Saturday, December 20, 2008

"he was only as fat as you are..."

today at school, kale'a's class had a visit from santa at their christmas party. she sat on his lap and told him that she wanted a stuffed bear for christmas.


she was so excited when i picked her up. she chattered non-stop the whole way home. this was the conversation:

kale'a: "mom, i don't think that was the real santa!"

me: "how come?"

"well, he didn't laugh like santa laughs."

"you could be right! santa is pretty busy this time of year. maybe he sent one of his helpers to pretend to be santa."

"yeah, but he couldn't be one of the elves because the elves are SUPER busy right now! they wouldn't have time!"


several hours later, i was working on some christmas presents that i am making and she started up the conversation again about the "fake/helper santa":


"mom, do you know how fat santa is?"

"umm, not exactly. i just know he is pretty fat!"

"yeah! he is really fat! that is why i don't think that was the real santa at school today! he wasn't fat enough! he was only as fat as you are!"

a-hem...excuse me??! did she really just say what i think she said? as i chuckle, "oh really? so you think i am fat?"

"well, only because you have the baby in your tummy!" as she touches my belly.


good save girly! good save! at least i'm not as fat as the real santa!

Friday, December 12, 2008

not a pretty sight

could it be that i am getting old, or that i'm pregnant with my fourth child, or that i have three little ones to take care of, or that i am just plain out of shape from not being able to exercise for the last 7 months. whatever the reason, i am sad to say that i waddle. now i know this shouldn't be a big deal, many pregnant ladies waddle late in their pregnancies, i just never was one of them!


i was always the cute little pregnant lady that did pregnancy so well! i've always loved being pregnant because it was easy for me. i always exercised up until i delivered the baby. i would run and lift weights and do cycle classes and swim. i was often found in the gym 3 or 4 times each week walking around proudly with my little belly. well, today it took me TWO hours in wal-mart to get a few groceries and some stocking stuffers! two whole hours! it should have taken me a half hour! the old ladies were passing me with their carts!


if the waddle wasn't enough, a few days ago as we were leaving to take nani to school i had a little embarrassing and painful "incident", that made the waddle even worse!


i was carrying the baby (i really need to stop calling kawena "the baby". she's over two years old, but she will be the baby until we have another one!) out the front door and for some reason i forgot that there was a small step down. of course, i stepped halfway off the step and my knees buckled beneath me.


being the good mom that i am, i DID NOT drop the baby to catch myself.  instead, i held tight to her to protect her and sacrificed myself, landing very hard on my knees. this would have been bad in and of itself had it just been the weight of my big pregnant body, but add to that the weight of the baby and we are talking "big time owwwie".


the only humor in this story is that i was also holding kawena's stuffed cat in one hand and i apparently dropped it onto the ground during my graceful fall. kawena, in her sad voice said, "meow, meow fall!" to which i responded, "yeah, i know so did mommie!" i'm so glad for my children's loving concern for their mother!


since that lovely morning, i don't only waddle, now, i waddle and i limp! let me tell is NOT a pretty sight!!

**note: this is not meant as a complaint of my pregnancy. in fact, i thank Heavenly Father every night for all the aches and pains and difficulties that i am experiencing this pregnancy because it means that i am pregnant!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

blackened turkey... a thanksgiving tale

i'm pretty confident that most of you have heard of blackened chicken.

blackened chicken

you know, the southern favorite, cajun spice chicken. i have never tried it myself because i typically don't like spicy foods. but i am sure many of you have at least heard of it or even tried it yourself. am i right?


well, how many of you have heard of "blackened turkey"? (upon doing a google search i did discover that it does exist, but it is also a variation on the cajun blackened chicken. this is NOT what i am referring to)


let me tell you a little tale of OUR "blackened turkey"....


since mitch and i married 9 years ago, we have managed to NEVER cook a turkey, by choice. we have always had thanksgiving with family, friends or, the one pathetically sad year we had it by ourselves, we ordered a safeway turkey dinner.


well, not this year! i was ready to go another year without cooking a turkey, but mitch had other plans. so, i let him be in charge of the turkey for the family gathering. ever since a neighbor practically burned down his house frying a turkey several years ago, mitch has wanted to fry a turkey. i was a bit opposed to it, not only because i didn't want the house to burn down, but a turkey fryer runs about $80, not to mention the $50 to buy the 35 gallons of oil required to fry a turkey. that's one large expense for turkey when i prefer ham!


