Family and Friends

My Boy in Scentsy Scent of the Month Video

That’s my boy in the video for Forever Yours, the Scentsy Scent of the Month for January 2014!

It is such a touching video.  So nicely done.  A little girl grows up, and at each stage in her life, loves her daddy.

My boy has a quick appearance as a dance date to the teen version of the growing girl.  And that teen version happens to be my cousin Jessica 🙂  The scene was shot in Boise’s north end.  It was bitterly cold that day, but these two were troopers.

Scentsy Scent of the Month January 2014

I can’t help but share a few photos of these two when they were little.

CG and Jess

I die.  That is my baby boy.  Can I have him back please?  And Jessica is toooo cute!

CG and Jess party

Okay, back to 2014….  I caught a pensive pose of Chandler as he was waiting for his scene.  No, really it was a “stop taking pictures, mom” pose.

Scentsy Scent of the Month January 2014

Aren’t these two sisters sweet?  That’s Jessica putting on earrings, with her lil’ sis Adrianne watching.  Adri was the little girl in the video, who had to run back to give her dad a hug before school.  This video was a family affair 🙂

Scentsy Scent of the Month January 2014

Take a peek at the short and sweet video: Scentsy Scent of the Month, January 2014 – Forever Young .  My cousin Sara produced it.  Isn’t she talented?  She has such a vision!

Family and Friends

My Girl in Scentsy Scent of the Month Video

That’s my girl in the video for Sugar & Spice, the Scentsy Scent of the Month for September 2013!

My blondie in the pink was supposed to be the “Sugar”, and the little fiery redhead is the “Spice”.

Scentsy Scent of the Month September 2013 - Sugar & Spice

Zach did an excellent job capturing such sweet moments.  He is SO good with little kids.  Thanks, Zach!

Scentsy Scent of the Month September 2013 - Sugar & Spice

Sara did a fabulous job making sure the girls had everything they needed to have a sweet time.  Sara is so good at visualizing the scene and making sure everything is arranged just right for the little actresses to be themselves and naturally shine.  Thanks so much, Sara!!!

Take a peek at the short and sweet video: Scentsy Scent of the Month, September 2013 – Sugar & Spice

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Rainbow Birthday Party

I saw these rainbow cupcakes on Pinterest and just HAD to make them.  A rainbow theme for my daughter’s birthday party, it is!

I made the cupcakes from a yellow cake mix, topped with whipped white frosting from a can, lightly sprayed with Wilton blue food color spray (via Hobby Lobby), applied aerosol cupcake icing for the clouds, then cut-up pieces of Air Heads Xtremes Rainbow Berry Sour Candy slices for the rainbows. Easy.

Rainbow Birthday Party Cupcakes

I made little Pot O’ Gold party favors, also inspired by Pinterest.  Check out my Rainbow Party Pinterest board for the how-to’s.

Rainbow Birthday Party Favors

Whenever I’ve thrown a kid’s birthday party, it seems like the food never gets touched.  So I’ve learned my lesson to not go overboard with food.  A rainbow fruit plate was just the ticket.  We also made the colored ice cubes in Sprite idea from the Pinterest board.  The kids loved both.

Rainbow Birthday Party Fruit Tray

For a party game, we had a scavenger hunt.  We got various trinkets and candy, took a photo of each guest’s lot, hid it in 3 rooms of our house, inserted a print-out of each photo into a bag for each kid, then turned them loose.  The girls got special purses that I made myself.  The boys got a boring store-bought bag.  Sorry, boys…I just didn’t think you’d be into a ruffle-top purse 🙂

They absolutely LOVED this game.  Since they’re too young to read, the photos worked perfectly.  The biggest hits were the finger lights, the blow bubbles, and the parachute men.

Rainbow Birthday Party Scavenger Hunt

After the scavenger hunt, it was present-opening mania.  This has always been the most stressful part of my kid’s birthday parties.  I’m just obsessed with them having good manners: opening the card first, actually reading the card, opening the gift, then making eye contact with the gift-giver and saying an authentic thank you.  Well, it never goes like that.  It’s always a rush, a mad dash for whose present gets opened first, lots of grabbing and ripping by all, cards missed, and very quick words of thanks before moving on to the next gift.  I always feel like the gift police, enforcing manners.  I know it’s probably just her age…it was better than last year, after all.  And I think it’s one of those Mom Needs To Take A Chill Pill moments.

