbread mix but I couldn't believe the fat content in that tiny box, so I tried my favorite cornbread recipe (with adjustments) and it worked great!
Make this TONIGHT and enjoy!


1 cup (4oz) grated cheese, divided (I used a mix of Colby jack and Sharp)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can creamed corn (14.75 oz)
2 Tbl canola oil
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles

1/2 Cup cornmeal
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar (I use 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C Splenda)
1 Tbl Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt

1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup jar-prepared salsa
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Cook chicken breasts or tenderloins (I boil 5 tenderloins in water) and shred with a fork. Mix shredded chicken with 1/4 cup salsa and set aside.

3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) and mix well. Add the dry cornmeal mixture to the large bowl with the wet ingredients and stir everything together until just moist. Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan, coated with cooking spray.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (mixture will still be slightly gooey, this is normal); pour enchilada sauce over the top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

5. Top each serving with sour cream and enjoy! (we actually ate it without the sour cream and liked it just as well)

Easter Weekend

We had an odd Easter weekend. We spent it away from our kids, in the desert. We have a rental home in Arizona so we went over to fix it up and find new renters. I can't say it was fun weekend but we got to hang out with cousins and eat a medly of yummy foods. So there were a few bright spots. And a five hour drive without kids is a treat in itself.
We found our house looking like this:
But after four days of hard work, we turned it back to this:
and this:
And these....
Almost makes me want to move there!

We had 2 yard guys working for six hours straight to clean up the backyard jungle while Casey and I painted, cleaned bathrooms, cleaned carpets, fixed sprinklers, doors, garage doors, cleaned out junk, and even found a huge pot roast sitting in the fridge....while the electricity was off, for two weeks. GROSS.
The previous tenants had a dog that chewed up the sprinkler system and the backdoor frame. So handy Casey figured out how to rebuild this. Though he calls it a duct-tape job, I think it looks fabulous:
While there, we signed a new lease with a nice family and hope they take good care of our house. We also scored this from the previous tenant who just left it behind. And it's in excellent condition (a few months old, it seems) so we brought it home with us. I guess that sort of recoups our costs!

My cousin Rachael and her cute family live on the same street as our AZ house. So they let us crash with them and even treated us to yummy Easter dinner, Reese's treats, and Costco Lemon Cake (yum). Thanks for hosting us!
Easter Sunday we actually took off our work clothes and took some pride in our appearance:
It was a bummer not to be with the kids and have an Easter egg hunt. But they had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa (thank you Parry and Linda!)
As always, being away from the kiddos makes the return so much fun. Tuesday morning, we woke up to these cute munchkins:
Owen taught himself to eat with a fork while we were gone. Awesome:Lucy decided she no longer needs a kiddie fork and would only use an adult one:
and as always, she has the best morning-time wake-up bob. I wish my hair would do that.
Happy Easter to all!


An evening at the lake

After a nice Conference day at my parent's house, Sunday evening seemed like the perfect time to feed the ducks. And since we weren't in LA, we found a lake with ducks to feed. How gorgeous was the night? Santa Maragarita Lake:

Gram and Owen:
Bryan and the bugs:
Camille (and Eric):
My Dad, Billy Drew.
Casey says this picture reminds him of this lovely photo.
Lucy insisted on wearing this hat the whole time (from my mom's dress-up stash):
She likes being a cowgirl.
Ava throwing bread:
My mom, Laura, and Owen with his eyes closed:
When the ducks were more than feed, we found a great hill to roll down. Eric was hands down the best roller.
Wonderful Sunday evening.