Sunday, December 26, 2010

Temple Lights 2010

Me and my hotty Sister!

I hope some little kid didn't see Devin doing this and think it was cool and then try it out himself!

I think its really funny to take more pictures of Ryker when he is being mad

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Such a drama queen!

My favorite baby Elise

They are getting WAY to big!!

Ryker wasn't mad the whole time. He LOVED LOVED LOVED the lights!!

Dad and his teenager
I love spending time with my family....I REALLY do!

My new FAVORTIE blog for party planning!

I have really tried to put more effort into my kids parties, or even having people over so I am always searching for new blogs or sites with great ideas. My new one for the week is
LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I showed Emberlyn some pics for a Rock Star birthday party and she loved it and I can't wait to start planning it!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Updates on the sicky

Yes, I mean me. The drama continues :( Last Sunday night devin rushed me to the ER after I had been feeling very weak, dizzy, and short of breath for an hour and then fell to the ground when I tried to stand up. I didn't pass out or loose consciousness, more like my muscles wouldn't work. My entire face, hands, legs and chest were numb....even my mouth, I couldn't hardly open it to talk. It literally was THE scariest thing I have ever experienced!! I tried so hard to concentrate on breathing, and not totally freak out while tears just streamed down my face. When I got to the ER and they saw I couldn't hold my own head up, or talk they went right to work. In probably 5 min or less I had an IV in, blood work off to the lab, and EKG, and who knows what else. They found that my potassium was extremely low (good is 4 and mine was 2.5) which apparently your body can't function, or survive without potassium? So they admitted me to the hospital to get my potassium up and my blood pressure down. My BP spiked two weeks previously which NEVER once have I had high blood pressure, not even elevated!! They think the low potassium was caused by the medication I was put on to lower my BP, but I was only on it for three days, so I'm not entirely convinced. I was there for two days, every test was done and I was told your fine, open the shade, let some sunshine in, go for a walk and you will be good as new.(did I mention the ER Dr said I had hyperventalted? Yeah studying to be an EMT I don't know what hyperventalating is?!?!) I was also told, after explaining my frustrations of all my medical issues over the past year, that sometimes people need to just stop looking for things to be wrong and they will realize that really they are fine. So here I am feeling exactly the same as I have for almost a month, collapsed again on Thanksgiving and almost again yesterday. I try to take it easy, but still keep up with the house and the kids. I'm praying for some answers soon, but trying very hard not to get discouraged. I was given a beautiful blessing at the hospital and I just keep review that in my mind. I know there are MANY people, including very dear friends of ours who have it SO much worse. I'm grateful to even be able to switch over the laundry when I can! Sure makes you grateful for the simple things in life, when all the sudden those simple things become very difficult.
(BTW, the pic of me and Brigg is him helping me plug my nose when dad smelled the room up BAD! LOL he said OH MOM, its so yucky!!!)
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It's hard being poor

Ok, were really not poor. We are able to pay our bills, for the most part, keep gas in the car, and the power on so that's not poor right? Well, my kids have moved to this new neighborhood were seriously almost all of their friends MIGHT have one sibling, but most are an only child. This has made my life a little challenging. All of them have everything, get everything, do everything.....which on one hand is super nice that they get to have fun experiences (like riding in a limo to go to dinner......when your friend turns 10!!) but on the other hand it makes me look like such a LOSER!!!! Really if we had millions there is still a lot I would still choose NOT to do for my kids, but man it really makes it hard when I stress about keeping 8 kids in clothes so they don't look like homeless children, while all my kids friends are getting more money spent on them for their birthdays than I spend on Christmas for TWO kids!!! I just hope my kids enjoy being part of a big family, and don't hate me later for it.....because I REALLY love it, money or not!!
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So brave!!

