Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tobler Family Photo Shoot, Take 2

I really should send out my Christmas cards. But I haven't ordered them yet. I was disappointed in Shutterfly's "Merry Martin Luther King Jr. Day" card selection. Because that's probably when I'll get around to mailing them, sometime in late January--Flag Day in June at the absolute latest. At what point is it just tacky to send out holiday cards?

Now off to E.C. to spend some quality time with the Hoopes Troops...

McQuippy says I had this photo taken of our feet expressly to show off my favorite shoes.
That man has me all figured out.

and the "Best Gift Award" goes to....

Caroline! [to her doting father].

Runner Up.....Santa!

[For this bad-to-the-bone rickshaw trike.
Made in China or India, appropriately].
Yak not included.

what are the odds?

This one goin out to jolly old St. Nicholas--

If I could have a horrific stomach flu ANY OTHER NIGHT OF THE YEAR besides Christmas Eve next year, it would be sheer fabulosity.


p.s. thanx for the Bose ipod docking station

Monday, December 7, 2009

the world according to caroline

[5-year old daughter Ellison:]
"Mom, Caroline says if I don't obey her she'll
tell them to lock me up in jubi."
I don't know who "them" is.
How Caroline became the resident expert on
juvenile detention centers
still remains a mystery.
Probably just typical 3rd grade water cooler fodder...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it's still happy

Just got back from here...

[this was taken last year]

where Caroline did a little of this...

and this...

with the Wright family entertainment dynasty.

(cousins Jenee Wright Prince and Ivan Prince)

We were also lucky enough to have a grandma, a grandpa, an aunt, an uncle, and a little cousin from the Tobler side along for good luck to come!

Monday, November 16, 2009


{Grandma and Grandpa Stoker, c.1980s)
My Grandma Randall Sirrine Stoker died one year ago. Lately I've been remembering things she said to me that likely altered the course of my life. At least my life with Marc.

Example: She encouraged me to move beyond some 5th grade-style attitudes of pettiness my girlfriends and I had concerning the dating scene (and eachother). I was made to feel like I couldn't like or date anybody that any of my friends had ever liked or dated, which left about three men in the dating pool, all hopeless twits.

True Tidbit: The Mormon dating pool is just not that big when you're 29. Frankly, I was also quite complacent just going out to dinner and the movies every weekend with my roommates Michelle and Kristi, and occasionally going to some singles' parties. I'm smiling as I'm typing this right now--remembering her telling me: "Well, you don't marry your friends." Grandma reminisced about her first encounter with my Grandpa Randall, who died before I was born. She went on a double date with him, although she was with his friend, and his date was another girl. It was as if she were giving me permission to just go for Marc. Even though McLadiesMan had "dated" one of my former roomates, who remains one of my good friends today.

So I did just go for it.

My grandma was widowed three times. She grew up in the Great Depression and she struggled with some rare health issues. Her trials galvanized her strong spirit and her faith. How will I teach my daughters charity, compassion, and unwaivering faith that comes mostly from enduring hardship and sacrifice? Our world today is one of such ease and comfort.

Her white halo of hair literally made her face radiate with light. "How is life in your world?" was her trademark question, regardless of how she herself was feeling.

My Senior year in high school I needed a dress for a formal dance. I can't remember if I found the black crepe dress rummaging around in my mom's closet, or if my mom offered me the dress to wear, but I ended up wearing my Grandma Stoker's black dress with shoulder-to-floor rhinestone buttons down the side [and some gargantuan shoulder pads] from the 1940s. Not even one alteration was needed. The rhinestone buttons on the shoulder had fallen off, and we didn't have time to sew them on {or they were lost}. I felt like a million bucks. Although I felt like I lacked her grace and class, it was perfect.

Senior year 1986. Me wearing the same dress she wore in the 1940s.

{Thanks Aunt Jane for helping me find the photo of THE dress.}

Friday, November 6, 2009


General Conference weekend.* Not all my days can be filled with pithy fun and fluff. Some days it's necessary to re-focus on the unwavering truths of life and our existence here on earth. Cousin Alice's five kids came to "camp out" for a couple of days [while they were off backpacking somewhere remote]. We were schooled in the art of Extreme Fort Building. Nine kids mulled about crafting various nests and hideouts for themselves.
These were powerful messages of hope, charity, and faith. To edify and recommit my mind and soul. And detox myself from the cynic I don't want to become. A rescue of sorts from my usual jaded self. Elder Holland's profound testimony of the Book of Mormon was among my favorites. Here are some highlights from several of the talks.

*General Conference is a bi-annual occurence wherein a living prophet and the twelve living apostles, as well as other men and women, deliver inspired messages about Jesus Christ. It is broadcast worldwide from Salt Lake City. It is interesting to note that these men/women are not paid/professional clergy. They are people who did not seek their callings, but who were plucked from their various professions as lawyers, surgeons, farmers, military personnel, pilots, engineers, etc., to tirelessly testify of the Living Christ, to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples, much like the apostles of Biblical times.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

All credit for me having a freaking amazing costume this year goes to the ol' sister Susan, who let me loot her costume bin(s). Seriously, that spider hat of mine was wicked, indeed.

