Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes--July

Hope you get a chuckle or two out of this month's installment.

July 7th--This was one of the conversations in the back of the van today:
B: Whitney, who is the best Dad ever?
W: My daddy!
B: No. That's wrong. It's Heavenly Father.
I think B. could be a lawyer when he grows up. He's always getting us on technicalities.

Brandon, why did you make a face and ruin this pic?
I didn't ruin it, Mom.
You guys were supposed to make silly faces!

July 8th--Whitney has started saying really cute, sincere prayers. I love it when kids hit the stage where they just say whatever is on their minds in their prayers. Today during the blessing on the food, she said, "Thank thee for Jesus...that he is protected from howls and wolves...and from the darkness."

July 11th--Whitney has a new aspiration. "When I grow up, I want to be Cinderella in a blue dress." Her wise, mature older brother told her, "You can't be Cinderella when you grow up. She's just pretend....Oh, there's one real one at Disneyland, but someone is already her."

Future Professional Princess?

July 14th--A while back I posted about how Brandon is really into smells. I guess it runs in the family. When we got in the van today she said, "What's that smell? It smells like chocolate...or fire. Brandon, do you smell that delicious smell?" She also loves to smell the soap when we wash our hands in public restrooms and she has some interesting descriptions for the scents. Today when I asked her what one of the soaps smelled like she said, "PB&J." I don't think that's what the manufacturer intended, but that works.

July 14th--Brandon has an amazing memory. We were driving around today and talking about a trip that we took in December of 2004. He was 3 years old. He started talking about a talking bowling set that some of our friends had that we stayed with and how he wanted to play with it, but it was too late at night when we got there. I had COMPLETELY forgotten about that, but he was right. Isn't that crazy? He said, "I'm the remembering boy...I have a memory card in the middle of my brain and it telling me..." he said this next part in a deep voice, "'You know!!' Oh yea, and six plus six is twelve."

Still plenty of room in the memory card

July 15th--Some friends gave Whit this beautiful hand-me-down dress.
She wore it to church for the first time today and when Andrew came off the stand at the end of Sacrament meeting he said, "Oh, Whitney. Do you know what you look like today?" And she said, "Yea. An angel!" He laughed and said, "I was going to say a princess, but you're right. You do look like an angel."

July 17th--We were outside today and the wind was blowing. Whitney said, "Mom, the trees are dancing!" I thought that was such a great description.

Watch those trees!

July 21st--To help pass the time on the road trip, I had downloaded a Q&A game from cranium.com. Here are a couple of examples of the responses my kids gave.
Q: If you had a car that could go anywhere on earth, where would you drive to?
B: I would drive all around the world in sixty seconds and stop at Hershey Park and the Ultimate Lego Store.
W: To Wal-Mart.

Q: If you could eat only one thing the whole trip, what would it be?
W: A peanut butter sandwich.
B: Cotton candy.

Q: If you could pick anyone to be your personal chauffeur, who would it be?
W: Hello Kitty
B: Jeff Gordon

July 26th--Ok, so most of you know that I grew up on a home where both of my parents were fluent in Spanish, but I only speak enough to get myself in trouble. Well, there are a couple of little Spanish phrases that have stuck in my vocabulary and I use in everyday language. One of them is that I call the kids "mi hija" and "mi hijo," my daughter and my son. I'll also tell them "andale" when they are being too slow and I'm in a hurry to get out the door. The other day I asked Whit something and ended the phrase in "Mi hija." She replied, "I'm 'mi hija' and Brandon's 'andale.'" Oops--I guess I've been asking Brandon to hurry a little TOO much if Whit thinks that's his name!

Andale and Mi Hija

July 28th--W and B were playing out in the backyard today. Whitney can be a bit of a drama queen at times and she came up to the back door crying.
Me: "What's wrong?"
W: no response, keeps crying
Me: "Why are you crying?"
W: through her tears "I don't know!"
Sometimes she even realizes she's being overly-dramatic, I guess.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I love work parties. I only know a couple of the people Andrew works with, so it's fun for me to meet the rest of them and to be able to put faces with the names he tells me about. Usually, Avery does a big Christmas party every year. This year they decided to mix it up and do a summer party instead. We had a really fun time.

The kids got fun prizes.

Sunglasses, hats, and bubbles.

They had a balloon artist.
What little boy doesn't love a balloon sword?
And they're so much safer than most of the
other things Brandon uses as a sword on a
daily basis. :)

A few of the employees volunteered
to do face painting. They did awesome!
Brandon wanted his entire face painted like a snake.

Whitney thought she looked like a princess.

It was raining when we first got there, but it cleared
up just in time for us to ride the little train.

It goes through a little tunnel and the kids
love to scream when we're in the dark.

