Thursday, December 18, 2008

Music video by friends from Maryland

For those who know them, the Gale sisters have formed a musical group and this is their first video.  It is a remake of a song by Celtic Woman (an amazing performing group I've seen on PBS).  They do a very good job...just be aware that they are having some technical issues with the video and the end of the video is missing.  Enjoy!




Tuesday, December 09, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

Is to be done with moving, unpacking, cleaning the old house....  Bah humbug.  On the bright side, we did put up our Christmas tree last night and the living room and kitchen are done!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Moving update

Right now I am sitting on a blow up mattress in the living room of our new house and the kids are tucked in their blankets on the floor upstairs having a sleep over.  We decided since most of the food and all of the dishes are over here we might as well be here too!  I am loving my new house...not so cramped in the living area as it was before.  We have room to breathe here!  I'm sure once it is filled up with furniture it won't quite feel the same, but maybe remembering the nice open feeling now will motivate me to keep our furnishings simple and decluttered.

Going back a couple days, on Wednesday morning we signed our papers and got the keys to the house.  For some reason buying a house this time around was a more pleasant experience.  Maybe it was the fact that our realtor actually worked to earn her money and that we got repairs done on the house before we closed.  In Oklahoma I don't think the realtor did much more than schedule the closing date.  We have been very very pleased with how it has all turned out.  And we love our house!  Did I say that yet?  The neighbors are super nice, too.

Tomorrow we have men from church coming to help move all our furniture, and the Relief Society president volunteered to take my kids away to have fun while we work.  It should be a good day.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Elaine and the Girls

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tom & Sons, part 2 (my other fave)

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

More info...

Here's a link to the dance below on their website.  If you go to the website you can watch these 5 do 3 other dances too.  Disco and Country are my favorites!  I was laughing out loud!!

Tom & Sons (takes a bit to load, but it's worth it!)


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Elf Yourself!

Well, it's that time of year again.  Go to www.ElfYourself.com and go crazy!  They've made it even more fun this year.  I'll post when we make one of ourselves.  Be sure to send me a link to the one you make of you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cool way to eat out for cheap!

I don't usually like to advertise on my blog, but I found out about this great way to get $25 gift certificates for $2 each!  Restaurant.com has occasional offers for these cheapo gift cards.  The catch is that your total dinner must be $35 or more.  You buy it online and then print out the certificate.  I just got one for the only restaurant in Santa Fe that is participating.  SLC has a lot more participating restaurants, I noticed, but I don't think we'll have time while we are there.  The current discount offer lasts until 11/20.  Use the coupon code SURPRISE for your 80% off.  Have fun eating!

(BTW Bettie, I got you one, too!  I hope they have something you can eat...)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Kids say the darndest things

I had nothing better to do after dinner, so I actually cleaned up. I usually save it for morning. I also cleared the eternal junk pile off the end of the counter. Ben walked in the kitchen before bed and said, "What happened to all the stuff on the counter?" Hmph. It's like Courtney asking what happened to Ben's room because his was messy and hers was clean...not like she had anything to do with it.

Courtney twice tonight used the word "wonky" in two different, but very appropriate, contexts. She was sitting on the couch eating fruit snacks and wanted to dump them out so she could sort them and wanted a book to put them on because if she put them on the blanket they would get wonky. I know she got it from hearing me use the word, but I don't know where I picked it up. I must use the word often for her to use it like it's a normal word. I had to ask her to repeat herself because it was so funny to hear.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New home update

So we turned in our objections to the home inspection. They are working on resolving everything we objected to. We're still on track (but you wouldn't know by looking at my house that we are moving...)

Another gorgeous sunrise in Santa Fe

This one was so amazing. It just kept changing but was still beautiful. This first photo was actually the second one. I loved the colors on the clouds. I hope you can click on the photos to get a close up. Just beautiful!



Happy Birthday Kyle!