{Ellison tormented by her itchy witch costume}

Monday, September 28, 2009

indian summer

Thursday, September 24, 2009

more peaches

Day 8: CALLANETICS. Old school. An ex-ballerina named Callan Pinckney developed these exercises like a millenium ago. My high school girlfriends and I still make fun of the way she describes the "perfect little peach" one will attain by doing ballet-like moves. Whatever, dude.

Callan and I have quite a history. I have fond memories of doing CALLANETICS with my cousin Marilyn Oveson my Freshman year at BYU. I was battling the "Freshman 10" {and severe loneliness} and she was newly married with a new baby. I'd go over to her little newlywed house right off campus and we'd move our limbs ever-so-slightly "one-half inch" here and there. They really do tone you up quickly if you do them right. My mom still does these DVDs (actually I think they are VHS videos) and she looks like a million bucks.

Day 9: Cardio Kick Boxing. This class was extremely enjoyable. Mostly because my instructor looked and moved like Fergie. I'd never done a kick-boxing class before. New adventures people! This was the perfect mix of dance and boxing moves. I'll be going back to this little Monday morning gig.

Day 10: With my newly perceived coordination, I opted to try a class called "The Mixx" today. Taught by my new favorite instructor, Fergie. I showed up a little late and peered through the window in Studio 1. The slick moves I'd semi-mastered in Sparteens [my high school drill team] were no match for Fergie's Funk-A-Thon. I just couldn't bring myself to go in there. What a copout! I'm not intimidated by too many things, but I slunk away and be-bopped right on over to the Stairmaster instead. I lasted about 2 minutes on that puppy before I gave up entirely and drove to my alma mater, Dunkin Donuts. I was tempted to, at least. But I stuck it out on the treadmill. Two pounds lost!

I will be checking out the full-blown BOOT CAMP tomorrow. Variety. Accountability. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Molly Mormon

One may or may not be a stereotypical 40+ Mormon woman when:

*one begs one's sister Sus to haul her new Nutrimill wheat grinder over from Yuma so one can test it out on a new whole wheat bread recipe [ours came out more like biscotti. hard and flat].

*one begs long-suffering friend Molly (yes, Molly the Mormon) to come over and teach one how to can some of the 298756538 peaches one needs to use in the next 24 hours. A veritable Chinese army of peaches was canned (or bottled, technically).

*one begs friend Sarah C. to come over and make peach freezer jam with the remaining 38746 peaches. (it didn't set up--anybody need peach syrup? free shipping.) Next time one will use my cousin Molly's "use extra pectin powder" tip. [Cousin Molly not to be confused with Canning Molly.]

*one makes a killer peachy-keen cobbler recipe courtesy of Texas pal Patrice H. (made it four times)

*one signs up for pal Natalie's quilting courses.

*one is slightly obsessed with food storage.

*one is asked by a certain McSmartAleck when they turned 74 years old. No cobbler for you.

a room with a view

{this was the view from my bed when I woke up this morning}

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 8: Quite strenuous hike at Tonto Natural Bridge. [more on that later]. We went camping with Marc's cousins Michael and Alice this weekend [more on that later].

We've been a little laid up around here with some sort of insidious stomach thing. Everybody but Marc and Caroline has had it. (thus far). Needless to say, there hasn't been a whole lot of exercising going on around here, unless my exercise in futility counts.

Now--what in the Sam Hill am I going to do with all these peaches?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fitness Comittment Update

Friday, Day 5: Spinning Class. It's crucial to have good music with a strong beat in spinning class. I can do anything to a rhythm for awhile. I love a good spinning class. This one had excellent music, a lot of 80s.

Saturday, Day 6: Susan (my sis) came into town from Yuma and we needed a break from our kids (eight total) so we loaded them into the car(s) and took them to the gym so we could have an uninterrupted conversation on the treadmills. This wasn't a repeat for me, since I wasn't running. I would call it power-walking with a steep incline. Susan might call it tripping on the treadmill every 10 steps.

Tuesday, Day 7: Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Adore is too tame a word to describe my feelings for yoga. Especially the group nap at the end with my new best friends/yoga homies under the guise of "breathing exercises". Little Miss-Contortionist-Yogi-Chick-Teacher got a little persnickety when I didn't want to wake up after class was over. I wanted to remind her in a gentle, Zen-like fashion that child care is for two hours in this gym, and that I still had one hour left before I had to pick up Charlotte [who wore her Cinderella getup to the gym today]. But I left before she called security.

McThrewHisBackOutLastWeek would be proud that I'm maximizing my gym membership.

This is going great! I do enjoy mixing it up a bit. Off to prep my Isagenix protein shake...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Favorite Photos of August

{ Above: Cousin Lorin aka Lolo}

{Above: Cousin Bridgette}

Heaven help me


equals these.

Luckily these were from last week's bake-off.

Recipe available upon request. Because I kinda don't want to get up and get it right now.