And one of my favorite things about this park
where the party was held--they have a little
pontoon boat that takes you on a 20 minute
ride on the lake. It is SO beautiful and relaxing.
And this time we saw several herons on the shore
and there were fish jumping out of the water.

At the end of the party, we were the lucky family. Brandon won BINGO and got a $20 gift card to Wal-Mart. And then they had door prize drawings and Andrew won a $50 gift card to PF Chang's. Sweet--can't wait for that date night! It was a very fun Saturday.

We went on our weekly date afterward. Watched Shrek the Third at the dollar theater. It was ok. Had a couple good laughs, but not as funny as the others. Glad I didn't pay full price.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Ok, so I might not be a hot tub person, but apparently everyone else in my family is. I've been overruled. The hot tub is staying.

A few weeks ago, Andrew and the kids
tested the waters. They thought it felt great.

On the 4th, while the kids were taking "quiet time"
Andrew grabbed his book and a BIG glass of ice
water and had a little slice of heaven on the deck.
He tried to convince me to join him, but I haven't
yet. Maybe I'll be converted to being a hot tub
person at some point, but so far I'm still holding out.

My only stipulation for keeping this thing: I'm not in charge of it. I'm not cleaning filters or adding chemicals. Andrew agreed to take care of all of that, so I don't mind it hanging around. So far he has yet to live up to his part of the bargain, so I've told the kids they can't get in there because no chemicals have been added and nothing has been cleaned since we've lived here. But, Andrew's currently out there working on it, so they might be hot tubbing again before we know it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Try this book

I just finished reading the best book.
Big thanks to Angie for recommending it:

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

It was one of those books that I couldn't put down. It got my heart racing at times and was very touching at others. LOVED IT. Now, it's not the time of book that I thought I would enjoy. It's a vampire romance intended for Young Adults. Vampire Romance???? That sounds disgusting. But it's not bloody or gory and I think it would be rated PG if it were a movie.

When I first started reading it, I liked it, but didn't love it. It took me a little while for the characters to become endearing. But I was so bummed when the story end. I wasn't ready to stop being involved in the lives of Bella and Edward. AND, they included the first chapter of the sequel, New Moon, at the end of Twilight, which was just cruel. It left me hanging at a crucial moment! So, my sweet husband went out on Monday and bought New Moon for me and I'm already about halfway through that.

If any of you read this, I'd love to hear if you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Now I've got to get back to New Moon. I have a few more minutes before Whit wakes up from her nap. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sacred Grove

So, I attempted to make a slide show out of some of the Sacred Grove pics. Here goes nothing:

I'm a rookie and couldn't figure out how to add my own music to the background, so the captions will have to do for now.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Our whirlwind adventure

Ten years ago, I was lying on the floor of our crappy basement apartment, studying my brains out and reached a breaking point. I turned to Andrew and said, "Let's go to New York."

He said, "I'd love to do that with you sometime."

I batted my eyelashes and said, "Let's go right now."

Being the practical one in the family, he withstood my flirting and reminded me that we were both in the middle of busy college semesters... and we didn't have any money. Oh yea. I forgot.

Well, it took ten years, but I finally got my wish! This past week we drove up to New York and visited Joseph Smith's family farm, the Sacred Grove, and the Hill Cumorah. It was wonderful.

Andrew actually had a business trip to northern Pennsylvania this week. I asked him to Mapquest the distance between Sayre, PA (where he would be) and Palmyra, NY--it was only two hours. So, he flew up for work on Tuesday. The kids and I left on Wed and drove the 10 hours to Sayre. The kids were SO good in the car. We had fun.

Day 1: On the road to Sayre, PA

First stop: Natural Bridge, Virginia
One of the thing I LOVE about road trips
is I never know where we'll end up stopping.
This looked like a fun spot, so we gave it a try.
It is a beautiful natural bridge.
We took a nice little hike
down to it and stretched our legs.

We kept hiking past the bridge and
came to this restored Indian village.

It was a fun distraction, but kind of
pricey. If we were making a day trip
out of it, it would've been fun. But
since we only stayed about an hour
and a half, it seemed too expensive.

I also LOVE watching the scenery as
we drive and drive. This was some
beautiful farmland in Pennsylvania.

Since Andrew was working late and we hadn't
heard from him when we were about 30 minutes
away from Sayre, we decided to make one last
stop at a little carnival in Monroeton, PA.

I only let them do a couple of rides, but the
kids still loved it.

After that, we made it to Sayre and got to stay the night with Andrew at his hotel.
We didn't get in until after 10 pm, so the kids both crashed.

Day 2: Corning, NY
Many, many thanks to Jayne for recommending our next stop.
She told us about the Corning Museum of Glass. It was only about
45 minutes from Sayre, so that's where I took the kids while
Andrew had more meetings for work. It was awesome.

I realized after the fact that my pictures don't do it justice,
but here's a sampling of what we saw.

