Family. Fotos. Food. Friends. Fun.

never a dull moment. ever.


HOLIDAY Sessions are Full. Taking appointments for February 2013.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


It only took me 3 attempts to achieve pizza PERFECTION. (And a phone call to my sister, who gave me the recipe, to ask what the heck I was doing wrong! Just goes to show...NEVER give up on the dough.) I'm also thrilled to have finally solved the LAME grill mystery. I've ordered new hoses, filled the tank...everything I could think of...wasted the entire summer and finally just went and bought a new tank and voila! Grill works :) And may be a bit HEAVY on the toppings, but I was so excited to actually be making the pizza instead of chucking the dough.
Its pretty hard to grill pizzas...I decided to do one side and then flip (like Bobby Flay), but you have to have your toppings right there ready to go. AND let me caution you...if using pizza paddles you better have cornmeal otherwise your pizza sticks and you end up with a weird calzone that your kids won't even touch. I got a little too sure of myself and wrecked 2 whole pizzas!

I have to make a plug for the mother of all sauces found at Williams and Sonoma. This is the best white sauce ever! It allowed me to give pizzaria Bianco (never been there :) a run for their money....and since I don't live near WS I've got to figure out how to make it...Artichokes blended with garlic and EVOO...delicious! The other picture is just a tiny peak into how psycho it gets when making pizza from scratch. I started at 4:30 and sat down to eat at 6:30...totally exhausted. Nice meal to tackle for my first major dinner back in the kitchen eh??

As everyone pulled up to the table and saw their choices (chicken, spinach, tomato, olives, grn onion and fresh mozz OR pepperoni, salami, olive, mushroom) I heard the there any plain cheese?? Why do I bother??%^&*

Killer Pizza Dough (courtesy of Tia's friend)
2 3/4 C.Water (may need to add more)
5 tsp yeast - highly active yeast
Add the yeast and water in the mixer let bubble;
2 Tbl molasses
2 Tbl EVOO
Add molasses & EVOO and mix
2 1/2 Tbl Wheat Gluten (Can get this in any grocery store....even WalMart)
1 Tbl Salt
7 Cup Flour
Add flour, wheat gluten, and salt.

Knead for about 10 min. May need to scrape sides a bit and add just a bit more flour. It will be very very sticky...just leave it alone and let double in size (about 25min.)

You'll want to add a bit more dough after you punch down and start rolling into pizzas. Throw down some cornmeal so it wont stick...or just pretend you're a pizza dude and form it right over the grill (I had mine about 350).

Bake in oven at 520 7-10 min.

Makes about 4 LARGE pizzas...had about 2 leftover with my family.

Now for a quick week in review. Hmmm...went to skate park (pictures to come) in the morning and pool in the afternoon. Cleaned up Ella's face and nostrils from barf about a kazillion times ;) Matt caught about a kazillion kangaroo rats (NO pictures to come) and had a family movie night on Friday on the couch. Had a lot of breakfast, lunch and dinner dates :) Listened to wonderful talks in church on Faith. Loved the comment:
"Faith and Fear canNOT co-exist".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Years Old.

I celebrated another wonderful birthday. I had (on accident of course) a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake (I was grateful to just get a birthday cake and would NOT allow myself to order it, so I was in the hands of my dear sweet husband - who wanted me to take a picture of just how bad off the mark he was. I refused to capture that moment because I was thrilled to just have a cake EVEN if it was made up of all the sweet things that I find to be totally non-appetizing - chocolate and mint chocolate - as if you could get any worse than chocolate :) I assure chocolate would be it.) Anyway, like I said I refused to capture it and would rather thank him again for the wonderful thought and attempt. I also got some new Birkenstock sandals to replace my broken "epidural savings" sandals he bought me after I had Laina. And just for the record...I don't like mushrooms or plain M&Ms or really anythings with chocolate chips....just for the record - he thinks I make these things up on the spur of the moment, just to get him in trouble. I should've written them down 12 years ago....would've helped my case.