The 18th was Kyle's birthday and we had a lot of fun. The balloons came from Sam's Club (the free ones for the kids) and Courtney made a crown for daddy and wrapped up a stuffed alligator in the samoan lava lava skirt. Kyle got an ipod dock clock radio and a new wii game: outdoor challenge. It's very cool with a mat you can run on and do lots of other games.

Unfortunately, on Monday this week the red went out on our tv so now it is practically black and white tv. Mostly black. We have been wanting to upgrade our tv, but not in the middle of buying a house! If anyone has a tv they want to get rid of, we'd love to take it off your hands. A hand me down would work just fine until we can afford to get the kind of tv we want but can't afford right now.

Kyle's decorations

These cute little guys were a big hit. Kyle didn't design the skeletons, but he did cut them out. The kids each painted one. From left to right: Johnny's is Funny Bones; Courtney's is Jack Skeleton; Ben's is Spookley. At least that's what I call them. The bones rattle and shake and are a lot of fun in the wind. But I just had to take them down today...we had a brief blizzard with super strong winds. I was afraid the skeletons would blow away!

Our costumes this year

Happy Halloween! Once again, we had a party at church with carnival games and Trunk or Treating outside. Here is what we looked like this year:

Benjamin received this costume from Bettie. She wanted to make it for his 8th birthday when he got baptized, but she ran out of time. Two days before Halloween, she finished. It was funny because Ben never really pegged down what he wanted to be, so it worked out well to be surprised with a costume. We used acrylic paint for his lightning bolt scar.


Courtney changed her mind about 20 minutes before we left for the Halloween party. She decided to be a fortune teller and came down with the dresses on. I helped her find the headbands and necklaces and belts. She had fun and looked cute, so, whatever.


Johnny chose again this year to be Superman. This year he wore a cape I made a couple years ago, so it was a little different. That and he was busting out of the costume which was tight last year. Two of his friends matched him so it was easy to lose him in the crowd.


Kyle and I went for weather costumes. He was a tornado (complete with fences, windows, cows, horses, and more).


I was cloudy with a chance of rain (and everytime someone asked they got squirted!)


This was Courtney's original costume. She came up with the idea and designed the whole thing herself. She had a book that told how to make the hat. I made the hat and she painted and decorated it herself. Courtney wore this for the cub scout party and at school, but changed her mind when it came to trick or treating. Said she was embarrassed to wear the wig.

And at the end of the night, we got two huge bowls full of candy. At least one bowlful is all chocolate!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Updates: Courtney's room and The House

Drumroll please.....Courtney has actually been keeping her room clean!  And she has been doing it on her own with no reminders, persuasions, punishments, yelling, loss of toys, or loss of privileges. Mindboggling that "a place for everything" actually works!

On Saturday we went under contract for buying The House.  Today we had the home inspector come.  Funny, it took $450 to meet our neighbor...he lives about 6 houses away from us right now.  There were a couple issues, the main one being a roof in need of repairs.  The owners will take care of that and a broken window.  The owners have kept very good care of the house and it shows.  We'll see about getting the few issues fixed and we should be good to go for moving in on December 4!  Our landlord told us he will prorate our rent for us since we wont be in this house for much of the month.  If everything keeps going well we will get a new home for Christmas!

(We did find and kill a black widow outside the garage, but we'll just hope he was an orphan...)

Monday, October 20, 2008

What happened?!

Kyle was home from work today and he helped me work on cleaning out Courtney's room and the toy room.  We didn't make it to working on the boys' room yet(but I did their room about a week ago...so you'd think you could tell.) When the kids got home from school, they went upstairs and Courtney was ecstatic.  We made the organization very simple in her room (and got rid of lots of clutter toys) so she can keep it up on her own.  The first thing she said was: "What happened to Ben's room??"  Ummm, nothing chica.  The difference is that YOUR room is now clean! Benjamin took one look at his room and said: "Did you leave my room like this to teach a lesson?"  No.  It took all day to do the other rooms!  

