Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Top 10 Reasons To Celebrate Ben!

Happy Birthday Ben!  Today is Ben's birthday and I am so happy to celebrate this man; he's amazing.  I let him open his birthday presents early because I wanted him to be able to play with them this weekend.  He got a HUGE bucket of cheese balls (he always begs me to get them when we go grocery shopping), a Boise State Jersey (the new black one), a Boise State license plate frame and the new Need for Speed racing game, and the PlayStation Move steering wheel. He's been playing all weekend and he loves it!

This morning Ben woke up to balloons and breakfast casserole.  You line a 9x13 pan with crescent roll sheet, add 1lb of cooked sausage on top, then 6 beaten eggs, then 2 cups of cheddar cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Delicious!

In primary today, the kids sang Happy Birthday and we celebrated with mini Oreo cheesecakes.

For lunch this afternoon I made three cheese chicken Alfredo.  This is a recipe that I found on Pinterest and I knew Ben would love it because it had a ton of cheese!

I  had Danielle make this amazing cake!  She is best and if you ever need a cake you should call her.  Since Ben already had a cheesecake for Thanksgiving, I had Danielle make a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.  She painted the Boise State field on it, and it looks great!  We're celebrating with Ben's family tonight and I'm sure it will taste awesome!  Thanks Danielle!

And here is the 10 reasons to celebrate Ben!


He listens to loud music!


He only eats vegetables that are covered in cheese


He bleeds orange and blue

  And a little black and gold


He has a cute face!


He’s a grill master

(this is what Ben made the first time he cooked me dinner, salmon grilled on a cedar plank…yummy)


He’s a Big Kid at heart


He loves anything with
4 wheels


He Likes Cool Breezes


He’s got Dangerous Gases


You’re The BEST Around!

Happy Birthday Ben!

I Love You!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ben and I had an awesome Thanksgiving and so far, our weekend has been full and fun!  We spent Thanksgiving day with my family.  There were about 14 of us and it was loud and lots of fun.  I am always in charge of desserts and this year I made a New York style cheesecake because Ben loves it.  It turned out amazing!

I also made a cherry salad.  This is a recipe that I found on Pinterest and it is yummy as well.

Here's a picture of the princess playing the piano!  Child prodigy y'all

Thursday night Ben and I went shopping.  We started at 8:00pm and were in bed by 11pm.  The crowds were crazy, but everyone was polite and friendly.  We saved so much money.  This morning we finished our shopping.  All in all, it took 5 hours and we came in $7 under budget!  Success!  We spent the afternoon wrapping all the presents, putting up the tree and decorating the house.  Ben let me listen to 3 Christmas songs and then we were U2 the rest of the day.

On a side note, Ben and I have had a fun time adjusting to our schedules.  Ben is a morning person and I am a night person.  Sometimes when Ben wakes up he wants to talk to me about our plans, schedule, etc.  This is how I feel when that happens.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Catching up

 Earlier this month a new Stake was organized and we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Christofferson.  He is so amazing, and I love being taught by living apostles.  I was even able to shake his hand!  I was also able to speak with Elder Ballard when he was here a few years ago.  2 down, 13 to go!  (For those of you who don't know, I have a goal to meet all the apostles).

Ben and I have also attended a few Vanderbilt basketball games.  It's going to take a few years before we are competitive but it is still fun to be in Memorial Gym. We have also started following a few NBA teams just so we can watch our boys that were drafted last year.  One of my favorite fall/winter things is basketball and Ben has become a fan as well.  He's still a football dude, but he's coming around.

Last week my Mom and Steve took all of us girls to see White Christmas at TPAC.  We met for dinner at Bricktops (yummy) and then headed to the show.  It was so much fun and we had great seats.  The singing/costumes/actors, etc were great.  We love that movie and we watch it every year.  Rachel and I have been known to dance and sing the "Sister Act".

Last weekend the boys went camping and we had a girls weekend.  Rachel and I went to Jenn's house Friday night and we got our hair done, had pizza, and watched the first half of the last Twilight movie.  Nothing like a slumber party in your 30's!  We even raided my nephews Halloween candy.  The next morning, after a wonderful breakfast by Jenn, we saw the new Twilight movie.  We loved it.  In my opinion, it is the best one.  We were totally confused at one point because some things were happening in the movie that weren't in the book, but then it worked out.  It was so nice to spend some girl time with my sisters!