I received lovely cards and gifts from family and friends. And the ONLY reason I can sit and blog about this wonderful day is because my sister bestowed the mother of all gifts on me by taking my kids for 3 DAYS and 3 NIGHTS. I'm telling you, it just doesn't get any sweeter than that folks. Kids-don't get me wrong....I LOVE you with all my heart, but to wake up and go to sleep for 3 days/nights in my own quiet, clean home is the most wonderful thing in the world! Thank you Tia :)

I need to get an image of myself to capture the 32nd year of my life...Matt and I were able to have a lovely conversation at dinner (with just the underbrella in tow - who behaved herself quite nicely and attracted loads of compliments from diners and waitstaff - instead of the usual stares and questioning looks that come with taking 3 children to a restaurant)...anyway we had a great conversation on how this time of our life may seem crazy and overwhelming, but it certainly is full of wonderful things and lots of character and LIFE...and it will be remembered fondly. So that is how I would like to enter my 32nd year of life...happy, content and aware of my blessings - which I'm looking forward to reading stories with and putting to bed tonight!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rock the Cradle...

Possible Halloween '09 costume idea...not sure I'd be let back into the house if I put eyeliner on him though...

Here's "Billy".

Hairdo courtesy of a good nap.

Loves to "rock the cradle of ELLA".

Loves to smother her with kisses.

Loves to pick her out of her swing and drop her on the soft concrete floor and then laugh and think he's funny (okay so the swing was only a foot off the ground - and I can't talk seeing as how I burned her leg yesterday...wondering if she's going to see her first birthday...hoping we're all going to survive the last few weeks of summer!)

I often hear friends say they "never have anything interesting to write about". I feel like I have to take deep breaths daily to calm the voices in my head. I want to record everything...sometimes its for purely selfish proof that I was a good mom - and did fun things with my kids...other times its to show that I make mistakes really bad mistakes - which I will not provide pictures of (case in point of the burn on the newborns' leg).

Unfortunately summertime with 4 little ones is CRAZY so I don't get to write as much as I'd like to - and my newest addition hasn't figured out how to go to the bathroom without screaming....or how to burp herself without letting out a siren of a yell - sorry Ella...I'm sure you are going to be a wonderful positive happy young woman...the light of my life... I hold you and hug you and kiss you and chuckle when you go from 0 to 60 (peaceful sleep to hysterics) in the blink of an comments on your current disposition are nothing personal...(sidenote- which came first: the need to BURP or the PSYCHOTIC SCREAMING?---because doesn't screaming cause them to inhale air which would then cause them to burp? anywho...thoughts from a sleep deprived mother no doubt.) But hey...we're having a great quiet time at the moment and I'm sitting in front of the computer...a rare thing.

(darn it...quite time ended...and I'm not done...)

I told my mother that if I didn't get my camera out I'd never take any pictures of "underbrella" (I have to constrain myself from not nicknaming her "gRunty" mom could tell that I was speaking the truth and forced was hard and hot...and I took only a few but you know what they say about the shoemaker's children...

I think her cheeks have grown about 4x's the size (Tia should be happy). Her hairline is still receding...and this last image just about killed me to do (thank you Shaley for rescuing me!) Indy wants her cord photoshopped out...and it took 45minutes to get 3 images!! painful, but definitely worth it.

I insisted on doing a Noble family picture while everyone was here for the 4th of July...I haven't edited them, but I loved these 2 capturing the craziness of it all...Tia staked out her spot and didn't move for 15 minutes (I'm not kidding).

Now my family can email me and tell me what they want "fixed" before I get to doing the finished image.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

4th of July Baptism - Blessing - Bonanza

We had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Matt and I thought that it was probably one of the happiest days of our lives....EVER. We started with blessing little Ella and then baptized Indy boy. He did such a good job and listened as both of his Grandfathers spoke to him and the Bishop gave him some very good advice.

