Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Report card, Girl's Night Out, AI

Brandon brought home an awesome report card yesterday. He has improved A LOT since last grading period. I am so proud of him! One of the areas he still needs to work on: "Works carefully and neatly." His teacher said that he "still rushes to finish work, equating being the first with being the best!" It's kind of hard for me to criticize this one, because I was the exact same way, especially when I was in elementary school. I wanted to be the first done with all the assignments. It was a race! We've tried to tell him he needs to slow down. Don't know if it will do any good. I was very pleased regardless.

We had our monthly Girl's Night Out last night. Such a blast. Blogger won't let me upload any photos right now. Grrrr. Anyway, I realized a couple more reasons why I love going out with these friends. 1. I just get to be me. I'm not a mom, worrying what trouble the kids are into. I'm not the Bishop's wife. I'm just a woman having fun with my friends. It's very refreshing. 2. These friends are not into gossipping. I LOVE that. I hung out with a friend of a friend the other day who was really judgmental of others. She actually started talking bad about one of my friends that she didn't know I was friends with. (Whoa--confusing sentence. Sorry.) It made me really uncomfortable. I'm glad to have such positive friends in my life. They lift me up. I always come home with a big smile on my face.

My friends rock!

We got the kids separated into their own rooms. I was a tad sentimental about it. They were always so cute to each other when they were going to sleep. They would read to each other, sing, make each other laugh. I thought they would miss one another. They've handled much better than me. They still read, sing, and talk to themselves. :) In the shift of rooms, an alarm clock ended up in Brandon's room. He said, "Mom, set that alarm clock so I can get myself up." We've tried it the last two days and it works. He gets himself up and dressed and I get five more minutes of sleeping in. (Actually, I only got those extra minutes yesterday, because Whitney woke up well before 6:30 this morning!)

Our tenth anniversary is coming up this summer. So cool! To celebrate, we are going on a cruise with Andrew's brother, Tony, and his wife, Cindy. They got married two weeks before us, so will be celebrating their 10th as well. We've been planning on doing this for about the past five years. It's so crazy that it's finally getting here. I called and made the reservations today! I'm so excited! We'll be cruising to the Western Caribbean--Bahamas, Grand Cayman, and Mexico.

Good food, warm sun, and beautiful beaches await!

Is anyone else ready for American Idol auditions to be over? I can only handle SO many of these terrible singers who are crushed when they find out they can't go to Hollywood. I love this show, but think two hours a night, two nights a week is TOO MUCH. Andrew thinks it's great. He loves the beginning of the season with all the tone deaf singers. Maybe it's a guy thing. Personally, I'm ready to get on with it and see who makes it through to the finals.

How's that for a disjointed jumble of thoughts?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Our weekend

This weekend we had a good balance of work and play. Normally when Andrew's home, I have a tendency to just have fun. I was a good girl on Saturday and we actually got some things done.

On Friday night Andrew's church b-ball game was cancelled. Only our ward didn't find out about it until all seven players were already at the church. Darn. We went out for ice cream instead. :)

On Saturday morning, we painted the kids' playroom. It was the first big step in trying to get our house ready to sell. I love our little house. It has been perfect for us. But when we bought it, we thought we'd only be here 3 years or so. Now it's looking like it's going to be several more years and we don't really have any room to grow here. I've been talking about this for the last six months or so. Started getting a little more serious before Christmas, but thought I'd wait until after the holidays to do anything about it. Well, now it's January and I've still just been sitting around, waiting for some little fairy to come fix all the little flaws in our house so it will sell. I finally realized that's not gonna happen. If I want to move, I'm going to actually have to do some work. We painted it a nice, warm brown. I love it. We're going to get rid of the playroom and move Whitney into there and leave Brandon where he is. He is pumped about having his own room. I don't think Whit really understands. We'll see how the transition goes. They're each napping happily in their own rooms for now. (I'll post pictures after we get all the furniture moved around. We ran out of time on Saturday.)

Anyway...Saturday afternoon, Brandon his basketball game. We don't have a full-sized hoop at our house, but our next door neighbor does and he said we could borrow it whenever. So, before the game Andrew took Brandon over there and they worked on some things. It totally helped because Brandon made two shots! A free throw before the game started(that counted toward the score) and one shot in the game. He's wearing black shorts this time and even dribbles the ball for a second before he shoots. :)

Way to go, Buddy!

