Monday, December 31, 2007

What the New Year!?!

Well, Christmas has come and gone, and I sure haven’t gone and posted anything lately! Here’s the update:

We had a lovely holiday. About a week prior to Christmas we made “cookie houses” for Family Home Evening. Jack loved it (by “it” I mean eating the candy he was supposed to be putting on the candy house!). He especially loved the green “dummy” bears (aka, gummy bears). By the way, Jack has decided that green is his favorite. He likes to announce that every time something green is available. (Mommy, can I have a Skittle? I want the green one, green is my favorite!) I broke with the whole “house” theme and made a cookie and candy ship. Tyler called it the good ship lollipop, but you can clearly see that there are no lollipops on that ship.

Here are the girls in their Christmas finery. Whooo whooo.

Started on Christmas Eve with a tasty turkey dinner. Corey and Jenni once again graced us with their presence (and presents, too, but that was just a fringe benefit!).
We opened a few presents from the Birds—look how cute the kids look in their new PJ’s!

Christmas morning we opened tons of gifts, joined Tyler’s sister’s family for breakfast. We then stayed for lunch and dinner (Grandpa Larry and Grandma Diane joined us!). It was even a white Christmas—2-4 new inches before morning! The kids loved their gifts--our family and friends were extremely generous! Thank you!

This Sunday we finished up family holiday stuff with Tyler’s brother (and all the siblings that were out here for Christmas!). Oh, what fun! We didn’t bring our camera, tho, so we’re hoping to get some from family members (hint hint!).

Hope y’all had a lovely holiday. We’re kickin’ it at home this New Year’s, just put Jack to bed after a sweet party with munchies and dancing. We'll be living the crazy life and watching the latest Pirates of the Carribean. Bet you wish you’d been invited!

Jack Jack Attack

I call these two “Jack Jack attack”. That’s all I’ll say on the matter.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm taking a page from Keith and Nicci's blog and filling in the blanks for Tyler. These are the things I'm fairly sure he'd say. Anyone who's tagged us recently, count this!

4 Jobs I have had in my lifetime:
1. Fundraiser for LDS Philanthropies (it's his "real" job)
2. Seminary teacher
3. MTC Teacher
4. Landscaper

4 Films I have watched over and over again:
1. All the Star Wars movies
2. Remember the Titans ("What is pain?" "French Bread!")
3. Pirates of the Caribbean (#1)
4. Finding Nemo (Well, it was Jack's favorite for a year, so Tyler has definitely watched it over and over and over and over...)

4 Shows I would watch religiously (actually, in Tyler's case, he doesn't really watch TV ever. So, these are shows he watched regularly at some point in his life):
1. Sports Center (of course)
2. College Football (GOOOOO COUGARS!!)
3. GI Joe
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (he was just quoting from the old movie last night!)
5. Either Saved By The Bell or Full House. You might want to check with him on that one!

4 Places I have lived:
1. Provo, Utah
2. Latvia (the country)
3. Pleasantville, NJ
4. Heaven

4 Of my favorite foods:
1. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
2. chicken (esp Chicken tortilla soup or white chicken chili)
3. pretzles
4. frosted mini wheats
Oh look! Now you all know what Tyler eats almost every day!

4 Favorite colors:
1. Blue
2. Cougar Blue
3. Not red
4. green

4 Places I'd love to be right now:
1. With my wife
2. with my kids (nope, they're Tyler'd rather be in bed sleeping, too!)
3. Hawaii (can't wait til January!)
4. New Jersey

4 Names I love but my wife would never let me use on my own kids:
1. John (I'd only let him use it as a middle name)
2. Zintars (it's Latvian)
3. Bradley
4. umm....Ok, Tyler isn't the picky one!

4 People to tag:
1. "Beth"
2. Eddie Barfield
3. Kevin Tams
4. Ruth (get to work on your blog, girl!)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let's kick off the Holiday Season!!

