Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm Yellow

Take this test!

You're yellow, the color of joy and energy — two things you definitely bring to everyone around you. It's hard for anyone to be sad or lonely in your presence; your sunny disposition and cheery outlook just won't allow it. The warmth of your personality shines through in the kindness you show friends and family (and strangers, too). Always ready with a lighthearted joke or heartfelt compliment, you know how to make people feel good about themselves, so they can't get enough of you. Yellow is a warm and inviting color for a warm and inviting person — you!

Top 10 Reasons for Taking a Quick Vacation--Without Kids

10 - Eating a hot meal (having to cool down my own dinner instead of eating it cold after cooling down little people dinners)
9 - Someone else makes the bed and cleans the bathroom

8 - Watching whatever I want (food network) on t.v. (I should qualify this to say that it was only accurate when Eric wasn't in the room--otherwise the remote was glued to his hand)

7 - Undisturbed ocean views

6 - Yummy meals I didn't have to cook

5 - Being able to read pages--even chapters--of a book in a row

4 - No laundry

3 - Having conversations with my husband and other adults

2 - Knowing my children were in good, capable hands (thanks Natalie and MRK!)

1 - Two words: room service

We did have a great time on our little excursion to San Diego. But I should mention just a few negatives: I had to spend a chunk of time picking out junk to bring back to our kids, there was a huge delay coming home and we sat in the San Diego airport for hours (this also resulted in me having to call a member of the primary presidency to say I couldn't teach my class--I hate that!), and, of course, I couldn't wait to get home and see those four stinkers I was so excited to take a break from!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In Memoriam

Gordon B. Hinckley

Basic Facts Birth Date: June 23, 1910 Years as President: 1995– 2008
“The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Biographical Sketch: Born in Salt Lake City on June 23, 1910, Gordon B. Hinckley was prepared from his youth to be a prophet. After graduating from the University of Utah, he was called to serve a mission to Great Britain. After he returned, he embarked on a lifetime of service for the Church. He was employed as the executive secretary of the Church Radio, Publicity, and Literature committee, before he was called to be an Apostle in 1961. He was later called to serve as a counselor to President Kimball, President Benson, and President Hunter. Since becoming Church President on March 12, 1995, he has directed the most intense temple building program in the history of the Church in an effort to extend temple blessings to more members. He has exhibited vitality and energy as he has traveled about the world meeting and speaking to members of the Church. Through television interviews and national press publications, he has increased media attention and improved the public image of the Church. He has counseled Church members to fellowship new converts, befriend members of other faiths, live exemplary lives, and avoid the evils of the world. --

What an amazing example to all.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Eisley Mania in the Elison Household

If you are not already crazy about Eisley, please let me introduce you. They are an amazing singing group that I am sort of obsessed with. I say "sort of" because there people more obsessed than I: my two daughters. And actually, our whole family loves their music. Even Ryder "ahhhh ahhhh ahhhhs" along with the chorus to "Marvelous Things." (You can find that song in my playlist below.) Snag up one or both of their CDs as soon as you can. And for you "Twilight" fans out there, my girls have picked out several Eisley songs that would serve as perfect theme songs. See if you can pick them out. And please, if you have any suggestions for great music, pass them along.

"Room Noises"- 1st album

"Combinations"- 2nd album (probably my favorite of the 2)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brian Regan on Flying

In anticipation of mine and Eric's upcoming weekend trip to San Diego, I am reminded of Brian Regan's hiliarious flying routine. It's kind of long but he is a crack-up!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Clean It Up

Just to illustrate how truly pathetic my life as a wife and mother has become, I am dedicating an entire blog to my love for a cleaning product. Now, it is a Multi Surface Cleaner (and it's Organic--so I think you can actually drink the stuff or use it to season chicken dishes) and it has a "light citrus scent." Just smelling it makes me happy and gives the impression that somewhere, something in the house is clean. I first bought it at Costco in a three-pack. The next time I went to buy it there were only two three-packs left sitting on top of a pallet of something else. I panicked and bought them both hoping that a new shipment would be in soon. No such luck. I am now down to my last half of a can. I did find it at and also found evidence that it can be purchaced at Ace Hardware (I do plan to verify this). Other selling points: it is 99% biodegradable, a portion of the purchase price is donated to breast cancer research, it is non toxic, the can is recyclable, there are no CFC's (those nasty ozone layer depleters), and, did I mention, it smells really good. So if your life is as exciting as mine you'll want to check out this product. Use it when you are cleaning or, if you don't have time, just spray it randomly around the house to give the impression that someone has been cleaning.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Town Square, Feeling Ill, and Northanger Abbey

While Eric and my brother-in-law MRK went skiing on Saturday, Natalie and I took the kids to a new shopping area called Town Square. It is just off the strip and easy to get to (not quite as easy to get out of, we found). It is outdoors and they have an amazing little play area complete with slides playhouses and a maze. The kids had a blast. We also ate lunch at Claim Jumper and shopped a little.

