Friday, October 28, 2011

A few Pictures for FUN ~

We watched the Harden Kids for Amy's Birthday while Mike and Amy enjoyed some RIO GRILL!! While they were gone we made a poster and decorated the house with streamers! We had a fun time!!
 You all know we took Amtrak to Sacramento, but I wanted to share these pictures I got from the trip. We sat on the top level of the train and both kids got a conductor hat. Here Hailey is playing with her Leapster game...
 And here is Landon coloring and enjoying the view...
We LOVED the train and the trip!!~~ The pictures from the bus are on my phone and I am still figuring getting stuff off that so... yeah...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Little Man Kisses

This little boy gives me more kisses than I can handle...
 Matt and I were watching Amazing Race together and Landon and Hailey decided to join us. 
After Matt got this photo of Landon giving me kisses; Hailey took over and got a few pictures of US... 
in our PJ's chillaxin' watching TV...
Landon has been a SILLY little boy as of late ~ ENJOY!
video
This is just one of the many video's of entertainment Sunday Night! ~

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just Because

My husband came home for Lunch today as a surprise for us...
and as a TOTAL surprise for me he came in with these lovely flowers...
He knows these are my FAVORITE ~
I am not usually a FLOWER GIRL, but for some reason when he handed these to me I just started to cry. Not because anything is wrong, but because it just touched me that he took the time to think of me and do something special for me. He also did the dishes last night after I made the comment that I really hate doing dishes. It's more that I hate seeing dirty dishes in the sink than I hate doing them, but whatever...
It's the little things ~
He also posted a video on his FB page, AND sent me an amazing e-mail that AGAIN brought me to tears...
It truly is the little moments that matter most!!!
THANKS MATT! 
I am SO glad we are enjoying these moments together! ~

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dear Occupy Wall Street...


Dear Occupy Wall Street ...

A Message From Dave Ramsey

from daveramsey.com on 19 Oct 2011
 
By Dave Ramsey
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Yeah, that’s great. But what do you want? What are your goals? What are your demands? What result are you looking for?
The beauty of being vague is that anyone who has any emotion can get caught up in the excitement and join your crusade. They’ll just get mad at something and assume that you’re both mad about the same thing. Put a few hundred of these people together, and boom. You’ve got a crowd, a headline and a lot of attention … but no message.
A lot of people on Twitter are saying I totally agree with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demands and goals. The only problem is that I have no idea what their demands and goals are. And neither does anyone else. If all you ever do is stomp around, yell and hold up signs protesting a million different things, sure you’ll get some attention, but over time, you’ll just look foolish. You end up coming across like a three-year-old having a temper tantrum.
This is what’s happening to the OWS movement. They’re being discredited because no one has stepped forward and really stated what it is they’re after. The whole group is just coming across like a bunch of jacked-up, jobless, wannabe hippies. That’s not going to change anything in this country. You’ve got to state your goals clearly if you want to accomplish something.
So in the absence of any clear goals, let me comment and offer some helpful advice in some areas that seem to be getting a lot of disorganized OWS attention.

“No Government Bailouts!”

Banks and big companies should not receive taxpayer money for a bailout while their CEOs are making hundreds of millions of dollars. If that’s your gripe, then you’re protesting in the wrong location. Pack up and head to Washington, D.C., to deliver your message to the current administration. Don’t get me wrong—I totally support a company’s freedom to pay their leaders well. I just don’t believe that I, as a taxpayer, should subsidize those huge salaries in the form of taxpayer bailouts. I pay my own team members; I don’t need to pay everyone else’s too.
By the way, you may be shocked to learn that the Tea Party agrees with you on this one—and so do I.

“Down With Corporate Greed!”

Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is not good. Greed is bad—very bad. It’s a spiritual disease, and it is a disease that sadly affects a lot of companies across the country. If you believe a specific company is acting purely out of greed, then don’t just get mad—do something. Point out where and how they’re greedy and let the world know. Stop doing business with them. If enough people listen to you, the company will get the message because you’ll hit them where it hurts: the bottom line. If they don’t get their act together, then they’ll go out of business and another business will take their place.
But if you’re saying that all businesses are greedy and that capitalism itself is evil and ineffective, then I’m sorry—you’re just being stupid. You’re being misled and misinformed by some of the louder voices around you. Are you wearing clothes? Have you eaten any food lately? Do you have an iPhone in your pocket to check in with Twitter and Facebook while you’re out marching around? Good. All of those products and services are brought to you by quality companies dedicated to serving you well in a capitalistic system that works just fine.

