Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holley-Days and a New Year too!

I just can't seem to get that last batch of Christmas cards out! I ran out of stamps, and haven't had time to go and get more, so if you haven't received your card yet, maybe you will get it sometime next year! Here is a glimpse of what you missed! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. This year was such a magical one for us. We feel so blessed and loved. Thanks to all of you who sent cards to us, it was a record year. I love to hang on to them from year to year to see how much everyone has changed.

Merry Christmas

Ryan-Continues to excel in college, and is on-track to graduate in Fall of 2011. He enlisted in the National Guard and is set for boot camp this coming spring! We are so proud of his decision to serve our country.
Kari-Enjoys the triumphs and trials the children bring, and knows that these precious moments are fading way to fast. She enjoys her time volunteering at school and church, and is thankful for the blessings she receives.
Aiden & Anden-Started Kindergarten this fall and are doing fantastic, thanks in part to wonderful teachers and staff! Their little eyes just sparkle with delight each time they learn something new. Aiden wants to be a scientist, and Anden wants to be the guy who pays for everything! I’ll let you know as soon as we find out what that might be!!
Ashden-He is my little Jekyll & Hyde. One minute he is just the sweetest thing on the face of the earth, and the next, he has started the microwave on fire!! He will certainly give us a run for our money, or spend all of it on repairs!!
Adeline-Has turned into quite the little lady! Her vocabulary grows every day, and her favorite word is ‘baby‘. She is Miss Sassy Pants, and knows that she has all of her brothers (and Daddy) wrapped around her little finger!!

You can check out all the latest and greatest moments of our lives at! We hope this card finds you healthy and happy, and full of joy for what 2010 will bring. Please keep us in your prayers, as we keep you in ours.

Love, The Holley's

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ashland Extravaganza

This parade kicks off our Christmas season each year. It is always the Friday after Thanksgiving, and we haven't missed one since the boys were born! Parking is crazy, it is freezing cold, and the line to see Santa is about an hour long, but in the end, it is so worth it. The parade is super short, I think there were only about 14 entries, but they pass out good candy, they always give away books, Starbucks gives out free hot chocolate down at the plaza, and Santa is good for a few candy canes, so there is plenty of fun to go around. We love it and we hope you will too!

Waiting for the parade to start!

Gingerbread man from The Nutcracker.

(These ladies also did the "Ten Virgins" for our church this past spring)

Cutest Snowmen ever!

The kids thought this guy was so funny, and can't wait to make a snowman so they can put a ton of carrots on his head!!

Jolly Old St. Nick!!!

(This picture is courtesy of the Mail Tribune, but it just shows you the sheer number of people that end up at the plaza to watch the lights turn on in Ashland!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Reason for the Season

Before I start with my annual montage of Holley-Day Hodge Podge, let me share my favorite Christmas song, along with a fabulous video I got off of You Tube last year. (Pause my playlist to enjoy the music with the video).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

.Happy Thanksgiving.

This year I have much to be Thankful for, but I am going to limit it to one thing: my husband! I am thankful that he gets me and still loves me for it!

Since I have mastered the savory part of Thanksgiving, ie; turkey, stuffing, sauce, gravy, potatoes, etc. I have moved on to desserts! This year I am taking on two new ones, a Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie from Martha Stewart and a Cranberry Ribbon Apple Pie from Bon Appetite, if they are a hit I will post recipes, if not, I will post the aftermath. I do have two back up pies thanks to an awesome deal at Albertsons last week, so we will not starve!

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving is richly blessed with family and love, and of course, good eats!!

Update: Enjoy a few of our Thanksgiving photos!!

Here is a picture of our 25 pound Turkey, he was so delicious!!

We made these cute luminaries to decorate our walkway!

My first apple pie, it was so scrumptious, and super easy, why have I never made one before!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Worth a Thousand Words

This summer was the first time all of my siblings and their families were together. What an amazing time we shared. We couldn't let this moment pass us by without getting some family photos, and I wanted to post a few here. Mostly because I think my family is dang cute, but also because we have the most fabulous photographer of all time! I love how she can capture the essence of my children in a photo, what a gift. If you are in need of a great photo shoot, give her a call, her name is Jolyn 541.601.6379 or check her out at her new site! Good luck on your new adventures girl, you deserve much happiness!!
The real A Team
(Anden, Ashden, Austin, Alek, Andrew, Aiden, Annika, Adeline & Alyssa)

I love, love this picture.

