Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jordan Got Married!!

 On Saturday, October 20th, Jordan Mann was sealed in the beautiful Los Angeles Temple for Time and All eternity to the very beautiful, Rachelle.
We made a special trip to California (I drove with 5 of the boys all by myself!!) to witness this great event. Early Saturday morning, Scott flew in so he could attend the sealing too.
Many family and friends were in attendance at the temple sealing. President Payne presided, which was an added bonus. The advice he gave the couple, about the importance of looking to each other always in love and support, was touching. President Payne is a spritual giant and someone that we love!
 Later that afternoon, back in Santa Barbara, a ring ceremony and reception were held at Chase Palm Park. Above is the newlyweds driving to the reception in their cute red car.
 It was beautifully decorated with twinkle lights, satin covered chairs, carousel rides, live DJ, and more.
Here is Morgan, the Snow Princess, with Preston...Her future husband!!

Congratulations Jordan and Rachelle!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Random Happenings

 So many fun activities we've been involved with these past few weeks but not long enough to make them all separate posts. So here is a jumble of pictures and snap shots of memories.
These past few months have been full of football. It's been a fun season and Will, Tyler and Gavin's teams have done well. Here is cute little Nathan wearing Will's equipment before practice. Future football player?
 As I'm watching football practice, here is my view. Absolutely beautiful mountain range with Mt. Olympus. I am so blessed.
 Will went an entire year without chocolate! Here is his reward. He wants to try, right after Halloween, going a year without any sweets (candy, cake, ice cream, chocolate, cupcakes...) That's just crazy, if you ask me!!
 I've been walking more and more lately. Here is my side kick who goes everywhere with me. Cumfy!
 Will is such a good...I mean great big brother. He is so helpful with chores and with his little brothers! He was holdiong Little P while I was cleaning out my car, right before a game.
 We went to Chick-Fil-A to support a friend who was hosting a fundraiser there last week. The food is always delicious and there was prizes and fun activities. As we were heading out, I'm looking around for Naters and he's outside doing this. Lovely. Everyone laughed and thought it was so funny. It was, and gross!
 Jsckson is also a great big brother. He is my #1 baby sitter. He helps change Preston's diaper, plays with him, and helps when P wakes up from a nap and I am not home yet. I had received a call from Jack that Little P was awake and screaming. I headed right home and this is how I found them. Thank goodness for passies and the exercise ball!
 We voted early!!
 Red Ribbon Week was held at the boys school last week and there were several fun activities planned everyday for the children to participate in. Wednesday was Crazy Hair day, always a favorite in our house!

Cute baby Preston's first time in a shopping cart. He can't sit up yet, but I propped the huge blanket and it worked pretty well. He is so dang cute!!
On Thursday Tyler received his Wolf in Cub Scouts! It was also the Halloween themed Pack Meeting, hence the costumes! Tyler copped out and wore his football uniform...GO OLYMPUS!!

Lane Pumpkin Patch

 While in Santa Barbara a couple weeks ago, we headed to Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch. A favorite every October for many families. It's so fun there. Corn maze, garden, tiny pumpkins, huge pumpkins, hay ride, animals, farm equipment...SO much fun!

 This adorable dinosaur costume was worn by Will, Jackson and Tyler! Now it's Preston's turn! Adorable!


Sunday, October 28, 2012


It seems simple at times, but ever so hard at other times. I had the opportunity to listen to “Time Out for Women” via a live feed on the computer. I’ve attended the actual conference in person a couple of other times, but wasn’t able to go to the one here in Salt Lake City this past weekend. I then found out that they offered, for free, a live stream of the conference to view the sessions over the internet. How wonderful!!

Virginia Pearce was the first speaker and spoke on forgiveness.  I want to share some of her thoughts and add a few of my own to this topic.

When we choose not to forgive someone who has wronged us, it only damages our relationship with our Savior. We need to have the desire to forgive, which is hard but possible. It takes time to forgive someone who has wronged you; especially if it is by a loved one.

We should always keep a place in our heart for forgiveness, which is only possible when we are safe in our relationship with Heavenly Father.

When we forgive, everything changes for US. It has no effect on the other person.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Personal History In Depth: College Years

I found this GREAT site, This is ME Challenge. I was so inspired to participate, so here is my FOURTH 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 fourth one:
College years:

*Did you attend college or a trade school of some sort?

