Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Merry Christmas Update!

Lily & Austin Christmas Day

It has been a while since my last update. It has been a BUSY Christmas season!

We celebrated our 4th Anniversary. I think I love Christmas time because it reminds me of when we got married. After 4 years of marriage we have owned 3 different houses, lived in 3 different time zones, and have two wonderful kids and four chickens. We have done a lot, but we have had a lot of fun along the way :-)

Phillip comatose from too much popcorn

Phillip and Lily opening Santa's presents

Phillip hugging his new Woody toy

Boathouse Row Painting

  • Watching the Christmas Devotional with my family
  • Bountiful light parade (my kind of parade that lasts for only 5 minutes)
  • Bowling with Pete's work
  • Taking the kids to see Santa
  • Our light show (we sat in our car almost every night to watch)
  • Hot chocolate party at my house
  • Christmas Eve with the Olsens
  • Christmas Day at Pari and Becca's House
  • Sunset street party
  • Going to DI or looking at Pete's finds from DI for Christmas, Easter, and birthdays (Toy storage instead of food storage :-)
  • Trains - Pete got his old grandpa's train to work again. It is from the early 1900s. Now we have a train and Christmas village set up.
  • Popcorn Tins - Phillip LOVES popcorn. We caught a picture of him sacked out on the side of one. As you can see, chedder is his favorite, then butter, then caramel.
  • Getting Christmas cards - It's great to see peoples pictures and get letters. It's funny how learn stuff about my sisters in their christmas letters even though I talk to them almost everyday.

Low Lights
  • Losing receipts - I kept on finding items that I had already bought for cheaper, but to my dismay, I couldn't find the receipt. I should tape the receipt to any item next year.
  • Blowing Fuses - We kept plugging in new lights to our show and had to spend hours calibrating the amperage for each candy cane and icicle light.
  • Snow Storms - We almost go stuck at Pari's house and had to sleep over at Becca's house. I guess it is kind of a highlight because I love sleepovers. :-)

Christmas Day recap -
Phillip was SOOO excited for his presents. He got a bunch of Toy Story stuff and Cars stuff and his own electric train. You can see a picture of him asleep hugging his new Woody.

Lily got some baby toys and a dolly. She loved the bouncing ball toy that I got her.

I took a picture of Pete's present with my present :-) Pete got me a Canon Rebel digital camera. I didn't need it, but I LOVE it. I need to figure out a protection solution because I don't trust myself to carry it in my purse where milk or bottles always spill.

I painted Pete a picture of Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. He has always wanted a painting of it. The miracle of Christmas is that I was able to finish it :-) I also got Pete a Star Wars light saber which is pretty awesome.

Overall it was a GREAT Christmas season. I feel so blessed to have such a great family and to be around so much family this time of year. I hope this entry finds all of you well and gearing up for one more Holiday party... New Years!

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's that Time of year!

Well, we have been busy on our Christmas decorating and getting our Christmas lights outside.   I'll post a video of the light show on another post.  I had fun decorating the house, but it was a week long project.   

I ventured out on black friday with the two kids at 8:30 am.  Most of the door busters were gone, but I found some good deals.  Above is a picture of phillip wearing his new jacket and laying on a blanket that we bought.  He was a little pooped from the shopping!   

We went to Temple Square to see the christmas lights.  Phillip loved seeing the lights and the nativity.  I said, "Isn't this pretty?" and he said, "It's not pretty, it's cool."  Phillip has been saying funny things lately.  Out of the blue one day he said, "Mommy, am I driving you crazy?"  ha!  I felt bad. I have to watch what I say to him.  Now when Lily is crying he says, "You are driving ME crazy!"

Now all I need to do is finish our Christmas cards.  I love christmas time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who wants a ride?

I got a new MINI VAN!! YAY!! I'm SOOO excited! Pete had to take my white car in for a check-up and test drove a mini-van. It was the color I wanted and had the DVD player. He was nervous about telling me about it because he knew that I would want to get it. It's a 2007 Honda Odyssey and is in great condition and has low milage. It was also a LOT cheaper than the new ones we looked at. Pete's Acura was on it's last leg and we thought we would take the plunge before another winter season. So now I am ROCKIN' the suburbs! Soccer car pool anyone? Need to car pool to salt lake? How about some big junk exchanges?! And as a disclaimer ... I am not pregnant. Ha! I've already had 3 people ask me if I was pregnant since we have invested in a family wagon. Phillip loves the mini-van and Lily will have a little more room once we upgrade her car seat.

