Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tropical Green Smoothie

DSCN3080The boys and I bought some nectarines the other day and they wanted to put one in a smoothie so we did! They loved it so much that I made it a second time and actually wrote down the ingredients. Our normal smoothie making style is to just throw in our staples (i.e. banana, frozen pineapple. yogurt) and usually a handful of baby carrots and a handful of spinach if we have it) and then add whatever else we feel like or have on hand. The boys get excited when they get to pick what goes in the smoothie! It usually is very tasty but they said this was one of the best ones ever!

Tropical Green SmoothieDSCN3079

  • 2 cups of loosely packed spinach (one big handful)
  • 1 nectarine (take out the seed!)
  • 2 cups of pineapple chunks (I used frozen but don’t attempt this without a Vitamix or something like it)
  • 2 cups of vanilla yogurt (I tried it today with plain greek yogurt and it was okay but a little too sour for me so I ended up adding 1 Tbs of agave nectar)
  • 1 cup of Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbs of ground flaxseed (optional--ground is better if you don't want to change the texture much)

Approximately enough for four - 12 oz smoothies; You could probably use the whole nectarine whoand use half as much of the other ingredients if you didn’t need so much. I have a lot of hungry mouths to feed!

*If your kids are sensitive to seeing small green or red pieces from skin or spinach you want to put the nectarine and the spinach on the bottom (and or blend those two together with the OJ until you don’t see them). My kids are weird (like me) and LOVE fruits and veggies and will even eat, and at times fight over, fresh spinach. I mean, isn’t that unfair if someone gets more spinach leaves than another?! ;)


Variation #2 – Berry Nectarine Smoothie – Maybe even more delicious?!

  • 2 nectarines
  • 2 cups of pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries

YUM. I really think that nectarines are my new favorite smoothie ingredient. Now if I could only buy them at Costco frozen we’d be set!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Samism: Language

TheKids_July2014_ 169We’ve had a few little chats about different languages with the boys lately. One of them they were asking what languages they can take in high school (they can take Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino or French) and it has been interesting…Nathan later declared that he was taking Korean and Danny just giggled. Here is Sam’s take on the conversation which continued last night…

Sam: Mom, I know what language I’m taking in high school!

Mom (me): Oh yeah? What?

Sam: English.

Mom: English? Of course you’re taking English; it’s required to graduate.

Sam: Why is it required to graduate?

Mom: Because they want to you speak and write well.

Sam: But I already speak English: Taco, Tortilla, Torta….


I was dying. It was so funny. So, so, so funny. I guess that is what happens when you grow up in Southern California?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Emma: 8 months

IMGP9157What? Where? When? How in the world is she already 8 months old?

I can barely believe it….

She loves:
Her brothers!
Her mommy (okay and Daddy too!)
Her Grandmas AND Grandpas (and turns when she hears their voices)
Trying to eat things that she shouldn’t!

Her newest tricks:
Saying “hi”
Leading music
Crawling (she started this a few weeks ago)
Pulling up to stand (and prefers this to crawling if she can :( which scares Grandma!)

Physical Changes:
Two bottom teeth that appeared toward the end of her sixth month
A few curls in the back and on the sides of her head
Her eyes are blue but have a greenish brownish circle as well.
She holds her breath like two of her brothers (Nathan and Ben) when she’s really upset. :( It’s got to be genetically linked!

She is still overall a very happy baby. She loves being with people and will smile at almost anyone! We love you Emma!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

School’s Out, Bop-til-you-drop ah-ha!

So whenever school ends I always have this phrase, “School’s out, bop till you drop!” in my head (thanks Punky Brewster…I looked it up and this episode aired in 1988 when I was just ten years old…that is a long time for my head to be repeating that!) LOL. But school is out (well mostly). I still have essays to grade, participation to add up, and projects and review booklets to enter in! But the boys are done!

Here is a picture of each of them today. Sam really didn’t want me to take one but then said okay reluctantly and finally took one with a friend from class. He will be starting third grade in the fall!


