Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What am I doing, you ask?

Turning the clocks forward three hours!
Why would I do that?
So that our little boys can stay up 'til 9 (I'm not sure if they will even make it that late!), celebrate the "New Year", shoot off some fireworks, and not be too miserable the rest of the week.
My New Year's resolution will be to stop lying to my kids.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If you are five years old....

.....full of abundant yet easily focused energy...

.....and you adore your daddy......

.....this is the perfect way to pass some time over Christmas Break.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Nativity 2008

This is a video I made for the little nativity we did with some of my nieces and nephews (and all three of my kids), but I highly recommend that you watch it here on YouTube rather than the little video above. If you go to YouTube, click on "watch in high quality" right under the right corner for a better picture.

(I hope I got your kids' ages right Audra and Levi. That is always a little tricky for me. Darnit, I just noticed that I put 6 for Silas and I KNOW that is wrong! I will correct it tomorrow!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

New pajamas for the boys on Christmas Eve

Discovering what Santa left under the tree on Christmas morning

My boys who were willing to pose for the camera. Notice Gabe is absent.

I think Oliver's first Christmas was a good one. He isn't too hard to please. Here he is just laying on a blanket surrounded by chaos.

We took advantage of the warm weather and went geocaching. It hit the 70's!

I couldn't manage to get a good picture of Gabe all morning because he was a little busy. By the way, the blue ribbon did the trick.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'll have a blue Christmas without you

Gabe decided last week, out of the blue, that his favorite color was blue. The very next day, we received some presents in the mail from Chad's parents. The only two presents that were wrapped in blue paper happened to be for Chad and me. Gabe has been insisting, with many tears, that those two little presents are his, and has been disowning all others. I am fine with him opening them up, but I don't think he will be much interested in whatever happens to be inside.

As sugar-plum fairies danced in his head last night, his mommy tied blue ribbons on all of the packages that belong to him. Do you think he will go for it? We shall see.

And yes, Mommies are allowed to indulge their children in their silly preferences and fits for Christmas. It's a rule. Look it up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Colin the artist

We went to church today and found this artwork adorning the sacrament meeting program! I love how he went back and added the "a" to "holaday." Cute cute kid.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On a lighter note.....

Thank you Sandi for posting this Christmas parody of Twilight on your blog. I thought it was very well done. Kudos to the actress especially. Those of you who have seen Twilight are guaranteed to laugh!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I set off to the store the other day with my two little boys in tow. We started late, after spending the foggy morning lounging in our PJs. I arrived at Aldi prepared, with a week's menu planned out and a sleeping baby. It felt like one of those days, but I was fighting it, determined to power on and accomplish something.

Ten feet into Aldi, I heard a mom yelling, "Stop that Gabriel!" and I turned to catch Gabe's eye to see if he had noticed. His head was cocked toward the woman, and his eyes were wide. I knew that this admonishing by a stranger, even if it was directed towards another little boy, would bother him.

"Gabe!!" I chuckled, giving him a little poke in the ribs, "That boy has the same name as you!"

He let out an unconvincing giggle.

"Gabriel come back here! Gabes!" (Using our nickname for Gabe! Poor kid!)

On and on it went. Hard to avoid in a little store like Aldi.

Gabe gamely tried to find the humor it for a few minutes, but soon his pouty face was put on and he said, "That scares me!"

Which is what Gabe says whenever something makes him uneasy.

Which is a lot of things when you are sensitive like my little boy.

We finished the shopping in only 30 minutes (is that a record?!), remaining a somewhat cheery couple as the cashier rang our items up. Gabe held it together despite his growing uneasiness. I let out a sigh of relief.

I pulled my ATM card out of my back pocket and sucked my breath back in.

Chad's picture was on the front. Images flashed into my head. Finding this expired card yesterday in the couch cushions and setting it on the table. Looking for my debit card this morning and being relieved when I saw the familar blue edges. Grabbing it quickly and running out the door.

I didn't have a valid ATM card, didn't even know where mine was, and Aldi does not accept credit cards. Yeah, they are quirky like that, but their quirks don't usually matter if you come prepared. Which I didn't.

As I gasped, the cashier asked in an already annoyed tone, "What's wrong?"

"I brought the wrong card! Oh shoot!" searching my pockets just in case, by some small miracle, I had the right card hidden in them. "I am so so sorry."

