Friday, December 26, 2008


I love Christmas. I love family traditions and being together. I love shopping for people and I love watching how excited the kids get when they peek around the corner to see if Santa came.

This year Christmas was quiet and simple at our home. Some of my family members were going to come here this year but there were some changes and they weren't able to. As nice as it was not to have to drag the kids around all day, I realized how much I actually like the craziness that comes with all the family gatherings. Kelly had to work yesterday afternoon so the kids and I just relaxed and didn't do much of anything. I did manage to wash my face and brush my teeth, but I decided to wear my pjs all day!

Tomorrow we are driving to Salt Lake and we are all looking forward to it. The kids are so excited to see the snow, especially Carson. He said he can't wait to make snow angels and throw snowballs! Sounds like fun! We will get to see our siblings, including the ones that live in California and Nevada. We will also get to meet two new nieces and cousins. It is no secret that I miss our family and I am really looking forward to spending the rest of the holidays with them!

See you all soon!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Here Kitty Kitty....

Our cat, Max, usually goes outside a couple of times a day to run in the bushes or climb the tree. When he is ready to come in, he will sit in our window and meow. This usually happens after 20 minutes or so.

I was talking to a friend at the door and Max ran out. Of course I didn't mind because of his usual routine. Well, a couple of hours pass and I realized that he never came back to the window. The kids wanted to say a prayer. Connor prayed that he would come home safely.

We decided to walk around the block to see if we could see him wandering around anywhere. No luck. I thought maybe when we came back home he would be sitting on the windowsill, no luck.

The evening continued on and several times I opened the front door and called for him. He didn't come. So, off to bed we went, wondering where little Max was. The kids prayed for Max again.

This morning Connor was so sad and thought for sure he needed to stay home to help us look for him! After taking him to school, I made some signs to put up around the neighborhood.

Right when we were getting ready to hang up signs, Kelly heard a meow coming from across the street. Sure enough, it was Max. Kelly brought him inside and Carson was relieved!

This was such a teaching moment for us as parents. First we taught our kids that we can pray to Heavenly Father about anything. Second, we taught them the importance of thanking our Heavenly Father for answering our prayers. So, Carson said a prayer thanking Heavenly Father for letting Max come home safely. It was such a sweet little moment!

Kelly and I learned a lesson as well and headed to PetSmart to get Max a collar and name tag! Now should this happen again, someone can call us if they find him!

Here Max taking a snooze after Kelly had found him. He slept most of the day and Connor explained that it was because "he was worn out from his journey home!"

We will rest easy tonight knowing that our four legged friend is safe and sound!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Donder or Donner...Now I Know!

In my last post I wrote about several of my favorite things about Christmas. One of the questions in the tag was if I could list the names of Santa's reindeer. To be honest with you, I just copied and pasted them from Tina's blog so I wouldn't have to type them all out!

The other night I read The Night Before Christmas to the kids and in the book it calls him Donder not Donner. So it got me wondering, had I been saying it wrong all these years?

I decided to look it up! Apparently, there are some common misunderstandings about two of the reindeer, Donner and Blitzen. In Clement C Moore's classic, they were originally named Dunder and Blixem (Dutch for thunder and lightning.) In reprints of the poem they first became Donder and Blixen and then again Donder and Blitzen. When the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written, they became Donner and Blitzen.

Crazy I know! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going nuts! You probably all knew this already, but I thought it was some fun, useless, Christmas trivia! Next time someone questions their names, you'll know what to tell them!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Merry Christmas!
I read this tag on Kelly's cousin's blog. Thanks for the idea Tina!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I actually use both. It is always more fun to rip apart paper and then tear through a box, but sometimes a bag is just convenient. Especially if you are trying to disguise something.

2. Real tree or artificial tree? Growing up we always had a real tree. But now it just seems more practical to have an artificial one. So that is what we have!

3. When do you put up your tree? My wish is always to have it up the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t think that has ever actually happened. I don’t like to wait too long though. It seems like as soon as you get everything up and organized, it is time to take it all down!

