Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Girls

I recently had the girls pictures taken. Here are a couple of the pictures. You can see a few more here. I hope to get the rest soon! I will post more then.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pancakes & Plumbing

Steve left on a business trip yesterday. He will be gone until Thursday night. It's always a bummer when he is gone. Other than the fact that it is lonely being a single parent, it also means that I stay up too late (who likes sleeping alone?), something breaks, or I get sick. (Because that only happens when your husband is gone, right?) Since I drove Steve to the airport yesterday, that meant we couldn't have Steve's parents and the college kids over for dinner. My girls are always disappointed when no one comes over for Sunday dinner. They claim they are better fed when company is here. Its probably true. Case in point, I fixed Whole Wheat Pancakes for dinner yesterday. However, they were delicious. We ate them with fresh peaches our neighbor sent over, and whipped cream. I know most people probably have a recipe for Whole Wheat Pancakes, but I will post the one I got from Taylor Cropper (a former member of the Oak Hills 2nd Ward, who now lives in Oregon and is a great cook) on his blog Feed Your Family. Here it is: Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes Put in the Blender: 1 Cup of wheat berries 1/4 cups of water 1/4 cup dried milk Blend for three minutes 1 egg 1 tbsp. honey/sugar 1 tbsp. oil 1/4 tsp salt Blend to combine everything,then add: 1 tbsp. Baking Powder Pulse it a few times. As I mentioned, things seem to only break when Steve is gone. Last night as I was brushing my teeth and washing my face, I noticed the sink wasn't draining. So, I tested the other sink - it wasn't draining either. So like any good wife, I called my husband, who then told me I needed to snake the drain. Ugh! Steve then proceeded to coach me on the phone, while I snaked the drain. (I have seen him do this plenty of times - we do live in an old house - but of course I don't usually pay attention). I snaked it, thought I fixed it. It didn't work. Started to snake again, but this time the pipe that connects to the wall came off! I explained to Steve what just happened. He tells me I have two options: 1) Call a plumber or 2) Wait till I get home. Then he says, "Just wait until I get home." (Steve is a very handy guy, which is something I love about him - he can fix things!) So, for the next four days I will be brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink. And so I won't forget to NOT turn the water on in the sinks, I taped them off. (I tend to forget important things, like - there are no pipes connected to your sink - unless I have a visual reminder.) Plumbing problems always make you appreciate the little things, like running water. Thankfully I can still take a shower! Let's hope I don't get sick!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a Party. . . . . Again

Tonight we are having another party! This time it is for Lydia and the girls in her American Studies class. This "tradition" started last year when the girls in Abigail's class started getting together on a Friday night to work on their class packets. They would study, eat dinner, and then watch a movie. The girls had a lot of fun. Apparently, word got around and this year it started again. Tonight it is our turn to host. We are going to make individual skookies. (I talked Lydia out of dinner and convinced her to do dessert.)

And then they will watch the movie Penelope.

P.S. Late Tuesday night when we realized we needed to get the invitations out, I was tired - very tired (which means creativity was lacking) I came across templates for invitations. We used the wedding ones, since they were the cutest. And we deleted the places for pictures.I thought it was pretty cool and so easy to use. You can find them here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's a Party

Tonight we are having a party. Brittany (Steve's niece) is turning 22 today! Happy Birthday Brittany! Brittany is inviting friends to our house to eat mud pie and watch the season premier of The Office. How can it not be fun when you have ice cream and a lot of laughs.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Maybe you already knew this, but ICE is an acronym for In Case of an Emergency. I just learned this not too long ago. (I'm a little slow) Apparently, you should have an ICE number on your cell phone. Well today I have been working on an ICE folder. Since I handle most financials at our house, get the mail, pay the bills, etc. I sometimes worry that if anything happened to me, would Steve be able to figure everything out? We always discuss our finances, so I am sure he would. However, I imagine that if I was unable to handle those things, something incredibly stressful would probably be happening at our house. And maybe this folder would help. An ICE folder would be a place where someone could look and find all the vital information they would need in case something happened to me, Steve, or the both of us. There is a great article in the NY Times about getting your documents together in case of a natural disaster, but the same information can be used for "hit by a bus" scenario. If you read it, don't let it overwhelm you. This is what is going to be in my ICE Folder: (for now)
  • Information about reaccuring bills we receive, how we receive them (for example some of our bills are automatically deducted, some received in the mail, and one even by email)the amount the bill usually is and when its due.
  • Employment information
  • Where to find important documents such as: Life insurance, Wills, SS cards, birth certificates, passports, etc.
  • Retirement and Life Insurance information
  • Account information for Checking and Savings
  • Usernames and hints for passwords since I use online banking, bill pay, etc.

