Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Last night Jilly got to go Trick or Treating with Granny and Mama. We went in Granny's neighborhood. We were a little disappointed there were more kids out, but I guess it meant more candy for us! ;-) Jilly was quite the ferocious and terrifying bat, and of course charmed everyone in sight.

Before we left our house, I wanted a picture of her without her jacket one, so you can see her cute Halloween shirt.


Once we were at Granny's with the Bat Bag in hand, she was ready to go!


I didn't get any pictures while we were walking around, but let me tell you. For the few houses we went to, we scored pretty darn well. One house we went to gave us a King Size Snickers! Can you believe it?! Steve was sure psyched about that one. She did a good job of either picking a candy or taking the one they offered and putting it in her bag. However, I did get the feeling she was trying to escape from me. Everytime someone opened their door, she tried to walk inside! :-) Granted, I don't think she'd ever encountered a situation where we just stood at a door and didn't go inside, so I don't blame her for trying. Hehehehe.

Jilly inspected her loot quite closely when we got home.


For quite awhile after getting home, Jilly walked around the kitchen, dragging her bag with her. It was adorable.
video

Then she started playing with the candy itself. The suckers were quite a hit with her.
video

We finally let her have a piece. I gave her a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar, which she LOVED! Can you tell? ;-)


This was an accidental video. My mom was trying to take a picture, but I forgot it was on video mode. Nonetheless it was cute and you can see Jilly licking her fingers.
video

On the way home, I let her hold her bag of candy. I could hear her playing with it, throwing it in the seat next to her and such. Then it got a little quiet. I stopped at a light and turned around to see this!


She hasn't unwrapped it at all, but rather chewed on the corner, melted it with her hot little hand and sucked it all out! I let her finish the Krackel, but drew the line at the Mr. Goodbar. I was not going to let her eat peanuts while I was driving! She didn't like that idea.


We got home and I let her have a "Creepy Pop" skull-face sucker. She LOVED it! And proceeded to get it all over her face, hands and clothes. Once she began using it as a drumstick on her toys and booksheld, I took it away and she got a bath.

All in all, it was a very successful and fun Halloween!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Boogly Nights!

Last night was our ward's Boogly Nights Halloween Party. There was a Chili & Cornbread Potluck dinner, then carnival games, a costume parade and a Trunk or Treat!! It was a lot of fun and a HUGE turnout. At one point, someone counted 185 people in the gym alone, not counting anyone in the halls or outside. My guess, there were over 200 people there. WOW! It was tons of fun.

The food and games were fun. Most of my pictures are from the Costume Parade. I won't put names of kiddos on here, but if anyone either wants me to take their kiddos' photo down or email them the original, let me know!

BAT JILLY! I realized later this was the ONLY picutre I took of her that night. D'OH! Good thing I'll have two more chances to take pics of her in the costume. :-)




















Jilly enjoyed the Trunk or Treat. We knew she couldn't say Trick or Treat, so we taught her to say "Boo!" Of course, she can say it to us, but refused to do it while Trunk or Treating. Silly kid. But she liked walking around and knew to get the piece of candy, then put it in her candy bag. By the end of the night she was totally done (only got a less than 1 hour nap) but had fun. In the car on the way home, we had to stop at the store. Steve ran in while Jills and I stayed in the car. She informed me that she was a "taaahd guh" (tired girl) who needed to "go hoh" (go home) and "beh" (bed). :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Play time with Maya!

One of Jilly's favorite friends, Maya, came over to play today. Maya is one month older than Jilly and they get along pretty well. They spent a lot of time together in Primary, then in Nursery, and at Playgroup as well. Jilly was still asleep when Maya got here, but woke up soon and they had a really fun time together. For two 2-year-olds being together for 3 1/2 hours, we only had 5 minutes where they upset each other. Not bad, if you ask me! It sure doesn't hurt they're both very sweet girls.

They both enjoyed playing with the letters on our fridge.


Maya kept playing longer than Jilly and liked to tell me about it.


Jilly got a hold of my hairbrush after I did her hair and was playing with it. This says to me, "Concentrate....I know I can make this do something!"


Jilly watched Maya from the safety of her car.


Maya was rolling this car up and down the fridge. The girls both LOVED this car.


Jilly wanted to take pictures, so I got closeups of both their faces. This was the only one worth keeping.


Maya loved the rocking chair and sat on it for quite a while.


Then Jilly dragged the ExerSaucer over to me, so I could put her in. As soon as I did the girls both started playing with it.


This is the video of them. It's hilarious, if you ask me!
video

We had a lot of fun having Maya over! We hope she comes again soon. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tagged!


I got tagged by Nancy N, so I better hop to it, before I forget.

Mmkay, seven random facts...