4. When do you take the tree down? We leave it up until New Year’s. I think it goes back to all the work it takes getting it up in the first place.

5. Do you like eggnog? I used to when I was younger. I don’t care for it much now.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? An Easy Bake Oven and a Walkman with my Wilson Philips and Debbie Gibson tapes. I also loved getting clothes. I once got a black velvet jumper that I absolutely loved. So many times I only wanted new clothes. I am still that way today!

7. Hardest person to buy for? Definitely, Kelly! I always want to find him something real neat, but he is always happy to go without. Because of this, he never has any suggestions for me!

8. Favorite Christmas Memory? I have lots! One of my favorites is that my grandparents would come over Christmas Eve. We would have lots of good food, watch (or go to) a movie, and then my grandma and grandpa would spend the night. I loved waking up and having them there first thing in the morning! Maybe my parents want to carry on that tradition?!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I have a couple. I have a nicer one that I like to stay in one piece and one that the kids can play with.

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? I LOVE Christmas cards! The only time of year I enjoy going to the mailbox is in December! I love to get pictures and newsletters and any sort of greeting. However, I do prefer the traditional way. The sticking a stamp on an envelope and mailing it way!

11. Favorite Christmas movie? Hmmm, I like quite a few. A Christmas Carol, especially the Mickey Mouse version. I also like Family Vacation and Miracle on 34th Street.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Soon after Thanksgiving or if I see a really good deal before then. I can’t do it too early or I will just end up giving it to my kids before hand. Like clothes for example.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I can’t recall. Really.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? This is hard because my family has lots of great food that we only have at Christmastime. A couple of my favorites are Special Breakfast (an egg, cheese, and sausage dish that we have for breakfast,) and Bon-Bons.

15. Lights on the tree? Of course. I love the simplicity of white lights on a tree.

16. Favorite Christmas song? “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger.”

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since moving to Arizona we have done both. This year my parents and grandparents are coming here.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, and Rudolph.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have a star.

20. Do you open Presents Christmas eve or Christmas day? All presents are opened on Christmas morning at our house. However, in Kelly’s family it is a Dutch tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve. So his family always has a party with his grandpa on Christmas Eve where they open presents with Grandma and Grandpa.

21. The most annoying thing about this time of year? Forgetting the service that should be given this time of year.

22. Favorite ornament theme and color? For years, my tree has been red and silver with white lights. This year I wanted to do red and green with white lights but if you read my last post, you know I now only have white lights!

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Grandma’s homemade rolls and macaroni salad.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I am actually just looking forward to seeing my parents and grandparents. Being together and watching the excitement in my children’s faces.

25. Favorite Christmas tradition? Because traditions are so important to me, I have several favorites. But this is the first one that comes to mind. It sounds silly I know, but I love my family’s annual showing of Family Vacation. Being together and hearing each other laugh is such a happy time! Because we have lived in Arizona for 4 years now, it has been a while since we have seen it all together. But I still think of my family every time I watch it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Trees and Kittens Don't Mix!

This is our first year of having a kitten and a Christmas tree both at the same time. I don't recommend it! I delayed putting the ornaments on my tree in fear that my lively 15 month old would have better ideas for the shiny glass balls. Well, to much surprise, the cat was the one who found them more intriguing!

I go down stairs to hear some clanking going on. The sound reminded me of how the glass balls sound as they rub together. Naturally, my first thought was "Oh, Katelyn!" I walk in the living room, the cat is half way up the tree, and my ornaments are all on the floor. Max the cat had climbed the tree and swatted every single ball off! Not to mention he had managed to pull out every twig of berries off all the branches! It looks like this year, we will only have a lighted tree! So much for ornaments!

