It"s a Crazy Wonderful Life

This is a blog about my family and the crazy life in the Sims Household. We have 5 children, ranging from 14 to 5, and seem to be going in all different directions sometimes. The purpose of this blog is to help keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Up to my Elbows in Lasagna

So our Young Women decided this year to make lasagnas to sell as a fundraiser for camp. (For those that may not know, I serve as the 1st counselor in our Young Women's Presidency) It was something new and we thought we would give it a try. We sold 107 lasagnas in all. Yesterday, I spent from 8:30 am til 5:00 pm making the majority of the sauce. I was literally up to my elbows sometimes in tomatoes. We bought 40 of the #10 cans of whole tomatoes and I had to crush the tomatoes for the sauce. Of course the easiest way to accomplish this task is to squish them in your hands. So that is what I did. I prepared the sauce using 27 of the cans, about 17 pounds of ground beef, 15 pounds of Italian sausage, a whole bunch of garlic and onions as well as spices. The rest was prepared by our YW President. The best part of fit is that I spent the entire day in the kitchen, cooking, and I LOVED it!!! The only part I didn't love was opening all those cans. Thankfully our YW president, Sister West, came to help and brought her electric can opener. She opened about half the cans for me and I did the rest by hand with my manual opener. My shoulder, that was already giving me some trouble, is virtually useless today and my thumb and wrist are rather sore. Those cans are tough to open.

Today we had all the girls gather to assemble and deliver the lasagnas. I was so impressed with how the girls we worked. We had about 10 girls and 4 leaders there. We set everything up assembly line style so each station did a layer of the lasagna and passed it on, We had all 107 lasagnas (plus about 5 extras) assembled in 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was great. It ended up being a great fundraiser for our group and we earned around $700. The nice thing is that the girls were happy while they worked and we had a great time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Facelift and a Realization

As you can see I have given my blog a facelift. After hearing several complaints..."your background is so cute, but it is really hard to read your blog.", I decided to make a change. On my computer the text on the old blog was perfectly clear, but I noticed on my grandma's computer this weekend, when I helped her find my blog, that it was hard to read. It must be something with different monitors or something. Anyway, sorry to all of you that had to struggle through trying to read my blog before. Hopefully this is much better.

So I have noticed in the last few days something I have never really had before. (I don't say this in a way of bragging by the way.) I have belly pudge. It's not a lot, just a bit that rolls over the waist band of my pants, but more than I remember having anytime in my life except maybe post delivery. I don't know where it came from, but all of a sudden it is there. So I am setting some new goals in my life to try and combat this little spare tire that is forming before it gets out of hand.

1-I am going to try very hard to cut back on sweets. This will be very hard for me as I am completely and totally addicted to chocolate. I literally crave it daily and go crazy when I can't find anything in the house to fill that need. Perhaps I will reward myself once a week if I am able to meet all my goals. Oh this is going to be tough.

2-I am going to really start excercising. Mike and I got a really nice treadmill for Christmas and I have only used it a handful of times since then. It is my goal to begin a regular routine of daily excercise. I know that when I set aside time each day to excercise, it helps me to feel better physically and psychologically. So I am going to walk or run on the treadmill, do my situps, bike, walk or rollerblade in the park with the kids, something each day so I can truly say that I am excercising.

3-I am going to eat 3 meals a day. I rarely eat breakfast and sometimes skip lunch too. I know that skipping meals is not good for metabolism so hopefully by eating 3 meals a day, I can give my metabloism a boost.

4-It's not so much about weight I want to lose, but I have been about 10-15 pounds heavier than I would like ever since Kyle was born. Losing those pounds would open up a portion of my wardrobe for use that has been stuck in the back of the closet for 4 1/2 years. I wouldn't mind dropping those pounds but more importanty, I want to tone up. So I will also incorporate some toning excercises into my excercise routine. Perhaps a bit of pilates, I have a great video.

Well, I suppose that is enough for now.

Check out my Slide Show!

Here are all my pictures from our weekend trip. Too bad I forgot to reset the date on my camera after I changed the batteries. Ugh!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

WOW, what a weekend!!! (warning, long post)

Wow, it was a crazy weekend for our family. It started early last Thursday morning when we packed the kids into the "burban" for a day on the road. Of course this day followed a CRAZY Wednesday of preparations: cleaning, laundry, and packing for the trip. W headed out about 7am and made just 2 stops between here and Ogden. The kids were pretty good in the car but of course we had the bickering that always goes with day long car travel. I heard my share of "He's touching me" and "I'm hungry" or "I'm thirsty". I don't know what it is about being in the car for several hours that makes the kids think they need to be constantly eating or drinking. Anyway after a fairly uneventful 7 hours we arrived at my grandmother's house and settled in.