On our way home from the game we walked through some model homes that are a bit out of our price range, but it was fun to dream for a minute. :)

For our date on Saturday night, we went to a local improv comedy club called the Idiot Box. One of the co-owners is a friend who comes to my Girl's Nights Out. She's also a performer and is hilarious. We double dated with some friends who know her, too. We had a great time. I love that there is a comedy club here that is clean. I thought Johnny B's in Provo was the only one I could ever go and not be too worried about what I was getting myself into. We went out for cheesecake afterward. It was scrumptious. Very, very fun date. We almost always plan our dates last-minute, so we rarely go on double dates. I liked it! It's fun to talk to other adults in more than five minute blurbs of conversation. It seems that's the way things go when the kids are around, which they always are. We'll have to do it again sometime.

I got released from my responsibility of leading the children's music at church today. I was pretty sad about it. I LOVED that calling. I will get a new responsibility soon(which I am excited about), but it didn't happen yet, so I had a week off to just listen at church. It was wonderful! Good Sunday School lesson on the Nativity story and great Relief Society lesson on Discipleship.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Whit's first visit to the dentist

Whitney had a big day this week--her first visit to the dentist. She was SO excited about it. She loves doctors. I'm so glad. Hope that lasts.
I took this picture of her in the chair by herself, but then they actually had me hold her on my lap while they worked on her, so I couldn't get any action shots.

She was such a big girl! She was very cooperative, agreeable, and happy to be there. Then they tried to squirt water in her mouth after polishing. That didn't go so well. I think she felt like she was going to drown. She started crying and wouldn't let the dentist finish polishing. She enjoyed picking out prizes at the end, so hopefully that's what will stick in her mind instead of the trauma of the water and suction.

She and I had to make the obligatory Chuck E. Cheese visit after her appointment. It was to fun to have a little "girl's day out" there. Her favorite ride was a little carriage with horses pulling it. She kept saying, "I need to go to the ball!" (Yes, we've been reading the Cinderella book she got for Christmas...a lot!)
This picture turned out much better than the
last one she took with Andrew, huh?

Brandon actually got some positive feedback from his teacher this week. I was so happy to hear it! She said she had to borrow some books from the curriculum facilitator for him to read because his reading level is where it should be at the end of first grade. Way to go, B-train!

I've been working on my first paper for my class. It's a three page assignment titled, "My Intellectual Development in College." I did a rough draft yesterday. Very rough. I asked Andrew to proofread it for me. He pointed out that I use the words "hope," "like," "really," and "things" very frequently. I'm sure if I went back and read over my blog posts, I would find a similar trend. :)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Good times

Martinelli's toast

We had reason to celebrate in our house this week. Andrew got a promotion at work! Congrats to him. His new title: Regional Human Resources Manager, Greensboro and Latin America. As he said, "Try fitting that on a business card." His manager and VP started talking with him about this possibility just before Christmas. They wanted to know if he was interested and willing to take on more responsibility. It would involve some travel, which he had not done much in the past. The percentage of time away from home was negotiated. Andrew and I thought and prayed about it. We feel like it was the right thing for him to do. So, he accepted the position and it was just made official this week. I'm so proud of him. He is a hard worker, but not a workaholic. Hope this travelling things works ok for our family. It's supposed to be about 25% of the time.

After work on Thursday, Brandon had basketball practice. We got take our from our favorite Mexican restaurant and had a rich, yummy chocolate cake to celebrate. Very fun.

We got these balloons and put together
a cheesy little gift basket for him, too.
Very fun.

In other fun things, Brandon got the cranium game called Hullabaloo for Christmas from my parents. Have you played that game? It is so much fun. It's perfect for a 5-year-old and 2-year-old to play together. I even enjoy playing with them.

Here's Brandon doing a funky dance
after winning one of the rounds.

And, finally, as predicted by one or more of Andrew's siblings, we bought the game Singstar for ourselves. I couldn't resist! We have had a blast with it. I've turned it to one of our nightly rituals for now. Andrew and I usually sing 3 or 4 songs before we go to bed every night. The bad thing is, Andrew's better than me! I thought I was the singer in the family. Not according to this game. He's better than me on probably 75% of the songs.

It's so cute to listen to the kids sing along. Reading is an important part of the game, so Whitney can only do one song--Blur's Song 2--Woo hoo! We heard her in bed the other night singing, "It's not my problem. It's not my prob-lemmmm." Cracked us up.
Here she is rocking out!

