Category Archives: Jared

Snow globe Cake

IMG_1191Tonight was difficult!  It’s going to be that way for the rest of the month.  It’s just something new that we have to adjust ourselves to. Jared has tithing settlement all this month and so we don’t get to see him at all on Sundays. Tonight was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional which the kids and I got to watch, in full!  It was quite the accomplishment especially since I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks with the kids and their behavior.

The devotional had great stories and thoughts about how to make our Christmas experience better.  They talked about being a good receiver which I thought was really important for the kids to hear.

As the devotional was finishing up and I was getting leftover cake prepared for after dinner, Jacob asked if it was for daddy.  I said it was for them, the kids.  Emma must have over heard because she came in and agreed with what I guess Jacob was trying to say.  She said we should bring it to daddy since he was working hard and wouldn’t be home ’til late.  I asked the boys if that was okay and everyone was on board.  We gussied it up a bit and within 10 minutes we had a beautiful snow globe cake with the baby Jesus at the center.  It would be the perfect dessert to give the bishopric after hearing the devotional and to kick off our Christmas holiday.



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Filed under Cakes, Christmas, Church Stuff, Jared, Kids


Tonight my parents took Jared and I to see Wicked!!!  I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to see this show and I finally got to see it, but in style!

My parents got tickets at the new Smith Center downtown and it was a pleasure to be there.  It had a very old Hollywood feel to it and with it being so new everything was immaculate!

It was funny that my parents took us to the theater because the last time we to the theater to see a live production was when we were living in London and, again, my parents took us to see Les Miserables!  That was equally exciting and thrilling, but I had heard such great things about Wicked I could hardly wait.

It didn’t disappoint!  I loved every minute of it!  I was familiar with the music but hearing it in context brought a whole new level to it.  I loved the fact that the writers could shed some more light on the classic characters.  I love things like that!  Even though it’s not my favorite, the new star wars movies did the same thing for me – bringing a new dimension to the originals.

The fact that I was able to enjoy the musical was second only to the fact that I was with my husband who was equally engrossed by the tale.  I love that we can share things like this together!

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Filed under Brianna, Dates, Jared, Nana and Papa

Say Good-bye to the Kitchen Sink

So I kind of made a mistake thinking I could fix this on my own (as you can see from the picture to the left).  Usually I’m really good at fixing things around the house so that Jared has more time to just hang out with us but this time I bit off a little more than I could chew.

Last Saturday we were out looking at stainless steel sinks to replace the broken, chipped porcelain sink we have now.  In deciding on a style I had requirements like the gauge of the steel and the depth of the sink but other than that I was pretty open.  I mainly just wanted a new sink.  Jared like the look of the apron front sinks but we’d have to cut into our granite countertops and go with porcelain again and I couldn’t compromise on that.  He also really liked the look of having no beveled edge on the sink like we have now.  He liked the clean look of just having a flat surface.  I was really apprehensive about that because we have this horrid air-gap that spews water out every time I run the dishwasher and I didn’t want to deal with the water going all over the counters every night I ran the dishwasher.  We settled on a sink that we both liked that was wider than usual to give Jared that feel of the apron front sink but I was still apprehensive about the air-gap issue.

So, we bought this sink that was wonderful but my apprehensions about the air-gap were keeping me from fully falling in love with it.  It’s been sitting in our living room, in its box, since Saturday.  Jared said that he would find out how to fix the air-gap so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the water spilling out so that made me feel a little better about getting the sink but I wouldn’t really feel good about it until it was done.  I got kind of restless and thought that I could figure out how to adjust the air-gap so that the water would flow into the sink instead of half in the sink and half on the counter.  As you can see from the picture above, it didn’t go so well.

I guess there was a metal piece under the rubber ring that had completely corroded and disintegrated.  Consequently, as I was cleaning off the rubber ring it snapped in half.  I disconnected the hose under the sink and fixed things down there but then I couldn’t figure out how to put everything back together.  That’s about when one of the kids decided to start the dishwasher 😦 .  So with a broken rubber ring and water gushing all over the kitchen I came to the conclusion that I can’t fix it and I needed Jared’s help.

I cleaned up the water, and texted Jared the picture above and asked if he could pick up the right parts to fix it.  I felt horrible because I’m sure he would have eventually gotten around to fixing things but I got so wrestles and it forced him to have to do it now instead of later.

He came home with the parts and as he was putting things back together it suddenly dawned on me that I had been putting the pieces on backward!!!  I could have fixed it and it all would have been fine if I had paid more attention to how I was taking it all apart.  But it was too late.  Jared started separating the sink from the countertop and I was left feeling very sheepish.


