I just found something hilarious on the internet yesterday and thought I'd share for those of you silly people that I know. I already emailed it to most of my family, but then I thought others would find it amusing to do themselves, so here's the link to elf yourself! (I love Nate's concentrated face in the picture - it was really hard to find pics of him - I'll have to remember that in the future when I'm only photographing the girls and not us too).
Hey, I just made a total elf of myself and my family. Check it out by clicking the link below.
Wednesday night we headed to Jill's house for pizza and hanging out until we had to leave so that I could go home and make pies. My job for Thanksgiving was having my house ready, tables set, and make mashed potatoes and pies.
I had four pies on the list: pecan, pumpkin, strawberry jello-cool-whip, and blueberry cream cheese. Not bad, I'll be done by 10:00 (or so I thought). Amy and Madalyn came over because she had to make the same pumpkin and pecan pies so we figured we'd bake together. Madalyn set about making homemade turtles with my caramel I'd made earlier that day and Amy and I set out on pie-making, thankful we'd already made the pie crusts last week.
All and all I don't know what took so long, but we got done about 11:30 and my feet, body and mind were shot. I think it might have been Amy's idea to cut out pie-crust maple leaves to adorn the pumpkin pies. They took forever, but in the end, looked fabulous as does most everything Amy does with cooking/baking (if you don't believe me, check out her purse cupcakes she made for YW in Excellence last month).
So I went to bed and propped my feet up and fell asleep quickly. Nate got up with the girls and started getting stuff done around the house to get ready. With help from Cyndee and Amy, I think my tables turned out very festive for the occasion.
I like fancy because we never do fancy so I figure the holidays are a time for fancy.
Cyndee had the fabulous idea to cut holes into mini pumpkins for tea lights (I did this last year for a dinner party with apples and that was cool too if you ever need a centerpiece idea in the fall). Then the vases with fall pine cones, pumpkins, leaves, and acorns turned out beautiful.
Nate's family arrived and we ate and ate and had a nice, relaxing day. The food was great, as always. The kids played perfectly together -- they loved Nate's PlayStation Cabela's hunting game and played it most of the time. I wasn't feeling the best so I kind of took it easy and somehow missed taking very many pictures which makes me sad, but I did get a few.
Ethan rubbing Uncle Casey's bald head. (I think this one was taken at Pat's b-day party)
Jill's little boy, Luke. He's so darn cute, but for the life of me, I can't get him to snuggle me - he's a mom and dad snuggler. He's definitely a little Archibald!
Jack, Megan and Travis's little boy. He wouldn't snuggle me either, but was always snuggling the parents. I guess I'll just have to wait to have my own baby to snuggle!
Casey's cute little girl, Chevi wouldn't snuggle me either -- she wouldn't even hold still for me to get a picture of her and her cute curls! I love watching her because she's so dang happy and instead of walking or running around, she hops around with a joyful bounce. I love it! She's full of spunk, that one.
Savy, Ryan (squating), Dallin, Ethan (green stripes), Emma and London.
The highlight of the day (for the kids) was either wrestling Uncle Nate or all the kids taking turns blowing into his varmint calls. Nate loves to wrestle and the kids have no mercy with him. I'm surprised he doesn't get hurt when he does this with all of them. As for the varmint call, we only realized afterward how smart that was when Dallin came up having strep the next day. Luckily nobody else got sick because he must have been contagious that day.
My oldest sister, JoDee, came down from Cedar City, Utah, for the holiday. Nate's brother and his family also came into town which was fun because we hadn't seen them for about 3 years.
These pictures are from last Tuesday, when everyone arrived. JoDee came out to my house as our little pilgrim and Indian came home from their Thanksgiving feast of pizza at preschool. Yes, pizza. Earlier that morning, Savannah told Nate that they were going to have pizza and pretend it was turkey at the feast. I guess kids do have good imaginations. . .
Aren't they cute?
The cutest little devil ever: Crew Adair. He's into everything, but then he flashes you a killer-melt-your-heart smile and you can't control yourself from grabbing him and smothering him with hugs and kisses. It would be hard to discipline this kid!
For some reason he kept wanting his picture with me and then he'd run back to Amy and look at the picture then run back to me for more. I just enjoyed the hugs and kisses so I went with it.
As expected, the kids started getting restless and so we had a little talent show that went on for a while until the gymnastics turned into karate moves and then wildness ensued.
I'm not sure if five-month pregnant ladies should do superman, but in my defense, I only did the littlest littles and made Madee do the older ones.