Many of the shops aren't open yet (the "soon to open" Old Navy looks huge) but we found some fun new places. We really like H&M. I had never heard of it before. It was an interesting combination of clothes for the whole family. There were some fantastic buys and a few things that were not even close to my style. And by my style I mean my kids' style. I didn't even make it out of the children's department. There was an interesting variety of things and I was able to buy a baby gift, some really cool t-shirts for Ryder, a My Little Pony purse and a new dance leotard for Haven. Sage and Savannah found some things as well (I had to draw the line at the black furry Russian hat that Savannah wanted). It was a fun day that ended with an interesting experience in the parking garage (Natalie-I'll let you blog about this one!).

If only the day could have ended there. Instead I found myself feeling very ill. And by the end of the night I was losing my lunch. (I am hoping this wasn't a food poisoning experience because I really love Claim Jumper and don't want to think that they would do that to me!) So I spent Saturday night and Sunday sick as a dog. But no one else seems affected (yet) and I have high hopes that it is gone since I woke up this morning feeling a lot better and having some appetite.

But can I just say that I did love Northanger Abbey on Masterpiece Theatre last night! I didn't have the highest hopes since I read the book in high school and it doesn't compare to the others. Of course I now want to read it again. I loved the actors and thought it was so well done. It was such a bright spot in a literally pukey day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Favorite (and not so favorite) thing

The Body Shop sells my very favorite lotion. Body Butter, actually. I have this on the brain right now because I am all out and that is a sad thing for me. I cake this stuff on my dry, flaky skin every day. I usually buy this in bulk when it is on sale because it is a little pricey ($20.00 for 6.9 ounces). But then it is suddenly gone. I was at the mall the other day and, feeling desperate, was willing to pay full price. HOWEVER, the very young and very rude clerk on duty that day blew it for me. I know they are not paid a commission or anything (are they?), but I was not willing to plunk my money down for someone so rude (in short she was very condescending and argumentative and she was snotty towards my son and my nephew). I guess I have two themes going on today: 1) I love The Body Shop Mango Body Butter; and 2) Why do people have to be rude? Let's just all have soft skin and be nice to one another!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

At the Movies

I don't pretend to be any authority on movies or the film industry (I saw the critically acclaimed movie "The Hours" and believe me, it was painful to watch--especially for me considering the fact that three couples were stuck watching what was suggested by me). And I don't get to the movies too often. But I saw a few over the holidays and I do subscribe to Netflix (yea Netflix!) so I'm going to attempt some short reviews of the movies I've seen lately.

In no particular viewing order:

The new Masterpiece Theatre Persuasion (watched in the comfort of my own family room last Sunday night)

First off, I didn't like it as well as the Cirian Hinds/Amanda Root version. That said, I did like it a lot. Wentworth was yummy to look at even if he was a little on the gruff side for my liking. There were plot lines that were more straightforward (for better or worse) in this version. For instance, the Mr. Elliot/Mrs. Clay/Mr. Elliot entanglements were more clearly explained. Overall I am left with a desire to read the book again. I've seen the 1995 version so many times that I've taken for granted that certain characters own certain lines. This new version gave some of those same lines to different characters and I am curious to know to whom they really belong (according to Jane, that is).

The Kite Runner (saw this last weekend with my hubby)

Very good adaptation of an amazing book. Although there is a satisfactory mostly happy ending, don't see this movie if you are depressed and looking to be uplifted. Like the book there are several troubling scenes and I found the state of Afghanistan upsetting under the rule of the Taliban--upsetting but informative.

I Am Legend (saw this in Utah with Eric over our Christmas vacation)

I had no idea what to expect from this movie. I hadn't heard anything. I did like it. I like being scared when there is more suspense than gore involved. And though I did shut my eyes a few times and actually screamed out loud in the theatre, the ending was worth the scary journey. I know people who walked out of this one. Eric's mom said that she would have stayed if there had been even one beautiful thing to look at. That is understandable. The beauty was there--it just came at the end. Clearly this is not for everyone and I never want to see it again, but I give it a thumbs-up.

