Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in review

2010 was an okay year for us. We had our share of ups and downs, just like everyone else. The best part is there were no crazy medical things for us! First time in forever! Brian however, struggled to keep a welding job. Every time they discovered he had a pacemaker, they found some reason to lay him off. So he started back in school and hopefully things will be going our way again soon. We did lots of things and made a lot of progress when Brian was employed. I am VERY proud of us! I switched to teaching Kindergarten this year and LOVE it so much better than 5th grade. We had a lot of blessings come our way too which made the year even more wonderful!

Not that it matters to anyone else, but here is a recap of my 2010 resolutions.

(1) renovate the house - We got almost everything done. All that's left inside is to finish the storage room, tile a backsplash in the kitchen and put new floor boards in our bedroom. We got as far as we could before Brian went back to school.
(2) finish writing my first novel (I'm on chapter 16) - I finished it!!! It's 40 chapters long. I'm now doing some major editing.
(3) get pregnant - This did not happen, but, I did figure out what is going on medically that is preventing it and there is hope.
(4) complete all my scrapbooking up to the time my pictures went digital (that right there should let you know I'm YEARS behind) - I'm SO close. I didn't quite make it but not for lack of trying. I only have about 8 months left.
(5) get my official teaching license - DONE!!
(6) create 10 (or more) recipes that are my own (YUMMY!) - I created quite a few more than 10. I don't profess they are a new idea, or something people have never heard of. I see something that looks good and I create my own version. I have a cool book I look in to see what foods go well together, and have fun being creative. You can see all my recipes at http://sallys-smorsels.blogspot.com
(7) have a 2 year food supply and 72 hour kits - with all the renovating I didn't get to this. Then the money ran out. I'll have to carry this one over because it's important to me.
(8) exercise 3 (or more) times a week - I didn't start the year out doing this, but the year did end like this. I usually exercise 5 or 6 days a week.
(9) read the Ensign every month - um...no.
(10) finish all the CURRENT items on my "crafty to-do" list - yes and no. See, the problem is, I come up with new craft projects that are WAY more fun than the ones on my list. So I made lots of crafty things, but I did not complete my list.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Gifts

Bah! I've got a LOT of catching up to do. I think I just uploaded pictures for eight blogs. YIKES! Okay, so here are some fun Christmas gifts I made (or had made) that I want to remember. So I'm blogging about them.
I had my sister, Amy, for Christmas this year. I had a million different ideas before I finally came up with this one. The minute I thought it, I knew it was the ONE. Amy LOVES frogs (not the real kind) and has used the same frog costume at Halloween with all her kiddos. So cute! So I stole the pictures, blew them up, and made this. Isn't is awesome!! I got the board and all the supplies (including the cut vinyl) at the Wood Connection. I love that store. But I love the gift even more. It turned out so cute and I knew Amy would LOVE it!

In Brian's family, they always exchange white elephant gifts for Christmas. I have had this idea for years, but never got it put together. Brian's sister, Robin, took this photo of Brian when he was in high school. We ended up inheriting it after we were married. It was at least 11x16, if not larger. Seriously, what am I going to do with it? So I sent it away to a puzzle company, who cut it into a puzzle for me! Then I wrapped it up, and gave it away as a white elephant gift!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

We spent Christmas in Idaho this year. It was a fun trip! We didn't get there until Christmas Eve afternoon but lucky for us, we didn't miss out on any of the fun. Oh, and just a warning - this post has LOTS of pictures.

So here we are all gathered in the living room. We all wrote down what we were thankful for and put it in a box. Then Dad read all the thankful papers. Here is Whitney, Brian, J.T. and Darlene.

 J.T., Darlene, Kim, Ana holding Cassie, Aaron behind, Abbie and Chris in front.

Amelia, Amy, Katie, Erika, Robin and Joel.

Joel, Justin, Kenzie, Emily, Dad and Mom.

