Ahhh...this is the life.

It's 9:10, we're back from Vegas, and the house is pretty quiet. I hear the occasional cough from Jaxon, and Dave is sawing some serious logs, and I love it. Vegas was perfect like always. Not perfect as in everything goes perfectly, but perfect as in, our whole little family is together with our extended family, and there is a LOT OF LOVE to go around.
The drive was uneventful...mostly because I get carsick, so I took a dramamine and slept at least 3 of the 6 hours. Jaxon did great until the last 20 minutes when he cried hysterically becuase he wanted to be home. Ahhh well...he's 3. I hope he gets rested and recovered, because Wed. we make the drive to Cali. I think the lure of Disneyland will get us there just fine...it's the drive home I'm worried about...
My meds this week were fine...didn't make me too emotional, just really pukey.
I am feeling really content and happy right now.... Loving the peace that this season brings.

Hurray for Thanksgiving!

We are here in Vegas, happily overfed and loving being with family! Yesterday was one of my three treat days (gave up sweets on Oct. 1st and get to have them thanksgiving, Christmas Eve. and Christmas Day) I had 2 cinnamon rolls for breakfast- delicious, and I was sick till lunch. After lunch I had a piece of DELICIOUS homemade apple pie and promptly threw it all up. Later I really wanted to have a slice of pumpkin pie, but my stomach wouldn't allow anymore sugar! Guess the body knows what's good for it...even when the brain things differently....wait...I did have half of one more cinnamon roll before bed...and couldn't sleep with stomach pains and racing blood!
My awesome sister in law's and Mother in law went Black Friday shopping at 4:30 this morning (I am a self proclaimed Black Friday HATER!) but they picked up an awesome dinosaur mountain toy that I was wanting for Jaxon for 20 bucks! (On Amazon it was selling for $89!!!!) they told me the one requirement for them picking it up was that I could never bash Black Friday again...which I won't...just don't expect me to be going out shopping that early...ever.
It is SO FABULOUS to be here relaxing with people we love and NOT A CARE IN THE WORLD! No busy season for either of us, no work brought home, pictures to edit, chores to do, errands to run....living on Vacation is THE LIFE!
Also, Thanksgiving felt like a Saturday....but in case you were unaware, today is only Friday...and we have all today and tomorrow for more fun! We are going to dinner with family tonight and going to see the water show at the Bellagio at some point!


Okay, here's the scoop- The last two months I have been on Clomid, and it makes me crazy. Not like, "Oh man- SHE CRAZY!" Like, seriously emotional, depressed, and high anxiety. It is definately at it's worst during the 5 days that I actually take the medication, followed closely by the week of my cycle (Sorry to any males who read this...), and a third runner up and also quite out of my mind is the week of Ovulation. Which really only leaves one week of the month for me to just be mildly crazy, instead of insanely crazy.
ANYWAY- Why am I telling you this? A few people have caught me on the phone or in person during the 5 days of taking the meds, and have come away seriously considering having me committed. So, Someone suggested that I just let everyone know when those 5 days are, just so you know if I do happen to fall apart while in your presence...don't worry, it's not me :o) ....it's the meds!
So just so you know, Starting tomorrow (Monday) and through Black Friday, I will be taking the Clomid.
Don't not call me or come see me...I promise I won't bite your head off...it's not like that...I just may need a little emotional support and/or encouragement and/or a tissue!
Sorry, and thanks.

The Advent...

For each day of the advent calendar we will have a small piece of paper rolled up like a scroll and tied with a ribbon for Jaxon to open. Of course going to all this work, you can't just write on the paper what we will be doing, it has to BE FUN!
So, here is the wording for the first few days...more to come...my brain has shut off for the night-
Christmas is coming so very fast,
The days go so quickly they don't hardly last.
So- early each morning come on and check here
To stretch out our holiday fun and good cheer.
We'll count down the days until Christmas has come,
And every day we'll do something fun!
It might be a treat, an activity or snack,
and then the next morning you get to come back-
Remember the spirit of Christmas is Giving,
Living our lives how Christ wants us living,
Be kind, be helpful and try not to fight,
So we can count down to Christmas eve night.

24 days until Christmas (Put up Nativity)
The Nativity set is our activity number one,
So we can remember God's Wonderful Son,
Christ is reason for Christmas each year,
Let’s make him the center of our nativity here.

23 days until Christmas (Activity bags for drive to Cali)
Day 2 brings a treat for this special day,
A bag of fun for the car as you get on your way.
Follow the clues to find your special sack,
Then hop in the car, sit back and relax!

