Hodge Podge

I LOVE english toffee. Love, Love, love it. Especially the stuff by V chocolates. But, because of the price I have only bought it once, I was totally addicted and I crave it all year long. Last night I made this recipe and it is sooo good (just as good as V's) and so easy. I suggest using a candy thermometer and cooking until "hard crack" instead of using her method of dropping drips of the toffee into ice water (I know this is the original method, but I have never been able to get it right).

Here is the recipe just in case you don't want to link over (it looks long, but if you use the thermometer you can skip half the instructions):

1 cup of butter
½-cup brown sugar
½ cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of your favorite nuts
1/2 package of chocolate chips
Prep: On the bottom of a 9x13-glass pan, spread a light coat of butter and ¼ cup
your favorite nuts. Also, have a small bowl of ice water ready to test your toffee.

The toffee recipe needs constant attention and stirring for about 10 minutes. In a
heavy saucepan, add butter and sugars and melt on high heat. Once the butter and
sugars have melted and started to boil, the toffee will go through 4 stages.

Stage 1: butter and sugars are melted, but not mixed. Keep stirring.
Stage 2: Butter and sugars are mixed and start to cook. Keep stirring.
Stage 3: Butter and sugars are bubbling. Keep stirring.
Stage 4: Butter and sugars change color, slightly (from light tan to dark tan) toffee
looks almost like taffy, it becomes smooth not bubbly. Keep stirring and start to
test for hard crack.

Hard Crack: Hard crack is when you take a small piece of toffee and when it hits
ice-cold water, it sizzles. This is when the toffee is done!

Pour toffee evenly into buttered 9x13 pan, do not spread or stir, just pour
directly from saucepan. Sprinkle with your favorite chocolate chips on top,
the hot toffee will melt the chips in a few minutes. With a spatula, spread the
melted chips over the toffee and sprinkle with your favorite nuts.

Allow toffee to completely cool, break apart with a knife and enjoy!
Christmas is just not Christmas without a gingerbread house to display in your house. My parents and all of my siblings (except for you K&J-we understand-Germany is a little too far to travel)got together and showed our talents at house building. Here is my kids creation. Peanut was in charge of the yard and Finley was in charge of the roof. I definitely had to give up my idea of a perfect cottage-like gingerbread house, once i relaxed, it was fun to see the kids imaginations take over. And Finally.....Peanut lost her first tooth. She was worried she was going to be stuck with her baby teeth for her entire life. The thing was hanging by a string for a week. She refused to let anyone pull it except for the sister at church who promised her 5 bucks to let her pull it out. Right before sacrament meeting on Sunday Peanut searched out Sister Phillips, who was on the stand playing the piano, to ask if she could come to her house later in the afternoon to get it pulled. Sister Phillips replied by asking if she could feel it to see if it was ready. Right then and there Sister Phillips pulled it. Eden returned to our bench with tissues shoved in her mouth and one in her hand containing the tooth, in the other hand was a crisp 5 dollar bill. She was all smiles. She is like her Dad and likes to make a buck (or five), she saves like her dad too, not like her mom.

(Not the best picture, it was late at night when we realized we should take a picture and I hate using a flash.)


Christmas Festivities

We enjoyed several Christmas traditions last week. We began by going to the Festival of the Trees to see peanut perform in her choir. She was so cute. I love watching her perform because she loves it and gets totally into it.
The kids sat on Santa's lap for the first time in their entire lives. Yes, Peanut is almost 7 and this is the first year she was brave enough to take a seat. She asked Santa for an American Girl doll and Finley asked for Spike the remote control dinosaur (he saw it in a magazine and has been in love ever since, and the display at Target only confirmed his love) . hmmm we will have to see what Santa decides on.Sunday we enjoyed a trip downtown to see Cache perform in his choir. He has been singing with the Sally Bytheway choral for 4 years now and they are AMAZING! They are right up there with the Mo-tab in my unbiased opinion :) I am glad that they perform at Temple Square each year because it gives an excuse to see the lights. I honestly don't know if we would make the time to see them if it wasn't for the performance. Without fail the lights were beautiful and the nativity and the Luke II video and the Christus brought a lot of great questions from Finley. I liked being able to explain the "reason for the season".