It's kind of sad that we don't have the Acura anymore. I didn't have a car in Philadelphia, and that was our main car for a while. It was a great car. Pete had the car since the year before he graduated from BYU. I first met the car in 2004.

Favorite Acura memories:
1. While we were dating, Pete would drive to pick me up and drop me off in the city almost everyday. He added lots of mileage driving down Kelly drive.
2. We had an eventful road trip to Boston when I was pregnant. We thought it was silly how people fly from Philadelphia to Boston. On the map it should only take 5 maybe 6 hours. But we hit construction, and accidents and it took us 12 hours to drive to Rhode Island from Philadelphia.
3. During the aftermath storms of Katrina there was flooding on Kelly drive. We were driving on it before they closed the road. There was a stream of water coming from the hill. The water was so high that the car actually floated for a few seconds. Scary!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Garage Sale! In November!?

Well, I think Al has a 6th sense. She has an uncanny ability to foretell a GREAT garage sale. I didn't think to check the ads in the middle of November, but I guess people are always getting rid of junk. The title of the ad was, "My mom had a lot of stuff."

It was an estate sale and we got a LOT of stuff for $20:

One garden hose container
One door flag
One flag pole with a flag (will use for our light show)
Box of old tractor toys and trucks
A bunch of amber glasses (I kept breaking our IKEA glasses so I told pete to be on the lookout for new glasses)
Some vintage platters - They will be great for 7-layer dip
Two vintage Mr. Potato Heads
Two hand-made metallic airplane music boxes
1950's lamp
Old church magazines - Young Women Improvement (1910) Friend (1915) and some Relief Society magazines (see the picture below). I wish I got more, but I thought that a few of each would be enough. They are fun to read through it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Pete!

Pete had his birthday on Thursday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! In the words of Phillip, "You are THE MAZING!" Thank you for all of your hard work, fun times, and remarkable penmanship! Ha! I am glad that I can be with someone who likes to have fun and be silly as much as I do :-)

We had a fun night out together. We went to Texas Roadhouse and got the two meals for $16.95 (it's a GREAT deal) and watched "Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde" at Rodgers Memorial theater in Bountiful. We even had time to stop at DI and found a cool Oreo cookie jar. It was great time to celebrate. Pete's favorite present was the remote control helicopter. It's already broken, but since it has only been a few weeks we will return it to the store and get a new one. Good thing I bought the protection plan!!

I tried out a new recipe which was actually pretty good. It is from Nigella Feasts. Alton Brown (from FoodNetwork) would classify this cake as a "Butter Cake" which is a modification of a pound cake. You don't need cake flour or anything special. You just need to have the ingredients at room temperature. Dump it all in the food processor and then bake. My bake time was about 12 minutes. You just have to watch and see how fast they cook. They were really moist. I think it would be interesting to try substituting one of the tsp of vanilla for lemon juice.

Well, this is the last of our fall birthdays. Now we have our wedding anniversary and Christmas. I'll start keeping my eye out for a mini-van for my birthday next year! When I ask Phillip if I should get a new car he says, "YEAH, you be good, you get points for a prize."
So... If a point has a monetary value of about 10 to 25 cents, how many points do I need for a mini van? What should I do to earn points? ha!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween is OVER!


We had quite the "Halloween Season" this year.  Here is a summary of our Halloween festivities:

1) Went to the Trick-Or-Treat event at GreenField Village during our trip to Michigan
2) Hosted a Halloween party
3) Went to the Bountiful Rec Center Halloween Party
4) Phillip went trick-Or-treating at Bountiful High School to all of the classes.
5) Actual Trick-Or-Treating on Halloween!!

You'd think by the end of the month that I would get sick of Halloween.  But NO!  I put on my trusty Pumpkin outfit and clown wig and walked around the neighborhood with the family.  Even when it started to sprinkle, it didn't stop ME!  It was fun to see everyone's decorations and all of the other people in the neighborhood.  We got some good reviews of our halloween display from all of the kids.

Phillip got 95 pieces of candy.  Yay!  After a while he got tired and sat in the jogger.  When we got to the door I would say, "Come on Phillip!" and he would say, "You go and get it."  ha!  I don't think anyone was as excited as me.  :-)  Phillip got about 4 or 5 regular size candy and one HUGE crunch bar (thanks to the Dodds!)

Well, when the clock strikes midnight on Halloween Night, the preparations for Christmas begins!  Pete got up the next morning to put up Christmas lights.  We will have another light show planned for Christmas and don't want to get stuck putting up lights in the snow.   

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Garage Sale!

