Monday, December 29, 2008

You can call me Maddie!

OK - I have a new favorite thing! This does not by any means replace my Cupcake pj's, as those are evening wear and this is outerwear - 2 totally different categories!
It is my new coat.
It is red. I look like Madeline in it. It has black buttons. For those who don't feel comfortable calling me Cupcake - you can call me Maddie! I will wear it always and NEVER take it off!

Cheap Entertainment

So, Christmas is over, the kids are at home - the stores are still too crowded to shop and we are SO DONE watching movies. What should we do to entertain ourselves? I know - let's make pizza! I didn't really want it to be a big deal or a big mess, so we just opted for good old Chef Boyardee! Surprisingly, it tasted pretty good! Tim mixing the dough

Maggie & BFF Haley making the crust

Such good pizza, that when Haley got up for seconds Shae decided to take her place and ask Maggie for a bite! Tommy would not be happy to see this!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

I have a few minutes while everyone is playing with their new toys, so I thought I would do a little bit of blogging! This year was a pretty traditional Christmas for us - we had some friends (the Flaishans) over for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. Stefanie brought some treats, including my favorite pumpkin roll! SO yummy! I have been missing Donelle's pumpkin roll since they moved to Utah. Now I know where I can get hooked up!(Taylor, Amber, Maggie, Jacob
Hunter and Tim)

Then the four of us nestled in for our Christmas Eve routine. We began with the usual opening of the Christmas pajamas, then the reading of the two stories - the Saviors birth from the Bible and The Night Before Christmas. Then we varied a bit and Tommy started a wonderful discussion. He asked Tim what stood out to him most when he thought of the Saviors birth. We all really got into talking about it and we each took something different from the story. Maggie spoke about some things that she learned and the new perspective she had after having a great lesson at a young women activity a few weeks ago. I was THRILLED to hear that she had taken from that lesson! I also was thinking of that lesson, and of'course I cried when it was my turn to share my thoughts. What a spiritual way to wrap up our evening. Then the stockings were hung and we all went to bed.

This morning, Tim was the first to crawl out of bed and get everyone up. The kids were very happy with what Santa had left for them (Rockband for Tim and a giant Edward Cullen for Maggie!)and they were grateful for all of the fun gifts from family and friends.After a yummy breakfast, we have all gone our separate ways to try out our new presents. We agreed to watch movies together on Tommy's new t.v. later this afternoon. That brings me here!
I love that I have my family home for a few days - that is what I am most thankful for this year. I wish that I could be with the rest of my family, but I will think of them and all of my wonderful memories of Christmases past often today.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
P.S. We finally decorated our tree! Check out the slide for some of our pre-Christmas baking and decorating!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008


You know how Oprah has a "favorite things" list? Well, these are at the top of mine this year. These are my CUPCAKE pajamas. I love them so much that I bought 4 pair of them! One in hot pink, one in black and two in the best color - turquoise!
Let me explain the cupcake part - that isn't the brand or the style name, that is just what I feel like when I wear them - a great big CUPCAKE! So, the cupcake thing has caught on, and Maggie says that when she has children - she will not have them call me Grandma or Granny or any Grandmother-ly name... they will call me CUPCAKE!!

Nana & Pa

I may be wrong, but I don't know that - other than wedding photos - I have ever seen any pictures of my parents together. Weird - they have been married for over 40 years - you would think I would find at least one! We never even took family photos until I demanded it as an adult, and even then, we have only done that twice! So, when they came to visit, I insisted that they let me snap a few shots. My father wasn't very excited about it, but he did cooperate and I am so pleased that I have some nice photos to pass along to my kids now!
These are my parents, Steve & Margie Akin.

Married August 8, 1964

Maggie jumping in the photos - at this point I had lost all control and they were playing "America's Next Top Model"! Who is the grown up here?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, How lovely are thy branches?

I have been looking around at lots of blogs this morning, and I am noticing that several people have pics of their Christmas trees and fun shots of the families decorating those trees. It is all so beautiful, so I thought I would add our tree to my blog - it somehow doesn't quite live up to everyone else's standard this year!