The cashier refused to turn her head, or even her eyes towards me. She was mad. No, "Bless your heart" from this southern soul.

"Are you coming back?" she demanded.

"No I can't. I have no idea where my card is. I am so sorry!" I said intently, willing her to just look at me and give a symphathic head tilt. There wasn't anyone behind me. She had all the time in the world.

She would not look at me. She did not say another word, despite about ten more "I'm am so sorry!"s from me.

I walked out to my van knowing that I was a scatterbrained, mess of a stay-at-home-mom who really just couldn't get it all together. Not only had I wasted my time, I was going home with no food and a little boy who was wondering where his grapes were. As soon as I sat down in my front seat I started crying.

Gabe stayed silent the whole trip home as I wept. Wept over this little event that had triggered the tears that had wanted to erupt all day. Wept over the small sorrows in my life that had been weighing me down even before the shopping excursion.

We walked through the door at home and I pulled Gabe into my arms, where he gave me a sincere and lingering hug. Two sensitive souls.

He's his momma's boy. I get you, hun.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Then and now

Sept. 2003

Colin's first baby tooth

Dec. 2008
Colin's first adult tooth

Dec. 2007
Anticipating an un-named baby

Dec. 2008
Relishing Oliver

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dear Mom,

I found a spot for the nativity you sent us.Thanks again! I love it.


Dear Ashley,

Eat one of these for me, k?



Monday, December 15, 2008

A snippet of my life

Gabe whining in the background, Colin singing to himself in Chinese while peeling a clementine to share with Gabe, and Oliver just waiting for someone to smile at him.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crowd pleaser, that's what I am

Colin made this pyramid yesterday, took a picture of it, and told me I should put it on my blog.

When we were asked to bring a dessert to the ward party last Christmas, I went all out with a homemade chocolate-caramel cheesecake. Let me tell you, it was rich, creamy, and CHEESECAKE. Need I say more? Well, we ended up taking more than half of it home. I can't really complain, because, hey, we got to eat it, but, well, I am going to complain anyway - HOW COULD YOU PASS THAT UP, PEOPLE?

So, you know what I have learned since then? People at potlucks love cupcakes. Especially straight-from-a-box cupcakes with straight-from-the-can-frosting with sprinkles on top. You bring those suckers and they are gone before any other dessert. I think this is because:

#1. Kids love them.


#2. When you are standing in line with the weird choir director breathing on your neck and bumping your elbow, sometimes you don't want to take the time to dish up a more complicated dessert so you just grab a cupcake and run to your table before someone else claims your spot.

And they are just yummy, right? I think my sister Ashley figured this out long before I did.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not just us.

Glad that it wasn't just in my imagination. The good news is that it is a great time to buy here! Any takers?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Lights at The Garden

It was quite magical again. I hope this becomes a tradition with us because it is truly a wonderful way to spend a holiday evening. Besides the lights, the kids got to make an ornament, visit Santa (again), and see an incredible model train.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Morning smiles

Oliver, like his brother Colin, wakes up with a smile on his face. Colin always listens closely to the baby monitor in the morning while he is getting ready for school and with every noise that Oliver makes, he asks if he can go see if he is awake. He is always upset if Oliver hasn't woken up before he leaves for school because he says he needs his morning smiles.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Visit with Santa

Colin was still a little shy. Santa was not-quite-jolly.

Gabe was very eager for his turn, but scared when it came. He did manage to whisper "Geotrax."

Oliver is still pretty indifferent to who is holding him....

....and it's a plus if they have a bushy beard to cling to. We had to do some untangling after this picture.
When we got home, Gabe asked Colin, "Where's my Geotrax?" and later said to me "Santa Claus didn't bring me Geotrax!"
Sorry little guy. 19 more days.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The witching hour

The hour before Chad gets home is always an adventure. I am trying to make dinner and the boys are cranky and vying for my attention.

Here is what happened today:

I learned that from now on when I sit Oliver somewhere, I have to strap him in.

Both sets of pictures were taken within 20 minutes of each other! You would think I learned the first time. He does these cool kicks with both legs to wiggle himself out. It is very delibrate and he seems very satisfied with his results.

See how Colin is roping off the living room area?

It's to keep people out of this mess that Gabe created.

