Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Here to stay

The other day Amy was over and the kids were playing. She asks me if we'll stay here for a while. This is not the first time she has quizzed me on how long we plan to live here.

Okay, I know that it was a complete and utter shock when we moved into her neighborhood and so quickly, but I think sometimes she still doesn't believe it can last. It has been good. We've been here four months and between the sharing of the meals, having a handy babysitter, and just being able to hang out, it has been fabulous! Not to mention that we both have our strengths and our weaknesses and amazingly enough, they are completely opposite. We're a lot alike, but I have found that where one of us is weak, the other helps to strengthen the other in that area. It's been lovely. She has really helped me to just start doing things and get projects worked on and finished.

Currently I'm working on decorating the girls' room as we await the arrival of their new bunk beds and Amy has helped me so much with decisions . . . I am not a decision girl. Nate knows if we ever go out that he will have to choose the restaurant - he's just learned to live with my indecisiveness.

ANYWAY, back to our conversation the other day. We got to thinking about how many times Nate and I have moved and the reality of the details was/is rather shocking.

In six years of marriage, we have lived in 5 different places -- 2 apartments and 3 houses.

I would say that we plan on staying in this house for a while because I hate moving and I'm having a lot of fun decorating and having my own home!

Friday, July 27, 2007


Amy tagged me a couple days ago, so here it is --

4 Jobs I've had

1. My first job was a secretary at the BYU Word Processing Center in the Tanner Building helping the business/accounting professors. I loved it and the people I worked with.

2. Robert Half International -- as a temp and as an administrative assistant working with Megan and then taking over after she left until I left to have Savannah and stay at home.

3. Pampered Chef. About two years ago I started this and it was shocking to everyone not only that I started something like this, but more so that I enjoyed it and actually kept it up and did quite well. I loved meeting new people and getting out of the house! Plus, I loved the sense of accomplishment. I stopped a month or two ago, though, because it was getting to hard to work around Nate's unpredictable work schedule as he has many evening appointments. Since his work is way more important than my fun distraction. . . I stopped. I am sorely missing the deals and products, but I definitely have a well-stocked kitchen now! I am now a huge PC fan! If you are ever invited to a show -- you should go.

4. Being a mom has been my job for the past four and a half years and I love it. I have a feeling that I am on the verge of the craziness though -- with school and extra-curricular activities. Both my girls will be in preschool this year and I have only tipped the iceberg with dance lessons last year and swimming this summer. . . I'm sure as my girls get older it'll just get crazier - my sister, JoDee, always seems to be running her kids somewhere. . .

4 Places I've lived

1. Arizona - Flagstaff (where I was born), Mesa (most of my childhood), Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Page, Queen Creek (or Queentucky as Nate calls it - where we live now).

2. Denver, Colorado -- Actually, it was Lakewood and then Conifer (for BYU vacations). I have some fabulous memories of this place that I loathed moving to (it was the end of my sophomore year - how was I supposed to be happy about that?!). My parents, Megan and I had a blast - and Tyler before he left on his mission. Those were some fun times when Megan and I had some uhm interesting experiences together that make for some good and hilarious memories that we love to bring up again and again.

3. Provo, Utah while attending BYU. I love Provo. I love the Fall and the Spring. I love BYU campus and the changing of the leaves on the trees in the fall or the sense of impending freedom, excitement and laziness that comes with the spring as everyone lounges on the grass . . . love it.

4. Chile - Santiago, Peumo and Pichilemu. Love the mission. Loved the people - both the natives as well as my comps. In fact, two of my comps have blogs, Hermanas Vaneps and Clawson.

4 Favorite TV shows

1. 24 - anyone who's watched this has to love Jack Bauer. I know I do.

2. Lost - I can only watch this and 24 on Netflix rentals. I don't cope well with watching it interrupted with commercials and not being able to watch more than 40-minutes progress a week in the story-line. I think I have patience issues. So I wait until the season is released on dvd and then have a marathon -- I like it much better that way.