This is just start. Who knows maybe I will even get technical (since that is Steve's expertise) and have it all digital someday. Maybe. Someday

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lunch Labels

I should be folding laundry, but instead I am making lunch label stickers. I found these on Martha Stewart, you can find them here. I thought they were cute and the girls love it when I do things like this. - one of the many advantages to having so many girls.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Road Trip

Steve's old car has officially retired. After 16 years on the road and 175,000 miles, it was ready for a rest. Steve found his ideal car - in Sacramento, CA. Abigail was the lucky girl who was able to accompany her dad on the road trip. They flew into Sacramento Friday night, but not before they attended Wasatch's Fall Festival for an hour or two. This is where I was stuck doing my treasurely duties. (Remember: I am the PTO treasurer, because I can't say "no"?) I tried really hard to be a good sport while I was stuck counting money, which wasn't even mine, while they were heading to Cali.

Steve did a lot of this.
And this. They spent a lot of time in the car and decided to take a detour to San Francisco. They ate lunch on the pier. Then headed to Chinatown They saw a lot of strange food. And 5'5" tall Abigail was taller than most people there. According to both, Chinatown was a cultural experienceAnd no stop would be complete without Boudine's sourdough bread. They broght home five loaves to share.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Salad Anyone?

I really don't mean for this to be a recipe blog, but since I spend a great amount of time each day cooking food and cleaning up food, its only natural to blog about it. Right? Plus if you are an Estes you talk about food. And I am not kidding. So, let me talk to you about a salad that Lydia and I came up with. There is a pizza place in town that serves a Greek Salad. We (Lydia and I ) thought it was delicious - we like salads. I thought it was so yummy that I would actually find myself craving the salad dressing. Really. And if you are an Estes (a Steve Estes that is) you think that anything delicious at a restaurant, you can cook it better. And I admit he usually does. So, Lydia and I attemtped to create our verision of a Greek Salad and we think it turned out pretty good. So good, that we fix it a lot and even serve it to company. So here it is: (Please keep in mind that we don't really measure, but for duplicating purposes I will attempt to.) Greek Salad Hearts of Romaine lettuce, chopped (However much you need) Cherry tomatoes (Again, however much you want) 1 peeled and sliced cucumber 1 can black olives 1/2 C Feta cheese thinly sliced purple onion (However much you want) Dressing: 1 C mayo 1/2 C white vinegar 1 T chopped oregano (you can use dried oregano, just reduce the amount to 1 tsp) 2 cloves of garlic minced 1/4 C sugar 1/2 -1 C Feta cheese (amount depending upon how thick you like your dressing) Mix together in a blender and chill until ready to serve. And just in case you might need something to go with the Greek Salad I will try to post a BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe later, if you want. But right now, Ruthie needs me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Success & Supermodels

And the winner is . . . . ABIGAIL! Yea! We are very excited and very happy to have it all done with! She will be a great VP
And just for fun is a picture of Lydia. This week is Spirit Week at school and each day is a theme day. Today was "Supermodel Day". Everyone was suppose to dress up as a supermodel, including the boys. (Where do they come up with these ideas?) Here is Lydia's interpretation of a supermodel.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stayed Tuned. . . .

