Monday, December 31, 2007

Six things most people don't know about me

Well, I read Nathan and Danica's blog and to prove that I visit it (when I am missing them - which is often) I will write out my list. So, if you are reading this and you have a blog (which no one in my family does - come on family!!) then list six things that most people don't know about you.

1. I stuck a pussy willow up my nose when I was in kindergarten. I of course started sneezing spasmodically and had to go to the doctor's to get it removed. It was waaaaay up there.

2. I was born in Guam. However, I can still run for president of the United States because my parents are US citizens and my dad was in the military (dentist to the soldiers). Just in case you were wondering.

3. I backpacked around Europe for one month by myself - visited about 5 countries and only managed to get felt up once on a train (unwelcomed I might add!).

4. I am obssessed with the combination of nuts and chocolate. Peanut butter and chocolate, macadamia nuts and chocolate, almonds and chocolate - can't have it in the house or I will eat it!

5. I have a birthmark on my ankle that looks like a cat's paw. When I was little I suspected that a cat had walked on me when I was a baby.

6. I also travelled around Japan for 10 days, mostly by myself while Mike worked. I saw Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Tokyo - I rode the trains and managed to feed myself all without having any idea how to read Japanese. Had a great time!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Eve

Gabe's toys and the Christmas Tree with our toys underneath the tree. On Sunday night (the 22nd) Ben started getting sick. On Christmas Eve he went to bed at about 5:00 pm with a fever and coughing. So, our sweet little boy did not get to enjoy Christmas Eve that much. He didn't even ask to open a present that night. Kind of a bummer. This Christmas will go down as the Christmas where Ben got the flu/pneumonia. It was still fun, though, to have Bonnie and Kent stay with us.
Ben's toys (the tool bench was broken so we had to return it to get another. It was a little bit of a bummer, but the boys didn't notice.)
Grandma and Grandpa taking it easy.
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On the way home

Ben and his good buddy Yoda.
Ben on the train
Gabe sampling his toes on the drive home. He managed to get his pants soaking wet while sitting in the carrier - I blame the crappy diapers. But, he is such a trooper - he didn't complain at all! He got to ride home without any pants on.
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Rockefeller Center

Mommy and Ben in front of the tree.
Gabe and Daddy in front of the tree
Kent (Grandpa), Trace (cousin), Whitney (cousin), and Bonnie (Grandma) in front of the tree.
Ben at the penny farm - one million dollars worth of pennies.
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Toys R Us in NYC

In this picture, you can see that Ben is very excited about being in Toys R Us. Actually he really wanted a toy, which of course would happen on Christmas.
The temper tantrum is over!! We got a smile!
Times Square and both boys are more interested in what is going on around them.
So, here is how the trip went. We drove into Newark, NJ which took about 1 1/2 hours. Ben asked us about 30 times if we were there yet. Almost, Almost was the constant reply. I think I remember that when I was little I asked that question a lot. Then we rode the train into Penn Station. Once we got there, we went into Toys R Us. As a parent, we thought that this would be so exciting!! Lots of things to look at and there is a ferris wheel inside that was very fun to watch. But, as a parent, we seem to learn the same thing over and over - DO NOT GO INTO TOY STORES IF YOU HAVE NO INTENTION TO BUY A TOY!!! Especially during Christmas time when ther are 500 people crammed into a store that is difficult to get around in the first place. There should be a warning outside the door. LOTS OF PEOPLE AND LOTS OF TOYS - DO NOT ENTER UNLESS PURCHASING A TOY. Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball with me that would tell me what would happen when we did certain things with the munchkins.
After going to the toy store we had big plans to have a meal in a decent restaurant or deli. But as we passed the McDonald's in Time's Square and heard shouts of "Chicken Nuggets and Fries!" from our little men, we realized there was no point in going anywhere else. Oh well. Next up was Rockefeller Center. We rode the subway up to 50th. Ben and Gabe did great (with some food in their belly). Riding the train was a highlight for the boys. I think we could've just ridden the subway all day and they would have been perfectly happy.
So, we saw the tree, saw the penny farm, saw a couple windows at Saks Fifth Avenue (very cute), stopped and had hot chocolate, and headed for the train back to home. All in all, the boys did great. Ben walked quite a while before he got tired and asked to be held.
Overall, I'd say we are glad we went. We wanted to go into the city for Christmas and WE DID! I am not so sure I will do it again while the kiddies are little.
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December 21, 2007 Ben's preschool program