22 days until Christmas (caroling to Grandpa’s hotel room)
Day 3 is here and what does it bring?
Christmas Caroling and you get to SING!
Go to Grandpas hotel room and knock on the door,
And when he opens it he might fall to the floor.
Because your singing will be beautiful and cheery,
He’ll like it so much, his eyes might get teary!
Don’t forget the cards that you drew,
To give Grandpa Ferrell a big, “THANK YOU!”

21 days until Christmas (matching socks to wear to Disneyland)
Day four and what do you think you will get?
I hope you haven’t put your shoes on yet!
Christmas socks for all cousins to wear,
Socks so cute that others will stare-
At the cousins with matching socks on their feet,
That’s a Christmas treat that just can’t be beat!

20 days until Christmas(Christmas M&M's and Christmas songs in the car)
We’re driving back home on Day five you see,
So what could our special advent treat be?
It’s a little bit of candy that’s colored red and green,
In the cutest candy cane shape you’ve ever seen.
Also some music about Christmas past,
To help our drive go by Super Fast!

19 days until Christmas(put up Mistletoe and kiss)
Day six is a special day in our list,
Because it’s the day that you will be kissed!
If you stand under Mistletoe you get a big treat,
And this treat is NOT the kind you can eat!
If you happen to see someone standing right under,
Run kiss their cheek, and so they won’t wonder-
Say, “Why did I kiss you, why, don’t you know?”
“You’re standing right under the MISTLETOE!”

18 days until Christmas(Pictures with Santa at the mall)
Who brings us presents during the night?
Who uses reindeer to help him take flight?
Why- it’s Santa or course, who else could it be?
So off to the mall we’ll go sit on his knee!
Take a picture with Santa with a smile ear-to-ear,
So he’ll know that you’ve been extra good all year!

"The Scouts Say..."

Now that I will be spending my Wednesday afternoon with the Cubscouts, I think I will start a weekly-ish blog post called "The Scouts Say..." and just write the funny things that the boys say. I really do love this age group, as it is the same age I taught in school. I forgot how funny they are!
So here is my first installement-
1. One of the boys said (and he was DEAD SERIOUS...)
"I hope I don't get called on a mission to Russia. You can't have a companion there, and then you get thrown in jail. Then the mission president has to come bail you out, and then you have to live in the mission home and make 62 cheeseburgers a day. I DON'T WANT TO MAKE 62 CHEESEBURGERS A DAY!!!"

2. We were talking about Native Americans-
"YEAH! That's what I want to be when I grow up!"

3. Talking about being good citizens and bad citizens-
"Our neighbors were being so loud and rude! They had a party in their driveway and they kept "beer vomiting"
me: "Beer vomiting?"
Scout: "Yes, I don't know exactly what it is either, but it makes you drink a whole lot of beer really fast. Beer Vomiting!"
(Did he perhaps mean "beer bonging"? I'm not even positive what a beer bong is, but it seems to make more sense that "beer Vomiting"...?)

That's it for "The Scouts Say..." Stay tuned next week!

What on Earth?

Little Jaxon D has been acting so strange lately! I am going to chalk it up to a growth spurt, and just hope he "grows out of it!"

Here are some of the current things he is doing that are very unlike him-

1. SO SO SO Whiney.
2. Cries at the drop of a hat

3. Eats ravenously (SO not Jaxon)

4. Falling asleep anywhere, and ANYTIME (also NOT Jax)

5. Sleeping like crazy

Last Friday he fell asleep in the car at 6:15 and wouldn't wake back up, so we just put him to bed and he slept a solid 12 hours.

Then yesterday, he fell asleep in the car at 4:40!!! Seriously!!! I knew he was tired so I let him sleep in the carseat while I read a book, thinking if I moved him he would wake up cranky, but if I left him in, he would get a good 45 minute to an hour nap.

40 minutes later he woke up and was cranky and crying and disoriented. I could tell he was still so tired, so I said, "Let's watch a movie on the couch!" I laid him down and covered him with a blanket and by the time I got the DVD in, he was out again.

(Let me interject here- that Jaxon is a babywise baby. Thus- he is a great GREAT sleeper...but he ONLY sleeps in his bed! That's how he was trained. With the exception of the car occasionally and mostly when he was really young, I have never NEVER seen him fall asleep anywhere else in the house.)

At 6:00 I tried to wake him up because we were supposed to go to a fun family night activity at 6:30...after rubbing his head and saying his name loudly...all he did was start snoring.