“Wall Street Is Evil!”

If you have this painted on a sign, well, now you just look ignorant. Wall Street is a street that people drive on. The New York Stock Exchange is a building where people exchange stocks in New York. This is the flea market of the financial world. Don’t turn Wall Street into some terrible monster attacking American citizens. It’s just a road with some buildings on it.
But here’s what happens. Sometimes when people don’t understand something, they start to fear it. And as the fear grows, it turns into anger. But just because you don’t understand something, you shouldn’t see it as bad or frightening or a conspiracy. You should just think of it as an opportunity to learn something new—something that could actually be a blessing to you.
For example, imagine a group of natives out in the jungle in the farthest part of the world. I mean, picture a group of people who have never seen anyone outside of their tribe and have certainly never seen any kind of machine. What would they think if they saw a Red Cross helicopter land near them? And what would they think of the strange-looking men and women who jump out of the chopper and start walking toward them? They’d be freaked out! They wouldn’t know or care if the Red Cross was there to help them with food or medicine. They’d think it was the end of the world or something because their minds would be totally blown!
I hate to say it, but a lot of OWS protestors are just about as uninformed as those jungle natives when it comes to how the American financial system works. A road and an office building. That’s Wall Street.

“Wealth Redistribution Is the Answer!”

I’ve heard a lot about wealth redistribution over the past few years, and I’m sure you’ve heard it too. Call it whatever you want, but this is how it usually sounds to most Americans: “We are the 99% of Americans who don’t have as much as the 1%, so we’re mad and think the government should take their wealth and property away so that I can have a piece of it. Wealth inequality is a moral breakdown! We should all spread the money around so everyone gets a fair share!”
I have my toughest critique for those who believe this: You are a thief. When someone takes my money and gives me no say in the matter, that’s called theft—whether they’re using a gun or the government. At the core of this demand is envy. And that’s not the same as jealousy. Jealousy just says, “I want what you have.” Envy is a different beast. Envy says, “I don’t think I can ever have what you have, so you shouldn’t have it either.” Decades of horrible economic teaching and the politics of envy have kept this monster alive and growing and moving forward.
This way of thinking makes you assume that all rich people are evil and have scammed their way into wealth. That may be true in the tale of Robin Hood, but I choose to live in the real world. Sure, there are some scoundrels, but the vast majority of successful men and women got that way by working hard and serving people—lots of people.Steve Jobs and Bill Gates changed the world in ways we’re just now starting to realize. Their positive impact on the world has helped all of us live better lives, and they made fortunes for themselves by doing so. Why is it that you’re holy if you help one person but evil if you help a million? That’s just stupid.
A good friend of mine is a country music legend. He’s made a bazillion dollars over his career, and he just bought a $400,000 car. He’s worked like a crazy person his whole life, spending decades in tour buses, writing songs in the middle of the night, and entertaining enormous crowds of cheering fans. He paid a price to get there, and I’m happy for his success. Would it be right for me to walk into his house and demand my “fair share” of his wealth? Heck no! I’m a terrible singer! I didn’t do one thing to contribute to his success, so why would I be entitled to a share of his wealth? He’s given me years of entertainment through his music. That’s my fair share of his hard work.
My problems aren’t his fault. And my problems aren’t McDonald’s fault or Home Depot’s fault or Walmart’s fault, either. My problems are my fault! And the more people these companies serve, the more money they make—and that’s none of my business! If you don’t like McDonald’s, then here’s an idea: Don’t eat there. But don’t walk into the restaurant and demand a portion of their proceeds for the day.
When you scream, “I’m in the 99%!” you just look like a whiner. Those of us willing to pay the price to win look at you and shrug. Heck, when it comes to the music business, I’m in the 99% myself! But that doesn’t mean I have to tear Toby Keith, Brad Paisley or even Kanye down. Oh, and a special note just for Kanye: Capitalism has been pretty good to you. I celebrate your success, but you look a little hypocritical protesting capitalism while wearing a $50,000 watch.

