Thursday, December 27, 2007

Santa Claus Came to Town!!

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! Ours was so much fun! I love all of our family traditions! I love the anticipation! I love the food! And I LOVE watching my kids' faces (well, Payson's really, since Jack doesn't quite understand yet) as they discover what Santa left them.

Anyway, here's a little peek into our Christmas holiday!!


This is a picture that Payson actually took Christmas morning. She grabbed the digital camera and was getting up close to her favorite ornaments on Grandma's tree and just snapping away. I thought this one actually turned out to be pretty cool. Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!!



Here's Grandma's tree with presents overflowing beneath before they were torn into on Christmas morning!



This is the traditional formal Christmas Eve dinner in the formal dining room with the formal China and everything. We all wear our "formal" jammies. ;)


Santa brought lots of great presents for the kids! Apparently he thought they'd been good this year!


Everyone comes up the stairs in age order: Payson, Maren, Madison, Brennan, and Devin...except for Jack who was carried by Madison.


Payson discovering her new kitchen.


Payson opening books.


Playing with her new baby doll and doctor kit.


Jack enjoying his new excersaucer. Happy little guy! Payson had just as much fun opening his presents as her own!


In an attempt to make Christmas last all day long, after the kids open presents from Santa, we take a break! We have our huge traditional Christmas breakfast (although I have no pictures of it. Bummer, I know). Anyway, we have eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, hash browns with cheese, juice and assorted jams and jellies. We all eat more than we should and enjoy every minute of it!


After breakfast is all cleaned up we move to the family room where presents are handed out and then we take turns, in age order, opening one present at a time until everything is unwrapped. At this point, Payson got sick of waiting around. She wanted to just play with her toys. So Jason and I opened most of her presents for her.

My brothers and sisters got Guitar Hero 3 for Christmas so a good deal of the day was spent taking turns pretending we were rock stars.


Even Grandma and Grandpa joined in! Jason and I got booed off the stage every time we tried. But eight year old Maren was so surprisingly good at it! Maren rocks!

Jason spoiled me with a gift certificate for a day at the spa (which I have been subtly hinting at for, well, forever!) and my parents bought me a Cricut machine!! (For those of you who don't know, it's a machine that cuts out letters and images for scrapbooking). I'm so excited to play with it more!! So fun!

Anyway, to sum it up, Christmas was so fun! I can't believe it's over already. Oh well! On to New Year's and a month full of birthdays! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Something Fun

While snooping into some stranger's blog the other day I saw the cutest idea! This friend of a friend of a friend had a list of "Quotables" from her kids listed on her blog. I thought that was such a cute idea! What a great place to store the silly memories of their childhood!! Anyway, I'm totally stealing the idea! I think Payson says some of the funniest things! So check out our "Favorite Phrases" (below the slide shows to the left) every now and then!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One week to go!!

Myspace Graphics
Myspace Graphics at WishAFriend.com

I am getting so excited! Only one week to go! This time next week I'll be watching my kids rip into their presents! Well, I'll be watching Payson rip into her presents and opening Jack's for him. Actually, if I'm going to be technical, this time next week I'll be done watching Payson rip into her presents and opening Jack's for him and I'll be helping make our traditional HUGE Christmas breakfast!! Anyway, the point is I love Christmas and I can't believe it is coming so quickly! I'd better wrap those last few presents before time runs out!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I love Uncle Dick

Today my mom called with some scary news. Uncle Dick had a heart attack and his heart stopped. I won't go into all the details, mostly because I was receiving them third-hand most of the time, and also because I'm sure a lot of you readers are family and heard them already from someone else. And because I haven't actually seen him yet and I don't want to get anything wrong and send anyone into a panic.

Anyway, so many things have been happening around me lately. So many friends, or friends of friends, or whatever have had tragedy hit their families and I've just been thinking about how grateful I am that our family is happy and healthy. And then the tragedy started to move in a little at a time.

I'm so glad that (from what I understand for now) he's okay. It sounds like the surgery went well and with some time he could be good as new. I just love that big, bald guy! I can't imagine not being able to laugh at his ridiculous jokes. I don't want to think about Teri alone. I don't want to see her or the any of kids missing him so much. I don't want to know what it would be like at the Astles' not having "naughty" words whispered into my ear at the most unexpected moment. I would hate to not be able to see him looking so not like the women you see at church but playing just as beautifully on the organ. I can't imagine him not being with us to walk around and see the Temple Square lights and always stopping at the old Tabernacle to listen to the music. I can't imagine watching the guys all ride off on their bikes for another motorcycle trip without him. There's just a lot I would miss terribly.