I found several piles like this all around my tree. Thanks Max!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I love traditions, especially Christmas ones! One of my favorite things when I was a little girl, was to check out the television guide after Thanksgiving to see what Christmas movies would be playing. My siblings and I would look forward to A Christmas Story, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Mickey's Christmas Carol, just to name a few. Even as teenagers, we looked forward to the annual showing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! I can hear you laughing now, Dad!

So, to continue on the tradition, I used my ever so handy DVR and set the recorder for a dozen or so Christmas movies. Last night me and the kids made some goodies and snuggled up to watch a classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

We had a fun time and we all stayed awake! Carson takes after his mother and rarely stays awake if the movie has been started after the sun goes down (or maybe even a little earlier!)

The kids even had time to have some Star Wars reenactment during the commercials!

Anyway, I love this time of year and to share my favorite traditions with my little family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Been a While!

It has been some time since I last posted something! I have lots of new pictures to share!

We recently went to the local fire station for a preschool field trip. Carson thought it was so cool that he got to climb up in the truck and pretend to drive it.

Here is Carson and his preschool friends.

Katelyn even had a good time sporting her fire hat!

A couple of weeks ago Connor had his last t-ball game. We had a lot of fun going to see him play each Saturday. Kelly also had a great time with his first coaching experience.

The last game of the season was also the day that some of our very best friends moved away, the Wrights. Here are some of my friends having a photo before we said goodbye to Tif.

After the t-ball game we went for some lunch with our friends before they moved. It was a sad afternoon. We seemed to linger in the restaurant a little longer than normal. None of us wanted to say goodbye. When the time finally had to come, there were lots of tears. Saying goodbye is never easy! We love the Wrights. What a great family they are. We spent many hours together. Laughing, talking, playing, crafting, cooking, cleaning, etc. We had so many fun times with you guys. Oh, how we miss you!

Kelly's parents and brother came to our house for Thanksgiving this year. We had a really fun time. We played games, watched movies, ate ( a lot!) and played at the park. The kids always have a good time with their cousins and it is always nice to not be alone for a holiday!

Because this was my first year hosting Thanksgiving, this was the first time I made a turkey! It was much easier than television and movies make it out to be. I was quite proud of myself!

I know that was a lot to look through, but I was very behind! Thank you all for enduring through it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Birthday, Bike Rides, and a Big Mess...

For Kelly's birthday he got to go to the Monday night football game, Arizona Cardinals vs the 49ers. He had such a fun time with his buddy, Freeman! Here are some pictures of his evening out.

Kelly and Freeman at their tailgate party. There were several other people they work with at the game, so they all hung out together before it started.

This picture is of Kurt Warner, Arizona's QB, being interviewed by Emmitt Smith and Steve Young. This was Kelly's closest encounter to "famous people!"

Our kids favorite activity, as of late, is going on bike rides. Now that it is cooler, it is a lot more enjoyable to ride our bikes.

This is Katelyn's first time in the bike trailor. She had a pretty good time!

My kitchen does not always look like this. Just when I am cooking 12 dinners all at the same time. I joined 5 other friends in making freezer meals. Each month we decide on two different meals and make them six times. Then we meet together and exchange our meals. So, we end up with an assortment of 12 meals that are frozen and ready to cook.

It was quite the ordeal the first time around. I did not plan very well and I ended up shopping and cooking all the same day. I don't recommend it. But, now I know what to do for next month.

After a long day of cooking and mess making, this is what my finished project looked like. Today was our exchange day. Now I have pizza, soup, enchiladas, quesadillas, stuffed shells, chicken pillows, and cheesy potato casserole in my freezer!

This is how everything looks when it is all said and done! It feels so good knowing I have dinner for 12 nights all ready to go. I don't have to plan a menu and shop for it all, at least for a couple more weeks! Wish me luck in my new endeavor!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good News...and Bad News....