Rainbow Birthday Party Presents

This little boy melts my heart.  His mom told me all about how he hand-picked the card, gift, and wrapping paper for my girl.  Such a sweetheart.  And a cutie.

Rainbow Birthday Party Special Gift

Birthday candle blow-out time 🙂

Rainbow Birthday Party Cake

And here are the birthday divas, with their purses and scavenger hunt items all found.

Rainbow Birthday Party Girls

And the boys.  This is their “be cool” pose.

Rainbow Birthday Party Boys

FYI, balloon plus paper plate taped to a huge popsicle stick = fun.  For a long time.  Whew.

Rainbow Birthday Party Balloons



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Our First Trip To Disneyland

I’ve got two words for you: Disney. Land. I’m approaching 40 and I just had my first trip to Disneyland.

We spent just a day there, during our 2012 Spring Break, but what a day it was.

Disneyland Girls

My family, my sis’ family, and my parents all caravanned to Anaheim from Coronado, where we spent most of our spring break vacation. Our code word for Disneyland was “Costco”, since we wanted to keep it a surprise for my 5 year old daughter.

“California has a really big, cool Costco. We have a long drive just to get to it.”

“Let’s make sure we wear comfortable shoes. I’m sure we will be walking around this Costco for a really long time.”

“This Costco has a lot of lines to wait in.  The demo ladies have such great stuff, we’ll need to separate into teams to get all the great things.”

I broke the surprise to her as we approached the little tram that would bring us into the park. I’ll never forget it. She was so surprised and I felt so happy to bring my family there.


Oh yeah, Flynn Rider’s smolder is all that. Here’s Chloe’s conversation with Rapunzel:

“I’ve seen you in a movie before!”

“You have? Well, what was your favorite part?”

“When you hit him over the head with your pan.”

“With THIS pan?” (pointing to the cast iron pan hanging on the wall, with a smirk on her face)


And then there was Minnie Mouse. She just strolled right by us and so Chloe was one of the first to talk to her. I had no idea this was such a big deal. But wow, TONS of people just automatically formed a line to talk to her. Adults, too! That’s ok, I felt like a little kid there. It was wonderful. I have a hard time being in huge crowds of people – I just don’t like the feeling of being part of a herd. But the sights and sounds of Disneyland lessened my crowd-uneasiness.

I love the snapshot of my mom and dad, above. Isn’t my mom a true Snow White beauty? And my sis’ sequined Minnie ears were pretty dang cute, too 🙂

My sis’ family has been to Disneyland a few times, so they thankfully knew just what to do. My bro-in-law got us fast passes to all the cool rides and my sis made our plan of attack to make sure we got to experience as much as we could in one day.  I’m so thankful – they made it so nice for we Disney newbies. My mom and dad went for the first time, too. Mom enjoyed the parade with little Chloe while Dad went on the big kid rides with us. It was really great to see my 60-some year old dad enjoy Disneyland. His favorite was Space Mountain. He loved being in the pitch dark not seeing what was next. My favorite was Star Tours. It was so dang good that my eyes watered. If I didn’t have my family with me, I would have just turned around and gotten in line for the ride right away again. We are a Star Wars family, so being in a speeder, flying through all the familiar Star Wars places was SO cool. The buzz droids attached to us and disabled our engines, so we crash landed in Hoth, landing at the top of a huge mountain, teetering at the very top of a snowy peak.  And sure enough we fall down to the very bottom, at the protest of our guide C3PO. Ah, it was so fun 🙂

Strollers Galore

And then there were the strollers. Strollers galore. I have never seen so many strollers in my entire life. I still can’t believe how many there were.

Disneyland Teacup

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Teacup ride was hilarious. I joined in a teacup with my mom, daughter, and niece. Little Chloe LOVED it. Natalie spinned and spinned the steering wheel, wheeling us around faster and faster, making for a pretty dizzy grandma! I still have the Very Merry Un-Birthday song in my head.