Four crazy siblings, and the loves of our lives!

Bonded for Life

Sorry the images are so small, but I pirated them off of Facebook, so you get what you get!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Day of School

Last Tuesday was the twins first day of Kindergarten. What a proud moment in a parents life. I don't know who was more excited, me or them! We had a back to school party the night before, with a special dinner and dessert. We made special banners and decorations to commemorate this once in a lifetime event. The boys weren't really sure about all of the fuss I was making over school, so I am not sure if the party was more for me or them. We ended the night by reading the school handbook, and then Ryan gave the boys a Father's blessing. I am thankful for that gift he is able to give the boys. I hope they realize how much we love them and are excited for this new journey in their lives.

They were not excited about the picture taking, enough already Mom!!

The boys wanted to ride the bus on the first day, but I put my foot down, I needed pictures in front of the school, and I couldn't just let them go that easily. They did ask me on the way to school to please not cry in front of their friends, so I saved the tears for the car ride home. I did get a little misty eyed, but my super huge sunglasses hid any signs of the waterworks. I wasn't sad to send them off, I am just so proud of the little men they are, and I know that they will have a fantastic year ahead of them. I promised the teacher that I wouldn't dress them alike on the first day of school, which I am sure she was grateful for. Although, I am impressed that both Mrs. Bjorge and Mrs. Lewis can tell them apart, high five ladies, we are excited to share this journey with you both.

I am looking forward to my first PTO meeting and volunteer training this week, maybe I need to go out and buy myself some back to school outfits too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why I Love This Man of Mine...

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I should post something about my main man. Ryan doesn't get much blog time, it is mostly about the kids, so here is his little piece of the puzzle.

Ryan is first and foremost a wonderful father and husband. He enjoys being a dad and loves spending time with his children. The boys cherish their 'daddy nights' which consists of watching movies and eating snacks late late at night, after everyone else has gone to bed. He coaches their sports teams, and teaches them all kinds of crazy games he makes up using random household objects and toys. The boys think their dad can walk on water, and that he can do no wrong. He is definitely not the disciplinarian. He is the fun dad, and I am the boring rule abiding mom. I guess that is whats keeps us in balance.

Coach Ryan -2009

Ryan being very inventive in his sled making- 2007

Riding the Bull -2009

Ryan rockin' out with Ashden - 2006

Ready for drug raids - 2007

Ryan is also a wonderful husband. He is very thoughtful. When we first started dating he would buy me flowers and write me little poems. Some were the cheesy I love you stuff, but others were very funny. On my first mothers day, he dressed the twins up really cute and had their pictures taken. The next year he sent me on a shopping spree. The year after that he and the kids made me GIANT homemade cards with hand prints and a cute poem that he made up and took pictures to coincide with the words. This year he took all the kids in the garage and they each painted me a homemade card, and even after five mothers days and me telling him each time that Mommy is spelled M-O-M-M-Y, he still spells it M-O-M-Y, and Daddy D-A-D-Y. Whenever we give each other cards or gifts he always writes, To my wife, love your husband. I think it is the little things that I love about him the most. He has such persistency and never gives up. He is always willing to try new things, and he forever feels like he is 21. I guess that is a good thing considering he is now back in college at age 36. He is a hard worker, and very determined, he isn't easily discouraged, and tries to look at the positive. I love that he doesn't care what other people think, (most of the time), and that he wears socks with his sandals. Every night without fail he has to have a fourth meal, which he justifies by telling me that he never really eats both breakfast and lunch.

Graduation - 2007

Once you get to know him, Ryan is very funny, partly due to his one liners, and partly to the fact that the man is the klutziest person I have ever met. Seriously, he is one giant accident waiting to happen, and the worst part is that he doesn't realize it! Following are the pictures resulting from one of his 'accidents'. He needed to get something on the top shelf in our closet, and thinking that a plastic laundry basket could hold all 240 pounds of him he turned it over and tried to step on top of it. Obviously it did not work and he fell through the basket knocking him and all of the clothes in that basket as well as the other baskets on the floor. I hear this yelling from our closet and I come running in to find this.......

Ryan definately keeps life interesting and entertaining.

