Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Jen tried to get creative today and made some "rainbow" cupcakes. The kids had been eyeing them all afternoon...and FINALLY they got to sample them!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Living Planet Aquarium

We got memberships again at the Living Planet Aquarium with a SWEET deal from Groupon. It had been a while since the kids had been to the aquarium and they had yet again done some lots of new little rain forest critters to see. The kids loved getting up close and personal with all the exhibits!

Yup....lots more visits planned in the next year!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daddy & Zach time in the canyon

Logan was taking a LONG nap today......and in attempt to get Zach to take a nap, Dustin took him a drive. They drove and drove and luck, Zach was still awake. So they ended up driving through the American Fork Canyon. Zach LOVED it! Here were some of the pictures Dustin came back with, all taken with his iphone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chocolate Money

Dustin had a quick business trip to Boise for two days this week. When ever Dustin goes out of town he brings the kids back a "treat". Zach is now to the point where he requests the type of treat he wants Dustin to bring back. Lately the "chocolate monies from Boise" have been a that is what Zach requested....boy oh boy were the boys SUPER EXCITED to have Daddy come home tonight!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hot Dilly Beans!

Look what Dustin made this weekend! Hot Dilly Beans! His family loves these and Dustin has been itching to use his canner, which up until recently has only been used for salsa.

Here is Dustin's Mom's recipe. It makes (4) 1 pint bottles -- (Since we used quart jars, we just doubled the recipe to fill the jars)


2 lbs green beans, both ends trimmed (leave them as long as you can)
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar (white vinegar also works)
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt (canning salt)
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper (like the kind you put on top of your pizza)
4 fresh garlic cloves


1) Place bottles into the oven and set the temp to the lowest setting to keep them warm.
2) Boil vinegar, water, and salt in a large pot.
3) Trim the green beans evenly (both ends) and wash.
4) In each jar, pack the green beans. To make it easier to pack the green beans, set the jar on it's side and stack the beans in the jar.
5) Sprinkle the dried hot pepper over the beans, place one clove of garlic in each jar and top it off with a head of dill.
6) Fill each jar with the boiling liquid leaving 1/2" to 1/4" of head space. Remove air bubbles, make sure nothing is on the lip of the bottle, and place the lid and ring securely on each bottle.
7) Boil the bottles for 10 minutes. Start the timer when the water comes to a boil. After 10 minutes turn off the heat and let the jars 'settle' in the hot water for about 5 minutes, remove to a towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours. (if after 30 minutes or so one of the bottles fails to seal, unscrew the lid, clean the lip of the bottle, and try placing a new lid and ring on the bottle, then re-boil).
8) Wait at least 2-4 weeks before eating the beans. (It's hard to wait that long but well worth it)

Dustin's family has been canning these hot dilly beans for as long as he can remember. Its definitely one of the Gray family favorites. Hope you try this recipe and in a month let us know what you think!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whirlwind Saturday

When we woke up this morning we didn't realize EVERYTHING we would do today. We really only had one thing on the agenda.....professional pictures of the kids! We decided to return to Photoworks in Orem (where we had Logan's 1 year portraits taken). I am not sure what happened to our kids this morning, but NEITHER of them were cooperating very well for pictures. Jen wanted individuals of the boys and then some shots together. Apparently the kids had another agenda........

We started with Zach. The photographer had to coax him a bit and we got a few good pictures. I think we have a total of SIX pictures of Zach...yes only SIX.

Next they photographer tried to get pictures of both boys together and Logan would have NOTHING to do with that. After 20 minutes of tantrums and tears, Jen found some rocks in a display and that caught Logan's attention. We threw them around like they were "balls" and the photographer was able to get NINE pictures of Logan, yes only NINE.

...and that was it. Both boys would have NOTHING to do with pictures taken together. So 15 pictures and $79.95 later we walked out of the studio with a CD and one disappointed mom. We walked around the mall for a little bit, and picked up some needed items.

At this point we to head down to Spanish Fork to check out ThunderPig. We were in Orem...half way to Spanish Fork, so why not! When we arrived at Horvath Hotrods Zach was in heaven. There were TWO jeep Wranglers in the parking lot being repaired. He got inside the red jeep and checked it all out.

Now it was time for LUNCH! Where do we go for lunch when in Spanish Fork? McDonalds :) The kids had fun on the playscapes. We even splurged today and got ice cream cones. I was impressed that Logan knew now to eat an ice cream instruction needed!