My family noticed some garage sale signs so this morning I checked the listings when I got up. Pete's Mom was nice to come over and sit with the kids for an hour. We only made it to one estate sale. It was GREAT! We got some cool vintage Christmas decorations (amber lights, santa, chasing lights, and ornaments). We also got a vintage fireman hat. A guy offered me 8$ for the fireman hat right after I bought it. I thought to sell it to him to help with the garage sale budget, but my Spidey sense thought that if this professional garage saler is offering me $8, then it must be worth a lot more. I just checked e-bay and there is one going for $80. Crazy! We got a cool red table for our downstairs kitchen, a small milk jug, some cool fabrics and an old fisherprice xylophone toy. We spent in all $22. We bought a santa from Walmart for $20, so once we return that we will be out only $2.

My favorite find is a poca-dot dress. My eye caught site of the black poca-dots and I thought I could use the fabric for something. However, I came home and tried on the dress and it is a perfect fit! I took a picture with our webcam, but you get the idea. I never find dresses that fit in the store, let alone at a garage sale!

Halloween Party

Well, we had a successful Halloween Party. We had REALLY good food. Homemade doughnuts (Thank you Becca!), homemade breadsticks (Thank you Al!), Costco Pizza (the take and bake kind), Decorated Carmel Apples, Sugar cookies and frosting, Jell-o Salad (Thanks RayAnne!) lady fingers, homemade root beer, artichoke dip, veggie dip, fruit tray and MUCH MUCH more! I was doing good on my diet, until last night and just couldn't resist.

We had some fun activities. Decorating cookies, decorating caramel apples, eating doughnuts on a string, and going outside to see the light show. We didn't get to bobbing for apples, but I guess there is always next year. Me, Hanna and her friend Autumn had fun bobbing for apples at 10:00PM after everyone had left!

We had some great costumes! Paige was trying to blend in with her camouflage. Paul had a realistic Darth Vader costume. The rest of their kids were super heroes and a cuddly bear. Al realized that having extra arms gets more in the way when she dressed as a spider. We had two pumpkins, four witches, two super-mans, two bat-mans, and many more!

Thanks everyone who helped out and came to enjoy the fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Look Who is Growing Up!

Well, Lily is crawling now. She gets upset when we leave her in a room by herself. She starts crawling as she is crying. I bet she is saying to herself, "I have to crawl all the way down the hall to find you and all you have to do is pick me up before you go!"

She is starting to pull herself up on almost everything as well. She loves to stand against the toy box and pull out all of the toys.

So far she has only eaten two of my broom piles. I have to keep the house a lot cleaner now.

She hasn't lost her baby weight even with all of this exercise, which is good. I think she has the food gene. She always is trying to steal Phillip's drinks and food. I let her gnaw on a Pizza and she go SO excited. I had to take it away from her when she was gnawing off huge bites. She was SO upset!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Pictures

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I used to go on 'Photo Safari's' every year to take pictures of the leaves changing. Here are some of my Fall pictures from our trip to Michigan. I'll have to take some around here in Utah as well.

Trip to Michigan


Pete wanted to take a training course and his work would pay for the travel, so we decided to go to Michigan where I grew up. Pete had never been to Michigan before, so it was fun to have the family see all of the sights.

We stayed at the Dearborn Inn for two days while Pete was at his classes. I took Phillip to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. I was excited to see my favorite car, the Oscar Mayer Wiener car. Phillip has a grumpy face in the picture because he was yelling at the guy taking the picture saying, "That's Mommy's Camera!"

We went to a trick-or-treat event at Greenfield village. They had witches and over 5000 Jack-O-Lanterns. It was really cool. Phillip's favorite was the skeletons playing the Xylo-bones.

I'd say the highlight of our trip was going to the farm. Bryan got out all of the toys and Phillip had fun riding the 4-wheeler. He was so worn out from all of the fun he fell asleep during our family ride. We picked apples at the neighboring far from their orchard and made apple cider. Pete loved the cider and kept drinking glass after glass, eventhough there was a chance he would get sick from all of that juice!

Phillip was so excited to play with Nick, his cousin. He kept forgetting his name and would say, "Where did that boy go?"

I'd say the lowlight of the trip was how disoriented I was. I could not figure out where I was going half of the time. I even had to call for directions to go to church. Ga'ak! I kept telling Pete I only had about a mile radius of where I would drive.

We drove by and saw all of my schools, we drove by our old house. We also went to the Franklin Cider Mill. It was funny being back in Michigan. It has been almost 10 years since I lived there. Some things haven't changed and some things were so different.