Yes, I attended Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah

*How did you choose what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a fire fighter. I attended the fire school program and EMT program at UVSC. I only accomplished the first year of both programs. I realized as much as I loved everything I was learning, I wanted to be a mom more. Yeah, you can be a fire fighter and a mom, but I wanted to be a mom more.

*What did you think was the hardest thing about your chosen profession at that time?

I was the only female in my fire classes and there were only 3 girls in the EMT class. Most of the participants were older men and they were nice, but they teased us relentlessly.

*Did it turn out that way?
Ummm, nope. My dream of marrying and being a mother out weighed any other option. I think of about it sometimes and try to think how different my life would be if I had chosen a different avenue.

*What dumb things did you do during those years?
I wouldn't necessarily call it dumb, but I dated a lot. I wasted a lot of my time with other women's husbands. I wish I had been more focused on school work.

*What good things did you do?
I made a lot of friends and great college memories. Also, during my college years, I decided to serve an 18 month mission for my church.

*Did you live on your own? How well prepared were you for that?
I lived in a few different apartments with girls my age. Most of them I am still in contact with to this day. All the girls were my age, LDS, single and had a lot in common with. I loved college. It was a lot if fun. It is wonderful to still have a lot of those girls as close friends!

*What choices did you make that affect where you are now?
I continued to choose the right. I know that may sound a little elementary, but its true. I continued going to church, reading my scriptures, praying. I hung out with friends with the same beliefs as I. It made all the difference in the world attending a college in Utah, with the majority of people I came in contact with was LDS. I dated guys I wanted to marry. I worked and saved money for my future. I also decided then to serve a mission.

Halloween Crafts!!

 I try to make one or two new crafts for each holiday. These past couple weeks I have been able to make a couple cute, easy ones. I made this cute Happy Halloween sign for my porch. I pained it, sanded it and then stained it to give is an old vintage look.
I sewed this cute little mummy costume onto one of Little P's onesies. Seriously took no more than 10 minutes to make.
While in Santa Barbara we headed to an awesome pumpkin patch where Preston wore this onesie. So cute!!
This cute skeleton has been super fun on the refrigerator. Several times a day the boys will rearrange the arms and legs and it's been fun to have. I should of laminated him though! Here is the template for him.
I also found some cute Halloween printable here. I printed them out and the boys have loved coloring them all week long. FUN!!
Here is my next project...A Halloween table runner. I have the fabric and ribbon but haven't sewn it yet. Here is the tutorial for it. I'll post pictures of mine, after it's completed. Hopefully by Halloween!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Maxi Skirt

 Here is a cute maxi skirt I made last week.  I bought the fabric at that 0.99 cent fabric store in California. I used 1 1/2 yards of this cute, striped jersey material. I saw the idea on Pinterest and fell in love, but it was much harder to make than I had originally thought! So guess who helped me and sewed most of it!!!!

I found it here, but it wasn't that helpful. It's so weird that sewing has so much to do with math!

It took about 2 hours to make, it would have been much shorter if I hadn't wanted two different angles to the panels. At the top is a yoga waist band that was pretty easy to sew. I am really happy with the way it came out. I was able to take it with me on my trip to Santa Barbara and received several compliments on it!

Meeting NieNie

 Over General Conference weekend, I had the WONDERFUL opportunity to meet Stephanie Nielson, from NieNie Dialogues. She was at a book signing at Deseret Book in Downtown SLC.

If you haven't heard of her, she is truly amazing. A couple years ago she was in a plane accident and her body was burned over 80%. She is a wife and a mother of 5 children. You can follow her blog here. You also should read her book, "Heaven is Here".

 She was so cute talking with my boys. Asking their names and what they liked to do. She was so genuine, sweet and beautiful.
 I also met Sheri Dew (lady in beige suit) and another sister that I'm totally spacing the name...sorry! I bought  "The Beginning of Better Days" by Sheri and Virginia Pearce.

Here is Stephanie's stockings and shoes! So cute!!
I am thankful for the brief meeting with Stephanie that I had. I expressed to her my gratitude for her strong testimony and courage.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Homemade Chili

It turned real cold all of a sudden and I felt in the mood for Chili, Wendy's chili. I found this recipe here and it turned out great!! I was planning on left overs to either freeze or have for lunch tomorrow. No such luck. The boys licked the pan clean!