Nathan was more excited and quickly took one with his teacher. As we walked out though he was anxious for me to open up his report card. He asked me, “Mom, can you check and see if I passed and get to go to first grade?” I assured him that he had passed but he insisted, “you have to open the report card and check!” I did and he had all 3’s and a few 4’s as well as E’s and S’s so he for sure passed. :)


And in the fall Danny will be starting school! I’m hoping that he can be in TK (Transitional Kindergarten) with Mrs. MacInnis at Burbank. She is my most favorite teacher ever. :) She amazes me every time that I see her in action! If you want, you can take a Flashback to last year with Nathan  or three years ago with Sammy! Danny is excited to say the least! :)


This summer will be a busy one. I hope that we stay busy and happy. Thad is working so it will be my first summer “all alone” like the rest of the moms out there who don’t have teacher husbands. Wish me luck! I hope that we get to play, do some cleaning/organizing, that I can talk the boys into doing some practice work so that they don’t regress and that they get along well! :) I’m very grateful for summer vacation although September 2nd will come all too quickly I’m sure!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We love to read!

DSCN2835So Nathan (6 1/2) is just finishing up kindergarten and is doing really well. Last night was a big milestone though. He grabbed a book and said, “I’ll read it to you Danny” and then read all 62 pages of Are You My Mother only getting stuck on four words. It’s so exciting to see him not be scared of new words and plowing through and enjoying all kinds of text and books. :)

Sammy (8 1/2) is also a voracious reader and told me a story about school today. He said that they were discussing mammals, insects, fish and something else and that he couldn’t believe that other kids didn’t know a) that dolphins weren’t fish, b) that the class butterflies were painted ladiesDSCN2839 not Monarch butterflies (his words were, “they just think that they’re Monarchs because that is a popular butterfly!”, and c) that praying mantises (?) are carnivorous. I giggled and said, “well, we love to read non-fiction books and learn all about all of those things! A lot of kids prefer fiction.” It was interesting to watch him tonight though as he was fighting for a bit of the attention from his brothers, was reading to Ben, and kept trying to lure Danny over with cool info on the tide pools, sea urchins and more.

DSCN2831Ben is also beginning to love books. Before he’d climb up and down and around the beds/bunk beds as we read but now he grabs his favorite books (those with trains, trucks, cars or Legos in them( and says “Book! Book!” and will snuggle into read with you. (<—Here he said ‘'Cheeeeese!”)

I am so glad that they love to read as much as I do! They are also really into audiobooks right now and we’ve listened to about 15 Magic Treehouse books, a few Geronimo Stilton books, Nim’s Island (a new favorite) and tons of Dr. Suess as we drive home from school and around town to practices and games.

Looking forward to more time to do simple things like reading (and not just for HW) this summer!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Good Friday – Camping in Monte Cristo
The boys played in the dirt, went on “adventures”, rode their bikes and scooters and played all day. We enjoyed simple camping food, smores and good company! They do love camping!

Easter Sunday – We went to church :) but had trouble getting the kids to cooperate for a family picture, oh well. I taught Relief Society for the first time in forever but I think that it went well!

Monday – I don’t remember what we did? Relaxed? Cleaned? Played? It must have been a catch up day! :)

TuesdayPlay dates with friends and a trip to Ben_Stitchesthe ER. We went to the El Dorado Nature Center in the morning and then Ben fell while running with a Nerf gun in his hands (try explaining that one to a nurse who was new to our country and whose eyes got really big when I said gun which I tried to explain what it was, plastic and that it shoots foam bullets not real ones. They didn’t call CPS on me but Ben did get a nice big stitch in his chin but he was so brave and didn’t cry and didn’t have to be restrained while they stitched him up! Oh, and if you’re bleeding at the ER you get in faster/right away but the glares from the other people who have to wait aren’t very nice!

Wednesday – Library “Splash Pad” with friends and then a trip to Oceanside to prep for Thursday. Sam said (and I quote), “Now this is a vacation!” when they upgraded our two bedroom condo to a three bedroom deluxe (with three full bathrooms and two of them with jacuzzis; it even had a name and was as big as my house). Thanks Dad/Grandpa!

Thursday – Sea World with Grandma and Grandpa Driggs – My parents were taking a cruise down the coast and were in San Diego for the day. Thad had to work so we met them and went to Sea World for the day. The boys loved it and are already planning their next trip down there! They especially loved the touch tanks (the cleaner fish were a favorite), the sharks, the giant turtles, the Shamu show and the dolphins. Nathan even went on the Manta Ray ride all by himself since Emma was asleep in the carrier and Sam was too scared to go on it. He had so much fun too!

Friday – I think that we were trying to recover from a few busy days and did a lot of sleeping (well, the littlest ones did). I had ordered two new games for the Xbox that I got on sale for $5 a piece on Amazon and we played inside while they slept!

