Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A full November...

Daphne had her third birthday!

...Complete with bounce house, crafts and games!

Savannah turned 14!!! She and Daphne celebrated together.

Olivia sang in her school talent show!!!!!!! I'm so proud of her!

We went to Shore Acres in Coos Bay to see the fabulous Christmas lights. It was so beautiful!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Oh yum!!!! A friend of mine put this recipe on facebook a while back and I finally made them today. If you like pumpkin at all, you will love these. I ate like 6 or 7 of them today. I kept saying, "ok, this is last one", and then I would walk by them in the kitchen and eat another one.

1/2 c softened butter
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger (I actually used cloves--I like cloves better with pumpkin)
Cinnamon Sugar for dipping

Mix in order. Mixture is very sticky. Drop balls into cinnamon sugar and then to pan. Flatten a little with the palm of your hand. Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes.

(I put in chocolate chips in half of the batter and baked them without the cinnamon sugar. Very yummy too!)

Enjoy the taste of Autumn!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Fall Fairy

Oh how I LOVE Autumn! The leaves, the pumpkins, the hayrides, the spicy-sweet smell of cinnamon and fresh apples and the crisp-cool weather are a few of the things I enjoy about fall. I love it so much that I have created a new holiday. A few years ago I decided that September 23 (the first day of fall) is Fall Fairy Day. Every year the harbinger of the new season, The Fall Fairy, comes and leaves a special fall treat for the kids with a personal note for them. It's simple and easy and the kids love it! Of course, for me, any reason is a good reason to make every day special.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back To School

I always have such mixed feelings about my kids going back to school. I have so much fun in the summer playing with them! Although it is, at times, exceedingly difficult I still really, really love being with all of my kids. Things I love about back to school: 1. Buying new clothes for the kids. (I really love this part!) 2. Settling back into a schedule with regular bedtimes. 3. Dan giving the kids a father's blessing to start the new year. 4. Having a calmer atmosphere at home during the day. 5. Being able to go where I want, when I want without the kids coming, or complaining about me being gone too long. Things I am reticent to leave behind with summer: 1. Being with my kids most of the day. 2. The exploring of parks, farms, fish hatcherys, rose gardens, waterfalls, swimming pools,and dollar movies. 3. Hiking, biking and going for walks all together.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dumb or Fun?

I've done a lot of dumb things in my life, i.e., dumpster-diving for Monopoly game pieces at McDonald's, dropping an entire plate of food down some lady's dress when I worked for BYU Catering, and crashing/flipping my 10-speed over the hood of a moving car. That being said, I have never regretted doing something so much as when I jumped off Dorena Drop this summer.
The Drop is a 40-50 foot cliff that falls into Dorena Lake. It looks awe-inspiring from the bottom and terrifying from the top. Nevertheless I persevered and decided to take the plunge. The first 2 seconds were amazing, but then on the 3rd second everything went wrong. As the wind shear forced my pencil formation into a sitting formation I braced myself for the pain, exquisite, earth-shattering P-A-I-N!!!!!!! Words cannot describe the torment that went through my body when I hit the cement-like water. I actually bruised/broke my coccyx! And I have been living with that pain for 5 weeks now! Fortunately, this last week the malady is finally beginning to abate and I am starting to feel like a normal person again.
Will I ever do it again you ask? The sad thing is, I just might. I guess that shows just how dumb I am.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All in a Day's Work

So there have been 9 kids in my house for the better part of the day today and I have applied Band-Aids of every size and variety to almost all of them. I have soothed their dramatic souls and cheered up their sad faces. I have whipped my head around to "Mom", "Aunt",and "Lori" so many times that I'm dizzy. The highlight of the day was when my mom and I took 7 of them down to EWEB to run through the fountain saying, "Let's just get a little wet" and then watching them COMPLETELY soak themselves without any towels to dry off with. The low point was when we got back and everyone was fighting over who got to get in the tub first. Then when the boys (both age 10) finally got their turn they just sat there, totally naked, with all their toys in a DRY tub and screamed for me to come turn it on and then off again. Come on boys...REALLY? You're 10. I'm pretty sure you can turn it on and then off again. Why is it that everyone needs me to orchestrate all of the minutia in the day? ...UGG!