1) Laundry is my favorite chore to do. But I am HORRIBLE about putting it away. At the moment, the Sierra Nevadas of Laundry have taken up residence on my bedroom floor. It's fairly pathetic. I keep washing the laundry, but then dumping it on the floor when it's done.

2) I dream about future events. I would say once a month I have deja vu. I'll be doing something mundane, like talking to a friend, or pulling mayo from the fridge, and I'll remember dreaming the exact thing months earlier. Usually in the dream I didn't recognize the person or the place, but then when it actually happens, it all makes sense.

3) I'm afraid of the dark. Not like when I actually sleep (I have to have it pitch black in my room), but at night, I am terrified of uncovered windows and especially being outside- woods are the worst. I blame my mother. She tried to get me to be cautious and alert when out at night by warning me about rapists and murderers. However, it got stuck in my brain and now I hate being outside alone at night.

4) While I am obsessed with pink, I cannot paint my walls with it or have too much of it around. I like pink as an accent color, not the main color. That's why Jilly's bedding is purple and green and if I was to paint her room it would be one of those colors. I doubt I could ever paint a room pink. Too much for me.

5) I hate drinking water. I would drink soda all day long, everyday if I could afford it. Water is just so bland and boring, and I don't like the taste. So I compromise and mix it with Crystal Light most of the time. But it's rare you'll catch me drinking just plain water.

6) I have lived my entire life in Washington, only an hour or so from Stevens Pass, and have never been skiing or snowboarding. And I don't care to try them at all. I'm an indoor girl, I would rather curl up on the couch and watch TV or read with a cup of hot chocolate than be outside in the snow.

7) I will not swim in natural bodies of water. EW! The only exception is Lake Chelan. Otherwise, only pools for me! Sorry dude, but lakes, rivers, and the ocean are scary and nasty. There are weeds trying to grab my legs and drown me, other creatures wanting to eat me, and I can't see the bottom- therefore am not able to avoid aforementioned hazards. Gross gross gross. Plus I have a big fear of deep water. Boats are fine, but I don't jet-ski. Strange thing is, I feel uber-secure in seaplanes. Go figure.

I will tag: Tara H, Feather Girl, Megan P, Jeanne G, Stacey S, Candace D, and Maggie H. :-D

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Costume

We just got Jilly's Halloween costume and I had to take some pictures, because it was so cute. Allow me to introduce a most ferocious creature: BAT JILLY!


Isn't she just the scariest fat little bat you ever saw?

Look at those fangs!!


We got her costume at Old Navy which I was totally psyched about. For any of you unfamiliar with Seattle in October, it is generally cool. And by cool, I mean freaking cold and rainy. That means all those sweet, delicate little fairy and princess costumes do NOT cut it! It is WAY too cold to try anything like that without a turtleneck and thick thick tights or leggins underneath, which severely degrades the Cute Factor. My friend Britta reminded me about Old Navy costumes and lo and behold several different options of thick, full-body fleece costumes. HOORAY! After debate between Steve and me, we decided on the Bat. I really am happy with it. It's big on her, but I don't care. Now, if I can only keep her from trying to removed the jacket... ;-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bells!

This past weekend my Auntie Terry, Uncle Kevin and cousin Kylee came to visit! They moved from Washington to Connecticut 8 years ago and I've only seen them a handful of times since then. The last time was at my wedding, three and a half years ago!! Which means, they'd never met Jilly. Sad times for sure. So we were all very excited about their visit! It was a bit of a bummer that my other two cousins couldn't come. Bailey is at school at USU in Logan, Utah and couldn't come. Gator (known as Devin to most people, but will always be Gator to me) is on his mission in Tempe, Arizona. He won't be home until February. It sucks, but they're in more important places.

They were here Thursday thru Tuesday. They stayed with my uncle's parents in Kent. Friday afternoon they came up to our house for dinner and the evening. (I made a killer meatloaf and baked potatoes, which everyone seemed to love, by the way. ;-)) Jilly was asleep when they first arrived. I woke up her at about 5pm, because it was getting too late for her to be napping. She was pretty shy when I first brought her out. She would only sit on my lap, burying her face in my chest. She wouldn't even let me turn her, still on my lap, at all. It took a sippy cup, about 30 minutes and ultimately some goldfish to get her to loosen up. (YAY for goldfish!) Then she turned into a performer!

All night she kept us entertained, showing off her talking, dancing, singing, running, kissing and playing skills. It was mighty impressive. She warmed up to them all. There were even a couple times she went running over to Uncle Kevin and climbed right up into his lap and cuddled with him, then made him kiss her animals. The Bells brought her a very sweet stuffed polar bear. We have yet to come up with a name. Steve wants to call him Barack, for irony's sake, but I staunchly refuse. He's even suggested Barry (or Beary, I'm not sure on the spelling), but I still say no. I told him I would rather call the bear Sarah or Whitey. ;-) So the bear remains unnamed. Anyway, we had a fabulous time just talking and hanging out. Katie came from school part way through the evening and hung out with us too. It was just super fun and relaxing and hilarious with Jilly performing for us all. They left around 9:30pm and took Katie home.