I was glad he wasn’t upset with me.  Bless his heart, he never is.  Since he had taken apart most of the pipes he just figured… why not!

He had that sink out within minutes.  I hardly had time to think about what was going on before it was out and he was asking me for the new sink.  It’s so exciting!

In retrospect, I’m glad that he started doing all that stuff last night.  It gave us a chance to put the new one in, seal it and let it dry overnight.  We weighed the sink down with some of his old law school books and ended up not using the mounting brackets.  In getting ready for this new sink I had read all the comments that people had regarding it.  It seemed that people had a really hard time with the brackets and that it warped and dented their sink.  I was nervous that would happen to our sink but when we realised that our old sink only had the seal on it and that the weight of the sink is what kept it in place we didn’t even go in the direction of the brackets.

It looks gorgeous!  It feels enormous, especially compared to what we had before and it has made me fall in love with my kitchen a little bit again!


Filed under Brianna, House, Jared

Jury Duty

Went to bed pretty early (at least for me) so that I could be up and ready for my jury service.  I have been pushing this day back for months.  I think I got my original summons back in March, just around the time that Jared was moving out to Florida.  There was no way I could serve with Jared gone and the kids in school.  My in-laws aren’t in town and my parents both work and I wasn’t about to ask them to take the day off for this.  Any of the young ladies that I usually have babysit were in school so they wouldn’t be able to pick-up and watch the kids.  I could have left them with another mom but then if for some reason I’m not home until 6:00pm that’s a lot of extra children to have.  They let me push it back to the summer time.  Summer came and so did my next summons.  Maybe it was the dreamer in me but I was kind of surprised when they actually sent me another summons.  They’re pretty persistent.  I’m sure I could have figured out a way to have served but, plain and simple, I didn’t want to.  I pushed it back thinking that by the time they called me to serve again I would have moved and they couldn’t call me again.  Well, I got my summons the other week and we had decided to stay in Vegas so there went my plan!  Albeit wasn’t a very good one.  So I called and checked in and put it on my calendar and told myself that I really needed to find a babysitter.  Thursday night, still no babysitter and only 3 days before I’m to report, one of my sweet young women Facebooked me that she’s working on her service project and wanted to know if I could use any babysitting.  Immediately I think, “YEAH, Jared and I get to go on a date” (something we haven’t done in months) but then I remember, in the deep dark recesses of my mind, that I have a responsibility and that I should really use her for Monday.

So here we are, Monday morning, kids are asleep in bed, Kami is getting instructions for her day with my kids, Jared’s running out the door to work, and I’m all dressed up to spend my day in a room with 200+ other adults who really don’t want to be there either.

As I’m standing in a line that’s wraps half a block around the court-house just to get inside and go through security I see this little unused door off to the side that says “staff only”.  I remember back when Jared worked for Judge Cory we would walk right past all the lines and he’d just flash his little badge.  I texted him this picture and told him how I wished I could just slip through that door.  His response was, “If you notice, that door is designed almost like a phone booth door.  You walk in a nerd on one side and come out a Superman on the other.  Minus the cape… and the muscles… and the flying… okay, so you walk in a nerd and come out the other side as a geek!”  I love that man!!!

Jared said something interesting to me the other night as I was complaining about my expectations for today.  He said that he was a bit envious that I get to spend the day at jury duty.  At the time I was thinking, “Ha! Because you don’t have to go to work!”  For me it might be nice to be away for a couple of hours and get some alone time but I still have everything waiting for me when I get back.  Jury duty is NOT my idea of a great way to spend my day.  And in his very diplomatic way (which I love because it gets me out of my mind) he said, “But you get to see the justice system in play.  That’s one of the things that I miss about the courtroom.”

Interestingly, as I’m sitting here with my legs falling asleep, it is kind of intriguing to think of.  Of course it would only be intriguing as long as it’s for one day and doesn’t drag on for days and days.  This will at least give me a great chance to finish reading The Book Of Mormon since I need to finish it by the end of the year and I’m still only in first Nephi.

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Filed under Brianna, Jared


How many times in your youth did you participate in an all out food-fight?  For me and my family I can safely say that tonight was our first time!  It was inspired by a conversation that Jared had with Joseph in which he asked his daddy why we don’t ever have food fights 🙂 .  Such a funny little boy!  Isn’t it obvious?!?  What was a little more perplexing was that Jared thought to himself “why not?!”  If I had more sense I could have listed off a million different reasons, but for some reason it got me to thinking the same thing and  ways to make it possible instead of thinking of all the ways and reasons it shouldn’t be.

