Friday Favorites

Here are some of the winners this week:

1. Nike Running Pants - So, on Wednesday this week I realized I did not own one pair of long workout pants - only capris. I figured I would do myself a favor and buy some 30 degree weather appropriate pants for my Thanksgiving run. To be honest this concerned me a little because I have been looking for "pants" forever. They are either too long, too tapered making my legs look like ice cream cones, too tight, etc. I just haven't been able to find the right ones. Well, Wednesday I finally found them!!! They are the Nike Lightweight Open Hem Women's Running Pants. They are fantastic!!! They are really lightweight feeling but lined in a soft, thin fleece and super warm. They are so comfortable and for those of us non-leggy gals, they aren't 6 inches too long. I also love that they have a little pocket (waterproofed) in the back. Love, love, love them. With that said, of course they are kind of spendy - but right now through December 1st, nike.com is 30% off $125 order. So, find a friend who needs a pair, or order two or make sure Santa gets them for you. Love them!

2. Flameless wax candles - I bought some of these at Costco a while back. They are battery-powered wax candles that have no flame but a small bulb that even flickers like a real flame. I thought with little kids they would be a good option and I thought they would be good to have on hand in our "emergency" items in the event of power outage, etc. I figured they would last longer than a wax candle (assuming we have the right batteries :))

So, yesterday for Thanksgiving I pulled these out and used them on our table, and around my house. Love them! No wax drips on my carpet or table cloth, no worries about my house burning down or someone's hair catching fire while kids were bouncing off the walls amidst all the candles, and they still look great and brand new after using them for hours and hours. Love this purchase and plan to get more in the future.

3. Nick Vujicic - Yesterday my father-in-law sent us an e-mail about this incredibly inspirational man. Born without arms or legs this 25-year-old Australian has done more in his life than most could ever dream. He surfs, he golfs, he can type, eat - he can do anything. All of those accomplishements are truly impressive. However, the thing that I found the most inspiring was his attitude and his joy for life. He does not see obstacles as problems, but as opportunities to grow and reach out to others. He has such passion for life and genuine love for others. Instead of feeling discouraged by his circumstances, he chooses to uplift and motivate other. How many of you feel you could rise to his level under those circumstances? I really don't know that I could...

I watched a few videos on YouTube and the more I watched and learned, the more amazed and inspired I was. Especially in light of Thanksgiving, it really helped to put things in perspective for me and served as a reminder of how many things I have to be thankful for - things that I usually take for granted or overlook.

Once in while I come across someone's story that really sticks with me and has a profound impact on me (ie Dick Hoyt - google him if you don't know his story, just make sure to have some Kleenex handy...) and I really believe that Nick will be on that list. Hopefully I will become a better person in some small way from his extraordinary life and example.

Check him out on YouTube or lifewithoutlimbs.org or attitudeisaltitude.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and delicious Thanksgiving! We had a really nice day.

My day started off with a chilly (30 degrees at warmest), early morning (7:30) run. A few people I know organized a Thanksgiving 5k/10k run on some of the nearby trails. There were about 12-15 people that showed up for a super low-key - (ie, free!) - run. The run was either up a hill or down a hill - not much flat ground for the entire 10kms, so it ended up being a really good workout. A little pre-meal calorie burn - but sadly, only a fraction of the calories I would end up consuming, but, hey, it was something!

A few of us after finishing our run.

Typically, I am such a slave to my ipod when I workout - I need my music!!! - but for whatever reason I didn't even turn it on. I ended up running a good portion of the "race" by myself and just really enjoyed the peacefulness and serenity of my surroundings. We were running on some of the "backcountry" trails of Highlands Ranch and there was often not a single person, vehicle, or animal (luckily!) in sight. I really enjoyed being alone with my thoughts and having some time to reflect on the many, many things I have been blessed with. What an enjoyable morning being out in the cool, crisp air enjoying beautiful Colorado, having time to ponder the things that matter most to me. I couldn't think of a more wonderful way to spend Thanksgiving morning - OK, a hot breakfast in bed followed by a massage would win, hands down.