It's been 9 years since I have had short hair, and it took a lot of being brave to get it all cut off. It needed to be done, stress has made it all fall out, so while I can backcomb like no ones business, it truly was extremely thin and so damaged. At least this time I warned devin ahead if time!! When I was pregnant with Emmy and it was this long and I cut it off to my chin, I just came home with it short.........he didn't even talk to me the rest of the day he was so sad. Yes he is one of those guys who LOVES the long hair, Idk just on me, or in general? But this time I talked about for a couple days before I did it so he was prepared, still doesn't love that its short, but he said its "nice" Change is good, and I feel sassy and fresh which is nice; wish I would have done it when it was 115 outside!!!
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mom isn't supposed to get sick

(I'm on Devins computer and somehow these are on here and I thought they were funny!)
Moms just shouldn't have to get sick......EVER! It should just be a rule when you bring a child into the world, mom never has to take a sick day. I'll be honest, 24 MAYBE 48 hours of staying in bed, watching all my shows, food being brought to me. (I really do have the best Hubby ever) After that though, I cannot stand to be in this room anymore, I want to get up and clean, I want to watch Ryker play and listen to Brigham tell me all about school that day. I want to clean the kitchen and cook dinner and put clean clothes in the closet! I know that sounds crazy, you would think a mom of 8 would welcome a week off, but I guess it just makes me feel so guilty! SO guilty that Devin is taking care of everything while I'm in bed feeling like crap! Very rarely do I hide out in my room while I'm sick, but this past week and a half I have been SO sick, and I guess after going for my second trip to the ER tonight and finding out maybe its not a non contagious sinus infection and actually bronchitis (at least that's their guess now) I'm SO grateful that Devin has taken such good care of things and kept me away from everyone, especially my babysitting kids because now I have a better chance that the kids wont get sick from me.
There IS a point to this post........I found out a very dear friend who was on the heart transplant list has now been told, because of good ol government cutbacks, that the transplant will not be paid for...anyone have an extra million sitting around? Didn't think so :(
This made me grateful not only for my silly little 11 days of being sick, but it made me even MORE grateful for being able to take care of my family. I LOVE being a mom, its the best gift I have ever, or WILL ever be given. Our dear friend cannot even stand up and toss the ball with his 3 year old son, but has to sit in a chair to do so.....makes me so ashamed for complaining about a little sickness for a couple weeks!! May we all remember how precious our time with our sweet families truly are!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Halloween 2010

AHHHHHH!!!! EVERY EVERY EVERY year I swear I'm not going to be sewing the week of Halloween, EVERY year I swear I'm going to start sewing in September, so WHY do I always end up sewing up until the last min?? I know it's my own fault, I know that I can buy costumes AND that I have bins of other costumes I have made so why not do that?? Honestly, besides the stress of it all, the end result makes me smile, it makes me feel like I'm a good little Homemaker, and really I do love doing it. I wish I made more time to sew because I love seeing the end result and I love that my kids love it! (didn't do the Darth Vader costume and the older boys ended up going on a campout that ended up with them kind of missing out on Halloween this year.....what good boys! AND Ryker and I both got sick with the stomach flu Saturday so we didn't go to the ward party and Ryker didn't even get dressed up :( Again, almost every year end up with someone sick! UGH!)
My pretty little Alice in Wonderland

My beautiful Queen of Hearts

My handsome Rabbit (not sure what the grumpy face was all about, but its funny!) And HE is the one who begged me to be the Rabbit, that was supposed to be Rykers costume but Brigham insisted he be the Rabbit.....weirdo! ;)

Pretty Princese Leia
Princess Leia and Darth Vader

Seriously could these kids be ANY cuter!!!!! I LOVE my adorable kiddos!

Never too old to learn something new

I learned something new about myself this October.....I HATE carving pumpkins! I guess I have never really done it myself, as a kid or an adult. As a mom, it has always been a Dad and kids activity and now I know why! Devin was out of town so I picked up pumpkins and thought I'm gonna play the good mom and carve pumpkins with the kids. Maybe if I didn't have to help clean out 6 pumpkins and trace out several patterns.....BLAH! No thanks! I LOVE that the kids love it, and I am glad I did it because they all had a good time, but I won't forget again that this is definitely a Dad job :)
I Love that Ryker looks so involved in working hard....not sure what he was doing, but he looks so serious LOL!
They all worked very intently making sure that each of their pumpkins turned out perfect! HOW I ended up not getting pictures of the end result I'm not sure  (I'll blame that on being a single mom that week LOL)

I'm an auntie again!!

