Beacon of Light

What do you do when you have a plain ol' white front door that has never been painted?
There is now a beacon of light for all to find our house.
We apologize to our neighbors who have to put up with the loudness day in and day out.
As my brother in law Bevin said on facebook, "It is a good colour for a northwest winter of fog and drizzle. You will always be able find your way home....I like it"
Thanks Bevin!


Growth Chart, Finally!

A few months ago I picked up this board (it came primed) at Lowe's with the intent of making a growth chart. It leaned (against the wall of my dining room), and leaned, and leaned until finally last week, it got picked up, painted, measured, drawn upon, stickered, modge podged and hung. Yay! Now I can chart my kids growth in style. Honeybob and I even measured ourselves as well. I found out that Honeybob is actually a tad shorter than what he's been telling me. hmmmmm....

Please don't pay attention to my table top. It's been through a lot...
Here we are with the edges nicely painted:

And now for some measuring and stickering...

I hung it on the wall between my kitchen and living room:
Top half reads: "Growing the Gardners."
Sarah and Sascha's measurements:


Sydney's Birthday + Secret Recipe!

(above: Sydney, Sarah, Apollo, Noah and Sascha)
Our good friends' daughter, Sydney turned thirteen this month. We have a tradition of having a dinner (usually on Sunday) and the birthday person gets to pick whatever dessert they want and then yours truly whips it up. One of the tried and true favorites is what Sydney picked for her dessert. It is one of the yummiest desserts you may ever taste. Not fancy looking by any means, but yum-ee. That is, if you like ice cream. I'll reveal the secret ingredients at the end of this post. Mwahahaha!
We decided to fix Hawaiian haystacks. Always a crowd pleaser. Sydney poked the candles in all by herself. Some of them broke since the cake was frozen. I made the card and t-shirt for her (the adorable little piggy-tailed girl is Sydney):
Sydney requested cookies 'n cream for the ice cream:And now for the recipe (by the way, I give full credit to my girlfriend Vicki for introducing me to this amazing dessert. Thanks Vicki!!!):

Rich Chocolate Dessert
Keep eye on any hands and mouths within reaching distance of this dessert. It will surely disappear in an instant!

vanilla wafers or graham crackers crushed, about 1/2 box (I use grahams myself)
2 squares unsweetened chocolate or 6 T. unsweetened cocoa + 2 T. vegetable oil
1 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 t. vanilla
1/2 gallon block of favorite ice cream

Crush vanilla wafers or grahams. Sprinkle them on the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan just so the bottom is covered up. Reserve the rest of crumbs for the top. Melt butter & chocolate over low heat. Add powdered sugar, dash of salt and vanilla. Stir well, then add egg yolks and stir well. Cool. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour chocolate mixture over crushed vanilla wafers. Let cool in refirgerator not less than 20 minutes. Pull out ice cream to soften while chocolate layer is cooling. Cover the chocolate layer with thin slices of ice cream. Smooth out to get a nice, even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining crumbs and freeze.


Today We Were Watching BYU TV

This guy is none other than:
My eldest brother Donnie! Yes, he is quite famous especially since he's being broadcast all over the country on BYU TV. Okay, he's also in a sweet disco band named FEVER! Here's the link to the site. Here's a sweet pic of him and his band (down below). He plays drums and vocals. His band played for one of my receptions when I got married back in '96. Super fun! In high school he was inducted into the McDonald's All American High School Marching Band and got to travel to New York to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (please correct me if I'm wrong.). He's also an amazing cinematographer (sp). He works for Primary Children's Hospital doing just that. He gets to rub shoulders with many celebrities along the way.
He's famous in many other ways, but I'll have to check with him first to make sure it's okay for me to spill the beans. Love you Donnie!!!


Camping Over Labor Day Weekend

Our good friends, the Anderson's (to view their blogpost and see their pics of the event click here), invited us to go camping with them over Labor Day weekend. We had been talking about our families going camping together sometime during the summer but it never happened. So this was the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately Steve couldn't come so the kids and I got packed up and headed for Lake Cushman in Hoodsport, WA which is about ninety minutes southwest from where we live. With all the rain in the forecast they were kind enough to invite us into their trailer which sleeps ten. Perfect! Inluding all amenities: toilet, shower, microwave, stove, oven, sink, fridge, freezer, etc... Not really roughing it by all means, but no complaints here... I'd rather set up the tent when no rain is in the forecast.

Click on any of these pictures to view larger. Especially the panoramic ones.

Here is Lake Cushman which the kids loved swimming in. There was a small island off into the distance which required some swimming to get there. The kids didn't care that it was cold and windy. They said the water was warm as long as you stayed in.

The island was so exciting that once over there, this is what they ended up doing:

Here's a cute video of Apollo riding:

Brian was the talk of the town when he set up a sheet and projected a movie on the side of their trailer. Many passer-byers stopped to watch for a few.

One of the days we decided to take a drive into town and scout out the shops:

These guys found a comfy couch while we ladies browsed around in one of the shops.

Monica and Brian had the master suite which had double doors for privacy:

We had the dining table which turned into a bed:

They got the couch which turned into a bed:

And there were four beds in the back:

You can't remember everything all the time. Thus...

Brian was a good sport backing into this very tight spot. There wasn't much room at all on the other side of the road since there were more campsites there too. They ended up having to remove some of the marking posts.

Click on this panorama to get the full effect.

Thank you so much Anderson Clan for such fun memories!