fortunately, i found a fryer on sale at target for $40. i spent the $48 for the oil and, of course, bought the turkey. we were all set to fry our first turkey!


the day donned bright and sunny and we were ready to give it a try. before starting, mitch asked me, "where is the fire extinguisher?" once locating the extinguisher, mitch slowly lowered the turkey into the boiling oil and it sizzled away.

turkey fry

notice the extinguisher and its close proximity to the fryer! it sizzled for about 28 minutes, a few minutes less than required, but mitch was a little concerned by the turkey's appearance. so, he opted to take it out early.


as he carried the turkey inside the first thing i heard him say was, "it's a good thing mona and wes are bringing ham! i hope it's a big one!" i didn't know why he would say this, but i also hadn't laid eyes on the turkey, yet!  he walked into the kitchen and this is what i saw:

blackened turkey

(i was forbidden to take a picture, but i couldn't NOT document this turkey! come on, you know you would have taken a picture, too! it's our first turkey, after all! in fact in his protests he said, "hey, when you mess up a dinner i don't take pictures of it and smear it across the internet for all to see!" this is true and i am very grateful, however, i still took the picture)


here it is from another angle:

blackened turkey2


as bad as this looks, i am here to tell you that this "blackened turkey" was the BEST turkey i have EVER eaten! hands down!! it was so delicious that i asked him to make it again for christmas. this says a lot coming from a girl who NEVER asks for turkey. i have ALWAYS preferred honey baked ham! turkey has always been too dry for my liking, but not anymore! i am a changed woman, thanks to my husband and his "blackened turkey"! there were other non-turkey lovers in attendance at our dinner and they, too, agreed that it was the best turkey they had ever eaten. we're going to see if we can get the christmas turkey to be a little less black! we're trying for a golden brown next time!


**moral of our thanksgiving tale: never judge a book by it's cover, or in this case, never judge a turkey by it's skin color!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

little miss polite copycat

kawena copycat

it seems that we have a little copycat on our hands! and some of the things that come out of her mouth seem way too old for a two year old to be saying!! i catch her all the time observing her sisters and mimicking their actions.


for example:

kale'a and kawena were eating lunch when kale'a looks out the window at something in the front yard and says, "what the...?"

immediately, kawena gets down out of her chair, climbs up on the stool in front of the window, peers outside in the direction kale'a is looking and says, "what theeee.... heck?!"


kawena was playing on the leapster the other day. she had the clifford cartridge in. she was helping jedda "draw" pictures. after one of the pictures jedda says, "nice work you were truly inspirational!"  to which kawena said, "in-spur-a-scholl!"  as she tilted her head backward and laughed. then she said it again, "in-spur-a-scholl!" i was shocked that that big word came out of my little girls mouth!


everyday and night after i tuck her into bed i blow her several kisses, she does the same. i say, "i love you!" she says, "i luhd you!" i say, "see you after your nap!" she says, "see af-fur nap!" i say, "sleep tight!" she says, "seep tight!" and as i close the door behind me i'm always smiling because it's just so stinkin' cute!


we were eating crackers and yogurt the other day when nani took a cracker and dropped it into her yogurt. she then proceeds to smash it into pieces with her spoon. as soon as i saw her do it i thought, "oh great! now kawena's going to do it and i'm going to have a mess to clean up!" sure enough, i soon have two daughters with crackers in their yogurt mashing away!

i was rushing to get the girls in the car so we could pick lala up from  preschool. i was getting juice for kawena. i poured the water in her cup (we never give full strength juice to our girls) and realized there was no juice made up and said, "oh, shoot!" from behind me i hear, "oh, sout!" from kawena and i just started to laugh!


not only does she copy the things  that others say, but i am constantly amazed at how polite our littlest miss is. in fact, of all three of our girls she is BY FAR  the most polite. any little thing that i do for her she says "dank you!" i don't know where she got this! i am constantly saying to her two older sisters, "what do you say girls? or "can you tell them thank you?" but not our littlest!

