12/31/08

12/15/08

That First Tooth

I LOVE milestones.
It just gives me such a fuzzy bunny feeling. We recently had a new milestone with Ethan's first tooth. I have actually been dreading Ethan losing his teeth because he is soooo dramatic about things and I just knew it would be drama, drama, drama. However, he surprised us all. He's getting older and maturing more so that helps but he was so excited about losing a tooth that we had very little drama. Of course, we left him alone for a very long time as it was getting more and more loose. He came to us when it was just about ready to fall out. "My tooth is ready for extraction!" Sam got his "dental tools" and hid them from Ethan because he knew if he saw them he'd start freaking out. Actually I would too! Ethan had to say a little prayer before Dentist Daddy went to work. It was so cute how he told us he needed a minute to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help him stay calm (see even he knows he gets a little dramatic!). As you can tell from the picture Sam covered his eyes like any good dentist would do!



11/21/08

Life Really Comes Down to Two Questions....

Should I get a dog?.....
Or
Should I have more children?....

Our family tried a dog earlier this spring and that didn't go so well, I guess we're on to choice number 2! yikes!

11/19/08

It's Just One of Those Things

Have you ever gotten something that you weren't sure you needed and then once you have it you're not sure how you lived without it?
I got two such things for my birthday this year. One was a Kitchenaid Mixer. I've had several people in my life make comments about their mixers lately. Linda B. even said that if she could only take one appliance in her whole kitchen she'd take her mixer (which by the way is about 30+ years old, I'm sure she could take something else and then get herself a new one! :-). So I told Sam that one of the things I'd like for Christmas was a Kitchenaid Mixer. He looked at me like I was losing my marbles and I'm sure attributed it to the "pregnancy hormones". I started looking for a used one on craigslist and came across one the next day. I got it used which is the best for something you're not entirely sure you need. Since I bought it I've used it a handful of times (twice on Sunday!) and really do love the convenience of the mixer. Who'd have thunk it?
The second thing was a "bath pillow" (thank you Alicia). I received this bath pillow from a friend who informed me she originally bought it for herself but then realized she never takes a bath. It ended up in her "birthday gifts box" and I was the lucky recipient! All I can say is glory hallelujah! I love this bath pillow! I can't not imagine taking a bath without one ever again. :-) I'm a huge fan of taking baths in the winter. Just about every night I fill the tub with bubbles, light a candle, and relax just before I crawl into bed. I really can't imagine why someone wouldn't find a bath totally relaxing (Deanna?). Anyway, if you're big on taking baths like I am make sure to get yourself a bath pillow. It's pure luxury.

11/16/08

Is It Really November?






I can not believe the mild weather we've had this far into November! I'm loving it! I can enjoy fall when it doesn't involve snow! :-) Our family took advantage of the nice weather and decided to go and ride the new Mountaineer Skyride at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Once you get to the top it provides a beautiful view of the valley. We also took some time to get kooky with the giraffes. We love the giraffe display at the zoo. It's got to be one of the best in the country. (this was pre-haircut, so a couple of weeks ago)

11/5/08

The Haircut

It was time for the long hair to go....
BEFORE:




AFTER:






I'm loving the new look!

11/1/08

HAPPY Halloween

What a fun time of year! The fun is accentuated when you have small children the perfect age for tricker treating and carving pumpkins. Ethan and Ryan have had a blast this year. We had a fall festival at the church last Saturday which ended with a trunk-or-treat.



That meant we had a huge bag of candy in our house all week. This was Ryan all week long!...."mom can I have a piece of candy?" 15 minutes later "mom can I have a piece of candy?" I went to the store and got a bunch of fruit (which is not his favorite) and said "no, but you can have a strawberry". He ate alot of fruit this week. :-)


We had a fun FHE carving pumpkins. There were slim pickins at the grocery store so we ended up with "white" pumpkins. Sam was sorely disappointed. :-) Ryan, of course, picked a complex pattern. That's why at the beginning of FHE, I paired him with his daddy! Ethan originally wanted to draw his face on the pumpkin but then decided it looked terrible and picked a face from our patterns. It was hilarious to listen to the boys as they were taking out the pumpkin guts, and watching their pumpkins come together. They love FHE and every week they get excited wanting to know what we're going to talk about or do that week. This week, I was informed...was one of their favorites.