I am here..........

I have had some people ask if I was going to post their pictures on my blog, yes -I meant to do it sooner-I am sorry I have delayed it for so long. I know everyone likes to be famous even if it is on my tiny little, not very popular blog :)

And for a little personal update (since this is my personal blog).......Thanksgiving was wonderful. We enjoyed Wednesday night at Cache's family's house, I love that they celebrate the night before, It is wonderful to have everyone able to come. The food was as always-delicious. I made the Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole and mmmmm it was sooo yummy. Thursday was enjoyed at my brother's house with a small little group of my parents, us, and of course my brother and his family. We missed my 3 other siblings and their families and chaos that goes along with 8 more children and 6 more adults.

My morning sickness (evening sickness in my case) seems to be getting a little better. I only throw up 5 days of the week instead of 7, things are looking good.

I promise I will have some personal pictures up later, but here are some of the fun families I have been able to photograph lately. Remember, I don't claim to be a professional or anything close to one.


B & E

Sorry, Bridget this took me so long to get up. I am hoping to be done editing your session by Saturday.



I totally blog slacked throughout the month of October, this pregnancy is kicking my butt. I think three kids is good, I hate being sick 24/7.

Here is our family's happenings in the month of 10-08.

*My Birthday!! 29 years old and I plan on enjoying the last year of my 20's. I had a great day of being spoiled. I am finally up with the times and own an IPOD :) now I need to learn how to use it. I had a lot of friends drop by fun gifts which included lotion, stationary, frames, salt water taffy (my favorite treat), Halloween decorations, the cutest office set of filing folders with my initial!, videos and CD's, a homemade apron (very cute), a lunch trip to Bajio (chicken green chili salad-yummm). Thanks to all of you that thought of me on my day. Oh, and Cache's brother and his wife gave me the coolest vintage baby scale. I see it being in some baby pictures in the future. I also had chicken noodle soup and sloppy joe meals (2 separate meals) prepared for me. Thanks everyone!

* We planned a last minute trip to Disneyland. I love going to dland at Halloween time. I love the jack-o-lanterns that decorate the park. This year Cache's parents went with us which was fun to have them there. The kids loved riding the rides with them. Peanut was so much braver this year, she loved all the fast rides-splash mountain, tower of terror, matterhorn, space mountain, thunder mountain. Unfortunately she wasn't tall enough for California Screamin', she wasn't too bummed, but Finley cried and cried that he wasn't able to ride it, but he was able to ride the Mattherhorn which he LOVED. I was very blessed too that I wasn't that sick while I was there. I only threw up one of the nights :) (sorry that was probablly TMI). I wasn't able to ride the big rides, but it was okay, Finley and I got a lot of time riding winne the pooh. I will admit that I did sneak a ride on Indiana Jones, I love that one I couldn't NOT ride it while I was there.
Than and Erica this is for you. The infamous Turkey leg (bluck!)

* We got home for our trip just in time for HALLOWEEN! My kids got WAY too much candy and can you believe it all of the candy was good candy, not one tootsie roll or smartie, all of it was candy bars, and they even got a can of soda. They both loved trick-or-treating and stayed out with their dad for about 2 1/2 hours. Finley was cow and peanut was a palm tree.Halloween2008

*Although this wasn't technically in October because it happened on Nov. 1st I am going to include it because it was a Halloween party. Cache and I were able to act young again, we went to a party up a near-by canyon and hiked to a cave where we watched a scary movie. It was a lot of fun even though we didn't know a lot of the people-only 3 couples and there was about 50 people there. It was freezing cold and kinda spooky which made it all the better. We didn't get home until about 1:30 in the morning which is totally out of the norm for us since lately i usually collapse at about 9:30.