It was a great trip and the kids did really good. We'll have to go again and meet up with Mark and Mary next time.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, it was a GREAT birthday weekend. It was kind of nice having my birthday on a Sunday. It meant that I could drag the festivities through the WHOLE weekend.

On Friday, Pete and I went to the Gateway. I had originally wanted to go to Happy Sumo. However, since I was getting nervous hungry we went to Tucanos, one of the all-you-can-eat Brazilian restaurants. Pete said, "Whose birthday is this?!" I normally take him to fruffy restaurants that serve frois grais, and Squab. Well, this time it was all the meat you could eat that had been roasted on a spit.

I wanted to go to Sephora, and for some reason I assumed there was one at Gateway. This is probably the fourth time I took Pete to a reastaurant or store, that suddenly was out of business or never existed. Ha!

On Saturday, I was able to get pedicures with some of my sisters. They were laughing at me because I knew way too much about all of the celebrities. (I listed all of Angelina Jolie's kids and ages) ha! I watch way too much E! News.

While I was gone, Phillip picked out a present for me. He got a 'Muppets Animal' card and Halloween sprinkles. He said, "This one is Mommy's Favorite!"

On Sunday, Phillip wanted to make me a cupcake. Thus the mess with the food processor lid and flour. :-) Lily was teething all weekend and has started crawling. She now gets stuck in random places in the room.

In all a GREAT birthday. Thanks for all of the happy birthday wishes. Facebook is GREAT!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happy Halloween

Well, We are quite the 'Griswold' family. We already have our Halloween lights up. We got some software and hardware to time the lights to Halloween songs. We saw a house in California that did this for Christmas and we were inspired.

Pete was able to program all of the light sequences. The Orange lights are from our large Christmas lights, but we replaced all of the bulbs with orange lights. We have a FM transmitter so that we don't have to play the songs out loud. (That would get the neighbors mad pretty quickly :-) So, if you are in the neighborhood, tune to 106.7 FM. :-)

We will have a Christmas show as well with the nativity story and everything.

Enjoy the videos. Lily was bouncing in my lap and grabbing at the camera, so footage is a little shaky.

"This is Halloween" from Nightmare before Christmas

The Adams Family Theme song:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rescue Jungle Party

Well, Phillip turns three on Wednesday. I can't believe it has already been three years. It seems like only yesterday that we were anxiously waiting to have Phillip. I even started crying when Britney Spears had her baby before me. (I was 12 days late with Phillip and it wasn't fair because she was due after me!) ha!

Phillip has been so much fun and has the funniest personality. Lately Phillip loves to help Pete "Fix." He often says, "Dad, you're the Mazing! You're the Mazing Boy!" He's starting to repeat stuff that we say. One time, he was getting frustrated that I wasn't listening to what he was saying. He said, "You need to listen, the FIRST time!"

For his birthday party, I had my heart set on a Jungle party. But, because of his recent interest in Diego, we had a Jungle Rescue Party.

Of course, we got into the dress-ups. We did the chicken dance, the Elephant walk, and rescued stuffed animals around the yard. It's funny how hours of planning result in a 15 minute game at a party. The best part of parties is people eating good food and having a fun time. We even had an impromptu karaoke jam! We are so glad that Pete's dad is better and can share his love of Frank Sinatra. ;-) Pete's Sister Paige also really got into the singing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Gentleman Farmer

Well, it's harvest season. Even though my vegetable garden didn't do so well this year, we are reaping the benefits of our "Easter Chicks." Right now we are getting 4 eggs each day. We still had some Costco eggs in the fridge and they are pretty much the same size. So that is two dozen eggs a week! I will need to start giving away the extra eggs because I don't know how many breakfast casseroles, or quiches I will be able to make! Let me know if you have any good egg recipes.

My dad recently had a blog entry regarding "Farm Genes." I guess we are passing on the great tradition of living off the land. Ha! It's nice to know that we would have fresh eggs even if our electricity went out.

The chickens definitely listen to Pete and respect him as the "Farmer." They are very tame and will even perch on his head or shoulder if he is out working in the yard.

We have "Big Red Hen" and "Little Red Hen." We also have "Patty" and "Selma." Big Red likes to hang out on our Patio and has even snuck inside the house when I wasn't looking. Big Red also likes to lay her eggs in the bottom basket of our double jogger.

I was thinking of all of the sayings that we get from chickens, "Getting your feathers ruffled." This definately happened when I had to jump our neighbors fence and capture a few chickens that were exploring their yard.