Juno (watched this a couple of weeks ago with my sister)

I was eager to see this movie, having heard many good things about it. And my 14 and 12 year old girls were begging me to let them watch it (they are not allowed to see PG-13 movies unless we have seen it first--they won't be seeing this one). It was fantastic! Ellen Page as pregnant high school student, Juno was amazing. I also really enjoyed Michael Cera as Bleaker, Juno's friend and the father of her unborn child. I am not a huge Jennifer Garner fan, but she and Jason Bateman as a married couple hoping to adopt Juno's baby were really great. This is a movie about a teenager but it has very adult themes. It was hilarious and heartwarming and had a more than satisfying ending that I didn't see coming. See this one! But don't take your teenagers.

This really completes my most recent movie experiences. But as far as DVDs go, let me just sing praises to Netflix once more. No late fees, keep the movie as long as you like, they are quick to resolve any problems, and, most importantly, they carry all kinds of obscure movies that don't see the light of day at Blockbuster. I've been a member for a year or so and really enjoy it. I even get something for Eric or the kids every once in a while. Recent favorites:

The House of Eliott is a British television series that I really enjoyed.

I love Wives and Daughters. I don't know why I don't buy it. I've rented it several times.

And finally, my most recent personal acquisition (as far as DVDs go):

Love this show!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blessed Sunday

For those of you who didn't get the reminder via my friend Steph's blog (and if you don't frequent her blog, you should. You won't be sorry.), it is that marvelous time of year again when Masterpiece Theatre begins its new season (see link at right). As if I don't look forward to it enough (Sunday night at 9:00 everybody better sit down and be quiet or make themselves scarce!), this season begins with the Compete Works of Jane Austen. Some are new productions and some are classics (somebody try to out-do A&E's version of Pride and Prejudice--I dare you!), but it's Jane Austen and if I am not on the couch every Sunday night for the next 10+ weeks then I am, um that is, I will be, uh, I would have.... Hmmmm. I actually can't think of any reason why I won't be. If the house burns down I will find a t.v. somewhere else.

With all these new movie versions coming out don't forget these little gems:

And my personal favorite:

And don't forget to stay tuned later in the year when Masterpiece Theatre presents Mystery! This is a great series. Some of my favorites:

The Prime Suspect Series is actually over (there were 7) but you can still catch re-runs.

Eric even likes this World War II era detective show.

I always look forward to Inspector Lynley. Check out the books this series is based on by Elizabeth George.

Happy viewing!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

And Speaking of Cake....

We love Jim Gaffigan!

Resolutions and Happy Birthday

I refuse to share most of my New Year's Resolutions. They are very personal and I like to keep my failures to myself if I can. I will tell you that losing weight always makes my list. And someday it will happen (I am giving myself a pep-talk right now) and I would like to take credit for following through with a New Year's Resolution when it does. Also I would like to share that, once again, sending birthday cards to everyone in the family for the whole year is on my list. (Those born in January might think that I succeed at this every year, not knowing that I start off with a bang but usually lose my steam come February.) So, publically displaying what little faith I have in myself, I would like to say "Happy Birthday!" to all of you who turn a year older any time between February and December.
P.S. I don't include the promise that these birthday cards and/or presents will arrive on time. I can only set myself up for so much failure.
P.P.S. If I do succeed at any other resolutions I will let you know.
P.P.P.S. Don't hold your breath.
Speaking of birthdays, here are some of my favorite cakes from recent years:

Haven's 1st birthday (I actually made this one!)

"Yummy! My very own cake!" (Enjoy! It will never happen again)

Natalie's "Nothing Bundt Cake" cake

Ryder's 1st birthday cake (I made this one, too. Sorry, Ryder!)

Looks scary, tastes great!

Haven's 3rd birthday

Sage's 12th birthday

(Yes, it is the exact same cake as above. My kids' birthdays are too close together for them to always have their own cake! By the way, "Thank you Costco.")

They don't mind sharing. It was a big cake.

Savannah's "Twilight" themed 14th birthday party was perfected by this cake from Albertsons. I hated to cut into it.

Eliza made this in her cake decorating class. I give this an A+++++

Tanner's 2nd birthday cake. If you can't tell, there is a real Thomas train that moves around on a little track. Another Albertson's masterpiece.

Now I'm starving. I guess my #1 resolution to lose weight is not getting off to a good start.