Thursday, January 28, 2010

only for a best friend...

When it came time to wrap one of Laura's birthday presents (January 14th), I wanted to be sure that all four items would stand out.  Afterall, you only turn 29 once!  So, I wrapped the four gifts separately and then sent them off to New York.  When it came time to wrap the third one, I decided to try something different.

Bobby had given me a poster - a while back - of this fine little fella.  Too funny!  :) 

Now, I would have gladly hung this up in my classroom for all of the 7th grade girls to drool over, but Mr. Efron is holding up his shirt (I forgot to photograph that part) and I deemed it a bit inappropriate for school.  So, I had been holding on to this jem until just the right time...LUCKY FOR LAURA!

 Now doesn't that look like a fun package?  I bet she drooled over it just as much as my studnets would have!  :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

guess who... having a birthday?

I can't believe he's already a year old!  Crazy!  We're having a family dinner to celebrate I'll have pictures later this week.  :)

Happy Birthday Gavin!  We love you lots, sweet boy.
♥ Auntie Anne & Uncle Ben

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i think this is pretty cool...

A while back, one of the blogs listed to the right, posted that they were in need of some help.  Turns out the site was becoming a little difficult for Paula to keep up with.  She was hoping for some assistance.  So, I jumped at the chance.  I thought it would be fun.  If you want to check out my first post, click here.  :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

the climb...

On the 2nd of January, a climb took place.  This was something put together by several of Luke Gullberg's friends.  They sent out FB invitations to those who were available and willing to brave the less-than-ideal weather.  After I checked with Ben to see what his work schedule looked like (it varies from week to week), I knew that I would have to make the trek without him.  Instead, I hoped and prayed that a few willing souls would take their time getting up the trail.

Enter these lovely folks...

Hooray for the Platters!  :)  They were my saving grace...seriously!

Annie entertained us with her stories about love and life.  She made me smile and kept my mind off of the actual climb.

Abbie was our fearless leader who kept a pace that was suitable for even the slowest of hikers - only because that's what I required.  :)  She could have raced up that mountain and left me behind.

Andrew made it a point to take care of us all - making us laugh on our way up, requiring an update on heart-rates, and feeding us cookies at the top.

Instead of taking pictures at the top (yes, we made it), we opted for a few on the way down.  With the nasty weather and all, it was cold with little visibility at the summit.  So, it made more sense to hold off on our photo shoot.

We had a great time and I loved the challenge.  It might not have been an extremely difficult hike, but it sure  managed to kick my butt.  :)  I'm hoping I can do this again sometime soon...and I would love to bring the Platters along with me (including Stephanie).

Luke would have been proud of us - especially since we contemplated what would happen if we waited for the others to turn around and come down?!?!  We were thinking we could blend-in and pretend that we had reached the summit.  However, Luke would have pushed us to keep going.  So, we did!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

jamie's 24th birthday...

We celebrated last night with all the family (minus Ben, because he had to work).  Here are a few shots from the night.  You'll notice that Gavin is a fun target to shoot...the adults aren't as fond of the camera.  :)

As you can see, Gavin is thrilled to be in attendance at the party!  He is screaming out of pure excitement.  This kid is LOUD...just more proof that he's a Weber.

Jordan, enjoying the delicious food...some of which he made.  Not only is my mom a great cook, but both Jordan and Jamie can make a mean dish!  They're creative about their food that makes it fun for everyone.

I think this is my favorite picture of Gavin from our evening together.  He's just too cute!  Those cheeks, that smile, and those curls!

Jim, Jamie's dad, relaxing and taking it all in.  He's not a loud guy, so I'm sure the noise at the Weber house can be a bit overwhelming.  Poor guy.  :)

Or maybe this one is my favorite?!?!  There are simply too many to choose from.

Auntie Jamie, the birthday girl, with the little man.  (I wish I would have turned my flash off for this one...I'm a slow learner sometimes.)

