Thursday, May 31, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes--May

Ok, so this is a very small installment. I don't think it's because the kids were less witty, but because I was less attentive. I've had a few things on my mind, ya know? Hope you get at least a smile out of these little bits.

May 14th--We were sitting around the dinner table and asking Brandon about his day at school. One of the best parts is hearing what he did out on the playground. Tonight he told us that he and his friends played "Superbabies."
Drew: "How do you play that?"
B: "We just pretend we're babies with super powers."
Drew: "What super powers did you have?"
B: "Just plain Milk Force and Electric Force."
Drew: "What do you do with your powers?"
B: "Hurt bad guys and stuff. Shock them with the Electric Milk Force."
I could see this turning into a bad movie some day.

May 27th--Whitney was looking super-fly in a new church outfit today. I overheard her get several compliments. After church I asked, "Did lots of people tell you that you looked pretty today?" She quickly replied, "Yea." Then got a sad look on her face and said, "But nobody said I looked beautiful." Whoa. Never satisfied.
Pretty...or beautiful?

May 27th--Andrew woke up from a much-needed Sunday afternoon nap and was lying on the couch trying to clear the cobwebs. B-train snuggled up with him for a minute and said, "Ew. What's that smell?" Andrew said, "My breath?" B replied, "You need some Orbit or something." Ouch.

May 29th--This is one of those things that probably only grandmas and aunts will enjoy, but I thought it was cute. Whitney is really into singing and will walk around pretending she's a princess and singing various songs from Disney movies. Here's her Belle impression:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome, Summer!

Summer unofficially started with a bang for our family. We had a great weekend. "It rocked!" as Brandon told his teacher at school this morning.

First, our real estate agent (who is also a friend of ours from church) invited us to sit in her agency's box seats at a Grasshoppers game. (They are a local minor league baseball team.) It was a perfect night for baseball. The weather was gorgeous. Our team won. And the whole nine innings were over in an hour and 48 minutes. The announcers said it was a record for the shortest home game for the 'hoppers. This is a very good thing when you have a 3 year old and 5 year old. Here are the cuties with short attention spans
before the game started.

Also, on Friday nights, they do fireworks after the games. It is an amazing show! I LOVED it. Oh, and I think the kids liked it, too. Neither of them plugged their ears or jumped when they exploded. Is that a good thing? Maybe Brandon's too accustomed to all of the explosions on his Lego Star Wars video game. Maybe he's becoming desensitized to violence....Ok. I'll stop freaking out and just be happy that they enjoyed the show as much as I did.

Then on Saturday, the water park opened. Yippee! The kids and I have been waiting for several months for this day. We made a quick stop by there and did a couple rides and then hurried home so Andrew and I could get ready for our date.

I am basically always the one who plans our dates and gets a babysitter and Andrew was saying just last week about how he feels bad that he never pitches in. I told him he could have a turn any time he wanted. So, he took me up on my offer and he came through in a BIG way. He called the babysitter and didn't tell me what we were doing. He just gave me guidelines on what to wear and we were off. He drove me to the church and a couple of friends in the ward were there waiting.

It was Seth and Carrie, who are
experienced ballroom dancers!

Andrew had talked with them and arranged a private lesson for the two of us at the church. Is that awesome or what? We learned the Rumba and the Cha cha.

Here I am practicing my turn.

Carrie and Seth were great teachers and we had fun learning something new. After our lesson, we took them out to dinner and then went to a restaurant that has a dance floor so we could try out our new moves. It was a blast. And, we'll even be able to use our dancing on our cruise next week. Double bonus. Andrew may not plan the dates very often, but when he does, he goes all out.

Monday was water park day--all day long. LOVED it. Several of our friends have bought passes for this summer, so we met up with them there. The husbands and wives took turns watching the kids so the adults could ride some of the scary rides. I felt like a teenager again--laughing with my friends as we waited in long lines and then screamed the whole way down. Brandon's tall enough that he can go on some of the scary rides, too. I took him on two and he was very brave.