Well, well, well, what have we here? THE HOLIDAYS!!
Of course, the official holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving. We had great turkey for Thanksgiving (and we aren't just talking about Jenni and Corey Blaser, who supped with us). Man, BRINE THOSE BIRDS! Our 11 lb turkey was gone in less than 24 hours. The other stuff was really tasty, too. We had a very relaxingmeal (which was actually ready on time--I've witnessed my first holiday miracle!). I do enjoy making the Thanksgiving meal, but really enjoy the contributions of our guests--in this case DELICIOUS blackberry pie and pumpkin pie, as well as rolls. YUM.

Usually, we put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this year Thanksgiving fell too early. By the time Christmas rolled around, we figured a "real" tree would be a real big messy pile of dry needles. We were supposed to get one today, but it's snowing (and who wants to try and put up a very wet tree?). Sigh. Jack, however, has LOVED the snow and built his first snowman with Daddy. He then built his second snowman with Daddy (that happened right after the first snowman was completed, kinda like snowtwins or something--but not identical snowtwins). We did buy our first snow shovel today. Sniff, what a proud moment! Now, we're like real grown ups...almost.

BYU had their employee Christmas party this morning, which meant we missed out on the Home Depot Kid's workshop. Jack thought the trade-off for Santa's lap wasn't a bad idea, but Sheridan wasn't so sure. She was great the whole hour she and I spent in line (Jack and Tyler met Cosmo the cougar, did crafts, and played in a winter wonderland, but the girls carried the day by saving a place in line so we could meet said Jolly Old Elf). Of course, the moment we got to the front of the line she started freaking out, and the second we finished we were happy. I think, perhaps, she had gas (remind her of that when she turns about 15). She did chill out for about 5 seconds when she saw Santa's beard, but other than that, she didn't feel so jolly!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Part Six: Final Fantasy

I am learning to knit. The fantasy part is that I will EVER practice enough to become truly proficient! My friend at church is teaching me--look at what she made my little Sheridan, and you'll see why I have to at least try. It's a little panda hat, and it is SO stinkin' cute. I'm a sucker for cute (which explains part of why Tyler hooked me so easily...that, and his charming personality. Ok, and the scooter!)

Part Five: Funny Faces

Sheridan is a very messy eater. We'd forgotten the days of bathing after every meal. This is not the time to dress children in white! She's happy, tho, and we've realized it doesn't really matter. We figure that, if OxyClean can't get it out, the universe didn't really like that outfit and it was doomed to a dirty death.
Jack and Sheridan got flu shots today, and Jack got to choose a great prize--gag glasses. He LOVED wearing them (when they fell off, however, we had more than one meltdown, so those may just disappear). He looked so cute! People were chuckling at him as we left the doctor and wandered around Big Lots. His shirt says "Chicks Dig Me". How appropriate today!

Part Four: Fight for Your Right to Party!

Whew! This is a lot of posting. I hope I don't get carpal tunnel from tonight!
BTW--I should be brining my turkey right now, but the dang bird isn't as defrosted as it should be! It probably doesn't help that our lower fridge tends to freeze things that aren't originally frozen...
But, about the Party...
Cameron's Three, too!
We hosted Cameron's Birthday here, since all of his really cool friends (in Utah) live down here and they live up in SLC. Enjoy the antics--they had fun! Again, Sheridan got to snack on her favorite baby, Mayes (he is rather chubby and edible, if you're into that kind of thing). She literally wrestled this 20 lb kid down (he out-weighs her by a good 5 lbs) and started blowing raspberries on his cheeks. It looked very innocent, like she's just trying to kiss him, but I know my daughter...deep down, she's a cannibal! Of course, whenever I tried to catch it on the camera, she cheesed it up for me!

So, the kids ate cupcakes, blew those party blower thingies, and gifted Cameron with things in BYU bags (no, it wasn't just to spite his Daddy, a U of U student. That was just a pleasant coincidence!). Little Mickey Mouse had a lovely time!