So then Savannah has to have a sleepover and I reluctantly agree. The girls have spent the evening cackling at the top of their lungs and coming up with strange ideas to take revenge on their 7th grade homework assignments. Dan and I took Daphne for a ride to get a bit of a break and Savannah calls to ask if it's okay if they start a fire to burn all of their old math assaignments. I'm thinking, umm, please don't tell me you've started a fire in my absence. I tell her that I'm just wayyyyyy too tired to help them make a bonfire at 10pm,...maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Have you ever?

~Have you ever noticed that freshly folded laundry clothes stay really warm, and sometimes even several hours later, when you reach into the laundry basket you could swear that there is lingering warm feeling?

~Have you felt that tingling, bubbly feeling in the back of your neck which preceeds a grumbling in your tummy?

~Have you ever noticed how wonderful sun-warmed pine needles smell, reminding you of care-free summers spent camping in the woods?

~Have you ever spent the day lounging in the back yard watching your kids laughing as they run through the sprinklers while reading a really good book?

~Have you ever noticed how pure and sweet your toddler's breath smells right when she wakes up from her nap?

I know this is really random, but it's just what I was thinking about today. How about you?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Things I wish my husband knew...

After 17 years of marriage (this month), heaven bless him for being so patient with me, but there are still a few things I wish my husband knew.

1. If you soak a dish for 20 minutes and it doesn't get any less crusty I doubt that another 24 hours in cold, slimy water is going to get it much cleaner.

2. When you put a brand-new dress on a toddler you need to check inside for the attached diaper cover and detach it from the dress before getting the toddler dressed and taking her to church.

3.When you wipe down the table you must actually scrub at the dirty spots. A cursory "running a wash cloth over the table" just doesn't do the job. It just gets crustier and stickier until you put some elbow grease into it and scrub it all off.

4. A fairy doesn't come make the bed every day. If it's made it's because I
made it. Maybe you could do it every so often.

5. Pizza is not that amazing.

6. In conjunction with # 4, the blinds don’t pull themselves up and down morning and night. People can see inside your house at night when your lights are on and your blinds are up.

7. A two year old needs someone to brush her teeth for her. A seven year old also needs help every once in a while. They don’t have the dexterity to do it all by themselves until they are at least 8.

Now I have to say that my husband is getting better at some of these things, and at least he tries. Thanks for 17 fabulous years!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Fabulous Trip to Italy

Wow! All I can say is wow! The weather was amazing, the people were fun and the sights were incredible! We took off for Rome on May 17th and after 12 hours on a plane we landed in Rome and proceeded to find a train, a subway and then walk to our hotel which took about 4 hours from landing. We didn't sleep for 48 hours and then did that same thing on the way back. But even for all the hectic time traveling there, it was still wonderful!

I have never walked so much in my life and my feet have never hurt so much! We walked from sight to sight ALL day long and then rested our weary feet for a brief night's sleep and did it all again the next day. We walked at least 40-50 miles in all.

We saw stunning ancient Roman sights, amazing Tuscan wine country, a beautiful Medieval castle, and countless incredible pieces of art and I even got hit on by a brazen Venetian waiter! Botticelli's The Birth of Venus truly moved me. It was a trip I will never forget!

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our favorite things about Hawaii

Seeing the Laie Hawaii Temple.

Eating Shave Ice at Aoki's! Yummy!

Finding sweet-smelling plumeria flowers everywhere and putting them in our hair.

Body-surfing the big waves in warm Pacific waters.

Snorkeling at Sharks Cove and Olivia looking cute in her swimsuit!

Playing in the Dole Plantation Gardens.

Ahhh the breath-taking scenery and cool turtles at Turtle Beach.

We can't wait to go back!

Friday, April 1, 2011

On Mothering

Some people just don’t get it. Some people think that you can command your children to be good and so it shall be. Some people don’t realize the effort, stamina, energy and strength it takes to just make it through the day while you are raising children.