Of course, Halloween isn't complete without a few school parties. This year I signed up to be the "room parent" in both Ethan and Ryan's classes. Thankfully I'm a co-parent. So I worked with the other moms to set up some fun parties for the kids. The older kids had a costume parade throughout the whole school. The 1st graders sat down in their hallway while all the other grades paraded by and then they were the last ones that got to go parade by all the other grades. Ryan doesn't have school on Fridays, so he decided he was a 1st grader for the afternoon and participated right along with Ethan and all of his classmates! Ryan's party was on Thursday (Halloween was on a Friday this year) because he's out of school on Friday. The preschoolers are soooo cute in their costumes! They had their own little parade for the Kindergartners and the office staff. Fun.




On Friday morning then we had some little costume switch-a-roo. The boys were originally going to be a monkey and a Frankenstein for halloween. Both of these costumes are extra warm and made out of fleece. Well for those of you not in Colorado this year it was 70 degrees on Friday! 70 degrees in Colorado on October 31st! That is unheard of for this time of year. Ryan wore his monkey costume for his party and he was all sweaty and uncomfortable. So on Thursday night I was out for some "mom" time after dinner. I went to Target to walk around and burn time and saw their costumes were on sale. I found an Optimus Prime costume in Ethan's size and called him to see if he'd like to be Optimus Prime instead of Frankenstein (my boys are HUGE transformers fans). This is what he said "well I'd actually like to be Bumblebee but if they don't have Bumblebee then I'll settle for Optimus Prime". They didn't have Bumblebee. I came home and boys came out of their rooms wanting hugs from mommy before they could go to sleep and Ryan saw the costume and immediately started crying wanting to know why I didn't get him a Transformer costume. What a horrible mom I am! The only way I could settle him down was to promise him that on Friday morning we'd go to Walmart in search of Bumblebee or Optimus for him. After we dropped Ethan off at school we went in search of another costume. What we found was Bumblebee in Ethan's size but not Ryan's. So I bought Bumblebee, drove to Ethan's school, switched out his costume in his backback (without him knowing), and returned Optimus to Target to exchange it for Ryan's size. It was alot of running around BUT they were sooooo happy to be Transformers for Halloween. Ethan was shocked to see Bumblebee in his backpack when Mrs. Kehayas sent them to put their costumes on. When I showed up to the party he gave me a big hug and said thanks for getting me Bumblebee mom. I'm not a big fan of these types of costumes but the boys were so happy it was hard not to be happy for them.

The boys were beyond excitement last night. At the beginning Ryan was literally running from house to house.
They both kept saying "this is the best night ever!" After about 1 hour of tricker-treating they were exhausted. They wanted us to carry their buckets for them and Ryan would have been really happy if we would have carried him back to the car (we usually trick-or-treat in the Broadmoor Glens, a nice neighborhood with all cul-de-sacs just down the street from our house). When we got home from trick-or-treating the boys wanted turn on our lights, light their pumpkins to put outside, and pop some popcorn that they got in their buckets and watch the Transformer Movie...and of course EAT SOME CANDY!

When we tucked the boys into bed and said prayers I gave Ryan a hug and he says into my ear "ah good times, good times mom". That about sums it up!

Now it's early Saturday morning. For some reason I woke up earlier then normal. I decided to take this time to blog and watch the sun rise. We have these 4 big pane glasses windows that face East in our house. If your down in the living room they are about 15-20 feet up, if you're in the kitchen they are about 10 feet up, but if your in the loft you can see right out of them. It's beautiful just sitting here, having a spiritual moment, reflecting on life. I can't believe I'm 20 weeks along in this pregnancy and this time next year we'll have a 7 month old along with us when we go tricker treating!

10/16/08

An Apron To Remember...

I really never thought that in my lifetime I would enjoy spending a couple of afternoons gathered around a sewing machine...ever! My grandmother is probably laughing in her grave at the thought that her granddaughter (who she tried on numerous occasions to teach sewing) is sewing and most importantly enjoying it!