  • i put on her shoes and she says, "dank you mommie!"
  • i peel an orange and hand it to her and she says, "dank you mommie!
  • she hands me something that i dropped on the floor, which is not as easy for me to pick up as it used to be, and i say, "thank you sweetheart!" and she says, "you wel-cum!"
  • she hands me a fruit snack and says, "mommie, i want dis open peas?!" i open it and hand it to her and she says, "dank you!" as she runs to the trash can to throw away her trash (without me asking her to!)
  • when one of her sisters does something that hurts her, i tell them to say sorry to kawena and give her a hug and kiss. in almost every instance, kawena will be the first one to pipe up through her tears and say, "sorry lala!" or "sorry nani!" and give THEM a kiss and hug!

these are just a few examples, but she seriously is just like that...polite! and it just melts my mommie heart!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

has it really been 9 years?

it couldn't possibly have been nine years ago that we entered the san diego temple single, and exited a newlywed couple, could it?? that means we MUST be getting old!


and as i told you today, i would do it all over again!


in the past 9 years:

  • we have owned one house (which we both wish we didn't still own)
  • we've survived two major moves 
  • we've had three (and a half) children
  • we've owned four cars
  • for some reason five escapes me (if i can think of anything later, i'll fill it in. lame, i know!)
  • we stayed in six different states in an 8 week period while traveling in summer 2007
  • we found and cut down seven perfect, fresh, tall, beautiful christmas trees
  • we spent eight wonderful weeks living in "coug" our beloved fifth wheel during our sabbatical
  • you supported me during my training for and competing in nine triathlons

the last nine years have been a wonderful roller coaster! we've laughed, we've cried, we've loved, we've lost, we've triumphed, we've struggled, we've worried, we've grown, we've been up, we've been down, we've prayed, we've been blessed, we've been strengthened. and through it all, the most important thing is that we did all of it together and have been one!


i love you, mitch! i am grateful to have you with me through this journey of life! i am better since having you with me! you are a great father to our girls and a wonderful husband to me!

mitch and kawena mason


happy anniversary!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

new favorite

box o chalk


since moving to albuquerque we seem to have a new favorite past time. in the backyard we have a huge concrete slab porch that has become a blank canvas for our girls. while i was going through grandma's sewing room (which i converted into kawena's room) i found a dollar store box of sidewalk chalk. i thought, "the girls might have fun with this."


when nani got home from school that day, i presented the box to the girls. they were so excited! they ran out back and i didn't see them again for 2 hours. needless to say, the chalk was a big hit and pretty much all used up within a couple days.


realizing what a great activity this was for the girls i went for the good stuff and bought them the "crayola" tub-o-chalk the next time i was at the store.


chalk dumped


they have had hours and hours of fun drawing self portraits and treasure maps on the porch. when it gets too filled up they just hose it down with some water and they are presented with a blank canvas full of possibilities!


you may think, "sidewalk chalk! so what?!! big deal!" but if you ever went to our house in oregon you know that we had nowhere but our small "two car" garage to draw with chalk. our driveway was that gravely, textured concrete that is not condusive to sidewalk drawings. and our driveway was so long that we were nowhere near the actual sidewalk. out our back door was a nice stained deck that was not going to be used for chalk drawings!


if you were to visit us now, you would see big bright, yellow stars decorating our walkway (lala just mastered the art of drawing stars!), and you would see colorful drawings covering our back porch! 


the girls love it!


i love it!


they play for hours outside in the crisp, bright sunshine and fresh air. better yet, they enjoy being out there T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R.! it is wonderful, cheap entertainment!


last week, while nani and kale'a were both at school, kawena and i played in the backyard. i thought it would be a perfect opportunity for a mini photo shoot. it was great one-on-one mommie/daughter time!


kawena draw

she is so funny about this little backpack. it is just perfectly her size and she loves to wear it . it must make her feel connected to her sisters who both have backpacks that they wear to school. i love how she is wearing her backpack full of little toys while she busily draws a picture for me.



kawena on car

notice the little rubber ducky in the back. when i was editing this photo it just made me laugh because he is wearing sunglasses! haha! i don't know why i found that so hilarious, but i did!


now these last two photos i absolutely L.O.V.E.! i may have to blow them up and frame them i love them so much!

kawena sepia



now, i may just be a biased mom, but is she gorgeous, or what?! i've always been a sucker for blue eyes, but, i don't know, these beautiful brown eyes certainly are captivating!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

how would you feel if you were a turkey?

have you ever asked yourself that question?


well, nani did and this was her answer:

if i were a turkey


here's a closer look:

if i were a turkey close

if you still can't read it, she wrote:

"How would I feel if I were a turkey?

