Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Fun!

My side of the table ...

The other side of the table ...

Katie and Me

Last night a few girls from our ward got together for a "twilight girls night out" dinner at the Claim Jumper.

I had a lot of fun. Sometimes it's nice just to get a break from the routine.

There was never a dull moment and the girls happily blabbed the night away. I shamlessly copied these pictures from Susan's blog. Thanks Suze!

When I got home, Dustin and Ian had cleaned our CRV inside and out! Thanks hungies! That's what I usually drive, but I had taken Dustin's truck instead last night, so they could have the car seat. Ian was pretty excited that our "van" as he refers to it (probably because Grandma used to have a van), was clean. It was a pigsty, I admit. Dustin is definitely neater than me, unfortunately for him.

Notable Quotes from our GNO:

{... or do you want it now so you can spend the night with Edward?}

{Don't you go around looking at people at church and think - ooh, they don't match ...?}

{That's how we ended up with 5 kids ... I don't trust that thing anymore ...}

{My parents are 9 years apart and now they look the same age ... it's so not fair}

{I go, what kind of idiot pays $200 for a pair of jeans?? and he says ...but they work every time}

{Have you heard about the 'Potty Whisperer'?}

{so long, sucker!}

You girls are hilarious! We should do that again sometime :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Quick Note About the Recent Changes ...

As I disclose more and more personal information here, I've been debating whether or not I want to make it private and have friends sign up in order to read this blog. I don't think I want do it yet. So instead I've moved all posts from my old blog here, and then deleted the original. The only difference is that this one doesn't show our last name anywhere. I've enjoyed reading all your great comments on my old blog (yes! all three of you) and I'm sorry to have lost them on the transfer. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Officially Washingtonians!

Last week both Dustin and I finally got our drivers' license and WA license plates on our cars.

Dustin's truck's tabs had expired 8 months ago. A new record. He usually takes care of it at least within 6 months AFTER they've expired. He's managed to miraculously NOT get pulled over or have his truck impounded during that time.

On our way back home from the Department of Licensing, we may have been the cause, albeit unintentionally, that the driver of the car in front of us got pulled over.

It started out with us talking about how happy we were to have finally taken care of it and how we didn't have to worry about getting pulled over anymore. Then Dustin noticed that the yellow truck in front of us had its tabs expired since March 2007. That's a year and five months! We must have been pointing at the truck because the police car right next to us sure noticed and pulled over the yellow truck a few minutes later. Point taken!

We both agreed that we liked our UT driver's licenses better. The Washington ones look cheap, as if they were a gym membership card or something. Plus, we look about 30 pounds heavier than our already chubby selves. Cheap camera! On the bright side, I did lose 4 pounds recently and was happy to update that on mine :)

Sleeping is NOT Optional

Ian fights being tired and avoids going to bed (or taking naps) like the plague. I guess he figures he's having too much fun to sleep. He usually ends up crashing on a chair or on the floor after he gets really tired ... like this:

or like that - After his birthday party earlier this year at Grandma's.

Especially if we have people over ...

This one was 2 nights ago...

We love that silly kid!

I've Been Tagged

... by my cute sister-in-law, Jen. I'm supposed to write down 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 surprising facts about me and then tag 5 other people.

1. Spending time with my family
2. The Gospel
3. My piano

1. Losing my husband or son somehow
2. A horrible death like being eaten alive by an wild animal or being attacked by someone
3. Not fulfilling my most desired dreams

Current Obsessions/Collections:
1. I collect dust bunnies around the house - my only collection to date
2. Watching the olympics
3. Twilight series

Suprising Facts:
I'm not sure how surprising these are, but I can't think of anything really surprising.

1. I'm a Elvis fan. Last saturday - August 16th - marked 31 years since he died at Graceland and the maker of Barbie came out with these first ever Elvis and Priscilla Presley dolls. Cute.
2. I'm the opposite of a pack rat, I'm always trying to get rid of excessive stuff
3. I turned out fairly normal despite being my parents' child :)

I tag Cecilia, Fernanda, Leslie, Sara, and Beth.

