Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Christmas decorating is a lot more exciting with 2 kids grabbing at the tree and wanting to "help" rearrange ornaments all the time. It's so entertaining to watch them debate over where certain ornaments should go and how often each goes and moves some without the other one's permission only to result in the other moving something else. With the lights on at night the tree doesn't look nearly so sparse.

Little battles all of the time over the beloved pink bulbs. (Thank you after Christmas sale to get indestructible ornaments for $1 for a pack of 8 of them!)
Ian's first ornament that my brother Sam picked out with my Mom when he was home this last Summer.

Because I love them there are a number of bird ornaments on our tree. Especially Cardinals because those bright red birds are a constant reminder to me of growing up in Michigan where they are everywhere and stand out so beautifully in the snow or against the green trees.

Cooking Frenzie

The more time we spend in the kitchen together cooking as Mom and Daughters the more their play is centered around cooking and working together. I'm going to go ahead and give myself a HUGE pat on the back for our time spent together being productive, educational, and meaningful.

As I prepare dinner, they prepare food at their "Restaurant" either for Ian or for Eryn's dog. Eryn takes the order, tells Brooke, she cooks it and Eryn helps put it on the plates or in a bowl, then Eryn delivers it to the table and yells back to Brooke if they like it or not.

The whole process is repeated several times and looks a little like this.

The "cooking" that they do together.

Delivering the food.

Today Ian was taking a nap, so they cooked for Eryn's dog Slush. He really liked it!

Homemade Corn Chips

Since chips and I aren't friends, I figured I'd try making my own so that I can continue to enjoy burning myself with my Mother-In-Law's very zippy salsa. (I complained last year that it was too bland. This year she made what I call "Revenge Salsa" that is so spicy I can't stop eating it for fear the heat catches up to me when I'm done!) That may sound like I'm picking on her, but I seriously LOVE this crazy hot batch!

Anyhow, onto homemade corn chips...

I bought the smallest pack of corn tortillas to try it out.

Cut them up into 1/4 and toss them around on a baking sheet. (Definitely use one with edges, so they don't fall off when you toss them around a little.)

Oven 350 and cook them for about 10 minutes.

From that point poke at them with something and watch them really close until they get crunchy or as done as you want them to be (It took mine about 15 minutes). They burn easy and taste super gross when they do. (Yes, lesson learned by experience.)

In the end I had these!

I only made a few at a time because not a ton fit in the pan, but I think they turned out rather well. They are baked, so no gross oils and extra fat and I only very lightly salted them. By having fewer chips I think it helped me to limit how much I was eating too.

Overall, it worked out really well and I'd recommend it to anyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Decor

Thanks to an idea inspired fuel of a website called I have been making more things lately and have been more adventurous in trying projects and new things.

This was an idea for a wreath that I saw on that site.

This is what I made.
(You can't see it very well because the light was so bright outside, but it is a little distressed and the frame does have some detail. I did neglect to take the hanger into account when making it, so it hangs a little crooked. That gives it "personality" right?)

Ian sitting in the Bumbo Chair! He also likes to lay under the tree as part of the decorations. I just couldn't post something without a picture of one of the kids!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sleeping Habits

Ian is finally growing up a little and sleeping more at night and for a longer amount of time. I do put him on his back and tuck him into the blankets every time, but I don't always find him that way when I go to check on him.

Sometimes he likes to remove his pants to be more comfortable.

He's rolled over on his tummy and hiding under the blankets.

Mike went in to check on him once and pulled back the mound of blankets and couldn't find him! Ian had traveled around and snuggled up in the front corner (next to the cow) and when Mike looked into the bed he over looked that corner completely!

Finding Ian in his crib is like trying to find the camouflaged animal in its habitat at the zoo. It's always entertaining and he's usually in there!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Another successful trip to the Dentist for the girls! NO cavities, less screaming, and lots of excitement over getting "surprises" like a toothbrush from them seemed to make the trip really worth it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


We went up to visit some of our friends in Boise, Idaho a couple of weeks ago. With Halloween and everything I managed to skip blogging about it, but now I'm back to documenting our trip!

The pictures are out of order and I just don't have the patience to fix it today. Sorry.

The stadium where the Boise State Broncos play. Their quarterback Kellen Moore is a Heisman candidate hopeful this year! (Oh and I LOVE the couple in blue with their bright orange Mustang in the picture!)
Valerie holding Ian at Shoshone Falls just outside of Twin Falls, ID.

The State Capitol in Boise.

"The Smurf Turf" a quick view of the only blue grass in college football.

Our family at Shoshone Falls.

The Twin Falls Temple.

The kids had the best time playing with their friends!
I wish I knew what he said to her to get THIS reaction.

We had fun on our fast trip to Idaho. Taking the Maddux's family pictures was the main reason for going officially, but I think it was more so Eryn could go new places. For weeks she was talking about going to Boise and she was excited everywhere we went realizing that it was somewhere new.

