Saturday, December 31, 2011


I love technology. Especially when I can share things with family & friends. :o)

A while back I created a YouTube "channel" so that I can upload videos & share them with whoever wants to see. I've been uploading quite a few recently so I thought I'd share how to find them on YouTube!

You can CLICK HERE to take you directly to my channel. If you want to subscribe to it, just click on the Subscribe link next to my name. (I think that when you subscribe it lets you know by email whenever I post a new video.)

I mainly have short videos of Cali dancing, but I've recently posted her first dance recital & her day care Christmas Program. Oh and I also have our very last fill that we did on Brooklyn back in October right before her 4th surgery...for those of you that wonder what a fill is like. :o)

Happy watching!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dancing Queen

There are a few things I'm passionate about. Dancing is one of them. No, I don't dance anymore, but I did. And when I did, I loved it. Now I'd never compare myself to my twin cousins, who are professional ballerinas....& something I only dreamed of doing when I was a kid, but I sure loved it! I was in dance from the age of 4 until I got quit around the age of 14. But I blame 99% of that on where we live.

I grew up, & danced, in CA. I was in 3 classes a week & we were in competitions (& won) & everything. I even tried out for, & made it in, the Nutcracker in the Long Beach Ballet. I was one of Mother Ginger's children & it was literally months of practice for like a 3 minute long dance. My twin cousins were Clara for several years in a row in the same ballet before they moved to San Francisco to join their ballet.

Then we moved to MT. Nothing against this place but there's no good dancers here! There was 1 dance teacher here &, sadly enough, I was teaching HER stuff. So needless to say, my dance career pretty much stopped at that point. I wasn't learning anything because there was nothing to learn. Shortly after we moved here a new dance teacher came to town. She was quite good! So I immediately switched to her & she told my mom all the time that she was so glad to have me in her classes. Unfortunately though, not many people take dance here in our town so there weren't many classes. I was in classes with adults (& I was like 14 at the time). Long story...& a few crappy situations later...I got fed up with it all & I quit. Seeing professional ballerinas dance really makes me regret that decision. But it was done & life has moved on.

So...after that decision I knew I always wanted to have something to do with dance & I really hoped I'd have a daughter who would like to dance. Thankfully enough, Cali has a tiny dancing bone in her little body so I signed her up as soon as I could...right after she turned 3. I actually signed her up with the teacher that I quit, so she would get the best lessons in town. And let me tell you what...she loves it!! Now I'm not going to go & be a Toddler's and Tiara's mom (like the insanely ridiculous TLC show) but I will have to restrain myself!!!

Their first recital was called The Nutcracker: All Jazzed Up...& boy was it ever!! Janet (the teacher) has 4 kids, all of whom dance. One of her sons was going to be in it but he's in the Cincinnati Ballet & they have all their performances right before Christmas time. So the only time he could come & be in it was after Christmas. So the recital was the 29th.

Cali had to be there Monday the 26th for pictures & a run-through, Wednesday the 28th for the dress rehearsal, & Thursday the 29th for the performance. So it was a busy week.

Here's Cali the night that we got her costume...she pretty much fell in love with it! :o)

Here she is the night of the recital. First time she's ever worn make-up!
Posing with the aloe vera plant... Hey...she wanted to!
 And here's the performance!!!

During the bow. She's in the red dress in the middle-right of the picture (kind of between the 2 girls in the red & white stripes).

One of the things I remember the most about being in dance was that my mom ALWAYS brought me flowers! So here's Cali with her flowers. :o)

And Cali with mommy (daddy & Brooke were getting a diaper change).

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas morning had to be my biggest anticipation this year. I was informed by Santa that Cali & Brooke would be getting the Disney Princesses Castle & also a Princesses tunnel thing so I just couldn't wait to see their faces when they saw their stuff. I wanted to see their faces so bad, in fact, that we made the girls sleep in our room Christmas Eve night just so I was assured that Cali wouldn't get to the living room before us! :o)

This is posted to YouTube, but here's the video I took of their first peek at what Santa brought them:

And here's the day in pictures:

Here's THE Disney Princesses Castle. Notice all the hundreds of tiny pieces that Santa had to put together. I have a feeling it took him a solid hour, with a helper, & that it was a huge pain in the you-know-where. I also have a feeling that he would never put another one together & that he took all the super tiny miniature small pieces & put them in a plastic baggie so the girls can't find it. Just sayin'.

But with all that work....Cali LOVES it!

After we got up & opened the stockings, we got ready & went to church. After church we ran home, changed our clothes, & went to Dustin's parents' house. Without a genuine miracle this will be Dustin's dad's last Christmas so we wanted to spend as much time over there with them that we could. We opened presents, ate, & visited until about 7pm. It was a good day at their house!

Here's Cali at Dustin's parents' house dressed up as Belle in her new Princesses dress up clothes.

After Dustin's parents' house, we came back to our house, where my parents & brothers were waiting for us, & opened ALL our presents! So yes, it was a VERY long day...but super fun!!

Cali, opening up a present as big as her!

Brooke even loved the castle too!

Cali & Brooke's grandpa Gary got them matching Scooby Doo they just HAD to try them on! They were soooo cute.

Here's the girls Monday morning trying on their costumes again!

...and playing in their tunnel again. This picture (& the static) just cracked me up!

And here's Cali, the bride, who put on her own dress-up clothes & came in to surprise me. She was so darn cute!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve holds it's own traditions for our family now that we're in MT. Every year we go to the Christmas Eve service at church, then go to a party at the home of some church friends, then come home & open 1 present (usually pajamas).

