Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Early Christmas Gift

I was able to trade in my dream car turned nightmare lemon this last month. It was sort of my Christmas gift to myself that Hanna helped me wrangle. It got snowy fairly quickly after I got it and I didn't get a picture of it before the snow and road salt had made their mark on it. But the dealer took one and now I have a copy of that picture so I can post it. In the corner you can see a tiny bit of my old yellow VW Beetle. I still love those cars, but this one will be much less of a headache.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Elfin' Around

I saw this fun link on my good friend Noelle's blog. I liked the idea and here is the link to our elves.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Traditions

Christmas time is so full of fun and traditions and wonderful memories. This year my girls will be with their dad for Christmas and I hope they have a wonderful time. But before they go, we have had lots of Christmas fun of our own all month long. We have been making Christmas cookies, as mentioned in previous posts. We went with extended family to the Festival of Trees together. We have been to a few Christmas parties and sat on Santa's lap a couple of times. We have gone on drives to see Christmas lights and are constantly singing Christmas carols in the car.

This weekend, one of our Christmas activities was Ballet Wests, The Nutcracker at the Capitol Theater. We had a lot of fun getting all dressed up fancy and festive in the girls favorite Christmas dresses. You gotta love fun reasons/excuses to dress up. We don't do it enough in our culture any longer. Downtown Salt Lake is insanity this time of year especially with several events like this all going on at once, but you kinda just have to chalk it up to part of the experience and try not to let it ruin the Christmas Spirit for you. So we went to the ballet for Cadences first time and Serenity and my second time. Cadence thought it was a tad on the long side, but all in all we had a great time together as always.

Both of the girls tell me that Christmas is their favorite holiday for very similar reasons. Cadence likes that we get to be together as a family and nobody has to go to work. She also says that she is glad we can celebrate twice on these years that we can't be together and that while they are gone we can think about each other anyway and remember how much we love each other. Serenity loves celebrating as a family and just being together so much. She loves the true Christmas story of the Nativity and singing Christmas carols and hymns. They are both such smart sweet girls and I love them and can never tell them that enough.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Precious Angel Baby Girls

School pictures are fun and terrible all at the same time. I say terrible because when you look at all there school pictures side by side it is painful admitting how quickly they are growing up. It all flies by too fast and they just don't listen when I tell them to stop growing so fast or at least PLEASE slow down. Oh well. I just love them so so much.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


I had a few people suggest after my Baking Bug post, that I share some of the recipes that we use and enjoy. This week we made my version of Grandma Hippen's Molasses Mint cookies. They are super yummy and easy to let the kids help.


1 cup dark molasses
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, and egg. Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger and salt; add to molasses mixture. Mix until well blended. Spoon the dough by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
3. Bake about 10 minutes until edges are golden. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes before removing.


2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
2-3 drops peppermint extract
green food coloring (optional)

Sift the powdered sugar then mix with the butter. Add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach a smooth creamy consistency. Add flavor and color and blend well. Spread on tops of the molasses cookies.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Some Memories Aren't So Precious

I hate when a lack of communication leaves room for my loved ones to get hurt. In this case it was Serenity. It was picture day at school. But the weekend before, we had put a temporary tattoo of a butterfly on her arm. So on the morning of pictures I told Serenity I wanted to take it off before she left for school. They come off fairly easily with oil. Alas, the craziness of the morning, we ran out of time. I didn't get it taken off. So I just stopped worrying about it. BUT...apparently I didn't voice that I wasn't worried about it TO Serenity. So she continued to worry about it. She thought I would be mad and she would be in trouble with me if the tattoo was still on for the pictures. Her teacher wouldn't allow her to go to the rest room to try to wash it off (that wouldn't have helped much anyway.) So.....she took things into her own hands....or more accurately fingernails. She scratched the stupid think off. She gouged her own skin off in the process. Being young, she had no idea that she was making things much worse. It got infected very quickly. We slathered it with antibiotic ointment and tried to keep it bandaged, but she is also allergic to the adhesive in the bandages. Anyhoo, it is healed up now, leaving her with a very faint scar shaped like a butterfly.


Thanksgiving was wonderful this year. The girls and I joined 13 other members of the Hippen families in the Turkey Trot races in Orem. I was extremely sore after my 2 mile walk with a time of 30 minutes 13 seconds, but it was great. The girls were in the same race which was a 1/2 mile. I don't know what their times were but my sweet Serenity chose to stay right with her little sister to make sure she was okay even though Serenity could have run much faster. They are so good to each other.

Dinner was delicious as well and it was fabulous to have most of the family together. There turned out to be 35 of us that ate at our house. Bakers, we missed you. I am truly thankful for all that I have, including my wonderful family. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. What a great opener for the whole holiday season.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Caught the Baking Bug

One of the things I love about autumn and winter is catching the baking bug. It is one of those many instances where I wish I were a stay at home mom so I could do it more. Anyway, the girls and I have decided that every Friday for the next few months will be baking day. Last week Serenity and I made up our own recipe of chocolate peanut butter spiral cookies. It was a lot of work but they turned out purdy good. This week Cadence got in on the act too. She made brownies with white chocolate chips. Serenity made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I helped both girls, but really they did the majority of the work. We did it all from scratch and by hand too. No mixers, no short-cuts. I figure if they learn these things first the old fashioned way, then when they use modern tools it will be that much easier and they can be confident in their knowledge and skill. They are both learning really well and we have fun dancing to the radio while we are together in the kitchen.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Constant Change

Change does not come easily to all, but really it is one of the few things in this life that you can count on. I feel like healthy, frequent changes can be fun and an opportunity for growth. It can be a chance for experimentation, exploration, and discovery. I am not one to think that that shouldn't apply to me OR my hair. People often tell me that I am so brave when it comes to my hair. Why not? It grows back. Mistakes can be fixed. You might as well have fun with it, is my thought on the matter. I do what I want to do with it, why stay bored just because others are closed minded or afraid of things that are different.

