Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It's interesting that the question of the day on my LDS Journal would be, "How has the Lord blessed me today?" The Lord blessed me today in a conversation I had a few days ago with my mom. On Sunday I called up, defeated and tired and overwhelmed. It is the same thing over and over again, the duties of mom, yw Pres., student, wife, housekeeper..etc..are daunting and sometimes they get to me.

My mom listened to me complain and then said, "lizzie, my biggest regret with you kids is that I didn't get down on the floor and play with you and leave the laundry and dishes to be done another day. They'll always be there, but your kids won't always be young."

Well, yesterday on Monday, I tried to do it, but I just couldn't. Then Brandon ended up home early and I ran some errands. I went to bed last night thinking that I really needed to spend quality time with my kids.

Now here is how the Lord blessed me. He gave me the desire to serve my girls today by having fun with them. First we cleaned up..they helped! Then we played Old Maid. It was so much fun, Katelyn ended up trying to sneak the Old Maid into my cards and it ended up in a ticklefest, which resulting in flying the girls like superheros. They lean their bellies against my raised feet and soar above the sky. Then we played monsters and I chased them around.

This afternoon I decided we'd have a great activity. We each drew a family member's name and went to the dollar store with the mission to buy a gift for that person. Anna drew Ellie and picked out a mini baby doll. Katelyn picked me, and spent 30 mins rumuging thru the isles trying to find just the "perfect gift". She got me a reed diffuser, I am so excited to try it! Ofcourse that meant that Ellie and I had Katelyn and Anna's names. I picked out two bottles of silly string and we were off. They had no idea what I had bought.

When we arrived home I had them go through a series of activities to earn their prize. When they accomplished the list I had them go outside, sit down and close their eyes. Then I proceeded to spray them with silly string. Then they sprayed me. We ran around chasing each other, spraying each other and laughing our heads off. It was priceless!!!!

After that I got the insane idea to build a fire in our fire pit and roast marshmellows. So we did. The girls had fun gathering tinder for the fire and I loved cooking marshmellows. It's one of my favorite things in the whole world!

It's only 4pm, they are sitting, playing in the bath. I smell like smoke and i love it. The dishes did get done, the laundry is put away, piano practicing accomplished. But also, my girls are laughing in the tub, Ellie is playing quietly by my side and there is a fort to get to downstairs in my living room.

Today the Lord has blessed me! He's blessed me to enjoy my children to love their laughter and twinkling eyes. To rejoice in their strong desire to serve one another and the love they have for each other. He's blessed me! Not only today but always to be a Mother in Zion. Which gift is one of the greatest gifts given to a latter-day saint lady.

When the days are long and hard and tiring and overwhelming and the dishes and laundry pile high to the sky, I hope the Lord will bless me to enjoy the silly string moments of life. They pass all too quickly!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Recitals, WiseWOMEN, Talents and Stitches

What do all these things have in common? They've all taken place in our family in the past week. And just when I thought life was slowin' down...

1. Recitals

Katelyn had her first piano recital on the 12th. She played three songs, "Christmas Time" (think Alvin and the Chipmunks), a great rendition of "Up on the Housetop," and "Graduation Song." She did an awesome job with NO mistakes.

After the piano portion she made a quick clothing change and danced a ballet to "Who Would Send a Baby," sung by another student. Katelyn was so graceful, she did such an incredible job.
(Pix and video to follow as soon as I figure out the video thing)

2. WiseWOMEN

Friday morning Anna had her Christmas program at school. We were all trying to figure out what part she would play in the Nativity play.

Katelyn kept quizzing her, "are you a ______" with every part of the nativity. Anna kept saying, "NO!" Then Katelyn dragged Anna over to our nativity and proceeded to ask her the same question while holding each piece individually. Then Katelyn pointed to the wisemen and said, "Are you THIS one?"

Anna said, "Yes, that's me!! I carry a gold gift to Jesus." So Katelyn said, "See, you are a wiseman." And Anna said, "No, I'M NOT!".

Well this bantering went on for a minute till' I threatened with, "Santa's Elves are watching..."