Elise Noelle Cronin made her grand debut....and I mean GRAND debut, Halloween morning!! It was such a grand entrance because she was FOUR weeks early! We didn't even know Crystal was in the hospital, and it happened so fast for her I'm sure her head was spinning! It was the biggest surprise ever to get a text at 7:00 in the morning with a picture of Crystal HOLDING her baby with the  sentence "not a trick but a treat" How cute is that!!! We were so blessed that Elise arrived safe and completely healthy! She is the tiniest little jelly bean I have EVER seen! Weighing only 4 lbs 8oz I have literally never held such a small little baby ever and thought I was going to die! It felt like I was just holding a bundle of blankets instead of a baby! Baby Talia is over a year old, so the entire family is excited to have a new baby around again!! The kids are dying to go see her but unfortunately we have had some big time sickness over here, so until that clears up we are staying away. I do get to go spend the day Friday helping Crystal out and I can't wait! I'm already in love with this little sweet girl and I didn't have to do ANY hard work to get her here. I love all my nieces like they are my own girls and am very excited to have another one!!! Congrats Jacob and Crystal, we love you!!
She does not like to be unbundled!
I LOVE that my brother is a DAD!! It's so exciting!!

I have never been freaked out by moving a baby before!

This picture makes me laugh......I was NOT texting; I wanted my mom to take a picture of me but she couldn't figure out how to turn the camera on so I had to do it for her! I couldn't stop laughing because I couldn't get over how tiny she is!

Can I have one please??? ;)
It's funny to me that I have the largest baby (11 lbs) and now Crystal has the tiniest baby title! LOVE it!
I'm so excited to get to know this little girl more!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

SheRa or SheDevil???

I think this is how every Mother wishes her kids thought about her.....NO I don't mean bc she has a rockin bod, although that WOULD be nice; I'm talking about the Mom that can do it all, bake bread from scratch, hem a pair of pants, iron every piece of clothing so every one always looks presentable, never gets angry, and is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Unfortunately lately I feel like my kids see me like this:
For years off and on I feel like everything is chocolate and roses unless Mom is around, because my kids mean old mom is the one who makes them do chores and clean their room and pick up after themselves. When mean mom isn't around its full on play time but when she shows up it's NO fun!
Today I have had enough of being MEAN MOM; I'm tired of being the bad guy, I'm tired of my kids thinking "none of my other friends have to do all this" I just can't take it anymore. I can't stand leaving for afew hours, everyone doing whatever they want and then I get back and I can see it on their faces "GREAT, play time is over" Why can't they just learn that all I'm asking is that they keep up with their responsibilities and there is NOTHING I want more than for them to go and have fun and enjoy life....they just need to get the not fun stuff out of the way 1st and then have at it!!!
SO my kids are in for a very interesting week this next week. I have thought about going on strike, not lifting a finger and see how much they like being here after 2 days of filth piled up, problem with that is that I babysit other peoples kids and I cannot have them showing up to pick up their kids and have crap everywhere! So the plan is the exact opposite.....I'm going to do EVERYTHING!! I'm letting them know, there is no more chores, no more responsibilities, just FUN FUN FUN all the time!!
I wonder how tired I will be? I wonder how much energy I will have to take kids to their friends house, or go to the store and buy milk, or even be awake enough at the end of the night to sign those last min papers they need signatures on?? This ought to be quite interesting! I wonder after a week of Mom not having a ounce of energy from doing ALL the work around here if they MIGHT decide it would in fact be MORE enjoyable around here if we all pitch in?? I wonder??

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yummy Pumpkin Cupcakes

I have had several requests for this recipe. ENJOY!!!


1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 c. firmly packed dark-brown sugar

⅓ c. granulated sugar

2 c. cake flour

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. freshly-ground nutmeg

⅛ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs

¼ c. milk

¼ c. sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1¼ c. canned solid-pack pumpkin


1. Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Prepare a cupcake tin with 18 liners.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, sift the flour, butterscotch pudding, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.

4. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition.