If I were a turkey I would be scared and i would not like Thankggiving."


i'm guessing that is just about how i would feel, too!


here's hoping that your turkey is not scared and that you like thanksgiving!


i know we will!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

too much estrogen

drama queen


when you live in a household of 4 girls (well, 3 little girls and a woman) you may, from time to time, witness a tad bit of drama! from the littlest 2 year old all the way up to the almost 8 year old (and maybe an occasional moment from the woman, but ONLY because she is very pregnant) you will hear way too much emotion in the words they say and the sounds that come from their mouths! and you may hear some choice words and phrases from the male of the household when he is around to witness it. things such as, "hollywood", ""drama queen", "there is way too much estrogen!", you know, those sorts of things!


well, today, the girls and i were leaving costco when the baby didn't want to get into her carseat. so, nani and i decided to "help" her in to her seat. as soon as she was seated she started in with the "oh-so-obviously-fake" cry. no tears, of course, because it is her fake cry. as soon as lala heard the "cry" she piped up and said, with a roll of her eyes, "DRAMA MAMA"! now coming from her, it is very funny because kawena picks up most of her antics from lala!



this is a picture of kawena from this summer at hug point, oregon. she didn't want to put her feet in the sand so she got all bent out of shape over it! this is her "drama mama" face!

Monday, November 24, 2008


sorry, the blog is probably hard to follow with me jumping back and forth from past to present, but i really want to get all the "moving" stuff down on "paper", so to speak, so i can just stay in the present! i am getting closer to being done with catching up, so just indulge me for a moment longer in time.


the long road trip, day 4:

not much exciting happened until our fourth day on the trip to albuquerque. it was pretty much just a bunch of driving! the girls did fantastic, though. we wanted to do something fun that the girls would enjoy to break up all the driving.


so, on our fourth day, we were driving through utah and decided to take the girls to arches. they were super excited!


unfortunately, i was not able to get a closer look because i had been bleeding a little bit since we had left oregon and needed to stay off my feet as much as possible. so i stayed in the car while mitch took all three girls for a closer look at the arches. i got a little nap and they got some great pictures.

nanilala in arch

i was surprised they got a picture with no one else in it. it was super crowded that day because the weather was gorgeous!


holding up arch

lala holding up the arch, love the look on her face!


mitch n girls

i took this picture after they got back to the car. it's not a very good picture because the lighting is horrible, but i love it because of kawena. she stood next to that railing and looked at mitch and saw his hand on his hip. so, she looked back at me and put her little hand up on her hip just like her daddy! too cute!


in the car

back in the car before we head back to the interstate.


arches sillouette

this is my favorite shot that mitch took of nani's silhouette through the arch! i love the blue sky in the background.


we are sure glad we stopped and we plan to go back again when we have a little more time to take a tent for camping! the girls really loved it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

happy day!

the girls and i spent all afternoon doing this:

hard at work


making this:

welcome home


then writing this:






and this:



and mixing this:

nani kawena bake


and this:

lala bake


to bake cookies to welcome home him:


oh wait, we were to busy welcoming him home to take a picture!

we are so happy, excited, relieved, and beyond ourselves with joy to have daddy home!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

our last week in oregon, a week spent with friends


our last week in oregon started with my birthday on monday. a day on which i enjoyed a prenatal massage and got to hold a brand new baby. the grover's had their baby the night before, which was perfect timing for mitch. you see, he planned a surprise party for the night of my birthday and this gave him a perfect excuse to get me away from the house.


when we got home our home was filled with so many of our dear friends who had come to wish me a happy birthday and spend the night celebrating with me. i couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday than with friends! thanks to everyone who came and made my night special! our house was crawling with kids, kids, and more kids. sprinkled among all the kids were their parents. unfortunately, i was having too much fun with friends that i didn't think to get out my camera.


two nights later, elizabeth organized a girls night out as a farewell for me at claim jumper. i was deeply touched by how many of my firends showed up.

claim jumper


we were all surprised by the massive portions! i could not believe how huge the entrees were and the desserts, oh my word, can you say ginormous!

me renae amanda

here i am with renae (who still doesn't have a blog. shame on you!) and amanda. they shared an eclair. the eclair that they shared was the size of a football, no joke! the white plate in front of amanda and the black bowl in front of renae both have half of the eclair in them. that was just ONE dessert!


