Saturday, September 29, 2007

Let there be light!

Reality Check 101: There's nothing like owning your first home, to make you discover very quickly that you're not a fixer-upper type of person and that you didn't marry one either.

Reality Check 201: Even worse than not being handy, turns out we also have a high tolerance for house problems--big and small! (Perhaps tolerance is the wrong word. It's more like we're indecisive and too cheap to hire someone to do what we can't).

My sister, K, has been calling for the removal of our 1966 entry way light fixture and the accompanying brown linoleum, since the day we moved in! However we never really could justify spending our very limited energy and budget for home improvements on something that seemed so frivolous in comparison to our crumbling bathrooms.

...but now we've FINALLY (6+ years later) started to make some progress taking care of some of the more pressing concerns (see home improvement links on right).

Now presenting...
OUR NEW ENTRY WAY LIGHT!

Now onto our brown linoleum, landscaping, kitchen, gutters, basement floors and walls, and the list goes on and on!
Thanks K!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Adventures with a GPS

I've always been directionally challenged. I've come to accept it as one of those weaknesses that I just can't help (not being able to sing being another one, but we'll save that one for another post)…I can try and try and try but I just don't have what it takes. Lest you think I'm exaggerating about how poor my sense really is, just ask my brother Nate who one time jumped out of the car in frustration because I'd asked him one too many times which way I needed to turn. Or my grandmother who came to babysit us while my parents went on a trip. My parents had assured her that I could direct her to church on Sunday…good thing Kristina was there.


So when I started hearing about GPS units a few years back, I got really excited. These were definitely invented for people like me. How fun it would be to always know exactly where you are in the world. Not only which street and city, but exact latitude and longitude too…right up my alley!


All these years I've admired this new technology from afar—afar being from the back seat of my parent's cars and wondered how this would change my own life. Instead of trying to read my mapquest print-out at stop lights or even worse while driving down the freeway, I could have a pleasant, patient voice telling which way to go—turn by turn. But alas, modern technology is expensive and we've just never been able to justify owning one of these wonders.

So when I got to Oklahoma City and found that the only car available on such short notice was a Hummer, and it came with a GPS unit, I definitely was not disappointed. Three of us were sharing the cool set of wheels, Pete, Heather, and me. My sister, Heather's flight did not arrive until midnight (that would be 1am by my eastern body), which left us with only one simple task at this point. Drive straight from the airport to the hotel, which we were assured was not very far and easy to find.


So we eagerly type in the hotel's address to the GPS unit and confidently start on our way. We should've been a little wary by the split second delay in the vocal instructions, which told us which way to turn just AFTER passing by the turn off. But she (a pleasant woman's voice) was so patient as she said, "Recalculating" each time we passed by yet another turn…each time throwing the three of us into fits of hysterical laughter (a little late night giddiness).


Well after about an hour and a half of driving, lots of recalculating, and being thrown into the middle of a run-down rural neighborhood and our ever friendly GPS telling us to turn into the Comfort Inn parking lot on our right (right street name—wrong universe), we broke down and called Dad. He gave us simple directions that took us back towards the airport and right into the parking lot, simple as that. So much for modern technology!


But at least we were in a cool car!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just Wondering...

...where on earth did she learn this trick from?




GLEN!!!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Funny fetish of mine...

Ever since October 2000, when sweet Emma was born into our family and which meant we now had two girls, I discovered a funny fetish of mine...I love my girls to wear matching clothes. Don't ask me why, but I just feel this little surge in familial pride when we make this grand entrance somewhere with their coordinating outfits.

Surprisingly it's actually fairly difficult to find matching clothes for the three of them, since they are all in different size sections in the stores.
However this presents me with:
a) an ongoing challenge--searching for just the right outfits in just the right sizes--of course on sale for a good price too!
b) a hindrance--in the fact, that much to Cami's delight, I can't buy them all matching clothes all of the time.
c)a weakness--so that when I do find something reasonably cute in all three sizes at a bargain price, I offer little resistance.

Hence the matching Easter dresses, dolls to match with, coordinating 4th of July outfits, and identical swimsuits and skirts.

...and the latest in my ongoing quest...these adorable dresses from the OskKosh outlet store!

I love it!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Know of any Mormon convents?

We should've been a little more worried when Cami continued to get invited to boys' birthday parties well into second grade--often being either the only girl or one of a couple. Then last year a classmate of hers, whom we shall call "George", would call her somewhat regularly to ask her a homework question, giggle, then say, goodbye. Fast forward now to fifth grade, on Friday night George's best friend "Pedro" calls up Cami to tell her that George has a huge crush on her.
Cami responds, "Good for him," and hangs up (way to go Cami!). However George and Pedro were not to be so easily dissuaded, and thanks to the wonders of caller id we can see that they called 14 more times over the week-end...AND THEY'RE ONLY 10!!!