Later in the day my sister Kim and her family came over for dinner. We had a nice meal and visit, the kids all were completely crazy wild and it was a little chaotic at times but I was happy to see my kids having so much fun with their cousins. Due to previously mentioned chaos, sadly, I didn't even get a picture of everyone :(

Overall, it was a wonderful day and involved so many of my favorite things - friends, family, the beautiful outdoors, a good workout, a great meal and a diet coke. Truly, my cup runneth over!


Friday Favorites

Some of my favorites from the week:

1. Twilight! I'm surprised that blogger didn't crash today since I can only imagine how many "Twilight" posts have been added in the last 24 hours.

I just got back from the movie. I have to say that am the most selfless wife ever and passed up the chance to see it last night with my friends, so I could see it with Jeramy. He read all the books and really wanted to see the movie with me. So I waited all day, avoided calls from anyone who had seen it last night because I didn't want to know a thing about it - I love to go to a movie with no preconceived notions. So, if you are like me and have not yet seen the movie - don't read the next paragraph.

I must admit I have been a bit nervous to see the movie. I didn't know how they were going to translate the book - mainly Edward and Bella's relationship - into a movie. But I have to say, the movie really exceeded my expectations. The number one thing I was hoping for was believeable chemistry between Edward and Bella. I thought Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson had GREAT chemistry!!! Overall, I thought the casting was great. It took most of the movie for me to decide how I felt about R-Patt as Edward but by the end I was convinced. I thought Kristen Stewart was great. She played Bella a little more "flat" - not necessarily in a bad way - and serious than I had imagined Bella from the books. Regardless, that girl is a fantastic actress!

So, the bottom line is that I really enjoyed it and I am so happy that I waited and went with Jeramy (who also really liked it!)

2. Protein drink mix-ins - I saw these at Costco and bought them. I have carb-loving kiddos and sometimes I have a hard time getting them to eat enough protein. I had heard of these and decided to try them. Each packet is mixed into 16.9 oz H20 and has 25 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams of fiber and no sugar. The pack I got has 3 flavors - pink lemonade, mandarin orange and cherry pomegranate. I don't really let my kids have sugary drinks much, so they think they are living the sweet life and are drinking Kool-Aid daily and I know they are getting some protein and fiber that I don't have to beg, threaten or bribe them to ingest. Besides Diet Coke, I really only like water (and, of course, hot chocolate with a big dollop of whipped cream!) but I thought they were pretty good!

3. Vicks VapoRub - Finn has had a really bad cough and has not been sleeping well at all - which means Jeramy, nor I have been sleeping well. I was mentioning this to a friend and she suggested that before bedtime I should rub a thick layer of Vicks on his feet then put socks on. I have heard this before but thought it sounded a little hokey. Let me tell you, IT WORKS EVERY TIME! I have no idea why - I tried to google it and can't find a good logical or medical explanation. If anyone knows why it works, let me know. All I know is that $5 is a small price to pay for a good night's sleep for everyone!


My Mom Laughs A Lot

Today at church we had our Primary program. Ella was one of the kids to give a talk. She was the youngest and the only one unable to read, so I thought I would have her try and memorize it. She memorized the whole thing and did amazing! 276 words, 7 small paragraphs! I was so proud of her - she worked so incredibly hard on it.

So when we got home from church I thought I would have her make an iMovie (one of her favorite things to do) of her giving her talk, so we would have it recorded. Of course she spent forever goofing around, hamming it up, introducing herself and in the process she introduced me and said "i laugh a lot!" I LOVED that! That is probably the nicest compliment she could ever pay me. Definitely in my top 5 compliments ever received. I took the exerpt of the clip because it makes me smile (and her "movie" ended up being 10, very dramatic, minutes long)


Friday Favorites

This week I was thinking about some of my favorite things from the week and thought I would add a weekly post to my blog - "Friday Faves." I thought this would be a fun way to document some of my favorite things - anything from household products, movies, books, good bargains, to just favorite activities from the week. Feel free to share yours in the comments. I'm always looking to add to my "i love...." list!