We had friends over on Friday night to play with us. It was so much fun. They have a party mode we hadn't tried in Utah called "pass the mic" that's several rounds long. You divide into 2 teams and get points for each round. The girls won this time. Yippee!

In not-so-fun news, winter had finally arrived in Carolina. We had our first snow storm of the season. I thought it was pretty impressive. There was probably about an inch of accumulation around. Of course it didn't stay for long. Most of it was melted by the same afternoon.
Not quite enough to build a snow man.

Here's wishing we had a garage. :)

The temperature stayed above freezing the whole time, so the schools stayed open. Brandon was very disappointed.

Potty training is going terribly. Whitney is all of a sudden afraid of the toilet. We might have to take a week off and try again later. Brandon's been having all smiley faces at school, which is wonderful, but on Friday his bus driver called Andrew out and told him that B's been terrible on the bus, never listens to her, very loud, always changing seats. I guess there will always be something with him.

We had a very good day at church. The kids have been doing great during Sacrament meeting. I rarely have to leave the chapel, which is wonderful. Brandon loves primary. Whitney loves nursery. Makes the rest of church a breeze. (Yes, I'm knocking on wood right now.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Midweek update

Here's what's been going on around our house this week.

We had a fun Monday with Brandon off school. It was supposed to be a really warm day, so we went to the park with some friends and let the kids ride bikes and play on the playground. It wasn't wintery weather, but it was colder than we expected it to be. Still had a lot of fun.

Cute girls

Silly boys

I have been keeping up with my workouts. I do a workout video almost every morning. I do Billy Blanks on M,W,F and usually do Pilates on T,Th. It has been a great routine so far. Most mornings, I start right after Brandon gets on the bus. Whitney usually works out with me. She is so darn cute trying to figure out the moves. On Monday, Brandon joined us for a little while, too.

Here we are all doing push-ups.
Can you just see our muscles bulging? ha ha

Our good friends, Greggy and 'Cole, had their baby this week. We are SO excited for them. (She was a week overdue.) We went to the hospital and got to meet their sweet baby. It was funny because I expected Whitney to be really excited and go ga-ga over her, but it was Brandon who was really smitten.

He was so good at holding her and she had been fussy most of the evening, but completely settled down as soon as he got her. He took more than one turn holding her and when we left, he asked when we could come back. He even asked if me and Andrew would go out of town, so he could stay overnight at Greggy and Cole's house again. It was SO cute! I told him he wouldn't get to stay overnight for quite a while, but he would get a chance to see the new baby again soon.

And, finally, AMERICAN IDOL started again last night. Too fun! Here is my commentary:

*I think I'm becoming too motherly for this show. When the girl who idolized Jewel came out crying and hugged her mom and said, "Sorry!" I almost started crying for her.

*It's starting to get easier to see who they're going to let through to Hollywood. I think they let everyone through that they did a little bio on. (The crack baby, the army reservist, etc.) It was funny with the Navy guy. None of the judges really seemed to like him. They said they thought America would like him. Or pointed out that he was pitchy--but then they all voted to let him through anyway. (We know it's just for ratings!)

*Could you believe that nice boss who flew that girl out to MN to try out? Did you think she really had a crush on him? I thought it was all innocent until she started singing TO HIM and it made me wonder, too. Oh, well. That drama's over, I guess, since she didn't make it through.

Looking forward to more fun tonight!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Basketball weekend

Friday nights Andrew has church basketball. Our team rocks. I think our shortest guy is 5'11" and everyone else is well over 6 feet. It kinda makes you feel sorry for the other team, but it sure is fun to win.

Saturdays Brandon has basketball. His team was playing the #1 team this weekend. Brandon's is #2. He was so pumped up before the game begin--sure they could beat these guys. It didn't go well. I think the score was like 19-8. That #1 team was amazing--running layup drills on our kids. No points for Brandon this week. He didn't even get a shot up. He continued to play tough defense and had a steal or two, though. (I won't talk about the number of turnovers he had.)