After the movie I was able to spend a wonderful afternoon with my sisters from other mothers.  Shauna, Nada, Kristen and I met at Mimi's in Murfreesboro for birthday lunch!  We had such a fun time chatting and catching up.  We have been lifelong friends and it is wonderful to be able to spend time with people who know you so well and fill your soul. I'm so grateful for our friendships and love our birthday lunches!

Meanwhile, the boys went camping.  My dad does a camping trip for the men the weekend before Thanksgiving.  This year Dad, Chad, Carson, Ben, & Scott went.  I'll let Ben tell you about his experience.

Ben: I went camping last weekend, and had a ton of fun! We set up tents and sat around the campfire telling stories and eating chicken wings and potato wedges.  After warming up we retired to our tents and tried to sleep, but it was FREEZING! It must have gotten down to 15-20 degrees. I think I made it to 5:30 before finally giving in, I got up to build the fire. After an awesome breakfast we drove up to Edgar Evans State Park for a hike. I am looking forward to this yearly trip!

On Sunday Ben gave a talk on gratitude.  They had some extra time to fill, so the Bishopric called me up to bear my testimony.  There is nothing like being called out while you're planning your primary lesson in the middle of sacrament meeting!  Ben did an awesome job and shared some sweet experiences about his mom, dad, President Sandstrom, Sister Brandon and his grandpa.  He's so amazing and I am grateful for him and his testimony.

* I had Ben's permission before I posted this:

Accidents happen, we all know that.  At work today Ben blew out his pants.  I think it's because he's lactose intolerant but he doesn't believe me.  But the proof is in the pants:

I think this post is long enough and I will be posting again soon for our fun Thanksgiving/Birthday weekend plans!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Busy Bees

Well, another busy weekend has come and gone.  Vanderbilt played St.Xavier for their first exhibition game and won!  We are going to be terrible this year, but their Freshman class looks promising.  I wasn't able to go to the game, so Ben took Parker.  He had a great time and was cheering and jumping up and down.  He also LOVED the popcorn.  FYI, the best popcorn in the city can be found at Memorial Gym.

Today Ben and I started our Couch to 5K program.  We knew that it would be rough because we've been couch dwellers for the past several months.  We got started early and thought we could beat the crowds.  Little did we know that a group of about 70 people would be running a 50 mile race!  Yes, you read that correctly a 50 mile race.  So, to add insult to injury, the chubby kids were barely getting by with our first 1.5 mile and the professionals are out there running and enjoying themselves.  It was embarrassing.  I mean, we should be cheering these people on, not the other  way around!  But, it was motivating. Every single one of those runners had to start where we are.  They may not have been as round, but they had to start with their first mile, just like us.  So, we're just going to take this one day at a time and see how it goes.  Who knows, maybe next year Ben and I will be running our marathon cheering on a couple of beginners.  We stretched well after the run and our shoes were great.  I had a bit of trouble with my legs, but I think I just need to run through the pain.  They need to get stronger and it will on happen by running and not giving up.  We run again on Tuesday.

We also had my nephew's 7th birthday party today.  It was angry bird themed.  Jenn had her backyard decked out with carnival like games, music, a popcorn machine, etc.  Here are some pictures:

Here's our game with the balloons and balls.  It was a big hit!

Child size hamster ball, for....

Angry Birds! You can see the blocks set up in the back


After Carson blew out his candles, he flung the bird over to the other cake and knocked the pigs down.  It was cute.

We had such a fun time celebrating with family, and Carson always has the best birthdays!  Happy Birthday Buddy, you're the coolest kid!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend Fun

Saturday was a busy day for us.  We spent the morning getting ready for the UT game.  Ben's friend Bridger came over and watched the crazy game with us.  Here are some pictures. 

I made potpourri from orange peels and cinnamon-our house smelled so good!

The spread. So much food. Potato salad, wings, chicken salad, little piggies, and chips and queso. Not  to mention Ben's favorite, purple drink. 

I also made a pear pie from organic pears from Washington-yummy!
Later that night we picked up Parker, (Ben's Little) and took him to the Primary Activity at our Ward.  We had a bunch of carnival like games, a chili cook-off and a trunk or treat.  Here's the game we made.