Recently several friends met for a "sewing party". Typically there were anywhere from 4-7 of us at one time. Our project was to learn how to make aprons. I have been wanting an apron for a really long time. Another thing that would have my grandmother laughing (she also tried to teach me to bake with no avail). We just put our sewing machines around one table and had another table set up to cut out patterns and we taught ourselves how to sew the apron. It was invigorating! I know what a crazy word to use for sewing but I loved being surrounded by women and creating something that before the day started I had no idea how to do. I learned to gather a seam, to sew a dart, to stitch in the ditch, and to cut on the bias!! These are all things that would have been Greek to me before our "sewing party". It was fun! It took several afternoons for all of us to finish and every time I heard we were getting together then I'd make sure I was there. I loved being there, listening to music, feeling like I was in a sweat shop when all the machines were going, learning a new skill, and talking with friends. Honestly, I can't wait for the next project!

Now I have an apron and it's reversible! I've used in several times already. It's nice to have an apron when I'm cooking because I usually always have a towel handy, now I just use my apron. Ethan came downstairs while I was cooking with my new apron and said "wow, mom that's pretty, let's take your picture". So here it is....

10/7/08

Christmas Unlimited

I took the opportunity to go through all of my boys toys the last few weeks. They had several toys that were really to nice for a garage sale but I didn't want to be bothered by trying to sale them on ebay or craigslist. I remembered about a great charity in our community called "Christmas Unlimited". They provide low income families with a "shopping pass" based on the number of children in their family. The families come in to the "store" during the holiday season to "buy" toys for their children. They take new and used toys in good condition. Sam and I took the boys with us to make the donation and talked to them about the opportunity for other little boys, who's parents can't buy them nice toys, to be able to have toys. We explained we were donating toys they never play with anymore. They just wanted to make sure that mommy didn't donate any of their transformers and then they were on board!
I encourage any of you out there in the Colorado Springs community with an overabundance of toys to donate them to Christmas Unlimited. They are a fantastic charity that has been in our community for over 50 years. They are also looking for volunteers during the holidays to help the families do their shopping, keep the shelves clean and organized, etc. So if you're looking for a volunteer opportunity!!!

10/6/08

The Elk Rut is On...



This weekend we took the opportunity (Sam had a 4 day weekend) to head up to Estes Park, Colorado and spend 2 nights. I casually mentioned to Sam that is was Elk breeding season and that I really wanted to go watch. Needless to say that got a second look and some raised eyebrows. However, I had read in the newspaper an article about how active the Elk are this time of year and how the bull Elk will bugle to attract the females and it is really quite interesting. I really had no interest in exposing myself or my children to the "breeding" and secretly hoped that would not be part of our trip (luckily it was not :-).



We stayed at the YMCA center of the Rockies. I've had friends that have stayed there and recommended it. They have a swimming pool, livery, climbing wall, mini golf, dining hall, bingo, craft center, gym, disc golf, lake for fishing, pool hall, ping pong, and a few other things. They are all available to members staying on sight. We took advantage of the mini golf, swimming, and fun "animal detective" class for the kids. The boys learned a new word in their animal detective class this weekend...scat. As we were walking to the mini golf we came across some scat and Ethan proceeded to tell me he was sure it was Elk scat instead of deer scat because it was all squished together. He also said humans have long really squished together scat. I said did you talk about human scat in your class? He proudly said; "no, I came up with that one on my own".


Our room had a queen size bed and two bunk beds! It was nice to have that kind of sleeping arrangements, however, the "lodge" was more like a college dorm and we would have liked a little more privacy and a little less noise. I think next time we'll stay in one of their many cabins.


Rocky Mountain National Park was beautiful! I highly recommend a trip to the park for anyone who hasn't been. It was nice to be there in fall and see all the leaves changing. We went into the park in the morning and drove around, took a few pictures, stopped at the visitors center, and then learned that the best time to come is during twilight. The elk start to get active around 5 pm and then "party" all night long. The ranger recommended we bring chairs and just plan to sit and watch for a few hours. So we came back at 4:30, and watched the rut. At 6 pm then the ranger gave a lecture about the Elk and their behaviors and what we were observing. I was fascinated to learn that the men urinate all over themselves to attract the females. Yum. The more urine they have on themselves...the stronger they are...thus the more attractive. Hmm. They can directionally shoot urine all over their necks! They also will urinate in one spot enough to make mud and then roll around in it. Essentially they do these things both to keep the other males away and to get the females to chose them as their mating partner. So in the end, it's the females who make the choice!