Ella wasn't cooperating here...we were trying to get a good picture of the dress her Grandmother Lynda made for her so that her Aunt Kate could see :)

Indy...the big loving brother (informed me that now that the umbilical cord fell off he likes her a lot more!)

Go Grandma Kathy! She made the cutest little centerpieces...and we journeyed into the gym and had some good ol' carne asada (no one commented on the mexican dinner on independence day--thank you :)

I was feeding a baby during the entire dinner, so I only grabbed some "after dinner" pictures.

Grandma Lynda...
The Grandpas...
Can I just tell you that I'm in LOVE with this baby??? Isn't she to die for!!! I do have a photo shoot planned for her...just have to find some time :) (we'd like to thank David and Cindy for the excellent head gear they provided :)

I was inside, feeding a baby AGAIN :), and heard a lot of laughing and someone mentioned I came out and saw THIS...

But at least they had fun.

"Hey...let's throw poppers at each others head!"

No comment...not even going to try...

We'd like to thank JACE who was really really really helpful...he even volunteered to stay at my house and play with my kids in the morning so I could try to rouse myself from a sleepless night. Nice theater eh?

Little Parky...gathering ammo.

Does anyone think there's something wrong with this picture???
Taylor just sat there and shot Sheri with streamers...apparently they both enjoyed it.
Every year our guests are amazed at how good the fireworks show lasts about 30 minutes! And we sit and watch them right from our driveway....Prescott does a great 4th of July. Thank you family for coming and sharing it with truly was a wonderful weekend!
(my brother-in-law took the firework pictures since I was....holding a baby :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Labor / War Stories

All mothers have them...and all mothers love to share them. Here is mine (I will include references to all of my childrens birth stories so that they are officially "put down on paper" - the one thing I've learned is that a new baby brings on LOTS of questions by your other children about their OWN births. I have assured all of them that I held them like I do Ella and I kissed them and I was a very nice mommy to them too.)

Sunday, Father's Day, was pretty smooth. I made my mom go on a walk with me...we took Laina and Mac with us. We walked up and down hills. Then I went and jumped on a trampoline for 15 minutes (almost killed me - especially when the kids would steal my bounce...very hard.) Went to bed feeling nothing...woke up feeling nothing...Oh wait I felt like a lamb (more like a cow) going in to the slaughter. I had an induction appointment at 7am. We went in and it was so weird....I hated it...I dreaded it. Matt wanted to know when the party would get started...I told him to go to work :) About 11:30 I started having noticeable contractions. About 1pm the anesthesiologist was called, but I wanted them to check me before I got the epidural. By the time he got there I was dilated to 5cm...

Now...Indy was 5 days overdue and I had to be induced with him. It took awhile to get started, but then we rolled pretty fast...I got an epidural when I was about 4cm and by the time the epidural was done I was at an 8. However 1.5hrs of pushing landed me in the "outer zone" of reality and if it hadn't been for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law Jennifer telling me he had dark hair I would've given up completely and rolled over and passed out. But he made his entrance finally with eyes wide open and a tiny little squak. He had some dark hair and he smiled and laughed all the time in his sleep.

Laina was an overwhelming rollercoaster. My mother showed up and told us we'd better go to the hospital. I was only a 2.5cm so they wouldn't admit me, but said they'd monitor me for an hour. After the hour I was at a 3 so they said I could stay. I changed and by then hit a 4 and all HEck broke loose. 30 minutes later she was there and they told me to wait for the doctor. I had always sworn that I would NEVER wait for a doctor, so I pushed and whatdya know...the nurse caught her and the doctor walked in and she had a ton of dark hair...all on top. I had it in 2 french braids when she was 9months old...her father tried hairspraying it slicked back at 6 weeks old :). It was totally overwhelming and a labor I would never ever want to re-live it.