Celebrate the Land of Opportunity

This is the greatest country on the planet, but even here, you’re not guaranteed wealth, talent, fame, a full head of hair or six-pack abs. Those things are not in the Constitution. You are, however, guaranteed the freedom to make your life what you want it to be. And when you do that, when you build your life around your dreams and passions and hard work, you’re guaranteed the right to keep it. No one has the right to take it away from you.
So to summarize, I’m not very impressed at the moment. I’m not impressed by your temper fit. I’m not impressed at your lack of goals and focus. I’m not impressed by the fact that the only thing I see about your movement is ignorance, immaturity and envy. Grow up—and get a job.
Yes, there are jobs out there. There are jobs out there that haven’t even been invented yet. Go create the next Facebook or Weed Eater. Go pick up so much dog poop that you can start your own fertilizer company. And stop complaining that companies are TOO RICH while also complaining that they aren’t RICH ENOUGH to hire you! I’ve seen a lot of you guys. I wouldn’t hire you, either. But if you take all of that energy and excitement and pour it into something new and creative, you’ll get the chance to serve a whole lot of people really well, and over a decade or two, you’ll get to become the very thing you’re now protesting: rich people who actually earned their money.
Can I just say THANK YOU DAVE RAMSEY! These are EXACTLY my thoughts only he can tell it SO much nicer and eloquently than I can. Mine were more like this... "Stop crying about being poor and trying to take money from the rich... they earned their money, learn to love how you live and go find a better job if you are not happy in your current one... AND quit depending on the government to fix your problems; you are your problem and they can't fix you. Oh, and I bet the rich would be happy to give you their money if they were asked... not told. Why don't you go ask them yourself? And to those of you who want your school loan debt to be forgiven so you can use that money to "build up the economy"... DREAM ON!" ~ I think Dave said it better...
~ Melissa

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Doodle Bear??

I bet you are all on the EDGE of your seat wondering if Hailey got her Doodle Bear... 
WELL...
This Mommy is $19.95 RICHER because she DID NOT perform for us.
~Sure she went up EARLY and sat in her seat.
~Sure she sat "STANK FACE" and crossed her hands and said 
"I'm not singing" whenever it was time for a song.
~AND when it was her turn she yelled "It's not my TURN!" 
so everyone KNEW "IT WAS NOT HER TURN"...
~ I also had the AWESOME opportunity to take her off the stage towards the end of the program and take her into a room when she started crying and saying "It's too scary!"

OK!! Call me a bad mom BUT;
I knew she was not going to do it.
The second we pulled up to the church building and she was saying "No"... I knew it.
We had practiced for WEEKS... no really WEEKS on what and where she was to say her line...
I am not kidding WEEKS!!

In Relief Society when I introduced my Mother and Sister I said;
"This is my mother Lisa and my little sister Sharon. 
They came to see Hailey NOT participate in the Primary Program."

The best part??....
AFTER church was over Hailey asked Grandma and I when she would be getting her Doodle Bear. We both let her know that she did not do her part in the program; so she would not be getting it. We told her she would have to wait until Christmas or her Birthday to get one. So she takes us into the Chapel, has us sit in the pews, goes up to the stage and grabs the mic and says "I CAN BE REVERENT" then walks calmly back to where Grandma and Sharon are sitting in the back and says... "Now can I get my Doodle Bear Grandma?"...
COMEDY!! OHHHHHHH MAN! 
"No, but you can have the Hello Kitty Purse because you did it now." Grandma said through giggles.
This kid is CRAZY!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sacramento Trip

We are leaving Thursday Afternoon and taking AMTRAK ( WE = Me and two children that I PRAY will enjoy and be good for the ride) to see Family. We get to take the Amtrak train from Fresno; then in Stockton we jump on the bus to Sacramento...
SO we get to experience BOTH ways of travel offered...






Praying there are helpful hands to help me with:
2 kids
2 car seats
hopefully my stroller
a bag with snacks and toys
and at least ONE huge suitcase

Prayers that the Three Youngest of the Bird Family arrive safe and sound in Sacramento are VERY much appreciated. (yes, upon turning 30 I have to group myself as part of the three youngest in the family...)

We are going to enjoy family and friends. Hitting up the N.H.S. Homecoming Game along the way.
 AND we are bringing Grandma and Sharon home with us to enjoy Hailey in the Primary Program at church. Hailey has to say "I can be reverent" at the pulpit in front of the whole congregation THEN show that she can be reverent by sitting in the front row for all to see...
Who thinks she will do it?