It was a warm day...probably upper 80's maybe even hit 90 degrees. We couldn't leave Spanish Fork without visiting the park with the water. We didn't pack any swimsuits for the kids, we were lucky to have an extra set of clothes (brought along because we had the pictures earlier in the day). So both boys stripped down to their shorts and loaded up on sun screen. They of course had a blast!

The kids fell asleep on the drive back home after the park. Once very one was up from naps we had dinner and then went on a bike ride. Jeff and Kristin came over and we headed out around 7:30pm. We each had a trailer for the kids. It was a great ride - we will have to take more of these bike rides!

You would think our day was over right about now...but NO! Our neighborhood was having a "movie" in the park (by our pool). We all bundled up, sprayed ourselves with mosquito repellent, and grabbed some snacks. Everyone voted on watching the movie "Tangled".

Both kids stayed awake for most of it. This was way past Logan's bedtime and about 10pm (half way through the movie) Jen took him home...he wouldn't settle down while watching the movie, but once home in is own bed he was out in seconds! Zach fell asleep with Dustin at the movie about 5 minutes before it ended.

That was our "whirlwind Saturday"...good thing we have Sunday to recover from it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

White Trash Night

Tonight was white trash night. We didn't plan on it being white trash night....that is just how things played out. It was a long week of work and the kids wanted to play outside when we got home from work. So we pulled up some lawn chairs in the driveway and let the kids play. We got supper comfortable. There was NO WAY we were cooking dinner. So Domino's pizza was ordered. The kids played in the front yard and garage.....we dug up the cheese balls....

At this point I think the neighbors started noticing. In fact the Finlayson's join our white trash night! Haley and Zach are the same age (Haley is actually 2 days older than Zach). She brought over her pink princess chair and put next to Zach's yellow Spongebob chair and Logan's red Cars chair. We continued to each cheese balls until the Domino's delivery man arrived.

We dined on pizza and diet coke - all of us!

Scott and Natalie one up'd us with some homemade steak quesadillas. Poor Sidney wasn't feeling good and just wanted to be held.

It was fun to listen to the conversations between Zach and Haley. Here was my favorite:

Zach: I like our dad's truck. Do you like my dad's truck?
Haley: Yeah.

Zach also let Haley drive his "bike". Zach doesn't even let Logan ride his "bike"...hmmm. The power of women, eh?
We stayed out on the driveway until bedtime!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Which side are you on?

One great thing about Utah is the weather. It is so unpredictable and changes rapidly. The benefit of this is some SWEET pictures. Check out what we saw today while leaving work for lunch....

Good thing we were on the "sunny side" of this picture!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

American Fork Steel Days

Today ThunderPig was in a car show in American Fork for Steel Days. Dustin headed up around 10:30am with the truck as the show started at 11am. The kids and Jen spent a bit more time at home (Logan took an early nap) and about 1pm we loaded up to meet Dustin at the car show. We decided to pick up some lunch on the way and eat together when we arrived.

After lunch, Zach and Logan assumed their positions in the captains chairs.....staring everyone down that was stopping to see ThunderPig.

Dustin noticed there was a sticker on his windshield (must have been put on while we were eating lunch)...we were a "winner"! Awards weren't until 6:15pm so we had to stick around for another 4 hours to find out what we won.

Here is a full sun shot of ThunderPig - it was a beautiful day!

Then Logan the decided it was quality control time with ThunderPig......he is checking out the exhaust to make sure someone didn't accidentally hide food inside of it!

About this time Jen decided to let the kids explore a bit. The car show was at Rotary Park in American Fork and there were a few playgrounds.

We were enjoying the playgrounds until my children apparently liked to go around scaring other kids.....check out the faces of the kids coming off the look at my kids. Yeah, they were screaming at them trying to "scare" them.

Next adventure to kill time, checking out all the dogs at the show. Lots of people had brought their furry friends with them. Logan found this 9 week old puppy and made friends. They would just lay next to each other and exchange some pets for a wet dog licks.

When the award show finally started we learned how they do it in American Fork. The show had several sponsors and each sponsor picked their favorite car, and those were the awards. So the "winner" sticker on our windshield was put on by the sponsor "Home Depot".

Now it was time for the night cruise. They close down Main/State street in American Fork for TWO HOURS so all the cars from the show can cruise the street for everyone to see. Jen and Logan went and waited along the side of the road while Dustin and Zach were driving around in ThunderPig.

Here comes ThunderPIG!

Dustin and Zach cruised around for about 30 minutes before Zach started falling asleep. He was tired...long day playing in the sun with no was almost 8pm as well. So we cut the cruise short and headed back home. Next year I think the whole family (Dustin, Jen, Zach and Logan) will be inside ThunderPig for the AF Steel days car cruise!