2011:A year in Review

Well, I made it through a rough one. This year has brought some highs and some lows. Lets take a minute to remember both...

January -
Started working out with Jillian Michaels and lost 6 lbs.
Decided to move to Logandale into a travel trailer...gained 6+ lbs.

February -
Went to WPPI and had a wonderful time
Realized the I probably won't be able to do much business growth in Logandale

March -
Sold 90% of our possessions.
Got rid of most of our bills.
Moved into a trailer at the in-laws
Kids started at new school, made lots of friends
Girls texting my boy...not cool!

April -
Sam makes cheer squad
Cheer practice is at 6am.
The fair was here!
The weather was awful

May -
Took a VERY quick get away to California with my sweetheart
Stayed in the skankiest motel ever!

June -
The kids got out of school for summer.
The kids got out of school for summer

July -
Headed to Oregon for 3 weeks
Terry had to stay home to work

August -
Had an amazing girls trip to Seattle
Came home with a limp that lasted for 3 months and a few weeks on crutches
The kids went back to school
The kids went back to school

September -
Created and started executing "responsibility" charts
Gave up on raising "responsible" children

October -
Awesome family trip to California

November -
Trip to Oregon for Thanksgiving
Terry was broken back for a month after the drive!

December -
Enjoyable Christmas
Not so enjoyable Holiday break from school because kids were on restriction due to poor grades.

So with the good comes the bad. Not that I have any doubt that my kids will remember the bad (because seriously, there's LOADS of that) but I think it helps give balance! I try to keep it real here on the ol blog and as you can tell my my blogging frequency lately, I am in a not so great place right now. I'm trying to look at the positive side of things and getting back to doing what I love most. I am hoping that the new year will bring a renewed excitement and attitude for life.

Oh goodness I sound depressed!

I'm workin on that!

I hope you remember to document your year...the good and the bad because they both make us who we are.


I spent a week in Oregon and took like 5 pictures. This is the only one I would care to share. we had a great time!


Veterans Day Parade

I am so far behind on blogging, I just now uploaded my photos from November and December so I will try to post regularly to get caught up!



California Adventure Part 3 | Beach

I almost forgot about our quick stop at the beach. The kids had so much fun during our quick stop at the beach on Saturday so we decided to make a quick stop before we headed home. We had the most delicious doughnuts on the foggy beautiful morning at the beach.





California Adventure Part 2 | Long Beach Aquarium

We started the day Saturday at an early 5:30 in the morning. The time before the sun was spent curling hair and ironing clothes. We headed up to El Segundo to have our family pictures taken on the beach by THE amazing Amy Shertzer. It was difficult as alway to be on the other side of the camera but Amy was great and if you are looking for a photographer in Southern California you should definitely look her up! You can see the rest of the session on her blog here.


After we finished with our session we grabbed some breakfast and headed over to the Long Beach Aquarium. We've been to the aquarium probably 6 or 7 times over the years and it's fun every time. The kids love the Lorikeet exhibit, but man they have jacked up the cost of the nectar for the birds. It is still very fun to have the opportunity to feed the birds.

The aquariums are awesome, the marine life is so colorful and amazing!!


After the aquarium we headed back to the hotel and left the kids for a bit to have some alone time at dinner, just us grown ups. It was nice and relaxing not to be wrangling kids for the first time all weekend! We headed home the next morning. It was a fabulous trip and I hope we made some memories that will last a lifetime!


California Adventure Part 1 | Disneyland

The last time we went to Disneyland was November 2004. So it's been awhile. We wanted to surprise the kids with this trip but Brett being the eavesdropper that he is, he had precariously positioned himself as we were discussing the upcoming trip so he was in on the secret. We wanted to tell them on the way down but Brett blew the secret the. We were a little bummed but it didn't take the sweetness out of their excitement. With the 4 day weekend we (and the rest of las vegas) headed down to Anaheim on Wednesday after the kids got out of school. We stayed walking distance to the park which was nice not to have to pay for parking, not so nice when we had to walk over a mile home with really tired legs and feet!

I debated whether or not to take my big camera into the park or not. I'm glad I did, I just with i had carried it both days! THe second day we hit the California Adventure park and I missed so great photo ops!

The dumbo ride is always a favorite. Brett was too cool. I will always have fun on any ride that flies me through the air!!

The girls had to ride the carousel.

The teacups is one of my favorites. I love when I catch true emotion and motion in my photos.