Every road trip teaches us something new. This time I learned that no matter how many fruit snacks a kid eats, they are still always going to want chicken nuggets when they see a Wendy's. Also, no matter how many time you say, "Boy-say uh uh" (with a bad french accent) it's ALWAYS funny!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Although Halloween is officially only one day a year, it seems to have been longer this year with parties starting on Friday and going until as late as Tuesday for the school. It doesn't seem to bother the kids at all. They play dress up everyday! I took a few quick pictures the other day and here are the best of the very few I took.

Brooke as the Bee with attitude and Eryn in character as Rapunzel from Tangled with that dreamy excited to see the world far off gaze and stance.

Ian was a football. He was NOT happy to be outside. It was obvious that he prefers to be hidden under blankets and eating in the comfort of his own home.

Happy Halloween everyone and good luck with the Halloween Hangover post sugar highs tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Todd and Erin

This past weekend we were able to go to Todd and Erin's wedding. Mike used to work with Todd when he first started at Property Solutions. They go to lunch here and there and became good friends pretty fast. Todd is a little crazy and a whole lot of fun to be around, so when he met Erin it was instant love! She's the exact same and they are a great couple. Our Eryn really likes Erin and they had lots of fun together this summer for a random picnic and a swim party.

Could you ask for a prettier day to be married?

The Happy Couple

Mike posing for me.

My turn to pose! It's like, "Hi, my name is Val and I'd like to sell you some Real Estate."

Their wedding was the start of our busy weekend and there will be more pictures and post to come this week! (I can't believe I posted an entire post and there are ZERO pictures of the kids!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Called Out

(Even though this happened the other day I haven't had time to share it until now.)

The conversation between Eryn and I goes as follows...

Eryn: How long does the dryer take to dry clothes?
Me: It depends. Why?
Eryn: You said Eryn's nightgown was in the dryer 3 days ago. Is it dry YET?

Yes, I managed to wash some laundry and leave it for dead in the dryer and she called me out on it. I LOVE that little girl!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Stuff

Even though I made these things a little while ago, I never had the time to blog about it and figured that it was worth bragging about anyhow. Since I've been struggling to get anything done these days, I needed that moment to encouragement in seeing something that I, in fact, accomplished.

Little T-shirts for Ian. Super easy appliques that I made with some fabric, iron on adhesive, and a little creativity.

Strawberry Nutella Mini Muffins. I can't take full credit for coming up with these, because I saw them on Studio 5. I made them and posted this picture on the Facebook page and was mentioned on the show in a transition to their cooking segment along with a comment on how they love to hear from viewers! (It only took the host 2 tries to get my last name right.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Family Pictures

So, this is what we're going with this year for our family photo for Christmas cards! Ha ha. Just kidding!

Seriously though, this is our "Mummy Family" that Brooke and I made out of mason jars, some cheap white fabric, a couple of glue on eyes from the dollar store, and a little bit of ribbon. She helped a lot and even decided what eyes went on who. (Yes, some of them are not the same size.) I LOVE that she made Eryn look totally crazy! It really was a nice insight into what she thinks of her sister.

I put the orange ribbon on the "Mommy Mummy" and then Brooke wanted hers to look like mommy. Then when I went to make a ribbon for "Eryn" Brooke demanded that I make it pink and BIGGER because Eryn really likes pink.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ian's Blessing Day

Although Mike threatened to change his name for his blessing to Jimmer, Ian Maximus remained his name and will be forever! Ian was blessed on Sunday the 25th by his father Michael. Along with his Grandpa McCorristin and all of the Uncles on that side of the family who include- Sam, Jeremy, Ryan, Chance and Jeremy McKay. Through in Bishop Johnson, Andy Skelton and Ryan Murphy and that completes the bunch.

Even though it wasn't very cold he drug around this white blanket that my Grandma (mother's mother) had made. Each of the kids had it with them on their blessing day.

We had our family lunch at a park and Josh took over pushing everyone on the swings! The girls had him sweating as they screamed and begged him to push each of them higher and higher. It was so adorable. At the same time, it really reminded me how much I miss Andrew (on his mission still) because he would have been right over there pushing them too.

This is probably my favorite picture of the day. Ian just has the cutest almost embarrassed looking smile because Grandma is kissing him!

It was really nice to have everyone there at church with us. Our family now fills up 3 of the big benches at church and it will only keep growing at more grandchildren join the family.

Having so many friends and Mike's family so close by has been nice, but I still miss my own parents and brothers! Yes, brothers plural. I even miss John. Ha ha. We realized that "Ian" is Gaelic for "John" awhile ago. No, Ian is not named after my brother, but I thought that was kind of a funny coincidence.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Val's Mental Health

So, since I've been going slightly crazy with being the mother of 3 now and everything that entails, I've been trying to maintain my mental health.