Part Three: He's Crafty!

Jack and I have entered the world of crafts. I have been a slacker-mom for the past 2 years, mainly because crafts tend to be so messy and Jack likes to make things REALLY Messy (what preschooler doesn't?). I caved into peer pressure (or mother-in-law pressure that's really just loving excitement, but we'll call that peer pressure to make me feel better). My mother-in-law used to be a preschool teacher so she has TONS of great craft/learning/activity ideas. We started in October with a few and have really enjoyed painting this month (a nod to Rebecca for the washable paints). There's his Native American vest (which we made with the "Trouble Gang", his group of buddies with whom we regularly chill), his owl, and his tents and tubes (that's from Grammy, too, so I figured we'd add it here. Also, he's at least kinda smiling in that picture, and I wanted one where he didn't just look like a slack-faced deer in headlights since he's usually a jovial kid). Oh, and in the owl picture, no, we don't just dress our kid in my cast-off clothing. Just when he's going to be making a mess. Oh, so all the time.)

Part Two: Little Red Cute Dress

My sister, Ruth, found the CUTEST red dress for Sheridan. It includes a little jacket, which unsurprisingly, is also cute. Little girl clothes tend to be very cute, so please, don't be offended by my judicious use of the term in this post.
Anyway, cute red dress with cute red coat, and it's finally cold enough to wear it! Top the dress off with a (you guessed it!) cute knit hat from Latvia, and you've got a winner, folks! You can see that she gets her excitement for life from her CUTE DADDY! (She also gets her cheekbones and good looks from him...)

Part One of Our "catch up quick" Series

I think I will post a few things here tonight, under different subjects so as not to confuse anyone. I've heard what you've been saying: You want more, more pictures, more tidbits. So I'm givin' it to you! That's right, the masses have spoken and I am listening (ok, so one person told me I need to post more, and I listened to them for fear of losing one of the few checking out this crazy little blog o' mine).
Part One: Venture on Down to St. George
We took a trip the weekend of November 10th to St. George for my friend Lori's wedding. Well, it wasn't just her wedding, it was Jed's wedding, too, but since I went because I love Lori and we're only just getting to know Jed, I'll be referring to it as "Lori's Wedding".Lori was my roommate 10 years ago for 2 years. She put up with all my 19-year-old shenanigans. I, in turn, helped her and my other roommates (4 of 5 were fairly recently off of missions) return to reality with a good dose of "WHAT THE...?!?" That's what they were usually saying about me. The extreme helped them see that normal wasn't so bad!
But, this is about our trip to Lori's Wedding, not my sophomore year of college!
We drove down Friday night (as we thought 8 hours in the car on Saturday with our 2 kids would result in a less-than-stellar wedding experience for everyone and a Purgatory-esque day for us) and stopped by Cove Fort. It's locate in the Middle of Nowhere, UT. We really enjoyed the hour spent there and remembered why we're so glad we have indoor plumbing and central heating. For some reason, though, the 3 hour trip from Provo to Cedar City took us 5.5 hours. Weird.
We spent Saturday morning exploring St. George. The wedding that afternoon was lovely. It was our first wedding where the bride and groom made most of the food--Jed smoked some kickin' brisket and turkey, and Lori made the cakes (she even made a groom's cake to honor Jed's favorite baseball team, the Yankees--I refer to that team as the "Yickies" because I detest them.). Our other roommate, Hannah, was unable to make the event due to the recent birth of her son (yeah, like anyone's buying that excuse! We know it was because Hannah is really a closet vegan who felt badly for the smoked brisket), but she talked to Lori on the phone and I got a picture of the 3 of us--me, Lori, and Hannah's phone. It was a real moment. Jack had a moment with Maggie (Hannah's daughter), too. He asked her to dance, and Maggie acquiesced. It was sad to watch--Jack was as excited as a 13-year-old asking to woman of his dreams to dance. Maggie had the enthusiasm of a 16-year-old being asked to dance by a nerdy 13-year-old. And Jack was TOTALLY oblivious to her lack of excitement. He stalked her the whole time we were there.
Then we drove home in less than 5 hours, including a break at Ye Olde Chevron. Word to the wise--don't EVER get gas in Beaver, UT. They up the price by $.40 a gallon, compared to the nearest towns. We thought we might have to wash windshields to raise enough to pay for the tank!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Holy Cow, He's Three!?!