On Saturday night, we drove down to Charlotte. The Bobcats (our NBA team) were holding a blood drive for a local blood bank. They had a promotion for every blood donor--two free tickets. It was one of those things that sounded too good to be true. Andrew and I called the contact number and made sure it was really happening and made the drive. When we got there, they had a line to donate, but said we could sign up for an appt later in the evening. So we did. And then we went to the local Chuck E. Cheese. (You'd think I was on a mission to visit every CEC in America!) I didn't win the bonus on Skeeball--but Andrew did! Woo hoo! When we got back to the arena, we found out that they had several reactions in the bloodmobile and were very far behind in the donations. The woman in charge told us they wouldn't have time to get to us. Oh, great! Andrew was persistent and we still got our four free tickets--after we promised that we'd donate blood up here.

Go Bobcats!

We got to watch the Bobcats play the 76ers--no Allen Iverson anymore. Bummer. :( It was a fun game. Whitney had had ENOUGH basketball in the previous 48 hours and wanted to leave, but the rest of us enjoyed it.

It was interesting to go to 2 NBA games in 2 different venues, one soon after the other. Here were some of the differences:

*Bobcats Arena was EMPTY. I understand why they gave away the free tickets--they need fans in there!

*Charlotte had a much better National Anthem. That girl rocked! But she sang the same wrong word as the girl at the Jazz game--"FOR" the land of the free...

*Even though we were in the upper deck, we still got comfy, cushy chairs at the Bobcats game. Nice.

*Bobcats arena is MUCH quieter than the Jazz.

*Charlotte had the coolest pregame show--flames and fireworks. Gotta love that!

Can you see the basketball flame and the
fireworks by the hoop?

I think the kids (especially Whitney) would tell you that the best part of the game was before we even went into the arena.

Brandon loved this van parked outside
with "Rufus Lynx" painted on the side

Dunkin Donuts was there with this walking
latte as a mascot. The kids thought he was HILL-arious.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My 43

Some of my blogging friends have been posting "My 100" lists at the start of this year. They are 100 things you may or may not know about them. I am a little impatient, so I only came up with 43 before I got bored with it. You may get bored long before you finish reading all 43...and I wouldn't blame you. Here goes, in completely random order.

1. I have a crush on several NBA players including Shaq, Allen Iverson, Alan Houston, and Ray Allen.

2. I love the smell of clean laundry.

3. I love being tall.

4. My hair used to be naturally curly when I first got married (almost 10 years ago!) then it went straught and now it's getting curly again.

5. I lettered in 3 sports in high school--volleyball, softball and track.

Me and my track buddies

6. I play the piano and hope to own one someday.

7. I played the trumpet in 5th and 6th grades and still remember the C scale.

8. I met Greg Brady (Barry Williams) when I was in college and even got to dance on stage with him.
See him signing autographs in the background?

9. I don't drink pop.

10. I can't eat chicken (or any other meat) off the bone. Grosses me out.

11. I like to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

12. Summer has always been my favorite season, but spring is starting to take over and autumn is not far behind.

13. I wanted to be a dentist from 5th grade through my freshman year of college.

14. I used to have brown eyes when I was a kid. They started changing to hazel when I was in HS and are still getting lighter.

15. I lived on or near Native American reservations all growing up because my dad works for the Indian Health Service.

16. I'm half Mexican--no one ever guesses that by the color of my skin.

Me and my mom.
No, I'm not standing on a platform or wearing heels.

17. I grew taller than my mom when I was in 7th grade.

18. I love to talk. And I love to listen.

19. I used to be a tomboy and have gotten in touch with my feminine side over the last 5 years.

20. I'm very competitive, especially when it comes to board games. Word games are my favorite--Taboo, Scrabble, 25 Words or Less.

21. Gerbera daisies are my favorite flower.

22. I said "No" to Andrew the first two times he asked me out, so I asked HIM on our first date. I made spaghetti and burnt breadsticks and we rented Happy Gilmore.

23. I have lived in 6 different states so far--UT, NM, MT, AZ, NV & NC.

24. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I'm the second oldest. We look nothing alike and I got asked if I was adoped quite often when I was growing up. (I wasn't.)

Here are the five of us with our parents
Paul, Me, Mark
Celeste, Dad, Destiny
Mom in front

25. I took Industrial Arts both years in Jr. High. I loved using a plane in wood shop and soldering stuff in metal shop.

26. I LOVED growing up in a small town, but am afraid I'm too spoiled to the conveniences of living in a city. I don't know if I could move back.

27. I have the hardest time buying jeans that fit me right. They're either too tight or too baggy and often too short.

28. I had kind of given up scrapbooking in favor of blogging for the last six months, but hope to start scrapping again this year.