It started with a list of foods that we could throw.  We thought of spaghetti and chocolate cream pies but both were nixed because of their ability to stain.  I wanted this to be fun and not me worrying about their clothes or my house and furniture.  I’m sure I would be worried enough about it as it was.  We settled on a menu of pancakes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green and orange jello, brownies, oatmeal, spaghetti noodles without the sauce, ramen noodles, whipped cream in the cans, homemade whipped cream, and the pièce de resistance was our pudding bombs (pudding set inside cupcake liners).


We spent one day making all the food and making sure they were in plastic containers.  Just in case the containers were picked up or dropped I didn’t want to have the added worry of glass on the floor.  Sunday night, after the kids were asleep in bed, Jared and I started pushing furniture off to the side and taping the plastic to the ceiling.  W e used painters plastic and just pieced sections  together with duct tape.

We had planned on doing this as a family but thought it might be a little more fun to have a few more people involved.  We thought to ask my parents but we both knew that if they knew what we were doing they probably wouldn’t come at all.  So we invited them over for dinner and FHE.  We asked them to bring foods like eggs, refried beans, and rice so that it would look like we were actually going to be eating dinner.  We also asked them to wear grubby clothes because I wanted them to really enjoy themselves and not worry about their clothes.  Once I asked that though they had questions as to what we would be doing.  The minute they walked through the front door and I had them take off their watches and they saw the plastic dividing that back part of the house my mom seemed to deflate and said, “We’re painting aren’t we!?!”  I just smiled and waved them through the entrance.

They commented on all the food on the table, we started our FHE off with a prayer and then Jared recited the scripture from Zechariah 5 that says, “Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.”  As he was reciting he took a pancake and smeared a bit of mashed potatoes on it.  I think at that moment my parents started to understand what was going on.


I’ll never forget Jared throwing the first piece of food at Benjamin.  As he was winding up Benjamin started saying, “NO! NO! NO!”  You have to remember that this is going against everything we’ve ever told the kids.  We were worried about how they’d act afterward, that they’d start throwing their food all the time but we decided to be open and honest with them and explain to them the amount of work we had to do in prepping so that our house could still be livable after.



I have to say that I had expected quite a few things.  I was prepared for the mess but I wasn’t prepared for how much fun it would be or how into it everyone would get.  I wish I could have been a fly on the wall and snapped a million pictures of everyone laughing and playing.  Being there wasn’t enough especially when you’re ducking behind things and slip-sliding all over the floor.  The couple of times that I pulled out my camera I became a real easy target and had to put it away.  It was mostly Emma that would try to get me when my camera was out.  I was okay with the flour being thrown at me but when she started spraying whipped cream I had to put it away.


Not everyone had a smooth transition into the food fighting scene.  Once Benjamin got over his initial fears of getting in trouble we had to ease Jacob into everything.  He was in tears for the first few throws until Jared took him into the family room as showed him that it was just food.  Jared put some food on his fingers and had Jacob taste it.  Whatever reassurances he needed he got in that minute.  From that time on everyone knew that they needed to be a little easier on Jacob and I was so impressed that they were.  They still included him but they were softer, a bit more gentle when getting him.  He got very into after that but occasionally I’d find him sucking on his fingers 🙂 .  After he doused Nana with some food I had them get together for a picture.  As I was counting he turned his head to look at Nana and actually licked the side of her face!!!  It was a priceless moment!


Jacob wasn’t the only one that I found enjoying the food that was strewn all over the house.  Towards the beginning of the fight I caught Emma taking a bite out of one of the pudding bombs before chucking it at someone.  Joseph took a break from throwing to squeeze a little whipped cream into his mouth.  My mom was a bit grossed out at the beginning when she saw Joseph eating some of the food.  She made an “ewe” comment until I reminded her that it was all edible.  That seemed to connect some dots for her and everyone else and it was great to see people eating the food throughout most of the event.


Here are some more pictures of us just have a good time!



When all the food had been thrown and we had taken the massive amounts of food that had been caked on our feet off and re-thrown that, it was time for a group photo!


This was an amazing memory for our family!  I’m so glad I didn’t say no to one of Jared’s ideas.  It might be one of the funnest things we’ve done as a family.  I’m so glad that my parents didn’t back out but that they were here to build this memory with their grandchildren.  I know it was different and out of their comfort zones but I’m so grateful that they were grandparents before they were Bryan or Jennifer (that they put their grandchildren before themselves).  And I think that they found that they were really able to have a great time as well.