I am preparing for the big day with a brown bag for her father and I just in case my WEEKS and WEEKS of practice with her about what she needs to do and how she needs to act does not work out...
If you see her with THIS...
She was successful.
Yes I bribe my children...
The Pink Doodle Bear is the price I am willing to pay.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Iron On T-Shirt BLING ~

My kids LOVE the Halloween Shirts we see in stores...
Mommy however does not like the prices, AND they are not exactly what we always want.
SOOOOOO ~
I let the kids pick out an iLoveToCreate.com HALLOWEEN THEMED Iron on Transfers.
Hailey picked a Kitty Cat, and Landon picked a Spider...
 
 We hit up WALMART for the black shirts $3.88 HOLLA ~
 washed them up and got out our handy dandy Tulip Mini Fashion Iron
and went to work.
The directions were simple and easy to follow. 
Hailey helped me with her shirt and she LOVED it!
 The kids wearing the OFFICIALLY FINISHED PRODUCT ~ 
And after all the HOT things were up and out of the way...
We had a little fun photo shoot!
EASY and FUN craft the kids are able to enjoy!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Target Fun

We were in Target the other day... (not a surprise to anyone huh) 
 and GUESS what they had in the DOLLA HOLLA section...
video
YEP... Fake Swords... and they were a HIT! ~
The kids were "Captain Hook" and "Captain Princess" 
Good Times ~

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quote of the Night...
" Boise is SO good they have their own refs to travel with them."
Thank you Matthew Bird for that...
The game tonight was... Ugh... SAD...
I knew we were going to be playing Boise State and so I knew it would be a long-shot for a WIN.
HOWEVER, I did not expect a BLOWOUT...
So, in no way do I think the ref's "WON IT" for Boise but the calls were HORRIBLE!!
I mean I would have done a better job calling the game... it was bad!
That is all...
But I did enjoy the company! DATE NIGHT with the Sorenson's!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

FALL FOOD ~

So last night we had CLAM CHOWDER and TODAY while at a Focus Group at iLoveToCreate.com the subject of "PUMPKIN" came up which reminded me about my AMAZING Pumpkin Waffles... SOOOOOOO here are the recipes ~ ENJOY! ~

BOTH are Andersen Family Recipes my mother passed down. THANKS MOM! ~

CLAM CHOWDER
2 cans of clams (6.5oz)
2 cups Potatoes finely chopped
1 cup Celery diced
1 cup Onions finely chopped
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 qt. Half & Half
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
dash of pepper

(I just wrote that off the top of my head ~ YEAH that is how I roll) So let me go get my book to write the directions so I don't mess up... Drain Clam juice into 2 qt. sauce pan and add Potatoes, Celery, and Onions. Then add enough water to cover veggies and bring to boil. Turn down to simmer until tender; about 20 minutes. Meantime melt butter in bigger pot and add flour blending with whisk on low until bubbles; cook for 1 minute while bubbling. Add Half & Half slowly, cook until smooth and thick. Add cooked and UNDRAINED veggies and then Clams. Heat thoroughly, season with salt, sugar, and pepper. Serve warm with sourdough bread! YUMMMMMMOOOOOOOO!!!!

* I put in more veggies and the Hubby says add more salt.


PUMPKIN WAFFLES

Waffle Mix
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 cups milk
3/4 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans ( I am not a nut person so I leave these out)

Heat Waffle Iron. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger; blend well. Add milk, pumpkin, oil, and eggs and beat for 1 minute at medium speed. Stir in pecans. Bake in hot waffle iron until golden brown and steaming stops. About 4-5 minutes.

Syrup ~ YES you need to make this syrup... it is the BEST!!
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter

In small sauce pan, combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon; blend well. Stir in apple cider and lemon juice; cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and add margarine; stir until melted. Keep warm and serve over hot waffles.