Any votes on how long Courtney's room will look this good?  She has a couple friends that are over all the time and the three of them together can make quite a mess super quick! (Although Courtney can definitely hold her own, too.)

House update

So this morning we are placing an offer on The House.  We feel good about it this time.  Before I guess it just wasn't the right time for us to offer, but now we feel ready.  Nervous, but ready.  We'll see how this goes!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Johnny says...

I told the kids that when they clean up their rooms we can decorate for Halloween.  We've had numerous kids visit the house and that doesn't help the cause any, so it is taking awhile.  We've been discussing this for a few days...so now when we drive around and see a house decorated for Halloween, Johnny says, "Look! They are ready for Halloween!  Their rooms are clean."  And of course, he says the opposite too about unadorned houses: "Uh oh.  They aren't ready for Halloween.  Their rooms are a mess!"  LOL!  We are decorating tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Huh...no sooner did I post

...and our realtor emails us that the house is back on the market.  Now what do we do???

House shopping update

Someone has placed an offer on our "dream house".  But we're ok with that.  We just weren't ready to buy a house yet.  We want to wait a little longer and save some more money first and find a house we are head over heels for.  I liked this one a lot, but I didn't feel a great urge to place an offer...unfortunately. We are trying to let the Lord help us decide which house to get and when.  That's why we started looking in the first place!  

I'm just glad we don't have to rush the process, like we did in Oklahoma.  We still own that house, but we have had renters and they will be there for another year.  They are taking extremely good care of the house and I feel good with that.  I still hate the thought of owning two homes, but at least one isn't empty and we are receiving rent payments.

Now if only we could find Broken Bow prices on Santa Fe homes, we'd be in heaven!  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

OK.  So Debbie didn't like that last one so much.  How 'bout this one?  Not bad, I say!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crazy Uncle John

video
This is my first video upload direct to my blog (I think). Thought John's kids might enjoy this lovely view of him in case they are missing him.

Sparkle the Pumpkin


Courtney went to the pumpkin patch this week and got this pumpkin.  The stem fell off and she was distraught....so we decided to take advantage of the situation so she glued hair over the top where the stem used to be.  Uncle John (who is with us for a few days) thought his boys would like to see Courtney's crafting because they like to do things like this too.  He actually suggested a video of Courtney showing off her work, but she vetoed that idea!  

Friday, October 03, 2008

I don't usually get much into political discussions, but this one made me laugh:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Putting a new spin on active kids

I just received an email from our realtor regarding our house hunting last night.  We had all three with us and they were in true form.  She said:

"Your children are so sweet, and curious and enthusiastic!  It's nice to see that.  So many kids are very subdued and apathetic, it's great that yours are so intrigued with life and full of joy!"

Love it!  I've actually been thinking the same thing about them lately, that they are intrigued with life and full of joy.  What a wonderful way to put it!  

No house yet

Last night we went and looked at 6 houses.  Well, 5 plus our favorite from the other day with the awesome office.  The kids all came with us this time.  It's a good thing they aren't in charge of choosing our house--they liked ones with good nooks for crawling in and big closets for playing in.  We prefer houses that fit the needs of our family.  When we went back to our dream house, we no longer had on our rose colored glasses...but we still like it the best so far.

It's nice to be looking for a house without being in a hurry.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yummy treat!

Bettie and I discovered this tasty treat:Here is a quote from their website about the flavors:

Jelly Belly, maker of America's favorite gourmet jelly bean, has teamed with gourmet ice cream shoppe Cold Stone Creamery to present this blend of five authentic Cold Stone creations.

Each bag contains a blend of Chocolate Devotion (chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie and fudge), Our Strawberry Blonde (strawberry ice cream, graham crackers, strawberries, caramel and whipped cream), Birthday Cake Remix (Cake Batter ice cream, sprinkles, brownie and fudge), Apple Pie (French Vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, graham crackers, apple filling and caramel) and Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip (mint ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie and fudge.

You have to try these if you find them.  Totally yummmm-o!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

And she lost yet another one...