Now do you know of any Mormon convents we can sign her up for?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekend Spontaneity

Weekends...what new meaning they have taken on in our lives over the last couple of years. There was once a time in my life when I thought weekends were relaxing...but alas those days are long gone. Not only are they not relaxing, but dare I say significantly more stressful than the rest of the week as we try to cram chores, sporting events, errands, preparing Sunday lessons...all with tired kids who are off their schedule!

Since Glen has been working such insane hours lately, we needed a change...a BIG change. So we did something drastic--no weekend sports. They just took up too much of the day and were simply not worth the time and energy they sapped from us.

As a result, of this life altering (seriously) change, we have tried to be better about enjoying our weekends again. So at 4:45 on Saturday after a long day of doing chores, errands, (everything minus the sports) and it was such a gorgeous day which we had not enjoyed yet...I spontaneously decide to run downtown to Hain's Point, which is somewhere we'd never been, even after all these years in the area.

The highlight of Hain's Point is this giant sculpture called "Awakening", which is basically of a ginormous man who looks like he's emerging from the ground. The kids were fascinated by this "weird" work of art and had oodles of fun climbing over every square inch possible!
Even Glen got into the fun!

Ellie giggling after crawling over his mouth and into his beard!

He's got the whole moon in his hands!

We were having so much fun, we just couldn't pull them away until it was dark!


And the favorite activity of the day...trying to scale the bent leg! They had lines of people who would get a running start and try to scale the leg over and over again. Spencer was one of those people who couldn't get enough and he had the sore muscles to prove it!

The younger ones would climb up the other side of this same leg which was significantly less steep, but had just as continuous of a line waiting to try it out!

Who would've ever known the excitement and thrills we've been missing out on all these years?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

B-Y-me?!

Anyone who knows our family very well knows that we're as true blue BYU fans as they come. There's a giant Y painted in Spencer's BYU blue bedroom...a visit to the BYU bookstore and Creamery is an expected part of every trip to Utah... and each member of our family is required to have BYU clothing that fits them at every age.

Now that BYU football season has arrived once again, all household activities of the day need to be concluded before opening kick-off so that Glen doesn't miss a single play. Last night while Glen was running an errand shortly before the opening of the BYU-Tulsa game, the kids thought it would be really fun if everyone put on their BYU shirts and sang him the Cougar fight song as soon as he walked in the door (totally Cami and Emma's idea!)

I think it's kind of cute, so we put on our BYU garb and practiced singing the fight song for the next half hour while we waited for him to return from Safeway. As soon as he walked in the door I break into "Rise and shout the cougars are out..." with a low chorus of mumbling around me from Cam, Emma, Adam, & Ellie...until the very end, the only part they know well--the arm pumping and the "Rah rah rah rah rah....go Cougars!" when it got really loud and raucous!!!
As soon as they were finished with their rousing fight song rendition and Glen had showered them with the proper accolades, Emma declares, "I know why they sing rah rah rah in that song...it's because cougars say RAHR!"

Later on that night I am trying to teach Ellie the letters B-Y-U, using the plethora of shirts surrounding us as our blackboard. I say, "Look Ellie this is a B--see how it goes around and around like that." Then, "Look at this Y Ellie. It goes down like this and this."

She 's doing great, repeating after me, and tracing the letters on Adam's chest. Then we get to U. I say, "Look Ellie. This is a U..." With great surprise and enthusiasm she says, "Me?"

Hehe...no more letter teaching tonight!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Day of Reflections and Reunions

As I'm sure you can tell from my previous post, my grandfather passed away after a long and happy life. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend his funeral in Oklahoma City on Tuesday...thank you to the many people who helped it happen (friends and family who watched my kids, Glen who sacrificed many of his work commitments, and the dinners which were brought--I truly could not have gone without your help).

The services were lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing stories about my granddad that I had never heard before. He truly was a loving man who has left quite a legacy of faith and love in his stead.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my Granddad.

My Granddad served in the Navy in his younger years, so he received military honors at his burial--with the playing of TAPS, presentation of the flag to my grandmother, and a 21 gun salute.

My Nana--the rock of our family and me

Reunion with half of my immediate family--my mom, dad, brothers Pete & Matt, and sister Heather

The absolute only car available on such short notice--yes, that would be a Hummer (I had to dole out turns riding in and driving it to my jealous cousins and uncles)

Late at night just hanging out at Nana's house playing "Spoons"--a dangerous pasttime amongst a competitive group such as our family



And the highlight of the evening...Leg Wrestling! Apparently a family tradition, however not one that I had ever witnessed before so I was a little shell-shocked by the two plus hours of challenges, rematches, and screaming. This video is a favorite of mine with my cousin, Morgan beating my poor sister-in-law Karey (a newby in the family) and then apologizing. The men were definitely not so polite in their exploits!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Tribute to my Granddad


We love you Granddad and will truly miss you. Nana--you are hearts and in our prayers now and always.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I am Peanut Butter...