Tomorrow is the final vote for freshman elections. The buttons have been a huge hit and Abigail has even had requests for more. However, with a $15 budget, we have been a bit limited on how many we can produce. Thursday, for those who were advancing to the final vote (they vote twice - with the top 2 moving on) we were allowed to spend an additional $10. So, we decided to do something different. This is what we came up with. We bought a bunch of gum at the dollar store and made our own wrappers. Thanks to Print Shop, a good printer, and a handy little machine that makes stickers, we came up with this: "Chews" Abigail E. for VP. The colors of the wrappers are Timpview High's colors and the words written in the background (in white) say, "Abigail E. for VP" The final vote takes place during lunch. We really hope they find out before the end of the day! Good luck Abigail! This is the little machine that has come in oh so handy for the elections and other school projects. It's the Xyron 5" Create a Sticker. I bought it as a frivilous little purchase, but have really loved having it. We use it a lot. The machine only cost around $20 and its super easy to use, requires no electricty or batteries. However, the big con is the refill cartridges are pricey (around $10) and I wished they lasted longer. Yet, I keep using it and I keep buying them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chili Queen

It's good to be Queen even if it is only the "Chili Queen". Tonight was our annual ward Chili Cook-off held at Big Springs Park in Provo Canyon. Chili was tasted and chili was judged. It so happened that I won the "Chili Queen Award" for Best Tasting Chili. So, thank you Cathy for the great recipe - it made me look good tonight.
White Chili
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 - 4 oz can chopped green chilies
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
4 chicken breats, cooked and shredded (I like to season the chicken with salt & pepper before I add it)
5 cups chicken broth
3 - 16 oz cans of white beans, undrained
3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded (I like to use Peppered Monterey Jack Cheese for a little extra kick)
Saute onions, green chilies and garlic in olive oil and add spices. Combine beans, broth, and chicken with onion mixture. Stir over medium heat and gradually add the grated jack cheese. Stir until all cheese is melted and combined well with other ingredients. Heat to desired temperature.
P.S . The leaves are starting to change color, the air is getting cooler, and BYU football has begun. You gotta love Fall.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Do You Remember?

It slipped my mind this morning that it was September 11th. I should have known, but the Boy Scouts didn't put up a flag this year like they did last year. So, I just went about my morning routine until I was driving down State street in Orem and I spotted a flag at half mast. Then I remembered. I was getting the girls ready for school, fixing breakfast, brushing hair, and making lunches. Steve was out of town. He traveled frequently back then and this week he was in Memphis, Tennessee. The phone rang. It was Steve. "Hey!" I said, "How are you?" "Are you watching TV?" "No, why? What's wrong" Something was wrong, I could tell by the tone of his voice. "Elizabeth, turn on the TV." "Why?" I was starting to panic. Steve's voice choked up, "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center." He had been watching the news with the other hotel guests as he ate his breakfast. He had watched the second plane crash on live TV. I remember staring at the TV in disbelief trying to get a handle on what had just happened. Why had this happened? What did this mean? I don't know what Steve and I talked about next. But I knew I was scared and I felt vulnerable. Steve was gone. I wanted him home. I drove the girls to school that day. They were late. It was quiet outside, too quiet. Where were the cars? Where were the kids walking to school? Where was everyone? The rest of the day I watched the news incessantly like everyone else, until Steve told me to turn it off. It was getting to me. Seven year old Abbey came home from school, she knew something was wrong. She could hear the news on the TV. She looked up at me and started to cry, "Mom, why would someone do that?" She caught me off guard. How do I explain what a terrorist was? How do I explain hate? How do I explain any of this without scaring her any further? Then it what I believe was divine inspiration, our family scripture study came to my mind. The Gadianton Robbers. For a few brief moments, Abigail and I talked about the robbers, about how they had "secret combinations" and how some people just want to do things that are wrong and evil. The same was true with terrorists. I went on to explain that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, that even when bad things happen, horrible things, we can find peace and reassurance that He does have a plan for us, an eternal plan. And we can be happy. She seemed to understand. She seemed to feel better and so did I. And like the rest of the country, life went on. We moved forward, but we could never forget.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Septmeber 10th is my mom's birthday, but I will not reveal her age. ( I don't think she would appreciate it, although I think if I told you, you would be impressed. She looks good. ) I was very blessed to have a wonderful mom. Since I seem to be all about lists these days, I am going to list some things I love about my mom:

  • My mom would often leave me notes on my pillow when I came home late from a date telling me she loved me.
  • My mom made me breakfast EVERY single day of my life and it was ALWAYS served on a placemat. The only time I don't remember her fixing my breakfast was when she was serving on the Grand Jury and had to be in Phoenix before I left for school. On those days, my dad made me toast and poured me a glass of OJ. And if you know my dad and his cooking skills, you would understand that he went all out for me in order to help my mom.