OK, these are a few of my favorite things from this week:

1. Home Run Inn Pizza - A few weeks back we made a rare Saturday trip to the grocery store around lunch time. They were giving out "examples", as Ella calls them, so we tried this pizza. Yummy! By far the best frozen pizza I've had and even rivals some restaurants. Good to keep on hand for emergency meals, or when it's up to Jeramy to get dinner for the kids, which is redundant to add since that is what basically constitutes an emergency meal :) Me and the kids tried the cheese and Jeramy went for the meat lovers. I would still rather eat at Big Bills but these are nice to have on hand. Cheap, easy, obviously no nutritional value, whatsoever but yummy!

2. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl - We watched this last weekend for our "Friday Family Fun" night. Adorable! So sweet and has a fantastic cast. It takes place in the 30's so, in spite of our country's current economic situation it may hit a little too close to home for the overly anxious, but our whole family loved it. And just because it is from American Girl, it's not "girly" at all - even the boys would enjoy it.

3. Scotchguard - So earlier this year I ripped off the very practical black vinyl that I had covered my dining room chairs with a few years ago and covered them with this fabric:

Crazy thing to do with little kids, I know! But I got the fabric cheap and bought enough to cover all my chairs 3 times over, figuring that would get me through a few years. When I was done I scotchguarded them thinking it couldn't hurt. That stuff is amazing!!! The first time I saw spilt, and dried, chocolate milk on my chairs it took me a second to start breathing again. Based on trying to get that out of my kids clothes, I felt my chairs were a lost cause and was about ready to bust out some of my extra fabric and get to work. However, with merely a damp cloth it wiped right off with no trace of anything. This week we've (when I say we've, I mean Finn) had blackberry and ketchup mishaps neither which has been a problem at all. That little can was the best $5 I've ever spent!

4. My new training partner - Saturday afternoon I decided to go for a run and was looking forward to putting on my ipod and having a little time to myself. I got caught sneaking out the door by Ella, who then begged to come with me. After her persuasive argument, she wore me down and I agreed to let her come, albeit not too cheerfully. Funny how that ended up being one of the most fun, memorable hours of my week. She rode her little bike and talked nonstop and even though we went slower than I wanted and had to stop a few times, I think I had a smile on my face the whole time. What a little trooper - we went 5 miles and conquered a few pretty big hills. My favorite, of the many, many, comments:

Ella: "Mom, aren't you so glad I came because then you wouldn't have anyone to talk to and that wouldn't have been fun at all. It's so much more fun to workout with someone. If I hadn't come you would have had to try and make a friend on the trail so you would have had someone to talk to. It's so great that we're working out, training together......"



We had a really fun Halloween this year. I think the star of the night was the weather. I do not ever remember a Halloween with such beautiful weather. It just made the whole day so fun and pleasant. The kids didn't even have to wear a jacket over their costumes. It was so nice!!!

Ella was a "Kimono Princess", although she told
everyone that she was a "Komodo Princess"
(like the dragon) and Finn was a Ninja.

We went to some friends house for the evening and had a great time enjoying some good food, great company and the kids had fun trick-or-treating together.

Gearing up for candy!

Ella and Sierra making some
dramatic poses for the camera. On
our way out the door, Ella decided she
needed a fan and so quickly fashioned
one out of pink paper. It's all about the

As much fun as the kids had, it paled in comparison to the fun the dads (the big kids :) had! They had a ball terrorizing and scaring the pants off all the trick-or-treaters! It was so funny. Our friend Justin absolutely loves to scare the teenagers on Halloween. So he pulled out all these masks and costumes and Justin, Jeramy, Sverre and Niles sat on the porch for hours, scaring the trick-or-treaters. They were pretty frightening! They put the candy bucket on the porch in between them all, dumped straw all over themselves and pretended they were dummies. They would sit really still and kids would come up and see them and couldn't tell if they were real or not. They tried to behave for the little kids, but they still made a few cry and, understandably, had a few irrate parents - one mom's comment "NOT funny!" another jumped in front of her kid and started yelling "ENOUGH, that's enough!" But they didn't hold back at all for the teenagers. They were grabbing ankles, growling, sitting perfectly still then just slightly moving a hand here or there, jumping out. Without question, the dads had the most fun of the evening!

The "big kids" in all their glory. Top L to R:
Sverre, Justin, Niles and 2nd row L is Jeramy.
They were SCARY!