At 6:15 I turned on the lights sat him up, and wouldn't let him snuggle into me. I succeeded in starting 15 minutes of non-stop crying...all with his eyes closed. I put him in bed and rubbed his back till he stopped crying, and again he slept till 6am. 13 HOURS OF SLEEP!

Also, yesterday for Breakfast he ate:

1. One bowl of yogurt
2. One bowl of cereal
3. One baggie of pretzels
4. One whole banana
5. Half a bagel
6. One carton of blueberries
7. A juice box
8. A capri sun

Jaxon is NOT a big eater...in fact...it would be stretching it a lot to even call him an "eater" at all... it's basically dead last on his priority list. (Must me nice, huh?)

Any ideas on what is going on with this kid???

Dude- Idea....and a new calling!

Jaxon's cousins have all been singing the "Doe A Deer" song lately, and he decided it was high time he learned it as well. He has never been to music class, and never seen Sound Of Music...so he has no idea what it means, or what it's for. Today in the car he sang-

"Dude. Idea. A Film Idea"


Next.....My New Calling----


That's right folks, I'm now a Cub Scout leader!!! (Webelos I believe!)

When I found out I was meeting with the bishop this morning I was excited to go get a new calling. I got released from the Moms and Tots playgroup leader and member of HFPE committee last week, so I was excited to start serving again.

This morning when I got to church and found out I was actually meeting with the bishopric counselor over primary, I WAS SO SAD! Don't get me wrong, I love kids! I taught fifth grade and loved every second...the problem is that for the first 6 years of my marriage, I NEVER GOT TO ATTEND RS-EVER! I was in Primary or Young Women's the WHOLE 6 YEARS! This past year, I have absolutely LOVED Relief Society. I love the interaction, I love the lessons, I LOVE IT!!!

I asked the Bishopric member Did it count as refusing a calling, if I just refused to meet with him??? He just laughed and started the meeting. We shot the breeze and then he said,

"Well. This calling IS in the primary, but you would still get to attend RS on Sunday."

I thought, I can't imagine what that could be, but bring it on! When he called me to Cub Scouts, you could have knocked me over with a feather!! But I am REALLY EXCITED!!!! Everyone I talk to says Scouts is SUPER FUN! I never thought of myself as serving in scouts, but now I am really excited to start!

I'm sure this calling will bring lots of funny stories and activities....so stay posted!

24 days of Christmas Countdown Advent Thing...

Okay, so my dear friend Michelle in SF emailed me what her family did for the Christmas Countdown last year and I got lots of good ideas from it. Then my SIL Emily and I sat down and planned out some more...we are going to do several of the activities with Emily's girls...Jaxon loves those girls more than he will probably ever love a real sister...and hopefully my Sis Amber and my other SIL Tricia. I had big plans of making the cutest hanging advent calendar ever...but lets' be serious...this isn't the year. So we are buying them on Etsy. We found cute ones that we can use for several years!
A lot of people wanted to know what we were doing for our countdown, so here you have it-
(Anything that starts with ** means we are doing it with cousins)

24 days of Christmas

1 Tues- Set up Nativity- talk about true meaning of Christmas
**2 Wed- Christmas Travel bags (Christmas coloring book) (for Driving to DISNEYLAND!)
**3 Thurs- Caroling and thank you cards to Grandpas Hotel room
**4 Fri- Christmas socks to wear to Disneyland
**5 Sat- Sing carols in the car and have a Christmas treat (FOR DRIVING HOME)
6 Sun- Put up Mistletoe and kiss
**7 Mon- Pictures with Santa at SS mall-
8 Tues- Take change to Salvation Army buckets
9 Wed- Go through old toys to donate- "Santa's Workshop"
**10 Thurs- Christmas Craft at the park
**11 Fri- Gingerbread houses from Costco kits
12 Sat- Candlelight dinner
**13 Sun- Drive/walk to See decorated Christmas houses
14 Mon- Donate food to food bank or secret santa
15 Tues- Call Rogers Grandparents and Cousins and Sing Carols to them
16 Wed- Make Christmas cookies for next day
**17 Thurs- Decorate cookies 4pm at Grandpa and Grandma’s
**18 Fri- "Christmas Eve" at Grandma and Grandpa’s
**19 Sat- Rawhide in time to see tree lighting at 6
**20 Sun- Temple lights
**21 Mon- Caroling (dinner?) Grandparents neighborhood
**22 Tues- Christmas breakfast at the park
23 Wed- Christmas movie with popcorn/hot chocolate
24 Thurs- Make and leave treats for Santa and Reindeer

I am seriously giddy to start this!!!

Chair update!

