Thursday, December 11, 2008

Family Resemblance?

My family must have mostly dominant traits because we have a very strong resemblance to each other. I never really noticed it in my extended family, but today I saw this picture of my cousin making some delicious tamales for Christmas.
Can you tell which one is my cousin?

Maybe this is just in my head,really, is it just me, or does my cousin totally look like me?

Either way, (she'll hate me for calling her out like this!) she is so beautiful- you'd never guess she'd been slaving away for HOURS upon HOURS. Have you ever made tamales? Hard work! And yet, still so lovely!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I think you better get your "A" game on Mr. Ratliff.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Flashbacks to 5th grade

October, 5th grade: I won the honor of Best Haunted House in our much anticipated graham cracker Halloween project. Mostly I incorporated all the other kids' ideas that I liked into one haunted mansion. I felt bad for winning, and still remember my friends mom making me feel better by telling me that the talent to improve an existing idea is very impotant in society, and a lot of the best developments in civilization have been making something good into something better. Many years later, I still don't feel very original, but still have fun building on the shoulders of more creative folks.

Dec 2008: In a more relaxed, non-competitive setting, we combined with some folks for family night and made Christmas houses. I think I should do elementary school crafts more often!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


We went to Idaho for Thanksgiving, and it was SO fun! My mom decided we would have a Hawaiian theme, so we dawned bright floral prints and shell necklaces (thanks to Tzenni)

We even ate a pineapple for good measure. No luau, but James did try smoking a turkey, which was a hit!
Otherwise, the food was the traditional thanksgiving feast! I was in charge of potatoes and rolls so:

Mashed potatoes tip #1
Use your apple corer/peeler/slicer to peel potatoes. So much easier, and even fun enough to get plenty of little helpers to volunteer!

Mashed potatoes tip #2
Do you think we should add more butter?
The answer is always "YES!"

Rolls: Rhodes frozen roll dough is awesome! Brush with butter to fake out the picky eaters.
The Gals went to Walmart to develop the family picture, and played a fun game while we waited. We divided into teams and picked random things to fill the cart, then traded carts and had a race to see which team could put their items away the quickest. It was HARD, but fun! I guess we are a pretty competitive group of girls because we really pulled out all the stops to confuse each other, but luckily we were still friends at the end of the day.

My old roommate joined us for Thanksgiving! Hooray- I love Bates! This is she and Tzenni helping me scope out good light for the family pic.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deep thoughts from a deep mess.

As I was putting the freshly laundered cover back on the baby swing, Diego ran in (looking a little powdery) and said

" I made snow! "
I thought it might be like the time I came out of my shower to a similar exclamation of,

"Christmas came!" (Meaning, the kids had discovered the christmas decorations stored under the toy room bench, and unpacked them all.)
Naturally, I proceeded with caution, to find the "Snow" and quickly discovered the blizzard.

As I was GRUMPILY cleaning the mess, I was reminded by my conscience that I need to be more patient about things that come along with my blessings, since I AM grateful for my blessings. So here's what I REALLY appreciate about this situation:
1. Having a healthy, happy, SWEET little boy that I LOVE.
2. My vacuum and broom.
3. The handy little attachments on said vacuum.
4. Bragging rights in the "you wont believe what my toddler did" conversation."
5. A husband who wont mind a layer of dust on everything for the next few months.
6. The eventual humor I saw in this, and that I know others might appreciate.
7. A baby that is happy to play in his walker while I take care of things like this.
8. I'm really grateful that Diego didn't decide to make it rain before he came to show me this project he was SO excited about. Cornstarch is so much easier to clean than PASTE! Whew!

On a side note- when people warn you to be careful what you pray for, you pretty much know that someone who prays for patience is really asking for a whopping serving of hair pulling scenarios. Yet, I did it anyway the other night. I even mentioned that I already had enough to be patient about, so sending more opportunities to develop patience was not necessary. I was comforted by the knowledge that God doesn't require anything of us that we are not capable of. So I assumed he would just give me a little extra umph in a kindness and patience. And now that I think of it, He did just that. I didn't feel the need to pull my hair out, or cry, or huff and puff all day. I think He sent the help, and without Diego's little blizzard, I might not have noticed the extra help, I would have had nothing to measure it by.

