Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa Made an Early Stop!

I made it on Santa's good list so he brought me these beauties a little early!

Carson has been fascinated with them. Quite frankly, I have enjoyed watching a little bit too!

I don’t know what I like most, the shiny red color, that it weighs the load and automatically fills the right amount of water, the amount of energy it will save, or the fun little tune it plays to indicate the cycle is over!

If only it would fold and put away the mounds of laundy I seem to do each week! That would definitely make for the perfect gift!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Traditions

One tradition that my family started years ago, is going to Winder Dairy for scones and hot chocolate! Because we lived in Arizona, the last time we were able to participate in this activity was when Connor was 8 months old!

This last week we joined some of my family members and we headed to the dairy for some good old fun! The scones there are so yummy!

Here are some pictures of the night.

Yummiest Cookie Ever!

This is the time of year for baking and sharing goodies! This is a must try cookie recipe. I made them yesterday and out of three dozen, there is just one left! I might be heading out to the store so I can make some more. These are so soft, chewy, and delish! Enjoy.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix (any variety)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 C oil
2 eggs
2 Tbsp water

1 (10 oz) bag Nestle dark chocolate and mint morsels

Mix cake mix, eggs, oil, and water until soft dough forms
Fold in morsels. Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On a Roll!

Since Kelly was home today and entertaining the children I decided I would catch up on some blogging. I got it all done! So here you go. Scroll down to see all 5 of my new entries!

Yummy Soup For the Soul!

I don't know about you, but I love a good soup on a chilly night! This soup is so delightful, I have to share it!

Creamy Ham and Potato Soup:

3 1/2 Cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 Cup diced celery
1/3 Cup finely chopped onion
1/2 Cup diced carrots
1 Cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon pepper
5 Tablespoon butter
5 Tablespoon flour
2 Cups milk

Combine all the vegetables (I actually put in a little bit more of the veggies than what was called) ham and broth in a stockpot (because I added a little more veggies, I also added a little water to the stockpot.) Bring to a boil and cook over med heat until potatoes are tender (about 10-15 min.)

In a separate saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick. Slowly add in milk so lumps don't form. Continue stirring over med-low heat until thick, 4-5 minutes.

Stir in milk mixture to stock pot, cook until heated through.

Top with shredded cheese, green onion, and bacon, if desired.

Yesterday was Kelly's birthday and he decided he wanted to go to Fatcats to celebrate!

Yummy pizza

and bowling!

We also got Grandma and Grandpa Z to tag along!

Happy Birthday to the best husband and daddy in the whole world!

Kate Gets Earrings!

The closer Katelyn got to turning three, the more I began to wonder if she would be in diapers indefinitely! She had absolutely no desire to give potty training a try.

Her third birthday came and went and Kate was still in diapers.

Finally I just decided that I would try again, with full force! I might not have any hair left and my other kids would probably want to stay far away, but nevertheless, I was going to try. It was two days of crying and whining and fighting, but after those two days, it was a sinch! She did so well, minimal accidents and she also stays dry at night! So, I am convinced, the older the child, the easier it is (at least in Kate's case!)

To celebrate her success, and no more diaper duty for Katelyn, she got her ears pierced.

For the first few days she would just stare at her new ears. She loves her earrings!

Since I am on the subject of Katelyn, I thought I would throw in these two super cute pictures of her!

Jace loves the cat......

Not so sure the cat has the same feelings for Jace!

A Road Trip

We decided since the kids off track break fell over Halloween, we would take a little road trip to visit some friends in Buckeye. I had mixed feelings about making the 12 hour drive with an infant who hates being in the car! But we would make a pit stop in Vegas to see Kelly's brother and his family, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad. And to our surprise, he did great (thank goodness!)

First we spent a couple of days in Vegas. I don't know why but I didn't even get my camera out of the car! So unfortunately, no pictures. We had a great visit with them. Katelyn was especially in heaven because they have three little girls. With three little girls comes an endless supply of dolls, princesses and dress up clothes! She isn't used to having so much girly things at her fingertips!We even got a babysitter and had dinner with Jim and Emily at Serendipity at Cesar's Palace. YUM! For dessert we shared a giant cup of frozen hot chocolate. That was definitely a good time!

I forgot that Jim took this with his phone and sent it to us! So I got one picture after all!

Then we would continue our drive to Phoenix. We got to drive over the newly finished bridge at the Hoover Dam. We watched that thing be constructed over our many trips home over the last 6 years. It was fun to get to drive over the finished product. And also not having to drive over the dam in the awful traffic was a plus!

On our first day there, Kelly went to work with Freeman. Just like the good old days! Except this time they weren't riding along on their bicycles :( It was fun for them to reminisce and hang out together doing what they love. They even came upon some of the hoodlums that they had arrested in earlier years.

Good friends enjoying a movie!

While the boys played, (okay, while the men went to work) we took the kids to Connor's old school to their Halloween carnival. Connor enjoyed seeing old friends and his 1st grade teacher.

Here is Connor and his friend Cassidy.

Another activity on our trip was going to one of our favorite parks in Scottsdale, the train park.

Nate and Kate are so cute!

Waiting for the train.

And of course, a ride on the carousel.

What's a trip to the park without playing catch with your buddy?

Another park to visit!

We took a picnic to another favorite park in Estrella Mountain Ranch.

Tiffany and Freeman are making Z's with there fingers for Zierse!

Some other friends came to join us. Here I am with two great gals, JoAnna and Christy!

Kelly and Freeman being goofy, again!

Katelyn, Connor, Carson, and Little Freeman at the trunk or treat.

We got to go to the Halloween activity at the church and see some more great friends!

We had a wonderful visit and it was great to see so many of our friends. Being there made me miss it and I asked Kelly if we were too young to be snowbirds! Thanks Tiffany and Freeman for letting us crash your place and hang out!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Little.........Off Track!

Last week was the first week of being off track from school. Because our kids are always asking if we can do something fun (they are so like their mother and never want to stay home,) we decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and take a drive to the Zoo.

It was a little late in the afternoon and the outing had potential to be a disaster. However, it was quite the opposite. It was one of those times when you think that your kids are pretty perfect! No one whined, complained, fought, cried (well with the exception of Carson falling and skinning his knee because he was watching where he was going!) It was just a great family experience! But don't let me fool you, this great behavior can't last forever!

Katelyn looking in on the monkeys.

We also had a chance to see Zuri, the baby elephant. So sweet!

So I already mentioned how the kids were perfect : ). Well, so was the weather. Such a pleasant evening! Also, the scenery was so beautiful. I had never been to the zoo in the fall and the leaves were absolutely amazing.

I wish I had a better lens for this shot. It was a little eerie having this tiger staring at us, even with the cage separating us!

Ah, so sweet!

What a fun night at the zoo!

Another activity this week was going swimming.

Jace is proving to follow in his siblings footsteps and loves the pool! We just might have another swimmer on our hands!

So that's that! Fun times are to continue as we drive South to spend Halloween in Phoenix!