Birthday Girl!

We officially have a teenager living in our house!! And we couldn't have picked a better one if we tried.
Ellie started off her morning with McDonald's pancakes. I found this an odd choice, but it's what she wanted. Luke actually would like to eat McDonald's for every meal out, but the other kids always poo poo it. Finally one day he cried, "Why do you all hate McDonald's?" Apparently they do not disapprove of McDonald's breakfast.

She tried to talk me into letting her stay home from school for the day, but off she went. For dinner she picked Oregano's which wins with the entire family. Mainly because of the pizza cookies.

It's like she just woke up and looked older.

She wanted a penny board for her birthday and to not have an official birthday party. Luckily her birthday lined up nicely with Father and Sons.

The boys took off, I sent Sadie to a sleep over and then prepared to entertain 3 of Ellie's friends for the evening (I had Dustin's car so that as many as I could fit).
We baked pizzas, bought cookie dough, ice cream and chips and then my only other job was to ignore them. I dropped them off for a movie, picked them back up and then shut myself into my room. I set out some ground rules, but I've known all these girls since they were in diapers and I know I can trust them so I fell asleep before 10 pm.

I took them all out for breakfast and then they all disappeared into Ellie's room. There are some definite perks to teenagers!


Ellie at 13!

Favorite Color: white and gold

Favorite Number: 101

Favorite Drink: Root Beer

Favorite Food: Pizza

Favorite Dessert: Souffle

Favorite Game: Boo!

Favorite Animal: Elephant

Favorite TV Show: Dance Moms

I feel sad when: I get hurt

I feel mad when: people yell at me

I like it when my friends: are with me

I like it when I: get good grades

I wish I could: be in a movie

Who is your best friend? my mom

Why? Because she will be with me forever

What makes you laugh? when Luke tries to be funny

What is your favorite movie? Little Meraind

What are you most afraid of? Being kidnapped

What is your favorite song? Bad Blood

What is your favorite activity? Acting

What do you want to be when you grow up? An actress and a mom

What three things are you are good at? Sleeping, eating, and being sarcastic

What is the best thing about being thirteen? I'm a teenager!

What makes you special? I am the oldest


A Week in the Life

I was super impressed with my ability to hold a wall sit with a weighted plate AND my trainer.

Ellie was part of a Family Home Evening fashion show that the Empty Nesters put on. I am not even going to pretend like it made sense to me. It was suppose to be "pun-ny" but it went over my head but it was a great opportunity for her to serve.
 She's got on a dress made out of the finest "tissue" and a "scoop neck."

Our neighbors went out of town, which meant we were welcome to use their pool. Which we did

I spent most of my time up at school either subbing or teaching Art Masterpiece. Sometimes my kids steal my phone and leave me awesome shots.
I did take a day off to celebrate one of my favorite friend's birthday. This will hopefully be the first and the last time I use a selfie stick.

Ellie and her friend Lizzie cleaned a friend's house to earn money for Girl's Camp and then came back to our house for make-overs before mutual.
I fed them corn dogs in the car on the way to mutual because I was running around so much that day/afternoon/evening. I think everyone ate in the car that day. Not my best mom moment.

Every day after school, Luke walks to the car with a bunch of older girls. It cracks me up. They call him Lolli Pop

Friday I took my favorite kids out to celebrate National Siblings Day. I couldn't celebrate with mine, but they could celebrate with each other.

And then we met up with one of my favorite couples for dinner and a movie. Someone in their brother's ward was producer, director, and actor of the movie and we thought we were so cool going to an independent film.
 It was terrible. Like we were holding in our giggles it was so bad. But we couldn't leave because they guy was sitting right behind us. At least the company was great!

Saturday after football and amid parties, hair cuts and fundraisers, Nate and I headed up to Taliesin West (winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright) as part of his 4th grade Famous Arizonan research.

We also squeezed in a trip to The Fractured Prune for fresh donuts.
 You get to pick your own glaze and toppings and every single one was delicious.



We had a beautiful, relaxed Easter this year. It happened to fall on Conference weekend which meant no shopping for dresses, no meetings for Dustin and lots of family time.
Saturday morning we had our Easter egg hunt. I was so proud of myself for not going overboard on gifts this year. The kids each got a swimsuit, flip flops and one little summer treat.

That night we had our usual Priesthood-less at the Park for which I have zero pictures. Usually we do sleep overs and do Conference with the McGuire girls, but they had family in town for a reunion, so I took all of my own kids home and put them to bed.
My amazing girlfriend, Deborah, made cinnamon rolls which everyone scarfed down for nreakfast and then we cuddled on the couch.
Our friends, the Bryners, came over for dinner. I didn't take a single picture except for a picture of the piece of shortcake Mike took before Dustin drove him to the airport.
Right from the center. The Bryners are moving to Utah this summer and we will miss celebrating the holidays with them.


April Fool's Day

I was really behind the ball on April Fool's Day this year. Luckily my kids have grown to love the Wacky Cafe, which can be put together in a just a few minutes. Basically, I open up my pantry and fridge and come up with crazy names for what I want to get rid of. I was really lacking in imagination this year, so I just wrote them all in different foreign languages.
Luke was the ultimate winner this year. He got all of his favorite foods plus 3 desserts. His approach was to just go down the menu and check off practically everything. Nate was a little pickier and ended up with a weird mash-up: peas, pasta and bacon.