Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This is Smudge.  He joined our family about 2 weeks ago and he fits in quite well.  I think he might be as quirky as Smokey, my childhood cat and Boo, our cat that died last January.  I think he would also be a pea in the pod with Seth's family cat, Princess Tiger Lilly.  The girls are both in love with him and fill their free time with him lately.

And this is Smudge chasing a mouse....pointer.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Traditions

For decades now, someone in the Hippen family has participated in the annual Turkey Trot, Turkey Chase, Thanksgiving Day Race in Orem, Utah.  Some years it has been many of us.  Some years, only a few could be there.  Well, crazy as it sometimes seems, like remembering how cold it was in 2007, Dad and the girls and I missed being there this year.

So we went over to the high school and had our own Turkey Trot.

  The weather was unseasonably nice, but don't get me wrong, I am not complaining.

Cadence did a lap around the track and then had fun drawing pictures.

Serenity made it around twice and then went a little camera crazy.

Not being in our greatest shape ever, Dad and I just walked, but hey we did it.  I walked 2 miles, like I would have in Orem and played with the girls while Dad finished his four miles.

Woo Hoo.  It helps to do something like this to not feel as guilty about stuffing ourselves later on in the day.  I'm glad we did it even though we didn't get a fun shirt out of the deal.  Some traditions need to keep going.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Locks of Love

Both Serenity and Cadence have loved having long hair and both have been growing it out for several years.  Neither, however, have learned how to brush through it adequately and both dread getting their hair done each morning.  Part of me feels like I should just let them do their own hair and don't worry about the rats nests that are being knotted up underneath the surface, and eventually they will learn what it takes to care for their long hair by themselves.  The part of me that refuses to let them leave the house looking like orphans in the movie Annie or Oliver Twist usually wins out though.  I hate to admit that I understand why my mom kept my hair short a lot of my childhood, but I do.  I hate the tears and the dirty looks they give when I am just trying to take good care of them.  I also hate the idea that they might get it stuck in their heads that girls are only pretty with long hair.  Variety and change are healthy, beautiful, and fun and when it is all said and done, it is just hair and it will grow back.

So a few months ago I mentioned it to them that it was time for a fresh cut for each of them and that it would not only make life a little easier in the mornings but we could turn it into a service project and donate their hair to Locks of Love and help out in an easy and fun way.  They had already done most of the work.  So hooray for new haircuts and fresh starts.  I think we will grow it long again and donate again.  It is a good experience.  They both look so gorgeous with their new do's as usual as well.  Here are the fun before and after pictures.  I don't think the pictures show well enough though, how almost giddy they both are at how cute their new looks are.  They have both had "bob" hair cuts before, but with bangs.  Without bangs might make them look too grown up.  I haven't decided yet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Beauties!

I know I already posted these new school pictures on my facebook, but I must post here as well for those who don't use facebook, don't you think. It is only fair to them. Hehe. We had the fun option of choosing the background colors for their shots, so each of them of course chose their current favorite colors.

Serenity's is green, as it has been most of her life.  She loves all things nature and fresh.

  Cadence's is orange, which totally fit her, since she is bold and sunny and it is a great autumn color.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween In A Small Town

Halloween was a week long event here in Palmyra when it comes right down to it. Last Saturday on the 24th was Trick or Treating on Main St., which is just IN the shops in the village so it didn't take the girls long, but hey, more candy. Serenity painted pumpkins for activity day girls while I helped the YW decorate for the games we setup for Friday's ward dinner and Trunk or Treat.

Then on Wednesday evening there was a costume parade and contest for the kids up to twelve years old and free doughnuts and cider, that was held at Cadence's school. Cadence won second place in the cutest category for her age group....more candy. Regardless of the fact that Serenity was robbed of winning a prize, the three of us had so much fun dancing with each other as we watched the different age groups and cheering each other on. I cannot be sure, but to look at us, I think we had more fun than anybody else.

Serenity is a beautiful pink flamingo on the lawn that we call life.

Thursday I made a new recipe of soup to take to the ward dinner. Roasted butternut squash soup with apples and bacon. It was so good. As usual I didn't follow the original recipe exactly, but tweaked it a little to make it my own. We came home with an empty pot, so I hope people really liked it. Which brings us to Friday. The girls' took their costumes to school for their class parties. School is business as usual until the last part. But both of them came home with plenty of loot. Then we went to the ward dinner. The food was good but the turn out was so good that we ran out of food. The games went pretty well. My personal favorite was digging for the bones of a miniature skeleton in a cauldron of slimy spaghetti. Then we paraded the kids across the stage and out to the trunks for Trunk or Treating. More Candy!

Cadence was The Blue Nosed Witch, which is from a favorite book I read as a kid and that we found and read together from Cadence's school library. I love passing on traditions.

My sad attempt as a China Doll.