When we got to Anna's school for the performance I brought Anna over to her teacher and her teacher said, "oh Here's Anna. It's our WiseWOMEN!"

Anna was right she wasn't a Wiseman, She was a WiseWOMEN. DUH!

3. Talent Shows

If you know Katelyn you know she is super super shy in most circumstances. So imagine my surprise when she announced she wanted to do the talent show. She did this last year too and did a wonderful ballet that she did not get to preform because we ended up being in Utah for Grandpa Weilenmann's funeral.

Anyways, this year she decided she wanted to play the piano. She did the same 2 Christmas pieces from her recital. She was second to last in 22 acts, and if you can imagine an entire elementary school waiting you'll probably figure out that it was less than quiet.

As soon as Katelyn sat down at the piano it got quieter. Then she pulled out her music--1 song was 4 pages and we had copied and taped them to make one long page. When she set that up there was a "Wow" that echoed through the gymnasium. She played each piece and did an INCREDIBLE job.

She's only 7 and she played her songs in front of then entire school, and parents how had come to watch!

4. Stitches

It was pouring rain on Friday when we came out of the school after the talent show. We were rushing to get the girls in the van and ourselves. Well Brandon jumped in the drivers side and started up the car. I ran to the passenger side and with my head down threw open the door. And I threw it open right into my forehead about 1 inch above my right eyebrow.

Instinctively I grabbed my forehead and thought, "Ouch!" Only trouble was in the process of grabbing my forehead I felt open skin, and then pouring blood. So needless to say we went straight to the Dr. and I received 4 stitches...there goes my modeling career =).

So after last week I'm sure this week will be more relaxing, starting with the craziness of our playgroup Christmas party which I'm hosting in T MINUS 4 hours...Ok, maybe the relaxation will begin tomorrow...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My daughters the photographers

In our family we have 2 cameras, one point and click and one more serious one. I tend to lean toward the small camera because it's easy, point, click, walah...

I seem to shy away from Brandon's camera. Seriously I have anxiety attacks whenever I HAVE to use it. So many buttons, so little knowledge.

Recently Katelyn and Anna have developed an increased interest in all things photography. This is due in large part to Brandon. So lately I've noticed my small, uninteresting camera has grown legs and walked itself right off the countertop and hidden in some little place, under the couch, on the tv, upstairs in the girls bunk beds...I just can't seem to keep track of it.

So I downloaded the pictures and did a little investigating...lookey what I found. Silly Girls!!!

Yummy Taco Soup and Homemade Corn Bread

So not too long ago I found myself in a cooking rut. Each day as the minutes clicked closer and closer to dinner I found myself deeper and deeper in despair. "What am I going to make for dinner?" Ugh...and then we'd end up with soup and sandwiches. And one a few occasions 1.00 burgers from Burger King.

Then I had an awakening. Maybe if I tried NEW recipes, and blogged about the successes/failures I might have more fun cooking. It worked!
Anna and I made this delicious slow cooker taco soup and homemade corn bread. Yum is all I can say, it turned out delicious.

In regards to the Book of Mormon challenge, I'm pleased to say I'm still on track. Only 4 days in, but it stills feels like a MAJOR accomplishment to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The 40 Day Book of Mormon Challenge

This year I have suffered from the bah humbug illness. I've been neglecting my Christmas decorating and shopping and cooking. I know it's only December 2nd, but time goes by so quickly lately. The other morning I rolled out of bed and told Brandon, "you are in charge of Christmas." As late as yesterday afternoon I wanted nothing to do with it. Don't get me wrong I was excited to celebrate our Savior's life and birth, but I was having trouble figuring out just how to do that.

Well I happened upon a website that gave a great suggestion. It was to read the Book of Mormon in 40 days. So I committed to it, yesterday I read 1 Nephi 1-10. Wow, what an incredible read it was. I know it's only been a day, but guess what? This morning I woke up, remembered to say my morning prayers, hummed a quick hymn and wham...I thought, "hey I think I'll put up the Christmas stuff today."