Saturday – Daddy went to build some steps at someone’s house for Mormon Helping Hands day and we did laundry and cleaned up around here. I got Emma’s bed set up (bye bye bassinet) and folded lots of laundry. In the evening we enjoyed Lakewood 4th’s ward conference!

SundayChurch and family day…couldn’t believe that our time was already over. Really? Ten days were already gone? Oh well. It will be May by the end of the week and then SUMMMMMMER!

TheKids_March2014_ 036    TheKids_March2014_ 195 

Thanks for reading my journal! :)

p.s. These pictures somehow never got posted of Emma when she was five months…she’s pretty cute eh? :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Emma: 6 months

TheKids_April2014_ 106I can’t believe that six months have already passed since Emma was born! It is one of those things that feels like it has always been this way! She is such a pleasant and happy baby. She loves adores her brothers and will pretty much ignore Mom and Dad if they are anywhere where she can hear or see them! Here is a little bit about her!

  • She loves to chew on things, anything, everything! She almost always has her whole hand in her mouth (which always gives her cold, wet hands!). If she has a toy she’ll chew on that though until she drops it and then go back to the trusty old fist!
  • She is very happy. She smiles and tries to get others’ attention and then will smile at them which wins her a lot of attention and fans when we’re out!
  • She is very long and skinny She is so much more petite and lighter than the boys but she’s going to give them a run for their money in the length department!
  • She loves to roll over and is getting up on her hands and starting to get up a little on her knees. I am not ready for her to be mobile yet!
  • She has a few names/nicknames that we use… Emma, Emma Jane, Em, Emmer, Emmer Jane and she seems to respond to most of them!
  • She loves to see who is talking even if it means throwing her head back and looking at you upside down!
  • She started sticking out her tongue and blowing little bubbles/raspberries this week. It is kind of cute.

TheKids_April2014_ 160

We love you Emma! We’re so happy to have you in our family!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A love story: Ben + Emma

Everyone always (read: with each kid) asks me if the two-year-old gets jealous of the baby and I can honestly say that all of the boys have always been okay with the new babies :) which I’m grateful for. But this rough and tumble Benjamin has got a sweet spot for his Emma Jane. If you (are not Mom or Dad) and try to talk to him and she’s anywhere around he will divert the attention and babble and tell you about Em-ma! Ba-by! Em-MA!

Here are a few pictures and my made up 2-year-old dialogue (since he’s not using full sentences yet; he enjoys grunting and throwing his 30-40 word vocab around if and when he feels like it!) These were taken in a two-minute period on Saturday during Danny’s baseball game while we were “relaxing” at the park. Enjoy!

TheKids_April2014_ 062

Ben: Hi Emma! How are you? I wanted to come see you. How are you?

(By the way, I don’t think that he actually said anything intelligible at any point besides maybe “Emma” and  “baby” and maybe “Mama” to get my attention.)


TheKids_April2014_ 065

Emma: Hi Ben!

(She is always happy to see him and so patient with him even when he’s a bit…hmm… crazy?!)





TheKids_April2014_ 066

Ben: You want this bottle? Hmm. Taste it for a second and then I’ll take it away and giggle. It’s so fun!






TheKids_April2014_ 068

Ben: I do just love laying by you and snuggling with you (or on top to hug you but Mom says that I’m smothering you) so I’ll just lay here. I’ll put my chin on your shoulder. What do you think?




TheKids_April2014_ 069Ben: How about another hug? I was just missing you!








TheKids_April2014_ 070Ben: Yes! That is nice! I love hugs! :)








TheKids_April2014_ 071

Ben: Hey look Emma! You have eyes just like I do! Awesome!







TheKids_April2014_ 072Ben: Beep! Aunt Addie and my big brothers always beep my nose…It’s funny!:)







TheKids_April2014_ 075Ben: I just want to kiss and pretend to eat your little fingers because they are so cute and you let me! Thanks!






TheKids_April2014_ 079


Ben: Isn’t life great?







TheKids_April2014_ 076Emma: Yep!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Baseball Season 2014

We are right in the middle of baseball and spend most of our evenings at the baseball fields for one of the boys teams. It keeps us really busy but they love it.

Here are a few pictures of them in their uniforms!

TheKids_March2014_ 008

Being silly!

TheKids_March2014_ 018

Samuel – Single A Orioles

TheKids_March2014_ 024

Nathan – Rookie Rangers

TheKids_March2014_ 023

Danny – T-ball Yankees (he’s already gained a nickname – smiley – since he rarely stops smiling while he’s playing, running, batting! He is loving it!

TheKids_March2014_ 029

#1 fan and chauffer, Mom!

