Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I have found what I am intimidated by...

So, for a few years now I have been contemplating getting a nice camera. I have hummed and hawed, gawked, shopped around, talked to several friends and photographers, you name it--I have probably done it except the deed itself of forking out the moolah to buy the thing. For Christmas this year, Kevin absolutely, completely and astoundingly bought me my dream piece of machinery...a Nikon D90. It has since sat on our counter faithfully charging longing to be picked up and used only to receive a faceoff from me in which it inevitably won. I must say it is perfect timing with our little one arriving in less than 6 weeks, but I still find myself increasingly intimidated by this camera probably due to the fact that a great picture is just more than hardware--it now includes software editing, learning a totally new vocabulary, using natures gifts correctly and then mixing them all together. We'll see how this goes but here are some firsts...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So as I was perusing through all of our other favorite blogs after the kids were to bed the other night, I was relieved to know that our blog was not the only one which had been neglected. A once a month post seems to be about my average, and considering everything going on I feel pretty good about that. Some updates...we are down to 9 weeks left with this pregnancy and Kevin and I were able to have a getaway to Monterey Bay, CA while he was doing some work up there, we headed to Sea World and Disneyland for Thanksgiving and had an absolute blast (Kevin was able to take some time off from his internship to come home), we found out we are moving next summer, and it is almost time for Christmas Break! Here are some pictures describing our adventures with more than words...
1) Kevin and the kids won a pie eating contest at our hotel in San Diego
2) Disneyland
3) Watching Shamu at Sea World
4) Listening to a barbershop quartet at Disneyland and resting our tired feet
5) Kevin and I were able to have a "babymoon" in Monterey, CA

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Carving of the pumpkins

So we braved the eewie gooieness of the pumpkin guts and did all four of them without the master pumpkin carver, Kevin, this year. The kids were thoroughly convinced I would botch it up, but I think they came out pretty well. Whew! They are done! Next alligator to the boat...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Time to jot down some thoughts

So as a few people have mentioned that I needed to update our blog, I thought...well now is better than never! So here goes...

Kevin is at a DARPA Internship--a fabulous opportunity for him and he is loving every minute.

Derek potty trained in ONE, yes ONE day. All it took was a little potty. None of the other kids have ever wanted to use one, but he knew exactly what to do with it when we unwrapped it from the store. He hasn't seen a diaper since. Nursery was a success today as well as we left church in the same clothes he went in. Absolutely amazing and I give him all of the credit.

I love www.hulu.com.

We offically returned our receiver for Direct TV and will be cable/satellite free for who knows how long. It is quite liberating I must say.

Trampolines were one of the best inventions ever made.

PTA is rolling along, Landsharks has started for the season, growing another person in your 30's uses more energy cells than it did in your 20's, and having kiddos on a 7:00 PM bedtime routine is fabulous!

The three oldest have started golfing lessons and Courtney won the prize for best distance last week. Who knew?

Wishing were at Disneyland this week for Courtney's birthday. That is one place I really wouldn't want to tackle without Kevin...Derek tends to run faster than me these days.

Found a fabulous cake/cupcake icing recipe that uses marshmallow creme...great combination of the sweetness of regular frosting and the consistency of whipped cream frosting. I think we will keep it around for a while.

Learned how prepared we were for evacuating our home due to a fire on the base. Really don't want to have to do that again, but now the Suburban sits in the driveway with a FULL tank of gas.

And I have an 11 year old in the house. How did this happen? How did she grow up so quickly? 7 more years and she will be off to college. Oh my goodness. I just can't think about that. Craziness I tell you, pure craziness.

Not missing the 20 degree coldness of Colorado right now. We can still go for walks all around the base in a sweatshirt and take that off mid morning. Although I do miss the colors of fall...

Happy Sunday thoughts...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Amsden...Party of 7

So, we did it! We took the leap and we are expecting a baby girl in February. Yes it was planned and we have been enjoying our decision every day since we made it. The children are absolutely beside themselves with excitement and Courtney has already started putting clothes in her dresser. The downside of this all? We sold almost all of our 0-12 month old girl clothes before we moved from Colorado because we thought our family was complete so now we get to go shopping. I am sure I will not have to convince the girls much to come with me on that shopping trip. :) Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine having a family this large and yet here we are just as happy as peas in a pod. We're contemplating taking the baby on her first outing to Disneyland. Anyone want to join?

Monday, August 17, 2009

It has been so long

So I truly believe that Facebook killed the blog; however, I have vowed to redouble my efforts! So to start off with, this is how I found Derek the other morning...

I am thinking it might be time to make another trip to Disneyland...

From our trip to Utah and Colorado...
We played at Grandma and Grandpa Labbee's house then scooted on up to Pleasant Grove for a family reunion. We then headed over to Colorado Springs and enjoyed all 14 of us living in the same house for a week and then stopped in Las Vegas for an overnighter which included PF Changs and gas station nachos. We made it back to California in once piece and loved hearing, seeing and smelling the ocean. Ginny was very happy to see us and it was wonderful to come home to a larger home! Now to focus on school starting in two days!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The many sides of Ginny....

Breanna decided to dress our Jack Russell Terrier up today...I thought the middle one was particularly hilarious considering the recent news...

Michael Phelps...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

So a friend of ours mentioned that she had started making her own laundry soap which was supposed to be equivalent to Tide with Bleach---and my ears perked up. So on New Years Day I went down with my ten one gallon containers and proceeded to cook up some laundry soap. I do believe that I am sold hook, line and sinker on the stuff.

Items you will need:

5 gallon bucket with lid
long handled spoon
pan you don't mind cooking soap in
10 one gallon containers
2 quart measuring cup

Here is the recipe:

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda (go to Arm and Hammer's website and it will give you the closest location of a store that sells it)
1/2 cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with the 4 cups of hot water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to the top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let overnight to thicken.

The next day fill each gallon (milk) container with two quarts of solution from your five gallon bucket and fill the rest of the way with water. Voila! Ten gallons of laundry soap.

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons if you would prefer scented soap.

Top loading machine: 3/4 cup per load (approximately 215 loads)
Front loading (HE) machine 3/8 cup (approximately 430 loads)--I just fill mine to the line in the laundry soap dispenser.

Keep in mind this is a low to no sudsing soap, so don't be concerned if you don't see any bubbles.

Powder Laundry Detergent

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use one TBSP. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 TBSP. Yields: three cups detergent.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our Family 2008

Here are our most recent family photos--for those of you following me on Facebook you have seen these already, but for those of you new to my blog you can get a glimpse into our family! :)