Last night while brushing her teeth, one of Courtney's lower teeth came out.  Silly girl turned our drum upside down on her bed and put the tooth in there.  Good thing we were able to pass on the message to the tooth fairy!

The best part of the story is that this morning she decided that for Halloween she wants to be the tooth fairy.  They are pretty good friends by now, you know.  And I think there is one more tooth that could easily come out by Halloween.  We keep telling Courtney that she is going to be down to just pudding and applesauce at the rate she is going with losing her teeth.  :)

We found the perfect house!


This morning we met our realtor for the first time and got to see our dream house in person.  We found it online and have been drooling over it.  Now that we have had more time to research other houses and other neighborhoods, it makes this house even more appealing.  The price is amazing (for Santa Fe) for the size.  And it has an amazing office with built ins that would be perfect for scrapbooking!  It has been on the market for over a year.  Just waiting for us, I guess!  Kyle had to run off to work after looking at houses this morning so we haven't had a chance to talk.  We saw three, but this was the only one that would work for us.  Plus the move would be super simple.  It is only .3 miles away. We still need to talk and pray and (maybe) look some more.  But I'd hate to lose this one, if it is the one meant for us.  (I hope, I hope, I hope....)  By the way, my wonderfully artistic sketch above is upside down.  I know.  Just click on it to make it bigger and turn your computer upside down.  LOL

Here's the link if you care:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm a working woman!

I worked for a whole hour and fifteen minutes this morning.  And again next week.  Woohoo...look at me go.  I'm being a spanish interpreter for my friend who works with deaf children.  We had a little problem with me forgetting to be just an interpreter, but we'll work on that.  She is doing the kind of assessments I did as a social worker.  She needs to just jab me a few more times to get me to not say too much and I'll get it figured out.  Now that we've had our first visit I'll know what to expect and what to do and not to do a little better.

It's supposed to only be 3 or 4 visits, as needed, a month.  The babysitting situation is what worries me a little, but it should all work out.  The good thing is that this will help me keep up with my Spanish.  And I get paid to spend time with my friend!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cowboys and Aliens?

Ben and Johnny were playing with these:
Not these:


I had to go take a look...Johnny kept talking about the aliens.  I guess we'd better get that one straightened out before he tells people daddy works for the Alien Health Service. (He works for the Indian Health Service.)  Oh well, this is New Mexico!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blog housekeeping

For what it's worth...I have moved my scrapbook related blogs and webisodes over to my scrap blog.  That is all.

Dusk in our backyard

Our backyard faces east, so this is just the reflection of the sunset in the front yard.  So stunning...we're sad that when our families came to visit it was so overcast.  You were really missing out on some gorgeous skies.






Tuesday, September 09, 2008

All I want for Christmas is...

Just in time, before the one tooth came in too far, she has both top teeth missing. (Another week or so and one of her bottom teeth will come out too!)  We tried many things to help the tooth out--we were very surprised Courtney was willing to try the string around her tooth again!  (You may remember that with her first tooth out many months ago not even she would wiggle it.)



And look at her now!  Too too cute!  I love the way she thoundth when she talkth.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Check out these hilarious cakes.  Apparently all of these cakes were purchased from and decorated by professionals. 
Crazy...



Friday, September 05, 2008

A look at what I might have looked like through the decades


Here's the website:  yearbook yourself.  Here are my photos (reading from L to R, they start at 1950 and end at 2000 going every 2 years).  Don't look too close, the website program is far from perfect in getting the photos to mix together.  At least I finally figured out I could change the angle and zoom on each photo.  


Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School!

Wednesday was the first day of school in Santa Fe.  The kids were excited to start school...which we expected of Courtney, but Ben hasn't always liked school.  They have to wear uniforms, and this year we bought them in enough time to be able to get what we wanted.  Last year we learned not to wait until the last minute to shop for school uniforms because apparently the stores only carry them once a year.


