Saturday, February 25, 2012

Christmas Joys

Here are a few activities we enjoyed this Christmas. 
We have this fun tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree.  My manly man and his little side-kick had the most fun with this...

But as fun as this is, and as delightful as a real Christmas tree smells in the home, we're now reconsidering.  This very well might be the last year of this tradition.  Here it is FEBRUARY 25th, and we're STILL finding these darn needles around the house!!  I'm still finding them in the vacuum, in the heater vents, and some have even gotten stuck in the carpet.  Let me tell ya, stepping on those things feels like real needles!
But if we ever do this again, we've definitely found the best tree farm around!!  This local tree farm offers free hot chocolate and cookies for the kids, visits from Santa, face-painting, and free homemade ornaments for the kids.  A sweet family runs this place, and I want to help support them.  Message me if you're local and want more deets for next year!

And our thoughtful aunt Pam has this tradition of sending us homemade ornaments every year!  We have them going back to 2004.  Each one is such a treasure to our family!
Christmas Morning!  Kids got beyond spoiled this year.  We got a Wii for the family (I had sworn off video games for the kids- but we finally comprimised that active/fitness games, and music games that involve the entire family would be ok).  They also each got 3 presents from Santa.  Afterall- if Jesus only got 3, who are we to get more?!
But the best present of all...
As if it's not already a circus around here... meet Barnum and Bailey!!  Our new pet guinea pigs.  We did tons of research before we decided on a great pet for kids, and I'm so glad we went with guniea pigs!  They are the most gentle animals, they make amusing noises, low maintenance, they're soft and cuddly- and they aren't too stinky. 

It was too funny, when we went to pick them up, we had to bring all the kids with us, so Jon and I were trying to find a way to pull it off without them knowing.  Luckily it was dark, and we had just gotten back from seeing the Christmas lights in the city.  I went and picked them up in a box, and we acted like we had to pick something up from a friend.  But once we got them in, they started sqeaking and squealing like crazy.  And we had to drive 30 minutes to get home!  My hubby is hilarious- so fun to watch him try to keep the kids from finding out... each time they would squeak, he would pretend to sneeze, or sing, and crank up the Christmas music even louder.  And they had no clue.  Too fun!!
What a blessed Christmas.  Hope yours was just as special!!  Nothing like experiencing this beautiful season than through the eyes of a child.  Childlike awe and wonder is so inspiring!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Halloween Pics (Yes, I'm that behind!)

Ok, so I know it's past V-Day, but I'm still trying to play catch up!  Had to get a few pics on here from halloween, so the kids will remember the fun we had.

We're all about themes for halloween.  Jon and I like to participate- it makes our family feel unified- and it's just so dang fun!  Love this tradition!  But someday (SOON I think) the kids will probably start being embarrassed by their dorky parents, and won't be too thrilled with this tradition.  They'll probably want to do their own thing soon, and that's ok.  But they're loving it now!  So I'm going to enjoy this as long as possible before that day comes. 

We decided to go as Packers fans this year.  Kind of lame, I know, haha.  It was all I could put together though. I was newly pregnant at the time, sick and exhausted.  So I almost bagged it completely this year.  But I'm glad we made it happen.  And it was pretty cheap, since there were tons of Brett Farve jerseys at Goodwill. ;)  So here we are as Packers Fans... and one cute, cuddly, football.

Love this face, haha!  He's like "Seriously Mom?  Is this hat all you could come up with??"

Intense football fan faces.  Grr!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


"Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world."  -SUSAN LIEBERMAN

One of our favorite traditions is camping together.  We love going during General Conference (a church conference that happens twice a year), so we can cuddle up in the camper, learn, and be together without the usual distractions.  And somehow despite the cramped quarters, the kids get along better  when camping than they do at home.  (Maybe that's why I'm such a fan!) 

So here are a couple Hudson camping traditions...

The kids in their camo snuggies, haha!