Sculpture Gallery
I didn't know glass could be such an amazing
art form--like this beautiful glass dress.

Curiosities of Glass
Like this glass iron that was produced during WWII
to conserve metal. They were invented a little late
because the war ended soon after production started.

We got to watch this worker
make this beautiful flower.
Whit fell asleep. Brandon was bored.
I loved it.

Gift shop
When I heard about a Museum of GLASS, I thought
there was NO WAY I would take Brandon in there.
He's a little tornado of destruction at times!
They keep the museum very child friendly...
except for the gift shop. It was SO neat and had
so many beautiful things, but with the kids outnumbering
me, we had to keep our visit short. Aren't these glass
flowers pretty? They were Whit's favorite part.

Day 3: Church history and pageant
Andrew took a vacation day on Friday and
we all got to drive up to Palmyra, NY together.
Talk about beautiful scenery!
This is Seneca Lake, NY.
There were LOTS of wineries along the way.

I LOVED visiting the church historical sites.
Events seem even more REAL when you can
picture where they took place.
This is the Smith Family cabin, where Joseph
grew up and where the Angel Moroni
appeared to him in his bedroom.

Both mine and Andrew's favorite part of
the whole trip:
Visiting the Sacred Grove.
There is such a tangible
feeling of reverence there.
Very special.
Even with two rambunctious kids,
we were able to have a few moments
of peace and reflection.

Then we visited the Grandin Building

where the Book of Mormon was first published.

Then on to the pageant. We got there very early
so we could get good seats. Then we went to
the Visitors Center there, colored, read,
played duck-duck-goose and "I Spy" until
it was showtime.
Here is the stage.

The cast and crew are made up of 800 people who
are all volunteers. Pretty amazing. Most of them
are families, like this one we met from Florida.

Spectacular is the best word I can come up with
to describe the Hill Cumorah Pageant.
Beautiful music.
Awesome special effects.
Sweet spirit.
Loved it.
I know it made for a hectic week for Andrew, with work
and everything, but I am SO grateful that we had this
experience as a family.

Day4: Drive home to NC
The other thing I am extremely grateful for:
portable DVD players.
The kids watched movies almost the whole
way home. Andrew drive most of the way.
I got to finish a GREAT book I was reading.
(More to come on that.) And Andrew and I
had some great conversations. (Another
reason I'm big on road trips!)

On the way home, we stopped at a McDonald's for
lunch and the parking lot next door was having a
big car show. Brandon LOVES stuff like that.

Andrew found a new dream car.

One really nice gentleman even let the kids sit
IN his car so I could take their pic.

Phew--that was quite a marathon post. And I'm glad we had today to catch our breath before Andrew has to go back to work tomorrow.

AND...I can cross another item off my list of "Things to do before I die." (See archive from Nov 5, 2006 for the rest of the list) Yippee!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Finishing touches

It has been fun, now that the major unpacking is done, to add some of our decor to the house and really make it feel like home for us.

Our beachy decor in the living room

Our wall of family pics when you first come in.

I got to buy some new things to sit on the little
ledge in the foyer. That was fun. I still need one
more, but haven't found the right item yet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lazy 5 Ranch

We had the coolest experience earlier this month, but with the all the excitement of B's birthday and the 4th, I haven't had the chance to blog about it yet--Lazy 5 Ranch. We got together with some friends and drove to Mooresville, NC. It was like we had traveled to another part of the world on a safari.

You pay admission, buy a feed bucket or two, and then drive along a meandering trail where exotic animals come right up to your car and eat. We were in two different cars, so we put all the boys in one and the girls in the other. (My friend, Amy, was brave enough to take the boys with her.)

The first animals we came across were emus.
I was creeped out. The boy's van didn't mind.
They have red eyes and beaks--
I was afraid of getting pecked!
So, the girl's van tried to slip by unnoticed.

Then... I got to feed a zebra!
Is this not the coolest thing ever?
It was like feeding the stingrays--SO exciting
and a little scary, too. He actually took the feed
bucket right out of my hand and I had to get
out of the car to get it back.

Lauren got to feed a deer.
She was very brave. Most of the other little
girls THOUGHT they wanted to feed the
animals...until they got anywhere near the car.

We saw this mommy emu with her cute
little babies surrounding her.

Water buffalo

Brandon fed a giraffe right out of his hand!
Unbelievable! (The girls had used our whole
feed bucket by this point, so we just watched.)

Here was a cute baby goat chasing his mom.

And this little baby pot-bellied pig was one
of my favorites! Whit wanted to take him home.

After you finish driving through the safari,
they have a little petting zoo area with
camels, goats, and this mini cow.

Here are the safari kids.
They had a blast and I loved it, too.
It was a little on the pricey side--I think I
paid twenty bucks for me and the kids--
but I would recommend it. Definitely worth it.