Here is Ben at his Christmas program for preschool
singing two songs - Jingle Bells and Rudolph the
Red-Nosed Reindeer. Notice the red dot on his nose.
He did a great job!! During the singing it was very difficult
to get a picture of Ben because he is so bouncy. All the other
children were standing mostly still and there is Ben - a little
kangaroo, bouncing up and down, hugging his friends, waving
at us. Then about 45 minutes later he hit his max and had a
meltdown while we waited to see Santa. He was a mixture of
emotions - tired, excited, scared - and while waiting to see
Santa he thought that if he did not sit on his lap then he
wouldn't get any Christmas presents, but he was too scared
to sit on his lap. So he asked me if I would sit on Santa's lap
for him. Not my favorite idea. So, of course I told Ben that
Santa knows what he wants for Christmas whether he tells
him or not.

Ben and his made for the camera smile.

Mama and Gabe.
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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Too much Star Wars!

Lately we have been playing Lego's Star Wars - perhaps
a little too much. I am getting behind in the laundry and
the bathrooms need to be cleaned. So, this week - NO MORE!
We can hold off till Christmas and then have a Star Wars
marathon. Ben loves this game too. I never thought I wanted
Playstation or any kind of games in my house and now I see why...
nothing else gets done!
But, we have fun anyway.

Gabe enjoys the action too and is trying to use
the paddles as best as he can. TROUBLE!!
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I turned 35!!!

OK, I cannot believe that I am 35 years old!!! I am way too immature to be 35. I don't know what 35 is supposed to be like, but I am not it. I have to admit, I wasn't too excited about it. Now it seems like 40 is really close and I know that everyone says that 40 is the new 30, blah, blah, blah - that is only for those who have a really high dermatology budget, get a massage every week, have a nanny, professional chef, and physical trainer. But, I still feel young - and I think I am. I think having little ones and a goofy husband helps to keep me feeling like I'm still a youngun! My boys make me laugh every day. It's great to have such a silly family.

Hope everyone is ready for the holidays! We miss all the family - from both sides. But, we will see you again soon I am sure. Love to all!

Pictures taken for Christmas picture

Ginny Johnson, a friend of mine from church took some
photos of us for a Christmas Picture. It was a little nutty
because after church the boys aren't exactly in their best
form. But, she got a few cute ones. We are mailing one of
the pictures out in a card. Luckily, it was a beautiful day.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

More Picts of the Boys

Ben has been wearing his Transformer outfit all week. He goes between being a Power Ranger and a Transformer. On our way to church he said, "Mommy, I am turning red right now." I was a little alarmed -"Why are you turning red?" "Because I am becoming a Power Ranger right now - the red one." That is what he wants to be when he grows up.
Gabe and his new trick - hiking the ball
Gabe and his favorite toy - the ball machine. He likes to experiement and see what toys he can get stuck in it.

It's COLD here!

Well, winter has hit - with bitter cold winds that make our faces pinched. This past week has been busy, like all the others. Our ward (in conjunction with another ward) is putting on a "Night of Nativities" and I was asked to help with acquisitions - or rather "Director of Acquisitions". Apparently the woman who heads this up is very corporate saavy so everyone is given an important title. So, this past week I spent three nights at the church "acquiring" nativity sets. On Saturday we saw the Nativities all set up and it was actually quite beautiful. There were about 400 nativities on display including one live nativity with chickens and sheep. The donkey is too much of a curmudgeon to join up. People from all over come to see this - members and non-members alike. Pretty cool.