This year was no different. It was a great Christmas Eve!! Here are some pictures:

Family picture

Since Cali wouldn't sit in front of the tree when we put it up, she got her chance on Christmas Eve in her pretty Christmas dress. :o)

Sitting with Daddy drinking hot cocoa before they put some out for Santa!

Excited she got to stay up so late; excited she got to drink hot cocoa with daddy; excited that Santa is coming in just a few short hours; & just excited with the day!!

Getting ready for Christmas

We've been in full Christmas-preparation mode in our house recently!! From getting the tree up & decorating windows & banisters to sending out Christmas cards & going to Christmas programs & recitals...there's a lot to do in this busy time of year. Here are a few pictures to explain what we've been up to this busy time of year:

Cali wouldn't take her picture with the here's Brooklyn after we decorated it.

The finished product...with the stockings.

First time I've ever done window decals. Brooke had a ball "pushing" them on. She STILL says "push momma push"!!


Christmas cards ready to be mailed!

And the dessert I took to our Christmas Eve party... Otter Pop Freeze!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cali's first Christmas program

Cali (& now Brooklyn) goes to Small Wonder, a fabulous day care, 2 days a week. They recently did a little Christmas Program for us parents to watch & let me tell was fun! It was short, but it was so cute & I'm super glad that Cali did such a good job. Here's the video that I posted to my YouTube channel. (Cali is in the pretty Christmas dress... black long-sleeve top with red belt tie & white with black polka-dots skirt, white tights, silver glittery shoes.)

And here are some pictures when it was over:

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Well my child decided to do her own hair...again. She had cut her hair a few months ago & I thought that I made such a big deal about it (in a bad way) that she'd never do it again. Hahahahahaha!

She must have thought it was time for a haircut or something cause she did it again. But this time it's VERY noticeable. It's bad. Really. It is. I thought about taking her in to get her hair chopped but I always make such a big deal about going to get our hair cut; & it's a fun thing to do with I couldn't do that. So we've just left it. What I don't like though is that she has her day care Christmas program, Christmas, & her dance recital all coming up in the next 1-2 weeks. So we're gonna have to figure out how we can "style" her hair so it's not as noticeable.

Here's her masterpiece:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Our 2011 Christmas Card Preview!

Well here's our 2011 Christmas Card!!! I saw it on Pinterest (of new obsession) & fell in love with it. I'm super excited to get it & send them out! :o)

Top Moments Christmas Card
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View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Stroll

Every year in our town we have a Christmas Stroll. It's when people walk around downtown Lewistown on the first Friday in December & freeze their little ninnies off for 4 hours. Seriously. It's always so cold...but you don't really, totally notice it because of all the people around & all the activities to do. Ok so I'm lying. It's cold & miserable, but we all manage to suffer through it.

I've generally gone most years in the past. In 2005 we had a booth for a Nursing school fundraiser & I swear it wasn't even 0 degrees out. We sold hot drinks & baked goodies to make money for our graudation. I remember my nose hairs frozen, my fingers totally numb, & my toes like pin pricks cause they were so it wasn't a "good" experience.

So imagine my desperate-ness this year when I decided to do a booth & sell cookbooks. Clearly I wasn't in my right frame of mind, but I was desperate to get these Volume 2 cookbooks sold. I got 27 boxes back around September or so & I've only sold about 4 boxes. Pathetic. I figured that this time of year they'd start selling faster but no luck. I don't know what it is...everyone who got a Volume 1 said they couldn't wait to get a Volume 2 but now that they're here no one is getting them. It's pretty discouraging seeing over 20 boxes of cookbooks in my house just sitting there.

So I needed to get them out & get them sold! I was so lucky that Dustin had that day off of work so he could help me get all set up. Plus a good friend of mine & her husband came to help set up, then we had my mom & another friend there to help sell. So we had some help...which was so nice!! I had hot chocolate, hot apple cider, coffee, homemade chai tea (from Volume 1), hot tea, plus about 10'ish different types of homemade goodies that I'd spent the last 3 days making.

When we went to set up it was a full-on blizzard, so Dustin went & grabbed a tarp so not so much snow was coming in. This made things very difficult because everything was getting wet...including all my books. So we put the books away so they wouldn't get ruined, & finished setting everything else up. Thankfully though, about 20 mins later it cleared up & was actually quite a nice, crisp (colder-than-cold) evening. Here's our booth:

On one table (to the right) was the hot drink stuff. Then on the other table (behind Dustin) was the table with all the goodies. Oh and yes, that is a heater. It was THE best heater... It worked so well that I didn't even need to wear gloves (you can see that all the snow was melted where the heater was too). So we had a great set-up...& managed to put a couple cookbooks out for people to signs.

We were literally running around like chickens with our heads cut off for the entire 4 hours! It was amazing. My mom was handling the food & money while Dustin & I had a perfect little system going with the drinks.

At the end of the night we went through FIVE AND A HALF boxes of hot chocolate!! That, by far, was our biggest seller. It was amazing! We only sold about 4 cups of coffee, a little chai tea, quite a bit of hot cider, 1 cup of hot tea, TONS & TONS of goodies, & just 4 cookbooks. But we did so amazing. Our prices were lower so we ended up selling more than other people who were selling the same things. I was soooooo happy & excited with our final outcome (even though the 4 cookbooks were slightly disappointing).

I'm so happy with how we did that I'm almost positive we'll do this again next year. I'm positive that we'll still have Brooklyn's medical bills a year from now so we'll do this again to help pay for that. :o)