Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Well, we're off to Utah tomorrow. Kyle drew us a map to help us find the way.
Hopefully the plane won't actually take the route, but it was sweet of him to do.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. We'll try to get everyone called tomorrow, but we will be on a plane for part of it, so if we don't get to talk to you...


Friday, December 18, 2009

Welcome Jacob

We have a new nephew! Jacob Nevin L* was born yesterday afternoon. Isn't he cute?

Jared and Katie, and big brother Cayden, are all happy that he's finally here and healthy!

We can't wait until we can meet him in person, but we're so glad that we can see him in pictures!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Birthday of Surprises

I love my birthday. I know that is probably selfish of me, but I like having a day to celebrate, well, me. (I really liked it last year when we were in Disneyland and everyone kept telling me happy birthday. I told Brent I was going to wear my button again, but I chickened out.)

We had a pretty low key morning...just doing those normal Saturday things that we have to do. Then Brent told me I had to go to the door and this is what I found.

Two of my young women (isn't it weird that I still call them my young women when I haven't been in young women's for over a year?) had made me a cake and decorated my door.

Here's the cake...

If you can't tell, that's the three of us (I'm the one with the fro on the left) sitting on my couch laughing.

I started to cry...I just love those girls so much and it was so sweet of them to remember my birthday.

Then, my visiting teacher brought over my present. It was a bunch of notes from different people in my ward.

I started to cry (do you seem a theme?)...I truly and totally felt loved! What an amazing present for the visiting teachers to give.

Then the party began. Brent said there were going to be like 20 people there. That turned out to be true, but mostly kids, which is great for me. Ryan, Marcela, Reyes and baby (not yet born) Camila came down. Court, Sarah, Chloe, Kyle and Aaron came over. And John, Laura, Juju, Lucille, and Evy were there too. I was just surrounded by some of my favorite people. It was so much fun!

I also had a "Better the Anything Cake." I don't know if they are better than ANYTHING, but they are pretty yummy!

As I look back on my birthday, I just feel so loved. By my family, my friends, everyone. And that was the best birthday gift I ever could have wanted.

Thank you all!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I am not really a fan of shopping. I HATE going to the mall. I do like Costco though...we go on a lot of Costco dates, but that's neither here nor there. I do however LOVE going after-holiday shopping. I love that stuff is half price. And I love that there are people all around (I know, I find that weird too.) and I love the feeling in the air. My mom, grandma and I have gone after Christmas shopping for as long as I can remember. I have A LOT of Christmas cards that I don't use because of those shopping trips, but I still love to do it. I'm also really good at getting through crowds. I like to blame it on going to a crowded high school, but I don't know if that's the reason. Whenever my mom needs something and there is a wall of people between her and that something, it is my job to get it.

So, when Leslie asked if we could go after-Thanksgiving shopping, I was all for it. I, however, am not a huge fan of early mornings. We realized that we weren't really shopping for any doorbuster-type things, so we left at the crack of ... 7:30 am. It was so much fun!

As you can see, we were very successful. And, yes, that is sunlight coming through the window. It was a GORGEOUS day that day!

After Christmas shopping, here I come! I don't know what I need, but I'm sure I need something! (I can just feel Brent cringing right now!)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Pancake Roll-ups

Brent and I have been married for 12 years now. (I know...that IS a long time.) Throughout our marriage, his family has spoken in fondness for what they call Pancake Roll-ups. Every time these Pancake Roll-ups were brought up, Brent's family would sing their praises while the in-laws would look at each other with confusion in their eyes.

What are Pancake Roll-ups, you ask?

They are an invention of Brent's mom that look something like this...
What you do is make a pancake, put cooked ground beef and cheese inside the pancake, roll it up and put maple syrup on top. I must admit, the idea of cheese and maple syrup never really sounded good to me.

But, in my new spirit of "hey, I can try anything once" - did I ever mention that I just had raw oysters for the first time? They taste like the ocean. It's weird. I have yet to decide whether I like oysters or not. But I digress - I decided to give Brent the thumbs up to make them while his family was here for Thanksgiving.

I had to document the exciting event. After all these years of hearing about these famed Pancake Roll-ups, I was finally getting a chance to eat one.

Marcela tried them too.