Hello and thank you to all of you who volunteered your excellent array of chairs. (Mostly green, in case you were interested) Here's the scoop- I've decided (again) NOT to do Christmas minis. Boo, I know. I've just been super stressed with A LOT of unrelated and overloading things going on, and I decided a while ago that December was going to BE FOR FAMILY! All my scheduled photo shoots and corresponding editing would be done, and we were going to party it up, Christmas style. Thus, no Christmas Minis. THEN...I thought, Well...it wouldn't be THAT much editing, and it would be nice to have the extra cash for Christmas...so I thought, if I can find a chair that I love, I'll do it.
Then today I have been planning our family Christmas/Advent/Countdown tradition that we are going to start in December (more info to come for those interested) and I just remembered again how much I want December to be about family. I love shooting mini sessions, but it would be at least 2 full days of shooting, and 15+ sessions to edit... that's just too much time away from Jax this December. So, thank you to all of you who threw your chair in the ring, they were cute and I would have used pretty much any of them, but I'm going to pass this year after all.

Hello, Can I rent your chair?

Hey People. I am looking for a red or black or green chair for my Christmas Mini sessions! I am kind of looking for something specific- a large, oversized chair, not like a kitchen chair, like a leather or cloth covered chair. I would love to pay $80 to rent your chair for a week, Friday through the following Sunday. It's doesn't have to be nice and new and modern (although that's not bad either) something old and funky with some personality would be great!
Email me if you think you have a chair that fits the bill! NZashley@hotmail. com.

Amber's Award Winning White Bean Chicken Chili

(FYI- when you make this, before you add the cream and sour cream, it will taste EXTREMELY GARLICKY....NOT TO WORRY!!! That is correct!)

Creamy White Chicken Chili

1 large onion, chopped
2 t. minced garlic
3 t. garlic powder
3 T. olive oil
2 cans (12.5 oz) chunk chicken
4 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
Water (fill 2 empty cans)
1 can corn
2 small cans chopped green chilis
2 t. cumin
2 t. salt
2 t. dried oregano
½ t. pepper
2 t. dried ranch dressing seasoning packet
1 C sour cream
½ C whipping cream

In a large sauce pan, sauté onions, garlic, and garlic powder in olive oil. When tender add chicken, beans, water, corn, green chilies, and all seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Take off heat and stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately.

*Especially good with tortilla chips!

My Growing Garden!

I never cease to be amazed!

Remember this-

Now it is this---

I've learned that when my sister says the garden should be in full sun, she's right. Also that when she says you should water it EVERY DAY, you shouldn't forget for the first two days after it is planted. Thus, my row on the far right closest to the fence is too shaded. It doesn't seem to be bothering my zucchini any, but I don't think my little spinach plants are going to make it.

Also, I think the not watering killed all the carrot seeds so the two empty spaces you see were supposed to be carrots. We were going to replant, and heck, we still might, but Amber and I just haven't had the time.

Most of my plants are flowering, and I'm pretty sure that's a good sign-

Tomato flowers-

Bell Pepper flowers-

Zucchini flower-

And the MOST AMAZING THING I just noticed today while watering-

Look at the tiny little vine on this Cucumber plant-

Now look at the close up-

How does it know how to do that? And HOW DID IT DO IT? I wish I knew how long it took to wrap itself around the string, and how long it has been there.
Oh How I love my garden!
(PS- all my herbs are thriving and I've used all but the cilantro in my cooking!)

Happy Halloween!

Let me start by saying, I adore this little pirate!
We kicked off the Halloween Weekend on Friday morning with a preschool trick-or-treat Around MCC. All the departments that wanted to participate could have the preschoolers come through and trick-or-treat. The kids loved it, but I can guarantee the adults liked it better. They decorated their doors, played scary music, and got all dressed up for the kids. Best thing?? GRANDMA FERRELL!! She teaches in the reading department and was SO excited to see her little Jax come through. All her professor friends were waiting to see him, and one even got him a "Special trick-or-treat gift"---A full sized Halloween Mr. Potato head...hows that for making out like a bandit? They kids walked for 2 hours, and when we were done, Jaxon couldn't hold his pumpkin-candy-holder anymore becuase it was too heavy. We traded all his peanut candy for Brailyn's sugary candy and everyone was happy.
This is a terrible picture, but I love it because you can see Jaxon and Brailyn's sheer joy!

Jaxon's preschool class-

That night we went to my parents trunk-or treat, which was great until the end. Jaxon had totally had it, and was in total melt-down mode. He was screaming hysterically because he wanted to lay down in my parents trunk. Uh, seriously?