We had a pinata this year. So cute! The string at the bottom was so each child could pull on it and the bottom would eventually open. Well, it didn't work. Second child in and the string came off but the box was closed.

So the kids decided to punch the bottom instead.

It only took a couple of kids and the bottom opened, flooding the floor with candy (and kids!)

The Morris family always goes caroling on Christmas Eve. We make quite a large group, don't we? One older lady was all ready for us. She had cups sitting out and hot cider waiting on the stove. 

When we get back from caroling, Santa has been there and left a sack of presents. 

Here are some random photos of people opening their Santa gift.

For the last TWO years, Grandma (mom) spent lots of time making an afghan for every grandchild! Each child got to pick their own pattern and colors. Every afghan turned out amazing. I couldn't leave a single one out so enjoy as you scroll through all the pictures.

 Brian and I don't have any kids (yet) so we got two small afghans for our cats! :)

After Santa gifts and Grandma/Grandpa gifts, we do a white elephant gift exchange. This year we brought a puzzle that is a picture of Brian when he was younger and an Emergency Torch, made of a plunger, toilet paper and matches.

 We stayed overnight at Robin and Joel's and spent Christmas morning with them. Here are their girls, Whitney, Abbie and Kenzie waiting to go into the living room.

The weekend was filled with lots of family time. We visited, laughed and enjoyed being with each other. It was a wonderful way to spend Christmas. When we got home, we gave our cats their Christmas presents. They settled right down and have spent hours on their blankets every day since.
 Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Remodel Fest - Bedroom

There has not been much remodeling going on since this summer, when Brian lost his job. However, there were (and still are) a few things we can still do that we already bought and paid for. Remember earlier this year, when I painted the master bedroom with one green wall and three taupe ones? Well, I REALLY liked the green, so I asked for votes, and everyone sided with me. The room needed to be green. This room has truthfully been painted for a long time. I didn't take pictures because I was waiting for the closet doors to get put up, (and still am waiting...anyone want to help me?) but that's not happening and I wanted to get this documented and up on the blog. For my own sake. Isn't it so pretty? I LOVE my green bedroom!

I Got Spoiled

My Kindergarteners (okay, their parents) really spoiled me this year. Check out all my goods! The picture doesn't really do it justice - there is a lot of stuff there. I'm one lucky teacher.

School Pictures

Introducing.... Mrs. Morris....Kindergarten teacher. Did you know I switched to Kindergarten this year? That's probably why I'm smiling bigger and don't have huge black circles under my eyes in this picture. Yep, it's that time of year again. Okay, actually I've had these pictures for probably two months, I just haven't blogged them. Too busy. Way to busy. But now the end of the year is coming and I have to get them up. For myself. Because I'm hoping someday in the future I'll care and be sad if I miss even one year. Then again, maybe I won't. Doesn't matter though, here is the picture. On a SUPER happy side note, I had to get new work pants, and much to my joy and happiness - they were not one but TWO sizes smaller than the ones I was replacing. Go me! Go me! Now if I could just convince the camera guy to move his camera, so he didn't take the picture from up above me...

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Girls Christmas Party 2010

Friday night was the par-tay of all parties! While the guys did guy things, us ladies exchanged gifts. The rules for this year was $5.00 and homemade. All the gifts were so amazing we are thinking it should be our tradition every year.

Here is Laraine with the frame I made her. There was some trama involved in the making of this, but it turned out pretty dang cute!

Cute Quinn is helping me open my gift of super cute fridge magnets.

 Brendee Weston and a cool decoration for her house.

Kirsten with a homemade stocking (on the table) and some fridge magnets made of pictures of her and her hubbie.

Marissa showing off her new ring.

Crystal was also there. But, my camera battery ran out right as she was opening her gift. Sorry, Crystal!! She got the cutest decoration made of candy and peanuts. My explanation would never do it's cuteness justice. Afterwards, we watched a movie. Well, everyone else watched a movie while I curled up and went promptly to sleep. Don't blame me people, I teach Kindergarten. I'm so lucky to have such great friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Goodie Plates 2010

Christmas is coming...the Goodie Plates have been handed out!