Beating the Heat

These past few days have been sweltering hot! Yesterday we were forced out of house because of the heat. I had checked the weather online that morning and the first thing I saw was a big warning in bright red letters that read: Excessive Heat Warning - During excessive heat episodes..drink plenty of water...avoid overexertion...try to spend time in an air conditioned place... and check up on relatives and neighbors. Below that, a non-threating 86 degrees was displaying. I thought, today will be hot ... I didn't know it was going to get so hot so darn quick.

By the time Dustin left for work, poor Ian was sweating so much already. His hair soaking wet! The most comfortable place in the house, temperature-wise, is the garage. Since we didn't want to hang out in the garage all day, we got into our car and left for Target. I wanted to get Ian one of those inflatable pools to cool him off. After walking up and down the aisles, I realized they were all out of those. It wasn't so bad, Target's air conditioning felt nice. After that, we tried a couple other places and but couldn't find any.

O-kay. On to plan B: find an outside swimming pool. We knew of one by Dustin's work, so we went there - relief was in sight! We stayed in the pool for 4 hours. The temperature kept climbing up and I knew our house would be an oven by then. We couldn't go back just yet, even though I had a million things to do that day.

We've had lot of firsts this year, and this is also our first summer in this little rented house. I thought this house was such a great find when we first saw it. It was built fairly recently in a new development with no mature trees. I thought "Great! No tall scary pine trees to fall on our heads" - Well, those "tall scary trees" come handy to provide much needed shade in the summer so we don't roast in our own home. To make matters worse, it has lots of small, decorative, blindless windows throughout, which, are high up and very pretty but they let ALL the sunshine in - great in the winter - not so great now. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, we have no air conditioner! Most people around here don't. They say we only get a few hot days a year. I get the feeling most people without a/c also don't live in a fish bowl in a treeless area. We might not be in this house next summer.

Today is another blazing hot day, but we've managed okay so far! Can't wait for FALL :)

Family Pictures

These pictures were taken in June in Seattle near the University of WA campus.

Our photographer was a girl who I met back in Utah, the super talented Andrea.

She's such a joy and did a great job!

I'll post her photography website here in case you want to book a session with her. You won't be disappointed:

These were our favorite shots.

A Momentous Occasion

Ian is officially potty trained!

For a while there I was a little worried that he would graduate from a size 6 Huggies to Depends - but it was easier than I thought it'd be. He mastered #1 quickly, but was adamant about doing #2 in a diaper. So, we struggled with that for a couple of weeks, then finally after bribing him with a quarter and a possible toy horse ride at Fred Meyer, he went in the toilet - I should've known he'd do it for money! He's been great about it ever since.

He's proudly showing off his spiderman underwear to whoever cares to look. Why he's so into spiderman is beyond me, he's never seen spiderman movie or cartoon.

Now he's ready to start preschool in the fall and he's so excited! I'll be just outside his preschool while he's there, at least for the first couple of weeks, and see how he fares. I'll wait till then to read New Moon so I'll have something to do :)

Here's Ian showing that his toilet seat also doubles as a party hat :)


I know, I know, I'm way late for the twilight series train. I'm probably one of last people I know to just have read the first book. Still, I finished the book last night and I can't wait to start the sequel - New Moon.

Warning: Spoiler Ahead ... if you haven't read the first book yet and don't want to ruin the suspense, please skip to the third paragraph below.

It's about a human girl and vampire who fall in love with each other - the story takes place in a tiny town in the state of Washington. Forks, an actual town, is only 4 hours away from where I live.

No surprise there. If a vampire were to live anywhere, It'd definitely live here in Washington! It's perfect with the its lack of sunshine and constant rain.

I remember our first days here in Washington. It was last September, and we were living in temporary housing. I had an eerily feeling as I stepped outside one night alone to get some milk. The parking lot was deserted. Thick fog was everywhere, I could only see about 1-2 feet in front of me.