After the wildness of Aidan and Crew chasing and play-fighting and the superman adventures, we decided to get out of the house for some fresh air. My sisters and I have no qualms about going out in public with our (what seems to be) masses of children. We are used to people looking at us like we're crazy -- and maybe we are a little bit, but it's better than being at home doing nothing. So we headed over to a new outdoor mall to check it out.
The Divas. Savy, Baylee, Madalyn, and London.
They had a very cool and colorful play area where I got a few good pictures of the cousins doing what they do best: playing, posing, being silly and loving being together.
Crew and Davyn.
Davyn, Savy, Baylee and Aidan taking a rest from playing.
I don't know what's happened, but London is totally into posing for pictures lately as you could tell from my last post. I figure I'll take what I can get because you never know when that will change. And yes, it was the end of November and she's wearing that sun-dress. It was still warm, but it did finally cool off a little by Thanksgiving weekend.
We stopped and got the all kids ice creams. This picture was taken as JoDee, Amy and I were cracking up at Baylee. She can be the wildest and craziest girl ever and we just thought it was hilarious the difference between her wild stuffing the whole thing in her mouth with the crazy eyes and Savy's perfect postured lady-like licking. They couldn't be more different, but they get along really well.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAT!
After the mall, we headed over to Nate's parents' house because Megan and Travis had flown in that afternoon and it was Pat's birthday. It was fun to see their cute family and meet their newest addition (who will be two in January so he's not so new), Jack, for the first time. Emma and Ethan have grown a ton and are cute as ever. The cousins were very excited to see eachother and play together. We even got to steal Emma and have a sleepover that night, but I'll do my next post about those cousins because we had a great Thanksgiving with them.
So I STILL haven't downloaded Thanksgiving pictures yet, but that's the plan tonight and then hopefully a very late Thanksgiving post tomorrow. I'm hoping I even have some pictures to post because by the time the actual day arrived, I was so worn out that I don't recall taking many pictures so we'll see what we come up with.
In the meantime, Amy called me this morning and asked if she could borrow Savy for a half and hour. Okay. She was practicing "professional" photos with her awesome camera and neither Aidan nor Davyn were cooperating by holding still. And she knows my Savannah well. So I loaded up the girls and headed over.
In the end, she was grateful that to get some things figured out on the camera and I was grateful to get some cute pictures! I think I'll nix professional photos and go to Amy to do the girls' pictures from now on - she gets better and better all the time. If I would have known I'd get such a good one of London (see the last picture), I would have dressed her differently!
Savannah was the requested model, but it was London, as you can see, who really got into the posing. Even when we were done, she'd strike a pose and ask Mimi to photograph it.
My little mini-Nate.
For anyone who doesn't know London, this picture about sums up her personality!
This is when she really got into the posing. She had the legs and arms all balanced and check out that concentration on the face!
I'm sick of seeing my curse entry and yet haven't got the pictures together from Thanksgiving yet so I thought I'd post this bread recipe. I made it about a week ago for dinner and Amy loved it and wanted to the recipe so I thought I'd share with all. I got it off of allrecipes.com
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 2/3 cup white sugar 1 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 6 cups bread flour
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
Nate and I are cursed. We have been cursed ever since day one of our marriage. It has to do with neighbors and I call it:
THE NEIGHBOR CURSE.
#1 In our first apartment it was the group of apartment maintenance men who would take turns showering every night - and there were about 15 of them. One after another.
#2 Then in our second apartment there was the single man upstairs with pent-up children who would bounce their basketball on the floor above us, among other things. Oh, and he was a drummer. . .and we got to hear concerts until Nate went up to ask him to stop. And late at night we had the lovely privilege of hearing when lady-friends visited. The bed above us shook so bad once that Nate pounded on the wall and it quickly stopped. Was that rude? We probably ruined his night.
#3 Our next door neighbor in the same place was the apartment painter-man who was friendly, but a mess. I never saw him bring groceries in, only beer. I would often have Nate take over a plate of food or a bowl of chili so the poor skinny man would get some nourishment. But the music and the smell of pot became too much and my charity faded away as frustration built.
#4 So we rented a house. Lucky us. Our neighbors next door were a bunch of single guys renting. And they had a band that wanted to practice every afternoon for a COUPLE HOURS, amplifiers and all. I didn't like my house shaking every afternoon.
#5 Then our nice neighbor on the other side sold her house to a nice little man and the pot-smoking fiestas began right below our bedroom. Lovely.