3. I have to say that I honestly don't watch any shows regularly on tv. I have started watching random political shows on CNN though that I find quite interesting and I even watched the Democratic You-Tube debate the other night! I don't know what Nate and I were thinking but it was actually quite interesting. Can't wait for the Republican one in September!

4. I blame my lack of tv watching on the fact that I don't have dvr or tivo. I know everyone lives by it and I think it'd be cool, but I'm rather afraid of becoming addicted -- as I become addicted to Lost or 24 when I'm renting them. I'm quite happy not knowing what I'm missing right now. We'll see how long that lasts. . .

4 Favorite Foods

1. I love White Chocolate Kit Kats or Strawberries.

2. Tomato, Basil Spinach Fettuccine with Shrimp. I made this for my mother-in-law's birthday two weeks ago and realized once again how much I love it! I'll have to post the recipe sometime. It's very easy and feels like fine dining.

3. Smoothies. Any kind, any day. I dream of owning my own VitaMix. . .

4. My latest kick has been granola, strawberries, blueberries and vanilla yogurt all mixed together. A fabulous breakfast!

4 Websites I frequent

1. Yahoo for Email

2. Arizona Federal Credit Union as I am in charge of all bill-paying in this household

3. Netflix for movies

4. Blogs to catch up on friends and family

4 Places I'd rather be right now

1. Unfortunately, like Megan, as pathetic as it sounds, I'd love to be in a Step class right now at the gym. I am seriously missing living close to a gym and the consistency it gave me in my workout schedule. My girls even miss the "play-place" as they called it.

2. Anywhere in the world alone with Nate. We need a vacation without our children. I love traveling and want to see the rest of the world with him at my side.

3. In the National Gallery in London, sitting in front of one of my favorite paintings - Lady Jane (not sure if that's the exact name) or in the Cortauld Gallery (in London) looking at a Van Gogh.

4. Resting in a hammock in the mountains, sipping ice cold water.

4 Movies I love

1. Pride & Prejudice - the A&E version with Colin Firth

2. Lady Jane

3. Shooting Fish -- a regular rental on those nights in London when we didn't want to spend money - nearly every weekend at least one group from the BYU program rented it. Very British and very wacky.

4. Music From Another Room -- yet another wacky show yet so . . . me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lee's Ferry

This is my last post about our Utah trip -- and it's about time! I've been a slacker at finishing, but I do want to remember everything so here's a memory that took 15 minutes at most, but will live in my mind forever. We crossed the bridge at Lee's Ferry and Nate really wanted to stop and let the girls get out and look. So we did. We even got a nice man to take our picture. I just think this area is so beautiful in it's own unique way. The girls loved looking down onto the Colorado River.
All along the reservation, you find little huts with Navajos selling their homemade jewelry. Upon seeing one right there at the bridge, I told Nate that we had to get the girls something because I have fond memories of my dad doing the same for me and my siblings.

Choosing was not an easy task.
London loved the dream-catchers, but ended
up getting a necklace/bracelet combo.

Savannah showing off her new jewelry.
I think they were just glad to be out of the car for a while.

While in Cedar, I found these cool little tins with a princess on one side and her prince on the other. It was actually a case that held various articles of clothing and accessories for both. It turned out to be a fun and entertaining thing for the girls when all else failed. . .

In fact, it got even more entertaining as the girls got bored
and started cross-dressing the princes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Regina, Amy, me, Megan, Cyndee, JoDee

The hubbies had a "boys night" and Gina came over with a 2-hour beauty regimen and strawberry daiquiri mix. This picture was the first of two face masks we all did. The second was potentially painful (if you let it dry with your head in a weird position or if you move) and harsh, but I'm sure it took away a few wrinkles. As it set, it turned to concrete on your face and you couldn't move for 30 minutes. Talk about a mini-face-lift! There was a lengthy discussion beforehand about how you have to keep your head in a neutral position and not laugh or it would hurt - Megan and Gina had us all freaked out over it! We all had to turn on the t.v. so we wouldn't look at each other and laugh -- not laughing when doing stuff like this with your sisters is a nearly impossible task! Somehow we managed the impossible -- for the sake of beauty.