Chili - Wendy's Style

Chili {Wendy's Style} Ingredients:

  • 4.5 pounds ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 large yellow (sweet) onions, chopped
  • 7 large green bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic (I use jarred)
  • 2 cans Ranch Style Beans, NOT drained (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 cans Original Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chili (10 ounce cans)
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes (15 ounce cans)
  • 4 cans plain tomato sauce (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 packages McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning (1.25 ounce packages)

Chili {Wendy's Style} Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.*
  2. Simmer for at least three hours (I let mine cook all day long).
  3. Enjoy!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Fish Tacos and Cupcakes

Tonight I checked my pins on Pinterest and found some yummy new recipes. Here are the two I made tonight that were a huge hit, and are all gone.
For dinner I made Fish Tacos, thanks Shawni for this recipe! Super simple and very delicious!!
For dessert I made these yummy Chocolate Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Cookie Dough “Frosting”
Chocolate Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Cookie Dough “Frosting”
    For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 1 (18.25 oz.) box Devil’s Food (or other chocolate variety) cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • For the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough "Frosting":
  • 12 Tbsp. (1.5 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

To Make Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Beat cake mix, buttermilk and oil with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, until the batter is well-mixed. Increase speed to high and beat until thick for about 2 minutes.
Pour or scoop the batter into the paper liners until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, top with the frosting recipe (listed below).
To Make Peanut Butter Cookie Dough "Frosting":
Use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in peanut butter, vanilla and milk. Stir in flour and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Add in extra milk to thin, if needed. Stir in chocolate chips.
THANKS Tomkat for this recipe!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Here are the entries for last weeks word, character.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Disneyland Secrets

I love, love, love Disneyland. I have been there well over 100 times in my life, seriously! I love reading and learning more about fun facts about Disneyland. When I think I've learned all I can, I find another site or book and learn more! LOVE IT!!

Here are some things I do know:

  • There are hidden Mickey Mouse heads ALL over he parks, hundreds of them!
  • After you buy those adorable pins you can trade them with any Disney worker you come across.
  • There are several different large round buttons that say "It's your birthday", or your "first time to D-land" or you're a "newlywed"...These are free and can be found at different areas in the parks.
  • When Disneyland was under construction in the early 1950s, Walt didn’t want to miss a moment of his dream coming to life. He installed a small private apartment above the Fire Department with a lamp in the window. Today the lamp stays lit in honor of the man behind the mouse.
  • The dog holding the keys in the Pirates of the Caribbean and the dog in the Carousel of Progress are both modeled after Walt Disney’s dog.
  • In the evening show when Tinker Bell fly off the Matterhorn, it's really a man dressed up. They needed a larger body for the people to see.
  • The light bulbs are changed every night throughout the park.
  • After construction of the Matterhorn was completed in 1959, the roller coaster occupied the bottom two-thirds of the mountain, while the top third remained empty. What to do with the extra space? Disney employees voted to put in a basketball court. Because a regulation court wouldn't fit inside the mountaintop (sometimes magic can't trump physics), only one goal was installed.
  • There is a secret club in the heart of Disneyland called Club 33, a VIP lounge, found in the New Orleans Square.
  • There is a 10 year waiting list but Club 33 is the only place at Disneyland where you can ditch the kids for a cocktail.
  • Ever notice the telegraph clicking at the New Orleans' train station? It's ticking out the speech Disney gave out on the park's opening day.
Hmm...So many others....
Here are a few I recently just learned about:
  • Every night after closing time, 200 feral cats are released into the park to help keep the rodent population under control. The cats spend their days resting in the park’s well- concealed “cat houses.”
  • Main Street Disneyland represents Marceline, Missouri, Walt Disney’s boyhood town.
  • The scent of vanilla is pumped into the air along Main Street. During the holidays, the scent is changed to peppermint.
  • The asphalt in Disneyland is actually a mixture of asphalt and rubber, making it more comfortable for guests to walk on.
  • Steve Martin used to work in the magic shop.
  • Even though Walt Disney had a mustache himself, he wanted his employees clean-shaven. The idea was to make sure they looked as different from the stereotypical image of a creepy carnival worker as possible.
  • So, for 43 years, Disney theme park workers were forbidden from growing facial hair. But on a momentous day in March 2000, the company took a giant leap forward and decided to grant the park's male employees the right to sport mustaches. When several employees started to grow out their facial hair, management realized that they hated the stubbly look. The rule was quickly amended.
  • Today, in order to have a mustache at the park, Disney employees must either have them when they're hired or grow them during vacation.
  • Coke gives the park free soda to eliminate competition in the park and for the advertising.
If you know of others let me know! If you're planning a trip soon, search out the hidden mickey's around the park, its fun for the entire family!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Drug Addict...