29. Both of my parents, my grandma, and my husband are fluent in Spanish. I only speak enough to get myself in trouble. I hope to learn someday.

30. In college I went through a streak of quitting jobs very often. I worked 8 different jobs in a space of about 4 years, including janitor on BYU campus, dental assistant, telemarketer, phone rep at Nuskin, and personal assistant for a social worker.

31. I never had to wear braces and was blessed with straight teeth.

I hope my kids get straight teeth, too!

32. If my husband and kids would agree to come along with me, I think I could be a vegetarian. (They won't, though.)

33. I've been wearing the same toe ring for 9 nine years now. I bet my that toe has a permanent indentation now.

34. One of my worst fears is that a bug will crawl in my ear while I"m sleeping and lay eggs.

35. I enjoy public speaking.

36. My latest idea for a new reality show: Let viewers decide which applicants will qualify for microcredit loans. Now that's some quality TV.

37. When I was in high school, seniors got to spray paint their names on the street on one block between the gym and the main building. I felt like such a rebel.

ANDI G! #13

38. I love reading to and with my kids. Actually, I just enjoy reading in general.

39. Andrew kissed me for the first time while we were studying Anatomy.

40. I love the Beach Boys Christmas album. My parents used to listen to it when we were kids and I have downloaded several of the songs and me and my kids listen to it now. (Andrew tries to avoid it when possible.)

41. I broke my finger playing softball and it never healed quite right, so it will always be a little crooked.

42. I never set my alarm clock for a time that ends in a five or a zero. Usually I prefer 1 or 6.

43. My favorite food is rice and beans with homemade tortillas.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A couple little blurbs

*Now that I'm working on my class, my blogging time has been cut drastically. Agh! The sacrifices I'm making to try to finish this degree. (Ha--if that's the biggest sacrifice I'm making, I'm doing pretty well.) A few more details on my class: I'm just taking one class right now. It's a 1 credit class called Student Development 100. Yea, I was required to take it before starting on any of my other classes. It has been better than I thought it would be so far. The first section was all about the Aims of a BYU education. Very interesting and inspiring. I think I should've known some of these things when I was a full-time student there. Talked a lot about how the overall goal of BYU is to help students attain eternal life and how teachers are expected to teach by the Spirit. The second section, which I just finished today was about effective learning--how to get the most of your reading, test taking strategies, etc. I took my second graded assignment today and got a B. I wasn't thrilled about it, but am not bummed about it, either. (I guess I'm like Jonas on the basketball court, right, Ang?) It talked a lot about Bloom's Taxonomy--different levels of learning. 4 of the 5 questions I missed on the test were in that section. I guess it didn't sink in for me. Oops.

*Whitney's big present for Christmas was a new bike. And one of the bonuses of living in NC is that she could actually ride it on the day she opened it! :) Without a jacket, nonetheless.

Her hair could use a little help.
She was a natural bike rider, though.
We had so much fun riding up and
down the little hill by our house.

Brandon enjoyed it, too.

*Speaking of Brandon, he's having a hard time adjusting to being back in school. He got sad faces on his behavior calendar both yesterday and today for acting crazy while they're in line to go different places in the school. Hoping this is a short-lived phase.

*Whitney is also in the midst of potty training again. We had completely given up for a while, but I decided it's time again. She had 2 accidents Monday and 2 accidents Tuesday, but has done well yesterday and today. I put her in Pull-ups to leave the house. I'm not ready to deal with public accidents. And she wets in them sometimes, but will sometimes go in the potty, too. I feel like we're still a ways from being done, but are making progress.

Brandon just got home and had a HAPPY FACE today. Yippee! Let's hope it lasts.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back to school

I had to do my first graded assignment for my BYU class today and got an A! Yippee! I'm surprised at how excited I was about my grade. I was always such a stickler about my grades when I was younger, but I thought I was over that. I don't have any goals set for my GPA or anything. Anyway, it felt good to know that I can still do well. Or at least I'm a good guesser. :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Christmas moments, part 3: the final edition

Wow, if you can't tell, it was a busy 3 weeks over the holidays! So many fun things to jot down, so I don't forget.