The Orris family

Hi Melissa, we are back now and I am starting to edit your pictures. here is a little sneak peak for you. I will add more later, so check back.

To all the rest of you, sorry I feel like I have only been doing photography posts, so i plan on doing a "what's happening in our life" post soon.


You have asked.......

so I will give more details. I am a little embarrassed because I am only 5 weeks along. I know a little early to tell, but those of you that know me, know that my life is an open book and I usually tell you all things that you don't even really care about knowing:)

According to internet due date estimators my due date is:
JUNE 12, 2009

Yuck, that seems so far away! I can't believe we are doing this again. We have been thinking that maybe we should have another, and one week we would be all for it, and then Finley would have some bad nights at sleeping or Peanut and Finley would fight like cats and dogs and we would say that we weren't going to have anymore, two kids is enough. Well, obviously someone knows what we need and that is another munchkin in our family. So the wild ride of pregnancy begins again.

To all of you that confessed in my comments that you are going to be enjoying this ride along with me......it is now your turn for more details.

Oh.........and this is my 100th post. To celebrate I will be sending everyone 100 toe nail clippings.
(not my picture.....and honestly it make my stomach a little queasy)



There is a bun in my oven!!


what are you watching?

I am pumped to watch Heroes, Grey's Anatomy (guilty pleasure), Biggest Loser, The Unit, Lost, Prison Break, Pushing daisies, Chuck, and I am going to give Dancing with the Stars a shot. Thanks heavens for DVR!

Lame post I know, but i am so excited to watch something other that reruns of House. Am I the only one that needs some brain candy at the end of the night?


The Lyon Family

Crystal, it was so much fun seeing you and meeting your family today. Here is a preview, I hope you like them.


Baby Clara

Here is a little preview of what I did today. Isn't she soo cute? remember the Hancock family?
Clara is who is hiding there in Erica's belly. She is 9 days old today.


Moutain Meadows

All summer I have wanted to go on top of the mountain that my in-laws cabin is on to take pictures with the kids. We went up in early summer to do it and didn't get the chance, but when we went up for Finley's birthday I drug the family up even though a storm was coming because I didn't know if we would get another chance before the snow comes. They didn't turn out quite as I had expected due to the fact that it was really windy, the kids are in ugly clothes, and it was cold, but oh well, I'll take what I can get. We'll try again next spring.



Happy Birthday little man! A few days late, but it wouldn't be true mommy fashion otherwise. We love you so much and we are so grateful you are in our family. Your spunky little personality keeps us giggling (even though you hate being giggled at) and screaming (which you hate even more than the giggling). We love that you have your own mind, and like to do things on your own. We love that you need brave medicine (gummy vitamins) before you go to bed each night to ward off the bad dreams and monsters. Our hearts break when you wake up screaming(4 or 5 times a night) because of the bad dreams and monsters came for a visit. We loved when you told us that candy would be the only thing that would make your owie feel better tonight, even though we had told you earlier that you couldn't have any more candy. But you were right, you did stop crying when we gave you a some jelly bellies-the owie magically got better. We love that you are fascinated by the shows Go, Diego, Go and Dirty Jobs. We love when you say "hey Tootse" to me or your sister. We love that you ALWAYS want to wrestle. We love your stinky feet-well maybe we love your feet, but not the stink. We love you for you and we are so HAPPY you came to our family.Of course there needs to be a picture of my amazing cake making skills :)

Here are the past years:

Missing picture. For some reason I can't fine any of my 2006 pictures. When my computer genius husband has a minute I will make him find them in cyber world.
This cake was an awesome blue truck with jelly bellies in the back and one side of the truck had flat tires because the cake was lopsied and I had to cut the oreos so they would proportionately right. stay tuned for picture.