So, it is all gone... again. Well, not ALL. The before pictures are kinda awful, but mostly because my hair was a bit greasy. I wasn't gonna wash it before hand just to look better in the before pictures. We cut off about seven inches. How liberating.




Friday, November 2, 2007


We had a very fun Halloween this year. It was crazy and rushed and tiring, but we had a blast. We spent a lot of this Halloween with Seth's Family, we are enjoying them living so much closer. We also had a lot of fun pulling together our costumes for this year.


I doubt that anyone who knows Cadence will be surprised that she wanted to be a princess. Nor with it be a surprise that she wanted to be her favorite princess, whom she actually looks a lot like. BELLE. Seth helped me get a wonderful dress for her and I picked this one because it is really two costumes in one and therefore a little warmer. Doesn't she just look demure?


My beautiful Serenity DID surprise me a bit when she informed me that this year she wanted to be .....a WEREWOLF?! Are you sure? Yup. Not only that, but she couldn't wear a mask to school. So we went and bought some old jeans and a flannel shirt at the D.I. and bought some face paints. We also got some fur and some spirit gum for her face and some scary furry gloves. We ratted her usually beautiful hair. Put that all together and you have one scary werewolf that several people thought was a boy. To which I would say, "no, that is my beautiful baby-girl." However, she looked so freakin' awesome!


Myself, I thought I would be clever and use the accessories I already have one this year. Especially since this will hopefully be my only Halloween with braces on my teeth. So this year I was "UGLY BETTY". I got a wig of dark frizzy hair. Bought some hideous clothing again at the D.I. Then the only make-up I had to do was to make my eyebrows bushy caterpillars. I am still confident in my real beauty to be comfortable enough that I don't typically look this bad. But it was fun and the looks I got from people said they thought it was clever too.

The whole day was fun, but the best part is being together. One of the most fun moments was at the end of the night. We got in the car to come home from Seth's house and the radio had on some really fun halloween-ish music playing. Songs like Michael Jackson's "Thriller", Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me", INXS' "Devil Inside". I think we were a bit slap-happy and hyper by this point. So even though we were exhausted, we sang along and danced the whole ride home. I so love these fun girls I've got.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Autumn Pictures

I consider myself very fortunate to have such a talented family who are so willing to share our different talents with one another. I traded a massage for Hanna for some new family pictures. I give a fabulous massage, but I still think I got the better end of the deal because I get to enjoy the results of the pictures much longer than the effects of the massage can last. So, thank you so much, Hanna. You Rock! I will be using one for my Christmas cards of course, but I thought I would share some of the others here.

Cadence has the cutest cheesy grin sometimes. I love it.

Serenity belongs on a ranch or a farm where she can roam free. Both girls do, really. We can dream.

It was a fun, windy, autumn afternoon at Wheeler Farm.

We even had a super friendly horse offer to fill a void in some of our pictures. His decision was a sudden one that initially freaked Serenity out a bit as he nibbled on her sleeve for a few seconds. It was truly hilarious. Like I said, we had a lot of fun. Since discovering Wheeler Farm, my girls have fallen in love with it. If I think about it, the three of us are now very drawn to the animals and simplicity of environments such as that. We had a wonderful time feeding the ducks with Sydney, Hanna, and Eran.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Articulate Crack-Up

Cadence is such a funny little thing. She just ran into me with a somewhat panicked look on her face. She said, "Mom, Serenity has something poking her in the eye. I asked her if I could look and she won't let me. She insulted me. She insulted me by not letting me see."

I replied while trying to keep a straight face, "she insulted you?"

To which Cadence said, "Do you know what that means?"

I smiled and said, "do YOU know what that means?"

"What does it mean, Mom?"

"It means she hurt your feelings."

Then she yelled, "YES, EXACTLY. She insulted me and Heavenly Father is watching her."

Luckily, it was made 'all better' by a kiss and a hug from mommy. I hope that solution keeps working for a good long time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Make Lemonade

Most of us know the phrase, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, the girls and I made some lemonade yesterday. I got off work a little early to use some of Labor Day to do something fun as a family. I was melting from the 98 degree temperature outside, but since the AC at work was broken, it may have been hotter than that while I gave massages inside. So to cool off after I got home, we decided to go see "Stardust" at the movies. We were very excited. We got there with only five minutes to get our snacks and seats. THERE WERE NO SEATS! Mind you, the movie was NOT sold out. I guess not everyone was there honestly. Anyway, we were very disappointed as we went back to the ticket counter, still carrying our snacks already to go. The manager was very nice and asked if we would like to see a different movie AND she would give me our money back for "Stardust". The girls were not easily talked into it, they had their hearts set. So the manager told us if we saw "Mr. Bean's Holiday" we would get out in time to Still see "Stardust" at 7:00. COOL! So we made it a double feature, which was a first for the girls. Seems like people just don't get to do that much anymore. BTW, "Mr. Bean's Holiday" was fun. Serenity and especially Cadence thought it was weird that there was so little dialog. All three of us absolutely LOVED "Stardust" and it will definitely become part of our DVD collection. We recommend it highly.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

First Attempt

Realizing that first attempts are rarely ones to merit attention, here is my first real blog entry. I have a myspace page and have played around a tiny bit with that, but I wanted to do something that was for my family, not just me. Plus I thoroughly enjoy reading the blogs of family and friends. I will give it a try and hopefully, every once in a while come up with something as clever and enjoyable as on their blogs. I have two amazing, beautiful daughters to help inspire me and to get material from. Wish me luck as I embark on this new adventure.

Big Hug,