This year, for my Goodie Plates, I decided to make only cookies that were not on my blog. For some of these cookies, they were brand new recipes for me. I LOVE brand new recipes! So here is my annual picture of the goods. For the recipes - check out my recipe blog: http://sallys-smorsels.blogspot.com/ All the recipes will be up by the 21st. Then stay tuned for a delicious breakfast idea that is perfect for Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 - in Minnesota

For Thanksgiving this year the Ehlerts invited us to come play at their house in Minnesota. There was no way we were going to turn down that offer. So we happily headed down to Provo on Tuesday morning to pick up Sara and head to the airport before the supposed big blizzard hit Utah. Here is Brian and Sara on the plane.

Once we got to the airport there was a box waiting for us to take to Minnesota. Inside was the tinest, cutest puppy ever. Poor thing was shaking from fright, so we snuggled him right up and he provided lots of entertainment on the trip. He was a surprise present for Sara's Grandma Ehlert.

We had to fly to Las Vegas and wait for several hours for the flight to Minnesota. We headed to a restaurant for lunch that had an outdoor patio. We had to take the dog with us and unless he got huge and served for the blind, there was no way anyone would let us inside. The only problem was, it was freezing in Las Vegas and sitting outside, with ice water no less, we were turning into popsicles. So we ordered it to go and ate at the airport. Here are Sara, the puppy and I waiting for our food. They even wanted to kick us off the outdoor patio but when the manager saw how tiny the puppy was, she told us we could stay.

At the Vegas airport we let the puppy run around and discovered he doesn't really run. He pounces and jumps and wags his tail so hard he can't keep his back end straight. And when you would hold him, he would wiggle around a lot. So I temporarily named him Noodle. After a small peeing on the floor incident (which was totally cleaned up, don't worry) Noodle fell soundly asleep. I had to take this picture to show just how tiny he is.

We arrived in Minnesota late Tuesday night, handed off the puppy to a very excited Grandma and headed off to sleep. The next morning all the kids, except Sara and Xander, headed off to school. Now Xander loves to experiment and build things. He will randomly mix things from the kitchen (such as flour, oatmeal and water) just to see what happens. He also has a cupboard full of empty cereal boxes, milk jugs, water bottles, etc. The first morning we were there he wanted to build a rocket. So Brian and him worked hard to build a really cool one. Here is the rocket close up before it got fins.

Xander also wanted to launch the rocket and figured we could go outside and light it on fire. After explaining that his rocket would burn and not launch, we thought of some other ideas, such as air. We tried to use a bicycle pump but the air wasn't strong enough.

By this time Ben got home from school and joined us. Together, Brian and Ben figured out the perfect plan. The original launch pad was a cereal box with a small hole cut to fit a paper towel roll. Then they opened one end of the box and attached a cereal bag, taping it really well so no air could escape. They would blow through the paper towel roll to fill the bag with air and it was ready to launch.

Brian and I tried hard to convince Xander his rocket needed fins but he insisted that rockets were "just plain". That is until Sara came along. Then he really, really wanted fins. So here they are adding the fins to the rocket.

Here is the final product. Xander (and I'll be honest - all the rest of us) LOVED the result. Here are two short little videos for you to watch and see just how amazing the rocket launched. You have to watch the rocket close to see where it goes because it's small. Sadly, later that day Xander either tried to wash the launch pad or fill it with water, and it was destroyed.
video

video


This is Shelby. I have never met her before and she is one of the cutest dogs ever. She loves whenever someone sits down and jumps right up to snuggle with you. She will fit her body into the tiniest of spaces. Isn't she such a pretty color too?

