December 31, 2008

So Proud

  Last year, when we talked to Jordan about receiving the priesthood, he told us that he really wanted his Great Grandpa Bill to do it.  He was worried that Taylor would be upset about his decision, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  We knew that he had prayed about this decision and it was important to him.

On Sunday, December 14th, Jordan received the Aaronic Priesthood.  Grandpa Bill, Taylor, 
 my dad, Taylor's dad, and all of Jordan's YM leaders were able to participate.  It was a really neat experience.  We are so proud of him!

December 15, 2008

Jordan Turns 12

December 2nd was Jordan's 12th birthday.  Jordan had some phone calls wishing him a happy birthday, but my favorite was when my dad called not just for him but for me.  He said that he thought of me because he remembered when his first son turned 12.  That milestone really made him feel old.  Yes, that's something Taylor & I have been talking about for a few years now.  It always seemed like a far off event, but it crept up on me faster than I thought possible.  Scary how fast time flies.

I don't often have friend birthday parties for my kids, but this year I thought I'd give it another round.  Now, I knew boys were generally louder than girls, but I didn't know how much louder until a bunch were in our home at one time.
  
Wouldn't you know it, the first thing they did was tackle each other for 20 minutes.

I'm not sure what the name of this game is, but I do remember playing it with some groups up at BYU many moons ago.  You pack flour into a bowl, turn it upside down, place a quarter on top of it, then each person cuts chunks of flour away from the quarter.  You can cut as little or as much as you want, but if the quarter falls when it's your turn, you have to get it out.... 

....with your teeth. 
 
It started calm, but after the first one round, they ALL wanted to be the one to lose.

After several more rounds, and several heads shoved in the flour pile, they all decided they wanted faces covered with the white stuff.  I'm sure their parents wondered what in the world we did at this party.

Caden's mom always wraps $ presents in very interesting ways.  When Jordan unwrapped the paper, all he saw was a Special K cereal box. Inside that was a Crystal Light container.  That contained a pink purse (which Hailey now loves), and inside that was some money. Very creative....and funny.

Now this is something I would do.  So embarrassing for Jordan.....yet so fun for us.  


December 12, 2008

Mommy-Daughter Date

We recently realized that RARELY am I ever alone with Hailey since Benjamin is usually around.  Since the older boys are "too cool" to go see a Disney movie now, we decided to make an official Mommy-Daughter date out of seeing the movie Bolt. 
 
I'm not a big fan of 3-D movies.  Not that I mind things coming at me from the screen, but it's those dang glasses you have to wear.  Fortunately, the glasses they give you at the theater aren't paper, and they aren't red/blue, so they're much more bearable.   The 3-D in the movie also didn't have the intention to throw things at your eyes constantly, but to make the characters seem more real.  I enjoyed the movie and thought it was pretty cute.

She was so excited that she got all dolled up for our "date".....even sneaking to put on make-up (hard to tell in the picture).  I didn't notice until we were already at the theater.

We went to the 12 o'clock showing in the middle of the week, which generally means not as many people would be there.  Not only were the crowds low, we were the ONLY ones in the theater.

I made her pose in front of the poster, and it happened to be a very cold day that day.  
Poor girl.

December 11, 2008

Psychotic Dogs

I think these two were separated at birth.



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December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving in Utah/Idaho

Yes, amazing but true, a picture other than my foot.  I'm sick of it just as much as the rest of you are.
For Thanksgiving this year, our family took our yearly trip up to Northern Utah and Idaho. We always look forward to getting together and doing things we would never get a chance to do in a place like Las Vegas.

Marijke is very into planting trees, plants and flowers.  On her back fence, she has grapevines producing the most wonderful grapes.

Bill has a room designated only for his trains. This picture just shows one section of this amazing room. Benjamin was in absolute heaven here. He ran around showing me everything. Dadoo Train is the name the kids have called him since they could speak. Hmmm, I wonder how he got that name?

Can you believe the view they have from their balcony?

The first place we went to when we arrived in Rexburg was a pizza place named Craigo's. This is one of our favorite places to eat when we're there.