i had such a great time visiting with my friends that night! thanks girls for making me feel so loved! i miss you all so much! i need another gno!

claim jumper2


then, on sunday night we had a farewell/open house for the ward members to come say goodbye. it was an emotional night, but wonderful to see so many of our friends show up! i was able to take a few pictures of some of our firends and wish that i had taken more!

amanda me e

amanda, my friend who has been pregnant with me twice now and who we almost did a team triathlon together earlier this year if it wasn't for the pregnancy thing! and, of course , my dear, dear friend elizabeth, the best neighbor in the world!


dustin me camila

dustin and camila, who went through so much to be together! we enjoyed many meals with them and a great wakeboarding adventure. oh yeah, and my brother kawika actually saved dustin's life! i'm not kidding! saved him from choking to death on a gummy bear in priesthood one sunday! i'm glad you're still around dustin!                                       



the barfuss family, who we didn't know for very long, but will always hold a special place in our hearts. earlier this year, they lost their teenage son, ross. during that difficult time we were able to get to know them on many different levels, photographer, hearse, and home teacher. we enjoyed rock climbing with them and many sunday dinners. our girls especially loved harassing their teenage kids!



the oberg family, who was one of the first families who welcomed us into the ward. i love this picture because scott's head is partially cut-off (just kidding, scott). the reason i love this picture is that when we moved here, between our two families there was 1 child, zach. now look at us! i think we both have done a great job at multiplying and replenishing, don't ya think? from one kid to 7 1/2! not bad!



rachael, my triathlon buddy (who refused to say goodbye to me! sorry i didn't call as i was leaving like i promised!) who was always giving such great advice and so much fun to workout with because we just talked for hours as we did! and we love her kids, too! carissa was one of my activity day girls, samantha was our babysitter, and cason was the movie day guy! our girls had so much fun with all of you!


kawena glasses

and of course, kawena found her own ways of entertaining herself that night! actually, funny story i have to share... kawena found the peanut m&m's shortly after we arrived. she took handful after handful and was loving them! or so i thought! finally i put them up out of reach of her cute little hands because she had eaten like half the bowl. about 30 minutes later she came downstairs from the playroom. i noticed she wasn't her chatty little self and she wasn't opening her mouth for anything.i walked over to inspect. i tried to get her to say something and when she finally did i noticed her mouth was FULL of chewed up peanuts! she had been holding the peanuts in her mouth for a whole half of an hour!! just call her chipmunk! (she does the same thing with carrots. she loves to eat them and then spit them out! weird child!).


we had a wonderful last week in oregon, thanks to all of our wonderful friends. it only made it that much harder to leave, but leave we had to! and leave we did!


the following tuesday we drove off to our next adventure as the sunset on the oregon chapter of our life.

*the last picture was taken at cannon beach on our last trip to the coast

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

during my second break...a photo shoot

after kale'a's birthday party i listened to what was left of the afternoon session of conference as i scanned through some photographer websites to get ideas for the photo shoot that i had with the wilde family that afternoon. they were my guinea pigs for one of my first photo shoots last year (almost to the day, funny!)  we actually weren't sure if the weather would cooperate, but alas, the sun did shine.


so, i went back to the same park that we had spent the morning at for the teddy bear picnic and i had a great time doing another photo shoot with this cute family.


here are a few shots from last years shoot:

bwCopy of family3.jpeg  family1.jpeg

familytree.jpeg  bwCopy of monkeys in a tree.jpeg


rachel was pregnant during last years photo session, so this year we had an extra little, and very cute, person to add to the family mix and photos.


i'd like to think that i have improved over the last year. what do you think?

boys at table2 bw


emilee troy


family on woodpile troy


Ethan Emilee bw 


 boys behind tree  family on table


rachel n gordon2 troy lux


i am still fine tuning my photography skills and i know i have a long way to go, but i really enjoy being behind the camera capturing the lives of others! thanks wilde's for letting me shoot your family again! i'll miss our annual photo shoot next year when october conference rolls around!


after the photo shoot, i was finally able to relax at elizabeth's house as she prepared a delicious breakfast for dinner while our hubby's were at the priesthood conference session and our kids played outside! it was exactly what i needed after such a hectic day! thanks, e!