There was such a huge mess but I was pretty confident that 99% of it was contained.  I’m so glad that Jared and I spent that extra time to go over every seam and seal it.

I just about thought of everything except when it came to an exit strategy.  When we were all done I realized that I didn’t want everyone walking through the house covered in food so I had to tear a hole over the sink, wash my hands as best I could, and then tear another hole as close to the back door as possible for everyone to walk out.  That worked better in theory because everyone had to step onto the tile to get to the door so I had some scrubbing to do later.

Everyone got their feet and legs sprayed down and then what didn’t get washed away by the water they scrubbed off on the grass.  Even with that, we were still covered and had layers of food caked on us.  Actually, later at dinner I found some food in one of the kids’ ears that was missed in the shower 🙂 .


And just like that, we started pulling the plastic off the ceiling and wrapping it in on itself.  There were one or two places where the food found its way out of the plastic but that was all on the tile and quickly cleaned up.  Surprisingly the worst of it was at the back door when the kids stepped on the tile before stepping outside.  All that food smashed on their feet smudged on the tile.

The kids passed out in the car on the way home from dinner at Famous Dave’s at 10:00pm.  By 11:15pm the house was spotless and back to normal!  What an amazing night!!!

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Filed under Brianna, Craft Projects, Family, House, Jared, Kids, Nana and Papa, summer

Father’s Day- two weeks late

Since we were driving back home from Utah on Father’s Day we really didn’t get to celebrate properly.  I had originally planned on sending a care package to Jared’s secretary in Florida and have her decorate his office while he was out, but circumstances changed and we now find ourselves no longer in Florida.  The kids had made some presents and couldn’t stop talking about throwing a party, so for FHE tonight we did just that!


This afternoon started off with Emma trying out her new Easy Bake Oven.  She got hooked on the idea from a few weeks ago.  When I was trying to spend time with Grandma in the hospital the kids took to playing on Nana’s iPad.  She has an Easy Bake app on there that they would play on and create desserts for hours.  I think that, combined with the fact that she helps me create things in our own home, I could see her wanting something like this.  She made her first batch of devil’s food cupcakes and we set them aside for the party.

We really didn’t even know that we were going to throw a party until Jared took Benjamin to boxing and I realised that we probably weren’t going to get a better chance to decorate the house.



We did some very simple decorations, things that we had planned for his office that would have really stood out but when put up in the house they kind of got lost.  The best part was taking pictures of the kids dressed as “daddy” that I could print off for a collage.


By the time Jared got home the house was decorated, the table was set for his dinner, and the kids were jazzed and ready to give him their presents.  We had a nice meal of chicken caesar salad, and whatever side dishes you get from the grocery store deli 🙂 .  Like I said before I wasn’t exactly sure when we were going to have his party so I wasn’t prepared with dinner.  But it was more than the dinner.  It was so wonderful to have a relaxing family dinner where we could all enjoy eachother again.


I love this man and it’s quite apparent that the children do too!!!  I’m so thankful to have him as the father of my children.  He sets a wonderful example of hard work, love, and faith for them to follow!  Happy Father’s Day, Jared!


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Filed under Craft Projects, Family, Holidays, Jared

Stanley’s Adventures In Florida

Finally finished the story!  Emma read through it once tonight.  She did such a good job with expression.  She’s wonderful!  I think she really liked the story especially since she laughed in several places.

Stanley’s Adventures In Florida


“Where am I?” said Stanley.  “The last thing I remember is trying to get away from those thieves in the museum.  I had to climb into a big box that was getting onto an airplane.”

After walking around for a little bit Stanley soon realized he was at IKEA!!! He walked, and walked, and walked.

“I can’t believe how big this place is!  There is so much to look at!” exclaimed Stanley.

He tried out some of the furniture and even laid down on one of the beds.  It was so comfortable that soon Stanley was snoring.  He was so tired after such a long trip and so much walking.

When he woke up Stanley’s stomach was rumbling.

“Hum,” Stanley thought, “I wonder where I could get some food.”

He walked around and found out that IKEA has the best lunches ever!  He had mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, chocolate milk and even a cookie!  After lunch, Stanley needed to think about what he was going to do because he was so far away from his home.  So, he sat down and thought.

He thought, “Well, I am in Florida! Maybe I can look around while I figure out how to get home.”

As he walked out of IKEA Stanley saw a tour bus drive by. It read, “Shark Valley Tours.”