Ryan has a soft side too. He doesn't like to admit it, but he is a crier. A quiet crier, but still a crier, especially when it comes to the kids. He cried after reading the blog I did about the twins turning five. He cries when they get really sick, or when Ashden had to have his two surgeries.

I am proud of his commitment to the Lord, and for his decision to be baptized last year. I have seen such a difference in him, and I know that as he continues to rely on the Lord for guidance and strength he will become an even better husband and father. I hope all who are reading this will think of the strengths your own spouse has, and remember that we really are better as one, and that each of us brings something unique to our marriages and families, and I am thankful for the role that Ryan plays in my life.

Baptism Day - 2008

Happy fathers day husband, I sure do love and appreciate all you do for us! . . .

Ashden wanting to be just like Daddy - 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Say Goodbye to Training Wheels

Today the twins learned to ride their bikes like the big boys! What a proud moment as a mom. They probably could have done it months ago, but why do today what you can procrastinate for the future?! So, after months of begging, Ryan and I finally took the wheels off and we headed over to the field to embark on the next step of childhood, riding a bike. Now they are officially apart of the old cliche, 'it's just like riding a bike'.

I have to say, I did cry a bit, and not for the obvious oh they are growing up and they are no longer little boys, but because they were so determined and wouldn't give up. They didn't get discouraged or upset when they fell down, but instead just got back up and grabbed the horse by the reins. I was so proud of them, I hope they always have that dedication, and aren't easily discouraged when things get tough. They were so proud of one another, and were determined to go at it together. Anden figured it out first, but only by about 20 minutes. He was so concerned about Aiden, and kept saying things like, 'Mom, Aiden will get it, and 'Aiden keep going buddy you can do it'. And Aiden, after seeing Anden ride around the track by himself, yelled at the top of his lungs to all who could hear, 'Anden, you're doing it', (as if he didn't realize that himself!). So watch out Twin Creek walkers, they didn't name the park after you, so get out of their way already, because they probably will plow you over once or twice before they learn to maneuver around you!

Good job Bro Bro's, we are so proud of you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hot Dog Anyone?

Meet the latest addition to our household....the little Pumpkin Eater!! Isn't she just down right adorable. She isn't actually ours, but my Mom's little wiener dog, or daschund for those who are more politically correct than I. We get all the fun of having a dog, but not much responsibility. She spends the weekdays down in Yreka with Granny, and comes home on the weekends. The kids just adore her, as you can see in the pictures. It has however caused many fights over who gets her first when Granny comes home, and she is the first thing anyone goes for when they wake up in the morning. Ashy carries her around like a little rag doll, and Adeline just tries not to choke her! She really is so much fun, and the kids love when Granny has to leave her to go out of town, they get 'paid' to babysit pup while she is gone. They love the responsibility, and I love that they are learning to take care of someone else.
I don't know who loves her more, me or the dog!
Just a boy and his dog!

He wanted everyone to see how long this 'hot dog' really is!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

got Park?

This is what four hours at the park will do to your children! Too bad my littlest runt took her nap at the park or I would have had a blissful afternoon. Oh well, three out of four ain't bad!!


Anden (top)

They took all of the pillows off of the couch, and then stripped down all the beds, and if you look close enough, you can see the twins with their giant Teddy Bears, and the spiderman looking thing next to Ashy is his Build-a-Bear! Too Cute!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Me & XIV.....finally!

Here we go, our fabulous fun filled three day weekend in Hollywood. We started the trip with a whirlwind night at my brothers restaurant XIV, it was so much fun I can't even describe it. Hopefully you have read my previous posts and know a little of the background of my brother and the restaurant. Suffice it to say, it totally lived up to all of my expectations and then some. Our dinner reservation was for 7:30, and we didn't leave until almost 1:00am. During that time, the following people were also enjoying dinner at XIV. The Prince of Saudi Arabia, (who pretty much trumped any other 'star' that wanted to come that evening, because his entourage and security detail is so large). The King had been in the night before, and so the Prince just had t come and check it out too! The CEO of Sony records and the President of CBS or NBC I can't remember now, and a big wig from Disney, who hopefully my brother can get to comp us into Disneyland! Also the band Fall Out Boy, and a couple of Lakers players, and their ladies!! A few Bangle football players were also there, and the lady who played the Mom on 7th Heaven for 11 seasons was there celebrating her daughters birthday. They sat right by us, and kept looking back to see who we were, we were seated at the VIP table, (yes, we not the Prince got the VIP table) so people were wondering who we were, because obviously we didn't look famous, but the chef kept coming and sitting with us and we had like five waiters attending to our every need, so people kept asking the staff who we were!! I think that is the closest thing I will ever get to fame.
Here is the photo recap so enjoy the montage!!