You'll also notice all three kids have backpacks on.  Johnny sooo wishes that he could go to school too.  I took the kids into the school yesterday so we could find out their teachers and deliver the bags full of supplies.  (I woke up this morning with very sore shoulders...two kids' supplies are quite heavy.)  First we walked to Courtney's first grade room and met Mrs. G (Ms. Garcia).  There are 4 kids in her class from last year.  Ben's third grade class was next.  He was hoping for Ms. Natalie who he had for math last year, but he got Ms. Powell.  This is the teacher recommended to me for him because she is experienced and has a very organized and controlled classroom.  I didn't make a request but he got her anyway.  There is only one kid from his class last year, but it is someone he got along with.

Johnny was distraught that we didn't then find a classroom for him at the school.  Two more years, kiddo.  Once we got outside, we walked a bit and he stopped and looked up at me and said, "Look mommy, I'm happy now!"  And gave me the biggest cheesiest grin.    

When we picked up the kids after school, they were both just jumping for joy happy!  They had an awesome day and loved their new classes and being in a new grade and wahooooooo!!!!  In a couple weeks, we'll see if they are both still super thrilled to be back at school.  Courtney will be, I'm sure.  But I don't know about Ben.  The first half of the school year is usually really hard for him, adjusting to the classroom and teacher and finding friends.  I hope he continues excited.  Apparently his teacher has a codeword which he finds hilarious:  SALAMI.  That means: Stop and Look at Me Immediately.  MUSTARD is the code word for get back to work.  LOL


Oh, and inspired by Debbie I tried a back to school cake too.   After I frosted it I realized I should have cut the top off to look more like a bus.  Oh, well.  It was fun to make anyway.  We went to Long John Silvers for dinner and then came home for cake and root beer.  Somehow all loaded up with sugar they managed to go to sleep at a decent time.




Viva Las Vegas!

We took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate the end of summer and our 10th anniversary.  Our first stop was Hoover Dam which really is quite impressive...that thing is huge!
One of our traditions in Las Vegas is to get some hot donuts at Krispy Kreme...we found out that they stop making them hot at 11, so if you arrive at 10:55 and see the last few donuts going down the belt, don't wait 10 minutes for your kids to watch the cinnamon rolls go down the conveyor belt and under the glaze waterfall.  The hot donuts won't be hot anymore and they don't make anymore until 5pm.  Just sayin'....
We took the kids to the Mandalay Bay casino shark reef aquarium.  We saw some pretty cool fish and even got to pet a sting ray (Kyle, Ben and I did--the other two opted out).  I liked watching the jelly fish swim around. 
The sting ray felt pretty squishy.  Believe it or not I was the first brave soul and had to convince Kyle to take a turn!
The kids spent many hours on the trampoline in Janet's back yard.  We enjoyed the grass and got few good jumps in too (I didn't realize how much I'd miss grass living in Santa Fe).  Kyle still does back flips on the trampoline...I hope he figures out when he is too old to flip before he breaks something.
Angie and her fiancee Trent.  They are a cute couple and he is a great guy.  I can't believe how grown up little Angie is!
We were excited to help John celebrate such a big birthday.  We can't be there for his baptism, so the birthday was a good option.  He is a hoot--he kept telling us how glorious all his presents were and he thought he might leave them in their packaging and not take them out yet just because they were all so glorious and he wanted to enjoy just how glorious they all were.  LOL
It's hard to see the beautiful sights of the Las Vegas strip without having to walk through the smokey gloomy casinos...but we did our best.  Kyle and I left the kids with Janet and had a mini vacation on the strip.  This is the fountain show outside the Bellagio.  We lucked out on this one because it started just as we were walking by.  The fountains are coordinated to music and it was quite impressive.
Definitely the highlight: we went to the Blue Man Group show.  It was an amazing experience!  
A weakness for us (mostly me): beautiful pastries.  I love beautiful food!
We meant to leave Las Vegas on Friday, but Mark found out we had never tried real sushi (just california roll which doesn't count) so we postponed leaving and he took Kyle and I out to lunch.  Raw fish is really a gross thought, but we both tried it and actually liked it!  Kyle said it's not something he'd want often, but once a year or so he could handle it.  
This was in the middle of nowhere, Arizona.  Luckily our van carries a full size spare...because our car troubles ALWAYS happen Friday evenings (aka...when there is no chance of finding a repair shop open).  My excellent strong man Kyle took care of the tire and we were on our way.  Luckily there was a gas station just a few miles away to fill up the slightly flat spare tire.
Not too much later we saw this beautiful double rainbow.  Not a bad way to end a (mostly) wonderful vacation!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Three's a charm, right?