Savannah and London

This sisters picture reminded me of one from the previous generation. . .

Megan and I at Cabela's when we were in high school.

Fishing at the Farm

Shane's parents have a farm about an hour from Cedar - across Cedar Breaks in Glendale, Utah. So, one afternoon we headed out there to fish in the stocked pond. It turned out to be relaxing and quite fun -- although the children quickly lost excitement for "fishing" once they realized that you did not get one with every cast. They got bored, but us adults had fun and even caught some to let the kids reel in.
Wesley, Nate and Savannah

Nate got London a fishing pole for her birthday, knowing we were planning on going to the farm. All the kids had a blast taking turns fishing although not a single fish was caught with it.

Savannah fishing

This is as close to the fish that we could get Savannah.

Balyee, on the other hand, was a completely different story. As you can see, she has no fear of fish - alive or dead. Dead in this case after she had chased all the cousins with it. It'll make a good story when all the boys are older and think they're tough -- we'll remind them of the time Baylee made them run away screaming because of a fish. She's the funniest girl -- a princess one moment playing away with Savy and then just as quickly she can be outside with the boys or chasing the others with a dead fish! I love it!

Madalyn with the water snake that kept poking it's head
out of the water to watch what we all were doing.

What's a post without a picture of Davyn and London loving on each other?

The attempted escape. . . uhm, was anyone watching the children?

Me and my love!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Random Cousin Moments in Utah

One morning Megan and Tom had to run a few errands so we tagged along and then went to a cool antique store together. While in the car, I hear chanting from the back seat and see this picture . . .

and hear. . .
"I wish for my powers to come back.
I wish for my powers to come back.
I wish for my powers to come back."

over and over again.
(where do they get this stuff?)
Very strange yet imaginative children.

Cute cousins at the antique store - Talin, Collin, London and Savy.


How often do 8 toddlers work together on a common goal?

In this rare moment, they were all building a pretend fire together.

Once again, very strange yet imaginative children.

I Passed!

It's official.

I finished my second class online for my BYU degree.

And I even got a 90% A-

(I hate minuses -- they take away my joy of having an A. Why do they do that to you?)

HFL 350 - Family Finance only took me 11 months to complete, but I blame that completely on my lack of persistence and cobwebbed mind from being away from school so long. I loved learning again, but it was hard to discipline myself to actually sit down and do the homework and get my booty to the testing center to take the exams.

The class was a good eye-opener for me and gave me some very applicable principles for my life. The sections on life insurance and retirement really helped me understand more of what Nate does everyday in his work and I'm grateful to know a little more about that so I can understand what he is talking about all the time! I can see why he loves his job so much - helping people put their lives in order must be fulfilling.

I am looking forward to getting my next class over with (English 315 - my last general) and then getting on to the History and Art History classes I need to graduate. I switched my major so many times when I first arrived at BYU that I'm afraid between that and taking a semester abroad in London I have lots of credits, but put together, they don't put me any closer to graduation.

Leaving BYU, I was a humanities major, but that cannot be completed online so I have changed back to history (my major before discovering a love of humanities). Luckily I already have a couple upper-division history classes under my belt.

My goal is to finish my English class before the holidays arrive. I may need some prodding from people around me to help me stay on track...

Monday, July 23, 2007

They Came Through For Me!

Amazon came through for me

The mailman came through for me (at 4:30 Saturday)
(Ang - mine also came in a "Muggles don't deliver before July 21st"-box also)

My children came through for me (playing all day Sunday while being ignored by their obsessed mother who read most of the day -- except the 3-hour church block -- wait, we only have church for 2 1/2 hours out here)

J.K. Rowling came through for me

and last, but not least

Harry Potter came through for me!

Loved it!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Between a Rock and a Hard Spot. . .

I love Harry Potter.

Who doesn't??

Last month I re-read all six books to prepare myself for this final book.