  • My mom would never get mad if I didn't make my bed. When I was running late and left my room a mess, she always cleaned it up (For the record I really tried to make my bed - most days) I always appreciated it and knew that she did it because she loved me.
  • My mom was always willing to drive me and my friends anywhere. One day during my sophmore year, I called my mom and asked her if she would pick me and my friends up so we could come home for lunch. (We couldn't drive and it was not cool to stay on campus and remember I secretly want to be cool.) Not only did she do that, she also served us the chimichangas she had made for dinner, and then drove us back to school! As a mom now, I can't say I would be so generous.
  • My mom trusted me. She let her teenage daughter take her credit card to the mall (that would be me) and even told me the pin number to her bank account. ( That would be me again and yes, I still know it!) Now that is trust!
  • My mom loved being a mom. She truly enjoyed cleaning, laundry, and ironing. (At least she made it look like she did.) I loved that my mom was always at home, especially when I needed her.
  • My mom has a wonderful heart. She is geniunely good, kind, loving, and selfless. She has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and truly lived what she taught her children.

  • And I love that my mom loves me, faults and all, as well as my husband, and my own children. To this day, I know I can call my mom and vent, cry, brag, or preach and she will listen and then do anything I ask. We love you Mom and Happy Birthday!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

She Would Rock!

Abigail has decided to run for freshman VP. So we have been in a scramble to come up with an idea and finish it this weekend. They are only allowed three posters, 20 fliers, and $15 to spend. So, this is what we came up with:
Abigail E.
for VP
She Would Rock!
I know on the picture it say, "She Rocks!" but Abigail was concerned that it sounded a little high and mighty, so we are going to change it to, "She Would Rock!". If you can't tell, we took the images from the ipod ads and used them on everything-posters, flyers, and buttons! Cross your fingers, this is a first for us!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lydia & Labor Day

Labor Day Here is some trivia about the Estes Family and Labor Day: Steve & Elizabeth went on their first date, Labor Day sixteen years ago. Three years later, Steve & Elizabeth's second daughter, Lydia, was appropriately born on Labor Day We rarely go out of town on Labor Day This year Labor Day was wet, cold, and windy So, because the weather did not permit outside labor, we chose to find something "fun" to do. This is what we did:

We saw a 3-D Imax movie about the Wild Sea. It had a very obvious political message with no research to back it up. A pet peeve of Steve's.

Then we took five girls (our five girls) to the world's largest dinosaur museum. Ruthie wasn't sure what to think about the dinosaurs. This is how Lydia felt about it:

I am sure she was texting all her friends about how much fun she was having! However, Ruthie really liked the fish!

Then we headed to Grandma Estes' house for steak, potatoes, and peach cobbler (eaten inside of course.) It was yummy!

Afterwards we made a quick stop here. Is that even possible? A screaming toddler always speeds things up.


So, today (September 4th) is Lydia's birthday.

She is finally 13! The last of her friends. Here are some things you may or may not know about Lydia:

  • Lydia has a great sense of humor, she even laughs at her dad's jokes
  • Lydia is very competitive. If Lydia sets her mind to something, she does it and does it well.
  • Lydia is named after her paternal great grandmother: Lydia Pearl Snow
  • I have been told by multiple sources that Lydia knows how to work it on the dance floor
  • Lydia has a bubbly personality, people are drawn to her, she can make any activity fun
  • Lydia likes to delete pictures of herself from my camera
  • Lydia does very well in school and piano
  • She is playing league soccer this year
  • I don't remember when Lydia couldn't talk
  • Lydia is loved by many people, especially her mom & dad
  • Tonight we ate Thai food and mud pie (Lydia never requests cake for her birthday)
  • I can always depend on Lydia

Happy Birthday Lydia!