#6 So now we finally bought our first house six months ago and surprise surprise our neighbor was a renter who was a computer programmer working from home. So I got to listen to the base of his rap music all afternoon as my children tried to nap. He was very nice and considerate when Nate approached him about the music and we didn't hear it again. Then he moved.
#7 A new family replaced him and I think this story tops all our other neighbors and I have pictures to prove it. About a month ago we planted our winter grass. Immediately afterwards, we noticed that our rocks and half of our grass was flooded every morning. We weren't watering at night and don't even have sprinklers and the water damage to our block wall gave away the source: the neighbors.
Puddles in our back yard -- you can see that even around the puddles is a little standing water on the rocks. And this is after the whole day of sunshine where most of it from this morning had evaporated. And you can see the water seeping onto our block wall. That's not even the damage to the wall -- there's two huge hard water stain circles about four feet up and an arm's length across as well.
The mud that this little problem has created on our side of the fence.
One day, sick of it, we looked over the fence and were shocked at what we saw.
Now we knew that they had dogs because we hear them bark every time we go out, but we had no idea that the poor dogs lived like this. All those little black things are, you guessed it, feces. The poor dogs are either walking on crap or water or mud. Is that healthy for those poor dogs?
And here's the side yard that shares the wall with us. Notice the trough they built for the dogs? There's no base to it, just ground. And what's up with this water? Can that be safe by their a/c unit? I don't know or care, but I want it gone and my yard to stop flooding.
This whole problem was an issue that bothered me, but didn't make me angry until Friday.
Yes, it gets worse.
Amy and my mom came over because we had tons of projects to get done: * make and freeze pie crusts for next week. * cut tealight-size holes into tons of little pumpkins for centerpieces for next week. * make candied pecans for next week. * make some butter crunch for next week. * sand and paint wood boards for girls' bedroom. * cut paper and modge-podge it onto dried wood boards.
The kids played fabulously together upstairs for a long time and then headed outside for some playtime. My girls love to get the water into the buckets and transfer it from here to there and I don't mind because they never get wet or dirty - they're very clean. But they had boy cousins over and something changed. All of a sudden we look out and London's clothing is sopping wet as well as her hair. She's bent over the puddle, head bobbing in and out. Looked like fun until she came and we smelled her: dog you know what.
So the water is contaminated with all the dog feces that the people never pick up and now it's all over our children.
I was livid.
We stripped all four of them and I took two upstairs to bath/shower and Amy took two in the downstairs bathroom. Then poor Aidan and D had to wear Savy's undies. D fit into some nice white ones, but poor Aidan. The only ones big enough for him were some pink camo ones. I seriously had to hold back laughter every time I saw him - especially when he was doing ballet-type moves in them. I made Amy take a picture for future bribery when he gets older.
So now the problem needs to be taken care of ASAP so that my children can go outside and enjoy their backyard again. We've emailed the owners and sent pictures. He emailed back and was very grateful, embarrassed, and nice about the whole thing and I'm hoping he does what he said and gets it taken care of as soon as possible because I don't like my backyard smelling so horrible - I think the kids really stirred it up because I can barely go out there without gagging now -- or maybe it's just my active imagination.
Is it too much to ask for normal neighbors?
Will this curse ever go away?
What to do . . . what to do. . .
We dream of someday moving to a neighborhood with huge lots where your neighbors are so far away that you aren't bothered by problems like this. Do you think that will get rid of our curse?
The whole way home from my sister-in-law's house, London complained loudly about how she wanted a boy baby. "I don't need another sister, I need a brother. Everyone else gets boys. . . Mimi (Amy) has boys. We need a boy."
Savy wasn't any more excited than London.
When Nate got home from work and excitedly asked about the baby, the girls both came down the stairs, literally moping about the sex of the baby. They'd barely talk to Nate about it.
I'm glad that they have a few months to get used to the idea and then they will be much more excited when the baby comes. It's been interesting hearing name ideas though. Savy wants Kelly and London wants Balin (from Barbie's 12 Dancing Princesses).
Personally, I couldn't be more thrilled because it's in my safety zone and I love having girls. Nate's a great girl-dad too and I just have to convince him that he can take girls hunting and fishing just as much as boys -- heck, my dad did and we loved it!
Yes, we are having another girl despite the fact that everyone who knows us swore they felt like it was a boy. I know Nate wanted a boy (what man doesn't?), but he is excited nonetheless. I am actually quite relieved because I already have cute girl clothes AND I'm rather terrified of boy diaper changing - I don't like the thought of being peed on! I guess I'm just a girl-mom.