Nate has not read them . . . yet. But he does love seeing the movies with me. After seeing the Order of the Phoenix last week, he immediately went home and ordered the new book for me on Amazon. Sweet gesture and he was so excited to do it for me.

However . . .

today is Saturday, July 21st

the book is out

and my mailman doesn't come til the late afternoon

and I'm not that confident in Amazon's promise of delivery today or your money back




if it's not in my mailbox this afternoon, I'm hi-tailing it to Wal-mart.

London's Birthday

July 6th

3 years old!
How on earth did my baby get that old!?!!?

London has recently become obsessed with E.T. ever since watching it at Amy's house a few months ago. I really can't blame her - he is so cute in the movie.

Nate is convinced that London looks like my little sister, Megan, so here is another way that our London is like Megs -- Megan LOVED E.T. when she was young. Obsessive, like London, would be a better choice of words.

In our family, most of the toddlers have June/July birthdays so everyone in Utah was caked-out. Hence - the huge cookie decorated with beloved E.T. . London was very specific that she wanted E.T. flying across the moon on the bike when Grandma Cyndee asked what she wanted on the cookie. Thanks mom for the awesome decorating job.

Birthday girl with one of her favorite gifts - a Tinkerbell doll. Savannah became a tad bit jealous, but London is ever-ready to share with her big sister.

I just love this picture because anyone who knows London, knows that she does not necessarily like men -- except Nate and his dad. Jim (Amy's love) claims that she has just recently started liking him (and we're around them a lot!). Tyler, my crazy brother, is a bit too wacky and loud for my girls and they always tell me they don't like him. I missed this moment, but Amy caught it on film and I love it because I never thought I'd see her sitting on his lap . . . but then you see her face and how hard she's trying to keep it together. How funny.

London's other love: Curious George.
Did I ever mention how much she loves monkeys?

Family Pictures

We hardly ever get pictures of our little family together so this is a rarity that I thought I'd share. Even more rare are the pics of Nate and I alone together -- it seems our camera was only made for our beautiful girlies and not us.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The worst thing that could happen did!

Arizona 115 degree weather + 1 dead air conditioner =

* a 97 degree home
* an empty home
*about 100 emails in the inbox to be deleted
* no blogging

2 days of a.c. fixing issues +
1 persistent and wonderful husband with connections =

* a 77 degree home
* a happy Mandi
*cleaned out email inbox
* a blog entry

A million thanks to Amy for letting me invade her home for 2 days straight even though it was chaos and she already had house guests. Our older sister, JoDee, has been in town for the week and it's been fun hanging out. So now, with no visitors and a cool house, I'll be ready to finish up my Utah trip memories. Stay tuned. . .

Monday, July 16, 2007

4th of July

I love being in Cedar
for the 4th of July.

There's just something to be said about a small town for this particular holiday. I love it. Despite it being unusually hot for Cedar (the 100 degree weather actually felt nice compared to our AZ heat!), it was a fabulous holiday.

Madalyn, Savannah, and Talin

The 13 cousins had a blast at the parade

*begging for candy
*being sprayed with water
*petting the mini-horses ( I know there's a name for them, but it escapes me just now)
*starring in awe at the dance groups (well, mostly just my Savannah!)
*dancing to the music (well, mostly just my London!)

sorry about the background clicking and the sideways view. . . didn't think about that when I was filming it on the camera . . . and then the girls were being too silly to do it again. . . little girls are VERY VERY SILLY.

There was much fun to be had. . .

tell me that isn't pure
chaos on the trampoline!!!

there were races to be run. . .

on your mark

get set


races to be won...

pictures to be taken. . .
back:Aidan, Wyatt, Bailey, Savy, Talin, Wesley, Madalyn, Andersyn
front: Collin, London, Noah, Davyn, Crew

and an obstacle course to complete!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

8-hour drive to Cedar City, Utah

The girls were good, but it is a long drive and next time we will definitely be buying portable dvd players for the car.

I love the Savy's snarl -- that girl's got sass!