Here we are on the roof of our hotel, before we left. They had a pool and all of these little cabana's, it was very cool. We wanted to come up and skinny dip after we ate, but the pool closes at 1:00am, and we didn't get home until 1:30.
My Mom and I before we sat down to eat, I think I am part Amazon, because seriously could I look any bigger, it's like Mutt & Jeff.

Here is the Naan bread they serve first as you sit down, it is a nod to Michael Mina's native India. It was so yummy I seriously ordered seconds, it came with this yogurt dill, feta sauce that I licked off of the plate. You can't order this, it is not on the menu, but everyone gets it as soon as they sit down.

Our first of 14 courses, Michael's Caviar Parfait.

Ahi Tuna Tartare: Ancho Chile, Pears, Mint, Pine Nuts, Sesame Oil

Heirloom Beets: Burrata, Wild Arugula, Aged Balsamic, New Olive Oil
One of our favorites.
Chilled Maine Lobster: Potatoes, Celery, Chestnuts, Truffle
(note the additional Naan bread, I just couldn't get enough of it)
Dungeness Crab Crepe: Basil, Capers, Scampi Hollandaise
This was our absolute favorite, there is a thin Meyer Lemon sauce on the bottom that was in every bite, so yummy!

Nantucket Bay Scallops Tempura: Cauliflower, Passion Fruit, Almonds

Pumpkin Dumplings: Stewed Cherries, Brown Butter, Sage
To die for!

Jidori Chicken: Truffled Mac & Cheese, Caramelized Onion Sauce.
This puts Kraft to shame!
Crispy Pork Belly: Pea Leaves, Orange, Salted Cashew
(pork belly is like a fancy Bacon)

Braised Rabbit: Fresh Ricotta Cavatelli, Parsnip, Truffle Jus
(the ricotta cavatelli is like gnocchi, but so much better)

Japanese A5 Kobe Beef: Chanterelles, Haricots Verts
(so delightful, you could cut the meat with a fork, literally melts in your mouth)

Worcestershire-Braised Short Ribs: Celery Root Puree, Glazed Mirepoix
Loved, Loved, Loved!

Chaource: Rambutan, Guava, White Ale
Cameo by the Chef
(this is a soft cheese)
Idiazabal: Dates, Smoked Bacon Powder, PX
(this is a hard cheese)
"The Cake"
The whole gang.

Have you ever seen anything like it before, I can't even describe it's yumminous, it was so unbelievably delicious, I could have just died.

Where all the magic begins, Steve working hard making sure each plate looks fabulous!

The view from Sunset Boulevard

The interior of the restaurant, it looks like a living room, with bookshelves and fireplaces.

The patio, and the $60,000 chandeliers!


So there you have it, our fabulous trip. To give you an idea of what it would have cost to eat there, had we not had special connections!! The 'fourteen from XIV' is $95 a person, plus an additional $25 per person for the Kobe beef, and an additional $25 per person for the Caviar, plus the $250 for the Birthday Cake, and the 5 bottles of $8 Fuji water, and the three $9 'Mormon Mocktails' our grand total would have been with tax and tip, around $985 for the three of us! Good thing my brothers the chef!

In case you do want to check it out, they do have 'A Light Meal' of 8 courses for $55 a person, or 'Something More" which is 11 courses for $75 a person. You can always order individually for $8 a course, but if you are a party of four, that is $32 per course, because everyone gets the same thing. It is like social dining, so fun and causal, like a big house party. I can't wait to go back, there are 35 items on the menu, so I still have a few more to try, and in case you are wondering, you can order "The Gamut" all 35 courses for $250 a person, so bring your appetite!

Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are held.

Steve and Sophia on the steps of the Kodak Theater, where all the stars walk for the Oscars. She is so beautiful I wanted to vomit, and her English accent is just adorable. She is just as nice as she is cute, and they make a perfect match. We love you Sophia, welcome to the family!