Jered's girlfriend (long-time now), Jill.  We really like her and she already feels like family.  The fact that she puts up with everyone is a huge bonus!  :)

I {heart} him!

How sweet are these two?  Yeah, we like 'em.  They are full of soooooo much love...for each other and everyone around them.  What a blessing!

...and another one...

Since Ben couldn't join us in the celebration, I figured I should at least make it a point to photograph one of his favorite members of the family.  So, here's Sam!  (Ben is obsessed with BIG SAM!)

Here's another one for my husband...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

tortilla soup...

I am NOT a cook!  Don't get me wrong, I try...but it doesn't come naturally.  So, I'm constantly on the lookout for simple, delicious recipes.  A while back, the ladies at Christ's Church shared a recipe with me.  I've made a few adjustments and this has become our favorite meal.  (Pretty sure I've posted this before somewhere...but I can't find it.)

Tortilla Soup in the Crockpot
  • 2 Cans of Pinto Beans
  • 2 Cans of Black Beans
  • 1 Can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Small Jar of Salsa - Pick a Flavor You Like (we've done it with sweet, spicy, and mild and each variation is still delicious
  • 4 Thawed Chicken Breasts - Left Whole
Pour it all in the crockpot.
Let it cook on low for about 5 hours.
Pull out the chicken and shred it with a fork and knife - it should just nearly fall apart.
Put the shredded chicken back in and mix it all up.
You can allow the crockpot to continue heating the mixture, or if the chicken looks fully cooked, you can go ahead and dig in!

We like to crush up a few tortilla chips, place them in the bottom of a bowl and then layer the soup on top.  From there, it's nice to sprinkle on some cheese (or if you like sour cream) and avocado.  So warm, filling, and soooooooooooo yummy!

I'll take a picture the next time I cook next week.  :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

fun from 2009-2010...

I'm going to apologize now for the amount of pictures you're about to see.  However, it was difficult to get rid of many.  So, I opted for a few collages instead.  Our New Year's celebration was just too much fun...and I didn't want to miss anything in the recap of our night together.

There was a lot of action on December 31st - January 1st from the men in this group.  I can't explain instead, I'll just embrace it.  Andy and Ben enjoyed a few moments together.  Classic!

While the boys were getting crazy, the ladies were enjoying the little ones.  How cute is Ezra?  How cute is Christy?  :)

Now, imagine Case as an older brother...what do you think?  LOVE IT!  And I think Christy looks like a natural with 2.  :)

It was so nice to have the entire Hamlin Family in town for this little par-tay!  Life is so much better when they're around...seriously!  :)  They get their own collage...

I'm pretty sure this is the only "normal" shot of Andy from our time together.  Here, he's getting ready to show us a magic trick.  I think it was more of a card trick.  Regardless, it's a great picture of him!

These are a little more like the Andy we all know and love!  (He does look good with a baby though.)

How precious is this sweet couple!  I wish we saw each other more often...they're a fun bunch (and so is Finn)!

Speaking of Finn...

Everyone was so gracious to allow me to play with my new camera (and use them as my subjects).  I had a ton of fun doing stuff like this.  Kinda cool...but I still need A LOT of work.  :)

Truth-be-told, we watched a bit of Jersey Shore!  As a result, the gentlemen decided to show off their fist-pumping skills.  Enjoy...

Before the kids went to bed, the testosterone levels were at an all-time high.  Looks like they all had a great time though...and no one was seriously injured (at least no one fessed up to anything).

I leave you with our group photo.  Keep in mind, that this was taken at midnight.  By then, the kids were in bed and Kara had gone home (she had to work early the next day).  So, it's not complete...but it's better than nothing.

I would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to Chris, Christy and Case!  Thank you for opening up your home to all of these crazy folks (myself included).  Ben and I had a blast...and in looking through these pictures, I think it's safe to say that everyone else had a great time as well.  :)

Happy New Year!