Grandma has a great house and basically gives us the whole basement when we come to visit. She and grandpa always make us feel so welcome. We love to stay there. After a couple of hours it was time to head out for the wedding Open House.

Many thanks to the whole Bruce family for making us feel so welcome. We had a nice evening in Kay's home where we saw many family members we haven't seen for ages and had the chance to get to know some of Kay's family a little bit better. We had a great time and the kids had a really fun time playing with some of their"new cousins".

Friday was the wedding day and after a relaxing morning visiting with Grandma and Grandpa, we headed up to Brigham City to the Lodge where the wedding would take place. We watched as pictures were taken and visited more between the two families. Dad and Kay were married in a very simple, very short ceremony that followed a very nice speech by Kay's son, Ryan. Kay had told me before hand that she was afraid she might cry during the wedding, and I told her not to worry that I probably would be crying along with her. Well, I didn't even make it to the ceremony before the tears came. Ryan delivered a very eloquent speech that mentioned the personal losses of each family and how nice it is that dad and Kay have found each other to spend the rest of their lives together. I was bawling. (Ryan if by chance you read this, thank you for your words. What you said was beautiful.)

Then, they were married and we had a great dinner. The kids behaved amazingly well, though as always were very active. We are so happy for dad and Kay to have found each other again. It was amazing to see the picture display they had out on the table at the wedding. Most of the pictures were very recent, but there was one picture of the two of them from many years ago. They must have been around 20 year old or so. It was fun to see that little bit of history they have.
As we were leaving the wedding, we had a little accident. Kyle got his hand slammed in the car door. His ring finger was double size and cut on the palm side. It was purple and he couldn't move it. He screamed all the way back to grandma's house where we were able to clean it up and splint it. He was up several times during the night due to pain and even the tylenol didn't help that. So it was a rough night and he was pretty miserable.

Saturday we had another great day. We took the kids to Lee's market where they were handing out Easter candy. That made their day. Afterwards we got all the Pierce clan together and went for lunch at the pizza factory and took the kids to the Treehouse in Ogden. It is a children's museum and the kids all had a blast. Even Kaylee and Tiffany who felt they were too grown up for such a place ended up having fun playing with their younger cousins. It was great to all be together.
After the Treehouse, most of us went over to Farr's Ice cream for a cone. We filled the place which was already crowded when we got there.
Saturday night my Aunt Tami gathered all my aunts, uncle and cousins from my mom's side of the family that could make it and we had a fantastic potluck dinner. It was great to see all my cousins that were able to be there and despite there being a lot of people there, it was a really nice time. Thank you Tami!!!
Sunday we had the chance to go visit some of our friends. We went to visit Bret and Evelyn Miller in Alpine. They had invited us for Easter Dinner. It was quite a crew to feed with their 7 kids and our 5, but we made it through and had a great visit. The kids played on the dirt hill and the trampoline and allowed the adults some wonderful time that was actually pretty quiet considering all the kids that were there.
Next we paid a visit to Tina McGuire and her kids. It was good to see them again as well. It has been about a year since we saw them last and it is amazing how the kids have grown. Tina's Husband, Les, was killed in a plane crash almost 2 years ago. He and Mike had been friends since middle school, and we have always been good friends. They are doing well, though still adjusting to the challenges that accompany losing a spouse and father at such a young age.
Our final visit for the day was with Mike's sister Teresa and her family. Again the kids had a great time visiting with their cousins and gave the adults some peace and quiet to visit together. Then we were off again back to grandma and grandpa's house.

Today we had a reasonably pleasant drive home. The trip went pretty quick getting us home in about 7 hours. We hurried to unpack the car and I took Jake in to the Urgent Care. While we were at Bret's house, he hurt his foot on the trampoline and today was unable to put much weight on it. Being cautious I decided to take him in for a quick x-ray, and sure enough he has a small fracture in his foot. They put him in a walking boot and we will follow up with the pediatrician in about a week. So when I say crazy weekend, it really was. 5 days, about 1000 miles logged on the car, a wedding (adding to the family, Kay, her 5 children, their spouses and 9 almost 10 grandchildren), two more parties, a big family outing, a smashed finger, 3 more visits, a trip to the urgent care, and a broken foot. Wow, I survived, I wonder what is in store for this week.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Yeah, I finally did it. After cutting my own hair for years (yes I said cutting my own hair) I finally went and had my hair cut by a pro. It has been about 6 years since my last professional haircut. I am by no means a pro and other than cutting my own hair and and easy trims for my girls, I have really only done Mike and the boys' buzz cuts. Call it laziness, lack of monetary funding, not a priority, whatever you like, I have just not done it.