I received several emails and private messages on Facebook about my brother with the last post about him. When I started writing it, I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to head with it and how elaborate I wanted to take it. I now want to share more experiences and feelings about my youth and having an older brother that has a terrible drug addiction.

I received a lot of messages from friends saying how sorry they were for me about our situation (having a drug addict for a brother) but really, it’s all I know. In Jr. High, he started smoking pot and it escalated quickly from there. William never finished High School and was sucked into the dark life of a drug addict. He started with pot, which to some seems relatively harmless, but then he tried cocaine, speed and heroin. Oh heroin... How I HATE that drug. William was addicted to heroin for years, and his body proves it. His teeth are frail; his veins blackened and scarred; his eyes sunken in with dark circles around them and he is skinny...too skinny. He’s had needles break off while injecting himself with that poison. Some are still floating inside his body. He’s contracted several nasty diseases from sharing needles, and not caring that he had contracted a disease in the moment of experiencing his “high”.

There are times, small, but few where William is clean and will be honest and tell me certain things about his life... about his addictions... about his darkness. William and I are alike in so many ways and yet so different too. I am outgoing, with a strong personality. He is an introvert and conforms to peer pressure. Some dumb kid asked him to try this and that, and he did. One person in my life asked me to try some pot and I laughed in his face. There is NO way I would, or ever will, try any of that stuff. Cigarettes and liquor included!

William has expressed many times to our mom and I that he feels like no one cares for him. He feels alone. He feels unloved. William doesn’t want to feel that way or any negative way, so he gets high. He runs away. He liked heroin for a long time, but now he likes pills to slow him down... to take the feeling and those thoughts away. Even for a few measly moments.  For me, that’s a cop-out. I have “stuff” I deal with too and I don’t run away. I don’t hide. It would be unfair to me and especially to my children and husband. Doing drugs or getting drunk is selfish. Doing any kind of sin in selfish.

People, including William, have said an addict just needs to hit rock bottom and then they’ll change. I couldn’t DISAGREE more! No one has to hit any kind of rock bottom to change. You change when you want to change. It may not be easy, but after you decided to do it, you will. I don’t believe there is a rock bottom, you just keep falling farther and farther away from what’s right... from the gospel... from our Savior.

William has stolen a bunch from me and my mom to pay for his addiction. He has stolen from my kids too.  Jackson left a DS in the bathroom to charge one evening and William went in, saw it, took it, and sold it. William has stolen a bike from me and a bike from Will. Clothes, cd’s, random things found in the garage...Whatever he thinks can make money at the pawn shop. And shame on you pawn shop man for accepting a druggies stolen goods and handing over money to him!

William has panhandled downtown State Street all day to save up enough money just to get a hit that lasts a half hour. Actually, tourists are pretty generous to William and hand over a surprising amount of cash to him. Strange that William spends several hours just standing there asking for money just to turn it over to his dealer for a hit.

When I was Younger I didn’t realize how bad it was. I had no clue why William did drugs and was naive in the entire matter. There are times I feel sorry for him. There are times I hate him for messing up our lives. There are times I forgive him and think he’ll change. There are times I know he’ll die too soon from an overdose. I’ve said and written before... that everyone has temptations, sins, and addictions. You may not be able to see all of mine or other people’s sins but we can all see his. He could change... it won’t be easy but he could change his life. He could go back to school, get a job, get married, and have kids...He’s only 40, yet his body seems much older.  