Anyway, I'm just glad you decided to stick around long enough for me to tell you that I love you, Uncle Dick.

Love, Your Niece

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yummy Yummy Yummy I've Got Love in my Tummy

Last night we fed Jack baby food for the first time. He was so excited until the spoon touched his tongue and then, well, you'll see his face in the video clips. He's so funny!!

video


video

P.S. That's Payson screaming in the background. She was in trouble and throwing a tantrum in her room. Such a fun age!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas is in the air!!

I get so excited at Christmas time!! The day after Thanksgiving I turned on the Christmas music, got all my Christmas decorations out of storage and set up the tree. I LOVE the Christmas season!
The Saturday after Thanksgiving we made a ginderbread house. Once Jason and I realized that we were incapable of making a house as pretty as the picture on the box, we just squirted icing all over the roof and walls and let Payson put candy all over. She loved it!

Payson (after a bath to clean the frosting out of her hair) posing in front of her Christmas masterpiece with Daddy.
They didn't turn out so great, but I was just taking pictures of our decorations for fun. I even shut the blinds, but there was still a glare in the window.
I need to buy matching stockings. Jack's is the oddball.

The ornaments on our tree keep getting rearranged because Payson can't keep her hands off! One ornament in particular (a puzzle bear) is always found in pieces on the floor so I just keep putting him back together and putting him higher out of reach on the tree. But somehow she finds a way to reach him!


This Santa is my favorite! I love white Santa's!! He's just so pretty.

Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone! We can't wait for all the family parties and festivities to start!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving...

We have been so blessed these last few months, and I have been so awful at recognizing it and being appreciative. Oh my, long story.

A few months ago Jason's work started laying off a guy or two a week, then a guy or two a day, then the entire night crew. No one was allowed any overtime (which we had been relying on for a while). But looking at the bright side, Jason was sent home early most Friday's because he had his hours in, so we had lots of fun weekends together. However, we were praying pretty hard. We knew with the holidays coming up we would be hit pretty hard if we lost our only source of income.

Ultimately they shut down the entire store. That could have been serious bad news for us, but Jason was transferred to the Salt Lake store along with a few others who weren't let go. So I was thrilled that he simply had his job.

When he started in Salt Lake, even though I was glad he had a job, I had some complaints. For one, they wanted Jason up there at 7 am. We only have the one car and there was no way I could get the kids out of bed before 6 to drive Jason up there and then drive back home whenever I needed the car. And then I would have to drive back up and home in traffic to pick him up. That would be nearly four wasted hours of my day. I didn't want to deal with it and I didn't want to put the kids through that. Luckily, Jason was able to find a coworker who lived nearby to carpool with. So the days I need the car, Jason rides with his friend. Crisis averted.

Complaint number two, they started asking him to stay late every night and weekends. So he would work late and then go to class in the evenings. Needless to say, we are feeling like we haven't seen each other in a while.

Anyway, yesterday Payson was in the mood to pull anything and everything out of its place and throw it where ever she chose its new home to be. And Jack just wanted to be held all day. He wasn't happy for more than five minutes if I laid him down or put him in his bouncy seat. So I was frustrated with only having one arm all day to chase Payson's messes with. And I hadn't seen my husband all week. But he had told his work that he wasn't going to work late Friday because he was coming in Saturday and he wanted a little time with us. So if I could just make it until 4, when Jason came home, I'd be fine.

Then Jason called. It was 3:30 and he should have been on his way home. And he wasn't. There was something that had to be done at work and he was the only one there to do it so he'd be staying late again. I just started to cry. I know it's not even close to the worst situation in the world, but I just felt like it was at that moment. That may sound silly, but it's how I felt at the time.

Jason said he'd call when he was finally on his way home and gave up on chasing Payson around the house. I spent most of the afternoon feeling sorry for myself.

Then it hit me. I was being absolutely ridiculous! First of all, wasn't this the exact thing we had been praying for the last few months? Hadn't we specifically asked our Father in Heaven to help us financially during the holiday season? So what was I whining about? The overtime was a perfect answer to our prayers.

And aside from having to sacrifice a little bit of family time for a short period of time, we are so blessed, it's ridiculous! I felt so ashamed the moment I realized how silly I had been acting. I have the most supportive, hard working, loving, perfect husband. I have two beautiful, fun, happy, healthy, well-behaved (most days) children. I have an absolutely amazing family, both immediate and extended. I have a place to live and food to eat. My family and I are healthy. I have the freedom of this wonderful country. I'm not threatened by fires or other disasters, natural or not (knock on wood). And most importantly I have the blessings of the temple in my family, the gospel in my life, and the knowledge that my Savior loves me and atoned for my sins.