Saturday was a fairly normal rainy Saturday of chores and me at work with a migraine. That made me more grateful that I had already asked Grandpa if he would take the girls out Trick or Treating. The rain had stopped by then, but it was windy. They needed gloves and coats and covered ears. That doesn't seem too bad after looking at pictures of more than two feet of snow at my sister's house in Colorado. For the first time since becoming a mother ten years ago, this was the first Halloween I didn't go out. It was so relaxing to sit and watch mildly scary movies and pass out candy. Our house isn't next to too many residences so we only had about twenty kids. The girls were home and showered and in bed by 9:00. Woo Hoo. Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Autumn Walking

Autumn is my favorite season. It has been for as long as I can remember. I love the cool snuggle-time weather, the cute clothes, autumn colors, baking more, and sometimes being able to slow down into a smooth routine. Although I don't think we have slowed down much this year. Busy is good....right?
We took the time Columbus Day gave us together to get out for a walk and see the leaves before they all fall. There are still a lot of green leaves but it is already getting so cold that I won't be surprised if autumn is short lived.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School

Well, school finally started for the girls here in New York. They have been waiting with baited breathe for weeks now. The morning ran pretty darn smoothly and hopefully we can make a trend of that. We'll have to see how it will have to change if at all once I am working again since my summer job is done. I am so pleased that both the girls love school so much and I hope their first day is a fabulous one. It seems so strange to have them in separate schools, but at least the bus for Serenity goes from and comes to Cadence's school so with a little bit of a wait they can walk together and with me for now. People talk about how safe and comforting it is for children to have normal set routines. It is so true and it is comforting to moms too, I'm sure most would agree. So here are my cute girls in their twin outfits, all raring and ready for the new adventures ahead.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Nothing new or exciting has been happening with us lately. I realized how lacking my blogging has become this summer and decided I needed to come up with a little something. My Dad and I put up a tire swing in the back yard for the girls after I replaced the tires on my car. We are creative recyclers, ya know. So here are a couple of pictures of the girls enjoying their new toy. The pictures are a bit on the fuzzy side, but action shots are hard for little inexperienced photo takers. But we have so much fun.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Showers

I have had a number of conversations lately that included talking about the rain we have been getting lately. NORMALLY, it doesn't really rain that hard in Utah. You can tell if it rained hard if while you were driving in the rain, it was hard enough to get the back window of the car wet. I have noted a few times in the past year before we moved that that usually was not the case in Utah. Here in New York it definitely rains hard. Karalenn told me about a friend who would shampoo her hair during warm rain of the summer. So we thought that sounded fun and we would try it. Wouldn't you know that the rain would fizzle out just as the girls got going. Well, they had fun anyway. I just ended up pouring warm water from the kitchen over them to get them rinsed off well enough.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Easy Going Laid Back Summer

We have recently taken advantage of our close proximity to LDS church history sites. We had a nice time just taking our time walking around. When we were here in August 2005 it was so hot and humid that my memories of these places are pleasant, but slower and on cool evenings has made for better times. Here are just a few of the pictures we had fun with, and for those of you who have requested pictures of the beautiful scenery. Sorry a couple of the pictures are fuzzy. The camera was on a weird setting for some of them and I didn't realize.

The Hill Cumorah Monument

"Strike a pose, Mom."

Looking out from Cumorah Hill

Serenity loves it here. Can't you tell?

Cadence taking a quiet moment in the Sacred Grove.

The Frame House on the Smith Farm

The Log House on the Smith Farm

The Sacred Grove. One of the most peaceful places I've ever been.

Enjoying our time together.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To Dad ~ Love Serenity and Cadence

The girls wanted to post a little something for Father's day. Of course being on opposite sides of the country, their dad wasn't able to enjoy the song all the kids at church sang for the dads, so we filmed this especially for him. They even changed a couple of the words to personalize it to their dad.

These are two of the sweetest girls in the world and they love their dad. They are so thoughtful and they are a great team. I am glad they have each other.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My New Job

So, I am sure a lot of you already know, but I thought I would post a little something about my new job. I finished my first week of working part time at the LDS bookstore right next door to the Grandin Press Building where the Book of Mormon was first published. In the picture, the bookstore is to the left of the Grandin. The store is called Latter Day Harvest. There are only two of them, one here and the other in Nauvoo, IL. I am really enjoying it. It is such a good environment to be in. It's gonna get a lot crazy during the Hill Cumorah Pageant, or so I am told, but I'm gonna have fun doing it. Although our list of things that the girls and I want from the store make me wonder how much of my pay check will be spent right there. The other perk is that it takes me about three minutes to walk to work from our house, so, score.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spring Chorus Concert

Serenity joined the school chorus here in Palmyra. Both of the girls were in chorus in Utah, but here they only allow fourth and fifth graders to join. This week they had their final spring concert ever at Palmyra Elementary. Next year all the third, fourth, and fifth grades from Palmyra and Macedon(the little town just west of us) will go to school together in what WAS Macedon Elementary and will now be called Macedon Intermediate School. All the kindergartens, first, and second grades with be here and called, Palmyra Primary School.

I captured some of the concert on my camera as video. I couldn't zoom in any further so sorry it is kinda hard to see Serenity. I tried to keep her in the center of the screen, but admittedly hard to pick her out. The audio quality isn't wonderful either, but it isn't from a nice camcorder.

I am pleased with the little young lady she is becoming and how at least during performances she isn't fidgety like a lot of kids are. We enjoyed it despite the heat and we hope you will too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring School Pictures

Just a quick post to share the girls new spring school pictures. I really love them this year other than the fact that both my babies look way too grown up.