February Fun

We have had a fun and super-busy month. We had Cathy & Pete's family here at the end of Jan and Robert was here as well. We must have been so busy that weekend taking care of the 9 kids age 9 and under because I didn't get any pictures. Maybe Cathy will blog some. :)

We also made a trip up to SLC to visit Oma & Opa and Paul took our kids skiing. It was so fun to see lots of family at Oma's annual Valentine Party an overall was a great weekend other than the food poisoning (or flu) I had. :(

The week after this, we celebrated Valentines' Day and then had a bunch of family visit for Presidents' Weekend. A couple of Mike's kids were in a soccer tournament. With ours, Suz's family and RayAnne's we had a total of 19 people in the house for 3 nights and this was lots of fun. We had a great time with all of these visitors watching Downton Abbey, lots of cooking & cookie-making, running, hiking, soccer and celebrating for Michael.

Here are a few pictures to recap:
Alex - doesn't he look so happy to eat? Out of all of our kids - he is the biggest eater so far. He has a very strong "Wirthlin Food Gene"

My nephew, Michael celebrated his 9th birthday at our house last Sunday, so we had fun making cookies and a cake for his birthday. The theme he chose was "BYU" and we were happy with that. Below is the cake I made for him - it turned out great thanks to some help from Suz's kopycake projector!

Here is Suz - the master cookie maker at work with her Kopycake. She has an awesome cookie blog that is worth checking out!

Austin loved the superman cookie!!

Here is an example of how I entertain my 2 "naughty" boys while I work from home - this popcorn entertained them for quite a while.

Our Valentines' Dinner w/ the kids. Every valentines' Day we stay home and have a special candle-lit dinner with the kids. We had heart-shaped mini meat-loafs, heart-shaped roasted potatoes, w/ heart-shaped slices of bread (cooked in a canape pan). We go around the table and say something we love about the person next to us. I strategically placed everyone so that they would have to stretch themselves a little here. Austin (my mamma's boy) had a really hard time saying something about Paul. I felt so bad for Paul - Austin kept saying, "I don't love Dad, I love Mommy." - then finally he said, "I love Dad because he is funny!"

Some cousins at Oma's Valentine Party.

I helped all of the kids decorate heart-shaped sugar cookies at the party. It was a fun craft that the kids enjoyed making and eating.


To Blog, or not to Blog?

It has been a few months since my last post, and a few more months before that since the previous post.  It seems like the # of posts I create corresponds conversely with how crazy my life is.  I decided that I probably do have time to post on this blog every now and then if I don't waste so much time on Pinterest and other sites when I sit on this computer to take a break from my work & home life.

I enjoy reading other peoples' blogs and seeing updated pictures of their kids.  I have thought in the past, what is the point of my blog? but I guess even if I am the only person who reads it, it is a place to record our family history and I can look back and see what we have been up to.  Also, now that we have moved from Northern Utah, we don't see as much family as often and a blog is a great way to feel close, even though you are far away.

We have really enjoyed living in St. George - the weather is great and the kids have made great friends.  I am staying busy helping Paul with his new franchise of Corporate Alliance as well as continuing to do accounting part-time for Bryan's company.

I will include some pictures to summarize the past few months here in St. George:  (It still bugs me that there was over a year that I did not blog about - I don't know why but I feel like I can't blog anything new w/o blogging everything prior).

Arizona - New Year's 2012 - It was fun to go to Suz's house and enjoy the nice weather.  We also got together with Rob & Eva's family.  We had really incredible food - I don't have any pictures, though.  Rob treated us to lobster, Suz made a prime rib roast, we also made lots of Mexican food and homemade tamales. 

the kids hiking on the desert preserve

 Timothy, Austin, & Luke - these 3-year old cousins are quite the mischievous little posse. 

 Obsessing over running:  I found a group of great runners down here that I have become friends with and run with a few times a week. - here I am running the St. George Half Marathon - I felt great and improved my time thanks to these new training partners.

Christmas Morning

 Anthony w/ Santa

Christmas Eve Dinner 

We had Paul's parents, Tyson, and Aunt & Uncle over on Christmas Eve

Our nativity pageant - We are not used being with such a small group on Christmas, so I actually had to step in and play the angel.

 Celebrating with Tyson at the Army's Christmas party.

 We made gingerbread houses when the Brown kids were over for the weekend.

Dec - Trip to Las Vegas - we went on a 1-night trip to Vegas.  Fun, but not the best place for kids overall.  Here are Paul and Alex at the Spring Nature Preserve. 

M&M World - this picture was taken right before the big fit the kids threw because I didn't want to pay $14/ lb for the M&Ms (We did get some at a local grocery store right after)

Bellagio at Christmas 

Obsessing over Cookies:  Suz convinced me to try making cookies w/ royal icing at Halloween and so I made a few batches.  We made some more at Christmas and even went out to LA to make cookies with Gemina, Suz, and Bina.  Suz's cookies are amazing and she now is starting to sell them:  check out her new blog:  Sweets by Suz.

Thanksgiving in AZ:
 A very happy baker!

Suz & Scott were great hosts - we made tons of yummy food.  We also had fun seeing Bina and her cute little family. 

 Black Friday Shopping - what a crazy night!  We did get most of our Christmas shopping done, though.  Here is Scott studying new flat-screens.