I didn't take my camera into the park, but
here are the tell-tale signs of a successful
water park day:
Sun-kissed cheeks,
red eyes

and exhausted.
Whit didn't even survive the
15 minute ride home.

Now it's back to the real world of more packing, making appointments with contractors, end-of-year field trips, making the repairs that were requested on our current home, laundry, etc.

Phew. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Big bottle, anyone?

Just like Jim Croce wanted to save time in a bottle, there are things that I wish I could capture and just hold on to. Here are some of mine.

*The smell of my kids when they were newborns

*Arizona sunsets

*The excitement of walking out of the temple
with Andrew for the first time as husband and wife.

*The sights, sounds, and smells of the beach

*The taste of cheesecake from Cheesecake factory

*The music and motion of the fountains at Bellagio

Well, yesterday, I added another moment to the list. The feeling of walking out of a spa after getting a massage. Actually, if I could stuff the whole 30 minute massage into the bottle, that would be even better. It was amazing. This was one of my Mother's Day gifts from Andrew that I redeemed. He's finally in town, so I could schedule it. :)

The whole experience was so relaxing. It couldn't have been timed better with all the stress of selling the house, buying the new house, packing, inspections, etc. It was just a little slice of heaven.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

How good is LOST???

Oh my gosh! The LOST finale last night was two of the best hours of television ever.

Tricking us all into thinking we were watching Jack's flashback when it was really a flash-forward. Brilliant! Yes, the beard could've used some help.

Losing Charlie--heartbreaking.

I knew Locke wasn't dead. He couldn't be.

And who got goosebumps when Walt showed up at the edge of that pit? Me!

I can't believe we have to go several months before we get another fix. I am so tempted to go back and watch all the previous seasons over again.

What were your favorite parts?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Little updates

I have so much to do. The home inspections on both our current home and the one we'll be purchasing take place tomorrow. I scrubbed and scrubbed this morning to get this place looking good, but there's still more to do. I need a break.

*I wanted to elaborate a little more on what happened with the purchase of our home. I can tell I was in a big hurry last time I posted. OK, we had narrowed it down to two homes that we really liked, right? One was a lot cheaper than the other, but was also 200 sq ft smaller. We had decided on the bigger home. We put in a low ball offer, just as a starting point for negotiations. Then the price on the smaller home was dropped by $2500 and it was such a good deal and even though it was smaller, it's still a lot bigger than the little home we're in now. So, we decided if the sellers on the brick home didn't accept our offer, we'd just go with the other one. Both Andrew and I felt good about that decision and when they counter-offered we told them no--that we'd only pay as much as we offered. I was SHOCKED to hear that they had accepted it. I think Andrew was slightly disappointed, to be honest. He would've been more comfortable with the mortgage payment on the smaller home, but knew I really wanted the brick one, so I think he agreed to put in the offer mainly because I wanted it. Then when we decided not to negotiate, he was hoping they wouldn't accept our offer. But he really does love that brick home, too, and we'll be really happy there. And will have lots of fun basketball parties in our backyard. :)

*I'm just a little bit concerned about Whitney's eyes again. They were looking so good for a while and now I'm afraid her alignment might be off again. I hope I'm wrong. We go back to Dr. Buckley at the end of June for follow-up.

*Our cruise is coming up so soon! We fly down to Florida a week from Saturday. I can't believe it. It is great timing to escape the stress of moving. So exciting. My brother and his wife and son are coming to stay with the kids for the first few days and then my mom is staying with them the rest of the week. You guys rock!

*Brandon has started t-ball season. It's so fun to watch him play. He ended up on one the same team as one of his best friends (who's mom is one of my best friends, too). That has made the games even more enjoyable.
Go Yellow Jackets!

*We went to a wedding reception this weekend out on some beautiful property and I got these cute pics of the kids I wanted to share.

Cute B

Cute W

*I just found out that an art center downtown has free admission on Wed nights, which is the same night Andrew has bishopric. So, I took the kids for the first time last week and they had a blast. It was one of those times when Whitney threw a fit when it was time to leave because she was having too much fun. I hope we can start going down there regularly.

They both love to paint, but it's one of those things
that RARELY happens at home, when it's me that has
to clean up the mess. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007


The sellers of the brick home accepted our offer, so we're under contract with them to close the same day as this house closes! I'm SO thrilled. I LOVE that house.

Now on to the hard part of loan paperwork, packing, home inspection, etc....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Party day

Today was a great day. I almost felt like it should've been a vacation or something because it was so much fun. Oh, wait, Brandon came into my room at 6:15 this morning, already dressed and ready for school. It couldn't have been vacation.

After getting him on the bus (an hour later--why does he wake up SO early??), Whitney and I went with a bunch of friends to watch Sesame Street Live.
One of our friends was given a bunch of free tickets
and we got to come along! Very fun.
This was my first time seeing one of these shows.

You should've heard the audible gasps of joy when
Elmo walked out onto the stage. I think 99% of
children aged 1-3 love that guy!

It was a cute show and we had fun, but it was
a little on the long side. Our crew lost attention
for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

Then Brandon had t-ball practice this afternoon which went well. I took the kids home, went through the bedtime routine, and got them in bed ten minutes early. (I figured they could use those few extra winks with the early morning they had.) It was perfect timing because I had invited a bunch of my girlfriends over for a Girls Night IN. Andrew has been gone so much that I had missed our Girls Night OUT this month. We had a blast. Everyone brought amazing treats for us to munch on. We had a good time eating and visiting, but the real fun began when I put in Singstar. Aw, yeah. Several of my girlfriends had sworn they were just going to sit in the corner playing solitaire while the rest of us sang, but they all gave in and joined the fun.

The Red Team

The Blue Team

We had plenty of laughs and I think most of them would even do it again if I asked them to. Maybe next time I have them over, we'll have a little more space to really show our moves. We went ahead and put in an offer on the brick house tonight. I'm kind of nervous about it, but hope the negotiations go well. We should hear back from them tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I just got the call today that our house DID appraise at the selling price. Yipee! I can't tell you how relieved I am. All of my friends had told me not to worry about it. That it would appraise just fine. But my agent and the buying agent were both doubtful, so that scared me. I'm glad my friends were right. I should know to trust them. :)

So, now we're set to close on the 20th. It's going to be a crazy month!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

No glasses....yet

Brandon had his first appt at the eye doctor yesterday. We have spent more time than just about anyone I know in the eye doctor's office, but he had never been in the BIG chair. He was so cute and was a very big boy even through getting his eyes dilated.

He got to wear these cool old man
shades when we left.

So, he is near sighted and as an astigmatism, but his doctor decided not to prescribe glasses yet. She asked if he has problems in school or complains of headaches. I said no to both. She said he has functional vision, but can't see real far away. As long as he continues to do well in school, she doesn't want him to wear glasses. She said in 1st grade, he needs to sit at the front of the classroom and if he complains of not being able to read the board, we'll fit him for glasses. He was kind of disappointed, but I was relieved. I have a feeling that as soon he starts wearing them, we will be replacing them often. His doctor said they make some that are nearly indestructible, but knowing Brandon, he'll figure out why they say "nearly." (Or he'll just lose them in the abyss of toys and papers under his bed.)

Glasses are definitely in his future, but I'm glad we can put it off for a little while.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

Ah, Mother's Day. The one day out of the year when I get much more recognition than I deserve for the little things that I try to do every day. Sweet. I'll take it.

These two cuties make all the hard work worth it.
(Or at least most days.)

On Friday, Brandon's school invited all the kindergarten moms to come in for a Mommy's Tea time. (There was no tea involved, but that was a good thing for me.) We got bagels and orange juice and spent a little time with the kids in their room.

Brandon made this CUTE poodle card for me.

And all of the kids had drawn portraits
of their moms that were hanging in the hall.
Brandon did a pretty good job, huh?
I love my earrings the best.
He knows I like to accessorize!
What about my eyes? They're kind
of hypnotic.

On Sunday, my morning started off really well. Andrew made me waffles with cantaloupe for breakfast. He did the BEST job on picking out gifts for me. Andrew is not known for surprises. I always manage to find out the gifts that he chooses for me. Not this time. He did awesome. While he was in California last week, our good friend Mandi helped him pick out a cute, funky shirt for me. And he also got me a gift certificate for a massage! I was SOOOOO impressed. I've never gotten a massage at a spa before and I can't wait.

Here was the pic Whit drew of me
for one of my cards. Brandon helped her
with the body and the pupils.

Andrew got to drive to and home from church with us, which was wonderful--no meetings again. But church itself was a nightmare. Whitney was not on her best behavior, and Brandon was flat out terrible. I couldn't believe it. It was probably the worst Sacrament mtg I've had in a year. I kept telling B, "You're not allowed to be bad! It's Mother's Day." It didn't work. I had to take them out in the hall three times and that doesn't count the potty break. I was bummed.

After church, Andrew made me a nice dinner and had gotten a cheescake for dessert. It rocked. He's so awesome. While the rest of us were taking naps, Brandon took an hour of quiet time and then got up and drew these two cards for me. (I guess he was feeling bad for how he acted in church.)
"Mom, your love is my best
treasure of all. I love you, Mom."
Doesn't that just melt your heart?
What a sweetheart. The picture is of
him as a pirate opening a treasure
chest with my love inside. He's saying, "Wow"

He also made this card. It folds in half.
Such a cute boy when he wants to be.

(On a side note, the appraiser came this morning and said we should know the results by tomorrow or Wed.)

Another plug for Andrew's blog

For anyone who hasn't been to Andrew's blog lately(or ever), he has started posting again and you should check it out. I don't know how long it will last, but he has listened to his devoted readers for now and given us another fun contest.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Another house update

So Andrew got home. Yeah! And we walked through the top three houses yesterday. One of them didn't quite cut it, but we loved two of the others. They are very different and both have huge pros and cons, so it was a tough, tough decision. After much debate, we decided on the one we wanted, prayed about it and felt good. So we decided to put in an offer on a real pretty brick one I had told several of you about.

We worked through the details with our agent and had everything ready to go, but Andrew started having some hestitations because of some changes that have been happening in work. He has a meeting on Thursday of this week that should give him a better feeling for the direction of the company, so he wants to wait until after that to make the offer. Our agent said we should still be able to close on the 20th.

If by some some chance that house sold before Thursday, I think we'd just go with the other one that we really liked. And with the housing market being pretty slow out here, I think the chances of BOTH of them selling before Thursday are very slim.

Plus, the appraisal on this house will take place Monday morning, so we'll know for sure if this deal is going to work or not.

So, we're still kind of up in the air, but I don't feel stressed right now. We've got some time to get it all together. I'll keep the updates coming. Exciting stuff.

Friday, May 11, 2007

When Andrew's gone....

*I miss him. Especially at night after I've put the kids to bed. I usually look forward to a mean game of Scrabble or rocking out at Singstar, but have to make do with reading, blogging, scrapbooking or watching TV while he's away.

*I stayed up talking to my best friend, Marianne, until 11:45 pm--over two hours!!! We always talk for a long time, but I think that might have been a record.

*The kids only get bathed every OTHER night. Unless Whitney gets sand poured on her head, which she did one of the days. grrrrr.

*One of the nights...I am completely embarassed to admit this....I had the TV on while I was working on a Mother's Day project and was flipping back and forth between The Bachelor and The Real Wedding Crashers. Oh my gosh--I normally would not waste my time with either of those shows. You know I was desperate to just have some noise in the house.

*Cooking is so hard. It's seems annoying to cook a nice meal for just the three of us--especially when Brandon and Whit eat so little. We usually end up scrounging--spaghetti, ramen noodles, pizza, Poblano's. All of this travelling Andrew's doing might be bad for OUR health here at home. I also seem to eat more junk food. This is a really bad thing when we're only 3 weeks away from our cruise!

*I had to watch one of the best, scariest episodes of LOST all by myself. I was SO creeped out and quite proud of myself for making it through the whole thing. I still get goosebumps when friends have repeated Jacob's line..."Help me!" Even typing it gave me the chills!

*I end up talking on the phone a Andrew, friends, and family all over. That part's fun. Although Andrew's not normally much of a phone talker. He usually keeps calls to 3 minutes or less. When he's gone for a whole week, though, I can sometimes get a 15 or 20 minute conversation out of him.

*I also end up staying up late almost every night. What's up with that? Andrew's the night owl in the family and I enjoy my sleep, but I always seem to get to bed a little later than usual when he's away.

*I got to babysit for friends two different nights. This only helped feed my baby hunger.

So, if you haven't guessed, Andrew was gone again this week. That makes two weeks in a row. The time has passed quickly, though, and we'll be happy to have him home for more than two days this time. The kids have been really good. They helped a lot around the house and have gotten along with each other for the most part. Phew.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

House update

We signed all the paperwork and it is OFFICIAL. Our house is under contract after 28 days of being on the market. Yippee! How exciting. We signed the contracts this morning, but I'm still holding back a little bit on the celebrating. Ya see, they offered us $500 more than our asking price and then we are paying the closing costs. Which is long as the house appraises for the selling price. Several people have said, "Oh, don't worry. That shouldn't be a problem at all." But my agent, who is very straightforward, is a little concerned about it. So that makes me concerned, too. The appraisal should happen sometime in the next 10 days, so I'll keep holding my breath until then.

As far as the house hunting, I walked through 3 more homes today. I really liked one of them. So, now my list is down to the top 3. Andrew has only been through one of those. We'll go through all three of them again on Saturday and see what we think and hopefully put in an offer on one of them. This house is supposed to close on June 20th, so we'll try to do both closings then, if possible.

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I think our house might have sold this morning. I'm trying not to get too excited because we haven't seen anything in writing yet, but we verbally accepted an offer. Yippee! We have two potential houses that we like right now and three more I'm going to walk through tomorrow. Very exciting.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


You know how once in a while you'll get to participate in an event that is bigger than yourself? And it feels so good? Yesterday was one of those days for me. I got to participate in the Race for the Cure to help end breast cancer. I participated with four of my good friends:

Jayne, Bea, Me, Amy, and Diane

Jayne and Diane are two of my heroes. They are amazing women. They are both breast cancer survivors and I am a better person because of knowing them.

Here we are at last year's race.
Jayne is bald from chemo.
Diane's hair is barely growing back in.

They are both so young and healthy. It just doesn't seem like they should've gotten cancer. It has been a big lesson to me that you just never know. Both of these women are pillars of faith. They have really turned to the Lord through this trial. I should say that they have stayed close to the Lord because they were both faithful women before cancer came into their lives. Both of them were living their lives in such a way that they didn't have to make drastic changes when they looked in the face of death. But they have taught me about prioritizing--making sure my time is spent on things that are most meaningful and worthwhile. They have both been SO STRONG through surgeries, chemo, and relapse scares. They are amazing examples. They've also taught me that even when something huge like the "c" word comes into your life, you are still in control. You can't let the diagnosis run your life. I am so thankful to know both of them.

You can read more about Jayne's experience on her blog.

The race event is an inspiring experience. All of the survivors wear special pink t-shirts and it is eye-opening and scary to see how women are afflicted with this disease. When the race is over, they have a survivor parade and we get to cheer for all of them. It is a tear-jerking moment, even for this not-overly-emotional girl.

Look at all these women!
Eight thousand people participated in
the races--either a 5K (which we did)
or a one mile.
Hundreds of them were survivors.

This is one of the more sombering parts of the
day--a memorial garden for those who have
lost loved ones to breast cancer.

It wasn't all hugs and tears, though.
The race itself was a blast. The four of us walked
the first two miles and ran the last one.
It felt so good.
Here we are stretching and showing off
our huge muscles after we crossed the finish line.
It was so fun to just visit and laugh as we strolled
on a cloudy morning with a perfect temperature
for walking.

Thank you, Jayne and Diane, for sharing your life-changing experiences with me and for your examples. I love you guys!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Do you dare take the nerd quiz?

LOVED reading everyone's thoughts on the documentary. Thanks so much for sharing. And now on to a MUCH less substantive post...

Are you up for a little fun today? You can click on this little icon and take a nerd quiz. It only takes a couple of minutes.

I am nerdier than 35% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

My results: Nerd Wannabe--not nerdy, but definitely not hip. Let me know your results, if you're brave enough.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Did you watch?

Ok, so who watched the PBS documentary on the Mormons? What did you think of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts. I watched all four hours of it. What an investment of my time. I kept thinking, "Only Mormons are going to make time to watch this WHOLE thing." I enjoy learning about other religions, but I don't think I would spend that amount of time over a two-day period watching a show about Catholicism or Buddhism.

I was very nervous the whole time I watched. I was surprised at myself for that. It was almost like the negative things that were addressed were personal attacks on me. I was very defensive throughout the program, so I don't know that I am a fair judge of the content, but here are some of my thoughts.

-I was so surprised to hear one person they interviewed say, "I hear the voice of Joseph Smith when I read the Book of Mormon." How do you hear the voice of an unschooled farm boy when you read that beautiful book of scripture? Call me crazy, but I hear the voice of the Lord.

-One of my favorite quotes of the whole show was a non-Mormon man who said, "If we doubt the origins of Mormons because they seem outlandish, we have to doubt the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All religion is based on miracles." I loved that! Just because our miracle occured in more recent history, people seem more likely to dismiss it or think we're crazy.

-One of the men interviewed said, "Why were the Mormons so hated? It's perplexing." What a good question. I can understand how polygamy would bring hatred and misunderstanding, but long before polygamy was practiced, the Mormons were heavily persecuted. And they talked about how the extermination order issued against the Mormons by the state of Missouri was the only time that has EVER happened in this country. I think that had a unifying effect on members then and continues to have that effect now.

-One of my biggest complaints about the program: I felt like none of the strong, faithful commentators were women. Where was Sheri Dew? Where was Susan Easton Black? I felt like this was a subtle way of perpetuating the notion that women are second class citizens in our faith.

-I understand that they needed to discuss the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but did they have to spend 1/2 an hour--25% of the first show on it? That seemed overboard to me since it was one isolated, tragic incident.

-The program was very clear in stating that polygamy is NOT part of the church's practices at this time, yet they spent a HUGE part of that segment talking about people who are currently living it. That was confusing.

-I've worshipped in dozens of LDS congregations all over the country throughout my life, and I've never sung a hymn where we were standing up and clapping. What was up with that clip on the second day?

-That was a very complimentary, uplifting segment on the welfare and service aspect of the Church.

-They talked about how part of our identity as a church is being a peculiar people, but that we've become so mainstream that we're "wrestling" with the problem of being too much like other religions. I disagree with that. I definitely feel that we still stand out in the crowd and have a sort of mystery and curiousity about us.

-That returned missionary making the "suicide bomber" comment was outrageous.

-I was uncomfortable during the entire segment on the temple. They just came too close to publicizing the things that I hold most sacred.

I realize I've highlighted mainly things that bothered me, but there were lots of good things about the show as well. I love that they interviewed President Hinckley and Elder Holland and Elder Oaks. That seemed like a really neat family of 13 that they interviewed. I enjoyed Elder Jensen's testimony about missionary work. I thought they did a fair job of presenting both angles of most of the issues. If you watched, I'd love to hear what you thought.