So I pulled down boxes, set up trees, chased down 4 year olds with breakable ornaments and loving set up baby Jesus and his manger (my favorite decoration). In the midst of that I made a killer Taco Soup (recipe and pix to follow tomorrow, can't post pics from the laptop), created homemade corn bread, and baked a million dozen chocolate chip cookies. I shopped for the YW's activity tonight and refereed a playdate for Anna. WOW.

That is more than I have accomplished in one day in quite a long time. And to what do I attribute those super human powers? You guessed it; 1 Nephi 1-10.

My tree is decorated and lit, the stockings are hung on the banister with care, the soups in the freezer for another meal to come, and I'm about to read 1 Nephi 11-15 by the glowing lights of my Christmas tree.

Today I've come full circle. I added light to my house in many different forms. I added the light of Christ through my scripture study and prayer (sad to say but I've not done too great lately), I added the lights on the Christmas tree and because of all I accomplished today, tomorrow will be lighter.

So want to join me in this enlightening pursuit? Go Here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not Your Grandma's Chicken Soup

This is so not my Grandma's Soup. If my Grandma were making this soup it would include a home roasted chicken, and delicious home made noodles. But as life would have it I've learned I'm terrible at roasting chickens and think homemade noodles are well, just an achievement I'll not tackle today....

So instead I cheat. I use frozen chicken breast and No Yolk noodles...

The List of ingredients is:
1. 1 lb of chicken breast
2. sliced carrots, celery and onion
3. No Yolk Egg noodles
4. 2 boxes of Chicken Stock
5. 2 cans of Vegtable Stock
6. Pepper, Salt and Italian Seasoning
7. 2 Tbsp Butter

Step #1

Boil 1 Lb of Chicken Breast, you can do this while the chicken is frozen. Boil until Chicken is slightly pink in the center. It will cook the rest of the way through in the broth.

While chicken is boiling chop up 1 cup of celery, 1 cup diced onion and 2 cups of sliced carrots.

Start water boiling and cook noodles according to package.

Step #2

Melt 2 TBSPs of butter with the celery and onion. Saute on Medium heat for 2-3 mins.

Add carrots and saute for 2-3 more minutes. Then add chicken breasts (chopped). Then add the 2 boxes of chicken stock and 2 cans of vegtable stock. Also add 3 cups of cooked No Yolk Noodles. Season to liking. Bring entire ingredients to a boil and then reduce to medium heat for 20 minutes.


Enjoy! We did with sour dough bread and it was delicious!

A Day In the Life Of....

My Camera Crazy Children

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Part III

On Friday we all went together to see Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it was fantastic. We couldn't resist snapping a quick picture of this handsome line of people. Don't worry we only used the flash before the movie started. We also learned how many buckets of popcorn it takes to feed all of us. It was the most delicious lunch and breakfast for some.

Friday night we had a friend gingerbread competition, a lovely italian pasta night and fun with funny nose cups.

On Saturday thanks to Missy and Jays great planning and Megan and Matthew's babysitting skills we had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the Washington DC Temple for sealings. It was such a comforting, blessed experience. My highlight of the trip.

Later that evening Missy came with us to see the house I (Liz) lived in when I was born. It was fun to see. And then we made a night-time run to the monuments of DC. So amazing. Unfortunately this brought us to the end of our trip. And 10 hrs in the car got us home Sunday evening.
Now we are busy planning for next year. Thanks Again Missy and Jay you and your family are remarkable!

Thankgiving Part II

On Thanksgiving Day everyone journeyed downtown to view the National Museums. (With the exception of Liz and Ellie who stayed back the Hotel while Liz was sick). But the rest of the family had a great adventure. If you ever visit DC the Museums are open year round and Thanksgiving day is the perfect time to go. They are usually not crowded, parking is easier to come by and you can see more than a few museums in one day.

On the way to Aunt Missys to meet the crew Anna bit into a glitter pen. I'm sure that's just what Brandon wanted to see when he was starting his day off as the lone parent of the girls. He couldn't resist a picture. I think Anna knows she's in trouble. The best news is we don't think the ink is toxic...she's currently doing fine...though a call to poison control might have been adventagious.

I called Brandon on his cell and found out that the girls were really really tired of walking and pretty cold so he treated them to an IMAX. I LOVE this picture!