That's lead to an addiction to It's a site that you can browse through a bunch of pictures with ideas for things and all sorts of different types of things and collect what interests you. It's like cutting out the pages of magazines for things you want when you were a little kid. Kind of fun and full of great inspirations and ideas for projects that I will start and never finish. Ha ha! Seriously though, it's more fun than I thought it would be and I am really enjoying wasting a little time letting my mind wander over the possibility of one day having some of the neat things I've come across.

On another mental health note... I'm getting ready to dig into Fall picture taking with includes lots of family pictures! Friends and friends of friends it's time to call me up, text me, e-mail me, Facebook me, etc. so that we can get together! I NEED the distraction and the time behind the camera for my own sanity. You can just benefit from my creative need. : )

Thursday, September 8, 2011

1st Day of School

One of my favorite commercials ever was one back in the 90s for Staples or Office Depot (I can't remember which). It played the Christmas song that says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." While these 2 kids are walking in the store with their heads down while their Dad is happily throwing school supplies in the cart and dancing around them.

Well, I've been happily throwing supplies and clothes in carts lately and now that most wonderful time of the year is finally here! Eryn had her first day of school yesterday!!!!!!!!!!

The night before school started we picked out what clothes she was going to wear and how she wanted to do her hair and then went over to the school. I knew she wouldn't work with me to take a few cute pictures with all of the distractions of everyone else, so we went alone and got a couple great ones! She's finally starting to turn into a ham. (Honestly, I couldn't be happier!)

She was up early and ready to go far too early. We spent hours locked in the epic questioning battle of, "Can we go now?" I was excited she was finally THAT excited to go to school, but just the tiniest bit annoyed too. We finally went and she was super excited to realized that a girl from church she all ready knows was in her class.

Eryn was so focused on holding onto the rope to stand in line and go in that she wouldn't even hardly look at me. It made me that much more glad we had taken the time to take a few pictures the night before. She walked in like a trooper and was sporting the biggest fake smile I've ever seen. I knew she was excited, but a little terrified at the same time.

Once I left her and went back to the van, Brooke was screaming like crazy. "Where's Eryn? No with Daddy. No with Mommy. No with Brooke. Erynnnnnnnn..." She was super confused that we'd basically abandoned Eryn and were now driving away without her. I really didn't see that reaction coming from her and was totally shocked. It was good to see that even though those two fight most of the time that Brooke really does love her big sister. (Even if she calls her "Air-e" and not Eryn.)

When it was time to pick her up they brought the class out and she ran right to me and gave me a BIG hug! When asked that infamous question, "How was school today?" She answered with, "All the other kid were sad or naughty, but NOT Eryn!" Then she told me about singing the ABC's, playing dress up, and having lunchtime with the other kids.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ian's Picture Nightmare

Like every other guy in the world, Ian is NOT a fan of having his picture taken and seems to either sleep, scream, or beg for a pacifier every time he sees the camera. (Oh and yes Grandma McCorristin, we have lost the pacifier and if you took it...)

Ian does lots of sleeping like most babies.

He can communicate with animals. For some strange reason instead of making cute baby noises he sounds more like a monkey or a squeaky little puppy.

My favorite actual posed newborn picture of him. There really were many in the few times we tried that worked. (This was probably more frustrating to me than most Moms as I was the photographer and the Mom and doubly irked that he couldn't cooperate not matter what I tried!)

He has this adorable little pirate shirt on and wouldn't put his arms down so you could see it and couldn't live without the pacifier stuck in his mouth. Ugh.

He's adorable and I'm really looking forward to life with him in our family. Ian brings a whole different everything with him than his sisters. I just need to learn to not expect everything (or anything sometimes) to go as planned.

On a totally different note, Eryn is starting school next week!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Obviously Related

As every parent does I started comparing pictures of the little ones from when they were born and remembering each entering the world and how different everything was.

Our babies look very much alike right from the start. Their personalities totally different, but wow they sure are obviously related!



It's not just the same outfit with that amazing hat that makes them look the same! I swear they all have the exact same nose (and thank goodness it's not mine!).

Even though I didn't post a set by step of every moment through the surgery and all of the fun in the hospital I had with giving birth to Ian, I'll let you know that it was an interesting experience. I wasn't nearly as crazy from the medications and much calmer in general with things this 3rd time around. My doctor and Ian's pediatricians were all very helpful and understanding through everything. The whole event seemed to go pretty smoothly and recovery started quickly, but will take a lot longer this time. I'm bruised up, swollen, and super sore. Worth it? Of course.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ian Maximus

Ian Maximus McCorristin. Born 08-17-2011.

Valerie and her son.

Aunt Sarah came to visit

Proud papa!

Grandpa McCorristin

Grandma McCorristin

Whole family together

Cousin Curtis came for the cookies...and to see Ian

Brooke not sure of him

Eryn loves her little brother

Ready to go home!

Ian had to stay an extra day to make sure he started eating more. He was a little tongue-tied so the doctor clipped it which has helped him eat a lot more. We are home now and resting. Thanks to all who visited, called, and thought of us. It has been really exciting to welcome Ian into the family.