"Pecking Order" - Once we got rid of the Rooster (Checkers). (And No, we did not eat Checkers) Big Red stepped up and became the "Ruler of the Roost"

Check out this site for more chicken sayings.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Best of Friends

When you're the best of friends

Having so much fun together

You're not even aware, you're such a funny pair

You're the best of friends

Life's a happy game

You could clown around forever

Neither one of you sees, your natural boundaries

Life's one happy game

Phillip and Lily are getting to be good friends and play really good together. Thank you to Stacey who took the pictures while she was helping me out!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Busy Labor day

Well, it's been almost a week late but here is our Labor Day Report!

We had a packed weekend. We went to Swiss Days in Midway. It was fun to go on Friday because it wasn't as crowded. But, still didn't get any pictures because our hands were full. We stayed at the Zermatt hotel. It was actually really nice ... until we wanted to go to sleep. Phillip didn't settle down and go to bed until midnight. Lily was up at 1:00AM who then woke up Phillip, who then woke up Lily. Note to self ... next time we stay at a hotel we need to leave the kids, or get geared up for a night without sleep :-)

On Saturday we tried to avoid the crowds of Swiss Days we went to Soldier Hallow to see the annual sheep dog herding competition. They also had SplashDogs there! It was a really random, yet surprisingly entertaining event. Here is a clip of someone successfully herding their sheep for a grand total score of 74! (You have 13 minutes to get the sheep through a series of gates, separate the sheep then get them into the pin).

Later in the day we got to go to the first BYU football game with both kids. As you can see Lily was quite the cheerleader. Phillip had his oversized football jersey and wanted to stand in Becca's family picture. It was REALLY hot at first. Drinking fountain line was quite the site! I decided to spend two dollars on a bottled water instead of waiting in line. Once the clouds started to cover it was a really fun game.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lily - Our new little scooter

I had set Lily down on the Boppy Pillow. I had given her some baby toys to play with. I was a little confused that she was playing with blocks and plastic animals, but I figured Pete gave them to her. Huh...

Then I realized that she has started to scoot herself around and lifted herself up on our toy box and was pulling out toys for herself. She is growing up WAY too fast! She also grabs at any toys that Phillip is playing with. He'll get annoyed and say .. "play with THIS one." (a less favorite toy that he is willing to share).

Phillip is pretty sweet with her. He'll say, "you want your mommy?" when she starts crying. In the car, if she is fussy, he'll force a fake laugh to get her to smile and say, "That's a silly face!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Recap

Pete and Phillip "Fishing" at Wasatch Park

Phillip dancing at the Bountiful Pioneer Parade.

Our Chicken Eggs!

This has been a busy summer. I feel like it has flown by. Here are my highlights and lowlights of Summer

1. Fireworks - We had fun doing fireworks and watching fireworks for both the 4th and 24th. We watched the Bountiful fireworks from Pete's Parents Deck. Now every night Phillip asks for fireworks.

2. Barbecues - I've gained a little weight after all of the barbecues that we have had. I think my favorite combination is RayAnne's Jell-o, Ribs, potato salad, hamburger, hot dog, coleslaw, and beans ... wait maybe that's why I gained weight. I can't say anything about corn on the cob because I can't eat it with my braces.

3. Swimming - We had fun swimming at Becca's in-law's pool. We even got a sneak peak at the neighborhood pool. We even turned down the temperature on our hot tub so that it would be refreshing to get into during the heat of the summer.

4. Chicken eggs - We finally have chicken eggs! Finally, a return on our investment! Here is a picture of the eggs next to the Costco eggs.

5. Passing my CISA test. I'm now a Certified Information Systems Auditor. I have also been an Sanitation Engineer (Janitor), Entrepreneur (tying balloons for people at restaurants), and cake decorator.

Low Lights

1. A not so bountiful harvest. I spent a considerable amount of time and a little money on my first vegetable garden. I had little starts all around the yard. Pete thought that I had a systematic thought process and that I was testing the soil and sun exposure in our yard. No... I just went to Lowes, Home Depot, and J&L garden too much on an empty stomach. The chickens ate all of my cucumbers, and squash. Phillip keeps picking my green tomatoes. I guess there is always next year.

2. Sick Kids and getting sick - This summer we had a few bugs move through the family. Nothing like the cryptosperidium from last year.

3. It all goes by sooo quickly - Lily is sitting up and eating rice cereal. She is always playing with her toys and starts to grab at our food. She even had a nacho chip because she grabbed it really quick off my plate and shoved it in her mouth. I guess it's o.k. because I once gave my nephew James a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Doritos when he was 5 months old. He turned out o.k. :-) Here's a picture of Lily in her exersaucer. How do you like our application of the label maker?