Not many know that I have two veneers on my front teeth. Weeks ago, one unfortunately popped off. Because that tooth is dead, it's much darker than the rest and in order to get a good fit they need to file down that tooth before to have a base to work with making it look even darker. May sound archaic, but in order to save time & money, I superglued that dang tooth on instead of having a new one made (my dentist would kill me).
Craigo's just happened to have a pizza named "Hillbilly". I felt so at home!

Although it was very cold, surprisingly there was no snow up north. The kids were able to play on their cousins' swingset, ride dirt bikes and four wheelers, and go bowling in a alley that oddly doesn't reek of smoke. Ben preferred to just watch the others outside from the doorway (bottom left). They live so close to the Rexburg temple. It's a picture-perfect view at night in their family room (upper right).

Marijke and Nicole stuffing the turkey. Both of these women are fantastic cooks. Benjamin fell asleep before we even ate (upper left and right).

Taylor finds another lucky participant to walk on his back.

Baby Will was born two months ago.  Everyone loved to hold him, and I'm sure Nicole enjoyed the break.  
It was so nice getting my baby fix each time I held him.  I now realize how grandparents feel about their grandchildren.   It's so fun to hold them and take care of them, but knowing you can hand them back whenever you are done makes it even MORE fun.

Saturday night, we decided to go to Temple Square. Instead of driving, we took the Frontrunner, a double-decker train that stops in each of the cities from Ogden on down. Then we hopped the Trax (trolley type of train). It took over an hour, but it was nice not to have to find a parking spot downtown.
Santa also played the bagpipes in a kilt just outside of the gates. Good times.

Of course we stopped by Great Grandma Scheer's house (Marijke's mother) to visit before we drove home on Sunday. She is always so excited every year to put out all of her Christmas decorations. She can hardly walk, but that doesn't stop her from showing the kids around her house, having them push all the buttons to make the toys work.  Ben couldn't tear himself away from anything that moved or made sounds.
She may be getting older, but her sense of humor is sharp as a tack. She loves to freak everyone out by taking out her dentures and giving that crazy smile (upper right).

Thank you to Marijke & Bill and Nicole & Jared for giving us a place to stay for the week. We had so much fun spending time with everyone, eating, playing, eating, talking, and did I mention eating? We hope all of our friends and family had a wonderful Thankgiving this year.

December 8, 2008

My Peeve

I have a few pet peeves.  Actually, when I really think about it, I guess I have more than my fair share of them.  Some of those peeves include men who clip their nails in church (YUCK), someone using my bath towel, not washing hands after the bathroom, speeding through a school zone, etc.

One of my recent peeves is finding grocery carts in places other than the store where they belong.  Now, I know there are companies whose soul purpose is to pick up these stray carts and return them to their rightful owners, but please.....we all know how entirely long (if ever) this takes to actually happen.

I realize it's not the carts' fault that they aren't where they should be.  It's the loonies that feel that they are allowed to take these carts home with them that irk me.  And I'm not talking about the homeless who use it to hold all their belongings.  

Rarely do I actually SEE these wandering carts with their temporary "owners".  They just happen to show up on my street, down some side alley, and even up alongside someone's house.  Several times I have even seen people using them to transport their children!  WHAT?!  What kind of crappy stroller is that?  How uncomfortable for the poor child sitting in the basket, no padding, bumping along a side dirt road.  Places such as Walgreens have really been smart and installed locking mechanisms on the bottom of their carts.  That way you can get your purchases TO your car and not use them AS your car.

We've made this annoyance into a family fun-time though.  This picture shows the first time we brought one back.  Noah was so good about doing this.  Now when we find them, I lift up the door  in the back of our van, he sits inside and holds onto the cart while we drag it back.  I'm sure it looks so odd, but it's pretty fun for us. 

November 4, 2008

Speaking of Feet.....