So when I went into labor (2 days early) with McLaren I was determined to get an epidural and have the perfect labor. We went in and the anesthesiologist was one of the only people who knew what a McLaren was (formula one car :) and I thought that was a good sign. I got my epidural and then waited and waited since apparently an epidural slows you down...I was spoiled with a rapid delivery on Laina and Mac's took forever, but finally he came with all of his beautiful silvery blonde hair...not to mention an exact replica of his father and would go on to make people laugh in the hallways at church whenever they saw little benjamin button.

Which brings us back to Ella and the anesthesiologist. I decided that I didn't need him...and he assured me I could call him back if I changed my mind. I asked for my ipod and decided to go for it. The second song that came on was "Under my umbrella" by Rihana...and the basis for her nickname "underbrella" given to her by her brother Mac. I immediately started to tear up and made Matt listen to it and he started crying and for the first time in 9 months I could "VISUALIZE" beyond the labor and picture a baby. I listened to the song over and over and finally went on to the next song...and as the intro was playing, one of the nurses asked "Is that Run DMC?" I didn't know...and I had no idea how it had gotten on my playlist (I think Matt had downloaded it for some reason) but sure enough "Walk this way" started groovin'...then I started groovin' and everyone had a good laugh...I had my music on really really loud (I treated the volume like it was a morphine drip hoping it would help stop the pain). They had to tap me on the shoulder if they wanted to talk to me :) I swayed back and forth to the music since I couldn't stand to walk too far from the bed. I was checked and only a 7-8 and felt like I had reached my limit...thought about calling for that stupid epidural but realized it would never happen...I got back off the bed made it through 2 contractions and told the nurse she was coming...NOW. I couldn't even get back on the bed and everyone had to hoist me up. The nurse tried to get me to focus...I ripped the ipod off and said goodbye to Chumpawumpa "I get knocked down" :) (a personal favorite) and just stared at her afraid to move...I was frozen-like deer in the headlight frozen. My dear husband, who was a totally active participant in this labor - complete with a washcloth and back rubbing...something he would never had dared to do on any other labor - told me I had to push. We finally (after four labors) made a good team. At 3:11pm - Ella came into the world - she weighed 6lbs 12oz - tiniest baby by far. Apparently she had like another week worth of baking to do - so whoever tells you that each baby gets bigger and comes sooner is a LIAR...plain and simple liar. And NO, my dates are not off...when you can have every child born in the same month, better yet same weeks, then you have very good/solid dates :) Every child, every pregnancy, every labor is totally unique.
She had the cord wrapped around her neck 2 times and was purple and "gunky". This is very important to my other children who I had already told "all you babies came out squeaky clean". She was a screamer and continued to scream for another hour or so - she had swallowed a lot of junk - just like Indy. My first and last delivery were so very similar, and she smiles and has even laughed in her sleep already. I was totally euphoric and my doctor walked in to help clean everything up :). I told her that I felt so wonderful I could just walk out of there...and she said " can go home tonight if you'd like". And so I did. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for wanting to leave the lame hospital with its cell-like room for the comfort of my own bed and bathroom, but like I said..."at least I gave birth in the hospital" (my husband made me do it) leave me alone.

My mom was at home when we arrived around 10pm. We had a little birthday party for Indy the next day and then he and Laina left with my father-in-law (bless his little heart) for Utah, followed by Matt and McLaren the next day. So I got to stay home with my mom and baby for 4 days without children. My husband deserves a huge thank you, because its not easy to make that drive with all the rascals. I told him he could golf his little heart out this month (unfortunately he has too much work, so golfing isn't coming too easy :(

And there you have it. The labor/war/battle stories. We all love to tell them and now mine are all down on paper for my rascals to read...hopefully they'll read them when they're holed up in their bedrooms stewing about how mean and unfair I am. I hope they'll remember how special each and every one of them are to me and how much I love them.

My thoughts on photographing my own children (newborn) will have to wait for a later post....let's just say that stabbing my eyes with a pencil might be funner!

Figured I'd post the "womb" picture as my mother called it.

I LOVE this little outtake with grandmas hands.