Autopia was fun, Brett freaked (like he did on most rides, sometime his anxieties really put a damper on my big plans) as you can see from the photo he did not want to drive by himself but that was just silly. He had fun after we forced him onto the rides, but didn't want to do them again. Bonnie was a trooper and did all the rides she was tall enough for including space mountain, big thunder mountain and splash mountain.

The longest wait we had the whole trip was to see the princesses. Bonnie was so excited but freaked out when it was time to see Cinderella, she thought her hair was weird.

We had so much fun and are already talking about when we go back. I think we are going to start a disney fund for the next time!

Stay tuned for the rest of our trip...



I'm working on a Disney post I promise but I have like 700 pictures to go through so it's going to take me a minute. So to tide you over you just have to look at my stinkin cute kids in their halloween costumes.
Samantha was Belle. This wil probably be the last year she dresses up so I am glad she picked a good one for this year!

Colby was a ninja, can you even tell it's Colby? The facial recognition software on facebook didn't recognize that there was a person there. He had some sweet moves!

Bonnie was "Princess Butterfly" and as cute as she was those damned wings shed glitter from hell to breakfast!


As you can tell we had a pleasant day on Halloween, the weather was a nice 85 degrees and I couldn't have been happier about it!


4 year olds don't take naps.

Guess what I learned this week....4 year olds don't take naps, or at least they would like to think that they don't. I have shown her a thing or two about who is boss and that 4 year olds DO take naps since the birthday of my spunky little girl. We just had a little quick party at the house. Presents and a 6 layer rainbow cake made for a special day. The cake was delicious by the way, me and my girl Betty made a delightfully colorful tasty cake that please all in attendance!! Favorite presents were Magnetic alphabet, pompoms, stuffed puppy and a mini piano book. I am sad to say that though she is growing up faster than ever. And by my sheer persistence, will continue to take naps. I thought her being my last baby, I would be able to keep her small for longer but she proved me wrong with that one when she started walking at 8 months. She is super smart and fun but man does she have a strong personality, but then again, I don't know how to make kids with out STRONG personalities!! We love this big ol' 4 year old!


Lunch with the Ladies

When I was a little girl I can remember coming home from school and hearing the laughter of my mom and her mom and sisters. I just knew that they had spent the day playing and having fun and i had been stuck at school LEARNING...yuck! Well know I am grown I get to join in the party while my kids have to go to school and LEARN, muahahahaha!! (that was my evil laugh by the way just in case you were wondering) My mom picked me up on her way and we continued on to St. George to spend the day with my Grandma, Aunts and some of my cousins. It was nice to get to spend the drive just visiting with my mom, we don't see all that much of each other since I moved and I miss the time we used to hang out! It was so much fun to catch up with these wonderful women as well. I wish I lived closer so I could hang out with them all the time!! You don't think Terry would mind if I added another hour onto his commute do ya?? (J/K mom, I know I would really never see you then!!)

p.s. The only thing missing is my baby sis, she had to stay home with kids, maybe next time Stac!!


A Boy and His Bike

It's important when you are a boy with a bike that you keep it in top running performance by regularly scheduled maintenance.


A Month of Mornings

I have hesitated to write about this new project that a few of the girls from my photography group and I have been doing because it seems a sure fire way to make sure i don't complete it. This has been a real challenge for me for a number of reasons. I guess I should start by telling you what the project, if the post title didn't give it away that is. Inspired by these amazing ladies, who did a YEAR of mornings, we though we wouldn't commit more than we could accomplish so rather than a year of mornings we are just doing a month of mornings. Now you wouldn't think that it would be that difficult to take a photo a day for a month in the morning but I have found it quite a challenge. First of all 3 of my 4 children are gone by 8:20 in the morning so that means unless I want a month of Bonnie's then I need to get my night owl butt awake enough to take a photo before I can put a cognitive sentence together! I am up early during the week, I take Sam to cheer at 5:45 so it's not that I'm asleep just not all "there" if you know what I mean. I have managed to get 13 of 13 days so far, even though some may have been taken at 11:45 it's still technically morning, and although they may not be the most inspiring of photos they are a little piece of my mornings. Here are just a few of my mornings. If your curious and want to follow along, or you'd like to know more about the photos, you can see my set on flickr here.



Listography version1.0

My friend Mary, who just happens to be an amazing photographer, and all around AWESOME person does this really cool thing on her blog. She calls it listography. A series of lists. I like lists. I make them often. I find that if i wake up in the morning and write everything down that I need to get done, including showering and eating then I am so much more productive. In an effort to record random things about me and who I am that would never otherwise be recorded I will try to do a listography every so often. Today's list:Lists Here are some of the Lists I hope to make.