Well, you know you're a lazy blogger when the first time you read about your child's birthday is on another person's blog. Yes, I am a slow and lazy blogger.
So, Jack is now THREE! How did that happen? (Not literally, I understand that! But, come on, where has the last year gone?)
The boy got hooked up. He had 2 birthday parties, a plethora of cupcakes, a "Rocket" cake from Little Einsteins, more presents than he needed, and lots of playtime with friends and cousins. Saturday was a friend party, Sunday was the family party, and Monday was his actual birthday so he got his GeoTrax. The kid is spoiled. However, our guilt was somewhat assuaged when Tyler put him to bed Monday night (i.e., after all the fun had ended).
Tyler: Did you have a good birthday, Buddy?
Jack: It was a good birthday. Thank you for all of the wonderful presents. (Yes, he said "wonderful". That dang "June" from Little Einsteins is teaching him some new words. Had it been our phraseology he'd picked up, he would have thanked his Dad for either the "freakin' sweet" presents, the "totally rad" presents, or for a "bomb-diggity" party).
Did you notice how we got the indirect credit for the wonderful presents? He thanked everyone who gave him gifts, but some of their good gift choices gained us some props. Ah, the sign of a successful birthday!
It was great to finally have all our Utah family over to see the house. So good to spend time with some fabulous friends. Fun to see Jack so excited about having his beloved "people" over. He really has missed social interaction!
Sheridan also enjoyed the parties. Mostly, she enjoyed chasing the other kid her age, Mayes, and trying to eat him. Literally. She'd follow him EVERYWHERE and tackle him and try to gnaw on whatever part was closest to her mouth. It was hilarious. In the picture, she's stalking Mayes, not very subtly. In other news, Sheridan is now "the clapper". She clapped a lot for me tonight when I vacuumed. "Thank you, Mom, you're finally cleaning my floor! I won't be so dirty anymore! Except when I eat, since I only feed myself anymore. Oh, yay, clean floors!"
Also cleaned, this week, the air intakes. Man, I'm surprised the one downstairs didn't just spontaneously cough out a puppy! I will not be posting pictures of that venture.
We're going to St. George this weekend for my friend and former roommate Lori's wedding. Adventures abound!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well, we participated in the age-old American tradition of Halloween tonight. Jack was in HEAVEN! All the family got into the action with Peter Pan themed costumes. (Tyler was Captain Hook, I was Wendy, Jack was Peter Pan and Sheridan was Tinkerbelle). We've been planning this since July. Thanks, Mom V. for the Hook costume! The kids were adorable and we all had a great time. We were able to do our ward "Trunk or Treat" and then hit up the old neighborhood for some treats. Sheridan had a fabulous time playing with our neighbor, Avery, who was a cute little ladybug. It was a really warm day and night, so no complaints here!

We also had a leaf-jumping pile raked this afternoon. Could a fall day get any better? Jack loves actively exploring his environment.

I've also included a picture of Jack with his pumpkin (he drew that face on the pumpkin by himself--I daresay a Picasso). He convinced our neighbor to give him a pumpkin and I was so embarrassed.

This last cute picture of Sheridan was from our open House. She was crawling around trying to eat other kids, but we captured this adorable pict. of her in one of her caps from Latvia (thank you, Inara!).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Our Cute Sheridan!