Our very good friends, the Wrights, are moving to Iowa in a couple of weeks. We are not happy one bit! I was talking to Connor about Kutter moving away and this how the conversation went:

Mom: "Connor, Kutter will be moving soon."
Connor: "Well, not if his dad doesn't get a new job."
Mom: "His dad did get a new job."
Connor: "He, did?" (said in the saddest tone you have ever heard)
Mom: "They are moving to Iowa."
Connor: "Mom, there is some good news and some bad news."
Mom: "What is the bad news?" (I always want the bad news first.)
Connor: "The good news is Kutter gave me something to remember him that I put in my special box. The bad news is, I am really going to miss Kutter."

Okay, I just got teary eyed writing this. How are we ever going to get through the saying goodbye part? We love you Wrights and will miss you ever so much!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to You!

Today is Kelly’s 29th birthday! I already posted 50 things to know about him for our anniversary. So, I am stealing this from my friend Sara’s blog. I hope you don’t mind Sara! I needed something to post for his birthday and I thought this was fun! Here goes Birthday Boy!

How long did you date? We started dating at the beginning of our junior year of High school. We were married 4 months after he returned from his mission.

How long have you been married? 7 years.

What does he do that surprises you? He can make dinner and entertain the kiddos at the same time without complaining about it. Complete opposite of me!

What is your favorite feature of his? This sounds weird, but I love his hair after it has been cut. He is extra attractive to me after a fresh haircut.

What is your favorite quality of his? This is hard because there are so many qualities that I love. One of my favorites is how he will be himself no matter what. He doesn’t even think twice about what someone might think of him. So many times he has to remind me not to worry about what anyone else thinks. I constantly worry if I think I have hurt someone’s feelings or if someone will be offended if I do or say something a certain way. He is great a just not worrying about those types of things. He is equally good at showing people the same respect. He respects people's oppinions and thoughts just the same.

Does he have a nickname for you? Meggie or Meg

What is his favorite color? He doesn’t have one. Really, he likes them all!

What is his favorite food? The easier question is what isn’t his favorite food? The only thing he won’t touch is olives. Anything else tastes like heaven to him! He will eat anything that is given to him.

What is his favorite sport? Kelly is very athletic and competitive. He loves to watch and play anything, but his favorites are football and basketball.

When and where was your first kiss? He gave me a quick peck on the cheek after our first date as we were standing on his doorstep. There was a second date a couple of days later and that is when we had a real kiss!

Do you have any children? 3 crazy, busy, wonderful kids!

Does he have any hidden talents? Kelly can fix anything and put anything together. He is also crafty and artsy!

How old is he? 29.

Who said I love you first? He did.

What is his favorite type of music? He likes anything but country.

Do you think he will read this? Yes, he reads my blog when I tell him that there is something new on it.

Happy birthday to a wonderful husband, father, and friend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween, Max Black Cat Zierse, & Megan Gets Crafty!

Here are our Halloween pictures! We had a fun time trick-or-treating this year. Kelly was able to get the day off. It was nice because this was the first time in 4 years that he didn't have to work on Halloween! The kids enjoyed the festivities but were tired and ready to be done around 7:00, which surprised me a little. Carson knew his part well. He would knock on the door, give the right command, scrunch up his little face, and then in his best pirate voice say,"Arrgh, Lady (matey)." Here are some pictures of our little spooks!

Meet the newest member of the family. This is Max or Black Cat. We don't know for sure what the name is yet! Carson calls him Black Cat and Connor calls him Max. However, Carson gets upset when he is called Max. As of right now his name is Max Black Cat Zierse! He is a cute and cuddly little kitty. He isn't quite sure of Sadie yet. Actually, Sadie is a little more scared of the cat than the cat of Sadie! Carson is always looking out for his kitten. He makes sure he has food and water. He also gets him a blankie and he even shared his Popsicle with him! Hopefully the novelty of taking care of a kitten doesn't wear off too soon!

My friend had a craft day at her house last weekend and I made this lovely Christmas topiary. It turned out very cute and I have even made a second one since. I am blessed to have some very talented crafters in my ward and with their help, I am trying to follow along! I have made some other really fun things for my house in the past couple of weeks. Thanks friends!