The clouds covered the sky and moon completely, and the towering pine trees above made for a even darker night. Then I heard crows cawing - a typical winter night, I've come to find out - it made me jump just a little. I got in my car as quickly as I could, kind of chuckling that I was actually a little afraid. I thought - where am I? this looks like a scene from a scary movie. I was waiting for something to jump out of the woods and attack me :).

Of course, I got used to it after a while, but Stephenie Meyer is a genius for picking Washington for her book.

If you know anything about me, you know that I love movies (good ones, that is). I realize that I like any book that can easily be converted to a movie I like and the opposite is also true - case in point - the first Harry Potter movie was a bore (sorry Harry Potter fans, it's just an example, I'm sure I'm missing something). It was the only movie that I fell asleep while watching in the theater. Then, my brother, a huge Harry Potter fan, convinced me that the books were way better than the movie. I tried reading the book, trying to keep an open mind, but I was unable to finish the second chapter - boring, too far-fetched, anything could happen here.

Twilight read like a movie and it had just the right amount of reality and fantasy.

Tourists in Washington

We had a great weekend with Dustin's family. We had a lot of fun, and hopefully they did, too. Ian was beyond excited to be able to play and spend some time with his wonderful grandparents, uncles and aunts. I appreciate them driving all the way from Utah - it's such a long drive - to come see us. Too bad Karly and McKay couldn't be here. We missed them.

We got to visit lots of fun places around here in Washington.

Here's Ian enjoying his free drink at the Jones soda company. They give out free drinks every Friday from 3-5 pm. We were there a little early and when we tried to pay for the drinks, they gave them to us for free. What a nice guy! Plus we also got a tour. Cool place and my drink was good, too!

The Space Needle - Our country's greatest needle :)

Pike's Market - Here's Ian on the metal pig minutes before throwing up his lunch. We had had a full day by then, and the smell of fish from the market probably didn't help either. Poor guy.

Next Day at Snoqualmie Falls - Ian and I had to sit this one out. I didn't want to risk him being sick while out again. Instead we went to a really fun park nearby to play on the playground and play soccer.

Thank you, Scott, for fixing up all the holes and dents around our house! We hope you had fun and didn't work too hard. It looks great!

Annual Picnic

Every year, Microsoft holds a picnic for all its employees and their families. This year's - our first one since moving here - was in North Bend at a local ranch.

Several thousands of people attended the event. It was an incredible sight, I have never seen that many people put together.

The food was great (except for the ribs, not that great). We had cheeseburgers, fries, pot stickers with rice and ice cream. All free!

The best part was that Ian had a blast! There were a bunch of things for kids to jump on or play all day! We avoided all the really long lines like the pony ride, and Ian was able to go on just about half of the toys. There was also a fake tattoo booth (Ian sported a nice lion tattoo on his arm), a huge chess set, volleyball competition, rock bands, magic shows, among other things.

Ian was trying to fall sleep on the grass, so we left kind of early. All in all, it was a lot of fun! Our only regret was forgetting to bring a stroller.


On Sunday we were all sitting on the couch talking. We had been talking for a while and then all of the sudden there was a pause. Ian looked around, looked down, and then said "Jinkies!". We laughed our heads off. Ian says the funniest things sometimes. I'm planning on writing down more of the funny things he says, so maybe this is a start. It's always fun to remember back to the things he used to say all the time. Can anyone take a guess what show Ian seems to be watching too much of lately? Here's a hint:

Cafe Rio Recipes

We actually tried these recipes with Sara and Richie the other day and it came thisclose to the real thing! It was really yummy. Sara even found the aluminum deep dish pans just like Café Rio. The tortillas were from Costco (the uncooked ones that you can make at home). We got these recipes off the internet. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cup water
1/2 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
3 cloves garlic-minced
5 lbs chicken breast

Cook all together in a crock pot on high for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.

2 pounds pork
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight. Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork. In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.
Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalepeno

1 1/3 cups sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 bunch of cilantro
1 package ranch dressing mix
4 tbsp. salsa verde (green salsa)
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp. Tabasco saucejuice of one lime

Mix together in the blender. Refrigerate before serving. (I like to make this a day before so that all the flavors can soak in.)