Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Things I know about Christmas.

  • I know that I don't like pretzels but pair pretzels with chocolate and/or caramel and you have a winner.  I can't stop eating that kind of concoction.  
  • I know I hate flashing Christmas lights wherever they are, on a Christmas tree or outside on a house or bush.  I hate them.  There is no reason for them to flash.  Nope, none at all.
  • I know I don't like it when it's cold outside and yet it doesn't feel like Christmas without some kind of weather other than really warm, like we've been experiencing this year.
  • I know I feel pretty darn lucky that I happened upon "Rudolph" tonight while channel surfing and my family and I got to watch it from the very beginning.  Seriously, made my holiday.
  • I know how hateful and hard it was to get our Christmas cards done last year and how easy breasy it was this year.  Thank goodness for small miracles.
  • I know don't like it when the single strand of lights on the house is all cattywhampus.  I love big, old fashioned lights for the outside of our house as perfectly straight as possible.  This year we switched to all white lights on the house.  I love them.
  • I know it's exhausting to decorate my home for Christmas but I love to see the enthusiasm of my youngest get into the Christmas decorating spirit when he takes it upon himself to cut out snowflakes to add to the decor because, "There just aren't enough decorations!"
  • I know I love my family and the reason we celebrate Christmas.  I am far beyond blessed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Family pictures

We had family pictures taken for the first time in a couple of years due to Cole being on his mission.  It was a nice morning full of the same Tipton/Hale tricks and moves to make a photo session memorable.
Winston was adorable and smiled while, in most of the pictures, he held onto a Smartie that I had given him as a bribe.  He never ate it.

 Smartie in hand.

 Steven with his Mini-Me on his shoulders.

 Oh, just a few of the poses...there are more like these.  Lots more.
 What a cute kid.

 We love Yoga, apparently.
 My only daughter.  Such a beauty.

 Quinn had a tongue/smile issue.....don't know what happened.
The other day Rick, Truman, Quinn and I were driving home from some event and a conversation about puberty ensued.  I guess the kids in his 6th grade class were talking about it and how bad it can be when Truman offered;

"Puberty was pretty good to me."

"Why?" Quinn asked.

"Have you seen me?"  Truman replied.  That sums it up.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas 2012 is on its way!

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

After much grief and pain, our 2012 Christmas cards are done.  This just may be the hardest part of Christmas!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A band of coyote.

Late last night or early this morning, (I say it that way because it was 2:30 a.m., so whichever way you're going, it's either really late or really early) I laid in bed suffering from insomnia and I heard a band of coyote howling outside my window.  They could have been miles away, but with the beautiful weather we've been sleeping with our windows open, giving us an up close and personal experience of the wildlife sounds that go on at night.

We live on the outskirts of town and although having coyote cavorting in the middle of the night is not an everyday experience, it does happen from time to time.  Lately we've been getting a lot more wildlife visits than normal due to the earth movers a couple of miles down the road preparing the land for a new housing development.  There are stories of  rattlesnakes, scorpions, hyenas, field mice, etc., making themselves comfortable in our little neighborhoods.

My own son and two of  his friends chose to play with a rattlesnake a few weeks back that they found in a nearby greenbelt.  I cannot confirm nor deny if the snake was alive before or after these boys met Mr. Rattle.

There's no head because the boys removed it....somehow.  Sometimes I wonder what happens with the thought process of 16 year old boys when real live danger if facing them.  This was definitely a, "Let's play with it!" mentality.  Scary!

Did you know if there was a group of rattlesnake, it would be called a rhumba of rattlesnakes.  Who knew?  I do because I looked it up.  I can keep going:

If you have a group of......

Pony:  A string of ponies
Tiger:  An ambush of tigers
Toads:  A knot of toads
Owl:  A parliament of owls
Monkey:  A troop of monkeys
Raven:  An unkindness of ravens
Gnu:  An implausibility of gnus - Use that one in a sentence.
Cow:  A kine of cows (twelve cows are a flink)
Emu:  A mob of emus

Okay, I'll stop.  I find this fascinating, obviously.  Trust me on this one, there are more of these... a lot more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I want to go to there.  I found this picture on Pinterest a while ago and thought it was beautiful and Pinteresting!  In Japan they call these blossoms Sakura which means cherry blossom.  Some even name their girls Sakura.   We couldn't do that here though, name a girl Cherry Blossom, that is.  That would be weird.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Where have I been?  I dunno.  Life has been full lately and because of that, my life has been missing from this blog for a few months now.  One of the reasons for the absence is that we welcomed home Elder R. Cole Tipton on August 31st after serving an honorable mission in Fukuoka, Japan!   
Here is most of the welcoming crew, with Em Zoe behind her camera.  I lifted this photo from her blog.  Thanks Em.
 My how Winston has grown.  Here's what he looked like when Cole left:

From a brown haired peanut to a blond tornado!
Our banner!  We are top notch, only the finest at Casa De Tipton.
 Elder R. Cole Tipton, fresh off the plane from Fukuoka, Japan, after traveling 24 hours straight.

