Happy birthday, Mary (round 2 1/2)!

We celebrated Mary’s birthday again tonight, this time at the Miners’. I baked a cake and filled the pan too full, so now the bottom of the oven is chock full of burnt cake. I will have to clean that tomorrow…

Anyway, Abe and I are trying to get to bed early, so here are the pictures:

While Mary napped, Lydia, Abe, and I played pretend after Abe got home. This is Lydia standing on an "apple tree" while being assisted by aliens (the Minnie Mouses) who wanted to help her.

While Mary napped, Lydia, Abe, and I played pretend after Abe got home. This is Lydia standing on an “apple tree” while being assisted by aliens (the Minnie Mouses) who wanted to help her.

With her poor, lopsided cake...

With her poor, lopsided cake…

IMG_9870 IMG_9859 IMG_9864 IMG_9865 IMG_9855When Abe got home, he tickled the girls until they begged for mercy and bedtime.

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Coconut oil and Karin’s birthday dinner

Just a real quick plug for coconut oil, since it’s 12:47 a.m. I have been drinking it and applying it regularly ever since the lice debacle, and I have noticed a HUGE difference in my skin/internal functions…um, TMI? But seriously, that stuff is amazing. Grandma, I hope you and mom find a way to acquire some. You need to buy the cold-pressed unrefined virgin coconut oil. It should look white and smell like coconuts. Here is the article that converted me to coconut oil.

Anyway, my hair is practically ruined from my lice treatments, so today I soaked my hair in coconut oil all day. I also used it as an all-over moisturizer and even took the brave step of using it in replacement of deodorant! It was risky, but I took the leap. I thought it was working, but to make sure, I had Abe smell my arm pits when he got home from work. All sorts of risks taken today…but guess what? The coconut oil works! It is a total natural deodorant!! I am now considering purchasing a 5 gallon vat wholesale, but in the meantime, Mom and Grandma, you really need to try it!

The rest of the day revolved around cooking dinner for Karin’s birthday dinner. And Jere’s in town, so we got to visit with him after dinner. That was so nice. It was very sweet to hear him and Abe discuss how much they love their jobs, especially since they both transitioned to their jobs from working situations that were extremely taxing.

Karin brought Mary a whole bunch of birthday gifts, and both girls looooved that.

Karin brought Mary a whole bunch of birthday gifts, and both girls looooved that.

I should have taken a picture of the dinner, but just so I can have the recipe on file, I stuffed each person a pumpkin with this. Things done differently: I cooked the rices separately in the rice cooker. I cooked the wild rice in chicken broth and the basmati in a combo of water and apple cider. I added 3/4 lb (!) of Irish cheddar, a kind that was practically wet and very crumbly. I moistened the individual stuffed pumpkins with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream and more cider before baking. This was the best variation I’ve had on this idea to date. Again, should have taken a picture. Drat!

My cake was a total flop, but Karin was so nice about it. I asked Abe to buy a replacement cake on his way home from work, but he convinced me that it’s the thought that counts. I sort of agree, but when it comes to chocolate cake, I kind of prefer that it’s done right. Thankfully, no one spit it out in disgust. I need to write down recipe corrections in my cookbook so those same mistakes don’t happen again!

Happy birthday, Mary!

I have thirty something pictures of today, so let’s get to it!

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

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She couldn't reach the pedals.

She couldn’t reach the pedals.

Abe solved that problem this way.

Abe solved that problem this way.

It was raining, so we went to the aquarium instead of the zoo.

sep27pic2 sep27pic3 sep27pic4 sep27pic1 sep27 sep27pic5 sep27pic6 sep27pic22Then we came home and had pizza for lunch.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it's her birthday, so I couldn't say no.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it’s her birthday, so I couldn’t say no.

sep27pic8 sep27pic10 sep27pic9After lunch, Mary refused to nap. She didn’t want to miss a minute of her birthday! Instead, she ran around the house in the bugaboo necklace you gave her for Christmas, Grandma!

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She also played the piano…

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...and she played with Abe.

…and she played with Abe.

Abe took the girls outside to jump in puddles in the rain.

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Then I made dinner, and we celebrated Mary’s birthday with Tom, Suzanne, Clark, Swathi, Balu, and Mom.

We had Mary's favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

We had Mary’s favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

And cake!

And cake!

Cake!

Cake!

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The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

Then, gifts!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

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Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases!

Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases! Thank-you so much. It meant so much to Lydia to have a gift on Mary’s birthday. Also, thank-you for the garlic case you sent me–I LOVE it!!

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Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

With all of her gifts. Happy birthday, sweet Mary! We adore you!!

With all of her gifts. sep28pic13 sep28pic12 sep28pic11Happy birthday, Mary! We adore you!

 

Beautiful September Saturday

This morning, while Lydia was at dance, Mary, Abe and I shared a cup of cocoa and strolled through the lovely neighborhood near Lydia’s studio. We went to a yard sale and walked to a park, although by the time we got to the park, it was time to turn around and go pick up Lydia.

On our walk

On our walk

My ideal house, right in the beautiful neighborhood we explored. Too bad we can't stay in Salt Lake forever...

My ideal house, right in the beautiful neighborhood we explored. Too bad we can’t stay in Salt Lake forever…

Lydia before ballet

Lydia before ballet

 

Lydia during the tap dance part of her class

Lydia during the tap dance part of her class

After dance, we came home and hung out in our yard. Anique came for a visit and to pick some apples.

Fleur and Lydia eating apples.

Fleur and Lydia eating apples.

Then we went to the Avenues Street Fair.