Yes, that's right - no ornaments! Unless you count the paper airplane that Tim flew into the top of it! We have a kitty problem this year that we have never had before - you see, Tim adopted a stray back in September, and she LOVES the tree! I found her sleeping in it yesterday. No matter how often I try to make her leave it alone, she just can't resist it's charms! We are NOT willing to put up our much loved breakable ornaments just to watch them smash to the ground all season long - I am thinking of having the kids make some cute trinkets to put up for this year. Hopefully, next year - we will be over the "Frisky Kitten" stage and I can post a once again, beautiful tree!
Sprout - the ever innocent kitty culprit. This looks like a mugshot doesn't it? - how appropriate!

Sprout - realizing she is about to get the spray bottle & trying to make a quick exit out of the tree - not forgetting her toy of'course!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vacation 2008!

Our vacation this year was to...Florida! Surprised? I know, no real shocker there since we go just about every year! This year was different because we usually go to get away from everyone and focus on the four of us, y'know, really reconnect with each other - but this vacation we took some of Tommy's side of the family along!
However, we did spend the first week of our vacation as a foursome. We stayed at the Portofino Bay Resort in Orlando, and spent lots of time at Universal Studios. Maggie really wanted to go there, but we told her that it was too expensive (which unfortunately is true!) She was very happy when we pulled in and she realized we would be staying for a whole week! We all enjoyed the beautiful weather, Tim loved the pool, Maggie liked the roller coasters, Tommy liked the spa massages, and I liked the Luau with all of those cute Samoan boys dancing!

Week two was all about Disney World and extended family! There were 13 of us in all - Gran, Papa, Lindsey, Rebecca, Kurt, Valinda, Dylan, Kyndal (Happy 8th Birthday Kyndal!), Railey and the four of us. We stayed at the Contemporary, which was new for us, and actually spent quite a bit of time at the parks. We haven't done that in several years because the kids know exactly what rides they want to go on and exactly what shows they want to see - that doesn't take very long, so they like just hanging out at the resorts instead. None of the family we were with had been before, so we went to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It was fun riding some of the classic rides and noticing some of the improvements that have been made. My favorite ride is always Pirates of the Caribbean, but Expedition Everest is a very close second! Tim got over some of his roller coaster fears this time, (he braved Everest and Space Mountain both - twice!!Good job, Tim! We will try for Tower of Terror next trip!) and Maggie realized her dream of visiting the Bippity Boppity Boutique, where she had make-up, hair and nails done - and best of all she got to dress as her favorite Disney Princess,Cinderella!

We were pleased that we were able to get that appointment, as this was the last year that she would fit into the dress - it's not exactly meant for 14 year old princesses! Of'course for all of you who know Maggie, you know she would wear the dress no matter how small it was (or IS in this case! I LOVE the shoes!)Her silly personality really shines through in her princess photographs! It was fun that the girly cousins got to join in on that fun - even Auntie V had her hair and make-up done! It is hard not to catch that Disney Spirit, huh Lindsey?! Thanks go out to Tim and Dylan for being so patient. It was a long wait outside of that boutique - good practice for when they are married, i guess! I can't say what Tommy liked best, but I know he always likes seeing the parades and fireworks every night. He looks just like one of the kids when Tinkerbell flies and the fireworks begin! Maybe that is why we keep going back year after year!

Friday, November 21, 2008

TWILIGHT: It was the best of times...It was the worst of times...

