Thursday, September 27, 2012


Last weeks word was Refreshing...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rock with Bach

Over the weekend Gavin attended a violin day camp called "Rock with Bach". The kids decorated their violins, played games, practiced songs and had a performance. It was a lot of fun for him to see other kids his age jamming on the violin. Way to go Gavin!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Opening gifts

 The day after Jackson's birthday, we opened presents and celebrated his special day. (Scott worked on his birthday, so we partied a little late).
Jackson walked into the house from school where the birthday banner, several balloons, cupcakes, wrapped presents were all waiting for him. We all sang and the opening of gifts began.

 He got a shirt, a Wizard 101 gift card, a membership to Spore, a remote control car that flips and cash in the balloons around the kitchen. The brother game him some candy, drawings, hand made certificates and some drawing materials.



 Nathan started preschool last week, a little early, but very exciting. He will be 3 on Saturday, but was able to start a week early. He was thrilled to be able to go to school, and stay there!

 Brigham attends the same school and goes Monday-Thursday. Nathan goes just Monday and Wednesday.
Here they are after school...I'm thinking everything went really well and they both had a good day!!
I sure love those adorable smiles!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Personal History- Growing up, Teenage years

I found this GREAT site, This is ME Challenge. I was so inspired to participate, so here is my THIRD post about ME! It's broken up in sections you write about yourself, family and interests. There are several areas to choose from. I plan on doing this about once a week. It's a great way to get information for genealogy and your posterity to have.

Here is the third one:

Growing up, teenage years:

*What activities did you participate in? (Sports, dancing, music, arts, etc.) While a teenager I participated in various sports and extracurricular activities. I was on the swim team for a year, basketball team for 4 years, a member of a singing group for 1 year, a cheerleader for 1 year, and in the musicals and dramas. I also spent a lot of time with my youth church group.

*How did you learn how to drive? I learned to drive when I was 10-11 years old. My Gram would let my brother and I park the cars in the driveway or drive down the street. I remember driving half way to junior high!! My Gram was beyond awesome!! My Gram had several cars and I first learned to drive with a stick shift!

*What kind of car did you have?
I received a brand new Isuzu Rodeo on my 17th birthday! It was a huge surprise and I loved that car!!

*Who were your friends? By this time I had a distinct divide between my good friends and friends. A lot of my friends moved to more of clicky group and I called them the "Clicky Quad" because that's where they hung out at lunch time. My good friends became my very best friends and to this day we are all super close. Michelle M., Monica C., Lea S., Jennica B., Charlie B., Steve V., and Ginger R. were all my besties.
*Did you have a girl/boy friend? Talk about him/herI had a ton of boyfriends. I was too young when I first started having boyfriends. But, I would get bored with them fast and break up with them. Can't really say much about any of them, don't really remember. I do remember my first, Silvio B. He was so cute and popular. (now, he's a high school drop out and a druggie!) Nothing was too serious or lasted too long. It wasn't until college when a guy first broke up with me, and that sucked!
*What did you like/dislike about school?I loved, loved, loved school. I loved the different classes and teachers and subjects. I loved my high school. I loved the dances, plays, sports and other fun activities that San Marcos had to offer.
I hated homework. I was terrible at studying, so I tried to avoid it as much as possible.
*What was your first paid job? Oh man, I am not sure. I remember when I was really little my brother and I had a paper route, but it wasn't a real job. There was baby sitting here and there...But a real job, I have no idea!
*What were your chores at home?
Here we are again with the chores question...My mom called me last week and complained that I did have chores. I had to clean things when she asked (I have no recollection of this!) But, she did say my room was always a mess. I do remember that! But, in my defense, I could always find things I needed! I'm the opposite now with my room. I love a clean room, and a clean house. I still never make my bed though...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to Jackson!

 Happy, happy birthday to my second oldest son, Jackson Evan Thompson. Otherwise known as JET. He loves his name, especially his initials.
 Jackson was born in Santa Barbara, California in the same hospital my brother and I were born in. He was 9lbs. 8oz.
 Here is cute Jack coming home from the hospital.
 When he was 6 months old Scott and I took him with us on a cruise. Everyone thought he was adorable and always wanted to hold him. The staff would ask what his name was and we would tell them, Jackson. Their faces would light up and they would say, "like Michael Jackson?" Funny, but no.
 Jackson has always been extremely photogenic. His smile lights up the room and he has always had a fun outgoing personality.

 Jackson had just turned 8 years old and getting ready to be baptized when we moved to Mesa, Arizona.

Here he is today, a tall slender guy with that same beautiful smile.

11 years old today!

Photog Group

The photography group I host is up and running again!! Last week's word was "simple". Next week's word is "refreshing", can't wait!
There is availability in our group, if you want to join us! We choose a random word every week. Make sure to have you camera with you at all times!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Kitchen House

I recently read "The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom. It was a wonderfully written book with compelling characters in a well written storyline. I found myself lost in the story and not wanting to return to the real world. My heart wrenched for some of the characters and I even cried a few times during it. I recommend this book to all!

But, my post is not to tell you to read it, even though you should, it's about communicating and how one choice can change your entire life!