So, last of all, I am thankful for a Father in Heaven that I KNOW loves me, and provides me opportunities for growth that are tailored to my needs. Not because He wants to make me something I am not, but because He wants me to have true happiness, and He knows more than even I do what will bring me happiness. He knows that if He doesn't help me get over the things I struggle with, they will eventually get the better of me. He is acutely aware that slight discomfort of purging things like impatience, and quick tempers pales in comparison to the misery that follows letting those weeds infest and canker the beautiful life he has for me. He wants me to have the joy that He knows, but He wont force it on me.

So I guess I'll keep praying for patience, and I encourage you to do likewise with whatever troubles you, but most of all I hope you will FEEL the love of God in your life because you are His precious child, and I believe He is anxiously engaged in loving you with everything He has !

I thankful for tin foil

First: Tin foil dinners. YUMMY!
Next: It doesn't stick itself like plastic wrap. (Don't worry plastic wrap, I LOVE you too!)
Last: EASY pan clean up since I DETEST scrubbing anything that has been baked on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

jason is funny

Jason REALLY wanted biscuits with dinner last night, so we mixed up the ol' bisquick and while I was reading Jason the instructions :
" Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased pan.."

"Oops" Jason already greased the pan and had begun putting on the biscuits. They might spread out a little. Oh well right?

Well a few minutes later I found Jason hunched over the oven like so.
What are you doing?

He was carefully sprinkling bisquick mix in between the biscuits to *ungrease* the pan. Apparently, it had been weighing heavily on his conscience, and like I said, he was REALLY looking forward to biscuits! This is why Jason will always be a better cook than I am, he cares about the instructions.

This is also another reason why I think this man is So cute!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Okay, so if you know me very well you might already know this, but a random fact about my post-wedding self is that I only have 2 states of being these days:
1- Thinking I am pregnant or..
2- Actually being pregnant.

Right now I'm # 3- I know I'm not pregnant, because I JUST took a test (the 4th in 6 weeks mind you- I told you I am pregnancy minded!). Notice I didn't even add #3 to the list because it is SO rare that it's almost obsolete.

So for any of you out there that might deal with this same fascination with *knowing* , I thought I'd share this money saving tip: You can get pregnancy tests at most dollar stores. Shocking, I know, considering that the cheapest you'll find at the grocery store is nearly $12 a pop! I wasn't sure if the dollar store in my new place would stock them seeing as it's fairly small, but sure enough it did. What was I thinking? I am in Provo aka. Babyville. They had THREE ROWS of pregnancy tests. This amuses me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rare Talent!

Athen has his own dance, and no, jason is not making him dance- it's totally his raw skill, with only a little structural support from jason.
And this is a modern take on Diego's classic "chocolate" dance. We can't believe he still remembers it. He made it up OVER a year ago.

And Brooklyn didn't want to miss out on the fun. This is an original arrangement of :
Did jesus really live again/ I am a child of God/ *random lyrical narrative*/ Caillou / and some sort of love song.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

photo courtesy of the marines

Veterans Day will always hold special meaning for me because of the many veterans and memorial days that I spent helping my Dad in activities to commemorate his fellow soldiers and more especially those that never came home. Mostly I remember seeing vivid emotions in my father's face, and imagining the memories that must have been on the other side of his glossy eyes. I love you dad, and thank you to all the others that serve our country in many capacities.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Famous by association...

You guys, I am totally famous because I just found out I have a famous friend! It was a wonderful moment in my life, so I will let you in on my elation.