Here is a "funny" video of the main bull Elk in the herd we were watching chasing this female. It was really neat to listen to the bugle of the males (there were 5 total males in the herd we were watching). In this video it almost seems he bugles out of frustration. The whole time we were watching (about 2 hours) then the bull kept chasing this one female (she has a yellow collar). Needless to say he never did get her! I guess she was saving herself for a bigger stronger smellier male!


video

9/18/08

Ryan the "Liar"

So I went to pickup Ryan from preschool today and his teachers both grabbed me and said "so I hear you're pregnant!". I just giggled and said "it's true". They both looked surprised and said that Ryan had told them his mom was having a baby and they said "no, that can't be right" but they said Ryan was so insistent that I really was having a baby and that it was a girl (we don't know the sex :-) that they started to think that he might be telling the truth. I thought that was pretty funny and asked how did the topic come up. They said Ryan was just sitting at the table and announced that his mommy was having a baby, and they were really surprised by his comment. Of course, they were very gracious and said "congratulations".

9/16/08

Ethanism...

"Everyday you're just a little bit fatter"

8/20/08

Just Putting It Out There in the Universe....



Special Thanks to Tagan for the beautiful graphics!

Tagged by Leslie...

10 Years Ago....
  1. I was working in my first "real" job as a speech therapist for Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City...and I was loving it!!
  2. I had 5 really great (once in a lifetime) friends that did everything together. We got together weekly to watch X-Files, go mountain biking, go 4-wheelin in Corner Canyon, trips to Moab, vacations together (we'd just got home from a really fun trip to San Diego), and chillin' at each others apartments.
  3. I bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee (for 4-wheelin) and then totalled it 6 weeks later in a major rollover accident off of I-80 between Tremonton and Snowville.
  4. I had a huge crush on our singles ward Elder's Quorum president (hint his name was Sam Walker)
  5. I was living in the "strangest" apartment over a strange house with 2 other girls. My room had a captain's bed, my roommate lived in a loft down a dark hallway (I don't remember ever having many conversations with her), my other roommate had a front bedroom that was built off the living room. It was a really wierd shaped apartment but it was dirt cheap!!

Today's To Do List.....

  1. Work on my blog for the first time in a few weeks
  2. Call and set up my Visiting Teaching
  3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes
  4. Finish Ryan's "Star of the Week" Collage for pre-school
  5. Do speech therapy with Ryan for at least 15 minutes
  6. Read with Ethan
  7. Finish my billing for my patients
  8. Finish sewing my "fall" church bag
  9. Take a nap! (absolutely necessary right now)
  10. clean the house to get ready for family coming to town

Places I Have Lived....

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Tremonton, Utah
  3. Hollywood, CA (I was 2)
  4. Garland, Utah
  5. Denver, Colorado
  6. Snowville, Utah
  7. Howell, Utah
  8. Naf, Idaho
  9. Stone, Idaho
  10. Boise, Idaho
  11. Provo, Utah
  12. Salt Lake City, Utah
  13. Sandy, Utah (our first married apartment)
  14. Monterey, California
  15. Ogden, Utah
  16. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  17. Colorado Springs, Colorado

I may have missed a few but I think that is all of them!

If I Were a Millionaire....

  1. I would immediately hire a personal chef!
  2. I would spend a lot more time visiting my friends and family. I'd definitely go visit Allison much more often since she always seems to be somewhere cool!
  3. I would find the perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood, with the perfect school, and the perfect ward. (money can buy anything can't it?)
  4. I'd pay off all the bills, and buy Sam that sports car he's always wanted! That would mean we'd need a house with a 10 car garage because there are at least 8 sports cars he's always wanted! :-)
Snacks I Enjoy....
  1. Peanut Butter and Honey on Whole Wheat Bagel...mmmmm
  2. Snickers Bars
  3. Donuts
  4. Cake and Ice Cream...together
  5. Cookies (I really like all cookies except one's with fruit inside...yuk!)
  6. 7 layer dip and Tostitos white corn rounds
  7. Chips and Salsa

I'm tagging.....Tagan and Shelley!!