5. Alternate adding the flour and milk, sour cream, vanilla mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth.

6. Using a standard-sized scoop, divide the batter equally between the cups. (They’ll be about ¾ full.) Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20- 25 minutes.

7. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely. Make frosting during cooling time.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

¼ cup butter, softened

5 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Mix the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add the cinnamon and vanilla- beat well. Slowly add the powdered sugar.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I like traditions! Sometimes its hard, sometimes I think "oh yeah, this is what we do, blah blah" but when I do put forth the effort and not only try and create new traditions, but actually stick to them, I'm so happy in the end. I'm not sure if I have ever posted about our Ice Cream dinners that we have, but oh well if I have. Twice a year when I go to parent teacher conferences if all the kids get a good report (which they do) then we have ice cream for dinner.YUP! JUST ice cream for dinner! (come on, two nights a year of just ice cream for their nightly nutrition isn't gonna kill them....wink, wink) The kids LOVE it and its so fun to see their smiley faces! I actually look forward to PTC because I'm reminded that even if my kids seem to fight with their siblings 24/7, and even if I feel like sometimes they do things just to torture me, that I must be doing something right, because they REALLY are good kids! I just wanted to journal afew things that each teacher had to say:
Austin: Very kind to all the other kids, very sweet, GREAT writer with an amazing ability to tell stories through his writing, very funny! (pretty great since he has 4 teachers and the ALL had the same things to say!)

Hunter: Very bright, kind and sweet to the other kids, willing to put in the effort to work hard. (it was super cool; his teacher had him actually conduct the conference and talk about his grades and if he thinks he deserves those grades and had a question and answer paper he read to me that was really cool)

Mason: Sweetest kid, (every teacher tells me how much they love this guy....which is the truth, he is super great!) very kind and a huge heart. Never gives up even if he doesn't know the right answer he still puts forth his best effort. "One of my all time favorite kids I have EVER had in all my years of teaching" (talk about the biggest smile from mom....really I can't take the credit bc he just came this way!) likes to talk, not just to the kids but to the teacher too, and talk and talk and talk (really he does talk SO much....sometimes Devin will turn to me and say "did you even realize he is still talking to us?" It's really not mean, he will TALK your EAR off and its SO funny!

Emberlyn: "I'm not even sure what to talk to you about except how great she is" Very smart, very willing to offer to help someone else with their work, or help the teacher. Excels at everything she does and is so sweet and kind. (I'm just SO glad that at least if she is going to take after her mom....not to brag, but she does hahahahaha! but really, at least she doesn't get busted for talking in class all the time! The story goes that when I was in Kindergarten I would never shut up and would try to "teach" the kids next to me while the teacher was teaching, so one day poor Mrs. Withey thought she would get me to stop and said "Kristina, would you like to come up here and teach the class?" my response? "SURE!" and I marched right up, picked up where she left off and kept going........dumb I know! LOL)

Liberty: SO sweet, so nice to the other kids, always does what is asked of her. "Sometimes I forget she is even here because she just sits back and does what she supposed to and I don't hear anything from her" (HUH??? For those of you who know my beautiful Liberty KNOW that you always know where she is....maybe this teacher has another Liberty in her class?? HAHAHAHA!! totally kidding)

I LOVE my kids, and I have always told them that it is WAY more important to me that they are good people, responsible and kind than ANY grade they get in their classes. They get good grades, but for ME, hearing every one of my kids teachers tell me how kind they are to the other kids and what a joy they are to have in class in worth more than all the A's in the whole world!!!


 So we had the BEST time last night with the BEST friends!!! My super new super FAB friend Lindsay and I took our 5 girls to a movie and the mall for a girls date night. We saw Nanny McPhee (which was really wonderful!!) took the girls to Tinkerbell in the S.S. mall which was so fun for all of us! We all found something fun and the girls were in heaven looking at all the jewlery. Funny story; all the girls got to pick one thing they wanted to buy and Emberlyn brings me this tile bracelet and says, Mom look I found the best bracelet for church.....she shows me this horrible bracelet where each tile has a picture of Christ on it. It took all of my effort to keep from cracking up in front of her; so I waited till she walked away LOL!! I told Lindsay I really should have got it and let her wear it to church just to see the look on Devins face.....Lindsay then suggested the Virgin Mary one would be better HAHAHAHA!!! 