**This post will contain spoilers!!**If you are planning on reading the book, do so before you read this post!!**

I love when characters in books have accents, because I start to morph into the people I'm reading about and start talking like them. In my dreams, I was even doing it!

Anyhow, I love this adorable red-headed Irish girl, Lavinia. She lives in a time when black servants were owned by white families and the blacks worked hard, very hard on their plantations and such. Lavinia grows up to be a smart beautiful woman but makes a terrible decision that eventually ruins her life and several members of her family. It's so heart wrenching to read because all she needs to do is communicate better and her life would of turned out much, much better.

Lavinia is in love with this handsome, kind man named Will. But, she thinks Will likes someone else. So, Lavinia agrees to marry a man she is not in love with at all. Which in return, breaks Will's heart, because he too is in love with her. Marshall, the man she marries, turns out to be a terrible, terrible man.

IF Lavinia would've communicated her feelings to Will or talked to Will about his feelings, they would of ended up being married and happy. (Of course it wouldn't have been such a great book to read...)

This was a great book to read, but the main lesson I learned is to always remember, before making any major decision, to talk about it. Talk to my husband, child, mom or whomever. Discussing the matter and then making a decision will make my life a lot easier. And in the end, I'll be happier.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Personal History- Early Years

Growing up, early years

I found this GREAT site, This is ME Challenge. I was so inspired to participate, so here is my SECOND post about ME! It's broken up in sections you write about yourself, family and interests. There are several areas to choose from. I plan on doing this about once a week. It's a great way to get information for genealogy and your posterity to have.

Here is the second one:

*Where did you grow up? Describe it.
Cul-de-sac in Santa Barbara, California, which was safe and fun. We'd play crazy ball and several other games in the cul-de-sac. Our backyard is pretty large and includes a creek. Many, many hours were spent playing and exploring there. (Now, my kids play in the creek!!) My house was a 3 bedroom home where I shared a room with my older brother...poor guy! But, my mom added on another room so William and I then had our own rooms. The house has a huge circle right in the middle of it. You walk through the living room to the family room, through the kitchen that connects to the hallway with all the bedrooms off it them back to the living room. Round and round, we ran and played.

*What games did you play as a child?

I was into whatever my older brother was into. Matchbox cars with tracks that filled our kitchen. My Gram had several cars in the driveway and we'd play in them, pretending to drive around. On the swing in the huge tree out back or on the small jungle gym my mom bought for us. I remember breaking open a cardboard box and (trying) to break dance on it. Kickball in the front yard. Hide and go seek in the creek. Uno inside.

*Where did you go to school?

I remember going to an old lady's house with a couple other kids, like a preschool. Her house was off of Foothill Road real close to mine. Kindergarten through 6th grade I attended Monte Vista Elementary school. Go Mustang's! La Colina Jr. High for 7th and 8th grade then off to San Marco High School, home of the Royals. In the summers I would spent most of it out at Santa Claus Lane where my Gram had a cute Christmas gift shop right on the beach. William and I also went to YMCA summer camps.

*Who were your friends?

My first friend that I remember is Minda Sylvester. And to this day we are still good friends. We both were taller than all the other boys and girls. In Jr. High we acquired the nick names, Twin Towers, then finally the boys started growing taller than us! I remember other kids that I'm still acquaintances with, but Minda was my best friend since Kindergarten. I remember her mom would come in often and help during play or craft time. Minda always had her hair done real nice and I remember a lot of pretty dresses with a white sweater over top. To this day, she is still a special friend to me. I love her dearly!

*Who were your favorite teachers and why?

In elementary school two teachers stood out to me. Dr. Ernborg, who was actually the principal of the school. He was so friendly and outgoing. The entire community knew and respected him. Also, my 6th grade teacher Mr. Dayton. He was also my brothers 6th grade teacher, and lived 2 streets away from us. He was strict but good. He tried not to smile much, but we'd make him laugh every now and then and it was fun to see.

*What were your chores?
That's funny and super easy to answer. Nothing. I never had chores. I don't remember ever cleaning anything or making my bed. But, I don't remember ever being told to do so either.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Watch out, there's a TEEN in the house!!

 My baby is getting older, he's 13 years old today! How time flies! Will is a great kid, truly! He is the perfect oldest child, always willing to help me with whatever. He does so much around the house and helps with his younger brothers. I really appreciate him.

He is in the 8th grade at Evergreen Jr. High and is in all Honors classes. Will is on the cross country team and plays youth football. He enjoys riding and doing tricks on his longboard, playing the X-Box, having airsoft gun wars and hanging out with his friends.

At today's football game, his team WON! What a great way to start off his birthday! Scott had to work today, so were doing gifts and his birthday dinner tomorrow.

Happy, happy birthday Will! I hope you have a great year!

Friday, September 7, 2012

2 months and counting...

 A family tradition we've done with all our boys, that was even done to me when I was a baby!
Happy 2 month birthday to my Little P. (I call him this often and now want to buy a pea costume for him...cute huh!)

Preston is in his blessing outfit ( I found during my NYC trip!) for his 2 month photo shoot. It's an adorable Ralph Lauren 2-piece outfit with a ribbon tie on the side. So cute! I will be able to display some of these pictures on his special day (coming up in a couple weeks!)