Those of you who see me often have seen my fantastic runway-style limp for the past year.  Also, you may notice that I'm rarely without my best friend, my black foot brace (see our header picture).   What you may not know is that this ever ongoing saga in my life ended in surgery.  My foot never seemed to heal correctly.  Insurance made it impossible to see my initial doctor until this past August.  He ended up trying several cortisone shots.  They worked to a point, but never really did the job.  Next step, cat-scan.  What do you know?  A larger break in my foot that they never noticed the first time.  The cat-scan showed that the broken bone never healed back into place, so it's been flopping around my foot this entire time.  No wonder I was still in pain!
So....on October 9th I had surgery to smooth the bigger bone off and drill/chip the broken piece out.  Oh what fun.  I understand when they say take it easy.  However, the guilt makes it so difficult to follow orders.  I ended up paying for it too.  Once I got back into the swing of things, I realized how behind I was, so that explains a lot of why blogging has been on the back burner for me.  On October 30th, exactly one year from the date of my fall, I had my stitches removed and I can actually walk without limping.  What a long year!
I do have to thank a ton of people who helped me out while I was sitting on my fanny.  Quint & Chelly (you guys don't know how much having you in town helped me and my sanity), David & Amy for taking Ben for a couple nights, my friends in the ward for giving my kids rides here and there, and especially my hubby for taking control of things around the house.
  
My foot a few days after surgery.  
Taylor thought it would be funny to write on my legs in the hospital.  The right calf said "Pain down here" with an arrow.  The left one said "Not this one the other one".  The writing you can see on my leg is my doctor's initials.   He said they always write on the body when there's two body parts involved.

November 3, 2008

I Think I'm Gonna Be Sick

Doing my usual housecleaning brought out some severe nausea today.  Not because of the smell.....luckily puberty hasn't brought that one on yet.....but because I realized that I could not tell the difference between Jordan and Taylor's dress shoes as they sat on the the stairs.
Now, I have known for a long time that his feet were big.  My size 10 feet fill his shoes with room to spare.  However, reality didn't sink in fully until I saw these big boats sitting on the stairs.

September 18, 2008

I Think I Can....


I absolutely love taking pictures, but I've always wanted to learn how to take better shots.  I don't have the time and/or money to go find a school that teaches photography, so I started searching around online.  Luckily I found a website that has courses for a multitude of things, but the one that really caught my eye was the photography course.  So many people gave positive reviews for the course and teacher, that I knew I needed to try it.  Now I'm just hoping to learn enough to figure out what all the different technical terms mean.  This way my camera won't be glued to the "auto" button.

It's only been less than one week, but I'm surprised at how much time and energy I'm spending working with the camera.  Since I have my niece Clara staying with us for a week, I'm trying to take advantage of having a different face around for my practice.  I love the lighting of this photo.  As for the class, I am hoping that this will become a skill I learn.  

As for this shot........pure luck.

September 1, 2008

The Pounds Will Just Melt Away!

I recently found this new workout while blog stalking one day. I was so impressed by this routine that I think I'll be getting up early every morning now to workout. I can feel the pounds melting away already.

August 29, 2008

I Love School!!!

I took this picture on the first day of school last year. Check out how thrilled Jordan is to be starting school again.

This was taken on their last day of school in July. Notice the huge difference in their faces. Jordan was so excited to be moving out of elementary school that he REALLY dressed up by wearing a black button-down shirt. He looked great!

Hailey had Ms. Roach for 1st Grade. I absolutely ADORED her. She was so much fun with her class and really had a great sense of humor with the parents. I could have spent all day in the classroom sometimes.

Taylor & I really contemplated whether or not to advance Noah to the next grade, but she made his adjustment to the new class so smooth for him. She made me feel so much better about our decision when she told me at the end of the year that it was the right thing to do. He "fit" in this grade much better than 3rd.

I couldn't get a shot of Jordan and his teacher Ms. Henderson. This is him at his 5th grade Promotion program. We are so proud at how much he accomplished this year.

Hailey & Noah are both excited to have the teachers they are assigned to this year. Noah is the big man on campus this year in 5th grade & Hailey is in 2nd grade.

Jordan is in his first year of Middle School. He is so excited to being starting such a different experience and he really adjusted well the first week. I'm thrilled that they have uniforms at this school. They look so much nicer in these polos, plus dressing him is a LOT cheaper this way.

Ben was so excited to have his brothers home at the end of the first day of school. There is always entertainment when they are around.