It's still our first day in Minnesota and we are not done with Alexander Sweet Awesome yet. Now he wanted boosters so he could go to the moon. Brian and Ben set out with more items from Xander's Mad Scientist cupboard and came up with this - a booster pack. We kept adding more and more things as time went on.

In the end his boosters had fire coming out of them, his helmet was covered in tin foil and had an antenna on it so he could hear in space, laser shooters on his hands, plus a mask, and an X belt. He was definitely ready to head off to space.

We also spent time helping around the house. There are a TON of dishes when there are 10 people eating.

We played a game called Ninja. For this particular game, cushions, blankets and pillows are piled on the floor. Then we throw them at each other, hide underneath them and run around on them. There is much giggling involved. Despite all the noise, Sara is diligently studying in the background.

There was also a massive nerf gun war downstairs. Huge forts were built to protect the onslaught. I should have gone down when the war first started. By this point, it was winding down so the pictures aren't too great. Here is Rebekah moving from one fort to another.

Brian attacking the other team. I made him pose for me and he ended up getting shot. Little did he know that was my plan! hehehe!

Darts and balls were flying everywhere. Once the guns were empty, they resorted to throwing the balls at the other team.

We played the game Speed a lot. We also played Settlers of Catan but I can't remember the official name. It was all the games combined. So there were settlements and water. Jennie and I were a team. We finally got to a great place to win and Ben skunked us.

For Turkey Lurky day we headed over to Kenny's parents house. Our appetizer was this turkey. Wendy found the idea online and Jennie, Xander, Greg and I built it. It was delicious! I didn't take any eating pictures, again, but the food was amazing. We all ate past the point of being stuffed. Kenny's mom, Ann, knows how to make some amazing mashed potatoes and gravy. Then we watched a movie, visited and found hidden 3D images in this fun book. And little Noodle, now Peppy, was there to entertain us again.

On Friday, we headed out to a tree farm. This has been a dream of mine forever. Seriously. I have always wanted to cut down my own tree. So I LOVED going with the Ehlerts. Here we are all loaded up on the hay ride out to the trees. It's me, Rebekah, Jennie, Joey, Sara, Kenny with Shelby, Wendy, Ben and Xander. Brian was taking the picture. It was the first day the tree farm was opened and it was packed.

We walked around for not too long before finding the perfect tree. Here is Kenny just finishing cutting it down.

Rebekah and Ben are holding the tree while Brian and Kenny cut off the unneeded branches at the bottom.

I LOVE this picture! A very nice lady next to us took the picture so we could all be in it with our amazing tree.

Xander loved the extra branches and carried them around for a long time. Once you have your tree, you stand by the side of the road and wait to get picked up. Back at the beginning, a full package comes with the tree. They shake the tree to get all the loose stuff off, they will cut a hole in it if you need it, and they wrap it in mesh for the ride home. They will even tie it to your vehicle if you need them to. Inside the building is a store with fun Christmas decorations and yummy smelling wreaths, and they give you free hot cider.

Friday night Brian and I headed over to Greg's house. We settled into the deluxe guest bedroom downstairs and then headed to Greg's favorite sushi place, Yumi's. He has been coming here for six years and knows everyone who works there. Yumi, the owner knows him by name. I felt fancy. Greg ordered us a lobster roll, and a crunchy tuna roll. I loved the crunchy tuna roll. Brian and Greg got some individual sushi rolls and I tried the octopus one. It was too rubbery for me but Brian and Greg loved it. We spent the night and most of the next day with Greg.

Here is what dinner looks like at the Ehlert's house. I was quite surprised that even with all the people around the table, there was still lots of room.

Saturday the tree and house were decorated. Didn't we find an amazing tree? And it smells delicious!! Sunday we went to church and hung out with Greg some more.

We also played the Wii a lot. Joey scored a 230 in bowling one time and Brian rocked at golf one game. We watched a couple of movies too. Basically, we spent a lot of time together and had a blast. It was definitely a week filled with fun memories for me. Thanks Ehlerts for everything!! We love you!