I just love this view of the two halves of the brain and the eyes looking up.
My favorite part of the ultrasound was right here where we saw her opening and closing her mouth to swallow. The picture looks freaky, but it was way cool to see it on tv in motion. Just a little person in there doing her thing!
Gotta love the cute little baby feet.
And here is baby girl #3!
All limbs were accounted for and she looks good. Her measurements put my due date right on schedule on March 29. Apparently my placenta is a little low, but the doctor thinks that as my uterus grows, it will pull the placenta up with it so it shouldn't be a big deal. I'm grateful that everything looks good and healthy.
I really have to start racking my brain for names because I have none! A boy would have been much easier to name. Seeing this picture makes me realize how stinkin squished she is in there and realize that it's no wonder I feel her kicking me all the time! So I'm very excited and, as you can see, they gave me TONS of pictures as well as a disc with about 20 pictures and two videos from the ultrasound. One of them is the swallowing moment so I'll see if I can't get it onto my blog, but I'm not too technically savvy so we'll see about that.
So it's a girl and now I can plan a nursery after the holidays. Amy and I have already decided to make new bedding even if it's a girl so I'm excited because I just sewed my first curtains yesterday and I'm ready for bedding. . . maybe. . . then again maybe Amy can sew those. . .
And as soon as I get my curtains up, I'll post them because I'm so excited to get the girls' room finally finished.
Yesterday was Veteran's Day so my mom gave Amy and I the morning to run errands. I feel so spoiled lately because just two weekends ago she took the girls overnight and it was lovely. But yesterday couldn't have been timed better because I had a ton of little errands that definitely didn't qualify as kid-friendly. So Amy and I dropped our littles off for a movie/park day with Grandma Cyndee and we headed off.
Thank you mom!
This week I have numerous projects that I want to finish before Thanksgiving next week so I'll try to remember to take pictures and post them because I'm totally excited that I'll be officially finishing the girls' room! (and I will owe Amy big time because I've roped her into helping me with them.)
But for now. . . here's a little something. . .
I stole this picture from Amy's blog because I adore it and want them to always remember how much they loved eachother when they get older and the whole boy/girl issues come up. She took this picture at her in-laws house while I was in Iowa and she was watching my children for me. Thanks again!
Things I love about this picture:
I love D's little arm around Savy's neck. I love Savy's hand on London's knee. I love that they don't mind being squished together. I love Aidan's protective arm around the back of the whole group. I love that London's got both her arms around the back of Savy and A. And I love that these cousins love eachother!
So I just got an email yesterday saying that I'm 20 weeks and half-way through my pregnancy!
It's funny how with my first I knew how far along I was to the day and now I can barely remember what week I'm in -- thank goodness for my weekly emails!
And yes, my baby is supposedly the size of a banana, from head to rump. So. . .maybe my baby actually looks like this...
but I hope not.
The only pregnancy complaint I have at the moment are the charlie-horse cramps that wake me up, clutching my calf every night. I read on the internet that those cramps are your body's way of revolting against the extra weight you're carrying. . . okay. . . I haven't put on that much yet so I'm scared to see what revolting goes on when I'm actually big! Not a fun thought.
And next week will be the big ultrasound week. boy or girl? I'll let you know as soon as I do.
But for now I'm going to go lay down and put my feet up because my whole body's aching from some serious tile/grout scrubbing that went on this morning! But it definitely looks good and was worth it. That's the good thing about having guests come for the holidays -- it motivates you to do more things in your house that you would have otherwise put off.
I can't believe you are 32 today! I hope you have a great day! Going through my pictures, I didn't have that many of you and I, but the ones I found brought back some great memories. Here are just a few:
Well, this is just a picture of us together -- aren't we cute? You were always the perfect older brother! (I think I can see a little Wesley in that smile).
Since it was so recently Halloween and Megan had a picture of you and she on her blog from this particular Halloween, I thought I'd post the one I found of all of us -- it's rare to find a picture with all 5 of us siblings together.
This was in our house on Loma Vista Circle and we were jamming out to Queen. I always remember how we used to just listen to and talk about music all the time. You are always finding stuff that I love and making great mixes.
I hope Andersyn knows how spoiled she was when she was the only grandchild and had all of us crazy Aunts/Uncle to entertain her and do crazy stuff like this with her! I'm sure it was your idea. . . This, by the way, is the weekend of your homecoming from your mission and I think we were just all so happy to be together!