August 24, 2008

San Diego

This month, Taylor had a conference in San Diego for a few days. In order to take advantage of the free room and gas money, we decided to make it a family vacation. This trip was a little different though because I had to entertain the troops while Taylor was in meetings for two of those days. Since I'm not the greatest with directions and maps, I tend to rely a lot of Taylor when we travel, so this was a big learning experience for me.


The first place we went to was Sea World. My foot is still causing me trouble, so we rented a wheelchair. The kids thought this was great fun to hitch rides with me. One thing I learned is that if you have a wheelchair, waiting in long lines can be virtually eliminated. We got to ride the "special boat" (our raft was blue while the rest were yellow) and the kids got to ride twice since Taylor and I switched off. We also had lunch by the killer whales' tank while they practiced their tricks. This was pretty neat to see.

Benjamin was just 1 inch too short to ride most of the rides. Taylor tried to work it and have him stand a little up on his toes, but it's not like anyone has ever tried that before. They were pretty tight on this rule. I had to take a photo of Taylor trying to work the system.


For the Journey to Atlantis ride, we ended up being able to get Ben on the ride. I love the picture they took of us on the big drop. At this point there is a stream of water pouring down on us, so all of our eyes are closed......except Ben. He had a look of terror on his face that partly made me feel bad, but partly made me laugh (I know we're horrible parents).

This was one of the days the kids and I spent alone. Coronado Island has some pretty good beach areas. The area we went to had a dog area right next to us. It was fun to see all the dogs playing in the water. Benjamin was VERY nervous to even touch the ocean water. I was even really good by staying under an umbrella most of the time (and we were only there for 2 hours!).


The next day, we went to Birch Aquarium. This aquarium is right next to the ocean and has some really neat looking animals. I was mostly fascinated by the dragon seahorses (center picture) and the potbellied seahorse (center right). Afterwards, I had the kids pose for a picture by this amazing fountain with whales diving in and out of it. Noah thought it would be a great idea to walk along the outside of the fountain. While he was reaching up to touch the tail of one of the whales, he lost his balance and fell completely in the fountain. He's going to be mad I posted this picture, but as the saying goes, he'll look back at this someday and laugh. You can't live a good life without at some point completely embarrassing yourself.
Finally, we headed back to the hotel, but not before stopping off to see the San Diego Temple. It's an amazing site as you pass right by it on the freeway.

We took a tour of the U.S.S. Midway. We couldn't believe how small the areas were for them to sleep. I already have a great respect for the men and women in the military, but I never quite knew how miserable the living conditions were for them while they were on these ships.

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There is a ride simulator on the Midway that is called "StrikeFighter 360" where you fly a fighter jet trying to shoot at the enemy planes. I knew this would be bad news for my motion issues, but of course the boys were all over it. Boys will be boys and thought it would be fun to crash into the ground. Listen closely and you can hear them yelling when they start facing up.

I have seen a photo of this statue before. The actual picture of this scene on the cover of Life magazine is a classic. It's always been a favorite of mine. So, naturally, we needed to imitate art.

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Ben was completely wiped out one day coming back to our hotel, so Noah & I had some fun messing with him. I am a mean mom aren't I?
When all was said and done, it was a great vacation to squeeze in before school starts again. The kids and I may get to know San Diego pretty well over the next few years since his new job has their conference there each year. Next year I'll be a little more prepared, so maybe we can venture out a few more places.

August 10, 2008

I've Fallen

Okay, so I admit, I've fallen off the blogging wagon. I have so many things I want to post, so bear with me, I'm working on it.

July 29, 2008

Hormones

Jordan & Noah are up in Utah & Idaho with Mamoo Mike for about 10 days. I didn't think I would actually get to a point where I wished they were here. Ben needs constant interaction, and unfortunately I'm only able to be entertaining for so long. Hailey's also bored because her friends are on vacation.

I was having one of those contemplative mornings (I'm actually able to do that with only two kids here right now), and realized that I've hit that stage in my life where my children's hormones are starting to kick in. I knew this would happen at some point, but not quite this soon. Jordan told me that he made a goal of finding 30 "Hot Girls" while he was on his trip with Grandma. Oh please! Noah just laughs, thank goodness. He's not as vocal about liking girls. I'm not sure that he even cares at this point.