Yeah, I left it for awhile and continued making dinner. Actually, Chad just swept it up about an hour ago. He rocks.

Do you ever experience blenvy?

You know the feeling - it was there before long before blogs. It can be as simple as sitting at a party and wishing you could come up with the one-liners that roll of someone else's tongue, or wishing you had the rolling and contagious laugh of one of your friends (L.M. Montgomery was always writing about her heroines laughter was like music. She would not admire my chuckle). Or it goes beyond that. You catch a glimpse, a small, Piscasa'd glimpse, of someone else's life, which you then compare to the whole, uncropped version that you know as your life. Your life, and your talents, are almost always the losers in this imagined competition.

I was reading a post by Kacy this morning about an interview on Oprah with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, thinking that I had thought many of the same thoughts when I watched the interview, and admiring how Kacy has turned it into a hilarious post. Of course I started to envy her writing style, and of course I started to think "I should try to write funnier posts." But that just isn't gonna happen, because I'm just not that funny and I'm a badder writer than her. Plus, and I swear I'm not making this up, I just haven't been able to function at a high level of creativity since having Oliver. Don't ask me why - I get plenty of sleep, he's a pretty easy baby, and my husband does a lot of cleaning - but I am just not normal again yet.

So these thoughts made me remember a post written by the famous Cjane awhile back (someone I really blenvy). Read it (go ahead and do it right now but promise you will come back), and you will get the blenvy reference.

Which made me remember some comments on the same cjane's blog that I have been reading (yes, I spend a lot of time on blogs. bite me.). As I am sure most of you know, her sister Stephanie Nielson, was in a plane crash with her husband in August and is now recovering. Thousands of people have now been to Stephanie's blog and have oohed and aahed over her beautiful family and life. I am one of those people. I discovered NieNie (Stephanie's blog name) along with Cjane this past spring and have since checked their blogs daily.

But back to the comments on Cjane's blog. She gets tons of them and sometimes I take a peek. They are mostly Thank you for inspiring us. Your sister is an inspiration, I am praying for all of you types of comments. Every once in awhile though, they make me cringe. Things like, Your sister is the PERFECT mother. You have a PERFECT family. I wish my family was more like yours.

This goes beyond simple blenvy. This isn't "Oh, I wish I were as funny as Kacy, or as eloquent as Courtney."

I think Cjane has noticed comments like this too because whenever she gives interviews, she always makes a point of mentioning that Stephanie and Christian weren't perfect people with a perfect life. Stephanie had struggles just like the rest of us. In her blog and her job as a mother, she just chose to highlight the positive, to see the hilarity, and to find the romance. By focusing on those things, she created even more of it.

This is what I think - we all already have a NieNie life and a NieNie family.

We all have that much beauty surrounding us, but we might not be choosing to seek it out, emphasize it,recreate it, and reflect it to our fullest.

I have very strong feelings about comparing. You shouldn't do it. It isn't fair to you or the other person. I will probably post about it sometime.

But in the meantime, let me just state that I do still envy the laughs of Autumn (Tippit) Leavitt and Kim Potts. My laugh is a one-note, annoying rattle. Theirs are exquisite and joyful.

And I sure wish I had a better header on my blog.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Almost a week after

Some pictures from Thanksgiving

This was how Oliver spent most of his day. Don't you love the way he clasps his hands together?

We drew names out of a jar and took turns saying what we were thankful for. Colin said, "Cousins."

Isn't Sabina's dining room cute?

I love this picture. An adorable baby who adores his mommy.

What a handsome kid.

The trampoline does wild things to Evan's hair.

I posted this picture because I liked the teasing look on Gabe's face, and then after I did I noticed that he brought a car with him to dinner. What a cutie.

A Colin look that I adore.

My kids have learned very bad whipped-cream etiquette from their daddy, and I am afraid they ruined Evan and Santi forever.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Have you heard?!

THIS guy got his mission call to........

Madrid, Spain!

I went to bed at 9 last night so I missed his 11 pm call with the news, and didn't hear until Chad called me from work this morning. I am so excited for him!
Congratulations Bryce! The spanish-speaking tradition lives on.
I am already planning a little trip out there when he finishes. Sound good, Chad? We don't have to buy anyone a gift certificate, so we can totally afford it!