Saturday evening, we met up with them again. Andy had driven down from Western Washington University in Bellingham that morning. I met him and Katie at their house around 5pm and we drove down to Grandma & Grandpa Bell's house in Kent. (Yes I call them Grandma & Grandpa even though they're not my grandparents. They were involved in my life as much as my dad's mom and infinitely more than my maternal grandparents.) It was fun seeing them again and having them meet Jilly. I hadn't seen them since my wedding either. They actually attended our sealing, which was super neat. Uncle Kevin and Grandpa were at the Priesthood session of General Conference (Steve was too, but up in Lynnwood), so it was just us and the girls. We went out to dinner at Azteca, since Auntie Terry hadn't eaten there since they moved. It was yummy and again, Jilly entertained us. After dinner, we went back to the Bells and visited for the rest of the evening. Granpda and Uncle Kevin were back by that point. Grandpa Bell has back surgery a couple weeks ago and someone had brought him a balloon. Jilly fell in love with the balloon and played with it all night long. I think the funniest part was when we tied it to her leg and she ketp batting at it. Hysterical, I tell you. Grandpa was very sweet and gave it to Jilly to bring home. It is now in our living room, tied to Mortimer to keep it weighted down. All too soon, it was time for us to go home. We said our goodbyes, and Katie and I kept trying to bully Auntie Terry into coming up next August, when they bring Gator and Kylee out to BYU. I also tried to convince Auntie Terry to come see me on Monday. I even bribed her with a scenic flight. That caught her attention. We said we'd talk Sunday night and figure out if it would work.

Well, it did! The Bells once again drove up to our house Monday, arriving about Noon. Jilly and I loaded up in their car with them and we went down to Lake Union. We made remarkably good time, getting to Lake Union about 12:40pm. The flight wasn't until 1:30pm, but we just hung around the terminal. Kylee played with Jilly a lot and I started educating Auntie Terry and Uncle Kevin on the types of planes we have. (Uncle Kevin- I found out that the Turbine Beavers, Otters and Caravans, which all use the same one, have the PT6 engine, which is apparently a Pratt & Whitney. Way cool!) We climbed on board 25S with Captain Marty, strapped on our seatbelts and put on the headphones. It was everyone's first flight in a seaplane, except for me, including Jilly! She sat on my lap the whole time. I even put headphones on her (more for noise-dampening purposes than for hearing the narration) and she didn't mess with them AT ALL!! Shocking, eh? We all had a blast!! Uncle Kevin got to sit co-pilot with Marty and had fun up there. It was so much fun and they were all properly impressed with the smoothness of the take-off and landing. After the flight, we went to Steve's work, where they got to see a lot of the flowers. Then it was time for us to go home and them to leave. It was sad to say goodbye, but we'd had such a good time with them over the weekend.

I was so happy to get to spend some quality time with them. I'm not really in any contact with anyone else from my dad's family, so it was great to get to do all the "Remember when?"s. I love them a lot and don't get to see them nearly often enough! Connecticut is just too stinking far away. I keep trying to convince them to move back to Washington, but they haven't caved yet. (Just you wait...) Yay for family!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our favorite recipes

We've recently discovered some recipes that we just love. Jilly enjoys them as much as Steve and I do. Well, almost. ;-) They are so good and I've shared them with a couple friends and figured, Why stop there? So here they are on the blog!

I got them both out of the American Heart Association Low-Calorie Cookbook, so they're pretty healthy! If anyone wants the serving size and nutrional breakdown info, lemme know and I can get it for you. But they're totally scrumptious!

Meatloaf with Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:
Vegetable Oil Spray
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup fat-free meatless spaghetti sauce
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 snipped fresh parsley (Italian, or flat-leaf, preferred)
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
Whites of 2 large eggs
2 tablespoons dried basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil and 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 medium garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup fat-free meatless spaghetti sauce

Preheat the overn to 350* F. Lightly spray a broiler pan and rack or a roasting pan and baking rack with vegetable oil spray.
In baking dish, combine all the ingredients except the 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. Shape into 7x5x2-inch oval loaf. Carefully slide the meat loaf onto the rack in the pan. Spread the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top and sides of the meat loaf.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the meat loaf is no longer pink in the center. For easier handling, let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

*My take: I've left out the parsley with no ill effect. You could also easily add other veggies, like zucchini and carrots, to make it even healthier. I used the rack the first time, but it ended up being a big hassle, because the loaf was too soft and fell through it. So now, I just use a Pyrex glass baking dish and it's fine.  Here is a picture of mini heart shaped meatloafs (meatloaves?) from a Valentines Day dinner.  We normally just put it all in a square (8x8) glass Pyrex baking dish.