“Ooh, sharks!” Stanley thought, “Maybe they have sharks in Florida!”

Stanley was in for a surprise.  When he got off of the tour, there were no sharks, but the tour took him into the Florida Everglades! There, he saw a big alligator! Then he saw another one, and another one! They were everywhere! Stanley decided he should climb into the trees just to be safe. It wasn’t all scary, though. While in the tree, he looked down and saw a little alligator.

“Hey up there!” It called. “What are you afraid of?”

“My name’s Stanley, and all of those alligators look mean. I’m just the right size for a snack!”

“Oh, come down. I’ll keep you safe. My name’s Alli.” She said, as Stanley climbed down.

But as Stanley reached the bottom the tree he was climbing it fell over right on top of Alli!!!

“Oh, no!!!” cried Stanley. “Alli?  Alli? Are you alright???”

The next thing you know, Alli the gator climbed out from under the fallen tree, but she didn’t look the same.  Instead of being a big scary alligator she was FLAT!!!  Just like Stanley!

They walked down the Everglades and saw a turtle.  Stanley had never ridden on a turtle before.  Stanley tried to ride on him but the turtle was tricky.  As Stanley snuck up behind it and jumped on, it slid down into the water.  Alli just laughed and laughed!  After that, he needed to rest in the shade of a flower for a little bit.  But not too long, or else those big alligators would come back!

Stanley didn’t want to spend the next day in the hot Everglades, so when he woke up from his nap, he and Alli found a crane that was on his way to the beach.  They both climbed on his back and held on tight!

When they got to the beach Stanley changed into his swim suit.  They played in the sand and even buried themselves up to their necks.  They got so much sand on themselves that they needed to go for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Wow, Alli!  The water is so warm!” said Stanley.  “It feels like I’m swimming in my bath tub!”

Stanley had so much fun flying on the crane that he wanted to fly some more.  He figured out how to make himself into a kite!  He let the people at the beach play with him as a kite, and boy was it fun!

While he was flying around in the air as a kite, he had an idea.

“I could fly home!” thought Stanley. “But flying home as a kite would be super tough.”

So the next day, Stanley packed his bags and headed to the airport.  He brought Alli, too, since she had never been to the desert.  The tricky thing about airports is that you have to go through all kinds of security.  If you can’t walk through the metal detectors you have to go through the x-ray machine.

“Uh-oh!” said Stanley. “It’s going to be dark in the x-ray machine!  Hold my hand Alli so you don’t get lost.”

When they got on the plane, the pilot asked Stanley, “Do you want to fly the plane?”

“Wow, I’ve never done anything like that,” replied Stanley.  He sat in the co-pilot seat and got all ready to fly, but he had some trouble reaching the controls.

“That’s okay,” the pilot said, “you’re still a pilot on this plane!”  And he gave Stanley his pilot’s wings!

Stanley sat and watched out the window as the plane took off into the air.  He was going to miss Florida and the beaches but he didn’t want to visit the Everglades again.  He was happy he had his new friend Alli with him. Once they were safe on the ground, Stanley breathed a sigh of relief.

“I’m glad that adventure is over!” he said to Alli, who’s adventure in the desert was only beginning.


As soon as Emma had read through the story and the kids were all in bed I went to work glueing down all the pieces to Emma’s presentation.  She had finished her homework yesterday so that gave her time to design her board.  This is what we came up with…

She wanted to be able to take Stanley and Alli the gator off but I knew if I added velcro it wouldn’t be long before they were ripped so I laminated them both!  I couldn’t figure out how to attach Stanley the kite so I added another pocket for him to sit inside.  She did a really good job of placing everything, although I did have to move one of the pockets because it was right on the seam and I couldn’t fold the board in half with it where she wanted.  She has her jar of sand, her bottle of Ocean water, and pilot wings all ready to pass out to her classmates!

I finished glueing everything down on the board at about 10:00 pm but I wasn’t a bit tired.  So, with my crafty juices flowing I somehow came up with the insane idea of making Flat Stanley cookies!  I know, it’s a gift and a curse 😉 .

I found a gingerbread cookie cutter and used that to make the body.  I whipped up some sugar cookie dough and made 30 Stanleys.  By that point it was too late to decorate so I figured I’d just save if for the morning.  I bought some of this Betty Crocker cookie icing a while back and so I’ll put it to good use.  I could easily make my own royal icing but I’m in the process of cleaning out my pantry and craft stuff before we move so if I can use it then great!  We’ll see how everything goes tomorrow!!!


Filed under Emma, Jared, School, Trips