The boys are staying busy and in turn keeping me busy. Ben has a very busy social calendar. Preschool and multiple play dates throughout the week. As soon as I tell him we are going to someone's house or that someone is coming over he immediately starts asking me how many minutes til the playdate. I'm not that good at math. He also asks me how many minutes til his birthday. We haven't even had Christmas yet. Ben is so smart. He has been working on learning the sounds of letters lately. He has a leap-pad and he will tell me, "Mom, I need to work on my letters." Ben has also learned how to use Playstation II. Mike and Ben have been playing Lego Star Wars. Most of the time Ben runs in circles shooting everything in sight, but slowly he is getting better. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Gabe is still my silly little man. He has so much enthusiasm. Whenver I say, "Let's go to the basement", he shakes his little fists, does a one legged jump and enthusiastically says, "YES!" It is too cute. He is saying so many words now. It makes me a little sad because it means he is growing up and I am not ready for that. I love the little toddler years.

We are excited for Christmas. I finally got the Christmas tree decorated, but that is about it. I have no idea where to put the other decorations, so I may wait til next year to get them out. But the tree and Christmas music are my favorite things. That is all I need for that Christmas feeling.

Love you all!


Picts of Ben and Gabe 11/26 - 12/02

Ben playing with a Nativity set. He likes to rearrange them and play with baby Jesus especially.
Gabe being cute - as he always is.
Gabe doing his thing - dancing away.
Ben showing off his moves.
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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Hello Family and Friends!

We are stuffed and happy here on the East Coast. We spent Thanksgiving at the Howell's home. Martin and Ally are very gracious and we had a great time there. The food was excellent and so was the company. I have to admit, it is a little chaotic with the munchkins. Eating out or at someone else's home starts to feel a little like a marathon or some sort of mad race. While I am rushing around getting the boys food, Mike is dumping food on my plate. Then, of course Ben and Gabe want nothing to do with what is on their plate, so the negotiations begin. Do you want a banana? How about a roll. Why don't you just eat a bite of each item on your plate. How could you not like mashed potatoes and gravy? You eat chicken all the time - turkey tastes just like it. Then there's Gabe. I have learned that with Gabe I need to put the plate on the table just beyond his reach. He will usually fuss and complain because he is hungry but thinks that nothing on his plate is appealing. After he has hit his complaining quota at the dinner table he will reach for his plate, at which I will nudge it slightly closer. Then, he will pull it towards him and start tasting all his food. If it passes muster, then it is shoveling time - the food goes into his mouth in great handfuls, half of it ending up in his lap. Somewhere in there I am trying to eat my food and get in some of the conversation. Luckily, I wasn't the only one with children there.

After dinner, we played a word card game - Quiddler? Something like that. Fun. At 5:30 the boys (and us) were ready to head home. Tired from the turkey and rich foods. It was perfect - for the most part. We sure miss our family and all our friends. But we are grateful that we are here in PA and for all the wonderful people we have met.

Love you!

Silly family

Gabe likes to give kisses with that darn pacifire in his mouth. I don't know when we are going to get rid of that thing. Hopefully before he becomes a deacon. It would be a little weird for him to be passing the sacrament with a pacifire in his mouth. Any tips? Let me know.

Awww, Gabe and Dad are so sweet.
Ben earned enough coins (by doing chores, etc.) to buy a sword. I hate to say it, but I bought one for Gabe too. Bad, bad idea. The swords happen to be very noisy with all these crazy star wars sounds. I enjoy Star Wars, just not hour after hour. Ben is a pretty fierce fighter, though. When those swords start swinging I make sure to get out of the way.

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Fall Photos

Gabe, his sucker - which he would not give up no matter how matted with grass, and a leaf. This is right outside our townhome - the leaves are at the end of their fall colors - still pretty though.
Ben looking every bit the stud that he is.
Look at my leaf Mom. You can hardly see it because it blends into the trees in the background so much.
Gabe is so cute. Look at that face!
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