All my boys know is Uncle William is in prison more than he is not. When they were younger they thought (because I told them) that Uncle William is in jail because he didn’t wear his seat belt. Then as they got older, we told them he stole things, and then it was that he took illegal drugs. They’ve been with me when we’ve visited him in jail. And they know a few other things about him that I am not going to share at this time, with respect to my mom.

When William isn’t in prison, isn’t high or wandering the streets, he’s fun to be around. He is a good person. He is a fun person. He is a smart person. We’ve been to Disneyland and other little trips with him. We’ve sat around the table playing games til late at night. We’ve watched TV and movies together. We’ve sat around and talked and joked about stuff. I enjoy hanging out with him... when he’s not high. William and I will tag team my mom and tease her relentlessly. It is a lot of fun!

Ultimately, I love my brother.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Our family travels quite a bit and I wanted to share some money saving ideas and input that has helped us.
Last year I attended a "Family Travel" lecture by Kimball Benson that was really good. He gave me a few more great ideas and it also reminded me of the ones Scott and I already use.

  • Plan at least 1 family vacation once a year (we usually arrange 2) and 1 couple vacation a year. The latter is harder for us because we always seem to have a baby nursing or I'm pregnant and can't go too far.

  • Book your airplane tickets on Tuesday after 3pm EST. You can book flights up to 3 months in advanced domestic and 4 months international.

  • Cheapest days to fly are Wednesday through Saturday.

  • Use the "notify Me" option given by Orbitz, Delta, Travelocity or whatever airline company you usually use. They will text or email you with deals.

  • If you purchase a "package deal" (air, hotel, car rental) you can save more money. Unfortunately we hardly use this option because we either drive to our vacation destination or if we fly we stay at our timeshare or with family.

  • Just because you're wanting to go on vacation doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune and go to a far destination. Plan a "Stay-cation". Visit your city's major attractions, visitor's bureau and national parks.

We also have a change container we'll decorate with drawings of the vacation spot we're heading to and the entire family will save money for it.

I have Groupon and other discount offers emailed to me with other fun, inexpensive vacation ideas.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How time flies!!

 Preston is 3 months old today...Say What?!? That went by SO fast. Too fast. He's already becoming a little man, just check out his mustache!


He smiles and coos all the time. All the brothers love him and want to hold him and kiss him all day long. They also ask to burp Preston and change his diaper. Life is wonderful!

Someone can be holding him and when I walk in and start talking he'll look around for me. He totally knows my voice and always wants me most. It melts my heart. (I know it's not really ME he wants...he wants to nurse!)
 He's trying to sit up all the time, he's rolled over a few times, and will hold his head up really well when I prop him up on his elbows.
 Preston is such a character and makes so many funny faces. He has a lot of expression in his face. I love when he moves his eyebrows up and down. So dang cute.
 We sure lucky to have this little hunk of heaven in our family. His hair is rad, full of body and usually out of control. He really is an easy baby and we love him so much. He eats good, sleeps good and is such a joy.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cooking away...

The other day I had some free time, so I reorganized my recipes on Pinterest and printed a few ones to try. They ALL turned out so, so yummy! I wanted to share with you the ones that are Thompson approved!
 Right after I had the baby, a friend came by with dinner and this dessert. It was so good. A few days later I searched on Pinterest to find it, and I did. GO here for the Oreo ice cream cake.
These pretzels were super good. I made them, left for 45 minutes and when I came back they were all gone! Go here for the recipe. I also made jalapeno cheese dip for the pretzels. Go here for that.

This on was super easy and I picked everything out of my garden to use! It was fresh and yummy. Go here for the recipe. Thanks Martha!

 My favorite bakery here in Holladay is So Cupcake. My favorite cupcake there is carrot, I know weird! I didn't want to spend $3.00 for a cupcake, so I just made them on my own. The boys were a little leary at first, but gobbled them all down! Go here for the recipe. Next time I think I'll add some nuts!
These didn't turn out as pretty as their picture, but were good! I think I filled them with too much veggies. Scott thinks I should try and fry them besides baking them...Hmmm, not sure. Go here for veggy egg rolls.
I plan on making these avocado egg rolls tomorrow night, I'm sure they'll be delicious! My mouth waters just looking at them! Go here.

I am also making this tonight! Chicken Cordon Bleu rolls!
Can't wait!!