Yep, this is all about how cute our baby is! These are from her 7.5 month pictures (what, doesn't every good mom get their kid's 7.5 month picts taken?!?) and the photographer took about 30 pictures. Luckily, we didn't have to take out a 2nd mortgage to pay for all the cute pictures!
October is marching along. We had our open house/scavenger hunt for weird stuff in our house last week. If you live near us and didn't get an invite, it's probably in your e-mail junk mail (Tyler sent e-invites to a lot of folks) or we had the wrong address for you and inadvertently snubbed you (you can ask the Smiths for verification on that--we'd never snub our former and favorite neighbors, but they never got their invite!). You can blame Tyler.
Nothing much new here...still trying to settle in. Oh, Voting on the Weird Stuff in our house came out strongly in favor of the Mystery Barrel of Tetanus (at least 69% of the vote, at last check). Yeah, that's got to go! I think I'll leave the poll up for another week since I don't know how to take it down.
Oh, ok, I did do something fun this week. I entered into the e-bay bidding arena for the first time, and won my son a Geotrax birthday present (I really like the old geotrax better!). I entered the war with only 14 minutes to go, and although 3 people tried to out-bid me in the last 45 seconds, my maximum bid kicked their amounts. Take that, other people! I was surprised at the adrenalin rush that came with competing for a 3-year-old's toy. Maybe I'll tackle the after-Thanksgiving shopping crowds next! Or, maybe not.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Free "Upgrades" in our House...

Well, we haven't shared all of the "upgrades" we received with our house. We didn't even realize that we were going to get so many cool features when we bought the place--who would have even known such features were possible? We'd like to share the coolest ones with you and then, you can vote on the most...interesting one.
1. The hall closet upstairs appears very normal. "Nothing special here, folks!" it proudly proclaims. And yet, on closer inspection, one sees that the door knob's lock bolt is not actually aligned with the latch hole! The door will not actually latch closed, therefore, which means our kids will have a party once they discover that it's always open! We can't figure it out....Did they put the door in upside down? Did they get tired of actually having to turn the knob to access their coats? The world may never know!

2. The kitchen sink has a secret of its own. Again, all appears innocent and swell...until large amounts of water are flushed down the non-disposal side. Then, the waterfall appears from under the cabinets! Why? Oh, because there's a pencil-sized hole in the pipe that the previous homeowners repaired with ELECTRICAL TAPE! That's right, folks, forget a $5 pipe, electrical tape will solve all of your plumbing woes!

3. Now, sinks are pretty special in this house, you can tell. Downstairs, we have a pass-through under the sink. That's right, open up the doors under the sink and you can see through the laundry closet, clear into the wreckroom beyond! "Honey, I need my monkey wrench in here, can you pass it to me?" "No, dear, I don't want to walk around the wall to hand it to you." "That's ok! I'll just punch a hole in the wall and you can hand it to me through the laundry closet and give me a kiss at the same time!" You can't really tell from the picture, but it is a handy time-saving feature!

4. Tyler discovered the latest feature last week. We call it "The Mystery Barrel". It was hidden under some stuff behind the deck stair landing. While cleaning that out, TA DA! There was a metal lid, about 2 feet across, partially under one of the landing support beams. Under the metal lid was a large metal barrel, chock-full of old nail-filled wood scraps! Surprise--it's your brand-new tetanus collection! The barrel side is crumpled where the deck support is sitting over it. Not to worry, they've place a small piece of wood under the concrete support, so it won't crumple. It won't rot away too quickly, I'm sure! We have no idea the purpose of the barrel, as it is 6 inches away from the side of the house. Our friend thinks someone is buried under it. Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section!

5. Yesterday, Jack and I came upstairs mid-morning and discovered a PEACOCK on our back deck! It was just sitting in front of our sliding door until we disturbed it, then it strutted around the yard. Jack was beside himself with joy.

So, now it's your turn to let us know which feature you think is the MOST bizarre. Obviously, the Peacock gives you warm, cozy feelings, but the electrical tape is pretty cool....