1. Movies I could watch over and over again
2. Life's best moments
3. What I don't want to forget about my kids when they were little
4. 10 wishes
5. 10 things every mom should know
6. What's in my purse
7. Quirks
8. What I love about being married
9. What I love about being a mom
10. Things I miss about living in a house
11. Favorite songs of all times
12. Places I want to travel
13. Places I have traveled
14. Favorite quotes
15. Pet Peeves
16. Things I fear
17. Things I'm not good at
18. Things I am good at
19. Top 10 books
20. Favorite photos of all time.

So there you have it, not that anyone really cares about this crap, but who knows someday maybe my kids or grandkids will. I mad add to the list as the inspiration strikes! And since i can't leave you without a photo I give you one from my latest attempt at a photo project...more on what the project is later!
This is what I did during General conference. It was fun! Thig smaller one is about the size of half a toothpick!

October 1, 2011     10:55am


What I want...in life

I have been pondering a lot lately on what I want most in life. You know, what is really most important and where should my time and efforts be spent. Steve Jobs said "your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life." I often compare myself to others. Their stations in life, their kids, their creativity levels, and all it does is make me depressed. I then saw this quote on Pinterest (such an inspirational place for wonderful words to live by)


So in my quest to decide what I want in life I have had to let go of all the comparisons I find myself making. So what do I want? I have and do give this so much though in my daily life. Especially since I have found myself in a position where we are basically starting over. The interesting thing is, I though that all I would want (especially after living in a 5th wheel travel trailer for the past 6 months) would be to build a big beautiful home. Now while that is still on my list it has really been dropped down the list quite a ways. So cut to the chase...what does Kristin want?

I want to follow the teachings and be a disciple of Jesus Christ
I want to teach my children to love the Lord and follow him as well
I want my children to know who they are and where they came from
I want to continue to nourish and strengthen my marriage
I want to build a family bond that will be unbreakable and more importantly impenetrable
I want to have happy kids
I want to have kids that love each other and are friends with each other and protect each other.
I want my kids to grow to be contributing members of society

While on our friday night date Terry and I were discussing common teenage problems and how we can avoid them. Lets face it the time is rapidly approaching when the outside world will be a big influence on my kids. As we talked about drugs and morality issues and how we can protect our kids I just said that I think if I desire it enough and make it a priority then those things will not be an issue with my kids. Terry just smiled and looked at me like I was completely nuts. They are kids with free agency and all we can do is teach them right and hope they make good choices. I would like to think the if I have enough faith and desire that the lord will protect my kids from the dangers of the outside world! Lets pray that keeping my priorities in order and my desires righteous that what I want will become a reality. Some days though, I just want a nap!

So what do you want?


The Little Mermaid at Tuachan

I took my girls up to St. George to see The Little Mermaid at Tuachan. It was for lack of a better word AWESOME. I am so glad I did. It wasn't cheap and it was a sacrifice to go but it was so worth the time and money and late night of driving. The show was so well done and it you have ever been to Tuachan you will kow how just being up in those amazing red hills is magical, but when the water flowed over the stage it was all completely transformed it to an underwater adventure. We had a yummy dinner at Cracker Barrel before we drove up the canyon. When we got there we had a yummy snow cone that turned our tongues red and we had a little fun taking pictures! I love my girls and I loved spending the evening with just them and me!




Labor Day

Labor day was delightful.  
The weather was perfect. 
The kids had a blast swimming.  
We had yummy food. 

Brock gave it a thumbs up.
So did I.


Cheer Camp

Moapa Valley Highschool cheerleaders do a fundraiser each summer before school starts where they invite girls from the area to come participate in a cheer camp.  They teach girls from age 3-14 cheers and dances.  Bonnie and Sam were excited to be a part of it.  Though it may not look it from the pictures directly below Bonnie was all excited to be a cheerleader!  She took some time to warm up each morning  after we dropped her off but once she got into is she loved every minute of it!  The third day of the camp the girls wore their Jr. Pirates t-shirts and practiced for a performance at the end of the day.  I spent most of the morning there taking over 300 pictures of the cute girls who participated!
Samantha's middle school cheer squad was encouraged to be a part and they even had their own group.    The dance was pretty difficult but they pulled it off with a lot of hard work!