S'mores of course!  But here's another camping treat we love.  Feel free to steal and enjoy!

And a newer camping tradition... just for fun!!  It's also a great science project.

This was all Daddy's idea of course.  Check out the height on this one!

So if you want to try this with your kids, all you'll need is a couple liters of pop (diet is best so you don't get sticky!), a couple packs of mint mentos, and I highly recommend buying a geyser tube for maximum effect.  Here's a cheap one on amazon

And ok, this isn't a tradition, but I just had to share this pic I took of Jarom mid-yawn... it CRACKS me up!!

There's so much personality in that little bod!  He's such a jolly kid!

Charity was so cute on the way home, she said, "Mommy, could we just go camping every day?"  :) 

Love my HAPPY campers!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stay at Home Mom?

I admit, sometimes staying at home feels a bit less than glamorous.  Especially those days when I don't make it to the shower after a workout, I have spit up stains on my shirt, no make-up, my hair in a bun, and on my knees scrubbling the spilled oatmeal on the floor.  Or when caring for sick kids, leaves me exhausted and somehow a little puke ends up in my hair!  It's true- motherhood is no easy task, and can leave us moms feeling a little frumpy at times!  But the TRUTH is,
Motherhood is near to divinity. "It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels." First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
So I've never liked the term "stay at home mom". That just sounds so... blah, don't you think?! No, we're NOT stay at home moms.

I'm all for anything that helps us feel like the queens we are.  So I have this thing for aprons. They're pretty and feminine, and I love the way they make me feel.  They make me feel a little less stay at home mom-ish, and a little more domestic goddess-like. :)  I have tons of them, mostly all from the same company. I love these and wanted to share them with you if you ever feel this way too...

You can find more varieties here:

Aren't they so pretty?! They're a little expensive (between $25-$38... but I always wait for a sale. A couple times a year they're sold on this site for half off. Or if you don't want to wait, you can often find them on Amazon for about $10 cheaper, with free shipping.

Here are my little domestic goddesses in training. (If that's what they choose to do of course.) ;)

And here's one of my favorite recipes EVER I'd love to share with you. It's called Taco Lasagna. Don't remember where I got this recipe, but our family has enjoyed it for years!! It's easy, nutritious, and kid-friendly.

Taco Lasagna:


1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Mexican diced tomatoes, undrained
6 flour tortillas (8 inches)
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (I always go a little generous on cheese) mmm :)

In a large skillet, cook the beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add water and taco seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir in black beans and tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Place two tortillas in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spread with half of the refried beans and beef mixture; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining tortillas and cheese.
Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

 Yep, I think it's true.  The way to a man's heart is definitely through his stomach!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Well... HELLO there!!!

Wow, it's been SO long!!! Well, what can I say about this extended absence? Basically, it's been a brutal few months! I don't think I broke the news on this blog yet, but... I'm pregnant with #6! That means 6 KIDS AGES 8 AND UNDER. I know... crazy, huh?! I'm still trying to process that news myself! But we're so grateful and excited!! Couldn't be happier to welcome another little one into our lives.

So yes, to put it bluntly, I got knocked up... but this pregnancy has knocked me DOWN, big time! So much for my goal to be more consistent on this blog, haha! It's been humbling really. During the first trimester, I felt like I had seriously been hit by a truck most days with extreme fatigue, and morning sickness. It was all I could do to drag myself out of bed some days, let alone clothe, feed, teach, read to, play with, make dinner for, clean up after, the kids. So blogging has been put on the back burner for a while, along with cleaning the shower, and dusting the furniture, etc. But I'm feeling SO much better now that we're into the 2nd trimester. I really feel like myself again! So I'm relieved, and grateful for my patient and understanding hubby, who chipped in when he could, and never once told me to get off my plump prego butt and mop the floor.

So now that I'm back to blogging, I have some SERIOUS catching up to do! I can't wait to read all your posts!! Feels so good to be back!!


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