I guess I'm a feast or famine kind of blogger.  I'm sitting here with the A/C off, the window open, and my feet are freezing.  The kids are outside playing with their coats on!  It is the middle of August and only 56 degrees at 10 am.  Crazy!  

There's something else I like about Santa Fe--the nights are never sweltering.  We are a desert at 7000 ft elevation.  It gets hot, but rarely above 100, and it's a dry heat.  The downside?  We are close to the sun and hence can burn easily.  The nights are cool.  The downside?  That's good in the summer months, but in the winter it is frigid in the mornings when we send the kids off to school!  

We learned last winter about supercooling with the water bottles we keep in the van, so I guess there was some sort of benefit to so many mornings below freezing!  (There are some pretty cool videos on youtube on supercooling.  Just google it to find them.)  It's pretty weird the first time you find a bottle of liquid water in your car when it's so cold outside.  You'd think it would be solid ice.  So I picked it up and turned it over, just to be sure it was liquid.  Then the ice crystals started forming and in seconds the whole bottle was ice.  It only works, as far as I remember, with pure water like Dasani in an unopened bottle, and when the water has been cooled to below 27 degrees. Since the water is pure it doesn't have imperfections to start the crystallization. When you agitate the cooled water it gives it the push to crystallize.  Very very cool process!

You know you're in Santa Fe when...

...McDonalds has a green chile cheeseburger on the dollar menu.

...the Japanese restaurant has Santa Fe style sushi and green chili tempura.

...you've got rocks for a front yard and dirt for your back yard.

...you are excited to see grass.

...the median household income is 45,000 and the median house value is 282,000 (I highly doubt the median income can afford the median house)

...you order food at a restaurant and they ask you red or green.

...you order food at a restaurant and ask for Christmas.

...there are jewelry vendors on every corner.

...on Saturdays you'll find old cardboard boxes on street corners with Yard Sale written on them.

...even Target looks like an old pueblo style building.

...there is a procession carrying the virgin (just like we saw all over Spain).

...downtown is filled with restaurants, art galleries, and jewelry vendors.

...there are as many restaurants in a town of 70,000 as there are in cities 4 times the size

...on Christmas Eve you can go downtown and walk around eating cookies and drinking hot cocoa for free all evening.

...the free hot chocolate is spiked with red chile.

...you never know when there might be a detour for another film being made.

...you drive down the street with your windows down in the fall so you can smell the chile being roasted in every big parking lot.

...there are walking trails allllll over the city.

...people throw in random spanish words in their everyday speech (and half the time you don't understand even if you are fluent in spanish.)

...it's a novelty to see a house built with a peaked roof and siding.

...you're embarrassed to be seen buying chemical weed killer or not going organic.

...at least once a week you find yourself saying, "Well, this is Santa Fe!"

...you have to specify Las Vegas NEVADA.

Phew!  I think that's enough for now.  I'd better add that we have only lived here a year, for whatever difference that makes. If anyone wants to add to my list, feel free to do so in the comments.  I realize some of these aren't exclusive to Santa Fe, but we sure like to think so!  

Something funny happened on the way to the restaurant...

So as not to detract from the nice evening we had on Thursday, I chose to leave out a couple details.