I was at my friends house tonight having a delicious dinner of leftover chinese food, mac and cheese, and fresh fruit. The kids played, we discussed college days, and politics and when it was time to go the kids were not keen on leaving so my clever friend offered to show the kids the "Special Candy Room" and let them pick one if they got their socks and shoes on. If you know anything about kids, you know that was sufficient motivation. So we get all ready and go to the room which really is FULL of candy. My friend responded to my astonishment by casually explaining that it was just a little side business:

Hello!! I have been using that for years, all over the country might I add, and it's my friend's "little side business" I'm so happy to have a famous friend to add to my list of:

1. Gordon B. Hinckley
2. Jack Weyland ( he was my bishop at school)
3. The 1929 mother from "Split Infinity" who was also in "Finding Faith in Christ"
4. Janice Kapp Perry (she spoke at our stake R.S. meeting because she went on a mission to 0ur stake!)
5. Me. Okay, i'm not REALLY in Mr. Kruger's Christmas but my look alike is totally building a snowman with Jimmy Stewart in that show. I dare you to find that part. And if you get borred, you can find my other look alike in the finale of Moulin Rouge, when Ewin McGregor starts to sing, and the audience turns in shock to see, there is a lady in the audience with a red hat,who is also my look alike. Only a lucky few were born with this face, kids, and appearantly a flair for the dramatic comes with it.
6. Reggie Bush. Don't know him, but he attended my middle school, so he's definitely in my yearbook, mostly in various athletic club pictures of course.
7. The owners of hooray!

Who will be next?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

no pictures!!

Okay- we dressed up as the incredibles this year, and we have the whole package this year with the addition of Jack-Jack... but I can't find my camera, so no documentation :(
If you happened to get a snapshot of us, will you email it to me? Thanks friends!

Friday, October 31, 2008

tag 2- crazy eights!

No- I have not been cleaning for 7 hours. I cleaned for 1 hour, chatted with my awesome visiting teachers , had a mini surprise visit from Sylvia , went to a carnival at a nursing home, came home and saw Jessie strolling to guitar class, went to guitar class (even though I don't have a guitar... Yes Michigan friends, it has just gotten worse since my 'go to book club without reading the book' days!), came home, put kids to bed, ate dinner with Jas, had the 'What if you/I die tomorrow?' discussion, decided we must not die, and finally I returned to blogging.

I decided to tag Jason- so here are his answers to
TAG #2
as dictated to lucia

8 TV shows I like (liked) to watch:

1. Office
2. 24
3. heroes
4. Life
5. Gi Joe
6. Transformers
7. Sports Center
8. CNN

8 Restaurants I like to eat at:

1. Rancheritos
2. KFC
3. Chipotle
4. McDonalds
5. Red Lobster
6. Sams club
7. sizzler
8. Ramirez

8 things that happened today:

1. Heard presentations for new boss
2. advised students
3. ate free lunch
4. got a grip of pens and paper FREE from the bookstore
5. rode the bus
6. talked to a stranger
7. went potty in the public bathrooms @ BYU
8. went to class

8 things I am looking forward to:

1. Birthday
2. Going to bed
3. Going potty
4. end of school
5. San Diego for christmas
6. Rexburg offering me a job one day
7. Owning a house in Rexburg
8. Eating at Ramirez in Rexburg.

8 things on my wish list:

1. Audi TT
2. Lucia not to die. Ever. For me to die before her.
3. World peace.
4. To be able to slam dunk one day, just once.
5. Diego to become an amazing soccer star.
6. A massive raise
7. MSU would freakin' go to a BCS bowl game.
8. Visit every country in the world at least twice.

I tried really hard to just be a scribe, not a contributor... hehe, jason does enjoy going to the bathroom. Men.

oh yeah, and Jason says that he tags BENJAMIN FORSYTH!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dito Kilger...

There are a lot of tags going around my blogger circle... so here go 2 more. Doing these is more appealing than cleaning my house... maybe i'll do one, clean, then do the other.

TAG #1

Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others.

1. Where is your cell phone? nonexistent

2. Where is your significant other? work

3. Your hair color? Brown

4. Your mother? Thoughtful

5. Your father? Humorous

6. Your favorite thing? socializing

7. Your dream last night? odd

8. Your dream/goal? missions

9. The room you're in? Living

10. Your hobby? creativity

11. Your fear? loss

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? abroad

13. Where were you last night? visiting

14. What you're not? rigid

15. One of your wish-list items? guitar

16. Where you grew up? california

17. The last thing you did? park

18. What are you wearing? pink

19. Your TV? disney

20. Your pet? Nope!

21. Your computer? SLOW

22. Your mood? procrastinatant

23. Missing someone? always

24. Your car? disheveled

25. Something you're not wearing? make-up

26. Favorite store? clearance

27. Your summer? confined

28. Love someone? many

29. Your favorite color? depends

30. When is the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? unknown

It's done?... okay, here goes picking up my house, well feeding the baby, then picking up the house.
In the mean time, you've probably done this--if not, have at it! It's fun!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A lovely day!