Little P is cooing, and smiling a ton. He's rolled over a few times and tries to sit up. Silly guy thinks he's older than he really is! He is still sporting his adorable Mohawk. I did notice his roots are coming in really blond! His eyes are big and bright blue! He's been sleeping pretty good, going about 6 hours, nurses and then falls right back to sleep for another 4-5 hours.


Creamy Tomatillo Dressing...from Cafe Rio

I've been wanting to make the Cafe Rio dressing for sometime now, and yesterday I finally did! Like I said before,I have a ton of tomatillos in my garden, so it was a perfect time. I doubled the below recipe and made 2 huge bottles of it. YUM! Easy and delicious! Enjoy!
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

Here is what you need:
1 packet of buttermilk ranch dressing
1 Cup mayo
1 Cup buttermilk (the smallest carton is perfect)
1 bunch of cilantro
2 tomatillos husked
1 jalapeno (take the rib and seeds out)
Garlic powder (just a few shakes)
juice from 1 lime
First Put the mayo, dressing mix, buttermilk, and garlic in a blender and mix until blended all together
Then you will cut up all the greens tomatillos, jalapeno, cilantro and juice the lime.
Then you will add all the green ingredients and blend until mixed all together and creamy. Next you will let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 min

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saving BIG bucks!

I get asked a lot on how I find deals and how I am able to save so much $$$. Well, here are a few tricks I know that help my family of 9 save hundreds of dollars each month.

Blogs. I follow a few local blogs like Utah Deal Diva, Coupons 4 Utah and Fabulessly Frugal. They really do all the work for me. They tell me new coupons that are out, where the sales are, places to go to for free, other freebies, recipe ideas, and many other things.

Coupons. I have 2 papers delivered every week to my house. My cousin and a neighbor give me their coupons also from their newspapers. (Go around your neighborhood early one morning and see who gets the Sunday paper. Ask those same people for the ads!) I also get coupons on-line from, Smart Source, and a few others. Each computer prints out 2 coupons. If it's a really good coupon (like .75 off milk) I'll print 2 off my computer and 2 off my laptop.

There are also E-coupons. Where you can load coupons onto your grocery store card, no clipping or printing needed! Wal-mart price matches every Tuesday (here in the Salt Lake valley). I especially love Target. You can use Target coupons WITH a regular manufacturer's coupon! That's DOUBLE the savings!

Other Stuff. Here are a few other fun things to do/use that will help you save $$$.

Search birthday freebies in your area. Tons of restaurants and desserts are offered to you and your family. Subscribe to your favorite restaurants for their birthday list and they'll email you free stuff.

Home Depot and Lowe's offers free fun kids clinics once a month.

Library is always a favorite of ours. The boys can get books, CD's, DVD's and our new favorite... Audiobooks for free. (as long as you return them on time!!) They also have special reading programs in the summertime as well as fun classes all year long.

Groupon and other sites offer discounts you may be interested in. Scott purchased me (for half off) a cleaning service where a maid came and did 4 HOURS of house cleaning. It was an awesome gift and they did really well.

We signed up with Red Box and they text us once a month with a free code to use for a movie. Here are other free codes you can use one time for EACH credit card that you have: DVDONME, BREAKROOM. Use this code specifically at Walgreens (DVDATWAG) and use this code at any Kroger's locations (DVDKROG).

I sure hope these few ideas can help you! You can ALWAYS find things on sale and use a coupon. If you are organized and prepared you'll never have to pay full-price again!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Raspberry Pickin'

 On Saturday, after the boys football games, we headed south to the McBride's Briar raspberry farm. We spent about 45 minutes picking berries, and eating a few as well.

 There were 3 different size buckets with a rope to tie around your body so you have 2 hands to pick the raspberries. Of course, it was a competition to see who could pick the most!
Scott came in first place, then Will, me, Tyler, Jackson and the little boys. It was so fun, even with all the rain!

The raspberries (they also have black berries) were delicious!! The owners were sweet and nice to work with. The berries were only $3.00 per pound, we paid $30. Yep, 10 pounds of raspberries! Actually, we had more but they didn't charge us for Nathan's basket or Brigham's.

A Blessing and a Bow Tie

We attended a wonderful baby blessing yesterday for our sweet baby cousin, Ruth. She was so beautiful in her blessing dress, the same dress her mom, Kyrra wore!
After we headed to a park and ate some lunch. It was so wonderful being with so many Santa Barbara cousins! And one from Alaska! It's always good to be with family!

 The Gray girls (my cousins Gloria, Marsha, Diana, Jeana and Clareesa) all had children pregnant at the same time. I'm not a Gray girl, but I put myself into that category as a cousin.
Karina had her son, Lincoln (pictured above). Jessica had her son, Lynn (not pictured). Next was me. Then Kyrra had Ruth (pictured). Next will be Nadia and then Hannah.

Then, there's this guy. How adorable is this picture. Cute church outfit with a sharp looking a bow tie. Cute red toned mohawk hair. Pursed little lips. Sweet Preston!