Birthday Bash Extravagaanza!

Today was Tasha’s party. She just invited a few girls (which was nice!). The theme was “Cupcake Wars”. If you’ve never seen the tv show after which the theme was chosen, the premise is this: three rounds of competition; round one is a taste test, round two is presentation and round three is a display with 1,000 cupcakes.

We didn’t stick exactly to the way the show goes. We did it this way: round one they had to pick one ingredient from each category. We had the “sweet n spicy” category and then the “fruity n nutty” category.

Round two, each team had to include the secret ingredient: leftover giant s’more cookie from Sunday!

We started off by watching an episode of Cupcake Wars while snacking on veggies n dip, fruit and dip, crackers and cheese, pickles and olives and homemade soda.

Then it was time to bake!

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Team: ETA’s Cutie Cupcakes

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Team: Despicable Uni-cupcakes

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What are you putting in those cupcakes, Annika?!

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Choosing their ingredients

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Sweet n Spicy Category: White Chocolate Chips, Cinnamon, Chopped Candied Ginger, Tang

Fruity n Nutty Category: Banana, Walnuts, Dried Apricots, Strawberry Jam

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Cupcakes, going in!

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Scoop ‘em faster!

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Frosting ready to go!

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Some of the finished products

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Our judges…hmmm…I think they had one cupcake too many!!!!

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Someone gets into his work

The girls decorated a special cupcake just for Tasha:

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Dramatic buildup to the blow out

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Make a wish

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Friend snuggles

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Our 10 yr old girl!

 

 

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Each girl took home a cupcake they decorated, some gum (yup, got it on clearance! I love a good deal) and a cute cupcake necklace I bought from Etsy store (IzyB Gifts).

Just to make sure they were all sugared up before they left…Ammon made each girl their choice of cotton candy:

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So fun!!!!

Happy 10th Birthday Natasha!

Our girl turned 10 yesterday! TEN!!! Ack! Each year seems to fly by and while I’d like to keep her little, I love that she’s at the age where we can have conversations that are more on the same level and she loves to spend time with Mom! I let all the kids choose what they want for breakfast in bed on their birthday. Tasha in typical-Tasha fashion picked crepes…ham and cheese and banana-berries with cream to be exact. I added some chocolate milk for fun.

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Hugs for the birthday girl

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This is what they really look like 😉

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For lunch we had Annie’s White Cheddar Mac and Cheese and peas on the side per request….Then I made this ginormous s’mores cookie!

The birthday girl ended her day with a foot massage and kettle corn and a strawberry-banana smoothie.

 

New Haircut

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Tasha has been asking me for months to cut her hair short and give her side-bangs. I made her wait a while to make sure that she really wanted to do it. Saturday, she asked me again, so we decided to do it. She loves it!

Blue Lake

Ammon has had about a week and a half off of school and we decided since Friday was his last day off for a while, we should do something fun and adventurous as a family. And boy, did we ever! I suggested we go on a hike because a) I can’t remember the last time I went on a real hike, and b) I hadn’t exercised yet and I figured it would be more fun to do something active as a family and c) Rocky needed a walk.

We’d always wanted to hike up to Blue Lakes. It’s a 7 mile hike roundtrip, which is long for our kiddos, but we thought we’d try it anyways.

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All ready to hike!

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At the trailhead….

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Three cuties under a huge fallen tree that was across the trail

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Somebody was in heaven!

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I love where we live!

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Daddy’s girl

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Our little hikers =)

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We didn’t expect this….4 feet of snow in June…although we were at 11, 000ft

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We could see almost to Grand Junction

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We made it to the top! We took about an hour, enjoyed the view, ate our lunch and rested our tired tootsies.

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The lake was the color of the ocean

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Yay for kids who are old enough to take pictures!

IMG_6964 (1)Panorama! This is what we saw. Is this not incredible?!

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Looking back as we were driving away.

The kids did amazing! Kevin didn’t complain once. Annika hiked the majority of the way and Tasha, while she might of complained plenty, still hiked 7 miles and lived to tell the tale!

Cute Brother/Sister Moment

The other morning, Annika wanted me to read her a story and I was kind of in the middle of something messy…I suggested she read on the couch and I’d join her as soon as I could. Next thing I know, I hear Kevin’s voice…

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And I had one of those wonderful, sweet Mommy-moments where you’re filled with joy and gladness for the privilege of being a Mom.

Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, I made 200 cupcakes for my first official cupcake job! It was pretty exciting, and a little nerve-wracking since our climate can be finicky and cause all kinds of baking issues. Everything went without a hitch though. I started at 6:30 am and finished at 3:30pm. In hindsight, I could’ve baked faster had I doubled up each lemon batch…oh well, live and learn

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Welcome to Mountain Mama Cupcakes! (that’s me 😉 )

June….so far

I love it when school is out! Probably just as much or more than the kids! I love the lack of schedule and not having to get up at 6 am. I love the warm days and letting the kids play and be kids. I love the spontaneity of all of it!

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Since Kevin is spending quality-cousin time in Colorado Springs, the girls decided to have a “spa-day”. Ammon was at home and I had to go somewhere. I came back to find the spa in my living room! I added to the ambiance by providing a candle and relaxing spa-music. It wouldn’t be a real spa, without it!

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Getting nails done

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Rocky-snuggles

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I’ve been making lots of cupcakes, though I don’t always remember to take pictures. I’ve been working on starting my own cupcake business for about a year now. It takes a while to develop all the recipes and make them work for high altitude. These were chocolate raspberry made especially to celebrate Rocky’s 3rd birthday.

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A birthday party-for me?! So happy!

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Singing happy birthday to Rocky….he liked it!

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What would a birthday party be without a cake?! Mmmm-dog cookies and peanut butter. It doesn’t get any better!

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The girls and I visited the Ute Indian Museum and learned a lot about the Native Americans that used to live in this area. Specifically about Chief Ouray, whom the town Ouray is named after. Ouray is about 25 min away from where we live and is my favorite little town.

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My little buffalo

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We learned a lot about the “bear dance” while we were at the museum, so we had to pose with the bear!

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Ammon had a lot of studying to do for his final for his chemistry class and usually we do something fun as a family on Friday nights. So, the girls and I had a girls sleepover in our treehouse. We did some “Mad Libs”, had treats and watched a movie. One thing you need to know about our treehouse, which you can probably tell from the photo is that there is an actual tree going through the middle of the treehouse. There are branches that go out through the sides also…the cats thought it would be fun to climb through those holes and onto the branches into the treehouse. Oscar did so at 4 am, and then proceeded to purr loudly and lick Tasha’s ear. I booted him outside, but to no avail because he kept coming in through the branch hole. Finally we gave up and went back to sleep for a short while before some birds started singing. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep the greatest, but it was still super-fun.

I made the girls pancakes and brought them breakfast in the treehouse while they watched some Scooby-Doo.

May

May was a very full month. Mother’s Day, the last month of school, visiting family, etc…

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Annika looking super-cute one Sunday

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Rocky, the Dumbo-dog! (he’s such a great dog! We got so lucky!)

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Found a few lizards in our gnome-cold storage room…pictures later so you know what I’m talking about!

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May was rather chilly until the last week or so. Annika, Kevin, Rocky and I decided to go on a hike by the escarpment. Such a pretty day! We had a blast and hiked about 3 miles.

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Taking a break on the bench with a view

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Kevin learned how to make hamburgers on the grill to pass off a cub scouts goal and he earned his “Wolf”

 

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I took the kids down to Littleton to visit with the Mannings and Narayans. While we were there, we also met up with my almost-sister Kylene, her honey, Jeremy and their two little kiddies. We met at the mall and had a great time! So many stores had hands-on things that the kids could do. It was great! It helped Kylene, Jeremy and I have a good visit.

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Disney store

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Brookstone, playing with their “sand”

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Three pretty little cousins on Sunday, who just happened to be wearing turquoise. (not planned)

Kevin ended up going home with his cousins for two and a half weeks, so it was just the girls.

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Annika “graduated” from Kindergarten. Her class did a sweet little tap-dance, which I’ll have to post on here later.

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Annika and her teacher. She’s from London and has the BEST accent. Her voice is sweet-sounding and almost musical. I could listen to her all day. No wonder the kids loved her!

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Annika’s class did an animal research project. Annika picked the sea urchin. I thought she did a great job!

 

April

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This is what we did as soon as we got back from California! Got chickens! We picked up 6 baby chicks. So cute! We all loved hearing their little peeps. I’ll have to post an updated photo since they’re a whole lot bigger now and we have two year-old chickens added to our mix.

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Tasha created a new hairstyle!