I need to be better about remembering those things on a day to day basis and not just because of a bad day or because Thanksgiving is coming up. So maybe having it written here, I will read it and remind myself often that not much else matters.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And the winner is....





I found this through someone else's blog. Yes, a total stranger. I totally peek into everyone else's lives. I'm that sad. Anyway, I thought this was so funny! Everyone always tries to determine who looks more like who. So now there's no question! Payson really does look more like Jason. And Jack doesn't look more like Jason as everyone says! Ha ha ha! I'm in there somewhere!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm the luckiest girl in the world!


This morning my alarm went off at 5:30 and I forced myself up to have family scriptures and prayer. When I reached for my scriptures (which I keep on the computer desk next to our bed) I noticed a post-it note stuck to the monitor. Jason just grinned at me and said, "That's for later".

So after scriptures and prayer, Jason left for work and my day started. After getting everyone breakfast and getting ready and doing some laundry and straightening up, I finally had a minute to look at his note. He instructed me to play a specific song and led me to a letter on the bathroom mirror. So I played the music and read the most beautiful love letter ever! He expressed perfectly how much he loved and appreciated me and listed all sorts of silly reasons why. Then I was to play a second song and call him when I was done.

Sappy, I know. And maybe it's too mushy for someone else, but I was in tears. It was such a sweet, tiny, romantic gesture in the middle of a chaotic, busy week. Just the perfect pick-me-up. I am just absolutely the luckiest girl in the world! Jason is such a wonderful husband and father and just an amazing human being. He is always doing everything he can to keep the people around him happy. And he may not be the most romantic guy all the time, but he knows just the right moments to let me know how much he loves me.

Anyway, I love him so much! Just thought the world should know!!
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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm it! But you're next!

Four jobs I've had:
1. Jr Project Manager at Wirthlin Worldwide a million years ago. Surveys rock!!
2. Auctions CS Rep for Overstock.com
3. www.10kplus.com ...runner? I was every employee!
4. Stay-at-home Mom!! Hardest, BEST job ever!!

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Friends Seasons 1-10 on DVD...and I do watch them over and over and over and over and...
2. The Notebook
3. Anything from a Jane Austen book
4.

Four places I have lived:
1. Westminster, CA
2. Frederick, MD
3. Rexburg, ID
4. Utah County, UT

Four favorite TV shows:
1. The Office
2. The Bachelor (my guilty pleasure!!)
3. Law and Order: SVU
4. Prison Break

Four places I've been:
1. Cancun
2. Bahamas (several islands)
3. New York
4. Hawaii

Four favorite foods:
1. Anything from Don Jose's (which was re-vamped, but I hear the food is still the same!!)
2. Plain New York Cheesecake with fresh strawberries
3. Taco Time's Stuffed Mexi Fries
4. Daddy's Sunday Salmon with grilled onions and peppers

Four websites I visit daily:
1. My Blog, friends' blogs, and any of their friends' blogs (I totally eavesdrop on other peoples' blogs. You do it too!!)
2. Facebook
3. Gmail
4. Hotmail

Four places I'd rather be:
1. New York (Less than 6 months away!!)
2. Europe
3. In a spa with no children around (Only for a few hours, of course. Or maybe a weekend...A girl can dream can't she?)
4. On a beach.

Four blog buddies I want to tag:
1. Jobi
2. Tiffany Dansie
3. Lynette
4. Catherine

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thanks, Tiff!

Tiffany (Austin) just told me how to edit the background to this and stuff so I've been playing around with it all night. Anyway, I think it's super fun! So thanks, Tiff!!

Such sweet feet!


Jason and I were just messing around with Jack and the camera the other day and we got this cutest photo ever of Jack's little toes! I love it! I just want to literally nibble his little toes right off! Aren't they the sweetest?
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Friday, November 2, 2007

Silly Sleeper

Jack has been sleeping through the night since he was about 7 weeks old, which has been SO WONDERFUL!! Until just this last week. He started rolling about a week ago and then we discovered two little teeth had popped through his gums a few days after that. So he's been getting up around 4 in the morning lately. Anyway, last night when I went into the bedroom to get him, his sister was missing! The last time I couldn't find her in the middle of the night she turned out to be sound asleep in the small space between the wall and our bed where we toss our extra pillows. She was curled up there again so I grabbed the camera. Apparently, the flash woke her up.


She used to just climb into bed with us when she would wake up in the night, but since we've been taking her back to her own bed I guess she decided not to wake us up. I figured as long as she wasn't kicking me while I slept I didn't care where she caught her zzzzz's!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat!!