Thanks to the Disney channel, Hailey is completely obsessed with Zac Effron and The Jonas Brothers...especially Joe (far right). It's funny when any of these boys comes on the television. She giggles really loud and hides her face because she doesn't want us to see her reaction. She even ran out of the room giggling when she saw what I was posting about.

I don't remember really getting into cute guys until I was older than that. Maybe I don't remember correctly though. Oooo, Rick Springfield was so cute & Duran Duran, especially the bassist John Taylor. Getting so excited when their songs would play. Pretending with my cousins that we were married to them. I even got to go to a Rick Springfield concert. I was probably 10 years old and I went with just a friend.

What?!?!?!

How in the world did I ever get that one past Mom? I would never allow Jordan to go to a concert at his age with just a friend. Times have definitely changed, but I digress.

So as I sit here, thinking about my children and their obsessions, I realize I don't need to worry. If Hailey wants Jonas Brothers posters up in her room, I'll let her. If Jordan talks about a "hot girl" at his school, oh well. I survived my crushes and think I turned out pretty normal, so I'm pretty sure they'll be alright as well.

July 25, 2008

"The Robot"

What's always entertaining about having a 3 year-old is that they always seem eager to perform, especially if it's for a laugh. Embarrassment doesn't usually kick in for a few more years.

Ben, or "Benji" as he now insists we call him, and Taylor were listening to music on the computer the other night. I don't know how it all went down, but from the other room I get called to come watch Ben dance for me. I love the faces he makes during the dance. He's always been very expressive with his face.

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Notice the complete concentration on his face as he mentally prepares to dance.

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July 14, 2008

Sleepover at Momoo's

July 4th, after a fantastic hike with my brother and his family, we decided to let our boys sleep over at Momoo and Dadoo's house. I have realized that sometimes I would rather not know what happens, but it never fails, every person has to give me the blow-by-blow events of the night.

Personally, I have fond memories sleeping at Grandma Cherie's house: watching Bugsy Malone & Freaky Friday (apparently Jodie Foster was a staple of our movie selections), helping Grandpa stuff envelopes, unknowingly committing a felony by photocopying $100 bills (we never saw those in our own home), and a sugar-dense breakfast of Winchell's donuts.

I have tried to remember the phrase "What happens at Grandma's, stays at Grandma's." If this happened often, I'd probably put my foot down more. For some reason, whenever Bradley, Noah & Jordan get together, they try to stay up later than the time before. This last sleepover was no exception. Not only did they surpass their last record, but they never ended up going to sleep that night at all (Mason was the only reasonable one). Mom being notorious for her lack of sleep, thought it would a blast to go out to breakfast at 3 a.m.

Apparently the boys did too.

I am thrilled that they are creating memories with their cousins. However, I have oft uttered the phrase that was also drilled in my brain......"If you are going to be this crabby after you have a sleepover, you won't get to do it again."

I have become Mom and my children have become me.
It's a cruel, cruel world.

Blueberry Hill "breakfast" at 3 am

June 27, 2008

Sweet Glasses!

Mom is very into colors. Not muted, dull, mellow colors, but bright, vivid colors are definitely her first love. This love of color has now crossed over to her reading glasses (and shirts and purses.....see picture below).

Mom needs these glasses to see things on her phone. Hailey just likes that they are pink.

Hailey and Benjamin were all into wearing them around while Mom & Dad were over one night.

Did You Think to Pray?

I noticed that the craziness of getting everyone up and out to school in the morning was having an effect on my remembering to have my morning prayer. I also realized that my children were also forgetting unless I reminded them each night. In order to fix this, I decided that for FHE we were going to talk about prayer and make our own prayer rocks. I know this idea has been used and may sound corny to some, but my kids have never heard of this and I needed to try it. I was grateful that they really got into the idea used their individuality to be creative in this project. Needless to say, it works for me. Each time I see my rock on my nightstand, I remember to stop, pray, and take things a little slower in the morning.

Benjamin really got into painting his rock.

(clockwise from top left): Jordan, Noah, Hailey, Ginger, Taylor and Benjamin