Today I went in and thoroughly enjoyed getting my hair washed, cut, and styled. The place I went was so nice. They even had massage chairs while you were getting your hair washed. So I laid there on the massage chair and felt like I was in heaven having someone else wash my hair. It was truly a wonderful experience. I don't know how I have deprived myself for so long.
My stylist actually straightened my hair when she styled it. Something I haven't done in ages because it takes soooo long. My hair feels so good and healthy. Here are a couple of pics of the new do. Don't expect to see it straight after tomorrow though. It takes me almost an hour to blow dry my hair because it is so think.
If you live in the Loveland area and are looking for a great stylist, let me know and I will give you a referral card. They give a free gift certificate if I refer three people. That will almost get me a bit of color if I decide to do highlights to help hide the gray that is coming in ugh!!

I think I have decided that I need to do something like this every four months or so. I do need to make myself more of a priority sometimes. It was a rejuvenating experience.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


It amazes me sometimes what a simple date on the calendar can do to a person.

Birthdays make us older and are often associated with happy thoughts. Though as I grow older, I am liking them less and less along with the gray hairs that keep sprouting up.

Wedding anniversaries make us giddy or at least they do me. They remind me of that special day so long ago that my husband and I became one.

Holidays always bring their own joy and celebrations. But aren't they just days on the calendar that has been set aside for some reason or another?

Some days envoke other feelings like sadness, woe, and grief. That is today for me. Just a day on the calendar, but a date absorbed by sad memories and grief. Today is the 2 year anniversary of the day my mom passed from this life to the next. I knew this day was coming, but it wasn't until I was sitting at preschool writing a check this morning that it hit me today is the day. All of a sudden tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of sadness. I miss my mom every day. There are so many moments of the day when I think of wanting to share something with her, talk to her, or ask her advice. But she isn't here anymore to answer those calls. Even though I do miss her every day, I do not cry about it everyday, so it makes me wonder what it is about anniversaries that brings everything to the surface and make it feel so fresh.

My mom, my hero.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Girls Night Out!!! (GNO)

I am slow to post this entry simply because I was waiting to add the pictures to it. It is about last weekend and now I have the pictures so here is what I wrote last Monday.

What an awesome weekend we had here in Loveland. On Saturday it hit 76 degrees and we as a family had a great afternoon in the park. We had Ryan's birthday party with his friends and spent most of it playing games in the park. It wasa beautiful day. I am so anxious for Spring and these days like this are just teasers, especially when Sunday hits about 20 degrees for a high with lots of wind too.

Saturday night I had the chance to go out with some friends. Alyssa, Melanie, Eliza, and Aislinn and I all needed a Girls Night Out. After about three months of trying to get together we finally managed to coordinate our schedules. As we were contemplating what a group of crazy adult women needing a break from their children should do for an evening we tossed up a few different ideas. A "chick flick"? No that would never work since we would have to be quiet in the theatre. We do not do quiet very well when we are together. No we thought we needed to do something where we could laugh and talk all evening long. Aislinn had the idea to go roller skating and immediately we were all sold. The plans were made and we were all off to RollerLand in Fort Collins. Let me tell you, I haven't laughed that hard in ages. There were many, many moments of side splitting laughter. That was therapy in itself. We had blast!!! Skating is great excercise and after about 2 hours we decided it was time to head out. We went out to old town Ft. Collins for a little bit and then we headed to find something to eat. We ended up at Old Chicago and ate a very late dinner(which kept me up half the night) and more convo and laughs. We have decided to get a night like this on our calendars at least every two months. What mom doesn't need a night out with friends at least that often? The skating made the night though. I hope we do that again. I did manage to fall once. I haven't fallen skating in ages but I guess someone had to fall. I have a pretty big bruise on my knee where I landed, but other than that I seem to have survived. Amazing that these old bones weren't broken. I am the oldest one in this little group of ours. Sometimes I really feel it too, but I love these guys. They always make me feel younger. Here are some pics of our adventures.

Surgery x2

Well, the ENT appointment went just as I was expecting it would. Tiffany and Jacob will both be having surgery. Tiffany will be having her tonsils and adenoids removed and Jacob will be getting his third set of tubes put in his ears. Jake has some very moderate low level hearing loss that we will be watching as well. His right ear was infected again today and the doctor says he is also suffering from allergies. We will find out more about the allergies another time. I guess we won't be doing too much fun stuff for Spring break this year.

Our Family in Pictures