You see, it’s constant, non-stop, never-ending diligence to make sure that your children grow up (hopefully to be happy, well-rounded individuals that contribute good to the world). We are constantly watching with relentless vigilance and unwavering love; and those are the easy parts! As mothers we are always on guard, making sure they don’t run in front of a car, preventing them from poking their eye out, watching out for strangers, helping with homework, taking them to their various activities, not to mention breaking up fights with siblings. It’s exhausting!

So when you see a mother by herself with her 4 children please, oh please, be kind to her! She is out, doing her best, battling the world, trying to make sure her kids aren’t too loud, too bothersome, too rude. She is also looking out for every possible danger to prevent a mishap, and she is usually doing it ALONE!

I am writing this because someone was unkind, thoughtless, and selfish. Someone thought more about sitting quietly by themselves on a Seattle Ferry than letting an exhausted mother with 4 weary children rest their tired feet near her (which was the ONLY available seat inside). I, after hearing how tired this other woman was, told her that I was equally tired and that a kind smile would go a lot further than a look of vehemence.

My mantra: Be kind to everyone, for everyone is fighting their own battle.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Making Play Dough

Who doesn't love squishing their fingers into something soft and pliable? Almost no one! Especially not curious toddlers. Three cheers for play dough! Here's how to make your own:

You will need:
1 c flour
1 c water
1/2 c salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 T oil
food coloring

Mix the dry ingredients then add the oil, water, and food coloring. Heat in a pan on the stove top until the mixture forms a ball. Let it cool briefly and then knead until it is soft and cohesive.

Then let the fun begin!

What a great way to have lots of fun on a rainy day!
There is also an edible version which I have never tried since it would send my other children into anaphylactic shock. Here it is:
Edible Play Dough
1 1/2 c peanut butter
1 c powdered milk
1 c powdered sugar
Mix together until it becomes clay-like. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Journal Pages

A few years ago (actually probably more than a few) there were some journal pages in the Friend that you fill out each month. We started filling these out way back then and now we make up our own. This is really great because each month you have at least one easy FHE lesson ready to go. We just type up 5 or 6 questions that pertain to that month and print it out and then the kids fill it in or we write down their answers for them. Around General Conference time we might ask questions about the prophet or something they learned. In the summer we ask about what they have been doing and what they enjoyed the most. We ask questions about their friends or what activities they are doing or their favorite foods. They really enjoy it and so do we!
Recently we found some of these old journal entries and spent an FHE reading over them and laughing about the cute things everybody said. It's amazing how you forget about the little details of life after just a couple of years. This is a great way to keep some family history and have fun at the same time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For the Love of Yogurt

So we were over by TCBY the other day on West 11th and decided to stop in and get some Fro-Yo. Does anyone remember the glory days of Fro-Yo from the 90's? Oh the 90's, when hair was still poofy, shoulder pads were cool and Fro-Yo was the "it" dessert! Well it just so happens that Dan and I dated and fell in love over a dish of frozen yogurt at TCBY in Provo, Utah! There will always be a special place in my heart for White Chocolate Mousse yogurt from TCBY. Ahhh the sweetness, the sublime pefection!

Then it was the cookie. Mrs. Fields and Great American Cookie Company, how I miss you and the awesome Double Doozie! ( Delightfully creamy frosting between two perfectly baked cookies.) Now days its all about the cupcake. I'm sorry, but sometimes they just try too hard to make it extra-fancy and the result is a sub-par lump of cold, hard crumbs with a pound of greasy frosting on top. Blah! I'll take my yogurt or cookies any day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

To all the wonderful women in my life:

I hope you know, but if you don't or have for some reason forgotten, I wanted to tell you how beautiful you are. You all aretruly the lucky ones--people who are gorgeous both inside and out! For some unfathomble reason, I think that women don't always tell each other all the wonderful things we see in our sisters and friends. Whether it's out of insecurity or habit, I want to stop this trend and start telling people of the beauty I see in them. Since it's Valentine's Day, this is my Valentine to you: I think you are smart, talented, fun, caring, kind, forgiving, devout, loving, and sweet. I also think you are great mothers--always giving your children what they need to learn and grow. You are a great examples to me! Please don't deny this--it is true! To deny what I claim as my loving opinion of you is to call me a liar! You are truely wonderful people!