Once Austyn came to tell Bonnie they were going to do some stunting she got all excited!


And look at her go!!

oibUlL on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif


10 on Tuesday....SAY WHAT???

I know I haven't done a 10 on Tuesday forEVER but i have lots of random thoughts running around in my head so that i feel the need to expunge. (look at me all using big words and stuff)  So let's get to it.

1.  I have a list app on my phone where i put random ideas for blog posts but i am never specific enough when i put an idea down so when i go back to blog my idea i have NO idea what it was even about!! Apparently there should be a blog post about life lessons that has something to do with Brett's broken iPod.  eh...oh well!

2.  I really want to take a typing course because i suck at typing and i wish i didn't!

3.  My daughter is growing boobs. I'm so not ok with this!  (tmi?  sorry dad)

4.  When doing laundry whites must be done first. the reasons are trifold
      a.  They take less time to dry in the dryer so they therefore shorten the overall time of doing laundry.  If done in the middle the extra time they sit in the dryer waiting for the washer to be done washes down the tide scented drain.   (maybe only in my head but whatever)
      b.  If you wash them not first the left over remnant dirt and color from the other loads may make my whites dingy.  *i know probably still totally in my head but whatevs!)
      c.  If whites are not done at the beginning of the laundry day cycle then they will forever sit in a basket of unfolded wrinkleness.  THE END.

5.  Do you think i am crazy for writing out my reasons for why i do whites first?  I kinda do.  I'm totally questioning my sanity right now!

6.  I have started a new "Responsibility Chart" with my kids, I am hoping that by doing this they will grow to be helpful contributing members of this family and eventually society!  It is similar to what I have done in the past with chore charts but i mixed it up a little with "freebee" stickers, 2 a week, that they will get to apply to unfinished responsibilities except for homework and instrument practice.  They each have a paycheck tear pad where they write what they earned for each day and if they earned a bonus.  They each receive $1 a day and if they get all 7 days in the week they get a total of $10. (except for bonnie, she gets $.25) After a whole week of this Samantha and Colby both earned $10 each and Brett for silly reasons only earned $4, he used his freebee's right off the bat, crazy kid! These are the chart and paycheck tablets I made up and will be printing at my lab in tearoff notepads.  Cool huh?  we'll see how it goes!

7.  I kinda think i have to do this post because the last one where I call my hubby sexy needed to be a bit buried because he might read it then I will get grief over it, even though he hardly ever reads my blog.  (he is sexy though)

8.  The summer in trailer has been brutal.  Mainly because no air conditioner seems to be able to keep up with the blistering heat.  On average, if the temps are above 105 then we can guarantee that it will be somewhere in the low 90's in the trailer at bedtime!  ROUGH but it's much better now.  Let's hope we don't get another heat wave!

9.  I read a REAL book.  And my real I mean not digital.  I haven't read a real book in like over a year (since i got my ipad) It was wonderful.  I had forgotten how the scent of paper could be so intoxicating.  

10.  The book I read was "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Phillipa Gregory.   I absolutely loved it and would totally recommend it.  I am reading one of the other books in the series "The Boleyn Inheritance" which is equally as intriguing though not as intoxicating since it is not a REAL paper book!


Manly Man

Anyone else find it really sexy when your man does manual labor??

Terry has taken to changing his own brakes to save money, the light was really cool so I took pictures, imadork, don't jude me!!


My how they've grown!!

First day of school has come and gone yet again. This year was the earliest of first days seeings how we had to be up to have Samantha to the school at 6:15 for cheer practice before the morning assembly. I decided I like early morning first day of school pictures, it's amazing light!!

Brett is now in 8th grade...8TH GRADE!!! He will be in high school next year, UGGG! He wasn't to excited for pictures but he did put on his best smolder!! He had a great first day and is really excited for 8th grade, he assures me that it's going to be a great year!

Colby as usual just went with the flow, poor kid didn't have to be to school until 9:00 but he braved the early o'clock wake up time so we could go to the middle school to see Samantha perform in the assembly. Seriously though, 9 out of 10 pictures I take of this kid I get a funny face, good think it's a cute funny face! When he got home he said, "mom, if it wasn't so hot, it would have been the most perfect day ever" I'll give him that, it had to have been 115 with a 50% humidity!


Samantha and I had the earliest wake up time at 5:00am. I had to curl her ponytail for her performance and give her enough time to eat breakfast. She was bit nervous and her little eyes are a bit puffy in her pictures but she did wonderfully at the assembly, we are so proud of her!!