 Brothers reunited.
 Sister and brother reunited.
 Re-meeting Winston.
 A tired missionary.
 My four kiddos.
Cole traveled home with Elder Gregory who happens to be from Gilbert.  They were companions for 6 weeks about a year ago.  He was one of Cole's favorite companions.

Welcome home Coleyman!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Newport Beach, CA 2012

The Tiptons made our way out west once again this year to Newport Beach, CA.  There were 34 total in attendance, plus two pregnant people.  I took a lot of pictures and on the last day I went to get my camera to take a picture of our cute beach house but my camera was gone, gone, gone.  I figured, hoped and prayed that it had been packed away.  Once we got home and unpacked, I realized it didn't make the trip home.  The night before we left, Rick and I had visited his cousin, who had just arrived with her family, and were staying a few streets over from our pad.  Luckily I left my camera there and was able to get it back the following week.  That could have been bad.
 Balboa was fun, as usual.  This year we took the ferry over to the actual island and walked around.  It was lovely.  We hadn't done that in years.  Next year we're going earlier so we can shop longer!
 Why do I have two pictures of a pelican?  Because I can.
 'Nuff said.
My beach boys.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quinn turns 11, and Happy Father's Day!

This year we combined  Father's Day breakfast and Quinn's birthday breakfast, which meant I was able to kill two breakfasts with one skillet!  The day was hectic and full of family.  Both Quinn and Rick requested crepes with bacon and sausage for their morning food.
For our Father's Day dinner, I set up a beautiful table in the dining room with our nicest goblets and curry bowls from Japan, since curry was on the menu.  Emily made a Happy Father's Day banner and put it up in the dining room as well.  However, when then father's arrived, they meek-ish-ly said that they would prefer to sit at the women's table because it was in the family room where the TV was and some sports championships happened to be on.  What else is new?  So the men got their wish, and the women sat in the dining room.  Emily and I waited on the men, filling their drinks and getting them seconds, basically catering to their every need. 
Then it was time for cake; cheesecake (two of them), Texas sheet cake, Jello/lookathecake cake and pumpkin bars.  I'm not kidding.   
I made strawberry and blueberry topping for the cheesecakes.  I also made two different kinds of cheesecake because I was worried that one wouldn't be enough and I didn't know how good they would be.  How obnoxious is that?! 
 Quinn had a wonderful time opening presents. 
 Quinn specifically asked for Sparkling Apple Cider for a present.  He ended up with four bottles.
Bama was able to make it.  The little girl cousins, and sometimes Winston, ran around screaming most of the time.  They were so loud even Bama could hear them.  (Please note the TV is on in the background the entire time.  Again, a Father's Day miracle.)
 A few of he Fathers and Violet relaxing, watching some kind of sport thingy.
 Danny and Kelly showed up.  Emily made ties for the dads to wear too.  Kelly has his on.
When it was all over, I felt like I had Post-Traumatic Father's Day Syndrome.  Unfortunately I couldn't recuperate because the following day was Quinn's actual birthday.  This year he didn't have a party but chose one friend to got to lunch and a movie with.  We ended up going to Johnny Rockets for lunch and then on to "Madagascar III" .
 Quinn marked his cider, don't you worry.
Quinn enjoying his cider.  He had to get a special glass for the drink.  It kind of looks like I have an 11 year old lush.   
After the birthday lunch but before the movie, Quinn and Cooper jumped on the trampoline with a water sprinkler underneath.  They had so much fun!  I felt a little, shall we say white trash-ish, but the boys didn't care and jumped and laughed until it was time to go to the movie.  Afterwards they said it was the best time ever.  Take that swimming pools.
A few days after Quinn's actual birthday, Rick took the boys to Jump Street.  A place with lots of trampolines.  I was at work so there is no pictures to present.  However, Rick did video Truman, my 16 year old, completing a double back flip on the trampoline.  Just as well.