#1--If you've eaten with Kyle enough, you'll know this about him: he hates to eat with 3 prong forks.  A fork isn't a fork unless it has 4 prongs (personally, I'd rather see a 3 prong than a 5 prong myself...but that's another story).  So at the Japanese restaurant, the table was set with just chopsticks.  Kyle gave it a go, but he just isn't comfortable with using them.  He doesn't have it figured out.  So we asked for forks.  And they brought the 3 prong forks.  Hmph.  He couldn't figure out which he would rather use.

#2--When we arrived at the restaurant, it was run by native Japanese people.  Two different men that helped us saw our "Got Good Marriage" t-shirts and asked us if we were just married.  We told them it was our 10th anniversary and they asked if we had kept the shirt and been wearing it for 10 years.  I think the language barrier made them think the shirts really meant to say "Just Married".  Whatever.  They did sit us in a private section of the restaurant, which was nice!  

#3--When I eat Japanese food, I love to get tempura vegetables.  Yumm!  How funny when we realized this was definitely Santa Fe...one of the veggies was a strip of Hatch green chile.  Yea, I gave that one to Kyle.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy 10th Anniversary to us!

Yesterday was our 10th anniversary.  Kyle told me he was in charge of the day (I got to plan our overnight getaway in Las Vegas next week when we go visit my sister Janet).  After work we met up at Bryce & Bettie's for them to watch our kids.  Kyle had changes of clothes for both of us...we both wore denim shorts and our maroon "Got Good Marriage" tshirts that we got at a marriage seminar/dinner/dance earlier this year.  Apparently B&B have been hiding from us that they have a racquetball court at their apartment complex...Kyle and I both have racquets but we've never played since we married.  We played 5 games (and I won 3 of them thank.you.very.much!) and then we went out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant.  It was such a fun night.  Racquetball is one of the few sports I feel competent at and it was SO FUN!!

A couple weeks ago Kyle asked how often I check our bank account online.  Then he recommended I don't check for awhile.  OooooKaaaaay.  Last night Kyle reenacted the night he proposed to me.  He read a poem he wrote and sang the same song he same to me 10+ years ago and got down on one knee and presented me with my wedding ring with a read diamond.  Here's the backstory: when we got engaged, we got a cubic zirconium instead of a diamond because we were poor and didn't want to go into debt for the ring.  We also decided that we would probably be able to afford a real diamond by our 10th anniversary. A few months ago the CZ came out and I put my ring in my jewelry box for safe keeping until we got a replacement stone.  I've been wearing my Grandma's wedding ring, so the priority for fixing the ring was fairly low (aka...kinda forgotten).  Low and behold...Kyle seized the opportunity to get the ring fixed and fulfill a promise of 10 years ago.

Thank you my love!  I had a wonderful anniversary!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ben blowing bubbles


It took about 10 seconds of instruction and 20 minutes of practice...



And now, Ben is a bubble blowing expert!





The tooth fairy got a raise, I guess


When I was a kid, I got a quarter.  My kids also have been getting a quarter for their teeth.  Well, maybe it was the long time it took for this tooth to come out.  Maybe it was how cute Courtney looks with this tooth missing.  Maybe the tooth fairy got a raise.  But last night, the tooth fairy brought her two quarters.  (Congrats on your raise, LCDR tooth fairy!)





 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Check out Kyle's woodworking blog!

The link is on the side and he has posted some of his scrollsaw projects.  Go check them out!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What I love about me

I'm doing my first blog challenge.  Here it is: Tell me what your own favorite character trait/ability is. Tell me all about it and how you affect others through it. 

Brainstorming:  I am good at taking ideas and tweaking them for my own.  In fact, it is very rare for me to actually copy a recipe or a scrapbooking idea exactly.  These are the two things I can think of right off that I express my creativity with.  I am not good at planning ahead or shopping ahead for supplies.  I almost always just look at the recipe and figure out what I have as a good substitute.  I also just use what I have for scrapbooking.  I can't think of a time that I planned out a project first and then went shopping for supplies.  I am all about using what I have.

