these things make me happy

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I haven’t really been much for the blogging lately, but here are a few things that have made me smile.

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For Valentine’s, Mike surprised me with a new Dyson vacuum. As you can see, I wasn’t the only one who was excited about it. I just love this hammy little shot!

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The girls like to tuck themselves into our bed. Here they are singing.

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Megan’s beans, lined up, counted, and ready to be eaten.

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Another favorite play spot is the stairs. The dolls are exercising. Most are doing push-ups. I must be so awesome at these, that Megan is inspired to recreate it on a larger scale. Yeah, right. I think it is pretty funny though!

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Ken and Cinderella needed a break. I am not quite sure why the others exercise au naturale. I assure you that I am clothed when I do push-ups.

Pretty cute, huh? This is why I am smiling so often.

11 years

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Most of the time, it is hard to imagine life without Mike. He is pretty great and to celebrate our 11 years, allow me to share 11 things I love about my honey:

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1. He takes really good care of us. He is always looking for ways to make things work a little more smoothly.

2. He is a great daddy. The girls just light up when he comes home. Jake can’t wag his tail fast enough. I totally agree.

3. He honors his priesthood. He is always trying to be the very best person he can.

4. He is wicked smart. After 11 years, I am still often amazed at the stuff he comes up with!

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5. Have you seen my husband? He’s hot. =D

6. He is super hard-working.

7. He thinks silly is cute. That is a very good thing around here.

8. He is suprisingly good at everything. While this can occasionally be intimidating, it is very handy to have at my disposal. (mwa-hahahaa.)

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9. He puts up with me. Especially with my continual attempts at home improvement.

10. He plans ahead. He is always looking to the future to make sure we are taken care of, in so many aspects. (Which often takes a lot of care, preparation, and spreadsheet usage. Which totally impresses me.)

11. He is a killer-husband: appreciative, attentive, kind, fun….I am one lucky girl.

I love you honey!

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hunting for leprechaun gold

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Yesterday, our wonderful neighbors had a gold hunt in their yard. It is a neighborhood tradition and the girls had a ball! It was so well set up that I couldn’t help but think it would be fun to share in case you would like to do it in your own neighborhood on Tuesday.

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getting ready for the hunt

materials:

several rocks, around 3 per hunter (more is certainly good)

gold spray paint

invitations (or phone calls)

bags to place candy in (party favor bags)

*optional prize for the winner of the hunt

*1 bag of candy from each child

directions:

1. Invite friends. Our hunters were asked to be between the ages of 3 and 11 and to bring a bag of candy per child to share.

2. Spray paint rocks to create the “gold”

3. Hide rocks around your yard. Our hosts had the little kids in the front yard (8 and under); while the older kids searched the back yard.

4. Have the hunt: This takes about 20 minutes start to finish. (Well, excluding the playing while parents chatted.) Collect the candy as kids arrive and then divide it into bags for the children to take home.

5. After it seems all of the gold has been found, ask the children to count their rocks; then bring them to a “collector” to trade for candy.

6. If desired, award a prize to the person who collects the most “gold”. Save the rocks to pass to next year’s host.

Pretty simple, but a ton of fun! I thought this was such a great way to celebrate a holiday that usually doesn’t mean too much to little ones. Either way, have a Happy St. Patress Day (Which is what Megan calls it. =D)

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it so figures.

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We had a ball in Moab. Megan was an awesome hiking machine! Pictures to follow soon. In the meantime, may I present my dream house. I love the exterior, love the floor plan. Just one little issue… it is discontinued. I can’t find it anywhere. It is sadly illustrative of how my house quest had (not) progressed. Feel free to comment on how beautiful it is though. =D

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steak, so easy, so good

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I’ve noticed that steak has been on sale a lot lately. mmmm…I guess I should say that I have enjoyed that steak has been on sale. Anyhow, I thought I’d share my favorite marinade for your culinary pleasure. As well as my favorite accessories.

steak

traditional steak dinner

ingredients:

steak (You know what you need. I like tri-tip for affordable tenderness, but they do tend to be kind of weird sizes.)

~1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce

Montreal steak seasoning

Vegetable (I usually do frozen broccoli, but today I used asparagus, whatever you like.)

butter (or equivalent)

lemon juice

potatoes (1 per person, I like reds and yukon golds, they are creamier in texture so you don’t need to add much butter.)

toppings (I’ll elaborate below.)

directions:

1. Cover the bottom of a container big enough to hold the steak with Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with Montreal steak seasoning. Lay steaks on top and then sprinkle with more seasoning and then pour more sauce over the top. Let marinade in the fridge for about an hour.

2. Wash potatoes and bake at 475 for 45 min.

3. Cook steaks on a medium low grill for 5-8 minutes on each side.

4. Cook broccoli (or whatever) in steamer basket.

5. Prepare baked potatoes. Here’s what I like: Open the potato and mash it up. Add about a teaspoon of butter and top with shredded cheese.  I like to top it with a ~70/30 mix of cottage cheese and sour cream and a little salt and pepper.

mmmm…