After the fair, we headed down to Provo for a birthday party for Olivia. Elsa was there!
sep12pic7 sep12pic6Then we came home, I planned my Primary lesson, and grocery shopped for the week. Now I can’t wait to get back to The Mists of Avalon.

Saturday: done.

This morning was Lydia’s first day of dance at her new studio. We dropped her off and headed straight to Toys ‘R Us to pick up a birthday present for Espen. While we were there, Mary took a ride on the Tigger boat.

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Mary wanted to buy: wrapping paper and an Elmo book.

Mary wanted to buy: wrapping paper and an Elmo book.

Then we picked up Lydia, raced to the farmer’s market, bought produce, and headed to Espen’s party at the Kangaroo Zoo. The girls had a blast bouncing on everything. Honestly, I get anxiety in places and parties like that, but that notwithstanding, we had a great all around time.

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Then we came home for some naps and quiet time. After that, we headed over to Fleur’s house. Anique is a flight attendant and away this weekend, and her dad is watching Fleur. She called and asked if we could go play with Fleur a little bit since she was having a hard day. I don’t think our presence helped Fleur much, but the girls sure had fun!

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Fleur and her grandpa, Tom. He was such a nice man. I can see where Anique gets it from!

Fleur and her grandpa, Tom. He was such a nice man. I can see where Anique gets it from!

Then we raced to the library to pick out some books and raced to church for stake conference. After church, we hurried to pick up Lalitha and Eden to take them grocery shopping…and then Abe, the girls and I came home and all collapsed. I am ready to be done with this day.

Jon and Shirley’s wedding video! (wherein Abe officiates)

We have the video link to Jon and Shirley’s wedding (the one where Abe officiated)! It is absolutely GORGEOUS. Here’s the link. Theirs was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. I was so happy to see the video, especially because I didn’t get to hear the actual ceremony (I was busy taking the girls on a “princess hunt” in the gardens to make sure they didn’t interrupt anything).

We had a busy morning. I procrastinated buying the gift for Addelyn’s birthday until a half an hour before the party, and then we swung back to pick up another friend for the party.

The party. Apparently there was a parade, dancing, and lots of treats. Lydia came home with a marshmallow tiger tail, a chocolate Minnie Mouse cookie, popcorn, and a balloon. She had a blast.

The party. Apparently there was a parade, dancing, and lots of treats. Lydia came home with a marshmallow tiger tail, a chocolate Minnie Mouse cookie, popcorn, and a balloon. She had a blast.

Mary was sad she didn't get to stay at the party (she was still sick, and I didn't want the other kids to get sick).

Mary was sad she didn’t get to stay at the party (she was still sick, and I didn’t want the other kids to get sick). She got this popsicle as a consolation prize.

The rest of the day was low-key. I should have used the time to do homework, but instead I just lay around, practiced piano, and prayed a lot.

After naps, we went outside to play in the hose, pick tomatoes, and play until Abe got home.

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Mary thought the big tomatoes were apples. She LOVES pictures of apples in books and won't ever let me turn the page and finish the book if we happen to come across a page with apples. She'd rather just stare at all the apples. Anyway, even though I kept telling her she was consuming a tomato, she kept telling me that she was eating an apple.

Mary thought the big tomatoes were apples. She LOVES pictures of apples in books and won’t ever let me turn the page and finish the book if we happen to come across a page with apples. She’d rather just stare at all the apples. Anyway, even though I kept telling her she was consuming a tomato, she kept telling me that she was eating an apple.

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Play-doh.

Play-doh.

Swarming Daddy.

Swarming Daddy.

Helping a tired Daddy get up.

Helping a tired Daddy get up.

Then Abe and I went inside and were too tired to even eat dinner. We fed the girls and then lay on the couch while the girls tucked us in and gave us all sorts of toys. I sprained a toe running through the sprinklers today, and so I  babied it all evening.

I have hopes of watching Divergent tonight on Abe’s new Apple laptop that he just got from work. I guess the homework can wait until tomorrow…

cookies, cub scout car wash, ballet, party, nap, Sharon, carnival, walk, groceries: July Saturday or The Longest Title Ever

This morning I set my alarm early so I could bake cookies for the cub scout car wash. Then Abe took Ada and Lydia to ballet while Mary and I headed over to dry some cars. I was scared to put Mary down near the cars, so I carried her while I dried and called it my work-out o’the day.

jul26pic12jul26pic16 jul26pic17 jul26pic19Then it was time for Liv’s birthday party at Liberty Park (by the Seven Canyons splash pad/rivers).

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Abe had fun driving the girls around in Paige and Mike's bike. Isn't it amazing?

Abe had fun driving the girls around in Paige and Mike’s bike. Isn’t it amazing?

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After we came home and napped, our friend Sharon Harris joined us for dinner. I didn’t take any pictures during dinner because every second with Sharon was precious. She’s from New York and has spent a couple weeks in Utah for the Neal A. Maxwell symposium. We were so glad to see her, even though the time flew by.

After dinner Tom and Suzanne took the girls to a Miner family party while Abe and I stayed home and did homework and lesson prep. We also took a beautiful walk to the grocery store. The sun was setting and the weather was gorgeous. We saw a neighbor slow dancing to Jazz music with his garden hose. That was truly delightful.

The Miners’ had a carnival of sorts going on because so many family members were in town.

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Everyone had to wear shower caps covered in shaving cream. After the Cheeto fight, whoever was covered in the most cheetos won.

Everyone had to wear shower caps covered in shaving cream. After the Cheeto fight, whoever was covered in the most cheetos won.

The prizes.

The prizes.

jul26pic5 jul26pic4 jul26pic1 jul26Then it was home to bed. I have an early morning meeting tomorrow, so I should get to bed. Abe’s already asleep!