That reminds me of a paradigm shift I've had in recent years.  I used to be more of a hoarder.  I hated to use my nice supplies, nice foods...whatever.  I wanted to "save them for a rainy day".  What happened then?  The food went bad, the paper or stickers were no longer my style.  A waste of money and I never got to enjoy my special things.  I now am so excited to use up a box of cereal and throw out the empty box.  I love using my beautiful papers and flowers on my scrapbook pages.

How does this affect others? I hope I am teaching my children to enjoy what they have and not hoard it and save it for later.  Enjoy the good things now.  What's the point of buying something if you aren't going to use it?  That's my thought for the day.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Memories

Here are the directions: 1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! 2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. :) If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments on here... Please Play! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cute bible stories by kids for kids

A primary in Connecticut made these short videos about Old Testament stories.

Click here:    Bible Stories

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I'm famous!

Check out my Scrappy Girl blog to find out why I'm famous...

Prayer is like a phone call

Remember those lessons when you were in primary?  Praying to our Heavenly Father is like picking up the phone and calling him.  It should be a conversation.  You start with a greeting and end with a farewell...amen.  

Well, I think that lesson finally sunk in.  Today I decided to make a tech support phone call and the recording told me I had a 15 minute or longer wait.  So I made lunch for the kids while I was waiting on hold--it had been probably 10 minutes of waiting.  Benjamin said the blessing on the food for us.  He said amen.  I said amen.  Then I hung up the phone.

AAAARGH!!!

I guess I'm off to make my phone call all over again.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Check out these houses...

On their way home, Mom and Dad took a wrong turn and ended up in Taos.  They were ok with it because they like taking back roads.  So just outside of Taos they saw these houses called earthships.  Very interesting!  The houses are self sustaining...no utility bills. 

Mom has one word of advice:  don't take the road from Durango up to Grand Junction.  You go over an 11,000 ft pass with no guardrails.  Don't do it!
 

Monday, June 30, 2008

Check out my new recipe blog!

FYI...

Over on the sidebar there is a new category: My Other Blogs.  Under it is my new blog: Easy & Yummy.  I have added about 6 recipes so far.  I'll add more as they occur to me.  

Photos with the fam

Here is part two of the story of my family's visit to see us here in Santa Fe.  Here we are picnicking at Bandelier.  There are signs everywhere saying you shouldn't feed the animals.  Apparently, there's a reason.  This bird was a little too friendly and unafraid of people.  There were also a couple squirrels that almost climbed up my leg...


This shows some of the many staircases we had to climb at Bandelier.  Mom and Dad don't do well on stairs, but they made it without ever falling.  Mom was quite proud of herself for making it.  She hasn't walked this much since Las Vegas, but at least this time her knee felt ok.


Dad and Nate both climbed up the ladders to check out the cave dwellings.  We were a little worried since last time Dad climbed a ladder (onto the roof) he couldn't get down.  He made it this time, gratefully.

See the straight lines of holes?  That is where there used to be beams to support roofs for rooms in front of the caves.  They lived in the caves and built storage rooms in front of them.  These were occupied around 1200 to 1400 AD.


All hail, the conquering heroes!


This wildflower is growing in our front yard.  It reminded Mom of a plant they have in their yard.  They discussed buying one to take home with them.  We did some research and think it is Russian Sage.


The cathedral downtown.  Mom enjoyed looking at the pictures inside of the stations of the cross and wishes she spent more time to see them.  Johnny, however, couldn't wait to leave.


The sign says it all.  This is another sight typical of Santa Fe.  It is mostly silver and turquoise jewelry, with a few other crafts thrown in.


The man making marbled paper.  He was very patient and answered all of Ben's questions.  This was our favorite paper he made.  It's a very interesting process.


The gay pride parade.  Welcome to Santa Fe!


And just think, if you come visit us, you'll get free room and board too and us as tour guides to these places and more!  We moved here last August and these were our first guests.  Everyone is invited!!