Thursday, April 1, 2010

First Vacation in 7 Years - Part Deux

Temple Square and Chicken Parmigiana

(OK, so finding and uploading all these pics wore me out, so I'll type an explanation to them all later... sorry... c'mon, gimme a break, people. This is why we don't blog anymore. It's too much like work.)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The First Vacation in 7 years...

So, I guess it's been a while since we've posted anything to the blog. Sarah and I find it a little more convenient to miniblog these days (i.e. facebook), but since there are a few of you still out there in the blogosphere that care about our blog, here goes the report on the vacation to Utah.

Day 1 - Saturday, March 20
We had originally planned to leave around 6 or 7 in the AM, but that soon became 11:00 in the AM and we were finally on the road having loaded everything and cleaned the car inside and out at the last minute (that was I, John, that had the pleasure of a morning car washing). So we headed for Boise for a mid-trip stay in a hotel. We weren't sure how that kids would take the long trip so we booked a room just in case they decided to go all Lord of the Flies on us. On the way up over the mountains we decided to stop for a stretch and a few pics (BTW, get ready for a lot of pics in this post).

Once we got over the mountains, we stopped in bend for a little picnic lunch of sandwiches, fruit, crackers, and string cheese. We made sure the kids ran around a lot while we were stopped.

At around 7:30 we pulled into our Boise hotel to check in. The kids had been miraculously well behaved to this point, but just as I was finishing up the check-in process, Jack decided to announce that he was done with driving by screaming "OUT!!!" So, to his elation, Sarah let him out.

The night was uneventful; Taco Bell for dinner served to us by a woman with incredibly bad blackened teeth (I don't even want to know how long a person doesn't have to brush to get that bad), a creepy dude smiled at Sarah, and a dog staying in the room next door barked whenever it heard us.

Day 2 - Sunday, March 21
Our drive would carry us all the way to Orem, Utah where we would set up camp for the week. The drive only took us 5-6 hours from Boise and except for a couple stops for gas, was pretty uneventful. It had been nearly seven years since Sarah and I were in Utah together and it was sort of an odd feeling for me. I didn't really know how to feel. We had spent only a year together in this state, yet there were so many good times and a few bad times to recall. The mountains were beautiful, of course.

So, we made it Jon and Libby's house. Jon greeted us outside and of course we felt so welcomed by them. Family Rocks!!!! They were so gracious to let us set up home base with them and basically clutter their home for 5 days while they went about their business and we about ours.
Jon and I immediately started shooting each other... with cameras

The cousins were such a good influence on Arwen that she began reading and didn't go anywhere without her book that her cousin gave her.

Libby and #5 were such good sports when I started shooting them for no apparent reason.

This game drove me nuts. I agree with you, Jon, there is no penny.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Wow, it's been more than a month since I've posted!! So, lets go through the month. Firstly, Eleanor turned four! I think she had a great birthday and aside from the poor cake choice (NEVER go with strawberry, it was so sicky-sweet we had a hard time eating it.), and a grumpy Jack, things went well. We went to the coast that weekend and it was surprisingly sunny and the kids had fun for a little while, most particularly Jack since the ocean, sand, rocks, and shells are so new to him. We went to Florence and got to walk out on one of the jetties. On the day of her birthday I skipped class so we could have dinner and presents at a reasonable hour. Continuing the tradition from my family, I let Ellie pick whatever she wanted to have for dinner. The result was watermelon, corn, mashed potatoes, and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. :) It was actually a very decent meal. She had also requested a Minnie Mouse cake, so I cheated and ordered an edible image of Minnie Mouse from Albertson's. The result was as follows:

Now, I get to show some pictures of Ellie on her birthday. I have to say, I am so proud of my little girl. She has grown leaps and bounds and is starting to be very helpful and sweet with her brother (although still mostly a bane to Arwen! ;) ). She gives the best hugs and is so fun to be with. I've discovered recently that she is teachable, a quality I've never mastered. She is also very good at tracing, as I've been teaching her to write some letters. Another thing I've noticed is that she is very athletically inclined, making skipping and running look amazingly fluid. But, something that makes me very happy is that she's got grace and talent when she dances. So, without further bragging or ado, here are some birthday pictures of Eleanor:

Trying on earrings:
I like how excited she looks in this one:

Showing off what she got, ignore Jack blinking, he looks funny!

Arwen trying on dress-up stuff:

And, this is how Jack felt towards the end of the evening: (If I remember correctly, he hadn't had a good nap that day.)

Happy Birthday Eleanor!!

I suppose I could go into Halloween for this post, but I lack the energy. Arwen is home with a fever and Ellie has been febrile as well. I only have a cough at this point. John finally went back to work after battling a fever for two days, I just hope I don't get it. Happy November!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jackisms and little updates

I know it's been about a month and a half since I've updated, but I thought I'd just let you all in on some things that Jack has been saying lately. He's learned to say four of his colors and a few other things. This isn't a complete list, just a few of them, and this is how he says them:

black= "buh-LACK"
blue= "booo"
pink= "beak"
yellow= "lullow"

Arwen= "awwuh"
Ellie= "ell"

slide= "lahl"
balloon= "buhloo"
cow= "boo!" (instead of moo)
walk= "wahk" (I realize that is about the same)
milk= "guk"
water= "wah"
soccar ball= "hockah bah

and my personal favorite:
thank you= "wahcome" (welcome)
The best part about this is that he says it without being prompted. I'll give him a sippy cup with milk and as he walks away I'll hear him say "wahcome."