My family:
Jill, Kristen, Tiffany, Michelle and Kathy

My friends:
Angie, Tara, Kristin, Michelle, Amy, Jen, Marci, Kristine, Christie, Chelsea, Annie and all the others I have forgotten to name

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

In keeping with the idea of being more thankful and finding joy in the small things in life, I have decided to compile a short list of some of the things I love the most. So here's to finding the sweet delight in the pure and simple joys of life!

I love:

~Diet Dr. Pepper
~Cherry Ice lip balm
~Small hands inside of mine
~Sunny days
~Cocoa Trio at Seattle’s Best Coffee
~Blowing bubbles with my kids
~Reading a good book
~Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats Cereal
~The Muffin Mill Macaroon Moon Muffins
~Lighthouses watching over majestic blue seas
~Sweet Life Patisserie Frosted Pumpkin Cookies
~Rainbows on the horizon
~A good song on the radio and singing along with it at the top of my lungs with the windows rolled down on a warm, cloudless day
~Sledding down a big hill
~Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
~Bath and Body Works Wallflowers, candles, soaps, and lotions
~Inventing ridiculous new dance moves and performing them with my family
~Watching my children sleep and then seeing them wake with sweet, juicy tiredness in their eyes
~Singing bedtime songs

"...When the dogs bite, when the bees sting, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad." ~The Sound of Music

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A date to remember

That's right, February 1st shall be remembered as the day that Daphzilla woke up happy and stayed happy all day (well so far). She was well behaved on a long walk, eating lunch at Wendy's, shopping at Kohl's, and even when I put her down for her nap! Whoa! This REALLY is a milestone for her. I could definately get used to this sweet girl!

Friday, January 28, 2011

I just want to cry!

In fact I did just cry. A lot. Sometimes that's all I can do. All I can say is Daphne...tantrum...ordering a sandwich at Subway. Just about anyone else would have beaten her senseless by now, so I guess it's good she came to us. I'm exhaused. She's sleeping and I'm going to go lay down now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Love To Read...

I just do! The older I get the more I love it, and need it. Because I don't work outside my home I just need to read to give my brain some exercise.

Life is all about "what do you need sweetie?" and "okay, everybody get in the car" and "what do you guys want for dinner?" and "of course I'll play a game with you". Life is good, but most of my day is spent doing things for everyone else. Reading is blissfully, completely, and unabashedly all for me!

That being said, here are some of the books I read in the last year and loved:

The Alchemyst (series) by Michael Scott
The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Forest Born by Shannon Hale
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
Fablehaven (series) by Brandon Mull
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) by Rick Riordan
Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I read more than just this list, but these are the ones I would recommend to others. The Red Queen, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society are not as quick/easy to read, but all are great books.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Date Nights

A few months ago we started having date nights with the kids individually. I have to say that it has been more fun than I thought it would be! I think the kids sometimes feel like they don't get all the attention they would like and so they create attention for themselves, usually in ways that I don't approve of.

So we take one of them at a time and let them choose where they want to go eat and then they get to choose an activity. Savannah picked PF Changs and reading a new book at Borders. Olivia wanted Red Robin and pottery painting. Liam chose Pegasus Pizza and lasertag. (Daphne gets lunch dates with Dan and I frequently, so she will have to wait for these "grown-up dates" for a little while.) Each of the dates were lots of fun, but the best part was being together with the kids one-on-one. The funny thing is that when you are alone with each of them the usual bickering is banished, the nit-picking is nil and the fighting is forgotten and you are left with a perfectly-sweet and delightfully-charming child. this is the life! :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


The Bustos Family loves being together and having fun! We went to Shelter Cove at Willamette Pass and had a blast sledding. We even saw a train!

We also love snuggling!

The kids, of course, love the magic of Christmas morning and opening their long-awaited presents!

I even made them matching pjs with their initials on them. They LOVED them! They said it was like wearing their snuggly blankets to bed.

We made crafts, sang songs, took treats to friends and neighbors, and danced our hearts out! We also remembered Jesus on Christmas, the whole reason for this day, and we paused to sing Him Happy Birthday! The glow in our hearts told us He was listening. Merry Christmas!