You can kind of see the pig faces that I drew on the balloons.  And the game held up well.  I just have to repaint the  "bird balls" because some of it rubbed off. 

I am the Morton Salt Girl and Ben is wearing a shirt that says I'm a Pepper. Salt n Pepper

Ben and I were not going to make a chili because we were already doing so much, but 3 hours before the event we changed our minds and guess what?  We Won!  I say we because I minced the garlic, Ben did everything else.  (Sorry no picture but it was a Chicken White Bean Chili, I can send recipe if you want it).

We also decorated our car for the trunk or treat.  I'll give Ben all of the credit for this one.


He wanted to incorporate our costumes. So it is the Morton Salt Girl with "guns" running down a bunch of Dr. Pepper cans.  He even added caution tape, and he had a strobe light going.  

Parker had a good time.  He dressed up like a Vampire and got a good load of candy.

For FHE tonight we are going to watch a Halloween Movie!  I tried to get Mr. Boogedy or Bride of Boogedy Man, but I couldn't get digital copies of them. Bummer.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gettin' our run on

Ben's sister Shannon has totally inspired us to lace up our racin' shoes.  She did the couch to 5K program and now is going to run her first 10K!  Thanks for getting us excited to run!

Problem 1: Ben hates running

Solution: Introduce technology feature

With the Couch to 5K application on his iPhone, he is actually motivated and excited to track his progress and see how fast he can get.

Problem 2: Steph's shin splints

Solution: Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

I always get terrible shin splints when I run.  I've tried several different types of shoes and ways of running, but nothing seems to help.  I found some great exercises on the interwebs to strengthen my calf muscles and have been doing them.  Hopefully this will help b/c it hurts like nobody's business.  The only time I ran and didn't have this problem was when I ran the St.Jude Half Marathon, the cold weather might have helped with the swelling, plus it was a pretty flat course.

Problem 3: Ben's flat, fat feet


We've been doing some research to find the best shoes for Ben because he has super flat feet and they are also very wide.  Introducing the New Balance 880v2

We are motivated, cleared our obstacles and are excited to begin. We will start our program on Saturday, November 3rd, in honor of Shannon's 10K.

 We are also going to run a 5K race after our training is complete.  We haven't decided which one we're going to do yet, but it will be at the end of December or beginning of January.

Please ask us how our running is going whenever you see us.  Hold us accountable for our new found exercise program!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Zombie Hayride

My nephew is a Halloween baby so we normally go out and celebrate with him during the month.  For the past several years we have taken him to Rippavilla and walked through the corn maze, drank hot chocolate and walked through the hay maze.  One year, there was a man there with a large telescope and we got to see really cool stars and planets.  This year we mixed it up a bit and went to Millers Thrillers Zombie Hayride.  We had a lot of family there which always makes for a fun night!  We met early at Jenn and Chad's house where Chad grilled yummy burgers for us.  We got to Miller's Thrillers about 20 minutes before it opened.  We didn't mind the wait because we were rockin' out to Skrillex, an impromptu family dance party is always a blast!  On the ride they separated  you into two teams-Black Opps or Code Red ( I kept saying Cone Head).  You had 75 paint balls and for an extra 10 bucks you got an extra 75-Ben and I split an extra cup full.  The ride was pretty short and the zombies were far away, but it was still a lot of fun.  It was just nice to be out with family.  They also had an illusionist show, a man on stilts and zombies walking around trying to scare you, as well as a trash can drum show.  This was cool and they even invited Ben onto the stage to play the drums and dance for the audience.  He rode the train a bit-it was hilarious!  Afterwards, we went back to Chad and Jenn's and lit the fire pit and roasted marshmallows. It was a great bonding moment-I love spending time with my family and they all love Ben! He fits in perfectly with our family, he cracks everyone up and talks music and football with the men-folk.  Here's some pictures of our adventures....

Man on Stilts and the Creepy Clown

Light Sabers!!

Our paint ball guns

The Band

*If you go, my suggestion is to get there about 20 minutes early.  As we were leaving the line was extremely long, stretched into the parking area. Also, starting at 6pm they do a less scary version for children.