*Brandon and Grandma(Andrew's mom) making a "store" together in the basement. This is one of B's favorite things to do with her. Every time we visit, he asks her to make another one. They collect little trinkets and goodies from around the house, arrange them to be visually pleasing, then invite us downstairs to buy stuff (with money they provide!). This time, B even made snow cones for all of his customers (me, Drew, Whit, and Grandpa) with a hand-cranked snow cone machine. Now that's customer service! (I'm bummed because I didn't get a picture this time.)

*Visiting Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. What a magical place--all lit up with Christmas lights.

Nice face, B-train!

*Playing Settlers of Cataan with Angie, Forrest, Mindy, and Pete. I actually felt like I had a chance of winning, until Forrest came out with the surprise attack on the longest road!

*Just hanging out at Tony and Cindy's, relaxing, talking, eating pizza, and watching the kids play together. (Except when Whitney decided to bully Eli around. What's up with that?)

Brandon, Reagan, and Lauren

*Seeing lots of relatives on my side of the family at a reunion. It was especially good to see Mark & Taylor (we hadn't seen them when we were with my parents); my cousins Maresha, Lissa, and Jeanne; and my Uncle Harry and Aunt Julene. Definitely worth the 4 hours in the car round trip.

Here we are with most of my family members.
Celeste and Destiny are missing.

Me with my two brothers, Mark and Paul

*Going with all 20 members(10 adults, 10 kids ages 0-10) of Andrew's side of the family to a Utah Jazz NBA game. What a blast! The kids were really good. The girls and Brandon would get up and dance during the breaks when they would play music. They've got moves! It was a good game, too. The Jazz beat the Trailblazers, but it wasn't a blow-out. Brandon made posters before we went and they were awesome.

Here is one of the Jazz Bear--his favorite mascot.
One of his others said, "Dfans Dfans" (his interpretations of Defense!)

Go Jazz! (We're allowed to cheer for them now that
we live outside of Utah and don't get heckled by
anti-Laker fans all the time.)

*Meeting Emma--Andrew's new cousin--for the first time. She is an adorable, loveable little girl. Ok, so this wasn't Emma's finest picture-taking moment.
She's always on the go and it was hard to get a good one!

*New Year's Eve at Angie and Forrest's house. Lots of Taboo, Scrabble, and my new personal favorite--Singstar. We stayed up until 2 am singing out voices out! (Well at least 4 of the six of us did.)

*Getting together with my Dental Hygiene friends. We graduated six years ago, but most of manage to stay in touch. They are an awesome bunch of women and when you go through boards, administering anesthesia, learning to take X-rays, and Dr. Arzola's lectures together, you really form a bond!
Cheese! Look at those healthy smiles. :)

*Watching the Fiesta Bowl w/Andrew's parents--What a game! I LOVE football. Sometimes when I watch, it makes me want to play. I want to see what it feels like to tackle someone in the name of competition. I'll probably never have that opportunity, though.

*Annual trip to BYU. They had an awesome exhibit at the Museum of Art called "Beholding Salvation: Images of Christ." It was a really cool experience. Went bowling with the kids--they both tied at 92. Pretty impressive. After the 8th frame, they were both beating me and Brandon had no help. I pulled out a strike on the 9th and barely beat them. Phew.
Outside the Museum of Art

Don't drop it!

Whitney was a very cute bowler.

*Having a GREAT visit with my friend, Anna. We've been friends since high school, but haven't talked in probably 3 years or so. We visited for 2 hours straight with no awkward silences. Now that's a sign of true friendship.

Anna and Me

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Brandon shoots...and scores!

Today at Brandon's basketball game, he made his first basket. It was so cute and we thought we'd share a little clip. He's in blue jogging pants, gets an offensive rebound, and puts it back in the hoop. I love the part where he's running down the court with his hands in the air after he makes it. And check out his tough defense after the play. Enjoy!

(Also, I DO have one more installment of Christmas moments when I have a free moment to type them up.)


Ok, we made it home safely yesterday, but only after a VERY stressful day. I live a very non-stressful life. I hardly ever feel nervous or stressed about anything. It's such a blessing and I love it. Yesterday was the exception to that rule.

To start off with, Andrew and I had budgeted to pay a little extra on the principle of our mortgage payment this month. Since we were out of town, I was out of my normal routine and forgot to do it until the day before it was due. I made a mistake and the mortgage company withdrew a whole extra mortgage payment, plus the extra principle. AAAAGGGHHH! I tried to call and get the process reversed, but the person I talked to on the phone was very unfriendly and unhelpful. And I needed to wait until the payment cleared my bank account and then they said they could cut me a check. How long is that going to take????

When I called Andrew to tell him about the dilemma, he told me that his car was broken--wouldn't go out of park. Yikes. We were just bragging about what a good car it had been over the last year, too. AND, Brandon was supposed to get off the bus at a friend's house, but his teacher called Andrew to tell him that we were supposed to fill out paperwork in order for that to happen. The handbook was very unclear about that. It said we needed to send in a written note if he would be riding a different bus, but not if he would be on his normal bus and get off at a different stop. What a mess! It all ended up working out.

It was snowing in Salt Lake and Whitney and I were supposed to be flying out. I worried about whether or not they would let us fly. They only delayed our flight by about 10 minutes, but once we got on board, they had us sit in the plane for an hour while they de-iced the plane and put jello on the runway. Ok, the captain said "a jello-like substance". Didn't make me feel very secure about our take-off. We finally got off the ground, but we missed out connection from Dallas to Charlotte. We spent 2 1/2 hours wandering the airport, feeling homeless.

We want to go home!

Originally our flight was supposed to arrive in Charlotte at 8:50 pm, but the new flight didn't arrive until 11:45. I felt too bad to make Brandon drive down there when he'd have school the next day. Andrew called a friend from church to come to the house and stay with Brandon while he drove to Charlotte to pick us up. He agreed--what a saint! Whitney was a trooper through the whole ordeal. She was great on the plane and easy in the airport.

So we posed for the first picture.
It really wasn't THAT bad.

She fell asleep within 5 minutes of us putting her in her carseat on the drive home and slept until 10 am this morning. We both needed it! I'm hoping this weekend will give us a little time to catch up on our rest, adjust to the 2 hour time difference, get unpacked, finish Christmas(we had to leave several of the kids gifts here) and start to get back into the normal routine of life.

OK. I guess that's all. Thanks for listening. I feel much better now.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas Moments, part 2

Ok, Christmas seems like it is long gone, but ours is being stretched over a three week period, so I'm still considering these as Christmas Moments.

*Big Family Party with Andrew's side of the family. This was the first time we've had it since Grandpa passed away. It was sad to see Grandma sitting by herself in front of the fireplace. :( He was missed, but we still had a really good time.

Grandma's still looking good

One of my favorite parts of the party is playing these
bells to a couple of Christmas songs.

*Going to the temple WITH Andrew. Finally.

*All of the cousins having a sleepover on Grandma's
living room floor. There were 8 kids ages 10 and under.
They were asleep before 11:30. Not bad, huh?

*Playing SingStar at Angie and Forrest's house.
This is officially my new favorite game.
You play it on the PS2, plug in microphones,
sing karaoke-type songs, and get a score based
on your pitch and timing. SOOOO fun!
Andrew and Tony rapping "Summertime"

The kids even got into it.
Brandon and Reagan singing "Song 2" by Blur
Woo hoo!

I'm not sure which song I was singing
here, but it looks like a power ballad and
it looks like I was really into it. :)

(On a side note, Andrew actually came up with this same concept after the 1st or 2nd season of American Idol. He thought it would be fun if based on your pitch, Paula, Simon, and Randy gave you feedback and you could go on to the next round if you were really good. Dang--we missed out on our million dollar opportunity!)

*Grandma taking the cousins to the children's
museum. Very crowded, very loud, very fun.
Brandon, Lauren, and Jack doing the news.

Reagan and B on a teeter totter.

Whitney, the artist.

*Visiting Andrew's grandparents in their cute new condo here. They have lived in Oregon for a long time and I think I'm the only adult family member who never made it up there to visit them. I'm sad about that, but glad to have them closer so we can see them more often.
They are so sweet and hospitable.
They were so good with the kids.
I had a great time visiting with them.

*Coming home from the store to find these CUTE snowman that the kids made with Andrew and his parents. They had been dying to make a snowman since we got here, but where my parents live, it never got above freezing. It's pretty hard to make a snowman out of frozen snow. It's a good thing they did this as soon as we got to Andrew's parents house because most of the snow melted the next day.

Andrew, Brandon and Grandpa
working on the boy snowman.

The finished product: a cowboy snowman.
Yee haw!

Grandma and Whitney made this
adorable princess snowgirl.
Aren't these great?

Still more to follow.