Here are the girls getting pedicures - their Aunt Bina took them all out to do this - Abby was so excited since she has never had a professional pedicure before.

Alex - the little raccoon always getting into the recycling bin.

On the new Bridge over-looking the Hoover Dam 

Anthony & Phillip collecting shiny rocks at "the glitter hole"(in AZ- about 30 minutes from our house)

Another trip to "the glitter hole" with Suz's family

Pete's birthday - rainbow party

Happy Halloween!

October 2011: Our trip out to Oregon:  We had a great time going to visit Ashlee and her family.
 It's been a while since we flew w/ the kids - they were excited.

At the beautiful Portland Zoo w/ Ashlee & her girls 

 Greg & the kids on a hike.

 We all spent a few days at this house on the Oregon Coast in Licoln City.  What a beautiful view.

 We also made a stop and saw the Roloffs at the Little People Big World farm.


Halloween Cookies

A super fun, but very tiring activity for a Friday.  I don't recommend making these all in one day.  I should have made the dough and baked the cookies ahead of time.
Suz was my over-the-phone cookie consultant - thanks to her and this blog she recommended they turned out ok.
Royal Icing really is tricky.  I think it would work better next time with a real tip.  I couldn't find my plain decorating tip, so I just cut the corner off of a decorating bag.  I also like the idea in this blog of using the squeezie bottles.  We had one squeezy bottle that we used for the orange and it worked great.  
Austin LOVED the spider web cookies.  When it was bedtime he said, "sleeping is NOT fun, making cookies is fun.  Can we make Christmas Cookies tomorrow?"


Anthony's 6th Birthday / Suz's Marathon

 Lately I have felt too overwhelmed to blog, especially since it has been almost a year since my last post. I got some inspiration from two of my sisters - Mary & Bina, who started up again recently without having to recount everything that they hadn't blogged, so thanks!

Anthony's birthday was lots of fun, especially since we had Suz's family staying with us.  We went to the Marathon Expo with the little kids on Friday and bought lots of running junk.  Who would have thought that a sport that only involves moving one foot in front of the other could have so much junk and accessories for sale.  We didn't sleep very well the night before Suz's race because both Scott (from AZ) and Paul (from Provo) were on the road and did not get to our house until 3:30 and 4:00.  At 4:00 (just before Scott arrived), I dropped Suz off with her friends to go to the marathon.  I went back to bed, fed the kids, cleaned up a little, went on a 3 mile run, showered, etc, etc. - the whole time I was thinking "Suz is still running!"  We arrived at the finish and were able to see her at the last 100 meters - it was so inspiring to watch all of those runners finish that race.  We spent the rest of Sat watching conference and getting ready for the party.  Sunday was a fun, lazy day with lots of good food and watching conference.  We went to a cool site on the border of AZ & UT called the glitter hole - lots of sparkly white rocks that look like crystals.  The kids were in heaven there and brought back their share of the rocks.  (Suz will have to share those pics with me later.)

Here are some pictures of this weekend:
Anthony on his 6th birthday.  Anthony is such a happy sweet boy.  We love having him in our family.  He is so kind to everyone and all of his friends and cousins love playing with him.  He was so excited to get a bunch of new lego sets and is pretty good at building them all by himself.

The dinosaur cake. - this was my first attempt using fondant, and it was really a fun project.  Suz helped me make the fondant.  We used this recipe from about.com.  It is pretty easy as long as you keep lots of powdered sugar, or butter on your hands and counter to keep things from sticking.  I also used this site for the original idea of the 3D dino, and I used Cathy's buttercream recipe for under the fondant. 

 Here are some of the kids digging for Dinosaurs.  It is nice to have a natural sandbox in the backyard - endless hours of fun. 

Cleaning the boys after a day of sand, cake, candy, and playing at the park.

Here is Suz finishing her marathon and right after.  I love how the girls' signs match her outfit.


More Fall Pictures

Here are some pictures of some fun things that have kept us busy this fall:

Taking 5 kids to a BYU game - Needless to say, I could hardly watch the game.

Abby, Anthony, Andrew, Austin at the top of Lavell Edwards Stadium

A fall trip to St. George

All the boys enjoying the hot St. George weather

At the park in St. George

Conference Weekend:
Kim and her family came up for the weekend and camped in the trailer.  We also saw Cathy and Pete that weekend because they were staying at their cabin in Midway.

Robert and Paul took all the kids on the Heber Creeper

Austin was so happy to ride the train after watching it pass our house everyday.

Hailee, Anthony, Austin, Andrew, Phillip, & Abby
It was about 90 degrees on Oct 2nd, so we pulled out the waterslide - how fun!

Cathy & I enjoyed her new I-PAD while the boys went to priesthood session.

Lots of kids watching a movie while we were enjoying Cathy's IPAD

Cascade Springs

Cascade Springs

Dallin, Andrew, Austin, Abby, Hailee, Avonlea

Anthony, Abby, and Joseph at the Pumpkin Patch


Our trip to Phoenix for Fall Break:
We were not much help to Suz, but we made some great food.
I recommend a trip to AZ, just for Suz's home-made chilaquiles.

Juju, Alexander, and Andrew

Susan & Alexander

Swimming in Susan's hot-tub

Somewhere along HWY 89 on our drive home.

What a beautiful rest-stop.