I had a great day!

The dishes were clean when I woke up.
My neighbor tended my babes while I exercised, showered, and blow dried my hair. (We trade off every other day- LOVE IT!)
Went visiting teaching- Both ladies had toys for my kids to play with, and the weather was perfect for the walk between appointments.
Enjoyed an impromptu play date while the kids played outside and a few ladies and I visited in the shade.
One of the above mentioned ladies was cleaning out her freezer and gave me a ziplock bag of the most delicious diced mangoes!
My kids looked SO cute in their costumes for J's work Halloween carnival. Jack-Jack was an adorable improvement on last year's costumes!
I carved a pumpkin for the first time since like... 1994.

I can't figure out where I put my camera to document any of this- but oh well. I'm basking too much to care.

"You've certainly got your hands full!"

I should start a tally of how many times I hear this phrase- but it wouldn't be accurate, because I've already heard it too many times to count. This last time the woman added a "little lady" on the end for good measure. I like it when people switch it up a little bit. I usually reply with something like, " Yep, it's the best kind of busy." And I mean it too.

Meanwhile, on a side note, I keep hoping someone drop me the sarcastic line of "Don't you know where babies come from?" so that I can use this AWESOME line from my friend Emily's grandmother:

"Well, i'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with sneezing because every time I sneeze, someone says 'God bless you' -- and then He does."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This guy was a little fussy yesterday, and for good reason, seeing as a sharp little baby tooth was making its grand entrance. Aww, my baby is growing up. I couldn't get a good picture, but trust me, it's in there and this little grin has begun the process of becoming a Toothy Grin!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So, my internet privilges have been revoked...

because Jason just can't trust all the other internet people to refrain from getting me paranoid about silly things. Okay well, clearly not REALLY revoked but theoretically revoked.
Here's how it started:

- Noticing unusual smells
- Queezyness
(are you thinking what I am thinking?)
- Slight freak-out (the "caught of guard" variety, not the "OH NO" kind, just to clarify)
Pregnancy test: negative
- Tugging of the *family* heart strings while listening to the living prophet at general conference.
-Feeling a pulse in my belly button that I have only noticed during pregnancy
- Crying over nothing... twice.
- Random prickly feeling in the bottom of my lungs- another thing that has only happened when I have been expecting.
Second pregnancy test: Nothin'! (though I wised up and bought the 2 pack)
- Saw a clip of a lifetime movie where a woman thought she was pregnant but it was cancer
-Jason's response :" oh brother"
- I then found this little treasure on the WEB : "The motion of the child is regarded by women of experience as an unfailing sign. But cases are common where the throbbing of a tumor and other causes have been mistaken for fetal movements," ... and so naturally I sent it to Jason, to which he replied,

"That's it, I'm revoking your internet privileges"

So there you have it. Meanwhile, i've been a girl for all eternity, and been in this body for a couple decades now, yet the inner workings of being a girl are still a mystery to me. Despite this, i'm so glad to be a woman, 'cause how boring would life be otherwise!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Blog comments!

Okay, so I have two problems with blog commenting.

1.) I hardly ever comment on blogs because I can't do it right from google reader- Does anyone know a way to leave comments without having to open a new window for every blog I check??

2.) I never know when someone has commented on my blog, but other people seem to always know when there is a new comment on their blog. Every once in a while I happen upon a comment on an old post that I never knew about. Is there a way to change the settings or something so I get a notice when someone comments on my blog?

A little quirky...

Amanda tagged me!!
Here are the rules:
Link the Person who Tagged you.
Mention rules on your blog.
Tell about 6 quirks of yours.
Tag 6 fellow bloggers to do the same. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know.