P.S. sorry for all the "lists"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

100 Things About Myself

1. I have five daughters 2. I was born and raised in the same house 3. I was the only member of my family born in Arizona 4. I love babies 5. I do not own my own ipod 6. I like to read novels, but I don't do it too often because I tend to neglect my children when I read 7. I feel like I am a good mom and wife when I bake 8. I probably spend too much time on the computer 9. I enjoy having company for dinner 10. I wish I was more of a morning person 11. I think it would be fun to own chickens 12. I am more of an introvert than an extrovert 13. I would be content if HGTV was the only channel on cable 14. I wish I knew how to speak Spanish 15. I hope to travel someday 16. Sometimes I worry that my two year old signs more than she talks 17. I like to plan my day the night before 18. According to my children I repeat myself, according to my children I repeat myself 19. I think labor and delivery is fun 20. I tickle my hubby's back nightly to help him fall asleep (OK not every night) 21. I wiggle my feet as I fall asleep 22. I want to travel to Guatamala and secretly I would love to adopt a baby there 23. I have a hard time telling people "no" 24. Sometimes I lose my temper 25. I don't like debating politics or any type of confrontation 26. I like to cook 27. I am now five years behind on my scrapbooks, ugh. 28. I have a hard time leaving my children for extended periods of time 29. I have never been stung by a bee 30. According to my children I give loooooooooooooooong lectures 31. I am the youngest of five children 32. I graduated from high school in 1992, I got married in 1993, I had my first daughter in 1994, I had my second daughter in 1995 . . . you get the idea 33. I have been described as "emotional" and "sensitive". I don't think it is necessarily a good thing. 34. I fix breakfast for my family every morning of every school day 35. I don't always finish my sentences and then say, "you know what I mean?" 36. I use the word "like" too much 37. I usually make decisions quickly 38. I like being at home 39. I am creative, but wish I was more artistic 40. I get grumpy when I am tired 41. I would love to fix up an old home 42. My house is 60 years old - Sometimes I would love a new home! 43. I need to get into better shape 44. I don't like clutter 45. I love to organize, but my closets don't necessarily reflect that 46. I am the treasurer for the parent organization at our elementary school (because of #23) 47. For the past five years I have managed my husband's business finance. I hope to get fired soon. 48. I have never broken a bone 49. I have only had a bloody nose once 50. I want to have lasik eye surgery - soon! 51. I don't like cold feet 52. I get very excited about holidays 53. I like to go out to dinner and a movie 54. I don't mind public speaking 55. I am the youngest in my family and in my husband's family 56. Even though it sounds cliche, I really, really like being a wife and mom 57. I am not good at keeping surprises 58. I like to eat chocolate chips 59. I love it when my husband buys me flowers 60. I think it would be fun to live on a farm 61. I can be impatient 62. I like rainy days 63. Sometimes I think I need to get a life 64. I like driving in the car and listening to the radio 65. I think its fun to shop at thrift stores, but haven't done it in a long time 66. A pet peeve: when my shutters are not opened symmetrically - does that make sense? 67. I did not graduate from college 68. I enjoy mowing the lawn 69. I can't focus when my house is a mess 70. I like paper - pretty paper 71. I think getting my haircut is relaxing 72. I have made a hobby of looking at real estate online - sad but true. I think it's a sickness(see #8) 73. I have zero tolerance for someone who is unkind to others 74. I don't like to be late. 75. I always get a little sad when its graduation time at BYU and I see students in their cap and gown (see #67) 76. I am a private person, so I am still trying to figure out why I started blogging 77. I never have a problem falling asleep 78. I don't think I am a good mother after 9:00pm 79. I don't enjoy puzzles 80. I like living in Utah 81. I really want to go on a mission 82. I am working on getting a garden setup in my backyard. I really want a garden. 83. I love the BIG trees in my front yard 84. I actually like the same music my teenage daughters like 82. I have a tendency to forget things unless I write them down. 83. I have blue eyes, yet my parents have brown 84. My hair has gotten darker as I have gotten older 85. My favorite ride at Disneyland is Tower of Terror 86. I like it when my hubby tells me I'm "wonderful" 87. I tend to throw things away, sometimes things I shouldn't 88. I am not very sentimental, except for my children's names 89. I think I am thoughtful 90. I believe that: worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere. So, I try not to worry 91. I make most of my decisions based on the way I feel versus the way I think 92. I think my children are smarter than me; I know my children are smarter than me 93. I try to be cool, I secretly want to be cool 94. I like it when my girls text me. 95. Brown paper packages tied up with string, is one of my favorite things 96. I would really like to sew better. 97. I don't always wear my wedding ring, my fingers tend to swell 98. I hope to someday go back to school 99. I like watching the weather on the news 100. I play a mean game of solitare (see #12) P.S. I copied this idea