* I DOUBLE the Waffle Mix and TRIPLE the Syrup for left overs at our house. This is a GREAT breakfast and also a GREAT dinner! ~ HAPPY EATING! ~

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oh HAPPY Day ~

I think I say every year that "IT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!" and I really feel like it is! ~
I woke up to some amazing kids giving me loves and bringing me an Apple Turnover ~ (one of my FAVORITES!) It was like any other day; only I knew it was a HUGE day because I had finally hit
 THE BIG 3-0
I remember when I turned 25 thinking MAN I am almost 30 and that is going to KILL ME! But to be completely honest, I feel GREAT! ~ AND the day was especially great too! We woke up and just hung around the house getting ready. I opened my presents THANK YOU EVERYONE! I got a Gift Card to Marshall's AND 30 Reese's Peanut Butter cups from Matt. The kids got me TWO Mixbooks; they are photo-books, it will be a new experience for me. My in-laws got me a gift card to JC Pennys to get my hair done (that is where my girl CARISSA works who has been hooking up my hair for years now) And my parents got me a Sonicare Toothbrush ~ JEALOUS MUCH?? :) My friends Brent and Amalia got me a PINK Jewelry from Charming Charlies; earrings and a necklace. And my G&G Smith gave me $20.00 which I plan on using to get more Jewelry from Charming Charlies on the next girls night!! And I also got LOTS of cards... from LOTS of people who love me! ~ 
We went shopping after having the left overs from Breakfast Burritos. The kids fell asleep on the car ride home and while I gave myself a pedicure we let them sleep. THEN we went to get our babysitter for our NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN! ~ Matt took me to Black Angus where I got Filet Mignon and he got Baby Back Ribs. We were both SO full after eating when they came to see if we wanted dessert we decided we better take it to go!
I got to shop to my hearts content and just enjoy time with my husband! It sure is nice to be OLDER and WISER! :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

SURPRISE!!!

So, Friday Night my dear husband came home from work and announced he needed to mow the front and back lawn. I thought to myself ~ Man we have had a busy week and he wants to mow the lawn THEN I remember that my birthday was the next day and he was probably not wanting to leave it for then, so I laid on my bed watching Dr.Phil and waiting for the last load of laundry to dry. We all know Friday is my CLEAN DAY, so by the time Matt gets home I am tired from cleaning all day...
Landon was out with him 'helping' and started knocking on the sliding glass door. I go over to open it and Matt looks at me kinda weird and says "You need to shower." my first thought was ~ REALLY... my 30th birthday is tomorrow and I just got done cleaning this mans house and he is going to tell me I NEED A SHOWER... I gave him the LOOK and he laughed and said "I was hoping you were going to shower without me telling you, but you have friends coming over so you need to go shower." OH ~ TOTAL change of thought... so I have about an hour to get ready before my friends show up... I jump in the shower and get ready...
I think he knew Friday would be the best day because my house would be clean and ready to go for the party...
6:30 hits and my friends start showing up. I was not sure who was coming but I had a pretty good idea... Matt was in the kitchen getting the fixin's ready for BREAKFAST BURRITOS!~ The first to arrive were the BAKERS; Spencer Lauren and sweet baby Morgan. She had gotten her shots earlier that day so when I went up to her she was not the sweet little happy baby that usually comes over. (but fast-forward to cake and ice cream and me feeding her LOTS of it and she was RIGHT back to her normal self!) They brought ice cream and CANDY! THANKS! Then the HARDENS; Mike Amy Ty Logan and Haley show up with CAKE (Costco cake, you know the good stuff) and bacon. And the CUTTS; Brent and Amalia walk in after them with Soda ~ DIET A&W Root Beer (my friends know me so well) and other kinds of drinks. The boys finish up getting things ready and we proceed to EAT and LAUGH and GOSSIP and LAUGH to our hearts content! It was a GREAT NIGHT! ~
While the girls were in the kitchen the boys were watching the BYU v. Idaho game ~ us girls came in near the end of the game and caught the excitement of BYU winning at the VERY END. We talked more and then got the Ice Cream and cake out! ~ ICE CREAM AND CAKE DO THE ICE CREAM AND CAKE... (Sorry, I could not control myself...) Then the DEHMEL'S show up with the BELAIR'S... (Jeanie and Kerry Dehmel have been like our FRESNO parents and I worked with Virginia Belair and her husband Don is just the best!) That was a very nice surprise too!!
The kids played and the adults just talked and had a wonderful time!
 Good Friends = GREAT TIMES! ~
THANKS EVERYONE WHO MADE THIS SURPRISE SO WONDERFUL! ~
And I did not get many pictures ~ But here are some we got from grabbing out the cell phones! ~
THANK YOU
30 YEARS NEVER FELT SOOOOO GOOD! ~