...and you are jelly!

Here's a very enlightening little slide show about how to make a good PB&J--created by Cam and her BFF Megan for their very first school assignment of the year.

Of course the assignment was to write an essay of how to do it, but Cam is incapable of doing the bare minimum. Her essay was 2 whole pages single spaced, and included such steps as getting off the couch, walking up the stairs, etc. And then she remembered that we had this fun PB&J song sung by Inside Out, so her and Megan hatched this idea and here it is. Note the "costumes" Cami chose--Megan (the PB) had to wear the brown shirt and Cam (the jelly) had to wear all red...clever.

I think it's worth an A+...what do you think?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's a Small World After All...

...especially in Williamsburg.

It seems that in our lives that most small world happenings (hereafter known as SWH) we have tend to have something to do with the church. For instance last year when we were in Williamsburg (in torrential downpours) we looked on the internet and randomly picked a ward to attend on Sunday. In classic small world style about 10 minutes after we'd sat down--in walks Glen's best friend from BYU--Brad, who joins his family sitting just 2 rows in front of us. We had lost touch with them over the years, and last we knew they were living in UT. And we just happen to sit 2 rows away from him in one of several wards we were choosing between...2000 miles from his last known location! (SWH#1 )

Hop forward 11 months to Williamsburg 2007. We were at Busch Gardens and it was HOT HOT HOT, which consequently meant we were constantly looking for places to find liquid refreshment. So imagine our surprise when we happen upon Eloy working at this drink stand.

Who is Eloy you ask? Good question. In a rare small world occurrence having absolutely nothing to do with the church we had happened across Eloy who happens to be the person we bought our house from 6 years ago!!

So after he and his wife retired to Williamsburg, they got a little bored with the golden years and decided to spice up their lives by working at Busch Gardens every summer...where we run into him and get major SWH #2 in Williamsburg!!

And lastly in much more normal small world style, and not anywhere near as cool as the first two... as we were leaving Water Country USA to head back home we decided to stop at a restaurant there in Williamsburg for our dinner. Immediately we happen across 2 Elders who are dining with an investigator, who happen to serving in Brad's ward. (SWH #3)

Just as we're settling down to enjoy our meal in walks a group of fifty or more young adults who are seated very near us. As they're filing in I can't help but notice that not even one of these people is wearing a tank top or even shorts..and it's over 100° outside. I whisper to Glen that I bet it's a youth conference or something since there is no possible way on earth that you'd get a group of youth dressed that modestly on such a stifling day. As Glen is expressing his doubt on the matter an observant youth notices Glen's BYU hat and and informs us that it's actually a giant field trip for a history class at BYU-Idaho. A field trip where they spend three weeks touring the major historical sites along the East coast then hitting all the church history sites on the way back to Idaho. How fun is that? So there's SWH#4 for you.

Then after we'd left my sister, AnnaLisa, realizes that the familiar-looking professor leading the trip, had actually been her D & C professor when she attended BYU-Idaho before her mission.
(SWH#5)

So that rounds out our plethora of small world happenings in one small city!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hall Bathroom Update

Progress is slow, but gradually the hall bath is coming together. Poor Aaron has been inundated with issue after issue with our 40 year old house. I'm pretty sure he will never buy his own fixer-upper after dealing with our fixer-upper for a summer!

For this bathroom--the vanity we bought doesn't fit with the plumbing...the bath faucet doesn't fit the valves...there are NO shower rods available in our odd 57 3/4" wide space... but what is done looks awesome and we are so excited about our lovely neutral colored bathrooms.

So we'll buy a new vanity, get a doothingy that will make the bath faucet work, and somewhere somehow someday we will find a brushed nickel curved shower rod just the right length!!

Woohoo! No more turquoise overload!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to School...at last

After a long summer, the kids are finally off to school this morning. And boy did morning come awfully early!

After a summer of waking up at 9am or later, Spencer's system was completely shocked by his 6:30 alarm clock awakening. The middle school bus now comes at 7:15, which is actually a little earlier than the time he woke up at in elementary school. Oh well...I say he's just getting warmed up for early morning seminary in 2 years. °Ü°

Ellie was 100% convinced that she was going with Cami and Emma wherever they were going. She patiently waited at the bus stop with them, jabbering the whole time......then the bus came and we picked her up to take her home...

...complete devastation to a two year old. She must've told me 10 times this morning that she really wanted to go with Cami and Emma and that she did NOT want to stay home with me. So we went to the library to try to make staying with Mom a little more fun, but life is definitely not quite the same. Good thing Adam has another year before kindergarten, although it'll be interesting how she reacts when he starts preschool next week.

Meanwhile I'm relishing in the quiet...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

You Raise Me Up...By Lara



Here is one of the products of us having a new computer with sound and fast internet. I enjoyed creating it...and hopefully there's more to come after I get the rest of our pictures from our old computer.

We love you and thank you for your support. Enjoy!

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