Wednesday, December 29, 2010

30 by 30 #3

THIS #3 is a tough one, but will be so rewarding.

I have once again started the South Beach Diet - phase 1. For those who think it's awful, it really isn't bad. I get to try new recipes while controlling my sugar cravings and losing weight. WIN WIN! Sure, I'll start wanting to bite in to a juicy apple by day 10, but then I'll only have 4 days to go. Anyway, you can keep up with me on my other blog.

Here is my request:

Send me some good egg-no-carb recipes. (using veggies would be great as well) I will get SO BORED of eggs.

I appreciate it!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


From the Montague Family

Sweet Layla Girl - almost 15 months

Chill Jack Jack - 3 1/2

Silly Joshy Washy - almost 5!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Caption Contest!!

(Yes Larrie, I totally ripped this idea from you!)

The winner from our last contest was Jamie!! Your prize: a HUGE kiss blown all the way from Wisconsin! Congrats.

Before you start brainstorming,

I mean, there was a definite reason I went for my camera!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Everything leads back to the PRESENTS

Josh has found a way to turn EVERY conversation in a direction that always ends with him begging to "open just one present!" Really, this is a skill.

Me: Josh, you can't just invite yourself to someone else's house. You can ask him to play here.

Josh: But I don't like our house.

Me: Do you want to go live somewhere else?

Josh: Well, maybe our house would be more fun if we opened those presents. (pointing to the ones from family, waiting to be opened)


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Nicest

I just came from a neighbor's home, who I just met, and THIS plate is what she gave me. Seriously? She is the last of the 4 neighbors on our circle to meet and really sweet.

I count 13 varieties!!

And this was the night of our HUGE storm. It was a ton that night, but the next morning we found 26 inches of snow, with 3 feet of snow drifts!!
Josh was loving it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I am adjusting some of my 30x30 goals:

18. Create a new game for the kiddos.

This was originally planned to entertain my boys while we are stuck inside most days. But really, Jack so easily entertains himself. Josh is my issue-child. So, instead, I am "creating" some time each day to do school work/projects with him. I mean, why the heck do I have an ENTIRE kindergarten classroom packed up in my garage if I'm not gonna use it? Josh is so incredibly ready, and is spelling out words on his own. He shocks me all the time with what he can do, literacy-wise.
(this is also aiding in my #19: Give each child 45 minutes of my time... & #21: using my K resources...)

6. No more caffeine.

Did anyone think I was really going to do this?!? Well, what I have done is kick the crazed obsession I had to going out each day just to have my beloved Dr. Pepper. Like a crack-addict, I would just "find myself" in a convenient store. Or, I need gas... again. You get it. So since typing up my goals, I will allow myself my wonderful beverage IF we are out. And where we live, that is hardly ever now.

So there you go.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Our 'WI'nter Wonderland

You see how I did that with the state - WI - in the title!? You loved it.

We decided, with the warmer 28 degree weather today, that we would go play in the snow. It was sun-shiny and wind-less. WIN!

EVERY DAY, Josh says, "Mom, can we play outside after naps when it warms up?" My response, "Josh, it will never be warm here!"
So the boys were elated for some snow time!
(I even enjoyed getting some fresh air)

Josh wanted to get a shot of me and Jack. Aren't we just so cute!?

We have been watching these tracks appear all over the edge of our yard, and even around our entire house. Jack is convinced it's from a deer. Josh KNOWS they are from the elves... they are actually a stray cat's. But it was fun to follow them!

The snow here is SO powdery, which is bad for snowballs/snowmen-making, but great for sleds!!

(Jack using his entire body to pull Josh maybe 1 inch!)

So how did we end our excursion?

With hot chocolate & marshmallows, and freshly made (still warm) bread with jam!!
Of course.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Caption Contest

So, tell me what this girlie of mine is doing. The best caption/narration WINS!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our little Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving

After a crazy day of cooking my first turkey EVER, along with most of the extras, it was time to sit down with my little family and reflect on what I am always most thankful for: the most amazing husband ever, and the 3 crazy kids we created!!!

We taught the boys to toast, in true Van Housen/Bienkowski style...
(we missed our CA family)

Layla was smiley all day, which made us extra grateful for her sweet personality. We are so blessed to have a funny, beautiful, and loving little sister.

Josh had been excited for this holiday for weeks, ever since discussing it in his SLC preschool. His only expectations were turkey and pumpkin pie, so I had to at least do those homemade. He was not disappointed!
We are grateful for this oldest brother who is SO smart about so many things. We are truly astounded by the way his brain works things out, the vocabulary he surprises us with, and his mature negotiating skills.

Jack is special in so many ways. He has the best imagination and watching him create scenarios with his trains/cars his so much fun! He repeats everything we say, which is why his speech has improved a TON in the last few months. Now we just need to work on his volume... since he basically whispers and even Layla is louder when she babbles!!