Here's the whole crew. We loved getting to know Miranda, Dave, Milo and Kate and Eric better. Milo and Ellie are just a few weeks different in age, they were so cute together...Milo is such a little gentlemen. We learned that Kate is expecting their first later this spring. We are so excited for Eric and her. Dave and Eric Anderson are Brandon's cousins.

I felt bad to miss out on that fun adventure, but thankfully felt pretty good that night to enjoy the incredible Thankgiving dinner at the Livingstons. A wonderful feast included my very favorite stuffing balls, rolls, onion gravy and cranberry relish.

Thanksgiving in Virginia

We had a great trip to Virginia/DC this past week. It was so much fun to see the Livingstons, the Andersons and the Andersons... Here are a few highlights from the trip.

This was our favorite exhibit of the entire zoo, the green tongued cuties. I think they are an endagered species, because they don't come any cuter than these 3.

On our entire drive from South Carolina Katelyn and Anna kept saying the only animal they wanted to see at the zoo were the elephants. When we first arrived at the zoo we found the exhibit was under construction and there were NO ELEPHANTS TO BE FOUND. Insert Parent Panic now!!! Thankfully on our way back to car we heard an incredible roar; truth that prayers are answered =).
So...we journeyed up the hill and what to our suprise should appear, but 3 giant African elephants and a 7 year-old grinning from ear to ear...

See the relief in my smile? That pink mound of blankets is Ellie Bells.

So precious...in front of the "Anna"condas.

The Nutcracker

We love this time of year! The girls have the opportunity to dance in a great production of the Nutcracker. This year Anna was incredible as a baby mouse and Katelyn sure acted the part of the Toy Soldier.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

more pictures from UT/CO


Our Summer Trip to UT and CO

Well it seems like it takes the same force needed to move mountains to get anything posted on our blog. But I'm sure all 2 of our followers are patient enough...

Things are a bit crazy with 3 girls. Somedays I might manage a shower, and on a really good day I even get make up on, and on a really really good day (doesn't happen often) I get my hair done as well.

Anyways, enough with the insanity that is my truly loved life....

This summer we went home to Utah for Justin and Amy's Wedding (Welcome Amy!!!); Ellie's baby blessing; a trip to Pogosa Springs, CO with Steve and Carolyn; a 10 year class reunion; the Fourth of July in Blanding; and a few days in Midway, UT!

Our trip this year included a LOT of driving, some harrowing cliff face climbs, a few history lessons, and many other fun adventures...

Brandon, Anna and Peter tubing down the San Juan River in Pogosa Springs...the guy at the tube shop said they weren't renting tubes because the river was too high. This guy was huge and he told us, "I wouldn't go down myself." So...being the industrious, smart people we are... we decided to rent the life jackets and buy our own tubes (yes we took one home...all the way to SC) and go down the dangerously high river with our young kids... We tried it out on Peter and Anna first. If they survived we knew we'd be ok....jk...the adults went first and then we took the kids. I say "we" in the loosest of terms, since I, myself, did not participate.

Ellie's baby blessing. Funny girl was pleasant the entire day with exception to during her blessing. She fussed the whole time. Brandon passed to her the most beautiful blessing.

Justin and Amy's wedding. Congrats guys! It was a beautiful day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I feel bad that I haven't updated for so long. Here is a few recent pics of Ellie

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Verizon Heritage PGA Tournament

Brandon and the girls spent a day at the Verizion Heritage at HarbourTown golf links. They spent time gaining autographs and meeting with various golfers. Anna had one stint where she ran onto the fairway on the 17th. After a little negotiation she came back to the bleachers. Overall, the weather was beautiful and the golf was good.

Anna meets with Boo Weekley - former Verizon Heritage champion.

Brandon, Katelyn and Anna on the famous 18th

Katelyn and Anna with Ernie Ells (The Big Easy)

Photo with Brandt Snedeker - He had a big showing at the masters last year but hasn't done much since.

HarbourTown - pond on the 16th

HarbourTown - 15th fairway

Katelyn and Bill Lunde

Not sure what this guy's name is but he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express

Kateleyn and her collection of signatures