By Best, I mean that we had so much fun at the midnight opening of Twilight, the movie. By Worst, I mean when my alarm clock rang after only 2 hours of sleep at 6:00 a.m. By best I mean that we laughed way too much and loved our 'girls only' night. By worst, I mean that all of the muscles in my tummy will never be the same after all of that laughter! I am actually sore! The movie was amazing and all of the girls we went with are more in love with Edward now than ever before - I know, sounds impossible, right? Trust me, it's true! We arrived 4 1/2 hours early to take our place in line, we ate a dinner of concession stand hot dogs and nachos on the theater lobby floor, (we had a prime spot, right in front of the bathrooms - yuck!) and we played a Twilight Trivia game to kill time and keep ourselves awake! We were the envy of everyone around us with our custom designed t-shirts that had our faces placed in the photographs over Bella's face and we all received commemorative magnets to mark the occasion. The only thing we didn't like was that the movie was not long enough. I guess that was a good thing, as we didn't get home until 3:00 in the morning. I don't know about any of the other girls, but I am getting to old to keep those kinds of hours!
I loved the book series! - I loved sharing it with Maggie! -I loved the movie! - I loved seeing it with Maggie! - I love that we have fun friends who went with us! - I love that Sara has lost her rational mind over all of this! - I love Edward Cullen! and Jacob Black... and Carlisle...and Emmett...etc...etc... By best I mean it was a crazy fun night to remember. By worst, I mean that it is all over...until the next movie!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maggie and Tim - a little about them.

Maggie is 14 years old now and in the 8th grade at Warren Middle School. She is a Student Council rep and was elected as an officer for National Junior Honor Society. She likes to play Basketball (we are still waiting for word on whether she has made the team again this year or not) and she will be running track when the season starts. She has just finished her "4 year plan" for high school next year, and has chosen to continue all of her AP courses and hopefully graduate with honors. She will be taking the necessary courses to become a school teacher and attend BYU. We will see how all of that goes - it sure sounds like a like of work to me!
Maggie has just helped her daddy redecorate her bedroom and that has taken up a lot of her time. We have actually done a lot of things to the house lately, and I'm sure those pics will come soon!Maggie loves to be with her friends, texting constantly, coloring and watching all of the Disney classics over and over and over! All of these loves come second to her pumpkin - Charlie. (her dog, a pomapoo) We never cease to be amazed at how mushy she can get over that dog, as typically, she is NOT a fan of animals! AT ALL!
We think Maggie is a beauty inside and out!

As for Tim, he has gone back to public school this year and I miss him a lot! He is 8 years old and in the 3rd grade at Claybon Elementary. He LOVES his teacher, Mrs. Sanders. I find sweet notes to her on the back of most of his school papers! He isn't into anything extra curricular right now, as we thought it best to let him focus on school - the transition from home school to public school is sometimes tricky - but he has done great! No problems at all. In fact, at the academic pep rally he got to run in as a straight A student and was chosen to be the "Student of the 6 weeks" for his class! Yay Tim!! He is a good boy and we are lucky to have him in our lives! He does attend Scouts at church every Wednesday and he likes that a lot - especially when they go fishing! He is our little outdoors man! He loves his pet bunny Lila B. and his new kitten Sprout. He swears he will own a farm with every kind of animal on it one day. That of'course will be something he takes care of when he is not singing on Broadway. He will get that job as a result of his fantastic showing on American Idol!! Did I mention he was a dreamer too?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I know, I know - It has taken me forever to get this going, but I am finally catching up with the rest of the world! I actually set this blogspot up a very long time ago and found myself too busy to take the time to work on it. I have decided that it has to be a priority!
I came to this decision for several reasons... the first being that I am wasting all of the time that I do have trying to keep a journal for myself, one for Maggie, one for Tim, scrapbooks for each of them and separate little books for all of our vacations! Crazy!!
Second, in an effort to put together the PERFECT Christmas card/DVD for family and friends last year, I got frustrated and ended up sending out nothing!
Third, We have such fun together everyday and take loads of pictures. I always want to share this fun with everyone, but never seem to be able to send out mass e-mails without the horrible "Failure to send" notice coming back!
Lastly, I love the idea of being able to put together a nice book of all of our postings at the end of each year for my kids to enjoy - a family journal!
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify! That is my new motto!
Please bear with us in this effort - most of our posts will be nothing more than a record of our daily happenings and likely not very interesting to you! But, sometimes we will do something SUPER FUN that will make you smile!