Happy Halloween!! We had so much fun last night!! Especially Payson! We took the kids to Grandma and Grandpa Lethbridge's so that they could trick-or-treat with Aunt Madie and Aunt Maren and their friends.





It was so great! Grandpa hooked the trailer up to his 4-wheeler, put a blanket in the back, and pulled us all around the neighborhood. The kids would hit a few houses and then hop back on for a ride to the next street. They loved it!! Jack and I just hung out and watched the fun, nice and cozy! And Payson came back with more candy than any 2-1/2 year old needs. Plenty to share with Mom and Dad!


Then after trick-or-treating, we went back to Grandma's for traditional taco soup with homemade salsa and chips and Hershey kiss cookies. So good after a cold night out with the kids!



Payson was Little Red Riding Hood. Thanks to Grandma for letting us borrow the hood!! I thought she was the absolute cutest! But of course I do. She does take after me. ;0) She dressed up for her Kindermusik and other Kids on the Move classes earlier in the week and every morning she would ask for "cheeks" because Mommy let her really wear the makeup instead of just pretending to put it on. This morning she actually found my eyeliner and tried to draw on her own freckles. That was fun to scrub off!!




I got all crafty this year and made Jack's costume. Well, I sewed the hat and ears and cut out the tail, anyway. So they aren't too pretty but I don't care!! I felt like Martha Stewart! Isn't he the cutest Wolf in Granny's clothing ever?!?!?! He was so happy all night! He's such a perfect baby, I swear.




Jason and I carved out pumpkins, called "punkets" by Payson, with the kids Tuesday night. We thought they turned out fairly impressive! I did the ghost in the cemetery, Jason did the headless horseman. Payson would sing "Happy Birthday" to the "punkets" every time we lit the candles in them. She's so funny.


Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! Now it's on to Thanksgiving!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reading Suggestions??

I love to read! And I cruise through books like crazy. But I'm really not good at picking out something to read. I love anything...almost. I think. I read the Children of the Promise and Hearts of the Children series' by Dean Hughes when I was in high school. I've read all the Harry Potter books. I love Nicholas Sparks...most of the time. I've read a bunch of his books. (The Wedding is still my favorite!!) And, of course, I'm OBSESSED with the Twilight series. I can't wait to read the fourth one! I'm so irritated that I have to wait until next summer! And then there are the classics. Anything by Jane Austen is good. Loved Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees. But I can't think of what to read right now. I'm sure there are millions of amazing books out there that I would love but I can't pick one, so I'd really love to have some suggestions!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Had a Bad Day...


I was just checking my blog and that song was the one, randomly, to come up on the playlist and when I heard it I just started to laugh!! That was my theme song yesterday!! Looking back, I'm sure it will be a hilarious story but so far I have yet to laugh.

So, because we've been staying over at my parents' the last couple of weeks to babysit, my kids are a little off schedule. They aren't sleeping very well. Well, I guess they're sleeping, they just aren't going to bed until super late. I know I could have been much more disciplined about getting them to bed on time while I was there, but I just wasn't. So now I'm suffering the consequences.

Anyway, so my kids aren't going to bed until late, but we're still getting up at the crack of dawn, so I've been wiped out all week. I made the mistake of lying down with Jack to feed him and I dozed off. I totally didn't even realize how tired I was until I woke up to Payson tapping my arm. So I jumped up and looked around, realizing that she'd been alone for over an hour.

We have child locks on most everything in our place, but our genius little monster has figured them out and they do no good! So while I was sleeping she got into the pantry, reached my spices, and emptied the cayenne pepper, cinnamon, mustard powder, sesame seeds and the desitin (she also emptied the diaper bag) all over the apartment! Wow, she had fun!
Needless to say, the desitin was the most difficult to clean up. No fun at all!! Luckily, everything ultimately came out and we're all having a better day today.

Initially I was embarrassed by the mess and cleaned it up before taking a picture. Now I'm wishing I had captured the memory on camera, but there's no way I'm recreating that disaster!!

Anyway, we're all having a much better day today!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Something New!!


So a bunch of my friends have been doing this whole blogging thing for a while now. I figured it was time for me to get one going for my cute little family!! When it comes to computers, I am so NOT the brightest crayon in the box, but this seems fairly simple...however, I may be eating my words here soon.
I have about a million pictures on my camera that I need to put on the computer and then I'll have some super fun photos of my babies for everyone to see!! And I'm sure I'll be on this thing bragging about them all the time. They are the most beautiful, fun, rewarding thing in my life!! Of course, they are also the most challenging thing as well, but doesn't that just make the reward that much greater?
Anyway, I'm keeping this short. Nap time is almost over and I have lots more to figure out with this blog thing, so hope you enjoy learning about the little things that happen in our lives!!