My twelve year old son loved his first visit to Disneyland, too. His favorite ride was of course Star Tours, followed by Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean. One of the most satisfying feelings in the world is seeing pure joy on your kid’s face. And when I saw Chandler at the wheel of the Indiana Jones jeep ride, I got to experience that. He had a blast. He has watched these three movies over and over and over and over and over again, so it was so fulfilling for all of us to experience these rides.

Mmm hmm, we a great time at Disneyland. Good job, Walt and the Disney team!

Family and Friends

Spring Break 2012

We finally had a spring break vacation! This was our first California beach experience, and we LOVED it. Whenever we said the word “California”, we said it like Arnold Schwarzenegger: CahleeFORneeah. Fun.

2012 Shells

We stayed in a beach cottage on Coronado Beach.  This is the ocean view from my bedroom. Wow. We were on the North Shore Naval Air Station, and pretty much had the beach to ourselves. SO NICE to not have tons of people around. It was like our own private beach. Don’t hate me.

Bedroom View Beach

We spent most of the week on the beach. I probably had a grand total of 6 hours without any sand on my toes 🙂

My son Chandler especially loved the ocean – he wouldn’t leave the water for very long.  I love these shots of him with my niece Natalie. They are 3 months apart in age.  We don’t see Natalie too often, and I was floored by how she’s turning into a young woman.

12 Year Old Cousins

We spent an afternoon in Old Town San Diego, eating lunch at Cafe Coyote and roaming the shops. Cafe Coyote’s homemade tortillas were to die for, and we enjoyed the mariachi guys singing to us at our table.  The Immaculate Conception Church was just gorgeous, and the nearby El Campo Cemetery was pretty eerie, with its old wooden crosses and twisted trees.

Old Town San Diego

Point Loma was another highlight of the trip, where went tidepooling. We saw TONS of hermit crabs, anemones, crabs, sea stars, and all kinds of beautiful shells. The views were just stunning, everywhere. We climbed on rocks of all kinds – we all felt like kids again, exploring everything.  Along the way we came across Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, and WOW, it was so moving to see all those grave markers right by the ocean. Thousands of sailors are buried there, some facing their wives’ burials. We didn’t know about this cemetery, and unexpectedly experiencing this site was very moving.

Check out my pirate son…complete with Pirates of the Caribbean medallion. I told him to not let the medallion touch the ocean water, lest we suffer the fate of the Black Pearl.

Point Loma

And there’s the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. My family has strong Navy ties – my dad was a Seabee, my husband was in Ops Intelligence, and my bro-in-law is a commander. As we toured the flight deck, the Top Gun theme was playing in my head. All kinds of planes, old and current, are parked on that deck. Pretty cool. Under deck, there were some flight simulator games, which were pretty dang fun.

USS Midway

Here are some snapshots of the dudes. I can’t get over my boy’s fedora…

The Dudes

Here’s Natalie on beach, with Coronado in the background. She and I were beachcombers, always on the lookout for pretty shells.

Natalie Beach

My kids, Chandler and Chloe. She loves being packed around like that. It’s Chandler’s take on Shrek packing around Fiona.

Chandler Chloe Beach

Rainbow on Coronado. The outpost is for the Navy lifeguards. Never felt so safe in my life.

Coronado Rainbow

This shot of my boy is really freaking me out.  He’s twelve and turning into a man. Oy.

Chandler Shovel

Here’s Chandler again. Sunset at Coronado, no photo filter! He loved to drag all kinds of sea stuff around.

Chandler Night

I had no idea what this was, being a beach newbie. My sis Leslie told me it was kelp. Weird looking alien thing!


Being on the North Shore Naval Base, we saw all kinds of ships and aircraft. See the boat?

Chandler Boat

My niece and nephew in the sand, and my two boys (hubby and son) in the water.

Beach Pairs

My husband, enjoying the ocean, Point Loma in the background, and the Navy aircraft overhead.

BJ Beach

My beach feet. See the gold flecks in the sand? I was enamored.

Beach Feet

Me and my sis, just after sunset one night. Miss her so much. I enjoyed our family vacation together, sis!


We had an all-around great time, and can’t wait to do it again, hopefully next year.