What did we think? Well, I don't know exactly what Marcela thought, but I thought they were pretty good. I don't think I'll ever say, "You know what I want for dinner...pancake roll-ups." But I definitely won't make a face if they are suggested.

Brent's family thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing...eating pancake roll-ups, watching us try them for the first time, laughing at our reluctance.

And we all survived the encounter and came out better people.

*If you need the recipe, just let me know! :)*

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was sure nice. We got to see and talk to all of our loved ones - except Jess' family, but we still love you - and there was good food for all.

This year we had Thanksgiving at our house. Brent's mom and sister, Julie, came up. It was great to see them both. We're so glad Julie is back from Kuwait safe and sound and for good! Good luck with your new job tomorrow, Jules!

Brent's brother Ryan and his family, Marcela, Reyes and New Baby (yet to be born), came down to spend the day with us too.

Brent's Uncle Gary braved the children and the craziness to join us as well. It was great!

After dinner, Court, her mom and the kids came over to enjoy some SUPER YUMMY pumpkin pie (I made that), a yummy pumpkin souffle of sorts (Marcela made that), and a yummy blueberry cream cheese pie (Court made that.) I love desserts!

Let's reminisce in pictures...(Sorry I didn't take any when Court and her family were here...I was distracted, I guess.)

Reyes was watching some Toy Story, and she let her Auntie Julie watch with her.

Reyes brought some blocks with her. I think Brent had more fun with them than she did. She really likes crashing through them. Silly girl.

I guess Ryan and Marcela stole Julie's camera and took a picture of themselves. Jeez guys, how rude!

Are you guys related or something?

As I said before, Julie just got back from a year in Kuwait. And she came bearing gifts. If I wasn't so lazy right now, I'd go and take a picture of all the things she brought back, but, alas, I am feeling lazy so I'll just describe them.

She brought me a beautiful necklace that says "Ashley" in Arabic. At least that's what Julie told could say anything!

She brought us beautiful handmade pillow slipcovers. I really should have taken a picture of those. Oh well.

She also brought us Muslim prayer beads.

She brought Brent a calendar for his desk that's good until the year 2025. And she also brought him this...

Doesn't he look cute? When he took it out of the package, a crocheted hat fell out. Julie told us that if he was bald, he would put that on first, then the rest. So Reyes put it on...

And I tried to put it on, but it wouldn't go on my head. That's when Julie said that the Kuwaiti men were not, how to put this, really big and masculine.

Then Ryan put it on. We laughed. It was just bad timing on his part.

We're glad that we could fill our house up with people we love. We're also so thankful for Skype and how we can see those who are far away. We certainly live in an amazing time. (I just had to try to explain what an iPod was to some older ladies in Relief Society. They were certainly impressed. At first they thought it was a cassette tape.)

Hey, I Could Do That!

A couple of weeks ago, Court and I went to a craft fair. It was a small-town sort of place, but there were a lot of really pretty things...a lot of not so pretty things, but we just smiled nicely and walked past those.

There was a place selling the cutest presents with lights in them! I just loved them, but I wasn't going to pay a lot of money for them. So, I looked and looked and memorized what it looked like and I came home and ...

Did this. Isn't it cute?

It wasn't really that hard. Thanks, Mom, for reminding me how to tie those cute bows.

I know, now you're looking and looking and memorizing and you're going to try that at home. :)

Friday, December 04, 2009


Earlier this week, I looked out the window one morning and our mailbox was gone. The post was still there, but the mailbox was missing. As I was treking up to the mailbox, I was thinking, "What do we do without a mailbox? How will we get mail? Do I need to call someone?" I'm a worrier and a planner, not a good combo.

So I get to where the mailbox post is and I can see the mailbox in the ivy. Great, stupid kids have hit our mailbox off the post. But, when I pick it up, it's not dented or anything. So, what happened? I have no idea.

But...the bigger problem...what do I do about it?? Brent gets home at 4:30 every day, but it's dark by then, so he can't really be working on the mailbox. (I know, dark by 4:30??? I love this time of year. It's much more fun in the summer when it's light until 11 pm.)

So, in my ingeniousness, I "fixed" our mailbox until Saturday when Brent can work on it.

Yep, those purple things are bungee cords. We now have a white trash mailbox. Woho!

Don't you love the moss growing on our mailbox? Washington is called the Evergreen State because in the winter, EVERYTHING is GREEN!