And then there is Dan. He is my other half, and I can honestly say that there is an overwhelming void when he is not around. The 2 weeks without him were 14 days too long, and will never happen again. I love him more than I can ever express, and will support him in the goals he desires to achieve because I know he has us always in his heart.

I was also grateful to see that I FINALLY have a child who will eat whatever I cook. The boys are famous for eating like birds... Not Layla! She is excited about whatever is on the spoon in front of her face.

Josh was happy with his first experience with pumpkin pie, while Dan was showing him that it's really all about the freshly whipped cream!!

We were thinking about ALL of our family on this day. We missed the laughter, the jokes, the movie quotes, and just the togetherness. (oh, and others helping with the cooking!) But we do look forward to creating traditions with Josh, Jack, and Layla.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

30 by 30 #6

I have NOT had any caffeine for 4 1/2 days!

Yay, right?!

Well, oddly enough, now I am not sleeping well anymore... which makes me want some Dr. Pepper in a mean way. (and I had been sleeping amazingly well for the first time in a long time)

I blame the fact that there's no more end-of-the-day crash anymore, but WHAT THE HECK?

Any ideas?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Family Dance Party

Doesn't that title just intrigue you? You're gonna want to watch these videos for sure.

Josh has some pretty sweet moves! He says he wants to be in a dance class for boys. I would do it in a second if I knew where one was being taught.

All I have to do is say "DANCE PARTY" and Josh is ready in position, waiting for some awesome music!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

30 by 30

I was very inspired by friend Shannon. (her comments say Shanny!) I read her post with the same title as mine RIGHT AFTER I had been wallowing in my own self-pity about being "alone" on my big 30th birthday in 2 months. She made a sort of bucket-list-by-30-yrs-old for herself. (THANK YOU Shannon for such a needed idea!)

Her post spoke to many sides of my personality. First, I am the QUEEN of list-making! Second, I know that when I set goals, work on goal, and achieve goals, I feel wonderful! Shanny organized hers in to categories, and mine will be tailored to fit me and my family. I had already decided to start doing more to create a more fun environment in our home so my family (Josh) will be happier with simplicity while we are stuck inside during the winter.

I don't know when Shannon's b-day is, but mine is in just over 60 days. So I have some major work to do!! Some of these will be hard, some will be easy. But I want to welcome 30 by feeling like I made accomplished some awesome goals. And I know theses will help me feel more at-home in my new state/town/neighborhood.

My categories are: physical, spiritual, things to create, family, Mary Kay.

30 by 30

1. Do something active for at least 45 minutes every day. (no Sundays, though)
2. Lose 10 pounds. (or some inches, or just feel awesome)
3. Control my HUGE sugar craving with South Beach 14 days of no sugar. (did it once, and it worked, but my will power caved after getting pregnant)
4. Drink at least 2.5 liters of water DAILY.
5. Reinstate 'Special Treat Friday.' (cookies/treats only on Fridays)
6. NO MORE CAFFEINE. (holy cow, I just put it in writing...)

7. Read the entire Book of Mormon.
8. Write in my journal EVERY DAY until my bday. (by then, habit formed!)
9. (organized) Family Home Evening EVERY week.
10. Practice playing hymns/primary songs every day. (piano)
11. Write a letter each week to Elder-Uncle Thomas.
12. Attend the St. Paul temple once. (it's 2.5 hrs away, and we have yet to know who to leave leave out kids with for that amount of time)

13. Make and SEND 30 thank-you cards.
14. Sew curtains for kids' rooms.
15. Work on finishing Layla's 1-year scrapbook.
16. Buy & prepare the material for my soon-to-come nephew's quilt.
17. CREATE a job chart for EVERY member of our family!
18. Create a new game for the kiddos.

19. Give each child 45-60 minutes of my undivided attention, and let them choose our activity.
20. Story time before bedtime.
21. Utilize my Kindergarten files/games/activities/knowledge to keep Josh engaged.
22. Arrange for sitters/trade nights so I can go on at least 2 dates each month with Dan.
23. Friday Family Movie Night!
24. Weekly library trips.

25. Have 2 new team members. (thus, earning my Red Jacket!!)
26. Pass out all 500 of my gift $10 certificates.
27. Create my dream board.
28. Start reading Mary Kay's biography. (she really was an amazing woman)
29. Hold 2 classes each week.
30. Ask for 4 interviews each week.

So there you have it. I have just over 60 days until I turn 30, and that many days to complete this list. Check in to see how things are going. I will try to include pictures where I can.

Ready, set, GO!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

With Tons of Time on My Hands...

...and no friends or family around, I decided to make doughnuts to win over my neighbors!! It worked. But more on that later.