As I was going through my scrapbooks, I found a whole bunch of letters you wrote me on your mission and they made me remember what a great and interesting writer you were. You wrote amazing poetry and stories. But I also found some letters that reminded me of what a good brother you have always been to me. There were many that were aimed at helping me through my first semester at BYU (which was VERY difficult for numerous reasons) loaded with advice, caring words and spiritual advice only a missionary and loving older brother could give. I had forgotten how much I relied on you during those times of trial with roomie problems. Thank you.
This is you trying out your new mountain bike right after you got home from your mission. More than anything, though, this picture reminds me of the time we all went mountain biking with the youth in Breckenridge. Do you remember that? I'm sure you'll never forget, nor will I. Thank you for rescuing me!
Now we've all grown up and have children of our own. When we're together, our memories form around our children. Speaking of children, you are a great father who is always very good with kids. You even try to take others' kids, as seen in this picture below. What cracks me up is that my girls just are not sure of your wild and crazy demeanor (or maybe it's the hair) and they are petrified of Uncle Tyler. So this picture is classic because you can tell London is not sure about Uncle Tyler holding her and is just barely keeping it together. I'm sure as they get older, they'll realize that you're great at rough-housing and wrestling and they'll jump right in and love Uncle Tyler.
Good memories. I'm glad it was your birthday so I could go back and walk through memory lane. You always have been a fabulous brother and I hope you have a great day!
p.s. if anyone wants more pictures or to hear more about T, go to Meg's blog - she did a fabulous post about him.
I thought I'd start out with the official Justice League photo even though there was the longest day of my life before this moment came with all it's trick-or-treating glory. I think it's taken me a week to even recover from Halloween - honestly.
Monday our neighborhood had a great Halloween party at the elementary school. Tuesday was the preschool party and then Wed was packed full of adventure - no wonder I was worn out!
I also have to thank Amy - or probably more correct would be to thank Aidan for getting my girls out of the princess-cycle. Anyone who knows Savy must be shocked to see her out of princess garb, but I think she made an awesome Wonder Woman! The girls have definitely been brainwashed by their super-hero-loving cousins (and aunt), but I don't mind in the least.
Stop #1 : Heritage Academy
Grandma Cyndee's the middle witch.
The morning started bright and early at Heritage Academy where Grandma Cyndee teaches British Lit and happened to be introducing Macbeth with the 3-witches scene. My girls have memorized certain phrases from her part that she's recited to them and I often hear them say things like "baboon's blood" or "finney snake." Thanks to her, they also have become obsessed with William Shakespeare and his "stories" as Savy calls them. I am constantly asked to tell her his stories. I think their favorites are A Midsummer's Night and Taming of the Shrew.
London and Davyn looked so cute in the high school classroom. The older two children suddenly became paralyzed with fear (or at least Savy did) of the big kids. Funny how you never know how they'll react to things. . .
Stop #2: Grandma and Grandpa Jones' house
We stopped by my grandparents' house to show off the costumes and, as usual, Davyn took over Grandma's lap. He is so dang cute with her!
Crankiness started setting in and so we headed home for some rest before the afternoon/evening festivities began.
Stop #3: Vertuccio Farms with daddy
One of Nate's clients owns numerous farms around the Valley so we thought it'd be fun to visit one that had the usual Halloween/fall festival stuff. So after a quick hour at home to rest, we were off to pick up daddy and head to the farm.
The girls were overly excited that Nate got them their own can of Sprite. I really love the way they are such good sisters and hardly ever fight. It's definitely a blessing.
Savannah wanted her picture taken all alone next to the huge pumpkin.
The adult maze was huge and wore both Nate and I out as the weather is still too warm for this time of year . . . will it ever cool off????? The girls loved it though and kept yelling at their "horsey" to go faster. I swear he was running through the maze because I was having the hardest time keeping up with them.
This maze was more their style and they did quite well going through it alone. Well, Savy did at least -- London cheated and got out faster.
The train ride which thrilled the girls.
Stop #4: Jill and Marc's house
After the farm, we went by Nate's sister's house to eat and see costumes. Unfortunately we barely missed his parents, but we had to get back home for the Justice League trick-or-treating.
Yes, it had been a long day and we hadn't even gone out for the evening yet!
Halloween Night finally arrived!
Ready to go trick-or-treating!
The love of my life.
Post trick-or-treating. I love the way London looks so dang pleased with herself! I was surprised how well they all fared. We had to hold the reigns on Aidan who wanted to run from house to house as fast as possible - playing the part of Flash to a T. But little Batman had a hard time keeping up so we had to compromise.
Part-way through I asked London if her legs were tired and she replied: