Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Everything's breaking!

Over the last few days, an extraordinary number of our material possessions have stopped working. It's really annoying. It's like a little black cloud is over our house. I realize it could be worse. They are mostly minor things(with one big exception) and can all be replaced. And at least it's not any of our physical persons that are breaking. We've gone through phases where that has happened, too. So, here's the low down:

1. Andrew's car. Yes, this is the big one. It finally bit the dust while he was gone to Mexico.
We went minivan shopping over the weekend. Andrew fit the best in a Dodge Grand Caravan, so that's most likely what we're going to get. The one that we were test driving already had 48k miles on it and we were hoping for closer to 20k. Carmax is shipping one here for us that should be in today or tomorrow.

I've been carless since Friday! Luckily we have that great park within walking distance of our house. Whit and I have made the trek twice already. It takes 15-20 minutes. Maybe being without a car for a short amount of time is a good thing--I'm getting more exercise and can't shop much.

2. Our garbage disposal. One morning I used it and then that evening it wouldn't work. It wasn't jammed or anything. Called a repairman. After he got here, he informed me that yes, it was broken; no, they don't repair garbage disposals; and yes, they charge $57 just to make a service call. He spent less than 5 minutes in my house! I somehow managed to get out of the $57.

Handyman Andrew bought a new one
and installed it this week. I'm so impressed.
(Greg--notice he got a Badger.
You know what you're talking about!)

3. Our answering machine. I don't know what's up with it. It keeps resetting to the default message and we've lost a few messages that I know of. I hope I didn't miss any calls telling me that I've won a million dollars! This breakage has prompted me to look into getting Vonage for our phone service. We've heard great things from two friends. Anyone else tried it?

4. My cell phone. I can't hear the person on the other end unless it's on speakerphone. That's kind of embarassing when I'm out in public. My contract is up in June, so I don't think I'll replace it until then. Luckily, I don't get that many calls on it.

5. Remember that AWESOME patio set that we bought and loved so much???? Well, after the first rain storm here, Andrew found that there were quarter-sized rust spots under the legs of all the chairs. (On the patio that looked brand new from his power washing, of course!) Hello! This is PATIO furniture and will inevitably be exposed to the elements. It's not allowed to rust--especially after the first storm. We were so annoyed. Andrew took the chairs back this week, but we've yet to get replacements. (Back to the one car problem--I can't run any errands.)

I think we've gone a week now without any new breakages so maybe the little black cloud has moved on. Let's hope so. This is getting expensive!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Soccer superstar

So Brandon had his second game of the season this weekend and he rocked! It was such a turn around from the first game. His team won 13-1 and B scored six of the thirteen goals. Woo hoo! Way to go, B. Unfortunately, this was the first sporting event that Andrew didn't film. Our memory card on the camcorder was full. What luck! So here are a few still shots and one little video clip I made with my digital camera--sorry the quality is so poor.
Here he is--#7

He is kind of a cocky kid.

His celebration dances were hilarious!

The best part is when his teammate tackles him. And the way Brandon runs off with his hands in the air. What a crack up.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

AI Live: Disappointing

Andrew has been gone for work all week. It has been fine. The kids were pretty good and we stayed super busy, so the time flew by. I have been looking forward to my date with him ALL week, though. I was SOOO excited about it. Chris Daughtry was performing a free concert with his band. Being a HUGE American Idol fan, AND a huge cheapskate, this was the perfect date for me!
Ready to rock!

We got a babysitter for the kids and headed downtown. We knew the crowds would be crazy, so I told Andrew that we should leave early to get a seat. The news reports had said that they expected about 20,000 in attendance and only about 7,000 would be able to even SEE the stage. I wanted to be one of those 7,000. We found parking in a questionable lot where we prayed that our car would still be there when we were done. Then we took a hike down to where the concert would be.

Thank goodness we are tall, because we ended up toward the back of the crowd, but it was filled with unusually short people, so we could see the stage really well. First we listened to an opening band that was pretty good...until they started dropping cuss words and a political tirade from the stage. Boo on that! We came to listen to music, not Bush-bashing.

There was about a 45 minute break between the opening band and Daughtry performing. That was WAY too long. I was very impatient and ready to get out of there. It was very smokey and then some loud, profane people ended up standing right beside us. I was anxious to leave, but had to catch a glimpse of Daughtry first. We stayed for his first song and then took off. If we could do it again, I would've skipped the opening band and just come down for Daughtry. We were on a side of the stage that was less crowded and I think we could've seen even if we had shown up late.
This was NOT our side of the stage.
Look at ALL those people!
They said that 23,000 showed up.

Daughtry is such a GOOD band. They sounded awesome. I wish we could've listened to them longer, but my lungs were screaming for some fresh air.

Daughtry rocks!

So, I guess what it really comes down to is Andrew and I were naive about what kind of environment it would be. Free downtown concert=lots of alcohol, smoking, and profanity. Lesson learned. We'll remember that for next time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ultimate Drive for the Cure

I had the funnest, most unexpected experience this morning. My friend, Diane, told me that the local BMW dealership was doing a promotion with the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. They had a whole fleet of BMW's that you could test drive and for every mile that they are driven, BMW is donating $1 to the Komen Foundation. What a great cause. Diane had already taken a turn test driving and asked me if I wanted to. Do you think that's something I was going to pass up? No way!

This is the SWEET car I got to drive--the X5.

It was awesome. I LOVED it. They had mapped out a route for us to follow that was 13 miles long. Diane watched Whitney, so it was just me and my BMW with the satellite radio blaring and the open road.... Ok, so it was right around lunch time and the traffic was pretty heavy, but I still got to test the power a couple of times. And let me tell you, those things are powerful! Kind of made me rethink the whole minivan idea....Ha! This thing is no where near my price range. Plus, they drive so smoothly that I know I'd get speeding tickets--I felt like I could just barely start pushing on the gas and all of a sudden I was going 55! It was so fun to enjoy the luxury of this car for a little while without any pressure from a salesman. Really cool experience. They are taking this fleet around the country and you can register to take a test drive, too. Here is the link:

I already checked and they are not going to Utah or Wyoming--so sorry to all of my friends and family in that part of the country.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What we've been up to

I feel like I have become a maid and Andrew has become a handyman and much of our free time is spent cleaning and/or fixing stuff. Man, getting a house ready to sell is a lot of work! I've been scrubbing walls and baseboards, doing touch-up painting, organizing, de-junking.... Andrew took on a big project this weekend--repairing our shed. He had to replace a few of the decorative boards that had water damage and paint the trim. He was out there almost all day. And it was COLD here, too. I felt bad for him. Not the funnest way to spend a Saturday, but needed to be done.

I tried to find a "before" picture, but
it was such an eyesore that I intentionally
tried to keep it out of photos.
The "X"s had all the water damage
and the blue paint was peeling and faded.

We have two real estate agents that go to church with us, so we're thinking of using one of them to sell our house. We talked with both of them on the phone this week and met with one of them here at our house. We're still not quite sure which one we'll end up using. Andrew really wants to talk to a couple that we know from church who are house hunting first and see if we can sell it to them without having to use an agent(on our end) at all. The housing market is starting to pick up here, so I'm hoping to make a decision SOON.

We had a couple of beautiful, summery days before it turned cold on us. One of the days, Brandon had early release from school, so we packed snacks and bikes and headed to the park. We stayed there all afternoon. It was wonderful.

Brandon had fun on his scooter.

He found some buddies who were big Star Wars
fans, just like him. Brandon had packed 2 lightsabers
in the car and one of these boys had brought his, too.
Who brings lightsabers to the park??

Whitney had fun swinging, and swinging, and swinging some more.

Andrew and I had a really fun date on Friday night. I wish I had remembered to take my camera, but don't have any pictures. Some good friends of ours had a bunch of people over to their house to play Guitar Hero and Singstar. It was a blast. This was our first time trying Guitar Hero and Andrew wants to buy it now. He LOVED it and I thought it was fun, too, so I'm up for it. The girls rocked the boys on Singstar. Ah, yeah! It was a very fun night and went by too fast.

Brandon's soccer game got postponed because we had rain ALL DAY Friday. They rescheduled it for Sunday, so he had to miss it. Bummer.

It was a good day at church.
Here are the cuties in their church clothes.

I really enjoy teaching the YW. Most weeks I just teach the 14 and 15 year olds, but this week I had all the girls 14-18. I like having the bigger group because they are more apt to participate. We had some good discussions. They are smart girls.

Whitney started crying when it was time to go home because she didn't want to leave. She always does that when she's leaving a friend's house, when playgroup is over, when my friends babysit her... She is just a social butterfly, I guess. This was the first time it had happened after church, though. Most of us are VERY MUCH ready to go home after three hours. :) Am I really that boring here at home, Whit?

Friday, March 16, 2007

I did it!

I just got online to check my class grade. I got an A- on the final and that was my grade for the course as well. Yippee! I made it!

I just ordered my next class, so will have a little "spring break" here before I start up again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Van drivers--help wanted

Andrew's car is having issues. We may have resolved them, but I'm still doubtful. We have decided that when it really does die(which may be soon!), we are going to buy a minivan. I struggled with this for a while because I felt like vans were for old people, but most of my friends drive them and they are still young, so I guess I can try it, too.

Right now we're thinking we want either a Honda Oddysey or a Toyota Sienna. I would love to hear the input of other van drivers. What kind do you drive? Why did you choose it? Are you happy with it? Has it been reliable? Would you recommend it?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend fun

I love weekends. Brandon started his soccer season on Saturday. His team is the Panthers. This is his third season and he's a pretty good little player. He didn't score any goals. His team lost miserably--I think it was like 7 to 1. But, he played well and had fun.
Go, Brandon!
I don't know why they played with a pink ball.
And we didn't get his uniform until we showed up
at the game, so I didn't realize how bad he'd clash.

He's also kind of the class clown of the group.
He likes to be silly on the field to try to make his
teammates laugh. It worked.

Thanks to Greg and Nicolle, we were able to get the patio set we were looking at a couple weeks ago. We LOVE it.
Here it is!
This umbrella was the wrong one, so
we took it back but they were out of the
one we wanted, so hopefully we can get
that soon.

The weather this weekend was SO beautiful that we have eaten out here three times already. I love hearing the birds chirp in the trees and feeling the sun warm us as we eat.
Here are my cute boys getting ready to eat
our Saturday lunch tradition--tuna.
Do you think Brandon and Andrew look a lot alike?
I've heard this comment from a few people lately.

What about me and Whit?
Does she look like me?

For our Saturday night date, we went to the dollar movies to watch Pursuit of Happyness. Have you seen that? What did you think? *warning* spoilers ahead. It was very stressful for me. But not the good kind of stress, like LOST. I kept wondering if there was some huge bill that I forgot to pay and they were going to foreclose on our house. Or what would I do if Andrew died and I had to support the kids on my own? I was tense the whole time. I knew what the movie was about, but I thought we'd get to see at least a LITTLE bit of them enjoying the benefits of all his hard work. It ends abruptly after Chris gets the job. On the other hand, it was very memorable. I feel like it will stick with me. AND it made me grateful for every comfort of life that I enjoy. I am SO glad that I have never had to spend the night on the floor of a subway bathroom.

I have to give my obligatory BOO to the change for daylight savings. We were all so tired today. Brandon even took a nap, which he never does anymore. I DO love the extra daylight, just wish we could stay on this schedule year round.

Andrew woke up with a migraine this morning and missed church. He slept all morning. Can I blame that on the time change, too? He's feeling better this evening, but says he still has a brain cloud.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Braggin on B-train

I have to share Brandon's big news for the week. He was chosen as a "Terrific Kid" in his class at school. He got a certificate and bumper sticker (which he promptly stuck on his scooter) and got to be on TV during his school's morning announcements. I am so proud of him! He has come a LOOOONG way this year.

Way to go, B-train!

At the beginning of the year, all we ever heard were negative comments about his behavior, but here is a little snippet from an e-mail I got from his teacher this week:

"I have been very pleased with Brandon's behavior. He has really tried hard to follow all our rules (and I know that sometimes he finds it difficult!). He always works hard and as you know his reading is phenomenal! He is enthusiastic about everything we do, and has something interesting to tell me everyday. He really has channeled his 'over' enthusiasm that we saw at the very beginning into something positive. I am very proud of him, and I know you must be too!"

I bet his teacher could add immensely to the "Out of the Mouths of Babes" entries each month with the "interesting" things he tells her every day. Hmmmm....it makes me wonder how much she knows about us. And how much of that is true.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Blake the beat box guy and Chris Sligh are by far the best guys in the competition. I also like Brandon the back-up singer, but didn't think this was his best week. I can't stand that Sanjaya is still in the competition. AND, I also can't stand it when guys have better hair than me. What's up with that? I hope Sanjaya and Phil go home this week.

There are so many good girl singers! LaKisha and Melinda are my favorites. I honestly called and voted for Haley and Stephanie last night in the hopes that if I voted for some who might be at the bottom of the list, Antonella would get kicked off. She just can't hang with the rest of them. Sorry! But she gets so much press that I'm afraid she might slip through to the final twelve and that Haley will go home and either Sabrina or Jordin. There is something wrong with the voting public if Antonella is in the finals over one of those two.

What do you think?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Very fun weekend

I survived. Andrew had his first business trip last week since getting his promotion. He was gone all week and we made it! It worked out really well because some of my good friends had husbands travelling for work as well. So, we had a little group FHE over here on Friday night and had a "party dinner" (as Whitney likes to call it) on Wed night. The week flew by.

Andrew had a good trip. He went to El Salvador.
This is what the landscape looks like.
It reminds him of the Book of Mormon.

It was interesting to hear a little bit about the country. There are armed guards everywhere--in front of ATM's, in all of the shopping centers, etc. He asked the HR manager that he was training, "So, is there a lot of crime here?" He said there wasn't. Go figure. :) All of the telephone poles on one side of the road are painted in red, white, and blue stripes and the other side of the road they are painted white. When Andrew asked about it, he learned that it was part of a big political campaign a few years ago and those are the colors of two different parties. I'm glad he had a good time and am very happy to have him home!

He got back on Friday night. His flight was delayed and he missed the first game of his basketball tournament. His team lost and now their season is over. Bummer...But, it actually worked out well for our family because we had company in town!

My brother, Paul, and his wife, Daneen, and their adorable son, Carson, came to visit us this weekend. They have moved out here to the east coast and we are so excited to have family close. (Yes, it's still a 5+ hour drive, but that's just down the road for us!) It was so fun to hang out with them. We played lots of Nintendo; had a very long, intense game of Trivial Pursuit; went shopping and out to eat; and watched Nacho Libre--such a dumb, funny show. The weekend went by too fast. We're going to have to get together with them again soon.

Princess Whitney with Carson
on their horse named Bowling Pin

We watched Carson on Saturday so that Paul and Daneen could go to the temple. It was a pretty nice day, so we packed a big picnic lunch, threw the bikes in the trunk and decided to head to the park. Brandon was being a pill. I mean he was out of control. Completely disrespectful and not willing to listen. So Andrew ended up staying home with him while I took Carson and Whit to the park. I hate giving punishments like that! But not as much as I hate taking grumpy kids to do fun things that they aren't even going to enjoy. :) He fell asleep soon after we left.

It was a crack up to watch Carson feed the ducks.
He would giggle every time he hit one of them
with his bread. His laugh is very contagious.

What cute cousins! They played really well together.
I love that Carson is right in between these two and
can have fun with both Brandon and Whit.

Whitney LOVES her Uncle Paul.
This pic is actually from Dec.
I didn't get one this time.
It is SO cute how she always wants to give him
hugs, play with him, hang out with him,
and telling him "I love you!"