Layla has 3 favorite things: pink blanket, binkie, milk. When I captured her here, she was lucky enough to have all 3 at the same time. (this means that Dad let her keep the bink after nap time) Oh, and she is walking all over the place, going up and down stairs, and being quite daring with climbing on everything. She is trouble these days!

And seriously, it is rare to get the boys to 1) hold still for my slow camera, and 2) smile at the same time for my camera. But who wouldn't smile while popping bubble wrap, right?!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Welcome to Wisconsin!

...more specifically, to Trempealeau, WI. The place we now call HOME!

You'll want to find yourself on Arabian Lane, then drive to the top.

We have 3 other houses on our circle, and we are pretty spread out.

COME ON IN!! Josh and Jack will give you a quick tour.

As you walk in, on your left, is our office. It's pretty sparse for now, but as mom's Mary Kay business gets bigger, it will fill up for sure.

To your right it where our piano is hiding. There is nowhere to sit for now, so we just run and run as loud as we can on the wood floor so we sound like elephants. Mom loves it!

Hiding in the corner of the house is mom and dad's room. We have tons of fun jumping off their bed!

And WOW, do we just LOVE THIS TUB!!! All 3 of us can fit and it's like a small pool.

Back to the main part of the house, here is our family room and in the back is our kitchen and dining room. We watch for deer to come in to our yard from those windows.

It's been too cold for us to play outside, but we are SO excited to explore the forest in our back yard!!

This is our kitchen.
(please ignore the move-in mess)

This is the downstairs family room and little kitchen. We have set up forts in the bottom cabinets, and even Layla will hide in there with us!

We started to decorate for Christmas, but those pictures will be ready later.

(back to LINDSEY narrating)
This is downtown Trempealeau, which sits right on the Mississippi River. Isn't it cute? This is really all there is to it. Did you see the population # in the first picture?!

I have been really happy that this area of WI is very NOT flat! It has been a good compromise for this mountain girl. I can tell it will be beautiful in the spring/summer.

I know this wasn't full of kid pics, but those will come. Now that this storm is hitting, I will have LOTS of time to post!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trivia Nerd

Yes, I am a trivia nerd. And to prove it, here's my latest story:

(I am standing in line at a gas station behind 2 guys)

Guy 1: "What band is this playing on the radio?"
(I totally was singing along with the song in my head...)

Guy 2: "I don't know, but I know that the whole CD gets you all depressed and you want to kill yourself."
(I silently disagreed.)

Guy 1: "Really, I don't think it sounds that bad."
(I agree with #1)

Guy 2: "I think it's a band like Coldplay... yeah, I'm sure that's who it is."

Me (in my head only): "IT'S THE FRAY!!!!!!"
(I came SO SO close to telling them, but that would show how anal I am about pop culture trivia!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Last October...

... at least in Utah, for a while.

Who knew that my kids would love to dress up with scary masks!?!
Halloween definitely arrived at our house!

After months of training on treadmills, and running with an awesome and patient friend, I FINALLY ran my planned 6K at Thanksgiving Point!! I loved it and can't wait to run another. Just imagine 1850 women of all ages and sizes running together. The energy and atmosphere was amazing. And I was so proud that I had made a goal, worked on it, and then achieved it!

For mine and Dan's combined 30th birthdays, (mine is still coming) we were so graciously taken to Las Vegas by Dan's mom and stepdad: Granny & Grampa Dan. We stayed in the Planet Hollywood Towers, just 1 year old, and it was an awesome room! Then we were even luckier to be able to see LOVE, by Circue du Soleil. Dan and I have been humming Beatles tunes ever since!

And then there was the pumpkin patch with Grampa Russ. 

Kid wheel-barrows were the best!

And it's a good thing we are moving to farm country, so Jack can get his fix of tractors and anything made my John Deere!! 
(what, did I just say moving...?)

Thanks Grampa Russ!! 
We will miss you, and everyone else we love so much here in Utah.

We will have lots more time to post when we get to La Crosse, Wisconsin... next month.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This post...

...has had me emotional all afternoon. (okay, for the last 2 weeks)

And has been 1 year in the making.


Layla, you came in to our family and made us complete. A baby girl, following 2 very busy boys! 

You brought a needed calmness to our home, as well as the sweetest spirit. 
You taught your big brothers how to love someone littler than themselves.

Then came your funny, independent, willful, and mischievous personality.
(this is her plotting-face)

Really, feet on the table?
You are known as:
baby girl
trouble maker
little sister

Layla, you make us so happy. You make us laugh, and you know how to frustrate your brothers! You are already way too smart, and keep us on our toes... We can't wait for all that is to come. And with more tears, of pure happiness, in my eyes I speak for all of us when I say

And check out just how daring this girlie is, already. We are in trouble!