Lucia's Quirks

#1. My taste buds never tire of flavors I love hence: when watermelon is in season, I will eat it for breakfast, lunch, and all the meals in between. For that same reason, it is not uncommon to find me sitting down to a bowl of pickles.

#2. I will let my house get A LOT messier than most folks before it bothers me enough to do something about it.

#3. My mind frequently wanders off to random things. Jason can tell by "The Look" on my face that I have gone on a silent tangent, and asks what I am thinking about- usually it's about 4-8 topics off from what we were originally talking about.

#4. I am very easily intimidated by regular tasks. For example: Taking prenatal vitamins- I can't get over the pressure of needing them EVERY SINGLE DAY, and the guilt when I inevitably miss a week... or a month... or a whole pregnancy.

#5. Oh, this one is a good one! I can't stand when things are stacked unevenly, thus making it inevitable that this next item will cause the pile to come crashing down on me. No, seriously, I really can't take it. The closest I ever come to cursing is when I put something on a shelf, and it falls back at me because the other stuff on the shelf is out of place. I am actually cringing just thinking about it.

#6. I always call my close friends "Dude" even if they are a dudette.

I will TAG Sylvia, Emily, Kelly, Jessie, Megan, Ginger, and whoever else thinks this would be fun!! You dudes are "IT"

Thursday, October 02, 2008

the next best thing

Since only a lucky few of you have actually been able to play with my SWEET little guy in person- here's the next best thing. Without further ado, I bring to you (drum roll please) Athen, in his almost live internet debut:

Note: yes, he's this cute and this happy every day- so if you happen to be a movie, commercial, or magazine producer spending valuable time and money trying to get a fussy baby to be happy for your camera: sorry about your life.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the next Mrs. Ratliff

To my dear future daughter-in-law,

Have you ever heard that the trouble you cause your parents comes back to you two fold when you have children? Well, Jason's mom swears he was no trouble, so I'm guessing the following picture is just a fraction of what I deserve for that one time I picked up a handful of baby rattlesnakes and brought them inside to show my poor sweet mother when I was two, not to mention the many times I wandered to the other side of our little town without letting anyone know. So anyways, I've been on my toes for about 8 months now, and I thought about you the other day when I could not, for the life of me, find the tomatoes I had just purchased for tacos. This should have been my first clue:

I quickly remembered the egg incident, and checked the most likely place, and sure enough, right in front of the toy kitchen...

all FOUR tomatoes, "stirred up" just like this one- yes, that is carpet under the tomato.

So, I just wanted to say that I hope you are being REALLY easy for your mommy, or we can expect apocalyptic messes from my sweet little grand babies someday. And, yes, I will think it's cute, because that's what grandmas are supposed to do.


PS: Brooklyn thinks you are her friend Issac's little sister, and if she's right, you might not have much to worry about because you are a sweetheart!
With general conference around the corner, a friend suggested having family night about when King Benjamin addressed his people at the temple . So, we went to our temple and pitched our tents (across the street)...
And listened to "King Benjamin" teach about serving our God by serving our fellow men...And then, about 2 minutes later, when we reached the end of our attention span, we looked at the fountains and found this big bug...

who, apparently, also found us.
We also tried to take a cute picture of the baby and realized we are now in the stage where every cute smile turns into a puzzled "what is that thing" face as soon as the camera comes out.
It was fun, and we can't wait for conference, especially because BUGGA and auntie Ebonnie are coming!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blog Therapy

I really don't mean this to be a "my life is so hard" blog, rather, I'm finding it speeds up the process of "we'll laugh at this one day" and helps me laugh today as I'm handling all sorts of sticky situations. Even if you don't have a blog, I recommend taking pictures of the REALLY big messes. Half the time, I realize it was not that big of a deal as soon as it comes on my little camera screen, and the rest of the time it gives me a sense of accomplishment when it might look like I haven't done anything during the day.