TheKids_March2014_ 022

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One of our valentines: Emma–4 months!

TheKids_January2014_ 162bA little (and much needed) update on our Emma Jane. She has acquired a few more nicknames from the boys since the last update and just beams from ear to ear when she sees or hears any of them! They adore her and call her Em, Emmer, Emmer Jane, Emma Jane, Baby gir-rl, and more!

TheKids_February2014_ 106So, she is so long and skinny. So different from my big, hefty boys. I can still carry her one armed and not have my arm fall off! She was 13 lbs almost 14 oz at her 4 month appt and 26.5 inches long (and looking back through the blog Danny, Benny and Nathan were both almost 17 1/2 lbs and comparable lengths by this point!)

TheKids_January2014_ 064She is such a genuinely happy and calm baby. My other babies were quite content at this point but she is so patient and calm (unless it is way past nap or feeding time) and has already been on her own self created schedule since about 2 months. No crying it out unless she gets over tired then she’ll talk a little and be a bit agitated and fuss and move in her bed to get settled for 2-3 minutes and then she’s out like a light! Phew. I needed an easy one. She gets dragged all around and is still quite happy. She will giggle but at random times and isn’t as easy to get to laugh as the boys at this point. She is also very ticklish! She’ loves tummy time and scoots on her tummy on the bed. Oh, and she likes to cuddle-hooray–the boys didn’t like this!

TheKids_February2014_ 074Her current favorite things to do are 1) stuff her hands (both at the same time if possible) in her mouth (thus giving her cold, wet, hands all the time-fun!), 2) watch her brothers run around like the crazy boys that they are-endless hours of entertainment there, 3) chew on anything close at hand(clothing, blanket, toys, or anyone else's fingers that are close by, and 4) coo at anyone who will talk and smile to her. He is quite chatty! :)

TheKids_February2014_ 137Life has been fun with her around as I have seen new growth in the boys with another baby and a girl in the house. Yesterday before going to meet Daddy for dinner I had the car packed with everyone but Emma and Sam who was following me out to the car (me with the needed supplies) said, “wait Mom, you forgot Emma!” I hadn’t forgotten Emma, she was still sleeping and I wanted to wake her at the last possible moment but as we went back to the house together he carefully went and woke her up and spoke quietly to her as her brought her to me.  Nathan (who was 4 with the last kid and is now 6 can be very helpful when he’s willing but he does adore her just has a strong aversion to work unless I deem it an emergency!). Danny wants to help all of the time with her but is not as big and strong but will “protect” her from little Benny if needed, hold bottles, fetch diapers and just love and talk to her. Ben, dear Benny boy, is my big baby boy. His eyes light up and he starts talking when he sees his sweet baby Emma. I think that he thinks that she must be his. If anyone tries to talk to him while we’re out he always says “Baby” and “Emma” and points and babbles about her. They face each other in the car and I need to get a video of their little chit chats, and he will just smother her with kisses (which he doesn’t hand out often unless you’re Grandma) and hugs and non-stop babbling!

So, life is good. Busy. Crazy. And today was one of those days that everything just went wrong but we survived it. Someone might have ruined half the food in my freezer but hey, I needed to clean it out anyway, someone might have forgotten his HW, but pictures were taken and it was emailed and printed and done, every time I tried to begin dinner another kid would crash on his scooter and come in crying, or fight over said scooters (even though I purchased THREE at Costco per Daddy’s suggestion) but I did finish dinner and they loved it, and I might have finally imported the pics from my camera only to find out that a bunch were missing/gone :( (Danny’s first t-ball practice, Emma smiling—all the pictures from three separate days-phewy but they’ll smile and play again!) and then finally my TheKids_January2014_ 031“sweet” angels might have even been caught whispering at about 9:34pm tonight (not that I was checking my watch) and had a long lecture about their age, sleep requirements health and mom’s sanity, but we’re all alive, very blessed, and very glad that we have everyone in our little family, including our newest baby, our dear, sweet, Emma.

Here are some pics of the boys at this same age just for fun! :)

a. Ben_4months

b. Sam-5monthsb

c. Nathan_4months

d. DannyBoy_4months




Ready for the answers?




a. Benjamin

b. Samuel

c. Nathanael

d. Daniel

Disclaimer: I may or may not have used a 3 month old picture of Emma at the top because she was smiling when I had a bow in her hair and the camera out. Not as much solo photo shoot time when you’re #5! Whenever I get the camera out the boys want in!

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