 The funnest was when we drug them with us to Charolette Russe to look at shoes and while we were checking things out we look over and the girls are tromping through the store in these GIANT shoes and were cracking up! It was such a fun girls night! They are never too young to teach them how fun it is to be a girl!! Thanks FAB McRae babes for such a fun night!!

Liberty, Emmy, Whitney, Laine, and Brinley. What adorable girls!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Every Mothers Nightmare!

Fair warning! These pictures are pretty gross, look away if you need to. I think every Mothers nightmare is having to see their child in pain; physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain, it all hurts. Last night was physical pain for my sweet little Brinley. The kids LOVE to ride on Devins bike with him and last night was no different, until Brinleys foot slipped and got caught in the spokes of the tire and sliced her wide open in two places. I was shuffling daycare kids out the door (blessing #1...ALL 3 of my moms showed up early to pick up their kids, which never happens) when Devin came rushing in strongly letting me know "I need you, I need you right now" By the time I got upstairs he was just standing in tears holding Brinleys foot while she cried. THAT seriously broke my heart!! Devin is the brave one, the "keep your head" when scary situations arise and to see him standing there in tears shook me to the core. He just said, "shes hurt bad, we gotta go" I called my mom who happened to be about 10 min away from passing my house on her way home from work (blessing mom was early getting off work) and asked her to come get my kids as I had TWO guys downstairs finishing painting and the entire kitchen and family room was covered in drop cloths and plastic. I couldn't leave all my kids (two of which who were in tears) with my house is complete disarray! We loaded Brinley into the car and headed to the hospital across the street (blessing #3....we live SO close to a hospital; what an amazing blessing for our family time and time again) They immediately put us in a room (blessing #4....we happened to have some left over Tylenol with codeine from Emmy and were able to get Brinley comfortable before they even looked at her foot) We waited for awhile before they came in and the Dr looked and said that her tendon was still intact (blessing #5....upon further inspection, the spoke just skimmed over the membrane on top of the tendon, missing it entirely) and she was going to require some pretty intense stitches. For the next two hours while we waited, Devin loaded her up with juice, M&M's and cookies and we watched TV. They washed it (which was torture), put topical lidacane on it and we waited another hour. I insisted they give her Morphine before they started the numbing because just the washing was awful (which by the way....I HATE it HATE it when someone is in incredible pain and a nurse sits there the whole time saying "honey, this doesn't hurt, its just water, your not in pain" REALLY!?!?!?! When is the last time you were sliced open 2 inches deep and had someone shoot water inside of it!?!?!?! I was NOT a happy mom!!) So they waited for that to take effect, and then came the horrible part. I knew it was coming, and kept telling myself I would be brave, but after 5 min of screaming, "I want to go home, Tell her to stop, Just put a band aid on it so we can go home!! I broke down into tears and just cried with her. It took about 20 sticks and almost 10 min just to get it all numb. After that was over she laid on her belly while the Dr put two layers of stitches with a grand total of 30!! (Which out numbers ALL the stitches ALL of my kids combined have ever had) I sang songs with her and a couple times we had to tell her she couldn't sing with me bc she was moving too much :) and since the morphine was in full effect she was actually being quite funny. We would be in the middle of "lead me, guide me, walk beside me" and she would blurt out "what is that on my knee, something is touching me knee. Is the Dr closing my owie?" I LOVE LOVE LOVE this little girl!!! They decided to also put a splint on it and don't want her walking on it at all for at least 5 days so it can stay sealed up good before she starts bending her ankle. It was a LONG night, and absolutely heartbreaking, but she was such a good girl and so brave. I wish as moms we never had to see our children in pain, but in a weird way I think it reminds us of just how much we love them and even with all the craziness that they really do fill our lives with joy!

(more pictures coming after I get them off Devins phone)

Brynn this morning. Kids are incredible!!! As an adult we would be laid up all day after a night like that, but she is all over the place like NO big deal! What a doll!!!!