I might have only spent 15 minutes total on the kitchen and living room, but if you don't see spaghetti on the kitchen floor, or an abandoned diaper in the toy room, or broken eggs in the toy kitchen, or groceries on the kitchen table, or cereal on the floor- well, that means I have had a pretty successful day. So for all reading this:I'm feelin' pretty good about life.
Isn't he cute? He makes the biggest messes but is also a great cleaner! BTW I scored that adorable Saks outfit for only $8 (plus $5 for the saddle shoes).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunday Dinner

I've noticed that Sunday dinners have the highest potential for being interesting at our house. When we were newlyweds, we would sit in our tiny apartment and hope someone would invite us for dinner so we could eat something other than our top ramen. Thanks to our awesome extended family in Rexburg, we usually had an invite every week!

Perhaps it's because we are a little more experienced at cooking, but these days, we are a little more prepared for Sundays. Don't get me wrong, it is still cereal for breakfast and probably for lunch too, but dinners are better. However, that doesn't rule out the occasional random improvisations.

This week, for example we had taco fixins, but no tortillas. Not enough lettuce for taco salad...hmmm... what to do? Then I discovered THIS in the back of the corner cabinet:

Tada! Corn tortilla mix. Although, no tortilla press. But a rolling pin covered in waxpaper will work right? The first and last time I attempted this, I had a kitchen full of smoke, but like I said, what better day to try something new or re-try something than Sunday? So...
a smokish kitchen, a few burnt tortillas later, we finally had a couple great tortillas! And, I might add that even this burnt tortilla was 10 times more delicious than the store bought cardboard variety.
These were actually the yummiest taco's i've had in a while, and it makes me miss the REAL torillas in San Diego.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Looking back

It's crazy to me how quickly kids change! If it weren't for pictures, I would say that our baby looks the same
Today ---->

the day he came home


Either way, it has been a fun 4 months!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Unsolved Mystery

Does anyone have an answer to the roaming kitchen chair problem?

It's pretty mysterious, I suspect that my kitchen chairs have a life of their own and are moving to other locations :
- The cupboards
- The entertainment center
- The kitchen sink
- The freezer

And then leaving messes in their wake :

- A bag of sugar puffs dumped onto floor
- The DVDs in disarray
- The faucet's sprayer on and drenching the kitchen floor/ counter tops/ stove
- Distributing Fudgesicles to the indigenous little folks.

If you have any clues that may lead to the solving of this mystery, please notify me immediately, also, if you happen to know a way to magnetize wooden chairs to ceramic tile, that would be helpful too.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Balloon Chase!

Today was the hot air balloon kick-off of the Freedom Festival,and the kids were more than excited to watch all the "in-normous balloons". On the way home from an errand, we caught a glimpse of one coming down nearby, so we just had to follow it. We soon discovered an entourage of minivans doing the same, and followed it to a park to watch it land. The highlight was the super sweet balloon team who invited all the kids , old enough to walk, to help to fold up the balloon. SO FUN!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Your little person thinks flour is a tasty snack, and the kitchen counter is the best place to enjoy it.
Your little person lacks the coordination to avoid dropping the flour jar off the counter while snacking.
You cleaned jello off the tile, and oatmeal and salad dressing off the couch.
You have ever had to figure out where to put back the buttons on the computer keyboard.

And lastly, your kids and mine might be long lost twins if this all happened before lunch.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Let me tell you, it is SO nice to have talented friends! Laureen and her sweetie took these pictures, and then used awesome photoshop skills to doctor it all up into cute announcements ! Thanks Laureen!

PS: As an ode to my space-case-ness... so...yeah, I told her the wrong weight- he was 7lbs 14, not 13, but it's only an ounce right? Hopefully, he will see the humor in it someday, if not, there's always therapy. But in my defense, I was having surgery when the blessed event occurred, so I'm not really surprised that the details of the weighing, etc. were a little fuzzy.
Just imagine an extra ounce of cuteness and your set!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Slightly old, but still exciting news!

Our baby arrived at the beginning of the month, and since I still haven't posted about it, i'm borrowing my sister SOCHI 's web post (above). She's so clever with the digital collages.

Here is the sleepy little guy! He is more awake these days, and looking more like a baby than a newborn. I'll post the baby announcement pics asap.
Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you, but on what happens inside of you.

Harold B. Lee