The next day we had our ward trunk or treat in the afternoon, and it was so much fun! Added Bonus- there is a VERY SERIOUS CHILI COOK-OFF, that the men swear they will sweep every year. Well..not so much...first, second and third place were all ladies, and guess who took Second? ME! I can't really take the credit, Amber gave me a white bean chicken Chili recipe and swore it was the best thing ever- SHE WAS RIGHT!

After the ward trunk or treat we headed home to just hit a few houses in the neighborhood while dave passed out candy. Jaxon hopped in the wagon and we were heading home after hitting about 5 houses when we ran into our neighbor Vinsent...he hopped in and they got their second wind, and we went around for another half hour. Since this was his 4th time trick-or-treating, Jaxon knew the drill about not eating candy until we inspected it for peanuts. He decided to take matters into his own hands and started saying, "TRICK-OR-TREAT! No peanuts please! I'm allergic!" Then he would pull the candy bowl down and proceed to tell the owner what he could and could not eat. What a turkey!

When we came home Jaxon helped Dave pass out some more candy.
This is the dialog from Jaxon with EVERY CHILD at the door.
"Here's some candy. WAIT! Can you have Peanuts? Are you allergic to peanuts? You better have your mom check all your candy before you eat any!"

I LOVE you Bank Lady,...and Dave...seriously?

Let me start this story by saying we bank at our grocery store, and know most of the bank people on a first name basis. They know Jaxon by name, what he's interested in etc. So today, one of the newer tellers comes over to where I'm transacting and says,

"I just have to tell you, for a young mom, you are always so well put together!"

HAHAHAHA!!! Let me highlight TWO reasons why that made my entire year-

1. YOUNG MOM!?!?! I won't ask what the criteria are, I will just say thank you!

2. WELL PUT TOGETHER!?!?! Anyone who actually knows me, knows that is a JOKE! Here's the thing. Anyone who is busy/a mom/wants to save a little on gas/isn't crazy ---runs all their errands at once if possible. Well, usually the first time I leave the house in the morning is to go teach at the gym, thus, I'm in gym clothes with my hair pulled back as tight as possible (I'm a little OCD about hair touching my face or neck while exercising!) And once I'm out- I'm out. So most of my errands get run while I'm not only in my gym clothes, but AFTER I have taught a class so I look like a drowned rat and smell like one too. She must have seen me the two times in my life that I went to the grocery store in actual clothes...but bless her heart!

Next up, I bought myself a pair of cute jeans. I'm tired of jeans that don't fit right because they cost $16 at Walmart, and telling myself I will buy nicer ones when I'm at a size I actually want to admit to wearing...well NO MORE. I bought a cute pair of Silver's that I love, that has a tiny bit of artful snagging in it. (I'm was pretty sure it's not so much that it makes me look like a "young mom" with an identity crisis...but now I'm not so sure) So I wore them today and when Dave got home this was our conversation-
ME: "Do you like my jeans?"
Dave: "Yes, but what happened to them???"
Dave: "Please don't tell me you bought them like that!?"
Dave: "Seriously? Did you EXPECT me to like them?"
Dave- "I mean...I like this part over hear, and the legs and everything else, but the tears...really?"

Thankful Thanksgiving, and HELP PLEASE!

Well, I have been feeling pretty down in the dumps lately, and I have decided that has got to end! SO, I am going to do my best to everyday write on the blog, 3 things I am thankful for. Big things, little things, whatever is on my mind. I may expound, I may not...I just need to remind myself how blessed we really are. So here is Day one of Thankful Thanksgiving-

1. My sister in law Emily who has watched Jaxon more hours than I can count these past couple months. Photo shoots, Dr. Apts, you name it, she will watch him. Better yet, she LOVES HIM, a lot. He Adores her, and often refers to her daughters as his "sisters." She is quickly becoming one of his favorite people on the earth, and he cries sad, genuine tears when he has to leave there house. I love that he is treated like one of their own.
2. Dave's job. I hate that it is busy season for both of us, but I will never complain again (at least not for a long time) about long hours, or Saturday work. He loves his job, his boss, what he does, the location, and I have a new appreciation for just having a job!
3. Cooler weather. Enough said.

I want to do the 24 days of Christmas with Jaxon this year. I know from your blogs that some of you do that, and was wondering if you could leave me the link of the service/Christmas oriented activities you do each day. I am planning on devoting December solely to Jaxon, family, and service, so would love some great activities. I also would love to see how you dislayed it. I won't have time before we start to make anything fancy, but am not against a craft project to fill my December nights when I won't be editing anymore!