8/4/08

July 2008

July has come and gone. I'm getting some "flack" about my poor blogging. I'll have to admit July did seem to come and go awefully fast.
We started the month off with a fun weekend in Pueblo, CO. We got a camping spot at Pueblo Reservoir and spent 2 nights and 3 days playing in the water. We were blessed to have the Gray family come down with their boat. They were also extremely gracious and pulled in their "mini-Winnie" R.V. to save us all from sleeping on the ground in a tent! I've never been so relieved! I had tried for weeks to convince Sam to buy this cot at Sam's Club so I wouldn't have to sleep on the ground but he wouldn't let me get it! The big meany! So when Paul and Leslie offered their R.V. I couldn't have been more pleased! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We spent hours and hours out on the water jet skiing, tubing, water skiing, and swimming. Ryan was glued to the seat of the boat the entire weekend. "I'm so scared" We did finally bribe him into riding on the jet ski by offering to go to WalMart and buy him a toy he wanted. The entire Gray clan was cheering him on too. "Come on Ryan, you can do it, then you can get your Bakugan!"
I got up on the water skis for the first time in 10 years!! After 2 icky falls where I had to surgically remove my swimsuit I was done. Actually I was exhausted! Leslie did awesome! She just learned to water ski recently. She had much more stamina then me! :-) She also had the ski gloves! She was holding out on me.

Sam and I celebrated 9 years together this month. Although it's been a stressful life altering couple of years, I'm grateful for the strength of our marriage and for the place we are now in our lives. I look forward to many more years and many more happy times.

My mom came to visit for Pioneer Day weekend. Since she works for the State of Utah she had 4 day weekend and decided to come visit. That same weekend Sam left for Tennessee to help his mom transition to home after 8 weeks in the hospital!! Unfortunately she went home on Friday and Sam took her back on Monday. She was readmitted with dehydration. It looks like they plan to keep her for 2 more weeks and send her to the rehab unit to get some strength and stamina back after having spent so much time in bed and ill this summer.

Mom and I took the boys to the Denver zoo. We were all super impressed with the Denver zoo! We liked it quite a bit more then the San Antonio zoo we visited earlier this summer. When I was a young girl our family lived in Denver for a short while. My stepfather's family owned a nursery in the Indian Hills area and we moved to Denver so he could work for them. I remember alot of things about that house but neither mom or I were able to find the address. I really wanted to see if we could find the house. We remember it was across the street from a Methodist church, I remembered riding my bike over a major road so that my brother and I could go to a pet store, mom remembered a tunnel that we used to walk through to get to a big park, and that they used to joke about being able to walk to the Denver Broncos stadium faster then trying to find parking. We did a little research on churches and parks before we went to Denver. We spent quite a bit of time driving around Denver but were never able to find the house. It had been almost 25 years so obviously the city has changed quite a bit. I was to young to remember much more then details about the house and mom couldn't remember to much about the neighborhood. We tried but weren't successful. Bummer.

We also we to the ward Pioneer day breakfast, stained some new closet doors, we for a 3 mile walk every morning, and enjoyed some really nice quality time together. I love to have my mom visit!! It's hard to live so far from home. I love when we can get together and the boys have the opportunity to get to know their grandma better.

Now we're ready to start into August! This will be a crazy month too. I'm not making promises on any blogging records to all my friends out there that keep giving me a hard time. I'm sorry I can't be the super blogger that all of you are!! :-)

(pictures are coming...you can't expect me to blog and do pictures can you!! LOL)

6/20/08

My Summer Baby....(no it's not what you think)



Last year we had our front yard professionally landscaped because honestly it was way beyond needing help. There was no way I (I say I because Sam was deployed) would have been able to make our front yard look like it does today. Well our backyard is very "natural" as well. I've been determined to grow some grass and plant a few flowers and such to make the back yard look nice. Mostly I wanted to prove to Sam that our yard actually is quite nice. He is always saying how much he doesn't like our yard. It consistently rubs me the wrong way. I'm sure none of you understand having your spouse say something that rubs you the wrong way!! :-) So I've been out weeding, raking, planting, and tending to the yard like a small child for the last 6 weeks. I mowed my new grass for the first time today! Yippee. I'm so pleased with the way it looks. Sam is out of town until tomorrow so I told him on the phone tonight that I mowed the grass for the first time and that the yard looks really great! Then I told him; "when you get home tomorrow, I need to hear you say...wow this yard looks great, I'm so impressed with all your hard work!" I've been told that sometimes you just need to put words into your spouses mouth so that they know what to say. LOL


Of course, the deer have eaten just about everything I planted. We have at least 4-6 deer that consistently graze, sleep, and poop in our yard. It is pretty cool to have deer in your yard but not so much when you're trying to plant and establish grass. They like to move the dirt around and lay in the dirt so there are a few areas that I've had to replant. Other then that...I've got a backyard!! Sweet!