Bonnie couldn't stand to be left out of the photo line up even though she will be staying home with me this year for preschool. I got a bit nostalgic looking back at the past couple years. Check them out here, here & here, please don't judge me on my photo skillz...I know I was a bit carried away with the extreme camera tile and over use of vintage actions (I remember when I took those photos I thought i was freakin awesome!! man how things change!!) All in all it was a great first day of school!


Guess who's swimming....

We did swim lessons with Bonnie this summer, she is doing wonderfully, my only regret is that we didn't do it until summer was almost over!!


Terry sent me this video while I was in Seattle. My little fish!

She's actually swimming way better than that now, and no Terry isn't wearing a white t-shirt, that is what working in the summer heat of Las Vegas will to to a guy!!


My new BFF

I was going to blog about this in the "Seattle" post but decided it needed a post all it's own!! This is Michelle. Michelle and I met on the message board that I spoke of in the previous post. We then became Facebook friends and I knew I liked her right away, her wit and humor had me LOLing all the time. We began to follow each other on Pinterest (if you don't have any idea what that is let me know and I will inform you!!) and it became apparent to me that we had similar tastes and i "re-pinned" so many of her pins on pinterest that I knew we were destined to be BFF's. But the thing that sealed the deal was when she used the word discombobulated on Facebook. After a trial period in Seattle I was then approved to be the new BFF of Michelle!! We pondered the mysteries of life together, and even though out Jesus' are different it's ok, no one can break the bond of BFF's!!! Even though she has completely abandoned me and gone off the grid by deleting her Facebook account we will still be BFF's!!
♥ you Michelle



Seattle Girls TRIP WOOHOOO!!!

I have to say WOOHOOO in the title because that is the only way to describe how amazing this weekend was. For those of you who have no idea what in the heck I am talking about I had an amaing opportunity to meet up with the girls from the Wendy Schulz Alumni group. Now this Wendy Schulz Alumni group is very exclusive, to be apart of of this group you need to have taken a photography class the the amazing Wendy. We all at one time over the past 4 or so years have taken one or more of Wendy's classes. She is amazing and I believe that everything that I know about photography I understood because of Wendy, I read a lot of books and blogs and online material but it wasn't until Wendy that I actually GOT IT!! So after you have taken one of Wendy's classes you then have membership into this exclusive group of snarky sassy hilarious bunch of ladies. The message board where we all congregate is a place to ask questions, share triumphs and complain!! Many of these ladies participated in the 365 project that I did last year. It is amazing how seeing a year of pictures of another persons life can really help you get to know someone with out ever having met that person!! I had met Wendy before this weekend at the Flash workshop she came and taught in Vegas, Lisa and I met at WPPI earlier this year, we are also life coaches...I believe I have talked about her before (p.s. she's awesome) There were 9 of us all together and we managed to make every other gal in the WSAlumni group totally jealous so next year I imagine it will be even greater in numbers. I had such an amazing time laughing and spending time with these ladies! They are all totally awesome and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to spend this weekend with them!


Just a little bit of Seattle, I am in love with Seattle in the summer, I had been there in April a few years back but the summer was absolutely delightful. I want to go back with my hubby!
We kayaked on the Puget Sound and it was AMAZING (you tired of that word yet? hope not because it is all I can say about this weekend) Please excuse the phone photos we were all a little paranoid about taking our good cameras on the water!!


I really didn't take many pictures this weekend especially of people, I have to remember to take more of the girls next time!

We braved the crowds at Pike Place Market which did not make for very good photo taking so we decided that we should hit it in the early morning hours. That definitely has it's benefits. One being that you can ask the guys throwing the fish if you can participate and Lisa was brave enough to give it a try, the photos Wendy took were way better than the ones I got, check them out here.

All in all the trip was more than I could have hoped for, I came home rejuvenated, refreshed and in love with my camera again! I even managed a self portrait!!!


Craftin the day away

After the masses (everyone but me, Sam, Colby and Bonnie) left the ranch we still had over a week all by our lonesomes so I knew to ward of the plague of boredom we would need to have some projects. With a trip to Michaels and a 25% off coupon we ended up with a bag of craftiness. first up on the docket was painting piggy banks. Well 2 piggy and 2 hippo banks. I decided to paint one for Brett. It was really fun to see my little budding artists. Bonnie even proved to be quite handy with a paint brush. Fun times at the ranch!