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We held an “Aloha Oe” party for Mom as she left to serve a mission for our church in Hawaii at the Polynesian Cultural Center

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Going to miss my Mommy!

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We celebrated Easter. Here’s the bunny!

The Last of California….I hope

I know it’s taken me two months to get all of this on here. Ammon has to use this computer from about 4:30-9:40pm, and the evening is usually when I would do my blogging, so it’s taken me a while to actually get around to doing it during the day.

Ok…back to California…

After 4 days at Disney and being totally worn out, we headed down to San Diego to visit Ammon’s Grandma B and his sister, Julina. We headed straight to  Grandma B first:

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She looks pretty great for 100, I think!!

After a visit with Grandma, we decided to go see the Mormon Battalion Museum. Last time we were in Cali, it was under renovation, so I had never been through it.

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We sat down and some photographs on the wall started talking to us….really, they did! They started telling their story of the journey of the Mormon Battalion. You go from room to room, which are set up like the different places they travelled. The group of 543 men, some women and children were enlisted to fight the Mexicans. They marched from Iowa, to Tuscan when the Mexicans abandoned their fight. They had very little food, water and were exhausted. They ended up in San Diego and taught San Diego natives how to make bricks, helped build flour and sawmills and were among the first to discover gold at Sutter’s Mill.

Outside after the tour, they have hands-on activities for the children, which my kids loved. We stayed for 45 min and played.

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Annika loved washing “clothes” on the washboard…hmmmm…..

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Tasha and Kevin panning for gold

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Tasha and her fool’s gold

We had In n Out burgers, fries and shakes for dinner. The burger was great….shakes were better at Denny’s and the fries, well…I think fries are better just about anywhere else.

On our first full day in San Diego, we went to the Zoo!

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Made some friends

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I haven’t seen flamingos in ages!

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Had to see the pandas, of course!

My favorite were the Aviaries. I’m usually more of a big cat person, but I’d never experienced anything like at this Zoo. You walk through a caged door and it’s like you’re transported to he rainforest! There are lush trees and flowers and birds everywhere!!

After the Zoo, we were pretty bushed, so we decided to get lunch and catch a movie.

Our next day, we went to Sea World! The kids and I had never been there. I think it was one of my favorite things that we did! They had all these hands-on experiences like petting leopard sharks, manta rays and sea stars.

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Little fishes that would eat the dry skin off your hands. Sounds gross, but the kids thought it was awesome! You stick your hands in there and the fish swarm you!

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Sea Stars!

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This was inside the turtle exhibit. I loved that you could get so close to all these amazing creatures. It was like snorkeling, but without getting wet!

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Annika and the fishes!

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The penguin exhibit was pretty amazing too! It was like being in the movie “Happy Feet”! They were chasing each other and playing and being silly.

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Our own little penguin family!

I think we saw every show they offered there…

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A few minutes after this, we were soaked!

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This turtle was going for a walk, so Kevin gave him a nice pat

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The last thing we did was ride the “Journey to Atlantis” Going up, up, up….

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Here’s what the ride looks like on the front…you see that drop that comes out the front?

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End result of that drop!

To make a good day even better, we headed back to Julina’s place for dinner and a movie. The kids even had a sleepover with their Auntie. Ammon and I had some time to ourselves, which was nice and quiet. Sigh…

Last day in Cali….water day!

First we visited Grandma B one last time.

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We love you Grandma!

Then we picked up a dozen donuts from our favorite donut shop in Cali: Rose Donuts. A small little independent shop in a little strip plaza that we discovered the last time we were there. AMAZING! Way better than Krispy Kreme, Tim Hortons (for my Canadian side). Just out of this world!

Then we were off to the beach for donuts and ceviche? They go together, right?

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Tasha eating her donut

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Second time at the ocean, but first time they’ll remember!

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Annika running with the waves

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My little beach boy!

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We did a little exploring at the tide pools. We found all kinds of little critters; snails, crabs and a few little fish. Kevin could’ve spent all day there!

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Boogie-boarding! A first for my kiddies! Ammon would wait till a wave came and kind of push them onto it and away they’d go!

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They loved it!

The water was FREEZING! I tried to get in, but it wasn’t very warm that day anyways and it was like torture trying to get in that water. We headed to Julina’s pool instead.

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The kids swam

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I relaxed. The perfect last day of vacation =)

While it was a busy trip and i was definitely tired, it was fun-filled and we made so many memories!