OK, so that's my little Jack post. Now here are pics of the kids I took just tonight, so they're very recent. Arwen is a big first grader this year:

Ellie is looking less like a chubby toddler and more like a little girl. But she's still tiny!

Jack is just huge! His feet are the same size as Ellie's (only fatter! ;) ) and all of the kids are about the same size around in their waists!

(ignore the food-stained shirt!)

I love my kids! And just in case you're wondering, I love my husband, too! John has been extremely busy this year since he's the technology coordinator for the whole building and he's teaching a new curriculum of technology and has twice the students he had last year. He's been impressing his superiors and peers and is making people's technological lives easier. Eventually, he'd like to teach language arts, but it's an interesting and enlivening break for him.

I survived Italian this summer (thanks to John) and lived to tell the tale! I'll be starting my last term of my Bachelor's degree this Tuesday and I'm really looking forward to being able to say that I FINALLY have a college degree!

Alright, that's all for today's post! Ciao, ciao bella famiglia!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Arwen got her ears pierced today....

Hello, blogosphere,

It's been a while since either of us has blogged on here. If you're looking to point a finger, I'd blame it on FACEBOOK. Really there is no other reason. Mini-blogging has become so much easier for us.

Well, tonight I started to feel a little guilty for being so lazy. I mean, it's a crazy cycle of progressive laziness. Think about it. When e-mail showed up on the scene, we no longer even bothered getting dressed in the morning because there was no need to go buy stamps before the mail man got to the box. When blogging happened we stopped CCing our emails to everyone in our address books, and now that Facebook is here, we no longer have a need to even be personal anymore; just shoot it out there for anyone that may have known you at some point in your life to see.

So here I am, taking a step backward, yet I feel it is a progressive step in the right direction. I'm getting personal again... sort of. I might even go buy some stamps tomorrow just to show all the cyberjunkies that "hey, I'm tired of impersonal mini-blogging, and I'm not going to take it anymore... or at least I'm not going to do it as much anymore."

Anyway, to my point.

Sarah and I decided after seeing our daughter sport some cute but excessively cheap toy clip-on earrings for the past two weeks, we would take her to get her ears pierced. Long story short... I cowered and cringed, she cried, we hugged, she got a sucker, and she looked in the mirror and loved it. The End. Ok, that's not all of it. She was very brave after the first one. I think this is why guys usually only get one earring, because after the first one, we're outta there. This is also why women have the babies.

Here's a pic.
She only looks mad because after we got home, I made her clean up a mess she made. What was I thinking? She was coming off of a little narcissistic ego boost, how could I ask her to do the menial labor of a mere mortal? Well, nobody's perfect.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Festivities....

Just like the rest of the nation, we celebrated Independence Day with a barbecue and fireworks. The best part: we didn't have to pay for anything.

We were invited to out friends Manny and Michelle's for a BBQ in the afternoon. The food was AWESOME!!! Manny really knows how to make a mean burger. Unfortunately we forgot our camera so we didn't get any pics of the BBQ. Suffice it to say, we and the kids had a wonderfully relaxing time; that's really saying something considering it was at someplace other than home.

After dinner we came home to our neighborhood engulfed in smoke and 5 foot sparkling displays of Independence Day celebrations. Around the corner from our house lives a member of our bishopric. Having been informally invited a few days before, we walked the family down to the Cole's to enjoy their fireworks with our meager supply of sparklers.

Here are some pics.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our New House

...and the fun that comes with it!

Most of you know that we moved about a month ago; but John was finishing up his teaching for the year and watching the NBA playoffs and I was finishing up spring term and starting summer term early. Consequently, no pics or updates on our new abode. To sum it up, we love it! We are super happy with our place and the extra space that we now have. But, one of the things that we really like is that it's not a townhouse or apartment. It's a real house in a real neighborhood, really close to some members from our ward. Also, directly across the street from our backyard is John's work. Here is the place we now call home:

With a house comes the maintenance of the yard, which the previous tenants pretty much completely ignored. Thus, it's chock full of weeds and half-dead. So we borrowed a lawn mower for now (that's on our list of things to buy when we can budget it in) and used some weed and feed and pulled a lot of weeds. But, I digress. The fun part about all this (besides feeling like adults, finally! ;) ) is that we had to purchase a sprinkler and you know, it is summer...

Ellie, before the water:

Arwen, not nearly as wet as she would eventually become:
Jack got absolutely soaked!!
I just like this picture of my not-so-baby little boy.

So, now that John is out for the summer and I only have Italian to focus on this term (once I finish my Shakespeare paper on Macbeth, that is) we can really enjoy each other as a family, yay!!

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer!

p.s. please excuse the excessive amount of parenthetical statements in this post!