Rustic Stuffed Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 medium red potatoes (about 6 ounces each)
1/2 cup bottled barbeque sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Vegetable Oil Spray
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all visible fat removed, cut into bite-size pieces
Fat-free, no-calorie liquid margarine spray
2 ounces shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (green and white parts)

Pierce the potatoes in several pieces with a fork. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 10 minutes, or until tender when pierced to the center with a fork, turning once.
Meanwhile, in a small measuring cup or bowl, stir together the barbeque sauce, vinegar and cayenne.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the skillet from the heat and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray (being careful not to spray near a gas flame). Cook the chicken for 2 minutes, or until no longer pink on the outside, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to high. Add the barbeque sauce mixture; cook for 1 1/2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken is no longer pink in the center, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Cut the potatoes in half; fluff with a fork. Place 2 potato halves on each plate. Lightly spray each half with 2 pumps of liquid margarine spray. Sprinkle with the cheese. Spoon the chicken mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the green onions.

*My take: I just use regular butter and cheese. I've used normal baking potatoes as well as red potatoes, and we cook them in the oven, not the microwave. We'll also add sour cream. But the chicken-bbq sauce mixture is awesome! Very much a favorite of ours!


I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do!

Pumpkin Patch!

This week for Playgroup, we went to Carleton Farms to visit the Pumpkin Patch! Stacey was kind enough to give Jilly and I a ride so we could go. We were a bit worried about the weather, but luckily the rain held off until we were pretty much done. Plus it had been dry for a few days before, so it wasn't nearly as muddy as I was expecting. We got to the farm and the first thing all the kids wanted to do was play on this tube slide. It went down the hill from where the parking lot was to where the pumpkin field was. The kids played on it for a long time! Everyone loved it. I, being the dork that I am, forgot to take my camera, so thanks again to Stacey and Kati for catching these super cute shots of Jills.

This her going down the tube slide, looking down. She would take a bit to really get going.

Then you'd see this; Jilly whizzing down the slide.

And then she'd pop out at the bottom, on her bum.

Jilly being the silly girl she is, she would often try to climb back up the slide. Or she'd try to watch her friends come down, but she'd be right at the bottom, so I had to keep dragging her away, so she didn't get knocked over. Silly pants.

After a long time on the slide, I decided she was done and we needed to find a pumpkin. I just wanted a little Jilly-sized pumpkin. She did NOT agree with my plan. She just wanted to keep climbing up the hill and going down the slide. I tried to get her to come out into the field and she fought me. She pouted and whined the whole time we were out there, and made me carry her. I can see why the uneven, slightly muddy ground was weird for her to walk on, but it was annoying to me. I finally found a little pumpkin that I liked, pulled it off the vine and we headed up the hill.

There was a "Kids Maze" up by the produce stand and the kids totally wanted to check it out. Jilly actually walked right in and starting going through it with no problem. I was totally surprised. I expected her to start getting confused and frustrated, but it didn't happen. She was just cruising. So what do I do? Jinx it by pointing it out to my friends. Haha. Seriously, as soon as I said it, she turned around and walked back the entire way she had come (more than halfway!). Silly Beans!

Here she is "finishing" and coming back out the entrance!

We then went inside the produce store to pay for the pumpkin. We actually ended up swapping pumpkins, because they had these big boxes FULL of beautiful little sugar pumpkins for only $1! It was so pretty and perfect, orange, round and with a cute stem, I liked it better. Then inside, I browsed through the produce and decided to get some baking potatoes for dinner Friday night and a mango for a snack. Jilly kept running away from me and insisting on playing with a shopping cart, so finally, I grabbed it and stuck her in. It at least kept her contained and satisfied a little longer.

After we purchased our produce, we dropped the stuff in the car and checked out the animals. At first Jilly was fairly disinterested. But that's to be expected when fruit snacks are involved. ;-) As soon as she finished the snack, she had fun looking at them all. There were chickens (roosters, hens, and baby chicks), peacocks, pigs, goats and sheep. The lambs really got Jilly's attention, she kept running out in the rain to their pen. Then the pigs just made her giggle. They started snorting and trying to get to the kids (thinking they had snacks to share). At one point, Jilly was holding on to the cage door, and one of the pigs touched her fingers with his snout. She giggled and pulled her hand away; it was pretty funny.

She really loved looking at the pigs.

After we looked at the animals, it was time to go home and put some tired kiddos down for their naps. :-) It was a lot of fun going to the Pumpkin Patch! Something I'll now look forward to every year.